Her breath became visible in small, but steady clouds as the sun crawled behind the distant peaks of the mountaintops in the east. With the onset of the night came a noticeably cooler temperature, and Seylin consciously tugged her cloak closer to her, trying to trap her warmth. She looked out, out, and out, onto the calm Mohaa River, the glittering, darkening surface of Lake Ayara, the distant walls of the great thieves’ town, New Rigel, and further still, until she could see nothing other than where the sky kissed the earth. As the last rays of sun began their descent from the heavens, she turned her back to the dying light, and her eyes, mauve-colored, sharp and curious, took in the looming forest before her.
The Lasler Valley had presented a few challenges, but they were nothing she couldn’t handle without some help. Despite her already-impressive grasp on dark magic, the young drow knew, to her chagrin, that even her magic couldn’t save her from being beaten by some creatures, and the great red dragon had been no different. Beneath her cloak, her arms still tingled from where the burns were healing. Resting while in the care of the gentle Brother Rufus, Seylin knew he had done all he could do, and the next time she met the fearsome dragon, she didn’t make the same mistake twice, especially not once she had the help of the amiable, but tiny gnome paladin. Struggling to remember what he called himself, she stepped cautiously toward the entrance of the forest, a small path opening itself up to her. She knew her preliminary tasks in Rune Forest and she quickly set to them, reporting to the school teacher, to the park keeper, and, it seemed, to anyone and everyone she ran across.
As her patience began running short with all of the talk, as the incantation for jinx was nearly uttered past her pale lips to be inflicted on the next person she had to speak to, a slip of parchment caught her eye, its pallid face stained with a red that was so deep and rich in color that it nearly matched her brilliant cloak in hue. Stooping, she picked the parchment gingerly up between two fingers, its texture thick, beveled. In intricate script, it had the beginnings of what she assumed was a title, but now it only read ‘HE RAB’, pocked with dirt. She turned in a slow circle, scanning around for the parchment’s missing counterpart, her eyes easily-adjusting in the ever-darkening night. There, on a worn signpost, she saw the remaining notice once she had placed the parchment in its rightful place. ORDER OF THE RABID WOLF, it read; it was a recruitment poster. She looked it over carefully, her expression impassive to any judgment she was forming inside. Once she finished reading, she let the bit of paper flutter forgotten to the ground. All in all, it didn’t seem like the sort of place she would find any commonality with its members, but it had piqued her interest in its opposing faction. She walked slowly around, searching for the other poster.
The trees loomed high up above her as the moon climbed slowly up into the sky, its light filtered through the branches of trees. The thick pines appeared to be scrambling at each other, their branches out-stretched like multi-pointed talons, meshing into each other as they tousled one another roughly in the wind, their rustling and whispering the product of their scuffle. Inclining her head, she watched the sky for a moment, her eyes narrowed in concentration. When she once more looked before her, the other sign revealed itself to her, a sliver of moonlight illuminating part of its face. ORDER OF THE MALACHITE GOLEM, read the second. Just as attentively and impassively as she had read the first notice, she read the second. However, when she finished reading, the corners of her lips tugged upward in a smirk. We need new members who will help us crush the Order of the Rabid Wolf beneath our plated boots in our march to glory. The forest be damned, riches await. Join us and share the spoils! As luck would have it, Seylin was sure she’d chosen her path. She turned and made her way toward the northern side of the forest, disappearing into the shadows of the trees as if she was part shadow herself.
The Order of the Malachite Golem (closed)
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