Takra was shocked by the sudden change in character from crystal, how ever a wave of relief washed over her like a chilling breeze. Takra shuddered and and thanked the mage looking her her hard in the eyes. The rest of the group must have thought something weird was going on, quickly Takra patted her dress down smoothing the creases from her jerkin, she then wiped at her eyes ridding them of her tears, she knew her eyes were still bloodshot but she did not care she had never experienced any real genuine compassion from someone before she felt a different woman. She felt...Happy.
Lantaris watched as water rolled down the females face. He had never been in this sort of situation before. He saw Crystal get up and perform some sort of "ancent ritual" and the water stopped. After that Redge left and Lantaris said "I think I will try and get a bit of rest, you two should get some too. We will need it" He said and followed Redge through the door.
Takra watched the others go off to find rest in another flea-ridden tavern, she wanted to stay and talk to Crystal and find out more about her and divulge more about herself. Her eyes were heavy lidded and there was much to do in just three hours. She wished Crystal goodbye and thanked her once more for her kind words. Takra walked down into the main tavern knowing she may not get a room anywhere in this packed city full of rowdy men, it was time to keep her wits about her.
Crystal gave a smirk out of the corner of her mouth, slouching down into her previous chair.
"Hey, it's comfortable here, I've full access to the drinks, it's warm and - most importantly - quiet. I'm not moving if I can help it, and if Verkoth or the tavernkeeper don't like me hogging the private room, they can shove their complaints where the sun shines even less than in Valsathavar."
Crystal, Lantaris and Takra stand in the bustling marketplace, eyeing the vendors and their wares, as well as the numerous shady individuals that cast frutive looks at the bulging moneybags hanging by the many off-duty soldiers' belts. A glance to the clock reveals that Verkoth is running late, surprisingly, as well as a few other scences of interest, chiefly a Valsavatharian guard pointing Crystal out to a prospective theif then making a seires of increasingly unsublte warning gestures and...much to the mage in question's surprise, the familiar, pale face of Circle Master Raichen, his green robes a contrast to the crowd as he pushes through the masses, raising his gnarled staff in greeting.
"Ah, Journeymage Hardwood, a word if you don't mind."
Approaching closer, he appraises the trio before drawing his charge aside, his voice low and measured.
"I will be meeting with King Skantea in half an hour to join a council of monarchs, we shall be discussing mage and troop depolyment in the north and south...if the other kings are not adverse I should find you a place alongside several Senan Orange Circle War Mages forming an anti-Celian attack group. That will mean you shall be posted to Orsal to repel the Celian landings there..."
A pause as Raichen licks his dry lips before continuing.
"I probably shouldn't tell you this but you could go far from this, Crystal, many of us have forgotten about Davule's loss and the King himself clearly trusts your records enough to post you in a location as vital as Orsal...if you perform to your usual standards I may even see you promoted to Cadremaster after the initial assault and after that...well, many mages have memories based upon rank."
Apparently that harp music is Welsh in origin, strangely...
Crystal looked warningly at the hand on her shoulder as her Circle Master pulled her aside, before quickly placing a more amiable expression on her face, even if forcibly. It grew more genuine as she remembered the sensibility and decency that helped him attain his position. It had been a little while since she last saw him; she'd forgotten her manners temporarily.
To her defense, she was silently trying to fight against the feeling that threatened to paralyse her at the mention of Davule.
"Master Raichen." Crystal greeted, their proximity limiting anything but a respectful nod of her head, "Thank you, Circle Master. I will insure the protection of Orsal's land and people to the best of my ability." Crystal deferred, knowing what to say. A grin tugged, hesitantly, at the edge of her mouth.
"May I say, Circle Master, that I am honoured to be given a more...active position once more. I do not intend to let you down." Crystal replied, somewhat less professionally with a smile.
Cadremaster...well, mage's weren't known for paychecks - or at least, surviving a war to spend one - but Circle authority was a powerful thing, and its benefits are numerous.
Oh, and of course there are less people allowed to shout orders at her, and more she can shout orders to. Always a plus.
"Good, good. I'll meet you after the Decadance Parade and have things organised then." With a parting smile, Raichen strides away swiftly, past a familiar, black-cloaked figure walking the other way.
"Well, it's good to see you're all here." Verkoth casts a glance around at the marketplace before motioning for you to follow him. "I'm afraid Al'Ral could be on to us, I sent Regarial ahead to distract him, as the two apparently know each other, and why I don't suspect the elf of betrayal he's taken longer than I expected...meaning we'll have to move fast. Are you all ready?"
"Very well." Verkoth strides off down one of the many side streets leading from the Way.
"Al'Ral should be in a courtyard not far from here. He can't run, the streets leading to it provide no cover, and I find it unlikley that he will resist us. He may be professional but he's not stupid.
I would prefer it if Lantaris stunned him rather than coating the man in frost, but if that is the only way to subdue him it can't be helped."
Silence falls upon your quartet for a short while before you finally turn into a perfectly straight road, leading up to a courtyard dominated by a tall, iron statue depicting one of Karth's kings, behind it you can faintly make out a figure leaning against it's pedestal, humming a barley audiable tune.
Suddenly far more urgent, Verkoth increases his pace, his black cloak flapping back to reveal greaves and a moulded curiass of a foreign design, whilst two long knives are sheathed at his side.
As you enter the courtyard you finally notice the object of Verkoth's disress, bodies of men clad in black and in some cases grey robes litter the slate pavement, some clutching curved blades and others with orbs or rods carved with strange glyphs.
"So, Verkoth, still confident you've got this one?" A familiar voice speaks from behind the statue as Rege' battered and scratched steps out from behind the statue, crossbow levelled at the Spymaster. "We were fools to trust you, although for a Sevaraii you fooled us alarmingly well."
With a jolt you register the elf's words, the Sevaraii are the elite mage-assassins of the League Entire.
Lantaris suddenly tensed, ready for a fight that was sure to break out any seccond. "Ok, well before we all kill one another, lets hear the facts, shall we?" said Lantaris, steping away from the both of them and pushing crystal and Takra away to a position with more distance between all of them.
He never took his eyes off the pair of them. This wont end well...
Crystal glared but - considering the circumstances - let Lantaris' physical pushing of her aside. Reluctantly seeing the sense of his actions, though, she held her staff protectively in front of her as she spread more distance between herself to everyone else; partially so her casting didn't harm allies to close to her, and partially because she wasn't sure who she'd be fighting if push came to shove between a 'spymaster' none of them knew and an elf that none of them knew.
One thing's for sure. Someone's going to MUCH colder before the hour is out.
"Strange that a so-called Severaii just told us to stun rather than encase a man in ice. I was under the impression they were rather violent." Crystal raised an eyebrow suspiciously, making sure she listened in case anyone tried anything from behind or beside her, now that she was standing so distinctly seperate from the others.
Takra was overwhelmed by the contingent of armed and dangerous looking men and women. They all looked far more professional and capable than Takra, nevertheless she strung an arrow to her bowstring she would use her magic after a few arrows had been loosed, she was more than happy to accept Lantaris' protection. She noticed Crystal move away from the group and Takra left her too it she was clearly focusing and Takra thought they needed all the focus she had to survive this. It was time to kill.
"Perhaps, then, you could explain why your men attacked me?" Rege' still has his crossbow trained on Verkoth, the tip of his bolt gleaming all too brightly to be steel. "And why you even bothered trying to enlist us in the first place."
"I will explain everything, elf, when you tell me where I can find Kravos Al'Ral." Verkoth crossess his arms, glaring at the shard of Greenjade pointed at his chest. "In fact, why should either of us be the judge of the other's loyalties. Let our three friends decide who is guilty, if either of us are."
Neither man moves from their positions, not even swaying to regain their balance.