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Showing content with the highest reputation on 04/07/2018 in all areas

  1. 7 points
    Pasion Pasiva

    Maze Undue [Anima Imperium]

    The sense of dread was palpable -- the air was so thick with it. Like a dense fog, she breathed in deeply and tasted it in the back of her throat. Dread, like heavy syrup, it felt like it was coating her throat, down to her lungs, where it was breathed in and where it pushed through paper-thin membranes and infected her blood. The sort of dread that sits heavy in the belly, so heavy it will sink you right to the bottom of a bottomless pit. She was halfway down and still she felt that urge to kick and stroke and try to swim up and break the surface. Air -- she needed air. Another strong contraction caught her off guard. She had been counting the seconds between them, but had lost her place when she felt him or rather, the abomination he was bringing upon these poor wretched people and this poor wretched land. Labor had started since last night, or at least that’s what she imagined it was. The pain had been bad, but had grown steadily worse throughout the day and as night fell and she sat up from her bed, a bed upon which she could find no comfortable position, she felt the unmistakable pressure in her hips. But there was only that -- pressure, pain, pressure, pain, on a continuous loop that she prayed would carry on for a little while longer. So long as there was no water. So long as there was no blood. Slowly she came to from the pain of her stretched out womb compressing in on itself, practicing for those terrible and wonderful moments that would see her child brought into the world. They had gotten to the point where she couldn’t think through them. Everything had to stop. She had to concentrate on the pain and the pressure. But as the contraction receded, like a high tide being drawn back into the depths of the sea, she was once again herself. Her fingers were somewhat aching from having clutched at the edge of her metal bed frame. She didn’t notice the little indentations she left behind, or the way her glass-like nails had chipped from how viciously she had dug them into the metal. No, there was no time to wonder at these things when she was only herself for a few minutes before another sweeping wave of pain came along and struck her deaf and dumb once more. She was up on her feet and near the door in a matter of seconds. Even heavily pregnant, and in active labor, she wasn’t anything that could be considered slow. She stood before the door, her bare feet curling and uncurling nervously against the cold floor as her trembling fingers began to trace the outline to her only way out. While Marigold had made no promises, in his heartbreak and mourning, she could have sworn that she saw glimpses of something akin to sympathy and compassion. He felt for her. He felt deeply about this entire situation. Broken man that he was, his heart remained intact just enough to advice his brilliant mind that this was all wrong. But would he act on it? Or rather, more importantly, could he? Her head tilted back, and her wide eyes looked to the ceiling, and then to the walls -- left and right -- she was a caged animal. She felt like a bleeding beast, bound to a stake in the middle of the forest and left to be devoured by the wolves. And they were coming, the wolves. She felt their presence, near and far, and it caused every one of her muscles and joints to stiffen so much that it caused her physical pain. She walked rigidly from the tension, she felt her hands turn to fists which she could not uncurl even though her palms were already weeping blood from the bite of her jagged nails. She had prepared for Roen, and she had prepared for Raphael -- hell, she had even prepared for the absolute worst case scenario, in which she was auctioned off not to those who at least pretended to love her, but to those who very openly despised her. She thought of falling into Ryzerus’ hands, who would surely wait for her baby to be born only to strangle it with it’s own umbilical cord and for no other reason than to watch the horror it would cause her. She even thought of the possibility of Rou getting wind of this. The woman despised her so… Another contraction pulled her away from her imagination. Pale lips parted, and formed a perfect O as she clutched her left side and fought the twisting agony of muscles, already stretched thin, being strummed by the urge to push. But it wasn’t time to push. Her water hadn’t even broken, and the contractions were still too far apart, and she couldn’t possibly give birth here -- alone. Fear mixed with her pain, and it caused such a frenzy to throb through her heart that her poor child felt the effects of it. He kicked and pushed, he struggled to regulate his own heartbeat when his mother’s blood pressure was beginning to rise. “Calm down, calm down…” she said to herself, and to the babe. “Calm down…” she breathed through a hair’s width opening along her trembling lips. “Calm down…” she prayed to a God that had never and would never exist in this world. Still, it did help -- she did calm down somewhat. Exhausted from the ordeal, she glanced at the door once more as the pain and pressure receded. Because the possibility of escape was greatly diminishing, she had to think about something else. Roen was here, and she wasn’t certain what to feel about that initially. Perhaps, she had felt a touch of relief -- maybe some semblance of solace. This was his child. Surely he was here to help, or at the very least, get her away from these people. Getting away from him was something she could worry about later. But then Raphael appeared -- oh yes -- his unabashed rage struck her as heavily as any strike from his own hand ever had. Something about him, something she felt through that unbreakable tethering, made her realize that the man was broken somehow. It was as if reason and logic were gone from him and all that was left was a storm of all that was violence and anger. It frightened her. What would an unmovable object do when met with an unstoppable force? Catastrophe. “I don’t want to be here,” she said aloud, a pathetic confession to the solid metal walls that enclosed her. There was no one to hear -- no one to feel a smidget of regret for what was about to happen. She was the one who would lose her life, she and her baby. Either man would rather see her dead than with someone else, of this she was certain. And suddenly, when death had once upon a time seemed like an acceptable option, she felt utter terror at the thought now. She wanted to live. She wanted to live and have her baby and see it grow. She had to make a deal. She had to make the deal, before anyone else did. She had to ask them to defend her, to protect her, to turn from kidnappers to knights. “Agony!” she yelled, “Agony -- I want to make a deal!” Is it too late? Heavily she leaned against the a wall, her eyes still fixed on the door. Her small hands gripped her stomach. It hurt so much. She couldn’t think through the pain, but she had to try -- “Agony!” her teeth were chattering as if she were cold, as if she were freezing.
  2. 7 points
    EpicRome23

    MWSfaHSwfPiHM

    Elson played his part in maintaining the unspoken illusion well, and his demeanor while Elilah spoke held no trace of familiarity with her, or indeed with the others he knew. All of them, that is, except for Sergeant Campos, who he had insisted on bringing along for, if nothing else, his skill as a marksman, at a caliber comparable to that of Cazarosta, at the least. He would make no secret of their association, although he dabbled in secret with the other hand. But sometimes, duplicity was a requirement, and Elson knew that full well. His gray eyes scanned over the assembled group for a moment, and he nodded ever so slightly. He didn't know what to make of the two strangers quite yet, of course, but all in all, he doubted he could ask for a better group to be undertaking this mission with. Anything daring to stand in their way, dragon or undead alike, would likely not live long to regret it. Well... "live" in the relative sense, at least in the latter regard. If anything, that was one of the most annoying aspects of undead, having to clarify such terms whenever one spoke of them. The nerve. As the others volunteered to go after either the airships or the dragons, he kept count of them in his head, waiting to decide until he knew the numbers for each. One for airships, though as a distraction and not going directly after them. One for... no words, but if his hand motions were any indication, one for dragons. Another for airships, though Elson could have predicted that one. Then, another for dragons. Not too much surprise there, again. Finally, there was another for airships. A fraction of time for calculation: 3 for airships, 2 for dragons. Counting Elilah, both groups were evenly distributed. He turned toward Campos, hand resting on his chin. Hunter had yet to make a decision, he could see, but with an odd number, the groups would end up unbalanced in any case. Not that that particularly mattered, of course, unless was one was perhaps a bit too obsessed or superstitious about such things. Elson, after a short time dedicated to pondering, strode forward two steps, his gaze turning toward Cazarosta as he gestured Campos forward. "Campos here, if nothing else, will do a damn good job of keeping you covered. It wouldn't be prudent to praise his marksmanship at the moment, I don't think, but I will simply state that it is excellent. As for myself, considering my skills... I believe I would be best suited for going after the airships." He moved into the fold, as it were, of the group heading toward the airships. As they had volunteered, those assembled had, at least seemingly, split into the groups they had declared themselves to be joining. So, while Elson went to the right, Campos went to the left. Whatever came next, they would be ready. That, at least, was guaranteed.
  3. 6 points
    Erotisch

    Looking for a Motivation

    Greetings! I am an old player here, who has been struggling to get back into the roleplaying world. I do live such an active life out side of Valucre that I sometimes don’t make it back everyday to see if it’s my turn to post. But I am slowly working back into that habit. I’m looking to start a new character here, but am having difficulty finding something I know how and enjoy playing. There has to be a sense of comfort when I play a character or I simply lose interest fast and move on, or in this case away. Things move so quickly here, keeping up is incredibly overwhelming once you fall behind. I would like to find someone who is not necessarily active every day, but involved. I’m basically looking for someone to help me get back into the game I enjoyed so much growing up. It’s going to take a bit of patience and understanding, but in the end – you would have another friend. I have one character here who is currently stuck in a limbo. She is my original OC I created over ten years ago, and has been the inspiring force I’d like to revive in the near future. My new inspiration doesn’t necessarily need to fit into her mold as an extension of her, but it is something I’m incredibly comfortable in doing as she’s pretty much an extension of who I am. If you’re up to a challenge, I would love to hear from you. A little bit about me, before you assume you can handle My name is Kayla. I’m generally the sweetest person there is. (But who isn’t right? It’s the internet.. everyone is sweet in some way.) It’s not like a school girl kind of sweet, but a more, walk-all-over me kind of sweet. I don’t pressure people into posting for me. But I do come to the assumption that you’ve lost interest and therefore I lose it as well. To avoid such disasters, I appreciate communication. Going to be gone for a week and half? A month? Enjoy your time! If you don’t tell me, my anxiety will tell me I did something wrong and therefore avoid you when you return. We could have the best, steamiest, most amazing roleplay going, but without communication I’ll get paranoid and think I’d done something wrong in that roleplay that simply turned you off of it. Won’t matter. My following posts will be half-hearted and not fair to you. When I say I’m incredibly busy, I do sincerely mean it. I am a paralegal for one of the most active law firms on the west coast (hint at time zone here). I some times get out of work at 5, but I don’t get to come home after that. I have sports, child, dog, shopping, dinner prep, every-other chore known to man, then I can sit down for a league game or a post. These priorities are number one. I’m telling you this now, so if there is a day I don’t log onto Valucre, you know why. On top of all of this, I’m also a future wife; someone who had promised to dedicate her free time to another soul. He does work late on the weekdays, so I have a little bit of freedom then, but we share the weekends off together. This time is usually carved out for family activities and home improvement. Should this be an issue and we’re going to be gone all-weekend, I will let you know beforehand, otherwise I’ll be able to get a post or two on the weekends. We tend to plan trips out of the city at the beginning of the week. You will be kept in the loop in some way or another. For now, to be perfectly honest, I’d like to roleplay in PM’s until I hash out what kind of character I want to play. There are a few things I can and cannot do though. So I feel these are important for you to know. One. I cannot fight. I know it’s a big thing for women to fight and the strong-female character yada, yada. I just cannot grasp the articulation of roleplay involving fighting. I have sat for HOURS reading fights and I just can’t get the picture in my head enough to help me form the words. So, I tend to avoid characters who have that ability. Two. I will only play females. I’ve tried playing a male once, and it turned into more of a confused male which made it uncomfortable for me. I just didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. Three. Paragraphs. As you can tell, I like details and winded explanations. I will never go into so much detail as to type out every time my character blinks or breaths (Unless it’s an intense situation), but the more the detail, the more I have to work with. When I write, I like to write books. Story’s for other to enjoy. I’d love to get back into that. Four. Adult themed – I am not opposed to adult-themed roleplay. The character I have here stuck in limbo has been a slave for 10 years, because I enjoyed it. I’m not opposed to playing that role again, but am willing to break from that norm to better fit a new exciting roleplay. Five. Robots – I know they were a big thing here a while ago (probably years ago now), but I just can’t do it. Emotionless machines is not enjoyable to me, unless it’s an NPC I probably won’t be involved. To begin, I’d like ideas. Simple base ideas of what kind of characters are popular right now. (Vampires, angels, demons, mermaids), whatever. Like I said, I’ve fallen behind and it’s growing impossible for me to catch back up. Even the site has changed and I can’t find where I usually lurk. Once I find an idea that connects with me, I can hash out a character relatively fast. Then will come the first introductory post. So, if you’re looking to try out a new idea for a character, want to introduce someone to the world of Valucre but want to test the waters first. I’m here to help – because it’ll help me get back into what I enjoy doing. And that is writing. Thanks for reading – Kayla
  4. 5 points
    Akako Akari

    Hanami - Flower Festival [OPEN]

    Flower Festival - OPEN This city was bustling already as the sun broke over the horizon. There was no need for decorations as the port seemed to be cascaded in flower petals from various blooms. The daiyokai’s presence could easily be felt anywhere within the city. Her yoki thrummed gently, coaxing flowers to blossom prettily in the morning light with celestial magic. Lanterns were hung through Caelum in anticipation of nightfall because the festival would not end until warmed sake was sipped and the sun fell behind the horizon again. The streets were alive with vendors with various goods to sell that ranged from fruit to weaponry. Outside Lady Akari’s estate, there were yokai vendors with specialized items. Kitsune had toys for children that could either play music, perform some magical trick, or be manipulated with their yoki or chi. In addition, moth yokai had demonic silk and thread for sale, and next to them was a spider yokai with kimonos woven from that same thread. It was sturdier than the human stuff and self-repairing. There was also a vendor with demonic armor; however, the person manning that cart was human. Within the estate, servants moved about setting tables outside while the kitchen was in overdrive. Desserts made to look like art were being prepared for the day and left the estate smelling sweet with an obvious floral aroma. There seemed to be a parade of demons and humans alike that came into the large estate to set up for various things ranging from tea ceremonies to traditional arts. Dancers, singers, and storytellers were all making their way into the demoness’s home ready to perform for thousands of curious citizens. Beverages: Desserts: - Hibiscus tea - Jasmine tea - Variety plate (Strawberry pudding, hibiscus-infused mousse, vanilla cupcake) - Green tea - Oolong tea - Blossom mochi - Rose tea - Éclair - Peach wine - Plum wine - Cherry blossom mousse - Blackberry wine - Moscato - Raindrop cake - Chardonnay - Matcha mushipan - Sake (warm or cold) - Yokai sake (warm or cold) Activities: - Sword Dancing - Drum Dancing - The Art of Storytelling - Floating lanterns: This is a city-wide event that will start an hour after sun-down where everyone writes down what they wish for on their lantern then lite the wick and let it float into the sky.
  5. 5 points
    -Malice-

    OoC I: The Abbadon Triumvirate

    I think regardless of canonisation or not, King just wanted to ensure that everyone's on the same page, as far as limitations are concerned. This is especially important if certain parties come to blows, so should be clarified now before anything needs to be ret-conned/descends into OOC argument, which might derail an otherwise promising storyline. Perhaps a way around potential issues arising is for anyone interested in engaging in combat to post a link to a character sheet etc - that way there can be no discrepancies if things begin to escalate. Since I'm old school mine can always be found on my profile anyway, but this kind of thing might be prudent, given how some players have never met before etc.
  6. 5 points
    King

    OoC I: The Abbadon Triumvirate

    In this post, Jaistlyn said the base is in east Terrenus, "Somewhere in the red." While Firepenguin can confirm for clarity's sake, everyone should be aware of the limitations moving forward and ensure their posts reflect the lore of the specific board we're writing in.
  7. 5 points
    Tyler

    Maze Undue [Anima Imperium]

    Perhaps it was out of arrogance born of always being in control that Rodan Allagi had not thought to court dread and uncertainty about the consequences of the queen's kidnapping. Perhaps it was out of ignorance of Genesaris politics that he had not considered the terror that the likes of Rafael could bring down upon those currently under Dr. Marigold's roof. Or perhaps it was out of negligence that he failed to consider that he bore a significant portion of the responsibility for Gabriela's acquisition, even though Agony was the mastermind of the plan. Whatever the case, the Mutator had slept well that night. Fear was something he had felt from time-to-time, but seldom did he afford to beings he thought to be made from flesh and blood. Rafael was a Vampyre like Gabriela, hence he could be altered just as she. Roen looked to be merely a man with the tail of a devil, and though Rodan was aware that looks were often deceiving, he still suspected that even the Crimson King would not be immune to his powers. As for Malice, the Mutator foolishly no longer even considered him a factor in this matter, seeing as Agony had battled him and survived. For all Rodan Allagi knew, Malice had become a meal for the blob after their tussle back in Orisia. Indeed, it was Agony that Rodan feared the most, for he was of a stock that the Mutator's powers could do nothing to affect. For that reason, he was always sure to appease the primordial creature, not desiring his ire in the least. It was his own disproportionate fear of Agony that perhaps put Rodan at ease over the others, for a self-centered man like him often failed to understand the world outside of how it related to him. And to him, Agony was the most fearsome monster present this day, if only because he was the one monster the Mutator knew for certain that he was defenseless against. In any case, Rodan Allagi seemed well-rested and in fine spirits when he joined the meeting called by Marigold. The interruption by the daemonhost was rather unexpected, as Rodan had been confident their escape from Orisia had been thorough and undetected. His first thought had been that perhaps it was a bizarre, native creature, but Marigold's surprise over its arrival forced that thought away. First the doctor left, then Agony and Lunara departed separately, leaving Rodan behind with only Immie to keep him company. Curious about the goings-on, but only now getting a strange sense of concern over the situation, the Mutator rose to his feet and traversed the room. The remnants of the bone cage remained in the place they had been left the day before, no longer being of necessity now that the Black Queen was under Marigold's guard. It was over these violated remains of two Orisian guards that Rodan stopped. Placing a hand upon the cage, he began to take pieces from it and mold them as he had molded so many things before. The shrieking outside was growing tiresome, but also somewhat concerning. It wasn't quite creature, but yet it wasn't quite man. Whatever it was that had followed them here, it had begun to subtly affect the Mutator, just enough that he felt the need to fashion himself a sword from the material of the cage. As he was unable to make a blade of metal, he instead made it from bone, the hardest and densest bone he could conjure from his vast mental library of biological knowledge. The hilt and crossguard likewise were made from bony interiors, though he forged wooden exteriors for the sake of style and comfort. His weapon crafted, the Mutator tested the balance and handling, adjusting it rapidly to suit his own preferences. That task complete, he paused to listen to the sounds echoing withing the cold metal walls of the structure. The shrieks of the demon-thing were now being answered by other cries, ones sounding as if of pained and tormented souls. Rodan was not bothered by these in and of themselves, for he relished the anguish and terror he often caused his victims, and as such the pain of others meant little to him. No, it was the sense that the oppressed things were answering the cry of the wailer... and whatever that meant could not be good. The Mutator turned and looked to Immie, the lone individual still in the room with him. There was something subtly different about her demeanor today, even if physically she looked the same. But at the moment it was not a great concern of his, for his thoughts now were very slowly worming their way toward taking precautions to ensure his own self-preservation. "Forgive me if I forget, Miss Immie." he spoke up, his eyes returning to the organically-crafted sword in his hand, "But were you trained to make use of weapons?" He slide the blade into its sheath, then rested a hand on the now partially deconstructed cage of bone. His eyes remained locked on the lovely young woman who was here primarily because of his actions, while he waited patiently for her to respond. But patience would wear thin the longer they waited, for though he could not be sure, the things howling outside did not sound of this earth, and Rodan's gravest concern was that they had not bodies to kill...
  8. 5 points
    Aleksei

    Fury of the Gods

    She hates anything that has wings and teeth; there's something terrible about anything that has sharp teeth, and pair that with violently flapping wings - ugh, she shudders. Now let's not get anything turned around here, she never said she was scared of things that fly and have pointy teeth, she thinks they are unnecessary additions to creatures that do a fair enough job being obnoxious without flying and biting. They are troublesome, offensive, and need to burn or just drop off the face of the world. However it happens, she'll be pleased with their removal. The sooner, the better, she thinks quietly to herself. Gnawing on the end of her gloved thumb, she stared at the scene of slithering bodies attacking the pitiful airship. They told her to take the best ship they had on hand, but she declined and instead chose something worth wasting. There is no reason to destroy a perfectly functional airship, especially when they don't have the resources to cushion the loss. At the time it was entirely justified, and she felt pretty good making the perfection decision all on her own. The ship lurched off to the side, daring to barrel roll, but beneath the tactical hands of their pilot, it did not. Instead, the small crew moved with the attacks, all the while remaining stiff-necked and calm. Wren admired their admiration and determination to stay calm on the outside because there is no damned way any of them were feeling that way on the inside. Her own heart had lurched into her throat; her nerves were drawn taught, and her thumb was feeling the worst of it. In the company of familiars (kinda) she wore her emotions plainly on her unadorned face. "Now is good a time as any!" Their Captain yelled over the commotion, a strain on his words as he tried to keep the ship under control. With a heavy sigh, she stopped chewing on her thumb and looked at the two that'd be accompanying to the hell hole beneath them. She's a partial stranger to one of them, only knowing them by association, and the other person she hired to tag along. If the city below them is anything like the sky above it, they're in for one wild ride. It didn't take them long to know where they were at; the instant the ship came into view, a hoard of drakes and wyverns attacked and haven't stopped. She had understood the description of the city well enough, but seeing it in action made her feel a little uneasy and anxious to get this whole thing done and over with. Their goal was to get a ship and then leave as soon as they can - easier said than done, that's for sure. Knowing it's a huge risk just having a group of three total, Wren wasn't keen on taking more than that. Too many cooks in the kitchen; she wasn't willing to overwhelm herself with so many people. Her choices for the mission weren't made blindly; she believed that with their combined skills they'd make it in and out - not without a few scratches of course. "Well! I guess it's time," she withdrew a small crystal from inside her uniform jacket, "gather 'round." Blue eyes glittered with budding determination. They had to get the ship; it will be their only way out of the city unless they plan on walking out of there. The thief was born and given a particular set of skills, and today she will be tested. Wren crushed the crystal, and they became enveloped in a cloud of dust - they were gone. Transported from inside a failing ship down to a hellish world full of things that shouldn't be able to fly, but do.
  9. 4 points
    I am personally aware that whatever goes on here (if it were to be canonized) is contingent on the original thread that FirePenguin and jaistlyn are working to wrap up so that the faction itself becomes official. There are so many moving parts here but I definitely want to make sure that FirePenguin benefits from this whole ordeal and that his willingness to cooperate with us and share his area does not come back to bite him in the end. Now, my personal desire is to definitely get this canonized as I feel the impact of this for the Triumvirate will be large internally and externally. I do not want to disturb the integrity of the relationships between characters outside of the org either (like the intricate relationship between Raf, Roen, and Gabriela) Storylines with characters from Terrenus and Genesaris of this magnitude are few and far between so I am hopeful we can achieve something great here while staying true to the characters we spent so much time developing.
  10. 4 points
    Roen

    Maze Undue [Anima Imperium]

    “A token of duress it sends. Forbearing prey to cry for aid, for what the storm may portend is madness, death and horror made.” Hiding a trembling hand behind his back and raising the other, the Outsider laid the broad of an index finger across the philtrum of his upper lip, conveying to Marigold a vast wealth of body language concerning the need for quiet. Then, in silence after rhyme, he gestured to an ear with the expectation that the doctor might listen, and waited. At first, there was only screamlight; the wailing of the daemonhost above followed by a sympathetic flash of light. Running the cumulative risk of offending both the good doctor and the amorphous entity that followed with what amounted to cheap theatricality, Roen counted on their collective patience, head canted to catch more than just errant raindrops and ravenous wind. Finally, there was an answer to the screamlight; a reply. There came a howl from the forest, and it was not entirely natural, nor tangible. It was the disembodied anguish of a specter, called to manifest. Thence followed another howl, deeper than the last, and then another two just as different. They were the Dead and Damned, called to service through the thinning of the veil that separated the profane from the immaterial, and it was growing thinner the longer the daemonhost set its unfathomable will to the task set upon it. It was not exponential, but it was inexorable, and as time dragged on, more lost souls added their anguish to the cacophony of the forest, drawn to the beacon in the sky that wailed its fury. Combing his hair back with an expression that showed neither satisfaction nor pride, the Outsider favored Dr. Marigold and the amorphous entity that followed him the complement of his full attention. Leveling the weight of his scrutiny on one and setting the latter aside for future discourse, the Outsider spoke. “No flattery intended, good doctor. The storm is not for you.” A deep tenor with a rich timbre, he raised his voice to be heard over the wailings of wind and monster. Dipping his chin and inclining his head in brief greeting, Roen paid all due respect. “The storm is my doing, but I’m afraid Helianstranos must take the credit for the, as you said, wailing. One must wonder how he accomplishes it without vocal chords.” The fiend smiled at this briefly, as if sharing some private joke, but like all good things, it did not last. The smile, that was. It slipped from his overly sensual mouth as easily as it had come, and again he looked graven and stern, his deep-set eyes narrowed and vaguely hostile. Like two chips of bloody ice, they moved up and down Marigold’s shape like the hands of an unwanted lover, impersonal and intimate, before settling on his face at last. “Your shadow has the right of it, Dr. Merigold. But if he talks to me again without introducing himself, rest assured, I will be very unhappy. Unhappier, mind.” A pause; a beat of consideration concerning introductions, then a rueful purse of lips. “That was rude of me, I haven’t even bothered to introduce myself. My name is Roen, Dr. Marigold.” Raising a hand, the Outsider waved it with flippant disregard for propriety and pleasantries. “I’m sorry, I’ve been preoccupied. They say a devil knows his business, but they never say just how much of it there is, especially in these trying times.” Spitting out rainwater that tasted vaguely of copper and was tinted a mild pink, the Outsider approached Marigold and extended a hand, briefly patting the man on the shoulder before giving it a squeeze and jostle. That violence was not visited between them boded well for the future, so the Outsider donned his favorite mask, that of the gentleman sage. Urbane and witty, he seemed for all intents and purposes a mildly eccentric man, which was exactly what he meant to portray. The con of civility typically served him well, and he hoped it would again. “As I was saying,” the fiend demurred as he walked passed Dr. Marigold, giving the man plenty of time and room to brush passed and lead the way, “I’ve misplaced something very dear to me, an item of incalculable worth.” A thing of immeasurable grandioseness with an equal degree of animation, the Outsider gestured with his free hand a vague measurement that came up to his chest. “It is yae high, you see. Has a swollen stomach, possibly pregnant, possibly too well-fed. You'd know better, being a doctor and all. Constantly looks, well, like this.” He prompted Dr. Marigold to look at him, contorting his face in an approximation of a distraught expression complete with furrowed brows, a scrunched nose and pouty lips, all deeply exaggerated, of course. He relaxed after a time, his natural expression none too different, grim in its own repose. “But prettier, of course. A great deal prettier. Now, I’m fairly certain this item in question is here, somewhere within these walls.” He gestured towards the Anima Imperium, walking towards it still. “I don’t need to tell you that this puts us in a bit of a jam, doctor. I am very peculiar about my property, you see. Why, poor Helianstranos is scratching at the veil, you can just about smell the entropy in the air, because of how put out I am. Soon little nasties will start showing up, and between you and me, I’d rather be anywhere but here when that happens.” He sucked his teeth and spat again, grunting. “If you ask me,” Roen dropped his voice into a conspiratory whisper, “he’s going a little overboard. Does this rain taste like blood to you? It tastes like blood to me. I think it would be best if you took me inside, now. I think it would be better if you took me straight to my property, yes? Yes.” Nodding slowly which somehow conveyed greater emphacy, the Outsider turned his head and glanced over his shoulder, momentarily distracted. Peering through rain that grew steadily bolder in gradations of red and the scent of metal, he frowned. A dozen voices had since added their chorus to the howls of the Dead and Damned within the forest, returning each wail of screamlight from above, loud and throaty and anguished, roused from their rest. Roen sighed. “A rising tide, far from here, coming quick, coming near. A sight to make all mortals shake; a storm, a living world-quake.”
  11. 4 points
    Grizzly

    Fury of the Gods

    Howard 'Bezaliel' Lasoto When the strange crystal dust dispersed and they stood firm on the ground of the hellish city; Howard couldn't help but let out a dissapointed sigh. Why he said yes to the woman when she proposed such an idiotic and suicidal idea, He did not know. Howard stood firmly with great posture; A ciggarette hung between his lips. Lit and smoldering with a flick of smoke drifting from it's blazing tip. Both his hands sat in the pockets of his black slacks; He wore the outfit of a priest in every detail. He even had the white color protector around his neck and the bronze cross necklace hung down to the middle of his chest. He had circular rimmed glasses and a less than pleased look on his face. The scarf hung around his neck waved lightly in the pungent wind and caught a small amount of the ash falling from his ciggarette. Howard looked up to the ship they had just disembarked from; seeing it beaten and battered by the wyverns and such hat had pestered them through the last few miles of airspace. He then looked down to the ground below him. The stone was cracked and scorched; covered in who knows what and the smell of burned flesh and death hung in the air around them. "Lovely; We leave a perfectly decentish airship only to step in what is quite possibly second to hell itself. All in the hopes of finding a more decent airship. Am i the only one who sees the unholy irony in this?" Howard let out a grunt and tapped a piece of burnt stone with his shined formal shoes to just a few feet away from where they stood. Pulling his left hand from his pocket; He grabbed the ciggarette from his mouth and let out a deep, murky, smoke filled breath. He spun around for a moment to examine their surroundings to see whather or not they were in any immediate danger. So far he didn't see any large fire breathing lizards or staggering undead corpses. All in all it wasn't the worst landing he'd ever seen. His only real worry at this point was the fact that their mode of transportation out of this nightmare was an airship that they hoped was still in good condition. Considering their surroundings; Howard doubted anything left here for as long as this ship supposedly has been would even be left standing. If anything it was kindling for the bellowing chest of a dragon looking for ash to warm it's bed. "So... Do you know where you're going or are we gonna play peek-a-boo with death until we accidentally stumble upon a flying machine?"
  12. 3 points
    supernal

    OoC I: The Abbadon Triumvirate

    I won't be keeping up with this thread's ooc as much after today so if there are questions regarding the overall Terrenus lore, everyone feel free to hit up the Terrenus AMA Regarding Cutiefly's question above the magic rule applies to anything supernatural, and the mild powers rules apply to anything at all. So people shouldn't expect to be able to deploy a nuclear bomb because it isn't supernatural, or to exceed the power cap in Terrenus because someone classes an ability as being "psychic" rather than "magical"
  13. 3 points
    danzilla3

    Fury of the Gods

    Though most of the crew of the small airship seemed to greatly dislike the winged creatures that surrounded them; Issac Graham couldn't figure out for the life of him why. The creatures were simply fascinating; and he wished he had the time to capture one and study it. Alas, this outing was not for pleasure, but for business; and thus his employer called the shots. Not that he minded the idea of getting down to the surface. While the drakes and wyverns were a passing bit of curiosity, the wonders held by the city down below were endless! A legion of vampires guarding one of the most powerful airships on the continent was an adventure he would be hard pressed to pass up. Hell, for such an opportunity he would have worked for free; though he wouldn't be sharing that thought out loud... Eventually the boss called him and the priest over to stand with her as she crushed some kind of blue crystal that enveloped the group in blue dust. The next thing he knew they were standing in the ruins of the once proud city. As he looked out upon the death and carnage that had been wrought by Whispernight; he felt a pang of sympathy for all those who had lost their homes and lives to it. But he was unable to focus on this notion for long, as the method Wren had used to transport them here from the ship was fascinating! He would have to question her about another time. There were other matters to attend to. Such as his godly companions bad attitude about the whole situation. Really, such a boring way to look at thing; grumbling about the whole idea of finding the airship when they had flown in on a perfectly good one. Did he not understand that the two vessels were separated by many orders of magnitude? Comparing Godfury to their meager transport was like comparing a house cat to a proud lion. Yes, they were in the same family; but the difference between them was night and day! "Chin up my fine theologian! I'm sure our employer wouldn't have come here without a plan. Although I am partial to winging it myself!" A moment of silence passed as he stared at the priest before he loudly whispered, "I'm winking conspiratorially!"
  14. 3 points
    ... after I eat my dinner though.
  15. 2 points
    Ill be posting next since it is going to be important for the progression of the setting, and how everything will continue. I understand that some may not know what the imperium is exactly.
  16. 2 points
    Red the Ambivalent

    Unbroken Seals

    Without knowing Rafael very well prior to this meeting, Red found herself mildly intimidated by his gaze, especially when it seemed the expression was scolding in nature towards her misreading the conversation. Although brief the meeting had been so far, the psion had gathered enough cues from the man to catch the confusion, where she had expected him to call for her help from a militaristic perspective he was actually speaking of something she hadn't a clue about. Her lips parted to comment on staying where it was safe, not understanding what he was implying until he stepped closer and gently ran his thumbs along her shoulders. It was nearly instantaneous, the feeling of faintness that overwhelmed her. The both of us? Dread soon overtook her weak knees, phantom pain shooting along her flank as her mind grew distant much as his own had. Disbelief was the most prominent thing, above all else. "Pressing matters..." There was no joy in her eyes as one could expect from a woman whom had just come to the realization they were carrying a life within her belly, her eyes reflected the need for the safety that he was promising. In a way she had suspected something was off, but it had to be far too early for any of the obvious signs to appear. How Rafael knew was only a brief wonder, brief while she remembered who it was in her company and what he could be capable of in regards to detecting life such as this. Her own eyes blinked back to the present, her focus pulling from fear and mystery with a few quick nods. "Yes, I'll come seek refuge if any trouble comes. I understand." Shaken to the core it seemed, it took Red a moment to pull herself together, to recover her composure and put a small smile on her face. "Thank you, a thousand times thank you. It's just surprising, I've gone through quite a lot recently, so the thought it's still in there...I'm just trying to process this." There was plenty for her to think about, let alone go through her options with this sudden development. Most pressing though wasn't related to her safety, while Caelum was her responsibility, it had been far too long since she had stepped foot in Predators Keep. There was no sitting ruler there while she was away, and she could only wonder how the city was fairing with her absence. "I have to go back to Terrenus, as soon as I can be on my feet more extensively. I will be safe there for now." She was confident of her safety in the Capitol city of the Scarlet Empire, the largest part of her military was stationed within the city walls, and there seemed to be a quiet within Terrenus as of late. "With Lady Akako back, Caelum has two pair of hands to watch over it. Viceroy Pendragon and her are my closest friends, I trust them with it."
  17. 2 points
    Fierach

    OoC I: The Abbadon Triumvirate

    -sips coffee- I'll just be here. Trying to think about how to get MechaGodzilla over here, cause we could really use that sorta firepower.
  18. 2 points
    I appreciate that and this is really important to me as it is the first real contribution im making. To see so many amazing role players involved is outstanding and i can only hope to accommodate such expectation! There is a lot going on and i want everyone to be on the same page.
  19. 2 points
    Pasion Pasiva

    OoC I: The Abbadon Triumvirate

    Go away.
  20. 2 points
    supernal

    OoC I: The Abbadon Triumvirate

    You should talk to whoever is leading the faction. Firepenguin right? They can tell you where their faction is and then you'll know whether you're affected or not Unless you're in Shawnee, you'll be affected, if the intention is to canonize the thread that is. You can see the announcement for more details around that: https://www.valucre.com/topic/38742-canon-changes-to-magic-and-transportation/
  21. 2 points
    The festival is OPEN!
  22. 2 points
    supernal

    Valucre's new user experience

    A little while ago I posted a thread regarding barriers to entry to roleplay in general, and to Valucre in specific. From that thread, a few members (two amazing ones in particular) stepped forward to help really figure things out. It was an astounding effort where we analyzed data from the database to target a range of members with different levels of exposure to the site, hit them with a few basic questions, and then distilled what we could from their answers A lot of good stuff came out of that work, most notably the return of the outreach team and Valucre's new member guide - now the Get Started tab: You can probably guess the purpose of the guide off the name, but it's to provide a single comprehensive resource for new members that has been divided up by areas of interest so that they can jump to the parts that are relevant to them, and come back for the other parts later on. Guides have either been newly created or updated, and gussied up with tiles, icons, flowcharts and hopefully some decent content logic connecting all the pieces into a whole Whether you're new or old, we'd love it if you could take the time to go through the guide and let us know how it looks, how it functions, and whether you found the data useful A tremendous thank you to the people that helped make this happen: @~Harlow. for the initial idea a few years back, @jaistlyn for the UX experience and organization and data manipulation, and a mysterious 3rd benefactor for their HTML, formatting, and icon work; and to all three of them for all of the help and support and attention and effort otheriwse
  23. 2 points
    “If they figure this plan out, and they see through this guise… it will be me who pays the price. It will be me who dies… but… I never planned on living a long life… Where she went I cannot follow… but through the science and through the cold hard facts… I hope that she knows.” “Stop it,” she shook her head and lifted her hands with her palms extended outward. Distressed, she motioned again for him to stop -- to keep from saying more. He was a kindred spirit if ever there was one. She saw in the shattered remains of his broken pieces reflections of herself. She had been in his place not so long ago, and she knew that she could fall back at any moment. But they were so alike, and it seemed that it was up to her to remind him. So she went to him, wobbling on her skinny legs and tiny ankles that hardly seemed capable of holding up all the weight of her swollen belly. She stopped besides him, closer than she had ever gotten, and dropped down to one knee. Awkwardly balanced, she set a small hand on his shoulder -- the cold of her grip seeping quickly through the fabric of his lab coat and into his flesh. “You have a son, Dr. Merigold, a wonderful little boy who thinks he has lost his mother and does not know he ever had a father. I cannot begin to understand why Lilly kept his birth from you, perhaps she didn’t want to burden you and your important work, or perhaps the opportunity never presented itself…” She had to pause, she had to reflect on the fact that she had intended to do much the same. After some time, she imagined that she would never again cross paths with the father of her child, and slowly but surely, all desire to include him drained away. He didn’t deserve to be a part of the baby’s life, he didn’t even deserve to know that at long last he had kept his promise and impregnated her. He had bound them together more surely than any ring he could force on her finger. Gabriela felt her tightly clenched her jaw was -- it took a conscious effort to disengage it. “Don’t be so hopeless,” she insisted after a moment. It was an awkward sight, this very pregnant woman trying to kneel besides him in an attempt to offer comfort. The truth was she wanted to establish some sort of touch with him. With most humans, her proximity -- the beauty of her features -- it was a soothing experience. She was simply designed this way by years of evolution. Anyone would be hard pressed to find a vampyre that was not distinctly attractive, if not downright uncannily beautiful. Gabriela very much represented this. Her golden eyes were the sort of color that simply did not happen within the human species -- they were molten pools of copper and gold. And her skin was smooth alabaster, cool and calming to the touch. She knelt with him, her fingers squeezing and relaxing as she worked the tense muscle in his shoulder. “We can both get out of this, alive. We can both get away from these people. We don’t have to be victims to their circumstances.” He looked at her through his glasses, and she frowned at his expression. He was so full of heartbreak that she could hardly stand it. She also noticed that he was not a bad looking man. He was boyish in a way, with youthful features -- the sight of his trembling bottom lip as he wept really cemented the image in her mind. For some reason he seemed young and inexperienced, and she was angry at the others for having dragged him into all of this. There was a very strong urge to protect him, which was hilarious given the fact she couldn’t even take care of herself. “Very well, but before I can even begin to plan anything...I need to know why this is all happening. It could be invaluable information. Who would they be trying to sell you to? Back to your country? Wouldn’t that be a good thing? I need to know anything and everything that could help Gabriela…” Was this real, she wondered. She wasn’t a suspicious person by nature, but she had just been kidnapped and Marigold seemed like he was too good to be true. He was a literal god-send, and she wasn’t sure if she should trust fate or question it. “I don’t know,” she said at long last, sitting back on her leg, trying to balance her weight as she settled on the floor. “Orisia is a small country. We are wealthy enough, but I couldn’t imagine they would hope to get very much for me. I am well loved by some,” she said tentatively, her eyes cast down as if she were ashamed. “Powerful individuals who I think might try to help me -- they might be convinced to pay a steep price. And yes, while it would be a good thing if my own country could buy me back, I don’t believe that’s who Agony will be offering me to. Raphael is my cousin, the Emperor of the Carmine empire and…” she seemed so very reluctant to continue, but she did, “...and then there’s Roen, the Crimson King of Patia -- we were once close. He might...I don’t know...maybe…” She was embarrassed. Deeply embarrassed. She didn’t want to assume either of these men would do anything on her behalf, but she also couldn’t rule out the possibility if that’s the level of truth that Marigold required. “Agony asked me what I was willing to pay for myself -- he asked for an unlimited amount of any resource he wanted when he was upon Orisia. I couldn’t say yes. I can’t bind myself to such a uncertain contract.”
  24. 2 points
    The Hummingbird

    Of Gods and Men

    Keen, unblinking eyes watched the greeting with a small amount of consternation. For he did simply look; he heard too, all his powers focused on the pair exchanging their complimentary words and congratulations. He could hear the sincerity and proper tone engage in Rafael’s voice, just as he could hear the lifeless intonation in Corvinus’s own dead speech. To say that Zenahriel disliked the contrast would be a severe understatement. A rough sigh breathed from his lungs as Rafael’s silent voice entered his mind. It was no real surprise that Rafael knew of his presence, though in all honesty Zenahriel somewhat hoped he would be able to keep this luxurious distance that made guarding his King easy work. Nevertheless, his eyes closed for a moment in relish of the loving caress always woven into his mate’s words. Then he straightened. His wings spread, and blood rushed through them in an exhilarating feeling of power and strength returned. He leaped from the spire, and his wings spread wide to catch wind and air. Sunlight set flame to the violet streaks in each feather, alighting soft rainbows in the black and electrifying the darkest of blues. Mighty strokes led him to the port where Rafael invited Corvinus in to where he did not belong – not with that dead voice and detached stare. Still, Corvinus was a king, had united lands, and was Zenahriel was not one to spoil the efforts of Rafael in being polite and courteous as all royalty should strive to be. He landed to the side of Rafael, bowing his head to his mate with a smile before stepping forward to Corvinus. With a most gracious motion he bowed to the King, sinking to one knee. His wings molded against his form, making him seem smaller than he was. “God-Emperor Crovnus, most esteemed Lord of the imperial South… and his prince,” Zenahriel recited with perfected cordiality as he rose. “May I introduce myself as Zenahriel Zacharias, An’She of Umbra? Please allow me to lead you and my small lordling into more comfortable surroundings.”
  25. 2 points
    Ataraxy

    High Treason in Terrenus [Civil War]

    Of course ? Hahahahahaha well, if the covert operation fails and we go brute force, we might end up doing more than just destroying half a city >:)
  26. 2 points
    King

    Of Gods and Men

    If there was one person Rafael knew better than himself, better than his beloved cousin, it was the High Lord. There were few things that could persuade the protective, utterly devoted raven from his Lord’s side. It was not anger as one might immediately suspect, seeing the vampyre alone there at the skyport while Zenahriel remained secluded several spires out, perched atop shimmering white stone. Instead, true to his nature as a bird of prey, it was for a better vantage-- to strike swift and without hesitation, without mercy, ending any possible threat these foreigners might seek to bring to the Red City before it began. Such a glorious feat was well within the High Lord’s power, Rafael knew. He had witnessed firsthand the awesome power of the Genesarian ancient, been reborn in but a sliver of its image some years past. In the boundaries of this great land, there was little the triumvirate of High Lords could not accomplish – a fact the raven’s mate made excellent use of. “While the politicians might disagree, the people have spoken. They crave – need - a unified Genesaris,” Rafael replied, curt and dry. “A single fist with which to crush any that would dare stand against it. An expansion is hardly a difficult task when giving the masses that which they demand.” It was a sentiment the vampyre knew, if no one else, Corvinus understood the best. He had taken Shrine City and from its bedrock unfurled an empire, spanning the entirety of the continent’s underbelly and reaching deep into foreign lands, as well. “But, it would seem congratulations are due two-fold.” Sapphire eyes beheld the babe in the mighty emperor’s hands – a perfect blending of the two parents, unlike their previous children, so blatantly dominated by either Corvinus or Leoa. “I received word of your unification of the Swell and South,” he explained, impressed, to say the least. “And it would seem that Leoa has yet again delivered another mote of starlight into this dark, empty world. A boy, as well – a future king of Valucre.” The Elder stepped aside, welcoming the emperor and his child into the comfortable waiting area of the skysport. Are you going to remain perched there for the entirety of his visit, darling? Rafael’s thoughts weaved into the High Lord’s mind, lacing it with the warmth of his affection. His child is rather handsome. Won’t you come and introduce yourself and see the babe yourself? This shouldn’t be long .
  27. 2 points
    The journey to Misral Island from her Home Land was lengthy and exhausting. With her supplies and money dwindling to nothing, Audrey hastily signed up on a protection contract. The mission was to protect a small convoy of food, water, and supplies. Incidentally, Illyana Uldwar, the eldest daughter of House Uldwar, commisioned the mission. This was a great opportunity to put Audrey's skills to great use so she signed up. Audrey arrived when the sun peaked over the horizon. It illuminated the various caravans, filled with supplies, around her. She scanned the surroundings, looking for a blonde woman. "She should be here somewhere..." she swished her head side by side, doubling her search efforts. She spotted said lady chatting with a red-haired woman. The red-haired woman held a bow and quiver, "We have an archer. That's good to know." she relaxed her jittery soul. She heard countless stories of archers saving her sword ancestors' life at the last second. She felt deep respect and gratitude for those who saved her people. She herself wielded a short, enchanted saber. Although quick and effective in dueling, ranged attacks can easily overpower her guard. So knowing an archer was covering her back gave her relief. Audrey walked up to the pair, her left hand holding a sheathed sabre. She overheard the archer's ramble about how she commisioned her arrows in order to make it non-lethal. "That's right! I forgot... We can't harm anyone in this mission... What could I do?" she eyed her sheath. "Oh that's right. I can just use my sheath as a blunt weapon. Silly me." she stopped a foot away the pair. She faced both of them and deeply bowed, "Good morning Lady Uldwar and miss... Anouk Enouk?" she tilted her head in confusion, having trouble pronouncing an unfamiliar name. "I am Audrey of the Sword and I am ready for the mission." she thumped her fist against her chest. "Although this is my first time going as a bodyguard, I assure you that I can protect you and the convoy." she thought about her childhood days, protecting her little brothers against bullies and the like. "I know that I am younger and inexperienced so Miss Anouk. Please take care of me." she nodded towards the archer's direction with respect.
  28. 2 points
    Mickey Flash

    Maze Undue [Anima Imperium]

    Immie walked forward as if in a daze. After being poked and prodded by Dr. Marigold, she'd blacked out for some reason, and she couldn't recall what had transpired. She felt different, yet the same. It was as if the real Immie, the one that she was used to being, was a thin layer that covered her muscle, blood, and bones. She felt like she was the outer skin. There was something else on the inside. Something she'd ignored, forgotten, or desperately escaped from. This new part of her was closer to the surface than it'd ever been before. She could feel it, like a slimy hand slithering under her skin, pushing, poking, scratching to get out. It was all she could do to hold herself together. She wasn't paying much attention to where she was going. She was letting her feet guide her, and unbeknownst to her they guided her straight to where the other warm bodies resided. These creatures she had seen before as terrifying, she now only watched warily. They seemed more attractive than before, though she wasn't quite sure why. She was drawn to them. She shook herself as if to awaken from a bad dream. This was so unlike her. She couldn't concentrate, and could barely think. Having so little control of her mental facilities was her worst nightmare. She took a deep breath, and could see that there were a few from the original group that was still inside the facility. Some had gone outside, into the storm. She had never liked storms before, afraid of getting swept away by a force of nature. Now she was drawn to the sight, feeling her heart speed up with every strike of lightning. The screams had sounded like music. She knew that couldn't be right, because she'd usually be horrified by such screams. Her feet stuttered to a stop as she tried to get a hold of herself. She had to wonder what was happening to her. Something was off. Rodan was there, and she felt a comfort in seeing someone she knew. Was there a time she hadn't liked Rodan? It seemed like it. It seemed like she'd been disgusted by his ability to turn bodies into wooden carts. That seemed distant now, and not as important as it once was. She didn't question her new feelings. Not yet. To question them would mean she would have to look deeper, to find what was causing these changes inside of her. And she wasn't ready to do that. The black out she'd experienced before protected her from seeing what she didn't want to face yet. She stood there in the middle of the room, dressed in her old, raggedy clothes, and wondered if there was a way to acquire something a little more attractive to wear. In the middle of the chaotic weather, screaming, kidnapping of queens, killing of guards, strange doctors and wicked creatures, she was more concerned with her apparel than the situation she was facing. True fear crept inside of her the moment she realized this. She felt the sting of her fingernails dig into her palms as she made fists at her sides. The sting of pain seemed to clear her head a bit, and she could focus a little better. She bit the inside of her bottom lip for good measure, tasting the blood in her mouth. Her mind began to clear even more, as she watched the events unfurl before her.
  29. 2 points
    Mickey Flash

    More Important is the Journey

    Michelee could see the logic in the man's words, as loud and obnoxious as they were. She understood that she was wasting time, and if Arzada were human she would have rushed as fast as she could. But Arzada wasn't human. "If there is a doctor, I don't know where they might be. Besides, she's a vampire. What she needs right now is blood. Maybe you can offer some of yours to save her life?" Her mouth twitched in amusement, as a questioning look overcame her face. Would the man continue with his story about his need to help Azrada, or would he drop it and try to attack them? Michelee could have smacked her palm to her forehead. Brave Yonx, always being the hero. He was going to get himself killed. She didn't know if she was about to stop him, or if the man holding Arzada was about to drop the vampire and attack, or anything else for that matter. Because she felt a shift. A shift in her feet that could only mean one thing. The ship was tipping over. She had cat-like reflexes, but they were no match for gravity as she was thrust downward and into a gaping hole. The gaping hole was the doorway into a room that had been jarred open by the force of gravity. For a moment she was free falling, nothing to hold on to and only the air surrounding her. It was a freeing and terrifying feeling, all at the same time. Her heart felt as if it'd jumped into her throat, and even her inner tiger felt a moment of panic. Her landing wasn't soft, since she rammed into loose furniture that had been thrust together the same way she had. She knew that she wasn't the only one in the pile of furniture, because she could feel warm body parts and hear cursing in the air. Her body was almost numb, which wasn't a good sign since that meant that the pain would make an appearance after the shock wore off. When she tried to stand her left leg folded underneath her, and she looked down to see a serious gash. Blood dripped down, hitting furniture and other people's limbs alike. She would heal, and quickly, but not immediately. She was, after all, in her human form. The tiger from before was tugging on her sleeve, reminding Michelee that she needed to move and move fast. Situations like this didn't allow for time to sit and smell the flowers. She began to climb her way out of the room, making sure to favor her good leg. The mess she climbed up was loose and hard to climb. She had to though, because she had a feeling that if she didn't she was going to die.
  30. 2 points
  31. 2 points
    King

    Maze Undue [Anima Imperium]

    Then Rafael sat half-slumped, half-sunken in the Jurtuna’s less than comfortable co-pilot chair. That he’d been able even to doze off, let alone fall into so deep a slumber, in the stiff-backed seat was a testament to the exhaustion of shouldering such a worrisome burden. The servants of the palace could see it in his listlessness and disheveled attire; those of the Faith could feel it heavy on their minds, on their souls; and those few sired by the Elder’s fangs felt it quaking and rattling in their bones. There was no escaping it, and neither the promise of vengeance nor the sure slaughter of those that had conspired against them offered him a reprieve. Even in the cold darkness of his closed eyes, the severity of Gabriela’s predicament haunted him, giving the Elder no peace. Against the stone walls of his dream beat the winds and rains of memory, the nights he and Gabriela had spent in Veelos. He could still see the panic in her golden eyes, feel how she trembled in his arms, against his chest. It hadn’t been the attempt on her life that made her shake so terribly or Rafael’s fury that she might ignore the damning evidence against the culprit, for she feared neither. Instead, it was a secret-- always another secret, another hidden agenda --that had instilled the truest sense fear in the Black Queen. A fear, Rafael realized as he dreamed, that had taken root in his heart as well. The rains intensified, the thunder finding a rhythm-- thump, thump, thump. Rafael felt Gabriela’s swollen belly against the crescent of his aching palm, and in the waking world, his fingers twitched with longing. How could he have allowed himself to love something so dearly, the life she had sworn he had not even helped create? From what dark depths of his souls had this instinct arisen, fearless and uncompromisingly determined? Thump, thump, thump-- the thundered continued its drumming, and the Elder longed for nothing more than to feel the kick of that darling babe against his touch, the only other presence it had come to know. Thump, thump, thump! Stirred from his sleep by the cadence, Rafael’s gaze lazily found its way to Dante, the Jurtuna’s pilot. “What is it?” he asked, lethargy thick in his accented voice. “Why does your heart beat so?” Dante breathed slow, steadying his heart. “We’ve entered Terran airspace, my Lord.” Rafael couldn’t bring himself to glance beyond the window and take in this beautiful, foreign land. This was not the time for sightseeing. “There’s nothing to fear. I’ve made arrangements.” “But they—” “Despise us,” the Elder finished with an irritated groan, feeling pressure on both temples. “However, even the Terrans are not immune to diplomacy or respect. We aren’t here to invade their lands or vandalize their way of life, least of all to overstay our welcome. I’m here for my wife--" he bit back the word, soured and regretful. No, none of this would have happened if she had just given in; if she would have just let him protect her. “--Gabriela and her child. Nothing more.” Now Several miles from the where the Patian King had stood, from the grand Anima Imperium, itself, Rafael stood alone in the rising tempests of the coming storm. He wore a simple black ensemble, befitting both his mood and the times, which only darkened further and clung to his imposing figure as the rains strengthened around him. The emptiness of each droplet-- for he could no more sense Gaia, or her pantheon, in this land’s elements than any other non-believer --wetting his hair, coursing down his face, and pelting his broad shoulders made him long for the shores Orisia and the wholesome, soothing presence of La’Ruta. Soon, he told himself. Soon. The Elder scanned his surroundings, then the shrouded horizon, finding both sorely lacking. But when he closed his eyes and reached out with his other senses, he came across the phantoms of Gabriela’s presence-- the faintest trace of sweet orange blossoms, of sea salt, of La’Ruta, on the damp winds being swept down from the north. But it wasn’t enough. Needing more, Rafael reached out desperately toward these ghosts and echoes of his beloved, searching for something of permanence. Sapphire eyes opened as he felt the thrumming of that invisible cord, tied tight around his heart, long-since still. It was in the pursuit of this familiar warmth, and the unnatural shrieking cracking off in the distance, that Rafael happened by a tall, intimidating figure leaned, just so, against a tree. Waiting, expecting. More displeasure, and the Elder’s frown sank further along his face. There was no need to greet or acknowledge the orc-- he clearly wasn’t the brains of the operation, for theirs was a simple, brutish people better suited for labor, war, raping, and pillaging. The intricacies of diplomacy, bargaining, and extortion were lost on them. And so the Elder passed him by, clearly in view, without speaking. If all their territory was as well-monitored as the areas closest to the establishment, then those viewing would see him-- for again, Rafael made no attempt to hide himself or the briskness of his pace. They wished for him to deliver a message, and he would do so in the plainest of ways.
  32. 1 point
    Aleksei

    Fury of the Gods

  33. 1 point
    Roen

    Maze Undue [Anima Imperium]

    “The muscles of the hand are subdivided into three groups: those of the thumb, which occupy the radial side and produce the thenar eminence; those of the little finger, which occupy the ulnar side and give rise to the hypothenar eminence; and those in the middle of the palm and within the interosseous spaces. The superficial transverse ligament, the digital arteries, nerves, the palmar fascia, palmaris long, the..,” Dragging the fingers of one hand across the palm of the other, the Outsider stopped walking and indicated to itself the various clusters of simulacrum fiber and tissue that constituted the appendage. It accompanied these pointed gestures with a running anatomical dialogue chiefly for its own benefit, after it felt the limb stiffen and grow both leaden and foreign. It did this until memory failed and it was left stumbling for additional exposition, groping for knowledge it had not known was precious until it was gone. This frightened the beast. Trembling as if stricken with an old man’s palsy, the Outsider raised shaking, unknown hands to a likewise unknown and deeply anguished countenance, and took several long moments to compose itself before it started moving again. It breathed in the crisp, cool air of the glade, listened to the insects chitter and the birds sing, and tried to remember more than the parts that moved it before and moved it once again. In this regard, it dipped into shallow reservoirs of memory and emotion, into a handful of years that threatened to slip through grasp like many grains of sand, and focused on immediate memory. It thought of Valucre, the Terran lands, the lives it had touched and which it had touched in turn, and sought to anchor itself in what was relevant and what mattered. It was one of the most difficult things it had ever done. “Roen.” It said, an exhalation that brought life back into the lie. The name centered him, helping to soothe the existential crisis that was liable to cripple, and helped ease the racking shakes that threatened to maim him out of sheer anxiety. That he was susceptible to anxiety at all and still came as a sort of ironic relief, but it was not enough to shake the sensation of a deep and visceral loss of self. This was the third time in just as many weeks where it had struck him, this sudden panic, this inexplicable loss of function. No, he thought, not inexplicable. He hadn’t been the same since Kadia. He had dropped the mask and all the pretense then, and now, now he was different. Now the mask didn’t quite fit, and he was no longer sure it ever had. Now his hand shook, and it kept shaking as he resumed his travels through the Wilds of Terrenus. Tonight, the Anima Imperium had two visitors. They had no transport, but that did not stop the pair from traversing the terrain. A storm was coming, and it was entirely natural. They walked through streamers of white fog, crossing outcrops of brown boulders, lakes of moss and dank natural watercourses choked with lichens. The sky shone like filthy, tinted glass. In the distance, a pustular range of hills began to vanish in the rain-blur of the encroaching elements. Lightning flashed above, like sparks off flint, ready to set the world alight. They had been in the woodlands for an hour now, and had just sighed the foreign structure of the Anima Imperium after entering a clearing, that the second of the two made itself known. Once upon a time, it had dogged the fiend’s shadow, bound to the corpse of Valian ac Thun, Patia’s last defender before the city fell to Perdition. Now it inhabited the man’s armor, the man’s body long since reduced to dust and ash. It floated down from the sky with a clink of chains rattling against scorch-blackened armor that was twisted and distended by arcane power, and glowed with an inner eldritch light. Its baleful gaze burned behind the narrow slit of its helm a deep and ghastly violet, and it looked at its master, patient as time immaterial. Its name was Helianstranos, and it was a daemonhost, the foulest of the devil’s aberrations. Or so he thought. Overhead, the sky flashed and vibrated. Roen could hear the doom-roll of thunder now, and felt the drizzle in the wind. Fog-vapor smirched out the distance, but he saw their destination. “Is this it?” He asked the daemonhost. Head lolling to the side, the monstrosity rolled its shoulders, affected a vast wealth of indolence in the simple gesture. Iᴛ ɪs it said, its voice hollow inside its helmet. It had followed the Outsider into the dreamscape, and from it divined what the devil sought. It knew its master was capable of such a feat, but in the esoteric and the profound, Roen was a moderate; he did not expend the effort on what most would refer to as ‘ability’ when there were others more interested and available to do the deeds for him. This could be called lazy on his part by some, but the fiend has his reasons. He nodded. “Take to the sky and lash the air. I want them to hear you, Helianstranos. I want them to come.” The daemonhost tipped its helmet in brief acquiescence, then rose into the air like a specter, chains rattling from its arms and legs. It disappeared into the clouds. High in the ruined sky above, it screamed. Loud, hideous, inhuman, drawn out. It screamed again, resounding both acoustically and psychically. The air temperature dropped sharply. Sheets of ice crackled into voice from above, shattering among the trees, through the glade, everywhere. Roen walked through the clearing in full view of cameras and auspex. Unarmed, he was dressed in what could have been said to be his casual wear: riding boots capped at the knee, britches, a gray vest of damask silk and a long sleeved shirt beneath, opened at the breast. A rugged dandy if there ever was one, he was several weeks beyond his last shave, and his hair, atypical of his sense of fashion, was long and loose, framing his face and rippling down his back, reaching the small just above the base of his long, spaded-tipped tail. It swayed behind him low and heavy, displaying none of the agitation that the sky above did. He moved several meters out in the open. The keening wails above grew louder, whooping and circling, as if screaming avian things were flying around. As lightning accompanied thunder, so each scream was accompanied by a sympathetic flash of light. The shrieks seemed to draw the storm down, until a halo of flashing, jagged light coruscated in the sky above the Anima Imperium. Corposant danced along the edges of the clearing like white, fluorescent balls. The devil took a moment to wipe fresh blood off his upper lip, capillaries having burst from duress. He didn't seem to mind the storm, rain, or the daemonhost he had sent to the skies. He didn't even mind the sympathetic fatigue on his anima the esoteric and local storm was causing. He only stood there, several dozen yards from the marvel of technological wonder, and waited. He had not come to batter down the doors. He was expecting to be invited in. At his side, his hand began to tremble again.
  34. 1 point
    @Radioactive @JackDoggo @NUMBER N1N3 Here is our OOC page to ask me questions or to discuss something.
  35. 1 point
    Erotisch

    Looking for a Motivation

    Yes, of course within the confines of the Code of Conduct. My apologies for not clarifying this.
  36. 1 point
    Raspberry LA

    Custom user title raffle

    I want in!
  37. 1 point
    Roen

    OoC I: The Abbadon Triumvirate

    Canolization sounds delicious, count me in.
  38. 1 point
    Fierach

    The World of Bel'shir

    Kallisa acquiesced to the elder's request, and she was grateful that her new friend, if she could call the white-haired woman that, seemed to go along without much rancor. As she took Terra to the hidden cellars and alcoves within the village where most of the villagers hid for safety, she would explain in brief. The raiders belonged a mighty pirate warlord titled the Crimson King, for he ruled across a wide swathe of the oceans far to the west where the sun sets and the skies were to said to be eternally blood red and waters constantly boiling. He was said to have powers exceeding that of any mortal, a living embodiment of the so-called Ring of Fire at the center of the Grand Blue Ocean that spanned the entire world. Every few cycles, his minions came out to the various cities, villages, and ports of the Oceanic Rim to gather tribute, be it in magical artifacts, valuables, or slaves... and make examples of anybody who resisted. She couldn't understand why they had come again though, their last foray was scant months ago and they should've never come again for at least another year. If Terra wished to help guard and keep the softer folk of their village hidden, Kallisa would be grateful for the help... but what about her companions? Did Terra know what they were doing? It seemed like they had split up without a plan. --- The man Jinsoku hauled had fallen unconscious, and offered no resistance. He was clearly hurt and exhausted, covered in wounds and cuts from his escape. If it was Jinsoku's desire to haul him out of the village to safety back at the cave where they had stored their weaponry, they would have the time to do so, although if he wished to hide the man somewhere in one of the village's many rapidly-emptying huts and stalls, he would be able to do that as well, and likely be around to bear witness to the pirate vessel finally arriving and anchoring just off the coastal drop. If they stuck around in the village, they would be able to see a number of small boats set off from the larger ship, and make for the shore, each with at least eight men aboard, four boats in total. The party needed to communicate and decide what they wanted to do next.
  39. 1 point
    Pasion Pasiva

    <3

    <3
  40. 1 point
    King

    OoC I: The Abbadon Triumvirate

    Just so we're all on the same page, it is my understanding that Terrenus is currently in a state of preternatural disrepair that is rather unfavorable to the occult (or woo-woo, as it were) outside of specific locations, namely the Shawnee Glacier and all regions affected by its expansion. I came into this thread under those limitations and expected all participants (NPCs included) to do the same, as it's the law of the land. Is that not the case? I just want to address this now, before my next post.
  41. 1 point
    Pasion Pasiva

    OoC I: The Abbadon Triumvirate

    Should we survive...
  42. 1 point
    Friday is finally here. I will announce when the thread is posted and link it!
  43. 1 point
    Praetorian

    Cyber Security

    Security Breach Leaks Millions of Panera Bread Customers' Personal Information, Report Says Panera Bread’s website has allegedly been leaking names, email addresses, physical addresses, birthdays, ordering habits, food preferences, and the last four digits of credit card numbers of customers who have used MyPanera or ordered food online over the past eight months. A security researcher claims he first reported the data leak to the fast-casual chain on August 2, 2017, but claims they disregarded his information as a scam. The company released a statement claiming only 10,000 customer records were exposed. http://people.com/food/panera-bread-leak-security-breach-mypanera/ Facebook Admits Public Data of its 2.2 Billion Users Has Been Compromised - Facebook dropped another bombshell on its users by admitting that all of its 2.2 billion users should assume malicious third-party scrapers have compromised their public profile information. On Wednesday, Facebook revealed that "malicious actors" took advantage of "Search" tools on its platform to discover the identities and collect information on most of its 2 billion users worldwide. The feature has been disabled and many new security patches are rolling out. MITIGATION STRATEGY: Users are encouraged to pay close attention to app updates within their respective app store to ensure latest security updates are installed. https://thehackernews.com/2018/04/facebook-data-privacy.html
  44. 1 point
    Tyler

    Custom user title raffle

    I've always wondered how custom user titles come about... Oh yeah, throw my name in too.
  45. 1 point
    jaistlyn

    OoC I: The Abbadon Triumvirate

    What villain? Abbadon is a charitable organization that provides jobs for the homeless and abandoned and gives them a place to belong and a sense of purpose. They are concerned about the prosperity of Orisia Isle. :P
  46. 1 point
    -Malice-

    Maze Undue [Anima Imperium]

    Monsters and men seldom mingle well, for just as the thirst of one could thrive in another, so too did the Abyss assail any whom gazed too deep. In darkness it dwelt, in silence it writhed, a scratch at the back of Agony's consciousness, which neither impeded nor aided the abomination in their ministrations. Long had it lingered there, as seconds slipped into hours, and the creature forsook the Summer Isle in favour of colder pastures, mind aflame with schemes as Gabriela was spirited away, naught but a whisper on the fleeting wind. Everything had a price, every action an equal and opposite adversary, and though there were those who praised La'Ruta as a noble force, the truth of its existence was far more sinister than scholars knew, for it had marked Agony that day within the courtyard, had offered him power, if he but sacrificed a piece of his personal sanctity. That was the secret Malice had failed to share, the cost which came with snaring an apple from Eden, as the Great serpent seduced their opponent, plying them with promises, whilst the wheels turned within machinations older than the shores of Terrenus itself. How long had he watched, one might wonder, as killer and Queen traded barbs within the confines of her cage, how had he stood idle, one might scream, as Gabriela and Rafael were tortured by emotion, and the Warlord had known where the Triumvirate had taken Orisia's monarch all along. Unlike the Crimson King, however, Malice was not defeated by desire, nor was he beset by the rage which spurred Rafael toward the sight of vengeance, for he had forsaken such frailties millennia ago, had flung flesh aside and blasphemed bone, until he transcended the mortal coil, and Ayenee became a memory, a dream where only the dead and the departed dwelt now. Perhaps that was why he had almost allowed Gabriela to be taken to begin with, turning a blind eye to the group's flight, when he could have brought legions of daemons crashing down upon them with naught but a wave, perhaps, old as he was, he realized that the Black Queen would not fulfil her potential, if she were ever sheltered by his shadow. The intervention of Agony and his Abaddon companions had proven timely in that regard, and so now, as the heavens trembled at Roen's approach, and Rafael's rage became palpable, as though tasted by his bestial tongue upon the breeze, Malice made no move to intercede, no instead a spectre crept from the cocoon within Agony's consciousness. Ethereal as an adage, none save Agony himself would be aware of the Devourer's presence, as it clung to his frame like smoke, a miasma which moulded about his vicinity and fed information directly back to the Warlord's waiting form back in Orisia; for even as events began to unfold within the eastern reaches of Terrenus, Malice was sowing the seeds of worship within the hearts of the Summer Isle's citizens. Let us see what her suitors will sacrifice to claim her anew.
  47. 1 point
    Dolor Aeternum

    Maze Undue [Anima Imperium]

    What was supposed to have been a haven for the Triumvirate away from their Patian home swiftly shifted into a beacon for covetous beasts and suffocating portent. The decision to transport one of the jewels of Orisia here had undoubtedly been a mistake but not one that Agony would ever regret. Regret implied failure and there was no semblance of that wretched sensation within him as he reflected upon what he had extracted from the pregnant Gabriela or what he had gained from the Great Devourer days before. This amorphous being’s calculating mind revisited the trek that led him here throughout the hours of the night, the need for sleep absent given Agony’s unique qualities. The organization he affiliated with was in need of allies and most of all resources. Those were all they sought to obtain the night the coronation occurred. Liberties were taken to pose as visitors devoted to the Patian devil seeking to honor someone he had cherished. The audacity he held to pose as a knight in service of a lord he did not truly devote his service to. Agony served no one. It was this isolation that had compartmentalized this mission so much that even Lunara and Rodan were traversing through an unforgiving fog that he did nothing to lift. He held fast to the belief that the blame for this still fell solely on him. The meeting planned by Marigold was almost ignored as it became increasingly difficult to justify. It was Marigold’s decision to move the Queen throughout the night as well as what he didn’t know concerning the man that brought him in to their meeting room. The sight of the depleted doctor was far too coincidental to not be suspicious to Agony though paranoia should be tacit when it came to this triumvir. The man was an outlier much like the woman Rodan decided to take with them or the draconic girl that burned the Mutator’s face. An outlier that now seemed as volatile as the rest with fatigue eroding sound judgment along with something else that Agony slowly began to pick up on. The ambiguity of the man’s temperament placed Agony on high alert. Obtenebra’s mass gave no indication that he was monitoring the man, a singular eye resting at the center of his massively oblong shape. The primordial liquid rippled violently at the sound of the siren, Obtenebra’s naturally defensive nature urging Agony to act. Marigold’s request to have them remain here was deemed ludicrous. Agony let Marigold advance further, then spoke to those still in the room. “I am going to follow him” Roiling black moved with purpose, forcing himself through any obstacles either by oozing his way through or pushing through with unearthly strength. The maelstrom Agony knew would surge into existence ever since he had convinced Lunara to relinquish her blood and drug the Black Queen roared upon the horizon. Thunderous din echoed through the facility while winds warned of the forces that approached from the distance. Any conservative would rather remain inside to weather what would come but the majority of the Triumvirate members that had aligned themselves with him did not hold such restraints. To achieve power involved risk and ambition. Dangerous things that were mostly foreign to the reserved. Ambition wrought the precarious threats that Agony knew would come and he would not allow a wavering doctor to mishandle it all. Agony emerged in the distance, his blackened mass teetering in all sorts of directions as it allowed itself to be swayed by winds. There were no biological factors present, no manner with which to extract emotion or intent but it was clear that Agony purposefully wished to make his presence known. The orchestrator of the events that led the majority of those present here stood erect behind Marigold’s grid. Cascading liquid pooled underneath the eight foot mass only to curl back in, a sloppy sound denoting its movement. Marigold’s distracted thoughts likely would have prevented him from realizing that he had been present the whole time he spoke to Roen. The Dreaded Margrave’s arrival here was of no surprise but his timing exceeded expectations. The stress that was visible from the benevolent host of their organization could not be ignored. An abomination, by Terran standards, had managed to circumvent Orisian security, kidnap a very pregnant woman that the devil cared for deeply and did so under his and Rafael’s noses. Rage, embarrassment, and hatred were all plausible responses to that seemingly impossible feat that Agony would likely be unable to avoid. Agony was unsure how much Roen knew about the individuals that comprised the organization he likely knew originated within his own lands. Whether it was by design or indifference, he had never directly interacted with Roen but it would be negligent of him to not do so now. Agony understood what currency he could gain or squander if he failed to do so. Four inch slits began to form around the entirety of his body, creating a channel from which the depth of a baritone voice could be amplified to reach Roen and Marigold soon after the Doctor’s introduction. “He is undoubtedly here because he is in search of something or someone. For him to grace us with his presence suggests it is of great importance.” These words were simply meant to stage dialogue Agony hoped to moderate for the benefit of all. “It would be rude to leave someone so benevolent to us outside to endure the storm to come. Let him in…” The last order oozed vehemence though it was his specific choice of words and the inflections he carefully chose that attempted to assert Agony’s desire to dominate the inevitable engagement that would come. The wails above continued as the daemonhost continued its forceful display. For Roen to have brought along such a creature implied he was prepared to utilize its abilities at the very least. Agony’s penchant desire to see what pain that creature could inflict might have led him to provoke the devil were it not that there were more important gains the ancient being wished to uncover. Now his speech honed in on Roen specifically. “Was your journey troublesome?” Most would find a talking mound of ooze in the distance an unnerving event that would instill discomfort or fear but Gabriela did not attract the mundane or the common. The arrival of Roen was only the first challenge he would have to endure from the fallout of his own actions but he would not cower in the presence of such a myriad of opportunities. Beneath the looming threat of retribution, Agony intended to mine a power the Triumvirate likely could not have gained without extending its reach as far as it had. This precarious path he had chosen would either force the Triumvirate into a new era or snuff the embers they had barely maintained until now. ~~~Meanwhile at the Perimeter of Anima Imperium lands~~~ Xavier thought Agony’s request to wait for a messenger had to be one of the easiest jobs he had ever taken. Nines had been too much of a slave driver having them work on helping that weird doctor build that facility. Sure, work like that came easy but the monotony of it all made him wish that he could do something else. He had remembered Agony telling him to remain hidden but what harm could a lowly messenger do to his massive orc frame? Leaning against a tree within a large clearing that had a carved hole meant for messages, Xavier would whistle comfortably even as the storm raged on and the wailing was heard in the distance. Waiting here was much better than being stuck working on construction or dealing with the neighboring village. He would have to thank that odd blob guy for giving him some reprieve. This job was going to be the easiest one of his life
  48. 1 point
    supernal

    Cyber Security

    Some malware allows a hacker to bug pretty much any device, like office phones and printers and not just computers, through software: https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2015/08/funtenna-software-hack-turns-a-laser-printer-into-a-covert-radio/ Video explanation https://youtu.be/5GnMj5cus4A
  49. 1 point
    PandaHat

    High Treason in Terrenus [Civil War]

    OMG OMG OMG #MakeMairaGeneral
  50. 1 point
    The Hummingbird

    Of Gods and Men

    Above the clouds, in the face of the sun, the air was always the same; cold and relentlessly harsh. Sometimes unpredictable, for the Magestorms hailing from the eastern mountain range brought with it both beautiful and dangerous effects. Lightning crackling upward from black clouds, sheets of icy wind and freezing rain, cruel rays of bright magic that shattered darkness and sucked in light… such were the skies that hung above Umbra. For the moment, the sky was clear, a rich, light blue with a bright, bold sun shining down on the white spires of Lana’thel. Shadows arched from the darker brick and stone of the buildings it overlooked, and multi-faced glass sparkled with the light, taking on the look of clear reflective crystal. The Red City was a picturesque scene of artistic taste and design, boasting architectural brilliance and the modern beauty only the carefully trained eye could see. There was no other place like it, not in all the great nation of Genesaris or the worlds beyond. Powerful wings slicing up and down like weighted blades and undeterred by the chill winds, Zenahriel enjoyed the aerial view of his home. He loved his daily flights, patrolling the skies, taking in the beauty of Umbra standing against the gray and emerald backdrop of the Arcane East - or the Carmine Empire, as so many now called it. Whether he viewed it standing against the silver frame of the Cold Mountains, or against the deep green of the grasslands, it dominated all else in its wake, ruling the other cities that were in its far-reaching shadow. A shadow now joined by that of a smooth, majestic airship cruising high above. Banking, Zenahriel turned his soar into a steep dive, spiraling to finally land on one white spire of Lana’thel. He stood slanted on the gleaming alabaster surface, one hand round the of the spire, watching the airship as it made to dock within the eastern tower. He recognized the ship’s Kadian design and make of the Imperial South, and mistrusted it immediately. He did not know what dealings the South had with the East, if it had dealings at all. Nor did he know why Rafael, his Liege Lord, and mate, would allow him such a frivolous entry and privileged meeting.
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