A new Beginning (Aspen's Intro)

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    Aspen

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    A new Beginning (Aspen's Intro)

    Post by Aspen on 25th August 2018, 2:12 pm

    Aspen was staring at the glass with the amber coloured drink in her hands with empty eyes. She didn't know what this stuff was, it tasted gross, but it helped warm her up and lift her spirit. Who could've known that this sudden snowstorm would make travelling so much worse ? It had been some time since she had left Pergrande, and she hadn't done it of her own accord, of course, but she had no choice. No choice and no real destination. Here she was, in Fiore, a place she had only heard vague stories and tales about as a child. She was still experiencing a culture shock, seeing mages and non mages living together so openly, so freely, magic being celebrated instead of hunted, the people seeming happy with their lives. Everything was so very, very different from the cold of her motherland, the harsh people with harsh faces, and she secretly had already fallen in love with this place, even though her cold, expressionless face only made known her usual stoicism. Still, she was here now, somewhere in the west of Fiore, where exactly she couldn't really tell, living from hand to mouth for the past month or so, slowly getting better and better at the language these weird people in this strange, foreign country used. Luckily for her, it wasn't that much different from Pergrandian, but the change had been noticeable and she still spoke with a subtle, though present, accent. No, she quietly shook her head, she wouldn't miss the knights, the constant war, Sin, or the Paladins at all ...

    Still looking at her glass, she opened her mouth, pressing the cold material against her lips and emptying the container in one go before placing the empty glass before herself, a small puddle of amber brownish liquid remaining at its bottom. "Can I get another one ?", she spoke softly, looking up to the barkeeper with a still expressionless face who, with nothing more but a nod, took the old glass away, placed a new one before her and poured in some of that undefinable alcoholic drink. "500 jewels" he spoke, eyeing the young girl that was sitting on the other side of the counter. Aspen reached for a small bag on her side, peeking inside. Though her face remained expressionless, as always, she was upset that the last thing in there was some bread, a copy of the Iron Key, and a little, crumpled piece of paper. She reached for the paper. Her last jewels, she would just be able to afford this last drink. Straightening the paper a little, she placed it on the bar, and took her drink, taking a sip. It still tasted horrible.

    Aspen sighed a little. She would have to find some work soon. She had sold some of her old possession that she didn't need anymore, like her sword, the thing had only reminded her of the Paladins and Pergrande, anyway. The local currency she had gotten for that, called "Jewels", had kept her fed for a little while but ... with her money now gone, she wondered what could be done. In this wondrous land, maybe she could offer her services as a mage ? From what she got it appeared that between 10% and 20% of this countries population where mages, and magic always seemed to be sought after. She wondered if she could use her talents to find work like that, but it also left her wondering how one would go about becoming a mage by profession. It was no use. She would find out eventually. What mattered for now was finding a place to sleep for the night, preferably warm. Packing what little belongings she had left, the Iron Key dangling from side to side slightly as she moved, she stood up, giving the man behind the bar a short nod of appreciation and headed towards the door of the bar. The snowstorm was still going on outside, and it was hard to see beyond a good 50 meters, even with her eyes, but it didn't matter too much. Closing her black jacket, Aspen looked up, towards the peak of the mountain. If anything, pushing forward would be her best bet. With that, the snow crunching slightly beneath her feet, she closed the door behind herself and stepped away.


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    Deshitana

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    Re: A new Beginning (Aspen's Intro)

    Post by Deshitana on 25th August 2018, 3:56 pm

    Perhaps he was getting used to the area and calling it home, or maybe he simply liked being out with the wolves, but for whatever reason he was once more out in the snow this time in the snow storm that protected the area. Bundled up in heavy furs and scarves, the only thing that could be seen of the mercenary was a bit of his dark skin and his two normal golden eyes that scanned the scene. To either the left side of him walked a black wolf, the same wolf that had joined him at another point when he meditated. He wasn’t quite sure why, but for whatever reason this wolf liked to stick around him when he wandered the mountains or hunted.

    Whatever the reason for the company, the mercenary appreciated as he wandered through the snow to better train himself to navigate the place. As he walked he would hear a howl in the distance, titling his head as he listened. That almost sounded like the same howl that he heard before he was surrounded by wolves. Did this mean someone else was in the blizzard? As if to answer his question the wolf with him gave a low bark before moving forward.

    Shifting a bit to keep the furs around him sealed shut, he would move to follow the black wolf through the storm until in the distance he saw a figure moving about. Narrowing his eyes, he would step forward to meet the figure in the distance along side of the black wolf. He was quiet only long enough for the figure – a woman to get within talking distance before he spoke.

    “Are you lost, traveler?” he would ask, his voice carrying over the storm as he watched the woman with caution, the wolf at his side also watching her with strange blue and gold eyes.


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    Leona Jarnefeldt

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    Re: A new Beginning (Aspen's Intro)

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt on 25th August 2018, 5:16 pm

    Leona was making her rounds of the guild hall. Wearing a recently purchased white camo jacket and khaki cargo pants with boots and a white face covering, Leona was about to go outside. She had concealed her Argent Gloves beneath special white cloth coverings a guild staff member had made for them. The coverings completely covered her hand; they would help her conceal the flashing metal plates and help her be a little stealthier, at least in the Phoenix Mountains.

    The blonde was ready to venture into the cold. She would not blend in completely, not with the brown pants. Her blonde hair was also exposed, as were the tops of her ears. Still, she would be warm and blend in to an extent. Shouldering her backpack, she exited the guild hall and closed the door behind her.

    Once outside, Leona made a trip around the guild hall to check for any signs of intrusion. Halfway around the perimeter she was joined by one of the wolves; it was solid white with ice blue eyes. It stayed with her and followed her closely as she walked to the front entrance. No signs of intrusion were detected. In the distance she spotted Deshi with one of the wolves... and a newcomer.

    Leona slowly made her way over to the trio. The newcomer was a young woman wearing a black jacket who appeared to be cold. Deshi was covered except for his eyes and a bit of his skin. Leona raised a covered hand in greeting to Deshi and addressed the girl in the black jacket.

    "Hi there. I'm Leona Jarnefeldt, Guild Ace of Silver Wolf." Leona introduced herself to the new girl.

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    Aspen

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    Re: A new Beginning (Aspen's Intro)

    Post by Aspen on 26th August 2018, 4:25 am

    Moving through the snowstorm and up the mountain with collected haste, Aspen took each step with caution. She was cold, and obviously not dressed for this kind of weather, she had expected something more, well, unlike Pergrande, warmer, but this was a mountain range, after all. Still, the storm seemed to be slightly out of place. In any case, she had to get moving if she wanted to get through this weather today ... or not freeze to death. Wandering for a good bit, in the cold, she was alone, left to nothing but her own thoughts and the howling of the wind ... and another howl ? At first she was unsure, continuing on her path up the side of this mountain, thinking of it as a sound created by the storm, but when the howl repeated she stopped. No, her trained senses wouldn't betray her. Immediately reaching for the copy of the Iron Key in her bag, she pulled it out, the grey piece of metal transforming, shifting, changing form as she spun it around in her hand and channeled through it her magical power, glowing faintly with light blue magical energy before turning into a long, single edged, black blade, her other hand touching the original Iron Key around her neck, this version turning into a grey handgun. Grasping both weapons firmly, her eyes darted from side to side. There were some snow covered pine trees to her right, and natural stone to her right. Wolves were about the last thing she could use right now. Her back straight, though her muscles tense and her senses alerted, she remained there, unmoving, listening, scanning, until she noticed, using her enhanced sense of sight, someone approach in the distance. Bandits ? She knew the scheme. One would approach and act like he was hurt or lost, and then the others would rush out and try to overwhelm her. Leaning down into a guarded stance she stood, her eyes locked onto the approaching figure, her right hand firmly grasping the blade, her left one holding the barrel of the gun pointed at the ground, but ready to raise it up and start firing.

    To her surprise, though, the figure approached almost calmly, cautiously, but reserved, and just as she thought, with a wolf by their side. Aspen had always had a dislike for them. They were a real and common danger where she came from, prospering in the endless, snowy tundras of Pergrande. She remained on guard, the figure approaching further until they seemed like they had deemed it close enough for adequate communication. The person, a man, judging from the voice, asked her if she was lost. She honestly didn't know what to answer. Of course she was lost, but not just lost, she was in a land entirely different to all she had ever known, no, she was completely lost. She suppressed a smirk, lest it be taken as a sign of weakness. "I am perfectly fine, thank you, stanger. Do you have any business with me or am I free to proceed my way through the mountains ?", her voice as cold as the snowstorm around. Her eyes were firmly fixed on the figure, both her hands holding cold steel, until she heard another person approach from behind the other, that was, the crunching of the snow unmistakably belonging to footsteps. Another figure, clad in similarly covering attire, started approaching, giving the man a short gesture of recognition. The fact that they knew each other and wore these clothes made it evident that they were residents, adapted to this weather unlike herself. When the newly joined person, a woman this time, spoke to her, she realized what this was. She had stumbled into the territory of some kind of group, and now, naturally, these two were sent to investigate. Their response time was pretty good. The group undoubtedly had some kind of militarily affiliation. Well, in truth, that might've not been the case, but to the girl it seemed plausible. She sighed, straightening her back once more, standing up from the guarded stance. "Greetings, Miss Jarnefeldt. My apologies, I don't know what an "ace" is, and neither have I heard of Silver Wolf before. If this is your territory I firmly apologize for the transgression of your borders. If you are bandits I regret to inform you, I have nothing to offer to you apart from a few crumbs of old bread. If you have no interest in that, then I suggest that I will continue my journey ." The cold was noticeably affecting her, she was shaking, and her fingers started turning red around the freezing steel of her weapons. But she couldn't show weakness. Not now, not ever, her face still emotionless, expressionless as always, awaiting an answer from the two before her.


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    Deshitana

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    Re: A new Beginning (Aspen's Intro)

    Post by Deshitana on 26th August 2018, 6:29 am

    He would watch her cautiously taking note of the stance she had taken and the weapons she had drawn. He could've easily respond aggressively, but instead would remain calm as serious golden eyes watched the woman. To her words, the man would tilt his head as he smirked under the scarf he had.

    "My business with you?"
    he would consider it for a moment as he crossed his arms. "I was considering getting you out of the cold. You don't exactly look comfortable in that attire," he would say as he took notices of how she was beginning to shake as her exposed body was succumbing to the weather. That aside, he would fall silent as the girl seemed to relax, but still wanted to press on her own when Leona introduced herself. He would only open his mouth again when she mentioned bandits. "My name is Deshitana also of Silver Wolf Guild. I have no interest in taking anything from you, though where exactly are you planning to go in this weather? And how long do you think you'll last?" the mercenary would ask as he shifted a gloved hand to the top layer of furs he wore. Keeping his hands in sight so the woman could see exactly what he was doing, he would get the layer loose before holding it in his hands watching the woman. He'd carefully hold it to her. "At least take this with you if you plan on wandering." He would say in his same calm voice as before.


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    Leona Jarnefeldt

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    Re: A new Beginning (Aspen's Intro)

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt on 26th August 2018, 9:51 am

    Leona blinked. The young woman had thought they were bandits. The blonde was more than a little flustered. She had not spent so much time fighting bandits just to be mistaken for one herself. For the sake of the guild, Leona took a deep breath and let it go.

    "We're not bandits. And we don't care that you don't have any possessions to your name. We could offer you shelter if you want it. No strings attached." Leona stated. It looked like the traveler did not really care what happened to her. Asking a lot of questions in a brusque manner was not a good first course of action. Unless the girl proved to be a threat, Leona decided that taking a gentle approach would be a good idea.

    "Look, we're not gonna force you to take shelter in our guild hall. But if you want to stay there until you figure out what you want to do, you can. If you feel like it, you can tell us what brings you all the way out here. Maybe we can help you somehow." Leona extended the offer.
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    Aspen

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    Re: A new Beginning (Aspen's Intro)

    Post by Aspen on 27th August 2018, 3:41 am

    Aspens eyes went back and forth between the man and the woman, still holding the weapons when the man started speaking once more, followed by the woman. The girl realized she had made a mistake ... and possibly offended the others. Well, what was she to expect ? You could never be cautious enough, especially when you were travelling alone. Both the handgun and the sword flared up with sparks of faint, blue magical energy before returning back to their original forms, Aspen storing the copy safely in her back while placing the original around her neck once more. "I see. I apologize. I didn't mean to insult you. In truth ... I was trying my luck.", she answered to the man. It would be best to avoid making enemies, and so she spoke truthfully "I was searching for a place to stay the night and wait until this snowstorm was over". At Leona's comment she listened closely, barely able to hold back a sense of happiness, though quickly returning back to reality, her stoic, expressionless face only breaking into a weak smirk for but a second. There was no way strangers would just be that friendly, that hospitable. There was some kind of trick involved, some kind of catch ... but she also didn't like the idea of becoming an icicle out here in the frozen mountains. And so, choosing her answer to the ace's remark was easy. "I appreciate your offer, Miss Jarnefeldt, and I will gladly take you up on it. I apologize for my caution, but you cannot possibly be careful enough. I'm sure you understand."

    Walking up to both the man and the woman, who proclaimed themselves members of a group entirely unknown to the girl, called "Silver Wolf", the snow crunching with every step, she extended a hand to both of them "Aspen Laeta Azarov, P-", she wanted to add "Paladin of the Knights of Pergrande" out of sheer force of habit, but stopped herself. She wouldn't ever use that title again. "P-pleased to make your acquaintance", even forcing herself to give a weak smile. Maybe that would show that she really had no bad intentions ? She couldn't know. Though ... there was one thing on her mind that she didn't understand just yet. Following the other two, she turned to both these people from Silver Wolf with a question "So, you mentioned that you are a "Guild Ace" and a "Guild Hall" ... could you tell me, what exactly is a "guild" ?". She had never heard the term before, and couldn't think of anything that resembled this in her own tongue.


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    Deshitana

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    Re: A new Beginning (Aspen's Intro)

    Post by Deshitana on 28th August 2018, 6:13 am

    He would watch the other carefully before relaxing a bit as the other decided to trust for now and put away her weapons. To her apology he would shake his head. “No need for apologize your reaction was a natural one,” he would say as his eyes narrowed with the faint smile he gave. From there he would be quiet enough as he let the other process the offer and in turn take it. Well that was a relief. He had seriously wondered if she was going to be going on her way in this storm or not. She hadn’t seem like she wanted leave, but in reality he wondered how far one could go without dying or something else happening to them in this weather. He knew that he had been fortunate enough to have the wolves guide him out, but what happened if they or other members didn’t show up? Would one be lost forever in the snow or would they just get booted out of the area?

    It was a curious thought that kept him occupied only a few seconds before he was shifting the jacket in his arms to free up a hand to reach out to the girl and shake her hand. “The pleasure is all mine, Ms. Azarov,” he would begin before listening to the question posed. “To be frank I am unsure what a guild Ace is, but I do know that a guild is place where like minded people gather and live. Kind of like a big family home if you will.” Well at least it translated that way to him.


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    Leona Jarnefeldt

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    Re: A new Beginning (Aspen's Intro)

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt on 28th August 2018, 11:12 am

    Leona was flustered that people did not know what a Guild Ace was. Again, she stifled her irritation for the greater good. Her job was to enlighten them, but right now Aspen Laeta Azarov, or Aspen for short, needed to get to shelter. That would be easy to accomplish.

    "It's no problem, Aspen. I've been in plenty of fights myself. Unlike what you see in movies, there isn't usually a staredown before it hits the fan. One moment you're walking and the next, you're fighting someone or something wanting to kill you. You've always gotta be ready." Leona said to Aspen. To be fair, the blonde tended to seek out trouble of her own accord, like with Jacob Goodnight and Bladdi Maccoi and the Crimson Sash outpost adventure. Other times it came to her, like with the unfortunate fight with Tom in Clover Town. She did not expect to have to fight a man with Bear Take-Over Magic who was manipulated by a cult into being their servant under the guise of protecting Earthland's forests.

    In Tom's case, Leona did what she had to. He refused to listen to her or his old friend Henry and talk the problem through. Instead, she, Henry, and an unlikely team of a goblin and a Vulcan had to fight the man to its unpleasant conclusion. The blonde felt no joy in that victory. There was only the sense that she had done something unpleasant to protect many more innocent lives, just like she had done in the Cursed Lands when her friend Kasim involuntarily joined the ranks of the undead.

    This was no time to feel regrets. She and Deshi had to get Aspen to shelter. To the guild hall they would go.

    "I'm ready to go whenever you are, Aspen. I'll be glad to answer any questions inside the guild hall." Leona told Aspen.

    "You're welcome to come with us if you want, Deshi." Leona said to him.
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    Aspen

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    Re: A new Beginning (Aspen's Intro)

    Post by Aspen on 28th August 2018, 3:58 pm

    Glad that the other two understood Aspen left the thing at that. She wouldn't want to push the topic any further, seeing that she had made a mistake. Though still, the reply she had gotten didn't really tell her too much. "I'm afraid I don't fully understand. So a guild is ... an organization of sorts ? A place for people to feel like a family ? I still can't quite follow, I'm afraid ...", Aspen was scratching her head at the information. Well, metaphorically at least. She was being about as difficult as someone who was raised within an authoritarian military state could be, but ... she couldn't really be blamed for that, could she ? She was glad that this Silver Wolf was going to offer her shelter, though. She felt kind of bad, actually, the first people that had been welcoming to her in a long while, and she had pulled weapons on them. Well, there was still the looming possibility that they were luring her into a trap, but again, a better option than freezing to death out here.

    At Leona's next comment, Aspen nodded her head slowly. She knew exactly what the woman was talking about. She had been in more fights in her life than she would've wanted, and killed more people than she could've counted. Well, she could've counted them, but she had stopped caring. It was better for you if you felt nothing when doing your job in the paladins, lest they would suspect something, turn their eye on you. Her time in the military had turned into a mess of blood, pain and constant, brutal fighting in her memory. If she hadn't already started shaking from the cold, she would've started shaking by now. Still, there was information she didn't understand. "I don't know what a "movie" is, Miss Jarnefeldt. Though ... I think I know what you mean. The constant smell of blood filling your nose. It's not a good life. Something I wished to escape.", the girl left it at that

    "Please, lead the way, I will follow you." She simply stated, playing with the Iron Key, twirling the slightly rusted tool between her fingers while walking through the snow with heavy steps.


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    Deshitana

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    Re: A new Beginning (Aspen's Intro)

    Post by Deshitana on 29th August 2018, 5:46 pm

    "Mmm. Yes. You can look at like an organization or rather a gathering of people that have similar goals or ideas. They work together to aid one another," the mercenary would say as he shifted slightly in his spot unsure if that was answering the question she had. He had no other way of explaining what a guild was beyond that. Though he suppose the best way one could learn and form ideas was to experience the thing they were curious about first handed. Maybe once the girl was in the building and had met others she would understand...or become more confused. There was always that too.

    Regardless if she was satisfied or not with the answer, the mercenary would become quiet as he listened to Leona and the other talk, a soft “Me too,” escaping him as he heard the comment about escaping all the bloodshed. He could relate to being in the middle of unwanted bloodbaths for he had stood in them more times than he cared to remember. He had become a wanderer to escape such a life, but no matter where he went it followed and apparently it followed others too. It was kind of comforting knowing this, but he wouldn’t push the matter any further as he simply gave a nod to the other.

    “I will walk back with you,” he would say before falling in line to follow the ladies. As he did he would offer the extra fur layer he had across his arms to the girl that looked like she needed it more than he did.


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    Leona Jarnefeldt

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    Re: A new Beginning (Aspen's Intro)

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt on 30th August 2018, 1:29 pm

    "Deshi's right. A guild's a gathering of people who have similar goals or ideas. In this case, we're devoted to magical research with a secondary focus on collecting magical artifacts for research. We try to find out how magic works and what it can be used for." Leona explained. Aspen appeared to not quite understand what a guild was. It was OK. Leona would explain.

    Aspen also did not know what a movie was. That was odd. Leona was from an obscure village in Desierto and still knew what one was. Well, it took going to the Three Cities to actually see one, but the point remained. That was fine. Aspen might have been from a remote place too.

    Of greater concern was Aspen's commiserating about fighting. She seemed to have had her share of it and then some. Perhaps she had a similar beginning in fighting to keep her home village from being wiped off the face of Earthland.

    "I've been there, Aspen. I come from Desierto and had to fight to keep my home village from being destroyed by bandits. They make the place a regular stop on their tours of Desierto." Leona commiserated briefly. Then she realized that the subject of fighting might have been a sensitive one, especially since Aspen stated she wanted to get away from it. The blonde blushed with embarrassment.

    "Sorry about that, Aspen. Anyway, let's get to the guild hall." Leona changed the subject before leading the way.
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    Aspen

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    Re: A new Beginning (Aspen's Intro)

    Post by Aspen on 31st August 2018, 7:22 am

    "Ah ..." finally she understood. Now it made sense. So a guild was something akin to the military ? A hierarchical structure for people that somehow belonged together, connected through some sort of similar goal it was ? Most interesting. Leona only added to that when she offered more information. Finally, it clicked for Aspen. She was dealing with an organisation that had devoted itself to a set goal, made up of like minded people that aided each other in their endeavours. Of course, naturally, why didn't she think of this before. "S-so you two are mages ?" she asked, but could already imagine the answer to that question. Not only that, according to the Ace of Silver Wolf the guild was dedicated to not just magical research, but also to finding out more about magic in general. Perfect. Absolutely perfect. She was euphoric almost, her face, however, remaining stoic, expressionless. She hadn't known that such a group existed, and for the moment, it was exactly what she needed. Her own motivation was to learn more about magic from the ground up and catch up on everything she had missed in Pergrande, and this "Silver Wolf" guild would be great way to begin anew. In her mind she already made plans to find out more, talk to more people of the guild, inquire about magic, its uses and applications, their own magic, and so on. She couldn't help but feel a rush of excitement.

    Enough excitement to ignore the cold and the talk about all this fighting again. If these people really were what these two had told her ... there was no need to be distant and rude. No, she would speak her mind. "I have heard of Desierto. Well, the country of Desierto, and that you have as much sand as we have snow in Pergrande ...", giving away her place of origin. Maybe it would help explain why she had no knowledge of basic things like guilds or movies. Then again ... her life had been pretty much exclusively been spent inside the ranks of the knights, so she didn't really know too much of the events that took place during her time in the military. She knew she had received and followed her orders, nothing more, nothing less. She didn't have to feel bad about it ... right ? She had only followed her superiors' orders, right ? It was no use. If she would overthink this right now that would certainly not leave a good impression, and a good impression she wanted to leave behind, at least now that she had a goal in mind. Forcing herself to smile weakly while taking the fur from the man that had been called "Deshi" by the woman, speaking a "Thanks" , her voice almost overpowered by the constant roaring of the wind, she flung it around her shoulders. "P-please, I'd like to know more about you and your guild, if it isn't too much to ask" she spoke, the cold growing more bearable for now as they made their way up the mountain, stopping for a second when she saw the lights of a building in the distance.


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    Deshitana

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    Re: A new Beginning (Aspen's Intro)

    Post by Deshitana on 3rd September 2018, 5:16 am

    It would seem that between the explanations that he and Leona provided, the woman was able to understand in her own way what a guild was. That was good enough for now. He was sure if she had more questions along the way, they could answer more or less to clear confusion.

    “Yes, if that is what you wish to call me.” He would answer the mage question easily enough though had to wonder if that was the proper term to call himself. Weren’t mages well versed in their magics? Knew what they were, how to use them, how to teach them? He would ponder this quietly as he listened to Leona tell where she was from and in turn Aspen did too. One was from a sandy place were bandits made it hard for them while the other came from colder climate. Both places were places he never heard of before, so he wouldn’t add onto that conversation unless directly asked. He was after all probably the least knowledge about these new lands he was currently in.

    Regardless of that as they began to walk, the girl did take one of the fur receiving a small nod from the wanderer as he fell in step with the two ladies, the wolf walking at his side following along. “It is no trouble at all. Ask all the questions you want. I for one will attempt to help and I am sure Leona will too,” he would say as he looked over at the other for confirmation. He couldn’t speak for everyone after all.


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    Leona Jarnefeldt

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    Re: A new Beginning (Aspen's Intro)

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt on 3rd September 2018, 6:45 pm

    "Yeah Aspen, we're both mages. And Desierto does have as much sand as you have snow in Pergrande. Wherever Pergrande is." Leona started confidently but verbally faltered when she spoke of Pergrande. She had never heard of the place. She had never even read about it.

    "Me? I'm Leona Jarnefeldt, the Guild Ace. As you know, I'm from Desierto. As a Guild Ace, I'm responsible for a lot of things, namely keeping the guild running smoothly while the Guild Master handles paperwork and interacts with other guilds and the outside world." Leona began explaining. She had no problem revealing the existence of other guilds. Fairy Tail and West Fiore Trading Company had proven to be good allies. If Silver Wolf was not a good fit for Aspen, then perhaps Fairy Tail or WFTC would be. As it stood, Leona had to try and recruit Aspen for Silver Wolf.

    "Like I said, Silver Wolf's main job is magical research. We also travel and collect magical artifacts for said research. For example, I found a magic tablet in Desierto that we haven't translated yet. I took it from bandits who had captured two of my friends from my home village who were on the way to give us the tablet." Leona explained and cited an example of an artifact the guild had collected. Desmond had recently found a magic sword on the guild's doorstep and learned that when imbued with magic energy, it shone with light that allowed it to cut through everyday materials with no resistance. That was an exciting find, but Leona kept it under wraps for fear of what it could do if it was misused.

    "We don't just read books all day, Aspen. We also look for practical ways to use that research. For example, we do research on the magical properties of plants and then gather ingredients for use in the creation of custom weapons for guild members." Leona gave an example of how research could be used for practical applications. Creating weapons was among those uses. Since guild members tended to travel to dangerous locations while on guild business, they could do research and make a weapon that suited their needs. Eero and Leona had done just that a few weeks ago. Eero had made a staff with extending properties to improve his reach and Leona had created a machete that could cut through thick foliage and Plant-based summons and creatures with equal ease.

    "I can tell you even more about Silver Wolf... if you're still interested." Leona told Aspen as the trio trudged closer to the guild hall.
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    Aspen

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    Re: A new Beginning (Aspen's Intro)

    Post by Aspen on 4th September 2018, 8:09 pm

    "Pergande ?" Aspen asked with a bit of surprise and confusion in her voice "Pergrande is the largest nation in Earthland. You're from Desierto, which borders the lands of Bellum and Sin, who in turn also border Pergrande. We have been in a state of constant war with both as long as I can remember.", making an effort to hold back an audible sigh. Well, it was just the way how things had been. The country responded to constant invasion by force, was that really so questionable ? At the girl had been right, the two were mages, and listening to Leona explain further, she focussed on trying to piece all the information she had been given together. All of this was new to the young soldier from far away. "You sound like you're very important to your guild, Mrs. Jarnefeldt. I'm sure they appreciate you highly."

    Listening to what else she explained about her guild, Aspen nodded acknowledgingly. Artifact hunting wasn't exactly something she was familiar with at all, or something she cared for particularly, though ... with the woman's next words, her eyes widened. "S-so you not only explore magic, you also use it to create new weaponry ?" Aspen asked with a slightly excited tone in her voice, even going as far as showing a smile. She was sold. This guild was looking for people with her talents, and talented she was, at least at what she was best at, and that was, of course, making weapons. She had done it all her life. Why not use the skills she had acquired to join this SIlver Wolf guild and learn more about magic that way ? It was coincidence almost too good to be true. "Actually, I must admit, I am very interested. I haven't asked before, but ... is there a way to join Silver Wolf ? What kind of requirements do you have to meet ? I would like to know- ... Oh, uhm, but maybe it would be better to discuss that inside", she asked, still cold and uncomfortable in this snowstorm, pointing at the building that had gotten closer. "I assume this is your "guild hall" then ? Impressive.", she commented, looking at the building itself that stretched to both sides, built onto a plateau. Contrary to what one might would have believed, even trees were growing up here. Was this some form of magic already ? More than intrigued the girl couldn't wait to actually see the guild hall from inside.


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    Deshitana

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    Re: A new Beginning (Aspen's Intro)

    Post by Deshitana on 6th September 2018, 5:31 am

    Deshitana would become quiet as he listened instead to the two talk as he trailed along with them, his mind absorbing the information provided. He learned a little about the lands and also more about what an Ace was within the guild along with more detailed information about the guild itself. Information that he had never received when he first arrived. Hearing of the various things, the mercenary would find himself smiling a bit in the cold as the girl took great interest in the idea of building weapons. “Do you like building weapons?” he would ask as he continued along leaving the lengthy explanations to Leona.

    As for the question regarding joining the guild, he would frown at that one. “When I came to join I expressed my interest in it and was allowed to question things before Leona helped me with the rest,” he would say as the guild came into view. “I am sure she will give more instruction once we are inside.” he said as he approached the guild’s door and then opened them to let the ladies in with a bow. “Yes this is our guild hall Ms. Aspen. Welcome.”


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    Leona Jarnefeldt

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    Re: A new Beginning (Aspen's Intro)

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt on 6th September 2018, 1:22 pm

    "Oh, so Pergrande's why there were so many calls for soldiers in the Three Cities. I didn't even know Desierto and Pergrande were at war. I come from Nebdoui, which is a village in the back end of the region. We're too busy fighting bandits to worry about international affairs." Leona explained her ignorance of the state of war between Pergrande and Desierto. She had been too involved in the state of war between Nebdoui and desert bandits, particularly the Crimson Sashes. Fortunately Nebdoui had been joined by Berreb and Regudo, but alliances built on facing a mutual enemy were not always the sturdiest. What would happen if and when the Crimson Sashes were finally defeated? Would the alliance last or would it break up and its members go back to isolationism?

    Leona did not know. She was not educated enough in statesmanship to begin to think about all the angles in that problem, but in any case her attention was diverted to other matters. Namely, Aspen had some questions about the guild. That was something the blonde could handle. Taking off her face covering, Leona then faced Aspen.

    "I'm just below the Guild Master in the guild hierarchy, Aspen. I help her with day-to-day operations like physical security, meeting and greeting new members, inducting new members into the guild, and other responsibilities as they come up. I do what I can to keep the guild going." Leona said to Aspen about her place in the guild and its attendant responsibilities. There was more to being an Ace than having an impressive title. It involved a lot of work at all times of day. It even involved the occasional paperwork, something the blonde was still learning how to do. Sophia Jarnefeldt would see a lot of humor in her daughter working in bureaucracy.

    "Building weapons is but one of the many applications that magic has. Since guild members often go into harm's way, they can take a job to build a weapon with magical properties. The benefits are twofold. Members learn some magical properties of plant life and guild members get some experience in working a forge to make a weapon suited to their needs" Leona explained, noting Aspen's interest in weapons. The former's machete needed some finishing touches to be complete, so she could not show it as a concrete example of the process. Still, Leona had learned that Aspen was interested in something connected to the guild.

    "There's a way to join Silver Wolf, Aspen. And this is our guild hall. It serves as both a headquarters and a residence for guild members. Each guild member gets their own room that they can personalize." Leona answered a few of Aspen's questions, adding relevant information gained from her experience with recruiting Desmond.

    "Requirements? There's only one ironclad requirement. Never betray other members of the guild. Also, you can take jobs that you want, but please don't do anything that would turn the rest of Fiore against us." Leona said to Aspen.

    "Other than that, there's only one other requirement to join. You have to have the guild mark somewhere on your body. Since I'm the Guild Ace, I can apply it if you want to join." Leona added. She had talked enough for now. Now was the chance to let Aspen ask more questions.

    "Are there any other questions you'd like to ask?" Leona asked her. She had learned from recruiting Loki to tone down the enthusiasm, not to assume that all visitors were interested in joining, and give others room to ask questions. The blonde was slowly starting to get the hang of recruiting new members into Silver Wolf.
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    Aspen

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    Re: A new Beginning (Aspen's Intro)

    Post by Aspen on 8th September 2018, 4:25 pm

    "It's what I have been doing for most of my life" Aspen spoke back to the man who had been called Deshi earlier, her monotonous voice speaking back, her expression remaining stoic, though seemingly easing up. She was in her element. "I've never thought about whether I like it or not. It's what I do and I'm good at it". Thinking about it, she had never really thought about doing something else with her life. Well, she knew she didn't want to stay in Pergrande, but what would come after that ... she had never paid too much mind. Her desires had always been short term, like a night of rest, or a day without a battle, but she had never thought about her future. Now that she had been made aware, the thought of joining a guild excited her even more. And made her more nervous. She shuffled from side to side, a cascade of thoughts rushing through her head before vanishing once again into the depths of subconsciousness. Would this be what she was going to do for the rest of her life ? Would the guild even accept her ? If it would, what would the guild be like ? Who were her guildmates ? Well, these two were part of the guild, and they seemed friendly enough, but what about the others ? What would they think of her ? She was insecure, suddenly feeling a lot more self-conscious in her rough and worn out clothing, realizing that after wandering around for a month she probably looked the part. She suppressed a sigh. "I'm looking forward to learn more" she spoke softly, monotonously.

    Hearing Leona speak again, she turned her head, shaking it gently. Perhaps she had said it wrong "I'm not aware of conflict between Pergrande and Desierto, nor do I think there has been one in recent years. Desierto is not one of Pergrandes neighbours and as such does not pose a threat to the Kingdom. Bellum, Iceberg ... and especially Sin on the other hand ..." Aspen stopped. The constant monster invasions from Sin were why Pergrande was always seeking to become stronger militarily, either by recruiting more soldiers to replace the terrific losses or by developing new, powerful weapons. Then there was Bellum, which was universally hated among Pergrandians for their treatment of non mages. They were basically enemy number one, though there was barely active conflict between the two since the border had been locked down by the council of mages. Then there were the occasional roving bands of monsters or bandits from Iceberg. Nothing really too threatening, but still common occurrence enough for the nation of Pergrande to be alerted about it. Then there were also the great, unending tundras to the north. Nobody had ever ventured far enough into them to say with certainty just how massive they are and how far they truly stretched. Noone from the Kingdom, at least, that's why the state simply declared it their territory and left it alone. Though ... none of that was or would be important right now. She had escaped for a reason. Listening to Leona explain more about her position she nodded, keeping her head down and her gaze focussed on the icy ground, beginning to understand the hierarchical structure of this institution that called itself "guild" a little better. It seemed the woman was comparable to an officer of sorts. At least that's the parallel Aspen drew.

    "I see, Miss Jarnefeldt. Pardon me, I don't know too much about magic as of yet. Magic is forbidden in the Kingdom of Pergrande, so ... I only just started using mine." She wouldn't talk about the people disappearing at night or the public trials and executions. She was safe now. "I am, however, intrigued by the concept of magical weapons. As I mentioned before, I am what people in my homeland would consider a weaponsmith, I suppose. I think I would love to learn more about it ...", the last part she spoke softly, and with some insecurity. As mentioned, she was new to all manners of magic and things connected to it, so she was somewhat lost, but eager to delve deeper into this topic. She listened closely when the guild ace told her that there is a way, and that there was a rule. She frowned a little as they stood before the impressive guild hall of Silver Wolf. Aspen didn't know what to say or do. She felt the urge to burst out that she wanted to be part of this group, that she wanted to learn about magic, that she wanted to meet the people of Silver Wolf, but kept her usual face. She couldn't possibly promise such a thing. She knew nothing about Silver Wolf and its members. Granted, Deshi and Leona seemed like nice and helpful people, but what if the other guildmates weren't like this ? What if they would behave like the Officers or the other Paladins ? For a good 30 seconds, she said nothing, staring into the white of the snow covered mountains with empty eyes, considering her options. She decided it was worth it. "I would never betray someone I see as a true friend and comrade" she simply stated, trying to comment on what the ace had said in her own way. Aspen was nervous. She was about to take a huge step in her life, making a meaningful decision for herself for the first time in forever. She sighed, forcing herself to give the blonde woman across from where she was standing a weak smile, glancing over at the guild hall and the mountains once more "Only one. If I would like to join Silver Wolf right now ... would that be acceptable ?"



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    Deshitana

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    Re: A new Beginning (Aspen's Intro)

    Post by Deshitana on 11th September 2018, 6:16 am

    The mercenary would enter the guild hall, pulling down his hood for now revealing the white hair underneath and the third eye on his forehead. As he did this he would hear the response back from the girl as he turned to look at her, noticing that despite being stotic and her voice monotone she seemed to be more relaxed than before. “I see. Well I am sure your skill can continue to grow here,” he would say before becoming silent as the Leona began to explain some other things to the other and the talk turned back to places he knew nothing about before shifting to more about the guild. He would quietly absorb the information, placing it away for his uses later before tilting his head at the girl as she mentioned that she didn’t know about magic and had just started to use her own.

    Without meaning to he opened his mouth. “You and I are in similar boats. Perhaps we can figure out magic together.” And maybe they could or maybe he could learn something from the girl on weapon building considering she stated she was a weaponsmith in her homeland. “There are many books here and places for you to try new things. I am pretty sure you can gain what you desire in this guild if you put the effort into it,” he would say feeling a bit more relaxed around the girl. As for her last question, he would look to Leona to see what she had in store. Unlike his introduction to the guild he didn’t get as far as being marked with the guild sign. It wasn’t until later on that he received it, so it was a bit exciting to see how this worked up close.


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    Leona Jarnefeldt

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    Character Sheet
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    Second Magic: Wind Summon Magic
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    Re: A new Beginning (Aspen's Intro)

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt on 11th September 2018, 12:05 pm

    Leona listened to Aspen say that magic was forbidden in the Kingdom of Pergrande. That was strange. In Desierto magic was everywhere, even the kind that rational people should not use, such as necromancy. Mages were highly sought after as entertainers and as soldiers. There were even bidding wars for the services of a particularly powerful mage, and it was not an exaggeration to say that some villages and cities approached bankruptcy just to swing a war in their favor. When she was a child in a village beset by enemies and faced with starvation, Leona wanted to have that kind of power.

    She also listened to Aspen say that Desierto and Pergrande had not been at war for some time. Leona blushed with embarrassment. This was yet another time she had misinterpreted someone's statement. Lately she seemed keen on living up to the stereotype of the dumb blonde. Having a "dumb blonde" as the Guild Ace would not make Silver Wolf look very good.

    But that was a subject for another time... right now Aspen was interested in joining the guild. Leona jumped on this chance. It was best to strike while the iron was hot.

    "You'll have plenty of chances to learn about magic and make magic weapons, Aspen. Here we don't hate and fear magic. We embrace it." Leona said to Aspen. She did not get why Pergrande insisted on driving out mages. They were only shooting themselves in the foot in the long run. It was none of her business.

    "Where would you like your guild tattoo, Aspen?" Leona said as she took off her right Argent Glove and prepared to give the tattoo that would make Aspen an official guild member.
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    Aspen

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    Re: A new Beginning (Aspen's Intro)

    Post by Aspen on 14th September 2018, 4:30 pm

    Aspen walked into the guildhall right behind the other two, her head turning from side to side as she took in the new atmosphere. The guild hall was warm and seemed comfortable, the dim lights strangely clouding the place in an eerie twilight which, upon closer inspection, didn't actually obscure ones vision. Aspen found herself being able to see her surroundings, for example, perfectly fine. Seems like this was part of the unique makeup of this place. Were all guilds like this one ? The area was booming with magic, Aspen was almost breathless. She had never sensed so much magical power in one place. Then again, she had never really sensed too much magical power other than her own. In any case, she now took the fur off her shoulder and turned to Deshi, stretching out her hand with the fur towards him, lifting her sheepish gaze from the ground to his face, muttering a "T-thanks" to the other before realizing that the man actually had a third eye in the center of his forehead. Her jaw dropped a little. She had never seen someone like that before. Perhaps she had been staring for a couple of seconds, and turned away quickly, her face red from embarrassment when she realized. All of this was so new to her. "T-thank you. I do hope that they will ... and I hope that I will be successful", her expression changing back to her usual stoic face, though a little smile could be seen playing around her lips. "I hope we will, I'm looking forward to that", she spoke to the man with the white hair and the third eye before turning back to the guild ace when she continued.

    Too nervous to notice Leona blush Aspen's stare returned to her surroundings and the guild hall. Everything had happened so quickly. Just a month ago she had still been a part of the Kingdom's army, and now she was on the other end of the continent, far out of reach of the Paladins and Pergrande, she was free to choose her own fate, and free to follow her path of learning about and understanding magic. There was no reason not to join this guild as it was called. It was the perfect fit for her. She had the feeling she could open up a little. "It must be pretty amazing living with magic every day, hm ?" she asked herself more than the blonde woman next to her, one final time reflecting on her time as a fugitive. "Either way, I'm looking forward to working with you in pursuit of a common goal." she answered, now looking directly at Leona, stretching out a an arm.

    "On the back of my left hand, please".


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    Deshitana

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    Re: A new Beginning (Aspen's Intro)

    Post by Deshitana on 16th September 2018, 4:31 am

    He would take the fur coat when it was given back. His head tilting a little at the whole jaw drop thing. He was curious what caused such an action, but he could probably guess it had to do with his other eye. Even so he wouldn't question the girl or try to push the matter forward, his expression shifting to an amused smile as she turned away after stating for a while. "My pleasure to help." The mercenary would say in response to her thank you before pausing to work on hooking the extra fur back on. He'd stay where he was for now wanting to see how the brand was put on before going back to what he had been doing before.


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    Leona Jarnefeldt

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Rising Star- Guild Master- Neutral Guild Ace- A-Rank- Halloween Social - Halloween job event participant - Character Application Approved!- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Senior [500] - Novice [250]- Summer Special Participant- Player -
    Lineage : Light of Luna
    Position : None
    Posts : 687
    Guild : Silver Wolf [Guild Master]
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Mentor : Advent
    Experience : 16,387.5

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Wind Strike Magic
    Second Magic: Wind Summon Magic
    Third Magic:

    Re: A new Beginning (Aspen's Intro)

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt on 17th September 2018, 8:34 pm

    "On the back of your left hand? OK." Leona confirmed. She made ready to give the guild tattoo when an important detail came to mind. Aspen had forgotten to select a color for the tattoo!

    "I forgot to ask something. What color would you like your tattoo to be?" Leona asked Aspen as the former's face glowed red from embarrassment. Leona would learn something new from today. She would learn to ask for the tattoo color when asking new members where they wanted their mark.


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    Golden Lacrima (Page 9, Post Number 224) until 9/22/2019.
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    Aspen

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Player -
    Lineage : Paladin of Blood and Iron
    Position : None
    Posts : 128
    Guild : Silver Wolf
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Age : 18
    Mentor : Eoduun Eero
    Experience : 1,550

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: The Great Arsenal
    Second Magic: [2nd Gen] Metal Dragon Slayer
    Third Magic:

    Re: A new Beginning (Aspen's Intro)

    Post by Aspen on 18th September 2018, 2:17 am

    Aspen was surprised that it would be this easy to join a guild. She would simply stretch out her hand and that'd be it ? Her new life would be open to her just like that ? And the people of this organisation that called itself guild would become her comrades ... or perhaps friends even ? She still hadn't quite dealt with the things that had happened in Pergrande, and she would probably keep these things in her memory as a grim reminder for a long time, though ... the future was bright, and under no circumstances would she return to the Paladins, and wandering around this country called Fiore wouldn't work either. Retracting her hand briefly when Leona made another comment, she couldn't help but lighten up, chuckling a little. If these guys would be what she could call comrades she truly had one hell of a career before her. Once more, but with confidence and optimism in her voice, this time a genuine smile around her lips, she stretched out her left hand, and spoke the sentence that would determine a vast part of her consciousness as not just a soldier, but also, as she now realized, a real magus.

    "On the back of the left hand, and of turquoise colour !"


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      Current date/time is 9th December 2018, 4:47 pm