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Vansin last won the day on May 13 2018

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  1. There was no light beneath the surface of the world. Even still, Saskion saw. He saw his hands before him, laid flat on the table. He saw the smooth stone floor cross the room between himself and the priestess. He saw the onlookers on either side of the court, their black skin and white smiles stretched in anticipation. Even in the darkness eternal of their underground society, he saw their malice and their charms as they flirted with one another and whispered their predictions on his fate. The women wore almost nothing, thin slips of silk which flaunted their bodies and their invulnerability. The men wore elaborate styles, ridiculous wide brimmed hats and capes and belts superfluously set to remind the women that they had risen above the common male rabble. As Saskion had, so long ago. He was a wizard, and didn't need anything to flex his power aside from his spellcraft. So he wore black and purple robes, elegant and simple. They clung to his body like a woman's might. He was almost as powerful as a woman. Almost as well respected. Almost. But the spider who casts too large a web often catches too large a prey. "Saskion of the House of Ver. I have heard your case and am ready to pronounce you guilty." the priestess said. The onlookers hissed in delight, clicking their tongues and snapping their fingers as they did when celebrating in the Quiet City of Shadows. "Guilty, of the crime of mercy." the priestess added, snarling the hated word at Saskion. Laughter from the onlookers filled his ears, and Saskion felt his heart skip a beat. Muscled elves in common loincloths picked him up from either side. He struggled, slapped one across the face. They punched him in the gut three times, savoring the momentary freedom to do harm. He doubled over, almost retching on the stone floor. They grabbed his robes and pulled, tearing them off of him and almost choking him with the hem of his own collar. More laughter, more hisses, more clicks. "Mercy." the priestess continued in her angry whisper, as the last vestiges of his clothes were torn from his body leaving his dark skin exposed to the cold underground air, "Is the most heinous crime in our society. It debases all that our Dark Mistresses has taught us. It makes us no different from the skitha above. The light in your dark heart has been revealed, and now all will know that in your blood the weakness of the surface runs strong. You have no place here among us." "It was not mercy." he lied, still clutching his stomach. "The punishment must fit the crime." the priestess responded. "Mercy!" the onlookers hissed. "Mercy for the merciful!" "No!" Saskion cried, "Please! Kill me!" "Saskion Ver. I strip you of your land." she said, a lash across his pride that hurt worse than any punch, "I strip you of your rights. I strip you of your name." The elf who had been Saskion looked up with his wide white eyes. The priestess was walking toward him, the curves of her body bouncing seductively, the smile on her lips so full of pleasure and desire and rage. She pulled him up by his chin until his face was leveled with hers, and she kissed him until he was asleep. * * * When he woke, he found himself tied to a wooden cart, his hands and his legs stretched out and pinned down. He was being pulled up a tunnel, but by who he could not tell. He was still naked. "No! No!" he cried out. He began to panic. The slope of the tunnel was going up. It wasn't long before he began to hear the sounds of wind. He'd heard it once or twice before, when he'd been a younger man and gone on surface raids. It was a surface sound. He tried to escape his bonds, but he had never been a particularly strong elf and managed only to hurt his wrists and ankles. Soon, he saw the tunnel give way to open sky above him. The moon, that massive light in the night-time sky, nearly blinded him. He screamed as the elves who had pulled him to the surface released his cart and walked around it. He finally saw them. They were different males, still wearing only loinclothes, each carrying a blunt club. They shook their heads at him, grinning malice. Then they broke his legs. He screamed into the surface night, and sleeping birds escaped from a nearby tree. They untied him and shoved him off the cart. "There. Mercy." one grunted, before they left him. He wept as they disappeared back into their subterranean world, and then he crawled his way back into the mouth of the cavern they'd pulled him from, dreading the day as the moon crossed the merciless sky.
  2. Was about to sign up for your date thread and it's closed! 

    Oh well, love is dead! 

    Cool idea though!

  3. Vansin

    Gaia is Dead

    Constans listened in polite silence. He watched the emotion on her face with an understanding expression. She didn't like injustice any more than a Cothite did. Constans was pretty sure anyone in her situation would have felt the same. The poor and abused people of the world were all Cothites, in their own way. It didn't take belief in god to make a person see that fair is fair. God was just the guarantor, the immeasurable ruler capable of actually enforcing a fair world. Eventually, people would see that. Even if they didn't, they could still benefit from it. So he listened, with growing concern. Of all the things she said, one comment in particular struck Constans. "There's standard orphan snatching?" he whispered incredulously. How easily people rationalized horrors when they got packed together so tightly as they did here. In Coth, he promised himself, such a thing would never be permitted. "The idea that children, especially children without a home, are unsafe in a place as prosperous as this is reprehensible." he declared, standing up and nodding at Dawn. "This, I can fix. Follow me." He strode out of her back room and toward the entrance, paying no mind to whether or not she followed. His green eyes shined brightly as he walked back into the sunlight of mid-day Blairville. He looked up at the sun, almost angry at it. How could god's light shine on a place like this? He felt that old familiar itch, the will of god in the back of his mind. It spurred him onward, but not in the direction he wanted to go. It wanted him to go home. "You can't expect me to just sit in Coth and do nothing." he said to it, before anyone else managed to join him. When they did, he turned around smiled. "Okay. Riz. I'm going to need you to get stolen. Dawn. We're going to catch these people, and we're going to bring them to justice." In his hand, he held out a pair of small stones. They were seemingly unremarkable, save for little roughly carved symbols on each. The symbols looked like eyes. "Here Riz. Take one. As long as you keep it with you, I'll be able to see you." he turned to Dawn, "Do you know anywhere where a child has recently disappeared?" Turning back to Riz, he rephrased his question, "Somewhere you'd tell your friends not to go?"
  4. Vansin

    Curiouser and Curiouser

    Welcome to Valucre. What do you write?
  5. Vansin

    Abstruse Arcana

    "How do I travel through the planes?" he gestured to himself innocently with a gloved hand. "Portal magic, for the most part. I have an arch built upstairs, keyed to a few regular locations. There are, of course, other ways-- Vert. Clean the table." The homunculus obeyed with its customary servile alacrity, popping the foodstuff into nothingness with its spindly fingertips and tucking the plates and utensils under its feeble arms, leaving nothing before the would-be diners save for the soft indents of cutlery on the pristine tablecloth. As Nisnav watched the small wretch hop out of view, he dragged his finger across that very tablecloth, leaving a linear indent between himself and the elf. "There is also the method of recursive paths. Using a few elementary magics, one can retread pathways created by other mages. Usually this involves a bit of causal trickery to confuse the reliable laws of identity, chronology, and location-- in short, to use a recursive path you must look like the mage whose path you are following, you must chronologically appear to be traveling at the same time as she did, and you must be located at the same point from which she left to arrive at the same destination. If each of these relatively easy tricks are performed, the safeguards of causality are tricked into thinking themselves in error, and repeat the travel in an attempt to right a perceived causal wrong." This feat, inconceivable to the common man, was waved away by Nisnav's hand as only so much nonsense. "A banal and derivative way to travel, not to mention a usually nearsighted misuse of a very important cosmic mechanism. If you want to see transdimensional magic worth learning about, I would be happy to take you through my portal. I hope you will say yes. I have an experiment on the other side I think you can assist me with, a method to unlocking vast knowledge." He stood up and extended a courteous gloved hand. "Certainly, this won't be your first time crossing such a threshold?"
  6. Vansin


    Certainly! Religious iconography and art of Coth’s natural beauty are on the rise as more people accumulate around the town from greater Coth. Currently, such cultural artifacts are most likely to be displayed in Coth’s first library, run by @KittyvonCupcake. I would ask her to write a short description of the art for you because she’s, you know, actually an artist. I would love if we were able to make something of this faraway request, and turn it into a meeting of characters between Coth and any of UM’s houses, specifically the Dali, which I have heard so much about. That’s up to you, however. In short, absolutely yes Coth can provide a donation of Cothic art!
  7. Vansin


    This is your straight-to-Vansin resource for questions about Church On The Hill and its surrounding territories. Let's begin by quickly addressing some common questions: Where is Coth? Coth is situated on a tall hill, northwest of central Terrenus. The umbrella term of Coth can refer to both the town of Coth, or the greater region that town's home-grown religious government lays claim to. The town proper can be found by locating the green dot below, while the territory hemmed in by the border lines represents the full Cothic territory. Note that neither Blairville nor Dougton fall under Cothic control How did Coth come to be? Out of character, Coth was one of the successful factions of the Terrenus Civil War event of 2018. In character, it was established by the divine intervention of a new god, as a reaction to the destabilization of Terrenus's government and civilization due to the civil war. When the legitimate government of this region lapsed, the power vacuum was filled by a revolutionary religious movement. What is is like to live in Coth? The town of Coth is a low-tech, mild power setting. It is constantly growing, and will eventually become akin to a major city in its own right. Yet despite its growth, it will always retain a small-town feel. People in Coth are mostly simple and hardworking folk, whose religion has inspired them to value their and other's personal freedom tempered by natural rights handed down by god. Government is personal and forgiving, and law takes a back seat to common sense and compassion. This forgiving and flexible method is how people are meant to govern each other, at least. (Find out more about Coth's mortal government system, which you can participate in, here!) Things are somewhat different when it comes to the source of Coth's peaceful rule: god. God in Cothic life is a firm absolute whose unlimited authority and will bring guidance and purpose to each individual's life. God almost never speaks to the people directly, but expresses his will via his chosen prophet Constans and bestows upon Constans miracles and magic capable of safeguarding Coth. Through divine inspiration, god has imparted to Constans his vision for a new society of free men, ruled by no authority except god's will. God is eternal and powerful and immune to the politics of men, and the religion espouses him as a perfect ruler whose very nature precludes the possibility of future civil war among the faithful. To a group of people whose lives and homes were ripped apart by warfare and social strife, this is an intoxicating promise, and a sensible one. Where is Coth written? The town of Coth has its own hub thread, and most roleplay that takes place in Coth should be written in that thread. There is also a Coth tag in the Wilds of Terrenus subforum for use when creating new threads and telling stories in the greater Cothic lands outside the town. As the chairman of Coth's greater territory, I am hopeful that people who love traditional medieval fantasy roleplay will bring their characters to Coth to tell all sorts of stories, be they personal tales of heroism untied to Coth's major plotlines, or else stories of men and women who can rise to rule whole sections of Cothite land! We have a simply massive chunk of Terrenus to play with, and we're one of the few settings that features no modern or futuristic technology. I hope you'll consider Coth as the location for your next story! If you have any further questions, ask away right here!
  8. Vansin

    The Pulchritudinous Priestesses of Coth

    What did those children just say? Constans' nostrils flared, and he felt his skin sizzle with embarrassment. There was no way those little girls knew what they were talking about. But there was no way they could possibly be talking about anything else other than his... The priest shook his head, dispelling the thought, because once his mind started turning toward what they said about Eleanor, he started to experience inappropriate feel things. "I uh, we-- yes." he began, as the second human sister entered the room. Finally, Eirene had arrived. She of Ardent Charity was the eldest sister, and perhaps the most refined. She had been a child of a noble house, after all. Her smile calmed him, and he continued, "I was approached by Brothers of Hedon, men who had recently traded four women away to a vile knight within Cothic lands," Cothic lands, as the ladies would surely know by now, was all the claimed territory of the religion. It was a huge swathe of land which was mostly untamed, "I believe in his hands, these women are not safe. Yet if I were to rescue them, I would be bound to return them back to the same Brothers who gave them away so cruelly in the first place." Al the while as he spoke, he squeezed the elven sister in his arm tighter. He wanted to keep her safe, at least while he had her. Out in the world, a beautiful young creature like her didn't always have someone else watching over her as Constans did for these holy women. It pained him to imagine any of the radiant faces before him in the sort of situation he imaged the stolen women in now. "I want these women to be free, but they are even less free with the knight than they were with the Brothers, I'm sure of it. I need your help. I wish for you to free the woman-- four virgin girls-- and find a way to keep them free. I just...don't know how yet." He sighed for these stolen women. The world played vicious games with their lives, and despite his good intentions Constans just felt like another man manipulating them. He felt dirty. "The knight's name is Warthog, a man as brutal and filthy as his namesake. In his hands, I fear for the virgin's safety and innocence. Perhaps you can see why I have brought this manner to you four?" @LikelyMissFortune @vielle @Minuet of the Nightingale @Witches Brew
  9. Vansin

    Gaia is Dead

    "I hope it's not uncomfortable!" he said with a laugh. If anyone had a right to be uncomfortable, it was him! He wasn't, though. "I've never seen you before, I don't think. Ever traveled south? Been to any old Gaian churches?" The "old Gaian church" he was referring to wasn't so Gaian anymore. Coth had risen around its ruins, and the new religion's ideals had been built on the ruined legacy of a Terrenus that simply didn't exist anymore. He didn't expect her to know that, however. "If not, you may never have heard of a Cothite. We're a people who live just outside the marshlands, where the ground is fresh and there's forests and hills. I come from a hill down south, and the town on it. Cothites value liberty from oppression, usually, and I came hear because I heard some disturbing things about magic-users in this city. I heard that the small people of this place were trying to push back against the powerful and the well connected mages and I figured I might be able to help." He opened his hands wide, green eyes still admiring Dawn's face. "There, now you know my big secret. The reason I bring it up is because you may have seen people hurt by unchecked magic, or might know people looking to get these laws passed to stop the mages from trespassing on people's natural rights. You seem like a good guide, I think you're an honest person. Could you help me?"
  10. Vansin

    Feedback - RP Etiquette: Magic

    "Magic is a common storytelling device used in fantasy of all types. Magic's appeal lies in its mystery, power, and costs. Please remember that its use should follow the same rules of good storytelling and cooperation we expect from any subject written about on this site-- rules including fairness, respect for other people's agency over their characters, appropriate scale, and consideration for the stories other writers are trying to tell. If you see magic being abused in a way in which you are uncomfortable, you should feel empowered to contact the writer of that magic and address the issue. If someone addresses such an issue with you, try to keep an open mind to their needs and consider whether you are handling magic in a way that may impact someone else's fun on Valucre."
  11. Vansin

    General chat

    God smiles on this club
  12. Vansin

    Strangers in a Strange Land

    The journey all began with a lie. A day later, crouched in a purple moba bush, Viscerex saw a wild boar and shot it unawares. That boar was him. Dim witted. Easy prey. He stabbed its life-vein and watched its blood run thick over the half exposed root stems of the forest. He stabbed it again, and again, long after it was dead. It was him. He laughed at it. He kicked it. He threw his helmet across the forest. At night, he watched her breathe. Elves breathed differently from men. Quieter. Her chest barely rose. Sometimes, he would hold his fingers above her lips, just to make sure she was still alive. The days were filled with slow riding, watching grooves in the dirt paths come and go, breathing the cold air. He watched her when he could, fed them when she'd allow. He tried to speak a hundred times. Beneath the impassive smirk of his steel face, time and again, his lips parted feebly. They always had the same words on their precipice, sentiments strongly felt but never spoken. The ship was tougher. He felt no sense of progression on board the vessel. Trapped again, like the afternoon when he'd walked in on the priest and the elf laughing together. Occasionally, when the sailors laughed, he thought of it and had to stay his hand. But the sailors could laugh at their private jokes. Ioreth and Constans had been laughing at him. Fool Viscerex, idiot barbarian. The loser at the foot Coth. He chose to endure it below deck and there befriended a rat, which he fed until it was fat and then sacrificed to god for clarity. What little clarity he found came through the terrible sweetness of her voice. Even her laughter was tragic, and he wondered if she believed that the courteous joy she showed the world fooled him at all. Before the ship, he had chanced upon her singing and reeled from it, weeping. On board, he would sometimes lurk outside her cabin and listen to her hum. The sailors thought him no more than a hired thug and let him linger where he pleased. He sat against her wall, night after night, and disappeared when she stirred. Eventually, the vessel did progress. Ursa Madeum was not unlike Coth, but soulless. As he wandered through it at Ioreth's side, he remembered that the rest of the world was like this, vulgar and colorful and empty. God shined on Coth, and he had never realized it until now. It was evident in the posture of people-- they were all so slumped here, even the happy ones. He walked tall among them, even little Ioreth did. He felt absurdly proud, until he imagined saying so to Constans. Rion was another one, another source of misery for Viscerex. How many times his dagger been pulled halfway from its sheath he couldn't say by the end. Yet he was so hesitant to act, so afraid to be chastised by Ioreth, who could fight her own battles, that he kept slamming it back down alongside with his rage. Yet when the little elf left the guide behind and entered the bar, Viscerex grabbed the old soldier by the throat, lifted her feet off the ground, and glared at her down the cuts of his helmet's eye holes for thirty seconds without saying a word. Her face was as red as her hair when he released her, and she knew precisely why. Inside the bar, he stood. His job was not to speak to the taggers along. He drank nothing, he said nothing. He hated himself for being here, but wouldn't have chosen anywhere else in the world.
  13. Vansin

    The Pulchritudinous Priestesses of Coth

    Constans caught the priestess Isabelle and laughed through her embrace. The holy women of the temple had an easy way with men (and him most of all) and he found himself picking her up off her tiny feet and spinning her around like the child she still half-was. When he placed her down he held her tight by his side. He turned, meeting her vibrant eyes, and offered an apologetic smile. She was so beautiful, her elven features aligned with all the symmetry of god's perfection. She captivated him, and he feared she knew it. "Better now, little sister." he always felt so warm around the priestesses, once they were within reach. And not only in the way that men so often felt warmth in this place, but deeper. There was a connection between them all, he and these fine women, that united them on a more profound level than mere physical attraction. Their moods were contagious to him. Sometimes, when their eyes met, he could swear he heard whispers of women's voices in his mind. Sometimes he felt as though if only he could get a little closer, connect a little deeper, he might be able to communicate to them without any words at all. "I've come to ask a fav-" he began, but his thought was interrupted. He looked up from Isabelle and spied her twin, Eleanor, rounding a corner. The Priestess of Universal Mortification seemed...perturbed, at least until she realized who her devious sister was wrapped around. Constans looked back to Isabelle, always on the verge of innocence and insolence, and piqued his brow in an accusatory way. Trouble. That's what Isabelle was, and most often trouble for Eleanor. Constans idly ran a finger through Isabelle's hair as he considered her twin. Shockingly identical in a physical way, Eleanor was nonetheless all the softness absent from her sharp sister. Constans reached his hand out toward her, inviting her close. "I am well, revered sister. I'm sorry to intrude on what I'm sure was a justified talking-to," he said, letting his fingers trace over Isabelle's ear and chastising it with a paternal pinch, "but I have come to make a reque-" It was at this point when Milka appeared, and Constans let his voice trail off. He would get used to this one day, he assured himself, used to how the priestesses all seemed to float into his life one after the next. It was a parade of loveliness which he cherished, and even more it reminded him that in god's pleasure temple, he walked at their pace. Milka, Angelic Sweetness, was one of the two human priestesses in god's temple. She was...curvaceous in a way that made Constans forget to breath sometimes. To say one priestess was more beautiful than any other was nonsensical though, whether by god's magic or, more likely, by merit of her own indescribable beauty each sister stood unique in her fairness (even the twins gave shockingly different impressions when they stood side by side). Yet when Constans dreamed of a woman with ample proportions, it was Milka who appeared in his mind. There was more to her, however. She truly did radiate all the sweetness of god's love. Her smile could calm a storm. "Milka." he said, smiling. He would have said more, perhaps continued his thought, but he half expected the last of the four to come drifting into the foyer the moment he did. He kept silent and let the sisters greet each other. Yet Eirene did not show, and so he looked again at Isabelle and, through her, spoke to them all. "I've come to ask something of you, a favor, a task." he began, placing a finger under the elven girl's chin, gently guiding her face to look up at his, "There are innocent women in need and in danger in Cothite lands, and god wills that I turn to you for such matters. I need your counsel, and your strength." he explained, looking up from Isabelle's hypnotic eyes and toward her fellows, "Will you hear my request, honored priestesses?"