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Showing content with the highest reputation on 09/15/2019 in all areas

  1. 4 points
    Fierach

    The First Feast of Blades

    The festivities would commence. The first day would see mostly organization, little true action taking place. Participants and diplomats alike would be led to their temporary accommodations, large and comfortable staterooms on the upper levels of the Komturie expressly built for such purposes. The rules of the contests within the Feast, made known prior to entry, would be further explained in detail. Of particular note were those for Trueblades; ordinary melee weapons of any kind were allowed up to a certain number. Participants were allowed to wear a choice of no armor, or Force Majeure approved training plate or hardened leather. Any worries about equipment familiarity would be addressed as each Custode would be accompanied by a host of expert craftsmen and blacksmiths, taking detailed measurements to ensure that that any equipment would be perfectly tailored and suited to the wielder. They would learn the identity of their first foe the beginning of the next day, the competition day. Wildblade participants would be brought up to speed on the nature of the hunt, the sorts of potential quarry, all located in the final frontier of this land, the depths of the Labyrinth Forest. They would have the opportunity to meet other participants in their category, and like that of the nations of the ANT, form an alliance for mutual success and achievement. Teams of two were allowed, although a warrior was allowed to hunt alone, given that they understood the risk involved. The highlight of the day would probably be the Feast. The night before the fights would begin saw everybody invited to the giant mess hall within the Komturie, where an enormous banquet was laid out. Here was a palace of food, a paradise for the stomach, fare for the hale and hearty. It was not the refined delicacies or plated palate of kings or nobles, but sustenance for the vigorous warrior. Various cheeses lay next to freshly baked bread, and assorted vegetables cooked in various styles, next to jugs of wine, milk, water, and fruit juices. Greatest of all were the selection of meats. Grilled calf, ham stir-fry, roast deer, pork shoulder stew, and seared chicken skewers all heaped plates on one end of the hall, ready for the taking. Seafood from Medain Sari Island adorned the other end, three kinds of cooked shrimp, buttered steamed lobster, the most savory of grilled eel and tuna, and the most savory of sauces to go with and it did not even end there, with a large selection of stews still being continually bused in by Custodes Auxiliaries. There were tables and seats everywhere: large, small, round, rectangular, good for a couple or for the largest of delegations. All had a view of the feast table, and at the very head was a long table reserved for the hosts, where James Eredas and the other present Knights of the Order of Force Majeure sat, and welcomed anybody who came up. The Individual Event: Trueblade: Entrants: Volentia, the Healer, of the Order of the White Hand (Player: @jaistlyn) Vadrian Dawnwood (Player: @Die Shize) Arthur Uskglass (Player: @Voldemort) Arthantos Thulmann (Player: @Damnatus) Tzak "The Ripper" Bishop (Player: @Twitterpated) Mōmoku Akuja Kenshi, "Senjō no Ōkami" (Player: @Etched In Stone) Caeceila Glasmann (Player: @The Alexandrian) Dauner Light (Player: @Dauner Light) --- === The Hunting Event: Wildblades: Entrants: Lady Yanaihara Koharu, of Datsuzoku (Player: @vielle) Raion Saikaku (Player: @The Rabbit Emperor) Nikolai, the Shield Warden (Player: @SteamWarden) Khakina Khatun (Player: @Thotification) Larian D'har Cassar (Player: @Moon Owl) Leoa Melisende (Player: @Aleksei) --- [This is now a Hub Thread for the first Feast of Blades. Your characters are now welcome to wander and interact within the Dawn Komturie]
  2. 2 points
    Following the pipe deeper brings you to a succession of isolated, fluid-filled, calcite pools, providing a rim which can be stepped on so as to avoid the pools entirely . . . if careful enough. The first you encounter has been posted in the IC thread
  3. 2 points
    Venus Sprite

    Back to Square One

    Sorry it took me so long to post, guys! I managed to get myself involved in the school musical this year and it's sucking up all my time and brain power :S
  4. 2 points
    Torie couldn’t take it anymore. “There’s a hole down there,” she shouted. Realising how stupid that sounded, she took a deep breath before adding any more. “Look, have you ever used any of the Crossroad portals, to travel from Mageside to Shrine City or so? This hole looks like that, but it doesn’t lead to here.” Again, she clarified. “It doesn’t lead to a place with all the laws of here. Wherever it leads, the natural laws on the other side are different. “So even though I can maybe see about two dozen or so salamanders in the caves below us, I’ve also seen a few pass through this hole. Which means more could come out of this hole. Don’t ask me how many but I don’t know. These aren’t normal salamanders. They’ve got skills, and they’re building stuff. “So we’re going to need to be careful, and really, really clever.” Torie tossed the piece of mithril ore into the air over Aaric’s head. As she was watching it, Torie (gently) snatched the box of explosives from the young man’s hands. “We’re going to need these. These are fire salamanders, and fire salamanders hate water. Luckily for us the original miners dug the mine into an underground cave. Lots of water down there if we know where to blast, and I do.” Torie looked down at the explosives in her hands, then passed them back to Aaric. “Actually, you take these. “We’re also going to need some light source. It’s pitch black down there in parts. And we’re going to need our kobold friends. In fact, if we could get them to make a diversion for us and lead some salamanders out, that would be for the best.” “Oh gods I’m hungry,” she added. Before she could say anymore, there was the sound of gravelly footfalls on the path behind them, and quietly approached the five kobolds, dawn light glistening off their scales. Torie jumped up as fast as her bulk would allow. “Oh good. You’re here! What took you so long? Were you seen? Any problems?” Shank shook his head. “None, no problems,” he said. The others looked at each other nervously, but didn’t contradict their leader. “Good. Alright, here’s the plan: you kobolds run into the cave and lure out as many salamanders as you can. They’ll chase you, because salamanders think kobolds are stupid and are just there to steal stuff. Sometimes kobolds are stupid but my kobolds are particularly clever.” She said this towards Aaric, though upon hearing it the kobolds all puffed out their chests – all but Shank. “Once they’re outside we’ll ambush them here, together. That way there’ll be less inside to deal with. Then we go in. I’ll show you where to plant the explosives and we can rupture the aquifer and flood the cave. It won’t fill up though, because caves are natural paths for water, but it should make the salamanders easier to kill. Then we walk with the water and kill off the salamanders where we find them.” As she spoke, she had been drawing in the dust with her claw, a maze of passages and tunnels. “The slamanders are here. If, for some reason I can’t show you the way to the weakest wall in the aquifer, follow this path, take two lefts then a right. Plant them where you can see the walls are wet, or near enough.” She looked up at her little circle of companions. “Any questions? Suggestions?”
  5. 2 points
    Hold the round until I can post the next bit of detail
  6. 2 points
    LukeRipstine

    A dollar for your sword

    Luke, now rid of most of the webs that stuck to him, watched Will descend. He could see the soft grin is partner tried to hide from a distance and he didn't blame him for it instead he smiled a slightly and waited for Will to reach him. Taking the extra time he produced a small bit of mist which provided them a little more unneeded light as they both had been their own sources of light for a while. "You all right? Tell me you didn't crush that stone.. " Luke took the question as a light gab and a joke, ignoring it as he turned to continue their path and picking up the bundle of the jelly fish limb. There was more piping to cover and threw the lights edges, just barely visible Luke saw a bundle of webbing and clumps, at first glance Luke thought it could be their salvation. Until the faint smell grazed him. Most of Lukes senses were better than the average, much better and even finer tuned by years of training. He stopped, Will continued down the path as Luke thoughts raced What died? More importantly where is the thing that killed it? Will ventured forward noticing the tangled webs after Luke, taking almost immediate action rushing tit and slicing it open with one of his cross bow bolts. The wave of rotting corpse spread threw the tunnel, Luke walked up behind Will looking into the contents of the pod. Robes of a mage, a piece of paper, and a strange device all on a corpse a few days away from being bare bones. Will turned and looked back at Luke, the look on his face was that of distraught and confusion. "How many people did that wizard send into these pipes?" Luke avoided his gaze, Will's emotion making him shy away. He'd seen this side of magic for years and even when avoiding it that side of the world never altered. "I don't know, maybe some people just couldn't handle the pipes? We can't control who fails but we can finish this out so no one else has to risk their lives down here." Luke laid his hand on Wills shoulder, what little comfort he could provide as mere hours ago they were, and in many ways still are, complete strangers. As Will opened the letter they both gazed onto the two words that threw their situation into mental spirals. Mone LIES In scratched letter, the man must have knew he was gonna die here and these letters where the embers of his life. And a warning to others. Mone, each and every magic user has their secrets. Is this what he meant by he had tested this shrinking before? I've been experimenting with an aerosol. Worry not I've already trialed it several times and can swear to its efficacy if this is what he meant then the two jelly fish and this corpse is three. Where are the other four? Wills voice broke him out of his thought. Will passed Luke the note and passes Luke, "I'm not sure what this is," he began quietly, "but be on high alert. We can decide to keep going, or crush that gem and ask Mone some questions right now. Regardless, something's wrong. I say we forge ahead. Get the ring, crush the gem, and get our answers with leverage. But," he added, "if you want to end it here I'll support you. I can't force us both to keep going. "It wouldn't make sense to end it here. He already told us there was seven attempts and no matter how *he pauses, looking back at the corpse* unfortunate *he looks back to Will* this may seem I think we should finish." "Our professor... he wouldn't put us in shifty situation right? I'm really not sure." " I don't know *Luke starts to walk further down the pipe* it would be a good experience if our real target was mone and we had to collect evidence on his possibly illegal experiments *he chuckles* but I think thats a much deeper mission that just a ring ya know? I think thats a little out of our pay grade."
  7. 2 points
    The flames blurred Sheryl's vision, and she dashed out of the room after the others, only to realize a completely unexpected sight upon opening her eyes. There was no undead horror, no flaming ghoul, no room enraptured in fire, but they were in an arena. As sound returned to her, she could make out the sounds to go with the sight, that thousands of individuals cheering, whooping and hollering. Another illusion? She patted her clothes, noting the singed edges. That was real. This was likely real as well. Amidst everybody else, Sheryl Wainwright sat down to relax and go through her pack, making sure to equip the armor she had brought and to drink water that she had brought with her. She took the enemy lead's words seriously. If this was a Colosseum, then she best catch her breathe when she could. The Force Majeure Knight glanced around, ever alert. She didn't immediately recognize most of her new companions. Other people from Bloodwatch perhaps? Was the site undergoing a mass hysteria? She wondered briefly what trials that they had undergone, as she had not seen any of them in the undead infested deep dungeons. As she watched one of them, a lecher named Charlie almost attack the Norkortians over something called "harpy babes"... she decided that it was best not to dwell on it.
  8. 1 point
    Tzak "The Ripper" Bishop (Player: @Twitterpated) Mōmoku Akuja Kenshi, "Senjō no Ōkami" (Player: @Etched In Stone) --- Martial Heights- In the middle of a town square in Predator's Keep, there lies a platform two stories in height, fifteen by fifteen feet across, made of tempered wood. It is ringed by stepping poles, that make their way to the top, and flanked on two opposing sides by smaller platforms only ten feet by ten feet that also have ladders on them. The Custode escorting you to the arena notes that loss was not determined by falling off the platforms, if one could still fight. [You have one month OOC to conclude your battle. Time extensions are allowed on request within reason.] ---
  9. 1 point
    danzilla3

    [Class C] For the Public Health

    The line outside the offices of the Civil Defense Force had started out small, but grown exponentially as the opening hour approached. Fear had driven people from all strata of society to que up for one of the free inoculations being offered by the CDF. None of them seemed to question the motives for the program. Why would they? The CDF were a trusted part of daily life in the city. If they were offering shots, it must be on the up and up. No need to question it further. Right? Private Emile Gareau was set up on the roof of a building across the street from the CDF offices; viewing the scene through the scope of his rifle. The Doctor they were here to escort had left word she would be waiting at the bus stop in front of the office. Now it was just up to Robicheaux to make contact. @SweetCyanide
  10. 1 point
    Armada

    Check out my Wattpad stories

    I'm writing two stories on Wattpad. Come read, follow, comment, and share them with everyone! [Fictional] Loser A Novella with chapters updated every 20th. of the month 厳禁 X KISS - A Cell Phone Novel A Cell Phone Novel with chapters updated every Tuesday & Saturday I will post when chapters are updated. Thanks for the support!
  11. 1 point
    Ahh, no I had read "participants are allowed to wear no armor" as in "participants cannot wear armor" instead of "participants don't have to wear armor" lol
  12. 1 point
    Original Rules posted: Armor is limited to three types. For those who desire heavier protection, training half-plate is provided, minus the helmet, featuring breastplate, pauldrons, gauntlets, greaves, and tassets. For lighter protection, hardened leather suits and gambesons can be provided, well-tailored to your character, and participants can opt out of protection altogether, although against recommendations.
  13. 1 point
    You have! It’s my turn, and I’ve queued the thread up in my roster!
  14. 1 point
    SweetCyanide

    [Class C] For the Public Health

    robicheaux, ramsey Ramsey never trusted free vaccines. Nor will he ever trust any from Last Chance. His reasoning behind it was that: it's Last Chance. It was clear that he didn't like Last Chance all that much. Maybe it was the air, the scent of wet garbage, the feeling of dread you get whenever you see a homeless human rotting by the sidewalk where everyone else walks right by. Gangs of street children resorting to sniffing glue to satiate their hunger, where the same kids get beat at the market for trying to steal a piece of meat. Ramsey wrinkled his nose and reveled in the atmosphere. Smells like a bunch of losers. He stood near a bench—making his trust issues clear on sitting—and looked at the direction where his comrade scoped out the view. From a far distance, one could tell he had a handsome figure. Classy trench coat, black turtleneck. It was a shame that his good looks were utterly wasted on him. He made eye contact with Gareau as he placed his spectacles on, his attention now circling back to a woman coming his way. "Doctor Robicheaux," he said, with a voice of a smoker and the scent of one, "You're Miss . . .?" @danzilla3
  15. 1 point
    “Hey!” Aelene exclaimed as the thug began to drag her away. “You’re not taking anything, asshole!” Bringing her arm up firmly, the soft surface of her palm struck his cheek like a brick. The man howled and clutched his face, dropping the purse in the process. With a swift swipe of her wrist, Aelene caught the purse as it fell and turned to walk away. Until she felt a firm grip around her shoulder. “Oh, you’re not getting away that easy, bitch!” The man had recovered almost instantly from the blow and was quick to spin her around with the leverage that her shoulder offered. “You’re on our turf now!” he growled, returning the slap with one of his own. The blow came in twice as powerful as the one Aelene had dealt, snapping her head abruptly to the side. As the initial sting wore off, she felt blood on her cheek where hardened calluses had torn her skin. ”And nobody messes with us!” he added, turning her back and delivering a powerful blow to her gut. She bent forward unwittingly in a knee-jerk reaction, gasping for air as his fist forced its way up into her lungs. ”Let this be a warning,” the man stated sternly, before withdrawing his fist from her abdomen and forcefully pushing her to the ground. He bent down, scooped up the purse and walked away briskly as a crowd began to form. As Noah came to help her to her feet, concerned onlookers gave them sympathetic glances. In spite of the soreness in her body, a smirk found its way onto Aelene’s bloody lips. “I think we got em.” @Twitterpated
  16. 1 point
    "Just take what you want," Noah said plainly. The mugger scowled and snatched the purse from Aelene's arms; but did not move to leave after he did so. It seemed like the man wasn't sure what to do; perhaps not sure how to respond to someone who was plainly unafraid of him. Noah wasn't good at feigning emotion that he didn't feel, so pretending he was afraid of a man he could kill with no effort. Apparently this was something the criminal just couldn't tolerate. "I'll do whatever I want!" Words were followed up with a backhand across his face that barely registered to Noah, As for the mugger, it seemed to take him a moment before he noticed the pain shooting up his arm. Hissing out a string of expletives, the criminal looked at his victim with confusion. Narrowing his eyes, he grabbed Aelene and yanked her forward. "Bitch, you're coming with me!" Noah stood silently as his companion was dragged away. He figured that if the woman wanted to be rid of the man that she was perfectly capable of dispatching him herself.
  17. 1 point
    Vilhardt

    Research the Valley of Elemental Stone

    The turbulence stirred the lad, pulling at his nerve from some unnamed incidents of his past. He sat upright quickly, snapping out of his haze and at full attention; checking to make sure everything was alright. As the ship became blanketed in a thick mist, Grandin rose onto his feet, still on edge as they headed towards the mountains and into a hidden pass amidst the range. After passing through, all sense of uneasiness ceased, replaced with those of fascination as he beheld the valley. He slipped his boots on and grabbed his coat, making a full sprint towards the front of the airship in amazement. His reaction was cliche, but fitting. "Wooaah..." Joshua stared in amusement as they approached the landing zone. He could feel the energy here, as if the genius loci itself had reached out and drawn him in. Perhaps, in honesty then, it wasn't actually his will at all to come here, but rather that of the genius loci itself helping the hero of Lunaris find a place to find peace within it's vast reach. By either circumstance, the resemblence was uncanny to the white haired one. The valley resembled his homeland of Grandis, the dying world he had left behind during the worldrift event. Floating landmarks circulated in harmony, and the flocks above looked onward from above in excitement. It was in this moment, caught in his own disbelief, that the sorrows of an outsider once again caught up to him. He pointed his hand toward the scenery and spoke heartfelt words, which fell on no ears at all, bringing a blank expression onto his face. "Liz look, it's just like Gra.." The man grew still, realizing the harsh truth that Liz wasn't there. She was gone. His sister had been taken by the realms, never to return again. It had been so long since he had seen her, heard her, and he had put off all thought of her until now. A cold frown formed across his jawline, without feeling or reason. His demeanor changed in an instant as he prepared to get off of the ship, looking once above towards Vito and then towards the crew before setting off on his own. He needed to find four of the farthest points of the valley and set up scrying orbs, and then attune with them from the highest point. With a hefty sigh, he prepared to set out, holding back his sadness for now.
  18. 1 point
    “Alright, walk with me,” Aelene laced her arm with Noah’s elbow as they began a pleasant and unassuming stride into the market. Her eyes drifted to and fro, trying not to focus on any one thing for too long. She slid her purse into her right palm, clutching it relatively tightly. Somehow, it didn’t feel right to make it too obvious that they were trying to get robbed. As they set foot into the market, her eyes darted to the side, finding a store that sold vision aids. Heading there would place them directly behind the man that Noah had pointed out. Tugging softly, she steered Noah in that direction as they walked swiftly, pretending the admire the various goods around them. Unfortunately, an unexpected obstacle presented itself. An unknown individual (first man who Noah identified) suddenly came from an unexpected angle and stood directly in their path. They stopped. As they began to skirt sideways around him, the man moved into their path yet again. He folded his arms and scoffed. “Honey...” Aelene whimpered in feigned nervousness. She just hoped Noah would be able to react appropriately to the change in situation. @danzilla3
  19. 1 point
    Noah had seen the like of the Gypsy Market a thousand times throughout his myriad lifetimes, and he always found them uncomfortable. Too crowded, too noisy, too much going on in general. But this was where the plan called for them to be, so he would bear with it for now. "Give me a moment." Using his own facial recognition, he began to scan through the crowd, cross referencing the data with local police records. In seconds he had picked out three potential targets that would suit their purposes. The first was a mugger, ruled out for his propensity for unneeded violence. Second candidate was also ruled out for being a known sex offender. The third was a known purse snatcher, perfect for their mission. "Three o' clock, the man with the facial tattoos. Present him with the opportunity and he will almost certainly take the bait."
  20. 1 point
    danzilla3

    Dangerous criminals in Terrenus

    To date, he has killed 13 people. All but two were high ranking members of the Gaianist Church, and all members of a disbanded sect known as the Order of Thorns. It was discovered that the killer himself was a member of the Order. Most of this was established in this thread.
  21. 1 point
    Fierach

    The Sacrifice of Others (Dead)

    One of the thousand white robed supplicants was a woman named Sarah Wilhem. Supposedly a native of the land, her heart long since belonged to another, to duty, to an organisation known as the Order of Force Majeure. She was not compliant to the madness that was going to unfold. Sarah needed to get out. She had a partner in crime, a fellow Seeker with whom she had taken responsiblity for infiltrating for this night. If she did not return she was sure he would send warning, but the woman needed more details. Her hands felt clammy and she paled with fear, holding herself still through sheer will. She had to get more information to pass on, on this clone of Cain, the god Alignak they attempted to harness, and any potential weaknesses in the ritual. A thought came to her, of only she had her bow and throwing daggers. Ten paces distance might have been enough to end the threat before it even began. No, she dismissed the thought. Such beings had ample protections in place against an ambush like that.
  22. 1 point
    Maybe it was the complicated cocktail of hormones that currently coursed through her pregnant body, or the memories that were conjured by the small stuffed animal that still smelled of Philippe’s sweet baby breath -- or maybe it was just a sliver of who Gabriela use to be, before all of the ugliness -- whatever the case, the Black Queen found herself struggling with a thick lump of emotion in her throat the moment that Shanna returned the embrace. The need that suddenly radiated from Shanna, which felt like borderline desperation, caused so many mixed emotions to claw at the inside of Gabriela’s rib cage. Her ability for love, compassion, and more importantly, for nurturing was a very tough beast to break, and no matter what Raphael did, he had not completely killed off who Gabriela truly was. He loathed her for taking in, as he called them, strays, and yet he could have been accused of the same thing -- save that it was obvious that he did not care for the things that he tamed, he did not feel himself responsible for the well being of those who claimed as his own. And it was through the way that Shanna pressed into the Black Queen, her body small and trembling -- aching for the kindness that was so clearly a rarity for the young woman -- that Gabriela was utterly won over. She ached for her lost child, but there was nothing that could be done about it -- at least not here or now. However, God in his infinite wisdom, saw fit to place before her a child in equal need, if not more dire circumstances. So no, Gabriela did not pull away and did not struggle from the embrace. Instead, her stone-like body softened, and her arms became lax so that they would not become objects of discomfort. She held onto Shanna with a loose but protective grip, especially as the young woman sought out the comfort she so desperately needed. “Sorry,” said Shanna with a wince crossing her pretty face -- though it appeared to be rippling like the surface of water. Gabriela did not falter in her embrace, nor did she seek to end the proximity with words or subtle facial expressions. She remained firmly set, a pillar for the young woman to support herself against. Sometimes, a vampyre’s strength could be a startling thing, especially when it came from such a slight, and waif like embodiment. “There’s nothing to be sorry about,” Gabriela replied, smiling kindly and genuinely at the girl. And with that being said, she drew her bleeding finger up and toward her face, preparing to do something that would probably be considered just about as disgusting as it was odd. “Ah, but wait! Isn’t that against the rules? I don’t know that I’m worth that…” The smile slowly dropped from Gabriela’s face as she saw Shanna’s own expressions fall away into doubt and a hint of self-loathing -- it was well hidden, it was subtle and quick. “Dear child…” “I mean… it’s royal blood and I’m just… a nobody.” The dark brows on the crown of her brow pinched in concern. To hear the young woman speak in regards to herself in such a lowly way did more than just worry Gabriela, it saddened her. “Right here and right now, Shanna… you mean the world to me.” With the slight nod of approval, Gabriela would complete what she had set out to do. Her bloody finger pressed into Shanna’s wounded ear. She wanted to be careful, but like it or not there would be pain. Not only was there internal damage, but her fingernail and the pad of her finger were cold like ice. She held Shanna a little tighter for when the pain caused her to jolt, in order to keep her from further injuring herself. From there, it was just a matter of Gabriela’s black blood seeping down into the damaged parts of her inner ear, and the awful ache that came from cellular reconstruction being forced to happen immediately as opposed to over a set of days. “I am sorry,” she said quietly, knowing that when her hearing returned it would be sharper and perhaps louder than Shanna recalled, and would remain so, until her black blood was fully out of her system. “There will be some discomfort…”
  23. 1 point
    supernal

    Dangerous criminals in Terrenus

    Were there casualties? I can’t revall How many has the Apostate killed? And what’s his type / compulsion? Would be interesting to focus on his serial killer aspect vs the more regular murder stuff
  24. 1 point
    After two hours of careful planning and preparation, Noah and Aelene set off to the Gypsy Market to acquire more information. A scheme had been hatched, one so simple and mundane that it was absolutely fool proof. They had figured out that since the mobsters demanded tolls from the various individuals who roamed the market, locating one of their hideouts was a simple matter of hooking a tracker up to a purse, and ‘convincing’ one of the mobsters to forcefully acquire it. From there, they hoped that the hideout would give them more information to work with. The alternative was to go in guns blazing, but that would be an outright violation of the law and Aelene wanted to avoid murdering anybody unnecessarily. As they approached the Market, her hands tightened around the trap purse and adrenaline began to course through her veins. “Do you see anything?” she asked Noah, who could apparently figure out information about anyone through his highly sophisticated data readers.
  25. 1 point
    Will be posting intro tmr!
  26. 1 point
    Also. ALL THE FOOD. ALL. THE. FOOD.
  27. 1 point
  28. 1 point
    @Dauner Light Seeing as you are going up against Die Shize, you'll be informed that he has changed his character to Vadrian Dawnwood.
  29. 1 point
    AngryCacti

    A Fool's Errand

    Tana jerked around towards the sound, eyes roving the shadows for signs of movement and finding nothing. After a second, she relaxed her stance and flipped her knife around to a more defensive hold. “Death threat?” Tana smiled and cocked her head. “How could I threaten someone I can’t see? Besides, we’re both a long way from home and it would be a shame to kill a conversationalist like yourself.” As she talked, she pivoted slowly, searching the room for the source of the voice. Her initial hunch was wrong. She hadn’t expected to find a person, much less someone who spoke the same language as her. “Unless you’re some new kind of monster, I have no quarrel with you.” The acoustics of the storehouse made it difficult to pin down the stranger’s location. There was a patch of deep shadow that seemed a likely spot, but she couldn’t be certain. Keeping low, Tana crept forward, walking silently over the debris. She kept stacks of crates between her and her destination, minimizing the time she was in a direct line of sight. Anyone who was foolish enough to be in this city was not worth trifling with. He didn’t sound like a member of one of the Bi’le’ah gangs- Tana doubted any of them could read, let alone speak Genesarin. If he was hiding, he certainly wasn’t part of the military or law. He was just like Tana: begging for trouble. However, Tana had a job to do and this stranger was in the way. “You know,” she called, “it’s hard to talk to a disembodied voice. Come out with your hands up and we can talk. Crazy to crazy.”
  30. 1 point
    supernal

    Downtime due to site update

    I thought I had to disable the chatbox because it wasn't updated, but just turns out the system didn't flag it for an update that was published If you noticed the downtime it's because I was successfully doing something with the site I failed to do in my previous announcement. Victory! So afterwards I decided to take a backup and update the site to the latest version, as well as the themes - which is why your theme is likely the dark version now You can change it by selecting your theme of choice in the selector at the bottom of the site
  31. 1 point
    Ghastly! Simply ghastly! Ilyana's table manners are simply ghastly! Caeceila did not quail at the sight of blood; she was not a stereotypical gentlewoman with delicate sensibilities. The putrid odors of death and decay did not sour her stomach when she stepped onto the battlefield. She did not shy away from conflict nor did she swoon when a risque comment was directed at her. Caeceila's acclimation to death and destruction did nothing, however, to suppress her horror as she bore witness to Ilyana's uncivilized habits. That someone would handle comestibles with unwashed fingers or pilfer morsels from a companion's plate was unthinkable to her! Ilyana dined like an animal, decorum glaringly absent as she feasted on her meal as though it was a fresh kill she had tracked and slaughtered in the woods! Ilyana distinguished herself as an alpha while Aislyn, through her inaction, marked herself as a complacent beta. The implications of such behaviors visibly disturbed Caeceila Glasmann. With eyebrows raised in numbing shock, Caeceila wondered how life in East Hell's Gate could have promoted such unseemly conduct! She knew all too well that Hell's Gate was often unnecessarily cruel, but she had been wholly unaware of the low-key degeneracy rooted in her city. In the throes of this sobering revelation, that she had been so preoccupied with the horde of invaders knocking on the gates that she was blind to the crowd of malefactors residing within the walls, Caeceila seemed to collapse under her own weight, sinking back into the cushions that supported her. Truly, Ilyana and Caeceila hailed from different worlds. Camelia and Iolanda were not so different from Ilyana and Aislyn, but even they were not comfortable with Ilyana's treatment of Aislyn. If Ilyana was starved for sustenance, she could have politely requested a second dish! There is no harm in asking for something, particularly when such an activity could be construed as praise. It wasn't a sign of weakness or unmerited avarice to ask for a second serving of food, and Cammy and Io would have been all too happy to provide. Nines, astonishing no one, cared least of all. Her attitude did not change when Ilyana's silverware clattered to her plate. When Ilyana threatened her, Nines did not exercise her power or challenge Ilyana to make good on her posturing. Nines, characteristically, didn't back down and, uncharacteristically, didn't let Ilyana get under her skin any more than she already had. If Ilyana wanted to tango, fine! They'd tango! Nines learned all about ballroom dance in Patia, and back then, her dance partner was a centaur who weighed a metric ton and wore knee-high hoof boots to every single one of their lessons! Nines survived! Worst case scenario, Ilyana has two left feet; Ker had four left hooves. That said, Ker's fashion sense was pretty spot on. She knew where to draw the line between gucci and gaudy, and she was absolutely ravishing whenever she doffed her armor and donned any of the articles in her seasonal wardrobe. Her skin tone was particularly suited to warm fall colors. Ilyana... If not for her affection for that stupid dress, she might be able to pull of cold, winter colors. If she chose to dance in a gorgeous, wintry gown or - Wait, where was Nines going with this? Yes, *ahem*, Ilyana could verbally threaten Nines until the cows came home, but Nines would not brook a bona fide threat to her person in her own home. That was the long and short of the matter. Camelia's intercession on Nines's behalf was sweet, if childish, but to be honest, Ilyana's promise didn't mean much to Nines. As Nines silently returned to her chair and discontentedly seated herself, she resolved to construct happy little contingencies in case Ilyana and Aislyn sold her team's trade secrets to the highest bidder. Nines didn't trust Ilyana. She was decidedly more neutral where Aislyn was involved. As Cammy and Io serve dessert, fluffy chocolate souffles with scoops of vanilla bean ice cream, made in house, garnished a sprig of mint, the party hears Ilyana's answer to Caeceila's offer. Nines is relieved. Cammy is disappointed, and she struggles to mask her disappointment. Io is completely neutral, seemingly ignorant of how Ilyana's living arrangements would impact their future relationship. Caeceila shrugs. It was worth offering, despite the friction between Ilyana and Nines. When Aislyn announces she accepts Caeceila's offer, Caeceila nods, and when Aislyn reveals she is skilled with magitech networks, Caeceila brightens somewhat. Well then, Aislyn, you'll have the guest wing all to yourself. I will tell my staff that they should expect you to arrive sometime tomorrow. I'll give you a tour of the grounds, where we may or may not run into my parents, who will automatically assume we're an item because they are infuriating like that, go over some ground rules, and get you all setup so you can perform your work remotely. I program holo-sims from time to time, so I imagine your equipment is compatible with our systems. The kitchen is always open, so you don't have to worry about missing lunch or dinner, and if you are the nocturnal sort, you'll be pleased to know that the night crew is fully staffed and most of the estate is accessible in the late evening and early morning. What else... The arcade and theater are open 24/7, as is the gym, but the spa closes in the late evening. The clinic is always open. The range closes at sunset and reopens at sunrise. Unless you have a personal vehicle you'd like to store at the estate, a chauffeur will drop you off and pick you up if you need to travel within the city. You won't be allowed to take any of the airships out without my express permission, and likewise, you aren't allowed to invite other people to the estate without first receiving my permission to do so. If you have any pets, they will be housed elsewhere on the estate. We've an aviary, an aquarium, and a small menagerie if you like animals but don't want to own one. Oh, if you visit the catfolk, you will run into big cats, but they're all tame. Damn, I know I'm forgetting something... Camelia chimes in. Whenever anyone visits us, we cook for them, so you both should visit whenever you're in the area! We have plenty of food now, and we're delighted to share!
  32. 1 point
    folie a deux

    Wormwood

    Esme waited patiently and was careful to let the man speak. She listened intently, and found that he hadn't know her former boss well either. She was beginning to think no one who crossed paths with Randolph Bluford really knew him well at all. "I didn't see it coming," Esme said. She had to admit to herself that she still felt a gentle pang of guilt wash over her because she hadn't seen any obvious signs: she hadn't caught him forging documents, breaking in to parcels, or committing fraud. "He hid it well, Sheriff." She gave him a weak smile and began to smooth out the non-existent wrinkles in her dress on account of her anxiousness. "I never saw him do anything out of the ordinary, at least while he was working here." She lifted an arm, gesturing to the post office they were standing in. "I hope you believe that if..." Her voice trailed off softly as she worked to collect her thoughts. She wanted to be honest - it was in her nature after all. James Mason was the sheriff for God's sake. "...if I would have found him doing anything out of the ordinary, I would have come to you or any other lawman in this town." She breathed a sign of relief and straightened her back, feeling better. "I don't mean to sound insensitive, Sheriff Mason, but I hope Cincinnati gives him what he deserves. I'd like to think we're good people here in Oakpeak. I'd hate to see Mr. Bluford tarnish our reputation." Esme wasn't sure how Mason saw the town. Esme, however, she'd just returned from a crowded church service after all and those earnestly religious townsfolk...well, they had to have some semblance of good in them.
  33. 1 point
    Ra said nothing as she pushed Salsa out of the way of the scythe. Breaking the rule, she'd worry about the consquences later. Her blade smacking against the scythe caused sparks to fly. Salsa was shocked, a demon helping her out. But Ra still remained stoic as she looked at him with those golden eyes of hers. I never said this was the knight. You, like a moron just assumed. Ra sneered pushing him back as she lowered the blade. I was going to say Nebula was but seems she's corrupted. Grand. Ra sighed heavily. But they could take him right? He didn't know any forbidden magic hopefully. Salsa drew her blade as she reluctantly knew that her and Ra had to work together to vanquish these demons. It was here that they felt hopeless. You really think she'd keep a deal? You're more stupid than I thought. Ra spoke with venom in her voice. But then again I'm an idiot for coming here. Well, here goes nothing… Ra looked at Salsa as they didn't need to speak. The sunbird ran at Jack, the blade rushing toward his torso. It would be the distraction as Salsa pushed her foot forward, channeling her energy, light spheres came from her form and crashed at him. Annabelle laughed, amused. O' how they fought as she slinked against the ground and like an arrow came up at Ra before she could strike Jack. Her form wrapping around the sunbird as Salsa's eyes widened. Ra! Salsa cried as she took a step back. Let her go. You monster. All you do is consume and destroy-- Silly girl, don't you see? The power you crave will corrupt your core? And your house will crumble because of you. I know the truths you deny to see, let him destroy your heart. Salsa shook her head as Annabelle smirked. The knight screamed as light arrows, shadow arrows and earth arrows exploded from her form at all of the demons. As the light faded, she fell to her knees. Annabelle however was unfazed, as she was now sitting in the oversized chair. Salsa stood as she ran at Annabelle now, sword rushing toward her torso. Anger in those eyes of hers. Die. She said through gritted teeth. Annabelle grasped the blade between her fingers as she leaned forth. She was enjoying the show as it could be seen on her face. She grinned. Don't you see Valentina? You've already lost. What will you gain from fighting me? False hope to save a land that wants our new Crowned Hearth? Why do you fight a futile battle? Just forfeit. You--I--I fight for those that don't deserve--that don't deserve what's been done to them! For my own reasons. The demon shrugged as she eyed Ra. She would start to succumb to her magic as she had infected the sunbird. Annabelle then looked up to Jack. She smiled. You want what's yours? Owed? Break the knight to the will of darkness. Do that and I'll give you so much power, your heart will combust.
  34. 1 point
    Rin

    I'm so sorry I haven't been on!

    Welcome back space cowboy
  35. 1 point
    Lawman

    I'm so sorry I haven't been on!

    Haven't seen you around before but regardless, welcome back!
  36. 1 point
    jaistlyn

    I'm so sorry I haven't been on!

    Welcome back!!
  37. 1 point
    supernal

    I'm so sorry I haven't been on!

    Welcome back to it!
  38. 1 point
    “History was full of the bones of good men who'd followed bad orders in the hope that they could soften the blow. Oh, yes, there were worse things they could do, but most of them began right where they started following bad orders.” ― Terry Pratchett, Jingo
  39. 1 point
    Csl

    Hated, hopeless, sleepless, sane

    I have seen This wouldn't be her first time to die. What was death, but the cessation of one's existence? And what was existence but the collection of one's memory and experience taken as a whole? Rozharon Parálios, was only the most recent iteration of her--- Thaumelin. It was one existence out of many, and many of those past lives had ceased to be. She collected their remnants like storybooks, learning from each lifetime. Growing. Changing. Refining the techniques she used to carry out her creator's commands. This time would be different. CAIR LOEREN, TAEN "You'll be having a sister." Rozharon delivered the news over breakfast. Her sons had made pancakes, which she had said were delicious, which had pleased them. Pallas and Lenore froze, forks held halfway to their open mouths. Two clinks broke the silence as they laid the forks down. "But why?" they asked, in the tone of those accustomed to unsatisfactory answers. Rozharon felt their emotions as her own. They were curious. They were confused. They were hurt. (Why another? Aren't we enough?) And yet, their trust in her overshadowed every doubt. They were expectant, even excited. "You'll see later," Rozharon said, and hoped events would align in a way that would mean she had told the truth. For her truth, for this moment, was that she needed someone to take her place. Rozharon stood, moving to the door. Her sons followed, leaving the breakfast half-eaten. The castle would take care of it. The building was a peculiar thing, one of the remnants of Taen's ancient peoples. Rooms moved and shifted as they pleased, doorways led into all the wrong places, and Pallas had given up trying to make a floor plan. Cair Loeren was alive, in a sense. They were lucky it had taken to them; apart from the occasional prank, the castle served their needs. It responded to their requests, providing food, drawing baths, and attending to guests. More useful was the option to travel quickly within it. The castle read Rozharon's intent as she turned the doorknob. Instead of a hallway, they exited into the garden.
  40. 1 point
    Csl

    Hated, hopeless, sleepless, sane

    i. So, this was what sanity felt like. Rozharon took a moment to filter her perception-- this new mind could only handle so much. Sensations. The light, filtering pink through her closed eyelids. Her hands clutching her shoulders, the cold of the stone beneath her skin, the cacophony of her own thoughts. Rozharon exhaled, relishing the minute motions that took place in that one gesture - the contraction of her diaphragm, the air rushing through her throat, out her nose. Fascinating. Absurd. She laughed, leafed through her mind, and found her memories of this life intact. She stretched her arms high over her head, stretched her wings, and relished the movement of muscle, tendon, and ligament. Outwards, she extended her Grasp, and sliced a cube out of the stone wall. She wrapped her power around her skin, traced a finger against the floor, and carved two lines into the stone. And then, within - a closer look at this body, a few tweaks here and there for efficiency, a self-sustaining equilibrium. I’m not dead. She drew a wound in her skin, winding from cheek to ankle, and watched the flesh close, the blood seep backwards. She walked to the wall, pressed a hidden latch, and withdrew a handgun. A shot to the head. Her power was slower to react, and fragments of skull made it to the wall before she caught them. It took one hour to repair the damage. Enough time for her to ascertain how much of her strength she had lost. And yet, she had gained far more. She thought of her sons, touched a finger to her cheek, and felt tears. So, this was bittersweet, this was anxiety, this was relief. These tastes were new, and were delightful, and were rich in their novelty. Humanity was such a narrow word to describe the experience of mortals and their empathy. Even now, she wasn't truly human, The door slammed open. Pallas and Lenore rushed inside, faces distraught. “I’m fine,” she said, before they could speak. She wrapped her arms around them, holding them tighter than she ever had before. Wordlessly, she showed them what she had done. “Everything’s fine,” she repeated. And, for the most part, it was.
  41. 1 point
    Csl

    Hated, hopeless, sleepless, sane

    or name
  42. 1 point
    Csl

    Hated, hopeless, sleepless, sane

    or lustre,
  43. 1 point
    Csl

    Hated, hopeless, sleepless, sane

    without knowledge,
  44. 1 point
    Csl

    Hated, hopeless, sleepless, sane

    unheeded, The castle always had a room for her, despite the fact that she never slept. As all rooms, it changed to fit her needs. Today, it was empty - seamless stone walls, windowless, and not a single piece of furniture within. The door closed the door, leaving not a single seam in the wall. Rozharon shed her clothes, then sat herself at the center of the room. Shut the door. Leave light through the keyhole, enough light to see.
  45. 1 point
    Csl

    Hated, hopeless, sleepless, sane

    in their horror There was an old story Rozharon could recall. A mother held her son by his heel, submerged him in a river of the underworld, and earned him immortality. In the same underworld ran another river, one that washed away the memories of all who touched its waters. It was a fitting allegory for what she would do. She would be Thetis, sitting not by the Styx, but by the Lethe. She was a mother who would do anything for her sons, yet she would not give them invulnerability, but give herself vulnerability. She would be drowning not her Achilles, but herself. Thus, the conundrum she faced: how would she submerge herself in forgetfulness, yet keep herself from drowning? How to retain the slightest, ephemeral filament of her true self coiled around the mask she would become? Too mortal, and she would lose herself. Too removed from humanity, and she would never empathize with her sons. She would lose so, so much of herself. CAIR LOEREN, TAEN Melissa Ardom, seneschal of Caer Loerem, was a woman of order and tenacity. Order, for her sharp mind was well-suited to managing the ever-changing rooms of Caer Loerem and the ever-changing needs of the guests within. Tenacity, for she had survived Tia's destruction, helped organize the safe passage of numerable refugees to Taen, and built a life for herself as a landlady in Lunaris. A week later she’d found the empress on her doorstep, offering her a job. Now, the living castle was under her management. So was the imperial staff - treasurers, architects, engineers, medicians, generals, masters of commerce, and consultants, the faceless many who kept the empire running under the ever-watchful eyes of Rozharon. Melissa knew the fearful rumors spoken of the imperials, but saw little evidence that support them. The empress was distant, but showed a degree of empathy that didn’t seem likely for a monster of the abyss. The Empress walked among her people, often visiting Taen’s cities. She spoke to Caer Loerem’s staff with the casualness of one talking to a friend. Perhaps the only thing Melissa found unnatural - the Empress had a hand in many, many things, yet never seemed to sleep. She was strange, but not dangerous. And as distant as she was, the Empress loved her sons, and took care of her people. So it was to her surprise that the Empress approached her one day, and told her there was a chance she would soon die. Melissa did not bow or curtsy - the Empress had long discouraged unnecessary acts of respect, instead championing respect shown through the work done for the Empire. Still, she dipped her head, keeping the shock from her features. “What do you mean you might die, Empress?” “Exactly what the words say,” the Empress replied with a touch of amusement. She handed over an envelope - a simple thing of glue and paper. “If I die, give this to my sons.” This time, Melissa let her worry show. The Empire was safe, stable- a haven for hundreds of thousands If the Empress disappeared, the princes would surely take over. They were mysteries, those two boys. Doubtlessly, they would do excellently in ruling. And yet, Melissa. Perhaps, she realized, it was because she would miss the Empress’ presence - strange and inhuman and she was, there was comfort in knowing someone -- something -- so powerful and feared had chosen her to manage their household. The Empress was waiting for a response. Wordlessly, Melissa nodded.
  46. 1 point
    Csl

    Hated, hopeless, sleepless, sane

    Where they roll She had been fully mortal, once. Severed from her true vastness. Her consciousness crippled, trapped in a skull. That had been eighteen years ago. KUIPERAL, TAEN "Any news?" Rozharon asked, and the rangers shook their heads, as they had every single time. There was still no sign of Teresa. The earth wrote no trails. The wind spoke no whispers. The sea was silent, refusing to unearth the secrets in the deep. Rozharon returned to Cair Loeren. Her feet carried her to the side wing of the castle. The tree had grown well. Rozharon gazed upon it for a minute. As she always did, she searched the depths of her memory for… what, exactly? Her time with Titus? She remembered little. She had been with him, borne him a daughter, had been called away by her makers. She remembered the ghost of desire, perhaps even love. But it was all too long ago, not with how time stretched and bent across the cosmos. The woman who had loved Titus was gone. To fully separate her mortal form from her being was lobotomy; the branch, severed from the tree, would die. There was nothing there for her, not in the past. But here, now, Rozharon knew one desire. She wanted her sons to be happy. It was such a simple desire. It was the first one she'd had in millennia.
  47. 1 point
    Csl

    Hated, hopeless, sleepless, sane

    without aim Though the more likely explanation was her sons. Her offspring were fragments of her. She saw through their eyes, felt their delight and grief and rage as if it were her own. She felt their unease when the curtain pulled back and they caught glimpses of her. They were intelligent. They knew, deep inside, that the affection she showed them wasn't real. It would've been easy to mend the cracks in the illusion, present them a perfect image of a loving mother: one that mourned and laughed and hated. That this image would be a lie didn't matter to her. But it mattered to them. No more illusions. It would entail vulnerability. It would entail truthfulness. To make the dream eternal, she would damn herself to human error and irrationality. To be human-- no, mortal, would mean losing all but a fraction of her awareness. If she made the slightest mistake, severed every connection between mind and body, she would be mere puppeteer and puppet, and no strings to hold. ARMORY, CAER LOEREN “You’re set on staying in Ursa Madeum?” Pallas asked. Lenore twirled a dagger between his fingers. “Yeah.” There was a note of regret in his voice. “Yeah, I am.” Pallas was silent for a moment. He traced an etching on a nearby shield. “I thought we were going to rule Taen together.” Lenore nodded. "So did I. That... changed.” Pallas smiled, a trace of bitterness in the expression. “We changed.” “What’s outside, what’s happening in the rest of the continent, the world-- it’s what has my eyes now. I look outward--” “--I look inward. To Taen. To where all this began.” Pallas sighed-- not at peace, but resigned. “So it is.” “So it is,” Lenore echoed. There was no need for arguing, reasoning, or pleading, not between them. “It’s better, anyway--” “--one to build the foundations--” Pallas muttered. “--one to strengthen the connections--” Lenore agreed. “I’ll stay at the islands, do some experiments on the loci’s effect outside Taen.” “I’ll keep my eyes on Taen itself, our cities. I’ll reach the borders of the land, defend and protect. Deepen the understanding of and harness the forces from this world and beyond.” Pallas picked up a sword, testing its weight. Lenore moved to a spear, carefully prodding its point. They knew their roles, but the idea of parting was bittersweet. The brothers looked at each other. “You’ll visit every weekend,” said Pallas. “And you’ll swing by the islands whenever you need a break,” Lenore agreed. The twins smiled.
  48. 1 point
    Csl

    Hated, hopeless, sleepless, sane

    planets roll She wove dreams, after all: dreams for herself, for those lethargic mortal minds. The deepest dreams were most difficult to wake from. The finests masks hid one's eyes (so-called soul windows) and thus, blinded. Perhaps this was why she was beginning to ignore the commands. Perhaps this dream had robbed the Thaumelin of lucidity. Perhaps this was why she was planning the death of this self. She wove dreams, after all: dreams for herself, for those lethargic mortal minds. The deepest dreams were most difficult to wake from. The finests masks hid one's eyes (so-called soul windows) and thus, blinded. Perhaps this was why she was beginning to ignore the commands. Perhaps this dream had robbed the Thaumelin of lucidity. Perhaps this was why she was planning the death of this self. MORRIGAN. That was to be her daughter's name. Rozharon hid the lock of hair in a chest, then gave it to the castle to keep. Morrigan slept; though her eyes were closed, Rozharon knew they would be dark as hers. There was no need to teach her as she'd taught the twins. Pallas and Lenore were sons in the true sense-- new eyes and minds. Her daughter would be different. If Rozharon ceased to be, Morrigan would replace her, would embody Thaumelin. Indeed, this would not be her first time to die. That is not dead which can eternal lie <>
  49. 1 point
    Csl

    Hated, hopeless, sleepless, sane

    universe yawning Her puppets were good. It was quite a trick, folding a fragment of her being into mortal shape. This one, this iteration of a self, perhaps too good. THE MOSS FOREST, TAEN "Salutations, winged one" whispered the silence of the trees. "Salutations," Rozharon replied politely, in a voice that was the breeze. "Do your roots weave deep, do the streams run quick, does the moss sleep sweet?" "Our roots drink the air beneath, the streams race the wind, the moss dreams deep. You think kindly to inquire of our wellbeing." The underground caves. The shifting riverbeds. The moss that swallowed skeletons. Untangling Taen's riddles had become an easy feat, and Rozharon found it helpful to talk with the trees. They did not see her as Empress, or Seraph, or Chosen by Taen. She was merely another shadow beneath their boughs, one whose company they enjoyed. "Of what do you speak today?" asked Rozharon. "A human sleeps, drowning in dream. The moss will take her soon. A youth. And yet she sought to wander, backwards, never looked." "May I see her?" The leaves rustled, as in laughter. "For you, winged one, we move." A path unfolded out of the undergrowth. Rozharon curtsied, then followed it. The path wound deeper into the forest. Above, the canopy thickened. Below, the bioluminescence of the forest bloomed to life. Rozharon needed no light to see, but the forest was in a helpful mood today. Five hours into the darkness. It was as the trees had said. A girl lay curled in the space between two roots, cushioned by the moss underfoot. Her pulse was weak as the beat of a butterfly's wings. "I will take her," Rozharon whispered. The trees sighed. "Very well, winged one. She is yours."
  50. 0 points
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