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    Serving The Sultan

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    Leona Jarnefeldt
    Leona Jarnefeldt

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Ten Wizard Saint Member- Rising Star- Guild Master- Neutral Guild Ace- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- Halloween Social - Halloween job event participant - Rich- Character Application Approved!- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- The Sacred- Senior [500] - Novice [250]- X-Mas Event Participant- Summer Special Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Nemean Lion
    Position : Saint of Courage
    Posts : 967
    Guild : Silver Wolf [Guild Master]
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Mentor : N/A
    Experience : 752,217.5

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

    Serving The Sultan

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt on 11th February 2019, 12:06 am

    Job Details:

    Job Title: 100 Year Free-form
    Rank: 100 Year
    Job Location: Anywhere
    Solo Word Count: 12,500 words
    Group Word Count: 25,000 words
    Additional Requirements: N/A
    Job Description: Whatever the player chooses
    Enemies: Whatever the player chooses
    Reward: 155,000 jewels


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

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

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Ten Wizard Saint Member- Rising Star- Guild Master- Neutral Guild Ace- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- Halloween Social - Halloween job event participant - Rich- Character Application Approved!- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- The Sacred- Senior [500] - Novice [250]- X-Mas Event Participant- Summer Special Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Nemean Lion
    Position : Saint of Courage
    Posts : 967
    Guild : Silver Wolf [Guild Master]
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Mentor : N/A
    Experience : 752,217.5

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

    Re: Serving The Sultan

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt on 11th February 2019, 12:36 am

    -Nebdoui, mid-day-

    Leona landed on the outskirts of her home village and dismounted the Winged Lion summon, then dispelled it. She was here on behalf of the sultan, who had summoned her to the Tri-Council city for a job offer. He considered the job information too sensitive to send by courier, so he requested a personal meeting with the mage. Leona was not sure what to make of that because it could easily be a trap. Still, she had no choice but to answer the call.

    Leona was relieved to see that the village had not been reduced to charred ruins and the bones of its inhabitants scattered across the sand and picked clean by vultures. Everyone was alive and well. Whitney and Erica were tending the village's pack animals, which were loaded down with weapons going to Berreb. Her mother Sophia had just entered the chief's tent to begin her day as a village scribe. Her brother Leonidas was the first to greet her with a bucket of iron ore ingots held at his side.

    "Hey Leona!" Leonidas called out to her. Leona raised a gloved hand in greeting. She wore her green-and-gold outfit and Argent Gloves along with Adaptable Armor. She carried with her her Silver Longsword in its sheath on her back, Nightshade Machete on her left hip, and her knife in her boot. The blonde was a walking arsenal who was prepared for anything... at least in theory.

    "Hey Leonidas! How's it going?" Leona asked her older brother. Dressed in neutral-colored work clothes and a blacksmith's apron, it appeared that Leonidas was busy. She certainly knew what that felt like. It had only been five days since the last adventure in Nebdoui and only two days since the Advanced Court Heiromesh course she had taken at the guild hall and she was already called back into action. A mage's work was never through.

    "The usual. I've been busy at the forge because Berreb's militia needs a lot of weapons. They've been experiencing a few bandit attacks lately and their old weapons need replacing in a hurry." Leonidas answered. He always seemed to be busy at the forge lately, but that was the nature of his job. Items constantly needed making and repairing and Leonidas was one of the only blacksmiths in the village.

    "Yeah. I can see that. Any signs of the Crimson Sashes?" Leona asked. He shook his head.

    "Not at all. The Regudo and the Blue Sky Clan haven't seen any signs of them. I don't know whether that's good or bad. Either they're laying low for awhile or they're planning something big." He answered. Leona could see where he was coming from. They tended to single out a target and attack until it was destroyed or until it put up too much resistance, upon which the Crimson Sashes would back off and return at a later date to finish what they started. Her brother might be right in his reasoning for them hanging back.

    "Do you think they're recruiting to replenish their losses?" Leona inquired. Leonidas simply shrugged his shoulders, the bucket clanking in his hand.

    "Probably. They're suicidally aggressive, so they tend to take a lot of losses whenever someone lasts more than a day against them. I don't know where they recruit from." He said to her.

    "Well, I'd better get going. Those weapons aren't gonna make themselves. Good luck on your job, Leona." Leonidas bade her farewell. He walked off to the blacksmith's tent. Leona then made her way to the chief's tent for a briefing.

    -Inside Chief Elijah's tent-

    "Welcome, Leona! I've got news to tell you!" Chief Elijah greeted her. Leona raised a hand in greeting.

    "What is it?" Leona asked.

    "You're to go to the Tri-Council city and meet with the sultan himself. He has a job for you. The details were deemed too sensitive to send by courier, so you're to go to the city for a face-to-face meeting." Chief Elijah told her.

    "OK. I'll go there as soon as I finish here." Leona told him. Sophia spoke up and contributed to the conversation.

    "The sultan's representative came for the book yesterday with an army at his back. We gave it to him and he left without incident. They didn't seem angry at us." Sophia chimed in. Leona was glad to hear that the book was claimed without incident. Hopefully the sultan had not put a price on their heads in secret.

    "Still, I'd be careful." Joshua spoke up.

    "What do you mean? Doesn't the sultan already have what he wanted?" Leona asked.

    "The fact that a representative had to come get the book instead of it being delivered to him might count against you. The sultans don't like being denied what's theirs." Joshua replied without hesitation. Leona could see where he was coming from. The sultans were a proud lot who considered rule of the desert to be theirs by birthright. They would not tolerate any insults whether they were real or perceived. She was not sure whether Nebdoui was off the hook or not for keeping the book.

    "That's a good point, Joshua. Even though they have the book, the fact we didn't send it to them might put Leona in danger just because she's from Nebdoui and she discovered it." Sophia added.

    "I don't really have a choice in the matter. Either I go or my guild's reputation takes a hit and I get a bounty put on my head." Leona said to her mother.

    "It's funny how the sultans don't care about us desert people until we have something they want." Joshua snarked. Chief Elijah gave him a dirty look. Leona wondered why Elijah did that.

    [Word Count: 1,000]
    [Total Word Count: 1,000/12,500]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

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

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Ten Wizard Saint Member- Rising Star- Guild Master- Neutral Guild Ace- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- Halloween Social - Halloween job event participant - Rich- Character Application Approved!- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- The Sacred- Senior [500] - Novice [250]- X-Mas Event Participant- Summer Special Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Nemean Lion
    Position : Saint of Courage
    Posts : 967
    Guild : Silver Wolf [Guild Master]
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Mentor : N/A
    Experience : 752,217.5

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

    Re: Serving The Sultan

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt on 11th February 2019, 10:50 pm

    "The sultans have eyes and ears everywhere and they won't hesitate to deal with dissent harshly and dramatically. I'd watch what I say." Chief Elijah admonished his son after the latter made a comment concerning the hands-off nature of how the region's rulers deal with the desert villages. Joshua gave it a bit of thought and concurred with his father.

    "I suppose you're right. We've got a good thing going with the hands-off nature of their rule and we shouldn't tempt fate." Joshua replied to his father, who satisfied himself with the sort-of apology. The older man then turned to Leona.

    "I suggest you answer the summons, but be careful. The sultan could be sending you into a trap." Chief Elijah warned Leona.

    "I'll be careful, Chief. That's all I can do." Leona said to him. She turned to leave the tent and get ready to fly to the Tri-Council city and answer the sultan's summons. Sophia stopped the Silver Wolf mage in her tracks with a hand held up.

    "Be careful in the sultan's court, Leona. Watch everything you do and say. The court can be a viper's nest of intrigue that can chew up and spit out desert upstarts like yourself." Sophia warned her daughter. Leona nodded.

    "I'll be careful." Leona said to her mother before exiting the tent. Sophia held her hand up again as she presented a scroll bound in thin gold cord to the blonde mage.

    "Take this scroll. It's an invitation that the sultan sent to us. You'll need it to gain entry to the palace." Sophia informed Leona. Leona took it into her right hand and placed it inside her backpack. She made sure the scroll would not be crushed before closing up the backpack.

    "Thanks." Leona said to her mother before exiting the tent. It was not very wise to keep the sultan waiting for too long.

    -Outside the chief's tent-

    Leona called upon her Winged Lion summon and climbed on, making sure that all of her goods were secure before setting out. Once the pre-flight checks had been completed Leona told the lion their destination.

    "We're going to the Tri-Council city." Leona informed her transport.

    "We will be on the way shortly. Hang on!" He told her before taking wing and soaring into the desert sky. Leona did not feel any fear or apprehension from the flight. Instead she was worried about the possibility of the chief's prediction coming true and the whole meeting being revealed to be a trap designed to lure in and kill the blonde for what happened concerning the golden book.

    -Outside the Tri-Council City, one hour later-

    Leona landed just to the side of the massive wooden double gate and got off of her summon, then dispelled it and stood to admire the architecture for a moment. The thick wooden double gate was set in a sturdy tan stone arch with an inscription in another language carved just above the gates. Stone walls wound around the city for miles and she could even see the golden dome of the sultan's palace gleaming just above the archway. It was simple but eye-catching architecture that presented a formidable first sight to travelers weary of trudging through the sandy desert. It was simple but eye-catching architecture for someone who had grown up in a desert village and who had only been to the city once before.

    Leona spotted a small gate for travelers and put away her weapons before entering. The Nightshade Machete went into her backpack and the knife did as well. The Silver Longsword remained in its sheath on her back. Once the weapons were packed away she slung the backpack onto her back and entered through the small gate.

    -Inside the Tri-Council City-

    Leona entered the bustling city and merged with the crowd as she tried to make her way to the sultan's palace. As the blonde walked she spotted children running around, people standing in side alleys or under canvas awnings chatting with one another, and restaurant and cafe patrons exchanging the latest news and gossip. She could also hear the calls of numerous street vendors hawking their wares as she slowly approached the open-air market of the city. Food, jewelry, clothing, weapons, and more were just a small sampling of the wares available in the market district. Leona wanted to stop and look, but she was not here as a tourist.

    She was here to visit the sultan and find out what it was that he required from her. She sighted the gleaming golden dome in the distance and gradually worked her way through the thick crowd, slowly but certainly approaching her destination. As she got closer to the palace she saw groups of red-turbaned royal guards with scimitars at their sides making their rounds and watching her with a cautious eye. The blonde was dressed and armed for combat, so she could not blame the guards for being cautious around her. Leona stopped in front of a building and took off her backpack, then fished out the invitation and closed up the pack before resuming her walk to the palace.

    After twenty minutes of walking, Leona finally paused in front of the palace. It was a tall, airy structure that was made out of white marble and topped with a large golden dome. All the windows were covered with intricate latticework and the doors were made out of expensive woods. Leona briefly felt like she was not worthy of entering the structure but shook off that feeling and walked up the stone steps while a pair of guards watched her approach.

    "What business do you have here?" One of the men asked roughly.

    "I'm here to see the sultan. I'm on business." Leona answered truthfully, presenting the invitation to them.

    [Word Count: 1,000]
    [Total Word Count: 2,000/12,500]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

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

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Ten Wizard Saint Member- Rising Star- Guild Master- Neutral Guild Ace- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- Halloween Social - Halloween job event participant - Rich- Character Application Approved!- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- The Sacred- Senior [500] - Novice [250]- X-Mas Event Participant- Summer Special Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Nemean Lion
    Position : Saint of Courage
    Posts : 967
    Guild : Silver Wolf [Guild Master]
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Mentor : N/A
    Experience : 752,217.5

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

    Re: Serving The Sultan

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt on 11th February 2019, 11:44 pm

    One of the guards, a tall man with a jagged scar on his left cheek and a red turban with a golden crown pin on the front of his headgear, took the invitation into his rough hands and carefully untied the thin golden cord. He unfurled the invitation and read it, showing it to his coworker. He looked at Leona with a stern look, then nodded.

    "You speak the truth, Leona Jarnefeldt. You may pass, but first you must hand over all your weapons. You will get them back when you leave." He said to her in a slightly softer tone of voice.

    "Not a problem." Leona assured them. She lowered her backpack and took off the sheath of the Silver Longsword which had been on her back, handing it to a waiting guard. She then took the Nightshade Machete and her knife out of her backpack and gave both weapons to the guards.

    "You must leave your backpack with us as well." The guard said to her. Leona closed it up and wordlessly handed it over. The guards appeared satisfied and returned the invitation to her. They then opened the front door for her, letting her pass into the palace.

    "Go and see the sultan. Hear his words and obey them. Mind your manners in his presence." The scarred guard advised Leona. Leona nodded and was allowed to enter the structure.

    -Inside the sultan's palace-

    Leona stepped inside the palace and felt the cool air within slap her in the face. She walked on the gray and black tile floor and marveled at the detailed wall paneling that depicted scenes of men on camels pausing to drink from an oasis and scenes of people standing beneath a man dressed in loose, flowing white and gold robes and wearing a gold turban standing on a balcony. It appeared like the gold-turbaned man was speaking to a crowd of subjects.

    After that was a scene of merchants selling their wares in a bustling market full of happy people. Next came a scene of weary travelers on foot, on horseback, and riding camels entering the city under the watchful eye of the royal guard flanking the giant front gates and manning the wall above it. She wondered how long it took to sketch and paint all of those scenes.

    Leona kept walking until she encountered a tall dark-haired man with a black beard in black and gold robes who stepped in front of her. He held up a thin hand as a sigh to stop where she was. On his head was a purple turban with a gold crown pin on the front.

    "You are Leona Jarnefeldt of Nebdoui, are you not?" The man asked in a voice that resonated with authority.

    "Yes." Leona answered politely, presenting the invitation. The man took it into his hands and read it. He looked at her with critical brown eyes, then nodded before handing back the parchment.

    "Very good. I am Khalid, Vizier to the sultan. I will escort you into his majesty's presence. Follow me and mind your manners." He said to her, spinning around and motioning for her to follow him. Leona did as she was told and walked beside him, passing by an array of people dressed in elegant outfits who had to be court dignitaries. They looked at her with a mixture of disdain and pity like she was a desert bumpkin who was way out of her depth. That would be true... Leona was a desert bumpkin who was way out of her depth in high society. They would have to deal with her presence today because she was going to meet the sultan.

    The vizier and the mage walked down the hall and went up two flights of steps, then entered a hallway with marble paneling on the walls. They walked down it until they came across a set of golden double doors guarded by more red-turbaned men with scimitars. The vizier nodded and the guards opened the doors for them. Leona looked inside and spotted an older man in flowing gold and white robes sitting on a marble throne with a dark-haired young woman sitting in a smaller marble throne that was placed beside his. Behind them was a scene of an oasis with palm trees.

    "Follow me and mind your manners." The vizier advised Leona. She nodded and the pair walked into the royal court together. Leona could not help but to look around at the beautiful tile floor and the various court dignitaries gathered to observe the proceedings. They walked until they came across the first shallow step in a set of three. The vizier paused and bowed before the sultan.

    "Bow with me." The vizier whispered. Leona wordlessly bowed before the sultan. When Khalid stood up again Leona followed suit.

    "Your Highness, I present to you Leona Jarnefeldt, the mage from Nebdoui!" The vizier said to the sultan. Leona stayed where she was.

    "Excellent." The sultan said to the vizier. The older man then faced Leona.

    "You may approach the throne. I wish to speak with you concerning a task I have for you." The sultan bade her. Leona and Khalid walked up the stairs in unison under the watchful eyes of the court. When the vizier bowed, so did Leona. The sultan smiled and addressed her again.

    "You are familiar with King Saarghon, yes?" The sultan asked.

    "Yes, Your Highness. I've studied him quite a bit." Leona answered.

    "Splendid. I require you to go to an archaeological site connected to the king and check on a team of explorers I sponsored. I have not heard back from them in two months and I fear the worst has happened." The sultan explained his task. Leona refrained from speaking.

    "If the team is dead, then I require you to continue the search and retrieve any artifacts connected to King Saarghon that you may find." He added further.

    [Word Count: 1,000]
    [Total Word Count: 3,000/12,500]




    _____________________________________________________________________________________

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

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Ten Wizard Saint Member- Rising Star- Guild Master- Neutral Guild Ace- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- Halloween Social - Halloween job event participant - Rich- Character Application Approved!- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- The Sacred- Senior [500] - Novice [250]- X-Mas Event Participant- Summer Special Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Nemean Lion
    Position : Saint of Courage
    Posts : 967
    Guild : Silver Wolf [Guild Master]
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Mentor : N/A
    Experience : 752,217.5

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

    Re: Serving The Sultan

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt on 12th February 2019, 8:48 pm

    Leona listened to the entire request and found it to be a reasonable one. She was to investigate the site where the team was working and discover their status. If all of them were dead, she was to continue their work and recover any artifacts that they might have been pursuing. It was callous, but the sultan had likely invested a lot of Jewels into the expedition and wanted something to show for it. Leona supposed that she could have been sent on worse errands.

    "Will you accept this task?" The sultan asked. All eyes turned to Leona. It was not a difficult choice because her mind was already made up before she even set foot in the court.

    "Yes, Your Highness. I will accept the task that you have given me." Leona replied as politely as she could. She hoped that she had addressed the ruler with manners that pleased the vizier. The sultan looked at her for a moment, then smiled and clapped his hands together.

    "Excellent! I look forward to seeing results. You may go." He said to her. The vizier and Leona bowed in unison, backed down the three steps, and bowed again. They then turned around and left the court.

    -Outside the palace-

    "Your manners are a bit coarse, but no harm was done. They were sufficient to please the sultan." Khalid critiqued the blonde's decorum. She paid attention to his words because next time the sultan might not be so forgiving. He looked her in the eyes and spoke.

    "The sultan expects to see results and expects success from a... mage of your stature. Should you succeed, you will be rewarded well. Should you fail... suffice it to say that failure will not end well for you." The official advised her, hesitating to say the word "mage." Leona was quick to note that hesitance.

    Leona made certain to remember his words, but the admonition against failure was nothing new to her. Failure in the past would have been just as deadly then as it was implied to be now. However, there was a difference between an up-and-comer failing and an established mage failing a mission. Royalty did not look well on anything less than total success.

    "I'll make sure to succeed. Where do I need to go?" Leona asked Khalid. He snapped a finger and the two door guards from earlier returned with all of Leona's weapons and equipment. The items were given to her along with a map.

    "You are to go to an archaeological site not too far from here and determine what has prevented the crew from sending a status report." He said to her, pointing to the map. The site was roughly twenty kilometers from here, but she could cover that in a few minutes on the back of her Winged Lion. She would need to move quickly because she did not know if a bandit attack was what made the team lose contact with their royal backer. The vizier leaned into her face and had some parting words for her.

    "I suggest you be on your way quickly. The sultan is a patient man, but his patience only goes so far. I would not keep him waiting any longer than necessary." He said to her. Leona did not like how he behaved, but she had no choice but to comply with his instructions.

    "Of course. I won't keep His Highness waiting too long. I'll leave for the site immediately." Leona said to him before turning away and beginning the lengthy walk out of the city. She kept a brisk pace because she did not want to take any longer than she had to in getting to the site. The Winged Lion would get her there quickly.

    -At the archaeological site, 30 minutes later-

    Leona landed at the site of the dig and dispelled the Winged Lion. In front of her was a small tent city much like the one that the Crimson Sashes had when she rescued her friends from their clutches. However, she noticed that something was off almost immediately. There were bloodstains on the sand and she spotted bodies that were dressed in khaki clothing lying in the "streets" of the tent city. She cautiously walked to the first body, that of a dark-haired man whose left hand had been hacked off, to take a closer look.

    Leona approached the corpse and leaned down to examine it. His left hand had been cut off at the wrist and there was a gaping slash wound in his back that had stained the khaki cloth a dull red that was almost brown. She spotted the boots of another corpse lying just inside a tent nearby and walked over to take a look. Leona saw that the body was that of a woman whose throat had been cut by a weapon and her head nearly taken off by the blow, but the cut was too large and too deep for a knife. Leona suspected that a heavy sword or ax had been used.

    Leona stood up and walked to the biggest tent and found two more khaki-clad bodies inside, both of them male and both of them having been decapitated. She saw a large wooden table with a map pinned to it and noticed a small journal with a folded letter underneath it. The blonde picked up the journal and set it aside, instead focusing on the letter. She picked it up, unfolded it, and began to read it.

    "Dear Sultan Ahmed,

    We of the Capital Crocus Archaeological Society appreciate your generous patronage. A week ago we found some ruins in the sand that we believe to be those of an old temple. We have begun excavating a site that is linked to King Saarghon, an ancient ruler of Desierto. We hope to find more treasures for your collection very soon." The unfolded letter read.

    [Word Count: 1,000]
    [Total Word Count; 4,000/12,500]





    _____________________________________________________________________________________

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

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Ten Wizard Saint Member- Rising Star- Guild Master- Neutral Guild Ace- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- Halloween Social - Halloween job event participant - Rich- Character Application Approved!- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- The Sacred- Senior [500] - Novice [250]- X-Mas Event Participant- Summer Special Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Nemean Lion
    Position : Saint of Courage
    Posts : 967
    Guild : Silver Wolf [Guild Master]
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Mentor : N/A
    Experience : 752,217.5

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

    Re: Serving The Sultan

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt on 13th February 2019, 7:35 pm

    Leona put the letter into her backpack to keep as evidence. She then turned her attention to the journal that the letter was placed under and began to thumb through it in search of clues. To her considerable chagrin, all the pages were blank. All of them. She had found a new journal that had not even been written in.

    Leona set the journal down and started to look for something else, some other documentation that could provide a clue as to what went on here. Her eyes lowered to the sand and that was when she found something of interest. She noticed clusters of footprints left in the sand that indicated a lot of people were in here for some reason. The blonde left the tent and began to follow them through the tent city.

    She passed by more tents with bodies in them and followed the footprints, being careful to stay to the side of them so that her own prints did not ruin the trail. They led out of the city and towards a nearby cliff that featured a cave framed in scaffolding and numerous shovels, pickaxes, and other dirt-encrusted tools used for excavation. She followed them up to the cave, where the prints disappeared altogether... whoever made them must have went inside, probably to deter pursuers or lure them in for an easier kill. Leona was just about to enter the cave when she spotted a brown notebook with a pencil left on a small square wooden table sitting outside the entrance. She hoped that this notebook had something of use inside of it.

    Leona opened the notebook to the first page and began to read what was written.

    "Day 1 of excavation:

    We have found a temple to the ancient king of Desierto, Saarghon. He was fond of building temples commemorating his rule, so there are no shortage of them in this region. However, what sets this one apart from the others is that this temple is rumored to be the location of a magic weapon that he owned. Our patron has requested this sword be brought to him, so we will begin excavation immediately.
    "

    Leona skimmed through the notebook, which contained a day-by-day account of the excavation. It discussed topics like crew injuries, crew illnesses, and other everyday concerns. What was of greater interest was a page with an entry providing information about the temple. Leona focused her attention on that entry.

    "Day 9 of excavation:

    After eight days of around-the-clock work, we have finally found the entrance to the temple. It was built into the side of a cliff to keep it safe from tomb raiders, security becoming a great concern near the end of King Saarghon's reign as his kingdom began to fall apart. While not as opulent as the temple in Nevineh, the kingdom's dwindling treasury was put towards building this structure. The king was rumored to have placed his magic sword Sand Splitter here for reasons that are unknown to this day.
    " The entry read. Leona was intrigued by that. Why would King Saaghon place his sword away from his real burial site? Why not have an item of such great value buried with him? The author of the journal was right when it claimed that the reason for the sword's placement was a mystery.

    Leona kept reading the notebook to see what other information she could find. She thumbed through more accounts of day-to-day life in the camp and more injuries sustained by the work teams hired to excavate the ruins. What she read next was of interest.

    "Day 28 of excavation:

    Due to concerns about tomb raiders sneaking into the camp, we have taken to posting night watchmen around the entrance to the cave. Lately they have reported sightings of groups of men on horseback who get close but then retreat whenever they are challenged by the watchmen. This is quite disturbing. Perhaps we should appeal to our patron for armed protection.
    " The entry read. Just below it was an additional note that made Leona worried about entering the cavern.

    "Addendum:

    One of our watchmen spotted the horsemen at the break of dawn and claimed that they were wearing black outfits with red sashes. For the rest of the day he was very agitated and refused to go on watch at night. Even offers of raising his pay could not convince him to stay. He quit on the spot and made plans to return to his village. When asked why he quit, he only said "The sashes will kill us all.
    "

    Leona did not like the sound of that at all. There was a good chance that the "sashes" the night watchmen spoke of were the infamous Crimson Sashes. The slaughter in the tent city was a textbook example of their handiwork... almost all of the bodies had slash wounds across the throat that were made with edged weapons. Facing them in close quarters would be a daunting prospect, but there was no choice. Leona had to continue the archaeological team's work and recover the sword... if it was still here and had not already been carted off by bandits.

    Leona put the notebook into her backpack to keep as evidence, then drew her Nightshade Machete and entered the cave. She passed beyond the reach of the warm rays of the sun and walked into the grasp of the subterranean cold. Her natural night vision took effect as she passed under a scaffold just inside the cave entrance. She saw an entrance room with partially unearthed walls and dirt-encrusted tools lying on the stone floor. Beyond the entrance was a long, narrow hallway that was clear of debris and featured Court Heiromesh inscriptions on its walls.

    Leona ignored them because they were nothing but more expressions of praise for the king. Something far more interesting was just ahead.

    [Word Count: 1,000]
    [Total Word Count: 5,000/12,500]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

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

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

    Re: Serving The Sultan

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt on 14th February 2019, 1:15 pm

    Up ahead was a group of people who wore turbans with sashes on top of dark clothing. Leona counted at least five of them standing in the shadows around an open stone door with glowing torches lining a hallway behind the doors. They were guarding something of considerable importance in order for there to be so many people standing around a door. Leona stuck to the shadows and dropped to one knee in order to listen to what was being said.

    "...I don't get it. Why are we spending so much time going after a sword?" One of the men asked.

    "Because what the boss wants, the boss gets." Another answered.

    "Because the sword's magical. It can control sand however the wielder wants to. If you wanna throw a cloud of sand in someone's face, you can do it. If you wanna suck someone into a sand vortex, you can do it. If you want to make instant quicksand..." A third continued.

    "You can do it because of the sword's magic. Now I see why the boss wants it so badly." A fourth chimed in.

    "I'm wondering, though. What if the boss can't use it? What if the sword's magic only works for people who can already use magic?" The fifth asked his fellows.

    "The boss is a Sand Mage who's pretty strong and experienced with his magic. He'll make it work. Then we can march on the Tri-Council city and get the sultan to do whatever we want him to." One of the group assured his friend before inadvertently giving away the group's endgame to Leona.

    "And if the sultan doesn't do what the boss wants, the boss will just sink his city into the sand and they won't be able to do a thing about it!" A second man chimed in. Leona did not like that. All of Desierto was built on sand, so turning the sand beneath any city or village into quicksand would inflict great damage in property and in lives lost. Overhearing that plan provided a very good reason for the Silver Wolf mage to get to the sword before they did.

    "All we need to do is get that sword and we'll have it easy." A third man opined.

    "Yeah. We'll also be able to get rid of those desert villages who made an alliance. It'll be great to see how long that alliance lasts when we sink their dumb little villages into the sand!" The fourth added to the conversation. Leona had heard just about enough, but now was not the time to take action. She wanted to hear what else had to be said, but fate had other plans. A sixth man walked in and spoke to the others.

    "We're needed up ahead. There's some mummies who just won't stay dead when we kill them." The man said to his colleagues. They drew their scimitars and turned around, then filed through the door without shutting it. Leona waited until they were too far down the hall to hear then, then made her move. She quickly sneaked through the open door and into the next hallway.

    -In the next hallway-

    Leona put away her weapon so that the gleam would not give her away in the torchlight and walked as quietly as she could. She should have found a way to cover her Argent Gloves because the shining metal plates would give her away as easily as the gleam of her machete could have. Thankfully the men were long gone down the hallway, which gave her time to examine the area and have one last moment of peace before she would inevitably have to fight. The mysterious men knew what they were after and they were not going to leave without their prize. Neither was Leona.

    Leona glanced at the walls that were covered in many more expressions of praise for King Saarghon. While they must have been gratifying for a royal ego to read, all of them were rather bland and conveyed nothing of use to the blonde.

    "Blessings be upon he who rules the sands in majesty.."

    "Give praise to the one true king of Desierto, King Saarghon!"

    Leona ignored the expressions of praise and focused on the path ahead, which was getting closer. From inside a large rectangular room in front of her came the sounds of battle. Since the men mentioned that there were mummies engaged in battle with the bandits, Leona drew her Silver Longsword because it would be the quickest way to defeat the bandaged menaces. Then a thought hit her. Mummies might not be as vulnerable to silver as ghosts and werewolves were.

    Oh well. The blonde did not have exactly time to leave and commission a weapon specifically for slaying mummies, so she would just have to use what she had. If the Silver Longsword did not work, her magic should be able to do the trick. Leona took a deep breath and prepared to enter the room where fighting was still taking place. She rushed in and paused inside the doorway.

    Bandits and mummies were engaged in a battle for control of the room and were fighting with all they had. A man with a scimitar lopped off a mummy's bandaged arm and stabbed the mummy through the torso to no effect. The bandaged combatant simply grabbed the bandit by the throat with its remaining arm, lifted him into the air, and strangled him to death. However, it was not a one-sided fight for the mummies because some of the smarter bandits had started grabbing and using wall torches to turn the tables. The bandits touched the burning torch to the bandages, then kept clear of the flaming mummies and simply let their enemies burn to death. Leona could not help but to admire the ingenuity of the bandits.

    [Word Count: 1,000]
    [Total Word Count: 6,000/12,500]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

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

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    Second Magic: Wind Summon Magic
    Third Magic:

    Re: Serving The Sultan

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt on 14th February 2019, 7:19 pm

    Leona was impressed despite herself because the bandits showed the ability to think on their feet and adapt to unfavorable conditions. Her grudging admiration ended the moment the last mummy fell to the stone floor and the remaining bandits turn their attention to her. To her surprise, none of them wanted to fight her despite outnumbering her seven-to-one. On the contrary, they were frightened of her.

    "It's Leona Jarnefeldt!" One of them alerted his colleagues. They all began to panic and look for a way out of the situation. Leona took a step back in case they rushed her all at once.

    "If you fight her, you're dead!" A second commented.

    "She doesn't leave anyone alive! She ripped through the Red Sands Bandits like they were nothing!" Another one blurted out.

    "We're not getting paid enough for this! Facing Leona Jarnefeldt wasn't in the job description!" A third chimed in. Leona was not sure what was going on and she was not sure that she liked what was happening. Her reputation for fighting desert bandits was coming back to haunt her. Without warning one of the panicking men threw a torch at her face. While she protected herself with her Argent Gloves and felt the heat of the torch burn her right forearm one of them shouted a simple order.

    "RUN!" He yelled. The seven men rushed Leona all at once, but not in the way she expected. They did not even bother to fight her despite their numerical advantage and her being caught off guard by the torch to the face. They jostled her as they ran by in a blind panic to get to the exit, but none of them tried to stab her, punch her, or otherwise harm her. She looked at the last man running away and saw that he was wearing a black outfit with a black sash, not a red sash.

    Who were those guys? Were they hired helpers of whoever was exploring the ruins? They probably were because they did not stay to fight like the Crimson Sashes would. The Crimson Sashes killed anyone in their path because they were seen as targets.

    Leona shrugged her shoulders and picked up a torch from a wall sconce hanging from the walls, which were littered with still more expressions of praise for the late king. The king sure had a high opinion of himself, but when the royal treasury was footing the bill, the builders were obligated to do as they were instructed. She walked out of the room, stepping over charred mummies and dead bandits alike until she entered a hallway that was wide and dark.

    -In the hallway-

    Leona held the torch high with her left hand and kept her Silver Longsword ready with her right hand in case trouble jumped out at her, which it often did. She looked at the walls of this hallway and found a noticeable lack of praise for King Saarghon. These walls instead boasted descriptions of the king's reign from over 2,000 years ago. They spoke of the founding years where he united the desert people who wanted law and order against those who only wanted to pillage and murder without consequence. It seemed that bandit problems were always a part of Desierto's history and not just a recent development.

    Leona had never been much of a scholar, but these walls were interesting because they held history that was relevant to her current mission. She saw a painted scene of a bearded man wearing white robes and holding a curved golden sword above his head summon walls of sand to crush a large army of his enemies beneath them. In the next scene the sand had already buried formations of chariots and hapless foot soldiers... she could see jumbled body parts protruding from the sand as survivors cast down their weapons and shields and ran for their lives as fast as their feet could carry them. In the scene after that she saw a large pyramid with a golden top and a temple built in front of it. In front of the temple was an enormous city with simple but clean and well-made buildings.

    The pyramid, temple, and city were surrounded by an enormous white wall that had a tower in each corner. Under it was an inscription that simply read "Nevineh." That was King Saarghon's capital city and the crown jewel of his desert-spanning empire.

    Leona ran out of scenes to review because the walls went blank, so she focused on getting through the hallway and watching out for threats like mummies or bandits who actually wanted to fight. She did not expect to get through all the encounters here as easily as she did the last one, so she had to stay ready to fight at a moment's notice. That stance was vindicated when she saw a small force of mummies shambling out of a doorway and heading her way.

    Recalling what the bandits did to gain the upper hand against them, she rushed up to the first and touched the torch to its bandages, which caught fire in short order. She ran away and watched as it stumbled about in a vain effort to grab her and share its torment before falling to the ground and ceasing to move. An emboldened Leona moved in to repeat the trick, lighting a second one on fire and shoved it into its cohorts with a Wind Blast, creating a wall of burning mummies that struggled to get up but failed to recover before they burned to death. Leona held onto the torch because it was coming in handy for dealing with the bandaged menaces in a quick and effective manner.

    The blonde waited until their bodies had burned out before stepping over the corpses, then entered the next section of hallway. This one was lined with closed sarcophagi lining the walls.

    [Word Count: 1,000]
    [Total Word Count: 7,000/12,500]



    _____________________________________________________________________________________

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

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Ten Wizard Saint Member- Rising Star- Guild Master- Neutral Guild Ace- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- Halloween Social - Halloween job event participant - Rich- Character Application Approved!- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- The Sacred- Senior [500] - Novice [250]- X-Mas Event Participant- Summer Special Participant- Player 
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    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Wind Strike Magic
    Second Magic: Wind Summon Magic
    Third Magic:

    Re: Serving The Sultan

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt on 14th February 2019, 11:55 pm

    From Leona's experience in the crypt under Silent Cemetery, closed caskets or sarcophagi were never a good thing, especially when they were placed along the edges of the hallway. There were no convenient torches nearby, so if her torch went out or was otherwise rendered useless and she had more than one mummy to deal with, she would be in for a rough time. She did not want to test her Silver Longsword against them only to find that it was just a fancy letter opener, but since she did not have Fire Magic, Holy Magic, or Fire-based summons, she would just have to make do with what she had on hand.

    Leona walked slowly and tried not to disturb any slumbering mummies as she made her way down the hall with only her torch for light. As she crept down the hall she saw a staircase leading down to another floor, but her torchlight walk was interrupted by the sound she dreaded to hear. The sarcophagi were opening and their occupants were climbing out!

    She kept going but the path was soon barred by a pair of mummies that clambered out to meet her. Leona applied the torch to one and was set upon by the other mummy, who extended its bandages to try and wrap around Leona's sword arm. She felt the linen wrap around her arm and she applied the torch to it, burning away the cloth before then lighting the offender on fire with a touch of the torch. She then backed away to avoid being hugged and heard more resting places open to release their occupants into the hallway.

    Ordinarily Leona would just get a move on to save energy for bigger fights, but she did not want to leave any enemies behind her because she was going to have to leave the same way she came in. Leona turned around to face the next wave of undead. One of them stretched out with its bandages and she cut them down in mid-air with the sword, then sprinted over to the offender and set it on fire. It shambled about trying to grab its tormentor, but Leona ducked under it just in time to be grabbed by another mummy who had clutched her hair.

    The blonde struggled to get her sword in position to cut off its arm as she felt more bandages wrapping themselves around her legs. She first cut off the arm, then used another downward swipe to free her legs. She burned one mummy and used a Wind Blast to cast it into another mummy, getting two burning enemies for the price of one. However, she still had another four to go before the hall was clear.

    Leona stabbed one in the torso with her Silver Longsword and found that the weapon was indeed just a letter opener; they had no special vulnerability to silver. She ducked under its retaliatory swipe but was kicked in the face by its peer. She was sent sprawling onto her back and the silver sword knocked from her grasp, but she held the torch high to keep it off the ground because it was her only hope of defeating them. She used a Wind Bullet to blow a hole in one's chest, then carefully got to her feet and ducked under the arm of a mummy reaching out to grab her throat.

    She set it on fire and quickly ignited its friend, then rushed past the burning enemies to defeat the last two mummies in the same fashion. Using a Wind Blast to knock them off balance, Leona ignited them before they could recover enough to lash out, then retreated and watched them burn down. She relaxed once all the mummies were charred bodies lying on the floor; she picked up her Silver Longsword and proceeded to the stairs that led down.

    -Down the stairs-

    Leona emerged to find herself looking into a square room lit by torches and populated by five humans who wore black outfits with red sashes. This time she was going up against Crimson Sashes. She was not going to be able to rely on her reputation to avoid this fight because the Crimson Sashes would do anything to kill one of their most formidable enemies. Leona prepared to fight when they spun around and confronted her.

    "Well, well, look who we have here!" One of them, a balding man with more than a bit of an expanding waistline, said to his colleagues.

    "If it isn't Leona Jarnefeldt herself!" Another one quipped.

    "If we kill her, we each get a promotion and a big Jewel reward!" A third spoke encouragement to his fellows, who drew their scimitars and advanced on her. Leona fired a Wind Burst that knocked down two, but the remaining three dodged it and closed in.

    The blonde flung her torch at one of them and took the chance to attack with a Wind Bullet as he shielded himself from the torch. The projectile hit and knocked him backwards as another rushed for her with arms outstretched. He slammed into her and made her drop her sword; she had to dodge scimitar attacks as she tried to get an opening to draw her Nightshade Machete. The same enemy punched her in the right eye and made her stagger backwards with a swollen eye.

    Leona leaned down and drew her knife, which she used to slash his arm when he reached out to grab her throat with his free hand. He screamed and Leona took the chance to hit him with a Mach Straight to the face, knocking him out. That left four more enemies to deal with. A second Crimson Sash rushed her after throwing a knife as a distraction; he closed in and tried to stab her, but she ducked under and tried to retaliate with a Lion's Tail Sweep which he deftly jumped over.

    "Your life ends here!" He bellowed.

    [Word Count: 1,000]
    [Total Word Count: 8,000/12,500]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

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

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Ten Wizard Saint Member- Rising Star- Guild Master- Neutral Guild Ace- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- Halloween Social - Halloween job event participant - Rich- Character Application Approved!- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- The Sacred- Senior [500] - Novice [250]- X-Mas Event Participant- Summer Special Participant- Player 
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    Experience : 752,217.5

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

    Re: Serving The Sultan

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt on 15th February 2019, 12:46 pm

    Leona faced down the determined opponent and knew that he was not going to quit fighting until she was dead or she killed him. The blonde was determined that it was not going to be she who lost this fight. However, that would be easier said than done because the Crimson Sash in front of her was avoiding everything she could throw at him. He deftly avoided every punch, every kick, and every spell that she used.

    "Go! Find the sword!" He told his teammates, who were standing by watching the fight. The bulky man looked like he wanted to join in and help his friend deal with Leona once and for all. The rest of the men turned to go find the sword.

    "I will delay her for as long as I can! Go now!" He urged them while ducking under a Mach Straight and trying to sweep her legs. Leona jumped over the sweep and kicked out with her right foot at the height of her jump. He easily blocked it and threw a spread of throwing knives that grazed her right shoulder where the Adaptable Armor did not protect.

    "But what about you?" The burly man asked, hesitation etched on his face.

    "What the master wants is more important than my life! Go, go while I can still delay her!" The man urged. He sidestepped a punch and hit back with a roundhouse kick to the side of her head, staggering the blonde and making her vision blur for a moment. The man hesitated and closed his eyes, then turned for the next hallway, where his colleagues stood motioning for him to hurry up.

    "We'll get the sword! The master will know of your sacrifice!" The big man yelled before running for his friends, who then disappeared down the hall and eventually went out of sight. Now it was just Leona and the exceptionally determined Crimson Sash member. He rushed at Leona with a dagger in his hand, lunging and grazing her right hip. Leona retaliated with her own knife, cutting him across the arm and causing blood to drip down it. The man took a nearby torch and burned it shut, facing her the whole time.

    "You won't leave this room alive!" He promised her before casting the torch aside. Leona looked into his brown eyes and saw that he meant it. It was no idle boast... this man was giving everything he had to slow her down and he was doing a very good job. Why was he fighting so hard for a group of murderous bandits?

    He rushed at her again with the dagger. Leona brought her knife up to meet it and the blades clashed, each combatant vying for all-important leverage. He brought up a leg to kick her in the chest and Leona used her own left leg to block the kick. They returned to the blade lock, which he broke by punching her in the face with his free hand.

    "Now I have you!" He declared while throwing another spread of knives. Leona felt knives graze her hip and right leg as she prepared for his next attack. He lunged in with his dagger and slashed at her throat, the blonde dodging it by mere inches. He continued to press the attack with a series of slashes that she blocked with her left Argent Glove. When he got close enough he tried to headbutt her, but she was ready with a Mach Uppercut that hit him under the chin and knocked him up into the air and to the ground.

    "Why are you fighting for them?" Leona blurted out a question. The Crimson Sash laughed at her and got up.

    "The sultans do not care for the desert people. They only care about their own comfort and power. They do nothing to help alleviate famines or bandit attacks yet demand our unconditional allegiance. That system needs to end." He answered firmly.

    "Killing desert villagers and attacking the sultan isn't the way to do it!" Leona argued.

    "I agree with the first point. The real problem is the sultan. He claims the desert as his own but he doesn't help the desert people. It's a system that needs to end." He said to her. He remained firm on the point that the sultan was the true source of Desierto's assorted woes.

    "I watched my home village be sacked by slavers. I watched my family and friends be carried away to the slave markets and the mighty sultans did not send their armies to help. As long as they are not affected, the sultans hardly lift a finger to help anyone outside their precious cities. Their complacency will be their undoing." He added. He picked up a discarded scimitar. Leona switched her knife over to her left hand and drew her Nightshade Machete with her right hand.

    "I will not live to see the master's plan come to fruition. Neither will you." He finished talking and brandished the curved sword. He rushed at her with the scimitar held high and swung it horizontally with all his might. Leona blocked it with her machete and hit back by stabbing him in the shoulder with her knife, drawing blood and a groan of pain. He retaliated with a punch to the face and a slash across her armor followed by a cut across her right leg.

    He rushed in to press the attack and Leona cut him across the chest with her machete. He ignored the slash and punched her in the face repeatedly as she stabbed him in the torso; the combatants had discarded all finesse and would simply trade blows until one of them fell in defeat. He knocked her knife away with his bare hands and grabbed her by the throat, picking her up and slamming her onto her back with all his might. Leona screamed in pain as she landed, dropping her machete.

    [Word Count: 1,000]
    [Total Word Count: 9,000/12,500]




    _____________________________________________________________________________________

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

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Ten Wizard Saint Member- Rising Star- Guild Master- Neutral Guild Ace- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- Halloween Social - Halloween job event participant - Rich- Character Application Approved!- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- The Sacred- Senior [500] - Novice [250]- X-Mas Event Participant- Summer Special Participant- Player 
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    Experience : 752,217.5

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

    Re: Serving The Sultan

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt on 15th February 2019, 2:00 pm

    Not willing to let this chance go to waste, the Crimson Sash jumped on top of Leona, wrapping his hands around her throat and slamming the back of her head against the floor as he strangled her. Leona stabbed at him blindly in a desperate attempt to remove her attacker, but he was ignoring the stabs and maintaining the choke hold. He was bleeding from multiple stab wounds to the chest but refused to let go for anything.

    Leona began punching him in the face, but he ignored those attacks in favor of strangling the life out of her. The blonde was running out of time and running out of oxygen. She stopped attacking his face and focused long enough to ram the blade of her knife into the side of his neck. That finally got him to release his hold, but only for a moment. She shoved him off of her and quickly rolled to her feet as he stood up.

    "Well... done." He said before collapsing and not moving again. Leona recovered her knife, machete, and Silver Longsword. She then looked at the man who had given her so much trouble before finally being taken down. He looked to be barely older than she was. Her thoughts turned to his words about his home and she wondered where it had been before it was destroyed.

    Leona then turned to face the exit and limped down the hall. Now she understood why he had went to so much trouble to attack her leg and hip. While he did not kill her, he had vowed to slow her down and he had kept that pledge. In between the delay brought on by fighting the Crimson Sash and the delay in pursuit due to her wounds, the remaining Crimson Sashes would have a good head start on her. Leona turned to look one last time at the fallen man and felt a twinge of regret for having to kill him.

    -In the next hallway-

    Ignoring her wounds, Leona pressed ahead because she had her own pledge to fulfill. She had pledged to the sultan that he would get the sword and she was going to follow through no matter what. However, it was slow going because of her leg and hip. The pain was slowing her down at a time when speed was of the utmost importance. The Crimson Sashes had been gifted a head start and they were likely doing everything in their power to widen the gap between them and their pursuer.

    Leona limped down the hallway and ignored the inscriptions of praise for the king's power and wealth. After a section of wall that was actually interesting to read came a section of wall that was quite boring and nothing the Silver Wolf mage had not already seen before. She continued on her way until she came across a square torchlit room with nine burned mummies and two dead Crimson Sashes members lying on the floor. Inside the room was nothing of interest except for the bodies and the torches lining the wall.

    To prepare for the possibility of fighting mummies somewhere up ahead, Leona grabbed a torch off of the wall before moving on. The presence of charred mummies indicated that more of them had to be active in the area. Leona left the room and entered the next hallway, which was lit by torches and flanked by stone statues of men armed with weapons, mostly curved swords. She recalled what had happened under the sands of Nebdoui and was wary of passing by any statues.

    -In the hallway-

    Leona drew her Silver Longsword and prepared to do battle with more statues, but the ancient artwork did not move at all. She noticed that their eyes were not gemstones like the ones from the last encounter, but that did not mean that they could not come to life with the right trigger. Leona watched where she was stepping on the way to the open door and made sure not to step on any strange tiles. The blonde held her breath as she proceeded with care, only taking a breath when she finally made it through the hall without awakening any of the stone guardians.

    -The next room-

    Leona found herself in a circular room that was full of open sarcophagi and burned mummies littering the floor. The Crimson Sashes had already been here and had cleaned house. That was fortunate for her because she needed to stop and rest... her leg was killing her. The blonde set down her backpack and brought out her healing supplies to treat her leg and hit before going any further. She treated the cuts with antibiotic ointment and wrapped the wounds with bandages, then put her supplies away and sat on the edge of an open sarcophagus to take the weight off of her legs for a minute before pressing on.

    After three minutes Leona forced herself to her feet and kept going, exiting the room and limping into the next hallway, which was filled with torches, inscriptions, and broken statues.

    -In the hallway-

    Leona looked at the shattered statues lying on the floor and concluded that the Crimson Sashes had taken the precaution of pushing every last statue to the floor, which was no mean feat because there were over two dozen of them lying in pieces. She kept going through the room and read the inscriptions, which boasted of the treasure that King Saarghon had stored over the years.

    "His wealth is beyond measure."

    "Jewels, gemstones, and tribute from across the desert gather in the king's vaults."

    Leona saw a scene of men bearing chests full of said valuables into a temple at the base of a pyramid with a golden top surrounded by a white wall. Most of the treasures had to be at Nevineh. According to the translated book, the ancient capital city was located at the exact center of Desierto.

    [Word Count: 1,000]
    [Total Word Count: 10,000/12,500]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

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

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Ten Wizard Saint Member- Rising Star- Guild Master- Neutral Guild Ace- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- Halloween Social - Halloween job event participant - Rich- Character Application Approved!- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- The Sacred- Senior [500] - Novice [250]- X-Mas Event Participant- Summer Special Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Nemean Lion
    Position : Saint of Courage
    Posts : 967
    Guild : Silver Wolf [Guild Master]
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
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    Experience : 752,217.5

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

    Re: Serving The Sultan

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt on 15th February 2019, 3:09 pm

    While knowing the location of the ancient capital was useful for some background history into the place, that knowledge was not going to help Leona right now because she needed to recover the sword before the Crimson Sashes could get away with it and take it to their boss. All she knew was that the sword was called "Sand-Splitter" and that it could control the desert sands, but only if its wielder was a mage. Leona had overheard the bandits near the entrance talking about how their employer was a Sand Mage, so he had what it took to use the blade's power. All he needed to do was get control of it and all of Desierto would be at his mercy. Leona could not let that happen.

    She turned away from the scene of the treasure being carried and turned back to the hall in front of her, which led to another staircase that went down. Leona groaned because in her condition stairs would not be very easy to traverse, but her comfort came second to the mission. She had to catch up with the Crimson Sashes before they got to Sand-Splitter and take it from them if they had already claimed the weapon. The blonde entered the room and walked down the stairs, groaning with each step on the unforgiving stone.

    -Down the stairs-

    Leona had just stepped off of the stairs when she saw two figures on the floor ahead. As she walked closer she could see them easier... she saw that they were two more of the Crimson Sashes who had fled deeper into the temple. Their throats had distinct hand marks where they had been strangled to death, but she did not see any open sarcophagi or burned mummies anywhere up ahead. She did not think that the overweight man would turn on his teammates in such a dangerous place, but greed made people do dumb things at the worst possible time. She walked past the corpses and continued into the large rectangular chamber that stretched to another doorway featuring outstretched wings etched above the doorframe. She wondered when she would reach the end and be able to confront the last Crimson Sash from the party that had gone ahead of her.

    Leona recalled one of them mentioning something about "forces up ahead" but did not know how many men were part of this force. She might have to face down a small army of men to get the weapon, but she could not let them deliver Sand-Splitter to their boss. Leona would be in for a rough fight because she was hurt from the earlier duel and could not maneuver as well as she could without the wounds. She would use her summons to level the playing field when push came to shove. Sky Champion Rafale proved his worth in the last subterranean adventure, so she would be sure to call him in first if a fight broke out.

    The ceiling was high enough to allow Leona's harpies to use their wings to their advantage. That was a good thing because in her current condition she would need all the help she could get in a fight against multiple opponents. Her aching leg forced her to pause for another break when she could ill afford to take one. Leona kept a watch on the hallway as she slowly recovered the strength needed to press on.

    Leona summoned her three harpies and knelt down because her leg began to hurt.

    "Hey girl- you've seen better days, Leona!" Sylvia exclaimed. Daphne sighed in audible frustration.

    "Like, duh! Just look at her face! It looks like someone played patty-cake with it!" Daphne blurted out with no tact whatsoever. Sandy glared at her sister.

    "If you're not careful with what you say, Leona will be glad to play patty-cake with your face, Daphne." The brown-haired harpy snarked at her dark-haired sister. Daphne folded her arms and stuck her tongue out.

    "You're such a goody two-shoes, Sandy." Daphne shot back. Leona frowned at the verbal sparring match developing in front of her.

    "What do you need?" Sylvia asked.

    "Do you mind giving me a lift?" Leona inquired.

    "We've got you, girl. Just hang on!" Sylvia said before putting her clawed hands around Leona's waist and lifting off. Leona took a deep breath as she went airborne and the harpies started moving forward. Even after all this time she was still wary of flying. At least she was not putting pressure on her hurting leg this way. Apprehension about flight was a small price to pay for faster and less painful travel.

    The quartet flew through the room and Sylvia carefully guided Leona through the large doorway without any issues except for a brief scare when Sylvia's head almost hit the top of the doorframe. They made it through and passed into the next room, which was the same except for the addition of columns emblazoned with Court Heiromesh inscriptions to their very top. It was yet another room full of praise for King Saarghon and his unification of Desierto during his reign of one hundred years. Leona blinked when she saw that.

    How could he live to be one hundred years old? She recalled reading where his kingdom crumbled because he was too busy trying to find a path to immortality instead of governing. The book never said whether the king succeeded in attaining immortality or not. That led the blonde to wonder whether he succeeded but kept it quiet to keep others from duplicating the feat or he failed and died somewhere else while scheming to rebuild his kingdom.

    "Hey Leona, like, there's a bunch of dudes with bad fashion sense below us." Daphne alerted her mistress to the presence of other people below them. Leona got a good look at the people and spotted fifteen Crimson Sashes below.

    [Word Count: 1,000]
    [Total Word Count: 11,000/12,500]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

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

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Ten Wizard Saint Member- Rising Star- Guild Master- Neutral Guild Ace- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- Halloween Social - Halloween job event participant - Rich- Character Application Approved!- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- The Sacred- Senior [500] - Novice [250]- X-Mas Event Participant- Summer Special Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Nemean Lion
    Position : Saint of Courage
    Posts : 967
    Guild : Silver Wolf [Guild Master]
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Mentor : N/A
    Experience : 752,217.5

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

    Re: Serving The Sultan

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt on 15th February 2019, 4:35 pm

    Leona sighed as she spotted the enemies gathering below. They had spotted her and were shouting angry curses at their old enemy. Leona had no choice but to engage them because the burly man in the middle had Sand-Splitter in his hands. She needed that sword and would not stop until she had it firmly in her clutches.

    "Set me down in front of them and guard the door. Don't let any of them escape, especially the one with the curved golden sword!" Leona telepathically instructed her harpies.

    "OK..." Sylvia replied as she began to slowly descend and lower Leona to the floor just in front of the bandits. Once Leona's feet had touched the ground, the winged trio flew off to the door and hovered just above it, daring any of the Crimson Sashes to run the gauntlet of talons waiting for them. Now to call in one of her most powerful summons.

    "Sky Champion Summon!" Leona thought. Moments later the green-clad man with the winged helmet appeared before her and brandished his weapons.

    "Leona, it is good to see that your last mission succeeded. I am ready to serve once again." He assured her.

    "We can take her no matter how many creatures she summons! C'mon guys!" The burly man ordered while waving Sand-Splitter in her direction. Leona had a response to the threat of fifteen sword-wielding men about to rush her. She faced them and then used her Daunting Roar ability to project a barely visible cone of sound that emanated from her mouth and enveloped nine of the waiting men. The afflicted men panicked and refused to move forward.

    "Let's get outta here!" One of them shouted. The nine men rushed past Leona and ran right into the waiting talons of the three harpies, who dutifully harassed them to keep them focused on running and not on turning around to fight. The retreating bandits did not even attempt to fight back because they were so focused on getting away from the blonde mage. The burly man with Sand-Splitter groaned in rage.

    "COWARDS! I'LL HAVE YOU PUNISHED FOR THIS!" He bellowed angrily at the fleeing men. Leona faced the remaining six Crimson Sashes with Rafale at her side. These odds were a lot easier for her to manage.

    "Get her!" The leader ordered. The five men who still had courage enough to attack did, rushing at Leona in unison.

    "You know what to do." Leona said to Rafale. He nodded and flew at the men with blinding speed, cutting through their metal weapons using his energy blades. Leona followed behind her summon and began using her fists to knock them out. The bandits attempted to fight back with their bare hands, but the blonde ducked their attacks and hit back with her own. A Mach Jab to the face followed by a Mach Straight to the chest knocked one man down and left four more enemies to contend with. Two men attempted to attack her at once, but Rafale intervened and slammed into one of them, knocking him out with the impact of the collision. The burly leader took a step back and began to sweat as his remaining two followers raced to the attack.

    Leona took a kick to her right leg and she buckled under the impact. She tried to fight from one knee but was at a disadvantage because the two men were in better shape and were determined to bring her down. The sword-carrying leader tried to use the blonde's injuries to his advantage by making a run for it while she was unable to pursue, but she spotted him.

    "Get that man! Don't let him get away with the sword!" Leona instructed her harpies as Rafale slammed into another attacker, knocking him to the floor and sending him rolling backwards for two full rotations before he came to a halt. Leona got enough breathing room to aim and fire a Wind Bullet at her second attacker, sending him flying backwards and landing on his back. The three harpies dove on the leader and began harassing him while their mistress dealt with the last of his lackeys.

    "Stop it! Stop!" The leader ordered ineffectually while feebly swinging Sand-Splitter at the harpies who were clawing at him with their talons. Leona and Rafale knocked out the last of the bandits and began to walk towards the overweight man as he ran for a doorway into another room.

    "Get in front of him!" Leona ordered telepathically. The harpies flew up and sped to the doorway, landing right in front of the startled man. Leona had to limp to the man with the help of Rafale, who had put away one of his weapons and was supporting his mistress on his left shoulder.

    The burly bandit looked towards the harpies and towards Leona, then back to the harpies. They were not moving for anything and he knew it. He was trapped between the blonde and her summons. The sweat on his forehead poured as Leona limped towards him. He raised the sword as if going to attack but then lowered it.

    "You want the sword? HERE, TAKE IT!" He yelled, throwing the weapon at Leona. The startled blonde recoiled as Rafale caught it with one hand and the man started to run for the unguarded door. The harpies were about to take wing when Leona raised a hand for them to stop.

    "Let him go. He's beaten." Leona said to them. The man paused in the doorway and turned to shout at her.

    "I don't care how long it takes, but I'll make you pay for what you did to my men! You'll pay for killing my younger brother!" He shouted at her before turning around to make good his escape. Leona had the sword. It was time to go.

    [Word Count: 1,000]
    [Total Word Count: 12,000/12,500]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

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

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Ten Wizard Saint Member- Rising Star- Guild Master- Neutral Guild Ace- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- Halloween Social - Halloween job event participant - Rich- Character Application Approved!- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- The Sacred- Senior [500] - Novice [250]- X-Mas Event Participant- Summer Special Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Nemean Lion
    Position : Saint of Courage
    Posts : 967
    Guild : Silver Wolf [Guild Master]
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Mentor : N/A
    Experience : 752,217.5

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

    Re: Serving The Sultan

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt on 15th February 2019, 5:03 pm

    -In the sultan's court, twelve hours later-

    Having left her weapons and backpack with the guards, Leona was once again in the royal court in the company of Khalid the vizier and the sultan's numerous courtiers. She bowed to the sultan and waited until she was given permission to approach the throne, then she walked up the stairs and knelt before the sultan to give him Sand-Splitter. He clapped his hands together and reached for the ancient weapon.

    "Well done, Leona Jarnefeldt. You've succeeded in the task that I had set for you. Tell me, what's become of the archaeological team I had supported?" The sultan asked while taking the sword into his hands.

    "The archaeological team is dead, Your Highness. Bandits killed them and took over the site. I had to go into the cave to fight them to retrieve the weapon." Leona informed him. He frowned for a moment and looked at Leona.

    "It's a pity. At least their work was not in vain. I have King Saarghon's sword and here it will stay as part of my collection of antiquities." He said to her. The blonde was hesitant to leave without speaking again. The sultan picked up on that and spoke to her.

    "Have you anything else to report?" The sultan asked Leona.

    "Yes, Your Highness. The sword's magical. It can control the sands of Desierto, but only if a mage holds it." Leona informed him. She was not sure which was the bigger risk... lying to the sultan or telling him about Sand-Splitter's real power. She opted to tell the truth so that he might be able to secure it from bandits. Hopefully he would not be tempted to use it as a weapon against his enemies, real or imagined.

    "My personal research has already told me such, but thank you for that information. I'll make certain that my best and most trustworthy men guard it day and night." He assured her. He then clapped his hands twice and a teenaged female servant in white robes and a white face veil emerged from the wings holding a golden tray with a large bag of Jewels balanced upon it. The young woman then walked over to Leona and presented the bag on the tray to her.

    "You have served me well, Leona Jarnefeldt. Take those Jewels as a token of my favor. I will have more work for you in the future." The sultan said with a pleased tone of voice. Leona reached out and took the bag into both hands.

    "Thank you, Your Highness." Leona thanked him for the sizable payment.

    "You may go, Leona Jarnefeldt." He said to her. Leona bowed to him and walked backwards down the stairs, not daring to turn her back to him until she reached the bottom. She bowed one last time and then departed the room while being escorted by the vizier.

    -Outside the palace-

    "Well done, Miss Jarnefeldt. You have served His Highness well." Khalid said in a tone of voice that resembled approval. Leona shouldered her backpack and reclaimed her weapons from the guards.

    "Thank you." Leona said to the man as she put away the last of her weapons.

    "I too am pleased with your performance on the task. You carried it out quickly and without delay. You also did not let adverse conditions stop you from succeeding. The sultan needs more people with your qualities." The vizier continued to sort-of praise the blonde.

    "Thank you." Leona repeated her thanks for the kind words.

    "The sultan may entrust you with more important tasks in the future. I look forward to seeing how you handle them. Should you continue to perform well, the sultan generously rewards those who earn his favor." Khalid put special emphasis on the last part, presumably to entice Leona into doing more work in the future.

    "If His Highness has any more work for me, I'll gladly take it." Leona assured the vizier. He put his hands together and gave something almost like a small smile.

    "Good. Now I have other matters to attend to. I bid you farewell." The vizier said to her before turning around and entering the palace. Leona called out her Winged Lion, slowly climbed onto his back, and took flight for Nebdoui. Leona was going to her home village to spend the night and heal her wounds. She had achieved another victory for herself and Silver Wolf.

    [Word Count: 752]
    [Total Word Count: 12,752/12,500]



    _____________________________________________________________________________________

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

      Current date/time is 22nd February 2019, 9:49 am