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Punish

Year 1ac: Mid-Fall : Love Story : Continuum : Aden Active Lore

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Punish    54

“In every uncomfortable situation you find yourself in there are only ever three choices. The first being running from it. Just ignoring it’s there and hoping the issue goes away on its own. The second one is you could just accept it, believe that’s the way it is, always will be, and nothing you do will ever change it. The final option that most people shy from is you can attempt to change it, realize everything around you, everything in your life was created by people no smarter or better than you, and you can have just as much if not more impact on how the situation concludes. In the end its always your choice.” ~ Legendary Lord Punish

………………………………………………………

Giran, the City that never sleeps. Our young lord having just attained assassin rank 35 has survived his journey through the brutal Execution Grounds and arrived at the glorious city walls of Aden’s most famous economic power. Nestled in the realms easternmost province, Giran is known for its bustling shops, the occasional deal gone wrong and the infamous luxury shop many of Aden’s citizens clamor toward eyeing the finely crafted C Grade Equipment in anticipation of attaining rank 40.

Punish was no exception he had heard of this luxury shop and the artisans who crafted the powerful equipment, in fact it was the first thing on his agenda to marvel at the craftsmanship and visualize what it would be like to wield such professional gear. He would soon make a choice on his profession, the Dark Elf guild had mandated a class selection at various stages and he was quickly due to graduate toward his final profession. That decision had weighed heavily on the young lord’s mind, once you selected your path and underwent the trails for transfer into the school of choice there was no going back. After a time through trial and error, he had found comfort in ranged attack and understood only one path lay before him.

“Excuse me? Do you happen to know where I might find the Luxury shop?” Punish asked with almost a childlike excitement to a passing Dark Elf Warrior. “Que?” replied the Dark Elf. Punish a bit confused answered, “What?”. “Si!”, responded the Dark Elf Warrior again. “The Luxury Shop, do you know where it is?” asking again. Just then the Dark Elven warrior simply turned and ran through the streets of Giran without another word. The Legendary Lord, dumbstruck as to how a fellow brother from Dark Elf village didn’t speak their ancestral language stood for a moment completely perplexed. “What the hell, just happe….”

Just then a familiar voice rang out from behind him as it had become custom, “Hey BRO!”, exclaimed Hatecrafted, Clan Lord of SerialKIllers . “Oh, Hey Hate!”, Punish replied, “I finally made it to Giran! Do you know wher…”. “LOL, Gratz! Let me guess, you want to check out the Luxury shop like everyone else?” Hatecrafted stated flatly, knowing intuitively what was on the Dark Elf’s mind. “It’s over there, down that street, take a left on the second alley, you can’t miss it!”, Hatecrafted said providing directions, seemingly in a hurry, “I’m off to train, take it easy Pun!”.

Having clear directions, the Dark Elf made his way excitedly where his friend had told him. Standing before the magnificent building it was easy to see why this was called the “Luxury Shop” after all, the building was massive, its architecture was unlike anything else in the city, dwarves, warehouse keepers, special vendors littered the area. And there he was, the renowned dwarven arms dealer Galladucci, along with this beautiful human wife Alexandria. Punish mused to himself, no doubt the sales and profit from these fine weapons may have played a role in Galladucci attaining Alexandria’s hand in marriage. Giving the maiden a quick once over and back to the older, short, scruffy dwarf… “yeaaa…..”, Punish said under his breath.

“Hail Galladucci, I’ve heard much about you!”, said Punish, “Elite Merchandise Shop is open again! We offer a broad selection of the finest weapons and special items, which are bound to steal a way into your heart!” Answered Galladucci. “I’ve heard so much about them! I wonder if you could show me some Bow’s that you may have, I’m getting close to my Profession selection and I’m definitely an archer!” explained the Legendary Lord.

“I’m sorry for any inconvenience but from now on our shop only accepts crystals as payment.” Galladucci went on. “Oh, crystals… why not adena?” asked Punish. “We also add a small fee.”, Galladucci followed. “A small fee too? Why would you want Crystals as payment but add a small adena fee as well, wouldn’t it be easier to just sell everything in adena?” inquired Punish. “If you want armor or any other rare items, feel free to talk to my beautiful wife.” Galladucci stated without hesitation.

Punish stood looking intently at the renowned dwarf somewhat puzzled, had the dwarf heard anything he had just said. “Come again?” the young lord asked.

“Elite Merchandise Shop is open again! We offer a broad selection of the finest weapons and special items, which are bound to steal a way into your heart!” was the dwarves reply. Punish looked at the expressionless dwarf, then to Alexandria, then back again to the trader. “Ooookaaaayy, I think I’m going to come back later….” Punish letting the words roll of his tongue and sit still in the air. “I’m sorry for any inconvenience but from now on our shop only accepts crystals as payment.” was Galladucci’s retort. The Dark Elf sat expressionless, with one eyebrow half-cocked, slowly exited the Luxury Shop a bit unsettled by the traders seemingly limited conversational skills.

Just then Punish began to take a harder look at the City of Giran, it’s shops, and it’s people. Taking in a more complete picture of the sights, sounds, and ambiance of the famed city. For even though the citizens were walking the streets, with commerce taking place, and equipment being forged, something was so very strange with the way the people were interacting with one another. “Lifeless…” was the only word that could escape the Dark Elfs lips.

“I’m telling you there is definitely something very wrong here….” a strong voice could be heard from around the corner. “No one can afford to train past rank 40 or higher without great hardship.”, “It has to be the Ivory Tower, somehow they are up to this.” the voice went on. “And the gatekeepers, don’t even get me started with those guys. Have you seen the prices they will start making everyone pay? I can barely afford to use my Death Spike spell because the reagent necessary is so uncommon, this HAS to be the Ivory Tower… Somehow they are manipulating the entire economy of Aden!”.

The Legendary Lord turning the corner could see the human completely now, slight in frame compared to the human warriors that inhabited Aden, one could tell the power of this individual had be honed from years of study in the mystic arts. A reanimated skeleton dutifully stood guard behind his master, as he stood before three others looking to them with authority under the brim of an assassins bamboo hat. Punish had never seen a Necromancer before, he’d heard tales of the humans who embraced the dark arts and in many ways, these skilled casters had more in common with the Dark Elves than their own kind. Most steered clear of those who find power in the mysteries of death and those who do master it are truly powerful.

“I know this troubles you, but what can be done?” inquired a Dark Elven beauty. “Nothing immediately Azraella, but you know I’m not one to stand around, sit idle, and allow it to happen.” replied the Necromancer. “You know what I think! That Headmistress probably hasn’t gotten any in years! Nose stuck in books all the damn time, locked up in that stupid tower… She just needs a little Dark.” quipped another human sorcerer in the group. “I’d solve this in five minutes flat!” holding his hand up in front of his cohorts in a boastful manner and splitting his index fingers into a “V”. “See just Two in the Pink and Two in the...”. “DARKENRAHL!!!” snapped Azraella with a smirk. “What? … How about a Dirty Louisiana then?” DarkenRahl, came back as if on cue with a mischievous grin eyeing the reaction of the other three. The Necromancer snickered, Azraella looked to the sky smiling and the as yet identified third member of their quartet chimed in, “That’s a new one… What’s that one again?”.

“What? You don’t know something? Did you guys hear him! Plasma doesn’t know something….” DarkenRahl said feigning astonishment. Plasma could only roll his eyes as if, he’d heard this a thousand times before. “Okay, you see Plaz a Dirty Louisiana is when you” DarkenRhal explained just before being cut off, “Dark! We’re good. Seriously! We’re good.” quipped Azraella as if SHE was on cue this round. Just then the seriousness of the previous topic had all but evaporated. The four friends simply laughed amongst themselves enjoying the presence of one another’s company. Punish could only smile to himself, he’d seen this before long ago as a Lord of his former clan he’d hoped to rebuild anew here in Aden. It was obvious to him now this group was not just mere friends but the core members of a clan and no doubt the Necromancer was their Lord.

 “I will hold a forum, the people of Aden will voice their concerns and we will apply pressure to the Ivory Tower to reconsider the GateKeeper Costs and whatever curse they’ve placed upon this land that effect’s Aden’s economy.” stated their Lord regaining some composure from the gregarious exchange. Looking to each other, the others nodded following his lead. “Sounds, like a good plan.” Sounded Plasma. “You know I’m with you.” DarkenRahl stated definitively. “And my Aeowyn?” the human mystic said affectionately to Azraella. “I’ll follow you until the end of time, my Husband.” she cooed. Overhearing this the Legendary Lord regained his puzzled face and connected the obvious love between the two at odd races, Punish could only lament that some guys just got all the game with the ladies, even ones that prefer to hang out with dead things all day.

“You know, you guys should go to that far away romantic place!” exclaimed DarkenRahl. “What romantic place?” questioned Azraella, obviously interested in the idea, eyeing the Necromancer husband. “You know that place with the big tower! The big one in the city, where they got all the fancy food and little fancy waiter guys. It’s in another realm but I know it’s out there. That place where “oui” means “yes”, where was that again… I think they call the tower “Eiffel” or something, it’s bigger the TOI” DarkenRahl pondered aloud. “Oh I think I know where you’re talking about its” Plasma chimed in only to be cut off, “SPAIN! That’s it! Eiffel Tower in SPAIN.” DarkenRhal stated definitively.

Plasma just stood there eyeing the Sorcerer, “You’ve been going to that Orcish Herbalist again haven’t you….”. The Necromancer and his Aoewyn could only snicker observing the interaction between the two mystics. Punish noticing a good opportunity was quick not to waste it, “Hail!, well met. I couldn’t help but overhear your discussion concerning the GateKeepers and Economy” the young lord interjected himself into the groups conversation.

“Oh Hello Punish” said the Necromancer. “.... I’m sorry, we’ve met?” the Legendary Lord stated confused after observing the group and Lord he’d known nothing about, surprised he knew of him. “Well, yes. I attended the summit of lords you’d held in Gludio before the Fall” the Necromancer stated tipping the brim of his bamboo hat to reveal his face. Punish recognized him, he HAD been at the summit but some time had passed and his name eluded his memory. “Oh, you were there, Yes I do recognize you, I’m sorry I’ve been sick since then and training hard.” replied the young lord. “I heard you got sick after getting your ass kicked by the ratman chief! ” exclaimed DarkenRahl. “Oh well, yes. But you have to try before you can” the Legendary Lord automatically fired his readied response. “You know you really should have used a strategy guide for the command channel…” Plamsa cut in. “Yea, I kind of know that now… Next tim ” Punish responded a bit defensively.

“Something Wrong” The Necromancer, interjected. “Oh no, nothing. They’re fine, those things happen. …” Punish relayed. “No, no, Some Thing Wrong” the Necromancer said again. “Huh?” a confused Punish replied, thinking he may have just offended another Clan Lord inadvertently. DarkenRahl Chuckled, and a smirk spread across Azraella’s face. “I assure you sir, you and your friends. Everything is absolutely fine.” Punish stated a bit more defensively, wondering why communication with everyone in this damn city had to be so difficult.

The Necromancer chuckled, holding out his hand and very slowly stating the same thing he’d just said twice times prior with a slight foreign accent the Dark Elf couldn’t place, “Sum Ting Wong”. Punish could feel his temper flair a bit as the collar of his MoonStone Armor tightened, did this human think he was slow or something? One Human taunting him about the massacre of the failed Ratman Chief Raid, what the hell did he know! The other talking about that DAMNED “strategy guide”, who knew that back then! And this little tiny human that played with dead animals as a child with his supermodel Dark Elf wife with the largest breasts he’d ever seen was making fun of him in front of all of them!!! The “LEGENDARY LORD” didn’t need to take this crap! Punish gripped his Gastraphetes tightly and silently cracked a SoulShot between his fingers empowering his next attack with magical damage. The odds weren’t in his favor but he’d go down fighting!

“Jeez” Plasma said with an eye-roll, “His name is SumTimWong, good god, chill out. And the “Eiffel” tower is in Paris Dark!”. “No it’s NOT! It’s in SPAIN damn it!” DarkenRahl carried on. “I can’t take you two anywhere…” Azraella said, burst into laughter as the two sorcerers carried on their debate as to where this romantic tower actually existed.

“SumTingWong?” Punish asked looking upon the familiar face, placing it with the other lords at the summit. “Of course!” SumTingWong replied with a smile still holding out his welcoming hand. “Continuum…?” asked Punish bursting into laughter himself, remembering a detail that had escaped him earlier. “Yes, I’m SumTingWong Clan Lord of Continuum, It’s good to have you back, I had heard you were ill, it’s good to see you back on your feet.”. Punish felt the bubbling rage lessen inside him instantaneously, feeling quite embarrassed took the Necromancers hand with his own. “Thank you, It’s good to have reconnected with you after this time.” Punish exhaling deeply, at the same time thinking to himself the Dark Mage before him at any moment could have incinerated him with a flick of his wrist or called upon his minion to rip him limb from limb.

“So the Ivory Tower is up to a lot these days?” The Legendary Lord asked. Looking to the young archer from under his bamboo hat, the Necromancer replied coolly, “Yes, and I choose to change it!”. “How can I help?” replied the Dark Elf. They talked for several hours, all of them. Punish was surprised to hear Continuum had been together for nearly 15 years and throughout that time they had remained one unified clan throughout lifes many challenges and changes. SumTingWong shared the story of how Azraella, then Aeowyn had been a member of his vanguard and hadn’t always been a mystic but a savage and powerful dagger in SumTingWongs military, their love story was truly “SumTing” out of a fairy tale and after a brief courtship the former King of Aden had successfully wooed the love of his life and made her his Queen. Now nearly 15 years later they and Continuum were as strong as ever. Punish thought to himself secretly OF COURSE the former KING OF ADEN would be able to woo any dark elven beauty, he’d have to remember that for later. He’d been thinking a lot that possibly hunting a different sort of prey would deliver him a much-needed distraction.

After some time had passed the group broke, SumTingWong and the Legendary Lord agreed to discuss mutual visions in the future and promised to remain in touch. SumTingWong would travel to the Ivory Tower and hold his forum, seeking relief for the citizens of Aden rank 40 and higher. “Farewell friend, It was a real pleasure to have met you and your clan members.” Punish said sincerely. “As you, Punish” SumTingWong answered. Left to himself Punish mind floated from the various topics he and the group shared, but inevitably it returned to the special hunt that had been nagging at him. Entering the Luxury shop Punish approached the counter.

  “Elite Merchandise Shop is open again! We offer a broad sel..” Galladucci blurted. “Oh, my good dwarf, please she is quite more than that I think you shouldn’t call her by such names.” Punish quipped cutting off the dwarf. Galladucci completely puzzled stumbled in response, “I’m sorry for any inconvenience but from now on our shop only accepts crystals as payment.”. Punish feigning disgust answered, “Galladucci, my word. Are you seriously referring to your lovely wife?” winking toward Alexandria.

“We also add a small fee,” Galladucci stated openly, knuckles white with rage but unable to resist. Crossing his arms the Legendary Lord looked upon Alexandria with great sympathy, “You are truly too beautiful a flower to have this senile dwarf to sell you to passing strangers” Punish exclaimed bravely. “If you want armor or any other rare items, feel free to talk to my beautiful wife.” Galladucci stated nearly passing out from sheathing rage. “You know I think I will, Alexandria the rarest item I could possibly think of would be your tender love and honor, you should come with me and be treated the way you truly deserve!” Punish explained to the human female.

Alexandria entirely shocked by her husband’s obvious disregard for her honor, looked upon the Legendary Lord with admiration and respect. Punish offered his arm to escort her away from the money hungry dwarven pimp. As she stepped from behind the counter Galladucci could only stand aimlessly as his wife walked with the Dark Elven Archer toward the shop doors, overhearing the bits and pieces of the seductive spell the dark elf was weaving.

“You know I recently met a friend, a human mystic that taught me an interesting trick. You see it starts like this.” Punish said holding his hand before him as the couple left the shop. Galladucci could do nothing as the Dark Elves index fingers, split into a “V” as he whispered into Alexandria’s ear, her eyes wide with a timid smirk playing across her face.

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