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  1. SCENE: FOREST ON THE SOUTHEASTERN PERIPHERY OF PORT KYROS WELFRICK ERHARD JAGDHUND In the forest, reflexes guided the hunter. Right hand on the smooth, black walnut grip, the left hand drew back on the string — a quail-fletched arrow notched between two fingers. Another drop of water fell from the canopy above, plopping onto wrist as Welfrick focused his eyes on his target. His quarry was a lone stag — young and solid — alone in the clearing. Sucking in a deep breath of the moist air, he calmed his mind. He thought only of the scent of rain on dry soil before finally relaxing both his lungs and fingers. The string slipped from grip; an arrow flew true. In an instant, that young stag’s eyes went lifeless as it fell painlessly onto a litter of pine needles. A perfect shot. Boots trampled tracks in the wet podzol as Welfrick moved swiftly towards the stag. When he arrived, he took off his hood, and spoke a prayer in respect towards the fallen animal. It was a beautiful creature — unique among its ilk. It had a smooth, black, coat and bone white antlers. The hunter could not remember the last time he had seen a black deer, but he knew that they were fairly uncommon. Fragments of another forest came into view — great pines and vast, mountainous stretches. The thought of it warmed him strangely, and he felt an odd sense of nostalgia. He oft saw glimpses of the place, but knew not of its origin. Perhaps it was entirely fictitious. Perhaps it was a hunter’s dream, spun from the depths of his imagination. Perhaps it was a longing — a longing for a place he truly belonged. Grabbing the beast by the horns, Welfrick pulled the arrow from its neck, and dragged it back home on a sled of wood. * * * * * It was well past noon at that point — the sun to set in a few hours. Walking along the wet, cobblestone pavement along the seawall road, Welfrick took in the scenery. He didn’t know how, or when, but he had been living here by the ocean for as far as he could remember. Port Kyros was a place of bustling business and trade, and although he sometimes felt whelmed by the sheer energy of it all, there was an sense of comfort being there. Every breath of the salted air felt new. Every ship that sailed in — every new face that he met — every thing about this city felt novel and exciting. It was as if he was living his own, miniature adventure. Emerald eyes settled on the horizon. Calm waves, parting clouds, and the wet beach were in view. Perhaps he would try spear fishing after selling the game he had hauled back from the forest. The hides of those small foxes, rabbits, and badgers he caught would earn him a few ravens. Add in the elk, and he would be set for the next week. Pulling the covered cart full of animals, Welfrick continued down the road. He would be at his house soon. When he got back, he would change out of his cloak of faded green and worn leather armor. He would toss his jacket to the side, eat some food, and rest in his cot before the sun set. Maybe one day he would finally decide on going on an actual trek — an actual journey. He would have liked that. Finally leave Port Kyros for the wider world. He stopped. A woman passed by. Welfrick turned his head back — a face so familiar. Had he seen her before? @Malintzin
  2. No one knows were to find the Assassins Guild. This was a fact that Mal had learned the hard way, after weeks of combing through leads, rumors, and myths. Oh, it was possible to get in contact with them. The guild wouldn't make any money if no one could find them to purchase their services. But most of these points of contact were dead drops; someone leaves a message, the guild gets it and sends terms, and the employer leaves the payment. Following the messengers had proved fruitless. It was a massive web of proxies and cutouts that thwarted even the most dedicated attempts at surveillance. So eventually he came up with another plan. If they couldn't find the Guild before they struck, they might be able to find them afterwards. Using Aphelion's own network of proxies, the group had arranged for a hit on a prominent military official. Major General Bozidar Turkovic was the man in charge of Fort Echo, one of ninety such installations throughout the city. The Forts were going to be targeted eventually, so hiring the guild to assassinate Turkovic was killing two birds with one stone. Prior to hiring the guild, Mal and a few of his best people had infiltrated the Fort. They were all working in positions that would allow them to keep an eye on the Major. Once the assassins struck, they would be there, and they would tail them. What came after that would depend on what they found. From his position on a guard tower, Mal made sure he was alone before mentally activating his communication crystal, "Check in time people. Sound off." @Zashiii @L E V I A T H A N @Laughingmad @dvsn @Malintzin
  3. Port Kyros is a large, growing port city that had gone from a small fishing town to a grand tourist attraction and one of the main open-sea trading ports of the Rising West and Genesaris in general. It was a beautiful city, with the ocean waves rolling upon the shores of the sandy-white beaches. The thin strip of land spread across and became wider at it’s southern area, and the whole area was backed against the Wicker Mountains, dark and looming against the brightness of the beaches. The city was bright and colorful, buildings and docks spread along the thin strip, and limestone streets glimmered in the light of the sun. It spread out over vineyards and trees of pine, cypress, and olive. Shanna croons as they cross over a large orchard. The warmth that radiated from the coast was pleasing, and could be felt before they even descended upon the airship port. IT was a small thing, but Shanna was able to move their smaller airship into a tight spot between two larger, and settled the ship down with a pleased noise. She enjoyed the more Mediterranean atmosphere that came with Port Kyros and the surrounding areas, and she hoped to visit one of the museums while they were there, at least. The village of Kainos was her destination, but it could wait a day, despite her excitement at the prospect of gaining The Hand. The humidity surrounds them quickly, and Shanna draws in a deep breath, the air thick and choking briefly before she manages to acclimate rather quickly. As she drops open the door, a few black swifts scatter into the sky, chirping loudly in startlement as they escape. Shanna smiles as the sun settles on her visage and draws in a deep breath before she stretches her arms to the sky in homage before turning to Jaw Finder. “This is exciting! We can see all the things while we are here!” She chirps, turning back towards the limestone streets as she steps down. The roads are thick with people on foot, though a few are atop of mounts. They vary, some on thestrals, some on wyverns, even. Shanna peers at the Wyverns curiously, contemplating if she could use Wyvern breath to create the fabled Ashplumbs known to yet another city. They were sweet with a touch of smoke. Shanna quite loved Ashplumb syrup and pancakes…but the fabled trees required dragons breath to properly maintain the soil that gave them their delicious flavor. This thought is quickly deterred as her attention is drawn back to the wonderfully diverse culture that Port Kyros is known for. The ranging buildings, from baroque to the more modern, and Shanna reaches out to grasp Jaw Finders larger, claws and all, before gently leading the reptilian through the wide, but winding streets that leave her staring as they make their way. The wonderful smell of food stalls, tinged with the scent of fresh fish draw her attention and Shanna giggles softly at the smoked fish on sticks and various eels strung out on display as she wrinkles her nose. “Do you like fish, Jaw Finder?” Shanna finally turns towards the large reptilian and offers a beaming smile. “I hope so, I get the feeling we’re gonna be eating a lot of it here!” Shanna resumes 'dragging' Jaw Finder forward as she meanders down the streets curiously. Winding through people and mounts alike, she gasps at the sight of a cable car, and makes a pleased noise. "Oh! I hadn't realized they had cable cars! I love cable cars, they're so much fun!" Despite her excitement, Shanna does not move to get in one of the cable cars, and instead moves to follow the streets until she can find a directory. "I don't have a map, so we should see if we can find one!" "Silly girl, always running in unprepared." "Anyway, this place is run by Raveena Bartolome. She's of the Royal family, and I hear it's her that has caused all the recent developments in art and culture in Port Kyros! Mmm, we should find a temple to the Emporer God, Rafael, too! I need to offer my prayers again, it's been a while."
  4. [ I. Phänomenologie des Geistes ] The Man of Many Masks smiled at his own reflection in the glass of the tower, owing his self-admiration to its translucency. Arduous must the primogenitors have been when constructing the spectral tower— a masterpiece that was both artless and incandescent. There was little in the way of intricacy, and that fascinated someone such as Abbot Knight who made it a point to study architecture in all of the realms he beckoned passage to. While the twelve ascetics chanted around the ancient runeology situated in the middle of the circular, opaque floor, Abbot Knight stood still, grinning self-assuredly. A single break in concentration on his behalf or that of the channelers could result in mutually assured destruction but he didn't seem the least bit concerned. After-all, they were hand selected from across Valucre, brought to this world solely to perform these rites of worship. Each word enervated them, and it showed in the desiccation of their bodies practically rotting from the bone. This in-fact betrayed the will of their spirits however, which existed in this strange demi plane separated from the material. “That’s cheating…” a voice echoed beyond existence itself, coming from all and no directions at once. “Should you be here right now? I'm almost back to Valucre. You could...I'unno, die?” Abbot questioned the mysterious presence, though he seemed as aloof as he was before. “This was your plan all along was it not?” <???> “Hmmmmmmmmm?! I have no idea what you're talking about!” <Abbot> “Abbot!” <???> Like glass everything around him ignited and shattered, becoming imperceptibly bright light that marked the change of planar lines. When his eyes finally snapped too, the sight of the natural sun through the Renaissance window to his left was all he needed to confirm he was back “home”. They say home is where the heart is, and Abbot certainly felt his heart was tied to what little family remained. The Knight surname was a complicated one, and of all of the Knight's, he was certainly the most enigmatic and perhaps the most dangerous. Many found this to be hyperbolic especially when compared to his younger brother who was still in his restless slumber, but very few knew just how Abbot managed to acquire the resources and underworld connections that he had. Lifting his pale right hand upward, he flicked his black tresses from his eyes and smirked quietly. The same royal room designated to himself by the Queen, meaning the transference had completed itself without a hitch...of course, it seemed to be a one way trip, but Abbot wasn't all that concerned about leaving as he'd done a lot of work just to get back. “...why am I naked...” he spoke aloud, processing his statement in the same breath. Huh? Son of a bitch. Flipping the four layers of covers off of his bed with a single flick and his fears were confirmed. His body hit the floor in a military roll in the very next second, and a second after that? He'd managed to crawl his way across the crimson and golden trimmed carpet to the closet in the back of the room, and all before a maid managed to knock on his door, inquiring as to the noticeably large thud she'd heard from downstairs. “Is everything okay sir?” “Y-yes- wait what the hell? What did I tell you about calling me that!” “S-sir Abbot, you're back?!” The door swung open and well...she caught a half-dressed man. You can guess which half was dressed and which one wasn't. In-fact...who dresses themselves from the head down? Only a lunatic who had no idea what it truly meant to be human. “S-S-OH MY GOODNESS I PLEAD FOR YOUR APOLOGY SIR!” the maid yelled slamming the door shut and dropping to her knees in the next second. All she got was a boisterous laugh from the other side. “BAHAHAHAHA WANTED SOME OF THE GOOD OL' ABBY EH?!” “S-s...sir?” Why is he acting so different was all the maid could think. The Abbot Knight that the world knew was cold, apathetic, devoid of empathy or understanding of others. He was a shrewd man who cared only for results and the bigger picture, showing an interest in erudition and discarding anything deemed inconsequential. Something was much different about him now. A few seconds later and the door swung open, revealing the casually dressed royal with a mischievous smirk on his face. “Do you think I'm cute Millia?” “I...s-s...” Abbot, standing six foot and five inches, squatted infront of her and stared into her fluffy pink eyes with his own coarse, gunmetal gaze. “Let's go on a date sometime yeah? I'll let you tour one of my cottages.” Millia, a golden-haired maid of the the Nova Citadel, was utterly speechless. Aside from blushing almost uncontrollably, she turned her gaze away and did her best to regain her bearings in a fluster. Abbot all the while stood up and dusted his sable slacks, adjusted his massive midnight black collar, and turned left and right. How much time has passed since I was last here he wondered to himself, losing himself in some kind of deep, methodical processing. “Where is my violent sister-in-law? I hope I'm not too late...”
  5. After about a week of searching, locating the Prince Grant proved more difficult than he'd hoped for. This left Koji with one alternative option, one which double in purpose of checking up on a relative of his. It had been too long since he'd last seen Raveena, and it was high time he checked up on her. For the sake of maintaining appearances this time around, and thanks to their proximity from palace to palace, Koji opted to have them ferried by Palanquin to their destination. The vessel was carried by small dark clouds, with singular red hands extending from each and working in tandem to move the Palanquin smoothly as they traveled. To the front and back of the vessel were six warriors, a Tengu Knight leading, and one tailing; making the others more of mere foot soldiers, grunts. To each flank of the Palanquin marched one of the Emperor's Tatsuo, each accompanied by a pair of Wolves of Jigoku; Courtesy of the Imperial General himself, Kenshinobu. As always, there was assuredly more under his employ, namely his shinobi, whom lurked in the shadows. Not like the protection he and his Empress boasted visible or otherwise could even compare to themselves. Koji had no intentions of flexing, he simply acquired a small troop out of personal formality. "Si tir ti bvare, tepoha wux tepohada wer petranaswin di tafiafir wer kapraliv Raveena?" @Dreamer
  6. When the Nautilus' off shore excursion came to an end and returned to the docks, the group departed to make their way towards the pitiful thing Jade liked to call a ship. Still, her pride disallowed her from calling the ship by its proper name, the Dodgy Dolphin. She opted for a more respectable name and with a grand sweeping gesture welcomed the rag tag group aboard the Stormcutter. The ship has an plain, narrow hull and a raised quarterdeck carved with runes. It was no dinghy, but it certainly wasn't frigate material, either. She was durable and swift--though its technical position as a freighter didn't make it the fastest. It could fly, it could swim. It was good enough. The ship's chief mate was a ornery old hag who refused to give her name out of sheer paranoia. Everyone else that crossed paths with her called Tsu Niao. Jade suspected that Niao was paranoid because she was obsessive over legends of an obscure, sunken city--but Jade also reasoned the old woman probably lost her mind. Still, she was brilliant on the water and they were crotchety together. "Sleep where you can find room. You're on your own for meals. I wasn't exactly planning for company. NIAO! COMPANY!" Somewhere from below deck was a colorful, muffled string of profanity. Jade lumbered to the torn cage she and the Dragon whelp wrestled over and up-righted it with some effort. She was still ill over losing all the fish and crab that were caught but at least it didn't smell as bad. Wages lost were wages lost and Jade wasn't about that. She pointed to Leon, "You, get familiar with the cockpit. She's nothing fancy but you won't be stealin' her, either." Jade swept a hand over the part of her head that was buzzed and tangled through through the shoulder length of her hair and sighed. What in hell had she gotten herself tangled up in? Still, these folks knew important people--and assisting important people meant money, right? Money meant a better ship than the sad anchovy they were stuck with. Still, she flew nicely, swam steadily and hadn't sank. Yet. "Why are ya'll even doin' this?" She finally asked aloud. The adrenaline and terrible decision-making time was over. She didn't want to seem insensitive or anything; She got slavery and stuff--but she wondered what kind of difference this small, rag tag team was going to make? "I know why I'm in--I'm just the transportation--but what's it to you guys?" @Twitterpated @ODSTDRAGON @Trexasle @-Lilium-
  7. IC: Rules of the Mines: All Explorers/Miners will have access to parts of the mines where the common/uncommon gems can be mined. Mining of rare gems come with hosted expeditions through the Governor of Obsidian Isle, once a quarter. All miners of rare gems will be documented, along with what they mine and fees paid. Nations looking to acquire gems for purposes of their own, must meet with the Queen for trade purposes, as well as permission granted. OOC Rules: To determine if you have found the gem you’re mining, must use the Valucre Dice Rolling system. Dice Roller: https://www.valucre.com/topic/38187-dice-rolling-thread/page/88/ Determining the finding of a Gem, roll 1: 10 sided die, 1-5 you found nothing; 6-10 you’ve found a gem. Rolling a 20 sided die will determine the ounces of said mined gem found. Fees paid per ounce: Common Gems: 10 gold Uncommon Gems: 15 gold Rare Gems: 25 gold NPC in charge of transactions for mined gems: Bargoli Silverbeard Mine: Black Isle Mines, Obsidian Isle: Found on the eastern border of the city, where the road forks a large gate of iron marks the entrance to the mines. Carefully guarded by sentientals, they patrol the mines while occupied by explorers/miners. The guards are around to help if something catastrophic were to happen, or a creature of threat is discovered. Just inside the main entrance to the mine built into the wall, houses a small office fit for the keeper of the mine. Bargoli Silverbeard mans the desk covered with ledgers and loose pages of parchment decorated with chicken scratch. Bargoli is a stout elderly dwarven man with a sharp mind, and a love for flavored tobacco. The keeper keeps the office well lit with quartz luminaries and snug with shelves of books.
  8. Following the initial meeting, it seemed there were a few differences in opinion with what was assumed to be the job, and what the job really was. Recruiting for replacements to participate in this thankless task became a focus. Though this proposed team was no larger than the one before it, it was about the best they could hope for. A five man cell. Jinsoku found himself this day, several days after the initial meet to reconvene and pick up where they left off. Both getting the new faces on the same page as those a little more familiar, and getting everyone in mind with some semblance of a plan before simply busting in and trying to strong arm a secured organization with a frontal invasion and assault. A choice that would prove nothing more than fatal. Before Jinsoku himself, it seemed Bishop had already been here waiting for everyone else to arrive. He sat patiently in the early hours of the morning, enjoying the sunrise as he smoked on his Lho, day drinking before the sun had a full chance to wake up and officially mark the beginning of the day. With Jinsoku's approach, Bishop afforded him a simple nod in silence as a greeting. Together the men sat, peering out at the horizon in silence as they anticipated their comrades, and their inevitable departure for this daunting task. Bishop was less concerned now that Raven had returned. He King might not be in the best of conditions, though found he was. @ODSTDRAGON @Akako Akari @Trexasle @Malintzin
  9. In the hot sands and wastes an Oasis lies in wait. Welcoming to all who wish to enter, formidable to those that wish to do harm. Guarded by a tribe of women selected at birth from their tribes, the newly rebuilt Temple of the Sun Goddess towers above the blowing sands. Sandstone pillars become only visible to the weary eye once travelers have already reached the first guard posts set to keep watch. Amazonian like women, covered head to toe, carrying weapons as big as they check all who wish to enter. From there all guests will be led towards a large gate, behind it the temple accessible only when all weapons have been checked and handed over, guests searched and questioned, and then allowed entrance. A scene quite surprising for the wastes stretches around the temple itself. The only natural spring for hundreds of miles feeds lush plants and supports the keeping of massive war elephants. Priestesses tend the plants and animals diligently and carefully, trying to regrow what was destroyed when the temple was raided and sacked. Smaller housing, built into the walls surrounding the temples houses the priestesses, their fated ones and even children. Many of them still unoccupied and unused as the temples Priestesses were killed in the raid, active recruiting still has not restored it to its previously bursting capacity. A somewhat larger home lays in the very back of the Oasis, hidden amongst the plants and elephants and trickling stream that runs through it. This is the High Priestesses residence, it is here that Khepri, restorer of the temple of the Sun Goddess lives. It is to her that all that enter the Oasis answer to. In the center of the Oasis sits the beautiful and glorious temple. Open to the air on the sides with a ceiling that reaches high, it boasts several small side rooms and one large main one. The side rooms are used to store sacred items, perform healing or for the priestesses to pray. The center of the temple once boasted a beautiful and large statue of the Sun Goddess, now only its crumbled remains exist as the official temple architect has yet to discover the same type of stone it was once built out of. With the exception of the Temple Architect, men are not allowed within the temples walls. They are welcomed within the Oasis itself, but entering the temple is punishable by death.
  10. It began—as all things did—with the idea of impressing a woman. That was how it always went, right? Would that I could have known that it would ultimately shape her life in ways neither of us could have imagined. It was a token, really. A way to show her that I valued her brilliance. That none so far could outshine her—nor would any be so bold to take her on. It was a challenge, too. A call for her to defy the odds, to tap into that sharp intellect I knew she possessed without equal. All I did was put her in danger, and it cost me my life. Every day at two in the afternoon sharp, fresh flowers arrive. It’s not much, and it’s not terrible, but it brings a smile to her face. She is always sitting by the window, by the workbench which is scattered wantonly with blueprints, schematics; gadget and gizmos; machinations blossomed from dreams past, always thinking of the future—always thinking of the inner workings of something, what made it go? What made it so? Gods all bless, she was a beautiful thing to behold. Bronte Academy was filled with the elite, taught by the elite—and the engineering program was no slouch. Still, she stood a head taller than most—sometimes even literally. We had known each other since we were small—and she had always been Uhltoria to everyone else. But to me, sweetly, kindly—and sometimes shyly, she was Toria. Just Toria. The new semester began and ours was one full of subjects that would otherwise boggle the mind. Engineering physics, subjects like calculus and advanced designing magitech. We had to have a thorough understanding of solid and fluid mechanics, of the structures and materials we’d be using, statics and dynamics—the list went on and on. To become an aeronautical engineer was a feat all on its own. There were too many employment opportunities in the Rising North not to put our brilliant minds to work and to use.
  11. It had been quite some time since Jinsoku visited the Port Kyros. He almost felt guilty about not visiting to enjoy it's beauty outside of the call of duty. Alas, he was here on business once more after a lengthy stay away following the last business trip made here. There were a lot of preparations in mind for the journey to come, and there was a narrow chance of both survival and success, though He was willing to brave it; With or without anyone else's help. The cold, hard truth was that either way, they had no nation, government nor military backing them on this quest. This is ludicrous even in thought, a suicide mission by a long shot considering some of the finer details of the target and the objective. Details they had yet to learn. The fact was, depending on the methods they used to engage and attempt to accomplish the mission would determine how to proceed with even preparing. Recruiting had already began, in which the proposed candidates should have received word by now to meet here today. He would confirm who was still volunteering as of now, and he would make silent judgment as to whether he would allow them or even trust them enough to help. Overall their team would be small, though if they played their cards right, that would be the most precise option to accomplish their goals. Stealth would be the main focus, followed by accuracy, and then speed. He was already sure of how he wanted to proceed, though he took into consideration what he potential partners on this task would prefer. The venue of their rendezvous; The Nautilis. Aboard the vessel, Jinsoku sat, dressed in a black suit that seemed to be nearly a half size too small, his brawny frame threatening to tear his shirt and jacket to shreds. With no tie and the top of the shirt exposing at bout half his chest, his left hand cradled a glass of red wine. Each of the other several seats available had an empty glass at the ready, and once seated a glass of water would also be afforded to each of them respectively. Until others began to arrive, he sat rather silent in contemplation. @Aleksei @ODSTDRAGON @-Lilium-
  12. Living in Alethea was always a trial of making the best out of a bad situation. It was hard to live in, even harder to make a living, but people got by as best as they could. Here in this city, controversy was always just around the corner... "Thirty gold coins for a vial of disgusting weeds? This is highway robbery!" Squawk! "You no like, you get out! Bleak Beak doesn't run charity." Squawk! In the outskirts of Dreadfeather territory, there was an argument of prices going on between a human alchemist and an arakkoan merchant. The alchemist, dressed in the casual robes that allowed for ease of movement as well as warmth, felt the ingredients he was buying were too expensive. On the other hand, the merchant finds it fair in that he must cover the expenses of having a stall out on this street, to pay his dues to the Dreadfeathers, and for the collection of the herbs. Regardless of who is correct in this situation, tempers were flaring and more than a few feathers were being rustled. "Is this even fresh Gloomthistle? If it's not fresh my potion is going to rot before I can even deliver it." "You doubt freshness?" Squawk! "Bleak Beak has most fresh ingredients." Squawk squawk! "Very fresh, yes. You pay, now." She wore a colorful arrangement of greens and yellows, complementing her similar plumage as her black beaked head twitched this way and that. Sighing in frustration, the alchemist knew he was likely being cheated in this deal, but he didn't have much choice in the matter. There weren't many merchants that had Gloomthistle, and the ones that did have it weren't keen on selling to those part of the Human Coalition. Just finding this one that was willing to look the other way was lucky enough, maybe he shouldn't press it any harder. "Fine, thirty gold it is." Laying down the coins on the counter, he grabbed the vial and made a face at the bird woman. "You and your damn kind." He muttered. After responding with a an irritated squawk, the merchant gathered her money and deposited it into a small chest under her counter top. Racism was a common fixture among Alethea. There was always someone to hate, someone to shove the blame onto, and most times one wasn't wrong in that assessment. Bleak Beak didn't care much for the other races, but as long as their money was good, she would tolerate them.
  13. @King THE MADAME LINDA LINDA There was the woman, standing, waiting patiently for people that were unsure to come. If this was another time, another life then those people, her loyal subordinates, all would have come running to her, their leader and master, with their adorable tails wagging in joy. But not now, not here, not ever. Was it wrong then for her to expect that much from them? Even after all these years that she had disappeared? They all thought she was dead but now the truth has come to light and she had survived Shawnee. She lived but at what cost? The cartel was gone, the Mistress dead forever. Now she’s living a new name, a new life and yet here she is asking help for the friends and family she had once left. Woe the poor woman. But somewhere in this desert lies that forbidden item that the woman desired. She would stoop low even to an unimaginable level, so long as she can claim that object as her own. It was, of course, an artifact whose myths and stories are bigger than legends. The woman who calls herself the Madame, she will claim for herself. No matter the cost. For now, however, the woman lies in wait, the sandy breeze slowly blasting her figure with its coarse particles. Yet her eyes were ever focused on the horizon. Watching. Waiting. Until the cherished moment has arrived. But not yet. Not now. Soon. Perhaps. @Rin @vielle
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