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Found 758 results

  1. The looming facility, with coiled spires like the pillars of a cathedral, with a steeple of offices and the shattered glass entryway into the building. Smoke still billowed from the entrance, like the baleful, waiting breath of a dragon looming within. What could possibly drive a man to enter this, where many have been crushed and driven out? A job was a job, perhaps. There was no visible evidence from this place, at the base of the great staircase leading up to this institute, of the assailant's movements. The night didn't make things any better, too. The lamplight, and the spotlights posited by the police force that formed the perimeter cast grand shadows over the building. The frightening visage of this palace of science didn't wane with inspection, as the knowledge of the warrior within marked each inch of its exterior with the interior damage leaking out. Approaching our hero is the police lieutenant, who supplies him with a map of the building, and info on the tactics Yago's employed so far against their forces. Remote control explosives, a battle rifle that uses conventional ammunition, and magic that asks a question that current protocol can't answer. "I'll level with you. Whatever goes on in there, we can't send anymore in, we can just keep him from coming out, got it? No shame in turning back if things get hairy, but don't expect us to be the ones to get you out. I dunno whatever reason's leading you through here, but..." He sighs, clapping them on the back. "...I'll just have faith that your reasons are good, and you're not going in here without a clue." @Aleksei
  2. Aleksei

    Here with Me

    Off in the distance, she heard the inkling of laughter; it made her smile, relieving the ache in her chest by a little. The bit of light to the darkness was reduced by the sounds of lapping waves delicately dancing along tarnished shores. Nighttime covered most of the aches and pains of the city, giving the eyes and hearts some reprieve that can't be found during the daylight. Right now the moon lazily hangs amongst bright stars; there isn't a single cloud to be seen, making the hour a refreshing one in comparison to the last few. Again, the laughter broke through the sounds of water. The struggle to sit down on her own left her a bit breathless, but the prize of serenity was worth the price of pain. Her body - much like Last Chance - was healing. Ribs were broken, her right arm was lost, a nasty bruise painted the entirety of her delicate throat - really, she looked a damned mess. Injuries and a myriad of cuts covered her small form in an abusive manner, showing a story of a battle that was won but not without sacrifices. Has it been a week? Less than so? Shanti wasn't precisely sure since a majority of that she had been battling against her body to heal faster. Between moments of consciousness, she had seen blurred faces with prominent voices, their words lost to her but their concern not. People entered and left the small room she had been kept in, some would say something to her, others would hold her only hand, the rest would be silent, but she could feel their presence. It was unfortunate that she had been so weak, for she would have liked to speak to these unfamiliar faces, thank them for their bravery. When she had finally woken up she was alone; that was two days ago. There was no more fighting, and without a clear purpose, she felt a bit lost. She wasn't trained to do much and being a foreigner she felt incredibly out of place - by no fault of anyone! When they weren't busy, many people took the time to speak with her, and half the time they'd give her something small to do. Being busy kept her mind off her losses, it made her feel more grounded, no longer lost out in this weird orbit. Such small pleasures she did not take for granted as she was just as surprised as everyone that she was still alive. Dredge had tried his hardest to kill her, but he was thwarted by grander forces he hadn't anticipated. He was so close, she thought to herself, flexing her bruised fingers in wonder. In a single moment, she had lost her arm and then almost her life, yet she hadn't been afraid when she and death shared a moment. Should one be frightened by that? It was a thought that worried her in moments of silence such as this. Was she indeed that ready to die for others, to set aside her life for something more significant? Was she allowed to be so .. so proud? A soft breeze sifted through the long strands of tousled hair; the silky strands tickled her cheeks; the sensation woke the elf out of her deep meditation. If given a chance, if she had to return to those moments of near death, she would do it over and over again. Absolutely. Pulling her legs to her chest, she wrapped her single arm around them and rested her cheek atop her knees. It was dark, life was still happening around her, and it was peaceful. Setting: Last Chance - 1 week after this event.
  3. Djinn&Juice

    The Hither And Yawn

    "Be you monster or man, beast or beauty, hero or villain; I am Lady Everest, and you are welcome to The Hither and Yawn. A place to soak in revitalizing hot springs, massages that nurture your very soul. We open our doors to you Weland, and even you beyond. The South District is where we have brought a much needed respit from war and exhaustion alike for nothing more than keeping all weapons and magic sheathed and contained. We are of parlay, and welcome all sides under the banner of Gaia. She who makes this possible. She tests you everyday, bestows upon you obstacles and dangers; equipping us with courage, she nurtures and trains us; Now its time for her to heal you, through us. you deserve it my children" This was the message that reached every soul it could. This message traveling through both trees and birds. The words not repeating after this strange phenomenon and letting The Hither and Yawn be known far and wide. It was at first glance a rather simple, and almost disappointing door in the dirt, but upon moving toward it's entrance; the vines ensnaring this hovel and spelling the name clear as day Within the walls, it immediately descended at a gentle decline. Stairs of woven tree bark aiding in their short trip down, music being heard in the distance...giggles? Chatting?...laughing. The stairs opening up into a large room that resembled the inside of a hollowed out redwood, and such comparison still did no justice to the size and height of this room. Canopies of nets and woven bridges overhead with waterfalla and spouts falling from around the bark walls of this bathhouse in a lazy upward spiral. Dryads seen serving customers with massages whilst suspended on a hammock, others soaking in smaller pools carved put into the walls themselves, and an atmosphere the likes of which were unheard of. Music flowed from this room, beautiful hang drums rhythmic and adding a sense of depth that only a place so pure could possess. Three dryads above The Blue Eye the source of this music. Their eyes blindfolded with woven vine, and seemed to project their music through their very forms. The dryad in the center of the trio a much larger dryad with a dress seemed to be from vibrant flowers that were still alive and thriving upon her form. Her hair possessing volume and braids amidst thick shoulder length mane. The floor ahead of them, being the center piece as dozens of dryads combing their hair, frolicking, and awaiting customers all surround the new customers and encouraging them into the largest hot spring in The Bathhouse The Blue Eye The dryads stunning, and possessing a natural beauty that sought to serve guests. Their lithe and supple hands pulling them into the hot spring and the effects were immediate. It was as though the water felt alive and it's connection drank in their stress and recriprocated nearly narcot relaxation. They all felt They were nothing but absolute. This blue eye perceives all things conjoined. The past, the future, and the present. Everything flows, and all is connected. This eye is not merely seeing reality...it is touching the truth. There is nothing to fear. Not here Never here @Zashiii @Aleksei @Grubbistch @PurplePanda
  4. There was an unrivaled stillness in the air. The city seemed to hold its breath as the morning mist veiled the mountain. The wind billowed and swirled gently, quietly—as if in reverence for the dead. Twenty-two individuals were garbed in white silk. They stood outside the Great Hall at the Pavilion of Prayers in somber silence. Every move, every act was well practiced. They stood equidistant in pairs of two, primly holding the long piece of paper that bore the name of their loved one. There was no crying. There were no tears to be shed. Mourning had passed—now it was on towards duty. Duty to lay the dead to rest. They were organized by their rank. Nobles and Knights at the head. Merchants and Scholars. The civilians were last. It felt wrong for Sabine to grip the delicate piece of paper that she did. In Vaadenian her lover’s name was scrawled with a practiced hand in beautiful black ink. It felt wrong because Sabine knew what she had seen. Though her lover was but ash, she knew that somewhere, somehow Efrideet was alive and enslaved. The skies were grey as clouds lazily stretched across them, though the sun tried to peek out from time to time. They waited in patient silence for the rest of the ceremony to finish its completion. Somehow this day could not end soon enough. The Great Hall had already filled with those who had come, but ample space had been made for the ceremony and funerals. “Ja’kaarn se Laa’zera!” Enter for the Queen! A herald called for them. Loud, precise and commanding—and so they would proceed with their practiced gait.
  5. The Under-City of Nesthome Skarr Territory, Forgotten Woods Hammers and pickaxes rang out in unison, forging an impromptu tempo. The walls of Nesthome had grown taller in the last few months, to the point where now the constant ringing had depth to it. The acoustic ringing bounced off the high walls and carried throughout the tunnels, deep into the Skaven barracks and the mess hall and into out into the open air above ground. Under the fair blue skies of the clearing the Skaven made, the tempo perpetuated, with the ringing of hammers and picks being replaced with the steady striking of axes and saws against trees, accompanied by the steady crackle of controlled burns. King-King looked on from his place close to the tunnel's entrance, observing his efforts with silent approval. Four months ago, this clearing had barely existed. The Skarr had lived exclusively below ground. Only a few trees had been cleared down, then, as their numbers hadn't been greater than a couple hundred. Those numbers, and that progress, compared to the modern equivalent, were a testament to the Skarr Clan's strength, the strength of King-King's vision. Close by, a small gaggle of foremen gathered around a table. On top of it, scrawled in charcoal, was a rough approximation of the forgotten woods, namely the part of the forest Nesthome was closest to. The map was incredibly basic--it barely took note of the treeline, the size of the clearing they'd made, or even how dense the foliage was, and yet it provided a wealth of information. They were pushing deeper into the woods, now, and that meant they were drawing close to home of the forest's denizens. More blood would be spilled in the coming months, but it would all be worth it. King-King listened in on the foremen intently, then gave a few sharp orders before turning back towards Nesthome's entrance. Once the fae had been forced out of the woods, there would be no stopping them. They could clear the forest en masse, and Nesthome would span the full length of the forest's perimeter below the surface. They'd flourish once again, the Skarr clan would number in the millions, and King-King would deliver the city he'd promised his people. It wasn't far off, now. Lars exhaled loudly as he shrugged his bag down onto the ground. The nearly empty rucksack collapsed in on itself as he did so, but it took enough off his back to set down the crates he was carrying. With a grunt, he bent at the knees and finally lowered the boxes into the bed of his carriage. For the second time since he'd picked up this particular stack of boxes, he silently wished he'd paid somebody else to do the heavy lifting for him. He cast a wayward glance towards his hired guard, shooting a look his way. The stern-looking man didn't move an inch. Lars sighed, and glanced back the way he came. Only two more stacks of crates to go... Lars and Vance were both surrounded by the busy, shuffling masses of trader folk milling about in Hyperion's Market. The city itself was easy to get lost in, with its magnificent sprawling architecture, the city's rich history etched into the buildings and walls around them, but Lars had always been most at home in the Markets there. He'd been raised in a market booth for the most part, after all, and fed and clothed in similar conditions. He'd even bought his first kiss in Hyperion! Granted, his father was always there for the majority of those endeavors, which made this particular trip quite different. Lars stopped moving and admired his cart for a moment, pleased with the sudden realization. He was doing this on his own! Today marked the day that Lars struck out on his own. He'd hired his own help, bought his own supplies, and had planned out a route of his own. Fortune awaited him somewhere along the road, and, if the road ahead was willing, he'd make history here as well. Some time ago, Lars had heard a story in a tavern on the outskirts of some backwater town that talked of strange things brewing in the Forgotten Woods. The Woods were never really a concern to him, or anybody else for that matter, though there was the odd merchant that attempted to find a road through the forest. This talk described strange men moving in the woods at night. Intrigued, Lars had spent a small allowance on pursuing these rumors, paying off a few outgoing adventurers to investigate if they passed close by. On more than one occasion, they returned with beguiling tales of....ratmen. Their stories were a little jumbled each time, certainly, but the repeated information seemed to suggest that a band of ratmen had made their home within the woods, which was, as of until recently, completely unheard of. The woods were dangerous and deep, laden with beasts and fae that supposedly liked to prey upon wayward travelers. Moreover, the woods were supposedly enchanted, and getting lost in those trees could cause you to lose your sense of self, and your sanity if you were unlucky. However, if the ratmen were living in the woods, perhaps they'd figured something out. If Lars could figure it out, too, he might be able to establish some kind of road through the woods! He'd made a killing off of the trade route! However, they couldn't go just yet. Lars knew for a fact the roads weren't exactly safe these days, and though he had Vance, he doubted they'd get anywhere unscathed if it were only the two of them. He strode over to the next pile of crates and picked them up, straining as he did so. He scanned the passing faces again, hopeful that their hired help would be there soon. Maybe he could convince them to finish loading the wagon. @Bkfootball
  6. Yulhalla Serphus was a city that sat outside the bigger city of Val Roux. However, after the battle of the citizens of Roux and Yuhalla was over, many treasures remained. Serah, a young elf with long braided black teal hair and yellow orange heterchroma eyes wanted to get. She was dressed in a long sleeved button up and slacks that showed off her very curvy body. But she was an explorer first, as she was the apprentice of H.H Dylan himself. Serah had taken three airships to get to the abandoned city. It was a long flight of frustration and grief. As she almost missed her third flight here, she lost her luggage and had to file papers to recover it. But she was here, in Yuhalla Serphus and she wasn't going to just leave. She would document and find was abandoned and left behind. Walking down the old and faded cobblestone streets, Serah noticed the rotting and faded buildings. Left to decay and withered because no one wanted to rebuild time and funds to a city no one wantrd to live in. Serah was here to show people, it would be nice to rebuild and live here again. That was her goal. And Serah almost always obtained her goals unless it was impossible by every mean possible. She stood there a moment as she looked around the empty city. If a few building onstructors came in and rebuilt some of the dilapated buildings there could be housing. But Athentha didn't have many construction crews, they were either in Lyonesse or the human world. Serah tilted her head as she rubbed her temples. It seemed the rebuilding would need a lot of steel and wood the land didn't possess. Only because it was a floating island in the sky. The elf jotted down this on her notepad making her way down the road. She was excited to find the abandoned treasures that the citizens disguarded and threw away as they left the city. Serah wrote down more things that needed inprovement like power lines, water and food increases. This wasn't going to be an easy thing. But right now the elf focused on the ites left behind, items made by the Gods themselves. Swords, shields, rings you name it, were abanadoned here.
  7. Aleksei

    Fire and the Flood

    House Mythal " You think you will have any of your own?" "What, wine? You know I don't have the stomach for it." Austere looked at his brother unamused. You never felt in one place with Milorian, as if he was the sole individual making the world revolve and if he stopped, so would it. A strange round-aboutness, it could drive a man crazy just to get a straight answer out of the elf. "Milo ..." "Don't look so sour, Austere. I was only joking." Milo looked down at the small body resting peacefully in his lap. He would have forgotten about the child, so light he felt and so quiet he has been the last few hours. Easton was by far the most well-behaved child out of the rest, and often enough Milorian has admitted (to himself only) to spoiling the boy with the attention he does not need. It wasn't out of pity, the elf told himself for the thousandth time, it was out of love and pride and joy - especially joy. The child was a weakness of his, though if asked he would push the subject aside and pursue another route of thinking. He hated being put on the spot about emotional attachments. Idly, he sifted his fingers through the child's white hair (a homage to his Mythal name) and allowed himself a brief smile. Children would be a wish come true, yes. Brooding eyes looked out the window of his humble quarters; there was so much to do that wishes and dreams have to be set aside. "Maybe someday, though Ronan and Terra will have already populated our ranks enough by then I won't have to worry about trying." "So I've heard! At this point, it's unnatural to see Terra not heavy with child!" Austere's laugh made his brother chuckle in reply, the action and sound oddities to the both of them. It felt wonderful just to speak, to laugh and think about the future. Milo lost himself in thought, still stroking Easton's hair, occasionally fiddling with the pointedness of the child's ear. Austere watched his brother, admiring the man that fit perfectly in their father's chair while he entertained himself with the sleeping child. The Dred Wolves have fought through the lines of partition, spilled their blood for the people of their home, died in the name of deserved justice. They all did their part of maintaining their house and name, most of the work done by Milorian. Looking upon his brother, he did not envy his position as head of the house. "Are you prepared for tonight?" If at all possible, Milo's frown deepened as he sighed, apparently forgetting that tonight was rife with celebration. Head of the house, sure, but he had no power over his mother and sisters; they had him wrapped around their finger, and he didn't have the strength to fight them. He was gotten. "No," he cradled Easton in his arms, needing something to keep him anchored. People will be filling their home this evening, and he wasn't prepared to face any of them just yet. "You could have - no, no you couldn't have." Austere was older than Milo. Thus he's had years of practice to stay stalwart against their mother's insistence. The memory of his brother folding under their mother's suggestions, her backing being the wives of the family, all the while their father stood back in false ignorance, made him smirk. There was entirely no surviving the attack; they laid siege to Milo's defenses, already weak and poor. "Tonight then?" "Do you have to ask?" Easton briefly woke up as he was exchanged between hands. Austere was a gentle man whose attachment to his only child is needy and often overbearing. Though such actions could be considered the norm, for the Mythal's are known for their selfishness towards their family and its growth. Their wounds were also still very fresh, the terrible loss of their brother and Austere’s wife and child still hung on the Mythal’s sharp shoulders; Austere was allowed his possessiveness. Some hours later he was trying to find his footing, thwarted continuously by grabbing hands that spin him in a reel he’s relatively unfamiliar with. His mother had unceremoniously pushed him into the dancing circle, and he was immediately assaulted by a young woman with vibrant flowers woven into her hair and a smile that sparkled. He did not return her smile, quickly he spun out, but he was fresh pray to the eager and was once again victim to the celebratory dance. Somewhere on the edges of his hazy mind, he heard his siblings snickering, his mother joyfully clapping her hands to the tune, and his sisters-in-law cackling at the scene of poor Milo dancing awkwardly. “All of you are banished!” Milorian yelled once he escaped; long fingers worked to adjust the elaborate robes he wore. His hair had been braided, a red ribbon threaded through it, but now all that hard work demolished. “That didn’t work the first time, what makes you think it will now?” Ronan yelled over the music, his right hand resting comfortably on the lower back of his pregnant wife. His blue eyes were dancing, and his stupid smile was shaking from how extensive it was spread against his equally foolish face. Milo glared at the laughing group, his blue hues turning into daggers aimed directly at all their heads. As the youngest he was the most natural target; for years he has been taken blows from his brothers without delivering any of his own. While the Mythal’s are known for their prowess of speech, he lacks the art of insult, especially against these monsters. “Behave,” Terra playfully slapped her husband’s shoulder. Ever the opportunist, Ronan grabbed the hateful hand and began to slather kisses along each digit. This poor display made their audience groan. Crossroads was alive. The bridge had been decorated by the people of the Free Marches; garlands of flowers thrown everywhere, banners of the Dred Wolf hung at every entrance, the wine was flowing from every corner, food nearly bowed the trestle tables, and the people … the people were okay. Tomorrow they may remember the aches and pains, but for a moment in time, they are given the freedom to mingle and speak of the weather, their families, the game of chess they’ve lost to their child - anything. Tonight is meant for celebration and gods willing they will celebrate.
  8. Aleksei

    Wandering Roads

    “Listen, I just wanted to know the price on this scarf and nothing else!” Like talking over a storm, he thought while wearing an exasperated lopsided smirk. The woman didn't like him, and that's perfectly okay in his book, he didn't harbor any love for her either, but damn it! All he wanted to know was the price; it's not like he insulted her ancestors or anything. The likelihood of him buying it was extremely high; was the right color of red, fit just like a glove, and he could justify the purchase. Her ranting and raving at him were only knocking the item down in price, and he was becoming extremely irritated by her attitude. She said something that made him look down at his appearance - come again? He'll have her know that his armor was the best and just because he chose to wear it fashionably doesn't make him some haphazard knight. There are generations and generations built into the black armor, he’s not going to let some wrinkled old hag insult him because he may not fit in with the rest of the crowd. What gave her the gal? The man stood six-feet and at least - at least! - five inches and she was standing up against him like he was just a breeze to her mountainous impersonation. “Listen! I will give you what you want for it, just stop yelling at me!” Harshal said a prayer for the old woman’s family, because if she was his granny … “Wait, what?!” Just as he fished the coin out of its pouch, she slapped him with a preposterous number. He looked at her like she had three heads (matching the current two already protruding from her short frame). “Who has that kind of money?! It's a scarf, a scarf! Did the All-Creator wipe her ass with it?!” By this point, a small crowd of onlookers gathered around the stall to put their noses in not their business. Entertained by the sight of this giant man arguing with an old woman, some felt the need to stick around and see who was going to win this tug-o-war. Harshal is not going to bend knee for this hustler in wrinkles; he is also not leaving without the scarf. Now just a matter of principle, she was wasting his time throwing numbers she’s probably pulled out of her ear, but he’s no fool. He could care less if she’s a lady probably older than dirt itself, she started this whole thing by being snooty with him, and he’s not going to back down. @ourlachesism
  9. HumanBean03

    The Blasted Badlands

    “Ah, you can’t find freedom like this anywhere,” Fawkes thought to herself. She was soaring over the windswept sands of the Badlands and the thermal updrafts were perfect this time of day. The wind rustled in the brown, black and white feathers of her 6-foot wingspan. Though the Badlands were extremely inhospitable to outsiders, it was home to Fawkes. She was one of the few Avians left in Valucre, as most of them thought that the world had become too populated with cities and settlements for them to be able to fly free. Her small tribe, consisting now of her brother and his family and a few of the other young Avians, moved to the Badlands after Odin Haze’s attack on Blaurg Mountain where they had been living for nearly four generations. But the move was not easy, they left Blaurg Mountain with 15 and now there were only 10. Some abandoned the group and flew back to the mountains and the flight out of Valucre and some were lost to the harshness of the Badlands. They created their own sort of nomadic tribe and even managed to befriend the Mahrjan tribe and setup a loose trade network with them. The Shai-leuth elders believed that the Avians were warriors of Gaia because their wings allowed them to be closer to the light of her glory. But today she was out enjoying one of the cooler parts of the day and seeing if she could spot anything worth trying to hunt. Fawkes was the best hunter in the flock, her keen Avian eyes were like those of a hawk and could pick out even the smallest prey, she almost always managed to bring something back for the flock even during the most extreme parts of the year. Out of the corner of her eye she saw something glint from the sand, she banked her wings and wiped the dust from her goggles. Beneath her she saw a sand-rat foraging through the sunbaked earth. Unlike normal rats, sand-rats were as big as wolves and had even worse tempers. Fawkes grabbed the Vakar spear from her back, flew up higher and then dove. She tucked her wings close to her back and felt the wind blow through her hair and sand sting her face. As she neared the ground, she snapped open her wings and threw her spear. The rat let out a long shriek and bared its teeth as the long double-sided blade buried itself in its side. She flew toward the sand-rat and pulled her spear from its side. In one swift motion she pirouetted in the air and slashed upward with her spear. The sand-rat let out a gargled scream and toppled over. “Not a bad catch. This will be great for tonight,” Fawkes said as she began cutting up her prize. The sun was beginning to set, and Fawkes knew that she would need to get back to the camp before even more rats came above ground. Stuffing the last of the meat and useful parts into her bag Fawkes took off and flew back to camp.
  10. The Red Festival Within the deepest and darkest parts of the Dark Forest, dim and low burning lanterns could be seen leading through a man made path towards what could only be described from afar as a dull source of red light with the deep thrumming of a foreboding bass like sound that nipped at the frontal lobe of the mind. On the path towards the light there walked hundreds and hundreds of beasts and monsters that had infested the nightmares of good men and women. Creatures that were of a lesser breed by their standards. Old Guard Orc clans known for warring and killing one another in an endless struggle to prove dominance and strength. Trolls of the darkened swamps where witchcraft and hoodoo thrived in a society based around sacrifice and ancestral spirits. Kobolds that crafted and mined the deep and rugged mountains. Lizard folk, Rat folk, Gnolls, Kenku, Drider, Yuan-Ti, ascended undead, and even the occasional Lich. All of them traversed the path leading to the faint source of light in the surrounding ethereal darkness. All of which would arrive at one defining location. Red. Crimson. Scarlett. All the various shades of red could not prepare one for the sheer volume of blood that was the final destination. It was as if one massive cadaver has painted the forest red. Banners soaked in the blood of the innocent were strewn across a massive clearing within the Dark Forest. Crude and almost childlike paintings of roses and other flowers were hung from trees next to the corpses of innocent human civilians that had been nailed to them to help stimulate the decor of the festival. Hundreds of booths, tents, and other temporary structures were erected and lined the massive clearing to serve food, drink, and sell various goods. A massive center stage had been built at the center of it all and sitting beneath it was a literal pool of blood. A large pond filled with the life force of what could of been hundreds of souls. All of it was like a punch to every sense the body could muster. The sights, the smells, the taste in the air itself. Grilling flesh and meats being cooked over flames. Music singing through the air only to accented by the screams of the men, women, and children of Tormo that had been tied to posts throughout the festival and were being stoned, tortured, or even eaten by the ravenous guests of the festival. Perhaps thousands were in attendance and the party had yet to officially begin. The energy in the air began to shift as more and more people drew into the party, and with the beginning round of drinks being served to their guests. Someone stepped onto the center stage. The black armored villain himself. Dredge was here to start the celebration right. He would not make many demands of his new people. He only wished to give a brief statement. So with a spell that amplified his voice his presence boomed across the clearing. ”Greetings, my children. All of you have been gathered here to be merry. To have a place where you can drink and be what you were born to be. To be what these humans would call you. Monsters.” His voice was steady as it leaned into the crowd. Showing them their insecurities. But no, when I look out at all these faces. I don’t see monsters. I see my people. You are all my brethren. I don’t see The unincluded, the vilified, the dregs and mobs to hunt down and kill to make the world a safer place for them!” Slowly his voice picked up to become louder and louder to tap into their anger over where they stood. ”Not here! not now! Tonight! You are all equal! Tonight! You are all family!” As heads all turned to Dredge in sudden awe smiles of both hope and evil light up their faces. ”I AM DREDGE!! SLAYER OF MAN AND DESTROYER OF WORLDS AND I ORDER YOU TO FEAST!! DRINK!! AND FORNICATE THE NIGHT AWAY!!! WELCOME MY FAMILY TO THE RED FESTIVAL!!!” If Dredge knew anything, it was how to work a crowd, and with his Wolf of Wall Street moment over it was time to bask in the reaction. Roses of delight and excitement ripped through the night air like a bat out of hell. The Red Festival had begun and it had started in a frenzy. Every where one looked bars, games, food stands, and posts where prisoners were kept were positively packed and alive with the manic energy that Dredge had inspired. Let the party begin.
  11. Synchronized iron covered boots stepped across the dirt roads of Terrenus’ rugged wilds. Like thunder the heels of a well trained and well equipped force marched as one to grow ever closer to their objective. One that was undoubtedly going to be of blood and death. Hob-Goblins, the despicable and vile creatures of the mountains that would come down from their hiding holes and pillage the lands below for resources. Only there was something very different about these beasts. They all wore uniform armor and were equipped with identical weapons and gear. Where normally these mindless animals were but mere rabble to be slaughtered, these were organized, intelligent, and well trained soldiers. All of which were marching in tight columns that stretched down the road. A hundred men all ready to kill and do so efficiently at a moment’s notice. This was due to one driving fact. At the helm of the formation, he stood. The black armored behemoth that had only graced Terrenus for perhaps a bit over a month, and he had already brought death and slaughter to hundreds. Dredge, the traveler from another world that had been brought here to balance the scales. To show Terrenus that they had grown comfortable in their ways. Content to fight the never ending battle of good and evil and drawing a line in the sand of what he considered to be false morality at its finest. The demon was here to do one thing today and one thing only. Acquire party favors. The Red Festival was in a week and they simply didn’t have enough prisoners from raiding Tormo to cut it. So it was time to go shopping. Though Tormo may of been gone and it’s survivors taken into protective custody, the surrounding villages were always up for grabs. Tiny little nameless places that always had enough people in it to serve up as a side dish. ”Halt!” Dredge yelled out and the disciplined formation came to a halt behind him. Staring down the hill he and his forces were perched upon, there it was. A suitable candidate. A village consisting of perhaps ten to twenty small huts and an inn or two. The perfect place to gather up waiting families and farmers to be a part of their little party. With a smile beneath his helmet, Dredge gave a little chuckle and looked over to his men. ”Kill a few to make examples of them. The fighting men, preferably. I want the women and children alive to be taken to the festival grounds. Is that understood?” Giving his orders with absolute authority, his strike force of Goblins grunted in response and readied themselves. ”Bring up the dire wolves as well. I don’t any of them fleeing into the forest.” And just like that, Dredge has sealed their fate. A horn was sounded and soon descended from the road was the strike force of hob-goblins giving out shouts and war cries for the coming slaughter. Screams of panic came from the village and it was music to Dredge’s ears as he calmly and casually walked down the hill and towards the village. It was best to let the children play a little before he came to collect. What fun.” The game was on.
  12. Grimshar

    An Iron Grip

    Tad whistled to himself as he strolled through the crowded streets of Aelindra, weaving through the people like a minnow among his school. To an outsider it would look as if he was completely at home among the people, wearing a tastefully skintight button up shirt, and a pair of summer slacks, he was about as common of a sight as you could get during a weekday. He had eschewed the use of his normal equipment, the bulky protective gear would only serve to draw attention, and possibly suspicion, to himself. He carried only his clothes, a pouch of small denomination coin, and what he considered to be a socially acceptable weapon of self defense, a small dagger kept sheathed at his belt. Even in a city as large and wealthy as itself, there was always the risk of being attacked, it would go against all of his better sense to walk around unarmed. He had been in the city for a few weeks now, he had been staying in a small hotel on the west side, it wasn't as nice as some of the other places that he had seen but it provided him a good location from which to start his morning operations. Every morning after preparing himself for the day, he would use the crossroads to travel to another part of the city, where he would immediately queue up to travel to another location, he would repeat this a few times before going to his actual destination. This served a few purposes, it attempted to prevent someone from determining his actual destination by visiting several proxy locations in between, it also allowed him to monitor the people who came through the portals after him, anyone that he saw follow him through several hops was likely watching him. If there weren't so many locations in the city to hop to, the tactic might not have worked, but he had gone his entire visit without using the same portals within a three day period, hopefully avoiding the scrutiny of any of the portal guards. His purpose in this city was to steal a valuable prototype, one of several that had been created, which were unregulated by any governing body, and necessary for the survival of one of his friends. He had heard of a tech similar to it when he was traveling through Union City several months back, and upon hearing that the same company was developing a significantly more advanced version, had promptly greased a few palms to find out where they were being developed and tested. One thing led to another, and he found himself making a trip to Aelindra with the intention of finding out more; that part had been easy, the engineers at the company had loose lips that were eager to talk about their project. The past few weeks were all about information gathering, subtly talking to the people involved with the project, researching the building layout, finding out what company ran security for them, when the busiest hours of the day were (and conversely the slowest times of day). His destination now was the security company in question, they had the layout of the building, the number of guards, and the patrol routes, all in one convenient location. He had already run through his limited knowledge on counter surveillance and was comfortable to proceed directly to the building. It was more of a warehouse, squat, only a few stories tall, with large cargo doors and a plain grey exterior. A sign was fastened securely to the building, just above the visitors entrance, proudly declaring the location of "Aelindra Tactical Response". The building was a combination of steel, stone, and wood; it was actually a curious piece of architecture, the original building having been made from stone, and the later additions made from framed wood. Security was tight, as you would expect from a company that sells security as their service, armed guards at every entrance, on the rooftop, and likely posted in the hallways. There was no way that he could go in the building, and sneak past them all, or fight his way through them. The security was just as tight at night, something that had irked him, they must have some high value clients to warrant such extreme measures around the clock. So he would revert to what he did best, pyrotechnics. Fire, or rather smoke, was a huge concern in a building. If you got yourself trapped in a burning building, odds are you would either suffocate or burn to death. So he would light a fire to flush out the people inside, and hope that anyone left inside would be too busy hunkering down in a safe area to spot him. He had a vague plan too, enter the public area during the confusion and pretend he was returning to get something vitally important, sneak into the operations area, rifle through the files until he found the right one, and then get out. Easy enough, right? He slipped easily out of the flow of traffic, ducking into the narrow alleyway that ran along the western edge of the building, it was probably six feet across and bordered one of the wooden walled expansions. Foot traffic was low, the alleyway dirty, perfect for starting a fire. He would have a few minutes once the first started to move back to the south side of the building, where the entrance was, to wait for the rush of people exiting. He hoped the files he needed weren't on the second or third floor, that would complicate things, and he wasn't sure if there was a basement, which would be even worse. He placed his hand on the wall as he strode, casually laying a thick layer of his special combustible material on the wall in a thick stripe. His hand started going numb, almost like it was falling asleep, as the blood drained through his pores to create it. When the stripe was about twelve feet long he stopped, stepped back, and lit it on fire. The whole stripe erupted with a whoosh, flames licking greedily up the side of the building, the material would burn cleanly, the wood would not. He turned back towards south opening of the alley and trotted off, slipping casually back into the flow of traffic to await the subsequent discovery of the fire, and the panic. Then, he would enter the building in search of the files he needed.
  13. Hurttoto

    The Diplomatic Arrival

    [LEXDORD CAPITAL CITY] It was a nice day in the kingdom of Lexdord, as the morning breeze echoed itself throughout the land bringing clear clean air along with it, it was warm as the sun rose from its depths of darkness. The king had been awake an hour before, as he was prepairing to meet with some diplomats. In his floating castle made of gleaming marble he was measured and had talors fabricate a thinner more fit clothing for him. "How does diplomacy work again? Its still kinda a funny subject to work with" The informant merely said that to be friendly with others and by agreeing to neutral grounds to gather freinds is of an upmost importance if this kingdom was to last. Lewis however had diffrent plans, he wasnt thinking about staying forever for eventully when his crew find out where they are in the cosmos they would set off immediately back home. At least that was the current plan of course making some friends wouldn't hurt. Laying around the table were the other surviving members of his crew and the city mayors, meny whom have not been properly introduced. The chatting was going around as reports came in through telephone networks and screen showcasing the latest economic status of the kingdom, the one type of product that was still slugging behind was food, and agriculture products. "Lets hope that these nee comers offer food" The royal adviser whispered. And was quiet awaiting for the guests to arrive. (Its not too short is it?)
  14. Lacernella Rubra

    Mother Gaia's Home for the Lost.

    In Dougton, there was once an orphanage. It was capable of housing 24 children - quite the feat for a single headmistress. It was a gorgeous home with an inviting layout. Though it's headmistress had long ago disappeared, and various schemes had been planned behind it's walls, it had finally been given hope once more. Rebirth through the war, an opportunity to help. Those children displaced by the current civil war are most welcomed, with open (though slightly green) arms. The orphanage runs off of self-sustainability, a small farmyard behind the house, and lanterns to light their way. Children who come to this place are taught all the basic skills, as well as how to defend themselves to some minor degree. This is to hope that they will never become victims to tyranny, or will choose to stand against what they know is wrong. A strong sense of moral Justice is offered to those willing to learn it. For the moment, the orphanage only houses 3 children. All of them from Blairville, and consisting of one boy and two young girls. The young man, Peter(age 12), has taken it upon himself to be a protector of sorts for Lucy (age 8 ) and Ruby (Age 6). While scared and distrustful, they have come to think of the orphanage as a second home where they will be protected and safe. Dhizzandra watches over them with pleased determination. The Dryad is simply happy to have a place to belong in this world - and she is pleased to help others, as well. Children 13 Adults 18 Completion of necessary buildings 10% Important threads/children acquisition: Home of the Brave. Children currently available for adoption: Blairville children: Peter – Age 12 – Blonde and amber eyed. He is a cautious, but brave young man who dislikes bullying. Lucy – Age 8 – Shy and slow to trust, a little bit bossy, as well. Lucy is definitely a kid who requires patience. Ruby – Age 6. Sweet and all too trusting, she’s got a sweet tooth like no other, however. Izral Children: Susan – Age 14 – An older, jaded girl who was rescued by Jericho from a brothel in Izral. She doesn’t have much hope for the world, but she’s learning that not everyone is bad. Brinley – Age 8 – Young and cheerful, she takes joy in simple things. Jessica – Age 6 – Another young and cheerful child. She likes butterflies and flowers, but we aren’t into the flavor red this week. William – age 4. – This young boy loves to run in mud puddles and play with worms, as young boys tend to do. Caitlyn – Age 2 – Often influenced by William regarding bugs and mud. She particularly dislikes nap-time. Derrick – Age 10 – Idolizes Peter and wants to protect the others from ever being treated poorly again. He’s often defensive on first meetings. Jonathan – Age 1 – Babbles with attitude. Hates diapers. Andromeda – Age 6 months – Sleeps a lot, when not screaming. Daniella – Age 10 – Sullen and moody, prone to dramatics. Kendra – Age 12 – Preteen. No more need be said.
  15. Floracle Flower Shop and Apothecary - Grand Re-Opening OOC thread Though it was barely 7:00am, Valentine Marie had been awake for hours. Her morning had consisted of coffee, sweeping, floral arrangements, coffee, dusting, re-arranging the flowers, coffee- and though the Floracle Flower Shop and Apothecary was spotless, sparkling, and splendid, Val just knew she was forgetting something. The young woman's tawny red hair burned in the sunlight streaming through the floor-to-ceiling windows as she stood in the center of the shop, staring around her with uncertainty. The counters. Of course! The counters needed to be polished. Again. Valentine swiped a polishing cloth from the supply cupboard and began to knead the old gnarled counter with furious circular motions. She had been at it for at least ten minutes when the sound of the courtyard door creaking open drew a wild look from those sky blue eyes. Her polishing grew in intensity as she called out, "I'm so sorry, but we open at 9:00am! Come back lat-" "-Haven't you heard of the 'early bird' special?" Valentine's ears perked up, her lips cracking into a wide grin. In an instant she had leaped into her twin's arms, holding his head in something akin to an affectionate vice grip. "Caspian!" she shouted, her voice carrying the shrill excitement of a person who has been reunited with their best friend. To his credit, Caspian did not immediately drop his sister after receiving a scream directly to the eardrum. He wouldn't have succeeded even if he'd tried; Valentine's arms were still locked around his neck with surprising fierceness for someone of her size. The scholar tried to choke out a 'hello,' but only managed a strangled gurgling sound. Blissfully aloof to her brother's suffering, Valentine held on for a moment longer before loosening her grip to hold her twin at arm's length. "My, you've grown so much taller since I last saw you!" Her bright blue eyes twinkled as she beheld his stylish scholar's uniform. "The academy has turned my baby brother into a handsome young thing!" By now, the botanist's hands were squishing her twin's cheeks together in a comical, fish-lipped expression -much to his chagrin. He batted weakly at her hands, though was eventually able to force them down and away. "It's been two weeks," the mage said, hefting an exasperated sigh. "Two weeks. And you're only older by, what, 20 minutes?" Valentine barked out a laugh, watching as her brother took a look around the colorful, splendorous shop. "You've really cleaned up the place. He left way more stock behind than I remembered." The main shop area was bursting with floral blooms, most of them native to Terrenus, but a few hailed from lands as far as Aelindra and other temperate regions of Genesaris. A spell of longevity would keep the beautiful blooms intact for weeks longer than ordinary flowers; indeed, though imperceptibly different to the untrained eye, older cuts were mixed into the fresh blooms spread throughout the shop. Part of the purpose behind this grand re-opening was to purge the store of older stock to make way for newer, more exotic flowers. It pained Valentine to think that the last flowers her grandfather had cut before his death would be gone after today. His death hadn't been unexpected, but the weight of his old silver secateurs still felt heavy in her pocket. She offered her brother a slight smile. "I actually grew most of this in the past week or two." His head swung sharply in her direction. "You did what? All of this?" The woman nodded, sticking her hands in the pockets of her light blue skirts. "Have you slept, Valentine?" The botanist shrugged, swiping her polishing rag off of the counter to continue the fretful chore. Caspian noted the slight bags under his sister's eyes, watched her hands tremble a little as she worked the soft cloth in methodical circles. He ran a hand through his mop of red hair. "You know, one of the most important things they teach at the Academy is not to overexert yourself," he said, his voice careful but not without the note of haughtiness typical for a recent graduate. "Casting too many spells in so short a time can be especially taxing for someone without formal trainin-" "The shop looks beautiful, doesn't it?" Valentine stared up at her brother, though her hands continued to polish the old, gnarled countertop. "After today, we can slow down. But you were the one who told me we needed to make an impression." Caspian stared at her for a second, his mind whirring behind those leaf-green eyes. After a moment, he removed the round-rimmed glasses from his face, polished the lenses with a corner of his tunic, and replaced them on his head. "Alright," he spoke, shrugging the jacket from his shoulders. "How can I help?" One would find it difficult to pass by the Floracle Flower Shop and Apothecary on this particularly sunny, breezy morning without at least admiring the rainbow of flowers bursting from dark wooden stands lining the sidewalk. The storefront itself was characterized by elegant, floor-to-ceiling windows, letting the golden light flood into the shop and accentuate vibrant blue floor tiles. Upon entering, one was immediately accosted by a heavy floral scent, though pollen was kept at bay by a clever containment spell crafted to accommodate customers with allergies. The shop itself was simply adorned, with a few ribbons and banners marking the re-opening celebration; the flowers themselves were the main attraction, with blooms lining the walls in layers and layers of color and texture. Display stands were strategically arranged throughout the shop, with different categories of flowers featured in each spiraling column. Every stand had been handcrafted in a dark, heavy wood by the previous shopkeeper, mimicking the bark of a tree. The shop was clearly a valued, well-loved heirloom, with hand-carved floral designs embedded into every visible wooden surface. The only thing not hand-crafted was a small bulletin board to the immediate right of the main entrance, displaying various flyers and advertisements for other shops around Casper. One bold sign spelled out the words 'ROOM AVAILABLE FOR RENT: CONTACT VALENTINE MARIE' in a sensible green font. Further back into the shop, one faced the option of either ascending a grand staircase up to a balcony overlooking the main area, or entering through a set of glass sliding doors to another room. The upper level balcony featured a forest of ferns and other tropical plants, with lush vines and leaves spilling over the railing. This curtain of green partially obscured the windows of the room below. If one chose to pass through the glass sliding doors, they would enter a room with dried herbs and ingredients in neat glass containers lining shelves along the wall. Other ingredients were strung from the ceiling, necessitating particularly tall patrons to mind their step. An island in the center of the room allowed the resident apothecary to advise customers on the best spells and ingredients to suit their needs; if the customer so chose, the apothecary would mix the ingredients before their very eyes to create charms and tinctures, then package the goods in a brown paper parcel tied shut with a string. On the righthand side of the apothecary's room was another glass sliding door, this one leading to a greenhouse made of shimmering, green-tinted glass. Though normally inaccessible to the public, today the greenhouse doors were unlocked and awaiting visitors. Upon entering, one would find rows and rows of pots of every shape and size growing all manner of plants. Aided by a spell cast with love, it was possible to watch the sprouts lengthen, produce leaves, and bloom before one's very eyes. Hanging plants dripped leaves from the ceiling, and the bright sunlight glittered against an artificial creek trickling across the greenhouse floor. Another swinging door allowed visitors to exit the greenhouse and enjoy the quaint courtyard beyond. The courtyard featured several tall, proud trees that were already bursting with apples, oranges, lemons, peaches, and every other fruit imaginable- often several different types of fruit could be spotted growing on the same tree. The thick branches provided some shade for visitors who rested at modest tables set up throughout the yard, or for those content to meander the space, admiring the well-manicured garden. A picket fence nearly hidden by twisting, nimble vines separated the courtyard from the sidewalk, though all were welcome to stop and enjoy the garden- even if they did not seek the Floracle's business within. Another swinging door connected the courtyard to the shop; the entire lot was arranged in a roughly square 2x2 grid so that the courtyard was directly adjacent to the main shop. Valentine busied herself in offering pastries and coffee to incoming guests (the food had been catered from a local bakery, though Val wanted to incorporate a full-on coffee shop at some point in the future). Patrons were often surprised at her habit of suggesting just the right flower for their situation, and the shop soon swelled in warm emotions and wonderful smiles. Caspian stood at the apothecary's counter, offering his advice (even when unwarranted) to customers who sought something stronger than flowers. His advice was good, and his manner was friendly, though the young scholar had a habit of excitedly spouting information at even the slightest prompting. A simple spell handled the packaging of ingredients and charms, leaving Caspian free to peruse the shelves at his leisure. As the activity began to pick up, Valentine took a moment to gather her thoughts and gaze around the shop, inhaling the scent of her home with a slight smile on her face. A new chapter in their lives had begun.
  16. Piperpie

    Little House in the Mountains

    The air was crisp and clear from the cold night's chill. The moon was full, and the sky spattered with stars. Everything was quiet. Peaceful, even. There lay a small clearing nestled between the trees and the base of the mountains. The ground was a blend between rock and grass, and mostly flat. Over a small canopy of trees beyond this flat ground lie a river, a perfect supply of fish and fresh water. It gurgled quietly, not wanting to break the hush of the night. This place would be perfect. A large wolf, its fur mottled with grey and browns, sat at the edge of the clearing with the mountain to its back. The huge creature would have been nearly invisible to the naked eye, blending in with its environment almost completely, except for its piercing gold eyes that glowed through the shadows. Those eyes took in everything. The sky, the ground, and the trees beyond. She nodded slowly, approvingly. This place is beyond perfect. Ziva rolled off her haunches and onto her paws, her thick claws digging into the clay-like ground below her. She trotted across the clearing. She closed her eyes, focusing on her nose. The air was clear of any stench, she could not smell any markings of one who may have come before her. This place was untouched. Unclaimed. Now it belonged to her. She slowly began making her way around the clearing, rubbing her thick fur against every trunk, and digging her paws into the unmarked earth. The scent glands located between her toes left a satisfying smell on the sparse grass and dirt. Mine. Werewolves were very territorial. Once something was marked as theirs, they would not hesitate to fight to the death for it. Ziva felt this way when she first laid eyes on this clearing. Ziva padded back to where the ground began to incline, and stretched into a laying down position. There wasn't much more she could do under the blanket of the night. The rest of the tasks she would like to do to this land were human chores. Humans slept at night, so those chores would have to wait until morning. Ziva rested her giant head on her paws, and sighed heavily. She always had trouble sleeping at night. She missed the deep sleep that she could always get to when she was human. For now, she was happy with a nice doze. Her eyes were closed but her ears were at attention, flicking and rotating every now and then to check and double check for any unusual sounds while she was in this vulnerable position. Enjoying the cool breeze of the night and the soft wind that tickled her fur, Ziva waited for morning.
  17. Fright Night It was like any other night in the wild and rugged lands of Terrenus. Winds softly whistling through the pines, mist that danced off the rivers and lakes, and the good people of the small city of Tormo were settling down for night. All of the natural beauty of this land was bathed under the milk light of the moon. Everything in the world was simple, it was easy and life was good. Tormo was a rather small city out in the wilds of the continent, more of a large town really. Once an old trading post, it now was a bustling town that lived and harvested the natural splendor of the environment around it. Truly it was a place where people from around the wilds could come and trade, restock on supplies, and as of late the growth and economy of the town had been booming they could settle there. This was due to a lot of the chaos that was Terrenus. Between multiple wars and even the macro level events that currently gripped the continent, a lot of people found that life was still easy going and far removed from most bloodshed that effected the city states and folk. Out here a person could live off the fat of the land and have a peaceful life, and that’s what people did. Truly it was a beautiful and one might dare to say heartwarming feat of human and demi-human kindness and strength that allowed races across the aisle to come together and do their best as one. Tormo was a testament to that and everyone for the most part was happy. But before you get the idea that this is a happy and uplifting story into your mind. It’s not. People often forgot the trade for living such a nice and comfortable life in the wild. There were monsters. Eyes. Deep blood red crimson eyes opened and shined through the evergreen tree line’s darkness. Not just a single set, but what seemed to be hundreds that all gleamed much like a predator stalking its prey in the dead of night. All of them stared down at the large town and in the center of it all, standing tall among the others were a pair of mad and deranged eyes and beneath it a illuminated Cheshire grin of glistening white fangs spread across what was without a doubt a horrific face that was hidden by the shadows of the forest. Darkness had gathered here, and they were ready to make their first move. ”Everyone knows the plan.” The deep baritone of the villain’s voice radiated outwards in a soft reminder to those around him to call them to arms. There was no speech, no fist pumping, or impenetrable shield wall with iron and fists clanging against it as their leader let out a booming war cry. No, none of that happened. The voice commanded and inspired fear, courage, and bloodlust beyond most’s wildest dreams with three simple words. ”Kill them all.” And just like that, the order was given. Howls. Beast like and filled with the most furious pitches of anger and rage broke the stillness of the calm night air. Women and children stirred from their beds, guards began to clammor from a lazy and half assed excuse of a fire watch. But it was too late. Like a swarm of ants to the life giving carcass of an fallen animal, from each side they rushed. Goblins traveling to near every side of the wall, joining them was the occasional massive Bugbear standing at around six to seven feet tall. They had easily crossed the distance with the town guard still scurrying to mount a pathetic defense. Surging and crawling up the wooden walls of the city, dozens of goblins had crossed the threshold into Tormo and were within its walls with more on their way every moment. They carried with them torches, blades, and brought death and destruction to those unlucky enough to cross their path. The attack had begun. ”Team A, prepare yourself. Let the goblins mold into the city before we make our move. Let it burn.” It was almost time to make the plots and plans of this group of scum and villainy a reality. ((Mood music))
  18. Old Man Jean

    Alam Airfield [Hub]

    A small private airstrip and hangar located in Zaharadia, Terrenus; a small farming village two hundred miles south of Selemath. It is the home of Gaim Alam and is directly adjacent to his mother's residence, a large single story ranch encompassing hundreds of acres. The Alam Airfield is a private air strip which can accommodate small to medium sized aircraft on it's paved runway but has no provision for storage outside of the occupied hangar which doubles as a small apartment for Gaim. It is the headquarters of 'Old Soul Privateer', a single man mercenary combat wing of which Gaim is the pilot and mechanic. Gaim is home quite often, generally only gone from the location when out on a job.
  19. Csl

    Gestalt

    I There was something deeply wrong with Cassandra . She’d always been a quiet one. As far as Madrias knew, he was her only close friend among the crowds of students that called the Academy home. Not that she was antisocial, no; Cassandra didn’t mind talking to people- many a visitor to the island had been met with her gentle questions, inquiries about where they’d come from, where they’d been, the nature of things. It was simply that Cassandra mostly kept to herself, nose often buried in a book, gaze often distant or fixated on some object or individual near or far. When she was with him, though, her silence lifted, and she’d regale him with stories about the realms of magic, the planes of existence, philosophical questions about reality, the universe, the cosmos. She’d tell of her theories about aquatic blots or the identity of the War Fox, the genius loci, and the systems of magic that existed across the planet. There were times when she’d seem to disappear, and he’d be unable to find her in the classes they shared. Eventually, though, she’d always pop up, ready with another story or theory about this species of dragon or that weather phenomena. Lately, she seemed to be avoiding him. She’d always been ghostlike, in a way. Wispy black hair and a pale complexion, paired with that graceful, fluid way of moving, never-faltering in her gait This had been particularly true since last week when she’d come to class wearing that shawl over her eyes. He’d asked why; she’d said her eyes hurt. He’d told her to go to the infirmary; she had, and sightings of her since then were scarce. The last time he’d seen her, she’d been moving at a fast, nervous walk, a shawl shrouding her eyes. Madrias leaned on his quarterstaff, sighing. As part of campus security, he’d been stationed near the catacombs today. Relatively boring work- nothing notable had come up since that undead uprising some years ago, but occasionally troublemakers would come this way to... well... stir up some trouble. There were three of them stationed around the entrance of the flooded depths, the obelisk rising high behind the three men. Madrias let his gaze drift, still worried about his friend. Cassandra had come from a relatively well-off family, though he knew little of them. On that topic, she spoke little of.
  20. Moth

    Winds of change.

    “This is your first venture alone, little one.” The deep, calm baritone of her father’s voice echoed in the empty meeting hall. For once, she was thankful the diplomats and politicians had been shuffled out. It was rare she had time alone with him, and before such an exciting—and frightening prospect before her she was grateful she was granted the opportunity. “Yes it will be. Was there anything else you need to tell me? There wasn’t a change in plans was there?” The man chuckled at the question, shaking his head gently at her polite tone and professional questions. He lifted himself from his throne of gold and sparkling rubies, stepping down the short stairs that separated them. She took her duties seriously, and that was expected of her and he always praised her for that. But for right now, the Warlord wanted nothing more than to simply embrace his only child. So, he did. Well-muscled arms reached out only to scoop the lithe girl in his strong embrace. Initially, her muscles tensed in surprise. She knew he loved him, but there was little physical affection between them. Soon, the embrace was returned and she squeezed the man tightly in return. They remained this way, only for a few seconds tbefore he released his hold. “You will come home to me and hopefully with new ways for us and our people to prosper. You have not failed us yet.” His words of comfort came with a light pat to her back and a gentle kiss on the top of her head. “Your guide is waiting. Do not disappoint me little one, or do not come home. “ Great. No pressure. She was still unsure how she felt about the man charged with her care. A Yokai? She was fairly certain that was the word she had been looking for. Large, bat ears sat upon his ears to match the large leathery wings that sprouted from his back. He looked close to mortal, but those bestial features made it obvious that they were not. She didn't know much about him, he had shown up at their gates many years ago. His kind was new to their lands, but his friendly demeanor and quick wit quickly one their court and her father over. Not to say that the man wasn't intelligent, he had many stories of places had been, but there was always one he spoke of the most. Taurus. Never first hand accounts, always stories passed from companion to companion. He knew enough to get her there, she had an idea of those she need to speak too and he even was willing to foot the bill himself. Her father would of course compensate him. Their lands were overflowing with precious metals and gems, many of which they used for the alchemist creations that made the oasis famous. He said he would be cold, but she hadn't been prepared for how cold it would be. When she stepped from the gate from their home to this new land, she was hit with a chilling rush. Her hands reached to cross over her chest and clutch at her arms in surprise. The silks and gauze that draped her figure were no match for these chilly winds. "I told you to dress warm." He chided as the gate snapped shut at their backs. A frown set upon her face, her head whipping around to stare at the tan man and his teasing smile. "I did dress warm, Lukas. How do people live here, this is awful." Lukas laughed at her complaints, the girl would be fine but she certainly would not be comfortable. "Once we get to the city, we can get you warmer. I am not sure any place here will be hot enough for your liking though, Madame Noya. " Her nose wrinkled at the title, "Noya. Madame makes me sound so... old. " "-- Then how about Princess, that is likely more accurate isn't it?" Her eyes rolled at the Bat demon, who chuffed softly at her dismay. " We'll go with Miss Noya then. Before we leave, your father asked me to give you something." Lukas stepped closer to the girl as he pulled a small satchel from his pocket from which he pulled a wide, golden bangle. "I've been told that you take great pride in the way you look. So I feel I must apologize for its effects. However, your father insists. " She took the bangle tenderly, taking a moment to inspect the item. The well polished, golden surface held no markings and was broken only by the few large ruby settings it had. She raised an eyebrow in confusion, effects? It wasn't until she peeked along the inside of the bangle did she notice the inscriptions. Old, very, very old. She took her time quietly attempting to decipher them, and Lukas allowed her the time to do it. "Illusion?" "You'll see, please put it on so we may continue. " She pulled her gaze over to the man before finally slipping the bangle over her wrist. Now she understood what he meant. Her skin paled to a soft blue, traditional tattoos twisting over her skin where there have never been any. Dark, shifting hair now snow white and the heavy smell of ozone lingering in her presence. Her clothing changed, but only in color. The rich yellows and oranges she wore now softening to gentle blues and grays of the air district. Fascinating. "He's paranoid, that old man of mine." "He is, however we have no time to dawdle. We are already behind, so please, follow me. " The thick, leathery wings on his back flapped and the man took a short, running start before he took off. She was not long behind him, she took a small run and then jumped knowing the winds would catch her fall. Even with the added weight of her documents, the winds held her aloft as they always did. To Taurus and to hopefully a peaceful welcome.
  21. Two men walked into a somewhat upscale bar in Brooklyn, New York. One of them had thought he was seeking audience with a friend. Contacting someone that he could trust in the event that he to come back here, and needed anything. For the most part that was true, but the other had developed an Agenda, and circumstances since that promise was spoken had changed drastically. Man who promised the other, was a far cry from himself, and even further removed from previously stated obligations and directives. A man meeting a friend, instead met with Betrayal, and that Upscale Brooklyn bar had become the stage in which a scene unfolds and escalates, involving a S.H.I.E.L.D grab team, and one lone Superhuman Operative who functioned at street level in this same area. A very well known Man, African American, stout, bald and experienced with quite the reputation in these parts as one of the greatest Hero's of his time. S.H.I.E.L.D currently employs this man under the enhanced Superhuman Imperative, tasking him as an agent for their cause in regulating and policing superhuman/Inhuman activity. Unfortunately for S.H.I.E.L.D and New Avenger Luke Cage, their current objective was no light catch, and wouldn't be so easily subdued. THOOOOOM!!!!!!! The south side wall of this establishment would be blown open as Luke's body passed through it and slammed into a Parked Bmw 528xi, the latter hit with enough force to slide across the street, roll onto driver side and slam into the south side wall of the establishment across the street, pinning Cage beneath the car and buildings debris. Clearly whoever, or whatever he was fighting was batting high above his average, and whomever was in fact Protues Rauz, in M-Body/Avatar form, stepping free through the gathered dust veil and out into the street, Clad in street clothes, a simple set of boots, jeans, t shirt and leather jacket, loosely fitted to his 12' Hulking frame. [GT-1 Leader]"This guy put Cage through a fucking wall he is out, Any other assets in the area? What's the status on The Avengers, Overwatch. Wait....we have visual, it's-----" The BMW had rustled some and had been rolled and free'd from his back while Cage emerged from the debris, jostled, and rubbing his jaw. "Cancel that ETA, I got this guy..." A females voice of authority quickly quipped back, "The last time he was here he put down Thor, Banner and Wonder Man back to back, Im not looking for a Martyr. Cage wait for help" Guys got experience. Guys got ego and a sense of honor about him. It drives him and compels him in full sprint back across the street, dead center where he'd lead in with an over-hand right that misses by a mile, in part because of Bull's height advantage. Cage's punch is slipped, and next thing he knows he's got knuckles harder then all get out burying into his right row of ribs, breaking them. Cage sucked in air, winces, His SKINS invulnerable his musculature? Only enhanced. So the pain is real, and his right elbow comes down to cradle those powdered ribs before he's struck right side at his exposed lower jaw, jostled, left, and from that left side another brutal right cross, precedes the fist crashing into his solar plexus, again, with his right knee, again with his left knee---Cages Feet never reaching the ground when he was lifted from the first, and finished with right uppercut that tripples down on the same spot that had been hit twice, previously. His attacker relented... And Cage dropped to his knee's and spat to the ground the contents of his stomach which was mostly Blood, stomach acids and maybe, just maybe....beer. Cage had been downed. Hard, and Coup De Gras'd with a downward overhand right that buried Cage's entire head into the spitting street beneath it, and jostled buildings and cars for a full 1/4 of a square mile. In his finality, Proteus' eyes had locked with the Grab Team Leaders, before Proteus commanded, "I want to speak to Danvers! I didn't come here for this!"..
  22. KittyvonCupcake

    Book|Ends [Hub]

    Book|Ends OVERVIEW Whether you are searching for a novel on the Daily Weekly bestseller list, an original handwritten account of a half-mad ancient prophetess, or an enchanted tome that grants its owners the power of spontaneous levitation, Book|Ends is here for all of your literary needs. Currently located in the Northeastern part of Ashville, this multileveled building resembles what would happen if an architect fond of columns smashed a historical university’s snobbish library and a museum with a lot of stairs together and then filled it to the brim with books. A set of massive double doors, crafted of heavy wood imported from the Dark Forest, leads one into the Main Room. It is an expansive area, noted for its patterned marble tile and the wooden bookcases that stretch along the walls. Natural lighting pours through skylights and large windows, which have been enchanted to filter out harmful rays that may cause any damage to the texts on display. A fountain, minimalistic and elegant in design, is situated before the collection of shelves containing fictional works. Two desks for customer service are built against the walls on either side of the fountain, as fitting with the symmetrical theme of the store’s architectural structure. Employees at these desks conduct purchases, appraise mundane books for sales and returns, and contact other associates for special requests. Displays advertising suggested literature can be found atop small tables flanking the rows of main level shelves. Off of the Main Room are quieter reading areas, noted for their selection of comfortable seating. The reading areas are decorated with a more bohemian flair. Plush rugs from the Arcane East line the floors and various works of art, ranging from Classical period oil paintings to contemporary prints, can be found clinging to the wall spaces not overtaken by shelves. Rarer works of literature can be found in these separate rooms. A private office is situated in the back right-hand corner of the store. The door is rarely noticed upon first glance, as it is crafted from the same dark stained wood as the bookshelves and seems to exude an aura that wards off potential visitors. “Mister Draug Rhavon” is embossed in silver upon the door. It will not disappear no matter how hard the Mister Draug Rhavon in question scrubs and scrapes at it. Another set of double doors, smaller than those that serve as the front entrance, lead out to shaded courtyard full of exotic plant life. A koi pond and seating provide a scenic respite from city life. The Second Level is where one can find nonfiction work. There are two sets of stairs that lead up to the upper floor, as well as an elevator located at the back of the Main Room, near the restrooms. Like the Main Room, wall to ceiling bookshelves are found on this level. Because the upper floor overlooks the lower, it is advised that customers avoid dangling over the balustrades. The fall would be most unpleasant. The Second Level contains the Retrieval Request Desk, a circular structure that mirrors the fountain’s design. Employees manning the Retrieval Request Desk appraise enchanted tomes, scrolls, grimoires, and other forms of text that house magical properties. They also process requests filed for the Retrieval Specialist team and handle payment from clients. This can be done in person or through holo-calls, official directives signed by a notary (or another authority), messenger imp, crystal-powered communication spells, smoke signal, blood sacrifice, or politely worded letters. Six private conference rooms can be found off the main wings of the Second Level, as well as a two rooms dedicated for Tome Translation and Minor Book Repairs, respectively. The cafe, once overrun by arcane-enhanced raccoons, is now fully functioning and provides the best selection of tea south of Blairville. Might I also recommend sampling the mille-feuille? Beneath Book|Ends lies the Basement Level. Closed off to the public and well protected by systems both mystical and technological, the Basement serves as a Storage Facility. This is also where enchanted texts and magical artifacts are brought for safe examination before they are placed on the Book|Ends Catalog. Copies of the Catalog are available at each Help Desk. Individual copies can be delivered to anyone on the Book|Ends Mailing List. If any customer wishes to examine an item housed within the Storage Facility, an associate will bring the requested object to one of the conference rooms upstairs for the customer to inspect in private. The Book|Ends staff would appreciate it if customers could refrain from summoning eldritch beings or becoming possessed by malicious spirits hellbent on earthly destruction. Every written word that passes through these doors is stored within the Book|Ends database. Although it is accessible to associates only, Book|Ends does accept requests for assistance with research for a negotiable fee. If one wishes to conduct their research alone, associates can pick through the database for the best reading materials pertaining to one’s quest for knowledge. All it takes is one simple question. NOTABLE EMPLOYEES Draug Rhavon Ioreth Rhavon Godric Uldwar CURRENT EVENTS As the event’s title suggests, Book|Ends is hosting a weekend long special that invites local craft breweries to sample their wares in store. Poets, authors, research analysts, and the rest of those odd folks keen on slapping words onto paper or other mediums have been granted the opportunity to sign copies of their work, provide readings and lectures, and have their pick at the free food offered in the courtyard. Anyone that spills their drinks will face such harsh censure that they may pray for a swift and merciful execution. Live musicians can also be found out in the courtyard. One can only hope that they manage to refrain from awakening the beast that slumbers at the bottom of the pond. Ioreth Rhavon, Head Retrieval Agent, named it Stephen. She likes to feed it grapes. REQUEST LOG To Be Announced FLYERS Want to advertise your own business, event, organization, or enterprising character? Shoot me a PM and we can showcase it here. (Contact @LastLight for all your blacksmith-y needs.)
  23. Scapechild

    The Obsidian Dragon. (Chapter 1)

    OOC: Read the Prologue here! This is a combination of myself and @Aleksei written within the tavern of legend. Scapechild slowly entered the inn, trying his best to ignore the searing pain that still resided in his lower back. A small breeze amidst the frosty air was all that could be heard. He looked around at the dusty, worn-down, wooden lobby. A few benches for meal time and a small counter to check in at. The odd part was the lack of people. There were no patrons, no beggars, nor was there even a host to greet him. Scape held his scabbard firm, ready to draw his sword if need be. Yet still, there was nothing. "Hello?" His voice was surely loud enough to be heard by anyone that might be here. "I'm seeking a room and a meal. Is there anyone here that can help me?" Still there was no answer. An uneasy feeling crept its way to the back of his neck. Scapechild went back outside. Here too, the small mountain town was empty. There was no one in the small road that passed through the whole town. No children in the streets, no women cleaning clothes, no merchants selling wares. This town seemed utterly empty and yet... Scapechild noticed something quite odd. Down the road was a small building with a makeshift forge attached. This was surely the town blacksmith. The forge held embers as if recently lit. Drawing his sword, Scape made his way down the road towards the forge. He did not like the feeling he got from this place - the hairs on his arms began to raise. Reaching the furnace, he looked inside. Sure enough the embers were fresh. They began to glow brighter, a curious phenomenon. Then a great blast of smoke and ash burst forth, sending Scape flying a few feet back. He scrambled to his feet, picking up the sword he had dropped. In front of him stood a humanoid creature made entire of ash and soot. Every movement of this creature seemed to crack invisible bones. "What the fuck are you?" The creature screamed at him; high pitched, agonizing, and utterly terrifying, the scream seemed to penetrate a person to their very core. Scapechild ran forward and thrust his sword into the creature's chest. It looked at him through the glowing holes that should be eyes. The creature swung its arm, only to be narrowly avoided as Scapechild removed his sword and backed up. Putting space between him and that creature was the plan he could think of at the moment. The creature was not deterred. It began to lurch forward. Each step a crackling and forced mess that would make even the sturdiest of men cringe. Two more swings of his sword - one across the chest, the other through the face, cheek to cheek - with no affect on the creature. Once more Scapechild put distance between the two of them, not allowing the creature a chance to attack. He had only two options left. He could run, or use the ace in his sleeve. Scapechild looked down at his left hand, covered by fingerless gloves. A small glowing glyph began to appear. He thrust his hand towards the creature. "Zephyr!" He called out. A translucent blue wave burst forth from his hand. The force of the wave was enough to cause the creature to take a step back. As well, the black ash of the creature was blown back into a thick cloud, leaving a humanoid shape of ember left standing there. Before there was even a chance that this creature could recover from such an attack, Scapechild made his move. Three more blows from his sword. The creature's right arm cut off, the left leg cut, to drop the creature to one knee, and then he turned the blade around and plunged it through the creatures head. In an instant the creature dropped to a pile of ash and soot. Another high pitched scream shook the air. Scapechild turned to find five more of these creatures walking down the road. That spell that Scapechild had cast, was not something he could do again anytime soon....
  24. Scapechild

    Chronicles of Adven

    OOC: Hello and welcome to the beginning of the Chronicles of Adven! This is to be a very long and glorious adventure for those of you who wish to join. It shall be open for only around 3-5 people at first, and once things have been fully established and rolling, I am certain that I shall open up to even more people. That being said, there are a few things that need to be established. 1. Replies are to be at least once per day unless something comes up, with which I ask that someone is notified so we know. (not gonna freak out though if you miss a day) 2. All characters created must be UNDERPOWERED in the world, unless otherwise discussed with me. This adventure will be broken the moment one of our characters begins blowing up mountains with a wave of their hands. 3. No future tech. i.e. Guns, lasers, etc. If you aren't sure if something will fit, please don't hesitate to ask me. I am actually quite lenient as long as I can fit it into the ever expanding lore. 4. Have fun! Follow the Valucre rules. No god posts. and discuss with the owner of the character what you wish to do with that character before you post it. an easy way would be to send them a draft of what you envision in a PM. that way they can look it over and approve or say what would be different in a circumstance. The flames crackled casting a dim light amidst the cave. There was a piercing cold in the air that even the fire could not cure. A group of adventurers gathered around in an attempt to survive this accursed place. None of the adventurers spoke to each other. While most were strangers it was, in fact, the ominous feeling of this cave that permeated their very cores which made them silent. They all feared they would not make it out alive. An older man, dressed in leathers, with 2 daggers attached at the small of his back and a bow slung over his shoulder came from one of the tunnels. His torch cast a light upon his face which made him seem a monster - his scar emphasized in the dancing light. "I have found the path we seek. Be ready men, it will not be long before we leave." The man, Balthazaar, walked towards his pack, sitting against the wall, and pulled out a small piece of bread. Years of battle were etched into the wrinkles upon his face. Tired though he was, he had this one last hunt to do. A large round man, whom may have been as old as the archer, yet still seemed a bit younger, walked towards Balthazaar. The man wore little more than some robes, with a pouch and book hung on his waste. The man was completely bald and while a youthful jolliness could be felt from him, his face still had the look of a crazy man. "I think you should tell them the truth." The man said. His voice was high pitched and raspy as though his whole throat had been burned from the inside. "Most of them are young. We have had our fill of this world, but they have much to behold still." Balthazaar looked at the man with anger and disgust. "I do not like you mage. You are here because we need you. Speak nothing to these boys." Balthazaar spat on the ground next to himself, almost as if to say even calling them boys was an insult in his eyes. " They will be the heroes they so desperately crave to be in the end of this." "Should they survive," the mage chided in. "That is why I brought you, mage. Do not forget it." The mage, flustered, turned back towards the fire and rejoined the others. To his right sat a man, no more than 26, dressed in armor from head to toe. The man leaned forward onto his longsword gazing into the fire while his mind took him back to his family. A wife. A newborn daughter. They await him when he returns. He, like everyone else, knew this mission was dangerous. The fear of never returning haunted him like a plague. "What is your name?" The mage asked, jolting the man from his memories. "I am Arterius. And you?" The man replied. "Moden. A strange name, I know. It comes from the southern kingdom of Naaldigrad." No more was spoke of the two after that. The ominous presence of the cave returning. Balthazaar stood a few moments later, determination set upon his face. "It is time." And with that, the campfire was put out, the adventurers grabbed their torches and bags, and began their way down the tunnel deeper into the cave.
  25. Standing outside of the Tavern of Legends was the man who most patrons had come to know as Dredge. The towering and ruthless killer of men. In the previous month that had followed his last appearance, Dredge had shown his face in the tavern and killed a man who drew his sword at him. Without hesitation or even the slightest hint of remorse, Dredge had taken a life and it was clear to everyone in the bar at the time was that he had loved every second of it. So when Dredge took his first step, men cleared and gave way to his destination. They dared not stand in front of them. Reaching the fine oak of the tavern, Dredge entered with little care. Crossing the threshold into the tavern, all had gone silent. Pleasant chatter ceased and men looked stared down at their drinks in the hope that they would not become his next victim. With the still air now punctuating his footsteps, the sound of iron and muscle hitting the decks of the tavern were the only noises made. Step by step he came to the counter and placed another piece of paper at its desk. He was here for his task, and soon he would have his prize. Previously while here, he had heard Levhea talking to the bartender about the infestation of giant spiders in the attic. He had come here to dispose of them. So looking towards the bartender he pointed up to signal where he was going. "In the back. Take the stairway up to the attic." The bartender said with a bit of fear in his voice. Without so much of a word, Dredge proceeded to the stairs that would lead up to the attic. In a matter of moments the man arrived and began to ascend up the stairs. Each creaked and moaned under his weight, but soon he had made his way to the attic and entered the dusty and maze like structure of the building. Soon all would know just what he was capable of. Soon they would know the fear of his name. Dredge was here to burn it all to the ground. It would all begin in this attic. They would know pain and loss.
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