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Grimshar

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About Grimshar

  • Rank
    Immortal of Sithrak
  • Birthday 03/05/1993

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  • Location
    Washington State
  • Interests
    Gaming, Hiking, Hunting, Target Shooting, Electrical Engineering.
  • Occupation
    IT Support Specialist

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  1. Grimshar

    The Final Beginning

    Ted whistled appreciatively as he craned his neck to stare up at the mountain range above them, "That's a big fucking mountain." It truly was, the peak of the mountain wasn't even visible, it was obscured by a dark, dense layer of storm clouds. Lightning forked through the storm, a constant and ceaseless phenomenon that lit up the mountainside with bright flashes. Renkor stood beside him, staring up the mountainside in a strange solidarity, as if he had been forced to climb the side of the mountain and knew the pain that Ted was about to be subject to. "So Renkor... let me get this straight." Ted pointed at the clouds above them. "Up there, just below the cloud line, is a fortress?" It was obvious that Ted didn't believe it by the way his gaze laid heavily upon Renkor. "And inside that fortress, Caliben and Milde are lying in wait... to... assassinate you?" Renkor nodded once, succinctly, uninterested in rehashing the information he had already given to Ted. "And you want us to climb this mountain, enter the fortress, kill them, and then what?" Renkor turned to stare at Ted, his normally cold eyes seeming to come alive, like an ethereal flame burned within them. "Then, Ted, we burn Valjer." Ted recoiled slightly at the vehemence with which Renkor said it, the display of emotion more than he was used to from the man. Without waiting for Ted to say anything else, Renkor started forward, leaping onto the face of the mountain and finding a handhold like some kind of preternatural goat. With a weary sight of resignation, Ted followed him, and for some reason, found the climb rather easy going. It was almost as if he was lighter, almost floating upwards with each new grasp on the mountainside. Before he knew it, he was pulling himself up over the final ledge, gasping, but much better off than the multiple hour climb would normally demand of him. Renkor was crouched in the eerie twilight of the storm, shushing him as he flopped on the ground. As he lay there, his chest heaving from exertion, he craned his neck to look around around the mountain shelf. He was surprised to find that Renkor wasn't kidding, there was an honest to god fortress built into the mountainside. It wasn't enormous, nothing like the Dwarven kingdoms, this fortress was only around three stories high. The only part of the fortress itself that was visible, was a barbican, as if the designer of the fortress had simply just reshaped the exterior wall of the mountain to resemble one. The same symbols that flowed across Renkor's skin were etched into the stone, matching the almost whimsical and fluid architecture of the fortress. A ten foot wall extended out from the barbican, creating what he assumed was a rather large outer courtyard. Renkor motioned him forward, towards the wall, and he reluctantly got up and advanced towards it with the man. As they approached, the exterior of the walls became clearer, and his surprise turned to shock. The exterior of the walls was covered in a tapestry of characters that had been carved into the stone, it wasn't any written language that he had seen before, the symbols not using the common ones that most people were familiar with. The characters flowed around the wall, swirling around massive, six foot characters that were inscribed deep within the stone, as if the large characters were the anchors of the text. Renkor moved towards the wall, ignoring the gates some distance off to their right, and reached out to touch the wall. As he did so, blue energy erupted from the top of the wall, extending all the way up to the top of the fortress, creating a dome of light over the entire courtyard and fortress. Renkor turned to Ted, an annoyed look crossing his face, "They've activated the shielding, we won't be climbing over, or going through the gate. It seems that fortune has smiled upon us though, since you're here, and I have no other way of breaking in." Ted's eyebrow rose questioningly, Renkor expected him to be able to break through a magical shield? Rune magic? He glanced down at the small sigil on his palm, the Dwarven rune for 'spark', that allowed him to create a spark to ignite his explosives in any conditions. It was doubtful. Renkor seemed to think differently though. "Ted, the shield doesn't extend to the wall itself. The wall is the generator of the shield, the power source, crack it open and we are in. Easy." It seemed simple enough, and the characters inscribed in the wall gave him a good place to anchor his explosives. He started forming some with his hands, the consistency thick and doughy, pliable enough that with effort he could shape it, but still sticky enough that hit would cling to the crevices in the stone. A slight shiver ran through him as he felt his blood, his life force, flowing out of him. It was a draining experience. He packed the explosive into one of the large characters, figuring it was already about the right size for them to be able to step through. He stepped back, admiring the dark red substance that now filled every corner of the character, then slapped his hand against it to light it, and ran. They made it a fair distance away, hugging close to the curved wall, using it for protection against shrapnel and the concussive blast. The remained there, crouched, breathing heavily, Ted looking like a corpse risen. Eventually there was a deep 'whump', followed by the sound of stone breaking, like a landslide, and the shock-wave rolled over them. Dust was lifted off the ground, filling the air with a haze, but even so they were able to see the shield overhead flicker out of existence. A satisfied grin wormed its way across Ted's face, despite the toll it took on his body, there was always a sense of exhilaration after blowing something up. The two men jogged back over to the now jagged hole in the wall, Ted stopping briefly to admire his handiwork. The hole wasn't clean, but it was large enough that they could step through without having to lower themselves at all. Renkor stepped through first, and Ted followed. The courtyard was a mess, rotting Xer-Orian corpses littered the ground, so numerous that there was almost no way to avoid stepping on them. A raised dais was on the left side of the courtyard, blacksmiths tools and a large anvil set atop it. Racks of gleaming weaponry lined the walls of the courtyard, a well in the corner, a roped off section that looked like a sparring or training area. The doors to the fortress were wide open, but the interior was pitch black. Renkor chuckled darkly, a sound that was so full of malice that it caught Ted off guard. "You've done well Ted, very well, exceeded my expectations even." Renkor moved in a blur, whirling around, something smacked into Ted's head, and everything went dark.
  2. Grimshar

    The Final Beginning

    Ted remained kneeling next to Aelyria's supine form, listening to the ragged breath that rattled in and out of her lungs. He watched, on the verge of a nervous breakdown, hoping that she would wake up. But, she did not. Each breath drawn was shallower than the last, until finally... she stopped. He stared down at the cooling corpse of the woman that he had spent so much time with over the past few weeks, his mind raging against the thought of her being dead. She was the last link he had to civilization, to humanity, to people... Sure he could probably depend on Caliben, but Caliben was either dead or in Lunaris, and he had no clue where he himself was now. A sound escaped him, a mix between an exasperated sigh and a sob of hysteria. He was alone. He reached down, tearing away her mask and placing his fingertips against her throat, feeling for a pulse, there was none. He stared down at her bruised and muddy body, suddenly losing any hope that he would find Renkor. He pushed himself up from his squat next to Aelyria's corpse and brushed the muck from his pants with his fingers, probably only succeeding in making it worse. What did he do now? He would have to continue without her, he would have to at least try. The wind shifted around him as he prepared to leave, sweeping away the lingering mists and tugging on his coat. He stilled with the winds, his skin tingling, he could have sworn he had heard his name on the wind. A prickling sensation ran up the left side of his body, his head snapping to look left at the unnatural feeling. He jumped in surprise, a man was standing within arms reach of him, staring down at Aelyria. His stomach dropped when he recognized the man, Renkor. His brain struggled to process Renkor's sudden appearance, the only thing he could think of doing was saying the man's name, like an inarticulate fool. "Renkor..." Where in the name of the Gods had he come from? "What are you doing here? Is it really you?" He couldn't believe what he was seeing, was it really this easy? If so, why hadn't Renkor come to them earlier, in the jungle? The man, whose features were unmistakably those of Renkor's, crouched down next to Aelyria's corpse. He trailed his fingers up her neck and jaw, ever so delicate, and carefully scraped away the moss and muck Ted had so messily slathered on. Ted watched him carefully, making note of his posture, the tortured expression on the man's face. "Yes, Ted. It's me." Renkor sighed, his fingertips pausing on Aelyria's chin, carefully tilting her head so he could stare into her eyes. Ted's features hardened, his senses coming back to him, he took a subtle step away from the man to distance himself, but he got the feeling that the man knew exactly what he was doing anyway and was uncaring. "Say my name." Renkor turned his head towards Ted, standing up to his full height to face him, "Thaddeus Bothwick, the Thirteenth of your lineage." Ted gave no indication that the answer was correct. Instead he followed with the challenge that he and Renkor had frequently used. "What chases the stars?" A wry smile spread across the exposed parts of Renkor's face, it was easy to tell when you knew the man so well, the corners of his eyes rose as his cheeks lifted. "The Wind." Under normal circumstances, Ted would have accepted the answer and taken this man to truly be Renkor. Now however, the circumstances were too suspicious. He challenged Renkor with one final question, something that only Renkor could know. "What did you tell me the night we killed that fat-cat politician in Scales Village? After you tossed me over that cobble wall." Renkor's grin deepened, almost seeming to take on an amused, or perhaps malicious, tone. "I told you that no matter how hard we try, we can't make the world a better place." Renkor's eyes turned to Aelyria's form and lingered there for a moment, as if considering something. Ted deflated, the wind taken completely from his sails, this truly was Renkor. He stepped closer to him, taking comfort in the man's presence, happy to just not be alone anymore in this unfamiliar land. He motioned to Aelyria, "I tried to save her, it wasn't my intention for her to die." Renkor nodded, placing his hand on Ted's shoulder, the only form of solace the man ever offered. "I know. It was mine." Ted's breath hitched, what? His voice echoed his thoughts, "What?" Renkor's hand slipped free from Ted's shoulder, falling back into place at his side. "It was my intention from before any of you stepped through the portal in the Blue Hills that Aelyria and Caliben would fall. They have betrayed me, they have betrayed us." Ted felt himself losing his grip on reality, his thoughts spinning in a chaotic whirlwind as he thought of every single interaction he'd had with the two over the past weeks. He was unable to think of anything overtly suspicious regarding their behavior towards Renkor, aside from being insufferable. Renkor apparently sensed his internal plight and took pity on him, "My exile from the seat of my home, my power, was not an accident. No... Aelyria worked in secret with that witch of a woman, Valerie Valmer, to exile me from the South. They turned the entire town against me, all for power and money, now they work with the Empire, hunting and killing non-humans, seizing their assets, using slavery and murder as a mean to an end. But, they fear me. They fear my return, my power, they don't want me to take back what was rightfully mine. Did you not think it suspicious that that woman found you at the portal? Not thirty minutes after you arrived? What was her name? Milde? Aelyria and Caliben hired her, the woman is a master at tracking and killing exotic animals, they knew they couldn't defeat my companion without her help, let alone have any chance of besting me. They were going to murder you in your sleep, and dump your body in the jungles, where it would never be found." Ted stared at Renkor, his shock hidden behind the air filter and mask, the revelation dashing his view of the world around him. "So that really was you then. In the mire. You must have started the fire that pushed us towards that ravine then too." Renkor nodded, it was true. "I followed you and Aelyria because I didn't want to risk fighting Caliben and Milde alone, I knew that I could convince you to help me kill them. All I had to do was insure Aelyria's death, something that was pitifully easy to do. She's such a fragile creature. Now... Burn her, and help me find and kill Caliben and Milde." Ted nodded hesitantly, the overload of information making him numb. But, his body followed Renkor's orders, his trust in the man much to deep to overcome the small amount of affection for the woman he had spent so much time with. He held his hands over Aelyria, palms down. His trademark red substance poured from his hands like water with no source, sticking to Aelyria's body from head to toe. Then he forced the smallest amount of energy into the rune on his palm, igniting a spark that lit the red substance and turned it into a whorling inferno that would reduce her corpse to nothing but ash and slagged metal in a matter of minutes. He turned to follow Renkor, leaving the corpse behind to disappear into this land of death.
  3. Grimshar

    The Final Beginning

    Ted woke with a sputtering, gasping breath, sitting up ramrod straight and choking on the thick and fetid air. Something heavy slithered across his leg, and he realized with a shiver that his lower torso was submerged in water. He crawled his way out of the pool of water, shivering at the thought of whatever might live there, his skin crawling from the feeling of wet clothes against bare skin. He took another deep, choking breath, gagging at the oily taste of the air and the way his lungs burned as if he had inhaled smoke. Orange fog hung low in the darkness, a darkness that was omnipresent, shrouding the world around him. The smell of death and rot was so thick in the air that it crawled across the ground like a purple miasma. He stumbled as he took his first steps up the slope, his head spinning, the throbbing in his skull a relentless and disorientating sensation. He collapsed into the muck, realizing belatedly that the air was probably noxious. His hands found the helmet where he had clipped it to his waist, relief flooding his stiff limbs. It was damp, well... it was soaking, but he wasn't about to let that stop him from putting it on. It slipped over his head with a wet squelch, the mask attachment sealed into place with a click, and he tried to take a breath. He struggled for a moment before giving up, the filters were probably clogged with muck and grime, soaking wet, and totally unusable. He popped them out with his thumbs and pulled his pack around in front of him, praising whoever had made it, the oiled cloth seemed to have repelled all water and kept the inside totally dry. He found the replacement cartridges in his pack, in the exact compartment where he had packed them away. They clipped in easily, the design of the mask intended to allow the user to swap out bad cartridges without having to remove the whole mask. He purged the air from the mask, and as much as he could from his lungs, then took another deep breath. The mildly stale, charcoal scented air that came through the filter was so sweet that he almost cried. His lungs still burned, but with every breath the pain receded until he found a manageable level. He wouldn't be running any marathons anytime soon, but he thanked his good sense to bring an air filtration mask with him everywhere. The mask was mostly intended for filtering out the smoke of burning debris that was left in the aftermath of his 'activities', this was a very well received side effect. He gazed at the world around him, through the yellow tinted lenses of his mask, and tried to understand where he was. The pounding in his skull made it difficult, only flashes of an underground waterway, being jostled and smacked against what had felt like every bit of rock in this land. Everywhere he looked it was the same, dark, disgusting, slimy, it was like his worst imagining of a swamp. This was a land of the dead and the dying. The rotting and the putrid. Despite his rather harsh view, he did see a few signs of life, whatever had touched him while he lay in the water, a few reeds, and dark moss. Monsieur Frond was nowhere to be seen, lost in their flight from the raging fire, or the torrential water, Ted felt a deep pang of loss for the creature. Aelyria must have suffered a similar fate, but he had no recollection of seeing her in the water, perhaps she had ended up somewhere else? Either way, he needed to move, find out exactly where he was and how to get out of this place. He started climbing, following the incline and subsequently the creek that he had inadvertently ended up next to. Or perhaps he had been washed down the creek? The ground was soft and mucky, giving way under his feet, making the climb beyond arduous. He walked for what felt like days, but couldn't have been more than an hour at most. The pervasive darkness and lack of sun made it impossible to tell time by traditional methods. A voice called out ahead of him, somewhere in the darkness, distorted both by the land and the helmet. It called out again, a cry for help perhaps. He pushed himself harder, his breath coming again in desperate gasps as he fought to pull enough oxygen through the filters to fuel his muscles. A form appeared from the swirling mist and murk, sprawled out on the ground. The familiar braid of Aelyria's hair giving away the mystery as to who it could be. Her eyes were open, but she was listless as he approached, she was covered in just as much grime as he was. He called her name, "Aelyria!", hoping that perhaps she was just taking a breather. No response. He was getting closer, close enough now that he could reach out and take hold of her. He flipped her lifeless body onto her back, fearing the worst. Her chest was rising and falling, but she didn't react to his poking and prodding. He pulled her mask away, intending to make sure that she was actually getting airflow, only to recoil slightly at the sight of pink frothy foam escaping the corners of her mouth. His mind raced, unsure of what to do, panicking at the thought of being left alone in these swamps. Despite his crusty, odd exterior, he had so many fears and doubts about this whole mission, and having someone with him alleviated his terror. He cast about, trying to find anything that he could use to help her. He had nothing in his pack that would help, he didn't keep a back up mask, something for which he was cursing himself now. He had no hope of finding any civilization, they were so far away from Lunaris now, and it was too dark to navigate with any haste. A thought came to him like a spark lighting kindling, he had learned from Renkor how to use moss as a water filter, could it behave in a similar way for air? There was only one way to find out. He scooped up some of the muck, smearing it across the bridge of her nose, below her eyes, around her mouth and chin, creating an outline not dissimilar to that of his own mask. He slipped his knife free of its holster, carefully scraping away bits of moss that lined the creek edge, doing his best to keep the root system intact. Then he packed it over her mouth and nose, careful not to leave too much dirt attached, and creating a decent enough seal with the muck he had spread across her face. Once he had packed enough of the moss over her face to form a decent filter he pulled her mask back up and cinched it as tight as he could to hold it in place. He knelt in the muck next to her, willing her to recover. The sound of the burbling creek masking the chittering and clacking noises that approached them.
  4. Grimshar

    The Final Beginning

    Ted listened patiently to Aelyria as she almost begrudgingly explained to him that they needed to return to Lunaris to gather supplies. There was no need, Monsieur Frond had assured him that should they seek it out, the land would provide for them. Hell, he wasn't magically inclined, but even he could feel the thrum of the lands power beneath his feet. This wasn't wilderness like they had known it back in Genesaris, this place was alive. While he agreed it was going to be dangerous, he hadn't assumed it would be anything but. Aelyria was overreacting, too worried and focused on her desire to find Lunaris, unwilling to flow with the changing situation. They were presented with a very blatant lead regarding Renkor, and still she wanted to ignore it - at least temporarily - in favor of returning to town for the sake of convenience and comfort. While she talked, something caught his eye, he thought it was a bird at first but was horrified to see that it was actually a fire. Not a campfire, or a torch, but a wildfire. You would think the fire would have trouble spreading, with how damp and wet everything was, but it raced across the underbrush as if it was made of nothing more than dry kindling. The entire other side of the mire was suddenly aflame, the fire reaching ever higher in its nonstop quest to consume. Aelyria must have seen the distress on his face, or perhaps the hidden glee in his eye, and turned to face the flames. Her posture changed, ever so slightly, as she saw the wall of flames racing around the mire towards them. As the fires burned its way towards them he came back to his senses, they needed to move or they would be consumed by the fire with the rest of the jungle. He grabbed Aelyria from behind, wrapping his hands around her biceps none too gently and pulling her behind him. He pushed her forward, deeper into the jungle, away from the mire, towards the trail left behind by Renkor. They dove into the underbrush, frantically pushing their way through anything that snared them and weaving between trees. The roar of the fire seemed to race towards them, growing louder and louder, urging their frantic race through the jungle, looking for any place to take shelter. Even a rocky outcropping would be satisfactory, but nothing presented itself, if anything the jungle seemed to be getting thicker. The wind kicked up, dragging the smoke and ash towards them, causing his chest to tighten. His breaths ragged, sweat dripping from his hairline and down the small of his back, he could only be relieved to burst free of the thick jungle into a clearing. Only, it wasn't a clearing, it was a narrow ravine. Unable to stop himself, he stumbled and slid through the soft ground, right over the edge and into open air. He managed to turn briefly, twisting his upper torso to look back at Aelyria, panic in his eyes. Their eyes met as he reached out for her, hoping against all hope to find a hold, only to plunge down into the dark maw waiting below.
  5. Grimshar

    The Final Beginning

    Ted's mind raced as he tried to catalog and comprehend the knowledge that he had gained. Someone or something, perhaps even Renkor himself, had stood in this very spot moments ago and tried to tell them something. The question was... what? What was the being trying to communicate? He was unfamiliar with the land and while he couldn't be totally sure, he was willing to bet that the tracks led East, towards the mountains. Was this a cry for help? Or a trap waiting to be sprung? His mind was a whirlwind of information as he tried to decipher the true meaning, Renkor's own secretive and complex nature adding only difficulty to this task. He idly rubbed some of the black dirt between his fingertips, enjoying the feeling of the smooth, slick earth. There wasn't any question about whether or not he was going to proceed into the dead zone of the jungle ahead, of that he was sure. Better to treat it like a trap, he decided. He was about to stand and proceed, cautiously, into the jungle ahead when the sound of leaves rasping against what sounded like leather came from behind him. He jumped slightly, hiding it well, the noise was unexpected. He glanced surreptitiously behind, toward the noise, and was relieved to see Aelyria pushing her way through the undergrowth. Despite his relief, a small ember of malice flared to life in his chest, and he turned away from her again to resume staring at the ground. He wrestled with the emotion, trying to clamp down on it, their previous argument was over and there was no reason for him to hold on to any resentment. But, try as he might, the feeling remained. As the woman approached he finally looked up again, only to see her bewildered face staring at the very prints which he had been inspecting. "Footprints?" He practically scoffed out loud, only just barely suppressing the action, what else would they have been? Luckily she seemed to not notice, and plowed forward. "This is where that...thing was standing, right?" He stood, stretching out his legs from the brief strain of crouching. "Yes, footprints. There's a few oddities though, the first being that they start right here." He pointed at the edge of the mire, indicating where the first set of shoulder width footprints were, as if Renkor had appeared there standing in a relaxed pose. "The second oddity is that while they match the size and shape of a foot that would be about Renkor's size, I doubt these are actually his footprints. Renkor is a half-elf, half-sylph, if he left a footprint at all, it wouldn't be this deep, his grace and stature wouldn't allow it." His gaze turned to the trees and ridiculously thick undergrowth ahead, lingering there in contemplation. "There's a whole lot of reasons why all of this could be, but only one way to find out which one is correct. We need to follow the trail." He turned to Aelyria, offering her his closed fist. "Rock, Paper, Scissors to decide who goes first?" Monsieur Frond chittered his agreement, Rock, Paper, Scissors was the best way to determine who went first.
  6. Grimshar

    The Final Beginning

    Ted pushed through the underbrush again, reveling in the feeling of the sharp sting of the myriad of abrasive plants against his skin. The boiling rage that had consumed him began to subside and he was left with an odd feeling, almost hollow, it was extremely out of character for him to erupt like that. The little lizard riding on his shoulder bumped him with its snout, the smooth scales cold to the touch. He nodded his agreement to the little creature, this jungle was dangerous. He skirted the mire that had snared him previously, trudging carefully across the soft ground that encircled it. Somewhere along the edge was the exact place where Renkor had been, and Ted was determined to find it. The sight of the other man was burned into his mind, standing there staring at the two of them as if it had only been a few minutes since they had last seen each other. The thought of Aelyria dismissing their sighting of Renkor so easily, of wanting to go to a town, the last place Renkor would want to be, it irked him. Just how well did Aelyria and Caliben know Renkor? He guessed not well. He found the spot where he had crashed headlong through the brushes and fell into the mire, and by extension he was able to see the spot where Renkor had stood. He took a second to commit the spot to memory, examining the way the ground curved and the trees leaned, how the soft almost liquid earth met with the firmer dark black of the solid ground. He prowled along the edge of the mire, his long trench coat still dripping from his earlier dip, leaving a very noticeable trail, and headed straight towards the spot where Renkor had stood. Monsieur Frond chittered on his shoulder and wrapped his tail around Ted's neck, something clearly disturbing him. Ted crouched next to the spot where he had seen Renkor and cast an unwavering gaze into the thick underbrush. Nothing stared back, nothing moved, the section of jungle ahead of him was dead quiet. He trailed his fingers over the footprints left in the soil, they were about the right size for someone of Renkor's build, just slightly smaller than his own. He shivered, the tracks started at the edge of the mire, as if the man had appeared out of nowhere and then simply walked away. Where was Renkor now? Why would he leave when they were so close? What waited for him in the dense jungle ahead, that caused all life to hide?
  7. Grimshar

    The Final Beginning

    Ted allowed himself to be dragged back to Caliben and Milde, rather indignantly if he had anything to say about it. Obviously he was annoyed that Aelyria was so insistent that they all be friends, he had no desire whatsoever to truly get to know any of these people. This was a job to him, or at least he was treating it as such, find Renkor, get out. As much as he was inclined to follow Renkor's wishes to include these two in the recovery effort, but the more time he spent with them, the more drama they became. He was amenable to returning for a deeper, more meaningful conversation about their tactics, headings, and etc, at least until Aelyria took it upon herself to apologize for him. His false annoyance and anger at the woman, his whole act in order to get them moving in the right direction, turned into real, almost tangible rage. His words caught in his throat as Aelyria continued, almost like a gust of hot air caught in a low pressure zone, bubbling up in his throat, but just barely unable to escape. His fingers twitched, curling into a fist, the anger manifesting itself in a physical way. It was all he could do not to interject himself into the conversation and cut Aelyria off, but somehow he was able. The conversation flowed back and forth rapidly, and he was able to keep his emotions contained until Caliben's niggling comment, "If anyone can keep this mad man under control, it's you.." Deep within his mind, the rational, logical part, he vaguely realized that he was no longer fully aware and in control of his faculties. There was a sort of haze, his focus becoming laser sharp, his peripheral vision shrinking as his rage intensified. "No." He whirled on Aelyria, "Fuck you. Don't treat me like a child, you overstep your bounds. There are forces at play here that go far beyond what you know. Just because you see something with your eyes doesn't mean that's all there is to it." Normally this outburst would have lessened his rage some, but today seemed to be different. He turned on Caliben next, "And fuck you too! Mad Man? You don't even know me, nor could you possibly understand me, too focused on what's right in front of your nose." He scoffed, the rage boiling underneath his skin. He glared at the two, his hands curling and uncurling from their clenched state, practically begging to be used. He gave into the primal need to lash out with violence, jamming his hand into his pack and grabbing the first thing that his hand clasped, ripping it free and throwing it against the ground. Unbeknownst to him, he had actually grabbed the journal sized explosive he had drained his own blood to create, and it had cracked on the ground, the viscous liquid inside oozing out with a hiss. His ire turned finally to Milde, and it dulled slightly at the sight of her, he was annoyed at her presumptuousness to be sure, but she hadn't truly done anything to invoke any extreme response or disrespect from him. "You are welcome to join us, I have no problem with that, just behave yourself and give us basic courtesy. But, I will not be following you, I will be following our guide, as he was provided for us, and knows the path that lies before us well." With that said, he spun on his heel, heading back in the direction that Monsieur Frond had indicated only minutes before, shooting Aelyria a venomous glare, daring her to try to stop him. Any protest falling on deaf ears as he fumed. Or maybe that was the ever increasing hissing sound coming from the now broken open explosive laying amidst them.
  8. Grimshar

    An Iron Grip

    The smoke in the stairwell was thick, almost a like breathing in a soup, the particulate was large and gritty. It was all Ted could do to follow Kaur up the stairs without passing out, the opening of the door allowed a rush of 'fresher' air down into the staircase, and the roar of flames below intensified as the oxygen fueled them. The staircase seemed to spiral up and up forever before finally arriving to the door they were looking for, a giant 'P' stenciled on the outside, penthouse? The door opened for them easily, Kaur stumbling through and falling to the floor where the oxygen was cleanest, Ted came through close on his heels and slammed the door shut, preventing the thick black smoke from consuming the room. Kaur pulled himself up, his breathing returning to a closer to normal state, "This is it, the room next to this office should be an old storage. We should also start thinking on how we plan to get out of here once we retrieve the documents we need." Ted nodded, a storage room sounded like a good enough place to start, considering the difficulty of navigation in this horrid place. "I'm not sure about an exit strategy, though, I usually just wing it." He left Kaur there, and moved into the adjacent storage room. The walls were lined with older style file cabinets, stretching from floor to ceiling. A table sat in the center of the room, upon which a large leather bound index resided. The filing cabinets were all labeled with a letter and number designation, the nearest the door being labeled 'A', with the drawers being labeled by number, further along it trailed into triple and quadruple digits (AA4, AF1, etc). Ted stepped forward and flipped open the index, the first few pages were a table of contents, outlining sections of the city by street addresses, he found the section he was looking for easily enough and started flipping through the book as Kaur caught up. His finger traced the pages rapidly, sliding across the smooth paper to help his eyes track the various street addresses until he found the one he was looking for. "There, Q2, it should be in cabinet Q, drawer 2. If those plans are in here, it'll be in that section." Time was ticking away, faster than he would have liked.
  9. Grimshar

    An Iron Grip

    A gust of wind brushed past Tad as he crouch walked his way through the office space, avoiding the worst of the smoke. Panic jolted through him, a gust of wind in a burning building could only mean one thing, back-draft. He turned, expecting a wall of flame and smoke to be rushing towards him, only to find Kaur hurrying towards him. Tad nodded to him as the man hustled them both into the next room, helpfully revealed by the fresh air the man had brought. As they pored over the slightly charred map, a godsend if there ever was one, Tad realized the man was right, he had totally bypassed any and all methods of getting up to the next floor. With haste being of the essence, Kaur identified a crack in the ceiling, albeit a thin one. Tad stepped forward as the man started casting about for something heavy enough to throw at the ceiling, taking him gently by the arm and pulling him away. "I've got something, clear the area and I will get the ceiling open." He grabbed a nearby desk and started dragging it over, positioning it handily underneath the crack in the ceiling, it would help them in the climb through the hole as well. He placed his foot on the desk and hiked himself up, then reached out with his right hand and started spreading his Red substance across a three foot strip of the crack. The Red was darker than earlier, almost black, and hard like dried sap. This Red wouldn't burn, it would explode, the force wouldn't be much more than enough to cause the natural fissure in the ceiling to give way and create a hole large enough to pull themselves up through. He pressed his palm to the Red, channeling just the smallest amount of energy into his palm to create a spark with the rune on his palm. The surface of the Red lit up like it had been dunked in lamp oil, burning merrily, and Tad retreated to safety with Kaur. No sooner had he arrived before the main part of the Red exploded, it was a dull 'whump' of a noise, the pressure in this enclosed space ringing his unprotected eardrums and causing his heart to skip a beat. The clatter of stone falling to the floor revealed his success before it became visually apparent, and he jerked his head to Kaur. "Let's go." He jogged lightly over to the still warm hole in the ceiling and pulled himself through, before turning back to pull Kaur up. Only six minutes left.
  10. I guess technically me and my group are still active in Taen? We had to take a hiatus, but the thread is still open and we plan to finish. Rescuing a friend of ours who got lost in a mountain, plenty of shenanigans.
  11. Grimshar

    An Iron Grip

    The doorway opened easily, and as he stepped through he was relieved to find that there was a fairly low amount of smoke. Good, that meant the fire hadn't spread too far out of control yet. The room itself was a pretty standard office space, desks, chairs, papers, etc. There was no one in the room, likely the few that the other gentleman had warned. Now that he was out of the thick, choking smoke that clouded the foyer, Tad took a deep, even breath. There was a stairway to his right, the spiral kind you usually saw on a warehouse floor, a bare metal railing adorning them. There was a landing above, blocking his view of the second floor, and the haze of the smoke didn't make it any easier to navigate. This wasn't the room he was looking for, that was certain, the question was; Which way to head next? Should he continue on the ground floor and look for a basement, where most companies would keep an archive or storage facility? Or follow the path that led up? Hoping that there was some kind of project management or security operations room where there would be live copies of the security plans. He figured he would start low, a basement was almost always more secure than an upper floor, where anyone could scale the walls and break in. He pushed through the north door again, and found himself on the main warehouse floor. Equipment racks lined the walls, soft training mats were spread across the floors to create small arenas where individuals could train, strength training equipment was huddled in a corner. The spacious room just oozed a sense of dedication to ones fitness and skill. Fortunately for him, it was empty, the normal denizens of this place having either fled when the fire started, or were out on a job site. A cursory look around the room revealed no stairs or entrances to a lower level, so he jogged a quick lap around the several thousand square foot floor. He shuffled a few mats around, but found nothing except for smooth stone floors. It was during his jog around the room that he noticed the western wall was beginning to burn through completely, flames licking up the inside of the wall and further reducing the wall to ash and charcoal. In fact, the entire western wall appeared to be in flames, and possibly part of the roof. With time running short, he decided to leave the warehouse floor and proceed up into what he assumed to be more offices. He returned to the previous room and started climbing the metal staircase to the second floor. The staircase was well secured into the building, and didn't rattle or shake when he climbed it, a boon in most cases. He found himself now in a larger office, filled with a variety of cubicles, workbenches, and conference areas. He rifled through a few desks as quickly as possible, almost looking frantic, but didn't find any useful information. It looked like a common work area, but unless he got lucky and found one of the files that he was looking for just laying on a desk this wasn't the place he needed to be either. There had to be a storage room somewhere, so he kept as low as he could and rushed off in search of a doorway that would lead deeper into the building. The smoke was so thick now that he couldn't see the ceiling, and the heat was nearly unbearable, every pore in his body slick with sweat.
  12. Grimshar

    An Iron Grip

    It took only minutes for the fire to spread across the outside of the building, the red substance he had spread acting as the kindling for the flames, creating quick heat that ignited the wood and turned it to glowing coals. It devoured the dry exterior of the building like a wildfire, causing the small trickle of smoke that had first licked its way up the side of the building to turn into a billowing cloud that choked out the alleyway. Shouts of alarm rose from the pedestrians around him, various people telling others to alert the city guard of the fire that now raged. City fires were dangerous, they could spread easily from building to building due to the proximity. The city firefighters would arrive at some point, but in a city this large, even though it was the capital, he could expect at least fifteen minutes before they were actually notified and arrived to battle the flames. After that, he would probably have a half hour to an hour to search through the building and then escape undetected. A particularly brave passerby ran into the building, Tad positioned himself close to the doorway, as if he was unsure if he should go in as well. He could hear yelling inside, and the sound of running feet on hardwood floors. The door burst open and the very same man came running back out, hacking and choking on a haze of smoke that followed him. Tad grabbed him and pulled him aside, out of the path of the doorway and to safety. He questioned the man as his coughing fit subsided "Did you warn them? Are they coming?" The man's eyes focused on Tad briefly, his mouth opening and chest swelling as if he was going to speak, but another bout of coughing racked him. All he could do was shake his head weakly. As this was happening a few people emerged from the building in similar states of distress, having obviously run through the smoke to get out, and inhaling it. At this point, Tad was getting a bit worried, he hadn't expected the fire to progress so rapidly, nor had he accounted for the amount of smoke that the people were inhaling. He would have to actually try to get people out while searching the building. A thief and mercenary he was, a senseless murderer he was not. He brushed the few people milling at the doorway aside and darted into the room, falling into a low crouching run to avoid the worst of the smoke and heat that was now roiling out of the building in thick clouds. The first room he came into was a foyer, a sort of meeting room where guests and employees would meet before branching off to whatever area they needed to visit. There was a large, ornately carved desk sitting in the center of the room, a reception station of some kind he guessed. It was empty of any living souls, which was fortunate, and he scrambled over to it as quickly as he could managed from his awkward crouch. Shuffling through papers rapidly and searching every surface of the desk revealed no building map, with his hopes dashed he turned to search the rest of the room. There were three more doors leading deeper into the building, one on each wall. He definitely wouldn't be chancing the left door, the west one, because that was where the most smoke was coming from. Which left his choices to heading north into the heart of the building, or east to skirt the inner wall. He decided to just dive into the heart of the matter and pushed forwards, towards the north door.
  13. Hello all. I've started a thread in Aelindra, the sole purpose of which is to steal a prototype for my character. My plans for the thread are pretty low key, and open to everyone. I imagine there will be some infiltration, some fighting, and a speedy exit from the town (see: fleeing from the authorities). For a more in depth breakdown of what I plan on doing please scroll to the bottom, otherwise, here are some keywords to give you an idea of what this thread will be like. Cooperative storytelling Mid level fantasy, with Magitech. Mild Powers (important!) Casual Thieving/Heists Low Impact - no/minimal killing, emphasis on low property destruction. Strategic - Not just a fight, I hope. If you are interested, check it out, here is a link. Otherwise keep reading below if I haven't captivated your interest yet. This thread is open to all, but will be low/no turn order. I wanted to try a new format, I will be the 'anchor' so to speak. I'll be posting a minimum of once every three (3) days, sometimes more often (but no more than once a day). Everyone and anyone else who would like to participate is encouraged to post in between these times, pushing the story or interacting with characters however they want. I think this might either provide an interesting freedom of choice and action, and I can bring everything back together to drive the story when necessary. My only request is that you don't post multiple times between my own posts, to prevent the thread from derailing, or stepping on other people who want to participate. No runaway trains here. From what I have read on Aelindra I imagine it to be a rather modern city, bustling with an enormous amount of people, and driving innovation. My character, Tad, has come to Aelindra in search of a piece of prototype technology. He is resolved to stay in the town until he has taken it by any means necessary. He plans to first steal the security plans for the building that he wants to burgle, followed by burgling the building itself, and finally escaping with the prototype. Since this will be illegal activity, our characters will be actively hunted by the town guard, and unable to use any of the more regulated means of public transportation, such as crossroads, airships, etc. So long as nobody kills anyone, the risk should be pretty minimal, no risk of character death. Mild powers are required for this thread, preferably the lower end of mild powers to keep things interesting. Magitech is more than welcome. Since I will be posting on a regular basis, and anyone can join at any part of the adventure, anyone who shows up will be part of my characters premeditated plan. This is just to help gloss over any awkward timings and introductions, that way we can keep the story flowing. Nothing like joining in the middle of fleeing the town guard to make things awkward/difficult to write. If you need or want to leave, feel free to write yourself out, anybody who doesn't return will be assumed to have contributed their part to the plan and have returned to whatever they were doing before. Again, this is just to keep things flowing. I'm not a fan of when threads start to stagnate as you wait on one person who might have another obligation or doesn't have time to post for a while. Genre: Mid-Fantasy/Magitech. Location: Aelindra, Genesaris. Idea: Stealing a prototype from a heavily guarded building. FAQs: None yet. Feel free to post any questions, as I am sure I have missed some detail or made something unclear, or jump on into the thread. Constructive criticism is always welcome.
  14. Grimshar

    An Iron Grip

    Tad whistled to himself as he strolled through the crowded streets of Aelindra, weaving through the people like a minnow among his school. To an outsider it would look as if he was completely at home among the people, wearing a tastefully skintight button up shirt, and a pair of summer slacks, he was about as common of a sight as you could get during a weekday. He had eschewed the use of his normal equipment, the bulky protective gear would only serve to draw attention, and possibly suspicion, to himself. He carried only his clothes, a pouch of small denomination coin, and what he considered to be a socially acceptable weapon of self defense, a small dagger kept sheathed at his belt. Even in a city as large and wealthy as itself, there was always the risk of being attacked, it would go against all of his better sense to walk around unarmed. He had been in the city for a few weeks now, he had been staying in a small hotel on the west side, it wasn't as nice as some of the other places that he had seen but it provided him a good location from which to start his morning operations. Every morning after preparing himself for the day, he would use the crossroads to travel to another part of the city, where he would immediately queue up to travel to another location, he would repeat this a few times before going to his actual destination. This served a few purposes, it attempted to prevent someone from determining his actual destination by visiting several proxy locations in between, it also allowed him to monitor the people who came through the portals after him, anyone that he saw follow him through several hops was likely watching him. If there weren't so many locations in the city to hop to, the tactic might not have worked, but he had gone his entire visit without using the same portals within a three day period, hopefully avoiding the scrutiny of any of the portal guards. His purpose in this city was to steal a valuable prototype, one of several that had been created, which were unregulated by any governing body, and necessary for the survival of one of his friends. He had heard of a tech similar to it when he was traveling through Union City several months back, and upon hearing that the same company was developing a significantly more advanced version, had promptly greased a few palms to find out where they were being developed and tested. One thing led to another, and he found himself making a trip to Aelindra with the intention of finding out more; that part had been easy, the engineers at the company had loose lips that were eager to talk about their project. The past few weeks were all about information gathering, subtly talking to the people involved with the project, researching the building layout, finding out what company ran security for them, when the busiest hours of the day were (and conversely the slowest times of day). His destination now was the security company in question, they had the layout of the building, the number of guards, and the patrol routes, all in one convenient location. He had already run through his limited knowledge on counter surveillance and was comfortable to proceed directly to the building. It was more of a warehouse, squat, only a few stories tall, with large cargo doors and a plain grey exterior. A sign was fastened securely to the building, just above the visitors entrance, proudly declaring the location of "Aelindra Tactical Response". The building was a combination of steel, stone, and wood; it was actually a curious piece of architecture, the original building having been made from stone, and the later additions made from framed wood. Security was tight, as you would expect from a company that sells security as their service, armed guards at every entrance, on the rooftop, and likely posted in the hallways. There was no way that he could go in the building, and sneak past them all, or fight his way through them. The security was just as tight at night, something that had irked him, they must have some high value clients to warrant such extreme measures around the clock. So he would revert to what he did best, pyrotechnics. Fire, or rather smoke, was a huge concern in a building. If you got yourself trapped in a burning building, odds are you would either suffocate or burn to death. So he would light a fire to flush out the people inside, and hope that anyone left inside would be too busy hunkering down in a safe area to spot him. He had a vague plan too, enter the public area during the confusion and pretend he was returning to get something vitally important, sneak into the operations area, rifle through the files until he found the right one, and then get out. Easy enough, right? He slipped easily out of the flow of traffic, ducking into the narrow alleyway that ran along the western edge of the building, it was probably six feet across and bordered one of the wooden walled expansions. Foot traffic was low, the alleyway dirty, perfect for starting a fire. He would have a few minutes once the first started to move back to the south side of the building, where the entrance was, to wait for the rush of people exiting. He hoped the files he needed weren't on the second or third floor, that would complicate things, and he wasn't sure if there was a basement, which would be even worse. He placed his hand on the wall as he strode, casually laying a thick layer of his special combustible material on the wall in a thick stripe. His hand started going numb, almost like it was falling asleep, as the blood drained through his pores to create it. When the stripe was about twelve feet long he stopped, stepped back, and lit it on fire. The whole stripe erupted with a whoosh, flames licking greedily up the side of the building, the material would burn cleanly, the wood would not. He turned back towards south opening of the alley and trotted off, slipping casually back into the flow of traffic to await the subsequent discovery of the fire, and the panic. Then, he would enter the building in search of the files he needed.
  15. Grimshar

    The Devil's Backbone

    "Blood before Honor..." Grim paused, the leg bone of some small fowl clutched gently between his fingers, morsels of food littering his hands and thick beard. He swallowed the food in his mouth, enjoying the greasy flavor of the meat, then wiped his face with his forearm. The half eaten leg dropped onto the plate with a meaty clatter as he leaned back in his chair, resting his hand on his inner thigh, a relaxed pose. He raised his eyes to the woman across from him, drinking in her features, the high cheekbones, drawn face, pointed ears, she was assuredly an elf, and the Lyles family tree had no elves. It was odd that she would spout the Lyles family Creed, more unusual for him to encounter someone who had taken to the families dogma. Most of the people that he encountered on the fringes of the organization were there for the money, which wasn't bad, rather than any greater sense of purpose. He cast a critical eye over her person, examining her stature, attitude, the glass of wine she was drinking, the book she was reading, and came up with nothing. He could feel the annoyance roiling up in his chest, the muscles constricting uncomfortably. It took a considerable amount of willpower not to lash out verbally at the woman. His anger frequently got the best of him, he was fortunate that this wasn't the case now. His curiosity was piqued as to why the woman was bothering with the formalities, but brushed it aside and decided to steamroll past the topic in a way that was better suited to himself. "Enough of that shit, wayfarer, I'll not be wasting my time with any of the usual Lyles family bullshit. Lyles himself has never failed to have someone send a missive before my arrival, and I'm sure this isn't the first time you've dealt with another member of the organization. Honestly, the less we know about each other the better, but, you can call me Grim, that should suit our needs well enough." Grim grabbed the mug of dark stout and gulped some of it down, wetting his throat before continuing. "Now, Lyles only sends someone like me out for one of two reasons; To break things, or to break people. So again, why am I here? Is the town revolting against Lyles control? That's the most common occurrence, and quite honestly the easiest to deal with." He stared at her expectantly with his red orbs, curious if she would bristle at his words or accept them and move on.
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