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The Hummingbird

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About The Hummingbird

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    Penguin Overlord

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    Writing, drawing, reading, sleeping
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    Expert Charcoal Wielder, Conte Crayon Adept, Surveyor of Acrylics

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  1. The Hummingbird

    Buried 'Neath The Ashes

    Though the dust and ash rose around them in scant clouds, Zenahriel appeared thoroughly untroubled by it. He breathed as easily as if he stood in fresh air, his voice smooth and light. The moments in which he had found it a labor to breathe were few and far between – indeed, he didn’t even need to breathe. However, while other immortals rolled their eyes and scoffed at the needs of lesser creatures, he didn’t seem to hold an of this against this fair lady. Yes, despite the bruise on her cheek, still fresh, she was – perhaps not beautiful – still very comely. She seemed very fit, with dark hair tied up with a gold band in an unobtrusive ponytail, slender eyes, and otherwise smooth and unblemished skin neither too pale nor too dark. Zenahriel studied her as she recovered her breath, waiting patiently. SHe held herself in a sterner way that no servant would even attempt, and he did not know her from the scribes he would often see down here. The way she dressed, too, was flattering. A noble, then? Zenahriel frowned in thought as he tried to remember where he had seen her. Usually his memory was pristine, but things of late had caused a few… blank spots to appear in his mind. One eyebrow raised as the lady sighed, not as if she were bored or contemptuous but rather like one who had finally slaked an ongoing thirst. “I stood between him and something he wanted,” she said, followed by a demure smile, as if it was all very humorous. He didn’t find it that funny – his frown deepened, and tipped his head in acknowledgement. “I see.” He intended to speak to Rafael about his little habits. He tilted his head as she stumbled a bit over her introduction, as if unsure of how to go about it. As if she was unsure of who she was, and he knew that this was Rafael’s doing as well. At last, though, she gave her name, and he blinked, suddenly remembering. Rou Ji. Rou Ji. An’She Rou Ji, Empress Rou Ji. Perhaps not the latter quite yet, but soon enough, assuming all things went as planned. Unfortunately, most plans went awry these days. “Aah… my apologies, my Lady,” Zenahriel murmured, giving a formal bow as she rose from her curtsy. He finally smiled as she noticed his lack of shoes. He usually wore boots of some sort, but Rafael preferred him to wear as little as possible. Today he wore a becoming cobalt blue, backless silk tunic and slacks rolled up to the knee to avoid a dip in ash. Simple but elegant. “Shoes? Silly things.” He flicked a hand with a soft laugh. “Who needs them?” He followed her gaze at the emptied section of magic tomes as she explained her reason for being there in a section roped off for safety and security. He raised one hand and slid it across the empty shelf, fingers tapping lightly against the dusty row, making sure there were truly no books there, covered either by simple absence or concealment spells. He looked back at Rou, sighing as she indicated the missing page. “Yes… I see,” he repeated. He shook his head. “Our King is… rather fickle, I am sure you know, and I don’t mean his foot fetish,” he grinned. “But come, I am done here and this dust can’t be good for your health.” Turning, he led the way back to the main section of the library, careful to not kick up too much as he stepped through the Hall of Records. “I thought I would investigate the Hall,” he said as he walked, “to see if I could find clues as to who… pardons, what, might have caused the fire. I have found nothing, but… oh.” He stopped, turning. “I’m sorry for my manners. Pleased to meet you, Rou Ji. I am An’She Zenahriel Zacharias.” He turned again, and reached out to handle the rope that sealed off the Hall of Records from the general public. He lifted this out of the way and gestured for Rou to exit first. “There. Now, a healing spell? If you wish, I know a spell that would at least cover that little spot up, though healing is not exactly in my skill set,” he said idly as he set the rope back in place.
  2. The Hummingbird

    Buried 'Neath The Ashes

    Conceived by a brilliant mind and great ambition, Umbra stood amidst the lands of the Arcane East. Ingenious architects had brought their most prized ideas to life here, breathing and building life and beauty into the city with obsessive effort and scrupulous care. Constructed of shining marble, alabaster stone reinforced with the occasional brick foundations and high-quality wooden beams, the buildings of this massive seat of power were protected well from most natural disasters. Even the worst of the Magestorms hailing from the Cold Mountains failed to topple the most tremulous of the gleaming white towers. Fires and floods were things one did not worry about here. Umbra was made to be stable, and so it was. Having spent time enough at the Isle of Summer, Zenahriel had returned to Umbra for a prolonged and possibly permanent visit, and took up his neglected duties as the King’s most favored An’She once again. Only recently had he flown over the city, taking in the undisturbed terrain of the city, its sophisticated landscape and its local farmlands. All seemed well enough in hand, and he had glided back to the castle, checking in with the civilians and speaking with other councilors, nobles and even commoners for recent news. What he discovered surprised him. Rafael had been greatly silent of late, and Zenahriel had left him largely alone, presuming the silence was mourning over his loss of Gabriela. There was no true love lost between the two, but still it was in one’s nature to grieve over a lost possession. Apparently, Zenahriel had assumed wrong – a new Empress was to be made, it was more than rumored. Another of the An’She, in fact. Though they were his fellow councilors, Zenahriel had associated with them very little, and he wondered who had managed to wriggle so far into the King’s affections. Perhaps it was better not to ask. Rafael’s recent moods were strange and unpredictable. He might not take well to questioning. With nothing else to do, Zenahriel found himself in his favorite location of the castle – the library. Books had always fascinated him, and the endless shelves of innumerable tomes and scrolls drew him in as they always did. Though he had read almost all the texts, he still enjoyed reading them, over and over, indulging in the bits of knowledge and lore they possessed, memorizing timeless quotes and engaging in dialogue of the best of tales. Some of those were, undoubtedly, in the Hall of Records, which to his dismay had suffered a great tragedy – one which Zenahriel found rather dubious. Suspicious, even. Scribes were not careless people but that missed the facts; fires were not common here, due to the flammable surroundings. Most scribes and visitors to the library carried sunglobes, or smokeless lights of magic that did not burn whatever they might touch. As Zenahriel roamed among the old ash, burnt shelves and scorched books, he wondered if the accident had truly been an accident at all. Only someone allowed here and knew the value of the records kept would burn it at all… but why? Or perhaps I am simply being paranoid, Zenahriel admitted to himself. He picked up a book, dusting it off. A small pile had been left mostly undamaged, so he set himself to putting them back where the belonged, stopping here and there to leaf through a few thin pages. The sounds of footsteps sounded clearly to Zenahriel’s keen hearing, well above that of a normal mortal. He looked up as the intruder rounded the corner – a woman. A familiar woman, though just then Zenahriel failed to place name or station. He smiled just slightly, humorlessly though, as she twirled a feather. Recent hardships on his body and mind had triggered a partial molt, and when Rafael commented that the fall of feathers was rather dramatic, hadn’t bothered stopping to pick up every fallen shaft. “Indeed,” he said dryly as he moved forward, sliding one last book into place as he approached the woman. “Thank you for returning one to me.” He reached out and deftly plucked the feather form her hand and gestured towards the quill in the hair. “You can keep that one though. I don’t need it anymore.” He tilted his head to one side, his black eyes falling on the dark bruise on her cheek. It wasn’t that it stank, but he recognized the scent, and had worn such a mark himself, long ago. And he had seen them before, on the body of the Black Queen. Old habits… what do they say? Die hard? One wingtip flicked irritably, slapping against the base of a bookshelf and knocking a small mound of ash into the air. He already knew the answer, but spoke anyway, careful to keep his voice soft and neutral. “My pardons. May I ask who are you to warrant Rafael’s wrath, my lady?”
  3. The Hummingbird

    The Genius of Evil

    “Pray the days of violence are over.” Roen’s strong voice echoed throughout the throne room, demanding loyalty and utmost fealty from all those who had gathered here to witness the crowning of the Black Queen once more. Before, such a coronation was a celebration, a party, a day to be remembered with joy and laughter. Now, it was a day to be remembered with solemnity and grave acceptance of the wounding past and grim future. Unfortunately, no sooner had the staff rapped upon the floor than the first life was taken. A servant, a young man. Tristan was but twenty-three years old, caring for his ill mother with the coins earned from his job as said servant. It was hard, thankless work, serving drinks in the name of whoever ruled the island at the time, but he kept at it, hoping to work his way through the ranks and perhaps someday earn a better keep. He had dreams and hopes, containing wishes of requited love and someday a family. He did not doubt for a day that if he worked hard, he would see all those dreams, all those hopes, made real. They were crushed, made ash as Kalicity ended the young man’s life. It was a disgusting dispalsy of heartless cruelty from both the man and the mother. Zenahriel, merely a guest of the castle, could do nothing as the needless execution was carried out, his wonder at the nature of the mother’s thirst answered with gruesome certainty. His hands tightened into fists at his sides as he closed his eyes for a moment, offering a prayer for the servant’s sake. One day, he will be reborn, he consoled himself. Aletheiar will restore everything when the Arbitration comes, and all will receive their rightful due. He opened his eyes, exhaling softly, his dark eyes following the step of Kalicity. With one last glance at the dead servant, one last blessing for a lost life, he followed her at a considerable distance, knowing Gabriela might wish some amount of privacy when her mother came to offer whatever words she had. Not entirely friendly words, Zenahriel suspected, but that was not his business. He did, however, raise his eyes to seek Gabriela’s golden gaze for just one moment, to see what she thought of the slaughter done in her own throne room, at her own crowning. By her own mother. He would not question nor judge her, but he wanted to see what direction her authority took.
  4. The Hummingbird

    Burdens Sleep Best in Their Tombs

    Though the monstrous creature appeared to have depthless holes rather than eyes, it saw them regardless. Its great maw opened and closed, teeth gnashing together, dripping saliva mixed with the blood of its latest prey. Massive talons tore great wounds in the earth as it slowly made its way toward the two lords, the sound of its bulk sliding across the earth akin to stone against steel, mingled with the sickening sound of rotten fruit drawn across wood. “No more heroics, my love.” “And no more impunities from you, my Lord,” Zenahriel smirked as Rafael reminded him of their last battle with a Desolation Beast. He stepped only one stride closer, keeping behind to offer support lest the creature prove crafty enough to strike from behind. His wings spread slowly, the tapered ends brushing lightly across the bloody ground. He watched the creature as it stopped, lungs heaving laboriously as if in great anticipation as Rafael challenged it. No sooner was Rafael done speaking then the creature replied. It did not speak the way any normal creature spoke. No words issued from its mouth beyond the low snarl hissing between curved fangs. Instead, a mental force blasted forth from the creature’s twisted mind, strong enough to rip stone and brick from their foundations, forming a funnel of crumbled buildings surrounding Rafael and Zenahriel. With it came a flurry of emotions, made purely of hate, of murderous glee, of malicious intent and the sickening joy of slaying anything and everything that was made of life. If any of these could be put into true words, they were simply this - Meet your doom, so-called Gods. It leaped. In spite of its relatively short legs, it seemed it flew. As it descended with every intent to crush Rafael, the tendrils from its left arm writhed and stretched, pulling away from warped muscle and bone, departing from its host to follow Zenahriel as he took to the sky with a single powerful beat of his wings. He didn’t trouble himself with worrying too much about his mate - Rafael was powerful enough to take care of himself. He evaded the grasping tendrils easily. Zenahriel relished in flight, and his skills in aerial movements exceeded those of any other creature and man-made device. He turned in midair, and his sword flashed out, severing the tendrils in a flash of black light. They fell to the earth, wriggling worm-like. The next instant later he landed on the Desolation Beast’s back. “Too easy,” he said as he slammed his sword up to its hilt in the creature’s neck. And yet, to his irritation, it did not fall. It didn’t even flinch.
  5. The Hummingbird

    General chat thread

    The wild duck he hunted was very gamy and greasy, so at first I hated it. Definitely had to develop a taste for it. I preferred the moose ribs he brought home once - man, I'd give much to have those again.
  6. The Hummingbird

    General chat thread

    My dad's a fisherman, so I love seafood too. But he was a hunter too, so I grew up loving meat. Also developed a taste for his favorite: duck.
  7. The Hummingbird

    Suddenly, a summer breeze...

    *sets a plate of baked spiders in front of her* Greetings and welcome to Valucre! Enjoy this fine delicacy as you acquaint yourself with this friendly community.
  8. The Hummingbird

    Rock-A-Bye, Baby

    It was true, what she said. His love for the Blood God could not be vanquished, regardless of how cruel and ruthless he was. Rafael had as many faults as he did virtues, but the latter Zenahriel had seen and experienced firsthand, and love did not die easily. Nor could the promises and oaths he had made to the king be broken so simply. It seemed that Gabriela understood that now, and if she still faulted him for this, at least forgave him at last. She pulled back from him, and he gave her a brief squeeze of reassurance before letting her go. She was right; to be seen like this would be catastrophic. He bent, picking up the robe she had left discarded on the floor. Standing again, he draped the robe over her shoulders, and never once overstepped his boundaries… or hers. He looked into her eyes, those gold, glowing eyes he had seen lit with such joy and grief, anger and passion over these last few months… and knew that what connection eh had with her was something to be cherished, something to be nurtured, something to be kept ahold of and never lost. “Gabriela,” he said, very softly, “it is as I said. There is darkness yet to come… but you are strong enough to defeat it. That, I do promise, and it is one you and I will keep, together.” He smiled then. He lifted one hand, the index and middle fingers together and closed his eyes as he kissed them. Then he touched her forehead with those fingers. “Until we meet again, my Queen.” Then he was gone, the door shutting quietly behind him, the only sign he had been there at all being the feather Philippe still held… and the books he hoped she would read, over and over again, for many years to come.
  9. The Hummingbird

    Death in family

    Sorry for your loss, Benny. Keeping you in prayer and thoughts.
  10. The Hummingbird

    General chat thread

    I'm not allergic, but a a hornet stung my neck once. I was just waiting on the sidewalk and the blighter stung me. It didn't physically hurt much, but the aftereffects were not fun at all.
  11. The Hummingbird

    The Genius of Evil

    The vibration of ethereal strings cut resounded clearly in Zenahriel’s mind and soul. It was quiet – perhaps completely silent to all other senses – yet he felt it profound as any epiphany. The King and Blood God of Umbra had renounced his claim over the former Black Queen of Orisia. She was free. Free to chase her true desire, and Zenahriel, as well as many others, knew what that was. Gabriela’s desire lay not in material things, nor rulership, nor power. It lay in the figure of one man – the Devil, the Crimson King; Roen of Patia. Zenahriel felt somewhat disappointed, but it was a mild feeling that faded quickly. It had long been apparent that the two, however fiercely they clashed, however stormy their past relationship, belonged together. The union of the two was a rather apprehensive event to many – Terrenus and Genesaris lands were not altogether friendly at the moment, but perhaps this marriage would change some of the lingering ill feelings the two nations had towards another. Perhaps, with even Port Kyros ruled by a queen who also ruled Terran territory, there was a promising future… for Gabriela was again taking the throne, the collar and the crown that had never truly left her brow. Zenahriel had been considering all this when the guards came to collect him, and he went quietly and without protest. Despite his stature and considerable height, he was still not the tallest and far from the most striking among the crowd of nobles. The only feature that truly stood out was his wings – and even that was not a unique trait. Orisia was made up of not only vampyres but a great array of races and species, and Zenahriel did his modest best to blend in. So in due time, he was placed near quite the comely woman. By the words give to her by a blue-eyed man, Zenahriel soon knew her to be Gabriela’s mother. He wondered if he should say something. But she seemed more taken with the man, and interested more in slaking her thirst. I wonder if it is for blood or wine? Crossing his hands in front, Zenahriel looked around the whispering, jostling crowd of men and women. The tension and excitement was palpable, stirring already aggravated emotions. In any case, it seemed Kalicity had a point – all the servants had been gathered and pushed to one side, some with trays of drinks in hand. I guess this is going to be a dry event.
  12. The Hummingbird

    Rock-A-Bye, Baby

    Those first five words came as if from a great distance. Even as he heard them clearly, softly spoken though they were, he could scarcely understand their meaning. An instant later, he did understand, and they struck him hard, cutting him deeper than any sword or blade. At last his calm and stoic composure shattered. A step back, a flinch, an uncontrolled tremor running through his body – all of these wrought themselves upon him. His breath came erratically, almost gasps - a suffocation in the face of her condemnation. Yet for all this… “Would that you had died.” For all of that… “I would have never been enough.” “You were always enough,” Zenahriel whispered, but she was not done. Again and again she struck him with her soft words, damning him worse than any scornful god. He stared at her, blinking harshly as she declared him no better than Raphael and Roen. The Blood God, the Crimson King, the High Lord – all close kin, bonded in their ability to hurt her, bonded in their wish to hurt her. She was made, more than any of them, a pet; a toy tormented and abused. No, it could not be. That was never his wish. He had loved her, from the day they met he had coveted her, longed for her, lusted for her. Some of it, yes, some of it was infatuation, but in time that had faded, blossoming into true loyalty only a pure love could give. But as he stared at her, slowly removing the robe, he realized something cruel and horrible. For all his love, for all his desire to protect her – he had never protected her at all. Nothing of what he had done was enough, and the calamity of what he had achieved – her hate, her wish for his death – came crashing down on him in a wave of dizzying revelation. He had run so far, so fast, hidden so well… and yet now it found him. The guilt – and with it, judgment. His eyes followed her measured movement to the windowsill. The sight of her blurred then, and he suddenly realized, with endless disgust, that he was crying. Why? What for? Her robe, so sterile white, slipped from her body, revealing her form to the light of the room. The curves of her body had become more rounded and more pronounced; childbirth had changed her, but she was still a model of enviable beauty. Or she would have been, if not for the marks, the scars, the torn flesh cutting their way across her white flesh. They were bloodless, and she so pale she looked like, suddenly, nothing more than a corpse. My Gods… Rafael, what you done? Let all see what God hath wrought. What have I done? “Gabriela-” his voice broke. He drew in a shuddering breath, one hand swiping way the tears staining his face, only to have more cascade down. “Please, hold me.” “No. I cannot… I have no right…” And yet his footsteps, hesitant and halting, drew him close to her. The babe he held was deposited in the crib, sound and silent. Now empty, forever underserving, his arms carefully encircled Gabriela’s small, scarred form. He gently pulled her to him in a loving embrace – a loving, but platonic embrace she might not have had for a very long time. Her tears soaked into the fabric of his tunic, but he did not let go but held her still, gently. Not sexual, not abusive, not even possessive. Only loving. “I don’t hate you,” he whispered, his voice weighted with sadness, with grief. “I loved you. And I have failed you. Let me try again, my Queen. Let me be here for you.” One last time… Let me protect you.
  13. The Hummingbird

    Where the Cat and Wolf Dwell

    Though she managed to keep her eyes carefully expressionless, Shakarri could not help a small smile from lifting the corners of her lips. August was even more agreeable than she thought he would be, and it seemed almost as if he’d already given thought to a new home. In fact, the proposed idea of owning land was no less than extremely tempting. Shakarri had never owned anything beyond her small cave in the South, with precious treasures of her own few and small. But even there she knew the value of owning one’s own earth and water, and here was a dream she’d never dared to have before. Her eyes followed August as he circled round the room, thinking out loud for both their benefits. Shakarri nodded slightly to his thought of keeping the apartment. She knew as well as he that there were threats and perils they had subdued and therefore provoked, and that there might come a time when laying low would be a good idea. She grinned as August opened the door to the bedroom. It was a simple chamber, but it was large enough for relaxation, and the bed itself looked exceedingly comfortable and firm enough for a good… romp. “Come here.” “Oh my. What does he want now?” she grinned, the response a common one whenever August demanded something of her. She did walk toward him, her pace quick and challenging as it always was, daring him to do his worst. For a moment, she stopped in front of him, her gaze roaming up and down his broad form before she swept into the room. With a few quick motions, she loosened the belts and buckles of her chest armor, tossing it aside carelessly before sitting on the bed, legs crossed. “Well, lion?”
  14. The Hummingbird

    New Whispernight Quests!

    Looking for more havoc to put your character through? Whispernight Quests have it all. We have the standard Quests. We have the Eldritch Quests. And we have the new Wildnerness Quests. All quests are doable for any character of any level, and best of all, they're repeatable, so anyone can go at them at any time, however many times they want. You can also make your own quests or adventures (even your strange slice of life) inside this board. No limits! Come play in Genesaris!
  15. The Hummingbird

    Wilderness Quests

    All quests are repeatable! Be careful. The Towers These glowing towers have acted like magical nuclear power plants for ages. Especially true for the Telerian air base, these immense power sources have been corrupted by the taint of Whispernight. Turned into portals, they are now gateways from which Eldritch abominations and demons alike issue forth. Locate these towers, carve through the Eldritch and demon worshipprs maintaining the gates, and shut them down with your own magic at whatever the cost. Draw on the power of the tower yourself, and enhance your own abilities and the tools of your trade. Monsters and Men In the forest and woods of Genesaris, evil beasts have awoken from the earth by the power of Whipernight. Mighty and enormous, immune to normal weapons and resitance to many typos of magic, these loathsome creatures have been assaulting and killing wayward travelers and threatening to forever close the paths once safe to travel from city to city. Each city leader has offered a hefty bounty to those who down these creatures and bring back their heads. Blood and Machine Bloodgears have been gathering in separate troupes and clans at the Velhatien Desert. These horrifying monstrosities are usually encountered in single numbers, but no longer. Evil by nature, these massive constructs of machine and flesh are immune to magic, have a shield to protect t hem further, and are incredibly dangerous. However, the gems stored in the chests on their bodies are extremely rare and profitable to anyone brave enough and lucky enough to fight and kill one. The trouble is, there’s isn’t just one, and they are all incredibly vindictive. Another World Hidden in the mountains is are a number of portals that are said to lead to the great fortune of several Elder Dragons. Now these Crossroad gates lead to another world of fire and magma, haunted by trapped spirits and wrathful ghosts. If you can kill the horrible beings that reign in any of these alternate dimensions, you will be free to come and go as you please, porting the treasure of gems, crystals gold, and silver back and forth as you please. If you die, you become as the rest who have died; imprisoned forever, your spirit used as energy to power the portal and feed the gods' voracious hunger. Corpse Party Small towns scattered all across Genesaris have turned into ruins where men, women, and even children are killed and crucified in desperate sacrifice to appease the Eldritch “gods” that have placed themselves as rulers of these towns. But these bodies go uneaten and are instead hung between earth and sky, and used as the main gruesome tool in rituals used to summon devils and demons drawn to the power of death and pain. Go to the afflicted town and destroy these bodies, hung above the street guarded by dark sorcerers and mages of forbidden blood magic, and cleanse the area of evil. Be sure to find the Exalta Prisms stored in each of the bodies, typically five per ritual, and make off with the treasury of each town.