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Dolor Aeternum

[Event] Darkness and Havoc - Illyria Arrives

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Illyrian Scientific Division

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Event Objectives:

1. Evacuate the citizens of Antigua or save yourself. 

2. Tend to the wounded, if so inclined.

3. Fight off the dark creatures that will emerge from the random pockets scattered around Ceyana. The tougher creatures may drop sweet sweet loot. (List of creatures to come)

Bonus: Attempt to find and confront Havoc and Darkness to stop prevent further loss by engaging them. This will not stop the success of this catastrophic event but it could modify how or make things worse. They are hidden deep within the rainforest. Good luck!

 

Name: Heron Leneri/ Luz Yllende

Affiliation: Illyrian Scientists

Location: Illyrian Scientific Division

Objective: Discovering the beginning of the event

 

Heron’s day had already gotten off to a rough start, with the Scientific Council sending one of their representatives to tell him to shut down his experiment and relinquish all of his findings to Luz the next morning. Years of trying to implement a faster way to exchange goods with other partners outside of the plane that Illyria existed in was now seen as a waste of time to lazy fools who were too comfortable in their self-made thrones to realize that his home could still be better than it was…still do so much more. They have been blessed for so long with an abundance of everything they needed to survive, but did they not remember the dark centuries that preceded this? Were they so present-minded that they could not see that troubles would still lie ahead? It wouldn’t do his feeble heart any good to dwell on it now so as he began to put away his items and have his assistants pack up all of his data, all he could do was let out a sigh before he heard a high pitched noise from across the lab.

 

“Sir, we are picking up some odd readings outside of the spire. The readings fall in line with what we get when we activate several of our pathway coils together.”

 

A younger assistant chimed in.

 

“That set us back weeks on our research……Oh well doesn’t matter now. Let the scientific council worry about that mess. We need to start thinking about finding another scientist to work with.”

 

The younger assistant realized that perhaps it was too soon to mention that but ambition was always key when trying to escalate up through the science divisions.

 

“No offense sir”

 

Heron shook his head while looking at the thin monitor hovering in front of them that was connected wirelessly to several others that hovered above them. Suddenly a flurry of sounds similar to the one that started this interaction were heard and Heron immediately jumped into action.

 

“Start recording all of this data in real time. You, give me my tether so I can communicate with Luz.”

 

Heron furrowed his brows and he could almost feel his synapses firing quickly as he wondered what could be causing all of these dimensional spurts. Had someone conducted some sketchy research and miscalculated? Those fledglings like the ones he hired sometimes loved to act brashly and without proper respect for the scientific methods. Shaking his head given that he figured no one was intelligent or foolish enough to even attempt to coordinate the quantity of anomalies that he was currently viewing, he looked around for the assistant he had sent to get his tether.

 

“Where is my tether?!”

 

An assistant returned empty-handed, stuttering for fear of negative reprisal.

 

“U..uh…uh I can’t f-f-f-find it. I looked in all of your usual spots sir”

 

Huffing and clearly disturbed by what he considered the inadequacy of one of his employees, he was about to begin a slew of lashing verbal assaults at everyone around him before he remembered his feeble heart again and calmed himself down.


“Ok just run over and find a fellow and let them know I need you to use their tether to contact Luz. Let her know that what I believed would happen has finally happened and she needs to let the council…hell let the Light of Illyria know we need to get everyone to tackle this problem now!”

 

The kingdom of Illyria was a compact area if you take into account the near million inhabitants that somehow managed to cram themselves into compartments lest they opt to cohabitate within a pocket zone. The area that surrounded Illyria was treacherous and unforgiving, however, housing all manner of creatures created by the enemies of the past and the hubris of those who were not respectful of their king. Heron’s only concern, however, was that he could continue his research and this odd event while obviously a portent of bad things to come could help his cause into ears that were much more powerful than the old fools within the council.

 

The young assistant frantically searched for Luz, asking with short breath about her whereabouts for quite some time until someone finally managed to give her some decent intel. Luz had been rumored to be scolding someone regarding their recent miscalculations of the data from their agricultural experiments attempting to infuse them with enchantments for use in a pinch. The lasting effects were far too lopsided to be accurate and such a thing was a stain on this department’s name she needed to wash clean. The young assistant arrived in the vicinity and gained her bearings by listening to the yelling in the distance.

 

“We do not do mediocre work here you simpleton. Were you using the right equipment? Did you employ the best enchanters or pick some off of some slum somewhere?! I should suspend you for your stupidity…you know what…..”

“Ms. Luz…um…uh….”

 

A pair of fierce grey eyes shot in the young assistant’s direction, silver tresses contrasting sunkissed flesh well. Luz was a tall imposing figure that clearly maintained herself well as rumor had it she had an intense workout regimen that rivalled their ranger division. Dressed with form fitting fabric that held some sort of ethereal sheen to it and several insignias that denoted her place within the scientific division, she was pleasing to the eye but her reputation for being unabashedly blunt and controlling did her no favors with the Illyrian men.

 

“Out with it already!”

“Heron sent me to tell you that there are some dimensional anomalies occurring outside the kingdom and that he believes it is serious enough to warrant everyone’s attention”

“Of course he does. How convenient that it happens to be on the eve of the end of his pipedream”

“But ma’am….he seems serious. He even mentioned that king Raylon should know about it. I don’t think he would do that just to save our project”

 

Luz’s delicate hands stroked her own chin before she shot a glare at the scientist she was just speaking to suggesting she had yet to finish with him but the assault was delayed for now.

 

“Fine, I will round up whoever I can. If it turns out he is wrong then I will make sure they laugh him out of the department one last time.”

 

The young assistant just nodded and slinked away to rest somewhere from having run so much.

 

Heron began analyzing the data from the initial dimensional anomalies and noticed a familiar signature within the waves that were being emitted. Years ago when he was just starting his research, he had picked up on these readings only to find out the portals that were created had been sanctioned by king Raylon himself as he had managed to broker a deal with some foreign queen for some much needed supplies when he had feverishly inquired about it. He’d learn much later about the scandal it had caused given that foreign queen was some sort of vampyre named Irene Gabriela DuGrace. He had believed that no further contact was going to be established after they became self-sustaining. That couldn’t have possibly changed.

 

Whipping his head to the other side, he had almost forgotten that Luz and those she convinced to come were urging him to deliver some sort of explanation about why he had forced Luz to bring them here. So it began…

“My fellow co-workers. I believe that something or someone is creating several compact tears into another realm. Most of my initial data seems to point to the realm of that vampyre queen….”

 

Several people gasped in horror and others huffed in disgust while a select few just arched a brow before Heron continued.

 

“I suggest we come together to figure out more about these tears and gain control over these areas before it is too late. We never knew much about what resided within that realm before and were never given the opportunity to see for ourselves but I fear Illyria is in danger once again.”

 

Some shouted “What if your readings are wrong”. Others kept it short by just yelling “Lies” or “Fool” before storming off.

 

The few that remained were far too few in number to have ever prevented what began to occur hours after. Flickers of Ceyana’s landscape would appear and disappear violently, giving way to humid air and vegetation. All manner of flora and fauna would also appear, with some unfortunate beasts getting quartered or imploding once they arrived. Glimpses of a populated market were reported on the outskirts of the Illyrian spire, with horrific screams contributing to a cacophony of pain and strife that pounded into the peace that had once been. Bodies of those who were out on data collection runs or hunting for specimens decorated the rough lands outside in a macabre but potent display that this event was on a scale that exceeded man alone. What was left of their bodies were seared along their extremities from being torn viciously by an unknown energy into what they would find was Orisia.

 

The beginnings of the rapture of Illyria were some of the most chaotic times since the dark centuries preceding the Light’s arrival. The litany of portals that were created were slowly beginning to coalesce as both realms fought for dominance against the whims of two deities. It would seem inevitable change was coming and neither Illyria nor Orisia would ever be the same.

Antigua Map and City Key:

Spoiler

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City Key

A. Evaton Castle

B. Lowlands -- Primarily a transportation hub for people and goods, this area of the city is mostly defined by high industry sectors, densely crowded residential blocks, and a distinct lack of recreational locations such as parks, gardens, or plazas.

C. High Gardens -- A residential area for up and coming middle class citizens, High Gardens is recognizable by its wide streets, plethora of green open spaces, and beautiful mid sized homes.

D. Tranquil Heights -- Three distinct areas located on the highest parts of the city grounds, Tranquil Heights is home to the richest citizens of the Antigua. Houses here are palatial, with huge amounts of space dividing each along with ample country roads.

E. Garden Groves -- Fruit tree groves, primarily avocado, apple, orange, lemons and limes.

F. River’s Crossing Financial District -- Home to open air markets, stores of all kinds, and artisans of nearly every discipline.

G. Arena of Thorns (inside the walls) -- The place where Antiguan’s go to de-stress and be social. A literal melting pot, where rich and poor come together to cheer on their favorite champions. Dangerous creatures are housed here, expect them to go free and roam the city streets once the event gets going.

G. The Ancient’s Cemetery (outside the walls) -- A strange, massive mound of earth with tombstone-like protrusions. No one really knows what this place is, but legend has it that the dragon’s once buried their dead here.

H. The Bread Basket -- An area of heavy agriculture, where the less visually appealing crops are grown and where livestock is raised.

Bestiary Thread:

 

Edited by Dolor Aeternum

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Meanwhile, in Antigua...

 

“Flor,” said the woman -- a round and heavy set creature, with short, plump limbs, and a kindly face. She was motherly, in a very comfortable and warm sense of the word. Every expression upon her sun-kissed face was loving, especially as her black eyes settled upon the young girl who was playing near a set of steps that lead down into a canal. The curious child was dipping her sandal-clad feet into the clear waters, finding it refreshing in the oppressive humidity of the mid morning hustle and bustle. “Be careful by the water, a big wave will come and sweep you away!”

 

The child, with the same black eyes as her mother -- just brighter -- looked up with excitement, as if this were really a possibility. “I will be careful, mama.”

 

The woman nodded her head and turned away, back to her modest kiosk, upon which she had laid out her offering of fresh fruits and vegetables. She had the best produce on the street, and so she kept busy most of the morning hours, when the women came out to buy what they needed to make supper for their families. Picking up a bucket of clean water, and a small bushel of mint leaves, she went back to sprinkling her goods to ensure they kept fresh and did not go soft or off colored.

 

“How much for a pound of tomatoes?” Asked a boy, who was probably not much older than her daughter. He was a skinny thing, with round eyes that were a lighter brown than both hers and her daughters, as well as lighter skin -- still a warm brown, but not quite as tanned. She marveled for a moment at his beauty, and pondered a future match for her daughter.

 

“Ten coppers,” she told him, and grinned internally at the frown that curved his brow as he realized the price was quite inflated. Still, the boy counted out the pennies and handed them over to the woman’s ready and open hand.

 

While he waited for her to bag his newly-bought tomatoes, they both heard an uprising of commotion at the end of the street, where the market, with its many colorful tents, opened up to a shaded plaza. This open, rounded space was the ending point for a spirling of streets, all of which conjoined in the center where a massive fountain shimmered with crystalline water. Brightly colored yellow, orange, and red fish were swimming through the water, appearing like pieces of delicately blown glass gliding through the air. There was no place like it in all of Antigua. Sure, there were more beautiful locations -- but the Marketplace Plaza was busy, vibrant, and alive. This was the heart of city, where people from all walks of life gathered together to purchase goods, to share news, to sit and enjoy the weather.

 

But not today.

 

There was screaming coming from the Plaza, blood curdling shrieks that immediately caused the large woman’s heart to leap from her chest into her throat, choking away her ability to speak. It was a very specific fear that the sound of those screams produced, for it wasn’t just the sound of fear, surprise, or despair -- rather, it was sheer loss. It was the wails of those who had seen the dead, who were still staring at them. And she and the boy could only stand there, at the end of the street, a great distance from the Plaza, watching what appeared to be a massive cloud of black suddenly appear and grow, and then round itself out as if it had hit glass walls that curved its growth. It was a massive orb of darkness, which people were pointing at and running away from.

 

And then there was another, and what had first appeared as darkness, was suddenly recognized as night. Through the black orbs, they saw the night sky of another planet, although they had no way of knowing that. They saw tall buildings of metal and light, and while all Orisian’s knew about the incredible world of technology beyond the golden beaches of their island nation, many of them had never seen it firsthand.

 

“What is that,” asked the boy, gripping his bag of tomatoes to his chest.

 

“I don’t know,” she replied, gripping with equal anxiety at the five copper pieces she had received for her produce.

 

“Look!” they heard someone shout, “Look! Another one -- and another! There’s more!”

 

They saw them rising out of nowhere. Some appeared in the sky, others within buildings, or besides them, of all different sizes, and each, portraying a different view into a strange world.

 

It was then that the woman remembered her daughter -- it was in that moment, when she realized that she could not remember hearing her daughter’s voice, her laughter, or her own fearful question of the events taking place, that the world came tumbling down all around her. The sight that greeted her was something her brain could not process. There, at the foot of the steps that lead down into the water there lay half of a body. It appeared, that the body had been cut in half right above the naval. There was no blood in the water, or at least, none that she could see because the horse sized black orb that appeared to float over the water was preventing her from seeing. She recognized her daughter’s leather sandals, her skinny legs, and the scar over her right knee where she had cut herself one day when she was climbing up and down those same stairs. Now, all she could see was her daughter’s left foot -- twitching.

 

She could decipher what happened. She didn’t understand it. The thought that her daughter was dead never crossed her mind. Instead, she was certain that her daughter was trapped and that the child needed saving. So she bound down the steps toward the edge of the water where the pair of legs were set, and still twitching. She took hold of the girls hips and pulled, and to her horror -- her true and unabashed horror -- her child appeared terribly light, much lighter than she remembered from today in the morning. When she pulled, the other half of her daughter did not come out of the bubble of black. Instead, it rained entrails, blood, and gore from the disturbed cavity where her stomach had once been connected to her body. It poured out of her and finally sullied the water, turning it red and then a light, dull pink.

 

She didn’t realize she was screaming until the small boy, still gripping his bag of tomatoes, had his hands upon her shoulders and was pulling her back and away. But she shoved him away, she swatted at his attempts to keep her away from the black orb.

 

“My Florestia is in there! My baby needs my help…”

 

She fell forward toward the water, her hands extended out automatically, to catch herself on the surface of the black orb. In her mind, all that mattered was saving her child. But, rather than find the solid surface of a real and material thing, she found nothing, and fell straight through. The agony was near instantaneous, but her head was severed from her body before she could use her voice box to properly produce a sound. Her bodiless corpse, now appearing very much like her child’s, consisted of a head that floated in the water, a pair of arms that had been cut from the elbows, and her own feet, although they did not twitch.

 

Much the same was happening all throughout the city, inside and outside of homes, without warning, without a chance to escape.

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Orisia hadn't lost it's beauty. The years that had passed since he had set his sights upon this vast land, and with Orisia. It's air felt stronger. It's scenery the most picturesque he had come across. He wondered if his bleak outlook growing up around Antigone' crippling pessimism had a connection. It was an interesting whismy to ponder.

Marigold loved the sea, but dug what felt like pounds of salt out of his hair and was glad to be back on solid ground. He didn't like how vulnerable this land made him feel. He remembered why he resented this land due to it's archaic outlook on the infinite possibility magitech could facilitate. Humans survived with out it sure, but they didn't have the kind of enemies Marigold had. Some now betrothed to the name that owns the dock he was hobbling along. Xerxes his greatest creation, and necessary jn any excursion outside the imperium. He just hoped no one tried to mug him. He possessed the tensile strength of a bamboo shoot.

A familiar blinking beginning to emenate from his most recent mistake. A strange four inch long strip of metal blinking from what appeared to be from an LED screen before . Marigold couldn't chew too far into such thoughts lest he appear. The oddly home sick arrival moving through the open despite the unwanted visitor beginning to ramble and meandor in his cranium. His cane doing surprisingly well to accomadate his right prosthetic. A truly annoying thing to deal with. He had to use one of his droid parts to configure a replacement. 

"Youuu got of lucky last time Mari~ what do you think the king fangs and thr love sick pup would do to you if they knew you were here! It's too graphic for young listeners that's for sure! It'll be alot worse that dear old me taking that leg of yours BAHAHA"

"I comprehend the risks you dolt, but it is necessary to see...this through if I am ever to finally breathe once again."

"To bury her? Oh boo hoo! Who do you think YOUR fooling here? Because of the black queen? That frail little marionette? Or your oh so wonderful wife? Lilly? She hated you for your obsessions and you know it! A little boy falling in love so hard he went insane~ or perhaps its to bury your guilt hmm? Six feet of dirt should keep the voices away HAHAA-ZZbbbrrrttt---"

 

Marigold couldn't stand that this entity knew everything about him now, that he could bring up such personal, hidden doubts and fears. He wouldn't allow it to work it's insidious wiles, he had too much at stake right now. It was the first time he ever thanked this...'La' Ruta'

 

The journey to Virsillia was something he was looking forward to. Ceyana a gorgeous start to this exxusion as it felt as though it were a milesrone of Orisia' endurance. How true that was to be. A shift in space time causing two realms to crash and shatter together. Eyes of violet growing wide as strange orbs of unknown material began to form and unmake it seemed to come in contact with. It was almost surreal how fast such disastrous events took place. A sound spurring towars the street ahead of him, another croaking from a sphere forming on the very boat he came from...was that screaming?

His eyes swiveled toward it's direction and dumbstruck at the sheer suddeness of this realization. This was where he proposed to Lilly. The Fountain a beauty that had always stuck in his mind. A brilliant stillness rarely seen. A stillness no longer present. He was powerless without the use of his technology and he was surrounded by what looked to be some Interdimensional catastrophe. His eyes catching strange entities coming from these spheres and even seeing...buildings within? A whole other world?

Now it was under some sort of catastrophe? He couldn't tell it's nature, but these screams exemplified it's danger sufficiently. Should he help? He felt a prickling nercousness at his arms and neck. He was here for the capital. Versillia his destination; but what if this wasnt an isolated incident? He could run as fast as his prosthetic could move him, try and escape this bloody place. He would die if he tried to help without Xerxes.

What would Lilly think?

Marigold shook his head as he gripped his fist in habits of anxiety and stress. He didn't have much of a choice. The usual repercussions from such issues staying dormant due to the antimagic field. There was no question it appeared. He had to do something. But what? The sound of whirring surprising him as he looked back to the dormant backback where he stored Xerxes on travels that couldn't facilitate him. How was he active again? He didn't need to question it; taking his pack off and setting it down before giving a whistle; watching in joyous surprise despite the chaos erupting around the town. Xerxes now standing before him and immediately switching to Aegis mode as he detected several hostile enemies nearby.

Xerxes a five foot machination of magitech and unfamiliar technology. His frame taking on the visage of a greyound canine with thin angular features and long strides that carried it far with a tail possessing strange shards of shattered tech and unknown red glass.

"A 12.5 percent increase in activation; Marvelous"

Marigold hearing a prominent scream and the sound of rubble as one of these rifts formed within a building itself the structure giving way as several dock workers tried to run as fast as they could. A whistle launching the mechanical canine forward as Marigold followed close behind.  Two of these workers managing to get to relative safety, but three sere still under the growing shadow of this warehouse. 

Xerxes' tail splitting in two and revealing a six foot wide net, leaping over them and catching them in this material. The greyhound processing the best route and ducking through crashing rubble before narrowly escaping with the three civilians jumbled in his tail net. Marigold leaning forward to catch his breath. Running his least favorite excercise. 

Xerxes releasing them and immediately encircling his master

"Go! Find safety!" Marigold barked at them. His mind racing with plans as he tried to figure out what to do from here. The building shattering to the floor and shaking him out of his stupor. His eyes focusing on the rifts. There has to be a way to disrupt some of this chaos. Marigold wasting jo further time as he moved farther into Ceyana.

Edited by Djinn&Juice

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Arashi stayed not far behind Marigold, out of his range of his sight, watching him carefully. She wore her full body magitech armor with a helmet that covered her draconic tail that was in the prototype stage of design. It had no real combat use yet apart from making sure she didn't break her limbs everytime she punched or tried to use her legs in any way for the same purpose. She knew it wasn't finished yet as it didn't have all the specifications she was looking for. For what it did have, it allowed to store up her excess electricity in and release it in the form of a electrical blast. Her helmet was fitted with a rebreather and gas mask as well as a HUD that would only show her current vitals. Well that's all she needed right now anyways.

She watched him carefully, making sure they was nobody coming out behind him, before stealthy following him. Tgis was oddly the full time she was seen in armor, her own custom armor. She hoped it would help her understand to learn to control her powers as that's what needed.

She then noticed Marigold had stopped all of a sudden, then she heard a scream. It made her jump a little. What was that? Where did that come from? The young hybrid thought as she continued following Marigold as he took off on the robotic dog. She wasn't here in defience of her mother. She was here to protect her father from harm and that what she was going to do. She speed off, keeping enough distance behind the middle aged man to make sure she wasn't caught. That would likely end badly if she did get caught by Marigold as she wasn't meant to follow him.

@Djinn&Juice

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Name: Squire Jarius Eckhart
Affiliation: House Karradeen
Location: River’s Crossing Financial District
Objective: Returning to the docks


 

Several weeks ago, a ship claiming to be an Orisian trading vessel arrived in Gold Harbor, headquarters of House Karradeen’s shipping business, and began dealing certain exotic trinkets and hand-crafted artifacts to local merchants. The crew was well-groomed and the ship freshly-painted, leaving the local authorities to conclude the vessel had completely legitimate intentions. They were proven wrong in the following days, when the ship revealed itself to be a disguised pirate ship, which subsequently attempted to kidnap the newly-appointed Duke Geoffrey Karradeen in the midst of his promotion ceremony. In the ensuing battle, the pirates found themselves outmatched and were destroyed by the House’s marines, but not before the young duke was killed in the crossfire.

The entire incident changed the course of House Karradeen’s fortunes, but as it turned out, they weren’t the only ones affected. A search of the pirate vessel revealed a substantial store of goods in the lower deck, along with stolen logs and a manifest that had belonged to an actual Orisian ship. Several days later, a derelict was spotted run aground on a reef, bearing the name of the vessel indicated in the recovered documents. Further investigation revealed the crew had been stripped of their clothing and slaughtered, while their cargo and supplies were looted by the pirates to help sell their deception.

Squire Jarius Eckhart, the most prominent member of the House’s non-noble gentry, and head of the house’s business operations on behalf of the family, had been tasked with bringing news of the tragedy back to the homeland of the slain sailors. Eckhart couldn’t help but wonder if the new Duchess Karradeen hadn’t given him the task purely to avoid his attempts at courtship, but admittedly, the mission was worthy enough of his talents. In addition to reporting the deaths of the crewmen and restoring the documents and goods to their rightful owners, Eckhart was also instructed to attempt to establish business relations with Orisia on behalf of the house. The duchess might have done it herself normally, but she had a great deal to look after with the deaths of her father and brother still fresh, not to mention the political situation at home starting to heat-up. Eckhart was the most obvious choice then; a man with a complete array of skills and substantial experience for his age. Thus, he set sail on the Golden Arrow, one of fastest vessels in the Karradeen picket fleet, bound for Antigua from which the trading vessel had originated.

Upon arrival, he found the island city to be architecturally impressive and exceptionally beautiful, while it’s people were friendly and lively. The climate was not unlike the humid jungles back home in Ursa Madeum, while the relatively primitive technology level also resembled the still largely medieval land he come from. Finding the local admiralty office was first priority, and so after first checking with other sailors in the harbor, they weighed anchor near the dockyard overlooked by the financial district. While the crew of the Golden Arrow unloaded the recovered goods onto the docks, Eckhart, and a young marine lieutenant by the surname Pickett, made their way into the city to deliver the documents and their report. The admiralty office received them warmly and thanked them graciously for the going out of their way to bring the news. At the least, the families of the poor sailors would know what had happened to their husbands and fathers and sons. Some men would be sent to recover the goods so they could be returned to the merchants or companies that owned them, but in the meantime, Eckhart and his men were free to enjoy whatever the city had to offer them.

That brought the two men back out onto the street, browsing through the stores and merchants that dominated the financial district. Eckhart had even received some recommendations on places that may be interested in Karradeen’s shipping services, which he hoped follow-up on before the day was out. Alas, it was not to be this day.

“Did you hear something?” Pickett suddenly asked, glancing about, the sound of distant wails having reached his ears.

Eckhart, on the other hand, had heard something a lot closer.

“Look out!” he cried, diving into the lieutenant and tackling him to the ground, just as one of the taller buildings on the street came crashing down where they had just been standing.

“What the devil!” Pickett exclaimed as the two of them promptly stood up and assessed the scene.

Surprisingly, it wasn’t the fallen building that was of the greatest interest, but rather the huge orb of pure darkness that now resided in place of where the building’s ground floor had once been. With most of the load-bearing walls consumed in the dark void, the upper levels of the building had simply tipped over onto the street, crushing several open-air stands and a handful of pedestrians in the process.

“Over there!” the lieutenant suddenly pointed, spotting a small body half-buried in the rubble.

The two men scrambled to the spot, lifting aside bricks and boards and whatever other debris was in the way. As this was near the edge of the wreckage, there was less heavy material to move, allowing them to free the child buried within. Even before they had reached him though, they could hear the young boy crying and wailing for its mother. The thought crossed the minds of both men at the same time; his mother was likely dead under the thicker rubble. But as Eckhart finally lifted the child free, a woman came rushing in from the flank, screaming for her baby and quickly taking the child out of the squire’s hands.

“Thank you! Thank you!” she mumbled between sobs as she rocked the bloodied and broken, but still living boy.

Eckhart let the woman be, instead turning to look back down the street, and finding it a sea of panic. Most of the people were running every which way, but others were on the ground crying and screaming over the dismembered body parts of what must have been their family or friends moments before.

“What is happening!?” Pickett exclaimed, “Sir?”

There was no response for a couple seconds, as the squire squinted his eyes to focus on something beyond the throngs of terrified citizens and floating spheres of darkness in the foreground. He had seen something different, some sort of movement from something that clearly wasn’t human.

“Sir!?”

“Pickett, back to the Arrow, NOW!!!”

Eckhart shoved the lieutenant down the opposite direction of the street as where he had been staring, then faced to the dazed woman, who was still standing there mumbling incoherent words to the injured child in her hands.

“Ma’am, we must go now!” he urged, briefly glancing back down the street and spying that flash of movement, even closer this time, and accompanied by a redoubled reaction of horror from the crowd in the distance.

The woman didn’t acknowledge verbally, but at least with Eckhart’s physical urging, she moved with with him. Pickett had hesitated, but once he saw his superior following, he resumed hustling down the street back toward the docks. The three of them, soon joined by others, were soon in full sprint toward the docks. Several blocks behind them, gleefully cutting its way through hapless civilians, was a pitch-black, ten-foot-tall horror, known in other realms as a Render.

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Name: Holly Sheath
Codename:  Black Hoe
Affiliation: The Black Spear cartel
Location: The Bread Basket
Objective: Hold the line until the cavalry arrives.


She was a farmer in Tormo, a tiller of soils. Now she is a farmer in Ceyena and still a tiller of soils. It had been too since she was relocated here in Ceyena's farmlands. She was grateful to the cartel for saving her and still seething in anger after finding out that the Black Head was involved with town's invaders. But when she was given the choice to join, she took it without hesitation and with it the power she needed to avenge her family and the people close to her, those that lost their lives in Tormo. For that she'd gladly bow her head and work for the enemy, biding her time until she's strong enough to take the whole cartel down and even take a shot at killing the monster named Dredge.

However, what she expected was different form reality. Instead of climbing up the ranks in the cartel's echelon, she was sent here in Ceyena to farm. Yes. Once more to farm. An irritated sigh escaped her lips. Is there anything else she can do aside from tilling the soil and growing crops and harvesting produce? No matter how good she was at it, she still have the right to dislike this occupation. What was even more unsettling that after joining the cartel, she found out that most members are simply lowly workers and craftsmen like herself. At the very least she should be thankful for being given a job she was good at. 

Humming cheerfully, Holly proceeded with her routine for the day. It always began with tilling. Every she would work on tilling the fresh soil past her farmland to prepare the are for her next batch of seeds to grow. Then she would move on to water her growing crops, at that time her back would already start aching from all the work she had done, Doing this daily might have strengthened her muscles but they only made her back feel worse. And the worst part is that she's not even that old yet. She's still in her prime, a newly bloomed flower waiting for the bees to gather and taste her sweet nectar. But no, she is stuck here tending these fields. At the very least there are barely average men here with solid bodies from all the work they do in the farm. Oh look there's one now.

Wiping the sweat from her brow, Holly straightened her back to wave suggestively at the fairly attractive farmhand named Bob. She remembered Bob as on of the few people who assisted her in adjusting to this new environment. Beside Bob was Tom as well, another fairly attractive farmhand. Tom would always help her with the heavy lifting especially during harvest season. Then there's John, the charming John, the guy who's good in both the stables and in the kitchen. John was like Holly's master in cooking. For a woman of marriageable age, Holly is a poor cook. At least she's good at housecleaning.

"Bob! Tom! John! How are you boys today?" Holly hollered at the trio, "Would join me for a round later tonight? My house look lonely with you boys keeping me compa-"

Holly never finished her words as the mass of darkness suddenly appeared from the forest behind the trio and with it came the monsters. They were numerous, more than she can handle. And the monsters never give her boys a chance. One moment, they were standing there waving back at her with warm smiles on their faces and the next, monsters had pounced on them from behind, tearing at their bodies, some devouring their flesh.

Holly screamed at the gruesome scene.  No, this cannot be happening. It was like Tormo all over again. Power surged within her as he charged at the monsters, thoughts of escape and survival now lost from her fury filled mind. Right now, she's no longer a farmer. No, right now she's an agent of the cartel. Her form briefly glowed as her she shed her farming costume and magically changed to the cartel's official long coat.Now clad in black leather, Holly charged at her friend's murderers. Everywhere, she could see innocents die like cattle, barely offering any resistance to the monsters at all. Their cries of anguish and despair flooded Holly's ears as she desperately tried to push back the encroaching beasts. But she was one woman, she cannot save everyone around her, nor can she keep the monsters at bay. It was too much for her. Despite her struggle she cannot stop it. She cannot prevent what is happening around here. But just like Tormo, she was still helpless, the useless farm girl that was saved by that plain faced boy that dreaded night.

As she lay there on her back, bleeding from dozen wounds, her thoughts would linger back to that very night, where she was also on her back bleeding to death, when that simple looking boy pressed at her chest healing her, giving her a second chance at life. But now, at the very least, she can rest knowing she fought back, knowing she died fighting against an unstoppable force. Her lips curled , forming a faint smile as she prepared herself for the inevitable.

Everything is turning dark now, her consciousness slipping away.

Soon she will join her family in the afterlife.

Soon-

"STAND."

The new voice commanded, It was stern and yet oddly comforting. Somehow hearing it seemed to bring back Holly's consciousness. 

"STAND, WOMAN. SHOW ME YOUR RESOLVE."

Holly painfully a pair of tired eyes to see a familiar face looking down on her. It was the same face, the same person that saved her that night. The blandness of that face, only now it looked a bit more feminine and the hair is longer too. But she knew that person's identity. That person may have changed his gender or his body but deep in her heart, Holly knew the woman before her was the same man who kept her safe back then, the one who tended to her wounds, the one who gave her a second life.

"Mi-middy," she croaked the man's name, the tightness in her throat made it harder for her to speak. But this did not stop her from saying the words that needed to be said. "Middy you-you're a drag queen now?"

The man turned woman named Middy almost smiled at her joke. "NOW STAND, HOLLY SHEATH."

Following his orders, Holly willed herself to stand and as she did so, strength seemed to flow back into her body, filling her to the brim. The power washed away her fatigue, and mended her battered body. She righted herself and was surprised that she was no longer surrounded by monsters but by a crowd of humans wearing black leather long coats that matched her own. She bit the tears that threatened to fall as she stammered, "Everyone...thanks."

 There was no need for words. They all had come for her. Even now she could still feel the traces of the hurried portal the group had used to travel here. Holly could only imagine what price they had to pay to transport this many people over such a long distance. Once they are past this calamity, Holly will willingly accept the consequences of her weakness. She was simply happy to have survived.

"EVERYONE  WE WILL FALL BACK INTO THE CITY HOPEFULLY WE CAN BOLSTER THE FORCES OF WHATEVER IS LEFT OF THE DEFENDERS. BLACKFOREST HAM COVER OUR REAR. THE REST KEEP OUR FLANKS COVERED AND YOUR EYES AND EARS OPEN. WE HAVE A LOT OF GROUND TO COVER AND THERE MIGHT STILL BE SURVIVORS FROM THE MONSTER ATTACKS ON OUR WAY. WE NEED TO KEEP AS MANY OF THEM ALIVE . AS FOR YOU BLACK HOE," Middy paused as her gaze landed on Holly, "STAY CLOSE TO ME. YOU HAVE YOUR ORDERS, NOW GO."


And with that the Black Spear cartel headed for the city's heart, struggling to survive but never hesitant to save anyone they pass by. A few months back they were branded as terrorists for their involvement with the Last Chance invasion, now they are here in Ceyena to clear their name and possibly put a stop to this disaster.

@Bureku

Edited by Zashiii

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Aloysius Pickayune ("Al", for short, and "Kaboomba" to his frenemies) smiled happily as he inspected a selection of fine fabrics on sale at one of the market stalls. He was thinking of getting a nice beach towel made; his last one had been stolen by -- of all things -- a seal. 

But even becoming the victim of a larcenous pinniped hadn't dimmed the smile on the old gnome's face. His indefinite vacation from his awful, soul-eating, astoundingly stressful magitech support job on mainland Terrenus had done wonders for his disposition; he'd never felt freer, lighter, or more optimistic. The rest of his life certainly wasn't going to be as troublesome as that previous bit had been!

Hah.

Al selected a soft material displaying a repeating pattern of flamingos with sunsets and brought it to the woman in the stall, standing on his tiptoes to get his head over the wooden counter.

"Ah, yes, young lady, what price did you have in mind for this?" 

Maybe it was the gnome's dulcet voice -- a sound reminiscent of light-colored honey flowing over polished hardwood -- or maybe it was being called "young lady" at nearly 63; the stall owner quoted Al a delicious price, over which he felt no need to haggle.  Coin, goods, and "havanicedays" exchanged owners, and the wrinkled old gnome in cargo shorts and a silk shirt covered in tumbling palm trees wandered deeper into the marketplace. He had no further goals for the day; after all, it was his forever-vacation, and when on a forever-vacation, one not only did not need goals, but in fact such things were strongly discouraged.

As he walked, a pitiful warbling hum began to emanate from his pants, and his skin took on a slight sheen of shimmery pink. Al's smile faded a bit, and he hopped up onto the seat of a convenient bench. He sat his fabric down and pulled a cylindrical device from one of his many pockets. It was a dull bronze in color, about the length of a pencil and at least thrice the girth, with a few small buttons on the outside. A tiny screwdriver emerged from another pocket, with which the gnome popped open a hidden access panel. Inside were dozens of tiny gears and cogs, tied in some incomprehensible way to tiny glowing crystals and, in at least one case, what looked like a very small demon running breathlessly on a hamster wheel. 

His magitech devices needed constant servicing and adjustment; not because his designs were flawed, but because -- he'd determined after much frustration and research -- these islands had peculiar effects on such things, a phenomenon that the locals referred to as "La'Ruta". In fact, the only reason they worked at all, for any length of time, was due to his skill. Aloysuis was, if not the best magineer in the world, at least certainly in the top ten. He was so gifted that, during his school days (far back in ancient history), he was granted by his peers the nickname of "MagGuyver"*. 

Al squinted through his bifocals at the inner workings of his device. He found the cam he was looking for, and manually shifted the gear it was connected to three teeth counterclockwise. The humming noise ceased immediately, and Al's skin returned to its normal hue. Al checked the position of the sun in the sky and nodded; it should keep working long enough that he wouldn't have to adjust it again until tomorrow.

The wizened gnome was quite proud of his inventions (though he wouldn't tell you that); his Sun Screening Field Generator was probably his favorite, as it kept him from turning as red as an oversized tomato in the tropical island climate. He also had an Audio/Visual Capture Box that he referred to as a "Kodiak"**, a Music Producing Box with Sound Enhancing Earplugs (the "WalkGnome"), and a pair of Expanding Buoyancy Adjusters ("Life Prolongers") just in case there was a beach-related emergency. After having spent months on the island learning its quirks, his creations had a success rate of 75-95*** , with which he was very satisfied.**** 

Al slid the device back into his pocket, happy to be protected from the burning rays of the sun once more, and was about to set on his way when he heard the first scream. 

His head whipped around to pinpoint the source, and saw a growing ball of complete darkness envelop the market stall he had just patronized. Wood splintered and fabric ripped while the stall owner simply stood, rooted in place by fear, as the night-colored menace expanded in her direction.

"Madame!" Al called out, his hands already flying through the air in arcane patterns. "Move your ass!"

A burst of invisible force left his fingertips, shoving the woman none-too-gently out of the way in the nick of time. Al ran to her side and helped her to her feet; her expression asked him "Which way should I run?", but Al had no idea -- black portals were popping up everywhere, seemingly at random, or if not random, than in a pattern that Aloysuis couldn't decipher. But since it was clear the woman wouldn't so much as take a baby step in any direction without being reassured by an ostensible authority figure that it was the proper direction, Al simply pointed north, towards the bridge that led to the orchards. 

"Make your way to the cemetery!" he ordered. It felt like as good a place as any; at least, outside the walls, there were more appropriate directions to run should the bad things continue. "Tell everyone you pass to get out of the city!"

The fabric dealer nodded and did so, running as fast as her sexagenarian legs could carry her.

Around him, roads heaved and fountains sprayed their contents all over the streets while balls of blackness -- some as small as an apple, others as large as a long-time politician's head -- continued to appear in very inconvenient places. Al's logical mind started to tick, trying to figure out what could possibly cause all this nonsense, while his emotional mind took control of his feet and determined that he should, while thinking, also be following his own advice. 

 

 

*After the gnomish demigod of the same name. MagGuyver's tales were reproduced ubiquitously in woodcuts, scrolls, and stage plays; in the most well-known interpretations, he is depicted as a trickster deity who uses his engineering cunning to extract himself from any trouble, often with nothing more than three strips of bark, a vial of pine sap, and an iron nail.

**In honor of the first picture taken with it. He wasn't quite sure why the creature had disappeared after having its image captured, but he suspected that somewhere inside the cogs was a very tiny, very confused bear.

***They work 95% of the time, 75% of the time.

****This success rate well surpassed the required tolerances of devices made for his old job at Gryffyn Industries, which was 65-80.

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Tranquil Heights.
A place where the richest in Ceyana gathered and lived. Each had a tremendous mansion, and what seemed like half a city block of land to put it on. The lawns were meticulously kept, fountains and highly expensive and classy decor dotted them. All the while, the mansions themselves simply oozed opulence. Some had trim of precious metals. Most had columns and high archways to the front door.

One such mansion, one that seemed to go overboard on such displays of wealth, was vacant. It's occupants were out at the market, most likely to have a casual bout of hostile buyouts.
Well, the mansion was mostly vacant. Inside it was a lone teenage boy, no more than 14. His black hair was a frizzy mess, and his feet were bare as usual. Chocolate brown eyes peered from behind a Dimfyre Soldier mask and darted about the place as he walked, scanning every surface for anything of value. 
The boy was clothed in his outfit he wore when he was 'on the job', and using his alias "Joker".
 

Spoiler

Image result for persona 5 joker coat

He was stuffing everything that wasn't nailed down or too big into a bag. It seemed that the bag never got full or more heavy no matter what was put into it. This was a sign the enchantment was working. But, the bag itself was no bigger than a backpack, so what the boy could put into it was limited by size.

The boy, Dan Palmer, was rather pleased with himself. He had entered the house via the kid's room window only a few minutes ago, and already had spotted a fortune in 'liberated goods'. He wished this place was more technological though. He rather liked tech. Dan may have been a thief, a world class thief at that, but he was still a teenage boy. He was also a cat burglar, a phantom thief, a Greek demigod hero, a son of Hermes, an alchemy major and conjuration magic minor at Bronte, and many other things on top of these.

Dan moved to the dining room, and pilfered the silverware. Unlike back home, this was REAL silverware. Fine china plates with gold rims lined a china cabinet. Two minutes later they did not.
He then invaded the kitchen, and set to work on making himself some food while he worked. He was pleased to find that they had high quality meats and spices to work with, so work with them he did. He was sure the steaks they had were at least A-3. More than likely A-5, but Dan had rarely had the opportunity to even see meat like that, so he wasn't overly concerned. He melted a large amount of butter in a large pan and set the porterhouse and fillets in together. After searing all sides and lightly cooking the surfaces by slathering the melted butter all over them to trap the juices, he put the fillets into the oven with several pats of herb butter to finish while he kept going with the porterhouse until it was a wonderful medium rare. He had to be a bit careful though, as this was not an electric oven, and so the heat was uneven. At about that time, he brought the fillets out, and put the lot on a plate. While he ate, and loved every bit of it, he pillaged the place of its cheeses, herbs, spices, and knives. The kitchen was a wonderland of steal-able culinary items.

He ate quickly, taking only just enough time to savor the bites while he finished up. Once he finished, he washed the dishes he used up, dried them off, and put them in his bag.
How very chivalrous of him, doing the dishes for these people.

He then ventured out into the foyer, and marveled at all the jewelry on display. A few minutes after, he marveled at how empty the display cases looked, and how shiny the gems in his bag were.
Finally, he went into the study. Medieval or not, there had to be a stash. He tried everything; The globe, which housed a lot of expensive decanters with expensive wines, all of which he took, he messed with all the books on the bookshelf, and left them in chaos with no order at all to where they were, he felt under the desk, no button. Finally, he noticed a peculiar decanter of ale on the table. Strange... Rich people rarely drank ale. No matter how he moved it, the liquid didn't move. Dan tried to pick it up, but it was attached to the table. He pulled it, and found it to be a lever.
Upon activation, the desk slid back, revealing a safe half as big as he was. Or what could loosely be described as a safe. It had a key lock, but one of those very old time-y locks. One that nearly anybody with hands could pick. Dan pulled out his lockpicks, and had it open in under 2 minutes.
When Dan looked inside, he started salivating. The gems, gold, and silver inside would be worth double everything else he took. Dan picked out every last bit of goodies inside, and left the way he came in; The kid's room window.

When he got out, and materialized 3 houses down, he was met with a peculiar sound. One he was very used to. The sounds of screaming, death and devastation. When he looked out, he saw black orbs appearing all over the place.
Part of him said this wasn't his concern, and not to get involved. However, the dominant part of him was the demigod hero side, and so he took off running at high speed to the rest of the city to see what was going on.

Edited by HollowCipher

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Name: Howlrick Maylark
Affiliation: Ceyana Citizen
Location: Maylark Key Library (River's Crossing Financial District) 
Objective: Protect patrons.


"Books are a representation of us; their covers our skin, their pages our blood, their words our bone, and their ink our very soul. They are living, breathing, masticating creations. Reading, the breath we choose to need for survival. The machinations created with steels and holograms exhumed from the womb of literature."

"Mr. Maylark...I just wanted to know when you closed today"

"Oh yes, right. Seven then!"

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His eyes still listless as they gazed through the pages of a particular favorite of his: Red Tear In White Snow. The woman giving him a lingering moment of concern before backing into the open atrium of the Maylark Key Library. A vast collection of books ranging in all rarities and , and some even strangely enchanted.

This library being built by his great grandfather and both it and it's related owners having an aura of peculiarity that set them apart from most of the district. It was to their benefit as it brought a level of mystery to their archaic collection of the strangest books acroas Valucre; some in language unknown and even in material unknown. it's residents finding any book read from it's library being imparted with a sense of connectivity to the universe and all its meaningless connection that somehow felt meaningful in it's way of imparting immortality.

In it's children.

Not the humans, or elves, dwarves, gnomes, abberations, or demons

In literature.

Howlrick's gaze looking on listfully as he studied the twelve or so five or so patrons perusing, most making this a regular routine. His eyes of hazy orange flicking toward a book in particular, nearly thirty feet away in the 'Curious Quandries' section. Why had he looked upon this section with such insistence? His head tilting with an unforseen gravitas. Boundaries Beyond tweaking an interest that flared suspicion across his skin like an aching disease.

There was something amiss.

It was a foreboding.

Howlrick stood up from his seat at the counter, a chestnut table mounted next to the welcoming agacia doorframe inlaid with a door of carved grey stone. The shoppe' name etched in it's material; a square window with frosted glass bringing light through the otherwise lowlit interior of the library. His unkempt hair stuck in uncoordinated tufts that spiraled off into multiple directions. Several catching against the doorframe as he moved out into the street and flowed back into place. A strange man indeed

Howlrick stepping out into the district; dozens of men, women, and children meandering and enjoying the beautiful day. His fingers drumming restleslly against his petticoat as be looked at them all. What was it? Most thought he was just a strange man seeking attention in his fits of hysteria, but these forebodings were true he would always tell them! He couldn't find anyone in particular that had caused such unease, until he looked to the sky. His eyes flicking from one miniscule detail to another

"Precipitation thickening and clouds growing heavy with fear, where are the birds? Why have they gone? What has scared them? What is scaring...me?"

This contemplation was enough for him to turn heel and close the door behind him, locking each of the 37 locks as the patrons began to garner concern and curiosity. Some of them approaching him or moving to the door before he wrung his hands nervously and insisted they stay here.

"We need to leave"

The mass of the void swelling and causing the entire front of the store to be consumed and dissolved. Howlrick turning to see this as three strange smaller orbs floated from this destructive force and began to frantically move toward the darker recesses of this library. One of them moving toward the group only several feet away.

He had to do something.

His fingers beginning to tremble as he pulled a book from a holster on his belt and holding it firmly in his left hand, holding out his right; a grey aura enrapturing his outstretched fingers

"The universe binds us together with infinite possibility: We cannot deny the threads that manifests our existence nor can we deny when it eventually and abruptly ends, but A delay in the grand scheme is simply called a miracle"

the aura around his hand flashed with that same dull glow and caused this pursuing entity to immediately veer into the ground. Hold Monster taking effect. Howlrick immediately looking to the shellshocked crowd and ushering them forward. They had to get to the cellar. His paranoid father had created a panic room down there where they would be safe. 

Howlrick releasing a breath he didn't realize he was holding in.

"Stay calm, everyone. I brought reading material for you while you hide. These will do nicely, very calming material I enjoy reading in bed. Good luck, stay quiet" 

 

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Name: Kestrel Hyperion

Affiliation: “Ceyena forever! Wait—”

Location: Rivers Crossing Financial District

Objective: “Take down all these monsters fucking up my city, yeah?”

 


 

Kestrel is in a dilemma.

She stares wide-eyed at the once-pristine storefront of Lily’s Toy Emporium, now all shattered glass and wooden shards, the street trembling beneath her feet and the buildings crumbling down upon their foundations.

She had been preparing her savings (all those missed meals, all those missed chicken legs), all those gold and silver pieces shoved into the back of her cupboard for months — months! — and now all that hard work is going down the drain because of —

Those things.

Kestrel squints at the strange orbs with A Look of Disappointment, known to inspire compliance among the street children down at Yellow Lane — not the exact name of the street, but the bricks are painted yellow! What can they do about it? — and fear in the eyes of anything that dares stand in her way, which are usually hobbits or stray animals.

So. Orbs.

She can see the night sky through those things, like actual stars and shit.

Fine. Yes.

What on earth even are those things?

The ground shakes again, and she resists sighing, because there are important matters on hand.

Matters. To be dealt with. Right now.

Like that giant, ravaging, eyeless monster slicing and dicing its way through her people, her city.

No, no, no. Just — no.

She will not stand for it.

Harnessing the La’Ruta deep within her core and the streaks of light bearing down upon her, she plucks the strings of the sun, bends them to accommodate her lean frame and hurl her towards the creature like a catapult, five-foot-three-inches of sun-haired girl flying across the streets into the fray.

Kestrel slams into the ground near the Render — and she is not the reason for that crack in the street; it was the monster! — and summons fire onto her palms; no one is allowed to mention the fact that it takes her eight-point-five seconds to light her hands up. Gods above, she is getting rusty.

“Get the fuck away from them!” Kestrel yells up at the creature, keeping a healthy distance away in case it takes a swipe at her. Being encased in sunlight, the Render’s movements are slowed to her perception, and she keeps her gaze on those jagged blades sticking out of its arms. Gods, those are nasty!

Screaming people fill the streets like ants in a disturbed anthill, running in disarray to seemingly useless destinations. A few frozen individuals, pale-faced and staring blanklessly up at the Render, catch her eye.

These blasted people have got to move!

She swings a fiery hand at them. “Go! Run!” Turning back before anyone could react to her statement, Kestrel glares up at the gaping toothy maw, stupid thing.

Just you and me, beastie.

 

@Tyler

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The thing was gaining on them. If they managed to make it to the docks, there wouldn't be enough time to actually get the ship ready to sail before the beast had reached them and shredded the entire lot. It wasn't a comfortable thought, but maybe it'd take more interest in some other people along the way and veer-off from its current course, but that seemed like wishful thinking right now. However, fate seemed to intervene, as out of nowhere came a girl deploying light-based magic to slower the creature's charge. Eckhart urged the woman, who had seemingly regained some of her senses in the meantime, to follow the lieutenant on ahead, at the same time barking after Pickett.

"Lieutenant, tell them to get the ship ready to sail!"

Picket briefly turned back to acknowledge, but didn't stop running. He only slowed slightly to allow the woman to catch up, but both remained moving forward on their way to the docks. Meanwhile, Eckhart had stopped and turned back toward the girl who had chosen to face the monster. A few other people on the street, whether they were there to begin with or had been following and stopped, were also standing in-place and staring at the scene.

"Go! Run!" the girl roared.

That jolted the civilians out of their stupor and got them scrambling toward the waterfront. But Eckhart remained in place, not intending to let the girl face the thing alone. He knew what they told him, that firearms and mechanical weapons didn't function right here, but right now his mind seemed to simply ignore that fact. Drawing out his revolver, a custom-model built in Norkotia and shipped into Ursa Madeum from Casper, he took aim at what he assumed to be the horror's face and pulled the trigger. Perhaps he hadn't forgotten about La Ruta after all, since the fact that the gun actually fired somehow surprised the man. The bullet missed entirely, but the fact that the revolver discharged at all was enough to spur the squire on. With another click of the hammer, he fired a second and third time, these shots actually hitting the face and slender neck of the ten-foot abomination as Kestrel was holding it back. Despite this though, the beast only let out shrieks of pain, but showed no sign of dying yet.

@ourlachesism

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At the crack of a gunshot behind her, Kestrel instinctively ducks out of the way, glaring over her shoulder at the source of the bullet.

“You almost shot me, mister!” She yells, dodging a piece of rubble hurled in her direction. The second and third bullets sink into the monster's skin, however, and she gapes — just a little bit; don't tell anyone.

Well then. She shrugs. This is fine.

Kestrel takes advantage of the distraction, launching fireball after fireball from her palms as the monster writhes in pain. It whips an arm towards her, and she just barely throws herself backwards, slamming into a broken stone wall.

Ugh, this is not what I woke up for this morning!

Groaning in pain, she stands and gives the man shooting the gun a glance, then does a double take.

Ooh, definitely one of the noble types.

“Keep at it, my good man!” She giggles at her mock stuffy-old-bookish voice, rolls out of the way as a blade almost slices through her shin. Persistent little bastard — or maybe not little; the stupid monster is towering over her, bleeding but not slowing down yet.

She entangles herself in the sun-strings, willing her body to volley itself back and forth between the streaks of light, causing her to appear almost like she is fluctuating between different locations, her form a blurry haze.

Faster, faster, faster!

Her head is throbbing like a chicken wing being crushed within an inch of its delicious lifespan. She is not used to throwing herself into battle this fast, no siree!

 

@Tyler

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Name: Lily

Codename:  BlackSun

Affiliation: Darkness

Location: Landbridge between point A and point H

Objective: Maximise number of deaths by preventing ships from leaving the bay


--------
 

“I don’t understand,” she said quietly, nearly under her breath -- well aware that Tenebre would hear her clearly. She didn’t even have to make any sound, the movement of her lips would have been enough to convey her meaning to the Lord of Darkness. “Their deaths are imminent, what is the point in petrifying and torturing them?”

 

“Their deaths would not be enough. It is by the fruit of their great suffering that I can secure an outcry against the queen. The suffering must be monumental, and the deaths --  unforgivable.”

 

“Children…” she replied, nearly breathless, save for the fact that she had no breath in her lungs. Oddly enough, Lily was not a creature born unto death. Her reanimation had not come at the price an undead life. But her life had been lost, and that life could not be returned. She was not a living thing, but nor was she dead. No longer flesh and blood, she was also of a more substantial material than spirit or mind. What she was, was something even she could not understand, but within her range of sentiment and emotion was this -- a deep sense of sorrow for what was occurring. There was a symphony of cries, sharp, short, high, and low, all of them horrible and hideous, and painful to her senses. Death was occurring below her, death by nearly unbelievable numbers.

 

“Yes, and mothers and fathers, and grandmothers and grandfathers -- and brothers and sisters, and so on and so forth. The type of death, it’s all the same, but who experiences it? Everyone and everything.”

 

“But why?” she asked, unsatisfied with his reply. “Why is any of this necessary…”

 

“Wouldn’t you burn down the world for your child, BlackSun? Wouldn’t you cast us all into darkness, if only that secured what, even in death, you most desired? I am no different. I will move the planet and the stars to give my child what she deserves.”

 

“You are entirely different,” came her sad reply, “truly -- what parent wouldn’t do as you say? But the difference is, no parent can do as you say, save you. You can do it. And you are, at the price of a hundred thousand lives.”

 

“A million,” corrected Tenebre, “and two, or three, or four more if I need it. Now, stop with this melancholy and take my gift. Do as I have commanded and soon, I promise, you will be rewarded for your efforts.”

 

Her reward, she mused with a pinch of her lips and a deep frown settling on her light, blond brows. Lily was a lovely creature, a healthy height, a healthy weight, a sea of golden locks that fell around her beautiful face. She was lovely in that way that only a young mother could be, with all the vigor of youth and the softness of maternal instincts. And reluctantly, she outstretched her hand toward the shadowy figure that rose besides her -- a fragment of Tenebre’s awareness, made manifest in this location, while a majority of his presence remained fixated somewhere beyond the jungle, perhaps a five or ten miles east of the city. Within her hand he dropped three black pearls, and after a short exchange, she knew what to do with them.

 

One by one, she dropped the black pearls into the vivid blue waters beneath, and watched as they began to sink toward the bottom of the bay. Ships were sailing by, anxious to leave the dying city behind. Only a handful managed to escape before the waters along the narrow passage began to swish and swash violently as black fins, and black tails emerged thrashing about through the water. Being that she had brought them into existence, the Shadow Sharks were her to command. They were massive, horrific things...

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Name: Luz Yllende

Affiliation: Illyria

Location: Arena of Thorns (G) turning into Tekker Medical Facility

Objective: Find a way to control the dimensional pockets and save lives.

 

Luz had spent hours preparing to prevent damage to Illyria, feverishly searching Heron’s data for anything that could help them stop whatever is occurring. That crazy man kept very detailed notes but it did nothing to inspire any ideas that would keep the vampyre queen’s lands from seeping into their own. To be incapable of halting the dimensional blurring of a land foreign to her people and stop the displacement of their homes or businesses would be a stain on an otherwise pristine record that would haunt her forever. She had yelled her will into whoever she could to begin evacuating the areas affected into the centralized medical facility near the spire. Families huddled together in fear all around her and the medical technologists could barely keep up with the demand of care caused by the slew of Renders and orbiters that could not resist the attraction the orbs presented. The burden of the responsibility she now felt for her own people was starting to weigh her down. Resting against a pillar, she sighed audibly before being interrupted by one of Heron’s assistants.

 

“Ma’am. I think we should move the most able of those that are here into the old shelters. They have not seen much use but we need the space.”

 

“Fine but if any one refuses to part with their loved ones then do not challenge them.”

 

The assistant nodded, snapping his head to the right as he started to hear a distinct humming sound that was increasing in volume. He figured it wasn’t his job to investigate so he began his self-imposed duty of asking the able-bodied to come together and leave this medical facility to make space for others who were still flooding in. Luz looked around once again, the din of the wounded and distraught slowly beginning to consume her attentions. As overworked as she kept herself, she was ill prepared to deal with what was occurring. Willing herself forward with clenched fists, she opened her mouth to address everyone inside, her voice dominant enough to cause the rest to cease talking.

 

“Everyone, I know that this situation is inconvenient for all of you and that many of you have suffered losses I could not begin to fathom. For those old enough to remember, I ask that you will yourselves forward as you did during the years of tyranny that we endured before our Light saved us from that darkness. Our King will…”

 

The sound of a swarm of orbiters drowned the rest of her words, their distinct hum reverberating through the halls of the facility as they inundated several rooms and began feasting whenever possible. The hum perfectly masked the sudden shot of energy that vibrated through the entire building before it became clear that the entire building no longer rested on Illyrian soil. The Tekker medical facility had now replaced the Arena of Thorns in the center of Antigua. It wasn’t long before the swarm of orbiters launched themselves out of the building to cover the entirety of the Ancient’s cemetery that managed to survive the dimensional meld and begin making their way to the River’s Crossing Financial District.

 

Luz emerged from the building a few minutes after, confronted with the humid tropical air of Orisia which contrasted the cold freshness of the air generated in Illyria. The distinct smell of salt in the air from the body of water nearby made her scrunch up her nose. She may have taken more time to scan the environment but she had to begin dodging stray orbiters while she attempted to access her monitoring device on her wrist. The thin panel flickered uncontrollably causing her to curse at it while she was forced away from the building which towered over the arena that it had just replaced. All she could muster when faced with her current predicament was the following few words.

 

“Why….me?”

Edited by Dolor Aeternum

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Name: Midian Ochre / Mistress Blackhead / Ravenbush 
Affiliation: Black Spear cartel / Terrorists
Location: Library
Objective: To save an asset inside the library.

__________

The cartel protects its interests and the new Black Head had seen to that. As soon as Middy had sensed Holly's distress signal through the cartel's connections, she had instantly summoned all remaining members of the upper echelon, prompting a quick response. It did not take long for the rescue part to erect a somewhat hastily made portal and painfully transported themselves to Holly's coordinates. It had been close but the group had managed to push back the monsters surrounding Holly, mostly thanks to the Black Wolnought's skill in making walls and barriers. 

After securing Holly, the cartel member's had turtled their way through the city, knocking back the attacking monsters and had more or less rescued a few more citizens. With a dozen of civilians in tow, their progress through the streets had been tedious as they had to drive back the charging monsters while keeping the civilians safe all of this while their abilities was dampened by the oppresive aura of this land. Middy had heard of this phenomenon but despite their group being ill-prepared to fight under such conditions, the members simply grit their and pushed through. Afterall, there is nothing more amusing for the cartel than to push through improbablr odds. Call it masochistic, but every member relished in surviving every crisis they can throw themselves upon. This was mostly why they have not left immediately after securing their first priority and went on an out of character rescue spree, they are afterall, still branded as terrorists in the Terrenus region much to their amusement.

They group seemed to have taken their circumstance too far as all of them, except Middy had been wearing their "I am a terrorist and I am proud of it" shirts under neath their fully buttoned coats. As the leader, Middy has sensed something was off the monent he saw their coats all buttoned up, and had even reprimanded Khaki as she was the mastermind behind it all but it was already too late, they were knee deep in the fight that it there was no more time to change their inner clothing. Middy was sure that the other cartel members are simply biding their time to troll their rescued civilians and when the time is ripe they will open their coats and say, "Hah! You are our captived now! Bwahahaah! We are actually terrorists from another continent and we did not save you! Survivors like you make good slaves!" And then they would show their smug faces while rolling in laughter at their captive's faces. 

Middy's face scowled at that thought. If the Lady Blackbush were here, she would have have been the first one to think of such a ridiculously stupid act and would mostly be proud of it. The Mistress actually missed this kind of atmosphere, one untainted by the Lady Blackbush's recent descent to madness. While she did not encourage it, she did not stop it either. Mistress Blackhead found it heart warming that the cartel family is slowly returning back to their whimsical and more carefree attitude.

Currently the team is now heading towards the burning Library. Black As, the cartel's resident oracle had led them there. Something about an asset can be found there, but knowing oracles, even Middy have trouble deciphering the deep shit these future seers spew out of their prophetic mouths. As Middy recalled her exact words were-

"Guildmaster! We're in for an awful ride in the Orisian server. Somehow the devs found it funny to employ this new server wide event which I personally think is stupid. Now we have random mobs spawning all over the Ceyena map and the whole server is awful AF! Like JFC! What the hell are the devs thinking! And to top it off the La'Ruta patch had nerfed as outsiders to oblivion. Like almost fifty percent reduction to our skills and abilities' effectiveness. That's some straight up BS right there. Thankfully the server-wide event may have slightly fixed the La'ruta nerf patch but it still sucks IMHO. And who who in their right mind would like this patch changes? No-b-o-d-y! That's who! Now I say we draw all the aggro off these MFSOAB mobs while the a small group of high level rankers take on the final boss somewhere out there. As much as the server map screen is useful, the devs must have patched it up as well sincd the quest markers have been removed and they must have hidden the final boss' location as well. So we're back to old school hack and slash till the boss shows up style. Oh btw, let's head to the library first, some kind of quest popped up in my journal. Just another boring fetch quest, but at least that's something."

-and the Mistress was lost. She had no idea how to decipher the Oracle's language but form what she can infer, it seemed something wrong is happening to this land and they have to go to the library.

So trusting the Oracle's ramblings, the cartel headed for the Library which they found was currently burning. The group would march inside it and would find any living survivors and if possible commence extraction operation. While all these happened, the cartel's pet penguins lay huddled together with Black As the Oracle outside the library, waiting for their masters to come out. 

@Djinn&Juice @HollowCipher

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