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Hall of the Twelve (Open RP)

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With great effort Aldeus managed to pull open one of the grand double doors to the Hall of the Twelve just enough to slip through.  He'd always loathed those doors, but their great weight was made doubly so by exhaustion. For a considerable amount of time he'd been maintaining the headquarters of the Knights of the Twelve while waiting for others to join him after the catastrophe at Carteneau.  But none had returned.  To make matters worse, he'd accidentally offended one of Ul'dah's nobles, and they were using leverage over the Brass Blades to get him evicted. Every week there was a new tax, and the coffers had now run dry.  Aldeus spent every waking moment working odd jobs to keep the Hall open, and by the end of each day he was drained.  Aldeus closed the door behind him, then crumpled into a heap on the floor.  He heard the sound of talons clattering towards him, then something warm nudging his shoulder.


"I'm resting Lysander, leave me alone."


"Kwee," replied the chocobo.  With its beak it clamped down on the back of Aldeus' tunic and pulled him further inside.


"All right, I'll get up."  Aldeus brushed Lysander's beak away and climbed to his feet.  He stroked the bird's neck.  Feeding a chocobo wasn't cheap, but Lysander was the closest thing to family that he had.  He'd sell himself before parting with his loyal companion.  "So, what did youdo today?" he asked as the bird walked with him further into the hall.

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Isielin espied the dirt-caked, faded, sign outside the hall with a wary, inward groan. She had traveled far, and endured much, just to find this place, only to find it in such a state of disrepair as to suggest abandonment.


Surely, there had to be someone inside?


She cocked her head to one side and whacked her long, Elezen ear with a gloved hand. Dust, sand, silt; microscopic granular torture sifted off her in a lazy cloud. Her ride through the desert left her feeling grimy; she gritted her teeth and felt more sand pop between the molars. Why on earth would anyone live in the middle of so... much... sand?


She hoisted herself off the back of her chocobo and left it tied up outside. It woudn't hurt to poke her head inside, if only to cool off in the shade until ready to ride again. Sweat dripped off her brow from the desert heat, and she could smell her own stench. With a sniff, her head held erect, and stiff leg muscles groaning from the lengthy ride, she strode up the steps and with as much dignity as she could muster and gripped the door with both hands and gave a tug.


Several moments later, she was still pulling.


By the gods who creates doors like this? she wondered, better yet, who USES doors like this?


Frustrated, thirsty, and tired, she resorted to the best course of action when face when an unmovable hurdle. She kicked the door as hard as she could. A heavy, echoing clan resounded through the hall, followed moments later by a wild, savage cry;


"By Nophica's scythe! I hate sand, I hate hot weather, and I hate stupid - impossible - obnoxious doors!"

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Aldeus stopped and looked back to the door.  "If I didn't know better, I'd say someone was knocking," he said to Lysander.  He walked back to the entrace, and with the help of his chocobo pushed the door open.  Standing outside was a thuroughly dishevled elezen woman cursing under her breath.  "Can I help you?"

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A bit taken aback, Isielin paused a moment to pluck a strand of silver-white hair from her brow.


"Ah... uh..." she stammered, searching for words her parched throat refused to cough up. A coughing fit ensued instead, which seemed to spook the chocobo poking his head around the door.


She pounded her chest until the fit subsided. Reaching into her jerkin, she withdrew the letter she had found several weeks ago; worn and tattered as it was.


"I came because-" the coughed returned, strangling her words, flooding her mouth with the dry, arid atmosphere, "wa...ter," she rasped.

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"Please come in," Aldeus said as he guided the woman inside.  "Wait right here."  Aldeus left his visitor with Lysander as he ran through the Atrium to a courtyard with a well.  He tied a rope to the handle of an old wooden bucket and threw it in.  When he heard a slash he hoisted it back up.  With water in hand he ran back to the woman as quickly as he could without spilling the water.  When he returned she was sitting by the door, wheezing like someone who'd taken an arrow in the lung.  Aldeus knelt at her side and set down the bucket.  He realized he didn't have anything to drink from, but the woman instinctively put her whole head into the water.  "Don't drink too fast or you'll get a stomach ache..."


While the woman quenched her thirst Aldeus looked at the letter she'd been waving.  She'd set it down to drink, so he picked it up to take a look.  It was one of dozens of missives he'd sent out to various wealthy lords who had donated to the Knights in the past.  No one had ever gotten back to him.  He'd assumed they didn't want to waste their influence or money on a defunct order.  The fact that this scruffy woman had one of the letters suggested the courier had run into some sort of complication.  


When she finally took her head out of the bucket Aldeus tapped her shoulder.  "Excuse me miss, but who are you and how did you come by this letter?"

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Isielin gripped the sides of the bucket, a wild look in her eye as she swung her gaze in his direction; strands of hair dripped water all around her in a circle. She gasped, panting heavily until her breath returned.


She... shouldn't have done that. How debase she must look like this, reduced to the instincts of an animal...


She cleared her throat and stood. With a sweep she swung the bulk of her long hair behind her. If the man before her was bothered by the water droplets she had just sprayed into his face, he didn't show it; instead, he seemed to exude genuine concern and interest. With a deep breath she drew herself upright;


"I am Isielin Danar'i, from the city-state Gridania and the Twelvewoods. I have come...," she paused, and frowned. "I don't know why I have come. I saw the letter by the side of the road, half buried in the dirt, and- there was just something about those words - something that led me here..."


She shook her head.


"I have heard these words before. I am sure of it. When and how I know not- I dislike mysteries, so I came to find an answer to it."

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"Well Isielin Danar'i, I'm Aldeus and it's a pleasure to meet you."  Aldeus bowed as he was taught, to show respect to others.  "If you're looking to solve a mystery, I'll certainly do what I can to help.  We had a chapter in Gridania about twenty-five years ago, but it disbanded.  Some of our members went to Ala Mhigo, others came here.  Some quit.  I don't know if that's the answer your looking for, but it might explain why you're familiar with the order."

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Isielin put a hand to her mouth, and muttered a name under her breath. She shook off her pensive reverie, and bowed her head in mutual respect.


"Apologies, Sir Aldeus; what a curious sight I must have made coming in here. I am unaccustomed to the harsh terrain of the desert. Tell me, if you would, about these Knights, for it was not the words alone that interested me, but also the meaning behind them."

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Aldeus smiled faintly at the use of the word Sir. It had been some time since he'd been called such. The work he did these days usually had him refered to as "boy", "you boy", and before he'd cut his hair, "girl". "I foresee this conversation having a lot of follow up questions. Why don't you get something to eat and have a good night's sleep first. We can start fresh in the morning. I'd offer you a bath as well, but we don't have any wood to burn and the water would be cold as ice."


Aldeus beckoned the woman to follow him as he turned away and headed deeper into the Hall with Lysander at his side. He kept close to the bird to share its heat. The desert turned cold after sundown, and the last rays of light were beginning to fade.  He led Isielin down a maze of hallways to a private room in the barracks.  Inside was a bed, a few of his personal effects laid on a desk, and splintering dresser.  With only starlight and memory to guide him he made his way to the only candle in the room and struck a match to light it.  "Make yourself at home.  I'll get you something to eat."



((Feel free to show up anyone who's interested in joining in!))

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((Yes all, please do jump in! We don't bite, though the chocobos might! If it makes it any easier; I know nothing of the lore, and have huge gaps in my char's backstory, so I'm just learning as I go and hanging on for the ride :P I'll even write an 'in' to give someone an opportunity to jump in ^^))


While Aldeus went to scrounge for food, Isielin puttered around the room. She shivered, and rubbed her arms with her hands.




If it was this cold indoors, what must it be like outside? With a determined nod, she headed out the door, back through the myriad hallways. If there were two things that didn't phase her, it was darkness and new places Even as a girl, she had excelled at tracking; under the tutelage of one Nigel Greenleaf, she had learned orienteering and scouting too; being lost was something that happened to other people.


While passing by a cracked, grime-covered window, she happened to glance outside, and spotted what she was looking for. She hurried outside, after a few moment's struggle at the door.


"Waaarkk?" Sadie blinked sleepily at Isielin's approach.


Isielin made shushing sounds, and ran her hands through the bird's head feathers. She untied

the faithful steed, and led her around the building, to the stables she had recently spied. Like most of the compound, the stables were in a state of heavy disrepair. The roof was caved in on

one end, and the hay was... old.

She sighed, and continued stroking the bird's feathers, while she fed her with rations from the

saddle pack. Once fed, she led Sadie to the cleanest stall, and unpacked her own bedroll to throw over the bird's shoulders.

"This is nothing like I expected it to be Sades," Isielin sighed. "I mean... just look at it, it's a dump! And there's nothing but sand for miles... there's so much work to be done. Aldeus seems nice," she finished with a shrug.


Suddenly, she stiffened. Outside the compound, coming down the road, was a light. Was somebody headed in their direction?

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Eagle Windstalker a celtic highlander starts to walk up the path and stops for a drink of water.


A reflection in the water shows a young man with the weight of the world on his shoulders. His left eye scarred a straight line down his eye to his cheek from a ritual that has left its color white a big difference from his right blue eye.


His left face has white tribal markings to match his white eye.


Thinking to himself he let his mind wander to that moment he left his villiage and that brief moment of pain flashed and brought him back to the now.


"I have no time for this." Muttering to himself.


Eagle then stood up and walked up the path with his torch in hand. 


"Maybe I will get lucky and someone will need some help. Anything to get my mind of of things."  ....Because one thing that always calmed the mind of Eagle was battle.

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Isielin heard the crunch of dirt underfoot as the light grew closer. She slunk stealthily around the edge of the building, to a shadowy spot that perfectly hid her while giving her a good view of the road. She reached down and withdrew a knife from her boot.


The only thing she knew about Ul'dah was it was famed for its wealth. And where there was wealth; brigands usually flourished too.


When the dim silhouette carrying the torch passed by her, she stepped onto the path;


"Who goes there?" she called.

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Eagle stopped after hearing a voice speaking out, keeping the torch between him and where the voice seemed to be coming from (an old ninjutsu trick he learned to keep face hidden and eyes adjusted to the dark) he responded


"aye, it is Eagle a travler from the mountains." 


He thought of this and smirked he knew even less about himself than probably the stranger did.


"And who might that be?" Eagle asked in a calm manner.

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Isielin drummed her fingers along her leg, thinking.


Just what the hell was she doing, anyway? This wasn't Gridania, where outsiders usually were there on suspicious terms; this was an open city of trade, where all were allowed to roam freely.


She had to admit she was reverted to old habits. In a smooth motion she hoped made it look like she was stretching, she resheathed the blade, and stood up.


"I am Isielin," she gave a formal bow. "I- just arrived here a short time ago. I was seeking a man in this buil- Oh!" her face suddenly grew alarmed. "Aldeus! He must be wondering where I went off to!"

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Eagle returned the formal bow


"Greetings Isielin." Eagle replied.



Eagle thought to himself about mentioning the Stretch but decided against it. Being a seasoned arena fighter of course I'd notice a hidden blade but if she took the time to hide that she was putting it away then she at least was offering a friendly gesture.



"Aldeus, I have heard that name alot whilst passing through the town."

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((Meanwhile, at the Hall of Justice the Twelve))


"Kwee," Lysander said while perched outside the door to the kitchen.  He was too large to get inside.


"You always give the same advice.  I don't know why I ask you these questions," Aldeus said as he rummaged through the pantry.  It was slim pickings.  Three corn meal cakes wrapped in cheese cloth.  A quarter of a sack of rice with a hole in the corner that suggested mice had been pilfering from it.  And a bottle of wine that belonged to the High Templar that he didn't have the courage to drink himself.  "I can't give her the mouse rice, she could get sick.  Corn cakes it is."  Aldeus unwrapped the cakes and the scent immediatly sent a shock of pain through his stomach.  He was ravenously hungry.  But honor demanded that he feed his guest first, and the code stated that no master should be obeyed before honor.  Not even his stomach.  Then again the code also said that he shouldn't needlessly harm himself.  "Damn contradictory code.  I wish the High Templar was here."




Aldeus turned to face Lysander.  "You're right.  I know you are.  They aren't coming back.  But I can't stop hoping."




"Don't be vulgar."  Aldeus put the corn meal cakes on a tray along with two cups of water and headed back to his bedroom.

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As Aldeus turns to the kitchen door to leave towards his bedroom he would notice a young man standing in the door way. The man carries a great axe on his back and wears red chest plate, the plate as red as his short hair. He begins to speak...


"You know, if this is how this Knights of Twelve treat their kitchen, I might have to reconsider joining you."

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((Back outside the Carnegie Hall))


"Yes he is the owner of this building, which was once a guildhall, if I'm not mistaken," Isielin said to Eagle. "He is the reason I have traveled to this gods-forsaken sandpit. Well... not him exactly, since we've never met before today, but-"


Realizing she was prattling without direction, she abruptly stopped, and cleared her throat. She still felt guilty for assuming him a criminal, and wished to make amends;


"Eagle, was it? A curious name. You know, amongst my clan I was known as the falcon. A nickname, due to my spirit animal. I wonder if it is not the same with you? But I shouldn't pry," she shook her head, "and I SHOULD return to my host. Do you wish to come? It is not my place to offer hospitality, though I do get the impression he wouldn't mind."

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((To Aldeus))



The man begins to chuckle slightly, as if frightening the man struck him humourous.


"Hehe, no I am not with the.... huh... Brass Bricks or whatever you called them, I am hear to possibly join the Knights. I come from Limsa where an Order such as this might be of use to me. I see you could also use a good cook."


He begins to walk around the kitchen, examining everything around it. After a few moments pass he begins to clean up and puts things away, cleaning the place up.


"One of my biggest pet peeves, dirty kitchens."

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Amongst Isielin's ramblings hides some wisdom.



Eagle a little taken aback by her statements seemed to open up alittle.



"Why yes in my clan there was seven of use chosen as babys to be trained and were named after our spirit animals and elements. I have a connection to wind hince my family name. I do not know my family nor anything of this place I was raised to train hand to hand, and use my spirit animal and wind element to help those in need and bring peace to those around me." 



Eagle stopped there and found it might be fate to run into a Falcon spirit animal as his brother in the 7 was also a Falcon, there was Eagle, Tiger, Wolf, Falcon, Cat, Snake, and Raven. Perhaps this is a sign to stop here.



"I will go with you and introduce myself to this Aldeus." Eagle said to Isielin with a bow of his head.

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Aldeus looked to Lysander who looked back at him.  "Well, mister... whoever you are from Limsa Lominsa, my name is Aldeus, and I welcome you.  I'm not sure how long you'd like to stay though.  I'm the only one here.  Everyone else is missing."




"Or," Aldeus sighed, "more likely deceased."


The man didn't seem to be paying much attention, being more focused on the depleted kitchen than the order's depleted ranks.  "I apologize for the mess.  I don't have enough time to clean this place anymore.  I spend it all working to pay the property taxes."

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"The names Eadmund."


He turns to Aldeus and just gives a big smile. "It's settled then, I am the new cook. I will help fill the coffers for rent and cook the meals while you of course.... ", his smile turns more devoius that friendly now, "you owe me a favor.


With all that said he goes back to cleaning the kitchen, you may notice him pulling out many spices and cooking tools out of his pack and begins to put those away as well.

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After watching her struggle a few moments, Eagle was polite enough to open the door. Isielin led the way from there, talking in a solemn, serious tone.


"I too, am of the wind element; were it not for my clan being wholly in Matron Nophica's territory, I would follow the way of the Wanderer, Oschon, god of wind. As is, I devote most of my spiritual studies to Mother Nophica, but still make time to thank Oschon for his protection during my travels."


The hallways they wandered through were dusty and dark. She didn't know why, but she found herself feeling almost apologetic about this.


"This place has seen better days, I'm sure," she remarked. "I have half a mind to start rebuilding the stables tomorro-"


She trailed off as they entered the kitchen. She had been about to make introductions, but was brought up short by the other new arrival. With a polite cough, she lifted her chin high, and spoke;


"Sir Aldeus, this here is Eagle, a traveler I met outside. Who, then, is this?"


((yay we're all in the same room now xD that was getting confusing))

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"A knight does not exchange in favors.  He gives freely and relies on others to do the same.  It's in the code.  If you'd like to join you need to know it."  Aldeus watched as Eadmund pulled ingredients from his bag and his stomach began to lay siege to his thoughts.  "And there are vowes that need to be taken.  And..."Eadmund removed prepared foods from his bag.  "We can cover that later though.  I'm sure it's fine.  Welcome aboard."


Isielin entered and momentarily took his attention from the food. "Oh, miss Iseielin, hello. This is Eadmund. He comes from Limsa Lominsa, likes to cook, and... has an axe. There, now you're up to speed. Eadmund, this is Isielin. She's from Gridania and... gets very thirsty. And with her is Eagle, who you know as much about as I do." Aldeus was a little overwhelmed by all of the people who'd suddenly shown up, but he was thankful for the company. Even if it was heavily armed company.

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