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[IRP] Secrets of the Empire - Printable Version

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RE: Secrets of the Empire - Deathspike - 11-25-2014

As Gunoy was waiting for clearance to pass he watched on at what the guards were doing around the wagon. The one named Leroy then asked if he had bandit problems which made him think he was referring to his arm. "I assume your referring to this?" he said raising his arm, "well you're half right." As his arm was still up it begun to leak from below, "Ugh, now I have to change it again," he said as he reached inside the wagon for his bandages.

As he was changing his blood-soaked bandages he listened on to what one of his passengers had to say. Apparently they were from Etruria, where he and Klara have a home at. He soon finished changing them out and his attention was once again focused on the guards. According ot what they were saying they were all allowed into the castle, except for his wagon.

After hearing that he left out a sigh and looked to Leroy, "Very well, the wagon stays outside," Gunoy said to him, "there will be a woman here soon: she's darker than me, wears red and purple clothing,....and is coming this way now." As he was explaining what Klara looked like to the guards he noticed that she was heading straight for them.

"You're here quicker than I thought you'd be," Gunoy said to Klara, "I thought you were still taking care of that woman." Klara took a moment to catch her breath and looked up to him, "Yeah, I was, but the tea shop lady said she could watch her until she wakes up," she said, "so, going in now?" she asked. "Well, we are, but the wagon can't go in with us," Gunoy's explanation made Klara raise an eyebrow, "We?" she asked.

Gunoy pointed behind him with a thumb and Klara looked to see Paige, Shad and Wolfram, "Oh, hi you guys!" she said happily to them all.


RE: Secrets of the Empire - Toogee - 12-13-2014

“You will of course need to leave whatever weapons you have with the guards. We can’t have people coming in armed.” Paige nodded to the others to follow Leroy’s request, though her sword was not on her person.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lucky for Kalin, the group wasn’t very far away when she arrived. In fact, Paige caught sight of the peg knight just as the group was crossing the drawbridge. The librarian waved at Leroy to let her pass (following the request to leave weapons with the guards). The guard obliged and the group was more or less reunited.

The halls of Castle Pherae were made of thick gray stone, typical for most strongholds of the day. Flags were prominently displayed along the ceiling, displaying the royal emblem. The group passed by the courtyard, where new recruits were practicing lancing techniques. Several people passed them by, giving a quick hello to Paige.

It would have been easy to get lost within the halls, especially given that there were multiple floors. Fortunately, the library wasn’t far: Paige led the others through thick oak doors. They were immediately greeted by a large room full of books. The walls were lined with shelves ten feet high with thick tomes on all topics. Smaller shelves in the middle of the room held elder old scrolls, the notes of famed scholars. Parchment labels kept everything organized and convenient for visitors to delve into. The room was still big enough for two long tables with a set of six chairs each.

“Here we are,” Paige announced as they entered. She led them to one of the empty tables to explain her predicament.

“Pherae has enjoyed a fruitful alliance with Ostia. And yet, we know so little about the current state of Ostian affairs. Even the name of the current emperor remains a mystery. I’ve been told that we have a fine record of Lycian rulers throughout history. Strangely, our Ostian volume has gone missing. The author responsible for keeping it updated unfortunately passed away a few months ago. Now, it should have been in our history section on the north wall. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been looking over that wall to find it. I suspect a reader may have misplaced it in another section. Failing that, it could be in the archives in the basement.”

She pointed over to another door, this one made of wood and metal braces. It looked more at home in a dungeon than a library.

“I wouldn’t think it would be down there, but I have yet to find it up here. I think I can find it a bit faster if we work together.”


RE: Secrets of the Empire - Swift_Assassin - 12-29-2014

As 'Chad' and Wolfram followed Paige through the halls, Shad found himself thinking of home. His estate wasn't as fortified, but it has become on of the last holdouts against the occupation. It could serve as a sizable staging point to try to retake Aquleia. Unfortunately it couldn't hold out against the rest of Lycia, but that would have just been the first step in the upcoming conflict. He feared that Paige would turn on him for twisting her trust to his benefit.

Little did he know that Wolfram had that same thought in regard to Shad. A great library was in front of him and within it knowledge and records from the lives of Eliwood and Roy. That information would be supplementary to the texts he found in Niime's hut. He might be able to use that knowledge to locate where his next lead should be.

When the pair arrived, Wolfram looked around, taking it all in. The familiar smell of knowledge, of history. Shad had found a very useful ally. When Paige had finished relaying her research subject, Wolfram chimed in. "Even here in Pherae they don't know who reigns? Interesting. Now that you mention it, I fear that my knowledge of Ostian nobles is outdated. I wonder if that was intentional or coincidental."

"I lived in Ostia for about half my life. I don't recall ever hearing name attached to Marquess Ostia. I was a bit preoccupied trying to get by, but I think I'd be able to remember that," Shadrach replied. He looked around the place. "There are a lot of books here. I fear we might be looking for a needle in a hay stack."


RE: Secrets of the Empire - Toogee - 01-03-2015

Paige nodded in response to Wolfram's observation. "Indeed. All we know is that his title changed from Marquess to Emperor about 2 years ago. After the reorganization, there were no longer public visits from Ostian rulers but instead messengers with decrees. Of course, I can't speak of what goes on in private, but I wonder whether Pherae is more a subject than an ally."

She turned to Shad Chad as addressed his own experiences.

"Most people tend to be more worried about their own lives than politics. Since the war is being fought outside Lycia, it seems people only pay attention to their rulers if there is a public scandal. Not that I would blame them."

"As for our task...well, good thing we have a few more pairs of eyes. Dad always said that the fastest way to get a long task done is to get started soon. If everyone wants to pick a shelf, we'll be able to cover more ground."

Her eyes passed to the north wall once more. Like all the books, each had a specific number on the bottom of their spines to keep order on the shelves. The volumes, journals, and biographies that lined the shelves could be daunting for those not used to seeing so many books. Paige took it in stride, choosing to move a ladder in case anyone wanted a better look at the top rows.

"Anyone care to give me a hand with the top shelf?" Paige asked for volunteers. Though the librarian had looked through this area numerous times before, perhaps a fresh pair of eyes could spot what she could not.


RE: Secrets of the Empire - Deathspike - 01-04-2015

Earlier...

Unlike the others when they all got inside the castle, Gunoy was greeted by a castle's messenger who would act as an escort for delivering the supplies. They had gone to the castle's kitchen, their barracks, and the escort's personal quarters. "Okay, that's nearly everything now," Gunoy said, "now I need to get to the castle's library for these books." he continued. "Right away, sir," said the man, "right this way," he said leading the way.

Present time...

"And here we are, sir, the castle library," said the man, "we thank you for delivering the goods," he said handing him a bag of gold, "And we thank you for giving us the job," Gunoy said while taking the bag from his hand. As the man walked off Gunoy took the time to place the bag of gold on his person before walking inside. He took six books out of the crate and proceeded to walk inside of the library. The books were moderately heavy, not something he couldn't handle. He found the check out desk and sat them down there, but there was currently no one at the desk. He turned left and right and noticed the others were in here as well, "So this is where you all ran off to," Gunoy said as he walked towards them.


RE: Secrets of the Empire - Breadophile - 01-06-2015

Kalin walked in with her staves on her back. A thorough argument about easily being able to scrap together the equivalent weapons out of materials in the castle stopped them from confiscating them. They were no deadlier than a pair of brooms without their brushes.

.......

"So we're looking for stuff on this Ostian emperor guy, right? Sounds easy enough!"

Just then, a book on one of the shelves caught the young pegasus knight's attention. In a matter of seconds, about four volumes of "Tales of Elibe" lay sprawled open on the nearby table. And on them were the stares of a certain crazed, green-haired woman completely in a trance about the legends of famous heroes and kings across the ages of Elibe.


RE: Secrets of the Empire - Toogee - 01-30-2015

Paige looked across the room to see that Gunoy had arrived. He was as good a pair of eyes as any. She beckoned him over to the north wall.

"Gunoy, if you wouldn't mind, could you climb up here and look through the top shelf?" She referred to the ladder against the wall. "I'm looking for a book on Ostian lineage; it seems to have gone missing. I could use a fresh pair of eyes."

Whether Gunoy did the task or not, Paige was curious about her new friends and chose to start some conversation.

"In the meantime, perhaps you could tell me about life in the delivery business. I assume this isn't the first time you've been in a castle?"


RE: Secrets of the Empire - Deathspike - 02-08-2015

When he got to the group he heard Paige's request for help. He looked over to the ladder she was pointing at and walked to it. As he picked up the ladder he felt something was off about it. "This ladder is ancient, I am not climbing it," he said to her, "but I can still look uptop my own way." he carried on.

He examined his surroundings for awhile as well as the thickness of the book shelves. After figuring everything out in his head he moved between the shelves(against a wall) and walked away from them. Gunoy then turned around and took a deep breath. He exhaled and ran towards the wall in between the shelves and jumped. With his speed he was able to run up the wall. As he reached the top of the shelf he shifted his weight to the left while grabbing the top's edge and sat ontop of the bookshelf.

Although he was now ontop of the shelf there was one thing that came to mind: he can't even tell what book is which from where he is. As he was thinking on which random book from under him to grab he was suddendly questioned by Paige about his so-called delivery business. All he did was let out a sigh, "Well it's not completely a delivery business, we're traveling merchants," he said, "we go town to town, village to village, name it we'll go there to set up shop to sell goods," he continued, "we do however get requests from time to time asking to bring things needed to the customer." he finished explaining.


RE: Secrets of the Empire - Toogee - 02-20-2015

Paige visibly cringed as Gunoy ran up the shelves. She had no problem with the ladder in the past, but those shelves were likely as old as the castle! Teeth grinded against each other with every advance Gunoy made up the shelves. The librarian had her doubts as to whether they could hold up to the rambunctious acrobatics of her guest. Her job (as well as her comfortable lifestyle within the castle) hanged on their continued sturdiness. While the shelves held up to Gunoy, the stress of the situation had made her deaf to his reply. All she could think about was making sure her career didn’t physically collapse before her.

“I’m sorry to interrupt, but could you please not climb on the shelves like that?” Paige urged Gunoy. “They’re not made to be ladders. Ours is perfectly capable; I use it every day.”

Her tone was stern and nervous, though not as much as it was when the librarian smelt the aroma of burning tobacco.

“Who could be smoking in here?” Paige said almost in a shout. She looked around: none of her guests were taking such liberties. In fact, the aroma grew much stronger as she approached the door to the basement.

“Someone else is here,” Paige remarked as she pulled the door open. She rushed down the darkened stairway, hoping to catch the culprit. Smoking and books did not mix, not in her domain. As she made her way to the bottom, the smell grew stronger. The librarian reached the bottom to find the dark basement not as dark as she remembered. The shelves of scrolls and old wooden desks were glowing amidst the blazing fire.

…Wait, fire?!

On one of the desks was an open flame. It was not big enough to endanger the castle: it was isolated to a small spot on the desk. Unfortunately, that spot happened to be occupied by a book.

“No!” Paige shouted, frantically searching for something to put out the flames.


RE: Secrets of the Empire - Swift_Assassin - 02-25-2015

"As an aspiring 'politician' at the time, I'm just surprised the thought never crossed my mind. Could have looked to Ostia for help, but considering the circumstances, I probably would have been betrayed or an unwilling pawn for this tyranny," Shad replied as he began looking through some books.

"I think you might be over working yourself. Do you listen to the nonsense coming out of your mouth sometimes?" Wolfram questioned. He looked at some books and somehow found the one he was looking for. Records from Marquess Eliwood. He looked over his shoulder real quick and opened it up. Somewhere in this book was a missing clue that was not present in Niime's research. He skimmed until accounts of the Black Fang appeared. And he skimmed some more until he saw articles on Nergal and Archsage Athos.

Shad was confused at first by his uncle's comments until he remembered he was in Pharae Castle. Ostia could have spies, even here. Last thing he needed to do was get Paige in trouble for bringing Etrurian rebels into the keep. "S-sorry Master W-wolfram. I'll s-shut up now," Shad replied, putting on the act again. The pair were so engrossed in their work that they failed to notice the others finally join them.

"Valor...the Dread Isle. And...Arcadia? In the Nabata desert?" Wolfram commented under his breath as he read the book. He continued browsing and saw a word that stood out to him. It popped up a few times but he couldn't find a record explaining it, perhaps an oversight on his part. "Quintessence? Is that what I'm looking for?" He again said under his breath. Shad approached him and asked what he was reading but was tuned out completely. Then he saw Kalin equally absorbed in a book.

"What do you have there?," Shad asked Kalin as he peaked at the title of one of the books. "Oh, I remember these books. I think some of my ancestors are in one of those." He looked at one of the ones Kalin was directly in and reconginized the volume number. He turned it and looked at the index and found it. "Here it is. Francesca the Generous and Hildebrand Hyperion," he said as he pointed at the page. "My cousin Lennox is the current wielder of their sword, Dyrnwyn."

Wolfram was knocked out of concentration when he heard the word 'smoking' mentioned. "Smoking?!" he yelled turning towards Paige. "Get that madman out of here." He followed her down the stairs and saw the fire. He immediately reached into his pockets and stowed the contents by the stairs. He removed his cloak and covered the flame with it, batting it down to try to extinguish the flames.


RE: Secrets of the Empire - Toogee - 03-02-2015

After the flames were extinguished and the coat was removed, Paige stood with Wolfram to investigate the scene. The desk bared a charred spot from the fire, still strong with the scent of tobacco. In the middle of the spot, a blackened pipe laid upon the charred remains of a thick tome. The cover was barely readable, but the librarian could make out the word “Ostian” in the title. It was as she feared: this was the book they were searching for.

“Damn,” Paige said in frustration. “We only just got this book back after the author’s updates. Whatever he had to say is lost now.”

She reached to flip through the book, only to find it still hot to the touch. She wiped the warm oil onto her skirt- wait, oil? From the scent, it was likely lamp oil.

“How could someone be so careless…” In the back of her mind however, this seemed to be more than an accident.

Paige was more focused on what was left of the book before her. Using her sleeves, she flipped through the charred pages to see if anything was left. With every turn, her heart broke. Tales and records of the reigns of Uther, Hector, Lillina, and their descendants were lost.

“It’s all gone,” Paige said remorsefully. Suddenly, she leaned forward to read the sentence fragments aloud. She found something.

“As of this writing…new era for Lycia…Emperor…that’s it. That’s his name.”

The librarian didn’t even give Wolfram a chance to take a look before she took the book into her arms to carefully (yet quickly) take it back upstairs. Back into the library, she rushed for the table where Kalin and Shad were talking. Setting the book down, Paige looked to the two to share the empire’s secret.

“His name…his name is Coran*”

((*credit to WyvernSlayer + mod team for name drop.))


RE: Secrets of the Empire - Deathspike - 03-03-2015

Earlier....

"Tch, the last thing I need is another woman belittling me," he said to himself. While simply sitting there his eyes gazed around the library he had a clear view of. He then remembered the books he brought in with him, "Maybe one of those has something," he thought as he hopped off of the bookshelf.

When he got down he noticed that Paige and Wolfram vanished, until he saw them going into a room that smoke was coming from. Gunoy thought it wasn't too serious and started to head back to the reception desk to look through the books he brought to the library.

Present time....

At this time, Gunoy sat the books on a table. He didn't even bother reading the titles of the books and just started reading one. Around this time the bandages on his arm had grown a dark crimson red and he was leaking blood on the table. Unfortunately for him he isn't noticing that he is.


RE: Secrets of the Empire - Breadophile - 03-09-2015

Kalin intently looked at the story Shad showed her.

"Geez, everyone in your family has a cool magic sword. Your family just seems to be full of heroes. I'm technically "related" to Niime by her son's marriage, but that's it, and that was a long time ago.

Mother and her relatives are all mages, and father is but a simple lumberjack. We're fresh out of awesome signature weapons that don't store themselves in "Of Mice and Mages" or something else crazily complicated.

So where can I get a cool magic sword?"

Just then, Paige set the book down in front of them with a look unbecoming of anything but a complete frenzy.

"His name…his name is Coran"

"Oh, like that lecherous but heroic thief from... one of these stories that I was just reading. It's in here somewhere, uh... nevermind, it's not important.

So, who are we talking about? Also, why does it smell like smoke?"


RE: Secrets of the Empire - Swift_Assassin - 03-10-2015

Wolfram brushed off his cloak and examined it briefly for any breaches. It held up pretty well through it. Etrurian scholars designed their cloaks to last. What good would the robe be if they lost half of it when ever magic got involved? He stepped backs and slipped his tomes back into their places and approached the desk. There it was. Of course it was. Wolfram grabbed the pipe while Paige examined the book. There didn't appear to be a place to flee quickly, at least to the naked eye. So where did this pipe come from?

Wolfram's glance went back to Paige who wiped something, oil perhaps, onto her skirt. As she quickly skimmed through the remains of the book, Wolfram examined the rest of the table. He found traces of oil, just like Paige had found. He looked at her briefly, wondering if she did the math yet. But then she grabbed the book and bolted back upstairs. Wolfram took a careful look around the room. Paige might not have realized it yet, but someone wanted that information destroyed. Perhaps Ostia had arranged to destroy the tomes in 'accidents'. Perhaps Paige isn't as safe as this castle might make her feel. Or Shad has been followed by Ostian spies trying to prevent his progress. Wolfram began his ascent to the main floor.

"It's not full of heroes. My...grandfather's cousin and his son were unrepentant murders who either killed or manipulated others into killing most of my family. The son used Dyrnwyn to kill my uncle, and my cousin used the sword to kill him, I think. I wasn't there. I ended up killing his father and reclaimed my families holdings. Most of which have probably been ransacked by now," Shad replied, trying to make her feel better. "You don't want Dyrnwyn anyway. Besides not needing any skill to kill people, it kills almost everyone who even touches the hilt. I wouldn't even risk touching that thing unless I know I'm on my deathbed."

"My family hasn't done anything of note in years. Back when the war with Bern was going on, when Prince Roy collected the Legendary Weapons, Dyrnwyn was left in the Western Isles unable to prove it's might against the weapons it was meant to replace," Shad continued. Kalin mentioned wanting a magic sword. "I would say Etruria might have smiths who could forge one, but I don't know if they'll have access the necessary materials nowadays."

When Paige came running to them, Shad hadn't even realized that she and Wolfram had left the main area. So when she revealed the name, he didn't know what she was talking about at first before it dawned on him. "Coran? Emperor....Coran of Ostia. Of Lycia. Does it give any description to the man?" When Shad looked at the book, he realized their might not be an answer. "You know what....nevermind that question. A name is enough for now."


RE: Secrets of the Empire - Toogee - 03-15-2015

In her excitement, Paige had forgotten to say who's name she was uttering. Luckily, Shad put two and two together for Kalin and himself. The first mystery to the origins of the empire began with a name: Emperor Coran of the Lycian Empire. No matter how complicated the puzzle, they all begin with a single piece. Paige had found hers.

"A name will have to be enough," Paige responded, flipping through the rest of the burnt book for any other clues. "From a name, you can get an origin, where it's used most often. I can't imagine Coran is a commoner name, so perhaps it may be in nobility records."

She looked over to the book of Ostian lineage and sighed. She sat down at the table and spoke softly to the others.

"This book was in the middle of a puddle of oil. A pipe laid on top of it. Accidents happen, but I can't help but think this seemed too careless. As if someone didn't want...I don't know, maybe I'm just frustrated on how much was lost. Sorry if I sounded like a conspiracy theorist."

With that, Paige rose up from the table to gather the book. She felt a little awkward mentioning her suspicions to her newfound friends. They probably saw her as a crazy person. They probably wanted out of here as quickly as possible.

"Well, our task is done. If you don't feel like reading all day, I can escort you out of the castle- Gunoy? Your bandages!"

Paige's offer was interrupted when she saw the small puddle of blood forming around Gunoy's arm.


RE: Secrets of the Empire - Deathspike - 03-16-2015

Gunoy had stopped reading the one book he had since it didn't seem to have anything useful within to listen to the group. He hasn't ever heard of the name Coran no matter where he's traveled in his time. Then again back then he really didn't care for anyone's names either. "Hmph, so amist all the chaos she finds the answers she seeks, weird how fate works," he thought to himself. He then begun listening to Paige's suspicions that some may have sabotaged the book, and with the explanation she gave on how it happened even Gunoy felt like it was done on purpose.

Gunoy then noticed attention shoot over to him and the mention of his bandages. "Hmm? What about them?" he said as he looked down to his left. He saw how bad they've gotten in so short a time, "Already? I changed these out before we even got in the castle...," he said, "well, I don't have any bandages with me unfortunately, I wasn't expecting to get wrapped up with anything else here," Gunoy said to them all. "Anyway, I wouldn't throw those suspicions out the window just yet. From your explanation it seems possible that it was done intentionally," he said.


RE: Secrets of the Empire - Breadophile - 03-30-2015

"That... that's terrible. I'm so sorry to hear that..."

Maybe The Brand of Kalinfire can wait until another day.

Unfortunately for Kalin, her genuine concern was marred by her curiosity, yet again. In this case it was to ask Shad about his whole history. However, before she could, attention was drawn to Gunoy.

"Woah... dude, how are you still conscious right now? Also, if appearances are so important that they take precedence over bleeding to death, you may want to invest in a crimson colored robe.

In any case, I do have this." She motioned towards the staff she recently managed to pick up.


RE: Secrets of the Empire - Toogee - 04-05-2015

With Kalin's offer to use a staff, it seemed that little crisis was over. Still, if someone truly burned this book intentionally, they'd either have to be a really good thief to sneak in here, had someone on the inside to let them in, or had proper credentials to enter the castle. Could this have been the empire's doing? What could be hiding in those pages?

"If this was done on purpose, then the culprit will surely visit other libraries and destroy their copies as well. If I ever hope to read the contents, I'll have to find it myself, and quickly. I have no idea how long this has gone on."

Paige stood up from the table, her mind racing on the many things she had to do. Draft a report of damaged book. Write a letter announcing her leave of absence to replace said book. Plan a route around Lycia to visit libraries, as well as the author's house. Most important of all, she had to pack. This was going to be a very long trip.

"It looks like I'll be taking a trip across Lycia. Anyone happen to know what travel is like outside of Pherae?"


RE: Secrets of the Empire - Swift_Assassin - 04-17-2015

Wolfram made his way up the stairs with the pipe in hand and his books added back into his cloak, mulling over the circumstances. The odds that this was the one book the person was reading seemed too slim for it to be a coincidence. Had they the foresight, they'd mix it up between a couple of other volumes to really sell the idea to whoever found the fire. But this just made it obvious without a doubt. "I don't doubt the accuracy of your statement, Paige, but I recommend caution. Considering the state of Lycia and the seemingly strained relations between Pharae and Ostia, I would conclude that libraries under control to allies of Emperor Coran would have their volumes locked up, while possible dissenters have theirs tampered with. The libraries in the those marches may hold protected copies, but the others may have already lost theirs in similar cases." Wolfram glanced towards his lord-nephew and remembered his tale from a few hours ago. "Pup, you mentioned the three of you saved a nearby village and the library within. Perhaps there's more of connection between the events than it seems. Could the empire be tricking fools into destroying these tomes and others in an effort to conceal this conspiracy?"

Shad didn't know if he was to respond to that or not. Could those Glass worshipers be related to the burnt book here? That...doesn't seem likely, but that only makes him think that it might be true. It did raise questions about where the leader got that tome from. "The leader of those men was using anima magic. You could argue that he was given the book to help spread the Church of the Preservation of Sanctity's message about the evils of those magics by unleashing it against it's own citizens. But that's...a bit overwhelming to think of." He paused looking as Paige unsure of how she, and the others, would react to those comments. "As for your question, Paige...try to stick to the roads or at the very least in eyeshot of them. It would also be good to have a traveling companion if possible. Bandits, brigands, and desperate refugees may try to accost you. And perhaps try to keep a low profile. If the person behind this burnt book is destroying the others like you suspect, he, or she, may have seen your face around the castle before he made his move."

Wolfram placed the pipe on the table after that comment. "There does seem to be something in here, but I lack the necessary knowledge to identify what they might have been smoking. It may have been someone elses, or it could be one of several the man uses. But that's all speculation. I wouldn't say to outright avoid people with a pipe, just use your judgement depending on the situation, that is, if what the pup said is true."


RE: Secrets of the Empire - Toogee - 04-26-2015

Paige wasn't even thinking about how their adventure fighting off Glass and his cronies could be connected to all of this. The thought made her wonder what could possibly be hidden away in that book. Despite all the warnings and potential dangers Wolfram and SHad were listing off, her curiosity only increased.

"It certainly sounds unwise to do this alone. I wonder if I can hire a mercenary as a body guard..."

Paige's gaze turned to Kalin. She certainly seemed to be on Paige's side. Perhaps she would join Paige on her cross-country adventure...for the right price of course.