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#12544187 Jul 14, 2016 at 06:47 PM
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It was another cold night at Stromguard Keep, another cold night filled with watchful guards and under-the-table drinking. The perfect kind of night for Elladorie Cape. Though still mildly frustrated with her own incompetence next to her fellow mages, Ella had a determined gleam in her eyes as she wandered through the camps, exchanging a friendly nod or wave to those she began to recognize.

The stars were in her favour, that much was plain to even an inexperienced mage such as herself. The leylines were indeed strong in Arathi; and for divination, Ella didn't have to tap into her own stores of mana to do what she had planned on doing this night. As the daughter of poor traders, Ella's parents had exploited her talents in divination from an early age, forcing her to perform at tables while they gambled and drank away what little profit they did make in taverns. Now that she was older, the young mage continued the work out of habit, comfortable in charming coin from drunken and foolish people.

Spotting the guard she had been searching for in front of one of the many dilapidated buildings in Strom, she gave him a curt nod followed by a wink: he knew her well enough by now. He stepped aside from the door he was guarding and allowed Ella to pass into a large room filled with occupied tables. Battle-worn individuals from all wakes of the Alliance had gathered to drink their wounds and haunting memories away in this room like many others before it. The location had to be changed nightly in respect to most of the soldier's orders of sobriety while deployed, though it didn't stop them from organizing anyway.

Elladorie smiled as calls for her services were requested: she had become popular! She found a table and set herself down, placing a deck of cards face down as a husky dwarf fell into the chair across from her, a flagon of mead in each hand. He pushed one towards her and lifted his in salutation: she smiled and took it, raising hers in response. She even went so far as placing the mug to her lightly blue-shimmering lips before she vanished the liquid away. Ella enjoyed the occasional glass of wine, but otherwise despised spirits.

Only after a gold piece was placed on the table did Ella tap into the natural magic surrounding their table and really bore into the dwarf to get a read on him. The rest of the room was silent to her as she placed a hand on the top of her deck. Several people had wandered over to watch as the mage began to draw cards for the dwarf, placing them in a t-shape and explaining their meanings. She wove together a story for him and her audience filled with vague promises and conquered strife: and ultimately glory for the Alliance. Satisfied at his reading, the dwarf got up and flipped Ella a silver coin before rejoining his comrades.

She began to reshuffle her deck when another figure sat before her: a human man, about her own age and stature with bright features and an attitude which hinted he still thought war was exciting and glorious. He placed her fee on the table as she looked at him: he was cute, though she promptly noted a wedding band and inwardly sighed. It seemed there were only troubled knights with more baggage she could carry, or married men looking to quench a thirst for something other than blood this far from home.

Looking at the soldier again, she watched as a darkness passed over him. She shook her head and smiled, assuring him that she was merely preparing herself to read the cards as her poker face held tight. Her hand hovered over the deck as a coldness ran down her spine, and she hesitated. Taking a breath, Elladorie began to draw a little slower than before. She spoke again of glory and battle as the cards revealed themselves, though she read them differently as she had before. It was not going to be a true victory as the Alliance had expected from their clashes the past few days, and she couldn't put her finger on why.

Once she finished, Ella stood and promptly snatched her cards from the table and made her way outside again, claiming to the disappointed audience that the magic had drained her after a day of battles and that she needed rest. The mage headed back to camp, her head swimming from the last reading: what kind of battle were they approaching? She let the cool night sink into her skin as she tread quietly through camp and past the tent she shared with Caiterina and Victrienne to a nearby tree. Elladorie sat down with her back against it's trunk and settled in for a short night of meditation. Eyes closed and legs crossed before her, she took a breath and searched inwardly to find her store of mana, prodding it as it and her mind opened up to the leylines...
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