This is a story I started on the Regnum forums... guessing this is the right section to post it in. It was pretty well liked there, so figured I could share the first part of it here as well and see what people think. I never finished it, but that might change depending on the response I get here.
Note, although the story is based in the RO world, it uses original characters, not people you would find in-game. Many things found in the story are ideas of my own that don't actually exist in the game, including places, items, and powers. You should have some knowledge with in-game content to fully understand some parts.
Feel free to comment, let me know if I should continue posting chapters. Enjoy!
~Exile: One who is banished from his or her native land, whether by choice... or by force.
B a n i s h e d... a word nobody ever wants to face. A sentencing potentially as fatal as the death penalty itself in these dire times; To have no friends or allies to rely on, nor a place to call home, is an experience with no comparison when paired with a war which rages in every direction. Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, but survive these derelict souls must.
A reason for anyone being abolished in such a cruel manner can vary indefinitely, but is not truly important in the grand scheme of things... the end result remains the same. The tale of an outcast is not often filled with honor or glory, but hardship and trials of endurance, resulting in little but an inevitable death. The banished must be strong in more than one way, or fall to their weakness.
However... most people, even such outcasts, do not realize that those who are forbidden to return to their homelands are not always truly alone. This is so because all exiles share a common ordeal with a similar goal: Living with no one, hiding from everyone, and surviving regardless. When, by chance, they may happen to come across one another, willing to cooperate, and unwilling to pass up a chance to make something of themselves, no one can say for sure what such individuals may achieve.
Only time will tell.
~An Almost Ending~
Iris ran through the desert sands as fast as she could with an injured leg. An unsightly arrow protruded from her left thigh, rich elven blood steadily rushing out of the wound it had produced. The black arrow was clearly of ignean making, being made from the wood of the dead and blackened trees scattered throughout Ignis. The pain she felt wasn't so unbearable as it was when it first penetrated her flesh, but the arrow itself was still hindering her movement; Which was still considerably swift for someone with an arrow through the leg… just one of the benefits of receiving training as a hunter. The swamp was just a little further southeast, if she could only make it there… she might be safe.
Iris tried to listen for footsteps behind her with her fine pointed ears. Her hearing was top-notch, which had saved her life on multiple occasions... but she couldn't concentrate with the throbbing pain in her leg distracting her. She thought about looking back.
'You shouldn't.' her mind told her immediately by instinct.
She knew her instinct was right of course, it had never failed her yet. She didn't always listen to it however, and had to know just how safe... or unsafe... she was. So Iris forced herself to ignore her better judgment and glanced behind her... turning out to be a bad idea really. She lost her footing (not that loose sand gives much grip in the first place) and of all the rotten luck, she tripped and her head struck a fairly sizable rock partially buried in the sand.
Dark red blood immediately began to taint some of her short golden hair along with the surrounding sand. As if that wasn't bad enough, the arrow shaft broke upon falling and the arrowhead would be even more difficult to remove safely now. But, that matter would hold little importance until she escaped her current situation.
"...such an idiot" she grunted to herself, enduring a new wave of pain.
She pushed herself hurriedly onto her side and looked around. With her vision beginning to blur now, all she could make out was the silhouette of a robed figure moving towards her. "Was three archers... now one mage? Ugh..." It didn't matter now though. She couldn't get up. Which would pretty well make running away out of the question, much less fighting. If it was an enemy (which was almost certain), chances were these moments would be her last.
She thought frantically, desperately trying to devise a plan of escape. The hot desert sun was draining her of any remaining strength however, and intense thinking only made the stabbing pain induced by the fresh gash on her forehead even worse. It came to the point where she simply had to lay her aching head back down in the warm sand, which with increasing likelihood seemed would become her grave.
"...done for." Iris whispered in a tone of resignation... and abandoning any hope of getting away this time, she shut her eyes and let herself slip into unconsciousness.
~Life Changing Coincidences~
Ahno's silver hair sat in a small ponytail at the back of his head, with strands hanging in his face; The mild sandstorm almost seemed to ignore him, leaving the man untouched. He stood and watched from a small distance east of Samal as a few archers from the Ignean army at the fort chased after something... or someone, to the southeast.
"What are the idiots chasing this time?" was his first thought. There were always numbskulls who felt the urge to run down every single thing that moved. Quite an effective way to get oneself killed. With keen brownish-red eyes he surveyed the unfolding battle between the Igneans and the Alsians. Though he was a dark elf, Ahno was beginning to find it difficult to really care which side was victorious in these repetitive battles; And though he was also a conjurer, he felt content to let them fend for themselves. He was growing weary of this war and all who partook in it. Why couldn't someone just win already?
Upon concluding that it did not really matter to him who controlled Samal, Ahno proceeded to follow the archers and whatever it was that they were chasing. Now, as hypocritical as that probably sounds, he really had nothing better to do, and was willing to risk his life just for some entertainment... not that he was completely defenseless either. Nor did he care so much about whether he died or not, seeing as his existence seemed to have been reduced to aiding in war day-in and day-out. He didn't even remember signing up for that. That could just be the heat though, but he was pretty sure it wasn't.
Anyhow, mages, as everyone knows (or should know), aren't the best runners. He had nearly lost sight of the party when they suddenly stopped and changed course. Not surprising, really... people who chase something so far away from a fort must be easily distracted to begin with; why would they be consistent and chase the same thing when they can start chasing something else halfway through? The pursuit lasted approximately 15 minutes and Ahno was quite honestly worn out; Long-term endurance was not his forte. Thus is true for most mages.
Luckily for Ahno, it looked like whatever the archers had been chasing was laying still now. Well, whether that was actually good or not he'd have to decide once he knew what it was. He could see it sitting in the sand not too far away now. As he got closer, it became clear that it was indeed a girl laying there. Ahno finally encountered something unexpected, realizing it was an elf.
"Now why were you at Samal I wonder..." he thought.
A reasonable query, considering there had been no Syrtian force at Samal. None that Ahno was aware of at least. Which is a good basis to make such an assumption, because he pays quite a bit of attention to his surroundings, true hunter-quality observation skills really. Such a trait was useful for pretty much anyone, and Ahno made the most of it by habit at this point.
Ahno scanned the elven girl with a sliver of interest now. She was still alive it seemed. Breathing tends to be a good sign that you're not dead, in case you're wondering how he could tell.
"Strange... they gave up a kill that was practically theirs." he grinned in amusement. "Or they thought that falling over means a person is dead by default." Somewhat grim humor, he knew, but it was more intended to poke fun at the Igneans who'd been chasing this elf. Whatever the reason was, this girl was lucky. Although she would also be unlucky if she remained untreated.
And then something truly caught his eye. It was her hand... her right arm was outstretched and her palm faced skyward. On that palm Ahno could hardly believe what he saw.
"That can't be..." he was genuinely in wonder. Her palm was marked with a crescent-shaped birthmark. Ahno stared at it for a minute without thought. "Is that really..." Slowly he lifted his own right hand and studied his palm. His own skin was marked in the exact same fashion as hers was.
Ahno looked around... saw nobody. He turned back to this random girl who had suddenly become of significant importance to him. That mark that they shared...
"No one has ever been able to explain this simple symbol to me." Ahno contemplated. Of course, some mages had speculated, and supposedly wise men had made up plenty of rubbish; But he didn't buy any of it, he wanted a real answer. This could be his one and only chance to gain insight about... whatever this marking was, or if it even had meaning.
After a little hesitation and some deep contemplation, Ahno knelt down and began to heal her injuries. In a more forgiving climate she probably would have survived anyways, but here... it was not the same. It was a desolate place, torn by war and harsh weather. Such a land claimed every drop of blood that it could, and it had acquired a taste for hers. She was very fortunate, for she would indeed have perished there had Ahno not come to her aid.
As he finished mending the injury on her forehead (which at this point one could guess was to some high degree of severity), Ahno heard something. A footstep or two in the soft sand... an easy noise to miss, but the wind had died down and there was little else to hear. Someone was watching him.
Without a word, Ahno formed an invisible barrier around himself and the elf; Caution was not something you could have too much of most of the time.
He then utilized one of the many uncommon powers a conjurer could learn and created a small snake from the surrounding sand. It hissed softly and then without need of being told what to do, slithered in the direction that Ahno was pretty sure the intruder was. Suddenly it hissed and bit what appeared to be air, producing a yelp... also seeming to originate from the air.
Ahno realized what was going on and kicked quite a lot of sand in the direction of what he was pretty sure was a hunter. The sand flew forwards, as most sand does upon being kicked, but some of it stopped short and stuck in the air, creating the sand form of a man standing there. The not-so-invisible hunter knew full well now that he'd been discovered, and without warning ran off full speed headed east... towards Shaanarid.
Ahno watched in frustration as the unknown identity ran off. He knew enough though, enough to know that soon enough Ignis would become an even more unfriendly place towards him than it already was. Aiding a wounded enemy AND assailing a fellow Ignean is the equivalent of putting a bounty on your own head and then insulting the mother of every bounty hunter in the most despicable bar in Altaruk. Pretty much every crime worked that way, which Ahno believed was just laziness on the part of the Ignean "justice" system.
With metaphor or without though, Ahno knew he'd be in more than just -trouble- if he tried to come back to the inner realm of Ignis, unless he had the head of this girl in his hands perhaps... which he was certainly against. Once word reached the castle, news would spread to just about everyone who lived in the nation and he would be killed on sight like any Syrtian or Alsian. Not that he had a "huge" problem with that... because, contrary to popular belief, a desert is just not a nice place to live.
He looked back down at the girl, still laying there motionless, but alive. He created a small golem, scooped her up off the ground and gently placed her in the arms of the smooth-stone golem. Ahno studied her features for a moment, without purpose this time. Then without a word and without looking back, Ahno began walking towards the relatively nearby swamp, with his golem following close behind, carrying a girl named Iris.
I've learned to lose, I've learned to win, I've turned my face against the wind,
I will move fast, I will move slow, take me where I have to go.
Intercept - Hunter/60 || Interfere - Knight/60 || Intervene - Warlock/56 || Immune Prime - Conjurer 55
RO Story: Exiles- Read and Comment!
Last edited by Immune on Wed Jun 22, 2011 2:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.