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About Avvercus

  • Rank
    Devil Dog
  • Birthday 02/02/1992

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Where yesterday began
  • Interests
    Reading and writing, of course. I enjoy gaming, anime, music, and interesting conversations as well.
  • Occupation

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  1. Why A simple word. It skips the pretense of mere pondering and strikes directly at the heart of a given subject. So simple, in fact, a single syllable is sufficient to question anything. Yet, why is it that I am unable to say it out loud? Why can’t I speak this one word to you, my Goddess? The answer is easy. Oh yes, I know the answer without needing to ask why. The faithful have no need to question their deity. We believe what we are told, and do what is asked of us without a moment's hesitation. Why then, do I falter? Tis a sleepless night for me. I observe one of the few truly unending cycles my long-lived eyes have witnessed. From the sun’s obedient grave does the moon rise to life. The soft crunch of foliage marks my passing; A baleful reminder that as the living move and flourish, the dead are left behind to stagnate like grass crushed underfoot. But, just as a slumbering sun provides light to an otherwise blackened moon, so too does death sow the seeds of life anew. I can feel it in my very soul. Tonight, she will ask of me to continue this cycle by my own two hands. Tonight, my Goddess will command me to kill so that more might yet live. The lavender tattoo on my clavicle radiates a pleasant warmth as I endeavor to distance myself from the camp where my companions sleep, slipping between the wooden, whisperless watchmen of the peaceful woods. She is content, at long last, with my surroundings. From that same tattoo comes burns an inferno as purple light envelopes my person. Then, she is there The curl of her lovely locks, Plum perfection. The radiance of her glorious gaze, Amethyst absolution. The curve of her luscious lips. Violet velvet. Yet, this is but a mere projection of my Goddess’ visage, a shimmering illusion of her true beauty. Even still… Even still my heart pounds and I feel my breath catch before I fall to a knee before her, my head bowed in respect. Sounds of satin sooth my ears, and my ears alone. Lillailianthia’s will is made known, and my path cleared of ambiguity. By my Goddess’ unerring perception of Fate, the Kingdom of Hyperion is set to grow on a path that will bring untold ruin to this world. A terrible Fate to be certain, but the scales of which are easily tipped towards a more desirable future. There is but a single thread that needs to be plucked from the weave, a lone link removed from the chain. I must soil an honor I have upheld for most of my life. By my own hands, those of Avvercus Voxinium, Saiph and Captain of Blades to the royal Matreyan family, Raveena Jhanavi Senaria must die. She awaits. My Goddess, the star that never leads me astray, waits for my answer. I attempt to give it, but my throat catches. Rather than the usual, immediate acknowledgment she receives from me, I can offer but silence. A foreign desire wrests my voice, the urge to question, to shatter my perfect and unmarred faith. Why, my Goddess, as I acknowledge your will and swear to see it done, is it here in this tranquil forest where even the sharpest of blades can do me no harm, that my heart aches with a pain I can’t begin to describe? She is gone, and I am left alone to stand and stare heavensward. I study the waning crescent with discontent, knowing one day the moon will relinquish the sky to a sun that I can no longer stand beneath as the guardian of a precious princess that shares its namesake.
  2. The Rabbit Hole

    LaPlace’s ears wiggled while his head tilted to one side, a gesture that was meant to express his lack of offense taken. The rabbit-man lacked the facial facilities to mimic most human expressions, and so had taken to inventing his own long ago. Unfortunately, he never explained what they meant. “Perfectly reasonable, Master Ramilia. This square is a safe place for all, especially those who have never known safety. My purpose is to provide respite to all adventurers, regardless of race, creed, or moral compass.” Avvercus’ eyes lingered on Lante for a moment longer, enjoying the expression of wonder on the young man’s face, before lazily listing to lock gazes with an unlikely stranger. An owl accompanying a beautiful demoness, the two of them oozing an aura of divine magic. Immediate interest took root, and so Odin had the Mage’s full attention. “Odin, was it? I am known as Avvercus. As for your question…” he replied with a small smile, flicking his emerald orbs towards Rainza for a moment. “There are a few ways to go about it, depending on the student. However, I find it best to let the student discover and admit to their incompetence on their own. Many, due to that stubbornness, will get themselves into a situation that is just barely outside the scope of their abilities. At that point, give them a small push, a little guidance to success, and their pride will force them to accept your teachings thereafter.” Avvercus reached over suddenly, planting his hand on top of Lante’s head. “It seems I’m going to have the opposite problem with this one. He won’t question what I tell him. Not often enough, and not directly, at least. As for Rainza over there, well… She was humbled after a few hours of failing to kill me,” he chuckled, flashing the small woman a teasing grin. Without warning, Rainza exploded out of her seat. A pulse of blue kinetic energy reduced her stool to splinters, and launched the Aldrak in an arc over the heads of Ramilia, Odin, and Lante. Her left fist took on a blue glow as she descended with a primal snarl pulling her doll-like face taunt. Avvercus reached for his tea, sipping at it without paying her any mind. Just before she hit her former master, Rainza disappeared with an audible pop. Avvercus finished his tea and fell into a chain of hearty snickers, like a child who had just successfully pulled off a big prank. “Hahaha, ahhh… How many times have you put her in time out now, LaPlace?” “This makes seven, Master Avvercus. You should stop provoking her, or I shall let you join her the next time,” LaPlace warned in a serious tone, letting it linger for a solid three seconds before laughing at the grimace Avvercus made in response. Avvercus made an arcane gesture, opening up a black and white portal to LaPlace’s left side. A large barrel slowly descended through it, gently touching down on the ground behind the bar. “As promised, LaPlace. One barrel of Moondew. If you ever need more, just ask,” He began, standing up. He looked over to Odin and extended his hand in invitation. “I’ll be taking my leave now. I have a new student to test. You and your own student are free to join us, if you’d like to continue discussing the joys of teaching. Come along, Lante. I have a task for you.” Avvercus turned and headed for the door without waiting for a reply from either of them, pulling his braid over one shoulder as he went.
  3. The last thing he expected was a hip check. No mere shadow, Avvercus was as a pile of straw before the weight of the Ombra. Tumbling backwards, the man’s back hit Abigail’s legs and brought him to a prone stand-still, staring up at the stars. He’d tried to make his move to avoid this, but the injury to his leg kept him just slow enough to fail. Now, time seemed to slow down as the candle-light eyes stared down at him in the Ombra’s death leap. The streaks of green Avvercus had made earlier moved with him as he’d been stepping around Abigail to keep himself between her and the Ombra, and now they shifted themselves, bending into the shape of a large rune. Avvercus’ left hand pointed at falling Ombra, commanding the gathered mana there to move, passing through the rune. On contact, the rune glowed fiercely, activating to bring to reality its masters will. The rune was a simple one meaning ‘suspend’. With the extra mana Avvercus had gathered, the spell was able to do just that even to something as large as the beast, suspending it in mid-air and effectively sealing its ability to attack or defend. The spell also did wonders to reveal the true form of the great shadow, a wicked looking feline of sickening proportions. Wasting no time, as the spell wouldn’t last long, Avvercus spun to his feet like an exotic dancer, whirling on the balls of his feet even as he winced at the pain in his calf. A Zweihander appeared in his hands, constructed out of the Swordmage’s own mana, and aimed a deadly strike at the predator’s neck with masterful swordsmanship intending on beheading this peerless hunter of the night.
  4. Avvercus had never encountered an Ombra before. His only knowledge of the beasts came from tales told by his student, Rainza. She’d had the misfortune of encountering two of the predators in the past, and came out with their pelts each time. Her success and continued life didn’t come without sacrifice, however. This creature was more than capable of rending flesh. Abigail shutdown. He’d honestly expected that. No time to set up in this case, or use his mobility to gain an advantage. He’d have to rely on experience and reaction. As the creature made its move, Avvercus was totally unable to track the silhouette properly even with his magic enhanced night vision. The flame-like shadow flitted in and out of the night, causing an illusion that made it seem like it was both visible and invisible at the same time. Remaining calm, Avvercus refused to react prematurely. Micro-tendrils of mana probed out in front of him like external cillia, searching. Suddenly, a pair of paws crashed through this sensory barrier and the swordmage reacted in kind. The weapon became a whirling arc of streaking green in his hands, leaving a trail of ephemeral malachite in its wake. The blade bit into flesh, catching one of the Ombra’s forepaws and just barely turning it aside from bodyguard and charge. A rune appeared along the sword’s length, etching into the construct at Avvercus’ behest. The weapon was consumed as the fuel for Avvercus’ magical command, disappearing and being replaced by a great shove of pure kinetic force that blew the feline-like monster tumbling side over side and away from the pair. Its attack had left it with a bloodied leg for its trouble. Avvercus’, to be exact. Despite his quick reflexes, the Ombra proved to be frighteningly swift. A claw had torn through his calf, nearly digging to the muscle and spilling first blood. The pain told him he couldn’t rely on reaction alone, it would seem. Being unable to see the creature’s approach made that unviable. He would need to predict what came next. “Try to calm down, Abigail. You’re going to be alright,” Avvercus promised with composure. Adrenaline was pumping madly through his system, but he’d kept his voice steady, unlike his fingers which shook with anticipation. This great hunter was a worthy enemy, and he’d love to bring Rainza an Ombra story of his own. Oddly, he declined to summon a new weapon, but merely gathered mana into a floating ball of ethereal liquid at his left hand. The bright green glow cast an eerie shadow across the already eerie shadow that was the Ombra.
  5. Pale Blood, Crimson Flame

    Rainza hesitated, for just a moment, as Ansen slipped from her sight. He would be ok, wouldn’t he? Those precious few seconds of consideration cost her the skin around her ankles as deadly entropic mist seeped ever further in. “Tsk.” The tower began to tremble as she booked it for the nearest wall, threatening to throw off the Aldrak’s balance as she wove between erupting trenches of teeth, tentacles, and maliciously malformed maws that whipped about blindly. The maelstrom of flesh was disgusting, oozing an offensive odor sure to threaten even the hardiest of stomachs. Rainza fought the urge to vomit as she slipped between two tendrils, feeling the slime slide over her exposed flesh like rotten fish. Reaching the wall of the chamber, the small woman vaulted off of one of the huge incisors jutting out, reaching out to grasp another above her head. With a snarl, she jabbed her borrowed blade into the creature to create a hand-hold. It didn’t react, as though such a puny wound wasn’t something it was even capable of noticing. Rainza glanced down. The room was filling up with thick miasma, and quickly. If she fell now, she was done for. Up was her only option for survival, as she’d known the moment this tower was revealed as a mimic. Heaving a nerve steadying breath, Rainza hoisted herself higher with desperate fingers, digging and clawing into the soft mush of gooey wall, fangs, and flailing flesh. As she neared the top, the entire tower suddenly shook violently, nearly dislodging Rainza as she did her best to avoid the sudden forest of teeth thrusting from the very wall she clung to. Numerous cuts opened up on her body as she narrowly dodged them, and used the new footholds to quickly ascend. The ceiling shuddered as she neared the lip. Rainza’s eyes shrunk to pinpoints as she realized what was about to happen. It felt as though her very soul was plunged into ice water as she leapt, hanging in a slow motion free fall above a hole of madness and instant death. The tower’s gaping jaws snapped shut, a venus fly trap barely missing its latest victim as Rainza landed on the roof of the tower. Her knees nearly refused to hold her up as the adrenaline pumped, and she approached the edge. Looking down, she could see appendages of every description protruded from the tower, and the walls shifted in color and consistency. What was its purpose? She could only speculate that it had something to do with the mist that, even now, poured from holes that dotted the thing. Further down, on the ground, she spotted Ansen. He’d made it. Relief hit her like a sack of bricks, nearly enough to buckle those iron legs of hers. Mist began to weeze out of the cracks in the roof, and Rainza knew she was out of time. There was but one choice left to her. Without flinching, the girl jumped. She spun, weaving through grasping claws and raking hands that tried to snatch her from her freefall. An attempt was made to jab her blade into something to slow her descent before hitting the ground, but to no avail. Pain was her god, and powder her bones as the Aldrak impacted into the ground a dozen yards from Ansen. Rainza’s eyes swept to the right as her neck went limp, searching with vision that faded in and out. Ah, there he was. It was safe then, for her to pass out. Rainza fell unconscious, a broken, fragile pile of bruised muscle and shattered bone that bled from dozens of wounds. Still, she would yet live. Maybe.
  6. “You managed to make it all the way to that village on your own, right? Have a little more faith in your own perception. If that’s not enough, put some stock in mine. I am a seasoned traveler, I assure you I have a skillset well suited to avoiding ambushes,” Avvercus encouraged. Before them was a vast stretch of open grasslands that didn’t meld into more trees for miles. Leaving the forest behind would actually decrease the potential for hidden enemies. He stepped towards Abigail with confidence bubbling in his body language, and extended it with the hand that he held out to her. “Would it make you feel better if I held your hand?” An innocent enough offer. Avvercus assumed he’d be rejected, however. His charge was difficult after all and the two of them were still barely more than strangers. A showcase of competence might be necessary… but an opportunity for that was unfortunately not going to simply thrust itself upon him. Not if he was anyone other than the acolyte to the goddess of fate, that is. Avvercus snatched Abigail’s hand, and with unexpected strength, pulled her along with him as he took a five foot hop back. With inhuman speed and grace, the man dashed around the alchemist and took up a defensive position between her and the forest. A softly glowing green longsword, a mana construct masterfully woven by the swordmage in the time it took him to reposition, was tucked into his shoulder in a two handed high guard with the tip pointed towards the treeline. Crouched low there, where Abigail had been standing only a moment prior with one paw extended, was a smokey shadow with burning candles for eyes. As fate would have it, an Ombra stalked this area tonight, and it was hungry. “I’d appreciate it if you went on ahead, it would make my job just a little bit easier. I’ll catch up in a few minutes. Ombra are known to be very persistent stalkers,” Avvercus said calmly, eyeing the beast and readying himself for the hunt. Either he caught his prey first, or the Ombra would be dining on drider.
  7. OwO What’s This?

    We are friendly to pretty much everyone here. You have found a good home, if you decide to stay. Feel free to toss any questions you have my way, or you can get a hold of someone on our staff if you'd be more comfortable with that.
  8. Avvercus arched a brow at Abigail’s ushering before the first light of understanding dawned on him. “Hmmm… I’m guessing your reasoning is due to your lower half?” he asked nonchalantly, raising a hand palm up in a questioning gesture. Needless to say, he didn’t make any movement indicating he had intentions to leave. Abigail hesitated upon hearing him speak up about it. A pregnant pause sat there, heavy and uncomfortable, until she finally responded with the other thing she saw fit to do. The alchemist lunged forward and swung for the fences, aiming at Avvercus’ face with a desperation reserved for madmen, and trapped animals. “Yes, that would explain why you wanted it to remain dark in here,” the man went on, casually using the hand he’d been gesturing with to easily deflect his host’s blow. The result was that she fell into his personal space, nearly pressing her face to his chest. However, Avvercus caught her shoulder and helped her straighten up. “I mean, I don’t see the problem. Is your existence itself some closely guarded secret?” Once again, Abigail found herself squared up, prepared to take a swing at the man she’d saved, or it that didn’t prove possible, to find a way around him. “You do not have permission to talk about...about that in such a casual manner.” She said, visibly trembling. She wanted to run, wanted to get past him or if that wasn’t possible at least find a way to subdue him. She wasn’t ready for this talk, and certainly not ready to have that talk with a complete stranger. “Please. I did what you asked me to do, now get away.” She managed to lock eyes with him, but only for a second before staring elsewhere. Avvercus gently took one of Abigail’s hands into his own. Her tremors immediately caused him concern, concern that showed clearly on his face. “Abigail, please look at me. I won’t judge you. I just want to help. Please, let me repay you for saving my life. I mean you no harm, I swear.” “Why won’t you leave me alone?” She whispered. The lighting from the cracks in her door looked odd out of the corners of her eyes; one minute, it seemed an eerie phosphorescent green, given that her eyes were used to seeing in the dark at the present. Now, with only that light being an accurate representation of her vision, it seemed to be...scalding, the green turning a horrid orange, before brightening into a distasteful shade of crimson. Involuntarily she tightened her grip on Avvercus’ hands, suddenly furious. Not just at him, but at her, at this hovel she’d been forced into. She did everything she could to try and dig into his skin, as if for a moment she gave up on being human, and tried to be the monster she was convinced she should be. Abigail bit her nails into his hand, pulling him close--and off the ground as she hissed in a voice she barely recognized. “I told you to leave me alone! I’m not worth the effort! I’m not worth the attention! Fuck off!” “Where I come from, a life debt is a very serious thing Abigail. If you want me to go away, you can just kill me I suppose. I won’t stop you, since I would be dead without your help anyway,” Avvercus lied. While his morals and sense of pride and honor would support allowing the alchemist to take his life, his pact with the Goddess of Fate would not. If she truly tried to take his life, he would be compelled to keep himself alive in one way or another. He didn’t resist, or react to the blood now trickling down his wrist. He simply let Abigail do as she pleased, and smiled at her anger. Silence reigned, and though her anger didn’t ebb, Abigail knew she couldn’t do anything to him. It wasn’t in her nature; it wasn’t her way. Still clinging to him in anger, she stared him down, though it was certainly less intimidating than she’d hoped. After all, she was making threats with...a very human physique. With a sigh of disgust, she set him down. “Are all non-humans as obnoxious as you?” “Whatever do you mean? I am human,” he corrected, continuing to maintain his relaxed and casual attitude. Internally he sighed, glad the situation could remain non-violent and simple. Well, as simple as it could be. “You’re not. Normally, I’d refuse to operate on...subhuman patients, but…” She realized that she was openly admitting that, had things been different, she would have left him, or anybody she thought was less than human, to die out there instead of doing what she could to help. She managed to keep a straight face, however, and press on. “You should understand that I am out here of my own volition. After I became...this, I had to leave home. I couldn’t face my family, I couldn’t face my people. I’ve become a monster, and there’s nowhere else for monsters like me to go.” “Oh? Do tell, what makes me non-human? Last I checked, I was born human and hadn’t been turned into a vampire or werewolf or some other such creature,” Avvercus questioned, ignoring the rest of Abigail’s statement for the moment. He was attempting to get an understanding of her thought process and worldview, and thought perhaps this would lead to some answers. “Your ears and looks tell another story.” She replied stiffly. Though she wasn’t totally comfortable with taking on an elitist role at the moment, she wasn’t about to abandon it, either. “Your hair, your physiology, your body functions; you’re not human, at least not in the appropriate sense. You’re...a very, very good copy.” “Objectively speaking, you are incorrect. I’m completely human. I’ve simply trained my body and mind to a certain point, and gained a mastery over magic. I have also infused my flesh with mana, which I suppose would explain why you think I don’t look the part,” Avvercus explained, keeping his tone relaxed still. “I also disagree that you are a monster. I’m not very fond of that word, if I have to be honest. To me, monster is a state of mind, rather than a physical one. It is inappropriately used to label beings that are different from what one might consider ‘normal’. You’ve proven to me you are no monster, Abigail, human legs or not. How exactly did you end up like this?” Silence reigned as Abigail thought about his words, but in the end, she couldn’t decide if they had merit or not. Perhaps he was wrong; perhaps she was wrong. Either way, it wasn’t the time for it. With a mighty sigh, she settled down on her body, her legs bending up into the sunlight for a change. “I used to be an alchemist in Umbra, quite some ways from here.” She explained in a drained, unhappy voice. “The short of it is that I handled a shipment of ingredients that were in incorrect packaging; it’s a freak accident, but spilled contents were quite potent. I recall inhaling the fumes the mixture created and passing out for a spell, when I came to, I was this...atrocity.” “Can you fix it? If it happened because of Alchemy, surely Alchemy can undo it?” Avvercus asked, immediately scouring his mind for a magical solution. She laughed at his face, angry and mocking. “Really? Why didn’t I think of that? Let me just go back to the academy, sweep up the powder that got mixed together in the shipping crate and sort it all out. I’m sure it’ll be a snap, now that I have your words of wisdom.” She crossed her arms and glared at him. “Did you accidentally do all the things you mentioned before? I’m having a very hard time verifying any of it.” Avvercus shrugged. “I asked expecting to be told why you can’t. My desire to settle this life debt hasn’t dwindled any. Keep that in mind, Abigail. I am someone who has traversed the multiverse. I have a great deal of experience in many things. It’s very likely I can help you, if I know what it is you need help with. What do you need to fix this?” he asked, staring her straight in the eyes and patting the back of the hand she still clung to him with. “You’re not listening,” She told him again. “I don’t know exactly how this happened. I don’t have a record of whatever mix of things ended up in the mixture, I don’t even know if it was missing an ingredient.” She was still clinging to him with one hand, and she would never say it aloud, but she was grateful for his touch. Abigail took a deep breath and looked away from him. “I don’t think this can be fixed. Thank you...thank you for trying to help me, but you don’t have to. I won’t be able to correct what’s happened to me. I’ve gotten used to that by now.” “You’re a very pessimistic person, aren’t you Abigail? There’s no such thing as an ailment that can’t be cured or malady that can’t be reversed. You’re an alchemist! Surely a challenge like this, that you have such a high personal investment in, makes you quiver with excitement! Whenever I find myself perplexed by some new, unknown magic phenomena I lose sleep researching it. If you’ve the time to wallow in self-pity out here, surely it won’t hurt for you to at least try?” Avvercus exclaimed, beaming at Abigail with confidence. “Since it’s alchemical in nature, I doubt I have enough knowledge or power currently to solve your problem on my own, but would you at least let me examine you and give my thoughts as a Mage?” Abigail could have kept him there for ages, explaining her plight. She’d been there for far too long by now, and she’d done what she could from here. She’d tried to recall the compounds from memory, attempted to recollect any simple, rudimentary cures for such a situation, and had even on one occasion tried to convince one of the folks in the hamlet to supply her with an alchemical encyclopedia, but her copy had nothing of value to her. It was, simply put, impossible to solve from here. Even his words did little to improve her outlook, and she finally released him, staring away from his cheerful expression. Well, she’d humored him this far, and with no guarantee that he’d leave her be if she refused. With a heavy sigh, she turned back to her workspace and reignited her candle. With relative ease, she shuffled her operating table out of the way and stood, embarrassed in the dim light of her candle, where she was exposed. “Well, go ahead and stare.” She muttered miserably, her nails clacking against the rotted floorboards. In the pale light, the ‘true’ nature of the alchemist came into focus. Heavy, pointed nails, flanked by soft paw-looking pads decorated the ends of her legs, all eight of them, all of which were reunited where Abigail’s lower body met. Her body, just where her hips should have began, had been scarred, as if she’d been forcibly separated and welded to the monster’s body. Had she not been wearing clothes, one could even see her pale, soft skin bruise and deform as the spider’s skin and carapace intertwined with it, and from there, the sinister spider’s figure sat at rest. The fur that covered much of it, if one could call those bristles ‘fur’ was the same color as the hair on her head, which likely only added to the abnormal appearance she bore. After all, most spiders weren’t blonde. Despite the unique color it was, as expected, equal parts awful and impressive. Avvercus kept silent as he finally took in Abigail’s disfigurement with his own two eyes, and his expression remained a relaxed smile. He adjusted his empty sword sheath as he knelt down on the creaking floorboards, resisting the urge to sneeze as dust was kicked up. Without any obvious motions from the Mage, a ball of soft white light appeared at his shoulder, washing abigail’s spider half in a clear glow that made inspection infinitely easier. Avvercus held out a hand, his palm hovering less than a foot away from the Alchemist. He was sure to be slow and easy with his movements, so as not to make his host skittish. His eyes closed, and the man went still for a minute. Subtle, micro particles of mana swirled from Avvercus’ hand to surround and pass through Abigail’s spider bits before returning to him. “Hmm… Absolutely zero mana radiation. Signs of...hmm ok, ok. It almost seems like Fleshcraft, but not quite. It’s...intense and extensive. I’ve only dabbled in the art, there is no way I could undo this safely. However, I can do this for now,” Avvercus muttered to himself, frowning in concentration. The tip of his finger took on an emerald green glow before he began to scrawl, leaving behind a trail of mana script in mid-air. Like a master calligrapher, Avvercus created a beautiful work of art in the form of a magic circle embedded with several runes. He pushed it forward gently with his palm, pressing in into Abigail’s soft blond hairs. The rune melded with her flesh before the spider-body shimmered. Abdomen, legs, and thorax were replaced by a pair of shapely human legs covered by a simple knee length skirt. The feet were slipped into a pair of simple black boots. Avvercus stood up to inspect his handiwork. “Well, I guess that works. This is just an illusion. Your spider parts are still there, but at least you look normal. With this, you can walk around without attracting attention. Which is good, because I’m taking you back to your old lab. We’re gonna figure this out.” Avvercus nodded to himself, affirming his own intentions. This woman needed a heavy-handed push, and he was willing to provide it. Abigail was numb; she stared down at her legs in shock, her legs. There was nothing more she’d missed in the entire world, not her home, not her job, not her status, there was nothing that mattered quite like humanity to her now. Abigail took a hesitant step forward...and felt her right foreleg shift forward, felt the monster’s body twist as she took a step. Her face fell. Her humanity was a falsehood, of course. She shouldn’t have been surprised, of course; Avvercus had told her himself that it was an illusion to hide her identity; just another facade she was going to have to wear. She took a few more steps, keenly aware that the dress didn’t necessarily cover everywhere her body should have been. She took a few steps backwards with only her hind legs, just to see where her illusion would place her. As her weight shifted, the illusion followed, and she experimentally took a step forward and background, stare still transfixed on her ‘legs.’ “So, you would forsake my request for peace, and force me out into a world I have no part in, is that it?” She was curt, and while she wasn’t terribly impressed with his decision, she was secretly pleased with the outcome. If things went as planned, if he could indeed get her back to her lab, if she could take the time to figure out a solution without blowing her cover, perhaps there was hope. “Correct. Helping people onto Fate’s paths to happiness is what I do. Afterall, I am an Acolyte to the Goddess of Fate herself,” He revealed with a smile. “Gather what you need to bring, I’ll store it in a pocket dimension for the trip.” Avvercus stepped off to the side along with his ball of magelight. He grasped it in one hand, muttered some incantation, and the ball’s light turned a light green. He bathed his left hand in it, slowly closing up and healing the cuts Abigail had dug into it and making the blood still covering it seep back into the skin. It was a quick process, taking less than ten seconds. It was also largely an unnecessary one. His body would have taken ambient mana from the air and used it to heal him over a few minutes, but it wasn’t terribly often he had the chance to practice healing magic on himself. Might as well use the opportunity, right? “Goddess indeed.” She sighed, muttering a quick word under her breath to her Emperor. She doubted he listened to the likes of her ilk, now, but perhaps he’d be fooled by her legs. Perhaps not, but it was better than nothing. Abigail turned back towards her things, and cast an unimpressed look around. There was naught here for her to remember; nothing she cared to bring along, and certainly nothing worth packing up. She ran her fingers gingerly along the old, scavenged equipment with a sigh of longing, then let her hand drop to her side. She sashayed to her ‘bed’ and rifled through the various bits of scrap cloth that made up the next, and only found some jewelery she’d been wearing as she left. The earrings weren’t that expensive, and her father’s ring, while beautiful, seemed like it was forbidden now. How would her family react to seeing her wear it in this….state? She left that behind, too, but did grab one of the longer scraps of cloth. She wound it around her neck and up her jaw, hiding her lips and nose from the world as she rejoined Avvercus in the boathouse. Exactly once, her hidden hind legs struck the table as she walked past, and she shot a dirty glance at it. She couldn’t even pretend that she was normal anymore, she could only hide the shame and hope that was enough. “There’s nothing worth saving in here.” She spoke, referring to herself as well. “Let’s just go, before I change my mind about this.” The sun was a low hanging fruit on the horizon when the door to Abigail’s shack shuddered open. Avvercus had taken the lead, and held it open for his companion, waiting for her to take several steps beyond before closing it so he wouldn’t catch her legs. He joined her, drawing the hood of his robes up to cover his silver hair so the pair would be as inconspicuous during their travels as possible. Pressing his index fingers and thumbs together, the man gathered some mana and spread them apart, creating a see-through screen of magic energy that clearly displayed the continent of Genesaris. “So, where are we going?” The sun was a new experience for her eyes. As they quickly shifted from that...sickly vision she adopted in the dark, back into a more human sight, all she could think of was how odd the world looked. In the last few weeks, she’d only known darkness, only known hiding. She’d adopted the mantra of the spider, to stay low in her web and subsist where stranger things could not harm her. Right now, the sun’s rays, merciful and gentle as they began to ebb, were the strangest thing of all. She watched the sun fall for a full five minutes, and when she looked away, realized she’d been tearing up. She blinked away those tears for now, and glanced at his map. Gnawing on her lip, she lightly fingered her own home. “Before you found me like this...I live in the city of Umbra. Specifically, I worked in the foremost academy of magic studies and the like, Bronte. I…” She sniffed, brushing some loose hair out of her face. “I regrettably forgot to present Madame Brouchard with my resignation when I left. I wonder if she forgot about me right away…” She trailed off. She wouldn’t blame the headmistress for doing so. Out here, with such limited resources, Abigail was beginning to wonder if she was ever any good at her job. Her problem-solving skills left something to be desired, and in Bronte, supplies had never been an issue. Ironically, supplies had been the reason she’d been mutated, too. Perhaps she was never cut out for work like this… Avvercus reached up and lightly patted Abigail’s shoulder, another attempt at some sort of comfort that he thought might be taken as pity. Nonetheless, he would be supportive of this obviously distressed woman. He didn’t personally agree with her outlook on life, but he wouldn’t condemn her for it either. Had he not owed her a life debt, he probably would have simply left her here because of it, however. “Well, it’s quite a distance to travel by foot. I can get us within reasonable walking distance, however.” Without any more explanation, Avvercus took a few steps beyond Abigail, onto a narrow trail that had clearly only been made recently. He reached out his left hand, palm forward, and began to concentrate. The space in front of him warped and twisted, cracking like heated glass before a gate appeared. A simple doorway, large enough for one to pass through at a time, suddenly manifested in the form of a mirror of black and white energy. When it was done, Avvercus’ hand dropped limply, and he exhaled as though trying to catch his breath and prevent dizziness. “Well, ladies first,” he offered with a drained smile, stepping off to the side and gesturing towards the portal. On the other side, one would find an abandoned camp. Rusted wrought iron cages with wrent hinges and melted bars could be found throughout along with gouged earth, torn tents, and other signs of a fierce battle fought some time ago. Isolated in fairly small, rarely visited forest, it seemed none had stumbled upon the place, or at least disturbed it, since the original inhabitants had left it behind. Abigail eyed the portal skeptically, but stepped through nonetheless. She had to remember to lift her feet individually, which, again, wasn’t too hard. Her new shape hadn’t changed how she felt, after all. There was an odd sensation as she stepped through, simply because one part of her body and the other were so far away, yet so close. It passed as she did, however, and not long after she was at ease. The alchemist fidgeted with her apron and turned around to face Avvercus as he came through, still remaining silent. Inwardly, she was beginning to feel some degree of hope. If they got back to Umbra without her being exposed, she might be able to convince the Headmistress to give her a new job. From there, if she could find the manifest that included the shipment she’d ordered, she might be able to get in contact with the business that sent them the supplies. From there, perhaps she’d be able to deduce what had gone wrong. That was a lot of guesswork, however. She needed to get there first, and from there maybe things would go her way. “Well, this place looks…” She paused. Detestable? Unseemly? Really, it didn’t matter; it was better than her quaint little hovel back at the lakeside. Her unseen limbs would have clacked against the half-buried stone that surrounded them, but thankfully Avvercus’ runes were somewhat competent, and only the soft glomping of leather soles on stone echoed in the still air. She cast an unsure look around, wondering briefly if it would have been best to refuse him. When Abigail had stepped through, Avvercus took a deep breath and tossed his head back as a shudder ran the length of his body. Two portals in a day was always rough. Gathering his bearings, Avvercus made to follow his charge. The familiar feeling of infinity filled Avvercus as he made his way through the gate, experiencing an eternity and instance in time all at once as he moved between two points in space. The fringe of fleeting memories rushed him as he took in the camp. It was here he had first met his favorite student. She was like a little sister to him, that one. “It looks like a difference in opinions forced it into derelict, and that is exactly what happened. I met a young woman here over a year ago. She was in the midst of being enslaved, but after some negotiating I managed to convince the slavers here to sell her to me. I simply released her, and she did the rest. Quite the destructive personality, that one. From here, I’d estimate we’ve about a weeks walk till we reach Umbra. Shall we begin?” Avvercus took the lead, walking with an easy and efficient gait that didn’t bother to mask his footfalls. Keeping Abigail in mind, he set a pace she could easily keep up with whilst traversing the carnage of the destroyed slave camp. Healthy, green maple and oak trees soon took over the landscape, denying a straight and clear path to the pair. The chirping of birds was replaced by crickets as night fully settled in. Avvercus nearly produced a mage light on reflex, but a few things caught his notice. Abigail had made the potion that saved him in total darkness, a feat that might have been attributed to familiarity with her surroundings and a skilled hand able to make alchemic substances without the aid of sight. However, her lack of complaints in regards to difficulty navigating and her ability to follow behind without issue led him to the conclusion that she was perfectly able in the dark. A rune was quickly produced and proliferated, creating a soft glow not unlike a firefly. Also like fireflies, the light from the runes faded as Avvercus set them into his eyes with a slight motion of his hand. Now, his emerald orbs might be mistaken for the eyes of some exotic cat as the forest became as clear as day by his sight. “I don’t suppose you have any questions for me? I’d like to make you as comfortable as possible during our trip, and you certainly don’t seem the type to be at ease around strangers” “Just get us moving, already.” Abigail replied stiffly, staring elsewhere. She was out in the open. Granted, it was dark out, and this place did seem deserted. She couldn’t escape the sensation that the phantoms of whatever even struck this place were content to haunt her as well, eager to hang off her shoulders like a cloak of guilt. As if she didn’t have her own share of burdens, why had she come to this place, this nest of pain? Why hadn’t he taken her somewhere further along, or better still, why had he even bothered to begin with? He should have left her behind, but instead he’d elected to drag her into this. Abigail quickly began striding towards the horizon after Avvercus pointed out which way they needed to go, falling quiet. She still had the chance to stay behind, she told herself. This wasn’t a guaranteed thing; if Avvercus turned out to be facetious, she could always make a break for it when he paused to rest. Yet, this offer, this act on his behalf, to take her away from this hell and towards a solution, somewhere, called to her. If she just accepted his help, maybe she could turn things around. She was still uncomfortable trying it, but at the same time...she didn’t have much choice, did she? For once, Avvercus didn't reply to Abigail. It was clear she was anxious, nervous, and unhappy with the situation she'd found herself in. Some peace and quiet on their walk through the woods was a simple thing he would let her have. A calming medley of wild nightlife set a cadence to their march, allowing Avvercus to set his mind wandering on a wide array of things he needed to contemplate. He had many responsibilities to attend to, relations to upkeep, and threads of fate to pluck and weave here and there and when and where. A busy man who was in no hurry, escorting a random and frankly undesirable girl a long distance across unknown and potentially dangerous lands rather than easing what should be an anxiety-inducing weight. Beams of starlight stabbed soft veils across their path, slipping through the canopy of this rarely trekked forest. There were no signs of unusual inhabitants here; No fae or elves or other sentient woodland dwellers. A simple forest, something that was ironically rare in this land. It didn't even take the pair an hour to leave the swaying boughs behind and embrace a long, rolling stretch of grass that disappeared into the dark horizon. There was still no path to be seen, indicating they were definitely not taking a typical route through Genesaris. "Tell me if you need rest or food. We can stop and make camp anytime. No need to push yourself," Avvercus tossed over his shoulder without stopping or looking back. His tone lacked the usual warmth, a product of his being lost in thought. The night was surely going to be a long one.
  9. When Fates Align

    Avvercus’ eyes lingered on Raven’s back as they walked. It was a soft gaze, but hesitant. Like a hand held out to grab her shoulder, but unable to commit to the action. Her fate was a twisted maze, one even he couldn’t properly navigate. He left her visage be, choosing instead to take some interest in the four Raven had saved before he’d had the chance. Children, bright and full of a promising future, if subject to a misfortunate present. Watching them, listening to the innocently naive questions, it brought a warm smile to his face. He was tempted to answer himself, but found it far more amusing for Raven herself to indulge the curiosity of these poor refugees. Then there was the older gentleman. Sitting down with a mug of wine in an environment made cozy by the optimistic, Avvercus studied him closely. Fate coiled around him tightly, patiently. He was much like Avvercus, one who helps shape the fate of others, both directly and indirectly. An interesting individual, one to keep his eye on. “I see you remembered my...aversion to strong tasting alcohol. Thank you for the drink,” Avvercus began, taking a sip of what he was offered. Sweet, easy going down, just the kind of brew he could agree with. “I will apologize on Red’s behalf, since she isn’t in the city at the moment. I’m working on cleaning up this mess, but I am a specialist in magic, not disease. Tracking down the source is proving difficult as well, though I’m sure you and I both know what the likely answer is. But, without proof I can’t make a move,” Avvercus apologized with a weary frown. He had clearly not slept in days, an observation assisted by the unpleasant odor clinging to his person and the rough stubble prickling along his jawline. “I just need a bit more time… I will keep this from spreading beyond the walls, I promise,” Avvercus claimed, suddenly draining the rest of his drink all at once. He stood up then, and bowed to the present company. “I’m sorry for drinking and running, but I can’t rest until these children are safe. We will catch up another time, my dear little Raven,” Avvercus referred to the younglings Caps had brought with him. He turned to leave the tent, stumbling and catching himself on the entrance. He smacked his face with both hands, clenched his fists, and strode with purpose and determination towards the walls he was entrusted with. The moment the man left, Aventus visibly relaxed with a heaving sigh. The death grip he’d held onto Raven with loosened, and the boy suddenly felt restless. He was young, but observant and intelligent. He’d managed to gather a vague understanding of the situation he found himself in. Mother, I’m in trouble. I’ve definitely stumbled into trouble… “Um...Mr. Caps? Could you read my future, please? I don’t know… What to do. I feel so lost…” the boy admitted, sheepishly looking to the floor to avoid his elders gaze’s. He couldn’t go home, and he felt like he was a burden on Miss Raven. This area was dangerous, that much was obvious, so he couldn’t simply wander off without her protection.
  10. Hi.

    Welcome back! It's always a joy to see a returning face.
  11. Pale Blood, Crimson Flame

    With her good hand, Rainza helped Ansen up onto the platform at the top of the stairs. Her blood had run cold when she instinctively tried to create a chain to toss him and nothing happened. She thought he had fallen and she had failed to save him because she relied on her Aldrak nature. Now breathing slow and deep, she fought with her own heart to calm its furious beating. Rainza peered over the edge where the stairs had been. She couldn’t penetrate the thick, rolling mist that thankfully didn’t ascend any higher. Ansen might be able to survive in it long enough to escape the tower, but any contact she had with the stuff would surely disintegrate her aldrak flesh. Going down wasn’t an option. Hopefully defeating the master of this tower would lead to a healthy escape, one way or another. Ansen inquired as to whether or not she was ready. Rainza’s answer wasn’t a verbal one. The tiny girl pounded towards the door, throwing her shoulder against the ivory gilding with all of her weight. The sound of a latch breaking screamed out, and the door buckled inward before Rainza stumbled into the round chamber. The chanting reached a crescendo as the lone man in the room finished his dark arcanery. Clad in dark purple vestiges that clung about him like the mist filling the valley, one could only assume the hooded figure was a man by his voice and towering stature. Standing at roughly seven feet tall, he struck an imposing outline that was only further fueled by the eerie backdrop he stood in front of. The walls of the chamber were covered in crimson writing. The script was maddening, alien. Simply looking at it caused a headache, and further inspection would surely lead to a mental breakdown. Rainza didn’t wait for banter or monologues. Immediately, she dashed at the warlock and attempted to shove her borrowed blade into where she thought his knee would be. The man didn’t move, but laughed as the dark flames plunged through his robes to find no purchase. The blade clattered to the ground, slipping from Rainza’s grasp when her fingers became as dust after contacting his clothing. She skipped back and began to throw her gaze around the room, searching for a solution. “Simply kkkkkkkilling you would be a poor reward for all the entertainment you’ve provided me today, dddddon’t you thiiiiithiithtih? Besides, my my my musing here are satedquenchedappeasedslaked *cough cough*” the man’s voice ebbed and waned like echoes from the past and future, and his gibbering was interrupted by a whooping cough that sloshed his blood into a pool at his feet. Clearly, he wasn’t quite right in the head… Or body. He uttered some indiscernible incantation like slithering tentacles on the eardrums, and a dark portal gaped open behind him, sucking at the sparse candlelight illuminating the room. “Put on a good show, who knows maybebebebe you’ll livebutnotforlongalldieeventually,” he threw over his shoulder as he was devoured by the jaws of his portal snapping shut. Suddenly, the entire tower shook violently, tossing Rainza and Ansen to the ground. The same terrifying roar they had heard when they first entered the valley bellowed out from directly above, threatening to shatter their ears through the sheer volume of shuddered rumbling through the airwaves. The top of the tower cracked open in a jagged line, stretching open like the maw of some great beast. Teeth sprouted all along the walls, great jabbing fangs and incisors that hungered to rip and tear. The walls themselves began to meld, turning from hardened stone to glistening purple flesh. The entire tower itself was a mimic, and the two of them were already in its throat. “There was another set of stairs out there, you should be able to run down them and escape through the mist! I can’t go, mist that thick will immediately kill me. I’ll meet you on the ground, trust me! Go!” Rainza shouted over the noise. Ansen wouldn’t survive what she had planned. Would she?
  12. A Divine Deployment

    The bath was a long, long time coming. Months of sand and sweat, and hours of blood, mud, and ash had peeled away from Hudson’s skin in a way he imagined must feel for a snake to shed its skin. Despite the eccentric master of the home, and its less than aesthetic interior, that ten minutes of hot water and blissful soap had made this entire event worth it. If you hadn’t shot the dragon, you could have taken as long a bath as you wanted, and sooner An imaginary Rin in the Marine’s head reminded him that this was all his fault. Fuck, the one time he didn’t stay disciplined. But hey, who could really blame him? Most people who ‘died’ in battle just to end up in a strange world and suddenly presented with a big ass dragon out of nowhere would have panicked and started firing, right? Hudson would never admit it, but the maid made him very uncomfortable. He was a man, after all. A man who had been deployed for nearly a year, and had next to no contact with women whatsoever during that time. And here was this attractive maid in a revealing outfit, dragging him around this ridiculous house with his companion whom he didn’t want thinking he was staring. Speaking of which, the dress she’d been given looked very much the same, but somehow better than the first. Not a man of fashion or subtly in dress, Hudson couldn't put his finger on it. For his part, the Marine was given a green tunic, sturdy green pants, and his own boots that miraculously had avoided getting any blood on them. He’d strapped his gear to this new outfit that was strangely light, but comfortable and easy to move in. He couldn’t tell if it all fit him properly or not. The lounge was no better. As they moved to sit, Hudson allowed Rin to walk on her own without complaint, but he kept a watchful eye out to make sure she couldn’t fall or push herself too hard. The pair sat on the loveseat, neither wanting to end up sitting next to the vampire when he arrived. Hudson immediately tackled the table, shoving food down his throat without restraint. If asked, he’d never be able to say if it tasted good or not. He just knew he was incredibly hungry for something that wasn’t an MRE. The cookies Rin had given him were tasty, sure. But, not exactly filling. After eating his fill, Hudson leaned back into the seat, trying to relax. He was going to need to leave everything up to Rin here. His ignorance as far as the local language went was troubling to him. He was infinitely grateful for her help and perfectly fine with relying on her, but he also worried she was going to get the two of them into trouble at some point because of her nature. Tumbling over these thoughts, it was then he noticed it. The chandelier in the room, hanging not more than ten feet overhead. It It was a fucking stuffed, pink cat The light came from its eyes, and the ridiculously fluffy thing looked pissed. “We need to get out of here. Now,” Hudson hissed into Rin’s ear, a low whisper he didn’t want overheard by- “Hellooooooo darlings. Terribly sorry for keeping you, I had some… Business. You're not my o~~~nly guests today~” The unfortunately familiar voice filled the room in a sing-song that was, admittedly, perfectly pitched and not unpleasant to the ears. Fizzroy swung himself onto the couch opposite his guests, sprawling out on it like a king. “I see you’ve already partaken of the snacks here, and you’ve had a bath. Excellent, excellent. I am rather busy, so I’m afraid we can’t spend much time on this little meeting. I slipped the two of you between appointments, you see,” the vampire felt the need to whisper as he leaned over the table. Still leaning, the man leered at Rin with an almost mischievous smile. “Now, I have three offers. Two are for you, my sweet, adorable little Rinnypoo~ and one is for your scary scary friend here! Now don’t be alarmed, but you simply smell… Divine. Virgin blood of such a fine age is… rare, in this aaaaaaaaaaarea~ If you would allow me to take some, I would be willing to pay as handsomely as the face you’re looking at. Right. Now~” the vampire began, putting a pinky to one of his fangs as his eyes drew their way to the albino’s neck. “The second offer is very simple. I’d like to play dress up with you, dear Rindalin. You’re almost as lovely looking moi, and a few paintings of you in various dress would make great ediiiiiiition to my collection. Just imagine, your cute little tushie decorating my walls!” At this point, the vampire was standing and twirling, pacing the room in his excitement. He found his seat again rather quickly, and pointed to Hudson. “As for hmm hmmmmmm hmm hiiiiim~ I’m going to be taking a stroll this evening, and attending a… Party, of sorts. I could use a nice meantshi… Ah, I mean a scary scary companion to keep stray dogs and bible salesmen away from me during my time out! What do you say, RinRin, interested in one or all of my irresistible ventures?” The entire exchange was annoying to Hudson. Somehow, he could tell whatever Fizzroy was saying would irritate the hell out of him, as if on instinct. He turned to Rin, watching her face for any bad giveaways, and waited for her to explain things to him.
  13. The Rabbit Hole

    Where one stage of life ends, another begins. Be one human, demon, god, or monster, all experience this shift in their lives at least once. For Lante, a young man who wasn’t quite demon, but also wasn’t quite human, his decision this day was the first step across the threshold of one such shift. It may not have been his first, but it was most certainly the most significant since his birth. The youth became a beacon of mana the moment his palm touched paper. From his hand, it swirled up his arm, a flowing stream twisting in ruby helixes of arcane power. This ceremonial show enveloped his entire body for a moment before converging within his chest. From there, a ball of light like some imitation of the soul emerged to float in front of Lante. The light faded, and in its place floated an object that would accompany the aspiring mage for the rest of his days. The leather cover was bone white, an unsoiled field of snow begging for boot prints and snow angels, blood and ash, anything to paint its canvas. This desire was granted, as wine red letters etched themselves as the title to this untold story in bold, sharp letters. LANTE The grimoire floated there, waiting for its master to take it in hand. The lonely pages were blank, hungering for knowledge to fill them from edge to edge. It wouldn’t take long for them to be satiated; Lante needed only pay heed to his teacher’s lessons. Avvercus’ eyes shone with anticipation. A new student. A new legend to grant their first stepping stone to greatness. Beneath those windows of consciousness curved a drained smiled, painted on pale skin gone gray. Bluish veins stood out at Avvercus’ temples and cheeks, and one could feel the mana around him slowly disappearing, seeping into the man and becoming his. To create such a powerful artifact is no small feat. The cost must be paid in blood or mana, and Avvercus chose the less drastic of the two. “Take it, Lante. This is the first step to becoming a Vulaerian mage, and proof of our bond as master and student. That grimoire will act as your archive. All you learn will be stored within, to be easily remembered at a moment’s need. And should you have the need, it is also a powerful catalyst for channeling the aether,” Avvercus explained, just before an odd pair entered the tavern. LaPlace was familiar with them. The eccentric Goblin Slayer and his faithful Priestess. A man of experience and fortitude willing to help out even the most green of adventurers so long as he got to kill goblins, and a pure and good-hearted girl who wanted nothing more than to heal the wounded. They were more than welcome at his inn. “Oh, Master Priestess, a moment if you would. After some thought, I have decided to accept your application. You have the job, if you still want it. Ah, and take this, on the house,” he explained, stopping the healer before she could scurry off, handing her a cup of tea for herself and Goblin Slayer. The next to enter the tavern was truly an interesting specimen. Though well disguised, there was nothing that passed through LaPlace Square that the Rabbit didn’t know from head to toe. So it was no surprise to him when the veil was cast aside, and a Demoness replaced the human woman who had ordered coffee. His whiskers pulled back in what seemed to be a smile as the rabbit-man lifted his top hat from his head with a white-gloved hand. Sitting between his ears was a white coffee cup, filled to the brim with the black soul liquid sought by many a tired and weary traveler. “Your coffee, my fair lady. Might I trouble you for your name, and the name of your fine companion?” he asked, placing the cup before the strange traveler without spilling a drop.
  14. >Epithet >Thou shall refer to me as The Doctor, PEASANT. >Occupation >Why, I am a Plague Doctor. DOST THOU LACK EYES? >Age >Old enough to have gone to three weeks of medical school, simpleton! >Birthplace >SomewhereinEnglandshire.parchment >Alignment >Thine only allegiance is to SCIENCE! >Appearance >Black robes, oversized hat, medicine pouch, spice bags, medicinal almanacs, bitchin' full head crow mask, bitchin' cane >Likes >Piney-apple, being the doctor, my bitchin' cane, my ludicrous amount of gold >Dislikes >Pests, Peasants, THOU. BEGONE, HERETIC
  15. Pale Blood, Crimson Flame

    Rainza’s expectations were not sullied. Ansen dispatched his foes and was far less worse for wear than she. His doting kindled a tiny warmth in her chest, nearly bringing a small smile to her face. However, she let out a huff and pushed him back gently with her good hand. Time would be wasted tending to her injuries. None of them prevented her from fighting or moving, and none would kill her. “I’m fine,” she insisted, giving her Knight’s body a glance over, “and so are you. You can do whatever you please when we’ve escaped this place. For now, focus on staying alive. Come.” The Aldrak’s command was firm but not unkind. She honestly liked how he worried, but ultimately found it futile. She crouched down to pick up another of the abyssal blades, shoving the handle into Ansen’s hand. “I don’t care if it goes against what you believe. Use this. Kill before we are killed. Repent later.” When her flat tone faded into the mist, Rainza turned her stone gaze away from Ansen. She knew the man was religious, and that slaying demons was part of his creed. He seemed to be familiar with the black flames enveloping the blades each of them now held. She assumed it might be against his beliefs, but had no concrete proof. Her fierce eyes fell onto the tower doors. They were enormous, and looked like they swung outward rather than in. After scanning for traps or more foes, Rainza grasped a handle on the door and strained as she yanked. With Ansen’s help, the portal quietly swung open, and smoothly at that. More mist poured from the threshold, showing that the tower was not free of the stuff. Without hesitation, Rainza took the first step onto a long, lavish purple rug that ran the length of a marble foyer. Disturbing, eldritch statues flanked the hall depicting horrific creatures and twisted, corrupted humanoid figures. Passing by each with murderous eyes, Rainza kept her guard up for any that might spring to life. Bones littered the floor here. They were humanoid, and many still had cloth and bits of armor loosely clinging about them. The majority piled about the foot of a long, winding spiral staircase that climbed and climbed up the tower’s core, ending at what Rainza estimated was two hundred feet overhead. Her mouth formed a line as she pursed her lips and lidded her eyes with disdain and unamusement. With what was almost annoyance at an insignificant inconvenience, Rainza jabbed her short sword into the first step. Immediately, a piercing screech echoed around the chamber while the stairs began to flail. Gaping jaws of death opened up on every step, writhing in pain as Rainza continued to casually jab at the mimic until finally it died and turned to a fine gray ash that sprinkled atop the purple carpet of the real stairway. “Never again. Piece of shit. There better be something sentient at the top of this tower. When I’m done brutalizing it, I’m gonna feed it to one of these fucking things,” Rainza grumbled. She gave Ansen a glance over her shoulder before taking the first step up the stairs. “Stay back a few steps. If I’m grabbed by another mimic I’m counting on you to save me again.”