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Wade

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About Wade

  • Rank
    Acolyte
  • Birthday 08/27/1996

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Texas, probably
  • Occupation
    Student

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  1. Wade

    Whisper of the Wyrm

    The words. They’ve been found. Have they now? I’d nearly forgotten about them. Forgetfulness is not in your nature. Perhaps. Though I must say, I am surprised. You don’t think they’ll understand. The last ones didn’t. Wrong. It was your righteousness that led them astray. I see. But now you’re here, with me. I struggle to grasp how that changes anything. Don’t lie. It changes everything. And if they open it? What then? Then my time in this place will come to an end. Again, I fail to understand. It’s better that you don’t. Then you’ve merely come to boast. Forgive me. This victory is all I have. You used to have questions. And you the answers. I had expected desperation. I would have thought you wiser than that. Eternity does strange things to a man. I am no ordinary man. As you’ve shown. It’s why you’re here, with me. A sense of humour. Is that so strange? I suppose not. You've always been full of surprises.
  2. Wade

    Poll - preferred pacing

    Slow. I used to think I could post every three days, but more often than not life gets busy. I don't always have time to write, and I don't always want to when I do*. Additionally, I'm a slow writer. Mainly because I'm a perfectionist, but also because I prefer longer, detailed posts that favour storytelling over player interaction. Lastly, quality over quantity. *I'm lazy as fuck.
  3. Wade

    Strange Occurrences

    Ah, Caramel Dream. Teddy didn’t know whether to kiss her or bite her head off. “Your wish is my command,” he replied, half-sighing as he stepped forward. “Though it’d be nice to know who it is I’m trying to impress.” Teddy threw a brief glance over his shoulder, waiting for a name, then focused on the door with a look of muted doubt. There wasn’t anything visibly peculiar about it, nor the building itself. People walked in and out, carrying brown paper bags, each and every one loaded with fresh foods and baked goods. As far as he was concerned, the place was an ordinary grocery store. What am I even looking for? That was what he wanted to say. If it didn’t sound so whiny in his head, he probably would have said it. Unenthused, he stepped closer to the door. Its glass panel was smooth to the touch, and the metal frame had warmed from the sun. He peered through, first noticing tables of piled fruit, then vegetables to the side and a bakery at the back. Rows of aisles blocked the rest from view, and he was forced to step aside when a couple wanted in. “Sorry,” he muttered, letting them pass. He could still see the couple through the glass once the door had shut, so it didn’t seem like there were any illusions at play. Teddy glanced a second time at Caramel Dream. She raised an eyebrow at him. “See you on the other side,” he said lamely, before stepping inside. And then darkness. Everywhere. It stretched as far as the eye could see. The transition was so jarring that Teddy almost tripped on himself when he paused mid-stride. Whipping around, he looked at the door. It was still there, open and leading out to the market. But something was different. It had to do with the colours. Or rather the light, he realized after a moment of observation. None of it spilled onto his side, as if it were blocked by an invisible barrier. Not even sound carried. He felt like he was staring at a painting in an inky black void. “What the hell did I do?” It was a short-lived question. Caramel Dream was approaching, stealing Teddy’s attention. She stared on incredulously, through him instead of at him, like she couldn’t see him at all. That seemed entirely plausible considering the oddity of their situation. He waved, called out for her- she didn’t react in the slightest. He considered reaching for her, maybe even going back to the other side, until a sharp, scraping sound echoed from behind him. He swivelled on his foot, instinctively reaching for his revolver. The hairs on his neck prickled when he remembered he couldn’t see anything. Fishing a hand into his pocket, Teddy produced his iCrystal. The flash function came to life with a quick tap of his thumb. He swept the light from side to side, keeping his gun trained in the process, while his eyes darted from floor to ceiling in search of what had made the strange noise. Concrete walls curved around him, similar in likeness to a subway tunnel. They were completely bare, with the exception of powerless lights running along the sides at regular intervals. The flashlight didn’t reach either end of the tunnel. Anything beyond ten meters of Teddy’s position was walled off by a curtain of oppressive darkness. The thought that something could’ve been hiding so close worried him, knotted his chest. He waited a little longer. The air kind of smelled like rot. When nothing came, his shoulders fell a little. Not enough to relax but enough to make him realize he’d been taut as a cable. "This is not what I signed up for," he whispered bitterly.
  4. Wade

    Custom rank title 11

    Yeet
  5. Wade

    Whisper of the Wyrm

    “Whoa there,” the sailor said as he sat across the table. “McGillis. You look like shit.” “Do I?” McGillis replied, idly poking at a plate of fish and greens. He felt sick. Sicker than he had felt in years. It was like someone had turned his stomach inside out to let all the acid wash over his bowels. ”I didn’t realize I was stealing your job. My mistake.” “Hey, didn’t mean anything by it. Just saying it like it is.” McGillis speared a piece of broccoli with his fork. “I hate boats,” he said. “How the hell can you stand all this rocking?” “Lived on the sea my whole life. It’s all I know.” The sailor shrugged. “You throw up yet?” “Twice now.” McGillis had worked for Coastal Grande’s military for fifteen years. Seven of which he’d done as a regular guard, before enlisting as a soldier for the other eight. He wasn’t originally from the city. He’d been born in a small farming town several miles out from Mezthaluen. Most of his childhood had been spent planting crops, ploughing fields- real backbreaking work you did under a hot sun, with the solid feel of dirt under your feet. For the longest time, that had been his excuse. That the ocean and him didn’t get along because he’d been land-bound for a whole eighteen years. It worked for a while, earned him sympathy from the rest of the navy guys, until eventually enough time had gone by that he should’ve gotten his sea legs. Now they simply pitied him, while he occasionally doped up on anti-nausea meds. He hated himself for forgetting them this time around. “This is why I work the inland jobs,” he muttered, giving up on the piece of broccoli. The sailor, meanwhile, wolfed down his meal with a fiendish sense of gusto. “Why’dja bother in the first place?” “Hmm?” He held up a finger while he finished chewing. “Why take this job?” McGillis nodded in understanding. The motion didn’t help his stomach, and he regretted it instantly. “Didn’t really have a choice. Our client needs someone to watch over things here, and I’m that someone. Not to say he’s untrusting of you guys, but he likes to cover his bases.” The sailor nodded back. “I take it you’re still not going to tell us who this mystery client is, eh?” Blaine Moreton. The name tingled on the end of McGillis’ tongue. No one on board had the slightest idea they were working for Coastal Grande’s High Councillor of War, and he found it mildly amusing. “No can do.” “Didn’t think so,” the sailor mused. “Getting a bunch of mercs to hunt down liches, then bring you back the bones? Without telling anyone why?” He pointed with his knife. “That’s kind of shady.” “Could be you’re working for a bunch of paladins.” The sailor shook his head. “Nah. Your asshole’s not tight enough for that.” McGillis laughed. Again, the motion made his stomach flip. It deterred him from asking the sailor why he’d taken the job if it was so suspicious. “Think I’m going to head my cabin,” he said, standing up slowly. “I’ll see you in the morning.” The sailor mock-saluted him, and then he was gone. McGillis forgot about him as quickly as he’d left the galley. Just a few more days, he told himself queasily. We’re almost there. The bed in his quarters was stiff. It didn’t really bounce when he flopped onto it. Regardless, lying on his back helped immensely, and he didn’t think he’d be ready to get back up until they arrived in Kuratel. A funny thing, considering what awaited him there. Most people he’d known would’ve taken seasickness over a city of undead. “But not me,” he whispered to no one in particular. “Wonder what that says about me.” The question faded from his mind as he slowly fell asleep. One week and three days. That was how long Teddy had been locked up. “Would you rather grow pubic teeth or dental pubes?” Suffice to say, he was getting rather bored. Podrus held his chin in one massive hand. A deep hum rumbled in his throat. “Dental pubes,” he said thoughtfully. “At least I can shave those off.” Teddy nodded. That was what he would’ve picked too. “Chip?” The dark, wiry man sat apart from them in the corner of their cell. Considering its size, that meant something like seven feet away. “The minotaur has a point,” he mused in his usual dry tone. “I do not relish the thought of taking a chisel to my… what’s the word in your language? Tistic? Sicking?” He made a hammering motion close to his waist, somehow managing to keep a straight face. Teddy wasn’t so successful. “I think the word you’re looking for is ‘testicles’.” “Testicles,” Chip repeated, as if tasting the word. “Yes. It sounds so vulgar in Terric.” “Does it not sound vulgar in Genesarian?” “Fluyemilakun.” “What?” “That’s the word in my dialect.” Chip raised an eyebrow. “Does it sound vulgar to you?” Teddy thought about it. “It flows off the tongue, I guess. Five syllables is kinda long, though.” “So you agree your version is barbaric?” “I mean, maybe?” Teddy glanced at Podrus. “What do you think?” “You could use ‘balls’ for short,” he offered. “I know I do.” Chip hooked his arms around his knees. “Useful information,” he muttered, in a way that could’ve been entirely serious or delicately sarcastic. “Any other questions, my fine barbarian friend? You seem to have a wealth of them, and I have never been so enlightened.” “‘Fraid not,” Teddy answered with a shrug of his hands. “That was my last one. Brain’s starting to run a little low on calories.” “Hopefully we get something to eat soon,” Podrus moaned. “I’m dying over here.” Teddy wanted to say they were all dying, but it was true. Podrus was starving. The jailers fed them equal portions of slop, just enough to stave off the hunger. Problem was, they were portions fit for a human. Podrus was an eight-foot tall giant, weighing in at something close to nine hundred pounds. He could’ve eaten a whole turkey and still have room for dessert. Christ, I could go for dessert, Teddy thought. It all seemed so far away now. Real food, real air. Real life. Aldren had taken that away from him, as brutally and effortlessly as she might’ve plucked the head off of an ant. She’d killed the crew of the Egremont in front of him, just so he could watch, and in a twisted show of generosity let him live to think on his failure; his inability to save the people he’d been hired to protect. It still gnawed at him, in the bone-deep way only anger could. He felt it every time he scratched his beard, every time he tried to go to sleep. His dreams and waking thoughts were plagued by savage fantasies, and it was only by talking to his cellmates that he’d managed to keep his composure up to this point. Teddy looked at Chip and Podrus. He liked them well enough, he supposed. Chip had this stoic thing going for him, like a sharp stone in the middle of winter, while Podrus was softer around the edges, like a great, lumbering wind. They’d both been aboard the Kingcup prior to their imprisonment. Chip as a passenger, Podrus as a chef. Aldren had apparently taken them prisoner since they hadn’t fought back when she raided their vessel. It appeared to be a source of shame for the two, particularly Chip. The one time the topic came up, he’d practically shut down and let Podrus do all the talking. His hands had been balled into fists. He reminded Teddy of himself. Minus the baldness, of course. “Lotta noise up there,” Teddy finally commented. “Sounds like they’re getting ready for something.” Podrus tilted his head towards the roof. “You think so? Doesn’t sound much different to me.” “No, he’s right.” Chip’s gaze also drifted upwards. “Maybe we’re going to dock.” Teddy didn’t know if he should’ve been excited about landing or not. Out of their cell, he was sure they’d be sold off as slaves. “We’ll have to ask Gunnar when he shows up.” As if on cue, the staircase further down the hall began to creak. Slow, laborious footsteps gave way to a heavyset man carrying a metal tray. He was ugly, and profoundly so- he made Teddy wonder if the ship’s crew had discovered dental floss, or the miracle of aftershave. “Looking at him,” Chip began in a low tone. “I understand why some animals eat their young.” The man known as Gunnar stopped by the edge of their cell. “You know the drill,” he said lazily. “Hands behind your head, face the wall.” Teddy stood up, followed by Chip and Podrus. They did as they were told while Gunnar fiddled with the keys. “So, Gunnar,” he drawled, exaggerating the name. “What’s with all the racket? It’s cutting in on this new thing we’re trying.” The keys continued to jingle behind him. “And what’s that?” “Meditation. Keeps our clothes from ripping apart.” Teddy drummed his fingers impatiently. “There’s also something in there about achieving inner peace, but that just sounds like a bunch of hocus pocus if you ask me.” More jingling. “Doesn’t ring a bell.” “Of course it doesn’t.” Click! A scratching noise rose into the air as Gunnar slid the tray into their open cell. Teddy could feel the pistol trained on their backs, as acutely aware of it as he was of his own hunger. It was a tightness that ran down his spine and bloomed through his chest, mingling with the anger resting inside of him, reminding him of how large it was. Click! “Okay, turn around.” Teddy didn’t waste a second. His stomach was calling the shots now, even if it made look him weak. He took one of the bowls sitting on the tray, not bothering to examine its contents. If he did, he’d only be adding unwanted details to supplement the already terrible flavour. “But seriously,” he said, chewing on what might’ve been a piece of onion. “What’s happening up there? ‘Cause it sounds like a party you weren’t invited to.” Gunnar sat down in a chair opposite from the cell. It was his job to watch them as they ate. “Yes, because mocking me is going to make me want to tell you. Maybe I ought to have you whipped.” “Hey, whatever turns your crank.” “Been thinking about it for a while now,” Gunnar went on, almost to himself. “Wouldn’t take much of an excuse.” Podrus sensed the danger in Gunnar’s voice. As did Chip. The looks they shot Teddy conveyed a very clear message: stop talking. Teddy ate the rest of his meal quietly after that. It wasn’t what he wanted but it was the right call; Gunnar had been staring at him eagerly the whole time, waiting for him to say something. Just one wrong word, and not even that. “I’m gonna kill him,” he whispered, once Gunnar left with the bowls and the tray. “Right after Aldren, he’s next on my list.” “I hope you get the chance,” Podrus replied, resting a hand along his stomach. “I really, really do.”
  6. Wade

    Strange Occurrences [OOC]

    Honestly, for me, it depends on the nature of the threat. Knowing the ‘what’ helps everything else fall into place. So my question is: what exactly are we facing here? If that’s spoiler territory, stop me right there. Otherwise, I say we give the thread a general shape of what it is we want to happen. That’s not to say figuring everything out from A to Z, but enough material to give us a general sense of direction. That said, I’m at work, so my ideas at the moment are nil. The apartment works for me, as does the dungeon, but I’d like to get a better foothold of the situation before I say anything conclusive. Maybe setting up a discord server might be good for hashing out ideas real time?
  7. Wade

    [QUEST] Night at the Museum

    Blood, bile, stomach lining, it all came out with Teddy as he oozed onto the ground. “That wasn’t horrific at all,” he muttered, half-chuckling to himself, crawling his way out of the mess. It smelled like a retirement home full of retired bodies. He had to resist the urge to throw up in his helmet. Just when he thought he’d fail, his shoulder bumped into something. Something small, something soft. He glanced up, instinctively reaching for his revolver. Candie was staring down at him, her face a perfect shadow under the moonlight. “Hey,” she said simply. “Hey yourself, stranger,” Teddy answered back. He looked down at himself, then at her, before he held out two fluid-soaked arms and beckoned her with his fingers. “I, uh, could probably use a hug right now.” He’d never get one, though, since another pink tongue wrapped around Candie’s leg. It yanked her off her feet, faster than either of them were prepared for, and started dragging her along the beach the same way Teddy had been dragged moments ago. Once more, he reached for his gun. Its grip was slick with stomach acid. Don’t drop it, don’t drop it, don’t drop it- The revolver barked once, then squirted out of his hand. For a moment, he was so focused on watching it somersault backwards that he didn’t know if he’d hit anything. Cursing, he ran over to pick up the gun. The sand stuck to it now made it easier to hold. He turned around and quickly took aim, finger on the trigger, ready for a five-tap burst when- “Oh,” he said. “You guys are already done. Cora was yanking her knife out of the toad’s eye. Meanwhile, Candie was busy clawing her way out of its stomach. Teddy watched the scene, disappointed and relieved. Somewhat grossed out, but mostly relieved. He moved on to scan the rest of the beach to make sure there weren’t any other threats. The trees didn’t sway and no shadows jumped out in the distance, so he decided to take a quick dip in the shallow waters to wash himself of any slime still clinging to him. He left behind his duster once he was finished, since the acid had eaten away at its impermeable coating. It also reeked, and so did he, but the duster had soaked up most of the grossness and Teddy was happy to ditch it now that it was useless. “I agree,” he said in response to Cora’s suggestion. Off to the side, close to the sidewalk, his shotgun called out for him. “That building over there looks like a good spot. Far as I can tell, anyway. I’m just assuming it has a few cans of soup lying around.” Teddy was pointing to one of the many resorts lining the edge of the beach. Nothing in particular distinguished it from the others, apart from that the fact that it was it the closest. As far as he was concerned, that made it the most inviting. With certain death closing in on their location, the faster they could get to shelter, the better. Especially if it meant a bed to sleep the rest the night away. “Stay close,” he said, turning on the tactical light. They entered through the kitchen’s back door. It had been propped open by a rotted out doorstopper, where an ashtray stand stood a few feet away, along with a tattered apron and what used to be someone’s left arm. Teddy closed the door on his way in, and it locked automatically. The kitchen itself was dirty, disheveled, as if everyone had up and left in the middle of lunchtime, but more importantly it was empty. No killer chefs in sight. They did a thorough check of the area, followed by the restaurant outside. In the process, they grabbed cans, boxes of crackers, four lighters, more imperishable food, a bottle of vodka (as a semi-effective sterilizer, of course) and all the sparkling water they could find because what fancy restaurant carried regular, bottled water? “I hate San Pellegrino,” Teddy complained, tossing the empty green bottle into the trash. They eventually made their way through the lobby and up the stairs. An armless zombie greeted them on the thirteenth floor, which Cora was quick to dispatch with her knife. They had agreed to forego guns unless the situation demanded it, so Teddy had detached the flashlight from his shotgun and now held a kitchen knife instead. Not that he was much good with it. He could swing the blade and probably stick someone in the neck with it, but he felt woefully inadequate without a little thunder at his disposal. It took them a few tries to break off the lock from the luxury suite’s door. Once they were in, they began barricading every aspect of the floor they deemed necessary. It was hard work, moving all the furniture, that was companionable in a way Teddy didn’t want to think too hard about. He was happy to work his muscles, to focus on the task. It helped him forget the gravity of their situation. It also helped him talk to Cora, which he hadn’t done since the night of the party. He wondered if she was still mad at him. “Are you still mad at me?” he asked casually. The words came out between a mouthful of anchovies. They’d started eating at the kitchen table, since none of them were able to sleep yet, though Teddy sat far away on the counter since he, frankly, smelled like shit. “Or can we kiss and make up? ‘Cause I’d really like to do that.”
  8. Wade

    Hasa Diga Eebowai

    The walk through the Biayale Canyon had not been kind. They’d stepped out during the dying breaths of the ash storm, when it was the least dangerous but still not entirely safe. Waiting it out until the end hadn’t been an option. The Tavadu, Ethan, had told them about the Feast. Not in extensive detail, as he was understandably tight-lipped after the loss of his tribesmen, but enough to clue them in to the ceremony’s ritualistic nature. “It happens tomorrow,” he’d said. That was enough to get them moving. For hours and hours, without break or interruption, they squinted their way through ash and alien flora. The canyon’s straight walls towered to their left and right, leading them down a jagged line. Eventually, they discovered the tail end of the canyon’s river; the sun had set by then, leaving the magma bright and hostile. Being in her suit, Echo wasn’t affected by the heat, much less the sulphur in the air. She knew, though, to stay away from the molten rock. It occasionally bubbled and spilled onto the shore, and not even the Ronové’s plating could stand up to that kind of danger. It was only by the time they’d made it to yet another cave that they decided to get some sleep. The magma river flowed out of it, and the passage supposedly fed all the the way into the volcano. That was where the Tavadu village was situated. If they were going to raid it, they would need to rest. Echo took first watch, along with Itylra. Then came Vorsch and Ocealea. Jigsaw was up at all times, since he ran on fission batteries and magic fumes. When Echo woke up, Grant was perched on a slab of rock all by himself. He looked somewhat grim. “What’s the matter?” Grant tipped his gun to the left. Ethan was laying on the ground, as he had when he’d gone to sleep. “Is he dead?” “Yeah. I checked.” Echo kneeled close to the tribesman. His eyes were closed, and his chest was still. None of the wounds she’d sealed had opened or festered in any capacity. “Must’ve overworked him,” she said passively. “All that walking on top of his injuries.” “Maybe there was some internal bleeding?” Grant attempted “Or you botched your spell?” Echo shrugged. “Dunno. Maybe. Like I said, I’m a shit doctor.” She jerked her head sideways. “C’mon, let’s wake everyone up and get a move on.” “We’re not burying him?” Echo looked at Ethan. Maybe for a few seconds, before she shook her head. “Dump him in the river. That’s kinda like cremation, right?” The walking resumed after that, the orange-lit cave swallowing them whole. It was similar to the Maw, with blood red lightstones dotting the interior, becoming increasingly spacious the further they ventured. At some point, they gained enough room to move out of a single-file line. The echoes of their voices was noticeably more distant and slower to return. On the flip side, they began hearing a subtle thumping. Like an erratic heart deep at the heart of the volcano. Thumpthumpthump thump thump thumpthump thump thump. “Sounds like drums,” someone said. “I think you’re right.” Echo glanced back at Vorsch. He was visibly sweating from the heat, plus the heavy bomb he was carrying on his back. “Think you can double-time it?” “I might pass out, but sure.” Echo nodded. “Alrighty then. Everyone, let’s pick up the pace.” Their walk turned into a light jog. It took them through winding pathways, a few dead ends, past a moulted Bramok shell, and finally the center of the volcano. An immeasurable pool of lava stretched out before them, and high above they could see the sky from the volcano’s mouth. “That’s nuts,” Vorsch muttered. He was staring at a massive black fortress at the heart of the pool. The village, if you could call it that. A wide stone bridge connected it to the edge of the pool, and Echo didn’t see any other way to get across. She prompted her optics to zoom in so she could get a good look at it. The result was a stutter in her vision, and a darkening around the edges of the crack running along her visor. “Jigsaw, I’m not getting anything over here.” She made a finger gun, then pointed it at the fortress. “Gimme a hand?” The robot lifted his rifle and peered through its scope. “Four targets, up in left tower by the gate. There’s another horn.” He tilted his rifle slightly to the right. “Another four in the right tower. No horn.” “They haven’t sounded the alarm yet. I’m guessing they can’t see us?” “Correct. They seem to be playing a game.” “Thank god for boredom.” Echo glanced at the bridge in consideration. “Anything else of interest?” “Negative. Should I take them out?” “Can you?” “Yes.” “All of them?” “Yes.” Echo thought about it for a moment. “Yeah, alright. Do your thing.” Jigsaw probably fired a millisecond after the order was given. The rifle barely kicked in his mechanical hands, and he pulled the trigger with such speed that it was hard to believe he wasn’t firing blindly. “Done,” he announced a moment later, the last bullet whispering as it escaped the barrel. “That was fast.” “It was.” “You’re sure you’re done?” “I still have to reload.” “Ooooookay then.” Echo drummed her fingers against her thighs. “Onwards, I guess.” And so, they began walking towards the bridge.
  9. Wade

    Whisper of the Wyrm

    The Spire was not a place many people expected Blaine Moreton to come visit so often. As High Councillor of War, he was a man of action, regal in his fury and just in his might; he was tall and handsome, a lion in shape and mind, commanding loyalty wherever he went with the weight of ten generals. Apparently, that made him ill-suited to reading. It was ancient, the Spire, and more cavernous than it had the right to be. The interior was smooth rock and polished wood; the smokeless lights burning along the walls cast the balconies in a lustrous, tangible blue. Many of the alcoves, like the one Blaine was headed to now, dotted the lower floors at irregular intervals. They were typically reserved for scholars. Sometimes men of faith. Those who had no business spending whole days on their research were relegated to the public tables on the first and second floor, rarely the third. It was often a point of contention how difficult it was to acquire some privacy. The Spire had enough space to house a storm, let alone enough depth to echo like a canyon. Beautiful, Blaine thought, as he always did whenever he came here. Casting his gaze to the side, he peered over the railing. Even from the tenth floor - being underground, they counted up as one moved down - he couldn’t see the bottom of the inky black hollow. Supposedly it connected to the ocean, where the water flooded in from Coastal Grande’s subterranean caves. “If you listen hard enough,” the servant guiding him said. “You can hear the streams.” Blaine didn’t know about that. The Spire was a library, after all, and his ears were perfect. The only thing he heard were their footsteps, and the passing whispers of two men in the middle of a search. The bookshelf they rifled through was the size of a small house. “Here we are, sir.” The servant unlocked the door, then handed Blaine the key. He muttered something about getting comfortable while one of the scribes fetched his book. “Thank you,” Blaine said, before the servant disappeared down the hallway and up the lift. Sometime later, a small woman arrived with the tome Blaine had requested. It was old, thick yet delicate, with a crisp leather cover titled Of Dragons and Men. He pored over it for an hour, maybe two, beginning where he’d left off last week after he’d gotten a little more than halfway through. They were given power once, but they’d lost it already, he read. The sun in their words, the blizzards in their teeth, the storm in their roars, the venom in their lies. They gave it away. Never truly knowing how or why. What had transgressed, they faced- “So it’s true,” a voice cut in. “You really are more than just a dog in a suit.” Blaine looked up. High Councillor Vindama was leaning against the doorway, eyeing him with that hawkish face of hers. “Vindama,” Blaine started, his surprise melting into a smile. “This is unexpected.” “Words right out of my mouth,” Vindama replied. She flashed her own smile, sharp and thin. “I almost didn’t believe the others when they said you came down here to read a book.” “Most people don’t. You’ll have to explain that to me sometime.” Blaine gestured to a chair. “Please, have a seat.” “How kind of you.” He watched Vindama come forward, never shifting in his seat. Her green eyes met his, and she smiled that same knife-like smile from before. He found it mildly unsettling. “It’s not very romantic in here, is it?” she asked. Blaine’s eyes flicked around. “No, it’s not,” he agreed. “But I’m not here for romance.” “Shame,” Vindama purred. “Would’ve been more interesting than talking to you about scribbles on a page.” “Vindama-“ She cut him off with a wave. “Relax. I’m just yanking your chain. You’re always so formal.” Blaine nodded silently. It was one of the few things that made him look confident when he didn’t know what to say. Vindama’s grin told him she knew better. “So, what do you have there?” Without waiting for an answer, she reached over and grabbed the tome. Her eyes flitted over the cover, dissecting its every detail. Her left brow arched ever so slightly. “The Draconis Totems?” It was Blaine’s turn to raise an eyebrow. “You’re familiar with the book?” “Yes and no. More no than yes.” She flipped over to the first page. “One of my cousins - we don’t talk to him anymore - owned a late copy. He was an aspiring archaeologist, you see. Always digging his nose in dead people’s junk.” Vindama glanced up. She was waiting for a reaction. Blaine didn’t give her one. “This book,” Vindama continued, half-sighing. “Is what got him started. He was obsessed with it and anything remotely related. Made it his life goal to find the totems.” “You talk like he’s retired." “I guess that’s a word for it.” Vindama shrugged. "There’s a reason we don’t talk to him anymore. He never came back from one of his expeditions.” “Oh," Blaine muttered. "I’m sorry.” “No,” she said. “You’re not." Blaine nodded silently, again. Vindama slid the back to him. Its worn leather cover dragged against the table. “Why are you reading fairy tales?” Blaine leaned back in his chair, tome in hand. His idle fingers began leafing through the pages, towards the one he’d been reading before Vindama took the book from him. “Well, in this particular case, I prefer to call it history." Vindama’s perpetual grin suddenly softened. “Blaine,” she started, almost mockingly. “Don’t tell me you think this stuff is real.” Blaine found the page. “Myths and legends have to begin somewhere, don’t they?” He bookmarked it with a slip of paper. Vindama’s lips flattened into a severe line. “Blaine.” “Yes?” “Listen to me.” “I’m doing that right now.” “Don’t be an idiot-“ Something in Blaine’s breast pocket abrutply grew hot and alive. A hum accompanied it, along with a slow buildup of light. He fetched a hand in his pocket, producing a chainless amulet of sorts. His eyes flickered between the object and Vindama. She bowed her head knowingly. “I’ll go,” she said, standing up. “We’ll continue this another time.” “You don’t have to leave,” Blaine offered, even though he wanted her to. “It’ll only take a few minutes." Vindama looked him over critically. “No," she said, a little too thickly. "I think I’m alright, thank you.” Blaine waited for one of her usual snipes. In the end, she left and closed the door. Another minute passed, just to make sure Vindama wouldn’t come back. Blaine glanced out the doorway, peaked around very quickly, then went back inside the alcove and locked it with a click. He gripped the talisman tightly in his hand. Show me. The walls around him quietly twisted away, like a dream unravelling in the most intricate of fashions. A gentle fog crept in where an endless void replaced them, stretching in every direction as far as the eye could see. Waiting for him a short distance away was a dark-skinned man dressed in ragged travelling attire. He was holding an amulet identical to Blaine’s. “Professor Velakis,” Blaine said, then more pointedly, “What are you doing here?” Velakis didn’t seem to notice him. He was too busy looking around, fascinated by the mindscape. Blaine took a few steps forward, each one leadened with irritation. “Where’s Romo? Why do you have his trancer?” “Romo’s dead,” Velakis answered, not turning away from the fog. Blaine started. “What?" “He’s not the only one,” Velakis continued. “Me, Viha, three of your guys… we’re the only ones left. The others are all gone.” He finally faced Blaine, then chuckled humourlessly at the expression on his face. “But don’t worry; we found it." Blaine stared at the professor. “You found it?" he asked slowly. “We did." “The Vault, you mean.” Velakis nodded wearily. The motion revealed a shallow scrape on the underside of his chin. “Describe it to me,” Blaine demanded. At that moment, something howled in the fog. Something awful, like despair on the wind. Velakis craned his head towards the noise, squinting at it as if it were an old and familiar nuisance. “Guess my time’s up too,” he said. As the sound shifted to an abrupt, jerky rattling, Velakis fished out a crumpled note from his pocket. “Listen well, Councilor. I’m only going to have the time to read this once; everything here’s written on the wall.” The rattling changed yet again, this time to something slow and wet. It was louder now, coming from behind Velakis. Blaine opened his mouth to ask the professor what he meant, but Velakis silenced him with a glare. It was less the urgency in the man’s eyes than it was the dread that stopped him from speaking. “Don’t interrupt.” “Alright.” Velakis paused for a moment, then cleared his throat. His words were precise and carefully timed. “That which you seek you stand before But only with the key may you unlock Death’s door Shrouded within Shadows it awaits But only by the elements might one navigate From whence it was born, it shall return Undying or dead, it must be earned Ferns of winter to be milled A fair lady’s ashes faithfully swilled And to appease the debt and see it paid The mortal trade must be made.” Blaine waited for something more. The silence was so swift, so empty, that Blaine almost hadn’t heard it. Velakis was staring down at the note in his hand, still as a statue. He seemed used up. Defeated. Infinitesimally small, despite his large stature. The colour had drained from his face, his hands, and the queer sound behind him was a hollowed-out roar now. “Did you get all that?” Blaine blinked in response. Instinctively, he ran the narrative once more in his head. That which you seek you stand before But only with the key may you unlock Death’s door Shrouded within- A starved wheeze interrupted his thoughts. He shook his head. “What does it mean?” “Are you daft? It's a key-“ And just like that, Velakis disappeared. One second he was there, the next he wasn’t. All that remained was the amulet he’d been holding, which clattered to the ground in a puff of light smoke. Blaine picked it up, held it at eye level. It was cracked, nearly torn in half, with a vicious groove running along its center. “Velakis?” Blaine called out. No response. Not even the everchanging cacophony. Blaine wanted to call out again, take a look around, even though there was nothing to see. Instead, he willed himself back into the real world, where the alcove’s dark stone walls loomed over him. Velakis’ amulet still sat squarely in his left palm. He laid it down on the table, then reached for a stack of papers. -Shadows it awaits But only by the elements might one navigate From whence it was born, it shall return Undying or dead, it must be earned Next came the pen. Blaine dipped it in an ink bottle. Ferns of winter to be milled A fair lady’s ashes faithfully swilled And to appease the debt and see it paid The mortal trade must be made He began to write. @roboblu @Rhysing @SweetCyanide @Csl @ourlachesism
  10. Wade

    Custom rank title 10

    Beef shawarma
  11. Wade

    Strange Occurrences

    “Nothing makes sense anymore,” Teddy muttered, watching Caramel Dream leave. Cindy nodded, glass in one hand, rag in the other. “She’s pretty hot, eh?” “I don’t even know what to say to that.” “I hear beer’s great for ideas.” “You are a fiend.” Before Cindy could drawl out another word, Teddy dumped a handful of coins on the counter in front of her. “Keep the change,” he said, moving towards the door. He heard Cindy yell something at him on his way out, but he was too busy looking for a sign of Caramel Dream to register any of it. When he spotted the woman further down the street, hips swaying in the sun, he took off at a dead run, quickly catching up to her on long legs that remained steady despite the alcohol coursing through them. Teddy kept quiet for the first minute of their run. It was a mutual silence, with Caramel Dream simply accepting his presence, and him consistently hanging a few feet behind. If she noticed him staring, she didn’t have anything to say about it. He didn’t know how she would, since she had barely glanced at him when he first arrived, and didn’t so much as tilt her head now that they’d gotten comfortable with each other’s presence. However, Teddy did catch a glimpse of a few odd beetles in the distance. They constantly hovered nearby, like they were watching them, watching him. It made him feel oddly self-conscious. To the point that he eventually moved to run up at her side, where he greeted her with a languid smile and an ironically terse nod. “How’s it going?” he said, suddenly feeling stupid. “I’m Teddy, by the way.” He smiled again, but this time he directed his eyes to the ground as if that would save him from the awkwardness. He shook his head. “Where are we going?” he asked more seriously.
  12. Wade

    Strange Occurrences [OOC]

    Honestly, go ahead and post if you want. There’s not a whole lot I can contribute at the moment apart from ‘follow hot bug girl’, which is basically what I was gonna do tonight/tomorrow. Moving the story along might give me something more substantive to work with lemme know your verdict
  13. Wade

    Strange Occurrences [OOC]

    Unless LastLight has a specific way he wants to handle this, that sounds like a solid idea.
  14. Wade

    [QUEST] Night at the Museum

    Teddy fell to the ground in a graceless, soaking flop. He rolled over onto his back, sand clinging to him in uneven clumps. He didn’t move for what felt like minutes. The tide’s freezing cold water lapped at his boots, bringing with it an armful of stones and cracked seashells. Up above, a full moon hung in the night sky. The ocean reflected it like a tar-black mirror. Had he not been so bone-tired, so out of breath, he would’ve stood up, taken in the view, snapped a picture with his phone… …with his phone. “Please no,” Teddy whispered. He reached a hand into his pocket. The crystal device wasn’t there. By extension, that meant his map wasn’t there either. Goodbye directions, hello sadness. Groaning, Teddy sat up and glanced around. As far as he could tell, the beach was empty. He flicked on the thermal imaging module - which had survived, miraculously, when the saltwater had wrecked his air filters - then scanned the area just to make sure. Undead, typically devoid of heat, wouldn’t show up on it; but survivors would. If there were any. Goodbye crew, hello guilt. The lenses showed him mostly blue. Mostly, in the sense that were was a single orange line, someone collapsed far off down the curve of the beach. It was impossible to tell who it was at this distance. Teddy found himself thinking of Cora, then Candie and Sunny. A little after that, Captain Denholm, though his mind was rather insistent on the first three. He swept his gaze behind him, then took a long moment staring out at the ocean. When he didn’t spot any other discolourations, he stood up, unholstered his shotgun, then carefully started walking down the shore. Somewhere along the way, Teddy noticed movement to his right. Past the rows of dead palm trees guarding the edge of what might have been a resort. It paused, moved quickly, and then paused again, hinting at cold, bulbous shapes that seemed to watch him without ever getting too close. He could make out wet croaks and harsh gurgles, sometimes the heavy squelch of mud. He was tempted to shine a light towards the tree line, see what it was that was tailing him, but eventually decided to quicken his pace while keeping an eye constantly trained to the side. By the time the orange line evolved into the distinct shape of a person, Teddy turned off the imaging module. Pitch black swiftly replaced the cool blue he’d grown accustomed to, and it took a second for his brain (which seemed to be doing better now, slightly) to make sense of the transition. To compensate, he flicked on his shotgun’s tactical light. It flared the ground in front of him in a bright, white cone. He swept the light to his right experimentally, revealing large boulders and washed up beach chairs, but not the shapes that had been following him up until now. He brought it back, aimed it at whoever was in front of him, and- “Cora?” In response, the curly-haired woman held a hand up to the light. That was when Teddy heard a guttural croak, and the sound of shadows leaping out from the tree line. He snapped to his right, firing off a round at one of the grey-brown blurs. The buckshot tore open a fountain of red, and the thing collapsed to its side with a convulsive thud. A quick look at it reminded him of the boulders he’d seen earlier on. In fact, he was positive that was exactly it; the thing had the same girth, the same rock-like texture- he just hadn’t seen the beady black eyes, or the powerful limbs that held it aloft. It’s a fucking toad, he realized. Teddy swivelled a few degrees to the side, then let off another volley. It echoed across the beach like thunder, loud enough to stir the dead from their graves. He turned once more, ready to pull the trigger, but this time a sickly pink tongue wrapped around his shotgun. It effortlessly yanked the weapon out of his hands, and a second tongue followed by constricting itself around his ankle. Suddenly he was being dragged forward, flat on his back, barely able to see with only the moon for illumination. An almost crippling fear spiderwebbed across his chest, and it took every bit of focus to keep his hands from flailing. They fumbled about his belt, looking for his revolver- -and then he was being swallowed, throat muscles tightening around his waist. “This is a new low,” Teddy muttered, before disappearing into the toad’s stomach.
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