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Phoebe

Scholarly Exploits [Class C Quest]

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Hunting down and documenting unnatural creatures was not the way Addison had initially expected to spend her dating week with Ewyer. But with the transportation ready and the equipment prepared, it was a little too late to step out when she began to have misgivings.

And thus here they were, in a surprisingly warm little settlement consisting of paladins from the Order of the White Hand. Tents were pitched and torches burning brightly in every direction as men and women scurried about hastily, as if failure to get things done quickly would result in drastic consequences. Addison tightened her grip on Ewyer's hand as they passed on through the camp, running straight into a wooden and stone wall three stories high, patrolled by nervous guardsmen and paladins.

"What kind of place is this. . ." she muttered quietly. "This place looks like it's preparing for the end of the world."

It really was. Large piles of supplies were stocked in granaries. There were no personal homes, only barracks and large racks of weapons, armorsmiths pumping out equipment that they weren't taking money for. Everything was so militaristic. It gave her both a sense of deep seated nostalgia and growing anxiety.

@HellstenNacht

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While being mildly concerned about the need of such security for what he was told was a research expedition, Ewyer was not one to complain about such ways, as there was never a such thing as too much security. Though he didn't assume such a expedition would be usual for a relaxing time, he simply connected the dots to his wife's need to build bonds with other groups of interest, if her nation were to succeed.

Thus, here he was on another adventure, his first in a while, and was rather happy to be doing something again, instead of just sitting around awaiting others to need him. He was rather cheery, excited, for what he could encounter in these new set of lands, different from what he was normally used to in his old home.

Feeling the tightening of his hand by Addy, he glanced sideways at her in a quizzical manner, and rolled his shoulders in a manner of similarity to shrugging to her statement. He didn't feel the paranoia was to that extent, and rather commended the warriors on what he only could describe, in his mind, as thorough discipline and efficiency. He watched the men patrolling the wall, though felt as if such defense was a bit of a shambled build, even if the encampment wasn't subject to such devices as artillery or actual fully defensible walls. 

"Its not that bad love." He said, an attempt at reassurance, and returning her grip with one of confidence "I'm sure they're only doing what's required. Thinking ones self
undefeatable, is what lead to the fall of many. Atlas, Bulgaria, and others like our dear friend," He spoke the name like it was poisonous and burning through his mouth as he spat it out, "Were all broken apart due to some arrogance of power." He finished off his statement with a sour note, remembering the rather destructive ends of the aforementioned places and person.

"Never mind any of that, anyway. We're going to have a fun time, watching animals and relaxing!"

@Phoebe

 

Edited by HellstenNacht

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"It looks like these people are preparing to watch demons crawl out of hell," she remarked warily. "But yes. Sightseeing and animals- though I would think it wise not to disregard the warnings."

True enough, the pair had been plagued by puzzled soldiers inquiring where they were going as they made their way toward Yh'mi. The incredulous looks they had received seemed to suggest that this wasn't the average honeymoon venue.

"Let's just do the job quickly. See if we can document some useful information for these people and then let them take over."

She gazed outward toward the darkness beyond the wall.

"Doesn't it frighten you?"

@HellstenNacht

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"Whether or not this is the usual experience for romance, I'm going to enjoy it. I'm no damsel in distress, and even if I was, I have you here with me. You think some bear or wolf out there is going to pose as much of a threat as the annoyances back home? The worst thing we'll have to deal with is the unruled forest ground, or in the worst case, getting lost. I'll even bet on it."

He spoke with confidence, and even if his ignorance did show, he didn't care all to much. Whether or not there was truly some dangerous foe, he didn't care all too much. His arrogant sense of safety was shown on his face, a tone of bravery and recklessness on it, as if he had seemingly been revived from his old state of constant fatigue. He was almost like a different man, younger by a hundred years. 

"Now, lets past this feeble barricade, I want to go on a fun adventure again with a beautiful woman, like the old days." He gave a her a grin, almost childlike, in turn both up playing the fun factor of the mere study session on animals, and downplaying the rather obvious danger.

@Phoebe

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"The wise words of a man who died once and nearly died twice," she smirked, poking him in the ribs as they passed the patrol guard. When they were stopped, she showed them the documents which they had acquired to register their entry into Yh'mi. The guard narrowed his eyes, before nodding for them to proceed. As they plodded ahead, still within range of the base camp, Addison halted. She began to sniff the air vigorously.

"This place smells unnatural," she remarked. "Let's just get what we came for and not linger too long."

@HellstenNacht

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He sighed, shaking his head, and pulled forward in their walk, a spring in his step at he moved farther from the relatively safer camp, watching the wilderness with an expression that said "I'm trying to make this seem fun". Letting go of her hand, and waving a hand at her, a gesture to be described as "Come on, relax a little". He was, truly, trying to find some light of excitement, something he could do to ease the nerves of what he could see as his rather stressed and tired companion, before stopping and turning for her. As much as he wanted to seem brave, in any form, he'd much rather them stick together. 

His voice softened from earlier, as he attempted to reassure her. "All we need to do is a little bit of writing. Don't over think it, and when it's done, we can go. . .sightseeing or something." He gave her another of his signature grins, and then turned back round, walking slower than before, as a moving, yet waiting, walk. He began to whistle a small tune, glancing around the area they were in, and up at the dark sky, in which was the only moment he showed a hint of displeasure. 

"No stars?" He murmured to himself, a tone of worry in his voice as he actually glanced to the sky, like Addy had done so before, a thought made into speech, and a second later, he hoped she hadn't heard his words of doubt, for their so called, happy, fun adventure. It was truly the first time they had been really alone, and on some sort of thing with just one another. His hopes that it would be a perfect time were hard to achieve, and if anything were to ruin, he'd hate himself if it was the doubts of himself that did so.


@Phoebe

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"No stars?" came Ewyer's voice once again in the distance. Then again, somewhere off to their right. Then, even further away.

"No stars?"

This time, it came from behind them, a little closer than the first echo had been.

"Shh!" Addison instructed, gripping his hand tightly as she whirled around and flattened her back out against him. A fog had descended, obscuring the base camp from them temporarily.

She raised her right fist, curling her fingers inward to form a pivot. In between her index finger, middle finger and thumb, a small flame erupted upward, illuminating the area around them.

"Shh!" came a voice to their left, and then to their right.

"What?" she muttered beneath her breath.

@HellstenNacht

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"And here I thought we'd have a good, annoyance free time." He muttered to her, and then had an unusual, but interesting idea. "She sell sea shells by the sea shore, She sells sea shells by the sea shore." He began uttering tongue twisters, loudly into the woods. Though one could see it as some sort of madness, his reasoning was simply. He assumed that it was some sort of vocal mimic, and thus, was testing its intelligence and its able to recreate sounds.

He tightened his grip on Addy however, on the slight chance the unknown entity was actually a threat. Even though he doubted it was dangerous, he'd rather be paranoid than in danger. Following her example, though with a slight twist, a ball of flame erupted in his open hand, and he proceeded to burn a semi circle on his side, less of an actual blaze, and more of small warning flames, a few feet in front of him, just barely enough that the miniature blaze would last longer than a few seconds before it died out.

@Phoebe

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There was a long silence as whatever was in the fog seemed to be taken aback by Ewyer’s strange gesture, as if it had mistaken his nonsensical speech as some sort of chanting for a spell. After a few seconds of nothing, the voices came once again. His voice.

She sells sea shells by the sea shore, she sells sea shells by the sea shore.

There!” Addison muttered quietly, gripping Ewyer’s hand tightly as she started forward, marching through the fog with her flaming fist leading, until in the distance, it revealed an unorthodox creature of grotesque proportions.

 

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The large severed ear had no gash along the part from which it had been separated from a head of any sort. Rather, thick skin lined the thin ridge and looped back around to connect with the back of the ear. The ear itself was as tall as a fully grown man, if one counted the height below it from which it levitated above the ground. A large whistle hung from its earlobe, drifting below it as the wind buffeted it from every direction.

@HellstenNacht

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Watching the creature, Ewyer felt off put, unable to know what he was looking at, before he simply glanced at it. After a few moments, he began to advance, not fearing the unusual creature, a more curious stance being taken by the man as he made his way over to the giant ear, a thing he didn't think was possible. No, whether or not it did exist, he had made two conclusions. Either it would be unable to be hostile, as it had no real way of fighting, or it had to be an illusion, though the second he had no way of justifying.

 

"I don't think there's reason to be afraid, it doesn't. . .seem to have any way to defend itself, from what I can see. . .though it's more than fascinating. . ." He called behind him, A calm, yet rather obviously uncomfortable tone being carried along with his words. Although he didn't dare turn away from the ear, in the off chance it was a fighter, as he decided to keep his guard up while doing such an advance, slowly taking off a glove upon his right hand, as a small ball of flame began burning into existence.

@Phoebe

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"You have very strange taste," Addison remarked quietly. "I was hoping we'd get to see some squirrels or frogs."

As Ewyer approached the ear, it began a slow backward retreat via levitation, drawing further and further away from them as he advanced.

"Fascinating. . ." came Ewyer's voice from behind them. And then, there was another. "Yes, very fascinating."

"They're afraid," came his voice once again, and upon this, Addison drew her sword, making a sharp ringing sound. Almost immediately, the air was filled with screams. Ewyer's screams.

"Ah- wah tis tat horrid noise?" came a harsh shriek to their left. "The agony!"

Addison turned, checking Ewyer once to make sure that he wasn't similarly affected, before slashing her blade against its sheathe, generating a powerful high frequency ring that traveled far and wide.


Addison whirled around vigorously. The screaming of her blade had subsided, and it seemed that the creatures were no longer visible.

"I- sorry," she muttered in a shaky breath. "I really didn't like them."

@HellstenNacht

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"Well, yes, small animals are. . .in existence, but-" He felt chills go down the length of his back, at hearing the sound of his own voice knowing full well it wasn't really him. The feeling of something copying such an important and unique part of himself, he didn't like. However, he didn't feel afraid, not even as he heard the noise of piecing ringing, annoying, but not fatal either, and he assumed the creature was making sure a noise as well.

However, his advance was quickly cut short as he heard actual speaking, and then, the screams of himself. That, was what got to him. He stopped, and quickly retreated back to Addy, stumbling backwards as he no longer wished to get near the undesirable creature. 

He was further startled, by yet another piercing sound, similar to the first he noted, before the shriek of it filled his ears, and as he thought of only that, his legs tripped on another, sending him onto the ground and his arse, before he threw the ball of flame he had created at nowhere in particular, as it burned out in the air.

Once again stopped, he groaned quietly, wondering if his eardrums had been shattered yet. "Why are you ap- . . .That was you, wasn't it." he let out a sigh, before turning back to her with a small smile. "Neither did I, love. Just. . .a bit of a warning. . .please?" 

@Phoebe

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"Can't help it," she shrugged with a smile, offering a hand to pull him up as she reached forward to cup his ear, channeling her Ki into his eardrums as she sped up their repair. "Desperate times call for desperate measures."

She gazed past his shoulder wearily, wondering if the ear creatures had truly disappeared. As she and Ewyer recovered gradually from the piercing sound attack she had unleashed, a quiet scuttling sound began to emanate from their surroundings. The loud noise of a fierce blow had sent lesser predators fleeing, but only intrigued the bigger ones.

@HellstenNacht

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He took the hand, rolling his eyes with a smile at her antics, before hearing the noise of movement, a noise that usually only belonged to creatures that were rather unappealing in nature, a scuttling thing, much more frightening than one that bounds or gallops. Surely such a screech would have frightened off any creature with anything lower than sentient though, minus actual humanoids. His smile turned into one of slight nervousness.

"Mhm, I'm aware of desperate times, love. But I think with that. . .Whatever it was, suffices as information? Surely we should be able to go back now."

His voice, calm and steady, wavered slightly. Although he had been up for adventure, hearing his own voice send out screams of pain seemed to have been enough to rattle him. And noises, did not help in any way either, as he kept a stance of calmness, but his eyes darted to and from, a sense of paranoia being emitted from them. He held his hands at his sides, stiff, a mixture to appear laid back,
but said arms looking as if clenched, his hands fidgeting with his pants. 


@Phoebe

Edited by HellstenNacht

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Aigh,” she nodded, gripping his hand tightly as she began to retrace her footsteps.

The scuttling gradually got louder, but stayed it’s distance.

Town is just ahead!” she remarked, pointing her finger straight ahead at the encampment looming in the distance. A few guardsmen had seen them and were pointing fingers at them.

I hope you took notes,” she uttered calmly, her eyes constantly shifting from side to side as she kept a constant vigil over their surroundings. Her pace began to quicken as she dragged Ewyer rather forcefully along.

@HellstenNacht

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