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  1. #51
    Paladin Quaxo9 is offline Quaxo9's Avatar
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    Constance

    The guard’s flippant response regarding his perceived outcome of Anakita’s arrest brought out an audible snarl from Constance. He must have realized he wasn’t in the friendliest of territory and quickly moved his personage elsewhere. The Warrior found herself fiddling with the handle of her axe again and had to force her hands back to her sides. Their precarious position didn’t keep her from glowering at the Vanguard officers, though.

    Her gaze softened as she turned her attentions to Stefan. He and the children must be so lost right now. If Anakita had been taken by an enemy, the answer would be so simple. As it was when Stefan was taken, they hunted down their foes and slaughtered them. But the Vanguard were their allies. What do you do when your allies turn against you – and believe that it is you who is the traitor, not them?

    You fight fire with water.

    “We do what we have always done. We prove her innocence by maintaining our alliance with the Vanguard…within reason.” She shut her mouth with a click, the implied ‘short of letting them kill her’ hanging in the air between them. Admittedly, Anakita was their top priority – but it wasn’t that Kismet didn’t factor into Constance’s thoughts at all. It was more that fate was very likely sealed by her race alone.

    “Still,” she added vacantly, “it couldn’t hurt to stand watch over them. I don’t expect all the officers here to show the same…good faith…as us.” Constance peeked over her shoulder and smirked. “I guess Izabella’s a step ahead of us on that one.”
    Winner of the dubious Vaarsuvius Award for Verbousness!

    I support altruism.

  2. #52
    Count / Countess Tigers is offline Tigers's Avatar
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    Izabela, Nimue & Mara


    “Watch your tone with me soldier, you’re speaking about a guild mate and a friend. “

    Even as the words came out of her mouth, she knew that it was likely her close relationship with Althea may not be enough, or at least she may not get the help she needed in time. She was Althea’s best friend, and had spent much of her time in her presence. But with Rurik gone as well, her pull with King Alderburn may not be enough.

    Her reputation was well known here in Ascalon, but she wasn’t a soldier, and held no rank. Nimue had always been more of a freelancer when it came to aiding her countrymen in the fight against the Charr. There wasn’t one person who could claim they hated them more, they had all suffered loss at the hands of these creatures. Anakita’s request at being judged by Gwen was probably her best bet. Nimue had heard the rumors about the Ebon Vanguard allying with Charr in the ShiverPeaks.

    In the meantime, she could at least assure that nothing was done to Anakita before she had a chance to have Gwen fulfill the request. These were still dark days in Ascalon and Nimue was weary. There would be no rest though, not until she was assured that Anakita would be left unharmed until Gwen’s arrival. Once that was done, then she could try and get some rest. She had a feeling it would happen a lot more easily now that Marek was alive.

    At least she knew Anakita wouldn’t be alone. Izabela was not taking no for an answer, much to the chagrin of the soldiers, about going with Anakita to the stockade. While they lead her off, Nimue set to the task of assuring Anakita’s safety, and Mara sent word via messenger to Talya.
    Peace is a lie
    There is only passion
    Through passion I gain strength
    Through strength I gain power
    Through power I gain victory
    Through victory my chains are broken
    The Force shall set me free

  3. #53
    Anakita Snakecharm



    Anakita walked with her head bowed, torn between a dreamlike sense of unreality that she could be in this position, and a cold knot of dread in her belly at the thought that she really might never get to see her husband, children, and friends again. Her confidence when she demanded Gwen pass the judgment had been largely bravado, and she was unsure whether the gambit would help or hurt her cause; Gwen was her friend, but although the young commander had worked willingly with Charr in the past when there was no other choice, Gwen's hatred for the feline folk seemed largely undiminished over the years. There had been no strategic reason for sparing Kismet, only a moral and ethical one. Would Gwen accept such a choice as concerned one of the Charr?

    A brief smile crossed Anakita's face as she saw Izabela walking near her. 'Thank you!' she mouthed. There was no way the guards would let her fighter husband anywhere near her while she was under arrest, and Anakita didn't particularly want her children to see her inside a stockade - but having a friend at her side helped tremendously.


    ***


    Stefan Baruch



    Stefan nodded absently, as if he really hadn't thought of anything Constance suggested - of course all that and more had raced through his mind at lightning speed the instant his wife was put under arrest for treason. The Warrior pulled off his helmet and shoved his fingers roughly through his short dark hair as though the gesture could fight off a headache or assist his thoughts.

    "Yeah, we should," he said. "We'll... we'll do that. Stay here and guard her, even if they won't let us see her."

    In the few days until the trial, Chava and Ryder would take turns watching the children while Stefan, stalwart as a statue, spent every waking moment standing guard over the stockade. He knew that if Anakita was actually attacked, he wouldn't be able to get to her fast enough to make a difference - but that didn't change anything. He had to stay. He had to try. He had to make this one small gesture for the woman he loved, because there was nothing more he could do. Except for a few hours of sleep each night to prevent him from dropping from exhaustion, Stefan didn't leave his post.
    "Sleep to dream, and we dream to live..." -Great Big Sea

  4. #54
    Paladin Quaxo9 is offline Quaxo9's Avatar
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    Constance

    She was beyond furious. The Warrior had been teetering on the border of dangerous from the first sight of trouble at Piken Square. The Vanguard certainly weren’t doing themselves any favours in terms of good impressions. But, there was little she – or any of the rest of guild – could do. It was true that Anakita brought a Charr into the Square and had accepted her into their party. What seemed to be the issue was the difference in opinion on what that meant for the world.

    Unable to even approach the cells, Constance was stuck in the rough area outside the stockade. So, she did what little she could to take her revenge for Anakita’s incarceration. She proceeded to relieve the soldiers of their pay through gambling. Cards, dice, rat races – Connie played them all – and manipulated them all like a pro. Finally, something she learned from her father was becoming useful.

    Eiran

    Things have gone downhill so quickly. I was having the time of my life out there – rescuing our guild mate and her long-lost love, battling an entire sea of Charr, returning home in victory – all torn away in the most audacious of manners. I have come to the conclusion that these people have no honour.

    I busy myself practicing with my sword, working on my armour, spending time with Kiara. The tension in camp is almost unbearable. Poor Stefan. It must be so hard to be apart from your love – not knowing if she will be freed to his arms or to the Mists. I bring him meals, relieve him when he will allow me…and we wait. We wait.

  5. #55
    Count / Countess Tigers is offline Tigers's Avatar
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    Izabela & Nimue


    If Anakita's demeanor was affecting the young necro it was difficult to say. Izabela had been alone for a very long time and had practically raised herself. She returned Anakita's brief smile and nodded her head before casually looking at the young Charr. She had witnessed the death of her parents during the Searing and like anyone else, had just as much right to hate them. She'd killed Charr too without batting an eye, but so did she accept the young Charr that Anakita had brought into their fold.

    "Is Kitty coming?" She whispered to Anakita then moved on passed the Ranger as if she hadn't spoken.

    She entertained herself with pestering the guards with questions, most looked at her as if she was quite mad, and perhaps there was truth in their thoughts but it did not stop her from asking. There were rumors about a Necro in the Catacombs, quite powerful and just as crazy sometimes just the fears of others were enough to keep them away from her. She'd grown accustom to being alone and when she was around others, she had this strange knot in the pit of her stomach. Not understanding it for what it was, it simply amused her until it was gone.

    As soon as the guards lead them to the stockade, Izabela occupied herself by investigating their room. She patted the guard on the cheek as he left them to stand outside by his post smiling slightly at the shocked reaction of her touch. Circling the room, she began talking to no one in particular mumbling about curses and using them on the guards before stopping and thinking, then recanting the idea possibly because of the untested side effects.



    **********************


    Nimue had concluded what business she could before returning to Marek. It had not taken him long to fall into a restful sleep after some additional healing and a good meal in his stomach. The Mesmer however could not find peace. Kissing her beloved softly on the lips, she left his side and exited their tent. Her insides were at war with her feelings toward the Charr and to top it off Anakita was in the stockade awaiting trial for treason.

    She had refused any additional healing, she did not want to rest so she had ducked out of Mara's view and avoided the monk as much as possible. Ducking into the makeshift tavern to avoid the searching Monk, Nimue found Constance relieving the guards of their pay. She had to suppress the chuckle she felt rise up out of the back of her throat at the site. She should be resting, she was still in terrible shape, but right now she just could not find peace. Catching the eye of her new found friend and guild mate, she gave her an amused smile. Now all they needed was a fight to break out and in some aspects this would be like old times for the Mesmer.


    *************************

    It had taken several days before Gwen's arrival, a lifetime it seemed to many of the guild, especially her family. Those of the guild that knew Gwen had taken the time for greetings before filling the young Mesmer in on the situation. Anticipation hung in the air like the calm before the storm, all of them wanted this behind them and several of them had been plotting ways to bust the Ranger out and flee if the worst case scenario happened.

  6. #56
    Anakita Snakecharm



    The next few days passed in a dreamlike haze for Anakita. She was not ill-treated, but nor were her captors especially warm toward her. Anakita had been told that Stefan waited outside the gates of the stockade, attempting to guard her. She knew it was a futile effort, and that if anyone actually attempted to harm her there would be absolutely nothing he could do. And she loved him all the more for it. Although she wasn't aware of the specific efforts her friends were making on her behalf, she was sure that efforts were being made, and she was grateful for them. She was grateful for her children's innocent love, and Azh waiting for her - lying with head on paws - just on the other side of the stockade fence.

    When she entered the public square for her trial, Anakita did her best to ignore the crowd, her eyes picking out only those who held some loyalty to her. The others were nothing to her. They might hate her, but they wouldn't decide her fate. Once she had spotted her family and friends, Anakita kept her gaze focused directly on the Commander of the Ebon Vanguard. Gwen. Her friend... maybe no longer her friend.

    Anakita wasn't wearing armour and wasn't carrying her bow and arrows. She looked smaller, somehow, without a fighter's trappings. It was more obvious, in this condition, that she wasn't a tall woman. That her upper arms, although well-muscled, were so thin she didn't look like she ought to be able to draw the bow. Her middle was still thick from the recent birth, but the rest of her was slender. She was clad in a simple cotton dress, unlike either the leathers she wore to fight or the silk frocks she had worn in her days as the daughter of a noble family before the world was torn apart - and somehow, she still looked like a queen as she walked.

    Her wrists and ankles were manacled, and there was a faint clink of metal with every step she took. Four guards surrounded her, one on each side, one behind, and one in front. There would be no escape today.

    "Commander!" Anakita called out in a clear voice as she approached the dais.

    She couldn't remember ever addressing Gwen by her title since the promotion. Perhaps once or twice in sarcasm, or a few times in friendly drunken banter. She used it now because this didn't seem like a good time to act overly familiar. It might convey the wrong impression.

    Better not to think of what Kismet had told her that the Charr called the Ebon Vanguard Commander. Gwen the Goremonger. Would she live up to her nickname today?

    Anakita had been offered legal counsel, but she had refused it. There hadn't seemed to be much point. Whether she had done the act was not in question, only whether or not it was a crime. If it was a crime, it was treason, a capital offence, and she would lose her head for it. Gwen would either believe her story, or she wouldn't. Another person trying to insert fancy language and technicalities of law only seemed likely to complicate matters and obscure the truth. Anakita wanted to speak for herself, in her own words.

    The guards helped Anakita to climb the steps onto the dais. She was neither ill nor injured, and didn't require help, but she didn't think getting into a brawl with them would convey the right impression. At least with their assistance she didn't humiliate herself by tripping on the manacle chain.

    When she was situated in her place and the guards had stepped away, Anakita began to speak.

    "Commander, I will tell you my story," she said, although she actually addressed the crowd rather than the leader. "In my travels - in my battles - I crossed paths with a young one. She was angry, arrogant, violent, and unforgiving. She had a grudge, and was willing to let the whole world burn and go to The Mists to satisfy her thirst for vengeance. This young one was already a killer, with every potential to kill again. Most wrote her off as a lost cause. But a few of us saw a lost creature, forlorn beneath the rage. One who was alone, even surrounded by an army and fighting a grownup war. There were those of us who gave that young one a chance. We saw potential beneath the hate and fear, and we gave that potential a space to grow rather than snuffing it out for being young and angry."

    Anakita abruptly met the Commander's eyes. "But enough about you, Gwen. We know how that story ends; you grew up to be brave, capable, and fair-minded. We are here to speak of the Charrling."

    She paused a moment, and let the words sink in, then said in a much softened tone, "She reminds me so much of you, my friend. The same rage. The same potential. Yes, Kismet fought. She attacked me. But she is still young. She would barely be of age if she were human. I could subdue her without harming her, so I did."

    The captive Ranger regarded the crowd again. "The Ebon Vanguard claims to fight for the freedom of Ascalon and to avenge the Searing, not for the subjugation or vengeful destruction of the Charr. We claim to fight against tyranny, not to create a genocide. If that is the truth, then Kismet does not deserve to die. She is no threat to Ascalon. She was born years after the Searing. Had she been human, I would have spared her life... so if I had killed her, I would have murdered her solely for being a Charr."

    "If this is not a genocide, then I have committed no crime. If it is a genocide, then I refuse to participate - and you may sentence me according to your own consciences, and answer for it before the gods."
    Last edited by Monkey Kitty; 07-02-2012 at 02:36 AM.

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