• Solo • Cloak and Dagger

Almund is a thriving township with a dark side. With houses made from the wooden bodies of decommissioned ships, there are many opportunities here, coupled with many dangers.

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Natalia Gregorios
Approved Character
Posts: 336
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2021 2:27 am
Race: Mortal Born
Profession: Professional Nuisance Wrangler
Renown: 170
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Cloak and Dagger

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Arc 721, 12 Vhalar


It was a topic Grayson was wary of bringing up to his young cousin, but there were things that needed to be said and choices that Natalia would have to face on her own - sooner rather than later. He didn’t envy her, but then again, he had made the same decisions in his own past, so there was a feeling of sympathy. In truth, he felt more for her because in a different life, she might have been free to create the story she wanted. Too many decisions and circumstances beyond Natalia's control cornered the young woman now, and she would have to fight for her very right to even exist.

Perhaps he had advised her poorly. Maybe there was a life for her someplace else, far out of the reach of those that would do her harm. One’s past always caught up to them, but if she ran fast enough….

Sighing, he watched Natalia work on her unarmed forms until she looked to the side, noting him watching her. He hovered often, and if he chose to do so, the least he could be was helpful.

"Come here," she called. Jogging over to her, Natalia used her hands to position him where she needed him. "You stay still. I need an actual body to figure out the mechanics of these strikes you showed me." Nodding, her looked over her form quickly and made one adjustment to her stance, pointing it out. "Hips need to be under your core, always. If they get out of alignment, you'll have balance issues - at least to start. Keeping both together will actually help you generate more power too." Glancing at the young woman, he gave her a smile she had seen too often in recent trials.

Arching her eyebrow, curious. “Why do you keep looking at me like that?” It was always the same; a look of sadness, and the source of which she couldn’t ferret out.

Stopping her practice, her body turned to him, expression concerned. “Grayson, what’s wrong? What do you know that I don’t?” There was always something new, and while she sometimes wished he would just put all the cards on the table at once, Natalia knew he was trying to help, easing her into the new life she was having to forge for herself. They had been with each other long enough for her to be able to puzzle out some of his more base expressions - ones he refused to hide from her. Perhaps he embraced the idea of finally having one person he could show a bit of emotion to, although she really couldn't speak to his reasons.

Waving his hand to her, indicating for her to follow, Grayson decided to take her on a walk. Almund was the perfect place to lose oneself, and the dark, grimy hustle and bustle was the ideal cover for their conversation. As she took stride next to him, Natalia noted him deep in thought. Whatever he had to say to her, it concerned him greatly. That much was obvious. He took a few moments to collect himself, and she used the time to reflect on what she knew.

It had all started with the damn ex-fiance. Natalia had naively thought he was her biggest issue. Refusing to marry him, leaving her family, Natalia had forged ahead in life, looking for something more substantial than what had been offered. She hadn't gotten too far before things caught up with her. The ex-fiance had sent someone to teach her a lesson, although Grayson had taken care of that issue for the time being, according to her cousin himself.

Then, the Saoire Feast bombshell. The daughter of Chamadarst. Mortalborn. Natalia had no idea what that even meant, being the child of an Immortal. Her 'father' certainly had no interest in her life, but she was what she was and Natalia had to figure out how to find peace with that.

And the final blow - courtesy of Grayson. The truth of her mother's family in all it's horrific glory. The Whitehalls had their hands in everything, while appearing for all the world to be the highborn of society. Her cousin hadn't been specific, but it was heavily implied that the truth of her parentage was either rumored or known by a few in the family, making her either a powerful ally or dangerous enemy to them.

Her exploits at the Feast and in Yaralon had brought attention that Grayson was concerned about, so for the time being, a low profile in Almund was the plan. A place where she could be nobody and hopefully become skilled enough to keep herself alive. Learning about the locations in Almund and how to use them to her advantage was beneficial to her training as well.

Grayson's voice broke through her thoughts, revealing the topic he wished to discuss with her.

“Nat, I’ve tried to go easy on you for the sake of not scaring you, but there are things you need to understand.” Shaking her head, the young woman’s features twisted into a look a defiance. “I’m not scared. I’m mad. I’m confused. I’m everything else, but I’m not scared. I can’t control what someone else does. I only can take care of me and whatever happens, happens.”

Sighing a bit, Grayson Whitehall straightened up his back a bit. She had to be told. If he didn’t, she would walk into trap after trap until someone finally got to her, and it would be his fault for not preparing her properly. “Do you understand that the life you lived is over? You will only endanger the people you knew, or who knew you. You can’t keep them safe.” Mulling over his words, Natalia thought about the people she had come to know and care about. When it came down to it though, Woe really was the only one that she had gotten to know to any great depth, and she wouldn’t chance him or his family getting hurt because of her.

Nodding, her eyes found their way to Grayson’s. “So, no going back? I thought what you are training me for was to help mitigate the situation? So I could have a life?” The man shrugged lightly. “I don’t know, Natalia. Scalvoris is a mysterious place. We might be able to figure something out eventually, but that’s not the only reason I wanted to talk to you.”

Placing his arm gently on hers, Grayson pulled the young woman to a stop. “Relationships. No one can know you, Nat. It’s the bane of being an invisible shadow. The more someone knows about you, the greater risk you and they are in. You have to learn how to fade into the background.” Watching him, she understood now the sadness he'd displayed earlier. He lived that life – the invisible shadow – and now, Grayson had to be the bearer of difficult news that most likely, she would have to adopt the same lifestyle.

No relationships. No getting to know people. No getting close to anyone. Those were the terms she had to abide by to survive. At least for the time being.

"You keep saying that I'm in danger. That there's danger all around me, and while I believe what you are telling me, I'm finding it hard to believe that I've made myself that much of a target." Chuckling a bit, he took her arm again, pulling her slightly to avoid colliding with a nearby wagon. "That's because you don't understand the nature of those who might possibly be interested in you. Had it not been for that business in Yaralon, we might have been able to come up with something different, but like it or not, being involved in that cost you."

Casting a quick look around the area, he led her down an alleyway to the left. "There's chatter. A lot of it. Something very big happened, and people aren't going to care that you only know a small bit of it. You are still a chess piece. One that can be further used in a multitude of ways, by many sides. At this point, it's a matter of which one gets to you first. I'd rather that not happen, so for now, focus on your training, alright?"

Taking a deep breath, followed by another, the dark-haired young woman nodded her head. She understood what he was asking of her, but Natalia didn't like it. While relationships weren't something she sought out, the idea of being alone bothered her. What if she could find others like her? Other Mortalborn. They could tell her about being Mortalborn and what it meant. Maybe they could teach her things others couldn't. Skills that would help her so she, one trial, wouldn't have to hide.

Perhaps.

She could do as he asked. For now. Natalia, however, refused to give up on the idea that she could find a way to tame the demons of her past and create a future for herself.

word count: 1550
"A girl should be two things: who and what she wants."


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Re: Cloak and Dagger

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Player Name: Natalia

Points awarded: 10
Magic xp: none

Knowledge:

Combat:Unarmed - Keep core and hips aligned
Intelligence - Being used as a chess piece for others
Intelligence - Being a Mortalborn makes one a powerful ally or deadly enemy.
Stealth - Hiding in plain sight
Stealth - Using the noisy environment as cover for sensitive conversation
Stealth - Learning how to use elements of an area to one's advantage

Renown: 0
Loot: none
Injuries/Overstepping: none
Wealth Points: n/a

Skill Review: All Skills used appropriately to PC's level
Notes: Sorry for the super late review.

But oooh, this is an intriguing change for Natalia. I knew she was rattling around in Almund, and I never really saw her as the sort to go there, but having read this it seems like a really good place for her right now, especially with people starting to take notice of her, as a potential 'chess piece' to be used. I found that comparison interesting.

Almund is a great place for adventure, especially with the lessened focus on nefarious and grayish activities. It seems like the perfect place for her to train in what she sees as her new calling, as an intelligence/spycrafty type person. I really look forward to more in this series. I loved this thread.

P.S. I changed one of your intelligence knowledges to Stealth, as it appeared more appropriate in the way it was phrased/utilized to stealth than intelligence. Let me know if you'd rather rephrase it for intelligence instead.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns regarding this review, feel free to PM. Enjoy your rewards!
word count: 271
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