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  2. Current day... The squad was fairly spread-out once again, save for one major change that had been implemented on Lieutenant Precht's orders (which were orders relayed down from Major Krieger, the man in overall command of Norkotian forces in Yh'mi). All Norkotian soldiers were now required to operate in a buddy system at all times, and were only allowed to go outside of secured zones in groups of four or more. This was in order to combat future Twistling infiltration, which Krieger would not tolerate happening in the future. Murray's squad had drawn straws to see who went with who, since most of them didn't really like each-other enough to give a shit. So when Charlie decided to make his move on Melanie Winter, she was not alone. Sitting across from her was one of the non-criminal Rangers, a rather boisterous ex-mercenary named Hudson. He appeared to be the most battle-read, with a suit of some sort of armor (likely acquired outside of Norkotia) one of those nasty Jorgerson Submachineguns (one of which had been used to great effect against the wagons by the twistlings days ago). Though he didn't actually try to stop Charlie's approach or anything, perhaps being as curious as Ed was about how badly this exchange could go... "Hm?" Melanie turned around, a certain wild, but oddly innocent curiosity in her eyes, "Wha--- Oh! You are on fire!" She smiled broadly as she stood up and snatched her flamethrower from where it was leaning against a crate. A couple flicks of switches and a small, blue pilot light appeared at the end of one of the tubes, which was there to ignite the flammable vapors when they were expelled through the main tube. "And you're not screaming in horror! Are you immune to fire? Is that even possible? Can I test it? Can I set you on fire? Will you let me set you on fire? I think I'm gonna set you on fire!" She babbled on in an almost childishly excited voice, before activating her looks-like-it-was-made-by-a-Canadian-redneck-with-ducttape-flamethrower and attempting to set Charlie on fire. Guess this relationship was off to a roaring start. Very steamy indeed. I mean the heat between them is almost tangible. Actually it is. It just melts the heart, doesn't it? Meanwhile, in the food tent... Somehow, Scoot had either gotten to be the luckiest (or least luckiest) man in the camp, having gotten paired off with one of the most attractive women in the camp. Unfortunately, she was also one of the woman most likely to end the manhood (if she's feeling generous) of any given man in the camp. But the draw (and your humble author would like to emphasize that it was a legitimately random pairing) had put the two of them together, which meant... well... maybe fate was trying to tell Scoot something? "So uh... Jessica..." "Don't call me that. I fucking hate that name, I much prefer Jessie." the ex-hitwoman replied, not even looking up from her rations. "Oh-uh, okay. So, Jessie..." "First name basis is a little too familiar, don't you think, Corporal Deckel?" she retorted. "Uhhh... okay, Ms. Briggs..." "Please refer to me by my rank, Corporal. I understand you outrank me, but I insist upon being afforded title I am owed. Just because I am a woman does not mean you can disregard it." Jessie stated, still not looking up from her food. "Duh... so... Private Briggs--" "Private First Class." "Huggh... Private First Class Jessica--" "Jessie." "Private First Class Jessie Briggs!" Scoot practically shouted, slamming his palm against the table. Jessie finally looked up. "Yes sir, corporal?" "..." "..." "Uhhhhhh... I gotta tray of chicken...?"
  3. With a heavy sigh, Aelyria's shoulders slumped, the weight of them shifted onto scuffed and tender hands perched lazily at her hips. Shamelessly, she huffed and moaned with each satisfying crack of her spine, neck and joints, as she stretched away the dull ache of their arduous journey up the mountain. Renkor, of course, barely seemed winded from the climb, his stoic attention focused east--or what she assumed passed for east in Taen--to where just hours before a vehement storm had been brewing. Now, there remained little trace of the tempest's fury, only the distant echoes of soft rumbling marking their memory across the grey and lonely ridge line. With bitter fondness, the peaks and falls of jagged stone set against the bleak sky reminded her of Valjer, a sleepy winter town nestled snugly in the valley of ancient mountains deep within southern Genesaris. She wondered if their familiarity is what originally brought Renkor here, but felt it too impertinent to ask lest she dredge up memories that were better forgotten. "It's not much longer." The deep thrum of his voice surprised Aelyria and she nearly leapt at the sound. He seemed to take notice and smiled reassuringly. "Don't worry, the Xer-orians may seem strange to you at first, but you'll quickly realize the worth of having such allies." She didn't move to correct his misunderstanding for her fright and merely nodded. After all, she was anxious about meeting the hard-carapaced creatures, but according to Renkor, they were compassionate enough to rescue him when his drake had suffered a fatal fall. They couldn't be all bad if they nursed a stranger back to health without seeking anything in return. Of course, Renkor had given them something in return--weapons of his own design to help eliminate the Mork'Outh. He sympathized with them; they were exiles from their home in Taen, just as he too was exiled from his in Valjer. Though she could understand his plight, there had been something that just didn't sit right with her. "If you play your cards right," he said while beckoning her to follow with the jerk of his head. "You'll find yourself rewarded with a fortune you never thought possible before. The Queen is generous." There it was again. She clicked her tongue, remembering, long ago, Renkor with his coffers of gold and the magnanimity of which he shared it--no, practically forced it upon her without a second thought. "Really? Strange, you never really struck me as someone who cared much for riches," she remarked pointedly. "What exactly does she possess that could even entice you?" He stopped and turned. For a moment, Aelyria thought she might have upset him and expected to be reprimanded for her ignorance. Instead his lips curled into a knowing smile. "You'll see soon enough." Figuring the phrase was his polite way to shutting her up, Aelyria shrugged and followed him along what appeared to be the subtle trace of a trail among the craggy silvery-black rocks. She shuddered to think what might happen if she took one misstep. A fall from this high up would be quite the spectacle of pain all the way down as her body was shredded to pieces on jagged ends and snapped on jutted rocks. Aelyria paused to look out beyond the cascade of silhouetted mountainsides and could just make out the haze of amber in the distance. Conscious of the ring of black metal around her neck, she tugged on it. "It's best you leave that on," Renkor said flatly. "It helps with the thin air in this high altitude." It's not like I can even take it off, she thought, having yet to discern how it became latched on in the first place. Another magic device of his that I'll never come to know how he got, no doubt. A part of her envied that about him, that enigmatic nature of his. Another part was just... annoyed. "How soon is soon?" She stretched her palms open and closed, the ache in them beginning to throb uncomfortably. "Just there." Renkor pointed and she could just make out a great maw in the rock face nearly three hundred meters ahead. She sighed and they pressed forward, taking care along the narrow path while anticipation swelled in her chest, bubbling until it festered into a dull, persistent pain. Aelyria half-expected there to be guards out front, but instead the maw was left unprotected. She stopped to reach into her pack to retrieve and light a lantern, but was interrupted by a raised hand. "There's no need. They're expecting us, see?" She followed his gaze and saw within some distance into the cave's gullet was the faint glow of blue light. "Surely you don't think they need the light to see, do you?" "No, I suppose not," her voice trailed, teeming with uncertainty. "Though I'm not even sure what they are." "You'll see. Soon enough." The cave walls first appeared unnaturally smooth, but at each passing of the crude, blue stone-lit torch's eerie glow, she could make out tiny pockmarks that defaced the rock and gave it its unusual, deceiving texture. Although their hosts may have been gracious enough to provide them light, they either were in short supply of these glowstones, or severely overestimated the human ability to see in low-light conditions. Or, she thought while fighting the chill that gripped her, they don't want me to see. At times, even Renkor would disappear from her sight if her eyes dared to stray, and his footsteps were so soft that they scarce made a noise loud enough for her to follow. Nevertheless, she'd pressed forward rather than succumb to panic and sure enough, he'd suddenly reappear as if he had not ever been but five feet from her the entire time. It soon became clear to her that they hadn't been traveling in just one tunnel. At each branching she'd feel a slight breeze, just barely softer than a whisper, but if when she'd turn her head to see, only darkness beckoned. She counted each opening, designating each right and left and accounting for every turn they made on their path. She tried to mentally map the network of tunnels, overwhelmed by the vastness and complexity she could only imagine. Each step closer to their destination made her uneasy, with only her blind trust in Renkor to ground her. They turned one last corner and a blast of cold air struck her. The antechamber gave way to a great hall, brilliantly lit by rows and rows of blue stone that spiraled endlessly upwards into a permeated dome. She sheared her eyes away from the remarkable structure and turned it to the cavern floor, where, for a moment before Renkor's visage blocked her view, she thought she saw Ted crumpled on the floor. Aelyria gasped and leapt past the sylph but came to an abrupt stop when the body that lay bound and gagged on the cold stone before her was unlike any she had ever seen. It definitely was not Ted. Another of the same creature lay beside it, limp and haphazardly strewn, with such an extensive gash seared across its chest that it didn't require any of Aelyria's medicinal skills to deduce that it had long passed since its gouging. Behold, the enemy. The pressure she had felt so incessantly since before the fire chased Ted and her out of the jungle, now surged with intensity. That voice in her head... That wasn't the Urge. With a grimace, she shot a look back to Renkor, but his eyes seemed elsewhere--almost inattentive and blank, drawn blindly to another's presence. She turned back to face it, startled to see a pair of torches not previously lit now shining bright as if to spotlight the creature before them. Such use of petty theatrics might have once made her scoff; that is, it might have hadn't the thing that deliquesced from the shadows terrified her. Welcome Aelyria, the Queen voiced deep within the chambers of her mind. Welcome to what was once my sister's home. I've since... renovated the place to suit my needs. The Xer-orian queen stepped away from the stone light, the alien beauty of her shimmering carapace serving as a natural armor among slender limbs that each moved with precise and unnatural individuality, yet each controlled by her in complex synchrony. She was humanoid, yet not quite, her proportions and mandible more closely resembling that of an insect--rather an ant. That is, a very large and telepathic ant. I'm sorry, I'd typically greet you with considerably more fanfare than this. But you see... She raised an arm, guiding it to the pair of bark-skinned creatures Aelyria had first seen upon walking into the hall. We've murderers in our midst. These two alone had killed hundreds of my kind, all to assassinate my dear sister. Unfortunately, they succeeded. Aelyria wanted to turn and see Renkor, yearning for his reassurance, but when she tried--her head snapped forward again as if held captive to an invisible force. No, she thought. Not invisible. She's right there. A flicker of amusement glittered in the Queen's eyes as she surveyed the human female. You're as strong as he says. I hope you are also as compassionate he says. My kind will not survive long here without the help of those such as yourself. The elf may have provided us with weapons to use against the Mork'Outh and their titans, but it will take more than storm blessed steel to win a war. We need allies. "Allies? I'm but one person," Aelyria grunted, the pain behind her head pulsating urgently. "Whatever Renkor has said is a gross overestimation of any skill I have." Shall I remind you that these were but two Mork'Outh. And they killed hundreds. This one, the queen gestured to the dead creature, nearly killed thousands before he was brought down by my own sister. Any ally in the cause against the oppressors is a worthy ally. Surely, he has told you of your reward? Aelyria shook her head. "I don't desire gold or trinkets--" Gold and trinkets aren't the only treasures worth owning, now are they? She eyed the queen warily as the Xer-orian sauntered closer, like a cat toying with its prey. Memories? Those are worth having, aren't they? Or rather, perhaps, in your case... The absence of? The queen audibly chuckled, a sinister clicking that one might imagine an insect to make if it could laugh. Don't get the wrong impression--I don't intend to bribe you with your memories. I just offer to wash them away. Free you of those dreadful things that plague you each night. Aelyria couldn't speak, but she could feel the queen tug at her mind where secrets she thought had been well buried now reeled through her memories. I can erase the beatings your father inflicted upon you, night after night after night. I can erase the cruelty of his lesson as he forced you to watch that young stable boy die, his only crime being he befriended you. I can erase that night when your father had had enough of withholding his carnal desire for you... and even the moment you saw your mother turn away and leave you there. Aelyria choked. When had she started crying? When had the queen gotten so close to her that she could practically feel the creatures alien breath plucking at the hairs at the back of her neck? I can free you of those things, Aelyria Tywen, and more. Let me set you free. All you have to do, is prove your loyalty to me. She looked down at the pressure of something cold being pressed into her open palm. A severed spear head, faintly glowing with ethereal storm light, lay flat in her hand. Kill the remaining Mork'Outh. And all that you desire shall be yours.
  4. Yep thanks! 😄 I think that's fine. My intro was really long... So I hope that I didn't make anyone else dizzy with so much text. But from next post onwards there will definitely be less words than before. But of course that will not diminish the quality of my post. 🙂 Just curious @Jotnotes, is there a plot you have in mind for this adventure? Or will we be taking on a quest (like artifacts and such)?
  5. Today
  6. Grigori started to panic watching the ripped-jeans woman hop from shelf-to-shelf like the wildest game of 'the floor is lava'. He scrambled to pick up a large piece of concrete laying down by his feet. It flew at the glass door and crashed on tiles. "WOMAN," He yelled, outstretching his hand through the shards and opened the door from the inside. The shelves within the living store slowed, and they turned to look at him. Grigori started to panic even more. What's worse is that there seemed to be something else that was heading their way. "Quickly, quickly!" He stretched out his hand for Alethea to take. His legs began to weaken from the chaotic mess and the outrageously alarming battlecry approaching from behind them.
  7. > ATTACK store (d6 = 6)
  8. this kid wants her fruity loops, ya possessed store
  9. for some reason i posted in the dice roll thread without thinking 😭 what i actually meant to do was DISCERN
  10. so tell me what you want what you really really want
  11. Imagine Lun'Silth sending out an army of carnivorous kittens, hamsters, and Guinea Pigs. That would be legitimately terrifying and much worse. Chittens at least LOOK like they're gonna kill you.
  12. I’m open to any suggestions you may have
  13. SUMMARY: Seeking to advance the THRIVE initiative, Grant Knight and a squad of volunteers go to clear away dead vegetation so that new life may bloom from the leyline his mother had struck a bargain with. At first, all goes well, but soon things take a turn for the worse. The group is set upon by a pack of vegetation monsters seemingly spawned from the pollutants that had been deposited there by the Tyrant King. After fighting off numerous smaller entities, an alpha shows up, but is defeated by the Prince and his allies. The land is now clear of death and decay, and ready to be farmed. SHORT SUMMARY: A mission to cleanup polluted land becomes a fight for survival. @Deus Ex Aizen
  14. Grant grinned at Koryu, "A prince must defend his people after all. You're quite impressive yourself, as are you Madame." Looking out upon the fields, it was clear that any remaining plant creatures were dead or dying now that the big one was gone. With that danger passed, they could now clear the fields in peace. Of course, he would also need to have the corpses examined to find out all he could about the things, but all of that could come later. For now, he was ready to call an end to a hard days work, and go get a drink. He would even invite the others to join them.
  15. The city was burning. It had happened so fast that they were still struggling to learn all the details. The one detail that everybody could agree on was that it had all started with shards of glass, pieces of a mirror it seemed, had fallen from the sky. Soon after, everything had descended into chaos. People who had touched the shards had become psychotically violent; visiting death, torture, and worse, upon anyone they encountered. Though the Enforcers had tried to keep order, but even they were soon compromised by the spreading madness. Eventually they had fallen back to form a perimeter around the Arcadia district, thoroughly screening everyone coming out. But there were still people trapped within the quarantine zone; the elderly, the sick, and the injured. Prince Grant Knight wasn't willing to simply let them die, and had asked for volunteers from both the Enforcers and anyone else willing to go. He had managed to gather a group of about a hundred who weren't needed elsewhere, plus a few others. Now, as they stood in front of a hastily erected checkpoint, he turned to address them. "I want to once again stress that this is a strictly voluntary mission, so now is your chance to walk away, no shame, no guilt." When nobody left, he continued, "Our objective is to get to Arcadia General Hospital. As of one hour ago, we know that there were a number of civilians and Enforcers holed up there. We're gonna get them out; them and anyone else we come across." "We know that the plague was spread by shards of some kind of mirror. I probably don't have to say this, but DO NOT touch any shards you may find. Also, when you come across a civilian, check their eyes. The eyes of those affected by the shards take on a reflective quality. Do not allow anyone to get to the barricade without checking their eyes. Any questions?" Iblis looked out upon the Arcadia district from the rooftop of a palace of a home that had probably once belonged to some rich diplomat or some other such thing. Not that he particularly cared. He was here to do one thing; gain power, and this arrangement was perfect for that. Whenever one of the plague victims died, he would receive a portion of their power. Just from those that had fallen already, he had accrued quite a bit; and was sure to be significantly more powerful by the time this ended. But he was also interested in helping his partner Claudette achieve her goals. As the sun set, and the myriad fires that had been set across the district began to cast eerie shadows over the streets. "Not a bad start, eh?" @Rin @Thotification @THE_BULL @Deus Ex Aizen
  16. > LOOK WEST Behind the grocery store you can see several buildings beginning to sag. As you watch, a five-story complex collapses. The battle cry sounds like it belongs to a young girl.
  17. > look WEST > listen to strange battlecry
  18. The bullet flies true. The lamp explodes in a shower of glass and neon-green fluid. The shelves shudder, a few tipping over. Creaky, pained groans emanate from the widening hole, as if wrenched from the very bowels of the earth. It is then that you hear screaming. No, not screaming; this is a battle cry in a high-pitched, suspiciously young voice. It begins faint, but grows steadily louder from the WEST. From the same direction comes the deafening crash, of something that sounds like breaking concrete. The walls shudder in turn. You are inside the Store
  19. So, if I am understanding correctly does a character have to be a citizen of Ursa Madeum / Veluriyam Empire or can they be an outsider? I have a Welander currently pursuing an education at the Gaian Academy, but he could use the 'internship' experience as it were. Here is the character in question.
  20. The manor is done, the announcement has been made, the radar foxes have been adopted, Thurgood and Aveline are working on expanding their territory, the Taen Loci are rapidly degrading the machinery to dig the vulcanium mine shaft, and they're doing this with pretty much only the aforementioned radar foxes. House Singlance will get this shit done with or without anybody else, but do you really want to miss out on this advancement? If you(r characters) don't want to work directly for/with House Singlance, or you want to go in a bit of a different direction but still be a part of this, that's what vassals are for!
  21. That looks an awful lot like what you just said. Yeah, I know. But not everyone can be as cool as me, let him have it. "Im just as gung ho as you guys, but we have a small problem. They haven't found the seed yet. Which means no one has any idea where it is. Other than it's in that cave. How exactly are we going to find it?" That.... was a good point. "Unless my sexy thief boy can sense other Tellus Seeds, we're really no better off than the monsters are. Actually, we're at a DISadvantage, because there's 3 of us to gods know how many of them looking for it." "And no, I cannot sense other Tellus Seeds. I'm a Tellan. Someone who's eaten from a Tellus Seed. In Tellus Mater, especially in Alterion, I am immensely more powerful. Its said there's not a force in the world that can defeat a Tellan in Alterion. Except for some kind of energy or something. But, none of it's here; I'd know if there was." "Point being: Before the heist can start, we need to find the seed. Any ideas?" After about a minute of silence, Leo spoke up again. "Well... Maybe if you put more sonar orbs in more parts the cave system, I'd pick up a room they haven't found yet?"
  22. @supernal-senpai, one has a question. What is Imogen in the Gaian church exactly, a bishop, a cardinal, a simple priest?
  23. •TABLE of CONTENTS • Alterion Overview Cosanastre Arkadia Prime Izral Xaengri-La Lands of Alterion
  24. The blizzard continued to rattle the window panes of the bestiary; Sinclair looking into the infinite white and praying for Archen's safe return. Her gaze shifting toward the locket and then to Fain as he gave her an air of caution that came with his generous gift. The monk nodding with understanding as she took hold of the enchanted jewelry "I will use it wisely; I know when he is working...he mustn't have any distractions." She said, understanding how dangerous his work was. Her worried expression melting away into a nebulous brightness across her dark skinned face "Of course you can stay here sire! The Bestiary acts as a sanctuary against those who would seek us harm, and unfortunately only those in grave danger come seeking my Master's help...It is why I am here. I make sure all our clients and guests are safe and warm" She said, guiding him to a chair next to the fire and attempting to heat his icy cheeks "I shall make us some more tea, and to pass the time perhaps you can tell me where you are from! I do love hearing stories of cities I have never been to" Sinclair could never cease the worry she had for Archen, but it did no good to dwell on it and instead wanted to get to know this mysterious man who seemed to have known her master before. There were few of his old friends that didn't want him dead. Extreme climates were some of the hardest training regimes he had ever experienced when the master before him tempered him with bouts of flame, ice, and crushing earth. Those that surpassed the capacity most mortals had found lairs and domiciles in extreme climate; It was an obstacle he had been trained to endure. The Hunter managing through the endless slow with a careful pace that kept from collapsing into any unseen dangers; Archen shutting his nostrils closed as he amplified his vision, piercing through the maelstrom with intensity. He knew he wouldn't be to smell any scent based dangers, but sight was far more important in this torrential weather. His boot colliding with an unknown form; shoveling some snow out of the way revealing it to be...a corpse. Archen kneeling next to it and scanning it over four or five times, drinking in every detail he could. The smile indicating he did not fear an impending doom...focused on something more. An ethereal voice seeming to bring the snow alive as it sung to Archen, leaving him motionless through it's duration. It was an enchanting voice...one that would be neigh impossible to deny. This man must have followed this song to his death, entranced by it and unabashed by the frigid horror consuming him. Archen was beginning to feel this was a truly hostile entity despite it's enrapturing song, but...it had to be captured if he were to see one of his pieces again. Archen marching forward once more as he climbed higher. His skin being pelted and stung though his cloak, but he grit his teeth and pushed through. That fire that had been snuffed out for so long beginning to roar through him like a hungry furnace. He forgot how much he actually enjoyed it. The Hunt He found another corpse frozen to the mountain; stuck in a climb he would never finish. He remembered the wrath he once felt for the countless lives lost to deceit, villainy, and vile instinct...he remembered how consuming that wrath was. He hated them all...every creature that dared threaten mortal lives. That hatred had brought him to ruin, and he would not drink in it's self destruction again. All he felt now was determination; he would save those he could, and avenge those he could not...whether that was through elimination or capture it only mattered that the danger was secure. Archen digging his claws into the ice caked walls of the mountain and climbed upwards, ascending at a slow and careful pace. The storm was getting worse still; It was close. What was his plan going to be? If this mirrored a siren's method of luring souls into it's trap then that potentially means it is defenseless against a trained melee fighter, but if it has wraith qualities...melee is severely dangerous. Could he even try diplomacy? If that was really it's voice then that must mean it has some form of conscience somewhere...even fragmented. What did those lyrics mean? Does freezing to death here imply it is giving those it lures a 'home'? There must be a chance they could be freed then. Dozens of questions and planning routes manifesting in his mind as he ascended the perilous mountain, wind crashing him into the walls and causing him to nearly lose his grip several times before having to stop in a small alcove carved into the side. He needed a breather; it had been some time since he had done anything this strenuous.
  25. "I'm sure I'll manage." is all she says in response, leveling him with a charming grin. "Sleep tight Doc! Don't let the bed bugs bite...or anything else for that matter!" As the near stranger leaves, the doors swishing shut with heavy finality, her wide grin slowly slips off her face and morphs into a dark frown. Her dark eyes shine with with a grave understanding as she lightly trails a gloved finger over the metal tracking device while she scans the area. This is a disaster. This place is teaming with the strange almost eldritch-like energy that she had the unfortunate experience of being familiar with. But never had she felt it in such magnitude, not since...Regardless, it seems to be focusing around the Doctor himself, a strange sort of possessive entity that's currently rooted inside of him. The Doctor himself seems to be well aware of the curse, but for it to be affecting the facility as well-it must be something overwhelmingly powerful. Petrichor rolls her tongue along the top of her teeth as a sardonic smile tilts crookedly onto her lips. The woman casually strolls over to the nearest bot, looking upon it fondly as it works and surprisingly talks. She trails a curious finger along its smooth metallic finish before planting a kiss onto the estimation of its cheek. "Hey there. You're doing some great work, do you have a name?" she compliments with a soft pat. "What are you talking about? Mind telling me? I won't tell your boss. I'm much more fun, you know? I'm here to just listen." she winks with a click of her teeth. "I loved your singing too. I could hear it all the way outside." Regardless if the Doctor understands why or why not the bots sing and become more sentient, Petrichor can make an educated guess that the man doesn't actually try and bond with his worker drones. At least not lately, just judging by the sorry state the man was in. He clearly had a lot to deal with on his plate. In reality however, simply asking the strange bots might be the best way to actually figure out what's happening! She wonders how many sleepless nights the man has just watched or tried to reset them but not actually communicated with them. Hopefully she was about to get some information.
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