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Nature possessed a mixture of quite and chaos. The flora and fauna shifting and swaying for balance between vast worlds of green, and ever growing colonies of predators chasing the prey in the never ending cycle Gaia has blessed upon with this world. Terrenus possessed it's own natural chaos that was set apart from the rest of the world. It's mixtures of cultures, technologies, beliefs, and desires splitting apart the natural order just the same. This rift reaching a boiling point when the civil war broke out; It's borders becoming blurred and it's power diverging. This attracted many things, both good and evil...Dr. Marigold Orion Ravenspire being one of them. He didn't believe in good or evil, cause and effects that continue to roll over each other through the eons. progress being lost, being made, and being forgotten altogether.

This is the kind of thinking that marred his supposedly 'mad'; He found it infuriating that believing the world should be free from religious ties or bound in such inconsequential moral conflicts was considering stark raving mad. His mind continued to swim with this acrid thoughts as he stood amidst the trees. A breeze picking up from the south, and blowing through his features; causing his hair to whip in the wind and his lab coat to do the same. "It's strange that we of sentience are the anomoly" He muttered "Nature itself possesses no good or evil...simply survival and the continuation of the cycle. Birds who cannot fly when pushed out of their nests will die, and defenseless eggs a mother spent gestating being eaten by a roving snake...a cruel mistress indeed, and yet the world believes such fairy tales like the righteous versus the vindictive still exists" He said in a mutter, snickering at the thought before pushing up his glasses with a single finger "But I digress. This is the perfect location to set up. It took me longer than I would have liked, but it's all worth it in this moment" he said, a smile creeping along his face as his eyes glinted with that manic thirst for progress. 

He put his index and his thumb against his lips and belted out a shrill whistle that echoed through the clearing he stood in for what seemed like miles...a mechanical reverberation soon calling back as his greatest creation bolted through the forest like a brisk wind of steel, stopping before it's master with only the sound of it's shifting parts. "I will have to work on your reaction time Xerxes" He muttered idly with a purse of his lips "Report" He commanded before his glasses instantly lit up with the same shed of dull red the mechanical dogs eyes were. His glasses now showing him the last minute of Xerxes' recon around the surrounding forest. Heat signatures and biological scanners only picking up lower lifeforms, but nothing of worry. His glasses flickering back to their clear sheen.

"Xerxes, 25 by 25 square mile perimeter 3 inches deep marked with me acting as the center, uproot trees if necessary" He once again commanded as he did the mental math in his head easily enough before standing in the middle of what would soon be his claim of land. The doctor snapping his fingers; Xerxes eyes flashing a obedient green before immediately getting to work on his orders. His tail straighting out like a straight razor before lowering down to the ground as though it were a till. A laser beaming from his snout and making a perfect line forward before dashing forward without a slight deviation in his movement. The work of a machine without human error. Xerxes bounding through the clearing, carving a deep groove into the ground behind him before stopping immediately and without any further shifts in forward momentum. A single groove 25 miles long, made in under a minute. Marigold couldn't help but grin. He had started working on Xerxes since he was six, and didn't stop a single day since then...He had come such a long way, and it was the closest thing the doctor had to a bond. Xerxes, shifting his legs and lowering his tail once more before starting again, bolting across the ground. It took only 10 minutes to finish the work, due to a few trees that had to be uprooted. The loyal creation's eyes blinking green indicating it's task had been accomplished before standing at Marigold's side. A large outline now dug out in the ground, marking Marigold's future in Terranus.

"Now for the real work to begin" He said with clasped hands

Marigold had manufactured a portable cargo container that Xerxes had been pulling as they had been exploring all across the world, every important schematic and priceless project he had poured his hardwork into residing within that, although he still felt remiss about having to leave his old lab behind. He may have stripped it down to it's barest components, but it still was a very effecient workspace. He would have to make this one even more effecient. The largest issue currently was that he didn't have any building supplies as he would have had to bring 33 or so carts to fit all the supplies he had amassed in his time, resorting to stashing it in the vault deep within his old lab, at least he knew it would be safe from looters. He brought out everything from the container and laid it out before the perimeter, having Xerxes carry the heavier items before laying out a schematic for the plot of land, mapping it out to a tee; Both the doctor and his loyal companian getting to work on starting what was to be a new future for them. Marigold started embedding 4 cylindrical poles at each corner of the perimeter. These poles 15 feet tall, 4 feet in diameter. These taking quite awhile to install as he made sure that their bases were solid and without any weak points such as screws or joints. He would be sure to mold concrete around the base to secure it further. Each of these tall cylinders have a half inch thick slit from top to bottom pointed in the direction of each groove in the ground. Well that was the first layer of defenses taken care of. The doctor continuing to contemplate over his designs as he looked over the large expanse of land. It wasn't as big as he'd like it to be, but he could make the most out of the space he had currently. "the possabilites are quite literally endless" He said with a bark of laughter. 

He had everything planned out now, all he needed was further supplies, This of which coming from one of his few allies. Nines. He found her rather charming, and despite his ill disposition towards most people simply because he loathed everyone to a certain extent. She was an exception in that regard. They had met quite some time ago. Marigold interested in purchasing Patian Crystals to further his research; He wasn't the only one however as bandits immediately tried to attack them, unfortunately for them...Xerxes possessed an acute emergence residuum within his main processor that could detect the threat levels of others toward his master and within a few moments of them launching their attack. He left them in pieces...not before getting a few solid hits on both of them however as Xerxes was forced to wait outside the tavern they were staying in. Marigold quick to act as he pulled several syringes and a medical kit from his lab coat and immediately treated both of them. What was once grievous wounds to the guts soon became wounds that would heal over time granted they took it easy for the time being. 

It was from those moments that a thin and rickety friendship and alliance formed between them. Nines had unofficially offered him to join an organization she called the triumvirate. He had always considered himself neutral, never caring to get involved in pious, holier-than-though groups, but the more she talked about their motives and goals...the more interested he became. It would give him powerful allies, and allow him to further his research with the backing of these other members while they didn't pay his immoral views of science and experimentation no mind. It still wasn't official, but with the ideas that he had brewing currently...he had a feeling it would be soon. Marigold giving her a tracking device that was capable of tracking Xerxes in case he was ever kidnapped, taken, or his processor stolen. Nines would find him at the perimeter he had been working on the better part of the day. His form crouched as he overlooked his schematics. He was a tall individual, but was quite thin. It seemed like a stiff breeze could knock him over. From her advantage all she could see is his steely mauve hair pulled in a loose ponytail with a single plum ribbon keeping it all together, his red lab coat a stark shift in the otherwise greens and browns of the surrounding forest.

The sounds of muttering heard in his direction as he contemplated over the sizable project he had decided to take on. Xerxes whipping his head toward her form with a dangerous glow of his eyes before recognizing the tracker on her form and his aggressive behavior turning passive. He turned around, his deep purple eyes catching her gaze, and he gave her an ominous smile; rising from his crouched position and dusted himself off as he faced her. "Excellent, you've arrived. that boasts good news I hope. I have a plethora of plans that require the materials we talked about prior" He said. It was hard to gauge his tones and expression as it seemed he was both condescending, intrigued, and stoic all at once. His eyes betraying all of this as they swirled, and flared with a manic activity. It was like he was the living embodiment of a dam with an ocean of madness and experimentation held back by the thinnest walls. "I assume this group of yours is on their mission yes? An important one from the minute details you told me" He said, two rows of glossy white teeth exposed as he grinned "The project I have planned will interest all parties involved. I assure you this. The Ravenspire will be a laboratory fit for one of a scientific thirst such as I, and it's walls can easily hide that which does not want to be seen" He said with a glint in his eye.
@The Alexandrian

Edited by FirePenguinDiscoPanda

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Verily, today was a picturesque day.  The sun shone through the heavens, warming the earth and the adorable woodland critters that scurried up, over, and around the wizened, leafy giants that stood watch over the land in what could have been a timeless vigil.  Wispy white clouds lazily rolled across the bright blue sky, casting shadows here and there as the wind had its fun weaving through the trees and tickling every animal in its path.  The wind carried with it the prayers of flocks of brightly colored birds as it rippled through the turgid blades of grass that blanketed the ground.  The contrast between the industrious creatures of the earth, the tranquility of the clouds reposing on a field of blue, and the gaiety of the breeze that acted as an intermediary between the two was subtle in its form but breathtaking in its intensity.  An artist would call the scene inspirational, a cleric would call it a blessing, and Nines would spit in both of their faces, declaring that it is naught but a bother.

Nines had no affinity for sunlight.  The oppressive radiance of the celestial orb harassed her senses, offending every pore of her obsidian skin as it groped at her and all but blinding her as it fell upon her fierce, imperial red eyes.  Although Nines was most unwelcome in the Underdark, not a week faded into obscurity wherein she did not yearn for endless shadows interwoven with varicolored patches of faery fire.  Aye, her projected lifespan more than quintupled when she traded her umbral world for the sunlit surface, but she took to the surface like fish take to arid air.  She, unlike the drow of Doughton, was ill-adapted to her newfound habitat, living by night and barricading herself behind closed doors in windowless rooms by day.  An unbidden governess, the heir of habit and instinct, dominated her life.  Like a base vampire, Nines sequestered herself at comfort's command, yet there were times when she could not afford that luxury.  This was one of those times.

Nines recognized Dr. Marigold's latent potential.  He, like the members of the Abbadon Triumvirate, was a resource that she could capitalize on if (and only if) he was managed effectively.  As with the vast majority of her allies, Nines wheedled and reasoned her way into Dr. Marigold's affairs.  Her methods were insidious; strumming the threads of the web he had spun to lure him to her side was second nature to the female drow.  Taking a page from Émilie du Châtelet's book, Nines treated Marigold well and assisted him (but admittedly had no interest in romancing him) in an attempt to advance her own education.  Nines would maintain that Dr. Marigold's technology, principally electricity, is the future of warfare, and she would be remiss to abnegate the profit that is so very fond of hanging on the arm of technological innovation.  To this end, Nines constructed a gilded spire of Machiavellian humility founded on fantastical piles and half-truths that would sublime the instant they were of no use to her.

Presently, largesse was the optimal path to achieving Nines's objectives.  This occasion approximated a housewarming, and as such, there were customs Nines was obligated to observe, silly though they were.  It would not do to arrive empty-handed, so Nines bore gifts for both Dr. Marigold and Xerxes: a pricey bottle of Vintage port aged for forty years in an oak barrel for tradition, a set of yellowing manuscripts (now laminated) concerning the fabrication and operation of synchronous motors (specifically synchronous generators) and the installation of hardened microgrids for the good doctor, and an oversized, durable squeaky toy resembling a bandit for Xerxes.  As Nines sees it, this selection of gifts is quite the haul.  Magitechnicians would rather crumple the documents that Nines so jealously guards up so they might play a game of H-O-R-S-E with a wastebasket than study them, but they, in their gross striving for technological advancement, fail to grasp the true nature of reality.  Who, they ask, can find a use for science, real science, when your neighbors are gods and goddesses and even the probiotics in one's yogurt are suffused with magic?  Nines's ancestors could and did.  Although she did not know enough to contribute to their legacy in her own right, Nines, with the aid of Revolution 9, now followed in the footsteps of the giants who preceded her.  Passing these documents to an ally who can without a doubt make better use of them than she can is the best she can do for now.  Nines was a counterintelligence agent by trade, not a scientist, so it should shock no one that while Nines found the subject of electricity positively fascinating, the underlying principles eluded her to such an extent that she was able to do no more than apply the material, albeit with great efficacy.

So it was that Nines, after erecting a tangle of concertina wire and stationing guards on all sides of the supplies the convoy she organized deposited beside the road nearest the site, hiked through the forest to meet Dr. Marigold.  She was clad in her, erm, sui generis battledress, that is to say, in reinforced, waterproofed leather, subdued black combat boots, solid black cotton socks, solid black tactical pants with padded titanium knee guards, padded titanium shin guards, and padded titanium thigh guards, padded titanium spaulders, padded titanium rerebraces, padded titanium elbow pads, (all of which are fastened with ties (under) and Velcro (over) for convenience), a solid black, zip-up, studded kangaroo leather jacket with cushioned titanium inserts, a rugged magnetic bracer with Batman-esque sword breakers and several embedded electrical generators concealed within it, wicked, spiked leather gloves with a rubberized grip and metallic veins connected to the aforementioned generators, a solid black battle vest (cut-off) adorned with official patches from her favorite (heavy metal) bands over a solid black women's A-shirt, a duty belt featuring a push knife, a kukri, crampons, two ice picks, a hand crossbow, a pouch of bolts, a dozen unmarked metal canisters, a multi-tool, and a metal flask, an ergonomic, gray-tinted M17 gas mask lookalike, and a modernized titanium combat helmet.  Reacting to the darkness the tinted lenses provide, her eyes emit beams of eerie red light that flit about the interior of mask as she assesses her environment.

Nines herself is a slim lass.  She is neither exceptionally tall nor exceptionally short, but for an elf, she is quite muscular.  Sections of her obsidian skin are horribly scarred, and a shallow gash extends from the right edge of her eyebrow down to her cheek.  Her cropped hair has been dyed charcoal black to match her outfit.  Her ears taper to a point that is currently obscured by her helmet.  With high cheekbones and the like, Nines possesses a dark beauty, one more intimidating and nightmarish than elegant and divine.  Though the little finger of her left hand is absent, the motions of the fingers of the gloves she wears are not abnormal, denoting the presence of a sophisticated prosthetic or something of that sort.  At a glance, Nines is (by and large) your average drow (exile), if a smidge disfigured.  She isn't buxom and carefree; she is graceful yet burdened.  There is something about her, however, that a run-of-the-mill being would find highly disconcerting.  She is a most unnatural being not in body but in spirit, and even if her unnatural qualities are unseen, they leave their mark on those who interact with her.  Revolution 9 was as much of a curse as a boon, it would seem.

Without further ado, Nines offers her gifts and greetings to Dr. Marigold.

"I am pleased to hear that you are so confident about the outcome of this project, Dr. Marigold, but you would do well not to overstate the stability of this region.  At this time, everything in this region is in flux as evidenced by the challenges I was forced to contend with in arranging for deliveries of certain materials to certain locations.  In fact, convincing managers to send their personnel to this location left my purse a little light, so I suppose you could say that I'm personally invested in the outcome of this project.  If it does not pay dividends after such hype, I will be sorely disappointed, and I swear like a mule driver when I'm pissed off."

"Anyway, these are for you.  When I selected these gifts, I assumed that there still is not a Mrs. Dr. Marigold; if there is, just warn me now so I can hoof it to the nearest convenience store and purchase a card with the words 'My' and 'Condolences' printed on the cover - kidding, kidding!"

"Since you remember what all I've been working on of late, why don't you remind me of your plans for this area?  I'm ever so confused regarding the layout of this complex.  In short, I don't understand why you are so keen on moving out here when you have a perfectly good fully-functional lab elsewhere.  Did aliens bury their dead here or something?"

Edited by The Alexandrian

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The day was quite optimal for the work he was involved with today. It couldn't be a better day. It was the perfect weather to build a laboratory. He could feel it in his bones. This was going to be the overture he had awaited for since he was a pipsqueak drawing blueprints in school. Xerxes picked up the drow' movements rather quickly. His capabilities at tracking foreign signatures something the doctor had spent many months perfecting. His violet eyes like livewires as they looked at the form approaching him. His glasses glinting under the midday sun. A slight breeze trickling through the woods and blowing through his steely strands of hair. A grin creeping upon his face, one that spoke volumes about his character as it was nothing short of pure scientific interest; as though a rat moving so desperately through a maze finally reaching its goal. This was the air of unease he possessed that through most others off their comfort crutch. It was strange that such a feeling could come from a human. He didn't seem physically strong, but the way he held himself...there was a festering hunger for pure research and experimentation underneath the surface. It ate at him like a plague and infected every facet of his work. It was something he was born with. His hands twitched curiously as she overlooked the confections Nines had brought. His eyebrow quirking ever so slightly. Her words focusising his gaze back to her potent red gaze.

"But of course; It is the very reason i seized this plot of land for my own. There is turmoil brewing in this country, and it makes the capacity for growth quite...lucrative you see" He said with articulation; even his words possessed a strange inflection to them as though he were talking to a specimen rather than an actual individual. "I had my suspicions that getting supplies here would be a bit troublesome. Its quite fortunate i left it in such capable hands then hmm?" His smile receded into a permanent smirk of bemusement as he took the gifts offered to him, overlooking the bottle curiously "My my...how interesting. I don't believe I have ever tried alcohol. Curious. This will certainly be a worthy experiment later on." He said

Marigold looked at the squeak toy resembling a bandit, and simply laughed "He is supposed to be a utility droid capable of great feats of pure innovation...and yet the very genes i programmed his processor with are that of a border collie...he will always have the heart of a dog i suppose" He said shaking the toy curiously and immediately getting the attention of th3 mechanical companion. Xerxes looking at the toy with a sway of his elongated thin tail as he shook his haunches. His joint rotors giving an almost excited hum as the doctor threw the toy into the treeline and it was like Xerxes was nothing more than a dog as he bounded into the treeline and vanishing

"You are a sly one madam, Xerxes is quite loyal and getting on his good side is quite cunning, but i digress. You have nothing to worry about. This project will he quite profitable to you and your organization as the world is always advancing and it can't do so without minds like mine working tirelessly to structure the future...a structure many are willing to buy. You won't have to cuss at all! Your temper is safe with me" He said with a bark of laughter. His eyes dsrting along the lamented pages Nines also gifted him. His smile once again reaching his thirsting eyes "Now these are quite interesting...this will come in handy for the future. You are far too kind, or perhaps just properly investing in my capabilities. It will certainly pay off I assure you" He said scratching his chin as Xerxes returned with the toy in his metal jaws, chewing on it happily.

Marigold turned toward the outlying borders of his newly claimed plot of land as he listened to her talk of the gifts. Her keen eyes catching his body visibly stiffen at the mention of A Mrs Marigold. She was unable to see his face, but it seemed she had gotten a far different reaction than she expected. The moment passing as she joked about sending her condolences "I have no use for companionship like that, but ill be sure to let you know" He said. His voice repressing something deeper before he turned toward her.

"I am most glad you asked. My plans here are quite simple actually. I am here to cement a claim to land. I have been searching for a proper sector where I can build proper roots in, and this is optimal. The layout is effective in what I am aiming i assure you. Five structures will be constructed within a protective grid...and using these microgrid blueprints it wil make it even more effective as a deterrent. There will be a building in the center with one building marking each cardinal direction. The north wing, east wing, south wing, and west wing. Each serving a specific purpose of mine. My first lab was quite functional yes, but the isles of Antigone are very restrictive on what can and cannot be worked on. I decided to move to a more...integrated part of the world." He said pushing his glasses up the bridge of his nose with his index finger "Alien burial grounds would be a very worthy find, but actually There is a high density of material and ore under the ground here...so not only can i set up my new and improved laboratory, but i will also be able to mine out this area for its likely invaluable resources" He said. His eyes turning to hers with a more intense gaze "Theres also the aspect of adding a triumvirate operating base here. It would be quite easy. No suspicions or prying eyes. It would be built underground with my facility, but that's all up to whether I am a candidate or not. I suppose it's well for me if you are putting a personal stake in this, but what of the others?"

 

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Nines, now relieved of her exotic, if not esoteric, load, stands with arms akimbo, her eyes sweeping the area behind Dr. Marigold as though they were searchlights illuminating the yard of a prison in the black of a moonless night.  As a cloud floats overhead, Dr. Marigold will, in all likelihood, find himself bathed in disconcerting red light.  Nestled within the Stygian depths of her gas mask, which blends with the angular shards of metal projecting from her clothing to produce a not quite arachnoid appearance, Nines dissects Dr. Marigold's phrasing and mannerisms without an interjection ever escaping her lips.  Only when there is dead air will she continue, her mask's voice emitters doing little to impede the clear enunciation of each and every syllable that crosses her tongue or the bizarre Southern lilt in which every sentence is cast.

Idly, Nines thumbs the grip of the extensively modified pistol-crossbow resting upon her hip.  In doing so, a bead of metal adheres to the tip of the thumb of her glove.  The lustrous ball crawls up the smooth leather, collecting at the interstice between her bracer and the glove.  If Dr. Marigold cares to examine this movement, the formation of a new vein, he may note that metal rhythmically flows along these lines.  Being a Doctor of Medicine, Marigold may classify this phenomena as a pulse, albeit a most unusual one.  Nines herself does not heed this event; either her mind is elsewhere or she thinks this phenomena familiar.

In conclusion, Dr. Marigold was not guilty of committing a faux pas when he resolved to view Nines as a specimen in lieu of a person.  On the surface, her kind was rare, and Nines was an aberration even among the drow.

A vein had formed as a nerve was struck.  Indeed, Nines had not expected Dr. Marigold to respond so negatively to the stimulus she applied.  It was not as if he was wrong - pretty things were always high-maintenance - he just seemed so very shaken or off-put by her comment.  There was a story there, no doubt, but Nines knew better than to pry.  That would likely be as dangerous as allowing Rodan to touch her skin, and she took precautions to ensure that would never occur.  Besides, unions between males and females regularly created spawn, and spawn got in the way of absolutely everything every second of every day for over a decade after their birth.  Yuck!

With an exasperated grunt, Nines considers how to answer Dr. Marigold's query.  She had to balance censorship, truth, and lies to sculpt a satisfactory answer without divulging too much accurate information.  No one needed to know that the Abbadon Triumvirate would become the Abbadon Bipartite after certain goals were achieved.  Ker and Nines, having masterminded the whole scheme, had planned to take their leave of the organization when it was at its peak.  They had staked everything on the success of the organization, but after they had turned a profit, it would be far more cost-effective to leave the insane to their own destruction than to salvage the asylum.  It was about building, selling, and moving on.  Everyone was bound to betray the organization; it was just a matter of choosing the opportune moment to step down and departing on a high note instead of dealing with the organization's mounting problems (which would increase exponentially with time).

I'll level with you, doc.  I don't care what the other triumvirs think about my decision to support your facility.  Rodan is intelligent - you'll like him or pretend to like him because you'll be working with him if you sign on - but he's basically a magical rapist.  If he touches you, he can screw with the workings of your body.  I don't think he has a head for business.  Agony is a slime or a pudding or something.  I think it eats corpses.  I don't think it has a head for business.  'Nuff said.

I don't respect them.  Hell, I don't even trust them to cover my ass in a firefight.  I'm positive the feeling is mutual.  Ker is alright, but she's in waaay over her head.  Ker has done some bad stuff in her time, but she's nowhere near as fucked in the head as Agony or Rodan.  She's a good soldier in a bad situation - she won't survive this ordeal if she doesn't shed what remains of her humanity or quit before people catch on.  I stepped up to slowly take over her duties as triumvir because I don't have half as many scruples as she does.  I killed my little brother when I was seven; I've been in the "murder people who get in your way" business for fifteen years.  Normally, I wouldn't give a damn, but you and Ker are pretty much the only people who have done right by me, and I'm a surface elf now, so I have to repay the favor, right?  That's not to say I've gone soft or anything, but believing there are two people out there who wouldn't stab me in the back if they had the chance helps me trance at night, you know.

Nines slouches forward, quietly sighs, and digs her heels into the dirt.  This is a depressingly heavy topic, but at least she has nearly said all that must be said on it.

Take my advice: use the Abbadon Triumvirate to get what you want.  In time, the members who are chaotic stupid will ruin everything, but the organization is serviceable for now.  Don't get killed and you'll be fine.  I'll back you up if you need me to back you up as long as you promise to share some of your research with me every once in awhile.  I might not be as intelligent as you are, but I'm intelligent enough to know that you're one of the people who can change the world - actually change the world, not just change the names of the people who do this and that like most "revolutionaries."

*Ahem.*

Having completed her rant, Nines once again adopts a more professional demeanor.  She visibly straightens, turning on her heels and gesturing for Dr. Marigold to follow her as she treks through the forest.

I've brought a few people to make your acquaintance, people who can help equip you to process the ore and whatever else you find buried beneath the soil.  They're reliable merchants, and they can supply you with lab equipment and industrial machinery components at relatively low rates.  One of them is a specialist who tracks down formulas for intriguing chemicals.  I purchase all of my cleaners from his company and smuggle him samples of a few of the more interesting items that move through my warehouse and in return his techs are hooking me up with a formula for a potent antimicrobial emulsifier fit for a decontamination facility adjoining a Level 4 biolab.  I've vetted all of them; they won't try to rip you off or kill you.

I should warn you, however, that one of them will probably offer you alcohol when you meet.  As you well know, alcohol is a depressant.  The quantity of alcohol imbibed is inversely proportional to the perceived ugliness of those around you and your intelligence.  Don't overdo it or you might wake up with a centauress, a buxom elf, a lamia, a neko, and a she-dwarf in your bed the next morning and dedicate the next week-and-a-half of your life to becoming a priestess of Bacchus.

Edited by The Alexandrian

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There was a great deal of unknowns when it came to Marigold. It was simply too hard to read a man who lived in his head. He had recovered from whatever shock had been triggered previously. His features intrigued; his eyes insatiable as they watched the curious phenomenon her body seemed to exude. His always on the move as they took in everything they saw with acute detail. Xerxes seeming rather content with chewing on the chew toy and bounding about. A rare instance of Xerxes being a dog rather than a machine. Marigold placing his hands behind his back gingerly as it seemed Nines was choosing her words very carefully. It was quite interesting to watch despite having now facial features to work off of due to the coverage. She was truly a rare specimen indeed. One that he didn't feel exasperated talking to like he did with most others he interacted with. 

"Revolution is a resource you see. Business it's veins if you will. There is business in all things and all things in business, even science. I certainly can't fund my work on ingenuity alone...This Rodan sounds intriguing to say the least. Agony...sounds like an unstable variable, and I'd rather make those myself" He said with a rare smile, a chuckle even. Marigold absorbing everything she said the moment she said it. It was a good thing she was cunning, and careful with her words. Words were something the doctor remembered the best. "I am not so arrogant to assume emotion or sentiment is weakness. I share in it's complications as we all do. You are smart my dear, wise beyond your years. It's the nature of the business we deal in. Its easier to find enemies than it is allies. It is the very reason why i don't join groups or associate with others, but there is strength in numbers. It sounds like this group will keep me on my toes, but rest assured the allies I do make i don't make a habit of betraying them. Its detrimental to my work to have some looming threat over my shoulder. If aiding you with my research and making you more effecient keeps you an asset rather a thorn in my side...then by all means" He said 

Marigold had experimented, toyed with, and even tortured people in the past, but he considered them wastes of flesh. Drug addicts and low lifes. Someone that is capable of winning a modicum of his favor is spared from such attempts. He hated complications, and enemies were the most complicated. "Well it sounds like this group has quite a plethora of problems. I can't imagine someone like you plans to remain long term. It sounds like this Ker does not possess the necessary faculties to deal with the world we live in it seems." He said with a sigh " I do loathe wasted potential" 

Marigold continued to listen to her as the silver poles that were in each corner of the plot of land suddenly hummed "Ah. They appeared to be charged" He muttered before turning to her once more "How interesting...use them for my own goals and get out before jt all burns to the ground. I appreciate your support in that regard. I don't make promises, but there is always room for improvement, and for you I can make this possible." He said pushing up his glasses with his index finger. His eyes glinting and squinting ever so slightly in curiosity as she claimed him a mind capable of real change. "I'd like to think so. This world of magic and monsters is so chaotic that men like me find it difficult to even attempt to change it, but it's quite simple so long as you stay alive long enough for name to be remembered" he said with a snort of derision. "Or at least false ideology seems to be the winning theme for successful societies"

Marigold quirked an eyebrow as he too found himself ranting a bit. He was never one for conversation, but it seemed today was a bit of an exception. He followed her "Those sort of contacts are quite invaluable. I would love nothing more than to make good use of them. I do have a personal vault of resources back in Antigone, but that's a journey that will take time so I'd rather finish setting up my lab before expeditions can be made" He said with a roll of his hand idly "Lab equipment and industrial machinery however...will he very necessary. Well if you trust them then i will keep my guard up" He said with a ghost of a smile. A hint of humor lacing his voice as he followed beside her. The antimicrobial emulsifier was something he would have to ask her about later however. 

Marigold rubbed his chin as she warned him of the potential of alcohol. He could count on one hand the number of drinks hes had, and they weren't all together either so he could certainly say he has never really been inebriated...nor would it take much to do so with his rather slim constitution. "I'll be mindful although alcohol is of little interest of me. I do plan on trying that generous bottle you brought, perhaps with you. What do they call it? A toast? Yes i believe so, not the cooked bread i mean" He said making sure his meaning was understood. The doctor rubbing his hands together in excitement as she saw an actual grin spreading across his face...it was unnerving to say the least.

"Oh the future is looking quite bright my dear."

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The trip from the construction site to the stockpile is not at all arduous.  The terrain is easy enough to traverse, and the trio (assuming Xerxes tags along) ought to be unopposed as they hike through the scenic land.  On foot, it should take an estimated hour and a quarter to complete this one-way trek.  All the while, the voluminous canopy of the lush forest shades Nines from the light of the morning sun.  Some might depict the stroll as pleasant or applaud themselves for spending time exercising in the great outdoors, but Nines, ever the fractious dissenter, would moan that she walked this path minutes ago, that so little had changed that she was bored of it, and that no self-respecting drow would enjoy prancing around the woods like a prissy elf.  Neglecting her brief interaction with Dr. Marigold, Nines will have spent the last two and a half hours moving through the forest when they finally reach their destination, stacks of color-coded 48-foot intermodal shipping containers enclosed by a perimeter of razor-sharp concertina wire.  While the shipping containers are stacked three boxes high, any oversized products Dr. Marigold ordered are stored on the ground.  Plastic, blue tarps have been placed between the soil and the oversized products that should be shielded from the elements.  A squad of Anitant and Pavlavovich Warehousing (APW) regulars are patrolling the area.  These guards are armed with a steel side-sword and a yew crossbow but wear a crimson doublet, breeches, polished black boots, a waterproof black tricorne, and, in bad weather, a waterproof white cloak.  The presence of APW security personnel links APW to Dr. Marigold's operations, hinting at the location of the Abbadon Triumvirate's main base.

Not counting APW's troop transports, armored horse-drawn freight wagons outfitted with swivel polybolos, and mobile living quarters, plain but functional vardos (kite wagons) stamped with the company logo, there are no delivery vehicles in sight.  From the absence of an APW quality assurance team, Dr. Marigold might deduce that quality assurance teams inspected the goods before they were transported to the stockpile and that Nines personally oversaw the delivery of the goods, verifying that the containers and objects received matched the records she acquired from the quality assurance teams and Dr. Marigold's order, and checked the objects and containers, especially fragile items and containers holding fragile items, for physical damage.  The industrious woman must have either worked straight through the night to fill his order or lived here for more than a day.

On the other side of the road, directly ahead of the party a small airship hovers.  It is not a military craft; it is stocked with no weapons that Dr. Marigold can identify.  Its crew is as small as the airship itself; there are fewer staff members than there are digits on Nines's hands.  It is the luxury sailing yacht of the airship world, a well-made, private conveyance for the agents of economic powerhouses.  This airship was designed to serve as a mobile negotiations platform for continents without reliable, standardized means of communication and transportation.  Its sleek hull has been carved out of genuine mahogany wood, and the deck itself features laminated glass walls and a laminated glass roof, isolating the temperature-regulated interior from fickle weather patters.  This permits the airship's occupants to lounge on the deck and host "open-air" parties without fear of anyone going overboard as a result of impairment, bad weather, or human error while simultaneously making the airship more aerodynamic and fuel-efficient than competing models.

An elderly man in a pressed black suit with a silvery tray putters about the deck, presenting the tray, which is laden with four drinks, to an extremely animated bugbear (Guv), a kobold dressed in gaudy clothing (Trill), a bare-footed, big-boned halfling (Oswaldo), and the raddest ogre you can imagine (Xavier, your broski with a brewski).  All of these individuals are attired in crisp, clean suits.  The fashionista who dreamed up the kobold's suit must have been on drugs when he or she did so; the suit is a hodgepodge of color with trinkets sewn in seemingly at random.  On this suit, there are silvery buttons without corresponding pockets or buttonholes, gems arranged like the petals of flowers with stems of gold and platinum, reliefs of mythical creatures, and frills and lace with no end in sight.  Likewise, all of these businessmen and businesswomen, except the halfling, wear custom-fitted dress shoes, some white and some black, and socks.  The kobold has set a big, yellow sunhat on top of her head.  Tiny rhinestones have been glued to her muzzle.  Stunningly, or perhaps disturbingly, the bugbear's nails have been recently manicured as indicated by their glossy sheen and his or her hair is impeccably groomed.  Xavier, who is particularly taken with whatever happens to be hip and trendy, is sporting a pair of shutter shades and a whole slew of rings that spell out his name.  The halfling is reclining in a lounge chair.  When the servant gives him his drink, he reaches for it with the amazing celerity of two-and-a-half sloths.  He looks to be a sedentary individual, and his skin is so pale that he could be mistaken for a vampire of some sort.

Nines ushers Dr. Marigold up the gangplank.  At the top, she pauses, waiting for him to open the translucent door ahead of him or let a servant open the door for him and make his first impression.  If he has any questions about the peculiar assortment of characters he shall soon meet now that he has seen them, this would be the time to ask.  While Nines hasn't said much in the last hour, she gives Dr. Marigold a thumbs up to encourage him to get in there and introduce himself.  It isn't like the salespeople are discussing anything super interesting right now anyway.  Guv is talking about purchasing 2,000 units of something or other at a sensational price because the thingamabobs were cursed.  Eavesdropping on the conversation from this location is challenging, so there isn't much of an appeal to delaying on the gangplank for a long period of time.


Attitudes:

Xavier: Neutral; Feeling Cool with a Light Buzz   |   Oswaldo: Neutral; Warm   |   Trill: Neutral; Fancy   |   Guv: Slightly More Than Neutral; Enthusiastic   |   Nines: Friendly; Forever Annoyed

Edited by The Alexandrian

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Marigold found walks like this to be quite enjoyable in all actuality It was the rare time that he didn't have to stress over projects, upgrades, facility details, and the occasional rapture of his psyche amidst a cacophony of madness, ever present. It was a nice change of pace for the moment, and he was enjoying it as he shifting through the landscape with Xerxes in tow, keeping pace with Nines. His eyes wandering from her to the rest of the forest. 'It's a gift!' Faces of the past would once cheer; His exceptional perception capable of systematically categorizing each and every tree, leaf, blade of grass, and minuscule creature they passed. His eyes always restless as they surveyed the area around them consistently. It was hard to tell whether it was paranoia or simply a tick from his gifted mind. Nines finding that there was a great deal of time where he would look her over, When she would catch this he wouldn't turn away either. His expression simply passively curious as he took in just who this specimen was based off of every physical feature she presented, and potentially even some she didn't. His mind drumming up a multitude of conclusions about this one, yet finding none that could be the proper avenue of understanding such an interestingly elusive creature. 

'It's a curse' A demon from his youth spat in his face as he felt that crawling desire, that hunger, creep up through his very veins and threaten to overtake him; She is a beautiful blueprint just waiting to be dissected, experimented, observed, and dismantled! His brain electrifying with ideas that overflowed into a creeping smile upon his thin lips. This same aptitude for perception was also the catalyst that awoke his darker thirsts for research and progression into fields the world has condemned as madness and villainy. It was something the doctor had always been born with, and while it was invaluable to his work and career...it was rather detrimental when it came to social interactions of any magnitude. It was why he was alone; He preferred it that way. She was always the conversationalist  When he stayed around others too long, that itch became progressively harder to deal with...but with these new developments and avenues of success. He wouldn't allow his mental condition to ruin potentially priceless assets. A stroll in the forest was exactly what he needed.

That insidious grin that developed on his face immediately receded as he seemed to come back to his senses, focusing his perception onto the task at hand. Hours of time had passed while they made their way to the location of Marigold's supplies, and potential assets. There was a great deal that needed to be done, and he wasn't an avid fan of procrastination. He wanted the Imperium done post haste. They finally arrived at the location of all the supplies; seeing the cargo containers, and multitude of specific machinery, and materials...It was a wonderful sight to see indeed. The doctor giving a firm snap of his fingers to the a Xerxes who had been lagging behind a bit to keep watch on their backs (and continue playing with his gift) before He snapped to attention, and stood next to his master without a second wasted. "You certainly leave no resource wasted" He said with a curious grin, overlooking the guards with a sharp eye.

The insignia and uniforms they wore made them out to be Pavlavovich "How interesting~" He muttered. It was quite safe to assume that the Triumvirate were likely based there in some aspect. The doctor deducing as much "I appreciate that you respect the gravity of the situation. This is a sizable investment on both sides you see with just as much risk. I am putting myself in potential danger by joining an organization since their enemies will be mine. and vice versa" He said. It was one of the reasons why he preferred to be one his own. He didn't want to be linked to anyone' squabbles due to being 'guilty by association', but he was always willing to try new things "Especially considering what you've told me about this organization. One can never be too careful" He said with a raised finger "I must congratulate you; This was all put together rather stunningly despite the curious nature of my requests. I will be mindful not to underestimate you Nines" He said with a nod as he allowed her to take the lead. 

It was curious however, as they didn't move toward the shipping containers themselves. They instead were moving toward what to appear to be an airship. His eyes widening slightly, as a grin pulled straight from a child on their birthday plastered upon his lips. These were an anomaly he didn't see too often in such wilderness and natural settings. "I suppose we are meeting the allies you told me about yes?" He asked for confirmation. The ship had a sense of craftsmanship that dripped with some form of decadence so he felt a rare sense of nervous energy. He wasn't good in social situations...especially when it came to bureaucrats, and philanthropists. His fingers flexing for a moment as exhaled a breath he didn't realize he was holding, that giddy smile from seeing the ship fading. He wished he was in his lab already. Nines having to usher him up the stairs, the doctor seeming to be in a momentary state of stasis as he thought of thousands of people glaring at him in his madness and genius. All their eyes jealous, and vicious. He shook his head and sighed before standing up straight "It has been some time since I have had any real interaction with others" He said with derision, shaking his head with frustration ad opening the door himself. He had to get over this inconsequential worry. It was a waste of imagination. He was a man who had created, and done things most couldn't possibly imagine and yet he freezes in the face of a few people? Nonsense; the thumbs up a concept he was still getting used to understanding, returning it awkwardly before entering, mind, sharpening.

All that tension, worry, and anxious energy was gone within an instant as he stood at the threshold of the lounging area. His eyes scanning each individual as he saw them. The sight was...intriguing to say the least. He had learned a long time ago that nothing was truly impossible, but seeing this variety of entities with even more exotic apparel....he was beginning to question the validity of that statement. His expression still remained cold, and calculating; emotion having a hard time unearthing itself from his stony exterior. He studied each individual closer to try and determine the one he was to speak to before he pushed up his glasses with a thumb and forefinger, folding his hands behind his back afterwards. "Salutations. I am Dr. Marigold Orion Ravenspire." He said with a professional inflection. He would say he's pleased to meet them, but he didn't want to lie to them. It was never an interest of his to interact with others unless it bore any fruit in regards to his work or goals. Xerxes remaining at his side. The blue glow of his now orange eyes scanning each individual in the room. His programming keeping him in aegis mode for the time being, but the mechanical creation made it very clear that any attempts to touch Marigold would be met with immediate action. A simple precaution.

"Now, shall we do business?"


 

Spoiler

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“Me? Why not you? You should talk to him!”

“Because you’re the mayor, Hedia!”

“Will talking even work? If he is able to cut down a whole patch of forest in a day?” Hedia wrung her hands in worry. She had long heard of these incredible heroes who could fly, conjure fire, or bring down rain, but she thought those stories only occurred in large cities. Little did she expect that one of them would arrive in her small town, but instead of behaving like a hero, he was like a villain who tore down the forests near them. Forests that provided the town with precious wood to use and sell.

Hedia was a woman of forty-two, hailed as one of the most intelligent persons in the town of Knoles. This situation , however, was far out of her hands. However, it was true that she was the mayor, and such things fell onto her shoulders to solve.

Bringing three people from the town’s police, who had their favoured weapons with them but undrawn, Hedia arrived at the half-built structure of the Anima Imperium. She walked around the steel foundations that had been constructed, to see if the rumoured man in the lab coat was around. If she didn’t see him, she would call out, “Hey there! I am the mayor of Knoles, and I wish to speak with you.”

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There were many avenues of being successful. Money, power, sexual desire, and even reputation itself. It was humanity craved for eons, and would crave for many more. The pursuit of being remembered was what made such short lived creatures so...ferocious in their capabilities. They could bend to the point of breaking, and change. Adapt to their situation and survive in whatever conditions it forces them into. Marigold felt all this whirring through his brain as he discussed the Imperium, and his intentions. They had acquired the supplies he needed, and even delivered a very special container that he wanted delivered from his old lab. It had all been produced to the letter, and he was ecstatic. This was his success, his progress towards what he had been making blueprints for and designing for years. It was on the cusp of being a reality. He would show the world what a human was capable of, and it felt impeccable. The doctor finishing the final details of the transactions with these investors as it were, stepping out of the aircraft hastily as he was eager to continue construction with this materials, having the containers, equipment and resources beginning to move toward the imperium itself, hours passing before Hedia and her escort would arrive at the imperium.

The Mayor seeing the tail end of a steady stream of transport hauling materials toward their destination. A near mile circumference of forest being re-purposed for the use of the Imperium, leaving a grove with the half constructed facility at it's center.  A half mile of field between the treeline and imperium. There wasn't a great deal to look at in it's current state as the grid walls weren't activated and the buildings were being constructed. Containers, and equipment with large blue tarps over them being allocated next to the construction site. A sizable stockpile seen. This wasn't a small project by any standards. There weren't any walls aside from the pylons that marked the corners, making finding an entrance difficult. One of her escorts pointing out the individual that matched their description. A man in a lab coat crouched over a pile of scrap and strange electronic parts visible close to where the stockpile was, working on one of the pylons. 

Her words carrying their weight as she immediately got a response. The doctor turning his head before standing up and facing her, raising the welder's mask he had on currently. Any attempts to move closer to him at that point would be interrupted as a mechanical machination landed from the pylon above, standing in-between them and him. 
Xerxes a mechanical canine with a sleek black finish, and eyes of every shifting colors. His eyes currently a brilliant yellow as he flared a bladed tail, making it clear that he wasn't friendly "Stand down Xerxes" Marigold commanded as he took off his gloves and closed the distance between him and Hedia, standing three feet away from her now as looked at her quizzically, eyes of dull violet seeming to almost be invasive in their observations. "Mayor of Knoles? I have not heard of such a place, I imagine it's the village closest to here yes? Otherwise why would a mayor show up?" He asked, folding his hands behind his back. He wasn't a particularly tall man standing only five, eight and hardly having any muscle or fat to speak of. His maroon double breasted lab coat covering most of his body, and truly only leaving his head and hands visible, paled as they were. Hair of steely mauve toussled and unkempt as it pooled around his shoulders, glasses being pushed up with a palm as he eyed the other three officials curiously.
"I am Dr. Marigold Orion Ravenspire. A pleasure to meet a new neighbor" He said with a bow 
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Hedia looked curiously at the man in the lab coat as he stood up. She started to walk over to him, when a moving mass of metal leaped down in between them. She gasped in shock, as did the three men with her. They raised their weapons, but she halted them with a hand.

“Stand down, Xerxes.” 

What was this abomination? Hedia furrowed her brows and took a step back, though her face was resolute. The man in red did not seem to be hostile, but as she knew, that could change at the drop of a hat. For now, she would play nice.

“I’m Hedia. Hedia Jens.” She returned the doctor’s bow with her own. “KnoIes is a small town, so I’m not surprised you’re unaware. On the other hand, I’ve heard much about how you had cleared the trees in just a day. This all,” she gestured to the construction, “looks very impressive.” She cleared her throat. “I don’t know where you hail from and why you chose to come here, but it poses a problem for us. You see, the trees you have cut down - they comprise the livelihood of a good many of my people. I’m here to understand your plans, and to seek a peaceful discussion between both our sides.” She paused to see Marigold’s reaction.

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Xerxes backed off and stood down as he was commanded to, the mechanical canine circling around the three before sitting on his haunches next to his master. "Forgive him, he simplys acts on instinct" The doctor said, the way his lips clipped around the word instinct indicating that it was likely an intentional display. "I caught wind of the chaos beginning to brew within Terranus, and while I prefer quieter areas....I figured this would be an opportune moment to set up as it were" He said, adjusting his collar as he watched them with faded violet eyes, listening to her with a modicum of interest as she has already heard about this project in just a day's time. His focus solely on Hedia; his expression seeming to light up in strange surprise "Oh? You are here over the concern of the lumber I removed?" He asked, chuckling strangely before pointing over to a large stack of cut trees with a blue tarp covering them. "Feel free to take them back to this Knoles all you like. I have no interest in lumber." He said with a dismissive wave of his hand. "Hopefully that resolves any infraction I may have caused, however a discussion could be very beneficial to both of us" He said, stroking his cheek in thought

"My plans are to build a facility dedicated to research and technology as you can see" He said "I am merely a human aiming to make a difference in a world of gods and monsters you see. Humanity compared to the eons means very little. If I build something with meaning then I will be immortal. I will live so long as The Anima Imperium lives" He said; his voice becoming more dislocated as his mind seemed to wander to a far away place. A moment passing before he focused on her once again; seeming to return to the current conversation "Yes, A discussion would be lovely. Your hamlet could likely use my assistance in defenses, resources, and making sure it thrives as it should; Allies are quite valuable to me, especially in a country I am still fresh to" He said. The Doctor beckoning for them to follow as he moved toward where his resources were being stockpiled. "I am in the process of constructing my laboratory as we speak, and aim to have it finished within the month. I hope we can come to an agreement cause I would prefer not to make anymore enemies if I can help it"

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The chaos within Terrenus. It was true, she had heard about the riots in the large cities. The townspeople had friends and family who left to strike out a living in the cities. Some of them had come back recently to take refuge, bringing with them tales of the civil war. Hedia found it hard to believe that the church and military seemed to have lost control, and even more exaggerated were the rumours that the Terran military had propagated the unrest. And so that this doctor sought to capitalize on the chaos didn’t sit well with her. 

She pursed her lips at the lumber Marigold had offered. He obviously didn’t know the industry. “I thank you for the offer, and it does somewhat ease our burden. However, it is a lot for us to process and transport at once without having the wood start to rot. My people would also need to work doubly hard to find buyers for all of them.”

Marigold talked about lofty ideals then, and about leaving a legacy, something that Hedia personally cared little about. She lived in the here and now. It was fortunate that Marigold seemed a reasonable man, despite his intimidating pet.

“We’re on the same page on that,” she said. “Not making enemies. You certainly have skills that we don’t, and perhaps we could provide some manpower to help you. I’ll be honest, the rumours about you have not been positive, not when you’ve descended upon us one day and disrupted our work without warning. But now that I’ve met you, my impression has been good so far. I believe your presence in Knoles would help quell the suspicions about your motives. I would like to invite you to our humble town and meet with some of our leaders. What do you say to that?“

Edited by jaistlyn

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"I am sure I can assist with at least aiding in transportation" Marigold offered with a dismissive wave of his hand as he pushed up his glasses. It was an interesting prospect for the mayor herself to show up and greet him. Had he been causing that much trouble? He honestly thought with everything going on in the world he would be able to construct the imperium unhindered, yet here she was. Marigold digesting her words as there was a good deal to think about "Well I don't have much of a choice do I? It will do no good for my reputation here if rumors continue to circulate." He said with a hint of irritation. That condescending part of him condemning those fools who would look upon a scientist and be to afraid in their inferior brainpower to ever have the courage to see passed their peasant lives.

 Marigold a man of many angles, and rumors brought out a particularly jagged corner of his spirit.  The doctor keeping this all internalized however "That sounds like an excellent idea. It would do everyone good to ease their suspicions. I aim to be amicable to my neighbors" He said with a light chuckle, finding amusement in such words. "Xerxes, stay here and defend this perimeter." The doctor ordered, and the mechanical canine immediately took point began to prowl the perimeter "Xerxes has a habit of making others weary, but I suppose that is a bit purposeful isn't it? A human in a world of magic and monsters is born at a disadvantage. Lead the way if you would Madam" He said, curling his arms behind his back, awaiting to follow Hedia toward her hamlet.

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"I am sure I can assist with at least aiding in transportation.”

“That would be much appreciated,” Hedia said. “I wouldn’t say you have no choice, but that it is a choice that would be good for our mutual relationship.” She was glad that the.. dog would be staying behind. It disturbed her a little, to be honest. 

“A human in a world of magic and monsters is born at a disadvantage. Lead the way if you would Madam."

Hedia led Marigold onwards. The area immediately surrounding the Imperium was thick woods, and her horse-drawn carriage was waiting about a half-hour walk away. From there, it was another half hour to Knoles in the carriage. It was undeniable that Hedia herself was curious about Marigold as well, so she tried to strike up a conversation.

“We are a peaceful town, a logging and farming community, and we don’t know much about magic and monsters. We practice the way, but only for our jobs.” Hedia assumed that Marigold knew the Gaian earth magic she referred to, an ability that was available in small extents even among the common people. 

“Bandits and wolves are the greatest threats we face, and that’s not much, from what I hear from stories. But we are content. You can imagine then, how much attention someone like you would have gotten, so close to our town. You must be well-traveled. Tell me, what places have you been to?”

Edited by jaistlyn

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Marigold gladly followed her toward her carriage, his tall, spindly legs capable of keeping stride with little effort. Hands folded behind his back as he listened to her intently. "It is a wise choice if I am to continue my progress unimpeded, yes. Allies are far and few in-between." He said. A very distant way of speaking keeping him and the aspect of others, their personalities, feelings, bonds, and solidarity at bay. It was the way he had always been.His gaze captured elsewhere in interest as a flock of indigenous birds flew high above the canopy; the flora and fauna here thicker than it was closer to his facility. The doctor actually to having to watch where he walks as roots and lush underbrush threatened to trip and maim. Marigold looking over the carriage with a quirk of his brow. A road almost impossible to see through such wooded areas, yet here one was, well kept so that travel could be made. They certainly knew how to survive in such lands didn't they? Marigold climbing onto the carriage deciding to respectfully sit in the back. He would rather make a good impression on neighbors.

"It is a strange concept, and further interests me on the vastness this world offers. Not only in it's landscapes and people, but in it's cultures and capacity for innovation" He said whimsically "I envy a simply life you know" He said, a genuine smile seeming to creep upon his lips as his gaze took him through the trees "A simple cottage, in a simple town...peaceful" His expression souring for a moment before turning to her "But that's not a lifestyle one like me can have im afraid" The strange depth his expressions carried becoming stony and calculated once more 
"The farther away from civilization we go, the more we must prepare for such threats. I have faced bandits, and marauders alike. I am no adventurer, however. I don't seek a grand treasure or the thrill of the hunt as it were. I simply seek...to further my work" He said, such words never meeting his eyes in their confidence. "I suppose you could say I am well traveled. I have yet to see every corner of the world, but in the past four years of travel I have been to Elendaron. Dangerous in it's own right, but flourishing with research material. I have been all over Terranus...Historically the first place Magitech had ever been conceived...I have been to every city that wasn't in complete anarchy...Yh'mi...Now there is a topic I could spin over hours" He said, this sudden conversation topic almost pulling him out of his reclusive shell "I saw it's foreboding wall, traveling to that strange town. Even met a most curious doctor" He said tapping his lip "Did you know that I met- Ah...it appears we have arrived" The doctor said, looking further down the road to where the hamlet known as Knoles was located.

There journey taking them north from the imperium. It was a fortunate thing it was only a few miles away. Fortunate to who would yet be revealed. The carriage soon stopping as Marigold immediately stepped off with almost an eager curiosity. "I am very eager to see this Knoles, Mayor. Lead the way" He said curtly.  

 

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