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Sigil Warden

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  1. Eolan pondered the man at length, her moonstone eyes drifting over his roughed, dirtied appearance. There was much to divine in the way Crowley carried himself. The sudden summons excused the dishevelment and grime, perhaps, but his flippant, snarky demeanor was profoundly vexing. Even when serious, it seemed the entire encounter was only a step removed from a jest. It was a stark contrast, and might well have served to disarm all but the most hardened of wills. For all her imperious, serene grace, the elf visionary found herself unable to maintain the full brunt of her aura... and likelier than not, it was precisely the general's intent to elicit this crack in the mask. Her hip shifted out, relaxing just enough to indicate that she accepted the manner of this parley. "As you well know..." Her chiming voice strained, pausing a moment to avoid choking on the words. "...elvenkind remains on the brink of extinction. Our magic, too, wanes into nothingness." A gesture of the Pharos in her right hand spilled a shimmering image onto the polished floor, wavering and crackling like a flame. Indistinct at first, it began as the orb of a burning sun, illuminating the groveling figures of tiny humanoids. "We are the last blessed of the ancient Light that came with us from distant shores. It is in this Light we seek salvation, we and ours. And yet, we can only grasp but a single beam of radiance. It must be cultivated..." Eolan's breath quickened, as if merely speaking of the Light made it swell within her breast. "...cultivated, tended, and... empowered. Mere supplication is insufficient." She had been focused on the image projected from her staff, and reluctantly returned her gaze to the human. "We know your impatience - how does this concern the realm of Man? The blood debt, which screams to the heavens, is justification, but not reasoning. No - we would have something which lies in your realm." The star occluded, a great haze diminishing it until it was scarcely visible, as a caldera of black char rose from the floor, belching out smoke. Faint pinpricks of red light glinted from its slope in hairline fissures. "Mount Egon. Whispers of the crystals which spring forth from its slopes in great numbers, each burning with power. As the elements are but spectra of creative Light, we would study them, and claim them, if they are sufficient to the task of our re-awakening." Glancing behind, she smiled sadly at her dutiful guards and entourage a moment, sighing. "For all our will, we lack the means to travel to Misral and brave its foreign forests and blasted lands. To that end, our request is men, means, and conveyance to reach this place. One could ask no dearer price than the blood of our kin for this, already paid in full." Eolan's brow creased, introducing the first and only wrinkle into her disquietingly smooth features. "Further... as ill news travels faster than aught else, we know of the resurgent Legion and their rebellion. We recognize in their aims the very same doom that has been brought upon us before. If Man is truly come to his senses, he will act to reverse his atrocities by squashing this ember that is already smoldering on that distant shore. If, on this expedition, both goals may be advanced, we would be agreeable." With a tap of the crystal base, the projected image vanished, wisping away into the air. "Independent, stubborn souls have a spirituality that holds up to our Will to see our people restored. If you know of aught persons such as those seeking employment, we would have them also."
  2. I have now. It was off, and I have no recollection of turning it off... 🤷‍♂️
  3. I am embarassed to admit that I forgot Valucre doesn't auto-subscribe you to threads YOU POSTED YOURSELF, so I was sitting around thinking there still weren't any replies. That mistake has been rectified, and I posted. Anyone involved should now have enough info to at least get a bit of an idea of where they might begin entering the thread. I will do my best to avoid dragging out this initial interaction too long, however I did want to have my initial reveal to be suitably grandiose.
  4. As one, those possessed of sight recoiled, bristling as the face of doom emerged from the shadows. Truly, there was not a one among them who did not know the face of he who had brought ruin upon elvenkind, even though they owed their lives to never having met him in person. His jovial, casual attempt to disarm the gravity of this sin was just a final insulting benediction over their funeral pyre. It seemed the mysterious dignitary's guard were all of the same mind, as the only restraint over their tensed fingers drawing enchanted steel was the word of the shrouded figure within the lavish palanquin. And yet, in the tense silence, no such order was forthcoming. "My Lady, it... it is..." The figure bowed its head slightly, words hardly more than a whisper at first. "I know well the Hand of Death. Woe and weal come equally in the swift changes of men's hearts. I would speak with him, if this is what the King of Men deems all we deserve." "Surely there is another way...?" "Delay not, for my time has come. Release me." "Y-yes, My Lady." Wary eyes still cast towards the Oathsworn general, a pair of attendants slid aside the brass screen with pulls of two great tassels, parting it to reveal the occupant in closer detail. A clearly female form, by the slightness of the silhouette, draped in a dense, layered textile of white embroidered in cerulean, the only visible portion of the living being beneath pursed lips of light, glossy pink. Webbed across her body ran a bewildering net of knotted ropes, the bindings immobilizing her to such a degree that it was quickly apparent that indeed the only area free to move was her neck. Her arms had been bound up behind her, clasped together in reversed prayer, whilst her legs were bound in bands into a supplicant kneel upon the seat cushions. With solemn reverence, two bare-chested elven men lifted her from the conveyance like an inanimate relic, placing her hesitantly upon the unyielding stone floor. It was with even more trepidation that they set about undoing her bindings, which proceeded in complete, funerial silence, save for the occasional feminine intake of breath. Fully uncorded, the woman within rose as her servants fell back, shedding her mantle like a flower in bloom, and revealing her full majesty. A faint light broke forth, playing out in fractals across the walls, reflected off the gloss of her skin. Whereas the elves of the retinue were exemplary specimens of flesh, the elf unveiled to the Oathsworn general and guardsmen was scarcely real, as if the personification of an ideal woman rather than a creature of the mortal coil. Her pale bosom swelled spectacularly above an impossibly narrow waist, and her wide hips led the gaze to ivory legs superlatively long. Dainty hands and feet seemed almost pixie-like as she stretched out the cramp of her confines, tapering like that of a doll. An ungodly volume of shining blonde hair tumbled in braids every which way, one of which crowned her pretty head in a diadem of golden flax. Like her brethren, she was barely clad - delicate jewelry of silver clasped ephemeral drapes of fully transparent silk over each breast, and a vanishing chain of the same held a singular pennant of cloth no more than a blade's width across suspended over her loins, its hem kept from trailing the ground only by virtue of the towering steeples of her metallic, heeled sandals. Further decorative skirts of aquamarine silk draped over the upper arms, while a second pennant, about a handspan wide, descended from a jointed silver band affixed just below the bosom to flit about in the slightest breeze. A pair of jeweled strictures pressed into the meat of each thigh, decorating them and drawing the gaze even as they forced her to perpetually stand with one slender leg before the other. In this, and the playful refraction of dozens of tiny crystal jewels dangling from her silks and accessories, was her only respite from hungry eyes. Haughtily, she motioned once, her stretches completed, and the withdrawn servants once again came forward, one dutifully running his hands over the body of his Lady, smoothing all of her raiment into place, as the other brought forward her Staff. And what a sight that was, beside its bearer! A towering pillar of crystal tourmaline about a haft of silver, the head a rioting spire of aquamarine, topaz, and crysoprase. Its core practically burned with Light, pulsing and beating like a living heart. As her fingers curled about the implement, a great change came over the assembly, radiating outward from the elven maiden's feet in a tangible, rolling front that whipped the stale air up in a brief rush of exhilaration. For the humans, too, it was as if the true face of majesty had revealed its benevolent countenance upon them. The elf before them was a goddess, her radiance like that of the stars themselves in the abyss of the night that was their dark hearts. One could stare at the sun more easily than to hold the gaze upon her resplendent form. "Behold, I am... revealed!" When she spoke, her words drew from the breath of those around her, chiming upon the air - soothing, disarming, inviting - even if the words themselves were anything but. "It is with regret that I must petition that which is Anathema for aid... but the vision is clear. I will not be intimidated by you. Thus, you may know me as Eolan, Ys Symarron. Will you treat with us... General Crowley?" @Wade
  5. Insincere, as expected, but at least he had said it. What came next though - that pressed her consciousness fiercely even as her lower brain functions directed her gaze out into the complex to determine which way she needed to go from here. The man had a point. Why hadn't she run? For a moment, it seemed very much like the stupidly obvious solution Cyril had presented it as - right until the first wisps of memory from the Sarcophagus wriggled out from under the rock they had been shoved under. No... it hadn't just been that simple. Unity made to step from the elevator, pausing on the threshold, keeping the automated door open despite its mild protestation. She had to explain, somehow, that she wasn't just stupid. Turning, her hip cocked against the frame, and she returned her gaze to Cyril's face, her expression humbled by the question. "I... This is not the place to explain." Okay, well that was suitably mysterious, and mildly provocative, actually... here she had been lamenting not feeling like herself and then out of nowhere she got that little flirty sass back into her posture. That would have been fine as is... but then her stupid female lizard brain just had to keep going. Her head tilted against the frame coquettishly, and her choppy bangs fell over her eye, wreathing it in suspense. "We can talk about it at my place... if you want." Her lips parted slightly. Oh gods, what the hell am I saying? He's terrifying, I don't want him in my apartment... Then she shrugged, lifting herself off the doorframe and strolled out into the broad corridor. "Or stay, it's whatever." She strolled off to the right... Ergo's blocks were not too far. This gave an excellent view of her best asset flexing in its taut fabric prison as she retreated - that wasn't her fault though. Don't roll your hips, don't roll your hips, ohmygod I'm rolling my hips what is actually wrong with me...!! @Spooky Mittens
  6. Unity's lips parted in a huff of exasperation at his comment. In an instant, any sense that Cyril harbored a modicum of guilt or sympathy over what he had done vanished into thin air. His callous, almost mocking response soured the rogue's face into a scrunched-up expression of mild disbelief. "Saying 'I'm sorry' might be a good start." she retorted abruptly, and turning, looked around her, debating whether she wanted to place her things in the corner and free up her hands. She wasn't confident in her ability to actually confront the man physically, but that little worm in the back of her consciousness kept warning her she was treading on thin ice. She compromised by wedging herself further into the corner and glaring at him instead. "Or... you could begin by telling me why you tried to have me killed, if taking responsibility for being a dick isn't your 'thing'." @Spooky Mittens
  7. A good place to get a better grasp on what's what in Ursa Madeum is here: And then to get up to speed with the civil war arc: Wade or Csl might be able to assist you further. I admit that I am no expert either - this is my first foray into this corner of Valucre. But as I understand it, characters from outside Ursa Madeum are discouraged from bringing any of their baggage, be that mental or literal, with them to Ursa Madeum, as the place is mostly isolated as a self-contained little microcosm of fantasy.
  8. The thread happens in the context of the civil war arc (or more accurately as sort of a prelude to it), but there's very little in the way of extensive fighting planned. That may change if circumstances dictate but this is very much a thread in which we contend more with each other and the environment than any clearly defined enemy. There is going to be a lot of talking. Eolan is in Andalusia to procure funding and support for her expedition to Mount Egon - your participation should be in the vein of an explorer, not focused on the civil war itself except perhaps tangentially.
  9. Yes there's about two dozen all told. And as for her being a big deal, well - An initial reaction of 'who the fuck is this' is well warranted. More about her will be revealed as I go, so don't worry!
  10. Thread is now open for posting, though it would probably make most sense for @Wade to begin. That being said sightseeing or tagging along behind the procession is also acceptable if you can't contain your enthusiasm.
  11. I saw them advance, along the trailing Symarron, And from the woods then upraised a wailing cry: "Their eyes are flames, their decayed spirits dun; For what is this hatred that in man persistent lie?" The blazing noon-day corona smote upon the curve of a snaking procession, picking its way laboriously in the narrow streets of the Corinthian capital towards the main boulevard. Though natives of the clime, the burden of an ornate palanquin of varnished, gleaming wood and screened in bronze, substantially increased the tax of their efforts and the pale sinews of the elven warriors thusly engaged beaded with the rare sight of perspiration. Bare-chested, their mortal cords rippled with the ponderous task, scaling the baked pavement with an almost grim determination, eyes nailed forward even as the denizens of Andelusia practically swarmed around them in curiosity and trepidation. A further four, with burnished shields, abruptly shouldered aside those committed to heckling or too intent on discerning the shrouded figure within the conveyance, leaving the occupant shrouded in mystery even as the streets opened up into the markets, and eventually, the king's causeway. Accompanying the unknown dignitary, followed a less protected wake of servants, porters, and even a handful of devoted pilgrims - these latter ones clad in loose tabards corded at the waist, and each with a great stone of clear quartz about the neck. Their eyes shrouded under blindfolds and thusly ignorant of all but the sound and heat of their surroundings, each followed the next by means of a blue silken cord, wound about the wrists in penance. In contrast to the sounds of humanity clamoring from every corner of the capital, their procession remained deathly quiet, singularly focused upon their inscrutable intent. By the time the contingent reached the avenue, a band of city guardsmen had coalesced around them. A brief pause, in which a low conversation, out of earshot of the common folk, was conducted in a perfunctory manner - and then the procession continued, the guards letting them pass hesitantly, but unmolested. From the concern etched upon their faces, rumors immediately began to fly. How could they have not, when the largest group of elves seen in a decade had just arrived in such a solemn manner in the capital of men? Was it tribute? Surrender? A second declaration of war? Answers did not seem to be forthcoming, and the guardsmen quickly found themselves warding off the ever-increasing crowd behind the procession to prevent them from dragging off the penitents. Mercifully, a more animated pace was possible in the open promenade, and under the partial shade of palms and great ferns, the solemn elves advanced with haste, until at last they entered into the courtyards of the royal grounds. Here, an inviting fountain misted the air, its relief beckoning two dozen parched throats and burning foreheads... and yet, not a single one of them took a single step towards it. Instead, the lavish chair was lowered to the waist in a smooth drop of the arms, and a steel-eyed elf with grey-steel hair leaned over to speak with the occupant through the perforated mesh of metal. "My Lady, we've arrived. Would you care to refresh yourself at the fountain before we enter?" The hooded woman slowly shook her head. "You may slake your thirst. I will wait." The faint chime of crystals drifted forth with her voice, and as one, the entourage visibly relaxed. True to her word, she remained unmoved as her attendants regained their vigor and hydration, slaking their thirst. ----- Thusly refreshed, it was with more aplomb that the elves bore themselves into the marble and gypsum halls of the royal throne, their solemn but sure gravity more than a match for the half-shadowed tapestries and play of light through stained glass that greeted them. The seat of power, flanked by statuary and meticulous greenery, however... lay empty. For long, pregnant moments of silence, the great hall sounded only with the ever-fainter echoes of the lacquered wood setting down upon the polished floor. Then, the same grey warrior took a sharp breath, and in the common tongue expelled his vociferation to every corner of the edifice. "Our Lady of Light, Shaper of Brilliance and Savior of the Elven Race, requests the audience of the King of Men, Mythal or his duly appointed seneschal!" The towering oaks, the babbling streams of home, Shudder in solitude in the waning yaw of night, And but a handful of sapling youth alone Hold the torch of elven magic bright. @Wade @Zashiii @Voldemort @Ganu_Candali
  12. Well, the thread isn't going up 'til Sunday, I have to formulate a rather extensive opening post and I won't have the required time until then.
  13. If he doesn't mind trudging through the jungle and the ashy hellscape of a volcano, you are welcome to be the fourth and last addition to the PC portion of the expedition! I am sure Eolan would be pleased to have an elf other than her retainers come along.
  14. Sure! Do you have a particular character in mind? I'm not really particular one way or another, mostly just curious!
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