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Found 88 results

  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. ¥ 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..."
  4. 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.
  5. ((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."
  6. [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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. The thrum of a magitech engine buzzed in the background and the powerful Nehalen wind slapped against the mighty airship's windows. But, no matter hard it may try, mere wind could never break into the exterior of Clockwork Grind, one of the most powerful airships of Genesaris. Instead, as if a child's toy, the ocean's blades simply bounced off. Behind Clockwork Grind followed a myriad of other airships, some keeping pace and others struggling to do so against the Nehalen ocean winds. Black clouds rumbled in the distance and bright lines of lightning struck randomly. That was there destination: the isle of Nede. Or so Ankou had reported it was called. After landing in Nede, Ankou, Khaki, and Sera had fought and defeated what they called a Demon Lord. In return, Ankou had gained a throne of near absolute power within a domain. If what he said was true, perhaps Nehalen was what she'd been looking for. What she'd thought Nu Martyr had been. Lilith wasn't entirely sure what "it" was, but somehow that didn't stop her from searching. As they approached the start of the storm clouds, massive creatures broke through the clouds in an obvious rage. Cloaked in all elements under the sun, Dragons began to attack the army of airships approaching Nede. At the beginning, Lilith stayed where she was in the airships control center. Standing and watching through the large windows as her Paragons used the Cult's black fog magic to combat the beasts midair. Probably guardians of the floating island. A moment longer of watching and Lilith was certain the guardian creatures weren't simply dragons. "Elder dragons?" she muttered, unsure. Definitely more powerful than the average dragons- that she was positive of. It wasn't until she saw the occasional pitch black scale on some and the rotting scales on others that her eyes widened. "Ah. Demonic and Undead. No wonder." @danzilla3 @Zashiii @AngryCacti @The North Wind @Casanova @TheShadow @J. A. Horton @Veloci-Rapture (for those who have expressed interest) OOC: This thread is completely open. I'd prefer a PM first, but it's not needed. Just jump in!
  14. There was a subtle change in the sound of the city, enough to interrupt Torie’s dreams. She woke up a little disorientated but quickly recognized her room at the inn. Sunlight streamed in through her south-facing window, the angle indicating just after noon. She stretched, and felt the floorboards shaking. “Strange,” she said. Then she noted a deeper vibration, a rumble, barely perceptible to her sensitive tiger ears, and equally faint screaming. Torie scrambled to her feet, which wasn’t easy, especially given the vast quantity of salamander meat she’d eaten the day before. With a swing of her plate-sized paw she opened the door and bolted down the stairs, flanks scraping the wall on either side. The inn was quiet, a few patrons dining for lunch. Torie headed straight for the door. Outside the sunlight was arrestingly bright, but even through squinting eyes, everything seemed normal. People, horses and carts moved up and down the cobblestone streets. Several adventures milled around a notice board further down the street. A queue had formed out the door of a discounted barber store. But the cobblestones beneath Torie’s enormous paws were ever-so-gently vibrating. She wandered north, uphill towards where she knew the castle sat on its cliffs above the coast. The buildings became taller, more ritzy, with little spires and porticos and balconies. The people were better dressed, flowing with silks and embroidery. But the ground was still vibrating, enough that she could see the windows on nearby buildings shaking. Then one of the windows shattered. People stopped in the street, looking about. Someone cried out earthquake, and more screams filled the air. If Torie didn’t have four legs she might have been worried she would fall, and turned to walk to the centre of the road, furthest from the looming stone buildings on either side. Then, one of the buildings near the centre of town vanished behind the skyline of roofs and spires, and another, and another, replaced instead by a plume of smoke and dust. “Ohh boy,” Torie said and, when the ground stopped shaking, started down the slope. *** Panicked crowds grew tighter the closer she got, though being an enormous tiger, the tide of people parted for her quickly enough. Soon she found herself standing on the edge of an enormous sinkhole, the collapsed remains of several buildings inside. And several people, covered in dust, among the rubble. “Rope, we need rope!” called a shield guard. “… foot’s trapped, need a crane or a dragon to move-“ “… ground could still give way. Get these crowds back!” Golden shields started dispersing among the crowd, hands up, shouting to the crowds to back away. One of them reached Torie, looking at her as if not sure she was a person or a wild animal. “You…” “I can help,” Torie said, slowly so she articulated well around her tiger throat. “I can pull or lift, or hold a rope.” “Wait here,” the guard said. He turned to address some people standing on the very edge, looking down at the mess of the sinkhole below, when the cobblestone road split and he and everyone near the edge disappeared into the abyss. Torie roared with surprise and terror, watching as the sinkhole grew even deeper, the square stones of buildings and people crawling over them churning as they sank deeper into the earth, as if there was a hole beneath them. Water gurgled from a broken aquiduct, washing over the rocks and people alike. Torie backed away from the edge, as if it could swallow her too, and headed back to the inn. *** She burst through the inn door. “Help! We need help,” she said around breaths gasping for air. “People, buildings… the ground’s collapsed. There are people trapped! We need rope and ladders, and healers. Please, come quickly!” She looked about at the patrons, eyeing off the most capable-looking, eyes pleading for help.
  15. I had moved to union city, for a change of scenery, besides who wouldn't want to live in the capital city? I had been staying at the traven till I found a shop and house just like the image I had in my mind. I had finally settled in the place after lengthy process of haggling with the magistrate. But finally everything was as it should be. And I hung a wooden sign outside of the shop with the name I had come to call my shop elysian etched in shimmering effect on the wood to draw everyone's eye. My shop was a two part shop the smithy that dealt with weapons armor and other such things was in the back and the apcotharcy I had was in the actual shop I had bought. I had every thing set up, everything you could need lined the shelves or was in drawers. Also if you were really sick I had beds in the a room off to the side. I guess it was strange to most being both a doctor and a smithy, but the way I looked at it they went hand in hand. But of course I also had other such things like reguarl tea leaves and such. And my most valuable items were behind the counter and if you were magically sensitive you could probably see or feel or maybe both all the wards and runes I had running all over the shop. But of course you can never be to careful espically when you created things as I did. Gosh I was so bone tried I never knew how hard moving was til I did or just how much stuff I had til I unpacked my shop and sorted It all out. I felt like I could sleep forever after putting up all the wards and everything. It had taken a month to finally get every thing in place and now it was opening day. I took a deep breath and unlocked the door for the first time and stood behind the counter waiting for the bell above the door to ring , or for the other bell to ring for the smithy. I was eager to see how the city would embrace me. But I was cautiously optimistic.
  16. After the madness of the incident, a term that would forever encapsulate the events at Club Tablillas and the bloodshed therein, the Outsider had a single, pervasive thought: home. It drove him, much how fury and spite had driven him to the excess of violence that made an abattoir of a nightclub and a murderer out of a sage. He wanted to go home, where the heart and peace could be found, knowing in the deepest of ways that he needed both to overcome the turbulence of his thoughts and the memories of his deeds. So it was that, after he was sure beyond a shadow of a doubt beloved was safe, he fled through means that were both esoteric and profound. Home, his innermost wish was. I want to go home. And he did go home, that terrible fiend and ubiquitous monster. He returned home, though home had never been the Black City or any of the other innumerable haunts he frequented throughout the years. It was sandy shores, warm weather and white, white rooms of marble and sheets and a golden-eyed girl-child. The veil behind corporeality lifted and a monster in the trappings of a man stepped through, sure of step if not of intent, with naked blade drawn. Then the veil descended again, a shimmer and rustle in the fabric of space and time, and the beast was alone in the castle's gardens. The briefly disturbed cicadas, moved to silence by the new and engaging presence of the Outsider, took up their singing again, as did the myriad of other insects that populated this lush and vibrant place. Their voices reached him from a great distance, faint through the coppery euphoria of absolute anger. Rage this deep left its taste on the tongue. Something not far from fear or ecstasy, but sweeter than both. He turned, but for a moment he couldn't see until he wiped the blood from his eyes. Hræðilegr was in his other hand, it's bright, burning edge sizzling away the remnants of gore and vitae that had frozen fast to the weapon during his travel through the realm between realms. He looked at it, looked at his bloody fist wrapped around the lathed hilt, looked away. The Outsider's sigh released the last of his clinging fury, and Hræðilegr slowly, inevitably grew cooler, its incessant whining for a return to bloodletting diminishing. The metal pinged, the super-heated edges and flat, cherry red all through the night of slaughter, dimming. He waited until its heat was no more than a draft up his wrist before he traversed the gardens, seeking as he ever did the fountain of his - their - youth. This was his home, whether he wished to admit to himself or not, and there was no more peaceful place on this planet for him than here. He also knew it better than the halls of his own estate. Every path, every tree, every stone and brook, all of these things were indelibly etched on the stone of his mind, so very easily recalled, even in turmoil. And he was in great, great turmoil. Finding the fountain in ruin did not come as a shock. He had seen it in state before, smashed by the hands of the young and temperamental. The only difference between now and then was the overgrowth that surrounded it, weeds and vines threading through splintered stone and mortar. Nature itself threatened to take this first gift back into her bosom, and while this disheartened the fiend, there was no more violence within him tonight to deter such a thing. He hadn't come to reminisce over the broken stones, or lament that he had never taken the time nor initiative to restore it again, as he restored it so long ago. His reasons were pragmatic, seated in the very real need to cleanse himself of both sin and -- he flinched, feeling the stickiness on his skin, on his face and hands and chest and -- he dropped down to his knees and started digging with his free hand. He pulled at stones and roots and vines until, at last, water gurgled and seeped out. He dug more greedily then, until fresh water was slopping across his thighs and turning the ground beneath marshy. With a steady flow pouring out from the ruin, the Outsider grabbed greedy handfuls of the clean water and splashed his face. His hand came away a deep, deep red. He grabbed more water and scrubbed. He kept scrubbing, ribbons of pink running down his face to saturate clothes already dyed by gore, until he felt sane enough to remove Hræðilegr from the death-clutch of his hand. Bending over blade and grasping fingers long since locked and numbed from impact tremors, the Outsider started plucking at his fingers, painfully pulling them from the hilt one by one until it tumbled from his shaking hand. Curling the arm beneath his chest, he grabbed the hilt again with the surer grip of his right and, with outrage, hurled the weapon into some nearby bushes like the refuse it was. Groaning under his breath, Roen rocked forward until his forehead was pressed into the soggy earth, and there he remained, rubbing life and sensation back into his killer's hand. The quiet of the night threatened to lull him into reliving the night's affair, and his mind recoiled. He killed them. Of course he had killed them. Not just the ones that shot and stabbed him, not just those who had ill-intent for beloved and those she called friends and allies, but the men and women and innocents, too. He wanted to call it fury, he wanted to blame it on the rage, and for a moment, the guilt and shame receded. Hræðilegr rose and fell without heed, without care, each of his blows slaying wherever it landed. The fury had been buzzing in the back of his head, his muscles leashed to the lactic burn and purity of violence. Each sensation, each scream and curse and cry was reddened by the delicious justification of honest anger. He screamed with them, the Outsider. He screamed alongside the innocent and guilty alike. His was a wrathful existence, and anger, pure, unfettered anger, it vindicated all of his sins. Nothing was as honest as this, this rage. What release had ever been more worthy and true than this dreadful, depthless anger. He was a father confronting his child's killers. He was a lover defending his family against murderers. He was the judgement of Hell made manifest. In rage, anything and everything was justified. It was the highest state of sentience. With rage came vindication, and with vindication came peace. He had charged through a cannoade of gunfire. Blood bathed his neck and chest, and he remembered with sudden coldness, just for a moment, if his face had been blasted open to the bone. Not that it mattered. Not that anything mattered but violence. The wrath had brought him clarity and, at last, with the spikes of fury buried in the meat of his mind, the Outsider had drifted, dreamt, and remembered. Serenity. Never peace, no never that. But serenity in rage, like the calm at the heart of the storm. Every life that could have been taken in the nightclub, was. He had left none alive, as far as he was aware. If it had breathed, if it had laid eyes on him and beheld the totality of his outrage, he slew it without compunction or hesitation. It was only now, in these gardens, that the weight of his decisions. Because he had enjoyed it. He had enjoyed the killing, had enjoyed the way Hræðilegr felt in his hands as it parted skin and split bodies asunder; he had enjoyed the making of war. And beneath it all, he had enjoyed the sick and sweet smell of fear, and the copper tang of blood, leaking from broken skin. There was purity in the smell - purity and purpose. He had been made for such things, and had spent so many, many years denying it. Reaching for the back of his gore-strewn dinner jacket, Roen pulled the ruined fabric above his head and tossed it aside. Scrabbling, yanking, jerking at his clothes, he pulled off every article of clothing that clung to his body and discarded them in heaps around him until he was nude. Wounds he had taken that had only begun to heal oozed from open rents and puncture marks across his body. With his fingernails, he started digging out bits of metal and wood shrapnel, clawing gouges in his skin to tear them from his dermis and muscles. Frantic, eager, he kept clawing and clawing, raking his skin and grabbing fistfuls of water to wash his nudity of the sins he relished. His hair took the longest of all. He held it in the deepest of disgust, holding his head to the stones and combing out filth and organic matter. Dry heaving, retching, Roen controlled his gorge as it rose and finished the task before moving away, crawling on his hands and knees to the bushes where he had flung Hræðilegr. A tool for slaughter, yes, reviled and hated, certainly, but his. He forced it to wilt beneath his touch, transforming it into the ribbon that ever held his hair bound back from his face. Instead, he wrapped the reduced weapon around his fist and between his fingers. He couldn't stay here, he knew. He needed clothes. He needed to find Gabriela. He needed -- time, the one luxury the world was never eager to give. Moving, a killer walked through the castle's gardens, seeking out the palace proper for rooms he was intimate with but seldom visited. The fiend had clothes here, if memory served. More than memories and sentiment, there were things of pragmatic value to be had here, at home. Tail swaying behind low above the ground, the Outsider did not wander, but moved with purpose. There was much to be done..
  17. @Froggychum @L E V I A T H A N Chrysma smiled a devilish smile as they stepped through the forest, and saw the entrance into Yh'mi, where you were SUPPOSED to drop your records. Chrysma wore an indigo robe, but they had cast an illusion spell on themself and Skar. They had a backpack strapped to their back which they rifled through to find their false ID, an ID that followed Yh'mi's standards as closely as possible. The illusion spell definitely helped. They handed Skar his ID. "Be careful, say as little as possible. The spell only goes so far." They said, their words cautionary. They carefully touched up their illusion, and narrowed their eyes. "Act like a civilian. Unsuspicious, inconspicuous, you know. Then we can have some fun after that." They continued, and took note of where the guards were. They had been planning this for a while, but they'd never been this close. "Are you ready?" OOC thread
  18. Luna glanced quickly behind her, before focusing her attention back on the path in front of her. Dappled light shone through the trees, onto her face which was now freckled from the recent harsh sun. Even her long black hair seemed lighter, almost brown, though tied up as it was the color wasn’t so obvious. Her boots were scuffed and worn, it was obvious that she had been walking for a long time, but the physical endurance that was her power allowed her to do so without many signs of weariness. However, it was now almost fifteen hours straight of walking that she had been doing, and she needed to stop. It was obvious she wouldn’t reach the city today, but for now she had to find a place to stay. Luna had expected an inn around, but she now realised the area she had found herself in was almost desolate. With a groan, she turned around, scanning the area for any building, when she heard the familiar crunch of boots on the dirt path, and it wasn’t her. Steeling herself for the encounter, she walked forward.
  19. Presently only the Main Hub thread is open for posting of new plots. All new visitors are encouraged to post here instead of making a new thread. If posting for a specific quest/plotline, please include the name in your post header. Thank you! ABSALOM AUTONOMOUS ARCHITECTURAL ECOLOGIC ZONE 'The Free City' "There are no gods in Heaven, for we have pierced it with our lances and found it empty. There is only Man - and from his confusion he has found the knowledge of his ancestors once again. Behold, now, Absalom! The son of Babel, the High Priest of Progress! In his grasp lies the vast expanse between the stars, and the remotest depths of Hell. Rejoice, Men of worth! Nothing is beyond our reach..." Canon In Progress Geography The Architectural Ecologic Zone - the 'Arcology' - is a colossal megastructure comprised of scintillating agri-domes, elegant spires, and graceful monorails - encompassing a microsociety of about twenty thousand souls, and myriad chattel. Its towering heights lord over the desolate remains of a once pristine alpine forest, the only point of light in the sprawling wasteland. Holographic advertisements loom over the churning industry of the surrounding badlands, acclaiming the virtues of this jewel of self-sufficient civilization. Organization Absalom is divided among its shareholders, with the position of owner and leader granted to the majority stake. While some maintenance of the overall structure is maintained by the owner, individual levels and wings of the arcology are the responsibility of their private Holders. As such, interior aesthetics of one area may vary drastically from another. Because the fundamental right of a citizen is property, those that own no property, or whose property, including their life, is rendered forfeit by incurred debts, are stripped of citizenship and relegated to servitude and slavery until such a time as the debt is repaid. In reality, however, because a lack of means to protect one’s assets is commonly considered forfeiture, even those completing their contracted enslavement often immediately find themselves back in bondage just to be able to feed themselves. Free citizens, but whom own less than 1% of the arcology, are a fragile middle class that dwindles daily, and are only replenished by new arrivals to this futuristic ‘utopia’. Government and Politics Contracts rule all but the most informal of exchanges. Because there are no non-private adjudicators, private middlemen almost inevitably favor the party with greater influence in disputes regarding these contracts, making justice a hopeless pursuit for most. When adjudication fails, squads of private security forces are deployed, leading to brief but incredibly violent shareholder turf wars in which one party will attempt to seize the assessed debt it feels it is owed. The common result is total seizure of assets, to cover the ‘cost’ of the operation, and subsequent enslavement. Somewhat paradoxically, the average day is relatively peaceful and secure for the bulk of the arcology’s denizens, as the threat of wholesale destruction and the ubiquity of high-powered personal weaponry make most sane people strongly reconsider the use of physical force, or attempting an unlawful act. Nonetheless, criminal elements do exist, inseparably entwined into the fabric of the ultra-capitalist society, functioning as yet another tool for ambitious holders to undermine their peers. The spirit of the city's founding was based on the anarcho-capitalist ideal of the Non-Aggression Principle - the idea that the supreme right of a free man is complete dominion in his own affairs so long as they do not tread on the right of another to exercise the same. In practice, like many utopian ideologies, this often boils down to who has the bigger gun. Nonetheless, remnants of this spirit continue to persist in the legal contract morass of Absalom's laws, and the sight of heavily armed citizens going about daily business, or debt slaves selling their bodies in public is both common and praised. The Holders comprise the effective ruling class of Absalom. Collectively, they own over ninety percent of the structure, with free citizens owning the remaining eight or so percent between them, which includes personages such as company CEOs, celebrities, and other independently rich individuals. The Holders are even richer - moguls that command monopolies on industries, services, or goods, raking in profits from several corporations or broad swathes of rental properties. A vanishing few members of the middle class have the deed to their own apartment or business, who the Holders usually allow to remain unmolested to give the impression that the founding myth of Absalom continues; allowing an enterprising soul to pull themselves to a place of worth in society. Everyone else is a servant or slave, whether by debt or choice. They live in Absalom but hold no political power, having no say in decisions that affect them. Women fall into this demographic with near total certainty - even those that are well-off and seemingly independent are kept in that luxury by powerful men. Chauvinism is not merely common in Absalom but almost universal - it is understood that the weaker sex by nature desires policy that is ruinous to free enterprise and free association, and thus is disenfranchised at every opportunity. Nonetheless, the enigmatic Lady of Absalom, Spaide, who 'rules' as majority owner... seems perplexingly untouched by this attitude. Technology and Magic Power generation forms the spearhead of Absalom's technological development, its ever-hungering industries and wasteful lights needing a boundlessly increasing supply of electricity. Six immense nuclear fusion reactors, each housed within one of the support columns holding up the entire structure, currently provide power to all, including the leeching underbelly that clings desperately to their onerous, oppressive warmth. Advances in material science and nanomachinery recovered from the husk of the Sarcophagus has allowed a general eschewing of chemical propellants in both civil and weapon engineering applications. Sleek monorails ride super-conducting rails, jetcycles accelerate using state-of-the-art ionic plasma engines, and wireless mechanical devices of all sorts carry incredibly sophisticated, energy-dense batteries or capacitors. Coupled with the relative fragility of many luxury areas, personal armaments in Absalom strongly favor melee and directed energy solutions, manifesting in a wonderfully creative array of absolutely batshit crazy close-range weapon platforms, from arc-sabres that weld metal on contact, to pneumatic spike-hammers and plasma torches. Despite this, projectile weaponry continues to be regularly employed outside the megastructure, and is common among more heavily armed mercenaries and security forces, taking the form of rail or gaussian accelerated slugthrowers. Magic, on the other hand, is a complicated affair. As the saying goes: There are no gods in Absalom - There is only Man, and his Triumph. The malign influence of the Sarcophagus, feeding off the prevailing vice and hubris of the glittering city above, manifests itself in a manner that can only be assumed to be a Genius Loci. Though some elements of the Lagrimosan continent are inescapable, especially the odd erraticism of gunpowder, the land around Absalom is nearly devoid of the arcane. Exotic enchanted materials lose much of their effectiveness, magical arms and armor seem to struggle to maintain their efficacy unless continually supplied with power, and only low-level power manifestations are produced by even the mightiest of magicians. In this absence, pure technology rules supreme, with only limited interests in the arcology bothering to develop magical solutions to problems. In essence, Absalom's will dampens magic in its area of influence absolutely - a phenomenon that would become troublesome indeed if their influence were ever to expand. Foreign Relations Absalom's foreign relations are currently still formative, but are generally cordial. The owner recognizes that national governments, even those with inferior technology, command resource monopolies that a neofeudal city-state cannot hope to match in open conflict. Trade and diplomacy are conducted openly to import what little the arcology cannot produce on its own, and to market its own products far and wide. Military The Arcology’s armed forces consist chiefly of the private security forces hired and outfitted by the aggregate of the Holders. However, the owner separately employs a full company of mercenaries loyal to herself, as well as a fleet of 200 semi-autonomous armored drones that can rapidly deploy anti-riot ordinance as well as lethal munitions if necessary. Lastly, in case of imminent invasion, the arcology can muster the Free City Militia, consisting of the Holders themselves, outfitted with fantastically futuristic power armors, exo-skeletons, and astoundingly devastating weaponry - the best money can buy. Economy Absalom's economy is a complicated mix of services and goods. It's a lucrative locale for companies or governments to contract out the labor necessary for product manufacture, being that labor is so cheap and available here due to the prevalence of indentured servitude. In a way you could say that the Free City's biggest export is labor. Workers of all sort are exploited within the territory of Absalom. Factory workers, laborers, programmers, service clerks, and sex workers are the most common types. A sizable portion of the population is under some contract or another, often of indentured servitude, binding them to a term of unpaid service. These terms, and by extension the people for which they are made, can be bought and sold. In the sprawling slums that comprise the hinterlands around the main tower there are dozens of industrial sectors dedicated to the processing of raw materials. These factories are populated largely by the lowest caste of people, and as they are indentured, their labor is sold cheaply. Sexual gratification is its own commodity, and gratuitous sexualization pervades society at nearly every level. Moving within the tower, scores of programmers, accountants, salesmen, craftsmen, etc are bought and sold from one corporation to the next. The trade of indentured servitude contracts is common with workers that have special skills. Another practice is for companies to own nothing but these contracts, selling or renting the rights to various corporations as freelance indentured servants. Absalom produces high tech and completed goods. Anything from portable electronics, to medical prostheses, weaponry, digital entertainment, or even lifelike android companions. The main import of the city is raw materials and foodstuffs, as these things are difficult to find or produce. If you can dream of something, and there is a way for that thing to be manufactured, then you can probably find it in Absalom. Just don't think about the exploitation that built it and you can sleep easy. In true anarcho-capitalist fashion, no 'official' currency exists - theoretically any transaction where buyer and seller agree on an exchange constitutes a legal sale. Of course, considerations for the sake of practicality and convenience still requires some manner of standardized exchange. Since the Free City lives and dies on the ubiquity of usable energy, the EUC or 'Equivalent Use Credit' constitutes the digital currency of Absalom, with each unit equivalent to the use of one kilowatt-hour of electricity. The relative stability of the value of the commodity (it is perpetually in demand) simultaneously has a strong, persistent deflating effect as well as a fantastic amount of granularity for bookkeeping. Exchange of credits is done via biosignature authenticated chip cards or implants at the point of sale, backed by individual secure deposits at Personal Vault companies. (The term 'bank' is heavily frowned upon). Personal Vault companies are forbidden to speculate with the contents of the accounts the way a traditional bank would, so instead they charge onerous transaction and security fees. One always has the option to host their hard-earned credits on personal architecture... but is the lack of fees worth the risk? Identity theft is a death sentence in Absalom. History Absalom is not a nation, not in the sense that a traditional state exists. Rather, having no actual governing body, it is a microcosm of individual organizations attempting to live in proximity. It is generally agreed between corporations that a certain respect for common law is necessary, but why do all of these groups choose to operate here? The reason is simple, and it has a name: The Sarcophagus. The Sarcophagus is a structure that exists buried deep underground at the very heart of Absalom. The only portion that exists above ground is a vast open hole - a hole over which the main body of the city is suspended. It has been speculated that this structure is actually a ship from some unknown space faring civilization, that crash landed in the wilds of Lagrimosa in ancient ages past. Nobody knows for sure how it came to be there. Back when the city first formed, it was occupied by tomb raiders and grave robbers who went into the opening to look for treasure, and what they found was both wondrous and terrifying. The Sarcophagus was filled with autonomous machines, hyper advanced technology, unheard of metals, and most perplexingly it was also stuffed to the brim with the living dead. Not zombies, so to speak, but rather the shells of beings whose organic components have been commandeered by the very technology that built their home. These early adventurers waded into the depths, most never to be seen again. Those lucky, or skilled enough to return, came back with tech that had previously been unheard of. It was these few who began the very first corporations of Absalom. These days, ventures into The Sarcophagus are rare and dangerous. It is less profitable than it was in the beginning as an understanding of most of the tech within has been reached. With the ability to replicate many of the devices laying inside, it's seen as a net loss to send people there, even if they do return alive. Even so, it is estimated that a mere five percent of the structure has been explored, with untold miles of corridors and chambers laying unseen beneath the wasteland below, and around Absalom. Locales/Points of Interest Fatal Seduction - As one of the few non-incorporated businesses in Absalom, this club has a reputation for having a little bit of everything, if you are bold enough. Exotic dancers grace the stages day and night, with private booths and lounges for more intimate interactions. The open bar is financed by a hefty cover fee, and robust security ensures Ryker Albrecht's investment remains profitable. Although the kingpin rules supreme in his establishment, it is also completely devoid of any recording devices and thoroughly padded with sound-absorbing wall panels, making it one of the safest places to conduct 'business' in the Free City... as long as you don't mind the head-pounding music. Arcades - Rather than the flashy game cabinet centers this name might invoke in one's imagination, these establishments are commonly found tucked away along the sides of wayfares, with warm rows of subtle lighting casting an inviting glow onto discreet booths with luxurious, padded interiors. For a few credits, one may then indulge in their basest desires upon the most unfortunate of Free City denizens - the arcade slave. Restrained into their working compartment for shifts of up to six hours at a time and powerless to resist, this is where those women (and sometimes men) whose usefulness in other aspects have become unprofitable to their owner, are sold to be used until expired. The Pantheon - The name a callback to pagan temples of old, the Pantheon is the slang term for the casino and game levels of Absalom, most notably the row of establishments all owned by Dual Face, Inc. On-site attractions include complimentary accommodations on sufficient chip buy-in, table and card games, slots, horse and jetcycle racing, five-star dining, nightly shows, and more! Stay as long as you like, and if you win big, your stay is immortalized on the golden obelisk in the central avenue. Just remember, the house always wins in the end... The Suburbs - This is the mocking name the citizens of Absalom use to refer to the slums that sprawl underneath and around the arcology. Polluted, stinking, irradiated and miserable, the rotting underbelly of the glittering city is host to the poor souls who have lost everything to debt. A hollow facsimile of life above can be found in parts, with flickering neon lights advertising grimy sex clubs, back alley medical clinics, and dive bars, surrounded on all sides by heaping shanty towns and mountains of junk and trash. It is perpetually swelteringly hot, a byproduct of the obscene heat and noise pollution from above. Why would you come here? Penthouse Park - The highest tier of Absalom is its sky-jutting spire, encompassing about a hundred or so apartments for the absolute wealthiest citizens of the Free City. Its hanging hydroponic and levitating gardens lavishly surround the twin open-platform lifts that ferry the most important personages of the city up to their slice of heaven. Perpetually illuminated in the sick haze of the air surrounding Absalom, its piercing beacon can be seen as far as Predator's Keep and the Temple City on a clear night. Access to this area is incredibly restricted, and only the most important of dignitaries or guests can ever hope to experience the nauseating level of luxury within. For the fortunate few servants and slaves that find employment in these areas, life is as good as any citizen's... materially, at least. Boutique Girl Host Club - An over-the-top, themed host club by night, and underground assassin network by... also night. The hostesses of the BGHC moonlight as for-hire duelists, spies, saboteurs, and sometimes killers, though their talents are increasingly directed towards mitigating outside threats as their notoriety grows within the arcology. The all-female cadre are beholden to an order master, who cares for and humiliates his charges in equal measure. Strapped into candy-stripe neons, ablative plastic ornamental armor, and translucent acrylics, the barely-clad kunoichi nonetheless boast good training and an array of high-tech gizmos and weaponry on which they rely to achieve their mission. Cathedral of Transcendence - Though it might be said that Absalom's society is in a way a worship of worldly goods, the Cathedral is the single counterpoint in a haze of carnality. Occupying an inescapably prominent position directly adjacent to the Forum, its digitized facades simultaneously clash with, and yet blend into the Babylonian gardens and tiled founts surrounding it. The physical structure is exceedingly plain - merely a black, rectangular prism. The appearance of the Cathedral's glowing parapets and cascading code-waterfalls are all carefully projected holograms overlaid atop the building. It is stewarded by the Elevated Brotherhood, an insular group of mystic monks devoted to perfecting the mind by reducing the burden of the body through mechanical, electronic, or chemical means. The most famous of these are widely known for their jealous hoarding of micro-scaled repulsion technology, with which they are able to levitate spectacularly in expressions of mysticism. A few especially devoted adherents have gone so far as to amputate their entire lower bodies, their torso suspended on a hovering conveyance. Replacement of at least one limb with a cybernetic replacement is common, although interestingly these replacements, which are all done internally within the sect, are not nearly as sophisticated as some of the newer products on the market. The Elevated Brotherhood shares a muted, common animosity with Ergo Tech, as their purviews overlap in the field of cybernetic body modification, but with radically different viewpoints. Quests/Plot Hooks Lagrimosa ErgoTech Expo - Ergo Tech, the foremost biotechnology and brain-machine interface developer in Absalom, is gearing up to host a one-of-a-kind technology exposition open to investors, scientists, foreign dignitaries, and even mundane citizens for a 'nominal' fee. Covering two weeks of exhibitions, other entities are welcome to rent out convention space to display and sell their own products as well. New technologies of any kind are eagerly welcomed, though of course the focus is Ergo Tech's own specializations. All convention pass holders will enjoy complimentary housing for the duration of their stay, as well as access to the vast array of other entertainment available (on their own dime, of course). This is a two, possibly three part quest that will encompass applications to display or visit at the convention, social interactions and dalliances in and around the convention halls, and of course the expositions themselves. Corporate sabotage and secret stealing are the order of the day, so come prepared to defend your intellectual property (or steal someone else's)! Difficulty: Varies, up to 10 players Weekend at Sonny's - Sonny, a notorious philandering rock star, has died of a drug overdose days before his life insurance policy matures and becomes claimable. Either as his agents, or outsiders posing as groupies/fans, maintain the facade of his continued lifestyle for at least two days, then claim the insurance money without being tossed in jail for fraud. Difficulty: Medium, 2-3 players Survey of the Barrier Peaks - While the Sarcophagus is a nightmare landscape all on its own, its massive bulk shaped the surrounding land in strange and unstable ways during its ancient impact. As (expendable) surveyors, head out into the blasted hills surrounding Absalom and take seismological, meteorological, and radiation readings at six different points, all while battling the hostile environment and aggressive, mutated wildlife. Additional rewards available for a detailed map of the findings and surrounding region. Difficulty: Hard, 2-4 players Delving the Sarcophagus - Absalom has two kinds of tourist traps - the shining, never-sleeping nightlife of resorts, casinos, brothels and clubs - and the existential terror that constitutes that yawning crypt below the megacity: The Sarcophagus. Anyone can enter, no questions asked... but no one will go looking for the return of your corpse, either. If the technological treasures within still entice your bottomless greed, by all means, head into the endless deeps. Difficulty: Extreme, any number of players. [This is an on-going plot hook for solo players or groups and actively GMed. Contact @Sigil Warden for assistance.] Completed Plots
  20. Artist: ned-rogers Note: open to members of the military only Purpose Inspired by Daniel Sage's Base #33, the purpose of this military base is to serve as a central meeting hub for members of the military that want to interact with other soldiers outside of missions. Examples of the kind of activity that make the best use of this hub are: Rest / idle time going into, or coming out of, an active mission Practicing skills and maneuvers relevant to your unit Making use of specialized tournament and training fields for those wishing to spar, practice combat, work in teams, and so on. Practicing coursework in the library or with members from other departments to shift from one branch of service to another or to collaborate on mission intelligence Layout Bali's Bistro: A 10 mile march away from the base is Bali's Bistro. If the food in the mess hall is too bland or not alcoholic enough, visit Bali's Bistro for food whose "not free" price tag reflects an uptick in quality and alcohol. Barracks: Where the soldiers go to sleep! Communications Depot: Where soldiers can send and receive communications in any media, ranging from paper letters to holo-array projections, and can range from plaintext public communications to encrypted private and secret communications - basically players can send messages to one another through here Library: Since the advent of the Crook and its connections to TSM, this base offers public access terminals to TSM stored data. A smaller number of military terminals can be used for encrypted communications and access to confidential data. Mess hall: An attached edifice where a soldier can go to get their three square meals a day and chat it up with other soldiers. Food served only at 8AM, at 12PM, and at 4PM. Potemkin village: A small dummy village has been setup nearby for saboteurs to destroy and engineers to rebuild. Training fields: Specialized rings and fields for those wishing to spar or practice combat in simulated environments, both one on one and in small teams. Security It's a military base. Not interested in making this a combat zone but yeah, it's got defenses Canon Crucible Study: Soldiers Cadmium and Delistair work together to engineer a new apotropaic solution for soldiers in the field facing off against unknown magic.
  21. Aleksei

    A Bloody Crown.

    "I hate this place," he said while gesturing towards the enormous throne room. Whatever memories he may have held for the place, they're long gone, tainted by his mother's last memory. He only wished it had been him who killed her, but the opportunity was taken from him by the woman's will to evade the preordained. The want for revenge was his liquor; every day, he reached for the bottle and took one searing sip from it. It kept him contemptuous. "Then why don't you remodel it to fit your tastes? We can close the curtains, litter the floor with filth, and lock all the doors." Romilly turned on his heel to face the only person who truly understands how he feels, even though her feelings contradicted his own. An accepting creature, Areille could see his side of the story and understand the feelings boiling beneath Romilly's generous facade. He is a towering figure, just like their father, and quickly commanded a room with his overly warm smile and friendly manner. Not many know that he's nothing but a snake. "Aren't you a little too rude?" Areille approached the throne, passing her brother, who looked at her with the same contempt he felt towards their mother. Unfortunately, she carries the same features as their deceased parent - tall, thin, red-haired, and opal eyed. If possible, he would see that his sister suffered the fate he wished to put on their mother. Somewhere in his hateful heart, he knew better; it disgusted him that he was willing to make his sister suffer for the faults of their mother, all because she looked like the damn woman. Why could she not look like their father? At least then, when looking upon her, he would not be reminded of his greatest failure. "Today isn't about you, Lilly," she turned to face him, and was met with a budding storm. Lilly, it was a pet name their mother had given him. It had not occurred to her that he would be so sensitive to it, for she figured her brother would have grown out of this behavior now that he has obtained the throne. "It's about putting our mother to rest and reassuring your people everything will get better." Turning away from the throne, she moves to stand before her sibling. He over-towered her, something he often used to intimidate her. Perhaps she should fear him, he is a man with enough power to squash her with just a thought, and her very livelihood was in his hands. Unfortunately for him, Romilly has shown his cards far too soon. Somewhere underneath his grief is a kind man who would never dare hurt his sibling. Yet. "Now, it's time you start acting like the man people believe you are," she said, adjusting his tie and fixing the wrinkle in his collar. "Outside these doors, you are a dependable royal who is mourning his mother. When the night is all over, you can return to being a coward." "You're too rude." Romilly reached up, his lips twisting into a casual smirk that made his opal eyes glitter. He grabbed her hand and turned it away from him, his disgust - towards her, towards himself - clearly painting his handsome features. Areille swallowed hard over the pain he caused her wrist. He won't risk abusing her in front of thousands of people, and later he will regret bruising her. That alone keeps her somewhat compliant. "It's time we speak with the people." She was correct on one thing: outside the doors of this soon-to-be temple, he is a ruler. His crowning was a rather quick affair. Going through all the gestures, he vowed to protect his people, to uphold the values carved from history long-past, and to act responsibly. He had imagined this moment to be different, and for a few seconds, he lost himself in his fantasies. If his mother had not betrayed him, she would be here, and so would his father, the rest of his siblings would also be celebrating. Areille would have been looking upon him like she used to: with love. This would be a celebration. Instead, his mother is dead, his father is somewhere, his other siblings have been banished from the land, and Areille is now crowned as his second-in-command and barely looks at him. It's all Primera's fault. Things would have been different if she had just stayed alive. Once he took his place as Grand Kommadant, the procession for his mother's burial began. It had been decided that she would rest peacefully in the home of Grand Kommadant's past. Primera Capitol is built around the great lake Estrella; within the middle of the lake, resides the castle the Cartyr brood has inhabited for years. Romilly has no intention of staying in his childhood home; he would rather die ten times over than step foot back into the castle. On Areille's suggestion, the castle will be turned into a temple where the people of Nehalen and beyond can visit Primera's final resting place. The Prayer Bridge connecting the temple and the edge of the city allows for people to come and go as they please, keeping the temple active. Romilly wanted to destroy the castle, along with the body of his mother. Even as Grand Kommadant, such a grand request would not be given to him, unless he wished to anger his people. He will allow Nehalen to mourn the loss of Primera. Standing in the middle of the bridge, he watched as throngs of people shuffle towards the temple to pay homage to the dead woman encased in crystal. Areille safely kept herself inside the temple, greeting people as they approached her mother's crystal coffin. Outside Romilly stewed in the various conflictions rolling through his feeble mind and heart. Each person who came forth to shake his hand and give condolences attached to their congratulations made him more resentful towards his mother. If he could leave, he would, but this has just begun. The people of Nehalen will mourn Primera the best to their abilities: with drink, dance, and song. It can't get any worse.
  22. Zigzag

    By My Hand

    Bells rung in the towering heights of the Cathedral, signalling the dawning of a new day. The people went out into the fields, ready to work the crops for their livelihoods. For House Harrkonen, their day begins with a walk through the town they have sworn to protect. "What do you hope for when you look at these streets?" Darien asked his beloved. Lady Liadrin looked upon the various faces that greeted them in the morning light. "I hope for something better than what we have today. Something that will give the people a life of greater decency and contentment." She smiled at him, and he smiled back. "I think I would like that very much as well." He replied, taking her hand in his while they went towards the local marketplace.
  23. Sagittarius-Archipelgo, Azura-Dawn 8, September 1678AY Tuesday, 12:00P.M Vex tilted his head as he read the map. It was a big map of Azura-Dawn, and he was a foreigner to the city along with its massive hubs. He noticed a few streets that were unmarked, unfounded that it could hide a relic of the Cloverheart house. An oar made from the leaves of the Cloverheart tree, tye Fahrenheit Varuna leaves and bark. The demon man had an idea of where to look first, the hub of Sagittarius-Archipelgo. And so here he was, standing in front of a large building. A castle to be precise. He shook his head as he rolled up the map. Impressive Athentha didn't steal all the relics of the islands. Vex thought as he walked down the dirt cobblestone path, his hands behind his head as he let his thoughts go. Rebirth was a strange thing to the man, but he was thankful Sayndar finally figured it out. Well, sort of. Vex whistled as he walked. He was sad not a lot of people used an oar to battle with anymore. He missed those old days but they were long gone. He didn't remain in the past but he did like to reminisce.
  24. [Note: This RP is an open thread candidate for the Become Somebody quest for Port Kyros.]

 -------------------- Dead wood beholds an aging lamp post, standing tall at the top of the incline from the pier. The cage shifts back and forth, as much as heavy iron could in the sea wind. Facing against the sea, six legs crawl eagerly, a copper-red body seeking out its future nest. The wharf borer, a tiny critter known to burrow itself into old docks and ships, prods the tall pole with its antennae, tasting the wood as it climbed higher. Near to the metal ring that beheld the lantern, seeing the bits of crevices underneath, it begins tearing at the fibers of the wood grain.
 A sudden blow cracks its exoskeleton. Its front legs barely holding on before its torn from its grip, its body crushed under beak. ... The black bird, having watched from the end of the lanterns arm, leaps with wings spread to grasp the top of the pole, and proceeds to devour the borer in a swift motion. Its meal eaten, it takes flight from the pole, soaring over the docks

. -------------------- The heavy thunks of boot steps resound along the ramp coming down from the now docked trading ship, as sailors and mercers with crates and marked barrels shuffled to and from the vessel. Blackjack's feet land on the pier. His eyes caught the flight of a black swift floating high above the port. Its wings glided on the breeze, as if to make its presence known. Gavin figured avians couldn't give a shit-covered feather over the thought two-legged ground dwellers, but Gavin would take a symbol of fortune any day. May it be known by the lady of luck that today was a special occasion. It was a new land; a new morning. Against the gleam of the sun, a city lied before him, it's towering spires and rolling sea of baroque dwellings, some fine, others ramshackle, laid thick on his curiosity. 

 "I wouldn't be walkin' too far from the ship before the bill has been paid, Mr. Nobb." the bosun called from the ship. Gavin turns and looks up to the red-bearded man in uniform.
 "Aye. Could have sworn that barrel the crew finished off the other night was payment enough." Gavin shouted back. The bosun chuckled at him, his voice taking a reproachful tone.
 "Now now, Mr. Nobb." he said. "Whiskey's always welcome aboard my ship, but travelers pay the toll. Last we spoke, I only got half of the lot from you. If every land-hopper paid me in barrels, this ship would be liverless as a floatin' cadaver under the gulls." Gavin grinned, pulling the strap of his pack For how snake-tongued Gavin was in his trade, the wit of experienced sailors was disarming even to him. For a moment, he was tempted to play at the mans patience, but decided against it. 

 "Sounds like you got bit by the barrel yourself. You don't remember? I gave you the other half!" ... Before the bosun could protest, Gavin took his hand and pointed to his vest, midway up the left side. The bosun blinked, interpreting the gesture to open his jacket. His eyes lit up in confusion upon realizing a pouch of coins was sitting in his inside pocket; the pouch that Gavin slipped into his jacket just before he had stepped off the ship. ... "Safe voyage!"

 Sometimes, you have to use your roguery for entertainment. Can't risk the setting in of rust, now can we?

 Without a look back, Gavin turned and made long strides towards the interior of the pier, casual and careless as the wind.

 ------------ 

The people were donned in various degrees of dress, from couples with finely tailored frock coats and dresses with corsets wearing gleaming jewelry, to dull grey rags with one too many tears. An eclectic sort, while present altogether, not intermingling. A city of open doors, with a class divide. Seems like a town where a man like him can find some opportunity. A swindle here, a pick-pocket there,... and then perhaps move on to some serious sell-sword work! 
 First, one needs to know the place of operation.
 Get the lay of the land. Know the locals. Know who to make friends with, who to avoid, and... if you're feeling like a complete charlatan,... who your marks are. 

 Months it had been since he left the old coast, a withered heap of war-torn landscape, worn out welcomes, and more than coins worth of regret. Sometimes, Gavin figured, if you found yourself hanging from a ledge with too much baggage strapped to you, your best off cutting the rope and going elsewhere.

 His first few hours in the city composed of short conversations with mercers, tavern keepers and the like. A few drinks and some "manually" acquired funds later, the most important details of the city were established, which placed Gavin on course towards the Old City, to an inn that was mentioned to be a distance from the Nova Citadel, but within sight of it, an old tavern known as the Wretched Worm.

 ------------- 

As the fine brick turned to old stones, and color began to gray, the older parts of the city exposed themselves. Nestled amongst the more ancient stonework and winding, narrowing roads, the Wretched Worm sneered across the way, its overly gothic decor spilling a sort of alluring yet novel atmosphere. The wood panel, iron-banded sign hung from a dragon-shaped arm, its letters drawn in an extravagant serif calligraphy.

 Stepping into the establishment, he eyes its interior. If one could imagine a collection of features which a normal person would call rich, but a noble turned down due to the lack of detail or the number of imperfections, it may go on to describe what the inside of this tavern and inn looked like. A fireplace with a chipped mantle. Fine chairs with worn coverings. Onamented wood panel with plenty of cracks and pieces missing. A long, polished bar with mahogany stools, all scratched or stained. The room seemed to suggest honest attempts at luxury, without being anything luxurous. Hand-me-downs from some uncertain donor. Perhaps several, over multiple hands. There were few patrons within the place, being mid-day. The true alcoholics, as it were. "Merry morning, sir!" a dark skinned woman in a simple, short-sleeved, black corset dress spoke in a courteous and song-like tone from behind the bar, having finished sorting bottles in the cabinet behind her. A pinch of proper accent for addressing guests, over a genuine city-dweller voice, and busy undertone as not to draw out the courtesy too far. "Are you looking for a drink? Our drinks are distilled right here in the Old City. Or perhaps is it a room you're looking for?" Blackjack stepped to the bar, declining a stool, with his palms on the bartop, eyes rolling across the top of his gaze as if pondering to himself, before flashing a clever smirk. "All of the above, lass." ...
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