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About Pseudonym

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  • Birthday May 16

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    Berkeley, California
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    All music (except for bad rap), composing music, drawing, crafting stories, fantasy literature, sci-fi literature, math, science, video game design, archery, and good lore.
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    Full-time Student

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  1. Pseudonym

    Big Fish in a Small Pond

    While she was surprised by the entrance of the men, Layelia already knew what was happening when she caught a glimpse of the drunken reveler was shot without rhyme nor reason. The people here were having no witnesses. A lump grew in her throat. By nature, she was a recreant, but she knew that shirking back and pleading for mercy was not going to yield any fair results. Her eyes met Fraenir's for a brief moment, and she already knew that he was preparing to unleash his wrath -- that is, shed his only disguise in lieu of dealing with the situation with more diplomacy... or caution. Don't. If they cross the bourn, I will have no other choice. Hopefully it won't come down to that -- Zare help us if we draw attention to ourselves in the heart of the city. The slavers will be on our tracks once more. I would rather that then a dead companion -- such would quite literally be the death of me, Layelia. While I agree with you, I believe we shouldn't resort to extreme options at first glance. Just -- please. Don't rush into this with wings unfurled and maw blazing. There are bystanders here. Ju- Just let me handle it. Please. As if perfectly timed, their hasty mind link conversation ended as soon as the three armed officers began approaching both her and Fraenir. Feigning alarm and submission, she slowly raised up her hands. Such gesticulations did not stop the rightmost man from placing her down the sight of his strange firearm. Her right hand closed, and in an instant, the fork which had been sitting motionless on the table behind the officers had sprung into animation. She had turned the utensil into an electromagnet with her magic, and no sooner than she had closed her hand was it already moving -- pushed by an invisible current which shot the object subsonic speeds. The sheer charge permeating the metal was enough to deform it into a blob of hot pewter. Squelch -- the sound that the officer's flesh made as the molten projectile shot through and through the man's forearm. The gun which was pointed at her dropped on the ground -- a hand still firmly grasped around the weapon. Layelia cringed slightly at her own handiwork as she watched the man's eyes widened in shock, blood spraying from the severed arteries in the man's forearm. The sight of the crimson fountain made her gag, and it was certainly enough to leave said assailant shrieking in pain. Layelia wasn't keen on harming other people, let alone killing. Killing was something she was not used to -- that was Fraenir's job. Quickly, both of the fallen man's companions aimed their weapons at her as well, but she was already muttering an incantation for her next spell -- one which would most definitely be a show-stopper. The air hummed with arcane as the hairs on her arms began to stand up on end. "Zare, eigö boroeg'ha -- proatepoteste... Gur'fületh, Ensegredi!"
  2. Pseudonym

    Once Bitten, Twice Shy

    As the mage pulled the yellow flowers from his strange bag, Reynard could feel his small ember of hope fade away into nothingness. The moon was already on the horizon, and the men would soon be out of options. Even if there was some small chance that the wolfsbane the men needed was growing somewhere out in the frigid wasteland, the mercenary would not have any time to prepare the subnivean plants into something that could have possibly made the situation a bit lighter. Both men were surely bound to turn any minute now -- there was no time to escape. There was no time to think of a solution. And with that, there was only one option left. Reynard would have to kill the mage. It was simple reasoning: they were both going to shift into bloodthirsty beasts regardless, and one of them would most likely maul the other. Why delay the inevitable? Why leave his own fate, his own life, up to chance? It would be foolishness to allow such a thing. Still, he knew that the mage had power. The blinding flash of light and the strange occurrences in the bar were no sideshow trick. He would never be able to get past the magician's defenses the usual way, so instead, he would have to fool him -- lie to him, earn his trust. Reynard looked towards the sky, tenebrous and ominous, speaking of preternatural occurrence that would most surely fill the night. First, he would start with a truth -- one which held no falsehoods or lies. "Well damn the gods, I guess we're both are in luck -- I'm an alchemist." While it wasn't the full truth, he knew how to handle potioncrafting and alchemic enchantments to a minor degree, so it wasn't necessarily a lie. It was a synonym for potioneer he reckoned, such definitions are close enough. Next, he would have to act the part. He unslung his quiver and backpack, placing both next to him on the ground. His shivering hands fumbled through his bag with exaggerated haste, grasping at the alembics, stands, and other things he would need to "craft the potion." Using his left arm, he cleared some snow from the ground, and set up his improvised workstation. Bottles were strewn across the snow as he lit the flame beneath a small flask. "I know a recipe," he lied between his teeth, "What you have may actually help. Arnica Montana is not as potent as Aconitum Napellus; however, it should suffice." And just for added emphasis, "Hurry, look at the sky, do you want us both to turn into slobbering mongrels? Come here!" He gambled that the mage would take his ploy -- what could the man know about herbs anyways? With a face that spoke of urgency, how could Xartia not believe him? The mercenary had pretended to throw his quiver clumsily onto the ground, but in actuality, he tossed it in such a way so that some of the bolts would be conveniently in reach. Thid would allow for quick loading of deadly ammunition. Still, what if the mage kept an eye on his crossbow? Reynard did practically point his weapon at the man but a few minutes prior. Attached to his sidebelt were two blades -- one long, one short. Should his short sword not work for the situation, he always had his knife. Should his knife not work, he had his fists. Regardless -- when the mage turns his back, he would make his strike. No way was he going to leave his life up to chance.
  3. Pseudonym

    Big Fish in a Small Pond

    All eyes were on the woman in the center of the room. In her hand, the criminal brandished the deadly silver pistol whose tip smoldered with pale gray gunsmoke. The crowd was silent, none wishing to speak for fear of being the next one to end up with a hole in their chest. Layelia had been enjoying a paltry meal of legumes and salted pork at the time of the murder, but she froze with fork raised and mouth still open. She did not even notice as the food she was about to eat fell from her utensil and onto the wooden table. She couldn't even blink as she stared agape at the blonde haired gunslinger. Zare, she just shot the man. She dared not speak her thoughts. Was this really happening, in Aelindra City of all places? Then, by accident, the mage made eye contact with the criminal. The woman's brown eyes seemed to pierce straight through Layelia -- eyes uncaring for the man who she had just killed. A jolt of nervous electricity shot up Layelia's spine, shocking her out of her gawking stupor. Immediately, the girl looked away -- a bead of cold sweat rolling down her temple. She put down the fork, and looked across the table to her hooded companion. Fraenir, we need to leave, she thought -- engaging in a mental conversation with her companion. Amber eyes flickered towards her, looking emptily at the girl -- was he even paying attention to her? Then she saw his amused grin -- was he chuckling? What is it, Layelia? You seem so perturbed by this. Death is but a natural part of this mortal coil, he purred in mental jesting. I am being serious. So am I. Then came a brief pause. What, do you think I am so weak as to let you be harmed by a mere revolver? If I die, you do to, the girl retorted bluntly. Taking chances was something Layelia did not want to take, especially when it involved their lives. Fair enough, child. Fraenir was the first to stand, walking around the table before giving a mocking bow towards his companion, offering his hand. In reality, he was doing this to put himself in the way of the shot if another were to occur; however, despite his intent, Layelia hated Fraenir's theatrics. She cared not if he took the form of a lavish gentleman -- face chiseled with wavy brown hair. Before leaving, she touched the metallic fork for a brief moment -- a small rune of lightning emblazoned on it. While it would not explode with maddening thunder, should anything go awry, it would be her means to escape. A small tinge of static charge left her fingertips as the fork itself began to charge with ambient electricity. She would take every precaution necessary to get out of there, and such, she would go along with Fraenir's act. Grabbing his hand with a roll of the eyes, she began to walk towards the entrance of the room, seeking to get out of the madhouse the bar had become. Hopefully, her cowl would shield her face from onlookers so they would not be recognized, but she felt a pit in the recesses of her throat -- she knows that the person in the center saw her. That person knew what she looked like. She won't chase you, Fraenir reassured. She has no reason to. Say nothing, and speak nothing. Alright.
  4. Pseudonym

    Death Marks The Spot

    Five shambling bones, bleached white, covered in what seemed to be a tarry, black substance which glistened in the sunlight stopped approaching the woman at the arrival of the two others. Jaw dangled as threads of what seemed to be sinew were the only ligaments left holding said bone in place. Flesh affixed to bone through unnatural means were still visible -- corpses undergoing the final process of decay and putrefaction. Then came the first move -- the rightmost skeleton two glasslike eyes ripped the femur from one of its fellow compatriots, and came rushing at the magician who had arrived so quickly. The four other undead continued walking at a slow pace towards the magician -- spare the one whose leg was stolen. That one just pulled itself forwards with quickening pace. Then came a rush through the sky -- a meteor? A man? A falling projectile it was most surely, but it was certainly something the female mage had never seen before. Whatever it was, it was surely a new and creative form of magic -- the likes of which she would take note of. Hardened flesh -- black and metallic -- came falling onto the four others who chased after Xartia. The ground shuddered as the alchemist touched the earth. With a satisfying smash, the four skeletons who were approaching Xartia were instantaneously crushed. All that remained of the... remains... were shards of bone and a splatter of whatever black substance coated their remnants previously. The impact itself left a sizable depression within the stony beach, catapulting stone and gravel into the air. The seven remaining undead continued their way towards the young mage, one of which was burning in the arcane green flame she cast earlier -- black substance alight with malevolent ardor. But who was to say that there were only twelve undead on the beach itself? The commotion created by the alchemist's descent had resonated throughout the bay, echoing off silent cliff walls. The tattered ships seemed to sway as news of the humans were spread further. In the distance, one could see a ghastly crew emerging from one of the seaside graves -- a good quarter mile away at the very least. Unable to hold themselves back, the dead members of the Skulking Sea Lion decided to greet their new guests with a warm welcome. Such fiends were armed with crossbows, cutlasses, and a few aged pistols. Luckily, they were far away -- but it would only be a matter of time until they came. Aside from the brief divergence away from the main subject of the encounter, the mage herself was already backed up to the wall, seven skeletons but only three feet away. As for the one approaching towards Xartia, said being ducked forward and dashed towards the mage. His skeletal grip resembled that of a fencer as he held the long bone as such. Clearly, this being was slightly different from the rest.
  5. Just finished Laconia and Arcadia threads for the establishment of Hyperion -- huzzah!

    (If you haven't checked them out, you should really check them out -- it is pretty cool. If you want some info, pm @Deus Ex Aizen)


    Sorry for the late posts everyone!

    @Aves, I'll try to have the post for our current thread Big Fish, Small Pond up soon (hopefully tomorrow).

    @Twitterpated, @Voldemort, @Akako Akari, I will try to have a post up soon as well for Death Marks the Spot!

    Sorry to all those who were waiting for me for being slow -- college has already kicked itself into full gear for me, and I barely have any time at all.

    1. Pseudonym


      Lol @Ataraxy, I finally know how you felt last year during our "Twin Skies" thread in Taen. ah, good memories ~

    2. Ataraxy


      Hits like a truck, huh?

      And what's up man? Didn't even realize it was you, new account and all.

    3. Pseudonym


      Pretty good, pretty good. Havent been on Val since roughly one year ago exactly -- feels good to be back ~

      How are you  @Ataraxy?

  6. Pseudonym

    Laconia's Foundation

    "I signed up to protect the caravans," Welfrick answered simply, not willing to amuse the man's previous sarcasm. While he would have liked to retort back with his own snide remarks, he was a man of principle, and he would adhere to them. Instead, the hunter readjusted his bag on his shoulder so that the situation would not occur twice -- an error that he should not have made in the first place. It was strange -- he thought he was the last one at the back of the group. Seeing the blacksmith's wandering eyes focus in on his bag, Welfrick could not help but wonder how much this man knew. Brief thoughts grew into mounting suspicion. Did the man see Welfrick last night -- chained to the trunk of a great pine a few miles away from the mountain? The hunter had sworn he had made sure that he was alone and not followed when he prepared for yet another sleepless night, so such an occurrence was impossible. Still, the man's curious emerald green eyes glittered with deception. What is he hiding? His own, green eyes narrowed slightly, sizing up the strange newcomer. Who is this man? Such a thought would have to wait until later as a shaft of wood tipped with barbed iron embedded itself between the two men, or rather, two monsters. Welfrick immediately dropped the rucksack he had so carefully readjusted, and unslung his bow -- arrow notched and aimed towards the various rock formations that patterned themselves around the mountain. What seemed to be static statues of carved igneous protrusions proved to be hiding something more animated. "We are being attacked!" He yelled, attempting to elicit the attention of the other guards -- his own eyes keen on searching for the unwelcome visitors. He had heard rumors of a group of bandits around these parts, but he hadn't expected them to arrive so soon.
  7. Pseudonym

    Arcadia's Foundation

    The earth shuddered as the explosion obliterated the obstacle in front of them, and it would have seemed that all was well for the party -- everyone moving forward as if the path was cleared. No one could hear the whispers of the ground as it spoke an ever-growing murmur; however, Vera could feel the very path they stood on tremble. While she had not opted for the grunt work of lugging material up the high slopes of Dresden, she had offered herself as a guard of the group -- one that would ensure safety among their trek upwards. It was during this moment that her purpose of being so far away from her birthplace had finally become clear -- everyone was in imminent danger, and she was the only one who could sense it. Soon enough, the sliding of a few grains of gravel disturbed by the shockwave grew from a careless whisper into a quiet speaker, and then into a firm and ever-present voice. The crescendo of the mountain roared in Vera's ears, speaking a bold declaration to move or perish. Within moments, the very earth itself seemed to scream as the unstable cliffside walls shifted -- an avalanche of boulders, mud, dirt, sand, and grit approaching with increasing speed. Vera looked towards the caravans of goods, movers, people -- innocents all subject to a funeral buried beneath seven feet of stone. Some looked in horror, others yelled to move out of the way, and many ran; however, Vera knew there was no time to waste with words. Before anyone had even noticed the disturbance, she prepared had already prepared herself for the worst. She could feel her body search around, ethereal fingertips searching for a source of magic to use. There it was -- arcane power from a local genus loci which seemed just close enough to fuel her motive. Reaching towards the source of magic, she brought both hands to the mountain wall and aired her intent: Great Earth, I beseech you -- take form as to my will! No response. Perhaps more emphasis was needed. I said... move! With the thought, the very cliff wall erupted with several large stony protrusions that would act like obstacles to the landslide -- hopefully slowing it down and deflecting some of the more dangerous objects hurtling at the party. Plates of rock jutting out would act as a temporary ceiling while smaller bumps in the mountainside would cause the rocks to veer away from the travelers. Still, her magic was not enough to stop the catastrophe -- it was only good enough to buy some time. "Hurry up and move it!" She yelled -- voice trembling as she held the structures in place with pure will alone. "I can't -- can't hold this back for much longer!" A bead of swear rolled down her temple as veins bulged. Either someone would have to make these people move faster, or the party would soon shrink to half its members.
  8. Pseudonym

    The Hand of Valjer: Act I, A Touch of Wyrmfire

    A wave of relief came to the elf's face as he saw the color return to master Aurelius's face -- his beloved master would survive. Then, soon after, face paled after looking at the beast that saved them -- the wolf man. He wanted nothing to do with the beast; however, upon looking at his master, he grimaced. He couldn't just leave the man who saved him to die -- even if he was a grotesque were-beast. With the his master still unconscious after treating him with the lycanthrope's salves, Natelius knew he was on his own in this next endeavor. Quickly, he moved towards the more pressing injuries of the beast who had saved both his and his master's lives. The young elf moved swiftly, nimble hands applying the werewolf's medicine onto the werewolf himself. "Don't die now, please -- don't die," his hands trembling in the frigid air. The sheer cold had left the beast's fur matted with frozen blood and the boy's hands frosted with residual salve. As the tips of his fingers brushed the raw wound, the boy could feel the warm, moist fluid leaking out from several areas -- shards of wood embedded deeply into the tender muscle. What he thought was originally a patch of exposed flesh was actually the blood-soaked remnant of a large wooden beam. The elf swallowed a swath of bile as he was engulfed in nausea. He had tended to minor wounds of younglings in the woods of Selemath, but never before had he seen such a grievous injury. Hands warmed as blood kept oozing from the open wound -- he needed to stop the bleeding. With bloody hand, Natelius grabbed the sleeve on his right arm, and tore the fabric from his ashen robe. Bundling the cloth, he covered applied pressure onto the wound. Still, the bleeding continued from below the man's thigh as the wound had penetrated through and through the entire limb. With elven words, he spoke a small incantation of healing -- hopefully stemming some of the bleeding. Still, Reynard's breathing was labored, and after checking for a pulse, the elven boy could tell it was getting weaker -- slower. What he was doing was not working. When that failed, he knew that he had reached the limit of his healing capabilities, so instead, he did the only thing he could. "Someone, please," the boy cried in desperation, "I need help -- this creature saved my life. Please., anyone!" He looked towards the few remaining survivors, eyes begging for assistance. Natelius could not live with himself if he let the individual who saved his master perish.
  9. Pseudonym

    Once Bitten, Twice Shy

    With the sound of the mob's screams faded into the white noise of the winter winds, Reynard knew that he and Seb had lost most if not all of their pursuers. "Listen...W-...We, need t- to....Talk." Save for one of course. By the sound of the man's labored gasps for air, the mercenary could tell the man was physically exhausted. He stopped -- just this once -- to hear what the magician had to say. Had the circumstances been any more tame, he might have continued into the forest; however, he needed to know what this man knew. By no means did he intend on continuing to travel with this man, but time was short and answers were required. Reynard twisted his upper body and turned his head towards the direction of the magician, peering at him from the corners of his eyes. "Judging by your reactions, it seems that this curse is still new to you...Last night must have been your first turn, and tonight may very well be mine," the man said. Xartia looked absolutely ragged -- bent over with hands on knees in a gesture expressing pure fatigue. He didn't know whether he wanted to believe the magician or not, but now was not the time to question. Was Xartia the man who turned him, or was this some ploy? Eyes narrowed for a brief moment as he couldn't really tell. Still, if the myths and legends Reynard heard about lycanthropy during his travels were true, then both men were surely doomed to walking the night as beasts.' "I don't know if I should even trust you, Magician," whispered Reynard in a hushed voice -- wary of any of those who searched the woods for the two beastmen. "Regardless, night is falling fast, and we need to find shelter before the blizzard hits once more, or worse... the fog...." Reynard turned away, looking forward towards the woods once more, "As for this 'curse' you speak of -- I have no clue what to do about it." Giving a small laugh, Reynard aired his disbelief, "Hell, I don't know half of what's going on, or whether I should even trust you for what you say. Werewolves they said? I'm not a damned dog, I'm a man." In his tone, there was a faltering in confidence. The situation was ridiculous. Then a memory manifested itself into the hunter's mind: "Silver, holy water -- these are just a few foils to the common lycanthropus homo genesarus, but if you really want to subdue them, Aconitum Napellus is what you'll need, otherwise known as" -- "Wolfsbane," Reynard said out loud, completing his master's words. That is what they needed. Sure, it was an extremely deadly poison, grows primarily during the warmer seasons, and is not the most common herb in these parts of the woods; however, the two men didn't have much of a choice -- they needed to find it if they weren't to kill each other. Turning to Xartia with newfound purpose, he looked the man in the eyes. "Purple flower -- monks hood, aconitum napellus -- Wolfsbane. Do you know of it?" Still, to find such a flower blooming out of three feet of snow? Would they make it in time before the sun set? Was there even a flower in such locale?
  10. Alright everyone -- back in the dorms, so things for me are probably going to be a lot slower now in terms of posting. Back to the grind, as they say ~

    Probably won't have as much time for ooc as I did previously; however, I am still here, and I will be posting ;)

    Sorry if I become really slow -- education is the priority though! Hope you all understand.


    See you on the forums,

    - Auth, Pseudo, Peter

  11. Pseudonym

    Death Marks The Spot

    It was quiet. Unnaturally quiet. Discounting the low hum of magitech engines and the voices of man, there was but only the soft crash of waves to be heard. Not even the crows uttered a single word for fear that their voices would be cut loose from their bodies. The paved brick bridge, despite being in shambles, was devoid of any signs of life, death, or anything of the matter. The only thing that was present on the bridge were withered vines whose verdant green had fallen into a dry, decrepit brown. Still, the brambles sprawled across the floor -- dried husks of an era past. Perhaps such flora were not meant for the salty waters of port city, or perhaps something else happened. In the distance was the city marking the apex of the harbor -- its towering buildings of ancient rock and weathered walls speaking of how it once stood against the testament of time. Within the harbor, there were a slough of run down ships, all broken and in disrepair. All vessels must have held something within their timbered interiors, that is if they haven't been raided by looters. Then again, where were the looters? Where were the people? The Whispernight Ragnarok still lives here, among the flotilla of broken masts and sea-cast graves. Which one of these vessels held the treasure they sought? These questions would be most certainly open to the newline arrived; however, perhaps they would be sidetracked? Sidetracked? By what you may ask? Why, a piercing voice which cut through the eerie silence of course. * * * ♝ * * * From the docks down below, came a scream, of a youngin -- a shrill voice indeed. Female, perhaps another adventurer in search of coin as well? The voice emanated from near the fallen stronghold's walls, under the opposite side of the bridge where the adventurers had landed. Beneath the entryway, and on the stony beaches by the docks, there was a heavily robed girl, hidden among a swath of tattered gray cloth. "Get Back!" She yelled, clearly cornered by a mob of undead sailors -- grasping hands searching not for a night of sin, but rather a meal for their empty rib cages. Twelve undead -- a horde of shambling skeletons. More bones for the boneyard, as they say. "GET BACK!" She screamed as she cornered herself into the cliff-side walls -- what a foolish young miss. Her heavy bag spoke of an adventurer too -- her amethyst topped staff revealing her nature as a mage. Was she out of spells to cast? Were these mere bones more than what they appeared to be? What a pity. A flash of green flames erupted, "NIS'IG TADESCENT!" Charred bones, blackened with soot kept on approaching -- slowly, toying with their prey. Was someone going to help the young lass, or were these airship travelers just thieves in the night, caring only for the gold in their wallets? The path to the city was open, and so too were the docks. It was their choice -- which path they chose.
  12. Pseudonym

    Death Marks The Spot

    Awoken -- pale eyes unseeing, now open. The unnatural breeze flowered through the empty halls of the Port City's once glorious capital. Naught but the sound of sleeping dead, until the echoes of man came forth once more. The sounds, the sounds -- the hum of life and airships that once commonplace, now a signal -- A signal to the dead that what was thought to be gone was now back. They could smell breath of mortals for miles -- the taste of flesh to feast upon already on the tips their tongues. Corpses twitched as ungodly life willed them to animation. A body -- a human body, they needed a body once more. Still, they waited, for the command to move was not issued. He had not given word. Had they come here for treasure, for a chance at life once more -- To see death so they could see they were but living fleeting moments in the vastness of eternity? Do they seeketh the gold, the crystals, the objects from a time long gone? All questions -- all rhetorical in nature -- cast aside. Surely, they must be seeking death -- yes, it is what all mortals seek the the end. The lich lord in the great halls smiled as he knew. Three souls -- all for the taking, to join ranks as my thrall. An unearthly cackle, too faint for those people to hear was let loose from his withered chest, but intent of malice let loose -- burned clear through all of Port City, he cared not if they knew of his malice. The board was here. The pieces, the pawns, were set, The players in place -- their bait set in the grand docks of the city --, A whisper in the wind: "So let the game begin." * * * ☩ * * *
  13. "Your daughter asked me to drop her off at school... 2 hours ago. Seriously Smith -- priorities?"
  14. I kinda want to rp with your dragon character now.

    1. Show previous comments  5 more
    2. Metty


      Naaah. He probably will like Arashi. She used to hate everyone too.

    3. Pseudonym


      psssssssh, we shall see

    4. Metty


      hahaha alright

  15. Pseudonym

    Arcadia's Foundation

    Vera could not help but stare at the woman with green eyes, flecked with gold. As a former slave -- a former Matreyan slave --, to say that she resonated with Raveena's words would be an understatement. To the slave, what the woman had just recounted Vera's entire life story. Her majesty's voice carried a spark that ignited something deep within Vera. A tinge of hope touched the slaves tongue at that moment, and almost instinctively did the former slave raise her hand to her chest, grasping at the necklace of gold hung around her neck -- a gift given to her by one who she thought of as a sister. Fingers traced down the seamless bands of precious metal, tracing their way down. A wave of nostalgia overtook her for a moment as she touched petals of a golden bloom -- a memoir of an unbreakable oath. A symbol of an undying friendship. Layelia Astrapé Leucetius -- Singer of the Storms, Vera mused. There was no way she could forget the name. The woman was prideful, yet cowardly. A talented genius, yet unable to carry herself. And to the very end -- something that continually vexes Vera -- the girl was selfish to a grievous fault. The corners of Vera's lips betrayed a smile as she remembered. She knew that there was much more to the prodigy than those menial character traits. Underneath all outward appearances, Layelia was an individual who sincerely cared about others -- one who would lay down her life for those she cared about. Then, Vera's face straightened. Almost as soon it came, sweet reminiscing changed into bitter regret. There is no way she would never forgive me -- not after all that happened, the former slave thought. Not after I left her. Fingers continued down the chain like the passage of time -- forward in the direction that it was set. There was no changing the past. She didn't travel continents just to regret her mistakes. Next, her hand found the smooth, faceted face whose mere touch spoke of undying love -- the iridian gem she had originally meant to hold. It was the last memento she had of her mother, one Vera had held tight ever since the moment it was given. No slaver, bandit, nor even future lover would ever take it -- it was all she had of her mother. For once since the speech had ended, Vera looked not at the Commander -- the Queen of Hyperion --, but at the iridescent colors of the crystal that lie softly on her hand. Despite everything that happened, the stone's glimmering radiance remained the only constant in Vera's life. Then for a fleeting moment, she thought that maybe it could grant a wish: "Mother," she whispered. A passing breeze came by -- one which seemed to carry her wish somewhere else. You are a Matreyan my dear Ve'eirzha -- my beautiful flower. Never forget this. The voice was not a voice from the heavens, but was rather a lingering memory from a time long past. Despite it being years since they last talked, Vera swore she heard her mother as clear as the day. It was unmistakeable: The smooth, honeylike legato of words that rolled of the tongue -- the brief, punctuated staccato that accented every syllable. It was a sonata to her ears -- her mother's voice that is. Raveena sounded much like her. Alas, if only she could enjoy the remembrance. The deafening roar of people whose voices bounced off the base of Thesden had snapped Vera's attention back from her momentary reverie. "HYPERION! HYPERION! HYPERION!" Screamed the crowd, and as they screamed, she questioned. Who was her mother? Where did she come from? She did not understand. Gathered in front of her were so many of her own people, all linked together in kinship and camaraderie. Where were they years before? She did not understand. Who was she? She did not understand. What did it mean to be a Matreyan? The world of Valucre harbored Terrans, Genesarans, Renovatians, Alterans, Elandrons -- but Matreyans? They were naught. They had no recorded history, no spoken rumor. The Matreyans were a passing myth -- a people who were never heard of in these lands. For many years, Vera searched, but no matter how many times she asked the other slaves, no one had answer. Hand closed tightly around her mother's gem as she walked forward, ready to offer herself to a people she never knew she was apart of until now. After all: She didn't travel continents just to regret her mistakes. She came here to discover who she was.