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Yral; The Neverend Artifact

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12:00P.M, 

The sun sat high in the sky as Yral bustled and boomed with the usual busy day of the citizens. Yral was a labyrinth inside and out. It was the largest city in Lyonesse as you could get lost entering or exiting the city. Even those who knew the city, got lost here and there. 

In the main center of the market square sat a figure who knew where the artifacts were deserted. Those seeking power through out or a higher reason would come to this woman known as Ra. 

A woman who could tease you with power yet always let you choose the path to fate, destiny. Ra however was here to attract foreigners to find lost artifacts, tempting them to the dark side. 

She sat there as she awaited the one who wanted to find the Neverend. Though it wasn't cursed itself, the ruins it resided in were. There was a fifty fifty chance it could occur. Ra hoped it would happen. 

It made this all worthwhile.

Closed rp with

@TheEyeOfNight

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Tal Corric was entirely lost.

He knew who he was looking for, at least he thought he did. The descriptions he received were universally vague, though he knew it was a woman. Young or old, fair or weathered, he had no idea. No two stories were straight, and none of the storytellers seemed to have actually dealt with the woman who knew the secrets. Secrets of ancient knowledge, ancient wonders, and the strongest magics of Athentha. Secrets that Tal needed. He was a sin-eater, one who consumed the sins of others to relieve their souls of the burden, and in so doing damning his own soul for the sacrifice. It had been of little thought for him for many years, but he could sense that his own Reckoning was not far away.

The day he would have to answer for all the sins he carried. The day that he would face obliteration for bearing the stain of those sins.

He knew of one chance to deter that judgment, and it had led him here: to Yral, in search of a mythical sword and shield that might serve him in surviving the Reckoning. It was with this mixture of confusion and determination that Tal stepped into the market square, his features twisting in annoyance as a hundred people milled about, passing and trading and bustling here and there.

Slowly, he started moving through the crowd, looking for the woman the locals referred to as "Ra".

Edited by TheEyeOfNight
Fun visuals

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334b4f4d1e71c22459140c0db7547fc9.jpgWell you're not the man I assumed was coming. Ra spoke as she approached Tal. I was hoping it was a demon or vampire. Seems only ones interested in these damned things are humes. Oh well, come along. It's a long walk to the Yral outskirts. The ruins are called Legoniare Fault. 

Ra spoke as she walked. She was not irritated or annoyed. She just wondered why this man wanted an artifact in a cursed ruin named after a dead family tree. 

I was half expecting a child of Ja'Guthra to show up. Or a relative of them. Huge family tree, since they keep breeding. But you'll doSo, tell me hume, why do you want the Neverend? It's nothing really special. 

Ra then looked at Tal. He seemed strong enough to face the danger within Legoniare Fault. But then again who really knew? The demoness sighed, it would have been more sane to get a cursed item, at least it had something worthwhile to get cursed. 

And yes, I'm Ra. You can call me that. Maybe one day I'll remember my real name. You are? Humes are interesting though. They seek things they don't understand, giving up precious things to gain power. 

Ra shook her head as she walked on again down the cobblestone street. She wondered what the citizens said of her to Tal. Was it good, bad? She was curious yet amused. 

Are the citizens truly afraid of me? I am merely doing my job as I am told. Seems the tales are more terrifying than I knew. Well, I hope you enjoy walking. It's a long one.

Ra sighed shaking her head. She was not good at playing tour guide. Nor why he seeked her out. Seems everyone was told to go to her when looking for artifacts. 

Edited by Rin

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He fell into step with her, blinking away his surprise at her blunt demeanor. Whatever mental image he had drummed up of the mysterious 'Ra', it certainly was not the woman in front of him. Part of him immediately dismissed all the stories of the demoness he had heard, but the rest of his mind had plenty of stories to remind him not to.

"Tal, Tal Corric. And I don't know if 'afraid' is the word I'd use. Mystified, or apprehensive. Cautious, maybe. And not power-hungry enough to go after the artifacts to learn these things themselves." He turned sideways to pass between two chatting merchants, taking care not to hit either one with the sword slung across his back. He struggled to keep up with the smaller woman as she wove through the crowds with ease.

"And I don't know about 'nothing special'. I have it on good author- well, from trustworthy- Okay, I heard once in a bar that it reflects magic. Lots of different kinds." His gray eyes steeled ahead, like a condemned man catching sight of the gallows. "I'm going to need it to do just that."

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334b4f4d1e71c22459140c0db7547fc9.jpgWell, how stupid of them to think of me that way. How do they know I'm not power hungry? I mean I run with an organization for pete's sake. 

Ra muttered darting between another group of chattering people. She hated when the market square was so busy. Looking over her shoulder, she paused to see Tal sluggishly trying to keep up. 

You'll have to be quicker Tal, else someone might try to peddle you a nightmarish dream. So, let me get this straight, you came all the way to a cursed land? For a sword that deflects magic? You're an idiot.

Ra was blunt but truthful. It was really dumb to come to Athentha for a weapon. Humes, what did they use those brains for? She didn't know as she sighed and Tal caught up. 

Well, you want to get your dumbass cursed be my guest. I bet that idiot Matthias Ja'Guthra told you about the sword and shield. That moron travels to any land--searching for people to help him gain royatly. Or something stupid like that. 

Ra shrugged as she walked onto the dirt path then. Looking at Tal, she shook her head. Still unsure why he came, why he wanted the sword it mattered not. 

I'm sorry.  I don't work with humans much. So my bluntness comes off as offense. I apologise if I was a bit harsh. I still find it dumb to go to a cursed land though. And these people, I don't think mystified works for me. 

I am, after all, just something they barely know. [/i]

Ra sighed, a bit tired now. But no coaches ran today. And she hated walking to far places.

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Tal shrugged. He admittedly did not have much of a plan for obtaining the Neverend, but in his position he didn't have a lot of options either. Desperation did funny things to a person's motivations, moral code, and willingness to travel to strange countries and meet mysterious women guiding adventurers to relics.

“Trust me, if there's two things I know well, it's being a dumbass and being cursed. Those parts I can handle.”

I'm sorry. I don't work with humans much.

That struck him as an odd sentiment. And few were better versed in odd sentiments than those who ate sins for a living.

“Yeah, that's fair. I don't usually work with...” He gestured to her, and hesitated: she looked human, for the most part. Beautiful even, something that might have interested him more when he was younger and not facing the imminent eternal demise of his soul. Tal wasn't sure what she meant by 'humes', but decided against guessing her lineage at first encounter. After an awkward pause, he settled on something diplomatic.

“...well, I usually just work with humans.”

Without realizing it, he had followed his new guide onto a dirt path. He glanced around in a bit of confusion, turning in a circle before jogging to catch up with her.

“How far are we walking, anyways? Foot-far or horse-far?”

 

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334b4f4d1e71c22459140c0db7547fc9.jpgThe word you're looking for is demon. Which I am. Though getting stuck with this job wasn't my idea at all.

Ra said as she turned to face Tal. It was the first time she spoke without actually being mean. Humans to her were something she didn't like experiencing in large doses. 

Horse far. The ruins that house that particular sword are guarded pretty well by monsters. I forget what they're called but they're not pretty. Bunch of fur and sharp teeth. 

Ra shook her head as he stood there. Tal was pretty tolerable for a human. But she also knew that behind the beasts that guarded the sword, they were led by something even more terrible. 

You can wield a weapon right? You know just in case it goes south. I mean you look like you been using one well, you should be fine. Hopefully. 

Her feet then picked up again as she walked. It was at least a good five miles to the ruins. And she hoped he could handle the walk. Though she wasn't enjoying the walk herself, she wasn't much of a walker. 

Why? You got a horse stashed somewhere in there?

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"Demon? You don't look like-" There was no delicate way to phrase that. Best to drop it entirely. He patted the worn hilt of the sword slung at his shoulder. "Well, the sword's solid, and a better friend than most people I've had to deal with. It'll get the job done, trust me."

You got a horse stashed somewhere in there?

"No, must have left it in my other pants." He shifted the heavy traveling pack on his back: the sum of his worldly possessions wrapped in old cloth and tucked into a leather pack that was ready to give up the ghost itself. "But I'm not opposed to grabbing one if we find one. I'd rather not fight these...fur things while I'm tired and hungry. You probably don't either, if demons....you know...sleep and eat."

Curious, he dropped back a step, sizing her up from behind. He didn't notice any obvious weaponry, which made him a little uncomfortable. As a reckless sword-slinger, he did not have a great track record with keeping others alive. He tended to dig in and tear his way through trouble, which had often times landed him in more trouble. "Look, I don't mean to be rude, but you're not wearing anything." A brief pause as his own words caught up with him. "Weapons. You're not wearing any weapons."

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Ra looked at Tal then as he spoke. It seemed he caught onto somethings quicker than most. It was good. He'd need that quickness in the trials he was about to undertake. 

I eat and sleep like humans do. Ra replied as she looked away for a moment. No, you're not rude. If you were you would have attacked me back there without question. 

She sighed and shook her head as she looked around. Small farms littered the countryside, so a glimmer of chance resided that they'd find horses. It was what he said next that caught her attention. 

You seem scared I don't carry a weapon. But I have many. I deal in magic and if need can summon a weapon. But sometimes I just use my bare hands.

Ra replied before she shrugged. Unlike many of the people here, the demoness wasn't afraid. And if people talked about her, she wanted to know exactly what they said. Were they truthful? Did they speak of her fighting prowess?

I don't tend to get involved with the trials of others to be honest. But should you need help, I don't mind defying the rules. So, tell me Tal? Are you afraid of demons? Humans--do they always be like the land says they are? That they are only looking out for themselves?

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"Your bare hands?" Tal managed to keep the incredulous tone out of his voice, and carefully re-assessed his new traveling companion. She seemed rather casual about the revelation, without the bravado that usually accompanied an empty boast. "You know, I knew a guy once who said he could pluck out someone's lung with one punch. I mean, he was hammered at the time, and of course he couldn't. But I've always kinda wanted to see it happen."

Humans--do they always be like the land says they are? That they are only looking out for themselves?

He sighed, his posture slumping a bit as they walked. He didn't answer at first, but chewed on his lip for a quiet minute. Part of his brain hoped that this wasn't some cosmic test, and he was about to doom humanity by talking shit. He also didn't want to be a hypocrite: this whole adventure was to try and save his own soul after all.

"Look, I might not be the best person to ask. I'm a sin eater, we're sort of...benevolent parasites. Living on humanity's underbelly, absorbing their sins to cleanse their souls. It really shows you the worst of people, and they're not shy about it either. So take it for what it's worth, but...yeah, kinda. We kinda are."

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Geez you seem more nervous than me. Humes are so weird like that. But rest assure I can handle wbat we must face. Tal, you sure you can be able to fight the oncoming trials and tribulations? I've seen many humes or humans as you call them fail. Be a shame you did too.

Ra replied as she stuffed her hands into her coat pockets. Humans were such interesting creatures that she wondered if they could survive such terrors. She had seen such plentiful of them in Lyonesse, as they had come to be there. Flocked in obessive numbers as if barred from the other islands. Though they weren't.

Ra continued down the path eyeing the few farms and stables. It seemed the farther they left the city they were being separated from outside help. Silent, the demoness wondered if any of these would have a good meal and a horse or two to steal.

“Ra!” yelled a human woman's voice. Ra sighed, shook her head and walked towards Isabella. “What on earth are you doing out here? And with a man. O’ I see…”

Isabella chuckled and winked. Ra placed her hand to her head. The demoness wanted to ring her neck and end the embarrassment that was happening now.

It's not like that at all and you know it. Stop being a dumbass Isabella. This man, Tal has come for the Neverend artifact and I'm doing my job. Nothing more. I'm here because we need a meal and horses. And if you weren't the best in either department I wouldn't be here.

Isabella looked over towards Tal. She looked him over as she leaned against the small barn. A foreigner human was different from an island born human. But they still had the same blood running in their veins nevertheless.

“Slight problem in all that dear Ra. The Inquistor cut off access to that cave. Said too many beasts and demons to let people go there. I think you can find Knight Commander Mirth and see if you can persuade ‘em. But I can make you two a good meal. Come on inside and I'll fix ya up.”

Mirth, Ra knew that name well. Seemed there was always a headache to get her job done. She walked behind Isabella as she said nothing. Hopefully Tal was in tow. It wasn't a long walk inside as the smells of many things cooking could waft through the air. A nice chicken cooked on the spit. And in pans and pots were potatoes, corn and carrots.

Tal, I forgot to mention, this is Isabella. And she's an annoying but good friend of mine. Well, lets get a meal in us so we can find the knight commander.

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Gee, you seem more nervous than me.

"Yeah, well, this is kinda my first time running off for an artifact. Or palling around with a demon. No offense." He kept an eye on the countryside as they walked, mentally losing track of the distance. It was an old trick, to help time pass when traveling, or wandering aimlessly. Both of which he did quite often, just usually with less company. "Besides, I'm about out of options. If I die on the quest, I get judged for the ten thousands sins I'm carrying around. If I don't go on the quest, I still get judged, just with more ceremony beforehand."

Ra!

Tal's hand went to his sword reflexively, leveraging the giant blade up onto his shoulder and dropping his feet into a guarded stance, sliding habitually between Ra and the shout. He didn't think of himself as high-strung, but the nature of the quest and its stakes had him on edge. He eased up as Isabella came into view, re-latching the sword into position across his back and offering her a curt nod. The newcomer's tease at Ra prompted an amused smile, which he shook away. "Tal. Charmed, doomed, and a little amused. And yes, we're here for the Neverend, and horses would be a great addition. So would food, actually."

A cave. Beasts and demons. An inquisitor and a knight commander. This adventure was becoming more complicated by the minute.

"Cut off? Do we need to get a permission slip or something?" He uncorked the waterskin at his side and took a long drink, his mouth watering at the smell of food. The meager pittance he normally carried left him with less-than-elegant food options, and the scent of a feast was an enticing option. It also reminded him to get on with the job, so he could continue to enjoy such pleasures in the future. Speaking of which, he eyed Ra up and down as he followed her past the food, contemplating her earlier boast about being able to tear things apart with her hands. "You know, we could probably get in and out without anyone noticing until the screams start. Unless you think this...knight commander would take offense to the idea?"

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Are you daft? The knight commander will crucify us after we even get the bloody artifact. You really think no one won't see us?

Ra asked as Isabella chuckled, placing a dish of eggs and bacon down in front of Tal, adding toast and orange juice. She sat her form down into a small oak chair placing her arms on the table. 

"You're not going anywhere until you had a decent meal. Besides we can plan while we eat. I heard the knight commander speak of a back entrance. One on the south coast of the cave. I heard more of the knights are guarding it than the other sides." 

Isabella replied as she rolled open the map of Yral. It had many maze like canyons and road ways. Mazes of buildings and tracks. She pointed to a small cave east of the city, the cave unmarked but the city that held it was the Jasper Malachite outskirts. She tapped the small spot. 

"Of course that means they might be looking for the artifact too. These days you can't trust the military or the knights. You could possibly use the robes of the Lyonesse military."

The military? You want us to pretend to play the part of the Plutonium knights? That's absurd. They'd figure us out in a heartbeat. Ra replied as she looked down at the food. She wasn't hungry at the moment. I mean they have been around more recently since the incident. Well, Tal?

Ra looked towards him then wanting to know what he thought. What he wanted to do. He was the one going after the artifact after all. The demoness sighed as Isabella tilted her head. Something was bothering Ra she could tell. 

"Out with it Ra. Now."

You serious? You think I'm holding something back? Ra asked, she nodded. Fine. You know who's down in that cave with all those knights patrolling it? The demon known as the Neverend. The same name as the artifact he wants. 

And you of all people know what it does. You lost your family to the Neverend. It lies, it steals. It decays the human moral, twisting them beyond redemption. And those knights don't want us going in there. And--

"Ra, relax. I'm sure the demon isn't in there anymore. Nor do the knights want the artifact. And Tal here, looks like he can go toe to toe with any danger. You forget Ra, we humans are formidable. When we have to be. And yes, I know all about the Neverend."

Ra sighed as she stood up. I'll be outside Tal, getting the horses ready. You and Isabella at least form a plan.

With that, she disappeared outside leaving the two humans at the table. Isabella sighed softly, shaking her head at Ra. 

"I'm sorry Tal, Ra likes to be like that sometimes. But she's right, we need a plan. And we could find another way from the west or north. However, there's another problem besides the demon. The knight commander Jarvis Von Salvador Ja'Guthra. He hasn't been right in years. He seems corrupted."

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