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-Lilium- last won the day on February 15

-Lilium- had the most liked content!

About -Lilium-

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    The Body Merchant

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    Fighting Disillusionment

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  1. To those I am in collaboration with,

    This update should have come weeks ago, so I do apologize for the tardiness in presenting it now. We have moved and-although settled for the most part-have shoddy internet, strange school schedules for the kids/hubby, and I am in the process of orienting at my new job. 

    At some point when I finish orientation and convert back to my usual night schedule, I will return. I may be away right now but I am still very much with you.

    -Lili 😍

    PS: That was supposed to just be a heart but since I am unable to delete it via mobile at this time, you get adoring eyes along with this ❤ and a 🍪.

  2. -Lilium-


    [ WIP ] Map by @Meraxa. "The lands quake in the rumble of unseen breath. Every hill and mountain vibrating above the thrum of a sleeping giant." - Bartholomew Crag, Crelien Keep Scrollmaster, final member of a dying order. “Shadows, they creep longingly beneath the height of mountains and ice. Hands of old reaching forth into the future, ever steady in their deadly embrace. Beware the darkness that lingers here, beware his eternal reach.” - Etlania Cotovre, Acolyte of the First Order Regiment, Tythia. Abutting the uncharted northern pole of Valucre is the land of Faejarhe known as Kharatumni; an unforgiving land of ice and snow where the sharp bite of the wind is enough to pierce and chill the soul. even when one finds themselves lacking. In its prime, it was considered both the gateway to the realm of Terrestria as well as to the Edge of the World. - to feel the mood - | GEOGRAPHY & TOPOGRAPHY & CLIMATE | This northernmost land is upended by jagged glacial formations, frozen steel-stone crevices and canyons, and great mountainous peaks all covered in varying layers of ice and snow. Combined, it makes for an incredibly treacherous adventure for any who dare travel along this long forgotten and uncharted landscape. Battered by heavy winds, blizzards, and sleet storms; visualizing what lies ahead of one's feet may be difficult. Although the southern fringes may be more hospitable to life with its warmer, wetter temperatures and climate, the further north one travels the more painfully cold, dry, and thin the air becomes. With this chilling change comes an ethereal shift in the blindingly white snowy structure, as winds reshape the landscape during the brightest touch of sunlit days and the darkest pitch black of nights. Where one drift lay before, now rests a frozen sheet of ice covering a lake or hidden inlet. Making any journey an easily perilous one. | LANDMARKS & MONUMENTS | Lamare | Crelien Keep, Bahnrioa [img found here] Lamare, a lost city once revered for its chilling beauty, was architecture carved from the bones of mountains and dedicated to the citizens below the black-taloned keep overlooking it. Looming higher in the landscape was the black stone keep of Crelien Fangrim, the ancient emperor of Kharatumi. Citizens of both Lamare and Crelien Keep were born and bred for the tumultuous changes and harsh reality presented by the lands. They endured, survived, and trained in the turbulent climate to prove their worthiness. Purposely succumbing in order to become harder and stronger from it. If only to prove themselves worthy enough to be the city and guards of the empires stronghold. Lost Empire of Fangrim A tale of profound darkness rests over this land, a truth whispered by its icy winds. As with many areas of Faejarhe, a great empire once presided over this devastated landscape. In what little remains of the ancestral text it is believed that this land too was punished, following the catastrophe of Pijesak Peninsula. Forever scarred by this abominable curse, their high praise hollowly echoes from abandonment by the deities they once so highly regarded. Crelien Keep Originally a noble fortress for the throne of the empire that was structured under predication of war, Lamare was eventually fractured into small commonwealths dictated by hunters and warriors of prestige. Although beneath the same flag, each household insignia was dedicated to a formal fighting or hunting style by its individual Head. Despite its strength as a small nation sector it fell prey to the wilds of the hollow curse of its ancestor. Their trust in their own ability to combat the merging and d/evolving planes brought forth catastrophic payment for their naivety. In no short time Crelien Keep faltered under the weight of the ice and snow, becoming nothing more than a tomb filled with rusted weapons and deathly silence. A frozen shell of its former ego. Blending well with the landscape background the keeps once obsidian stone pointed towers, as twisted and crooked as its builders now are, jut up from the ice like sinister claws. See: Bahnrioa. Illuminara | Temple of Terrestria A planar temple dedicated to the deity Proteus Rauz the one ruler of Terrestria. Solely controlled and run by the Taurean peoples without any outside interference. Pacifica Prayers of light and love, memories of those who've been lost. Heroes, the selfless, lovers, mothers, fathers, the devout, and souls of similar light. This temple is a place to honor the passing of those of the righteous, and the domain of “Monajj, mover of the light souls'' and an abstract being tied to the force of death. She, like her brother, is the guardian and mover of light souls into their final place of resting and safeguards them during their passage and is the gatekeeper of the Pacifica realm. Khaotica Indiscriminate chaos and eternal punishment for those who chose a path apart from goodness. Their chains of which can be heard in the form of tumultuous thunder. Murderers, thieves, tyrants, rapists, pedophiles, and black souls of similar nature having died, will find their rituals here. This temple also houses Xian, Mover of Dark Souls, an appointed entity and abstract of the force of death itself tasked with taking these ill souls to their final resting place, and to assure none are redirected or used for personal gain or objective. The Undying Outpost | Ciaofi's Northern Eyes Coming soon... The First & Last Abode | On the southernmost fringes of Karatumni is the first known village since the fall of the Fangrim Empire, which conveniently also makes it the last stop before truly entering the northern wilderness. And for those returning from the north, should they survive its deathly trials, it is the first and last entrance back into the south. Torloun Peaks | Fangrim Crest Also known as Fangrim Crest is a mountain range of curiosity and wonder. Those brave enough to seek its tips were said to have witnessed an ascension beyond that of any heaven ever before reached. Favored once by the Emperor Delorveck Fangrim himself and claimed as his private temple in which to pay homage to the deities. They are the highest points in all of Faejarhe, where above the clouds rest a hidden ribbon of colorful glittering lights. Donclad | Caverns of the Blacksmiths Deep in the fiery pits of the mountains lie mazes upon mazes of hand carved and hollowed caverns. Dark places where voices echo on for eternity. To find the inhabitants is to meet with uncertain ends. There are numerous cities beneath and in the grounds of rock and glacier, some glittering in the night as the fires of their ??? burn beyond sheets of ice. Tythia | Lost City of Magic The magical city of Tythia, once renowned for its manipulation of magic and its direct connection with the Fae, is now a blink in the imagination of Faejarhe's newer generations of children. It was said in ancient times that Emperor Fangrim both loved and despised these beings for their beauty and power, even having attempted to gain it for himself through the genocide of the Alcolytes. For his trespassing greed, in order to preserve their way of life they closed their borders to to all in Faejarhe. Protective of their lands and people, and also their secrets. Today their are but a dream, though music catches in the icy winds. Somber sounds of loss, love, and regret. | Unique PEOPLES of KHARATUMNI | Like the rest of Faejarhe, Kharatumni was and is a melting pot of various races that live in both harmony and dispute. Despite the fall of the Fangrim Empire there are still people living within this devastatingly deadly land, ever enduring of the climate and its changes. Races include but are not limited to: Elves, Dwarves, Bahnrioa, Humans, Oaligans, Orcs, Taureans. Alcolytes | Fae & Elves of Tythia Believers and worshipers of the deities whose whispers, to this day, can be heard melodically dancing in concert with the frostbitten breeze of the north. Bahnrioa | Monsters of Crelien Keep Fallen warriors and citizens of Lamare and its Crelien Keep, driven to cannibalism and forever changed into flesh-hungry, blood-thirsty monsters. Taluk | Crelien Keep, Bahnrioa Varying tribes of dwarves presumed to live in caverns throughout the innards of the mountains. Oaligans | Messengers of the North Beyond the normal plumage of their cousins are the Oaligans, a multifaceted in nature and purposefully bred society of owls. In ancient times, these creatures we magicked and bred over generations of failures until a perfectly amicable and sentient being was hatched from a vast array of clutches. Once perfected by demand of the Empire's lineage, they were inducted into service. Through a series of towers and networks these honorary messengers delivered both news and alarm throughout the lands of Kharatumni, their impeccable ability to navigate the treacherous winds and ever-changing landscape making them invaluable assets to its inhabitants. However, with the fall of an empire is the loss of a network. Leaving these creatures to their own devices to breed and colonize as they see fit. Going unchecked and as forgotten as their ancestral creators. Henceforth, they have become more civilized and have created architectural nests hidden throughout Kharatumni where they continue their lives unbeknownst to most of the newer generations of land-walkers. For travelers encountering these beings, they are either the best aly around for making it through as unscathed as is possible or the worst companions one can entrust their life to. Depending on the colony, there are the Kindred, the Unkempt, and the Droker. Helpful, harmful, or tricksy. Taureans| Illuminara Temple A race of celestial creation. Taureans are the direct descendants of The Deity, Proteus Rauz, created through intentional hybridization. Seeing as the only remaining descendants of pure blood are of relation (Mother and son), Rauz had decided to increase his peoples numbers by selecting races with ideal genetic traits, some of which were not even of this world. This resulted in the “Tauren”. A citizen of the deity city of Taurus, of Celestial bloodline with the soul purpose of serving the will of their creator and the purpose of civilization as a whole. The Taurean presence in Kharatumni serves the purpose of safeguarding Taurean interest in the lands, namely The Temple, which is an Alter in which natives can pay tribute or prayer to the Rauz, The Resident Absolute authority. Taureans in Kharatumni are in low numbers and are forbidden to fraternize with other races present in the lands and realms. Their roles consist strictly of Temple staff, and scouts and warriors assigned to their safe keeping, as well as specialty personnel tasked with the maintenance of grounds and the Guardian of the Lands. Focused, disciplined, immensely talented with astounding physical and mental gifts, the Taureans could serve a substantial purpose in the lands if allowed but unfortunately, such is not meant to be. | Unique FLORA & FAUNA of KHARATUMNI | Coming soon... | Myths & Tales & Legends | Ancestors | In its infancy, Faejarhe was a wild unruly land filled with untouched creatures. It is believed when the first empires came into formation those that chose the north came into contact with great winged beasts of unbelievable sentience. And together they formed what was once known as the Fangrim Empire. What truth comes from this has been whisked away with time. The fall of this once great empire leaving its history forever lost in the cradle of this snowy landscape. Vague traces existing merely through tales expelled by the mouths of mothers warning their children to be wary as they lay to sleep. Ancients | WIP | H I S T O R Y | | Condensed Canon of Kharatumni | | these events are from oldest to most recent. | Coming soon... Work in progress... This lore was written and edited/updated by -Lilium-, Meraxa, THE_BULL, Lacernella Rubra, Priestess, & Metty. Formatting & Tabling variations used are credited to Csl & vielle.
  3. "As long as its not more eel.” It comes as a shock. The man has jokes, how adorable. A perpetual need to laugh twists her mouth into a sly smile. Capria’s entire frame tensing in order to withhold even the slightest hint of amusement beyond that simple expression. To her relief he isn’t even aware of it, his hands now as sullied as her own in the leftover filth of a desecrated pool. Before his next words and the utter disappointment at his find can be realized, the woman is at his side. Examining the object in his hands. “No.” Curt and closed. Rather than feel anything outright distressing her eyes look across the entombed field of mud. Scanning the area and mulling over their situation. Rather than needles in haystacks it’s eel scraps in pond scum. As much effort as Eshara has placed to dig up the piece of rib she cannot think to do the same. The amount of area to cover not to mention a calculation of the time it would take to quarter off and dig the area up… Capria’s eyes shut. Attempts to shut out the ever growing fixation of doubt needling into the back of her skull commence soon thereafter. “We’re missing something…” A whisper of futility. You’ve both spent an awful lot of time looking down...maybe looking around will prove more fruitful to your endeavor. As if hearing something Capria tilts her head. Amber eyes following along. “Look over there…” Not too far from where the stand the naturally smooth and worn walls of the well are marred by similarly stained bricks. Made from the same stone as the walls themselves. But so long under water and filth they eventually camouflage into the scenery they’d been placed into. Movement is made without proceeding thought. Fingers curling against Eshara’s shoulder as she moves forward. “Let’s finish this...and I’ll make sure it’s steak instead of eel.” There’s a shadow of a smile before she’s at the wall and wiping the muck away to better gauge its build. Bricks, larger than average but small enough for either of them to handle on their own. It takes a moment to peel her pant leg from her boot but once down she’s pulling a dagger from a hidden sheath inside of it. Sticking the blade into decayed grout and hammering the hilt with the palm of her other hand. It doesn’t take them too long, the bricks slipping one by one from their enclaves and into the mud. Cool musty air greets their faces once the first few are free, and then an opening from which water that managed to seep in streams out. There in the darkness...folded in rotten soggy cloth is what she seeks. Capria doesn’t dare unwrap it, knowing full well the feeling begotten by its presence is enough to tell her what it is. Instead, she makes it disappear from view. Consuming it with the shadows hanging around about their feet. I’ll make sure it stays safe. There’s a wink of red at the edge of the darkness melded between Eshara and Capria. Lost so very quickly with a blink of the eyes. “Ever been to Chesterfield?”
  4. -Lilium-


    FOR ALL QUESTS IN FAEJARHE | MOMAR | CONTACT Meraxa PARAGRAPHS | KHAZNAH | CONTACT -Lilium- PARAGRAPHS | VANYAMEEN | CONTACT -Lilium- PARAGRAPHS | KHARATUMNI | CONTACT -Lilium- PARAGRAPHS | TERRESTRIA | CONTACT The_Bull PARAGRAPHS | ISLES OF JUDGEMENT | CONTACT Priestess PARAGRAPHS | SOKOKU | CONTACT -Lilium- PARAGRAPHS | AVALON ARCHIPELAGO | CONTACT Metty PARAGRAPHS | Your Area Perhaps? | CONTACT -Lilium- PARAGRAPHS These quests have been generated by Meraxa, Sanonymous, Priestess, THE_BULL, Raptor, Metty, & -Lilium-. Formatting & Tabling variations used are credited to Csl & vielle.
  5. -Lilium-


    Caticum Vitae Song of Life | GEOGRAPHY | Topography | The city of Corum resides on a relatively small island within the realm of Terrestria. It is a beautifully bountiful land, isolated from the rest of the plane and world not only by its size, but also by the vast ocean of clouds surrounding it. A thick green forest outlines the island, where the city is nestled at its very center. Although it is not very sizable, the land does have an abundance of water and elevated points on which man made irrigation lines stream water through the ruins and off cliff-like embankments to create naturally appearing waterfalls. Cityscape | Corum, what on the outside appears to be a relic, is truly something of grand talent and magnificence. In appearance to the unknowing eye, the outer walls are worn down and overgrown with tumultuous amounts of vining foliage; that same indignant glance extending towards the inner sanctum. It is with profound invitation from those who dwell within, or a very keen and cunning eye, that one can spot the intention hidden beneath the veiling façade. Outwardly, before a step onto the heavily stone paved walkways, one might be able to notice the eerie absence of sound. Brave seekers of fortune may not take hindrance while diving blindly into its depths. And what may have begun as a journey into a seemingly forgotten territory may come to a disastrously uncertain end. For Syrni wander these grounds. Climate | The weather is usually tropical, where the temperature is always warm in the spring and summer and cool in the fall and winter. Being an island, is it not unusual to be caught in hurricanes and thunderstorms. Snow, however, is a unique and splendored thing that is incredibly rare. | PEOPLE | Vati, once believed to have used song to convey emotion within tales, over the generations, have been able to hone their skills for greater purpose. In the past Vati were considered the melodic accompaniment to soldiers on the battlefield by using songs of bravery to encourage their comrades to continue on even in dire circumstances and strike fear into the enemy with ballads of dark intent; sometimes swaying the results of battle. Population & Marriage | Through strict breeding and a harsh standard of living, they have been able to bring some of the strongest music wielding bards into existence. Unfortunately, due to the restriction of marriage outside of their household they are quickly becoming a dying breed. Each new generation of pure-blooded Vati is smaller than the one preceding it. The process by which Vati are wed is one chosen for each of them. It requires the harmony and resonance of both partners to be of equal value. Causing the vibrancy of their souls to intertwine and become a single melody. This also means they have to have equal amounts of resonate power. Marriage-It is a very selective process that requires the Vati to be completely instep and in tune with one another in all aspects of their lives. Otherwise their offspring could be born abnormal. In other words, meaning without ability.-between two Vati is done out of preservation for the bloodline and does not always constitute love, but this does not mean an honorable respect is not shared between the pair. Because of their seclusion from the outside world until the age of fifteen, most Level 2 and almost all Level 3 Vati are withdrawn and choose to stay on the island rather than venture into the outside world. Diverting them from the original path of their ancestors, who chose to travel in order to share their tales. First Generation Vati, of the island, believe this seclusion to be a necessary evil in order to protect their way of life. | Unique FLORA & FAUNA | Most of the flora is brightly colored, if not by luscious green stems and leaves it is by the large and beautiful hibiscus and other flowers that rainbow the area. There is a tale that depicts a very precious and small flower of rich blue color that can heal almost any illness, called Rensette; though it has yet to be verified as true. Due to it's small circumference, there are not very many large animals on the island, nor predators to be of much threat. However, there is an abundance of poisonous insects, arachnids, amphibians, and reptiles. | GOVERNMENT | There is no true government here. Though they follow the same basic system of the Mother continent, the rules and regulations are shared by the two houses that preside over the island. Where the council members from the House of Lyre maintain a strict adherence to their chosen path of religion, education, and method of song… Those from the House of Ithara, do not. The Itharan Vati are a more free flowing people, believing the path to righteousness is not bound to the adherence of rule. However the one agreement they both abide by, is the deterrence of marriage between the members of their two houses. | EDUCATION | Those blessed with resonant power are placed in different ranks according to the strength of their abilities. Each of these abilities come with specific means of communication that suppress the urge to waste their talents. NonVati are made up with those people who lack the talent for music, but are still maintained as part of their household by taking it upon themselves do other forms of work. Level 1 Vati (abnormal bards) are capable of using their voices and instruments to convey messages, being incapable of resonance and therefore do not face the threat of vocal loss that the stronger Vati do. Level 2 Vati, from the time of resonance verification and testing of ability a few years after birth, are trained to communicate with their instruments and hands in various forms of sign language to convey messages. They are able to use their voices less often than Level 1's but more often than Level 3's. Level 3 Vati, are subject to a much harsher and controlled standard of living than any other in the House of Lyrê, or the city proper. Their gifts marked as a blessing to the house and those it is used to protect. Level 3 Vati in the House of Lyrê are forced to perceive conversation as a threat, and upon verification are subject to mental invasion. The breakdown of mental barriers is a rarely painful form of training to embed communication telepathically into the infantile mind. Punishment for 'wasting' one's voice is often severe and brutal; risk of them losing their voices due to trivial conversations being a very high one. If a Level 3 Vati from the House of Lyrê speaks, it is very rarely for ceremonial reasons and more often than not to unleash destruction on the world. In conjunction with their vocals, Vati carry musical instruments to help enhance the vibrant sounds of their weapons. In some cases it is a weapon with a strung quality such as a bow. The House of Ithara rises to the forefront, in how they hold pride in instruments over their voices. Young Vati in training spend their entire childhood strengthening their vocal or instrumental skill in confined solitude. Mentally resonating the sound of their voice into concentrated forms of power; or taming the resonance within their instrument in order to control it. This is done to protect themselves and any around them from being obliterated by the sheer force of the uncontrolled vibrations. Due to the lack of use of their songs on the battlefield, they started training in several forms of hand to hand combat as well as weapon arts. Mastering only in one. Long range attacks are the preferred method for any Vati, to keep them and their throats from being endangered. But some may choose other methods. | DEMOGRAPHICS | Culture | Generally a peaceful people, they work together in order to preserve their culture. It is not uncommon to see them signing to one another, rather than speaking aloud as all Vati are taught to use sign language as children in order to communicate with all Vati on every Level. The Vati are family people, each house being a family. They take care of one another, without prejudice. Unless it's someone from the opposing house. Despite their unusual distaste for one another, in times of crisis, they join together to rectify the situation. Two Houses Divided | House of Lyrê The House of Lyrê is one such group of Vati, unlike their predecessors, who were able to fine tune their musical abilities into weapons of greater destruction through the mode of song. Their belief that the voice is a powerful tool is founded by the idea that words when spoken, should be meaningful and filled with the truth of the emotion they're being conveyed by. House of Ithara The House of Ithara is a group of Vati that pride themselves on their use of instruments, while their voices are the vessels of tales needing to be told. Following more closely to their ancestral heritage they sing and speak in story form and wield their instruments in order to enhance those narratives. Unlike their sister House, Itharan’s use instruments as their weapons of choice. | Glossary | 1. Syrni Banshee/Sirens – Those of Vati who were unable to channel their talent, having let it burn through them and giving it complete control. 2. Vati – musically enhanced magical beings and the people who inhabit Corum. 3. Rensette – a rare and unique specimen of nature, it is a tiny blue star petaled flower that can only be found growing in the hidden Garden of Liarae, in the true reflection of the city. 4. Itharan(s) – peoples belonging to the House of Ithara. 5. Lyrêi – peoples belonging to the House of Lyrê. 6. Liarae – the Holy Mother; Sister of Galaxies. Additional Information The image presented above is the illusion given to outsiders, the link from 'veiling façade', is the true nature of the city as it is witnessed by the Vati. This lore was written by -Lilium- Formatting & Tabling variations used are credited to Csl & vielle.
  6. 'With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.' - Eleanor Roosevelt

  7. -Lilium-

    Faejarhe AMA

    Being that the continent as a whole will have no entirely ruling body, and there will be several different hands in the pot, it could be a mixture. A section can be dedicated to bounties, and players can contact Meraxa and myself to have them placed on the board so all are free to participate (if open participation is what's wanted). Pending availability and time, I would even enjoy making wanted posters with posted rewards. As of right now, no there is not. With Faejarhe in a more feudal state there may be older associations, but we haven't developed those finer things as of yet. I feel that a bounty hunter's notoriety and popularity would be genuinely stronger through an organization rather than through government means. So a tier system via the organizations themselves may be more beneficial for each individual hunter. But that doesn't mean they won't eventually earn contracts from the different militaries or governments. And by that extention they'd probably have a high notoriety (or deep pockets) among their organization.
  8. -Lilium-

    Faejarhe AMA

    Lol. I don't think there will be a barrier aside from the sea and the reef. We planned for Faejarhe to be more of a forgotten realm lost to time, rather than hidden away.
  9. -Lilium-

    Faejarhe AMA

    Hmm, as of right now that doesn't currently exist... Although there is still an existing empire being worked on by @Meraxa in which his character is the highest of the high by birthright, and an area that's going to somewhat be developed by myself where that character will become a 'ruling' body through rebuild and work efforts (where that empires thinned out blood holds an heir to that throne). Not to mention other areas being ruled/presided over by others. (The Isle of Judgements quest may put some hair on any character's chest and make a serious hero-ish badass...?) @Priestess I think once we have quest hammered out we can definitely come up with some decent 'hero' type tiers. Otherwise status is currently through work effort...or birthright. Y wutru up 2? >>
  10. -Lilium-

    Faejarhe AMA

    Faejarhe is an underdeveloped land once ruled by warring empires. In the end, one emperor won and took over, eventually cutting off contact with Lagrimosa and the rest of Valucre as a whole. Due to his choices and actions they were eventually struck from trade routes and maps, leaving them forgotten to time. Now, the empire is crumbling and left to chaos in the aftermath of this emperor's greed and faithlessness to the gods he once worshipped. It is believed that these gods showed themselves to him in a glimpse of destruction, which destroyed his home empire and he himself. Turning a peninsula into a cluster of large broken landmass and a cluster of tiny islands in which sandbars and a coral reef eventually sprang up. A map which is being worked on. It also lacks the technology of the rest of Valucre and is more feudal in nature. Overall, yes there is a lot of free land for the taking. However, it isn't freely given and must be worked for. I am still working on lore with the lore team, but if you have ideas or wants I am open to them. @Meraxa Please feel free to add or take away from this.
  11. -Lilium-

    Faejarhe AMA

    For questions and concerns regarding Faejarhe.
  12. I think it's wonderful how you also brought animals into the mix, because the viral nanotechnology definitely possess the capacity to infect the wildlife as well.
  13. the Cascade. Aaron Shurst, son of Priest of Humanity Theron Shurst “Do you see what I mean?!” A hand angrily gestures towards the crowd gathered below. “They’re fucking praying...They listen to him, and pray with him...in a shithole...where people are starving to death.” Disgust and resentment curls the dribbling lips into a sneer. “They should know better by now. There’s no God here. Not anymore.” Even after all these years, the resources necessary for survival still continue to dwindle. Many lives lost in this continual irrefutable process. Streets are now marked by nothing more than blood and death as those forced to live in the torrential heat and cold of a topsy-turvy world fight over scraps. All the boy can do is look down on them from where he sits. His pulpit up and away from the lowly street scum. Watching and looking down at how they flock to the pure mindedness of his father. So few in number today as compared to last month. Every new day is worse than the one preceding it. No matter how hard he tries to scrub away the relentless amount of pain at watching his brethren die, it lingers. Over time having spoiled and rotted into resentment against them. Innocence gone. All he worries about these days is how the stink of them never leaves his clothes. Like shit and piss cooked too long in the oven. Were his mother still alive, maybe he would think differently. Perhaps not though. “Ugh...the filth. Let’s go.” There’s no care for the shameful clatter created when his worn out chair topples, its light aluminum frame smacking hollowly into the dilapidated wood splintering beneath his heels. There’s nothing without faith in something. Even if only to give people hope… The drivel his father seems to spit out daily, more pious than ever. But still the people starve, they die, they sin, they slave themselves out. Whatever it takes to live. To breathe polluted air and stay ‘pure’. “He’s wrong...you know. Purity doesn’t exist anymore.” “No shit. Let’s get to Ringo’s before it gets dark. Otherwise we’ll get cited.” “Right.” For whatever population there is, the number of humans is so minor a fraction that they’re weak compared to everyone else. And still a commodity of sorts. So they flock weakly to the sermons of those who’d fill their heads with lies and deceit, fake hope that they will survive and make it in what’s left of the decaying world. Something the boy knows straight to the core of his marrow. We’re all going to die here… And yet, he no longer lifts a finger to assist the downtrodden. Preferring to use whatever his father is able to pocket for the poor and homeless for himself. Needlessly squandering it on ‘todays’ that never seem to cease in their comings and goings. “I hope you have what he asked for this time. Otherwise he might cut your throat and dump you into the sim pool like he did Devon.” “Yeah...Yeah, I got it this time.” Nervous fingers tighten at the knot of a tie against the base of his throat. “Hopefully he has a few extra discs with him tonight. I’m so sick of seeing this dump from down here.” Maxine, Model: Aquarius-X2530 “What the hell are you doing here? I told you to never come back!” “I need you to adjust my arm. The connections at the elbow are loose, causing the fibers to twitch.” “Look kid...get the fuck out. I should have just let you fizz out...or even killed you!” It’s true really. He’d rebuilt her, fixed her and made her work again. And all she wanted...well she can’t have. One day the Tallymen found her mopping floors here, and knowing how valuable an asset she had the potential to be, took her away. And from then on with them she stayed. A complete body build capable of death and destruction used to fulfill their sect leader’s bidding. But every now and again she’d come back to visit and give him baubles stolen from the victims carded to her. However, the last time she’d come in to ask for his help she’d brought friends. They’d been ordered to follow and keep an eye on her. These impure beings that truly exist for nothing other than the anarchy they create. They’d destroyed everything in the shop to teach him and her a lesson. Her place in this life bound by the hands of another. Tallymen, the gangsters, thugs, loan sharks, arms dealers, you name it...of the slums. Markers for the new justice system of chaos. Transhuman machines built to outlast their human predecessors. Held to a decree of volatile viral engineering that had taken place in the past. Artificial constructs...eventually broken down and parted out. To humans who wanted nothing more than to be ‘unique’ and ‘special’. That’s when the system was born, all in order to teach junkers a lesson they needed to learn. At some point, when society fell, they still stood. Groups of them hellbent on being the best they can be in what’s left of the trash heap. No martyr to the cause or anything, this catastrophe does the opposite. Trading it’s own parts to come in touch with something other than the mainframe coursing through the microchips infused into her brain. “You belong to the Tallymen now… There’s nothing I can do about that. You need to leave...NOW!” “I don’t have to trade you anything outside of promising not to kill your family.” Bitter words fueled by an undying need. She wants this old creature’s help in order to be right with the world. And if threats help to make her will realized, then so be it. Either way, everyone left in this world is marked by the blood of another… Dr. Elaina Montgomery of the Refractory Inspector Alan Garner of Lenidad City-State Nails scrape weakly against metal. The full ability of the fingers to flex and curl, taken away by the fact they're strapped at the wrists to the arms of a metal chair. Finally he had awoken, those first signs of arousal garnering attention from a woman standing in front of a large window overlooking the neon lights of the city some distance below. "Where am I?" "A few months ago, a new drug," stilettos scrape the floor as she turns and click as she walks, "called the Cascade surfaced. Aptly named for specialized coding that elicits a cybernetic waterfall in humans and a whiteout function in the matrices of the cybernetically enhanced." A pulp beaten face turns, eyes opening as best they can to find themselves blinded by illumination assaulting him from overhead. The ache of it in his ocular array nearly too much to bear. They shut again. Listening cautiously to the slow metronome of clicks produced by the feminine walk made toward his person. There’s something else, a sense of a crushing anomaly within the domed facet of his mind that forces a grunt of pain followed by a weak scream, "Rrraagh!" "You cannot retreat from this place. The harder you struggle, the more my barrier squeezes in around you. Similar to being caught in quicksand. Just relax and let yourself float above it, or drown. Your choice of course. Now..." Heels having stopped begin to pick up and click along the floor once more. "Ahh yes… You see the Cascade actually began as a marvel of engineering by the Relique Foundation. Mostly as a new form of netting in the matrix not only to perform routing functions and connectivity from cyber brain to cyber brain, but also allowing what few pure humans are left, the adaptability to navigate a system once out of their reach without joining 'the darker electronically mechanical side' of things." Finger quotes are done more out of habit than the need for his closed eyes to view them. "What...what the fuck do you want?" Try as he might against the brightness of the overhanging light he remains unable to fully open his eyes. Catching only black toe rounded heels at the ends of what seem to be very long and pale stems. The sheerness of them enough to make him question their owners' unique existence. Whoever she is, she ignores him and continues on with her story. “Right after this impressive infrastructure of matrices was created, there was an explosion at the Relique Research and Development plant. The source coding and prototypes all stolen and or destroyed in the ensuing fight to retrieve them. However, as I said, Cascade has been seen on the streets for the last couple of months. Its ability to scrub out reality and whitewash it with firmware that allows both humans and the cybernetically enhanced to connect on a neural level is too strong. Unfortunately, what these junkies don’t understand is that by dipping into this frame-worked waterfall they are succumbing to the penetration of hackers and enough adware solicitation to completely fry their brains.” “You haven’t answered me yet, lady.” “For someone who’s traveled all the way from Lenidad to Valovia...you have no patience. Please, if you don’t mind...the point is very close in coming.” It’s nearly unbearable, the pressure drilling into either of his temples. Unexpected relief is found in once again opening his eyes after watching shade cross over his lids. To which there is a completely different happenstance to be viewed. He’s standing...no floating because there is no floor in this space. Just glittering holographic sequences in the curvature of a woman standing before him. This time when she speaks images flood into the space, framed to fit the discussion as well as diagram and frame them out. “That was almost two years ago. I believe it was a radical sect of purists aided by the government. From what I’ve been able to compile in its chronology, the people who destroyed the facility and stole the goods were trained and professional. Not to mention the technology they used to do so. Oddly enough, what you don’t see here...is the complete eradication of every family member associated with those that worked in the facility.” Again, but with his ability to view it, are finger quotes, “ for the sake of the cause ‘they never existed’.” “You still haven’t--” “I found this in the rubble,” another internal projection into the net space they’re both inhabiting. This time it is small, slightly smashed probably from stone or even bone. “This is a conduit round and as far as I know only Black Rangers were trained to use them.” “Intriguing...yet another ‘nonexistent’ group of people. I’m surprised at all you know who they are and what they’re called,” he can see it as clear as the sun on a cloudless day, an unveiling curl of a smile creeping up her cheeks. “Then again...you were one of them, weren’t you Inspector Garner?”
  14. In The Woods Somewhere... Avoided, hid, and ran. Every twitch, every single twitch burns with unbegotten fury. Wanting nothing more than to erupt from each heavily pounding thud within its chest. It pushes further into the jungle, and farther from Amra. The singular failsafe it can reconcile with are the words typed so neatly into the file that had been shared about this Amraphensbane. Yet it proved not to be enough. Lacking certain details that could have prevented this growing rage from ever being born to begin with. It keeps moving. The body merchant is capable of surmising enough that it glitches through the thickets of vines and brambles, using shadows to indulge in its speed. Becoming nothing more than prey to its own curiosities and the hunter’s bane. It takes time but eventually it finds a precious moment of stillness, and listens as the Amalian jungle creeps to life behind it. Sounds of creatures pining for the light so soon to fail swirls in melodious concert from every shadow the leaves create. Another day coming to an end. One viewed silently from a rocky shelf overlooking the sea. The poise and gesture of casting are easily mimicked, however this is not what is coming to pass. Rather the tips of fingers reach out and slowly lower with the descent of the sun. Dip, dip, dipping beyond, below, the horizon. It needed an escape, to break away from the noise, the game of chase. To momentarily allow its focus to crumble and blow away with the chill of a sultry breeze. Vibrant fuchsias, violets, and marigolds once painting the sky become darker deep royals until the open canvas in turn becomes nothing more than darkness with pin pricks of light breaking through. For once it finds like in that sky, an ilk of dying light passing through just to reflect back from its eyes. The following actions coming without pretense or mannerisms befitting such a deathly cretin of the shadows. Rather what is displayed glows in the darkness falling upon it. Those appendages that had reached so longingly for light of day now gone from the horizon dapple along the fringes of hardened petals. Carved delicately into bone and painted for the fashion of an illusionary form of discord. Easily peeled free from a face that allows the spray of ocean water colliding against the cliff face to cool the furnace that has taken to burning its cheeks. None too soon, bits of earth tumble from overhead to break this miniscule revelry, and again it can feel them, those curiously burning orbs of his as they bore into its swathed back. Mask caught in the grasp of trembling fingers, leaves only a hollowed ensemble to turn and peer up into the shadows of swaying branches. A face of solemnity and emptiness but colored by something so ethereal and other. Citrine eyes haloed red with the infection of his rage stare up into the face of the wolf. His trespass marked harshly by a resounding growl, syllables torn and fused that hungrily scorch the sky, “AMRAPHENSBANE!” Inflected by delicate notes of femininity and drunken with a fury it knows nothing of, "What...have..." The secondary set of fingers take to the exposed flesh, hovering first before pressing harshly enough against the pallid pinkness to stunt the exposure of words trying to break free; harshly enough that its lips cut inwardly against sharp teeth. Drowning it's tongue in copperesque tinges of flavor. What have I… It's an unusual thing, laughter. The froth of which bubbles sickeningly forth from between pale fingers, staining them in starlit glistening liquid. And laugh it continues to do. What is this...I have found. Lost, that is what this feeling is. Consumed by untold and well defined hatred… Towards what and when? This it is unsure of, but those eyes are frozen. Locked onto the ones set above a black maw so far up on this island from where it stands. Looking down, back at this monster. It wants to move, to demolish and devour. To break the animal into tiny pieces and feed off the energy emitting from that rocky standpoint. Yet it is held in place by that gaze. Strangled and drowning in what little blood laps over its tongue. It’s own blood and hungry for more. Why... Need, starvation, suffering...and still darkness hangs overhead, surrounding they two. Both watchful and wary of the other. It runs... rock crumbled under toe as it alights from the spot, running with the breeze pushing in from the waves of the sea. html template.
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