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  1. The Unbroken Sky The architecture in Mageside reflected its motto- everything in the city strived for greatness; this establishment - the Unbroken Sky - was no different. Enormous, golden, arched ceilings bowed high overhead, sprinkling the upper field of the patron's vision with a colorful mosaic array that danced and threw vivid ghosts in the underlighting of magical sconces mounted on the walls. Here, aided by a climate that made open-air gathering pleasant year-round, the Unbroken Sky had elevated eating and socializing to an art form. Sandstone arches delicately traced the edge of the establishment's single main room like lace loops fringing a tablecloth. The main area was one colossal ovoid, spanning several hundred feet in every direction and filled with a mixed array of long, dark wood tables and smaller circular ones, topped with richly embroidered runners or clothes colored in unapologetically bright hues, and pinned in place with polished wooden bowls of fruit. It was a lively, social eating area meant for gathering, for flitting amongst tables like bees amongst flowers, meeting this one and that one with child-like curiosity. There were no strangers, here - just people one hadn't met yet - and it wasn't at all uncommon for new faces to arrive and depart with little fanfare, for the old and the young to mingle, and the rich and the poor to share bread. With no traditional bar, servers simply wandered the floor, carrying drinks and taking orders from patrons who met their gaze, or lifted their hands, or performed any of the myriad of social cues one used. Food and drink were communal; small spiced breads breads dusted with garlic and rosemary, palm-sized cups of spiced oils, piles of sliced meat and fruit, and cups of a shimmering, semi-translucent liquor were the only fare on offer, but everything was fresh, delicious, and fast out of the kitchen. The air danced with a complex set of harmonics that floated hypnotically into the open-air gathering area. Wandering musicians each contributed their individual perfection: the ting of the zil, the exotic pluck of a kanun, all supported with the steady, rhythmic, percussive demands thrummed from a pair of daire and daf. On their own, each singular instrument was mesmerizing, exotic and beautiful, but when they joined with the others the notes tickled the air in trance-inducing perfection.
  2. (OOC: For @obsdian1! Feel free to msg @AthenasFire though if you'd like to join him before it is over!) Deep in a forest near some farms a howl can be heard as several packs of dire wolves roam the floor of the forest in search of food. They have been terrorizing the local farms for a while now as every person sent to rid the area of them has failed in either inability or simply no desire to continue. On nights like tonight when the moon is gone they come sprinting from the forest and leap the fences keeping the helpless animals inside defenseless and unable to escape their vicious hunt. Their hunger for the animals never seeming quite sated until they manage to wipe a decent chunk of them out. The locals fear that soon they won't have enough left to continue operating their farms. It's already becoming difficulty to keep their families fed, let alone the rest of the village! In a desperate last attempt they sent fliers out to call for adventures to the tavern!
  3. A Dream... She was in Orisia, sitting on the washed up, water-logged trunk of some mighty but fallen tree. In her arms, wrapped in black linen, she held Philippe -- who quietly fussed and mewed, and reached up with cherub-chubby hands and fingers to try and grasp at the wayward tendrils of his mother’s hair. The serious and thoughtful pinch of her brows melted away when she peered down at him, and her golden eyes grew warm just for him as she took in the sight of his sweet little face. They shared a moment, just a shooting-star of a moment, during which they translated to each other all of the love they felt for one another as mother and child. And then the nightmare carried on as it always did. Black blood began to spill from the child's ears, and then his fussing turned to wailing, which was silenced into the sickening sounds of gurgling and choking as blood filled his throat and began to pour from his nostrils. The beautiful little face that Gabriela looked upon turned into a grisly sight, and the small body that she clung to, which struggled and fought valiantly against the forces of death, finally gave away to surrender. And as for herself in this horrible dream, she wept as she always did, and wore the same look of panic and horror -- and desperation. Until she didn’t. Until all the motherly agony she felt disappeared, and like the body of her son, which by then had turned to sand -- black sand, so unlike the rest of the golden shores of Orisia-- all of those feelings fell away, rolling off her like a million, tiny grains of sand. Of course that’s when she recalled that this was a dream, and not just any dream, but a recurring dream. She had been here at least a dozen times before, sitting on the same tree, looking out over the same beach, contemplating the same happiness and hope before it was snatched away. And while all of the pain felt fresh and raw, in her heart she knew it was not. This was not the first time she had seen love turned to violent death. But it was just a dream, she told herself as a means of comfort. Philippe had never breathed a breath, he had never cried a single cry -- she had never felt the strain of his movements from the outside of her body. He had only ever lived inside of her where it was warm and safe, where he had known nothing but love. There was comfort in that. Now the second part of the dream, the part that was no dream… She pulled the black linen, where her son had rested, into her chest and held it there. It was still wet from his blood, and it held on to his sweet smell. “Where are you?” she asked aloud, into the twilight of her dreams, but no answer came -- not even an inkling of his presence. The man in her dreams, the creature of resolve and power, he was not here anymore. Before, she had always sensed his presence, for he had been as a spectator, watching the horrors of her worst nightmare unfold. And without judgment, he would appear to converse with her. He had never offered advice and he had never offered condemnation. The only thing he came to offer was an unspoken sense of understanding, a resolute promise of hope. But it was gone now, just as he was gone, just as this had become nothing more than a dream. The connection was severed, and this she found to be more painful than made-up performance her mind had conjured of her child’s passing. And it was not the stranger that she missed, or his company that she mourned for, as she sat there with a frown, fighting back the urge to cry. It was for the loss of hope and the rising ties of despair that manifested themselves as the turbulent waves in the distance, which were drawing near. She abandoned the burial shrouds of her child, dropping the black fabric to the ground, and stood up to watch the oncoming tide. It was a violent sort of work, the water moving in so fast and wild that one crest from a wave crashed against another, rising higher and higher, until she could not see the sky. It was all of her anxiety, all of her fear, all of her doubt -- it was the sum of her darkness that came to claim her soul, her body, and her mind. Surely, it was madness and death, and the end of all her hopes for the world. “Why have you forsaken me…” ~*~ She didn’t so much awake as she was struck by that massive wall of black water and was then thrown into a violent current that twisted and turned her body and threatened to tear her apart. At some point she crossed the border between consciousness and unconsciousness, and she felt the burning in her lungs and the dying of her limbs, and she felt the cold and horrible fear that came when one stands upon a precipice and stares down and finds there to be nothing but death awaiting. But all of her body hurt, and she could not fight to live even when death was a terrifying concept. That’s when she felt what she could only describe, or understand, as two powerful hands grabbed her from under the arms and threw her forward -- literally propelling her through the water and past its surface, until she landed roughly upon a muddy embankment. For a time she lay there, pasted down by the weight of a cloak that was soaked through with water. She was too weak to peel herself out from under it, and even the wet earth underneath her kept her set in place. So she just lay there, breathing soft and slow, with her cheek to the mud and her eyes closed. She did not question any of it -- not where she was, not what had happened, not the dream, not the reality. All that mattered was the fact that she was alive. But in time, and not much time at all, the cold did stir her eventually, for it was unbearable and she was naked under the sloping mess of cloak and badly hurt as well. Somehow, she managed to pluck herself from the muck and mire, and sat up halfway, so that she could better see her surroundings. It was daylight but the sunshine offered her no warmth. She was in shallow water, where tall grass grew in patches of overly moistened earth. Walking seemed impossible without sinking into the mud. And it was only now that she failed to see a clear horizon or indication of shore, and then the aches and pains of her body began to mount to near excruciating levels, that the panic began to prickle along the back of her skull. Why was she here? Where was here? Moments ago he had been in the soft and supple sheets of her bed, surrounded by pillows, and sinking into plush and expensive, feather comforters. She had been mostly drunk and even a little high, and she had been contemplating the possibility of inviting Saul into her bed -- of ending the recession of her pleasure, since there were so few days of her life left. And he had been there, Saul, and he had seemed so receptive to it all. He had been so gentle, and so courteous with her. But where was he now? Where was her room and the train? Where were her fine pillows and comforters -- her four post bed, her strong liquor, her good drugs? Where was the life she had pretended to want and the plans she had carefully planned? The panic grew deafening in her ears, but it was only the sound of her own heartbeat thundering away as she tried to stand up. “S...sa...sau…” her voice was broken -- it was literally broken. She tasted blood when she tried to call out. There were bruises around her neck as if someone had tried to strangle the life out of her, but of course she couldn’t see them. But she sure could feel them. Especially at the center of her throat, right above her collar bone, there she felt the most pain, the awful tear. It burned there when she tried to scream, or cry out, and mostly when she swallowed back the taste of blood. “Saul….Saul…” It was the only name on her lips -- it was the last person she remembered being with.
  4. Location: In the coast of a U-SHAPED ISLAND in the south. A sun beamed over the mountains, blue skies with feathery clouds hovered above the heavens. Folkstown was a small little city yet prosperous and filled with wonders. The people gave off vibes of happiness; it was so free , democratic with potential of growth and succsess. Folkstown is not just the capital of the nation; it's where the dreams of the people come true. Nobody ever starved as food was quite abundant in reasonable prices. People who owned their houses had their own personal farming area where they could eat themselves full. The highest majority of the people were educated which resulted in them in able to read and write. Clothes were hanged above the streets with a few pieces of ripped cloth to represent their nation while the clothes were just drying. People could also specialise themselves into jobs but also into being a politican. Litarature was common around here as there were bookstores where people could buy litarature or read it for free as long as they are inside the library and are not to plan to permamently own it. Schools were also common where the children's future mattered the most and everyone was able to form their own opinions. Far away from nobility or even monarchies in general, it was a free nation with it's people strong and ready. This nation is very small, it was smaller then the island with the size of a town of 10 000 people. Thanks to the compotent leader of Agana, Nesy Celvius who is an extrea terrestrial being who came from an other world beyond theirs. The nation is a social democracy where capitalism is regulated with a social safety net and wants to acheive solidaristic and Egalitarian outcomes. There were workers unions in order to make sure the workers have a say in the economy. This yet tiny, but great nation had farms in the outskirts of the town where they could harvest plants, even from the trees and bushes they set up as farms. People who were specialised with farming had wages that equaled to their labour. Let's say, workers and company owners were happy and that there was no issue yet. Healthcare was free as well and the labourers in that healthcare were publicaly and collectivly owned by the workers, including all schools that were owned by the workers. Private instututions existed in other sectors so while subsidies were present for such means of production. The perfect balance between public and private institutions they say... Many people were politicaly engaged as their main conversations were about liturature or what food they ate but also about politics and other components in the system, they were quite invested into their ideology. Communists and Socialists existed as well which still didn't favour the government but was atleast going in the right direction. Fascists were just a tiny puni bit of the entire population. Hah, must be a shame because fascists are deemed idiots in this town including imperalists but people understood they had to move on at some point. However, people still respected eachothers opinions while communists were not getting into fights as reasoning between the two sides seems to be adequetly okay with socialists as well but anarchists were pretty bummed but still co-existed peacefuly. Despite having different opinions, people were still friends while making political satire out of eachother. Ohhh it is just too funny, isn't it! The alien, Nesy Celvius walked around in town with people who greeted him on all sides. Some people gave him gifts to which he replied: "Hey, keep the food to yourself mate hehe... Your children might go hungry." Man sometimes there's too much food but he couldn't blame the town! He was the governer of this nation and many people liked him for what he has transformed this nation, including the communists. A person came out of the building and yelled, "Nesy has 315 seats! Wooohooo! Dominate the parliment my good sir!" While a few people cheered him on and Nesy's reaction was hysterical. The people surely loved him but there were a few people who absoloutly hated him, but that's how life was and Nesy had to accept it anyway.
  5. Dollya DuGrace impersonating the Black Queen of Orisia Asha-Kwame Imani stood under the watchful gaze of the Black Queen. However, the dark-skinned woman, with slender, long, and graceful limbs, was certain that the golden eyes that beheld her in judgment, and perhaps even contempt, were not those of her beloved ruler -- of that vampyric goddess to whom she had sworn alliance. This creature was a doppelganger. This queen was an imposter. “And the repairs of the Solarium? How is it going…” asked the Black Queen -- she walked carefully across a brick-paved path that cut through a collection of tropical flora. She seemed utterly uninterested in the greenery that surrounded her, and did not stop -- as the true Black Queen usually did -- to make careful observation of the incoming orchid blooms. “Behind schedule my queen...we were able to salvage some of the rarer blooms, and so our primary objective was the creation of a facility, temporary of course, to house and protect that which was rescued. We have been playing catchup ever since your departure to Umbra. It is hard to allocate the proper funds for this particular project when so much of the city was in need...” Asha-Kwame arched an elegant brow as the Black Queen stepped over a Rothschild’s Slipper, without seeming to give even the slightest inclination that she cared that she had nearly trampled a rare and critically endangered plant. It was nearly enough to make the Dorado Plains native lose her composure. Surely it was one thing to waltz about, masquerading as her beloved queen, but something entirely different to spit and step on that which is most precious to the true queen, and that which is a boon to their entire nation. “My queen, please -- tread lightly. As you well know, these are some of the most endangered blooms in our collection. They are delicate by nature and frail due to the accident…” Dollya stopped and turned where she stood, still amidst the colorful creeping flowers. Her arms crossed over her chest and the tight, black jacket she wore pressed into her slender figure all the more. Though she had been changed, somehow, to be a more exact replica of her mother -- the subtle differences in character spoke volumes to Asha-Kwame, who lifted her chin in defiance to the imposter. “You yourself, my queen, have taught us all here that these precious blooms are to be treated with dignity and love.” “Clearly the lesson didn’t stick. There is no excuse for this…” she toed the nearest flower with the tip of her pointed-boot. “You’ve neglected your duties as the Director of the Royal Solarium. If you cannot do your job then I must find someone who can.” “I am doing my job to the best of my abilities with what resources I have…” “I don’t want to hear excuses, Asha. Get the repairs done. Get things back in order, and stop with the whining. I am here now -- there should be nothing standing in your way anymore. It is of the utmost importance that the Solarium is brought back to working order and that the more dangerous of our specimens are properly contained. We don’t want to have another incident…” The director gave a curt bow. “I understand,” was the only verba reply that Asha-Kwame gave. “Speaking of incidents...have you complied with my request yet?” “About that…” Asha-Kwame flattered then. Her agitation showed as she shifted her weight from one leg to the other. “...I was hoping that I could speak to you about it. I do not think it is a wise idea to destroy so many specimens -- to destroy any of them, actually. There is still so much we could learn--” “You were inside the Solarium during the incident, were you not?” Dollya, lacking her mother’s diplomacy and tact, interrupted the director with short words and a wave of her small, pale hand. “You lived through what happened that night -- you saw what occurred. Why are you arguing with me against destroying any potential threat that could cause us to repeat that terrible incident, why would you want to put us at greater risk now? Keeping that damn flower alive without the adequate means to entrap it, should it manifest the same powers it did on that night? The solarium is in ruins, explain to me how you mean to control such a dangerous specimen… Actually, don’t. Have the Blood Violent destroyed immediately.” Internally, Asha-Kwame was reeling with despair -- the thought of destroying the only remaining Blood Violet went against every instinct she had as a botanist, and while she could not fault this fledgling, imposter of a queen for her reasoning, she knew that it was wrong, and what was worse is that she knew the true queen would never ask for such a thing. But the true queen was gone, and Asha-Kwame had no way of knowing when she might return -- if ever. For now, survival -- for the sake of salvaging the queen’s collection -- was the only thing that mattered. And she had a feeling that the imposter was out for blood and not just the destruction of some misunderstood flowers. Dollya must have been aware of how close Asha-Kwame was with Gabriela, and so she must have assumed that the director would know her for who she truly is. That was the only reasoning that Asha-Kwame had for any of this. So she understood that her only job now was to convince the imposter that she did not know the secret. “Yes, of course you are right, my queen -- forgive me. I will have the Blood Violet, along with all other dangerous specimens, destroyed tonight.” “Good,” was Dollya’s singular reply before heading back the way she had come, totally unperturbed by the fact that she trampled underfoot a young Fairrie’s Paphiopedilum.
  6. 21, August 1678AY Jacques Azura-Risa, Hub of Malachite-Topaz. Rowan Tuesday, 2:00P.M The rain had finally stopped failing as the cloaked figure made their way into the city of Malachite-Topaz. The events that had occurred in a cave days ago stirred whispers of the emberheart awakening again. And that was worrying, since the people of Rowan didn't experience the problems of Athentha and Talia. But here, here in Rowan something was starting. Something bad. Atlas remained under her cloak, trying to figure out if Azura-Dawn was alright. She had not gotten word back from her in days since she went looking for one of the emberheart swords. Atlas was cursing herself for allowing her cloverheart to be tainted and corrupted. And she wanted to make things right. Atlas stood there then, her golden yellow eyes looking about for Azura-Dawn. Where are you my friend? Atlas thought to herself finding a bench to sit upon. I do hope you didn't fall to the emberheart. Atlas sighed softly. Rowan was awakening again yet into an age of uncertainty that the young elf was afraid of. Azura-Dawn was needed in attempt to keep things at peaceful resolution.
  7. Csl

    The Tavern

    ◀ Return to ToL Index The Tavern The Tavern is both everywhere and nowhere. Those who come upon it find it through different ways; through doors and holes, or even as simple as stepping from one world into another. You may have happened upon the tavern on a nondescript journey, traveling through nothingness until you happened upon a quiet little hamlet out in the middle of nowhere. Eventually, your journey leads you down a dimly lit path, finding that night has come upon you faster than you first expected. You come to a location said to be the corner of all existence, the point between the world of Valucre and all other possibilities. There sits a quaint structure, small and unassuming. It is only one story, hardly more than a shack, and certainly nothing like what was promised by those claiming to have once stayed within its walls. The paint is peeling, the sign is careworn and faded. Perhaps you feel cheated, having come all this way just to find some hole in the wall that gives only a welcome home to drunks too far into their cups to notice the difference. Still, there is an inviting smell coming from inside, a welcome change from the smell of death you left behind. Perhaps you should enter then, and stay for a drink or two. Even if this tavern is not what was promised, a drink and a hot meal would do you some good. And there you find that the Tavern is all that was promised you - and more. It reaches high, the ceiling reaching hundreds of feet above. Layers upon layers of rafters fill in the gaps, where some patrons sit, served by a young man who traverses them with ease. Down below, the sprawling layout reveals a tavern with more than a dozen corners (each with its own table), despite the improbability. At the center of establishment is a large stage, where bands of bards play and leave- their lineup and styles as random as anything could be. Along what could be called the back, a long bar stretches out, ending at a doorway leading to the kitchens. Also in the back is a door that leads down to the storage basement. Weapons can be checked at the door or brought to the weapons counter, where the character will be relieved of their weapon and given a chip when they're ready to reclaim it. Locations Weapons counter - located on the right of the door. All entering the Tavern can either check their weapons at the door or bring them here. Characters will be relieved of their weapon and given a chip when they're ready to reclaim it. Kitchens - Off the back of the bar are the kitchens, where you can speak directly with the cook. On the other side of the bar is the office where you will often find the head of waitstaff, if she is not out on the floors herself. Bath House - A neat row of clean outhouse facilities are in the lot out back of the tavern. A bit beyond that is a building about a quarter of the size of the tavern itself, and houses three large bathing tubs. Staff Some of the staff are transient, coming and going every few days. The only constants in this ever-shifting tapestry of are the core staff members who manage the tavern itself, each serving their own special function. The Cook: Ghallen Berwater – Gaian Priest A former Gaian priest who has retired from the cloth to take up his second greatest passion: food! He supervises kitchen operations, gladly takes any compliments to the chef direct, and is liable to give tours of his facilities to the curious passerby. Ghallen is bearded, broad-shouldered and swarthy, carrying a warrior’s build. This fearsome figure is softened somewhat by the sky-blue apron (embroidered with the Terran Empire flag) he’s always wearing. The Bartender: Vaddok Fantore – Former Alterion Merchant An alchemist businessman who never tires of trying to sell you another drink or some fine plate of food. Vaddok is a devoutly religious man full of information of Renovatio as a whole. He loves to talk, and will craft you any drink while spinning yarns about legends pertaining to Valucre. Vaddok is rather average-looking, with thinning brown hair and green eyes. Has a cowlick on the back of his head that stands up rather prominently. The Bouncer: Lonely Night's Hand – Former Genesarian Edgemaster and Arcantian A stern and quiet man with little patience for rulebreakers. His real name is unknown; most just call him ‘'Night'. As a former Edgemaster and a manipulator of darkness, his powers are great and his skills with short swords deadly. Night is taller than most, with a large build and piercing gaze. Carved on his left arm are intricate runes. He keeps his dark blond hair in a braid. He tends to keep himself at a respectful distance from most people, patrolling the tavern clad in brigandine armor. Head of Waitstaff: Levhea Morytol – Former Elendaron adventurer A former adventurer from Elendaron seeking some stability in her older years, Levhea is a middle aged woman with patience for any sort of shenanigans or tomfoolery. Although her exterior is cold, she is happy to regale you with tales of her homeland and her travels. Levhea is well-built, with fiery red hair that’s greying at the edges. She still wears splintmail armor much of the time, and has a great sword big enough to cleave a giant's head off in one clean stroke. Head of Entertainment: Cadriel Douma -- Bard from parts unknown A bard who likes to keep the majority of his personal details close to his chest. He is a marvelous performer, playing dozens of instruments, singing with a sweetness sure to move an angel who has been graced by the muses themselves, and he also has other talents, including juggling, knife throwing, magician's tricks, and comedy routines. Cadriel is a friendly, sociable guy who loves to make people happy and can drink with the best of them. He appears to be approaching middle aged now, but damn if that man is still not one of the prettiest to have ever been formed. He has angular features, jet black hair and piercing blue eyes that just melt your soul. He has a smile that reaches ear to ear and a musical laugh. He only carries daggers on his person, but prefers to resolve conflicts by tapping into his musical talents, which have a flare for magic. Recurring Staff
  8. Just like they did when they finished their manor on the Ursa Madean island of Corinth, Thurgood and Aveline Singlance are throwing a housewarming party. Also like the last time, this party is not exclusive: everybody is welcome. There are three entrances: the garage, the back door on the porch, and the front door in about the middle of the non-garage portion of the house, to the left of the garage when looking at the front. However, only one is in service during the party: the front door. Just inside the front door, there is a small foyer with a wooden bench to the left against the wall, and a coat closet just to the right. Behind the bench is the staircase up to the second floor. The door right past the top is to the shared master bathroom, with three of the six guest bedrooms further left down the hall. An open section leads to one master bedroom, with a basic banister following from the stairs. Back on the first story, the wooden floor in the foyer continues to form a path to the kitchen that has an island and a "breakfast" bar. To the left are the dining and living room, separated by the line between the carpet and woden floor, and some wall between the kitchen and living room. In the living room are two couches, one an "L" shaped sectional, and two recliners, all facing the 60-inch LCD TV and audio equipment in a simple wooden cabinet, with two larger speakers on either side, and smaller speakers around the living room (and an amplified subwoofer under each couch, on the same channel). On either side of the TV are an AV receiver, a CD\optical video disc changer\player, a phonograph, and at least one video game console. There is also a pop fountain with 12 flavors of pop, all from the Damn Good Craft Soda Company: cherry, mango, orange cream, apple, strawberry, banana, jackfruit, cola, root beer, creme, lemon-lime cherry kick (Thurgood wanted Tyler Delp to remake Mountain Dew Code Red, but he agrees with Tyler that this is better), and gha'zhu. Thurgood pulls some pork from the barbecue pit on the covered portion of the back porch (of course there would be a barbecue pit), and brings it inside, sliding the back door closed with his right foot on the way. Aveline plugs in an electric beater to simultaneously mash and mix the potatoes she's been boiling with pleny of butter, mayonnaise, and a bit of salt while a gravy made from the barbecue drippings and liquefied fat simmers down on the electric stove, with cornbread in the oven, both waiting for guests to arrive.
  9. Theme[spoiler]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lMbVzFtvM8[/spoiler]   Acreos had been traveling all night. He was exhausted. Fatigued. Famished. His black beard somehow felt like weight on his face, eyes stinging, body weak. He had lost his caravan to bandits. His men, his coin, his supplies—gone. Ashville, he hoped, would offer valuable enough restock to get back on track, but for now he was a merchant whose fortunes had become fines, and whose pockets of depth had become pockets of debt. He had put everything into that endeavor. Everything…   Well, at least tonight he could afford himself some slivers of solace, actually managing to find comfort in the drink and the food and the warmth of the inn he had decided would be his resting place for the night. The Traveler’s Tug was positioned about halfway in between Ashville and the Forgotten Wood, allowing a resting period for anyone traveling in either direction. Though enjoying a consistency of customer activity, the inn was no fancy establishment, preferring simpler architecture and basic layout; the 'everyman's inn'. Located where flat grassland began to take place toward Ashville, its outside color of a slightly dark yellow was selected to allow more obvious detection by persons farther away.   Acreos had chosen to sit in the middle of the inn's dining floor, enjoying the swarm of activity that elevated the atmosphere; an all too welcome change from the cold loneliness of an arduous voyage. To make things that much more quaint, alongside a roaring fire, the smell of stewed cabbage and salted meat and the aftertaste of average ale, the incoherent rampage of mixed conversations which ruled the ambiance was overthrown by the majesty of music.   Instruments took cue in their performance. Acreos felt himself smile, heart beating faster, at the sight of the beautiful woman who came to open her mouth and let escape an angelic voice if ever the man had heard one. Her singing was…intense. Taking a slow swig of his ale that suddenly tasted much better, he resided to sitting in comfort, imagining for himself a wife like the woman who had stolen his attention. 
  10. It was during business hours again. Around 9 PM, the busiest time of night. Dia was upstairs in her usual VIP booth. Ruby was about, dressed for her task as a server. She delivered drinks quicker now, having some time on the bar gun, and plenty of nights in the club. She'd been working here several weeks now, and despite making good money and tips, she spent hardly any of it. Ratholing in secret, at this very club in a safe Dia forgot was installed as a matter of fact. Dia was expecting company again. John should definitely be showing up. Though, he probably wouldn't be thrilled to hear she didn't have his money, and that she in fact, needed more connection help. What was a girl to do anyway? Ruby came over and served Dia her 5th drink, a new freshly opened bottle Dia insisted she leave at the table. Dia was actually dreading having to talk about it. She hadn't even gotten much work, this was supposed to be a side business thing... but it was eating up so much of her time.
  11. Music OOC Saturday, 6 June, 599 Call me Tyra. Some time ago, having grown disenchanted with the lands of this planet, after crawling across fields and climbing atop mountains, navigating through deserts and negotiating with forests, I thought I would kiss the shore goodbye and dip my feet in the waters of the world. As left leg left land, crossing the space between solid and liquid, right leg bid farewell to pier and met boot upon deck—and like that, I was gone with the wind. I discovered, like an explorer braving the boundless horizon, how the sea can wash one’s soul of misery. When grey clouds loom overhead and darkness paints the sky; when not one drop is held back as the rains cascade with abandon; when a damp blanket coils around my body, cold and grim, and I shiver as I am submerged up to the brim of my nose—then, I remember that I am already floating on the ocean, it cradles me like a baby in a crib, and my woes and worries are lost like salt in a gust. What can one wonder when they savor such serenity? When the tranquility of the waves surrounds you like dancing grass in a rolling meadow, greeting one another in the breeze like rustling leaves of an eternal wood, it challenges the mind to think of anything else besides bliss. What, then, is one to do when that joy is suddenly robbed from you like a child from a mother’s womb? In the sweet kiss of summer, as the morning sun beckoned me awake, never would I have expected that day to be the darkest day of my voyage. Few things are so terrifying as to enter the maw of the ocean’s titan, watching the world soar above you as you sink into the abyss, with hollowed howls haunting your descent into doom. After being spat out by the frozen depths hiding beneath liquid sapphire, I breathed in a new clarity. I flew beyond sea and ship, my momentum a constant craft, like a bird whose wings could carry it across the sky for months on end. The sea, I had learned, was a world beside a world. I was now learning that the sky was the world above both. The wind that had once decided the fate of my sails was now little more than an ocean of air to conquer; the clouds would part before me like frothing waves around a prow. Airships, the gargantuan gems that glided above Genesaris, giving birth to glory in the old times and returning in the wake of war—well, I had one of my own, and with it I went gallivanting across the welkin. When you stand on the deck of a ship at sea, you can feel the spray upon your skin, taste the salt on your lips, smell the sulfur and the brine, hear the murmur of the ebb and flow, see the royal blue of the aquatic kingdom. On the deck of a ship in the sky, things are a little different. The world is beneath you now, not beside you; the earthen lands that once held your feet before planks of wood ever did were no longer silhouettes whispering on the horizon. Those mountains were now mole hills, castles and their lords were naked behind their walls, cities were like mazes viewed from above, and those birds who once threatened to repurpose your poop deck now glided beside you as though to guide you along as a fellow flier. On the sea, I had fins that carried me. In the sky, I have wings. I want you to know something else. I was born upon the land—never mind who my parents were—but I never truly came to life until I stretched my arms from the bow above the water, and I never truly lived until I leaned over to watch the world from the stern beneath the clouds. Those moments, if they could be captured in a bottle, I would trade bottles of Orisian wine and Terran whiskey for each one of them. Those moments opened my heart and my lungs and kept me from dying slowly. Far from such a fate, I am alive. I am Tyra Delane, Captain of the Wildwind, and some would call me the same. Wild Tyra, Captain of the Wind, for I let it propel me across the sea and the sky in an endless journey that knows no bounds. Yet, a name is meaningless if there is no life behind it. As I write these words, watching ink seep onto paper, I am all too aware of the life that is seeping out of my soul, and the fear of what might become of my name is as real as hot sand beneath bare feet. It is thus that I return to the land that birthed me, that I might rest upon the soil that was my bed amid the trees that once stood tall as my sentries. It is a comforting thought, to lie down and close my weary eyes, watching my life unfold like a letter read only once. Alas, my sleep shall be short, for this is by no means the end of my journey but a new chapter to steer it forward. Where I go, there is another life that slumbers; a vessel yearning to awaken with vigor for the voyage. Oh, how I have lived on my ship! Sea ship, airship—but have I really lived? I have held a husband, never had a child—is that what it takes to really live? I do not know, but I may yet soon find out; in a manner, at least. The trees call me home, a forest awaits, for in the region of Chesterfield is a ship that stands as tall as a tree, and it is my life’s goal to set that ship free, like a bird from a cage or a fish from a tank. Freedom is not simply a state of being—it is a vessel to possess and a horizon to chase; an ongoing war where victory is decided with wheel and compass. This is my substitute for sword and pistol. With a groundbreaking boom, Uhltoria lifts a battle fleet into the air; I quietly take to my ship. This should not be surprising. If only they knew, almost everyone at one point or another shares my same sentiments of the sea and the sky. There is an explorer in each of us, a wild wind within all of us, a beating heart and breathing lungs that beckon the brain and the body to sail and to soar and to never look back but forward. Always forward. Land, water, air. Sea ship, airship—bioship. Forward, always. Chesterfield Use only as aesthetic reference Music OOC The Captain of the Wind The sun was a beating pulse that morning. Summer was creeping right around the corner, searching for a crack to break through, with golden rays glimmering upon the pastel-hued marble of Valucre with a sadistic smile of soon-to-be-baking-you. Some loved it, some loathed it—that budding breeze beside blossoming foliage, bright and warm and lively; that sweltering heat that parches the throat, gnaws at the skin and oozes sweat. With four seasons and four or more reasons to counter them amid such prevalences as genius loci, Lagrimosa was a bounty of climates. Not just physically, but socially, politically and economically. For instance, take Chesterfield. This morning, amid a river breeze that drifted mercy toward the throngs, the sun held sway over the steaming metal that the blacksmith dipped into the forge. He wiped the sweat from his forehead and bid his apprentice to acquire their purchase from the general store. That apprentice dipped further into dichotomy, departing the shade of a stifling shop into the open air to brave the sun and the masses beneath it. He passes by an artificer whose creation came from the blacksmith’s craft, now on his way to insure it with a Titansinger representative before selling it to a Genesaran buyer, courtesy of being ferried by the Casper Shipping Company. One of their representatives is already on site to represent the Law of Salvage in a legal dispute concerning the renovation of a Renovation ship that sunk in the Sea of Regrets. Sunken but surprisingly whole, hoped to be lifted from the depths and turned into a museum that the prowling tourist influx would dive toward and sink their money into. Or, at least, it seemed as much to one woman as she walked the streets of the city. Her eyes were on the passers-by, the denizens of the urban clutter pacing to and fro, or hollering out prices from stalls and leaning against buildings to smoke their pipes and trade sorrow with laughter. Pigeons pecked the crumbs off the spacious square, competing with daring ducks from the river, and children befriended one another as locals mixed with foreigners to feed the birds with food to spare. Kids laughed the same way, the woman thought as she watched them play. Adults were different; they had a unique laugh for every occasion, and some individuals had the kind of laugh that you learned not to trust. This duality of sameness and difference, it translated to the cityfolk and their habitat like water into wind. Streets led to streets that led to the same streets; people lined those streets who might have been glimpsed walking the other streets only moments ago, their footfalls a forgotten echo that all sounded the same; the goers of to and fro lining up like soulless soldiers to do the same work today as yesterday, go home at the same hour, wake up in the same spot, repeat the same task. As she watched them, her hands pocketed amid the crowds whose arms flailed, her lips a rigid line where others were smiling or frowning, Tyra pitied the people of this city. So many of them, all of them so bound to the same land, the same routine, day after day after day. She sighed as she walked on, savoring the solace of her own routine that was never quite so. She might lay in the same bed every night, but her ship was never in the same spot, and every day was a new day that called for a different adventure even on the same ship. As the captain paced onward throughout the streets of Chesterfield, her gaze finally graced her quarry. The Silver Screen advertised itself with one flashing bulb after the other, but it was the pub beside it that drew the elf’s eyes as she approached The Purple Pig with a grin. She might have forgotten, had somehow remembered, and was positively amused at an all too familiar sight. There, standing at the stepped entrance of the pub, was a burly fellow with a grey head and yellowed tusks, one hand gripping a tankard and the other a club that looked like a giant mallet. Jolliver? The name sprung to mind as Tyra looked the figure up and down. No...surely not. “Morning,” she spoke while ascending the steps. The wereboar said nothing, leaning lazily against his weapon as he guzzled from his tankard. He clearly was more decoration than defender. “Jolliver?” Tyra determined. The wereboar cocked a brow, looked her up and down, and snorted. “Never heard of him.” With that, Tyra shrugged and moved past, opening the doors to The Purple Pig, where a waking pub traded sounds with a metropolis, and the captain finally felt like she was home.
  12. Tink. Tink-tink-tink. Tink-tink. The rain pattered against the Outsider's warplate, chiming musically as it rang off the dark and polished metal. Kneeling beside a skeleton, or at least the scattered remains of one, he called back to the dry alcove he left his companion under. "It's fairly recent." He said, casting a quick glance in her direction before looking back at the bones. The rain was beating on him, a torrential downpour that buffeted in from above through the broken panes of the domed glass ceiling. Combing hair back, he studied the bones for several long, quiet minutes before he stood to his full stature in a rhythmic purr of well-maintained servos and fiber bundles. He had taken to his armour again, the dreadful fiend, and seemed less and less inclined to remove it as the weeks turned to months. An avatar of war he seemed, walking back to his companion's side beneath the archway with a horrid piece of evidence in hand. Lifting it up in a gauntlet for her scrutiny, the Outsider revealed a yellowed cracked skull, stringy with decomposed flesh and cartilage. Its mandible long since gone, he turned it over in his hands to indicate where he assumed the deathblow had been. "Look." He said, indicating indentations along the sides of the skull, where the thickest of the bone had ruptured. He fingered the edges, the metal of his gauntlet scraping. "Teeth marks. They're definitely here." They. Them. They had talked about them on the journey here from Biazo Island, after finding nothing but ghosts and hearsay in those desolate wastes. She had told him of her dreams beneath the duress of his torments, and with her dreams also the knowledge of the one who sent them. His curiosity piqued, he had done his own research and had come to an ambitious conclusion. They had departed Biazo and laid course for Terran mainland, or more specifically, the Ruins of Marlboro Keep. And he told her his plans, and what they would require. Known officially as Grotesqueries in the annals of Terran history, there existed a species or aberration of monster that haunted the lands this side of the Day River. Wretched things of undeath, they roamed the land in chittering packs to descend upon the unwary and foolish, and with most of their gruesome kills, added more bodies to their unseemly ranks. They were emotionless monsters, devoid of sense or reason, and they were to be destroyed on sight and their remains put to the flame. And they were the Outsider's own unwitting creation. Ten years ago, before the advent of wisdom and a broader control of the sorceries he employed, Roen had conjured the first of these abominations in far away Patia, and through his negligence, allowed them to flee into the wilds beyond his domain. He had never confessed this to anyone before, but made Irene Gabriela Du'Grace privy to that secret. Exhaling through his nose a superfluous sigh of satisfaction tinged with regret, the Outsider cast the skull in his hand aside where it struck the floor with a dull thud and rolled beneath a cracked and overturned table. Negligence, yes, it and inactivity marked the greater part of Roen's tenure on Valucre, and it showed more clearly here than anywhere on this world. Marlboro Keep, once a proud outpost of his fledgling empire, had been abandoned in his pursuit of other, baser desires. The knights stationed here, brave men and women all, had either deserted or been killed by the Terran empire, who he wasn't sure if he was even at war with anymore. Though truth be told, he suspected they had been attacked and overrun by Grotesqueries. Though it was too dark for Gabriela to see, human as she was, he had spotted the remains of armour in distant rooms, where doors had been smashed and torn asunder. Pitted, cracked plates of gear he recognized. There were streaks of blood in the halls, signs of pitched fighting and withdrawals. It was all too easy to piece it together. He had abandoned this place, and it had died without his guiding hand. It had died because of him in more ways than could ever be reconciled for. The thought of it made him turn his head away from Gabriela, his stern face going taut in a rictus of brief anger and grief and not a little self-loathing. Though he was a hard man and greater monster, he valued the lives of those he groomed and selected to stand by his side, and while he might not have ever expressed it, he lamented their fates and tormented himself for the part he played. But before he would let his melancholy drag him back to those depths of inactivity, he set that grief aside and steeled himself, whispering a cautionary reminder under his breath that he had come here with purpose. Extending a hand and flexing his will, the Outsider summoned Hræðilegr into his waiting fist. Immediately, the wicked blade lit up with lambent psyk-light, the runes along its flats coming to life with burning light that soon grew incandescent, then dimmed. Humming, the blade snag quietly as it cut the air, its length vibrating with an almost musical peal. He looked at Gabriela, his generous mouth pulled into a frown. "Stay close." He said. "And keep your eyes open. They'll be coming for us 'ere long." And they would be, yes. The ruins of the keep, quiet save for the echo of thunder the came from above, seemed to stir at the immediate onset of the Outsider's blade summoning. In truth, he was provoking the current occupants of the once proud citadel. With a flex of his will, he had all but announced the presence of life to them, and soon those monstrosities, whatever their number, would snuff and chase the light of his mind. No matter that he was their creator, no matter it was by his magic they had found life: they saw and knew him only as prey, and within the bowels and ruins of this castle, things of infinite predation and unreasonable hunger began to rouse from their fitful slumbers, tasting life in the air. That he should have left Gabriela behind on the Everlinde as it patrolled the sky above was a truth he was not blind to, but he had brought her here tonight to witness this turgid start, this dreadful endeavor. She was beloved and his companion besides, and he felt she must be inured to these horrors and violent delights. She was in peril, of course - there were few places more terrifying and dangerous than the haunt of Grotesqueries - but so long as she stood beside him, so long as he kept her shackled to him, she would ever be imperiled. Either here or aboard the Everlinde, Gabriela was unsafe, and so he felt it best to keep her with him at all times, where he could protect her best. She needed no weapon and possessed no armour. He was her shield in the dark and the sword at her side. A dark knight indeed, he drew her deeper into the ruined keep, where fractured moonlight and lightning lit their path, and waited for horror to find them both.
  13. Gabriela sat in the sun. She felt like she was baking in it. The heat was like a heavy blanket -- comforting and penetrating. Maybe it was the bitter chill in the air or just the fact that the only coat she managed to grab before leaving the airship was some thin little thing that wasn’t at all equipped for the harsh conditions of the city, and the landscape beyond, but for whatever reason, sitting there on that long, metal bench, soaking in the direct light of the sun felt like absolute heaven. This was a colossal city. Blairville. A good place to make her escape. Golden eyes shifted upward to see the massive metal bodies that floated in the sky, far above her head. It was an airship port, and there were hundreds of those mechanical monstrosities ebbing to and fro in something akin to repose. Somewhere, up there, was her marvel of modern mechanics. The airship had been gifted to her by the High Lord Ryzerus, but had then been promptly commandeered by a vile fiend. Now it was in his control forever more, and things were complicated that much more because of it. But the theft of her birthday gift was an echo of so many of the other transgressions done against her person. Any and every pretty thing in her possession was often taken, and often broken by those who were stronger and more powerful. Even this escape was just a thinly veiled dismissal after the fiend had grown bored of her company, as he often did. Her escape was nothing more than rejection now that her ability to entertain had waned. It was as simple as waking up one day to find the door that had always been locked suddenly left unlocked, and in fact, wide open. No clearer invitation for her expulsion could be made, and she did not need any further explanation. So she grabbed what she could, which consisted of only the clothing on her body, and she took off before his tumultuous mind could change. An ill fitting pair of jeans, worn nearly bare at the knees, a white shirt, a gray, finely-knitted sweater, and a thin, long, wool jacket. It would have been warm enough for the winters in Orisia, perhaps even a little much. But it wasn’t going to be enough for the freezing nights of the North in Terrenus. And she hadn’t a cent to her name -- she didn’t even know the formal form of currency in this particular part of the continent. And yet she did not feel panic. For now the sun was shining and through the crisp and cold air, it warmed her directly. And although she was hungry and thirsty, neither was so great a need that she was anxious for drink or food. She wanted to take a moment to feel normal, as if she were strolling the streets of this gargantuan city, site-seeing perhaps, and had simply grown tired. Here, she had stopped to take a rest and so had found a seat to enjoy the sights and sounds of the airships flying in and out of the port. In many ways, it was like graceful ships with their elegant sails that floated along the turquoise waters of the Atitlan Lake, swaying just feet away from golden shores -- and in many ways it was nothing like that beautiful and peaceful world. Gabriela crossed her arms because she was cold and she crossed her legs, one knee over the other. She leaned back in her seat and curved her back along the shape of the bench until her head was tilted back and the sun was hitting her chin and her exposed throat. The heat felt familiar, but so much softer and kinder. “I could sit here forever,” she said out loud to herself, “I could die here.”
  14. It was a slightly warmer day in the temperate zone of Casper. He looks up at that point seeing the afternoon sky. The representative from Lancy Inc was a man named Delloth. Delloth looks at the old smith for a moment. "So we're clear the workshop forge you have opened here in Casper is up and running. We expect to see a lot of Rhodium revenue coming in Velindrel. You have gotten clearance." Velindrel nods. "It will be open to...individuals who need to have their equipment serviced." Delloth steps closer towards Velindrel. "We have clearance from the higher ups to operate in various shades of gray." Delloth says calmly. A short while later the shop of Velindrel powered and funded by Lancey Inc, a guild within Casper, was up and running. Velindrel begins that work week by filling weapon schematics for the local guards and militia folks of Casper. At that point in our story, Velindrel had developed quite a name for himself and wanted to become one of the most skilled engineers and smiths of that age. But all legacies started small...all legacies needed the foundation to be built on. He'd constructed the forge in Casper with Lancy Inc's blessing. He'd used a considerable amount of his own spiritual power to activate the power of the forge itself. In other words, the whole building was partially sentient. Vell takes a moment to glance at his master anvil sitting in front of the forge itself. He powers the whole building on with the spark of life. One of the greatest minds of their age... He begins to go to work. As a wind comes in from the seas near Casper, they gently rock a carefully crafted sign that reads plain as day: Open for Business. And that they were...
  15. In Dougton, there was once an orphanage. It was capable of housing 24 children - quite the feat for a single headmistress. It was a gorgeous home with an inviting layout. Though it's headmistress had long ago disappeared, and various schemes had been planned behind it's walls, it had finally been given hope once more. Rebirth through the war, an opportunity to help. Those children displaced by the current civil war are most welcomed, with open (though slightly green) arms. The orphanage runs off of self-sustainability, a small farmyard behind the house, and lanterns to light their way. Children who come to this place are taught all the basic skills, as well as how to defend themselves to some minor degree. This is to hope that they will never become victims to tyranny, or will choose to stand against what they know is wrong. A strong sense of moral Justice is offered to those willing to learn it. For the moment, the orphanage houses several children. While scared and distrustful, they have come to think of the orphanage as a second home where they will be protected and safe. Dhizzandra watches over them with pleased determination. The Dryad is simply happy to have a place to belong in this world - and she is pleased to help others, as well. Children 5 Adults 18 Completion of necessary buildings 50% Important threads/children acquisition: Home of the Brave. Children currently available for adoption: Blairville children: Peter – Age 12 – Blonde and amber eyed. He is a cautious, but brave young man who dislikes bullying. Lucy – Age 8 – Shy and slow to trust, a little bit bossy, as well. Lucy is definitely a kid who requires patience. Ruby – Age 6. Sweet and all too trusting, she’s got a sweet tooth like no other, however. Adopted by Rabbit. Izral Children: Susan – Age 14 – An older, jaded girl who was rescued by Jericho from a brothel in Izral. She doesn’t have much hope for the world, but she’s learning that not everyone is bad. Adopted by Danzilla3 Brinley – Age 8 – Young and cheerful, she takes joy in simple things. Jessica – Age 6 – Another young and cheerful child. She likes butterflies and flowers, but we aren’t into the flavor red this week. William – age 4. – This young boy loves to run in mud puddles and play with worms, as young boys tend to do. Caitlyn – 6 months – Often influenced by William regarding bugs and mud. She particularly dislikes nap-time. Derrick – Age 10 – Idolizes Peter and wants to protect the others from ever being treated poorly again. He’s often defensive on first meetings. Jonathan – Age 1 – Babbles with attitude. Hates diapers. Andromeda – Age 6 months – Sleeps a lot, when not screaming. Daniella – Age 10 – Sullen and moody, prone to dramatics. Kendra – Age 12 – Preteen. No more need be said. Adopted by Rabbit.
  16. ((Imagine as taking place southwest of Kethlerin)) _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ A week had passed after the war in Nu Martyr, with the Watchers had decided it was time they forged a new destiny amidst the ruins of the old. On their airship, they had absconded with a number of refugees from that land with a promise of safe havens in their homeland. Their number consisted mostly of families with a few soldiers, but it was the speed at which they fled across the Great Northern Ocean that provided the most protection, as did the anonymity with which they traveled. When the ship had disembarked in Port Kyros, it was a nightmare for the Watchers to go through the problem of customs with the locals, as did the question of what to do with so many people. Very few questioned that life was going to be hard, especially for those that came from Landonia - where the proud, knightly traditions held strong. After a day or so of arguing with the customs officers, the Watchers had simply packed everyone who did not wish to remain and headed further east. A select few did leave, but most stayed and waited - huddled together amidst the ship's cavernous interior while they waited. It took another day of flight, but they reached the coast of the western edge of the Great North. To the more cautious minded, this was the ideal spot to set up, but Arthur Morn, the Watcher's second (and interim leader in Nathan's absence) thought it better to head further inland, away from prying eyes. Furthermore, he argued, the ship was borrowed from the Nu Martyr Defense Forces. It would need to be refueled, refitted and then returned once this business was concluded. It was a matter of honor. "Honor is not what keeps these people fed and happy, Arthur." Gale, the Watcher's strategist had said that evening over some of the last bottles of water and bits of bread. "We need to find someplace to drop soon or they'll start eating each other." With that, Gale and Elias volunteered to head further southeast - scouting for a different spot. It took a day, but eventually, they found it. Far to the southwest of the city of Kethlerin, on the banks of the Kethlerin's river tributary were the ruins of an old keep and some unnamed town. It was probably one of the places destroyed in the cataclysm from a previous Whispernight when the dead had risen from their graves and laid waste to much of Genesaris. Though nature had come to reclaim much of what was lost, the town's buildings remained largely intact, including a blacksmith's forge and fully stocked larders. Even better, the few clusters of the still-living dead were easy to dispatch. It took a skirmish, but the Watchers and their forces had secured and scoured away the area. Near the keep, the four members of the Watchers discussed what was to come. Four men fresh from a war they had fought and nearly died in, all for these people who were to them as complete strangers - now people under their protection. Nearly a thousand of them, just looking for someplace to go. "Much will have to be done." Gale said as the first wave of people began to arrive. Most of them women, children and the elderly. "We'll need to figure out who gets what houses and to secure a source of drinkable water." "Not to mention the security situation." Elias said, folding his arms. "We'll need to make another sweep of the area and find out if there's any more undead, or worse." "And the fact that Nathan is still missing." Max pointed out. "It's been almost ten days now. We'll need to contact him to make sure he's okay." "Jameson can take care of himself." Arthur said. "He'll contact us when he's ready. Until then, we need to follow his orders and keep these people safe. And Elias is right - we have to cover our tracks and ensure the Cult of Power does not follow us." "If the cult found out where we are, their reach would have to be long indeed." Elias said, inwardly glad his brother was so quick to agree. "I can only imagine their wrath would be terrible. Nathan made a direct threat to their leader - and more, we snatched a whole group of people from right under their noses." "Even so, this little town is as good a place as any to start over." Arthur said. He turned to his brother and the Fairy Knight. "I'll see to it that makeshift defenses are set up. Elias, run a sweep from the north and east walls. Gale, give me south and west. I want to know what's coming this way before we're gagging on it." With that, he turned to the Angel Knight. "Max, you're with me. I'm going to start organizing a militia."
  17. *Free ball writing an open topic to get my head back in the rp game. It's been a hot second. Take it where you want. Here's the breakdown: Location: Le Tueur Hotel in Cicero Theme: Holiday party hosted by a crime family, so all the crime things. Goal: Chaos, intrigue, murder?! Whatever your 20's heart desires. Let's party. Heavy panting echoed in an otherwise silent, dark stretch of corridor. Hollow and quick, the sound was female. It came in waves… loud and uninhibited as she sprinted along the wall’s edge and then completely muffled when she came to rest by squeezing into a crevice, meant to serve decorative, architectural purposes, just wide enough to fit her body. She pressed herself into the space and covered her mouth. Within moments it was moist with tears that flowed freely down each cheek and pooled along the length of her index finger before spilling over the back of her hand. She was scared, nervous—alone. In such a setting, it was the least anyone expected. Had the hallway had more illumination, the iridescence of ivory wallpaper and deep burgundy carpeting would have made anyone feel welcome. The small tables with large, potted flowers over gold tablecloths would have even brought a smile to face. That was the purpose of the lavish décor after all, to create a desire to be there. It was an upscale Cicero hotel with the sole purpose of hosting events. This night, Nelina’s parents’ holiday party was full to capacity and brimming with laughter and music but was barely audible two stories below where the girl stood shaking in the hallway, begging silently to not be found. Beneath the hotel’s festivities, silk fabric of a cocktail dress rustled against all attempts to keep it still, and muffled cries still plagued the dead air around it. Another sound was introduced moments later. Focused, slow footsteps began in the girl’s direction—the kind one could hear have purpose before the owner or his business was ever made known. The shadow of figure denoted that of a male, dressed appropriately for a formal event. Slacks and button up were pressed, and dress shoes shined in what little light the hallway offered. His movements where precise, dedicated to his purpose—the only purpose within the abandoned corridor—finding her. It did not take long for the girl to notice the new sound. Between her sobs, a step or two, and she froze. Her hand tightened over her mouth until knuckles whitened with the pressure. She practically suffocated herself to remain silent, and still, the steps came closer. Two more steps and she squeezed her eyes shut. It did not matter that they were in the dark, she did not want to see the choice she had so carelessly made hours before. A step, and another… “Nel…” His voice was a sweet melody, serenading anyone who listened. The way he called to her should have displaced her fear entirely. If not his voice then the firm, gentle hand that reached out to gently pull her own away from her mouth—a motion that made her sobs and shaking completely irrational. All demeanor signified comfort save for the man’s free hand rested on the pistol tucked into his waistband ready to be set free. It was hard to say if the gun was meant for her. Cicero had become dirty. Everyone played filthy. Stick, bang, move was all it would take before another daughter of crime was sent straight to hell before her daddy. Another war flag raised. Who leaves the daughter of the syndicate alone to her own devices? The man’s hand moved from Nel’s fingertips to her wrist with swift precision before tightening and tugging. “Come now, little lady. Can’t miss the boss’s speech! He gave me orders to keep you in sight. What were you hiding from? Potential beaus out to get ya!?" The man smirked as he returned his charge to the festivities. Nel's eyes darted around the empty hall as she calmed herself. "You run around like this Nel, you’re bound to get into trouble yo daddy can’t save you from. Back to the party.” "Sorry, Cal... I thought-- I don't know. I thought you were someone else."
  18. ¥ With a lengthy yawn,Celestia adjusted her cloak of scarlet hue.checking all supplies,which she chose to bring alongside.For the adventure,Tree's,cobblestone roads.And the tavern still live with cries of joy and laughter behind her,filled every senses,of scent and beauty,while resting herself against it's wall.Glancing skyward,to be graced with a starry sky of midnight blue,clouds with light grey hue.Dotted across it's surface.While faint Ray's of light,from the crescent moon interwoven and scattered throughout it's area.¥"hmmn~ Breath tak'n beauty tonight...hehe not much could beat this sight..."
  19. From first glance, the building appeared outdated and out of touch; nestled into a corner pocket of the universe, this old-fashion establishment was the resting place from travelers around creation. Quaint wooden doors recessed into the wall roughly reaching 8 feet high with each door containing stained glass artwork depicting angels and demons lying on a bed of clouds, symbolizing a haven for saints and miscreants alike. The doors swung open to an extravagant ballroom sized lounge with materials from worlds of the imagination; a broad bar with seats planted against the far left wall, to the right and rear were other offshoots of rooms, but the main focus was in the center of this room; tables and chairs for patrons to lounge about. The furniture littered the room in an organized fashion. An assortment of tables and chairs neatly scattered about the room gave occupants various choices to try; tables made of woods from around the cosmos, leather chairs, sofas large enough to seat a horde of goblins, chairs in all shapes and sizes, and swings that whimsically hung from the heavens. The main lounging area had all the offerings of modern-day bistros with hints of taverns; tables with books containing the history of the worlds sprawled among magazines showing today’s hottest elven men and women, and board games piled as high as the tallest giant. As far as one could imagine, everything one needed to enjoy a cup of the world’s finest coffee and chat over topics was here. A delicate glass sign floated in the air as soon as walking through the threshold. This sign was the first object all who entered came upon, always legible to those who read it no matter the language and telepathically spoken to those without sight. Today, the board read: WELCOME CLUB MEMBERS This Week: Snacks and Beverages Discussion – Room 105 Today’s Special: Coffee – Made by Wish for Death – Breakfast Blend Once past the sign and down a few steps, the main area opened to the wonders of the building. A comprehensive bar took over a section of the lounge, table-top seats neatly placed in front of the exquisite mahogany bar that stretched for what felt like eons. The bar was meticulosity organized; glassware hung from specific locations on the bar, placed so that the barkeeps could grab but not hinder the view of others, taps with odd symbols gave proof to ale and beer, and a large array of spirits rested on glass shelving. In one section behind the bar were makers for coffee, expresso, and storage containers packed with tea. A spherical, glass globe was mechanically turning colored ice inside for those needing a cooler treat and drink at once. The bar was the heart of the operations, it was where food could be ordered, drinks were made, and occupants sat discussing news of the world. A behemoth chalk board was hung center stage behind the bar. In ogre-sized print read: No ordering ‘The Strongest Drink’ centered above the lists below. The chalk board listed every cocktail, ale, wine, spirit, coffee, and other various drinks available on the upper level bar. Following a roundabout path on the outer parameters of the lounge, the rear of the room gave birth to smaller, more intimate dwellings. On the top of each doorway was a room number as well as a pedestal to match the corresponding club for that room. Occasionally all rooms were open, but time schedules generally kept one topic for a week to allow beings to join in whenever possible. The furthest hallways behind the discussion rooms zigged like a labyrinth trying to confuse those who wandered down the halls. These hallways lead to the kitchen and business offices. Paintings plastered each side of the hallways. Eyes of ancient warriors uniquely watched anyone as they roamed through. Artwork depicting wars, scenes of love, violence, and peace were only a snippet of the meaning behind the paintings. Inside the kitchen you would find cooks creating dishes from ingredients, rotating every week. A head chief watched over them as a prison warden would watch his inmates. Everything was made to be perfect. The business area consisted of 24/7 staff who kept the machine oiled day to day. These workers paid bills, ordered supplies, and other clerical necessities. Very little interest was back here. A special access point within the business area allowed only those with administrative access to reach the second level. The second level office took up the ceiling space above the main lounge, allowing those in the tinted windows to oversee the operations below. Few have access to this area, and fewer know the innerworkings of this office. Taking an immediate left after the welcome sign would navigate occupants to a stairwell leading to the lower levels where other amenities lay dormant; a lavish wine cellar, a smoker’s lounge, bowling alley, these were just a sample of activities located there. Unlike the above level, these areas were more private and quieter, allowing for deeper conversations creating an atmosphere where one could grow stronger bonds. The wine cellar contained rarer wines than the first floor, but the selections were limited. A scruffy old man whose kyphosis had continually crept up on him throughout the years stood outside as rain poured down soaking his black and white attire. “Welcome! Please, grab something to drink, very cheap I say, and make yourself comfortable. Those who are here for The Citadel’s weekly discussion forum, the topic is on all things edible as well as drinkable.” He spoke elegantly, more so than his appearance eluded to. A toothy smile manifested on the cryptic face of the man, one lateral incisor was all that was left, the rest of the cavity that was his mouth was darkness and gums. OOC
  20. Csl

    The Lounge

    ◀ Return to ToL Index 3: The Lounge All areas of the Lounge are managed by Prognosticator, an artificial super intelligence whose knowledge about Valucre is unparalleled. They mainly appear through the main screen of the Compendium, though they can also manifest as throughout the Lobby in screens or as holograms. They appear as a faceless mask with tree-like antlers. Locations A holographic navigation board greets you when you enter the Lounge. Here, you see descriptions of the Lounge’s various locations. Main Area - a carpeted area with several benches along the walls. A fountain lies at the center of the space, a few mangrove trees rising from its waters. Between its roots float glowing water lilies. Underwater, strange genetically-modified creatures swim about - glass-skinned fish with pulsing organs, robotic frogs, and alien-looking jellyfish. There are two vending machines along one wall, and two more fountains at opposite corners. Sparring Room - A room with a fenced-off ring that can simulate any environment. Here, people can practice their fighting skills in safety and without repercussions. Visitors may spar with each other or fight hardlight opponents created by Prognosticator. Observation Deck - A vast enclosure that allows characters to view any location on Valucre as it appears in real-time. The Compendium - a digital repository where characters can access knowledge about Valucre in various ways. On the back wall of the room is a screen where Prognosticator normally manifests. There are also two widescreens on the left side of the Compendium Repositories - a set of modular library shelves. Characters can request a topic and the Repository will produce various media materials in its shelves - books, audio recordings, newspapers, and the like. Terminals - several desks equipped with Crystal Computing Devices (think personal computers) where your characters can access the Storage Movement, Grumble.crk, etc. Digital Resources Some examples of in-character digital resources that can be accessed through the Compendium: The Storage Movement Grumble.crk
  21. In the middle of the night on the island, in the blackness between two rocks on the beach, a male form took shape and was ejected from the Shade. He man was thrown back, out from the Umbra, and landed on his back, on the beach. The wind was knocked out of him--he couldn't breathe. Clawed hands grasped at sand. Brick-red eyes searched his immediate surroundings from behind wires of chin-length black hair. The being turned over onto his stomach, sandying up his unbuttoned grey button-up shirt and the bright red A-shirt worn under it along with the black carpenter jeans. Black high-top CT's found the beach of sand under him finally as his breath started to come back to him. This beach...didn't look familiar. He had no idea where he was. Fantastic. "Well, I guess that's what happens when you Shadestep without...actually...knowing...how to do it." He rolled his eyes at his own moment of stupidity, shaking his head out of annoyance. Then he saw the castle in the distance. Then again, there was another possible explanation. His eyes narrowed as the thought occurred to him. "Mom. What now?" Though even as he said it, Devin knew it couldn't be true. That castle was clearly not Elysium Castle. And this...was not Elysium. Crap. Wonderful. Just freaking wonderful. He started walking toward the castle, shaking his head. "No idea where I am. Not sure WHY I'm here. Shade-stepping out of here is...not happening. Lord Chaos only knows what would happen if I tried again. Lamia, you witch. What do you have planned for me this time? Damn it..." The last was spit out through gritted teeth, baring two sets of fangs. One set of fangs resided on the top canines. The other set was on the bottom set of teeth, right under the first. He continued through the night, spitting and cursing the name of his mother as he walked at human speed. Shade-stepping was a laborious experience on one's hunger. And by now he was famished. The corner of his mouth started twitching into a slight grin. He could feel it, his beast, tugging at him. Begging for him to lost control. Any further taxing of his powers may just push him over the edge. And with the little bit of sense he had left to grasp hold of, he knew that going on a murder spree would make for a very poor first impression with...whoever it was that resided...wherever this was. Damn it! He needed answers! And whoever was residing in that castle was going to give them to him...once he got there.
  22. [Okay so I've decided that I'll post here to try and get used to this format of RP, so for convenience, here's some context! Yes, in Varhac's profile I did say he was born and raised in Valucre, and I think that'll still hold true, BUT since I'm bringing him in from another pre-established canon, I'm deciding that his life in Valucre is like, another life? He was reincarnated into it basically. Vargon is a planet my partner Rei made, and in his original canon, Varhac is from its sister planet Kordonor (also made by Rei but then handed off to me for development). Mentions of these planets, as well as of his family members and partner Nasir, are all memories of his past life. They will fade entirely before he enters Valucre and starts his new life. For simplicity's sake, his Valucre backstory is basically the same as his original canon one but now in a different setting. However, his sister and Nasir will not be in Valucre unless my partner has the energy to join and use them, as those two are their characters and not mine. I think that's all the explanation done! Sorry about that! Thank you for reading!] Varhac isn't sure how he got here, exactly. Whether he's asleep or dead, he couldn't tell you. He hopes his sister and grandfather are alright, though. And Nasir. His tail swishes anxiously as he pulls the tavern door open, figuring there's not much else for him to do but head forward. He's not sure why the warmth and the scale of the place take him by surprise. He's seen plenty of similar wonders on Vargon. Or... He's pretty sure he is, at least. It's been kind of tough to think clearly, and getting harder the closer he gets to the next world. The young man shakes his head. No, of course he remembers Vargon's insane technology. And he remembers the cabin, the forest, and the one before that, and Kordonor and the spaceship he stole away on... Sure, it sounds a lot like a dream now that he thinks about it, but- Ah, there are more pressing matters at hand right now. He enters the tavern. The sights, sounds, and smell are a bit overwhelming, and he does his best to sulk his way into some shadows. Thank the gods the nearby corner table is empty. To any onlookers, he no doubt looks very uncomfortable and clearly unsure of what he's doing, but he's unaware, and mentally congratulates himself for his quick thinking. I'll just... pretend to be a patron waiting for an order until I figure out what to do. Dammit, why'd there have to be so many people... he laments. The lynx ears on the top of his head swivel back and forth, and he keeps his head low as he listens to everything going on around him. Varhac is grateful at times like these for his difficulty blocking out this kind of noise. Though, it would be nice if every clink of glass and sharp laugh of a stranger didn't startle him and cut through his brain like the sound was something solid.
  23. Jasper-Aria, Hub of Val Cruxis Val Cruxis, Athentha 300 Days before the Revival of Azura-Dusk Tuesday, 12:00PM. Ferghas sighed as he stood there. He wasn't annoyed just disappointed that things had gotten this bad. Especially since the elder and Rin failed it from time to time. He eyed the Crowned Hearth with distrust because of everything she had done. Seldeth had broken free of the Black Heart Mirror but some effects had remained. And though she wanted to repent for her misgivings at the same time, the elf was not the same girl that started out in Platinum-Neptune. Ferghas wasn't the same either from his ordeal. But he decided to meet with Seldeth to help plan a course of action to combat Azura-Dusk should she awaken. And the two now reconvined in the Rising Moon Inn. Along with another head figure, Rin. The half-breed had put her transgressions and past mistakes behind her to tackle the bigger threat at hand. Ferghas looked at both women and shook his head, this was going to be harder than he thought. I don't think this plan is going to work at all. Seeing Esben has corrupted both the emberheart and cloverheart, that we might be in trouble. Ferghas replied as he looked down at the map. His right finger pointed at the small city of Aria-Malachite. I mean I don't even think the Zweifer Malachite-Topaz Cloverheart Sword and shield still resides there. It has to be there. Kogal wrote down the location of the three Zweifer Cloverheart items that haven't been corrupted. And that was one of them. Rin replied as she sighed softly. So that's where we are going Ferghas. We can sort our personal issues out along the way. Rin's right. Seldeth piped up. If we wait we'll never be able to conquer the ones that continue to serve Azura-Dusk. And we'll be outnumbered. Ferghas, pleaze trust us for once. Ferghas grunted as he stood, rolling up the map. Rin was glad someone was around to read the maps, since she was terrible at that. She then knew they'd have to take the train, which she didn't have a problem with. The three then gathered their meager belongings and headed out to the train station. None spoke. Well for a moment before Rin shook her head. Hm half-breed? I forgot to mention that Vex will meet us in Aria-Malachite. He wants to do this to make up for his transgressions. I allowed him to accompany us once we get there. I hope it's not an issue. The two nodded as they boarded the train and sat in the carriage part of it. Neither voiced their complaints and things seemed to be quiet for the moment. Which they didn't mind at all right now.
  24. The Underdepths of Ebony-Yahera, Border of Absolon and Ebony-Yahera Athentha 31 Days Before Azura-Dusk's Awakening Outside Val Roux Tuesday, 1:00P.M Rin shook her head as she stood in the underdepths tunnel like pathways. It seemed it was inevitable that the elf maiden--no, monster known as Azura-Dusk would make her return soon. Hiding out wouldn't save the half-breed any longer nor did it suit her but she did it on behalf of Sayndar and his so-called resistance. The resistance that had decided to vanish as the rumors came more and more true. The half-breed knew one option she could use against Azura-Dusk, it was the old weapons of Absolon Athentha. It was made of red clover seeds, black azura clover seeds and uncorrupted cloverheart. It was called Malachite-Topaz Maelstrom. A spear and sword set. Of course Rin had no idea where it was located. The old maps said the Malachite-Topaz temple, the new ones saying Farenheit-Abalone. She wished Seldeth was here, she could help with locating this. Sighing, the half-breed made her way down the tunnel, a hand grabbed her shoulder twirling her around. Rin slapped the figure in the cheek. At least it wasn't your oar. Sayndar sputtered as he rubbed his bruised cheek. Though I'd rather it was seeing you hit harder without it. Find the weapons yet? Or have you been standing here all this time? Real cute. Rin spat as she rubbed her head, chuckling a bit. But no, seeing you know more about these tunnels than I. And these maps are conflicting at best. Sayndar, do you really think they're revive Azura-Dusk? I mean, who'd be that-- Rin, you really need to learn about Athentha and its people. If what the rumors are saying, it's that blasted elf behind it. Seeing no-one can bloody catch him. But what worries me besides you, is Azura-Dawn has been missing for a few weeks. Sayndar replied as they continued walking down the tunnel towards the exit near Absolon. And if she spills your location, then we'll have more problems than we already do now. She wouldn't tell. Azura-Dawn knows that we cannot allow her twin into the world. I took over ruiling Athentha for its best interest. Though, I've not done my best, it's better than her. Rin said as she stopped then. Azura-Dusk will turn these people into monstrous elves of their greatest vile notions. Their degeneracy, their hatred, their--their greatest sins. Corrupted by the black azura clover seeds, they won't be the same. Sayndar rubbed his temples as he stood there. Something worse than Rin, he couldn't fathom it. Of course dealing with her would have to wait now, as he looked up at the half-breed. Vex would meet them at the train station so they could plot where to look for the Malachite-Topaz Maelstrom. Outside the tunnel now, the half-breed looked at the man, her personal rival, would be the best to protect her. Annoying more than usual if you ask me. Even more than you. And even though I despise being near you, I need to make sure Azura-Dusk isn't brought back. Sayndar muttered as he looked at her. I wouldn't put it past a tourist comes and revives her at this point. Let's go, Vex is waiting for us at the train station. Rin nodded. And so they began to walk down the cobblestone street to the trains. She hoped this would go without a problem.
  25. A half-submerged mound of amber has been discovered deep in the Wetlands. Peering into the golden rock reveals unnerving shadows trapped within. The Taen Exploration Committee is paying adventurers willing to unearth the amber secrets. A blissful day for a walk. Daemon, with his katana at his side, dresser in his usual back T-shirt, black pants, black jacket and black sneakers, wonders about on an unknown path. He has a small twig in between his lips, as he throws his legs infront of him in a carefree manner. "Wheeew!!! What a day." He exclaimed, as he walked on. "I need something exciting." He added, putting his hands behind him. Something bright appeared infront of him. A portal of some sorts. It was bright and glowing with energy. "I wonder what that is." Never seen a portal before, Daemon curiously walked toward the glowing light and decided to go through. "Well, what's the worst that could happen." He said to himself as he walked through. whooshhhhh!!!! Daemon falls through. Appearing on the other side, he sees miles and miles upon woods. It was dark, and only the sound of strange creatures, creatures he had never heard before, could be heard. "Where am I?" He asked himself scratching his head. After walking for about 10 minutes, he realized he was at the edge of the forest. Then finally a familiar sound fluttered into his ears. A horses. Walking towards the man on the horse, he inquires. "Say sir, where am I?" "And who might you be young man, and what are you doing out here at this time. You should know better!" The man replied. Not having answered Daemon's question, "come quick, it will soon be dark." Daemon reluctantly followed the man. Soon they reached town.
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