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  1. Biazo Isle; But one of many places on this expanse world that he had yet had the pleasure to venture to and investigate first hand. He'd heard rumor of the bountiful harvest it cultivated, though without any proof or validity to the claims he had a hard time believing. Thus he'd come to visit now. After travelling around the mainlands of Terrenus a bit, and coincidentally making some new friends and enemies along the way, it seemed curiosity had yet to kill this cat. While he'd undoubtedly left the mainlands, he was still in what was considered to be Terrenus. In comparison, from what his sparkling, emerald eyes could see, the Cambion was already in the train of thought that this island was more of a diamond in the rough. The adversity that arose with the like of the Safeguard Act and the Civil War didn't span far nor wide enough to implicate the island so much as it had to many parts of the mainland. While he firmly believed he wouldn't find what he was looking for directly in the city life of Aspyn, the Magician was certain that this was the best viable beginning to satisfying his curiosity. Lest he wished to go on a wild goose chase without even a single lead. Even with direct witness to the claims, or discovery of some byproduct, he wished to witness first hand the native flora that was said to host holy properties. Holy properties that were rumored to benefit the user of such herbs in ways not even he could fathom. One that ingested the herbs found themselves relieved of so called Evil energy, though in his mind Evil was more a matter of perception than it was fact; At least in the realm of mortals. Being a man of half Demonic lineage, he couldn't help but wonder if these products of the land could somehow rid him of such genetics. However, he had no desire to do such a thing at this point in his life. For he did not see this portion of his heritage as any more or less detrimental or evil than he did his human half. The real question was, where to start? Should he just begin asking random passersby? Perhaps he should visit the Embassy and seek the advice of the native leadership or the professionals involved in harvesting said flora. Regardless, he'd refuse to be content without finding the source of this vegetation and it's proclaimed effect. If the source could even be identified and viewed by him directly. The one sure thing was that something was different about the plant life here than it was anywhere else he'd managed to visit. Not only could he see such with his WIZARD EYES, but he could even feel it through what he called The Great Æther. @Pasion Pasiva
  2. “0800 is when the next caravan comes by. Tomorrow at 2000 is the one after. Scuzzballs haven’t sent any reinforcements yet, so it’s safe to say they won’t send anybody until a new deployment of soldiers comes to Aspyn next month.” Dervish the half-man spoke to his comrades in a small den off the main path from Aspyn to its sister colonies on Biazo Isle. In the boroughs of Bi’le’ah, 12 Half-man gangsters belonging to notorious Half-man crimelord the Mule planned the assault of a produce caravan heading from Aspyn to an auxiliary settlement to the northeast. Armed with rusty knives and faulty guns, half-derelict armor constructed from metal sheets and a couple highly intelligent leaders with hidden magical powers, this dozen had relieved several supply caravans of their supplies and relayed them back to the Mule. Most Half-men of Bi’le’ah were busy picking up the pieces of their broken lives since the unnatural magical hurricane and the war in which it shrouded itself, and they reviled the Mule for the stereotypes his actions cast upon them. Nonetheless the Mule persisted with his unsavory means of acquiring means to survive and, in some twisted perspective, a degree of warped lavish. “Alright.” Extending from an orb in the center of a table was a hologram of Peacekeeper Michael Commager and regent of the budding Aspyn. The filaments fit together perfectly, except for when he moved and in the pixels around his mouth; the hologram’s live feed didn’t quite have perfect resolution. This room was full of soldiers and vigilantes dedicated to stopping the threat coming from the Mule’s men. “The attacks on our caravans show all the signs of the Mule’s handiwork. We have dealt firsthand with the Mule and his men before. Escapees of his raids with tetanused scratches and bludgeoning injuries report roughshod groups of mutant-looking creatures attacking their wagons. The physical profiles are consistent with half-men, but it’s alleged that there are a couple powerful individuals among them. According to sources, they are the Mule’s left-hand men. “You will depart with the 0800 group in the morning or the 20000 group in the evening tomorrow, your choice. You must disguise yourself as caravaners and merchants. You can either capture the perps and question them about the Mule or defeat them to send a message to his men. “Afterward report back here, and we’ll take your analysis into consideration when establishing an outpost and division to deal with caravan theft. Questions, or can we begin planning specifics?” Those who didn’t know Michael Commager shuffled their feet, wondering whether or not the hologram was actually a live feed, or a recording. That was when the quizzical image of the Major shifted, his eyes scanning this way and that, dispelling any notion that this was not in fact the real Peacekeeper. “Well?”
  3. ~*~ Ten miles outside of the boundaries of Tia ~*~ Kyra looked worse for wear as she walked into her tent only to find several people sitting with in the tent waiting for her. It looked like the whole Nichole Family were sitting in chairs and watching. Each of them looked rather tired as if they have not slept in days, which was partially true. Kyra recounted how they took a stand outside the gates of their school. They opened up the school and took a stand against the darkness that was plaguing the city of Tia. However it was overwhelming and more powerful than Kyra could ever imagine. On top of that, a deadly virus/infection was weaponized which caused the deaths of countless Tian brethren. Perhaps it was the goddesses watching over Kyra, but she knew it was time to leave, and thus the school fled through the underground tunnels of the school. They accepted as many refugees as they could before they sealed the entrance doors. The group composed of students and refugees fled for what seemed like hours, running at a quick pace. Behind them they heard hard thuds and shifting of the earth. Not knowing what it was, the adrenaline kicked in and the fleeing party ran faster fearing death. Once they reached the open air, the refugees did not stop, for Eleria, Daughter of Selena sprouted her wings and flew forward, becoming a beacon in which the group could follow through the darkness. It wasn’t until another ten miles that they finally stopped in order to catch their breath. Ironically as the massive group of people traveled it seemed as more people who were fleeing the city began to intertwine with the traveling party and nearly doubling their size. Kyra set up several medical stations and began running magical tests in order to clear new applicants to their groups. Those who were infected where frozen by magic and reinforced by protective spells until they can find a cure. The problem however was no longer the virus, but the logistics of the situation. Kyra did not have a way to feed this many people. Sure they had supplies that several hundred people carried, but it could not feed tens of thousands of refugees. They needed help. Kyra had ordered several dozen of search parties to travel out into the night to hunt wildlife for food and forage as much as they can. The students began utilizing their magic and created homemade shelters for people to sleep in to provide some protection from the outside weather. However their magic was limited and soon they grew tired as well. Something had to be done. “Kyra. If we don’t decide our next course of action, many people will die. We cannot allow this to happen. If what the reports say are true, it is possible that we are the last of Tian culture as we speak.” Natalie did not make eye contact as she leaned back into her chair and closed her eyes. Kyra could tell that Natalie, for a powerful as she was, clearly was spent. Her mana levels were extremely low and even her reserves were becoming scarce. “I understand that cousin. The people need to rest, and while they are doing so, we need to come to a decision. Where do we go? Who will take us in?” Kyra looked around and waited for some suggestions. “How about Last Chance? Sure it is a town of dangers but a town none the less.” Eleria said softly as her tired eyes focused on the task at hand. “We cannot go there.” A familiar voice spoke as a Drow entered the tent. Nim’Ruin was a mage of considerable talents, and was the only male to be recognized by the family. He however held an annoying personality but Selena found him to be as loyal as Drow can be. “The Black Witch is within Last Chance. With as tired as you all look, perhaps it isn’t the best thing to have to contend against her magick when we aren’t one hundred percent.” Nim’Ruin spoke in a rather direct tone. Eleria countered as she smiled at Nim’Ruin. “No one has seen the Black Witch in years. We cannot head to Hel’s Gate either for Shekinah is there hiding. Even if these women are family, I rather deal with the Black Witch over that Lich.” “Be respectful to your elders Eleria.” Nim’Ruin said softly as he waved his hand. A map of Terrenus laid upon the table. “Last Chance and Hell’s Gate are off the table. We cannot subject these people to the ways of Last Chance and we won’t be able to protect them against the powers lying dormant there. Yh’Mi is also off the table. The Matron is there as we speak, and there is some interference with her magic. She is weaker there, and thus the rest of us will be extremely weakened as well. I say we start looking to the west. There is Casper, Ignatz, Dougton, and Weland.” “All of those places are heavily guarded and we have no idea if they will even take our numbers? True, they are all Terrens but as we travel I am confident we will pick up more people. We need somewhere far from the center of politics and somewhere where it is safe. Perhaps Baizo Isle?” Kyra said curiously as she touched the top left portion of the map. “A town called Aspyn seems to be the further port from where Tia is.” Nim’Ruin nodded slightly. “Aspyn from what I heard is a newer city. That however is a long way to travel We will lose many people.” “We will lose many people with us standing idly by. We will announce our intent and those who wish to travel with us can stay. Those who wish to go to other cities are free to leave. I however think that people will opt to stay then to venture the wilderness alone. We can stop by Dougton on the way and rest, and then head to Weland and then proceed north. We can send emissaries ahead and inform them of the fate of Tia and ask for aid while we are passing through. Until then, Cam’Mia can travel to Biazo Isle with Nim’Ruin to inquire about if they will accept us.” Kyra turned around to look at everyone but it was Nim’Ruin who spoke up again. “Shall we offer them our school?” He said softly as he met eyes with Kyra. “If they will have all of us, then yes, we will offer to relocate our school and knowledge there. We cannot betray the trust of the people who are with us. We have to find them a home. Thousands of families depend on it.” Kyra said in finality as Nim’Ruin merely smiled. “I suppose our Matron was wise to leave you in charge Kyra. You are sometimes the best of us.” He said quickly as he bowed and stepped out of the tent with Cam’Mia following right behind him. “This is going to be dangerous and long.” Natalie said in passing as she stood up, stretching out. “We cannot leave these people to die.” Kyra said as she stared towards the tent’s exit. “No…No we can’t. Get some rest Kyra. You will need it tomorrow. I’ll head out to secure the perimeter. Hopefully the hunters come back soon. “Natalie breathed deeply as she left the tent, leaving Kyra behind to her own thoughts. Kyra, the woman in charge of the Nichole School of Magic sat by her cot and nearly placed her hands over her face. In all of her years alive, she had never felt so much burden upon her shoulders. She had been to wars upon wars but never was she in charge. She could help but wonder what will happen if she failed? What would happen to her students? Almost all of them held massive potential and if she led them to their deaths, it would be horrific. Kyra definitely needed help and soon. @amenities Summary of Past Events: The Nichole School of Magic fled Tia via underground tunnels after helping thousands of fleeing citizens. They are looking for a home.
  4. Michael walked with his eyes on his feet in a world where those who wished to do evil seemed so great; seemed so able to muffle the meager good that was. The way was dark, but he placed them carefully where he thought the footsteps of the holy might have gone before him. The way was dark, but he strove to be his own source of light. The way was dark…It was dark, until the flame of Aspyn was ignited upon the forsaken chin of Biazo Isle. Now the bustling village of refugees had become a veritable city with a workplace metropolis and regular traffic running down paved roads. Bolstered by the fruits blessed from the nearby Biazo Abbey, protected by the Bastion Peacekeeper Michael Commager, Aspynites prospered in health and good fortune. That did not mean, however, that the way was not dark. Walls around Aspyn separated it from the dark jungles and forests of Biazo. Much of the Isle was safe, but a stark portion of it was not. Bi’le’ah nearby, warping that natural into unnatural and compounding larger upon itself daily, was an always present fear in the hearts of the Aspynites. No Peacekeeper or holy entity could protect them, they thought, no matter how hard it tried. But the remnants of those who believed they could be protected were the protectorates themselves. Michael, Twizzen, Barrett, Roswell, and a host of others had stood before then at the brink of destruction and somehow bridged the gap over disaster. After the fall of the original Biazo, Twizzen blessed the city that rose from its ashes, Aspyn, and its assets from afar and Michael toiled with the people to exact a continually better tomorrow, all while Barrett and Roswell spread the good word of Terrenus throughout its cities and wilds. Michael had little knowledge of where his splinter cell compatriots had gone, but he thought of them daily. They were his brothers (and sister) through thick and thin. Barrett had taken to growing his own military personage and Roswell had gone off to establish friendly clans to Aspyn around Biazo. Michael, well, he had made somewhat of a living for himself. Sitting atop Aspyn, fishing in every bit of good he could from the dark, falling in love. The young man had done a lot. And now, with sweat on his back and forehead, the shirtless Peacekeeper stood in a field outside Aspyn where the wall opened up and an expansion to the suburbs was taking place. His arms were spread wide, muscle tone exaggerated by the effort he put into the work before him. A few feet away, in midair, swiveled a massive ring of fire gently. Tossing on top of it was an elephant sized pot filled with delicious stew for a crew of workers. A small group of ladies stood on the other side of a pylon nearby admiring the officer’s undulating form, but the man with his back to the forest only had one lady in mind. He would be sure to take some home to Shanti. @Djinn&Juice @Aleksei
  5. Dear Proprietor, Allow me to begin this missive by offering to you my individual and sincerest gratitude for the good work you have done, are doing, and will continue to do as a bastion of knowledge. Where the work of collecting precious tomes is easy, it is neither lucrative nor fulfilling; where lucrative and fulfilling, it tends towards danger, chaos, and cutthroat competition. That you stay the course, and do so well, and that Book|Ends continue to expand in presence and influence despite the unfortunate circumstances of Ashville and of Terrenus as a whole, is a testament to your organization's collective strength, foresight, grit, and dare I say good fortune. The purpose for this communique is to forewarn you of a rather brusque cousin of mine who will be making his way to your Biazo branch shortly. He seeks a book of some particular import to matters in Ursa Madeum, and I pointed him your way due to an ongoing relationship with the Floracle apothecary, who mentioned you in passing as in good standing and as having a vested interest in books. I hope to do you, and myself, more kindness than hurt by priming you on Eldwine – he can be short at times, half due to the nature of his work, half due to the curiosities of his personality, but he's an honest man when given no reason to be otherwise, and should he find what he seeks he is authorized to pay a handsome sum for both information and discretion. You will find a small sum enclosed; please use this to buy yourself a drink and a meal, the largest consolation I dare risk enclose in post, as a small gift for your patience. ~ Signed most courteously, Ampelos Spiderwalker Dali # # # A youth, a boy well into his teens and just as far from adulthood at the other end of his trails, knocked on the front door of Book|Ends. When no one came to answer the young boy remembered suddenly that this was not a residence, but a business, welcoming of customers and their coin purses, so he opened the door and strode in. After subjecting hapless customers to his random inquisitions the young boy eventually found a worker to lead him to Draug, and there announced. "Hi! Some guy just outside paid me to come in here and tell you that he wants a draught of old wine and that you should meet him just outside because he doesn't want to be on camera. He's on a bench reading the Weekly. Okay, bye!" And then a faint muttering as the boy leaves: "Easiest half-gold I've ever made." OOC: https://www.valucre.com/topic/41617-a-fairy-tale-ending-closed/
  6. Draug, I hope you didn't mind me sending my associate. Lieutenant Barrett can be somewhat boisterous, though I trust him to be succinct when I need. I am writing confirming that Barrett imparted to you we had cleared a more than sufficient space for a Book}Ends chapter in Aspyn. I have supplied the labor and the lot; and I trust you will have schematics and supplies on hand. Don't worry about your travel visas, just send ahead of time and I'll be waiting! Best, PK5, Michael Commager; Acting Aspyn Regent On the sunny day in question, Michael stood wearing his dress blue uniform and a grin on his face. Barrett stood beside him, reaching about the hip area. What led up to the stone walls of Aspyn and the ornate gate before which he stood was a dirt path framed by long grass. A couple hundred meters away from the walls began thick forest, but the treeline cut off sharply to allow a flat scene just outside the walls. @KittyvonCupcake
  7. Warrant Officer Malam had served in battalions under Peacekeeper numbers 1, 4, and 5 in all his days. He was a proud man, and opted to wear his dress uniform rather than civilian clothing whenever was kosher— though never less-than-kosher. Malam was starkly dedicated to the Terran military cause. That was why he'd followed Peacekeeper 5, Michael Commager, when he went to establish a refuge for what he saw as a crumbling Terrenus. WO Malam had gained some repute in his time. Not dying was one thing, but leading in successful ventures during violent times was another. He sat at a desk in an Aspyn school where he had done an appearance. His guards were down the hall around the corner. Closer down the hall was a bathroom. Today Was the Day Malam Would Die Warrant Officer Warren Malam hadn't used the bathroom all day. Four coffees deep, something told him it was time. Getting up, Malam made his way to the bathroom. His guards never heard him enter, never heard the door swing closed or Malam entering a stall. Never heard the seat clack down or the belt buckle jingle as Malam sat down, or his whistle.
  8. The western Aspyn was, as the eastern horizon, a sunrise of hope on the perimeter of a tumultuous Terrenus. Those fleeing from Ashville, Casper and other areas of former peace relegated to times of unease came here for a certain degree of defense and respite. The city itself grew in population on an impressive basis, geomancers from the Abbey on regular call to expand and improve upon the growing town's infrastructure. Such an explosion of activity served as a beacon to entrepreneurs and venture capitalists looking to.. well.. capitalize on the next big thing: Aspyn. One such entrepreneur was a bistro owner from Last Chance named Rian Bilkes. He came to Tia in accompaniment with a significant caravan of Last Chancers who had seen and were impressed by the Peacekeeper Michael's ability to deter evildoers. The desire to populate Aspyn was not suspicious in the least. The only thing that might have, but didn't draw any suspicion to Rian, was the fact that he carried with him the blueprints to a once questionably owned Black Tarantula mysteriously redrawn in his own hand. Now Rian stood surveying a gated off plot of land with construction workers and contractors thronging around him. "I'd like to expand the foyer and main ballroom while adding three private room to the western side in these gaps here," he said, pointing to extended hallways drawn between the old club's western private room, this lot of land being slightly larger than the former Black Tarantula. "The larger amount of space should provide a new, greater capacity. Please include the altered numbers in your schematics," he said to the chief architect. @supernal
  9. It was the best part of the day for the people of Aspyn. That luminous, lethargy-inducing, life-granting, ludicrously hot ball of fire in the sky met its daily demise known as Mt. Bia’Thera. The sun slunk behind the volcanic guardian, casting a shadow colossus across the thriving bastion of survivors and thrivers. While that didn’t ease the oppressive humidity, all still found solace as they put down their axes and kicked up dirty boots for a well-deserved meal at the end of a hard day’s work. One such pair swung back and forth beneath a chair. Bright, yellow, and made of a shiny waterproof material, they belonged to a girl who hummed happily to herself as her head bobbed side to side to the beat of her own song. She drank from a large pitcher of water and waited patiently, eagerly fidgeting in excitement. The tent she sat in was barely twenty paces to the west of Aspyn lumber, the city’s mill and a damn fine one at that. Here, all the folk still slick with sweat mixed with sawdust would find hot meals and heavy ale waiting to reward their hard work. Ask anyone around, and they’d all agree Aralyn’s arrival had brightened up the place. Spirited, gungho, and perpetually in a joyful mood, the young woman in a raincoat fit in just fine among the multiracial fallout of Bi’le’ah. Even amongst such a diverse crowd of nymphs and elves, humans and halflings, there was no one quite like her. Setting down the pitcher caused wood chips, bits of leaf, and aspyn dust to lazily swirl beneath her translucent light-green skin. No, Aralyn Voxinium was most certainly the only half-slime to be found here. Navigating the chaotic mess of locally made wooden tables and cheerfully chattering woodworkers, the proprietor set down a hefty plate at the tiny slime’s table. “Here you go, little Lyn, the usual. Did ya work hard today?” the burly man, a lumberjack turned cook, asked with a grin. The slime girl set down the book she had been reading and jumped up with a cheer, knocking her chair over in excitement. “Yup! Lyn did her best and got praised by the boss man! Thank you Mister Jeesin!” she bubbled back in that girlish, echoing voice of hers. Jyashin chuckled and gave her a thumbs up. He didn’t have the heart to correct the way she pronounced his name. He took a step back to watch the show that was about to start, and the sounds of creaking and scraping wood announced that others turned around to watch as well. No one had quite gotten bored of seeing what happened next on a daily basis. Grabbing the bone sticking out of the grilled Okapi thigh that had been set before her with human-like fingers, Aralyn lifted the entire piece of meat above her head. She jutted her chin to the sky and opened wide, stretching her mouth wide like only someone made of slime could before letting the meal slowly sink in. And sink it did, in full view of anyone looking. Meat and bones drifted through the viscous liquid in her neck before slipping past the neckline of her raincoat and disappearing from sight. “Mmmmmm, yummy~” the girl beamed, seemingly happy with the taste. A tendril formed at the end of her hair picked the fallen chair back up before she sat down and went back to reading her book on local wildlife. As she flipped a page, the PH levels of her body began to plummet in order to digest her food. Just another day here in Aspyn for Aralyn. For someone used to constant travel and daily challenges, the girl had to admit she was getting a bit restless. She hoped something new would happen, and soon, or she might not be able to wait here for much longer.
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