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  1. Born to Be Wild Music OOC Saturday, 6 June, 598 Call me Tyra. Some time ago, having grown disenchanted with the lands of this planet, after crawling across fields and climbing atop mountains, navigating through deserts and negotiating with forests, I thought I would kiss the shore goodbye and dip my feet in the waters of the world. As left leg left land, crossing the space between solid and liquid, right leg bid farewell to pier and met boot upon deck—and like that, I was gone with the wind. I discovered, like an explorer braving the boundless horizon, how the sea can wash one’s soul of misery. When grey clouds loom overhead and darkness paints the sky; when not one drop is held back as the rains cascade with abandon; when a damp blanket coils around my body, cold and grim, and I shiver as I am submerged up to the brim of my nose—then, I remember that I am already floating on the ocean, it cradles me like a baby in a crib, and my woes and worries are lost like salt in a gust. What can one wonder when they savor such serenity? When the tranquility of the waves surrounds you like dancing grass in a rolling meadow, greeting one another in the breeze like rustling leaves of an eternal wood, it challenges the mind to think of anything else besides bliss. What, then, is one to do when that joy is suddenly robbed from you like a child from a mother’s womb? In the sweet kiss of summer, as the morning sun beckoned me awake, never would I have expected that day to be the darkest day of my voyage. Few things are so terrifying as to enter the maw of the ocean’s titan, watching the world soar above you as you sink into the abyss, with hollowed howls haunting your descent into doom. After being spat out by the frozen depths hiding beneath liquid sapphire, I breathed in a new clarity. I flew beyond sea and ship, my momentum a constant craft, like a bird whose wings could carry it across the sky for months on end. The sea, I had learned, was a world beside a world. I was now learning that the sky was the world above both. The wind that had once decided the fate of my sails was now little more than an ocean of air to conquer; the clouds would part before me like frothing waves around a prow. Airships, the gargantuan gems that glided above Genesaris, giving birth to glory in the old times and returning in the wake of war—well, I had one of my own, and with it I went gallivanting across the welkin. When you stand on the deck of a ship at sea, you can feel the spray upon your skin, taste the salt on your lips, smell the sulfur and the brine, hear the murmur of the ebb and flow, see the royal blue of the aquatic kingdom. On the deck of a ship in the sky, things are a little different. The world is beneath you now, not beside you; the earthen lands that once held your feet before planks of wood ever did were no longer silhouettes whispering on the horizon. Those mountains were now mole hills, castles and their lords were naked behind their walls, cities were like mazes viewed from above, and those birds who once threatened to repurpose your poop deck now glided beside you as though to guide you along as a fellow flier. On the sea, I had fins that carried me. In the sky, I have wings. I want you to know something else. I was born upon the land—never mind who my parents were—but I never truly came to life until I stretched my arms from the bow above the water, and I never truly lived until I leaned over to watch the world from the stern beneath the clouds. Those moments, if they could be captured in a bottle, I would trade bottles of Orisian wine and Terran whiskey for each one of them. Those moments opened my heart and my lungs and kept me from dying slowly. Far from such a fate, I am alive. I am Tyra Delane, Captain of the Wildwind, and some would call me the same. Wild Tyra, Captain of the Wind, for I let it propel me across the sea and the sky in an endless journey that knows no bounds. Yet, a name is meaningless if there is no life behind it. As I write these words, watching ink seep onto paper, I am all too aware of the life that is seeping out of my soul, and the fear of what might become of my name is as real as hot sand beneath bare feet. It is thus that I return to the land that birthed me, that I might rest upon the soil that was my bed amid the trees that once stood tall as my sentries. It is a comforting thought, to lie down and close my weary eyes, watching my life unfold like a letter read only once. Alas, my sleep shall be short, for this is by no means the end of my journey but a new chapter to steer it forward. Where I go, there is another life that slumbers; a vessel yearning to awaken with vigor for the voyage. Oh, how I have lived on my ship! Sea ship, airship—but have I really lived? I have held a husband, never had a child—is that what it takes to really live? I do not know, but I may yet soon find out; in a manner, at least. The trees call me home, a forest awaits, for in the region of Chesterfield is a ship that stands as tall as a tree, and it is my life’s goal to set that ship free, like a bird from a cage or a fish from a tank. Freedom is not simply a state of being—it is a vessel to possess and a horizon to chase; an ongoing war where victory is decided with wheel and compass. This is my substitute for sword and pistol. With a groundbreaking boom, Uhltoria lifts a battle fleet into the air; I quietly take to my ship. This should not be surprising. If only they knew, almost everyone at one point or another shares my same sentiments of the sea and the sky. There is an explorer in each of us, a wild wind within all of us, a beating heart and breathing lungs that beckon the brain and the body to sail and to soar and to never look back but forward. Always forward. Land, water, air. Sea ship, airship—bioship. Forward, always. Music OOC The Captain of the Wind The sun was a beating pulse that morning. Summer was creeping right around the corner, searching for a crack to break through, with golden rays glimmering upon the pastel-hued marble of Valucre with a sadistic smile of soon-to-be-baking-you. Some loved it, some loathed it—that budding breeze beside blossoming foliage, bright and warm and lively; that sweltering heat that parches the throat, gnaws at the skin and oozes sweat. With four seasons and four or more reasons to counter them amid such prevalences as genius loci, Lagrimosa was a bounty of climates. Not just physically, but socially, politically and economically. For instance, take Chesterfield. This morning, amid a river breeze that drifted mercy toward the throngs, the sun held sway over the steaming metal that the blacksmith dipped into the forge. He wiped the sweat from his forehead and bid his apprentice to acquire their purchase from the general store. That apprentice dipped further into dichotomy, departing the shade of a stifling shop into the open air to brave the sun and the masses beneath it. He passes by an artificer whose creation came from the blacksmith’s craft, now on his way to insure it with a Titansinger representative before selling it to a Genesaran buyer, courtesy of being ferried by the Casper Shipping Company. One of their representatives is already on site to represent the Law of Salvage in a legal dispute concerning the renovation of a Renovation ship that sunk in the Sea of Regrets. Sunken but surprisingly whole, hoped to be lifted from the depths and turned into a museum that the prowling tourist influx would dive toward and sink their money into. Or, at least, it seemed as much to one woman as she walked the streets of the city. Her eyes were on the passers-by, the denizens of the urban clutter pacing to and fro, or hollering out prices from stalls and leaning against buildings to smoke their pipes and trade sorrow with laughter. Pigeons pecked the crumbs off the spacious square, competing with daring ducks from the river, and children befriended one another as locals mixed with foreigners to feed the birds with food to spare. Kids laughed the same way, the woman thought as she watched them play. Adults were different; they had a unique laugh for every occasion, and some individuals had the kind of laugh that you learned not to trust. This duality of sameness and difference, it translated to the cityfolk and their habitat like water into wind. Streets led to streets that led to the same streets; people lined those streets who might have been glimpsed walking the other streets only moments ago, their footfalls a forgotten echo that all sounded the same; the goers of to and fro lining up like soulless soldiers to do the same work today as yesterday, go home at the same hour, wake up in the same spot, repeat the same task. As she watched them, her hands pocketed amid the crowds whose arms flailed, her lips a rigid line where others were smiling or frowning, Tyra pitied the people of this city. So many of them, all of them so bound to the same land, the same routine, day after day after day. She sighed as she walked on, savoring the solace of her own routine that was never quite so. She might lay in the same bed every night, but her ship was never in the same spot, and every day was a new day that called for a different adventure even on the same ship. As the captain paced onward throughout the streets of Chesterfield, her gaze finally graced her quarry. The Silver Screen advertised itself with one flashing bulb after the other, but it was the tavern beside it that drew the elf’s eyes as she approached The Purple Pig with a grin. She might have forgotten, had somehow remembered, and was positively amused at an all too familiar sight. There, standing at the stepped entrance of the tavern, was a burly fellow with a grey head and yellowed tusks, one hand gripping a tankard and the other a club that looked like a giant mallet. Jolliver? The name sprung to mind as Tyra looked the figure up and down. No...surely not. “Morning,” she spoke while ascending the steps. The wereboar said nothing, leaning lazily against his weapon as he guzzled from his tankard. He clearly was more decoration than defender. “Jolliver?” Tyra determined. The wereboar cocked a brow, looked her up and down, and snorted. “Never heard of him.” With that, Tyra shrugged and moved past, opening the doors to The Purple Pig, where a waking tavern traded sounds with a metropolis, and the captain finally felt like she was home.
  2. Raptor


    Shanna does her best to remain passive as she passes through the dimly lit corridor that has been carved out of the mountains and the cold ground leading towards Umbra. It is only when daylight and fresh air grace her that she releases a breath she had not realized she had been holding. Tugging cloak about her shoulders more tightly to keep out the mild chill in the air, her vermillion irises flicker to and fro, seeking comfort in known items as she erupts into daylight. It is a stark contrast to the dark that had previously enveloped her and it takes a moment for her eyes to adjust. She blinks blearily before grasping ahold of the straps to the bag tucked beneath her cloak. It is strapped over her shoulders to allow her to transport the items within with care. Her surprise is nearly palpable when she realizes that she has emerged near the middle cloister, making her task all the easier as she heads towards the comfort of the warm city walls. Umbra, in her opinion, was a beautiful city and it’s splendor never seemed to cease to amaze her. Shanna had once considered attempting to gain entrance into Bronte – a hope she has long extinguished. Her magic would not fair well within the walls of regulations and rules. Though they might find her specific type of aberration interesting, Shanna has no desire to be studied and prodded at like livestock. She sniffs at the air, weaving immediately to find the food stalls that are ever present. Eagerly, Shanna passes over a few coins in exchange for something that looks suspiciously like a hotdog. Within a few bites, it has disappeared from her grasp and one might wonder if the womans jaw unhinged to devour the thing whole. Stomach full and warm, the mage is pleased to find herself wandering around the Ivory Square. She does not enter, for she has no need of it, but it beautiful to gaze upon. It is while she meanders around the city that her thoughts turn to visiting the temple. Shanna is devout, and it is rare that she does not stop in the large cathedrals that are known to house depictions of their Lord God, Rafael, thus, it would make sense for her to visit the one in his very home as well. So she beelines for it, wasting little time. Shanna feels a sort of…security within the walls of the large temple, and she smiles truly for the first time in what seems weeks. Her gaze scans the pews, acknowledges the priests and their ilk, before she moves to anoint herself. She will do this, and restock her airship before heading out in an attempt to find something more fitting to present to a God than the meager presents she has been gathering so far. For now, Shanna anoints herself and closes her hands in prayer as she kneels before the dais before her. Head bowed, she murmurs her prayer, fit only for his ears before she rises to leave. Now she must secure provisions for her excursion.
  3. Looking for small group Genre-horror,fantasy,adventure So my old down the rabbit hole is...kinda dead. And i still feel like doing it so heres a fresh start for peeps to join! You appear in a strange Courtyard, the buildings looming over you. The fountain in front of you is made of a smooth white stone and spewed a scarlet liquid. There are six statues scattered about. Behind you is a long stairway leading down. To your left is a Clock tower. To your right is a butcher shop. In front of you is a huge cathedral. In between some of the statues is a worn path and a few far away buildings ....What will you do?
  4. The wheels squeaked, creaking and clacking. The groans of protest from the wagon echoed down the cavern halls in both directions. As he pushed it along, Scrap only had one thing on his mind as the object before him bounced along. He really, really hoped that Meddle was steering them away from walls and holes. "Are we outside yet?" He squawked in protest, his shrill tones drifting down the halls. "Not yet. I'm just trying to...get us around this...rock." Meddle replied slowly, thoughtfully. The side of the wagon screeched as it scraped against a stalagmite, causing both kobolds to wince. They froze in place, covering their ears, awaiting the inevitable explosion. However, despite it's name, the Great Exploder did not explode. Yet. Scrap's arms dropped in relief, and he gave the wagon a nudge away from the rocky outcropping. Meddle looked over the burlap-covered weapon, then pulled away again. "Looks good?" He asked. "Looks good!" She said, chipper as if nothing had happened. Scrap and Meddle moved the wagon, and the Exploder outside of the cave eventually, pushing through the heavy wooden doors that hid the cave, and into the sunlight. Immediately, both of them winced, and let go of the wagon, but it thankfully didn't roll anywhere. The duo were tasked with a job a bit more unorthodox than they were typically entrusted with. Scrap, being more of the smithing type, preferred to make things with his hand, and would have rather been in the workshop watching Wijit do her thing. Instead, he was out here, with Meddle, who preferred to dig and mess around in the mines with the other miners. Instead, they were moving Wijit's latest, greatest, perhaps most explody-est invention yet. The invention, currently covered in a large burlap tarp, was gingerly moved from the little wagon into the bigger covered wagon they'd left out here, with the help of one of the scouts that had to hang out in the trenches outside. It didn't explode--thankfully--and once it was loaded up both Scrap and Meddle found themselves at a loss for action. Sort of. Scrap climbed onto the wagon, and sat down. He kicked his legs idly, and checked his belongings. Broadsword: Check. Bits of plate mail, fastened to his body with leather straps: Check. He glanced behind him, and peered inside of the covered wagon. Big, explosive weapon, stored in an unsteady, rickety wagon: Check. "What are we doing, again?" He wanted to ask, but before he could, Meddle hushed him, waving her hands at him to quiet him down. "Shh!" She hissed, peering out down the road from the top of their wagon. "I hear something coming!" The road up to the kobold's lair, the Infinite Magmaworks, wasn't easy to find, necessarily. Due North from Vdara, just before the mountain range began, the mouth of their cave was tucked away up a hill surrounded by dense trees. Travelling up the path to visit the cave was difficult to do quietly, with little chimes and crafts made from bird bones, dangling from many branches along the path. Unseen to most visitors, a long, winding trench snaked down from the mouth of the cave down the path, and was hidden by dense undergrowth and partially buried in dirt. Somewhere, in one of the taller trees, another kobold was always watching from safety. None of them moved as they watched a pocketful of newcomers come up the road, towards the Magmaworks. @ReachForStars @Silent Sword
  5. (Lock this thread please I am no longer interest in this.)
  6. “We got news from our informant” Selene said right after walking into Ricardo’s office. “Mariana’s checked it and its legit”. “What’s it say?” Ricardo asked almost unconcerned. “We found their hideout!” Ricardo’s lips twisted upwards revealing a twisted smile. “Good. Get them, and make sure no rat leaves there… alive” They had spent several weeks on this case, trying to find the hideout of the rats what had been disturbing their supply routes. The search proved misleading on several occasions, but finally, they had actually found the real hideout they had been looking for. It was in a small town to the south of Nu Sicily by the name of Reaven. The town had always had a relatively small population, but this value dropped drastically after the invasion of Nu Martyr by CoP. Now, only a few hundreds above two thousand live there trying to meet their daily needs. With a glance, the twin sisters could see why the rats had chosen this place as a hideout. Selene and Mariana gazed over the town from a hill atop their horses. With them were about 20 men loyal to the Gualtiero family. Mariana turned her horse to face the men before issuing her final orders before the mission would officially begin. “Our mission is simple, investigate. I want you all to search the town through and through report any rat you can find. While doing this, you need to try as much as possible not to arouse suspicion, else they may get a hint that we’re here for them and make our jobs harder. You’ll split into teams of 4 for this. We have the town completely surrounded, so if any rat tries to escape they’ll get nabbed quickly. Remember, your orders are to search and report. If you find a rat you can capture, then do so and squeeze every bit of information you can out of him. When you’re done… kill him” marina said ending the last part in an emotion-void tone. “Move out” Selene chipped in after Mariana had finished her speech. She then turned to her sister, “Shall we?” Both rode on into town with a determination as strong as steel, and a bloodlust as sharp as a double edged sword.
  7. This is the walk way, in middle of forest, since Union Capital to Cold South. But the mark on map is Nak' spot, i mean. My character Atwood Nak made his campsite on there. Everyone can use this for rp in this part of the forest... So... The rp starts below this post:
  8. These plots are not set in stone, and are meant for open discussion and collaborating across the board. If you're interested and you're not in this club, get in here! These will be updated over time with more information so stay tuned
  9. sweet as cherry wine ; The wedding ceremony is one to be remembered for all who attend. It comes from the old traditions of the royal house, one taken from their roots as a family forged from war, and even from those distant ancestors beyond the shimmering seas. The vows were taken from a time when they had to raise warriors, and so marriage is to be a union that shares all. Marriage is to be celebrated through three aspects: mind, body, and soul. Here is the joining; here is where two become one. The soul speaks, bringing forth life and death in equal measure. Love is nothing without the capacity to share what is within. They speak promises, first. The Queen takes her husband’s hands in her own, clasped together as they declare their ties to one another, what the inner core within has to say for everyone around to hear. He tells her he adores her in all the languages he knows, some foreign even to her own cultured ears, and that vulnerable heart in her chest clutches tight, hard enough to squeeze the air out of her lungs. She repays in kind, in full, in counterpart. She may not be able to speak all the words heard around the world, but she can tell him she loves him. Even something as simple as that. It is no hardship. The mind deliberates, solving all problems it encounters. Love is nothing without the wits to understand and to adapt. Here, the couple presents each other a conundrum of their own making, one for the other to solve in their own time. It has been prepared long before the ceremony, these puzzles borne as products of their own thinking and devising, and the moment is merely a formality to be shown to the rest of the world. The Queen cannot help her smile when her husband reveals he has solved hers from the moment she had given it to him; she has long conceded that he is a more worldly soul than she will ever be. They are of one mind, of one will, of one judgment now. Where one’s thoughts go, the other follows; there can be no misgivings where there is an all-encompassing virtue of understanding. The body overcomes, thriving against all odds. Love is nothing without a vessel to have and to hold. The Queen places her hands on her husband’s shoulders, shivers when he drags his fingers up her arm to mirror her: slowly, teasingly. As practiced many times before, they kneel down on their knees, bowing before each other as lovers, as equals. They will share in all and may share of themselves to others, but in this aspect, the body can be devoted to only their other half, in this lifetime and whatever may be to come. Amidst the quiet murmurings of blessings and oaths spoken in their honor, they touch their foreheads together, and in the final echoes of the last words, they bind themselves with the final act of a kiss. They have shared many kisses before this moment, but here: here is a kiss that feels like a beginning, or the first rays of sunshine, or a brand new dawn. They are man and wife. Queen and her King Consort. Varda places the raven crown twin of her own coronet upon her husband’s brow and names him her right hand, her master and servant in equal measure. She looks on into the deafening crowd—and holds on to Quinton’s hand just a little bit tighter than before. BRIGHTSTONE MANOR > CAL ETERIS click to enlarge. map credits to @Csl a little night music ; Brightstone Manor is a stunning sight in the cool spring evening, glittering lanterns and elaborate glass chandeliers brightening up the night as a sea of visitors come to the shores of the wedding party grounds. It has only been newly opened to the public as a luxurious event center, its opulent space inaugurated by the extravagant banquet of the Queen herself, of all people, and so the staff of the castle are at their very best behavior. Every speck of dust is banished to the ether, every piece of silverware polished to shining glory, and the food and drink are served in a generous overflow. The dining room is full of tables laden with plates filled to the brim with delicious food: prime fare for any food lover’s tastes, both gourmet and gourmand alike. Sweet music fills the halls, an underlying backdrop to harmonize well with the constant bouts of conversation flitting in the air. The Queen and her husband are happily welcomed by the crowd upon their arrival to the castle, taking their place at the head of the Great Hall where they greet guests and thank them for attending. The siblings of House Hildebrand flit around the halls in scattered groups: Jasper and his family are in the study, Aspen and Esme are dancing joyously in the Great Hall, and Nairne and Merel are playing chess together in the game room. It has been an eventful long day, and yet, the clock has yet to strike seven in the evening. The night is young, and so there is more that remains to be seen in the hours to come. . . • • •
  10. (I am lifting the play write format for this project and I want to make another community effort here. ALL are welcome. I'm going to try to make most of my development projects be inclusive to everyone or as many people who wish to join. If the party gets big enough at some point I am going to follow a very loose turn order. Note upon thinking about things from a progression/personal lore stand point this thread takes place AFTER the one I just finished so I don't drive my head canon too batty. The thread that takes place before this current project is linked here: And yeah now we got a chronology going yo LOL.) Day 1- The house was run down at one point. Velindrel and Magdalene helped rebuild the house with their own hands, keeping busy, finding the parts and pieces they needed from the wild lands around Casper proper. Velindrel's blacksmith arts came into full use there. He made the various things with his own hands that were needed at his wife's guidance. They were both hard workers, most of Casper's citizens were. He looked at the house for a long moment, it had come a long way since Magdalene had returned to him that day. He nodded in approval. Velindrel: It has been a long time indeed. But it's nice to have some place to call home...our home. He rubbed his chin for a thoughtful moment. Magdalene, we've cleaned the place up really well. Our daughter would have liked living here. Magdalene: She looked up towards her taller husband, her companion. We have done well. She would have liked it here, I agree with you. I have also been working on my own studies. Velindrel: There is plenty to do here in Casper. I think you have found a good calling at the hospital especially with people arriving from Aspyn. Reminds me, I will like to explore the ruins someday. He found for a moment as he considered the possibility of looting the ruins. Would that make me any different than a common thief? He shook his head. No...that will be a journey for another time. Magdalene: Let us establish ourselves here in Casper first. We'll have other times to travel. Velindrel: He nodded towards her. Home. He said for no reason at all. Magdalene: You know that's the first time I have heard you call anywhere "Home" and mean it. Velindrel: It is the first time in a long time I have thought of as anywhere being home. The shadow passed across his face again. Magdalene: That's happening far more often now. She suddenly said. Velindrel: What do you mean? Magdalene: She touched his face calmly. There is a shadow in there my love, that was not there before. I am going to help you someday be rid of it...as long that takes to do so. I don't like to know that you are suffering especially if I can do something about it. He considered carefully what he was hearing. He had not been aware that it was affecting him that much...their daughter's murder. (This project is a primarily a social thread BUT we can take the change to use The Star Forge ESPECIALLY if I beat the odds here and it becomes canon. Thank you to all who decide to participate and help me out. You guys are a great bunch.)
  11. "Quit fretting, Tora. They'll be fine. They're old enough to know not to dance in the streets or anything, right, Aliza?" Shimi looked down at his young children, Aliza and Katoro. "Yeah, Dad! We'll collect all the fish you asked for, just like you said," replied Aliza. "And remember, children, give them money! Don't steal the fish!" Shimi added as the children ran off into the hustle and bustle of the marketplace. "Shimi, do you not worry for them? They are young, are you sure you can let them-" Tora was cut off by Shimi shushing her. "No, Tora. Aliza is extremely agile, so along with Katoro's intelligence, they will be fine if they run into any strangers. Plus I gave Aliza a bow and arrow, and Katoro a knife. They're armed and ready, Tora." Tora sighed and looked up at the sky. "Alright. If you say so."
  12. Aliza chased the rabbit fiercely, her bow in hand, but she closed her eyes for a second, only to open them and see the rabbit gone and be tumbling head over heels from running too fast. She tutted. She hated herself, how could she be so clumsy? She froze at the sound of a horse's aggressive whinny. Royal guards were coming, she had to run. If she was going to steal the tiaras, she had to stay hidden. She couldn't let them be crowned official princesses, she just couldn't. The whinnies came closer, and Aliza could hear the clattering of running hooves. "Aah!" It came forward from her lips before she could stop it as a human form barreled into her. Not a royal guard, please not a royal guard, she prayed. "Hey, hey, girl, calm down. It's only me." She opened her eyes and looked up. "Don't say 'it's only me' like I know you. I don't trust anyone I don't know." Aliza's teeth were bared as she spoke, and a growl came from deep in her throat. "Girlie, don't growl at me like you're some rabid guard dog. I'm a rogue like you." The person who had tackled her was a teenage boy, about 17 at most. He had a bow and arrow, and a knapsack, as did Aliza, so she could only assume he spoke the truth. "So what's your plan, sneaking around the castle grounds like this?" the boy asked. "Well, I heard that the queen has just given birth to twin girls. I'm trying to get in and steal their crowns so they can't be crowned princesses," Aliza explained. "Oh, so you're a thief too? I never knew I'd find someone like me. I'm a rogue and a thief as well. Name's Zane. But isn't this kind of a sensitive topic to talk about when the royal guard is watching us?" Short note from @InhaleTheSmog, who plays Aliza: This will become a love story eventually. Aliza whipped around at Zane's words. Sure enough, the royal guard and their horses were watching them like a flock of hawks. "What are you rogues doing here?" said one guard with a deep, booming voice. "They're probably thieves as well. I heard them mention something..." said a second guard with a purring, weaselly voice, before being shushed by the first guard. There was a sound of metal scratching as the second guard slowly drew his sword out of his armor.
  13. After the fall of the Uldwars... Ingrid had come off of Mt. Ego a defeated Mage and even worse...unemployed. After the fall of the House of Uldwar, losing her student Luis and having no home to return to, Ingrid looked out to other areas far, far out of the way where she could study what had happened to the land once the Elemental had died. It felt like the whole of Ursa Madeum had been turned upside down, the magics uncontrolled seeming throughout this kingdom of Svanhild. Almost everything had been wiped from what was left of the Uldwars save for few who had memory of them. That and she had to evacuate and abandon the beautiful school she had left behind after becoming the HeadMaster, sending students to one of the safer branches far, far away. Left in a burning wasteland with magic out of control, Ingrid had fled. Without an Elemental in place, she would never be able to return to Misral...and with her ties to the old family that had ruled there and having fought the Oathsworn from trying to kill it...Ingrid had gained an unfavorable reputation. Her noble family had been wiped away, everything of her past employment now under ash and flames. The only choice she had was to run, get away and not look back. Her son Camille had started school already under Kalmuli's care...it left her more time to figure out what to do. Find an elemental? Find a new noble family to serve? Her travels had lead her to find about a city of Fae that lay behind the Fenwylds. It was a place where she could recover and give her some peace while she regained herself....get back to her roots. Being Fae herself, an elf, she wouldn't have much trouble getting through the Fenwylds...but she wasn't so sure about her sanity. Ingrid had made herself a base camp outside of the Fenwyld to give herself some time to ready herself. Gathering materials for potions, meditating and reading over old manuscripts...but it was just delaying the inevitable. She would have to go where the other Fae wandered and she wasn't sure if even just being an Elf would be enough. "Gods...What am I doing..."Ingrid said, bringing her hands up to her face after having been at a mortar and pestle grinding herbs for more potions. "What in the seven hells am I doing..." Ingrid brought her hands down away fro her face, sniffing and wiping at her face while she sat alone in her tent. "I can't keep just...putting it off..."She said to herself, looking through the gap in her tent that had a full view of the beginning of the Fenwyld. She could hear whispers...things checking her out, finding out what she was doing. What kind of creatures or Fae they were, she didn't know...but she hadn't slept in three days and ate very little from it. The last thing she wanted to do in this state was to have something approach her with the intent to do harm...least she lose herself again. "Tomorrow has to be it...Tomorrow...or I just...find somewhere else. Ilvor can't be the only Fae city in Svanhild..."
  14. (Continues sometime after: And is an on going project style series. This project will be open to all just like the other one. This is an ongoing attempt to continue to develop Casper and my own character; Velindrel any assistance at this project is more than welcome. One more note: My Star Forge I am going to attempt to make canon/lore. So I'm going for 60+ posts for this. You guys aint seen NOTHING yet) It was a Tuesday... Since his instructions with The Maester began, Velindrel found himself gradually opening up to the people of Casper. He initially had been rough around the edges, but he'd slowly grown used to the idea he was a Casper citizen at that point. Velindrel looked at his house for a moment. Shit...it really is a dump. He sighed, he was going to have to spruce up the place a little bit more. Especially if he was going to have guests at some point from the town and from other places...his thoughts wandered as they tended to do often when he noticed it. His eyes narrowed and he noticed his front door was already open ajar. The past had caught up with him. A part of him pondered running away, and simply not having to deal with any of it... But Velindrel was no coward...he would face her he would face all of it head on. He carried the groceries he got from the general goods shop earlier and entered the house. A small group of individuals were already waiting inside, but his eyes went right to her....right to Magdalene. He put his stuff down on the floor and stood his ground. "I knew this day would come." Velindrel said gruffly, he half expected a fight right from the get go. Magdalene waved her hand and dismissed her companions, this was a personal family matter they didn't need to hear what was going to happen next. "You covered your tracks fairly well. Operative." He nodded. "I learned from the best. Can you blame me?" Magdalene walked over towards him, there was still some semblance of mutual respect between the two of them it had not all gone to shit. "The others would have ensured your death." "I kind of figured. I wouldn't have fought back either." Given what happened...what they did to us. "Why did you leave?" She asked. "I couldn't have stayed because of our child." Velindrel said. "Your Father made it clear that he would never accept a bastard halfbreed as family." "Velindrel...my Father was dealt with a few days after you left." She said, hoping that would spark...something in Velindrel. He looked down at his hands. "My hands are no longer clean enough to carry a child. I been running for so long." He looked sincerely sad about the entire event and what had transpired...all that had transpired between the two of them. The woman before him had been the single greatest love in the Elf's life only to have had her father shatter everything. "My hands are not any cleaner at this point." She told him. "Velindrel...I spoke with my colleagues and the guild we're from. I want to stay here in Casper...with you." Velindrel narrowed his eyes for a moment at what he was hearing. "You're serious...despite everything?" "Father killed our child and stole that from us but it made me realize what I had wanted this whole time was you." She sighed. "But if you don't want me back I can understand this." Velindrel walked over towards her. "So much had gone wrong since that happened to us, since our daughter was killed by him. I have been running for so long that I knew no other way of life...Casper is not a bad town by the way I think you will like it here." She nodded. "So that is a yes...?" He kissed her deeply. It is a yes... He thought to himself and sealed things in proper fashion...with a kiss. (This is going to be an ongoing crafting related thread, yall want stuff made LETS DO THIS!!! within reason of course Velly is not yet a Mastersmith but he can make most stuffs! Let's get this show on the road!)
  15. (I am able to commit full time to this sit eat this point. Especially since I have a new computer now, and yeah. If you are interested in joining this thread please MESSAGE me before joining. It's purely a trade/crafting style thread I'm trying to test a few ideas of inspiration I had.) "Again." The maester said calmly. The thousandth, strike, without a single pause for rest from the student. An old and forgotten soul, hungry for study of ancient arts crafts. The strike was perfected, damned near flawless. The furnace like work space was hot, almost like a blazing inferno. Since the elf had arrived, he'd never once complained and did every shit duty the old maester conjured for him. He was finally allowed to touch anvil and hammer a few weeks prior. He'd been there for the past fifty years of his life...time flowed different for his kind and he was gifted with old age. "Try it this way, instead of the way you're doing it." The maester said calmly. "Technique and balance comes with discipline don't try to think you have style yet. I took you on as an apprentice when you first arrived here, at Casper and you've never once bitched about anything. I like that about you. Most students bitch, you're a hard worker." He said with a gruff chuckle. The entire time, Velindrel struck with his hammer. Ten thousand, ten thousand 1...it didn't matter. He would do everything he was tasked to do because he desired knowledge, it was the way of his people to do so. The clanging sound of his hammer against the anvil, struck like thunder in the back of Velindrel's mind. He'd come to Casper running from his past and perhaps found something more...perhaps he'd found his purpose. "What time is it?" The maester suddenly asked and looked at an old clock. "Finish your studies for the day and you're free to go home." Velindrel finished well into the afternoon that day having completed the blade of the dagger he was working on. To say he was a hard worker would have underminded the entire truth of it...he was one who was obsessive about every detail, every aspect of the craft. He'd cleaned up and reorganized the work space as he'd done every time he left it for years now by that point...it was routine. He took a look at the old brass furnace...a reminder of past memories and past lives. "He likes you. I've never seen the maester take a liking to someone the way he has for you." She said calmly, bringing the elf out of his thoughts. "You've not said much since you arrived at Casper. Got some of the towns folks spooked." Velindrel nodded. "Silence has value too." He responded back. "I don't have much of interest to say anyway." He said to her. "Your kind has always fascinated me." The maid walked in close, Velindrel withdrew. She frowned. "...Why?" "You don't want to get involved with me, I'm just here to learn the blacksmith's trade beyond that I have no intentions of staying here. Have a nice day." He said that and sounded perhaps a little more harsh than he meant to. He hoped that drove the point home though, he was not here to build relationships he was there to learn...it was the way of his people to learn and desire knowledge. *** A short time later, he left the workshop to head home. (Enter here with Velly heading home for the day from the workshop. If I agree to have you join this thread thank you in advanced for helping out!)
  16. He didn't want to get some complacent in his Omnipotence that he forgot what it was to get his own hands dirty. How often do you hear of it? Someone going from the bottom to the top just to act as if they never called the bottom home? That wasn't Proteus. ALL the power, literally, at his disposal and he still found joys of the cold. The biting winter attempting to nip at his skin. The biting sub zero temperatures attempting to still his flow and his life, but alas he couldn't even FEEL these extremes let alone be bothered by them in the slightest. Even PRIOR to his ascension the cold was his element. He thrived in it. Hunted in it. Lived in it. It bred him and hardened him and deep, deep, deep in the frigid forests of Kharatunmi just a few miles north of the Temple/Gateway he had established here, Proteus stood perfectly still---one with the environment. He was covered head to toe in snow, crouched over in a 3 point stance---For so long, albeit it a blizzard going on it was enough to snow fall to enshroud the entirety of his hulking 15' frame in snow entirely and make him appear NO different then the mound of snow just a few meters to the right. Howling winds! Bending tree's! A veil of white blanketing the entirety of the would be green here were it absent.---All because he saw tracks here prior to the storm, and can sense and sell and though he downplays it, he see's the utterly unfathomable and remarkable creature that will make it's way back here. Some men, as boys, develop a favorite past time. Skipping rocks. A sport of sort involving a ball or oblong object. Horse back riding, archery, and things of that nature. Ol Proteus was different. His cloth was one hard to cut and different from the materials galore. Even as a child, Proteus has and always will be infatuated with hunting, stalking and assailing creatures many times his own size---even if ultimately they were no where near as powerful as he was. NOT to kill them, no, but the sport of startling them and giving them hell for a few moments. To make them aware that despite their size and stature there was something out there that was MORE then they were, and, the general thrill of bothering something---Big. And the Dragons of Kharatunmi were BIG. Big is an understatement really, considering the one he stalked after now was an ice dragon, white in coloration with an affinity for that element that was every bit of 1.5 miles from head to toe, and stood more then 600' from for limp to shoulder, with a wing span that was every bit of HALF it's overall length. By all intents in purposes, something this large simply BEGGED for his attention and quite honestly he got tired of surveying them from the isolation of his realm and instead pushed for a more hands on approach. And this big thing was gonna need some big hands... It's name was Mumramunatra----Proteus had taken to calling it "Muu Muu", if not for how convenient it was shortened, for how amusing it was to see the fairly intelligent extra large set of boots get equally pissed at it's name being butchered. Proteus had spent the better part of two days wounding this creatures pride. First posing as an easy meal and then flipping the script at the last moment and revealing he was anything but that. He had embarrassed this dragon. Ridiculed it. Tormented it and chased it across the lands for 2 days to the point where it had been pushed into a corner----where it's instincts have pushed it to stop flee'ing and start fighting. Proteus had absolutely NO intention on killing the creature. Infact-----He intended on breeding it. Requiring a blood sample, to do so. However, with his own level of power roaming around at a level, he had only just recently become accustomed to, he decided to wear it down---instead of exerting himself and possibly doing it lasting harm. So it had been a day or two of surprise tactics. Hiding and hitting. Trapping and discombobulating. The massive prey item had gotten fed up of it all and gone defensive, and during it's active search, Proteus had discovered long ago that it absolutely SUCKED at seeing, smelling, or sensing anything that could find symmetry with the environment around them. So proteus had covered himself heavily within the snow, slowed his bodily functions and suppressed even the non-physical aspects of himself that could be sensed, such as the magnitude of his presnece.----to Create comfort in the creature, enough for it to back track over it's territory. As it came up and over a low-Hill pass, back into the evergreens, it ultimately came closer to the waiting Proteus just 40 meters ahead of it. Unbothered by it's sheer size, magnitude and the intensity in which it presented itself. Allowing "Muu-Muu" to come closer and closer.....
  17. tekNique

    The Sun Rises

    // thread is open for anybody that wishes to join // Sunlight crashed upon the stranger, stirring him from a rest which he would soon come to learn was too long. As it washed across his body, he turned towards the horizon from which it came. This isn't right, he thought, struggling with uncertainty as his eyes befell a land he was not familiar with. Nothing was as the stranger remembered it; buildings in the distance were not there last he woke, and the rough texture of the wind somehow felt lighter. Was this truly Martyr? The stranger took hold of a long sword and hoisted it atop his shoulder. Eerily, though the blade rest directly in the path of the sun's golden rays, it did not cast a glare. It was as if the cold steel devoured the radiance that cascaded over it. "Where are we?" He spoke, though to no person in particular it seemed. Stranger, yet, is he seemed bothered that he did not get a response. The stranger in a long coat glanced wearily at his blade, then back to the horizon. Uncertainty plagued him; he had never woken from the slumber and felt so out of place. What had changed? Why did the land feel so different? Was this truly Martyr? With no alternative, the stranger gave a sigh and began his journey. He walked with a solemn pace, like a man who had lost his way. Ahead of him, a land beckoned; one rife with mystery, and which stood upon the land he once called home. Onward he marched, towards the land of Nu Martyr. While he did not know why he had woken this time, he felt that something from that land called to him. And that thing that stirred within him demanded he respond.
  18. Aleksei

    In the heavens

    INSTRUCTIONS https://www.valucre.com/topic/44245-onwards-to-adventures-interest-check/ PROMPT An asteroid has fallen from the sky and has stopped mere moments before it hits the ground. The asteroid begins to segment itself into layers, exposing floating fortresses and cities. Investigate one of the cities and get the item. ↳ Destroy the asteroid once item is obtained. OR ↳ Save the asteroid so it can be studied. _________________________________________________________________________________ She plucked the unfortunate petals of the daisy; a light hum escapes her as she goes about the age-old song - he loves me, he loves me not. There was no one in particular on her mind as she did this, it's just simply what one does when they have a small flower in their hand. If she had the skill to do so, she would make a flower crown but she has never been the creative sort. So she plucks petals and watches them drift across the meadow. The meadow was edged with swaying trees and there is a path that leads to just about anywhere. It was a typical scene you see painted on large canvases that are hung in restaurants or little cafes. What you don't see outside the borders of that canvas is the oddity that's brought Riforte here. Unable to do much, she's been forced to extend her hand to those that can accomplish what she can't. The items that she needs from the asteroid are not worth her life, but they may be worth someone else's life. Some miles to her right is the asteroid, a magnificent piece of the heavens that's stopped a mere feet from hitting the ground. She had studied it, used her own resources to ensure that what she wanted was there, and then threw out some feelers to catch adventurous sorts to get her the tome. This kind of work always draws in the best kind of people, too - no matter the risk, she will get her tome. Plucking another daisy, Riforte waits. Around Valucre were leaflets calling for the brave and the curious. She had left them rather minor and poor looking, instead of grandiose as most calls for adventurers tend to be. These leaflets give simple instructions: meet this person here at this time and introduce yourself. The payment was mentioned but nothing in-depth either, just a small little line of print down at the bottom saying the person would get paid. And that's it. If someone is to take one of these leaflets to the meadow mentioned, they would be guided by the magical line glued between herself and that of the flyer. That way, the person wouldn't have to worry about finding the person paying them for their time. Though it's a bit hard to miss her sitting among a field of wildflowers. _________________________________________________________________________________
  19. INSTRUCTIONS https://www.valucre.com/topic/44245-onwards-to-adventures-interest-check/ PROMPT A Necromancer seeks Lichdom not for themselves, but for their child. Their child is afflicted with a disease that no healing spell has been able to cure, so they believe their child can be saved if they turn them into a Lich. ↳ Reason with the Necromancer and obtain the item. OR ↳ Kill the Necromancer and obtain the item. _________________________________________________________________________________ The woman quietly sipped her tea, the curve of her smile peeking through the edges of the delicate little cup as she sipped from it. She has always liked the taste of leaf water; it gave her an excuse to drink hot water without being judged too harshly for just drinking hot water. Nowadays, there always seemed to be some strange chill inhabiting her bones, and no matter how hard she has tried to warm them, it's impossible. Hot leaf water barely does the trick, but it does enough. The small inn was quiet this night, something she rather enjoys. From her little corner, she can see people glide through the lobby, most alone on business that's none of her business. The rest are couples falling in love or out of love; those are her favorite; she likes seeing the fleeting waves of emotions flow from the individuals struggling to stay ashore. Setting her cup and saucer to the side, she flips through the manila folder for the tenth time in the last five minutes. All bits and pieces are there, entirely in order as she had placed them there. Looking at it all made her feel comforted, though, and it meant that her mind was in the right place, and none of this was a strange dream. It was disturbing her how difficult it was becoming to separate the reality from the dredges of fantasy. Oh well. None of that matters right now. In the last few days, she has thrown out a few feelers, spreading the good word of work for any needing a little extra help with their dirty deeds. Or anyone who's needing some extra cash to line their pockets with the hope of more work if they are successful. Valucre is full of all sorts of people in desperate need to find themselves, and it's her hope the right desperate person will come her way. Around Valucre were leaflets calling for the brave and the curious. She had left them rather minor and poor looking, instead of grandiose as most calls for adventurers tend to be. These leaflets give simple instructions: meet this person here at this time and introduce yourself. The payment was mentioned but nothing in-depth either, just a small little line of print down at the bottom saying the person would get paid. And that's it. If someone is to take one of these leaflets to the inn mentioned, they would be guided by the magical line glued between herself and that of the flyer. That way, the person wouldn't have to worry about finding the person paying them for their time. _________________________________________________________________________________
  20. Alien Abduction Arc: Prelude The hazy, haunting eyes of the “Duck” lay scorched upon a capsulated threshold between dimensions. A hissing, hungered heaving of ozone gas brushes off from the gill-like valves alongside the behemoth’s helmet. It’s eyes dig their violet-churned peepers down towards the spiraling vortex of the portal, whilst it’s gargantuan gauntlets raise the portal upwards throughout a laboratory. The laboratory, drenched in the velvet and ashy smoke of nearby factory wells, circles around the behemoth’s standing. Machinery of all sorts, ranging from that of the Enlightenment's beginning to the 1860s, is burrowed throughout the laboratory’s labyrinth, as though festering jungle greenery. Contraptions of automatons, with hints of amoeba-like DNA hinged around in bottles, are dashed dormant around the room’s interior. Collections of firearms, containing that of Greek-fire to dragoons, are laced around chlorine-rumbling racks. Vines of rusted pipes hang from the ceiling’s silhouetted crimson, as though skulking serpents of sorts. Yet, central amongst the room’s mechanical quagmire, lies the “Duck’s” own pompous ego. The “Duck’s” ego, being of a tumultuous and titanic one, drives the invention of it’s homebrew portal. Taking notation to the original source, delivered by the Observe “Duck” Dimensional Squadron, O.D.D.S. or more commonly of the D-Squad, the beast proceeded upon a fever of experimentation. Hundreds of containers, delivered by nearby disease-drunken canines and other goons of the goliath, are scattered along the floorway behind. Speckles of glass panes, each with a razored-lining of steel, are strewn around, as though in a ravaging of anger. Though, for this very moment of the beast’s holding, it has succeeded upon the last trivalation. Generators, powered by a motor of magnesium, are tentacled around the circumference of the threshold’s capsule. The lights around, decorated by oily candles and other cathedral-like chandeliers, glinter spontaneously as another gust of ozone is pelted around. The goliath’s gargantuan gauntlets seat the capsule back against a countertop, cluttered by varities of automaton parts and design-documents. The threshold has become readied in the last capsule, a thickened-container of glass used to container any instantaneous combustion gasses. Only the dealing of an ego lies, awaiting threshold’s activation. Without a moment’s spinning nor pondering, the goliath grapples a gauntlet against a lever’s hilt. The grappling, being of a viceroy’s victorious holding, draws across the level’s greasy gutters. Metal is clanged as bells of tempered-steams are shot throughout the nearby pipelines. The motors rumble with a rancorous rhythm of magnet pulling, used to act as a compass for swiping northern and southern poles across dimensions. The experimentations, served as long and hard days in between political escapades and other monarchy-meddling held by the goliath, have fruited as the threshold rings. The ringing, a serene cacophony of a tempest’s winds, beckons off throughout the crackling halls of the laboratory. The spiraling glimmer of the threshold, holding an angular and distorted doorway of another eartherian realm, courses across the chambers of the hall. The colossus’ visor draws ahead into the expelling blaze, whilst the threshold begins to invert its own container. Being of the first successful, though careless by the distractions of political orations, experiment drawn by the beast, it spectacularly failed in respects. The capsule around dents downwards, as though eating away as its own insides. The glass cracks, much to the ignorance of the goliath’s jubilation, before combusting inwards. The threshold plunges outwards, with the spiraling matter of it’s interior busting into their beast’ own domain. As though to draw only consciousness, an element forged beneath only the soul of physicality, the threshold locks down onto the “Duck”. The “Duck’s” gauntlets lower themselves slightly, from the maniacally cackling of a victorious experiment, as they wrap around a nearby tabletop. The tabletop, being drenched with mechanical oils and other polishes used for automaton construction, doesn’t hold to the behemoth’s grasp. Moreover, the beast’s gauntlet slings off from the table before sailing back towards the threshold’s vacuum. The cavern graved laboratory, relatively discarded by the threshold’s imbibing, contrasts dramatically with the “Duck’s” frantic fidgeting. The “Duck’s” gauntlets vigorously rattle around, as it’s boots plunge their steely vulture-like talons into the grounds below. Shrieks of metal and ozone course down throughout the hallway, yet, only to be met with the silencing vortex of the threshold. The gallows of the goliath’s eyes gaze down upon the threshold’s wrath, as though to impose their own stubbornness to nature’s consequences. Though, and ultimately, the beast’s punching peepers fail to scare off something of only matter. With nothing of a consciousness nor heart, the threshold forces the goliath’s grasps away. Subsequently, the “Duck” is drawn into another dimension. The “Duck’s” gauntlets are released into the obscured origins of the threshold. The blitzing, bleary blazes of light and matter course around the colossus’ torso. Holding onto the mucus-like substance within, the titan’s armor would be transported alongside. The beast’s helmet fires off another sundering of ozone, whilst it crashes down throughout the threshold’s infinity and isolation. A gauntlet's rotating wrist, freed by the struggles of absolute will, scrapes across the unyielding luminosity. The wrist’s steel continues scraping onto the blanket of fulguration, as another wrist rises around the hatched hollow. The wrists fire off thunderous thumps of sparks, as they continue shredding down onto the dimension-shifting transportation. Following the wrists, contested anonymously by the uselessness of time inside the portal, strike the lengthy leggings below. The legging’s bounding boots press their humongous heels onto the tunnel’s ravine. The talons below, coiling upwards as though a bramble of seaweed, strike onto the infinity around. The beast’s velocity decelerates, allowing for the armada of armor to cease any frictionized flames. The cowl behind, curtained as though that of a theatrical phantom, edges it’s own hooks onto the hollow’s own hinged infinity. As though a thunder of both time and space, the beast ceases it’s motion into the cosmos. Yet, the magnetite’s compassing has ceased by the lack of non-conscious matter being transported. The “Duck’s” eyes sear off throughout a vent of the celestial tunnel, lined around with several others behind, as though a musician blowing into a flute. Due to the ceasing of motion, the exitways have appeared as though internalized inside of their own portal. However, with the hastied hushing of the “Duck’s” own compass, the beast lays stranded onto a randomized hole beyond the intended region for a dropoff. The intended region, being of nearby the opposite gateway proposed by the D-Squad, remains lightyears away from the “Duck’s” own position. Taking account of a lack for any more extraordinary moment or rocketing, the goliath proceeds to gallop down throughout the exposed hollow. Following the gallop, a harsh and laser-like bleating of noise pulses offward, as the threshold compacts into absolute oblivion. Albeit the portal remains vanished into the cosmos’ clutches, a brightened and sprawling dwarf-planet lies beneath. The planet, covered in a naval-azure of atmospheric clouds, drags the “Duck” in with it’s own magnetic pulling of sorts. Hence, the beast proceeds to fire down towards the planetary shrouding of blue and the bleak. Thunders rage onwards from nearby clouds, precipitating fierce and furious fountains acid rain. Skylines, covered by an undercoating of mint-green refractions, deflect off their sunburnt rays onto the “Duck’s” armory. The behemoth continues crashing downwards, as though a mountainous meteorite, as it catches the attention of a sky-patrolling service. The sky-patrol, led by a singular mothership of carbonized titanium, takes an alienated alert upon the sight of the plummeting “Duck”. The “Duck’s” armor, built to withstand that of hydrogen explosions dealt by phoenixes, withstands the initial gravity of the atmosphere. The ‘mucus’ within crashes back against the armor’s shelling, as the g-forces pile onto the speed of sound. The mothership continues spectating onto the mountain, as a captain starts by an emergency beacon of sorts. The beacon, cluttered with an array of buttons designed for contacting different security ports of the mothership, bleats off a beckoning ring of emergency. The goliath becomes a conflagerating spear, searing the sun’s shading from it’s flames. The captain, a naked ant-like being with two bulging eyes, starts by the command center of the cockpit. The signals continue sounding, with texts devised in morse-code being presented onto a radio device of sorts. Lines of other ants, considered as Muraveys by their species title, drill down across the cockpits corners. All the ants, toned differently by shades of their exoskeletons, face onto the screening below. Shocks of horror and an utmost urgency to cease the cascading colossus’ crash, which would possibly lead towards a catastrophic fissure for the planet at the dropping acceleration. The captain, aged by a fine dealing of meteoroids, gazes down across the shooting star beyond. With a simplistic flick of his abdomen, he proclaims “... - --- .--. / - .... .- - / -.-. .-. .- .--. / ..-. .-. --- -- / -.-. .-. .- ... .... .. -. --. -.-.--”, yet with beeps filling the dashes and boops filling the dots. Promptly, with a stressful vigor of naval sailors, the rest of the Muraveys shout “.- -.-- . / .- -.-- . / -.-. .- .--. - .- .. -. -.-.--”, before flinging themselves back along the hallway of the cockpit. Arms are raised, with laser blasters and other stereotypical weaponry, as the sailors storm across the hallway. Their weapons are drawn across a hanger of sorts, holding around three starfighters of sorts. The starfighters, smaller versions of their mothership, model that of a standard, space-sprung saucer. Swiftly, without a moment for leisure, sailors mount themselves down into the saucers’ own cockpits. Engines are roared with a combustion of carbon, as the saucers drill off throughout the entryway of the hanger’s hanging. The saucers, racing at that of mach ten across the bounds of the atmosphere, sail along without any sound-based explosions due to their internal vibration-compression softwares. The saucers continue blasting bombastically across the rainy torrents of the trembling skies. After only moments, the saucers catch their crosshairs onto the sight of the “Duck”. Plummeting for only minutes after entering the atmosphere, the “Duck’s” eyes are sunk against the edges of their visor. Remaining conscious by the sheer volitionalism of the ‘mucus’, the beast’s gauntlets are spread in an attempt to parachute it’s cowl downwards. However, before any rushing ravanging constructs into ideas, the Muravery fleet catches the colossus down into a wedge of the starfighters. Following the catch and the absolute shock of the mountain being a sentient organism, the fleet begins to contain the beast. The “Duck”, brawling vigorously against the ravaging aliens, ultimately fails to cease the capture as it looms thousands of miles above the planet. Promptly, the goliath is contained into an iron-maiden like container, without any of the protruding spikes. Following the moments upon its own capture and abduction into the reigns of alienated foes, the “Duck” nonchalantly leans back against the containment. Rumbles of oxygen pounce off into the swab, yet rustic, hanger of the mothership. A screeching of the saucers, sinking back into their initial formation for slumbering, clashes off around the garrisoned gallery of the hanger. Moments continue passing, as the “Duck” is mobilized along a thin corridor of lightning lights. The lights, steep and icy with dust, line with a bluish hue. Seconds strike across the hour, as the clock for the captain’s steering time rings around a cockpit’s coliseum. Briskly, taking notice of the captain’s presence, the sailors stand at ease, whilst the captain ambles over towards the “Duck’s” containment. The “Duck”, hoisting gallons of vexation from the brief containment, rattles around inside the contaiment’s cellar. Taking notice of the container’s erratic budging, the captain orders “--- .--. . -. / - .... . / -.-. --- -. - .- .. -. . .-. / .- -. -.. / -.- . . .--. / -.-- --- ..- .-. / --. ..- -. ... / --- -. / .. - -.-.--”. The sailors, loyal to anything testing command in their meritocracy of a worldwide society, lock their blasters onto the containment’s corners. A singular sailor clasps his boney, insectoid fingers around the sequence behind the container, before opening it for the inspection of the captain. Seconds continue building into the tension of the cell, as a plumage of puffy ozone strikes off from the containment’s bolts. The electrical wiring beneath, used to house and contain anything for outdoor presentation, grasps the “Duck” down ahead of the sailors. The captain steps by the “Duck”, with an awfully surprised countenance, as it raises a blaster towards the beast. Briefly, overshadowing the light mumbling of the nearby and lower-ranked sailors, the captain barks “-.. --- / -.-- --- ..- / ..- -. -.. . .-. ... - .- -. -.. / --- ..- .-. / .-.. .- -. --. ..- .- --. . ..--.. -.-.--”. The “Duck”, confused horridly by the mismash of beeps and boops pronounced by the captain, locks it’s own violet-dug peepers onto the ant-like captain ahead. Afterwards, the visor would curve around the other forces of the Muraveys, with another gaseous gust of ozone plunging off throughout the cockpit’s corridors. The tension of the titan remains, as it jests an eye over towards the captain, taking note of the inquisitive posture and voice of him. Following brief internal remarks around the room, the “Duck” would leisurely call “I shalln’t hath anything of thy language! Shall thou speak of ancient English’s glorious tongue?!” The captain, taking the same confused marking of the “Duck” following the beast’s statements, would direct it’s buggy eyes back towards the rest of the sailors. The sailors would take the titan’s shouting and overall confusion for resentment, therefore, they’d begin sealing the container. The buttons would be pressed back against one another, as the locks file into their ravines. Yet, the colossus’ draped cowl and felty coverings would take resistance to the electrical shocks. Having not prepared for anything of electrical immunity, as most of those sorts of resources are a scarce rarity in the civilization, the Muraveys lunge backwards. Their blasters point themselves back towards the jockeying “Duck”, as the metallic mountain wrangles it’s wrists against the wiring around. Moments pass as the blasters’ bolts are loaded down with their laser-beam mechanics. The barrels are plugged with the heat of electricity, as they hold their aims onto the maddened monster. The chamber choruses off, as the beast’s helmet huffs off another raucous rhythm of ozone. The tension explodes, as the electrical wiring around the behemoth does. Sparks are flung across the domain of the chambers, as the behemoth’s gargantuan gauntlets strike off from an explosion of fiery smog. Sirens sing off the iron-maiden container, whilst the titan’s torso jolts off the remaining wires. The truest wrath and fury of the beast arises from the locking of the cell. The sulfuric, smothering smog drowns across the aisle of the “Duck”, as it begins across the cockpit’s corridors. It’s visor swings swiftly across the grouping of seven sailors, with the captain centered into the middle of their swarm. The blasters, exploding off with the tension, fire their beams towards the “Duck’s” own steely armor. Consequently, a thunderous inferno bursts off into the cockpit’s controls. The oily polish of the armor withstands the numerous blaster fires, as the plates below are stained by the scorching and cracking chaos. Only the violet visor of the beast remains deviled across the reigning room, as the controls are crumpled by ricocheting bolts. Sailors are launched across the domain, with their exoskeletons bruising down around the muddled technology. On the nail, expecting the worst of a whack, the captain rises from the gashed grounds of the cockpit. His blaster draws another bolt into it’s chambers, as the “Duck” charges piquely towards the captain’s position. A gargantuan gauntlet is raised upwards, as though a blacksmith’s slinging sledgehammer. The boney, pincered fingers tighten themselves into their palm’s basin. The knuckles, rigid as though an alley of trash-cans, prop their needles ahead of the gloving behind. Without a moment’s checking and only the tempering heat around, the fist fires down into the captain’s exo-skeleton-head. The boney exterior is slung aside by the punch’s two-tonne weight, as the behemoth weighs it’s might onto the captain’s torso. The cracking of a stew-can sizzles down throughout the bruiser’s blow, as the captain is flung across the room’s interior. Speedily, taking notice of the captain’s own blaster, “Duck” leaps onto the Muravey’s arm and flings the firearm from his grasp. Thereupon, the titan gains a grasp across the weaponry, yet it’s bolted down another reign of fire. The crew continues blitzing throughout the fumes of ashy smog, with sparks of electricity crashing across the room's center. Yet, unknown to the figures inside, the ship’s loss of control has sent it towards a thunderous streak of shrouding and has raised into the breeches of space. The brawl continues battling onwards, as the “Duck’s” cowl is tattered terribly by the blasting bolts around. Its armory is pounded punctually by the rising might of the Muravey’s machinery, compared to the luster the “Duck” believed. Although, the contest of wills remains drawn at a stalemate of warfare. The crowding of sailors slowly sieve towards the beast, with their blasters loading down another batch of beams. The clocks of the nearby thunderstorm tick onwards, as the mothership’s directional-warning systems blare off throughout the ship’s hundreds of Muraveys. Another gargantuan gauntlet rises into the arena, as the “Duck” darts towards another sailor. It’s own hijacked blaster, remaining unfired, is swiftly pistol-whipped against another sailor’s skull. The sailor, struck by the weaponry, is slung into a shielded window. The rest of the sailors start into a furied frenzy of combat, taking all the stops to cease the ravager’s rampage. Another bolt strikes against the beast’s side, sending it onto a kneecap’s plates. Another screeching of metal breaks and reverberates throughout the chambers of the mothership. Another screen for navigation is torn down, this time by the goliath’s emptied palm. Subsequently and rapidly, the screen is rammed down into a sailor’s thorax. Throughout all of the raging combat, the mothership cruises into the thunders. A striking of lightning, the size and mass of an aircraft carrier, pummels down into the mothership’s center. The saucer’s gadgets and gizmos, connected by the ports filtered into the main computers along the chasm within, are instantaneously shut down by the thunder’s countering. Hence, the mothership has become stranded across the outer regions of space’s grasp. The atmosphere of azure leaves for the sunburnt sands of the cosmos, as another pouncing of lightning crashes from below. The mothership’s controls spazz violently as it begins rocketing off towards the outer limitations of space. With the wreckage of controls inside, the compasses have taken their targets towards the next livable planet, that of the realm the “Duck” attempted to search. Now, the fruits of the fighting have concluded as the mothership begins a meteoring down towards the clutches of the eartherian world. Asteroids are crumbled by the sheer friction of the ship. Comets are swung aside by the lightspeed engines behind, now crazed by the intrusion of thunder. As the heat beyond spirals into madness, the heat within has closed into only discorded disaster. The “Duck’s” gauntlets grapple a sailor’s scalp down, whilst two of the other sailors launch themselves around the behemoths’ body. Supporting reinforcements, designated with Roman-gladoritorial armor, hurry hotfooted into the closing chambers of the cockpit. The raging brawl edges onwards, as the gravity within the ship begins sinking back towards the eartherian realm below. Machinery is canceled by the new poles of magnification. The mothership fires downwards into the atmosphere below, as though it's its own colossal comet of sorts. Debris, such as the saucer’s outer crust and the engineering platforms around the exterior’s electronics, is flung across the trailing skyline of the mothership. The breakneck speeds of the falling phantasm conclude into a singular, seismic plowing into the mountainous regions of Lagrimosa. With the mothership’s armor having shielded qualities, those of stopping any external blows or heavy fissures from friction, it would simply sink into the dunes of the mountainous rocks. Though, the mountains would rivet and rumble furiously upon the eventually landing of the vessel. After moments of shaking, only the silence would remain between the dusk and the evening beforehand. The “Duck’s” peepers pounce out into the dusty dusk of another morning, with the mountainous regions sundered in two by the vertical vessel. The goliath’s gloves-gauntlets press their palms against a shore of stones beneath, as it’s kneecaps spring upwards from the soot of stone. It’s antennae like horns, jabbed at by the radio frequencies of the mothership, now lay tuning onto the distant breezes of the mountains. Rays of smog remain dragging off the mothership’s tail. Hundreds of surviving sailors have arisen more thirsty for vengeance than ever. The painting of the brave new planet has been driven into the beast’s own vengeful visor. The brawling of it’s ego, struggling from the failures of experimentation and the superiority of the aliens, brings the ceaseless of the colossus’ own schemes for revenge. Its eyes have taken a liking onto the aliens’ transportation, the mothership. Yet, without the proper resources, the beast remains stranded across the mountainous ranges around. In consequence, the colossus pries it’s pupils around, taking an eye onto anything for technology. Hours pass as another evening grows dim onto the mountainous scaping. However, at last upon the evening’s sundown, a rampart of rubble has been discovered. The “Duck”, taking an eager and immensely curious approach upon the technology, scuttles swiftly upon the sight. It’s fingers scourge themselves down across the rampart’s plates, taking discovery to a set of transmitional machines used by the aliens for communicating amongst their starfighters. The transmitional machines are as though 1950s radios, with the same dials and styling. Using the gambles of the radio technology, the beast began a keen testing and experimentation of different frequencies. Using a sample of its own electrons, taking note towards the magnet differences between the portal’s suction and the electrical currents found to power the blasters, the behemoth takes control of a machine. Hours of tinkering follow by, whilst the tension of looming shoulders skulks by across the winding winds of the mountains. The electrons, inserted via a discarded armor-plate of ‘mucus’, are drugged into the machinery’s frequency detonation. Using the frequencies, the beast would bleat off signals for assistance, immense fortunes, magical spells, and any other telemarketing generalities. The signals, taking part towards the electrons specific to the “Duck’s” origin realm, would sound off towards anyone who’ll be persuaded to join the hunt. The “Duck’s” alien abduction hunt has begun.
  21. (OOC Thread) The sun was setting on an autumn Genesaris, casting long shadows from the trees and sinking the valleys and gulleys between the mountains in deep darkness. Torie’s coat and substantial layer of insulating blubber kept her warm, though her nose felt the cold keenly. It hadn’t started snowing yet. The sky was clear and pink above the hilltops. But it was cold enough to freeze the edges of the nearby creek, mixing ice and autumn leaves together in a multicoloured mosaic. With the setting of the sun it would only get colder, she knew, and what’s more, she could sense other travelers nearby. Torie was a druid who took the form of a tiger. She was quite likely to be the largest and fattest tiger in the world, easily standing over five feet tall and with a thick, ruffled neck, and a belly that almost dragged on the ground. Her coat was thick and hid most of her unsightly rolls of fat, but it couldn’t hide her bulk. In fact, it only increased her apparent size to something enormous, though perhaps less threatening than a regular tiger. Around her neck hung a chain of pouches filled with all manner of various herbs she had picked up in her latest foray into the wilderness, though she was looking forward to returning to nearby Vdara, and all the comforts (and foods) modern city living provided. But still, it would be easy for a traveler to mistake her for a wild beast. It wouldn’t be the first time she’d have to fight off someone keen on claiming her pelt. Talking was always an option, and she’d modified her natural tiger throat to enable her to speak, but it was still a deep grumble that could easily be mistaken for growls if someone wasn’t listening properly. So she’d have to make herself look less like an animal, and the only way she could think to do that out here was to build a campfire. She gathered some fuel together in her mouth and carried it to a clearing, where she sat on her haunches and used her dinnerplate-sized paws to rub one stick into the other. It was slow-going though, and not something she practiced very often. By the time the sun had set and only the light of the moon was left, she found herself hunched over her attempted fire with nothing but a pile of dry sticks and splinters in her paws to show for it. “Morku,” she said, cursing in her native tongue, but then her ears twisted between their fatty ruffles at the sound of movement nearby. She hadn’t been listening to the earth for a while. Had the other travelers found her? “Welcome,” she said slowly, grinning into the trees in the direction of the noise – and feeling equal parts stupid and scared. “Come, please sit with me. I don’t suppose you’re skilled at lighting a fire, are you?”
  22. It was a long trip back home from what was now known as Taiyomichi. Prior to such a trip, he was not mentally matured or prepared enough to understand the gravity of his title; Of his position. During the several days at sea it took to return here on a fisherman's vessel at that, he had plenty of time to digest on the information and knowledge gained both directly and indirectly; From a wide variety of Human and Yokai sources that differed from those found here among the vast psionic populace. He had learned from his father that one had to make sacrifices to protect and ensure what was most precious to themselves. Sisu-sama had tought him that honor was tied to one's duty, one's fate; That one didn't always choose the life they were born into, and that responsibility had to be taken on anyone's account. Months before either however, he'd learned from his mother, and affirmed with his aforementioned guardians, that love seemed to be the one thing in the balance that disturbed such a thing. Love creates pain, and pain changes people. Though said change could not be predicted person to person, it had become a veritable truth in his mind that such a thing was too unpredictable to allow one's self to become overly attached to anyone or anything by choice. Though what he had been born in bondage to was already as much a part of himself as any other part in mind, body, and spirit. First and foremost he was born a son, his first duty being to those whom came before him; His parents and his Sisu. Then came the fact that he was born a Prince. The Bastard Prince as he was coming to be called, cared not for the illegitimate nature of his claim to the court. For he was the only child born of the Scarlet Queen. Once docked, the boy had done as he had his entire trip, masked his presence by way of bending the way minds perceived him. Where a boy and his cat stowed away on a ship, it appeared it was just two cats that went largely unperturbed. Together the duo traversed the roads of crushed stone beneath there feet, still warm to his senses as he remembered when he'd left. That was good, the Keep's defenses were still up and running, which meant that as he'd assumed, his Mother was in fact still alive where ever she was. He would find her one day, though in the mean time it had fallen upon his shoulders to pick up the reins where she'd prematurely left off. He had to restore stability within there lands, at least in the Keep itself, or he ran the risk of leaving his Mother's people more or less abandoned, as well as the risk of leaving his Mother with nothing to return to. As he made his way, Kairos took note of the environment overall. While the economy and it's people hadn't necessarily fallen or suffered great losses, it was apparent that excluding the recent feast hosted by the Order of Force, this region had grown rather stagnant. even to the point that adventurer's failed to lay claim to their outstanding Quests. This coupled with the silence of their sibling nations, save for the Taiyomichi, as well as with the empty council sitting in the Queen's place here, it was all just more evidence that he was right. Somebody had to do something, and soon. If only he'd realized sooner that he was just that somebody. Many would deny the claim a child made to a thrown, though his parents had provided him with the tools necessary to appear in whatever manner the people needed to see most in their minds. Creeping into the shadows of a nearby alleyway, the two cats vanished from sight for the briefest of moments. The Prince took a deep breath as he gathered himself, mentally preparing to put everything he'd learned to the test. For if he could not succeed here, now, then he'd have no hope to succeed in the future. While still incredibly young, he was wise well beyond his years; One of few consolations of being born to a Psion and a Cambion. He was a prodigy, gifted with advance Psionic capabilities that he still hadn't fully grasped an understanding on himself. Yet each day he understood more, each day he grew stronger and smarter...Each day, with every ounce of gained awareness, the boy gained confidence. Stepping from the shadows once more, the boy emerged in likeliness to how he appeared when seen in Taiyomichi, the day it was named such. Those that were present or aware of his appearance that day would undoubtedly recognize him now, giving some semblance of weight behind his words when he inevitably came to speak them. Stepping center-most into town, now with what was undoubtedly a lion, he cleared his throat and began by announcing himself and his claim before committing. Regardless of the apparent reception of his words here and now, he'd made up his mind on this matter. With or without the support of his nation, he would serve and protect them the way that he knew his Mother would, if not better. "Ladies, gentlemen, children of Predator's Keep; Lend me your ears, and your minds as well as your hearts!" He paused as he obviously gained quite a bit of attention from them all. A crowd began to gather as some ran to tell others to come and see before it was too late. Even one of the Order's Knight ran to tell the Master Knight himself that a spectacle was on the rise while other's remained around to observe the speech that was about to be delivered. "As most of you are aware, the budding Scarlet Empire ha taken quite a slide back in our Queen's absence. While the Keep itself has suffered the least, it is obviously thanks to the allowance of the Order of Force's presence within our lands. This Force however, is not a governing one, and with the realized loss of the Scarlet Council, it has become apparent that such responsibility falls upon myself; Your Prince!" Confusion became apparent among them, for the Prince was but a we lad. A far cry from a young man. Surely this man was an impostor? "It is true, I assure you all. While I left here mere weeks ago a boy, I return to you a man. While this may be difficult to accept as the truth, it does nothing to change the fact that it is. I am not lost to the fact that I am widely known among you all as The Bastard Prince. While I can do nothing to change the circumstance of my heritage, I can only assure you my Mother's blood runs through my veins, and that there is no alternative as far as genetic alternatives are concerned. As a result, I'm here this morn to tell you all that your Prince has returned, and that he, I, am going to absorb whats left of the Scarlet Council into my board of advisers...Without another to oppose my claim to the throne by right of birth or blood, I am issuing an open challenge to any and all whom would oppose me now. You have until sunset two moons from now to prove you are the more worthy to replace me on the throne. In the mean time, I'll begin by currently claiming it as it's interim monarch." As the crowds grew chaotic in their confusion and rejections, the Prince merely began to walk with purpose towards the Bastion; His Lion by his side. The crowds birthed a path for them to pass throw regardless of their acceptance to his speech. Formally, he'd placed himself out there to the public, and now it was time for him to appeal to perhaps the only person that truly could prove an issue for him moving forward. James Eredas. So far as Kairos was concerned, the OFM was nothing more than an over-glorified military force that specializes in Demon slaying. Curiously enough, it seemed to stand that his Father wasn't here, or else the man would've shown himself already. Not like his immediate attendance would've served a purpose in slowing the Khaliq down, let alone stopping him.
  23. ((Imagine as taking place southwest of Kethlerin)) _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ A week had passed after the war in Nu Martyr, with the Watchers had decided it was time they forged a new destiny amidst the ruins of the old. On their airship, they had absconded with a number of refugees from that land with a promise of safe havens in their homeland. Their number consisted mostly of families with a few soldiers, but it was the speed at which they fled across the Great Northern Ocean that provided the most protection, as did the anonymity with which they traveled. When the ship had disembarked in Port Kyros, it was a nightmare for the Watchers to go through the problem of customs with the locals, as did the question of what to do with so many people. Very few questioned that life was going to be hard, especially for those that came from Landonia - where the proud, knightly traditions held strong. After a day or so of arguing with the customs officers, the Watchers had simply packed everyone who did not wish to remain and headed further east. A select few did leave, but most stayed and waited - huddled together amidst the ship's cavernous interior while they waited. It took another day of flight, but they reached the coast of the western edge of the Great North. To the more cautious minded, this was the ideal spot to set up, but Arthur Morn, the Watcher's second (and interim leader in Nathan's absence) thought it better to head further inland, away from prying eyes. Furthermore, he argued, the ship was borrowed from the Nu Martyr Defense Forces. It would need to be refueled, refitted and then returned once this business was concluded. It was a matter of honor. "Honor is not what keeps these people fed and happy, Arthur." Gale, the Watcher's strategist had said that evening over some of the last bottles of water and bits of bread. "We need to find someplace to drop soon or they'll start eating each other." With that, Gale and Elias volunteered to head further southeast - scouting for a different spot. It took a day, but eventually, they found it. Far to the southwest of the city of Kethlerin, on the banks of the Kethlerin's river tributary were the ruins of an old keep and some unnamed town. It was probably one of the places destroyed in the cataclysm from a previous Whispernight when the dead had risen from their graves and laid waste to much of Genesaris. Though nature had come to reclaim much of what was lost, the town's buildings remained largely intact, including a blacksmith's forge and fully stocked larders. Even better, the few clusters of the still-living dead were easy to dispatch. It took a skirmish, but the Watchers and their forces had secured and scoured away the area. Near the keep, the four members of the Watchers discussed what was to come. Four men fresh from a war they had fought and nearly died in, all for these people who were to them as complete strangers - now people under their protection. Nearly a thousand of them, just looking for someplace to go. "Much will have to be done." Gale said as the first wave of people began to arrive. Most of them women, children and the elderly. "We'll need to figure out who gets what houses and to secure a source of drinkable water." "Not to mention the security situation." Elias said, folding his arms. "We'll need to make another sweep of the area and find out if there's any more undead, or worse." "And the fact that Nathan is still missing." Max pointed out. "It's been almost ten days now. We'll need to contact him to make sure he's okay." "Jameson can take care of himself." Arthur said. "He'll contact us when he's ready. Until then, we need to follow his orders and keep these people safe. And Elias is right - we have to cover our tracks and ensure the Cult of Power does not follow us." "If the cult found out where we are, their reach would have to be long indeed." Elias said, inwardly glad his brother was so quick to agree. "I can only imagine their wrath would be terrible. Nathan made a direct threat to their leader - and more, we snatched a whole group of people from right under their noses." "Even so, this little town is as good a place as any to start over." Arthur said. He turned to his brother and the Fairy Knight. "I'll see to it that makeshift defenses are set up. Elias, run a sweep from the north and east walls. Gale, give me south and west. I want to know what's coming this way before we're gagging on it." With that, he turned to the Angel Knight. "Max, you're with me. I'm going to start organizing a militia."
  24. There was a subtle change in the sound of the city, enough to interrupt Torie’s dreams. She woke up a little disorientated but quickly recognized her room at the inn. Sunlight streamed in through her south-facing window, the angle indicating just after noon. She stretched, and felt the floorboards shaking. “Strange,” she said. Then she noted a deeper vibration, a rumble, barely perceptible to her sensitive tiger ears, and equally faint screaming. Torie scrambled to her feet, which wasn’t easy, especially given the vast quantity of salamander meat she’d eaten the day before. With a swing of her plate-sized paw she opened the door and bolted down the stairs, flanks scraping the wall on either side. The inn was quiet, a few patrons dining for lunch. Torie headed straight for the door. Outside the sunlight was arrestingly bright, but even through squinting eyes, everything seemed normal. People, horses and carts moved up and down the cobblestone streets. Several adventures milled around a notice board further down the street. A queue had formed out the door of a discounted barber store. But the cobblestones beneath Torie’s enormous paws were ever-so-gently vibrating. She wandered north, uphill towards where she knew the castle sat on its cliffs above the coast. The buildings became taller, more ritzy, with little spires and porticos and balconies. The people were better dressed, flowing with silks and embroidery. But the ground was still vibrating, enough that she could see the windows on nearby buildings shaking. Then one of the windows shattered. People stopped in the street, looking about. Someone cried out earthquake, and more screams filled the air. If Torie didn’t have four legs she might have been worried she would fall, and turned to walk to the centre of the road, furthest from the looming stone buildings on either side. Then, one of the buildings near the centre of town vanished behind the skyline of roofs and spires, and another, and another, replaced instead by a plume of smoke and dust. “Ohh boy,” Torie said and, when the ground stopped shaking, started down the slope. *** Panicked crowds grew tighter the closer she got, though being an enormous tiger, the tide of people parted for her quickly enough. Soon she found herself standing on the edge of an enormous sinkhole, the collapsed remains of several buildings inside. And several people, covered in dust, among the rubble. “Rope, we need rope!” called a shield guard. “… foot’s trapped, need a crane or a dragon to move-“ “… ground could still give way. Get these crowds back!” Golden shields started dispersing among the crowd, hands up, shouting to the crowds to back away. One of them reached Torie, looking at her as if not sure she was a person or a wild animal. “You…” “I can help,” Torie said, slowly so she articulated well around her tiger throat. “I can pull or lift, or hold a rope.” “Wait here,” the guard said. He turned to address some people standing on the very edge, looking down at the mess of the sinkhole below, when the cobblestone road split and he and everyone near the edge disappeared into the abyss. Torie roared with surprise and terror, watching as the sinkhole grew even deeper, the square stones of buildings and people crawling over them churning as they sank deeper into the earth, as if there was a hole beneath them. Water gurgled from a broken aquiduct, washing over the rocks and people alike. Torie backed away from the edge, as if it could swallow her too, and headed back to the inn. *** She burst through the inn door. “Help! We need help,” she said around breaths gasping for air. “People, buildings… the ground’s collapsed. There are people trapped! We need rope and ladders, and healers. Please, come quickly!” She looked about at the patrons, eyeing off the most capable-looking, eyes pleading for help.
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