The last of their trio, the hybrid, had not said very much the whole time, remaining silent when dressing, getting ready, and eating. No name, no occupation, no mention of skill. Perhaps if gathering information wasn’t absolutely critical for this mission to succeed, Yana would not have cared much. She had kept an eye on both companions while they were getting dressed, of course, taking mental note of their equipment and weapons, mentally trying to paint a picture of the skill they possessed, as well as the danger they posed.
Breakfast was prepared quickly as Ja’mir took her advice to heart, either seeing the wisdom of it, or simply wanting to succeed for the sake of ‘his Lady’. Probably both.
It was when the three of them sat down to eat breakfast that the hybrid finally spoke up, expressing a certain sadness over the fact that there was no pin for her, or so Yana believed. The quiet tone of voice seemed to suggest so. Without speaking a word she merely offered the pin to the woman, placing it atop the palm of a hand outstretched towards her. She could accept if she wanted, but if she didn’t, Yana would mimic their male companion and pin it on her collar, hiding her reluctance. She wasn’t sure if she wanted to wear an item that came from this Immortal, but it would be strange if she didn’t.
The others might have their own hypothesis for why there were only two pins, but Yana was fairly sure it was because only two people present were here to represent Ethelynda. The other, herself, had agreed to work with Faldrun instead, seeking his favor for a personal vengeance. Because of that, the Yludih hoped that the pin was just that, not holding any powers that might expose her. Then again, this was to be a game, and games had to be fair. She speculated that the Immortals themselves were to stay out of this, not allowed to interfere until it was over. The use of proxies did seem to indicate such. Yana wondered if Cassion had planned for there to be moles in certain groups, or if he had merely allowed Faldrun to plant them because it would make for better entertainment.
After heading out, they found themselves in an alleyway, curious architecture on both sides, grass beneath their feet. Yana did not recognize her surroundings, wondering idly where exactly they had been dropped. She appeared to be taking in everything with a certain sense of wonder –almost like a tourist, really—though under that surface the Yludih was scanning for escape routes and hiding places, as well as searching for locations that could house an enemy ambush.
Soon enough they reached a small room with a man in it, drinking without a care in the world. He was to explain the rules of their game to them, and Yana frowned. She needed to procure a gem then, which could only be reached after solving a series of puzzles. What kind did not really matter. What did was that they would be competing with other groups. Yana wasn’t sure what he meant with being in direct competition. Did that mean they would be trying to solve the same set of puzzles, though separated by group, or would all groups be thrown together? If it was the latter, then –like the hybrid wanted to know—was killing allowed? The question alone gave Yana a tidbit of useful information: she disliked killing. The Yludih could probably make use of that.
“How many groups are we talking about?”
she asked, following it up with “Can you tell us what is and is not allowed when interacting with the other groups? Or is it an ‘anything goes’ scenario?”
Personally, Yana was a little frustrated that she had been placed in the group of the Immortal of Honor. It meant she was limited in her options if she did not want to attract attention. So if this was indeed an ‘anything goes’ deal, she had no choice but to fight honorable when her companions were watching –which she decided was always, just to be safe.
However, a good idea came to mind. While asking her questions, the hybrid had been rubbing the back of her hand, attracting the Yludih’s attention to the shield-shaped mark on top of it. At first she had thought it a mere tattoo, but she had heard of these… hell, she’d seen one of these before. Not from Ethelynda, but from Yvithia. It was an immortal mark, she believed. She could use that. How better win the trust of her companions by pretending to be marked by their Lady? She had an example right in front of her, and quietly committed the design to memory, waiting for the other two to step through the archway and couldn't see her anymore. She turned away from the rule-man as well. Then Yana removed the leather gauntlet from her right hand for the first time since she’d gotten dressed, and quickly began to focus on the crystals, willing them to shift and change. A different image.
The same feeling she usually had when she shifted forms burned through her hand, and upon its surface slowly the mark formed. It wasn’t the easiest thing she’d ever done, but if she could remove her eye-scar and other blemishes when she shifted into Saeri, and she could remove her Eídisi markings when shifting to Rayna, why wouldn’t she be able to copy the appearance of a simple shield? It was merely a cosmetic change anyway. Nothing too difficult, unlike altering your complete bodyshape and proportions to become an animal anyway. It took a couple long moments during which she compared the image on her hand with the one in her memory, and adjusted the crystals of her skin to match it more closely. It helped that the mark was a simple shield-shape and nothing more complicated, as that would have taken her far longer, as well as an example in front of her.
Once done, she donned her gauntlet once again, moved her fingers and wrist to see if she hadn’t accidentally made her hand unusable –fortunately it wasn't the case—and stepped through the archway.
Thought it’d be helpful if I listed what Yana brought with her:
-Leather armor (covering all but her head)
-Alder wood shield
-Domain bag given at the start of quest
-Medicine kit (still in the domain bag)