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  1. Argi was almost prepared to collapse. He hadn't eaten properly in... what, a week? Since arriving in Casper, he had quickly realised that the only meals one could find within the city were ones that you could pay for - whether paying for the whole service or just ingredients - and he had run out of money soon enough, though he hadn't had much left by the time he got here anyway. While the possibility of work had crossed his mind, he realised there was no time to try and find it - he had to warn everyone of the danger in Dougton. So, he had. Day in, day out, Argi had gone from the 'shantytown' in which he had made himself resident, to the 'train station' that lay at the city's heart. He knew Ignatz to possess a similar hub of transport, and indeed, from what he had briefly read of the map, it seemed the two were connected. Either way, he knew many travellers would pass through it, and he had hoped at least some had skill enough with sword or spell, and an understanding of the situation's urgency, as to convince them to join in his quest. It... hadn't gone well. Some were simply dismissive. The military were dealing with it. If it was such a big threat, wouldn't we have been told? How much do you pay anyway? Ultimately the frustration became too much each evening, and the young man from the mountains retreated to the broken shelter of an overturned boat, both to bawl his eyes out, and to then get some sleep. A few times he had been awoken from it. Once by a friendly face warning him that the city police - responsible for enforcing law and order in the urban area - had been searching for him, thinking he had committed murder in Dougton. That night he found a different wreck to hide in. A few days later, having enjoyed the luxury of a corner that didn't pool with rain water - he was awoken to find someone trying to steal the boots off his feet, at which point he panicked and likely caved in their nose with his heel. It was back to the first boat after that. Then to the station again, with the increasingly decayed remnants of the Enrele he had procured. More and more he felt like the crazed individual he was aware that the people here saw him as. Vaguely, he had a feeling that someone, somewhere, had said that the definition of insanity was to try something over and over again, to somehow expect different results. So what a relief then, however strange it should be, that someone actually talked to him. More than one, even. Some perhaps were motivated by the sheer novelty of it all; maybe thinking him some overly dramatic storyteller, more than someone with a true fear upon his mind. There were however those that lingered. A few faces perhaps proving familiar, even. Though still somewhat set to collapse, Argi's confidence had grown considerably. People were listening. Ready to join him in this fight, when all he had to offer was the opportunity itself. Even without food in his stomach, or clean clothes, he was half-prepared to leap right from the crate had used as a podium, and rush right back to Dougton with this small force! But another came. One that extended a piece of parchment to him. There was an awkward moment as he was forced to explain that he was still working on being able to speak Terran, and even moreso read it. So the messenger - revealed to be a child as they spoke - told him simply that he, and any others present, should come to the 'Wyrm's Bane', before they departed. What might have otherwise been an hours long search for some pub or vessel by the name was cut rather drastically short by Argi's revelation that he had, in fact, seen that ship - and it was a ship, which he had come to know as how Terrans ascribed very large boats - every day for the last several days. It was, as he would show to his entourage, a junked vessel that had sat along the coast of the shantytown in which he had been living; how long, he obviously was uninformed enough as to know. But with its name emblazoned across the side - if missing a few letters, presumably having fallen somewhere into the water below - its identity was unmistakable. Further, Argi and any others would quickly realise, the lights were on. At least, in one part of the ship they are. That was enough to convince Argi, reduced to carrying the parasite's corpse in a bag he had salvaged from the area, to step aboard. Through halls that were caked in dust, coated in cobwebs, and browned by rust - or perhaps mould - the man from the mountains walked, until arriving at a large, open room, in which they was arranged a vast table, and around it, several more that had been waiting for seemingly quite a while. Argi could see one person in particular sat at the table that had an... air around her, which he quickly took to mean that this had all been at her arrangement. "Are you... here about the Enrele?" He asked first, just to make sure that no-one had gotten lost in coming here, before he quite simply spilled out the parasite - what little was left of it - upon the table. Its sacs had burst, and its stingers chipped, but still seeing it like this unnerved the very man that had brought it here. Not sure it wouldn't somehow just pop up from the table and attack. "Because I fight them. Going to fight Aleth. Promised the children in Dougton." Argi made his simple declaration, and waited to hear what the response would be...
  2. Casper Port, Hospital District Central Terrenus 597, Modern Era It was almost sunset. Golden orange flooded the Casperian sky as seagulls and crows alike cawed and cooed; the city inhabitants starting to wind down and close shop for the day. As the unsuspecting civilians went about their business, a lone luxury steam-car rolled its way through the hospital district. In it was the driver and two passengers who sat facing opposite each other. The first was a red-headed woman, dressed in a bespoke top and pants fitting of a woman of her station. There was no time for dresses, corsets or makeup. This day, this night, would be all business and wearing feminine clothing would not help her this evening. Her name was Violeta Ventrix. Adopted daughter to Giuseppe Ventrix, adopted sister to Veronica Ventrix and the current scion of the Ventrix family. If she played her cards right, the Ventrix family would regain control of Ventrix industries once again. Taking her eyes off the passing scenery, her gaze turned towards the male brunette sitting opposite her. His bespectacled man's eyes were closed, but she knew he wasn't asleep. He was merely resting his eyes while keeping his other senses heightened for any danger that might approach. The spectacles were also a ruse. He wasn't visually impaired in any way, but he claimed that doing so would make any attackers underestimate him if they succeeded in knocking his glasses off. He was... weird in that way. But that didn't make him any less of a capable bodyguard. Gustav Guillemard was his name. Tall, youthful, cool as a cucumber and armed to the teeth. Violeta couldn't help but blush as she surveilled his toned and sharp facial features. Ever since she hired him, he kept to himself and never opened up about his past or how he acquired his skills. But it didn't matter at the time. She had seen first hand his prowess in battle and she wasn't going to waste a precious resource such as him. If he wasn't her bodyguard, she wouldn't have minded taking him in as part of the Ventrix family... but that matter would be settled another time. "We're almost at the headquarters, Miss Violeta." The chauffeur announced. "Where would you like for me to wait for you?" "It's alright Sebastian. You may go home to your family after this." Violeta replied, a gentle smile gracing her lips. "I'm afraid Gustav and I may be held up at headquarters longer than I suspect. If your services are needed, I'll call for you." "As you wish Miss Violeta." The chauffeur nodded. "You think they'll listen to you?" Gustav piped up, his steely gaze piercing right into the red-head's soul. And Violeta gazed right back at him. "You mean the old coots?" Violeta quirked a brow. "They'll listen. But I hardly think they'll be willing to give up their shares to me willingly. Whatever little of them that father passed to Veronica are now legally transferred to me. It may not be much, but at least it entitles me a seat on the board of directors. Now that the bastard Vincent is gone, I'll have to make sure the company is brought into the fold. I owe that to father, at the very least." The bodyguard took off his glasses and cleaned them absent-midedly. "There'll be chaos, you know. Everyone will try to vie for Vincent's seat. But if none of them can come to an agreement, they'll try to push the company to go public." "You don't think I know that?" She replied, biting her thumb. "That's the worst case scenario. Going public will allow them to cash their investment and run with the profits. They'll bankrupt Ventrix industries and the Ventrix family will be the owner of nothing more than a shell of what it was... with majority shares controlled by people we don't know. But I will prevent that from happening. They think with my father dead and Veronica currently indisposed that they can do whatever they want. But my existence will throw a wrench in their plans. The red head smirked. "They'll panic and try to stop me from gaining control. The decision making process will take weeks. If I can gather majority shares compared to all of them combined, they'll have no choice but to do whatever I say. But the more shares I gain, the bigger the target on my back. I'll need you more than ever, Gustav." "I need to know... " Leaning forwards slightly with a pleading expression on her face, she took the bodyguard's hand in hers. "You'll be going into this with both eyes open. Once started, there is no going back. Are you prepared to go all the way with me, Gustav?" The brunette looked down at the woman. This strong, fiery, independent lady, baring her request with heartfelt emotion and conviction. It was rare that she show this side of her to him. Then again, this was the reason why he took up the job in the first place. Violeta was an interesting woman, and perhaps tonight would be more interesting than all other nights of his past combined. A small smile teased at the corner of his lips as he leant forward, his face almost upon hers as she blushed at his sudden act. "Yes." He replied with equal conviction. "Yes, I am prepared to go all the way... my good mistress Ventrix." Violeta smiled. "Good. I knew I could count on you, Gustav. When all this is over, lets go on vacation. I think it'll be a welcome change of pace don't you think?" The bodyguard chuckled as he placed his glasses back on. "Yes, I'm sure it will be." The luxury steam-car turned and passed through the gates of the Ventrix headquarters, stopping at the building's entrance. Both individuals exited the vehicle and stepped in front of the massive, victorian-esque doors. Standing side by side, heiress and bodyguard turned to look at each other. "Ready?" Violeta asked, and Gustav nodded. "Ready when you are, Miss Ventrix."
  3. ✦ At this point, it'd been already clear that Raine was not a fan of bustling markets and persuasive shopkeepers. But here she was, drenched in the docks of Casper, sitting beside a seagull who had been kind enough to offer her a bit of company as she shivered from the cold. Her garments were soaking with seawater and the scent of salt, grimacing as she removed a piece of kelp from inside her shirt. Her robe blanketed the moss-greased dock, sticking to the muck and painting the white cloth with a gracious mix of brown and green like a horrible palette. With a look of exhaustion, she hugged her now ruined boots and looked straight ahead, a blank stare spacing off into the coastal view alongside the seagull that pecked at her clothes. Needless to say, she needed a break. Merlin was taking one; after he fainted and Raine crashed head-first into the ocean. Though it was a good thing he fainted when land was spotted, lest she be doomed by sea creatures that lurk down in the deep. A wand materializes in her left hand, flicking it and watched as her magic squeezed out it's last drops before exhaling it's last breath. An offended 'ah!' escapes her, and she pouts down at the wand in her hand. Of course. Raine flicked her wrist once more and the wand dissipated into stardust, surprising the seagull. Then - her pouch took shape in her right, and stuck half of her arm inside. She pulls out the last mana potion and looks at it—hesitates for a moment—then sighing, pulled out the cork and downed the vial without a second thought. The liquid was sharp—unpleasant until you get used to it, like incredibly bitter, incredibly cold mint sliding down your throat as you feel your lungs coat in layers upon layers of frost. But, each potion are crafted exceptionally different, and it just so happens that Raine had bought a nasty one. The effect is almost immediate, her ice-bitten eyes humming blue in response to the influx of magic absorbed in her body, fuming a nebula-like form of gas that got expelled in a brief burp. The seagull snapped it's neck and glanced up at Raine, with a twitching beak and a fluffy heaving chest. She glanced back and a silence between them was exchanged. It wasn't a few seconds later that Raine slid the empty vial in her pouch and shooed the bird away. ―――――――――――――――――――――–– "Now, how bout I give ya a discount fer' the dress?" "Ah, uh?" Raine stumbles and tilts her head from the proposition made by the elderly woman, her previous clothes folded into a wet mess as she glanced at herself in the mirror. Her skirt was parted in the center, revealing a pair of black shorts and her ruined leather boots. "A dis—count?" Her face wrinkled in a hearty laugh. "Yes, yes! Just pay me half, darlin'. Ya prob'ly caught a cold, eh?" A new dress and robe! Murmur shall be so pleased to hear about it. A child-like glee escaped her as she left the tailor shop, waving goodbye after the witch had gifted the hag a glass flower in return for her generosity. Raine smiled under her hood, happily walking down the street as if she were stepping on clouds under the cloudless sky. She doesn't get to enjoy this sort of peaceful moment every now and then when there isn't something, someone pouncing at her neck. Quite frankly, she's fortunate enough not to be hunted down by a witch hunter, assuming if they're still out there looking for hags to burn. Nonetheless, she continued her carefree adventures around the town of Casper. She looked at flowers and watched seagulls, taking in the fresh coastal air while a skirt chased behind her legs. Her delicate hand pulled on the robes, gusts of cold wind picked up from the ocean breezing past her. It was the first time that she's ever come to Casper, awed by the cultural differences of her own hometown. Though she had intended to look for a bakery, it would seem that fate had other plans. Raine passes by a corner, and skids to a halt. A group of people have crowded at a sight she herself cannot see. At first, she is uneasy—overcome by a sense of curiosity yet overcome by a sense of anxiety. She stands there—undecided—until her legs had begun to move on their own. As the people whisper and murmur, the robed woman tip-toes and looks through the gaps of bodies that hide the gruesome truth. Perhaps it would be better if she hadn't tried to look. @vielle
  4. "You want me to go where?" "We want you to go to the Full Deck and do a full and thorough investigation of the vessel. The military sucks at its job." "So lemme get this straight. You're going to pay me to gamble and fuck whores?" "Look Richard, I'm not telling you to go gamble and fuck whores. I'm just saying, go do a thorough investigation, explore every option, leave no stone unturned. If you end up gambling and sleeping with some guys and gals in the process of your investigation, so be it." Richard's head cants to the left as he looks at the F.I.S.T. director, about an inch and half of messy dirty blonde hair flops to the side. "Look, that last job was carried out by that cat who is a peacekeeper now. I don't know what you think I'll find." Richard is met with a dismissive shrug from the director. "Nothing good comes from Last Chance. Nothing good comes from gambling or prostitutes. It isn't a question of if they are dirty, the question is how dirty. Can we clean it up with a dustpan or do we need bleach? I don't know why you're arguing with me. If you don't find anything what's the worst that happens? You got paid to have a good time." Rolling his head back, Richard leans back into his chair to stare at the ceiling fan. Reaching into the inner breast pocket of his coat, he pulls out a cigarette from a silver cigarette case and a matte black lighter. Placing one in his mouth and using the other to light it, he takes a few puffs before finally looking back at the director. "You're right. I shouldn't be bitchin' about a good time." Pocketing the lighter as he stands, he walks a few feet past the director before coming to a stop. "You bought me a ticket, yeah?" "No. Buy your own, we will reimburse you for it later after you file a claim." The director responds, while turning to face the agent. Before Richard has a chance to protest the director ushers him out of the door of the F.I.S.T. regional field office. "Stay out of trouble, Richard." Approaching the dock a few hours later, Richard negotiates the throngs of people lining up to board the Full Deck. His trek ends at the ticket booth where a handful of tin pieces and a marked silver piece are traded. "Thanks doll." The comments made in parting. The depthless apertures of his eyes dilate, causing the bleak voids to overtake the brown irises allowing him to fully ingest his surroundings. There is a bachelorette party, a few businessmen, a lot of geriatrics, and about a half dozen other people that he can't place into any specific group. The spread doesn't surprise him and is by all accounts unremarkable. But, truth be told, a good front should be indistinguishable from a legitimate business. Crossing the brow onto the main deck he immediately parts from the herd, and works his way to the aft of the vessel. Upon reaching the stern he leans into the bulwark and peers into Casper proper. The city is haloed by noon light, but just past its limits the obvious signs of a stormfront can be seen. "Well, it'll either be gorgeous sailing or a vomit storm." His own comment gets his brain firing as he suddenly realizes he's never been on a vessel before. Shit, do I get seasick? Guess there is only one way to find out. As the last passenger boards, the gangway is raised and the Full Deck's propellers begin to churn up water. Within seconds the vessel begins to push off from the docks and then turns southeast to head out into the bay. Taking just a moment to appreciate the grandeur of the casino ship, Richard eventually pushes off from the railing to head into the gambling hall. It's time to finally earn his pay.
  5. Carina wasn't particularly fond of magitech. Magic, in general, was something she was quite unfond of. Back on earth, in her old foundation, they would have called it an anomaly, monitored it, sketched out its rules and limits, then contained it so that its violation of reality's laws would not spread. Some magic systems had rules, true. But for every set of laws there was an exception, and for every comprehensive system there was power that ran by chaos, unbound by rules or limitations. Here in Valucre, conflicting magic systems existed side-by-side, otherworldly technology Still, the Lightning Rail was quite a wonder. The woman made her way through the terminal past the dozens of stalls clustered against the wall selling everything from pearl tea to polished lobster claw pendants. Perhaps on other days, this place would have been crowded. Now that the train was down, only a small, thinly-spread crowd populated the terminal, and she had a clear view of the station. While the rails were mostly a dull silver, (Nth, likely) she could see rosy strips of Auranite at evenly-spaced intervals. Carina knelt down, trying to get a good luck at the underside of the carriages. If what little she knew about the Rail was correct, the rails followed the natural curve of Ley lines along the continent. Nth's anti-gravity properties provided levitation for the train cars, Auranite crystals absorbed and stored magic from the ley lines, and strips of Auryl on the train cars converted the magic into kinetic energy for the forward push. Was that it? I'm not too confident in my knowledge of Terran materials Carina glanced behind her, hoping neither of her companions had wandered out of earshot. "If there's anything we can do to fix the Rail, we should do it. It's the fastest way to get to Hell's Gate, and-" she hesitated, "We need to leave Casper. As soon as possible." I hope the hunch that something terrible happens is just a hunch. @ethela penna @ourlachesism
  6. Riforte plucked the worn arms of the once expensive couch that probably cost more than it needed to, but even though it was worn to the bone it still matched the rest of the room's decor. The shabby curtains barely kept the dark in and the light out; beneath her booted feet was a carpet that looked like it had a design on it, but foot traffic has ruined that. Her favorite piece was the coffee table, it was simple, sweet, and had no glass in the middle so you can't put a thing on it. Looking around she could tell that the fall from heaven was pretty rough, but the woman had done her best to stay afloat by retaining some of her lavish tastes in the gaudy. They had offered to give her restitution because, at the end of the day, it was them who had put her in such a tight position. Unfortunately, she denied their helping hand and kind of disappeared for a while, only until some months ago did she know the woman was even alive still. It's most fortuitous for them both that she is still kicking. Riforte is here to extend another offering hand, but this time there is a genuine apology attached to it. It wasn't really planned to have the Full Deck sink to the bottom of the sea, nor was it really planned to even destroy it. Circumstances that were kind of out of their hands made it so the ship sunk, people died, names were ruined, things were a bit of a kerfuffle for some time. Nefarious refused her compensation and instead went underground, living life secretly and being angry enough that it kept her kicking. The Full Deck had been her's and it was destroyed, much like most things attached to her. Riforte wasn't welcomed with warmth. Nefarious had opened the door and then slammed it in the woman's face, not giving her a single chance to get a word in let alone a foot in the door. She stood there for a few seconds before letting herself in, a present stuffed underneath her arm - the peace offering. "Are you going to ignore me forever?" No response, just the shuffling of a shadow across the floor. Behind the door was a woman mad as hell, unwilling to listen to anything Riforte has to say. Sure, the loss of her ship is a big thorn in her side, but that isn't the main reason she won't talk to the woman - Riforte knows that. The present she brought sat at her feet, quiet and still as the day she stole it from Nefarious. It has been about five or so years since the two had a disagreement of their own, souring an already sour situation. "I changed it back the way it was before I played with it - scouts honor."
  7. We're heading in. All medical aircraft, report. HGS Asclepius, reporting in. All systems are green. We are en route to the rally point, over. This is HGS Semmelweis. reporting. Our board is green. We are also proceeding to the rally point, over. HGS Jenner, reporting. We are as green as Gaia's gift and Oscar Mike to the rally point, over. This is HGS Glasmann. HGS Asclepius, HGS Semmelweis, and HGS Jenner, standby for landing. Autonomous security units have established a secure perimeter for you to commence work on Biohazard Level 4 Research and Treatment Facilities. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT deploy personnel or reclaim materials from the site. You are only inserting autonomous labor units. Do not proceed to stage two without clearance. I repeat, do not proceed to stage two without clearance. All medical aircraft, acknowledge. HGS Asclepius acknowledges. HGS Semmelweis acknowledges. HGS Jenner acknowledges. HGS Glasmann confirms. Stay safe, over. Approximately 5,760 kilometers divide the City of Casper from the City of Hell's Gate. For reference, that distance is roughly half of the span of Terrenus (tracing parallels or meridians). In an era of growing uncertainty, in a once prosperous land now fraught with peril and despair, the majority insulated themselves from the cursed miasma twilight unleashed. Shut within their unassailable spires, soldiers held vigil as the parade of lights on the horizon died away. Darkness besieged the people of Terrenus, and the bulk of the population seemed content to deny that the evil which so rigorously erased their neighbors would ever pose a threat to their omnipotent city-states. Our city is a cut above the rest, they protest. Our guardians are invincible. Our technology is a miracle. Our gods will alight on our battlements to protect us, just wait and see! Just wait and see... Scarce were those who would forsake the relative safety and comfort of their homes to challenge the powers of the void. A gallant few stood tall, and as they fell, one-by-one, sovereigns, roused from eternal slumber by a dying prayer, gathered to grant their hearts' desire. In memory of deceased, they pledged they would restore peace to these embattled lands or else perish in the attempt. Gaps had formed in the line heroes held. Cracks spiderwebbed across radiant stars, and they crumbled into sublime powder mingled with blood-soaked earth. Inner turmoil, avarice and pride, had set their kindred against them. Bewitched by corrupted source, iniquity seized their holdfast and eroded the foundation which empowered their works. All would soon be lost if the operations of the void and the Wyrm were not disrupted, yet the vessels of light and the awakened sovereigns were tidily segregated by artificial boundaries into petty organizations vying for power and prestige. So it was that the cities of Terrenus had become city-states, lending nominal aid to one another to sustain the overinflated egos of charlatans turned prince or captain of industry. Undaunted by the obstacles awaiting along its path, House Glasmann mobilized with the sole purpose of providing much needed succor to the denizens of Casper. Never before had House Glasmann taken such an active role in disaster response or military matters. Historically, House Glasmann was reclusive and elitist but dependable when tasked with a mission. Sure, the products they released were revolutionary and reasonably priced - their product lines, ranging from standard "Medical Slough." a compact, imperishable healing paste, and robotic surgical suites to custom living prosthetics, including vital organs, and intricate vitrification tanks, were incredible, but House Glasmann... House Glasmann was almost completely detached from the people of Terrenus. Friends of the Glasmann family within Hell's Gate only knew Lord and Lady Glasmann by name. Servants of the Glasmann family were born, lived, and presumably died on the Glasmann estate - every single member of their personal staff was born into a family that had dutifully served House Glasmann for centuries. The media and the military had no information on the contemporary Lord or Lady Glasmann. On the rare occasions that the family would entertain guests, they were always eccentric sorts, and no guest visited the household more than once per generation. The Glasmanns were odd ducks, to say the least, and the public at large had no clue what they ought to think about the nondescript geniuses who, at times, quietly donated their products and expertise to save strangers' lives when they had nowhere else to turn. The Glasmanns were an enigma; they would sometimes respond to written correspondence, but their letters were always formal and impersonal. Only the downtrodden workers of Hell's Gate who swallowed their pride and accepted the charity of others knew of House Glasmann's pet projects, the high-tech farms silently sprouting up in formerly abandoned warehouses within different sectors of Hell's Gate that donated all of their produce and a number of the fish they reared in order to maintain their meticulously-regulated microhabitats to the economically disadvantaged and the pro bono shuttle service that transported the very same segment of the population to a free, state-of-the-art clinic owned by House Glasmann. To most, House Glasmann is a legend; it remained so obscure for such a long duration of time, in fact, that no one even thought to enlist its help in combating the plague that hit Hell's Gate in recent days. That all changed when Caeceila came of age. Like her parents, Caeceila Glasmann very nearly had no history. There was a record of her birth generated by House Glasmann's personal doctor. There were records of her inoculations, though those were generated by, you guessed it, another doctor on House Glasmann's payroll. Aside from that documentation, Caeceila Glasmann didn't exist. She didn't exist until about a month before that fateful day she resolved to crash the Red Festival and avenge the innocent blood that the fledgling Legion of Doom and the Terrenus Military had spilled. When the Terrenus Military attempted to condition Caeceila as a military asset, she repeatedly refused to engage their psychic specialist in combat, heavily implying that she would have wiped it from reality had she struck it in her rage. She is classified as a "military contractor," though she doesn't respect the chain of command and would be a vocal critic of several of the Terrenus Military's practices if anyone cared to listen to her opinions (almost nobody does). Central reports that she has assembled a private army in Hell's Gate, and her ruthless, if not wholeheartedly demented, brand of heroism connotes she has every intention of applying it to external and internal conflicts without the consent of the military officials. All this considered, it would be alarming to witness the fleet of House Glasmann airships converging on Casper if House Glasmann hadn't been expressly invited to the city by command to develop a vaccine against the plague, cure infected patients within the desolate city, and provide medical and general humanitarian relief to all persons within the City of Casper. The lightweight alloy plating the oversized transports, dedicated medical craft escorted by a nimble manned fighter squadron and dozens of small, unmanned drones, scintillate gloriously in the light of the morning sun. In contrast to the muddy wreckage resting on the earth, the presence of the lustrous celestial giants is a vow that normalcy shall be restored. Unperturbed by the wind, massive metal pods ejected by the fleet rain from the skies, guided by golden beams of energy projected by eyelike orbs. Within thirty seconds of the final impact, swarms of orbs and remotely manipulated cubes wrench the containers open, extracting sterile packets of material and loading them into orbs with emerald irises. The cubes assemble and load themselves into collapsible heavy construction equipment. Orbs with crimson irises weld metal joints with immense precision, some toggling the color of their irises a fraction of a second after their jobs are complete and rendezvousing with teams of orbs completing other work. The emerald eyes dispense layer after layer of material, zooming along preset paths as they print walls and flooring to match the shielded, prefabricated modules golden eyes cart down from the HGS Semmelweis. By midday, in just under four hours, the clean facility, while by no means complete, has been tested for contaminants and is ready for all House Glasmann vessels to dock. Autonomous security teams, patrolling mazes of concertina wire and dragon's teeth they erected hours before, ward off interlopers without exception. Whether visitors are citizens, civilians, active military members, or representatives of the associated press makes no difference. While the silvery humanoid robots and the spidery artillery units are, in a phrase, intimidating by design, they are slow to resort to violence. After a machine issue a verbal warning to troublemakers attempting to breach the perimeter, an operator assumes control of the unit and politely asks the perpetrator to be patient for just a little longer while Glasmann Cryonics finishes setting up. Only one person is forcibly ejected before the facility, which is still under construction, opens to individuals in need of urgent care. The triage center opens at this time as well, admitting persons who require medical services unrelated to the plague such as treatment of a new or preexisting medical condition. Oddly, military officials are not allowed on site at this point unless they fall into one of the two categories listed above. The explanations offered to military personnel who do not insist on speaking to Caeceila Glasmann directly always involve plague carriers and the possibility of inadvertent contamination of sterile equipment.
  8. "The rate in which this infection is spreading suggests that it was specifically arcane engineered for a high death and spread rate. Low level purification measures are only effective as deterrents. Therefore, standing orders are to purge areas of extreme necromantic influence by whatever means necessary. All consumed organic material is to be viewed as dry grass in the path of wildfire. Evacuate living citizens and prioritize them above all else." A Terran elementalist by the name of Roque snapped his head to the side in search of his CO, lips flaring to reveal teeth mashed together and an expression of half buried shock on his dark skinned face. In hearing those orders, he could feel a mountain of responsibility establishing itself square over his shoulders by virtue of his role in the military. His swift intellect often endowed him with a damnable understanding of cause and effect and right now, he could see the next sequence of events clear as day. The squad leader returned his glance at about the same moment that Roque turned, all but confirming that what he was anticipating was on the money. He didn't even need to hear it. The sound of the world could have been dialed to zero at that very moment and he would have appeared like a master lip reader in how he so accurately interpreted the orders he was given. Zera's dark purple lips, a common trait of the Drow people, uttered the words without enthusiasm or hesitation. "Burn it, Roq." They stood before a scene of suffering so stark that it was unimaginable only because in climbing into the minds of the victims and attempting to understand the degree of pain and dread they experienced, good men and women only succeeded in tempting madness. The neighborhood had been devoured by a mass of necrotized organic material. It was like a carpet of flesh and bone draped across the landscape, occasionally dotted with a half devoured corpse that still groaned in pain and cried for loved ones. "Roq. Burn it. It's going to rain soon and your flames wont be as effective." A flash of lightning cut across the sky followed shortly by the first thunderous reverberation echoing through the city. One of the corpses that had previously been dormant was awakened by the snap, unceremoniously yanked back into this living nightmare. It was a woman. Her features were so thoroughly devoured that it was difficult to guess an age range. Two things identified her as a member of the fairer sex; one being her feminine voice and the other a single breast fat with milk for her unborn child, which lay in rest about ten feet away from her now, having spilled from her belly before being carried away by the creeping mass like it was in a river of mud. In her delirium, all she remembered was her responsibilities as a mother and reached for her child, trying desperately to crawl to it and failing to move an inch. She went where the creep went and there was nothing she could do. "Corpo--" Roaring flames emanated from his person and shot forth, washing over the area the same way a tidal wave might overtake a coast. In an instant, the stench of burned bodies and the shrieks of living beings consumed by the purging wave of searing light assaulted the spirit. Roq's eyes flared open, screaming out in a mix of condemnation and resignation. Whenever the screams weakened his resolve, he strengthened the flames, gave them more life and made them blow like flaming hurricanes. The others watched as he screamed and waved his hands, guiding the flames in such a way as to minimize suffering as best he could. When it was over, his arms hung at his sides as if they had been conducting a morbid orchestra for days without rest. His chest grew and shrunk slowly, the glow of his flames reflecting from his body. Then he looked up at the dark clouds hanging over the city. He knew it'd get worse. When the showers came, the torrents would carry the disease over greater distances. Dedicated as Roq was to his role, a small realistic piece inside of him knew they would fail. Panic had overtaken the city. Masses of people scrambled for safety, fueled by memories of the horrors that had devoured towns and even cities in recent days. News of Ashville being reduced to ruins was fresh in their minds and remained palpable enough that the victory in Last Chance conferred little hope. It was hard not to see their success as good fortune in the face of this string of deadly events all across the country, especially when so many of the defense efforts had ended in failure. Among them walked a man clad in obsidian robes that covered him from the neck down. Though the motions of his legs were hardly noticeable beneath the earthen fabrics he wore, the way he moved was strong and purposeful. It was like he was surrounded by an aura that guided everyone and everything out of his path. Even as the citizens of Casper crawled like ants all around him, he somehow managed a straight path towards his destination. He only stopped when an individual of particularly strong will stepped before him and held up his hands. He was a Gaian Priest, expression full of concern and someone who recognized the Cardinal's semblance within the sea of terrified faces. "Cardinal, cardinal! What is the status of our city? Will all be well?" Zeph stopped and responded effortlessly, needing not a single moment to think through his response, "No. All will not be well. However I assure you, son of Gaia, that life will continue." Placing a hand on the priest's shoulder, he peered deep into his eyes and guided him out of his path before continuing onward. He arrived at Valvale Garden, one of the few locations of interest in the whole town of Casper that had gone unperturbed for so many years. Perhaps there had simply been nobody wretched enough to target a zone that the people of this city had turned into a symbol of companionship. Whatever the reason, it stood there, this whole time awaiting the return of the man who had breathed life into it. At the end of his journey, he placed himself at the very center of the garden, which had been intentionally left uninhabited by the artificial flora that thrived in this place. Giant blue plants resembling orchids and purple bell flowers with hazy mists of golden light encircling them surrounded him. Zeph took a deep breath, thoughts of the state of the world swirling in his mind. Unlike those that ran in fear, he was one of the few that did indeed find hope in the accomplishments of the soldiers that defended the coast of Last Chance even if, like the rest of the world, he identified that death was more rampant than it had been in a long time. The military had failed the people in many places in many instances. But soldiers weren't the ones who always won, only the ones who always fought. @Ataraxy @Piperpie @danzilla3
  9. Casper, Early Morning: Momo looked over and around, keeping watch of his surroundings as he made his way forward. There was a bit of tension in him, worried that something or another would go wrong. Of course, for all purposes, it seemed like it would be a normal day. "Instead of focusing about what might go wrong, Momo should instead get to school on time like a good little boy". "I told you to stop calling me little! Just call me Momo!" "Except its the truth..." "It is not!" Advi then switched up his voice a little inside Momo's head, as a joke he made it more feminine and seductive. "You are right....you are a naughty, naughty little boy, who needs to be punished..." And while Advi did this, he also sent sensory data into Momo's brain that made him feel as if someone ran a finger down his spine. His face lit up red with embarrassment, even though he knew Advi was only messing with him. In the first place, Advi did not even have a body. "Seriously! Don't do that!" Momo yelled, as he kept his balance on his skateboard. At the moment, he was riding it to his first day of class. Casper streets could be crowded in places, and he still had to keep watch of traffic to make sure he did not get hit or something, but he was managing splendidly. Even with Advi messing with him telepathically. Yep, today was a totally normal... "Criminal Activity Detected. Perception Filter Detected. Bypassing Filter". Advi disabled some sort of magic or technology that was in an area, some sort of concealment. Well, to be fair, he just made it so Momo was not affected by it. And right in front of him, he watched four armed men drag a girl they had gagged out of an apartment building and into a white van. "Calculated. Filter is exceptional at blocking, but only so long as an outside force does not point out the irregularity or they take any excessive actions that would draw attention. Calling out the act will allow others to notice the truth". "Right....okay then...." Momo said, as he took a deep breath and pointed at the van. "Look! Kidnappers! They are kidnapping that girl! Someone call the police!" And then, as if a curtain had just been pulled open, the surrounding people suddenly took notice of their actions and called out, while some took out their phones and other communication devices and called the police. Meanwhile, the ones comiting the crime seemed shocked at what just happened, and quickly forced the girl into the van while boarding themselves and went off immediately. "Momo...you do not have time to..." "Advi, I cant risk those people being like...like the people who did what they did to me. Activate second gear". "...understood. Restrictions removed. Activating Second Gear". Suddenly, small turbo boosters that were attached to Momo's skateboard activated as Momo pushed forward, and Momo went into pursuit of the van with the kidnap victim. The van was swerving through traffic, which meant Momo had to as well to follow them. He ducked under a large truck and then pushed off the ground with his board, jumping over a smaller car and landing back on the road right behind the van. Apparently they had noticed his pursuit and had become concerned, as the back of the van opened and two men holding automatic weapons began to fire at him. However, Defense and Barrier Glyphs had already been prepared ahead of time and protected Momo from the bullets he couldn't dodge. Just because he could block them, didn't mean he could forever. It was better in his opinion to dodge what he could, and block what he couldn't. "Damnit! Someone get us something to kill this brat with! And activate the Blink Drive!" The moment he said that, Momo watched as the entire van disappeared in front of him, only to reappear ahead past a few more cars. "...the van...teleported?" Even Advi was shocked by this, but Momo pushed forward. He skidded around two cars through a narrow gap, weaved his way past a motorcycle, and then jumped up over an intersection that had a red light for him and a green light for the other sides. He briefly landed on a passing truck which affected his momentum angle a little, but he had accounted for that and used it for his advantage, landing in an open space and then catching up to the van. And as he did, one of the men... "Is that a rocket launcher?!" Fired a rocket right at him. The barrier he created was not designed with rocket launchers in mind, but if he dodged it, an innocent person behind him would get killed. And of course, if he used a Vector Glyph to change its direction back at them, their hostage would get killed. And they had just passed under an elevated trainway, so he could not sent it up either. "Vector Launch!" Which left him one alternative. It was a scenario he had faced when he was forced to do combat tests in the lab. Some scenarios constructed for him to be forced to experience inside a specialized room was what to do when he was in a city scape pursuing an object he had to reclaim, not destroy, without causing collatoral damage to the allied forces surrounding him chasing as well to assist, and a rocket was launched at him. The scenario seemed oddly specific, but Momo was forced to experience over 10 thousand scenarios. Each one different. And there were not the safe and no pain kind. If he failed, he was made to suffer. If he died in the simulation, he would feel intense pain. If he ignored orders, intense pain. Tried to use the simulation to break free, intense pain. Did not perform well enough to their expectations, intense pain. He hated to admit it, but those scenarios often came to benefit him in situations like this. What he used Vector Launch, a spell made from the Vector Glyph, was not the rocket but a manhole cover. It was launched up and far away, and then Momo created a Vector Shift Glyph....and caused the rocket to go right down the hole. Advi sensed nothing was done there, and Momo also sensed it was clear. With that, Momo continued the pursuit while the man who had launched the rocket was baffled. He quickly began to load another rocket, but Momo already turned his gauntlets into combat form, and punched towards the man. Of course, the man was still well out of punching range, but a lightning bolt shot out of the fist as he punched and struck him directly. Momo originally thought of a fire attack, but he considered the possibility of hitting the hostage and causing burns, so he went with lightning magic which was usually more precise. And then, as the one man fell down, the other took out a shotgun and started firing. Momo dodged, while wondering why these people had so many guns for a simple kidnapping? The hell was going on? No matter....he launched a grappling hook out of one of his gauntlets. It seemed small and thin, but it was actually extremely strong and durable. He then yanked the man out and he skidded on the street, probably alive but in a lot of pain. And then, he got a good view of the hostage...and used the grappling hook on her as well. He yanked her right out of the van, which meant there was no reason to hold back against it now. An Ice Glyph appeared in front of his left hand as his right caught the girl, and sent a large ice spike down the center which knocked the vehicle off the road. Sirens could be heard now, but then... "Alert. If you let yourself be questioned by the police, you will be late for school". Hearing that, Momo quickly went over to the sidewalk and put the girl down without even taking the time to look. "Here you go hope you do better gotta get going now laters!" Momo said that in a hurry, not even bothering to divide it into seperate sentences, and then kicked it into high gear towards his new school. He put some extra speed into it so he would not be late. Casper, Mystren Academy, Classroom 6-B, 8:01AM "And this here is the new student to our class, Momo Moryan. Momo, would you please introduce yourself?" The green haired boy with his pair of honest green eyes stood in front of the class with the teacher. His height was probably if not certainly the shortest in the class, including the girls, and he looked wimpy, weak, adorable, and well...the perfect bait for bullies. "My name is Momo Moryan! I am an eleven year old boy! It is a pleasure to meet you all!" he said, which were actually the usual generic lines anyone would say when joining a class as if it was tradition. Which it pretty much was here. Still, there were some students who already understood that Momo was probably already being targeted by bullies. "Alright then, how about you take that desk there near the back? Its homeroom right now, so everyone relax and behave while I go and get some of our materials for the day" she said, prompting Momo to go over and take his seat, taking his backpack off and storing it under his desk as he did. He looked over at the sun through the window, not sure how to start a conversation with any of his new classmates yet. It was not like he ever had a chance at a normal life before, let alone interaction with normal people. Although, his adoptive mother seemed certain he would fit right in... @Zashiii @Hurttoto @Lawman
  10. Those Left Behind "How eagerly commerce makes use of the waste That falls from the furnace or mill in its haste. And fortunes are wrung from the smallest of things That once were ignored, turning men into kings." - Edwin Leibfreed, The Ragman The city never stops. Not for us. Thousands dead now; We roll the bodies out in stacks a dozen high. The incinerators burn day and night, pouring black smoke into the air around the shipping district. Casper's population is withering, and the survivors drift through the streets in the oppressive silence of grief. But still she goes rolling along. Those millenary of lives, even piled one atop the other in grotesque masses, do not tip the scales of priority against her bloated cult of commerce and industry. Three wretched months have passed since the first signs of plague surfaced in the tenement blocks near the wharf. The Phoenix Regent's quarantine came a week later, and though well-meaning, turned the streets closest to Paul's hospital into an incubator for the disease. All his best researchers still had no explanation for the epidemic, much less a cure. And so the city moved on, civil servants scrambling to come up with a plan to adapt and continue business as usual, plague or no. One of the measures had been to commission an Emergency Support unit -- a pretty name for the two hundred or so untrained, ragtag personnel they marshaled and assigned petty tasks to help manage the daily operations of containing the epidemic. Another, the mass distribution of anti-pathogenic masks to the three million surviving residents that still lived in high-risk areas. Press releases sent across the continent urged its trade allies not to break off the free exchange of goods between them and painted optimistic fables of an end to this plague dawning close on the horizon. The military dedicated manpower to bolstering the protection of the vulnerable city, and sent small, elite groups on missions to put an end to this public health crisis. Amidst this push for normalcy from city authorities, the rank and file citizens did not have the luxury of surrendering their lives to the disruption. They were expected to suit up, dry their eyes, and get back to work.
  11. Sorbin stood in the center of Casper, gazing around him. Now where would I go in order to find a place where I might ply my trade, and perhaps rise in prestige in a well-respected organization?
  12. Jericho sat in a room, a small room with enough furnishing for a man to rest but little more than that. He placed his elbows on his knees, chin resting on a bridge his two thumbs formed when joined together, nose pressed against the tip of a steeple made up of his index fingers, and eyes fixed on the ship's porthole. The boat rocked violently as it skipped over the waters like a thrown stone, powered by engine rather than wind; not nearly as fast as an airship but the ship could, with admirable strength, cut through the vast stretch of sea separating Alterion and Terrenus in ample time. He was almost there . . . but not quite. Attacking the limbs of a monster was a matter entirely different than attacking the monster as a whole; attacking from the shadows demanded a different skillset than a frontal assault. And yes, his strategic brilliance considerably crippled the dark machine of human trafficking which seemed to power so much of Izral's commerce, but the lesson of the cornered rat was a powerful one which resonated with Jericho to this day. Having been on the desperate end of a sword more than once and having turned the tide of battle in his favor every time whether by chance or stratagem, Jericho knew that with the finish line in sight he must be especially careful. His foe was now alert to the fact that his misfortune was not merely unhappy circumstance, but the result of concerted and continued attacks on his demesne. He had a name now: Velleh Ah'byjd, a so-called Merchant Prince. Jericho took that name with him to Terrenus, not to escape the burden of the onerous task ahead, but to better prepare for it.
  13. FLORACLE FLOWER SHOP + APOTHECARY OVERVIEW: Looking to surprise your romantic partner with flowers? Collecting rare, organic ingredients for a spell, tincture, or charm? Want to escape the hustle and bustle of Terrenus's primary port city? Look no further than the Floracle Flower Shop and Apothecary, a beloved landmark of Casper, Terrenus for over 50 years. Founded by Hector Marie, renowned botanist and apothecary, the Floracle has since fallen into the ownership of his granddaughter, Valentine Marie, assisted by her twin brother, Caspian. Hector's memory lives on through the passion his grandchildren carry for flowers, herbs, and natural medicine, and long-time patrons of the Floracle will recognize his sparkling, kind blue eyes in young Valentine. The shop is open from Tuesday through Sunday from 8:00am until dusk, though the courtyard closes at around 11:00pm in the spring and summer. STOREFRONT: As befitting of any flower shop, the Floracle's storefront is characterized by large, floor-to ceiling windows. The purpose of these windows is twofold: one, they allow passersby to admire the forest of flowers and plants just inside its doors, and two, they provide light for the plants growing on nearly every surface within the shop. During nice weather, outdoor displays burst with color and fragrance, and a few small tables and chairs are set up for those who need a minute or two to rest during their shopping. It is not uncommon to see Valentine herself sitting outside when business is slow, typically with a cup of tea in hand and a smile on her face. MAIN ROOM: Upon first entering the Floracle, one is assaulted by a rainbow of colors and scents from every angle. Blue tiles with a floral design cover the floor, bright and glowing in the morning sun. Nearly every other surface is crafted from dark mahogany wood engraved with flowers and swirling, natural designs. The right and left walls are covered in wooden slots containing loose blooms organized by region and color. Although individual blooms may remain on display for weeks at a time, they retain the beauty of a freshly cut flower thanks to a specially crafted longevity spell. Patrons are welcome to pick and choose flowers to design their own bouquets, or they may peruse the pre-made bouquets on several tree-inspired displays around the shop. The colors and style of bouquet rotate seasonally so that customers are presented with the freshest flowers at every point in the year. A containment spell keeps pollen and other irritants away from guests with allergies so that all may enjoy their shopping experience. At the rear of the main room, a dark wooden staircase guides guests to an upper level that overlooks the rest of the shop. Ferns of all shapes and sizes spill from hanging baskets and shelves against the walls, filling the space with green. (Inspiration photo here, though considerably larger in scale.) Tucked beneath the staircase is the cashier's counter, and a wall of glass windows directly behind it sections off the apothecary. APOTHECARY: Located beneath the upper level is the apothecary, a small but mighty room usually occupied by the scholarly Caspian Marie. Its walls are lined with dark wooden shelves containing every manner of herb and common, organic spell ingredients. Bunches of dried fruits and flowers hang from the ceiling, so tall customers may need to watch their step. The resident apothecary stands at a counter in the corner of the room, where he may create simple charms, salves, and tinctures at the customer's request. Rarer ingredients are stored on a shelf behind the apothecary's counter, so guests will need to specially request these items for purchase. A loosely swinging door to the left leads to the greenhouse. GREENHOUSE: Light floods in through the green-tinted, glass windows of the greenhouse, filling the long room with sunshine. Several work benches boast a hodgepodge of pots, trays, and baskets, each filled with dirt and budding blooms. Many hanging plants droop from its ceiling, and shelves containing tools and plants line the wall it shares with the apothecary. A small, man-made creek trickles from a bed of rocks in the corner of the greenhouse, flows across a section of the room, and exits through a narrow, horizontal slit in the wall near the ground. River plants grow in the dirt lining the artificial creek, being too stubborn to grow in any old pot. Another swinging door on the greenhouse's left wall exits into the courtyard. The greenhouse is typically inaccessible to patrons. COURTYARD: The man-made creek exits the greenhouse and flows into a shallow pond in a corner of the courtyard, but the remainder of the space is filled with vegetation. A few proud trees spangle the yard, each one bearing several different kinds of fruit in the summer. The trees provide shade in the heat of day, and visitors are welcome to sit at the tables beneath their branches and enjoy the cool sea breeze. At night, fairy lights strung between the fruit trees create a warm, twinkling ambiance. For the right price, it is possible to rent the courtyard for private events; it is a beautiful, romantic venue perfect for a small garden party or wedding celebration. A white, gated picket fence separates the yard from the sidewalk, though it is scarcely visible through a tangle of green ivy. From the courtyard, it is possible to re-enter the main room through a side door. An iron, spiral staircase rests in the corner of the yard, leading tenants up to the residential apartments above the shop. Thus the Floracle has three levels in total. EMPLOYEES: Valentine Marie - 23 - shop owner, botanist, florist. Valentine has been working at the Floracle since she was able to hold a watering can. She has recently inherited the shop from her grandfather, who passed away due to illness. Sweet, caring, and maybe a little melancholy, the young redhead is easy to take advantage of, but has a small army of big, brooding men looking out for her- scammers beware! Valentine is likely the first friendly face you'll see when walking through the Floracle's thick, walnut doors. Caspian Marie - 23 - apothecary. Caspian is Valentine's twin brother, and has recently returned after graduating from university. He manages the Floracle's apothecary, creating charms, tinctures, and potions from local and rare ingredients alike. Although Caspian is a stereotypical, awkward academic, he is always willing to talk herbology with anyone interested (and a good number who aren't). TO PLAY: The Floracle is a perfect place for casual flower shopping, collecting ingredients for a spell, and slice-of-life moments between players. There are also a number of quests available, with the possibility of earning various charms and potions. To engage the Floracle staff, please tag roboblu in your post. Expect a reply in 3-7 days. Minor power-playing is permitted for small or otherwise insignificant interactions with the shopkeep/apothecary. Please- no violence or shady activities allowed without permission from robot blues! And please mark the date/time in your post. I will section my responses if more than one setting is specified. Happy writing! AESTHETIC: LOGOS n' BANNERS: TRUSTED FRIENDS AND PARTNERS: Want your advertisement listed here? PM roboblu!
  14. @spacegy4 It had been some time since Maya had allowed herself to relax outside of work. An introvert by nature, the diplomat found herself drained after long days of talking and smiling, shaking hands, discussing political strategies ... Because of this, and despite her far and frequent travels to beautiful, exotic places, she often wound up falling asleep instead of taking the opportunity to explore, try new foods, or, for Gaia's sake, even read a book for her own pleasure. So, when her upcoming mission to Renovatio necessitated a trip to the Dragon Iris museum in Casper, Maya was more than eager to throw on something comfy, grab the novel she had been trying to read for about a month now, and set off toward the museum with a spring in her step. Maya had been to the Dragon Iris before, and was familiar with most of its permanent fixtures, but spent a few hours re-acquainting herself with each loving brushstroke. The winter quarter made her heart ache with a sense of forlorn longing, as each piece spoke volumes in tragedy and loss. Tears streaked down her cheeks as the diplomat moved onward into spring, where the artificial sun dried the moisture from her skin and clothes. Many pieces here spoke of hope and renewal, lifting her spirits considerably and carrying her through to the summer quarter. Here, butterflies wafted lazily through the air, and the entire room was lit by a never-uncomfortably warm sun. To Maya, the artwork in summer exuded mystery and thought, though their considerable outward beauty was enough to leave her captivated. In somewhat of a trance, Maya's hand strayed toward the unassuming fourth door, which led to the lucid world of autumn. Merely touching the handle was enough to snap the diplomat from her reverie, and she hastily retracted; today, she would not fall for the charms and illusions of the fourth and final season. The diplomat sighed and wandered back to the spring quadrant, blissfully alone in the art museum save a few security guards and the odd patron here or there. She found herself sitting on a bench in front of "By the Breast of Gaia," a beautiful piece meant to convey the endless love the goddess has for her children. Maya leaned her head on one shoulder and let her thoughts to drift as she stared at the artwork, allowing the warmth of spring wash over her for the peaceful moment.
  15. Floracle Flower Shop and Apothecary - Grand Re-Opening OOC thread Though it was barely 7:00am, Valentine Marie had been awake for hours. Her morning had consisted of coffee, sweeping, floral arrangements, coffee, dusting, re-arranging the flowers, coffee- and though the Floracle Flower Shop and Apothecary was spotless, sparkling, and splendid, Val just knew she was forgetting something. The young woman's tawny red hair burned in the sunlight streaming through the floor-to-ceiling windows as she stood in the center of the shop, staring around her with uncertainty. The counters. Of course! The counters needed to be polished. Again. Valentine swiped a polishing cloth from the supply cupboard and began to knead the old gnarled counter with furious circular motions. She had been at it for at least ten minutes when the sound of the courtyard door creaking open drew a wild look from those sky blue eyes. Her polishing grew in intensity as she called out, "I'm so sorry, but we open at 9:00am! Come back lat-" "-Haven't you heard of the 'early bird' special?" Valentine's ears perked up, her lips cracking into a wide grin. In an instant she had leaped into her twin's arms, holding his head in something akin to an affectionate vice grip. "Caspian!" she shouted, her voice carrying the shrill excitement of a person who has been reunited with their best friend. To his credit, Caspian did not immediately drop his sister after receiving a scream directly to the eardrum. He wouldn't have succeeded even if he'd tried; Valentine's arms were still locked around his neck with surprising fierceness for someone of her size. The scholar tried to choke out a 'hello,' but only managed a strangled gurgling sound. Blissfully aloof to her brother's suffering, Valentine held on for a moment longer before loosening her grip to hold her twin at arm's length. "My, you've grown so much taller since I last saw you!" Her bright blue eyes twinkled as she beheld his stylish scholar's uniform. "The academy has turned my baby brother into a handsome young thing!" By now, the botanist's hands were squishing her twin's cheeks together in a comical, fish-lipped expression -much to his chagrin. He batted weakly at her hands, though was eventually able to force them down and away. "It's been two weeks," the mage said, hefting an exasperated sigh. "Two weeks. And you're only older by, what, 20 minutes?" Valentine barked out a laugh, watching as her brother took a look around the colorful, splendorous shop. "You've really cleaned up the place. He left way more stock behind than I remembered." The main shop area was bursting with floral blooms, most of them native to Terrenus, but a few hailed from lands as far as Aelindra and other temperate regions of Genesaris. A spell of longevity would keep the beautiful blooms intact for weeks longer than ordinary flowers; indeed, though imperceptibly different to the untrained eye, older cuts were mixed into the fresh blooms spread throughout the shop. Part of the purpose behind this grand re-opening was to purge the store of older stock to make way for newer, more exotic flowers. It pained Valentine to think that the last flowers her grandfather had cut before his death would be gone after today. His death hadn't been unexpected, but the weight of his old silver secateurs still felt heavy in her pocket. She offered her brother a slight smile. "I actually grew most of this in the past week or two." His head swung sharply in her direction. "You did what? All of this?" The woman nodded, sticking her hands in the pockets of her light blue skirts. "Have you slept, Valentine?" The botanist shrugged, swiping her polishing rag off of the counter to continue the fretful chore. Caspian noted the slight bags under his sister's eyes, watched her hands tremble a little as she worked the soft cloth in methodical circles. He ran a hand through his mop of red hair. "You know, one of the most important things they teach at the Academy is not to overexert yourself," he said, his voice careful but not without the note of haughtiness typical for a recent graduate. "Casting too many spells in so short a time can be especially taxing for someone without formal trainin-" "The shop looks beautiful, doesn't it?" Valentine stared up at her brother, though her hands continued to polish the old, gnarled countertop. "After today, we can slow down. But you were the one who told me we needed to make an impression." Caspian stared at her for a second, his mind whirring behind those leaf-green eyes. After a moment, he removed the round-rimmed glasses from his face, polished the lenses with a corner of his tunic, and replaced them on his head. "Alright," he spoke, shrugging the jacket from his shoulders. "How can I help?" One would find it difficult to pass by the Floracle Flower Shop and Apothecary on this particularly sunny, breezy morning without at least admiring the rainbow of flowers bursting from dark wooden stands lining the sidewalk. The storefront itself was characterized by elegant, floor-to-ceiling windows, letting the golden light flood into the shop and accentuate vibrant blue floor tiles. Upon entering, one was immediately accosted by a heavy floral scent, though pollen was kept at bay by a clever containment spell crafted to accommodate customers with allergies. The shop itself was simply adorned, with a few ribbons and banners marking the re-opening celebration; the flowers themselves were the main attraction, with blooms lining the walls in layers and layers of color and texture. Display stands were strategically arranged throughout the shop, with different categories of flowers featured in each spiraling column. Every stand had been handcrafted in a dark, heavy wood by the previous shopkeeper, mimicking the bark of a tree. The shop was clearly a valued, well-loved heirloom, with hand-carved floral designs embedded into every visible wooden surface. The only thing not hand-crafted was a small bulletin board to the immediate right of the main entrance, displaying various flyers and advertisements for other shops around Casper. One bold sign spelled out the words 'ROOM AVAILABLE FOR RENT: CONTACT VALENTINE MARIE' in a sensible green font. Further back into the shop, one faced the option of either ascending a grand staircase up to a balcony overlooking the main area, or entering through a set of glass sliding doors to another room. The upper level balcony featured a forest of ferns and other tropical plants, with lush vines and leaves spilling over the railing. This curtain of green partially obscured the windows of the room below. If one chose to pass through the glass sliding doors, they would enter a room with dried herbs and ingredients in neat glass containers lining shelves along the wall. Other ingredients were strung from the ceiling, necessitating particularly tall patrons to mind their step. An island in the center of the room allowed the resident apothecary to advise customers on the best spells and ingredients to suit their needs; if the customer so chose, the apothecary would mix the ingredients before their very eyes to create charms and tinctures, then package the goods in a brown paper parcel tied shut with a string. On the righthand side of the apothecary's room was another glass sliding door, this one leading to a greenhouse made of shimmering, green-tinted glass. Though normally inaccessible to the public, today the greenhouse doors were unlocked and awaiting visitors. Upon entering, one would find rows and rows of pots of every shape and size growing all manner of plants. Aided by a spell cast with love, it was possible to watch the sprouts lengthen, produce leaves, and bloom before one's very eyes. Hanging plants dripped leaves from the ceiling, and the bright sunlight glittered against an artificial creek trickling across the greenhouse floor. Another swinging door allowed visitors to exit the greenhouse and enjoy the quaint courtyard beyond. The courtyard featured several tall, proud trees that were already bursting with apples, oranges, lemons, peaches, and every other fruit imaginable- often several different types of fruit could be spotted growing on the same tree. The thick branches provided some shade for visitors who rested at modest tables set up throughout the yard, or for those content to meander the space, admiring the well-manicured garden. A picket fence nearly hidden by twisting, nimble vines separated the courtyard from the sidewalk, though all were welcome to stop and enjoy the garden- even if they did not seek the Floracle's business within. Another swinging door connected the courtyard to the shop; the entire lot was arranged in a roughly square 2x2 grid so that the courtyard was directly adjacent to the main shop. Valentine busied herself in offering pastries and coffee to incoming guests (the food had been catered from a local bakery, though Val wanted to incorporate a full-on coffee shop at some point in the future). Patrons were often surprised at her habit of suggesting just the right flower for their situation, and the shop soon swelled in warm emotions and wonderful smiles. Caspian stood at the apothecary's counter, offering his advice (even when unwarranted) to customers who sought something stronger than flowers. His advice was good, and his manner was friendly, though the young scholar had a habit of excitedly spouting information at even the slightest prompting. A simple spell handled the packaging of ingredients and charms, leaving Caspian free to peruse the shelves at his leisure. As the activity began to pick up, Valentine took a moment to gather her thoughts and gaze around the shop, inhaling the scent of her home with a slight smile on her face. A new chapter in their lives had begun.
  16. The clamor and brisk of Casper was enough to make anyone wish for the quiet of nature. But the smell of fish was enough to quench that thirst for nature just as soon as it came up. Although she hadn't particularly enjoyed Taen that much, Lilith much preferred it to the overpopulated city of Casper. After all, she'd been able to accumulate all the life energy she wanted there by. There were no pesky humans to stop her from killing. And if everything went according to her desires, soon there wouldn't be many left in Casper to stop her from doing so either. In an effort to "blend in" more, Lilith had shed her normal armor and stored Deathbringer away for the time being, choosing to wear a mage's robe with little armor on her torso. It wasn't out of fear or concern that she did so, but for ease of movement. The people of Casper were little more than ants. Having them stand in her way simply because she matched the appearance of "Wanheda" would be a waste of her time. After exiting Taen, she'd discovered that someone had seen her killing Morpher villages and she'd unknowingly become something of an underground boogie man in the area. Wanted posters backed by the Taen government were plastered all around Casper, asking for news about a woman in dark armor and a crescent mark an odd marking on her forehead with a scar that ran through her right eye. The description, for what it was, annoyed Lilith to no end. She'd already had to deal with a handful of wandering adventurers before entering Casper and she had no intention of further wasting her time. So with a little flourish, Lilith placed a simple glamour spell over herself- a spell backed by the S-class artifact Zengi's right gauntlet. Taking a small vial from her pocket, Lilith held it up to the sky letting the rays of sunlight shine through. Within the vial was a small amount of black liquid. The liquid seemed rather normal. Any average person could easily mistake it for mud or tainted water. Instead, however, sloshed an incredibly deadly virus. A horrid, bloody death within days of contact was the diseased's only guarantee. And it spread faster than anything Terrenus would have seen in years. The virus was of Lilith's own making, its effects further amplified by Zengi's gauntlet. Because of this, Lilith also had the antivirus which she would have previously injected into her followers. Other than the antivirus to prevent infection, no cure existed. Or could exist without Lilith's knowledge of the virus' origins. "Now, where shall I leave you?" she muttered. @Piperpie
  17. They'd been lucky to intercept a trade caravan from Tia heading to Casper. Luckier, that the owner had been kind enough to let them hitch a ride. Luckier still, that the caravan guards hadn't decided to rob them in their sleep, because as soon as she had taken off her pack and found a comfortable position to curl up in at the back of a covered wagon, surrounded by Tia's copper and chrome machinery, Carina had fallen soundly asleep. She woke as the first rays of sun slipped over the horizon, the noise of the seaside city's populace reaching her enhanced hearing. Covering a yawn with her hand, Carina stood, slid on her backpack, then peered outside. The caravan was slowly descending a steep slope, from which one could view the splendor of the city spread out below. In the distance, the Southern Sea sparkled gold in the early morning sunlight. Carina inhaled, tasting the salty tinge of the oceanside air. It had been a while since she'd visited any of the main cities. Most of her days had been spent in Aurelium Inc., then in the wilderness of Taen. A bit of civilization is nice. They left the caravan after it had entered the city proper, thanking the owner for the ride. As soon as they departed, Carina glared at the crowded streets. Casper's roads were choked with pedestrians and noisy mechanical vehicles, filled with the bustle of life and activity of Terrenus' primary port. The scents of food, fish, and human grime filled the air, drowning out the freshness of the ocean breeze. I don't miss this, Carina thought. Wordlessly, the woman strode off, making a beeline for the nearest tavern. The Stately Hero Tavern & Inn. It was slightly quieter here, at least. There were around half a dozen patrons - some probably those who were staying at the inn. Carina slid into a seat at the edge of the room. "Whatever's good for breakfast," she told the server girl who approached. When she left, Carina finally allowed herself to sigh. She glanced at Liir. "This is Casper, one of Terrenus' main ports. Any questions?" Time for some exposition, now that we're settled and less likely to get murdered in our sleep. @ourlachesism
  18. Somewhere north of Casper, Teddy was getting ready to die. “SLOW DOWN! SLOW DOWN! FUCKING SLOW DOW-“ There was a brief screeching of tires, then Teddy swerving head-first into a car door. The sound he made was something between bone-crunching and bone-squelching. All in all, not a very pleasant sound. Cain didn’t seem to notice. Or rather, he didn’t seem to care. Cruising his old black Enigma at an impossibly leisurely 100 mph by the coast, it was more like him to just not give a damn. Beneath his angled white mask, he whistled alongside Rhythm Of The Night. It was a hollow, bone-rattling tune that shouldn’t have existed, but there it was, ruining one of Teddy’s all-time favourite songs. He hadn't known it was possible to hate Corona until now. “Teddy, listen to me,” Cain said. Lazily, he spun the steering wheel and they didn’t quite fly off the cliff. “These tunes? Brilliant. I don’t know where I’ve been, but you’ve got to figure out how to put them on cassette for me.“ “At this rate, there won’t be anything left of me to-“ SCRRRRREEEEEEEE! Thump. “FUCK!" “No one sells them anymore,” Cain continued, as if he hadn’t nearly given someone a concussion. “And the ol’ girl won’t play anything else. What with your fancy CDs, and aux cords, and-” There was a curious (and possibly literal) amount of venom in Cain’s next word. “-bluetooth.” Teddy massaged his brow. “Right now, I’m more inclined to set you on fire.” “Yeah, but then we’d all be dead.” There was a reflexive pause. “Or maybe just you. Roscoe could survive a car crash, I’m sure. And me, well, I’ve got nothing left to lose. For the most part, anyway.” Even though Teddy couldn’t see it, he found the driver's grin deeply unsettling. Roscoe, who’d been blaring music from the backseat (mostly Abba’s Greatest Hits up until now), decided to interrupt. “Why don’t you just get a new car?” “And get rid of my Enigma?” Cain’s disgust made it clear this was the epitome of all sacrilege. “I’d rather go to church." Teddy raised an eyebrow. “Does that mean- watch it watch it WATCH IT!” SCRRREEEEEEEEEE! Thunk. Roscoe craned his stainless steel head over the front seat. “You may have killed our little Teddy bear, friend.” Cain spared a glance to his right. The blonde bounty hunter was slumped forward. Something dark dripped from his forehead. “Eh, it’s not so bad once you get used to it,” Cain said, waving the notion away. “Like I was saying, though. The Enigma and me?” A gloved hand patted the dashboard. “Nothing’s going to keep us apart.” Roscoe’s blue eyes flickered. Cain took this as an excuse to keep talking despite the robot's creaky silence. "Cars nowadays don’t have the same charm. No real swagger going for them. The new rides are all about sleek edges and low gas consumption." He shook his head. "It’s like the market’s being run by a bunch of anorexics.” Roscoe hesitated. “…Damn anorexics,” he said unsurely. Teddy quietly stirred. “Ngh.” “Ah, there you are.” Cain said. “We were just talking about your parents.” “Nggh?" “I mean, they’re probably not anorexics,” he conceded. "It’s just the impression they’re giving me, with their skinny new cars and all. Not like their old stuff.” Again, another loving pat on the dashboard. "By the way, you think you could introduce me sometime?" Teddy meant to say ‘never'. It came out as, “Nnnnggurrrhhhh.” Cain shrugged. “Let’s meet in the middle and say you’ll think it over. Roscoe, you mind putting the music back on?” Not missing a beat, Roscoe switched out from his southern twang back to Corona’s megaphone chorus. This is the rhythm of the night… Teddy listened with a slurred, semi-conscious intelligence. In the back of his mind, something told him he needed new friends. Normal friends, with real lungs, real lips, and a real concern for your physical wellbeing. It felt like a cosmic joke that, for the party tomorrow, he got saddled with the mildly racist robot cowboy from a century ago, and the inexplicably British plague doctor from ten centuries ago. Easily the two weirdest, most sociopathic people he knew. Everyone else he'd called already had plans. Considering the type of people he hung out with, that usually involved assassination, smuggling, going to war, or holding down the fort at the Bloody Tuba Inn. Among other things, like grocery shopping. “Look alive, boys,” Cain suddenly commanded. “We’re here.” Looking alive was a real chore at the moment. Nonetheless, Teddy obeyed. Roscoe whistled. “What a view." Teddy tried to nod. “Ngyeh,” he breathed. Seeing Casper, his old home, the slanted, multicoloured jewel sitting by the ocean- it was almost enough to make him to forget they were tearing through a cliff at lucratively demonic speeds. Almost. SCRRRREEEEEEEEE! Tump. This is the rhythm of my life. My life! Oh yeah! The rhythm of my life…
  19. Julius was a simple man, with simple needs and simple wants. He took classes now and again at a few different places during his travels, but was more of a traveler, on the move constantly. Today however, he was in the park taking a casual stroll through the garden's pathways in a lovely town named Casper. The day's air was crisp, hinted with the creeping autumn season's scent on the chilling wind. An exasperated sigh left his lips as he grumbled to himself over something or another to himself it seemed. He pulled out a thin papered object and placed it to his lips, lighting the tip and pulling a slow drag from it. He was in town to investigate a particular few missing person cases having to do with the near by woodlands. All seemed fairly peaceful in the town today...well except for one thing. Behind him trailed a girl that seemed to slip off the radar of those around him, as if she hardly even existed. To those around him, he was indeed alone, but he knew better... He was never alone after all, much to his dismay. He carried with him a heavy cane, patterned with intricate carvings of several different sigils within the shaft. The dome head fit nicely in his hand and from the worn look of the cane, it could be gathered this particular item was more than likely carried with him at all times, which was strange for a male who looked hardly nearing his twenties. The bell toned across the town, and with it spilled out several people from various buildings, churches, schools, the like. He pulled his cigarette from his lips and blew the smoke from his parted lips with a slow puff as he stared out into distance towards the bell tower, gazing at the time. Had the time gotten so late already? He should wrap up his rounds of the town soon and head home before things grew too dark for him to stumble his way home, after all the night was always fairly active, especially around him it seemed. He made his way through the park and towards the schools, looking over his shoulder once more with what seemed to be a suspicious gaze. He couldn't shake the feeling that there was something likely inside of those woods and not just the typical canine. "Perhaps we should head home now, Lillyann," the male's smooth, mono toned voice perked up as the chimes subsided. @Disgruntled Tea @Chouette
  20. Location Textile Road, just off the Garment district Description The Purple Axe is a large two story timber and brick building with a large cellar, a hearth, and a common room on the second floor. It is exceptionally clean, and well lit by a few magical torches. Accommodations consist of a single room with wooden cots. Innkeeper Letthem: Half-orc with an aristocratic background, Letthem comes from a world of refined tastes and social isolation and has traded it for a world of basic fare and companionship Menu Food Apple stuffed mushroom: 1 copper Beer roasted pork knuckle: 4 copper Breaded chicken breast: 4 copper Cornish hen with olive salad: 8 copper Ground Mimic burger: 11 silver (high price due to risk) Drink Water: free Hot tea: 1 tin Rotgut vodka: 1 copper Rum: 3 copper Biazo volcanic wine: 2 silver Floorplan Key Thin Rectangle on a wall: door “S” on a wall: secret door Large Rectangle: table Large Thin Rectangle: bar Rectangle with a “T” or “S” or both: table or shelve or table & shelves. Circle: bar stool or chair 4/5 Circle: chair next to/under table Small filled Rectangle in a larger rectangle: fireplace/hearth Dashed Line: railing Many thin lines getting smaller: stairs Filled Circle: toilet/privvy Filled Triangle: wash basin
  21. In joining the military, Nur invited a kind of change into his life that reminded him of how things were becoming different on a constant basis. The most noticeable one was in his attire, his torso no longer exposed to the open air like he had accustomed. He was wearing a gray, short sleeve tunic that traveled down just below his waist. The fact that he had chosen the lightest fabric available seemed more and more like a mistake when it became a habit for him to grasp at it and tug outward, as if to stretch it from his person and feel unhindered again. Messy pull marks were appearing now where his fingers tightened and occasionally the fabric could be heard snapping in unseen places. It was pretty clear in his expressions that it displeased him greatly to have to do so but it was never enough to coax his attention away from the personal holo array that had been issued to him for learning purposes. He and Cadmium were riding in a car built from junk magi tech components but which still managed a sense of elegance in its presentation. Aside from the sounds of loose objects jiggling each time the less than stellar suspension hit an imperfection in the road, Nur was busy answering the device whenever it showed him a letter of the alphabet, prompting him to attempt to identify it. "Ayyyyy. Dee. Eff." A red x appeared on the face of the device and his left thumb tapped on it repeatedly to begin the exercise again. Many of its functions were still unfamiliar to him but he had picked up on the basics with alarming celerity. His work didn't come to a stop until the car pulled to the side and Cadmium began to rise from his seat, prompting him to lift his head and do the same. When his bare feet touched down on the hard ground, he wondered if his refusal to wear shoes really mattered at all anymore. Vibrations didn't travel as well through this material as it might through dirt. Now that he was standing, it was even clearer that his appearance was changing, perhaps even evolving although whether or not that would turn out to be a curse remained to be seen. The proper leather holster holding the arming sword Cadmium had given him did something more to push it forth. When his partner flashed his military credentials to the driver, he did the same and didn't watch for long as the construct wheeled away, turning his focus back to his device before following along to the rendezvous point by keeping Cadmium in his periphery. They eventually arrived at a traveler's resting stop just outside the city, which was populated by street vendors selling refreshments and snacks. Here, Nur could smell the change in scenery. They were closer to the wilds now, where flora and fauna dominated the landscape over modern architecture. Here, another would arrive. There were bug bears bothering travelers who were coming through to the city and they must have been fearsome if he and Cadmium couldn't handle them. If he wasn't so focused on his education, he might have marveled at the thought of something resembling an insect and a bear but just like the car they had hitched a ride in, those sorts of thoughts were stuffed away in the farthest end of his mind. One of the vendors peddling fried corn cake offered both of them a small sample hoping that they might be convinced to buy more. @amenities @supernal
  22. To be 'lost' is seldom regarded as painful. The coastal breeze pulled at the black cloth cloak that draped over Natheniel's shoulders, whipping it every-which-way and mirroring the turmoil within him. What was he supposed to do, where was he supposed to go? It wasn't just a matter of having no direction to move his feet... no, this was deeper and more troubling to his soul than that. It was that he had lost his purpose. Everything he had been created into seemed like a mistake. The wind buffeted his hood and blew it back, revealing his long black hair and young fair skin. His dark purple eyes and features were easily readable. Annoyance. Natheniel had been walking up the main road away from the docks below, his calves already beginning to feel the burn from the pace he set. It was a dull ache that reminded him in an odd way that life would go on. It wasn't going to wait for him to figure things out. He had to sidestep a magitech vehicle that whizzed past him, a flurry of steam and noise that he didn't much care for. Why was it that so many of these things looked as if they were slapped together in a rush? Where was the attention to detail and grace? Nat glanced down at the sword against his hip, his thoughts reminding him of the work he put into making the steel that he so dearly cared for. He always kept it clean and polished, the intricate design that wove its way down the blade a reminder of his family lineage. It was a lineage to be proud of. One to stand tall for. Why was he wasting his time allowing this feeling of defeat to overcome him? Nat shook his head to clear it, pausing now to glance around at the town Casper. He had only just landed here by ship and knew little of this area. That would have to change. He didn't like not knowing the lay of the land, for it was a good way to get caught off guard. He began to map what he could see in his minds-eye, the slope providing a half way decent view of what was below. He could follow the road all the way down to the docks and see the masts of many great ships. It looked to him like a place for abundant opportunity. He just had to find the right one. The thin light weight black and blue pieces of plate armor glimmered with regality in the rising morning sun. The armor was specialty made to fit his lithe build, allowing him ease of movement and comfort. A small smile creased his lips as he considered something he hadn't before. Adventure. For perhaps the first time in his life, he could choose his own adventure. @MJ2431
  23. (First time on this site so yea) *Vynellin would be at the bar counter talking to the bar keep about pay. He would have asked if there was any new jobs opening up at the time. He would also have just a glass of wine infront of him as well as a steak. Seems he brought the steak in him self.* Well I only ask cause the current job while pays good isnt my type of thing I like to do. So yea that is all. But thank you anyways. *With that hed go and find a table. He wouldnt go into the corner hed just find a empty table and sit down in it and begin to eat his food and drink his wine.*
  24. Acorn was waiting for his associates in an abandoned shack smack dab in the middle of the shanty town which blossomed around Casper's western edge. He was familiar with Casper, having grown up in a shack much like this one but on the east end, and had just concluded dry runs of a few escape routes from the city for after the job was done. He hadn't met these people before, but the degrees of separation in the criminal element were close knit, and it only took reaching out to a friend of a friend of a friend before Acorn had enough names to put together an ensemble. Unfortunately he had sacrificed reliability for speed, so the only thing his contacts could guarantee about these people was that they weren't cops. Questions of efficacy were ones he would have to answer on his own. Acorn checked the time by looking out the circular hole cut out of the tin wall of the shack; there wasn’t any glass so he couldn't really call it a window. It was half past noon, which meant that the others had an hour to show up before he called the whole thing off and tried again in a month or so. From the burlap sack he brought with him he brought out a bottle of wine, a loaf of bread, and a bottle of olive oil which he poured into a clay saucer. Chewing and sipping thoughtfully at a glass Acorn waited.
  25. Azra felt the boat tip as it entered the unprotected waters of the open ocean, the floor of her cabin shifting beneath her feet and and bringing an urge for her to lunge for the nearby bed post. She caught it in time as her heeled boots slid along the wooden floorboards, the porthole window to her right blowing open and sending sea mist spraying into her face. "If I'm going to be held here against my will the least they could do is provide a window with a working latch!" She mumbled under her breath, needing to really stretch her arms in order to wipe her face since her bound hands made the task more trying than usual. They had left the the docks (located at the edge of the town of Casper) a few minutes earlier, the restraints still on her wrists making it difficult for her to adapt to the sudden shift from land to water...especially considering the stormy conditions she had seen as she was being forced onto the ship. Azra recalled the steel-grey skies and choppy waves that had rocked the boat even before they had left the confines of the harbors stone walls. She straightened once more, rattling the chain linking the iron cuffs circling her wrists. She had tested them out already to see how strong they were and was disappointed once again by the solidity of the metal. The female let out an irritated huff, "Stupid Allorian metal. Blocks off all my abilities....I could have been out of here already but it looks like they've dealt with other Elementals before." Azra walked over to the door, hearing the talking on the other side of the thick wooden door of the two brutish guards who had escorted her here. "Hey! I know you two idiots can hear me! I'm kinda hungry!" There was a sudden loud bang on the door as one of the guards threw his fist into it, a gruff voice shouting at her, "You'll wait like everyone else for some grub you witch! Ain't no special treatment here for you scum!" Azra grumbled irritably, walking back over to the bed and falling down onto the rock-hard mattress. "I knew I should have just let that guy go..." She crossed her legs, glad at least for the comfort of her leather pants and billowing, white cotton top with its loose sleeves she had decided to wear that day. Getting captured certainly would have been more troublesome in a dress. The woman thought back to earlier that morning when she had been visiting the more crusty downtown area of the city where she had been negotiating with a black-market swords dealer. She was so busy focusing on his wares that she had almost not noticed the pickpocket who snatched her satchel from her. After she had finally caught the pickpocket in a narrow alley, the female had threatened him using some of the blue flame she could summon to the palm of her hand to get her belongings back. The female had gotten back her satchel, but not without being noticed by a pair of town guards that had been patrolling the area. She was subdued eventually (after giving the one guard a black eye) and taken down to the nearest Lawkeeper where she was restrained with the infuriating enchanted cuffs. After searching through her satchels contents and finding the illegal wares she had splurged on in the black market, it had been beyond easy to convict her as a probable terrorist. The girl had quickly been booked on the next ship heading out of town so that she could serve some time working in the city's nearby mine and agricultural trading points a little further down the coast. The memories of the day's events had put her in a foul mood and the thought that she may die at sea made her even grumpier. Suddenly, she picked up on a different sound...the thudding of boots coming down the corridor she had been dragged through moments ago before being thrust into this room. The female sat up, fumbling off the bed as she made her way back to the door.
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