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With the cooling season of Autumn, Ice-types are starting to re-emerge from their hibernation as Ghost-, Normal-, and Flying-types swarm in the largest numbers they will all year. In comparison, wild Fire- and Bug-type populations are falling in number. The migration of Flying-types to the south in search of warmer weather has also started, as Istin City starts to re-freeze and Autumn marks the beginning of Cypwater Point's rainy season. Handlers and Rogues alike should be wary: Ghost-type powers are boosted during this season, at the cost of being more prone to their triggers.

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 Elena Fletcher's Travels, Khaleesi
Carnivale
 Posted: Apr 5 2014, 05:30 PM
| Quote |


Peace and safety, friend.
*******
Background Admins/Head Mods
Total Posts: 2105
Member No. 456
Joined on 22-July 12.


Characters:
Carmen Caldwell, Lahi Sharandi, Gilen Bassett

Awards: None


[Welcome to Harper! Please remember to keep an egg count in your posts, from one to twenty, and PM me if you would like to know its primary type - though do know that I can't tell you whether or not it is mono- or dual-typed. Also do not forget to reply in the Update Request thread after every single post you have made here so a mod will know to continue your travels!]

.

The first thing which registered to Ellie's ears as consciousness slowly ebbed back into her was the soft murmuring of voice. If her nose was working and her mind was keen enough for it, she might be able to recognize the scents which hung in the air, too: some dozens of dried, crushed herbs mixed together, with the spicy tinge of an expensive eastern type of tea. She can open her eyes, but she would not see much of anything except more darkness, because there was a damp cloth laid across the upper half of her face. Whoever had put it there had been nice enough to leave Ellie's nose free for breathing, but he had done well to conceal her vision.

"-er on the water," someone was saying, his voice gruff and male. And a bit too loud. "I got no idea, ma'am, how she ended up out there or whatnot, but-"

"Keep it down, hun," another cut him off, disapproving and feminine. The cloth, if Ellie had not already been reaching up to pull it off, was now removed. Light assaulted her eyes, though not so much that it hurt permanently, though any attempts to move her head would reveal to Ellie that it felt like it was stuffed with cotton and weighed more than a bloated snorlax.

A kindly face appeared in her line of vision, wrinkly and female, thin and weathered down by the years. The old woman blinked in surprise when she saw that Ellie was awake, then smiled in relief. "Well, look!" she exclaimed softly, turning to look at someone else over her shoulder. "Tyson! Our guest is up!"

Another face appeared, belonging to what looked to be a much younger man, younger than even Ellie herself. He blinked at her with dark gray eyes, his face framed by curly strands of blonde hair, before pulling back. Both faces disappeared as the woman left the small wooden and sparsely furnished room they were in to get something and the man rocked back on his heels, his hands on his hips.

He studied her for the next few seconds, heedless of whatever it was that she chose to do next, be it sit up, trying to get out of the cot she was lying on (if she chose to get up and leave, she might realize that all she was currently wearing was a nightshirt that went down to her knees.) If she did try to get up and out, though, he would say a very simple sentence, "I wouldn't recommend that."

The young man was about eighteen or so, and not very tall, though he was dressed in scale-mail armors covered by a leather tunic, on the left breast of which was an embroidered thumb-sized blue harp. There was a sword at his hip, and he looked...civilized, at least. Tilting his head, the man stared at her some more. Expectant, almost.

Clearly he was waiting for her to speak.

--------------------
PCR
Gilen Bassett
Profile --- Travels
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Lahi Sharandi
Profile --- Travels
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Carmen Caldwell
Profile ---- Travels
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Khaleesi
 Posted: Apr 6 2014, 04:05 PM
| Quote |


nerd hater
******
Banned
Total Posts: 934
Member No. 1506
Joined on 17-March 14.


Characters:
Elena "Ellie" Fletcher, Clare Everhart,

Awards: 2




[Egg Count: 1
A few OOC notes:
I did not bring this up in her application, which is my fault: for Ellie, becoming a Guardian is more of a long-term goal I had in mind for her character. I’d like for an established handler and mostly complete team before I bring her down that route—and to overcome a lot of failures along the way. Secondly, while my intention was for Ellie to have some idea what the Guard really was before coming to Harper, (and, again this is not something I put in her application, I apologize!) I realize this is the perfect opportunity to make this her very first interaction with anything involving Guardians. If the mods updating my travels are willing to go along with this edited train of thought, it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
]

.

The sun bore down on her back, interspersed by the shade of swift-moving clouds.

“Your footwork is worse than Lionel’s,” Gregory Fiaro was saying, “and you grip your sword as if holdin’ an ekans.”

Ellie shifted her feet and looked down at her hands. They were soft and without calluses…and not at like her actual hands. Her gaze continued to her body, finding it awkward and unshapely. She was fourteen again, on the dusty training yard of Fiaro’s land.

The knight leapt at her, the flat of his blade coming down on her hip. Adrenaline pumping, Ellie parried the swipe away a second after contact, actions painfully slow in the body of a fresh squire. The sound of clashing metal rang out in the small yard and dust particles filled her nostrils. Her hip bone stung acutely.

“You’re gonna have to be quicker if you wanna protect yourself,” Fiaro said, no malice in his words, “and if y’can’t protect yourself, how do you expect to protect any’ne else?” Ellie, blinking away sand, turned to look her instructor in the eye, and found Lord Fletcher standing beside him. He was saying something in the exact manner in which he spoke to her on the last, sorry day she saw the treacherous man. But she couldn't hear him because the roaring of ocean waves filled her ears.

What?” she tried to shout, as Fiaro came at her again, this time with an overhead strike to the face.

Flinching,—and she never did such a thing anymore—Ellie threw up her sword defensively. The blades met and yet, there was no resistance.

She glanced upwards. Fiaro was dematerializing quickly, his limbs and weapon becoming liquid, and a fierce wave rushed over her where her mentor had been. The roaring grew louder. Wet, her armor waterlogged, Ellie tried to move, but her head swam with nausea. A second wave hit her, then a third. Water filler her mouth, salt burned her eyes and throat.

She was pulled underwater and everything went dark.

---

Ellie awoke to more darkness. Senses numbed and head throbbing, she grasped weakly for the covering on her face, only to find herself unable to grab it. She brought her right hand back down. Well, at least that old injury was still here to remind her of reality. Voices finally reached her as her hearing cleared. They were muffled as if speaking through layers of fabric or inches of wood, like when her and her brothers snuck into the library beside their father’s study so they could eavesdrop on his private meetings.

The cloth was removed from her face then, bright light stabbing into her eyes, adding to the already incredible pain in her skull. Sweet Arceus, it was as if a wailord had taken up residence in her brain. She squinted and an older woman’s face filled her vision; only briefly before she pulled away, taking the scent of herbs with her. A guttural groan came out of Ellie’s throat instead of a question. Dehydration made her tongue as useful as if it were made of cotton.

Though it took a full few seconds for her eyes to adjust to the light, she still tried for a look around and her gaze found the glint of sharpened metal at the man’s side.

Reacting instinctively, Ellie rolled out of the cot. The usually practiced move was sluggish and awkward, hindered by the pain wracking her body and the heaviness of her head. She might as well have been fourteen again. For now ignorant to her state of dress, Ellie stumbled and shot the young man a sharp look when he spoke.

Where am I?” she demanded, tone scratchy but gaining strength. “Why am I here?

Why was she here? Flashes of memories returned to her. Fiaro’s farewell. The sick man and the magikarp. A gyrados. Water. Fire. Her skin crawled. The girl went for her sword and, upon finding none, snarled in frustration. She could have been completely naked and would have felt no less vulnerable without her armor.

Where is my shortsword?” she questioned, heedless of what the man may have done or said at her first outburst. “My armor? My bag?” With a jolt, she recalled Fiaro’s last gift—the pokemon—and that it had gone down with her in the attack. Did it drown? Had she caused the death of an innocent creature? “I had an…an—” Goodness, she didn’t even know what it was. “—an occupied pokeball on me. Is it safe?” For a long moment, she stared at the armored man. And, if the other woman had returned to the small room, Ellie’s gaze would shift rapidly between both of their very likely confused faces.

For, as Ellie realized as she became more cognizant of her surroundings, she had been shouting at the pair entirely in Caledonian. Heat flooded her face up to the tips of her ears.

Forgive me,” Ellie said in Harperian. The nausea caught up with her then, overwhelming the adrenaline rush of a second before and forcing her to sit heavily back upon the cot. What in the world happened to her sensibility? Ellie crossed her legs, suddenly modest, and cleared her throat before asking her questions again (this time, much more civilly and by introducing herself as ‘Ellie Fletcher’ first—and in a language they could actually understand).

The smell of the tea sent her stomach growling at a volume anyone in the room could hear.

And Ellie kept her head titled down in embarrassment.

--------------------
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X/Y FC: 5129 1837 4187
Trainer Sprite Shop
PCR || dream team
Sigs by CounterHex!

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Carnivale
 Posted: Apr 12 2014, 12:21 PM
| Quote |


Peace and safety, friend.
*******
Background Admins/Head Mods
Total Posts: 2105
Member No. 456
Joined on 22-July 12.


Characters:
Carmen Caldwell, Lahi Sharandi, Gilen Bassett

Awards: None


[.7 for you! And noted, Leesi. http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz241/HarperRegion/Sprites/Emoticons/8.png I thought something about that as I was reading your app too, so I'm glad this works out!

(By the way, I am so selfish, but could I ask to claim Ellie for a period of time? She is so amazing. ;-; )]

.

The old woman had come back some time when Ellie was tearing through the room trying to find her things, and she now stood next to the young man she'd called "Tyson," a clean rag clutched in her hand and the other covering her mouth, her eyes wide. The guardian tilted his head towards her and murmured something, but aside from that did not run to stop Ellie. Perhaps he was afraid she would smack him for trying.

Only when she had calmed and greeted them in Harperian did he response. By nodding and answering, in fluent - if accented - Caledonian. "Forgive me, my lady. We did not mean to frighten you or make you feel unwelcome." If she deigned to look surprise, he would shoot her a grin that broke his neutral face, a smirk rather, that bared one canine and made him look for a moment like an imp. Then he switched back to Harperian. "I am an escort for merchants from here to Caledon. It was required of me to speak the language fluently."

He stood aside and gestured towards the old woman, who joined her hands in her lap and bowed a little, like an old servant. "This is the healer who has taken care of you. Her name is Isabel. Miss Isabel, can you fetch the lady's things?"

The old healer gave Tyson a Look that made him grin sheepishly, scratching his head, but she sighed, bowed once more, and left the room. When the door clicked shut behind her, Tyson leaned back on his heels and crossed his arms, studying Ellie. His gaze stayed resolutely on her face. And then he began to answer her questions.

"This is Cape Augustine, Harper Region, and I am Tyson Riech of the Cape Guard," he said slowly. "A sea patrol found you being borne to shore, sandwiched between two wild alomomolas who undoubtedly rescued you from dying further off in the sea. The captains of the Guard are all kept busy at the moment, so I was assigned to watch you until you are awake. As for your belongings, your sword and your pokemon are both fine. Everything else might have been damaged by your long submerged period in seawater, though. But your gold in Harperian was fine, so I expect that you can repurchase what you have lost without a problem."

He went to a closet standing at one of the corners and threw it open, shifting through it. A few seconds later he came back and tossed a pair of brown breeches and a sailor's shirt on the bed with her. "We also compensated you with some things. Potions, pokeballs, two Rare Candies...the basic things. Your Pokecard." He freed the item from the pocket of his own breeches and put it on the bed next to the clothing items. As he was bending over, he caught her eye and stared at her, his gaze unreadable.

Then he withdrew. He looked up as the door was pushed open again and Isabel came back in, carrying a new if pedestrian rucksack. The chansey following her held armors in its little arms - Ellie's armors, as it were. They put them on the bed as well, then Isabel turned and crossed her arms at the young man.

Tyson tilted his head in acquiescence and made to leave. At the door, he paused. "Miss Fletcher, I will be waiting in the common room if you would like to talk more," he called to Ellie. "I do need to inform my superiors that you are now awake, and I am afraid they will ask you some questions-"

"But only when you feel ready to answer them," Isabel said primly, organizing the clothes on the bed. She gave Isabel a sympathetic look. "Your ordeal must have been rough on you, my dear. You would be feeling sore as well, I'd bet - would you like help dressing yourself?"

The man was already gone by that time, so Ellie would have to ask how to get to the common room if she felt like going there after she'd dressed, and would be told that she would exit this room, go down a flight of stairs and then the common room would be right there, for this was a pedestrian inn in Cape Augustine.

If not, she would only have to say that she needed more rest or time alone - the soreness and the headache did not go away just because she was up and about now - and Isabel would be happy to allow her that. In the brand new rucksack, Ellie would find everything she had asked for, including the "basic items" Tyson had told her about, and more importantly her occupied pokeball.

What she did now was up to her.

--------------------
PCR
Gilen Bassett
Profile --- Travels
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Lahi Sharandi
Profile --- Travels
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Carmen Caldwell
Profile ---- Travels
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Khaleesi
 Posted: Apr 20 2014, 08:15 PM
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nerd hater
******
Banned
Total Posts: 934
Member No. 1506
Joined on 17-March 14.


Characters:
Elena "Ellie" Fletcher, Clare Everhart,

Awards: 2




[ Egg Count: 2
Yeee~ :0 yes you may have her for a while if you’d like. uwu ]


When the young man—Tyson, he was called—began speaking in Caledonian, something like shock crossed Ellie’s face before it softened to an expression of gratitude. He flashed a toothy smirk, to which she didn’t respond, as he quickly continued his train of thought in the Harper tongue. At the healer’s introduction, Ellie gave a very stiff, shallow bow of her own, locks of auburn-colored hair, now rather unkempt from her ordeal, falling into her eyes. “Thank you, Isabel,” she said. Her appreciation was sincere. As she straightened and pushed the shock of hair out of her vision, her shoulders and arms protested, and Ellie did her best to hide the cringe of pain.

The young woman had to pay close attention as the guardian began answering her questions, as her muddled mind and lack of extended experience with the language made it difficult for her to focus. She was silently thankful he took the initiative to speak slowly for her. Cape Augustine? Was that where she and Sir Fiaro were supposed to go? Fear sent cold fingers down her spine. Ellie couldn’t help but think the worst of his and the Redwing’s fate, though the great ship had long been out of sight when she and the two dinghies were attacked by gyrados.

Her bright green eyes followed him as he moved across the room and procured clothes from the closet. It took her a few seconds to translate the word “compensate” in her mind, but once she sorted out what Tyson meant, she gave a short nod, cataloging her new items. A weird sort of sadness hit her when she realized most of Fiaro’s gifts had been destroyed, though his sword, pokemon, and armor were safe, and that was all that mattered. Her gaze trailed from the pokecard, up his arm, and to Tyson’s unreadable stare. Self-conscious, Ellie crossed her arms over her chest but her eyes did not waver, even when the heat returned to her face.

Only when the healer and her chansey came back into the room did her eyes leave his, and Ellie’s expression visibly lit up when the tottering, pink pokemon came to the bed bearing her armors. Once Tyson had left the room—and she’d nod in understanding at his statement—she attempted to put on her armor. Grunting in pain, she found herself unable to even pull off the thin nightgown. Her arms could not yet be lifted above her shoulders, and she was unable to bend at the waist much. The move the girl moved, the more limber she would become; however, for now, she turned to the kind, older woman, and asked in soft voice, “I, uh, will need your help after all, please.” Ellie had no qualms about others seeing her body; she was much, much more embarrassed that she needed assistance removing an article of clothing.

Once the armor and clothes were in place, she rubbed at her throat, sheepish to ask more of this woman who had already given her so much. “Do you…do you have any water, my lady?” Whether or not Isabel left the room to get water, Ellie gingerly turned and began rifling through the gifted rucksack. Her fingers touched a cold, round surface, and she pulled out a slightly scuffed pokeball. Exposure to sun and salt had faded the red of the magical device. Regardless, Ellie rolled it in her good palm. Curiosity caused her pause. What could possibly be inside? The ex-squire was tempted to release her new partner in the room. She resisted the urge. For all she knew, there could be a steelix inside, and the enormous metal snake would bring down the entire building. If Isabel came back with water, Ellie would drink it swiftly and thank the woman either way, and would stop to thank the chansey, too. After securing her sword and rucksack, Ellie asked the woman if they had found her cloak and doublet. In whatever state the items were in, she would take them.

And, finally, on her way out, Ellie paused at the door, hesitated, and then turned back into the room. With clumsy fingers, Ellie rifled through her gold pouch and pulled out a few coins. She was not yet familiar with Harperian currency and struggled to remember the worth of the coins in her possession. How much was the cost of a life? At her household, healers were always in her family’s employ and she hadn’t the slightest idea what they were paid. Muttering to herself, she put down thirty gold coins on the end table, then five more after another second of thought. Yet again, Ellie stopped at the door. Another bow and expression of thanks was offered to the healer, and the girl disappeared down the stairs as quickly as her sore body would allow.

In the common room, Ellie called for Tyson, should the room prove crowded. Should he ask, she would indicate that she was all right and ready to meet with his superiors, and would follow him out into the street. Ellie cursed softly once outside, shielding her eyes with her wounded hands. The brightness of the day hurt her eyes, weak as they already were, compounded by her time in the dark, quiet room. As the pair walked, Ellie distracted herself with questioning the guardian. “Were any other survivors found?” she would ask. “You call yourself a guard, Tyson Reich, yet dress and carry yourself like a knight. Who are you?” Should the opportunity arise that they passed a shop, Ellie would ask if she could excuse herself to make a few purchases. If not, she would continue on with Tyson, doing her best to mask the slight limp in her step that was steadily working its way out of her gait.

Shopping List?


[ If there isn’t an opportunity for Ellie to shop right now, that’s totally okay. I’ll just leave the list up for when she does get a chance. Also, I purposefully left out the egg in Ellie’s RP sample, since I was thinking about selling it at first because I couldn’t justify an egg surviving. Feel free to introduce the egg whenever you feel it appropriate, otherwise I’ll incorporate it in a future post. Thanks again, Carni!]

--------------------
user posted imageuser posted image
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- - -
X/Y FC: 5129 1837 4187
Trainer Sprite Shop
PCR || dream team
Sigs by CounterHex!

| PM || ICQ |
^
Carnivale
 Posted: Apr 26 2014, 11:03 AM
| Quote |


Peace and safety, friend.
*******
Background Admins/Head Mods
Total Posts: 2105
Member No. 456
Joined on 22-July 12.


Characters:
Carmen Caldwell, Lahi Sharandi, Gilen Bassett

Awards: None


[.7 for you and sorry for the lateness of this post!]

.

Isabel smiled kindly but without pity at Ellie's request for help, and she was quick to set to it. Her fingers were thin and wrinkled, calloused from years of work likely, but they worked quickly and efficiently. Soon Ellie was readily dressed and was left alone in the room as Isabel answered the request for water with a nod, leaving her alone to go fetch it. She did not come back for a bit of time, and if Ellie had listened she might hear raised voices downstairs, though she couldn't make out the words.

Nonetheless, the old woman came back, a large mug of not quite water but some sort of chilled spiced wine in her hands. This she handed to Ellie. "Youngsters these days," she grumbled, more to herself than to the young woman, but there was the distinct impression that she wanted her to hear her frustration even though it was not aimed at her. "Always in such a hurry. Demanding, demanding."

At Ellie's request for the extra articles of clothing, Isabel's eyes widened a little in surprise. Then she shook her head. "They were beyond repair, my dear. But if you wait here-" she gestured for her to stay and left the room again, returning only ten seconds later with a new gray cloak (rough-fabric, but durable) and a faded leather doublet under one arm. These she gave to Ellie. "I sew guardians' heads back together for a living," Isabel said wryly. "They saw fit to make a stack of their supplies at my house these days. Take these. They will always have the money to make more; Cape Augustine is never short on wealth."

She would absolutely not take no for an answer, though she would take the coins Ellie had laid down. Isabel smiled and bowed after the young woman as she left the room and journeyed downstairs; her chansey, when encountered, patted Ellie on the back of her knee with her stubby arm in an auntie sort of way and chirped something to her that might have been a blessing.

Downstairs, the tavern floor was indeed crowded, though Tyson was not hard to spot. He stood almost directly below the staircase, arms crossed and talking in a low voice to another woman, who was dressed in familiar armors and a leather jerkin that bore the same insignia as his. He looked up when Ellie called his name and smiled.

"Ah, you are ready. 'Tis quick!" He turned and winked at the woman who he had been talking to and dodged the flick on the ear meant for him. Dancing away with a wave at her, the guardian trotted to catch up to Ellie. "As someone who shares his childhood with seven sisters, milady, I am and always will be thankful for your swiftness in preparing. Ready to meet my superiors?"

"Captain Roseberry?" the woman behind him asked skeptically, arms crossed. She was petite, smaller than Ellie, with a quiver and a long recurve bow slung over her back; her elfin face carried the sharpness of a fox. And she was grimacing. "Ty, I don't think that's a good idea-"

"Not her, Hannah," Tyson called over his shoulder as he pushed his way out of the tavern. Nobody in the room bothered to give him a second look - though some of them stared at Ellie with raised eyebrows, eyes assessing. "I will bring her to Lieutenant Steele."

The door shut behind Ellie, and she was invited for the first time to Cape Augustine.

The street beneath her feet were cobblestoned, the surface worn marble-smooth by the hundreds of years worth of people walking and traveling over it. Dirtiness was minimal; she spied a woman with her face covered by a bandana sweeping on the side of the road. Its length was lined with elegant streetlamps, extinguished for now as it was midday but each tall and imposing. So were the buildings around her. Though the inn was mundane-looking and the houses were fairly pedestrian, as Tyson led her away from it and towards the center of the city, the houses became prettier, made of stone and wood in combinations that expressed art and the depths of one's wallet.

Nor were the streets empty. In fact, it was ridiculously crowded today the moment they left the one the inn was located. Throngs of people went forward and back, pulling with them anything from wagons rich with exotic wares or children, most of them traveling in a single direction: north. The din was deafening but also underlined with a loud ring of excitement to it. Festival, it seemed. Not the Grand Festival, but the Merchant's Festival, celebrated by a large amount of traders from all across the world who had found the chance to come to the Cape all at once.

Despite the din, Tyson heard every word from Ellie without her having to raise her voice. "There were two other survivors," he answered her question with a nod - and in Caledonian, from here on out - then his face darkened. "Unfortunately, none of them made it to Cape Augustine itself. When we found them, one was well on his way to hypothermia and the other was bleeding out from the wild sharpedoes that had taken off his leg. You were the only one to have arrived whole and healed. The alomomolas found you and defended you from danger; I do not know if they will return, but I think they'd like to meet you if they do, to see that you are well."

He turned and grinned at her at the question of knight and guard. "Ah. In Harper, our system is not quite the same as in Caledon. The Order of the Guard is a region-wide law-keeping force, and the only requirement needed to join it is that you have a good heart. Certainly, those in the higher tiers of society receive some special treatments, but the Guard has this little underground pledge that all rookie hazings are brutal enough to snap them out of pretentiousness."

Tyson paused for a moment, gesturing for Ellie to do the same, so a little girl with a magby can cross the street without being run over. Then he continued walking - and talking. "I am of no noble blood whatsoever. My grandparents were fishermen. My mother was a seamstress and my father a sailor. I entered the Guard as a barracks janitor at age fourteen, and by age eighteen I pledged myself to our councilperson."

There was pride in his voice, that he had arisen from nothing to something. But it was only a trace, and Tyson was quick to distract Ellie from it by continuing on, "You can certainly pay a visit to the shop. I am not sure I can let you meet my lieutenant armed to the teeth, but if he gets shot anywhere unfortunate, well...His fault for not dodging, I suppose. And mine for not stopping you."

He winked at her conspiratorially and pointed to a slightly more modest building off the road. They took the turn there, and stepped inside - to be assaulted immediately by cooler air.

The General Shoppe was really no more than a large pub-like space with a counter in the back that stretched across the entire room and some token goods on display in one corner of said corner, spread out on a red sheet of cloth. All the Potion bottles and types, some specialty pokeballs, the herbs and the cures of various kinds - all empty or otherwise broken, so thieves' attempts to snatch them would be futile.

If they can get past the shopkeeper anyway, a hawk-nosed and severe old woman with her hair pinned behind her in a righteous bun. She was finishing up a purchase from another customer when Tyson and Ellie walked up to her, and upon seeing them she narrowed her eyes. First at the guardian, then at Ellie herself.

Her words were slow and cultured, carrying a brief hint of disdain in them. "Greetings. How may I help you?"

Upon Ellie's order, the woman nodded and exited the front room through a backdoor. While she was gone, another man who had been standing near them waiting for his own turn leaned forward an whispered loudly, "Do Tyson boy got a date fer Lady Rathbone's Masquerade?"

Tyson made a face over his shoulder, but that was about all the argument they can get in before the shopkeeper returned. She glared at them suspiciously before laying down the requested items in front of Ellie and asking for the money to pay it. Once the payment had been procured, her eyes said very clearly that they should be gone now.

And gone they will be, quickly if Tyson had any say in it. He led Ellie out, to the street again, and then at the next turn moved to another side road that greatly diminished the crowd. From there, it was a fifteen-minute walk (in which Ellie can ask him anything she'd like) to a place that looked a cross between a state building and actual barracks. The place's walls were made of stone, rounding off the huge structure with its ten-foot-tall, forbidding presence. There were guardians posted outside.

They did not go through it. Instead they stopped at the gates, for there was another who was standing there - a man with graying hair and a muscular build, with a spear strapped to his back and his arms crossed - and looking like he was waiting for them. Upon seeing Tyson, he frowned. "Got lost?" he asked curtly.

Tyson immediately ditched his cheer and snapped to attention, saluting sharply. "No sir. The streets were merely crowded. I apologize for my tardiness." Then he gestured to Ellie. "Here is Elena Fletcher of Caledon, the woman we rescued from the waters some days ago. She is ready to answer your questions."

The man look at Ellie for a long moment, eyes narrowed and assessing. Then he nodded to himself and turned away, marching into the barracks. "Come," he said coolly over his shoulder.

The courtyard of the Guardian Barracks - "This is also the country's headquarters for the Order," Tyson explained to Ellie in a whisper - was much scruffier than the immaculate and rich city Ellie had left behind, but it carried with it a sense of order and statesmanship touched with the militaristic edge of a combat organization. A pair of women riding doduos eased their mounts out of the front gate, past them, their faces cool and their chins lifted. The guardian posted at the building's front door saluted them as they moved past, and only relaxed when the lieutenant waved at him to stand down.

Eyes were on Ellie everywhere she went, from the woman behind the registration counter in the atrium to the many guardians who walked in and out of the headquarters. They viewed her with wary suspicion, though mostly interest. Conversations died away as she passed, and started up again when she was gone.

The lieutenant who was leading them paid no heed to any of this. He led them into the grand building, up a set of wide stairs, took a left, and then opened a deceptively mundane-looking door to invite them into an also deceptively mundane office. It had a desk with its back to the large window that faced the main part of the city, and the lieutenant parked himself behind it in a tall-back chair. On one side, another table was stationed. The floor was carpeted, bookcases lined the walls. Maps took up most of the parts that were still left blank. Of the sea, of the city, of trade routes. Of the world, too.

"Right." The lieutenant shoved some papers out of his desk so he can put his elbows on them. "It is to my sincere gladness that you are doing well, Madame Fletcher. With that said, we have had doubts regarding our neighbors in Caledon, so you will excuse me for the intrusiveness and rudeness of my questions henceforth.

"Let's start with the basics. I am Lieutenant Alfred Steele of the Augustinian Guard, and my duty lies in keeping the city and this region safe, mostly from without. Tell me about yourself, and answer this if you will: why are you here? What is your purpose in Cape Augustine, if this is where you truly aimed to land?"

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Gilen Bassett
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Lahi Sharandi
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Carmen Caldwell
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Khaleesi
 Posted: May 1 2014, 03:53 AM
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Total Posts: 934
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Joined on 17-March 14.


Characters:
Elena "Ellie" Fletcher, Clare Everhart,

Awards: 2




[ Egg Count: 3
No worries! It’s a great update, worth the wait. c: ]


At the sight and smell of the wine, Ellie nearly forgot all her manners and sense as she brought the mug to her lips and eagerly downed it contents. Never had anything tasted so good to her parched throat. She scrunched her eyes shut at the slight burn of the alcohol, and a line of red liquid dribbled from the corner of her mouth. Realizing it probably wasn’t wise to consume an entire mug of the stuff so quickly on an empty stomach, Ellie slowed, finished the wine, and set the mug carefully down on the table. She wiped her mouth with the back of a hand, the burned brand on her palm clearly visible.

When Ellie heard that her doublet and cloak had been ruined, sadness hit her rather hard. It was selfish, and entirely unnecessary, but the ex-squire was loathe to remove herself of the few possessions from home that she had. Regardless, Ellie expressed her gratitude a half dozen more times when the kindly healer offered her articles in their place, after Ellie had tried to refuse the generous gift twice. The roughspun cloak fit nicely on her shoulders, and the doublet was just large enough to fit comfortably over her armor. Much later, Ellie would affix the faded talonflame clasp on this new cloak whenever she was alone and had the supplies to do so.

For now, she made her way down to the tavern floor, hissing in pain as she tried to lower herself down the stairs. She quickly straightened her posture and smoothed her face when she saw that Tyson Reich was nearby. Ellie glanced at the shorter woman, picking up on the insignia and the scale mail, the same as Reich. Another guardian. “I am ready,” she said, evenly, her voice still working itself out. The commotion of the tavern was deafening, so Ellie reserved interfering in the conversation between the two guardians in any way, remaining quiet and following Tyson out of the inn. She paid no mind to the onlookers’ gawking, though if anyone should make eye contact, she would meet it with a steady, green-eyed gaze of her own.

On the street, Ellie kept up with Tyson as best as she could, too proud to ask for a break though the soreness in her legs gave her a moderate limp. The stiffness was working itself out, luckily for her, with every stride she took, so that by the time the pair reached the center of the city, her gait was mostly straight. The sights and smells entranced her in the way it would a young child experiencing a festival for the first time. For several long years, Ellie had lived in hiding, following one job after the next, and dodging hired knives and mercenaries out for the bounty of last living Fletcher heir. There were no festivals, no tournaments, no real merrymaking for herself or the family that had protected her those years. It was too risky. Now, Ellie tried to look at everything, tried to recognize all the wares stacked on the wagons, tried to read the signs on the street—though her understanding of the Harperian written language was no better than of the verbal tongue.

Her excitement was cut swiftly when Tyson answered her questions about the survivors. Jars of spices lined a wagon that pushed by her, forcing her to duck away to avoid the low-hanging, tented canvas roof. A pansage amongst the fragrant bottles shook a paw and chattered angrily at her. “Where are they now?” she asked, righting herself. Ellie only knew the names of a few crewmen aboard the Redwing, and she could not remember if any of them had loaded into the pair of dinghies with her. She didn’t know what cargo they had carried with them, or where they were to be taken. She didn’t know their names, she didn’t know their purpose. And what had she done to help them when they were attacked by the gyrados? She had sat, frozen, and got sucked up in a Twister while the sailors and their pokemon fought off the beast. She had been too busy wallowing in self-pity because Fiaro and his family had left her behind, too busy being afraid to lift a hand to defend the sailors, the cargo, and herself. Frustrated with her own weakness, Ellie rubbed at her face with her hands. “I would like to meet them, sometime,” she said about survivors, “if they should wake. The alomomola, too, though I don’t have the slightest idea what I could possibly offer them in thanks.”

She asked Tyson about himself to distract her from the train of thought, listening intently as he explained the Order of the Guard. “I see,” she said, preparing to ask him further. The questions died before she voiced them, when Tyson motioned for her to stop. She watched the girl and her fire-type baby run by with a smile, and by then, he was already continuing his dialogue. The corner of her lips turned upward in a smirk at the pride in Tyson’s voice, a sentiment that even she could pick up on.

That would be the end of her social observances, however, for Ellie blinked openly at Tyson’s jibe about shooting the lieutenant, and then her brow furrowed in confusion. She made to hand over her shortsword to the younger man without hesitation, saying, “If your lieutenant would be uncomfortable with my arms, please, confiscate them from me. I do not mean to offend or to provoke.” Her cheeks grew pink at his wink, unsure whether the gesture was one made in jest of her comment or just in harmless fun. Tyson, no doubt, would quickly pick up on Ellie's complete and utter inability to take jokes as anything but literal word. Nonetheless, she ducked inside the shop the moment it was pointed out, willfully handing over her newly purchased weapons to Tyson should he actually ask for them. If not, she would sling the quiver and bow across her back. She was not ignorant of the woman’s stares, though her opinion of the shopkeeper did not matter so long as her products were good. Ellie did, however, ignore the other man’s comment about dates and masquerades, not even grasping the remark could have been about her and preferring to get back onto the street and on their way.

Only when the crowds thinned did Ellie feel it was appropriate to ask questions. And she had a lot of questions, like who the archer guardian in the tavern was or who Lady Rathborne was, but tried to keep her nosiness to a minimum. “Does the shop owner have something against guardians? She did not view you or your friend with much favor, nor myself, by extension. Or—” here she allowed a wide smirk, “—does she just not like you?” It was only then that Ellie came to another conclusion that the festival might have made the woman anxious and suspicious, if her nearly emptied or otherwise wrecked countertop was any indication. “Is there some kind of celebration going on?” Ellie had heard of the Grand Festival maybe once in her life, and certainly never the Merchant’s Festival, so the young woman genuinely did not know. Her brother Joel would have, certainly. He was always going on about the festivals of faraway places. A pang of loss clutched at her heart with a twisting grip, and Ellie shook her head to be rid of the thought.

The barracks came into view, and Ellie stayed silent as the pair made their way to the gate. She would nod at any of the posted guardians should they acknowledge her, but otherwise simply followed Tyson. At the gate, Ellie shot a quick glance at the younger guardian when he explained their tardiness. Surely, they were late because of her own slowness in walking and her stop at the General Shop. Ellie did not know why Tyson lied, but she did not intervene to correct him—or to say anything at all.

Once past the gate, Ellie found herself growing uncomfortable at the looks she was receiving. Conversations ceased when she was in earshot, stalling so that the guardians walking by could watch her with clear suspicion. Did they know something she did not? The young woman inclined her head and followed Tyson and Lieutenant Steele dutifully, trying not to dwell on it. It took her longer than she would have liked to climb the staircase; her limbs were still a tad stiff. Ellie moved as swiftly as her recovering body would allow and entered the room. Her boots sunk in carpeting, such a difference compared the wood and stone she had been walking on for a half hour now. Her green eyes roved the office walls and bookcases, regarding the maps with interest. She saw the outline of her home region, beside the jutting diamond-shape of Harper.

The lieutenant was addressing her by then, and Ellie took care to stand straight and assure her posture was correct, per her mother and governess’s teachings—all the Lady, though a Lady Ellie was no longer. “Thank you for your interest in my health, Lieutenant,” she began, mindful to keep her tone even so that the Harperian was distinguishable. Ellie spared a glimpse at Tyson before continuing. “My name is Elena Fletcher, of one of Caledon’s southern kingdoms.” She wondered how much she should be disclosing his high-ranking man, as she remembered that the Redwing’s purpose could have been less than legal. But it was not in Ellie to speak lies. Or half-truths. So she raised her chin a fraction and said, “I came to Harper seeking refuge from political strife in my homeland, on the merchant ship the Redwing. I can only suppose Cape Augustine was our intended location. I am honestly unsure, nor am I very familiar enough with your geography to hazard another guess. The Redwing did not pull into port herself, and I, along with six crewman, boarded skiffs headed for port instead. They brought maybe a half-dozen chests with them, and I do not know their contents, though I must admit that one of them is responsible for keeping my head above water when it all went bad. I cannot answer for intentions of the Redwing or her crew; I was only a passenger.” The thumb of her left hand found the palm of her right hand and traced the ‘F’ brand slowly, over and over. “I am only here to continue to live, for whatever my life is worth.”

--------------------
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Carnivale
 Posted: May 11 2014, 06:29 PM
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Peace and safety, friend.
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[.7 for you! Wow Carni updates should not take this long.]

.

Lieutenant Steele let Ellie finish talking without interruption, making some imitation of a stone statue as she did so. He studied her unabashedly with mildly narrowed eyes before and after she'd answered his questions, and it wasn't incredibly hard to figure that he was weighing every ounce of what he'd just heard (though Ellie might, once again, not get it.)

Eventually, when the silence had gone on for longer than was comfortable, Tyson by the door cleared his throat. "Pardon my interruption, sir," he said neutrally. "I have been in contact with our naval ambassadors from Caledon and they did indeed mention a few ships having come and gone from yonder. The Redwing is reportedly among them."

Steele's eyes flickered to him. The older man grunted once, probably in acceptance of the news, and leaned back in his chair. He studied the surface of his mahogany desk for a few longer seconds before making his final decision.

"Guardian Tyson is an expert in our communications with Caledon, and I sense no deceit in you," he allowed, his words for Ellie's ears this time. He looked at her again, one eyebrow arched. "My apologies for the misfortune that had befallen you, Elena of Caledon. Thanks to your report, we now know there is a gyarados out there that might do us well to be removed." He paused for another before adding, more softly, "And belatedly, welcome to Harper Region."

The lieutenant took to his feet and clasped his hands behind his back as he walked to the window behind his desk and paused there, staring outside at the nice view of the busy city it can afford him. "A long time ago, our namesake bard fled from Caledon to help create this region, and we named her after him," he said. "It is only fair we continue to offer the same welcome to those who share his plight now. You are welcome to stay here, and as thanks for your honesty I will see if arrangements cannot be made for you to find some ways of earning a wage that can guarantee your stay." He glanced over his shoulder at Ellie. "The Cape has a rightfully-earned reputation of being very costly in all things."

Steele let her chew on that thought for a second before turning around and walking back to the desk, bracing himself on it. "Unless you have plans to travel, Lady Elena. Which is far from unreasonable, and we will gladly help you obtain the necessary supplies at a reduced cost. Until then, consider the barracks your temporary quarters. I am afraid that while I believe you, my superiors will need some more investigating into the matter before they are satisfied."

He could have said more, but someone chose that moment to knock on the door. Tyson jumped a foot, earning a raised eyebrow from Steele, but he quickly composed himself and yanked open the door to see who it was.

Another guardian, soaking wet and extremely cranky, was standing outside. His salute was sharp even as he dripped water on the floor. "Sir! The pirates had been captured and escorted to Stacker Harbor. Awaiting your attendance, sir!"

Steele left in a whirlwind then, not sparing a backwards look at Ellie. He stopped near the door to say something hurriedly to Tyson, who nodded, and then disappeared with his cape billowing behind him. They can hear his voice snapping out orders and questions to the dripping-wet guardian outside all the way down the hall.

Tyson waited until they were gone before snorting. "For the record, Miss Fletcher, dripping water is frowned upon in these halls," he said good-naturedly and in Caledonian. Jerking his head, he invited her out of the room and to follow him once more. "Though Steele is less fussy about these things than he appears. He looks stern on the outside but is an adorable shellos on the inside. But please, do not tell him that or I will be unemployed within the hour."

Closing the door of the older man's office behind them, Tyson thus led Ellie downstairs, back the way they had come from until they hit the courtyard. It was busier now, a sense of urgency in the air as the guardians mounted and moved out. Orders flew over their heads and Tyson had to keep them against the side of the buildings to not get trampled on. But they made their way to the back and then followed a narrower aboveground "tunnel" created by fences on both sides and curves of flowering vines above, and at the other side emerged into another yard, also cobblestoned and kept quite clean. An L-shape building of decent size resided here, hugging a two-by-four row of what looked to be little brick houses, low and long. The barracks.

The singular flagpole to be seen flew Harper's colors proud and fair, the stylized blue harp on a background of gray. Under the sun, it looked silver.

It was also empty.

"The lads are all out there doing patrols or having a blast patrolling the Merchant's Festival," said Tyson as he led her to the L-shape building and entered through a door at the shorter end. Inside was a small office with a registry, and the single young woman sitting behind it was asleep. Tyson put a finger to his lips to ask for Ellie's silence as he walked up to her, took her ledger, flipped through a few pages and then scribbled in something very quick with the ink and quill he saw lying nearby. Then he left it open on the table in front of her and tiptoed out of the room, closing the door quietly behind him.

"If you worry about paying us back, Miss Fletcher," the guardian said as he headed over to the long, low houses and headed for the very back, opening the door with a kick to invite her inside - spartan but nicely cleaned, four bunks total divided into two rooms, two bunks each as they were double-bunked; Tyson indicated the one nearest to the door - "you need not worry. You may find work here quite easily, especially this time of the year, and we will take a certain share of your income earned from completing every of your jobs as tax. The rest is up to you to hoarde as your heart desires. This entire space is yours, by the way. The last owner was transferred to Marchton City. Can't say she was happy about that, but Captain Roseberry said so she wasn't insane enough to say no. But anyhow - until you decide on your course of action, Miss Fletcher, and I would recommend you stay at least a full week so any and all investigations regarding your claims may be finished - you are a ward of the Guard."

He stood back respectfully, hands clasped behind his back and waiting outside the door as Ellie settled in. If she wished to rest now, she could. Tyson would only nod in understanding and make his leave - though not before telling her that if she wanted to leave the Guardian Headquarters, it would be advisable that she told the registry lady in the main building first even though she was free to wander, and that training grounds can be found if she looked behind the L-shape building (conveniently the mess hall) for a door in the fence - before making himself scarce. After all, Ellie had literally just woken up a few hours ago and was still no doubt feeling her experience at sea. Or she can push it and ask him to introduce her to any task needed to be done on hand, an idea he would not deny her. Alternatively, she may simply ask him to stay and bombard him with questions; the curly-haired guardian was more than patient and would answer them all.

Or was it time to meet her pokemon yet?

--------------------
PCR
Gilen Bassett
Profile --- Travels
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Lahi Sharandi
Profile --- Travels
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Carmen Caldwell
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Khaleesi
 Posted: Jun 4 2014, 06:55 AM
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nerd hater
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Banned
Total Posts: 934
Member No. 1506
Joined on 17-March 14.


Characters:
Elena "Ellie" Fletcher, Clare Everhart,

Awards: 2




[ MAHOGHANY. Well, it has certainly been way, way too long. Back to Ellie’s neglected adventures~ It’s finally time for her to meet her starter—and that is the weirdest thing to say, considering I have thousands of words written about that grumpy gremlin now.

Egg Count: 4 ]


.

As Ellie spoke, she took careful notice of the scrutiny she was under. Although the ex-squire could not—and likely never would—make sense of humor and sarcasm, she could undeniably tell when she was being carefully studied. His look was one she had seen hundreds of times on the expressions of countless opponents and sparring partners, one she often employed herself. Ellie paid mind to keep her stance straight, her chin up, and face blank, concealing nothing. Her knee throbbed with the extended period spent standing here in the office, and Ellie had to resist the urge to rub the pain away.

Ellie watched Steele move toward the window, sharing the tale of Harper’s namesake, a story she was mostly familiar with. Joel knew the major folklore for most countries, had dozens of storybooks he obtained himself, Sir Fiaro had a particular liking of the Legend of the Harper. Her heart ached with loss. She had told Steele her intention was to live, and that was all she had as far as her direction went. Nearly all her life, she had followed her mentor; through training, through the dishonor of her family; through her time with the Rangers. Where was her direction, now? When he was finished, Ellie bowed deeply, her auburn hair a veil around her face, twisted in pain and gratitude and considerable other emotions to which she couldn’t put a name. “I owe my life to you, Lieutenant. And to the Guardians and the healer Isabel. I am indebted to you, and I have nothing to offer in gratitude except myself and my sword. For whatever you might ask, I will be here. Thank you.”

Ellie straightened to her full height, her expression clear of any of the emotions it held a moment before. If Steele meant to say more to her, it would have to wait, as a knock interrupted them; a Guardian come to summon the Lieutenant. Steele left her alone with the Guardian Tyson, who wasted no time in making a derisive comment. She smiled, though it did not reach her eyes, and kept close to Tyson as he led her out of the room. Blinking, Ellie give the younger man a strange look at his metaphor, but only nodded in response.

He took her back outside, out into the courtyard, which was now absolutely teeming with Guardians. Mindful to keep out of their way, she ran a hand along the wall the pair stuck to as they cut a path toward a fenced alleyway. The quiet here was a welcome relief, and Ellie admired the plant life. They came to an equally silent yard, bordered by a large building that overshadowed the barracks that Ellie was to make her new home. The Harper flag cracked in the wind.

Inside the office, Ellie remained still, as requested, though she did raise a brow at the Guardian as he snuck by the woman to write in the registry. Task complete, Tyson crept out and again directed her away. “How long is the Merchant’s Festival?” she asked, just to break the silence.

The younger man did not appear to have any issues with filling the silence himself, as they came to a particular house, the door to which Tyson kicked in and gestured her inside. Ellie looked around the tidy place as Tyson went on. The room smelt clean, and seemed empty; an incredible reprieve from the cramped, reeking quarters she resided in for weeks aboard the Redwing. She unloaded her pack on the bottom bunk closest to the door and sat upon the mattress, testing it and running her hands along the sheets. What had she done to earn all this hospitality, this generosity? The Rangers had taken her in on account of her relationship to the lady Fiaro. The Guardians healed her wounds and offered her shelter and a wage, when all she had done was nearly drown at sea. “I will stay as long as I must,” she told Tyson as she got to her feet. A ward of the Guard. Ellie’s heart swelled at the prospect. She met the younger man’s eyes. “Perhaps I owe nothing, in all technicality, but I would like to make an effort toward repaying my debt immediately nonetheless. May I have an hour to myself before then? I would like to rest a moment, take stock of my things…” Ellie glanced back at her bag, where she could imagine a warm, red-and-white sphere inside. “…and to visit the training grounds.” Rubbing a ripe bruise on her ribs, she returned her gaze to Tyson and continued, “Where might I meet you—or whoever I might find work through—after I have finished?”

She waited for his answer, mentally mapped the direction of the training grounds when he told her the way, and thanked him for his time as he left her to her own devices. Alone now, Ellie fell back onto the bunk with a sigh, stinging limbs infinitely thankful for the reprieve. She threw an arm over her eyes and lay like that a while; nearly twenty minutes passing by as she rested. Thoughts of the incident with the gyarados prodded insistently into her mind, though she fought the images away as best she could. Dwelling on the accident would only lead her down a terrible slope of worry and doubt, as she imagined what might have happened the Redwing. The ship and its talonflame were long from sight, and she should be consumed with guilt and concern for the crewmen that had fought the gyarados. Still, Ellie could not help but fear for Fiaro first.

Groaning and finding herself incapable of not dwelling on these thoughts, Ellie pulled her bag to her chest and got to her feet. Already, she was feeling stronger. Ellie shouldered the pack and headed for the training grounds.

With how busy the headquarters were at the moment, the yard was conceivably rather empty. Even if there were Guardians or pokemon about, Ellie would keep her gaze low and find a corner for herself, unwilling to converse with others or answer the questions they might ask. Her mundane clothes stood out amongst the almost militaristic outfits of the Guardians, in their scalemails and harp patches, and she had no desire to draw more attention to herself. In whatever section of yard she could manage to find, Ellie had to tell herself to regulate her breathing. In the palm of her good hand lay her occupied pokeball. She was suddenly inexplicitly nervous as she stared at that magical device. What was inside? What was Fiaro’s final gift to his squire? With a jerky, hurried motion, Ellie belted the pokeball and unsheathed her shortsword. The length of steel was an immediate comfort to the young woman, and she found herself moving through several practiced stances, which increased to multiple sword drills until a sheen of sweat shone on her olive skin. Her muscles protested initially, but Ellie felt the stiffness and pain fading with every thrust and swipe.

She had wasted enough time. Ellie slid the sword back into place and took the pokeball in hand once again. The nervousness and uncertainty returned, and the girl fought it back, tossing the ball ahead of her.

Maybe she did not have any idea what creature was now her own, but Ellie did not expect to receive a pokemon she had never seen in her life.

A quadruped covered in a mixture of tough, reptilian blue skin and unkempt, dark fur snarled upon her release. The miserable monster hardly came to Ellie’s knee, even when counting the bizarre spike of fur atop the pokemon’s furry head, so thick that it covered her eyes. Fangs glinted, slick with saliva, in a wide maw that took up all the uncovered space of her head. Her frame was littered with discolored splotches of flesh—bruises—though the injuries did not appear to hinder the creature in any way, as she swung her head this way and that. Ellie could see the pokemon drawing in air through her nose in quick, uncertain rushes, before dropping her lower jaw and testing the air over her Jacobson’s organ.

Ellie cleared her throat—the sightless face swiveled toward the sound like a startled bird—and said, “My name is Ellie Fletcher. You have been given to me by my teacher and knight, Sir Fi—what, hey!

The not-quite-reptile had trotted away during her speech, toward where worn, wooden swords and staves were set into the slotted holes of a rack made of oak. She gave the rack a sniff, and then upended the entire frame with an angry growl. Training equipment went scattering across the yard. “Stop that!” The pokemon’s nostrils flared as she inspected the space she had now opened. Her lip curled back in a way that suggested she was not pleased with what she found, and she moved toward the next rack. Ellie was busy picking up the first mess, ears cherry-red in embarrassment, as the quadruped stood on her hind legs to press her front feet against the new rack. She sniffed the scuffed metal bucklers that hung from the wooden frame, causing the round shields to clang against one another. Ellie glanced toward her, dropped the staff she was holding, and shouted,No!

The furry head turned toward her and stayed there for a long moment, unnerving Ellie with the lack of actual eyes, and then she slowly, purposefully pushed. The rack fell over with a terrific banging. Ellie slapped a hand over her face as the creature’s maw split into a convoluted sort of grin. The girl righted the first frame and slipped the last wooden sword in place before her pokemon could wreak more havoc. “Come back here!” The beast obviously had as poor hearing as she did sight, as she banged against walls, benches, and other obstacles on her way to snoop around a patch of vegetation.

Ellie bit her lower lip in frustration, her fingers hovering over the pokeball at her waist. She should just recall the horrible thing before she actually destroyed something, and as the creature began tearing at the long leaves of a fern with gnashing teeth, the irritation bubbled past Ellie’s remaining patience and she slipped into her native tongue to say, “Knock that off, this instant.”

The little goblin stopped at her command, dropping to all fours and spitting out half-chewed plant matter. Ellie hesitated, quite shocked she got any response at all, before fixing the second stand of training equipment and stepping over toward her starter. Of course the creature only responded to Caledonian; she was no more familiar with Harper than Ellie was. Movements slow and deliberate, Ellie crouched beside the pokemon, earning herself a low growl. Ellie kept a respectful distance, carefully procuring the pokecard from about her neck and pointing the device at the tiny monster, who was now stamping her feet in impatience. “Stay still for another moment.” The information appeared on her pokecard, and Ellie skimmed the words as briskly as she could.

A deino. Ellie looked up in surprise, just as the pokemon was trying to crane her neck to reach another unsuspecting plant while keeping her legs in place. “You are a dragon,” she said. The deino hissed at her sudden movement and loud voice, and hopped away from her. Submissive, Ellie showed the she-dragon her palms, then remembered the blindness, and retracted her hands slowly. “It’s all right,” she murmured. There was no disbelief in her voice; Ellie was not a character that judged appearances well, if at all, which made for poor survival instincts in social situations. In this case, however, there was only acceptance. If the magic encyclopedia told her this creature now in her possession was a deino and was a dragon-type pokemon, then she believed it.

“My name is Ellie Fletcher. You are now my pokemon, and my only wish is that we might work well together.” She extended a hand carefully toward the deino for her to sniff. Ellie was rewarded with a snarl, so the girl pulled away. “You will be called Shadowstorm.” She echoed the name in Harperian, then again in Caledonian, then back in the Common Tongue, so that Storm might learn to associate both translations with herself. Ellie stood, and the head of the newly-christened pokemon followed her movements. “We are partners now, you and I. My life is yours, for however much that is worth.” A sentiment she had shared with the Lieutenant.

Knowing her time was running out, Ellie unclipped Storm’s pokeball and returned her starter. She left the training grounds, hopefully avoiding the gaze of any others in the yard that might have played witness to the embarrassing introduction of her starter. None of it mattered, really, and she moved swiftly back toward the barracks, or to wherever Tyson Reich requested they meet at the end of the hour. Though she seemed to offer it up rather willingly, Ellie’s life was, honestly, worth little. Penniless, alone, and with a foreign sword, a cheap bow, an untested pokemon, and a scarce understanding of the native language or culture, Ellie had little to offer anybody. She would work to change that, and it that journey would begin now.

--------------------
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X/Y FC: 5129 1837 4187
Trainer Sprite Shop
PCR || dream team
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Carnivale
 Posted: Jun 10 2014, 09:57 AM
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Peace and safety, friend.
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Total Posts: 2105
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[.7 for you!]

.

Tyson didn't seem to mind the silence, but he didn't mind her breaking it either. It was a few steps' time before he answered her question regarding the Merchant's Festival, however, his brow scrunched up like he was trying to do some mental calculations. "It is something of a fancy name, to call it a festival," he admitted. "It is not official on paper, just a good time of the year when the trading folks come together. Typically it would last anywhere from one week to one and a half. They are here to sell their wares, after all, and would not leave until a profitable gain had been made."

To her request of time alone, he smiled almost sympathetically and inclined his head. He didn't bother speaking, but the acquiescence was all too clearly seen, and with that stepped back, silently asking his leave. Before he went, he answered her last question about finding work.

"As you are staying with us for the moment - until the investigation regarding the Redwing had fully concluded, at least - you may always come to me for help. My responsibility of you is hardly official, but I am sure Guardian Steele would not mind. I will return in - ah, forgive me for this, but - two hours, with a suitable task. We are not shorthanded exactly, but any help is welcomed in this busy town. I will meet you here. And...please, don't overexert yourself, or Isabel will nail my head to a post."

With that and a good-natured wink, Tyson touched his hand to his breast, right below the blue harp insignia sewn on his leather vest in salute and closed the door quietly behind him. In but a breath he was gone, likely heading back the way he had come from and leaving Ellie to her own devices.

---


...And exactly two hours later, he was back. What Ellie would do with the extra hour was entirely up to her, except she would have to do it alone; these guardian quarters remained stubbornly empty and devoid of visitors or people coming home in that time. When Tyson emerged into the barracks, though, he did so with company.

If not exactly human companies. The abra floating after him gave Ellie a shy wave when he saw her before hastily ducking behind Tyson's legs and remaining there. The guardian laughed, picked the psychic up by the arms, and deposited him on his back. Then he jogged over to wherever Ellie was. "There you are," he said cheerfully. "I was accosted by Isabel. She insisted on the reasonableness of activities we are to attempt today, keeping in mind your healing body and all."

He nodded to the abra still clinging to his back. A gentle pressure appeared in Ellie's mind, tentative, asking for her permission and waiting for it before proceeding. Even when it was obtained, however, the psychic decided to project his voice physically, a mimic of the human speech, instead of relying on a mind-to-mind connection. "There's a new trio of merchant ships arriving from Caledon," he offered. "Their interpreter died aboard the ship in a pirate attack, and Tyson is needed elsewhere. If you could take his place as translator for them, we would be thankful."

"Sen will take you there," Tyson added, plucking the abra off and holding him out to her. "I hope you don't mind the Teleport thing. It can give some people nausea. I have to resolve a dispute between the Carsen fugitives and some other foreign guests who are quite determined that the fares they agreed to pay did not line up with the fares here." He sighed long-sufferingly. "And to think, this is even before the Grand Festival begins..."

"I will help you with any questions," the abra named Sen volunteered, kicking his feet and floating again when Tyson let him go. "But once we get there and you begin your assistance with those people, I'm forbidden to be around. They are very leery of psychic tricks, so I have to wait on the harbor."

Tyson waited around for any questions Ellie had for him in particular, answered them, and then got going. He waved apologetically over his shoulder, like he had not meant to give her this kind of job but had to, before ducking out of the barracks. With him gone, Sen held out his hand for Ellie to take. Whenever she was ready for it, they would leave.


---

Mission!
  • Act as interpreter to a Caledonian merchant fleet as they negotiate terms and boarding in Cape Augustine.
      Other Requirements/Cautions
    • Don't start a war, Ellie

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Khaleesi
 Posted: Jun 12 2014, 02:11 PM
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[ Egg Count: 5.
DIPLOMATIC ELLIE LET’S GO! ]


Ellie spent her additional hour resting. She was not an idle person by nature, but the fact that she had so much available to her led her to feel a little overwhelmed. Maybe, with the spare hour, she could head toward the Merchant’s Festival, find more supplies… Leaving the compound did not appeal to her. She could train some more, work out the rustiness of having spent the last few weeks on a tight ship in the middle of the ocean. There had to be a sparring partner somewhere on the training grounds, even if much of the Guard was preoccupied.

But Tyson had specifically requested she not overexert herself, and Ellie was not entirely feeling up to trading blows with a stranger. After the disastrous first meeting between herself and her starter, the ex-squire was loathe to let the angry little creature out of her ball any time soon. So, Ellie spent her time walking the barracks, checking out her room, and organizing her gear. She sat with her back against her bunk as she rummaged through the few items she had and the new supplies given to her by the Guard. Inside, she found a few healing items, several berries, and, most interestingly, a delicate-looking, narrow wind instrument painted a startling white. What was this? A flute? She held the thing before her awkwardly, placing unsure fingers on a few of the holes. Ellie hadn’t a clue how to play any musical device. Her brother Joel had a few string instruments, the names of which Ellie couldn’t remember, except for the fact that he used his talent to woo women. Lionel had some sort of flute that he fiddled with in his spare time, and there were a few years of his life where he tried to exclusively use it to train raptors. Ellie herself had no interest in anything that didn’t have a sharp end for taking down her enemies, or the defensive capabilities to protect her from said foes.

She put the flute away.

Resting her head against the stiff mattress of her bunk, Ellie sighed. The silence within this small barrack was stifling. Tyson had mentioned that she’d have the house to herself. Perhaps that would appeal to most others, but it left a stringent sense of dread deep within her gut. She was alone. No longer would she sleep beneath the stars with Fiaro’s little girls, or break her fast with a caravan of Rangers. She even began to miss her cot in the cramped crewmen quarters on the Redwing. These thoughts were rather dangerous territory. Why mull over the past? Ellie set her reorganized bag against the headboard, pulled herself onto the bed, and went to sleep.

A knocking at her door roused her some time later, and she rolled out of the bed, smoothed her clothes and hair, and pulled it open. No one stood on the other end. Confused, still a tad sleepy, Ellie ducked back inside, collected her pack and gear, and headed outside for a better look. A dream? She made her way down the few stairs to the door of her housing and turned down the path toward the main path of the barrack yard. Tyson’s familiar mop of hair could be seen, a little ways off yet, but not so far that Ellie couldn’t see that he was not alone.

A three-fingered hand waved at her warily, before the entire pokemon retreated in shyness. Tyson picked his companion up and jogged toward her. “I appreciate Isabel’s concern,” she said, in response to his comment, “but I am more than ready to become active again.” The whole while, she eyed the abra coolly, unsure of what to make of the little humanoid creature. Her father had a poorly concealed fear—terror, really—of psychic-types, and while Ellie shared none of this phobia, she was wholly unfamiliar with all of his typing; the only exception being the Xatu that had been her mother’s prized pokemon before she married Lord Fletcher.

At the prodding into her mind, Ellie reacted with open-mouthed shock. She threw up walls defensively, (poor walls really; the girl had absolutely no training in protecting herself against psychics) barricades which the pure-psychic could likely easily push through. Rather uncomfortable, Ellie calmed herself, ashamed she had reacted like some paranoid loon, and allowed Sen space within her mind. The abra described her mission, with additional information being supplied by Tyson. Trepidation flipped her stomach in languid turns as the mission was explained. She’d be back on a ship? With Caledonians? Would they recognize her, would she even be able to maintain any sense of diplomacy? Keeping good relations with partners was the job of her brothers, so Ellie was left plenty of time to swing her sword around and learn warcraft. Mediation was not a high point of her personality.

“Teleport…?” she asked instead, uncertainly. Of course she knew what Teleport was, though she’d never been transported in that manner of her life. Sweet Arceus, she sounded like a whining child! What happened to her earlier resolve to make something of herself? Lips pressed, Ellie straightened and nodded toward Tyson, offering a second toward Sen and extending an arm toward the abra. “I will succed,” she said, and met Sen’s stubby yellow hand with her branded one.

It was only after she was sucked into the madly spinning vortex of the Teleport did Ellie realize she probably should’ve asked for more information.

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 Posted: Jun 15 2014, 06:28 PM
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Evil, Sadistic Custard.
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[.7 for you!]

---

The abra flinched back at the shock and defensiveness he sensed from Ellie and profusely apologized, but otherwise said nothing. By the time they were ready to go, he had gotten his nervousness under control and nodded, gripping onto Ellie's hand securely without hurting her. He tilted his head as though thinking; a second later, his form glowed pink, and the world dissolved around them.

But not into oblivion. Instead, it melded into a confusing collection of colors and Ellie's feet were suddenly not on the ground anymore. If she stared hard into the spinning scenery around them, she could make out bits and pieces of locations, such as the marketplace and the throngs of people everywhere, then even a glimpse of a city gate. It could perhaps be called beautiful, this kaleidoscope landscape, except staring at it would only cause the feeling of nausea in the passenger's stomach to intensify.

It didn't last very long, thankfully. In the space of five seconds, they were where they needed to be: on the crowded harbor of Cape Augustine, and the earth reasserted itself solidly under Ellie. If she stumbled, Sen would catch her, mumbling more apologies under his breath, that he was sorry he couldn't make the ride smoother for her, he was too young for that...and letting go quickly if that was what she desired. A sailor who nearly walked into the newly-arrived young woman swore at her as he staggered out of the way. Curious onlookers stared at her inquiringly, but they were quick to lose interest.

The rowdiness here was matched fair and square by the rowdiness in the city itself with the Merchant's Festival in full swing. Goods were unloaded by the dozens up and down these ships, pokemon and human workers mingling. Orders were shouted, foul words filled the air--but so did laughter and vicious jabs and friendly banter. Sen automatically inched towards Ellie, trying to hide behind her legs. The big crowd intimidated him.

He caught himself at the last moment and mentally cleared his throat--which meant that Ellie can hear it too, of course.

Up there, he said, pointing with a finger at a large ship that was docked right next to them. It was certainly a merchant vessel, and a magnificently large on at that. Three masts stood proudly on its fat wooden body, the wood itself polished. The sails were pulled up at the moment, but on the tallest mast, the flag bearing Caledon's insignia flew proudly. This ship is the Oracle, and its captain and owner are both well-known for being successful, demanding, and...difficult. Meticulous, I would say, but... He shrugged uncomfortably. Rumors said the captain's sharpedo has a soft spot for psychics' flesh.

The huge ship was currently devoid of people unloading goods from it, a fact that made it stand out among all the others. There was a walkway erected to connect between the harbor and the ship. From where Ellie was, she could see the shadow of a guard standing near the entrance to the ship, though she couldn't make out the details.

You will not have to actually sail with them, Sen reassured her. Also, you will not be alone. There are Guard representatives already on-board, and you only need to act as a translator for them. Something which a psychic could do well, but they absolutely will not have it. They fear we will trick them. He paused again, seeming to struggle with some vague feeling of hurt that anyone would distrust his kind. But he pressed on. Thank you. I will wait down here, I think. Since any closer and they might...

A loud, sharp caw drew their eyes up. A honchkrow, huge and imposing for its species, was perched on the railing of the ship. It glared at Sen and cawed again, spreading its wings. The abra mumbled something under his breath and floated away until he was sitting on a crate just off the pier, looking mighty uncomfortable. But there he would stay.

That left Ellie alone to board the ship.

There was indeed a guard standing at the entrance to the ship, and the fellow was not a kind-looking one. He sneered at Ellie, at her masculine style of dressing--there was the ever-present whispering of how some (or many) parts of Caledon valued their women about the same amount as one would value prize cattle--but let her pass. Standing on the deck, just in front of the trapdoor that led to the ship's hold, was a group of men.

All men. One of them was richly and colorfully dressed, in his deep wine-colored long coat and his tripoint, feathered hat. By his side was who appeared to be his servant, a golden-haired boy a couple years younger than Ellie who stood with his head bowed submissively. In front of them, with his arms clasped behind his back, was a Guardian of Cape Augustine. This one was about the same age as Guardian Steele had been, but with a mane of graying black hair tied off at the nape of his neck in a ponytail. He looked calm and solemn, gazing easily off into the distance. To his left was a younger one, also Guardian, who continuously tapped the pommel of his sword and shifting from foot to foot awkwardly. He was the first one to notice Ellie.

The way his face brightened, Ellie might as well have been his True and Beloved Savior. He nudged the older one, and they turned towards Ellie. The older's smile was more reserved, but he nonetheless looked happy to see her there. The merchant, not so much. His face was thin and cruel, and he gave her a barely suppressed sneer as she closed the distance.

"Greetings," the older Guardian said politely towards Ellie. "Thank you for agreeing to assist us, milady. This is so sudden--especially in your case. We are extremely grateful for your help." He nodded at the younger boy, who grinned at her. "This is Junior Guardian Gilbert Fisher, and I am Senior Guardian Aaron Crest. Please, call me Crest." He cleared his throat and turned towards the merchant in front of them. "Please, tell these gentlemen our identities, would you?"

Upon hearing the relayed introductions, the merchant's unpleasant face did not change. Nor did he take his eyes off of Ellie, studying her intently and without shame. Eventually he nodded. "Send these men my greetings. Tell them also that I identify myself and my entourage as Master Lornell Atchison, the merchant from Caledon. And you--" He glanced at her again. "Introduce yourself, would you not, esteemed interpreter?"

--------------------
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Matthew Newgrange (Handler)

Serena Chalice (Handler)

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Khaleesi
 Posted: Jun 15 2014, 08:21 PM
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nerd hater
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Characters:
Elena "Ellie" Fletcher, Clare Everhart,

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[Egg Count: 6 (man I have so many before I even come close to mac’s number. >:I )]

..

Ellie was not a very curious person by nature. Still, she had no desire to leap into things totally unawares or unguarded, so she dared to brave the spinning, colorful whirlwind and opened her eyes.

Something that might have been a marketplace whirled by, stretched a thousand times its length and squashed into a thin finger of swirling nonsense. She shut her eyes and gripped Sen’s tiny hand. Ellie had read manuscripts on Teleportation travel; back in Caledon, with so many kingdoms at war with one another, transportation by Teleportation was a protected commodity. No general was without his own powerful psychic-type to repel an enemy that might try to appear behind their lines via the move. It was believed that the king of Ellie’s home kingdom had a slumbering, centuries-old musharna, whose range and power were amplified by a large cost of munna. The musharna held a careful grip on the psychic energy over the land, and it was rumored she, when confronted with an unlicensed Teleporting pokemon, could tear apart that pokemon and the human companion with just a thought, down to the cellular level, until nothing was left but fragmented molecules that were scattered across the kingdom. Even nobility had to register for a license to Teleport, leaving the mode of transportation to only those with the wealth to afford the fees.

Ellie scrunched her eyes, imagining a massive musharna poised to rip her and Sen to invisible cells—and then she was back on land. The ex-squire stumbled a bit, and would have rammed right into the man who rushed past them if it weren’t for Sen’s careful nudging that kept her upright. At his obvious discomfort with the crowds, Ellie crouched and offered him access to her shoulder, should he prefer the perch. If he didn’t take it, she would not press the issue, and instead began walking toward the Oracle as directed.

There, a massive honchkrow defended her ship, dangerous eyes laser-focused on the tiny psychic-type. Ellie moved into a protective position between Sen and the ‘krow; she was not at all afraid of the bird, but did not like her threatening posture toward Tyson’s abra. After Sen had offered more information, Ellie moved to one side to allow him a direct path to the crate toward which he floated. “I appreciate everything you have done for me, Sen. I will be back. Call for me if you feel the need,” she said, without honestly realizing that the great honchkrow was likely keeping the entirety of the ship under an encompassing Dark Pulse, sealing away access to the ship from any psychic powers.


Ellie raised an eyebrow at the guard’s open sneer and his ensuing, mumbling comments. The ex-squire eyed him slowly from toe to head, measuring his stance and off-kilter center of mass, and judged herself able to topple the man into the water with a solid thrust with the butt of her sword; she wouldn’t even have to fully unsheathe it. The thoughts dissipated as quickly as they came. She’d learned to ignore affronts to her own honor. Had the man insulted someone in her company, Ellie was like to be on him an instant—but ones directed toward herself? Well, there were few things anyone could say to her that she didn’t already think toward herself. Ellie gave the guard a short nod, and would hand over her weapons if asked, and boarded the Oracle.

She kept her stance straight and gait strong as she moved across the deck, green eyes scanning for any evidence at what, exactly, the ship carried. With a gnawing sense of dread, she kept her eyes peeled for any evidence that the Oracle was a transporter of Caledonian fur; a good sign that the ship’s crew might recognize her lineage, if not her looks themselves. Ellie had little time to investigate, as her mission’s objective stood in a group around the trap door, evidently waiting for her. She bowed to them all, though she was not able to catch on to the happiness the pair of Guardians, especially the younger one, displayed at her entrance.

Crest gave Ellie her first snippet of dialogue to pass on, and the ex-squire instinctually paused. She was not aware of the translation for their ranks, if there was one. Had Tyson Reich used a particular word? She wasn’t sure, though the merchants would likely recognize the terms in Harperian, regardless. “This is Senior Guardian Aaron Crest,” she said, in clear, native Caledonian, and indicated the older man; toward the younger, she said, “and this is his Junior Guardian, Gilbert Fisher.”

She relayed the merchant’s greetings and name to the Guardian pair, but his request for her own name caused her pause. Did she lie? Or could she risk exposing her identity already? “I am Ellie of Caledon,” she said simply, “Ward of the Cape Guard. It’s a pleasure to meet you, Master Atchison.” There. That would do.

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Carnivale
 Posted: Jun 17 2014, 07:19 PM
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Peace and safety, friend.
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[.7 for you! And count up those nice PCR redemption, my dear. ;D]

.

Master Atchinson's eyebrow arched ever so slightly at Ellie's omission of her last name. "Just Ellie, then?" he queried, then snorted. It was not a nice sound, but he didn't bother to explain the sentiment beside it. Instead he resorted to ignoring her for the moment and turned to the servant, muttering something to him. The action took awhile.

In the meantime, the junior guardian on Crest's other side couldn't seem to stop bouncing on his feet. He was full of nervous energy, and everyone can see it. His superior bent down to hiss something to him that made his face go pale before turning to Ellie once again. His face looked somewhere between chagrined and just plain annoyed. And there was a bit of an apologetic edge there, too, that did not clear away when he said, "If you could, Miss Ellie, please inform our esteemed guests that the arrangements for their quarters have already been settled. They are to stay at the Golden Magikarp inn right down Hasley Avenue..." He trailed off and straightened when the Master Atchinson finished with his own talks.

They looked at each other for a moment, those two men, and between the merchant's mildly curled lips and Crest's unfailingly polite and frigid smile, the tension can be cut with a knife.

Once Ellie had translated what Crest had said about the inn, Master Atchinson snorted again. "Ah, ever the terrible host and organizer," he said aloud, though held out his hand to Ellie to stop her from speaking. "Tell them that I would hold them absolutely responsible for anything that will befall me and my goods." He glanced at the young woman, his eyes narrowed sharply and watched her with rapt attention as she relayed the message, like he suspected her of lying or something he did not tell her to.

Behind Atchinson, his servant had departed. The young man turned and trotted away, disappearing down the hold without a second look - nor did his master acknowledge him.

"Well, that's the same-old, same-old," Crest rubbed his chin once he heard, thoughtfulness evident on his face. He frowned and glanced at Gilbert. "Five thousand in Harperian gold for the whole deal, as agreed upon, of course." The young guardian nodded enthusiastically in confirmation.

"Tell the merchant to wait," he told Ellie, starting away and towards the plank that would lead him down to the pier. "I will be right back. I need to get the paperwork or else he would accuse us of cheating somehow." He mumbled something else that none of them can hear, and thus left them.

Atchinson let the awkward silence between those on the ship stretch on for a few purposeful moments before he interrupted with another snort, a derisive sound this time. "Sometimes I wonder why I even bother with stopping here," he said mildly, in Caledonian, and glanced at Ellie sidelong as he did so. "A poor lot for company, the streets either too crowded or too small, more often than not a combination of both. Such improper greetings and poor management. Flimsy protection. Fools for bodyguards."

His eyes shifted over to Gilbert, who stood there and fidgeted a little more. Though he could not understand what was being said, he blushed to the roots of his hair and directed his gaze at the ground near his feet. Atchinson chuckled without humor and glanced out to sea again.

"You are Caledonian," Atchinson stated, glancing at Ellie. It was not a question. "No Harperian would be able to speak in our language with such skill." And it would have been a nice compliment, had he not let a condescending smile accompany it. "Ward of the Guard, are you? Tell me, what was done in our country that was so horrendous that you would follow the celebrated exile's footsteps into this one?"

It was clear from his tone that he did not think too highly of her or her potential answers. If anything, Atchinson was trying to goad her on, though he had not used any outwardly offensive word. He watched her carefully, too, and there was something calculative in his eyes as he waited.


---

(The "celebrated exile" is the Harper of old.)

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Khaleesi
 Posted: Jun 27 2014, 09:13 PM
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[ Egg Count: 7 + 3 = 10! ]

---

Ellie stayed polite and quiet, speaking only when spoken to as green eyes swept the ship periodically. It was a coping mechanism more than behavior performed out of respect; Ellie was nervous. It did not show in a traditional manner, no, for Ellie knew that obvious anxiety could be taken as deceit, and as the only bridge between the Cape Guard and this Caledonian merchant, suspected treachery was just as disastrous as actual betrayal. The girl had a debt to pay and would not allow herself to fail. So Ellie kept her spine straight, her shoulders back, and her hands where they could easily be seen—and nowhere near her arms.

"Just Ellie, then?"

Master Atchinson’s voice drew Ellie’s attention, though he moved on rather quickly to speak with a servant in quiet tones that the ex-squire could not discern from where she stood. Speaking of nervousness… Crest’s Junior Guardian could not seem to keep himself still, and the need to warn him to remain calm began to press past Ellie’s lips—but Crest said something to the boy and it appeared to do the trick, though he was of a sickly pallor now. He could look sick all he wanted, so long as Master Atchinson was not offended by the boy’s jitteriness.

Crest gave her a few more lines to pass on to the merchant, just as the Caledonian was returning to the matter at hand. “The Cape Guard has arranged quarters for their esteemed guests at the Golden Magikarp, which can be found on Hasley Avenue.” Crest trailed off and Ellie glanced at the senior Guardian from the corner of her eye, waiting for him to continue. Silence ensued as she spoke and the two men of authority stared down one another.

Now, Ellie was not one for most social graces, but as important as she recognized anxiety to be counterproductive, tension was another behavior she recognized well. Tension is a prevalent state when in battle, especially in one-on-one duels, two opponents circling one another, looking for the split second in which one lets down their guard and the other might strike. Ellie pressed her lips together and waited, the quiet and apprehension of it weighing in on her.

And then the moment was gone, split by a snort and an insult, which, true to form, Ellie began translating. It was a good thing Atchinson was quick to stop the girl, though he would not have been privy to Ellie’s penchant for taking things literally. She would have continued right on. “Master Atchinson places the responsibility of the welfare of himself and his goods upon the Cape Guard,” she told Crest. The movement of the Caledonian’s servant caught her gaze, and Ellie watched him go with a suspicious look.

Crest’s voice called her back. Smoothing her palms over her breeches, Ellie nodded at him as the senior Guardian left. “He asks you to wait,” she explained, gesturing to the pair exiting the ship. “They must procure paperwork to finalize the deal. Five thousand gold in Harperian gold, as promised, correct?”

The silence became awkward, though Ellie figured it wisest to keep her tongue and the young Guardian offered nothing for her to relay to the merchant. Atchinson was responsible for breaking it, and she met his gaze when it came to rest upon her. He did not speak highly of the Harperian people, but he did not say anything that Ellie could confirm or deny; she’d only been awake since this morning, after all. However, his manner of speech was deplorable, especially since it was directed at a group of people to which she owed her life. Ellie had to physically bite her tongue to quell a retort.

Do not be responsible for the demise of this deal, Ellie. Do not do anything to draw more attention to yourself, not here.

"You are Caledonian," the merchant said, a comment to which Ellie only shrugged and smiled dryly.

“I am Ellie of Caledon,” she repeated her introduction from earlier. Her accent was quiet distinct, she knew, and if the merchant was well-traveled, he’d certainly be able to pinpoint the relative area from which she hailed, perhaps even the kingdom. “I am a refuge. My home was destroyed during one of our country’s many unfortunate conflicts. There is little work to be found when so many are displaced and looking for the same thing.”

Ellie spread her arms wide, gesturing to the area all around them. “Thus I’ve come here. And as for the Guardians, well, the Cape Guard is never short of jobs for needy peoples. I’ve not been here long, Master. I have no love for the Harper’s tales or his people. Seeing as I have no family or title, I came alone and am very fortunate to be under the protection of the Guard.”

The ex-squire hoped the answer was enough to satisfy the squinting merchant. Ellie did not care what the man thought of her—it was clear enough he did not think highly of anyone in his vicinity—and if he thought her some poor, grubby refuge looking for work, (which wasn’t too far from the truth, minus the grubby part) then so be it.

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Grimm
 Posted: Jul 10 2014, 01:00 PM
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Evil, Sadistic Custard.
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[.7 for you. ARE YOU SURPRIIIIISED I'M ALIVE?

Also if it wasn't known, Caledon isn't known for widespread respect and equal regard for women; whatever is written on this post is in no way a reflect of my own beliefs. <3]

---

Master Atchison regarded Ellie for a long moment after her answer, his left eyebrow tilted at a precise degree to tell her just how much he did not trust the words that had left her mouth. That, or he had found what she said distasteful somehow. Without comment, he heaved a long and loud sighed that betrayed heavy disappointment.

"This is what happens when one is late to the recruitment boards," he observed softly, glancing for a second at the young Guardian still being left out of this conversation. From the appearance of the merchant's face, he would continue to be left out. "I could have used a good face on my fleet. A good hand for my men. Even women have their use." And he looked at Ellie again, like a buyer would examine meat at the market, before pursing his lips. It looked like he took back what he said, but did not say so out loud, instead gazing over the waters again.

Something near awkward silence settled on them. Gilbert coughed, twitched, and then leaned towards Ellie.

"Did I..." His words were soft and uncertain. He stuttered through them, the heat rising to his face once more. "Did I do something...something wrong, Miss Ellie? I am sure that..."

The merchant chose that moment to walk away, heading back down the hold of the ship like he could not stomach Gilbert's newfound proximity to his own esteemed self. The young Guardian's shoulders sagged, his face faltered. The look on his face might remind Ellie, for just a moment, of Sen. (At least the abra had been more shy than awkward when she knew him.)

"I think he just doesn't like those of peasant birth," Gilbert said after a moment, when they were left alone on the deck. He tapped his finger erratically on the pommel of his sword, his eyes jumping all over the place. "Which is, um. Which is what I am. I mean, you probably can't tell, from the way I talk." He grinned proudly at Ellie. "But pa and ma were just fishermen. I joined a year ago; it was hard work, to sound less like the fisherfolk. But I managed. I think. What- What about you, Miss Ellie? What was Caledon like? I think it'd...be an interesting place?"

The way his eye darted to the hold was clear enough indication that he hardly thought a place that housed someone so unpleasant could itself not be unpleasant.

Ellie, meanwhile, might find herself with better things to do than to entertain the young man in his attempts to make their companionship a little less awkward. When she had climbed aboard, there had been several people about; the standard amount of workmen necessary to haul the goods down and to take care of the ship. Now, aside from the guard standing by the opening leading down to the pier, the deck had emptied out. There were only her, Gilbert, and the servant who had returned when they--or at least, Gilbert--had been talking.

It was almost eerie, how deserted the deck felt. On the masthead, the massive honchkrow who had scared Sen away still perched. He was preening his wing now, glancing past it at Ellie and company every now and again. What he thought, nobody knew, but at least his face was not so blank and absent as the servant who now stood before them, his hands clasped behind his back.

If Ellie chose to ask where Master Atchinson's whereabouts were, her only answer would be a dull, "Retrieving something, good lady." And then the servant frowned, as though puzzled by the words he said.

Not long after, however, the man reemerged from the hold. Under his arm, he held a black-bound ledger. "I must be growing old," he said, more to himself than to anyone. The look he shot Ellie and Gilbert still held the hint of polite but acute disapproval. "To send our good Guardian running about, yet I myself forget to fetch the price book. Hm." And he opened the ledger, holding it out to the sunlight.

Behind him, the servant moved.

Much could be blamed on Master Atchinson's great attempt to make himself look bigger and more intimidating than he actually was, perhaps, by ways of his clothes and bearing. The result was the same; his girth blocked the short Gilbert's vision, and combined with the fact that the servant was standing more on Ellie's side, there was nothing he could have done in time. But her, perhaps it might be a different story.

She could see the glint of a dagger when the serving boy pulled it free of the scabbard at his belt, held it in a loose, inexperienced grip as he lurched towards the master. The distance between him and Atchinson were not so great, only a matter of one step. But he was sleepy in his movement, drunk almost, and it bought a witness a precious second-long window to act before the serving boy's knife found a fatal spot in the master's kidney.

Should Ellie choose to act at all, of course. And if she did, how?

--------------------
Logan Quengrace (Guardian)

Matthew Newgrange (Handler)

Serena Chalice (Handler)

Character Sprites Created by Mackay and Khaleesi!
~~
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