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  1. [Okay so I've decided that I'll post here to try and get used to this format of RP, so for convenience, here's some context! Yes, in Varhac's profile I did say he was born and raised in Valucre, and I think that'll still hold true, BUT since I'm bringing him in from another pre-established canon, I'm deciding that his life in Valucre is like, another life? He was reincarnated into it basically. Vargon is a planet my partner Rei made, and in his original canon, Varhac is from its sister planet Kordonor (also made by Rei but then handed off to me for development). Mentions of these planets, as well as of his family members and partner Nasir, are all memories of his past life. They will fade entirely before he enters Valucre and starts his new life. For simplicity's sake, his Valucre backstory is basically the same as his original canon one but now in a different setting. However, his sister and Nasir will not be in Valucre unless my partner has the energy to join and use them, as those two are their characters and not mine. I think that's all the explanation done! Sorry about that! Thank you for reading!] Varhac isn't sure how he got here, exactly. Whether he's asleep or dead, he couldn't tell you. He hopes his sister and grandfather are alright, though. And Nasir. His tail swishes anxiously as he pulls the tavern door open, figuring there's not much else for him to do but head forward. He's not sure why the warmth and the scale of the place take him by surprise. He's seen plenty of similar wonders on Vargon. Or... He's pretty sure he is, at least. It's been kind of tough to think clearly, and getting harder the closer he gets to the next world. The young man shakes his head. No, of course he remembers Vargon's insane technology. And he remembers the cabin, the forest, and the one before that, and Kordonor and the spaceship he stole away on... Sure, it sounds a lot like a dream now that he thinks about it, but- Ah, there are more pressing matters at hand right now. He enters the tavern. The sights, sounds, and smell are a bit overwhelming, and he does his best to sulk his way into some shadows. Thank the gods the nearby corner table is empty. To any onlookers, he no doubt looks very uncomfortable and clearly unsure of what he's doing, but he's unaware, and mentally congratulates himself for his quick thinking. I'll just... pretend to be a patron waiting for an order until I figure out what to do. Dammit, why'd there have to be so many people... he laments. The lynx ears on the top of his head swivel back and forth, and he keeps his head low as he listens to everything going on around him. Varhac is grateful at times like these for his difficulty blocking out this kind of noise. Though, it would be nice if every clink of glass and sharp laugh of a stranger didn't startle him and cut through his brain like the sound was something solid.
  2. Jasper-Aria, Hub of Val Cruxis Val Cruxis, Athentha 300 Days before the Revival of Azura-Dusk Tuesday, 12:00PM. Ferghas sighed as he stood there. He wasn't annoyed just disappointed that things had gotten this bad. Especially since the elder and Rin failed it from time to time. He eyed the Crowned Hearth with distrust because of everything she had done. Seldeth had broken free of the Black Heart Mirror but some effects had remained. And though she wanted to repent for her misgivings at the same time, the elf was not the same girl that started out in Platinum-Neptune. Ferghas wasn't the same either from his ordeal. But he decided to meet with Seldeth to help plan a course of action to combat Azura-Dusk should she awaken. And the two now reconvined in the Rising Moon Inn. Along with another head figure, Rin. The half-breed had put her transgressions and past mistakes behind her to tackle the bigger threat at hand. Ferghas looked at both women and shook his head, this was going to be harder than he thought. I don't think this plan is going to work at all. Seeing Esben has corrupted both the emberheart and cloverheart, that we might be in trouble. Ferghas replied as he looked down at the map. His right finger pointed at the small city of Aria-Malachite. I mean I don't even think the Zweifer Malachite-Topaz Cloverheart Sword and shield still resides there. It has to be there. Kogal wrote down the location of the three Zweifer Cloverheart items that haven't been corrupted. And that was one of them. Rin replied as she sighed softly. So that's where we are going Ferghas. We can sort our personal issues out along the way. Rin's right. Seldeth piped up. If we wait we'll never be able to conquer the ones that continue to serve Azura-Dusk. And we'll be outnumbered. Ferghas, pleaze trust us for once. Ferghas grunted as he stood, rolling up the map. Rin was glad someone was around to read the maps, since she was terrible at that. She then knew they'd have to take the train, which she didn't have a problem with. The three then gathered their meager belongings and headed out to the train station. None spoke. Well for a moment before Rin shook her head. Hm half-breed? I forgot to mention that Vex will meet us in Aria-Malachite. He wants to do this to make up for his transgressions. I allowed him to accompany us once we get there. I hope it's not an issue. The two nodded as they boarded the train and sat in the carriage part of it. Neither voiced their complaints and things seemed to be quiet for the moment. Which they didn't mind at all right now.
  3. The Underdepths of Ebony-Yahera, Border of Absolon and Ebony-Yahera Athentha 31 Days Before Azura-Dusk's Awakening Outside Val Roux Tuesday, 1:00P.M Rin shook her head as she stood in the underdepths tunnel like pathways. It seemed it was inevitable that the elf maiden--no, monster known as Azura-Dusk would make her return soon. Hiding out wouldn't save the half-breed any longer nor did it suit her but she did it on behalf of Sayndar and his so-called resistance. The resistance that had decided to vanish as the rumors came more and more true. The half-breed knew one option she could use against Azura-Dusk, it was the old weapons of Absolon Athentha. It was made of red clover seeds, black azura clover seeds and uncorrupted cloverheart. It was called Malachite-Topaz Maelstrom. A spear and sword set. Of course Rin had no idea where it was located. The old maps said the Malachite-Topaz temple, the new ones saying Farenheit-Abalone. She wished Seldeth was here, she could help with locating this. Sighing, the half-breed made her way down the tunnel, a hand grabbed her shoulder twirling her around. Rin slapped the figure in the cheek. At least it wasn't your oar. Sayndar sputtered as he rubbed his bruised cheek. Though I'd rather it was seeing you hit harder without it. Find the weapons yet? Or have you been standing here all this time? Real cute. Rin spat as she rubbed her head, chuckling a bit. But no, seeing you know more about these tunnels than I. And these maps are conflicting at best. Sayndar, do you really think they're revive Azura-Dusk? I mean, who'd be that-- Rin, you really need to learn about Athentha and its people. If what the rumors are saying, it's that blasted elf behind it. Seeing no-one can bloody catch him. But what worries me besides you, is Azura-Dawn has been missing for a few weeks. Sayndar replied as they continued walking down the tunnel towards the exit near Absolon. And if she spills your location, then we'll have more problems than we already do now. She wouldn't tell. Azura-Dawn knows that we cannot allow her twin into the world. I took over ruiling Athentha for its best interest. Though, I've not done my best, it's better than her. Rin said as she stopped then. Azura-Dusk will turn these people into monstrous elves of their greatest vile notions. Their degeneracy, their hatred, their--their greatest sins. Corrupted by the black azura clover seeds, they won't be the same. Sayndar rubbed his temples as he stood there. Something worse than Rin, he couldn't fathom it. Of course dealing with her would have to wait now, as he looked up at the half-breed. Vex would meet them at the train station so they could plot where to look for the Malachite-Topaz Maelstrom. Outside the tunnel now, the half-breed looked at the man, her personal rival, would be the best to protect her. Annoying more than usual if you ask me. Even more than you. And even though I despise being near you, I need to make sure Azura-Dusk isn't brought back. Sayndar muttered as he looked at her. I wouldn't put it past a tourist comes and revives her at this point. Let's go, Vex is waiting for us at the train station. Rin nodded. And so they began to walk down the cobblestone street to the trains. She hoped this would go without a problem.
  4. Location: In the coast of a U-SHAPED ISLAND in the south. A sun beamed over the mountains, blue skies with feathery clouds hovered above the heavens. Folkstown was a small little city yet prosperous and filled with wonders. The people gave off vibes of happiness; it was so free , democratic with potential of growth and succsess. Folkstown is not just the capital of the nation; it's where the dreams of the people come true. Nobody ever starved as food was quite abundant in reasonable prices. People who owned their houses had their own personal farming area where they could eat themselves full. The highest majority of the people were educated which resulted in them in able to read and write. Clothes were hanged above the streets with a few pieces of ripped cloth to represent their nation while the clothes were just drying. People could also specialise themselves into jobs but also into being a politican. Litarature was common around here as there were bookstores where people could buy litarature or read it for free as long as they are inside the library and are not to plan to permamently own it. Schools were also common where the children's future mattered the most and everyone was able to form their own opinions. Far away from nobility or even monarchies in general, it was a free nation with it's people strong and ready. This nation is very small, it was smaller then the island with the size of a town of 10 000 people. Thanks to the compotent leader of Agana, Nesy Celvius who is an extrea terrestrial being who came from an other world beyond theirs. The nation is a social democracy where capitalism is regulated with a social safety net and wants to acheive solidaristic and Egalitarian outcomes. There were workers unions in order to make sure the workers have a say in the economy. This yet tiny, but great nation had farms in the outskirts of the town where they could harvest plants, even from the trees and bushes they set up as farms. People who were specialised with farming had wages that equaled to their labour. Let's say, workers and company owners were happy and that there was no issue yet. Healthcare was free as well and the labourers in that healthcare were publicaly and collectivly owned by the workers, including all schools that were owned by the workers. Private instututions existed in other sectors so while subsidies were present for such means of production. The perfect balance between public and private institutions they say... Many people were politicaly engaged as their main conversations were about liturature or what food they ate but also about politics and other components in the system, they were quite invested into their ideology. Communists and Socialists existed as well which still didn't favour the government but was atleast going in the right direction. Fascists were just a tiny puni bit of the entire population. Hah, must be a shame because fascists are deemed idiots in this town including imperalists but people understood they had to move on at some point. However, people still respected eachothers opinions while communists were not getting into fights as reasoning between the two sides seems to be adequetly okay with socialists as well but anarchists were pretty bummed but still co-existed peacefuly. Despite having different opinions, people were still friends while making political satire out of eachother. Ohhh it is just too funny, isn't it! The alien, Nesy Celvius walked around in town with people who greeted him on all sides. Some people gave him gifts to which he replied: "Hey, keep the food to yourself mate hehe... Your children might go hungry." Man sometimes there's too much food but he couldn't blame the town! He was the governer of this nation and many people liked him for what he has transformed this nation, including the communists. A person came out of the building and yelled, "Nesy has 315 seats! Wooohooo! Dominate the parliment my good sir!" While a few people cheered him on and Nesy's reaction was hysterical. The people surely loved him but there were a few people who absoloutly hated him, but that's how life was and Nesy had to accept it anyway.
  5. 21, August 1678AY Jacques Azura-Risa, Hub of Malachite-Topaz. Rowan Tuesday, 2:00P.M The rain had finally stopped failing as the cloaked figure made their way into the city of Malachite-Topaz. The events that had occurred in a cave days ago stirred whispers of the emberheart awakening again. And that was worrying, since the people of Rowan didn't experience the problems of Athentha and Talia. But here, here in Rowan something was starting. Something bad. Atlas remained under her cloak, trying to figure out if Azura-Dawn was alright. She had not gotten word back from her in days since she went looking for one of the emberheart swords. Atlas was cursing herself for allowing her cloverheart to be tainted and corrupted. And she wanted to make things right. Atlas stood there then, her golden yellow eyes looking about for Azura-Dawn. Where are you my friend? Atlas thought to herself finding a bench to sit upon. I do hope you didn't fall to the emberheart. Atlas sighed softly. Rowan was awakening again yet into an age of uncertainty that the young elf was afraid of. Azura-Dawn was needed in attempt to keep things at peaceful resolution.
  6. A half-submerged mound of amber has been discovered deep in the Wetlands. Peering into the golden rock reveals unnerving shadows trapped within. The Taen Exploration Committee is paying adventurers willing to unearth the amber secrets. A blissful day for a walk. Daemon, with his katana at his side, dresser in his usual back T-shirt, black pants, black jacket and black sneakers, wonders about on an unknown path. He has a small twig in between his lips, as he throws his legs infront of him in a carefree manner. "Wheeew!!! What a day." He exclaimed, as he walked on. "I need something exciting." He added, putting his hands behind him. Something bright appeared infront of him. A portal of some sorts. It was bright and glowing with energy. "I wonder what that is." Never seen a portal before, Daemon curiously walked toward the glowing light and decided to go through. "Well, what's the worst that could happen." He said to himself as he walked through. whooshhhhh!!!! Daemon falls through. Appearing on the other side, he sees miles and miles upon woods. It was dark, and only the sound of strange creatures, creatures he had never heard before, could be heard. "Where am I?" He asked himself scratching his head. After walking for about 10 minutes, he realized he was at the edge of the forest. Then finally a familiar sound fluttered into his ears. A horses. Walking towards the man on the horse, he inquires. "Say sir, where am I?" "And who might you be young man, and what are you doing out here at this time. You should know better!" The man replied. Not having answered Daemon's question, "come quick, it will soon be dark." Daemon reluctantly followed the man. Soon they reached town.
  7. After the madness of the incident, a term that would forever encapsulate the events at Club Tablillas and the bloodshed therein, the Outsider had a single, pervasive thought: home. It drove him, much how fury and spite had driven him to the excess of violence that made an abattoir of a nightclub and a murderer out of a sage. He wanted to go home, where the heart and peace could be found, knowing in the deepest of ways that he needed both to overcome the turbulence of his thoughts and the memories of his deeds. So it was that, after he was sure beyond a shadow of a doubt beloved was safe, he fled through means that were both esoteric and profound. Home, his innermost wish was. I want to go home. And he did go home, that terrible fiend and ubiquitous monster. He returned home, though home had never been the Black City or any of the other innumerable haunts he frequented throughout the years. It was sandy shores, warm weather and white, white rooms of marble and sheets and a golden-eyed girl-child. The veil behind corporeality lifted and a monster in the trappings of a man stepped through, sure of step if not of intent, with naked blade drawn. Then the veil descended again, a shimmer and rustle in the fabric of space and time, and the beast was alone in the castle's gardens. The briefly disturbed cicadas, moved to silence by the new and engaging presence of the Outsider, took up their singing again, as did the myriad of other insects that populated this lush and vibrant place. Their voices reached him from a great distance, faint through the coppery euphoria of absolute anger. Rage this deep left its taste on the tongue. Something not far from fear or ecstasy, but sweeter than both. He turned, but for a moment he couldn't see until he wiped the blood from his eyes. Hræðilegr was in his other hand, it's bright, burning edge sizzling away the remnants of gore and vitae that had frozen fast to the weapon during his travel through the realm between realms. He looked at it, looked at his bloody fist wrapped around the lathed hilt, looked away. The Outsider's sigh released the last of his clinging fury, and Hræðilegr slowly, inevitably grew cooler, its incessant whining for a return to bloodletting diminishing. The metal pinged, the super-heated edges and flat, cherry red all through the night of slaughter, dimming. He waited until its heat was no more than a draft up his wrist before he traversed the gardens, seeking as he ever did the fountain of his - their - youth. This was his home, whether he wished to admit to himself or not, and there was no more peaceful place on this planet for him than here. He also knew it better than the halls of his own estate. Every path, every tree, every stone and brook, all of these things were indelibly etched on the stone of his mind, so very easily recalled, even in turmoil. And he was in great, great turmoil. Finding the fountain in ruin did not come as a shock. He had seen it in state before, smashed by the hands of the young and temperamental. The only difference between now and then was the overgrowth that surrounded it, weeds and vines threading through splintered stone and mortar. Nature itself threatened to take this first gift back into her bosom, and while this disheartened the fiend, there was no more violence within him tonight to deter such a thing. He hadn't come to reminisce over the broken stones, or lament that he had never taken the time nor initiative to restore it again, as he restored it so long ago. His reasons were pragmatic, seated in the very real need to cleanse himself of both sin and -- he flinched, feeling the stickiness on his skin, on his face and hands and chest and -- he dropped down to his knees and started digging with his free hand. He pulled at stones and roots and vines until, at last, water gurgled and seeped out. He dug more greedily then, until fresh water was slopping across his thighs and turning the ground beneath marshy. With a steady flow pouring out from the ruin, the Outsider grabbed greedy handfuls of the clean water and splashed his face. His hand came away a deep, deep red. He grabbed more water and scrubbed. He kept scrubbing, ribbons of pink running down his face to saturate clothes already dyed by gore, until he felt sane enough to remove Hræðilegr from the death-clutch of his hand. Bending over blade and grasping fingers long since locked and numbed from impact tremors, the Outsider started plucking at his fingers, painfully pulling them from the hilt one by one until it tumbled from his shaking hand. Curling the arm beneath his chest, he grabbed the hilt again with the surer grip of his right and, with outrage, hurled the weapon into some nearby bushes like the refuse it was. Groaning under his breath, Roen rocked forward until his forehead was pressed into the soggy earth, and there he remained, rubbing life and sensation back into his killer's hand. The quiet of the night threatened to lull him into reliving the night's affair, and his mind recoiled. He killed them. Of course he had killed them. Not just the ones that shot and stabbed him, not just those who had ill-intent for beloved and those she called friends and allies, but the men and women and innocents, too. He wanted to call it fury, he wanted to blame it on the rage, and for a moment, the guilt and shame receded. Hræðilegr rose and fell without heed, without care, each of his blows slaying wherever it landed. The fury had been buzzing in the back of his head, his muscles leashed to the lactic burn and purity of violence. Each sensation, each scream and curse and cry was reddened by the delicious justification of honest anger. He screamed with them, the Outsider. He screamed alongside the innocent and guilty alike. His was a wrathful existence, and anger, pure, unfettered anger, it vindicated all of his sins. Nothing was as honest as this, this rage. What release had ever been more worthy and true than this dreadful, depthless anger. He was a father confronting his child's killers. He was a lover defending his family against murderers. He was the judgement of Hell made manifest. In rage, anything and everything was justified. It was the highest state of sentience. With rage came vindication, and with vindication came peace. He had charged through a cannoade of gunfire. Blood bathed his neck and chest, and he remembered with sudden coldness, just for a moment, if his face had been blasted open to the bone. Not that it mattered. Not that anything mattered but violence. The wrath had brought him clarity and, at last, with the spikes of fury buried in the meat of his mind, the Outsider had drifted, dreamt, and remembered. Serenity. Never peace, no never that. But serenity in rage, like the calm at the heart of the storm. Every life that could have been taken in the nightclub, was. He had left none alive, as far as he was aware. If it had breathed, if it had laid eyes on him and beheld the totality of his outrage, he slew it without compunction or hesitation. It was only now, in these gardens, that the weight of his decisions. Because he had enjoyed it. He had enjoyed the killing, had enjoyed the way Hræðilegr felt in his hands as it parted skin and split bodies asunder; he had enjoyed the making of war. And beneath it all, he had enjoyed the sick and sweet smell of fear, and the copper tang of blood, leaking from broken skin. There was purity in the smell - purity and purpose. He had been made for such things, and had spent so many, many years denying it. Reaching for the back of his gore-strewn dinner jacket, Roen pulled the ruined fabric above his head and tossed it aside. Scrabbling, yanking, jerking at his clothes, he pulled off every article of clothing that clung to his body and discarded them in heaps around him until he was nude. Wounds he had taken that had only begun to heal oozed from open rents and puncture marks across his body. With his fingernails, he started digging out bits of metal and wood shrapnel, clawing gouges in his skin to tear them from his dermis and muscles. Frantic, eager, he kept clawing and clawing, raking his skin and grabbing fistfuls of water to wash his nudity of the sins he relished. His hair took the longest of all. He held it in the deepest of disgust, holding his head to the stones and combing out filth and organic matter. Dry heaving, retching, Roen controlled his gorge as it rose and finished the task before moving away, crawling on his hands and knees to the bushes where he had flung Hræðilegr. A tool for slaughter, yes, reviled and hated, certainly, but his. He forced it to wilt beneath his touch, transforming it into the ribbon that ever held his hair bound back from his face. Instead, he wrapped the reduced weapon around his fist and between his fingers. He couldn't stay here, he knew. He needed clothes. He needed to find Gabriela. He needed -- time, the one luxury the world was never eager to give. Moving, a killer walked through the castle's gardens, seeking out the palace proper for rooms he was intimate with but seldom visited. The fiend had clothes here, if memory served. More than memories and sentiment, there were things of pragmatic value to be had here, at home. Tail swaying behind low above the ground, the Outsider did not wander, but moved with purpose. There was much to be done..
  8. Presently only the Main Hub thread is open for posting of new plots. All new visitors are encouraged to post here instead of making a new thread. If posting for a specific quest/plotline, please include the name in your post header. Thank you! ABSALOM AUTONOMOUS ARCHITECTURAL ECOLOGIC ZONE 'The Free City' "There are no gods in Heaven, for we have pierced it with our lances and found it empty. There is only Man - and from his confusion he has found the knowledge of his ancestors once again. Behold, now, Absalom! The son of Babel, the High Priest of Progress! In his grasp lies the vast expanse between the stars, and the remotest depths of Hell. Rejoice, Men of worth! Nothing is beyond our reach..." Canon In Progress Geography The Architectural Ecologic Zone - the 'Arcology' - is a colossal megastructure comprised of scintillating agri-domes, elegant spires, and graceful monorails - encompassing a microsociety of about twenty thousand souls, and myriad chattel. Its towering heights lord over the desolate remains of a once pristine alpine forest, the only point of light in the sprawling wasteland. Holographic advertisements loom over the churning industry of the surrounding badlands, acclaiming the virtues of this jewel of self-sufficient civilization. Organization Absalom is divided among its shareholders, with the position of owner and leader granted to the majority stake. While some maintenance of the overall structure is maintained by the owner, individual levels and wings of the arcology are the responsibility of their private Holders. As such, interior aesthetics of one area may vary drastically from another. Because the fundamental right of a citizen is property, those that own no property, or whose property, including their life, is rendered forfeit by incurred debts, are stripped of citizenship and relegated to servitude and slavery until such a time as the debt is repaid. In reality, however, because a lack of means to protect one’s assets is commonly considered forfeiture, even those completing their contracted enslavement often immediately find themselves back in bondage just to be able to feed themselves. Free citizens, but whom own less than 1% of the arcology, are a fragile middle class that dwindles daily, and are only replenished by new arrivals to this futuristic ‘utopia’. Government and Politics Contracts rule all but the most informal of exchanges. Because there are no non-private adjudicators, private middlemen almost inevitably favor the party with greater influence in disputes regarding these contracts, making justice a hopeless pursuit for most. When adjudication fails, squads of private security forces are deployed, leading to brief but incredibly violent shareholder turf wars in which one party will attempt to seize the assessed debt it feels it is owed. The common result is total seizure of assets, to cover the ‘cost’ of the operation, and subsequent enslavement. Somewhat paradoxically, the average day is relatively peaceful and secure for the bulk of the arcology’s denizens, as the threat of wholesale destruction and the ubiquity of high-powered personal weaponry make most sane people strongly reconsider the use of physical force, or attempting an unlawful act. Nonetheless, criminal elements do exist, inseparably entwined into the fabric of the ultra-capitalist society, functioning as yet another tool for ambitious holders to undermine their peers. The spirit of the city's founding was based on the anarcho-capitalist ideal of the Non-Aggression Principle - the idea that the supreme right of a free man is complete dominion in his own affairs so long as they do not tread on the right of another to exercise the same. In practice, like many utopian ideologies, this often boils down to who has the bigger gun. Nonetheless, remnants of this spirit continue to persist in the legal contract morass of Absalom's laws, and the sight of heavily armed citizens going about daily business, or debt slaves selling their bodies in public is both common and praised. The Holders comprise the effective ruling class of Absalom. Collectively, they own over ninety percent of the structure, with free citizens owning the remaining eight or so percent between them, which includes personages such as company CEOs, celebrities, and other independently rich individuals. The Holders are even richer - moguls that command monopolies on industries, services, or goods, raking in profits from several corporations or broad swathes of rental properties. A vanishing few members of the middle class have the deed to their own apartment or business, who the Holders usually allow to remain unmolested to give the impression that the founding myth of Absalom continues; allowing an enterprising soul to pull themselves to a place of worth in society. Everyone else is a servant or slave, whether by debt or choice. They live in Absalom but hold no political power, having no say in decisions that affect them. Women fall into this demographic with near total certainty - even those that are well-off and seemingly independent are kept in that luxury by powerful men. Chauvinism is not merely common in Absalom but almost universal - it is understood that the weaker sex by nature desires policy that is ruinous to free enterprise and free association, and thus is disenfranchised at every opportunity. Nonetheless, the enigmatic Lady of Absalom, Spaide, who 'rules' as majority owner... seems perplexingly untouched by this attitude. Technology and Magic Power generation forms the spearhead of Absalom's technological development, its ever-hungering industries and wasteful lights needing a boundlessly increasing supply of electricity. Six immense nuclear fusion reactors, each housed within one of the support columns holding up the entire structure, currently provide power to all, including the leeching underbelly that clings desperately to their onerous, oppressive warmth. Advances in material science and nanomachinery recovered from the husk of the Sarcophagus has allowed a general eschewing of chemical propellants in both civil and weapon engineering applications. Sleek monorails ride super-conducting rails, jetcycles accelerate using state-of-the-art ionic plasma engines, and wireless mechanical devices of all sorts carry incredibly sophisticated, energy-dense batteries or capacitors. Coupled with the relative fragility of many luxury areas, personal armaments in Absalom strongly favor melee and directed energy solutions, manifesting in a wonderfully creative array of absolutely batshit crazy close-range weapon platforms, from arc-sabres that weld metal on contact, to pneumatic spike-hammers and plasma torches. Despite this, projectile weaponry continues to be regularly employed outside the megastructure, and is common among more heavily armed mercenaries and security forces, taking the form of rail or gaussian accelerated slugthrowers. Magic, on the other hand, is a complicated affair. As the saying goes: There are no gods in Absalom - There is only Man, and his Triumph. The malign influence of the Sarcophagus, feeding off the prevailing vice and hubris of the glittering city above, manifests itself in a manner that can only be assumed to be a Genius Loci. Though some elements of the Lagrimosan continent are inescapable, especially the odd erraticism of gunpowder, the land around Absalom is nearly devoid of the arcane. Exotic enchanted materials lose much of their effectiveness, magical arms and armor seem to struggle to maintain their efficacy unless continually supplied with power, and only low-level power manifestations are produced by even the mightiest of magicians. In this absence, pure technology rules supreme, with only limited interests in the arcology bothering to develop magical solutions to problems. In essence, Absalom's will dampens magic in its area of influence absolutely - a phenomenon that would become troublesome indeed if their influence were ever to expand. Foreign Relations Absalom's foreign relations are currently still formative, but are generally cordial. The owner recognizes that national governments, even those with inferior technology, command resource monopolies that a neofeudal city-state cannot hope to match in open conflict. Trade and diplomacy are conducted openly to import what little the arcology cannot produce on its own, and to market its own products far and wide. Military The Arcology’s armed forces consist chiefly of the private security forces hired and outfitted by the aggregate of the Holders. However, the owner separately employs a full company of mercenaries loyal to herself, as well as a fleet of 200 semi-autonomous armored drones that can rapidly deploy anti-riot ordinance as well as lethal munitions if necessary. Lastly, in case of imminent invasion, the arcology can muster the Free City Militia, consisting of the Holders themselves, outfitted with fantastically futuristic power armors, exo-skeletons, and astoundingly devastating weaponry - the best money can buy. Economy Absalom's economy is a complicated mix of services and goods. It's a lucrative locale for companies or governments to contract out the labor necessary for product manufacture, being that labor is so cheap and available here due to the prevalence of indentured servitude. In a way you could say that the Free City's biggest export is labor. Workers of all sort are exploited within the territory of Absalom. Factory workers, laborers, programmers, service clerks, and sex workers are the most common types. A sizable portion of the population is under some contract or another, often of indentured servitude, binding them to a term of unpaid service. These terms, and by extension the people for which they are made, can be bought and sold. In the sprawling slums that comprise the hinterlands around the main tower there are dozens of industrial sectors dedicated to the processing of raw materials. These factories are populated largely by the lowest caste of people, and as they are indentured, their labor is sold cheaply. Sexual gratification is its own commodity, and gratuitous sexualization pervades society at nearly every level. Moving within the tower, scores of programmers, accountants, salesmen, craftsmen, etc are bought and sold from one corporation to the next. The trade of indentured servitude contracts is common with workers that have special skills. Another practice is for companies to own nothing but these contracts, selling or renting the rights to various corporations as freelance indentured servants. Absalom produces high tech and completed goods. Anything from portable electronics, to medical prostheses, weaponry, digital entertainment, or even lifelike android companions. The main import of the city is raw materials and foodstuffs, as these things are difficult to find or produce. If you can dream of something, and there is a way for that thing to be manufactured, then you can probably find it in Absalom. Just don't think about the exploitation that built it and you can sleep easy. In true anarcho-capitalist fashion, no 'official' currency exists - theoretically any transaction where buyer and seller agree on an exchange constitutes a legal sale. Of course, considerations for the sake of practicality and convenience still requires some manner of standardized exchange. Since the Free City lives and dies on the ubiquity of usable energy, the EUC or 'Equivalent Use Credit' constitutes the digital currency of Absalom, with each unit equivalent to the use of one kilowatt-hour of electricity. The relative stability of the value of the commodity (it is perpetually in demand) simultaneously has a strong, persistent deflating effect as well as a fantastic amount of granularity for bookkeeping. Exchange of credits is done via biosignature authenticated chip cards or implants at the point of sale, backed by individual secure deposits at Personal Vault companies. (The term 'bank' is heavily frowned upon). Personal Vault companies are forbidden to speculate with the contents of the accounts the way a traditional bank would, so instead they charge onerous transaction and security fees. One always has the option to host their hard-earned credits on personal architecture... but is the lack of fees worth the risk? Identity theft is a death sentence in Absalom. History Absalom is not a nation, not in the sense that a traditional state exists. Rather, having no actual governing body, it is a microcosm of individual organizations attempting to live in proximity. It is generally agreed between corporations that a certain respect for common law is necessary, but why do all of these groups choose to operate here? The reason is simple, and it has a name: The Sarcophagus. The Sarcophagus is a structure that exists buried deep underground at the very heart of Absalom. The only portion that exists above ground is a vast open hole - a hole over which the main body of the city is suspended. It has been speculated that this structure is actually a ship from some unknown space faring civilization, that crash landed in the wilds of Lagrimosa in ancient ages past. Nobody knows for sure how it came to be there. Back when the city first formed, it was occupied by tomb raiders and grave robbers who went into the opening to look for treasure, and what they found was both wondrous and terrifying. The Sarcophagus was filled with autonomous machines, hyper advanced technology, unheard of metals, and most perplexingly it was also stuffed to the brim with the living dead. Not zombies, so to speak, but rather the shells of beings whose organic components have been commandeered by the very technology that built their home. These early adventurers waded into the depths, most never to be seen again. Those lucky, or skilled enough to return, came back with tech that had previously been unheard of. It was these few who began the very first corporations of Absalom. These days, ventures into The Sarcophagus are rare and dangerous. It is less profitable than it was in the beginning as an understanding of most of the tech within has been reached. With the ability to replicate many of the devices laying inside, it's seen as a net loss to send people there, even if they do return alive. Even so, it is estimated that a mere five percent of the structure has been explored, with untold miles of corridors and chambers laying unseen beneath the wasteland below, and around Absalom. Locales/Points of Interest Fatal Seduction - As one of the few non-incorporated businesses in Absalom, this club has a reputation for having a little bit of everything, if you are bold enough. Exotic dancers grace the stages day and night, with private booths and lounges for more intimate interactions. The open bar is financed by a hefty cover fee, and robust security ensures Ryker Albrecht's investment remains profitable. Although the kingpin rules supreme in his establishment, it is also completely devoid of any recording devices and thoroughly padded with sound-absorbing wall panels, making it one of the safest places to conduct 'business' in the Free City... as long as you don't mind the head-pounding music. Arcades - Rather than the flashy game cabinet centers this name might invoke in one's imagination, these establishments are commonly found tucked away along the sides of wayfares, with warm rows of subtle lighting casting an inviting glow onto discreet booths with luxurious, padded interiors. For a few credits, one may then indulge in their basest desires upon the most unfortunate of Free City denizens - the arcade slave. Restrained into their working compartment for shifts of up to six hours at a time and powerless to resist, this is where those women (and sometimes men) whose usefulness in other aspects have become unprofitable to their owner, are sold to be used until expired. The Pantheon - The name a callback to pagan temples of old, the Pantheon is the slang term for the casino and game levels of Absalom, most notably the row of establishments all owned by Dual Face, Inc. On-site attractions include complimentary accommodations on sufficient chip buy-in, table and card games, slots, horse and jetcycle racing, five-star dining, nightly shows, and more! Stay as long as you like, and if you win big, your stay is immortalized on the golden obelisk in the central avenue. Just remember, the house always wins in the end... The Suburbs - This is the mocking name the citizens of Absalom use to refer to the slums that sprawl underneath and around the arcology. Polluted, stinking, irradiated and miserable, the rotting underbelly of the glittering city is host to the poor souls who have lost everything to debt. A hollow facsimile of life above can be found in parts, with flickering neon lights advertising grimy sex clubs, back alley medical clinics, and dive bars, surrounded on all sides by heaping shanty towns and mountains of junk and trash. It is perpetually swelteringly hot, a byproduct of the obscene heat and noise pollution from above. Why would you come here? Penthouse Park - The highest tier of Absalom is its sky-jutting spire, encompassing about a hundred or so apartments for the absolute wealthiest citizens of the Free City. Its hanging hydroponic and levitating gardens lavishly surround the twin open-platform lifts that ferry the most important personages of the city up to their slice of heaven. Perpetually illuminated in the sick haze of the air surrounding Absalom, its piercing beacon can be seen as far as Predator's Keep and the Temple City on a clear night. Access to this area is incredibly restricted, and only the most important of dignitaries or guests can ever hope to experience the nauseating level of luxury within. For the fortunate few servants and slaves that find employment in these areas, life is as good as any citizen's... materially, at least. Boutique Girl Host Club - An over-the-top, themed host club by night, and underground assassin network by... also night. The hostesses of the BGHC moonlight as for-hire duelists, spies, saboteurs, and sometimes killers, though their talents are increasingly directed towards mitigating outside threats as their notoriety grows within the arcology. The all-female cadre are beholden to an order master, who cares for and humiliates his charges in equal measure. Strapped into candy-stripe neons, ablative plastic ornamental armor, and translucent acrylics, the barely-clad kunoichi nonetheless boast good training and an array of high-tech gizmos and weaponry on which they rely to achieve their mission. Cathedral of Transcendence - Though it might be said that Absalom's society is in a way a worship of worldly goods, the Cathedral is the single counterpoint in a haze of carnality. Occupying an inescapably prominent position directly adjacent to the Forum, its digitized facades simultaneously clash with, and yet blend into the Babylonian gardens and tiled founts surrounding it. The physical structure is exceedingly plain - merely a black, rectangular prism. The appearance of the Cathedral's glowing parapets and cascading code-waterfalls are all carefully projected holograms overlaid atop the building. It is stewarded by the Elevated Brotherhood, an insular group of mystic monks devoted to perfecting the mind by reducing the burden of the body through mechanical, electronic, or chemical means. The most famous of these are widely known for their jealous hoarding of micro-scaled repulsion technology, with which they are able to levitate spectacularly in expressions of mysticism. A few especially devoted adherents have gone so far as to amputate their entire lower bodies, their torso suspended on a hovering conveyance. Replacement of at least one limb with a cybernetic replacement is common, although interestingly these replacements, which are all done internally within the sect, are not nearly as sophisticated as some of the newer products on the market. The Elevated Brotherhood shares a muted, common animosity with Ergo Tech, as their purviews overlap in the field of cybernetic body modification, but with radically different viewpoints. Quests/Plot Hooks Lagrimosa ErgoTech Expo - Ergo Tech, the foremost biotechnology and brain-machine interface developer in Absalom, is gearing up to host a one-of-a-kind technology exposition open to investors, scientists, foreign dignitaries, and even mundane citizens for a 'nominal' fee. Covering two weeks of exhibitions, other entities are welcome to rent out convention space to display and sell their own products as well. New technologies of any kind are eagerly welcomed, though of course the focus is Ergo Tech's own specializations. All convention pass holders will enjoy complimentary housing for the duration of their stay, as well as access to the vast array of other entertainment available (on their own dime, of course). This is a two, possibly three part quest that will encompass applications to display or visit at the convention, social interactions and dalliances in and around the convention halls, and of course the expositions themselves. Corporate sabotage and secret stealing are the order of the day, so come prepared to defend your intellectual property (or steal someone else's)! Difficulty: Varies, up to 10 players Weekend at Sonny's - Sonny, a notorious philandering rock star, has died of a drug overdose days before his life insurance policy matures and becomes claimable. Either as his agents, or outsiders posing as groupies/fans, maintain the facade of his continued lifestyle for at least two days, then claim the insurance money without being tossed in jail for fraud. Difficulty: Medium, 2-3 players Survey of the Barrier Peaks - While the Sarcophagus is a nightmare landscape all on its own, its massive bulk shaped the surrounding land in strange and unstable ways during its ancient impact. As (expendable) surveyors, head out into the blasted hills surrounding Absalom and take seismological, meteorological, and radiation readings at six different points, all while battling the hostile environment and aggressive, mutated wildlife. Additional rewards available for a detailed map of the findings and surrounding region. Difficulty: Hard, 2-4 players Delving the Sarcophagus - Absalom has two kinds of tourist traps - the shining, never-sleeping nightlife of resorts, casinos, brothels and clubs - and the existential terror that constitutes that yawning crypt below the megacity: The Sarcophagus. Anyone can enter, no questions asked... but no one will go looking for the return of your corpse, either. If the technological treasures within still entice your bottomless greed, by all means, head into the endless deeps. Difficulty: Extreme, any number of players. [This is an on-going plot hook for solo players or groups and actively GMed. Contact @Sigil Warden for assistance.] Completed Plots
  9. From first glance, the building appeared outdated and out of touch; nestled into a corner pocket of the universe, this old-fashion establishment was the resting place from travelers around creation. Quaint wooden doors recessed into the wall roughly reaching 8 feet high with each door containing stained glass artwork depicting angels and demons lying on a bed of clouds, symbolizing a haven for saints and miscreants alike. The doors swung open to an extravagant ballroom sized lounge with materials from worlds of the imagination; a broad bar with seats planted against the far left wall, to the right and rear were other offshoots of rooms, but the main focus was in the center of this room; tables and chairs for patrons to lounge about. The furniture littered the room in an organized fashion. An assortment of tables and chairs neatly scattered about the room gave occupants various choices to try; tables made of woods from around the cosmos, leather chairs, sofas large enough to seat a horde of goblins, chairs in all shapes and sizes, and swings that whimsically hung from the heavens. The main lounging area had all the offerings of modern-day bistros with hints of taverns; tables with books containing the history of the worlds sprawled among magazines showing today’s hottest elven men and women, and board games piled as high as the tallest giant. As far as one could imagine, everything one needed to enjoy a cup of the world’s finest coffee and chat over topics was here. A delicate glass sign floated in the air as soon as walking through the threshold. This sign was the first object all who entered came upon, always legible to those who read it no matter the language and telepathically spoken to those without sight. Today, the board read: WELCOME CLUB MEMBERS This Week: Snacks and Beverages Discussion – Room 105 Today’s Special: Coffee – Made by Wish for Death – Breakfast Blend Once past the sign and down a few steps, the main area opened to the wonders of the building. A comprehensive bar took over a section of the lounge, table-top seats neatly placed in front of the exquisite mahogany bar that stretched for what felt like eons. The bar was meticulosity organized; glassware hung from specific locations on the bar, placed so that the barkeeps could grab but not hinder the view of others, taps with odd symbols gave proof to ale and beer, and a large array of spirits rested on glass shelving. In one section behind the bar were makers for coffee, expresso, and storage containers packed with tea. A spherical, glass globe was mechanically turning colored ice inside for those needing a cooler treat and drink at once. The bar was the heart of the operations, it was where food could be ordered, drinks were made, and occupants sat discussing news of the world. A behemoth chalk board was hung center stage behind the bar. In ogre-sized print read: No ordering ‘The Strongest Drink’ centered above the lists below. The chalk board listed every cocktail, ale, wine, spirit, coffee, and other various drinks available on the upper level bar. Following a roundabout path on the outer parameters of the lounge, the rear of the room gave birth to smaller, more intimate dwellings. On the top of each doorway was a room number as well as a pedestal to match the corresponding club for that room. Occasionally all rooms were open, but time schedules generally kept one topic for a week to allow beings to join in whenever possible. The furthest hallways behind the discussion rooms zigged like a labyrinth trying to confuse those who wandered down the halls. These hallways lead to the kitchen and business offices. Paintings plastered each side of the hallways. Eyes of ancient warriors uniquely watched anyone as they roamed through. Artwork depicting wars, scenes of love, violence, and peace were only a snippet of the meaning behind the paintings. Inside the kitchen you would find cooks creating dishes from ingredients, rotating every week. A head chief watched over them as a prison warden would watch his inmates. Everything was made to be perfect. The business area consisted of 24/7 staff who kept the machine oiled day to day. These workers paid bills, ordered supplies, and other clerical necessities. Very little interest was back here. A special access point within the business area allowed only those with administrative access to reach the second level. The second level office took up the ceiling space above the main lounge, allowing those in the tinted windows to oversee the operations below. Few have access to this area, and fewer know the innerworkings of this office. Taking an immediate left after the welcome sign would navigate occupants to a stairwell leading to the lower levels where other amenities lay dormant; a lavish wine cellar, a smoker’s lounge, bowling alley, these were just a sample of activities located there. Unlike the above level, these areas were more private and quieter, allowing for deeper conversations creating an atmosphere where one could grow stronger bonds. The wine cellar contained rarer wines than the first floor, but the selections were limited. A scruffy old man whose kyphosis had continually crept up on him throughout the years stood outside as rain poured down soaking his black and white attire. “Welcome! Please, grab something to drink, very cheap I say, and make yourself comfortable. Those who are here for The Citadel’s weekly discussion forum, the topic is on all things edible as well as drinkable.” He spoke elegantly, more so than his appearance eluded to. A toothy smile manifested on the cryptic face of the man, one lateral incisor was all that was left, the rest of the cavity that was his mouth was darkness and gums. OOC
  10. Luna glanced quickly behind her, before focusing her attention back on the path in front of her. Dappled light shone through the trees, onto her face which was now freckled from the recent harsh sun. Even her long black hair seemed lighter, almost brown, though tied up as it was the color wasn’t so obvious. Her boots were scuffed and worn, it was obvious that she had been walking for a long time, but the physical endurance that was her power allowed her to do so without many signs of weariness. However, it was now almost fifteen hours straight of walking that she had been doing, and she needed to stop. It was obvious she wouldn’t reach the city today, but for now she had to find a place to stay. Luna had expected an inn around, but she now realised the area she had found herself in was almost desolate. With a groan, she turned around, scanning the area for any building, when she heard the familiar crunch of boots on the dirt path, and it wasn’t her. Steeling herself for the encounter, she walked forward.
  11. I had moved to union city, for a change of scenery, besides who wouldn't want to live in the capital city? I had been staying at the traven till I found a shop and house just like the image I had in my mind. I had finally settled in the place after lengthy process of haggling with the magistrate. But finally everything was as it should be. And I hung a wooden sign outside of the shop with the name I had come to call my shop elysian etched in shimmering effect on the wood to draw everyone's eye. My shop was a two part shop the smithy that dealt with weapons armor and other such things was in the back and the apcotharcy I had was in the actual shop I had bought. I had every thing set up, everything you could need lined the shelves or was in drawers. Also if you were really sick I had beds in the a room off to the side. I guess it was strange to most being both a doctor and a smithy, but the way I looked at it they went hand in hand. But of course I also had other such things like reguarl tea leaves and such. And my most valuable items were behind the counter and if you were magically sensitive you could probably see or feel or maybe both all the wards and runes I had running all over the shop. But of course you can never be to careful espically when you created things as I did. Gosh I was so bone tried I never knew how hard moving was til I did or just how much stuff I had til I unpacked my shop and sorted It all out. I felt like I could sleep forever after putting up all the wards and everything. It had taken a month to finally get every thing in place and now it was opening day. I took a deep breath and unlocked the door for the first time and stood behind the counter waiting for the bell above the door to ring , or for the other bell to ring for the smithy. I was eager to see how the city would embrace me. But I was cautiously optimistic.
  12. Fox


    It's all about poetry, in the end. As the Sun begins to set, the surface of the Earth begins to redden, reminding me of a metal sword rusting away in the sunlight, lost to the sands of time. "You ever read King Arthur?" I look to my right. The blackbird that's been sitting just a few feet away watches me, its black eyes sparkling. "We could be friends, you know." It says nothing. Shrugging harmlessly, I return to gaze out at the view. My outstretched hand is motionless, so as not to frighten the creature, and yet a few seeds slip between my pale, thin fingers, tumbling past the edge over which my legs dangle. Precarious. "Of course, that's not a problem for you, is it, My Winged Traitor?" The blackbird maintains its silence. Or should I say "their" silence, thereby granting some form of personhood to the creature? I chuckle. I smile. My eyes--sometimes green, sometimes blue, sometimes grey--narrow. Blackbird can reach the city in the sky forbidden to someone like me. Up there, I wouldn't be good enough. I wouldn't be... suitable to their standards; I wouldn't be considered worthy, or good, or even lovable. That's why I'm down here, in the lower parts of Earth's atmosphere, known affectionately to the sky people as the "Wasteland." That's right. I'm living in a dump. My lip curls. "What I wouldn't give to see through your eyes." When Blackbird doesn't answer, I make my hand into a fist before thrusting the seeds to the side, sending the small grains scattering across the curved surface of the roof. The bird squawks and dives after the pebbles in a furious motion of feathers. Sighing, I shake the last few specks from my fingers before drawing my knees into my chest and lowering my head to my chest. My dark, straight hair covers my vision further, until all I can make out behind my closing lids is an array of sunlights filling the air with geometric light-shapes. But this doesn't have to be the end. "No?" I poke my head up, entertaining the small voice that urges me to shy away from the drop. It says nothing. "And why not? Why not now? Why not here?" I feel the wind tickling the hairs on my unshaved legs, the possibility existing because of my dark orange shorts. I reach out toward the Sun, attempting to grasp it. The light shines brilliantly between my fingers, although it's all a blur. The contact lenses Dad acquired for me are in the workshop, next to my bed. They were there this morning when I woke up, and they're there now; I haven't touched them all day. I planned to never do so again, actually. "Dad told me he could heal my eyes. But can he heal my mind? I don't think anyone can. What's the purpose of living, anyway? Up there, they say I have no value. I'm meaningless; my entire existence is. I don't deserve Paradise; all I deserve is this Hell." Tears well up, and I taste the salt when it reaches my dry, cracked lips. A moment later, my hand is running along my mouth, feeling the ridges of the valleys. Are my eyes sparkling now, the way my fingers were when the Sun was in-between them? Are my lips glittering with a lubricating gloss, woven from the realization of meaninglessness? If it weren't for beauty, I would never had withstood the sadness for this long. My bitter self-reflection comes to a jarring end when I become aware of something for the first time. Blinking the tears away, I turn my head cautiously to peer over at the bird with the eerie eyes, whose small body is bent as it attempts to gather seed. Except... it hasn't managed to. The bird continues to peck, in an almost metronomic fashion, the sound of metal on metal cutting through the otherwise serene silence of the twilight. A cold, electric chill permeates my body. In the fading light, I begin to notice the uncanny jerkiness of the bird's movements. My heartbeat begins to pick up as I perceive a shudder running through the bird's body every time it hits the roof's metal surface, as though absorbing an impact shock. Dread fills me as I begin to pick up on the metal echo emanating from its rich plumage. As though it were fully hollow on the inside. Trying not to make a sound, I begin to move. Wanting to take off running, despite knowing the foolishness of doing that in such dimly-lit environs, especially without my contact lenses, I begin to lift myself from my seated position. My body shakes as I maintain awareness of the blackbird, and my legs threaten to give out underneath me. But I rise anyway, attempting to get my footing. Blinded by the darkness and distracted by the newest threat, I lose my former awareness of the building's edge. My hand trembling as I lift myself, my rings clink together repeatedly. The bird stops. Swallowing forcefully, I stop breathing. The bird tilts its head, which then snaps to face me. It sounds like its neck is breaking. A motion of 180 degrees, in the blink of an eye; its body hasn't moved. Its eyes glow a pale white. My muscles are too paralyzed to scream. Driven by instinct, I stumble over my bare feet, then break into a run. Deafened by the sound of my own heartbeat in my ears, I fail to notice the unstable groaning of the metal underneath my feet. Glass cuts into my skin, but its sharpness goes unnoticed. Then the tinkling sound of crushed glass fills the air, and the next thing I know, the floor is giving way and gravity is pulling me through. A scream escapes me now. My body passes through a glass rain, which leaves my lips bloody. Innumerable cuts adorn my exposed legs, and my exposed arms. I fall freely down into the long-abandoned building, the fluttering of bird wings accompanying my rapid descent. The speed of the fall is what shocks me the most; it takes my breath away. Yet I scream the whole way down.
  13. Nessuno


    Alone on a traipsing path through Lagrimosa, a tattered brown-robed figure journeyed far south from its origin. Arms wrapped in faded yellow linen, from fingertip to clavicle, swayed along in step to its sides. It avoided settled places for no particular reason, enjoying the peaceful surroundings offered by the wildlands away from roads. It had been a long, long time since It saw the world like this. Dream-soaked sleep was vapid and unfulfilling in comparison, even if it was less... restrictive. It kept its hood up always, though it was shallow enough to reveal a softly-smiling visage when the wind whipped at the cloth. Few payed the figure any mind as it traveled, as strange monastics were common the world over; but even fewer caught sight of its face. Compelled by something other, they fled with composure, seeking respite away from its presence without realizing. This served only to amuse It. Further south It trod until civilization began to fall away, eaten up by the eerie fogs and silences of old Yh'mi. Where most would turn back, or turn a sour expression at the very least, It merely widened its smile- for there were few Nails to bind It here, and they were far too decrepit to force It beneath the bubbling tide of common consciousness again. But, It did not come to revel in waking freedom. Binds broken by power unseen, brought back into the world by two child-like pawns in the greater game without. This is what had woken It. This is what It sought. It was hungry, and It would feast.
  14. ¥ With a lengthy yawn,Celestia adjusted her cloak of scarlet hue.checking all supplies,which she chose to bring alongside.For the adventure,Tree's,cobblestone roads.And the tavern still live with cries of joy and laughter behind her,filled every senses,of scent and beauty,while resting herself against it's wall.Glancing skyward,to be graced with a starry sky of midnight blue,clouds with light grey hue.Dotted across it's surface.While faint Ray's of light,from the crescent moon interwoven and scattered throughout it's area.¥"hmmn~ Breath tak'n beauty tonight...hehe not much could beat this sight..."
  15. The Lightning spirit Maelstrom had enough energy to travel back to his old armor back in the castle of rose keep. His old "body" started to move erratically at first, and as it became more synchronized his pieces started to piece back together one plate at a time. It took him no more than 5 minutes to return to his old hulking piece of moving armor. Wandering around the small town he saw the contrast of it, the streets and alley, the market, the castle and the wall. He wandered around aimlessly until he sense and heard something like a woman being robbed of her possession by a bandit, like lightning he sprinted across the town, through the crowds and in between buildings he finally caught up in a stand-off as the bandit decided to took a hostage when he were surrounded by the local authorities "One step closer and this child gets it!" The bandit held a knife to the neck of a small child, quite repulsive seen through the eye of a Maelstrom, but here is no place to be rash as the guard's captain said the following "Let go of the child he has nothing to do with this, are you a man or a coward?" The bandit held his ground, holding the knife ever closer to the Jugular vein of the child, preparing to sever it. Amidst the tense atmosphere Maelstrom decided to took action. He quickly launched the tip of his fingers to the bandit's hand with enough force so that the knife drops from his hand and to the ground and as that happened Maelstrom sprang forward and grabbed the bandit by the neck and held him up "Such repulsive action.... What do you have to explain yourself? The bandit simply replied "My sister..... She needs....money... For... Medicine....forgive...me" Don't want to be involved in the law he tossed the bandit over to the authority and merrily walks away. Puzzled by what the hell is a sister he begins to thought about human relationships as a whole... Rethinking that it's all not just friend and foe he looked back to the castle and asks the only person he know that is currently here as he walked back to his original location
  16. 4, August 1678AY Azura-Dawn Temple Fahrenheit-Abalone, Lyonesse Tuesday 12:00P.M Rin closed the big leather bound book as she placed her hands into her lap, Azura-Dawn looking at her. The ties these two held went back to the days of the Athentha-Yral War. But the half-breed had come here seeking a Cloverheart item, as she knew that Azura-Dusk was growing restless in her prison. Azura-Dawn had sought out the half-breed princess as a last resort, last option. Rin looked up with her crimson black orb of an eye at Azura-Dawn. They were in her temple, something that surpassed any of Athentha's temples in size and stature--stature that outweighed any city in the east and west of Athentha. And though Fahrenheit-Abalone was in Lyonesse territory, the half-breed knew this was more important than petty squabbles between both lands. The half-breed was more annoyed by the fact Azura-Dusk was more of a threat than her. That was not even right. Azura-Dawn cleared her throat, breaking the growing silence finally after an hour or two. Well, I will tell you this, what we are about to do might get one of us killed. Rin said as she stood up, her bones creaking and cracking due to her age. I rather it be me than you. But the Rising Ambition Bow and Arrow rests in the Fahrenheit-Abyssal cavern. And it's filled to the brim with demons. Great. Azura-Dawn said with a sigh. The item we need is in a cave infested with demons. What could be worse than that? I mean, I can handle demons, but these I feel aren't normal demons. Well, there's one more thing. Azura-Dusk's general, Azura-Fahrenheit will be there before reaching the cave. Rin replied. Azura-Dawn shook her head with a groan as she stood up and eyed the half-breed princess. She asked her if she could trust Rin. The half-breed said she could. Rin didn't want someone upstaging her, nor doing what she did best. Walking out of the temple, Azura-Dawn followed her quickly as she felt things were umanswered and it bothered her. Rin, are you really going to help me keep my sister sealed or are you going to betray me? I know about what you did before, so I can't fully trust you. That's something you're going to have to decide for yourself. I cannot tell you how to feel about me. But know this, I plan to do the best I can to keep Azura-Dusk sealed. Unless, she found someone stupid enough to become her host.
  17. "And you're certain you've mapped all of them?" He spoke a bit slow and drawn out, in what could only be considered an insulting nature. Could they blame him though? Without him, they wouldn't be where they are, without him, this plan couldn't work. The old ways were so ingrained in some that they saw it as dishonorable to disrespect the traditions. Not him. Fuck those traditions, for together, they would build new one's. Just as man had outgrown and usurped the gods, he was determined to overcome the old establishment to implement his newer version. The age he was raised at the end of was only a waste if he allowed it to be. Shinobi were not obsolete if they could still serve a designated purpose. "Alright, take a long way home. Once you're certain you're not being followed, bring the map to me. Start circulating the word to the rest of the Garden, I'll get in touch with the girls." Immediately after giving the order, he abruptly hung up his thumb swiped over end call on his touch screen. Pulling up his contacts, he selected one in particular despite describing communicating with more than one person. "Tell your girls to doll they shit up. Tonight's the night. 👺" Message sent >. Pocketing his device, he returned his removed leather glove to his hand. Pulling it snug from the wrist, he smirked to himself. He could feel his heartbeat suddenly increase, his blood pumping just a bit faster. He was shaking! Was he that excited? His fist clenched in failed protest as he realized that some of it was fear. 'Fear keeps you alive, one cannot be brave without fear.' He thought to himself, hearing it in his mind in the voice of the man that told him those words. Though tonight's intended events were not inspired by a bout of vengeance, he would be lying if he said that he wasn't happy to get to be the one to do it. It was a mistake to have ever trusted or worked with them to any degree in the first place. If the islanders truly wanted to have a chance, then they had to get rid of the ones profiting from their island without giving back to it. The Gokudo Gang. Word was that the income they'd been hoarding was intended to build a new casino in the center of their district; That it was nearly complete. Thanks to their efforts thus far, the Oniwabanshu has now managed to map all the underground tunnel systems allow access to the Gokudo's docks with limited to no response. As far as they knew, they were the first to be brave enough to map or use anything considered Imperial without the blessing of the Heika himself. The girls were running distraction by way of entertainment, the boys were prepared to swiftly dispatch any whom go in their path as quietly as possible. The only display of strength Hu craved was that of success.
  18. @Froggychum @L E V I A T H A N Chrysma smiled a devilish smile as they stepped through the forest, and saw the entrance into Yh'mi, where you were SUPPOSED to drop your records. Chrysma wore an indigo robe, but they had cast an illusion spell on themself and Skar. They had a backpack strapped to their back which they rifled through to find their false ID, an ID that followed Yh'mi's standards as closely as possible. The illusion spell definitely helped. They handed Skar his ID. "Be careful, say as little as possible. The spell only goes so far." They said, their words cautionary. They carefully touched up their illusion, and narrowed their eyes. "Act like a civilian. Unsuspicious, inconspicuous, you know. Then we can have some fun after that." They continued, and took note of where the guards were. They had been planning this for a while, but they'd never been this close. "Are you ready?" OOC thread
  19. [Note: This RP is an open thread candidate for the Become Somebody quest for Port Kyros.]

 -------------------- Dead wood beholds an aging lamp post, standing tall at the top of the incline from the pier. The cage shifts back and forth, as much as heavy iron could in the sea wind. Facing against the sea, six legs crawl eagerly, a copper-red body seeking out its future nest. The wharf borer, a tiny critter known to burrow itself into old docks and ships, prods the tall pole with its antennae, tasting the wood as it climbed higher. Near to the metal ring that beheld the lantern, seeing the bits of crevices underneath, it begins tearing at the fibers of the wood grain.
 A sudden blow cracks its exoskeleton. Its front legs barely holding on before its torn from its grip, its body crushed under beak. ... The black bird, having watched from the end of the lanterns arm, leaps with wings spread to grasp the top of the pole, and proceeds to devour the borer in a swift motion. Its meal eaten, it takes flight from the pole, soaring over the docks

. -------------------- The heavy thunks of boot steps resound along the ramp coming down from the now docked trading ship, as sailors and mercers with crates and marked barrels shuffled to and from the vessel. Blackjack's feet land on the pier. His eyes caught the flight of a black swift floating high above the port. Its wings glided on the breeze, as if to make its presence known. Gavin figured avians couldn't give a shit-covered feather over the thought two-legged ground dwellers, but Gavin would take a symbol of fortune any day. May it be known by the lady of luck that today was a special occasion. It was a new land; a new morning. Against the gleam of the sun, a city lied before him, it's towering spires and rolling sea of baroque dwellings, some fine, others ramshackle, laid thick on his curiosity. 

 "I wouldn't be walkin' too far from the ship before the bill has been paid, Mr. Nobb." the bosun called from the ship. Gavin turns and looks up to the red-bearded man in uniform.
 "Aye. Could have sworn that barrel the crew finished off the other night was payment enough." Gavin shouted back. The bosun chuckled at him, his voice taking a reproachful tone.
 "Now now, Mr. Nobb." he said. "Whiskey's always welcome aboard my ship, but travelers pay the toll. Last we spoke, I only got half of the lot from you. If every land-hopper paid me in barrels, this ship would be liverless as a floatin' cadaver under the gulls." Gavin grinned, pulling the strap of his pack For how snake-tongued Gavin was in his trade, the wit of experienced sailors was disarming even to him. For a moment, he was tempted to play at the mans patience, but decided against it. 

 "Sounds like you got bit by the barrel yourself. You don't remember? I gave you the other half!" ... Before the bosun could protest, Gavin took his hand and pointed to his vest, midway up the left side. The bosun blinked, interpreting the gesture to open his jacket. His eyes lit up in confusion upon realizing a pouch of coins was sitting in his inside pocket; the pouch that Gavin slipped into his jacket just before he had stepped off the ship. ... "Safe voyage!"

 Sometimes, you have to use your roguery for entertainment. Can't risk the setting in of rust, now can we?

 Without a look back, Gavin turned and made long strides towards the interior of the pier, casual and careless as the wind.


The people were donned in various degrees of dress, from couples with finely tailored frock coats and dresses with corsets wearing gleaming jewelry, to dull grey rags with one too many tears. An eclectic sort, while present altogether, not intermingling. A city of open doors, with a class divide. Seems like a town where a man like him can find some opportunity. A swindle here, a pick-pocket there,... and then perhaps move on to some serious sell-sword work! 
 First, one needs to know the place of operation.
 Get the lay of the land. Know the locals. Know who to make friends with, who to avoid, and... if you're feeling like a complete charlatan,... who your marks are. 

 Months it had been since he left the old coast, a withered heap of war-torn landscape, worn out welcomes, and more than coins worth of regret. Sometimes, Gavin figured, if you found yourself hanging from a ledge with too much baggage strapped to you, your best off cutting the rope and going elsewhere.

 His first few hours in the city composed of short conversations with mercers, tavern keepers and the like. A few drinks and some "manually" acquired funds later, the most important details of the city were established, which placed Gavin on course towards the Old City, to an inn that was mentioned to be a distance from the Nova Citadel, but within sight of it, an old tavern known as the Wretched Worm.


As the fine brick turned to old stones, and color began to gray, the older parts of the city exposed themselves. Nestled amongst the more ancient stonework and winding, narrowing roads, the Wretched Worm sneered across the way, its overly gothic decor spilling a sort of alluring yet novel atmosphere. The wood panel, iron-banded sign hung from a dragon-shaped arm, its letters drawn in an extravagant serif calligraphy.

 Stepping into the establishment, he eyes its interior. If one could imagine a collection of features which a normal person would call rich, but a noble turned down due to the lack of detail or the number of imperfections, it may go on to describe what the inside of this tavern and inn looked like. A fireplace with a chipped mantle. Fine chairs with worn coverings. Onamented wood panel with plenty of cracks and pieces missing. A long, polished bar with mahogany stools, all scratched or stained. The room seemed to suggest honest attempts at luxury, without being anything luxurous. Hand-me-downs from some uncertain donor. Perhaps several, over multiple hands. There were few patrons within the place, being mid-day. The true alcoholics, as it were. "Merry morning, sir!" a dark skinned woman in a simple, short-sleeved, black corset dress spoke in a courteous and song-like tone from behind the bar, having finished sorting bottles in the cabinet behind her. A pinch of proper accent for addressing guests, over a genuine city-dweller voice, and busy undertone as not to draw out the courtesy too far. "Are you looking for a drink? Our drinks are distilled right here in the Old City. Or perhaps is it a room you're looking for?" Blackjack stepped to the bar, declining a stool, with his palms on the bartop, eyes rolling across the top of his gaze as if pondering to himself, before flashing a clever smirk. "All of the above, lass." ...
  20. Sagittarius-Archipelgo, Azura-Dawn 8, September 1678AY Tuesday, 12:00P.M Vex tilted his head as he read the map. It was a big map of Azura-Dawn, and he was a foreigner to the city along with its massive hubs. He noticed a few streets that were unmarked, unfounded that it could hide a relic of the Cloverheart house. An oar made from the leaves of the Cloverheart tree, tye Fahrenheit Varuna leaves and bark. The demon man had an idea of where to look first, the hub of Sagittarius-Archipelgo. And so here he was, standing in front of a large building. A castle to be precise. He shook his head as he rolled up the map. Impressive Athentha didn't steal all the relics of the islands. Vex thought as he walked down the dirt cobblestone path, his hands behind his head as he let his thoughts go. Rebirth was a strange thing to the man, but he was thankful Sayndar finally figured it out. Well, sort of. Vex whistled as he walked. He was sad not a lot of people used an oar to battle with anymore. He missed those old days but they were long gone. He didn't remain in the past but he did like to reminisce.
  21. Now armed with what was hopefully the proper tools, Shanna felt it was time to take on Valinde once more. She knew that her chances against the banshee prior had been slim, but risk was part of the greater reward. As it were, her gaze was settled on the prize far in the future. For now, she was combing through the ruins of Valinde, her curiosity having been sated the last time she was present. Though this time, there was no companion to pull her out of the fire should things arise to be troublesome. The absence of her long time familiar was a heavy burden, but it was for the greater good as well. As quietly as possible she picks through the rubble in a path most familiar as the one used to enter and exit the city the last time – she rummages through the pull out a parchment paper with scribbles upon it that make no sense to anyone but herself. A map of sorts, Shanna pauses to mull over it’s contents as she addresses her current situation. She is near the house she had previously taken residence in, but she hopes to move further into the city while there is still plenty of daylight to afford her an advantage in avoiding the spookies that prowl the streets. She has no desire to become lunch, afterall. Determination settles on her visage as she settles atop of a rather large mount of rubble and peers through the nature-reclaimed city. There are movements in the distance that slide at the edges of her vision, and Shanna frowns. Surely the dastardly creatures aren’t up and about just yet, or perhaps they never rest. Either way, she knows she will have to avoid them in the future. Her head turns in time to catch one of the creatures scuttling back to a hole that it has burrowed in the rubble and makes a note to ensure she doesn’t happen upon on in her travels. Glissading down from the pile, Shanna turns inward to the city and begins her trek once more.
  22. DISCLAIMER _______________________________________________________________________________________________ Lands of House Tachelot Larsport Oathshield Farius Halmadi Kostul Tachelot Vaan Tachelot Ambient Music OOC The Savant The boy was spellbound by the movements of the bow; the way the arrow nocked to the string before both were pulled back, the limb of the osage wood flexing beneath the sun as the limb of the archer lined his anchor point to the corner of his eye—silent, steady, slow, yet somehow swift; how he took a breath to the breeze and then the arrow was loosed like a bird from a cage. -Thwuck!- The head thudded against the straw target almost an instant after the bowstring was released. The arrow joined its brethren around the black dot in the middle of a white square, the three shafts forming a rough triangle. The archer smiled as his gaze did not waver from the target, but his audience knew that an audience is what he had. From the balconies above, a couple of girls and their caretaker were smiling down into the castle courtyard, and sitting there within it was the Savant of the Order of the Iron Lance and the boy who clearly wished that he was the archer. “Vaan.” -Thwack!- Farius rapped his stick against the table to make sure he received his student's full attention. Kostul will make a fine bowman someday, and one day a lord. He will need a brain like yours to support him every step of the way. In a moment, the young boy reluctantly dropped his gaze from his older brother and returned to his lessons, eyes now on the map. “Noviria. Sigil: Wreath and gladius. Words: Blood and glory.” No words more fitting for so fierce a family. The boy was bright, but his mind still too young to comprehend the darkness that gathered across the water even as student and master held study. “Lords?” “The Arcoses.” With that, Vaan returned to scratching the tabletop with his anchor-brooch, etching into the wood letters that might soon lead to words. “Famed for their poetry, construction and wine-making.” The archer turned his grin toward the table. Farius sighed as he studied the older lad. But no less a boy. The islands face a flood that could drown out those who inhabit them, but all he sees is the romance that is not there. “And bloody rebellions,” the Savant responded. Kostul dropped his grin and gaze and returned to practicing with his bow. The stick tapped at a spot on the map blanketed in green. Vaan barely looked up as he continued scraping, though his answer brought a smile to his tutor’s face. “Sigil: A chalice. A crowned chalice now that Varda’s queen.” “Good,” Farius commended. -Tap- “Words: For peace and plenty. Lords: The Hildebrands.” “Mhm.” -Tap-Tap- “Skyfall. Sigil: A lion, a sword and two wolves. Words: Quality or quantity.” “No,” the tutor corrected. “A common saying but not their official motto.” Vaan studied the map as though in thought before looking away. “Lords: The Kholins.” “We’re still on their words,” Farius insisted. “I don’t know them.” The boy’s brooch continued cutting into the wood. His teacher made out an “S” and what looked like the beginning of a “W”. “You do know them. Think.” “May the dred wolf take you.” Farius sighed. “That’s House Mythal.” The royal house and a royally deliberate mistake. “Wealth is power.” “House Karradeen.” Not the most fitting motto these days. “Sworn word, sworn sword.” “Those are Tachelot words. Your father’s.” Farius watched the boy carefully but the latter would not meet his gaze. What goes on in that little head of yours, little one? “Are we playing a game?” “Sworn word, sworn sword.” Vaan repeated in the distinct tone that a child takes when upset over something far more important than not being able to loose an arrow. “Is that the right order?” “You know it is.” “Word comes first. Father gave me his. He promised that he would practice the bow and saddle with me, such as on this very day.” Farius looked away for as long as he could afford his thoughts. Kostul had just released his fingers from the bowstring, oblivious to the events transpiring at his back. Servants paced across the courtyard, some to attend to their duties, others to make way for a trotting horse. A hawk flew overhead. Or is it a falcon? His eyes were failing him more and more. He gave them back to the map, a burning look at a western land, before offering his student as great a consoling gaze as his old eyes could muster. “Your father had to leave Oathshield—to protect the family.” “How can he protect the family if he’s not with his family?” Would that I could answer that. Nonetheless, Vaan knew how his father was with him even now. “Your father sat by your bed for three hours while you slept." “And then he left!” Farius frowned and so did his heart. If the child only knew. “Your father would have loved for nothing more than to stay, Vaan. He did give you his word, and he will keep his word, but he gave his word to his king as well, long before you were born, and his king needs him now.” “Why did he have to leave?” “I still can’t tell, but he will be home soon.” “Do you know where he is now? Today?” Vaan inflected. “No, I don’t.” Farius prepared for what came next as the boy finally met his tutor's eyes. “Then how can you promise me he’ll be home soon?” From the mouths of children. Instead of digging himself a deeper hole, Farius smiled. “Sometimes I worry you’re too smart for your own good.” -Thwuck!- They both looked up at the straw target as another arrow landed. Vaan, as mesmerized as ever, saw more or less than ten arrows sticking out from the bed. Farius saw ten thousand, sticking out of shields and bodies, littering the fields like wooden grass, much of which was painted red. He sighed an old man’s sigh, withered and weary, and the master wondered where his own master was exactly. “Care to best me?” Kostul turned to his younger brother. Vaan was hesitant at first, but the faces of his elders convinced him to smile and step forward. Farius looked between both boys, observing the ease in which they talked and teased and trained with one another. He looked then at a bed of flowers where the Hold's floral emblem, white portulaca, was growing strong. So are Tachelot’s scions. “Sworn word, sworn sword,” Farius echoed to himself as he picked up the brooch Vaan had left behind, turning the small anchor in his hand. “Lord Tachelot has sworn indeed. His word...” Trailing off, the Savant gave the brooch a gentle squeeze as he watched the skies, hoping to catch another hawk or a falcon, whichever might fly, but what he saw were dark wings and what he heard were dark words. A crow, then another and another—a murder of crows, cawing their hungry call, searching for a feast. “...And his sword.” Farius sighed. “Thousands of them.”
  23. 4, August 1680AY Azura-Dusk , hub of Val Cruxis North of the Athentha-Lyonesse border Tuesday, 11:00A.M Things had settled down since the last time war had been announced. In fact, things had changed a lot among the islands since last we told a tale about Athentha and its sister islands. New elders, descendants of the old ones, now took over rule for the islands, save for Lyonesse. As rumors whispered Grant Lyon had returned in a rebirthed state. And for the half-breed princess, she vanished. Some say she vanished, others say she abandoned Athentha. No-one truly knew. Vanilla sat on the bench, as she had been thinking about her next move for a while now. Garnet holed himself up in Talia, Esben--well, he was the same. But she had no purpose now that the Red Blood Moon Organization was no more. Shame really. Standing beside her, was the odd ball Platinum. He wondered if they could obtain the powerful third house while the others slacked off. The Cloverheart Malachite house. Of course, they would require help, as two seeds couldn't just go up to them and ask politely to bend to their organization. Vanilla sighed. The second seed knew that she'd have to start over again, rebuild to a new path. You know Claude would be a great assest to create the organization. Platinum said as he looked at her, worried about the second seed. Though, his house being obtained, won't be so easy to take. The Cloverheart house isn't a pushover either. I know Platinum. But we are just two seeds trying to regain our fallen ground. Vanilla said as she stood up. I guess we should go pay Claude a visit then. Then we can go from there I suppose. Platinum placed his hand on her shoulder, as he tried to comfort her. He did care for the second seed even if he didn't show it. But if she was going to start an organization and start over, she'd need allies. Walking down the cobblestone streets, they headed west to the inner city of Azura-Dusk. --- Claude shook his head as he removed the helmet. His shaggy platinum hair messed up from said helmet. As he smoothed it over, he looked towards the guard captain. The city had grown quiet and he had grown quite bored of the non action. I don't see the point of keeping knights when there's nothing for us to do. Claude whined as the guard captain raised a brow at him. Athentha is calm, the monsters and beasts aren't around and the townspeople are in peace. We're just standing-- Do not be so annoying Claude. Malachite replied as he appeared, leaning against the wall. We continue to keep the Cloverheart Knights around in-case something does happen. Esben still roams around, causing chaos. And more beasts can appear due to the seeds around. "Malachite is right Claude." Gullius replied. He rubbed his temples as they stood there talking. "And it's Atlas' rule. As high elder, we follow his rules absolute. Now, there are rumors that two seeds have returned to Val Cruxis to rebuild the organization from the house of Cloverheart." Claude's orange-yellow eyes widened at Gullius' words. His house in danger? How could it be? No-one spoke much of his house since their tongues wagged most about the Valentina house or the Gilchrist house. Malachite didn't like this either, as another house was targeted. Come Claude, we must prepare your house for battle. We--I, Malachite Valentina, shall aid you to help keep it intact. He said as the young elf nodded. Good. G'day, Gullius. They departed towards the inner city of Azura-Dusk to the Cloverheart house. Thimgs would become interesting indeed.
  24. Zigzag

    By My Hand

    Bells rung in the towering heights of the Cathedral, signalling the dawning of a new day. The people went out into the fields, ready to work the crops for their livelihoods. For House Harrkonen, their day begins with a walk through the town they have sworn to protect. "What do you hope for when you look at these streets?" Darien asked his beloved. Lady Liadrin looked upon the various faces that greeted them in the morning light. "I hope for something better than what we have today. Something that will give the people a life of greater decency and contentment." She smiled at him, and he smiled back. "I think I would like that very much as well." He replied, taking her hand in his while they went towards the local marketplace.
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