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Zashiii

Of Trekking and Shippy Thots (Aezer's Howl Airship Quest)

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Aboard the God's Hand airship...

There were people on deck, a gathering of sorts. They were all women, clad in black leather coats, their hair billowing against the blowing winds. It had been weeks after the God's hand was fully repaired and back to good working condition. Magic can only do so much to a broken thing but true craftsmanship can do wonders. With the ship in a workable condition, these women are more than ready to grab a second airship. But not just any airship, a named one, a vessel that could be heralded as those from the legends.

These women were masters in the art of finding lost stuff, in proving the truth behind legends and rediscovering hidden places. Yes, these are the famed mercenaries, bounty hunters, adventurers and occasional terrorists. These women are once part of the deceased organization, the Blackspear Cartel. At the forefront of this gathering is the white-haired woman, the woman of many names.

"I thank you all for coming today," the woman started, "Now, onto business."

Edited by Thotification

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The white-haired woman cleared her throat before continuing. "As you all now, we have recently acquire the God's Hand airship..."

There was a low murmur among the audience prompting the woman to gesture for silence.

"...and I want to claim another one."

It seems the audience like that part as they are clapping now.

"So our next quest is to look for Aezer's Howl, another fabled airship. This time, it will be harder, and more frustrating. We have no maps. We have no leads. All we have are stories and legends. This might be the hardest undertaking we've ever had. Like finding needle in a haystack but that haystack is the whole Genisaris. I know that this whole mission sucks but please bear with me."

There were no cheers, only awkward silence.

"What?" the woman demanded.

"Are we getting paid?" ask one of the braver ones from the audience.

"Of course not. Now shut up and do as I tell you!"

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Amidst the grumbling of the working women, the speaker was mostly unconcerned with what she had brought upon these poor workers. That sole woman, that supposed leader simply sat there at the middle of the deck, sipping tea while the others are working their asses off. 

Of course, that singular woman had a table before her seat and a chair directly across her. There was a visitor that she must meet today. She might have already sent an invitation but she was not sure if the man would accept her offer. Still, she had faith that her selfish request would pull through. 

And there she sat, on that table, waiting. A cup of tea in hand, a teapot splayed on the table before her person.

"Oh my dear Ankou," the woman that was known as the Mistress Blackhead, whispered to herself, "I missed you."

@danzilla3

Edited by Thotification

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The portal opened and a well dressed man who appeared to be no more than thirty walked through. His skin was deathly pale, and if it wasn't for his sharp, alert gaze one might have mistaken him for a corpse. Suddenly it would feel to those nearby as if the temperature had dropped dramatically. It was the chill of death that followed the Cult of Powers de facto second-in-command everywhere he went. 

Ankou Lethe had arrived. 

He had received the Mistresses invitation, and decided on a whim to visit her as she had asked. While well below him in terms of power; she had proven herself to be a loyal and capable asset. 

With a slight nod of the head, he acknowledged her, "Mistress. I received your invitation."

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"Aaaah! Ankou, my friend! Please take a seat." the white-haired woman exclaimed as she gestured to the empty chair before her. "Make yourself at home."

Chuckling, the woman Ankou referred as 'the Mistress' poured the man a cup of tea which she set in front of him if her ever decided to take a seat. Done with the necessary hospitality services, the woman settled back in her chair and placed a lighted cigar on her full lips.

"You have my gratitude for accepting my invitation." She paused to take a sip from her own cup of tea. "But business comes first. Now that you are here, I would like you to hear me out on my offer."

"I am searching for a second airship. One of the lost ships of Genesaris. The Aezar's Howl. The only problem is that all I have are stories. Gossips. Legends. Myths. Fables. Whispers. I might need your help in verifying all of them. What all this means is that we will be having a cross-country trek all over Genesaris!"

She paused as the working girls let out a loud cheer. When the cheer died down, she continued.

"I would need of help, of course, especially from Mori. While I am confident of my skill in portal-making, I cannot make them as good as you do. So, will you help me?"

@danzilla3

Edited by Thotification

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Ankou listened to the Mistress outline her plan with slight interest. He had no particular need of things like airships anymore; once he had obtained Mori he became able to travel anywhere in the world on a whim. Nor was he interested in any other treasure the expedition might uncover. But the thought of touring his homeland after a thousand year absence intrigued him. Of course he had traveled since then, but he had hardly seen everything.

Besides; he had come to enjoy the company of his fellow Inner Circle Cultists. Not that he would ever admit to this out loud.

"Very well, I accept your offer. Where do you want to go first?"

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The white-haired woman's eyes lit up as Ankou agreed to her proposal. "Oh my, I did not expect you to say yes. Not at all."

Taking a sip of tea, she continued talking. "I have a couple of places in mind. For one there's the Velhetian Desert. The Cold Mountains are good as well."

"So it's a good choice between hot and cold. I would have made the portals myself but I'm not good enough to safely transport the whole airship. However, I do have full trust on you capabilities.

Then the blade Baeoi that was sitting on her lap began to shine and this soft and gentle magical energy washed all over the airship. 

"Here's a small token of gesture. An amplification spell. This eases the effort needed to transport this large ship."

Edited by Thotification

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Ankou nodded and walked to the bow of the ship. He had journeyed to the Cold Mountains many times in his life, so he had no trouble holding an image of the frigid peaks in his mind. Next he reached out to Mori, feeling the power flow through him as he touched its essence. Opening a portal big enough for the ship to fit through would be the most difficult part of this task. A hole in the fabric of space and time opened before them, no bigger than an apple.  The lich continued to widen the entrance until a portal slightly larger than the ship itself was made.

He looked to The Mistress and gave her a nod to indicate they were ready.

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"Very well, my friend," the Misress exclaimed, "and away we go!"

With that, the ship moved forward into the portal. There was that weird sensation of passing through the fabrics of space and time before the ship finally steered clear of the portal. What hit them was the freezing wind and the rather liberal amount of snow.

"Cobran," the Mistress spoke as she stood up from her seat. "The land of wolves and werewolves."

She turned to face her friend Ankou. "Would care to join us? We'll be heading down on foot in search of a lead."

If Ankou were to say yes, then Khakina and Sera would gesture to the man to follow them as the two jumped down the ship into the snow below. Upon reaching the snowy ground, they would be greeted by the rather alarming number wolves that has gathered to give the foreigners a hospitable greeting.

@danzilla3

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Ankou gave a silent nod to the Mistresses inquiry, and then proceeded to follow her and the others off the ship. As he floated down to the ground he noticed the wolves that had assembled to greet the party. In normal circumstances he would have simply killed all of them. This was The Mistresses mission however. He would follow her lead when it came to engaging in combat. For now he would simply observe the situation, ready to strike if necessary.

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It would have been easy to eliminate the wolves however these are no normal carnivores. Cobran wolves are highly resistant to magic and supernatural abilities. A battle with these wolves would be an all out brawl, a dirty chaotic melee.

With howls and snarls, the pack of wolves charged at the group like sea of fur and fangs. The Mistress' subordinates belowed their defiance and they too met the wolves with frenzy. The Mistress herself stood back and conversed with Ankou. 

"You might need to stretch those old bones for a bit. They'll be reaching as soon."

True, enough a trio of alpha wolves leaped forward. They were making a beeline for Ankou Lethe and the Mistress itself.

@danzilla3

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Ankou turned his attention to the approaching wolves with mild interest, but no more than that. Resistant to magic they might be, but the Mind Stone was at its most powerful on the continent of Genesaris. Reaching his hand out, his eyes glowed yellow. After a moment, the eyes of the charging wolves glowed with the same amber light. Instead of crashing against the assembled force, they flowed around them, coming to sit before the Lich.

He eyed the Mistress, "All dogs can be tamed."

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The Mistress gave Ankou a thankful nod. "Good. Now we won't have to worry about the weaker ones."

Meanwhile, the other members of their party are laying waste to the alpha males they meet in battle. Each one of them had chosen their specific alphas and were slaying the weaker wolves en masse. There seems to be ten alphas in total but the number of wolves are too little than expected. It seems only the toughest of the wolves are brave enough to challenge the Mistress and Ankou. Unfortunately they are not worth the time either.

The battle did not take long. Not long at all.

Edited by Zashiii

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A few minutes later, the snowy ground had turned red, blood and gore spilled everywhere. It was a total massacre. The group gave no quarter to the wolves. It feels more like a genocide actually. With this much death, the Mistress farmed the souls of the dead wolves and Ankou could do the same. For the Mistress, a pack of spirit wolves seemed like a cool idea. She did not miss claiming the body and soul of one of the alpha wolves.

"Thank for your hard work," the Mistress said to Ankou. Then she began invading the memories of the dead wolves. She was looking for any leads about the ship but alas she had found nothing. Not a single thing, none at all. Dejected, she ordered her servants to skin the bodies of half of the dead alpha wolves. One was given for Khakina to eat, the other was corpse was given to Natalya for her shadow nercromancy. It seems that there are two left, chained and forced to submission. 

She offered one to Ankou as well. "Go and take one of those pelts after my girls have cleaned them and turned into coats. They are immune to most magical weapons and spells. Once you're done we'll be moving to the next place. Kuratel seems a nice place to go."

 

Edited by Zashiii

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Ankou took the pelts with a grateful nod of his head. Then he turned his attention to the two wolves who had yet to be slaughtered. It seemed a shame to completely wipe out such strong creatures. After a moments thought, he activated the Mind Stone again permanently rewriting their minds to make them loyal to him, and him alone. Once he was done, the two creatures flanked him as he boarded the ship.

Now aboard, he meditated for a few minutes until he had an image of Kuratel firmly in his mind. Then he activated Mori, and opened another portal. He looked over at The Mistress.

"Ready when you are."

Edited by danzilla3

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