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ReachForStars

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ReachForStars last won the day on March 31

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About ReachForStars

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    Reading, writing, fanfiction, linguistics, languages, anime, manga, among others.
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    Uni Student

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  1. Sure thing! I've been a little busy but I'll post soon ❤️
  2. Sure! Whose turn is it? (and should we use the same IC thread or do we start a new one?)
  3. Me too! Fennis left Val, though. Should we ask around and see if another person wants to join for the quest or go ahead with just the three of us?
  4. It takes only a moment (and a small demonstration of agility) before Lupin gets back to his feet and starts smoothing things up with the driver and paying their fees to travel. Shoko climbs the omnibus after him and dramatically rolls her eyes at his clinging to the window. She’s known him long enough to read the stubbornness in his expression, and she doesn’t care nearly enough to fight him for the seat. The smell is strong, with so many people sitting so close together in a wagon added to the smell of the horses, but she’s lived through worse. Luckily they don’t have to wait long before the last few passengers arrive and more or less fill up the remaining seats. A helper joins them for a moment, making a headcount and giving basic safety instructions in a drab monotone, and soon after that they’re on the road. The start of it is rather pleasant; the patrons pick up some chatter but it’s scattered and nobody gets too loud. There are two children who get a little rowdy in the seat just in front of them, but unless their playing ends up in tears she’s not bothered. Lupin seems content to look out of the window and think, and Shoko is okay with that. The atmosphere lulls her until she starts feeling drowsy, and perhaps she’d have fallen asleep if it wasn’t for the sudden awareness of eyes focused on her. It’s the children. For some reason, two pairs of huge brown eyes are fixed on her face, filled with childish awe. “Yes?” she asks after almost a minute of silent staring. It’s starting to make her uncomfortable. “You’re not from here,” the girl states. She seems to be the eldest, and doesn’t have a hint of shame. “Where are you from?” Shoko’s a little taken aback. Does she mean “here” as in Ursa Madeum? As in Lagrimosa? As in this world? “…You’re right, I’m not,” she finally decides on. “I’m from far away. I’m… visiting.” Not exactly the truth, but not a lie, either. Then follows a barrage of questions that go from how far away she’s come from (very, very far away) to whether she likes apple juice or orange juice better (uh, apple, I guess?) and somehow Lupin gets roped into it at some point, too. Time passes in this way, bickering with Lupin and entertaining the children’s questions until the slight rocking of the omnibus puts them to sleep. It’s then that Lupin starts a conversation with their mother, asking about the magma bears that Shoko had completely forgotten about in the meanwhile. Then the cart stops, and the woman gives her ominous answer, and Shoko is already clambering over Lupin to see out of the window. Nothing seems amiss, for a moment, but the sudden silence is eerie. She’d gotten used to the quiet murmur of voices, and the absence is conspicuous. These people know that something is about to happen. And then, a roar—and she sees them. Two massive figures, vaguely bear-shaped and apparently made of magma and volcanic rock. There doesn’t seem to be actual animals beneath the coats, but she can’t be sure. “…do they spit lava, like dragons do fire?” Shoko asks, unable to help herself. “They do,” the woman answers. “And they're terribly destructive with it.” Contrary to her words, she seems to be almost unconcerned with the beasts approach. Why? “Why don’t you worry, then?” “They’re blind. As long as we keep out of their way and don’t make too much noise, they’ll pass us by.” Oh. The eerie stillness now makes more sense. Even the horses seem to be quiet. Trained out of their nervousness, perhaps? The magma bears are fast, much faster than their appearance would lead you to believe, and loud. They advance like a storm, leaving devastation behind, and they seem…angry. And a little in pain? In any case, they seem to be a difficult foe to defeat. Even if it would be interesting to study one more closely, Shoko hopes they pass by them without causing any problems. Of course, she jinxed it.
  5. I'm back! I'll be answering all my posts as soon as I can 🙌 

  6. …Huh. So either they’re really good actors, or they honestly weren’t trying get away with anything. Kaila can admit to being surprised. She’s even more surprised when the little kobolds actually take on the burden, even when they’re obviously pretty reluctant to do so. Scrap goes to the front of the cart and starts to pull, ineffectively, while the rest of them watch. The picture he makes is so sad that Kaila actually reconsiders, but before she can say anything Meddle is moving to help. It seems to work, for a moment, and the kobolds perk up. Kaila relaxes. …Too soon. In an instant, the wagon is gone, and so are the kobolds. After making a wordless sound of alarm, Kaila rushes down, following the cart. It’s not slowing down at all; instead, it seems to be picking up speed. The silent man reaches it before she does, but after trying and failing to stop it, he immediately lets go and stops running. Kaila runs pass him and soon catches up with Meddle, who’s shouting for Scrap to stop. As if that could help, with the momentum the cart’s picked up. Kaila doesn’t know much about kobolds, really, but it’s become clear after this display that they aren’t strong enough for that. After the cart starts crashing into branches, Kaila flinches and slows down, suddenly remembering that the machine may as well explode at any moment. In fact, she’s surprised it hasn’t yet. It’s a miracle. The cart flies off the road and disappears from her sight, and it’s then that Kaila feels her throat closing up, her lungs constricting with the lack of air. This shouldn’t have happened. She should have helped from the beginning. If the machine explodes and Scrap is hurt (or—no. She can’t even think about it), then it’d be partly her fault. There’s a loud crash, and Kaila’s shoulders come up to her ears as she grimaces, expecting the worst. … Nothing happens. No boom. No screams. Nothing. She feels boneless with relief, and she lets herself rest for a moment against a tree. Only for a moment. Only until the silent man catches up, and then together they follow Meddle’s grumbling voice ahead. What can she do but nod and follow? Kaila is amazed by Meddle’s relentless optimism. It’s a bit inspiring. When they reach the wagon, they find Scrap. He doesn’t seem hurt, which is another source of relief for Kaila. But he seems to be focused on something…and he has his weapon out. Meddle doesn’t understand his actions, but Kaila does, and she immediately goes for her daggers. And not a second too soon, since immediately after she does they are being attacked by giant fluffy birds. Birds that have fucking teeth. How is this her life? The silent man—who Kaila still doesn’t know how to call—takes care of the man-sized birdlike thing that attacks Meddle, and as he seems to have that well in hand, Kaila side-steps that particular confrontation, but not before pulling Meddle a few feet away from the creature. Then she rushes forward to help Scrap with the other two birds. Kaila grunts as she stops a talon going for Scrap’s back. The impact is heavy, but much lighter than she expected. Ah. Hollow bones. “I’ll take this one!” she says to Scrap in a loud voice, then ducks beneath the oncoming attack and throws herself at the bird’s center, trusting her weight and her momentum to be enough to knock it back. It sort of works, but the creature is now even angrier than before, and its movements are much different from what Kaila would expect from a creature of it size. She barely avoids being pecked in the eye by that terrible beak, but she manages to injure one of the wings. The bird shrieks, loud and piercing, and way too close to her sensitive ears. She winces, but doesn’t relent, and slowly starts overpowering it. It must be more intelligent than she’d thought, because after two close calls and another injury caused by her dagger, the bird bats its massive wings and retreats. Kaila doesn’t pursue. Instead, she turns back to the rest of the group to see if they need any help. “Are you okay?” she asks, breathing heavily as she wipes a line of sweat from her forehead.
  7. Hi!! Sorry for the delay, this past week was hell 😅 I'll post in a little while! 😊
  8. I will be completely AFV until June 27. Posts will come as soon as I write them once I'm free. Thank you for your patience 🙏
  9. A sister doesn't really fit, but a cousin might. (Why?)
  10. “Thanks,” he says with a nod, and fills up his own cup and another one for Ainsworth. Though, this one, Dew pours it in the man’s own abandoned cup. The others don’t seem to be interested, too preoccupied with their dinner. Dew walks up to Ainsworth and passes him the cup. He nods at his explanation, though it doesn’t really tell him much about the spell he used. Still. “That’s true.” He looks at the floating meat, then takes a sip of the sweet mead. “Magic can be very useful. I can’t do much that doesn’t affect myself, but I’ve seen others use it for everyday things before.” There isn’t much to say, after that. Dew feels a little restless for a while, but the wine and the peaceful silence soon calm him down. He accepts a bit of the meat once it’s done, and nibbles on it without much enthusiasm. As many other human foods he’s tried in his life, he doesn’t particularly like it or dislike it. Eating is just…so much work. He listens to the other’s conversations, mildly-interested but socially too tired to contribute. “I’d like that, but don't worry about the money,” Dew answers when Kreig seems too distracted with his food to do so. He takes another sip of the mead and leaves his plate aside. “What about you?” he asks Ainsworth. --- When Kreig comes back with a cleaned pelt, Dew looks at it with a furrowed brow, but smiles at the man. “Thanks,” he says, then turns to Ainsworth. “You can have it. Maybe you can share it with Torie?” He tilts his head. He’s noticed how she moved closer and closer to the fire as the night closed on them. “I’m taking my tree form for the night,” he explains. “And the cold doesn’t really bother me.” To Kreig, he says, “I don’t sleep like humans do, it’s more like a meditative state, so if you want to sleep you can.” A shrug. “I will wake everyone up if something happens.”
  11. I'm posting in a bit! Sorry for the wait 🙏
  12. Months have passed since Ophelia broke her shackles, since her siblings came back shrouded in a storm of water and rage, since Noviria rose up in arms and pushed the invaders out. Months since she stopped being trapped inside her childhood home, since she wasn’t free to roam her city and lose herself in her studies, free to laugh. She can, now. And she takes every opportunity to do so, just because. But two years of imprisonment, of acting, of sneaking around have left their mark. In her movement, in her psyche, in her soul. New instincts, perhaps. Or instincts that had been buried deep inside her until necessity brought them out, and now refuse to go back into their cage. Not that Ophelia would want them to. Yes, the paranoia can get a bit much sometimes, but the brink of war is not the best time to pack those instincts away. They’ve served her well, and she refuses to let any possible advantage pass her by. Because it can mean the difference between victory and defeat, between life and death—and she refuses to lose again, not when losing this war will mean losing her family. Again. Ophelia refuses. She and her siblings have all been broken. The three of them have jagged pieces, sharper than ever before, and the loss of Cassius is still a bleeding wound, even after so long. They still come together beautifully, broken edges aligning in new way, and Ophelia is so grateful to have this, have them, after everything. That’s why she’s still seething at their newest separation. Is too soon, the wound still too fresh. She understands the need for expansion, she truly does, but does it have to be Lanius at the front? Why couldn’t it be another of their legatus? Why her brother? (The brother who’s been avoiding her, avoiding Adrya, keeping them at a distance he’d never kept before everything went wrong.) He’s gone. Gone without even a goodbye, and Ophelia is so incredibly angry (sad) that she doesn’t immediately follow. No, she stays with Adrya, commiserates with her, helps her unwind after she’s done with her meetings and recruitment plans to bolster their numbers. But then it passes, the day of the games is near, and she knows she has to go. There’s nothing she can do here, and Adrya is safe with Marrow and Keraunos and Arsenos watching her back. Lanius is the Chimaera of Thraece, a giant made of pure muscle and strength, the wielder of a powerful Oathblade. But he is also Ophelia’s brother, and he’s gone to Misral (to hostile territory) alone in all the ways that count. He should have taken her with him. She’s a mage; the only one left of her own division, fallen to ruin after Tiberius— She’s a mage. The archmage. She would be more useful in Misral than in Noviria, particularly since part of the reason Lanius went there is for the so-called ‘soulstones’. Even if her siblings don’t want her to fight, surely to study the crystals…? But when she asked she was told no, and Ophelia could see there was no point in arguing. So she pretended to accept it, and then bid her time. The day before they leave for the games, Ophelia makes a construct. It has her height, her shape, her features. If it weren’t for the monotone terracotta shade it would be a perfect copy. Ophelia frowns a little as she inspects it, then takes a blade and cuts her palm. She mixes the blood with the special ink she’d prepared beforehand, and then with a brush she applies it to the construct’s chest. A curved line, almost a spiral, an arrangement of runes around it to create a seal. She’s not tried this particular ritual before, since she hasn’t had neither the time to perfect it nor the actual need to use it before, but she’s hopeful she hasn’t ruined it. Ophelia puts the materials down and, after another quick check of her work, she touches the center of the seal with the tip of her finger and channels a burst of power. The seal glows a bright red, then turns back to black—but as it does, the rest of the construct turns paler, taking on Ophelia’s coloring. The lips are pink, the eyes an icy blue. The hair is the same reddish-brown as hers, though it doesn’t really look like hair. That’s not a problem. Ophelia takes off her cloak and puts it on the construct, tugging the hood over its head. The construct tilts its head and blinks, and Ophelia smirks. Now it really looks like her. Though it can’t speak, it will be enough to fool people for a while, especially as they will be too busy with the games preparation to pay too much attention to “her”. Hopefully, the seal will work as designed and will keep the construct acting independently even as it follows Ophelia’s orders. “In the morning, you will accompany Adrya’s party,” Ophelia tells it. “You will not draw attention to yourself. You will stay in your tent, unless somebody comes for you.” Simple orders. She hopes it will be enough. She picks up the travel bag she’d prepared and walks out, leaving the terracota construct with her face sitting in her rooms. The deception won’t last long. But by the time anyone realizes, Ophelia will be halfway to Misral, halfway to Lanius. A single mage can travel much faster than a whole legion, after all.
  13. Listening to the kobolds banter is a great source of amusement. She doesn’t know how much of that is an act (because, surely, some of it must be) but they are funny, and friendly, and Kaila really likes them. Even if they are trying to be little shits. Oh, she’s a big sister, even if her brother is barely a handful of minutes younger than her and she hasn’t seen him in years. She knows when someone is being a little shit. “Uh-huh,” she says, raising an eyebrow and crossing her arms. She doesn’t really try for stern—keeping the smile off her face is difficult enough. Instead, she keeps looking at the kobolds silently, letting the pressure of it play in her favor. Her silent companion (and really, Kaila has to ask him his name; she can’t keep calling him that in her head, it’s confusing) doesn’t seem inclined to lend them his help, either. Or at least he’s waiting for her to do something before he does, and she’s grateful for that. Giving in to their demands now would make things unnecessarily difficult long-term. And they have a rather long road ahead of them until Vdara. After a while, she shakes her head, uncrosses her arms, and pushes her braid off her shoulder before putting both hands on her hips. “I don’t think so,” she says, looking from Meddle to Scrap, and then to the Exploder. “You brought it here, you can keep moving it. We’re here to offer you protection, not to be your pack mules.”
  14. Posting today! Sorry for the wait ~
  15. It's FRIDAY so I'll try to get a couple of posts up today/tomorrow! 🙌

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