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Order of the Sword & Rose
Deriaz stood in confusion as people ran past him, some ofthem just flying by, others pushing their way past him. They were coming fromboth directions. And he was standing in the middle of it, a literal flood ofpeople, if you would.
Word had spread of some sort of game of hide and seek inStormreach. As much as he wanted to play, he didn’t think he was good enough tofind whomever it was they were seeking. He had tried a few times, runningaround the town with Blue Line. He felt like he was in the army or something,searching like crazy in every nook and cranny in the Harbor. After a few lapsaround, the group had gotten tired and went off to fight each other in thePhoenix. Deriaz had remained behind, to continue the search, but in theMarketplace now.
A small Halfling pushed through his legs, nearly topplinghim over. Deriaz didn’t know what the prize was for finding. . . Whoever theywere even looking for, but he wasn’t quite sure if it was worth it anymore.
He crossed his arms. <Hmph,> he thought, <With allthese people running around, I wouldn’t be surprised if this figure didn’t evenwant to be found, now.>
<Oh, that’s not true,> a second voice came intoDeriaz’s head, besides his own. He tried to place it as Ragyr’s, but it wasn’tas deep as Ragyr’s should be. <The people of this realm just aren’t tryinghard enough.>
Deriaz had no idea what was going on, but he decided to goalong with it. <Well, you know,> he laughed, <we aren’t exactly thebest seekers.> Deriaz grinned at his little joke of insulting the townwithout them knowing.
The smile quickly melted away though as the voice thunderedthrough the air. “Deriaz believes that the people of this realm aren’t goodseekers! Perhaps he should be proven wrong, as well as in the tavern arenas!”Deriaz’s mouth dropped open at the sound of that. A few people turned andstarted stalking towards him. Without thinking, he ran. He shoved past anyonein his way, trying to find an escape from the people that were after him. Hetook a sharp right, heading down into an alleyway.
The voice came back to his head. <Come to the Lobsterhere, in a bit.> That was it. No meaning, no hints, just “Come.”
Deriaz shrugged. <Like I can really say no? You’dprobably come find me anyway.> He wandered the alleyway for a bit longer,eventually stumbling out to the Marketplace gates. He walked through and hung aright, leading towards the Lobster. He sighed as he walked through the door tothe Lobster, but stopped dead in his tracks a second later.
There were groups of people here, entering and leaving thetavern brawl area constantly. Deriaz hadn’t heard anything about a tournament.He scanned the tavern quickly, and seeing no one he didn’t recognize, walkedinto the tavern arena.
Inside was a group of people, not far away from the ladder,beating each other senseless. Again, no one he didn’t recognize. Deriaz sighed.<So much for “Meet me at the Lobster.”> He turned to leave, but a loudcrackle from the arena stopped him. He turned quickly, and saw a man in a robe ofmany bright colors standing below. The man’s eyes skimmed the crowd above, andhe grinned as his eyes fell on Deriaz, but he moved on quickly.
The man didn’t say a word, but motioned for the group tocome down at him. Deriaz shrugged, and followed the group down, wondering ifthe robed man was insane, taking on a group that large by himself. The groupcircled him, weapons drawn, but he held no look of fear. Instead, he smirked,and snapped his fingers.
The air around them crackled, and a massive steel golem appearedabove the man. Deriaz recognized it immediately as Arach’s Knight, from insidethe Vault of Night. The group immediately pounced on it, but Deriaz stood back,watching. He saw the man walk out of the group, laughing to himself.
Without thinking, Deriaz yelled to the man. “Hey, uh. . .”Deriaz realized he hadn’t learned the man’s name. He scanned the man quickly,noticing the bright colored robe again. “Hey, Rainbow, you’re the one that toldme to come here, weren’t you?” The man stopped, and stared in disbelief atDeriaz, as if the Forged hadn’t just called him that.
Deriaz drew a sword and rushed the man, swinging wildly athim. He figured, if they were in a tavern arena, it was perfectly fine to doso. He blinked in amazement as the sword went right through the man’s nowghostly image.
The man, otherwise known as Rainbow, sighed. “Yes, I’m theone that called you here. Now calm down, and have some fun.” He snapped hisfingers again as Arach’s Knight fell, and a new creature appeared betweenRainbow and Deriaz. A Mind Flayer.
Deriaz jumped back, not wanting to let another one touch hishead again as Fred had, as the group jumped on it. Rainbow was nowhere to befound. In his place, however, different creatures began springing up. A GreaterAir Elemental in one corner, a large snake-like lady in another.
Deriaz walked back towards the ladder, slowly. “I have noidea what I’m getting myself into, here,” he mumbled as he climbed back up theladder. He climbed the second one, and left the brawl behind him.
Rainbow was standing in front of him, grinning. “What,leaving so soon?”
Deriaz nodded. “You’re a madman, and I need to be outlooking for someone else.”
The man frowned. “Well, that’s a shame. Well, hope you hadfun,” he grinned again.
“Oh, yeah, loads,” Deriaz laughed. Rainbow disappeared. Alarge roar came from the tavern brawl arena for few seconds later.