Pandemonium Those Beyond

Discussion in 'The Chronicles' started by Raigryn Vayd, May 5, 2019.

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  1. Raigryn Vayd

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    Raigryn Vayd Administrator

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    [​IMG]

    It begins


    Ethereal noises cut through the unnatural silence yet you can never quite work out which direction they come from. Perhaps just an owl, but it doesn't sound like any creature you've heard before.

    As the mists thicken the sun grows dim, just a faint smudge overhead. No magic will disperse the mists or bring more light to guide you.

    The air tastes wrong. The grass has died. The wet soil is churned up and sucks at your feet.

    Nothing seems to move, yet you can't help the sensation that you're being watched.




    Out of Character Information


    DISCUSSION THREAD

    • You don't have to start in the mists. Perhaps they're encroaching on where you are or maybe you've set out bravely to investigate.
    • This thread covers all the locations listed below.
    • Make sure you start your post with your location (feel free to use the images).
    • The opening is all about establishing where you are, with who and why.
    • Staff will introduce the dangers and reveal more of the story as it goes.
    • You may now also start your own threads with the Pandemonium prefix.
     
  2. Raigryn Vayd

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    Raigryn Vayd Administrator

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    Locations


    Make sure you label your post with your location (either text or one of the banners)
    The locations where the mists are spreading out can be found marked clearly on the map.
    ALLIRIAN REACH

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    [IMG]https://i.imgur.com/6WVltJx.png[/IMG] 
    Alarms were raised when a rider reached the city walls claiming that he had heard a town under attack by beasts in the night. Rangers found a lone survivor near the now empty town of Himmerich, muttering about demons.



    THE BLIGHTLANDS
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    Code:
    [IMG]https://i.imgur.com/OP4SqH5.png[/IMG] 
    Death is a way of life within the Blight. Whether it comes at the fangs of a Viper or the hands of an Orc, the people have always known Death. The mists growing in the north offer a new avenue towards it’s embrace, one that frightens even the most hardened Blight Orcs.



    CERAK AT'THUL
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    Code:
    [IMG]https://i.imgur.com/kZr2ITe.png[/IMG] 
    The red mists have rolled across the ocean several miles out to sea. A ship carrying slaves in to the bay strayed into the mists and didn’t arrive on time. The empty ship now drifts near the edge of the mists.



    ELBION
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    Code:
    [IMG]https://i.imgur.com/k0TeInB.png[/IMG] 
    An entire stretch of farmland vital for the city's food supplies have been engulfed by the mists over the course of a day. Those that went to work the fields have not returned.



    ERETEJVA
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    Code:
    [IMG]https://i.imgur.com/ujKqWW6.png[/IMG] 
    Though the settlements are spread far and wide across the Eretejva tundra, one thing that always brought them together was the hunt. Parties of seasoned hunters went missing with not a winter squall to blame and only one survivor, mad with terror of the beasts he encountered in the red fog.



    FALWOOD
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    Code:
    [IMG]https://i.imgur.com/YIVkmYl.png[/IMG] 
    There is an unnatural calm in the lands contested by the elves of Fal'Addas and the humans of Ve'Anir. As the darkness swallows a stretch of land both sides turn their eyes away from the old foes. The forest itself seems to wither and die as the mists spread out.



    THE SPINE
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    Code:
    [IMG]https://i.imgur.com/yVpeh7W.png[/IMG] 
    The mountains have always been dangerous where men, monsters, and worse lurked within high passes of the Spine. Yet when the mists came, both men and monster were silenced. Several small trade villages have been entirely swallowed up by the mists all along the spine. Orc tribes and dwarven patrols alike huddle closer the the fires as strange noises echo through the mountain passes.



    STEPPES
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    Code:
    [IMG]https://i.imgur.com/mngNa4Z.png[/IMG] 
    The nomads of the Taagi Baara Steppes did not oft talk to one another, preferring to stay apart as often as not. Yet when the mists began to roll over the plains even blood feuds were put aside, twelve tribes lost their shamans in an attempt to turn back the mists.
     
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  3. Valthar

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    Valthar Well-Known Member

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    It was slow work bringing the nets up out of the water. The nets, laden with ocean water and fish sapped the strength with each pull. His fingers were going numb, sharp pains in his joints protesting each grab and release.

    When it was done, it came with a deep satisfaction that chased the chills away. Valthar turned his attention to diligently checking every inch of the nets for damage as the fish flopped across the deck of his small boat.

    He didn't enjoy the solitude and gentle rocking of the boat, but it brought a him a sense of peace. With the job done he headed back towards Faarin.

    There was a figure waiting on the jetty, still as a statue. Slowly the figure took shape. Valthar recognised his stoic uncle. He also recognised his own axe, shield and sword at his feet. If they were summoning him to fight then there was genuine trouble.
     
  4. Lia

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    Lia Allirian Ranger

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    Lia frowned as she stood quietly with the others in the town Square of Himmerich.

    There were about a dozen of them, all Rangers of course. Others had streamed into the town as well, Merchants, Mercenaries, and even a few Soldiers sent from the Allirian City Guard. Lia didn't pay any attention to them, mostly because she knew doing so would only invite conflict.

    No one here liked to work together. "Has the man said anything else?"

    She asked softly, one of the other Rangers shaking his head in response.

    Lia had only arrived about an hour ago, and was now the highest ranking among them. The man that had been babbling incoherently whom they'd found in the mist was apparently not being cooperative, either because he was not capable or because he didn't want to.

    For now they had put him to sleep, allowing him brief respite.

    "We'll have to see the mist for ourselves." She said quietly before glancing over her shoulder towards the rolling fog. "Up close I mean."

    As much as the thought turned her stomach.
     
  5. Maude

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    Maude Grumpy B(heir)

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    #5 Maude, May 5, 2019
    Last edited: May 5, 2019
    [​IMG]

    Eretejva - Nordengaard, Capital City of the Nordenfiir Kingdom
    The Frozen Halls - Winter

    [​IMG]


    Knock knock knock.

    For all the mayhem of the last year of her life, the stillness of home felt deeply surreal.

    "Dhott'rhi?"

    How time had collapsed into a single dream, of loss and blood, fire and hate, grief and love, pain and determination. She relived her months of travel in but a few hours, flying weightless over the jagged peaks of the spine, soaring beyond the plains of Allir Reach, high and above the walls of the cities below. Freedom not without its shadows.

    Victory not without its loss.

    Maude didn't feel like she had claimed a victory.

    "Dhott'rhi? My Queen?"

    The cold bleakness of winter was upon them, a chill that made even the most staunch of Nordenfiir warrior shiver. The sun was a stranger, the darkness an old friend come to greet them for a long stay. It swallowed the sounds of the city. It filled every corner of the chamber. It stole away the warmth of a bedmate. It reminded them of who they were.

    "I'm so sorry to wake you,"

    Green eyes slowly slivered open, an exhaustion so strong she could hardly be mad. Maude looked up to find a Steward (what was his name?) carefully approaching her bedside. The frown he held on his face did not speak well for the words that would follow as he kneeled.

    "A Herrevan from Faarin arrived this morning. It is not good news."

    The Queen's brow furrowed, pulling against healing wounds. She offered no reply but a faint nod of understanding. Duty called.

    "The Council is assembling in the Great Hall." And with that, the Steward left.

    She lingered there for a moment longer, eyes shut against the dull roar of a winter gale outside, then she was up and pulling from the warmth of the blankets and that of the man beside her.

    "Gunnar, get up." Their rest was over.


    Gunnar Bergstrom Hugi
     
  6. Xoknath

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    Xoknath Bloodshot

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    This was not as Xoknath had been hoping. He came East from Alliria expecting some simple battle with some unknown force, but instead all they had found was an air of dread within the thick red mist. Some of the mercenaries he traveled with half-joked about using him as a guiding shadow against the darkness thanks to his size, but a couple were nowhere to be found for jokes.

    Most of the band managed to make it to Himmerich, anticipation growing thick in their veins and making them jumpy but keeping them alert to every little sound. It probably did not help that the town felt like it had been cleaned of the corpses of its inhabitants, and then filled with more people left uneasy by the mysterious fate of the locals. Even Xok, for all his typical bravado and boisterous personality, had grown silent with a hand always on the hilt of his cleaver. Feeling like prey stalked by an unseen beast never felt good.

    The mighty orc stood near the town square, leaning against a building as he watched the people talking, trying to eavesdrop and overhear if anybody had any idea what any of this was or what could be done about it. He felt better with an enemy to fight or a task to accomplish, not the unknown hanging above his head like a headsman's axe.

    If he had any idea it would be like this, he would have at least seen about buying some kegs to help take the edge off.
     
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  7. Felix Armon

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    Felix Armon Ranger of Armon

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    Felix rode his brilliant white horse along the paths amid the blissful scenery. Occasionally he would see secluded estates or farmhouses far off or to the side of the road.
    It was a peaceful road with trees filtering the cheerful sun to the floor.
    Felix reflected on the message that led him to this place.

    He received word from his friend Jormodo about a strange old woman who met him in the wilderness and gave him a cryptic message.
    The woman told him of a dragon who lived at an estate in the Allir Reach and led many people, and left with a warning to look for a red serpent.
    Jormodo couldn't investigate this report himself and since this seemed to be outside the monster hierarchy of the wilds, so he contacted Felix to look in on it.

    Felix rode down the road genuinely enjoying the scenery as he looked at the trees and beautifully built houses and manors that dotted from side to side of the path.
    As he rode he came before an estate that stood out from the rest, still beautifully made and magnificent to behold, but out of place with its various depictions of a red serpent on its gates and walls. It looked like a coat of arms to him.
    There were guards that stood at the entrance of the estate and the gates were closed.

    Felix directed his horse with soft clicks toward the guards and reined in before the guards. He smiled and hailed them cordially, "Ho there! May I speak with the master of this house?"

    "Hail sir. You may enter, our Lord is expecting you."

    Felix was caught off guard by this, but he smiled politely and rode his horse in as the guards opened the gate to allow him through. He thought to himself as he rode along the wagon path to the extravagant mansion, 'I'm expected... so that woman met by Jormodo wasn't an accident.'

    He stopped his mount in front of the mansion and a stable boy came out to tend his horse, he dismounted and instinctively tipped the boy a gold coin.
    He approached the front door and it was opened for him by a middle aged butler who politely ushered him in. Felix suspected a trap due to paranoia from experiences that ran similar to this scenario. This person wanted to be found, and he wanted to be found by someone like him... but who could have discovered Jormodo and his connection to House Armon?
    In light of these facts he could only come up with two possibilities, either the enemies of House Armon have followed them here, or the cult of Bastellen was making a move against them once more... but neither seemed likely to go to these lengths.

    He entered the fancy mansion, it was as beautiful as the outside if not more warm and inviting. He looked up the flight of stairs that split off at a landing, on this landing stood a man dressed differently to the guards and staff, so he could only assume this was the master of the house talking to one of the mansion staff.
    He unclipped he sword from his belt and placed it in the care of the butler before approaching the man, brushing his white cloak behind him.

    The man lifted a finger signaling for him to wait, "I will be right with you in a moment, Felix."
    He took no offense at being told to wait after so obviously being summoned, he had been involved with politics for so log that very little effected him now.
    By now Felix had accepted that this had to be a trap, but he was confident as he stood patiently at the bottom of the stairs. He left his sword with the butler because it was the polite and political thing to do, but this was also to show any ambusher just how utterly confident he actually was.
     
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  8. Jair

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    Jair The Storm

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    Jair had heard the bells ringing through town. A manic clanging, echoing off the walls like it was a canyon. He stomped towards the main gate to investigate. Several rangers were carrying a lone man babbling on about demons. The giant furrowed his brow some what, and grunted as he listened to the barely comprehensible babbling. One he had heard enough of what was going on he nodded, and volunteered to go investigate, much to the rangers chagrin.

    But what are you gonna do when a giant insists on doing something. Well the best thing to do would be to use the ruckus to distract the threat and go in the back side. Either way the giant, with hundred pound anchor, started tromping towards danger. As he neared the mist he paused, and started observing it. With a small expenditure he activated a rune near his eye. On single rune started glowing dimly, but a patient observer would see that it was slowly getting brighter. The purpose of the rune was to allow him to interact with the spiritual/ incorporeal world the world of spirits. There he stayed looking for some time.

    ((Tag any one in ALLIRIAN REACH))
     
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  9. Trajan Meng

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    Trajan Meng For Mankind

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    The cockatoo arrived with word from Dio in the west. Yes, it appeared those refugees from the farming community up the Cairou River were correct. Their crazed and wild tale of a red mist, coming to being from nothing and swallowing up those poor farmers who had went to work their fields, had spread like a Savannah bushfire in the dry season throughout Elbion. Khadija informed him of the rumor first. Of the looks of pure horror on the faces of the refugees as they recounted their experience to her. This one, unlike other such exotic tales, seemed all too real.

    And Trajan took notice.

    It was the duty of the Luminari, its sacred mission, to unite mankind under one banner. And while that meant bringing traitorous elements of humanity, like the College of Elbion, to heel, it also meant protecting and serving the interests of the common man and woman. For if he and she knew that humanity's true strength--a strength that no xeno could ever hope to match--lay in unity, then he and she would flock to that banner. And they would be brother or sister to their fellow man and woman, their human spirit shining through with a brilliance they'd never known before.

    And so, when the cockatoo landed on Trajan's shoulder and spoke Dio's words confirming the tragedy of the red mist, he wasted no time. Clarissa helped him find and pay twelve men, rough mercenaries from an upstart company, willing to follow him out west to investigate the mist. A nefarious xeno threat no doubt. And though he and Dio would be the only true Luminari members there, Trajan sought to do good and charitable work for the farmers whose lives and livelihoods were in jeopardy, such that they might spread the good word of the Luminari. Garner a reputation of self-sacrifice and bravery in defense of humanity, and deeds such as this were how the Luminari gained that manner of positive reputation in the eyes of the people.

    True, that the Luminari was born in the shadows. But Trajan would have it stand proud in the light.

    A beacon of hope for all Mankind.

    * * * * *​

    They could hardly be called docks. The old and small trio of wooden piers daring to lean out from the dirt and grass of the shore and into the waters of the Cairou River. Trajan, along with seven of the mercenaries, rowed their oars and their small boat drifted toward the first pier and docked with it. Sail all the way down now. Oars back inside. Anchor thrown.

    Trajan stood, and wiped the sheen of sweat from his brow. Gray clouds overcast the sky. Fortunate, that the previous days' worth of sailing had clear skies, so that his enchanted warhammer could be charged to full strength from the sun's light. He would need it.

    Dio Rico stood on the edge of the pier, clad in his simple gray shirt and black tunic. Trajan stepped off from the boat. Stood before Dio and made a fist with his right hand and snapped it over his heart, back of his hand facing up and clenched fingers down. And he said in greeting, "For Mankind."

    Dio followed with a Luminari salute of his own. Said, "For Mankind."

    The land sprawled out before them, as Trajan scanned the horizon from left to right. Scattered farmhouses and barns. Wooden fences here and there, enclosing the fields belonging to particular families. Sparse trees, most having been cleared to make room for the fields, though some were left standing in orderly rows as natural barriers between fields.

    And he could see it. In the distance. The red mist, choking a few of the fields. Like an unholy fog had descended upon the land.

    "Is it spreading?" Trajan said.

    Dio shrugged. "Not while I'm here. It knows better."

    A couple of the mercenaries chuckled. Trajan let out a quiet hmm and kept his eyes on the faraway mist. Said, "Have you ever read of a mist such as this?"

    "Nope. But I still have a few tens of thousands of books and scrolls to work through. Probably."

    The big question. Trajan said, "Has anything come out of it?"

    The water, splashing against the pier and brushing against the shore. The wood of the boat bumping into the wood of the pier.

    And Dio drew in a big breath through his nose. "No...not yet, I suppose."
     
  10. Himitsu

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    Himitsu Mer-*hic!*-cenary

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    #10 Himitsu, May 6, 2019
    Last edited: May 6, 2019
    [​IMG]

    “Only absolute idiots would go into that shit,” came from the end of the pier, called out in a slightly accented, female voice. It wasn’t hard to pick out who’d spoken, since she was leaning against one of the posts near the end of the pier, her long white hair dotted with braids as her golden-brown eyes regarded the mists in front of her. She was armed, too, clad light leather body armor with a pair of tonfa strapped to the small of her back, glistening white surfaces adorned with strange red runes etched into them.

    She took another drink from the flask in her hands, still not having looked at them despite having interrupted their conversation. It was unlikely from that distance she’d heard what they were discussing, but it was pretty obvious, since they were all standing around and staring at the mist with this contemplative look on their faces. And they were armed, so, pretty easy to guess what their intentions were. Especially since, right now, she was only kind of drunk. Which was definitely sober-enough for this nonsense.

    “I just came from the village up thataways,” she nodded further up the beaten road, to where, out of sight, there was a small clumping of houses that constituted what little civilization was around here. “Bout a dozen idiots left earlier to check on the workers in the fields, there. Ain’t none of ‘em come back yet.” She pushed herself to her feet, a strangely fierce grin crossing her face as she turned to look at the collection of humans at the end of the docks. She had no idea if these were ‘good’ humans or ‘bad’ humans or whatever fell in between, but they were armed and several of them reeked of magic. At the very least, it’d be smarter than heading straight in by herself.

    That mist… rankled at her. It was wrong. She didn’t know how yet, but her curiosity was piqued. And, perhaps, her deathwish. She wasn’t joking about idiots going in there.

    “Seems I’m an idiot, too. Wanna be idiots together?”
     
  11. Rainie

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    Rainie The Charming Bard

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    Lorraina Night was playing a sweet and thrilling tale of victory in the familiar Singing Gull. It was just another common day; no dungeon raids or dragon hunts planned. She was relaxing and enjoying the music she could make.

    Dragons in the sky, the fighting has begun
    Shadow versus light, and who will stand when it is done?
    Peril in their eyes, the battle has begun
    Death becomes the ashes of the evils yet to come


    Before Rainie, as Lorraina was called, could move on to the next verse, there was a cacophony of whispers that drew every eye and ear from her. The lute balanced in her lap fell silent with an abrupt twang as the musician’s own fingers halted to listen.

    Ah. Rumors, her life blood... Of some unholy or otherworldly mist. It had overtaken the farmlands further inland, completely engulfing them in less than a day. It was said that anyone who had been working the fields had not returned, and no one was brave enough to retrieve them.

    Rainie bolted to her feet. “That’s horrible! Has anybody seen it?” She questioned the crowd.

    All she got in reply were negative mutters.

    She harrumphed and stowed her lute away. “Well, I’d like to get a look at it. It could be dispelled by magic.” A few patrons nodded in agreement, finished their casks, and trailed after her on her way out the door.

    She asked for directions a few times, but made her way towards the farmlands where this mist could be seen. And if she happened to bump into her darling College-of-Elbion-friend along the way, why, that would just be serendipitous.

    --

    It took a few hitched rides on skips and wagons to get to the farmlands just outside the city of Elbion, but make it she did. As she pulled her dark red hair up to the top of her head with a twist, she eyed the hazy red that had overtaken the horizon.

    It was queer, for sure. Her, being herself, didn’t know what it could possibly be. But she approached in time to hear a snippet of conversation from rubber-necking onlookers:

    “I just came from the village up thataways,” said an extremely pretty young lady with white hair. “Bout a dozen idiots left earlier to check on the workers in the fields, there. Ain’t none of ‘em come back yet.”

    Interest piqued, Rainie trotted up further, her enchanted shoes completely muffling her steps.

    “Seems I’m an idiot, too. Wanna be idiots together?”

    At that, Rainie coughed nervously, announcing her presence. “Now, now, let’s not be hasty,” she argued jovially, voice light and accented. “We don’t know what’s in there, my dear. Could be dangerous, you know?”

    Her bow seemed to slip off her shoulder of her own accord and fall into the palm of her hand. Even as she spoke to the woman, her eyes were trained on the strange red mist.

    Rainie was so out of her depth.

    Himitsu Trajan Meng Faurosk
     
  12. Hath Charosh

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    Mabess

    Each soft crunch of the snow collapsing underfoot brought him closer to the mists. Red tendrils stretched up the valley towards the great Crobhear Lake. It was like a great beast of smoke feeling out the ground ahead of itself.

    The shamans had not been able to gain any insight through their magics so they were investigating the old fashioned way.

    The ground didn't crunch on his next step. Hath looked down. The ground closer to the mists had thawed out but there was now green sprouting up.

    A strangled cry ahead of them had Hath drawing his bow. He twisted at the waist, keeping the string taunt and the point of his arrow at the shifting mists. Nothing emerged. He let his bow down, but his nerves were still stretched taut.

    "Do we go in?" he called to the other orcs moving down the slope around him.
     
  13. Vahki

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    Vahki The Prince of Madness and Deceit

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    #13 Vahki, May 6, 2019
    Last edited: May 7, 2019
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    A retreat. Escape. Getaway. The estate wasn’t something that Vahki - as Vahkian Ambrose, his human form, of course - was often on. For the most part, it was watched, lived on, and tended to by the people that lived in the core building and those nearby. The gardens and farm were cultivated while he often wasn’t here. There weren’t too many people, but they were numbered enough and skilled enough to offer protection to nearby areas. Vahkian was certain that it was in good hands when he was away, which he regularly was. He didn’t have much time for the estate or the Polovokin, his vessel, because he was busy with his business in Alliria proper. Hard work and some well-paying clients, though not all had to pay as well, got Vahkian Ambrose the coin necessary to pay for construction and the deed. Then he began to move those that knew about him here, sponsoring migrations to the Reach with the money derived from his modest business assets, and taking a portion of whatever coin was derived from the businesses, farms, and other such things set up out here. It was very fertile, so, that was always good. Easy to grow things, especially if one had the alchemical gardening substances that Vahkian had taught his followers to mix up - which made growing things even from other environments a breeze. That’s why his own personal gardens had such delicious and exotic foods, though they were smaller than the farm. All in all, the retreat was one with nature.

    As soon as Felix Armon walked near the gates with his horse, the enchantments of the estate and farm made Vahki aware of what was going on. Of course, he had to focus on the Armon. The guards let him by, and eventually the noble entered the main room. The table that would hold meetings and dinners had some maps and charting equipment laid over it, as well as various books containing crop information, income calculations, and a human calculator that sat at the table, and appeared to be actively making changes to a document. If one looked at the document closely, they’d see it contained taxes for Alliria as well as the income from sponsored migrants to the Reach.

    “I’ll be right with you in a moment, Felix.” Vahkian said, looking to Felix with a gentle smile of well taken-care-of teeth, which might be unusual to some, even for a wealthier man. The Naga were very good about taking care of their teeth, though. After all, they were carnivores; Vahki himself was an omnivore, due to mixed heritage, of course.

    “Some of the corvaca fruit will, of course, be for eating and making jams, but I was hoping to cultivate some trees here and elsewhere in the reach. There aren’t many of those trees left, and they have such difficulty spreading by themselves.” Vahkian said, speaking to a staff wearing some comfortable clothing about these rare, but delicious, almost citrusy fruits about the size of an apple that had a wonderful flavor to them. It wasn’t red. He didn’t seem to be wearing the uniform that some were. It was likely that he had been a resident here for quite some time, and worked his way up, just from looks and his casualness in interacting with the master of the house. He was about 35, cleanshaven, and had an eye out on the arrangement of flowers going on behind Vahkian. He also had a notebook with him.

    Vahkian was sure that the riders he’d sent out would be back with the latest batch of the fruit soon. Everyone in reach of the corvaca trees had set out to get some, but no one had coordinated a wide-scale cultivation of the trees, yet, that had been successful. Vahkian was certain that he could do it, though. The trees would thrive this time.

    “Hello, Felix.” Vahkian said, turning to the noble.

    “Welcome to my country home.” He said, gesturing slightly.

    “How was your ride here, mi’lord? Not too problematic, I hope.” Vahkian asked.

    Meanwhile,

    Only a bit further out into the Allirian Reach at the corvaca trees, riders and their harvesters spotted the occasional movement of rangers and mercs. Eventually Navadelle, the magically trained defender of this specific group this time around, approached a ranger on her horse. She went to the head of the formation - boldly hoping to speak to the leader.

    “Hail! What has happened, ranger?” Navadelle said. The ranger looked hesitant to answer, and his men paused their riding to look at him. Navadelle frowned.

    “Is this about that mist?” Navadelle asked. The rider nodded, asking “do you know anything about it?”

    “The last I saw it was approaching a town not far from here, though now, as you can see, it nears closer. I hope nothing terrible has happened, ranger. Our master’s home is not far from here, and there are other houses in the area” Navadelle said.

    “It might be best to pick up what you’re doing here, and go back. The mist is not safe.” The rider said.

    “I see. Well, if you need fighters or master magicians, or somewhere to hunker down, we’re to the east. Just follow this stream. You won’t miss it.” Navadelle said.

    “We appreciate the offer.” The ranger said.

    “Careful out there. Alliria can’t afford to lose too many of our rangers.” Navadelle said, the ranger nodding. Navadelle turned her beige horse towards the harvesters, who had kept on working to get as many of the fruits as possible.

    “We should be heading back, now.” Navadelle said. She had scanned the rangers mind while he was distracted by their conversation. She needed to get back as soon as possible to alert Vahkian. There appeared to be a dire problem, though she assumed that Master Ambrose would be more curious about the red mist than anything else.

    Felix Armon
     
  14. Faurosk

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    Faurosk Wandering Wizard

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    #14 Faurosk, May 6, 2019
    Last edited: May 6, 2019
    [​IMG]

    Faurosk had been enjoying teatime in the company of an old friend and mentor when the news of the Mists first arrived to the College. Their conversation was light and nearly meaningless, but the mage was happy that the day was shaping up to be one of ease.

    "So, I see Dustmop's grown quite a bit since we last met up like this," chirped the centuries-old skull that sat opposite Faurosk. Its eyes glowed orange like a burning pine, and a voice like a gentleman in his mid-life rang in a low baritone from the empty space between its jaws.

    The mage cast a glance to his side, where his familiar was laying down beside the table. He couldn't help but crack a grin in pride; where he'd previously had to care for what was essentially a magical puppy for the majority of his time on the road, Dustmop has since grown to the size typical of an Allirian wild dog in its adolescence. "Yeah, I suppose he has. Hasn't calmed down all too much, though."

    The skull's eyes glowered sarcastically, and the voice rang out once again with more than a hint of cheek. "Oh, no-- I simply meant he's grown tremendously fat."

    Faurosk flared up red in his cheeks, dropping his jaw to deliver a derisive torrent of words back at the all too rude paperweight who'd insulted his precious dog. Luckily, he didn't get the chance.

    An aide erupted into the room, sweat dripping from his brow. He didn't wait to be addressed before erupting into news.

    Red mists. Missing farmers. The perfect excuse to eject himself from distasteful conversation.

    He hardly gave any farewell before throwing the mantling back over his robes, giving a sharp whistle to call up his follower and sprinting to the nearest exit. He heard a few faint calls in his wake, though most were just more insults from a skull too fed up with his ex-apprentice's innocence.

    _______________

    Faurosk rode up to the farmlands outside of Elbion a short time later atop the back of a packmule that looked almost diminutively small below his stocky frame. He pulled the animal to a halt, kicking one leg over its side and hopping off its back. He only stumbled momentarily as the back of his robe caught on the mule's side satchel, kicking his leg twice to free himself from the bag's vicious grip.

    The mule looked at him with sad eyes, and the mage responded in kind with a sigh. "I know you hate it, buddy, but we had to hurry," he said in response to the despondent animal. With little effort on his part, Faurosk released his concentration on the transmutation spell he'd cast back in the city. As the polymorph on the animal of burden began to fade, its frame grew smaller and smaller until it once more took the shape of a lean and muscled dog. The mage dropped onto a knee and gave his familiar a few well deserved pets on the head, straightening out the bandana tied loosely around its neck. "That's better, Nota... Good boy. Now, let's go do something that's probably going to be stupid in retrospect."

    He rose once more, turning on his feet to approach the group of mercenaries gathered near the docks. He scanned the group as he came near, cataloging each and noting the apparent lack of magic users among them. His eyes fell on Rainie with a look that said "Why am I not surprised?", and he thumped the foot of his staff into wood of the dock once to make his presence known. "Well. This all seems terrible."

    He thought back to when his day seemed average and inconsequential-- was it Treday? He never could get the hang of Tredays.

    Trajan Meng Himitsu Rainie
     
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  15. Felix Armon

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    Felix Armon Ranger of Armon

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    #15 Felix Armon, May 6, 2019
    Last edited: May 6, 2019
    [​IMG]

    Felix dipped his head respectfully. If this was a trap he decided he would play along for as long as possible to learn what this stranger knew.

    "My journey here was uneventful and rather pleasant. But I'm afraid you have me at a disadvantage, you know my name, but I do not know yours."

    He met the striking blue eyes of the man with the silver of his own. This noble person looked human, but even without extrasensory effort Felix could see that this was not the case. Even as the human he made himself appear Felix could see the age behind those eyes, not as old as himself, but at least a bit older than his sister which in his mind made this man that much more dangerous.
    But even with these observations he did not regret his decision to leave his sword at the door.

    He straightened and regarded the noble for a moment, the longer he observed the man the more he was convinced of his inhuman qualities. But he was less concerned with that and more with why such great lengths were taken to bring him here.

    Vahki
     
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  16. Madame Valkery

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    Madame Valkery The White Reaper

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    Madame Valkery stared at the red mist that hung over the fields. She had felt that something was wrong even miles off. As soon as she had heard about the mists she had changed into riding clothes and rented a horse, being funded by the Griffin family had its perks and she enjoyed being able to afford nice accommodations and quality travel. She dismounted her horse adjusting the large feathered ladies hat that adorned her head, making sure the large silver pin that kept it in place was secure. She looked rather out of place compared to the array of mercenary type folk that seemed to be gathering around the dock. She was dressed in a fine high colored riding jacket and women's riding trousers, and she seemed completely unarmed. However, she walked with an air of confidence that seemed almost to dare anyone to challenge her right to be there. She looked over the group as she approached. There seemed to be a wide array of folk of varying levels of abilities and apparently caution.
     
  17. Rohiron

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    Rohiron Witch-Knight

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    Falwood
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    [​IMG]

    The irony of Rohiron's current situation was not lost on him. It felt like a lifetime ago he sat in the dappled shadows of the Falwood, starving and alone. Roadside rubbish given form. Now, over twenty years later, he found himself standing in defense of the great and venerable wood. Astride his marbled destrier, feathered hooves counted nervously against the sucking mud, kicking up a rancid odor. One of sickly-sweet rot and decay. The knight screwed up his nose, patting the arch of the mare's neck,

    "Peace, Skytha. I feel the same way." Running his fingers through his mount's braided mane, Rohiron cast his golden gaze back to the broiling red mist that sluggishly crawled closer. He had to squint his eyes against the surly scarlet blur that danced across his Sidhe-Sight. Nesting birds tittered frightfully as they fled the consuming mass, those touched falling to the mud with a wet slap.

    Rohiron grimaced as watchful ravens swept down for their feast.

    Shaking back his autumnal mane, Rohiron donned his antlered helm with a deep, echoing breath. Despite the warmth of the Falwood, it escaped his mouth in a mist. The brand at his neck prickled in anticipation, a firm hand gripping the white ash shaft of his keen lance. With a flick of his reins and a prod of his spurs, Rohiron pushed Skytha forward at a cautious pace, meandering through the blighted trees. How was he supposed to fight against something like this? Was he supposed to? A wriggling, wrathful worm of thought teased at the idea of Fal'Addas being swallowed whole by the hungering fog...

    He shook his head faintly, catching a glimpse of a somber standing stone from the corner of his visor. That was why. Ancient knowledge, natural order, and the preservation thereof. His mistress would not have invested a lifetime of education to discard him so wastefully. She was nothing if not a shrewd woman.

    "Stars and stones, I hope I'm right..." he grimaced, and returned to his observation of the boiling mist.
     
  18. Verys Synsere

    Member
    Verys Synsere Probably in trouble.

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    [​IMG]

    The mist-soaked forest was eerily and terrifyingly silent, no birds singing, no animals moving about, even the trees themselves seeming to stop moving their branches so not even a rustle or a crack of shifting leaves was to be heard… It was an altogether unsettling sensation, making anyone venturing in feel like they were utterly alone…

    … except for, startlingly loud into the creeping gloom, a strange scratching noise, accompanying the sound of squelching foot falls in the mud. Someone was approaching, coming from one of the sides, not behind from where he’d come, this scratching noise sounding unnaturally loud when everything else was so dampened and muffled. It wasn’t the sound of any weapon that he would have heard, or any spell, or even any creature he might have known…

    He wouldn’t have long to wait until the source of the scratching noise revealed herself, mists swirling about her worn leather boots as she stepped around the very stone that he’d been eyeing earlier. Her brilliant scarlet hair was pulled back into a messy braid cascading down her back, still bright despite the gloom, clad in a long, worn coat that obviously wasn’t meant for her as it was too big, the sleeves rolled up and hanging down nearly to her ankles, overtop of a pretty sky blue dress. She didn’t seem armed, but carried a large satchel at her side, the strap across her chest, which bulged with sharp angles created by whatever it was she carried inside.

    Books, would be the safe guess. Especially given that she carried a large, leather-bound journal spread open in her arms, a well-worn wooden writing nib in her other hand. She kept making motions with it towards her chest, then returning to scribbling furiously on the worn parchment pages, quickly ascribing what looked like a skillful recreation of the stone in front of her onto the page.

    The source of the scratching, then.

    Of course, coming around the stone had revealed him just as much as it revealed her and she turned her face towards him -- her emerald eyes were large and bright, curious and dark-lashed over top of freckled cheeks -- and she blinked at him for a second…

    Before squeaking loudly and fumbling the book in her hands, an action that spilled a bit of the ink from the worn stone inkwell tucked in her cleavage onto the lapel of her dress. “Oh -- oh fishguts!” she protested, jamming the writing nib in between her teeth as she blotted at the rapidly spreading ink stain on her dress. There were several others, older ones, that looked as if they had been attempted to be scrubbed out. Likely from exact same situation, in the past. Giving up on the stain, she tucked the stopper back into the inkwell, then the nib behind her ear, before looking up at at the other man. At least, she thought a man. So far, couldn’t quite tell under that helm.

    “Oh dear. Oh hello! So sorry to startle -- I think… Unless you’re a mist monster in which case I’d quite appreciate you telling me so I could run away.. But you don’t look like a mist monster -- ooh hello there,” in a softer voice now as she cooed at the horse, digging in her pockets before producing a small, hard looking apple, just barely ripe, and holding it out on her palm for the horse to take, if it wanted it. Then she smiled up at the rider, closing the book and gripping it to her chest with her free hand.

    Rohiron
     
  19. Trajan Meng

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    Trajan Meng For Mankind

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    #19 Trajan Meng, May 7, 2019
    Last edited: May 7, 2019
    [​IMG]

    They weren't alone. Not for long.

    Trajan, Dio, and the twelve mercenaries all turned and looked toward the woman with the white hair. Trajan kept a straight, serious face. Several of the mercenaries were slack-jawed and immediately smitten. Others indifferent. Others plainly puzzled. Dio's eyebrows jumped up momentarily, and he grinned and licked his palm and slicked the crop of hair on top of his head and cleared his throat.

    And Trajan led his men across the short length of the pier, approaching the white-haired woman, his warhammer held in one hand. He stopped a few paces from her.

    "Yes, there is a mighty fine line between foolishness and bravery, isn't there? Pray, we are of the latter." A pause. He didn't often use his real name. But today was different. Not a normal operari, where anonymity served his purpose. "My name is Trajan. And yours, warrior?"

    "Dio," said the same to her, putting a hand on his chest. "Dio Rico. Idiot of the finest caliber, at your service. Pleasure's all mine, I insist."

    There was hardly any time for further introductions when another woman, one with dark red hair, approached them.

    Similar reactions from the mercenary band behind Trajan. And Dio, once more, licked his palm and slicked his crop of hair upon seeing the second woman.

    "Ha!" Dio said. "Funny you should say that, miss. I've got juuuust the thing coming to help us out..." And he glanced up and around at the clouded sky.

    And another coming. A man. Mage, by the look of him. A slight narrowing of Trajan's brow. College mage, likely. Not all of them were corrupt. Some had the good sense to know where their loyalties ought to lie. But the ones who taught magic to xenos...they were traitors of the highest order. Freely and openly giving the enemies of Mankind powerful tools they would undoubtedly one day use to turn on them, and worse, on countless other innocent men and women. Disgusting. Hopefully, this mage who had come would have some sense about him.

    "My name is Trajan," he said to the mage and the dark-red haired woman. Seemed the mage knew the woman, judging from the look. A glance, between the three newcomers. "And it is good, to see others answering the call. Where some have fled from danger, you all have coming running toward it." A particular focus on the white-haired woman. The flask in her hand. "Whatever your reason may be."

    And still, more were coming. Another woman, with a large hat and pin, strode toward them with a confidence Trajan could admire. A confidence, he hoped, would inspire the twelve men who had come merely for the coin offered to them. And Dio, again, licked his palm and slicked his hair.

    Now this. This was what Trajan wanted to see. A small gathering, true, but a symbolic one. A proof, that Mankind had the untapped potential to pull together and unite. Dire times always brought with it some measure of desperate unity, and these mists were most certainly a herald of such dire times. But that potential needed to be awakened, to be fully realized, such that it was potent even in times of relative peace. If it were already so, the whole of Elbion would be here, ready and willing to stand against this abhorrent threat together. What pride would Trajan take, standing firm as one of the many, in such a gathering. But, for today, this small grouping would have to do. And they would prevail, for they had no choice but to do so. Of this, Trajan was certain.

    And perhaps, if he should be so lucky, he could serve the cause by inspiring the men of the mercenary band or one or more of the solo newcomers to join the Luminari, and to continue to serve humanity's interests as they would do this day.

    A bird descended from the sky then. A macaw parrot. And it landed on Dio's shoulder. Stepped onto Dio's hand when he offered it.

    "How you doing, Kilo?" Dio said.

    Kilo whistled. Glancing about in that way curious birds do.

    "Need you do something for me, Kilo." And Dio flexed the fingers of his other hand above the bird's head. A faint glow from his fingers, mirrored in the bird's eyes. "Need you to fly into that mist and tell me everything you see, okay? And be careful, okay?"

    Kilo bobbed his head up and down excitedly.

    "I said careful, okay? Careful. Now be careful about it. I know you heard me this time. Go, Kilo."

    Dio lowered his hand and then snapped it back up, launching the bird into flight. And Kilo flew toward the red mist. Growing smaller with distance.

    Trajan watched the bird go. Said out loud, "With any luck, we'll get some idea of what's in there. What we're up against."

    And he rested his warhammer against his shoulder.


    Himitsu (Mitsy) Lorraina "Rainie" Night Faurosk Madame Valkery
     
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  20. Rebecca Fourtuna

    Member
    Rebecca Fourtuna The Bayou Bone Eater

    Joined:
    May 6, 2019
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    Alliria
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    Bio
    [​IMG]

    Rebecca moved into the city quietly.
    Her dull brown leather armor matching her cloak. Her face had a smear of mud on her left cheek and her blonde hair was unkempt and twisted into dreadlocks entwined with alligator teeth and twigs.
    Himmerich had always been a favorite, however the normal hustle and bustle didn't greet her ears.
    Instead she saw rangers and mercenarys gathering in the square. She glanced at the shop window she had hoped to visit, hoping to duck in and avoid all the commotion.
    It was empty.. She stopped as she glanced around noticing that very few people were out and about here.. It was never a large village but...

    She chewed her lip as she slowly wandered towards the group gathering in the square.
    She looked around at all the people gathered there. No one she knew from here..but there had to..She was so lost in thought she ran right into the sturdy frame of a woman in the plate armor of a ranger. The dings and scratches that covered it seemed to tell many stories of many conflicts.
    Rebecca stumbled back before slightly bowing apologetically "My apologies ranger.." She said softly her voice little more than a mutter as she stared at her feet. She could fight an alligator with her bare hands and kill 4 pirates before lunch, but talking to someone new and as impressive as the ranger before her. That was terror incarnate.
    "I come here once a year to buy special herbs..umm.."
    She adjusted her great sword's alligator skin straps on her back nervously. The large blade compared to her small stature seemed almost comical and anyone not paying attention wouldnt notice the notches cut into the handle running up it's length symbolizing people who thought the same and never got the chance to correct their mistake.
    "Pirates Bane." was cut into the sheath. She adjusted her crossbow slightly as well before continuing softly.
    "W-where is everyone?" She asked in a shy whisper unable to bring herself to meet the rangers stern almond eyes.

    Rosalia Kahl
     
  21. Himitsu

    Member
    Himitsu Mer-*hic!*-cenary

    Joined:
    May 4, 2019
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    [​IMG]
    The white-haired woman nodded her greeting in response to the mens’ introductions; Trajan and Dio. Not names that were familiar to her, but that was altogether unsurprising. They looked like the nice and put together type, not the type that frequented the sorts of places that someone like her normally did. Further introductions, however, were interrupted by the arrival of another human woman.

    Better be dangerous, or this shit’s a giant let-down,” Mitsy observed as the human woman approached, golden eyes still sweeping the land in front of them that was blanketed with the deep red mists. She wasn’t sure how something like that rolled up and wasn’t dangerous, but, hey, humans could hope she supposed... Her gaze traveled to the newcomer and her… lute-thingy. Aw, cute. She grinned, though perhaps at a joke only she found funny.

    Oh, now there were two more humans -- one with a staff, a mage of some sort? And then a fancy lady with a hat and everything. Ooh, and Trajan had a way with words, no wonder the assorted men behind him kept glancing to him for reassurance. Not bad, especially for a bunch of idiots all standing around, aiming to go into a scary ass mist that had no reasonable explanation and had potentially swallowed up at least two dozen men and women already. Mitsy cracked the flask again, tipping it in a dry salute to the others standing at the edge of the peer.

    “Mitsy,” she said, by way of introduction, then downed some of the liquid in the flask, watching as the one man -- Dio -- summoned a parrot, of all things. Hm, aerial reconnaissance. Not a bad trick, that.

    “Right, then. Anyone wanna place bets on what this is? I’m thinkin’... necromancer spell gone wrong. Anyone, five crowns on necromancer?” she pointed at the staff-wielding mage and then at the fancy lady, see if they wanted in on her action...

    Trajan Meng Faurosk Rainie Madame Valkery
     
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  22. Rohiron

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    Rohiron Witch-Knight

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    May 6, 2019
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    Falwood
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    #22 Rohiron, May 7, 2019
    Last edited: May 7, 2019
    [​IMG]

    It was faint, at first. That soft scrabbling that itched at the corner of Rohiron’s perception grew, nibbling at his notched ear. Some animal burrowing to escape yon eldritch fog? No... no it paired with foot-falls out of pace and far too large for some beast of the brush. I was close. Around the standing stone! Rohiron’s grip tensed on rein and lance, ready to dig his heels into Skytha’s flank to charge some twisted aberration belched forth by the mist...

    His surprise, and relief, could not be overstated at what he saw. A young woman of diminutive stature who’s bearing screamed “scholar”. Rohiron would call her “mousy” if not for her brilliant scarlet hair. In the moment their eyes met, Rohiron’s golden eyes seemed to glow with a cat-like quality within the shaded slit of his visor. His head tilted quizzically, though the visible tension in his posture had yet to relent.

    It almost did, however, at what followed. Her display was definitely disarming, incorrigibly so. The faintest heave of Rohiron’s broad shoulders and a stuttering puff of misty breath belied a stifled chuckle. Her voice was like a rapidly rattling silver bell in his ears. At a few points, Rohiron’s mouth opened to speak, only to snap his teeth back together when the words... just kept coming.

    Skytha held no such reservations, however, and accepted the apple with an eager whinny.

    “You will call anyone with food a friend,” Rohiron muttered to his horse in elvish, refocusing on the bookish young woman.

    “I am aquiver, but I will live, thank you madame,” Rohiron said in a tone that was both wry and coy. “Though I would imagine the definition of ‘monster’ depends on individual point of view. Skytha seems to like you well enough,” Rohiron pat his mare’s neck again as her velvety nose prodded the woman’s satchel. “She’s a finer judge of character than I.” Rohiron’s voice was low, smooth, and evenly measured. Still, a twinge of humor creased his amber eyes.

    “An odd time and place for... research. Especially with, what was it, mist monsters? At least I did not get dressed for nothing.”

    Verys Synsere
     
  23. Mabess

    Member
    Mabess Mother, Clanswoman, Chieftain

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    »WARCHIEF! « Mabess shouted out.
    Dormak rode forward and ahead. His group were investigating the mists from another corner. But now he rode closer to the main group, the gaze he exhanged with Mabess was anything but kind.
    »There is something within.«
    Dormak was ready to lead out his men after Hath into the red haze.

    »I would not advise to enter. It could be some kind of misma. I suggest we observe it further...« Spoke out the new shadowreaver chief as he rode past the two towards the misty fog. The elder shadowreaver passed away at the beginning of Aftereve. The young chief was still green behind his ears with mere 19 years on their shoulders, but they were the elder's favoured pupils.

    »Release the ravens, « he commanded; a shadowreaver holding two ravens with bells tied to their legs then walked towards the mist, releasing the pair into it.

    The orcs listned.
     
  24. Lia

    Member
    Lia Allirian Ranger

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    Rebecca Fourtuna Xoknath Jair

    "Organize a part, see who wants to help us inv-" Lia suddenly found herself getting cut off by a voice behind her.

    It was a question, and not a rude one, though for some odd reason it still put her on edge. Lips thinned for a moment and she nodded to the others. Three of the other Rangers immediately turned away and began to head towards some of the gathered mercenary bands.

    Their questions would be quick and simple; 'Wanna go check out the scary fog?'.

    "They are hiding." The Ranger said as she turned to Rebecca. "There is...trouble brewing in the Reaches."

    People disappearing, haunted men coming from the mists. Trouble was the best way of putting it. "Most have evacuated, those that can't have taken up to hiding in their homes."

    Though she doubted that would have much of an affect.

    "We're gathering volunteers to help us investigate." Though Lia had no idea if they could even find anything out. Still, there was always safety in numbers.
     
  25. Verys Synsere

    Member
    Verys Synsere Probably in trouble.

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2019
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    “Skytha! Oh how lovely,” Verys seized on the most important part of the conversation, even as she dug through her pockets enthusiastically in search of more of the crabapples. She’d found them earlier, wandering as she had been, and put as many as she’d been able to reach in her pockets. Thankfully, she was able to find two more, producing them for the mare to enjoy, then rubbing the underside of the beautiful horse’s jaw, beaming. “What a lovely name for a particularly lovely and wonderful creature, yes you are, yes you are,” she crooned.

    Her emerald eyes drifted to the man -- half-elf, she’d spotted the ears and recognized bits of what he’d said to the horse -- not bothering to hide the curiosity that shone unfettered in her gaze. He born a crest she didn't recognize on his armor, along with lance and helm, like a knight in one of the stories that her father had regaled them with on long winters night… more than that, he gleamed, like the exact same stories come to life right in front of her, magical and magnificent, and it made her very aware of her worn boots and her ill-fitting coat and her hair which would never really stay in its braid but always seemed to escape in stray curls around her face.

    But he was regarding her with those golden eyes she could barely see, and speaking of the mist that they found themselves in, and she cleared her throat, her fingers picking at the edges of the pages of her journal in a nervous habit.

    “Oh, well. I haven’t seen any mist monsters,” she admitted. “I haven’t seen… well, anything, really. Except for you, of course. And that -- that’s what’s strange to me.” Her brow furrowed as she tapped at her chin with one finger. Of course, it was a finger that still had a bit of ink on it from her earlier escapade, leaving a smudge of black on her chin unbeknownst to her. “It’s an attack because the mist is altering the environment and having detrimental effects on the plants and wildlife. But! It’s not an attack because I haven’t noticed any sickness or damage and I’ve been in it for ages.”

    Her brow furrowed even deeper, ever so serious as she glanced over her shoulder towards the area of the forest where the mist was so thick it was impossible to know it was even daytime.. “... it’s almost like it’s prepping the environment for.. Something else.”

    Tap, tap, tap, three more smudges added to her pale skin, before abruptly -- quite possibly cutting off whatever it was he was going to say-- she went “Oh right!” and turned towards him. “I’m Vee. Vee Fishsprout. That’s definitely my name even though it’s a weird one and definitely not an alias because it would be a really stupid alias, right?”

    Cue this ridiculous laughter that really did nothing to make her case.

    Rohiron
     
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