Losian

Losian: Intermission

With Chapter 122, the first major arc is now complete. This means that I’m going to take a break, see about either fixing my old chapters, or planning the start of the next arc. This will likely be a long break, as on top of everything, I won’t be posting until I have a backlog of 10 chapters. Thanks for reading this, and I hope you enjoyed it. Catch you all next time.

Losian, Stories

Losian: Chp 122 – Arkthame

I let out a shuddering breath, my left hand releasing its vice grip on my sword as I roll off my imposter. It struggles against the blade in its chest, lodged just a centimetre or two just shy of the hilt. Its mangled right hand weakly gropes for the blade handle. I shakily draw another piece of my shield with my right hand, wincing as broken fingers brush across the surface. It takes me a few moments to fuse it to my wrist instead, and I finish the job my sword began.

The creature growls, looking at me with consternation. Its face is mangled, nose blown off, skin flaking off and clumps of hair just torn off the scalp. “We spent a lot of time making ourselves what we were, it was so difficult to find someone with your shade of hair.” Its voice is raspy, harsh, no longer anything like mine. I cough, lying on the ground for a moment longer.

[Need you to hold your guts in.] Page says. [He did a bloody number on everything below your diaphragm.] I wince, I can feel the warmth as blood seeps through my wounds, pooling on the ground beneath me. I can smell more than just blood in my stomach. [Good thing we can deal with sepsis.] Page remarks sarcastically. I press down on my wounds, using the armour to tighten around what I can. My breath hisses through my teeth as the pain threatens to overwhelm me.

“… through solid stone.” I only catch the last words from the homunculi, so absorbed in my own pain. “Hah, so we failed, still, we achieved quite a bit, wouldn’t I say?” Its voice mocking, taunting. I prop myself onto my left arm, bright white bursting into my vision as I nearly fall over again. Everything hurts. My right arm, from the detonation. My back, from the cuts. My nose, broken. My chest… Once I’m sat up I reach over to my nose with my left hand. I grit my teeth. Crack. The world goes dark once more.

When I regain consciousness I find myself lying on my left side, blood crusted on my face and back. [You really need to try not falling unconscious next to your enemies.] Page remarks. [It’s been trying incessantly to push itself upright. Mind cutting off their legs so they don’t have a chance?] I sit up, turning to look at the homunculi. It snarls in frustration at me.

“I should just quietly bleed to death in my sleep.” Its voice drips with venom. I clip another piece of the shield onto my wrist, then begin to saw at its legs, renewing the blade as it dulls. It struggles against me, kicking and snarling, but it’s soon done. “What am I?” It snarls. “All these abilities, strengths. How long have I hid them?” It demands. I ignore it, throwing the severed limbs aside as I regard it.

“Your master was the Artificer from Ignas.” I say, matter-of-fact. “The Animus mage I let go.” My eyes narrow. “What was your purpose? Why were you hunting us?” I snarl.

It lets a bark of laughter out, then gives me a vicious smile. “Ah adversary, it’s always been about me, the others were just… collateral.” It sneers. “Azarint breathed his last shivering on the ground as we painted our message. Pain wasn’t enough to keep him awake, but alchemists have long had brews to keep one… centred.” Its grin grows wider. “Frejr enjoyed the benefits of those… When we…” I slam an elbow into the side of its head, wincing as the force jolts up my right arm. “Hah. We hit Frejr harder than that. It’s an art to control our blows not to kill, it was exciting to work on someone with her constitution. Perhaps the magic in her armour hardened her as well?” It mused.

I grab it by the collar, throttling it for a moment as bile rises in my throat. Pain lances through my stomach, and I stop, taking a breath. I press my left hand against its chest, shifting it and lightly gripping the creature’s soul. Its smile freezes. “A year ago when we fought your creator, he used a homunculi to act as a decoy.” I say, my voice low. “No one else in our group but me realized this, I played along, and once they had left I told him to leave, to live. To stop desecrating the memory of his family and friends.” It opens its mouth, and my grip tightens slightly, stalling it.

“He was already so far along then, maybe not in making autonomous creations that can think, no, nothing like you.” I say, my voice dropping to a low growl as I say it. “His creations though, had memory, had thought structures far more complex than anything I would ever see. I remember thinking it was beautiful, incredible… and thinking that it’d be useful to know.” Its eyes narrow, soul shifting between a few different shades.

“Let me explain to you what’s going to happen next.” My voice is icy, my finger brushing over the aether surrounding its soul. “I’m going to tear you open, and unravel your memory, from this moment, all the way to when you started this journey, all the way back to where he can be found. Along the way, your thoughts, your identity, your sick, twisted mind, all will be torn at bit, by, bit. And once I have what I want? I will leave you to die the slow death of thought that comes with having a truly broken soul.” My fingers dig deeply into the aether, and in the background, I can hear it scream.

I’ll spare you the details of its memory. All you need to know is that it didn’t lie. I felt their blood on my hands, their desperate pleading as they begged me to stop. Qent’s fear, Azarint’s feelings of betrayal, Frejr’s crumbling stoicism, Numen’s anguish… Numen’s fury at my actions, its actions. This creature had watched me for half a year, mimicking my body language, how I spoke, how I fought, how I would play with my dagger when just standing around… It was surreal, like watching someone take over my body. They really believed it was me, all the way to the end. And all those people it killed, just so it could have the right shade of hair. I threw up by one of the walls, refusing to let the creature see me weak, even as its mind failed it.

[You shouldn’t have experienced it like that.] Page says. I shake my head, head bowed. I needed to know. I think back. [It was just you punishing yourself!] Page protests, its voice… distraught? I should’ve killed him back then. All this… my fault. I kneel down besides Numen, cradling her body in my arms. Tears spill from my eyes, and I clutch her close, feeling all my wounds flare up in pain at once as I lean my head into hers. I’m so sorry. So sorry.

I bury her by one of the long rotted buildings, a simple marker formed of worked stone, all her things I bury with her. I take the creature’s sword, unable to remove mine from the stone. Sel is at the gates when I return, the guards watching as I listlessly trudge over. “They’re dead.” I say simply, letting out a hollow laugh. I must’ve looked terrible, for she hesitantly reached out to place a hand on my shoulder. I pause, it felt… reassuring, but if she knew why this had all happened… I shake my head. “It’s not over yet.” I say softly, taking the Aesor and heading towards the stables.

The ride is long and painful, each jostle of the horse sending new and exciting flavours of pain through my body. A familiar feeling tugs at me as I near my destination, and I pull the roan into a slow circle. The pull faces away from my destination, close to it, but at an angle. I give a dry laugh. Now? Really? Some kind of sign I should just let go? I shake my head, turning back to my path. No, no matter what, he must pay.I thought to myself. I could feel Page’s discomfort as I continued, but they didn’t say a word.

His new home was just a little off from the town he used to live in. I suppose in the end he couldn’t stay away, not from it, not from us. I head to the workshop, Delving to see his soul within, two swipes of the molecular blade cuts the lock on the door, and I push it open. He stands over a workbench, writing something onto a set of parchment, but pauses as my sword unsheathes.

As he turns around his eyes fall onto my naked blade and he pales. “Oh gods.” His voice pitches high, and I lunge, closing the distance between us. My wounds slow me, and he dodges aside. He raises his arms, raising a wall of earth between us. I activate the Aesor, passing it through the wall and kicking it down to find him huddled on the ground, retching.

“Did you really believe there’d be no consequences for releasing that creature onto me. Did you really believe I’d be so easily dispatched?” I snarl. “I let you live, and instead you create a creature to hunt us down.” I step forward, kicking him onto his ass and deactivating the Aesor, plunging the sword into his stomach. “You almost succeeded, but you’ll suffer the consequences soon enough.” As I prepare to strike again I hear a voice cry out behind me. A child, with a pair of violet eyes, watches me from the doorway. The mage tackles me from behind as I turn, knocking me to the ground.

[Don’t get distracted.] Page admonishes. [Death waits for the slightest lapse in concentration.]

“Run!” He screams at the child, a light fog forming around us as he casts. I knock him off, rolling to my feet, but a pair of rock pillars rises to crush my right hand, the pain forcing me to release the Aesor. I activate Sense, feeling him running away from me. I take a step to my left, then stab behind me, shifting the blade into his path. He gasps, and I twist the blade, withdrawing it as I move over to him.

The fog is already clearing when I grab him by the throat, pulling him to me. I reach to grab his soul, but stop as I see his face. His eyes are wide with terror, the same kind of expression they made near the end, as it… A wave of revulsion rises in me, and I push him onto the ground, my blade seeks his heart, then his throat. More mercy than he deserves.

The child I saw just now had run off, their soul nowhere to be found. Not that I would have chased them down, they were innocent, only him, it was only him I wanted dead. I lean against the wall, looking at his corpse with a sense of grim satisfaction. I toss the sword onto his corpse, I no longer wanted it, just holding it gave me bad memories, and turn to leave. Outside, I give the horse a slap, spurring it to return home on its own. Let the others wonder what happened to the Masked, I could no longer bring myself to care.

The portal was just a few hundred steps or so away from where I began. I roll the Aesor in my hand, before letting out a sigh and tucking it into my armour. Into the breach. I think to myself sarcastically, reaching out to the portal.

I let out a shuddering breath, my left hand releasing its vice grip on my sword as I roll off my imposter. It struggles against the blade in its chest, lodged just a centimetre or two just shy of the hilt. Its mangled right hand weakly gropes for the blade handle. I shakily draw another piece of my shield with my right hand, wincing as broken fingers brush across the surface. It takes me a few moments to fuse it to my wrist instead, and I finish the job my sword began.

The creature growls, looking at me with consternation. Its face is mangled, nose blown off, skin flaking off and clumps of hair just torn off the scalp. “We spent a lot of time making ourselves what we were, it was so difficult to find someone with your shade of hair.” Its voice is raspy, harsh, no longer anything like mine. I cough, lying on the ground for a moment longer.

[Need you to hold your guts in.] Page says. [He did a bloody number on everything below your diaphragm.] I wince, I can feel the warmth as blood seeps through my wounds, pooling on the ground beneath me. I can smell more than just blood in my stomach. [Good thing we can deal with sepsis.] Page remarks sarcastically. I press down on my wounds, using the armour to tighten around what I can. My breath hisses through my teeth as the pain threatens to overwhelm me.

“… through solid stone.” I only catch the last words from the homunculi, so absorbed in my own pain. “Hah, so we failed, still, we achieved quite a bit, wouldn’t I say?” Its voice mocking, taunting. I prop myself onto my left arm, bright white bursting into my vision as I nearly fall over again. Everything hurts. My right arm, from the detonation. My back, from the cuts. My nose, broken. My chest… Once I’m sat up I reach over to my nose with my left hand. I grit my teeth. Crack. The world goes dark once more.

When I regain consciousness I find myself lying on my left side, blood crusted on my face and back. [You really need to try not falling unconscious next to your enemies.] Page remarks. [It’s been trying incessantly to push itself upright. Mind cutting off their legs so they don’t have a chance?] I sit up, turning to look at the homunculi. It snarls in frustration at me.

“I should just quietly bleed to death in my sleep.” Its voice drips with venom. I clip another piece of the shield onto my wrist, then begin to saw at its legs, renewing the blade as it dulls. It struggles against me, kicking and snarling, but it’s soon done. “What am I?” It snarls. “All these abilities, strengths. How long have I hid them?” It demands. I ignore it, throwing the severed limbs aside as I regard it.

“Your master was the Artificer from Ignas.” I say, matter-of-fact. “The Animus mage I let go.” My eyes narrow. “What was your purpose? Why were you hunting us?” I snarl.

It lets a bark of laughter out, then gives me a vicious smile. “Ah adversary, it’s always been about me, the others were just… collateral.” It sneers. “Azarint breathed his last shivering on the ground as we painted our message. Pain wasn’t enough to keep him awake, but alchemists have long had brews to keep one… centred.” Its grin grows wider. “Frejr enjoyed the benefits of those… When we…” I slam an elbow into the side of its head, wincing as the force jolts up my right arm. “Hah. We hit Frejr harder than that. It’s an art to control our blows not to kill, it was exciting to work on someone with her constitution. Perhaps the magic in her armour hardened her as well?” It mused.

I grab it by the collar, throttling it for a moment as bile rises in my throat. Pain lances through my stomach, and I stop, taking a breath. I press my left hand against its chest, shifting it and lightly gripping the creature’s soul. Its smile freezes. “A year ago when we fought your creator, he used a homunculi to act as a decoy.” I say, my voice low. “No one else in our group but me realized this, I played along, and once they had left I told him to leave, to live. To stop desecrating the memory of his family and friends.” It opens its mouth, and my grip tightens slightly, stalling it.

“He was already so far along then, maybe not in making autonomous creations that can think, no, nothing like you.” I say, my voice dropping to a low growl as I say it. “His creations though, had memory, had thought structures far more complex than anything I would ever see. I remember thinking it was beautiful, incredible… and thinking that it’d be useful to know.” Its eyes narrow, soul shifting between a few different shades.

“Let me explain to you what’s going to happen next.” My voice is icy, my finger brushing over the aether surrounding its soul. “I’m going to tear you open, and unravel your memory, from this moment, all the way to when you started this journey, all the way back to where he can be found. Along the way, your thoughts, your identity, your sick, twisted mind, all will be torn at bit, by, bit. And once I have what I want? I will leave you to die the slow death of thought that comes with having a truly broken soul.” My fingers dig deeply into the aether, and in the background, I can hear it scream.

I’ll spare you the details of its memory. All you need to know is that it didn’t lie. I felt their blood on my hands, their desperate pleading as they begged me to stop. Qent’s fear, Azarint’s feelings of betrayal, Frejr’s crumbling stoicism, Numen’s anguish… Numen’s fury at my actions, its actions. This creature had watched me for half a year, mimicking my body language, how I spoke, how I fought, how I would play with my dagger when just standing around… It was surreal, like watching someone take over my body. They really believed it was me, all the way to the end. And all those people it killed, just so it could have the right shade of hair. I threw up by one of the walls, refusing to let the creature see me weak, even as its mind failed it.

[You shouldn’t have experienced it like that.] Page says. I shake my head, head bowed. I needed to know. I think back. [It was just you punishing yourself!] Page protests, its voice… distraught? I should’ve killed him back then. All this… my fault. I kneel down besides Numen, cradling her body in my arms. Tears spill from my eyes, and I clutch her close, feeling all my wounds flare up in pain at once as I lean my head into hers. I’m so sorry. So sorry.

I bury her by one of the long rotted buildings, a simple marker formed of worked stone, all her things I bury with her. I take the creature’s sword, unable to remove mine from the stone. Sel is at the gates when I return, the guards watching as I listlessly trudge over. “They’re dead.” I say simply, letting out a hollow laugh. I must’ve looked terrible, for she hesitantly reached out to place a hand on my shoulder. I pause, it felt… reassuring, but if she knew why this had all happened… I shake my head. “It’s not over yet.” I say softly, taking the Aesor and heading towards the stables.

The ride is long and painful, each jostle of the horse sending new and exciting flavours of pain through my body. A familiar feeling tugs at me as I near my destination, and I pull the roan into a slow circle. The pull faces away from my destination, close to it, but at an angle. I give a dry laugh. Now? Really? Some kind of sign I should just let go? I shake my head, turning back to my path. No, no matter what, he must pay.I thought to myself. I could feel Page’s discomfort as I continued, but they didn’t say a word.

His new home was just a little off from the town he used to live in. I suppose in the end he couldn’t stay away, not from it, not from us. I head to the workshop, Delving to see his soul within, two swipes of the molecular blade cuts the lock on the door, and I push it open. He stands over a workbench, writing something onto a set of parchment, but pauses as my sword unsheathes.

As he turns around his eyes fall onto my naked blade and he pales. “Oh gods.” His voice pitches high, and I lunge, closing the distance between us. My wounds slow me, and he dodges aside. He raises his arms, raising a wall of earth between us. I activate the Aesor, passing it through the wall and kicking it down to find him huddled on the ground, retching.

“Did you really believe there’d be no consequences for releasing that creature onto me. Did you really believe I’d be so easily dispatched?” I snarl. “I let you live, and instead you create a creature to hunt us down.” I step forward, kicking him onto his ass and deactivating the Aesor, plunging the sword into his stomach. “You almost succeeded, but you’ll suffer the consequences soon enough.” As I prepare to strike again I hear a voice cry out behind me. A child, with a pair of violet eyes, watches me from the doorway. The mage tackles me from behind as I turn, knocking me to the ground.

[Don’t get distracted.] Page admonishes. [Death waits for the slightest lapse in concentration.]

“Run!” He screams at the child, a light fog forming around us as he casts. I knock him off, rolling to my feet, but a pair of rock pillars rises to crush my right hand, the pain forcing me to release the Aesor. I activate Sense, feeling him running away from me. I take a step to my left, then stab behind me, shifting the blade into his path. He gasps, and I twist the blade, withdrawing it as I move over to him.

The fog is already clearing when I grab him by the throat, pulling him to me. I reach to grab his soul, but stop as I see his face. His eyes are wide with terror, the same kind of expression they made near the end, as it… A wave of revulsion rises in me, and I push him onto the ground, my blade seeks his heart, then his throat. More mercy than he deserves.

The child I saw just now had run off, their soul nowhere to be found. Not that I would have chased them down, they were innocent, only him, it was only him I wanted dead. I lean against the wall, looking at his corpse with a sense of grim satisfaction. I toss the sword onto his corpse, I no longer wanted it, just holding it gave me bad memories, and turn to leave. Outside, I give the horse a slap, spurring it to return home on its own. Let the others wonder what happened to the Masked, I could no longer bring myself to care.

The portal was just a few hundred steps or so away from where I began. I roll the Aesor in my hand, before letting out a sigh and tucking it into my armour. Into the breach. I think to myself sarcastically, reaching out to the portal.

Losian, Stories

Losian: Chp 121 – Arkthame

A pounding on the door wakes me in the middle of the night, and I groggily push myself up. It can’t have been more than an hour or two since I finally managed to fall asleep. I palm a dagger, Delving shows someone panicked on the other end, but still… Opening the door just a crack I see one of the guards. “He showed up…” He says, gesturing agitatedly. “Come on, he left… a message, for you.”

I nodded, gesturing for him to lead the way. He looks to the other rooms, and I shake my head. “Let her sleep, she won’t be alone here.” I say. “You’ll be walking with me anyway right?” I ask. He nods, leading me out the inn and into the streets. We end up at the southwestern gates, but the faint smell of blood clues me in quickly that he’s struck again, only this time, not one of ours…

“The residents say that there was a huge scuffle a short while ago.” He says, nervously looking around. “And at the end of it someone screaming aloud for them to call you here, or they’d be next.” The guards had been massacred, to even call it that downplayed the extent of it. The luckiest of them had his helmet and skull crushed against the stone wall, while the others had throats ripped out, or their blades turned against them.

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Losian, Stories

Losian: Chp 120 – Arkthame

They exit onto the streets, and I follow. All around me people recoil, my naked blade glinting in the sunlight. I nearly lose sight of them, but the cloak gives them away as they rush through the crowd. I sheathe my sword as I run, too many people in the streets to carry that safely, and draw my dagger with my left hand, pressing the flat of the blade against my wrist.

Swapping between my senses as I dart through the crowd, I almost don’t notice as he sets up an ambush, a dagger darts toward my side as I enter an alley. I twist, pushing the blade aside and lashing out with a dagger of my own. It barely connects, sliding under his cloak to make an unseen gouge. He’s faster than I anticipate, shifting aside before sending a blow to my stomach, stronger than it has right to be.

I quickly step back, and he pushes the advantage, I catch his arm as he thrusts, pulling him toward me as I swap my dagger to an icepick grip, aimed for his throat. He shifts, pivoting so that my dagger meets empty air and my wrist is against his throat, I pull the dagger towards him, catching the side of his neck before he shifts it out of the way. He begins to laugh.

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Losian, Stories

Losian: Chp 119 – Arkthame

The next morning I go to see the guards, most of them nod to me, many sympathetic, though some seem resentful. A quick scan shows that none of them are the person I’m looking for. A man walks up to me, introducing himself as the sheriff. “So what do you want?” He asks, his arms spread out. “I don’t have any real leads right now, since I know almost nothing about this criminal.” He says, a slight edge to his tone.

“I don’t know much more than you.” I say with a shrug. “Everything I know of him I can only tell from the injuries he’s made.” I stop and think about that for a moment. “He’s right handed, or at least, he seems to be… Probably around my height… And he wields a somewhat unique weapon…” I say, thinking back, my hand rising reflexively to cup my chin before I abandon the motion.

The sheriff arches an eyebrow at me. “But you’ve never seen this man before?” He asks. “Do you have any idea how many people of your stature exist who use their right hands?” He lets out an exasperated sigh.

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Losian, Stories

Losian: Chp 118 – Arkthame

In the dim torchlight the scene was even grislier than I remembered, the dry, caked blood on the walls seemed to writhe and snake as the light shifted. I extinguished my torch, didn’t have the hands to hold it anymore, and walked up to her armour, dropping to one knee as I carefully picked up the pile. As I turned around the guard had a torch raised, staring at the wall wide eyed and his mouth agape. He turned to me, speechless.

“Let’s go.” I said gruffly, jerking my head back towards the alley, the soft light of the armour illuminating the path. “If you want to stay here that’s fine too.” I continued, casting a quick Delve around the area. For now it seemed we were still alone. If there really is a spectre it isn’t here right now… I thought to myself. Though I had dismissed it out of hand, I had to admit that the shadows left me on edge. Last thing I need is to be surprised by something because I got complacent about how things should work.

[I have not noticed anything at least.] Page confirmed. [How much would you be willing to wager it is a spectre like the one you saw at the battle? Dispersed across the city?] It joked, and I frowned heavily. Very little… Mostly cause if I win we’re all screwed.

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Losian, Stories

Losian: Chp 117 – Arkthame

I leaned forward onto the counter, looking him dead in the eyes. “Which one?” I asked, my voice clipped and terse. Frejr wasn’t the kind of person to go off on impulse, why would she have gone off with someone without telling me? Who could it possibly have been? The man shrunk a little, leaning backwards away from me.

“I… I don’t know.” He said finally, gulping. “I… They were… in a hood, kind of mottled grey?” My grip on the counter edge tightened, and he looked about ready to burst into tears. “I didn’t see anything else!” He exclaimed. “It was still dark and they just walked out! I don’t know anything.”

[Keep calm..] Page said. [He wouldn’t have known. We have to find her as soon as possible.]

I let out a frustrated snarl, but cut it off and backed away from the counter. “Sorry.” I said, quickly, taking a quick, calming breath. “How many inns and lodgings are there on the eastern side of the town?” I asked. What on earth was she thinking? Damn it. He took a short while to recover, brushing his thumb along the counter’s edge.

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Losian, Stories

Losian: Chp 116 – Arkthame

I awoke with a startle, bringing my hand to my chest, I looked out the window. It was still dark, I couldn’t have slept more than six hours. I let out a breath to calm myself. “Are you alright?” Frejr asked, sleepily. I got out of the bed, gesturing for her to take it. “Are you sure?” She mumbled. “You can keep sleeping there if you need it…”

I shook my head, seating myself upright. “I’m good.” I said, bringing my right hand to my temple. “Wouldn’t be able to get any sleep anyway.” I continued, beginning to don my armour. Frejr rubbed her eyes, standing up to crawl into the bed. She then slipped under the covers, nearly immediately seeming to relax and fall asleep.

I sat in the chair at the edge of the room, my eyes taking in the dim light from the window. Where are you right now? I thought to myself, eyes scanning across the city, it was a pointless effort I knew, and yet I couldn’t help myself from wondering… I Delved, sifting through the few souls still here in the early dawn. Someone still manned the reception downstairs, and one or two people were in the rooms upstairs near us. The person at the desk was bored, it was still… difficult for me to tell, but with how often people were bored I’d easily picked up on the stagnancy that accompanied it.

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Losian, Stories

Losian: Chp 115 – Arkthame

It took me only a few hours to arrive at Lrash, Tina was right, this was a damn fast horse. I slid off the saddle, pushing my way into the guild as people stopped, stared and whispered. Talk stopped dead for just a moment as I entered, and for a moment fear and anxiety gripped at my chest. Then it broke into explosive gossiping and I relaxed. Nothing out of the usual. I walked up to the reception, and a young man with grey eyes looked at me with wide eyes. “Can I help you?” He asked, his eyes slipping on and off my faceplate.

“Yes, I need to see Frejr, it’s urgent. Can you tell me where she is?” I asked, taking a quick look around. She normally wouldn’t be sitting out here drinking, but it wasn’t unheard of. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case now, and the seats were only populated by a number of other adventurers drinking and talking. The man nodded, wringing his hands a little as he reached for a ledger, then stopped, before reaching for another.

“Frejr isn’t in at the moment.” Another voice called out from the side. This one calmer, composed. “She’ll be at the administrative building.” He sized me up, folding his arms across his chest and frowning slightly. “If you wouldn’t mind, I’d like to see your badge.” He requested, walking up beside the other man. I cocked my head, slipping my hand into a pocket to bring it out. He nodded. “Your unique style has become quite the fashion statement.” He said simply. “It’s only a matter of time before someone tries to impersonate you, since no one has ever seen your face.”

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Losian, Stories

Losian: Chp 114 – Arkthame

It was almost a week before I was fully healed, I told Numen about the reason behind my wounds after she pestered me for the fifteenth time. She and Qent forced me into bedrest during the time, and as a consequence no one in the guild was any the wiser that their ‘Masked’ had been injured at all. The Aerathi, true to their word, forged peace talks between the races, easing fractured civilizations whole again.

Qent was officially ‘graduated’ a short while after, presumably because if fighting a demonic war on the frontlines and winning didn’t qualify you nothing would. Frejr stopped taking on their apprentices directly, instead managing to somehow negotiate Qent as an instructor for them to be sent directly to the guild, earning Rince’s disbelief and Numen’s further respect.

While I was cautious about admitting it, it was hard to deny the stabilizing effect the irregulars were having on the rural countryside. Most people trusted us not to be involved in border politics, it seemed that my little stint with Cale and the Republic was considered giving them their due. In fact, a few weeks later Cale and his team apparently managed to make quite the name for themselves, bringing down the leading members of the Council. Some whispered of shady deals and dark dealings with others that worked in shadow, but at least from what I could tell, it was a move to the better.

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