The Great Ones Foreigners in Thagretis

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(continued from The Great Ones Beneath)​

Since at least the (now human-looking) dragon followed, Tytus continued to walk down the road toward the palace. The scent of burning incense continued to grow in the air. From the crest of a small hill, a multitude of people appeared.

Some in the front appeared as soldiers – armed with a mix of swords and polearms. Those with plate armor sported a draconic flare in their attire. Robed clergymen with golden staves were mixed into the group.

The horns from the palace continued to blow. The priests chanted something in unison beneath the sound.

Tytus continued to walk forward until he spotted one member of the clergy in the center. A priestess dressed in black robes and headdress. Gold jewelry adorned her attire everywhere. She too wielded a golden staff – with a halo at the tip.

Upon seeing her, Tytus knelt to the ground.

Your Eminence!” Tytus said.

Unlike Aivrid, the priestess before him was a being Tytus knew to obey.

The soldiers and priests stopped. The priestess looked at Tytus, and then to all of those that had followed.

Her lips parted to voice, “Are these the foreigners that appe̴ared?

The chanting of the other priests continued.

I heard there was a dŕag̵on,” the priestess added.

Aivrid Jane Nathanael McCallister Tir'Coatl
 

Nathanael McCallister

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As they walked Nate’s belly grumbled and he signs. As they walked past a food stall selling grilled lizard he smiles and runs up and quickly gets about ten of them and offers some to Jane before he starts to chow down.

It was quite tender and good, going well with the taste of fire and smoke from the fire.

“This is pretty good Jane, want a few?” He asks having already ate one of the sticks up.

Regardless whenever they reach the palace the food was all gone. Nate and maybe Jane also ate all of it. It definitely helped with his grumpiness some. The smell of incense hit Nate pretty quickly but it wasn't too bad smelling. Then they saw the priestess along with her underlings. She seemed important with that draconic influence all over her clothing and outfit.

Your Eminence!
The idea was confirmed by Ty kneeling which Nate would follow suit. He knew that just nobody would be bowed to in such a manor. He atleast wanted to show that he knew his place, wherever they were and would not disrepect their customs and ranking. Weather Jane would follow he did not know and as for the other.... sadly he couldnt give less of a shit.
 

Tir'Coatl

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The nest of Nagas followed Tytus, long tails lashing about behind them. Repeatedly throughout the venture, serpentine tongues rapidly flitted beyond their maws, tasting the scents left by their brethren. They kept their weapons close to their chests, suspicious of their surroundings—the great numbers of Skinned Ones in particular.

The only one they didn't seem to particularly care for was the dragon, given its tunnel-vision towards meeting with another of its kind. It seemed the other Skinned Ones, those native to the city, harbored a similar distrust. They ran, hid, or watched from a distance, yet they seemed content to leave it at that.

At the sight of the priestess, Tir'Coatl held a hand out to his followers as a signal to stop. The chanting was reminiscent of those within his own court, leading him to wonder about this 'god' of theirs. Perhaps it was some bastardization of Quetsaal?

Regardless, this person seemed to hold some form of importance to their faith, given the man's kneeling. While he would bow, certainly for no Skinned One, he gave a nod of acknowledgment instead. After all, she could be the gateway to more information on this place and its gods.
 

Aivrid

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Tag: Tytus Amladeris Nathanael McCallister Tir'Coatl Jane

I really should expand my worship.

All the priests and clergyfolk simply reminded Aivrid that he needed to spread his name further to acquire greater power. Fear was a powerful thing, as was faith. To combine both was what any good religion would do. Smiting the non-believers, empowering the faithful -- of course, Aivrid did not put his faith in such things. Alas, such trusting creatures were easy enough to fool.

For a dragon to live on so revered in a culture was a thing of beauty. To be so respected as a god was familiar to Aivrid; perhaps the orcs of the Seret would find things in common with the clergy of Thagretis. Or perhaps they would find their differences enraging... danger and opportunity, so forever intertwined.

When their impromptu group finally reached the crest of the hill, Aivrid was quick to scan his surroundings. With a small motion he drew the correct rune with his finger and whispered, "Ocuir." He doubted the mages of this city had the power to conceal their magic from him. Even the basic rune would be enough to show him what this place was.

Nonetheless there was the issue at hand of the priestess. He did not know enough yet, but it did not suit his purposes to be out in the open. Diplomacy and deceptions were best employed in dark rooms, hidden from observers. But when people did watch, he needed to give a show.

"Your Eminence," he said, bowing flashily and deeply. "It is a true honor to be among the first to visit your city from the world beyond. I extend my thanks to you, and the thanks of the people of Epressa and Liadain. Without a doubt we have much to learn from each other, and I would be happy to answer any questions you have of the lands far from here." He straightened, seeming to focus on the palace behind the priestess. "Though, if you might indulge my own curiosity -- your palace is marvelous, and it would be an honor to see it up close. The architecture here is far different from where I am from."
 

Jane

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Nate wandered off and a moment passed and he returned with something. A fistful of somethings. Jane glanced over in earnest when Nate offered some. Oh, little treats on sticks. She did have that big meal before her nap on the boat, but...

"Thanks, Nate," she said and plucked one of the grilled lizards and ate it with little regard for decorum.

Plenty of room for a snack.

A quick sideways glance toward Aivrid, and she continued along--one part of this strange menagerie of denizens from the greater portion of Arethil that Tytus and the rest of Thagretis seemed to have little to no knowledge of.

And the street leading to the looming shadow of the palace crested in its upward ascent and there at the top they encountered a priestess and her retinue. An actual priestess, it ought to be said. Tytus called her "Your Eminence," and knelt down. Was he a slave and she the Master? Maybe. Made sense to Jane. Nate knelt down too. Aw, he was a slave and never even told her about it? They could have swapped stories of petty revenge and covert sabotage.

Jane did not kneel nor bow nor nod her head. She simply stood her ground among the Arethil entourage with her arms down by her sides, regarded the priestess as just another woman.

Far be it for her to interrupt anything that was going on.

Yet.

Nathanael McCallister Aivrid Tytus Amladeris Tir'Coatl
 
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Magic wove between the words of the priests’ chant. Something spoke back, specifically to the priestess adorned in gold. Priests and soldiers shifted so that nothing but a wide space between the priestess and Tytus remained.

Tytus remained silent as the priestess examined the visitors to Thagretis with her amber eyes. Her pupils narrowed into vertical slits.

Seeing Nate kneel and Aivrid give at least a bow, the priestess cooed, “I appreciate that some of you know r̷e̡s̛pec̸t.

After hearing Aivrid, the priestess raised an eyebrow.

Epressa? Liadain? Not from the cities to the ̵south?” she questioned.

A pause, then a smile, with the priestess adding, “No, none of you look like you’re from̴ there.

Shifting her staff, the priestess then realized, “You are from the northwest. Across the sea. Maybe fùr̡t͘her?

Tytus muttered a “What?” beneath his breath. Some of the soldiers glanced around after hearing that. The priests continued to chant.

The priestess extended a hand with her palm facing upward and announced to the foreigners, “You’ve come on an au͟spic͜ioųs day.

The horns continue to blow.

Continuing, the priestess said, “I’m sure His Holiness may wish to meet some at the palace. But please tell me, what are you he͢re fór?

Aivrid Jane Nathanael McCallister Tir'Coatl
 
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Aivrid

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Tag: Tytus Amladeris Nathanael McCallister Tir'Coatl Jane

This is disadvantageous.

The chants... truly a simple way to spread magic and keep it hidden from most. Still, there was no clear cost they were paying outside of their voices. Even if they sang for a year, Aivrid could overpower them in an instant. The priestess was not enough to match with him. While her words were laced with power he was more interested in the information she had so freely given.

He could only presume that they knew of the planetary alignment -- perhaps it was made a sort of holy day for their church. An auspicious day indeed. Or... could the Holy Elder Dragon be among the creatures rising from their slumbers to attain the power granted by the cosmos today? Aivrid needed time to think.

Alas he could not leave her question unanswered. He paused for only a moment before speaking. "There are few legends of the Holy Elder Dragon in my lands, but I wished to know more. In truth, I may join your church. The search for enlightenment is never ending."

The transformed dragon advanced towards the priestess. "Tell me about the Holy Elder Dragon. In what way do you serve him, worship him?" He stood beside her, gesturing towards the palace. It was better to speak in private, of course, or at least away from a potential armed standoff.
 

Tir'Coatl

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The Scaled King took quick note of the subtle shift in the priestess' eyes, watching as they shifted to something far more draconic in nature compared to the dull and rounded orbs possessed by Skinned Ones. Intriguing, perhaps they were something more than their unfortunate outward appearance led the Naga to believe.

The information granted was of great interest to Tir'Coatl. It appeared that their prior theory had been realized as fact; they truly were across the sea, to the southeast of the homeland, at least according to the priestess' own assessment.

Tir'Coatl silently listened to the dragon, all the while wondering why he took such a feeble form. Perhaps it was to better communicate with such Skinned Ones, but the Naga could scarcely understand the choice.

Regardless, the Naga responded in turn. "We wish to know about this place and your gods as well. Have your kind ever stepped foot on Epressa or Liadain? There is a clear resemblance." The mention of 'resemblance' was done with a faint hint of disgust, glancing toward Nate and Jane, though it was left at that. For now, at least.
 

Nathanael McCallister

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Nate doesn’t say anything other then listen to the scaled ones responses. He felt as though approaching the priestess even though you are a dragon was foolish. They praised a different being and not yourself. Particularly without her invention or permission. If he did it with his father then well.... he’d loose a foot or something else. Maybe his position of power or his trust.

What terrible manors.

“Your eminence, my companion and I did not intend to come here. But in doing so we wish to spend some time here to learn of your city and ways. As we might be able to offer our services if my partner is willing.” He informs her seeing a chance for business on the horizon. He would simply ignore the heat of the snake’s mention of them.

It didn’t know what he could do if worse came to worse.
 
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Aivrid’s uninvited approach was met with a look of disgust from the priestess. A song only for Aivrid’s ears began to play.

The priestess raised a hand. It tugged upon Aivrid’s mind. Visions would manifest. An eagle eye’s view of the Empire’s forces in the Amol-Kalit desert. The colossal Akrep dwarfed by a shadow. Then a violent sandstorm.

The song called for submission. For service would reward Aivrid with more than the movement of the moons could ever offer.

It was that or death as the soldiers and priests begin to move. The priests’ chanting grew louder. They called upon their Lord – tapping into the seemingly endless source of power that they had in Him.

Aivrid’s offense spoiled the meeting for the rest. Soldiers and priests advanced upon the Naga, Jane, and Nate.

We’ll have plenty of time to learn from ea͞ch o͘t̴h͘er,” the priestess said.

Seeing this, Tytus got up. He joined the soldiers – readying his blade once more. Their intensions were clear: arrest the foreigners.

For the Naga, Jane, and Nate, there were multiple choices. They could surrender - the priestess did not give any orders for their deaths yet. They could stay and fight – though the outcome would be no different than if they chose to do so to Vel Anir or Molthal. They could retreat from where they came – the way was clear for now. Alleyways to their sides may give them opportunities to slip away and attempt to hide – giving them more time to discover the secrets of the city or even flee to the surrounding areas.
 

Nathanael McCallister

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Nate growls as the people closed in on him, fucking dragon. “Thanks for making the rest of us seem bad, stupid fucking dragon.” He thinks quietly as he examines their odds. Running might be useful but he and Jane had no portal stone and he had no idea at what Jane intended to do in such a situation.

“Jane, I’m not sure if you have an intention or not... you do you,” He smiles sighing, he was not about to get locked up behind bars or wherever these guys kept their prisoners. Also as much as he would want to get to know the priestess some more, he would rather do it on a friendlier term then this or locked up!

“I really don’t want to do this...”

He warns as one of the guards approach him and takes him by the arm roughly and tries to force him down so he could chain him up. But the hunter grunt and jerks his body towards the guard, with his hand he drive it deep into the guard’s chest in one hit. The guard simply coughs up his own blood and falls back as Nate yanks his arm out of his chest blood covering his gauntlet. His blood spurting from his wound and pooling onto the ground.

“I would rather not be locked up like a caged hound, your eminence for having originally done nothing wrong.”

The blood dripping off the sharp edge and onto the floor. He quickly licks some blood dripping from his gauntlet and draws his silver sword and clashes with one of the openly armed guards who came to try to arrest him.
 

Jane

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Aivrid and the Scaled King and Nate all asked their questions of the priestess (with the funny eyes) they had come before. And they were great questions. Jane had spouted that line about representing Cerak At'Thul but that was horseshit. Astra didn't like her lying, even if that lie carried her along into doing some real Celestial good here in this foreign land--she could flog herself for it later.

But what a concerning (joyous!) occasion. A troubling (welcome!) development, as the soldiers gathered about the priestess seemed to take some cue and begin advancing on the lot of them. This for reasons unknown (but fuck it, who cares!).

Jane's smile and brow became a cross between nervousness and restrained glee as the soldiers were approaching. Her thighs quivered. She clutched at her Amulet of Astra with her right hand and slightly raised up her heater shield, small bits of anxious laughter escaping her spreading lips in sputtering gasps.

And one of the soldiers actually touched Nate! Put hands on him! And Nate struck back and--AH! Ahhhhohooooahhhhhhh...looooooooook at that blood! Look at it.

"H-He's right!" Jane said to the soldiers specifically approaching her. "We've done nothing wrong! We're merely travelers. Guests. Please--"

One of the soldiers grabbed for her. Hand on her heater shield.

"Touch!" Jane exclaimed, her grin widening with bubbling joy as she jerked her shield away and took another few steps back, her words in conflict with her expression, "No! Please don't touch me, I mean! By Astra, I mean you no harm and I've done you no wrong!"

(Dontlistentomedontlistentomepleasedontlistentome)

Jane, some few paces removed from the soldiers seeking to arrest her, held up the hand that once grasped the Amulet in an ostensible bid for clemency. Astra was being given her due.

And if that (hopefully!) failed...others would be given theirs.

Nathanael McCallister Tytus Amladeris Tir'Coatl Aivrid
 

Tir'Coatl

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The Naga's eyes thinned and focused as the guards neared them, the Skinned One's true colors showing as they attempted to shackle them. They were prisoners to no man, and this foolish attempt to do so only highlighted the utter lack of difference between them and the heretical, feeble masses of their homeland.

Tir'Coatl clenched his spear tightly, his ensemble of followers gathering close. He rose to his full, impressive height as he brandished his weapon. "Come closssser, and die," he warned, a low growl emanating from the Scaled King.

While some may have heeded his 'advice', most continued their approach with a clearly flagrant disregard for their rapidly shortening life expectancy.

So be it.

One of the guards who continued his foolish set of orders was the first to suffer. A large clawed hand fell around his neck, lifting him into the air as he gasped for air. Tir'Coatl squeezed, clenching his fist as blood trailed down them, before tossing the limp body into another duo of guards.

The troop of four bodyguards defended their king, clashing with guards that veered too close for comfort. One immediately wrapped their tail around another guard, while the others clashed with weaponry.

His 'companions,' if the Skinned Ones could even qualify, seemed to handle themselves well. One was rather brutal in his application of violence, oddly mixed in with a poorly timed plea of innocence, while the other... He honestly had no clue, but he understood quite well that she was about to snap.

About as well as he expected, really.
 
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As soon as Thagretis blood fell by Nate’s actions, the air around the priestess, her fellow members of the clergy, and the soldiers changed. The horns from the palace continued to blow.

Another man fell by Tir’Coatl’s hands.

The priestess lifted a hand.

Ba҉c̷k!” she commanded. The soldiers would immediately disengage from all the foreigners – including the apparently helpless Jane. Tytus stepped back and out of the way as well.

The priestess then threw her arm forward. The priests in the front row pointed their staves forward in unison. They glared at the Naga and Nate.

And the Lor͏d s̷ai̵d,” the priestess began as magic wove between each word. Sigils appeared in the air before the priests’ staves.

’Ma̴y My ̛f̷ir͠é con̶şu͏me̡ ͡t͏h̕o͘se͏ ͝tha̛t͡ th̕r͜e̕a͡te͡n ͝Mỳ C̵h͠ildr̡en.’

Blue fire then poured forth from the sigils toward the Naga and Nate to destroy any and only flesh that it touched.
 

Jane

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Jane blinked. Her grin left her face. The priestess, she...called the soldiers off? Why?

...Praise Astra? She guessed?

She glanced to Nate and she glanced to the Scaled King and his scaled companions and then back at the priestess. Fights didn't end this way in Cerak. Well, not without a hefty exchange of gold or something. Or the intrusion of a third party more powerful than the two committed in the brawl who had different ideas. Jane gave a glance over her shoulder, half expecting to see Alarak himself there, but there was nothing. Huh. The priestess's actions baffled her and her narrow view of the world.

And the priestess spoke. Sigils appeared. Blue fire erupted from said sigils. Then everything made more sense.

"Nate!" Jane called. Acting purely on snap reflex, she rushed up to him, activated her Holy Shield, and the light and its protection shimmered about her heater shield which she raised up fully and she placed herself between him and the coming flames.

It was the first selfless thing Jane had done. For anyone.

Ever.

Nathanael McCallister Tytus Amladeris Tir'Coatl Aivrid
 

Nathanael McCallister

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Nate lowers his weapon as the soilder disengaged him. Which left him confused at to why the Priestess would call them off.

"Nate!" Jane called.
The hunter spins around to see the sigils and Jane getting in the way of the flames, since it was obviously magic from the priests he braces himself against her as well in the case some knock back occured from the oncoming wave of energy.

What the hell did this preistess mean by “her children”? She wasn’t a god meerly a wore shipper. The idea confused Nate some but still he held fast with Jane against the fiery onslaught.

“We should've bought a second portal key!” He yells at Jane over the inferno as it went past them.
 

Tir'Coatl

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An uneasy tension hung over the Naga as the soldiers were called off, still clenching their weapons with an iron grip as they watched them. No battle was cut so short, at least none he had ever partaken in. No, something was off. Only two had died, not nearly enough to justify a retreat, and yet they did not press onward.

As arcane words were granted physical form, flowing light pouring forth to form strange sigils of power in the air, the realization of what was 'off' came swiftly after.

The naga wrapped his tail around the corpse he had thrown moments prior, dragging it towards him with a forceful yank. Tir'Coatl leaned down, grabbing the body's torso before raking his claws through flesh. Thick blood seeped forth, falling like a trickling waterfall upon his scales.

"May Quetsaal's Chosen find life beyond life," he murmured in Nagaish.

The blood transformed into crimson mist, bursting from the corpse's wounds and rapidly enveloping Tir'Coatl and three nearby guards in its bloodied embrace. The azure inferno rushed past them, curving around the mist as it scorched the remaining Naga in burning flames, his scales rapidly turning to dilapidated ash upon contact with the arcane onslaught.
 
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The scent of burnt flesh fought with that of incense.

The geyser of flames continued. Heat in the air built up. The blue from the flames reflected from Tytus’s mask as he continued to stare at the combined power of the clergy.

Tytus knew from memory that this was just a small “miracle” that the Draconic Order could perform with just a small assembly.

The priestess twisted her palm to face the sky.

Let none that hide ̕r̛e̶m̨a҉i̷n ͡unscathe͠d,” the priestess began to chant.

A second row of priests shifted to point their staves to the sky. A single sigil appeared – large enough to be over Tir’Coatl, Jane, and Nate.

For even He commands the sun̶ ̕to smi̵te̛ ͜the̢ u͜nb͠e͢lie͏vers.

The sigil began to shine brightly. A pillar of light formed above – serving as a warning and a beacon for the rest of the city. As it grew with intensity, there would not be much more time for the foreigners to act. They remained in the middle of a foreign city with untold amounts of threats that could descend upon the scene.

The alleyways to the side remained opened. And the way back remained as well. This would not last for much longer.
 

Nathanael McCallister

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Nate sighs as the fire dies down and then he grumbles as the lady begins to chant, “These fuckers are fucking either really dull, or just zealots.... or everything in one.” He stands up and quickly looks at the forming light sigial that was forming over them.

“YOU GOT TO BE FUCKING KIDDING ME!” He growls now really iritated, this whole lady is going over the top.

Quickly he yanks Jane up off the ground, “Run!”, grabbing her shield if she drops it and then books it quickly disappearing for the alleyways.

Jane Tir'Coatl Tytus Amladeris
 

Jane

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Jane had her forehead pressed against the back of her shield, crouched behind its protection to cover the whole of her body and Nate's against the tide of blue flame.

A small glance back. One eye half shut in the exertion of her bracing. And she said, with a touch of affection, "The only one allowed to hurt you here is me. And I'd never let you burn."

The flames subsided, and Jane hazarded a look over the shimmering top rim of her shield. Saw the priestess and her soldiers and priests still gathered there. A look to her left at the Scaled Ki--

"AHHhaaaaaah...!" Jane moaned out loud, her cheeks flushing a similar hue to the gorgeous crimson mist that hovered around the four remaining Naga. Her shoulders shuddered upwards in a rapid jerking motion, as if her neck had some tantalizing secret to tell them and they went to gather around like giddy gossipmongers. Nate was cursing up a storm as well and that was working supplemental wonders. Thagretis was really starting to grow on her.

But. An interruption of circumstance.

Caught initially by surprise when Nate yanked her back up to her feet, the light from above garnered her attention and spoiled her spot of "fun" with the intrusive need for self-preservation. Oh, did she ever hope that the Scaled King followed after them--Aivrid had a reputation talked up about him, but she wanted to see more of what the King could do.

She broke into a run alongside Nate and together they retreated into the nearest alley between the impressive buildings. The prudent move, even if it did ruin her from having a juicy little moment. But there'd be time for that and time for many others if she actually lived. Which running helped accomplish. Taking on all those soldiers and priests (though some would have been fun), and who knew how many other reinforcements? And they weren't one of her Favored Enemies? Sail away, sailor. Sail away.

"What do you think?" Jane said to Nate between breaths. "Run 'til we find somewhere quiet? Or run 'til we're out of the city?"

Nathanael McCallister Tir'Coatl Tytus Amladeris Aivrid
 

Tir'Coatl

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"Insolent filth."

The azure conflagration of flames surged forward, filling their sight with its heretical radiance before dwindling to ominous chants. When only the remnants of embers hung in the air, Tir'Coatl brought his hand downward. In an instant, the crimson mist fell to the floor as sanguine blood.

The Scaled King threw his gaze to the other targets of the blast, only to see... whatever was happening with Jane. The vast majority of Skinned Ones were bland, uninteresting, and utterly useless in regard to most aspects of life. This one, however, had managed to somehow be genuinely discomforting.

As light suddenly crashed downwards, the Naga all hissed in response. Fighting would serve no purpose, as satisfying as it would be. The time had come to run and learn more about this place so that a true raiding party could be sent.

Spotting the pair of Skinned Ones turning tail and running, the Naga quickly slithered behind with the Scaled King.
"They will find us quickly if within the city, beyond the borders is best. If we see a place of interest, we can quickly search."
 
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And then the foreigners retreated into the alleyways. As they fled, a bright light shined down upon the spots where they stood earlier and seared everything it touched.

G̸e̡t them!” the priestess command.

Tytus and a group of soldiers gave chase. Since Tir’Coatl followed Jane and Nate, there was no need for them to split up. Plus, it was easy to follow them. They would not be fast enough to catch up with them – just yet, anyway.

In the alleyway was a boy and his mother. The mother tried to pull her son back and toward the wall after seeing everyone run down the alleyway – hoping to keep her son from being hurt.

Beyond that, the alleyway would twist and turn. There would be a “crossroad,” where another alleyway intersected. Going straight would lead to a road. Turning right would lead down an alleyway and toward the palace on top of a hill. Turning left would also lead down an alleyway toward the city walls.

Going toward the edges of the city would eventually lead to the slums and ghettos of the city. There, non-human species resided. Going toward the palace would yield richer building. More floating structures dangled in the air in that direction. Going straight, the group could take the road back to the portal stone or go the other way to find a wide, slow moving river that cut through the entire city and exited the west side of the city.

Unless the foreigners found a way to ditch their pursuers, they would never be too far behind...
 
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Nathanael McCallister

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Shit. Shit. Shit! Nate looks around as they ran having seen the scorch marks on where they had previously stood.

Seeing the boy Nate pushes him to the side with her mother as they ran by. “Excuse us!” He yells at them.

Then came the crossroads, looking around for a quick second he swears a few more times. “Okay.... some of you snake boys are gonna have to split up. We can’t have the full force coming after us crowded together.” He tells them before turning left and heading towards the slums and ghetto, “Figure it out!” He yells back disappearing into the alley rather quickly.

Jane Tir'Coatl Tytus Amladeris
 

Jane

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They ran, Jane and Nate and the Scaled King and what was left of his retinue. The priestess's soldiers, led by Tytus hurried in pursuit. And this reminded Jane of a particular pain in her ass--or, more specifically, her feet. Her heeled sabatons. For some reason unbeknownst to her, the Redeemer's blacksmiths forged for her this peculiar set of sabatons that were not flat to the ground. Like every other paladin in the Redeemer's retinue. Jane had at first called them "stilted", but the Redeemer had informed her that the correct term was "heeled." He didn't bother to explain why he or his blacksmiths or both in some collusion had decided to craft her sabatons in this fashion, however it was to be called. Jane had always assumed in the lack of a clearer and more proper answer that this was some sort of soft yet perpetual punishment for her foot fetish; it was the cheeky sort of thing the Redeemer would do and feel smirkingly self-satisfied about.

But Jane, on a level mostly subconscious, had decided: no, fuck that. I'm gonna wear these damn sabatons and I'm gonna wear the shit out of them and that mildly bothersome quality of them being heeled isn't going to conquer me. And so she stuck with it. Got used to it. Only times when they entered into her mind were times like now, involving copious amounts of running. Well. If anything, at least the heels were thick, solid metal (great for kicking the shit out of things too). Anything else and they probably would've snapped long ago.

Nate pushed aside two bystanders and Jane ran by them. Pity there wasn't more. A crowd to get lost in. The Scaled King had probably the most sound idea: bail on the city. The problem was actually getting out. It wasn't like her old coastal raids with the Sisters, just running back to the ship and sailing away--they were stuck squarely in the middle of this mess. Ugh, Nate was right, if only they had another Portal Stone key, even just taken the one Aivrid offered for future's sake. Curiosity was a bitch.

They made it to the crossroads of the intersecting alleys. And Nate made a choice. Good as any in Jane's opinion. The Scaled King would have to make his.

She turned after taking some quick breaths and followed after him. The buildings and general atmosphere of the city seemed to degrade as they went further in this direction. From the impressive to the not so much. The sort of locale that struck a chord of familiarity with Jane and her childhood of slavery, being housed in such structures only a few steps removed from outright ruin.

She ran, and commented wryly, "Reminds me...of home."

Then, more focused on the situation at hand, she looked to Nate at her side and said, "If we turn the right few corners...we can lose them. Catch our...breath..."

Nathanael McCallister Tytus Amladeris Tir'Coatl
 

Tir'Coatl

The Scaled King
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The Naga surged forth, uncarting for the pair of bystanders as they rushed past them. Any stray boxes or obstacles that littered the alleyway were quickly knocked over behind them by their lashing tails, a minor obstacle in the path of their chasers.

At the crossroads, pheromones left the Scaled King addressing his guards. Though the message was vague, it was readily understood by the Naga: Split. The guards could be tracked through their blood, and it would do well to throw off the scent in some capacity.

One guard fled to the river, while the other would make their way to the palace. Tir'Coatl, however, followed the Skinned Ones to the slums.

It was a dilapidated region, far removed from the ornate streets they had moved through prior. The Scaled King kept his gaze on the path ahead, quickly darting to acknowledge any bystanders and taking note of their appearance before slithering onwards. "We know not the extent of their magic," Tir'Coatl remarked as he made his way beside the duo. "Divination could be a tool at their disposal as well, so we cannot .be too comfortable."