­Knight to E-5

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Entry 3002 (25/02/11 01:49) 25/02/11 01:46
The horse's hooves beat heavily on the grass as the rider approached the edge of the glade. Sierra was at a full gallop, but her master's heels relentlessly kicked into the horse's sides. This sense of urgency was an unfamiliar burden to the horse, but her normally kind caregiver was being abnormally unforgiving today. The grass ended and the two were tearing down a windy trail. Clouds of dust were spread through the air and the wisps of another mare's tail flicked around the edge of every curve. We're gaining, the young woman thought to herself.

Diana wasn't armed, but that was no deterrent to the girl. She cried out, "If you don't stop now, you had better never stop, because I'm coming for you!" Her hair whipped wildly behind her. The girl was furious, maybe more furious at herself than the thief, but today she had enough fury for the both of them. Her white knuckles squeezed the horses reigns as she gained on the rider.

The slender man in a loose hooded cloak was now panicked. The young woman had already nearly pulled him off his horse once, as was evident by the large tear in his hood, and now there was only a meter between them. In a sudden flood of light, the trail opened up bringing them onto a larger dirt road. The slender man turned to see Diana reaching out for the tail of his cloak. In a brash move, he twisted to pull it from her reach, but Diana was too quick, too determined. With all her strength she yanked the rains of her horse back bringing Sierra to a full stop.

 The cloak tore free of the slender thief.
 
Entry 3003 25/02/11 02:00
The sound of a single horse galloping suddenly magnified as a host of riders sped past Diana, almost knocking her off her horse. Their horses were magnificent and broad, though a little dirty from trekking through the mountain paths. The path turned and dipped downward, passing to Diana's left on a lower road where she could see what was going on. By the time the thief realised he was being chased by so many horses, they had caught up to him with frightening speed. The one leading white horse caught up with the thief and the rider literally leapt off his horse and tackled the thief to the ground. The thief's horse, somewhat confused, swerved a little but kept up a strong gallop until it was out of sight. The other riders stopped and surrounded the thief. 

Only the man who had jumped off his horse was holding the battered thief against the cliff face. They all glanced up at the young lady on the high high, waiting for her to ride down to meet them. 
 
Entry 3006 25/02/11 02:35
Diana rode down with significantly more restraint, which Sierra seemed to appreciate. The young woman dismounted her horse and approached the man holding the thief at the precipice. She gave the leader a gentle nod before leaning forward and snatching a bag from the thief's waist. For a brief moment, she considered claiming his purse as well.

"I cannot thank you men enough," She said as her hand left a red mark across the thief's face. "I truly am in your debt." Diana offered them a slight curtsy, a rare sight from the girl. As she restored her posture, in a fluid motion she tucked the bag in her waistband where it was now obscured by her skirt.

"To whom do I owe this pleasure?" she directed toward the leader.
 
Entry 3007 25/02/11 02:40
There was silence as they looked at one another from beneath their drawn hoods. The one holding the thief was an old man with great strength. There were two more men on horses and the fourth rider was more of a boy. They did not speak for several akward minutes. 

"Names are not important," the boy finally said. "Would you please end the life of this filthy wretch?" he said to the man at the cliff. "But do use your sword; do it cleanly."

The old man nodded and drew his sword. It clearly had the ingsignia of Phedailin on it -- the king's province. He looked to Diana. "Please look away, milady." He also paused in case she would object. Nobody noticed the thief squirming and groveling. 
 
Entry 3009 (25/02/11 03:00) 25/02/11 02:58
Diana hesitated. It was readily clear that the woman recognized the insignia, but that did not seem to tame her tongue.

"To kill a man so quickly, pardon me for saying, but that seems a rather harsh for theft." She looked up to the young man with her head tilted in a sign of respect. "I am no fan of this individual, and certainly part of me would like to see him fall here and now, but you seem to desire to end him out of convenience rather than justice. Would you not see him to the nearest town where he can receive a more appropriate punishment?" She took a moment of consideration before continuing, "If you would bind him, I would see to it myself." 
 
Entry 3010 25/02/11 03:07
"You do not have the authority to request such a thing. Do you even have any authority at all? I mean, look at you. A mountain girl with a pony." Alexios laughed at her. 

"Highness!" scolded one of the others, a man with a short, neat black beard and dark eyes. "You are out of line. We have urgent business. Leave the thief and the lady can transport him herself. We must keep moving."

"Yet again you destroy any ounce of fun I manage to find," the apparently noble boy replied. He bowed his head at Diana. "It was just a joke, milady. I wouldn't think to so crudely end the life of a man who may actually be innocent. Release him, Sir Talius. Did you not even consider that I was joking?"

With an annoyed grunt, Sir Talius released the thief and threw him to the ground. 

"Now, milady," the boy said. "Would you be so kind as to explain which way it is to Teluel? I know we are close but we cannot navigate these roads for our lives."
 
Entry 3012 25/02/11 03:22
Rather put out, Diana firmly remounted her horse making Sierra well aware of what was to come. "Teluel is this way," she gestured with her reigns, "but I have no doubt if left to your own devices these roads would lead you all the way to Heaven's Peak," she jabbed at the prince with her words.

"Let's see if your big horses can keep up with this pony then." With hard kick of her heels, Sieera burst into a full gallop. Although the gesture seemed headstrong, Teluel was already her destination. More importantly, Diana had no desire to be left alone with the unbound thief. 
 
Entry 3013 25/02/11 03:31
"Milady, I don't advise...!" The man with the beard stopped when he realised she was too far to hear them. 

Without another moment's hesitation, the four of them began to chase her. At first they were only following a faint trail of dust, but eventually they caught sight of her. The path grew steeper and more rocky as they went down the road. It began to get quite dangerous as they passed several carts and other riders at high speeds. 

"Milady!" two of them called out, but she did not hear them for she was too far ahead. 

Overhead, they saw a Leotian watchtower. They slowed their gallop. Then they turned round a cliff and saw the gates of a large town ahead. They came to a complete stop and backed away so that they were out of sight. They found an inconspicuous position between some boulders, so that they wouldn't look too awkward to passerbys. They all dismounted and began to talk amongst themselves, not expecting the young lady to return for them.[1]
 
Entry 3014 01/03/11 03:14
Upon reaching the gate, Diana turned her horse around. When the dust in Sierra's wake had settled, it became clear that the men had lost her trail. The young woman gave her horse a gentle squeeze that set them back down the trail at a steady pace. Although the boy had been rude, she found herself to still be in their debt. Besides, she had won back her pride after all. 

An uncomfortable thought crossed the girl's mind. What if one of them had fallen in pursuit? Diana grimaced at the thought. She and Sierra now moved at a brisk pace backtracking down the path. If had not been for the light reflecting off the boy's metallic hilt, she might have breezed right past the group of travelers.

"So there you are," she said as she turned Sierra to face them. The horse trotted to where the gates were within sight and stopped. "I thought I had lost you. Are your horses so feeble?"

Diana normally did a fair job of hiding her emotions, but the realization that these men were lurking in the shadows seemed to hit her all at once. The lose of composure must have only lasted a second, but that was surely enough for the attentive eye. What are they up to, she wondered as she prepared to set Sierra into another sprint.
 
Entry 3015 02/03/11 22:17
At first it seemed they didn't know she was there. Then they all turned to face her at the same time. Alexios briskly approached her and stuffed some about 8r[1] into a pouch on her saddle. He patted her horse and looked her sternly in the eyes. 

"You should go home and shovel potatoes. You have helped us enough. I thank you." [2]
 
Entry 3016 02/03/11 23:05
Diana cocked an eyebrow. "I have business here to attend to, and besides, that isn't nearly enough reden to keep me from wondering what you fine men are up to," she jested with a smirk. "After all, there's a lot of time to think while shoveling potatoes."

Sierra shifted restlessly in place. The clouds drifted overhead casting them in a deep shadow. The woman gazed back towards the gates and the Leotian Knights on guard.

"The knights will be on your tails in no time if you keep up that kind of blatant bribery. I know this city well enough. If your destination isn't too far out of my way, I would happily take you there. That is, if you can stop looking so suspicious."

The girl offered a somewhat mocking bow of the head, "Your highness."
 
Entry 3017 02/03/11 23:29
Alexios did not take her jests lightly. He turned, whipping his cloak round him, and he stormed back to his fellow knights. 

"She already knows too much!" he complained. 
"Highness, you must remain calm. You are only heightening suspicion but acting like this," one of the knights said. "She may be useful, and she came to us instead of calling the Leotians. These are good signs."
"She is rather nosy, though," said the knight with the black beard. "It irritates me."
"It doesn't matter," Sir Talius said. "We don't have long until we have to meet the others. Let us board here tonight as planned and follow through with our original objective later tonight."

Alexios sighed and went to Diana. "Would you be so kind as to get us rooms to sleep in and a stable for our horses for the night?" Though his words were kind, his voice was surging with frustration. 
 
Entry 3018 02/03/11 23:48
"Simple enough," she calmly replied, "I need to find a place for myself anyways. There's an inn near the inner block of the city. The rates are reasonable and the stables let out into a alley out back. This way."

Diana confidently lead the men through the gate. The knights eyes followed the girl as she passed through the gates, but that was to be expected. They were men after all. As for Diana, she didn't mind where they looked, as long as it wasn't at her new found companions. The group trotted down the cobble stone accompanied only by the sound of the horses hooves beneath them. The merchants that normally populated these streets were already packed up for the day. When they reached the inn, the day had already grown dim.

"I still have business to attend to. The woman at the desk is Seril. Tell her that you're with me and she'll give you a fair rate," Diana stated without looking back as Sierra trotted on.
 
Entry 3019 02/03/11 23:59
It was too swift for any of them to fathom. Screams echoed through the air. The whole town smelled of smoke. In the light of raging fires, citizens hurried back and forth. Some were trying helplessly to extinguish the flames. Others were looking for loved ones or trying to gather their belongings. Several lay motionless on the ground. One of the guard towers had been set on fire and the flames licked the cold night sky. A host of Leotian guards were gathering together to prepare to send word to the nearest town. Farm animals rampaged through the streets, and one horse in particular proved to be a real struggle for half a dozen farmers to restrain. Though the inn in which Alexios and his men stayed in didn't appear to be alight, smoke slowly filled its near-empty rooms. Alexios and his men rode briskly towards the town gates, leaving the way in which they entered. 

"We are not looking for our guide?" asked the third man. 
"We don't need her," said the man with the black beard. "We have no more business here."
They said nothing else. 
 
Entry 3020 03/03/11 00:19
Diana had seen the smoke early enough to evade the chaos. She wanted to believe that the men who had accompanied her to this town were not the cause of this disorder. However, deep in her gut, the young woman felt otherwise. Why else would she be waiting in the deep shadows cast by the town gate.

Although she had no reason to believe the men were fleeing, if they did, it would likely be through this route. The night was dark, only lit by the warm glow of the fires at the center of the city. Navigating any of the near by mountainous areas for the first time would be suicide in this overcast night.

If they are even fleeing, she thought.
If they were even involved, she hoped.
 
Entry 3021 03/03/11 00:24
They continued to ride in a calm and organised manner. Once they were past the gate and their grey cloaks were no longer warmly lit by the light of the fire, they broke into a gallop and sped off into the dark mountains. Though the night was indeed very dark, they seemed to navigate the road a lot better. They rode and rode. After some time, they drew their swords and slowed to a halt. The mountain path was silent and there was the wind was subtle, silent, and very cold. They arrange themselves into a small circle and rode their horses round slowly, looking in all directions for something. 
 
Entry 3022 03/03/11 00:30
Diana made no effort to hide herself any longer. She called out to them, "Do you wish to bring our countries to war?!"
 
Entry 3023 03/03/11 00:49
When she yelled, they all turned. Suddenly everything changed. The wind stopped and an inaudible noise, more like a feeling in the air, ran through the small, dark valley. A nearby boulder exploded, sending shards of stone in all directions. This startled the horses. In the place where the boulder was, was what appeared to be a giant ball of cloth. The ball began to grow upwards. It was a heavily cloaked figure, standing from a crouch. Once it was fully upright, it towered above even the men on their horses. A vicious growl echoed off the stone cliffs. 

"There's one!" Sir Tralius boldly charged it with his sword above his head. The cloaked figure moved only slightly and all the sand, pebbles, weeds, and dirt were ripped off of the surrounding ground as a shockwave burst outwards. The horse reared up as tiny pebbles tore at its fur and there was the sound of stone striking metal. 

"Tralius!" Alexios cried out, riding to his companion's aid. 

Sir Tralius seemed mostly unhurt but parts of his face were grazed from the shockwave. They looked around for the figure but it was gone. 

"Sir Nicolas, do a quick patrol. I think it's gone but I need you to make sure," Alexios said. He then turned to Diana and rode near to her. "And what is your explanation? We are already at war, you stupid farmer girl, and you have not been helping matters!"
 
Entry 3024 03/03/11 01:20
The girl stretched out her arm and pointed back at the city. "If you or your companions were the cause of tonight carnage, then I am responsible as well."

Diana jerked her horse in parallel with the boy. She leaned over and put her fist squarely against the boy's chest. Under her thumb was a small blade. "I have heard no such declaration of war," Diana stated in a low and angry tone. "But, if we are enemies..." Her voice trailed of into a cool silence as she looked off into the darkness.

"Tell me I'm wrong," her voice trembled.
 
Latest Post Entry 3025 03/03/11 01:32
"Highness..." The other two men went to help him, but he signalled for them to stop. 

"You're wrong," Alexios said, fixing his eyes onto hers. "I do not know what your limited farmer experience knows, but that thing that just attacked us is a Karithian. They are camping harmlessly in your mountains and your idiot military has decided to fight them off in secret. Now the Karithians are pushing into Phedailin instead. It's like a giant circle; no matter where you push, it'll all come back onto you." He nodded over her shoulder in the direction of Teluel. "We didn't start the fire." 

"It is an offence to threaten his highness," Sir Tralius said to her. 

Alexios shook his head. "She didn't threaten me." He pushed her hand away slowly. "She just slipped. Which way will you push now, milady?" He smirked at her. 
 
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