The Great Ones Foreigners in Thagretis

Tir'Coatl

The Scaled King
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The Scaled King's suspicion remained palpable as it hung around him, his gaze never seeming to leave Tytus for long. A sudden switch to parley was a rare thing with Skinned Ones, and it always seemed to involve a trap of some sort. The lack of weapons was a slight comfort, however, even if it did involve his own as well. The Naga mused that a swift bite for the head could solve the situation quite nicely—when they were done with this 'diplomacy' idea, that is.

Despite Tir'Coatl's internal musings, he followed the Madam into a lavish bedroom. "... Interesting." It was, unfortunately, one for Skinned Ones, not Naga, but the fact in and of itself led him further down the brothel rabbit-hole.

His prior guesses seemed inaccurate, judging by his new surroundings. It seemed to be some sort of inn, judging by the rooms, and quite lavish at that, considering the request for a hot tub. Hmmm, perhaps those 'girls' were a room service group of sorts.

Just as Tir'Coatl began considering the addition of such 'brothels' in Samskaya, the silence was broken. He merely coiled his tail around him, standing roughly between Jane and Tytus. "Partially. I hail from the island of Nagai, home of the Naga, off the coast of the continent..." The Naga began to utter the Nagish word, pausing to recall the Common form, "...Epressa."

The Scaled King analyzed Tytus' mask as if to decipher some kind of meaning. Prior, the soldiers seemed quite steadfast in their aim for execution or arrest. To go from that to conversing in the room of a brothel was an unusual change. "Tell me, why the sudden decision for discussion?" he asked, a subtle curiosity evident in the Naga's voice.

Aivrid Celestia Szesh Zeri Rekani Jane Nathanael McCallister Tytus Amladeris
 

Celestia

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Celestia noticed commotion on her path, but she rose high up to take in sight of the palace from afar. Her keen elvish eyes identified various balconies and windows, but also the guards and ballistae stationed at every opening. The statues and paintings of dragons were alarming, and she suddenly felt a chill run down her spine. Was she in the right place to ask for answers after all? She shuddered to think of all the lives that were rapidly being taken thanks to the giant dragon.

The Avariel heard even more noise coming from below, and she could see an all out battle taking place. Her eyes widened as she saw a volley of attacks and more of the city’s guards and mages circling around a single figure. Within moments, that figure transformed into a massive dragon himself, the very action sending waves of destruction throughout the city.

More destruction. More chaos. More deaths.

Without thinking twice, Celestia swooped down like a bullet, her wings angled downward to blur her into an abstract as she moved. As the purple flames raged towards the mages, Celestia landed directly in front of the dragon. A large, defensive dome manifested around her. This wasn’t enough to absorb the fire, but it caused it to bifurcate around the dome and spread out on both sides of the mages without harming anyone.

The dome dropped as soon as the blast of fire stopped, and Celestia knew she would be too taxed if he kept going.

“STOP THIS!”

She was breathing heavily, her chest rising and falling as exhaustion from her long flight set in.

“There has been enough bloodshed and death,” She said quietly to the dragon, “Please, please no more,” If the dragon did not attack further, Celestia would turn to face the mages, “Your god,” She planted the spear on the ground next to her, “Has risen and is laying to waste entire cities and civilizations. He will destroy the world. You must see reason. Even if you have no regard for anyone else, know that this city will be filled to the brim with those attempting to escape his wrath. Is that what you want? For this city to be overrun by the entire population of Arethil?” She looked around at them, “Will you slaughter them all and bring nothing but bloodshed and decay to this great city? Or do you want to aid in stopping this beast and help bring peace back to the world?”

Kara Orin Aivrid Tir'Coatl Nathanael McCallister Jane
 

Jane

The Sanguine Penitent
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The bed was too low. Too low for Jane to rock her feet back and forth and wiggle out some of that soreness without stretching her legs out. Truly a shame Tytus wasn't interested in the services of the brothel; they could've talked and gotten their feet massaged at the same time. Hell, Jane could talk, get her feet massaged, and be scratching bloody trenches down someone's back. She had already mentally prepared herself for the penance she'd pay for it and now that steeling seemed to go to waste.

Some days the wind just went against your sails.

The Scaled King answered. And so did Jane. "Not Falwood. I'm originally from Cerak of the Black Bay, to the southwest of Falwood."

Jane couldn't blame Tytus. She hardly knew anything about the world outside of Cerak until she killed the Eunuch and joined the Sisters of the Citadel. All the Mainlanders of Epressa and Liadain seemed to have a good grasp on everything, but maybe this place was like another kind of Cerak, isolated across the sea from them.

Jane glanced toward the Scaled King when he asked a question of his own, then looked back to Tytus. Hoping that he might take off the mask and that his face underneath would be handsome and oh so bite-able.

Tytus Amladeris Tir'Coatl Nathanael McCallister Celestia Aivrid
 

Szesh

The Silver Flame
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Szesh, of course, tensed when the soldiers advanced with hostile intent, but he was too exhausted to do anything about it. He might be able to get them away if they were attacked, but that was a heavy "might." The portal stone's travel, although instantaneous, always left him with a strange feeling, and he was already not feeling well at all.

Thankfully his plea did not fall on deaf ears and had at least spared them an immediate death. His ability to speak had surprised people before, many times in fact. The mention of a plague was concerning, though, he had thought his cough due to simple ash and injury. Time enough to discuss that later. A man with a bit more decoration to his armor stepped up and asked his questions. Zeri answered, and although Szesh turned to allow her to better see the captain, he did not stop partially shielding her. When she tensed, his body moved to cover more of her.

Normally he would be content to read their reactions to the orc’s words before offering his own information, but he had felt drawn to this place by the red stars in the sky, and his own mythical sense of destiny. He did not believe it was a coincidence that he was now being asked to name his god.

”I am from the Spine,” he offered. These people would not know his village, but surely everyone knew the massive mountain range. ”My god is Draco, the First Dragon.”

While he still had their attention, he added, ”The girl needs a healer.” He did, too. Badly.

 
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“Those aren’t the southern false gods,” a soldier whispered after Szesh and Zeri Rekani answered.

Fortunately, it further proved to the captain that Szesh and Zeri were from an unknown part of the world. The city knew that there was value in what these foreigners knew and gave a simple order to the captain: to bring in any teleporters that surrendered, and only kill those that threaten Thagretis lives.

Turning to a group of guards, the captain ordered, “Take them to the clinic nearby. Have them do whatever it takes so they don’t die. Treat this like suspected plague, too, and… they’re not to leave until the higher ups say so.”

A couple guards would sheath their weapons and approach to take Zeri. If Szesh insisted on carrying Zeri, they would just let that be. They would allow the draconian to attempt to walk, if he could. If not, a couple of the larger guards would attempt to brace him up.

If there were no objections, the two would be led beyond the barricade of soldiers. On the journey, they would see more buildings floating in the air. Dragon iconography could be seen everywhere. The streets themselves would be relatively empty due to the commotion of the day.

The clinic would not be too far. Zeri would get a bed while Szesh would at least get a spot to sit. There would be a moment to rest as the doctor would examine their injuries and prepare to do what he could.



Meanwhile at the brothel’s foyer, the Madam, with a hint of nervousness, said to Nathanael McCallister, “Yes, right this way.”

“I know a room just for you,” she told Nate as she would attempt to guide him.

The room would be at the opposite side of the building as where Tytus and the rest were.

“Is there a particular girl you like?” the Madam asked, “We have all kinds of women here.”



Tytus listened to Tir'Coatl and Jane answer. They could not see his face, but curiosity built up within Tytus.

Tytus took a moment before answering Tir’Coatl’s question.

I want to keep anyone else here getting hurt or killed,” Tytus told Tir’Coatl.

Then, Tytus went on to explain, “You two are far from home, it seems. You’re in a city: Thagretis. Beyond the walls is either our land or a desert with man-eating lizardfolk.

A pause followed for the two to absorb that bit of information. They would be fugitives everywhere they went except within the hostile desert.

There’s no way to travel to your lands,” Tytus claimed, “So unless you can teleport back, you’re stuck and will need our help to find a way back.

Another pause. Tytus did not know how the Portal Stone worked, so their reaction would at least give him information on that.

But you’ve killed,” Tytus told Tir’Coatl.

And you’ve helped a murderer,” he then told Jane.

The penalty for murder was typically death. And Tytus said nothing on if bloodwit was a practice in Thagetis for the lowborn.

Yet if you’re people of status from where you’re from, or have knowledge and things to give… If you cooperate I’m sure you may avoid death and return home,” Tytus told them.

Tytus remembered that Tir’Coatl claimed to be a king. It took a lot to commit to killing nobility, especially a sovereign, even in cases of murder. An exchange of gold and hostages and a treaty would be typical whenever a king is captured – unless the one that captured the sovereign demanded the eradication of his kingdom.



The soldiers and clergy stirred at the sight of a dragon transforming before them. The tail managed to strike several soldiers and priests behind Aivrid. However, barriers were activated. Many survived.

And many more continued to arrive from behind and in front of Aivrid. This would be unending, just as if Aivrid sought a brute force attack on Vel Anir.

The Archprophet ignored what Aivrid said and bellowed, “Behold, a pretender!

Aivrid is not the first dragon to try to claim Thagretis. Likely, it would not be the last.

Once the antimagic spell activated, the Archprophet realized what happened and yelled, “Antimagic! Shield us!

His Holiness’s voice carried to the priests that remained behind and to the others that were gathering as reinforcements. The Archprophet’s own soldiers lifted their shields and sought to cover the clergy as they moved to leave the antimagic field as they were unaware of how long it would last.

A chant began behind Aivrid, “And His bulwark formed to-

But they were interrupted by Celestia leaping in to block Aivrid’s fire breath.

When a lull in violence arrived, the Archprophet would tell Celestia, “Thank you, Drakormir bless you.

This was even after everyone clearly heard Celestia call their god a beast.

I know He wakes,” the Archprophet continues, “I communed with Him. He seeks nourishment before returning to His Throne. We must accept His decision.

Then pointing at Avrid, the Archprophet told Celestia, “But I won’t accept t̸h̶i̸s̷ ̷b̸e̷a̴s̷t̶ slaughtering my own people.
 

Nathanael McCallister

Werewolf Monster Hunter
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Nate follows the madam detecting the hint if nervousness, “Why so nervous madam?” He ask her chuckling. When they get to the room and she says they have a wide arrange of women he simply shrugs.

“Any really I tend not to be too picky, its a terrible way to live life.” He answers her giving her a warm smile. It was actually very true, only thing he would restrict himself on was probably when he would work if he was injured unfortunately.

He go and make himself cozy in the blankets and bed.
 

Aivrid

...and a dozen other titles
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Tag: Tytus Amladeris Celestia

His Throne...

It was rare for the words of one of the smaller ones to move Aivrid, yet somehow the Avariel's words provided insight that the dragon had forgotten. Even given a moment of pause her words seemed to flood out to fill the pause. After a moment of reflection the dragon spoke; his head raised high, far from the threatening fire-breathing stance from earlier.

"Yes, thank you child. Sometimes I forget myself." His gaze turned to the Archprophet. "I suppose I will take a leave of your city; though I may return to the portal stone to exit this continent. I trust that you will not interfere with my business."

Aivrid spread his wings in preparation to take off, but paused for a moment to give a word of advice to the Avariel. "The pious are the fools who have turned their foolishness into power. Good luck."

The dragon leapt into the air, beating his wings and pushing himself forward such that he reached the clouds. From there he surveyed his surroundings. The palace was grand but it was not built for a dragon. No, there had to be another place. Any dragon worth their gold would have, well, quite a bit of gold. For a dragon such as Drakormir, his hoard must have been of legendary proportions.

Aivrid smelled the air as he glided towards the edge of the city, searching for the scent of gold and wealth. Perhaps he had his own mountain, outside Thagretis...
 

Celestia

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“Strength lies in wanton destruction,” Celestia spoke softly as the dragon began to take flight, “But even more so when one has the grace to show mercy,” A smile appeared on her face as she watched him go, though she had no idea his intentions were perhaps not as noble a she would have hoped.

She turned to regard the mage before her then, considering his words. Celestia knew this was going to be a lot more difficult than she anticipated. Nevertheless, the mage would have been witness to Celestia attempting to bring peace back into his city.

“What about the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of others?” Celestia asked, trying not to let her emotions get the best of her, “I am not of the surface world. And even then I know that I am a part of this world. I am a part of the people here even if they don’t know me,” She looked around at all the dead bodies and the destruction around them,Drakormir’s actions will have entire cities and kingdoms looking like this. Will you not speak to him? Will you not turn him from that path?”

Her eyes flickered up to the palace for a moment. There was a nagging voice in the back of her mind reminding her that people were dying with every moment she delayed. Celestia looked back down at the Archprophet, “He will listen to you if he is a benevolent god that answers his people.”

Tytus Amladeris Aivrid
 

Jane

The Sanguine Penitent
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Huh. The Masked Man didn't want anyone else to get hurt. Did Astra get the credit for this, or was it Tychan? Astra? Astra. Jane hadn't done anything remotely "diplomatic" other than offering Tytus a go in the brothel on her coin.

Still, she couldn't help but wonder how Aivrid was doing. Even though she ought to be praying for a more peaceful resolution over by the palace, she wasn't. And that was the by Astra honest truth. Worth an extra two floggings added to the tally.

There's no way to travel to your lands, Tytus said.

"Sure there is," Jane said, as if it were a fact as stark as the blue of a clear sky. "We can go back the way we got here. Just need a key...aaaaand, fuck, that's right, I didn't take that one Aivrid offered, son of a fucking bitch."

Three more floggings added to the tally.

Tytus went on to mention that the Scaled King killed. Which was true. And he mentioned that Jane helped a murderer. Which was...TRUE. Yes! So true! Absolutely true! Jane grinned. What was Tytus going to do about it? What was he going to do? Oh please, give me Nykios's permission to get into another juicy brothel brawl.

But said brawl was going to have to wait. Or was it?

If you're people of status...

Jane tossed her head back and belted out a laugh. She looked back to Tytus afterward and rolled her shoulders some. Said, "Not me. Aionus forgive me, my knowledge is lacking and Metisa have mercy, I've nothing much to give."

She sat there, coolly on the bed, looking steadily at Tytus with eyes that invited a number of things.

Tytus Amladeris Tir'Coatl Nathanael McCallister Aivrid Celestia Szesh
 

Zeri Rekani

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My god is Draco, the First Dragon.

As if summoned by the very words, Zeri saw in the distance beyond the ring of soldiers about them a massive dragon taking off and flying into the sky. Her heart skipped a beat and her pupil shrank in fright and she gasped and tucked herself as best she could into Szesh's arm at her back and couldn't keep her eye from the dragon until it was truly vanished from sight.

Vaguely, she had heard the authoritative human mention the "plague" again as Szesh carried her along toward the clinic. With the dragon in the sky gone the word could properly register in her mind. Why did they keep saying that? These were...these were only bruises right? She had fallen down quite a lot when...home...Ma...

Before the grip of grief could take hold, the cold bony hand of fright came over top of it, smothering and arresting. The human soldiers all about them could not hide the icons of dragons pervading the streets and the strange buildings which enclosed them. Zeri's eye darted back and forth from one image to the next as she spotted them, a dragon tapestry here and a painting there and a statue here and a sign there. Her lip trembled as her fright began to bubble over and mixed powerfully with her hatred of the Black Dragon which had destroyed Bhathairk, and together they formed a heavy and blackened stone in the core of her heart.

The nightmare was never ending. And it was only getting worse.

But at least she had Szesh. A friend who was there for her in her darkest hours.

Into the clinic they were led, and Szesh was guided by the soldiers and shown by the human medicine man where to place Zeri. The medicine man went about his work, but Zeri was looking squarely up at Szesh as she laid on the bed.

She said, quietly, as if to speak any louder would be to summon the very misfortune that was being spoken of, "Szesh...do you feel sick? You don't feel sick, do you? I-I don't. I feel--"

Zeri coughed several times, her upper body bucking upward from the force of them.

Sheepishly, she finished, "...fine."

Szesh Tytus Amladeris Aivrid
 

Szesh

The Silver Flame
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Szesh traced Aivrid's movements himself. He would have been awestruck had he not just fled from a dragon several times the black one's size. Still, he recognized how incredible this day had been. Terrible, but incredible.

The draconic iconography made Szesh feel oddly at home. His own people were not exactly the ornamental sort, but they had their share of totems here and there. As he carried Zeri, he too thought on the soldiers' words. Plague had such a horrible connotation, and the icy creep fear of took root in his heart. It was faint now, but it would grow if not actively resisted.

He saw Zeri dealing with a fear of her own and traced her gaze to the dragon statues. Having her home demolished so recently, and by a dragon so terrible, had surely put a bitter taste in her mouth. Szesh spoke to her quietly. "Not all dragons are evil, Zeri. All are powerful, all must be respected... but many are good." He thought for a minute or two. It seemed rather fruitless to tell her to respect a creature that had murdered her family. "I will tell you about them soon." The legends were written by far greater storytellers than himself, they would be better.

It was difficult to relinquish Zeri onto the bed. His arms had grown so used to carrying her that they felt cold and void without her. He knew it would be best for her to allow the healers to do their work, but he could not rid himself of the troublesome protectiveness.

He felt the cold tendrils of fear reach deeper and squeeze tighter as Zeri choked out her words. "Yes," he lied, "I feel fine. Rest now, let them help." He glanced at his scales and he knew that they were not blackened by ash. Something terrible had followed Neha from the earth, and he dared not think of what. If these people knew of a plague, they would know how to treat it, right? He told himself this, it helped a little.

He did his best to give the doctor room, but he did not sit, instead standing so he could see the girl. He would accept help for himself provided he did not have to leave Zeri's sight.

 
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“It’s just how I talk,” the Madam replied with the same tone.

She then eyed Nathanael McCallister up and down.

“It’s good to be open minded,” the Madam complimented Nate.

The Madam opened the door to a cozy room. Several minutes later, a human brunette woman opened the door and sauntered in. She wore makeup to hide the freckles on her face and lighten her skin. Her blouse seemed to be just barely held up by a couple straps to her lithe body.

“I heard you wanted someone to talk to,” she cooed.

Meanwhile, the clanging of people in armor in the streets rang out…



As Jane spoke, Tytus lifted a bare hand closer to his head. It still remained on his face as the woman spoke – so she still could not see any reaction to her words of provocations.

Tytus gave a quick response though with, “It’s enough to know how to use the stone.

Then to push a sense of urgency upon the two before him, Tytus told Tir'Coatl and Jane, “You don’t have much time. Cooperate and return home, or flee forever in a land you don’t know?



The beds within the clinic would not be empty. Due to the actions of those that came before, several guards, soldiers, and even civilians occupied the clinic beds around Zeri Rekani and Szesh. Their injuries manifested in different ways. Many remained silent.

A squad of guards remained at the clinic. Only two stood with the ward with patients. The rest of the squad remained in the foyer. They kept their eyes mainly on Szesh.

The old doctor examined Zeri. He was dressed in priestly robes with symbols of a dragon adorned on them.

The doctor admitted to her, “I’m not familiar with orc bodies, so tell me if there’s anything I need to know.”

The doctor would then examine Zeri’s injuries to the best of his abilities. If the Draconic Plague truly infected her, he would recognize this. He walked away for a moment to return with a cup of a bitter tonic.

“Drink this, for pain,” the doctor told Zeri as he offered the cup.

The tonic was a mix of alcohol and herbs used to relieve pain.

The doctor would then move onto Szesh to perform the same examination. He too would recognize the symptoms of the plague if Szesh truly had it. The doctor maintained a nervous look as he examined Szesh, though. He glanced back to the two guards a few times.

Eventually, he would offer the same tonic to Szesh with, “Here, I’m not sure if it would work but it’s worth a try.”



Aivrid was quick to leap into the clouds beyond the reach of the city’s ballista – of which, they were positioned at mostly the palace and the city walls.

From Aivrid’s position, he could then see the full scale of the city and its surroundings. Thagretis proper was massive – rivaling the largest cities on Epressa and Liadain. A massive wall surrounded the city with a river running through the middle. It flowed from east to west.

Beyond the city was the river valley. Fertile farmland surrounded Thagretis and the river. Villages and small towns dotted the landscape of the valley.

To the north and south beyond the river valley, Aivrid would see dry, desolate desert to no apparent end.

To the east, the river continued beyond the horizon. Hills could be seen as the elevation of the land slowly rose.

To the west would be a massive river delta. A massive amount of farmland could be seen as well a port at the very end of the delta. Small ships could be seen going in and out of the harbor. None would be massive trading vessels common on Liadain and Epressa. The sea to the west was a gulf surrounded by arid land.

A large island could be seen just at the horizon with the smell of gold.



With Aivrid’s sudden departure to the sky, some remained in formation as they kept their eyes on Aivrid as he flew away. Others began efforts to contain any fires remaining as well as rescue anyone caught in the collapsed buildings nearby.

The Archprophet’s gaze remained to the sky until Celestia spoke. His face turned to her. Several soldiers raced their weapons as Celestia’s words were definitely not commonly spoke to sovereigns.

But there was no command to do anything to Celstia, just yet.

After some moments of examining Celstia, the Archprophet muttered, “Woman, wings, spear… He has seen you.

A step forward, “If He is causing death as you say, what caused Him to do so?
 

Nathanael McCallister

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Nate smiles and pats on the chair next to him, “Yes I did.” If the young woman did so he didn’t care. He just had a few questions to ask her.

“I do hope your day is going well my lady.” He gives her a nod and looks towards the door at the sound of clanging armor outside. “Well.. well enough given the current situation unfortunately. I do hope the good soilders and guards handle this racket so it does not impede on your daily life.” He tells her calmly and gently.

“What is your name so I have something to call you by miss?” He would ask her with a curious glint in his eyes as he looked out the window to see what the soilders were up to.
 
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Tir'Coatl

The Scaled King
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The Scaled King nodded, listening intently to the soldier's words. A similar grunt of frustration to that of Jane rumbled within the Naga at the realization they were left without a portal stone, though Tytus' reassurance was enough to calm those concerns. "Then that is certainly an option," he answered.

The mention of his 'crime,' though in truth he felt it rather justified, was a complication. Glancing away from the painfully shameless grin which spread across Jane's visage, a moment of silence passed as he considered the offer laid before them.

Cooperating with Skinned Ones, those that had nearly attempted to have him captured and executed especially, was an idea he disliked the very essence of. To discuss with the Naga was to be seen as an equal, and such an honor has to be earned before it can even be considered, let alone done.

However, there was an urge that was far more overpowering than mere superiority: Practicality. And practically, abandoning his kingdom on some unknown continent without a discernable means of transportation or even navigation was an undoubtedly worse idea.

"Samskaya possesses many desirable resources, from gold to valuable and loyal and broken lizard and beastfolk war-slaves." Judging from the general distaste for lizardfolk within the city, the prospect of a broken one to serve them to the end would hopefully be as enticing for them as it is for the Naga. If not, the beastfolk were always a positive alternative.

"A deal to secure me and my servants' safety could be arranged, and I suppose along with that of the woman and the wolf... wherever he is."

Tytus Amladeris Jane Nathanael McCallister Aivrid Celestia Szesh
 
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Jane

The Sanguine Penitent
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Maybe the Scaled King knew about the details of how Portal Stones worked, but Jane sure didn't. She knew only what she needed to know: pay some mage to make you a key (punch him if he's one of those that for some reason can't) and then go to the Stone with it and make sure you touch the right damn rune and that's it. Maybe Nate knew too. He probably did. Ever since traveling with him Jane's travel via Portal Stone had increased from Never to Reckon It Can't Hurt.

Aw. What a sweetheart. The Scaled King, in his dealing with the Masked Man, decided to include Jane and Nate. Was that some sort of Mainlander pride or cohesion or something? If he were from Cerak he'd be telling Jane to shove the fuck off and come up with her goddamn deal. She would do the same for him--provided she had anything substantial to offer Tytus--out of mutual "fuck you" respect, but by the grace of Astra Jane had the capacity to overcome her old Cerak cutthroat ways.

Jane stood up from the bed and smiled as if this were all simply a friendly game of cards and said, "I'm not agreeing to anything until I see that my partner Nate is alive and well."

The hell if she was going to let these Thagretians have all the fun hurting him. That was her job.

Another flogging to the tally for that thought.

Tytus Amladeris Tir'Coatl Nathanael McCallister Aivrid Szesh Celestia
 

Celestia

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Her heart seemingly stopped when the prophet spoke. He had seen through the eyes of the dragon? Her eyes widened in surprise. She ran the memory of her attack through her mind, analyzing every little bit as if reading lines from a chapter. That was when she came to pause at the moment she had thrown the spear. She hadn’t actually seen what happened - the dragon had risen to the skies and the great gusts of wind sent her barreling away.

Her spear had found purchase.

Celestia did not know it until this moment. She felt sick to her stomach. Had she caused this? Was she to blame for the deaths of thousands? Her mouth was dry, and she felt a lump in her throat. There was a long moment of silence, and she was convinced the mage would simply walk away.

“I….I did…” She said hoarsely, looking down at the ground, “But I am willing to give my life if it will stop this,” Celestia looked at the mage again. He would be able to tell she meant every word. The thought of her being the cause of so many deaths was unbearable, “Tell me what can be done to stop this. Tell me what will turn him from this. Tell me what price must be paid,” Her voice cracked slightly, “...Please.”

Tytus Amladeris
 
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“Fryn is the name,” the woman replied to Nathanael McCallister as she slowly stepped toward him with swaying in her hips.

When close enough, the woman would place a hand upon Nate’s shoulder and slowly sit down next to him.

“My day has been fine,” the woman told Nate with a breathy voice.

“But I doubt you came here just to talk about me,” she continued.

Meanwhile in another room, Tytus clearly heard the replied of Jane and Tir'Coatl.

Since Tytus was still standing, the only thing he did when Jane suddenly rose was turn his face toward her. He still held his hand close to his mask.

The door to the brothel suddenly opened. They, including Nate, could hear the footsteps of armored men entering. Some muffled yelling.

We’ll hear of your partner soon,” Tytus told Jane. Though it would be just to hear of how he escaped pursuit.

The door to the room would then burst open. Guards stood at the threshold with short swords drawn – the Madam having been unsuccessful in telling them to come in unarmed.

Looking to the guards, Tytus said, “They’ve agreed to come with us, in exchange for keeping their lives!

Then with a glance to the two, he asked, “Right!?



The Archprophet waited in silence with Celestia. He still stood at a distance from her. His entourage of guards remained. The fire brigade continued their slow, agonizing work. Some people were pulled out of the wreckage of collapsed buildings. Some alive. More not.

When He has his fill of magic, He will return here. We cannot change that,” the Archprophet told Celestia.

Then with a gesture toward Celestia, the Archprophet said, “While you attacked Him and caused His outrage, I will ask Him to forgive you. You must’ve known nothing about Him? Yet you leaped into danger to save strangers. Ignorance can be forgiven. It can be remedied. Come with us, you look weary and in need of rest.
 

Zeri Rekani

Novice
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Not all dragons are evil, Zeri. All are powerful, all must be respected... but many are good.
Zeri had said nothing to this. She believed him when he said that not all dragons were evil, that many were good. She especially believed him when he said all were powerful. But she balked internally at the suggestion that all must be respected, for "all" as well included the terrible Black Dragon that had in a single morning destroyed the entirety of her world. Zeri was a believer in Animism, those selfsame pervasive Spirits that she had told the guard captain of, and those Spirits all had to them a good side and a bad side. Fire warmed and it burned, water nurtured and it flooded, wind cooled and it stormed, and so on, this duality essential for life by intermingled inseparability by her beliefs.

But the Spirits were different from people. Primal in a way that people were not; the Spirits of Water could not help but to sweep away a helpless animal in their current, say. People had the power of choice.

And Zeri did not believe the Black Dragon to be like the Spirits, nor like an animal or mindless monster. No, the Black Dragon was a living being with choice. And that Dragon chose to do what it did. It either knew It was wrong and did it anyway or It simply had no heart at all. This is what made the Black Dragon evil to Zeri. This is why she hated It. This is why she would never respect It, and why the Black Dragon was the first being in the meager wholeness of her life that Zeri truly, vehemently, wished nothing but ill upon.

* * * * *​

In the clinic, Zeri knew she had heinously stretched the meaning of the Common word "fine" by saying that she was so. Still, despite all that had happened and the injuries she had suffered, she tried to put on a brave face. She was not convinced by her own. But she was convinced by Szesh's. She offered a little smile, glad that he was feeling well--well enough under the circumstances.

Zeri did not protest as the human medicine man examined her. Offered no resistance, fully accepting his help. Her eyes wandered a bit as he worked, seeing the other humans likewise in beds, some with their fresh injuries visible to her. What...happened?

She'd no time to ponder it. The medicine man had a question for her. About orcish bodies.

"N-Nothing too different, wise one," she said, offering up the customary honorific for tribal medicine orcs to him. "I'm...half-elf too...I-If that helps?" Her inflection on the end turning the statement more so into an awkward question.

The talk of a plague. How could such a thing even have happened, if it were true? Didn't sickness come from tainted air, from miasmas? Did the Black Dragon's emergence taint the very air of Bhathairk? Is that what happened?

The medicine man brought her something in a cup, something to drink. For the pain. Zeri sat up slightly in the bed and took the cup when offered and held it gingerly in both hands and brought it to her mouth and tipped her head back to drink--

And she immediately turned her head by force of sheer reaction toward Szesh and spit it out. AH! It burned! Nevermind the foul taste, it burned her mouth and her tongue! What was this? Tavern-going travelers to Bhathairk spoke sometimes of the "burn" of drinks like liquor. Was this liquor?

Zeri eyed the human medicine man and said sheepishly, "Sorry. I'm sorry, wise one! I d-don't mean to offend. I'll drink the rest. I'm sorry."

And Zeri's arms huddled close to her body as she seemed to shrink into the pillows of the clinic bed as if in retreat from the very cup she held before her, and with a dainty slowness drank and struggled to do so with a face pinched tightly together by willful exertion and effort. At last she finished the contents of the cup and let out a series of heavy, fatigue-laden breaths.

Szesh Tytus Amladeris
 

Celestia

Healer
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Celestia simply stared at the archmage as he casually offered her rest. How could he be so oblivious to everything going on in the world around him? She gave a sheepish grin then.

“No rest for the weary, eh,”
She said with a shrug before taking a few steps back, “I suppose I will see where that other dragon ran off to,” She muttered as a pathetic excuse before she took off into the air.

Celestia rose till she was sure she wouldn’t be the mage’s focus anymore. That was when she turned and began to make her way towards the palace, circling around as she spotted all the ballistae and guards. Celestia kept floating around till she found several balconies - most with multiple guards and a ballista and others with less.

She took out her bow and nocked an arrow, enhancing it with magic as she took careful aim. After a moment, she released the arrow, causing it to shatter right through the window behind the men. They would likely scramble at once to investigate.

Celestia quickly flew to the side of the palace, attempting to find a balcony that only had one man on it. If she were successful, she would then land on the balcony and quietly knock out the distracted guard from behind. The goal was to don his armor and quietly enter the palace. Like all Avariel, she was granted the ability to make her wings disappear, which she would do.

With any luck, she would be able to slink into the palace under disguise while everyone attempted to work out the origin of the arrow.

Tytus Amladeris Tir'Coatl Jane Nathanael McCallister
 

Jane

The Sanguine Penitent
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Looking to the guards, Tytus said, “They’ve agreed to come with us, in exchange for keeping their lives!

Then with a glance to the two, he asked, “Right!?
Jane's smile gradually parted into a grin. Exposing her teeth as her eyes gleamed with wild anticipatory glee. She said, "I haven't agreed to anything."

She inched over toward the Scaled King with tiny little sidesteps, keeping her eyes on the Masked Man and the guards with their drawn short swords all the while. She slowly lifted up her left hand and hovered it close to the Scaled King's back, fingers giving little spasmodic twitches of excitement every few seconds. Oh what would it be? What would be the best Blessing she could bestow upon the Scaled King? The Blessing of Drakon was always good--ahhhhahahaaaa, those claws with a boost of strength and speed, imagine it. But what about a Blessing of Aionus? Oh, oh, yes, maybe that, oh yes maybe that, boost the potency of the Scaled King's blood magic and just allow herself to be drenched in the results.

Aionus. It was going to be Aionus. That sinful tremble in her thighs told her so, and she'd whip herself for that later.

Of course, this was if the Scaled King thought as Jane thought, despite his earlier efforts at a deal. For all she knew he might just...well, in that fine Cerak tradition, tell her to shove off. By Astra, that would be awful. What was worse than being so close and then denied?

But Jane was ready. Ready to Bless the Scaled King if he was on her side and the soldiers came at them. Ready to draw back and have for herself a little scuffle if she was alone. She wasn't looking to die here, Astra and the Pantheon no, so she'd be bristling with the energy of a corner animal. That and certain other things.

"For what it's worth," Jane said to Tytus, "it's still a nice mask you've got there."

Tir'Coatl Tytus Amladeris Nathanael McCallister
 

Tir'Coatl

The Scaled King
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The Scaled King only watched, his gaze following Tytus like that of a predator. It was unnervingly still in its precision, almost clicking into place as it swept across the room, landing on each soldier with a personalized glare. Not another move was made. Not a tensing of claws, a flashing of teeth, nor even a characteristic hiss.

The Naga remained still. Waiting.

It was when Tytus uttered his last word, as Jane's face curled into a grin of glee and bloodlust, that the predator lunged for the attack. Tir'Coatl's tail surged forward, rapidly wrapping around Tytus's legs before pulling him to the ground before him. The force likely sent him toppling prone as the Naga warlord brought his claws down, piercing into armor and sinking into blood.

It was then that the Blessing of Aionus flooded his body and mine, overwhelming his senses with a sudden depth of arcane power. He could taste the blood pulsing in the soldiers' veins with a sanguine intensity, and the blood seeping from Tytus felt as though it whispered to him, calling him.

So, it was only natural that he used it. He clenched the wound, letting his claws sink as deeply as they could without resistance before tearing them out. Even with a small amount of blood, Jane's Bless meant that it would be enough.

The blood on his claws and the wound they caused suddenly rose into the air, weaving around them like a menagerie of crimson whips. As his other claw went into the air, the arcane crimson fluid stopped. All at once, the blood surged forward like a violent storm, pushing toward the flock of soldiers. It rushed into the cracks of armor and the slightest display of skin, be it under mask or armor, and pierced it as it searched relentlessly to return to the veins of its targets. It burned and seared, working its way like living bloodfire.

Should it succeed, the pain would likely be very excruciating. If it somehow didn't, then at least none could fault them for not trying.

Jane Nathanael McCallister Tytus Amladeris
 
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Nathanael McCallister

Werewolf Monster Hunter
Monster Hunters
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Nate chuckles taking her hand in his, “You know clients so well Fryn.” He compliments her then looks up towards the door as it is broken into and the guard bust through another door with the Madam’s trying to get them to disarm. He would give her a nod trying to let her know he wouldn't let anyone hurt her,

“Please tell me, does this sort of thing happen often?” He asks her with a chuckle then came the combat which made him sigh. “You see I came from one of the Neha ships, I can’t remember her name too well right now as most of the time was spent being a but green. I want to know the juicy rumors if you do not mind Fryn. At least in this part of the city. As a sort of catch up.”
 
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Szesh

The Silver Flame
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The guards watched Szesh, and he gave them a few glances of his own. His black eyes gave no betrayal of their gaze but instead glittered in the dim light with their movements. He understood their concern, he knew what he looked like and given recent events he was frankly grateful to have received the hospitality he'd been given.

The doctor was a kind mind, and good at his trade. Szesh relaxed a bit as he examined Zeri, feeling that she would be safe under his care. He took a step back to lean against the wall, giving them more room. He immediately regretted this, and stood up again as his wings sharply protested the sudden pressure. He turned to look at them, and could see that they were even blacker than his arms.

Zeri's outburst surprised him (and the doctor), and he instinctively hopped back as she spat the volatile liquid onto him. It was extremely fragrant, and it triggered a new wave of coughs, causing Szesh to turn and double over as he hacked up more blood onto his forearm. He wiped away what he could on his loincloth, he did not want Zeri to see and worry.

Szesh allowed himself to be offered a seat for his examination. It would make it easier for the doctor to reach him, and he was truthfully very tired. His muscles hurt and his limbs felt heavier than they ever had, like his bones had been turned to thick stone. With the adrenaline finally beginning to clear his system Szesh noticed how difficult it was to breath for the first time. His chest crackled with each breath and no matter how deeply he inhaled it felt incomplete. The clinic also felt much colder than it had just minutes ago, and he became aware of a gentle shiver in the ends of his wings.

He had noted the dragon image on the healer's clothes, and the iconography around the town was almost ostentatious. "Do you worship the Great Ones, as well?" he asked, indicating the dragon print. He was still trying to figure out why Draco had sent him on this path. Perhaps to find allies?