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"Keep hauling up those supplies! I don't want anything delaying us from finishing this project." Mia stood at the edge of the caldara, watching the beginnings of her greatest project to date. This would not only bring House Uldwar to the top, but it would make Ursa Madeum as a whole even greater. Ever since she had found the missing materials her father had smuggled in to Port Mars, Mia knew what she had to do to further her father's legacy. By her direction, they would become one of the largest providers of Magitech fuel in Terrenus. The gold alone will be enough to get them into prominence, with enough clout to get the young girl closer to her goals of once again being the Matriarch of her House. A tremor shook the ground beneath them, surprising them, and causing some of the pack animals to stir uneasily. "What was that?" Someone asked. "Never mind it." Mia said, looking upwards at the cloudy sky, noticing the sun at midday position. "We need to get started before it gets dark. Keep moving!" Dressed in light traveling clothes, the heat at the top of Mt. Egon was near unbearable. Water was one of the main supplies they required, and thanks to both Port Mars and Qrill, whose powerful industrial strength allowed for the parts to be crafted in the assembly of this machine. With both Marrow and Fatesbane at her waist, she didn't feel worried about a lack of armor. Taking a long sip from her canteen, she watched as they began the construction process. Yet another tremor shook the ground, even more powerful than before. This one could not be ignored, and Mia began wondering just what might be causing it. "Something doesn't feel right..." A third tremor, causing a scare among the workers and animals. It couldn't possibly be an earthquake, but then what could it- KABOOM! Molten rock spewed from the center of the caldara, going high up in the sky, enough to where it would definitely effect the area around him. Men were screaming, animals were running for their lives, and Mia was treated with a sight she thought dearly impossible. "YOU DARE TRY TO STEAL MY MAGIC?! I WILL BURN THIS ENTIRE ISLAND FOR YOUR INSOLENCE!" It was a massive thing of fire and blackened rock, as large as a castle and burning with an intense fury. The heat was coming off him in waves, forcing Mia to step back, but she refused to give up her mission. What she didn't realize was that the spirit of the volcanos work was already beginning. Misral was burning.
All her life, Esme chases her own escape, chases that ever-distant star to lead her into greatness. “Excuse me, pardon me, sorry,” she smiles and nods apologetically as she weaves through the rowdy crowd, Reoldan shaking like a leaf behind her. All around them are the sounds of the marketplace, the exchanging of coin, the tinkling of children's laughter from green-patched alleyways, the hustle and bustle of yet another busy day in the life of the common folk. Esme feasts her gaze upon the colorful banners, the shop tents and the plentiful wares housed within. She enjoys the anonymity, here in the open world outside Ravenel Manor, far from the Hildebrand estate, far from Nai’s seclusion, Aspen’s nagging, Varda’s upcoming marriage to whoever-it-was from House Tankred. This town of Falcia, found to the northwest of Andelusia, is just one of her favorite places to cavort with the townsfolk, to be free from her bindings as a Hildebrand heir. Most of all, it is a place she is welcome to sing. “My lady, when you said we were just looking for a shop to buy bread,” the Orchid knight with her begins hesitantly, but the Hildebrand daughter shushes him, gives him a brilliant sunny smile. “It'll be fine, Reoldan. Besides,” Esme stops to place a golden coin in a beggar’s bowl before continuing, “it’s not like we’re doing anything bad, are we?” She hears a whimper behind her. “I would disagree—” “Oh, shush. I won’t let you come into any harm, oh sir knight.” Her mock-breathy words, crystalline echoes of light, rise above the din of the crowd. Esme whirls around and pats Reoldan on the shoulder. “I do this all the time. No worries.” When they reach the town square, the crowd thins around the stone fountain situated in the center, a small wooden platform waiting for Esme’s attention. She grins at the knight, taps her temple with a knowing glance, and casually steps onto the platform, facing the sea of townspeople. With a deep breath to steady herself, Esme closes her eyes and opens her mouth to sing. This little heart of mine, it’s cold Come light a fire in me She stands in the center of the town square, lets her voice fly, lets her words soar and shine. The world is frost, ice and snow Your hands are warm to the touch Embers deep within your soul Burning brightly People gather around her, the crowds pressing in closer and closer, like moths to a flame. This little heart of mine, it’s cold Come light a fire in me In this, she is content. In this, she is free. And in the deepest dying, smoldering embers of her heart, she knows this may be all she will ever taste of escape. @roboblu