Titanfall In the Shadows of Giants

For threads related to the Titanfall event of 2021
Introduction

Raigryn Vayd

Staff
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The beating heart stops. The whispers fade. Darkness releases you into a new world.

You have arrived outside Tirnua, at a Portal Stone that hasn't been active for tens of thousands of years.

It is late afternoon, it is hot and the sun is bright.

To the east is a Pedestal. A great tower you can climb for a view around you. To the west is Tirnua, the market town build in the ruins built by a long dead civilisation. To the north you might see the head and shoulders of a long forgotten Titan. The pedestal would afford a better view.


Seneschal will find you soon.

For now meet your fellow travellers, perhaps climb the Pedestal or head for the city. Tirnua is a colourful place, but almost no one speaks human, elvish or dwarven. Feel free to describe the wide variety of species that gather here.
 

Atrix

Thirsty for dat Magic
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And so it was, at last, he was here. The normally calm and rejuvenating experience of traveling via Portal Stones was filled with anxiety. Not fear, no, fear was for the weak willed. He was simply ready to arrive at the unexplored continent. Well, unexplored was not the right word.... uninhabited by the more advanced peoples of the world was a better explanation. Today he would be one of the first of the new world to visit the old and devour the mysteries that so infected the landscape of the area.

As he blinked into existence on Malakath, his boots sunk into the soft ground. It was noticeable how soft it was... like it was trying to absorb his foot but could not quite get the whole thing. His eyes lit up and he quickly took a few steps forward and tried to take in what he could. The first thing that caught his eyes was the tower that seemed to spring forth from the trees begging all those who see it to come towards it as if it were a beacon.

Then his eyes were locked upon the faint outline of.... well he was not quite sure what it was. A giant statue, perhaps? There was very little in regards to the architecture of this area for him to absorb before his travels. Mostly long forgotten fables or songs written by poets. Tales passed down through time that, ultimately, had no meaning in the current state of the world as every poet and singer added their own little touch to the story until it was barely recognizable to those who had lived them.

"Hyat.... my dear man.... we made it!" He turned with excitement to his bodyguard who, like clockwork, was feeling disoriented from using the Portal Stone.

"Ye that's great, now shut up." he grumpily said as he clutched his stomach and tried not to vomit. Atrix had tried, with great failure, to persuade the man that traveling via Portal Stone did not make one retch, but he would have nothing of it. So Atrix left him to his devices.

He reached into his satchel and he pulled from it his notepad and quill. With the wave of his hand he cast a spell on his ink bottle that would have it hover and follow Atrix so that he could dip his quill into it with ease. He inked his quill and he began to note what he was seeing in his journal.

  • Large tower just outside the city, possibly the looking tower from the fables
  • Large statued beast in the distance, animal, large tusks, covered in moss, anicent
  • City in the distance, much better off than the other two items, it is assumed life may live. No clue on whether friendly or foe.
He slapped his journal shut and slid it into his breast pocket and he placed the quill inside of the ink bottle that continued to float beside him. Others were beginning to arrive but he was too enamored with the area around him to interact with them now. Then his eyes caught an area.... what appeared to be ruins.... and he could almost sense something. He had been sensing things from all around him... but there.... those ruins. They called to him. That was where he might find what he had set out on this journey for. Sure, he did not know exactly what he was looking for.... but he would know it when he found it.

"Hyat," Atrix said summoning his guard as his fingers pointed outwards. "That is where we are headed." he said with a smile.
 
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If only I could remember what came before, then perhaps I could prevent it from happening again.

The way through the stone was nominally something she did with little thought, as were any actions that revolved around magic, the prim. The source of all things was one with the ancient sidhe, and it was that oneness that caused the concern she felt right now. The weight of a malady lay heavy upon her shoulders, and the most troubling thing was that it recalled her to an earlier era. To the great Malady that came before, that claimed the lives of millions before it had finally vanished without a trace.

Were it that she could remember. Unfortunately, while there were a plethora of benefits to a long life, the ability to recall all of it became increasingly remote, increasingly difficult with each passing year. She could scarcely recall anything a couple thousand years before, and everything before that lay shrouded in the mists of time. Only events of particular note pierced that haze, rising like peaks of some mountain range above the clouds of forgetfulness.

And, like that, she was through the ways between the stones. Seska of no last name, prisoner on this world, stepped from the Portal onto soils she had no recollection of, and nearly collapsed on the ground. Were it not for the intricately carved staff to hang onto, she likely would have.

The weight. Such weight; it pulled at her being in a way that she had not thought possible. Recently, she had felt the power of the prim waning, growing weaker and more diffuse. To the rest on this world, that might not constitute an immediate and clear threat, but for her? She felt as though she was wasting away, as though a new hunger had been awakened within her. She had been alive for tens of thousands of years, perhaps longer...and nowhere in that long life could she ever remember feeling like this.

Except....except during the Fall. That was a sobering thought. The Fall, the end of an entire world and everything that had lived upon it. Surely that was not what this was about.

Was it?

It did not matter. Not for the moment, not when the most pressing thing to do was to sit and rest after what should have been little more than an inconvenient trip. The diminutive woman rose, and looked for - and found - a piece of ancient stonework, half buried, that would serve as a seat. Kicking her skirts, she made her way there, silver hair flying in the hot wind blowing out of the interior of this foreign land. She would rest, rest as much as whatever malady afflicted her would allow, and then look round the area.
 

Kiros Rahnel

Outcast Priest
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224
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An odd message, of meaning entirely indiscernible to him. The strange voice spoke vaguely of matters which the priest had no knowledge of. What capstone, and what crook? Itra had made mention of absolutely none of this upon giving him direction nights ago, only that the purpose of his holy pilgrimage would become evident upon his arrival. Not that he held the assurance in high regard. While Itra’s direction was understandable, intent was something She hardly ever made clear. The mystical words of the portal stone however, held neither quality from him. The only piece of information that held any connection to Her given word was that of the portal stone. It wasn’t clear if this was the old and forgotten stone She mentioned, but there was absolutely nothing else it could be. He felt sure that he had found the target of his divinely mandated quest; a rarity when such a quest had been given by Her.

Though certain that he had completed his journey’s first leg, he'd still hesitate to continue it. He’d determined that She wanted him here, but whether he wanted to continue himself was another question entirely. Really nothing but temporary delusion that he truly held any choice in the matter. Activate the stone and be sent off to only gods know where; or abandon his duty and hope that his soul might be delivered from the torments of The Pit. There was no dilemma about it, a fate of damnation was entirely unacceptable. Stowing his concern away, Kiros prepared himself and reached out to activate the stone in reluctant readiness for wherever it might take him.

Tense and with his eyes closed, he arrived at his destination; with grip on his staff as the life-saving instrument it truly was. Eyes opened slowly to take in the sight; a strange land, but not an immediately dangerous one. Seeing his surroundings, Kiros eased from his former state of tension and concerns about the destination. He spotted ruins, a lookout tower and what appeared to be a town some distance away. But beyond the portal stone itself, he held no clue what Her given quest entailed nor where he ought to travel to in continuance of it.

A short distance away was a resting young-looking woman of notably short stature, no taller than Lyssia was. Closer to his location by the stone were a pair of men. One appeared to be a man of magic, busily jotting down unknown notes in a journal beside the other; a much less enthused swordsman at his side. The presence of others was an unexpected development, and he could only wonder if they were here for the same reason – whatever it was. But while Kiros himself was without clue as to his further purpose, the mage carried himself as if he held wisdom of his. He even explicitly declared such out loud towards his companion.

"Pardon me, but your words speak of purpose in these lands of which I know naught of. You hold knowledge of those ruins, or of where we are?" He inquired in search for any further information. If She wouldn't tell him, he'd have to go and find out for himself.

As always.

Atrix
 
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Atrix

Thirsty for dat Magic
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As much as his excitement dragged him forward, he was still a prisoner to the demands of Hyat, who was still recovering. While Atrix was a well off mage who could, by all accounts, take care of himself he did not wish to risk his own bodily harm. Why put oneself in danger when someone else was paid to do so? So, he waited, and he decided he was going to spend his time drawing out what he saw. Though he was mostly going to have to scribble outlines, the image was seared into his brain, and he would be able to detail the drawings later. He was sure he could sell the pictures to some archivists down the road and make a quick prophet.

"Pardon me, but your words speak of purpose in these lands of which I know naught of. You hold knowledge of those ruins, or of where we are?"

Atrix looked up and a man leaning upon a staff had spoken directly to him. It was just now that he was even realizing that other people had arrived. The man seemed to be older than Atrix, but by how much, he could not tell and from the way he so powerfully spoke out to Atrix without a second thought lead him to believe he was not one who suffered from bouts of shyness.

Behind him, Atrix noticed, was a very small statured and seemingly struggling looking woman. But, she was no mere woman, no she was something special. Something he had never seen before. Immediately the curiosity overtook him and his eyes widened. He fought the urges to approach her and begin his interrogation process. What mysteries to the world did she hold within her mind that he could utilize? Ah, no matter, now was not the time. There were clearly more pressing issues to behold.

"Purpose yes," Atrix said as he returned his gaze to the man who had spoken to him. "But fear not my staff wielding companion for you are not alone in your lack of knowledge of these lands. Those ruins I seek, I know nothing of, however that is precisely why the purpose to discover what secrets it holds is so strong."

He smiled and he quickly approached the man and positioned himself beside him. He reached to put his arm around the mans shoulder and he used his free arm to motion out towards the lands before them. "Look at it, but not just with your eyes, no look with your sense of wonder and imagination. We four are the first foreign foots to stand upon this land in who knows how long. Out there sits knowledge. Knowledge long thought gone, deemed possibly forbidden by those who would harbor it all to themselves, and yet here we stand ready to absorb it all."

He removed himself from beside the man and stepped forward, his eyes twinkling with wonder and excitement. "My good man today we become pioneers for the future of our world. Riches, fame, and the secrets removed forcefully from our books are right there ready for us to take," He turned his head to face the man once more. "I do hope you shall join me."

Kiros Rahnel Seska the Dragonslayer
 
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"Sense of wonder and imagination," she said suddenly as she came upon the pair unannounced. She had rested as much as she was going to be able, all things considered equal. She looked towards the ruins and the settlement with the faintest of interest. It was not the same as his, though; likely, she had been here before. She just needed something to jog her memory - an impossible task, it would seem. The mind could only hold so much knowledge, and she had long since reached her capacity for learning new things, or even retaining the old. "If only." Her voice was high-pitched, which was almost comical coming from her diminutive frame.

She remained a polite distance away from the pair, regarding both with eyes the color of amethyst. She held her staff in both hands before her, fingers laced together as she leaned on it. The hot wind blowing off the mainland ruffled the pale blue skirts of her dress, and made the waist length silver of her hair dance.

The faintest of smiles curved her lips. "Forbidden knowledge? Riches? Fame?" Inwardly, she rolled her eyes. The things that drove the short-lived races always seemed to revolve around power and fame. The same old wheel, rolling along the same old road. Weakness drives the desire to seek power, that leads to tyrannical abuse of that power and ultimately calamity that invites more power-seeking behavior, and so forth. "Children often get burned by playing with things that they should not," she observed, and shrugged. She cast a sidelong look at the portal stone, and shook her head. "But there are some things that I would very much like to learn, if it is even possible."

She disliked having to look up at either of these men, but it was something she had long, long ago learned to deal with. I hope you are well wherever you are, Draedamyr. Some children don't ever grow up and learn not to stick their hands into holes. In this, she was as guilty as they were.
 

Kiros Rahnel

Outcast Priest
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He looked to the man speaking to him in response and gained a sense of hope when he began to speak affirmatively of purpose. No sooner was it found than it was lost upon hearing his honest admission that he held no further knowledge than Kiros did himself – but the man spoke of secrets. It was a start; his own holy quest could be considered to be among such secrets, given his own current lack of divine direction.

On being approached, Kiros briefly wondered where he was going; even stepping aside before his posture stiffened up at the arm around his shoulder. He eyed the man, hiding his discomfort at the unexpected embrace from a total stranger. Bothersome, but not offensive; at least not so much as to cause the priest to give protest. He was candid with his lack of awareness of the place - but even so, the mage must clearly know more than Kiros did himself. He at least held knowledge that had caused him to venture out here in search of the secrets he claimed the land held. The full repository of Kiros’ regional wisdom, on the other hand, consisted entirely of the lone fact that She told him to go.

In awkward position at his side, he spoke of wonder and imagination; words that held vastly different meaning to the worn priest. His new companion continued in explanation that he wondered about ancient knowledge, and imagined gaining wisdom from it. Kiros was wondering whether this quest would be the death of him, and imagined it well might. As he figured, sometimes forgotten legends were best left alone. Itra had taught him that. Albeit, indirectly.

Kiros relaxed as the man finally moved away and granted him his personal space anew. He saw eyes and heard voice that was lit with far more hope than he held. Kiros was far less enthused, though he would keep his own doubt to himself so as not to spoil the morale of the adventurous mage. Naive as he might seem in attitude, he clearly held talents that might be of use – in addition to his willingness to accompany him. Kiros gave nod of affirmation in response, but before he could speak a voice high in pitch interrupted.

Kiros turned his attention to her next with a glance; this one carried herself as if she might know more. Curious as he was, he listened to her words with hope for any further wisdom. But there was little more to be gained, as it quickly grew evident that she was merely philosophizing. Irksome that she was giving her own unrequested opinion on the situation; one he not only shared, but had refused to make explicit. Unlike the tactful nature the mage had displayed, this one was clearly the sort that was quick to speak her mind. Watching on, Kiros procured his pipe from his robes and packed it while she continued, anticipating that his patience might need the help.

“...A long winded means of stating you hold no knowledge, either.” He retorted dryly, before lighting the material packed within the pipe and taking a draw from it.
 
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Xzaar Vixneel

Just An Elusive Empath.
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Magic is a fickle thing. It's unpredictability is either a strong ally or a formidable. In Xzaar's case, it was the latter. Things were normal until his magic started fizzling when he needed it the most. Ice arrows that melted midair, earthquake ones that just flipped a stone and plants that never grew are a few of the embarrassing moments for this elf throughout his fights in the falwood. He hasn't felt this way since he was a novice. He's heard of others talking about how the portal stones have been acting unnatural, occurring near the same time his magic has been disrupted. A newly activated stone also showed up, so he reluctantly violated his oath to Falwood by leaving it to investigate this issue. He assumes the solution relies wherever that new stone leads. Can't effectively defend his home with his magic screwing up, can he? In an expedition filled with uncertainty, one thing is for certain.

I'm never taking these god forsaken stones again...
The short journey was dismaying and nauseating for the pool elf. Nobody explicitly stated that the portal stones would torment you with the whisperers of who knows what the fuck. followed by a cryptic message and the ominous beating of what sounds like a heart. By the time he arrived on the other side, he was pale. knees weak (ARMSWEREHEAVY-) and he narrowly resisted the urge to throw up. (MOMSSPAGHETTI.) The thing is, this is his first trip with a portal stone. He's never felt something.. bigger than him. Sure, orc big, dreadlord power big, but that shit was frightening. He would've lost his mind if he saw drakomir with his own eyes. Most he felt was the earthquakes, stars and plume of smoke.

His fear subsided when he saw other people nearby. He seems to have appeared at the tail end of some conversation. Taking a small glance around the area, he saw a tower, ruins and what he hopes to every DEITY is a damn statue. He would've made an attempt to sense the others aura or read off their emotions, but he's too queasy and unnerved by the portal stones to do any of that. He despises how uncharacteristic his response is considering how trivial the reasoning is-- especially that he's in public-- but
Screw it. He took a big ol' sit on a boulder nearby to calm himself down. He needs to get out way more.
 
Xihuitl's introduction

Xihuitl

Chi'nzen Scout
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Unfamiliar scents on the air. Voices in languages he did not recognize. A stone, long dead, brought to life. It seemed even more was changing in the south than he had suspected.

He had crept, silent as a whisper, until he could see the newcomers. The stone they surrounded hummed with an intensity he did not understand, but that felt somehow familiar. He watched them with golden eyes from behind the thick brush. They did not appear to sense him.

Their presence would need to be reported to the hive.

A new scent drew his antennae aside, born on shifting winds. This one he knew. It must not find them.

He turned, and in a moment of carelessness, snapped a twig beneath his foot.

The scent grew nearer.
 

Atrix

Thirsty for dat Magic
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Atrix was used to those around him lacking in the same drive that he possessed. It was a commonality that had followed him since he had been a child. He would find those who had a passing interest in a subject but he would leave them behind with his obsessive nature. It was not enough to do something as a hobby, no, he had to drop everything and learn the ins and outs of his current fascinations and leave no stone unturned. As it turned out, not everyone was this way, and it seemed to make most people uncomfortable. He could not, for the life of him, understand why.

The tiny one spoke up and Atrix peered over the mans shoulder and his eyes lit up. He immediately moved himself to the side and clasped his hands together, eager to hear what she had to say. His excitement seemed to wane as it became apparent that both of these two lacked a certain..... volume of words. The tiny one was mostly cryptic and appeared to look down upon the two of them while the other man seemed more concerned with lighting his pipe.

"You are leaving out the most important part of your, admittedly, sarcastic lesson," Atrix said with a smile, making no indication that he was offended or off put by her words. "Children who do not burn themselves never learn that fire is hot. Could you imagine where the world would be if the first Mage did not seek out how to use their innate ability because they were afraid they might be burned? The unknown is the only way we can progress!"

Despite her, he assumed, slight resignation to allow herself to enjoy this journey he could still hear the yearning for something within her. He fought the urge to use his empathy magic to get a read on her emotions, it was too volatile, and she was obviously of magical nature. He had found that trying to use it on anyone other than humans had... odd results. In fact, he spent about a week in the medical wing of Elbion College because he had tried to collect the magic from emotion off of an Orc that was in the local town. Every species was different and he was not able to use the same techniques he could on the humans he was used to.

He slowly approached the tiny little one and he tried his best to appear sympathetic and understanding. He truly felt this way but his odd demeanor often gave off different vibes than what he was intending. "I would love nothing more than to join you on your journey to help you seek whatever knowledge it is you are after," He offered a smile and then he turned to the other man with his pipe. "You as well, my friend, I would help you find what it is you seek. I do not ask for you to come along with me without offering the same back to you! Together we can all find whatever it is we are looking for here in these lands......"

The sound of a twig snapping brought his attention to a thicket of brush. He narrowed his eyes and he reached out with his hand to sense an energy. A foreign one. One he had never experienced before. With a wave of his hand he parted the brush and revealed the first foreign species since he had been here. "How fascinating!" Atrix said as he reached into his breast pocket and pulled his journal back out, grabbed his quill, and began a quick sketch of the creature. His attention had gone from those around him and was focused solely on this creature now. "Hello, friend!" He said with a smile as he approached the animal and tried to appear as harmless as possible.

Seska the Dragonslayer Xihuitl Kiros Rahnel
 
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She cast a sidelong look at the unnamed adventurer, a touch of color in her cheeks. Embarrassment? Anger? She schooled herself to stillness outwardly, although inwardly she was chagrined by the response. For some reason, she had chosen the more pretentious, better-than-thee introduction with these people, and that would simply not work in any real way.

"I hold plenty of knowledge," the sidhe said, shaking her head. "Whether it is worthwhile or worthless is anyone's guess." She sketched the shallowest of curtsies to the pair, face a blank mask. "The name is Seska, by the way. I would be grateful if you could help me find what I seek, but I doubt you have the answer to that question. I have been looking for it for longer than you can even imagine." She sounded a bit...worn, especially on the last point.

She did not comment on the need to push the boundaries. Most did not listen, believing that the worst that could happen was some burned fingers when, in truth, the cost could be beyond their limited comprehension. "No, I just seek a way - against my better judgement - to remain alive. Can you not feel the unsteadiness in the prim?" She looked up into the mages eyes. She doubted very much that he was sensitive enough to feel all of the odd oscillations in the tide of magic through the world; humans were the worst for missing the subtleties of the world of magic, but most of the others were scarcely any better. Her life revolved around and, to a greater extent, depended on the presence of magic as a whole.

"Working together to alleviate whate-" she began, but cut off as the sharp sound caught her attention, pointed ear twitching at it. She did not move, not immediately; instead, she seized control of the prim, calling forth a violent torrent of power into her flesh. It felt like being drunk, almost; the ancient power was intoxicating and sweet. But it was not quite right, either. There was something within the flow that waxed and waned, perplexing beyond belief.

The magic coursing through her like a mighty river, held within its banks by millennia of practice, granted her increased perception, enhanced senses. She seldom thought of them as a useful benefit - seldom thought of them at all - but now she was listening very carefully. It became readily apparent that her high-talking 'friend' was an idiot of the highest magnitude, and it was with some small wonder that she contemplated how he had survived as long as he had.

"Idiot," she muttered under her breath. "Good sir, you might think before you approach that fellow. It is armed," she noted, indicating the spear and bits of leather armor. It was definitely not an animal. it also did not stir any memories within her.

Unlike him, she held her ground, although she did straighten. Both hands clasped her staff in white-knuckled grip; her eyes scanned their surroundings looking for anymore. If there was one, there could be more, and if there were more, this could be a trap. She held her magic tightly, revealing nothing of her ability beyond the feeling of sorcerous potential.

A big question mark, and one she did not intend to reveal any sooner than required.
 

Kiros Rahnel

Outcast Priest
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224
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A world without magic; for a brief moment, Kiros let his imagination wander. Such a scenario would render him unable to heal or protect; a small sacrifice to make for a such a world that would not require it so. Elbion would still be standing, and Dornoch would have been spared that elemental’s wrath. Oh, he couldn't count the number of cost lives he had personally witnessed that might not have met such ends, had it not been for the dangers of the arcane and the deadly consequences they so often brought. Divine magic too, was historically guilty of inflicting the same tragedies upon Arethil’s mortal denizens; though Kiros considered disasters brought by divine effect as not disasters at all, but as the gods enforcing their will upon their world. That was different.

The mage continued on to explain his attitude with a metaphor taken to be ominously worrisome. He implied disregard for consequences, quite eagerly leaning into the other’s comparison to a child mucking about irresponsibly with forces they ought not. Kiros took another draw from his pipe in concern. Lore was rife with accounts of those who sought such power and lived not to enjoy it, but rather expired in cautionary tale to others. While Kiros held interest in history, he had absolutely no desire to make more of it. His own desires carried little weight; Itra wanted him to be here, and so here he was.

The arrival of another gained his notice, but not his attention. The newcomer clearly needed a moment of respite while the conversation with Seska continued on.

Kiros Rahnel. And no; I've not the answer, but arrive in possession of the same question.” He introduced himself. He was well aware of what little he knew; given that, he was quite certain her hypothesis was true.

He heard her speak of the prim. It was how Lyssia had referred to her arcane ability; that this one before him did too told them they shared not just the same race, but the same form of magic. An unsurprising facet all Sidhe shared; but for Kiros, the discovery was fresh. She was correct in her assumptions; that the nature of magic had been amiss entirely escaped his notice. Unlike the others, his magic was confined by far more limits – enough so that the divine mage hardly had use of them in much of his daily life. For the past week and then some, the only magic he had used was his incantation of insight. Which had been unreliable lately, not that Kiros gave any notice to it; the spell often was. An eyebrow raised slightly in curiosity as he digested this information; yet another tidbit to add to the growing pile in his attempt to determine what Itra wanted of him this time. Given Itra’s nature, it made sense that such a matter would be of great import – yet both befuddling and maddening that She informed him not of it.

Despite his reluctance he was, of course, here for much the same reasons as they; and now purpose was beginning to take shape. Magic played an important part of Her domain; and any peril thereof would matter a great deal to Her. He could only guess why She had refused to make explicit mention of it. Likely out of pride, he mused. It was mere guess; about the only thing he truly understood about Her in all these years was just how difficult understanding Her was.

Such thoughts were given interruption by the sudden and unexpected sound of a twig snapping beneath the presence of another, some distance yonder. Attention snapped towards the disturbance immediately, with his staff brought closer to his body in reflexive preparation for spellcasting. There was only one incantation that came to mind – the same spell of insight that had been all he had used in days as of late. He was hesitant to cast it, cautious about revealing their position to the creature. A caution not shared by the mage, whose overt response made such concerns redundant. With an inward sight and a softly spoken prayer, Kiros let the spell loose upon whatever unknown being had been watching them.

The one beside you wields arcane power

The result of his arcane inquiry was useless; revealing information about Seska rather than the true target of his spell. Kiros had learned absolutely nothing. Under normal circumstances it would have at least revealed whether the entity was arcane or not, but misfire made it fail to give answer to even that basic question. Rather, his scrying had revealed information both useless and redundant.

That which casts magic is arcane, yes. And that which burns is hot.

Perhaps the mage might see more value in this spell, he mused in disappointment at his own failure in scrying for answers.
 
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Seneschal's Voice

Seneschal

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Atrix Xzaar Vixneel Seska the Dragonslayer Kiros Rahnel

Men came this way, searching for Eolydiir's Crook. They have found it, but I cannot see where...

Few in Tirnua speak common. You may have better luck if any speak orcish or komodi. Explore the colourful market town in the bones of a once great civilisation. Some may have seen the party of humans come through weeks back. Xihuitl is close and may know more.
 
Amoxtli's introduction

Amoxtli

The Quill
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Amoxtli's violet and magenta crest shot upward, the feathers fluffing out in the disturbance. His black beady eyes would narrow, hyper-focusing as he would peer up towards the sky.

A low sneer drew across his upper lip, revealing razor-sharp teeth. A cluck of his tongue and he ruffled his feathers anew.

The Quill sat upon the highest perch upon a craggy limb, from there, he then rotated his attention towards the individuals discussing below.

If anyone were to noticeAmoxtli, they would see a small, feather reptilian creature with a large, colorful feathered crest upon the top of his head. Around his torso, there was a leather strap that ran diagonally towards a small pouch. He would be no bigger than a large eagle, perhaps standing just below knee-high.

Another cluck, and then it would peer quizzingly at Kiros Rahnel, listening intently.


Atrix Xzaar Vixneel Seska the Dragonslayer Kiros Rahnel
 
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Xihuitl

Chi'nzen Scout
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The large insect whirled around as his cover was torn from him. He was crouched, every muscle tensed in simultaneous desire to flee and remain absolutely still. He had no lungs with which to pant, but his antennae twitched this way and that. His eyes remained static, unblinking orbs of glittering gold as the man approached.

His motion was not hostile, nor was his tone, though his companions seemed more wary. Had this man wanted to attack surely he would have by now, commanding the winds as he could.

Again the dilemma: fight, flee, remain? He was capable with his spear, but he was one against three. He could run and hide amongst the leaves, but would the wind-puller allow him to go? Would his purpose be unfulfilled if he did not stay to learn more?

He had a mission. He would carry it through.

Xihuitl slowly set his spear on the ground, staying crouched. He hoped these aliens would understand the gesture. He reached up with a single limb and pointed directly at Atrix. He then took another thin limb and pointed at his own sharp finger. Finally, he touched the stone at his throat.

Then he waited. His antennae swiveled back behind him. The scent drew nearer, they were short on time.
 
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A tense moment as the creature whirled to face the party. The sweet song of sorcery that sang in her veins rose an octave, becoming an insistent melody demanding release...but the fae resisted the urge to strike as dispassionately as could be done. A long life taught a lot of patience. Patience was easy enough to come by when you had no concern for the passage of time.

It was a different skill altogether from not being rash in a situation like this.

With her senses heightened by the presence of the prim, she did notice the smaller creature that had lighted in the tree. Colorful, and much like the one before her, clearly sapient judging from the worked tools it carried. She cast a single cool glance upward to it before returning her maint attention to what looked nothing so much as a giant bug to her.

Not letting her guard down, she unclasped her hands and held the staff - taller than she was - in a single hand, moving slowly and carefully. If this one felt provoked and attacked, she did not know that she could defend herself properly. Uncertain as magic had become, it was her only method to defense - and offense; she was physically as weak as a human child, and she doubted very much that this thing was weak.

"I do not think that it can speak," she said aloud. Not that it couldn't speak their language, but that it couldn't speak at all. It had made no sound since discovery or before, near as she could tell. She had no idea what the stone at its neck was for, but perhaps it had something to do with communication? "What is it you wish to tell us?" she asked simply.
 

Kiros Rahnel

Outcast Priest
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With his incantation’s message to be over, the presence of another voice was a surprise. It too spoke of the very same crook the portal stone had spoken of; but not of location nor even what it was. It was a further hint that he hoped would make sense in time – there were other matters of greater current priority.

His full attention returned on the creature in the distance, now exposed by Atrix’s woven spell. Abandoning the application of his own magic, Kiros instead relied on his eyes to observe it. The being was a strange sort. It looked like an odd insect, aside from its notably much larger stature than any he had ever seen. It seemed clear why it had evaded their notice until now, with its sand-coloured body blending into the scenery that surrounded all. Only the golden, glistening eyes stood out; but whether they stared back at him or not he couldn't tell.

He watched on as the being shifted stance and lowered it’s weapon down onto the ground. Kiros mirrored the action he saw; mostly. He tilted the staff forward and slid his grasp upward, holding onto the holy symbol that capped it, while the remaining length leaned against the ground behind him. Concern with the situation made him unwilling to let go of his valued magical focus, and he hoped his less aggressive stance with the weapon would be noted as such by the strange being. The thing itself began to make motion, extending one of it’s limbs outward – not towards him, but to Atrix beside him. He continued to gaze in quizzical curiosity as it made further gestures he ultimately did not comprehend.

Yet a colourful sight in the distance would steal his attention once again. Kiros gazed back at this creature, eyes squinting and sight focusing on it until he could tell clearly that it gazed back upon him. A bird, but of a species he’d never seen anything akin to. Nothing in this land had been familiar, matching no sight he’d seen nor any tale he heard. He could only wonder where he had ended up now.
 

Seneschal

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The winds were gentle, but in this region of Malakath they brought more warmth rather than the cold and damp that came across much of the Eastern continents.

With that wind came the cry of grief. Of a grief. Having watched from the frame of the long dead stone titan, the Skycre had to decided to take flight.

Watching such a small group of tiny humanoids, they knew the group would not survive in the open for long.

The creatures of Malakath would barely even leave bones if they attacked the visitors so the Skycre had decided to fetch the meal for themselves first.

Several Skycre have taken flight and are approaching from the north



Kiros Rahnel Atrix Seska the Dragonslayer Xzaar Vixneel
 

Xihuitl

Chi'nzen Scout
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The visitor did not seem to understand his gestures, but another in the group had adopted a non-hostile stance, so it was overall a positive change. He did not know why, but something told him these individuals were important to the strange happenings of late, he did not wish to fight them.

The shriek of the skycre sent daggers through his heart, and his antennae stood at attention. The scent he had feared was fast upon them.

“Chzn xaliquoi!” To the others it would sound little like a true language. The clicking, hissing tones that his Xihuitl’s body naturally produced held no parallel amongst mammals. There was no longer time to attempt clearer communication, and he gathered his spear and pointed at the sky from which the noise had come. “Znk’riqi!”

He then moved quickly around the group beckoning with three of his arms and pointing towards Tirnua with his spear.

He hoped they would follow, for he would not wait to meet the skycre with them if they chose to stay.
 
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The cry that cut through the stillness raised the hairs on the back of the ancient fae's neck, and she glanced around uneasily for the source of it. There, high in the sky but still distant, were...things. So distant it was hard to tell what they were, but she did not need a looking glass to know something that was not friendly. You did not get to her great age by being unduly careless.

"I do not know what this fellow is saying," she said with a sense of urgency. The flying things were moving quickly enough. "But I believe that those are trouble." She looked towards the settlement the creature was pointing to. Perhaps there was safety there, or it was a trap; in either case, she would much rather have some cover if she had to fight. The magic sang in her veins, called to her, crooned its siren song. She ignored it with the patience of long familiarity.

You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em. There was no information for her to work from, so she would trust the native with her life and figure out later if that had been wise or not. Undignified though it, was, she hiked her skirts up and ran as fast as her short legs would carry her. The others' longer strides would leave her in their dust, and she had no desire to be stranded afield, alone.
 
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Kiros Rahnel

Outcast Priest
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While he gazed at the bird who did likewise upon him, the distant cry of another creature took his attention. Amoxtli had given no motion to suggest itself to be the source of the sound; but Kiros' search for it did not take long, and he soon spotted several other flying creatures off in the distance. But there was nothing available for comparison to get a sense of scale, and these creatures were a far ways away. It seemed doubtful that they were the source of the sound.

Still, something had made that dreadful noise, and whatever creatures it belonged to doubtlessly posed a threat. Former caution against letting his magical focus go had proven wise. He threw his staff back upright from its former position behind him, deftly grasping on with both hands. The strange insect bolted forth as well, hissing and clicking aggressively – clearly in attempt to communicate something. Although Kiros held no clue what he was trying to say, the gestures that accompanied the vocalizations were far form hostile – the sounds seemed to speak of concern or warning. His spear was held again and aimed towards both the source of the sound, and the distant flying figures he had spotted previously. Were they the cause then? Seska seemed to think so; in vocal agreement with his own unmentioned musing. That the noise had been so audible from such great distance implied the flying beasts must be far from diminutive. Worse still; their unchanging positions in the horizon suggested they were heading directly towards the group.

“They can surely bring no good!” He replied, tersely and with a tone of panic.

The insect next pointed towards the town in a manner clearly urgent. It must be suggestion; and given the dire circumstances they were in, Kiros was willing to any that seemed reasonable. It took little to know that they were safer with this strange insect than with the unknown beasts roaming this land. Kiros began his motion towards the town, breaking into a run towards the town with the others. Frequent travels by foot had at least left him well physically conditioned, and his long strides took him towards the town at brisk pace. He continued on for a while before eventually slowing some – just enough to glance behind him and check on those who might be there.
 

Xzaar Vixneel

Just An Elusive Empath.
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Xzaar had chosen to remain silent throughout the entire encounter between his fellow foreigners and this native creature. He had no opinion to express nor did he feel as if he had to. He reclined on a couple boulders he rearranged to resemble a chair with his arms propped up on unstable, lumpy armrests. Most people would find this uncomfortable, but Xzaar is accustomed to relaxing in unpleasant positions. Perhaps it's the elven lineage or survival skills.

He had calmed down during their conversations, watching attentively as the creature had made an attempt at communication at first. It was stealthy and it appeared to not attack unless there was a clear threat. It was then when he heard it as well. That... he has no idea. The others looked to the skies and he did as well. Birds of some kind? He can't quite make it out from that far away. The creature spoke in a language unlike any he's ever heard before. It was fascinating to hear. A new language and culture to explore.

He was so intrigued by this insects attempt to communicate, he disregarded the meaning behind it. It clicked for him afterwards that something was amiss. The creature was apprehensive. The way it's antennae shot straight up meant it was alerted to something. The point to the sky, his urgent march around the group before him...

Fuck! it's a warning.
Although his mind showed up fairly late to the party and by the time he sensed danger, the others were already dashing away. "Where did my mind go!" He'll have to cuss at himself later for not being alert in a foreign land, but for now, it's time to run! Or in this case glide. He leapt up from his rocky recliner, activating his plant manipulation to call the grass and surrounding leaves to his aid. A sizeable amount of grass uprooted itself as leaves detached from the trees closest to him. The amalgamation of plant matter swirled before he made his descent, catching and carrying him alongside the others in a green flurry. A nice way of transportation when a horse isn't present.
 
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Atrix

Thirsty for dat Magic
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Atrix ignored the tiresome antics of the tiny creature as she called him names and pointed out the obvious that the creature was armed. He held back the also obvious observation that they were also armed and outnumbered the tiny creature by a large margin. The arrogance of older and inherently "wiser" beings always seemed to rub him the wrong way. Especially considering that he was no mere human, his mother was an Elf, and her blood ran through his veins. He had always been ousted by her side of the family for his human side but he never let that bother him. The same way he did not let her words bother him.

He also did not rub it in when the creature put down his weapon and tried to sign something to the group. He pointed specifically at Atrix and his eyes lit up with excitement. "What gave it away?" Atrix asked, a bit of sarcasm echoing in her voice when she, yet again, pointed out the obvious about it not being able to speak. However, he doubted it wasn't that it COULDN'T speak, but it spoke in a language that they could not comprehend. He made sure to note his actions for study at a later time.

His desire to attempt communication was quickly destroyed when the creature picked up his spear and pointed to the sky. Atrix turned his head and he found himself, yet again, awestruck. "This land is outstanding!" He said loudly as the others turned tail and began to run. Hyat, recovering from his sickness, nervously stood beside Atrix with his sword drawn and was eyeballing the way the others were running. He may not be the smartest man, however, his loyalty was unwavering. "Oh go along, Hyat, I will follow behind shortly." Atrix said with the wave of his hand as he stood still sketching a rough outline of the creatures in the sky.

As the creatures drew nearer, and based on his estimations of their speed, he realized when he would no longer have time to flee. Placing his sketch book in his robe, he waved his hand and summoned a nice rock that he would be able to stand upon. He turned tail and pulled the rock along with his magic and he leapt atop the rock which would hold his weight and carry him along, floating just above the ground at a decent speed.

He watched as the other man, who he had not spoken to, use the earth to transport him and Atrix hovered over alongside him. In a cheerful voice not consistent with two men fleeing from three unknown and deadly creatures he spoke out to Xzaar. "What fascinating magic! You must teach me how to travel in this manner!"

Xzaar Vixneel Kiros Rahnel Seska the Dragonslayer Xihuitl
 
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The Herald

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The amalgamation of plant matter swirled before he mads his descent, catching and carrying him alongside the others in a green flurry. A nice way of transportation when a horse isn't present.

He turned tail and pulled the rock along with his magic and he leapt atop the rock which would hold his weight and carry him along, floating just above the ground at a decent speed.

But magic was not behaving correctly in the world...

The greenery touched by magic started to turn to shades of red, as if autumn itself bled into everything the magic touched.

The rock on which Atrix sat shuddered. Cracks spread through the stone as it started to inch closer and closer towards the ground.
 

Xihuitl

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The skycres were fast, and they were closing. Xihuitl darted through the underbrush with practiced ease. He could hear the spells firing behind him, but he dared not look back. He hoped the travelers were following.

Ear-splitting shrieks came from the skies above, painful to listen to. The walls of Tirnua loomed up ahead.

Chi'Xilixi did not go to Tirnua, this he knew. There was nothing good in that place, nothing useful. He had even heard stories of predators lurking the very streets, but he was out of options.

As they drew closer, a horn sounded from within the city walls. A heavy bolt rocketed overhead, missing a pursuing skycre by mere feet as it landed with a earth-shaking thud just behind the fleeing party.