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jaistlyn last won the day on April 13

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  1. The chamber turned into a confusing mess when flames alternately lit and went off, leaving afterimages in Fidelitas' vision. He continued to struggle against Ilene's copy, relying on his strength rather than his sight to keep her lethal claws away from him. "GET DOWN!" The voice came from behind him, directed at him. He wished to comply, but letting go wasn't an option. Instead, he suddenly pulled the mutant Xer in closer in an almost hug, then pivoted around her. This spun both of them around so that the Xer's back faced Vlad. Fidelitas used her body for cover for his head and torso as much as possible as Vlad pulled the trigger on the flame thrower. The flame splashed over the Xer, as well as Fidelitas' bare forearms. The intense burn was a shock of agony for the paladin, but he forced himself to withstand it for another second, until the Xer started to fall away. He pushed off and fell backwards, grunting. His entire body shook with the adrenalin pumping through it. He probably should have blacked out from the pain of the deep burns across both arms, but luckily his body decided that survival came first. "By Gaia, am I glad to see you!" Fidelitas exclaimed as he allowed Vlad to help him to his feet, then gave the engineer space as he wielded the flamethrower. "Look out!" he shouted, but it was too late when one of the Xers knocked Vlad down. Luckily, the engineer's reflexes were refined enough to block his doppelgänger's attack. The brief break in momentum of the Xer was enough for Fidelitas to deliver a swift kick to his face. It wasn't a refined kick, but if the mutated Xer had copied the anatomy of humans, then it stood to reason that their head was particularly sensitive. This hopefully drove the Xer back enough for Vlad to regain control over his borrowed weapon. With Vlad keeping the creatures at bay, Fidelitas started to move to the entrance of the back room, where Ilene was. Over the Inanis' shoulder, he saw Ed disappear, then the queen in the center exploded. It was a terrifying power, his shadow magic, that burst open the queen, sending her innards flying in all directions. This would have killed any other creature, instantly, but unfortunately that was not how a Sri Maash worked - it was a creature that was capable of manifesting illusions as reality, and it existed across both the physical and illusional realms. To kill one, they needed to attack it from both realms. Somehow, the queen had fused herself with one of the foul creatures, and had gained its abilities. The queen that Ed had attacked was an illusion. Ed's attack was not futile, however. It may not have been the queen's real body that he had phased through, but he had damaged some part of the Sri Maash's body. A low, garbled cry emerged from within the chamber, and the room changed in subtle ways - the tentacles came from different directions, and the remains of the queen's body were erased. Fidelitas saw Ilene hold her hand up, and felt the power that she was amassing. Then he saw her release it in a devastating attack that engulfed the room. His eyes widened. Ed was still inside the chamber! "No!" He cursed at both at her madness, and his own inability to stop it. Even if the whole chamber was decimated, the Maash-Queen hybrid would not be completely destroyed, only injured, until they managed to weed it out in the illusory realm. Even so, he held his breath. The chamber echoed with the cries of the Maash-Queen, as its tentacles and body were burned in the dark flame. A blackened and withered tentacle fell off the wall and onto the ground. A lump took shape into something with wings, and from it spewed a haze that enveloped them. Figures started to form in the haze, and resolved into the ethereal silhouettes of their comrades, as if two dimensions had overlapped with each other. They could see, but not touch them. Their comrades were standing in a snow-blanketed space, surrounded by wriggling pale larvae with sharp rending teeth. The larvae were breaking through a barrier around them, though large swaths of them had been killed by infighting and laser. In the air was an unexpected sight - the war elephant brought by the Aligorians was flying, armour and all, its ears flapping like wings. On the ground, looking mighty pissed, was the Hive-Queen, minus the tentacles of the Sri Maash. So it seemed the rest of their party had been fighting as well. Ed's and Ilene's attacks had weakened the creature and caused reality and illusion to blend into each other. An orb of dark power grew and glowed in the corner of the illusion, fuelled by the commander of the Subversors, Frederick. A notion passed through all of their minds - Ilene's, Ed's, Vlad's and Fidelitas'.. that this was the one chance they had, the final blow through both dimensions that would end this nightmare. But still an emptiness gnawed at Fidelitas. He fell to his knees, overcome by crushing exhaustion. The absence of his goddess meant an absence of power, and in his current state, he was nothing more than a simple man incapable of the feats his comrades were showing. They would do this. They didn't need him. No. A voice whispered at him, almost a gentle caress. We need you, Fidelitas. Videntia? His fellow White Hand paladin had the gift of Farsight, but he hadn't known her to be able to communicate psychically. Or was that just in his head? Fidelitas grasped at the final strands that could stop him from falling into despair. He thought of the brothers and sisters of the White Hand, how they had stood by each other through numerous battles. How young Volentia had weeped in his arms, privately, after they buried Diligence. How much strength and confidence Chastity had showed when he gripped his arm and told him to take the Furthest Point. Gaia was his goddess, but she wasn't his all. Fidelitas fought against the fatigue and rose to his feet yet again. He reached out to join his ruined, burnt hands with Frederick's, closely overlapping with the Subversor's own. Feeling the power in the orb, he poured his own desires and hopes into it. A twin orb of white flames and light swelled between his palms, manifested in the physical realm. "Join your powers to ours!" He called out to Ed, Ilene and Vlad.
  2. "Some of the greatest battles will be fought within the silent chambers of your own soul." - Ezra Taft Benson The larvae had overcome the snow. Frederick's barrier had slowed their advance, but was starting to wear down under the weight of their onslaught. Hundreds of tiny mouths tore holes at the barrier, and the maggots wriggled through, flopping onto the ground like pale, fat rain. The larvae swarmed towards the most vulnerable prey - Charlie - until his blue flame engulfed them. Time paused and stretched, as if both parties were trying to figure out what had happened. Then movement started again, but this time, it became chaotic. The larvae turned against their own brethren, sharp teeth sinking into tender flesh. The writhing creatures bit and tore at each other, leaving swaths of maggot juice in their wake. At the same time, Dan's laser beams cut lines of death through the swarm. If the sight of the creatures had drawn disgust before, it was downright revolting now. - Soryn's deep meditative state bore fruit when he found himself being gradually aware of his physical self. His body was folded into a fetal position and restrained within the egg-like structure. He wasn't able to move, but his consciousness straddled the line between illusion and reality. Sensing her operator's will, Celene beeped to life in the dark chamber and moved toward the egg that held Soryn, awaiting instructions. Perhaps the device could be used to facilitate communications between Soryn and those who had awoken in the caverns. Light from a fire a short distance away reflected and danced around the exit to this chamber. However, the price to pay for establishing a connection with his physical self was that Soryn was immobile in this state, exposed to the advancing larvae swarm. If no one protected him to keep them away, their bite would jolt the journalist back into the illusion - if they did not devour him whole first. - Each of Dan's laser line that killed the larvae was like a knife carving a wound into the Hive-Queen's chest. She could sense the confusion of her young, and the struggle of those who had turned against themselves; for their minds were connected to hers. She focused to wrest control of them back. The blue fireballs Charlie shot were dissipated by the barrier that protected her. A disturbance against her barrier. The Hive-Queen's attention shot towards Sheryl, who was holding her hand outstretched towards her. The Majeure knight was attempting to manipulate the fabric of this realm. The knight had made a breakthrough in her mental state, but crushing her would not be as easy as restoring some pieces of clothing. After all, she had sacrificed her self to fuse with a more powerful being. Reciprocating the gesture, the Hive-Queen raised an arm in Sheryl's direction, intending to crush her windpipes. There would be one less prey to be eaten, but it would not matter much. In a battle of mental will, the Hive-Queen had the upper hand. A darting shadow at the corner of her eye, then an impact that knocked off her focus. Again, and again. The dark knight on the wyvern was nothing more than a mere annoyance, but it was like a buzzing fly around her face, causing her to lose concentration. She switched targets from Sheryl to Gormaric. She made a downward slamming motion, using her control over this realm to force the airborne Eri to the ground. RI... IIIIP The queen's action would have succeeded, had there not been a sudden tearing sound that everyone felt in the depths of their souls. One of the queen's arms ripped from her body, with a force that threw it across the space. She shrieked in pain, and both Eri and Gormaric suddenly found themselves free. The ripping sound was more than that, however. From the open wound of where the Queen's arm was, the very fabric of reality leaked through like a haze, enveloping the area around them. It was as if a hologram had wrapped around them, projecting figures that they could see but not feel. Both familiar and foreign figures surrounded them - it was the vision they had seen earlier, but now they saw that Vlad had joined Ed, Ilene and Fidelitas. The engineer was wielding a flamethrower against the mutants wearing their faces. The four were standing in a cavern chamber that was charred by dark magic. Long, burned tentacles crawled along the chamber's walls, and on the ground lay a burned creature with wings that resembled the Queen. For now, they could do nothing to touch or communicate with the rest. The sight of the flying war elephant added to the list of impossibilities. Just as Jorge's magically enhanced arrow had been effective before, the Queen was unable to withstand the sheer force of Suru charging into her from above. The impact slammed her into the ground, though it was softened by a blanket of snow. With Sheryl's continued pressure to crush her, the queen was surrounded on many fronts. Despite it, the queen clawed her way upright again, her eyes glowing an intense yellow. The larvae around became frenzied, and clamoured over each other to launch themselves at their enemies, aiming for their eyes, throats, faces. If they were to secure a victory against the queen, now was their best and only chance. The image of Fidelitas stood, and joined his hands with Frederick's. Between his hands, a corresponding orb that glowed with light grew to match Frederick's. To completely destroy the queen and free themselves from this nightmare, they had to kill her from both sides of this divide at the same time.
  3. One more thing to check, if you have Followed your writing partner(s), make sure the setting for "Someone I am following makes a post" is not turned off.
  4. jaistlyn

    Writing Styles

    Same-ish, I was really impressed (and intimidated) reading some very flowery posts here on Val when I first joined, and thought of myself as inferior for not being able to produce writing of the same quality. The current trend seems to be moving towards simplification, of which I am now happy about. I try to write longer posts in response when people write long ones, because I do love it when my writing partners throw in beefy backstory, and I try to reciprocate. At times I do reach 1000 word posts when I have a lot to say, but more often than not, my posts are just 3 paragraphs long. Though it is satisfying to put out a lengthy post, most of what I'm thinking about as I'm writing is how to advance the plot in an interesting way based on previous posts and introducing new elements, and the writing is used to convey this. When I add in flavour (sights, sounds, smells, or very specific gestures or gazes etc), it's when I want to draw attention to a certain atmosphere, or highlight a certain emotion etc. I like to think my words are used to forward an agenda, and I stick to simple words to make this as clear as I can.
  5. Would love to broker some action with the Hand! Hope you’re doing well. 

    1. jaistlyn


      I am, thank you! What are you thinking of?

    2. L E V I A T H A N

      L E V I A T H A N

      Well, I still wanna find the stride to fortify Inns’th. And maybe do something in the Spires or the Unknown Territory. 

      I like the idea of rebuilding and adding to what is present and making possible amends with the Hand for any animosity they may harbor for the comparatively lax Clergy(assuming anyone thinks less of the clergy for not being ,historically, direct and acting?) 

      but also I rly wanna put to use a Vessel (Yshmael!) among Triaditionalist Gaians ! He is but a cup to be filled by the Three-That-Is-She and Yh’mi is such a great place to expound on what he can endure (or what breaks him?!)

    3. jaistlyn


      The Spires and Unknown Territories are good areas to explore, as there's not been much lore established there yet (meaning there's lots of space to create new things! Especially the Unknown Territories, that's deliberately left as a blank for players to fill in). The Broken Plains and to a lesser degree, the Whitewoods are more established areas. 

      The White Hand doesn't hate the clergy, they are just frustrated by the inevitable bureaucracies of it, being a large organization. They are still very much part of the clergy, but think of them as an independent unit (and the kind where the higher-ups prefer to leave alone). But their impression of the clergy can be improved, for sure.

  6. Darah nodded, satisfied by Shikai’s variety of skills, and Ash’s impressive display of agility. She passed Shikai’s mask back to him, then looked over the map. “The First Temple. The original temple built by Odin Haze. The spiritual energies will be strong, for certain. The tour will be bringing us there.” - It was a day with fine weather. The tour group had a total of twenty-odd people, and the three Dead members arrived separately, with the aim of quietly identifying or acquiring a significant item that could be fashioned into a totem, and seeking a location where they could place it for worship. The guide, Wenna, was a bob-haired lady with a pleasant voice. She brought them through the customary introduction, talked about the history of Gaianism, then started off the tour at a museum containing paintings and artifacts. The First Temple was to be the second stop on the tour. Darah’s gaze lingered on the statues in the middle of the floor they were on - impressive figures immortalizing Jason of the Lion’s fight with Zengi. Close by, Wenna strode up purposefully to a display case holding a white mask. “This is a replica of the mask Odin Haze wore in his campaign against the desecrators. The location of the actual mask remains a mystery, though rumours of its sighting have surfaced, even in recent times. Are there any questions?”
  7. Yours is an established and exciting entrance, your Yh'mi, where I have only a PM to show for mine (lol), but it's kinda crazy how I had a similar idea to what you've actually done haha

    I was once upon a time planning on creating a Night's Watch/Wall/Beyond the Wall shindig in a Terran mountain range, then in a Genesaran mountain range, but since I come up with more ideas than I carry out, eh, neither happened heehee. Still, reading up on Yh'mi lore is certainly inspiring.

    Of which, what does it mean if something is 'archived' such as


    1. jaistlyn


      Thank you! The idea of the area is not mine, but Yhmi (the player)’s, and updated by bfc before me as well. The expansion of the lore after I took over is not only based on my ideas, but also of the many players who have played in it! 

      The archived threads are just old lore pages, I didn’t delete them for historical sake. I revamped them a while back to hopefully make them easier for newcomers and also easier to update. Refer to the pinned threads instead for the lore!

  8. -The next morning- There wasn’t going to be an audience of four hundred; heck, it wasn’t even forty, it was just four, but still Delistair felt a tinge of excitement and nervousness as he prepared for the demonstration. He turned the piece of auranite he had enchanted around in his hands. “What we have is definitely enough to show, but you know, there is one more thing I would like to try. I spent some time in the library yesterday before I slept, and refreshed my knowledge of some of these materials we have our hands on.” He bent down to the sample of metals from yesterday, and retrieved a green specimen. “Negabjurium, the brother of auracite, and repels anti-magic. Sounds the opposite of what we want, but may just be the thing we need. It’s an expensive material, but we wouldn’t need a whole lot. Just enough to serve as the intermediate contact between the auracite core and the uru mesh. The anti-magic enchantment stays where it is in the core, and the energy of the spells are dissipated into the mesh. In theory, we wouldn’t have the magicks reacting with each other in this way.” He stroke his chin in thought. “We have time to make it before the demo, but no time to test it. And we will need someone like Leo so that we can try it with magic of different elements. Do you think we can pull this off at the demo, or do you think it’ll be too risky?”
  9. Wowww! Those are neat!!
  10. “Yes, that is my thought. Put the totem where they worship,” Darah said. “We will need to identify a suitable location, then fashion a totem that is indistinguishable from its surroundings. Using something that they already worship can increase our success rates. The tour will bring us to places with exclusive access - we will have opportunities to whisk away items of significance.” “Now is a good time to familiarize ourselves with each other’s abilities.” Darah reached into a fold of her dress, then took out something and placed it on the table. A doll about six inches tall that picked herself up and looked around the room. “A semi-autonomous puppet. She can act by herself on my orders, or I can control her directly. If we need anything small taken, she can do it.” Darah moved her fingers ever-so-slightly, and suddenly the mask that Shikai was wearing was in her hands. “Or I can.” She allowed the candlelight to gleam off thin strands of thread that were connected to the mask. She turned to Shikai. “You seem to have much experience in subterfuge, given how you made your way into this room. Any particular form that you will be taking that will aid our quest?”
  11. “Well, I’m glad I got to know this single cell,” Delistair said, gulping down the drink they shared. It was not exactly beer, and they were not exactly in a bar, but the gesture was the same nonetheless. “Metireal or not, your ideas are your own, and don’t ever lose that.” ”Is your sister, finding your sister, why you're still in all this?” Del’s eyes followed Cadmium’s gesture. “Perhaps once it was the only reason,” he said. A nondescript canteen, in a mundane camp that was neither luxurious nor illustrious. Unlike Cadmium, he hadn’t been a soldier for his whole life. He could have been, and could still be, something entirely different. His hand inadvertently went to the tattoo on the back of his neck, the symbol of a covenant of mages he had once been a part of, but which had since disbanded. He could be an adventurer. Open an enchantments store in Blairville? Del knew that these options were what Cadmium had lamented as lost to him. But the man was still young, contrary to his view of himself, and one day, he might find his own path. “I will admit I joined for the information network. But over time, this has become a part of me. The friends I made along the way. The people who thank me. The people who may hate me.” The military worked for the people, but there were always those who would curse them for their inefficiency, curse them for not reaching their loved ones in time, curse them for their failures. “I will continue to seek, but at the same time, protecting our own is a noble cause to take up.. Though on most mundane days, it doesn’t feel at all noble.” He chuckled. He poured Cadmium another cup of tea, then poured the last bit into his own cup, surprised at the speed at which it was emptied. Time passes too soon in good company. “To family men,” he held up his cup.
  12. Oh you mean an OOC club that goes into the club tab? For a moment I thought you wanted to open an IC club for characters to hang out, and possibly have merchandise for the club too, which I thought was pretty cool 😛 then I can have a character all decked out in the "Coffee/Cigar/Yoga/Water/Tea/All Milk Club" hoodie for example XD
  13. A throbbing pain in his head, that slowly resolved to the sounds of a skirmish. Fidelitas opened his eyes a crack but kept still. It was hard to make sense of the situation; he saw many spindly limbs, the disturbing likeness of the enemies’ faces, heard the cracking sound of eggs hatching, and spied Ed a short distance away. You assume we travel here by choice. A voice spoke in his head, presumably in reply to something Ed had said. No, our home was uprooted one day, from the place you know as ‘Taen’. Fidelitas almost jerked in response. The Taen portal? There had been reports of mutated Taen creatures being spotted near the Unknown Territores, but he did not know that there was a sentient species among them, nor would he have imagined that they had made it through the Narrow Pass into the Broken Plains. Had they been building on top of an ant’s hill all this time? Most of our original hive were massacred by predators. Some few of us escaped, and eventually made it here. This is a cruel land - and among those that hunt us include your kind. She said this with some contempt as Ed consumed the shadows of his copy. The other princess turned towards Ilene. You expect us to stay still as you eradicate us like pests. Fidelitas’ hand closed upon a rock on the ground. It probably wouldn’t do much damage, but it could distract. He didn’t have a sword, but a desperate man could use his fists. What the Xers said was probably true, but that did not mean they were suddenly friends. Who knew how far these creatures had already been corrupted by Yh’mi. His chance came with the chaos of three Irenes sprinting through the room. One dimmed ‘Charlie’s fire and returned the shadows of the chamber for Ed’s manipulation, and one acted as a decoy. Fidelitas sprung up onto his feet and headed in the same direction as the last Ilene - towards the princess guarding the room at the back. As he ran past the eggs, a couple of them broke, spewing slimy ichor and the tangle of newly hatched creatures. One of them wore the face of the engineer Vlad. It was deeply disturbing, but while the newborns were still finding their legs, Fidelitas focused on his target. The princess was focused on Ilene, and did not see him coming from the side. He hurled the rock at the her eyes. She reeled back in pain, and Fidelitas tackled her bodily into the ground. “Go!” Fidelitas grunted, while pinning down the princess’ limbs. “I can’t hold her for.. long!” Ilene would have the power to break through to the hidden chamber, just as she did before. Within it was an abominable sight that she would not have expected. Long, bloated purple tentacles extended from the walls, binding a creature in the middle of the chamber. The Queen, a more humanoid form of the princesses, with magnificent wings. The tentacles were not just holding her, they pierced into her body through her chest, like they were feeding into her. Fidelitas’ eyes widened in recognition. Those tentacles belonged to a Sri Maash, a creature known to exist across dimensions, and was capable of creating illusions that had a physical form. “Find the main b— Gah!” While he was distracted, the princess used her telekinesis to fling him away, and right into Ilene’s copy, which had managed to pick itself out from the rubble. The paladin narrowly dodged a sharp claw aimed to cut his neck. He grabbed the creature by its neck to attempt to bring it down. With a lack of weapons to pierce through its hard carapace, he was running out of options. This was the chaos that Vlad stumbled across when he followed the voices through the caves.
  14. jaistlyn

    Yh'mi AMA

    Partly laziness, and partly waiting for the conclusion of the Furthest Point, yeah. There will be new quests when Furthest Point is done, I would love for people to push into the Unknown Territories, including Aligoria if you’re interested. Lore-wise this would mean contributing to what lies beyond the black shroud, through IC RP! I do have some ideas for the furthest reaches of the Unknown Territories, but I need people to fill the landscape in between, heh.
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