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Across Dorthall

SweetPea

Even Sweet Peas get Salty
Joined
Sep 25, 2019
Location
Netherlands
The country of Mord has been known for generations as a free nation, with laws primarily aiming to protect its citizens.
Under its king, Mordias VI, the people experienced their most prosperous era yet.
The nation's capitol Mordranyr came to house the United council of Dorthall, where the rulers from across the Dorthallian continent came to discuss matters of international importance.
Strong trade routes were established, and trade flourished. The nations also shared technologies with one another, causing the sciences to also experience a boom.
Bardic colleges came out of the woodwork, and Arcane Academies proliferated. People from all over the world came to study in Mord.
Things changed after Mordias' death, however.

Mordias' son, Theomord III, grew up surrounded by foreign courtiers and officials, and they groomed him to become a puppet to their leaders' whims, driven only by greed and a lust for power.
Under his rule, Theomord's people lost freedom after freedom, and many lost their lives in senseless campaigns of war due to his hubris.
First, he raised taxes on the working class, and made it illegal to hunt in the nation's forests for food, unless the spoils went straight to the king.
Second, he started a war on one of the continent's previously most powerful races. The dragons of Dorthall were hunted nearly to extinction, and those that survived fled to the four winds.
Lastly, and as recent as only a year ago, Theomord made a change to the law that might one day proove to be the biggest mistake of his life.

"And that's why yer all here." A gruff, stout dwarf said, echoing into a tankard of ale he'd nearly emptied out over the course of maybe five minutes of speech.
Grevmir slammed the empty tankard down on the table after a final swig, and looked around at the group of people he'd gathered in secrecy, hoping none of them turned out to be spies for the king's court. Some of them had come to him, others he had to seek out, but he was certain he'd collected a capable taskforce of people. The fact all of them, as far as he knew, were women...was purely coincidence.

"Allow me te intreduce ye to one 'nother." He gestured to the lot of them, and started off with the most prominent figure among them, a pale, albino human with long, snow-white hair and deep red eyes. "This 'ere is milady Milvena Nesalee. She's nobility. I trust'er with me life, so no need to worry about her sellin' us out to the king. She's goin' te be our foot in the door for our first and most important operation. I'll tell ye more about that later."

Secondly, he nodded at another human, skin equally as fair as the previous, and hair equally stark. The main differences lay in the color of her eyes (Blue) and the expression on her face. Where Milvena had a stoic, constantly annoyed look about her, this one seemed almost happy to be here, despite looking about nervously every now and again.
"Please excuse miss Lyric for being out of her comfort zone. She doesn't do very well in tight places. 'M terribly sorry for the inconvenience, miss. This place is the best location we had to hide a group of magical beings such as yerself away from the eyes of the king. Anyway...miss Lyric has her way with people. She'll be our main intelligence officer. Very good at disguises, you'll find. And very hard to say no to."

Next, another white-haired woman would be introduced. This one was definitely the odd one out among the group. Her skin was bright red, contrasted only by salt-white hair and ochre-colored eyes. "My name is Anne." She said, nodding at the dwarf. "I've known Grevmir for almost ten years. We go way back. I asked him to gather as many magicians, holy people and magical creatures together as he could, to form this resistance. I'm glad so many of you turned up. He will be our ringleader. I'm little more than a concerned parent who wants to tear their child free from the clutches of a corrupt government."

Then, the dwarf held his palm out at the most heavily armored one in their midst. "This is Sienna Copperpot. She's my cousin. Adopted, of course. When she overheard her father and me speaking about all this, she wouldn't shut up until we let her in on it. She's a grown woman, so who are we to stop 'er? She knows her way around the blade better than any one of you, and probably more than me, too. I'll vouch for that."

Then the youngest of the group, outside Grevmir's niece, was pointed out next. A brunette, no older than two decades, and likely a little younger. "This is Yvette. Poor thing's got a family to care for, but now that magic's banned, she's got no way to provide for them. Why she's here speaks for itself. You'll find she's a gifted mathematician, and a powerful wizard. She'll prove invaluable in our struggles."

And lastly, the woman who had removed herself as far away from the dwarf as possible, sitting on a stool in the far corner. "That there's Brianna. She's a priestess. She won't talk te me, but me sister says she's here to help, and I know better than te go against Hilde. Please, ladies. Tell us a little bit about yerselves before me and Anne tell ye what our first line of action is goin' te be."
 
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ippo

Star
Joined
Dec 9, 2018
With a sullen expression and the bunched up shoulders of someone who wasn't sure if they should feel uncomfortable or not, Yvette pulled her robes around her. They were dark blue with voluminous sleeves that exposed her shoulders, and were held together with a simple brass clasp over her collar. Underneath them hid a modest outfit suited to a peasant, but were kept clean of the grime and mud that usually stained them. Her dark hair, though put up in a plump bun, was frazzled and uncombed, and poking through were the tips of two pointed ears.

As if not wishing to speak, but knowing that staying silent would be considered rude, Yvette hummed when Grevmir introduced her. Her fingers rubbed over each other on her lap like she was trying to remove something from them. The few times she looked up at the others were quick, with her expression unchanged.
 

Lady Rinne

Dreaming goddess
Joined
Jun 20, 2016
Location
United States
Milvena with the boundless poise and dignity that bespoke a member of the highest echelon of the kingdom nobility, and whose family in fact did have blood ties to the royal line, curtsied to the others who had gathered in the chamber. While certainly not her social equals, they were to be her partners in this endeavor and as such she would treat them with the respect befitting of companions and comrades. That was a bond that could in at least a limited way, transcend class boundaries.

"It is a pleasure to make your acquaintances." She said, gesturing to the others. "I hope that our alliance shall yield fruit."
 

freeko

Star
Joined
Mar 13, 2016
Brianna did little more than acknowledge the introduction. She also made no real effort to hide the fact that she was keeping her distance from the dwarf that was introducing everyone. At almost all times, Brianna would make sure that there was at least one member of the party, if not more, between the male dwarf and her. To be honest though Brianna had possibly the best spot to observe the rest of the party. Before now, she had little idea of who she would be adventuring with. So far, Brianna was fairly pleased that there were no men in the group.
 

UnknownEntity

Planetoid
Joined
Apr 25, 2019
Sienna seemed to be one of the more relaxed members of this little shindig. The young lady was sitting backwards in her chair, with her arms crossed to make a comfortable pillow for her chin. Her golden eyes traveled to each person as they were introduced. Her eyes tended to drift to Brianna in confusion before darting back to the rest of the group. It seemed like each person was stranger than the last at first blush. While she had been told this would be a resistance gathering and not some sort of well polished military regiment she couldn't help but feel a bit ... underwhelmed. Other than standing out like a lot of sore thumbs Sienna wondered about the groups talents.

But she had made her choice to be here, and fought for it besides. The girl was going to make a difference. As her name finally came around she gave a warm smile and raised a hand for a slight wave, "Was adopted really necessary, Grevmir? I know my way around a blade better than he knows his around ale, I'll give him that. Greetings all."
 

Mai Kupu

Moon
Joined
Jun 4, 2019
Well, the location could have been better, but Lyric was almost too excited to care. In a matter of weeks everything had fallen into place for her. Finding Anne, making a career out of her passion, and a light at the end of the tunnel. This quest would ensure that finally she might be able to come out of the shadows. Changelings, being beings of magic, weren't exactly legal in this land.

Contacts at her College had connected her to this dwarf but it wasn't until she got here that she to this dreadful place that she caught sight of her old friend. She was doing her best to stay focused and observe her new companions, but she couldn't help but steal an occasional excited glace at Anne. When she was mentioned, she simply smiled sweetly at the dwarf and nodded in acknowledgment. She was very upfront about her motivations, but who she was really curious about was Milvena. The dwarf may trust her, but what was she after in this quest?

She waited until everyone else had spoken until she did. With a flair of her coat, a smile, and a tip of her hat aimed towards the noblewoman in the room. "Hello all, Yes Lyric is my name." She cast a glance towards Anne. "I look forward to working with you all.. Let's get this show started."

She couldn't wait to get out of this box of a room.
 
OP
SweetPea

SweetPea

Even Sweet Peas get Salty
Joined
Sep 25, 2019
Location
Netherlands
"Aye. Very well." The dwarf grumbled, when everyone had said their piece. "Suppose I'll tell you all about our plan."
His gaze went for the Lady Nesalee, and he nodded to focus everyone's attention on the noblewoman.
"Milady Milvena, as ye all ought to figure, has friends in high places. We've asked her te seek out fer us a noble close to the king, preferably unwed, with access te his personal court.
She has brought forward Marchioness Ruby Mordranyr as our prime candidate. Ruby is the king's ferst cousin, and fourth in line te take the throne if he were te come te an untimely demise."

He nodded to Anne, who stood so all had to shift their attention to them for a moment. "Annealer, as is Anne's full name, has spent the last few months studying noble etiquette under the guise of Milady Milvena's chambermaid. Anne, if ye will?"
The red-skinned changeling brought their arms to their side, and slowly their skin turned from a dark red to a pale white, with freckles on the shoulders and face. Their hair shifted from white to brown, and their bosom expanded in the leather top until they almost threatened to spill out. "Under the guise of Nea Cottonspool, Annealer will attend the ladies' next get-tegether. Our goal is te have Ruby defect te our side. If she won't, we make 'er disappear, and have Anne take 'er place. Preferably, Ruby is to be extracted safely, unseen. But, ye know what they say about love 'n war, aye? If the situation calls fer it, we dispose of her, discretely. Once we have the Marchioness' identity, all we need te do is dispose of the others in line te inherit the throne. Don't ye worry. The king has no heirs, of yet, and Duke Harold and his wife, Margaret, are as vile as him, if not more so. I think ye'll find no qualms being rid of them, either."

The changeling shifted back to their comfortable, lithe form, and sat back down, heaving a sigh of relief as their clothing stopped constricting them. "We need all of you to make sure I get to have a good look at the Marchioness, or I won't be able to execute a convincing disguise. Lee-...I mean...Lyric, will serve as back-up in case we require it, but she is a free spirit, and I'd rather not tie her down to a life where she's stuck in court listening to the ramblings of inane courtiers. Ruby's manor is well guarded, and we must not raise suspicions, so only I and the Lady will enter announced. The rest of you will have to disguise yourselves as servants, or hide around the manor to provide back-up if things go tits-up. Pardon my French."

Grevnir took the conversation back and looked around the room once more. First he'd point to the young scholarly half-elf. "Miss Pepette. If ye could get yer hands on the building plan for the Marchioness' estate from the archives, that would prove most helpful."
Then he addressed the rest of the room. "I'll gladly hear any ef yer suggestions fer how to best approach this. None know yer own skillsets better than yerselves. We have collected a small amount ef wealth te finance this operation, and we'll try te provide anywhere we can. Please, ladies, do not hesitate."
 

ippo

Star
Joined
Dec 9, 2018
"Le-pette," Yvette said to Grevnir. Her tone was quiet and deadpan, but at least now she was looking up for more than a second. "Not Pe-pette." What if it was rude to correct him? "But it's okay. We just met, and my first and last names are confusing because they have similar vowels, so it's fine if you don't, um... Hm." As if afraid of rambling, Yvette cut herself off with a hum before getting back on topic. "I'll try getting into the archives, but it might be hard. With magic outlawed, I don't think I can use my connections in the academy like I used to."

She kneaded her thumbs harder together. "Also, I really don't want to hurt anyone."

And just like, Yvette had withdrawn back into herself just as quickly as she came out. Her shoulders hunched as if trying to hide herself between them, but every now and then she'd glance up at Annealer.
 
OP
SweetPea

SweetPea

Even Sweet Peas get Salty
Joined
Sep 25, 2019
Location
Netherlands
"Lepette. Of course. Excuse me." The dwarf said, flustered. "I will never get used te human naming conventions. What's wrong with a good clan name, eh? Haha."
He sat himself back down, and cleared his throat, trying his best not to blush.

"We are practically at war, miss Lepette." Annealer said. "When push comes to shove, it's going to be kill or be killed."
 

freeko

Star
Joined
Mar 13, 2016
Brianna would start to stir, an idea almost immediately coming to her mind as to how they could all find a way into the courtyard of the palace. There was just one detail, she would not simply speak up and make herself the center of attention. If anything Brianna would try to maneuver herself around the room so that she could keep at least one of the other women between herself and the male dwarf at all times.

Brianna would position herself so that she could get the attention of either Milvena or Sienna and asked them a question, "Can either of you use an instrument or maybe perform as a dancer? I think I have an idea for how we can all get into the castle."
 

Mai Kupu

Moon
Joined
Jun 4, 2019
Aaaaw SHE IS ADORABLE. Lyric couldn't help but think as she watched Lepette finally speak up. A determined and playful smile plastered on her face. She would help this precious girl get out of her shell if it was the last thing she did! Her innocence was decadent, but it also filled Lyric with a sort of rage. That her of all people being strung along this mission. Magic wasn't something that she wished to use to harm people as the government so righteously claimed. She couldn't help but cast a wayward glance at Milvena.

When Brianna posed her question, that glance at Milvena turned to one of surprise. Was she a bard? She reacted quickly though and smiled reassuringly at the nervous girl. "I can definitely catch the attention of a crowd with song. If anyone here can dance," Her eyes were drawn to Sienna. "Then I'm sure we could keep a crowd occupied."
 

Lady Rinne

Dreaming goddess
Joined
Jun 20, 2016
Location
United States
Milvena was many things, but she was neither a dancer nor a musician. Her studies were in the arcane and her interests and hobbies when not delving into such fields tended towards history more than anything else. “Unfortunately no. Those are not my skills. But I can gain access nonetheless by virtue of my heritage, it does still count for something even with the kingdom gone mad.” She smiled but there was very little mirth to it.

If the group knew of the exact details of her family they might be more inclined to understand her presence here, how the new king had turned against old traditions and how their ancient lineage and connection to the great dragons of old now made their position more precarious.
 

ippo

Star
Joined
Dec 9, 2018
At Grevnir's apology, Yvette made a noise that might have been a hum, or might have been a grumble, and perhaps not even she was sure which. But at what Annealer said, Yvette only seemed to retreat further down between her shoulders. Her face was otherwise impassive.

It was immediately clear to her what Brianna intended with her suggestion: disguise themselves as a band and enter the castle. Like anything, it might work, or it might not. Racing through Yvette's mind were paths and instances that could factor in the plan's success or failure: their ability to perform together on such short notice, should it come to it; the difficulty in getting so many of them inside without being conspicuous; the possibility that they'd be refused entry altogether... The more she went over these paths, the blanker her expression became.

Rubbing her thumbs together, she at last said in deadpan, "I thi--maybe Milvena Nesalee is our key inside, as she said. She's nobility, so it's expected of her to attend a lady's party, and Annealer is already posing her handmaiden. For... For the rest of us, Sienna Copperpot and Lyric could do as Brianna suggests, and pose as Milvena Nesalee's personal musicians, while Brianna could pass as a distant family member. And I..."

Yvette alternated between squeezing her hands together and entwining her fingers. There was another half-grumble before she continued. "I'm not very sure where I'd fit in. I'm not a good liar, and any nobleperson would tell right away that I'm a peasant."
 

UnknownEntity

Planetoid
Joined
Apr 25, 2019
"What sort of entourage do most nobles keep these days?" Sienna offered as another path for the group to consider. There seemed to be a good amount of disguises that were possible. At the idea of a band she nodded with a shrug, "I could play an instrument if its helpful. I imagine one or two of us could pass as bodyguards, though I don't know if that helps Yvette. Maybe a.... scribe?"
 
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SweetPea

SweetPea

Even Sweet Peas get Salty
Joined
Sep 25, 2019
Location
Netherlands
"A scribe could work, but our arrangement was for two guests." Annealer replied, glancing at Sienna with an acknowledging nod. "Perhaps Milvena could arrange for another, but that might delay the visit. Right now it's set for next End-day (That'd be Sunday for us regular folk). Milvena, do you think you might be able to arrange for a 'low-birth scribe' to attend the visit to 'transcribe' the conversation? I wouldn't know what kind of reason you noble-folk might have to require such services, but I'm sure you do."
 

Lady Rinne

Dreaming goddess
Joined
Jun 20, 2016
Location
United States
Milvena took a moment and made a show of pondering, raising a hand up to her chin and frowning slightly as she did so. “It is a social call, and typically scribes would only be present to attend to business and ensure that such deals are recorded.”

A moment passed. “I could however state that she is my autobiographer and that I am having the events of my life recorded so that it will all be accurate for the history books.” A slight sigh followed. “It is likely that people will believe it given our reputation and tendency towards grandiose gestures. Though I would not go so far.”
 
OP
SweetPea

SweetPea

Even Sweet Peas get Salty
Joined
Sep 25, 2019
Location
Netherlands
"The more people we have in that room with ye, the better, milady." Grevmir said, leaning back in his chair.
"If ye think ye can bring a 'scribe' without lady Ruby objecting, I think ye should. If ye need time te arrange that, make sure it happens before End-day. Three days should be enough, aye?
In the mean time, whoever wants to can set up outside the manor to create a distraction. However, I think it prudent one of ye hide and serve as a lookout. I'll let ye sort that out amongst yerselves. Sienna, darling, visit yer auntie Hilde at the inn. We've got some supplies for all of ye, stocked, there. Consider the ol' wine cellar yer rendezvous point and warehouse. This meeting place has te stay secret 'slong 'spossible."
He stood, and gave them all another nod. "Good luck. All o' ye. I'll stay behind te cover up the entryway. Make sure you're not seen coming out o' the woods, aye? Don't want anyone gettin' suspicious."

One by one, the women (and the two genderfluid shapechangers) climbed back out of the hidden meeting location in the Deerwood outside the city walls. Grevmir would go to work on placing the old bramble-bush clippings back in place atop the manhole-cover, making the whole thing look like a thicket best avoided.
"I'll be in the hunting cabin if ye need me, Sienna. Good luck. Stay safe." With that, he walked off, deeper into the woods.

Once the dwarf had well and truly left, Annealer turned to their compatriots.
"Let's head back into town, one at a time to avoid being seen. I'll go with Yvette. Nobody will suspect-" Her skin changed color once again, and she took the form of a middle-aged farmwoman. "-two peasants entering the gates."

The city's walls are fourty feet tall, made out of brick and mortar, and watchtowers can be found integrated into it each three-hundred feet or so, manned with two guards each. Getting back in unseen would prove difficult, but there are plenty of ways one might convince the guard nothing's wrong.
 

ippo

Star
Joined
Dec 9, 2018
Yvette's attention was set on Annealer as she shapechanged, looking at her longer than she had anyone during the meeting. She had the calculating eye of someone who studies what they see out of habit, as though she'd learn something from watching. When the transformation was finished, Yvette headed for town and said, "What will you do while I'm in the archives? Will you come with me, or do you something else in mind?"
 
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SweetPea

SweetPea

Even Sweet Peas get Salty
Joined
Sep 25, 2019
Location
Netherlands
The changeling kept a close eye on Yvette's walking posture, and did an okay job at mimicking it. The untrained eye would be unable to distinguish real from fake. Their shoulders slouched ever so slightly, and they kept their eye on the path ahead, as if they were looking out for dung they would have to avoid stepping in.
"I will stay in the lobby in case you need help. I don't think I could pass myself off as a scholar in these clothes."
 

ippo

Star
Joined
Dec 9, 2018
Yvette replied with a hum. Throughout the walk, she constantly stole glances at Annealer in that same calculating manner, but kept silent. Despite holding a wooden staff, Yvette didn't use it as a walking stick, but rather held it at her side, poking or scraping the end against rocks or cracks in the dirt. To anyone looking it might've appeared neurotic, especially with her tense composure like at the meeting.
 
OP
SweetPea

SweetPea

Even Sweet Peas get Salty
Joined
Sep 25, 2019
Location
Netherlands
The two approached the city gate, and Annealer raised their head to make eye contact with the guard, but let Yvette do the talking.

"Who goes there?" The guard says, standing in a relaxed pose. The two seemed of no threat to him or the city.
 

ippo

Star
Joined
Dec 9, 2018
"Yvette Lepette; scholar." She gestured to Annealer. "My mama, Lynette Lepette."

Yvette only looked up at the guard long enough to acknowledge his presence, and spoke with her usual deadpan tone. Her fingers flexed around her staff, and she picked at it with her nails.
 
OP
SweetPea

SweetPea

Even Sweet Peas get Salty
Joined
Sep 25, 2019
Location
Netherlands
The man steps forward, and his expression tells that he's suspicious. "Really? Your mother, huh? I don't see round ears on your mother, miss Lepette. Actually, she doesn't look anything like you, if you don't mind my being frank."

He has his weapon, a halberd, firmly grasped in both hands.

"Her pappy's an elf, sir." Anne replies, doing her best impression of a farm-lady she could muster. "Got her pappy's face, she does. Isn't she pretty? I'm sure a man like you would die for the hand of my precious darling. How about I speak to your folks?"

The man is taken aback by the old woman's forward attitude, and is clearly not at all attracted to Yvette. "I'm sorry, ma'am, but I'm married. But, now that you mention it, she does have roughly the same body type as you... I guess you can pass."
 

ippo

Star
Joined
Dec 9, 2018
Yvette's head tucked below her shoulders as she was caught in a lie. Her staff was brought in front of her--not threateningly, but held horizontally with both hands. For the first time since Annealer had met her, she displayed some emotion with her furrowed brow and tight, pursed lips. As if trying to hide herself, she inched closer to Annealer, looking even more flustered as the latter doted her.

Mumbling her thanks to the guard, she almost jogged passed him. When they were some distance away, she said to Annelear in quite monotone, "Lying is weird."
 

UnknownEntity

Planetoid
Joined
Apr 25, 2019
Following along with the plan Sienna waited a little ways down the road. She could barely make out the two peasants trying to get inside. There unsurprisingly seemed to be some minor commotion that passed quickly. She knew a tiny bit about Anne from Grevmir, and was glad the situation hadn't escalated. Sienna had a mind to stay out of trouble (or at least she told herself that), and slowly approached the gate after the two. Her casual stroll up to the front was relaxed -- after all, she had family in town.
 
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