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Fallen Joy

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  1. One clumsy and analytical, one graceful and carefree, Luna quietly observed them be themselves with a charmed smile on her face. She was generally calm until she had something important to say. Being over five centuries old, she found most things were better discovered with closed lips and opened eyes. The beacon was set with a brilliance practically a blemish on the area and manifested color to what it touched. Luna paused and looked over her shoulder, paint spilling upon her visage. She immediately felt the disturbance of the forest. The air practically hissed and the trees rustled angrily ( or perhaps the creatures living within them did). The old witch had learned that most magical illuminations didn’t last under the weight of the Dark Forest. Much like Nature’s Energy, it perhaps were whipped and pounded on until time sank it into the earth. Luna would see how long it would last, if the rumors were true, but in the mean time she smiled. “Spiff thinking, love. Would be quite unfortunate to be stuck here.” Next her other sister came into action, waving that beautiful body into a dancing twirl that practically sung to the forest. The forest vibrated from seduction as it traveled. Luna waited and her eyes lit up at something answered back. She stepped near Serra as the second wave was sent and another returned, catching traces of its feeling. What she sensed was definitely a signature of her sisters, but Serra was right…there was something off about it. “I hope whatever it is, we can save them from it.” Before she could take step in the direction indicated, something else followed that return of energy. Luna froze on the spot a moment beforehand, a cold creep going down her spine. Then a sound swept upon them loud and hard, filled with a high pitch screech. It was horribly piercing, like a screaming maiden or bird. It hit so hard that Luna clapped her hands to her ears and scrunched her countenance. Her skin crawled, the hair on her arms raised and she saw the immediate branches around them ring with sadistic laughter. In a few seconds it was over. At the end of its breath, Luna could have sworn she heard the deep pound of a heart. Ba-Dum. Perhaps it was her own ringing in her ears. It felt strangely deep, but still outside of her. Luna was rarely frazzled, but this sensation slithered along her nerves. She looked around at the darkness, half expecting something to suddenly appear, half wanting something too. Her hand gripped tighter on the rod and her eyes glowed mildly brighter as it preparing for it. But nothing came. She relaxed her shoulders. “…We should press on. It’s possible something else caught onto your wave, sister. We should not be here when it follows it back to this point. Lead the way.”
  2. When the witch reached the Blue Hills, the sun would be on the verge of kissing the horizon. The intimate proximity of its lips made the sky flush in crimson and transform the fields of blue into violet. The gold pedal shone brighter than ever, winking and singing brighter with its glorious light the closer the witch got to the destination it so desired her to be. Then eventually, at the top of a mound, it simply stopped. The sound of a slow flowing creek was nearby, and patches off flora were disheveled—smashed or torn from their position as the result of tromping from some unknown mass. However, the witch that hailed her was nowhere to be seen. A whine whispered into the air from the depths of the blue, followed by a shift in the fields. A black mount was rising, the prickled fur upon its shoulders seeming like grass in the breeze. The mound whined louder and shifted more insistently before the creature managed to stand on its legs and open its blood crimson eyes. All nine of them. An orc hound wobbled, three heads on its neck each dizzy, almost drugged, before it stumbled towards the edge of the hill. The cougar sized lupine took a single step and then exhausted its efforts in the pull of gravity, rolling down the side of the hill until its body landed in a heap of pedals and dust by the creek at its base. Pulling itself to the edge, all three heads began to lap at the water. Also near was an orc, female with long silver hair and a jade body sculpted by coils of packed sinews. She too also seemed drugged. Her fingers barely reached the running water, which slithered between the gaps and dripped down the side of her lips. Her eyes, also a terrifying carmine hue, were barely visible through her heavy lids struggling to lift themselves. Scattered around her body were broken arrows and mangled earth. One particular imprint was heavy and deep, like a great man had fallen there, then got up and ran off with just as heavy footsteps. There were also scattered horse hooves and hound prints in the mud and presumably under the bed flowers. Clearly there was a struggle, though the ultimate result of it was still a mystery. The female orc exhaled a deep groan, the sound like hot air across desert sand, and her chest breaths were strangely slow. Her chiseled body displayed a weakness not expected from her figure, but it was clear that she trying her best to fight the demon off her chest. Her hand curled in the water, grasping a minuscule amount of water and bringing it to her mouth to drip between her lips.
  3. “A promotion has been foretold,” the flowery image explained. “One that tells of a great entity manifesting from the skies and spreading darkness upon Valucre with the sweep of its reach.” Her head lowered, a few pedals detaching and drifting with careless lull to the floor unlike her words. “It is nameless, and who summons it is unknown. The only clue is that it happens on a moonless night. It is not far from this time. The only other clue I have...is my guidance to you. You are apart of this.” She had no expression, but the change of tone in her voice when she rose her head again indicated a tinge of hope and cheer. “Please, I am within the Blue Hills, my sister. We have not—” The figure suddenly stopped talking and turned to the side, as if something captured her attention. Of course, there was nothing there, but miles away, the story was quite different. ~ ~ ~ The Matriarch heard a great noise, the yelp of one of the orc hounds. When she stared down the hill, her blind eyes saw nothing but threads of energy swarming in chaos. Violence and conflict. New signatures of energies had transpired around them, crimson in malevolent intention. They were being attacked. ~ ~ ~ The flowery figure quickly turned back to her sister witch. “Please, trust me.” She reached her pedal hand out and stepped towards her. If allowed, their hands would touch. The energy holding the soft petals embraced and warmed the skin they kissed. It threaded through the fingers and focused at the center of the palm. “Follow what you feel from this. Come to the Blue Hills and find—” Before she could finish, the pedals lost their power and fell into a spread on the floor. However, there was a single golden petal left, saturated with energy.
  4. The cadence of the Emma’s spell caressed the curves of Luna’s spine long before its luminescent ribbons blessed the air. It seduced her into a turn with eyes observing the grandeur. Her sister’s celestial magic manifested like exquisite art, pouring arcane paint from her fingertips and bringing beauty into the ugly and dismal atmosphere. Luna’s fabric and locks whisked to the strides of her current as if it were a bouquet of a siren. She softened her mauve eyes as the charm cast its effects. Originally such blessings were incapable of enchanting Luna due to the signature of her rejecting aura, but with the coven’s soul creating exceptions to her sisters, it melted within her just fine. It was a bittersweet reminder of her sheer vulnerability, but unconditional trust for her coven. Love, she supposed it was. She couldn’t defend against her sisters even if she truly desired to. In the end, they could do give her the most compassionate embrace or the most lethal strike. “Thanks sugar!” The jubilant voice of Serra broke her from deep thought. She shifted her now glowing eyes to a quite different form of art. The art of this witch traced through the curvaceous curves of her body and entwined with the very rhythm of her motion. Serra’s exposed skin was mesmerizing in both its creamy synchronous flow and unique aura of magic, the very oscillations in her demeanor were like sweet music. Serra could be a graceful and soft as a pedal, but her high energy and whimsical persona announced her underline sharp quip like the shiny edge of a wet throne. A rose, Luna thought to herself pleasantly, that was she was. She laughed cheerfully at Serra’s gestures and turned the end of her cheer to Emma. “Yes thank you, Sister.” She then quirked a brow at Serra before taking a second look at the forest. It suddenly looked a hair more pleasant, be it the enchantment or the rise in her mood. She canted her head left and then right, emerald hair shifted just the same. “I imagine it’s going to be as bloody dodgy as it looks, deary,” she said with her accent. “But they say ignorance is bliss, no use getting ourselves in a tizzy over something we haven’t gotten much gen over.” "I take it back; it doesn't matter. I'm ready. Lead the way, boss-lady!" “There you go, love. Let us explore this dark beast with our peckers up. So long as we stick together, nothing can be too dangerous.” Nodding to them both, Luna took the first step into the shadows raining from the low boroughs. Eerily, she disappeared as soon as she did as if the darkness was instead a black curtain. When they followed, they would see why. While the darkness of the night seemed to be the primary cause of the aphotic world, the presence of the sun or even a thousand suns would have no assistance in this curse. The black was heavy­, it felt like sand pouring the shoulders and burying you alive into nothing but very room to breathe. Luna rose her hand and observed it silently, her fingers were heavy obscured, but slowly gained visibility as the seconds drifted. Color was lost, Luna pondered if it even existed here. Her honey tinted hand was now a charcoal gray. She sighed long, felt the presence of her sisters behind her, and then continue to walk forward. The sounds of crunching dead leaves and twigs were underneath her, and in the echoing distance the sounds of unidentified animals. Her enchanted eyes glared like a cat through the night; the trees and their gnarls were visible, as were the boulders, bushes, and thickets, but the distant world was blind. The idea of not being able to see anything charging, diving, or creeping until they were within five feet of their personas was unnerving. However, she kept walking forward. “Keep your eyes aware, if you catch any sign or signature of our sisters…” she trailed off, her frown deep. Like a worrisome mother, Luna couldn’t help but wonder the fate of their lost family. She glanced up into the air at the tangles of branches that look like broken disfigured limbs and then down into a spidery roots of their bases. She wondered if one of her sisters were trapped or suspended within such things. Refusing to let her imagination get the best of her and remain a pillar of strength, she only pressed on.
  5. 5 more
  6. Without an answer, the Matriarch clenched her fists in frustration and slammed the side of it into the stone wall. Either the vision had severely weakened her soul communication or her sisters were significantly far from reach. Now came the burdensome task of relaying on her own leadership decisions. Her hand relaxed and rested to her side, not even redden by the impact, and she shivered her anxiety away. She continued down the tower. Heavy footsteps treading behind her hinted that her shadow had a shadow—The Bodyguard tailed her slowly with a stride easily clearing three steps. She paid it no mind. In the time it took for the white witch to reach the bottom, her thoughts were fat with worry and indecision. Dear Third Eye, why would you grant me such a premonition without guidance? I know not what to do with this on my own. Time found her within the chamber of séance. It was a darkened environment magically illuminated with blue candles whimsically painting the walls. The floor was carpeted in a carmine tarp, inscriptions woven into the stitching to enhance the mind and open connections to spirits. The Bodyguard, unwelcomed, waited outside. Her nude thighs folded onto her calves and she bowed her head with curtains of raven upon her ears. Those deep scarlet lips began to chant softly. “Spirits of nature, guide me. Where do I go from here?” Her whispers were joined by soft voices in the air. Her draping locks slithered and waved as if a breeze seduced their motions. Suddenly the blue flames on the candles shot up into towers, brightening the chamber with a sapphire cascade and dancing more vigorously than before. Her optics, naturally clouded from her seer gifts, became a storm with lightning trapped deep within. The cadence of voices strengthened with strange words, before invisible hands captured the fires of the candles and globed them into a sphere before her. The fires widened into the frame of window and landscape revealed itself through the glass. The image was at first No Man’s Land, but it quickly raced forward, sailing over the mountains ranges, beyond Moonwood and the Blue Hills. Just before Cocinono Creek, it stopped. At the ends of the sapphire mounds of flora there was a range of mountains. Lower than the Black Ridge, but possessing an eminence tall enough to barricade the haze of the Blue Hills. The vision rose through the peaks of the mountains and centered on a small, quaint cottage. The beds of flora were lively and carefree there, sparkling with diamonds of dew in the white moonlight. In the windows of the cottage, a shadow with curvaceous and smooth contours, passed along the curtains. The image lingered, and then aburptly vanished—nothing but darkness remained. The glow faded from The Matriarch’s eyes and the voices dissipated. She lingered there in silence for a moment, bringing her hand to her heart and bowing her head. “Thank you.” She stood, much more confident than her rise from the bed, and sharply turned to leave the chamber. The Bodyguard focused on her when she came into view, and this time she addressed him. “Bring forth the twins of the rogue brigade, then prepare to leave. We have a long distance to go.” ~ ~ ~ That night saw a pack of beasts racing through the dry land. Bodies as large cougars but with paws stomping through the granules like hunting wolves, the orc hounds were shadows flickering across the landscape. Harnesses were ties to their bodies with reigns looped and grasped by the Matriarch upon a sleighed platform. Besides her were three huge tromping bull-like creatures were carrying the orcs, three in total. Miniature sandstorms kicked up in their wake as they raced through the desolate valley towards the reach of the rising moon. The Matriarch cracked a soft and small smile. There was a witch to be found. . . . . . . . . . . . [Scene]: Blue Hills The morning of the third day was light and the humidity low as the hounds tread wearily by a cold creek. All the heads of their bodies panted heavily between the laps of their tongues in the drifting water. The orcs too were resting, sitting at the bank with their unpleasant reflections wavering between floating petals on the stream. The Matriarch glanced around the landscape of sapphire, the soft breeze caressing her pearl skin as it twisted between the hills and through the stems with pedals in its bouquet. The blemish of the black and charcoal orcs was like lumps of coal with a stench no better. She paid it no mind. The Matriarch walked to the top of one of the blue hills. Her blind eyes appeared to search, but only truly felt the colors around her. Her unique vision caught something twenty miles back, that magical caress behind the lens of her Third Eye. It suggested that the threads of her soon to be counter were spindling closer to reality. The seer experiences a thousand possibilities of her own future, but only one could come to be based on her decisions. She had to make sure the right one did. She brought her marble hands to a prayer position and closed her eyes. These hills were saturated in magic, it radiated in the very vibrancy of the pedals. Luna would have easily accomplished what she was about to attempt, but the spell was worth trying. If the witch had a presence strong enough for the spirits to bring her into this fate, it was possible she could be reached through the same arcane. Chants whispered through her lips once more. The wind suddenly responded in a dazzle around her, the pedals of the atmosphere intensifying and saturating. They all kissed her skin, covering her body from head to toe and drinking in the aura of her desires. In the next moment, they were gone, chasing the wind into the distance. The Matriarch opened her eyes, hopeful. ~ ~ ~ Back at the refines of the cottage, the lone witch of water would immediately sense something within the air. A cascade of magic rained upon the rooftops in the form of blue pedals, lightly drifting amongst the tiles before sprinkling down around the windows. Then they swirled around the home for attention. When the attention was finally granted, the pedals gathered and formed into the shape of a woman. Her features were indistinguishable, the only thing certain was that she was tall and had long hair that fell near her ankles. The hand of the floral woman touched between her breasts and bowed her head. “Blessed Be.” The deep feminine voice was in the wind, not from the mouth. Miles and miles away, the lips of the Matriarch matched their words. “The Spirits have guided me to you, for I am in urgent need of your help.”
  7. Aion Online on the occasional weekend.
  8. Weeks had passed since the entry of those witches within the forest. Time drifted slow and silently, and at first without weight upon the coven’s shoulders. However, though at first each second was a minuscule grain of an hourglass, by the third phase of the moon the granules were heavy and laden upon Luna’s thoughts. The absence of her sisters had been too long. Her confidence was rarely rattled by their abilities, but now it was helplessly buried in that piling sand and suffocating so painfully that she could no longer relay on faith. Thus she traveled from the igneous rock of orcs and now stood in the outskirts of the Dark Forest. Wind rushed around her in a fury, lifting both her emerald tresses and fallal dress as a great avian creature rose into the skies behind her. She cups her wild strains back to glance up and watch it disappear into the clouds, lightning and clamorous roars echoing in its wake. Thanks to Altuiri di Kepesk, travel was shift. Her mauve eyes moved from the skies to the earth, feeling for the energy of the flora. What she sensed generated a small frown. The grass was a perfect night shade green of shade but permeated with misery. Nature’s Energy seemed starved of its strength, whipped and beaten moment by moment by the same iniquitous signature Luna normally felt from the dark arts. She closed her eyes, breathed out softly, and rancorously acknowledged she would receive little strength channeling from this wretched place. In fact, it might poison her. The culprit was the aphotic world itself. She glanced up to the darkness snickering behind the bark. It was practically tangible, it was so thick. What should have been nothing but willowwacks like most dead forests was potent with tainted life. Nature had rejected this place because of its aura, or perhaps had given up all together under the weight. She felt that enslavement threaten her as well. The shadows literally wanted to reach out and molest her skin. Her nerves hissed at the ominous presence. It would be a cold day in Hell before a damned anything could steal her spiritual connection. With her sisters in possible danger, everything forth dealt with the most unfathomable power in existence. If it meant saving them, she’d purge and purify this entire accursed land. But there was something that brought a smile to her face despite the dismal situation. She was not alone. Two of her sisters had decided to accompany her, and it was the most comfort one could ask for. “Are you ready?” she asked them.
  9. Welcome to Valucre! Just have fun, don't be shy, you'll be just fine! Beautiful avatar picture!
  10. In the fleeting moments of the month’s lunation, when the moonless skies are a shadow amongst the landscape, a cataclysm manifests. Though the stars desire to boast in the aphotic world, the manifesting chaos devours their efforts through its own grandiosity. The wind screams prayers loud and clarion with ambition. It permeates the air and rises to the darkness of the heavens. There's a purr in response; oscillations radiate through the atmosphere and make the very imagery of the night shiver with the fear. Ripples turn to mist, mistaken for clouds at first glance until they slither like snakes. The ebony hues are seen only because the mist steals the darkness, leaving traces of a cerulean flickering in their wake. Thus, the skies are not dyed their depressing color through the abandonment of the moon, but through the toxins of iniquitous magic. As the serpents glissade to a center, the heavens become fissures of blue light with rapid motions between the black . It looks like a great cage of souls screaming for freedom. The chants in the wind become clamorous, sadistically excited at the vision above. Joining are the cries of ravens transpiring from the remaining darkness. Their caws echo ominously around the gathering mist as it begins to pulse. Then it starts to take form. No… Her voice echos the loudest, piercing through the environment but utterly ignored. This cannot happen… The sound is more desperate and louder than before, but still dismissed as the conglomerated mist spreads out like wings and a body drapes like a cloak upon the land. The mere touch of it steals life and turns it to rot. Valucre feels so inexplicably cold. The ravens dance around with insanity. Their disheveled feathers rain heavily…and the world begins to darken. It rains...and darkens more. And more. And more. ~ ~ ~ ~ The Matriarch threw herself up from her bed, a sharp grasp in her throat and eyes blazing brightly with magic. Her pearl skin resembled melting snow the way it sweat, and was inked with the streaks of stuck on locks. The pause without breath or beat faded and she slouched, compressing her hand to her throbbing forehead and breathing heavily and harshly. The internal burn of Third Eye felt like it was spreading to her entire face. She could have sworn it would burst into flames. She sat there for an entire minute, racing to catch her panicking breath and hold it still, but then finally gathered her surroundings. She was within the witches’ chambers, the second tallest tower within the orcs fortress. The smell of the orcs permeated her nostrils, unique to her room yet common to the fortress—the other witches had magically cast the smell out her chambers. They were not viciously raised by the orcs they now enslaved. She hatred the orcs with all her might, but still felt too familiar with their smell to relinquish it from her chambers. None of the mattered, the smell brought her to reality—that she was home—and also shred the horrible light that whatever she was witnessing was a premonition. She didn't dream. Suddenly a loud grunt rung throughout the room from beneath her door. The Bodyguard, her personal orc guide and protector, was checking in on her. He was an orc of little words, but obviously sensed the disruption. She didn’t answer, only ran her white hand through her long hair before covering her mouth and thinking. Luna was gone, on a search for two lost sisters within the Dark Forest. The mission was too important to disrupt , but this was too important to wait. The sky was moonless, it was the New Moon. Or was it? If it was...her premonition would come to be in only five days. She needed assistance, to consult another sister. The sound of wool shuffled from her naked thighs and she elevated herself from the bed. Her thread was odd and uncoordinated and her eyes lacked focus—she was born blind. Normally it wasn’t a problem, but the excessive use of her Third Eye made her other means of sight fatigued and thus the world was very dark. Her hands felt along the wall, searching for her memorized placement of armor. When she left her chambers, she was dressed in her metallic attire. Beside the door, a gargantuan black coated orc turned his head sharply at her. Crimson eyes took in her own demeanor and shuffling stride, but he remained still. Though he acknowledged her, she did not him. Instead she placed her hand along the wall, using it a guide as she walked down the spiral stairs of the tower. Her magic called out to the witches still within the fortress. “Sisters…Is anyone there? I need your counsel. Please come to me. I'm in our tower.”
  11. The words that spilled from the female dwarf seemed to trigger a violent seism within the orc. Not only her, but the shadows behind her also quivered with an inflamed intensity of animosity. Moments ago she looked stoically tensed; now her sinews bulged and tightened with pulsating black veins swelled from anger. “Understand this.” Intrepid of their shields, she took a single menacing step forward and glared down upon them, the loose dust lifting and settling under her weight. The orcs already had a seething hatred for the witches they were forced to control under their enslavement—but for a stranger to rub their ‘masters’ in their face was warrant for suicide. These dwarfs were protected by only a loose command. “You come to our land, dwarf,” she said through a trembling snarl of restraint, the words practically stuttered as she tried to hold herself back. “Your worth without weight is small like your head is short. I trade my blade to your throat for a piss on your head to prove it.” There was no way they would know this orc, but the signature bladed gauntlets, fathomless temper, and adapt language skills indicated this was the general of the warrior brigade, Natasha. She was one the most intolerant of the orcs and had the notorious reputation for slaying her own out of mere vexation. And she was easily annoyed, particularly by pompous dismissal. The witches, being mostly women of diplomacy, ordered the orcs not to slaughter or maim strangers without immediate threat. Natasha was capable of speaking more than her native tongue and was thus responsible for leading such initial meetings. She spat at the ground as the ‘hold-fire’ order rang through her mind and chained her body back. It left the anger screaming through bars in a way she was sure would eventually drive her insane. For now, all she could do was reject them and hope (oh and she definitely hoped) they were bold enough to persist. “Your unweight time nothing to me. Be gone or give me excuse to tear you apart.” ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Emma would find Luna lingering near the main gate of the orc fortress, staring off down the pools of lava and stalagmites that distanced them from the entry way into the tunnels. The fiery hues of the atmosphere danced down her emerald tresses and heat waved their nature so the currents of her locks resembled seabed flora. With the constant clanking and grunting of sweating orcs saturating the fortress, her beauty was hardly outspoken. Though she managed to steal a hair of the ugliness surrounding her. At the call of her name, Luna turned her head obliquely over her shoulder, mauve eyes taking in the sight of her rushing sister and transpiring a soft smile upon her lips. “Merry Meet, Emma” she said in greeting with her soft British accent . “As sprightly and busy as ever, I see.” Her demeanor was as calm and jubilant as always was when she greeted her sisters. In the moment, it was a perfect balance to Emma’s frantic nature and settled the air between them. When her sister drew close with the clear intent of spewing a rushed explanation of what she witnessed, Luna’s leather gloved hand rose and touched her shoulder with a waves of comfort. “Calm yourself. I’m aware of what is occurring outside the mountain. The orcs spotted them approaching a mile back and sent a hound to inform me. Though they are not expected, and I fear being too forward with Natasha and her guard may lead to unnecessary violence.” She sighed deeply. She had no feelings of compassion or sympathy for her orcs, but she favored Natasha’s intellect. Unfortunately, it also made Natasha also the most capable of finding loopholes to her command just to ease her poorly controlled temper. She knew dwarves were stubborn and brusque, they never blended well in relations with high-tempered creatures such as orcs. Admittedly Luna wasn't fond of dwarves either, the males sometimes clashed with her more prominently than human men. Normally the Matriarch would handle such relations in her stead, but she hadn't returned from her mission with Morwenna yet. She had no choice and her curiosity was high. “I preemptively sent the hound back to engage them and attempt to calm the air before it gets too thick. But would you accompany to me greet our guests? I’d very much like to know if your divinations have foretold anything of this day. Tell me as we fly?” Giving her a small squeeze, Luna awaited for Emma’s agreement then waved her fingers in a subtle gesture, leading to the appearance of her metallic staff. She settled on it, waiting for Emma to join her. The witches had efficient and quick methods to bypass the tunnels, it wouldn't take long to get there. ~ ~ ~ Nastaha sharply turned away from the dwarves, fully intent on returning to the shadows. A low wine vibrated from the palisade and drew her to a stop. From the darkness next came a lupine creature, black as night and brandishing three heads with equal sets of three eyes. They kept their heads low, one slightly higher than the other and whining deeply at Natasha. The other two kept their eyes on the dwarfs, small lifts of their muzzles and slimy drool making their range of fangs shine at them. The back of Natasha back tensed even more, her shoulders even growing beating veins from the building pressure within her. She was dangerously still until the creature touched her with its nose and she exploded out viciously at it. The hound released an echoing high pitched cry as her metallic boot kicked it to the ground and once more for good measure. Though miserably, the hound recovered surprisingly quick and rushed back into the shadows. Natasha sharply turned herself to the side with eyes back on the dwarves. “Luna see you. Wait here.” Clearly still pissed off, she trudged back into the shadows with her business as an communicator done.
  12. As the Nightmare pierced through the mist, rushing towards the alchemist witch at work, the dragon emanated with great white wings that frightened the rest of the cold obscurity away. Its pearl coat of scales illuminated with illusionary waves in the cryptic light and its head thrashed in sheer aggravation. Talons dug into the crepitating ice before its mouth arched towards its right flank. The cause of the irritation was Ceydent, the insect crawling on its body with many sharps tendrils. The dragon squirmed and snap its fangs viciously at the familiar in attempt to remove it. However, the actions did not last long—for the small gleam of a glass vile shone and reflected across the cerulean hues of the dragon’s slit pupil before... BOOM. The dragon’s head was knocked back. The force of the blast cranked it and the irritation of chemicals caused it to rise its front legs like an wild stallion to escape the burning smoke. That’s when the orcs seized the opportunity. Natasha was joined by a hidden unnamed orc from the polar opposite direction; their intense experience on dominating gargantuan creatures with sear brutally linked their intentions. Natasha released a vicious cry as she leaped into the air with her feminine back arched deep and bladed gauntlets high above her head. She landed and stabbed them viciously into the back tendon of the beast’s stable leg. Crackling sounds echoed around her as that harsh strength fissured the scales and broke them like gems. The dragon’s blood hit her face and only fueled her sadism to keep viciously stabbing with merciless punches supported by straddling thighs. The dragon cried out in a high pitched noise, lifting the assaulted leg out of instinct and beginning to lower its front legs. Before it could, it found the last one remaining under immediate onslaught by the second orc. The newest arrival orc was slower and further than Nastaha, but it worked perfect. His heavy metal hammer slammed into the weak bend of the dragon's leg and though he was minuscule in comparison, his vigor was not. The force overpowered the static resistance of the dragon's weight, causing the heel to slide whilst talons remained still. The resultant arch stretched the tendon and nearly broke it before the dragon instinctively declawed the ice and fell. The Nightmare immediately reared and pranced in the spot as a shadow suddenly shrouded them. The witches had to avoid the fall. The mare thrashed and thrashed. Alexandria led the example by mounting the steed and the mare waited a few more seconds for Clementine to do the same (the mare was quite cool to the touch), before it dashed with all its might out of the range of the shadow. The steed was fast, emphasized by the sudden sheer force of the wind that hit the witches. The mare cleared the body, but the impact on the surface broke the ice and upheaved the ground, forcing the mare to leap so uncoordinatedly that it landed and tumbled. The force of the fall was tremendous, quaking the top of the mountain into a scary shiver like glass on the verge of breaking. The landing edge was not far (for the witches had just climbed it) and the length of the body sent the dragon's head dangling off the side, eyes closed. Then there was silence for just a moment. The orc filled that too. He was seen running up the spine of the dragon with a long hook and chain in one hand and the hammer in another. He didn’t notice the waves on the pearl scales intensifying by the moment. Perhaps the witches would sense the arcane energy slithering from beneath the scales and building ominously. The orc reached the head of the dragon and stabbed the hook into the base of one of its horns then leaped into the air with his hammer high. He fully intended on slamming it into the cranium of the dragon and knocking it out. That’s when the dragon suddenly opened its eyes, white light saturating the optics as mist abruptly burst from its body. Everything within 5ft was immediately engulfed, including the falling orc. It immediately froze, fell, and scattered on the back of the beast. The orcs were very resilient. Their thick hide made the cold temperatures of the mountains very tolerable despite the annoyance of snow. For an orc to freeze and shatter on contact exemplified how dangerous this mist was. The air surrounding the beast was so cold that it purloined some of the light around it. The air itself appeared on the verge of breaking. Even movement seemed impossible for a moment around the dragon. The mist dissipated and the vibrancy around the dragon rekindled as the frightening frozen temperature was lost its strength in the surroundings. Yet still formed a thin layer of ice on the things it touched. The nightmare tossed its hooves a bit before rolling to the side, sensing the danger. It struggled to a stand and moved before the witches, intensifying its magical flames. The heat radiated around it for protection. However, that did nothing then the dragon startled thrashing its wings, body and tail, threatening to knock them all off the mountainside.
  13. No Man’s Land was not welcoming. Its cracked skin and blistering heat rained upon visitors like the skies of Hell and its breath was as harsh as the devil's husk sigh. Ridged rocks jutted with fissured arches through the depths of the valley like the desolate bones of what was once a beating heart. It seemed like every orifice of this sanction was dead, demented, or both. The witches' mountain was near the head of the valley, tallest of the immediate range and held a presence that made even the heat sweat in its atmosphere. But strangely it was beautiful. Unlike the suffering sierra below its peak, the eminence held a thin sheet of lush emerald. It wasn’t much in terms of great meadows and flora, but compared to the starved world around it, it was a definitely magic. The caravan of ponies approached, closer like insects through the invisible eyes of the mountain. The entrance? Difficult to see. Cancerous rocks spread and speared vision from the base of the mountain. At this point the terrain would be too treacherous for the hooves of bulky ponies, and the torched rays of the sun transformed into unwelcoming shadows. The breath of the wind became loud through their broken tunnels with premonitory howls and moans. As they neared, linear streaks flashed across the sun. The heads of five arrows plunged into an even row upon the ground. The accuracy of neatness but clear miss was indicative of it barring intention and skill of the archers. “Dwarves,” came a husky voice from the darkness of the palisade. A charcoal orc transpired into the sun. She was tall and hardened with skin so blended with ash that at a perfect still she could be one of the rocks themselves. Her barbarous carmine eyes glowed like a pit of lava through smoke and glowered upon the intrusion. Upon her knuckles were four bladed gauntlets as long as her thigh and tainted with the layers of blood it drank over the years. She had little armor, plates heavy on her shoulders, shins, hips and breasts, but all else nude. The sheer stoic appearance of her body made it appear unnecessary against common blades. In truth, it was. The orc stood not where the arrows originated, meaning there were more hidden above on the mountainside. “I know not of Tazarek,” she said with an accent like grinding sand. “Speak purpose lest I learn what dwarf meat taste like tonight.” Her tusks suddenly leaked with drool, showing she was truly considering the possibilities. She slapped it away with her tongue and her muscles trembled with ache. The subtle quake hinted her restraint—greeting invaders clearly wasn’t in her normal nature. She resembled the rabid watchdog that was she, looking for an excuse to attack. “Purpose,” she repeated. “Now.”
  14. [End Thread] Thread Summary: The Matriarch of Luna’s coven travels to Ponkapoag Lake to discover the truth behind the legend of Sable Knight. The rumors suggest that the great weapon is lodged within a slumbering great hydra, and those who remove it not only possess ownership but must defeat the newly awakened beast. During her travels, The Matriarch receives two premonitions telling her of nearby witches destined to be a part of the coven: Morwenna and Vaeri. After seeking them out, The Matriarch requests the two to assist her in finding and engaging the hydra, and in the end join her coven. They agree to assist her on her quest, and explore the possibility of being a part of their family. After questioning a local fisherman, the group discovers that there is a cavern up the lake’s riverhead, Snake Way, and a rumor of a great cavern exists somewhere along it where a battle ensured not long ago. As they sought the truth to this rumor, The Matriarch gets closer to Morwenna, training her in basic arts of the witchcraft and building her confidence for the battle to come. At the night drew old, the Matriarch sends scouts to explore they river while the platoon rests and regains their strength. With the information the scouts deliver the following morning, the platoon of orcs and witches finds them to cavern. It is discovered that the Hydra is in fact living. The orcs nonetheless engage the Hydra and ensue in a great battle. Using a powerful curse and trap, the witches combine their forces to weaken and cage the hydra before banishing it deep within the blade of the Matriarch’s sword. Minor causalities were suffered and the hydra was now a prisoner of the coven. The Matriarch explores the cavern to learn of its history. She makes the unfortunate discovery that the hydra is one of a longer line of generations. Perhaps more powerful, perhaps not. Either way, the sword was missing. Concluding that there was nothing more she could do at the moment, she and her newest coven sisters leave with less spoils then desired but a promise that there was more to discover. Quest Summary: After following the rumors of Sable's sword, the Sisterhood of Witches and their orcs find the den of the hydra and ensnare the legend's monster for their own purposes. It is now a beast of the coven, though Sable's sword was no where to be found. Opportunities: Local village volunteers have returned to the cavern for verification of the hydra's defeat by witches and orcs. Through the minuscule flames of their torches, they discover the cavern stretches far and deep into the earth through marsh and tunnels. Frightening whispers in the cave's breath suggest what could be a hive full of poisonous life. With the presence too terrifying and the air burning their lungs, the villagers retreat in fear. This leads the apprehension that the hydra might've not been an inhabitant, but a guardian to something greater. But what?