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Ain't no party like a corpse party. [Closed]

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fNyCdvM.jpg The village of Ferlune had once been a prosperous little hunting village, surrounded by thick forests with only a single road that passed through. The goods it produced, however, were top notch, and well sought after, only the thick forest kept the town from expanding. One day, the village simply stopped producing - a great tragedy had struck overnight. The once humble villagers that manned the town were slaughtered in their very beds. Having rid themselves of the villagers, the mysterious group of sorcerers had made use of the resources that their blood and sacrifices made available. 

Casting corpses into the streets, it was no time at all before the creeks and waterways of the village turned red with the blood of those innocent slaughtered. There is an eerie whispering that resounds through the village, and a thick fog that prevents full perception of the village. From the ground or sky, one cannot determine the size of Ferlune - nor can they determine the many alleyways that might be perfect places for ambushes. 

There is the sounds of scuttling from time to time, presumably from the strange creatures twisted by dark magic. Around the city seems to be a strange forcefield that prevents one from even wanting to look upon it, but with enough willpower, one might be able to. The rain overhead makes the fog murky, and leaves the mud beneath feet soft and thick - eager to pull one down. In the distance, the sound of crows caw menacingly, the dark forest looming on the horizon as though the fog ends where it begins. 

The sounds of sloshing feet move forward, followed by an abrupt laughter as it peels from her throat. A woman with dark hair and amber eyes stands admist the ruins of the edge of the fog, a manic looking smile plastered across her visage. 

"I bet there's all kinds of treasure inside!" She chirps suddenly, turning to the party as her arms spread outward - as though she is looking to embrace them in her momentary madness. "And grimoires, too!" It is these books that she is after, Shanna eager to expand her knowledge and collect the remaining Ars Nocturis that have eluded her grasp. With her magic at their side, perhaps they will fare well, or they will fare terribly - afterall, she is chaos incarnate. With no idea of what lays before them in the town walls, Shanna peers through the thick fog and waves her hand in front of herself as though trying to dissipate it with a simple gesture. 

"Shall we?" She asks, that grin widening in a manner that might be unsettling.  


 

Spoiler

 

[Objectives:

-Find the Exalta prisms inside the bodies. There are five per ritual, but there is no knowledge as to whether or not the prisms are within corpses or the reanimated, or grotesque monsters that roam the land. 

- Your benefactor has requested any grimoires that are found. [This is a bonus quest and rewards will be given if it is achieved.] Your Benefactor will be joining this quest.

- Cleanse the town of the vile plague without succumbing to a ritual yourself. ]

 

 

Edited by Raptor

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This time wearing also a bandana which covered her mouth and nose with her hood , she was slightly getting flashbacks from the aftermath of the attack on the Sundered Fort , corpses lying around , people screaming Evelynn was getting a mild PTSD. Making her hands tremble she slowed down her breathing , trying to calm down she distracted herself by chatting. "It really smells like butts and dead people-" Evelynn commented , gesturing her hand in front of her face . hoping that the smell would go away. "Anyways - Does anyone know what caused this hellhole ?" Evelynn asked Shana as she quickly put on her Moonstone amulet and followed her.

Meanwhile Vaeril knew what to do and just slowed down his movement until he just stood still , his eyes rolling back he slightly motioned his head back and forth as his back was slowly getting ripped open a tall demon-like creature with antlers and sharp claws dropped the stag's hide down and followed Evelynn.

Missatah_Graawnht.jpg

Edited by Evelynn Serana Nightmoor
Change of Picture.

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Wearing her signature black dress and her snake familiar slithering loosely around her neck  ,  Maxine grinned at the sight , she adored eerie and creepy places. " This looks so fucking cool! " She noticed Evelynn , and began to walk next to her , slinging an arm around her. " You never told me this place had grimoires! We could use them for the academy! " She chuckled. " One fucking thing though , this fucking place smells like absolute shit. " She pinched her nose , and exhaled through her mouth.  

Edited by saz

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The usually chipper redhead seemed to be in a grim mood, as he couldn't fathom such excitement for a task such as what laid ahead. Though adventuring was Ewyer's favourite profession, his beliefs conflicted with his goal on this trip. His attire eluded to the weight those beliefs carried, and what they required, easily. Discarded was the light travelling gear, the scholarly vest and the various small trinkets. replacing the items were pieces of armor, Plates looking so aged they could be in a museum. A set of gauntlets, a pair greaves, and a chest piece, each of them all so dull and rusted that they had turned a dirty shade of brownish-grey. The five metal pieces looked like generations had spanned since their creation. Though, such a description wasn't incorrect. Yet the steel remained thick, still strong despite being almost as old as the scholar who wore them. 

Underneath of course, a mixture of mail and leather. While in territory that was filled with hostiles, being unprepared simply lead to death. The man looked ready to go to war, as he had so many times in his past, carrying not on, but three blades, two strapped down at his waist, while a short sword of non-descript design was held in his hands. He seemed jumpy, as he moved in a tense walk. His stance was that of one who expects combat, and not combat that could be found a leveled playing field. People who associate with the dead and damned, end up using them for their own goals regularly, or so he had learned from experience. 


"The smell of those who value the dark over even life itself is what it is. Only those of Necrotic or Demonic power do such harm to the world around them." He stated, disdain accompanying his every word. "Don't be so excited for what lies ahead. Not to mention, its best not to stare at anything to long if you wish to keep your lunch. These hovels of sin are home to freaks, usually. The things these types of people do. . .They'll be where they belong by the end of this trip, in any case. I'll be certain to make sure they get there, even if I have to rip them apart, instead of cutting them down." He didn't seem to care enough about the smell to visibly react to it, his face simply blank as his eyes carried his fury. 

Despite his words of anger and violence, he seemed to have made an exception, or at the very least, turned a blind eye. He made no attempt to say anything to Evelynn about her "pet." There was going to be enough trouble, and infighting would destroy them faster than enemies would, he was certain. Best to simply hold his tongue, for the moment.  

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"I imagine the smell IS the dead people." Shanna comments offhandedly, though she is a bit chagrined when everyone around her seems to ignore her very presence. She is used to this, however, and remembers that whoever said money couldn't buy friends was entirely wrong. She has an idle thought, wondering if these people could be bought like everyone else she knew. Her thoughts scatter to the winds, however, at the mention of the grimoires her attention is piqued once more. Fully turning it to the sour-dispositioned man named Ewyer, Shanna contemplates his words for a moment, mouth set into a grim line as she recalls the ill-fated trip into the Abyssal Enclave. The devastation here isn't nearly as vast, but it is sombering just the same. 

NsHNlEC.jpg"Yes, we should offer our prayers for the dead." Though Shanna presents her prayers to the Blood God, Rafael, she is devout in her dealings and pauses in her movements to lead them into the village to offer a quick prayer for the souls of the deceased. Each life lost was another tally in the books of people who would not be present to break their daily bread with one another, those so ill-fated to be sacrificed for the greed of others. Shanna is still for what is a long moment as her head bows, before she raises it once more and releases a long, steadying breath. 

"Alright then - shall we head in?" She questions, her amber gaze seeking her companions on this excursion before that grin splits her visage once more. 

"Follow me." Right into the den of evil, no doubt. Shanna offers each of them a piece of rope, and ties it about her middle. "Hold onto the rope as we make our way in so we aren't separated in the fog." Whether or not they have decided to heed this advice, she advances. She exits on the other side, finding the village just as gruesome as it had been looking in, only the smell is more pronounced than before, stark and irritating in the nose. The stench of death is not something easily forgotten, and she makes a rather disgusted expression before reaching into the pocket of her cloak and pulling out a rag to tie around the lower portion of her face in an effort to stifle the smell. 

Untying the rope, she carefully coils it back around her hand and tucks it into the pack that she wears on her back, though her gaze casts curiously at Vaeril, Shanna makes no comment on it's demonic appearance - afterall, her own familiar had been a Hellhound. Her distrust of the demonic looking creature was quite deep, however. Demonic things always seemed intent on taking more than their fair share. 

"I think we should head for the center square, that tends to be where things happen, unless anyone has any objections?" It was strange being so rational, but Shanna supposed in all her adventuring it would come to this at some point. Her experience in dangerous delves was paramount to them surviving, as well as their teamwork. However, just as she is about to open her mouth to speak once more, a chilling melody echoes along the alleyways towards them. 

Wake up, wake up
Little Liza, wake up
I've not seen you sleeping so sound
Pull up your dress
This is no place to rest
It's far too cold here on the ground

Shanna frowns then, opening her mouth to speak once more - but finds herself at a loss as the haunting melody seems to surround them, it's echoing voice hard to pinpoint. 

Edited by Raptor

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The man grunted at the comment, having assumed such a thing himself. His eyes continued to hold their willful gaze, even though he himself knew that no deity nor place of comfort waited for him should he succumb to death on this voyage. Realistically, he had no gods to pray to, for those which had once been his people's divines no longer existed. As those who had once been his people no longer existed either, nor had they for a long time. Whether or not that would be his fate, no prayers were muttered from his mouth as he watched the woman who was supposedly the supplier of their paychecks for this "adventure." At her question though, he nodded. A simple confirmation, not much else was required. He was most certainly prepared for the oncoming slaughter, even though he expected the lightly armored compatriots to struggle. For even if not the receiver of antagonization, he intended to kill anything that crossed the party's path, whether it be the first or second time said being would have to die. If such were the case, the oncoming combat would certainly be something, and he was worried their group would be prone to disorganization. 

None the less, he simply took hold of the rope, keeping a tight grip upon it, as splitting up would make them easy prey should any sort of creature rest within the wall of fallen cloud. Whether or not Evelynn or the Black dress wearing women used it as well, he did not wait to find out. Right behind his employer, he advanced, silent minus the quiet clinking of chainmail moving with his footsteps. As they advanced through the aforementioned fog, he noticed the heinous smell of corruption and rot increase in potency, but still gave no sort of reaction, simply taking it at a blunt level. 

His on-edge state of mind, however, didn't react well to the singing, his jaw setting itself more firmly in place as he grit his teeth, and gripped both hands on the short sword he carried. In almost a blink of an eye, it shifted into a longer formation, and Ewyer simply glanced around, hearing the sounds that no person in this place would be making. For none within the confines of a place so tainted by filth, the very town itself as corrupted and rotten as those bodies, could possibly find it time to practice the vocal arts unless they themselves carried the corruption. 

". . .Shall we move to the square then? It's too late to get cold feet, I'm afraid. This is an intimidation tactic, most likely - to flee would almost certainly lead us into the jaws of death, and even if it did not, to allow these heretics to live is a crime onto itself. I wouldn't be surprised if they're moving all around us, unseen and with a severe lack of mercy on their minds." He said, disgust flowing out of every word he spoke regarding those he assumed lied within the village's borders. At the same time, old militaristic instincts wedged their way into his thoughts, remnants of a time when he belonged to a single creed.


@Raptor

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Holding tight the rope and following the others , slowly making sure that she wouldn't step on any shit or human remains she looked at Vaeril who could apparently also heard the chanting he got ready for a fight.  Meanwhile Evelynn's moonstone amulet started to emit a fade blue light , looking at Evelynn knew that there was something near them. "Is it just me or is someone singing ?" Evelynn asked the others , hoping that the singing was just her brain trying to creep her out. Holding the rope with her left hand , her right hand reached for her Valorian short sword.

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"It might be wise to prepare any spells or ready weapons." Shanna muses to her party members, gaze flickering back and forth. There is the telltale stench of decay in the air that permeates all other senses, and she discovers the taste of it heavy on her tongue. Wrinkling nose in dissatisfaction, she contemplates for a brief moment, the words of Ewyer, and then that of Evelynn. It would seem that someone was singing, but the purpose behind it she does not know. The air is rife with magical intent, however, and her hair lifts slightly with the power of it. 

"I hope someone brought some anti-mage stuff." The woman mumbles, more to herself than to her companions as she pauses in their movement to double check the vials that adorn her belt, a deep breath leaving her throat as she considers the various spells at her disposal. She readies two, preparing them in her mind as fingers tingle with the tell-tale notion of magic as it gathers in preparation. Her attention then turns back to Ewyer and Evelynn, a smile - though less wide than usual - adorns her visage. "I think we'll be ok, as long as we're careful." It was likely empty words, but she could already sense the discomfort of her companions. She opened her mouth to respond to Evelynn's question about singing, only to find herself cut short as another verse cut through the air, louder and more intent this time.

Wake up, wake up
Everybody, wake up
Drag your bones to the fireplace heat
For I must go walking as somebody else
On the dreams of those fallen to sleep

"No, that's definitely a ritual. The sooner we move, the less we'll have to fight. I hope." Shanna sighs, as though merely inconvenienced by the thought of slogging through an inevitable horde of undead. A high pitched shriek escaped a house nearby, before suddenly dying as though snuffed like a candle. Shanna shuddered involuntarily, eyes going KjcDOMU.jpgwide as she tugged at the hem of her leather jerkin. 

"I think that's our cue!" And like that she was leading them through the winding alleyways, careful to avoid the main road. The village was small but confusing - she led them to a dead end twice before managing to find her bearings. 

"Sorry, sorry. I don't have a map..." She mumbles to them, before pausing as scuttling above them is heard. Another shriek, though closer, slithers down their spines. Shanna peers upwards to find them face to face with a creature of immeasurable grotesqueness. The skin had become naked, stretched and wrinkled over broken and disjointed bones. Dual-clawed toes kept it aloft on the roof above them, and it's hooks for hands pierced the thin wood menacingly. It snuffed in their direction, it's wide-set visage stretched far too uncomfortably to be even remotely human any longer. The jaw stretched like a bat, rows of sharp teeth filling the gaping chasm. The jaw stretched into two wide-set ears, angled and cut to hear for what seemed to be miles. Upon it's face, no eyes, but two large nostrils that it huffed through as though intent on smelling them out of their hiding spot. 

Shanna went stock still, not even daring to breathe as the creature knelt over the roof of the small house towards them, drawing in a deep breath. Suddenly it screeched - spittle flying from those bloodied and menacing teeth as it's attention found them. In what barely registered as a second, the creature leapt at them. Shanna barely contained the squeak that dared bubble in her own throat, quickly gaining a defensive stance (they surely didn't have time to run), spell-runes flying at her fingertips. 

 

Spoiler

 

 

Edited by Raptor

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The man once more nodded, eyes rapidly flickering about his surrounding as he unsuccessfully attempted to watch all angles around them. He disliked their situation greatly, due to a lack of everything. The lack of intel of the area, nothing more than what seemed to be stories. There were no average enemy numbers, there was nothing for him to go off of or expect. Thus, his employer's very comment, that being to prepare weapons or spells when he wasn't aware of what to expect, what type of situation to be ready for, agitated him. 

Contrary to what one would assume, this sort of agitation was good for him. Strong emotions always seemed to interfere with his magic, and though to may have been watered down severely, to him, agitation was just a precursor to rage. In the current situation, his own rage would be useful, obliterating the cover of his enemies which was everywhere in the village it seemed, whether that be buildings, or the very bodies of those who had fallen. All would be set alight in the pursuit of justice, and, compensation in the form of a paycheck. 

Though, his sense of unease, and of course, his aforementioned agitation, were certainly in no way quelled by his employer. In fact, for her to smile in such a stoic situation, only increased his oncoming anger. It was almost insulting to be comforted in such a way, as if he were nothing more than a spineless child. For he was not afraid within the solid grounds of the city, no far from such a feeble mindset. To him, seeing the death and darkness all around, simply made him want to burn brighter, to consume the empty void of life into a great light, of which befitted the fire that was a certain part of the near future. 

Then, to make matters even worse, once more came the singing. The infernal noise of taunting, horrid voices joining one another to further set the man into his state of anger, his hair beginning to slowly drift around as aura of heat simply seemed to seep out of him. With the shriek, came the drawing of his secondary blade, which like himself seemed as it could catch alight at seemingly the smallest provocation. He simply wished for a fight, to bright down rightiogeous fury on whatever unfortunate fool were to cross his path. However, hearing the shriek provided hope. Surely such a primal noise couldn't have come from something docile.

Thus, as they walked among cold and empty streets, gripping both short swords tightly in his armored hands. Though duel wielding was not his specialty, he simply seemed to be using both in a way of comfort, as if having the ability to swing either blade made him more combat ready. A half-lie, of course, but one he didn't care to acknowledge, at least not yet. 

And then, much to his joy, and seemingly his companions utter fear, the target appeared. The Shriek, a noise so much closer than what he had heard earlier, though, certainly not different in the slightest, instantly captured his attention. As he pivoted, he gazed upon the creature of nightmares, or so one of inexperience could call the monstrosity of flesh, so horribly twisted from what it may have once been, that it could not be recognized as anything more than a beast.

And thus, as Ewyer watched it leap from its perch above, his eyes alit with ecstatic splendor, his body moving forth as he knew that his employer, while quite possibly more than able to defend herself, was nowhere near a shield in which to receive the brunt of such attacks from the creature. However, he also knew that he didn't possess the speed to properly interfere or attack, as only one could be done with full success in mind. With such in mind, he failed to complete either one task or the other, Slamming a metal plated hand into Shanna, hoping to simply slam her out of the way.

Continuing on his trajectory, the man continued to swing, dropping the short sword of ornate and fiery design upon the ground, as with both hands he gripped the blade he had held in his hands since the beginning. In whatever few precious seconds he may have had before the hostile creature would reach him, he simply willed. As he had done before, with this sword seemingly so plain and nothing more than steel, he willed it to change. As he would complete his spin, and most certainly be hit by the beast, now standing within its path, his blade would morph, a quiet ringing coming from the metal as it became much longer, much heavier, and oh so much more devastating. 

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It is assumed by the lack of presence, that Evelynne and and Maxine simply found the quest far too grotesque for their liking and had travelled back to the relative safety of their would be haven of an airship. For now, however, it left Ewyer and Shanna to face the monstrosities that would come their way. Shanna was not squeamish, by any means, having survived the Abyssal Enclave, reliving the last moments of the greatest villain known to Genesaris. She had relived the utter betrayal of love lost in the most precious of moments, the trauma having turned her into the strangely cheerful creature she was now. Shanna had faced down banshees, living woods who sought her death, muggers in the streets(though she has a scar to prove they were not so kind), and various other perils related to her tasks.  Something as simple as a grotesque spell-creature was not going to dissuade her from this task either. 

Pb3zvcR.jpgJust as her spell began to alight upon her fingertips, Shanna felt herself suddenly teeter and fall towards the ground, as though she had been slammed into by a freight train. It was only a secondary thought, the pain that lashed through her shoulder and upper arm - a sharp, stabbing pain that causes a cry to leave her throat, though it could be confused for one of surprise. Magic flies from her fingertips at the assault, swirling above their heads for the briefest of moments before ---

The creature doesn’t miss the swinging blade, it comes too quickly and there is not enough time to change trajectory before it slams into Ewyer. The blade, however, sinks into the soft flesh of the creatures side but does not go far enough to sever the spine. The creature shrieks loudly - a testament to the pain it now bore where the sword was stuck - and a recalling of its bloodlust. Those hooked arms reach for Ewyer, menacing and glistening with what appears to be fresh blood as it tries to hook them into his back. The arms scrape along his plated back, that gaping, toothy maw surging forward as though to simply snatch his head from his shoulders -- 

Shanna stands, arms still outstretched as twenty frightened doves fly from her hands between Ewyer and his potential doom. It is enough to disorient the creature and cause it to stagger back, ripping the sword through it’s own flesh as it does so. Blood pools beneath it now, dripping from the gaping hole in it’s side that Ewyer has left as Shanna immediately fires off another spell, flame spouting from fingertips as the smell of charring flesh fills the air. It’s strange smelling, like cooking pork but the magic that has twisted the creature makes the smell foul and disgusting. THe dark smoke curling around them causes Shanna to hold her breath in both defense and fear - for she knows not what the smoke is capable of. Between their two efforts, for surely Ewyer is not just standing there as flame encases the creature, it lays dead between them. 

“Whew.” Shanna offers as she dusts her hands, which are now glowing from the heat produced. She shakes them once, twice, and then a third time before they return to their natural color. Her poor gloves are ruined, and she sighs softly, making a mental note to purchase yet another pair. As the smoke clears, she notes that there is something shiny within the creatures molten flesh. Moving forward, she pokes it with a rock she has picked up off the ground, before gasping in surprise. “Exalta crystals!” She exclaims, reaching forward to pull the thing out of the creatures desiccated flesh. She pulls until three of them remain in her hands, before offering one of them to Ewyer. They are about the side of a human hand, round and beautiful in their opalescence. 

“These will power the airship for a long time. I wonder if they were used to corrupt the form of this person. I’m surprised they’re not corrupted…” She mumbles the last, holding one to the sky as though to see if the purity of it remains. Satisfied with the answer, she doesn’t choose to share, Shanna nods once, and then twice. 

“We can likely expect more creatures like this. Next time I’d appreciate it if you didn’t shove me over though.” She rubs her sore arm, wincing. “I’m not as fragile as I look. I’ll try to stay out of your way, too.” There should be a mutual understanding that if they work together but manage to keep enough distance that Ewyer can use his sword, they should be able to clear the area fairly well. 

“Since the other two have left, any exalta crystals we find are yours. I only want the books.” 

 

 

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"I'm still here!" Evelynn exclaimed as she untied a small amulet off her neck. "Just wanted to try out my Amulet of Shad-" Tumbling over a dead corpse Evelynn almost fell but thanks to Vaeril , he caughter her middair. "Thank you Vaeril-Anyways what is so important about these books you want ?" She asked calmly as she looked around.

Holding the chakram on her right hand and a fire sigil on her left hand she was ready to attack on sight.

@Raptor @Pala

 

150?cb=20160916155630(Imagine that its red and has a sun in the middle) 

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Not bothering to check up on his companion of which he had simply knocked out of the way, though her cry of course alarmed him. One more, it played into his worries, his lack of knowledge as to his allies capabilities. However, he made a mental note to check up upon her- should he survive the attack he prepared his body for a mere moment before it occurred. Yet, even as the beast slammed into him, a smile crossed his face as it shrieked in pain. The sound made him overjoyed, though it lasted but a spilt-second. Made all to aware he was, of the claws attempting to rip his flesh apart as if he were a mere children's toy being given to a wild animal. 

What happens next of course, catches him off guard, as in a quick series of events the foe once mere centimeters from ending him now fallen upon the ground. The smell of charred flesh, one he was so used too, invaded his senses. He stepped back from the burning husk of flesh which attacked him, yet finds himself rather lacking of a sword within his grasp. Unwilling to leave such a friend behind, he let out a huff, and reached his hand out to the body, his eyes glancing upon it until he located a flash of metal, gleaming as flames surrounded it. Flicking his wrist up, the blade seemed to rip itself from the very flesh of the beast, shrinking in size, until a rather unassuming butter knife flew to his palm. 

As he grabbed his other blade from the ground, a twinge of relief filled his mind. The woman he had so carelessly knocked aside had not only been fine, but fine enough to assist him, almost certainly helping him avoid injury, though he knew such a beast as that wouldn't have been able to kill him, if worse creatures had failed. He turned back to Shanna as he heard her exclaim of surprise, and took the crystal with a confused expression, lifting it upwards as he squinted at it. He had not a clue what it was, and with a dismissive shrug as it its use, simply dropped it into his side bag. Then of course, came his apology.  

"I understand such was not an action that would usually be acceptable. However I feared for your safety. In truth, I haven't wanted to seem controlling or bossy, but usually I have some understanding as to my allies powersets. I know next to nothing about what you can do, and due to your lack of armor, and my lack of knowledge regarding your constitution, I decided it would be better for me to take the imminent hit. I assure you if circumstances were different I would not have committed such an aggressive act. And very well, I shall take the crystals, I thank you for the added "

He nodded his head upon her offer, a grateful expression plastered across his features. He didn't know how he would use these crystals offered however, himself being of rather primitive tech when compared to most others, but still welcomed the supposed gift. In any case, he supposed he would be granted access upon a new learning opportunity. Unlike how he usually was, he attempted to hold a sort of professional tone with the woman, unlike how in most cases he would have told someone saying such things to lighten up. A sort of respect, as she was of course, the person in charge of payment for this quest. Then of course, this moment of gratitude and seeming comradeship came to an end, as Ewyer proceeded to stifle laughter upon Evelynn reappearing and somehow tripping over the grotesque husk upon the ground. 

"Perhaps be more careful, Miss Nightmoor?" He suggested, a armored hand held over her mouth as he desperately attempted to stay calm and rather unexpressive. 
"There are lots of very nasty things that like to scurry underfoot. You'd be very good off should you be observant of your surroundings."

@Raptor @Evelynn Serana Nightmoor

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Shanna has a brief moment of irritation, but it is quickly quelled by her understanding of Ewyers’ position. He did not know what she was capable of, so why should she condemn him on that knowledge? He knew not of her accomplishments, nor did he know of her Gods’ favor. Shanna draws in a deep breath, thankful that the pain that had momentarily wracked her body dissipated. Instead of offering any response, Shanna merely smiles through the would-be trauma that threatens their very sanity. 

“The books are ancient grimoires, but there is only one that I am looking for. It has an ear on it.” Shanna explains. “While normally the grimoires themselves are very powerful, and useful for teaching ancient magics lost to time - furthermore, they’ll be useful to any library. But the one with the ear on it is part of the set of the Ars Nocturis - a series of four books that represent all powers combined.” She taps her chin, as though considering how much to divulge to this party. “Anyway. I’m collecting them for my own library.” In an effort to undo the catastrophe that had plagued Genesaris lands known as the Whispernight. Shanna hoped to undo it’s mechanics and heal the land once more. Ruins much like the one that they currently sleuthed through, would cease to exist, or lessen in power considerably.

Her attention, however brief, returns to their task at hand. She places a fisted hand into her opposite, open palm. 

“Since we don’t know the extent of what’s going on here, I think it might be best to assume we are dealing with some form of magery. I’m not sure how else you would get creatures like this.” She nudges the charred corpse, a sigh heaving from her throat. “That being said, I think we should be careful, any noises we hear, we should take stock of immediately.” It is then that Shanna notices that the strange music seems to have halted for the time being. “Mmm, it’s quiet, now. I wonder if it was a spell or ritual to give birth to the strange creature.” She motions once more to the charred husk. 

Shanna shuffles a foot into the dirt, leaving an indentation in the ground before she draws out a piece of chalk from her pouch. Upon the closest doorway, she scribbles a quick note. 

“There, now we will know if we have passed by an area, or if we’re being led on a wild goose chase. So to speak, of course. Now, with that nasty bit of business taken care of, shall we advance?” 

She doesn’t wait for a consensus, and instead once more takes the lead. Shanna proceeds to lead them through the winding streets before they come upon the center of the village. Silence still reigns supreme, with exception of the buzzing of flies and other insects that are present to take advantage of the decaying corpses that greet them. The middle of the square is the worst, where poles stood at the points of a large d6j2684-36d2863c-ff1c-41c6-84f2-e8e85d225ac9.png?token=eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJzdWIiOiJ1cm46YXBwOiIsImlzcyI6InVybjphcHA6Iiwib2JqIjpbW3sicGF0aCI6IlwvZlwvNmFmODIxZmEtOGVmMi00MWI5LWExZWEtN2E5NjY0ODA1ZjNhXC9kNmoyNjg0LTM2ZDI4NjNjLWZmMWMtNDFjNi04NGYyLWU4ZTg1ZDIyNWFjOS5wbmcifV1dLCJhdWQiOlsidXJuOnNlcnZpY2U6ZmlsZS5kb3dubG9hZCJdfQ.KmUqVXpX_002_l4zxeTSB-kKCTol2LKji_IRdEGHkQ8spell circle. Each pole contains the remains of what would have been one of the villagers...three tied to each pole, and then burned alive by the magic that would have crawled through their skin to create the grotesque creatures that have been seen thus far. The triangular pattern causes Shanna to stiffen as she pauses, outstretching her arms to denote that they should not advance beyond them. 

"Magic circle...a ritual of sacrifice...Evelynn, could you possibly dispel it?" She questions, her hazel gaze settling on the other witch in the party. 

As Evelynn works on that, Shanna looks around cautiously. "Ewyer, could you scout on the East side of the circle while I check the West?" She asks, leaving him the option to come up with another solution. "Just until we are sure we are alone." 

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Quietly, Ewyer breathed a small sigh of relief. To say he was happy that his employer wasn't pissed at him, was an understatement. Though of course, he couldn't help but notice the smile she gives in response is a tad bit forced. However, as she spoke her intentions, as to the horrid book that she appeared to wish for, he couldn't help but feel a pit of unease within himself. From what she spoke, this book appeared to be the same sort of thing that most likely cause this devastation- the very thing that he was against. He felt unease, for even if this woman who appeared to only have the best intentions got hold of it, certainly she had no good intentions for it. He felt as if torn, between what should be done, and what he was being paid to accomplish. At the very end of this train of thought, he decided that if he had the ability, he would try to destroy the book, whether or not he could make it appear like an accident, or if he had to do it blatantly, he wouldn't let the object of which he despised fall into the hands of anyone else.

However, not wishing to appear with such intentions, he simply nodded as Shanna suggested their tactics. Simply giving a shrug as to her question, he continued to use his face as a mask of indifference. To voice his disapproval, to even show that something similar to it existed, would be his downfall. As such, he did what he was best at, following orders, and following her was no different than an order. He is simply disgusted by what they find upon entering the square. His teeth grit as he stares at the remains, and in an instant, he slid off his metallic gauntlets, his hands alighting ablaze, flames flowing to become a rather brilliant blue hue. Swinging his hands forth, his very fire seemed to slowly char his hands, the skin burning, as those very hands swept across the poles and whatever remains were still there, the aforementioned items turning to embers as they fell apart and crumbled into dust from the voracious flames. 

His face, now containing a glare, swept upwards, as it locked onto Shanna. His tone level, his eyes filled with nothing more than an obvious hatred, though not directed at the woman, was expressed visually from his extreme expression. 

"Be careful that you do not get caught off guard. Do not wander out of sight. I'm sure you know this. I'm sure you know why I still make sure to speak such statements."

With the statement, he stood upwards from the kneel he had taken as he set the poles into fiery destruction, of which now they would most likely be nothing but ash. A step back, and a reacquisition, and the man set off on his order, not bothering to utter another word. 

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