No Sylvari Seen

AN: So in the past I wrote a drabble of Corvo and Eavan rescuing Bell from the Nightmare Court, the towering Norn having an amulet that turned him into a Sylvari. I figured I would do the same thing here in a sense with Bell and May considering the Sylvari are in a bit of a pickle right now with a great many. Hope you guys enjoy!

The Asura Gate whirled to life just beyond the trees, awaiting those seeking travel to Lion’s Arch from the mainlands. Mayynerd kept his pace even, his eyes searching the path for any suspicious eyes upon them. Luckily no one seemed to notice their guise as he and his companion made their way to the humming device, the guardian only pausing his steps just before entering the gateway to turn to his ally in arms.

Bellammere, though a rosy Sylvari at heart, now stood a human before his eyes as she glanced around nervously at the world. There were a great many casting accusations towards the Sylvari people since the discovery of them being tools of the dragon. With safety being a primary concern, an enchantment was placed on a pendant now strung from Bell’s neck, its glittering gem swirling with magic that hid away the nature’s glory of the elementalist and instead gave sight to a thin, human girl.

It was still so odd to see Bell in such a state, every instance Mayynerd turning heel his breath catching in his throat at the stranger stood behind him. She looked so similar yet so different, the guardian often at odds if it were truly her there. But then those rosy eyes of hers would settle on his and his suspicions would erase from his mind. There was no way it wasn’t her standing there…even in her disguise from the judging eyes awaiting them in Lion’s Arch.

Still so thin and small, the short human eyed their surroundings cautiously, fear bubbling up within her of being discovered. Luckily the magic was sound and there hadn’t been an incident yet…but there was always a first time for everything. To the world, all they could see was a tiny-framed human girl with fair skin and reddish tinted hair swooped along her shoulder blade. A bandana was wrapped along her forehead, holding back the unruly locks that threatened to fall into her sight. Her bangs were similar to her swooping petals that used to reside atop her skull. They held a lighter shade, almost a pinkish tint, that accented her locks. Gridlesser had purchased her a new outfit, a pair of capri slacks and a haltered top to go along with her new headband. And on her belt awaited her bell focus and daggers. To the world, she was a working human just making rounds within the city alongside the guardian. There would be no trouble as long as they played their cards right with the correct people.

“You ok Bell?” May asked, his voice quiet to keep the passerbys from glancing their way. “You haven’t spoken a word since we left the tavern. Grid said you barely spoke there either.”

“I’d rather not speak,” her voice was low in tone as her eyes fell to her feet. “I-If that’s alright?”

Fully turning his body towards the woman, Mayynerd’s arms folded along his chest as he eyed his companion carefully. Her stance was flimsy and her body shivered at his notice, giving off her hesitance in wandering about in such a guise. She had expressed her concerns with continuing on jobs in such areas like Lion’s Arch where many had begun to rise up and make their distrust to the Sylvari people known. The Order had assured her she would always be protected within their clan and that the popular opinion of her people was still that they were trustworthy, especially for those that have proven their loyalty to their lands. However, such reassurances did not ease the troubled heart of Bellammere. She had seen the hateful gaze pierce into her very soul already. And by more than one other she had heard deathly threats on her person. All because she was a Sylvari…

“What’s going on Bell? You gotta talk to me or I can’t help you out,” May interrupted with a frown on his lips. The Sylvari’s eyes peeked up at him, concern swimming in her gaze as she gulped hard in her throat. The fear was painted fully across her person…and that would lead to suspicious eyes glancing their way. Mayynerd had to squash such feelings soon or else they’d be in worse circumstances within the city. And he wouldn’t risk his safety, the safety of the job nor would he risk the safety of Bellammere with continuing if he was unable to calm her nerves. “What’s gotten you rattled?”

“I-I spoke to Gilda yesterday. The Charr from the Priory who’s been making runs with Zetzill,” Bellammere began.

“Gearbox Gilda? She was in Hoelbrak?”

“Both of them were. They were in the middle of a mission, hunting a device Eir was believed to have discovered in the mountains. They had stopped for a moment’s rest when they came across Gridlesser and myself. Zetzill had the usual snarky remarks at our expense but Gilda…she was upset about something. Practically holding back tears, it was so strange to see someone viewed so strong to be on the breaking point especially on a mission where appearance is so key,” Bellammere explained, a sympathetic swirl flashing in her gaze as she remembered the scene from the day prior. “I kindly asked her if everything was alright or if she needed anything. I understand that sometimes people just don’t want to share their feelings but I wanted to present her with that opportunity and after a moment she asked to speak to me in private. Grid was hesitant at first but I assured her everything was fine and the two of us departed to find a quieter place to speak.”

May’s brow raised at the story. “She didn’t hurt you, did she?”

Bellammere’s eyes widened at the gesture. “Goodness no, Gilda has been nothing but a friend to me. However, there was clearly something swirling inside of her needing to be released. And once we were alone, the words started pouring out. She spoke of a mission their team had gone on previously, crossing through the Ascaloneon territories. Attreiyu and her were working together as partners, their efforts focused on locating a device to be used in the fight against the dragon. And things were going well until they came across a band of Gilda’s brethren…all of which had some choice words to share with Attreiyu.”

The guardian bit his lip at the news. A large chunk of the Charr race were especially sour of the news of the Sylvari descent, many of them pulling for violence against them in hopes to end the plight of the dragon’s reign. “What happened?”

“Attreiyu took their words in stride, allowing Gilda to handle most of the situation. But then one of the Charr scratched Gilda and the necromancer stepped into the fray to stop their attacks. Only they saw it as the perfect chance to silence him…thus they began overtaking him,” Bellammere paused, her words catching in her throat as her nails pierced into her palms. Her shivering had grown stronger from the fear and pain welling up inside.

“D-Did they-Is he-?”

“Gilda managed to get him back to a Priory base before he slipped from existence thankfully but he is in bad shape from what she explained. The poor thing…she blames herself for allowing things to get that far,” Bellammere struggled to speak. “A-Attreiyu and I have had our differences in the past…he often makes it a point to play games with me and tease me but I know he isn’t a bad person. He is a jerk yet extremely caring especially to those he considers his allies. He isn’t a bad person…yet because he is a Sylvari he is now out of commission for a long while…and was almost killed by someone you would think would be of allied forces against a common enemy.”

Mayynerd suddenly realized his fists were bawled at his side, shaking wildly with the building rage inside him. The world was becoming so desperate…so fucked…that casting the stone upon those who were fighting for a similar cause was becoming much too common now. Attreiyu’s case was a story popping up all over the map, some of them unfortunately not ending with the victim thankfully managing to survive. The fear was real for the Sylvari people, their lives in the balance of what others allowed themselves to think of them. It was able to make someone who used to be so caring…so accepting of others…fear breaking out of their own shell and giving them a chance to prove wrong her growing suspicions.

“I am scared to speak. I’m scared of someone finding out who I am and casting the stone against me. I’m scared May and I feel I can no longer trust anyone…I fear even my friends might begin to doubt me more so than they already have,” Bellammere continued, her eyes falling to her feet once more as she admitted her fears. “I don’t want to die because of what I am. And I fear that if I allow myself to grow even the least bit comfortable with the people I surround myself with…I will meet a similar fate.”

“W-Wait,” Mayynerd stuttered. “You think I’m going to hurt you? You think Grid and all of our friends are going to hurt you too? We’re not the ones casting stones here. We’re-.”

Suddenly there was a frown, a harsh glance May had only seen from the Sylvari choice times in their partnership. “You wanted an honest answer and I’m giving it to you. I want to trust you all with my life. I really do May. But you can not honestly say there hasn’t been doubt in your mind about the Sylvari people since you learned the secret just as we had. We all have doubts. We all have fears. We’re all struggling. I’m scared for my life…I’m genuinely scared for my life and I want to take as many precautions to protect this little speck of being I have in this world.”

May bit hard on his lip, his body still quaking with his mixing emotions just as the Sylvari before him displayed. Tensions were high on both sides and of course there were doubts of what would happen and if their friends were truly trustworthy to a fault. But there was one thing Mayynerd was sure of without a doubt. “I would never hurt you Bell. I want that to be very clear. I would never hurt you and I’m positive Grid would never hurt you too. Corvo may but he wouldn’t do it on purpose. He’s kind of a dick if you think about it. He’s hurt Eavan plenty of times but it was never on purpose. Our friends would never hurt you or mean to. You can take that or leave it, I won’t force you into trusting those words. I just wanted to be the one to say them. And I want you to know that you are right, there has been doubts bubbling up about the Sylvari race for me. But I never once questioned your loyalty. I never once questioned you. If I did, it was a foolish moment where I allowed myself to be selfish in my views. I won’t hurt you ever…and if I ever do, please know I didn’t mean it and I would do everything in my power to make it up to you. But-but please, don’t doubt me here. You can go silent on us all and hold your tongue all through our adventures but-but please know I’m here for you and I will do my part to protect your life.”

 For a moment, there was nothing but silence between them, each companion’s lips pressed together as they ruminated on what was shared there on the path towards the whirling asura gate to Lion’s Arch. There was only stares, each one backed with bubbling thoughts of what was spoken there. And for a bit May believed Bell would continue to hold her truth about speaking and remain a silent companion for the rest of the mission. That is…until she breezed past him with what he could only describe as the trademark Bellammere grin.

“Well then, I’ll be holding you to that promise May. And I promise I will never hurt you or mean to either,” she hummed, the hint of worry still evident in her tone yet the woman prepared to continue forth with trust in her human disguise. “Let’s go kick someone’s butt or whatever it is we’re supposed to be doing.”

“It’s just a retrieval job, we don’t have to kick anyone’s butt this time,” May added with a chuckle, turning heel and following after the Sylvari turned human. Though he still worried about his friend’s state of mind, he knew it best to drop the subject for now until they were in the clear and until they were back with Gridlesser. So he carried on as if nothing happened, mindful to sneak a glance here and there on his companion as they made their way through the portal into Lion’s Arch.

“There’s always butt kicking on our jobs. You know that,” Bell added, another chuckle escaping her lips as they aimed for the crumbled statue at the center of the city. “Thank you May…for sticking by me and all.”

“No need for thanks Bell,” he remarked at her side as they closed in on our their target. “We’re friends after all.”

*~End~*

Projected Remains

AN: I got this idea after going to a movie in one of our historic theaters recently and I just now found a few seconds to write about it. Anyway, I’m not sure it really goes along with the DH rp. I’m not sure if this technology existed in the world, if its still available for the rich people, or what. I just really thought it would be neat to write about though. xD Taji can always correct me later. Hope you guys enjoy!

A thick layer of dust encased the decrepit remains of the old movie theater, stadium seats lined in rows barely holding their own in the presence of the tattered screen at the head of the room. A relic of a destination, Bayelei stood upon the steps eyeing every inch of property with a sound sigh. The place was a dump, similar to the rest of the abandoned hovels throughout the land. There was simply no purpose left there, its rotting corpse a figment of its past glories. Shuffling her boot upon the dust, the hunter held in a cough in her throat as she inwardly cursed. In the grand scheme of her thoughts, it was no secret when it came to how Bayelei spent her days she’d rather be hard at work on a hunt than a prop within the exploration of ruins. For any other, she’d be long gone from the scene and off to send her blade into the hide of a dragon.

But this job wasn’t for any other. When it came to Martin, Bayelei found herself more and more indulging into his wishes than her own. And when he offered her a job as an escort for the day to an abandoned line of buildings in search for piececs of interest…she couldn’t bring herself to say no. Even in wake of her lungs filling with dust and debris and the floor perhaps caving in under her boots altogether, Bayelei was going to stick by the older Jamerson brother in his own personal hunt for the technologies then left forgotten.

 The shuffling from the projector room was prominent within the creaking decay of the theater, the hunter carefully taking each step towards where she knew Martin tinkered away at the relics hiding within. The occasional flash from his reliable flashlight beamed through the window, casting its dull light upon the screen which used to showcase such magnificent films from the days before Serpent’s Dawn. Soon Bayelei finally made her way to the box office and reached for the door’s handle. It was rusted and worn, yet still able to manage a twist despite the voluminous protest as it turned with her wrist. With a hearty push to ease the wooden door from its most comforted position, the hunter then made her way inside.

Sure enough, there was Martin lost in his own little world. The older Jamerson brother was hard at work, one hand holding tight to his flashlight while the other juggled tools with an astounding ease. His attention was focused squarely on the old projector nailed to the creaking floorboards, the device already practically in pieces thanks to his work. He seemed so at home as he peeked inside, the inner workings a marvel of wonder as he witnessed the relic for what it truly was.

Bayelei crept up on the working mechanic, her eyes wide at his showcase of talents as she tried so hard not to interrupt his efforts. Unfortunately, nothing she could do to prevent it would stop the floorboards from sounding off with a resound bellow of protest. Martin’s gaze lifted from the device to look upon the guest, his efforts still continuing at full force to tackle the intricate details within the projector’s casing.

“Curious?” He asked, a chuckle escaping his lips as he winked the woman’s way. Bayelei rolled her eyes at the question, her arms folding along her chest as she felt the disturbed dust rising into the air and teasing her breathing. “I’m shocked to find a piece like this still intact. I would have thought scavengers would have looted the place clean by now.”

“This hunk of junk probably proved too troublesome to deal with. It’s nailed to the floorboards. The effort in removal is usually the driving force on whether items get looted or left to rot,” the hunter retorted, her focus on the man still at work on the projector. “With the theater’s state, it was also probably too dangerous in their eyes to mess with it. You should probably not linger there too long less you find yourself falling through. No one wants that.”

“Don’t you worry, I’m being careful,” he hummed in response, another wink to his companion as he carefully placed his tools down and shined the light through the haze of dust towards her. “Actually Baye, mind stepping my way a second? I could really use an extra set of hands here.”

A frown played on the woman’s lips, “wasn’t I hired here as a guardian?”

“You were and you’re doing a splendid job as always,” Martin answered, a small pout forming on his lips as looked her way. “Come now Baye, it will be just a few moments of your time.”

“I don’t work well with tools, you know that better than anyone,” she admitted, her eyes avoiding his stare as she shrugged along with the request. “I’d honestly do more harm than good don’t you agree.”

“You’re learning though, you put yourself down way too much Baye. You’ve improved a lot and I’d rather have you as my second in command than Jarrell honestly. That lazy bum has a tendency to skip steps and damage the pieces instead,” the older Jamerson brother managed with a grin. “There’s nothing to worry about. In truth, I just need you to hold the torch for a second so I can have my hands free.”

Bayelei narrowed her gaze upon the man, “so I’m your spotlight then?”

“Sure are,” he mused without pause, the man outstretching his hand with the flashlight towards his companion. She continued to eye it harshly but soon with a reluctant sigh escaping her lips Bayelei settled in beside him as carefully as possible and took the light into her grasps. “My hero!”

“Keep teasing me and I’ll have to send a fist into your ribcage,” Baye huffed as she shined the light on the inner workings of the projector, her eyes wide at the notice of the gears and belts waiting there. A busted bulb waited at the center compartment, surrounded by the components that were the ticking lifeblood of the projector itself. Nothing seemed to be working now, power long since gone from this stretch of the city. However, even with the neglect of the device from years upon years of solitude, the projector’s workings were all still seemingly in good condition. “It almost seems like it could be fired off at any moment and run an entire film.”

“If power was still running to the building and the main bulb wasn’t completely busted, I’d agree with you. It seems even with the lack of attention the projector aged quite well. I can repurpose all these gears and such for the guild. Hell, I’ve even found some canisters of film still in working order. I’d love to get those massive canisters home if I could,” Martin shared, a hint of appreciation in his tone as he used tools to carefully remove belts and gears with ease from the inner workings of the projector. Each one was carefully placed down inside his pack, the man mindful of each piece as he worked. Bayelei eyed him with interest, almost mesmerized by his abilities as he practically gutted the relic in a moment’s time. Soon, he leaned back onto the dusty floorboards after slipping all of the tools back in the pack, a heavy sigh escaping his lips as he grinned. “Without your help, this could have taken hours if not days. You’re a lifesaver Baye.”

Lowering the light from the projector, the hunter managed a nod as she seemingly blushed at the comment. Her lips pressed together to hold in her stutters, Bayelei soon climbing to her feet with a hand held out to the relaxing man stretched out on the dusty floor.

Martin raised a brow at her actions, “in a hurry then?”

“Clearly it’s not safe to remain here for long. The floorboards are practically begging for release,” she answered, barely able to form a proper sentence without shifting her gaze away from her companion. “L-Let’s go Martin.”

“Well, if my hero feels it’s too dangerous to remain, who am I to argue?” The older Jamerson mused, gratefully taking hold of the offered hand and climbing to his feet with the help of his companion. Carefully zipping up his pack, Martin threw the bag over his shoulder and began to follow the woman out of the box. Slowly descending down the stairs, the man however paused as he turned his attention to the rows of seats within the theater. Though many of them were practically unusable, decrepit husks of their former selves, there were still a few seats able to be used.

Feeling his presence paused behind her, Bayelei turned to eye the man in question. “What’s the hold up, Martin?” She asked, her eyes following his every move as he slipped his pack onto the stairs and instead made his way to a pair of seats still functioning despite the age and lack of care. Carefully he tended to the layers of dust on the leather, wiping the upholstery clean before taking a seat in one of the chairs. It creaked in protest but stayed in one piece, the man grinning as he lounged back and allowed his feet to hang on the row of seats before him. “What on earth are you doing?”

“Come sit with me, Baye,” he hummed with a wink, the woman’s frown receiving a chuckle from him as he waved her over. “Come on, it won’t kill you.”

“Lord knows what molds have grown in this place. It could kill me to sit down,” she grumbled but soon found herself slowly making her way to his side. Gently she took a seat next to him, the chair uncomfortable to sit in as she sighed. “Why would you want to sit here in these seats anyway?”

Martin gestured towards the tattered screen at the head of the theater, his smile brimming on his lips as he allowed his arm to settle along the back of her seat. “This was once a theater buzzing with life, films pouring out from the projector and displaying on that very screen for all the audience to see. A spectacle to see. And you know, it was also a perfect date spot for people too.”

Raising a brow, Bayelei managed a chuckle as she allowed her head to rest on his shoulder. Despite the uncomfortable feeling of sitting in the chair, she took comfort in being by his side. “A date spot you say? So that was your plan all along then?”

“Well, it wasn’t the reason for coming out here but it’s certainly an added bonus,” Martin answered with a chuckle of his own, his head resting upon her dark locks. “A nice afternoon adventure of us watching a film at a theater.”

“Did you hit your head? There’s no film on that screen dummy.”

“I know that. But it doesn’t hurt to use our imaginations right?” He hummed with a nod to the screen. “Use that vivid imagination I know you have, Baye. What are we watching today?”

Pausing a moment to think on the question, Bayelei mentioned with a grin, “something full of explosions.”

Bursting out into a fit of laughter, the man grinned with a nod, “no romantic evening is complete without an action flick full of explosions. Ha, I knew you were my kind of girl Baye.” He hugged her shoulders tight as they watched their imaginations paint a film on the tattered canvas. “Thanks Baye for coming along-.”

“Shh, we’re getting to the good part!” The hunter interrupted with a jab at the man’s ribs, Martin left a chuckling mess as he held tight to his companion. All the while she looked on in awe, mesmerized by the film playing before them that only they could see.

*~End~*

GW2 RP 3 – Taji and Mae

AN: Taji and I were discussing the future expansion of Guild Wars 2 and our ideas for future characters and soon this RP came to being 2/28/15. This RP is ongoing so updates will appear periodically. Also funny tidbit, when Taji sent the RP email the subject was Get RP which was an accident lol but I just kept laughing because it reminded me of got milk xD anyway hope you guys enjoy! Rhyne and Damon are awesomesauce!

Tajiface: The moisture hung tight in the air and clung even tighter to Rhyne. He hastily swiped a hand over his forehead to clear the distracting strands of red hair which stuck there. He nestled closer to the tree limb, careful to stay within the shade which hid him from any moonlight. On missions such as these he normally traveled as light weight as possible, and he felt his movements come easier while not bogged down with heavy armor and weapons. A part of him felt more comfortable in his traditional, light weight thieving garments because he could rely on sharpened reflexes to carry him away from danger instead of the more defensible skills of his revenant  training.

He lowered himself even more when he saw movement within the Jackdaw pirate encampment. Two outward guards were clearly drunk as they swayed through their patrol. Rhyne figured two of his darts laced with a sleep tonic would easily knock the two out. The entrance into the encampment was simple enough, it was the next steps which caused Rhyne worry. He could hear the loud celebration of the other pirates behind the wooden barriers. No doubt they were boasting about their successful theft from The Pact. The others of the camp were most likely in a state similar to the two guards, but Rhyne couldn’t guarantee that. He didn’t have time to properly case the area either. The Inquest agents were already at the party, and would leave with The Pact’s stolen device in the morning. If Rhyne didn’t retrieve the device tonight it was likely gone forever into their hands.

The jungle would provide enough cover for Rhyne’s entrance and departure. Animals and all kinds of creatures sang in the night, creating enough noise to cover any slight sounds he would make taking out pirates. The actual infiltration, however, I’d what worried Rhyne.

He took a deep breath and placed the dagger he had been clutching into its sheath at his side. Without taking his eyes off of the two guards he slipped a hand within the inside of his light coat. He easily pulled out two darts and spaced them between two fingers. He waited a breath more before deftly leaping off his hiding place on the tree’s branch and ran at the two guards.

The first did not react in time to prevent Rhyne from plunging the dart into his neck. As the first fell Rhyne twisted and kicked a foot into the other’s stomach, causing the guard to cough and drop his now drawn blade. Rhyne had the second dart in his neck before the guard even fully hit the ground. He didn’t wait to make sure the darts properly knocked the two out. He knew the tonic did not fail. He hopped up and grabbed onto the wooden wall. He scaled the height and quickly climbed into the beams supporting the wooden structures beyond it. He pressed himself against the wood and took a breath once he knew he was hidden. He was in.

Maeeverglow: Drip. Drop. Drip. Drop.

Damon’s ears caught each steady drop of liquid from the bars of his cage, the rhythmic sound leaving him mesmerized as he eyed the stars and swirling smoke overhead. He was so close, he could almost taste the sweet victory on his tongue. If only he hadn’t made that costly mistake with allowing the bandits to snag the prize before him. Greedy thoughts got the best of him however and with possibly more treasures to add to his trove, the Imp followed close at their heels as they made their way back to their camp. He followed them to where the trove was hidden away from sight. And he would have gotten away with it all…if it hadn’t been for the damn Inquest catching him by surprise.

Hollers from their parties swallowed the entirety of the camp, Damon eyeing the shadowy prison along the walls. He’d been thrown on his back, his wrists bound behind him and his gear ripped from his person. A small trail of blood had dried on his lip, his bruises and scars the least of his worries as the thief thought what to do next.

Without his daggers, he had nothing to defend himself with nor anything to amplify his link with the elementals. Flames burned inside of heart but could not emerge onto the physical plane, no matter how much he willed it so. The scolding words of Bellammere echoed in Damon’s mind and he frowned, knowing she’d have a field day as soon as she received word of what happened.

‘Stealing for the sake of stealing will only end in disaster. You take too many risks in living a dishonest life. You can only remain unscathed for so long. You continue your actions, don’t come seeking my help when it comes crashing down upon you.’

“Rosa’s so strange, worrying over nothing. I’ll just have to show her I can handle things on my own,” Damon muttered, closing off his dark eyes to rely on his hearing. He was always so good at listening to the world around him; his ears never failed him unlike his sight. The usual party sounds could be heard further into the camp as well as the sound of scuffling somewhere. Focusing on his radius, the Sylvari began to work on his bindings. If he could break from them, the surrounding bars would be no match for his strength and his flames.

Tajiface: Rhyne took at least a few moments to survey the encampment. It wasn’t as large as the main encampment the Jackdaw pirates claimed, but it certainly was spacious… Which worked out better for Rhyne; more space meant more cover. Sure enough a bonfire burned brightly in the middle of the camp. The Inquest representatives sat hunched together at one end of the fire while the pirates, mixed with all races, hollered and danced excitedly around the fire between trips to the keg. There were at least a dozen surrounding the fire, not including the Inquest agents. Rhyne glanced around the buildings with no luck. There was no way of knowing how many more pirates were possibly in the buildings sleeping or tending to other business.

Rhyne waited until a passing couple were far enough away to not notice his descent. As soon as he lowered himself to the ground he swiftly made his way to the makeshift prison. He figured the prison was most likely to hold the Pact device along with their other loot, as it was the most secure area in the encampment. The prison itself was a pathetic excuse for defense in Rhyne’s opinion. Like all Jackdaw encampments this one was made of broken ship parts, which meant roofs not truly connected to walls. Rhyne saw several openings above the walls which seemed just big enough to allow him passage.

The door was left unguarded even, much to Rhyne’s surprise. He supposed the two guards here had joined the festivities. He didn’t bother with the door’s lock and instead vaulted the framing so he could scuttle between the openings. The opening proved a right squeeze. Rhyne desperately pulled himself through with just a few scrapes.

Without looking he plopped onto the ground of the prison. He stayed crouched and near the wall in deep shadows.

Normally Rhyne took his time examining his surroundings before making a move. Once he saw the device, a luminescent sphere covered in vines, sitting on the table within a cell just on the other side of the prison he couldn’t help himself. He darted across the room without heed of the other surroundings. A voice from another cell, however, caused him to skid to a half on the dirty flooring.

He cursed inwardly, freezing in place. He carefully turned to the occupied cell, hopeful its occupant hadn’t noticed him…

(I totally don’t know anything about Jackdaw pirates LOL so that’s probably all not right hahaha)

Maeeverglow: Damon practically envisioned a guard entering the prison from the sounds his ears received in the darkness, the Sylvari’s eyes forcing open as he stared at the newcomer. A wave of shock settled in as he took in the position of the man outside his cell, the shady movements revealing themselves with ease. It was another damn thief. Perhaps the prize was beginning to attract more than its fair share.

With a steady blink, he said as calmly as he could, “what a lovely evening, huh Red?”

Tajiface: Rhyne took in the other’s current predicament, and noticed the bindings. He relaxed slightly with a deep breath.

He remained without expression as he regarded the other with one last glance. Twenty seconds was all he needed to pick the door’s lock. Should this prisoner give him away he was positive he could have the door open and be off with the device before a drunken pirate could respond. Without a reply Rhyne went to the cell door housing the pirate’s loot. He took out his picks and began work on the lock.

(LOL Rhyne is not much of a talker xD)

Maeeverglow: “Red’s giving me the silent treatment. Mannerless. I have a talent for finding your kind,” Damon breathed, his eyes narrowed as he watched the newcomer begin to work on the lock. “Hey Red, what do you think you’re doing?”

No answer. Honestly Damon wasn’t surprised. The Sylvari growled and found himself working faster on his bindings around his wrist, every turn of his arm providing necessary leverage against the ropes. He had to break free. There was no way he’d be so easily overtaken by some thief that walked into his job.

The binds loosened and without a second thought Damon’s wrists were freed, his eyes ablaze as he leapt easily to his feet. Every bit of his concentration was centered on the elements at his disposal, flames sparking at his fingertips as he gripped hard onto the bars and felt them beginning to melt under his hold. A wicked grin graced his lips as he raised his free hand and allowed fire to dance in his palm as he eyed Rhyne down.

“Oy Red, mind stepping away from my prize yeah? I’m not keen on sharing mind you,” Demonburnt hummed, working his way with ease on the bars and soon stepping out into his freedom. A record time for his escapes…perhaps if he ever found himself in such a predicament again, he’d best imagine some dickhole trying to take his treasure from him. “I’ll play nice if you can manage Red. Just back away and no one’s gotta burn.”

Tajiface: Rhyne felt the flames behind him just as he finished with the lock. An elementalist could be tricky to handle, especially one with such control of flames. Rhyne could sense the raw power coming off the Sylvari. If he wasn’t careful his next moments might be his last. Leaving the device here and failing the mission because of death was unacceptable.

Rhyne rushed past the opened door into the cell. He reached for the device and stopped abruptly, remembering the Asuran Pact scientist’s warnings about touching the device bare handed. He knew he didn’t have time to dig through the gold and trinkets around him for something to pick the device up with. He bit his lip… There was only one option. He unwrapped the purple cloth he kept tightened around his left forearm. He wrapped the cloth around his hand instead, cringing slightly at the branded ‘E’ on his skin which was now in plain sight.

(So basically the “brand” on his arm is a mark that the leader of that group made every member get… The group was notorious for various assassinations and other nasty things, but it’s well known that there are only three surviving members, who are notorious for their own extreme skills, so anyone who knows the story of that group would recognize the brand… Just some random tidbit of his story hahaha)

Rhyne grabbed the device firmly and held it behind him. With his other hand he drew his dagger, keeping it steady by his side. He was cornered in the cell now with only one blocked exit. Not an ideal escape situation, but Rhyne thought he could manage.

“You are interfering with my objective,” Rhyne stated plainly, ignoring the Sylvari’s earlier demands. “Stand aside, or I’ll have to not play nicely.”

Maeeverglow: (Lol unfortunately Damon doesn’t know shit xD so he’ll just be like whatevs don’t take my prize bish)

Damon turned his nose to the actions of the other, his eyes burning as flames began to completely engulf his readied hands. In a swift motion the Sylvari kicked the wall at his side, his abandoned gear soaring through the air before slipping onto his raised arm. He debated removing the daggers from his sheath but he decided he wouldn’t need them…not yet anyway.

“Red does know how to speak. Talking all tough. This should be fun,” he mused and prepared to launch forward, a sudden jolt in the earth raising a brow from the man as he glanced towards where the partying fools awaited outside. An earthquake? Granted a mild one but still what an odd time for such an anomaly. It seemed unnatural…almost purposeful…perhaps like Rhyne’s appearance there may have been another making themselves known that night. Shouts sounded off in the evening air and it seemed the pirates and their guests had begun to react to the quake, leaving less time to act on his escape. “Damn it all, so much for taking my sweet time. What the hell you trying to do Red?”

(Possible problems for them, do with it what you will ;P it can easily be swayed to more people leaving the camp instead of finding them if that’s the route you’d like to take. I just wanted to cause more of a ruckus from our next guest aka Bell)

Tajiface: (SO I wanted to use revenant skills, but since we don’t know much about the profession yet I just kind of used a combination of Byron’s ability to personify memories, but made it so Rhyne summons aspects of legends to enhance his fighting… Hopefully it’ll work for now! He’s read a ton of dragon lore, so his ‘specialty’ is summing dragon aspects)

Rhyne kept steady through the jolts of both the Sylvari’s attack on the wall and the sudden tremor. He closed his eyes and focused on the energies he’d learned to call on from the Mist. He felt the air prickle around him with magic as he summoned aspects from legends past. Even though his eyes were closed he was aware of his surroundings through the summoning. He channeled these energies on a certain dragon of ice plaguing the north. The air around him chilled and he could feel the energy flowing into him, making his muscles tight with the need for action. The dagger flowed dangerously in his right hand while the device suddenly started to hum in his left.

The earth trembled beneath his feet again. There was definitely another elementalist near. Judging from the angry shouting Rhyne figured the new comer was no friend of theirs. He feared this Sylvari might have a partner coming to rescue him. He needed to get out now.

Rhyne surged forward. With the dragon’s aspect he forced the air to whip up into a bitter wind and forced it towards the Sylvari. He ran at the same wall he had climbed through earlier. He thrust the dagger into the wood with an unnatural strength and used it to pull himself up quicker. Without a need to cover his noise he easily pushed through the opening and to the other side.

He leaped to the ground and rushed past confused, and drunk, pirates. He felt slightly less armed since both hands were occupied and he couldn’t use his poisoned darts for aide. He navigated as best he could towards the entrance he had used earlier. Before he could reach his destination, however, a golem suddenly appeared.

He lunged at it, but already his aspect’s strength was draining. The golem lifted an arm to block his attack then easily swung him away. He rolled on the ground twice before climbing to his feet again.

Now an Inquest agent stood proudly beside the golem. Rhyne kept his eyes closed, holding onto the aspect as long as possible, and couldn’t actually see the asura. He could sense the aura of the Inquest agent, however, and it was not pretty.

In trainings Rhyne was skilled at summoning the initial aspect with a powerful burst. Keeping an aspect manifested in this world from the Mists… Well, he wasn’t so good at that.

“Hand over the device, plebeian,” the Inquest agent shouted over the chaos of the battle around them. “I promise your painful death will be only slightly less painful.”

(I just wanted to get Damon and Rhyne into the battle outside xD)

Maeeverglow: (Love it xD Rhyse is so badass! I can’t wait to see more from him)

A surge of cold wiped through the narrow confines of the prison, the once confident Sylvari stumbling back on his heels. A curse howled into the air as he struggled to remain on his feet, his burning gaze following the thief as he escaped with immense speed. Something was odd about that man, his abilities those Damon had never seen before. They were odd…yet fascinating. He had to learn more, understand what brought on such unimaginable strength and magic.

Just the thought of discovering such secrets brought forth the wickedness within his soul, his toothy grin glittering in the wake of his flaming grasps as he quickly snatched both daggers from their sheaths. The weapons acted as an amplifier for his elemental drive, the flames wrapping completely up his arms and rounding his chest. They traveled all across his body, setting the darkness ablaze as he cackled.

“Heh, wait for me Red. The fun’s just getting started!” Damon called into the night as the flames fully engulfed the Sylvari, his body launching into the air and smashing through the prison walls with ease. A speeding fireball, he rushed through the camp with his sights set fully on Rhyne. Then to the Inquest and his golem pet standing across from his new interest, the thief skidding to a halt beside the man. “Oy, even more guests for the party? Things just keep getting better and better.”

Another rumble of the earth and more and more shouts echoed through the night, the Sylvari’s sights flashing for a moment beyond the camp’s walls. Something was coming, something powerful. A thought crossed his mind if he’d hurry the fun along and get back his treasure or if he’d stale as long as possible to see what could possibly be causing such a ruckus beyond their position. Damon supposed in the end that he’d play it by ear. It all depended on how much fun the enemies and Rhyne allowed him to have.

Tajiface: “Will you stop following me already?” Rhyne grumbled at the Sylvari, surprising even himself.

The dragon aspect was beginning to weaken, and with its departure his strength was leaving as well. He was beginning to feel panicked that this mission might turn into a failure after-all. He absolutely did not want to allow that.

He pulled from the Mists one more time. The magic swam from the dead world into his aspect. He could feel the strength returning even if it was only going to be for a moment. He threw the dagger directly at the asura, bolstering the flying weapon with a frosty wind, then he took off. He heard the asura scream in pain behind him, then cursing and directions given to the golem. Rhyne frowned. The dagger must have missed its target at the asura’s heart.

He glanced behind just in time to see the golem’s detached arm flying towards him. It was moving too fast for him to dodge. All he could do was raise an arm to help soften the blow as he rolled to the ground, the device forced out of his hand and rolled away. Without thinking he reached out for the device with his unwrapped right hand. Immediately he knew he had made a major mistake.

The device almost roared with the buzzing sound as soon as he touched it with bare skin. The vines of the device writhed beneath his touch. A vine whipped out and lashed at this arm, ripping skin and flesh in its wake. He cried out and tried to drop the device, but it had latched onto his hold. Air was knocked out of him as he felt the summoned aspect forcefully yanked away from him. The device absorbed all that magic energy and didn’t stop there. Rhyne could feel it tapping into his very strength, he felt like it was taking away even his own life energy. In a last moment of desperation he kicked at the vines until it finally detached. The device dropped to the ground, still buzzing with newfound life.

Rhyne knew he had to run, but all he could manage was laying on the jungle’s grassy ground. Breathing was difficult for some reason. He had to force himself to take a slow, steady breath every few seconds. He remembered this feeling from his training, when aspects would suddenly break on him. Dropping a connection suddenly with the Mists was difficult for a living body to handle. On top of that he felt as though he had no physical energy left either. He could see blood from his injured arm seeping the ground around him. No matter how many times he tried he just couldn’t will himself to his feet, though.

The Inquest agent was now hovering over the device with a wicked grin. Rhyne’s dagger had ripped through the agent’s shoulder, leaving a bloody mess. The agent didn’t seem concerned with the injury, however, as he gleefully stared at the device.

“Quick, quick, pick it up!” The agent yelled at the golem, then turned to Rhyne. “Then stomp on this imbecile so we can start on this fool with the fire.”

Maeeverglow: The scene played out before Damon, the Sylvari gawking at the device’s reaction to the touch of bare skin. He could see Rhyne struggling to breathe, his arm a bloodied mess and his body unable to lift from the harsh ground below. Perhaps it was a saving grace to have this thief step into the fray after all, if he hadn’t Damon could have been left in such a position or worse. Not only was this newcomer one of fascinating power…he also brought forth such knowledge the Imp rather not learn firsthand through his own actions.

“Oy Red, feeling a little down are ya? Heh, the device is my prize. You took my prize. Thus I followed. Now if you’ll excuse me,” his grin glittered as the flames completely surrounded his body, a separate flaming entity rolling from his stance and launching at the bumbling golem threatening forward. The asura continued to bark orders despite the golem’s tango with the flame elemental, a gasp soon erupting from his throat as the flame-armored Sylvari darted forward with his daggers at the ready. “Gotta boil some Inquest blood.”

Damon’s movements were fluid, each accent sharp as he sliced through the air. The small body of the asura frantically dodged each attack, his skin burning at the closeness of the flames ripping past. All the while his gun was raised in hopes to shoot the fiery beast that stood against him. Alas, the dance kept on and there wasn’t a chance for a clean shot. Damon’s wicked grin grew more harsh by the second, the flames engulfing him once more as he found his chance. The asura had grown sloppy in his stance, leaving his heart completely open to his enemy.

Stab.

The flaming blade of the dagger sunk into the Inquest’s skin, a deafening shriek roaring from his throat as his entire tiny form was swallowed up in a fearsome inferno. Damon stood poised, his fiery armor now engulfing the shriveling mess that was once a living enemy. Soon the flames disapated and all that was left was a blackened husk of melted skin and bone, the thief eyeing his work with a satisfaction before he looked towards the golem and his elemental pet.

The winged being, whom he thought would have handled the golem without fail, was struggling. Each swipe of his fiery claws was deemed useless from the golem’s shields, the mechanical being easily slicing through its limbs. Flame resistance. Of course the golem’s specialty had to be flame resistance.

“Damn mechanical beast,” Damon shouted as he watched his elemental pop from existence with a final blow from the golem, the Sylvari beginning to stomp over to try his hand at the beast. However, another jolt from the earth and the Imp barely had time to roll back as the camp’s walls suddenly broke through, a rather large rock golem bursting through and throwing its boulder arms against the unprepared mechanical being. Damon’s eyes widened at the sight, the elemental nothing he could ever manage to conjure up on his own. His specialty was flames, something he’d trained since he’d first emerged from the dream. Because of his fascinations, the other elements had fallen by the wayside and there was never a time he could truly hope to bring forth such power by the side of the other elements. His suspicions were sound, another elementalist had walked into the fray. “D-Damn it all, I don’t have time for-.”

The last words never rolled off the Sylvari’s tongue as he saw a thin figure step from the whirling smokescreen bellowing from the fallen debris of the walls. A rosy blur rushed into the camp and immediately darted towards Damon, his daggers quickly sheathed as he held out his arms to the newcomer.

“Rosa, you wanted to join the party too? All you had to do was ask. Or maybe you heard there was a little mishap and I got a wee bit captured. Ha, all things good now so-,” the Imp paused as Bellammere easily sidestepped the Sylvari and instead made her way to Rhyse’s side, her eyes following each disgusting wound with a panic. Damon turned towards the sight, his arms still holding at the air for someone to rush into his hold. “Oy Rosa, you missed.”

“Shut up you dolt, I warned you not to come here. Look at the state of this man, this could have been you!” Bell sneered, her tone harsher than Damon ever thought possible. He could see the whirled aura of concern about the woman as she concentrated on her connection with the elements. With one hand still attuned to her rock golem facing off against the mechanical beast of the Inquest, the other now bubbled with the cooling water of healing. “Sir, I ask you remain still, I am unsure how much I can help but I will try my best to assist you.”

“Rosa, what are you-?” Damon began but fell silent as he watched the woman gently place her hand upon the injured arm without pause for the fallen man’s consent, the water seeping into each bloodied wound as she closed her eyes from the world. The amount of power to wield more than a single element at a time was rather unfounded, many believing it to be impossible to manage. It took supreme concentration and trust in the elements, something Bell surely succeeded at. Her kindness and abilities surged a mighty alliance with fire, air, water and earth. And with that alliance, she grew more and more into a force not to be trifled with. Of course, it was rare she went into such displays of power. After all, she was not a huge fan of battling others. But when the time came for her to stand, the Sylvari did not disappoint.

Turning his gaze back towards the fighting golems, the Imp gasped as the mechanical beast roared in panic. One of its arms had been completely ripped from its socket, tossed to the side like a ragdoll while the rock golem began to work on its other limbs. The shields were long gone and sparks flew from the exposed wires left in the wake of its injuries. No doubt Bell frowned on such treatment, even if the creature receiving it was not truly alive. Yet the simple matter of the situation deemed the force of hand necessary, something she’d likely remind Damon later once they were safely out of reach from the remaining pirates and Inquest in the area.

With a final blow the rock golem punched straight through the paneling of the Inquest’s golem as its hum of life deafened, soon crumbling limp on the ground without hope of repair. The elemental stood proud of its accomplishments before also crumbling, its time from the earth seemingly up. The job was done, it could rest. Damon grinned at the sight before turning once more to the abandoned device on the ground, his hands ready for the taking as he inched forward towards it. Without thinking, he would of scooped up the prey…if not for a sudden encasement of stone surrounding the device and halting his hands from further approaching.

“Oy, Rosa-!”

“Don’t touch it Damon. You’ve seen what it can do. Use your bloody head for once in your life!” The woman hissed, the healing waters beginning to dissipate as she cursed and raised her hand from the arm. Though some of the wounds were cared for there was still so much work left to be done. She doubted the man had enough energy to rise to his feet alone. She needed more time to work on him. But their position was in such a dangerous location…she couldn’t risk them staying there any longer. With a guarantee the man would be alright with her actions, she slowly lifted to her feet with him in her hold. She grunted at the heavy body in her arms, her struggles evident with each step she managed towards the device now swallowed by rock. Carefully she lifted the guarded device in her hold before glaring towards the pouting Damon reaching towards the item in question. “Don’t just stand there Damon, help me carry him. There isn’t a moment to lose!”

“B-But Rosa, that’s my trea-!”

“Now Damon!” Bell snapped, her eyes ablaze with flames as she narrowed them in his direction. The Imp flinched at the tone emphasized by the fire and he quickly did what he was told, carefully throwing Rhyne’s other arm over his shoulder as they began their escape from the shouting fools pursuing them.

“Angry Rosa killing all the fun, I swear.”

“Angry Rosa is going to burn you to a crisp if you don’t shut up and help. Now come on!”

(Lol Damon brings out the fire in Bell 😀 also feel free to timeskip or add in some things. I just wanted to write a huge scene. Hope you like it!)

Tajiface: Rhyne could not believe what he had done. In fact, his decision was so unbelievable his landlord deliberately took her time dressing his wounds. The female Norn almost completely ignored him even as she wrapped crisp bandages around the slashes on his arm. She instead focused a glare at the two Sylvari currently in his abode.

“Five years you bring no guests, you hardly even stay here yourself,” she gestured towards the two strangers behind him. “Then you show up with a busted arm and two shrubs carrying you in, and you’re telling me everything is alright?”

Rhyne shrugged, and then winced when it pulled at her handiwork. The Sylvari’s healing magic certainly helped with the pain. The wound looked shockingly open still, even despite the burst of healing magic. Earlier He had tried to sneak the two in without his landlord noticing. They got pretty far into the lodging actually, but a neighbor’s child had spotted them and in no time Isolda graced his door.

He liked Isolda because she was a retired adventurer, so she was a bit more accommodating than other landlords about his long absences from the property. He made sure she was paid and she did not fret over his often long excursions away from Lion’s Arch. Rhyne also came to admire Isolda simply because she cared about her tenants in a roundabout way. Instead of a mother hen she was more like a mother wolverine; she let her kids play until they got hurt, then came the claws. Unfortunately she tended to scold her kids more than those who hurt them… And Rhyne was often one to be scolded. Still, while she grumbled about his dangerous mistakes he always counted on her to tend his wounds when Pact healers were spread too thin.

“Don’t you just shrug, you blasted slob.” Isolda narrowed her eyes as she tugged especially hard on a bandage.

Inadvertently he tried to tug his arm away only to be pulled back by the Norn’s strong hold. Isolda reached behind her for scissors she had placed on the small table he kept beside the couch he called his bed. She had shoved all the books and odd trinkets which had accumulated on the small table over the years, along with layers of dust. The table was just like the rest of his small apartment. Various volumes of books and scrolls took up any empty space on the few pieces of furniture he had. He had even started piling stacks of books into boxes on the floor. On top of these he kept the trinkets he had acquired over his missions with the Priory and the Pact.

A single window at the top of his loft barely allowed any evening sunlight through it’s dust covered panes. He focused on each individual speck which flew through the coarse beams.

He turned his attention back to Isolda when he heard more grumbling. She widened her eyes at his arm and muttered something about the bleeding. Rhyne quickly realized blood was already seeping through the bandages again. He turned to where he had draped his coat over the back of the couch and pulled out one of the darts stashed away. He plunged the dart into his arm without a second though, which startled a curse out of Isolda.

Rhyne had to suppress a grin at the outburst. “It thins the blood, should help with the bleeding.”

Isolda rolled her eyes and began packing her medical kit away.

“You still owe me an explanation about the shrubs here.”

“They’re called Sylvari, and they’re standing right next to you, be polite.” Rhyne rolled the shoulder of his injured arm, mentally checking just how much the injury limited his abilities.

Rhyne wish he could offer a reasonable explanation to himself even. Isolda spoke the truth, this was the first time he had ever taken guests to his living space. He had made a split decision to keep the device within his sights, at least. He didn’t know anything about these two Sylvari, but the second one seemed to be concerned with his well-being. He would have to think of a strategy to get the device back in his possession without revealing too much about it.

“I don’t have to be polite in my own damn property.” Isolda snapped back. She stomped to the door and sent one final glare at the two Sylvari. “If you even think about causing a ruckus here you’ll have more than just Lion’s Guard to worry about. You’ll have to worry about me.”

With that she slammed the door and Rhyne could hear her stomps beating on the wooden flooring as she walked away.

Rhyne adjusted his seat in the couch before turning to his impromptu guests. “Sorry to drag you all the way here. This is one of the safest places I know.”

Maeeverglow: Damon whistled as he searched every nook and cranny of the thief’s apartment, his eyes scanning each piece with interest. His fingers itched to scoop up as many treasures as possible, everything seeming so valuable and worthy of his attention. There was little care for the Norn now casting glares in his direction and harsh words he often chose to ignore, the Sylvari’s priorities clearly on his expanding trove of prizes.

Bellammere however refused to take her eyes off Rhyne. She stood poised, straight in stature as she followed Isolda’s movements. A flash of concern shined from her gaze as she noticed the wounded arm’s wretched state. And when the Norn showed her authority before departing, the woman offered a nod of understanding for fear of opening her mouth to speak. Only when she’d disappeared from the apartment did Bell then answer.

“She reminds me of Corvo.”

The familiar name sparked interest for her companion as Damon turned his gaze to glance upon her, “you mean Smiles?”

“Yes, you should definitely call him that to his face,” Bell answered, a mild chuckle rising from her throat before she stepped forward. Crossing the threshold with a swift pace, the Sylvari soon stood before the seated man. Without pause, she leaned forward and scooped the man’s face into her hold. Their eyes were level, her usual greeting for those she first meets. “A proper first encounter should always be made when one is able to look another in the eye.”

“Oy you know Griddles mentioned that before that you got that quirk about you Rosa. But hey you never did that with me,” Damon scuffed, returning to his search of the room.

“Would you like me to do it to you Damon? Would that make you feel better?” The Sylvari joked without glancing away from the man in her hold, the sound of her companion grumbling a clear answer that he’d not be interested in such an ordeal, at least not with the present company nearby. “Please don’t apologize sir. I feel I should be the one to humbly beg your forgiveness. It seems my friend has caused you quite a bit of trouble.”

“How is this my fault?”

“Damon can be quite the pain but I assure you he means wel-actually he probably doesn’t mean well at all now that I think about it,” another joke and Bell couldn’t help but grin at her words. “I apologize you’ve found yourself in such a predicament sir. I’d hoped my healing waters would aide you but it seems even my touch was not enough. I’m sorry for that. Perhaps I can try again? My name is Bellammere and I know you’ve already had the pleasure of dealing with that idiot Damon.”

“Charmed,” he growled at the introduction.

“Might I ask your name sir? I do not believe we’ve been fully introduced yet.”

(Bell and her strange ways lol until she knows his name she won’t let go xD she must have eye contact in their introduction)

Tajiface: “Uh, Rhyne is the name.” He pulled back from the uncomfortable touch. “I appreciate your offer for more healing, but I prefer to let my wounds heal naturally. Keeps the lesson firm for future guidance.”

Silence crept after his statement and he squirmed uneasily in his seat. People were not his strong suit… At least living people were not. He cleared his throat and tried to speak again.

“You don’t have to apologize for him either. We were basically in the same business at that pirate’s camp.”

Maeeverglow: Bellammere straightened as she lightly tapped her lip in thought. In the satchel rested on her hip waited the device in question, still encased in rock thanks to her abilities. She could feel her magic slowly being pulled however and there was no question the protective barrier would soon crumble apart. The device needed to be handled properly; however, Bell wasn’t sure what it even was and therefore how to take care of it. “So the device isn’t yours then?”

Suddenly Damon was at her side, his gaze strong on her satchel as he reached to grab it. “It’s mine Rosa. I stole it fair and square!”

With a step out of the way, Bell threw a hand up to block her companion from coming near. “You know how I feel about those antics of yours. Besides you don’t seem to know much about the device in question besides it looked shiny. You would have likely held it in your grasps and ended up a lifeless husk. But sir Rhyne on the other hand seems to know a great deal about it.”

With a calming glance, Bell focused on the thief, “what can you tell me about this item sir Rhyne? I wish to guarantee it ends up in the hands of the right person.”

“Me Rosa, I’m the right per-ow!” Damon whimpered as Bell slammed a fist into his gut to silence him. It seemed her patience was drawing thin with him.

“What can you tell me, sir Rhyne?”

Tajiface: Rhyne also stared longingly at the satchel. Stealing the device back would be two darts away if he weren’t wounded. He inwardly sighed but kept his face expressionless.

“I’m returning the device to its creator, an Asuran.”

Maeeverglow: Bellammere’s head tilted at the answer, “I can return it to the Asuran then. You’re in no condition to leave this place let alone meet with your clients.”

Damon was quick to climb on his feet, his gaze rather dark at odds to his usual expressions for the woman. He valued Bell as a friend and though he often teased her he never wished harm upon her. But she was overstepping her boundaries in this instance. He’d gone to steal the device and he’d be damned if it ended up in the hands of some Asuran, even if that Asuran happened to be the creator of the said device. Didn’t want it out of reach, the tiny creature should have protected the device better then.

“Rosa, give me the device. We’re leaving,” he growled under his breath, flames sparking at his fingertips. He tried his best to sound menacing, wicked even. However as Bellammere glanced his way she didn’t resemble fear at all. In fact, it was almost as if she pitied his efforts. “Rosa, that device is mine. Now give it back.”

“I wish you would just let this go Damon. You were the one who mentioned your antics to me knowing well enough I’d probably come along to knock some sense into you,” the woman muttered, a regretful eye settling upon her companion. Even if she didn’t agree with his efforts, Bellammere never truly tried to stop the Imp from his life. It wasn’t her own to live after all. She’d learned from her time with her friends to know she should allow them to live the life they wished.

But not this time. Bellammere knew that after witnessing the power of the device firsthand as she came into view of the camp. She watched as it tore Rhyne’s arm and knocked him on his back. She watched the Inquest clamor to retrieve it back. She felt it’s own power fighting against hers as she allowed the earth to swallow it whole to guard the world from its destructive hold. Even now, resting in her satchel, the device hummed in its casing begging for release. And it pulled at the earth, clawing its way out. It wouldn’t be long before even her powers were lacking in the face of such adversity.

There was no way she’d let Damon touch it, nor did she trust Rhyne enough to take the item either. He withheld information, that much was certain. And it was clear he wasn’t going to be forthcoming with any either.

“Just tell me where this Asuran is and I will take the item. Whatever payment you were promised I can retrieve for you and return here,” she stated, awaiting Rhyne’s arguments. If he were anything like Damon, she was sure it wouldn’t be as simple as that. Being comfortable with the Sylvari thief, she was able to handle him easy enough. But this newcomer was different. He was a stranger and one she did not fully understand. He had power she’d never witnessed before and she feared what sort of powers he’d yet for them to witness. Juggling whatever may come as well as the whining Damon constantly reaching for the satchel, Bellammere wondered just how long she could keep up before she collapsed from mere exhausting.

Tajiface: Rhyne could sense the shift in tone within their small group. He kept a closer eye on Damon than his female companion. The Sylvari reeked of danger, a scent Rhyne was quite accustomed to.

“I’m not working for the Asuran. We’re both members of The Pact, and that device is supposed to aide us in the fight against the dragons.” Rhyne was only willing to offer a small amount of information. He figured this much was mostly public knowledge anyway and ultimately wouldn’t cause harm. “I was in the middle of retrieving the device which was stolen during mid-delivery before I ran into your friend.”

Maeeverglow: “Ran into me? You were gonna leave me locked up. How’s that any way to treat a potential ally huh?” Damon hissed through his teeth, the female at his side fighting hard not to laugh at his words.

“You were both there to capture the device for completely different reasons. At what point did you even assume you two were potential allies?” Bell hummed with a wink to the Sylvari flaring beside her.

“He could have at least opened the damn door.”

“Such a baby,” she mused, stepping away from her companion as he once more tried to sneak his grasp onto the satchel. She narrowed her gaze for emphasis of her tone as she addressed the two in the room. “This device will return to the pact then under my care. Clearly from your arms’ condition you are not fit to wield said device. And Damon you-.”

“Rosa don’t be a fool. I got that device fair and-.”

“I’m a fool and yet I’m the one holding the device right now? That’s cute Imp. Keep stomping your feet in a tantrum, it’s very manly,” Bell then turned her full attention towards Rhyne, ignoring the Sylvari burning with rage beside her. “I believe in your situation unfortunately Sir Rhyne you are not in so much of a position to argue. I have the device well-handled and I am willing to do with it as you wish. I’m afraid you are stuck trusting me, at least for a short while. Once the device is safely back with the Asuran, I will personally drag Damon and be on my way. You won’t have to deal with me again. What do you say?”

Tajiface: Rhyne stared at the satchel housing the device. Ultimately, he supposed allowing Bellemere to carry it was not a bad decision. He had not heard any bad tales of a Sylvari like her… He assumed she did not have a bad reputation because she had done nothing nasty to earn one. He just hoped Trahearn would not be too upset with outsiders helping. (OMG is that how his name is spelled?!)

“Alright, you can carry the device, but I will still be accompanying you. It’s my mission to see it is returned properly without further delays.” Rhyne said this last comment with only a flicker of a look at Damon.

Maeeverglow: Bell grinned at the answer, her companion’s growls of disdain easily disregarded as she patted the satchel happily. “I accept the conditions. Let’s be off then. Unless you need more time to rest?”

Tajiface: They set off the next morning before Isolda was awake. Rhyne did not want to risk Isolda raising more questions about his hasty return and even hastier departure. Appropriating transport was even easier than Rhyne imagined. Tyrian merchants jumped on the business opportunity presented in the Pact’s fledgling Camp Resolve. Supplies of all kinds were required in the remote camp. The dangerous nature of the Silverwastes also presented merchants a chance to raise prices even higher. Almost every merchant willing to risk their lives took advantage of this, and so Lion’s Arch was abuzz with such merchants.

Several caravans camped on the outskirts of Lion’s Arch where less inhabitants ventured on leisurely strolls and got in their way. The morning heat picked up just as they reached the crowds of Dolyaks and merchants just as they arrived. Several tents were scattered among the animals and wagons holding the merchant’s goods. It wasn’t hard to pick out the caravans destined for the Wastes. These had more guards and even a few Pact soldiers with them. Rhyne stayed close to the caravans with actual Vigil or Pact soldiers, speaking vaguely with the various caravan owners. This caravan owner in particular seemed promising to their needs

The human caravan leader, Cole, perched on top of a barrel waiting to be loaded as he spoke to Rhyne. He had scars running up his arms and even a few on his face. His caravan workers had similar scaring, which made Rhyne secure in the fact they knew battle well and could defend themselves. The man regarded him carefully as Rhyne explained he and two others needed quick transportation to Camp Resolve.

“Well, it won’t be an easy trip,” Cole adjusted his broad brimmed hat, shading his eyes from the morning sun. “Seeing as you’ve talked to just about everyone here, I’m guessing yer just looking for a fair price.”

Rhyne nodded. “I am sure you’ll receive extra compensation at Camp Resolve as well for overseeing Pact agents safe travel.”

The leader laughed in a gravely voice. “Safe? There ain’t nothing safe about the ‘Wastes. If the trip there don’t kill ya, with those Triad thugs looming around Brisban, then the Mordrem scum will see to it yer done for.”

“We can handle our own safety, then. We just require a means for travel.” Rhyne replied evenly.

“I see how well ya handled yerself in the past there.” Cole tilted his hat towards Rhyne’s bandaged arm.

“If we die on the trip then you have nothing to worry about.” Rhyne nonchalantly shrugged.

Cole rubbed his chin in thought. “Yer telling me I should expect payment from an injured idiot and two sylvari stooges? One of which looks like a thug himself? Doesn’t seem like any price would cover the trouble you three would bring.”

Rhyne rubbed his thumb along the inside of his gloved palm, a nervous habit he’d picked up since joining the Pact. “I’m telling you it is. Half of the payment when we leave, the other when we arrive.”

Cole sat quietly again for a few moments until one of his workers ushered him off the barrel so it could be loaded. Then the man towered over Rhyne, looking down at him with a frown.

“I don’t like youngins like you,” The leader finally muttered. “Too secretive, I can tell just from talking with ya there’s more to the story than just a couple of Pact agents trying to get to the camp. The answer’s no.”

(OK I think I have a plan now… you can have Bell/Damon say/do whatever for the caravan leader next! I’ll introduce Galvyn after this, and I actually remembered to attach the image of him! hahaha)

Maeeverglow: (I’m excited to see your new plant join the party 🙂 friendships blossoming all over the place!!!)

Bellammere positioned herself in sight of their newest companion, her rosy orbs fixated on the conversation between him and the caravan leader in question. Rhyne provided a show of his persuasive skills, swindling deals with those he deemed most worthy of the venture beyond Brisban. It was evident however from her read on Cole’s stance however he wasn’t buying it, no matter the price shelved into his pockets.

It was never going to be easy. Bellammere knew that better than anyone. Her arms crossed along her chest, a frown formed on her lips as she recalled their destination.

The Silverwastes were a treacherous landmine of death for those who dared to set foot there, the horrid stories echoing out across each kingdom of what waited there. It was no secret Bell feared that place, feared every inch of the place without at least Grid’s strength to guide her on. This journey was a tragic mistake on her part, the woman allowing herself in the companionship of one who would destroy any hope of allies for a chance to satisfy his own greed…and one she knew little of save for the simple fact of he could not be trusted.

The device hummed in its casing, beckoning for release as it scratched and pulled at the rocky barrier provided by the elementalist holding it back. Each moment was a tug at her very soul, Bellammere outwardly cringing as she bit hard on her lip in an attempt to focus her power on keeping it trapped and safely out of the reach of those ready to snatch it up. Beads of sweat teased the nape of her neck, drenching her petaled mane cascading upon her shoulders. A thought if she were visibly shaking popped into her mind, the woman begging her body to comply to keep them from noticing. She had to be strong. There was no other choice in the matter.

“Oy Rosa, there you are!” Damon’s voice chimed from beside the Sylvari woman, her gaze shifting to the fiery thief now poised at her side. When did he get there? And a better question, when did he leave her sights at all? The troublemaker seemed at his usual antics again, his wicked grin a clear indication of his tricks. “Rosa Rosa, wanna see?”

Her orbs flashing at the question, Bellammere growled under her breath, “what did you steal this time?”

“I told you Rosa, forceful possession. And it’s a lovely little gift for you!” The Imp hummed as he stepped to the side, the small form of a baby Dolyak peeking up at the duo with a curious gaze. Bellammere had to fight off the blush threatening to form on her cheeks as she stared upon the most adorable creature, the woman continuously repeating in her mind that this beast was a stolen item. “Ain’t he cute?! Let’s name him Sir Fluffles!”

“You can’t just steal a baby Dolyak Damon! What the hell are you thinking? We’re trying to become in an alliance with a caravan for safe travels to the Silverwastes. How the hell can we do something like that if you keep stealing their things and pissing them off?” She hissed, a finger pressed upon the thief’s chest as she narrowed her gaze upon him. The gesture only seemed to egg him on however, his grin vanishing as he narrowed his own gaze to match hers. “Listen here, this is not a game. I don’t have the energy to babysit you like before-.”

“What do you mean by that?” He interrupted with a raised brow. Bell flinched at the question, for a moment believing he noticed about her depletion of strength. “Rosa you may be a special case and I may allow you certain privileges but damn it all if you think you’re my bloody babysitter. I ain’t a fucking kid needing to hold your damn hand.”

A moment’s reprieve from her original worries, Bellammere continued her speech. “You know well enough what I mean. You treat everything like a little game of yours. You lie, you steal, you destroy because it pleases you. You don’t even think about what you do and how it affects those around you. The fears of those who refer to you as such things…Imp, Demon, Devil…those names are well-warranted. You act like a hooligan, threatening the livelihood of others for your own gain. I know that isn’t how you truly are though Damon. I know that you can be good, can be serious, can be more than just a greedy thief. So why don’t you try hard enough to prove that to others instead of me? If you can’t then there’s no way in hell anyone is ever going to side with us.”

“Sweet words Rosa, coming from a wench like you who can’t even strike a blow to her enemies. What’s to say people wouldn’t want to help you because they don’t want to play guardian to a spoiled little brat? They don’t want to risk their lives for someone who wouldn’t even try to return the favor yeah? Keep talking down to me like you know better love, at least I fucking know what I am. I know what the world thinks of me. I don’t fucking try and hide it. What about you huh? You realize what they all probably saying about us right? We’re twigs yeah? Weeds even? A precious little princess who don’t want to get her hands dirty and a thuggish (yet strikingly handsome) man who could roast their blood in a second flat.”

“What’s your point here?”

“Damn it, always got to rush us along right? Gotta be in control of the conversation yeah? My point is Rosa you don’t get a say in what I do. You don’t get to babysit me. You don’t get to deal with my thieving ways. You don’t get to deal with anything when it comes to me because I don’t fucking need you.”

“Don’t need me?” Bellammere repeated, a tint of hurt in her gaze as she lowered her hand to her side once more. Turning away, she muttered just loud enough for him to hear, “right, you don’t need me. You didn’t need me when I showed at the bandit’s keep, guaranteeing the device didn’t rip you to shreds. You don’t need me now as I try to keep you for getting further into danger than you already are.”

Damon frowned at her words. “I was fine on my own Rosa. I had it under control.”

“Good for you. Perhaps next time I’ll just let you get killed by your own terrible decisions then,” she whispered with a roll of her eyes, the woman patting the satchel once more before stepping past the Imp to where the baby Dolyak stood poised and as curious as ever. The woman stroked his fur, calming him down before slowly leading him away. “I am sorry for hurting your feelings Damon. I did not mean to be so harsh with you. I apologize for that. What I will not apologize for is doing what I can to protect you and my wishes for you to take this matter seriously. You’re not going to score a prize here. This device will not be another one of your treasures. I won’t allow it. I’m not going to see someone I consider a friend die because of their greed. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to return Sir Fluffles to his original owner. Though I appreciate the gesture, I would prefer you did not try to present me with any other stolen property Damon.”

The Imp eyed the departing woman’s back, watching her figure as she slipped from his sights almost completely. To be fair, there was always those moments of odds against one another since meeting. She didn’t agree with his lifestyle. He didn’t understand hers either. That moment however was tested patience, more so than ever before. He could see it in the way she walked, the way she spoke, the way she carried herself. Honestly he wondered if he would have noticed it if they hadn’t had their little spat.

Bellammere was in pain. Hurting. Suffering. She was struggling to keep focused and it affected the way she acted. He gave her that avenue to vent and she took it. Greed aside, Damon saw it clearly now. It was because of that device she fought to encase. It was dangerously fighting back it seemed.

Shifting his sights towards Rhyne and the caravan leader, the thief felt unable to hold himself back as he made his way to their little meeting. With a narrowed gaze upon them, he interrupted with a huff, “oy what’s the hold up yeah? We leaving yet?”

(I DON’T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED! I was beginning to write and then the vision of a baby Dolyak came into my mind and then this soap opera bs somehow got typed out. I can change it though >.< I can make it more simple, more fitting with the situation, I just…I don’t know what happened lol)

Tajiface: (It was great tho!!)

Cole turned back to see the one behind the yelling. Rhyne almost physically grimaced. There was probably no hope now-

“Hey, it is you, Rhyne!”

Rhyne cringed at the shouting of his name, causing many to look at him and then back to the source of the shout. Even Cole’s attention turned from Damon to yet another sylvari approaching them through a parting crowd. This sylvari stood out in the bright sun with skin the color of a darkened night sky and a patch of light blue hair to top it off. He wore the loose clothing found commonly on dwellers of the Wastes, with a dusky coloring similar to the sand found there.His arms hung loosely out of the short sleeves of his coat, and he raised one to wave wildly at Rhyne from the short distance. The motion revealed two ornate pistols at his hip… and Rhyne was sure that display was intentional. Rhyne glanced at Cole, who eyed the newcomer’s weapons intently.

Rhyne slightly frowned. “Galvyn. What are you doing here?”

“W-well, I was just in town on a, um, assignment.” Galvyn gave a shaky smile.

“You’re a horrible liar.” Rhyne replied quickly.

“Eh, what? I d-don’t know what you’re talking about.” Galvyn flushed slightly, which created an odd-looking palette on his skin. Then he sputtered over his next sentence, making the meaning inaudible. He took a deep breath and recovered his composure slightly, gesturing towards Rhyne’s arm. “What happened to you?”

“Don’t change the subject-”

“And now another one?!” Cole laughed, interrupting Rhyne’s accusation. “Your odds are really looking slim… Rhyne, was it? Too bad, maybe you and your sylvari friends can find another caravan to hitch onto if you’re quick.”

Galvyn cleared his throat and turned towards Cole with an outstretched hand. “Cole Netters, right? I’ve heard many tales about you among the caravans I’ve traveled with while working with the Pact.”

Cole hesitantly shook the hand. “Pact, huh? You guys turn up a lot here. I’m not surprised you’ve heard of me, I’m the best damn merchant to travel to the Wastes.”

“Which is why I was told to deliver this to you in the event your services will be needed.” Galvyn gave a broad smile as he handed a piece of paper over. Galvyn was good at soothing things over… or anything, for that matter. Rhyne knew the sylvari to hate conflict, and tried anything to get two rational beings to get along. He was probably in the crowd cringing at Rhyne’s lackluster negotiation earlier.

Cole stepped aside to read the parchment. Rhyne knew what it was. A blank statement issued by a well-known officer in the Pact. Many field agents were provided one in case such an occasion arose and help was needed from citizens. The letter was set-up to be addressed vaguely to any merchant or civilian who’s services would be needed. Rhyne never accepted the letter they attempted to give to him for use. This kind of tactic brought too much attention, in his opinion.

Rhyne narrowed his eyes at the sylvari. “I am handling this assignment just fine. I don’t need help. They didn’t need to send backup.”

“I can see that.” Galvyn said sarcastically. He rubbed a hand over the back of his neck, glancing at where Bellemere and Damon had just fought. “And I wouldn’t say ‘them’ so much as ‘she.'”

Rhyne hid his shock at the comment. He self-consciously touched the bandages. “Is she here?”

“What do you think?”

Rhyne kept his next comment to himself as Cole returned to their presence. The caravan leader handed back Galvyn’s letter with a frown.

“You keep to the wagons, don’t get in the way. I expect full payment when we arrive, mind you, with the promised extra rewards.” Cole stated.

Galvyn pocketed the letter with another smile. “Of course. When is the departure time, good sir Cole?”

“An hour, but I suggest you don’t leave in case we get hitched sooner.” Cole started to walk off but gave them one more glare. “If any of you cause trouble on the way I’ll chuck you to the Triad myself.”

Maeeverglow: Damon’s sights were focused on the duo now in his company, a curious glance upon the newcomer who ‘magically’ appeared at a moment’s notice. More pests to worry about in his mind though he was glad to hear at least they’d be shoving off soon. Perhaps Bell would soon be relieved of her load sooner than later.

“Oy, who’s the newbie? You also hunting for the prize Nightwatch?”

Slowly Bellammere inched back towards where she left the boys, the strain continuing to hamper her thoughts as she moved. Luckily her focus forced her to keep her mind on the matters at hand instead of fights with friends or the looming question of the judging gazes of others. The device required her divided attention now and it would have it. And when all of that was taken care of…she would deck Damon square in the mouth for saying such rude things and she would yell at Rhyne to be more careful in handling devices that could pretty much turn him into mince meat. Until then, she had to focus.

Rounding towards the caravan’s setup, the Sylvari paused her steps at the notice of a newcomer in the midst of their growing group. Clearly someone Rhyne knew, a soft groan sounded from her lips before she closed in on their position. “Yippee, another one.”

Tajiface: (LOL I love the nickname!)

Galvyn frowned at the question. “Prize?”

“He means the device.” Rhyne grumbled. He headed towards the wagon indicated by Cole.

Galvyn frowned as he followed close behind Rhyne.

“Uh, no, I’m not after the… Prize. I’m by coincidence only.”

Rhyne shot a subtle glare at Galvyn’s obvious lie. He was definitely here to help Rhyne deliver the device back to camp.

Galvyn didn’t comment on the glare, and instead turned towards the other two sylvari. He half trotted backwards in order to keep pace with Rhyne. “I am guessing you helped Rhyne out of some trouble. I’m sure he would never say it, but I would like to: thank you for helping him, and the Pact out!”

Rhyne rolled his eyes. He would be shocked at how loosely Galvyn shared his assumptions and secret information, but he knew the sylvari did it quite often.

“I didn’t need help, and I don’t need it now.”

Galvyn ignored him and smiled at the others. He extended a hand toward Damon, first. “My name is Galvyn, although Nightwatch has a much better ring to it! what’re your names?”

Maeeverglow: (I love Nightwatch xD he’s so cute!)

Bellammere filed in beside Damon as the fiery thief examined the hand extended to him. It was odd to see such a display presented to him. After all, many found him practically a demon. No one truly ever wanted to exchange pleasantries with him let alone give him a handshake. Hell even his closest thing to a friend beside him was fearful of him at the beginning, not even wishing to make eye contact let alone touch him.

This Sylvari though…he wasn’t afraid of him. Perhaps he had no idea who he was? “You’ve never heard of me? Damon Torchwood? The Imp of the Brisban? Demonburnt? Rosa, I don’t think he’s heard of-.”

Gently shoving her companion out of the way, Bellammere gratefully took the hand as she held her gaze straight for his own. “I must correct him here, my name is not Rosa. It’s actually Bellammere, though Bell for short if you prefer. You are friends of Rhyne then I take it? A pleasure to meet you. I couldn’t sit idly by when that man put himself in such a dangerous situation. Forgive me if I ever stepped out of bounds.”

Tajiface: Galvyn chuckled at the display and eagerly shook Bellemere’s hand. “I have heard of you both, actually. More positive words for Bellemere, unfortunately. I am never one to judge another before meeting them, however! Rhyne here found that out as well.”

“Stop gloating.” Rhyne stated. He climbed up into the wagon and into the shady interior. Many goods stashed in boxes and barrels were stacked throughout the inside. He looked over each, hoping to find a good spot to settle for the journey.

Maeeverglow: “Nightwatch here’s heard of me yet not a tinge frightened? Oy mate you hit that glowy head of yours on a rock or something?” Damon questioned, his brow raised while his rosy companion rolled her eyes and stepped carefully into the wagon to join her injured companion. “It’s all true ya know, whatever the people say. I can burn you down to your bones in a second flat.”

“Don’t let his big talk fool you Galvyn, he’s a big baby more so than a demon,” she hummed, setting in close to the opening to keep an eye on the world beyond their covering.

“Oy Rosa-!”

“Granted, he’s kind but a big baby nonetheless,” she continued with a sigh, her hand resting comfortably on the satchel…almost protectively as she awaited the others to join them inside. “I told you before Damon, not everyone is fearful of the big bad Imp.”

The fiery Sylvari seemed to pout at the declaration. “You’re just happy that he’s heard positive things about you, oy Rosa?”

“I’m just happy we can soon be on the road and a step closer to this device being placed in the proper hands,” Bell hummed with a sigh.

Tajiface: Galvyn climbed up into the wagon and brushed off any dirt that had gathered on his clothing. “I work with explosives quite frequently in my line of work, being burnt to the bone is a common threat for me. It’s very nice to meet both of you.”

Rhyne navigated his way around various crates towards the back of the wagon. The inside proved more spacious than he originally thought. There was plenty of room for all four of them to fit comfortably. He waded to a crate with bolts of clothe stacked on top. He patted the materials with his good hand, judging them to be comfortable enough. As he slid his hand across the surface he felt the brush of soft fur accompanied by a swift movement in the shadows. He jumped back only a half step before realizing who was in the wagon with them.

“Nona?”

The shadows seemed to shift and a charr’s face appeared in the dim light.   Her black fur matched perfectly to the shadows, but her muzzle and horns were slightly lighter and therefore stood out. Nona was one of the most skilled Whispers agents he had ever met, and one of only a few who could slip by even him undetected. She hopped off the crates and towered over the others.

“Nona I thought you said you were going to stay hidden. We’re going to get the whole ‘I could handle it on my own’ speech again.” Galvyn sighed, placing a hand on his hip.

Nona’s ears twitched at his comment and Rhyne stood stick still. He took a shaky breath and held it. He could have kept it together if she didn’t actually show up.

She crouched lightly and lowered her head to get closer to Rhyne. The close proximity made him even more tense.

“I was going to stay hidden, but he’s injured, which changes the plans a bit.” Nona spoke softly, an odd contrast to her fierce exterior.

“Ah, so you’ll be traveling with us after all?” Galvyn said with a sigh. “My partners are never easy to work with. My new friends, this is Nona, a Whispers agent who works frequently with the Pact.”

Nona nodded towards the two sylvari but kept her attention on Rhyne. She gave him a small smile and sighed.

“Managed to mess up even a simple retrieval mission, huh?” She teased.

Rhyne shook his head. He wanted to retort that it was not simple at all, but the words caught in his throat. Seeing his friend here was pushing him over a cliff he didn’t realize he was standing near.

Nona realized, however, and she reached out for him. Before he knew it he was face first in soft fur, locked in a tight embrace. Once his face was buried completely in Nona’s shoulder he let the tears fall.

Galvyn gasped at the display. “Whoa, Rhyne, are you alright?! I apologize for teasing earlier, I did not realize your wounds grieved you so!”

Nona laughed, and Rhyne appreciated the warmth which generated from her both physical and emotional.

“Rhyne’s just a big baby, he hates pain. Doesn’t know how to deal with it.” Nona explained, only slightly surprised he didn’t retaliate the insult with a punch.

She craned her head to get a closer look at the bandages. “When was the last time your bandages were dressed? They’re already bled through.”

The question jerked Rhyne out of his brooding moment. He slowly lifted his face off her shoulder to investigate.

“That’s impossible. I just used the blood tonic a few hours ago.” His voice scratched against his throat and he had to use his good arm to wipe the tears away. Finally he was able to see that yes, the day old wound was already bleeding again even with the tonic meant to stop bleeding.

Nona shook her head. “You touched the device, didn’t you?”

“I didn’t exactly have a choice.” Rhyne muttered. “It works damn well, by the way. About killed me on the spot.”

“You touched it while going revenant?! How stupid are you?! They told you only to touch it with gloves.”

Nona groaned.

“I told you it wasn’t exactly a choice.”

Nona sighed. “Where is it now?”

Rhyne nodded towards Bellemere before taking a seat on the crates. He pulled out fresh bandages from his pack and began redressing the wound.

Nona’s ears perked up. “I can hear it still working… Is it still absorbing magic?”

Maeeverglow: “Yes ma’am,” Bellammere simply responded, her hand still gently resting on the fabric of her satchel. Her rosy orbs were focused on the world beyond the wagon, something to keep her mind focused on her efforts.

Damon, however, leaped into their ride with a worried gaze upon his friend. “I knew you were hiding something Rosa? What the hell? That thing is draining you dry of energy?”

“Damon, please lower your voice and sit down,” she calmly answered, shifting her gaze towards Nona. “I’ve heard of you from the Order of Whispers, ma’am. It’s a pleasure. I acted quickly in the situation at hand and I encased the device with my elemental powers. Currently I have a handle on the device.”

Tajiface: Nona grinned at the explanation. “You have tenacity, I like that. However feeding that thing more magic is not a good idea, plus it’ll leave you weakened. It only activates when someone touches it with bare skin, as Rhyne so stupidly did. It’ll be fine in your satchel without any casing.”

Rhyne sighed heavily in response. He started to wrap fresh bandages on the wound, which did indeed look no better than yesterday. When he struggled with an area of his arm Nona silently reached out to help, but otherwise kept her attention on the others.

“These two helped Rhyne with the retrieval, from the looks of it the breakout wasn’t so easy.” Galvyn offered as he took a seat on a crate near them.

Nona snorted. “I believe that’s what I told a certain Pact agent before he left.”

Rhyne, begrudgingly with Nona’s help, finished the bandages. He rolled his eyes and curled up against the side of the wagon.

“I would have been fine if there weren’t meddlers.”

“That’s an odd thing to call the two who dragged you back to Lion’s Arch injured.” Nona chuckled.

“So you were following me.”

“Only after you three came into town.” Galvyn said from his seat. “We trusted you to get the job done, Rhyne. We were just worried when you came back injured and with two strangers.”

Rhyne didn’t comment and Nona spoke instead.

“Since Rhyne only bothers himself with five sentences a day,” Nona said with a grin. “I was hoping you two could give me a good story of what happened.”

Maeeverglow: Bellammere allowed a grin on her lips though she hesitated in her next move. “The casing wasn’t simply a safety precaution mind you. In truth it’s also a-.”

Damon stepped in the center of the wagon, eyeing each member of their party with a wicked look in his gaze. The same grin returned to his lips as he interrupted his friend’s words. “Oh I’ll tell you everything you need to know Fluffy. Plain and simple, Red came walking into my job. I was there hunting my prize and I was so close to grabbing it and then he just came waltzing in and trying to steal it from me. The nerve of Red, trying to scurry off with things that don’t belong to him.”

“Such notions also apply to you, Damon,” Bell added with a sigh, the woman bringing a hand up to wipe away the beads of sweat on her brow.

“Yeah yeah shush Rosa, anyway I was fighting to get what’s mine and then Red here was fighting an Inquest dumbo and then he grabbed the device with his hand and his arm decided to pretty much blow up. It was quite the show really.”

With a heavy sigh, Bellammere leaned her head back on a set of crates as she prepared to provide the correct tale. “As you can see from his outburst, there was further reason to act as I did. Though perhaps in the safety of you lot I can manage to relax.”

“Rosa-.”

“I can only provide my side of the story for I wasn’t with the pair in the jail. I came across the camp in search for my friend Damon here. He had shared his interest in a particular device the bandits and the Inquest took a fancy to and he rushed off in hopes to retrieve it. Worried for his well-being, I followed after. I heard word of his supposed capture and I prepared to aid him however I could,” she explained. “I used my earth abilities and summoned a rock golem, my beast causing a grand distraction for bandits and Inquest alike. Soon however Rhyne and Damon both emerged from the jail, your friend accidentally reaching for the device and-well, you know what happened with that incident. Damon used his flames to kill the agent that threatened them both and it was then that my rock golem and I were able to storm the fort. My golem and the Inquest golem were locked in battle as I rushed to Rhyne’s side in hopes to heal him with my water abilities. Their golem was destroyed but unfortunately my actions for Rhyne did not aid him with his arm. And then Damon reached for the device…so I acted and encased it in rock and took it into my custody. From there, we traveled to Lion’s Arch. And you can probably gather the rest yourselves.”

Tajiface:

Steven Universe Gemsona – Citrine and Friends

So my amazing friend TiMeLoRd903 totally a major Steven Universe fan like I am and during Steven Bomb last week she made herself a gemsona! Agate is a super cutie and I love her so much!!! Here’s the photo of her with bio included.

tumblr_nl6c6bfqfW1qibwrqo1_500Directly from her tumblr post, linked here. Follow her, she’s amazing btw!

“This is my gemsona!
She is agate, and her gem is on the back of her left hand.
She uses the ink from her pen so slash through enemies.
She considers herself a crystal gem (the stars are on her buttons).

Height: 5 foot 5 inches
Weight: 245 pounds

Personality: she is very indecisive and is slightly quirky. She enjoys reading scary stories and watching scary movies. She also tends to hesitate before taking action. Agate can be sloppy when it comes to cleaning up after herself but when it’s asked by others she tries her hardest to make it look good.”

Isn’t she such a cutie!? I loved her and all the gemsonas flooding the internet, fans of the show pouring in their support with their love for the gems. I contemplated joining the gemsona parade myself but I’m very lackluster in my drawing abilities so I held myself back. But then TiMeLoRd903 messaged me wanting to draw a gemsona for me ❤ I was so excited! She’s such a sweetie and one of the bestest friends ever!!!!

I ended up looking through gems and taking quizzes (something I rarely do on the internet lol) to try and find which gem matched my personality. Citrine became the winner and so I provided the gem to my friend and we discussed possible weapons. I figured something creative would fit her best so I decided music was the way to go, so with my talents with the flute that became Citrine’s weapon of choice! That night, in came the gemsona post for me and I instantly fell in love!

tumblr_nl8ged9Uvv1qibwrqo1_500Directly from her tumblr post, linked here. Seriously though, you should go follow her. She’s amazing!

“So I drew a gemsona for one of my closest friends maeeverglow! Her gem is citrine and her weapon is her flute. She uses the flute to create music that can trance people or create damaging sound waves.
Her gem looks like it is growing on her hands (and she wears a headband that looks like her gem as well).
She’s a very cheery and bubbly person who does her best to keep a smile on everyone’s faces.
I hope you enjoy!”

Gah, I love Citrine so much. I wanted to think up a bio for her at some point but I was so distracted this weekend I failed to do so. So in light of that, this morning I made some time 😀

Citrine is a bubbly character who’s passion falls into music, specifically her flute. She believes it’s her duty to keep a smile on her friends’ faces, doing her best to make them happy every chance she gets. Even in dire situations, it’s rare to see her without a smile. She also believes there is good in everyone which sometimes catches her in a bind against her enemies.

Her flute, though usually just a musical instrument she uses to please her friends, acts as a weapon if threatened. She has the ability to create music that can trance others or create damaging sound waves. If pushed to the breaking point, her abilities can be so destructive that they would level cities in an instant.

Citrine instantly fell in love with Earth and the humans there, willingly joining the cause of the Crystal Gems in an effort to save their race from the impending doom that was sure to likely befall them.

Her gem is located on both hands, appearing to be sprouting out of them. In addition, she wears a headband that appears as her gem as well.

Another piece of art TiMeLoRd903 did as well was a fusion of Agate and Citrine, and she’s freaking awesome!!! Check her out!

tumblr_nla14nqAvC1qibwrqo1_1280Directly from her tumblr post, linked here. Have you followed her yet? Seriously amazing artist and friend. You’ll love her!

“So this is my and maeeverglow‘s gemsona fusion: chrysoberyl.
They uses their voice as their attack; different tones create different types of attack.”

So Chrysoberyl is amazing! She attacks with her voice and depending on the strength of the tone is the strength of the attack. From discussions with TiMeLoRd903, it sounds like depending on how loud she needs the attack to be, Chrysoberyl’s mouth can pretty much unhinge to strengthen the attack. So cool!

Anyway I wanted to share with you the amazing work TiMeLoRd903 did with the gemsonas. I’m probably going to start writing drabbles here and there about Citrine and who knows, there could be gemsona RPs in the near future! Woo~! If you guys haven’t had a chance to check out Steven Universe yet, go to Cartoon Network today and give it a try. They just finished up the season so there’s lots of episodes for you to watch and time to catch up with them before the next season airs. Thanks for listening to me ramble!

Smiles and Butterfly

AN: I’m on a Damon hype right now. I love this character, he’s such a great addition to the arsenal we have in GW2 characters. I wanted to try my hand at how he’d interact with other characters of mine and Taji. He has nicknames for everyone, for instance Bell is Rosa to him. Well, Corvo is Smiles (hates it with a passion) and Eavan is Butterfly (I may change hers later, that one fit with her Mesmer abilities though). Hope you guys enjoy!

Tempers flared, scorching blazes of fury bellowing from every inch of Corvo’s body as he gritted his teeth to hold in his slanderous shouts. Before him another damned twig made their way into his life, this time a fiery demonic male instead of an overly kind rose attached to the hip of Gridlesser and an easy-going flower who rarely left his side. Yellow orbs peered up at the towering Norn, the mountain of a man the perfect prey for the Imp’s antics. If one thing was true about Corvo, he rather despised dealing with childish antics. Technically, Corvo hated a lot of things including other people but he found himself tolerating those who would consider themselves his friends. Not Damon though, that Sylvari in particular was not to be trusted. His wicked grin alarmed those of what was to come, what was conjuring in that devilish mind of his.

In their first meeting Bellammere was poised at the side of the newcomer, surprisingly handling him well under her watchful gaze. She didn’t allow him to step out of line and became sort of his handler whilst among the group. This time however the rosy Sylvari was nowhere to be seen, likely dealing with business with her favorite lady Norn instead of doing her job with Damon. This left the Imp unsupervised…his freedom for wickedness showing through his smirk and poised gaze upon Corvo. Unfortunately there was nowhere to run for the Norn, his raven departing for the rafters of the great hall in Hoelbrak leaving his master completely exposed by the hearth at the center of the main room. The only company to the two men sat idly beside the roaring embers within the fireplace, Eavan more focused on the welcome warmth the flames provided instead of the mistreatment her dearest Corvo was about to receive.

“Oy Smiles, looking a little scrawny in the muscle hm?” Damon hummed, the mischievousness swirling in his gaze as he gestured to the man before him. “And a little wide in the gut yeah?”

Corvo growled at the nickname. How he despised it so. Of course, that was the reason Damon called him that…he knew how much it irked him. “Shut your trap less you want me to permanently rip out your jaw Weed.”

The Imp feigned hurt at the comment, “aw, your words shot me right through the heart. A weed you say? You don’t think me a delicate flower?”

Grumbling with disdain, Corvo mouthed, “fucking delicate flower my ass.”

Closing distance between himself and the mountain before him, Damon began to circle Corvo with a chuckle escaping his throat. Examining every inch of the Norn, he could see the intensity of his aura radiating from his person. Every muscle in his body was tense, the daggered stare piercing into his very soul as he fought hard not to cause a scene within one of the halls of his homeland.

With a stroke of his chin, Damon began again, “Aw Smiles, so tense. Did I hit a nerve? Reminders of your sad state of affairs too much for you to handle?”

Suddenly Corvo rounded his stance to rip his fist into the jaw of the puny creature beneath his towering form, his hand unfortunately soaring through open air as he found Damon completely vacant from the spot he once inhabited. It seemed the Norn had forgotten just how quick the Imp was, his fast movements and witty retorts often leaving him a target for most who found him infuriating. Damon was persistent in his games and tricks, finding new ways to tease his prey with each encounter.

“Oy lookie here! Looks like your cooking gear’s been used more than usual. That could explain the wide gut your forming!” Damon joked, a familiar set of cooking tools now in his grasps which once resided in Corvo’s satchel. The Norn turned and eyed the gear, his body quivering with fury at the notice that the Imp had somehow reached into his bag without knowing. “Now Smiles, I know you’re under a lot of stress and whatnot. But eating away your feelings is never the answer.”

“I’ll carve my initials into your lifeless corpse in a moment if you so much as touch my belongings again. Give them back and shut your damn trap Imp!” Corvo growled, his tone growing louder with each passing second. He was truly losing himself to his fury. How he despised Damon’s antics. “I’m through with warnings Imp. Give me back my things!”

“The veins popping from your massive skull are a clear indication of too much stress Smiles. Eating away your feelings is bad for your health you know. How are you going to slay the ladies with your looks if you let yourself go?” Damon hummed louder, quick on his toes as he leapt away from the Norn’s long reach. More punches swung into the air, never securing a hit on their target leaving Corvo fuming in the great hall while his prey grinned at the failed attempts. “You’re so adorable when you try so hard Smiles. A few more punches and you may start to burn off that gut of yours!”

“I’m tired of your jokes Weed. I’ll rip off your limbs!” The Norn hissed through gritted teeth, once more Damon fading from his sight. Reaching for his belt, Corvo found his dagger no longer waiting for him. “D-Damnit Imp, I’ll kill you!”

“Aw now is that any way to speak to a friend, Smiles?” The Sylvari mused, appearing in the light of the hearth as he carefully examined the dagger in his hands. It was so intricate in its design, glowing markings giving off a magical aura from the blade. It was a pretty treasure, one that belonged in his ever-growing collection. “Oy Smiles, thanks so much for the blade. You shouldn’t have.”

That was it, the final straw. That blade was much too special to the Norn to be in the hands of someone so demonic, so distrusting. And with his little declaration of his intentions to keep the blade, Corvo had enough. He’d send his greatsword straight through Damon’s blackened heart.

“I’ll fucking ki-!”

Suddenly a flash of violet ripped through the air, Damon barely able to dodge as Eavan’s hand nearly slapped him clear across his face. The Mesmer, originally so fixated and pleased with the newly found warmth on her skin, now stood toe-to-toe with her Sylvari brethren, though her mouth forming her usual smirk her eyes clearly read a different story. She took a step forward, stomping it upon the ground for emphasis as Damon did the same; the duo now locked in a dance of sorts while the Norn was left in their wake confused by their actions.

“Butterfly, if you wanted to tango all you had to do was ask,” Damon began, his chuckle hesitant as he read her own personal rage building within her eyes. “I’ll dance with you all evening if you’d like.”

“Don’t flatter yourself Sparky, you’re not exactly my type. Though even if you were, I’m pretty sure I’d be overstepping boundaries with the likes of a demon like you,” Eavan hummed with a roll of her eyes.

“Aw such a flatterer Butterfly, no wonder Rosa often shares great things about you,” the Imp continued with a wink, trying to ignore the fact of just how close the woman was to securing a hit on his person. Her movements were quick like his and it was clear she wasn’t messing around. It seemed he hit a sore spot with the woman. But he had to wonder what set her off.

“Bell would say the greatest things about me, she loves me the most!” The Mesmer cheered at the compliment.

Corvo, still confused and unsure of how to act with Eavan between him and his prayed, muttered under his breath, “actually she loves Grid the most…”

Waving off the comment, Eavan continued, “anyway, time to hand over the dagger Imp. It’s not for you.”

Feigned hurt, Damon hugged the blade to his chest with a sound shake of his head. “But Smiles gave me this. We’re bestest friends after all.”

“Like hell I-!”

A fluid motion silenced both men as Eavan’s fingers closed around the exposed sheath, her strength countering the male Sylvari’s as he eyed her cautiously across the way. It was clear in her gaze her patience was growing thin. So the dagger was the trigger. Damon couldn’t help but wonder why. “See, there you go with your little fibs. Bell’s going to have a field day cleaning your mouth out from all the filth you spout. Corvo would never give away this beauty of a blade. Know why?”

The Imp tried to play off his confidence but even the underlining tones of Eavan’s voice sent shivers down his spine. “Why’s that Butterfly? Smiles doesn’t seem the flashy sort. Why’d he have a blade like this anyway?”

“It’s simple really, someone very important to him had specially made that for him. Therefore there wouldn’t be a chance in hell Corvo would ever give something that precious away,” the Mesmer hummed, a quick glance settling over her shoulder at the Norn. “Isn’t that right Corvo Cruz?”

“You think highly of yourself, don’t you?”

“Isn’t that right Corvo Cruz?” Eavan repeated, the Norn releasing a heavy sigh from his throat before nodding along with her words. “See, Corvo would never give the blade away. So kindly hand it over and I’ll make sure the big bad Norn doesn’t stab you or cut you or bite you or whatever else he could possibly think to do to injure you.”

Realizing the meaning behind their words, Damon exchanged a glance between them with a knowing grin. So Butterfly and Smiles were special to one-another? That relationship would be fun to tease in the future. Though for that particular moment, the death grip on the sheath was enough to warrant a swift retreat. With a nod, he released the blade and Eavan happily hugged it to her person before shoving it back into Corvo’s hold. “Whatever you say Butterfly. How could I say no to such a lovely flower?”

“Flatterer,” the Mesmer hummed once more, watching the Norn carefully as he slipped the dagger back onto his belt. The smallest hint of a grin graced his lips, Eavan happily accepting it as his way of saying thanks. “Also a bit foolish don’t you think mocking such a temperamental child such as Corvo?”

The good feeling vanished quickly as the Norn narrowed his eyes at Eavan. “You too? I’ll be trimming all the twigs of the party before long.”

“Aw Butterfly, Smiles isn’t a temperamental child! He’s just sensitive about his fading muscles and growing gut!” Damon hummed along with the Mesmer, both of them giggling while Corvo loomed overhead in a revitalized fury. “No more cookies for Smiles!”

His joke was soon interrupted by a small bonk on the back of his skull, Damon turning to see Bellammere’s frowning expression as she hovered her staff dangerously close to his head. Beside her Gridlesser grinned up a storm at the small group’s display, particularly enjoying the mocking of Corvo. He truly was so sensitive at times, no wonder Damon always rubbed him the wrong way.

“What have I told you about stealing and lying?” The rosy Sylvari muttered, easily falling prey to Damon’s embrace as he scooped her up and held her tight to his chest. He was becoming quite the clingy beast with her.

“Oy Rosa, I told you before right? It’s forceful possession and fudging truths!”

Muffled by his chest, she continued, “changing the wording doesn’t mean its different dummy!”

“Rosa’s trying to drain the fun out of everything again. Boo Rosa boo!” Damon then grinned up at Gridlesser. “Hiya Griddles!”

“Hello Damon, hopefully not causing too much trouble for our little band of misfits I trust,” the Norn mused with a wink, knowing full well by Corvo’s temper boiling over how much the Sylvari crossed the line.

“Of course Griddles. Why would I ever want to cause your group trouble?” The Imp hummed, clearly lying as he gave a wink towards Eavan and Corvo. The Norn fumed in place as Eavan allowed a chuckle to escape her lips. “Actually we’ve all staged an intervention for Smiles. No more cookies! Save Smile’s figure!”

“Yes, no more cookies for Corvo!” The Mesmer joined in with a laugh.

Gridlesser bursted into laughter along with them, Corvo eyeing everyone with a harsh gaze before opening his mouth. “Bell hit him again. This time harder. Knock some sense into him damnit.”

“B-But that’s mean,” the Sylvari got out, still pressed into Damon’s chest without hopes of escape. All the while everyone else continued to laugh at Corvo’s expense, their constant mentioning of his nickname ‘Smiles’ sending him further and further into his plot of someday murdering them all in their sleep. Why everyone allowed Damon into their little band he wasn’t sure. But one thing was certain, it seemed in the long run Eavan would have his back…at least after she had a few goes at his self-esteem herself.

*~End~*

Grovebound

AN: First off, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO MAE’S CORNER! So happy to keep this going for four years and looking forward to many more to come! I love to write as much as possible and being able to just post and share it with all of you is a plus. Thank you to everyone who’s stuck around for the journey so far and I hope you can stick around even longer for what’s to come. I have so many projects I’m hoping to continue on as well as new ones coming up in the near future 🙂

Anyway, here’s a short drabble of Damon aka Demonburnt and Bell. I really think these two have a future together. He helps make her stronger and vice-versa; plus it helps that Bell’s grown up so much as the story progresses. Anyway hope you guys enjoy!

The first thing Damon took notice of after stepping out of the swirling vortex of the gateway was the judgmental glances, cringes of fear forming on the faces of his ‘brothers and sisters’ as they shied away from his view. Noses turned up, murmurs spreading like the plague all along the winding pathways towards the center of the pale tree. It was no different than the day he left all those years ago, the Sylvari people deeming him a tragedy, a lost cause, a menace. They considered him a demon, an imp, every harsh concept they could think up was him.

Damon was fine with the silence. He would have preferred the silence. The hum of the gateway and the rumors teased his pointed ears, words dripped with hate and disdain. To be fair, the Imp always knew what awaited him back at his home of awakening. There wasn’t a doubt in his mind that the fear would always remain, especially after all the damage he’d caused the Caledon Forest with his fiery talents. His attitude didn’t help much sure…but it was easiest to cast blame on the world that just didn’t understand him. His wicked affairs were deemed far too destructive for the Sylvari people, his flames burning utter fear into their innocent hearts. He knew there wasn’t a place for him among the people there in the Grove. There would never be a place for him.

No, wait…that wasn’t true at all. The tiniest sliver of hope made its way into his scorched heart, forcing his actions as he came into the world he’d sworn never to return to. Bellammere had stumbled into his sights on accident, the young elementalist wandering into the Wildlands with a clear warning from her mentor. Don’t be alone with the Imp…He’s dangerous…And if you aren’t careful…He’ll lead you to your end…

Caithe was always dramatic with her words it seemed, the rosy Sylvari careful with each step as the words echoed in her mind. She was cautious when they finally met, her desperate attempts to flee from the supposed danger of the newcomer. Yet soon she found even the wicked grace of Damon was nothing to fear. Bellammere expressed interest in him and soon they had found themselves working together on more than one occasion. Even without missions, the one he properly deemed Rosa would venture to his domain and sit with him, talk with him, train with him. And she would always meet him when he felt comfortable to remain, never asking more from him than he was willing to give.

Bellammere gave him hope. Damon was thankful for that. So much so that when her visits became less frequent with the piles of missions she undertook, he came searching for her. The rumors of her troubles swarmed his ears and he allowed himself to enter a world he vowed never to return. His hope boiled, begging the Grove’s tenants to accept him for what he was. Unfortunately by the look of the guards already poised with weapons closing in on his position, Damon believed he had foolishly made the biggest mistake of his life. And when faced with adversity, the demon would come pouring out of him. Their fear would be valid then.

A wicked grin played on his lips as he prepared to make his stand, flames ready to spark in his palms. He would have launched forward in an attack if not for the sudden embrace wrapped tightly around his chest, the force of a tree practically knocking the wind out of his lungs as gasps echoed throughout the Grove.

“Oy what the hell are you-?!” Damon began to howl but glanced down to see the familiar petals framing the grinning face of his truest friend. It seemed his worry was unfounded, there she was a gleeful mess of a creature as she held him tight. “Rosa, fancy meeting you here.”

“Never thought I’d see the day the big, bad Demonburnt would enter the Grove again,” Bellammere chimed, her voice ringing like a bell. It was always so calming to see her so happy, so innocent. All around them the Sylvari spectators diminished, their whispers continuing to sound as they disappeared from the path. Even the guards deemed the situation handled, their positions still poised close by regardless of the fact that one of the powerful Valiants had the situation under control. “What are you doing here? Did you get lost or something?”

“Yes because I’m so directionally challenged that I ended up here in a place such as this,” Damon huffed at the accusation, his hands lightly pushing the woman from him and resting them on her tiny shoulders. Bright pink orbs glowed with her markings in the night, concern bubbling up in her gaze as she examined the man before her. Swallowing hard in his throat, his mischievous outlook returned at full force. He had to remain confident, poised for trouble. If he didn’t, the questions would keep flowing freely and he’d rather not answer. “Rosa, you wouldn’t believe the treasure I found out in Caledon Forest. It was shimmering, worthy of a King’s fortune. My fingers twitched at the chance to grace the smooth embrace of the sword, hold the hilt in my hand and raise it against my enemies. I followed it along the path, waiting for my moment to strike. Damn it all, I almost had it.”

Bellammere’s eyes widened, practically saucers. “And then what happened?”

A chuckle formed in his throat as Damon continued, “I was closing in on my prey, their gaze distracted by some lady Sylvari dancing in the meadow. I could almost taste it. I was so ready.”

The elementalist caught onto the story, a sigh escaping her lips as she lowered her gaze. “Ah, you were stealing again huh?”

“Oy Rosa, you call it stealing. I call it forceful possession.”

“You’re a fool sometimes Damon,” Bellammere hummed with a roll of her eyes before reaching out a hand to him, gesturing to the inner workings of the pale tree. Damon eyed the extended limb with a questioning gaze, his worries building up within as he debated his next move. “Come on, let me show you around. I wonder if the Grove has changed any from the last time you’ve come here.”

“There’s really no need for that. I don’t plan on staying. There’s plenty of treasures popping up in the Wildlands I should be focusing my attention on. Wasting away here in these parts are bad for my poor heart,” the Imp feigned distress before turning away towards the gate, prepared to dart through and make his way to his latest homeland. Behind him Bellammere whimpered at his action, her hand remaining outstretched as she felt rejected by his words. “Well I’ll be seeing you later Ro-.”

“Fleeing so soon, Imp?”

Frozen in place, Damon’s muscles tensed at the familiar voice from his past. He could feel her gaze on his back, practically daggers driving into his spine. Of course she’d be there, poised and ready to attack in the Grove. It was Caithe’s home, her residence and base as she did her part to live out the fate of her dream.

Slow on his heels, Damon turned and showed his wicked features melted away. Now he grew serious as he eyed the Sylvari draped in green standing at the side of her pupil, her glare upon him as she awaited his answer. “A pleasure to see you, Caithe.”

“Heh, no use in lying. By the mother we all know how you must feel about me,” she remarked with a chuckle as she lightly patted Bellammere’s shoulders. “You must be here to check up on the Valiant. I’ve heard stories of you two becoming well-acquainted. Odd I must admit, you’ve never been one to make friends.”

“I’ve plenty of friends, Caithe. Just none here…save for Rosa,” he answered with a shrug, the elementalist eyeing between the two unsure of what to do. “Was there a reason you entered our private conversation?”

“Um Damo-.”

“I heard word of the Imp crossing into the borders of the Caledon Forest and continuing forth along the path all the way here into the Grove. The guards alerted me of the ruckus you started here at the gateway.”

“What ruckus? I didn’t do a damn thing. The ones causing a scene were your damn Sylvari gossip squad,” he growled at her words. Of course even when he’d done nothing to bring forth the disdain from his people, they would choose to make him the criminal in their stories.

“T-That’s true, I was here as soon as Damon entered through the gateway. He wasn’t doing anything at all,” Bellammere agreed, Caithe stepping forward to come toe-to-toe with the man. Even though she was tall for her people, Damon still towered above her. His burning gaze was fixated upon her, waiting for her argument. Further judgment bubbled up within her. It wouldn’t be long before she overstepped her boundaries and they’d be locked in a momentous battle. “C-Caithe-.”

“So you worried about Bellammere’s well-being and were willing to enter the Grove without a second thought?” The woman alleged with a smirk playing on her lips, her voice quiet so only the man before her could hear. He didn’t bother to deny it, his expression calm despite his fingers itching to send the place ablaze. With a nod from Damon, Caithe then stepped back with a gesture towards the inner workings of the Pale Tree. “Come then Imp and speak with us about the current state of affairs of our world. Your willingness to brave such adversity I admire, I will allow you to join us as a Valiant for the cause.”

“You want me to be one of your puppets?” Damon raised a brow at the offer, ignoring Bellammere’s excitement bubbling up beside her mentor.

“I am inviting you to join our cause, I am not forcing you to do anything but I must remind you that you came to a land you vowed you’d never return to because you felt you needed to protect something other than yourself,” Caithe answered with a wave over her shoulder, the woman departing without another word.

“Are you really staying Damon?” Bellammere chimed at his side, her hands wrapping around his as she awaited his answer. The Imp wanted to flee as soon as possible but he found his feet wouldn’t move back towards the gateway. They only wanted to move forward. They weren’t ready to leave the Grove.

With a heavy sigh of defeat, Damon nodded and allowed his companion to drag him along down the pathway after Caithe. “Aye Rosa, maybe just a little longer.”

*~End~*

My Childhood Passion

Finally made it to 600 posts before the anniversary March 6th! The goal is met with this post and for such a milestone and for the anniversary I decided to write a little something different today. Forgive the ramblings here, I just really wanted to share some thoughts I’ve had for the past couple days. Last weekend I had the pleasure of going to an exhibit at one of our many museums in the area called The Art of Video Games. I heard of the traveling show before and I was so excited when I heard it would be stopping in our area from February to May.

Now my life can be quite hectic and with the snowstorms constantly beating down I had to reschedule with my best friend multiple times now to go. Finally seeing an opening, we rushed for the earliest hours of the museum’s opening for a chance to witness something so important in my life…art and video games.

If you know me well enough you know besides my extreme love of writing and reading (I have my own library in my house that currently doesn’t have enough shelf space for all the books I end up getting) I have a passion for art. I do my best to encourage creativity from artists (both friends and strangers) because I love the way they are able to express their creativity so vividly on canvas. I get lost in their visual masterpieces, every stroke building an incredible display of beauty. I have piles of art books which I could peel open day after day and each time feel a new experience when witnessing the creativity that built each piece. Creativity is what I circle my life around. I want to express my imagination in as many ways as possible, never halting the vivid ideas popping in my brain. I support artists that are seeking that outlet to express their own creativity, hoping to aid them in their path to follow their dreams.

Another thing about me is I love video games. A visual spectacle that acts as a book you control, you are able to control the characters in their progress of their story. You become the protagonist. You get to battle dragons. You get to climb mountains. You get to soar through the stars. You are the hero and it becomes so satisfying when you conquer that final boss and the credits roll. You are no longer simply living your story in life. You take on the stories of all these characters you controlled. It’s a magnificent artform that I’m so happy I was able to grow up experiencing the growth of the industry.

Along with full displays of games throughout the ages, there were areas set up with big projectors where you could play one of five different games for all to see. Along with Super Mario, Flower, Monkey Island and Myst was a classic called Pac-Man. Now I consider myself a humble person but lord I’m amazing at Pac-Man! Years of practice I tell you. So when I saw the set-up at the head of the exhibit I couldn’t wait to try my hand at the game. And I was spectacular. I went several rounds before the timer finally kicked me off but I was owning at it, Pac-Man gobbling up the pegs and avoiding the ghosts that roamed the maze. A cheering section of the museum guests formed behind me, their applause and aweing providing me the extra push to give them a show worth their time. And when I finally was able to step away from the game, they congratulated me on an amazing performance and little children shared how much they enjoyed watching me play.

Now comes to the point I’ve actually been gearing up to with this little story of mine. Though I’d been introduced to video games rather early, my family allowing me the chance to watch the industry grow, there will always be one game that sticks out in my mind as the true childhood passion for me. Pac-Man. It was more than just a game for me. This video game was introduced to me by my hero, my Grandpa. He had fallen in love with the game and wanted to pass on that love with me, his grandchild. So he taught me the tricks he learned and showed me how showed me how to play. Any chance we came across an arcade cabinet, we spent our quarters and played. We played on consoles as well, constantly honing our skills. I had gotten amazing talented in the game, a skill I highly accredit to my Grandpa.

The exhibit at the museum and the chance to play Pac-Man in such an environment really struck me in the heart. Our family has been through many hardships over the past several years and one of which was the death of my Grandpa to cancer in 2007. Our family took such a huge blow with his death and I don’t think we ever fully recovered after that. From there, more and more hardships piled up and it has become more and more difficult to smile and enjoy life with knowing all the hell that is going on behind the scenes. Another hardship occurs today, one which I won’t go into detail about here but I will say it was a long time coming and it is a battle I’m not willing to lose.

Despite all the pain and all the agony I’ve been going through, I was able to truly enjoy myself at that exhibit remembering all the good times I had with my Grandpa. On my way home from the museum that day I even stopped by his grave to share with him my experiences that day, giving him a play-by-play of my efforts against the mazes presented on that virtual screen. It was something I needed, a small piece of healing that helped me overcome the growing anxiety within me. It has given me the strength I needed to face my battle today, my prayers ringing out in hopes for an outcome that protects those I care about.

So thank you Art of Video Games for being in our lives these next couple of months. And thank you for giving me the chance to briefly go back to my childhood, remembering all the good times I had with my Grandpa. And thank you for helping make today so much easier for me. I feel as ready as ever to take on the boss battles of my real life.

Thank you everyone for sticking with me these last few years and thank you for coming along as I continue my journey here on this writing blog. As long as I can, I’ll be writing and sharing my creativity with the world. This is only the beginning after all.  There’s so much more to come.

And thank you for allowing me to ramble on and on about a cherry-eating dot muncher’s impact on my life. My smile’s returning at full force now and I feel I can face whatever challenge my life throws at me. Today is just another boss battle. I will conquer it, level up and continue my journey. I can’t wait to see what’s next.