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Voting has reset for the month of September. Valucre is in the top 10 but we aim for the top 3 for maximum visibility when people land on the home page of the topsite. If you want to help new members discover Valucre, vote for us daily.

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    • supernal

      Vote for Valucre [September]   09/01/2017

      Voting for the month of September is open on TopRPSites! Vote for Valucre daily and help new members searching for a place to roleplay discover the same joys you have in Valucre. You can vote daily, so make voting for Valucre a habit. Discussion thread

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  1. Past hour
  2. Ways of Coping with Writer's Block

    I find that helps most times...also is that signature from Berserk? Love that anime.
  3. Ways of Coping with Writer's Block

    This kind of chart is brilliant. I can't believe I didn't think of something like that, that can be especially helpful. I'm horrible at excel, so that may be one reason I haven't done it yet haha
  4. Pale Blood, Crimson Flame

    A heavy-browed nod of the head and a tightening of the fist around the knife's handle was Ansen’s reply. Rainza wasn’t used to working in a group, or even with another person. But she had known Ansen for a long time, and the two had achieved some impressive feats together either would be hard pressed to have survived alone. Her faith in his shield was no less than the deadliness of her own hand. A ten-minute trek brought them near the base of the tower, skirting around it in a wide breadth at Rainza’s behest. Her short legs and quick footsteps kept her on point. One might think it would make more sense to have Ansen in his armor take the lead, but Rainza insisted her enhanced senses would prove better for the position in this unknown land of arcane interference. Her assertion ended up paying off in the end. As they came around to the incredibly large double doors marking the entrance to the tower, Rainza’s insane reflexes saved her neck. As she approached the doors to make an attempt at opening them, a reaping arc of abyssal steel nearly harvested her life’s nectar. A lizardman had leapt from a jutting perch above the archway, and the tiny Aldrak’s diminutive size allowed her to easily skip back, avoiding the blade and putting a few feet of distance between herself and the dauntingly large creature. She wasn’t left without a parting gift, however. A dark scorch marred her neck, a result of the swirling dark flames dancing along the metal’s surface. Ansen would recognize it as Daemon-fyre, but the Aldrak remained ignorant beyond the fact it left her with an agonizing burn that felt like a chainsaw ripped at her flesh for eternity. A flick of the tongue was her only reaction to the pain. Well, that and a bright azure flame flaring in her eyes. A hushed snarl punctuated Rainza’s bold step forward. Bold, but on guard. Right foot planted, toes pointed outward, left foot forward, barely any weight placed on it, knees slightly bent. One hand far and high, elbow slightly bent, the other low and near, elbow braced against the hip. Palms open and pointed towards the enemy unless wielding a weapon. Avvercus’ instructions for Onyx, the base stance for the Emerald Banner’s system of martial arts. Rainza eased into it as naturally as breathing, flowing forward like liquid shadow, and the lizardman responded in kind. Swift as a serpent, it proved to be no mindless, or skilless, beast. It bore over the little woman, every bit as tall and broad as the knight at her back. The short sword of flames given metallic form jabbed for Rainza’s eye, but her far hand met the lizard’s charcoal scaled wrist just in time to direct the blade away from blinding her. Closing in with a lightning-fast series of short steps, Rainza attempted to make use of the opening she created. But, her enemy mimicked the Aldrak, grasping her delicate looking wrist in an inhumanly powerful grip of ripping scales. Checkmate Rainza’s free hand retreated, coming back to the grab the lizard’s wrist that gripped her own and force it against her chest. In response, it made to yank the daemon-fyre sword back to take her head. However, that endeavor never came to fruition. The martial artist’s height gave her a great advantage in close quarters combat. Her center of gravity was below most things she fought by default. Her boot smashed the thing’s ankle, cracking bones as she swept the forward foot that held its weight. At the same time, she pivoted, turning the lizardman’s wrist outward in a way the bone and sinew was not designed to twist. The result was a towering scaled creature flipped off its feet to the ground beneath a 4’10 little girl’s determined gaze. Her rusty knife was free of its grasp, yanked back when it was forced to loosen its hold. The point arched, piercing its way under scales and into the blood gushing flesh of the second lizardman that had tried to flank her. Even engaged with such an intimidating enemy, Rainza’s vigilance didn’t falter, and she heard the approaching footfalls of a new combatant that weren’t Ansen’s. A quick glance past the blood dripping side of the second lizard revealed Ansen was now engaged with three others. Either one had passed his guard, which she highly doubted, or this one had likewise came from the rises of the tower. The weak metal snapped off, leaving almost the entirety of the blade buried in the lizardman’s neck. Rainza brought the broken weapon down regardless, roaring as she blocked the slash aimed at her gut by the enemy still at her feet. She let the knife go, throwing her 300 lbs body atop the lizard, pinning its sword hand. With a warrior’s cry, her fist fell, pounding it in the face over and over, destroying the thin skin covering her knuckles. Blue and black mixed as she layed into it, switching to her elbow, aiming for the elongated neck. A growl shook her entire body when she felt the long, sharp fangs of the lizard she had ‘killed’ sink into her shoulder. Undeterred, Rainza rained blows until the one she straddled struggled no more, and her arm was rendered a bloody mess. Taking the abyssal blade that was her spoils of war, Rainza stabbed it over her shoulder, forcing the now definitely dead lizard off of her. Venom oozed from the wound it left behind, a sickly dark purple riding atop the river of her own fluids that stained her leathers. Still undeterred, She stomped to her feet in a low crouch, ready to rush to Ansen’s side should he need it. However, she expected he would have already dealt with his foes, and in a much cleaner way than her primal rage had faired for her. We train to curb our natural instinct, and replace it with an artificial one that far better suits a skilled and disciplined warrior. Let your rage fuel you Rainza, but never let it take control. A martial artist that throws away the pride and trust in her own skills for the comforting whispers of her emotions will fall easily. Her teacher had never been wrong. The wounds covering her body at the moment proved it.
  5. OOC: Silver Sky

    Okay, I'll wait a little longer for him to go then.
  6. The Red Dawn of Ursa Madeum [4/4]

    The armies charge had come to a dead stop as they passed through the gates and into the castle grounds. It didn't take Som long to figure out why, as even a cursory glance at the opposing force revealed a stark difference between them and the poor bastards the Taen army had fought to get here. For one thing, their weapons and gear were a lot better, polished steel that had been well cared for. The new force also showed considerably more battle discipline than the rag tag group defending the rest of the city. The Taen soldiers were all brave warriors, but there was a difference between fighting professional soldiers, and fighting terrified conscripts, and they were beginning to feel it. Som had been towards the back of the advancing column of soldiers, taking a moment to do a quick head count; when he felt a spike of energy, followed by terrified screams. As he turned to see the cause of the commotion, he witnessed a dozen men clad in black armor meet the Taenian charge, cutting through them with an almost contemptuous ease. If he recalled correctly, Titus had said that the Kings personal guard were the only ones who wore such armor. It didn't matter much either way, as regardless of who they were, they were tearing through his men, and that had to stop right now. "Fall back!" he called out. The Taenians obeyed without hesitation, and began to retreat back towards the gate. The Kings Guard came to a halt twenty feet away from the pyromancer, almost as if they were anticipating what was to come. Som flashed his best insane grin, "Let's get this done." With that, the pyromancer inhaled deeply before opening his mouth and let loose with a giant stream of flame aimed at the Knights. The stream enveloped the group, obscuring the from sight within the flames. It went on like that for a minute before a shape burst forth from the river of flames, one of the Knights wielding a lance, and charging at Som with superhuman speed. He turned up the intensity of his flames, but the Lance pushed through the flames. When he was only feet away, Som shut his mouth and propelled himself into the air, leaping over the Lance as he passed through the space where the pyromancer had been standing moments earlier. As he took flight, he heard the sound of an arrow flying through the air, followed by the sound of a few dozen more arrows behind it. He looked to see a hail of arrows arcing toward him, one of them a traditional arrow, and the rest glowing as though they were made from light itself. He caught a glimpse of the archer standing at the back of the group of knights, his bow covered in glowing arcane symbols. It seemed the bow could fire multiplying projectiles, but he didn't have to much time to dwell on it. Som intensified the jets of flame propelling him through the air, sending him rocketing towards the Knights. The arrows fell behind him, but he was able to outrun them, and get inside their range before they could hit him. As he drew nearer to the group, he flipped around in the air so that he would collide with the lead knight feet first. But at the last second, the man stepped aside, and another knight with a shield stepped forward. Som hit the shield with incredible force, but the shield bearer held firm, stopping him. As he hung in the air, the knight that had stepped to the side now came around to swing his sword in a downward arc toward the pyromancers torso. Som used a jet pulse to flip himself back and away from the sword wielding knight, and then cut his jets. The swordsman charged, unleashing a flurry of slashes that the pyromancer dodged by inches. As the deadly dance played out, Som could see the Lance from before reflected in the swordsman's armor. A plan dawned on him, and he left an opening in his guard to see if his opponent would go for it. When he did, Som met the man's attack with a white hot ball of heat energy the melted the sword from the hilt. He then flipped over the swordsman's back as he stood stunned by the destruction of his weapon, and gave him a hard shove to the back. The knight flew forward, and was impaled on his comrades lance as he charged at them. Som formed another ball of heat, this one a good deal larger than the first, and directed it to hover between the Lancer and the impaled knight. An instant later, the ball expanded, vaporizing the knights, and reducing even their armor to molten slag. With two knights out of the way, Som once again charged at the shield knight, who rose his helm to meet him. But instead of colliding with the man, Som juked around him at the last moment, and wrapped his arms around the mans waist. He then rocketed into the air, carrying the man high into the air with him. When they were high enough in the air, Som released him and flew in a large circle before grabbing him again, this time moving him towards one of the walls of the castle. Som let him go at the last minute, and the knight smashed into the wall in a shower of shattered stone. The pyromancer landed on the roof of the castle in time to see the shield bearers body fall from the crater in the wall and hit the ground, naught more than human wreckage. By this point Som was feeling the strain of the the days struggle, and he took to one knee to catch his breath. Even as he did so, he could see the rest of the knights focus in on him, the archer drawing back his bow string. "Wouldn't mind a little help here guy's," he muttered before rising to his feet, ready to face the knights.
  7. Fibro sucks. My mother was diagnosed about 15 years ago. I am showing the early symptoms of it myself (about the same age as she when she first presented symptoms), so I know that struggle. I get flare-ups and some days of being a space case. Good luck man. It's manageable, if you are willing to keep moving.

  8. How much do you play out your characters or scenes?

    Mostly do stuff in my head. I will read aloud to catch errors or make sure it sounds right, but even then I do that rarely. I will play dialogue exchanges in my mind to see how it sounds and feels, especially when doing more important scenes. I rarely "act" anything out. Mostly when I am trying to get a handle on a combat related post (T1 or RP), as sometimes acting out the motion both helps with picturing (and thus describing) it or with the plausibility of the maneuver.
  9. Spinal Chills 2017

    Feel free to ask questions, make comments, or generate related buzz in this thread.
  10. Spinal Chills 2017

    Entries and Guidelines Welcome to this year's Spinal Chills contest! The Spinal Chills contest has two BIG requirements for entry: submit on time and make sure it's spine chilling! Here's the rest: The word limit is about 2,000 words at maximum. I say "about" because I am willing to let people fudge a few words as long as it is close. However, if you turn in a 2,500 word story, I will send it back and ask for a revised version. This is to keep the reading from getting overwhelming. There is no lower limit--if you can run chills down the spines of our members with less than a dozen words, more power to you! Entries must be original, unused work. Do not plagiarize others nor yourself! We run these contests not just for fun but to elicit writing from our members--so write something new. I do take the time to verify authenticity. If it can be found the on internet, there is a good chance I will dig it up. You cannot tell others what you entered. Only two people should know who an entry belongs to--the author and me, the coordinator. Entries have no specific restriction their medium so long as it involves written words. Write a poem, compose a song, submit a short story…whatever works for you. In a previous year, someone asked if they could compose music to it as well- that's fine by me, so long as you aren't singing it aloud (your voice might give you away). Only one entry per person. However, I am willing to accept "updated" versions up until the deadline. I strongly urge people ensure that they have edited their work and made sure it looks right in the PM before shipping to me. I will not edit these and I will not fix formatting issues-it goes up as is. If it looks funny in the PM, chances are it will look funny in the public posting to follow later. Entries are due October 22nd, 11:59 pacific time. There will be NO extensions. You are getting 30 days to have your stuff turned in- don't procrastinate. ;) Send your entries in to me via PM. Please put "Spinal Chills Entry" in the subject line so that I can ensure it goes into the applicable folder in my PMs (reduces the odds that I will lose it). I respond to those submissions within a few days (usually less than 24hrs) to confirm receiving the submission. Please give me 72 hours to respond to you. I will not accept entries any earlier than October the 1st, so at least spend the next ten days creating your future masterpiece. Posting and Voting All stories will be posted in a random order on October 23rd. I will not accept votes until starting 72 hours after they are posted. I ask that all would be voters PLEASE take the time to read ALL entries at least once before voting- hence the 72 hour window before voting even begins. After, you will have until 11:59pm pst Monday, the 30th to get your votes in. The results will go up on Halloween. Here is the voting guidelines and requirements: One vote per person. A vote consists of three choices that you MUST rank from first choice through third choice, assuming you choose 3 stories. You must rank them, or else I assume the order you post them in is the order you intended (1st through 3rd). You can vote for less than 3. Basically, your first place vote gets three points, while your second place vote gets two points and your third place vote gets one point. This gives weighted votes, which we found resulted in better outcomes. In order to vote, you must have been registered on the site prior to October 17th. If you submitted to the contest, you do NOT get to vote . You either participate as a reader/voter, or a contributor. Pick one or the other. All votes coming from new accounts (or any other account suspected of being a duplicate) will be IP address cross checked- so don't even think about trying to cheat. Votes are submitted via PM to me. You need to put "Spinal Chills Vote" in the subject line, to ensure I catch it and move it to the designated folder in my PMs box, to ensure it is counted. I will respond to you before Halloween to confirm I got the vote. Prizes! Last year I provided some monetary based prizes. It worked for me, so I am willing to do it again. As I did with the previous years, we will hold tie breakers for 1st and 3rd place. If two people tie at 2nd place, they both get 2nd place and third place is dropped. However, there will only be one first place, and we will have no more than 3 winners based on the vote. 3rd place: $10 e-gift card* for Amazon.com 2nd place: $15 e-gift card* for Amazon.com 1st place: $25 e-gift card* for Amazon.com. *e-gift cards require a valid email address, so please be prepared to give us one. Let's see who has the most chilling story this year! Good luck!
  11. Today
  12. Laden with goods and with magic

    "You're blocking up the path." A commanding voice spoke out from behind the conversing trio. The man wore a hooded cloak not revealing any features of his face. A desolate and bone chilling bloodthirsty aura radiated around him, he was like a cold star. His cloak was worn down, tattered at the ends and had no distinguishing features. However a covered rifle could be seen strapped to his back of unknown make and origin. Truly a strange sight. "If you're going to have a chat do it off the road. Otherwise I'll have to help you off the road." The man continued speaking in his commanding tone. However this time it was laced with an underlying threatening tone as well.
  13. Taen HQ

    Yes boss. Getting on it.
  14. Tavern of Legend: Season 2

    Crow looked at the extend hand filled with coins and other oddities, he smiled wryly underneath his hood. He pushed the man's hand back, "It's alright, keep your money. You seem to be more in need of it that I do." After a short pause Crow rethought what he had said and continued, "Actually, buy me a meal and I'll call it even." Crow's stomach was indeed grumbling, he simply possesses no money at all and as such he hadn't eaten on his way to the Tavern. Although he was skilled at hunting and cooking, the scenery around the Tavern was not exactly something where one could find good game. "As for my skills," Crow's tone grew even softer than before, to the point where one had to prick their ears as much as they could to be able to hear him and even then, just barely and his head drooped. "I had the fortune of meeting a great master, he taught me multitude of things" he then looked at the man in the eyes, "And as for your personal matters, I will not pry. Though, I would like to know your name." @Alchmeus
  15. Unfinished Business

    “There is no need for an apology, Gabriela. Had I known you were tending to this child I would have gladly waited instead of interrupting so rudely. Forgive me for the incursion.” There was a moment of silence, during which the Black Queen’s eyes softened significantly. Gone was the initial look of shock, and in its place was the warmth of someone seeing an old familiar face -- a face that perhaps they feared they might not see again. The steady glow of those golden eyes spoke volumes then, just before the rest of her expression followed through and a small smile spread across her lips. A genuine look of happiness did wonders to brighten her up and do away with the general anxiety that came with tending to such a small child. “I didn’t think I would ever see you again,” she said suddenly, as the facade of propriety fell away and left in its place a young woman, a young mother, and little else. She couldn’t keep her eyes on him for long because the small child in her arms became fussy again. This time she turned more of her attention toward it and cooed and rocked it back and forth until it was silent once again, save for the tell-tale sound of suckling and swallowing. When she looked up again, the blush had lessened but was still quite notable on her pale cheeks. She smiled again, this time a more apologetic curving of her lips. “You left so suddenly -- I thought...perhaps…” she realized, with a bit of an awkward silence that she had never actually been sure what she thought in regards to his departure. So much of her memory had been taken away, and what had remained or been returned came in strange fragments. Once upon a time, Raylon had risked life and limb (perhaps not all that dramatically) to save her from the very man whose child she was now holding. There was a startlingly clear memory of his disappointment when he had shown up in Patia only to be turned away, by none other than her. It was the same story just a different set of heros. There were so many who had tried to save her -- so many who had failed. The weight of such a depressing thought made her laugh softly, nervously, as she shook her head, almost as if she were trying to cast off the thoughts. “It doesn’t matter,” she continued before he could say anything -- before she could add any of her ridiculous assumptions. “It was all such a long time ago, and what’s truly important is that here you are. You’ve returned to me. Raylon, it is so good to see you.” Gabriela shifted on her seat. The sofa that she occupied was one of a set of three. There were arm chairs all artfully placed around a low table at the center, where an arrangement of flowers sat. They were large white cups -- calla lilies, the Queen’s favorites though no one knew such a quaint little fact. The fragrance was subtle, but profound. It was not sweet but oddly unique and enticing. After a little rearranging, she managed to free one of her arms from underneath the blanket that kept her modest. She gave her little one a hug and pressed the babe closer to her chest before motioning for Raylon, who had already drawn near, to take a seat in any of the chairs he prefered. “Sit down, please -- tell me where you’ve been, what you’ve been doing, and why it took you so very long to come see me.” And then, although she had never called for help, a young woman dressed in black came into the room. The sharp click of her heels was a delightful sound against the polished floors of marble. She stood, smiling pleasantly, and bowing her head deeply when the Queen acknowledged her with a glance. “Majesty,” she said and her voice was a sensual collage of rich sounds and an exotic accent. “Please, pour some wine for my friend and have refreshments brought,” Gabriela said all this while staring at the woman, but she then turned her golden gaze back to Raylon, “I won’t have you spoil your appetite -- I fully expect you to sit down to dinner with me, but I am certain that after your travels you must be hungry and thirsty.” The woman in black had moved away to the corner of the room where a tall table housed a collection of crystal bottles, all filled with a variety of colored liquids. Based on the time of the evening, and what she was already planning to have brought up (some fresh figs, some honey, some cheese, and perhaps a collection of nuts) she decided to pour the Queen’s guest a glass of pinot grigio. In the same friendly silence that she had come, the woman walked up to the King and handed over his drink -- the smile never leaving her face. Once the drink was accepted, she would bow her head and disappear the same way she had come.
  16. A Religious Robbery [Class B Quest]

    The look on Benjamin's face was priceless. "I mean, if the unthinkable should happen, and we get caught, I'm probably going to bust out one of my routines. Like this-" Dan looked down for a second and then back up at them with terrified eyes and a quivering lower lip. He looked to be on the verge of tears. "M-mister, can you help me? I'm lost and I c-can't find my mom." Dan sniffled and then grinned. "And I don't want you guys thinking I turned on you. As for the plan to get us some outfits, we need to get to the Great Cloister. There are small openings you can use to get outside. I'm gonna stop just short of it until you guys are out in this open square here." Dan pointed to a squared off area to the left of the Great Cloister. "Hide there, and wait for them or me to come out. If it's just me, the plan busted and we'll need another one. But, this should work." Having said that, Dan took off down the Nave, nearly a blur, but still managing to keep relatively quiet, and took out his mirror again, peeking around corners. Still seeing no one, Dan started to wonder where they all were. He then ran down toward the Great Cloister, and stopped right at the way in. He poked his mirror out and immediately withdrew it. It seemed he found them. There was a large group of about 6 or 7, maybe more, he didnt have time to count before withdrawing his mirror, coming down the cloister toward his direction. Probably heading to the Chapel of 9 Altars. They were slow moving, apparently talking amongst themselves while walking. They all wore some sort of robe, which suited Dan just fine. All the better to conceal who they were. Looking around to make sure no one else was coming, Dan set his backpack down, and while waiting for the others, got busy. First, he opened a pocket, and got out a small makeup kit, and started applying a foundation, making himself look pale in the face. After that, he pulled off his shirt, and stuffed it into his backpack. Then he opened another larger pocket containing what he called his "Detail Kit". He used it to start creating various fake wounds on his body; a gash across his forehead, several small cuts across his chest and stomach, and a few down his arms and legs. He managed to barely snicker when he was doing this. Afterward he took a deep breath and very VERY slowly made a few cuts on the soles of his feet. He hoped no one was coming, as it took the entirety of his concentration not to twitch or laugh while doing that. These were rather real looking, and unless heavily inspected, would fool nearly anyone. Finally, he replaced the first kit, and pulled out several red capsules. He waited to use those until his teammates appeared, and made himself as scarce as possible until then. He hoped one of them was at least somewhat skilled in this, as he would look kind of odd, having a beat up front but a pristine back.
  17. LotE Chapter 2: The Valley

    -The healing being done to Madon didn’t take long at all. In fact, by the time Judas and Jin were done telling their stories of how they got looped into this mess Bolt had finished healing what he could. For now, the Exarch would be feeling a lot less pain shoot up but a dedicated healer would need to be found to finish what the dragonborn couldn’t reach.- -The suggestion to start heading to some Valley place sounded like the best and only option the group had currently. Being out in the open like this was risky and they barely escaped last time. They were still missing one person though. However, right on cue there’s Lily tumbling towards Jin’s feet looking completely exhausted. Seeing Madon lift the girl up and mount up to his horse, suggesting that everyone else gets ready to leave and form a diamond formation as well.- -Since Bolt flew all the way out here and practically left behind the horse that was meant for him, the dragonborn would use the same thing that he used to get here to begin with; his dragon wings. Both of them quickly formed out of his back as they slowly flapped and lifted his body off the ground, hovering just a few feet in the air before being the first one to start the diamond formation. Taking a huge whiff of the air around them, Bolt was trying to see if their enemies were coming near. Fortunately for now that wasn’t the case.- “Seems like they didn’t follow us this far. Nothing to smell. Let’s head to this Valley and hopefully feel a little more secure.”
  18. Lost on Shore [Turned OOC]

    I will do my best to post tonight, but otherwise I hope it's ok that I post tomorrow
  19. [Crystallo Stella] OOC Discovery!

    Can't wait for it @Eternity:)
  20. Taen HQ

    I SHALL POST...soon >_> I now understand why all the college people are ACTUALLY busy all the time :P (Love me 12 hours a day 6 days a week College life)
  21. A Religious Robbery [Class B Quest]

    Getting a disguise in a wide open area was a big risk. They could end up getting caught while in the act, and if they hesitate even for a second that could cost them this whole heist. Fredrick knew that perfectly well, and his lips pressed into a thin line as he raised his guard a bit more. Dan's words only made him tense even more. "That's a bit hard to trust when we've only decided to work together today." Fredrick spoke up, his gaze narrowing as he gave the male a once over. Dan was the one who'd started to call for companions on a quest to rob a church, and Fredrick had willingly volunteered. Though Fredrick wasn't someone who've worked together with someone before on something like this, and being a thief he had a hard time trusting people, so he was very suspicious as he listened to the other. "I can't fully trust you, but if you have a plan you can't tell us then it better be good." He'll give the other a bit of his trust for now, since he didn't have a better idea. All his ideas centered around him getting in and him alone. He was more used to that way after all. But he had to remind himself that he wasn't the only one in this plan, and he forced himself to accept that fact because he was the one who got himself in this sticky situation. Another problem was, in such a closed space his powers wouldn't do him much good because it would cause a big ruckus if used, so silently, he waited for the other's move.
  22. talk 2 carlos 2.0

  23. [Baaj Island] The Golden Coronation

    @roboblu “Yes, a drink does sounds lovely.” Poema responded. Her accent was much more purposeful than most Baajans. Her mentor had always insisted on the importance of enunciation and proper pronunciation. She was positive that all her lessons of reciting poetry did not help, either. Maybe she did know this man well, but at least they were stuck in these positions of keeping up appearances together. Her silvery white hair hung loose over her shoulders, pinned back with fuchsia orchids along her temples. A strand had escaped the arrangement and so she reached up to push it back behind her ear as she neared the table where the majority of the food and drink was located—some guests already started in on the harder liquors, but Poema was not much of a drinker. Just a couple glasses of wine to take the edge off. I would hate to lose my head when in the midst of such an important crowd, she strategically reminded herself. Drink in excess will be saved for when I am at home with Mother and Father. Taking a cup and ladling some spiced wine into it, she handed it to Kealohi before serving herself. After all, now was the time for keeping up social rituals of Baaj as well as Terrenus. Turning to face him, her electric green irises met his honey brown orbs. Unsure of exactly how to proceed, she decided to speak first. “I do not believe that we have formally met. I am Poema Kamalani, daughter of Manuku and Kona, of the Akahi tribe.” She extended a soft hand from the folds of her ceremonial garb, her palm parallel to the floor, in favor of a more traditional greeting. In harmony to her formality, a polite smile curved Peoma’s lips into the slightest of crescent moon, and she turned to face Kealohi. “And I suppose I am now Princess of the Baajan island as well.” It would not be a lie to say that she was intensely curious about him. The Akahi and the Mahinalani had been friendly for decades, but other than the feast days, they did not have much contact in everyday life. There was much they did not understand about each other, but would most likely have to learn in order to establish a proper diplomatic relationship, particularly in the face of the newly minted Scarlet Rule. For example, the formal dress he wore showed a great deal of his tattoos, but Poema had no doubt that they continued beyond the boundaries of the orange and red fabric. There were none on her skin, even though it was rather standard practice in her tribe as well. Miss Mahina insisted they were outdated, vulgar even, and although her parents had not cared one way or another, Poema had decided to save them for when she felt she deserved the expressions of power and devotion on her body. From what she understood, the Mahinalani had few reservations about covering the body in an arrangement of tattoos after members came of age. "Those are beautiful tattoos." She commented simply, gesturing at the piece on his arm in an attempt at making a sociable exchange. Although it was easy enough to introduce herself, Poema was at a loss at what to say next, despite her years of training in what was essentially ceremonial chit-chat. However, a conversation with the newly crowned Prince seemed more attractive of an option than discussion with the random honored guests that filled the hall.
  24. “Oh,” Dove looked away, out towards the fading sunset through the window, and smiled whimsically as if she saw something there. Nothing – she thought to herself – but the rest of an infinite and remarkable world. “Anything will do, Miss.” And it was true that anything would do. People of all walks, all ages and eras and locales, were more talented storytellers than they realized, and this was not borne of personal virtue but of a universal one. Stories are made interesting for their novelty. What man has known all there is to know under the sun? Even the Statistician was troubled by an admission of such a size. Dove wanted, at least, to hear something human relate something human. Those were the sorts of things that interested her. Broken hearts. Journeys toward the ephemeral and spiritual. Betrayal, hatred, lust. Or perhaps the ennui of family. A child’s idyll – and the hell of walking on this earth and breathing the air like poison. She’d known some of these things, but not all of them, and not all their kinds. Enter Valentina. Dove closed the book on her lap, some treatise on obscure Renovatian historical customs, and folded her hands on the leather-bound cover lightly. There were stories in there, too, but they were not so human. They were about humans, about nations and countries and the thoughts that flowed through the consciousness of millions. A library makes a man God to look down upon the world. He sees people as ants, countries as splotches of bannering and arbitrary pride. He understands everything that has happened, and that which will, and why it all was. Dove grew tired of being such a being. So: “Well, how about this?” She tapped the cover of the book lightly, then pointed at the one that Valentina held. “What brings a young woman like you to the library on such a lively night? Tell me your story, the one that I can’t find in any of these books.” The music that began to bleed through the window made her question true. The world outside was beginning to glow with the softness of lamps, reflected in a pastel-dark sky. Surely those who were here had just cause to bring them away from the everyday grind. Whether they sought something mythical, or were the sorts of people who drew themselves away from the happiness of others… The outcome was satisfactory either way.
  25. The Solaris Inquisition

    James hadn't entered the Merry Tyme in a while. It wasn't really his first choice of inn when visiting Predator's Keep, and ever since he became an honored guest to its ruler, Red, he's had better accommodations when he did visit. The locale was familiar enough however, and the assorted adventurers and religious would get a look at one of their presumed enemies. After all, James Eredas was, by their definitions, an Outsider. Stepping through the doors to the meeting room, James took one look at the developments, and made to stand off by the side, awaiting his turn patiently while the white-cloaked stranger before him dealt with the churchmen and their cohorts first, removing his own cloak's hood as he did. Wordlessly, he observed the churchmen, and let himself be observed. The Sons of Solaris were an interesting, if dogmatic group. James would've been away by now, already searching for the causes and origins of the plague affecting Predator's Keep, if he hadn't heard of this sect's interest in exploring the origins as well. Curiosity drove him now, seeking to understand what he thought might be a major player in the future politics of this world. The daemonslayer stood at 6 feet tall. In sharp contrast to the other stranger, his traveler's cloak was well-worn, emblazoned with the corona of a burning sun, symbol of his clan. What little of his gear they could see under the cloak indicated that James was, at the very least, a rich, if not skilled and deserving warrior; with armor featuring metallic-looking hide and scales, finely worked with masterfully crafted vambraces and gauntlets. It was no mass production gear, that much was certain. The only visible armament they would see was the hilt and guard of a sheathed longsword at his side, a longsword with winged handguards. He was a handsome man, must have been in his mid, to late 20s, with high cheekbones, dark hair, and exotic features. His expression was a mask of polite neutrality, for his eyes, which a more experienced onlooker could tell, seemed as if they held the secrets to a hundred campaigns. "Greetings, my name is James Eredas. I heard you were all seeking the source of the plague?" Softly spoken, and right to business if possible.
  26. Welcome to Valucre. 


  27. [ Himmelsfestung ] What Lies Beneath [ Test Quest ]

    "Left it is, then. If it's the end of us, hopefully Johari will get my will." And down the left corridor they went. Vera didn't care for the shadows cast by the eerie silvery light. The place reeked of magic to her which meant she and the others were at the mercy of its caster. What if the King knew they were there already? How easily would it be to thwart them? Who was to say the King wasn't messing with them all along? Was there truly any fairness to this wicked trap they stepped into? That ground shook. The walls trembled as she stumbled against it. Just like that, the wall vanished into the ground and Vera toppled over. All around them those tall and impossible walls were rising, falling, changing directions--as if they maze were re-constructing itself. It was an impossibly quick shuffle. Up, down, left, up right, down, right, left, up, down--again, and again. Vera rolled as a wall jutted out of the ground with explosive force. All at once the chamber echoed and trembled. THOOM! THOOM! As if these great walls were locking themselves in place. All at once the questers found themselves completely turned around from where they had just turned. It appeared they had taken one such wrong turn. "Pox rot in this accursed place!" Vera swore profusely. It made her nervous just how swiftly the Labyrinth turned on them. A silver X drew itself on the ground, before curling together and spelling out a simple warning Be careful
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