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Re: Fire Emblem: The Heroes' LegacyTopic%20Title
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giving durandal a glance to try and figure thing out he decided to ask his wyvern a few questions. "are you alright? did you see people run by? and were you attacked?" Durandal nodded his head giving a yes to all three questions one after the other though he he seemed to hesitate momentarily on the second question before giving a yes, but it was likely just due to being unused to being asked that one. Dorran decided to relax and give the guard the benefit of the doubt.

"I see...well I certainly apologize for my friend here and from the sound of his answers it doesn't sound like your lying so I myself apologize for any doubt, but this wouldn't be the first time hes been attacked let alone some of the other things that have happened so I hope you understand.

anyways thieves huh...odd for one to do so especially with so many mercenaries and others still around. either they must have been a desperate bunch or idiots." he chuckled and decided to start heading back inside "well have a good night good guard."
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"Actually," the bartender said to Ardan, "I've heard the pilgrimage might be held back a couple of days. Supposedly, the Patriarch has been delayed. I doubt he's in any danger, though. Word is he's brought a regiment of Galatian knights with him. Maybe some bandits made off with a relic or something. Or maybe, Goddess forbid, Hicazi troops decided to give him and his entourage some trouble. With how many people accompany him on these kinds of journeys, I doubt he could have gotten through Hicaz without running into some of them. According to a merchant friend of mine, they've been demanding tolls from northbound travelers lately--Ashunera help the fool who tries to extort money from the Patriarch of Nauplia, though. Still, that's why Gennady decided to get to Belzen by sea instead of his usual route through Hicaz." He chuckled, but there was a hint of sadness in his laughter. "Those pirates he ran afoul of in Budinite waters probably cost him a lot more than any Hicazi toll, though. Fate has a cruel sense of humor sometimes..." He shook his head.
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Ardan's brow furrowed in anxiety "The Patriarch, waylaid?" he said doubtfully "Well I'm sure his eminence took proper precautions with his guard so I doubt anything major has happened" he said pausing to sip his ale before grimacing deciding it really wasn't for him and gently placing it back on the table. "Hicaz wouldn't dare extort the Patriarch I'm sure," he muttered to himself "The consequences of such a foolish action would be great and dangerous for their nation," he said waving away his worries.
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Re: Fire Emblem: The Heroes' LegacyTopic%20Title
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Pierre wrote:
Ardan smiled wearily "Yes indeed our bartender here is correct, we need to be up early tomorrow if you want to accompany me on the pilgrimage and it wouldn't do to shame the church with drunken behaviour come the morrow" he said hoping to dissuade his companion from overdrinking "Still why do you think this pilgrimage will give you answers to your questions about Reine?" he asked curious sitting down beside him leaving Dorran to eat.


Lucius finally broke his elongated moment of silence and replied to Ardan's question, "After... a few attempts of persuasion my King's would-be-assassin informed me that she was to rendezvous with Reine and her group bandits somewhere on this pilgrimage's route. She herself didn't know exactly where, but she was the type that easily gave in to the enemy should her life be endangered."

Lucius coughed into his napkin hanging from his armor's collar and continued.
"Meeting a group of bandits while on a pilgrimage... I hope I'm wrong, but it just sounds like a planned attack the more I think about it..."

Lucius removed the napkin from his neck and placed it onto the table.
I'm Blak, and I have shit taste.
Re: Fire Emblem: The Heroes' LegacyTopic%20Title
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Ardan frowned someone unsettled by the manner in which Lucius had uncovered his information I had hoped to be travelling with somewhat just men but it seems I may be disappointed he thought to himself as he swilled the unpleasant-ale around his mug. Looking up at Lucius he nodded sagely "Well it seems I am in luck, information about an ambush is certainly beneficial though it's fair to say the bandits try something like this every year" he said shrugging "We should still attempt to pass this information on so a messenger can be sent to the other pilgrims" he said.

Casting an eye over to the rough and bloody swordsman sitting alone in the corner once more. He beckoned Lucius closer, "Not that I doubt you nor Dorran's abilities but a extra sword hand might do better to reassure me, especially with bandits conspiring against us further down the road do you think that individual in the corner would be a good 'catch' so to speak?" he whispered not wanting to disturb the dangerous-looking man in the corner.
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Re: Fire Emblem: The Heroes' LegacyTopic%20Title
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Lucius meets Ardan's gaze and nods.
"Why yes, I do think another sword traveling with us could be very beneficial for us. That man certainly has the look of an excellent, albeit a bit disturbed, fighter. Assuming you can convince him to join us, I'm all for the idea."

Lucius raises his mug as toast for good health in Ardan's direction and drinks his last glass for the day.
"Ahhhhh. That was refreshing! Whenever you're ready to move out, I'll be here."
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Upon re-entering the bar dorran had decided to check to see if his venison was at his table...it hadn't though he was sure it was soon to come...atleast he hoped, as such he sat back down to wait for the soon to come food.

As he was waiting he noticed his two soon to be fellow travelers eyeing another man, the bloody man who had entered the bar not too long ago. (well if they decide to recruit him ill have to keep an eye on him...eh but who knows maybe hes not as bad as he appears to be).

his stomach began to growl quite loud, (I really do hope it will be done soon).
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A young man, the same one who had delivered Durandal's meal, came out of the kitchen carrying a large platter with several plates of red meat on it. After stopping at a few tables and passing out some of the plates, he came to Dorran and placed a plate in front of him. The venison steak looked quite tender and was giving off a visible amount of steam. He then turned toward another table and walked off, continuing to pass out the venison.

"Took long enough," one of the patrons muttered. "You'd think they just brought the deer in this morning or something."
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Ardan nodded in agreement Well if Lucius isn't looking for payment I may as well attempt to hire another mercenary He took a small sip with Lucius' toast before leaving his mug to be finished or cleaned away, he was never really one for overly large amounts of alcohol and never has the 'old drunken priest' image been an especially endearing one "Well then I will enquire as to whether he's for hire, perhaps slow down on the alcohol my friend we will have a long journey tomorrow so we may be up early" he warned getting up from his stool before sauntering back over to the bedraggled-looking warrior.

Approaching tentatively he frowned wrinkling his nose slightly, he was no stranger to the smell of blood but by now it was starting to reek off of this man's armour I wonder where that waitress with his water is. He shook his head before bowing politely "Pardon me sir but you look a capable sort, I am a priest preparing to set out on the Great Pilgrimage, surely you are aware of the significance of such a journey for many people this time of year. Indeed numerous mercenaries and journeymen gather purely to accompany pilgrimages, as such I'd quite like to know if you are...for hire to accompany me on my journey" he offered not quite feeling brave enough to sit down beside the man.
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Re: Fire Emblem: The Heroes' LegacyTopic%20Title
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In life, there comes a point where one reaches a point of no return. A decision they make changes them, for better or for worse. Jade knew this decision awaited her as she tried to navigate through the crowded streets. For a moment, she wondered if this would be everyday life for her, fighting through crowds of stinky, sweaty, loud Beorc. If so, she thought, she'd rather go home. The thought gave her pause. She certainly could head back home. Her parents would lecture and reprimand her, of course, and keep an annoyingly close watch on her for the next several years of her life. She would be sent to one of the elderly of the tribe, so they could recount the horror of battles and wars to her. She would tune such recollections out, of course. It wasn't that it wasn't interesting, it was just that the elderly often told of these things like it was all some sort of planned, recited lecture. They tended to snap at her if she asked questions, which she suspected was because they memorized all of what they were going to tell her beforehand, and interrupting them with questions would throw them off their game. It would be one thing if she had asked for the lecture on her own free will, but whenever she asked about battles or wars out of curiosity, she was always stone-walled.

Still, she supposed returning to her old life wouldn't be so bad. It would just be so...boring. That's what it was. Her life was empty and boring. Much as she hated this Beorc crowd, it was the most excitement she'd had in centuries, trying to navigate her way through it, which, she realized, was just a little sad.

She thought of this, and was reminded why she fled to this place. She'd caught wind of a potential war with those Hicaz jerks, and decided to join it. Of course, her decision was entirely selfish. It wasn't that she thought her side was the right one, or that she thought the people of Hicaz were bullies and jerks (even though she did think these things). It was that she wanted to be a part of something greater. The war with Dor 238 years ago had made history. This war, with Hicaz, if it happened, would also make history. And if she skipped this opportunity to be a part of that, when would her next chance be? Five hundred years from now? A thousand? By then, she'd be occupied with other things, chiefly having children and raising a family. This, she was sure, was her last big chance to do something significant. To actively participate in shaping history.

With a fire in her eyes, she forced herself to stop staring at the ground and lifted her head, keeping one hand on the hood of her cloak to keep it from falling, and the other hand securing the rest of it. Before her was the castle gates, and she marched toward them, seeming hardly aware of the people that bumped into her and nearly caused her to lose balance. When at the gates, she approached the nearest guard.

"Pardon me, Sir," she said. "I would like to join the army of this fine nation, but I am new here and a bit confused as to how I would go about doing that. Would you care to help me out?"
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"Send for Lieutenant Askala!" the guard hollered to one on the walls. "Got someone looking to join up!" He then turned to Jade. "The Lieutenant will probably have a few questions for you, so I might as well get some out of the way. First of all, you look rather young to be joining a professional army. Most of the people who I've seen join have several years of mercenary or militia experience. That... and you also don't appear to have any weapons or armor on you. Unless you're a mage, that could become an issue."

---------------------------

Back at the Laughing Cat, Anissa finally arrived with Crelarus's milk, water, and rag. She was also carrying an empty platter that looked as though it had recently been relieved of its load.

"Sorry about the wait, sir," she said to Crelarus as she handed over his drinks and rag. She then turned and hurried back to the kitchen, stumbling on the way, but managing to avoid dropping anything.
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Jade did not like the idea of having to answer a lot of questions. She understood that this...lieutenant person would want to know her intentions and whether or not he or she, she couldn't tell from the ridiculous name the gender of the lieutenant (why did Beorc always have such odd names?), could be an asset in battle. She decided the best course of action would be to try to ease this guy's concerns about her.

"I am older than I look. Perhaps I am...inexperienced, compared to other soldiers, but, rest assured, I know how to fight. I have been trained," she said. "And, with regard to my lack of weapons and armor, you could consider me a mage of sorts." She smiled slightly, hoping she had succeeded in assuaging this guy's concerns for now.
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"I suppose I'll have to take your word for it. I'm not exactly an expert on magic, and I doubt a demonstration would bode well for me if someone nearby got hurt." The guard glanced behind himself through the portcullis. Two guards could barely be heard talking as they drew closer to the gate. "Hm. That was fast." The clanking of gears and chains rang out as the gate was raised. One of the guards--it was difficult to tell with the armor and helmet, but this one looked like a woman--drew close to Jade.

"The potential recruit, I presume," the guard said. Her voice cleared up any doubts as to her gender.

"She claims to be a mage, Lieutenant."

Askala tilted her head in suspicion as she attempted to get a better look at Jade's face. "You look pretty young to be using magic in battle. Just how old are you?"
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"I'm no liar," Jade said when the guard said he'd have to take her word about using magic. She hadn't said anything that wasn't technically true, but she sure was glad he didn't require a demonstration. That would most certainly have caused problems. When Askala approached her and spoke, she became quite fascinated. She had assumed the whole "being a soldier" thing was an activity only male Beorc participated in.

However, just because they had a gender in common did not cause Jade to relax. In fact, if anything, she stiffened. In her home, the females were always fiercer than their male counterparts. She made sure not to let Askala get a very good look at her yet and shied under her cloak further. When asked how old she was, exactly, she opened her mouth and closed it several times, trying to think of how to give a satisfactory answer. Jade was horrible when it came to things like tact and subtlety, but even she could tell responses like, "A few centuries" and "Old enough to be your great-great-great-grandmother" would not go over well. Maybe there was a way she could respond where she didn't have to answer the question, if she were clever enough.

"I thought it was impolite to ask women their exact ages," Jade said, pleased with herself that she could come up with an excuse not to answer the question at all. Whether or not it was "clever enough" remained to be seen.
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"I don't know how you expect to be a valuable soldier when you're so determined to keep secrets from your would be companions," Askala replied with a smirk. "I'll let you keep your age a secret... for now. Why don't you come with me for a little walk? I'll show you the barracks, give you a chance to meet some of the troops, maybe even see some of our mages if any of them are there. You seem eager enough, but I want to be sure you're not going to start complaining and getting homesick if this Hicaz business turns out to be as bad as the King expects."
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Jade paled slightly when Askala suggested she might not be a good soldier if she'd keep secrets from her companions, and opened her mouth to speak, but when Askala said she'd let her keep her age a secret, anyway, she decided to let the issue rest. Nothing she could say at this point would really be worth it. Still, holding her tongue was hard for her. She did perk up a little when Askala offered to give her a tour, though.

"Ah. Of course I wouldn't mind going on a walk with you. Thank you," Jade said, then when Askala said she wanted to make sure Jade wouldn't get homesick, she got fired up. "Homesick? Complaining? Are you kidding me? I'm glad to be away from home!" She paused for a moment, then added, a little softer, "I mean, it's not like it was a terrible or anything. It's just that, at home, it's like everything is so...monotonous? Like, there is no adventure or excitement." She paused again, then snapped her fingers. "Mundane! That's the word I was looking for. Yes. Everything is so mundane at home, and I'm ready for a change. When war with Hicaz breaks out, fighting those jerks will give my life some meaning." She then realized it was possible she got a little carried away. "Erm...Sorry. I got carried away. Anyway...I can't wait to meet the other troops!"

She wasn't lying, there. She was excited to get a little insight as to how things run with the army. However, she was also incredibly nervous. What if one of the other soldiers recognized her for what she was? Maybe it would be better to tell Askala the truth about her right then, before it was too late.

I'll tell her when we're away from the others. I don't want everyone overhearing it...
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Askala led Jade through the gate. It could be heard clanking shut behind them.

"You'd be surprised how many people change their tune after their first real taste of battle," she said as they walked toward the barracks. "I can't speak from personal experience, but Lieutenant Elias says he saw it happen all the time with the levies during the Tarnovian War. They start off really excited about battle, then reality hits when they see their buddies on the end of a lance or burned to a crisp. Some of them break rank and flee in the middle of battle. Others just desert when the army's marching and it's hard for the professionals to keep track of them." She sighed. "Still, it would be silly of us to turn away a potential recruit just because she comes off as another naïve peasant. After all, Soren supposedly looked pretty young when he first showed up..."

Askala paused, glancing back at the gate. They had covered enough distance that the guards were out of earshot. "But enough about your will to fight (or lack thereof). We'll find out the answer to those questions soon enough. Where exactly are you from? Judging by your accent, I'm guessing you live up north near the border, but I don't think I'd be able to place you exactly. I'd think a provincial lord would have more use for a mage in his retinue than the King would, what with all the scholars here in Radom."
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"People would desert in the middle of a battle? How dishonorable! Fleeing like that is despicable!" Jade spat before she could stop herself. She took a couple breaths before continuing. "Sorry about that. I understand, of course, that actually being a part of battle is something that one cannot ever truly be prepared for. It therefore catches people off-guard, and I'm sure I won't be an exception to that. However, with me, honor is a huge thing. If I make a commitment, I stick with it, regardless of the consequences." She then answered Askala's question.

"You're very...perceptive, aren't you? Yeah. I'm from the Asabian border." It wasn't technically a lie. She didn't say which side of the border she was on, after all. She glanced around nervously, then realized the other guards were out of earshot. She relaxed slightly and added, "Okay, the mage thing...it's not technically a lie, but I'm not really a...typical mage." She had intended to lay all her cards on the table, but she paused after saying that to see how Askala would react.
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Askala chuckled. "I figured it was either that or a Marked. Beorc mages as young as you look are rare even in a city as big as Radom." She glanced at Jade with a friendly smile. "You can lower your hood here. I can't promise anything with regards to the levies, but the King's very adamant about making sure his personal troops are willing to fight alongside Marked and Laguz. With luck, we won't need to raise the levies when and if war breaks out with Hicaz, but I wouldn't bet on it."

As they rounded a corner, the training field came into view. Several soldiers were out in the field, either sparring with one another or practicing on training dummies. Further off, a paddock was visible. Some horses could barely be made out within. "Mages and Dragons are kind of a special class," Askala commented as they approached the training field. "They're drilled in formation tactics like the rank-and-file, but they play more of a supporting role once actual combat starts. We mostly use them to hit weak spots in enemy formations or enemy mages and Dragons--since we're talking about Hicaz, though, I doubt you'll be fighting many Dragons, if any."
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"Levies?" Jade asked. She hadn't heard that term before, and wracked her brain, trying to figure out what it meant. She decided she'd learn soon enough, shrugged, and removed her hood. She shook her dark brown hair and let it settle on her shoulders. "Thank you. That's much better." She returned Askala's smile. "I figured you had me pegged from minute one. You're observant, and I am bad at hiding things. Not that I can't be trusted with secrets, of course. I'm just bad at being deceptive and shady."

As she talked battle tactics, Jade nodded. "Right. A supporting role is fine. I didn't expect or want to be on the front lines, after all. ...Wait a minute...Does that mean you have other Dragons here? As in, in your army, right now?" She gulped. I should have expected as much! She tried to hide her nervousness, but, of course, she probably failed miserably.
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"There are a dozen in the King's retinue, as well as a couple in the garrison," Askala replied. "There's also Lady Elara, but she fights in the rank-and-file, what with being depowered and all. That said, while Dragons and mages are a valuable addition to our forces, being a Dragon doesn't guarantee you'll be allowed to join. Serving in the King's retinue is a very special honor, and it reflects poorly on His Majesty if some of his personal troops are cowardly or weak. It also bodes ill for us on the battlefield. Against an enemy like Hicaz, the King's retinue needs to be an inspiration to everyone. We're there not just to fight, but also to encourage everyone else to fight." She paused to inhale. "And that brings us back to you... Come to think of it, I don't think you told me your name."
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"I see," Jade said. She was nervous about meeting the other Dragons, considering she didn't get on with others of her kind particularly well, and the fact that her parents might be offering a reward for anyone who returned her to them by now may complicate matters (she didn't know whether or not they'd have word here about her running away, but it was better to err on the side of caution), but she figured she'd worry about that later. It wasn't a guarantee she'd be part of this army yet, anyway. "Of course being a laguz would not guarantee a spot in the King's...erm...'retinue,' as you put it. If it did, it'd be unfair, and I wouldn't want it that way. How do I go about proving I'm not weak and/or cowardly? I want to be part of this. I want to inspire and encourage others on top of fighting. Oh, my name is Jade, by the way. Sorry for not telling you sooner."
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Askala sighed. "In peacetime, there's not really a fast way into a professional army. New recruits have to be drilled in combat, marching, survival, and all manner of other things. It takes time, and a lot of people end up changing their minds or getting kicked out in that time." She gave a brief nod in the training field's direction. "A lot of the people you see there are still recruits. Some of them have been in training for a few years, and most of them have at least some prior experience in combat. Some have even participated in wars. I spent several years as a mercenary myself, escorting merchant caravans between here and Lalibela, before I decided I wanted to be part of something bigger than that. There were also a couple of times I escorted pilgrims on the Heroes' Journey. Rarely anything nastier than fighting groups of bandits, but it went a long way toward joining the King's retinue. Still had to train for a couple of years, though, learning how to work with a large unit and whatnot. Anyway, that brings us back to you: what kind of experience do you have? War with Hicaz will probably break out in a year or two, and I doubt we can make a professional soldier out of someone with no experience in that kind of time."
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They have years of experience...and still need to train for a couple years to be a full member of the army?
Jade felt the wind blow out of her sails. While a few years tend to go by in a blink of an eye for her, Askala had just said that war with Hicaz would break out in a year or two and training someone from scratch would take longer than that. Heck, Askala had even escorted people to the capital of Jade's country, a place which Jade herself had only had the privilege of visiting a few times in her life. She felt awfully small right then.

"Uh...I've been in scuffles with others of my kind before, but...I have no...professional experience," Jade said hesitantly. "Though that's not from lack of trying! It's just...see, I'm still considered a kid by my brethren, so no one really gave me a chance to participate in battle." She recounted in her mind how she used to hide out near the battlefield to observe, or how she'd try to make herself seem older or disguise herself completely...And how it always failed. When trying to observe battle, she was always sensed before it even began and was sent home. When she tried to make herself older or disguise herself in other ways, someone would always see right through it, no matter how convincing she made it look. She took a deep breath and added in a small voice, "I guess that means I'm wasting your time, huh?"
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"Not at all," Askala replied with a chuckle. "Sizing up potential recruits is one of my roles as an officer. The King might handpick his personal guard, but the rank-and-file number a few thousand; His Majesty can't be bothered to know every last one of them. You are right about not being ready, though, but in a few years, who knows? In peacetime, I'd probably let you in and see how far you got in training, but given how Hicaz has been behaving, we need only the best in the King's retinue. Still, we don't exactly know when war's going to break out. Could be less than a month, could be in a few years. Depends on how prepared King Laomedon's forces are and who he wants to conquer next.

"Anyway, since I can tell you're set on fighting, I can at least point you in the right direction. I imagine the King will be hiring mercenaries to bolster our forces against Hicaz, so you might be able to get involved that way if any of them are interested in hiring someone with no combat experience--you never know. You could also see about latching on to a pilgrim on the Heroes' Journey; Ashunera knows there are plenty of them here, and plenty with a vested interest in having escorts. You might miss the war (though I doubt it), but it'll give you some experience working with something resembling an army, not to mention you'll probably run into bandits more than a few times on the way to Smyrna, and that'll go a long way toward seeing how well you can handle yourself when you're fighting for your life."
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"You know what? You're right! I might not be qualified for the King's retinue now, but that can be remedied if I go get myself some experience before the war starts," Jade said. "And I can do that in any way I please. The world is my oyster! Oh, Dragons tend to be stubborn, but I'm the stubbornest one I know of, and a very, very quick learner when it suits me. I know I'll still be inexperienced compared to a lot of the people here when war breaks out, but I can still make myself useful. I'll be back. You can count on it!"

Jade turned around to head toward the castle gates, then paused in her steps.

"So, this Hero's Journey thing...what is that?"
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Askala found herself unable to avoid laughing. Perhaps it was because she lived in a city with such a strong connection to it, but she was evidently surprised (as well as amused) that someone had no idea what the Heroes' Journey was. She managed to stop after seeing that Jade was serious. "Sorry... Heh... Guess I've gotten too used to living in Radom... The Heroes' Journey is a long pilgrimage that follows the path the Three Heroes took during the Bear King's Wars. Every year around this time, priests, pilgrims, and mercenaries flock to Radom, where the pilgrimage formally starts. I'll spare you the religious details since you'll probably hear plenty of that along the way. It's a pretty lucrative experience for mercenaries, considering that some of the bishops bring along valuable relics and stuff that bandits would love to get their hands on. It can also just be a nice way to see the world, what with all the different kinds of people that go on the Journey and all the places you'll be traveling through on the way to Smyrna. Anyway, I'll be looking forward to your return if I'm not worm food by then. You seem like you'll be fun to work with."
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Jade felt embarrassed when Askala laughed at her question, and wondered if she'd asked something stupid. She got over the feeling quickly when Askala answered her, anyway.

"Okay, then. That sounds like a good place to start," Jade said. "Oh, you'll be alive by the time I return, and we'll take out those Hicazian jerks together. Heck, we may even become the best of friends in the process!" She practically bounced with excitement, then cleared her throat, fearing she may have been getting ahead of herself again. "Uh, anyway, by your leave, I shall excuse myself." She bowed slightly, then strode to the gate.

"Okay. I'm leaving now. I'd appreciate if you'd open the gate for me," she said to whoever was around.
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The gate was raised. The guards said nothing and did not appear to react to Jade's apparent rejection. The crowds in the streets had thinned out slightly, most likely due to many of the mercenaries and pilgrims going to their respective lodgings for the day. Still, a fair number of people were wandering the streets, and many of the merchants' stalls were still open. The sky was starting to gain an orange tinge to it as the sun drew closer to the horizon, still visible at the moment, but likely to be obscured by the buildings within the next hour.
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Jade strode out to the street, amongst the thinning crowd. She had, of course, pulled up her hood by this time to cover the laguz aspects of her appearance. Whilst walking through the crowd, she realized how foolish her plan was. Sure, she knew what she wanted to wind up doing for her experience, but how to go about doing that was beyond her. It wasn't like she could just go up to random people and say, "Hey! I'm an inexperienced Dragon from Asab wanting to help with the Hero's Journey so I could maybe get some battle experience and eventually join with the army. So, hire me!" That was bound to backfire horribly, possibly even get her killed (she wasn't exactly sure just how tolerant the general populace was toward Dragon laguz, but knowing her luck, if there was even one person who hated laguz, she'd run right into them if she used the "approach random people and tell them about my situation" approach). It was while she was lost in these thoughts of failure and not particularly paying attention to her environment that she felt herself bump into someone.

"Sorry," she mumbled, then looked up and saw it: the one thing that could always, always brighten her mood without fail. In front of a building was a wyvern. She scarcely paid attention to anything else at that moment and practically sprinted toward it.

"Oh, what a fortune this is! Hello, there! What's your name?" she asked, an arm outstretched to pet him. He let out a muffled sound somewhere between a roar and a hiss as a sort of warning. Jade chuckled. "Durandal, huh? Well, Durandal, do you mind if I just pet you for a while? I won't do anything else." To this, Durandal made no sound, but he seemed to relax once Jade started petting him.

I wonder who enslaved this one...Whoever did must have a very good leash around him, to have him be amongst such huge crowds and not try to attack anything.
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almost as soon as the plate of food had arrived and the waitress left had Dorran eaten the food on his plate with such speed some might think the food had never been there.

(I think ill avoid eating that fast next time...I finally got a meal, but I would have at least liked to enjoy it.)
it was when he looked out the window he saw durandal along with someone unknown.

"hmm interesting...durandal might be friendly, but he certainly doesn't usually let just anybody near him...i guess i should chech this out." with that said dorran moved outside. seeing a woman, a dragon laquaz no less.

"i see you've meet my friend durandal here i suppose since he has no problem with you i shouldnt either. my names dorran.
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Jade, herself, had been quite relaxed, petting Durandal without paying much attention to what was going on around her. So, when someone suddenly (to her mind) started making noise by speaking to her, she jerked her hand away from Durandal and quickly stepped away, a surprised gasp escaping her lips.

"Oh!" When she heard what Dorran said, she eased up a little. "Sorry about that. You just...startled me, a little." She smiled somewhat uncomfortably. "I'm not usually caught off-guard so easily. Then again, I'm generally more aware of my environment." She looked from Durandal to Dorran. "So, you're the one who has tamed this beautiful creature. He thinks very highly of you. I can tell just by the way he's looking at you right now." She seemed to mentally size Dorran up before saying, in a slightly guarded tone, "I am Jade." She stood silently for a moment. I guess I might as well ask this guy, while I have the opportunity. "You wouldn't...happen to know of anyone needing assistance with the Hero's Journey, would you?"
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well you happen to be in luck...well possibly i suppose, I and my friend Durandal here were hired for just that...now i cant guarantee he'll need more people but it never hurts to try...especially as late as this. though may i ask your name miss...I haven't run into many dragon laquaz in the 52 years I've lived.
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Jade seemed to perk right up when Dorran said he was hired to do just as she was looking to. "Really? That's great! Our meeting must be fate! It certainly couldn't hurt to ask your employer if I may join you. I mean, even if he rejects me, it's not like I can't find some other person to escort." She seemed to ponder for a moment. But what do I say to him? It's not like I can just say I'm-- She cut her thoughts short when Dorran asked her name. "Uh...My name is Jade. I thought I told you already...?" Her brows furrowed. And then when he made a comment about how he hadn't seen a Dragon laguz in the 52 years of his life, her face fell.

"So...you could tell I was a Dragon laguz, just like that? How?" She muttered a swear in an ancient tongue under her breath, then added, "What's the point in wearing this cloak if everyone can just tell I'm a laguz, anyway?! I might as well just throw my disguise in the trash!" She then noticed something and paused mid-tirade. "Oh...Huh. That's odd. I thought Beorc typically looked much...well, wrinkly and older than you do at that age..."
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"Ahh so you did say your name" he laughed at the realization. Hearing her speak in an all too familiar tongue he decided to try and calm her down. "Relax, the disguise isn't that bad but the only reason I could tell was because my mother was a dragon laquaz, which is why im older then I appear...being a marked does have its benefits I suppose.

now then I suppose we should head inside the bar the other two are trying to recruit another member as we speak, hopefully the'll be done soon.
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"Oh...Oh!" Jade laughed. "Okay, good. I mean, that my disguise is not a waste. Your mother was a Dragon, huh? And you're...Marked. Hmmm...That's fascinating! The only others of my kind I know of wouldn't be caught dead, walking amongst Beorc as I am, much less trying to court one. All I ever hear about are horror stories of Beorc trying to enslave and kill laguz. Though, I guess that's only because the ones telling me such stories were trying to keep me from trying to come here by putting the fear of Beorc in me, but it didn't work! Mostly because I didn't pay attention to those stories, anyway. My friends and family do claim to be tolerant, but if they ever caught so much as a glimpse of Beorc, they'd..." She stopped her train of thought and blushed, embarrassed. "R-right. There I go, running my mouth again and getting all ahead of myself."

She cleared her throat.

"Anyway, I think the fact that a Dragon laguz and a Beorc could get together despite how much they have going against them is a beautiful thing. That was my point. Let's head inside. I wanna meet this employer of yours as soon as I can." She entered the bar and looked to Dorran. "So...which is he?"
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Ardan fumbled with the fabric on the wrists of his robe, the prolonged silence with the bloody and silent warrior leaving him decidedly unsettled. I had best be going, this man seems dangerous enough when sober nevermind after a few drinks....still He reached down and slid a small sheet of paper out of his sleeve onto the table. "I can see you are a busy man, there is the address of where I'll be staying should you reconsider my friend" he said awkwardly bowing with the backpack on his back before turning to leave. Tapping Lucius on the shoulder gently he whispered "We'll be leaving soon," before looking up at the bartender and fumbling with his coin purse for a moment before paying for the drinks and food that had been ordered. "It's been a pleasure" he said as he started to leave to look for Dorran when he found Dorran already waiting for him with a young woman.

"Oh....hello Miss" he said bowing politely "Do you need the services of a priest?" he asked using the well-practiced lines for his trip to the city with a quick glance at Dorran wondering what his connection to the woman was.
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When Ardan bowed to her, Jade seemed a little confused. Not knowing for sure what else to do, she bowed back, figuring that would be better than standing there awkwardly.

"Actually, I was hoping you would require my services," she said. "Are you the employer of this man?" She indicated Dorran. "Did you hire him for protection while you're participating in the Hero's Journey?"
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Following Ardan's motion to move forward, Lucius stood up from the table and began following the priest to the exit of the tavern. When Ardan stopped to address what looked like a cloaked girl, Lucius was left a bit bewildered. The mysterious girl looked to be in her early teens, so Lucius could feel no hostility toward her boiling within him.

Lucius formally bowed alongside Ardan, and addressed the girl warmly, "Why yes young lady. All three of us will be traveling the Hero's Journey.
Did you want to accompany us as well?"

Upon closer inspection Lucius noticed the small outlines of ears jutting out from under the hood, and averted his gaze to the ceiling in thought.
Lucius vaguely remembered his mad Cecilia taught him about different races and cultures around the world.
Lucius muttered to himself, "...something 'bout pointy ears and turning into dragons..."
"Heh. Shoulda paid more attention to your lectures, eh Cecilia?", he said chastising himself.

Acting on his hunch Lucius asked the girl politely, "Miss, do you happen to be a member of that race which has the ability to shape shift into that of a dragon? Forgive me, but I seem to have forgotten of said race despite knowing the distinct features."

"This is rather peculiar. I know that these people can live for a rather long time and it explains this girl's maturity, but my blood doesn't course as violently around this girl as it did when I behaved like an animal toward the barmaid." Lucius thought to himself.
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"Yes, sir. I would like to very much," Jade said. "If you all would have me. I mean, I'm given to understand the priest here would have the final say as to whether or not I could come with you, but I don't want to start off with tensions between us. It wouldn't bode well if there were."

When Lucius asked about whether or not she could turn into a dragon, she lowered her head slightly and cast a furtive glance about the room, trying to ascertain whether anyone overheard who would, potentially, have a problem with her kind. She didn't see anyone reacting in such a way, but she lowered her voice nonetheless, just in case.

"I was hoping not to disclose such information in public, but, yes. I am a Dragon laguz," she said in a low tone. That settles it. As soon as I have enough money, I'm buying a new disguise.
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