[IC] The Wishing Grail

AlchemistFox

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SU/D thread
http://www.finalfantasyforums.net/threads/62540-SU-D-The-Wishing-Grail
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The day was pretty much like most of the other ones in the week before, sunny but mostly overcast without any reason for rain anytime soon.
Which was a good weather, to be honest, not too cold or windy, but at the same time temperate enough to not freeze one’s manhood off.
The party was currently waiting at a crossroads, the road they came from lead to a large farming and cattle-driving village which supplied a lot of the area around with vegetables, other food such as meat as well as other animal product like un-handled leather. Ghael was it’s name, rather nice place all things considering, not much in the sense of interesting things unless one counted nice but rather mundane and common people.

The crossroads lead to different areas, as crossroads often do, the left one lead through a mountain path leading north somewhere, Jedark hadn’t studied the map, but he knew that the one leading to the right lead towards a dock-attached city named Folve. He didn’t plan to go anywhere with boat yet but there was two main rumors that he was interested in. Well, one rumor and one concrete thing.
One was that there were always a lot of work on the center-square boards. The other was that he had on sort of good rumor that there would be a hint to where and how he could find out one of the Grails wishes. Would be nice to add a few more possibilities in his cryptic-written notebook.

So, for now he was stuck, as it were, with his companions in the crossroads, waiting for a friend or acquaintance of one of them. He couldn’t remember who it was or why he was to come with them, somewhat unnatural for him. Jedark is a seeker of knowledge and he has quite the memory, not to mention that he takes notes and writes down a lot of seemingly unimportant things. Good thing he has made up his own writing language, though not impossible to decode it would take quite the time, and that is if you figure out the decoding code, without figuring it out it takes only that much longer.

Rather than just sitting there, looking into the sky, Jedark has taken to write something in his notebook, seeming rather pleased with himself where he sat down on a rock under the shade of a tree.
 

Tipsynaruto

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Ramja Bal the Fourth was in a slightly odd mood. On one hand, their new addition to their group was late, making her rather annoyed. On the other hand, the crossroad where they stood had some nice nature scenery and a lovely old tree, so her mood wasn't all THAT bad. Still, Ramja was not a fan of tardiness and her impatient tapping of her foot and fingers evidently showed this. Daylight was wasting away. The darn tavern keeper said that this new person was reliable and could be depended on, but if he is going to be late at his first appearance, then his credibility is crumbling quite quickly. It was not like there was any form of distraction that could have delayed him anyhow. The few settlements that could be reached from this crossroad was mundane by her standards to say the least and unles one was related to agriculture or farming, then there was no excuse besides the docks. Her companion seemed to not have a care in his mind whatsoever, however as Jedark just sat about in the shade, jotting down in his notebook.

Argh... have you no care at all Jedark? We will be behind schedule at this rate. And where did Miss Amira go off to anyway?

The third of their initial group was nowhere to be seen either. Ramja was sure that Amira was around when they stopped at the waiting point, but now, it was as if she never existed. It would be extremely nerve grating if their new member arrives only for them to wait for Amira to show up again. At the very least, however, Ramja knew that Amira would eventually show up or look after herself and regroup later down the track. While she grumbled away, Ramja did notice that Jedark was jotting away for a whle in his little book and taht piqued her interest

What ARE you always writing there, Jedark? Are you aspiring to be some novelist of some sort?
 

Noblesse Oblige

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Amira ventured a little ways ahead of the road they were supposed to take a few hours ago, to scout ahead for trouble, or at least that would be the excuse she’d pass to Ramja and Jedark, when it reality she just wanted to get out of their nose for the moment being. That being said, perhaps it was high time for her to head on back. At least by now this new person that the three of them would be travelling with would arrive and they can move on to the next town. Just waiting around for the sake of waiting was something Amira couldn’t exactly stand for.

Making the trek back Amira decided to pull out her straight shortsword, Mkhls and began to twirl it in the air, catching the blade by the flat so as to not cut herself, not that Amira wouldn’t be confident in her ability to achieve this without injury. It wouldn’t be long , and after a couple more of tossing and catching her sword, the Assassin sheathed her blade upon catching sight of Ramja and Jedark. The former appeared quite restless, so she could sympathize, the latter however was writing in his little book. “This guy still ain’t here yet? How long have we been waiting on him anyway?” Amira bemoaned towards the two, her face expressing annoyance, and overall boredom.
 
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AlchemistFox

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Jedark realized that he might be the more patient of the group, especially as his plant-based companion seemed to, ironically, be quite eager to have things happen. Kind of interesting for someone who has tree-genes in it’s make, something that takes forever to do something but gets there steady and true, to be this eager to get shit done as soon as possible.
He sort of wanted to comment on this to it but decided not to pay it mind, it’s a personality trait more so than a genetic thing.... right?

“I have many cares-” Jedark replied calmly without stopping his quill. “-our schedule is not based on time per se, but on what others do. We’re going there for a job, remember? Unless someone has already done it then we have nothing to fear. My contacts state this job was there for quite the time so I don’t see this being a problem.”

Jedark stopped writing for a few seconds and looked at Ramja at the end of his sentence. They were mainly going there for a job, or at least that was the initial plan, with the addition of picking up this potential fourth on the way. His own project about the Grail’s factors were naturally quite important for him but it might not be for the others, he honestly didn’t know what they felt about that. His plans were to get to the city, find somewhere to make camp, an Inn or something, and there dump their traveling gear like tents and the like. After that he’d meet his contact about the Grail before checking out the job they were going there for. He didn’t really care what the others said about it but they were entitled to their opinion.

“No idea about Amira, she left a while before us, I believe. She might be doing something somewhere, not everyone have patience today.” The smug and grinning tone to his comment were without a sliver of doubt aimed at Ramja.

Returning to his writing he had to stop after a short while due to being interrupted by the noble tree once again. This time he was doing some rather detailed runes and circles that would end up a spell in the end, so the curves and lines were quite specific.
“I don’t write novels in here-” he commented with a harsh tone. “-This is for magic rituals, spells and important notes. Not for petty stories or make believe. Right now I’m working on my next spell so time like this is actually quite nice for me.”

Ending his explanation with a stare down of sorts, which would most likely fail to come out as intimidating but rather come out as annoyed. Though he weren’t that annoyed in one way, in another he was closing in on the end of the new spell he was working on, and interruptions only pushed the end further back. Besides, his group knew very well of him and his book and notes, he was a man of knowledge and loved to amass more of it.

It didn’t take that much time, and as a side effect stopping Jedark’s writing yet again, for Amira to return and comment about something she shouldn’t have a say in.
“Well, not sure how long we have been waiting, but you haven’t really been waiting much, have you?” he grinned smugly at Amira.
 

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"Not too far now," muttered Dape under his breath. The journey to the crossroads was filled with open roads and other merchants travelling from one city to another. Dape is not fond of these open roads. They leave him vulnerable and does nothing short but keep him within sniping distance in all directions.

Dape walked past a ragged man, begging for some food. He felt a strange aura about this man so he stopped in his tracks and reached for his bag. The man was eyeing him very carefully, almost as if he was waiting for an opening. "Must be imaging things," he muttered under his breath, barely a whisper amidst all the sounds around him. He thought about grabbing is knife, just in case but thought better of it and went for the bread instead. He pulled it out from his bag and handed it to the man who immediately ate it straight away.

"Thank you! Gods bless you!" The man kept repeating over and over. Dape was right to brush of those feelings of danger.

As the man said his final thanks, they finally parted ways. Dape watched the man stumble away from him and walk the opposite direction. He watched as the man faded away.

"Oh. I'm late. Damn it."

Dape cursed himself for his tardiness. He prided himself on being on time. He picked up his pave and walked towards the direction of the crossroads.

"Maybe I should-"

Dape screamed in agony. An arrow struck him in his right arm, just below his shoulder. Where did this come from? He thought to himself as he ran for the nearest bushes. He carefully pulled out the arrow and applied the last of a pasty balm taken from his bag. There was barely any left but Dape was thankful that there was enough to cover the wound and stop the bleeding. He tore up some cloth from his robe and wrapped the opening of the wound. That should close within the hour, be thought to himself.

Another arrow hit the ground a few inches from where Dape was hiding. It wouldn't be long until the arrow finally hits home and cuts his journey short. Dape went through his bag and pulled out a crossbow. "I've never shot anything more than wolves with this thing," he said to himself as he cocked the mechanism and secured the bolt. He carefully looks around. Based on where the arrows are coming from, he calculates where the attacker fired his shots from.

"There," he said, pointing in the direction of the abandoned house. The sniper was more than a hundred meters away. "I can't shoot that far. Must think of something else." Dape was alarmingly calm despite being hit by an arrow and being under attack. He put the crossbow back into his bag and pulled out a scroll instead. "This should do the trick," he said as he carefully unrolled the parchment, sealed with a royal insignia.

The attacker shouted in frustration. How can he miss such an easy target? It has been a while since a traveller made it to this area. He was waiting for days until this robed peasant shows up.

Composing himwelf, exhaled and ducked down to grab more arrows. The man found just the one - an exploding tip arrow. "I paid good money for this. I hope it's damn near worth it." Happy with his choice, he lodged it on his bow and pulled the string prematurely, ready to fire. As he stood up to the window with the arrow ready to fire, the bandit did not even have a chance to aim his weapon. His eyes widened as he was engulfed by an explosion of fire.

Dape sat in silence for a moment or two and watched his attacker run around the second floor of the wooden house, screaming in agony. The whole hpuse was on fire and Dape can hear he foundations crashing. When the screaming was over and the house was reduced to nothing but cinders, embers and ashes, Dape stood up and made his way back to the crossroads.

"Oh. The wound has closed. I hope I didn't make them wait too long."
 

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As he walked for a few more hours, Dape could finally see the crossroads.

"I hope these guys don't kill me in my sleep."

In the distance, 3 figures can be seen. Two can be seen conversing with each other while the other is looking over her belongings.

"Not this time," he said as he approached the group, his hand securely fastened to a simple knife he found in one of his journey. Not much more than a bread knife but it was sharp nonetheless.

Dape walked towards the group slowly, checking for sudden moves. His first encounter still fresh from his mind. Could these be that person's friends? He tightened his grip on the knife as the thoughts circled around his head.

When Dape finally made it to the destination, his right hand concealed under his robe, he waited for the three to react. One looked at him very disapprovingly, another had a wry smile on her face. Dape noticed the last one was far more interested in his book. He pondered whether the man even knew Dape was there.

Dape eased his grip on his knife, held out his right arm and waved to the group.
 

Tipsynaruto

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“I have many cares. Our schedule is not based on time per se, but on what others do. We’re going there for a job, remember? Unless someone has already done it then we have nothing to fear. My contacts state this job was there for quite the time so I don’t see this being a problem.”

Jedark's rather subdued oulook on their job rubbed Ramja the wrong way somewhat. Despite the rather long lifespan of a Yutakai, Ramja felt like idling about was a waste of precious time which could have been used for other things. It was this relentless drive for action that seperated her from her more staid brethrens. Still, perhaps they weren't in such a rush and they could afford to wait, but it did not mean she had it like it. Jedark continued on, but this time, showing noticeable hint of annoyance in his tone and stare.

“I don’t write novels in here. This is for magic rituals, spells and important notes. Not for petty stories or make believe. Right now I’m working on my next spell so time like this is actually quite nice for me.”

It was clear Jedark wanted to be left to his own devices and Ramja understood, but rather than meekly apologise, she returned with her own deadpan stare.

Hmm.... Is that so....?

Luckily, Amira returned and everything went back to normal.

How long huh...? Hard to say, but it has been quite a while... wait...

A solitary figure could be seen walking up from afar down the road and waved at the trio. It was quite obvious given the way he dressed and his greeting that this man was who they were waiting for.

Matters not now i guess. Here he comes.... Hail stranger! Are you the one recommended by Barkeep Theo for our mission?"
 

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Who the hell is Theo? Dape thought to himself as he walked the paved road. Every step nearing towards the adventure he has always been looking for... or at least that's what was promised to him by his contacts. Riches beyond imagination! The promise of not ever having to work another day in his entire life? Dape mused himself with the idea.

Dape's contact gave him three names -- Jedark, Amira and Ramja. He was never really good with names. Dape made sure he wrote the names down on some left over parchment. Every now and again, Dape would think about what these characters would look like. Sometimes he envisioned gallant knights, riding majestic steeds across the land, protecting the people. Other times he thought them as nobles who wanted to have a taste of adventure. It is not important as to who these people are. "Be quick, concise and thorough," Dape remembered his contact saying. I do not remember having to be friends with these people as part of the mission.

Dape put his arm down after what seemed like a friendly gesture or greeting. His awkward social skills needs quite a bit of work. As he approached his final steps towards the group, within arm's length of the tree-like being, he couldn't help but notice how different his new companions are. They vary greatly from each other. If one were to come across the group in an inn or some public place, you wouldn't have thought they traveled together.

This? This is what I have to travel with for the next few days?


Dape could never have imagined traveling with such a curious bunch. He felt like the eyes of the tree-person scanning him from head to toe.

Easy Dape, stay nice and respectful. Keep your distance.

Dape's gaze met with the treefolk, careful not to give away any indication of fear or his trust issues.

Should i say something?
Dape wondered. Eventually he decided it was for the best for his new "companion" to set the pace.
 

AlchemistFox

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Jedark stopped paying attention to what went on between his companions for now, he had to work on this spell of his. Oh how he had been wishing for it’s completion but just didn’t have the knowledge, that last bit of info, rune, mark or what the fuck he was missing. It’s like putting together a large mechanical golem only to realize you haven’t figured out how the main drive-bearing cog was to be designed. A small but significant detail that would either have the thing collapse or work flawlessly. Though in a way a much smaller thing in magic, what is a rune or line in a circle to someone unknowing, just like what is a small cog to someone without the knowledge? No, with magic that small thing can have you mutate, lose limbs or life, or end up as something completely different.
He remembered when he started studying magic, one rune or line made different could alter the element of a spell, or even make it into something completely different. And in only a few of those cases would the spell not explode or drag you into a nether realm.

No, he had to be careful with this, what was he missing, what was the last thing to complete his newest masterpiece, to rid him the need of lugging around heavy things for the rest of his life!
What was it?!

His mind was dragged back to this world with the subtlety of a brick to the kneecap as his brain finally realized that there were another person here. It took Ramja’s whole sentence before he came to this realization.
As his woody companion took the initial greeting Jedark closed his tome, put his quill and ink away into their compartments in a small box, and for the love of everything you have holy; remember the cap on the ink vial.. Then put it all properly into their place before he moved away from the rock he had used as a surprisingly comfortable seating arrangement while waiting.

Taking to his feet Jedark moved closer towards this person, Ramja had already asked the important question; was he the one they were after? The fourth member of their little troupe?
As he got closer he could not stop himself in taking in the details and judging this book by it’s cover. The man was incredibly average, surprisingly so. Jedark had to strangle a chuckle from escaping his lips, this man looked more a mage than Jedark did, and the fourth member was not mentioned a mage either.
Though, judging a book by it’s cover is not a good thing, Jedark had only to think of himself to realize how wrong that was as he looked quite like the rogueish type, which was sort of the point. People always go for the ‘weak caster’ rather than leaving him alone!

Getting closer, Jedark stopped as he was a few meters away from the newcomer, having not gotten an answer to Ramja’s question he added his own in the hopes of information.
“Are you this Tsaf we were told about? If so, what do you do? How can you be aid to our work?”
He was straight to the point, pleasantries and unnecessary politeness was far, far, very far from one of Jedark’s strong sides. Besides, it came in the way of obtaining clear facts!

They had been told very, very basic details about this person they were to have with them, besides the name and a description of apperance (which didn’t aid much considering the average nature of it) they didn’t get much.
No, they needed someone with some abilities for the next mission, something they lacked. Mentioning the job to the barkeeper, who was one of their information givers due to reasons in the past, the man had someone he could recommend to them. Which was apparently Mr average here. Just to not go into a mission with scraps of information and die to incompetence Jedark needed to know at least something about what was being brought to the table, so to speak.

Not realizing he might not look that nice or inviting, Jedark kept eyeing the man in front of him as he awaited some answers.
 

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The intellectual man's piercing gaze is disturbing. Dape felt like the man peered into his soul, trying to analyze his very existence. He felt vulnerable as the man kept his gaze on him, seemingly trying to study him. Was he imagining things? Maybe. He could not return that steely gaze and prompted instead to look away. There's something about that man that Dape can't quite point a finger on. Unsure whether the man eyeing him was Jedark, Amira or Ramja, Dape knew for certain that this... fellow... had some unnatural vibe to him. Is this a mage-like quality? He asked himself as he tried to look away.

"Are we ready?" Ready for what? To eat? To sleep? Dape wondered if the statement was vague. Dape did not even realize that he didn't answer the man's question. Well, to be perfectly honest, I try not to disclose much about myself anyway so I guess it works out. Oh he couldn't have been more wrong. This mindset of his is what ends up making things more complicated with people he associates with. Being vague does not help much in the way of social interactions but it does quite well stop people from asking too many questions. One can never go wrong with being private about one's life. The less people know about you, the more chances of you surviving. Being left alone can be a good thing.

Dape could not hide his fascination with the plant-being. The man or woman (Dape can't figure it out) had such nice, golden locks of hair. From afar, Dape mistook the hair for a golden hood or sash over the being's head. The horns are equality as fascinating. Dape has not come across such a being during his travels, if you can call them travels. He could feel a strong aura of authority coming from the person, almost like what you would feel if you were around a commanding officer. He could not keep his fascination, being raised in the farms for majority of his life, he was not exposed to other beings but humans. In fear of staring, Dape looked away from his new companion's olive colored skin and tried to focus on other details instead.

On second thought, where is the third person? Did he imagine that person standing over the rock in the clearing? If not, well, he or she was nowhere to be found. Dape turned his head from left to right, carefully and slowly, to make sure he didn't miss anything, alas there was no one. Must be imagining things after all. He could've sworn the person was right there. Maybe that person hasn't arrived yet and we're all here waiting for the last addition to the party. I did make them wait so I guess it's courtesy to be patient about the other one too. 5 gold bars says he had quite the backstory over these guys.

Before another word was spoken among the group, Dape unslung his leather bag from his back and carefully put his right arm inside. Onlookers would've noticed his bandaged arm covered in blood in the process and he was ready to reassure anyone who asks that the wound underneath it was fully healed. No one asked. He felt a bit sad that no one really cared, but he would've loved to recount his earlier encounter with the bandit. If someone did ask about why he was late and other bullshit, would he have indulged in revealing the exciting events? Probably not.

Dape pulled out a simple trap kit. Basics of the basics. Ta-da, the ankle snare trap! He wanted to say out loud. But instead, he just quietly showed the plant-being and the curious man the contraption. It is very simple, in theory. If someone were to step on it, the trap triggers. What fascinates people is that it was made with everyday things and cause much more devastating damage than those traps you can purchase. This particular trap was made with two horseshoes, a few pins, and a gemstone. Once the victim steps on the trap, it triggers the snare to immobilize the ankle. The force of the physical motion down shatters the small gem and triggers a minor explosion spell that will cause reasonable amount of damage.

The trapmaster did not expect the two to understand the beauty and complexity of the object, nor did he want to. He wanted them to leave the traps to him. Dape was useless in straight up battle so this is his way of getting the advantage in battle. He looked at his two new companions and could not work out whether one of them managed a bit of a smile, or was even impressed at all. He sighed, put the trap back into his rucksack and slung it back to his back.

It always surprises Dape how something so heavy turns to feather weight when put in his bag. Dape always had fond memories of smuggling things using Twenty, a name he fondly calls his bag. It took a while before he managed to keep count of what is in his bag. A small piece of paper and a pen is all what's needed to keep tabs on whatever is there, a simple solution he finds to be very helpful in his journeys.

Dape can't wait to get started. This job was talked up so much that it excited him. A little.
 

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The man was oddly mute. Ramja could only assume this man is the person the barkeep and recommended. It was still more preferrable to get a solid vocal confirmation. That aside, Ramja could not help but feel a bit underwhelmed. She hoped for someone who appeared a bit more well travelled and this "Tsaf" looked anything but. Normal height, normal size, normal looking. There was nothing outstanding about him, but perhaps that in itself is interesting in itself. The trait of being unremarkable is quite handy for some of the more subtle jobs they may need to do. Unfortunately, what he did next did not improve her impression of him didn't improve any further. Ramja did notice the bandaging he had on him and they looked fresh, which would indicate that he had some sort of incident prior to arriving. Taking everything into consideration such as clothing and dirt on him, it seemed likely it was an attack of some sort, either animal or human. So that meant he was capable of taking care of himself to some degree. However, his way of answering Jedark was to empty his rucksack and display his tools.

Mr.... Tsaf? I'm afraid I'll have to be a bit blunt and ask, are you mute? I can deduce from your gear that you are some sort of trapmaster, but if you wish to join our group, we will need to be able to communicate effectively yes? It will be incredibly difficult to coordinate with you during combat, especially since you do not specialise in front on combat. You two agree with me, yes?

Ramja looked over to Amira and Jedark for further confirmation on her stance. Using tree wide sweeping tree magic with Amira twirling back and forth in melee range and not getting in the way of Jedark's own skills was a headache initially. It was hard enough as it is coordinating with when and they spoke freely. Even now, it is still a bit shaky. Unless she can squeeze more information from him, Ramja was hesitant in allowing him to join.

 

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“A Trap Master…?” Amira said, looking as the device sprung into action. Curious as to the style of traps that this individual had, she took a look at the individual. The way he carried on about himself, he seemed quite normal, and that might keep enemies suspecting his involvement in the her or her compatriots shenanigans.

Mr.... Tsaf? I'm afraid I'll have to be a bit blunt and ask, are you mute? I can deduce from your gear that you are some sort of trapmaster, but if you wish to join our group, we will need to be able to communicate effectively yes? It will be incredibly difficult to coordinate with you during combat, especially since you do not specialise in front on combat. You two agree with me, yes?

Ramja did touch on something that Amira noticed, and that was the fact that he didn’t speak. He might be a mute in truth, which could make communications difficult in the long run, but Amira didn’t think so. “Well, I kinda agree with you there, Ramja. His traps would be very useful given the time to prepare, but I’d rather not run the risk of getting caught in a trap laid by a friend, if you catch my drift.” Amira folded her arms and closed her eyes, nodding as if she was being speculative. “I already have enough trouble not getting hit by a random tree branch as it is.“
 

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It was hard to figure out this person, his way of acting was odd, to say the least. Though odd people tended to have a history and tended to think differently, which in itself were a good thing when it came to those ‘the fuck do we do now?!’ moments.
Jedark couldn’t do much but be hesitant, if this is how the person were to act in the future he couldn’t see him work in this group, not that this group was the most buddy-buddy like he has seen in his life; he could only blame himself for not being so with them.

It didn’t make it better that the man’s answers came in a half version of show and tell, mainly showing without explaining shit. He took out a strange device with some horseshoes and a gem on it. They were strung together and fastened here and there, but due to the short time it was in view Jedark couldn’t properly identify what this was. His bandaged hand weren’t really that hard to note, given that it was what pulled out this contraption and put it back in.

Hold on... A few questions came to mind.
This device, was taken out of and put back in a seemingly small bag... Either the bag was rather empty save for this doohickey or there were something to it*.. Yep, it was magical. Only wondering about these things had Jedark sharpen his senses regarding the flow of mana and recognize that it was magical somehow, he could guess but his guess would not be proper without inspecting it further. And though he could do this now was not the time, took too much focus.

Ramja and Amira mentioned something interest as well, they immediatly realized that this... this.. thing.. was a trap?
How the bloody hell did they see that? It was made of quite common items, Jedark only identified some horseshoes, other bits of metal and a gem. How did the others immediately... no.. wat.. it was mainly Ramja that noticed this... He would have to ask her about this later, seems like he still has a thing or twenty to learn about identifying common mundane-ish objects.

Continuing the questions in a rather patronizing tone, even if this person was mute there were always ways to work around this... Or perhaps the others didn’t know sign language?
During his travels and what he is looking into, Jedark had to pick up a lot of languages, some spoken still and some forgotten to time. One of the current ones Jedark found a book on and spent some time trying it out with some random mute passerby. It was an eventful evening that only solidified that the mage’s brain was made for learning!

Though, in the man’s defence, being approached by the three of them like this might put pressure on a lot of people, especially if they are to be one's’ potential boss later on. All of this depended on personality traits but Jedark knew that he wouldn’t appreciate it for himself at least.
Trying to give this... trap master.. some space he stayed where he was, a few meters away, and broke into the dialogue.
“Why not let him answer before you draw conclusions?”

This was a tick of his, mainly a problem when it was relating to himself. Being a seeker of knowledge when that knowledge is wrong due to assumptions, things can go very, very bad... Which is far from good when dealing with magical formula, or in the longer run; the Grail.

Hoping that the others let the man get at least some breathing room to answer he ended up eagerly awaiting one himself.
 

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Dape was taken aback by the sudden question. Are you mute? The question still ringing in his head. I guess no on can blame the tree-folk for asking such a question. He was still dazed at how this other person, daggers and all seemingly appeared out of nowhere when he didn't see her at first. Her aura must be concealed under some subtlety technique, a rogue or assassin of some sort? He shrugged as flashes of his bandit encounter came to his mind.

The man managed a small smile despite what may either be a direct insult or a sincere inquiry. So many things he wanted to say - about how shit his journey was, the details of the ambush... All he managed was a smile.

"I, uh..."

That was all he managed to say. He looked at all three of his companions and couldn't say more. He was happy to be in the company of experienced adventurers, and that was s comfort in itself.

"Gifts," Dape managed to blurt out. He thought that he was already making the first meeting more awkward than it has to be. He hates these situations. Even more so when puts himself right in the middle of it.

Just like that, Dape grabs his backpack and carefully pulls out three wrapped items. The wrapping was made out of cheap paper, strung together by some wires he found on one of his journeys.

Dape hands one of the gifts to the intellectual. Based on how he presents himself, the person seemed like a mage of some sort, proficient in destructive magic. Dape was did not know much about the man, let alone what he would've appreciated as a gift. Inside was a shimmering pendant necklace encrusted with rubies and gemstones. It gave its wearer the ability to sense the nearest body of drinkable, clean water. Dape fondly recalls trading for this trinket for a few, non-magical items. It was clear at the time who had the advantage with that trade.

Next, Dape hands the subtle rogue her gift. Wrapped in the same manner as the first, the gift was a bracelet that casts a light spell around the wearer for a few moments to help navigate dark areas and such. Torchlight, he recalls the bracelet's name, is a double edged sword. It would definitely help someone who needs assistance movong around jn the dark but it also makes that persob look like a sitting duck. Dape thought that if this character was indeed a rogue-like person, she would very much rather be coated by the guise of darkness instead of compromising her location. Not much of a gift but a gift nonetheless.

The last gift he gave, the one to the plant-like being, was also wrapped in the same packaging as the first two. It was a copper coin with heads on both faces. The printing wasn't familiar to Dape, so he assumed that it came from a faraway land. The coin, when dipped in liquid substances would glow if there is poison in the liquid. Judging from the peculiarity of the item, this was probably a special item from some great lord who feared being poisoned by the ones he trusted. The fact that Dape is in possession of such a coin may have suggested a thing or two about his fate. Are plants even affected by poison? Dape thought to himself.

As he gave all the gifts to his new companions, he couldn't help but wish that they appreciate it. Dape hoped that with his lack of social skills, they can at least see that he was sincere and worthy of their trust.

He stood there waiting for their reactions, hoping for the best. The companions didn't know what these gifts were after all.
 
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Tipsynaruto

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"I, uh...Gifts,"

So not mute then. Good

At least Mr Tsaf here can speak, which was a plus at least. Sounds awkward, but at least he can talk and he seems to know some social etiquette as well by bringing gifts. Not necessary in Ramja's book, but the gesture was nice nonetheless. From within the bag, their new trapmaster pulled out three roughly wrapped packages which Ramja can only assume to be the gifts he spoke of and sure enough, he began to divvy the items out. Ramja couldn't say she was too impressed with this show of bribery. Was he trying to bribe them to allow him into their band? Before she could put up any objection, he pushed the last gift into Ramja's hand. As someone who was brought up with a proper education and upbringing, the Yutakai noble accepted the gift and gingerly unwrapped it. Hers was a rather old looking copper coin, not much to look at at first glance. One would think Ramja would take insult to this paltry gift, but it intrigued her. At the touch of it, Ramja felt that it wasn't as it seemed on the surface, that it wasn't just some copper coin. Sure it had two heads for each side, but it was more of the magical tug that niggled on her palm that caught her interest. Whatever it may be, Ramja would fgure it out sooner or later.

Now that all the gifts were handed out and a bit of time has gone by, Ramja's temper has subsided a bit more and her mind was a bit more straight. This man does not seem to be from wealth, or he is hiding it incredibly well. The gift he gave her did not seem like mundane ordinary items. Perhaps he is not as new as the barkeep had said. And Jedark was right. Her temper may have made her jump the gun. The man should be given a chance at least.

Argh... Sigh... Alright, alright. My temper may have made me a bit too hasty.

Ramja composed herself a bit more before formally greeting Dape. With a sharp flick, Ramja clicked her heels together, raised one fist to the opposite shoulder and bowed her head slightly in a traditional Yutakai greeting

Greetings. I am Ramja Bal the Fourth of the Royal House of Bal from Yutakai. I apologise for my poor manners earlier on. Many thanks for your gift, however, may we at least hear your full name so that we may properly greet you?

As far as she knew, his last name was Tsaf, but a first name may be a bit more handy in conversation. Also, this may give the others a chance to exchange greetings and maybe get off on a better foot rather than the balls up she had done earlier on.
 
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ponz31

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Dape turned to the tree-folk and gave a small smile. He pointed at the coin and added, "For water you do not trust." That is all Dape managed to say. He was still unsure if the gift will be of any use to the tree-folk at all but he tried his best not to show it.

The man returned Ramja's greeting with an awkward nod, careful not to break eye contact. In some cultures, this may be seen as offensive but since he was not used to such strange greetings apart from the occasional hand wave and hand shake, Dape took the risk. Hopefully his new companion can forgive his rudeness, or at least, the lack of courtesy in dealing with strange customs.

Dape can't shake that feeling of sadness with not being able to express himself better. He manages a smile here and there but words don't seem to agree with him. When Dape reaches out to people, he gets overwhelmed with all the things he wants to say. The result? One-word replies. Good job, idiot.

He remembered the man called Jedark looking at his bandages before as he took out presents and trap. Dape seems to think he owes at least an explanation to how he got it. After all, they have been waiting for him for a while and a good reason seems to be in order as to not upset his new comrades.

Dape points to the bandage and says, "Ambushed." He slowly unwrapped the bandage and showed his audience that there was no injury underneath it. Thank the heavens that the last of the balm was enough to cover the entire wound. Now that he thought about it, just imagine what would've happened to him if he didn't have that concoction handy. Could've died from an infection, blood loss, or just fell pray to some carnivorous creature. Dape dismissed the idea as a the thought sent shivers down his spine. The recovery even surprised himself. Dape can't believe that just a few hours before, it looked like a wound straight out of a horror story. He has always been squeamish with these sorts of things and so in his head, let's just say he has an overly active imagination.
 

AlchemistFox

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Finally something came out of the man in the form of speech, though it weren’t what Jedark expected. Suddenly bursting out about gifts, handing the three a small package each swapped in slightly unorthodox manners. Though they looked sort of normal at first glance, looking closer showed that though it was simple paper around it, rather than string or some twine it was actual wire around it.
Jedark received his package which he eyed suspiciously for a few seconds before looking back at the man. The other received theirs looking pretty much exactly the same, save some sizing differences.
As Ramja had already started opening hers, Jedark decided to wait to see what popped out before setting any hopes or expectations for himself.
Taking what looked like an odd copper or brass coin from the gift, Ramja finally realized that her previous way of acting weren’t for the best and took it as such, introducing herself right after.

Inhaling a bit to as the question what the coin was, the newcomer answered without being directly prompted, Ramja’s facial expression must have already asked for her.
Water that you don’t trust?
That was a strange and cryptic explanation. He wanted to ask more but a glance at it showed some divining magic on it, without getting a proper look at the coin Jedark only got as far as to realize it being a good and safe enchantment, nothing to be afraid of as of now.

Which brought his gaze onto his own case, eyeing the small container with less suspicion than before he twisted the wire loose and started to unpack it. Inside was a simple and cheap container with a quite ornamental and expensive looking amulet.
This one had a higher feel of magic from than the coin had, though sharing the divination magic feeling on it. Jedark looked at the man with a question in his eyes, though this faded after a second when he guessed that any reply would be cryptic still.
No, rather than expecting an answer this is a good time to test out his knowledge, it was hard to properly realize what kind of magic was inside objects without specifically made spells for it.

Luckily Jedark had such a spell.

Letting loose a small cloud of mana around his body, he focused it around the amulet in his hand, letting the energy particles take on the same makeup as the spell inside. Though incredibly weak it still let Jedark read the spell as it was his own, and today was a good day as it gave him a rather clear answer... for once... But there were still something hidden, something harder... What was the goal of this item, what would it find?
Focusing a bit more the answer came in the watery feeling of the particles.

His eyes widen in surprise as he realized what he was holding... This thing could divine water?
“You.... You’re giving me this?” Jedark asked in surprise more than anything. This is an expensive enchantment, and that is even without considering the amulet itself.
“Water divination spell in items like this are quite expensive...” he ended up with a statement rather than a question, but even so it was clear what his goal was.

He was quite happy getting something like this, but all his joy was hidden behind a wall of confusion at the moment. Who is this man, able to hand out gifts of this caliber randomly like this.
 

Noblesse Oblige

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Amira blinked when she was forced to accept the gift. She wondered what the bracelet was about, especially when Tsaf explained that Ramja’s had some sort of special ability, and it was discovered that Jedark’s amulet also had an enchantment attached to it as well. For some reason, she questioned why this person, who probably only heard of them and only just meant a little more than five or so minutes ago would give gifts like that, especially such rare gifts of high caliber.

Amira wasn’t exactly keen on wearing jewelry, but she also wasn’t one to turn down a gift either. In any case, she figured she could pocket the bracelet for now. “Since Ramja introduced I might as well, my name is Amira al-Mu’tamin.” She said, taking a bow, at least to show him some humility...which lasted about as long as she did so, saying. “You’re looking at one of the best Assassin’s in all the land.” Amira laughed after saying this, eager to see how Tsaf would respond to that.
 

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Dape looked at Jedark and gave him his best toothless grin, quite amused with his reaction. He could not help but wonder why the man was looking at him in confusion. Maybe he was not accustomed to having someone give him presents? Let alone a stranger. Dape did come from some place away from civilization and his customs may be as weird as Ramja's greeting.

After what seemed like forever, Dape opened his mouth and said, "Yeah, water-finding." That's all he could muster at the moment. He's reached his limit of words for the day he feels. Dape studied how each new companion opened the present. In a way, this is Dape's way of trying to understand their personality. From carefully unwrapping the packaging to tearing it all off with one pull, Dape learned that how a person opened a gift reflects a great deal about their character. Just then he thought he remembered something but dismissed it in his head. No time to be sentimental.

The woman who introduced herself as Amira courteously bowed to Dape. He responded with a polite nod, taken aback by the greeting. Dape is not used to meeting so many people at once, it almost feels overwhelming. Back home, he would meet the occasional merchant every now and again but once their business has concluded, they part ways almost as quickly as they met. These people would be with him for the rest of those travels. Just thinking about it scares him.

Dape figured he extend the same courtesy to the assassin as he did to Ramja. He pointed at the bracelet and explained that it did in as little words as possible. His way of speaking was like a man with limited time on earth, making sure every word counted. "Torchlight," Dape finally said. Hopefully Amira would get the idea from that. He did hope that he was as concise and as clear as possible. The three were probably finding out that speaking isn't Dape's strong point and that they would probably need to find a way around this if he was to work with them as a team. He wasn't sure but his speculation doesn't purely go without merit, after all, most of the people he's met were the same.

As all three have introduced themselves, Dape decided to re-introduce himself, properly this time. With the gifts out of the way, he can finally has a clear head and can start fresh.

Dape pulled back his hood showing his messy hair and disheveled features. He smiled a toothless one and cleared his throat. "Hi, I'm Dapeton Tsaf, self-taught trapmaster. Happy to meet your acquaintance." He concluded the statement by with a deep bow.
 

Tipsynaruto

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"Hi, I'm Dapeton Tsaf, self-taught trapmaster. Happy to meet your acquaintance."

From just glancing at the other's gift, Ramja could tell they weren't just some novelty knock off. Even if it was, it was a darn good one. Now that EVERYONE was acquainted with everyone, it was probably about time they got to the meat of why they were all gathered. After all, they did only wait for Dapeton for the quest and now the trio knows he can at least communicate, albeit somewhat awkwardly, it was best if they got the show on the road. For that, it was Jedark's turn.

Alright. Playtime is over. Time to get to work. The basic jist of all this is that we are going artefact and information hunting. I am sure the barkeep informed you of that much when he gave you the location of where to meet us? Jedark? Would you like the honour of filling in the gaps and the specifics of THIS exact operation?

While Ramja herself knew enough of what they were doing, she didn't exactly have the whole picture. Jedark seemed to be the overall defacto leader with eveyrthing in his little notepad and head and so far, he has yet to show any sign of using them as expendable pawns. So Ramja didn't mind so much. After all, she was a scholar, but tailored to quite a specific school. The entire time they travelled, Ramja was able to read the artefacts and scrolls they have come across, but deciphering their hidden meaning was more up jedark's tree.
 
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