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      Vote for Valucre [June]   05/16/2017

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  1. A huge flash of light burst through from the top of the beast's back and down it's body, static surging into the ground while the smell of hissing flesh permeated the nearby area. Margie's hair stood on end and her whole body buzzed. Because she was so close to the beast, small amounts of electricity easily traveled over to shock most of her body. Luckily, she had heard the ominous thunder before the giant lightning strike, and was able to react fast enough to change her standing position. She stood with her right arm high up in the air, and her heels tight together. The bold of electricity flowed through her body like a lightning pole. Going from the tips of her fingers, through the right side of her body, narrowly missing her heart, and out her feet into the ground below her. Her toes sizzled black and the tips of her fingers looked like they had been cooked on a skillet. A strangled whimper escaped from her lips, but there was no time to assess her wounds. Adrenaline still pumped through her, which also helped to numb her burns. Margie heard yelling from what seemed like inside the beast and then a loud, telepathic message that pierced through her so forcefully it hurt. She hunched over, grimacing in pain, holding her hands to her pointed ears. After a couple of heartbeats, the message was clear. Hold it still. She jumped back to a standing position, looking at the Chief next to her. From the looks on his face he had heard the message too. "Do you think if all of the Mork'ouths worked together, you could spread trees and roots over its body to bind the beast still?" Margie yelled, trying to be heard over the beast's unyielding roar. "I'm going to try and go for the lowest heart." She turned back to look inside. It looked like one of the top hearts had already been pierced, it was gushing a crimson waterfall, pumping more and more blood out. She looked to the lowest heart that she had spotted earlier. It hung low enough for her to be able to climb atop the intestines and pierce through it with her knife. She hoped that whoever had sent that message knew what they were doing, and that she was going to be in there as well. She also hoped that they were aiming for the last heart. Margie ran a distance away from the crag in the earth, where the plants weren't damaged yet by the beast's massive figure. She dropped to her knees, clawing all around her, her fingers screaming in agony. Mosses and lichen covered the loamy soil. After gathering a satisfactory amount, Margie ripped a large strip of fabric from her tattered pants. She placed the nest of plants in the middle of the strip of fabric. Then, with shaking hands, she rolled the fabric up, and placed it to cover her mouth and nose. It probably wouldn't do much, but it may slow down the toxic gases enough to let her do the job. With the makeshift mask in place, Margie pushed herself up from the ground, running back to the beast's side. The Mork'Ouths were already working on tying the beast down. Massive roots and trees groaned with effort as they grew, wrapping around the beast's legs, tail, and then slowly coiling to cover it's back, reaching to plunge back into the ground on the other side. It was like a massive belt, wrapping around its back and chest, forcing it to keep still. The trees and roots grew and grew, intertwining with one another until they formed one massive wall of wood that locked the beast to the ground. They pierced back into the soil on the other side of the beast, knotting with each under under layers of sediment, clay and rock. The amount of effort that would be required to break the bonds would most likely kill the hydra, gushing all of its blood through the one opening in the heart. Margie wriggled into the smoking crevice of the beast that was cut earlier. With the moss mask tied tightly around her face, she took hesitant steps, careful not to slip in the blood pooling up to her ankles. After picking her way to the pile of intestines, she began to crawl up the steaming pile. The intestines were slippery, covered in a thick mucous film. She was about halfway up when her right foothold failed her, and she slid all the way down to the bottom again. Growling in frustration, Margie hunched down, deciding that she would start this time with a jump. With a forceful kick of her back legs, she launched herself a few feet into the air, her hands grasping for a hold against the wriggling mass in front of her. Her left hand caught in between the film that held the intestines together. It was thin enough that her nails ripped through so she could get a good hold around the intestine. It was getting harder to breathe, her hair was plastered to her forehead and the sides of her face as she struggled to ascend to just below the heart. Eventually, with trembling limbs, Margie was able to lift herself onto the last intestine that gleamed at the top of the heap. Her lungs ached from the foreign gases that seeped through the moss. She was able to get up into a standing position, but the intestines were not a firm surface to stand on, and wobbled in response to every movement she made. Standing with her legs spread wide for a better center of gravity, Margie quickly unsheathed her knife. She looked up. The heart pounded only a few feet ahead of her. After getting a good grasp on the hilt through her slimy hands, she punched her arm up into the muscle wall. It was a shower of blood that greeted her, like a dam breaking. She got completely covered in warm, crimson blood. Chunks of coagulation clung onto her arms, in her hair. She gagged behind her mask. Unable to balance on top of the organs any longer, she let herself slide down. She tried to land on her feet but the muscle floor was now so slippery. She fell, arms flailing, landing hard on her rump. The blood level was quickly rising, and if she didn't get up quickly, she would drown in the viscous liquid. Her lungs felt like she was heaving fire as she struggled to stand. Her vision started black and her extremities tingled. She stumbled forward, clumsily making her way towards the exit. The beast had to die soon. She couldn't take much more. Like a red swamp monster, she fell out of the beast's body wall, gasping and coughing. She clawed herself the rest of the way out of the body, her nails breaking with the effort. Finally exhaustion took over and she collapsed on her stomach, a few feet away from the Hydra. Blood poured like a river out of the opening she had created. Sticky blood covered her, and she had probably swallowed some. She tried to wretch but nothing came up. Her cheek was pressed against the ground, her limbs splayed out like a crimson starfish. Margie ripped off her now useless mask, throwing it to the side, trying to gulp as much fresh air as she could. Her lungs still burned, and her mind clouded. Margie prayed to whatever gods would listen that the Hydra would die soon. She gave into the welcoming dark as the warm blood from the beast oozed around her and wrapped her in a warm blanket...
  2. Did the board get deleted? I can't find it!
  3. Elizabette began making a mental list in her head as she started to walk Southeast, hoping the others would follow. So the team was pretty rounded out. They were an odd bunch, but they had a wide range of skill sets that would prove useful in the hunt. She was slightly honored that the rest of the mercenaries decided to let her take point. Some were a bit more reluctant to share information at first, but she was grateful towards Ren and Sebil. They seemed open enough to share at least a few details. She turned to Thurgood, who had brought out beautiful foxes. She paused in her tracks to crouch down and offer a hand for them to smell. Her left leg whirred softly. The sound was muffled by her thick pants. "They're beautiful." She murmured, keeping her voice low so as not to spook them. Her iron claws caught in the light with a flicker. "I took the black feather that was left there, but the scent may have faded over the week. And it may be a dead end. But its one of the only clue's we've got." She spoke louder now, so that everyone around could here. She quickly slung her pack and pulled the black, oily feather from one of the front pockets. She placed it on the jungle floor, hoping that one of the foxes would smell it. Even though it was oily, after touching the feather tacky remnants remained on her finger tips. She wiped her fingers on her pants. Standing back up, she let Thurgood and the foxes do what they needed to do. She looked at the white haired man who called himself 'Ghost.' She smirked at him, "I really have no intention in leading us to death. If there ever comes a time where we disagree, we can fight for the winning opinion." She looked straight at him, her face serious, but her eyes gave away a flicker of mischief. Flicking one of the stray hairs out of her face, she continued to walk forward, her lithe body easily maneuvering between the long vines and thick underbrush. Her black boots squelched softly in the mud. "My main goal for this is to bring back the money, and hopefully get some back in return." She followed Sebil's response. She probably needed to say something about herself now. "I'm a mercenary, yes. I'm best in close combat situations. I'm human, but modified. I guess that part was obvious." She gave a sheepish grin, revealing her iron bottom teeth. Her pale grey complexion and silver hair was more of the dead giveaway that she wasn't fully human anymore. "I guess some people would call me an android, but the only robotic part of me is my left leg." She kicked her leg out in front of her. Even though her pants covered the leg, she just did the kick her herself, as some sort of assurance that it was still there. "The rest of the modified parts of me are just iron." She didn't really offer up an explanation of where exactly all the iron parts were, but she figured that they would figure it out sooner or later. "Did the foxes catch any scent?" She asked Thurgood, smacking a vine out of the way. She kept her ice blue eyes focused on the ground in front of her, looking for any sign of disturbance that might of been left by the perpetrators.
  4. Ziva's ears were the only indication that she was listening. They strained forward towards the direction of Lilith standing outside of the den. Seeing that the witch thought she was too good to rest, Ziva completely sprawled out, taking up most of the den space. She lay on her side, her body pressed to the cool soil underneath. She was able to fully relax when the dead Zkriz'kas left her range of smell to go scout. "I'm after something dangerous and even more powerful. Have you ever heard of the tales of Zhengi?" Lilith spoke in a dull tone, undoubtedly trying to prove a point. Ziva blinked, quickly drudging up what little memory she had from legends and lore she had learned from the pack. None of it matched up with something or someone named Zhengi. Even if she had heard of it, this land of Taen was new to the world. How could there already be a legendary person or item on it? The rifts had only just started appearing... Hadn't they? Before her mind got too tangled with theories, Ziva huffed softly, flicking her golden eyes to focus on her cracked claws. She frowned. Ziva really didn't want to see this witch become even more powerful than she already was.. But they weren't there yet. And she was a patient wolf. Lilith hadn't done anything yet to prove herself trustworthy, so Ziva would continue to observe. And remain in wolf form. She contemplated ways to maim the witch enough to get away when she needed to. The tales of Zhengi... I haven't heard of it before. Is this Zhengi popular among your kind? Her mindspeech was slightly softer than it had been all day. Less of a harsh and condescending tone. Probably of the indication that she was actually resting. The great thing about being a werewolf was the ability to heal quickly. So long as she stayed still, her body would send all of its energy into rebuilding itself, but release an enormous amount of heat in the process. She could come out of a battle, torn and bloody, and then be almost back to 100% by the next dawn. She could feel the cracks and minor cuts on her paws stitch back together, adding another layer of callouses. Her massive frame was quickly heating the den. The heat warmed her aching muscles, sending new energy throughout her body. Her tail thumped the floor softly. Once Ziva had felt completely recovered from the long run, she wiggled her way to the front of the den. She poked her muzzle out, making eye contact with Lilith. As opposed to the pulsing heat radiating from her side, she could feel the cold that leaked from the cursed sword. She looked to the ground around it. The mosses and lichen that was growing on the ground had shriveled up and dried. The earthy soil even looked duller. Her tail thumped nervously. She got up to a standing position, scrabbling her way out of the hole. She sat on the ground, not really wanting to get close to the life sucking sword. She lifted her muzzle to the air, straining to catch any fresh scents of possible prey. She could still smell the rotting flesh of the Zkriz'kas, but it was much fainter. The jungle was surprisingly lacking in smells. There was only one main scent, that smelled like the twang of magic, blood, and.. insects? It was a strong smell that lingered over everything, like a suffocating blanket. Something has claimed this part of the jungle as their own. I have never smelled it before, but it doesn't smell good. Ziva turned to look back at Lilith, wondering if she had any inclination of what lurked here. It explained why this perfectly good den had been abandoned. She got back on all four paws, ready to leave whenever the witch decided. She could hunt elsewhere. From the information that she gathered from the scent, it wasn't just one beast, but many. She was in no mood to be attacked by a hoard of monsters anytime soon. Her stomach growled in protest, but she ignored it, her black and red pelt twitching at her shoulders.
  5. Its occurring during the same time as the attack by the Hydra. Both of our characters are too self-centered/evil to care or help. So we simply avoided Lunaris, taking the long route to our destination of the mountains.
  6. Ziva's breath was ragged now. Her lips were parted and her long purple tinted tongue lolled out, dripping with saliva. The river in front of them roared along with the pulse beating through her ears. Ziva quickly dropped to her belly, letting the cool soil absorb the heat coming from her body. She dug her aching paws into the dirt, resting her head between them. She took a deep, steadying breath, letting the scent of upturned dirt cleanse her snout. She hadn't run that long for months. Her body had clearly fallen out of shape. She looked back to Lilith, who was drawing something in the dirt closer to the river. Her ears flicked at attention, her right eye lazily following the witch's movements. Ziva was annoyed that the woman had ignored her past questions, so she tried not to look too interested when Lilith started chanting. Even though it was quiet, Ziva's keen ears picked it up rather easily. But the dialect was of one she had never heard before. Her tail twitched, uneasiness washing over her. Ziva clamped her mouth shut, her tongue back and nestled between her teeth. The stank of darkness and magic began to permeate through the air, and got stronger as the markings in the ground turned an inky black. The smell violated her senses more than the hunk of rotting flesh a couple feet away from her. When the smell almost became too intense to bear, Ziva lifted her head to get a better view. She watched as the ink from the markings straight towards the river. The river parted, recoiling at the poisonous shadow that continued to grow until it reached the other side of the river. It was so... unnatural. Ziva shuddered, the coarse fur rising at the nape of her neck. That was enough of a cue for her to get back on her feet. Holding back a small groan, Ziva shifted her weight back onto her screaming pads. Her red mottled tail hung low behind her, the only indication of her exhaustion. She looked up, the sun would set in a couple of hours. She walked to the right side of Lilith. Nice trick. She rumbled in approval, her head lowered to get a better look at the ground before them. It was completely dry. Ziva cautiously tested her weight with her right paw on the path. It was as if the current was waiting to snap back and drag her downstream, keeping her under and filling her lungs. But- no change in movement. After being satisfied that the water would not crush around her, she hopped down. She wasted no time in crossing the riverbed. She didn't want to take any chances. With a strong push of her back legs, she launched back onto the more solid soil of the banks. She let out a little huff of relief. We need to find a safe place to stay for the night. I need to rest and then hunt. Ziva walked a couple of feet upstream, lapping up the cool water that had not yet been tainted by the witch's dark magic. The cold water soothed her parched throat. After getting her fill, she turned away from the river, walking back towards the comfort of the thickly populated jungle. She scanned the trees around them, looking for a partially upturned tree that could protect them from unwanted visitors with it's thick roots. Either that or a tree that was completely toppled would also do the trick. It would only take about an hour to dig a big enough den for the both of them. After about half an hour of searching, Ziva spotted the perfect place to retire. Settling against an incline in the terrain, there were rotting tree roots, covered by thick moss and fungi. It would be easy to create a den from there. With a quick wag of triumph, Ziva bounded over in a couple of leaps. She lowered her muzzle. The scents were old. No one had claimed this perfect archway in weeks. Lilith would probably have to crouch down to crawl through the opening, but it was a perfect height for Ziva. She started digging her front claws into the dirt. With a soft yelp of surprise, it broke through, rocks tumbling around her. Only a thin layer of sediment had settled on top of the opening, something else had done all of the hard work of making it an actual den. With her paws she dug out the piles of dirt and rock that had fallen back out of the den. The cave was spacious, with plenty of room for the both of them to rest. Ziva walked into the den, curling up against the cool wall on the right and keeping an eye on the entry. Resting her head on her paws, she waited to see if Lilith would follow her in. Hopefully now the witch would answer her previous questions.
  7. oooo love it!
  8. Marigold cocked an eyebrow. She was surprised that all the captain wanted was to travel with them.. She could feel the others relax slightly at his request. Marigold agreed with Elialde. She didn't like the way the captain had talked to them earlier, but he seemed to have calmed down. It wasn't a crazy request. But they couldn't get in the way. Or slow them down. That also meant that whomever went with them would know what she was. Along with anger being a trigger to her shift, she also had a time limit as a human. It was like a pressure that built up inside of her. It would only be released if she shifted back into cougar form. She usually lasted until the evening time until she had to spend the night as a cougar. She would have to worry about that later. As for now... "I don't have a problem with you tagging along, but don't slow us down. We aren't getting paid to protect you either." She put her hands on her hips, her eyes glinting with mischief. With a dramatic sigh, she added "Can we please go now? We have wasted enough time as it is." This time, without worrying about resistance, she walked out of the tent. She didn't like the cramped up feeling she had in there. She blinked, willing her eyes to adjust faster to the harsh light. A cool breeze blew past, rustling her clothes. Standing just outside of the tent, she watched as some of the soldiers quickly milled about, packing up their few belongings. Meanwhile the sergeant squawked around, yelling pointless orders that the men already knew. She really had a distaste for this guy. She hoped he wasn't tagging along. Marigold took a small loop of twine out of her pocket, and began the tedious process of twisting her dreads up into a knot on her head. After struggling with her hair for a couple of minutes, she waited for the rest of the group to file out and start walking to the bridge. Finally. She walked towards the bridge, this time granted access, and leaned over to look at the water rushing below. It was clear, with small silver fish swimming against the current. Resting her forearms on the lip of the bridge, Marigold continued to wait for the troops and her own group to head on through the north.
  9. A strangled yelp came from Margie as she ducked, throwing her hands over her head. It wouldn't help much from a two ton neck crashing on her, but it was instinct. A head and neck was plummeting toward them, and she was about to be crushed underneath it like a bug. But... Nothing happened? The sound of a tree cracking broke over her head, and she looked up, still crouched. One of the necks was skewered, hanging limp in the air by a tree root. The other seemed to be... levitating? No it was falling.. Just very slowly. Powerful magic. Wide eyed, Margie let out a shaky breath, looking back to Tavias. "Thanks. Again." Her voice cracked, and her lips pulled into a quick grin before looking back to the hydra. Attacks came at it from all sides, it didn't even have time to reform completely before more people shot stuff at it. Two heads quickly lost their eyes, blood bursting from the sockets. Because they were so close, the blood rained on Tavias and Margie, an unwelcome baptism. Margie shuddered, standing back up and jogging closer. She was scanning the skies, looking for her new friend, Sebastian, but saw him no where. She sent a quick prayer that he was alright. Looking back to the beast's massive frame, it had done as she predicted, and fallen, its strong legs splayed out and its massive body rested on the ground. Now she would be able to reach it. Margie looked back to see if Tavias would follow, then ran, her blood pounding, the last 100 yards to the beast's side. Margie noticed that she was trembling. Her blood still roared through her ears, and her eyes were wide. She was terrified. Focusing on her controlling her breathing, and NOT panicking, Margie released her hunting blade from its sheath. While the monster focused on trying to rebuild itself, the scales had definitely stretched to their limit. She could see the soft sensitive flesh in between the scales that barely overlapped each other. Margie held her shaking blade in front of her, resting a small hand against the beast's side. With a quick swing back for more momentum, Margie's blade shot in between two large scales. She had punched right in between it's ribs that were about as thick as she. Wasting no time, she quickly carved out a sliver of flesh that looked like a skinny cave opening slightly taller than herself. Next was to cut through the muscle wall. Praying rapidly underneath her breath, Margie used two hands to swing down her sharp blade, hacking at the pulsing wall of muscle like vines covering a pathway. Connective tissue and muscle fibers snapped back as soon as the tension was cut from them. Grunting with effort, Margie continued to swing and swing, swing until her muscles screamed and her legs trembled with exertion. She spared a moment to glance up. Good. The beast was probably in so much pain that it couldn't really focus on her carving through it. She hoped. The still forming necks and heads were writhing about, growing like weeds, no matter how much gunfire continued to pellet them. Margie focus back on her work, keeping her breath steady as she whacked through the last half of the muscle wall. It was like an enormous pressure had released the moment she broke through the last of the muscle. Roaring winds rushed out of the body, probably gases from it's stomach, made her gag as she jumped back. She smell was horrid. It was like a corpse that was forgotten in the sun to rot for a week. The strength of the wind ripped strands of hair from her braid. Tears streamed from Margie's eyes as she covered her nose and mouth with her right hand, still dry heaving. Finally, after what seemed like hours, the gas had let itself all out. Now it was only a warm breeze pulsing out of the beast. Margie peered in through the opening. It was dark in there, but light from the opening revealed a pile of bulging intestines. Looking up, she could see the four massive lungs, hanging from the top of the body wall. They trembled as the diaphragm contracted and released, inflating the lungs with oxygen, and then slowly releasing them. She knew one or two of the hearts would be behind the lungs somewhere, but they dangled so high in the air it was impossible for her to reach. She stepped out of the opening, back onto the blood stained grass before it. It would be hard to breathe in there with all of the fumes. She glanced back to the Chief, as if to say, Now what? There was no way that she was going to uncover her mouth and nose to actually talk. She could feel the rancid stench permeating her clothes and hair. She looked back into the beast. She wouldn't make it very far in there without passing out. The noxious gases would poison her before she could make it through the mush to even try to climb the organs she could reach.
  10. Ziva visibly relaxed, letting out a breath of air she didn't realize she was holding. That was an easy compromise. Ziva looked to where the witch pointed, focusing on the serpent demon first. Judging by the debris flying about the creature, it must be destroying a town. Her brows raised in slight amusement. The god of this jungle must not take too kindly to the new immigrants. It seemed like a simple solution to wipe out the population, and hopefully scare the few away that somehow survived. Ziva huffed in approval, before focusing her attention back to the Witch. Her ears flicked toward her direction before her eyes broke away from the serpentine creature in the distance. The long way around indeed. She would stay well away from that cursed area for a long while. Ziva looked towards the witch, waiting for her to finish throwing her things on the beast. Once she had hoisted herself up onto the corpse, Ziva started trotting in the direction that she had pointed to earlier. Her ears swivelled behind her to catch the woman's question. She kept her head low, her golden eyes focused on the underbrush ahead. Her careful paws had grown used to maneuvering through the tangles of the jungle floor, but the last thing she wanted was to trip in front of this woman. So, she kept her gaze fixed ahead as she answered. Ziva. I'm not calling you master, so you should provide something else in its stead. Seconds later the beast behind her broke into a gallop, and with a grunt, she fell in stride with it, her tail raised high in the air. Her limbs were sore from the hunt yesterday, but the warmth from the run helped ease the tensions in her legs and large paws. She lengthened her stride into an easier lope for her to maintain. She spared a moment to glance at the woman, huffing. She was studying a piece of parchment with scribbles on it. It looked like a map. And what... Ziva paused to leap over a decaying log before continuing, would be lying in the third mountain? She questioned, blinking away the flecks of dirt that flew into her face as they ran. She snorted at Lilith's retort about the creatures. Not even the strongest bloodlust would make me stupid enough to kill the ecosystem that exists there. Ziva snapped back, flinching inwardly. She hoped Lilith wouldn't react too savagely in return. She could still feel the ragged claw marks beating an angry red on her face from the last time she had acted out of line. She didn't really understand why the witch wanted her to leave her prey only partially dead, but she resigned to discover the reason when the moment came. Ziva looked back up through the trees to try and locate the sun. From its position in the sky, and the current speed they were going, they would reach the edge of the jungle quadrant by sundown. They could probably rest for the night by the gaping river. How would they get across? The current there was strong and the last time she had visited, there was no bridge in site. Were all the stories about witches true? Ziva pictured Lilith melting into a blubbering puddle of flesh after being sprayed by the river's water. She smirked.
  11. open

    Elizabette whipped around to look for the source of the loud crack. A girl. Not wholly human, the main indicator being a huge tail. She had not only busted the door off its hinges, but punched a hole in the wall. Elizabette was just about to shoot off a rather obscene flow of words, but she was interrupted by a shout and the crash of pots. Elizabette jumped back around, peeking over the wall that separated her and Luna. After she was able to see what the cook did, Elizabette was unable to hold back a snicker. She fell back onto her seat, her elbows resting back onto the bar. "What an entrance." She said, covering her smirk with the palm of her hand. Her ice blue eyes flicked over the muscular frame of the half human, sizing her up. She had already proven that she was strong, but she had no control. She would be an easy enemy to outwit rather than out muscle. Combing her iron nails through her mop of silver curls, she flipped her hair so that it rested over her right shoulder. It cleared her vision to keep the half human in her peripherals. This new girl made her a little uneasy, stumbling in, and then saying she had no money. She hoped the girl wouldn't be stupid enough to try to rob this place. Not with her sitting right there. She cracked her knuckles. It was casual enough to seem unintentional, but it got the underlying message across. Elizabette looked back to Luna. "Did the stew make it?" She questioned, her face lighting with humor. "What about those shoes?" She chuckled as Luna walked back out to the bar.
  12. Elizabette jumped out of her grey skin when she was joined with a loud crash. It didn't take her long to discover that he was the telekinetic. He had left a rather large crater in the clearing. He introduced himself as Ren. He seemed reckless. She grinned sheepishly, a little embarrassed that she had fallen asleep. She watched with curious eyes, as his dagger flew around him. That was probably going to be a normal thing. Elizabette stood up, brushing the dirt from her black pants. She wondered if Ren was going to be more of a burden than a help towards the mission. He looked pretty young. "I'm Elizabette." She spoke, locking her fingers together and stretching her arms far above her head. Once her sore shoulders released, she realized that another person was in the clearing. A man, strong build, with a suit made of scales. She nodded her head towards him in acknowledgement, "Sorry I didn't notice you earlier." She murmured, stuffing her hands into jacket pockets. He was heavily armed. She didn't recognize many of the weapons he carried. Her right hand found the hilt of her dagger that was strapped at her waste. Beside him, another man entered the clearing. They seemed to have already been acquainted with each other. One of them was giving the other what looked like payment. They were holding what looked like a casual conversation. She looked to Ren, then back to the other two. "I can create an air buffer for us using magic." The man with silver hair was finishing part of his conversation with the dragon slayer. She arched an eyebrow. "And you are?" She asked, casually striding over to them, leaving the dozing telekinetic on the other side of the small clearing. She turned slightly as another man walked through the clearing, thick clothing almost covering his form completely. His hat also did a great job of concealing his face. She didn't know what she was trying to hide. He gave her a slight nudge with his bow, announcing that he was the last one to arrive. She gave a tight smile, clapping her hands together. "Right. Well, I'm Elizabette. We needed to leave about two hours ago, but its fine. We will just have to make up for the lost time with a quick pace." She slid her pack forward, rummaging through the belongings to pull out a crumpled piece of parchment. "From the notes I took, it seemed like the best place to start looking was the jungle quadrant. So we should head as far southeast as we can manage, hopefully picking up some kind of trail of the thieves before we hit the ocean." She haphazardly folded the paper back up, stuffing it into her pack. She flipped it back over to rest against her back. She rested her hands on her hips, glancing at the rest of the group. The fact that she was the only female didn't bother her too much, but she always hated how men tended to automatically underestimate her because of her gender. But she was used to being underestimated. Those who faced her in battle with an unbearable cockiness usually didn't live to see the next light of dawn. Pushing the thought away, she paused, waiting to see if anyone else had something to add. They were all strangers, except for the two men who seemed to already be chummy, they would learn more about each other on the road. Introductions were always so awkward. Untangling a small knotted vine from her wrist, she quickly plated her silver hair behind her and tied it off. A few short strands easily pulled free from the braid, the curly wisps blowing a bit in the cool breeze of the morning. She glanced back up towards the sky, getting a read on the position of the sun. In an hour or so, it would be noon.
  13. Marigold: Loves pickles She loves going to the theater She always wished that she could play an instrument of some sort, but never learned how She is calmer in cougar form, more relaxed
  14. Ziva fought to make her face remain neutral as realization struck. That sword contained souls. It contained werewolf souls. The thought made Ziva sick. That's how she was able to tell that she was a werewolf. The stories were actually true. She didn't want to know how the souls became trapped in that sword, but she didn't care to find out either. The woman looked at her like her next fur cloak. It made her uneasy. Usually she was the one to give predatory stares. She was never the prey. Ziva quickly stood up on all four paws, taking a step back to get out of the prancing Zkriz'kas way. It mimicked her movements, suddenly having the grace of a jaguar. Her tail stuck out straight behind her, and her head lowered to get a good view of the thing's throat. The beast was large, but she had taken it down before. She could do it again. But with further inspection, she realized the puncture wounds made by her teeth were still there, whistling through the esophagus. The beast no longer needed to breathe. It was truely dead. A twisted horrid thing that moved by her command. It made Ziva sick. She fought back a gag. Ziva debated her options in this situation. There was no way that she would be able to walk away peacefully. No, with the swaggering, pompous attitude that this woman reeked of, she wouldn't lower her enormous pride to let her go. So, Ziva could either agree to work with the woman, at least for a while, and see what her purpose in coming here was. Or, she could fight her and bolt. But the woman didn't seem like the merciful type. She looked like a cat, the type who likes to play with their food before they actually kill it. Ziva was confident in her fighting skills, but she had no way to know how she could combat powerful magic. She had never come across it before. So she would be at a sore disadvantage. She was also tired of running. This could be her chance to move on, join a pack that actually appreciated her for her skill set. She took a deep breath before she replied. I will not be your puppet, witch. But I will work alongside you for however long you decide to remain in Taen. Ziva spoke, her tail lifting high in the air. Her stance was wide, and her muscles tensed, closely watching for her reply. Working with this woman would give her a chance to see how powerful she was, her weaknesses, and her strategies. Yes, working with her was in her best interest for now. But she had to be careful as well. This woman did not value the gift of life. The wolf padded closer to the woman, closing the gap. She was now only a few feet away from her. Even though the woman knew that she could shift, she chose to remain in wolf form. She had grown more comfortable in this form than the previous, having lived in Taen as a wolf for a couple of months. Her reddish brown and grey fur twitched at her shoulders. She remained standing, her massive head raised high and her ears pointed forward, at full attention toward the witch and her dead plaything. Her tail gave a soft swish, showing she was still stiff. Her black nose twitched, trying to pick up any other scent on this woman. But the rotting smell clouded over everything, violating her senses. She couldn't smell anything else. A low growl rumbled through her in frustration.