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  1. “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?”
  2. 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/
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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.
  8. Geography This blooming city, positioned in the northwestern quadrant of Biazo Isle, sits in the shadow of the volcanic Mt. Bia’Thera for the second half of every day, each morning basking in white yellow sunrise. Solace from the morning and early afternoon heat can be found in the thick rainforest surrounding Aspyn, which is invigorated by a righteous seed planted in its gardens that exudes natural energy for kilometers around. From above, the thickness of flora and resulting fauna visibly distributes away from Aspyn across the isle. Aspyn's seclusion from continental Terrenus offers a refuge away from the crumbling megacities, resulting in a continually bolstered and culturally enriched population. Distances to Sea of Regrets coast: ~12 km W to Bia’Thera base: ~ 15 km E to Biazo Abbey: ~ 90 km SE to Bi’le’ah: ~ 80 km S Characteristics Much of the population that fled Biazo, now the supernaturally addled ruins of Bi’le’ah, settled in in Aspyn. This means there is still a large golem population in addition to a smatter of humans, nymphs, elves, and other races residing there. There is no such thing as prejudice among the survivors of this disaster, at least not yet. Those in Aspyn are not only personally dedicated to making it a better, more unified place than whence they came; they are also working hand-in-hand with the Gaian clergy and Terran military to ensure safety against future Unnatural threats such as the cataclysm that created Bi’le’ah. Due to dangers ever-lurking from the shadows of the ruins toward the good people of Aspyn, there has been erected a 10-foot wall of igneous rock geo-encrypted to grow and manipulate the shape of extra layers. Five teams of seven, five military and two clergy, also patrol the city’s perimeter. Others stand watch at the two entrances on all four walls around the city, both wide and heavily gated with similar enchantments. Notable People PeaceKeeper No. 5: Michael Commager Settlers / Citizens - Robust ~ 6,000,000 A majority of these are from the displaced citizens of the ruins of Biazo City, the plagues in Casper and Ashville, and most recently the decimation of Tia. Population growth (5%/month, up from 1% as Aspyn enters a period of exponential growth) is in accordance with suitability for refugees from the Terran mainland and new immigrants, scientists, and explorers from around the world. Military presence - Strong 15,000 high-tier Terran soldiers under PK command scout and patrol everything in the settlement’s vicinity. 14,000 Watchmen rotate in constant patrol around the city. 7,500 Wallmen rotate watch on the wall that separates Aspyn from the dense jungle. Clergy presence - Moderate 2,000 clergy. In addition to dispatching according to situational needs, Biazo Abbey supplies 500 members of its clergy to Aspyn at any given time. Due to proximity to Biazo Abbey and a new road which, for the most part, connects the two areas, Aspyn has seen an of 500 additional clergy from the mainland. Man-made Locations Recreation Center: One of the first erected in the settlement, this five story compound was created a center where community activities such as intramural sports and independent classes could take place. Now a schoolcenter, sport's center, and Aspyn city council facility, The Rec Center continues to be a flowing source of social improvement and legislation on behalf of locally elected officials. Mainland Embassy: Both Aspyn’s city hall and the Terran Embassy are located in this building. The highest level Aspyn officials and merchants convene here with Terran counselors and ambassadors, where trade and interaction with federal authorities is established and maintained. Twizzen's Road: Archbishop Twizzen took it upon himself as a personal responsibility to pave a major road between Biazo Abbey and the city of Aspyn, with hopes that easy travel between the two areas will provide for more immediately deployment of clergy and avoid circumstances such as those which brought Biazo City to ruins. The road does not lead right to the Abbey, Twizzen is too cautious for that, but cuts travel time down considerably. Aspyn Lumber: Using specially fortified wood from the lush forest outside Aspyn, a small mill and workshop that sprouted from the city's development has made quite a name for itself with products of high quality made in good time. Black Tarantula: Club owned by entrepreneur Rian Bilkes. The inside is much larger than the outside of the building looks to allow. Nightlife hotspot where mysterious, dark things happen behind the scenes. Natural Features Blessed vegetation: A natural byproduct of fruits and vegetables grown under the righteous seed’s influence is that they themselves are imbued with holy energy, each inhabitant who ingests them purified of evil energy each time they do so. Sea of Regrets Coast: Emerging from a pathway in the foliage bordering the beach’s white and brick-red sands, one comes across the Sea of Regrets, a morning spectacle -which, contrary to popular belief- one would regret missing out on. Bia’Thera: Approximately 4.4 km tall, where this mountain’s treeline ends begins a warming ascent to the mouth of the volcano, where looking in one can see molten rock far below and wonder if and when the cup will runneth over. Aspyn tree (Populus arsynia): Tall, sturdy, quickly growing and predicted to have a >100 year lifespan, the amazonian Aspyns began springing rapidly up upin the seed's arrival. Their leaves are roughly the size of the average adult palm, a deep red in the center and a fiery red on the fringes. Saps, bark, and leaves are all subject to ongoing experimentation for consumer and medical use. Canon breaking dawn (08/26/2016) : PeaceKeeper and Archbishop venture into the ruins of Bi’le’ah with a benevolent demolition woman named Vilka. Together with a Half-Man native to Bi’le’ah, the three navigate the ruins and the dangers of notorious gangster, The Mule’s, men, until they find a righteous seed of natural energy and bring it back to Aspyn. This seed nourishes abundant natural growth for kilometers around Aspyn. Itsy bitsy spider: Rian Bilkes, a store owner from Last Chance, spots a lucrative opportunity in the brightly reborn analogue of Biazo, Aspyn and re-establishes famous night club the Black Tarrantula. Rian Bilkes, puppet of mage Cain Rose, pulls the familiar move of appropriating the business and employees of another sprouting business to fuel the rise of his company's own business. History Aspyn is the safe haven of Biazoan citizens who fled an Unnatural crisis that brought the original city to ruins. A military group led by PeaceKeeper No. 5 and Archbishop Twizzen quickly responded to the disaster by leveling a portion of the rainforest many miles north of the ruins and erecting an encampment. It is upon that encampment that the settlement, now the city, has developed with the aid of the military and clergy. In recent months, Aspyn has seen a continual influx of citizens as people flee from the mists that ruined much of Ashville. The growth in civilian population has resulted in both higher military and clergy presence. The city has made innovative infrastructural advancements and expansions to accommodate this new growth, but is always looking for bright minds and ready hands to further its cause for modernization and development. The fall of Steam City saw Problem Solvers dumping Tians wholesale on the outskirts of the fallen kingdom they once called home. Watching the purple mist of the Maleficence Plant devour Tia, these citizens had nowhere to go. Many had been ushered off to other lands but families who wanted to stay with Terrenus and heard of a mecca called Aspyn to the northwest stayed, disenfranchised; but only for a moment. At the behest of Central, large scale transports scooped up the displaced and moved the scant belongings that remained to Aspyn. These people have since integrated into Aspyn and contributed zealously to the city's industry and economy. Quest Index: Class A: It is no secret to Aspynians that Bi’le’ah is rife with danger, but exceptions aside that does not mean all its inhabitants are dangerous. The Half-Men, a race of humanoids physically contorted by the ongoing whims of Bi’le’ah’s chaotic energy, are a good people who desire safety from a criminal who robs and assaults them named The Mule. Opportunities for this mission involve either helping the Half-Men or joining The Mule. Class A: Word circulates of a fishing vessel stranded on a reef about 15 miles from the shore, where Siren-like creatures have taken 68 people hostage who were attempting to migrate from Aspyn to mainland Terrenus. Negotiate their freedom and ferry those who wish to leave to Terrenus, and those who wish to return to Aspyn. Class A: Help the military establish outposts outside of Aspyn for displaced refugees from Biazo City and protect them from raids Class B: According to established maps of Biazo Isle, there are up to eleven other settlements on the landmass who have yet to optimize their means of transportation and security. Go to one of these settlements and organize the establishment of a Faux-ton hub or other means of transporting goods and personnel to and from settlements. 0/10 completed (Once completed 10x, Biazo isle will reach an optimal state of unification between its settlements.) Class B: Now that exchange routes are appearing throughout the isle, merchants traversing them are in need of protection from dangerous animals, unnaturals, and hostile indigenous tribes. Class B: Not unlike establishing trade with the other Biazo Isle settlements, establishing and maintaining friendly mercantile relations with the Terran mainland is an important objective of Michael Commager’s and other Aspyn officials. Talk skeptical federal agents at the Mainland Embassy into bypassing the dangers and risk of Bi’le’ah and endorsing trade with Aspyn. Note: 1 page = 15 posts. All threads that contribute to Aspyn canon must be ≥1 page in length. Class A and B missions must be ≥2 pages in length. Once threads meet requirements and are completed, they will be added to thread history and their content to Aspyn canon.
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