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Noko

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Noko last won the day on February 1

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  1. I'm writing everywhere folks want me to, so - - if it's my turn, I shall post!
  2. Noko

    Let's Wrap It Up

    You've been a joy, my friend. See you on the flip side!
  3. At some point, somewhere in the normal ebb and swell of conversation and the ever-present murmur of life, Phoebe became aware of a creeping tickle plucking its way up her neck like the electric footsteps of a thousand tiny spiders. It was the chaotic feel of violent potential-- the elongated elastic, held, the jack-in-the-box that's been playing too long, the understanding of the sixth person with a gun to their temple and five empty chambers. It was warm out, the breeze light and playful, but she shuddered as the conversation went on about her and buffeted the madness away. Her pretty face made all the right moves-- all the smiles, and the light laughs, and the casual wag and sway of a contagiously charismatic expression, but inward she was black water. There was that familiarity, again. She had felt it first in Muhir, seemingly eons ago, then Orisia, Umbra, and Blairville, so recently she could still summon the taste of the apple tart and the spice of the bourbon they had shared. Like paper angels, bound by the wrist and dangling, the sororal bonds that linked the DuGrace family marked their auras just like their regal expressions, and dark curls, marked their faces. It wasn't Gabriela; it lacked her unsettled nature. It wasn't Dollya; the youngness of it was too real, too honest, which just left one DuGrace: Raspberry. How convenient. A slow drag turned Phoebe from her conversation to the small dark-haired girl. Her shoulders followed, then her hips as her knees lifted, and she dashed a smile and a wave at the group, taking her glass up as she stood. An open hand planed the wrinkles from the front of her long blue silk tunic and set its hem flat against the matching, billowing blue pants. There was so much fabric, and she wore it too carefully to strike natural ease, but this was a child -- a vampyre child, but still a child, and if her own daughter had taught her anything it was that a joke, and smile, and a friendly face with a good story were all gold, and she had all of those to spare (or to manufacture), and Raspberry had the key to the box running through those tiny little veins of hers. It shouldn't be so hard, she thought, to talk her out of a drop or two, or cause her to stumble and skin a knee, or press a nose bleed into her immature mind. The staff and the restaurant patrons had cleared an area around Raspberry -- an unacknowledged, primal reaction to the aura she put out, like birds flushed by an unseen wildcat, and cast concerned glances Phoebe's way as she passed into the empty area. This close, the aura felt like hunger, and briefly Phoebe considered if it might not be worse because Raspberry hadn't loved the world enough to be tempered by it. A few feet away, she felt the girl's attention drift her way, and their eyes met as Phoebe found a smile that settled like a warm blanket. With her dark hair loose, and the fashion here so flowing and free, she glided like a bird over the dusty tile with her greeting just as unfettered. "Hey.." she began, slowing as she drew next to the girl, then crouched at her side. "You look like you're having a terrible day; what do you say we go somewhere more fun, somewhere we can play? I'm bored here." She wiggled her fingers, extending her hand like agreement was perfunctory. "I'm Amara. What's your name?" As it happened, there was a children's play area nearby-- as expected, Phoebe stacked her odds, and a skinned knee was still very much a viable possibility. @CasualCrisis
  4. Okay my friends, if you haven't heard from me and we haven't negotiated something in PM, I have every intention of continuing to post in our thread(s) and/or moving them over to PGRP.  If you have a preference, please let me know 🙂

  5. The Dead struggle. Caught unprepared by the island's seeming sentience and the Vati's wicked predicament, they claw and scrape their way up the mountain. On the way, they battle through the spiders, but fail to free the infected villagers. That failure costs them in the way of lost knowledge and ungained advantage, as half their number remain cursed by their own disharmony. At the top of the mountain, they encounter the islands Syrni-- research would have prepared them, or conversation with the rescued villagers, but without that their battle is hard-fought and costly. Alone among them, Riha emerges unscathed-- protected by the spirit she befriended, who remains grateful for her intervening on its and its brothers behalf, she provides the direction which eventually allows Shikai, Aidan, and The Dead Mistress the knowledge with which they defeat the lost and twisted Vati, but at a cost. They all take significant injuries, infections, toxic reactions or poisonings, which harry them for weeks. They plant the totem of Alignak at the mountain's top-most peak. On the way down, the spirit makes one last request of Riha to clear their blocked aquaducts. They do, or do not, and the way out is otherwise unremarkable. OOC: Okay folks, there you go -- I figure you can take one last whack at this and we'll close it out. See y'all on the flip side!
  6. OOC: It's been a pleasure folks, but as agreed in PM we're going to wrap this closed and head over to make our way at the new place. Best of luck to everyone!
  7. Porting over to: https://prettygoodrpg.com/roleplay/threads/for-the-love-of-freedom.89/
  8. Porting over to: https://prettygoodrpg.com/roleplay/threads/chasing-an-apparition-ii.87/
  9. "I do have ideas...." Riha was speaking as James crackled, his stolen powers cascading painfully across Phoebe's flesh like lightning in its infancy, webbed and interconnected as it cut out her intoxication in great swaths that dragged tremors from her thin muscle. She was waking (James was waking), shaking off the violence of her sudden transport here and righting herself as the other woman went on. "But I've never done it before, and it might just kill us both....but it's worth a shot, right?" ...sounded like a Monday. Riha's quick movement jabbed the pin jabbed through her flesh, but amidst James' ravages, there was only confusion in her eyes as she looked down and saw blood well from the pinprick. The incline of her head and a wicked glint in her light eyes served as her tacit agreement, though it nearly drowned in the growing buzz of adrenaline and expectation. There was a dare there- a dare and permission, married in tumult and wrapped in a heady mix that brought her ego to witness. The newness, the whirl, and spin of the plane had settled, and even half-dressed, battling James on the inside and Kulbrast on the out, she was still Phoebe Marshall, and that casual arrogance was easy like a summer day. Warm, it comforted, emanating from the First like light from the sun, its rays revealing only a world she believed in-- one which was headlined first and foremost by her own primacy. "You... you shouldn't be this powerful!" Kulbrast yelled. "Surprise," she offered dryly, "You can still leave..." The heavy implication that she hadn't even gotten started set itself in the cold weight of her eyes as she stared at the man, her bravado a bloody nose to his dreams of a comfortable, overwhelming victory, but his flames were already sparking. The dust kicked up and spun, and Phoebe swore sharply, cursing as Kulbrast failed to gracefully retreat. "He was an ass even when he was alive.." Rolling her eyes, Phoebe reached backward and hitched her waistband up and over the angles of her hips-- big, wide steps carried the fabric higher until she could pinch the ends shut and thumb the ebony button through its hole, finally re-securing them in place as she settled by Riha. Between the two of them, they almost had a full set of clothes-- one shirt, one bra, two pairs of undergarments, one pair of pants, but no socks or shoes. And no goddamn hair elastic. If there were a Geneva convention, this would be a high violation. "...I've found us some allies." Riha's words stole Phoebe's attention. "You're talking about my skeletons, right? Let me help," commented Phoebe as she glanced over her shoulder, cold-checking the reforming flames, lashing and wrapping around Kulbrast like a wind-driven cloak. They didn't have a lot of time, but they had some, and as she turned to Riha, Phoebe wrapped the translucent barrier she'd cock-blocked Kulbrast with in and over itself, scraping the dirt flat as she warped it into a tight demi-sphere surrounding the two women. "I need that.." Her finger unfurled to point a squared-off nail at the dagger handle peeking out from the edge of Riha's black bustier, and in a single swift motion she looped her hand over Riha's shoulder and plucked it from its place. "I'm sorry. We were going to do this anyway, but with a little more pomp and a lot less violence." A pull of her wrist dragged the knife up and across Phoebe's lower palm, parting the skin like a long filet, and immediately spilling rivulets of blood. The electric scrawl responded immediately, flaring to begin knitting her flesh, even as the first drops of crimson hit the dirt. "Are you ready?" It wasn't hard to imagine what was next. She was gentle, for what it was worth-- at least as much as she could be. There would be blood; there was always blood, but protected in the dome, Phoebe didn't need to hurry, and she looked for understanding and agreement before acting, before bringing the knife up and setting its blade above Riha's heart, and slicing a two-inch line straight over it. Her blood welled, and in the same instant, Phoebe wrapped her arm around Riha's waist, drawing her close as she offered the woman a small smile, then set her bleeding palm flat over the wound. To an observer, it was an intimate affair- pressed chest to chest, they could be dancing, if only there were music, and they weren't fighting for their lives, trapped in a vengeful spirit realm, with a soon to be circling, flaming dragon. In an instant, the world faded from them-- snuffed out of consciousness with an all-consuming press that was nearly suffocating as the Contract snaked its way through Phoebe's blood to the ley-lines that anchored Riha's body to itself. Done in this way, its fuel was Phoebe; the energy pulled from her directly, retaining her essence and feel as it wove the Contract's binding. The ritual was jarring, painful for the First and overwhelming in general, searing as it first ripped out the remainder of their drunkenness as it moved, dashing the intoxicants and the NDA aside as it wound its way between the women. There would be no corruption here, no coercion, no mistakes, or regrets, or tears. Riha would know that her choice was free, that compulsion was anathema to its essence, and that only her complete acceptance would mark her entry to the Dead. The Contract was pure. In its shadow, Riha became aware of Phoebe as a part of her-- like an infant becomes aware of its fingers and toes-- and through Phoebe she perceived the Contract in its eternal essence, as it had always been and always would be. The Contract was infinite. In the First, she traveled the roads of the Dead, felt the pains of her brothers and sisters, and cheered their successes. Dark remembrances brought pain as well, flashes of betrayal and the searing finality of Feedback, and the understanding that loyalty was the highest calling, but that loyalty was not blind. It was not soft, or simpering, or weak-willed-- it made hard decisions, it argued and challenged assumptions, but always worked to the benefit of the Organization. It always elevated the most skilled. It always raised Them highest. She understood that treason was fatal, but required intention. In the Dead, thoughts were free; intentions and actions were judged. The Contract was true. She knew the terms as if they were seared whole-cloth into her thoughts-- that they would abide by them, that they were as bound by the Contract as she was, and that they could no more break it. They would keep her safe, and assist where they could, and handle Rolfe, and she would forever work to their benefit alongside her own. It showed her an end if she joined, and one if she didn't, and both were their own truths. The Contract was fair. In its endlessness, it waited for her. With the First as a bridge, it hovered like a waiting parent, but did not force, or lean, or set its thumb on the scales. She could decline. Freedom was a choice. When they seperated, Riha would find her wound closing; the binds that linked her and Phoebe remained, or passed depending on her decision, but the energy siphoned from the First knit her skin closed as if the slash had never been struck. Overhead, Kulbrast circled -- newly minted, or not, he would be the first challenge they faced.
  10. Wherever you want, that's the beauty of it 🙂
  11. "The last meal I had was stew. I think this meal will also be stew if you don't mind." Mutton-chops nodded, turning as he craned backward toward the kitchen door, still wiping and setting down glasses like an assembly line. "TY!" The bartender's shout rang out, coursing through the back bar and into the kitchen, down the ramshackle stairs and into the dugout basement, from where a hollow, straw-and-paper insulation muffled answer could be heard. "WHAT." A long-suffering sigh drew mutton-chops' deep brown eyes toward the ceiling, where they stayed, while he took a deep breath in. Glancing back down, he flashed an apologetic smile toward Keldor before ducking through the door behind him and into the kitchen. Two pairs of thuds sounded as the men met halfway up the stairs, their conversation a muffled back and forth that didn't make its way out in any meaningful manner. A few moments later, the thudding merged and pounded across the kitchen, then mutton-chops shouldered his way through the door, followed by a thin, mocha-skinned gentleman, who presumably was this 'Ty'. In worn pants, suspenders, and a half-tucked white shirt he could've been any one of a dozen workers-- but he was young, and flush with energy, and still in good enough shape to run liquor bottles up and down three stories (and a basement) without bitching too much. With his hair cropped close, and his fingernails mostly white, he looked clean and that was enough to get one a job in a place like this. "Who.." he stammered as slammed to a stop, assessing the room before his eyes settled on Keldorl. "Oh, ok." He ducked back into the kitchen, then re-emerged a minute later with a steaming wooden bowl of what was presumably stew, which he carried one-handed with the spoon strapped to the side by his thumb. On the way, he snatched a tumbler of whiskey which Mutton-Chops had set out, and before anyone knew any differently, he was setting both on the table in front of Keldorl, out-of-breath and grinning. "Hey, sorry. I'm havin' one'a those days, y'know? You need anything else? You're too early for the girls, but the stew's pretty good, for what it's worth - we just got fresh carrots from the farm, so they're all nice and crispy still. You look like a man who can appreciate a fresh carrot, uh, I mean.. you know, somethin' better than jerky an' whatever you kin dig outta the ground on the road. How is it out there, by the way? I heard the roads been gettin' more dangerous lately."
  12. The scene is basically a random village in Lagrimosa. @Voldemort was just looking for brief descriptions of who we're bringing and why they're in the random village. Also, are they air pirates or sea pirates?
  13. "Excuse me, is smoking allowed?" A sharp laugh answered him, echoing across the half-empty interior. It was late afternoon, and the throngs of adventurers, returning flush with coin from quests or soothing their wounds with a comfort girl, hadn't yet poured into the Sage's interior. As a result, the mood was subdued, and while the day staff was transitioning out, counting tills and ignoring everyone in their attempts to leave on time, the night staff were still bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, and looking forward to making some money on the backs of the evening's victorious fools. "Just don't set the place on fire," came the call from behind the bar, unanchored and headless, until a tall, square-shouldered man with thick, friendly mutton-chops and a bald patch on the back of his dark capped head unfurled from a squat with four 'clean' glasses pinched in his right hand and a dry towel in the other. Come to think of it, the interior of the bar smelled a bit as if it had recently been on fire, so maybe his warning was only half a joke and half a request. There were other signs that the interior was being renovated-- the stairs leading up to the second floor had recently worked railings which stuck-out in their shiny newness and the pricing board for rooms had the 'penthouse' crossed out. Maybe they just realized this isn't the kind of place that has a penthouse. "You want a drink? We got the standards, nothing fancy, but it'll buff out the dents if it's been that kinda day," he called over, projecting out in that lazy compromise that happens when one is trying to get several things done at once. A swipe of the towel cleaned the edge of the glass before he whipped the cloth straight and hung it over his shoulder. "We got food too, stew, pork, or meatballs. Oh, wait, what's it -- Thursday? No pork, just stew or meatballs."
  14. "So..." Riha leaned backward, resting her chin in her hand as she sat in the silence trailing Obsidian's story. Her gaze drifted off, thoughtfully-- dark lashes narrowed around twin lavender eyes that sparkled with curiosity and consideration as she tapped her full lips with one bright, red nail. Abruptly, she leaned in toward Obsidian, her eyes darting toward Ruby. "Can I just ask-- why? If she's so capable as to be your partner, to assault a wizard's lair and legions of guards, with swords and spears and.." She sounded wildly overwhelmed, her words running atop each other as the heft of the story took hold. "I don't mean to be rude, it's just... " Said everyone, ever, who was about to say something rude. Her lips pulled upward and she reached for him, tentatively, then slipped her hand back. He was so foreign, it wouldn't be right, but it was easy to see that her nature was to draw company to her -- to chat, to be social and curious, and it didn't seem like whatever faux pas was coming was malicious, but... "It's just, you seem like someone I can talk to... I just wonder, it's still so strange to me," she murmured. Again, her light eyes flit toward Ruby. "...I mean," She spoke, watching Obsidian's eyes for signs that she'd wildly overstepped, then continued, "..if she's a warrior, why is she like this? Is she a prisoner? A trophy? Is this her choice?"
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