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About Kirakushi

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    Gaming (Currently On: Warframe, Guild Wars 2, League, Monster Hunter Generations), Reading, D&D, Some Sci-Fi, Zombie Movies (Ratings: Cheesy and Up), Paintball, Martial Arts, cooking, attempting to learn guitar, drinking (Specifically enjoy Mixing said drinks), Cuddles (believe it or not), Biological function (Anatomy, kinda ties in with the Martial Arts honestly), Technology&Development, Story-Boarding (Plotting Worlds, Characters, ect. with 1 or more persons), Survival (not shows, actual survival prep), Magic the Gathering (Non-competitive play), and a hand full of other things not appropriate for display on the site xD

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  1. Staring into the darkness surrounding her, the woman began to remove what armor she could; gauntlets and chest were dropped off her body after minutes of struggling and praying that the dragon didn't whirl around and step on her. It would be a pathetic end after all this, however it seemed the creature was more focused on bucking and shaking violently at the moment, quakes that made rubble jump and jostle the woman where she knelt wracked the area with every jarring hop the beast made. It must have been the Chromillia girl's doing, judging from the shrieking voice she could hear rattling on a constant stream. In only half her armor, the mage gripped her staff hard in one hand and used it in tandem with the corner beside her to leverage herself up. Exhaustion made the world feel as though it were crushing down upon her, every breath was arduous even out of her plate, her head swam, a constant high pitched ringing in her ears and bleary vision was of no help to think either. A good couple minutes were spent leaning on her staff just catching her breath and focusing her thoughts after she was up, hastily attempting to find some formula or way to bring the beast to a stop. The whole situation was madness, she had no idea what would be strong enough to bring the beast down with only two other women as back up. In the battle that earned her the political title of "Hero" it had taken most of an army to even so much as pull down a beast perhaps half this size; even then it took four ballistae to hammer the Archdemon down in conjunction with her magic. She needed to finish what she started, that was the only thing really clear and solid in this entire situation, and as she lifted her eyes to stare at the creature's bulky underside her jaw set in stubborn determination. If her training was failing her, if thinking in terms of rigid control over magic wasn't working it seemed that she was going to have to be a little mad herself; she had seen companions whip together spells she'd have never thought of and used it in ways she couldn't imagine would be possible within the confines of the Circle. Perhaps that sort of thing was just what she needed now, imagination and ingenuity, the rend in the sky that had dropped them on this city was a result of just that. Limping her way out of the meager shelter, the woman stumbled through rubble on an escape route from beneath the dragon, her sabatons clanked and scraped against everything she moved over or around since she could barely find the strength to fully lift her legs. Her hustled efforts eventually got her away from the dragon, and even despite no longer being beneath it she kept on a path through the wreckage that would put a good bit of distance where she could work without danger of being simply squashed. Though she didn't end up too far from the bucking dragon that seemed to be still trying to shake, scratch, and jerk the woman causing irritation on its back off, she would still have to worry if the beast spotted her. Sitting down in a huff at the ruined base of a wall, she could stare up at the dark figure and the sky behind it, her eyes fluttered in an attempt to close for rest and she determined that remaining on her backside would do no good. Grunting and panting, the woman rose back to her feet and leaned against her staff hard, using the top of the ruin she had been sitting against as another handhold so she didn't end up falling over from the quake of the beast's jumping around. If she were closer to the rift that they had come through she could have studied the structure around it, seen the flows of magic and determined how to replicate it on a small scale to maybe inhibit the creature in a meaningful way. However she'd not get the opportunity nor time for such intellectual pursuits, she was going to wing this and hope by Andraste's briches she could pull this all off. Rigging herself up by using her staff and the rubble around her, the arcane warrior was able to get both her hands free and able to reach out for the mana in the area. Wrapping herself in a good bundle of it from the area directly around her, the temperature dropped exponentially she took on as much as she could and around the dragon's neck she did what she could to loosen the fabric of reality and the veil that separated them from the Fade. It felt like she was pushing or trying to pick up water with her bare hands, the mana simply slipped around and refused to cooperate in the manipulations, gritting her teeth the woman's eyes narrowed as she focused harder. This entire place was so saturated that she wasn't going to be able to do anything to thin the veil without more mana simply filling the space she shoved aside, she determined that she'd just have to start 'thinning the air' so to speak. Her fingers clutched and twisted, guiding the ambient mana into her; she felt a little more clear headed and not so weak in her knees as before, but since she wasn't directing her focus inward she didn't shift into the Fade as before. The influx of mana was thrilling, she felt much more alive and clear but just being filled up wasn't going to do what she required since she would just end up unable to take in anything more once her capacity was reached; so as she filled she focused on the staff keeping her propped up. It was a device meant to direct and focus the currents, not exactly hold, but she put a wall of her will up and dumped all that she could into the object so it wouldn't escape back into the area; the downside is that the crystal at the top began flaring to life, radiant white light from the depths washed over the ruined ground and painted a target on her as she continued working. Yet even still there wasn't quite enough done, her efforts felt as though she were attempting to empty the ocean upon land with but a cup! Desperate and exhausted, the woman focused the mana into the dragon itself! She wrapped tight strands across the entirety of the creature's being and flooded the creature with magic until white arcs of energy could be seen racing across its scales in various places; her will tightened and the strands became a shell that only let mana flow one way, just as with herself and her staff. Her heart felt as though it were going to explode out of her chest from the amount of energy inside her, she could only imagine the massive creature was wondering at the wild sensation flooding it; but around the base of its neck she could sense a very small zone where she had been focusing the mana out of the area from. It was minuscule but it was a start! Bolstered, she threw caution to the wind and pulled more mana into herself, her staff, and the dragon; it was a mad thought but it was working! Even without her bidding, the mana inside her caused her to flicker in and out of the fade, her form crackling and shifting from corporeal to ethereal and golden in random waves. She suffused her will with magical strength, redoubling the layers of binding over and over until the staff was not only glowing but vibrating with a whine at her back; the dragon was now so charged that it ceased paying attention to the irritant on its back and commenced bouncing around in a giddy excitement. It had seen the mage light, and when it had focused on the blazing white it looked like the sun, its nose was full of the scent of burnt destruction it couldn't smell that the source of light was the Elven mage that had blown its eye out. With mind in a euphoric fog from just how powerful it felt, the dragon spewed fire down upon the remains of the city wildly. It dropped its bulk down and writhed forward slightly, grinding scales across the burning rubble, foes forgotten and enemies vanquished in its mind the beast was going to begin work in making the place home. Scraping its bulk against the ground, backing up and digging, then exhaling flames upon the area the dragon violently set about creating a nest in the middle of the city. The magical vitality had tricked its mind to feel none of the pain it was in, the destroyed flesh was still destroyed but the monstrous dragon's simple mind had forgotten it. Even still the beast's being had more mana being channeled into it, the thrill and exhilaration almost to the point where it wanted to gallop and wrestle about like a hatchling. All the same was happening to Raean, the mana wanted her to move, to expend energy or she would surely explode, but even so the woman pulled and tore; working and twisting the mana around to the point that the temperature around the dragon randomly went up and down and the crackling bolts of energy dancing across the beast continued to be seen. No longer able to see beyond the blinding radiance, she relied on the feel of the mana to twist and pull it all around into a knot around the void zone that was now the size of her palm. Her efforts to keep that spot free of the ambient mana wouldn't be going to waste as she wove and directed streams and flows around it in a knot and cluster. This was it! She took those weaves and she squeezed the mana out from inside to do nothing but fill the weaves redirecting the flow! It was redundant, it made no sense to do but still she did it, working off of the null zone she warped and twisted the direction of the mana around until it was encircling the dragon's neck in what could be amounted to an elaborate collar. The air there shimmered and sparkled with motes of golden light as she worried away and thinned the veil between reality and the Fade. However, the woman was quickly losing herself amidst the flows; while her mind was wholly focused on the task at hand she couldn't feel the damage being done to her by the constant influx of mana and constant binding she wove around herself and her staff. Unable to hear the crackling whine, unable to feel that her body was flickering in and out of the fade in an undulating wave and she no longer wholly entered and left at the same time; it was as though she had locked her mind off as an independent entity that solely re-threaded the weave and flow of mana. The radiant light around her shifted as well, undulating with her entrance and exit, growing so white then flickering to gold; the haunting strobe effect had drawn the dragon's attention and it simply watched the display in wonder. What it couldn't see was that there was a ring around its neck that flickered and danced in the same golden motes to the same pace of the light, nor that it was stretching towards the creature's neck and was on a path to meet up to make a disk of space where there simply was no mana. The flux of the weaves began growing more turbulent and took more of the woman's attention to the point where she let go of the other holds she had so that mana began to leak from herself and the dragon in the form of snapping bolts of golden light. It was all coming rapidly undone without the will that had been backing, creating a sort of mana storm as the area suddenly had an increase of density of the magical power; this only served to increase the speed of the weave Raean's mind was focused on until all the threads and strands were knotted together and woven over one another. With the veil shaved away, the mana rerouted, she wrapped and wove the zone to the creature's neck by catching the unleashed mana that was flying off it's body and tying it down. Creating all of this, the woman had forgotten there was another person on the creature, she had forgotten of Aisha too as her existence became suffused with magical power; she had been so focused on the weave for minutes now that as she saw the efforts come to completion she couldn't remember what the point was nor what she was trying to accomplish. It wasn't until the artificial vitality had drained out of her, leaving her suddenly exhausted and in the dark that she remembered, worse was when the dragon no longer felt the elation and all of the agony it was in came back as a reminder that the woman had inflicted a great amount of suffering upon it. As the woman's mind came back to her faster than her other senses, she determined it was a good idea to be moving; however, she found this to be made difficult when her lower body refused to respond. Arms flailing about, she slapped and rocked her rigged staff until she fell to the side and slammed her unarmored chest into the rubble strewn ground. Pain put motes of white light into her darkened vision, and as she gasped and hissed out breath after pained breath the woman got to see the dragon flailing in redoubled effort. Raean was trying to kill this thing, she remembered now; she was working with a pair of girls to bring this beast down! "Aw. Maker's shorn balls." She remembered that one of the girls would have been on the damned beast! There was no strength in her to lift her armor clad legs so she'd not be running over to do anything to help and with her vision restored she saw the golden motes shimmering around the dragon's neck like a collar that denoted an area where the veil to the fade was paper thin. What had she done? Why did she do it? Scrubbing blood off her face and spitting even more out of her mouth, the woman felt as though something were sitting on her chest and getting heavier with each breath; so if she could figure out what to do next she'd need to do so quickly. Fumbling about for her staff, the woman could feel the remaining energy seeping out of it in a slow ooze; Raean determined she might have her solution to their scaled problem but with how hard it was to focus through the pain at this point she might be taking a few minutes to put her mind back together. Forcing herself to roll and sit up, the woman stuck the staff against the ground and hovered one hand over the butt end so focus her magic; it felt so far away now, normally ice would have begun to form immediately but instead she only got small branches of frost as though her magic were nothing but a trickle. The sense of urgency she felt to get this done didn't match how tortuously slow her effort was put into effect; the Elven mage could only hope that the two girls would be able to hold out just a little longer.
  2. In the hours that passed, Ryu had learned to shape minute globes of water into high speed projectiles and though he had problems with aiming them it was better progress than he had been making by using strands of water. The whistle of the thumb-sized pellets of water though the air had kept Ryu's comrade amused for the passing of time, and when a pair of their fellows came to relieve them for the evening, the small troupe of members stood about watching and taking turns tossing various objects to get shot at with the new trick Ryu had put together. Jovial retorts and comments came from three directions, his comrades either thinking of witty things to say or chortling about the missed shots actually aided the towering man more than they likely realized. Every small adjustment based off another's observation was something worth gaining, the criticism his efforts evoked in his clumsy attempts had the pellets shrinking in size to that of a pea and flying faster as though shot from a crossbow to knock targets and send them spinning off from the force. While not currently applicable in the midst of high duress situations, it was a base foundation to build off of for further attempts. His thanks came in the way of clapping the pair relieving his partner and himself on the shoulder and a silent nod before heading in the direction of their encampment for the evening. The final tasks for the Order would be finished up after the report was given to the Lieutenant, and Ryu was free to check and instruct Katsa's basic control over her own chakra. It still amazed him that the woman had never learned basics before diving right into the elements, she was quite natural with water but even a newly graduated child from the Academy had better grasp over functioning control. Not only that but there seemed to be a break in understanding between their terms, to Katsa what she did was 'magic' but for the man it was 'elemental release', which seemed to only cause confusion for the man in how to phrase things. No matter, it was his prerogative to adjust and adapt so the woman could make the most of what he had to teach; as well he was getting a better handle on the control of water, though he doubted he would be activating an elemental release any time soon just on his chakra alone. The trek back to the camp was silent, Ryu focused mostly on actively scanning the horizon around them while he continued his musings on his progress and how to do better. Knowing the towering man would hardly be a good conversation partner, the other man simply hummed to himself and focused on their path back to the camp; since their arrival would end up being around dusk they would have plenty of time to get their next assignments and prepare for the next day. Even though the mercenary company was encamped they had members scattered across the continent that sent missives in with various information for the roving band about situations and jobs. Neither one of the men heading towards the camp knew if they would be ordered to head to another region from their command or if they'd be lurking around the main contingent still. Thankfully transportation was provided for such orders, making a trip to a city where one of the faster means of transport could be utilized. It was business as usual, Ryu assigned to outpost duty in another quadrant his partner assigned to rotation in the encampment itself; the night continued on in usual fashion until everyone settled in to rest for the next day. Things progressed much the same the next morning, Ryu awake before most of the rest of the camp along with Katsa to start his training routine and give the niad woman her task, then on to his preparation for his rotation at the outpost after cleaning up and checking the woman's progress. The routine was smooth and well practiced, at least up until he was sitting at the outpost when one of the strange mechanical birds that served as a long distance messengers for the members of the Order zipped down and landed on his shoulder. He was used to messenger birds but it had taken some time to get used to how these things worked, small though they were they covered vast distances in a relatively short amount of time, not only that but the message they carried was pulled out of their beak like some sort of dispenser after a whirring and clicking noise. Glancing at the woman who was his partner for the shift, earning a shrug in response, he reached up with the fingers of his right hand to take the narrow strand of paper as it scooted out of the bird's bill. 'Bulwark, questions about you are being asked at crossroad town between Selemath and Caspar. Small girl, red hair, riding some kind of cat. Advise?' Staring at and re-reading the strip that had been printed out, he couldn't think of who of that description would be asking about him but yet a tense feeling crept up his spine as the bottom of his stomach dropped. "Strange." Thumbing the print out, his brows furrowed together in concentration on the description of the individual and the pit deepened. "No. Can't be." the man rose from his sitting position, his muscles singing with a combination of dread and excitement, enough so that his companion looked at him warily and unsure if she should be nervous. Pressing his finger to the top of the bird's head to start the record command the things seemed to have he took a calming breath. "Advise. Check for a plate bearing a boulder sigil upon it." Releasing the top of the bird's head, it took a few breaths before the messenger flickered up into the air and shot off in the direction of its owner it would take a few hours to reach the person more than likely, and it left him feeling agitated and restless. "Whas the matter, ain't seen ya this animate 'for." The woman clicked her teeth, smirking at him while idly spinning a coin around her fingers, apparently a habit out of boredom for her. "Look like ye seen a Ghast or some such." The woman's comment didn't feel too far off the mark, but he handed her the short missive for her to read and only got a queer look and a shrug. "Only person I can think of is my daughter." He stared at the woman gravely, though he hadn't shared just how he had come to be in this land most all the order knew he was a very long way from his homeland and it wasn't a possibility for him to get back. However, the blank stare he received dissolved into one of shock and then awe. "Oy! Never thought ya the type to have a daughter!" Not quite what he meant for the woman to take from the tone of his voice and his current nervous demeanor but, yeah, why the hell not? "So I'm unapproachable?" Lifting her finger, her mouth opening to make a retort she couldn't come up with any passable comment that might sway the conversation without making things awkward as he glowered down at her. "Nay what I meant by it, ner'mind me." Her shoulders went rigid and jaw muscles jumped as she chewed on her thoughts, though this man had only been in the Order for a scant few months few wanted to chance a scuffle with the quiet behemoth. Sure there were a couple who always scoffed and bragged about the idea they could take the man on, but when he caught wind of such sayings he would approach and stare at them as though expecting something. More than a few were put off when he said nothing and just shifted his stance to the ready when they approached him slightly, it seemed to be enough to serve those with mouths bigger than their merit to silence. Yet in this instance, the woman got to see very clearly the man was upset; not by her comment but by the apparent situation and what it might mean. A grinding sound came from under his mantle as his left hand clenched into a fist so tight the talons dug into the stone palm. He turned away from the woman, directing his worried stare into the distant horizon so he didn't cause any more undue nervousness; he wasn't trying to be difficult but right this moment he desperately wanted the individual to not be Shizuko, be anyone but his daughter. The noon hour drifted by and faded towards dusk before the bird returned and alighted on the man's shoulder once more. 'Confirmed. Is the girl someone you know?' Ryu's gut clenched as though it had just been stepped on by the humongous creature dwelling in him, the slip in is hand quivered and suddenly burst into ash; his eyes transfixed on the ground before him where the slip used to be in horror. His daughter, his lineage and joy, was here and trapped just as he was in a land unknown and beyond what they had understood and come from. Flexing his right hand repeatedly to work out the tension and taking meditative breaths to keep from immediately dashing off from his post, he needed to get to his daughter but he wouldn't desert to do so; there were better ways of handling this. Forcing his escalated emotions down, he focused and brought his finger to the bird machination's head to provide a response to set things into motion. "Affirmative. Secure contact, personal VIP. I'll owe you." He was thankful the messenger only printed out the encoded text and wouldn't let anyone but the woman standing watch at the post with him hear the tension strained rumble in his words. Once the messenger was shooting off, he knew it would be another long while before he could do anything; Ryu needed to get to the encampment, report, and request personal leave and a transport to the location. The woman stared at him, disturbed and shaken to see the normally stoic man practically ready to come apart at the seams. She couldn't tell what all he felt, but he wasn't likely to communicate it to her either. She simply gave him a bit of distance to himself, everyone had someone important they were worried about so she understood that it was probably very tough for the man at this point in time, not being able to get to where he wanted to be. She admired his sense of duty and pitied his current predicament. What Ryu wouldn't get to see was, that when messenger got to its owner the surly man whistled and nudged his partner's shoulder roughly and shoved the missive in front of the other's eyes. "A favor owed? Ye think this guy's good on his merit?" The other man took his time to read the missive a couple more times before lifting his eyes and nodding. "Bulwark's more loyal 'n a hound. Dunno much, but he'd like rip his bloody arm offa his body for ya if he swore ta do it." The messenger bird's owner whistled quietly again and destroyed the missive before deactivating the bird and standing. "Awright then. May's well check the brat. Good catch on th' plate he mentioned." The less surly man jerked his chin in response and rose as he tipped his tankard back to finish his ale, getting a bit of it into his beard. Both of them tromped out of the building, looked around the vicinity first in opposite directions, and when the girl wasn't spotted immediately communicated to meet back at the spot within an hour to check situation and location searched. The two Order members split up and went in different directions to start the search with more obvious locations where the girl would question first, judging by her direct questions at the inn she'd likely hit trading posts or any tavern that would see a high volume of travelers. Solid investigation tactic, but it was going to be of little to no use just asking questions about the individual who could match a bunch of possible descriptions when they had no affiliation to go with it. Aside from that mark that was mentioned which, neither of the men had seen him wear or display on his person, she'd be searching for years with her descriptions and likely not cross paths with the right man despite how blasted big he was and that arm of his. Eventually, the less surly of the two spotted the redheaded child and issued a loud, shrill whistle her way to get her attention as he jogged closer. "Oye! Yer in luck girlie, jus' got word from th' man yer lookin' fer. VIP, he said, ain't ya special?" The man grinned at her, introducing himself as Verdict from the Order of Ash. "Merc's word too, nay tryina trick an' bag ya. Bulwark's nay a man I'd like ta get cross at meself. Ya come 'n get a meal with us or somethin', sure he'll get back in contact soon 'nough." Even if she didn't follow along, it was just about time to meet back up at the inn anyway; the next communication could be sent off that contact was secured regardless of the girl actually sticking with them, though Verdict had no doubt she'd tag along considering she was going around pestering just about every soul she came across. They'd get her fed, a tab noted for Bulwark to pay them back later for, and chat idly after the next missive was sent off to the towering man. Back in the encampment finally, he stood before his Lieutenant and kept himself composed as the woman stared daggers at him, it wasn't for his request of temporary leave or even the transport, it seemed to just be her natural look. Which, while he didn't find the least bit off-putting, in this situation made him nearly ready to walk out and just start to travel on his own feet, even if it meant it would take longer. "Alright. Suppose I can grant that request this time. You're clear for two days, should be time enough to resolve the personal matter." She looked down at her table, pulled a slip of paper out, scribbled on it quickly and slammed her seal onto the paper beneath it. "Take this to the stablemaster, you'll get what we have free." Ryu gently took the offered release note with his left hand, saluted sharply with his right hand, and turned to politely exit the woman's tent. He kept himself in control the entire time, some how, he wanted to leap across the encampment to get to his destination faster but it would have to wait; he had two days and he would need supplies. A full waterskin, rations to keep himself satiated, and a check of his equipment took up an hour of the night. Once Katsa was informed of his departure for a short while, he apologized somberly for the inconvenience and promised to inform her of the full situation when he returned. While there was none of the buggies free, they were dedicated for hauling the encampment in times of emergency, a scout bike was apparently free for use as well. After a brief explanation from the stablemaster on how the machine worked and being handed a pair of goggles to wear, Ryu settled across it like a horse, his bulk making the machine seem a touch small. Running his right hand across the crystal plate, the machine awoke in a whir and crackle of energy that lit up a pleasant crimson color in response to the chakra he apparently had to put into it. Left hand curling around a grip that supposedly controlled his momentum, his right hand touched runes and swept across the crystal as the stablemaster had instructed until the bike issued a unique thudding noise and lifted into the air. He would have been admiring the situation more if he wasn't deadly focused on getting to his destination, curling his right hand around the directional control he clenched the throttle grip and launched forward out of the stable, scout bike whirring loudly and blasting a cloud of dust in his wake. The lurching sensation was new to the towering man and the wind pressure threatened to take him off the bike until he hunkered forward and leaned in, as a result the drag seemed to reduce and the ride seemed a touch more smooth as she shot over the rolling hills only a couple feet or so above the ground. Now, he couldn't help but be impressed, the speed he was going was well beyond what he could travel by foot and as he clenched harder the bike whined louder and went gradually faster; his hair whipped behind him and the wind slashed at his face, he would have been blinded if not for the goggles. Even more convenient, the things displayed a basic map of the region before him and marked his location as a triangle that turned and shifted side to side as he adjusted his positioning. Not materialistic, Ryu determined he needed to get himself one of these! If he wasn't so tense this would be quite the enjoyable experience, the thrill of shooting above the ground at high speed was pretty attractive, not to mention this thing apparently ran off of a combination of its rider's chakra and some internal source. The night would only be deepening from here, the only light from the crystal lantern at the front of his bike, but the man didn't care if he had to stay at this for hours on end. He would get to his daughter, the girl was well trained and a gennin but still this wasn't home and there were dangers out there he'd rather the girl not have to face at her age. His only enemy right now was distance, and even that was being torn away rapidly.
  3. closed

    Keeping the ration level, the man walked over to the girl as she fidgeted out of her footwear, getting confirmation of the blisters he figured would be there. However, what impressed him the most was the girl able to reach so far and without more than a breath on what must have been burning calves. He crouched beside her while she held the stretch, glancing at her impetuous tongue before his eyes turned to study what he could of her blistered feet by the firelight. "Good. Should hold that for ten breaths. Will help the pain." Not going back on his word, the man plucked the jerky off his ration and set it across the thigh nearest him. "Also have salve for the blisters." Long distance travel in bad footwear was horrible, and he wasn't certain if she had gone through the pack he'd given her since receiving it. "There's a pair of boots with your outfit. Not sure if you'd checked yet." They weren't anything fancy but they were the usual fare when it came to travel gear: hard leather soles with softer leather to wrap around the foot and up the calf. He remembered when he had to deal with long distance treks, unfortunately his father was hardly kind enough to have them going through even terrain. Zealous about training the body and mind, the old man had them both tromping through uneven, rocky terrain for a dozen miles at a time. It was horrid for a teenager to go through but these days he appreciated the extremes his father had put him through. "Hard work hardens the soft, the soft are hardened for the work." Muttering under his breath one of the lines his father had spouted off that seemingly made no sense at the time, the ramblings of a zealot he always thought. Now, he understood that the harder work made less arduous tasks feel easy; he traveled by foot mostly but yet he only felt a slight aching complaint from his muscles that would go away with a bit of stretching and some salve. "Seems our escort has quite a bit of potential, wouldn't you think?" Being nimble, resilient, and determined were all good qualities to have for being picked and trained for an assortment of vocations. The man set his remaining ration down beside the pot, rummaged for his waterskin with his right hand while plucking the satchel of salve out of the bottom of the pot with his left. After emptying a small portion of water to cover the bottom of the pot and added a chunk of the semi-solid, gel like salve to the water where he stirred it about with a talon of his left arm until it was more like a pungent cream. Shifting off to the side he made a motion at the pot with his monstrous left hand, some of the creamy salve clinging to the obsidian colored talon, as though to tell the other two they were free to use what they needed. He opened the side of his leather haori so he could get at his right shoulder where the pack had been riding for the entire day and more irritated his thick skin than anything, however the pleasant tingling of the ointment being applied from the talon whisked the irritation away. Perhaps he was accustomed to the feel but the intense warmth that came after the prickling tingle had become quite relaxing over the years, like a familiar friend or how some went to drink after hard labor. Using his right hand to remove the remains clinging to the talon he applied what was left to what little of his left shoulder there was and around the spot where the flesh seemed to meld into the stone that comprised his arm. It was especially calming to soothe the ache from the limb, he often forgot how hard it stressed his muscles bearing the weight that when he applied ointment to the area around it a profound sense of relief washed over those muscle groups. A quiet sigh of contentment escaped the man's nose from where he sat to the side of the pot, cinching the pouch closed and tucking it back into one of the larger satchels at his waist. Without really waiting to see if the other two were going to bother with using the ointment, the man went to work on the remains of his ration while watching the two of them from his peripheral vision, the majority of his attention seemed to be on the darkened perimeter that had formed around them due to the firelight. He had to wonder, just how he would be tested or if he would in this mission; on the surface it was simply an escort and guard but the strange lack of information on what it was exactly they were seeking had him on higher alert for trouble. Being told it was for plants he could believe, should the chaotic and dangerous prove to be the truth he kept hearing about this place then he could also understand the need for a guard. But with how Brandt acted, she felt like some kind of military, so why hire out? Eyelids lowering, his chewing turned slow and thoughtful as he worked over what little he had in his head; scattered strands and missing links had his proverbial hackles up. Not only that but they were walking head first into what was supposed to be a tumultuous area where undead or various other aberrations could pop up with a child. Even for as mature as Jen might act, the girl was the one in the most possible danger on this excursion. After long silence, the man lifted his head and stared at Jen hard, not with judgement but it was the same look he used when determining someone's resolve to take on a dangerous mission. "Are you able to defend yourself well?" It was something he hadn't had time to think of until now, nor did he know if Brandt had considered it; but the girl might have possibly been able to handle herself against a rowdy thug or two but to what extent? How effectively could she defend herself against an unfeeling, uncaring corpse should one arise? To what extent would he have to go to ensure that both Brandt, as his main concern, and Jen as his ward made it back alive?
  4. After being reunited with Katsa after several months, Ryu had attained a particular goal for himself as the woman sought him as a teacher. However, his grasp and understanding on the element she desired to attain mastery of was one that he also only had a slight grasp on. The result is that he set her to working on basics of control and focus, shaping and refining her grip upon the chakra or 'magic' as the woman called it and would return after he had gone to complete tasks for the Order. One such task was being a forward scout and ranging the area between the camp and Selemath for troubles, he was to be a sentinel making sure any coming towards the camp meant no harm and those heading towards the city weren't intending to cause trouble. However the lush forest marking the border of Selemath's control was quite tranquil and few members of the Order went to the city at a time and mostly on business; those who were roudy often didn't want to bother with the trek back and forth in a drunken stupor and kept to the encampment. Which gave Ryu plenty of time to concentrate on his own arts and contemplation. He sat with his legs folded beneath him, his right hand held up to his chest holding a focusing hand sign that had water in a pot before him rising out of it in a thin tendril. His violet-blue eyes remained open, intently focused on the space before him while another member of the Order watched in quiet interest. The members knew the man could utilize elemental 'magic' to compliment the massive strength and staggering endurance, but they had seldom seen him actively training. For them the process was curious to watch, his hand would contort in a sequence of signs that meant nothing to them but the effects were obvious and, at times, quite impressive. Suddenly, the wandering tendril scrunched into a coil over the pot and Ryu jerked his chin upwards to signal his partner who tossed three metal disks in random directions ahead of them, towards the forest. Twisting and bending his held sign, the coiled tendril shot forward and branched into three pressurized streams to hit one target dead center as it fell while another was only clipped on the side, sending it spinning to the ground, and the other missed entirely. The other man whistled quietly, having been a part of the unique target practice since they had gotten to their small outpost; in that time Ryu had gone from not being able to so much as get the water out of the pot to being able to hit a moving target. "Hm. Fluid nature is difficult to grasp." Ryu let out a sigh, dropping his hand to his lap before he simply unfolded to stand up, towering over his comrade. "Ehy, better progress than some. No clue how ya make them funny motions and get this shite to work." The other man busied himself searching after the metal targets while Ryu did a quick sweep of the area, eyes roving from horizon to horizon before he finally looked at the other man. "I suppose." Maybe his sudden relocation to his world really was a way to challenge his path to Teleos. He had none of the scrolls or histories written by masters at his disposal, the man felt as though he were fumbling blindly when attempting to grasp at the mastery of Water element and jutsu. In theory, the base skills were much the same as using the other elements but while he was understanding how to grasp and shape the water it was much more difficult than flame, earth, or wind; he had been working with those long enough that he could easily manipulate both form and intensity. His brow furrowed a moment as he touched the fingers of his right hand to the stone limb of his left arm, if the blasted thing wasn't so clumsy he could work with both hands but the digits simply didn't respond as quickly to his control and rendered attempts at complex hand signs pointless. Despite all this, he considered the traits of water: like wind it sought to fill open space and spread about but could not compress down as earth could, as well it fell to the lowest spots unlike fire and heat. Yet, at high speed he knew it could rip through material as though it were solid, or perhaps that was simply a construct of someone's chakra? "Ah?" The towering man's head cocked to the side and stared intently at the pot, right hand flickering into motion beneath his furred mantle. This time, he encased the water itself in a shell of his chakra to guide it, squeezing to force a tendril up and coil it about like a serpent above the pot until it all spiraled out fully encased. His companion's eyebrow quirked slightly at the sight as well as the noise the stoic man had made but with a shrug he tossed the disks again at the signal Ryu gave. Much like last time, they flew in random directions but this time the towering man changed the signs, pinched off and sections of the water and shot them at the metal targets in a predicted trajectory like he would throwing kunai. All three of the disks spun and flipped in the air as he struck the falling edges of his targets. In another few gestures and signs the coil of water shot forward and split into three prongs that jerked in an arc and slammed the disks to the ground before they fell away and splashed on the ground, the chakra casing apparently exhausted. "Interesting." A look to the other man who's jaw hung agape at him told Ryu that his comment was apparently what was considered an 'understatement'. "Gaia's tits, I just don' see how ya haven't applied to a bloody academy." The man shook his head with a frustrated sigh as he went to grab the medals out of the mud they now laid in. "Not that 'm complainin', Bulwark, ye'd just prolly have an easier life at it." Ryu couldn't really disagree, though as he plucked the empty pot from the hook he shook his head at his companion. "An easy life has no merit, the success feels hollow. Hardship bears heartier fruit." As he strode off in the direction of a nearby stream, he left his comrade confounded as to how a man of such profound beliefs was a sellsword. The man just didn't fit the mold for it, he felt like a man from the Military Corps. who was raised by a priest or some such! Many of the Order couldn't get past the stoic exterior, but yet when he was spoken to he had life to the few words he spoke; it actually frustrated a great many while others viewed it as a stern dedication to doing what must be done. The man simply stood juggling the metal disks whilst scanning the horizon, knowing full well that even as Ryu went several dozen yards off that as soon as an alarm was raised the huge man would move like a bloody streak of lightning. "Just don' get it." By the stream, the man took his time staring at the clear water running over the stones and sand; it was gentle but he knew in many, many years if the stream didn't dry up it could carve a deep swath in the land. Yet when inert it would stagnate and either rot or give a spot for fresh life to bloom as with ponds or underground pools. Eventually, he dunked the empty pot into the crisp water so it could catch its fill and made back for the outpost camp. Perhaps he would try a few more experiments before the day was through and their shift changed, though he wondered just what to try since his control still felt quite sloppy.
  5. It lightened the tension in the man's upper shoulders to hear her light tone, he wasn't on edge for the fact that the woman was in proximity but the fact that she was without a veil in a location where so much attention would be affixed to her person. She had a unique charisma that she viewed only as a bane, when piled up high enough the attention she drew created some fairly bothersome dynamic's in how the woman carried herself. "They tend not to be. Stoic and silent but for idle sighs and forlorn groans." His comment had him pausing, his general taciturn nature sometimes resembled a tree he supposed. A muted snort of amusement came with resumed motion, and a shake of his head; if he were comparable to a tree there was so much more growth he had left to him then. Standing up from his crouch, his right shoulder rolled in a full circle then pressed backward as his chest thickened from the breath he took in. Once his lesser stretch was done, he gently wrung the cloth out over the pot before draping it over a line to dry. "Fair progress." It didn't take a long time to get better at something when one's mind was put to the task, time was only one part of mastery after all. Effort and understanding were the two other pieces to the puzzle, one that the man himself worked on and had allowed him mastery so far; thankfully things weren't so different here. Not everyone could do the 'magic' people spoke of, but more often than not they worked similarly to himself when his chakra was channeled inward. His muscles could only attain so much, he was only human. "Water flows and seeks to fill. A man can drown in a puddle just as he drowns in a sea. Glad to see you reached that understanding." Striding over, he plucked his haori off the line so he could wrap himself in it. "Suppose I could offer my knowledge. How will you use it? What do you seek?" For him, the man sought his Teleos but as he understood it the word from the ancient language of his people didn't seem to be understood here. Completion was the closest thing he could say to someone before they grasped the vast concept, but that only skimmed the surface that was the goal of his religion. Many walked the path for glory, for wisdom, to attain a state higher than their mortal flesh; for him Teleos was his path for his life to follow, a way for him to be. Body, mind, and spirit within harmony with each other and the elements of the world around him, it was the expression of his Clan and the path all of the Kazehi walked. He could teach her, but first he needed to know more about the woman and her motives, dreams, and aspirations. It would sadden him to need to hunt her down and kill her, not for the beauty on her skin but that within her; if she lost to the darker nature within the recesses of her mind the skills that he taught her would turn Katsa into a force that could possibly bend the ocean to her will. If he had to stand against that, if she lost the ability to reason, to save his own life he would have to do what he must. That outcome was not something he would abide by. Turning to face her more fully, his eyes locked on hers patiently but with intent to hear her out in full. It was likely the same look he had when interviewing people in the village when the desired to enter a branch or go on missions that involved great risk should they take it on alone. He, as a leader, wanted to know what drove them to their desire and what they would do to make the most of their lives and the choice they made. It was simple to make a living doing something else or merely staying a lower rank where things were easier, the trials that being stronger brought on never would stop; it was part of the reason he was likely here now. He considered Katsa now, not for her dazzling beauty or charms, but his stare was that intent to see into her potential and observe her ideal path to her Teleos and how she would accomplish it.
  6. If the man hadn't been exposed to it before, he would have been dazzled the woman's beauty like the others, what had him a bit befuddled as to where his tongue went was the smile and delight in her voice at their meeting, her eyes were brighter than he had remembered. He waited patiently to explain her circumstance, though he felt there was no apology needed since he had done what he could to leave clues and information behind where she could find. "No trouble. I've been well, still learning so much." He shifted his stance, waving a hand for her to follow along side. "I see stories inflate with distance still." Rumor and hearsay always went well beyond what actually was, he could lift boulders for certain but he wasn't entirely sure about this 'half-giant' bit being added on. "Road hasn't dampened your spirit. Good to know." His right hand bent upwards and gave the woman a soft clap on the back, careful not to knock her over by putting too much force into it. His long strides led the woman through the stirring camp, eyes of all sort would be peering at and following the strange combination of the topless Ryu and the dazzling Katsa; he looked fully unperturbed by the attention of his fellows and eventually brought his friend to his tent. "Please, make yourself comfortable." Lifting the flap aside revealed a very spartan interior: his bedroll laid out just off center of the middle of the tent, his furred mantle had a place to drape on the supporting lines and off to the right side of his tent his travel pack hung from a pole along with his belt pouches, and a single short stool resided across from his bedroll. Stepping within after she entered, flap dropping shut behind him, he lumbered forward to put his mantle where it went and his leather haori beside that. "Forgive the lack of decor, I have little need for such things." A good portion of any funds he made were tucked away, he had less materialistic requirements than most of the veteran members of the Order who decorated their tents with lavish comfort. He saw no point. At any time he could break down his tent and simply move out; simple and efficient was how he liked his equipment. "Have you refined your skills any? New progress or understanding?" Plucking through his pouches and pack, he removed a short, wide pot, a folded cloth, waterskin, and a package of rations. Setting the pot on what seemed to be a patch of solid stone near the back of the tent, he emptied a portion of his waterskin into it before his right hand became a blur of motion as he completed a set of signs. The result was the water coming to a rolling boil within the pot, steam rising up to grace his face with the gentle, wispy arms; he commenced dipping the folded cloth into the boiled water using his left hand and wiping himself down. It was no in-depth process, he simply brushed the steaming cloth over his skin to wipe away the sweat built up from his routine, but still the man had his back to Katsa for a few minutes while attending himself. All the while, he wondered just how he would bring up the question of what she would do next; she had arrived and found him, but now he was curious about her goals and what she had planned. With his presence in the Order still a fairly new, though competent member, he still followed the directed of the Commander or second-in-command to do jobs he was best suited for. Would the woman join the Order or would some whim call her away? He had yet to return the favor he owed, so if she decided not to linger it would be that much more difficult to follow up on that. There was also Katsa's nature to consider, the beautiful woman had revealed a darker nature she didn't seem to have control of during the first days of their companionship. Had she managed to conquer it in the time they were apart? If not, what had she been seeking all this time? The towering man had so many questions that would need to be asked, but yet at the same time he hardly wanted to overwhelm her with his very forward questioning right after they had just met back up. In due time, though, he was certain all his queries would be answered in their own way.
  7. closed

    The man stared blankly into Jen's wonder, it was as though he had just stated that it was all for her and he had his own equipment or something; he wasn't just being an unfair bully and making her carry excess things, it would weigh her down in travel and as it was he was surprised she wasn't worn out already carrying nearly thirty pounds of gear while keeping an exuberant pace. If he didn't figure it was just an act to make her seem stronger and better than she was, he'd have been impressed. However, the man wasn't dumb enough to believe she was used to carrying around a load on her back at quick pace for several miles at a time, he also doubted she was wearing anything to protect her feet in her footwear. If that was the case, she was in for an unpleasant experience tonight, blisters tended to make for terrible distractions and inhibited pace after all. Ryu sighed out his nose quietly, he felt as though he was tending to his growing daughter again, she was so excited to get strong that she would just overlook the smallest of things that would have made her recover less uncomfortable; but those were the lessons of youth. It had the man a bit nostalgic, in a way Jen's nature reminded him much of Shizuko despite the disparity in choices, for a length of time he watched the back of the girl's head and slowly whittled away at that sensation. The girl wasn't his daughter. His existence didn't exist where his daughter was now, and she was of age enough to be contending with his cousin for Lineage Holder of the Kazehi Clan, much older than this girl. He might try to aide the girl since by technicality not only was he obligated to watch her, doing so in his own interpretation, but they were also working together. For all he knew, she was just going to cut ties after this was done and put both Brandt and himself out of her mind once her role was finished. Maybe he was being cynical, but he still couldn't fathom why a girl with her potential was in the situation she was in. However, for the moment, he set the doubts and concern to the side; he had no real room for them in situations such as these, Ryu had to hope for the best and expect the worst on all missions. It was how he was going to keep them safe. Upon arrival at the camp sight, Ryu studied the area hard. He sensed no one, saw no gleams of traps in the shadows, no distorted ripples in the earth or the discarded objects that was a sign of a hastily hidden enemy; his guard didn't drop but he didn't strain himself keeping on full alert. His own routine consisted of wiggling out of his pack and pacing the perimeter that they would have, crouching down at intervals looking as though he were still surveying the surroundings; the reality is he was rigging a trip line using hooked needles and some of his remaining wire combined with bells and a tag he charged up that would detonate with a loud pop beneath a rigged needle if the wire was broken. He also rigged a double layer as he went, a very obvious line ahead of where the actual perimeter was so the false alarm would disguise the real. As he worked, the man paused half-way to consider Brandt's request. "Strange, that one of your regard would be interested in 'banter' with a mercenary." His tone wasn't cutting or neutral, it actually held a sense of amusement that the woman was absent enough to consider the implications she was handing out; she had contracted him to fight or possibly die for her, why would she desire to compromise the neutrality by changing his image from 'just another mercenary' to 'a person'. Letting the silence hang for a few more yards of work he couldn't help but rumble a small chuckle. "Kazehi Ryu. Kazehi is the name of my family. Burning Wind or Searing Breeze, is a translation to how it is written. It is an honor to make your acquaintance, Emery Brandt." The formality with which he spoke came naturally despite the habitual feel to it, no awkward pause as he thought of how to phrase his conjecture or turn the greeting towards her directly. Shifting slightly, he straightened his posture a bit so he could turn and look over his shoulder that his eyes would lock onto her; he realized what he was doing and was tipping his hand slightly, but there was no way a 'mere mercenary' would have such formal tones and inflections of respect memorized. The hunkered man gave a small, wordless bow of his upper body before simply going back to work so their boundary was closed around them. A basin was a horrid place to defend, but he was taking the time to study the contour of the land as he finished his efforts and began setting up a place for him to rest. He remained absolutely silent as Brandt went on to settle things, impassive features giving the illusion that he wasn't even listening to the woman getting things off her chest. Good, harboring resentment in close proximity when you had to stay with the individual for a prolonged period of time could lead to unneeded disagreements. Or worse. Brandt was aware of the girl's equipment, she knew Jen had a dagger, he had mentioned it specifically for that reason; he wasn't worried that the girl would suddenly turn from thief to murderer, but if the two had gotten into a real quarrel it would be the thing on her mind to go to for protection. Once his bedroll was laid out, the man looked between the two of them the muscles in his jaw twitching slightly as he held an internal debate on if he should remove his mantle or sleep with the garment on. Shaking his head, he knew they would likely find out about the appendage sooner or later and he'd much rather they get their curiosity, if any, out of the way now instead of panicking when they were in the middle of things. Unclasping and dropping his garment onto his spot, the man strode closer to the firelight, crouching down and digging into the pack he had dropped to pull out a ration package, a wide metal pot, and a pale colored satchel that he dropped into the pot to get a dull plunk. "Jen." Standing straight up, the man started unwrapping his ration, using the stone left hand as a sort of plate while his right held up the helping of jerky. "If you can remove your footwear, sit with your legs straight before you, and grip your heels without noise. I'll give you half of my ration." His eyes were veiled in the growing dark, but they were very obviously planted on the boisterous girl's form. Here was the moment of truth for the girl, would she take the bait to her pride for something that she could win by showing off? Or, would she maybe admit to a sense of weakness and be willing to accept aid? He had already pulled out the salve he'd purchased prior to the journey meant to soothe blisters and ease muscular fatigue, but he wasn't going to tell her that, knowing her any obvious offer or acknowledgment of her bluff aside from challenge would likely be huffed off or denied until she wallowed in such misery that she would have to be forcefully cared for. "If a ration isn't enough, I'm sure something else could suffice." Setting the jerky back down on the wrapping, the towering man dropped his right hand to rest on his hip in the same vicinity of the many pouches around his waist that were finally obvious for the first time of their encounter.
  8. Sucking in breath rhythmically, pacing her mind, full devoted focus to the task at hand; Raean's face showed the concentration of someone who had devoted their life to weaving mana to their desires as she swung her head to face the one shouting at her. Her body, nor the mana, stopped weaving and the only response she gave was to smile broadly and toss a playful wink. Having picked up the pace in a desire to be done with the bothersome creature pelting it with spells, the dragon was coming close enough that the shaking of earth was growing more intense. Her weaving complete, the improvised spell went off around the dragon in a sudden whirl of action; stone, burnt wood, and mortar all around the dragon flew at it, slamming together on either side of the beast's neck on an intercept path and continued piling together in a massive pillory. All the materials fused together over the beast's neck as well as with the ground below, the part of the weave that had taken the longest to form was when the pillory sucked into the ground, rooting the beast into place. The momentum it had built up got redirected downward causing another quake that rocked the area, but the mana infused pillory held for the time being despite the destructive crash. "Oh my, seems the poor dear fell over! Shall we lovely ladies give it some attention to die for?" The idea of working with the two was quite agreeable, after all, the girl proposed a solid idea and didn't seem to be the type to just run at the beast and try to swing a sword to defeat it. "I'm Raean, if we make it outta this sodding mess alive I'll be a bit more interested in pleasantries." She didn't even bother picking up her discarded helm, it was too hard to breathe as it was, and strode forward towards the temporarily trapped dragon. "There's a gouge in it's hide on the left side, mid-way along its back. Seems a good spot to hammer, don't you think? I'll see about making a blind spot on that side, just don't stand in front of me." Her staff blazed to life once more as her hand rolled about to caress the weaves of mana once more, not knowing how long the pillory would hold the dragon down for. Branches of frost started forming on the surface of her armor as the air around her became arctic, some of it scattering into her red hair and causing her face to become even more pale; over her head a spear was forming, growing, from a thin sliver into something that could have been shot out of a ballista. Her power swirled around the spear, hardening and condensing the ice tighter together; it was by no means a beautiful thing to look at with the jagged lines and rugged edges as it grew. This time, the dragon wouldn't be blasting her effort away to vapor. The woman's eyes blazed as bright as the fires in the distance, dazzling blue points flared as she strode confidently closer to the pinned beast. She was going to have to take her time with this, the level of concentration to put her efforts together was leaving her intensely vulnerable, especially walking straight at the hulking monster. Above her, the spear cracked and crunched as her will condensed and thickened it as much as she could, it was going to survive even if the creature intercepted it with another gout of flame! "Not going to deny me this time, you sodding pile of scrap." Her lips were split into a fierce grin, blazing staff went up to make contact with the missile she had been putting together and nudged it upwards as though it weighed nothing and launched it in a sudden blur. A whistling shrill emanated from the large shard, air splitting and twisting around the jagged edges, the beast saw a flicker in the light then roared in pain as the missile slammed into the unprotected eye and drove deep into the soft optic flesh. Blinding the creature and inflicting redoubled pain as the frigid missile lingered, chewing at the tissue. Such agony inflicted increased the dragon's struggle so much that the pillory could contain it no longer, rocking forward then back it burst out, sending up shards of stone in a fountain around it. Talons carved a path before it, obliterating buildings and casting wreckage towards the arcane warrior that she was forced to blast aside with pulses of arcane force lest she be crushed. However that was still a possibility as the further enraged creature began to close the distance once more. Raean whipped her staff around before her and the air filled with chittering power, the scent of heavy ionization added to the remains of the bitter scent of cold then overtaking it, focusing all the power she could in the short amount of time. Pointing at her opponent with the blazing crystal an enormous cone of lightning shot forth and the beast had run full force into it; arcs of lightning sliced into the snout and neck, took chunks out of its horns and clawed at the flesh beneath its scales. Further concentration forced cone to narrow, becoming a singular arc that carved a path along the massive foe's neck and finally made contact with the spear of ice jutting from it's wrecked eye; as earlier, when the prison of ice detonated when a bolt struck it, so too the condensed missile erupted. Rocking the monster's head to the side, the wreckage of flesh wouldn't be contained fully within the creature's socket; a fountain of gore splattered and rained down upon the area, and with the arcane warrior close enough she too was struck by steaming globs of eye-flesh and rocked back onto her heels as she was pelted. Shrieking in pain, the area reverberated from the force of the massive beast's cry, it was a horrid noise but one that lifted the woman's heart. Her efforts might have only amounted to this, and perhaps after now it would be her end but she put a bit of hope that by now the girls who had offered aid were in place. However her's was not overconfidence, the elf had set aside her fears and knew this conflict could be her death but, by Andraste's briches, she was going to make this thing hurt. The fury was palpable, the dragon seethed, and in its maw the flames crackled once more, shot her way with a bellow intense enough that it cast her down and knocked the wind out of her. While protected from the intensity of the flame for the most part some of the skin on her face blistered and the end of the flames saw Raean kneeling and the beast standing directly over her, neck poised for a strike and talon already sweeping towards her; she blasted the talon with raw force from her staff, mitigating some of the blow but it still knocked her to the side into the remains of a building and had she not rolled and scrambled, the following snap of jaws that tore the building asunder and blasted the streets would have ripped her in two. On the defensive again, more desperately than when the two of them first fell through the sky in this place, Raean focused her power inward once more and became a golden glowing effigy of strength, she lost sight of the weaves around her but her ethereal form resounded with vital power! Another claw lashed out but was intercepted by not only a blast of force but the woman's might that kept her from being tossed, instead only knocked over. Scrambling to her knees and running forward, she avoided the slamming claw that was going to crush her into the pavement by moments; beneath the beast was going to be the only place she could avoid killing blows unless it went against nature and simply laid down. Sure enough, the beast bent its head down at an angle, starting to turn and move where it could get at her but she ran into the rubble beneath it, scrambled, and stayed on its underside; chilling spots on the beast's underbelly before slamming them with bolts of lightning. While not nearly as grand as the massively compiled spells she had woven earlier, nor as quite effective it did keep the monster jumping and writhing tying to get at her. Despite being on the run, harassing the dragon with meager efforts, she kept an eye on the rubble for somewhere to lay low; she had to trust that the Chromillia girl was going to make the slight annoyances the magic provided be the lesser things of interest. As well, she could feel less of her limbs and was starting to struggle; both the fatigue and Lyrium toxicity was starting to catch up with her despite how strong her magic was. Stubborn will and magic suffused strength was the only thing keeping her on her feet, let alone moving. It wouldn't be so bad if she had a curative potion or something that would mitigate her fatigue, but fat chance that she would be able to get anything like that in the chaotic mess she was in. Her path came to an end as she rounded a corner and nearly ran into a wall that was still standing, above her was a portion of a floor creating a slight shelter; she would gladly use this for a moment, releasing her grip on the magic Raean dropped to a knee and stared into the darkness around her. She was having even more trouble breathing now, as she spat, a dark glob splattered on the ground and her head felt fuzzy; not to mention her nose began bleeding once more to add to the difficulty. For the moment, she would take the time to try to catch her breath and collect her thoughts, her mind whirled as she stared at her staff; there was certainly a way she could use the rend in the sky! The Fade was home to spirits, but she could exist partially within the fade by focusing her magic into herself; it made her spells weaker in the physical world, didn't allow her to have devastating effects or destroy. However she went in and out, a sort of ebb and flow of her magic as she needed, she had rent the sky by forcing the dragon partially into the Fade and it created a blast. While the memory was fuzzy it had also caused them to cross space; if she could force a part of the dragon into the fade, separate from the rest of it then perhaps the repercussions similar to what the both of them experienced when they were relocated would remove that section by relocating it! Her actions would certainly have to be soon, she could no longer lift herself off the ground, nor feel her arms; she was going to need time as well. "Well, no time like now to get started then!" So how to create a localized event that pulled only a section of the massive dragon into the Fade? Long ago, she had been sucked in but it was through vast power, taking many mages, and her spirit and mind was stuck in a small section of it. The closest she ever got to walking the Fade physically was when she channeled her mana to do so. She had also seen Blood Magic, manipulation by controlling living tissue, at work to devastating effects; a close friend of hers had used it to protect her and another pupil many years ago. The forbidden magic was known for corrupting the wielders, surely there was power in Blood but she had no understanding of it; however she theorized that it was possible that because mana suffused all life it was connected to the Fade. If so, hypothetically she could manipulate the mana to forcibly shift; but would that be enough? "No, the effect wouldn't be consequential enough." This was a conundrum that wouldn't be solved in a short time, hopefully the girls could hold out for a little longer.
  9. Peeling her eyes away from the rend in the sky, the woman would have to figure out some way to use it on the fly; this wasn't the time to stand around, not when the beast was more likely to find a way to escape or even continue to rampage in the city. Clutching her staff in one hand, she finally took off her helmet so she could breath more than the stale, sweat scented air; granted the smoke filled air did her little better but it was moderately more fresh as she crouched down. It was the only break and breather she was going to get for quite some time longer, her eyes narrowed, leering at the beast from where she was hidden betwixt buildings; so far her magic had only angered it, so it was time to up the scale. Rubbing her nose on the side of her armor, trying to wipe some of the trickling blood off her face only managing to smear it on herself. A dark smear on the ethereal glow was the only thing she had to show for her attempt, simply shaking her head the woman placed the helm back on. For once, she supposed, it was time to listen to the flow of mana rather than rely on what she had been doing so far; stepping out her hiding place, she swept her staff around her to gather the flames. She walked amidst a whirling inferno that only grew thicker as she went, collecting more flame and piling it all together until her presence was a column of fire. The beast wouldn't be bothered with merely this but as she ceased channeling her magic inward and let it instead roil off her the flames turned white hot beneath her control. Her form became fully corporeal once again for the first time falling through the rend and breaking away from the dragon and the light caused her red armor to gleam, casting even greater shadow beneath the snarling motif upon her helm that showed the blue radiance of her mana suffused existence. "Play time." Her free hand reached forward at the same time her staff went skyward, the magic she commanded redoubling the arcs of lightning to strike her staff while the white hot inferno launched forward in a tight coil to slam into the beast's flank. Sure, fire was fire, and it wouldn't do much against the beast's hide but it got the dragon's attention once more and as it moved to whip its bulk around the hide she had split open previously was, for a brief moment, a juicy target. A slashing motion launched a massive bolt skyward, back into the clouds where it rumbled about, agitating them into a furious, seething, thunderhead. A startling arc of red lanced down from the clouds and right into the beast's side. Now, along with the boulders that dropped from the roiling heavens above, lightning strikes rained down upon the city as well; the combination was laying to waste the city just as often as pelting the dragon with flinch inducing impacts. Even at the distance she stood from the creature, the detonation of thunder blew her off her feet and even the pained shriek of the creature didn't make it through the ringing in her ears. It was the first meaningful blow, she hadn't merely scratched the creature's hide but blown a chunk of meat square off its ribs, a sizzling crater of meat the size of two men laying foot-to-head would be a wonderful weak spot! "Aw, the poor little lizard got cooked!" Her words bellowed across the battlefield that was the city, they had no real meaning to the creature but it disliked the mocking tone cast its direction! Rushing forward, but now more cautiously than previous attempts, it gave chase to the mage that ran through the streets once again. It closed the gap but this time it wouldn't be shoving its maw down at her, the creature still had raw patches in its throat from the blistering cold. Instead, it pounced, hind legs tucking beneath it as though it were going to take flight and while its wings would not carry its weight it still had plenty of momentum to launch forward with. With the bucking beneath her feet from the sudden shock against it, Raean stumbled and hit the ground in a raucous clatter; trying to recover had her rolling onto her back watching as the beast began the drop that would leave her just a bloody stain on the broken ground. The mana called to her and instead of second guessing, she shoved her staff upwards and piled raw force up, redoubling it as the beast came even closer to smashing her. Aiming carefully, the woman unleashed the force but instead of moving the beast, the blowback instead launched her across the broken streets as though she were a bolt shot from a crossbow. Metal screamed and sparked as the woman tumbled and skipped along, a wail of panic streaming out her mouth; today had just not gone well, even worse was when the woman slammed sidelong into a building and blasted the wind out of her. Laying stunned, a ring of armed men circled up around her, one crouching down and shouting something into the face of her helm but with her ears still ringing from the detonation the woman could only blink and stare blankly. The soldier pointed his sword at the dragon in the distance still shouting but she just couldn't comprehend what was going on, she had apparently been neatly blown across a good portion of the city and was in the shadow of some towering structure that reminded her of the Circle Tower a bit. Lifting her arm, she wrapped her hand around the man's pauldron and levered herself upwards with a grunt, leaning heavily on her staff, the man barked something to his comrades and they started to make for the direction of the beast. "Andraste's bleedin' cunt, are you daft?!" She bellowed, the men stopped and stared at her bewildered. "Get all the people you can and get out of the sodding city, you bleedin' arse-faced knobyankers!" Even the one in apparent command stared in numb shock, the armor did nothing to show her gender, but the same way a grizzled soldier would bark orders and insults in the same breath coming from a feminine voice had caused them to question what was going on so much more. "MOVE YOU PISS STAINED MAGGOTS!" She slammed the butt of her staff into the ground, earning a resounding boom of thunder from the skies directly above; the men finally scrambled, responding out of ingrained habit to command, running off to do what they were ordered to do. Leaning heavily on her staff, still winded from the jarring experience of being a living missile she stared at the creature that swept its head and tail to the sides so it could blast apart buildings. With another grunt, the woman drew herself up and reached towards the sky over the beast; there she collected and condensed a vast amount of mana and super cooled the air. Her efforts weren't rewarded immediately, several sharp detonations that weren't on the same level as the lightning strikes resounded in the sky above and moments after a massive shard of ice dropped through a hole in the clouds on a crash course for the dragon below. However, the beast was already wary of being struck by things from above and turned its head to issue a gout of fire that melted a vast majority of the frozen projectile so that what struck it was less than the size of even the hail falling from the sky. Eyes turning towards her, the dragon snarled and started on the lumbering path straight for her once more; the pit of her stomach dropped away, not only was there no saving this city from the dragon but she had caused a vast amount of destruction herself. All for what? "All to only piss the Maker bedamned thing off." Growling at herself, she did her best to shrug off the battering she had received from the environment this was going to be all the time she needed and the best opportunity she had since they had fallen into the city where she could clearly see it and had plenty of space between them. "Right, no use cryin' over spilt ale then. Time to fill the tankards with heavier brew." Her hand reached into her potions pouch and came out with shards and stoppers, she emptied the useless remains until she found a sealed metal cylinder half as long as her forearm. Resting her staff against her shoulder, the woman doffed her helm and tossed it aside before twisting the cap from the cylinder. It was the strongest Lyrium potion concocted on the face of Thedas, damn near raw Lyrium in fact. The brew was as poisonous as it was effective, but it was going to give her the ability to give this dragon one final kick in the cloaca before she went down. Tilting the container up in a salute to the approaching dragon, she smirked at it defiantly. "Here's to you, ya goat sniffin', hog shagger. May the Maker's balls rest squarely over yer eyes." With her toast done, she swilled the potion down and cast the container aside; the effects were immediate as the potion hit her stomach. The world became crisp as a heightened sense of clarity washed over her, she could visibly see the whirling strands of mana suffused through the entire world now, not merely feel them; the giddy feeling came washing back over her, erasing her sense of impending dread. It left her refreshed, but her extremities started tingling and going numb as a result of the Lyrium; it was going to be horrid if she lived through this day, she might even burn herself out! Bouncing her staff into her grip, she whirled it before her and began weaving the threads together and tightening her grip on the storm that was running wild to narrow its focus. The stretch between them grew thick with falling hail and lightning as though the clouds were trying to dump everything it had all at once; as the dragon was pelted and slowed, the sky cleared enough that she could clearly see the rend once again in the far distance. Even this far away, she could see the flowing wash of the Fade emptying into the area even ejecting spirits into the realm of all ilk. The area was screwed in more way than just one, even if it recovered from the rampage of the dragon and the storm she wrought, the demons among the spirits would be going on a mad rampage to devour any life they came across. Grand plan, horrific downsides; of course if she could set into motion what she intended that tear in the world would be corrected. As she wrung the last scraps of mana out of the ferocious storm, bringing it to an end, the woman continued weaving with motions of both staff and hand. It was going to be one hell of a trick, but if she pulled this off then maybe she had a chance of making a final blow. Of course, with how things were going so far, it seemed just as likely that it would work too well and end up screwing her over instead.
  10. Heavy boots of dragonbone slamming against the pavement were disguised by the sound of cracking lightning, booming thunder, and the destructive thrashing of the massive dragon chasing her as she wound her way deeper into the city. "Move! Don't stay in your homes! Evacuate!" The woman's voice still rang loud but her irritated snap got at least some from trying to gather up things in their home before they ran, there was just no time for that nonsense. Even now, the dragon was closing the distance quickly, crushing homes and lives with equal disregard as it neared the glowing figure that had caused it so much irritation and pain. Raean slid to a halt, whirled her staff around and jabbed it backwards, the crystal at her side beneath her other arm, once more the air around her crackled and snapped with sudden winter fury; so much so that as the draconic maw came crashing down to snap her up an arctic howl raged out from the blazing gem. Intense cold ushered onward by high pressure shot right into the flesh, searing the tongue, gums, and throat while ice formed on the scales around its snout; the beast flinched back, shaking its head side to side leveling buildings in the process. "Just die, you over grown, fat, sodding newt!" Her free hand reached out and twisted the earth, debris and rubble lifted into the air to the left of the dragon in the shape of a huge fist imitating her own. Curling her fingers into a fist, the stone hand did the same and it followed her motions as she punched to the right, slamming the dragon solidly in the reeling snout hard enough to issue a meaty WHAP. Since the creature was still reeling, the blazing woman didn't relent, bringing the fist back with a mighty backhand that resounded just as loudly as before, lifting the creature back to root it slightly onto its hind legs before the fist finally whirled around in a half-circle to drive upwards and back against the creature's neck and chest. Cacophonous rumbling followed as massive bulk toppled backward, slamming it down upon the already ruined section of city it had run through to entirely flatten the area, as well the fist of rubble collapsed down, raining the debris upon the flailing bulk as it tried to right itself. Crouching slightly as the earth shuddered from the impact, she spun around, holding her staff high above her head. Screams of pain and fear filled the air around her, mingled with the stench of blood and death she had known during the destruction of the Ferelden Capital; it made her blood boil. Gritting her teeth, she pulled on the storm above calling down strands of lightning that struck the crystal. Each successive bolt made the crystal ring with higher pitch until went it beyond the range of hearing, but the mute vibration in the air of the energy she contained visibly warped the space around the staff. Electricity was a wild energy compared to the tame nature of cold, it desired to run free and be unconstrained, so much that it often lashed out against those who dared to try to contain it; but the woman was familiar with, and protected against, such harsh treatment. Raean bared her teeth behind the veil of her helm, watching the beast twist and writhe until it was on its feet and sidelong to her; the mana flooding her made her want to lash out constantly, blast and obliterate without thought, but the years of schooling about uncontrolled magic kept separate the desire of the MAGIC and her desires as a mage. With a beautiful window of opportunity now in front of her, the staff whipped forward and gladly unleashed the pent up energy. She amplified and guided it forward, watched as the hide was sliced open by the branches of the lightning coming off her staff, and shouted a victory cry that was drowned out by the bellow of further rage. The sound made her ears ring and feel as though she had been punched in the gut, loosing breath and cutting her cry short. Thrashing about, the dragon laid low more buildings as it swept tail and neck around to face the harassing mage. Being earthbound from broken wings put it at a slight disadvantage, it couldn't simply blow the woman down and pounce upon her, squash her beneath its talons, but another roar followed by a gout of flame rolling over her form was the next best thing. Fire rolled through the street, catching up with and cooking fleeing people and snatching away their cries as their bodies fell to smoking cinders, the blaze cooked the earth, set ablaze homes and belongings in a swath before it's grand maw. But had it smote the impudent mage? A swirl in the fire, a sort of bubble in the roiling inferno, that as the issuance came to an end revealed the glowing mage standing before it with staff planted in front of her. She laughed, mocking and boisterous, as the fires that now savaged the city around and behind her made the storm above become unstable; something she would gladly take advantage of! The grip on her staff tightened, the light of the crystal grew more dazzling forcing the creature staring at her to squint and trundle backwards defensively, the mage once more guided the flow of mana around the area and altered the dark clouds. The first change became immediately known as a boulder sized chunk of hail dropped from the sky and crashed down upon the beast's back, followed up by a smiting bolt of lightning; she had intensified the storm to monstrous levels without care. While she was busy engaging the creature she had noted uniformed individuals trying to mitigate the chaos, take control of the situation, and knew that any force that had been coming to aid her would have been reduced to mostly, if not entirely, to cinders. The creature's focus was upon her, and while it was demolishing the vicinity around them, turning it into a debris strewn sort of arena, it was fully set upon her; all else were mere maggots to the mighty beast. It snarled, flinching as more of the hail rained down around them and bolts of lightning slammed into its hide; battering it and wearing at its endurance as the chunks of falling ice shattered against beast, building, and ground. She had guided the mana but the storm was now unlike anything seen, it began a vast barrage of the hail upon the entirety of the city, a bit against the design and intent she had. Shards littering the ground melted into inert water that pooled, accumulating until it was trickling through the streets to mingle with ashes and blood. Pieces of hail that fell towards her got evaporated by the power she radiated, it sucked at the world around her even as she twisted the threads to weave different effects; it lent her a bit of protection from her own oversight, at the very least. However, the staring match between the two came to an end, the battered dragon dashing forward in bone-jarring, quake inducing fury; the woman responded with spines of ice, a flick of her staff turned the water flowing through the cracks in the ruined streets into spears half-again as tall as a man. More nuisance to the massive creature, but it gave the woman time to retreat and attempt to keep the distance open between them; caught between falling boulders of ice and rising spines of the same, once more the beast unleashed the torrential flood of savage flame. Melting away and evaporating the woman's defense but also wreathing her ethereal form and hiding her from sight, she had put up a grand display of warding off the flame before but she'd not needed to; a relic from ancient Fereldan, a ring metal so infused with elemental Lyrium and masterfully wrought mana protected her from the harshest bite of all the elements. While she sweltered, a profuse sweat and uncomfortable itch of heat suffused her skin beneath her dragonbone armor that further mitigated the inferno's bite, she merrily took advantage of the screen the beast provided for her to escape further into the city. Once the searing breath abated, with more raging fires immolating homes, Raean had put a good berth between herself and the creature; enough to work up something of value to put a hurt on the creature. Her magic was fast and whilst it hit with great force, against a foe of this magnitude she would have to go bigger or go to the afterlife. Momentary confidence that it had destroyed its irksome foe had the beast utter a long, protracted bellow of what seemed to be victory. What it couldn't see is the woman was masking her luminous form in the bulk of burning buildings, smoke, and clouds of ash while her eyes focused on the rift that she and the beast had fallen through high above their heads; Raean licked her lips, tasting the salty, bitter sweat and a tang of blood from her nose starting to bleed. Reaching out, she believed in the power of the Fade, knowing distance mattered not to the vastness. It was everywhere around and beside her, so nothing was so out of her reach; her idea was insane, it might kill her in the process, but she was going to use that fissure as a weapon! She merely needed to figure out how!
  11. To add on to Poet's mention I'm using Raean, an Arcane Warrior from Thedas. I'm using this opportunity to bring her from the Limbo that is the Dragon Age continuity I created for her onto Val.
  12. It had been hours that Raean had been fighting the massive creature; she'd come with a band of well armed warriors and was now left with ashes and smouldering ruin. The mage warrior's only protection against the dragon had been the Fade itself. But she could feel herself losing connection, she was but mortal flesh touching against the vastness of the place her magic came from. Hiding behind a rock, her ragged breath hissed through the vents of her helm, her fingers tingled from how much magic she had slung about and a side effect of how many Lyrium potions she had swilled down; the booming thunder of sky and earth around her heralded that the beast had landed near her. Taking a deep breath and steeling herself, she resolved herself against her impending end, she could feel Valor near her; a spirit she had encountered during her Harrowing and she knew that this was likely the time when she would join it in the world of the Fade. The mage warrior rolled to her feet, dashed around the rock, and ran as hard as she could while pulling the fade to her, filling herself with it becoming encased in pale, golden, light that lent her the might of magic made physical. Bellowing a challenging roar, she lept mere strides away from the massive creature's leg; it was the largest, ugliest dragon she had ever encountered upon the face of Thedas. Greater and more fierce than the Archdemon she had slain in Ferelden, she would die to a beast that made the face of the world bow and quiver, and it was going to be glorious! Stabbing into the beast's thick hide with her sword, magic infused might, and momentum of her dash, the blade bit deep earning her a furious bellow of indignation that made her head ring and sight go dim. She felt the world lurch, followed by a sickening weightlessness after a blast of thunder; the beast had taken flight with her clinging to its leg. Issuing a stubborn battle cry, her grip tightened around the hilt of her sword; she couldn't make any progress stuck to the sodding thing's leg but damned if she would let go! Gritting her teeth, she had to think of a way to pull it down, bring the Maker damned lizard out of the sky! All she could think of was dragging it into the fade, disorientate it with the sudden shift in form that she underwent when she channeled her magic inward. How to forcibly do something like that? The woman gripped the sword tighter, staring hard at the wound she had inflicted. No risk, no reward. Violently, she writhed, using her free hand to cling to the crags in the hide and the other rocked her blade in the thing's leg as viciously as she could, further opening the wound; her efforts angered the creature more than hurt it. The airbourn beast started rolling its bulk about to try to dislodge her, but each time she drove the sword as deep as she could and clung for dear life to the limb keeping her alive. Rocking the sword down at an angle, splitting the hide just a bit more she jammed the other arm into the wound, cutting herself with her own blade where the armor didn't cover a part of the inside of her elbow and mingled her blood with the creature's. With blood, there was power. It was forbidden to use Blood Magic, and it was outside of her understanding, but magic existed in all things and so too were they touched by the Fade. Even dragons. Raean pulled with all her might, pulled at the Fade until her vision began to go dark and her head felt as though it would be split apart; she screamed in rage and pain as she channeled her magic and all that she pulled from the Fade into the mighty beast. Skin tingling as the unearthly glow left her skin, the blue glow of her eyes within her helmet dimmed. She became a conduit between the dragon and the Fade, letting the vastness of the spiritual world pour through her and into the creature in her desperate and final attempt to fell the monster. But this was not something the world could bear, as the Fade emptied itself into the massive beast, who in turn became apart of the Fade, the sky exploded into light and sound as the beast's flesh became ethereal just as she did. Louder than the beat of the dragon's thunderous wings, more fierce than the quake that shook the earth beneath its feet, the blast stunned the both of them. Then they fell. The great creature plummeted through dark, ominous clouds with pale golden strands of the Fade trailing away and its physical form becoming solid once again. Head still reeling, the woman felt as though she watched from a great distance, she saw the pale golden glow of the Fade swirling in a jagged pillar. It was beautiful and terrifying, conveying a sense of wonder to the numb mage warrior, so much so that she had nearly forgotten she was stuck to the massive beast that now fell to earth; her plan had worked! Behind her helmet, she couldn't stop the broad smile, if she survived this it would be an epic tale: The mage who brought down a dragon with the weight of the Fade. Oh, right, she was falling too wasn't she? Weightless and stuck to the dragon by her arm and sword, everything snapped into clarity. Roaring wind blew past her, deafening her as it whirled in her helm causing her to grit her teeth as she watched the city below rush up to meet them. Wait, what?! "Oh sodding hell!" This wasn't where they had been, no city, let alone a coastal city was near them! Something had gone wrong, and all she could do was watch and cling onto the massive beast as it dropped as though it were a humongous shot thrown from the Maker's catapult. Though the dragon had recovered from the shock of the transfer, it wasn't going to pull up in time, it was too bulky to maneuver so fine; but self preservation made it try anyway. Wings snapped open and it issued a great bellow that was followed by a gout of fire that jet before and flowed around it in a blazing cloud, cracking similar to that of falling trees could be heard around the beast as the force from the fall broke bones within the wings even with the distortion of air from the fire it spewed. What was going to likely kill her now was the fact that the beast was arching its body for impact, tucking upon itself to roll, but like the sodding hell was she going to simply let herself become paste after all this! Jerking her arm out of the beast, she sliced her arm a little more, gritting her teeth against the stinging bite and burning pain of mixed blood; as she steeled herself, however the first impact of the beast hitting the buildings caused her to slip, jarring her down and as the angry, scaled, ball of fire and hatred bowled through buildings she lost grip on her sword and screamed in fear for the first time in years, panic drove her to pull the Fade into herself, channel her magic inward to bolster her! It responded instantly, as though she were floating within the depths of the spirit world once more as she had many years ago! Exhilarated didn't begin to describe how she felt as her flesh and armor became the ghostly, ethereal gold; she slammed into the ruins of a wall behind the beast as it tumbled like a boulder through the city, Raean grunted and felt pain but she didn't simply become a smear upon the stones and debris around her. Slowly, the woman rose to her feet, heart hammering in her chest as the mana flowed through her, around her, cascaded like a dancing whirl of glorious gold. "Maker's holy balls this feels GREAT!" Never in her life had she felt so alive, so full and so free. Her uninjured arm reached back, her staff was still there, she hadn't loosened the binding keeping it strapped to her back not having expected to use it, but with the loss of both her shield and now her sword she was going to need the might it allowed her to wield. Not bothering to loosen the strap, she merely jerked the weapon, snapping the leather with her might, trusting the dense metal would most certainly be able to survive the rough treatment; without waiting for the creature to get its bearings after it had come to a stop in the waters of the bay below, she pulled at the magic to warp the temperatures around her. Wordlessly, she bellowed, air around her staff crackling and snapping as it super cooled; a thrust forward made the crystal blaze to life with blinding, golden energy that mirrored the crack in the sky behind her. The water below froze, despite the salt, despite the temperature, it became a solid sheet of ice around the creature and on it as well, creating a temporary prison that would slow the beast. Never before had she felt such power. Drinking it in, the woman twisted it around her, golden light became her nimbus, her cloak, radiating from her every fiber. The armored mage twirled her staff about above her head, the clouds answered her call and a great storm was born above the dragon to the sound of delighted, boisterous laughter that resounded across the area around her. She wasn't just going to defeat this creature, she was going to obliterate it from existence! The power she twisted filled the skies with ever darkening clouds, just as she had frozen a portion of the bay solid, the storm she created covered the entire city. The first arc of lightning cracked out of it, striking the ice coated dragon, filling the area with blinding blue-white light and detonating the ice like a massive cannon that sent shards every direction. Unfortunately, it also set the chilled and numbed beast free. With the woman standing in the streets of the town radiating power and light, the slit pupils of the enraged, broken creature were focused upon her. Issuing a challenging bellow, the beast rose out of the water, writhing out of the sand of the bay and began a dash right for the target of its hatred as more bolts of lightning slammed into the ground, now randomly around the city, a good few struck the massive form of the dragon but they did nothing to stop the rampage path it had begun. Staring at the dragon as its form swelled larger with the distance between them diminishing, the muscle cramping smile on the woman's face didn't abate. Her entire body pulsed to the hum of the mana around her, she might be drunk on the power but not stupid. "Aw, Andraste's glazed tits." She hated to do it, but she turned to the side and ran through the streets of the city; the last thing she needed was to be squashed like an insect underfoot. While she was a blazing beacon that the dragon could easily follow, it gave her a chance to think and attempt to jar people into motion. "Everyone! Move! Evacuate! Evacuate!" Her bellow filled the air, hopefully encouraging people to action, namely running away from the massive, angry lizard that was now bowling through the city. Maybe she would be lucky and this place would have a competent response to pin the creature down, if not she didn't see much hope for the foreign city.
  13. Name: Raean Thanalie - (Pronunciation: Ray-ann) Age: 30 Height: 5'6" Hair Color: Red Eye Color: Green Physique: Toned Description: Of fairly average build, the veteran had built up a fair amount of muscle from the years of warfare and constant combat she faced; although her features are still beautiful as a Ferelden Elf could be, she has become a bit grizzled in her exploits. Her face bares not only a curling, runic leaf tattoo around her left eye but a hand full of small scars the foremost one is the diagonal scar across her right eye reaching from her temple, skipping her eye and going across the bridge of her nose. The image she portrays out of her armor is that of a confident, battle worn matron, though no gray touches the shoulder length red locks she carries a weighted air when viewed from afar; however when she is encased in her dragon-plate armor she bears a greater, more powerful presence, as though something about the gleaming red metal and fierce visage that only shows a blue glow where her eyes are simply pulls attention. She's never out of reach of her staff, a dark gleaming pole just half as thick as her wrist but topped with a glittering clear crystal wrapped in spirals of the dark metal as though it were grown in the cage of metal, or her sword, a normal enough looking longsword that bears a string of glowing runes down the flat of the blade. Personality: The woman makes her way through life with glib, playful remarks; a wise soldier's humor meant to keep a semblance of sanity. Though her presence might change in and out of her armor, the solid will, burning curiosity for anything arcane, and stubbornness has been the only thing of her personality that survived from being 'tutored' within the walls of the Fereldan Circle Tower. Brash and straight to the point, she always finds herself at odds with political matters; while she can be delicate with her words, she sometimes chooses not to be and the consequences be damned.
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    Staring patiently at Brandt as she asked a question that a little more observation could have answered, he lifted his right hand and merely pointed at Jen as the girl's eagerness exploded out of her. There were times he wondered about his employer, this was one of them. However, he wasn't contracted for witticisms and quips, he would be professional and not point out that it seemed flowers weren't the only thing she might need to seek. Keeping Jen in sight was simple, it was making sure that Brandt didn't run into anyone when she decided to try to make eye contact while walking in the reverse direction; the woman might be competent but her focus for things narrowed to an unhealthy state. "I look after my wards. Seven day's rations, full water skin, her own bed roll, soap, change of clothes, dagger for utility." He rolled his shoulders and turned to the side, not looking down at his employer so he could still maintain an eye on the surroundings, so he could raise the hem of his mantle to show the pack he wore. "I am similarly outfitted." He wasn't going to give her an entire run down of what he was geared with, it should have been obvious from the half dozen pouches at his hips that he was more equipped for this excursion than he was going to state. "Jen. There is a meal for today in your pack. Get used to dried meats and fruits." Dropping his mantle, the man worked to adjust the pack on his back so it was in the previous, more comfortable position, tugging and making minor adjustments to the straps as he walked. Judging by the sun they likely had what Ryu could guess at least four hours of good light, he was unsure of how to judge this particular region and would keep his estimates to himself for the time being. At least until he got a better feel, or understanding of the area that supposedly warped time at random. "If either of you get tired, let me know." While he wouldn't be doling out any of the remaining pills he had left for protracted excursions to either of them, he could at least mitigate some fatigue and carry one of them for a time. Brandt had a goal to meet, he would ensure she met it even if he had to haul her. Granted, he wasn't worried much about Brant, as he was Jen who might not exactly be physically ready for hours of continued marching. "Especially you, Jen." A tired guide led to straying, he wouldn't be letting the girl put all of them in danger because of a fatigued addled mind.
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    Jen's assistance did actually matter in this case, the proverbial wrestling match of wills became something of no-contest. Not exactly a two-against-one, but the moment of support was enough to strengthen Ryu's resolve, allowing him to wrest control of the limb as well as keep the beast pinned back. "It's fine. Few do." His face had returned to the usual stoic impassiveness, but the stern determination still shone in his eyes. Lifting his right hand, intending to rub his temple, it was the first time he noted that she had placed her hand in his; it was tiny, made her look more like a child than she already seemed. But the understanding between the two of them from the simple touch merely confirmed Ryu's suspicions, the airs she put on were just a mask to hide behind. Deep down she was just bitter and closed off, a result from dealings with the harsh world and kept her galvanized against others. A slight, tired smile tinged the corners of his lips and he folded his fingers round her hand, providing the same safe, warm grip he used when he would comfort his daughter. "I'd be a disgraceful guardian, if I let my ward come to harm." The smile grew a bit larger and softened the hard edges of his features, "However, I ask you: reconsider your path. It's sad to see such potential wasted on people's pockets." He opened his hand, sliding it away from hers and dropped it over the top of her head. "Doesn't need to be immediate. Take your time, I'll make sure you have all you need." His hand shifted back and forth, stroking the hair on her head. This made him feel like has back home, counseling a frustrated student. Without realizing it, the nostalgia softened his smile even more and peeled nearly a decade of worry and stress from his features. Some things change when one finds themselves in unknown lands, but some stay the same. There would always be someone like Jen, beaten down by the world and doing what they know to get by; and he was the wall that allowed them reprieve if but for a moment. He supposed that he lived up to the moniker that the Order gave, and all this time he thought they were being witty about his size. No, more than likely they didn't consider his personal philosophy, Ryu was pretty sure they were just being wise-asses. "Also. Do keep your fingers out of pockets. For your own sake. She may not seem the type, but she will break your fingers." He removed his hand from the top of her head and let it drop back to his side, his face reset but his posture had adjusted a bit; he was feeling much less tired and ready to get the journey on the move when Brandt finally finished up her meeting.