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    Winter Spirit

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  1. LastLight

    Talk the talk [QUEST]

    Cadmium and Nur both viewed the Ulway hivemind juxtaposed to the society in which they had been raised. Nur noted the potential for hunting while Cadmium contemplated the potential for industry. Maya and Itylra may have been stewing on the same ideas, using their own experiences with the societies they had inhabited to find something breathtaking about this collective intellect. While all of them theorized correctly about the different forms of potential that awaited therein, there was no telling what exactly the Ulway had adapted the hivemind towards but one thing was for certain, the island wasn't host to vast advanced city structures. If they weren't a particularly young civilization, that meant they didn't use their hivemind to build. Perhaps not even to venture into science. At least not to the highest possible potential. Conversely, they had just encountered a collective personality with what was clearly a singular identity. They were named Leaf That Hangs at the End of the Branch, likely formed from a group of minds and personalities that somebody from within their society had decided were suited to reside far from the tree. Curious then, what other forms of collective identities had they formed? Or experimented with? What types of identities had they decided were necessary or even interesting throughout the ages? After Cadmium agreed with the next plan of action, Nur began to gather his things to set off before pausing momentarily to watch as he put his armor on manually. While his expression didn't appear confused, it at least conveyed that he was noting it, and stared into Cadmium's eyes for a few moments until the silence between them assured him that he should remain silent about it. Anybody watching might have guessed Nur had simply withheld a question before moving on. It was hours before Nur picked up a scent and the decision to travel along the river paid off. Its winding path across the land eventually led them to what remained of one of the previous excursions by the Terran military. Several tents lay flat on the ground, covered with dirt, dropped to the ground either by the wind or by wandering animals. However, one of them remained upright, although severely worn by its time here. It was the tallest, widest and clearly the sturdiest of them all. Not much intellect was necessary to know that it was probably the HQ at the time. As they approached, dark stains inside came into view and through an open flap, they could see the remains of the corpses, none of them whole. Scavenging beasts had been here. "Think. Ulway. Felt. Threatened. By. The. Big. Tent?" Pondering for a moment, he digressed. There was no purpose to speculation. Regardless, they were going to have to rummage around. As per military protocol, they would have to have kept logs. It was just a matter of finding them, and hoping they weren't damaged. Lowering, he slipped in through the tent and looked around, stepping further inside to begin his search.
  2. LastLight

    Order of Force Majeure: Dawn Komturie

    As Stello listened and paid mind to the way Mark separated the custodes from the knights with hand gestures, he recognized that somewhere along the line, he had misunderstood something. Namely that the custodes appeared to be a caste apart from the knights, although he had to guess that knights were drawn from a pool of custodes. There was always room for error, of course, and it wouldn't have been very shocking if the Order didn't fit neatly into his idea of common military structure. Not that he had ever even been in any form of military or had done any reading on it to have anything resembling an informed theory. Regardless, he had learned something. The custodes had a certain road to follow and knights had another and those roads led to a different destination. These destinations in turn still served the Order, albeit from different angles. From his point of view, it sounded like the custodes represented the sails and the knights represented the compass. It was typical of him to gravitate more towards the role the knights served, being that at the end of their journey, they were encouraged to be independent. Last thing he would want for himself was to be one of the cogs, sitting in one place and ensuring that the machine continues to churn. Moments before the thought coursed its way to the tip of his tongue, he gave pause, the machinations of his mind suddenly caught on something before he turned a very inquisitive expression towards Mark himself. He wasn't a knight and he didn't belong to the custodes, either. "What about you? Where do you land in all of that? Somewhere between the two? How's that come to happen?" @Fierach
  3. LastLight

    The Crescent Hammer (Open)

    Sounds good! And look, you already picked someone up. Honestly hub threads are probably my favorite thing to see on Valucre, of all types ( my earlier jab at other types of hubs was very jk just in case that wasn’t transparent ). Good luck out there! If you ever need any advice on how to get something done around here, there’s no shortage of people to help.
  4. LastLight

    The Crescent Hammer (Open)

    Awesome. Every hub thread should be a smithing shop tbh. Tea and books and beds and breakfasts and military outposts are cool and all but they're no comparison. By the way, this seems a little bit like an interest check. I recommend posting in the water cooler for would be visitors! That's how I did it when I opened up a shop. The funny thing is that I also did it with the intention of doing chit chat, slice of life sort of interactions and ended up in adventures.
  5. LastLight

    Food on Valucre

    Interesting topic! I’d probably find out what lizard meat in real life is like and maybe tweak it a bit to describe what dragon meat tastes like. But maybe that process lacks all the magic of creativity
  6. LastLight

    Talk the talk [QUEST]

    The excited reverie that erupted among the others after the Ulway were gone somewhat startled him. With a pair of focused eyes, he glanced left and right to Maya and back to Cadmium, many times failing to understand what exactly they were getting at. It took the words one mind to get him in the loop. "One. Mind? Like. Wolves?" After listening to Maya's in depth explanation, which was thoroughly simplified so that a simpleton could understand it, it was the first time in a long time that Nur felt that sense of wonderment again since departing from his home. Magic was powerful, that much he knew, but until now no single magical trait had spoken volumes to him the way a hive mind did. The perks of hunting among a pack where all the minds were linked as one was rather gripping. "Must. Be . . . Good . . . Hunters." Cadmium's question evoked a highly instinctual answer from him. "I. Think. That's. A. Bad. Idea." Although, he didn't feel particularly uncertain about venturing around. Maybe as long as they left behind clear evidence of their path for the Ulway to find them again if necessary. "But. We. Don't. Have. To. Stay. Here. We. Can. Study. Wild. Life. In. The. Area. Or . . ." There had been something troubling him since their arrival here, and that was Maya's mention of previous adventurers who had, as he put it, become sick with hysteria. "We. Search. For. Terran. Military. Camps? Maybe. Find. Out. Why. They. Got. Sick. With. Hysteria? If. We. Do. We. Should. Start. By. Looking. In. The. Places. That. Would. Make. The. Best. Camps."
  7. LastLight

    A levee to stop the flow

    Perhaps it was because there was no other choice, but Zeph listened to Lilith's story in silence. When her hand squeezed tightly, he didn't even reach up to grip her arm in protest, rather suffered the pain with barely a grimace. But when it came to an end, he closed his eyes and would have turned away from her in disagreement if her hand wasn't there to keep him static. What he could see translated as a fruitless and empty existence, and equally fruitless and empty end in her eyes translated as a display of the complexities of human thought in his. The weight of responsibility and guilt resulting in a very human end. "Why . . . if I told your story with such flippancy . . . it would sound no more grand than that of the child you knew. Do you realize that?" The twitch in Lilith's hand, at least from his point of view, didn't appear to be from frustration. Rather it served to subdue him further, to show him that he only spoke because she allowed it and to ensure that utterance of his own words didn't send strength spreading through his body again. She had given him a minute to decide but within the next second, he knew his answer. The remaining amount of time that he spent there quietly was used to search deep within himself. To pinpoint the reasons behind his choice and scrutinize them. Peruse them for signs of weakness or cowardice. When he asked her if she ever felt pain or emotion, in a way, it was as if he had been asking her if she was like him. In his world, it was pain and emotion that made him human. It was despair, regret and guilt that tempered his resolve. Both of his lips flared to reveal bloodied gums and teeth. His eyes burst open and searched out her gaze. If the eyes truly are a portal to one's soul, in Zeph's case, they were portals to the souls of many. The one that projected itself from his body and reached out for Lilith with skeletal fingers and a startling shriek was female. He did always have a preference for the way emotions manifested in women than in the way they manifested in men. There was something raw about it, unapologetic, genuine and pure. Like smoke, she dissipated onto Lilith's skin, escaping from view but not long thereafter, her visit displayed its meaning. The presence of a second entity within was an unmistakable sensation. At first, thoughts of violence, the ones that Lilith was ripe with, were eased. Then upon realizing that she held a man by the throat, rather than tighten, she would instead free him. All of those neurons that were black as death from lifetimes of wickedness were flooded with emotions Lilith habitually looked down upon. Where there had been an absence of attachment, there were now great loves. Where her motivations of power once resided, there were now familial ones. Once all of these little branches and leaves had grown to form a tree symbolizing just one of the many human beings she had erased from this world, the one true and final reality was dropped squarely upon her. Everything and everyone she cherished was dead. What remained was grief compounded by powerlessness. Then despair followed.
  8. LastLight

    Tumblr Exposure!

    Some of you may be familiar with our activity on Google + to generate some awareness of the forum and maybe attract a bunch of new roleplay mice to the site. Well, Google screwed up and so we've changed platforms! We're focusing on Tumblr now. Every week we'll have two entries, one that explores mainstay features of the forum and one featuring a fledgling roleplay taken from the Water Cooler. All kind of support is welcome. If you've previously roleplayed on Tumblr and have ideas on how we can connect with roleplay communities there, drop some commentary! Reblogs and likes, all of it. GIVE US ALL OF IT. Here's the link! - Valucre blog link Post - a forum about roleplay and roleplay discussion
  9. LastLight

    Order of Force Majeure: Dawn Komturie

    Some time during Mark's explanation, what he had projected would have been James' response helped round the edges of the logic behind it all. Only human, he would have said. Sometimes contracts have no loopholes. Sometimes the worst things simply could not be avoided. In the eyes of the pessimist, that point of view comes off dismissive. Maybe even too accepting of failure. In the eyes of the optimist, however, it sought to free the soldier from the shackles of guilt or shame so that the battle was met without constraints. Stello understood. Mark wasn't entirely wrong about the reason why Stello was here. It was certainly related to the defense of Last Chance but not because of the grand victory that had been achieved there. After all, he had read articles and heard stories of great military victories prior to then and yet, he never set foot in a recruiting office. Not even to understand, the way he was attempting to now. That was because despite his comfortable footing, despite the distance between him and real hardship like what those refugees were facing or what the family members of the people who perished in Ashville were forced to accept, there was still a struggle taking place inside of him. One he thought he might have been able to resolve in this place. "I did hear. That was the first time I ever read that the Terran military received aid from a foreign military force. Kind of nice to see that they can make friends, too. Especially after all the shitty history between them and Genesaris. And with other countries as well." As he chewed on a lemon slice, complete with the skin, he pondered. The next question would be different from the others in that it might finally offer insight into the purpose of his curiosity. "How are potential custodes gauged for their moral character and strength? They gotta follow a knight around, strap his armor on for him before he kicks some ass and take it off when he needs to take a piss and hope they do something admirable in the meantime?" @Fierach
  10. LastLight

    The Black Anvil Hymn [ Hub ]

    @Fennis Ursai ( Momentum ) In response to Momentum's claims about becoming well acquainted here, Stello offered a perpetual grin. It was actually the same one that had appeared on his lips from earlier in the discussion, only that it had earned an extended stay. It allowed him to be subtly nonconforming. In reality, he had yet to figure out the circumstances. He had no clue at all the full extent of what Lexicus had in store for him so he found it difficult to concur immediately. "Stello Lavis," he answered, reaching out and shaking firmly. "You think so? Maybe a pocket dimension would be pretty convenient to have as a resource. Nothing better to be able to disappear at any given time. That is what this is, right?" Planar magic existed in different forms in the world of Valucre. Some of those forms were more common than others, such as when a conjurer manifests a servant from any number of elemental planes. That was fairly straight forward. From there, the intricacies of planar magic could shift towards the mechanics of not only opening door ways to different places, but to constructing entire locations and housing them safely. Though Stello was familiar with at least the surface concept, he knew that it was a thing that only the most learned of arcane scholars dabbled in, or the most well funded. Like members of the military. If that wasn't what this place was, it could even be spatial magic. Throughout the course of history there had been mages who had figured out ways to enlarge space, essentially able to turn an engagement ring box into something the size of a master bedroom, accessible by specific means. "I got nothing but time right now. Go ahead and get him. And thanks." @Grubbistch and Lexicus/Aldorto After watching the needle slide into the skin and embed itself deep in the spine, Stello thought he could actually feel the pain himself. The spinal trail was so stiff . . . and rough. The thought of a needle grinding through the bone there to deposit the numbing agent inside made him cringe. Fortunately, not very long after, Godric had been put completely to sleep and he lay there motionless, a hulking werewolf presiding over him. It was at this precise moment in time that Stello began to tell himself that he should be accustomed to Al's werewolf form by now. With that done, he retrieved the skeletal layer of the prosthetic and placed it on Al's table next to Godric. Giving pause for a moment, he stared at the leg, admiring the construction. Surprisingly, he had become quite fond of it. The thought put into it had been not only thorough, but creative. Something Godric would probably never fully digest. Digressing internally, he concluded that the greatness of the Model 0 had nothing to do with its construction or the ingenuity that had gone into it, it was in its ability to let a man walk again. By then, they had gone over how the surgery would take place. The skeletal layer of the Model 0 was very light and bare, missing the numerous servomotors that came with the motion layer and the added mass of the protective third layer. In this state, it was easier to handle. What Al had to do was implant it into the lower end of Godric's femur, where it would assume the functions of his knee and down when outfitted with the other two layers. "Looks like it's time for you to do your thing, Al. If you mess it up, you'll be delivering the letter."
  11. LastLight

    Talk the talk [QUEST]

    The level of intellect that they encountered in the Ulway could have been more disruptive than any of them imagined. While some of Nur's theories as to how they should be approached originally still carried weight, others didn't. The fish offering, for example, raised more suspicion rather than help put them at ease, the concept of bribery well familiar to them. As a result, the possibility that Cadmium was attempting to purchase their trust with food certainly manifested and burned quite brightly in fact. If it weren't for the rather fluid motion of their discourse, it might have been the thought that burned brightest in their collective intellect. In the end, they accepted the gift. Nur himself could be mistaken for harboring supreme faith in the captain. He sat there quietly, no tension at all gripping his body, listening to the story of the Genius Loci as if he was hearing the tale for the first time himself. In reality, he simply didn't recognize the gathering as an achievement, or even as an ongoing struggle. Not after instructing Cadmium to explain to them, at least. In his eyes, there had been no need for anything more than the truth at that point, something he expected Cadmium to deliver without difficulty. "Berries. Are. Good. Why . . . " He even saw fit to reprimand him for rendering the treats to mush and tossing them away. Both of his hands extended outward in question while he regarded him with a displeased expression. One of the Ulway ventured near a discarded berry and picked it off the ground before carrying it over to Nur, who took it and promptly deposited it into his mouth, not much minding the dirt that was mixed in. The sound of rushing water and a burning fire consumed the gathering after that. Nur sat pensive for a few moments and when he finally snapped out of it, something came to mind. Something he'd heard among the people during his travels. "Many. Say. That. The. Genius. Loci. Are. Changing. Because. We. Use. So. Much. Magic. But. We. Don't. Know. If. That's. True." His words were absorbed in earnest, many of the Ulway staring at him before again, water and fire were responsible for the only sounds in the camp. Then abruptly, the figure sitting on Nur's figure stood and leapt off, landing on the ground with nary a noise. "The world outside is not very different then. Life changes as unknown influences sweep by, and the struggle to understand endures always. As it has for us. We are Leaf That Hangs at the End of the Branch. You will see us again within two golden eye cycles. Perhaps you can help us, but we must first discuss with those who reside nearer the tree. So long." As the group began to leave, Nur stood up and took a deep breath before releasing it. Not out of relief, but in conclusion. Then he watched them go, never really figuring out that Leaf That Hangs at the End of the Branch was the name of the collective entity that these particular Ulway formed in unison.
  12. LastLight

    Book|Ends [Hub]

    Both eyebrows raised at attention the moment Stello heard the word Peacekeeper, wondering what Draug and Ioreth could possibly be doing networking with a member of one of the highest military orders of the Terran government. He figured that for them to even have a response, they must have been in possession of something that was relevant to the Peacekeeper. Or perhaps he was wrong. Maybe they were simply friends. Soldiers did have friends. Placing one hand on his hip as he waited, his attention shifted from one to the other until a woman entered the room. At first he studied the grace with which she carried a stack of papers and several other things until the stink of improper hygiene concentrate swirled into his nostrils. Scrunching his nose, he at first leveraged his disgust upon the woman until the winged imp hopped off her head. As he wondered how she had been able to complete her journey shrouded in that palpable stench, his condemning gaze then settled on the imp. His disgust only grew when the stains on the kilt came into focus. Picturing himself in Draug's shoes, the only reason why Stello would have stayed his hands would have been because he spotted the gnarly scar over Beans's eye and the litany of other injuries covering his little body. It wasn't a sense of morality telling him not to visit more harm on the creature, it was instinct telling him that this was a losing fight. He could probably shave his legs down to the bone with a knife and its spirit would burn bright to the bitter end. It was feisty. Respectable in that regard . . . but he would have at least washed him. Washed him in a pool of water that was frothy with scented soaps against his will. The desperation with which Beans might have splashed around in protest would have been where the glory in it was. Then maybe he'd be fed a perfectly cooked piece of filet mignon. Reaching up to pinch his nose shut, he turned his attention to the pen and paper. As he began scribbling, contextual information as to the business between the Rhavoni siblings and the Peacekeeper floated to the surface. Dear Purveyor of Beastly Engines, It is my deepest regret to inform you that I have never actually encountered mermaids myself and am not aware specifically of where they may be found. However, if I did, I would feel compelled to point out the conundrum presented by the discrepancy in the fish-like structure of their lower bodies. Maybe you give a shit. Maybe you don't. If you can still somehow find it in your dual mana-injected heart to greet me with a home made meal upon my return in Hell's Gate in four days time, I will strive to provide you with another service of hopefully equal value. I'm thinking a metallic sculpture depicting a prowler with a beautiful mermaid wearing a studded bra laying across it. Would be a good way to greet patrons who enter your shop. Excuse the imp. Are you familiar with this little shit? He literally mooned Draug in front of another guest and I. If I ever see him again I'm gonna wash him. Tumbling around in frothy soap water kind of wash. The mother of all washes kind of wash. Signed, King of the Road Confident that Hanya would know who the letter was coming from, he decided not to sign it with his actual name and turned to hand the paper over to the robed woman. Then he watched carefully how the letter was presented to the imp, making a note of the process before Barrett stole away his attention. As he reached out and shook his hand, it was clear that he was still marginally distracted by his distaste with the imp, even if his focus did begin to gradually shift. "Stello Lavis. Pleasure to meet you, too, sir. Yeah? Makes me curious. I wonder the percentage of people in the military who rely on swords, maces and spears over projectile weaponry. If you're ever in Hell's Gate, feel free to drop into my shop. Even if it's just to flap our lips and sip some tea." Reaching into his back pocket, he pulled out his wallet and procured a black business card, which he then handed over. The address to the Black Anvil Hymn was printed neatly on it. At that point Beans would probably be off on his way to deliver a message, which would probably grant some relief for the imp hybrid. @amenities @KittyvonCupcake
  13. LastLight

    Order of Force Majeure: Dawn Komturie

    The level of attention that Stello applied to Mark's words was nothing short of diligent. It was with the same meticulous care with which he forged a blade in all its facets, from how he brushed the slag off a piece to keep welds clean where necessary to the methodical approach taken when the edge was sharpened. He was a less than learned man but that wasn't due to lethargy. His interests didn't cover vast landscapes, only small ones but those small number of things that did evoke him were consumed the way fire consumes dry grass. His eyes remained angled to his right, only shifting when some of the words sparked an idea but his attention was always leveled squarely on Mark until it all was over, including the lengthy dilemmas he outlined. It left him rather surprised. Pleased, even, though it didn't show. For one reason or another, this was one of those rare times in life when listening to something that stoked the spirit opposed him as a difficult truth to accept. Taking in a deep breath, digressing within himself, he answered, "There was a killer line in one of the books that your answer reminds me of. One's truth, I mean. It's a law that states that one will receive a set of problems and that they must remain true to themselves when solving them. In other words, solve them in the way you believe you should. The way your convictions tell you to. The way one's truth tells you to." It never hit him that he was sitting in the shade discussing philosophy with a man he had just met, probably because nothing about it came off as strange to him the way it would have to most others. Those that stuck around him long enough could discover that despite how dedicated he was to maintaining his appearance and to attracting the attention of some of the lesser willed women of the world, he was quite complex otherwise. "Which brings me to my next question. If James and Yodsuwan hold firmly to this belief of one's truth and they instruct their members to do so as well, what happens when someone's truth within the Order runs contrary to theirs? What happens when one of them chooses to save the lives of the few because of a family member over the lives of the many?" @Fierach
  14. LastLight

    Talk the talk [QUEST]

    The hesitation in the voice of the Ulway that inquired further into the Loci came from unresolved uncertainty stretching across their collective intellect. Although one had decided to ask, others questioned whether an answer was even relevant. As they endeavored towards a consensus, many concluded that the matter would be simplified more quickly by simply letting it unfold. Nevertheless, the thought that it might be a waste of time showed when Cadmium gestured them all closer towards the fire. Nur approached and the Ulway sitting on his shoulder debated whether it would remain there or remove itself. By the time he began to speak, many of them lingered a few feet away from the fire, not yet willing to congregate for the discussion no matter how closely it resembled their own assemblies. Except for the one who had inquired, having chosen to remain on Nur's shoulder. They listened to his explanation and in the end, it was likely that his lack of in depth scientific understanding of the Loci actually served him better than being well studied in the matter. The symphony of thoughts and considerations that pulsed throughout their collective intellects was beyond Nur and Cadmium's perception, or at least their deepest intricacies were, but at best the exchanged glances among the tribals vaguely delineated their deliberation. "A creature turned our deep blue watery sky into this brighter one," an Ulway responded, angling a crystal tipped spear skyward. "Whales once floated high above our heads. Now it's those white shadows. And golden eye. Other times it is darker than the sea with white specks and one great white eye." When another Ulway interjected, it might seem as though their responses were coming from separate perspectives when in reality, their unseen and unheard deliberations had a tendency of flowing through the vessel containing the origin intellect of the idea being presented after it was filtered through the lot of them. "But it was not capable of storms that change creatures. It did not control our magic or kill another one like it." Nur leaned in, resting both elbows on both of his thighs as he sat. Several of the Ulway had moved closer to the fire, casting shadows across the landscape around them. "It has brought change. We encountered falling water. We thought the sea was returning to linger above us. Now we have encountered more outsiders than ever before. What change have these Genius Loci brought into your lives?"
  15. LastLight

    The Black Anvil Hymn [ OOC ]

    @Fennis Ursai @B2BBear @KittyvonCupcake I've added audio logs to the original post of the Black Anvil IC thread pertaining to each of your characters from my character's point of view! More to come as time goes on! Hope it's a fun listen. Here they are below so you don't have to go all the way back there to grab them. 😂 Leper The Amnesiac Ioreth The Librarian Lexicus Smith Knight ( Knight Smith? )