Of Honourable Intentions (Keith & Kate)

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Of Honourable Intentions (Keith & Kate)

Post by Kate Orchix on Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:17 pm

Note: This first post in this thread is a roleplay from another site which we wish to keep doing, but here on FoG instead.

The snow swept over the path before Dharka, her worn, scruffy-looking boots trudging through the ice with quiet little crunch sounds. Her lids were heavy with the desire for sleep and she again plunged her hand into the depths of her tattered clothes, searching for the small pouch of coins she had lifted from a patrolling guard a few miles back down the mountain path.

Her fingers touched the cold gold and she felt a vague feeling of reassurance brush over her. She was tired and all she wanted at this time in her journey was a warm bed to sleep in and a belly full of food. She hadn't eaten since yesterday morning, and it had to be two hours past twilight now. The sky was dark and there was barely any illumination but the moon and its reflection upon the snowy path's sides.

Two sheathed katanas at her sides bumped lightly on her thighs as she walked, and for the first time in a very long while, she found it to be irritating. The cold was irritating too - having been brought up in the deserts of D'jiar'ark, across the Desert Sea, snow was a rudely abrupt change from the warm sands, and she felt a moment of home-sickness. Setting her jaw angrily, she again mentally chided herself, thoughts rolling over what might happen if she go back.

She would never marry - not unless she married another dishonourable Jiar'arc like herself, or an outsider. Which in turn, would mean she would never have family... she couldn't have children if they were only destined to have a life like hers - shunned and frowned upon. And the men of this land, the very concept of one as a husband... blech. To have children with a man of this land... their children would not be strong - they wouldn't grow as warriors, she wouldn't be permitted to train them. How she hated the sexist people of this land...

Dark, frustrated thoughts quickly pushed aside, she glanced up the path. Not too far off, she could see a faint light. Relief washed over her and she fingered the gold coins as she approached the small village. She had heard of this place - didn't know the name, but it didn't matter so long as she could rent a room and buy a meal at the local tavern. Seeing as it was the only tavern and inn in the little village, it was crowded and as she stepped nearer she could hear the raucous laughter of the men and women who lived up here in solitude.

She renewed her purpose, straightening her back and holding her head high as she pulled the hood a little more closely around her face - she didn't need to pull attention to herself, but she didn't want to appear weak either. She knew very well what happened to pretty women who appeared an easy target, especially here in this land... Back home in D'jiar'ark, any woman worth her metal would have at least put up a good fight, and the men were honourable enough not to try such a thing in the first place unless they were very drunk... and then, they were push-overs anyway.

The front doors were open, spilling out light from the fire pit in the tavern's floor and she walked on in, her ears assaulted by the drunken laughter of patrons and visitors alike. Seeing as this village was on the only land-side trade route through the mountains, guests were common in such a place despite the small size of the village. The smell of alcohol was unlike the smell that inhabited Jiar'arki taverns. This smell was cheap and the alcohol weak... the people were weaker, being so easily intoxicated. She slid her way through the crowd until she managed to jostle her way to the bar.

Her hands, gloved with strips of dark leather which reached up her forearms, slammed down on the counter as she leaned forward menacingly over the bartender. "Ah'd like a room an' a good meal, if y'have 'em." Her accent was thick and exotic, if not a little sloppy - she was tired after all, and her voice was not meant to allure so much as it was meant to intimidate. Either way, it worked and the bartender shivered slightly under her sharp, hazel-green gaze.

"We... we do have them. Are you... staying only for the night? Alone?"

"Do ah look like ah have anyone with me?" she snapped grumpily.

"The... men back there..." the bartender stammered, motioning over her shoulder. "They wear clothes like yours... they say they're diplomats, here to-"

"Well, thay're not." She took a swift glance towards them, noting the concealed katanas beneath their cloaks. She could feel their eyes on the back of her neck as she turned back. They had been waiting here... for her. She would never get a spot of rest this evening! "A room for one." She placed two coins on the counter.

"All right... upstairs, last room on the left," the bartender said, reaching under the counter before pressing a key into one of her gloved hands. "Someone will come up with a meal for you soon."

"Put tha meal on hold," Dharka muttered. "Ah'm not hungry just yet." With that, she turned and pressed her way through the crowd again, accidentally bumping a man sitting on a stool at the bar so he dropped his drink. She mumbled an apology in her own language as she pressed a third coin in his hand in the hopes he would leave her alone instead of adding another complication to her evening.

She wasted no time in heading upstairs to her room where she dropped her bag on the large double bed and stood, waiting. She didn't take out her weapons from her belt - she wanted to sleep here in a semi-clean environment, after all... not a blood-bath.

~ ~ ~

Having finished his fourteen hour shift, an exhausted Ashad sluggishly hobbled towards the village tavern. Desperate for some GOOD FOOD and a little bit of wine in his guts. However the snow fall had been heavy in the last few days, it was deathly cold and Ashad dreaded the fact that once he finished up in the tavern he'd have to take the inevitably long walk home. Drudging through the thick snow; most other people were sound asleep in their houses and yurts. Only guards and the more dubious folk were out on such hellish night, Ashad certainly didn't want to be; but he'd been looking forward to visiting the Tavern all day. As the night quickly grew even darker; Ashad neared the Tavern, with much effort and energy expended he barely managed to make movement towards the Tavern door.

To his irritation a new obstacle presented it's self; the snow blocking the opening of the door! Although he would like to be, Ashad was not strong; frustratingly attempting to swat the snow aside with the broad, flat side of his pike. His exhaustion and lack of physical endurance both caught up with him. Panting heavily as he rested upon the pike; the door of the Tavern open up from the inside. The logic hit Ashad like a tun of bricks and although the two nasty looking Narrasian men simply look down on him for being incompetent in general; they had not been aware of the struggle Ashad had gone through to clear a path for a door that opened inwards.

Feeling embarrased, Ashad quickly slipped in behind the men as they exited the Tavern. The warmth and smell of food alone filled Ashad with joy, slowly and uncomfortably waddling up to the counter in his thick, soggy leather and fabric uniform. He looked like a wreck, though his face still covered by a cloth and still wearing his helmet people could still recognise him.

~ ~ ~

Dharka didn't have to wait long. The two Jiar'arki men walked in without even a knock, weapons sheathed but hands held freely at their sides as they walked to either side of her. She eyed them stonily as they gazed back at her in an equally aggressive manner. Her fists clenched at her sides, as did theirs. In silence, one motioned with his head towards the door and she obediently stepped out. Fists still clenched, she walked down the hallway and stairs at a steady pace, the hairs on the back of her neck raised in acknowledgement of the closeness of her kinsmen as they followed her.

They didn't take her weapons from her - it was a last insult to let a dishonoured member of the Jiar'ark die with their weapons sheathed in their belt. In the Jiar'ark way, an honourable warrior died with their weapons unsheathed and held tightly in their grasp.

Unlike the people of this land, the Jiar'ark were silent in these dealings. There was nothing to be said but hollow words. She knew they had come to kill her, and they knew that she knew. She didn't know for exactly which crime she was being executed for, but it didn't matter. An execution was an execution, and there wasn't much to think about afterwards. In their eyes, they were disposing of scum - a warrior not fit to be a warrior. Even if she had enough gold to bribe them, it wouldn't change their minds - they wouldn't even take the gold after they had left her body in the snow.

They moved through the crowded tavern and she briefly considered breaking away from them in the mass of people, but decided against it. She didn't need to draw attention to herself-...

Ooofff! She coughed as she accidentally walked into a bedraggled-looking Narrasian. She instantly recognized him as a guard - wet and messy as he was - and briefly wondered if he was the same patrolling guard she had stolen the gold from on the way here. But no, he was more wiry, had less muscle... seemed... weak? She didn't realize that as she bumped against him, one of the material flaps at her belt had brushed aside, displaying an assortment of many different, dangerous-looking knives. Despite it having been her fault for not looking where she was going, she shot the man a glare, uttering a Jiar'arki curse, and continued on her way as she felt a hand on her back. They were growing impatient.

She opened the door before her and they pushed her through, not bothering to shut the door behind themselves. She was herded a little way from the tavern, just off the side of the road. Once there, she turned to her captors and eyed them as they both eyed her back. After a moment of staring, the taller of the two, a broad man with a broken nose and a wide scar across his face, tilted his head back as he looked down his large nose at her, stepping near to her so their faces were almost touching.

"You do know why we are here?" He quietly asked in the Jiar'ark language.

She spat in his face and he unflinchingly continued to stare at her, even as trickles of saliva dangled from the end of his nose. For a good long moment, he stayed there then took a step back as he drew the corner of his hood over his nose, getting the spittle off. "Let's finish her."

The second Jiar'ark clamped a firm hand over her shoulder. "On your knees, Jiar'arc." He forced her down, her legs settling into the snow as he forced her to bow her head. A grim smile played over her features and he crouched beside her, scowling. "Wipe that smile from your face. It will look stupid when your dismembered head lies next to your corpse-"

He never got to finish his sentence.

Her hand plunged into the fabric at her belt, ripping a curved knife free. With the same movement she used to get it free, the blade sunk into the man's face. She wasted no time in pulling the knife free from him as he fell over backwards, quite dead, and instead unsheathed one of her katanas as she went in for her second kill.

The taller, remaining Jiar'ark warrior was faster, more experienced than his now-dead companion. As soon as she had pulled a weapon, he had reached for his katana and was just in time to block her attack as she leaped up at him. They both stumbled in the snow for a few moments, quite ungracefully as they crossed blades, but finally regained their bearings in the difficult terrain before the Jiar'ark warrior grabbed at her belt, pulling them close together in an attempt to run her onto his blade. She bent herself backwards, legs wrapping about his waist and flipping them both over backwards to land heavily in the snow.

He attempted to get up, but he wasn't as experienced in snowy terrain as she was seeing as he was used to the sands of D'jiar'ark, and was just a little too slow as she rolled onto her feet, spun, and brought her blade down through his spine and into the snow. Blood seeped around him as he gave one last shuddering spasm before falling silent.

Dharka pulled the katana free from his body, picking up a corner of his cloak to wipe the blood off her blade. Her eyes raised towards the tavern, looking for witnesses to yet another one of her crimes...

~ ~ ~

As the fair looking young lady bumped into Ashad aggressively utter a phrase to him in another language, one of her pouches became unrolled to reveal several blades. Instantly Ashad was shocked and became alert to the certainty that not only was she a foreigner but clearly had ill intention. As reluctantly turned to pursue her; two large men bumped him aside effortlessly. Due to their size he initially mistook them for Kajar, and pulled back in terror. However observing that the men were southerners just like the woman� They were Jiar'arki! Pushing himself forward as quickly as he could, his thick, soggy clothing impeded his mobility; slowing him down significantly. However Ashad pushed on in a passionate attempt to prove himself to his people; as he neared the door he witnessed the beautiful young woman ungraciously spit in one of the men's faces, as the other harshly gripped her shoulders.

After the man in the front had spoken to her in the same strange language, the man behind her suddenly fell to the ground. Ashad looked in astonishment to how rapidly she had slew him. As the other man, the one who's face the lady had spat in drew his weapon; she managed to beat him to it. Drawing a bizarre looking sword from her scabbard, the man reciprocated and the two locked into a vicious bind; the man grabbing at her clothing in order to try and cut her. However in an even more spectacular move, the woman jumped onto the man and with much agility managed to flip the two of them over onto the ground. The large man seemingly stunned by the cold and the landing, the young woman took not hesitation to drive her sword through his body. Killing him swiftly.

Ashad looked in fear and horror; mustering up some guts he bolted as quickly as he could towards the woman. Raising her pike at her, "Drop your weapon in the name of the Narrasian empire!" he said attempting to sound intimidating, yet in actuality his voice sounded much softer and feeble than he would have liked. He stared at the woman, afraid for his life; his pike shaking heavily in hands. He didn't know what to do at this point. Did he warn her again? Did he thrust his polearm into her? Ashad was paralysed with fear and uncertainty; the typical Narrasian soldier would have attacked her instantly. But Ashad was in no sense the typical Narrasian soldier.

~ ~ ~

Her lip curled in a grimace as she saw the Narrasian guard stumbling through the snow towards her with his pike ready. She lowered her katana as she stood still, watching him. This was the last thing she needed. The Narrasian Empire was at war with the Jiar'arki... two bodies in the snow would be quickly cleaned up and dismissed as spies crossing the mountain border. However, with a guard's body next to them, it would be realized something terrible was at play and trackers would be hot on her trail in no time.

So, it was time to turn the charm on. She eyed him up for a moment as if evaluating whether or not he was actually a challenge in a fight. Based on the fact he was yet to attack her, she decided he was reluctant to kill in the first place. Either that, or he liked her - strange how a woman's appearance could make a young man falter. Either way, he was not a proper soldier, she decided. The earnest expression in his eyes and his bravery in even approaching her in the first place made her decide he wouldn't be easily bribed with money... so, perhaps a threat? No... an offer.

She sheathed her katana and seemingly ignored him as she crouched beside the body of the first man she had killed. It was obvious she had to exert a lot of strength in getting the small, curved knife out of his face and there was a horrible crack! sound as she finally succeeded. However, instead of cleaning the knife and putting it away, she opened the dead man's hand and closed his fingers around the hilt of the knife. She gazed at his face for a moment, eyeing her macabre handiwork before standing and again turning her attention to the Narrasian as she brushed her gloves together as if she was done with a dirty job.

"Put tha pike down, boy," she said, eyes cold as she looked at him. "Ah have no quarrel with you."

As he continued to tremble, she huffed a tired sigh before marching towards him through the snow and roughly grabbing the shaft of the pike, swiftly tugging the weapon from his grasp and tossing it aside into the snow. She stood near to him, eyes dangerous and wild, gloved fists clenched and ready to take him down if he dared to try anything. She was taller than him - even if the two extra inches hadn't existed, she would have radiated a sense of being much larger than her prey - which at the moment, was him.

"What will it take tah make you remain silent abou' this incident? Money? A good weapon that y' can sell fah more gold than Ah have, or you would earn in a year? Evidence that you killed two Jiar'arki spies an' Ah was never here?"

Perhaps applying to his sense of 'less-than-a-soldier-ness' would work... if he was looking to prove himself, what better way than taking down two 'spies'? Of course, if he claimed to have killed the two men, nobody would believe him and he would be possibly imprisoned or executed. But perhaps he was dumb enough to look past his own incompetence in the hopes of proving himself. If he was smarter than he appeared and refused the deception, well... she would offer other things. After all, she needed to sleep here tonight, and befriending a guard was probably a good start to having a restful sleep.

~ ~ ~

As the intimidating woman disarmed Ashad with little problem; a jolt of dread hit him like a ton of bricks. Hopping back quickly, though probably not quickly enough he reached for his sabre with an extremely shaky right hand. As the woman imposed upon him she calmly stood close to him; clearly ready to murder him without hesitation. However as she spoke her words took Ashad by surprise, "What will it take tah make you remain silent abou' this incident? Money? A good weapon that y' can sell fah more gold than Ah have, or you would earn in a year? Evidence that you killed two Jiar'arki spies an' Ah was never here?" she said. Ashad looking at her in confusion for a few seconds, then realising what she was offering, his shaky hand hovered above his sabre.

He certainly was considering the offer. This was a chance to make some good money and be known as someone who could hold their own; someone who killed two Jiar'arki warriors single handedly. Or so people would hopefully think. Looking at the woman, his fear lessened; gradually beginning to nod his head he took a deep breath. "You won't be able to stay at the inn though, people will surely ask questions and after whats happened they'll certainly set the guards upon you," Ashad said, reluctantly agreeing to her offer. "I have an extra room at my home; you can take shelter there for a few days. But you can't let your presence be known, I'll tell the other guards that you escaped and hopefully they'll believe it." Ashad added.

His hand pulling away from his sheathed sabre altogether.

~ ~ ~

Dharka considered him for a moment, eyes still shimmering coldly despite their fiery depths. She found it curious that he even thought so far as to the fact that she most likely would have been seen by other guards, or that the people inside the tavern would soon see the blood in the snow and the bodies - she also found it disturbing that she hadn't thought of that herself.

She was quite obviously overtired - she would have to watch herself a little more than usual. Her eyes bored into the guard for a few more moments, then she nodded before respectfully taking a step back. Most threats or shows of aggression made by a Jiar'arki were made straight to the face - up-close-and-personal, with no respect for privacy. This was done so they were eye-to-eye, sensing each other's thoughts and gestures with only the subconscious mind, and also to easily identify nervousness. Some specially-trained Jiar'arki warriors were even able to pick up emotions emitting from the other person just by changes in their target's scent - Dharka had been briefly trained by her uncle, but not well enough to understand the more subtle signs.

"Ah'll go retrieve mah bag, then," she murmured, then nodded towards the bodies. "If y' want anyone tah believe you killed 'em, you'd better make up some story 'bout how you managed t'get one of their swords from 'em - yer sabre'll be too thick a blade tah have made tha' cut." Here, she motioned to the one she had stabbed through the spine - indeed, the cut in his back was thin and not very long.

"If y' betray me, Narrasian, ah will make sure yer blood is the next on mah blade." Her eyes glinted dangerously, and then quite suddenly, her expression changed to a somewhat charming look. A smile spread across her face and the dangerous glint left. And when she spoke, her voice still had the alluring exotic accent, but the thickness was gone and she sounded very much like a Narrasian who might have spent a few years living in D'jiar'ark.

"You know, if you want some extra gold, go pick it off their bodies - pouch on the left side of the belt. You might need to fish under their robes and armor-flaps a bit, but they should have something. I'll be back in a moment." A sly wink crossed her eye and she stalked back into the inn, heading upstairs to retrieve her bag. She still moved aggressively, unlike a Narrasian woman - but maybe that was just her tired, uncoordinated mind unwilling to cooperate.

The speed of which she changed accents and the accuracy of the Narrasian language obviously meant that she had been here a while, blending in with the locals as she wished. It wasn't long before she was back outside with her pack slung over her left shoulder, right arm left free to swing at her side as she stopped a few steps away from the Narrasian guard. "Lead the way, Jiar'arc." The word was pronounced differently from Jiar'ark, of which being said "JY-AR-ARK", and instead being pronounced "JY-AR-ARCH." Few people outside of the Jiar'arki culture knew what it meant, and the Jiar'arki weren't too pleased about sharing their language with other lands and peoples.

~ ~ ~

As Ashad pondered on his story he eyed the woman every few seconds, fearing that she may change her mind and kill him after all. However she seemed to need him more than she could afford to kill him; this realisation was of some small comfort to Ashad. Still trying to figure out his story exactly, Ashad kept an eye on the half closed door of the inn. If even one person went to close the door fully; they'd certainly see the bodies. As he looked around, movement down the far side of the street caught his eye, a guard patrol; four or so men steadily marching through the snow.

The snow fall was heavy enough that it may impede their ability to see clearly that far ahead. However Ashad knew as they neared they would see the Jiar'arki woman. Turning around quickly Ashad pointed to the direction of his yurt; "The tent with the green flag on top! Quickly!" he said to Dharka, hoping she would make her move quickly enough that she would not be seen. The guards were soon to be at a distance that they would spot her. Ashad's mind raced, even more afraid than before for he knew if he got into trouble with his own people- He'd be in for a far more painful death than the Jiar'arki woman could provide.

Hobbling over to one of the dead Jiar'arki bodies, he quickly grabbed the unsheathed katana resting in the cold dead hand of it's former owner. Squeamishly slashing the blade over the bodies throat as to get some blood on the blade and make his story more impressive. The sight of all the blood in general made him uneasy, as well as the lifeless bodies- Their presence horrific and abhorrent. A very unorthodox attitude for a Narrasian.

~ ~ ~

Dharka spotted the patrol an instant after the guard warned her and she instantly took off a fleet sprint in the direction he told her to. She found the tent with the green flag, and plunged inside with her bag. A quick glance was thrown about to make certain there were no more occupants, then she laid down on her belly so she could peek under the tent flap and watch.

She could see the patrol coming closer - they hadn't seen her, which was the good thing. Before long, it was evident they had seen the strange Narrasian guard and quickened their pace towards him. She couldn't hear any words spoken - the wind had picked up just a little, whistling around the small yurt.

As an added caution, she took out her katana once more. It was possible he would turn her over even after directing her to what appeared to be safety... and she did not need that tonight. Four men against one woman... she didn't stand a very great chance tonight unless they had a weakness like how her own kinsmen hadn't been able to move quickly in the snow - and that was not likely. After all, this land with it's dastardly snow was theirs.

"Come on, come on," she muttered darkly, willing the guard she had spoken with to hurry up with his story so the patrol would go away and she could rest. Still, she would have to be careful - Narrasians believed they could get away with so much. Especially the men - she knew from experience... and they knew from experience that they were lucky to be alive after trying such a stunt.

Lying on her belly, her head just kept lowering until her cheek was resting against the cold floor of the yurt. She could feel her lids drooping, but didn't allow herself to give in to sleep. She kept peeking out at the cold snow and the guards.

~ ~ ~

As the deft desert maiden gracefully made her escape to Ashad's humble yurt, he shook with both fear of her wrath and that of his Narrasian comrades of whom he had to explain the current situation. Unsure of how to rationalise his means or correctly convince the other guards of exactly how the incident went down, a fantastic and somewhat feasible explanation occurred to him. Unable to fabricate a believable tale to how he killed both the foreigners, in his mind he quickly constructed the best excuse that at the time came to him. Though in a way it could be perceived as far fetched and open to further elaboration… A Kajari man did it.

The Kajar were a violent, savage and ferocious culture of people to the north; ethnically similar to Narrasians, the Kajar were a warrior culture of pastoral nomads that lived primarily through cattle herding, trading and warfare. Where some Narrasians lived in yurts out of a low economic status and means. The Kajar did so as a norm, almost by choice; they were renowned not only for their toughness, strength and skill as warriors. But their love for senseless violence and primitive, selfish ferocity. It was in some way possible that in front of a tavern, a Kajar man would have crossed paths with a pair Southerners; Kajar were big drinkers and it wouldn't be hard to believe that when the Kajar encountered the Jiar'arki… it would end in violence… Generally the Kajar had a way of making many situations end in violence. As the guards approached the scene they inspected the Jiar'arki bodies. The light, yet deep slashes were inflicted by a Jiar'arki katana, but even from a keen eye just as easily mistaken as wounds inflicted by a Sabilya; the Kajar sabre. As two of the four guards looked at Ashad menacingly for a report, he looked back at them defensively. "A Kajar Warrior! He was walking over to the tavern, I saw him on his way up and these two f***ing Desert rats just came out of the shadows and tried to mug him. They drew swords upon him… And he slew them; as soon as I caught his gaze and he saw my uniform, the savage ran down the path." Ashad said as he pointed southwards, his tent however resided to the east of the town. The heavy snowfall covered any real tracks, certainly allowing him to make claims of movements that never actually happened.

Three of the guards bolted in the direction of supposed Kajar man. The remaining guard, patted Ashad on the shoulder. "I'm going to get the other guards to clean this mess up and secure this immediate area. Go get some rest, you'll be called upon at sunrise to make your report to the administrators." He said to Ashad plainly; the guards appearing to be convinced by Ashad's lie. As Ashad slowly marched through the snow eastwards to his yurt, the other other guard stood firmly in his position; through the open door signalling one of tavern patrons to come outside and send a message for him. Ashad didn't look back, the prospect of being found out, imprisoned, tortured and executed by his government terrified him… However the Southern woman also scared him, and after watching her kill two men it was clear to him that she at this point was more likely to kill him. As she currently had a reason, the Narrasian government didn't yet know of his "Treason".

Ashad waddled through the snow towards his yurt. Carelessly pulling up the door flap of his tent, he would be unpleasantly surprised by consequences of his action.

~ ~ ~

She was yet to realize it, but she had fallen asleep. Her head had nodded until it reached the ground and her tight grip on the hilt of her blade lessened. She was startled awake by the brushing sound of footsteps through snow. Abruptly, she was on her feet and preparing to dispatch whoever would enter through the yurt's tent-flap...

But what if it was the Narrasian guard aiding her? Hm, no, killing him would do no good. She didn't want to sleep in this tent with a corpse rotting in the entrance. Still, it could be anyone, so she needed to take them down before she could assume whether she was safe or not.

As soon as a hand reached in to push the flap aside, her own hand shot out, pulling them by the wrist into the yurt and slamming them to the floor with a well-timed smack of her knee into the man's mid-section, effectively winding him. She dropped down, straddling his belly with her strong thighs as she peered at his face, her blade pressed to his neck. Yes, it was the Narrasian guard from before. Good.

She remained where she was, but was decent enough to put the blade away in it's sheath at her hip. She then leaned forward, over him, to peer threateningly into his eyes. Her hazel orbs flicked from eye-to-eye, watching him for a few moments before she leaned back and moved upwards into a crouch. Daintily, she stepped over his prone body and stood to his left.

"I assume you didn't take the glory for yourself," she said in her exotic accent without the natural stronger accent of her homeland's language. "If you had, you would have taken longer to come back, and I doubt they would have sent you home right away. So, if you don't have your glory, I suppose you want something else in return for keeping silent about the incident." She folded her arms across her armoured chest. "What exactly? And what's your name, Jiar'arc?"

~ ~ ~

Ashad flipped up the leather curtain of his yurt, only to have his arm grabbed and to be violently dragged inside by the Jiar'arki woman. Having put him on his back with a powerful knee to his sternum; Ashad groaned in pain as he was instantly winded. She wasted no time in sitting on his stomach, staring right into his eyes as he felt a sharp blade press against his throat. He was terrified that she had thought him a traitor or just decided to go back on the agreement herself, so scared that he wouldn't even dare try to roll her off of him. Ashad looked back at her in terror; "Wwwwhat, Whhat did I do!?!?" he uttered nervously.

As the Southerner recalled her blade back into it's sheath. Her face slowly and aggressively hovered towards his, the woman spoke. "I assume you didn't take the glory for yourself, "If you had, you would have taken longer to come back, and I doubt they would have sent you home right away. So, if you don't have your glory, I suppose you want something else in return for keeping silent about the incident." she questioned Ashad sternly.

Folding her arms she continued to stare down at him, "What exactly? And what's your name, Jiar'arc?" as she questioned further. Ashad was confused as to the meaning of Jiar'arch. But immediately gave an answer, desperate to provide her with an explanation; "They wouldn't of believed me if I had told them I did it. So I told them that those men got into a confrontation with a Kajar traveller and he murdered them both… When you think about it, it's actually quite believable. Kajar are always violent, always getting into fights and taking a sabre or knife to someone, and outside the tavern of all places! Three of my comrades even ran south down the road to try and find him." Ashad rapidly explained, eager to save his own skin.

He looked back at the woman, hoping that the truth was more convincing than his lies. He simply wanted to get the woman out of town and his life to return to normality.

~ ~ ~

Dharka hovered over him as he blabbered, then she abruptly got to her feet. She stepped over the Narrasian and looked about his yurt before sitting down next to the man on the floor. She had no use of knowing his story - she knew he wouldn't betray her with fear like that in his eyes. He was yet to answer the questions that actually mattered, but it made her realize she almost needed to be a little more gentle with him to get those answers out.

"A Kajar," she softly said as if mulling it over in her mind. It took no effort to recall the face of one of those men - violent, unpredictable sorts. Barbarians in the worst meaning of the word. She had met them many times in her travels - even having a running feud with a certain group who killed one of her companions back in the days when she travelled with others. Another Kajar from the same group had constantly attempted to catch Dharka unawares. That man eventually ended up being dead... but it had definitely been a hard fight, especially when he had weapons and she had none.

"That will work fine," she said, making sure her voice wasn't as harsh as it had been while previously speaking with the Narrasian guard. He now needed confirmation that for his good work, he wouldn't be killed by her. However, she still needed to know two things.

Roughly, she caught up his right hand in hers, her grasp strong. She raised their joined hands to her forehead, briefly touching his knuckles to her skin. "I am Dharka Cos'Harb," she said in introduction. She lowered his hand from her forehead before releasing, hazel gaze firmly set on his own eyes. "I want to know your name. Then I want to know what I can do for you to repay you for saving my guts."

There, she had now humbled herself. She had admitted to him that without him, she surely would have been dead or imprisoned by his fellow guards. She was too tired to fight again tonight and she wasn't thinking clearly. Her defences weren't up, and now he knew that. Any Jiar'arki individual always maintained a bravado with outsiders that made the Jiar'arc think they were invincible, untouchable... but the fact she had told him he had saved her life meant that she was letting go of that illusion for once.

~ ~ ~

"My name is Ashad Tazzeran." he said skittishly. Almost hesitant to give his name, but then realising that the woman already knew where he lived… Considering she was currently standing in his home. One of Ashad's problems is that he thought too much, always over thinking every situation… Questions plagued his mind, "What was her name? How did she get here? Why is she here? Why this town? Why did she kill those men? Who where those men? What was yet to come?" the speculation and many unanswered questions gnawed at him.

But he dared not ask too many questions, or the wrong ones. Perhaps it was safer to ask none at all, speak only when spoken too. Ashad had no idea how to deal with this woman or Jiar'arki at all; Narrasians were easy to deal with… Do as you're told, tell them what they want to hear and money solved everything. Kajar were much the same, with the exception of the two most important rules- Never trust a Kajar, never turn your back on one. But this woman and her people were a complete mystery to Ashad, though he had heard many things about them from wounded soldiers; eh wasn't sure what to trust and what was fact. Ashad found her fair complexion and accent strange, it raised more questions; more things he wanted to know.

As the woman continued to eyeball him, Ashad felt uneasy. Knowing he had to choose his words and actions very carefully.

~ ~ ~

He had answered at least one of her questions - that was good. Now that their names were exchanged, she hoped he would be a little more talkative once Ashad realized she didn't want his name just so she could inscribe it on a tombstone. She continued to watch his eyes, noting with interest that some of the fear had subsided and been replaced with a curiosity of sorts.

Maybe he wasn't actually keen on getting anything from her in return - maybe her leaving in the morning would be good enough for him. Perhaps that was why he wasn't answering her question of how she could repay him. Either that, or he was just so scared of her that asking something of her made him sure he would get himself killed. If that was what he was thinking, he was a fool, Dharka decided.

She suddenly broke her stare with him. Rule number one when dealing with an outsider to the Jiar'arki ways: Never force eye contact. Eye contact was important in the Jiar'arki culture - nobody was shy of another's gaze. Staring told one a lot about a target, a friend, or even if a merchant was trying to rip you off. The Jiar'arki believed eyes were windows to the mind, but other cultures such as the Narrasians or Kajar often felt it an aggressive show of authority... or at least, that was what she had found in her travels. Some man had punched her in the face for staring at him too long only two days after she come to this land.

"I want you to know I have no intentions of hurting or killing you," she said, making her voice as less aggressive as possible. "I'm thankful to you for helping me cover up what happened back there, and if you need a favour, I will give it to you in return for helping me back there."

She distractedly looked aside, suddenly unsure of where to place her gaze since she was no longer looking at his eyes. She reluctantly brought them up to his face, wanting to look at his eyes how she usually would, but she knew he probably thought she was eyeballing him like some helpless puppy or such...

She reached aside for her pack, opening it to look inside. With only a bedroll and some Narrasian women's clothing inside, she realized that she would have to stock up before heading down the other side of the mountains toward the capital. A hissing sigh escaped her lips before she tiredly rubbed at her face.

"Though, I would greatly appreciate if that favour could wait until the morning. And thank you for letting me stay here the night." She tugged out her bedroll and laid it on the ground without further ado. She only removed her snow-caked boots before climbing inside the bedroll, turning her back to Ashad. She had slept in her armour many a time - sure, it was uncomfortable, but it took too long to take off and put back on, especially in an emergency.

Her eyes remained open as she stared at the wall of the yurt, listening for the Narrasian man's movements. He almost made her uncomfortable with just how scared he seemed to be of her. As she thought about it, she realized he certainly had a lot of unanswered questions. She had some of her own... One being, how had those two Jiar'arki warriors found her? And why? Which crime had made her finally have two men sent after her to cut off her head? And how could they have been here before her?
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Re: Of Honourable Intentions (Keith & Kate)

Post by Knifey Keith on Fri Jun 08, 2012 4:57 am

Ashad didn't feel he was in a position to argue with the clearly dangerous woman. If she had taken up the offer to stay the night, regardless of how reluctant Ashad was to make the offer; he felt it was safer to just co-operate with her. He deeply hoped that she would just leave once she had what she needed, Ashad was by no means brave.

He was a town guard purely because all Narrasian men of age were conscripted into the military and because Ashad was weak, frail and to his own disappointment… A coward. He was assigned to home guard duty, not just any home guard duty but in his small, backwater home town. It came as a great dishonour and shame to his family, but it was a gigantic relief for Ashad himself as he dreaded the prospect of actually having to be where the fighting was. So he worked with other cowardly, weak or injured soldiers; as a domestic force to maintain law and order.

But however good it initially seemed to Ashad in theory… This nights incident hit him hard, literally where he lived. The temperature grew even colder as the early morning approached and midnight faded; the snow outside would thicken, certainly providing a typical, daily inconvenience. But in Ashad's current predicament, it would impede any attempts at escape he tried to make… He still toyed with the idea of calling upon the aid of his fellow guards and locking this violent foreigner up. In some way he wished a Kajar warrior had been around to become involved in the fight between the three Southerners… That way he would of killed them all and simply chased Ashad away.

But these Jiar'arki… They weren't like Kajar or Shang… Certainly nothing like Narrasians. They were alien to the Northern world and that in some way scared Ashad the most; the fear of the unknown. He had watched the woman remove her snow boots and set up her bed, as she retired from the world of the awake into the plane of dreams… Ashad's temptation to sell her out and get rid of her gnawed at him. But his fear of what might happen initially held him back; it was hard for him to imagine that any kind of woman would be dangerous, even Dharka seemed friendly in some respect… But considering he had watched her slay two significantly big men with relative ease, he learned to fear her for what she could do. The woman Dharka turned her back to him as she went to sleep, as almost that she didn't consider him a threat in the slightest. That he was so obviously weak and incapable that she could simply make herself at home and allow herself to be vulnerable.

Ashad thought to himself… What could he really do about it? All he knew is that he hoped things would improve, that this mess he had found himself in would just go away. He just wanted to draw and make clothes, he just wanted to get drunk and dress up in a costume; to pretend he was a prince or wise old magician.
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Re: Of Honourable Intentions (Keith & Kate)

Post by Kate Orchix on Fri Jun 08, 2012 6:22 am

Sleep came far too easily to the Jiar'arki woman. Restless dreams haunted her and as the night progressed she gripped the edge of her bedroll's fabric more and more tightly. Her dreams always disturbed her. She was always pitted against a foe greater than herself - often people she knew or had known in her past life back across the Desert Sea.

Her dreams always reminded her of just how homesick she was. She dreamt of sand - gritty, dark orange sand washed over by a setting sun in brilliant neon hues of pink and red. Her legs felt good walking through sand, slipping just slightly but knowing that she was to trip, her knees wouldn't be met by cold snow. She hated the snow. Sure, it was pretty at times, but it was nothing like the lands back home.

Memories became blurred with her dreams and she found herself reliving some of the training sessions her uncle had given her. He had been so determined to make her an honourable warrior, even if she could never bear the title of such. Every day, he drummed in every technique he knew, making her memorize so much to do with battle. She had never understood why he couldn't be renamed an honourable warrior - she had heard of his crimes, but he was one of the best men she knew in her life.

Then there came more recent memories. Ones that might have been memories, or might have been a mixture of memory and fantasy. Yucom... the memories of him were good. He was such an abrasive, arrogant, snotty son of a bitch, but he had been the best companion a Jiar'arki warrior could ask for. She hadn't minded having him about just to stare at him at times... his body was a work of art after all.

But the dreams always went the same way. Yucom would get angry at her and swipe at her, she would retaliate, then a battle she never wanted would always take place.Then she would wake up.

So she did. She sat straight up as if startled awake, not knowing where she was, her eyes wide and breathing laboured. A cold sweat was across her forehead, making some loose hair that had fallen down from her stiff hood plaster across her face. She sat quietly for a moment, taking in her dark surroundings before recognizing the interior of the yurt.

Her hazel eyes brushed about the yurt before settling on the still form of Ashad. Had he even put himself to bed? He looked like he hadn't moved since she fell asleep. Staring oddly at him for a moment, she frowned, waving her hand before his face. No reaction was forthcoming so she shrugged to herself and started untangling her legs from the bedroll. Instantly, she was shocked by the cold and wished with all her might that she could crawl back into her bedroll and sleep the cold day away.

But there was work to be done. She needed to get supplies without anyone noticing her - hence the Narrasian women's clothing in her bag - and find a way to leave the town without garnering suspicion from any other guards. She also needed to find out what Ashad wanted in return for last night's trouble. Hopefully no physical favours - unless he wanted something chopped off. He was probably too scared to even dare suggesting such a thing, however...

She eyed Ashad, making certain his eyes really were shut before she started taking off her armour. She needed to blend in today, and obviously no danger was forthcoming this morning - even then, she could fight well without armour or weapons.

The armour was difficult to take off, and she struggled with keeping an eye on Ashad at the same time as undoing multiple clasps lost in a sea of fur clothing beneath the hard armour. Her armour was mismatched, having been patched up by any pieces of armour she could afford or scavenge here in this foul land. Even before leaving D'jiar'ark, her armour hadn't been like that of a true warrior. Her stone left shoulder guard was the only traditional piece other than the leather breastplate. The plate protecting her belly she had scored from a mercenary of another land that she had never heard of before and she wasn't exactly sure what it was made of, but it was a very sturdy material.

It took at least twelve minutes to get out of her armour and thick fur clothing while using stealth so as not to awaken Ashad. After all, she was trying to get changed and she really didn't need some filthy Narrasian leering at her. Beneath all that armour, she had a good body. Back home, it would have been a little more evident with slightly more tight-fitting clothing beneath the armour, but in this snowy environment with the need for warmer clothing, her body's shape and contours were left all to the imagination.

Finally, in nothing but her underwear, she turned her attention to the Narrasian women's clothing she kept stored in her pack, quickly pulling it on and checking to make sure her snow boots were easily available to put on. The fact that they were armoured was hidden by the furs covering the leather and metal plates surrounding the feet space within the boots.

Now dressed, she turned her attention to her hair and face. She had no looking glass, but the blade of one of her katanas served well enough. Face devoid of make-up, she didn't look too bad - she had always had smooth skin and dark eyelashes complemented her striking eyes rather nicely. Still, she didn't look like a Narrasian woman - not entirely. Her hair was too red, and her eyes were too Jiar'arki and didn't slant. Still, she could mimic the accent well enough if anyone gave her too hard an examination so she could fool them into believing she had lived here quite some time...

Her hair, long and freed from the leather bonds that had been holding it tightly back within the stiff hood of her armour, was crinkled and frizzy from the extended amount of time it had been hidden away. She longed for the opportunity to bathe and wash her hair, but that opportunity would not come today unless Ashad was willing to provide heated water - and she would not ask that of him after he had done so much already.

She combed her fingers through her hair, watching Ashad once more. He still seemed be quite unconscious, and she thought to leave him for a moment so she might go out and find something for breakfast, but just as she prepared to leave the yurt, she heard footsteps outside. Fear caught her - what was her story? There was no where to hide in this place! The yurt was far too small, and-...

Her eyes landed on Ashad. She wouldn't get him awake and out the tent flap in time. Hastily, she pushed her pack with her bedroll and armour to the side of the tent's door before flopping down on the ground next to Ashad, her body lying full-length beside his. Ugh, he'd better not think anything of this. Hastily, she slapped him in the face, waking him and covering his mouth with her hand as she continued to lie beside him.

Then she whispered. "There is someone outside, and our cover story if they happen to look in and see me is that I was your company for the night. Think nothing of it, Ser Tazzeran!" She released her hand from over his mouth, burying her face in his arm to disguise the fact that she was no Narrasian woman. Her breathing slowed and she let her body rise and fall with each breath to feign sleep. It had all happened so quickly, and true, she'd had no time to hide and explain to Ashad what was going on, for the tent's flap was already being pushed aside...

With Narrasian clothing, it was obvious she had far more shape than what the armour hinted at. The slope of her hip rose up to meld seamlessly with her small waist, chest expanding into a nicely-sized ribcage. If she hadn't been so cuddled up against Ashad, perhaps her breasts would have also been able to be observed, but... well... she was kind of cuddled up against Ashad.
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Re: Of Honourable Intentions (Keith & Kate)

Post by Knifey Keith on Sat Jun 09, 2012 6:14 am

Though he did not intent to doze off so easily… He did. Though now he awake due to the generously powered slap to the face which scared him to no end. It wasn't a pleasant way to be woken up in any situation, least of all when he was more or less a hostage. As he jolted up he registered what his eyes showed him; as Dharka pressed her hand against his mouth. She calmly but sternly informed him of the situation; visitors at the door.

Understanding exactly what was required of him, Ashad played along. As the woman pushed her face into his side, trying to conceal her identity and appear affectionate. Ashad called out nervously "Whhoo… Whos there!?!?"

A few seconds past in silence, then eventually a single male voice responded. "Ashad, get up you little bastard! The Commander wants to speak to you, about last night!" the man said. Clearly one of Ashad's fellow guards, Ashad stood up immediately. The guard poking his head in under the entry flap of the yurt, peering over at Ashad impatiently… Then noticing the presence of Dharka. His originally irritated expression changed into an amused grin, "Ashad you dirty little bastard! Anyone I know?" he said cheekily.

"What say you whore?" he said, his question directed to Dharka. Laughing hysterically he once again looked at Ashad in a degree of surprise. "Ha! I'd be ashamed to share a bed with him too… Slut." he added in a disrespectful, crude tone. "Get dressed and get out here, Commander wants to know what happened and where the two dead foreigners came from… And exactly how they got past the town walls in the first place."

"Yesss sir! I'll be out in a minute!" Ashad said nervously, however such a nervous tone was not unusual to the other guards. Ashad frantically slapped on the rest of his uniform and then began tying up his belt as the other guards chatted away outside the yurt. He looked at Dharka with a mixture of frustration and fear of what would happened if she was discovered. Likelihood is that he would be tortured and executed for harbouring a Jiar'arki; he'd be instantly branded a traitor and punished accordingly.

Ashad was now fully dressed, his short, crude sabre hung off the left side of his belt. Looking away from Dharka he snatched his glaive and smoothly ducked outside. The other guards looking at him with an uncharacteristic, very bare level of respect… One of the guards giggled uncontrollably. "C'mon little man." the main guard said as he made his way past Ashad and westwards. Little man was a refreshing change from little shithead or little girl.
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Re: Of Honourable Intentions (Keith & Kate)

Post by Kate Orchix on Sun Jun 10, 2012 2:02 am

Dharka unflinchingly took the names thrown at her, moving her head sleepily as if just waking up. She murmured something softly, then remained silent as she waited for the man to leave. Ashad shifted and she rolled over so she would be out of his way as he got up. Sitting up, she eyed the tent's flap for a few moments to make sure the guard wouldn't come back.

Her eyes moved to Ashad. Her gaze was softer than it was last night and she watched him put on the rest of his uniform. Suddenly, it hit her - he was young, very young, possibly not even out of his teens. She had been trying to figure it out last night what had made her trust him, or even take pity on him. She could have easily killed him and hidden his body, or even left it with the two Jiar'arki and made it look like he died from wounds they had inflicted upon him.

She could sense his nervousness as he watched her. He was scared, not only of her anymore, but of his kinsmen. What he had done was punishable by death or imprisonment for life. After all, if his kinsmen found Dharka and managed to identify her, they would soon discover a long, long list of crimes committed against Narrud and its people.

Ashad left without a word and she waited until the tent flap had fallen before flopping back where she had laid next to Ashad. An exasperated sigh spluttered out her lips and she rubbed her hands over her face. What would happen to Ashad once she had left? And what did she care?

She rolled over, up onto her knees before getting to her feet. Ashad would be fine. Once she was gone, there was no danger for him except for whatever danger was already here for him - he wasn't the typical Narrasian, that was for sure. He hadn't the senseless desire to be a warrior and to fight like his kinsmen or even like some of Dharka's own people.

Her decision to fight hadn't been senseless - she just hadn't had a choice really. She could have gone on to be the wife of a Jiar'arc, bear him children, make more little Jiar'arci to run around and be excluded from life as she had. Sometimes the ideas holding up cultures were ridiculous... perhaps Ashad's problem was similar to hers. He was an outcast, but he didn't have a choice. She had seen the way his hands trembled when he approached her after the execution of the two Jiar'arki warriors. He didn't want to be what he was.

Dharka moved silently to her pack, armour, and bedroll tucked to the side of the tent's door. Crouching, she started carefully fitting the armour into the pack. The breastplate was the most difficult part to fit, but there was still room for her to fit some supplies in so long as she didn't place the bedroll inside. Instead, she carefully bound it to the outside of the pack. As for her two katanas, her most difficult-to-conceal weapons, and their sheaths...

She would have to leave them here until she left. She doubted any Narrasian woman wandered about with weapons evident on her body, and even if she did, they wouldn't be katanas like what Dharka wielded. She searched about Ashad's yurt for an appropriate hiding spot to place the long blades. Eventually, she settled for laying them beneath Ashad's bedding. Hopefully, she would be gone before he got back from whatever meeting or duties he had to attend to. He didn't need her there any longer than she needed to be.

Now having looked around Ashad's yurt a little more, she had more opportunities to find places to hide her pack. She slid it behind a crate near the back of the yurt which she supposed was filled with Ashad's own supplies or precious items - she wouldn't peek. It wasn't her place to, and she owed him something for letting her stay the night. She would have to find him a gift while shopping for supplies... or leave him some gold or maybe one of her knives she hid within her armour. Some of them were expensive, brought from home, others were less expensive - ones she wouldn't care to throw at someone and never retrieve. Still, Ashad deserved one that he could sell for a good profit.

Crouching behind the crate with her pack, she rifled through it and the armour, retrieving two knives. One was an ornate dagger, sturdy and used many times but still of good value. The hilt was made from a firm metal, wrapped about with strips of leather, and the pommel held a small precious stone of an amber colour. This, she laid with the katanas under Ashad's bedding. The second knife, slim and slender with a plain wooden hilt, she took with her to the door of the yurt. There, she pulled on her boots and tucked the knife in next to her ankle.

During her search around the yurt, she had come across a few pieces of fabric. One made of black thread she collected and wrapped about her neck and head into a shemagh scarf. This would do to ward off any blowing snow and the prying eyes of strangers, since only her hazel, long-lashed eyes were visible.

Well... it was time to step outside with what little gold she had tucked away into a pouch at her waist. Hopefully just enough to buy some salted meat, crackers or bread, and a flask to carry water in.
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Re: Of Honourable Intentions (Keith & Kate)

Post by Knifey Keith on Tue Jun 12, 2012 3:09 am

Though the sun was out, it was still very cold. Ashad nervously walked along with the rest of the troop. These weren't the most disciplined of soldiers, as the group walked through the town and towards the Barracks; they joked and swore loudly. They certainly didn't give a good or reliable impression, though many of them were locals to begin with.

The group approached the Barracks; dozens of other guards walked in and out of the building, several others standing (Or leaning) guard in front. The other members of the group gradually scattered off to do a patrol, still joking and laughing about what hey had witnessed at Ashad's yurt. A single guard remained with Ashad, the mouthiest of the bunch whom had seen Dharka with his own eyes and happily called her a slut. He in fact was a captain and was likely to be present while Ashad would give his statement to the Commander. The Captain nudged Ashad into the doorway, the young man reluctantly walking inside the Barracks and straight to the Commanders office- He knew EXACTLY where it was, it certainly hadn't been his first time there.

In the past, under the previous Commander Ashad had dodged a lot of the training, marching, patrolling and any actual guard duties all together… Having been the clerk for the old Commander. Ashad thoroughly enjoyed being a bureaucrat, it was something he was actually very good at. However upon the passing of the outposts original Commander, his replacement had already brought a capable clerk with him… Ashad went back to being a normal guard.

The inside of the Barracks was bare and depressing, the Commanders office was actually very nice despite the condition of the rest of the Barracks… At least the last time Ashad had been in there anyway. Though things could have changed, he really didn't know what this new Commander was like, Ashad had only seen him in person once while he was inspecting the troops. As he and the Captain came to the office door the Captain knocked gently, the door slowly opening to reveal a small but stocky man; his head and face were cleanly shaven and he appeared to have only one ear… His right ear appeared to have been sliced off. He looked up at the Captain and Ashad, then looking at the captain specifically. "This him?" the man said, the Captain nodding respectfully. "I am Captain Kanash, the Commanders Clerk, he will see you now." the short, heavy one eared man said softly. He initially appeared to be a nasty, angry little man. But after hearing his soft, smooth voice and the polite, well spoken tone in which he spoke, Ashad didn't feel so intimidated by him.

This Captain Kanash was clearly an educated man, certainly from the Capitol City. Ashad walked through the door, unsure of what was to come next.
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Re: Of Honourable Intentions (Keith & Kate)

Post by Kate Orchix on Tue Jun 19, 2012 12:38 am

She didn't dare to go back to the tavern for fear of the bartender recognizing her. Then again, a part of her urged her to go back and find that bartender and silence him - he had recognized the two Jiar'arki warriors and herself for what they were, after all. If the guards caught wind of him witnessing the fact that there had been three Jiar'arki in the tavern at one point that evening, there was no telling what would happen next.

Her hesitant steps took her to the tavern's front door and she stood outside in the snow for a moment to catch her bearings. This could possibly land her in a lot more trouble than she already was, but this was a loose end that needed tying, for both her sake and the sake of the Narrasian, Ashad.

Raising a hand to push the door aside, it was pulled out from under her grasp and she came face-to-face with a large Narrasian man. He was bald, and leered down at her with a disapproving glare. It took her a few moments to realize that he expected her to move aside - in Jiar'arki culture, there was a polite sort of etiquette applied to this situation. Anyone opening the door from the inside stepped aside for the person coming in... not so here. Here, only a gentleman would do that for a lady, and that obviously wasn't going to happen. The man before her was no gentleman.

She stepped aside for him, eyes quickly dropping to the ground as if in apology for her lack of speed. He gruffly passed her, his shoulder catching her own and making her stumble a moment. A frustrated stare was thrown after him and he glanced back at her, raising his eyebrows as he looked down at her figure. A snort passed her lips and she plunged through the tavern doors.

There weren't as many people here this morning as there had been last night. A few drunkards sleeping off booze were sprawled over chairs or on the floor, many of them snoring. Other Narrasians had come in for a quick drink before work, or because they had nothing better to do. Dharka's eyes roamed until they came to rest on the bartender behind the counter. He was polishing a large mug, taking great pride in the squeaky sounds the cloth made against the finely crafted ceramic.

Sliding up to the counter, she waited for him to notice her. His eyes were dull as if he hadn't managed to get any sleep last night, but even so she saw no recognition in his bland gaze. "Is there something I can get you, lady?" he asked.

Keeping the Narrasian accent, she nodded her head before replying. "How much would an empty flask be?" she asked.

"Two gold," he mumbled. "Three if you want water in it, and a lot more if you want mead, beer or wine in it. What will it be?"

She reached into the pouch at her waist and picked out three coins before setting them on the counter. The bartender looked down at them a moment before moving aside to find a flask and to fill it with water. Dharka felt a sigh of relief work its way from her lungs - he didn't recognize her. He likely didn't even remember last night's events.

An exchange of flask of water and three gold, and she left the building. Trudging through the snow, she passed few villagers on her way towards the small market, seeing as it was still an early hour. The few who did pass her either ignored her altogether or gave her body some degree of interested stares. She, for one, showed no interest in any of them, avoiding eye contact and focusing firmly on getting from one place to another.

The market stalls were only just opening, but it was easy enough to find stalls that dealt in long-term provisions such as salted meats and biscuits. The woman she haggled with had a very bad temper and swore continuously throughout the exchange of gold and food, hassling Dharka for no reason at all, it seemed. Any other nation, and Dharka would have smacked the woman in the face just to make her shut up, but here... she didn't understand people here. They just didn't make any sense. Especially the women. Why didn't they stand up and fight for what they wanted?

She hated being docile and taking people's abuse, but acting out the role of a Narrasian woman, she had no other choice. Sure, she could probably smack this grumpy woman around some, bite her arm, pull her hair, scratch her with her nails... typical 'girl-fighting'... but it wouldn't be satisfactory. She really wanted to punch someone and know she was going to get punched back just as hard, if not harder.

Bartering was soon over and she walked away with enough salted meat, crackers, biscuits (and even some yak's cheese) to last her the journey down the mountain and to the nearest town where she could pick up some more supplies. The meat was wrapped in linen and a stiff layer of papyrus paper, whereas the rest of the food was just packaged in linen.
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Re: Of Honourable Intentions (Keith & Kate)

Post by Knifey Keith on Wed Jul 18, 2012 1:01 pm

Ashad nervously entered the room, the short statured Kanash lurked behind him as Ashad sighted the unhappy Commander sitting at his desk. The Commander himself didn't seem specifically unhappy with Ashad, however appearing to be victim of stress. A couple of fairly thick piles of papyrus sheets flopped onto his desk, waiting to be written upon and scrolled up. The middle aged Commander looked up at Ashad, seemingly annoyed; "If you're ever presented with a lower or greater command position, my advice to you is; Don't take it… You're better off dying alone in war." The commander said, sounding exhausted and depressed. He was a fairly handsome man; though nearing old age he appeared to possess a great energy and drive within him. Ashad was beginning to like him already, clearly he this Commander wasn't so much different from his predecessor… Though Commander Sharim was nicer, certainly more appreciative of Ashad… Ashad himself considered that this new and already well established Commander may take a liking to Ashad too; after all, a man in his position couldn't say no to two fully educated, competent clerks.

Despite the fantasies of recognition and appreciation going on in Ashad's head; the Commander, once upon gazing upon Ashad said one simple, straight to the point question- "So where do you think this killer went? Better yet… How did he get into this town, and how did the two Southerner men also enter this town undetected?" The Commander said, an expression of exhaustion and clear lack of empathy marked his voice. His eyebrows lowered slightly as his gaze looked sharper at Ashad; "I'm not calling or implying you as a traitor… But I do believe you sometimes hear things." The Commander said, seemingly stuck in the middle ground in whether to trust Ashad or view him as a liar.


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Re: Of Honourable Intentions (Keith & Kate)

Post by Kate Orchix on Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:34 am

Trudging back through the thick snow, Dharka glumly made her way back to Ashad's yurt. She had enough supplies to leave right now - the knife was good enough of a thank you gift as any, but leaving like this just didn't feel right. She owed Ashad something, and she wasn't certain what. Sure, he had never taken her up on the offer for 'asking for whatever he wanted', or gold, or any thing like that, but...

Her brows furrowed down grumpily. Since when did she care for Narrasians?

Having approached Ashad's yurt, she was unhappy to see it appeared to have a guard. Her steps slowed until she was standing a few feet away in the snow, a sack over her shoulder containing all she had bought with coin. Hazel eyes washed over the man at the tent's entrance.

His thick arms were crossed over his chest, tattoos firmly on blatant display seeing as he wasn't wearing gauntlets. His livery was similar to that of what Ashad was wearing, indicating he was one of the town guards. His dark eyes and the corner of his mouth twitched in a smirk, and he let his arms fall to his sides as he took a step forwards toward Dharka.

"You exclusively Ashad's whore?" he asked crassly, a dark, sinister expression deep within his eyes. "If so, how much coin would change that?"

This can not be happening. Dharka stared at him a long moment, then shook her head and attempted to move past him into the yurt. However, a hand reached out and caught her by the front of her scarf, tugging her towards the large Narrasian's face. He smiled ominously, tilting his bald head slightly to the side as he shifted her nearer, his free hand encircling her waist and pressing her body close to his.

"If you scream, I can always kill you and get away with it. I am one of the town guards, after all..." he said rather smugly, but the expression was worn off his face within an instant. He had tugged Dharka a little too close for his own personal safety. A squeak escaped his lips as she pushed away from him and stumbled for a moment, reaching down to protect himself from another knee-ram.

Her face was fury personified, her fists clenching tightly in anger and her eyes blazing with rage. "You so much as dare to follow me into that tent, and I will make certain you scream like a girl. I could probably kill you and get away with an explanation of self-defence, after all."

She shouldered the sack and pushed past him into the tent. Moving to Ashad's bedroll, she pulled one of the katanas free as she set the sack down on the floor, readying herself to slice the guard's head from his shoulders if he so much as put a foot inside. However, he was to be spared a fate such as death seeing as he just swore and spat on the ground before stumbling away through the snow.

So much for slacking off a patrol and having a bit of time with some female company... Especially the 'easy' one that Ashad managed to bed. How'd he pull that off with her!? The guard's opinion of Ashad was shaken now, and he wasn't quite sure what to think... who was whose whore!?
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Re: Of Honourable Intentions (Keith & Kate)

Post by Knifey Keith on Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:01 am

Ashad's stomach churned with guilt, truth being he knew EXACTLY what happened. However Ashad would recite a different version of events, or as it is most commonly referred to as; a lie. Ashad didn't feel good about lying, nor did he feel good about what he would come home to if this questioning went well.

Ashad had to answer none the less; he never considered himself a skilled liar. Mostly due to the fact he didn't make a habit of lying. "I know that Yashan Habid and Nader Bashir tend to go smoke Hashish late at night, their minds would easily have been slowed." He said, trying to tell half truths instead of lying completely. The Commander appeared to ponder on the concept for a few seconds, then looking back at Ashad "We need to conclude this incident with complete certainty." The Commander said. "So what of this murderer? The Kajar man? Was there anything unique or distinguishing about his appearance? There all a pack of murderous brutes but… I don't accept a man being convicted of a crime he didn't commit, where the guilty party gets away with it!" The Commander stated angrily. "I have no doubt that most of the Kajar infesting this region are guilty of killing someone or another, but I want the right man. I expect accuracy and truth in such affairs; theres no honour or justice in executing a scapegoat. I'm sure you can understand." He added firmly, clearly the Commander believed in more fanciful ideas. Ashad wasn't one to question, in fact he admired such ethics quite a lot.

Though Ashad wasn't about to do anything in the spirit of such ideals; for he was about to lie through his teeth. "I didn't get a great look at him, but he was tall like many Kajar. He had a massive scar over his left eye, which was white and glassy; he was also missing a few of his teeth." Ashad said, his description was true of more than a few Kajar men. Though hopefully the specific details of his statement was enough to sway the Command in another direction, "Oh! And he was missing most of his right ear!" he added, trying to more convincingly add to the lie.

Upon comprehending Ashad's description, the Commander looked somewhat nervous and at the same time pleased. "You my boy are a lucky individual. The man you just described is Hajan Yatar; a chieftain of one of the local Kajar tribes. Him and his kin are notorious bandits, they're wanted by the Empire for several acts of murder, arson, assault and theft! You said he went South yes!?!?!" The Commander said eagerly.

Ashad nodded persistently, "Yes! Yes! I would of chased after him but he was Kajar! I'm thankful he didn't kill me!", the Commander seeming entirely convinced by Ashad's testimony, "Dismissed soldier!" the Commander said proudly. He seemed to be pleased with Ashad's work… However cowardly Ashad may have come across.

Ashad pressed his hands together and bowed to the Commander, as he turned towards the door; Kaash the stocky clerk and veteran had already opened the door for him. Thankfully nodding his head and smiling at Kanash, Ashad exited the office room and into the barracks hall with the tremendous weight on his shoulders lifting significantly. However there was still the matter of Dharka the southerner, as well as the fact that Ashad himself was a miserable failure.

Quickly exiting the barracks by walking down the hall and eventually out side through the front door; Ashad looked at the dim, yet gradually brightening early morning sun. The snow on the ground still thick; his legs pushed through the snow; as he eventually came a little more than half way across town… He was already tired. Some would have thought that such regular activity would be good exercise and make Ashad quite fit… Not in Ashad's case clearly. As he pushed himself through the snow and towards his yurt, Ashad tripped; falling on his hands, the wet and cold seeped into his thick fabric gloves. Frustrated in the constant annoyance, inconvenience and torment he had to endure through out his life; he stood up. Firmly and angrily, he marched the rest of the way until he reached his yurt. Furious, he pushed into and slapped aside the door flap of his yurt, staring at Dharka with an unwelcoming glare.

"I want you to leave red hair woman!" Ashad said showing an uncharacteristic amount of bravery.


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Re: Of Honourable Intentions (Keith & Kate)

Post by Kate Orchix on Thu Aug 02, 2012 2:13 am

Having had no further challenge presented to her, Dharka relaxed and let the sword drop to her side in a loose grasp. A soft sigh escaped her lips and she wiped her free hand across her face, closing her eyes. That had reminded her far too much of what it was like back home in Akrim'arth at night... if you were known to be a Jiar'arki and appeared defenceless, and happened to be an attractive young woman, it was best to walk with others.

Many a time she had walked home after a hard day of work, a stalker closely following her and attempting to catch up to her in the shadows. Most had been Jiar'archi, but a few had been of her own caste... and it wasn't just her that it happened to. She remembered when she was young, her aunt coming home one day in tears with her clothes tattered. Dharka's uncle disappeared that night and returned the next morning with his clothes and fists bloodied, and a grim expression upon his face. He had told his wife that she would never have to go through whatever she went through ever again.

Once, one of the stalkers had been bold enough to enter the house after Dharka despite the presence of her younger cousins. Once he spied Dharka's far prettier cousin, his direction had changed... It had been Dharka's first murder, and she had never regretted it for even a moment. Rocca and Epie had helped her bury the body in the sand out the back of their house.

Dharka felt her fists clench and she turned to once again hide the katana beneath Ashad's bedding, but suddenly the curtain of the yurt was thrown aside and Ashad marched on in. He was clear in his demand and Dharka stared at him with the expression of a lost puppy. Where had that burst of decision come from? She tilted her head, glancing past him - maybe he had company? No, no company...

She turned her back to him, collecting the other katana and the small dagger. Swivelling back to face him, she extended the dagger to him, hilt-first. "Fine, I'll leave," she stated, "but only if you accept this for your trouble. It's worth enough to support you for half a year if you chose to sell it."

Hand still extended holding the dagger, she nodded for him to take it. But... then she tilted her head. "Are you even happy here?" she suddenly demanded. Yet, her eyes were soft - not fierce, more... curious. She had left her home when she discovered she and her family could be happier elsewhere. Why didn't he do the same?




Tired and exhausted from working all night, he stumbled his way through the snow. Finally, his wife had woken up and been able to take over the work. Her soft, submissive approach rarely brought in the coin and few customers even bothered to pay her seeing as they rarely took her seriously, but he would only be gone for a few minutes hopefully. And whatever he earned for the information he was offering would be suitable as compensation for the lost money...

One of the town guards had entered the tavern, mouthing off about how two Jiar'arki had snuck into the village last night. As if by some form of twisted magic, the barkeeper's mind had awakened long enough to remember the two of them sitting in his tavern. However, no matter how the barkeeper tried to lead the guard in conversation, he simply had not mentioned the third - a woman.

The barkeeper tugged his fur coat about himself a little more firmly as he approached the barracks. He was a trusted member of village and one of the best-known considering almost everyone went to the tavern at some point in the week. A few guards gave him nods of welcome or curious gazes, but he wasn't stopped until he reached the door to the offices of the Commander and his clerk. The guard questioned him on his intention.

"I have information about the Southerners that entered the town last night. I would like to speak to the Commander."
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Re: Of Honourable Intentions (Keith & Kate)

Post by Knifey Keith on Thu Aug 02, 2012 2:34 pm

Though trying to avoid eye contact with Dharka, her question provoked resentment in him. Being here, doing what he did and keeping his mouth shut was what he had his entire life knew as the right thing to do. After all the disappointment from his family, from everyone else; how much he had pushed himself to do the right thing and fit into the norm. Who was she? Who the fuck was she to question the way he was living, to question his ambition to be a good person. Though he deep inside loved the idea of running off and becoming some kind of sorcerer or master of illusion… It wasn't going to happen. No one would take him seriously if he wore his special private clothing in public.

They'd think he was a total gay, they already thought he was a weak homosexual. If he started dressing up in a big coat with a big collar and stars and moons embroidered into it… People would kick the hit out of him. Ashad didn't have the luxury of being who he wanted to be, he couldn't be the stylish, expressive person person he was. His parents didn't like it, girls didn't like it, other men didn't like it; society didn't like it. The only time Ashad had been praised for being a thinker was when he was a clerk; that time was long gone and he was back to trying to be big, strong and brave like the other men.

Dharka disturbed him, she didn't seem to dislike him for who he was. She certainly took advantage of it, but she clearly didn't hate him. Though Ashad knew in his bones that he was smart, he didn't rule out the possibility that she was manipulating him. Women often manipulated men with sex; but a truly great manipulator among women would take the less obvious route. In some ways the more attractive route; the way of the listening ear, the embracing hug, comfort and acceptance. It confused, enticed Ashad slightly; but in his mind he resisted it. He'd been raised not to trust women, however he may have disagreed with such a principle; he'd also been raised to mistrust foreigners. The mixture of confusion and personal hurt from her questioning of his place cut Ashad deeply, though he didn't want to, though he tried very hard not to… He began to cry.

Tears slowly running from his eyes, he averted his gaze completely. Trying to hide his face and his crying, he never wanted to be this person. He never wanted to live this way, where he couldn't even have friends because no one understood him. He could never find love because girls assumed he wasn't interested; Ashad turned towards the door flap of his yurt. Thats how much of a weakling and coward he felt, that he was going to leave his home to accommodate an invader. He'd rush out into the snow in order to give up his home to a stranger; he'd never felt so weak.
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Re: Of Honourable Intentions (Keith & Kate)

Post by Kate Orchix on Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:04 am

The moment tears coursed from Ashad's eyes, Dharka, for the first time in a very long while, was at a loss. It had been years since she had made someone cry - let alone, a man - and she wasn't sure what to do as he raced outside into the snow. Almost numb, she just stood there with her arm extended with the ornate dagger for a few more moments.

Despite no words being given, she knew her question had been answered. Slowly, she licked her lips and turned to collect her pack. Slinging the strap across one shoulder, she drew her shemagh around her face once more, slid the katanas into a hidden pocket off the side of the pack, and turned to face the flap of the yurt. What exactly should she do? The best she could do was leave him be - at least that would be one complication walking out of his life.

Her steps took her out past Ashad, but before she knew it, she had halted in the snow, not two meters from him. Her gaze settled on him and she looked down at the dagger remaining in her grasp before marching towards him. She caught his hand up in hers and pressed the dagger into his palm. Fiercely, she stared him in his tearful eyes.

"You and I are not too different, Ashad Tazzerin," she murmured. "But I can walk out of your life and never return, or you can come with me and find somewhere the unwanted like us can find a life. I can't promise you'll find it right away, but you certainly aren't finding it in this dump."

With that, she released him and shouldered her pack once more. "Come or stay as you will. I'll meet you outside the village in half an hour. If you're not there, I will leave and I promise we will never meet again."

She turned and stalked off through the snow, leaving the ornate dagger in Ashad's hands. Her thoughts raced with each crunch of snow underfoot and her eyes widened slightly as she let out a sigh between her teeth. What had she just done? She had just offered the boy to travel with her? Was she insane!? He was a Narra, she a Jiar-... No. Racial differences aside, what she had done had probably been in the right. She had nobody, he had nobody, both were searching for a better life... and he didn't seem the kind to strike out on his own. He needed a little shove.

Then again, there was always the possibility he wouldn't show up in half an hour. Dharka wasn't sure whether she preferred that option or not.
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Re: Of Honourable Intentions (Keith & Kate)

Post by Knifey Keith on Wed Aug 29, 2012 6:46 am

As the dim, cloud covered sun rose higher upon the town it's modestly skilled guards patrolled through out the town. Save those posted on the walls; three guards for each face of wall, on the corner of each wall was a tower that joined them all together. These towers served as protection for their archers, as well as a small building in which wall guards used as quarters. On the North wall three guards sat on wooden boxes, two men and one fairly masculine female guard. Gambling away a portion of their wages in a Narrasian dice game called "Kamut", the trio completely unaware of the people silently sneaking about outside the wall.

The three guards continued to roll the dice; talking, cheering and complaining loudly as the mysterious people outside of the wall watched and listened. As the three guards continued to play on, one of the male guards withdrew his shares from the game of Kamut; only one of male guards and the female guards played the game. They did so for a few minutes, the male incidentally winning, he stood up to the female guard. Grinning he looked down at her lustfully and said "If you're not keen on giving up on your money, I could do with a blowjob…" winking at her as if such an act had happened between them before. The female guard looked at him in frustration, blinking only for a second; she heard a whistling noise. Opening her eyes within a micro-second she saw the eager, sexually enthusiastic guard in a completely new light…

With an arrow in his eye and poking out the other side of his head. The other two guards looked in astonishment, confusion and terror. "wwwhat the fuck!?!?!" the female guard said in shock. Quickly afterwards a grappling hook attached to a thick rope came flying over. Being pulled back and hooking onto the wall a small, thickly dressed figure came climbing up the wall at an alarming speed. The hand of the intruder gripping a section of the wall, a female Kajar warrior hoisted herself up onto the walk space of the wall. The female guard grabbed and raised her spear, the remaining male guard took up his bow while the guard who had become casualty fell back over the wall and into the town.
The young Kajar woman quickly drew her sabre, slashing into the arm of the bowman and turning around to dodge the female guards spear thrust. Viciously slashing down on the Narrasian woman's throat with her sabre, the Kajar woman within a matter of seconds kicked her backwards and off the wall to join her fallen comrade dead on her back.

The remaining, wounded guard shook uncontrollably with fear as she Kajar woman approached him. The Kajar warrior swug her sabre to her right side. Her long hair tied into pig tails, silver nose ring and big Kajar style fur coat with embroidered Kajar patterns, it wasn't hard to tell that she was Kajar at all and as the final guard drew an arrow from his quiver, resisting he great pain in the arm holding his bow; the Kajar warrior bolted straight at him. Running him through with her sabre, the young Kajar woman pulled her sword out of the guard. As he fell on the ground, she pulled up of his tunic as he laid back, bleeding out- Wiping the blade of her sabre off the tunic being stretched and gradually ripped . She sheathed her sabre and reached down at him as he died slowly; picking him up effortlessly, she hoisted him over to the outside of the wall.

Several seconds later, more Kajar warriors climbed up the wall on the rope tied around the anchored grappling hook. Joining their comrade, the other warriors hurried into the tower point of the Northern wall. Quickly shuffling down the stone stair case and onto ground level. The group of six of so Kajar were met by a handful of very surprised Narrasian guards; The original female warrior still up on the wall with bow and arrow, guarding the path for more Kajar to climb up onto the wall. Though caught off guard; the Narrasians cleverly sprung back, some quickly fetching their glaives. Others ran outside, loudly calling out so all could hear "We're under attack! Kajars on the wall!"

Civilians in the immediate vicinity rushed to their homes; where more guards rushed in the opposite direction to where the calls had been made from. Inside the guard tower a brutal massacre of Narrasian guards took place, where Kajar warriors skewered them with glaives, other Narrasians slashed about by sabres. More Kajar warriors gathered on the wall; running into the tower and down the stair case. Aside the fact that the town was under attack; something seemed horribly wrong. A war band of Kajar daring to attack upon Narrasian soil and in the day time at that- This wasn't just some greedy, ill thought out caravan raid.

This was an act of war.

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Re: Of Honourable Intentions (Keith & Kate)

Post by Kate Orchix on Thu Sep 06, 2012 5:26 am

She would have to make it to the wall. Once there, she would need to climb quickly and stealthily - last night's entry had been easy in the dark, but now with the cloudy sunlight she had little chance of sneaking out by any gate without being seen. In the dress of a Narrasian woman, perhaps she had a chance, but she doubted she could convince any true Narrasian she came across that she was a simple traveller. To be honest, she didn't even remember the name of the last city she had stayed in, nor the village before that.

So, she took shelter briefly behind another yurt that rested up close to the side of the wall to get changed back into her armour. If she was caught crossing the wall, she would need an edge such as the armour in case someone decided shooting at her was a pretty neat idea. Drawing her hood up about her face, she once more shouldered her pack. This time she made sure the straps were firmly fastened about her shoulders so she would have her hands free for climbing and possibly fighting.

But then, she heard something - a startled remark, muffled footsteps, and clambering upon the walls. She glanced up, pressing herself against the wall, but the commotion was happening a little further over. She was practically invisible in the shadow of the yurt and stared in astonishment as blade met blade, Kajar warriors sweeping into the village like a dark plague of bristling steel, nose rings, and furry coats. She watched as they cut their way through the unprepared Narrasian soldiers and guards, her tongue caught between her teeth as she mused.

This isn't good.

With the news of such a brazen attack as this spreading to the Capital within the next few days, Dharka's progress would be hindered. Not only would the Kajar pose more of an instant threat upon herself, but their presence in Narrud would draw the attention of the Narrasian military to foreigners in general. If one paid enough attention, a disguised Dharka certainly was no Narrasian. Walking about in her armour, she was even more likely to be attacked.

She rubbed a gloved hand across her face and huffed a sigh. The Kajar and Jiar'archi had never gotten along at the best of times, so she couldn't try to appeal to their side either - nor would she want to. They wouldn't help her with her goals, she knew. As a rule, Dharka tended to dislike Kajar. They were unruly, bossy, abrasive, and generally smelly... and not in the good way like her own people! Plus, she had already had some bad experiences with certain Kajar individuals.

She needed a bow, she decided. With the several dead guards at the bottom of the stairs near the wall, she had the opportunity to loot their bodies if the Kajar warriors weren't watching. Even then, they might not attempt to kill her if they saw her simply out of curiousity. Just because the Kajar and Jiar'archi didn't get along a long time ago didn't mean that everyone knew that... and it wasn't normal for a Jiar'archi to venture from D'jiar'ark in the first place. Everyone knew that.

Still, Dharka didn't like to thrust her life into the hands of Luck, so she proceeded cautiously. Sticking to the shadows, booted feet sinking softly through the snow, she made it to the shade beneath the stairs and peeked about at the nearest body - the dead archer. She could see the bone of his arm peeking through hewn flesh and already, his mangled body had drawn flies. Above her, she could hear Kajar's feet pounding on the wall above her and several times she flinched, expecting them to come down the stairs. Still, beneath the stairs she seemed to be well hidden.

Her hand snaked out, reaching for the archer's body. Her stiff, cold fingers touched his shoulder and gripped tightly as she drew him slowly into the shadow with her. She left his feet out in the sunshine so nobody would wonder where the body went and carefully pried the quiver of arrows from beneath him. The bow was strung over her own shoulder and she tucked the quiver into a strap of her pack for easy access.

So now what? She hadn't expected any of this. Running out from cover was a stupid thing to do, but if she wanted to get over the wall that was what it was going to take and-...

Ashad. Dammit!

Half an hour certainly hadn't passed. It had only been a little more than ten minutes at the most! He wouldn't have made it out if his intention had been to follow her, and even if he had decided to stay, it was now his duty to stand and fight and to die. He would instantly be picked out for extermination once the Kajar found him to be a guard, either that or he would willingly throw himself on one of their spears for the sake of his pathetic country which was all-too-happy to toss its youths into the jaws of war.

Cursing her inability to let sleeping dogs lie, Dharka left the body of the archer and shuffled her way back along the shadow of the wall. She couldn't take on a whole Kajar horde on her own, so stealth was her friend until she got out of the village. However, she wasn't heading outside. No, instead, she was headed in, back towards Ashad's yurt. Hopping from shadow to shadow, behind objects and yurts, she kept an eye on the walls as she moved, and about her. A few panicked citizens raced past her, some seeing her as a threat and running the other way, or not seeing her at all.

Before long, she was behind Ashad's tent. Without a sound, she slid her fingers in under the edge of the fabric and lifted it, pulling herself in and shutting the yurt's sturdy fabric behind her as she stood, searching for Ashad.
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Re: Of Honourable Intentions (Keith & Kate)

Post by Knifey Keith on Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:24 pm

The commotion spilled into the rest of the town quickly; upon hearing the cries of guards and civilians alike, Ashad rushed to his yurt. Dharka's thoughts had been correct, Ashad would be expected to protect the town… As were all men. As the young, frail man jumped into his tent home he looked about for his glaive; a weapon in reality had proved too heavy and awkward for someone as weak and uncoordinated as himself. But it was what he was trained to do, with a short, crude sabre at his side; he would try to pig stick Kajar.

Ashad was terrified of the Kajar, having heard terrible stories about them. Most Narrasians were terrified of them, the land of Narrud had a long and bloody history with them. Big strong men who were also fast and ferocious, who felt no fear and were trained like guard dogs from childhood to be skilled fighters. Big strong men with shaved heads and pony tails, nose rings and lots of tattoos, lots of scars and muscles. Some went shirtless, others wearing big fur coats, the Kajar had baggy trousers and heavy, pointy boots. On their belts they wore knives and swords, often gripping a spear, glaive or bow in their hands. Their voices were deep and harsh, like that of a rabid bear. In the eyes of a Narrasian however one of the most disturbing things about them was that the women weren't too much different. Their women had hair down to their knees, neatly brushed and tied into two long platted pig tails. Kajar women dressed very modestly, like Narrasian women they covered their bodies… But like the men, had many tattoos; women that fought and fought well was something frowned upon, even abhorred in Narrasian culture. On occasion a Narrasian woman would join the military, being treated as if they were incapable or disabled; being left to guard the back water towns or stuck in the bureaucratic side of military affairs. Being a disgrace to their family, Kajar women however- Were equal to their men, being expected to be skilled fighters like their brothers, sons, husbands and fathers. For a Kajar woman they only needed prove their worth as an individual, not on behalf of their gender. Kajar men happily struck women, but not because out of viewing women as lesser or weaker; because in their culture, a woman could be as strong as them.

Plenty of female warriors were in this group. Ashad pulled the leaning glaive towards him, as he swung for the entry flap of the yurt, he nearly sliced open his home. Kneeling down quickly to slap on his helmet, he dropped down the angle of his glaive and pointed it towards the gap between the tent flap and the wall. Rushing out into the street, struggled to move quickly in the ankle deep snow. Moving closer towards the fighting, he unknowingly passed by Dharkha's position; Ashad stared down his first ever real fight. A short, heavy Kajar warrior caught side of Ashad in the distance; seeing the guard uniform he was wearing, the frenzied warrior charged with his "Tajan", the Tajan was the Kajar two handed sword. A curved, wide blade with a crescent wave on the back of the tip; it was most frequently known as the Woman's sword or the sword of vengeance. One of the first Kazyan Gul's had used one to decapitate her unfaithful husband and disembowel the woman he had cheated with. The weapon had since then become a symbol of revenge against wrong doings, in older days it was assumed of those who wielded one that they had been wronged or fought to right one.

Whether that was the case here, was unknown and irrelevant. The vicious man charged across the street at Ashad, barking a phrase that shared the same meaning in Narrat as it did in Kajari; "Enekmen Nashar koos!", translating exactly to "Fucking Narrasian cunt". Ashad raised up his glaive with half a mind to run away and hide, he looked about frantically. "Help me!!!" he called out in terror, the Kajar warrior rushed towards him, slashing off the head of his glaive with the Tajan. Ashad fell back at the sheer speed and power of the man's sword blow; the strong wooden shaft of the glaive being broken and splintered apart. Ashad's chronically shaky right hand reached for his sabre; but knowing it would do no good.

The Kajar warrior continued to slash wildly at Ashad; the young man managing to lean back and avoid a few of the sword swipes. Finally managing to produce his sabre, he held it out in order to protect his body from attack. Unfortunately his enemy combatant was far more formidable than that; with the back edge of the Tajan, the Kajar man knocked Ashad's blade aside and slashed deep into Ashad's throat. Cutting apart his windpipe completely, the Narrasian fell onto his back; gurgling on his blood. The Kajar warrior moved on to another enemy as Ashad lay helpless, bleeding to death.
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Re: Of Honourable Intentions (Keith & Kate)

Post by Kate Orchix on Tue Sep 18, 2012 4:42 am

He wasn't in the tent. A curse passed her lips and she burst out the yurt's entrance. Almost instantly, she was bowled over by a large Narrasian man. He was running, carrying a small child in his arms, and didn't even stop to check Dharka was all right. In fact, he might as well have thought she was a Kajar, the way his face filled with terror and his feet pounded into the snow, harder and harder.

Dharka rolled onto her knees, righting herself before touching a hand to her face. The man's shoulder had caught her in the forehead and blood came away sticky on her fingers. He was long gone by the time she got to her feet, shaking off a slight woozy feeling from the impact. Without further ado, she resumed her search for the Narrasian soldier she had inadvertently developed some concern for.

A concussion was likely, but Dharka didn't stop. If someone had suggested she sit down and get her bearings, she would have most likely laughed in their face before shoving them aside. Her progress forward through the snow was blurred by her bloody vision but she was quick enough to duck past another rushing Narrasian - screaming, this time. Seemed they had been struck in the arm by an arrow, but were too dumb to remain silent so they weren't a bigger target - Dharka speedily moved away from him.

Bodies were strewn about the place - guards, mostly, she realized, and she slowed down to try and find Ashad, glancing amongst their lifeless eyes. She turned over a few bodies, but he simply wasn't there. She threw a wild glance about, hoping to find another guard standing, but... there was one. He was on his back, choking on his blood and-...

"You bloody fool!"

She stomped over to Ashad and dropped to her knees at his side. Her hands clamped tightly about his throat - not enough to cut off all air, but enough to keep the split skin together so he would have a path to breathe through. She tilted her head so she could see whether or not he had been cut any other sensitive place on his neck, but it seemed that no major veins had been cut. Her only concern was with keeping his skin pinched together so no extra air would enter his bloodstream - otherwise he had a good chance of dying.

"Just lie still," she told him. "I need you to keep calm so you can hold your own throat closed. Do you have any needle or thread back in your tent? Move your hand up and down for yes, shake it for no. Don't try to talk."

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Re: Of Honourable Intentions (Keith & Kate)

Post by Knifey Keith on Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:33 pm

Ashad looked back at Dharka with confusion. Primarily because she was still around and that she had come to his aid, secondly because he wasn't hurt. From what Ashad figured, the Kajar warrior simply moved on out of pity and disgust. "I'm not hurt." Ashad said to Dharka as if he was stating the obvious. For that appeared to be the case; his throat no longer cut or bleeding, any traces of blood or signs of injury had vanished completely. It was as if he has healed miraculously, but still it would not explain for the absence of any blood… ANYWHERE.

This was certainly a bizarre occurrence, one that now was not allotted time to explain. The Kajar continued to massacre the guards; most of the civillians had been allowed to flee through the main gates. Though with Kajar posted at them to catch any guards or government officials trying to flee among them. Anyone who knew the Kajar, knew… This was nearing the part where they would steal anything of value that had been left behind. Which in this case would be a lot; then they'd burn the town to the ground. Though an attack of this kind had not been made upon Narrud by the Kajar for some years, it was clearly the first of a re-emerging trend. Though they would not immediately pick Dharkha as an enemy, nor a target… It wouldn't take them long to catch sight of Ashad. His uniform unfortunately gave him away and to see him up and about made him… Once again a target.

It was chaotic, by this time any one brave amongst the Guards had been killed. Now it was mostly Kajar stealing the town's remaining material wealth, as well as hunting down all hiding Guards and Government personnel and dragging them out to the open to be beheaded. Ashad slowly began to get up grabbing onto Dharka for support as he did so; though being knocked to the ground severely bruised him… He would be alright.
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Re: Of Honourable Intentions (Keith & Kate)

Post by Kate Orchix on Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:23 am

It seems Dharka had only blinked. Ashad was fine - in fact, he was behaving as if nothing had been wrong at all, as if his injury had never happened. She stared at him dumbly, her brows furrowing for a moment. A trickle of blood from her forehead reminded her quite suddenly about her near-concussion and she shoved all thoughts of Ashad's apparent injury aside. It hadn't happened, simple as that - it was her bumbling mind playing tricks on her.

She was still crouching as Ashad caught her shoulder and used her for support to pull himself up. She let him and then carefully stood up also - fast movements could be left for when she knew her head was less damaged. Her eyes scanned down over his body, still looking for evidence of any injury, hoping that it was only her mind playing tricks on her. Still, he seemed fine... except for...

"Take your uniform off," she said. "You're blatantly advertising the fact you're a target."

Giving him a rough slap on the shoulder, she grabbed his arm and dragged him behind a yurt. Taking the bow from her back, she collected an arrow from the quiver and fitted it to the string. It had been a long time since she had fired a bow, but she reckoned that it was a skill well-learned that she would not forget. Peeking about the side of the yurt, she scanned the snowy village landscape for a target.

Even with Ashad out of his uniform, Dharka would draw attention with her foreign armor and weaponry. She was unwilling to dump any of it, so she knew she would have to fight her way out. She could always attempt to just walk out the front gates, but she believed the Kajar might get a bit edgy with her anyways. They weren't exactly patient or merciful people, she knew, and if any were curious about her garb, she doubted they'd hesitate to put an arrow in her back to slow her down for a better look.

A Kajar warrior crossed the line of her vision, a curved sabre in his hands dripping blood. Pulling back on the bow's string, she closed one eye to line up the arrow with the Kajar's head. Sharply, she whistled, the sound causing the Kajar to whip his head to face her - she released the arrow. The Kajar's head snapped back with a small squirt of blood spilling from his face, the arrow stuck firmly between his eyes, and he collapsed to the snowy ground.

Dharka's small victory was short-lived. Suddenly, a massive Kajar ripped through the wall of the yurt Dharka had been crouching next to, his sabre swinging down for her head. She barely had time to bring up the bow to ward off the attack, the string snapping and the wood bending under the man's strength as he levered the sabre towards her chest. Forced onto her back, Dharka could feel the bow was further weakening and it wouldn't be long before it snapped completely and she had a blade embedded in her flesh...

She brought up her leg, the toe of her boot catching the Kajar in the soft flesh at the back of his knee and causing him to stumble for a moment, letting her have time to roll up and onto her feet. As she moved swiftly upwards, she dropped the ruined bow and drew both her blades, one switching into a backwards grip as she stood ready for another attack from the large man.

He stood a foot taller than herself, a large fur coat draped about his broad shoulders and a tuft of hair adorning the top of his head. Tattoo sleeves covered his muscular arms, one's tattoos marred by what appeared to be an old burn scar that covered most of his lower arm. A broken-toothed grin spread across his features before he barked something in Kajari and charged her once more with the sabre.

Their blades neatly clashed, a little swordplay artfully making them shuffle their feet through the snow... until he spun on her, breaking from the fight. Her blade went wide, missing him and causing her to swing her blade too far. He slipped into the gap her blade had left, his sabre scraping at the side of her armor, his arm plunging past her waist with the excessive momentum. Her elbow viciously cracked into the side of his head, causing him to stumble away from her for a moment.

This wasn't working. He was too strong for her to hold off with one hand, so using both katanas was not an option. She sheathed one, holding the other in both hands outwards towards the Kajar warrior as he stood a few steps away in the snow, watching her and talking in Kajari. She didn't understand a word of the foreign language, but figured he was taunting her. In return, she started spitting at him in her own language - a tongue as foreign to Ashad as Kajari was foreign to her. Either way, it seemed to give the Kajar a moment of pause before he laughed at her and charged once more.

This time, he swung her blade to her left with his blade, his left arm coming up and dealing her a mighty blow across the face which made her stumble, her nose starting to bleed. She didn't allow him another opportunity to strike, ducking back a step, feinting left before suddenly stomping her boot down on his foot. He yelped, his hand flailing to smack her away, but she ducked back to avoid his swinging sabre. As soon as it passed her, she charged him - this time, not with her blade. The weight of her body crashed into his, the unexpected tactic forcing him down to the snow.

Still, maybe it had been a dumb move. Dharka knew how to fight her own kind and Narras... Kajar, she had only ever gone up against one and he hadn't been as large as this man. She hadn't thought this through. The Kajar, initially surprised, smiled as he suddenly turned the tables. He dropped his sabre, his hands closing about her wrists and squeezing tightly as he hooked one leg over her body and rolled, forcing her beneath him and pinning her to the snowy ground. He revelled in his victory for a moment, smiling crookedly down at her before forcing her hands above her head, nearer together so he could grasp them with one large, meaty hand while he reached towards his side for a secondary weapon.

Dharka yanked her right hand right out of her glove, her palm smacking up into his face and loosening his grasp on her other wrist. With both hands free, she reached up and jammed her thumbs into the man's eye sockets. Instinctively, he pulled his head back in an attempt to get away from her, his hands rising to try and bat her away but she kept a firm hold. Even when he managed to get his hands on her shoulders to try and shove her back on the ground, her fingertips pinched tightly at his eyelids and he was forced to move with her or risk further injury. As he keeled over her, lips curled back in a grimace, she brought her knee up into his gut.

Not exactly winded, but incapacitated from being able to defend himself, the Kajar was forced to put up with kick after kick after kick before he finally started clawing at Dharka's own face. Only problem was, he couldn't exactly see where he was putting his fingers. A wild howl split the air as the Kajar tried to pry his hand from Dharka's teeth, but her teeth were in deep and blood was spilling across the lower half of her face. Finally, having had enough, the Kajar tried to roll away from her - the opening she had been looking for!

Her hands left his eyes, plunging into the Kajar's belt for the weapon he had been searching for. Retrieving a rough dagger, she drew it back before plunging it into his throat. He gurgled on his own blood and she quickly ripped the dagger through his veins to end his suffering. His glassy eyes stared up at her as she straddled his chest, the bloodied dagger still raised above him and his killer's face covered in both his blood and her own.

Dharka's chest rose and fell as he caught her breath before taking the dagger and gently placing it in his hands, closing his fingers about the hilt tightly. She stood, stepping over his body to retrieve her glove and tuck it into her belt seeing as her hands were bloodied. Collecting the katana, she wiped her face on the back of her hand and wrist, glancing towards Ashad.

"I reckon we should leave before I have to do much more of that."
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Re: Of Honourable Intentions (Keith & Kate)

Post by Knifey Keith on Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:02 am

Ashad was terrified, the gruesome violence that he had witnessed made him feel physically sick. His legs wobbly with fear, he didn't know if he could be as fast as Dharka needed up to be. He felt better just climbing into a hole somewhere and hiding. "THE STABLE!" Ashad said loudly as he had an epiphany; he knew where the stable was and he was sure someone like Dharka knew how to ride a horse! He certainly didn't. "We can go to the stable, I'm sure theres at least one horse still there… There has to be right?" as he continued on; Ashad's idea sounded less and less feasible.

But certainly if they wanted to escape with any distance between them and the Kajar they would need a horse. Though they would need to be discreet about it, to ride off quietly so if the Kajar did find out… They Ashad and Dharka would be a long way from the town. Even if they did manage to get a horse, the Kajar could still chase them both down and kill them.

Speaking of the devils, the commotion of the fight had attracted the attention of others. A trio of Kajar warriors making their way to Ashad and Dhark's position, though the Kajar had not spotted them yet. Two large shirtless warriors and with them… The young female warrior who had been the first on the wall. She looked about as she whipped her bloodied sabre about, the two warriors with her each wielding a large glaive with a nice big knife on their belt. The female Kajar woman also had a short bow and quiver of arrows on the back of her belt; at this point it would be far safer if Dharka and Ashad weren't spotted at all. It certainly would be prudent to avoid the chance of being shot in the back as they attempted to flee. The woman in particular was grim, bitter looking; a expression of emptiness and hatred on her face.

Whatever reason the Kajar were here for; they meant business. Ashad's world had already come crumbling down in the span of two days, now his primary goal was his survival. Though he also shared concern for Dharka amongst many people; though he had witnessed her kill three people already… They were all in self defence, clearly she meant no ill will towards him as she offered to generously bribe him for his help. After thinking about all the things that she had said to him, how she questioned his place in the world and seemed to view him as something more than others did; he came to a realisation. Though he certainly didn't want a life of violence and fear, he felt more confident around this strange foreign woman. She imbued in him new feelings of self worth and wonder, the prospect of a world larger and grander than his town… Where he had potential and possibilities available to him.

Ashad may not of been some kind of skilled warrior, but he was smart and he was determined that he and Dharka would survive this. He wouldn't die for this village and it's people, though many were family to him. Many who had known him his entire life; these people were seldom kind to or accepting of him, Ashad wanted out and he knew deep inside himself that he would escape.
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