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Sleepy Seal

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  1. The unfortunate loss of her steed meant that Varda would either have to travel on foot or ride with someone else. She initially had plans to walk it, but soon had trouble keeping up with the horses. In the end, she had no choice but to share a frail mixed-breed mare with Snipe. The cold was blistering. She was wrapped up in more than five layers of fur clothing and still couldn’t feel her face or hands. The horse shivered as it plodded forward through the snow. She could feel it weakening with each passing second. The poor creature wouldn’t survive more than a day under such severe weather conditions. “Drink this!” Varda turned her head in the direction of the voice. She hadn’t been paying much attention to her surroundings. The cold made her dizzy and disoriented. Her hands made contact with what felt like a jar of sorts. Lifting it to her lips, she took a long gulp. The liquid burned as it slid down her throat. It tasted like horse shit, but she had stomached worse things. At once, warmth returned to her body. The cold was gone, and suddenly the eternal darkness that plagued the blind woman was now an infinite expanse of curious noises. As pieces of snow pelted the hills, trees, and individuals, she could make out the shapes of every object around her in detail. While the others might’ve been completely blinded in the darkness, Varda was thriving. She couldn’t see, but she knew by the sounds of the snow where everything was. And now that she was able to ignore the cold, the unnoticed beauty of the landscape was revealed to her. She felt so motivated by the sudden warmth that she pulled a bowl out of her bag and poured a little bit of the concoction into it. “Excuse me,” she whispered to Marcel as she abruptly dismounted from the horse. Walking in front of it, she lifted the bowl to its lips and poured its contents down its throat. @Artificer
  2. Reyna gestured for Koryu to enter the house with an inviting wave of her hand. “It is a pleasure to meet you, Koryu. Now, we couldn’t just go about allowing the Datsuzoku’s man to live in a slum, could we?” The door opened to let out a rush of warm air. The fireplace looked like it had been burning for a few hours, a welcome change to the chilly air outside. “As for the land, the terms are as described in the offer. You’ll have a property of your choice in Senaria lands. We will accommodate to specific requests within reason.” She would proceed to give Koryu a thorough tour of the inner cabin before ensuring that he was comfortably settled. “The Prince will attend to you shortly,” she mentioned before taking her leave. @danzilla3 @Twitterpated
  3. Oh my god, I love HypeCat!

  4. “Religion has nothing to do with what you have suggested,” Reyna exhaled in feigned bashfulness. “You could feed the people, heal at no cost, and give hope without promoting Gaianism.” There was actually a word for such activity: charity. There was a very large space between charity and religion, but even then, they sometimes managed to be mistaken for each other. “Hope should come from leaders. Who are we if our people only believe in a better future because of a belief that higher powers exist?” She directed a thoughtful glance at the younger girl. They looked of about the same age, but the Duchess Senaria had lived more than four times her apparent age. She had seen more, lived more, and spoken much more than this girl who couldn’t have been older than twenty-five. Being of greater age did have its benefits, and she would press her developed wit and rhetoric to its fullest. She paid no bother to the plight of Oscar Uldwar. Petty grievances weren’t in her interests to get involved in. @Grubbistch
  5. The shuffling of footsteps and shouting of men went on through the night. With a quick snap of her knee, Varda sent a rock flying into the trunk of a tree with her foot. The satisfying thump of it embedding itself in the bark did little to relieve her frustration. After her horse had been killed by an unknown assailant mere hours ago, it meant several things for the mercenary. Since the assailant was unidentified, she was unable to press charges against anyone. Demanding compensation from the stablemaster wouldn’t get her very far either. The man was poor enough as it was, and he had been good-hearted enough to seek her out in the middle of the night to inform her. The only way to make up for her monetary loss would be to obtain the coveted pelt of an alpha direwolf. After all, that was her sole purpose of journeying here. Except now there could be no failure. There was no longer room for error and she would do what was necessary to prevent any future mishap, even if it came to putting down an uncooperative member of the group. There were no hard feelings involved. It was just business. The door swung open with alarming speed. Varda marched into the inn with hastened steps, her arms swinging by her sides impatiently. She cursed under her breath, only ceasing when she came within earshot of the group. Those who sat facing the door would’ve seen her coming. The rest would've heard her forceful footsteps and foul language. “Oh? That’s perfect. We should get out of this shithole of a town right now,” she folded her arms, the corners of her lips curving into a scowl.
  6. Waiting on @Twitterpated
  7. Faith. Funnily enough, Reyna was once a believer in Gaia. She prayed and went to church, did all the usual shit that Gaians do. She once respected the religion, until she realized that it was all a mouthful of horsecrap. There was no eternal peace after death. She had been there. It felt empty... Purposeless yet present. Death was simply an endless void of blank consciousness. And worst of all, the religion condemned her. If there was such a thing as unconditional love, there would be something known as unconditional hate, and it was this hate that Reyna had tasted from Gaians all over the world. “Faith doesn’t feed empty stomachs,” she mentioned in a measured voice. “I am sure that of all things, Ursa Madeum would benefit more from repairing the tangible damage rather than the intangible damage. Wouldn’t you agree?” For indeed, the Duchess saw no point in allowing Gaianism a presence in Ursa Madaem. There was a line in the scriptures that condemned her existence and what she advocated. A clash of interests, per se. @Grubbistch @danzilla3 @Ataraxy
  8. Reyna let out a deep sigh as she ran her fingers through his hair. The flickering candle set the perfect stage for incomparable tranquility. It was only under such conditions that she would be able to perform the spell. As the tips of her fingers connected with his temples, she was overwhelmed by a sudden rush of memories – random images flashing in no particular sequence. The process would be complicated – to extract every last memory revolving around a certain thing, and then erasing it completely. The spell was intended to help disaster victims forget traumatic experiences, but for Grant, it was to remove the memory of the love of his life. And then the images stopped. There was only a single face in his mind; a memory distant but close. Grant would need better stimuli to recover every last trace of his wife. A blue wave of energy slid up Reyna’s arms and directly into Grant’s head. They overlapped one another and passed back into her body. She closed her eyes, and immediately her facial features began to distort. They took on a new form as the flesh magic reacted to its new instructions. Her legs elongated slightly and her silky blonde hair curled up and turned brown. Her body proportions shifted as bones shrank and grew to fit a new persona. Her skinned darkened ever so slightly as she lifted her eyelids. They were blue. What was once Grant’s lover was now... Grant’s lover, but from another time that never existed.
  9. All was quiet in the Senaria estate. The enforcers had been sent to their quarters early and the retainers were given instruction to retire to their rooms. Even Reece, who was usually hidden within earshot, had taken the day off to visit the countryside. @danzilla3 Grant Knight returned to his room to find his lover lighting a candle at his bedside. “Come, sit here,” she beckoned to him as she sat on the edge of his bed. “Nobody can hear us,” she smiled, gesturing to a layer of shimmering enchantments that she had put up on the windows. “Now... Tell me what you thought you knew about your wife.”
  10. There was a rapid shuffling of footsteps. Nyra would’ve suddenly found herself surrounded by men in brown robes. There were seven of them rapidly closing in on her. Some of them carried books and scripture, others were armed with spellswords. Their leader quickly rushed her, a stone tablet clutched between his fingers. “Incantus!” he yelled, causing a burst of holy fire to engulf the stone tablet and his fist. The men around him clutched their weapons fearfully as he lowered the stone. When Nyra was touched by the holy fire, she might’ve felt a warm soothing sensation in her bones. It didn’t burn, and the group of men seemed to realise it too. “You’re not one of them,” the leader signed in relief, signalling to his men to put their weapons away. “I am Sir Stephen. I am a preacher for the Gaian church in Blairville,” he flourished his hands in an elaborate bow. “And why might a young lady like yourself be wandering the Tower at this time of the day?” @Better Than Gore
  11. As she took in the sight of infinite bloodshed, the daughter of Kru’Gorah grinned to herself. Her father must’ve been truly enjoying himself. The battle seemed to have slowed down where she was, largely due to the fact that she had torn up every enemy and ally alike. There were no exceptions to the one true master. There was no permanent joy or infinite relish. Only agony was endless. As she scanned the battlefield for her next victim, her eyes locked onto a single object in the distance. Wrapped around the base of a column of ice was a piece of ornament of some sort. She knew not what it was or why it had caught her attention, but she found herself unable to peel her gaze away. The tips of her blood smeared lips straightened out and for the first time in weeks, she held back her instinctual desires. There was something hypnotic about the piece of jewelry wrapped around the column. It called to her, and only her. She no longer smiled. She cracked her head to the side with such violence that one might’ve thought she had broken her neck had she not cracked it back into place moments later. The prize in the distance gleamed with an uncanny attraction. She was like a bee drawn to light. Digging her heels into the ground, she burst forward like a comet. Only this time, she took no care to shred those she passed to pieces. There was no time to waste. In her hurry, allies and foes alike would see only a red streak weaving between their lines like a guided missile. She had almost made it to the column when a yeti unintentionally intercepted her as it stumbled away from a legion soldier. She crashed face first into it, sending both of them tumbling into the snow. When they came to a standstill, she pounced on it forcefully. How dare this insignificant creature. “You will make a tasty tribute to the blood god!” she cackled, digging her nails into the yeti’s muscular arms to prevent it from wrestling her off. It would find that she possessed an enormous amount of strength for a girl her size. With a hearty laugh, she sank her teeth into the creature’s face. Eyes, nose and everything. Blood spewed everywhere, painting the snow with a bright crimson.
  12. Later that day, Varda retired to her room in a nearby inn. She saw no point in engaging in any further discussion. They would regroup at the meeting point at two before sunset the next day. At about three in the morning, she was awakened by a rapid banging on her door. Sitting up in her bed, she reached for her pistol and made her way towards the door. “Who is it?” she called. The frantic voice responded almost immediately, “Miss Lomanet! It’s me, the stablemaster whom you met yesterday!” She paused and listened out of a sheer habit for caution. There was only one heartbeat. The man outside her room wasn’t lying about who he was, but somehow that didn’t cease to unsettle her. It wasn’t everyday that someone would pay her a visit at such ungodly hours. Sliding her hand against the wall for balance, she briskly made her way to the door. She flinched as her hands wrapped around the cold metallic handle of the door, receiving a static shock for her efforts. She turned it open hastily to meet her visitor. “Yes?” “Miss Lomanet, you must come with me at once. It’s terrible!” She frowned. Had her horse fallen ill from the cold temperatures? “Give me ten minutes,” she said. “I’ll get changed and you can tell me what happened on the way.”
  13. Only sheep would sit still and allow themselves to be devoured. Welfrick was quick and powerful, recovering rapidly from the blow and pouncing on him with lethal intent. Dionysus curled his legs in, falling flat on his back in response. The tail swept cleanly below his rear, but his defensive stance didn’t stop the muscular arms of the shadowbeast from catching his own at his sides. He wrenched about. It was what he was trained to do. He swung his body from side to side, vibrating so quickly that the friction would burn straight through Welfrick’s paws. He thought he was making a breakthrough when there suddenly a searing agony in his right shoulder. He let out a howl, an ear-piercing cry of a grown man. The kind that would send flocks of birds fluttering out of their branches in terror. Rolling onto his back, he caught his assailant’s chest with the soles of his feet, taking extra initiative to press hard into the area where he had dented the creature’s torso. The impact was sure to cause a brief shock in Welfrick’s nervous system. Within that window of a fraction of a second, Dionysus slipped his left arm out of his grip, parted the shadowbeast’s lips, and tore his right arm free. There was a massive splurge of blood that splattered across both himself and Welfrick. He dug his heels into the ground and kicked like his life depended on it. There was another shower of blood as he slid below Welfrick’s mane. A stream of nanites rolled up Dionysus’ body in an attempt to stem the blood flow from the several open wounds on his upper limbs. A second layer, his back was up against a tree as he breathed heavily. He took only a moment to gaze back at Welfrick before he turned and bolted off. As he ran, he came to the jolting realisation that he could not feel a thing in his arm. He didn’t know if it was still there. He didn’t want to stop to check.
  14. “... Thurgood for a while would not shut up about it...” As Grant weaved her through the crowd, Reyna couldn’t help but listen in to the outlandish language of Aveline of House Singlance. “... release thermal energy, or rather, get hot as fuck...” It wasn’t that she was deliberately trying to eavesdrop. “... a bit of shit that eats away at other shit...” In a setting of such formality, it was hard for her ears not to pick up the use of coarse words and a poor attempt at wit. With little tact and a certain brashness to it, it was as if someone was bouncing ping-pong balls against her skull. “... won’t be affected by the bullshit magic around Terrenus...” Indeed profanity when timed precisely was a useful tool for humour and reducing tension. What Aveline Singlance did merely seemed to frustrate her even more. She felt like her cranium was going to burst. “... there’s so much fuckin’ trade going through there...” “Lady Aveline,” Reyna remarked as she and Grant emerged from a sea of conversing guests. “I’d be more careful with the words I used, especially in the presence of the Emperor. Some of us hear more than we should, and we do not do so by choice.” Having vented her frustrations, she whirled to face Teresa. “Princess, forgive me for intruding on your conversation. But I must say, that you do look beautiful tonight.” @danzilla3 @Ataraxy @notmuch_23
  15. Koji’s man found himself at a separate location from the rest of the volunteers. Prior to his arrival, the Duke and Duchess had discussed long and hard about allowing the Datsuzoku to possess territory in Senaria lands. In the end, they agreed to receive his aid for the sole purpose of keeping peace. Koji was a dangerous man, and Senaria was in a disadvantageous position to offend. He had been notified to arrive at the location of his lodging for the duration of his stay. It was a medium sized wooden cabin with all the necessary facilities, including a fireplace for warmth in the cold nights. Seated at the entrance upon a rocking chair, Reyna straightened up as she caught sight of the approaching figure. When he had arrived, she would stand up to greet him. “You should be Lord Koji’s man. I am Duchess Reyna of House Senaria. It is my pleasure to see you comfortably to your lodging and to answer any questions that you have.”
  16. Perhaps it had been a long day. For some reason, the Djinn seemed largely oblivious to the ice mongrel which had crept below their feet. Natasha felt when the cold hard claws found purchase around her calf, dragging her into the snow. Bending over, she grabbed the mongrel’s claws. There was once a time when she had feared pain, but the daughter of Kru’Gorah had long become acquainted with it. He had beaten her, whipped her, drawn blood multiple times, barely keeping her alive just to torture her more. Until one day, she snapped. She no longer feared the pain. She lusted for it. Digging her palms into metal-like talons, she ripped the ice mongrel out from the ground by its claw. Swinging it like a piece of furniture, she slammed it into the second mongrel that had lunged at her. All the while she cackled, her mad laughter filling the raging battlefield with an unnerving presence.
  17. With the shadowbeast finally standing still, Dionysus was finally able to get a good shot with the minimal chance of failure. Lunging forward through the decay cloud, he appeared right next to a stationary Welfrick. With a large amount of energy built up in his wrist, he jabbed his palm upwards into the shadowbeast's torso. All 2500 neutons of his body's total force was applied to a single point smaller than a needle. The resulting attack would rupture vital organs, potentially ripping a hole straight through the monster.
  18. Dionysus raised his arms to protect his face as the decay cloud assailed him. The nanites on his suit rushed up his neck, covering every inch of his skin in a thin layer of metal. As he slid his legs linearly to the attack, a sequence of invisible passageways straightened out across his body. The meridians formed the shape of a diamond, sharpest at his foremost wrist and widest at his torso. Bracing for the impact, he split it in two with the palm of his hand. While some of the attack was diverted off, the bit of it that remained tore at his armor. Bits and pieces of his nanites began to flake off, and his skin began to corrode in the places where it did. But it didn't matter. It was but a gambit for the play that he was about to make.
  19. Maybe some notion of having sharp claws would have convinced Welfrick that grabbing Dionysus was a good idea. But while his feet were still planted on the ground, he needn't bend to such notions. As Welfrick turned to strike, he would find himself facing empty ground, the elf standing several meters away with his arms folded. At the very most, his clothing would have been torn, and Welfrick's claws would have been laced with nanites torn from his inner suit. The elf had allowed himself to be dragged for a brief second before accelerating in his assailant's target direction. This allowed him to break free of his grasp and suddenly jerk to the side, completely freeing himself from the shadowbeast's path of destruction. Nonetheless, Dionysus was very much unscathed and very much still a threat.
  20. Stagger. Shooting his right heel backward to catch himself, Dionysus leaned back as the creature lunged at him from his side. Fully committing to the dodge, his other knee bent back as well as he thrust his pelvis forward to compensate for the lack of balance. He bent over backward, his body temporarily becoming parallel with the ground. As Welfrick's claws sailed over him, the muscles in his knees tensed up. Then, his body straightened like a spring, his right palm delivering a powerful chop to the creature's spine.
  21. In fact, Dionysus had actually led Welfrick to... Nowhere. His intention had never been to implicate the common folk in his affairs, and now would be no different. Slowing to a mere walking pace, he dragged his feet softly across the floor, such that every step was audible to his foe. He wanted Welfrick to know that he wasn't afraid to stand his ground, nor would he be reluctant to. Bending his knees slightly, he began to crouch walk, his knees appearing to be locked in place like a pair of stilts. He raised his arms in defense, fanning both of his palms open with his fingers connected. His limbs were the gears. His body was the pivot. He was a machine, one that would bring death to whatever stalked him at this very moment.
  22. The sudden roar from above Dionysus did not go unnoticed. Whatever it was that he was hunting, it was fast. He would just have to be faster. As branches were torn off the tree from Welfrick's downwards movement, Dionysus took the chance to regain his footing. Digging his feet into the trunk of the tree, he dashed back onto the ground, before stopping at the base of the tree for a quick establishment of his surroundings. Ten meters away, he saw an open area between the trees. A second later, he was there, gasping for breath as the shadowbeast plunged through the treeline.
  23. The violent rustle of the leaves was an obvious sign of an imminent attack. With no idea of what he was going up against and what his enemy was trying to do, Dionysus' foremost goal was to create distance to analyze the situation. Stepping heavily onto a branch, he leaned the tree that he was on towards the next. The leaves of the two trees connected, and that was all that he needed to make his move in the pitch darkness. Scanning for the solid outlines of the foliage, he planned his route before dashing across the connected surface of the leaves. In a split second, he found himself in a spot seven trees away from his initial location. He squinted his eyes back at where he once was. A black object ploughed into the branches where he previously stood. It was a close call. For now, he would have to play as the prey. Master James had taught him the importance of evaluating the enemy before the battle, and he intended to use that advice to its fullest extent.
  24. Agent Dionysus of the Order of Force Majeure Pause. With the darkness of night looming over him, Dionysus allowed his useless senses to dull away. His keen elven ears twitched about like radars. As the sound came closer, his eyes shot open as whatever prowled these woods in the dead of the night came within five meters of him. With a spur of his heels, he dug his feet into the bark of a nearby tree, rapidly scaling it in a bid to create vertical distance. When he had reached the top, he perched silently in the middle of several branches, watching, smelling, but always listening.
  25. Agent Dionysus of the Order of Force Majeure There had been rumors of a feral beast lurking in the Great Pine Forests. The strange claw marks on the trees, as well as the abnormally sized footprints in the ground, gave a lot of weight to said rumors. Dionysus had begun tracking the beast on this very day. Zipping through the forest like a gust of wind, he covered miles upon miles in mere hours. As the day drew to a close and the sun dipped over the horizon, he felt a sense of unexplainable uneasiness. The forest was quiet, too quiet. It was as if the wildlife was afraid of angering something. But it was odd, as he hadn't seen any sort of cave or dwelling that could house such a creature. As night fell upon him, he was almost completely convinced that he had been after a wild goose. And then, he heard a rapid rustling in the bushes, stopping him in his tracks.
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