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The missive distributed had catalyzed a portent that, while seemingly no different than several in Terrenus’ past, had come at a moment tailored to the fancies and deep needs of those that sought a foundation worthy enough to support them. Boldly distributed to the masses, this lack of discrimination provided the perfect veil to cover the meeting that would be held within the embrace of the Patian industrial sector on this day. Whoever managed to decipher the location of this meeting was worthy of attention, though this attention could easily become warped and unforgiving. The burgeoning arm of industry that the Outsider had managed to conjure provided ripe opportunity for advancement but an even greater opportunity for those who preyed on the greed that it freely coaxed. Such greed was enough to convince one of the entrepreneurs to host an ‘advancement meeting’ supported by the promise of ephemeral exclusivity for the span of two weeks from a branch of their choice. So this is where the three pronged weapon given the symbolic name of ‘The Abaddon Triumvirate’ decided to conduct this meeting for the time being.

 

The promise of the attendance of at least one of the triumvirs should have been enough to establish the importance of this gathering. Would it be the charismatic black knight or the artistic sculptor that would make themselves visible immediately? Nay. The third appendage of this triumvirate would be the first to grace the attendees with its presence. The current manager of this meeting oozed into the limelight, an almost gelatinous black liquid slowly coalescing at the head of a long table. The liquid pooled for a few seconds on the floor before elevating itself to a level that was several feet high. The room was simplistic in nature and nothing like the haven that Ker had established for them. Some of the attendees were likely to be fledglings within this organization so they would need to earn the honor of entering into their home which would only be bestowed should they prove how much commitment they had to the ideals of this organization. The conference room that would host this meeting, while significantly large with a seating area and bar, was mundane enough to avoid tickling those who would simply wish to leech off of the ideals and efforts of others here. Those who were here needed to be fully committed or at least willing to execute fruitful actions that would edify and bring them closer to their goal.

 

Crimson spheres slowly emerged from the mass of liquid to observe whoever was already present within the room. Time would be given for annoying pleasantries and fellowship as the meeting would not commence for another hour. Though this marketing campaign that Ker had orchestrated should attract potential members with enough intelligence to decipher the location of this meeting, Agony was far more concerned with making sure the ones who would operate under his leadership were worth his time. The rigor of what they had to accomplish to even be present in this meeting would be sufficient to weed out the worthless and those of ill intent. The others who had already established themselves within the group would be presented with an opportunity to finally meet other members of this budding organization. The days of sparse operations and communication have been discontinued. It was a bittersweet development in the eyes of Agony who abhorred communicating with most but was now realigned into a role that would inevitably mean more social interaction and much more complexity. Even worse now was the temporary absence of Ker and Rodan, leaving him the ‘honor’ of the open address.

 

Undulating black would remain immobile at the head of the table with the occasional shift of those crimson orbs. Each individual orb would move of its own accord, sliding across the black liquid-like mass that did not decide to take any form whatsoever just yet. The amorphous triumvir was infamous for behaving outside of what some would consider the norm. The few that have managed to survive encounters with him were still deprived of the stability that came with having a face to associate with the name. With his left eye focusing on the door behind him and his right eye staring across the long table of this meeting area, he would wait for everyone to establish their position before having to endure what would come next.

Edited by Vehement Agony
-fixed some grammar and wording due to rushing post :/

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Yes, thought Sharak, what could possibly go wrong? With sarcasm oozing from his lips, he acknowledged his own severe lack of self-preservation. A week had passed since he incurred in the mysterious missive, whose true origin he could not discern: a pamphlet? A manifesto? An act of heinous propaganda? Or, more likely, an elaborate joke that some twisted sociopath devised in order to accrue a plump body of victims gullible enough to trust such words? The former outcome being by far the more likely, Sharak embraced the pure delirium inscribed in it with joy profound. Why? Well, because he was - in the same unrecoverable hopeless way - as much of a wicked outcast as the authors of the outrageous document. He snooped around for six long days, seeking evidence of this event in the lowliest and most despicable locations, yet he found very little; details of so inconsequential and negligible value that simply thinking about how those masterminds managed to conceal them so well was honestly intimidating - and, of course, truly exciting. If an organization like this existed, Sharak longed to be part of it, not because of some idiotic immaterial predicament they may preach, but mainly because it would provide an engaging diversion in the deranged turn of Sharak's life. Thus, on the seventh day, he finally decided he would be present at the designed place and time. What is the worst thing that could happen? Death? Ah! It would be a fucking relief in the end anyway.

Sharak strode swiftly across the enveloping shadows of Patia's alleys, more sliding along the walls than actually walking on the cobblestone. He was deeply immersed in his own odd machinations, his main concern being which face he could wear at their first meeting. The Master of Disguise, the Unseen... those were his true identities, for he was everyone and no one. He wore the expensive clothes of highborn, aristocrats and nobles, yet despised them all for their crass opulence and lack of contempt for the others; he lowered himself down to the humblest of beggars and panhandlers, yet he was disgusted by them all for their meaningless existence and total absence of self-esteem; he bit the dust among farmers and merchants of inferior rank, starving from one day to the next, yet he spat on them all for their coerced maidenliness, their utter ignorance and shameful self-pity. Despite living countless other lives, even as brief, there was no sympathy or understanding left in him; only a pervasive, indifferent, baleful annoyance at humankind and the obnoxious monotony of its future. 

For a brief second, his mind conjured the foul thought of wearing no face but his own, but it was promptly driven back by the more moderate and reasonable instinct of his inner self that echoed with "Screw them all! They will sooner see my arse than my true face!". Thus, he opted for a more viable and creepy outfit.

He flowed inside the building following the soft embrace of shadows, slithering on every surface without emitting the slightest sound, gliding across open spaces in an unnatural emptiness, almost as he didn't exist at all. Finally, his feet descended on the marble floor of a large room, richly furnished with an exquisite taste for the grotesque. What is that fucking pile of tar shit?? For my gods-damned sake! At least it doesn't stink as bad as it looks! That, albeit indelicate, was the most honest thought that bulged in Sharak's head when he first laid eyes upon Agony. The amorphous humanoid was sitting fluidly immobile in the centre of the large dark room with a peacefully twisted attitude that made him look eerie from every conceivable angle. I'm in a cave of mad homicidal creeps with a black mass of vomited nightmares: what best way to spend your Friday night? The right corner of his mouth twitched upward in a sign of twisted excitement.

Seconds later, a golden-haired boy popped into existence out of thin air in the seat immediately to the right of Agony. The boy looked young, his skin white and tender, covering a face of the most innocent features: big blue eyes rolled out filling with curiosity, while the wild curls of his hair sparkled everywhere in a seemingly unruly yet useless effort of escaping his head. He stood tight and erect on the chair as if trying to imitate the phantasm of an older sibling; the azure doublet almost overflowing on his neck. Suddenly, a high-pitched voice burst out of that cuddly simulacrum:

"Howdy! My lascivious fellow of amorphous costumes. How fare thou?"

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For somebody who broke into security systems and cracked complex codes for a living, it was the intricacy of the code that first drew her dedicated attention. The deeper Mori got into it, the more it enthralled her, as if she was an overly curious cat.

When she finally deciphered it completely, curiosity had the best of her, she had to see just how deep the rabbit hole went.

Standing at just over five and a half feet in height, the lithe Oriental woman would likely be the most diminutive and least physically threatening of the day's attendees. She also seemed to be one of the earliest, along with another stranger. Her garb was dull, practical, a brown and black matte travelling cloak, complete with hood. All else underneath was hidden.

She kept a wary eye on the amorphous blob at the head of the table as she drew closer to take a seat and wait, wondering if it was one of the organizers of this meeting. It must've been, no? There was something distinctively discomforting about dealing with something that didn't even have a face. Briefly she wondered if this was going to be her end, sudden visions of being mobbed to death attempting to fend off a gelatinous blob in the middle of nowhere, where nobody knew where she had gone.

Mori reflexively scowled. No, she had far too much to learn to perish here. She had yet to understand the truth of that cryptic passage she once learned long ago, that had driven her ever since. Underneath her cloak, she reached for and activated the omni-tool on her left hand, configuring a number of defensive protocols.

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

She sat quietly, listening in as the man who arrived before her did his best impression of a perky, upbeat, and annoying younger brother. If either being turned their attention toward her, she would offer them a quiet "Good day" and a nod.

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"Knock knock.."

His ashen grey knuckles clanked against the door frame as he spoke alerting those in the room of his arrival. As a Researcher and natural investigator the cryptic text had aroused his attention, replacing his morning crossword after reading the bits about Villains gaining power or the meeting of minds. Although hesitant in joining everyone knows eventually someone betrays the group, and he wanted to be the one who sat back and watched it all unfold, but who would it be. Plus after traveling all the way from Amalia to the Mainland to disperse a few Tokens of Kuudraas, he figured meeting with the local baddies would be a solid networking experience and look good on his resume as well.

Slowly he stepped in revealing a figure dressed in a Black Jacket w/ an emblem of his Order over his heart who seemingly to smoldered emitting a dark purple cloud of smoke around him hiding his features. As he moved closer into the room the smoke dissipated behind him to so be replaced though revealing to those who were able to see that he bore a crown of black firery locks that flowed down his back. By now the Cursed mask he wore had been corrupted as well taking on the same black coloring as the clothes he wore. A heavy pressure fell over began to fall over Sugn with each step towards the table slightly disorienting for a split second. "A live crowd here don't you say, be prepared." He dropped his left hand over the hilt of his sword in response and pulled out a chair that sat away from the group giving him a good look at the Blob of Jelly that sat at the head of the table. "What could three Humans and a Blob do to the Khusu." He replied mentally to his patron  in a mocking manner. "I have your blade remembers." "You are lucky I like you." Suddenly the pressure was released allowing him to regain his barrings hoping no one noticed the inner shifts.

New to the Mainland and hoping this realms version of common was the same in all worlds. "You guys here for the interview too." He said sarcastically before snickering under his breath and pulling his flask of Khovfe Ale from his side pocket to take a large swig from it hoping to keep his mind free from it's habitual invader.

"Don't worry, It's non-alchoholic." .... He lied....

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The sight of Sharak’s entry was bothersome, one of the crimson eyes that freely roamed across the dark ooze that comprised his frame increasing violently in diameter as he provided him an unhealthy amount of focus. Children held a rather peculiar spot in whatever semblance of a heart he had, their particularly small frames delicate enough that their bones produced a whole slew of wonderful sounds once crushed or broken. Agony still remembered that fateful day when he first heard the dulcet sound of a petite neck snapping or the delicious staccato of their dainty little fingers snapping. It was a shame that the being that took his seat beside him was a potential member of equal worth and deserved the preliminary respect that entailed.

That respect was challenged with the shrill like voice that now addressed him. The large eye that fixated on Sharak widened even further before closing for a few seconds. The tar like liquid separated, a cavernous maw appearing before a discordant reply erupted. “My well-being is of little importance. Please sit while we wait…” The first half of his reply thundered forth with a guttural sound that evinced a sort of annoyance but it was then contrasted with a reserved request in an attempt to recover from what just occurred. The amorphous Agony was not known for his social tact and yet there he stood, a mass of liquid meant to address everyone here. While his larger eye fixated on Sharak, the other regarded Mori, a liquid-like appendage extending far enough so that the eye would be mere inches from the woman’s face. The amount of attention given to Mori would be even more unnerving. Agony could tell the cloaked individual was a woman so his curiousity peaked slightly at what might be held underneath all those garments.

Sugn entered and while Agony did not give the genasi as much attention, the eye that was staring at Mori would snap in his direction. What an odd creature. “Wel….come” would be all that would be directed to both Mori and Sugn before that single eye would slowly drift away from Mori and return to the black mass at the head of the table.

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Patia was a new adventure for the Unseelie fae abomination. He had left Weland in a hurry, having been nearly unable to escape with his own life. Kallias landed somewhere on the outskirts of Patia. He didn't know much about the city, but at the same time, he knew enough. His wings folded tightly against his back. Well, here's someone that stuck out like a sore thumb or an angel in any city in Terrenus. Kallias walked into the city. Simple enough. He had the appearance of someone who was obviously from Weland. He wore a wanderer's kimono. A simple navy blue cotton kimono with a gray obi around his waist. But he swore if one more person asked if he was some sort of samurai...

His eyes narrowed. Rumors of Patia reached his ears rather quickly. It was useful to employ shinobi. It was useful to employ shinobi that couldn't fall to the Unseelie's charm. "Charm", was more like it. Kallias had figured that this was his opportunity to be able to lie low for a while. It wasn't like the heat on him was going to fade away. He was kind of a shithead in most forms of the word. Except he had no problems helping some old lady cross the street. That was how he won people over. That was his schtick. He had a charisma that lulled people into doing his wishes. Or his charisma was what got him into more trouble and made him more memorable, which was also troublesome. He entered the meeting room quietly, looking around him for traps before even saying anything to anyone. With a golden eyebrow raised, he turned towards the rest of the group.

"Well, I didn't know this was one of those dress to impress get ups." Kallias said with a grin. It was that grin that got him into his shifty business. The shifty business of wreaking havoc in cities around Terrenus.

What was surprising was that Kallias had no problems showing his true face in this company. It was something he hadn't done on a while. For a while, he paraded as an actress in one of the wandering theater groups in Weland.

He had no idea what this group would think of an angelic looking, tall guy walking into their meeting like he belonged. Part of him believed that he did belong. After all, he was capable of great webs of deception and often with that comes destruction on a large scale. Truth to be told, his old Unseelie alias as the Destroyer was not terribly far from the truth. "Greetings, everyone." He sounded friendly and not at all malevolent like it was probably desired of their organization.

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Alec approached the door. He had heard rumours about what goes on inside. Maybe they would understand that not all curses need to be broken. 

Alec had lived the last forty odd years dealing with the prejudice of self-righteous mages thinking all curses were bad. Such backwards thinking is what drove Alec to a life of crime. If people saw him as evil, then he would show them evil. 

His armour silents as he seemingly glided towards the door, pushing it open. "What an interesting group.Is this the place I think it is?" He said as if he had just entered a bar and wanted to know if it were, in fact, a bar. However, Alec was here to join the other villains.

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A crimson sparkle of wickedness glittered behind the seemingly innocent depth of the boy's blue eyes. He squinted and doddered, as trying to adjust himself to the unpleasant height of those uncomfortable seats, then fell on the backrest with a sort of annoyed sulkiness. The blob displayed the same irked attitude of a majordomo tending to a bothersome lot, yet compelled by his role into keeping it together.

"Ohoh we are a little edgy, are we? May I advise a pint of Burnbristle and a good fucking to keep the morale up, eh?" the insolent and sharply inappropriate answer vibrantly clashed with the angelic look of the boy, which exuded nothing but the purest of thoughts. Yet that pile of soft flesh, golden hair and over-sized doublets was nothing more than a mere simulacrum masking Sharak's true self. His brazen, loathsome, greedy true self. "Here, next round is on good ol' Sharak. From the pinnacle of my generosity." He produced two silver pieces and smashed them on the table in front of the blob, hinting that he was literally meaning what he said before, albeit with an ounce too much sarcasm; and introducing himself at the same time. He didn't like formal presentations.

@Vehement Agony

While Sharak was busy spreading wasteful words in the best impression of a young jackanapes, other shady individuals joined the baleful meeting. The first new attendant was a purple-eyed young woman of exotic allure. Despite her dull clothes, there was something sinister about her, something that Sharak could smell just as faintly: the thin inebriating odour of digoxin, a deadly chemical extracted from foxglove plants that could mess up one's heart in no more time than the girl's enticing charm. Identifying that faint scent would be impossible for the common man, and arduous for the average alchemist, but the trained nose of a professional physiker would catch it eventually: Sharak's prowess with debatable concoctions and various poisons rendered the task trivial. The evidence of venomous substances emanating from the girl made it obvious both of them shared a common taste for subtle killings. Yes, I like her style. He climbed down from his former seating and strode joyfully towards the newcomer, exerting his small frame into an exaggerated bow in the direction of the oriental woman. "A bitter pleasure to meet you, lady. Your visage is nothing short of intoxicating...", he proclaimed, marking those words that ingeniously suggested the nature of her predicament.

@Fierach

He could barely finish his sentence that three more members-to-be arrived at the enclave. The place is getting crowded. Full of twisted dimwits like myself. How lovely! A charismatic voice resounded in the hall, dripping catchy irony into the still atmosphere. As Sharak turned to see where those words were coming from, he was met by a man of foreign looks, wearing odd clothes of a blue shade. The man was tall and slender, with hairs of a bizarre ashen blond and an oozing grin stamped over his smooth face. Such a cool look! I think I will steal it...

"Most definitely, sir, this is truly an occasion where you dress to impress!"

Sharak's answer was brief and to-the-point, but once again it had to be taken literally. Indeed, as the last word escaped his mouth, the boy whose appearance he adopted earlier was gone. In his place now stood a thin pale man of nimble looks, probably 6'3 in height, with fair eyes glimmering along three shades of gold, green and teal. He wore a grey sash of flamboyant size around his waist, wrapping the soft navy cotton fabric which his attire was woven from. If anything, he looked dangerously familiar. The grin on his mouth directly hinting at and mirroring the one that flashed on the exotic newcomer's face.

@PandaHat

Edited by LordYalet

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"Can I help you?" Mori coolly addressed the eyeball that was scrutinizing her. It wasn't as if she had never been ogled by men before, but by things was something else. Nevertheless, she held her nerve as the blob examined her.

And then there was the blonde young boy. His earlier vulgarity clashed greatly with his looks, and it was all too... artful to be genuine. An act then, to hide the real person behind it. His greeting was no less jarring, a mixture of refined civility and subtle digs that reminded her of some of the more questionable pick-up attempts she had endured on whilst on campus. Negging, she believed it was called.

Unfortunately for Sharak, she wasn't the type with low enough self-esteem to be much taken in by it. Besides, poisons, toxins, weren't her style. What the assassin smelled was probably her perfume, Number 4 from the Les Potions Fatales fragrance collection. A little fancy, but quite professional.

Her usual weapons of choice were electric shocks, autonomous drones, and knowledge of just exactly what that unscrupulous priest in your childhood did in that dark room. In fact, the first of said weapons was exactly what was armed under her cloak. Should Sharak (or anybody really) have gotten a little too handsy with her in an unwanted fashion, he'd eat a several thousand voltage shock, delivered by the advanced and custom-made omni-tool on her left arm.

Manners must be observed though, "A pleasure, sir" she replied politely, drawing herself up and sitting properly. While Mori was incredibly civil; like most scientists, there seemed to be a bit of social skill that was lacking. Well, she understood such cues well enough, she just wasn't inclined to be very eloquent, preferring to be curt and to the point.

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“Certainly, no one wants to lose out in this contest of ‘who’s the biggest, meanest, most scary-looking badass’,” a voice piped up in a sing-song tone. It might take a moment to spot the tiny faerie, as she made her way to hover next to Kallias. “The Destroyer. Managed to do the deed and get out, I see. I would have expected no less.” Like the other Unseelie fae, Lunara had not disguised herself,  though she could have easily done so. Illusions were innate to their kind. When they shift themselves from their native realm to this one, they can take on different forms. In her current true form, Lunara was no larger than Agony’s grotesquely enlarged eye. She wore her favoured fitting purple dress. 

The delicate-looking faerie flew across to Kallias’ copy, looking at him at eye level. “You lose,” she declared matter-of-factly. “Have your own sense of fashion without blatantly copying others, why don’cha?” Drifting in a circle around the rest, Lunara gave a running commentary for her self-declared fashion show. “Nice mask,” she said to Sugn, then waved her hand dismissively at Mori. “Too boring.” “Oooh, knight in shining armour,” she said as she passed Alec. Finally, she stopped in front of Agony.

“Andddd, here we have a winner!” She threw her tiny hands up in exclamation. “Exquisitely evil! Absolutely stunning! Extra points for creativity! I wonder if you taste like anything! Chocolate maybe?” The faerie would attempt to dip a finger into the liquid that made up Agony’s body. If he made any move to stop her, she would just dodge away and laugh.

“The puzzle was good! It kept me up for days! I get so bored sometimes, you know? I do hope you bunch can entertain me further! I have high hopes! And oh, oh, in case I missed introductions, I’m Lunara,” she landed on the table next to Agony, then gave a big smile and bowed to everyone.

Edited by jaistlyn

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"My, my! How exquisitely talkative are you! It is wonderful how all those words came out from someone so tiny. You may perhaps compete even with Sharak's tongue. Which would be mine."

Sharak regarded the small new creature with something in between curiosity and marvel. He could not understand how something as pristine as her would be involved with the less reputable lot that was inquiring in the hall. That is, until she spoke. A hyperactive fairy with a taste for arguments of debatable utility. And here I thought we reached the gods-damned end of the barrel with my buddy over there, the bothered mass of tar snuff. Mental note to self: next time you want some booze, spend some fucking more dimes for a quality product! Or else you'll end up in a room hallucinating like now. Sharak you dumb piece o' shit!

"My dear little..." he gestured vaguely with his hand in the direction of the darting faerie, looking for a proper moniker to describe her. After some seconds of extreme efforts, his brain gave out and let the incipit hang in the air like a mutilated appendage, "... well, whatever... thing you are. I honestly thought our charming fellow over there was talking metaphors. Not a literal dress, ah! I be damned! A display of ability and umh... oddity. Of which, I daresay, there is fucking plenty here." The slender ashen-haired simulacrum grinned the same grin the original had before, hinting at his inner bemusing. "Not to mention, in my line of work, it is preferable to be highly inconspicuous. Not the best skill to be proud of, but handy enough eheh"

After proposing his peculiar view of the world, Sharak moved out to the edge of the enclave, where shadows were thickest. He paced in and out with oddly circular motions, turning over and over to circumvent the fictitious obstacles of the large columns that marked imaginary confines of a precarious meeting. He was starting to get anxious and only found respite in observing the others and stamping all those pretty faces and outfits into his mind. However, the most grotesque of all was doubtlessly the appalling mass of blackness that shifted over its tall seating. He wondered whether imitating him/it was actually feasible, since the thing was the least human-like figure he ever met. Maybe with proper makeup and some weeks of training...

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@Sanity

@PandaHat

The kimono wearing attendee that entered was met with the agile eye that had taken its time to scrutinize both Sugn and Mori just moments ago. The angelic entry coupled with his confident gait paved the way for the simplistic greeting that was offered which would only be met with that same eye blinking randomly before snaking its way back into the large black tar. Alec was noticed but his question caused the triumvir to become somewhat annoyed. The eye glazed over Alec’s armor but no other action would be directed the man’s way for now. Agony might have welcomed the Destroyer and Alec but Sharak decided on another grand display.

 

@LordYalet

@Fierach

The vulgarity of Sharak meant little to Agony but the liquid-like host knew enough about social norms to realize that the ‘child’ was not behaving in a manner that would be acceptable to many. The annoyance was non-existent, however, as Agony did little to react to the suggestions Sharak had given and even less to acknowledge the forward movements of the most vocal of the attendees thus far. The pinnacle of Sharak’s generosity was discarded, the silver coins left to bounce a bit on the table. Oddly enough it was Sharak’s decision to place his attention on Mori that produced more of a reaction within Agony than it should have. The large crimson eye that had placed most of its attention on him now vehemently shone with a crimson glow as if Agony truly did not wish for the child to interact with the woman. Perhaps it was out of fear that it would be enough to cause the woman to leave or simply because of the potential nuisance he might be but he refrained from acting at all. Thankfully, Mori responded in a neutral manner prompting the fluid host to shift and focus a bit more on the cloaked woman.

 

The fixation that he held on her originated from the woman’s decision to keep herself guarded more than just her gender. Such defensive behavior was cause for concern whereas individuals like Sharak could be handled in a rather rudimentary manner. Were this any other scenario, Agony might have advanced upon her with no remorse simply to shed this veil she wore but Ker had been specific to let their secrets be their secrets.

 

@jaistlyn

The arrival of Lunaris was enough to nullify any desire to drill any deeper into the mystery that was Mori or the enigma presented by Sharak, especially after the latter decided to change appearances so suddenly to mimic the Destroyer. Her rather vocal commentary regarding the rest, especially Sharak, tilted the delicate balance of behavior that Agony was struggling to maintain. His large crimson eye took in all of the faerie’s tiny beauty, the small contours of her little frame mesmerizing. He had only heard of such creatures from his casual and usually unwanted perusal of Rodan’s books. Analyzing the small purple dress, the color within his eyes began to swirl through different shades of red before immediately turning purple. With his eye’s circumference perfectly circling the entirety of Lunara’s body, the faerie had the audacity to attempt to touch him. Her small finger would find itself swallowed by the black liquid, a surge of warmth aiming to shoot through her petite body along with a very gentle rhythmic vibration that she caused due to her bold actions. Eventually the liquid itself would retract to allow the faerie her precious seating near the head of the table though some of that same oozy fluid would begin circling her as she sat near the two silver pieces Sharak had provided.

 

With Sharak’s boredom rising, Agony’s desire to relinquish his post at the head of the table trickled ever closer. Why was he chosen to address a group composed of such eccentricity that it took nearly boundless patience not to impose himself upon them all? Whatever thought process made Ker believe he’d execute this task without any casualties was beyond this ancient being’s comprehension at this time. All of these agonizing seconds controlling himself around the likes of Sharak and the intrigue that Mori and Lunaris battered him with were a burden he hoped Ker would relieve him of soon.

 

“Entertain yourselves while you can….”

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Without warning, a modest fleet of unmarked "civilian" vehicles converges on Agony's location.  The majority of these horse-drawn conveyances appears to be rugged, civilian freight wagons.  Outwardly, they show no signs of having been retrofitted for military applications.  As a matter of fact, they look as though they are the mundane, bog-standard means of overland transportation for generic cargo.  The draught horses hitched to each wagon are as healthy as their drivers are stern.  The horses seem a tad better kept and trained than regular Patian draught horses, but an unbiased judge would not, as it stands, find any of the teams worth writing home about at current.  The drivers, all of whom are disguised as normal Patian citizens, actively scan the deserted environment adjacent to the factory before surreptitiously knocking on the sides of their wagons. 

Within seconds, the area is aswarm with Ker's elite security forces.  Men-at-arms dressed in immaculate, crimson brigandines with steel plate leg and arm protection and steel gauntlets disembark, their axe-headed pollaxes, longswords, and sets of daggers scintillating in the waning light of the sun.  A number of Ker's guard is armed with improved cranequin crossbows in place of pollaxes.  In the commotion of the rapid deployment, one of the wagons pivots such that its now open back faces the factory.  This reveals a wicked polybolos on a platform controlled by a panel of cranks and levers mounted on the side of the freight wagon.  As one unit, the guardians order arms, rapidly lowering their weapons in accordance with standard armed drill and ceremony mandates.

There, they stand as still as statues.  An unnerving silence reigns.  This pregnant, seemingly interminable pause comes to a close when each trooper, in unison, claps his/her left fist on his/her chest and chants,

"Kote, darasuum kote.  Te racin ka'ra juaan kote."

("Glory, eternal glory.  The stars pale beside our might.")

On cue, Ker, exuding calm confidence (as always), exits one of the wagons.  In each calculated and thereafter measured step she takes, there is purpose and swagger that cannot be denied.  An onlooker needs no more than a glance at Ker to know her for what she is, for although she is a woman, she carries herself like a lord.

Never one to shy away from danger, madness, and filth, Ker, alone, advances on the wayward conclave.  She doffs her helmet to the assembly, cradling it in the crook of her elbow for safekeeping.  The radiance the sun sheds as it pelts through the heavens plays upon her gilded eyes, arresting, perhaps, the attentions of those who behold her.

Upon entering the chamber, Ker regards the furniture with an expression fraught with mild disdain before imperiously readying her heavy war hammer, slamming the lame end of the handle against the floor, and issuing commands to the heterogeneous band.

"Greetings nefarious ladies and gentlemen.  I am the shackled overlord; you may call me Overlord Anitant.  You will know me and my history in good time.  When you do, I will permit you to call me Ker."

"Now, you shall stand and be appraised.  Those among you who revel in doling out physical violence will be Agony's charges and should meet with him posthaste.  Let it be known that Agony is the amorphous fellow who has watched and watched over you from your arrival to this junction in case he has not yet introduced himself.  Everyone else, divide yourselves into two teams, one erudite and to my left and the other gregarious and to my right.  Our third, Rodan, has been delayed, though I trust he will show himself and take command of the 'erudite' team before sunset."

Already, Ker is getting down to the brass tacks.  Without missing a beat, she nods at Agony, signaling him to take charge of his team.

"I must ask why the rest of you are here.  You claim to be scholarly or socially adept.  Are you not content with your lives?  Surely you are neither complacent nor apathetic.  I see more than a glimmer of life in your eyes.  What, then, is it you crave?  If you do not desire death, you should have hidden from me.  In my company, death will overcome you or you will become it."

Ker dramatically leaps onto the table in the center of the room because she suspects that this table would serve her well as a podium.  With a pained creak and a loud crash, the table, which is evidently unable to handle over 1,000 pounds of unbridled centauress, gives way.  Ker manages to recover from this "minor" setback, her hooves somehow gaining purchase on splintered chunks of wood.

"Ha, not even tables survive my presence!  Honestly, why are you willing to risk it?"

Edited by The Alexandrian

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He tucked the flask back into the pouch it came from before letting out a loud wet burp amongst the amassing crowd. He noticed an eye belonging to the Blob had been pointed in his direction before uttering what seemed to be a forced greeting. Soon after a familiar creature dressed in an odd selection of clothing appeared in the Doorway. Ah, so one of these guys are apart of the group… Sugn watched as the Fae walked into the looking around cautiously for something unknown to him, and turned his head away from the Fae once he introduced himself. A familiar pressure belonging to his patron returned causing him to uncomfortably shift in his seat. I see you still remember what these creatures are capable of even without me telling you, congrats although with me guiding your mind, being controlled would be difficult, but possible… If I wanted to have fun with you. An ugly look drew across his face as it twisted in disgust to Kuudraas’s response. Luckily it had been concealed behind his cursed mask allowing him to avoid drawing any attention. Once the Fae had finished his greetings he returned his head to its upright position eyeing his now neutral face. The aroma of magicka filled the air as another guest approached the meeting room silently. It wasn't long before said silence was interrupted by a sudden outburst of one of the members asking about Premium Beverages.

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“Nice mask.”

A smaller being fluttered into the room passing everyone along with personal remarks for each member she passed. “How Kind of you to notice.”

He began again speaking in Primordial “Many creatures of myth gathered in one room is a wonderful sight I do say.” His voice sounding like a violent cosmic storm rampaging from his lips. It would be a rare occurrence if the Fae were blessed with Ancestry knowledgeable of the Forgotten Dialect. “Genasi and Fae.” The sound footsteps caught his attention drawing his eyes toward the door in time to see another odd creature wielding a war a large warhammer begin spouting out what first was a greeting that then lead into a more in-depth explanation of what this initiative entailed.

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"Ha, not even tables survive my presence!  Honestly, why are you willing to risk it?"

Without missing a beat Sugn spoke up, “The Free Merch,” he let out a little chuckle. “I heard the Gear was going to be quite intriguing, though I guess the lack of fear stacked on top of free research is also an incentive.” He stood from his chair wobbling a few moments, still a little tipsy, then moved to the location of the Erudite Team. “Who’d of thunk I’d finally get to Research, I mean meet a Centaures.” For the most part it looked as if the group was for the most part assembled, and ready for the beginning of the End.

I will Guide you Sugn…  

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Amidst the chaos of self-satisfied shape-shifters, primordial oozes, and heavily armed militants strutted a pair of brightly dressed men, caps plumed with feathers of a deep crimson, a large embroidered image of a winged rapier within a jagged ring emblazoned upon their chests, and each bearing a large bronze horn. To describe them as pompous in their appearance would be an understatement. To call their manner of dress garish would be an insult to those among Patia's population who took pride in loud colors and clashing patterns. It was their wide, toothy smiles, not so wide as to suggest a threat, but just wide enough to know that they considered themselves as such, that acted as the proverbial bow upon the unwanted gift of shameless kitsch that was their very presence.

Each took position on either side of the doorway, raising their horns to their lips, and blowing a single sharp note before lowering them once more.

"Presenting it's lordship, noble amongst nobles, that whose image all would be proud to bear, The Crest of Dimyrus!" Shouted the leftmost herald.

The soft sound of footfalls on a stone floor rang out from outside the room, slowly pattering, step by step, as if time would gladly yield for he or she who seemed to walk with so little urgency. After a short eternity of frustrating anticipation, a man paced into the room. He shared the same embroidered symbol on his chest as the two heralds, sewn upon a field of royal purple that was his tunic. His pants were of the same deep shade, with an ornate rapier hanging from the man's belt. He was bald, with eyes the color of amber, and a face that wasn't quite handsome, yet still held a rugged charm to it, though one buried beneath an arrogant sneer. Compared to the two who proceeded him, this new arrival could still be considered modest.

"I apologize to those of you who find themselves taken aback by my rather unique entrance. Upon learning of this meeting of yours, and deciding it was in the best interest of all involved that I attended...well, I felt deep in my heart, my ever so metaphorical heart, that it would only be proper to introduce myself with the proper amount of fanfare."

The piercing sound of the heralds' horns formed a short cacophony before immediately silencing themselves.

"Oh my, I obviously need to improve on my skills with this instrument. Apologies."

Scanning the room, the man grinned wider as he noticed his fellow arrivals.

"As my men had mentioned not too long ago, I am The Crest of Dimyrus."

Waving his hand across the bottom of his symbol, The Crest began walking towards the broken table, and the centauress who stood above it's shattered wreck..

"And might I say, you are quite the diverse group of...for lack of a better and broader term, creatures."

The Crest's gaze traveled from one face, or rough approximation of a face, to another, before settling upon that of the centauress. 

"And forgive me if I offend, but you dear lady, and I loathe the use of a pleasantry such as that, for it does no justice to the fierce warrior you certainly must be...you are the most intriguing of them all."

The Crest made no move to bow, kneel, nor perform any action that would lower him, or rather itself to this equine being, instead retaining the same smug resolve that had radiated from them upon their arrival.

 

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