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  1. The air was crisp and clear from the cold night's chill. The moon was full, and the sky spattered with stars. Everything was quiet. Peaceful, even. There lay a small clearing nestled between the trees and the base of the mountains. The ground was a blend between rock and grass, and mostly flat. Over a small canopy of trees beyond this flat ground lie a river, a perfect supply of fish and fresh water. It gurgled quietly, not wanting to break the hush of the night. This place would be perfect. A large wolf, its fur mottled with grey and browns, sat at the edge of the clearing with the mountain to its back. The huge creature would have been nearly invisible to the naked eye, blending in with its environment almost completely, except for its piercing gold eyes that glowed through the shadows. Those eyes took in everything. The sky, the ground, and the trees beyond. She nodded slowly, approvingly. This place is beyond perfect. Ziva rolled off her haunches and onto her paws, her thick claws digging into the clay-like ground below her. She trotted across the clearing. She closed her eyes, focusing on her nose. The air was clear of any stench, she could not smell any markings of one who may have come before her. This place was untouched. Unclaimed. Now it belonged to her. She slowly began making her way around the clearing, rubbing her thick fur against every trunk, and digging her paws into the unmarked earth. The scent glands located between her toes left a satisfying smell on the sparse grass and dirt. Mine. Werewolves were very territorial. Once something was marked as theirs, they would not hesitate to fight to the death for it. Ziva felt this way when she first laid eyes on this clearing. Ziva padded back to where the ground began to incline, and stretched into a laying down position. There wasn't much more she could do under the blanket of the night. The rest of the tasks she would like to do to this land were human chores. Humans slept at night, so those chores would have to wait until morning. Ziva rested her giant head on her paws, and sighed heavily. She always had trouble sleeping at night. She missed the deep sleep that she could always get to when she was human. For now, she was happy with a nice doze. Her eyes were closed but her ears were at attention, flicking and rotating every now and then to check and double check for any unusual sounds while she was in this vulnerable position. Enjoying the cool breeze of the night and the soft wind that tickled her fur, Ziva waited for morning.
  2. Fright Night It was like any other night in the wild and rugged lands of Terrenus. Winds softly whistling through the pines, mist that danced off the rivers and lakes, and the good people of the small city of Tormo were settling down for night. All of the natural beauty of this land was bathed under the milk light of the moon. Everything in the world was simple, it was easy and life was good. Tormo was a rather small city out in the wilds of the continent, more of a large town really. Once an old trading post, it now was a bustling town that lived and harvested the natural splendor of the environment around it. Truly it was a place where people from around the wilds could come and trade, restock on supplies, and as of late the growth and economy of the town had been booming they could settle there. This was due to a lot of the chaos that was Terrenus. Between multiple wars and even the macro level events that currently gripped the continent, a lot of people found that life was still easy going and far removed from most bloodshed that effected the city states and folk. Out here a person could live off the fat of the land and have a peaceful life, and that’s what people did. Truly it was a beautiful and one might dare to say heartwarming feat of human and demi-human kindness and strength that allowed races across the aisle to come together and do their best as one. Tormo was a testament to that and everyone for the most part was happy. But before you get the idea that this is a happy and uplifting story into your mind. It’s not. People often forgot the trade for living such a nice and comfortable life in the wild. There were monsters. Eyes. Deep blood red crimson eyes opened and shined through the evergreen tree line’s darkness. Not just a single set, but what seemed to be hundreds that all gleamed much like a predator stalking its prey in the dead of night. All of them stared down at the large town and in the center of it all, standing tall among the others were a pair of mad and deranged eyes and beneath it a illuminated Cheshire grin of glistening white fangs spread across what was without a doubt a horrific face that was hidden by the shadows of the forest. Darkness had gathered here, and they were ready to make their first move. ”Everyone knows the plan.” The deep baritone of the villain’s voice radiated outwards in a soft reminder to those around him to call them to arms. There was no speech, no fist pumping, or impenetrable shield wall with iron and fists clanging against it as their leader let out a booming war cry. No, none of that happened. The voice commanded and inspired fear, courage, and bloodlust beyond most’s wildest dreams with three simple words. ”Kill them all.” And just like that, the order was given. Howls. Beast like and filled with the most furious pitches of anger and rage broke the stillness of the calm night air. Women and children stirred from their beds, guards began to clammor from a lazy and half assed excuse of a fire watch. But it was too late. Like a swarm of ants to the life giving carcass of an fallen animal, from each side they rushed. Goblins traveling to near every side of the wall, joining them was the occasional massive Bugbear standing at around six to seven feet tall. They had easily crossed the distance with the town guard still scurrying to mount a pathetic defense. Surging and crawling up the wooden walls of the city, dozens of goblins had crossed the threshold into Tormo and were within its walls with more on their way every moment. They carried with them torches, blades, and brought death and destruction to those unlucky enough to cross their path. The attack had begun. ”Team A, prepare yourself. Let the goblins mold into the city before we make our move. Let it burn.” It was almost time to make the plots and plans of this group of scum and villainy a reality. ((Mood music))
  3. A small private airstrip and hangar located in Zaharadia, Terrenus; a small farming village two hundred miles south of Selemath. It is the home of Gaim Alam and is directly adjacent to his mother's residence, a large single story ranch encompassing hundreds of acres. The Alam Airfield is a private air strip which can accommodate small to medium sized aircraft on it's paved runway but has no provision for storage outside of the occupied hangar which doubles as a small apartment for Gaim. It is the headquarters of 'Old Soul Privateer', a single man mercenary combat wing of which Gaim is the pilot and mechanic. Gaim is home quite often, generally only gone from the location when out on a job.
  4. I There was something deeply wrong with Cassandra . She’d always been a quiet one. As far as Madrias knew, he was her only close friend among the crowds of students that called the Academy home. Not that she was antisocial, no; Cassandra didn’t mind talking to people- many a visitor to the island had been met with her gentle questions, inquiries about where they’d come from, where they’d been, the nature of things. It was simply that Cassandra mostly kept to herself, nose often buried in a book, gaze often distant or fixated on some object or individual near or far. When she was with him, though, her silence lifted, and she’d regale him with stories about the realms of magic, the planes of existence, philosophical questions about reality, the universe, the cosmos. She’d tell of her theories about aquatic blots or the identity of the War Fox, the genius loci, and the systems of magic that existed across the planet. There were times when she’d seem to disappear, and he’d be unable to find her in the classes they shared. Eventually, though, she’d always pop up, ready with another story or theory about this species of dragon or that weather phenomena. Lately, she seemed to be avoiding him. She’d always been ghostlike, in a way. Wispy black hair and a pale complexion, paired with that graceful, fluid way of moving, never-faltering in her gait This had been particularly true since last week when she’d come to class wearing that shawl over her eyes. He’d asked why; she’d said her eyes hurt. He’d told her to go to the infirmary; she had, and sightings of her since then were scarce. The last time he’d seen her, she’d been moving at a fast, nervous walk, a shawl shrouding her eyes. Madrias leaned on his quarterstaff, sighing. As part of campus security, he’d been stationed near the catacombs today. Relatively boring work- nothing notable had come up since that undead uprising some years ago, but occasionally troublemakers would come this way to... well... stir up some trouble. There were three of them stationed around the entrance of the flooded depths, the obelisk rising high behind the three men. Madrias let his gaze drift, still worried about his friend. Cassandra had come from a relatively well-off family, though he knew little of them. On that topic, she spoke little of.
  5. Moth

    Winds of change.

    “This is your first venture alone, little one.” The deep, calm baritone of her father’s voice echoed in the empty meeting hall. For once, she was thankful the diplomats and politicians had been shuffled out. It was rare she had time alone with him, and before such an exciting—and frightening prospect before her she was grateful she was granted the opportunity. “Yes it will be. Was there anything else you need to tell me? There wasn’t a change in plans was there?” The man chuckled at the question, shaking his head gently at her polite tone and professional questions. He lifted himself from his throne of gold and sparkling rubies, stepping down the short stairs that separated them. She took her duties seriously, and that was expected of her and he always praised her for that. But for right now, the Warlord wanted nothing more than to simply embrace his only child. So, he did. Well-muscled arms reached out only to scoop the lithe girl in his strong embrace. Initially, her muscles tensed in surprise. She knew he loved him, but there was little physical affection between them. Soon, the embrace was returned and she squeezed the man tightly in return. They remained this way, only for a few seconds tbefore he released his hold. “You will come home to me and hopefully with new ways for us and our people to prosper. You have not failed us yet.” His words of comfort came with a light pat to her back and a gentle kiss on the top of her head. “Your guide is waiting. Do not disappoint me little one, or do not come home. “ Great. No pressure. She was still unsure how she felt about the man charged with her care. A Yokai? She was fairly certain that was the word she had been looking for. Large, bat ears sat upon his ears to match the large leathery wings that sprouted from his back. He looked close to mortal, but those bestial features made it obvious that they were not. She didn't know much about him, he had shown up at their gates many years ago. His kind was new to their lands, but his friendly demeanor and quick wit quickly one their court and her father over. Not to say that the man wasn't intelligent, he had many stories of places had been, but there was always one he spoke of the most. Taurus. Never first hand accounts, always stories passed from companion to companion. He knew enough to get her there, she had an idea of those she need to speak too and he even was willing to foot the bill himself. Her father would of course compensate him. Their lands were overflowing with precious metals and gems, many of which they used for the alchemist creations that made the oasis famous. He said he would be cold, but she hadn't been prepared for how cold it would be. When she stepped from the gate from their home to this new land, she was hit with a chilling rush. Her hands reached to cross over her chest and clutch at her arms in surprise. The silks and gauze that draped her figure were no match for these chilly winds. "I told you to dress warm." He chided as the gate snapped shut at their backs. A frown set upon her face, her head whipping around to stare at the tan man and his teasing smile. "I did dress warm, Lukas. How do people live here, this is awful." Lukas laughed at her complaints, the girl would be fine but she certainly would not be comfortable. "Once we get to the city, we can get you warmer. I am not sure any place here will be hot enough for your liking though, Madame Noya. " Her nose wrinkled at the title, "Noya. Madame makes me sound so... old. " "-- Then how about Princess, that is likely more accurate isn't it?" Her eyes rolled at the Bat demon, who chuffed softly at her dismay. " We'll go with Miss Noya then. Before we leave, your father asked me to give you something." Lukas stepped closer to the girl as he pulled a small satchel from his pocket from which he pulled a wide, golden bangle. "I've been told that you take great pride in the way you look. So I feel I must apologize for its effects. However, your father insists. " She took the bangle tenderly, taking a moment to inspect the item. The well polished, golden surface held no markings and was broken only by the few large ruby settings it had. She raised an eyebrow in confusion, effects? It wasn't until she peeked along the inside of the bangle did she notice the inscriptions. Old, very, very old. She took her time quietly attempting to decipher them, and Lukas allowed her the time to do it. "Illusion?" "You'll see, please put it on so we may continue. " She pulled her gaze over to the man before finally slipping the bangle over her wrist. Now she understood what he meant. Her skin paled to a soft blue, traditional tattoos twisting over her skin where there have never been any. Dark, shifting hair now snow white and the heavy smell of ozone lingering in her presence. Her clothing changed, but only in color. The rich yellows and oranges she wore now softening to gentle blues and grays of the air district. Fascinating. "He's paranoid, that old man of mine." "He is, however we have no time to dawdle. We are already behind, so please, follow me. " The thick, leathery wings on his back flapped and the man took a short, running start before he took off. She was not long behind him, she took a small run and then jumped knowing the winds would catch her fall. Even with the added weight of her documents, the winds held her aloft as they always did. To Taurus and to hopefully a peaceful welcome.
  6. Two men walked into a somewhat upscale bar in Brooklyn, New York. One of them had thought he was seeking audience with a friend. Contacting someone that he could trust in the event that he to come back here, and needed anything. For the most part that was true, but the other had developed an Agenda, and circumstances since that promise was spoken had changed drastically. Man who promised the other, was a far cry from himself, and even further removed from previously stated obligations and directives. A man meeting a friend, instead met with Betrayal, and that Upscale Brooklyn bar had become the stage in which a scene unfolds and escalates, involving a S.H.I.E.L.D grab team, and one lone Superhuman Operative who functioned at street level in this same area. A very well known Man, African American, stout, bald and experienced with quite the reputation in these parts as one of the greatest Hero's of his time. S.H.I.E.L.D currently employs this man under the enhanced Superhuman Imperative, tasking him as an agent for their cause in regulating and policing superhuman/Inhuman activity. Unfortunately for S.H.I.E.L.D and New Avenger Luke Cage, their current objective was no light catch, and wouldn't be so easily subdued. THOOOOOM!!!!!!! The south side wall of this establishment would be blown open as Luke's body passed through it and slammed into a Parked Bmw 528xi, the latter hit with enough force to slide across the street, roll onto driver side and slam into the south side wall of the establishment across the street, pinning Cage beneath the car and buildings debris. Clearly whoever, or whatever he was fighting was batting high above his average, and whomever was in fact Protues Rauz, in M-Body/Avatar form, stepping free through the gathered dust veil and out into the street, Clad in street clothes, a simple set of boots, jeans, t shirt and leather jacket, loosely fitted to his 12' Hulking frame. [GT-1 Leader]"This guy put Cage through a fucking wall he is out, Any other assets in the area? What's the status on The Avengers, Overwatch. Wait....we have visual, it's-----" The BMW had rustled some and had been rolled and free'd from his back while Cage emerged from the debris, jostled, and rubbing his jaw. "Cancel that ETA, I got this guy..." A females voice of authority quickly quipped back, "The last time he was here he put down Thor, Banner and Wonder Man back to back, Im not looking for a Martyr. Cage wait for help" Guys got experience. Guys got ego and a sense of honor about him. It drives him and compels him in full sprint back across the street, dead center where he'd lead in with an over-hand right that misses by a mile, in part because of Bull's height advantage. Cage's punch is slipped, and next thing he knows he's got knuckles harder then all get out burying into his right row of ribs, breaking them. Cage sucked in air, winces, His SKINS invulnerable his musculature? Only enhanced. So the pain is real, and his right elbow comes down to cradle those powdered ribs before he's struck right side at his exposed lower jaw, jostled, left, and from that left side another brutal right cross, precedes the fist crashing into his solar plexus, again, with his right knee, again with his left knee---Cages Feet never reaching the ground when he was lifted from the first, and finished with right uppercut that tripples down on the same spot that had been hit twice, previously. His attacker relented... And Cage dropped to his knee's and spat to the ground the contents of his stomach which was mostly Blood, stomach acids and maybe, just maybe....beer. Cage had been downed. Hard, and Coup De Gras'd with a downward overhand right that buried Cage's entire head into the spitting street beneath it, and jostled buildings and cars for a full 1/4 of a square mile. In his finality, Proteus' eyes had locked with the Grab Team Leaders, before Proteus commanded, "I want to speak to Danvers! I didn't come here for this!"..
  7. Book|Ends OVERVIEW Whether you are searching for a novel on the Daily Weekly bestseller list, an original handwritten account of a half-mad ancient prophetess, or an enchanted tome that grants its owners the power of spontaneous levitation, Book|Ends is here for all of your literary needs. Currently located in the Northeastern part of Ashville, this multileveled building resembles what would happen if an architect fond of columns smashed a historical university’s snobbish library and a museum with a lot of stairs together and then filled it to the brim with books. A set of massive double doors, crafted of heavy wood imported from the Dark Forest, leads one into the Main Room. It is an expansive area, noted for its patterned marble tile and the wooden bookcases that stretch along the walls. Natural lighting pours through skylights and large windows, which have been enchanted to filter out harmful rays that may cause any damage to the texts on display. A fountain, minimalistic and elegant in design, is situated before the collection of shelves containing fictional works. Two desks for customer service are built against the walls on either side of the fountain, as fitting with the symmetrical theme of the store’s architectural structure. Employees at these desks conduct purchases, appraise mundane books for sales and returns, and contact other associates for special requests. Displays advertising suggested literature can be found atop small tables flanking the rows of main level shelves. Off of the Main Room are quieter reading areas, noted for their selection of comfortable seating. The reading areas are decorated with a more bohemian flair. Plush rugs from the Arcane East line the floors and various works of art, ranging from Classical period oil paintings to contemporary prints, can be found clinging to the wall spaces not overtaken by shelves. Rarer works of literature can be found in these separate rooms. A private office is situated in the back right-hand corner of the store. The door is rarely noticed upon first glance, as it is crafted from the same dark stained wood as the bookshelves and seems to exude an aura that wards off potential visitors. “Mister Draug Rhavon” is embossed in silver upon the door. It will not disappear no matter how hard the Mister Draug Rhavon in question scrubs and scrapes at it. Another set of double doors, smaller than those that serve as the front entrance, lead out to shaded courtyard full of exotic plant life. A koi pond and seating provide a scenic respite from city life. The Second Level is where one can find nonfiction work. There are two sets of stairs that lead up to the upper floor, as well as an elevator located at the back of the Main Room, near the restrooms. Like the Main Room, wall to ceiling bookshelves are found on this level. Because the upper floor overlooks the lower, it is advised that customers avoid dangling over the balustrades. The fall would be most unpleasant. The Second Level contains the Retrieval Request Desk, a circular structure that mirrors the fountain’s design. Employees manning the Retrieval Request Desk appraise enchanted tomes, scrolls, grimoires, and other forms of text that house magical properties. They also process requests filed for the Retrieval Specialist team and handle payment from clients. This can be done in person or through holo-calls, official directives signed by a notary (or another authority), messenger imp, crystal-powered communication spells, smoke signal, blood sacrifice, or politely worded letters. Six private conference rooms can be found off the main wings of the Second Level, as well as a two rooms dedicated for Tome Translation and Minor Book Repairs, respectively. The cafe, once overrun by arcane-enhanced raccoons, is now fully functioning and provides the best selection of tea south of Blairville. Might I also recommend sampling the mille-feuille? Beneath Book|Ends lies the Basement Level. Closed off to the public and well protected by systems both mystical and technological, the Basement serves as a Storage Facility. This is also where enchanted texts and magical artifacts are brought for safe examination before they are placed on the Book|Ends Catalog. Copies of the Catalog are available at each Help Desk. Individual copies can be delivered to anyone on the Book|Ends Mailing List. If any customer wishes to examine an item housed within the Storage Facility, an associate will bring the requested object to one of the conference rooms upstairs for the customer to inspect in private. The Book|Ends staff would appreciate it if customers could refrain from summoning eldritch beings or becoming possessed by malicious spirits hellbent on earthly destruction. Every written word that passes through these doors is stored within the Book|Ends database. Although it is accessible to associates only, Book|Ends does accept requests for assistance with research for a negotiable fee. If one wishes to conduct their research alone, associates can pick through the database for the best reading materials pertaining to one’s quest for knowledge. All it takes is one simple question. NOTABLE EMPLOYEES Draug Rhavon Ioreth Rhavon Godric Uldwar CURRENT EVENTS As the event’s title suggests, Book|Ends is hosting a weekend long special that invites local craft breweries to sample their wares in store. Poets, authors, research analysts, and the rest of those odd folks keen on slapping words onto paper or other mediums have been granted the opportunity to sign copies of their work, provide readings and lectures, and have their pick at the free food offered in the courtyard. Anyone that spills their drinks will face such harsh censure that they may pray for a swift and merciful execution. Live musicians can also be found out in the courtyard. One can only hope that they manage to refrain from awakening the beast that slumbers at the bottom of the pond. Ioreth Rhavon, Head Retrieval Agent, named it Stephen. She likes to feed it grapes. REQUEST LOG To Be Announced FLYERS Want to advertise your own business, event, organization, or enterprising character? Shoot me a PM and we can showcase it here. (Contact @LastLight for all your blacksmith-y needs.)
  8. OOC: Read the Prologue here! This is a combination of myself and @Aleksei written within the tavern of legend. Scapechild slowly entered the inn, trying his best to ignore the searing pain that still resided in his lower back. A small breeze amidst the frosty air was all that could be heard. He looked around at the dusty, worn-down, wooden lobby. A few benches for meal time and a small counter to check in at. The odd part was the lack of people. There were no patrons, no beggars, nor was there even a host to greet him. Scape held his scabbard firm, ready to draw his sword if need be. Yet still, there was nothing. "Hello?" His voice was surely loud enough to be heard by anyone that might be here. "I'm seeking a room and a meal. Is there anyone here that can help me?" Still there was no answer. An uneasy feeling crept its way to the back of his neck. Scapechild went back outside. Here too, the small mountain town was empty. There was no one in the small road that passed through the whole town. No children in the streets, no women cleaning clothes, no merchants selling wares. This town seemed utterly empty and yet... Scapechild noticed something quite odd. Down the road was a small building with a makeshift forge attached. This was surely the town blacksmith. The forge held embers as if recently lit. Drawing his sword, Scape made his way down the road towards the forge. He did not like the feeling he got from this place - the hairs on his arms began to raise. Reaching the furnace, he looked inside. Sure enough the embers were fresh. They began to glow brighter, a curious phenomenon. Then a great blast of smoke and ash burst forth, sending Scape flying a few feet back. He scrambled to his feet, picking up the sword he had dropped. In front of him stood a humanoid creature made entire of ash and soot. Every movement of this creature seemed to crack invisible bones. "What the fuck are you?" The creature screamed at him; high pitched, agonizing, and utterly terrifying, the scream seemed to penetrate a person to their very core. Scapechild ran forward and thrust his sword into the creature's chest. It looked at him through the glowing holes that should be eyes. The creature swung its arm, only to be narrowly avoided as Scapechild removed his sword and backed up. Putting space between him and that creature was the plan he could think of at the moment. The creature was not deterred. It began to lurch forward. Each step a crackling and forced mess that would make even the sturdiest of men cringe. Two more swings of his sword - one across the chest, the other through the face, cheek to cheek - with no affect on the creature. Once more Scapechild put distance between the two of them, not allowing the creature a chance to attack. He had only two options left. He could run, or use the ace in his sleeve. Scapechild looked down at his left hand, covered by fingerless gloves. A small glowing glyph began to appear. He thrust his hand towards the creature. "Zephyr!" He called out. A translucent blue wave burst forth from his hand. The force of the wave was enough to cause the creature to take a step back. As well, the black ash of the creature was blown back into a thick cloud, leaving a humanoid shape of ember left standing there. Before there was even a chance that this creature could recover from such an attack, Scapechild made his move. Three more blows from his sword. The creature's right arm cut off, the left leg cut, to drop the creature to one knee, and then he turned the blade around and plunged it through the creatures head. In an instant the creature dropped to a pile of ash and soot. Another high pitched scream shook the air. Scapechild turned to find five more of these creatures walking down the road. That spell that Scapechild had cast, was not something he could do again anytime soon....
  9. OOC: Hello and welcome to the beginning of the Chronicles of Adven! This is to be a very long and glorious adventure for those of you who wish to join. It shall be open for only around 3-5 people at first, and once things have been fully established and rolling, I am certain that I shall open up to even more people. That being said, there are a few things that need to be established. 1. Replies are to be at least once per day unless something comes up, with which I ask that someone is notified so we know. (not gonna freak out though if you miss a day) 2. All characters created must be UNDERPOWERED in the world, unless otherwise discussed with me. This adventure will be broken the moment one of our characters begins blowing up mountains with a wave of their hands. 3. No future tech. i.e. Guns, lasers, etc. If you aren't sure if something will fit, please don't hesitate to ask me. I am actually quite lenient as long as I can fit it into the ever expanding lore. 4. Have fun! Follow the Valucre rules. No god posts. and discuss with the owner of the character what you wish to do with that character before you post it. an easy way would be to send them a draft of what you envision in a PM. that way they can look it over and approve or say what would be different in a circumstance. The flames crackled casting a dim light amidst the cave. There was a piercing cold in the air that even the fire could not cure. A group of adventurers gathered around in an attempt to survive this accursed place. None of the adventurers spoke to each other. While most were strangers it was, in fact, the ominous feeling of this cave that permeated their very cores which made them silent. They all feared they would not make it out alive. An older man, dressed in leathers, with 2 daggers attached at the small of his back and a bow slung over his shoulder came from one of the tunnels. His torch cast a light upon his face which made him seem a monster - his scar emphasized in the dancing light. "I have found the path we seek. Be ready men, it will not be long before we leave." The man, Balthazaar, walked towards his pack, sitting against the wall, and pulled out a small piece of bread. Years of battle were etched into the wrinkles upon his face. Tired though he was, he had this one last hunt to do. A large round man, whom may have been as old as the archer, yet still seemed a bit younger, walked towards Balthazaar. The man wore little more than some robes, with a pouch and book hung on his waste. The man was completely bald and while a youthful jolliness could be felt from him, his face still had the look of a crazy man. "I think you should tell them the truth." The man said. His voice was high pitched and raspy as though his whole throat had been burned from the inside. "Most of them are young. We have had our fill of this world, but they have much to behold still." Balthazaar looked at the man with anger and disgust. "I do not like you mage. You are here because we need you. Speak nothing to these boys." Balthazaar spat on the ground next to himself, almost as if to say even calling them boys was an insult in his eyes. " They will be the heroes they so desperately crave to be in the end of this." "Should they survive," the mage chided in. "That is why I brought you, mage. Do not forget it." The mage, flustered, turned back towards the fire and rejoined the others. To his right sat a man, no more than 26, dressed in armor from head to toe. The man leaned forward onto his longsword gazing into the fire while his mind took him back to his family. A wife. A newborn daughter. They await him when he returns. He, like everyone else, knew this mission was dangerous. The fear of never returning haunted him like a plague. "What is your name?" The mage asked, jolting the man from his memories. "I am Arterius. And you?" The man replied. "Moden. A strange name, I know. It comes from the southern kingdom of Naaldigrad." No more was spoke of the two after that. The ominous presence of the cave returning. Balthazaar stood a few moments later, determination set upon his face. "It is time." And with that, the campfire was put out, the adventurers grabbed their torches and bags, and began their way down the tunnel deeper into the cave.
  10. Standing outside of the Tavern of Legends was the man who most patrons had come to know as Dredge. The towering and ruthless killer of men. In the previous month that had followed his last appearance, Dredge had shown his face in the tavern and killed a man who drew his sword at him. Without hesitation or even the slightest hint of remorse, Dredge had taken a life and it was clear to everyone in the bar at the time was that he had loved every second of it. So when Dredge took his first step, men cleared and gave way to his destination. They dared not stand in front of them. Reaching the fine oak of the tavern, Dredge entered with little care. Crossing the threshold into the tavern, all had gone silent. Pleasant chatter ceased and men looked stared down at their drinks in the hope that they would not become his next victim. With the still air now punctuating his footsteps, the sound of iron and muscle hitting the decks of the tavern were the only noises made. Step by step he came to the counter and placed another piece of paper at its desk. He was here for his task, and soon he would have his prize. Previously while here, he had heard Levhea talking to the bartender about the infestation of giant spiders in the attic. He had come here to dispose of them. So looking towards the bartender he pointed up to signal where he was going. "In the back. Take the stairway up to the attic." The bartender said with a bit of fear in his voice. Without so much of a word, Dredge proceeded to the stairs that would lead up to the attic. In a matter of moments the man arrived and began to ascend up the stairs. Each creaked and moaned under his weight, but soon he had made his way to the attic and entered the dusty and maze like structure of the building. Soon all would know just what he was capable of. Soon they would know the fear of his name. Dredge was here to burn it all to the ground. It would all begin in this attic. They would know pain and loss.
  11. -----> Directly following the events of Unwelcomed Guests Itylra panted hard, her eyes focusing deep on her blood stained hands and off pink colored dress, once white and elegant now coated in a mixture of the vile lifeblood of giant rats and her own. It had been a narrow escape, but a simple glance at her surroundings told Itylra she was hardly safe. The air of Terrenus was so clear, the sky was unbelievably vast beyond the tops of the massive trees which seemed to stretch on forever. The sheer scale of the place dwarfed the demiplane she once called home, or the one that housed the Tavern of Legends; it's scale was making Itylra head spin; or so she thought. In reality it was a mixture of blood loss and arcane withdrawal, her Star Elf constitution struggling to maintain it's supply of arcane energy which it normally obtained from the arcane dense atmosphere of her home plane. While Terrenus likely contained more overall arcane energy in the atmosphere it was less dense, and her body was struggling to replace what it was not obtaining from without by producing it within. The effects were immediate and jarring, where Itylra's eyes were once like a sea of stars they were now a simple gray, and under the dark blood which matted her hair her platinum sheen had begun to fade, becoming more and more translucent. Struggling to her feet the Star Elf walked on, hoping to find some kind of village or city soon, it had been well beyond a week since she had eaten, drank or slept, the events of her homeplane followed by those of the Tavern of Legend giving her little chance to recover. The moments were compounding on each other, leaving her weak and vunerable; even more so then she ordinarily was. Gripping the menacing short sword in her right hand hard Itylra continued on, unsure of which direction to head and unaware of the reality of the dangers of being covered in blood in a forest full of beasts. She could only continue on, her pace slow and her body demanding frequent breaks. Feeling her consciousness slipping Itylra began an exercise in her mind, recalling each and every word spoken near her by everyone she had encountered since escaping from her homeplane. From the villagers who guided her to the Tavern of Legends, to the patrons at the Tavern, even Dredge and the mysterious woman whom had allowed her a chance to escape the menacing titan. It was a simple idea, meant to focus her mind and do her best to remain conscious while also trying to understand the common tongue of the land. With each step her mind played a word and matched a motion or expression to it, and with each step her knowledge grew if only a little.
  12. Although Izusisil could not see the sun from her current position, she could assume it was a beautiful day based on the colors streaming down through the shell ceiling above her. The opalescent shell wall shielded Nymeria's many layers from the open ocean, and cast a rainbow of colors onto the graceful buildings that constituted the city. Izusisil's iridescent tail reflected a myriad of colors on its own as she made her way down the twisting corridors, the small scales rippling and shimmering with light. The young ithfunzi was a natural-born beauty, which made her tale all the more interesting to the gossips around the city. Born to talented dancers, the young Nymerian was chosen to join the Meretricem at the tender age of seven. Only a few short years later, a mysterious bout of headaches and seizures forced Izusizil to take a break from her training. After careful consideration, she was switched into the Mchogma tract despite her desperate pleas to remain with the Meretricem. You can't fight destiny, they had told her. Your calling is elsewhere. Iz scoffed as she swished past an eccentrically-decorated house, reining her thoughts back to the task at hand. She was in town to fetch a few herbs for a personal project, and needed to move quickly if she wanted to avoid the attention of her mentor, who had already expressed her concern with Iz's many ... personal ... projects. Under the strict (too strict, in the young woman's humble opinion) Mchogma training path, she was to spend very limited time within the heart of the city, and even then, only on direct orders from her mentor. Since Izusisil had no desire to speak with her esteemed mentor more than absolutely necessary, she needed to get in, get out, and avoid been seen. Of course, it was difficult not to attract attention when one was such a total and complete stunner. When it came time, Iz veered off of the street and through a narrow opening in the shell barrier, coming to a small but lovely little garden hidden away in the bustle of Nymeria. During her time as an Inyean apprentice, she had memorized the locations of Nymeria's most useful flora, and some specimens only grew in a select few locations. Here she would be able to find what she needed in order to finish her serum. As Izusisil combed through the tall grass and weeds to find her target, she hummed a little song, and for a few minutes she allowed herself to relax without Juni's watchful eye behind her.
  13. Dawic, Seinaru Forven https://www.valucre.com/topic/38587-elendaron-quests/ https://www.valucre.com/topic/31417-dawic-official-info-page/ "Class B (Medium): 1.5x post-credit value. 1+ players. 2+ page." "(Class B) A giant alligator has been killing anything unfortunate enough to come across its path, and the quest requires to eliminate the problem. The alligator is located in the complicated waters of the Sea Caves. The twist is that it's a mother alligator, protecting her equally dangerous (only smaller) babies." How I want to develop the story might be the same as some threads, or completely different. I don't know, but I want to try it out anyways. I'd rather any participating characters having a prelude that occurs before they all gather. There's no actually mentioned npc quest giver, npc mercenary (protagonist side or antagonist side), etc, or at least none that I know of, so I want to sort of overcomplicate the quest. Since the Sea Caves are also supposed to be a maze after going in deep enough, that might even be another situation we could add. Think of it this way. Individual character prelude, initial meet up with the quest giver, extensive journey to the destination, initiate the interaction sequence (whether combat or relatively peaceful), but instead of it ending with the giant alligator neutralized in however way, I would prefer if it drags on a little longer, being introduced to a sort of mysterious other threat, whether we actually confront it in that post or not. It can be a gateway to another quest immediately after that one, whether it's continued in the same thread or carried over into a new one. Like a series that continuously builds off from one another. If no one is interested within three days, I'll just go ahead and do the quest by myself. This would be my first time actually getting to do a legitimate role play session in Valucre, so please bare with me. Most of the times in the past just consisted of demons trying to possess my character every other post in Taverns of Legends.
  14. Life would almost be comedic in nature if it weren't so inherently sardonic. One moment you are on top of the galaxy, your empire reigning supreme with countless races, creeds, civilizations either bowing to you or being turned to glass in your wake. However the universe in its never ending chaos is predominantly fickle in what it bestows then so cruelly reaps at a whim. This is the case for one such tortured and maleficent soul known as Dredge. Hailed as the Supreme Overlord of his once mighty empire, he had it all ripped away at the hands of the enemy. A champion of light and good that had struck him down in the last epic battle between good and evil. But before the last blow was struck that would end his wretched existence, the universe showed another feature. The ability to be capricious in its choices. In the split second the overlord was ripped from his reality and forced to gaze into the omnipresent and ever expanding cosmos that is existence. Shredding his mind to pieces our indifferent universe cast the once powerful man into a new world, somewhere that had yet to feel the malice and pain brought on by his unending rage. This is where our story begins. In the wilds of Terrenus, where the plains stretch forever and mountains touch the sky. Within the thicket of woods there lay an dark armored figure clutching a bone-like bastard sword as stayed in an unconscious state. Darkness. An abyss of Stygian blackness near reminiscent of death had clutched the vile Dredge. Was this death? He asked himself as he seemed to drift across his own subconscious. A lifetime of conquest and genocide had finally been put to an end. Or so he thought at least. Life had other plans for Dredge. Ones that would shake the very roots of this world, but the first step to get there was waking up. A task that seemed to be nigh impossible for the supreme one. "Hey, Mister." A young voice pierced the void and rang against his ears. "Are you okay?" The voice asked once more as it grew louder and more defined. "Are you okay, Mister?" Again the voice rang out and pushed the darkness aside. Light began to form and blurred images of brittle brown lumbering objects came into view. Slowly the world began to take shape and become whole once more. Scents of wet grass and leaves filled the nostrils and the sensation of touch returned to him as a few prods and pokes came from what felt to be a stick. "Are you dead, mister?" The voice asked of him triggering the last few senses needed to return to the land of the living. It all came flooding back to Dredge. The last few moments of the battle when she struck him to the floor and was about to deal the killing blow. Though her face was obscured in blurs, Dredge's fine tuned senses caused a immediate and instinctive response. Like a predator laying in wait, the overlord snapped upright and wrapped his iron clad fingers around the soft flesh covered throat of whatever had been prodding at him. The world refocused back into definition and Dredge could now look at his surroundings. A thick forest covered the surrounding area. Trees and wilderness had laid claim to this earth and the annoying beasts that often came with it. The songs of birds chipped above head and soon that noise was broken by the panicked gasps and chokes of the life form he held in his hand. Suspended a few feet in the air by Dredge's raw strength. A young man of perhaps teenage years, a boy really; stared at him with eyes that darted from one side to the other like an animal that had its throat bitten into. Further inspecting the child, it was clear he was humanoid by anatomy with fair skin and blonde hair. Perhaps he knew something of this world. "Where am I?" Dredge ordered in a commanding tone. However the boy did not speak. This was most likely due to the fact that Dredge had his hand tightly wrapped around his throat and refused to lessen it. As panic grew more and more the young boy began to flail and kick at Dredge in a desperate attempt to escape. A small chuckle escaped Dredge's lips as his mouth curled into a smile beneath the blackened helm. "There are other ways of making you talk." Dredge said as he lifted his free gauntlet covered hand and reached towards the boys face. Reaching inward to use his power, the force that gave him such destructive abilities, he focused on entering his captives mind with it. Though as he began his spell, nothing happened. His powers had left him and he began to feel the air around him had no such energy for him to pull down. This alerted him of one now clear and horrific fact. This was not his world. Hell, this was not even his universe. This was a place dead to his magics and force. Like a child throwing a tantrum, Dredge let out a beastly howl that was accompanied by the cracking of bones. Falling to the ground was the corpse of the young man. This was not happening. This was fake, it couldn't be real. Yet, reality was a bitch. Soon after a few moments of panic and dread, other sounds began to push through the mix of birds and wind against leaves. Voices, and those that were nearby. Stepping forward, Dredge grabbed his blade and soon began to push his way towards them. Step by step he made his way to the tree line where a small sleepy village could be seen. Men, women, and children all seemed to live life as if there were no cares in the world. They were removed from the hustle and bustle of city and town life where they could live peacefully in isolation. Now Dredge knew nothing of this world and barely anything of the one he came from. But he knew one thing, and it was death. Staring out at them another smile came to him as he gripped his blade tighter. It was time to begin. A new age would dawn on this world. The age of Dredge. (( We are in the wilds of Terrenus at the moment. Feel free to enter however you'd like. Just remember to be flexible and fair)) Character sheet: https://www.valucre.com/topic/30108-dredge/
  15. Small group for this, 1 or 2 preferred, but 3 at most. PM me with any questions! All around the city, on a dozen different public boards, a single notice had been posted, often in the center or in places where the eye would naturally be drawn to such a notice. It was written on deliberately aged-looking parchment, with some artful folds and cuts worked into the edges. Any real artist could tell it was falsely aged, the color from coffee and the wear-and-tear far too new to be real, but that was more or less the point. Each poster had a motif beneath the words, carefully applied around the lettering, which resembled a sun with multiple radiating lines. The same motif repeated itself in the inked words, each bullet point a small sunburst. ¤ ATTENTION ¤ Do you have need of an artist? Do you want to give a gift that will be meaningful and last for as long as your love will? Do you just need a pass but the agency in question has been too stubborn for your liking? SEARCH NO MORE! Simply come to the Skywater Pub and inquire after 'Sunny, Artist for Hire!' ¤ Portraits ¤ Landscapes ¤ Family Images¤ ¤ Poetry ¤ Signatures (Official and Otherwise) ¤ Base rate of 40 silver pieces, with addt'l silver pending size and complexity of project First come, first serve! Sunny stepped back from the last of the posters, wiping her forehead with one arm, twirling the hammer in her free hand. "Lovely," she murmured to herself, smirking her most winning smirk in preparation to convince the uncertain to part with their coin. It was what she was best at, be it by legitimate business or less conventional means. And this... well, if she were being truly honest, it blurred the lines between the two at best. In truth, it was little more than a forgery service for the less savvy criminals or the less fortunate civilians, a means by which tickets could be 'forgiven' by the courts, so to speak. The wording was meant to be subtle but plain; come to me if you want a certificate forged. It won't be cheap. Come alone. She spun the hammer again and turned on her heel, whistling as she walked the familiar path back to the pub where she did her business. Sunny was a slight figure, slim and small, and her step was light and quiet. The tunic she wore under a light leather vest had both sleeves rolled to the elbow, the better to deal with Tia's copious amounts of steam. A simple rope belt cinched her pants around her hips. Her blonde hair was braided back behind her head, mostly obscuring the dark mark that stretched from the base of her skull to the nape of her neck. Her eyes were almond-shaped and quick and clever, colored golden, like the edge of a sunrise. The Airwater wasn't a very new place, or a very clean one, but it also wasn't filthy or ramshackle. The proprietor, a rotund man named Gleeson who'd once flown merchant airships, had been suspicious of Sunny at first, but after she'd given him a portion of her take he'd changed his tune. He still didn't like it, of course, but Sunny couldn't care less about that. Gleeson could huff and scowl and mutter all he liked, at the end of the day he still took her coin and played dumb to the handful of guards who ever came looking for her. Gleeson looked up as she came in and planted his hands on the counter, thick nails digging into the worn wood. "So you didn't get nicked yet?" "No, much to your chagrin, I'm sure. I've just hung a fresh set of posters." He turned his head and spat on the floor. "I'm tired of hostin' your motley crew of miscreants day in and day out, Sunny. I'm tryin' to run a reputable pub here." "Is that why your food is almost always burnt?" she shot back, arching an eyebrow. His expression soured further, and she sighed as she reached over the counter to lay her hands on his. "Glee, my friend, come now. Reputable or not, you'd still get a rougher sort of client in a place like this. It isn't me, it's just the location. Besides," she slid her hands back and propped them on her hips instead. "Besides, criminals frequent even the nicest bars. How do you think most of the government pays its way?" "Not by bloody forgery!" he hissed back, but kept his voice low by necessity. The door had just swung open to admit another customer, and he shook his head as he moved down the bar to help them. Sunny just grinned at his back and leaned over the bar, nearly climbing over it to retrieve a fresh bowl of nuts. She sat back and helped herself to a handful, leaning one elbow on the bar, her eyes far away as she pondered what the day might bring. She paid little attention to the other patron, her mind all at once far away from the bar and her profession. She half wished someone would actually request a painting again. For all her defending it, she wasn't entirely proud of her work. To paint a person, or a setting again... she sighed and brushed the thought away, focusing her eyes on the door, ready for whatever might come through.
  16. "You have got to be kidding me." The voice that spoke was shocked, in a mixture of frustration and disbelief, as it addressed its fellow speaker. A golden-eyed young man leaned over a balcony, the High Towers' Mage Guild presiding over a particularly small segment of one of many entertainment sectors within Blairville. The golden-eyed man's snowy hair seemed out of place in the building heat, as if it should have long melted from his head. But no. It remained slicked comfortably back, pressed down against the top of the young man's head. Pale, folded hands rested on the warm metal railing of the balcony, each one wringing the other in slow, deliberate motions. Finally, the pale young man flashed his redheaded companion a smile. A knowing one. The kind of gentle, inviting smile that seemed to be plastered on his face whenever he finished his learnings at the tower. "No. No no no." The redhead shook his head vigorously, irritation spreading across his freckled features. "No way. The headmasters ignored your little business, since you've maintained your studies, but this? This is downright insane, Kar!" Slightly tanned hands reached out and grabbed at the snowy-haired young man, squeezing his shoulders and shaking the poor kid back and forth, toussling his entire body as if it were made of paper. An awkward laugh resounded from the white-haired man, whose smile never faded despite his rough treatment. Though he did grunt in frustration when his head began lolling back and forth with each shake. "Alek, c'mon! It's a good idea!" The snowy-haired young man, Kar, grasped at his redheaded companion's wrists, prying them from his shoulders. That ginger-sweet smile that spread across his features seemed altogether too kind. Unbelievably so. As if there were some kind of mischievous energy beneath it, blossoming like a flower inside of him. Alek could feel it. His already pale hands were white-knuckled with worry and nerves, and energy that made each slim finger like a snake, coiled around him. "I can do it." That smooth, tenor voice. It sounded as if he were speaking to family, not to a mere friend. "I can make this change happen." His fingers loosened around Alek's wrists, freeing the now-reddened skin for the redhead's grasp to fall at his sides. The slightly taller Alek cautiously eyed his friend up and down. He went to speak, only for Kar to cut him off. "And if I don't, I can't just wait for someone else to. It's not right to the people struggling while they wait for me." There was a somber timbre to his voice now. Something old and quiet, hushed like waves lapping across a wreckage. In that moment, it was as if Kar could see every act of suffering, and vocalized the miseries it wrought about within the tangling blood vessels around his heart, the crushing grasp of his sorrows and uncertainties made clear as day. The quiet, hushed moment seemed to extend between the two of them. Alek had no words for Kar. Kar couldn't bring himself yet again to speak. Both young men were aware of the strains. Of the suffering of the people below. The terroristic actions against a controlling government resulting in casualties that were yet to be bound to either side. Uncertain folks barely clinging to life as both government agents and spell-wielding vigilantes took those futures into their hands, unprompted. Until now, Karilius had been content to watch, hoping things would work out. A child in an uncaring world, naively believing that things would change while he remained concerned with his own comforts. But now... Now he couldn't do that any longer. It had taken weeks. Perhaps a much shorter time than most would have thought, to come up with this plan. Aleksandre seemed shocked at the mere idea that Karilius had come up with this massive-scoped plan, and a means of accomplishing it, in a matter of weeks. But Kar had the motivation of violence behind him. Violence against the innocents who had done nothing wrong. Against people who had been doing naught but their jobs. "You sure?" The redhead spoke in a calm, quiet whisper, shattering the glass box of thought that isolated them from the outside world. The white-haired mage nodded, slowly, to assure his friend. This was the beginning of it all. The beginning of change. "Fine. But you get to face the Guild Council on this one. I'm not touching it." Kar gave a loud, hopeful laugh, his green-eyed friend watching him with a less-than-amused look, as the white-haired young man turned towards the balcony opening. "Well. Here goes nothing, then." Karilius, took his robe from the chair next to him, hefting it up, and flourishing it, an arcane, ghastly hand appearing to help him slide the robe around his figure. Navy blues and golden trim complimented his snowy skin, and his golden eyes seemed content to wander towards his feet, black shoes clattering against the floor as he approached the guildmasters' hall. Better late than never. Less than a week later, that same white-haired mage was putting up flyers, sticking adhesive flyers to walls, having paid his redheaded friend comfortably to craft them. A large white sun, with an outstretched hand reaching towards it. The papers themselves were labeled "The Prometheus Initiative" on top. Below the sun and hand was a simple line. "Foundation for the Accessibility of Magic and Economization of Spell Abilities seeks Mages to Join in Business and Social Pursuits. If Interested in Assisting in the Initiative, Come to the Promethean Banking and Security Building, on 12th and Sigilcrest." Despite his skinny frame and lack of muscle, the young man seemed to have been working hard as he jumped through the ethnically diverse districts, finally making his way to a larger market district, as he stuck the adhesive paper to another wall. His permit folded up and placed within a medallion around his neck, able to be popped open and revealed at the slightest provocation. Of which he'd had twelve today alone. Karilius didn't mind. He'd found a few mages here and there who were interested in the ideas he'd had to offer. Who listened to him over their own guildmasters. People who were giving him a legitimate chance. People who asked questions, who would listen to his concerns when he let them spill forth. Sure, juggling this advertisement of the foundation itself with his day job at his banking and security firm and his studies(his uncle's requirement for the guild's cooperation with his "selfish" goal) left him with little more than four or five hours of sleep everyday. But it was worth it to enact the change Blairville needed. He hoped. He looked up at the sun, to that outstretched hand reaching towards it. The bags under his eyes made his tender gaze towards his self-designed banner seem that much more tempered and uncertain, as he reached out, placing his fingertips along the sun, and flattening it up against the wall. Maybe the design was a little bit off. The hand should've been holding a piece of the sun, to offer it to the people. But it was too late for that. He was, fortunately, knocked out of his brooding as a passing cart nudged into his back, and flattened him up against the wall, his chest flattened up against the wall as he was squashed. He couldn't help but grunt in discomfort from it, as his robe hooked onto a wheel spoke. Noting it before any damage occurred, Karilius flicked his wrist, and an arcane hand formed, lifting his robe from the wheel spoke before it pulled him off in whatever direction. A few of the common folk, merchants and passersby, gave him a strange look. As if expecting more. Expecting him to zap the wheel spoke. Indeed, with the scar running down the side of his face, his snowy white hair, and his golden, sickly eyes and dark robe, he seemed more the part of a villainous mage than a simple one. His slicked back hair only added to that feel, too! But instead of allowing himself to run amock with magic, he instead turned back, placing another flyer up against the wall, pinning it in place, and smiling, the travelers, merchants, and customers all ignoring him upon realizing he was just letting the cart that'd hit him leave. His smile spread open again, thin lips parting to reveal pearly teeth, as he stuck another flyer up against the wall, this time of a small spellbook-vellum shop. No. This symbol would be fine. It was of all of the people, reaching for the sun together, trying to touch the future that they truly, deeply hoped for. It would more than make due. It was perfect for him.
  17. Untouched by civilization for countless years, the Bloodstone Marsh continues on in wild existence. Unclaimed and unspoiled woods and waters stand to folly humankind and any other denizens of Valucre that come to seek the fortunes of the marsh. Monsters roam these vast areas, claiming the lives of any civilian who treads too far into the foreboding lands. Without question, the Bloodstone Marsh is a dangerous place. It's been four months since some of the regents of Genesaris decided to pull up funds to gather experienced personnel to lay waste to these areas, trying to open up a better trade route between the prison city to the north and Mezthaluen to the south. It was more of an official recognition of the problems that were the Prison City, and finding an easier way to get to them and start fixing the hellhole it was becoming. One vassal of these regents, Sir Tolgrith, headed this task. Starting from the northern reaches of the prison city, to show a probable 'hope' to the citizens there, they established a small pass and created a temporary abode in Fort Thorn. In the months since, Tolgrith and his men have toiled and worked well enough to minor success, but have reached out for extra assistance where it's been deemed necessary. “Land, Gold, and Title!” Those are the things promised for taming the great swath of wilderness known as the Bloodstone Marsh, but so far, the journey there has been little more than hardship and boredom. As the miles rolled past, the company of merchants William found himself traveling with had grown steadily more subdued. There were whispers that the marsh was haunted or cursed. Not surprising really, coming from the other rumors of the lands of Genesaris that supplied plenty of lore and misfortune. The wagons stopped to take in the view before them. In the distance one could see the prison city to the north just barely visible beyond the lush green wilderness. Below spread a sea of leaves, broken only here and there by moss, water, and strange and erratic flora. Another twenty miles of travel, and a wooden fort broke through the forested canopy, with a thin wisp of smoke twisting through the air. Crumpling up the handout that read the details of the excursion, William smirked as he walked into the encampment. His first stop was what they called their inn, the Boar's Bones. William needed a room to shackle up within during his stay here. Rumors scuttled about, nothing in regards to him of course, since he was unknown and just a foreseeable aid. One caught his ear though. People had begun to disappear. Ok, sure, that was a common thing that was talked about where the Marsh was concerned, but it was better than nothing. In fact, it was reasonably why people were being called from outside the regular work-bearers to assist. Like William himself. "Excuse me, I'd like a room, and could you tell me where Sir Tolgrith is?" Taking a leaning stance on the bar within the Boar's Bones, William pulled out some money and handed it to the barkeep, hoping that his search and stay wouldn't be too costly. "Check the keep across the way. Big, stone. You can't miss it. Lodgings will be dealt with later, but I'll have a key for you when you come back tonight." Fort Thorn's keep was an imposing structure and one of the few stone buildings in the small outpost. It was reasonable that the man was probably over there, though William didn't surmise this as he was more keen on a bed he could secure when night fell. "Thank you," he responded with a tip before stepping back outside. The building in question was two stories tall, with few windows that were little more than arrow slits. A pair of guards standing in front of the portcullis protecting the main entrance took note of him as he approached casually. "Newcomer! You must be one of the adventurers come to answer the lord's call! Welcome! Please wait nearby until the rest arrive that are due today, please."
  18. "Woah, it's cold here..." Kiki, a genin ninja from an entirely different world, has been reverse summoned to the frozen tundra of Terrenus here on Valucre. Minus that she's surmised this place as cold, she has looked around to see, in the distance, what looks to be a desert. She, due to her young age, hasn't the slightest clue as to how she got here, or where "here" is. Her only company was a polar bear cub, whom, coincidentally, left when she turned her back. And thus, she's now alone, her curiosity peaked, as she walks the edges of the desert, and the tundra, seeking another being.
  19. The Atrium of Lights and the Royal Gardens - Arcadia District The setting sun filtered through panes of glass that sinuously stretched from floor to ceiling, casting pure scattered light. Rainbow hues ambitiously illuminated every inch of the marble flooring. Somewhere nestled in the botanical splendor that filled the Atrium was the peaceful cascade of a fountain. Ornate and comfortable lounging was scattered throughout the entirety of the glass palace, offering pockets of privacy among the tactfully placed gardens and shallow pools. Columns were wreathed in warm glowing lights, for as evening would descend upon Hyperion, the magnificence of the Atrium of Lights would come to head as a romantic, social atmosphere blossomed. Smartly dressed servers tailored in crimson, gold and ivory served platters of exotic cuisine showcased in Hyperion, highlighting its complex palette from the spicy and savory to the sweet. Dishes from abroad with a Hyperian twist were paired with Alethenian wines. The Sadira Amar and many of Laconia’s merchants supplied spirits, teas, juices and water for the crowd’s pleasure. A stretch of pavilion provided adequate space to dance as a small orchestra provided music. A dais sat at the head of Atrium, where five ornately decorated seats overlooked the entirety of the space. Beyond the Atrium doors sprawled an outdoor terrace to enjoy evening festivities, leading out into the intricate maze of the Royal Gardens. As night descends upon the city it is asked that you be mindful of your surroundings, your company and your safety… -- The venue will be open before, during and after Raveena's debutante and the Parade of Worlds as well as throughout the Festival. Mingle with others or take a break from the festival to enjoy the finer things.
  20. Leocadia Palace: Arcadia District Soft blues and rosy pastel pinks blurred together in a silver mist rolled from the banks of Ponkapoag Lake, creeping through the edges of the Haunted Glen, and sweeping through the Great Bines Barrens. Brilliant flares of gold and orange seared the sky as the sun rose along the eastern horizon. It bathed the western mountains awash in gold and silver as the first few weeks of spring brought life to the mountain side. The air was crisp and cool, the morning mountain dew and the rich scent of fresh grass and fertile soil promising a bountiful harvest. Raveena’s arms crossed along the smooth marble balcony that overlooked much of the epicenter of the Arcadia district. The only building to shadow the palace and overlook the entirety of Hyperion and beyond was the Iron Stronghold, a spire of grandeur and wondrous focal point of stone, jade and gold. Leocadia had become her home, with sweeping domes of gold and glass, open archways, rows of columns and a luxurious stretch of lush gardens within the walls. Light was ever-present in the palace, illuminating the gorgeous marble flooring and golden inlay that marked the occasional sunburst motif. It remained airy, open and comfortable—though the Aralim Knights in their stark white and gold remained plentiful and vigilant. Her ebony curls and waves tumbled over her shoulder, scattered drops of diamond pins glinting as she overlooked the city her and her own had built from the ground up. It was a labor of love and madness all in one, with trouble after trouble had beset them. Still, the Hyperion people had endured and persevered through the months. Glass lanterns of pyreflies were being hung, their silvery glow rumored to ward evil energy away. Older generations of Matreyans had passed on the craft of paper lantern making, and no expense was spared to provide her people with the materials to pass this age-old tradition down to the youth. All day the finishing touches on extravagant builds for parade were made. Invitations had been scattered across Valucre to participate in the first annual Kaess Festival—the Festival of Lights. An old Matreyan holiday celebrating life with a Terran twist, Raveena was adamant about keeping this holiday alive in the hearts of her people. A somber reminder of the sacrifices that were made, of the hardships that were endured, of the impressive feats they had achieved as a collective. The Hyperian people were strong in their hearts. They knew the mind faltered first before the body, and sought to harden themselves to carry on achieving better lives. Raveena wanted to show them the world that awaited them. For too long they had been subjected to slavery, being stripped almost entirely of their cultural identity. Raveena vowed to bring the world to them—and to her delight—the world answered her call. For the past two weeks, visitors from across the continent and beyond had traveled to Hyperion to witness the Parade of Worlds. Airships carried some, while others journeyed from above and below the sea. Mages came to study the Hyperion Academy and observe the beginnings of the Mage Guild’s building. Xenanthros from Alethea came to celebrate with their new Queen, and to mend relationships with their human counterparts. Others had come simply for the culture shock. The Laconia District was buzzing with bountiful merchants selling wares to awed tourists while Enforcers patrolled the streets dutifully, always in pairs. Port Kyros had brought from its shores the finest of Genesarian seafood, while Alethea’s vineyards brought luxurious fruits, nuts and wine to be sampled and enjoyed with good company. “You look regal, miss. Like the high ones of old!” Raveena glanced over her shoulder at the sound of a familiar young man’s voice. Not old enough to be a man, not young enough to be a boy. The man-child had a particularly lovely visage, smooth and flawless. His skin was bronze, lean and wiry man with the beginnings of a beard. He wore his shoulders erect, regarding Raveena with light brown eyes. His hair was short and wiry with flecks of gold. His nose was short and broad with dark, pointed arches for eyebrows. He was bare-chested, wearing a heavily adorned sarong and belt, with golden sandals on his feet. Golden hoops and drops of ruby and amber adorned his ears, ornate chains and rings of a dizzying array of metals adorned his neck and fingers. Raveena felt very plain in comparison, but she smiled and turned from her leaning posture. “You flatter me.” She replied and leaned forward respectfully in a bow. The man-child made her right side and leaned against the balcony, pulling up his belt—which Raveena now realized doubled as a satchel, “I am pleased to see you not dead. You should be a queen someday. I am Arun!” There was mirth in his youthful eyes, and she knew that he was teasing her. “I am Raveena,” She introduced herself as she had in the past, following along in the man-child’s wake, “Please, call me Rae if it’s easier. Pleasure to meet you again, Arun.” The young man-child shook his head and smiled, “The pleasure is entirely mine, Rae. I wish more of our women had the skill and foresight to train themselves as diligently as you have. You should consider the court.” These were honeyed words that Raven had heard before, but there was always something different to this young man’s words. He spoke with wisdom beyond his years, and held nothing but praise for her. His smile was boyish and charming. He could break hearts, she guessed, “The court, I don’t know how well received I would be there.” These were honest thoughts, but Arun only smiled broadly, “You know, a God once made a bet on a young woman—not so different from yourself. Strong and smart. He bet that she would—as plain and poor as she was—liberate and unite the oppressed. Beloved by her subjects, the God staked his godhood on her. It was foolish and rash but he had plans for her. She did not disappoint.” Arun turned to her, taking her chin and lifting it delicately so that she would look up at his honeyed brown eyes. She noted every crinkle that framed his jovial eyes. It still amazed her that he, godly thing that he was, acted as human as he did. “There’s still work to be done.” She reminded him gently—not that he needed it. Arundae’raa, the old Matreyan Sun God had been her most trusted ally and friend since before her birth. They were, in a way, old friends. Pride was etched on his features, boyish and charming all the same. “Well done, my Hyperion Queen. The sun rises with you.” -- Welcome to the first Annual Kaess Festival of Lights! This is a historic holiday for Hyperion to celebrate the city’s foundation in the wake of escaping slavery and culturicide. To celebrate the coming of Spring and the new freedoms that await the new Hyperian people, they have opened their doors to the rest of Valucre to join them in celebration. Visit Leocadia, the Palace of Light in the heart of the Arcadia District to meet Raveena as she debuts as Queen Regent and Imperial Princess to address the city and share future news and opportunities. Wander the streets and find trouble—or perhaps trouble will find you? A gang of red-cloaked wearing thieves are still loose in the city, stealing valuables. Be careful where you wander, they may steal from you, too! The Sadira Amar is open so stop on in to celebrate with a drink! Stick around for the Parade of Worlds, as various locations across Valucre showcase themselves and all they have to offer. (This event will begin Monday evening) Gather in the Atrium of Lights for a romantic evening of dancing, dining and socializing! The Festival will end with lanterns being passed around with writing utensils to write wishes, hopes, dreams and goals for the year. After the lighting ceremony, everyone will be called to release their lanterns into the sky! Need a map? Learn your way around the four districts here! -- This is an open event, and all are welcome! Several events are planned, including exhibition matches (see the IC for more details). I plan for the event to last at least two weeks, depending on the pacing of others, but I am in no rush to end and we can ride it out for as long as we can. I welcome shenanigans, just keep me in the loop of plans and don't get too carried away. As always, respect your fellow RPers and above all else, have fun!
  21. And once the Umbral Year approaches we are all in danger. Those sensitive to the dark whispers will fall first. This was always the proof. The people of Serphus Alumna hadn't suffered the most like other cities but it birthed something terrible. Something to add to the terror of the land. The land of Talia could no longer stand by and allow the people to become like Lyonesse and Athentha. Yet, the people were led by an elder who didn't care about them. Standing there at the entrance came their hope and strength. A lone elf trained by the militaries of Athentha and Lyonesse. Tangled with Esben, Rin and even the darkest of hearts. The battle scars had tried to claim her, but the knight templar had risen above it all. And in her time became Inquistor of Rowan and Allia. Yet she allowed Vex to have that title in Rowan. Her most famous fight was with Allia's own elder Yevon. He had tried to capture and enslave her to become the voice to tear the small island apart and start a civil war among them. That plan backfired as the elf battled against Yevon not allowing him to take her. Her skills learned in the icy prisons of Athentha helped her well. However she didn't go unscathed. The elven girl had been carrying the elder's bite among her neck for awhile now. The infection had been running through her blood and she managed to cover the mark with a bandage. The elf girl didn't have time to deal with it at the moment. Walking down the path she had come to Serphus Alumna to get allies to help her fix Allia. Her name was Myrrah LaZyrix. And her purpose was to stop the war at any cost. Anything to get the land back to normal.
  22. 1674AY, 4 August Serphus Alumna, Talia The Umbral Year Tuesday, 10:02A.M "It will never be the same once the Black Heart Mirror Ore becomes made. It is the deadliest of all ores because it knows what plagues your heart." H.H. Dylan, Athentha's Bloodied Past, Book II It wasn't good. More and more people were being consumed by the darkness that ran wild. Crafted by many of the townsfolk transformed by the ore they ate. However, the biggest problem was not the Sunburst Justice ore but its sister ore, the Black Heart Mirror Ore. One that knew everything inside you and knew how to prey upon you. And though it was being made, the resistance was sending others to find a way to reverse the effects. Sayndar knew that if they were to fight back they would have to research and experiment on this ore. But there was another problem. Only a few guarded souls carried the ore. Ones that were resistant to the effects of the ore. So one of the resistance members would have to gather it and bring it back without consuming it. Which would be a hard task altogether. So Sayndar decided he alone would go. He left Asbel in charge as he suited up and gather a few meager necessities before leaving the hideout. Walking down the gravel path towards the inner city of Serphus Alumna. A perfect place for the resistance to hide and be right in the open. Especially with all the black markets sprouting up and selling numerous ores including the Sunburst Justice ore and the Black Heart Mirror Ore. Of course Sayndar would be cautious. He, being the hero of Lyonesse, had dealt with bad things before but this ore was more dangerous than Rin. He sighed. Where to start?
  23. Trevor looked at his newly renovated school. It was a shame his students disappeared for whatever reason. They just left, and after that Trevor left this place. It started falling apart. The school, that once looked like an Asian martial arts dojo (only bigger) started falling apart. Layers upon layers of dust covered the place, and the cobwebs, blech. Trevor gagged a few times running into so many. He decided he wanted to teach again, so he started fixing the place up. This time, he thought he'd make it bigger. He wanted to keep the dojo feel in the main entrance and building design, but he also wanted to put a bit of castle-like appeal to it. He put large walls of stone with towers that were lit with an eternal flame on each corner. He then added doors and floors that can be changed with magic, a library full of books on magic upstairs, and he decided he'd add more bedrooms. Each having two beds, he put the quarters near the back of the school and put ten rooms. That should be enough. He added a cafeteria which was under the training room (the training room was full of magical symbols and glyphs inscribes on the stone floor). He added a room for elemental magic. He even went out into the back area of the school and added things to his "Garden of Peace". This would help meditate. The trees, wildlife, flowers, and atmosphere of the place created an eternal feeling of peace the more you breathed. He added a flowing river that went into the large pond. This place was larger now. He liked it. The first and second floors kept the feeling of the dojo, but the third floor had a castle appeal to it. This is where Trevor's room was stationed. He wanted to be able to see anyone coming. Hell, Trevor even added a room on the second floor that expelled most magic. A mage should be just as good with a weapon as they are with magic, or so he believed. He understood it wouldn't be for everyone. That was inside the walls though. Outside of the walls, well.. He put a lot of the same type of plant life and nature that was in the Garden of Peace. There was a beautiful path leading to the front gates, which entered magically whenever a presence drew close enough. The doors to the school however, were opened manually. Trevor smiled and nodded to himself. He was proud of his work. Now all he needed was signs. At the beginning of the path he put a magical floating sign with a magical, glowing inscription. It read, "Welcome noble traveler! Are you interested in magic, but don't know how to use it? Well, if you are, just follow the path! You will find a free school, where anyone is welcomed! unless you have evil intentions... So come on down!" He put similar signs along the path that lead to the school and in areas around the first sign. He was feeling confident about this. It was time for him to keep his mentor's heart and teachings alive. Trevor then sat in his room, watching the path. "Soon." he thought. "They'll come. I'm sure of it." (Here is the OOC)
  24. The outside appears to be minimal and modern with slabs of marble and stacked stone in a grey palette. The inside is warm with distressed wood paneled walls, a romantic, whimsical canopy of trees overhead, and the soft twinkling of lights as an open fire glows in the stone fireplace. Small, curtained windows framed by wooden shutters let some light filter through, and small, intimate tables are arranged for the flow of impeccable service. It is clear the Enoteca is meant to be an oasis of intimacy and romance. An impressive stretch of marble slab makes up the main counter top, a clear path indicating a newcomer may start there. The floors are equally distressed but maintained, the air clean from the artfully placed trees inside. The menu was rumored to be small but flavorful, based solely on the wines provided at the time. A portion of the counter was lined with baskets filled with fresh snacking goods from nuts to bread and spiced oils, some which came as suggestions to pair with a favorite wine. A path leads around to a second room, which also boasts a counter, flanked by an impressive array of local and imported wines. On display are various retired swords, tools, and artifacts—their ethereal abilities long spent and merely for decor. After lunch in the late afternoon, the Enoteca would open its doors for a few hours, allowing the locale and tourists trailing in from Port Kyros to make their reservations and dine for the wine or see their wares inspected, repaired, or built to order. The cellar would open as the orders for the best of the best wines make their way in. Meals are prepared light and are not meant to satisfy those who are voraciously hungry. Built for refinement, elegance and courtesy—drunken debauchery is heavily frowned upon and security is never far. -- Welcome to the Enoteca: the chic, romantic sister-bar to The Sadira Amar. With the Port City’s arboretum taking off and growing a variety of fruits, it became clear to Raveena that capitalizing on the wine industry would bolster Alethea’s tourism significantly. While the Sadira Amar is open and inviting, the Enoteca is an establishment designed for intimacy and privacy. Like its sister-bar in Hyperion, the Enoteca doubles as a workshop where Genesarian artifacts and weapons can be repaired or built to order. Shopping patrons are escorted to the adjacent room where a workshop beneath the floors going into the cellar has been fleshed out. An up-and-coming Artificer and Scrivener in the service of the Queen resides here and can give anyone a quick lesson on their artifacts, its history and its use for a fair fee. Stop by to sample the local flavor, delve into the mystery of Alethea and it's potent source of magic. There's rumors of ghosts of fallen soldiers that haunt the memorial, of secret societies and vanishing cities. From the magical to the mysterious, the Enoteca welcomes you in.
  25. Call it what you will, but there has always been a strange, invisible force that pulls people in certain directions. This force goes by many names. Fate, God, Luck, they are all the same, and all have potentially catastrophic sides to them. For House Estella-Negra, they have only known the harsh sting of the negative providence towards them, it nearly breaking them entirely. Everyone must answer to this force, from the lowliest serf to the most powerful of nobles. Today on a pleasant day in the countryside some distance from the city of Izabal, this idea has never been more true. Standing atop a balcony of their prestigious estate, the patriarch of Estella-Negra, an honorable man by the name of Esteban, ponders in somber silence. With the sun shining pleasantly down on his pale skin, a light breeze caressing the area, one would assume this would lighten the mood of most people. For Esteban though, nothing could remove this cloud of depression that had been upon him for so many years. Fate had never been kind to him or his kin, all thanks to the blasphemous prophecies of his progenitor, Jericho Estella-Negra. It was a cruel thing, to live in such a beautiful land, only for one's life to be so ugly. Out of the five children he has had with his wife, Selena, only one has survived to manhood. Samuel, his beloved child, doomed to an early grave, as they all were, it seemed. Bearing the name Estella-Negra was a curse, one that was always fatal. The darkness that lurked within this family held a solid grip upon their very souls, choking them with impossible nightmares of what will be and what cannot be. Such maddening tribulations could only be compounded by eldritch teachings handed down by the trusted hands of familial bonds. Dark lore of La'Ruta is known to all of those within Estella-Negra, for it was the coveted secret of their household. "Proud and venerable, yet so close to indefinite damnation." He whispered into the passing winds of that sunlit morning. Turning back to the inside of his ancestral home, consumed in the darkness which filled both the interior of the building, and his very soul. Deep within the confines of his sanctuary, Esteban's footfalls echoes through the empty halls in soft succession. Torches were lit within the corridors, providing soft spaces of orange light separated by the thick lines of darkness in between the sconces. Sometime in the distant past, this place was once filled with the laughter and joyous spirit of its residents. These times were not during Esteban's lifetime, nor were they part of his father's, his father's father. All we have known for generations was the umbrage malice that had started since the very beginning of our family's formation. "My love, you must remove yourself from such troubling thoughts. We all have our duties; we must embrace those duties for the good of our Household." Selena was such a comforting soul in the grips of these troubling times. Voluptuous features marked the beautiful Orisian heritage that they both shared, her amber brown hair as soft and silky as ever as he ran his hands through those luscious locks. Embracing each other in the half lit darkness, Esteban brought his lips to her, the passion between them, relieving him of the pain which plagued his mind. In breaking their embrace, he gazed into the depths of her hazel eyes, knowing her to be his lover and soul mate. "Yes, my love, I know. These thoughts plague my mind at all hours. Do you not feel the Herald of Doom upon our doorstep?" "Every since I married you I have felt it, but I do not care about that. To be with you makes it all worth it, even if it means at the end we all take our rightful place in the crypt beneath this place." Such beauty, breathtaking in her understanding and commitment to her people, it always inspired Esteban to new heights. For so long they had stayed within the shadows, hoping to one day garner the power and respect they deserved. Today perhaps, would be the dawn of a new chapter for House Estella-Negra, one where they take destiny into their own hands. "Yes, you are right, my love. Let us take what is rightfully ours, and succeed where others have failed. Even if we are to die, we shall not die without having accomplished something in our lives. We will create a new future for our family, for Samuel, our only living son and heir to this dark, twisted legacy." Once more they kissed, set in their new path as they would make a new effort to retake control over their destinies. On this day, they would send out a call to the brave, the intrepid, and to those hungry for power shrouded in glory. House Estella-Negra would finally move from the shadows, and into the light of its new and vibrant future. Some of the invitations were sent by their human couriers, others carried by the silent and melancholy siervo por siempre. They would seek out those willing to become part of something greater than themselves, and to take hold of greater riches. As a new member of Estella-Negra, those who answer the call will receive all they wish for and more, though the cost can sometimes be more than daunting...
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