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Phaedara last won the day on April 2 2015

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About Phaedara

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    The Nightingale
  • Birthday 08/20/1989

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    Writing (duh), drawing, reading, video games (primarily PC), board games, exploring the wilderness, airsoft, medicine and cuddling all the animals! Oh, and definitely rain. I love me a good thunderstorm.
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    Veterinarian Technician

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  1. Waking in the early morning did not suite Elios Culthaniel well, particularly whenever he was rudely interrupted from a pleasant dream. He grumbled as he shifted on the knobby mattress, pulling the covers over his head as if the paper thin quilt were sufficient enough to stifle the clamor from outside. It did not. "Gods-damned scaremonger", he muttered with half-hearted bitterness, his mind still blurred from sleep. "If demons really do come, I hope they devour him first." Beside him on the bed, he heard a muffled reply. He turned and blinked leisurely at the sprawled woman, buttery blonde waves tangled in a messy array on the feathered pillow. Her words were unintelligible and slurred, the exhaustion from last night's entertainment still deeply set in her bones. The sight of her, tanned and shamelessly exposed, was enough to stir him from the final haze of slumber. Elios crept closer to the woman, reeling her in close despite her lazy protests. She giggled girlishly as he trailed her neck with hungry pecks, roused by the sweet musk of her dewy skin. He brushed his slender fingers down the youthful bronze skin of her arm, inviting a trail of goosebumps along the curve of her firm muscles. Once his palm was seated with in hers, he grasped her calloused hand, pinned it above her head and-- It was then he realized this was not the same woman from the night before the last. The hand he held was rough with tales of toil and strife, lacking the delicacy and plump of the pair he held before. He did not lay in the same, though equally lumpy, bed by a window situated over the market square in Dougton. And the room was much too bright to be in the same place. He sat up and scanned the young woman pinned beneath him, her walnut eyes grinning eagerly. He then recognized the wheat farmer's daughter and his stomach dropped. It occurred to him that the shouting from outside was not the doom merchant's cries of demons and conspiracies. No. Those shouts came from a very angry and very real threat. Elios kicked himself free from the sheets and hastily scrambled for his trousers. The farmer's daughter gasped in dismay, cursing him for his carelessness as she narrowly missed receiving an elbow to the face. She armed a pillow to throw at the back of his head when it dawned on her. The color drained from her cheeks, eyes wide and desperate as they searched for any scrap of clothing that was hers. With his trousers partially fastened, he caught her frantic eye and spun in place, knowing he had seen her dress somewhere. He found it buried underneath his cloak and belt and unceremoniously tossed it to her. Then, the house shook. The dark haired elf froze in place to brace for the quake, though it was gone as quickly as it had come. The pounding of heavy laden boots rocked the wooden floorboards, and Elios could swear the whole ground was shaking with each raging step closer to the bedroom door. There was no time left to think. The door burst open, a hinge snapping from the brutal force. The wheat farmer, a towering man with a lifetime of hard work and labor fortifying the sinewy lines of muscle trailing his arms, blocked the doorway. His face was a bright and alarming shade of red that would've been easily mistaken for a sunburn if it weren't for the sheer rage swirling in his eyes. The girl cried out and feebly attempted to cover herself up even though the farmer was oblivious to everything but Elios. The elf was sure he would catch fire any moment under that heated gaze. But before the farmer could reach out and wring Elios' neck free from his body, a loud crackling snap pierced their ears and the room turned white. Blinded by the sudden, glaring brightness that burned into their corneas with a painful ache, the man and his daughter screamed and shielded their eyes from the unknown source. The farmer grunted after he was roughly shoved upon against the door frame, and he groped aimlessly for his attacker but found nothing. When the light finally dissipated and after a series of blinks to wash away the seizing after images, he looked back into the room to find the elf gone. With a thunderous bellow, the farmer raced through the house, tripping and stumbling as his vision was still spotty from the flash. But when he erupted from the front door, heaving and panting with uncontrollable rage, Elios was no where in sight to receive it. --- Half-naked and sweating profusely from the escape after one of the many--but not any less frightening--attempts at his life, Elios paused to survey the area behind him. No one was chasing him, as far as he could tell, and the roar of curses that had followed him were now silent. All that trailed him now was the whistle of the wind and the soft music it played weaving through the tall grass. He was alone. Elios sighed and set the bundle in his arms down, his gear clattering and rolling as the cape unraveled. He turned and searched for any signs of Dougton, but found his view obstructed by grass and shrubbery that landscaped the fields. Taking the opportunity to don his gear, he secured his boots and slipped on his tunic and the accompanying accessories to his wardrobe, lastly fastening his belt and cape. With one final check to ensure he would leave nothing behind, the elf set out to find the closest road that might lead him back to town.
  2. Kelisette touched the pen's end against her lower lip as she scoured the list for any details she might have missed. It looked to be mostly in order, the pros and cons carefully outlined and ready to be weighed against one another. She almost seemed ready to make a decision when the startling sound of a fleshy slap broke through her concentration. Annoyed yet curious, she shot a glare at the two men seated a few tables across from her. The boisterous one had his back to her while he blathered shamelessly at the tavern woman, and the other seemed to be avoiding her gaze entirely as if ignoring her presence would be enough to pretend his companion wasn't such a nuisance. Trying to not let their thoughtlessness distract her, Kelisette sniffled and then drew her attention back to her pen and paper in attempt to resume planning the route for her final destination. But once distracted, she found it difficult to refocus. They were just so loud and there was not enough white noise in the idle tavern to drown them out. She had half her mind convinced to retreat to her lodgings upstairs, but the space was so cramped and uninviting that she could feel the brim of her mind edging towards madness. Although she wasn't quite yet claustrophobic, she was sure at the end of her visit here she would be. So, instead she bit her cheek and steeled her thoughts against the grating noise, diverting all possible attention by scribbling even if nothing legible was produced. Then, a familiar name caught her attention. "Eyidal?" the boisterous man queried. "Or do you want specifics?" Her scribbling paused, eyes still drawn down but ears open in their direction. As Kelisette continued to eavesdrop, she found she could admire the cautious man's diligence in wrestling information from his companion and felt sympathetic to his plight. After all, the other man appeared to be quite the loose canon and in her experience, such people rarely made things easy. But despite his easy-going attitude, there was something about what the flagrant man said towards the end that struck her. Not only did it seem to make some sense, it also sounded familiar. After a moment of reflection she realized why. Not all that you can learn will come from books, Scholiast. You could spend a lifetime with your nose buried between the pages and come out no smarter or wiser than you had been when you first started reading. She had mulled on those words bestowed to her by Grand Archivist Leon during the journey to Eyidal. They were spoken during the most recent exchange they shared before her departure. It was one, she feared, that would be the last. After all, he was aging rapidly and his health declined considerably during the last few months of her studies at the Carnethian University. She could feel her throat tighten at the thought of him and shook her head forcibly to displace it. Maybe it was sign, she thought, that a similar message would be spoken by someone else. Although Kelisette often pretended not to believe in such things as fate and destiny, Grand Archivist Leon often told her to trust her instinct once in a while instead of her head. Not all things can be reasoned with, he'd lecture. After all, the heart isn't reasonable, just as it is meant to be. Kelisette practically leapt from her chair, determination strewn across her face as she flicked olive eyes in the direction of the two men. The tavern woman was startled by the abrupt display and nearly toppled over the plate of grilled lamb, fresh from the kitchen, onto the floor. "Oh my," she gasped, attempting to regather her wits. "Is there something wrong miss? With the tea perhaps?" The scholar couldn't quite find the right words to reply with and merely shook her head. Instead, she approached the two men, having inadvertently drawn their attention, and stood beside the table without a word. There was an uneasy air that lingered in the space between them as she tried to muster what to say. Conversation was most definitely not her forte. But she had let the silence stray too long and one of the men looked ready to break it. Panicked that she was about to lose her opportunity to set the tone of the dialogue, Kelisette hurriedly dug through the satchel slung over her shoulder and withdrew a velvet pouch. With a satisfying clink and clatter of metal, it landed on the table with a heavy thud. "Take me," she demanded, the words weighted and awkward on her tongue. "Take me to Eyidal."
  3. "What now Aelyria?" The words rumbled through her ears, muffled and foreign. It was a strange feeling, recognizing someone and yet not really knowing who they were. The knot in her chest tightened at the sight of man, pale and fatigued as he sunk into the stone beside the precious cargo they searched and fought for so bitterly. Yet the feeling waxed and waned while the Urge remained in control, the hunger it commanded impossibly insatiable. Without thinking, she moved forward, twin blades pulsating with aching anticipation. The Mork'Outh, uncertain but determined, shifted to intercept the woman, orange mist swirling though faint as it crept across his skin. The Urge paused and with it, Aelyria. Aelyria could feel the dark presence in her writhe uncomfortably in the presence of the Mork'Outh--a true Mork'Outh and not an illusion pressed against her mind by the Xer'Orian queen. Slowly, the Urge began to relax its tethers to Aelyria's body, relinquishing its control but not quite ready to remove itself from the forefront of her conscious. The shadow blades evaporated from existence, black tendrils of vapor seething from her hands like trails of smoke that lingered after extinguishing a flame. Although the dark aura that haloed her now retreated, her eyes remained unchanged, their unnatural beauty penetrating the Mork'Ouths gaze. Seemingly satisfied with her disarmament, the horned creature stepped aside and the orange mist subsided. With her sense of self returning, Aelyria turned her attention to Ted and the corpse that lay beside him. A rush of emotions surged, her erratic heart pounding uncontrollably against her rib cage. She could feel her chest rising and falling rapidly, nearly on the verge of hyperventilation. Just when she might become dizzy and collapse, the Urge gripped her senses. It's not over yet. Aelyria blinked, still dazed. "What do you mean?" For a moment, Ted looked as if he were about to answer, confusion etched across his face. But the distance in her eyes gave him pause. Aelyria wasn't speaking to him. She knew he must think her insane then, but she had no idea how else to speak to the Urge that occupied the domain of her consciousness. It probably could understand her thoughts without speaking, but it felt incomplete to not have them occupied by the sound of her voice. You can still save him. "What?" she snarled, angry at the suggestion. "He's dead. How can I save him if there is nothing left to be saved?" The Urge chuckled, a throaty sound that resonated through her mind. Oh, you humans. You boast about how different you are from other creatures, how your command over logic and reason makes you superior over all other living things. Yet, you are no better in command of your own instinctual and primal drives than those that you look down upon. It sighed, contented rather than annoyed by its observation. The line between us is much finer than you realize. Aelyria shook her head, even more confused than before. "What do you mean? What does that have to do with anything?" You've forgotten what you are. You've forgotten how you and I have become to be. It was no coincidence, no dumb luck. You and I are trapped with one another because I cannot leave on my own and you will not forfeit yourself onto me. No matter our spoken pact, the truth is, Aelyria, you have bound us together. You died that day when you lost your child, when I first manifested. You died again when the magestorm came and sparked my powers to manifest a second time. Each time, I failed to take over. Why? Because instinct saved you. Your powers saved you. "My powers?" She twitched her hand to look down, but a scoff interrupted her. That? No. Child's play that, your ability to manipulate fire and heat. Hardly worth the effort you've put into learning it. Even with my aid in empowering your abilities, it is nothing compared to what you are already capable of. A tinge of jealousy twined with admiration lined its thoughts. There is no greater power than that over life and death. The Urge was met with silence. Aelyria, unsure and skeptical of its observations, was unwilling to accept or even begin to understand what it meant. It gave her an audible sigh, burying itself deeper into the throes of her mind that she could practically feel it digging around the inside of her skull. Let me show you. The world shifted suddenly. The terrain disappeared all around her and only blackness remained where lines of rock once were. However, it wasn't all black--in fact, this new world was bright and furious with light. She blinked, startled by the brightness that surrounded her, sourced from floating orbs that hovered over where the many bodies of Xer-Orians lay strewn across the cavern floor. It took her a moment to realize they were moving, slowly inching closer to Aelyria as if drawn by an invisible force. The closer they got, the faster they came until eventually, they were absorbed by her--or rather, the Urge. You know this part, it tittered. You kill, I eat. Aelyria did know this part, but she had never seen it so clearly before. Occasionally, she'd swear she could see a flash of light from the corner of her eye after a kill, but figured it a figment of her imagination or something fluttering by her eye such as a stray hair. Now it made sense. She looked to where the scattered orbs came from, and could make out the faint outlines of the bodies that they emerged from. When she turned back to the Mork'Outh and Ted, she found that they were glowing, life still safely seated deep within them. Renkor's body was dark. Panic gripped her chest when she didn't see an orb hovering over him, but the Urge grinned. Step closer. As ordered, she moved forward. The glow of the Mork'Outh stepped back while Ted remained where he was, too exhausted to move much other than to grip the dead man's arm protectively. She knelt beside him and saw it then. It pulsed weakly, this gauzy, fading mote of light, though it seemed to shine briefly as if to greet her. She reached out to it and familiar warmth enveloped her hand. She gasped lightly, choking back the tears that welled in her luminescent eyes. "There you are," she cooed softly to the orb. "I'm sorry it took so long to get here." Aelyria found she no longer needed the Urge's guidance for what would come next. This borderline abominable task she set out to do came instinctively and the depths of its intricacy was not a thing she could begin to comprehend. Yet, she moved with purpose, gently grasping the orb and lowering it to his chest. Rotating her wrist, she turned her hand palm down, guiding the light downwards, encouraging it to return home. It resisted a moment. The heart was damaged badly it warned, and it would not last in this body for long without repair. This body will suffer with each passing day until then, the orb cried, and regardless, the man would forever be changed. Well find a way, Aelyria thought. We will fix you, Renkor. Just come back to me. And so the orb returned, the palm of her hand pressed firmly against the valley of his chest. The golden discs of her eyes receded, returning to their turquoise hue, and the last thing they saw before the darkness of unconsciousness veiled them was the brilliance of light that illuminated Renkor's body from within. [End "The Final Beginning"]
  4. Gingerly, Kelisette raised the cup of tea to her lips and sipped. The taste of it shocked her tongue's buds, not because it was unpleasant, but because she hadn't expected it to be so good. Though admittedly the milk was richer than what was suited to her usual tastes, but the malty flavor of the bright tea was overall a delight to her senses. "How is it?" The shepherd's wife stood nearby, eagerly awaiting for her approval. Kelisette set the cup down on its matching saucer plate with a soft clatter. The porcelain china was pristine and finer than she would've ever had expected to find out here in the far reaches of the Empire, and she suspected it was removed from its retirement solely for the purpose to serve her. Either she had won the woman's favor with the generosity of her payment, or the opposite was true and the woman was attempting to earn Kelisette's favor in hopes of replicating such generosity. "It's nice," Kelisette admitted. "Refreshing. I don't think I'll need any sugar for it either." Kelsha smiled, a twinkle sparked in her eyes. "Ah! Good! I'm glad to hear it! The leaves and buds are native to the north--I doubt you'd find anything like this down south towards Carneth. It's good for your spirits!" Kelisette feigned a polite smile, and nodded. "Yes, I doubt I would. Thank you again." "Of course, of course! Let me know if you need more! I have it in a pot in the back, kept warm and ready to pour." Again, she nodded, relieved when the woman walked away to pick up her broom and resume sweeping. Kelisette had dreaded the possibility of carrying a conversation, particularly small talk in which she had nothing to contribute. It meant she often seemed disinterested or cold even to those who approached her, which was rare in itself for the same reasons. No doubt her aversion for friendly conversation contributed to the dissension between her and the soldiers that had left, but she brushed those thoughts aside. There wasn't time to think about what she could or couldn't have done. She had to make her next move. Kelisette unfurled the wad of parchment, working the length of her fingers to smooth out the creases. She flipped the page to its blank backside, procured a pen from her satchel, and began to write. Eyidal is still some distance away. At least a few days worth journey if I can find someone to take me. She paused her scribbling and bite the inside of her lip. If I can even find anyone who will. She resumed, the nib of her fountain pen scratching furiously against the parchment's smooth grain. From there I'd still have to wait however long for the soldiers to return or I could find a guide there sooner--assuming there is one. I could risk going myself, but... She sighed, pausing to look over her list and then adding to it. Going alone is a death sentence. If something happens... Kelisette shook her head. Unfortunately it might be my only option at this point. Consumed by the task at hand, she hadn't caught the sound of the door creaking open and was only alerted by the newcomers' entry to the tavern by the joyous ring of the tavern wife's voice. "Oh! Welcome there," Kelsha exclaimed, setting aside her broom. "Come on in--sit, sit!" Kelisette, unconcerned for the newcomers, focused her attention to developing a plan, pausing only to take a sip of her tea.
  5. Urgeant business a few towns away. Going to investigate. Will be back in a few da weeks. Find pasage to Ei Eya Eyidal and wait there. - Aithan s'Romo The scribble was hard to decipher, made more difficult by the insurmountable number of sloppy errors and lazily drawn letters on the smooth parchment. It was a short message and straight to the point, but it was either prepared in considerable haste or the author had little care for legibility. Kelisette figured both were likely true. Her thumb brushed against the etchings to feel their depth, and she remarked on how easily the pools of ink gathered at the points of each character. The man who wrote the note was heavy handed from what she could discern, and although she shouldn't have been surprised by his spelling errors, Aithan had been the more intelligent of the two soldiers that accompanied her here. Somehow, that made her expect more out of him. But now she was alone. Admittedly, she had growing expectations that this might happen. The two men often thought she was fast asleep when they spoke behind her back. Little did they know, she always had difficulty falling asleep since she was a child and even considered herself a borderline insomniac. When she'd finally wake the next morning, they'd greet her with smiles and the usual pleasantries. She'd smile in return and pretend as if they hadn't just the night before groaned endlessly about the tedium of being forced to play the wet nurse to a deranged scholar. When the tavern owner's wife reemerged from the kitchen, Kelisette kept her olive green eyes glued to the note, feigning ignorance to the conversation that passed between the woman and her husband. Most people rarely knew how to properly carry a private conversation in secret and were easily deceived by their own voices. After all, ignorance often festers in the presence of vanity. Eventually the inky trails began to blur before her eyes as Kelisette's mind wandered. She knew this was going to happen, so why didn't she plan for it? Had she been so distracted by her goal that she couldn't be bothered to consider it might go sideways? Frustrated, she clenched her fist shut, crumpling the sliver of parchment with a loud crunch that startled the sweeping woman nearby. It seemed a waste to ruin such fine membrane that might have once been worthy of becoming a page in a book found at the great Carnethian libraries. Instead, it fell from her opened palm and lay mistreated on the water stained table. "I just need a new plan," she muttered. "Another way to get there." "What was that my dear?" Kelisette nearly jumped, caught unaware that the tavern owner's wife--Kelsha was it?--had been slowly approaching her. "Ah, it's nothing. I just--wait, no. Actually, I was wondering if there was anyone in town familiar with the ruins in this area? Someone who would be willing to be my guide?" The woman seemed confused, not by the question, but as if she couldn't understand why anyone would need such a thing. "There aren't any ruins around here that I know of. From time to time the children come across some odd things here and there, but none of it has ever sounded worth exploring." She paused and turned her eyes upwards as if to consider something and then nodded. "I can ask around the village and see if anyone knows anything, but I think your best chances of finding a guide would be in Eyidal." Kelisette stifled a sigh and nodded. "I'll consider that then, thank you." "Of course. Anything else I can do for you?" "Tea, perhaps? With milk." She drew a gold coin from her pouch and set it on the tabletop. "For your services so far. Keep the change." "All we have is ewe's milk," Kelsha said, quickly setting aside her broom and hungrily scooping up the small fortune. "Is that alright miss?" "It'll have to be," she said, eyes fixated once more on the discarded note. "Not like I have many other choices."
  6. The coolness of the tavern was a welcome change as Takus emerged in the doorway, rays of sunlight breaking through the musty air around his broad silhouette. Motes of dust, previously unseen, danced and twirled in the bright, warm pillars that illuminated the quaint lounge. Takus stepped through and let the door shut behind him with heavy thud, returning the tavern to its somber atmosphere. The shepherd turned to regard his wife who was busy sweeping the hard oaken floors, but paused when one of the guests--the only guest--caught his eye. Dressed in the Carnethian style that was so rare in these remote parts of the Empire, the woman seemed vastly out of place, like a paper doll put into the wrong scene. She was young or at least she had seemed much younger yesterday when he first met her. Today, something was different, and Takus could swear he could make out a plume of an ominous cloud hovering over her head. He caught sight of his wife waving him over to the bar, finger pressed against her lips. Curious, he obliged and followed her as she waddled through the kitchen door, hand on her belly, until they were out earshot of their troubled guest. "What is it Kelsha?" He asked louder than intended, voice urgent at the concern for such secrecy. She reprimanded him with a sharp shush, shaking her head. "You best learn to control that volume of yours before the baby is born, lest you want to sleep outside in the pasture with the sheep." Takus winced, having the good sense to look apologetic when it came to his wife's threats. No one in this sleepy town dared to consider them idle, and more than once he served as proof that they were not. She peeked through the wool drapes that concealed the kitchen from the barroom, spotting their guest seemingly unaware of anything but the thin object in her hands. "The soldiers left this morning," his wife finally said, clicking her tongue disapprovingly. "Didn't leave a single coin to pay for their stay and only gave me a letter to give to her when she got downstairs." "Didn't pay?" Kelsha shot her husband a look that chilled him to the bone, and it was enough to remind him she meant to keep her promise if he didn't rein his boisterous tongue. "Err, well," he stammered, voice strained to a whisper. "We knew it was like to happen. The Empire is good at skirting bills. Do you think we can get her to pay?" "I sure hope so," she huffed. "First patrons we get in ages and they think they're too good to pay? We ain't running a charity and have an extra mouth to feed here pretty soon. I used the good mutton too for their meals." "Then we'll make sure she does. She looks well off enough to pay for everything and more, with all that finery on her. We don't owe them anything." With a nasally sigh, she clicked her tongue, this time to a more sympathetic tune. "Though I feel awfully bad for her. She's been staring at that note ever since I handed it over. They just went and left and didn't say a thing to her." "Yeah, well," the shepherd sniffed. "We ain't a charity like you said. We can feel bad all we want, but feelings aren't going to get our sheep back." "I know, I know. Let's just wait though a little longer though, just until lunch. We can remind her then that our services aren't free if she cares to eat what we have to offer." In agreement, the shepherd nodded to his wife and she returned to the bar to resume her sweeping. He found a pitcher of water and poured himself a glass to drink before sneaking out of the rear exit and returning to the fields to tend his flock.
  7. KELISETTE D'ERCO, The Wayward Scholar ** Background Info Pending ** BASIC INFORMATION Moniker: Keli Alias(es): Scholiast Kelis Sobriquet(s): The Word Breaker Gender: Female Actual Age: 28 Apparent Age: 25 Race: Human Orientation: Straight Profession: University Epigraphist PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION Height: 5’4'' Weight: 120 lbs Figure: Hourglass shape with soft musculature Complexion: Fair with cool undertones (Porcelain) Hair: Dark Golden Brown Eyes: Olive Green Voice: Tight and refined in unknown company, but sweet and bright when comfortable or excitable. Tattoos/Brands: None Scars: None Other Identifiers: Low straight eyebrows, upturned eyes, thin bowed upper-lip, low-bridged nose, and round-shaped face MENTAL STATE Demeanour: Borderline obsessive-compulsive, she is academically driven with an insatiable curiosity. Ambitious but private, she is goal-oriented and rarely wastes her energy on endeavours that do not contribute towards achieving those goals. She’s not socially inclined as she generally prefers solitude and often appears rude if not arrogant during her interactions with others. Although a starry-eyed idealist to the core, she is governed by logic and is prone to over analyzing certain matters, especially those pertaining to the heart. Likes: Literature (non-fiction and scholarly works), solitude and quiet places where she can study or think in peace, and has a particular fondness for furry creatures Dislikes: Social gatherings, drinking, gluttony, idiocy, and general laziness. Desires: To study and translate as many ancient texts as possible and be the first to unravel the secrets of humanity’s dark past. Phobias: Astraphobia (Fear of Thunder and Lightning) Motivations: To understand the past so that we may know how it will affect the future. Quirks: Sneezes when she’s nervous or anxious, and sniffles if she’s upset. Hobbies: Singing, particularly songs from old folklore. Talents: Fast learner and quick thinker, adept at solving puzzles or riddles, keenly observant, can speak multiple languages. TYPICAL ATTIRE AND ARMAMENTS Casual Headwear: Maroon wool hooded shoulder cape with mink fur lining Protective Headwear: None Casual Upper Body: Sage green scholar robe with intricate golden embroidery fashioned after the imperial style with a wide open neck and black sheer underlining. Protective Upper Body: None Casual Lower Body: Robe extends downward mid-thigh, with sheer leggings and a black modesty petticoat underneath. Protective Lower Body: None Protective Footwear: Sage thigh-high boots secured by belted straps and trimmed with golden embroidery after the imperial style. Typical Armaments: None Accessories: Wide black leather belted bodice with decorative buckle, chandelier earrings, and the golden tassel of servitude to the Empire. BACKGROUND INFORMATION Father: Salvin l’Erco. Town blacksmith, specialization in tools. Mother: Isa l’Atheiu. Wife of a blacksmith, head of household. Siblings: Jakin l’Erco, blacksmith apprentice. Selv s’Erco, Imperial soldier. Anesse Erco, daughter and youngest sibling. Other Significant Relatives: Distant relatives that she has had little interaction with. Hometown: Erco, a small town a few hundred miles northeast of the Imperial capital.
  8. Roleplaying goals? Shit. I never really thought about it, but suppose now is as good as a time as ever. OOC To develop my writing skills, and consequently, my confidence in them. I had a dream as wee girl to become an author one day, but had that dream smashed many moons ago by a less than pleasant teacher. Since then, it's been a while since I took writing seriously enough to put some conscious effort into it. Although now I am trying, it's evident I've still got quite some ways to go but I'm enjoying the journey in it. Maybe one day, when I can commit some solid time to the forum, I'd like to carve a little piece of Valucre for my own to create a place for the enjoyment of others! I love world building and can really get lost in it if I'm allowed to. Of course, that ties into my aforementioned dream to becoming an author. To continue to share and collaborate in stories with others, encouraging each other to grow while enjoying these moments where we can just escape in these daydreams. Master time travel or human cloning so I can have more time to write. Preferably time travel. I fear for humanity in which more than one Phaedara exists in that universe. IC For Aelyria's story to end tragically and suddenly. There are some days I love her and others I want to wipe my hands clean of her. For Eleri to finish her debut thread. I blame school and my negligence. For me to finish any debut thread with any other character I designed. I'm terrible at this BTW.
  9. Wisps of smoke penetrated her senses, lingering in her flaring nostrils with a draughty prickle. An aspect of Aelyria's conscious was concerned and wanted the Urge to relinquish its grip long enough to let her look back towards Ted. But, that was like trying to convince a dam to crumble in the presence of a trickling stream. The course was already set and their target was the Queen. The initial throng of Xer-Orians was smaller now though they continued to spill from the fissures lining the dome above and from tunnels that surrounded them. She seemed to be calling them from deep within the caves and there was no telling how extensive of an army she commanded. On occasion, a soldier might pause as if contemplating whether rushing to its inevitable death to protect a Queen that was abandoning them was worth the price. The Queen's psychic control was teetering as evident by the subtle glimpse of hesitation in the soldiers' beady eyes. Aelyria struck down another soldier, losing her spear to the thick layers of chitinous plate on its thorax but quickly recovering by flicking her wrist and spawning a pair void blades into her palms. They didn't have the same pestilent effect that the crystal spear--now shattered into a scattering of fine twinkling dust--had, but they wouldn't find themselves lodged as they offered little to no resistance. She could be wilder and faster with her attacks, though accuracy became more critical to achieve as she could no longer leave her victims behind to mutilate themselves. However, the finesse of combat was not something the Urge concerned itself with. It was primal and uninhibited by the fears and consequence of pain, so it acted without forethought. It made Aelyria alarmingly efficient in striking down their foes but careless. The tip of a soldier's spear flayed through supple leather and buried its head deep into her hip. Pain erupted like fire for a fleeting moment before becoming subdued by the Urge's call. Another Xer-orian soldier sought to take advantage of the moment, charging with an unintelligible chittering war-cry before being felled by the shadowy blade, its wicked magic splitting the arthropod down its center, leaving a trail of smoky black in its scintillating wake. With demonic fluidity, she redirected the blade to her successful attacker, severing its triangular head free from its segmented body--a clean and regretfully quick death--while the blade's twin fended off another soldier by disarming it of both the weapon and the claws that wielded it. It screeched more with dismay than pain at the loss of its limbs but swiftly succumbed to silence as it met its fate on the end of her sword. The onslaught did not stop there, but as Aelyria jerked the spear free from her side and peered towards her final target, she saw an opening widen like the great maw of devouring beast, beckoning her forward into its spasming gullet. Enraptured by its call, she rushed forward, ignoring the stream of weapons that reached forward to stop her, splicing and tattering skin and gear alike. She twitched only to barely avoid the tip of a spear that sliced laterally against her cheek, leaving a fierce yawning gash from cheekbone to ear as her reward. A pair of consorts turned to deal with her. They sputtered something akin to surprise as she leapt in front of them, inhumane speed and strength granting her the might to nearly bound clear over their heads, using their shoulders and hunched backs as bouncing boards to close the distance between her and the Queen. She landed in the midst of the retinue of hulking consorts, mere steps behind the smaller Xer-orian female they guarded. The Queen scarce had time to react and mentally bark orders to her guards when Aelyria spun in place. A spray of crystalline needles darted outwards from all around her, battering the consorts and Queen indiscriminately, protruding from their hard carapace like the quills of a porcupine. It took a second from the initial lurch of pain for the pestilence to take hold. Almost as if their demise was choreographed, they screamed excruciatingly in their alien high-pitched wails, a sound that even prickled Aelyria's sweating skin. The consorts were first to fall, grasping at their thick antennae and snapping them free from their heads as if somehow that would stop the pain. Next, shards of exoskeleton were liberated from their bodies, a pretty collection of grey iridescent husk littering the rocky ground. They dug and gouged at their exposed innards, searching for the source of their torment among the blackening organs and muscle. They did not die quickly and the Urge had little patience to wait until they did. Aelyria faced the Queen, her many crimson-speckled claws clinging to the needles that pierced her carapace. If she were surprised to see the Xer-orian leader resisting the Urge's poison, she did not seem show it. However, the Queen was not entirely infallible to its blight as she twitched uncomfortably, large black eyes glassy with the pain. The soldiers had begun to back off, the tether that bound them to their queen weakening and blind loyalty waning. You... The Queen reached out into Aelyria's mind with hesitance, as if somehow the parasite that consumed the human before her could pass through this mental channel. You do not know what it is that you carry. Such darkness... The Queen seemed to grin then though it didn't show on her mandibles. At least I will die with the comfort of knowing all you hold dear will eventually die with you. A sultry laugh defied the fear that held her. By you. The Queen wobbled and cackled again. You're destined for destruction. It will follow you like the very-- Aelyria waved her hand dismissively and river of intrusion ceased to flood her mind. The Queen jerked, surprised yet expectant. Then, the Xer-orian's eyes widened and she trembled, appendages buckling and giving way as she toppled over gracelessly. Her wings sputtered uselessly, their pearly film punctured by the crystal needles that bore through them. She saw something in those last moments before her death, something that only her mind could see. The Queen didn't seem to be looking at Aelyria anymore but instead at the thing that stood behind her, guiding the woman's arm as the blade came down, arcing to her neck. She stared into its grinning eyes and knew she had made a terrible mistake. She screamed internally and then all went black. The Queen's head tumbled for a while before coming to a stop, blank eyes regarding her soldiers one last time before they scattered--at least those who still could. The consorts had eventually bled themselves to death, though one still groaned nearby, inky ichor bubbling from its jowls. Aelyria ignored it and turned, golden discs regarding Ted and the Mork'Outh before settling on the burden they carried. Renkor.
  10. Gonna pull this thread from being buried. I love seeing everyone's music interests! It's an opportunity to explore for new inspiration! Edit: 😐 Supernal beat me to it by a minute.
  11. I'm so thankful for the school break. I can finally live again and write! PURE BLISS!

    1. princeben07





      Well wonders NEVER cease to exist!!! THERE SHE IS!! My LOST and Found RP buddy!! how in the Seven Earths ARE you dear?




    2. Phaedara


      Could be better, but taking one day at a time! I'm trying to get my gear rolling here back into writing, but it's so hard! I thought I had a four day weekend to rejoice in, but unexpected surgery at work ruined those plans >_< Where did all the free time go, Benny?!!?! Save me!

    3. princeben07


      Maybe a little RP can get your mind away from the Triffling things in LIFE. It might help you relax while you recover from surgery???


      Hit me back...Let's whip something up!!!! I'm always DOWN for a good story!!



  12. The fanfare upon their return to town was unexpected to say the least. Eleri, despite the decent repertoire of fulfilled missions under her belt, had never before experienced this degree of ostentation for a job well done. Regardless, she relished in the temporary stardom from such simple town folk, even if at the same time, she became increasingly self-conscious, making futile attempts to pin the dusty brown flyaways that strayed from her head. With all the noise and commotion that swarmed them, Eleri almost hadn't caught sight of the two men prying about Ashelewyn's saddle bags. Instinct jolted her nerves and she reached for one of the longswords pinned to her left hip. However, it hardly made a handspan's breadth free from the scabbard before softly clinking back into place after the men had been shooed away. She sighed with relief but remained unsettled with how acute she had been willing to act. He's is carrying precious cargo, she thought in attempt to excuse herself. There's no telling what this town would do if they discovered what else we had brought back. Eleri snapped from her introspection at the mention of her presence. She nodded solemnly to town governor and then raised an eyebrow at Ashelewyn. Excellent help? She decided not to argue the point and accepted the compliment. After all, Eleri had still yet to determine the full nature of their working relationship. The governor soon left them to their designs, and she eyed the elf suspiciously as they made their way free of the crowd, walking beside his steed. There was something about the tone of his voice in that last sentence to the town leader, and she didn't have to wait long to find out why. "I'll stay with Rhaast tonight. You should go and enjoy the celebration." Eleri scarcely heard the rest before coming to her own opinion. "Yeah, that doesn't work for me," she objected flatly. "As much as I'd love free reign on your share of whatever rotgut delicacy they pass as booze around these parts, I... I'm not the one who they should be celebrating." Eleri knew she was passing on an opportunity for not only free drink and dine but for recognition. This was her chance to weave the story into a fine tapestry that might later be appreciated by others, specifically those who could open doors to other avenues that she long sought to explore. But, as she skirted her gaze away from Ashelewyn's penetrating scrutiny, she thought, perhaps, that wasn't so important right now. A cough cleared her throat. "I mean, you know. You're the one who struck the final blow. And, this originally your mission alone. I just happened to get in the way and be of some use." Her cheeks and neck felt hot, but she tried to conceal her embarrassment with an inflated smile and shrug. "Plus," she trailed, her voice taking on a different tone. "I have a feeling you might find more than one kind of banquet awaiting your arrival. This might be your opportunity to show off that," she paused and waved an open palm exaggeratedly in his direction. "Natural visage of yours." Eleri didn't care for the suggestion, but she was not about the admit her disdain especially when she couldn't think of what else to say to convince him to go. By no means was she willing to confess that she was merely anxious in attending the celebration all by herself. "Gauging by the number of young, bright-eyed maidens looking your direction, I'd say you have quite the selection to chose from. I might even seen a few eager lads, if that's your thing. So, you go. I'll stay and and keep Rhaasty company. Hopefully when I see in the morning, I'll still have all my fingers!"
  13. The spear's head seared her fingertips as Aelyria primed the unsteady blade, its target marked. The soft leather of her chamois gloves offered no protection against its scalding touch, and she couldn't be sure if the metal truly radiated heat or if it was her conflicted morality that made it burn. She wanted to desist and lower the spear to seek Renkor's guidance in this desperate moment when she felt so helplessly alone. But it was as if a phantom hand had manifested and gripped the back of her skull, pressing it forward and coercing her into the only choice she was allowed to make. She trembled. Aelyria was a killer; she had done this many times before to satiate the Urge, so why was this any different? She lived in Union City as a vigilante, deciding the fate of men and women whom she deemed worthy of death all to feed a demon she had been too cowardly to dispel of herself. Yet, as the Mork'Outh hung his head in acceptance of her judgement, she found the will to kill sapped dry. She hesitated. Clarity struck her with the force of a cataclysmal gale and she gasped as her lungs swelled till they were brimming with the electrifying air. For how long hadn't she been able to breath like this? Eyes wide, Aelyria met her emancipator's gaze. A Mork'Outh towered over her, emanating with conviction as his leathery grin turned grave. "Quickly child," he prompted, the languid waves of luminescent haze radiating from his woody chassis like a sunrise breaking free over a mountain's peak. "Destroy these invaders before I can no longer prevent her from influencing you." Though her mind felt free from the oppressive authority of the Queen's psionic grip, bewilderment arrested Aelyria from acting immediately. She hadn't even seen the mass of Xer-orians surrounding them, their mandibles chattering frenziedly at the sight of the intruder, the sound of it filling the chamber until there was scarce else she could hear. The size and sheer number of them all made her stomach drop and it took nearly all her willpower to not waver and vomit before, what she now realized, was the true enemy. For when her eyes turned to the scrutiny of her would-be-victim, they were met not by fluorescent green of almond eyes, but that instead of the hazel she once recognized in Ted's gaze. If it were he who laid sprawled before her, then to whom did the other body belong to? Aelyria knew the answer before she even had to look. Yet, she did anyway. Renkor lay motionless, slumped thoughtlessly as if he had been merely thrown onto the ground and discarded with the same level of appreciation as rotted meat used for scraps to feed wild dogs. There was no denying his death. His skin, grey and caked with dried blood, remained flat and still, the swirls of his blue heritage faded and inanimate. She wanted to question the identity of his form; aged and bleak, Aelyria didn't want to believe that the impenetrable and transcendental occupant of her memories was even capable of dying. But in that moment, she knew it was a ridiculous notion, one conceived by her naivety and, dare she confess it, her love for him. The room seemed quiet. She could see the Xer-orians chattering away, drawing their weapons which consisted of a mixture of crude and refined weaponry that possessed an effervescent blue glow, much like the spear tip still clutched within her hand. However, the sound of their ramblings hardly reached her ears, overridden instead by the incessant, rapid thrumming of blood rushing to her head. Aelyria turned to face the Xer-orian Queen, the contrite facade shattered to reveal a vindictive sneer teeming with blind arrogance. The world around her turned red. Now you're ready. The familiarity of the Urge's voice brought an odd comfort she would've never thought possible. Its return sparked a horrid fire deep within her, somewhere within the forbidden dimensions of her sealed potential. The Queen's expression shifted, the glimmer of fear in her dark eyes betraying the forged, cavalier display. Now it was Aelyria's turn to sneer. "You can hear it now." It wasn't a question but rather a matter-of-fact. "No. You can feel it, can't you? That terrible, dark, insatiable hunger?" Black, dismal flame erupted from the palms of her hands and engulfed them, the immense pain that once accompanied its ignition now barely a tickle. Trails of shadowy vapor seethed from her skin, casting a light-less aura around her unfettered visage, the tension that once subdued her now unfurled. The dark flame that swirled around her fingertips was paradoxical in nature--it swayed and flickered much like fire, but instead of giving birth to light, it absorbed it. It did not burn hot, but instead burned cold, its frigid bite exact and piercing, capable of penetrating fortified steel without the slightest inhibition. Of course, such powers came with a price. The Urge cackled menacingly, euphoric for what was to come. Aelyria couldn't help but smile in turn, the fringes of her mind tainted by the Urge's presence, easily breached during its vulnerability upon seeing Renkor's lifeless form. The spindles of gold in her turquoise eyes proliferated until not a trace of their blue tranquility remained. The sclera of her eyes turned inky black, the stark contrast against the golden discs giving the impression that they glowed. Her hair, lose and unkempt from days of neglect, seemed to garner a life of its own, unbound from the limitation of gravity and gently flowing as if influenced by an unnatural breeze. "Then," Aelyria continued, her voice raspy and starved for revenge. "I don't think I need to tell you how this is going to all end." The Queen, snapping free from panic's clutch, wasted no additional time and screeched a harrowing battle cry, commanding the Xer-orians to attack and calling upon the aid of her consorts to protect her. The Mork-Outh started and hastily set to freeing Ted from his bindings as the swarm began to enclose on them. Aelyria paid the pair no mind, her focus drawn to the encroaching mass and reveling in their soon-to-be demise. She flicked back the wrist that held the spear tip, commanding the shadow to transform. It swallowed the blade vivaciously, the imbued glow extinguished and warped as it began to crystallize, expanding and reshaping itself until the shaft was restored to its full length into a disfigured memory of what it once was. The first Xer-orian felled by the spear shrieked with such intense agony that Aelyria thought she might shed a tear at the beauty of its sound. But, as much as she and the Urge wished to relish in their deaths, there was scarce time to do anything other than move and strike. There was no methodical resolve behind her actions. Driven purely by untamed instinct, she struck down each Xer-orian soldier that flung itself upon her, the transfigured spear effortlessly piercing through the hard exoskeleton to meet its target. She wasn't always accurate and there were few opportunities to finish off one soldier before having to fend off another, but she didn't need to be. Much like the crystal needles that her powers could conjure, the crystallized spear poisoned her victim from within, turning their fleshy interiors black with the pain-wracking affliction until they eventually ripped themselves free of their own carapace, digging and tearing at their flesh in a delirious attempt to free themselves of the pain, only to bleed themselves to death. It didn't take long for a pile of grey, disfigured bodies to form around her. But even then, Aelyria was not satisfied. She oriented herself, locating the entourage of consorts that huddled to protect their Queen as she attempted to flee. Blind desire propelled her forward, forcing her way through the mass of soldiers and leaving those behind to be dealt by the Mork'Outh and Ted. She felt an unusual pressure strike her in the ribs, but brushed it off with a casual swing at her attacker, which thus liberated her of the storm forged blade from her side. She cared not for the warm dribble of blood that soaked her clothes and continued to press through the flood to quench her thirst.
  14. With a heavy sigh, Aelyria's shoulders slumped, the weight of them shifted onto scuffed and tender hands perched lazily at her hips. Shamelessly, she huffed and moaned with each satisfying crack of her spine, neck and joints, as she stretched away the dull ache of their arduous journey up the mountain. Renkor, of course, barely seemed winded from the climb, his stoic attention focused east--or what she assumed passed for east in Taen--to where just hours before a vehement storm had been brewing. Now, there remained little trace of the tempest's fury, only the distant echoes of soft rumbling marking their memory across the grey and lonely ridge line. With bitter fondness, the peaks and falls of jagged stone set against the bleak sky reminded her of Valjer, a sleepy winter town nestled snugly in the valley of ancient mountains deep within southern Genesaris. She wondered if their familiarity is what originally brought Renkor here, but felt it too impertinent to ask lest she dredge up memories that were better forgotten. "It's not much longer." The deep thrum of his voice surprised Aelyria and she nearly leapt at the sound. He seemed to take notice and smiled reassuringly. "Don't worry, the Xer-orians may seem strange to you at first, but you'll quickly realize the worth of having such allies." She didn't move to correct his misunderstanding for her fright and merely nodded. After all, she was anxious about meeting the hard-carapaced creatures, but according to Renkor, they were compassionate enough to rescue him when his drake had suffered a fatal fall. They couldn't be all bad if they nursed a stranger back to health without seeking anything in return. Of course, Renkor had given them something in return--weapons of his own design to help eliminate the Mork'Outh. He sympathized with them; they were exiles from their home in Taen, just as he too was exiled from his in Valjer. Though she could understand his plight, there had been something that just didn't sit right with her. "If you play your cards right," he said while beckoning her to follow with the jerk of his head. "You'll find yourself rewarded with a fortune you never thought possible before. The Queen is generous." There it was again. She clicked her tongue, remembering, long ago, Renkor with his coffers of gold and the magnanimity of which he shared it--no, practically forced it upon her without a second thought. "Really? Strange, you never really struck me as someone who cared much for riches," she remarked pointedly. "What exactly does she possess that could even entice you?" He stopped and turned. For a moment, Aelyria thought she might have upset him and expected to be reprimanded for her ignorance. Instead his lips curled into a knowing smile. "You'll see soon enough." Figuring the phrase was his polite way to shutting her up, Aelyria shrugged and followed him along what appeared to be the subtle trace of a trail among the craggy silvery-black rocks. She shuddered to think what might happen if she took one misstep. A fall from this high up would be quite the spectacle of pain all the way down as her body was shredded to pieces on jagged ends and snapped on jutted rocks. Aelyria paused to look out beyond the cascade of silhouetted mountainsides and could just make out the haze of amber in the distance. Conscious of the ring of black metal around her neck, she tugged on it. "It's best you leave that on," Renkor said flatly. "It helps with the thin air in this high altitude." It's not like I can even take it off, she thought, having yet to discern how it became latched on in the first place. Another magic device of his that I'll never come to know how he got, no doubt. A part of her envied that about him, that enigmatic nature of his. Another part was just... annoyed. "How soon is soon?" She stretched her palms open and closed, the ache in them beginning to throb uncomfortably. "Just there." Renkor pointed and she could just make out a great maw in the rock face nearly three hundred meters ahead. She sighed and they pressed forward, taking care along the narrow path while anticipation swelled in her chest, bubbling until it festered into a dull, persistent pain. Aelyria half-expected there to be guards out front, but instead the maw was left unprotected. She stopped to reach into her pack to retrieve and light a lantern, but was interrupted by a raised hand. "There's no need. They're expecting us, see?" She followed his gaze and saw within some distance into the cave's gullet was the faint glow of blue light. "Surely you don't think they need the light to see, do you?" "No, I suppose not," her voice trailed, teeming with uncertainty. "Though I'm not even sure what they are." "You'll see. Soon enough." The cave walls first appeared unnaturally smooth, but at each passing of the crude, blue stone-lit torch's eerie glow, she could make out tiny pockmarks that defaced the rock and gave it its unusual, deceiving texture. Although their hosts may have been gracious enough to provide them light, they either were in short supply of these glowstones, or severely overestimated the human ability to see in low-light conditions. Or, she thought while fighting the chill that gripped her, they don't want me to see. At times, even Renkor would disappear from her sight if her eyes dared to stray, and his footsteps were so soft that they scarce made a noise loud enough for her to follow. Nevertheless, she'd pressed forward rather than succumb to panic and sure enough, he'd suddenly reappear as if he had not ever been but five feet from her the entire time. It soon became clear to her that they hadn't been traveling in just one tunnel. At each branching she'd feel a slight breeze, just barely softer than a whisper, but if when she'd turn her head to see, only darkness beckoned. She counted each opening, designating each right and left and accounting for every turn they made on their path. She tried to mentally map the network of tunnels, overwhelmed by the vastness and complexity she could only imagine. Each step closer to their destination made her uneasy, with only her blind trust in Renkor to ground her. They turned one last corner and a blast of cold air struck her. The antechamber gave way to a great hall, brilliantly lit by rows and rows of blue stone that spiraled endlessly upwards into a permeated dome. She sheared her eyes away from the remarkable structure and turned it to the cavern floor, where, for a moment before Renkor's visage blocked her view, she thought she saw Ted crumpled on the floor. Aelyria gasped and leapt past the sylph but came to an abrupt stop when the body that lay bound and gagged on the cold stone before her was unlike any she had ever seen. It definitely was not Ted. Another of the same creature lay beside it, limp and haphazardly strewn, with such an extensive gash seared across its chest that it didn't require any of Aelyria's medicinal skills to deduce that it had long passed since its gouging. Behold, the enemy. The pressure she had felt so incessantly since before the fire chased Ted and her out of the jungle, now surged with intensity. That voice in her head... That wasn't the Urge. With a grimace, she shot a look back to Renkor, but his eyes seemed elsewhere--almost inattentive and blank, drawn blindly to another's presence. She turned back to face it, startled to see a pair of torches not previously lit now shining bright as if to spotlight the creature before them. Such use of petty theatrics might have once made her scoff; that is, it might have hadn't the thing that deliquesced from the shadows terrified her. Welcome Aelyria, the Queen voiced deep within the chambers of her mind. Welcome to what was once my sister's home. I've since... renovated the place to suit my needs. The Xer-orian queen stepped away from the stone light, the alien beauty of her shimmering carapace serving as a natural armor among slender limbs that each moved with precise and unnatural individuality, yet each controlled by her in complex synchrony. She was humanoid, yet not quite, her proportions and mandible more closely resembling that of an insect--rather an ant. That is, a very large and telepathic ant. I'm sorry, I'd typically greet you with considerably more fanfare than this. But you see... She raised an arm, guiding it to the pair of bark-skinned creatures Aelyria had first seen upon walking into the hall. We've murderers in our midst. These two alone had killed hundreds of my kind, all to assassinate my dear sister. Unfortunately, they succeeded. Aelyria wanted to turn and see Renkor, yearning for his reassurance, but when she tried--her head snapped forward again as if held captive to an invisible force. No, she thought. Not invisible. She's right there. A flicker of amusement glittered in the Queen's eyes as she surveyed the human female. You're as strong as he says. I hope you are also as compassionate he says. My kind will not survive long here without the help of those such as yourself. The elf may have provided us with weapons to use against the Mork'Outh and their titans, but it will take more than storm blessed steel to win a war. We need allies. "Allies? I'm but one person," Aelyria grunted, the pain behind her head pulsating urgently. "Whatever Renkor has said is a gross overestimation of any skill I have." Shall I remind you that these were but two Mork'Outh. And they killed hundreds. This one, the queen gestured to the dead creature, nearly killed thousands before he was brought down by my own sister. Any ally in the cause against the oppressors is a worthy ally. Surely, he has told you of your reward? Aelyria shook her head. "I don't desire gold or trinkets--" Gold and trinkets aren't the only treasures worth owning, now are they? She eyed the queen warily as the Xer-orian sauntered closer, like a cat toying with its prey. Memories? Those are worth having, aren't they? Or rather, perhaps, in your case... The absence of? The queen audibly chuckled, a sinister clicking that one might imagine an insect to make if it could laugh. Don't get the wrong impression--I don't intend to bribe you with your memories. I just offer to wash them away. Free you of those dreadful things that plague you each night. Aelyria couldn't speak, but she could feel the queen tug at her mind where secrets she thought had been well buried now reeled through her memories. I can erase the beatings your father inflicted upon you, night after night after night. I can erase the cruelty of his lesson as he forced you to watch that young stable boy die, his only crime being he befriended you. I can erase that night when your father had had enough of withholding his carnal desire for you... and even the moment you saw your mother turn away and leave you there. Aelyria choked. When had she started crying? When had the queen gotten so close to her that she could practically feel the creatures alien breath plucking at the hairs at the back of her neck? I can free you of those things, Aelyria Tywen, and more. Let me set you free. All you have to do, is prove your loyalty to me. She looked down at the pressure of something cold being pressed into her open palm. A severed spear head, faintly glowing with ethereal storm light, lay flat in her hand. Kill the remaining Mork'Outh. And all that you desire shall be yours.
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