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Everything posted by Prestississimo

  1. The gathered group was, eclectic, but maybe that was no less than should be expected. Arun had the nagging feeling that chaos was more the guiding hand behind this gathering, that order had little to do with who had arrived here today, but he couldn't tell if that portended good or ill for their expedition. He looked over each of his compatriots one more time, the mercenary apparently, Sao, the fairy, Bella, and the hooded man, Syr. He had separate reservations about each of them, but he could only hope that they'd be more help than hurt once they were in the Wyld. "Well, we're not making any progress here." He pretended at more bravado than he really felt. "Let's get moving." The Changeling walked over to the portal, and pulled a long strand of thread from seemingly nowhere. The thin purple fibers gleamed almost golden with the sheer weight of the enchantments on them, and wrapping it around his hand took more effort than one would expect. Once he had a solid amount clasped in his fist, he tossed the spool back to Sao, more thread unwinding from it as the object flew. "Wrap some around your hand and then pass it on. The person at the end of the line can hold onto the spool." he instructed the group. "It'll act as a lifeline, keeping us all together. Cutting this thread is, I hesitate to say impossible, but it's probably the next closest thing to. I know being tied together is an inconvenience, but it'll keep you from losing me, and trust me, you don't want to be lost in there." He gestured towards the gaping portal while suppressing a shudder. Once everyone had had a turn with the spool of thread, which seemed no less diminished for the thread currently tying the group together, Arun lead the assemblage into the portal. What awaited them on the other side was, perhaps contrary to the expectations of some, much what they had left behind. The small group was surrounded by trees, and apparent forest, all but indistinguishable from their previous surroundings. Arun knew better though, and the Changeling was immediately and evidently on guard. "I know things look calm, but we're not that deep in yet. This close to the portal, the structure from the waking world is suppressing the effects of the Wyld. As we go further, things are going to get more and more screwy. Just stick together, and trust that I know where I'm going. I always do." So saying, Arun began walking into the forest, moving unerringly towards some unseen objective. He tried to keep his mind as even and unthinking as possible, to give the Wyld as little purchase as he could. It didn't much matter yet, but it would be a good habit to be in for later, when the effects would be more pronounced, and the barest thought could be ripped from the mind and expanded into horrible reality.
  2. Hey there Saelith, welcome to Valucre! here on the site, we have a lot of resources available to help new players ease into the experience. First and foremost among them is the "Get Help" tab found at the top of the main page on any non-mobile browser windows. This tab holds a lot of excellent resources and FAQs that can help you get your bearings. We also have a hub thread for new players that can help you get a feel for the site known as the Tavern of Legend. Finally, if you have any questions in need of answering, you can feel free to PM me at anytime, or to post your concerns on the aptly named help board. That about wraps it up for starting advice, I look forward to seeing you around the site, and I hope you enjoy the time you spend on Valucre ^_^
  3. Hi there D_Hawke, welcome to the site! It looks like you've already gotten some recommendations about where to start off, but if you need any more advice, feel free to send me a message! I hope you enjoy the time you spend here on Valucre, and I can't wait to see the kinds of things you create ^_^
  4. Hey I have definitely been feeling that grind as well Anon. Thank you so much for posting, and apologies for my own tardiness. Things should be more consistent from my end from here on out.
  5. Take all the time you need friend (I certainly have been of late). Life hits hard sometimes, and no one here is going to begrudge you your time when something urgent is affecting you. I hope that things improve, and my heart goes out to you and yours.
  6. @Anon We need a post from you my friend. If you need us to skip you let me know. You will be skipped if you don't have anything up by Monday, sorry but them's the breaks.
  7. For anyone who's been wondering where I've gone, I'm still around (though I did disappear for a week, apologies). Midterms are right around the corner and life has been a little bit stressful recently, hence my vanishing act. I'm still gonna be a little slow from here on out, but I am definitely alive. Apologies to anyone I've left hanging.

    I'm going to be triaging posts for the next week or so, prioritizing my group threads, so if you're getting neglected I do apologize. I should be back to full capacity sometime around next week.

    1. supernal


      Thanks for the update. Our own thread only needs one more post and in fact it doesn't even really need that, I can close it out now and just tie up any loose ends in the summary 

    2. Prestississimo


      I am happy to report that with Wednesday over and done with my midterms are finished (for better or worse DX).

      I might still be a little bit slow as I come back into things but I should be at full capacity by this coming Monday. Thank you to all of my posting partners for your patience.

  8. @Bella_Donna @Anon @amenities Here's the OOC Thread for the Wyld World Thread. Link to the IC thread is here. No particular post order going into it, we'll decide on the order based on who posts when in the first round of posting. If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know. No time limit for skipping someone is going to be enforced at the beginning, but if people are being unreasonably slow I'll implement one.
  9. When she turned to face their enemy again, she found it looming over one of her impromptu allies. The swordsman was in danger of being crushed by the monstrosity and swiftly she began crafting a spell to aid him. Before she'd even finished the incantation however she knew she'd be too late. Fortunately, someone else was watching out for him, because before the creature could complete it's attack, an ebony spear erupted through it's midsection. The weapon spread into a dome-like structure, obscuring her view of the creature, but it didn't prevent her from seeing what was happening to the area around the shield. Or hearing it. The roar of the blast must have popped her eardrums, because the battle-mage was wracked with a bout of nausea that forced her to the ground to avoid falling over. Desperately, the Epheren shook her head in an effort to clear her feeling of malaise. Already she had a ringing in her ears, and she recognized the signs of tinnitus quickly, further reinforcing her belief that her inner ear was damaged. Unfortunately, she didn't have as much time to shake it off as she would have liked. The shield that had protected her and her allies was collapsing. As it did, something slammed into the ground in front of her. The two *thunks* revealed them to be her weapons. She would have expected them to be vaporized, but perhaps the enchantments on them had protected them. She almost reached a hand out to grab one out of habit, but before her limb reached it her thinking cleared. Quickly, her hand recoiled from the weapons as her mind took the time to actually analyze them. Both hilts were stained with an ugly darkness, and something primal within her recoiled away from the weapons even as something different observed them eagerly. She almost grabbed them anyway, but the risks didn't outweigh the benefits when she had extra weapons in reserve. The nausea was wearing off, and Epheren stood again, leaving her erstwhile weapons buried in the pavement. She pulled one dagger from a belt sheathe as she rose. This weapon lacked the wicked triple-edge that her previous armaments had carried, but hopefully it would be good enough for the job at hand. She shook her head clear and reevaluated the situation. Their foe had morphed again, this time taking the form of some hideous beast. It resembled a dragon, but the battle-mage was pretty sure that most dragons she knew would bristle at the comparison. Rotten flesh and debris from the battle sloughed off of it and regrew in equal terms, leaving their foe an ever-shifting, horrible mass. Epheren wasn't even sure where she would stick a dagger into the monstrosity, so she figured she'd have to approach the problem from a different angle. The square itself was mostly annihilated, with the front facades of the facing buildings having caved in completely. Debris was strew everywhere, as were pools of oozing necrotic energy. Things on the ground were stirring as well, and one quickly picked itself up from the pavement and resolved itself into the form of a ghoul. The ghastly creation stared at the combatants with unrepentant hunger, and began shambling forward, but it was quickly struck down by a blast of water which tore through the monster as if it were paper. Other forms were stirring, but Epheren's attention was already elsewhere, back on the main problem of the equation. The necrotic dragon loomed over them, but something about it seemed different to her, as if the quality of it's magic was different than in it's previous forms. She hadn't been able to influence the magic powering the monstrosity before, but maybe in this form, she had a chance. The stench of death lay heavy in the air, and the aura of pestilence brought back memories of her homeland as she mocked up the counterspell in her mind. She'd encountered necrotic constructs before, and with a few small adjustments, she knew she'd have a spell to try. When she was ready, the actual spell took only a moment. Epheren faced the beast square, feet planted at shoulder width. She worked her hands around in the air, tracing a half-circle of freezing blue energy with each. As the two arcs connected, a similar circle of blue energy appeared around the dragon, mirroring the one in front of the battle-mage. Epheren kept a firm hand on the magic, letting the power coalesce, and then pulling on each of the strands in either of her hands, yanking the limbs away from each other and pulling the circle taught and shut, like a noose. As she did so, she shouted another word in her dead language, "Abzikan!" and the magic crackled to life, brightening in power and intensity even as it tightened shut and disappeared. The circle of energy around the dragon again mirrored her actions, closing in on it instantly. Right before it hit the monstrosity, the circle of energy shattered apart, and the sound of shattering glass resounded through the square. The beast looked unaffected, on the surface, to the untrained eye, but Epheren was used to reading the flows of power, and she could tell that her spell had had some effect. Also, and she was less sure of this, it looked as if the light in the creature's chest and face may have been burning just a bit dimmer. Epheren gritted her teeth in a feral smile, and pulled her limbs in close again to begin prepping another spell. Roll: 2+1=3 (hit) Preps Stored: 3
  10. Epheren V. Necro-Dragon Edit: Okay that works
  11. To her surprise, Epheren felt a weight appear on her shoulders. Quickly, she shrugged off the offending body, quite sure of who the perpetrator was. She didn't turn to check the results of her actions as she continued stalking through the jungle, but she did speak back at her obnoxious companion. "Frankly I care not whether you need the books. I care very little about what you need in general, as a matter of fact. And yes, I can tell that you have a predilection for vacuous conversation." When Platinum took the time to answer her questions, she responded with a snort. "You know, you remind me of several people I've met. High Fae, Archdemons, Demigods, their sort of ilk. That same irritating condescension, the incorrigible belief in their own invincibility." She turned to face the odd man, her head cocked quizzically. "But they at least had the gravitas to go with their station. You act more like a bored child. Tell me boy, what manner of nonsense do you claim to be." Epheren wasn't one to let others probe without probing back. Her expression was bored, but her eyes were sharp, and they observed Platinum with unrepentant intent.
  12. After Tobias restrained the thief, it wasn't much more work to get them man fully restrained. In response to their comrades question, Leo offered a quick shake of his head. "I doubt he'd talk, and I don't think we have time for an interrogation, and it would probably be too loud. We'll just tie him up and keep going." The twins put word to action, Luna holding the thief's hands together while Leo wrapped illusory cord around the man's wrists, and then legs, before finally tying both together, forcing the man into a fetal position. He finished it off with a tight gag that should keep the thief from making too much noise. While he finished up, Luna make a quick turn of the man's various pockets and pouches, scattering the items found within out of reach. The illusions wouldn't hold up to strong impacts, but they'd be all but impossible to break via straining. Their prisoner restrained, the twins stood up from their work and started making for the stairs down. "There can't be many more of these guys," Leo mused as they walked. "We need to hunt the rest down. We probably don't have much time, we should hurry."
  13. Hey there JackDoggo, just swinging by to say welcome to the site! If you need any assistance, feel free to PM me, or post in our help board. Being an ex-lurker, you probably mostly know what's going on, but if you need help getting started, makes sure the check out the Get Help tab found at the top of the browser page. One more time, welcome to Valucre, as a member! Happy to have you aboard ^_^
  14. In a cabin, on Biazo Isle, not too far outside of Aspyn, a woman sat, along with a family of farmers. Physically, Mara was there, with Meredith and Wernst, the lot of them working desperately to save the couple's two children. Mentally, the apprentice priestess was somewhere else entirely. The details were different, it was an orphanage not a cabin, and they were outside of Hell's Gate, not Aspyn, but the broad strokes were much the same. The children's family rushing about desperate, casting around for something to do, and the priestess in the middle, healing hands on small foreheads. A much younger Mara watched as Sister Amanda Brendt sat next to Ginny and Jackson. The two children were among the first wave of orphans that had arrived from the surrounding countryside after a rampaging congress of salamanders had torn through the area. Both had fit right in with the other orphans, but a month passed, and the siblings had fallen sick. The pair had kept quiet about it, maybe they didn't want to trouble their new family, or maybe they didn't completely trust them yet, whatever the reasoning, Amanda didn't know about it until the pair were both very ill. Now they lay in the infirmary, Mara and Eric tending to them while Amanda did her work. Mara's actions felt hollow, however, meaningless. She could apply mixtures and salves, wipe sweat and try to keep the fever down, but the result was out of her hands. Really, it was out of Amanda's hands as well. The children were in the grasp of the Mother, and only Gaia could decide what would happen from here. Night fell on the small group, while someone from the village took care of the rest of the children. Hours passed, and none of them slept, until Ginny and Jackson did, for the final time. Mara knew that she would never forget the look on Amanda's face. The priestess covered the two small bodies and had one of the older children run to the village to get some help. They'd need it to dig the graves. Someone groaned, and the memory faded, evaporating into the mists of time. All that was left was a snapshot, of a visage distorted in grief. Mara came back to the here and the now, and felt the two children squirming in her grip. She clenched her hands around their foreheads as they really started to shift and turn, and she called to the couple for assistance. "This is it. I need yah help now. Hold 'em down." Meredith and Wernst looked at her, and the priestess' eyes flashed. "Now! They'ah eithah gonna kick this thin' here, or not et all, and I need muh hands on 'em the whole time." She's slipped into accent, but the pair seemed to understand her anyway. They moved to either side of the bed, holding the children down as the squirming turned to thrashing. Wernst grimaced as his son kicked out, and he turned to Mara. "How long do we need to hold them like this." The priestess was staring at the children, and she didn't look up to answer the man. "Just a couple'a minutes. They'll stop soon. Eithah healthy, exhausted, or dead." Meredith gasped, but her hands didn't relent, and for that Mara was thankful. She knew that her bedside manner could have been better, but she wasn't feeling up to it. She felt, angry, for some reason. Mad at Yates for running off, mad at the couple for letting their children get this sick, mad at the kids themselves for falling ill. Mad at herself for feeling this way. She'd always had a temper, but not like this. Not so wild and directionless. She did her best to shrug off the ugly thoughts, but they were persistent, buzzing gnats that kept biting at her mind. Luckily, her focus wasn't really required in the moment. What happened next was out of her hands. It was up to the Mother now, and the children themselves. The pair were heaving now, but nothing was coming up, their small bodies wracking with pain and muscle contractions. They weren't quite seizing, but it was close, and just when the farmer's were starting to have difficulties holding them down, the pair fell still. The cabin was silent, except for the sounds of Mara panting in exertion. The sound persisted for a moment, then two, and then the boy gasped. A moment later, his sister followed suit. The two were breathing heavily, and unconscious, but their complexions were noticeably better, and already their rashes were fading. "It's done," Mara heaved out. She stood, evidently exhausted, but stumbled over to the door. Wernst followed her while Meredith fussed over the children. He had tears in his eyes himself. "How can we ever repay you sister." For her part, Mara didn't appear to be listening. She was checking a timepiece she'd pulled from some pocket, and making a note of the time. Wernst's expression turned to one of confusion, and he looked put a hand on Mara's shoulder. "Sister, are you alright?" When Mara's head turned to face him, he recoiled. "Yes, fine," she replied. "I need to go after Yates. The children are still weak, keep good care of them." Her words came out from between gritted teeth, and she slipped out of his grasp and went out the door before he could react. Mara set off jogging, ignoring her exhaustion and tracking her erstwhile compatriot via her connection with the weapon she'd given him. Behind her, in the cottage, Wernst shook off his surprise, and ran out of the building. Mara was already out of sight, however, and the farmer had no choice but to go back inside. Once within, his wife questioned him from the bedside, "Dear, what's wrong?" The farmer did his best to suppress a shiver, and looked to her. "I'm not sure, but her eyes. They looked, so angry, and I think I saw, something in them. Flecks of black, or darkness, or, I don't know. Just, something was wrong." Meredith looked confused, but she knew where the couple's priorities should be. "Well no point in worrying about it now, come help me tend to the children, please. They need help, like the sister said." Wernst did as his wife suggested, but as he worked, the memory of Mara's eyes wouldn't leave him. The more he thought on it, the more it seemed there was something there. Something dark, and cloudy, just below the surface. Under his breath, he whispered a prayer to the mother, "Please, Gaia, let those brave souls be safe." It wasn't too much work to find her quarry's route, the thing pursuing Yates left, something. A residue, a stain on the world, that she could feel, and follow. The priestess was having a hard time thinking clearly. She was exhausted, though more mentally than physically, and it felt like there was something buzzing in her mind, keeping her from focusing. She was, irritated, angry even, but she couldn't seem to remember why. She just knew that she had to follow Yates, track him down and do, something. Eventually, she came across her mace, buried in the ground. She picked up the still-slightly-glowing weapon. For some reason it felt warm in her grip, hot even, but she ignored the feeling as she hooked it at her side and kept going. She was coming close, she was sure of it. As she jogged, the pressure in her head grew, as did her anger, but she felt compelled to keep going anyway. She followed the sickening path laid ahead of her, sure of her goal, but unsure of her intentions when she arrived. She was just so... angry. But at what? She couldn't think, couldn't remember. She just felt it burning in her. Rage.
  15. When Lydia reconfirmed her interest in the job, Cecil's expression brightened, but it grew wary when she came to the topic of his pursuers. "Let's just say that I have my fair share of enemies." He gave the woman another appraising look, noting once again her particularly militant way of holding herself. An inkling of an idea formed in his mind, but he stowed it for later. Repairing the ship came first and foremost. "Well, if you're still interested, we'd better get going." He took off again, once more heading away from the mechanic's district and towards the edge of town. The man was silent for a while, but he opened up again when they began approaching the city limits. "You should probably know the details of the job before we get there. My ship is in, a rather urgent condition. Our engine has been running hot for a while, and recent... events, put us firmly into overheating territory, and we were forced to make an emergency landing. My crew is trying to keep it from melting down before we get there, but none of us are experts, and we can't figure out the root of the problem. That's where you come in." They'd reached the outer limits of the city as he finished talking, and he started up into a jog. "Hope you don't mind a bit of running, but every second counts." The older man looked tired, exhausted even, but he kept an impressive pace as they started into the desert sands. "We're just a few miles out, beyond those rocks over there." The captain pointed towards a rather tall rock formation.
  16. Questions are good, I like questions. They mean people are actually reading what I put down ^_^ As for answers, the Fairies of thee Moonwood are different from the Fae found in Lumin, as are the realms from which they hail. IC posting wise, there will be a turn order, but we're waiting a bit to see who's signing on. I'll leave this open until Friday, at which point I will put up the OOC thread and we'll set off with everyone that has expressed interest. Post order will be determined by who posts when in the initial round of posts and we'll just stick with that. Currently I have @Bella_Donna and @Anon signed on, and I know @amenities and @Genkuro expressed interest. If anyone is still interested, or newly so, please let me know here.
  17. Welcome to Valucre! It's nice to meet you Cerrex, I hope you have a great time on the site ^_^ No need to worry about being inexperienced, as mentioned above, we have tons of tools to help you get started, and if you ever need help feel free to PM me, or post your question on the help board. One more time, welcome to the site. I look forward to seeing you around!
  18. Answering questions in order ^_^ 1. Yes 2. That's the gist of it 3. We not talking about the Moonwoods. This RP is set in a town on the edge of the Coconino Marsh We'd be happy to have you aboard
  19. @supernal The IC thread is up: A Wyld World I will have an OOC thread up soon as well. Thank you for your patience.
  20. Okay everybody, after a bit too long (sorry about that) the IC thread is up. An OOC thread will be up soon as well, but in the meantime, I would like to re-confirm that everyone is still interested. If you are, please post here or like this message. Additionally, this thread is still open to others if they are interested. Sorry for the wait everyone, let's get it started.
  21. An otherworldly wind brushed gently across Arun's shoulders, sending the Changeling shivering. Forlornly, the young man stared into the gaping maw of the portal resting just meters away from him. The brutal tear in reality yawned like some horrible mouth. To say Arun looked on it with mixed feelings would be an understatement like no other. Pride, fear, apprehension, and excitement all flowed through him in equal terms, swimming and colliding within the depths of his mind. After a few moments of staring, he broke his gaze away from the affront to this reality that he and his siblings had created. He turned his attention instead to the parcels he was tasked with bringing through that festering wound. Two small bags sat at his feet. One smelled of rot and decay, and the other of nothing at all. He knew the contents of each, but didn't want to think on either. In fact, he didn't want to be thinking about any of this. He turned his gaze again, this time towards the village, from which he had walked here earlier this morning. Hopefully his companions would arrive soon and they could get on with it. Arun had been chosen from among the Changelings as the champion that would bear a piece of the Wyrm and a piece of the Weaver back into the Fae realm. He would not be going alone, however. His companions were varied, and he'd yet to meet some of them. Some would be working for coin, other's for more obscure purposes, and perhaps one or two of them might even believe in the cause. As he waited, Arun's mind turned to what his companions might think of him. He knew that in some ways, he resembled his Fae lords, wiry and ethereal, thin to the point of breaking, graceful and flowing. Yet for all that, he also knew the touch of this world was on him. It showed on his slightly mottled complexion, the scars and bruises, the other imperfections that made him more, mortal. He looked again to his parcels. And this is what they would be introducing into the Fae realm. Mortality and structure. He knew it was necessary, everyone did, but that didn't stop the lot of them from shuddering at the thought. Arun sat brooding a little while longer before he heard the first hint of footsteps on the path, his Fae hearing revealing them at a range that would be impossible for a human. With a sigh, the Changeling stood up, and carefully schooled his expression into a smile. The small forest clearing that housed the portal to the Fae realm wasn't too far from the village, but it was easy to miss the turn-off from the path that would lead deeper into the forest. That in mind, Arun walked to the entrance of the clearing, waiting next to the path for the first signs of his companions. Whenever anyone would arrive, he would direct them into the clearing, until they were all assembled in front of the portal. He stared at the varied people, and decided to be the first to speak. "My name is Arun, the leader of this expedition. I'm sure you all know this already, but we're traveling into the Fae realm and dropping of these," he hefted his two small bags for emphasis, "at a certain location within. He looked around to make sure everyone understood. "It's going to be dangerous in there, and we can't really know what to expect. The Fae realm is almost pure Wyld, which means it's shaped by whatever consciousness' it touches. The piece of the Weaver we have hear," he lifted the odorless bag again," should keep things slightly stable, but take nothing for granted, and be careful what you think. Now, before we go in, we should all introduce ourselves and our specialties. Once again, my name is Arun, and I'm a Changeling. I'm skilled in several Fae magics, and my ancestry means I can never be lost, not even in there," he pointed at the portal. "Don't ask how it works, I couldn't tell you, I just literally cannot be lost." His introduction complete, Arun nodded at the person standing next to him. "I believe you're up next?"
  22. A plan of action was put into place, but it didn't sit well with Mara. She turned back to tending to the children as Yates worked, intent on checking the efficacy of her attempt to use the Mother's power to clear the disease before the settled on this course of action. "Mother, Help Me That I Might Relieve These Weary Souls." The prayer was heartfelt, and rang through the small cabin, though the sounds of Yates' efforts outside drowned the prayer from mortal ears. Still, someone was listening, because Mara's hands lit up faintly, glowing with an ethereal power. Mara put one palm each on the children's foreheads, and the small forms shuddered slightly as she did so. The reaction was a good sign, it meant that she was doing something. If she were more talented, more skilled, she might have been able to dispel the illness instantly. Untrained as she was, the best she could do was reinforce the children's own ability to fight off the disease. Some time passed like that, Yates and Mara working on their respective tasks, before eventually her fellow apprentice returned. He outlined his plans to Mara and the family, and after resting for a bit, stood up to go. Mara broke off from what she was doing, something swelling in her chest. "Wait, she called out to Yates." The man did so, and Mara unhooked her mace from it's place on her hip. She placed a hand on the weapon's flanged head, and spoke another prayer. "Mother, My Comrade Goes Forth Alone to Face the Darkness In Your Name. Let Some of Me Travel With Him, That He Might Not Stand Without Aid." This time, when Mara's hand glowed, it was with the intensity an open flame. The pulsing light flowed from her limb and into the weapon, leaving the metal head and most of the haft gleaming faintly. That done, Mara took the small metal chain from around her neck and unclasped it. The necklace was plain, a simple metal chain with a slightly burnt carving affixed to it. The symbol of Gaia, the world tree, filled with a light of it's own as it sat in her palm. Gingerly, she clasped the chain to a small metal ring at the base of the mace's shaft. Finally, her offering was complete. She looked up at Yates, and handed him the weapon. "It's goin' ta be dangerous goin' alone, please take this." The apprentice looked drained, but she took a long shuddering breath to finish her explanation. "It shouldn't burden yah down too much, and yah don't really need ta know how ta use it. If ever you think that thing is goin' ta catch up ta yah, drop this in it's path. It might slow it down." The woman looked uncertain for a moment, but she wiped the expression from her face and replaced it with as much confidence as she could muster. "Yah ask'd me before if I thought this was a test and I told yah no. I think I was wrong. The Mothah is watchin' us. Let us stand strong." She looked back to the two children, and then to Yates. "I'll finish here as fast as I can. We'll make a race of it. Do yah lead it away and escape first, or do I heal these two and find you?" There was false bravado in her voice, and a bit of forced cheer, but it was the best she could offer the man, and she was determined to give it to him. After saying his piece, Yates left the cabin, and the five inhabitants lapsed into silence. The two farmers did their best to take their children's fever down while Mara sat over them, one palm on each of their foreheads. There was no talking between them, just urgent silence, and the soft glow of the Mother's light.
  23. The crowd was annoying for traveling swiftly, but good for losing oneself in. Cecil traveled through the market square at a reasonable pace, determined to make it out the other end to drop any pursuit he had before he went back to the mechanic's district. A few minutes had him through the crowded square and into some less busy thoroughfares. These he traveled down quickly, and he was only a few minutes away from the next district when he noticed yet another individual following him. They were making no bones about being subtle, seemingly more interested in tracking him then keeping him from noticing them. In a way, this pursuer was even more surprising than the previous. Lydia was hot on his tail, having somehow tracked him down. She'd noticed him by sight by now, the pirate captain slowed down to allow the odd woman to catch up. While he waited, he wondered just how she had found him. Maybe she'd just camped out the entrances to the mechanic's district? There were only so many ways he could get there from the tavern he'd left behind. Maybe it'd been luck? Random chance? Providence? He gave the mechanic a once over, and slowed to a stop on a street corner so they could talk. The only way to find out would be to ask, but before he could do that, he had some other questions. The shady spot he picked preserved them slightly from the sun's incessant rays, but the heat was still oppressive, and the old captain wiped the sweat off of his forehead with a similarly damp hand. "I'm impressed that you found me, but I thought we already parted ways. Don't tell me you're still interested in the job after all that?" In reference to that, Cecil pointed back towards the commotion the pair had left behind, though it seemed unlikely that Lydia had forgotten it.
  24. A plan was hatched, and Leo crept back down the stairs to get more info. He came back up again, whispering urgently to his companions. "No trip wires that I can see. I think they've been cut and removed. Come down the stairs with me, quietly. The thief is looking for people coming in, not out. I'll make up some illusions of me and Luna and we'll see if we can catch him by surprise." Leo lead the way down the stair, Luna taking the rear. Sure enough, the thief was looking out into the corridor. By their posture, Leo could tell that the person was rather bored, but they dutifully kept their gaze scanning the hallway. It was a short bit of work to spawn two doppelgangers at the end of the hallway and have them come up out of the floor like there were coming up the stairs. The thief spotted the erstwhile pair almost instantly, shouting "Hey!" and taking off down the corridor. The illusion of the twins came running at the man, brandishing fake weapons. Leo knew that the illusions would hold up to exactly zero scrutiny, as soon as they were struck they'd collapse. As the three figures grew closer to meeting, Leo whispered to Tobias, "Now's the time to go."
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