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Phoebe

Into the Dark [Class B/A Quest]

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Inns'th was as it usually was, bustling with activity and the general sense of vigilance which promised that any falter or blunder could result in everyone's collective demise.

Yh'mi was a desolate wasteland, full of strange creatures with lethal intent. Much of it had yet to be explored, and as part of her contribution to this new world, she sought to make her stand, albeit brief, in the land where there was no light, no hope, nothing.

The mistake she made last time was bringing her husband. Throughout their trip, she feared for his life, feared for his body. He was formidable and she never doubted it, but as days passed on Valucre, the number of beings whom she came across that were able to not only match but surpass her combat prowess steadily grew. This time, she brought someone stronger.

@Truthless

Offering a courteous nod to Masuda, she straightened her artifact cowl, wrapped around her neck like a scarf. There were two more whom were supposed to meet them in the quiet tavern, which was all but empty save for a pair of men who were also on their break. A small party of adventurers had left that morning to do some scouting, they told her. It was a little reassuring that beyond the walls, another Terran group would be searching for new knowledge.

@The North Wind @Djinn&Juice

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*This place is as boring as ever.* Masuda thought, squinting. He was in quite the position, standing upside down on the ceiling like it was the ground. The clothes he wore dropped down, his scarf covering a bit of his view. His gaze darted around the place, becoming to grow visibly impatient.

" We're supposed to meet someone here? " He asked rhetorically, moving his scarf out of the way with his right hand, crossing his arms and sighing. " I'm getting an eerie vibe.. " He told Addison, a kunai dropping from his right sleeve, into the clutch of his palm. He began to spin it about with great skill, the sound of the blade cutting through the air coming and going at different volumes. This was the kind of thing he did when bored. Quite the interesting fellow, huh?

@Phoebe

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His master had told him much of the world, but Heathcliff could never expect the level of danger existed at every corner. Fracture possessing amazing technology and dangerous wilderness while Genesaris boasted vast citizenship that created it's own dangerous sub markets. The tour of the world already one many would die trying to take due to it's treacherous nature. Arkadia had been by far his favorite location to explore and even found some wealth in the pugilism bouts there. None had warned him more about a place than this Yh'mi; a soulless land where even the air itself was a danger. It was impossible not to be interested in such a danger. Master Thraice telling him that experience was to now be his true mentor, and to venture out and find danger wherever it hid. He couldn't think of a place more dangerous the more he learned about the treacherous lands. 

It was that desire that led him into this very bar, an invitation he couldn't pass up! Heathcliff marching through the threshold and immediately taking off his sandals and leaving them by the door. It seemed the only patrons here were the others that were apart of this journey. Addison and Masuda watching as a Lithe dragonborn moved in their direction. the only clothes he wore seemed to be a pair of scaled greaves with his scaly chest exposed. A single armband adorned with a dragon head surrounded by fists wielding farming tools the only other discernible clothing that could be seen asde from dirty handwraps.  His eyes widening as he saw that one of the patrons was indeed crouched on the roof as though it were his natural position. 

The newcomer standing before Addison and immediately bowing with his head cracking against the wood of the floor

"Thank you for requesting my assistance! I will do my best!"

 

Spoiler

58b2f446f39122d1e65d5a7444458a2270d0ae37

Not my art of course!

 

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A figure draped in blue robes and silver armor walked slowly behind the dragonborn into the bar followed shortly by a large floating metallic cello case adorned with silver embossed ivy tendrils. Hinoka had served in the wilds of Fracture for most of his career so far, but, when he had been offered this opportunity he couldn't help but feel a tinge of fear. Anything in this strange land could prove dangerous enough to kill. He however feared to let his new friend go it alone. 

Removing his hood Hinoka would take in the sight of a lone woman sitting at a table while another man sat on the...ceiling? Considering how odd this land was it may just be some sort of new safety precaution. Waiting for his companion to finish their own introduction Hinoka would set his case to the side willing it into an open seat with a wave of his hand.

"Greetings. Hinoka Arier reporting for duty ma'am."

Spoiler

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Artwork from Granblue fantasy

 

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"Good day to your both," the Master Knight nodded at the pair which had arrived, paying closer scrutiny to the grotesque reptilian one with an instinctual fascination.

"I am Addison, Knight of the Final Bastion. But as of today and forward, you may address me simply as Addison. The battlefield pays no heed to one's titles or ranks, but the strength of their will, and their thirst for survival."

She planted a map down on the table, right below Masuda's chin.

"Have a seat, gentlemen."


Drinks were called over for the group while she was briefing them on their plan.

". . . much of Yh'mi has yet to be explored. . ."

During her quick breakdown of their plans and objectives, she couldn't help but notice some of the soldiers staring at them from outside the tavern. Was it Masuda they were looking at?

"Today, our objective is to scout out the area in front of the spires," she pointed firmly to a patch of tall looking spikes on the map.

BnSeBNB.jpg

"We go in maybe a hundred metres, make observations about the surroundings and then get out. Are we clear?"

She glanced between the various individuals. She would take this time to answer any further questions. Otherwise, these brief twenty minutes would be the only time each individual member of the group would have to prepare for the quest ahead.

@The North Wind @Djinn&Juice @Truthless

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*These people are mighty interesting.* 

" And you can call me Masuda. " He said once Addison's introduction was over.

Masuda stared down at the map, not really giving a shit. He could honestly care less about where they were going, He was just there out of boredom. The shinobi looks out through the windows, grinning, trying to contain his laughter. *Now this.. THIS is fun.* He thought, putting his kunai away. *Let's mess with them a bit.* He suddenly took his feet off of the ceiling, slapping his left palm onto it instead. He hung there like a chandelier. What the hell was he gripping on? It was a flat surface.

He giggled like a child, flipping back to his original position, crouching down on the ceiling once again. " Yeah, we're clear. But why only 100 meters? " Masuda questioned. " Can't we go more? "

@Phoebe @The North Wind @Djinn&Juice

Edited by Truthless

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"Oh right! Names! My name is Heathcliff! Pupil of Master Thraice!"
Heathcliff sitting squarely on the bench provided as Hinoka gave his introduction. The dragonborn focusing on Addison's explanation of their mission and lightly gasping as the map was revealed. He could hardly contain his excitement at the venture. His finger hovering over the depiction of the spires as hummed in thought. A hundred meters could indeed be treacherous from the many travel brochures he has read about Yh'mi. Heathcliff curiously watching as Masuda hung from seemingly nothing and acted as though it were as natural as breathing "That is absolutely astounding sire! Such agility is what I aspire to someday!" He explained as tankards were brought to the table, a dismissive hand being waved as politely as he could "I will just take water thank you!

"Excuse me Ma'am? What can we expect to encounter around this area? Preparation is the key to success!"  

The reptillian continuing to review the map and make small notes in a dinky handbook he carried with him everywhere, nudging Hinoka, curious as to his input on their mission. 

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Hinoka sat at the table eyeing the map carefully. Truthfully he had no idea what to expect and that terrified him. A cold chill ran up his back as he remembered all the warnings of his parents and all of the stories of the men he served with. Arms lost to the trees, miasmatic air that threatened to take ones sanity and legs lost to the very ground you walked on without so much as a sound.
He shuddered as he took a mental photograph of the map. memorizing its lines and features. Before long his friends brash voice brought him back to control.

"So tell me. Has anyone who has ever done this come back unharmed?"

He eyed the woman carefully, as she would reply. He didnt intend to offend but he wanted to know if she could be trusted as a leader. Safety was always his main concern and if he could not have the truth from this woman, he could not trust her with his life. 
He looked to the men outside staring at them with a cold expression. "Begone." He muttered as he extended a thread to the curtains, pulling them down swiftly with a twitch of his finger.
 

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Addison addressed all three questions simultaneously.

"The thing is, we have no idea what's out there. And from what we understand so far, there's various creatures that we could possibly encounter, ranging from swarms of eldritch insects to malicious shapeshifting monsters. I wouldn't want to risk going too far in. Any deeper, and we might not be able to pull out should the need arise."

She handed a small booklet over to Heathcliff.

"This is a sketchbook of some of the hazards which we will encounter in Yh'mi. I'm surprised you didn't prepare yourself beforehand. Have a read."

She turned to Hinoka.

"The ratio of survivors to those who never return are one is to one. This may be one of the most dangerous ventures you've mounted in your lives. But fortunately for you, you're getting paid well, and you have me to watch out for you."

She folded her arms, poking the back of Masuda's head as she gestured for him to come down.

"I'll see you lot at the gates in twenty minutes. Carry on."

With that, she marched out of the establishment, her green cape fluttering out from behind her. She cast her gaze upon the darkened skyline, steeling her resolve for the treacherous journey ahead.

@Truthless @Djinn&Juice @The North Wind

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Heathcliff beamed with excitement as he was offered a sketchbook, taking it in earnest as he immediately started to pour over it. Books one of his favorite research materials! "Ah so then there is a wide variety of danger in just a small span of yards! Fables are quite difficult to parse Ma'am!" He explained eagerly "One to one you say? That is just the kind of odds I want grate my scales against!" He bellowed enthusiastically, practically shaking with excitement. "I will be at the gate in fifteen!" watching as she departed with an enamored gaze "So! Hinoka! I can't wait to see those strange moves you use on me in proper action! That blasted coat of yours is quite the pain!

This was exactly what he sought for! Danger that would mold battle experience into his very core. He had trained tireless with his stances and masters their movements, and it was time to taste true adversity and sharpen his combat prowess! His tail beginning to sway and wag with earnest spirit as he continued to read the sketchbook as one would read their favorite comic. 

Edited by Djinn&Juice

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Hinoka was disappointed in the answers shortness but she spoke true. With a calm demeanor she walked away, Hinoka had a suspicion she might be hiding something but decided to chalk that up to his own paranoia.

"Dont worry, I'll be waiting for you."

Examining the book handed to Heathcliff, he would once again take mental photos of every danger he could see be it relevant or not to their journey. He liked to see enthusiasm in people excited to learn. It was probably the best quality in those who bore any type of sentience. The craving to improve and move forward, the craving for progress.

9 hours ago, Djinn&Juice said:

"So! Hinoka! I can't wait to see those strange moves you use on me in proper action! That blasted coat of yours is quite the pain!


He smiled as his friend spoke.

"C'mon Heath, can't be givin' out all my secrets at once! Besides hopefully I wont have to use my talents if your fists can do their job."

He prodded the dragonborn with his elbow as his gaze shifted to the silver enlaid case in the seat next to them. 

"Hopefully..."
 

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Addison and Masuda stood quietly at the gate. A comment about mounts was quickly dismissed. There were too many hazards around to risk moving quickly. In the lands of Yh'mi, each move had to be taken with caution and calculation. The first time she was here, she and Ewyer had survived by fluke. She was no longer willing to count on the strings of luck to see them through once again.

"Lights," Addison said, swinging her palm forward as a small ball of fire formed within it, illuminating their immediate surroundings. "Let's get some lights up so we can see what we're walking into."

She gestured to the ground. "Watch out for Kraiths. Once you're stuck in them, there's no getting out."

@Truthless @The North Wind @Djinn&Juice

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Heathcliff shot his fist into the air with a hearty battle cry that caused the girl behind them to yelp and throw her tea; splashing it's hot contents on a patron walking in and causing an unfortunate cavalcade of chaos as a miniature bar fight broke out. Heathcliff all too eager to test his worth in every fight he could and managed to knock out two rowdy souls before him and Hinoka were forced to depart from the inn before things became too disastrous. The dragonborn seen running up to the gate, greeting his compatriots with a shiny new black eye as they all met within the alotted time frame. "Salutations again! It is time for us to finally depart on our quest! I cannot deny how excited I am!" He exclaimed with a joyous roar. Heathcliff taking out a torth from his pack and lighting it with his dragon flame as he was now prepared.  "Kaiths from what I read are quite dangerous so I will watch where I step!"

They could devour you with one misstep and so he concentrated for a moment and his scales started to turn a muddy brown as the earth beneath his feet started to crawl up his ankles and up his legs, molding into rocky armor that clung up to his waist "Chromatic Dragon Stance: Earth, Flat Footed!" He chanted as he knocked on the rock solid armor his legs had now "This will show those stupid mouths a thing or two!" He said while giving his legs a few heavy swings and setting down with a thud. 

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