Titanfall Preventing Disaster: The Sleeping Sea

For threads related to the Titanfall event of 2021

Velaeri

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Not but an hour passed following the leaving of those meant for the Wilds when again the stone began to glow, this time an electric blue.

Magic had yet to restore itself in the dwindling hour between - in fact it continued to feel lesser with every passing moment.

This time the stone's vibrancy was ever tumultuous and erratic, like a storm raging across the open ocean.

The way to the Sea is open.

Chaceledon Seteta Tess

?? Mirielle Merlon Ezra Archiva ??
?? Jürgen Kaiser ??​
 

Chaceledon

The Draconian Diva
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Magic was lessening with each passing hour. Chaceledon was...so cold. He was convinced setting himself afire would be warmer. He sat by their campfire in the largest, fluffiest coat he had left. It was trimmed in bear fur and without a doubt would leave anyone not caught in a snow drift utterly sweltering. Except for a man whose body heat was dictated by the world around him, and his own inner fire.

It was guttering dangerously low. His fingers and lips were pale, on the edge of being blue. He thrust his hands into the fire and washed them as though it were merely warm water, to bring some warmth back. Occasionally, Nestor would toss one of the blotting papers into the fire to cause a flare up of hot purple flames.

The stone glowed blue. Chaceledon looked at it. “You have to do something, and soon.” Nestor told him softly. That ascerbic edge had been dulled by fresh nosebleeds and episodes of disorientation.

Seteta
Tess
 

Tess

Skull like a Coconut, Arms like Toothpicks
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Tall Dark and Homicidal's personality changes were becoming routing pretty quickly, even for Tess, but this one was a little more... Pushy. More pen and quill pushy, like a few mages she'd met way back when, but still looking like he'd pop her skull in one hand and relieve her of her coins with the other.

"Goldenseal, celery root, and alder bark? Yeah, one second," she stated, turning to dig through her bag for the requested items. At least, she was until her arms flopped uselessly against the flap.

"Oh, right."

She dumped the bag on the ground and plopped down on her rear before kicking off her boots. Feet now bare, she wiggled her toes and expertly opened the flap of the bag. Magic was waning, enchantments were fading, and she knew that included her own gear. Working quickly and making sure to repeat the proper Words when their power fluxed, she dug through the many compartments of her bag with her feet.

She yanked out a small, burlap wrapped bundle of goldenseal and nudged to one side before snagging a small glass bottle with dried bark within and set it down. She dug her feet back in, the words flowing as she muttered under her breath. Unfortunately, magic fluctuated as she went back for the last item.

Her bag was... complicated. Appearing as a weathered, stained, and worn satchel bag, it was an intricate work of arcane art. She'd woven magic into the fabric, the leather, the lining, and the compartments. It would bounce to her when summoned, it could defend itself when asked, it could even keep the contents clean and dry in any weather. Unfortunately, with magic destabilized, the more complex enchantments were... temperamental.

As she shifted from one dimensional pocket to another, the contents, for lack of a better word, were vomited out of the bag and directly at her. Scores of items poured out, landing this way and that, many of which impacted on her face, limbs, and body.

The upside was it wasn't any of the more volatile compartments in her bag, which meant she was relatively unharmed, if mildly annoyed.

The downside was that when a food pocket implodes, you take a string of preserved sausages, a jar of pickled beets, and half a slightly-less-than-fresh cabbage to the face.

Tess sat back up and shook the mildly wilted leaves off her face, unknowing or uncaring that the sausages had formed a shawl across her neck and shoulders. She held a foot aloft, dangling a small pouch between her toes and flashed a grin despite losing weeks worth of provisions, most of which she'd actually forgotten about months, perhaps even years, ago.

"Celery root! Got it!"

Chaceledon Seteta
 

Mirielle Merlon

Noble of Lazular
The Empire
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ELBION STONE
Ezra Archiva

A circle five meters across offered little room for Mirielle's detachment. The bulk of the horsemen remained at the camp they'd set up. In fact, the only one whose company Mirielle requested was Algrin, a big blue orc - a Sereti Ogre, a mountain cartomancer. They'd shared worried asides while scouring folktale for scant insights. If a library was a feast, this endeavor was the equivalent of sifting undigested grain out of dry camel dung.

When the Portal Stone pulsed blue, Mirielle grimaced and urged her red mare into the circle. Barely waiting for Algrin and Ezra, she touched what she hoped was the appropriate rune in the appropriate way. The plains by the Cairou vanished.
 

Ezra Archiva

Summoner of Elbion
Elbion College
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Ezra felt as though he hadn't blinked in an hour.

The young mage had spent the period staring at the stone, glaring at it with enough intensity that, had it not been a magical stone of unknown origin and capabilities or this not just been a metaphor, it would have surely melted beneath his gaze. Thoughts ran through his head, ones of excitement mixed freely with anxiousness and curiosity.

Every few minutes, as if to interrupt their waiting, the conjurer would try to summon some magic to his palms—anything, really. A flare of light, a small gust of wind, maybe a little sprite, something to prove magic hadn't left them in its entirety. Alas, the only thing his attempts brought them was disappointment and confirmation that magic had not only failed to be restored but that it had dwindled even further past its already dismal state. The mere thought of trying to raise some of his mana and manifest required a significant amount of effort, an incredibly worrying prospect for someone who places a not-insignificant amount of pride in magic.

Yet when the portal stone before them hummed with newfound life once more, Ezra was ready.

Well, mostly ready. At least a little bit, he surmised.

Shaking doubt from his head, he stepped forward into the circle moments after Mirielle.

Mirielle Merlon
 

Seteta

The Dragon's Beloved
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FALWOOD STONE

Under any other circumstances, Seteta would have taken advantage of the time to speak with Nestor, especially about the portal stones and the runes and what all was happening with magic in general. But all she could do was watch worriedly as Chaceledon grew colder and colder by the minute and then watch in horror as Tess's bag... exploded.

Seteta thought that she'd relied on magic too much before this, but that was before she encountered Tess.

It was all too quickly that the second moon ascended to its height, and the portal stone glowed blue.

Seteta rose from where she sat, and pulled Tess to her feet with a huff, then returned and extended her hand to her lover. Tess's arms were malfunctioning, but her legs were working just fine, and the mage could get herself to the portal stone.

"We have to go, Chaceledon."

His hand was like ice against hers. "I don't want to go without you," she whispered, her fear of being separated from him evident in her eyes.

Gently, she pulled him to his feet, and then paused for a moment to look at Rheinhard-Nestor. "We'll be back," she promised, and gave Chaceledon a moment to say farewell, then led him to the portal stone.

"Together," she whispered, lacing her fingers through his. "We can overcome anything together."

Then they stepped into the circle.

Chaceledon
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Chaceledon

The Draconian Diva
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Chaceledon knew she was right. Tess’ bag had exploded, vomiting months of half spoiled food out onto the ground along with whatever magic components she’d been ferreting away. He could see Nestor seethe. The Volkers had universally been raised hating waste, but Rheinhard and Nestor took it hardest. Rotting food was a crime to them. The dragon would have laughed if he wasn’t so cold.

Seteta saw the stone too, and urged them toward it. Chaceledon got up and hugged Nestor tightly, ignoring the stiffened posture that meant the man was not enjoying it. Chaceledon didn’t care; some of them would. Nestor sighed and let the dragon kiss his cheek, clasping Chaceledon’s arm.

Warmth, blessed warmth, leeched into the dragon’s bones. “For a few days. Don’t waste it.” Nestor said softly.

“You used my alexandrite..” Chaceledon began softly.

“Half for you, half to keep me alive and the Well together. Now go. That heat isn’t going to keep you forever.” Nestor patted his cheek, about as close as he’d get to a kiss, and Chaceledon hurried after Seteta into the portal.

Seteta Tess
 

Tess

Skull like a Coconut, Arms like Toothpicks
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Tess finished shoving things back in her bag and left the food behind, primarily because she now no longer had a place to put any of it though also because some of it looked a tad... old. She made a mental note to clean out her bag more often and crammed her boots back onto her feet. A quick second was all she needed to work the strap of the bag over her neck and shoulder once more and, leaving the trio of things Tall Dark and Murderous, or Mr Murder as she was starting to become fond of, broke out into a run to the portal's circle.

"Hey, wait for m- FUG!"

Rocks being rocks, Tess being Tess, and gravity equalizing all things in the end, the young mage tripped and flew over the edge of the circle. The magical rock flashed and she felt herself both there and not there, courtesy of the usual presence of powerful teleportation magic.

The basic idea was simple. Take a person, their essence, and their spirit and put it somewhere else. 'Where' was as easy as selecting the appropriate runes (though sometimes she picked a random one because life had been unusually boring lately) and popping up where you wanted. The problem here was that Tess had no idea where this one was going outside a cryptic label of 'the Sea', which she was pretty sure meant an unspoken 'at the bottom of' preceding the name.

Hopefully, she absently wondered as her very being flew - or fell? - through the untold vastness of space and time, she wouldn't impact on anything solid. Again.

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Te Kiva Landing New

Velaeri

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For those who were familiar with travel by portal stone, they might recall the whispers and echoes of voices that had haunted these magical pathways for as long as anyone could remember. While historian nor mage could explain their origins or purpose, many had suspected they were tied to the lost souls of those who had built the portal stones themselves.

Recent developments over the last few weeks of the voices growing louder, and a heartbeat joining the din, made many believe that hypothesis was not so wrong.

Tonight, however, the voices were gone. The heartbeat had stopped. The feeling of magic shifting bodies across vast expanses of land was more disorienting and uncomfortable than ever. As if it were being forced, instead of happening as part of a natural inclination of the world's magic. Speculations about the dangers of travel by portal stone never felt more justified than now...

The Gathered that had chosen the Sea suddenly spilled into an underwater cavern faintly lit by bioluminescent crystals and algae. They found themselves collected in a heap around a portal stone, but not one that anyone had ever seen or used before. The water of the seas sat at bay behind invisible walls.

Strangely, this stone radiated magic like a fire did warmth, unimpeded by what seemed to be effecting the rest of Arethil.

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They had appeared in a place known as Te Kiva.

Chaceledon Seteta Tess Ezra Archiva Mirielle Merlon
 
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Chaceledon

The Draconian Diva
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They landed in a place with eerily familiar bluish green light. Chaceledon grabbed Seteta instinctively, a sharp inhale of breath hissing between his teeth. For a moment, terror grabbed him. A bioluminescent garden far beneath the surface of the earth...but there was no black house. There were no granite walls. This wasn’t Witherhold. After a few minutes he relaxed his grip on Seteta, wincing. His glass nails had cut her skin a bit in his panic. He got up, fixing his multitudinous layers of white robes, and clawing his hair into some semblance of normalcy. He didn’t know who these other people were, but they’d regret it if they were hostile

Invisible walls of water kept their chamber full of air...Chaceledon approached one, staring, reaching out tentatively to touch one then smelling his fingers. “...salt water? We’re underneath the sea? How is this possible? How are we not drowning?” he wondered aloud. He looked back at his desert elf, anxiously pulling his hair over one shoulder. How were they supposed to get out? What seals were they seeking?

Most importantly what would Rheinhard do? Begin looking for information.

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Seteta

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Seteta's travels by portal stone had been limited, but the last time had definitely not been like this. And while the journey itself was... uncomfortable, there was one thing she noticed immediately upon arrival.

Magic.

And for a moment, it was like she could breathe again. Not that she'd been unable to breathe before, without magic, but she'd felt stifled, almost suffocated at times, when the magic in Arethil would wane. This was like take a deep breath of the purest, cleanest air and being rejuvenated.

And then she realized that while it felt like she could breathe, she couldn't actually breathe.

Or see.

She felt Chaceledon's grip on her, felt his hands tighten around her arms and his glass nails scratch her, but the main problem was what was on top of her. It was heavy and smelled rotten, and Seteta scowled as she got her hands around whatever--whoever--was on her and shoved.

The smell--like salty sea river and old food--could only mean it was Tess. Seteta was not nearly as fastidious as Chaceledon about cleanliness, but she still shuddered as the smells clinging to her clothes. Clothes that she wouldn't have the opportunity to clean for quite some time.

She straightened her clothes and uncovered her face, and looked over when she heard Chaceledon murmuring to see him investigating their surroundings.

Invisible walls of water kept their chamber full of air...Chaceledon approached one, staring, reaching out tentatively to touch one then smelling his fingers. “...salt water? We’re underneath the sea? How is this possible? How are we not drowning?” he wondered aloud. He looked back at his desert elf, anxiously pulling his hair over one shoulder.

"Magic," she answered, eyes soft with affection as she smiled. "Don't you feel it?"

Then she turned back to the rest of the group, because it seemed that others had joined them coming through the portal stone.

"I'm Seteta," she introduced herself to the others as they situated themselves, though she eyed the new woman curiously. She had the look of the desert about her, and Seteta smiled. If the woman spoke Abtat, Seteta would welcome conversation with a hopefully friendly companion. She'd only spoken her native tongue with wraiths and manipulative fae recently.

Regardless, hopefully they'd get introductions out of the way quickly, though. Who knew what kind of time they had to figure out everything that needed to be done.

Tess
Chaceledon
Ezra Archiva
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Tess

Skull like a Coconut, Arms like Toothpicks
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Thankfully she landed on something soft. Or, at least, at first. She had just enough time to relish in the lack of heavily impacting against unyielding material when she was unceremoniously shoved off of the softness and onto cold, hard stone.

She rolled over and sat up, brushing herself off as she levered herself up and looked around. Eerie glow? Check. Somewhere underwater? Check. Saltwater? Check. More random strangers? Check. At this rate, she figured why not? Invite everyone to accompany her, Mr Fancy Dandy, and Miss Snarky Elf at this point. At least she could feel the presence of magic here, which made things a bit better, at least.

"We're not drowning because someone at some point set up a shield here," she said, absentmindedly popping a sausage from the wreathe of links around her shoulders and taking a bite. "Or, a barrier. Keeps water out, lets objects through. Deceivingly simple cause its a 'let this in, not that out' system, but really difficult to do short term, much less as an installed, permanent feature. Magic gets confused sometimes, lets things in it shouldn't or just shuts down if the magic fluxes. Question I have is... Did someone set this up or is this something the stone's doing. My money's on someone designing this place. Doesn't look like your typical 'sunk into the sea' decor to me."

She casually turned to the random folks who'd portaled in with them and gave a little wave.

"Hi, 'm Tess," she said through another bite of sausage.

Chaceledon Seteta Ezra Archiva Mirielle Merlon
 
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Ezra Archiva

Summoner of Elbion
Elbion College
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Ezra hit the floor with a heavy thud, suddenly gasping for a breath that had unknowingly been stripped from him during the nauseating trip through the portal stone. While he had never been much of a traveler, the few times he did by portal stone were far more relaxing than that traumatic experience was. Instead of the ease of travel it usually provided, it felt almost forced.

Picking himself off the ground that he was so unceremoniously spilled onto, the college mage set his gaze upward, suddenly becoming keenly aware of both their newfound location and company. The most rapidly apparent fact about the area they found themselves in was that it was both underwater and magical, a notion that brought about no small amount of relief to the mana-drained mage.

Noting what one of the others brought up, Ezra added, "The fact it's managing to hold up for so long when the rest of the world's magic is still seemingly on the fritz is impressive. Even travelling through the portal stone just now felt like it was something that was forced to happen."

A moment of silence passed as Ezra stared at the area around them in awe, taking it all in. As Tessa and Seteta introduced themselves, though not the incredibly fancily dressed man with them, he followed suite, saying, "Ah, I'm Ezra. I'll take a guess and say you're here for the same reason we are, the runes and all that?"

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Chaceledon

The Draconian Diva
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Chaceledon turned around with a vicious glare at Tess. The shock had worn off and the reality of the situation was settling in like a rock in his stomach. The Volkers, his beloved sons, had given up magic to keep him warm and themselves stable. Who knew how long the Well would hold? He trusted Nestor to the ends of the earth but not even he could hold together such a complex spell.

Somehow the sight of Tess munching a sausage like it was a Sunday brunch made him black with fury. He marched over and made to slap it right out of her hand. “May I remind you six hundred men precious to me are dying while you snack? Get the fuck up!” he snarled. “We’re here to find seals. You. You look as though you’ve half a grapefruit rattling around in that pretty skull of yours. Start searching for symbols. We all spread out and start looking. Anything that looks relevant.”

The dragon tied up his hair, affixed it with a bronze pin, and began scouting the room. Even as he looked his mind was buzzing. Hopefully Rheinhard would remain stable. The only man who could repair the spell was...not someone they needed in their lives at the moment. He chewed his lip until it bled. There had to be something here. Some glowing rune, some sign.

___________________


Rheinhard wasn’t doing well. It was all he could do to sit by the fire and stay conscious. The Well was shivering like some muscle spasm, and the rooms kept drifting apart. Men would wake and fall asleep again, or find glass from their memories spilling out of their skulls like cups. Blood ran down his face from his nose, ears, and the corners of his eyes.

Rheinhard. It’s time to come home. Oor’s voice was gentle. He felt the Well stabilize a bit. He staggered to his feet, and leaned against the corpse in front of him. The wraith ran a hand over his head. Come home. Magic surged across the bond between them, strengthening the Well and righting it.

Seteta
 

Seteta

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Seteta felt a mild annoyance as Tess started rambling again, but mostly pushed it aside. She smiled and nodded when Ezra introduced himself.

"Ah, I'm Ezra. I'll take a guess and say you're here for the same reason we are, the runes and all that?"

"Yes," Seteta answered, "but I will confess that I know little of runes and their makings. I'm an earth mage, and most of the magic I use is... intuitive."

Before she could say anything further, though, the moment she'd been waiting for since she was reunited with Chaceledon and Rheinhard after Oor briefly captured her finally happened.

Chaceledon snapped. She was sure he would snap again in the future--they'd been through a lot lately, between Oor's machinations and the issues with magic, with precious little time to process any of it--but for now she was just relieved that he wasn't trying to kill anyone.

Somehow the sight of Tess munching a sausage like it was a Sunday brunch made him black with fury. He marched over and made to slap it right out of her hand. “May I remind you six hundred men precious to me are dying while you snack? Get the fuck up!” he snarled. “We’re here to find seals. You. You look as though you’ve half a grapefruit rattling around in that pretty skull of yours. Start searching for symbols. We all spread out and start looking. Anything that looks relevant.”

"Sehejib," Seteta scolded gently, stepping over to catch Chaceledon's hand before he actually struck at Tess. "It is not her fault. And we will figure this out, whether we have her help or not."

Somehow. I hope.

She released Chaceledon's hand, then, but kept an eye on him as he began to put his hair up.

Seteta directed the rest of her attention back to Ezra. "I wasn't sure what we would have available here," she said, removing her satchel and retrieving the... scraps she'd obtained. "I brought... what I could. Though I don't know what will be useful."

When she held out her hands, there was a collection of large wood splinters, scraps of metal, and large, smooth pebbles strewn across her palms. "I have no idea what to expect for the blood rune, so I just brought extra of the rest."

Ezra Archiva
Tess
Chaceledon
 

Tess

Skull like a Coconut, Arms like Toothpicks
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"Oi, its a whole grapefruit, thankyouverymuch!" she snapped back at Fancy Pants, entirely oblivious to the majority of the insult as she finished the sausage with an angry bite.

Sure, it was probably not the best time to wolf down a snack, but getting flung multiple stories into the air and face first into a river tended to make someone peckish at best. Toss in the whole 'world is ending' drama and it was enough to drive a miniscule mage to starvation.

Now they had to find or make runes somewhere under the sea made of different elements including blood. Finding them would be almost impossible, especially with how even basic runes didn't exactly last eons in optimal conditions with proper upkeep. Here they were at the bottom of the sea trying to find the things intact to do who knew what with.

"And 'sides, runes're serious business. 'Specially blood runes," she stated bluntly, snagging another sausage and taking a bite. "Strongest ones are made with dragon's blood and molten gold, least the ones I know of. Other blood works but just isn't as powerful. We can see if some're down here, but if you haven't noticed, we're under the sea."

She fought the sudden urge to break into song in a strange accent and continued after swallowing her bite of food.

"I can get us around down here, no problem, but this kind of place? I'd put money something or other down here is hungry and looking for food. 'Specially with this much magic going on down here for who knows how long."

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Ezra Archiva

Summoner of Elbion
Elbion College
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Awkwardly casting his glance to the rather fancily dressed individual who rather suddenly snapped at Tess, Ezra decided it would be best to not step in, lest he become another target. A part of him wondered who those six hundred men he mentioned were—an army, or perhaps a city under his jurisdiction?—and wanted to ask him, only to realize now likely wasn't quite the time for such an inquiry.

Looking over what Seteta brought, he nodded. "I wouldn't know either, I'm afraid. I'm no blood mage, and I wasn't really in the best vicinity for gathering any significantly enchanted blood from anything either. Hopefully either this would do, or the runes are somehow made already in these caverns."

At the mention of something being down here, the young mage's face paled ever so slightly. "Ah—that wouldn't be good. With magic as strange as it is now, I'd rather not put it to the test underwater against whatever monster decided this would be a great place to call home."

With a moment's consideration, he added, "Though, it certainly would solve our blood problem if we did come across something with some inherent magic to it."

Ezra cast his gaze to the caverns around them, taking it in with a long, drawn-out breath. Winding and twisting tunnels branched out from where they were, with no sign of what—if anything—lied if they were to venture through them. However, from what he could see, there wasn't much to be taken in their current chamber, certainly not the runes they were looking for. "Well, no point in staying around here. It sounds like we're on the clock," he stated, glancing over at Chaceledon before continuing, "so I'd advise we pick a tunnel and go."

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Chaceledon

The Draconian Diva
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Chaceledon fixed Tess with an icy glare. “I hadn’t been referring to you.” he muttered darkly. He relaxed under Seteta’s touch, kissing her hand. It wasn’t going to accomplish anything..,except make him feel better about the whole situation. “If you hadn’t noticed we have the dragon’s blood part of that equation covered, and I suppose I could sacrifice a hairpin or two to get the molten gold needed. I’m much too cold to perform any of that at the moment, and we still wouldn’t know what to draw.”

The dragon listened to Ezra, and was grateful for he and Seteta gathering the group to move them along. Perhaps the young man would prove more useful than the tiny mage who ate too much. He extended a hand to him. “Chaceledon. If we can find the runes needed, I can donate the dragon’s blood. Most of the gold as well. I’m a lapidary.” he explained, and eyed the tunnels. Rheinhard would tell him to look for the tunnels that didn’t change too much with humidity and pressure. That was how one avoided sudden underground rivers. But they were under the sea.

How the Devil did they know which passage to take? Chaceledon took a deep breath and straightened his clothing. “If there’s one thing I’ve gotten used to it’s sickening men in dark tunnels. This way.” he marched confidently down the left hand tunnel.

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Seteta

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Seteta sighed and ignored the continued tiff going on between Tess and Chaceledon, and focused on Ezra.

Looking over what Seteta brought, he nodded. "I wouldn't know either, I'm afraid. I'm no blood mage, and I wasn't really in the best vicinity for gathering any significantly enchanted blood from anything either. Hopefully either this would do, or the runes are somehow made already in these caverns."

"Enchanted blood," Seteta muttered, mildly exasperated with herself. "Of course enchanted blood would make sense for blood runes."

"And 'sides, runes're serious business. 'Specially blood runes," she stated bluntly, snagging another sausage and taking a bite. "Strongest ones are made with dragon's blood and molten gold, least the ones I know of. Other blood works but just isn't as powerful. We can see if some're down here, but if you haven't noticed, we're under the sea."

At the mention of dragon's blood, Seteta cautiously gnawed at her lip, looking over at Chaceledon as he kissed her hand. She didn't want to reveal Chaceledon's identity if he didn't want it made known, so she sighed with relief as he spoke and did so himself.

He relaxed under Seteta’s touch, kissing her hand. It wasn’t going to accomplish anything..,except make him feel better about the whole situation. “If you hadn’t noticed we have the dragon’s blood part of that equation covered, and I suppose I could sacrifice a hairpin or two to get the molten gold needed. I’m much too cold to perform any of that at the moment, and we still wouldn’t know what to draw.”

"Sehejib." She gently nudged him with an elbow. "It truly isn't obvious all the time that you're a dragon. I know it's shocking... but it's true."

She took a moment to look around the chamber once more as the others spoke in turn, noting the lack of... anything significant other than the portal stone itself, basking in the magic itself that radiated through the room.

"I can get us around down here, no problem, but this kind of place? I'd put money something or other down here is hungry and looking for food. 'Specially with this much magic going on down here for who knows how long."

Seteta scrunched her face. Tess hadn't even been able to follow basic instructions at the Falwood stone. She doubted the woman could navigate twisting tunnels.

At the mention of something being down here, the young mage's face paled ever so slightly. "Ah—that wouldn't be good. With magic as strange as it is now, I'd rather not put it to the test underwater against whatever monster decided this would be a great place to call home."

"I suspect we may not need to worry about magic for the time being," Seteta said. "This stone, for whatever reason, seems to be stable. I've sensed no fluctations in the magic it's radiating."

"Well, no point in staying around here. It sounds like we're on the clock," he stated, glancing over at Chaceledon before continuing, "so I'd advise we pick a tunnel and go."

How the Devil did they know which passage to take? Chaceledon took a deep breath and straightened his clothing. “If there’s one thing I’ve gotten used to it’s sickening men in dark tunnels. This way.” he marched confidently down the left hand tunnel.

"Wait a second!" Seteta snapped, grabbing at Chaceledon's robe before he got too far ahead. "We may be under the ocean but this is all still a form of earth around us. Let me check, first, and make sure we're not about to walk head-first into something that's more likely to snap your head off for a snack than anything else."

With another exasperated sigh, Seteta pressed her palm to the wall. Touching the magic was more effortless than it had ever been before, with the strength of the flow coming from the portal stone, and after a moment she pulled away with a satisfied nod.

"There's another chamber," she said to everyone. "There are many tunnels through here, intersecting and crossing over each other, but this one at least seems to be safe. I'm not sure if it leads straight to the next chamber, though."

She released her hold on Chaceledon's robe, then. "We can go on now."

Chaceledon
Ezra Archiva
Tess
 
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Tess

Skull like a Coconut, Arms like Toothpicks
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Tess heard the conversations around, but wasn't exactly listening. She'd finished the sausage and had opened her bag to dig around. With magic stabilized here, it meant that her bag was safe and her items would work. Whether they would work as intended or not was a different matter entirely, however.

She muttered the appropriate words of power under her breath as she rummaged through her satchel. Around the time the overall consensus of the party determined to head out, she found what she was looking for.

"Dowsing rods!" she said, holding aloft the odd shaped metal rods by their wooden handles. She marched off and away down the tunnel ahead of everyone, seemingly oblivious to her ominous warning of potentially hungry monsters mere moments before and the rest of the wreathe of sausages around her shoulders. "I enchanted these to alert if we get close enough to magical items. Runes're magical and even if these ones are drained, the residual magic should still set these off."

Without waiting for a response, Tess happily not-quite-skipped-but-definitely-wasn't-a-walk'ed down the tunnel, the metal contraption in her hands wiggling back and forth on their own as they attempted to pick up the telltale trails of magic.

"Well, what're you waiting for? An invitation?" she called back to the others.

Chaceledon Seteta Ezra Archiva
 
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Velaeri

Judgemental Catbird
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Tess did not need to walk far before her dousing rod honed in on something particularly strong, pointing her path straight down her chosen tunnel. Luck was, perhaps, on their side for now.

They walked unimpeded through a hazy gloom. Here and there rays of odd blue-green light washed in through the tunnel roof from openings that looked out into sea above, the magic of the portal stone keeping the mighty waters at bay. Every so often a shadow cast within as the creatures of this curious realm passed overhead.

Whale song echoed eerily down the tunnel.

It opened quite spectacularly into a massive cavern of pale stone. Though there did not seem to be any source of light, there existed a strange silver illumination. The ground beneath their feet was shattered by large cracks, and between them the waters trickled like hundreds of small streams.

Tess' dousing rod pointed her toward the back of the chamber where the cracks met and poured their waters into an expansive lagoon.

Something dark lurked within its depths.