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Found 910 results

  1. Aleksei


    Players: @Aleksei @Alexei @danzilla3 @Garion @Grizzly @Grubbistch @EpicRome23 @Maverick Posting Time: 3/days - absolutely no exceptions.
  2. Twitterpated

    Inu no Tatakai | Martial Dominance

    It was always a special occasion when foreign wolves crossed paths with each other. Especially in the case of one rogue wolf just so happening to cross roads with an Alpha. While Jinsoku was certainly no wolf directly, he had the blessing/curse of housing a unique variety of one with in him. Possessing a stray Raiju, a Yokai, within his body. In all his travels, only once prior to coming to Valucre had he had the pleasure of crossing paths with specifically another wolf spirit. Mitsuke Darez of Hell's Stride, the son of Dzaek Darez, otherwise known as the former Champion of Hell's Stride. The White Wolf. While this newer acquaintance was not the same as the old one prescribed, the two had one thing in common. They were both half wolf spirits, albeit, different types. Likewise, Jinsoku shared this factor, yet in his own more unique way. While he was not born a half spirit such as those he compared to himself, his soul was permanently intertwined with the spirit within. Even in this case, he wasn't half wolf spirit. Rather her was all man, meshed with all spirit. Still as Mitsuki had taught him, this by no means gave him an automatic advantage of any sort, and neither did just his martial prowess. Despite the outcome and spared aftermath of the fight with Mitsuki, Jinsoku was ever confident and ready to side with his Raiju and issue challenge to the mentioned newer acquaintance. Kenshi Momoku. Donning his personalized suit of armor mostly leather with some steel plating, Jinsoku appeared today armed with his usual micro-composite spear suspended horizontally across his lower back. Along side his traditional armament was his more recently acquired Nagamaki. While it was no special enchanted weapon, it was a well made weapon. Full tang, battle ready. In addition to the traditional single edge of the blade, roughly a foot length of the back of the blade harbored a false edge, just as razor sharp actual designated edge. The sword was equipped upon his back. The extremely long handle compared to a katana was something not far off from the make of an odachi. This curved sword was more precisely completed to be used in familiar manner to the likes of spear form. It was the best candidate for expanding weapon skills. Though perhaps a planned event such as today's was a poor choice to getting acclimated to a new weapon. Fortunately, he had managed to get some semblance of practice out of it. Though he was far from mastering the blade, especially compared to Master James, and presumably the same notion went for him comparing himself against Kenshi. Back when they met, the wolf spirits clashed with one another for a brief moment. This lead to some exchange of words between the corresponding men, though even sense that day, the Raiju had been eager to test the Hanyo it happened across. Likewise, Jinsoku was certain prior, yet a witness still to the prowess Kenshi had to offer. He was eager himself even without the spirits involved to crave a healthy spar against the man. And so they arranged such. They were to meet here in the vast stretch of rolling plains where the Midlands met with the territory known as the Southern Swell. It seemed to be a fine day they had selected. With the harsh winter mostly past them and the first signs of the spring season beginning to appear, Jinsoku sat out in the open at about high noon. Patiently, he awaited his scheduled opponent by way of mediation. 'Whatever happens, it can't be worse than fighting a guy that turns into a big ass wolf that winds up biting off your arm right?' The Raiju growled mildly in response to his thoughts, though Jin would be lying if he said he perfectly understood that last response. Despite their time together, he still hadn't quite learned to discern between the Raiju's severity, and it's sarcasm. @Etched in Stone
  3. Chappu

    Gathering Materials [1/3]

    After the ruins a fire still burns. @Mag Mina reborn There was nothing beneath her as she fell, the world looked like hell fire as a burning sensation fired through her limbs and loins. An not for the proper reason oh no; the reoccurring nightmare of the draconian's foolish fire chased her nightly. Mina however would not let this shake her training; she focused herself deeply and directed the emotion else where. A gentle shift in the course of the speedy airship brought her to her senses allowing her optics to illuminate in the darkness. Mana weaved itself across her body like a cocoon of safety. With a gentle exhale the kunoichi rose from the sheets allowing the woven threads to break. The raw energy poured out across the room before flowing back into her pores with ease. Her bronzed skin glistened with sweat against the lights which illuminated the floor as she stepped out of bed. It was time for a shower no doubt the trip was about to begin and she could not afford to be walking the planes of dream land. Or perhaps was she exploring the lines of technology that now surrounded them. Ever since her incident with the cur she had gone in to reclusive training to improve herself. The forge was a dream to come true and like herself the rest of the Empire would benefit from its works. Reaching up she pushed back her long strands of hair with her bandaged left hand. She still had not cut her hair but it did not matter at this point. The once pigment-less strands were dyed black while her once pale optics held an iris unlike before. Contacts which she would use to disguise herself during the future missions. Stepping one foot in front of the other she moved to her own personal bathroom with ease. The wound she had sustained had healed marvelously and of course she practiced to not only return to normal but improve her abilities. Never again would she be made of fool of by a cur child with emotional issues. Keeping the lights off she was comfortable in the darkness as a bare hand turned the nozzle for cold water to wash over her skin. The sensation sent a vibration through her body as she woke up even further her hair standing on end. Mina placed her face beneath the flood then her hair next and began to wash herself hair first body next giving the shampoo time to sink in. The feeling of being clean was something the woman cherished above all else; how could one possibly know this? To start she enjoyed clean places and her clothing was always as white as her hair, unfortunately it would not be so this time. Once her shower was concluded she exited the stain glass cube and stepped out into a towel. Drying herself she then wrapped her hair allowing the remaining dye that did not stick to flush itself out. Opening the closet the woman was not herself anymore; or rather one could say she had changed immensely since her time in recovery. Reaching into the thicket of clothing options the woman chose a black chain fish net body suit. Wearing nothing beneath it she pulled her hair back and up into a pony tail. When she slipped the suit on it hugged her hips and chest tightly before she pulled on a set of thigh high boots designed to look like thigh high socks. A smile cross her lush lips as she looked in the mirror lightly, there was no helping the scar that marred her bronzed face from the public. Looking around she scoped out her backpack and a small box she had brought along with herself. Walking over to the box Mina pulled out a second binding wrap to place around her right hand that matched the one on the left. She would not be calling Bane on this trip, his duty was to guard the treasures of Koji and execute all who bothered the harem. The Arch Elemental would do exactly as instructed for his will was now Mina's own. Keeping the binding firm her expression turned from a gentle smirk to one of slight insanity. A gentle giggle left her throat as she bit her bottom lip gently. The next toy she picked up was a small magic tech orb that began to float beside her. Mina had wasted no time in picking up materials from Samul the tiefling to use for her benefit. Chuckling the toy had a few tricks up its sleeve which she would enjoy using while within the lands of Alterion. Grabbing her backpack the pack was not something so simple either. As she slipped it on the top opened and a flood of shadowed hands popped out looking to grab and stock the nearest thing. The bag was bottomless and allowed for her to store virtually anything at the time. Quick and effective for their current mission at hand. Grabbing her cloak she slipped it around her body and smirked once more, her ample body was no longer clear for all the view. She appeared to have no weapons but that was another trait she had picked up as well. Something to be shown off at a later point. Once she had checked herself and things, Mina hung the towel up lightly and closed the box. Exiting her room her feet made no sound as she strolled down the hall into the main bridge. Looking left and right no doubt she'd find Dove possibly in the divers seat, she was not one who liked her toys on auto pilot. This current shuttle was going to get a remodel once they found items to outfit a better and faster ship that would be the lead for all of their missions and adventures. "So.. Dove.. How long till we are ready to dock?" Her voice remained lush and vibrant with life however her eyes screamed death for all who dared oppose them in the future adventures.
  4. @Wade @SweetCyanide @Zashiii @Cheezeegriff It was never a good sign when one needed a password to enter a party. Cora groaned as Teddy attempted to scrap together yet another password, having failed the previous four tries. Judging by the banter he had been exchanging with the doorman, it didn't seem like they needed a password, but Teddy just wouldn't quit. It didn't help that the doorman had been giving him constant shit for it, goading her friend into trying again and again. God damn. Cora fidgeted with her coat, pulling it more tightly around her torso, and glanced around the alley they were standing in. It was around eight pm, and the last traces of sunlight were slipping beneath the horizon. Brilliant splashes of red, orange, and pink on Casper's white walls were being replaced with a cool lavender, turning the alley into a dark, cold place. For the upteenth time that day, she questioned her decision to accompany Teddy to this stupid party. Didn't help that I was drunk when I agreed to go, that sneaky bastard. Regardless, the sailor had done what he'd told her. After taking a brief nap (which had only lasted a few hours longer than expected), she had gone out to a local dress shop, snatched something off of the first rack she saw, and marched back home to throw it on. Hands possessed by the devil, she had done something nice to her hair. Cora didn't own any makeup, but she washed her face. It was more effort than any person deserved, much less Teddy, but for some reason, she ended up outside her shack at half-past-seven, watching, waiting. For some reason, and despite her best efforts, she gave a damn. As Teddy sputtered out another password, the streetlights beyond the alley flickered on with a mechanical bzzzzzt. Sensitive to the light, Cora shifted uncomfortably in her coat, turning back to watch her friend struggle with the doorman. While she didn't experience hangovers in the same way a normal person would, sound and light sensitivity were a standard. Maybe I shouldn't have had that seventh whiskey after all. Fuck. To everyone's surprise, the next combination of random words ended up being correct, and they were ushered through the random door in the wall and into a long, descending stairwell. As she was burdened by unreasonable shoes, Cora begrudgingly took her friend's arm. "You really need to write these things down," she grumbled, her words echoing through the stairwell. Slowly, they descended. It was a few minutes before they reached the bottom landing, where another doorman was waiting. Thankfully, there was no password at this door, though both guests were patted down for weapons. Once this had been done, they were politely ushered into the party. The pair entered a surprisingly spacious room carved out of stone, stalactites dripping from the ceiling and often bonding with stalagmites rising from the floor. Although the space was somewhat dim, an elegant chandelier hung from the ceiling in the center of the room, sending warm light into the darkness. Tiny fairy lights were also strung around the cavern, illuminating areas beyond the chandelier's reach. A bar was tucked into one corner, and it seemed to be popular tonight. Many people were chatting at standing tables around the room, while others were sitting at booths and tables around the perimeter. Guests of every shape, size, and color were present, many of them gruesomely scarred or missing eyes, ears, arms, etc. ... It was ... Cora's eyes were wide as she took in the details, and in her daze she allowed Teddy to guide her through the crowd. The fact that she was surrounded by killers was of little consequence. Unlike up above, everyone here belonged to one central group: outcasts. The sailor passed a naga laughing hysterically at her companion's bad joke, and, even though she hadn't heard the punchline, Cora smiled a little. It had been years since she'd felt a sense of community, even if she didn't belong to it. The air felt warm and light in her lungs. Teddy stopped, and his guest bumped into his arm with an 'oof.' They had paused at coat check, where a little attendant barely taller than the counter held out an impatient arm for her jacket. Cora froze, her hands gripping the material of her coat possessively. In her haste to pick something out at the dress shop, she had taken ... well, it was a little more revealing than she had intended. Cora wasn't shy by any means -after all, she had served as a courtesan for a time during her teens- but wearing so little clothing put her at a tactical disadvantage. She didn't like feeling exposed, and her survival magic insisted that she keep an extra layer of fabric between her core and any unfriendly daggers. Despite the warnings, Cora slipped off her coat and handed it to the waiting attendant. She didn't want to stand out. She was wearing a floor-length silver dress that shimmered like water in the dim cavern light (she swore it had looked much more grey in the harsh shop lighting). The thin, silky material hugged her lean figure in a way that gave the illusion of curves, though Cora was too thin and too poor to have any extra fat on her chest or hips. Her back was exposed to the world, and the sheer muscle rippled almost as much as the dress when she moved; she was, first and foremost, a fighter. The warm, hazy lighting caught her curls and brought out the chestnut, making her skin seem a warmer tone than usual. While Cora wasn't always a conventional beauty, she did radiate something special tonight. Presenting herself in such a way was oddly embarrassing; it vexed her. Should've kept the stupid jacket on. For some reason she reaaaally didn't want to look at Teddy, so Cora took a big breath, held it, and immediately started for the bar.
  5. To arrive unharried upon the roads to Ashville is no longer considered a feat. In the days gone by, these roadways are barren, empty, devoid of civilians and villains both. As the darkness made manifest within the once opulent and proud city grew in vigor, so too did the desire to avoid the area. Now, even guardsmen along these roads are a rarity, the few one might encounter posted further and further from the city, almost desperately attempting to escape the daunting, cumbersome dread that hangs low upon those well-kept streets and proud buildings. With the guardsmen gone, all is not left to ruin because in short order any highwaymen or bandits along these roads are gone as well, having fled to routes more profitable and less laden down with uncertainty. In this theme, perhaps reaching the city alone requires a certain lack of self; why else would anyone try to draw close? In the bitter, empty winds that sweep through the trees and low hills of the countryside, the answer is carried, in the form of a contract. The contract, in no short terms, calls for help. It promises no grand payment, no grand renown. It doesn't even promise safe passage thereto and back. It's hardly a contract, but rather a plea for help, hammered without pattern to walls and trees, tossed to the wind and the sides of the road. With such lack of ceremony, surely there can be no doubting the sincerity of this grave call to action. The only matter of concern now, is the who. Who will be beckoned, but such impromptu summons? Moreover, when the work begins, who will hold fast? Who will falter? For the striking well-off city that it was, with the colors and fine architecture that imbibed the streets and surroundings with life, Ashville was decidedly more grey than the norm. Between bleak lights piercing the ever darkening evening skies and the sheer lack of activity, it looked surreal, having the streets and shops to oneself. At least, that's what Aygis first noticed upon her arrival. The kobold mage hadn't really expected to see any of her kind within the city, but she had expected to see more than the minor handful of passerby she'd encountered wandering about. From her experience, the magus didn't know what to think; cities weren't designed this way. They were dense, urban areas full of life and contact with others. To be so pointedly vacant, to the point of near emptiness, spoke volumes about the situation in Ashville. That was, of course, why she'd arrived in the town to begin with. Aygis pulled her cerulean cloak about her, though the night was rather mild. It was a reflex, mostly; an attempt to keep her beastkin physique to a minimum, lest she be called out for her differences. Not that it mattered; given the current affair she found herself in, it was doubtful that anyone would be worried about a kobold wandering about on her lonesome. She hoped she wouldn't remain alone for much longer. There were posters everywhere, she found, and given that she had picked one up, it was only to be expected that more characters of some kind would stumble across a few as well. It was only a matter of waiting, then. Aygis propped herself up on a nearby bench and stood watch, waiting to see what would happen.
  6. Silence. Like the neverending sound ripped away from a voice that needed to speak. Silence that came made the fear all the more powerful as it came to be. It was here, standing in the rain did the first seed stand. Looking over the plans he had written in an old scratched up notebook. If he was to succeed in gaining Athentha to his own goals he needed to do something drastic. It seemed that he had called the seeds here. The dying organization he was trying to build would be destroyed in time. But as he looked over at Vanilla, he had an idea. People knew the legend of the beast and the organization of the blood red moon children. It was here that he formed a plan. He would need to sacrifice the second seed and combine her with the princess. Without another word, he looked at Vanilla again. He had kept her safe during all this time, and she was the only one he could stand. But his feelings for the half breed seemed to now run his brain, trying to self destruct everything he worked for. Taking a step as the rain continued to get heavier he would come here, to the princess's home city and lure her here. The first seed sat down on the bench now as he placed the notebook into his bag. Vanilla taking her seat beside him. It wasn't a secret she held a torch for the first seed. But she would never be able to be with him. Not the way the second seed wanted it. The two remained in silence. Garnet's eerie golden yellow eyes traced every figure that walked by. No elves, just demons. He smiled to himself, if he could harness the half breed then the land could become his, and he could make it good. Create something different from what Rin wanted to do at least. The elders are onto us aren't they? They have acquired knights and soldiers to keep tabs on us. Garnet, why are we the enemy? What did we do to deserve such hatred? We exist Vanilla. That is all. They think we are helping the monster to acquire her land back. And we are somewhat. Let them gather whoever they want. If my plan succeeds, it will be futile. You shouldn't worry yourself to death about these things. You should think of the future. Of course Vanilla didn't know she wouldn't see the future as she was now. That Garnet planned to fuse her with the half breed. He didn't care about the elders. They could do what they wanted and everything would work out in the end. Yet, in the end things wouldn't be the same. Athentha was on the brink of being destroyed. The war would come, but he would have a weapon at least. But he was wrong. Garnet was not prepared for what happened, he would never be. And so they sat there in the rain watching the people come and go. The inn wasn't open yet so they couldn't get a room to take a nap in. It would be open in an hour before the mid-afternoon sun would appear in the sky.
  7. Aleksei

    Beautiful as Autumn

    @Twitterpated @Chappu @Etched in Stone Seo planted her hands against her hips whilst admiring the tavern in it's obviously withering age. Here she had planted the seeds of her future, and it's here her memories are woven into the boards of the floor and the sake cups soaking in the sink. Scattered at her bare feet are the remnants of a past that has dripped by her sluggishly; dirt, leaves, the coming of autumn were distinctive in their color and make. I bet your name is ... A patron stepping onto the porch of the tavern broke her chain of thought, forcing her back to the realms of reality. The memory found her often, especially when she is caught admiring her little humble beginnings. There hadn't been enough time to thank him and he has never returned since then, leaving her to often thank the memory of the man who could see without seeing. Perhaps one day he will find himself at his table, asking for the Firelord Sake (they haven't served it since that day), asking her to join him for a drink. “They’re ready.” The small woman nodded and waved away the waitress, who was more than happy to mold into the shadows. Today is supposed to be auspicious - she will be the judge of that. Gathering her courage, she stepped back into the quiet tavern that is dimly light due to the fading candles stuck in various corners. Tables lined with various colorful pillows are all polished till they nearly gleam in the flickering candle light; only four customers occupied the establishment, along with a small scattering of waitresses and waiters. It was quiet, comfortable, and a perfect day for talks and negotiations. The dark haired woman sat at the table set further to the back of the tavern, giving them some semblance of privacy that had been asked for. Sitting directly in front of her is a woman wearing a iron mask and next to her is another woman who appeared far too lush to be inside such a dark tavern. Neither of them spoke, not that they had to, Seo is not involved in their business and is just here to ensure all goes smoothly - whatever that all is. Simply providing them a place to discuss things and stuff, she remains on the outside of their dark world. They remind her of the groups of men and women who often occupy the tables for gambling and drinking. All of them are usually deep into conversation about something or another that involves killing something, someone, or taking something from someone. She assumes these two women are here for something akin to that, and their company will be the one providing the tinder to their needed fire. Hopefully - and one can only hope - she will not be caught between blows.
  8. danzilla3

    The fight for Totenborough

    Looking back on it, he should have known it was too good to be true. When Zoran and his people had arrived in Taen to find that the much talked about city of Lunaris had been devastated by some kind of natural disaster/monster attack, he had briefly fallen into despair. Outcasts from all over Terrenus, they had used up all their collective resources to come to Taen for the promise of a new life, only to find that life had been ended before it even began. For a while the group had lived among the refugees, helping to rebuild the city in exchange for food and shelter. Zoran had spent much of that time numbing his pain with alcohol and starting the occasional drunken brawl. But as fate would have it, it was through his drunken idiocy that he had found their salvation. He had just been thrown out of the second bar that night, and the rain was pouring from the sky. Feeling the urge to pass out, and not wanting to catch a cold in the rain, he had decided to bunk for the night in a partially demolished building that was intact enough to mostly keep the rain out. As he looked for a comfortable spot to lay down, a book on a shelf had caught his eye. The cover was made of some kind of beautiful hardwood, and had what looked like actual gemstones embedded in all four corners of the cover on both sides. Though it was written in a language he didn't understand, the book contained plenty of illustrations to keep him reading. Portraits of important people, drawings of sweeping landscapes from snowy mountains to sprawling plains, and drawings of artifacts like rings, and swords, and crowns. Towards the end he came upon a passage that appeared to depict a great underground city that seemed to have already disappeared by the time the book was written. But unlike the other locations depicted in the book, this one had a map. Stunned, he had pulled out the map of Taen he had acquired before the journey, and compared it to the one in the book. The maps matched up perfectly, and Zoran suddenly knew what he had to do. The next morning he went back to his group and showed them the book, suggesting that they search for the lost city. Many had been skeptical, but he had won most of them over when he pointed out that Lunaris was in no shape to welcome newcomers, and they had no place to return to. Taking a chance on this city was their best shot at starting the new lives they had come to Taen seeking. And so they had set out from Lunaris, braving the wilderness of the Jungle Quadrant as they headed for their destination. Despite several attacks by strange charred looking creatures and other wildlife, they had made it to the designated area without losing anyone. It had taken them most of a day to find the entrance to the city, a large gate located between the Jungle, Swamp, and Mountain quadrants. They had been unable to open the gate, and so they had busted it down. Past the gate, the found themselves in a tunnel that, after quite a bit of walking, led them to the city. Zoran had gazed upon the sprawling stone buildings and bridges over flowing water in awe. But he'd had little time to bask in the glory of the city, as the job of clearing the city still lay ahead. Once they had determined that the city seemed empty, they set up camp in the town square. Many of his people had wanted to claim buildings for themselves, but Zoran had insisted they stay together until they had explored all of the city to make sure it was safe. The next day they ventured into the other half of the city, moving all the way to the other end of the city, and another gate. Opening the new gate to see what was on the other side had seemed like the natural thing to do. But it had almost been their undoing. Because waiting for them on the other side of the gate were the creatures the locals had called the Xer. There had to have been thousands of them in the canyon they found themselves in. The creatures had been on them in an instant, and they had lost ten men as the Xer pushed them back into the tunnel. It looked like they would be overwhelmed, but Zoran had rallied the remaining fighters, and pushed the Xer back long enough to close and lock the gate. It had been three days since then, and the gates still held fast, but everyone knew it was only a matter of time before the Xer broke through. The survivors now prepared themselves for battle, but Zoran knew they needed more help. He had sent messengers to Lunaris and Oakwood to recruit anyone daft enough to offer their aid. Now as he waited outside the broken gates they had come in through, Zoran heard people approaching. He stood up from where he was leaning and moved out to greet them. "Welcome to Totenburg. My name is Zoran Markovic. Who are you?"
  9. Aleksei

    [Axis Mundi] heavy heart i'm holding

    @Alexei Darim tore ferociously at the flowers and their surrounding weeds, not at all minding the dirt underneath her fingernails or the little scratches against the bend of her fingers. The coldness from her annoyance numbed her down to her very bones, making her relentless in her attack against the weed infested garden. Just above her dark head she heard little birds sing their early morning song, a beautiful tune that would put anyone that wasn't Darim in a lighter mood. Her sleep had been too disturbed and her emotions far too turbulent for her to relax. The anger she felt boiling in her chest is new to her and to the people that are closest to the Princess; they found her to be aloof, burning with a madness that you only see in her twin, Nero. The last few days have been a struggle for herself and for her contingent of ladies in waiting, all of which she had excused earlier. While she is aware of her current hatefulness, she hasn't been able to put it aside for a later time. Acknowledging such, she had dismissed her ladies so they no longer have to be at the end of her meanness, and had excused herself from her duties for the rest of her time in Kadia. Blowing at a loose strand of black hair out of her face, Darm leaned back against her haunches with a deep frown marring her sweet face. The fabric of her peach skirt had been tucked and moved off to the side, while the sleeves of her white chiffon shirt had been rolled up to her elbows; it's clear that she hadn't planned on pulling weeds. Her attire had been simple and subdued for the day, showing she had no intentions leaving the castle. Upstairs, in her room, various dresses, gowns, skirts, and other expensive pieces of clothing populated her bed and chairs; jewelry, crowns, shoes, and such were packed in cases for the long, tedious journey back home. Desmond had watched his sister go to war against the weeds. He hadn't meant to lurk in the shadows, but the sight of her angrily going all out against her victims, brows pressed together, lips twisted in a frown, he couldn't bring himself to ruin the sight. The early morning sunlight bounced off the black-blue curls knotted against her nap, and the simple diadem she wore made her look like a pagan goddess in the flesh. He could see why Caelius was smitten with her - him and about half the Kadian Empire. She was a small woman with lush curves, large blue eyes that were welcoming, and a mouth ready to smile, Darim is a prized jewel. Being so is why her brothers coveted her, protected her often, especially Nero who is her twin. The man alone would move mountains for his sibling. "Darim love, please give those weeds some reprieve." He pulled himself out of the shadows to approach her, offering her his hand which she accepted. His presence seemed to sooth the hotness in her veins, making her a bit more agreeable. Hands together he guided her to a stone bench, where he would wait for her to spread her skirts and sit delicately down. How so much anger and confusion can be inside such a small sprite, he will never know and he does not envy Caelius for his eventual meeting with her. She won't be pleased with him, more so than she is now. Setting his cane aside, he sat next to his sister and grabbed her hands in his, forcing her to turn and look at him. He has never been in a position where he's liked someone as much as she likes Cae, and by the looks of her he's absolutely happy he may never have this kind of sickness. She cared, but she must know there are secrets and those secrets are making it extremely difficult for her to understand. "I know you're mad at Caelius, and I'm not going to tell you that you shouldn't be." Was she mad at Caelius? At this point she's not exactly sure if she's mad at him or ... just mad at him, but she is most certainly annoyed. When Desmond held her hands,she clenched her fingers into angry fists that said so much more than what words could ever do. "But there are things you need to understand about him, things that Nero and I can only explain." She looked at him angrily, her spite and annoyance now switched to her siblings. Secrets, it's always with the secrets and how tired of them she is. Cae can trust her, that she has made obvious, or so she has thought. While she is but a small woman with power held only in her crown, she has strength to carry any burden, especially those that plague someone pressed to her heart. "He's a nasty man ..." "How painful was it to say that?" Desmond brushed her cheek with his fingers, his thumb resting on the crest below her eye. Darim is not spiteful, he doubts she knows how to be, so to hear her speak ill of Caelius made her words more fake than they originally would have been. It's obvious she worries about him, that her words only come from her own hurt and anger about a situation she doesn't know about. She looked at him with an apology in her blue eyes, deep and bright with the confusion she has soaked in. "I know you didn't mean it," he wiped away the tear that threatened to fall, "you're just mad at him and you're allowed that."
  10. Hush, now. It is nighttime, and the town is lost in sleep, wandering the roads of a thousand dreams. If you listen closely, you can hear them- deep snores, soft breaths, dying wheezes, no two quite the same. Signatures, carved in the silence. Here and there you may also catch scribbles, such as the pop and crackle of a fire in the hearth or the scritching and scurrying of hungry rats or the faint murmur of conversation between those few nocturnal dwellers who don't know the meaning of bedtime. And footsteps! Let's not forget the footsteps. There's an artistry to them, a rhythm, such that each soft pad against the earth (heel-toe, heel-toe) fits neatly into the tapestry of the night's sounds, a cleanly drawn line amidst the scrawls emanating elsewhere. The wind picks up, and hums in tune. It's curious, excited. After all, these are no ordinary footsteps! This is the sound of a force of nature, beginning to move. A blue cloak floats down the road, carried by a pair of small feet that stride without the slightest deviation to the threshold of civilization. First it's the shadows of houses and taller buildings that fall behind her, then the long rows of crops rustling faintly in the wind, and finally the last fence marking the border. After that, nothing but barren road, thin grasses and scattered weeds. Then the shadows of the first trees. They fall over the lady in blue, enveloping her swallowing her whole. She does not hesitate, only striding onward, onward, onward into the dark of the wilderness, until she passes out of sight and is lost to the world. Forever.
  11. Malaysia NightReaver

    The Angel and The Dragon

    How long had it been since the Malaysia had been abducted? A week? 2 weeks? A month? 3 months? There was no grasp of time where she had been kept. It was dark and damp, and she was only fed the blood of an infant once a day. In the beginning, she had refused to feed as they walked through the door with a crying baby in their arms. She had told them that she would rather starve than harm an innocent child. Yet as the days dragged out and the punishment continued, they attempted to bleed out the vampiric angel time and time again, and eventually her innate instinct to survive forced her to feed. It was unfortunate, because since she had been captured her heightened senses were thrown off. Little did she know that her food was being laced with a type of poison, one that would dull her thinking and cause her mind to be susceptible to certain.. influences. Due to her age, her strength and bloodline, they chose this route. They knew it would be more difficult to take advantage of the Queen. Whereas the Princess was so young and had little to offer aside from torturing her parents with a potential loss of a loved one, the Imperial Goddess provided so much more to work with. Disoriented from the lack of sustenance and a constant strain of physical and mental abuse, the once strong willed Malaysia was weakened. There was not a whole lot that she could do, all she wanted was to go home and be in the arms of her husband. She wanted to kiss the forehead of her daughter and embrace her son in a hug, knowing that they were safe. Her yearning to kill and murder each and every one of these beings had fled, not due to lack of trying but more less, the lack of opportunity. Yet every time she rebelled, she was met with a sharply toned whip lash. Blood poured down her porcelain cheeks and gaping wounds down her back where her wings would be. She had not attempted to leave them out, for fear of someone trying to hack them off. That is a pain she did not wish to go through a second time. Her wounds would heal daily, and each day they would drag her out of her cell only to do it all over again. Then came the magic; it was the dark kind. The kind that threatened Anastasia’s very existence before she was born. They waited a full month before they started their preparation. They knew full well that the Underworld was not able to suppress her powers, she was much too strong for that. They had plans for Malaysia, the Queen of Vdara. How horrible would it be for the good King to come and rescue his wife, only to see her join the side of the enemy he was looking to defeat? With the return of Anastasia, it was only a matter of time before Ayden had found their lair. They had little time to play with, and as one of Xildar’s henchman walked up to Malaysia as she was strapped down to her chair, with a fencing sword in his left hand he lightly bent down to one knee while placing the other under her chin, lifting her face so that he may see those beautiful blue eyes. As blood poured from her gaping mouth, she slowly looked up to him through her disgustingly matted hair. “My Queen, are you ready?” @Ayden @Alukai
  12. It had been a while since the teenager had settled in. Her sights were not only set on conquest of the remains of Palgard, but on other things far greater. On her spare time the engineer turned over rumors, manuscripts and other information from various sources. It was mostly technical information and reports on prospective enemy forces and the success or failure of a given operation, but other mysterious goodies were peppered throughout. Most of this allegedly extraneous information was simply passed over, but there was one item that gave a chill to her nerves. There was a log of a ship that came into the industry controlled port, but a physical description of the individual who allegedly departed the craft was missing. Taking up a techno-magical tablet she browsed through the surveillance footage to the given log time. No person was seen departing the ship for the entirety of its visit. Was there an intrusion into the surveillance network or what other trickery could potentially be at play? Sanu knew a few things about sailing craft and potential mysteries they could bring, but so unfortunately he was on an extended vacation. This anomaly would need to be investigated, but another just as important event would occur first. What could that possibly be? A lunch meeting of course! The Direktor had eyes and ears all over the city. The surveillance which not limited to the industrial district found an individual of interest. A particular blue haired mercenary whom she'd briefly met before. Curiosity bade discovering what the individual was up to. Caerula would receive an invitation to meet with the General'ny Direktor in a private upper floor of the Zephyrus tower. Should Cae accept and approach the tower at the appointed time she would be met with an armored and armed escort consisting of firearm equipped soldiers. Soon taken off the path of the regularly traveled lower levels a lift would take her up and up and up. Once they departed the lift the lead soldier would direct Cae to a door which slid open upon approach. Hana could be seen sitting at a table with two settings of food and an empty chair across from her. "Welcome back. Things have changed a bit since we last met."
  13. Jotnotes

    Business is Pleasure

    For the uninitiated, L'entrain, or 'High Spirits' was quite possibly one of the best eateries in the westernmost part of Genesaris, and certainly the best in Umbra. With her fine, classical architecture on the outside and warm, mood-lit interior, flecked with brilliant swathes of bold orange and seductive reds covering the well-preserved wallpaper, she screamed of atmosphere, and was one of the few places so impressed upon the identity of Umbra's culture that more often than not, it was a chore to get in, whether tables were available or not. So self-important was the place, so absolutely untouchable in the public eye, that a rare few got to see the inside, and most of those people had one of two things; a powerful identity, or the money to pretend they did. To this end, it was a lovely place to spend the evening, with fine wine and spirits, excellent food from some fantastic names in the culinary world, and a self-contained atmosphere that was so self-reliant that it actually felt as though you'd left Umbra to be there. Some of the more patriotic clients may have disparaged that last observation, but it was nonetheless the go-to restaurant for romance, decadence, and as you might expect, business. There was no better impression you could make on potential business partners than a first visit to L'entrain and Bodice knew this very well. Some of her first encounters with clients, investors and lovers had happened here. Her family's fortune could support these lavish costs fairly well, Bodice had found, and while the money certainly wouldn't last forever, she was equal parts beautiful as she was a cutthroat businesswoman. Taking a client here was an expensive and decisive move, and it hadn't failed yet. Not that Bodice didn't add her own little charms to each visit, of course. As she admired herself in the reflection of their coach one last time, she wondered if she would have been better off wearing less; just to remind their company who they were working with. Satisfied regardless, Bodice Brouchard turned away from her makeshift mirror and clung to the tall, familiar figure next to her, nodding her assent. "They doubtlessly have been given enough time to enjoy a bottle of my generosity, already." She purred next to him. "It's time, mon chere. Let's go and meet your new clients." With her lover leading the way, Bodice breezed through the door with minimal interruption; the man operating the door recognized her almost instantly and bowed so low his scalp could have brushed against her hips as they stepped past, out of the cool evening air and into the inviting red-and-white interior of L'entrain. The headmistress once again marvelled at the sudden transition; the bright and beautiful and evocative interior lacked so much of the telltale signs of Umbra's architecture, providing an interesting splash of color and perspective that was just so hard to replicate elsewhere. Something about the vaulted ceilings and the beams that ran the length of each room, coupled with the high and bright lighting and the soft carpet beneath their feet felt almost royal, in a sense. Yet Bodice had been to places of royalty before; she'd seen how they lived. This would feel lavish even to the Emperor, she was certain. The staff were quick and polite, and upon seeing Bodice with company, incredibly polite and quiet. The High Elf rarely had to speak a word as she clung to her escort for the evening, as they were spurred in the direction of their waiting company, who, just as Bodice had assumed, were already draining the last drops of a tall, precious bottle of Bachus. Bodice's invitation had been accepted, unsurprisingly, by all three of the men she'd called for, and all three were in decidedly high spirits. When they recognized the headmistress, however, their attention quickly shifted, and Bodice released her escort with a mild tug on his arm before going to greet them. "Mademoiselle Bodice, cela fait des années et vous n'avez pas vieilli du tout." The tallest of them, and also the youngest it seemed, greeted Bodice with rapid, if somewhat sloppy dialect. Obviously not a native speaker, not that Bodice wasn't aware of this. She took his hand and allowed him to kiss her fingers, while she cooed in response to the gesture. "Tu me flattes, vraiment. Et tu es aussi beau que je me souviens." The headmistress purred back at him. Her attitude was decidedly tame, of course; although they were here on business, and Bodice was meant to serve as eye candy, she was not the product, and she wouldn't be behaving like the product right away, either. Yet, that didn't stop her from letting the fingers he kissed go to her lips, as if reverently kissing the same spot herself. She made eye contact all the while, though his eyes quickly roamed up her body, hungry. He was, of course, brushed past by one of the other gentleman. He was an old codger, if there ever was one, balding and overweight, but certainly with money. "Ah, Bodice! I'd know those tits anywhere, my dear!" His voice was booming, cacophonous. Bodice flashed him a sly grin as if she'd been caught in some scandal. "Just my tits, dear Renauld? Surely you'd know me by my legs, too..." He chuckled at that, and went to give her a brief embrace before realizing, apparently for the first time, that they had company. "And this must be the lucky man taking you to bed this evening!" He stepped towards the tall figure next to her before thrusting his arm out. "Renauld Bivet, sir. You might have heard of me!" He boomed in greeting. "Monsieur Bivet runs one of the biggest caravans in Umbra, darling." Bodice filled him in while waiting for him to introduce himself to their company.
  14. There are places in the world where the word 'hamlet' seems like a gracious turn of phrase, an exaggeration, if you will. That's generally because some hamlets are definitely better off than others. No two hamlets are alike. That said, the sleepy little fishing hovel of Urfmarshten was a place where time seemed to stand still, most of the time. Everyone knew each other, but nobody truly cared. They worked, they went home, they tried to ease the creeping grey of the landscape. That said, it wasn't hard for someone new to swing in, and settle down in one of the downtrodden homes near the cost of the Loch. Abigail was grateful for all this, and more. The lopsided boathouse was wide and short, and the windows were all boarded up. Little light got in, and few people could see inside the darkened ruin. It was perfect for a woman who didn't want to be found. The alchemist had arrived in the dead of night, about two weeks prior. In that time, she'd spent her nights carefully tidying the place up, picking up refuse and rotten planks and hiding them away. She arranged the supplies she'd brought with her safely upon the teeny little shelves, hiding away the nets and tackleboxes that once dominated the meager storeroom. It was about as close to home as she could manage, for the time being, though she loathed it. She longed for the comfort of home, for warm bathes, hot meals, and clean, running water. What she had in its place was far from adequate, far from useful. It mirrored the warped, despondent personality she'd come to adopt only recently. Despite her desire to curl up and die, Abigail had failed to remain still for long. Her restless, questing nature won out, even as she felt despair wrack her form, and so she'd done the unthinkable. In the dead of night, Abigail had wandered out into the nearby marsh and gathered all matter of ingredients. Easy things to find, trivial to use, really, but nontheless potent if used correctly. She'd tucked them into her makeshift shop, and set about painting a small sign, which she'd nailed to the from of the door. In plain, yet curiously elegant handwriting, it announced her intent. Alchemist for hire. Knock twice, and make a request. Pay what you will. It was a lot to put on a sign, granted, but it was necessary. Truth be told, she was glad her handwriting served her well in this respect. It was neat, easy to read, and in no time at all, she'd heard the first knock. It was a bored, almost curious thing, as if to see if someone was playing a prank. The request, a glass bottle, with nothing in it. Abigail had obliged easily, and heard a collective scream as her slender hands peeked through a hole in the wall she'd made and presented the bottle. That same night, a few more folks had appeared. There wasn't many of them, no, and they weren't all that alarmed. They asked the unseen girl if she was alright, and when she hadn't responded, attempted to get inside. She hid herself away for as long as she possibly could, until they finally made a request she could accommodate. The man who was speaking, his name was Croft, if memory served, had a young boy. He had a toothache. Abigail had hurriedly put together a pain medicine of sorts, then passed it through the gap. They left without warning, and Abigail had gone to bed, unsure of what to expect. The next morning, she'd awoken to a basket, gently forced through the hole. Inside were several portions of dried fish, and a fresh-looking loaf of some rough bread. In the time that followed, she became something of a local witch to the people. They came, they knocked, and they made their requests. Most of the time, she was able to provide them with what they needed, and in exchange she'd acquired all matter of accouterments. Food, Knick-Knacks, small amounts of gold, that she'd used to pay off clients that she couldn't help. It wasn't long before she was 'part of the community', or so she'd pretend to be. Nobody bothered her unless they needed something, and she was generally left alone. Abigail opened her eyes slowly, and watched the darkness of the unlit room come into vivid, unbelievably bright focus all at once, and she sighed, yet again. Her eyes didn't normally do that, at least, they hadn't until her accident. She believe it was getting worse; the shift from dark to light happened faster and faster now, and at night she had horrible, terrifying dreams of being forced to crawl along the ground, unable to scream as she scrambled for the comfort of darkness. It was on days like this that she genuinely wished that she could disappear. She wanted to be in the quiet, she wanted to be in the dark. Most of all, though, she wished she could be left alone, at least for a short while.
  15. Hats

    Strange days

    Lerill was a nice town where one could find what they want in a place to live. Should one go to the outskirts, they'd find peaceful, calm atmosphere with the majority of the buildings there being recreational and residential, with a couple schools. Yet if that didn't suit ones taste, they could go farther inward , towards what's none as "little big town" where it felt crowded like the larger cities at the least during the night, but during the day other than the buildings one would have trouble differentiating it with the outskirts of town. Though while Lerill may have been average in nearly every aspect, from the structure, the people, and even location, still outsiders and even those that lived there for their whole lives always felt something off about the town. A certain power to it, they'd be right had they seen what lied underneath the town. Whatever and wherever it was, it radiated out power, that either did nothing or gave someone powers, but this was a rare occurrence and even than one might have a chance to die as well. Oel always enjoyed his visits to Lerill, it was always a nice, quiet place and especially during the weekdays he could probably hear his own heart beat than if he listened close enough. Alas the shushed roar of his car's engine prevented him from completing such a action, well that along with the fact he wasn't here to spend alone time as he'd like but he'd been contracted by the local police to look into a recent string of missing person's case. At least it won't be a loud job. @SealedHeart
  16. "I'm not ready." Yates had been here before. In this chair. At this table. Staring into the flat brown eyes of the man that sat opposite him. They were of equal station in the eyes of the church now, that was the main difference. Before the meeting had been a priest handing down a dictate to an apprentice; now their meeting was of a priest urging another to take the burden of the faith and raise it still higher. "You found the temple, didn't you? You fulfilled the Mother's mandate admirably." "I wasn't alone." "That doesn't matter. What you –" "I wasn't prepared to face the Outsider and it almost killed me. And if it did it would have found that farmer and those children too. It can't be like that again. I'm telling you that I'm not ready to command a unit and you'll just have to trust me." ~~~~~~~~~~ The AI revolts had not been kind to Hell's Gate. Racing towards the city aboard a private-class airship, peering at it through the ballistic glass of a small circular window, one could easily be convinced that the metropolis had managed to come out of the civil skirmishes unscathed, but once one dropped past the veneer projected by Hell's Gate's sterling infrastructure, the streets revealed the truth behind the curtain. Graffiti, broken windows, and litter-filled, piss-stained sidewalks did not scream moral bankruptcy or felony crime, but Yates knew that these were the minor symptoms of a much more insidious disease. If left unchecked, this deviancy would snowball down a slippery slope and all present would be trapped under the avalanche. His Gaian robe drew the occasional sidelong glance, the occasional sneer, the occasional disparaging catcall, and Yates paid equal mind to all of these – which is to say none at all. He was so engrossed with the task at hand that time lost its meaning until his hand was pushing against the roughly hewn, beer stained door of the Weary Orc. Waiting inside of its doorframe, Yates scanned the interior for other robed members of the clergy. OOC
  17. Artificer

    A Knot of Silver

    DANGEROUS GAME: PROLOGUE █▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒█ ◆◈◆ █▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒█ A KNOT OF SILVER █▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒█ ◆◈◆ █▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒█ FRYGG FYNNVARTHR The icy metal stung the tips of his fingers as he thumbed through the cartridges of silver bullets. "Seventy-two, seventy-three, seventy-four...," he counted quietly, keeping inventory of how many shots he would have. "Ninety-seven," he muttered, holding the last bullet in his hand up in the dim lantern-light, it's silvered point gleaming whiter than the dull gunmetal of the rest of the casing. While it would take dozens, maybe hundreds of lead shots to even faze a lycanthrope or white wolf, it is said that even a tiny knot of silver thread would be enough to bring either beast down to its knees. As he was examining the seams of his craftsmanship, the caravan abruptly jolted downwards as its wheels hit what seemed to be the thousandth hole in the rundown cobblestone road. As if the ride wasn't bumpy enough, the sudden movement caused the frozen ammunition to pop out from between Frygg's frostbitten fingers, falling onto the floor with a light ring. There it rolled across the ground like a coin on a walkway until it finally spiraled into (and eventually fell through) one of the many knotholes in the worn oaken floorboards. While Frygg tried his best to grab it, the piece of metal quickly disappeared from view. Throwing off his wool cloak, he hurried to the canvas entrance of the caravan, and opened it briskly to try to catch a glimpse of the runaway bullet. A gush of frosted air came into the already frigid caravan alongside a mild flurry of snow. Eyes reopened to only be burned by the needles of icy wind. Nothing could be seen through the white screen of the blizzard they were trekking through. Whatever drop of silver that was to be searched for was of no contest for the white ocean that lay behind. "Close the damned flap, y'idiot!" shouted one in the caravan, voice shrill and shivering. "There's a godforsaken storm out there, are y'blind? Close the blasted thing before we all freeze to death!" Reluctantly looking back, Frygg closed it with mounting frustration. Walking back to his seat in the cramped confines of the vehicle, he sat down only to find a damp spot from the snow that blew in. "Ninety-six," was the new number he muttered to himself, brow furrowed as he wrapped himself tightly in his woolen attire, pants now damp. Ninety-six bullets was going to be all he had for this journey. Then came the same voice which spoke again with heavy accent, "Damn'it Frygg, y'can't be so clumsy. These aren't the homey lands of the Gran North y'know, or the shores of Orish'a," voice stressing "sh" like a finger scratching glass. "Sure, y'think fight'n monsters out there is the same as fight'n monsters here, but lad you might as well be naked to these wolves if y'think you're prepared at all for the Cold South. We're lucky its summer, or'else what y'done jus' now would of frozen the damned cabin twelve times over. Use some sense for once. Y'have a brain, don't ye?" Frygg looked up. A face to match the voice: Cregsgy Stoneheart was the man who spoke. Beard matted, face wrinkled, hair peppered with gray strands, Cregsgy seemed to be at his wits end with the entire trip already. His most defining feature was so obvious even in the poorly lit room: a single white eye whose gaze threw daggers at the boy. To Frygg's dismay, the dwarf was the primary guide for the expedition. Short, stout, loose-mouthed, yet commanding, Cregsgy was quite the curmudgeon. Thankfully, it seemed that the cold weather had cooled down the hothead by a considerable degree since the number of profanities uttered was at a shocking minimum. It was a good thing the dwarf wasn't drinking. ◆ ◆ ◆ A few more hours passed, and no one spoke as the men in the caravan were trying to keep the warm air in their chests. There was nothing to entertain, everyone's face was hard and looking down, wrapped up in their blankets and their own thoughts. The sound of snow beating the side of the vehicle was almost maddening as minutes felt like hours. Boredom for the human was starting to reach a new breaking point, if that were at all possible. He had already counted his munitions, cleaned his rifle, polished his knife, and checked his wares twenty-three times since the last hour. Reaching into his right pocket, he grabbed his pocket watch and looked at the golden clockface. Its been over a week since the group had begun its trek into the frozen wastes of the Imperial South to the ruined city of Cobran. Despite it being the middle of summer, the region did not seem to know the difference between seasons as its skies were cloaked in what seemed to be a never-ending winter. Then the sound of a distant howl broke the silence. They were close.
  18. Home.... Or at least the modest one story house she'd rented through a broker with 'understandings'. Isidor wasn't entirely sure what kind of finagling it took to rent out houses in the vicinity of Predators Keep, but at the end of her stay the house certainly wouldn't be hers. Meh. She'd vacated Blairville on the whisper of Safeguard a non-insignificant time ago and if her recent visit was any indication Isidor had made the right call in leaving. Something was unquestionably wrong with the megacity, but she wasn't about to make that her fight. The doorknob turned as she gripped it, causing Isidor to pause in reaching for her key. Unlocked? That wasn't how she left things. Taking a few steps back she glanced about, she certainly remembered locking up before she left and there certainly didn't seem to be any signs of forced entry. Nothing for it then. She'd just have to push the door open and make sense of things, it wasn't like Isidor's residential situation was a hundred percent on the up and up after all. Guards would only make any possible problem worse..... The concept that they could help was almost alien seeing as the mostly outsider constabulary really didn't hold a candle to one of the native Cities. Nothing immediately jumped out at her, that was a good start. An ambush at this point would certainly be a level of misery that the gray haired woman certainly did not need. There was a difference between uprooting oneself with a decent amount of notice and having to flee with only the articles on ones person. Upon further intrusion Isidor discarded theft as an issue. Everything seemed to be in place and the house certainly felt like it hadn't suffered a leave of absence.... Oh. That could be problematic. Someone was living in, minutia aside, her home during her sojourn in Blairville. However, there was no sign of a break in as far as Isidor could tell. This led her to conclude that her possible squatter was someone that already had access to the house. The actual landlord was out, if someone could afford to work through a middleman then there was no sense in breaking the degree of separation. That left her broker and unrequested house-sitting seemed exactly like something he would do. While Ed's interest in his clients was grating at times, the man's habit of poking his nose into their business was in fact greatly appreciated in the few instances when everything went sour. There was a long list of usually unique happenings that could go wrong in the life of a practitioner and it was extremely difficult to prepare for specific dangers with no notice. The most recent example would be Ed's dynamic entry through a window that blindsided the Green Robed Fuck. That definitely created a hard table one eighty in what would have been the Green Robed Fucks ambush. But if this was Ed and Isidor was about ninety percent sure it was, then trying to sneak up on the man in her own house was a recipe for absurdity. She took a deep breath. "EDG~" "MY NAME IS ED!" The corners of Isidor's mouth turned up into a faint grin that graced her rather plain face. That automatic response couldn't be faked. There were no problems here.
  19. @Earl of Purple It has been about seven months since Hadiza last saw her ex-girlfriend, Natalie, the end of the relationship brought about by a cruel twist of fate. It was all supposed to be so perfect like they'd planned, making it back to Ash'eh together to meet Farah, Zither and Vaylith to start a new life. Alas, everything went according to plan until the very last minute when the Nexus didn't let Natalie through, permanently separating them. Little wonder that on arrival, Hadiza was inconsolable. Try as they might, none of them could stop the tears. The next two months were hell, moving on proving to be very difficult. Despite getting to see Dubaku and her friends again, Vaylith growing up and always wanting to hang out with her, the mourning period was plagued with bouts of withdrawing and crying herself to sleep. That all changed when Farah, having had enough of seeing her sister in such a sorry state, reminded the younger girl that Natalie would hate to see her feeling so down and withdrawn, but that she had the choice to move on or to spit on everything they held dear by continuing to mope. The tough love worked, and in a few days Hadiza was up-and-doing once again. Making her peace with the situation and promising to cherish the times they spent, the younger ninja girl decided to move on with her life. After a few failed attempts at finding another girlfriend, the girl decided that her 'lesbian phase' was over. Maybe it was time to experiment with boys. Seven months after her return, the now 15-year old Hadiza sits on the branches of a tall and sturdy tree located near the shores of Ash'eh, its leaves providing ample cover from the sun for anyone who cared to wander past and have some rest, as long as they didn't disturb the birds currently feeding on the seeds she'd spread around a distance from the tree. From her hiding place, she observes the scenery and the feeding avian creatures, smiling to herself. Natalie would have loved this. She thinks to herself, smiling wistfully. She may still miss her sometimes, but she knows Natalie wouldn't want her to hurt for too long. She always was nice like that.
  20. Sign In: *********** Password: **************** Initiating Authorization…. Authorized…. Welcome, Lord Inquisitor_ The following document is a chronological account extracted and compiled from Southern Genesar Operational record 1134.785.v and the writings of Grand Lord Inquisitor Caelius Adolphus. **Authorized Inquisitorial Personnel Only** Players @Aleksei @King @-Lilium-@Deus Ex Aizen @Diremast Note: 4 day posting limit, starting after King.
  21. Deep in the land of bison shit and camel spit, in the shadow of Evil Mountain—that's what Jackson called the rocky abode of Marlboro Keep—there was a noisy little town where the people weren't accustomed to anything more than barking dogs, singing cicadas and the patter of rain. Fleets of wagons and their covered, and sometimes armored, trailers passed through Chesterfield all day and night now. Honking horns, thrumming engines, and hooting and whooping of caravan folk was their new norm. But tonight they were in for another kind of whooping, the kind that would leave this ass-end of nowhere red for a long while. At least he hoped so. It had been a week of mindless drudgery. Walk the town. Walk the farms. Walk the roads. Talk to anyone else who walked them, although their doddering accent made the Terric difficult to follow. They had settled on an abandoned tornado shelter on the outskirts of town to turn into a local hideout and supply cache, wherein they ate together at the end of every night and shared tales about the nothing going on. For example: "Martha accused Stuart of stuffing his camel's humps today during the camel competition," Jackson said over a can of beans and the dim light of a fire stone outside their designated hole in the ground "Is cheating at a camel competition punishable?" And it was on this night that such philosophical quandaries on the reach of Justice were interrupted, the lone stretch of highway beyond the depot filled with another kind of noise: the popping of tires and screams that were music to their ears! A wagon, hitched with a comically large armored trailer and spiked spokes on its wheels, tore to a sudden stop. Pinpricks of light from green-cloaks hidden in the grass and their flaming arrows rained down it. Other wagons sped by with haste to escape the incident. They were far enough away from town the locals had not an inkling. "Finally! Something's happening!"
  22. Phaedara

    In the Crossfire

    The coals shifted with a crackle in the iron-wrought brazier in the corner, illuminating the tent briefly with a flash of light before resolving itself back to its more solemn glow. The shift was enough to snap Aelyria from her reverie and she sighed, running a hand through her short, tousled hair, forcing herself to focus those dreary eyes on the map once more. The cartographers had drawn a splendid rendition of the information the scouts could collect whilst navigating the dangerous terrain, but the details were lost on her. All she could see were the gnarled painted black wooden figurines and how overwhelmingly they outnumbered and surrounded the more intricate blue pieces, shaped into knights and horses. They were pinned with no way to escape the ambush. In one rage-filled swoop, she wiped the table clear despite being clad in all armor, scattering the pieces across the dirt and dying grass and howling helplessly until she had to clench her teeth shut to suppress the indignation of it all. So when she heard the flap of the tent open, she turned sharply, nearly ready to lunge and attack the man who dared to enter, interrupting her enraged tantrum. But it was a friendly face she recognized, not some nameless soldier she had to try and force herself to remember. Zephyr paused only briefly to look around the disheveled tent, lips drawn firm but lacking any judgment. Instead, he focused on her, his usually handsome, cheerful face drawn solemn. She almost knew what he was about to say before his lips moved. "A Harbinger is leading the south brigade. They're getting slaughtered out there. And just when we thought we had gotten them all." Aelyria's face flushed of all color and as if in disbelief, pushed him aside and leapt through the tent door to see for herself. But the tent disappeared--Zephyr disappeared--and instead of the millions of other tents that should be around her, she stood on the open battlefield surrounded by the sounds and sights of men fighting and dying. Time slowed. Things were beginning to move in a blur, but that didn't make the blood and foul smells less profound. Faces--faces she wished she could remember fell around her and creatures of shadow that were just as ambiguous as the men around her, were closing in around her like rolling, thunderous clouds. But there was one powerful presence she could not ignore. She whirled around to see it, looming over her in that great spiked ebony armor, wisps of black vapor trailing between the cracks and obscuring the details. The Harbinger. Like the creatures surrounding her, it was faceless and ethereal like a wraith, but its skin absorbed all light like the void of the night sky. It raised something in its hand, something like an extension of its arm but sharper and curved with deadly intention. Unlike its unarmored brethren, the Harbinger used a sword instead of its claws and teeth, and its skill wielding it was unworldly. Aelyria stood, petrified as the sword rose, ready to strike. She wanted to move, to scream, to do anything but stand there. But when she had finally mustered enough willpower to leap back, it was too late. The blade struck and all went dark. The pain never came but she knew it was there. She opened her eyes only to find that darkness surrounded her. A familiar scene. She could stand and see herself as clear as day, but no floor or other object illuminated with her except for the blood pooling at her feet. Aelyria looked down, fingers coming away with dark crimson from the wound at her belly. The armor had been cut through with such clear precision that the edges of the metal were sharp. The blade had no trouble slicing through, as if the steel hadn't been there at all. "You should've died that day," a voice she recognized calling out to her through the darkness. "There were many days I should've died," Aelyria replied, resigned but looking up as if somehow the voice would manifest itself. But it never did. "But you didn't. Why is that?" "I was rescued. I was rescued and he died doing it." "Zephyr?" "No," Aelyria said, shaking her head. "Kell." "Right. The great, Lord Commander. You wished you were dead, didn't you? But no, you were forced to sit there while the healers did their work, slaving away to save your pitiful life while your hero--your first true friend--died." The voice hissed at her with malice, contempt for her survival. "I did. I wanted to die. But not anymore." A laugh. The voice laughed, amused. "Yes, that is true. Yet nothing has changed." "I've changed," Aelyria said, defiantly. "That's where you're wrong. You haven't and once you've realized that, you'll remember. And I'll be here, waiting, watching, just like I always have. After all, I am the only one who will not abandon you." "But, I don't even know who you are!" "You do. You've always known." Aelyria tried to scream, to keep the mysterious voice from going, but her own voice died into silence. And before she knew it, the blood had flooded around her, filling the endless gap and drowning her until she awoke with a start. The piles of books and parchment that had been scattered on her bed at the Valjer inn now scattered themselves across the floor. She flung herself up, breathing in deeply and struggling to keep herself calm. She could breathe, she wasn't drowning. Just another dream, she told herself. Though like every dream before, she couldn't recall what had transpired prior to the very last moments. Bits and pieces did stick though--unimportant things like how she donned her old armor from the Great War and that her hair was implicitly short. When was the last she had it that short? When she was seventeen? She squinted, raising her hand to ward off the sunlight that peaked through her window. Her eyes went wide, realizing what time it must have been. "Shit!" She exclaimed, tossing herself off the bed and nearly sliding on a sheet of parchment, scribbled with some nonsense that she struggled to read, even if it were in her own handwriting. "I'm so late!" Just over a week had passed since that first encounter with the white wolves. The wounds she sustained during that fight had nearly all but healed, trending with the fact she seemed to recover at a remarkable rate these days. While Caliben had been busy working with the rangers and whatever else he had not decided to disclose with her--she quickly learned he was rather a secretive man, but everyone has their share of secrets--Aelyria had spent a majority of her free time trying to understand her new powers. The theory, so far, was it was a heightened state of her old abilities to use fire magic, somehow transformed by the Magestorm a couple years back. It likely even caused her coma in the first place. A few accounts of the magestorms confirmed as much, at least from what she could bother to translate. Unfortunately, the only person in town with a decent collection of books was Valerie, and even then most of it was on botany and herbalism, with a few studies on economics and--well, boring stuff really. Even worse was it was all written in the native language to Genesaris. Aelyria could speak the language fairly well--though the language differed in dialect in places, it was still the same to the core--but reading it was an entirely different issue. It's not like she had much time to read books while in the wild, struggling to survive. So, a few hours a night, she worked with Ysgrid, learning how to read and write. It was a dreadful process, but the young girl was blessedly patient and Aelyria had a quick enough wit to pick it up. Mornings, however, she spent with Caliben, tutoring him with the rapier. And this morning in particular, she was running late. Aelyria splashed her face with cold water, patted it dry briefly and slipped into her repaired winter clothing. She put on her satchel and almost reached for her rapier but remembered she had given it to Caliben so he could practice in his own time if he wished. So, instead she rushed out the door, locking it behind and stowing away the key, freeing her hands to work on securing her hair into a long tail to keep it out of the way. Within seconds she clambered down the stairs, ignoring the baffled stare of the innkeeper, and lunged out the door into the cold morning air. With her face still slightly damp, she shuddered at the piercing coolness of her cheeks but ran down the street without delay. Her rough passing mustered a few shouts of disapproval, but she could only shout back apologies and continue on her way without stopping. It hadn't taken her long to run through the small town and into the outskirts where it was still considered relatively safe to remain without venturing into the increasingly expanding wolf territory. She spotted Caliben standing by a tree, seemingly waiting patiently for her to arrive. She slowed to a stop, huffing breathlessly and yet feeling something out of place. She looked down, seeing that her coat had never been buttoned properly, exposing her inner layers which she had quickly learned to be somewhat of this town's versions of nightwear. Blushing wildly, she turned, buttoning the coat up and smoothing out her disheveled hair before turning back to him. "F-Forrest! S-Sorry! I-I slept in," she blurted, still trying to catch her breath. "Hope you weren't waiting long."
  23. Phaedara

    Slumbering Shadows

    There is something immensely entrancing about the way a fire’s flames move. They can sway and flicker, or dance and smolder but even with their dying breaths, they are unyielding. This flame was alive with gentle intensity, embracing the crackling ashewood and licking with eager yellow tongues at the blackened masonry around it. Flecks of orange ember leapt occasionally from the burning wood, fading in their brilliance into lifeless gray ashe as they collected themselves below in the fireplace bed. Aelyria began to ponder if there was perhaps a message to be contrived from the wonderment of the hearthfire as she watched, unmoving for what seemed to be a thousand years and forever enraptured by the flame. She stared with focused intensity at one of the blazing logs and followed the trail of a glowing crack that slowly traversed along its length, an unexpected and growing anticipation prompting her heart to beat faster. Without realizing it, she began to lean forward as if to dive into the flame but the warm press of a firm hand around her own drew her away abruptly. The room came back into view with a whirlwind, turquoise eyes darting to the man sitting across from her. It took a moment for her vision to focus on him, as if she had just now woken from a deep slumber and needed to blink away the hazy film of sleep away from her eyes. “From the look of you, Li, I’d say it was a long night,” the man said, the corner of his lips quirking into a playful smirk. He didn’t remove his hand, but only gripped hers further. Aelyria soaked in the sight the of the dark haired young man and his keen amber eyes, finding herself wanting to gasp at the intensity of them. She had seen those same eyes many times before and yet still they affected her so considerably. She noted he was still dressed in his work clothes of black studded leathers just visible beneath the wrapping of a midnight blue cloak with its hood pulled back to reveal a mess of short smokey black hair. Something on his tanned cheek drew her attention and after drawing her hand away from his--an opportunity she was thankful for--she reached into her gray pea coat’s pocket and retrieved a handkerchief, offering it to him. “Judging by the blood on your face, you’ve had the same,” she remarked, a faint hint of a smile on curved lips. The man replied with a chuckle, taking the handkerchief and hurriedly wiping away the red streak he must have missed on his way here and returning it to her. “All the more reason I wish we didn’t have to meet here at the tavern. I’d rather have met at our usual rendezvous for a more...peaceful end to our night.” His hand reached out for hers again, but frowned when she had retracted it so quickly. “Not here, Kaede,” Aelyria whispered, hurt by the expression on his face but remaining resolute. “It’s too public and the timing is not right.” She half-expected him to snap at her, not because he was like to do it, but more because she felt she deserved to be snarled at. After all, how many times had she already denied him the status of their relationship? He had been patient so far, but how much longer could he wait for her? Perhaps the better question was why was she making him wait? “The timing will never be right, Li.” The melodic tone of his voice had not been one she had expected. As usual, it resonated with a pang of longing, but this time it was firm and less yielding, but, nevertheless, calm. “I’ve never disagreed with your reasoning for the wait, but at the same time I’ve never been able to agree to them either,” Kaede said, eyes locked onto hers with determination. “After a lot of thinking, I finally realized why--even though all those reasons made logical sense--why none of them felt right.” This time he leaned forward, reached out across the table and drew her hands from her lap and into his palms, fingers curling around to lock them in. Aelyria wanted to draw them back, but the firmness of his voice that was contradicted by the softness of his eyes drained all her will to resist. The bustling tavern at that very moment felt empty and the sound faded away until all she could hear was, “You’re scared.” The revelation of his words filled her with shame, but with tears brimming on her eyelids, she nodded--Aelyria did not trust words to convey how she felt. But what followed from Kaede was a smile and he tightened his grip, while still remaining tender. “It’s almost hard to believe,” he began with a grin, “that after all you have gone through the years that you could still be scared of anything, but here we are. But, this is not a battle you have to fight alone. I’m here. Aelyira,” he reached forward again, gently pulling her chin up with cupped fingers when she tried to look down. “I will not abandon you, no matter what may happen. I will always be here for you. Always.” LIAR! She jerked back at the sound of the voice that rung through her head. She thought Kaede would react to her surprise, but something suddenly seemed off about him. He didn’t move. His hand was still outstretched for her cheek and he remained smiling softly at her, eyes locked. Just when she turned to look around the tavern after realizing how quiet it seemed, her vision swam into blackness. That voice. There was so much hatred. --- Aelyria blinked desperately, trying to clear the fuzziness from her sight. The room was dimly lit, the flame of a candle’s wick flickering as it struggled to offer what little brightness it could. Why did it feel like she was somewhere else just now? And why was she feeling so fearful right now? It took her a moment, but once her vision cleared she remembered and panic rose. “Why isn’t he crying,” she wheezed out raspily. “Let me see him!” “Calm now child,” Lenessay, a woman of considerable years, cooed, holding out a wrapped bundle to the sweat drenched woman before her. “You passed out from exhaustion so I was just getting him cleaned up for when you came around. Here, dear, take him. He needs his mother.” Aelyria could feel her arms shaking as the weight settled in them. So light. So tiny. She drew the bundle close to her, pulling away the wrappings and, for the first time, setting eyes on her son. Dark eyes squinted at her, trying to make sense of the form before him. She snickered at his questioning expression, but then found herself frowning. It was fine--very fine--but there was no doubt to its color. Blond hair. Platinum even. Gently, almost too gently as if she were terrified he would bruise at her touch, she stroked his hair and beckoned her smile to return. “I will not abandon you, no matter what you are. I will always be here for you. Always, Damien.” Remember. Remember... This time, the darkness came with no warning. The voice….she almost sounded amused. And when the shadows faded, Aelyria desperately wished they hadn’t. --- Her chest hurt. Her hands hurt. Her head hurt--everything just hurt. Her breathing was ragged and she felt that at any moment she would pass out. Her vision wouldn’t keep focused, the peripherals permanently transitioned into blackness. She looked down and tried to focus on her hands, to figure out why they hurt so much. It was so dark, why was it so dark? It only made it harder to see. Blood. Not just some, but so much she was sure she was covered in it. Why? She curled her fingers in and saw some of her nails had been completely torn free and one finger even looked to be broken. But what was that stuck between the nails she did have? Chunks. Soft chunks that was a bit...springy. Fleshy. Her eyes lost focus on her hands--they couldn’t keep still just like her swaying body and wandering mind. She felt so weak, so tired. She caught sight of something else. The floor. Blood. Again. So much. Why was there so much? And what was that? Over there. A body. Somehow, she recognized it. And somehow, it didn’t bother her to see it. No. It made her happy to see it. Broken, torn, and mutilated nearly beyond recognition--just like it should be. Her focus drifted again, and she found herself dizzy trying to look around the room. Nothing was distinct except there were more bodies. Much more bodies. There was one body she knew she should be sad to see. But the sadness did not come. She walked, stepping clumsily over the body and having to catch herself on a door frame. This room--this room she knew. It was hard to recognize anything else, but this room was so imprinted in her mind that she knew instantaneously what its purpose was. She didn’t know why, but an overwhelming and terrible desolation began to choke her heart. There, along the back side of the wall in a bassinet of pale oak, lay the one body she could not bear to see. She screamed. And the voice laughed. Then there was nothing but darkness and Aelyria. She was screaming, trying to rip away the visions from her head, hands clawing at her eyes as if removing them would end her agony. Her cries were soundless, but the voice’s laughter could be heard clearly as if its source were beside her. That’s right, it tittered breathlessly, Try to remove it from your mind! Run from it, like you ran from it all those years ago! Suddenly, pain struck Aelyria and she no longer was the only one clawing at her skin. No, several hands now coming from the shadows gripped at her though not in the normal sense that flesh to flesh contact worked. Instead, these hands reached into her, grasping at all her ligaments, organs, and vessels, squeezing so tight that she thought she might collapse into herself. She could no longer even scream, only suffer. The voice cackled wildly, enjoying the pain. Yes, that is right. Hide! I will be here. Because unlike you and everyone you have ever loved, I will not abandon you. I will be here. ALWAYS! Light flashed in her eyes as she sprung up from the bed, the brightness of daylight that seeped through the window on the eastern far wall nearly blinding her. Aelyria, frightened but unaware for what reason, threw her legs over the side of the bed and tried to stand and fight her invisible foe, but only found them so weak that she tumbled to the floor, chin hitting the wood with such a force that she bit hard into an ill-placed tongue. The taste of copper flooded her buds. She was only able to get one shaky arm underneath her before bile erupted from her mouth, followed by gagging that failed to produce anything at all. After she was sure there would be no more attempts at expelling emptiness, Aelyria looked up and squinted against the light until her vision cleared the fog of severe misuse. She knew this place. It was where she had prevented the untimely death of a man who was erroneously medicated. Valerie’s Infirmary. In Valjer.
  24. butterz

    Violence slowly takes us.

    “Nelson! Nelson!” We all knew the end was coming; the lakes, the ocean were drying up. The polar icecaps were all gone, food was running out, fighting escalated. You knew it was getting worse when every country withdrew. The president brought our military home and then.. that’s when things began to get worse. It was a homeland attack, the Whitehouse.. gone. And then? A massive EMP blast put us into a blackout. People started raiding in desperation, fighting each other in attempt to prepare for..the end, for survival. Our entire infrastructure was collapsing and we were incapable of resetting the balance. Where are your rights now? Everything everyone has sacrificed, fought for, protested for none of it matter now. No one cared about any of it anymore. This was it. Nelson stood outside of her suburban home, standing out on the side walk with her eyes drawn to the sky. Most of the neighbors left, to where? Some place, left to be with their family, left to kill themselves, left to seek sanctuary in their church or gone some place they think they’ll be safe and wait it out. Nelson’s family was all right here, her parents, her brother. They weren’t close with anyone else in their family and her grand parents passed away before she was born. It was just them, them and a couple of their neighbors. People were suspicious of each other now, people you thought were your friends once now looked at you with uncertainty. They had maybe one neighbor on their street who still visited them, a single mother with a toddler. Nelly used to babysit for her, used to have fun playing make believe with the little girl. She wished she could go back to that but there was no going back from this. Something didn’t feel right about today, even though the world was succumbing to chaos. Nelly had a bad feeling. The sun was setting and they had just finished sharing their dinner with their neighbor and her kid. Nelly felt like she needed air while they played a board game, playing a game like nothing was different. She was out here for an hour or so, another neighbor just got back from visiting a store trying to get what supplies he could. He had seen Nelson outside sitting on the small cement bench in the center of what used to be a perfect green yard. He glared at her suspiciously before unpacking his car and going inside.(Some people were able to get their older cars up and running.) It creeped her out really, the way she’d always catch him looking over whenever she was outside. Her parents and brother never noticed it, Mary the neighbor with the toddler kinda did but she never said anything about it. She’d just exchange a look with Nelly and shrug. He was weird but who could blame him? Things weren’t the same and fear changed people you thought you knew. The sky was pretty tonight, with just a couple of harmless clouds and the sun casting a orange – pinkish glow across them. Nelly felt like it was going to be the last time she’d get to see something so pretty, that it was going to be the last time she’d be standing in their yard. As it grew darker and the sky changed from that pinkish-orange to red she walked down the small slope of their yard to the side walk. There was a little wind, it picked up the lighter strands of her brown hair like a puppets arms. Something just wasn’t right. The air felt different, it was warm out since they were in the middle of July. It wasn’t the heat that changed the air; it almost felt like there was an invisible vacuum sucking the air right out of her lungs. Then streaks of light, much like hundreds of falling stars shot across the darkening sky. Nelly yelled for her dad but her voice sounded so little over the sound that pierced right to your eardrums. The ground started shaking, power lines swaying. “Nelson!!” It wasn’t stars that were falling though, they were crafts entering the atmosphere. The Earth was being invaded. Nelly had to cover her ears because the sound they made was excruciatingly loud, her father yelling at her to come back to the house but she couldn’t hear him and before he could get to her a massive light exploded through the sky overhead. It shattered glass, threatened to cause weaker buildings to collapse and then a massive force riveted across their small suburban neighborhood. The force of it knocking Nelly down and her father too. After the spacecraft entered their atmosphere everything settled then. There was no more noise, no more streaks across the sky it was almost like nothing had happened. Nelly’s father got to her and helped her up, her ears still ringing in the aftermath of the noise. As he dragged her away she noticed that neighbor across the street staring at them through his partly cracked window. He gave her the chills. It was an hour after that, that Nelly’s dad walked Mary and her daughter home making sure she locked the front door before he came back. With only candles to light up the house they all planned on turning in early, there was no point in staying up and whatever that was that happened…well nothing happened after so what was there to worry about? They had no radio, no tv or phone or internet to find out – everyone was in the dark. Her parents tucked her little brother in who slept downstairs with them and Nelly went up to her room and laid down. She couldn’t sleep though, minus the minor headache from her ears hurting before – she just couldn’t shake the bad feeling she was getting. When she fell asleep she didn’t remember, she had no sense of time when it got dark but she’ll never forget what woke her up. Nelly woke up with a start to someone in her room, the shadow figure looming over her bed. Nelly instantly had the instinct to scream for her dad but the person in her room reacted before she could putting their hand over her mouth. “Ahh, ah..shhh.” Raw panic surged through her and she shoved him away, he lost his balance for a second giving her a chance to scramble out of her room. “Dad!! Dad!!” But there was no answer and the intruder came up behind her shoving her down the stairs. She hit her head pretty hard on one of the steps but not enough to knock her out. She scurried across the floor on her knees until she got to her feet only to trip over something, someone. Nelly’s hand reached out to her discomfort trying to find out what it was she fell over. His body was still warm but has her hand slid over his chest she found the blood soaking through his shirt. “D..dad?” There was no answer and the intruder in her room was making their way down the stairs now. She got up quickly and went through the living room to the kitchen where she stumbled over her mother’s body. It was the same scenario, just more blood. “N-nel..” Her brother had been hiding in the pantry, he had been sleeping too when it happened and the intruder didn’t see him under the blankets on the floor. Nelson grabbed him and dragged him out of the pantry moving through the house as quietly and quickly as they could. “Come on Nelson I just wanna talk.” She knew that voice and the picture of the person it belonged to flashed before her eyes. It was the guy from across the street. Nelly managed to get them out of the house and they ran for Mary’s house, Nelly was prepared to bang on her door but when they got there it was open.. The open door filled her with dread and when they walked in Nelly had to cover her little brother’s eyes. The candles were still lit and flickering warmly and on the floor was mother and daughter. Quickly she moved her brother past them into another room where she instructed him to hide. Then she searched for something, anything she could use as a weapon. She picked up a wooden candle holder and waited for him to come. She had the advantage of surprise on him and popped out of a corner clunking him on the head, she hit him again too knocking the gun from his hand but the couple of hits didn’t bring him down, he was pretty strong. So to lead him away from her brother she ran and he chased her. He chased her outside of the house but reached her when they made it to the yard. He grabbed her by the hair, twisting his hand into the long strands and leading her by it. He was saying things, things that didn’t make sense to her. Telling her why he had to do, why he had to kill them. She didn’t care, she didn’t care about any of it. She tried to fight back but he was stronger. “Y-you let her go!” Eliot pointed the gun he dropped at him, but her poor sweet brother.. He didn’t know how to use a gun and neither did she. He let her go, shoving her to the ground as he neared her little brother. Nelly could hear herself screaming but it was almost like no one else could. Eliot couldn’t even pull the trigger. She tried, she got up and jumped on the man’s shoulders but all he had to do was throw her down. When she hit the ground this time the air was knocked out of her and that’s when the shot went off. What happened next was really more of a blur, she really thought she was going to die next but some how she managed to get the gun away from him and some how she was able to shoot him. Moments that seemed like hours passed afterwards, Nelly sat there on Mary’s porch with her brother dying her in arms. Then hours did pass and she was alone. She wanted to die too but there was no longer fairness in this world. The gun was empty now so she tucked it into her pants and dragged her brother back to her house. All the while, as the tears rolled down her cheeks saying how sorry she was as he put him back where he would have been sleeping. It was some time after that, that she left. She didn’t know what to do and she was in a state of shock. So she walked, and walked. Fires were breaking out and the further she went into the city, the further she went into chaos.