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Hunters of Terra Dolor (Role Playing Section)

Discussion in 'Role Play & Story Discussion' started by ZombieSplitter53, Apr 9, 2017.

  1. Black0ut

    Black0ut Active Member

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    Black0ut and ZombieSplitter53 presents:

    Curious Inspections


    Titania headed to the Armory, the several holes from sparring with various people finally taking its toll. Upon arriving, Titania called out, “U-um… is there someone I can talk to here?”

    “Aye, I’m comin’. Hold yer horses.” Edminfar slow walked out from the back, the greying Netzi looking through some documents. “What can…” He glanced up, his good eye looking Titania up and down, and he smiled. “What can ol’ Ed do fer you?”

    “Hello, Ed, I was wondering if you could repair some of the… holes in my armor.” Titania asked, rubbing her ears nervously.

    “Of course!” Ed floated up so he stood on the counter. “That’s what we’re here for. And my, my… you sure have taken a beaten. Gettin’ in a lot a fights, are we?”

    “Y-yeah… I suppose I have been sparring a little too often.” Titania replied, looking down at the ground in embarrassment.

    “Oh, don’t look so sad, my dear.” He floated over and lifted her chin. “It just means you’re working so hard. And ol’ Ed is gonna fix that armor up good as new.”

    “Thank you.” Titania responded gratefully, as she began to take a look at the myriad of equipment in the room.

    Ed used her distracted focus to examine her, not in a creepy way, but certainly not in an innocent way. “So, um… why don’t you take the armor… off?”

    Titania suddenly realized the one thing she had forgotten. “S-sorry…” She quickly removed the leather armor, to reveal a purple T-shirt. “I can be a little absent-minded at times.” Titania apologized, apparently not noticing the Netzi’s stare.

    Ed held the chestplate up, muttering, “Oh, to be fifty years younger,” in his own language. Switching back to Doloran, he placed the armor down and tested the waters by saying, “If you don’t mind my saying so, you are quite the lovely women, Ms…”

    “Titania. So… I’m going to assume you're quite talented at smithing?” The Thrope Swordswoman asked, gesturing to the various armors and weapons in the room.

    Ed gave her a big smile. “Well… I don’t want to brag… but I just so happen to be an amazing smith. Of course, I didn’t do all of the items here. Just all the real good ones.”

    “That’s pretty cool, Ed. I don’t think I could really make anything of quality unless it involved writing a book about something…” Titania said in reverence and awe at the more intricate weapons and armors.

    “Well, writing a book is nothing to downplay. I’m no writer myself.” He floated over, floating behind her and placing his hands on her shoulders. “Is there… anything in particular you really like?”

    Slightly perturbed by the Netzi, Titania replied, “Well, usually battle tactics and history, as each are integral to how a society functions. Especially in this day and age…”

    “I bet you would love to spend some time in our library.” He released her shoulders, unaware of any anxiety he might have caused, and moved in front of her. “A woman of your obvious intellect and beauty, also what I am sure is a skilled fighter. You really are something to behold, aren’t you?”

    Titania’s face turned slightly red at the compliments, “T-thanks. But, no, I’d say I’m just someone who happens to have good luck and was able to have an education. Do you perchance know where the library is?”

    “The library?” Ed blinked. “Oh, right, the library! It’s upstairs, in the west wing. Takes up two floors. Pretty… easy… I mean, you can check that out later, right? I think you and I… should talk a little more.”

    “About what?” Titania responded, starting to feel a little uneasy.

    Ed poked his fingers together. “Well… you know… me… you… how old are you, dare? Where are you from? What… are your measurements? You have a boyfriend?”

    Titania raised an eyebrow, and crossed her arms. “Ed… those are not appropriate questions to ask someone you’ve just met.”

    Ed laughed. “Heh heh, I’m just messing with you, cutie!” He quickly floated down to the armor. “Don’t worry about me. Just havin’ a little fun. I can fix this right up. I can make it sturdier for too. I’ll even do it for free… but you gotta do something for me first.”

    “And what’s that?” Titania asked, still crossing her arms.

    “Heh heh…” He floated close, turning his head to the side. “How about… a little smooch on the cheek for your favorite little Netzi, huh?”

    Titania merely gave the Netzi a hug, hoping that it would be enough. After a moment she stepped back. “Will that suffice instead?”

    Edminfar sighed, but slowly nodded. “Aye… I guess it is better than the slap I would usually get.” He went back and grabbed the armor. “I’ll have it ready and better than ever by this time tomorrow. Sound good, love?”

    “Sounds great, Ed. Although…” Titania trailed off, looking at the various helms in the room, “how much do those helms cost?”

    “Hmm?” Ed looked at the helmets. “Well, the leather ones are an SP each. Those simply metal ones are a GP. As for the fancier ones, they range between five and fifteen. Anything in particular you like?”

    “The leather ones, as I used to have one but I lost mine in battle.” Titania explained, as she stared at them, “I’ll have to wait until I can get enough money to buy one of those…”

    “Well…” Edminfar floated over to one that went well with her armor. “My dear, who can I expect you to grace my presence and buy my wares if we lost you out there thanks to a lack of headware? Why don’t you take this, and pay me when you get the chance? No interest, of course.” He laugh. “Not like I don’t know where to find you if you try to skimp me, right?”

    “Thank you.” Titania bowed in Ed’s direction, offering a smile that Ed would have a tough time seeing.

    Ed bowed himself. “Of course. I do have my good sides, you know?”

    “I figured. And finally, one last thing, Ed…” Titania started, coming back up from the bow. “There is a project I might need your help with. And it involves… well, you’ll see.” With that Titania dashed with incredible speed towards the door, becoming more of a blur than a person, turned and returned to her spot in an exceedingly short time.

    Ed blinked in surprised. “Wow, that… was impressive. But I’m not sure how I could help with… making you faster?”

    Titania’s legs wobbled, as she struggled to stay upright. “Damn… still not fully healed..” She murmured to herself before turning to Ed, “That’s one of my abilities, but… it hurts me to do so. Like I-won’t-be able-to-walk-and-my-legs-will-bleed kind of hurt. Do you think you could make something to stabilize me when I run that fast?”

    “Hmm…” Ed floated over, looking her legs over, though the serious expression on his face said it wasn’t for perverted reasons this time. “It certainly does seem like an ability that would deal a lot of stress to your body. I think I can come up with a set of under clothing that would help relieve the stress from friction… and over leg ware that would give your legs extra support for your weight. Getting over the stress in full will be a matter of practice, but I can certainly make you something to help you along.”

    Titania’s face brightened, as she leaned against the wall to help her regain her strength. “Thank you, I… can’t really last too long in a fight if I use that ability. My next paycheck will go directly to you, Ed. For costs and as a proper thank you.”

    Edminfar bowed his head. “Thank you. Though don’t worry about paying me too much.” He lifted the armor. “Now, go rest. Maybe pick up a nice book. Leave this to Ol’ Ed.” He gave her an encouraging smile.

    “I will. Thanks again for everything, Ed.” Titania said, as she walked slowly out of the armory, her legs barely able to support her.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017
  2. Black0ut

    Black0ut Active Member

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    Black0ut & Frostlich1228 present:
    The Engineer and the Mage



    Jay sat down in the Main Hall, staring at two books, but appeared not to be reading them. As people passed him, the only action he took was to shift his sitting position to a different variant.

    As he sat, a younger looking Netzi fluttered past him then popped down and sat next to him, only a few feet away. She had a small pouch which seemed to be full of small parts and appeared to be waiting for someone. The small bat-beaver laid back, clearly bored as she noticed Jay staring at the cover of his books.

    “Problem? Books have insides.” She stated, placing her hands between her head and the hard floor.

    “I know.” Jay responded, not taking his eyes off the books. And If I could actually read, I’d read them…

    “Is very interesting?” The Netzi said, leaning over and looking at the cover herself.

    It merely read, “History of Terra Dolor”. “I suppose. It does have its merits.” The elven mage responded.

    “Does it? Crisp leather, nice back. Good stitch. I see…” She replied half sarcastically.

    “Don’t forget old.” Jay added, his eyes finally focusing on the newcomer. “Jay.”

    “Veeti. Waiting for friend.” She stated, “Looking for part.”

    “What part?” Jay inquired, intrigued by what the Netzi might say next.

    “Small nozzle, gas nozzle. Important.”She explained quickly, making about an inch gap between two of her fingers to show it’s size.

    “What do you need a nozzle for?” Jay asked.

    Veeti smirked devilishly, “Prototype… Fire thrower, compact.”

    “That’s pretty cool. Will it be handheld, or is it more of a siege device?”

    “Attachment, very small. Fits on arm, gauntlet.” Her eyes lit up a little just talking about it.

    “Then I can’t wait to see how your ingenious invention performs.” Jay said, smiling at the Netzi’s excitement.

    Her excitement dropped a smidge, “Sadly, still concept. First version not complete even.”

    “Well, let me know when you have a working model. I’d love to test it out.” Jay responded.

    “You sure?” She asked, raising an eyebrow. “Napalm. Sticky, messy, can explode. Stick too. Of course, will test using dummy first.”

    The mage merely conjured a ball of water into existence. “I can douse myself in water to the point where I’d be enveloped by the stuff. I’ll be fine.”

    “Water mage! Very handy for fire testing then. Must introduce you to friend.” Veeti stood up, spotting Betty coming in through the front entrance.

    Stepping into the hall empty handed, Betty shrugged at her friend. “I can’t vind any nozzles in the garbage. I would hate to have to buy zomething that could… Explode.”

    “Why not just ask Lady Havenbrook for assistance?” Jay asked, assuming that this was the friend Veeti was talking about.

    “I already got paid, is zhat not assistance enough?” Betty replied nonaggressively.*

    “Buying an appropriate nozzle would be more helpful.” Jay pointed out, as a ball of light floated into the orb of water, brightening the hall slightly.

    “I can’t ask her to buy zhings for me, she’s my boss.” Betty pointed out to the stranger.*

    “Propose it as an invention that’d be the first of its kind and would greatly enhance her hunter’s attack prowess.” Jay retorted, tilting his head slightly.

    “Not bad idea.” Veeti stated.

    “But ze flamethrower will only be used in tandem with the gauntlet.” The Thrope pointed out. “Perhaps we could scale it up, no? To a handheld version about musket sized.”

    “Still long way away.” Veeti countered.

    “Yes, of course. I doubt we would even be able to convince Lady Havenbrook without zomething more tangible.” Betty nodded in thought.

    “I’ll… help you build a prototype to show Lady Havenbrook. Just… let me prepare a few water spells…” Jay responded hesitantly, finally opening up to the two.

    “How much do you know about building zhings…?”

    “Jay.” Veeti finished.

    “Yes, Jay.” Betty nodded.

    “Some rudimentary knowledge on building things. Titania has read me a few books on engineering things, and because I never forget things I hear or see, I always have that knowledge.” Jay explained, as he returned his look to the books he had.

    Veeti’s eyes widened. “You… No read? Cannot?”

    “I cannot. And when we are closer friends, I shall tell you why.” Jay replied casually, as he stacked the two books on top of one another.

    The Fly Thrope nodded once, “I understand. Is it zafe to ask you who zis Titania is? Is she another hunter? Are you a hunter?”

    “We both are hunters, yes. And Titania is my… companion I came here with.” Jay explained, as he looked off at nowhere in particular. “Do you think that the mage in charge here will let me work in her laboratory?”

    “Erin?” Betty confirmed. “She is very nice, I zink she’d appreciate the help.”

    Suddenly, an epiphany hit the Thrope, “What if… We ask Erin and Ed for help? I’m zure they have the parts we need and they already like us. In return, we can help them with their project.”

    “Good Idea…” Veeti said, much more happy with the idea of working with Ed than Erin.

    “I’ll ask if she allows me to be an assistant to her. Hopefully, she accepts our project, and the same with Ed.” Jay said neutrally, nodding in what seemed like acceptance.

    Betty sat down in front of the two, smiling. “So, zis Titania, is she a Light Elf too? Where are you from if you don’t mind me asking?”

    Jay’s real eye twitched at the last question, but he responded cooly, “No, Titania is a Thrope. Specifically a white wolf Thrope. And I’m from Helvan. She’s from Bevland.”

    “Are you two… You know… Together?” Betty leaned in curiously.

    “Why do you want to know? Are you perhaps interested?” Jay replied, raising an eyebrow at Betty.

    She raised her hands up defensively. “Oh no! I’m not, into you like zhat! Not zhat you’re not nice, or anything. You’re just, not my type, is all, not zhat I don’t like Light Elves or anything! It’s just that you seem to speak of her fondly is all!”

    Veeti just raised her hand to her head, giggling. “Betty, dug a hole…”

    Jay looked stunned for a second at the outburst, but broke out into a light-hearted laugh. “No...Betty, was it? No, we’re not together, as Titania’s a little too zany for me. You dating anyone here, Betty, digger of holes?”

    “No! Uh… I mean, not right now. I uh, just got here.” Betty answered quickly.

    Jay’s eyes merely flitted between the two girls. “Riiiiiight. Are you sure about that? I mean you two seem just as buddy-buddy with each other as me and ‘Tania.”

    Veeti choked slightly as Betty threw herself forward. “No no no! She is my zister!”

    Jay looked between the two, confusion spreading across his face. Then, it dawned on him. “Is one of you adopted? Or is it like you’re really close friends who say they’re family?”

    “Dad took her in. Parents gone.” Veeti said sadly.

    “Missing. They were hunters here as well.” Betty continued.

    “What are their names, if you don’t mind me asking?” The mage inquired.

    “My mother was a Vampire Bat Thrope named Vesp and my father was a Grizzly Bear Thrope named Augustus.” Betty explained. “They went missing on a mission and never came back...”

    “Well, if I ever encounter Thropes like that on a mission, I’ll tell them you wish for them to see you.” Jay responded, the sullen mood of the conversation affecting his voice.

    “Thanks. But if it were zhat easy, I zhink they would’ve been found already.” Betty said sadly. “But I will find zome kind of closure… I must.”

    “Well, regardless, if I happen to find people fitting those descriptions, I’ll help them out. In the meantime… would you guys mind telling me what you know about engineering stuff?” Jay asked as humbly as he could.

    “It took me a long time and it won’t be easy.” Betty stated calmly, “It’s not zomething I can just… Tell…”

    “I can remember everything you say and have something Titania calls ‘eidetic memory’, whatever that means…” Jay retorted, the humbleness gone and in its place; cockiness.

    She put a hand on her hip. “Oh really now? Well, building zhings takes more zhan memory. It takes experience, persistence, willpower, and just a touch of winging it. Think you have all zhat?”

    “Yup, ‘cause that more or less sounds like magic in general.” Jay replied, giving the two a bored look that seemed to say ‘bring it on’.

    “Vell then… Bring it on… Apprentice.” Betty smirked, motioning for him to follow, “We’ve got a long day.”
     
  3. MarineAvenger

    MarineAvenger Operator 21O Staff Member

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    Weird Encounters Part One (MarineAvenger and DarkGemini)

    Several days after his meeting the leader of the Havenbrook Hunters, the Dragon Thrope Drayce had kept to his word and was staying out of trouble and keeping to the rules. He found much of the manor to be quite curious in aesthetic. Just yesterday he spent five straight hours merely staring at one of the marble busts lining one of the hallways, occasionally poking it before remembering Mina’s words not to touch anything. Today, his attention was divided on a whole new task: observing the hiding hole of his archnemesis and wait for movement. He was down on all fours five feet away, staring at the mouse hole with large, predatory eyes, growling a bit in anticipation with his cheeks puffed out, ready to pounce for the rodent. He didn’t really pay attention to the occasional passerby who stared and commented under their breath, but that was because none of them had seemed curious enough to approach. So he knelt there, waiting. It was going onto hour six now of no movement.

    “Are you quite alright?” the voice of a man came to him from above.

    “Quite.” the young man muttered in a low, determined tone, than his head perked up. “That voice almost sounds like the Old Man.” Drayce looked up curiously.

    A man in alabaster-white armor filled his field of view, gold highlights accenting the polished suit of interlocking plates. Beside him was a woman with the colors inverted, gold dominating the color palette - white merely an afterthought. The latter spoke up. “I was told you’ve been in this spot for hours, staring at the wall. That’s… weird, if not downright concerning,” she stated bluntly.

    The Thrope’s head tilted to the side in disappointment as he saw the man he thought he heard turned out not to be the one he had hoped. Standing up, the dragon boy pulled his cloak tighter around himself to brush off some dust. “Why?”

    “Well…” Solomon shook his head. “It depends on what you were doing. If you’re meditating, forgive my squire’s impudence… but otherwise I canst fathom why you would occupy the same spot for so long.”

    The young man pointed a finger at the small hole while looking at the two knights. “There is a mouse in there. My purpose in life is to catch that mouse. I cannot rest until that fiend is caught for the good of all of dragon kind. That way I may release him and begin the chase anew.” he informed with no care he dropped the dragon part in there -or more accurately forgot and didn’t bother to care.

    “...dragonkind?” Sela glanced over at Solomon, audibly whispering, “you think he’s insane?”

    “Cotose ferrod aesthyr…” Drayce muttered, glancing over at the hole, he saw a head poking out of it and his eyes narrowed, the already abnormal red and orange irises becoming slit.

    “Perhaps not…” Solomon replied.

    “All that proves is he’s some sort of lizard Thrope. That doesn’t remotely exclude the possibility that he’s nuts,” Sela retorted.

    “I am not a nut. I am quite clearly not born from a tree. Rude golden woman indeed…” he took one step forward and was about to transform more until he remembered at the last moment when he pounced that Mina had told him not to. Because of that, he was off balance and couldn’t catch himself as he fell flat on his face, the mouse disappearing once more. The Thrope pouted and took a deep breath, blowing a small ember sized ball of fire into the hole, followed by the frantic squeak. A satisfied chuckle and grin came from him at the sound.

    Solomon looked over at Sela, who frowned in response. She could feel the triumphant expression on her master’s face. “Alright, alright, don’t rub it in. I’ll withhold snap judgements in the future…” she grumbled. “Are you seriously what I think you are?” she questioned the mouser.

    Drayce sat up and got on his rear, crossing his legs and looking up at the armored teen. “I do not know what you think. If you think I am a mouse, I ask you if you think I would fit in that hole. Or… you know, some sort of nut, in which case I think you are more of one with that hard exterior armor and pruney texture to your face.” he commented with nothing but pure, uncoated innocence.

    “I-what?” How the hell do I even begin to unpack that?

    Solomon pondered the series of statements for a moment. “You appear to be operating under several misconceptions,” he assessed. “For one, the way we use the word ‘nut’ differs based on context. Sela was using it as a synonym for a crazy person, which you do not truthfully seem to be. Second, this armor is not part of our flesh. It merely covers… like removable scales, to make a comparison to something more familiar to you.” That said, he continued, “as for what Sela and I suspect… you are some sort of Dragon Thrope, aren’t you? I’ve never heard of or seen such a thing, but yet you are here before me, befitting such a description.”

    “I still do not completely understand this Thrope stuff. My mother and all of my friends always considered me a dragon like them. I was warned that the ways down south were different. There are ‘races’ here. There isn’t much differentiation with dragons to cause a racial divide. My mother was scaleless, but she was still a dragon. To make you southlanders understand better, I guess I am this Thrope. But my blood will always be of dragon.” Drayce affirmed with a sort of prideful tone. He looked up and stood, taking one leap and going to his favorite napping spot in the rafters. “Are you both Thropes as well?”

    Solomon shook his head. “I am human, and my squire is an elf. The place from which you come sounds fascinating,” he remarked sincerely. “Isolation and ethnic homology must have shaped such an outlook.”

    “Ho… homo-what?” the young thirteen year-old looking boy asked, shaking his head. “You definitely are not Gramps… he spoke without such confusing big words.”

    “A difference in language,” Solomon replied with a shrug.

    “Plus I’m pretty sure he likes hearing the sound of his own voice,” Sela spoke, holding a hand up on the side of herself facing Solomon - as if such a motion would mask her words from him but not Drayce. Solomon, if he was offended by the notion, said nothing of it.

    “I wish the Old Man was here. He told me a lot about what to expect about the southern lands. Mina seemed to recognize his name but never met him. Have either of you met Gramps Uladen?” he inquired, letting his arms and legs dangle lazily.

    “Can’t say that I have,” Sela replied. “We’ve never been to this home of yours, ‘northlander’.”

    A grin appeared on Drayce’s face, “The elf has tepohaic vi montua ooble. Like a baby dragon who has not yet grown her fangs.” he commented in a weird taunting but playful way.

    “Hey, don’t you get smug just because you can speak a language that I don’t understand, lle ai rihta. I can do that too,” Sela riposted.

    “Dout dask jahus vi hamster vur dout opsola smells hefoc sasktor berries.” he shot back, sticking his tongue out at her. “At least these elves have some life and fire. It is different than others.”

    Solomon chuckled. “Indeed she does… ‘tis both a blessing and a curse, really. She has the energy and powerful passion of youth, but with that comes recklessness.” To Sela, he chided, “don’t let yourself be baited so easily.”

    Irritated by the comment, but recognizing the wisdom in the warning, Sela forced herself to relax. “Alright, alright.”
     
  4. MarineAvenger

    MarineAvenger Operator 21O Staff Member

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    Weird Encounters Part Two (MarineAvenger and DarkGemini)

    “So you’ve spoken to Lady Havenbrook already?” Solomon nodded. “I suppose you would have to in order to enter the guild. Sela and I have met her the once, but only for the formal proceedings of attaining membership.”

    “Are you two wed?” Drayce asked the two of them both, “You act like two who tangle wings.”

    Sela coughed with her helmet. Taking a moment to steady herself, she replied, “of course not! I’m his student, not… not a wife,” the bemused elf clarified.

    “That’s… so weird. There are not many girl dragons, so I never met one taught by a male before.” Slipping forward from the beam, he ungracefully tumbled but somehow managed on his feet, and almost pressed against the elf knight, looking over her curiously. “How do southlanders define beauty? I keep getting vague answers.”

    Too close. “Wha-...” Sela took a step back, making a motion to rub her forehead in consternation before being reminded that her helmet was in the way. Retracting the hand, she noted, “you have a tendency to ask strange questions out of nowhere, I see…” A pause, and then, “if you really want an answer, I can try and list some qualities. People have individual preferences, so a generalization is hard. Broadly, something that’s different from your draconic home is that smoothness of skin is valued, rather than… I can’t pretend to know if the inverse applies with scaly dragons or not.”

    Drayce sat down in front of her and rubbed his chin curiously, “Liandriana did explain somethings. She said her scaleless body was considered exotic in a way, since almost all dragons have scales. Most times though, you had to listen to a dragon song to understand how beautiful a girl was. For the men, it was how hard their scales were and how effective their breath was. Talibrimagor painted on the walls of his caves, and told me that they were beautiful to him. Sunsets are pretty too, when they glisten right off scales.” Looking down at his left hand, there was a band of black scales arranged together on a ring on his middle-most finger.

    “Combat power’s not usually one of the criteria for us,” Sela contrasted. “Body’s shapes another important factor. A lot of men prefer curvaceous forms.” The elf rubbed the back of her neck. “A-And I don’t… k-know if there’s any analogue with your people, but the size of the chest is also relevant,” the squire said quickly.

    “Uh… why?” The young man’s head tilted as an eyebrow shot up questioningly.

    “I’m not a man; I don’t pretend to understand,” she responded tersely.

    “Can I see yours?” Drayce retorted with no sense of tact, though not to his own fault, more not understanding manners that seemed common sense to the knights.

    “No you can’t, you little creep!” Sela exclaimed. Calming herself down - reminded of the fact that he didn’t understand - she explained, “that… that sort of stuff is private. You only show that to… I guess in your terms you’d call it a mate.”

    He blinked a few times from her outburst, Drayce scratching the back of his matted hair and looking uncomfortable, “Si mi bivai…” The phrase almost sounded apologetic from the tone, “Mating is a formality for dragons. I suppose when it comes to emotions we… I believe the human-equivalent phrase would be… we… ‘wear our hearts on our… sleeves?’. I am not used to all these southlander boundaries. No such things usually existed before unless entering one’s cave unannounced. Even then, close friends were allowed to do so without harm.”

    “People here have customs that are quite different. I… don’t think I’m adequately equipped to explain it all to you in one sitting,” Sela confessed. “You’re probably better off observing how people interact with one another.”

    “I suppose I have a lot to learn still. One day I may even be able to discover why a chest is coveted in the south. For right now, it is all just too strange. Especially when one does not teach by example.” Drayce let out a small, defeated sigh.
     
  5. MarineAvenger

    MarineAvenger Operator 21O Staff Member

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    Xiekivi Re Kraid (MarineAvenger and BlackOut)

    Titania wandered the halls, her usual battle attire currently in the armory. She wore a simple purple t-shirt, and sported a shiny gold ring with several valuable stones on it. She yawned, and started to stretch, oblivious to anything and everything.

    It was because of this that the woman tripped over herself, a large obstruction in the form of a young boy having been the cause. He was wrapped up in a black coat, and he was staring rather intensely at a bust of an older woman, his head slightly tilted. His attention -much like hers a moment ago- was oblivious to what had happened.

    Blinking slowly, she stood up from where she crashed. “Umm… are you lost, kid? You look a little too young to be here…” Titania said hesitantly.

    “What is beauty to humans?” the mystery boy asked curiously, looking her over before sighing, “Or whatever it is that you other races are. I wish to know what beauty is like for southlanders.”

    Titania scratched her head, unsure what to do with the strange boy. “‘Southlanders’...? Um… I guess to answer your question, beauty is subjective. What one person finds beautiful, another may find it repulsive. Does Mi-er- Lady Havenbrook know you’re here?”

    “I am Drayce. Mina says I am here guest, but I just have to stay out of trouble. She thinks I can cause a lot of trouble.” Looking back to the statue, he shifted slightly closer, admiring the beauty of the bust.

    “Why does she think that?” Titania asked, intrigued by the sheer mysterious nature of the conversation.

    “Because I cause a lot of trouble.” The Dragon Thrope answered honestly and with a mischievous grin.

    “Well, I think I’d be more trouble than you, as I’m a wolf Thrope, but if you think you can cause more trouble than me… I’ll believe that when you grow wings and fly.” Titania replied, raising an eyebrow at the strange boy.

    The young man frowned, “More of this Thrope stuff… so weird. And for your information, I do fly. I just prefer not to… and because Mina said not to scare people by letting them see myself.”

    “You have... an interesting imagination, kid. Besides, you keep pretending not to know what the various races are. It kind of gives it away that you’re joking. I’ll go get Mina, and have her put you in her office. This is no place for a tween to be…” Titania trailed off, as she began to look for where she was.

    “What is… a tween?” the mystery boy asked, scratching the top of his matted hair. “So many weird southlander words. I do not understand…” Looking back, he also pouted, “And I do have wings. Mina just doesn’t like me showing people.”

    Titania sighed, and took off her glove to reveal a white-furred claw instead of a hand. “This is something I don’t show people. Now… since I showed you my secret, do you mind proving yours?”

    Rubbing his chin, the young looking boy nodded, “Mina did not say I couldn’t share secrets…” With a confident nod, he stood, though made sure that anything of value was not in the way as he began taking off his cloak, and then his armor… and then his underclothing.

    Titania’s face turned a bright red, her mind reeling at the boy’s undressing. “U-um… Why are you taking your clothes off? I think I’m going to look away…” Titania said quietly, turning her head away from the young-looking teen.

    “You said you wanted to see, and it is harder to do without tearing my clothes. I already did it once going after that evil mouse…” He muttered, having spent the better part of two hours sewing those holes back up. He stood there is nothing but his underwear, and if Titania bothered to look, there were scales that covered his neck, his ribs and outer thighs. The Thrope’s body shifted and the scales began covering more of his body, his already razor sharp looking teeth expanding so they poked out of his mouth, his hands also shifting to dragon claws. His eyes became slitted, and as he said, two scaled wings expanded from his back.

    Titania’s eyes widened at the sight, and some primordial part of her body reacted in fear, as she too began to change. Her claws grew sharper, as did her teeth, as her fur covered most of her body, with a prime exception being her face. Titania dropped to all fours and backed away slightly. “Wha… how...where… why…? I’m sorry… but for some reason, my guts tell me you’re something scary.” Titania stood back up, her eyes cautious but not hostile. “I’m sorry if I frightened you. That was sheer instinct…. sorry…”

    “Vi pluvt jalla l'gra vi ouk…” Drayce muttered under his breath, his features slowly receding as he sat among his clothes still laying on the floor. “Oh… uh, sorry. People seem to still be annoyed when I speak in my more familiar language sometimes. Sorry as well for scaring you little pup.”

    Titania’s smile became more predatorial for a moment then faded along with her form, until she reverted back into her normal state of self. “Little pup? I’m pretty sure I’m older than you… and bigger. But that’s besides the point. What kind of Thrope are you? You’re like a lizard with those scales, but you have wings…”

    “I am a dragon.” The leader of the Havenbrook Hunter’s warnings about his identity were basically all forgotten several days after the meeting.

    “A dragon…? Well… um… I… I guess this is just a thing then. Tecunte must’ve brought dragons back.” Titania said, visibly shaken by the news as she leaned against a nearby wall.

    “I don’t know who that is.” The Dragon Thrope stated honestly. “Do you know why chests are special for southlanders?”

    “Tecunte is the Goddess of Discord and… I don’t really know. People are weird.” Titania replied, still staring straight ahead of herself.

    “Xiekivi re kraid.” He agreed with a strong nod. “Can I see yours?”

    “Why?” Titania asked, her prior stupor seemingly worn off, as she stared at the Dragon Thrope.

    “Because I am curious about this southlander mystery. The last girl I asked got angry.”

    Slowly, Titania realized what the Dragon Thrope was missing. “Drayce… do you know what breasts are?”

    “There are something personal to southlanders reserved for mates. But that concept confuses me. There is nothing held for mates only from where I am from. Dragons are open creatures. We have no reason to feel the shame that you people place with these… boundaries.” He explained as concisely as possible, slowly beginning to redress.

    “And that’s where you’ll get into trouble, Drayce. We women have breasts, and thus we generally get upset if someone asks to see them. We… ‘southlanders’ aren’t as open as Dragons may be, so it may be in your best interest to avoid that topic.” Titania explained, rubbing one of her ears gingerly.

    “Hmm… but you didn’t say no. And you saw my chest. And my wings, which are… sort of the same thing. I still do not understand holding back things emotionally. Doing such a thing is unnatural.” The young Thrope complained with a wiggle of his nose, now fully dressed except for his cloak.

    “N-no… I’m not showing you my chest, Drayce. And as for why chest-showing is… something frowned upon, that’s due to thousands of years of society saying it's bad to do so.” Titania explained, as she sat down, looking a little more tired than usual.

    “Aesthyri re kraid…” The young Thrope noted, letting out a tired sigh of his own. “There is much I need to learn. The south is such a strange and alien land.” he crawled over to Titania and laid against her leg, “It makes me wish I could return to my home.”

    Titanaia raised an eyebrow, but said nothing about Drayce’s action. “Well, you seem pleasant enough company, so that’d suck if you left. Besides, you must be the first Dragon Thrope in a long time. How old are you anyways? I’ll tell you my age if you tell me yours.” Titania bargained, having learned that bargaining worked well with Drayce.

    “I have lived seventeen years.” The young man answered in a small voice. “Anyways, I cannot leave even if I wished. I… I do not remember how to return. My memory is gone of that information. Purposely I would imagine. Many of my early memories are gone as well. I only have about half of them left.”

    “Huh. Well, that blows. I’m sorry your memories are gone. What do you plan to do, now that you’re here at LW’s manor? Erm, I mean Wilhelmina, of course.” Titania replied.

    “She said she would protect me while I learn here. How exactly I will learn, I have yet to see. Southlanders are strange people.” Drayce stated as his eyes closed and he huddled into a ball, his head still on her leg.

    “We probably seem as strange to you as you seem to us.” Titania said with a yawn, before realizing another route she could explore. “I can help you understand certain things about us ‘southlanders’ and you could help me understand your dragon culture. Does that sound good to you?”

    “Hm… a teacher? I suppose someone needs to replace Talibrimagor. Okay, you have a deal miss.” The Dragon Thrope said with a very slight nod before sleeping on his new teacher and student.
     
  6. DarkGemini24601

    DarkGemini24601 Well-Known Member

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    DarkGemini24601 and ExoGrim: “Jousting Jabs”

    Grasslands just outside of Havenbrook Manor

    Woosh, woosh, woosh. In rapid succession, Sela thrust her halberd forward, pulled it back, threw it forward again, yanked it back, and launched it forward again. She briefly entertained the idea of a fourth strike, but her muscles groaned in protest, and thus that spark was swiftly snuffed out. The young elven woman instead spun her weapon ninety degrees, balancing it against the grasses and dirt of the ground. She leaned on the handle's end, taking a breather.

    "Alright, take five," she said jokingly; there was no opponent to whom she was actually speaking. Rather, the squire had been shadow-sparring - practicing her skills against an imaginary opponent. Some might call the methodology foolish, but in Sela's mind it beat the mundane practice pattern of mindless, stagnant drills. Mocking up a battle in her head was much more conducive to her learning, and thus this is how she trained when alone.

    But she wasn't alone for long. Leaving her weapon standing up like a scarecrow in the middle of the field, Sela turned to her traveling pack and rummaged around in it. Finding her waterskin, she dragged it out and had a drink. As the soothing water poured down her dry throat, the elf's keen ears picked up on the faintest shuffling of grass. It was so silent she nearly didn't hear it. Whoever that is knows how to move silently. The realization brought with it the portent of danger, and thus - after a moment of feigning obliviousness - Sela whirled. The squire seized her weapon of choice, and brought it to defend herself. "Who's there?" she called out defensively.

    Arlia had been in that bush. She was checking to see who would be training at this time so she could get used to the hours and plan accordingly. The moment she was spotted, she slowly and cautiously exited the bush and raised her hands. "No need to be alarmed. I'm a hunter... like you." Though she had good intentions, they were hidden by the face mask she wore.

    Sela, wise enough to not believe her immediately - but conversely not wanting to be rude if she was telling the truth - visibly lowered her guard. Her muscles remained coiled like springs if she needed to burst into action. "Ah, alright," Sela outwardly acknowledged. "What's your name?"

    "My name is Arlia." The assassin replied. Knowing that she was no longer in danger, Arlia lowered her arms and rested one hand on the hilt of her blade. "I see you're one for training by yourself rather than the knight you seem to always be with... may I ask why?"

    "Eh, I don't always train alone; to call me more inclined to practice by myself would be a characterization," Sela amended. "He's just busy right now, and I didn't have anything interesting to do myself - so I came out here. Simple as that."

    "Interesting..." Arlia grinned from behind her face mask. "Mind if I joined you then? It would be beneficial for both of us to practice for anything that could happen... don't you agree?"

    "Hmm... alright," Sela agreed. Just to be sure this wasn't some sort of deception, and out of the caution that her master had drilled into her, the squire stipulated one condition: "let's head back to the main training grounds and grab some practice weapons. Solomon says that only the most experienced dare spar with deadly weapons, and well..." Sela - her helmet lying atop her traveling pack - pointed to her youthful features (marking her as young even by elven standards). "I'd be conceited to say I'm heavily experienced when I look like this."

    "Fair enough." Arlia took a kunai off of her belt and spun it in her hand. "Now that I think about it, some of my personal equipment is a little too dangerous for sparring, perhaps they would have ones better suited for this kind of training."

    "I'm sure there's a wide variety of blunt instruments we can work with." Sela walked Arlia over to the training fields, seizing a wooden spear for herself.

    Arlia took her katana out of the sheath and stabbed it into the ground next to her. She replaced her katana with a wooden blade, and her kunai with oaken throwing daggers, before walking to the other side of the arena. "Ready when you are."

    Sela nodded. "Let's do this." She immediately lunged forward, jabbing her polearm at Arlia.

    Arlia leaped back to avoid the stab, throwing a knife mid jump. She then placed her hand on the training blade and began to focus. She was prepared for the next attack, regardless of which direction.

    Sela narrowly dodged the toss of the blade - becoming quickly aware that Arlia was a dangerous opponent with her ability to throw weapons on demand. Knowing this, Sela paced around the assassin, falling back on her master's tactic of forcing the enemy to go on the offensive - and hopefully overextend themselves.

    Instead of charging in with her sword, Arlia threw two knives she had hidden in her sleeve. One darted forward while the other curved around, flying towards the knights shoulder.

    As both of the attacks were thrown from arm-level, Sela ducked low. The squire sunk to her knees, and swiped her polearm in an arc - meaning to catch Arlia's legs with the strike.

    Arlia let the strike hit her, the using the moment from the to trip and swing her blade at the knights head. Arlia did this hoping to knock the warrior down to the ground with her, as she knew there was no way to avoid the attack even if she tried.

    The strike landed home, and Sela - dazed - dropped to her knees. "Owww... come on, if I'd been using my halberd you'd be short two legs - too injured to do something like that," she complained.

    Arlia chuckled as she jumped to her feet and check her leg for bruising. "Then it's a good thing you didn't have it then. One thing your master needs to teach you is to take advantage of your opponent based on their actions and equipment. If you had your halberd, I would've never tried something as risky as that... but since you didn't, I was able to play a little reckless."

    "If I'm fighting with wooden weapons in real combat, then I'm already doomed," Sela retorted, rolling her eyes.

    "Not exactly." Arlia countered. "During my time in war, I had a friend who used only wooden weapons in the heat of battle. He was fast and strong enough that it didn't matter the weapon he carried... He could cut steel armor with the very spear you're carrying now."

    "Yeah, but if you're going to use magic to increase cutting power you should boost something that's already sharp. No point in being inefficient," Sela contended. "The weapons I have suit me just fine."

    The assassin sighed. "Well, in Stormrend, not everyone has the equipment you do. We were each given titles based on what we were capable of with the tools and skills we had."

    Sela shrugged. "That's admirable, but when you have the right tools you should use them.”

    "Sometimes, the right tools are not the ones that are the best." Arlia opined as she placed all of her weapons back in their right places. "You must know the weaknesses of your equipment. For example, I'm better at throwing weapons from afar, but they leave me vulnerable at close-quarters. This is why I have my katana with me."

    "My halberd's like a spear and axe in one," Sela noted. "And my scattergun is useful for area destruction. You're looking down upon me as if I'm some fledgling," the elf analyzed with a narrowing of her eyes. "I've fought since I was a child. I'm not incompetent."

    "But you rush your opponent." Arlia pointed out. "That alone is a big weakness you have to be worries about. You rely too much on fast, heavy swings... each failed attack could leave you vulnerable to a counter from a smart enemy."

    "And that is why you have a team," Sela riposted. "Solomon's an expert in defensive combat. He occupies the enemy and gives me openings to strike." The elf held up a finger. "And before you say 'but what if you're alone', I wouldn't pick fights I wasn't reasonable confident I could win with my style alone."

    "Then what if the fight it forced upon you?" Arlia remarked, now getting irritated. "You must always be prepared to fight. You need to learn this, not only for your safety, but for that of those you care about..." The assassin was about to continue her rant, but lowered her head in guilt. "... don't do what I did."

    Projecting, is she? Sela began to realize. "One cannot be skilled in everything," Sela enjoined with a shake of her head. "You can only improve yourself so much. Although I'm loathe to give into this axiom of his, Solomon admittedly has a good point when he says 'there will always be a warrior great than thou'. It is nothing to be ashamed of."

    "Ashamed is a understatement for what I have done." Arlia kept her head lowered, not making eye contact. "I failed to protect my General and when I was given the chance to avenge him... I didn't do it."

    "You must have had a rationale for staying your hand," Sela reasoned.

    "You're not the first to tell me that." The assassin replied. "Still, I often wonder what would happen if that traitor died the day we first went to battle together."

    "The past cannot be changed. I don't see a reason to ponder the unknowable," Sela stated neutrally.

    Arlia looked at her desert comrade. "Perhaps you are right. I shouldn't focus so much energy on the past. The future is what I should look forward to."

    "Indeed. At least the future is something we have a little agency over," Sela replied with a nod.

    "Exactly." Arlia look off into the distance. "I should get going. There's someone I need to talk to."

    Although the words were abrupt, Sela did not protest. "Alright. See you around."

    "Until we meet again." Arlia said as she made her way back into the manor.
     
  7. DarkGemini24601

    DarkGemini24601 Well-Known Member

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    DarkGemini24601 and Black0ut: “Supper Showstopper”

    Offshoot Dining Room

    The Sun had grown drowsy. Unable to stand up any longer, the once-brilliant orb - now glazed orange from tiredness - began to lie down on his horizon-bed. He settled into soft, puffy pink cloud-sheets that warmly welcomed him. With his light beginning to be concealed by the snug blanket surrounding him, the ceiling above shifted from a bright sky-color to a deeper shade of blue. It would not be long before Sol was lulled completely into sleep, and left the world to rest along with him.

    Sela could see the diurnal ritual taking place from the window. She sat in a small dining room, not the primary chamber by any means; that room spanned a size comparable to the grand entry hall itself. Rather, this modest dinner hall was meant for those who made their domiciles in bedchambers not far from its location: the right wing of the second floor of Havenbrook Manor. The room Sela shared with her master was only a few dozen feet away, to the right and around a corner. If not for the exercise and excitement from earlier in the day, such a short trip between places would have threatened to make her as sleepy as the Sun.

    Rather, she wasn't tired quite yet - and the sirloin steak she had already begun to dig into restored her energy. I wonder if I'll have to go out and train some more before I'll be able to sleep, Sela wondered idly. It wouldn't be the first time she was too lively to rest, and it wouldn't be the last. Solomon has trouble keeping up sometimes, Sela reflected, though... She chuckled. He's got no right to act like an old man; he's still in his thirties for Tempora's sake! I suppose he just does it because it fits his 'wise-man' perso-Her thoughts were interrupted; the door creaked as it was drawn ajar.

    Jay walked in, a plate in one hand, a glass the other. Noting the stranger in the room, and not feeling too social, he sat a couple seat away from her. Still somewhat perturbed by the presence of another person in the room, he quietly casted a spell to fill his cup with water. He finally nodded at the other Hunter, noting her pointed ears, and then began to eat the salad he had brought.

    Continuing this strange, wordless form of communication, Sela sparked a flame on her index finger - using it to add a grilled texture to part of her steam. Having identified her magic element - as he had - Sela resumed chowing down on the hunk of beef.

    Smiling slightly, Jay conjured an orb to appear above him acting as an additional light source. With that, he continued eating his meal. She's rather intriguing... is she a mage-warrior?

    Two elements, huh? Well, he's got me beat there... but... Sela accelerated her own time, allowing her to finish off the steak faster.

    Jay paused for a moment, admiring the stranger's magical prowess. The water in his cup floated and combined with the light orb, enhancing the light slightly. Then with a slight whoosh the water dispersed into water particles that sparkled in the light.

    Sela thought for a moment herself, and then tried something to combine her own talents. The bone left on her plate sparked, particularly where scraps of meat - not worth the effort to remove at this point - ignited. Flames crackled along the bone, as if it were a fortune teller's implement, cast into a pyre to see how it would break.

    Jay nodded, and - seeing that he would soon be outdone - decided to turn towards the window. Taking out his staff, he concentrated on a point and a vortex of water appeared, swirling viciously for a few seconds.

    In the back of Sela's mind she realized that such use of magic was frivolous, but the competitive part of her brain won the mental tug-of-war quite easily. She lifted a hand, creating a red-orange orb of fire within her open palm. That sphere served as a nexus for a display she created using the torches lighting the room. Fire threaded from them to her central globe, and then between one another, creating a lovely network not unlike an intricate spiderweb.

    Realizing his defeat, Jay bowed to the other mage, while conjuring a flag of light to wave back and forth. She is a talented mage to say the least...

    Sela returned the room's lighting to a normal state, satisfied. "...that was an interesting way to introduce ourselves," she said at last.

    "Indeed, Fire and... was that time magic?" Jay asked tilting his head to the side.

    Sela nodded. "Yep. Specifically I can speed it up."

    Jay nodded, as he took his seat to finish his meal. Pausing before doing so, he noted, "If I'm not mistaken, only the God of Time or his chosen acolytes can wield such power, so... I assume that's you're god?"

    "Solomon and I serve him, yeah. He learned how to manipulate time from the Immoradia Archival Monks, and passed it down to me," Sela explained in summary.

    "Interesting... Titania would probably benefit from your magic... erm, Titania's my... companion I came here with." Jay explained, gesturing with his hand as he talked,"She can run ridiculously fast, but at the cost of her own health. I heard that she fought Solomon earlier and injured herself severely for it."

    Sela raised an eyebrow. "Did she? Well... I don't mean to offend, but that's probably her own fault. Solomon wouldn't set out to hurt a sparring partner."

    "Oh, it was entirely her fault. She's a little too cocky and reckless, but usually I can calm those aspects of her. However, I'm not with her twenty-four seven, so... things like that happen." Jay responded, shaking his head in disappointment.

    "Eh, you do the best you can," Sela responded noncommittally. "So what's your name, companion-of-Titania?"

    "Technically, I don't have one. But Titania calls me Jay Sancros, and I suppose you can as well." The mage replied.

    "What do you meant 'technically'?" Sela questioned.

    "I was born without a name." Jay said simply, recalling a question he hadn't yet asked, "What's your name, mage?"

    "Sela Fay'thiel," was her reply. "Nice to meet you, Jay."

    "It's a pleasure to meet you, Sela Fay'thiel." Jay said with a smirk.
     
  8. ExoGrim

    ExoGrim Active Member

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    Black0ut and ExoGrim: Back in the Day

    Titania sat on a chair in her room with two tomes, the only reading material that she and Jay had on their journey to the Havenbrook Manor. One was a children’s book, while the other followed mathematical equations. However, both books were ignored as Titania took a nap, slightly exhausted from training, her door slightly ajar.

    Arlia made her way to her own living quarters after her guard shift. She decided it be best to take a short nap to prepare herself for her first possible mission. On her way over, she examined the halls in order to remember the area in case of an ambush. She noticed the slightly open door and creeked it further to see Titania asleep inside. She grinned at the sight. “Someone’s working a little too hard.”

    Titania didn't stir, oblivious to the assassin in her room. She murmured out something incoherent, before slightly turning in the chair.

    The assassin giggled at the wolf Thrope. Most definately training too hard. She’s starting to remind me of myself back then. Arlia thought back to her time with General Thunder. She recalled all the times she had been told she was trying too hard and how many times she hurt herself in order to train for the war. Stormrend had expected discipline and she had provided that. Unfortunately… Arlia shook her head before the memory turned bitter. She decided to take a gamble and shook Titania lightly to wake her.

    That however proved to be an effective yet painful method, as Titania grabbed Arlia’s wrist and squeezed, her claws making their presence known as they threatened to pierce the assassin’s skin. Titania groggily opened her eyes, and blinked a couple times before realizing what she was doing. “S-sorry!” Releasing Arlia’s wrist, Titania looked at the floor sheepishly. “I… don't always recall where I am when I'm waking up… sorry, Arlia…”

    “It’s okay.” Arlia took out a pouch from her belt. From the pouch, she took out a small packet of crushed herbs. “It’s nothing this can’t fix.”

    “Still… sorry. I shouldn't have hurt you, Arlia… I'm sorry.” The Thrope over-apologized, her emotions bleeding out onto her face.

    Arlia placed a finger on Titania’s mouth to shush her. “Listen, it was my fault for not knowing… and besides, I can deal with it without a problem. I’ll show you.” She placed the herbs from the bag onto the pierced parts of her wrist. They sizzled slightly and left pink and red marks on the skin. “This combination of herbs is a basic, but effective, Stormrend creation. It boils any liquid it comes in contact with, including blood. Using a certain amount can cause a wound to cauterize itself… but you have to know what you're doing.”

    “That's pretty cool… but, um… I just made you waste what reserves you have on a small wound. I'll pay whatever it costs.” Titania replied, gently setting the books aside so she could get her coin purse.

    “Don’t worry about it.” Arlia replied. “Most of the herbs needed for the pouches are in the Havenbrook garden and the others are easy to obtain.”

    Titania nodded, and then recalling Arlia’s unexplained appearance, asked, “Not to be rude… but why are you in my room?”

    “I noticed that your door was open so I decided to check on you.” The assassin responded. “Is it not custom to make sure a comrade is okay?”

    “I suppose not…” Titania said hesitantly, still slightly suspicious of the assassin. “Well, what now?”

    “Depends on what you want to happen now…” Arlia said as she leaned against the wall of the room. “My job here is done, so I could leave if you see fit, or I could stay if you wanted to talk or have any questions.”

    “Um… the latter option, if you will… So, how do you know me? I mean, you said as much the last time we met, so… when did we meet?”

    Arlia paused and took the time to consider her options. “Do you promise to keep a secret?”

    “I don’t see why not. Although, the open door behind you might not offer the most privacy for what you want to talk about.” Titania replied, as she walked to her bed and sat down.

    The assassin nodded as she closed the door next to her. “Now that that’s out of the way, we knew each other once, but not as we know each other now. Back then you were a young noble with a big dream… and I was princess of Stormrend.”

    Titania raised an eyebrow, “I apologize, but excuse me if I don’t exactly believe that’s the truth.”

    Arlia paused again. “You were familiar with Stormrend and it’s royal family right?”

    “I am, and I don’t remember an assassin being apart of the royal family.” Titania replied, crossing her arms.

    “So you don’t remember what happened to the Princess before the war started?” The assassin inquired, raising an eyebrow.

    “We were not really in contact, so no, I don’t know what happened to her.” Titania admitted curtly.

    “You didn’t hear that the Princess had gone missing shortly before the war started?” Arlia pressed on, trying to guide the Thrope to the conclusion she was hoping for.

    “No.” She said frankly, raising an eyebrow at the news.

    “Fair enough.” Arlia paused once again. “You must’ve done what I did then. When war broke loose, you left the safety of the royal castile to help the soldiers… because you couldn’t let them die knowing you did nothing to save them.”

    “Not exactly. In Bevland, I’m not entitled to inherit our Parliamentary seat, and as such, I left to train and protect people over the many lands if I could, although...” Titania rubbed her head, a slightly embarrassed look on her face, “not all of my crossings were legal…”

    “And neither were mine…” Arlia let out a soft chuckle. “Granted, it doesn’t help when you’re supposed to be missing as well as being a wanted war criminal.”

    Titania took off a glove, revealing her claw. “True, but it also doesn’t help when you possess different physical traits than the other races…”

    “That too…” Arlia looked down at her feet, not sure what to say next.

    Titania noticed Arlia’s attention wandering and thus decided to poke her nose. Upon doing so, she merely said, “Boop.”

    “Ummm…” The princess looked at the Thrope. “What was that for?”

    “Well, you were daydreaming and that was the only way I could think of to draw your attention back. So… you say you’re the princess. Do you have any proof to support that claim?”

    Arlia buckled a bit of her armor and pulled out a necklace from inside her shirt. The lovely thing had gold coloring with red and blue detailing and the royal Stormrend insignia on the white jewel on the end of it. “This was my mother’s. It was one of her most beautiful pieces of jewelry she had and my favorite of her collection.”

    Titania grabbed the necklace and examined it. “It looks real enough… okay. One last test. The real princess knew my favorite color, so… what is it?”

    “You never were one for picking just one.” Arlia answered. “And if I remember correctly, the colors were red and purple.”

    Titania stared at the assassin for a long time. Then she stood. “So… you weren’t lying. You are who you say you are. It’s been a long time since we were friends… but I don’t know if I can make an exception for you. Especially because you didn’t come to see me. For years.” Titania replied rigidly, her body stance suggesting friendliness, while her voice was merely neutral.

    Arlia walked over and hugged the Thrope. “I’m sorry. When the death count came out, I couldn’t sit idly anymore. I had to do what was necessary for my people… even if it meant dying for them.”

    Titania stayed rigid in her former friend’s arms. “You could’ve asked for help. And I would have come to aid you. But you didn’t. Instead, you left me, my only best friend, to rot in the bureaucracy of my country’s politics. Nothing. For years. And now, you have the gall to stand here, and expect me to forgive you?” Titania gently, pushed Arlia’s body away from her so there was room between them, “Maybe in time I will forgive you, Arlia, but now is not that time. Please... just leave.”

    Arlia slowly let go of her former friend, a tear streaking across her face. “Right… I’ll be going then…” Arlia opened the door and gently closed it behind her, before darting away from the room trying her best not to cry.
     
  9. ExoGrim

    ExoGrim Active Member

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    The Assassin’s Past: Friends

    Sandā Outpost, Stormrend
    March 20th, 3341
    Evening


    Arlia looked at herself wearing her new armor in the mirror. She had been so accustomed to dresses that armor seemed foreign and strange to her. Nevertheless, it was required to stay in the frontlines - where she was needed. As a part of tradition, all Stormrend soldiers were to provide their own weapons, so Arlia stole a blade and throwing sets from her father’s armory. After placing the various shurikens and kunai on her belt, as well as the scabbard for the katana, Arlia walked over to the nearby pod.

    The pod was rather small, but it had it’s beauty. The setting sun glowed majestically over the clear water and illuminated the shining fish of the land. The princess sat in the beach near the pod and began to toss pebbles threw the water. Each pebble she threw bounced off the liquid three to four times before sinking to the bottom. Arlia’s boredom and vision tunneled onto the activity… as nothing had happened on her first day.

    “Nice throwing arm you got there.” The sudden voice startled the princess. “Oh. My apologies, where are my manners.”

    The voice belonged to a young and fair man, almost a child. He had scruffy black hair and ragged clothes. Despite all of this, he had a bit of a charm to him. Arlia’s cheeks flushed slightly as she attempted to speak. “N-n-no… don’t worry about it. I j-just… um… was distracted… that’s all.”

    “It seems you’re distracted right now…” The boy said with a coy grin. When he saw that Arlia’s face turn bright red, he began to laugh. “I’m only joking. The name’s Malder by the way… may I ask what’s yours?”

    The princess swallowed the lump in her throat… not sure how to respond. After getting over her flustered demeanor, she said. “My name’s Arlia.”

    Malder looked at the girl in surprise before laughing once again. “Name after the princess are ya?”

    Arlia sighed in relief. “Guess you could say that.”

    “Oh, please.” The young warrior plopped onto the sand next to her. “What I would do to be named after the Emperor… think of what kind of honor that would be.”

    “More like expectation…” Arlia muttered under her breath.

    “Pardon?”

    “Nothing…” Arlia shifted slightly in the sand before noticing the boy’s weapon. “A wooden sword?”

    “Hey, you know heard what the recruiters said, the weapons you bring are the weapons you have.” Malder shrugged. “I’m just not as fortunate as you.”

    Guilt filled up in Arlia. “I’m sorry for asking.”

    “Hey, don’t worry about it.” Malder said cheerfully. “I’ve been through worse. I’m sure I can manage with this old stick.”

    Arlia let out her own laugh and the two talk their way through the night. They had become friends that day… not realizing what fate had planned for them.
     
  10. ZombieSplitter53

    ZombieSplitter53 Game Master Staff Member

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    ExoGrim & ZombieSplitter53
    The Worst Laid Plans
    Part One


    Havenbrook Manor/Guildhouse
    The Armory/Forge
    Jan. 26th, 3349
    6:45 p.m.


    Arlia placed herself in a dark corner of the manor, somewhere where no one could find her unless they knew the location well enough. Here, she sat down and cried. The overwhelming feelings she had could no longer be contained. She had abandoned her closest friend and, when she tried to make amends, was told that she was no longer such. Only one person knew how to save her in this state, and that traitor would be dead if he even tried.

    “My, my, my, what have we here?” a voice asked from the shadows. “A sad whelp crying her eyes out near my lab. How sad.”

    Arlia didn’t move. She only continued her mopping without even looking up to acknowledge the voice.

    After a moment, the person sighed, and took a few steps forward. “If I lend you one of my exceptional ears and help you dry those tears, can I continue my work in peace?”

    Arlia looked up at the person in question. “And what do you know? You have this whole part of the manor to yourself… you probably never leave because you think people are too much of a hassle.”

    Erin’s ears twitched, and she folded her arms. “What I know is a great many things on a great many subjects. I might not care for the hassle of others, but that does not mean I know nothing on the subject. Honestly, no need to be hostile when I am offering you assistance. Many would envy you for this.”

    “And how do I know you’re actually here to help me?” Arlia said, the tears slowing. “For all I know, someone could have sent you to have my killed.”

    Erin let out an obnoxious laugh, placing the back of her hand over her mouth. “My dear, if I wanted you dead, we wouldn’t still be talking. You seem to think highly of yourself, assuming any random stranger cares to kill you.”

    “Anyone can be a threat to those not prepared.” Arlia countered, her voice now sharp. “I have many enemies who would like to see me dead. You could be working for one of them.”

    Erin tapped her foot impatiently. She pulled out a staff, and pointed it at Arlia. “You are correct, you whelp! I am the skilled assassin, Erin! Prepare to die!” Several sharp blades of Earth formed in front of her, and shot towards Arlia.

    Arlia rolled out of the way of the sudden attack. Getting up quickly, Arlia faded into the shadows of the room. “Assassin? Do you even realize who you’re dealing with? I’ll show you what a real assassin is capable of.” The assassin’s voice seemed to come from more than one place a once, echoing from multiple spots.

    “Hmm… even I am susceptible to the occasional bad idea,” Erin muttered to herself. Forming a swirl of wind in one hand, she sent out a ball of fire, searching the shadows for Arlia. “Perhaps… we should go back to the talking bit?”

    Instead of responding, Arlia threw two kunai in the mage’s direction, both curving through the air from two angles.

    Erin’s magic detected the disturbance in the air at the last second, and she held her wind spell towards them. The kunai shot to the side and into the walls, one whizzing past her air. Her eyes widening, she started forming a stronger Earth spell, worried she would have to actually fight for her life. “Alright, that’s enough, dear. I am not your enemy. I… I simply wished to take your mind off of whatever was bothering you. Seeing as how you instead seem to be focused on my death, I would say it worked a bit too well.”

    “I’ve heard this enough times.” Arlia said through the shadow, the sound of her unsheathing her blade echoing alongside her voice. “When a enemy is cornered, they try to bargain with you. And if you accept their offer, they stab you in the back.” Arlia dashed out of the shadows, her katana flashing in the light and aimed towards Erin.

    Erin jumped back and threw up a stone barrier. It helped avoid a fatal blow, but a thin line cut across Erin’s chest. “Whoa! Enough!” Short quarters… tight corridors…. Very bad idea… She sent out a large stone and blasted it with a fireball, dust filling the corridor and blinding Arlia. When the dust settled, Erin was out of sight.

    “Coward…” Arlia muttered as she sheathed her blade and disappeared back into the shadows. If anything, the assailant would return with backup… so Arlia would prepare herself to catch them off guard.

    After a minute, Arlia noted movement out of the corner of her eye. Glancing over, she say a small, black rabbit hop across the hallway, through a half open door.

    Arlia paid no attention to the rabbit, not wanting to lose focus if the mage did come back. A few minutes later, she heard soft steps approaching from the room. A white rabbit hopped out. Then a brown one. Then two more. Within a few seconds, over a dozen rabbits were hopping down the hall in Arlia’s general direction, though none heading directly for her.

    A clever ploy… trying to distract me with a threat of discovery. That can only mean one thing… Arlia began to scan the room. She’s still here.
     
  11. ZombieSplitter53

    ZombieSplitter53 Game Master Staff Member

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    The Worst Laid Plans
    Part Two


    And yet, there was no movement but the rabbits. As they hopped back, Arlia used her skills to see through the darkness, blocking out the light and readying herself to strike at any threat. After a minute, however, she heard movement behind her. A moment later, she felt half a dozen blades of stone pressing against her neck. “I have you dead to rights, dear… if I wanted to actually kill you.”

    Arlia focused her mind to ignore the pain and prepare to counter the threat. “You think that you have me by your thumb because of a few pitiful blades? I’ll show you what death truly looks like.” Arlia spun around, unsheathing her blade and aiming for the mage’s neck. The voice in her head screeched. STOP! The assassin’s body froze, fear flooding her eyes. She fell to her knees and began to breath heavily.

    Erin held her throat, breathing heavily herself. She considered forming a fireball and finishing Arlia while she had the chance, but instead reached a hand out and placed a hand on Arlia’s shoulder. “Are… you okay, dear?”

    Arlia was about to say something, but the voice said. You need time to think about what you’ve done. And suddenly, the assassin passed out.

    A short time later, Arlia slowly started to come to. Looking around, she found she was in a lab of sorts. Machines buzzed, vials burbled, and rabbits stared through cages. “You know,” Erin said from somewhere in the back. “I considered binding you, but I hope the fact that you’re still alive is enough to prove I’m not your enemy.”

    “What… happened…” Arlia asked faintly.

    “Well…” Erin cleared her throat. “I attempted to relieve you of your grief by feigning an attempt on your life. I nearly lost my head for my trouble, but then you suddenly… stopped. Then, for no apparent reason, you passed out. So I quickly clothed myself to avoid embarrassment, dragged you into here, and… here we are. Up to speed, dear?”

    The voice, wasn’t as accepting, however. You could’ve killed her! It yelled through the assassin’s mind. Arlia groaned. “Isn’t that my job?” She responded.

    “Isn’t what your job?” Erin walked over, and offered Arlia a cup of tea.

    No! It’s your job to protect the innocent and help those in need! Why do you always think of yourself as a cold-blooded killer?! The voice snapped back, in which Arlia replied. “Because I would be if it weren’t for your interference. Can’t you see that you can’t save me?”

    Erin blinked a few times. “Okay… um… perhaps my plan failed because you have caught a bit of the crazies…” She placed the tea to the side, and scratched one of her ears. “So, um… if I can distract you from your… internal conflict, I would like to ask that you not mention this to our superiors. It might look bad for the both of us.”

    Arlia looked at the mage, realizing that she was still with someone else. “Sorry, this voice has stopped me from from killing before, and it seems to have more control over my body then it used to.”

    “Well, that is a distressing thought, though it is hard to feel too bad about it when I was one of the ones it saved.” Erin sipped from her own cup. “So… what is the nature of this voice? A curse? Possession? Sharing a body with a demon? Past life intruding on your current existence? Or are you simply mad? Um, no offense.”

    “I’m not sure…” The assassin lowered her head. “She claims to be me, but we are nothing alike… at least not anymore.”

    “I see. Perhaps some traumatic event in your life split your sense of self into one who retains who you have become, while another part of you attempts to hold on to your past self. Quite interesting.” Erin adjusting her small spectacles. “Would it be a terrible bother if I got a sample of your brain matter? It wouldn’t hurt too much…”

    “As long as I don’t die, you can take what you want.” Arlia answered.

    “Excellent. Though we should probably wait for your constitution to recover a bit. In the meantime, if there is nothing…” Erin paused, considering simply having Arlia herself. To her own surprise, she instead asked, “Are you feeling better from when I first found you? Do you wish to talk about what had you so upset?”

    “May we can talk later, but yes, I am better than before.” Arlia stated. “Not trying to kill you this time, that’s for sure.”

    Erin ran her hand over the scratch on her chest she would need to heal later. “Yes, that would be nice. In the meantime, I would recommend you get some rest. After getting something to eat. The blood I took from you shows you are lacking in iron. Red meat, seafood, beans, or dried fruits for you. We must take care of ourselves, dear.”

    Arlia sighed, but there was no arguing with the medic, regardless of your opinion. “Alright then, I’ll try to see about that when I have the chance to eat.”

    “Right. Off with you then. I have important work to do.” Erin smiled. “Do come back if you wish to talk, though.”

    “Alright then, see you later.” Arlia said, waving as she closed the door behind her. Maybe this place isn’t as bad as I thought it was.
     
  12. Frostlich1228 (Alt)

    Frostlich1228 (Alt) Well-Known Member

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    Frostlich1228 & ExoGrim, “The Art of Screwing.”



    Sitting on the table in her room, Betty was trying to get the tightness just right on a few parts of her experimental handheld flamecaster. The bolts needed to be just the right tightness or they would run the risk of falling apart, which, in the case of a volatile cocktail like oil and fire, would be particularly disastrous. Carefully twisting her two inch long mini wrench, one tiny amount too tight or loose would cause her to have to unscrew it and do it all over again.

    The Thrope stuck her tongue out a little as she focused, but a minor twitch in her fingers caused the screw to twist slightly too far and her to groan in frustration. “Uggghh! Ztupid twitchy fingers.”

    Zulik, hearing the groan, knocked briefly on the door next to him. “Everything okay in there?”

    “Uh, who is it?” Betty asked, not recognizing the voice.

    “It’s Zulik.” The corrupted elf replied through the door. “It appears that you’re having some troubles… is there any way I can help.”

    “Zulik! Ah… Tell me, do you have zteady fingers?” The Thrope asked, standing up slowly.

    Zulik paused as he looked at his gauntlet hand. “Depends on what you mean by steady…”

    Walking over to the door, Betty continued. “Do they ah… Twitch very much?”

    “No they do not, but I have little feeling left in the arm that would be most suited for the task at hand.” The corrupted elf answered. “There would be no guarantee that I would be able to do the job properly.”

    “Could you… Try perhaps? I would understand if you didn’t vant to of course.” She asked, unlocking the door.

    Zulik smiled slightly. “You never know until you try. I’ll give it a shot.”

    “Zhank you friend.” Betty smiled, leading him inside.

    As Zulik entered the room, he noticed the device on the table. “May I ask what exactly you want my to do?”

    “I need to you twist this screw, exactly one-hundred and twenty-three degrees, no more, no less. If it’s too loose, it’ll come apart during firing, and if it’s too tight, the pressure inside could be too much and cause it to explode.” Betty explained, pulling another chair up to the table.

    “So you asking me to know the math you just stated and apply it to a device I’ve never seen before…” Zulik sighed as he sat down. “Should be simple enough.”

    “Don’t worry, I’ve marked the spot it needs to turn to in red ink, you just have to get line it with the ink line on the bolt.” She stated, passing the tiny wrench over to him.

    With the wrench in his hand, Zulik began carefully turning the screw. His hand didn’t seem to even move, except for him turning his wrist with the wrench. Watching carefully, Betty held her breath as she watched his hands at work. The moment he reached the ink mark, his hand stopped erupting, as if it went limp. “Like that?” Zulik said, not noticing the strangeness of his actions.

    Quickly picking up a magnifying glass, she checked the straightness. “Just… a quarter inch looser…”

    Zulik attempted to move his arm, but something didn’t seem right. “That’s odd.”

    “Huh? What’s ze matter?” Betty asked curiously.

    Barely managing to readjust the screw, he took the wrench off of the device. “It appears that I’ve lost control over my own hand.”

    “Really?” The Thrope asked, showing some concern. “Are you alright?”

    “I hope so.” The corrupted elf answered, examining his hand further.

    “How does it work, is it mechanical?” She asked, moving her magnifying glass over to examine it.

    “When I was corrupted, the gauntlet I was wearing fused with my arm.” He explained. “It would more something of magic than engineering."

    “I’m not quite familiar with magic, what caused this exactly?” Betty asked, looking back up at him.

    “A creature only known as the Evil.” Zulik replied. “My master was trying to find a way to kill it when it found us.”

    “It was a monster zhen? What did it look like?” She asked, touching the metal arm.

    “I’d prefer not to talk about it…” Zulik’s gaze lowered.

    “Gah, I’m… I’m zorry. Forgive my rudeness.” She apologized, bowing her head slightly.

    “No need to apologies.” Zulik patted the engineer on the head with is regular hand. “You were merely curious… and I respect that.”

    “Zometimes I must stop myself, I’m not careful enough when talking about such traumatic zhings.” She stated, pulling off her goggles for a moment.

    “You won’t know until you ask.” Zulik remarked. “Though, if you know someone who can fix my arm, that would be more of a priority.”

    “Have you seen Ms. Erin? She is the one most knowledgeable in magic study here. If anyone could, I zhink it would be her.” Betty explained, standing up and wiping off her apron.

    “Fair enough,” Zulik got up himself. “I’ll see if the rabbit has another trick up her sleeve and hopefully get this fixed.”

    Betty wanted to try and get him to stay, but quickly realized this problem with his arm was clearly pressing. “Would you like me to go with you?”

    “No that won’t be necessary.” The elf said as he made his way for the door. “You have more pressing matters. Ones project do come first, don’t they?”

    “I wouldn’t want to abandon my new friend, would I? Ah but… Taking a break would throw off my focus…” The engineer said, looking between the table and Zulik. “Are you zure you don’t need me?”

    “I’m sure,” He answered softly. “When I get this fixed, you’ll be the first to know… I promise.”

    Her face turned a little red as he said that. “Uh… Good, z-zhank you.”

    Suddenly the door flew open, a small, floating, ball of fur coming through the door carrying some supplies. “Betty! Got parts! I- What… What you doing in here?”

    “Veeti! Uh… He was just helping me screw…” Betty suddenly realized what she said and backpedaled, “I mean he vas screwing zhings for me! My hands are twitchy!” Veeti just eyed him suspiciously.

    “This is your friend from when we first met right?” Zulik replied, extending his hand. “I don’t think we ever properly introduced ourselves, Veeti… so I’m certain you know my name.”

    “Yes… Zulik. What Betty saying. I would be suspicious… But Betty awkward.” Veeti smirked slyly, causing her friend to stick her tongue out at her.

    “Oh, don’t worry.” Zulik reassured. “I won’t do anything like that without her permission.”

    “Hope not. Have a gun.” The Netzi replied plainly.

    “Well, until we meet again, Veeti, Betty.” Zulik casually said, seeming oblivious to the threat. “I’ve got an arm to fix.”

    The Thrope waved him out as Veeti approached her. “Bye Zulik, I hope everything goes vell!”

    “So… how was ‘screwing’?” Veeti asked, hopping up and offloading her scrap.

    Looking back over to the bolt, Betty found that it had found it’s way into just the position she needed while he was working on it. “Huh… Look at zhat…”
     
  13. ZombieSplitter53

    ZombieSplitter53 Game Master Staff Member

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    MarineAvenger & ZombieSplitter53
    Curious Little Man
    Part One


    Havenbrook Manor/Guildhouse
    Near the Library
    Jan. 27th, 3349
    1:12 p.m.


    Aemilia slowly, carefully made her way through the halls of the manor, travelling across the second floor. Having spent most of her day in the library, she was making her way to the pair of rooms and kitchen that had been turned into a massive mess hall.

    As usual, she knew every nook and cranny of her path, able to move her hand along the wall and around displays without disturbing. Naturally, though, she had no way of knowing that someone had carelessly left their shield in the hall while they ran to grab something. She slipped on it, falling and hitting her knees hard before falling flat. "O-ow," she said silently, a pained look on her face.
    As she laid on the floor groaning in pain, something pressed her back repeatedly. "Are you dead?" The voice of a young man asked.

    "N-no... not dead." The girl sat up, that out a pained hiss through her teeth. She reached down, lightly touching the scrape on her knee from hitting the shield. "Is it bad?"

    "Mmm... it is just a scratch." Drayce said as he leaned down, running his tongue over her wound very carefully.

    She shuddered lightly. "Uh... what was that?"

    "I am helping your wound get better by licking it. It always makes cuts feel better. My mother did it whenever I was hurt too." The young man said as he took a piece of his cloak and ripped it, tying it around her knee tightly.

    Aemilia frowned. "Oh... I appreciate it, but you didn't have to rip your clothes. I could have gotten a bandage. I... I'm sorry to be a bother."

    Drayce let out a small laugh. "Not a bother. A little bird fallen out of the nest is not a burden. Just needs help getting back up. No matter how tasty it looks. Mother told me that. You have to wait till a bird matures, and the small ones are not even snacks."

    Aemilia giggled. "You... you mother sounds very wise, and she kind. And so are you." She slowly extended her hand, though a bit off center. "My name is Aemilia. It is nice to meet you."

    "I am Drayce. Nice to meet you pretty girl." The Thrope complimented with a child-like grin.

    Aemilia blushed. "Th-thank you," she responded, placing a hand in her warm cheek. "No one's ever... ahem. You... you want to get some lunch? I was heading to the mess hall before... I fell."

    "Mmm... Nah, I am not-" his stomach growled loudly. "I am actually very hungry. I went looking for some pigs but all I found were these little squirrels, and they are hardly meals either. There is a place that distributes food? You southlanders don't hunt them in the wild?"

    Aemilia couldn't help but giggle again. "You're weird. In a good way." She carefully climbed to her feet. "And people hunt. Billy... I mean, Lady Havenbrook just has people do the hunting for her, and they bring the meat and vegetables here. I guess it is not as exciting as hunting yourself, but it is something she needs to do when feeding so many people."

    "Why did you call Mina Billy? Is she really a boy? But that doesn't make sense... She has a chest, and only girls have chests, right?" Aemilia couldn't tell but Drayce had the most perplexed look on his face.

    Aemilia shook her head. "While that is mostly true, it's just another nickname. See, her full name is Wilhelmina, and she usually shortens it to Mina. But her name is also the girl form of William, and a nickname for that is Billy, so she uses it too. Oh, but she only likes certain people calling her that."

    "My head hurts..." The young Thrope complained as he tried to follow the logic of her second nickname, but knew he now had something to use on her since he was technically special to her, and should give him the go ahead without asking.

    “Best not think about it if it is too out there.” Aemilia carefully reached down. After a moment of searching, she found the shield she had tripped on and placed it against the wall. “Hopefully whoever owns this won’t get mad that I moved it.” She reached her hand out. “Come on. I’ll show you where we eat.”

    “Hm… how can you show me anything with those wraps around your eyes?” The young man asked, getting close and poking the bridge of her nose in between her eyes. “It’s probably why you tripped too silly.”

    Despite the sensitive subject, Aemilia only smiled, noting the innocence in the comment. “I can’t see. The blindfold is just there to cover my blind eye.” Not entirely true, but she was more used to keeping secrets then her new friend.

    “Hm, well this won’t do at all.” The young dragon reached out and picked the girl up by her sides and proceeded to hold her like a sack of potatoes. “There. Now you can point the way without falling over again.” he sounded so proud about his plan.

    “U-uh…” The girl turned her head as if looking, or listening, to see if anyone else was nearby. “This is kind of embarrassing. Though I guess I didn’t make a good impression about my ability to navigate, did I?” With a defeated sigh, she pointed forward. “Down to the main entry hall, down the stairs, and into the east wing.”

    “Right. To food!” The older boy announced as he marched down the hallway with his tool to getting fed in tow.

    As Aemilia bounced along, she said, “Often I’ll eat in one of the smaller dining rooms on the second floors with Lady…” Well, he speaks of her casually. “...with Mina. But she’s busy. She has… someone over, someone I’m not supposed to be around… and whom I wouldn’t want to be anyway. But that’s okay. I like listening to all the different conversations in the main dining hall, and if I didn’t go there today, I might not have run into you.”

    “Well we could eat on the roof.” he suggested, “There is a nice breeze and sometimes I shoot fire at the birds for fun. Not to hit. But they like the challenge.”

    “Oh, you shouldn’t pick on the poor birdies,” Aemilia contended. “They bring such pleasant little songs. It would not be good to scare them away by throwing fireballs at them.”

    Drayce chuckled, “It is not like they are big fireballs. And the birds understand. I understand them quite easily. Dragons use songs much like their own after all, even if the northern dialects are much, much different due to our difference of species.”

    “Dragons, huh?” Realizing the were entering the east wing, she quickly said, “Down the hall, second left. You’ll see everyone going in and out. Anyway, do you study dragons? They are actually one of my favorite things to read about. I hope to one day meet one. You know... assuming they are still out there, far beyond the Great Northern Ocean somewhere.”

    “But I am a dragon. My mother was a dragon. All my teachers were dragons. I grew up with them for seventeen years. Apparently Old Man Uladan found me stranded in the sea and brought me to them. I don’t remember the journey there much, or the one back, but there are pieces. When I try to connect them though, I get a bad headache.” he explained, once again completely ignoring Lady Havenbrook’s orders.

    “Really?” Aemilia was silent for a bit, assessing whether or not believing him would be naive. Deciding he really had no reason to lie, especially about that, she smiled. “Wow, so… s-so you not only saw really dragons, but you also lived with them? That… that’s so cool!”

    “Yeah… I am pretty cool.” Drayce agreed wholeheartedly. “A lot of southlanders do not appreciate our jennu vers.”

    “What… what is jena verse?”

    Jennu vers.” he corrected promptly, “It means great power. It is as close to what you humans say… the word is… majesty? Ma… mage steck? I do not know. Dragon tongue is more simple than this common language of southlanders. We have less words to learn.”

    “I respect the majesty of dragons,” Aemilia quickly said. “I know you don’t remember much… but if you get to see them again, can you introduce me to one? I… heard they have great magic, far beyond that of man.” She absentmindedly touched her bandages.
     
  14. ZombieSplitter53

    ZombieSplitter53 Game Master Staff Member

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    MarineAvenger & ZombieSplitter53
    Curious Little Man
    Part Two


    “Sure! It’ll be a great visek!” the Dragon Thrope announced as he reached over and pat her head. “Liandriana will probably crush you though because she loves cute things, and Smough can be scary sometimes. Talibrimagor could possibly talk your ears off for years he is so smart… hm… I don’t know who I would introduce you to. Maybe all three?”

    “That would be great. I hope it happens some day, for both our sake.” Hearing the sounds of the mess hall, she said, “Do you mind… putting me down?”

    “Not really. You are really light.” Drayce set Aemilia down on her feet but held on tightly to her hand. “I will make sure you don’t fall!”

    Aemilia blushed, and squeezed her hand. “O-okay. Um… if we go inside, you’ll see where everyone is gathered. They’re getting food. You should be able to easily find something you like with all the variety provided. Just make sure you grab a plate. It’s the round things made out of glass that people put their food on. We southlanders prefer using those over using our hands. Less messy.”

    “Less fun you mean…” the young man complained as he stepped inside, dragging the girl in behind him too. He ignored everyone else and moved along toward where all the food was assembled. He ignored everything other than the meat, but even then his nose wiggled in disgust. “Do you have any raw pig, cow, or lamb? The bloodier, the better. I don’t want it cooked one bit!”

    One of the manor’s chefs looked over from behind the counter. “You… want it completely raw? That isn’t very healthy. Besides, how do you know you won’t like it cooked if you don’t try it?”

    “I can smell it. You completely ruined all the texture and taste of all this meat. It is no good! I want the rawest meat. If you won’t give it, then tell me where to find the prey so I can hunt them myself.” The Thrope demanded, puffing out his cheeks.

    “Listen, you little brat! I ruined nothing! I am one of the best… chefs…” Her eyes wandered over to Aemilia, then to the pair’s interlocked hands. “O-oh, um… ahem. So… I have a lovely boar I was about to ‘ruin’ by cooking it, but… if you want it raw, it is all yours.”

    The red-orange slitted dragon eyes slowly returned to normal as he smiled wide. “As much as you can pile into one… um… plate.”

    “I, um… can I just have a salad?” Amelia asked meekly.

    “Of course.” The chef quickly ducked away. While one of the other cooks made a nice salad for the young girl, the original woman returned with a large plate sporting a boar leg. As had been requested of her, it looked like it had been freshly cut off, and was still dripping. “Here you go, young man. Um… enjoy?”

    From his very large smile and predatory look in his eyes, he would. “Vinxa coce usjalil!”

    “I think that means he is happy with it,” Aemilia said, and tried her best to keep up as he hurried to find a seat. “Th-that was silly of her, huh? Not realizing that a true dragon doesn’t need their food cooked?”

    “Mhmm, really silly.” As they walked across the mess, Aemilia felt herself picked up by the scruff of her shirt as Drayce held her and ran towards the corner of the room and jumped out in one swift leap.

    Aemilia lightly kicked her feet, turning her head about in a bit of a panic. “U-uh… Drayce?”

    The Thrope did not care about her frantic mood, landing on the ground hard with a jolt, but he was unfazed as he felt no pain. He crouched and the dragon boy bounded into the air, in one leap he landed on the roof of the manor and gently set the blind little girl on her butt.

    Aemilia panted heavily, shakily placing her plate to the side and trying to speak. "I... you a flew... Ima... what..." Unable to form a coherent thought, she reached into her cloak and pulled out a stuffed pig toy and grasped it tightly, trying to get her breathing under control.

    "That was fun! Welcome to the roof!" Drayce announced proudly, fists on hips after he put down his plate.

    "W-we're on the roof?" Aemilia swallowed hard. "P-please make sure... that I don't fall. I can't fly like you."

    "That wasn't flying. I only jumped." The dragon boy sat down and put his arm around her and held her against him tightly. "There. No falling. There is nothing to trip over so you will be safe."

    "R-right..." Aemilia placed her toy down and took a nervous bite of her food. Searching for something to distract her from the thought of falling off the roof, she said, "T-tell me about your dragon friends. Um... Uladan stands out. It isn't as exotic as the others. Was he named after the Sea God?"

    "Nah, the Old Man was the sea god. He told good stories. Taught me how to speak southlander language." Drayce said in a low, thoughtful tone as he took a massive chunk of boar meat off in one bite with his sharp teeth.

    Oblivious to the animalistic manner of eating, Aemilia said, "That's amazing! People occasionally meet a god here, but to be taught by one? To be close enough to one to be so informal? I just... wow..."

    "It's not a big deal..." Drayce mumbled in an embarrassed tone, the arm around her losing some grip. "I miss Gramps."

    "Well... do you pray to him?" Aemilia asked. "They say they wise, omniscient gods hear all our prays. Maybe you can tell him how much you miss him with a prayer. Or even get him to show up."

    "What's praying?" He asked confused.

    Aemilia clasped her hands together. "It is when you close your eyes, and in your head, think of all the things you would like to say to them if they were here, and ask them for things like their protection or for them to lend you strength, especially when you feel down."


    "That sounds stupid. And silly." Taking a deep breath, Drayce blew fire Aemilia could feel the heat of over his meat till the exterior was a charcoal black and ate it in one gulp.

    Aemilia jumped at the feeling, wondering if she should tell him he wasn't being considerate of the fact that she couldn't see anything coming, but decided she didn't want to be a bother. She did, however, say, "It's not stupid. We count on the gods for everyday life, so naturally we'd want to pray to them. Not only to ask them for things, but to give thanks. You... y-you should try things before you assume they're dumb."

    "Hmm... Alright. I will talk to the Old Man for you since you are not dumb, Anon." Drayce said happily.

    Aemilia smiled again. "Thank you. What's 'Anon'?"

    "It is how dragons say flower. You smell nice and look pretty and you are really fragile. An Anon." He explained with child-like excitement.

    "O-oh." Aemilia touched a blushing cheek. "That is very sweet of you. Um..." She turned her head about. "If we're on the roof, then we're alone, right? Can you do me a favor?"

    "Hm?" Drayce tilted his head, mouth full of meat.

    Aemilia reached up and slowly untied the blindfold over her eyes. Keeping her eyes closed, she said, "I know this is strange... but can you cover your eyes? So you can't see anything?"

    Gulping down his food, the dragon Thrope nodded, "Okay Anon." After that he closed his eyes.

    Aemilia slowly opened hers, squinting at the light at her little-used eyes. Carefully looking up, making sure his eyes were indeed closed, she looked him over, from head to toe. After a several seconds, trying to memorize everything about him, from his face to size to shape, she quickly closed her eyes again and put the blindfold on. "You can open your eyes now. Thank you."

    "What was that for?" He questioned curiously.

    "It's... something I can't really discuss. But I promise I'll tell you someday." Aemilia smiled sweetly. "Thank you for spending this time with me. I... really enjoyed myself... my f-friend."

    "No problem." Drayce said to the girl as he laid back and sighed contently as he rubbed his belly.

    Aemilia finished her own meal, and laid back as well. She sighed contently, but more from the enjoyable encounter with the curious little man then anything else.
     
  15. Black0ut

    Black0ut Active Member

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    ExoGrim and Black0ut present:

    Burning Rage


    Jay wandered aimlessly, intent to relax as he had completed some magical training, with minor physical exercises to complement his training regime. He passed several passersby, with a thoughtful look on his face, lost in thought. Mid walk, Jay crashed into a tall man, who immediately responded. “My apologies, sir. I should’ve been more aware of my surroundings.”

    “No, the apologies are mine, as I wasn’t watching where I was going, Mr…” Jay started apologizing, looking at the man to see if he knew him. “Zulik, was it? I remember you came out and nearly fought with Arlia when Titania and I first arrived.”

    “Actually, we ended up having that fight…” Zulik rubbed the back of his head. “But that’s not important, how’ve you been Mumbles? You seem less gloomy than before.”

    Jay immediately glowered at the man, “I suppose so.” The elf replied curtly, unhappy about the nickname that seemed to pop up more often.

    The corrupted elf looked at his comrade. “Something the matter?”

    “Mumbles.” The other Elf responded through gritted teeth.

    “Do you not like that nickname?” Zulik inquired. “I merely thought to be fitting for you… if you’d rather I’d call you something else I’d be happy to use that instead.”

    “Jay would suffice.” The other elven mage replied, his temper cooling down.

    “Alright then Jay…” Zulik replied, thinking a bit. “How skilled are you in magic?”

    “I’m good. You?”

    “I’m pretty good myself, though I tend to focus more on melee magic.” Zulik answered.

    Jay nodded, “A good pursuit. I would probably be classified as healer and a damage dealer.”

    “Well, is there something you could possibly help me with?” Zulik inquired.

    “Depends on what it is.” Jay replied, a slightly intrigued look on his face.

    “Well…” Zulik raised his gauntlet hand. “It seems that my hand has stop functioning and I was wondering if you could fix it.”

    “Your… hand. I think a professional healer would be able to help you better than I.”

    “Except the fact that celestial magic is likely to make it worse.” Zulik countered. “Or did I forget to mention that I was corrupted by chaos magic.”

    “...You’re a brilliant one, aren’t you? ‘Let me corrupt myself with the worst magic available. I’ll be fine.’ If I can help you, I will. But no promises if things go pear-shaped in the process. Got it?” Jay replied, annoyed by the Elf in front of him.

    “You know, if I had a say in what corrupted me, trust me, I wouldn’t have chosen chaos.” The corrupted elf retorted. “I had a little say in my corruption as you did with your eye.”

    A vortex of water appeared around Zulik and spun with lethal force, as it tried to tear at his flesh. “Never. Compare. Yourself. To me.” Jay growled, as the waters slowed to allow Zulik a chance to speak.

    Zulik threw a void chain at the light elf, pulling him into melee. He grabbed Jay by the throat and slammed him into the wall. “What the hell was that?! I was trying to explain myself and you go berserk for no fucking reason!”

    Jay, instead of talking, swung at Zulik with his left hand, while he grabbed the skeletal hand, which he kept around his neck, with his right hand. The elven mage imbued the hand with light energy and proceeded to strike Zulik with that, remembering that Zulik was corrupted with chaotic energy.

    Zulik took the hit from the skeleton hand, forcing the elf to let go. Zulik’s gauntlet hand suddenly filled with fire energy. “You’re not the only one who knows how to hit hard…” The corrupted elf remarked before he unleashed a massive wave of fire.

    Jay created a rudimentary water shield to counter Zulik’s spell, but the flames proved too powerful and soon passed through the shield, heavily burning Jay’s skin. He lay in a smoldering wreck, but cracked an eye open and casted. Many balls of light appeared and hurdled at Zulik with pain-fueled rage.

    Zulik took the full force of the attack, crumbling to the ground.

    Jay spoke with purpose eking out words in his native language, knowing full well Zulik would understand, but as he spoke his voice sounded old and deeper than what it usually was, “I… hate… you… so… much…”

    “Your arrogance blinds you.” Zulik replied in the same tongue, barely able to get back on his feet. “This is why whatever hell you were in, you’ll never be able to leave it.”

    “And there you go… acting high and mighty… acting like you have all the godsdamned answers…” Jay responded, getting up onto his knees, the rage in his eyes apparent. “If I’m stuck in the past, you’re stuck trying to mask your insecurities about whatever corrupted you in the first place.”

    “I was corrupted by the Evil.” Zulik remarked. “But you don’t know what I’ve been through until you’ve seen a whole village… your village… turned mad as you leave knowing that everyone you know and love just became monsters… and you abandoned them.”

    “Great sob story. I watched my mom get murdered in front of me, only to be forced to carry her rotting hand, until it turned skeletal, all the while taking more abuse than you can even fathom. The world is a shitty place, and people die. So what?” Jay growled in Doloran, as he too stood up unsteadily, running on sheer rage.

    Zulik merely limped away from the mage without saying another word. He had no reason to continue this pointless argument.

    Jay also walked away, heading for the grove of trees near the training grounds that Titania had told him about earlier, to rest and recuperate from the damage he had sustained.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2017
  16. ZombieSplitter53

    ZombieSplitter53 Game Master Staff Member

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    ExoGrim & ZombieSplitter53
    Damaged, But not Broken
    Part One


    Havenbrook Manor/Guildhouse
    Basement, Main Lab
    Jan. 27th, 3349
    1:12 p.m.


    Erin jotted down a few notes, something she did exceptionally well considering the dim lighting of her lab compounded by the extremely thick, almost comically large goggles she wore on her face. “I would rather you come and bother me some other time with this,” she muttered. “I am in the middle of a delicate procedure.”

    “Well, why don’t you stop said procedure and talk to me?” A man, tall, handsome, and with long rabbit ears of his own stood behind her, a small smile on his face. “You have been avoiding me for years now. When will you see we are destined to be together?”

    “I know for a fact that you say that to all the girls.” Erin practically threw off the glasses and spun around. “Now, for the last time… OUT!”

    The man narrowed his eyes and gave her a sly grin. “You know I can make you, right?”

    Erin gave a confident smile back. “But you won’t. Where is the challenge in that?”

    While the argument went on, Zulik, damaged and burned from his fight with Jay, made his way the corridor near the lab. He slowly opened the door before collapsing in front of the two.

    “Oh, my.” The man walked over and rubbed his chin. “You seem to have a rather poor looking guest. Why come here instead of the infirmary?”

    Erin dropped down next to Zulik. “Because this one is different. Help me get him on the table.”

    “Do I have…” Erin shot him an evil look, and he shrugged. “Fine, fine.” The rabbit man lifted Zulik like he was nothing, and carried him over to an examination table. “This man… he is surging with dark energies. You sure have the strangest of associates.”

    “Shut it.” Erin lightly tapped Zulik’s cheeks. “Zulik? You still with us?”

    Zulik didn’t answer, but he was still breathing, even though it was faint.

    “Heal him?” Erin ordered.

    “I beg your pardon?” The tall man scoffed. “You think that you can… can spit on my advances, and then expect me to use my vast power to help some other…” Erin suddenly jumped at him, grasping his shoulders and giving him a long, semi-sensual kiss. When she dropped down again, she sternly pointed at Zulik. “Damn it,” the man mumbled, and placed his hands over Zulik, sending waves of healing energy into him.

    Zulik’s burnt skin began to return to it’s ashy color and his breathing became regulated. He opened his eye and began to look around. “I’m still alive…?”

    “That you are.” Erin looked him over. “What happened to you? Did you get into a fight with something particularly nasty?”

    “Not something, someone.” Zulik answered, attempting to stand up from the table. “His name is Jay. He attacked me for reasons I can not understand. He nearly killed me… though I almost returned the favor myself…” Zulik lowered his gaze, shame showing on his face for the first time since he came to the manor.

    Erin let out a sigh. “I hope that doesn’t mean he’s out there dying too. What exactly stopped you from finishing each other off?”

    “By the time the two of us reached the brink of death… I had exhaust my mana and I think he did as well.” Zulik answered. “The only thing left to do was attempted to limp away.”

    “Elves can be so violent, it seems.” The man slowly shook his head. “You said you have no idea why he attacked you? Surely, there must be something one of you said, or did… gave him a weird look? Insulted his mother? Stepped on his foot? Something…”

    “I’m sorry…” Zulik turned to the man in irritation. “But I’m under the impression that there was no prejudice in this guild. Because if Elves are ‘violent’ as you say, then wouldn’t also make Thropes complete idiots? I’ve heard that remark thrown around just as often.”

    The man laughed, bending over and mumbling in Erin’s ear, “I like this one. He has fire.”

    “Shut it.” Erin patted Zulik’s gauntlet. “I think you should report this to Lady Havenbrook. She would likely eject your attacker if it was truly unprovoked.”

    Zulik took note of his gauntlet and remember his original intention. “First, I have a bit of an issue… It appears that my hand as… how do I put it… stopped working.”

    “Stopped working, huh?” Erin lifted it and slowly examined it. “Can you not move it at all? Do you have any feeling in it?”

    “I still have some feeling in the hand, but I can not move it in the slightest… I was hoping you could help me fix it.” Zulik replied as he pointed at various parts of the hand. “And then possibly I could have it repaired after I’m down talking to Havenbrook.”

    Erin held her hands over it, slowly examining the energy coming off it. “Hmm… I think I might see the problem. You have started to absorb more and more chaos energy from your encounters with others. It is effecting the circulation of magic in your system, and it is pooling in your gauntleted hand. Hmm… let me try and… open up the paths so energy can flow out of it better. That way, when you use it to absorb energy, it won’t get trapped here. Just… you might feel a surge of energy through, um… every part of the rest of your body, so… brace yourself.”

    “Better that than being crippled I guess.” The corrupted elf replied, preparing himself for the explosion of power. Grasping the gauntlet tightly, Erin was able to open the floodgates so to speak. A rush of power surged through the corrupted elf, and for several moments, it felt like he had been struck by lightning. Fire began to formed around his body as the energy unleashed itself. As the power flowed through him, the flames grew bigger and seemed to almost turn green. After the power calmed, the fire dissipated and Zulik began breathing heavily. “Talk about a power rush…”

    Erin coughed lightly, fanning some smoke out of her face. “Right, um… well, hopefully this means when you absorb more energy, you can actually use it. It’s good you came to me. Who knows what would have happened had that energy kept pooling.”

    “Most likely it would have built up, exploded, taking his hand and killing anyone in the area,” The rabbit man stated.

    Erin shot him a dirty look. “Are you still here?”

    He threw up his hands and stepped back. “Fine, I’m going. But I’ll be back. Zulik, was it? You keep that fire alive. And if you need help finding a girlfriend… or a boyfriend, all the same to me… you give me a call.”

    “I’ll keep that in mind.” Zulik answered casually. “Though I think it’s best you leave before your girlfriend decides to kill you.”

    “He is not my…” Erin started.

    “Ha ha!” The man laughed. “You’re the best, man!” A swirl of energy appeared behind him, and he stepped into it, disappearing.

    Erin rubbed her brow. “Don’t encourage him, please. Just… make sure you talk to the armory. Your gauntlet could use some repairs.”

    “I’ll do that as soon as I can.” Zulik said as he made his way to the door. “Oh and don’t take this the wrong way but… I honestly thought the two of you were dating.”

    Erin sighed. “Yes, well… that’s a long story. Maybe I’ll tell you about it some time.”

    “Fair enough…” Zulik opened the door and began to part for Lady Havenbrook’s office. “Until then, I shall be going now. Until next time.”

    Erin waved him off, sitting back and sighing, feeling tired for reasons that involved a certain stalker.
     
  17. ZombieSplitter53

    ZombieSplitter53 Game Master Staff Member

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    ExoGrim & ZombieSplitter53
    Damaged, But not Broken
    Part Two


    Over in Mina’s main office, the head of the Havenbrook Organization invited Zulik in, waving her hand to the chair her guests usually sat in. “Come in, take a load off. You… kinda look like crap. Either you are in desperate need of a good tailor, or you’ve been pushing yourself in training.”

    “Actually, neither are the case.” Zulik sat down in the chair as he spoke. “I need to talk to you about an individual I encountered this afternoon.”

    “Alright then…” Mina reached into her desk, grabbing a flask she was sure she would need. “Go on. What’s going on?”

    “His name was Jay.” Zulik continued. “When I first, he seemed like a nice man… noble and loyal. But after my talk with him today, I question that image. When I ask for his help, he merely insulted me for something I had no control over. When I tried to explain my state using something he had lost for comparison, he attacked me out of nowhere. In self-defence, I fought back… the two of us nearly killing each other.”

    “I see…” Mina took a quick shot, and sighed. “What would you like to be done with Mr… Jay?” She grabbed some papers, looking for his name.

    “Before anything is to be done…” Zulik began. “I want to know why. Why he attacked me. Why he tried to kill me.”

    “Right, well… I’d actually like to know that too. I try to… get all the facts…” Mina found Jay’s file, quickly recalling her discussion with Titania. “Huh… what, uh… what exactly did you say to him? About losing something and all that. Maybe I can provide some insight.”

    “I had stated that I had as little control over my corruption as he did over his eye.” Zulik answered. “He exact line afterwards was ‘don’t compare yourself to me.’”

    “I see. I… I might have an idea what set him off.” Mina held up a finger. “Now, it doesn’t excuse his actions. Don’t take it the wrong way. But it might explain why he got so upset.”

    “I’m a open-minded man.” The corrupted elf looked at his gauntlet, the metal still chipping off. “I guess well you see if you can resolve things so we can ensure both of our safeties… I need to see about repairs.”

    Mina looked over his gauntlet. “That would be a good idea. Just avoid him for now. There might come a time when you two have to work together, and I need to ensure you’ll be able to do so. And just remember when you come across Light Elves that… sometimes, as bad as you’ve had it, some people can have it worse. That the way they lose things, like an eye… might be a very sour subject that pushes a button you can’t unpress.” She took another small drink. “Now get that arm looked at. Look for Edminfar, and tell him I sent you down there. He’ll get it back to a solid state for free.”

    “Alright then, I’ll keep that in mind.” The elf said before opening the door. “For now, I’m going to have to say good bye.”

    Mina nodded. “Good luck.”

    Down in the basement, the armory was bustling, two teams having come back from a mission at roughly the same time. “Come on, people,” Ed shouted. “We have four weapon repairs on a rush order, that hammer has a very big crack in it that isn’t going to fix itself, and that A-rank Hunter wanted us to make him a new javelin using that material he brought back. Let’s go!” He limped to the side, and nearly ran into Zulik. “Yo! How are you?”

    “Not in the best mood, but I’ll get over it.” Zulik replied, lifting his gauntlet arm. “I have an important question I need to ask you… are you capable of working on a piece of armor while someone is still wearing it?”

    “Uuuuuuh…” Ed scratched his head. “I mean, yeah, sure. Why? You got somethin’ against takin’ it off?” Her floated up and looked it over. “Is this… fused on?”

    “Yes, it’s magically fused to my skin.” Zulik answered. “Ever since my corruption, it’s been apart of my skin.”

    “Interesting…” Edminfar waved his prosthetic hand. “Come, follow me.” As he led Zulik to a work table, he said, “Son, that thing is beat to hell. You been taking care of it? Getting regular maintenance? It’s important for any weapon, let alone on that is a part of you.”

    “Unfortunately no,” Zulik bluntly answered. “I haven’t the skill nor the money to do so.”

    “Breaks my heart…” Ed landed on the table. “Lay your hand… er, weapon, down here.” He reached into his belt, pulling out a utility knife, a screwdriver set, and a magnifying glass. “Let’s see what we can do.”

    Zulik placed his hand on the table and took a deep breath. It hopefully won’t hurt too much.

    Edminfar poked and prodded for a bit, and made a variety of faces, mostly of frustration and annoyance. “Hmm… some of these cracks go pretty deep, but nothing I can’t repair.” He looked over to one of the other Netzi. “I need a few plates… one by one. And give me some molten steel. A couple ounces. Make it quick.” Looking back up at Zulik, he said, “Um… do you have any way of… numbing the pain in your body?”

    “Other than pure tolerance, I have not way to numb myself.” Zulik answered once more before noticing the moderate hole in his gauntlet arm. “When did that happen?”

    “That’s a good question. One I wouldn’t know if you don’t.” One of the other Netzi quickly came over with a large metal cup of bubbling liquid steel. Ed slipped on some thick gloves and a mask, and picked the cup. “I can repair that hole, but first I have to plug these cracks. Not easy when you can’t take it off. Doesn’t look like they reach down to flesh, but this is probably going to make the gauntlet really, really… really hot, so… you ready?”

    “Whenever you are…” Zulik prepared himself mentally. Ed slowly poured the molten steel into the cracks. It was slow at first, but the gauntlet started to get hotter. And hotter. Before too long, the entire thing was red hot, and it felt like his arm was on fire. While he was forced to deal with it, Ed quickly flew away and came back with a large bucket of water.

    Zulik held back tears and kept from letting out a cry of pain. This had to be done, regardless of the risk or the pain. Waiting until the arm stopped glowing as brightly, Ed grabbed his upper arm and pushed the gauntlet into the bucket, hot steam shooting off. Soon, a refreshing feeling of the gauntlet cooling helping to relieve the pain. Edminfar smiled at him. “Took that like a champ.”

    Zulik let out a sigh of relief. “That was more painful than I thought.”

    “I’m sure it was.” Ed took some of the steel plates and started using a small magic torch to weld them onto the gauntlet. “Now… this weapon will get damaged again. Even with Ol’ Ed’s expert repairs. It is important that you come and see me regularly, alright? The more often we repair it, the easier it will be, and we can hopefully avoid the more painful parts. Got it?”

    “Understood…”

    It took nearly an hour, the pair chatting lightly. About how Zulik got this arm. About how Ed got his artificial arm. About Zulik’s goals. About all the women Ed had his eyes on. In the end, Ed was somehow able to get Zulik’s weapon back to 100%. “Now, the material should be nice and strong, but without adding too much weight. Just treat it right, okay?” Ed lifted his arm and grinned. “I know something about the benefits of regular maintenance.”

    “I’ll have to learn how to maintain it then.” Zulik remarked. “In the meantime, I have to continue my training. One's body needs to be maintained as well.”

    “Of course.” Edminfar tapped him on the shoulder. “Next time you’re here, bring me a nice lady to keep me company. Haven’t seen a pretty Elf woman in a while, and I bet the whole corruption thing would look sexy on her.” He laughed, and floated off to continue his work elsewhere.

    Zulik merely sighed and waved goodbye, ignoring the comment.
     
  18. Frostlich1228 (Alt)

    Frostlich1228 (Alt) Well-Known Member

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    Frostlich1228 & Dahlexpert, "The Hero and the Fair Maiden."


    Charter rubbed Slones's back and led him outside."Right, Slone go do your thing alright, I'm sure you will come back soon."

    Slone licked his partner and went into the woods. Charter then turned around and went back into the manner and tried to figure out what to do with his day. Slone quickly spotted a woman on the edge of the estate, relaxing and staring off into the distance. Slone looked at the woman and looked further into the woods, Slone then howled and another dire wolf showed up with some pups. Slone decided to just lay on the ground with his family near the manner, Slone realizing that his family would be safer in front of the manner with his master there then possible go into the woods and be attacked.

    Reaching down and petting his head, she smiled. "Hello there little pup, you have the look of a hunter about you. Strong."

    The young dire wolf wagged it's tail and is enjoying the human, the mother saw Sylive touching her pup and charged at the human wanting to attack. Slone then tackled his mate and stood in front of her roaring at her to back off, his mate then howled back and then attacked Slone. As the pair started to fight, an arrow came next to the female dire wolf.

    "Down moma, no one's is gonna hurt your baby's. Just relax alright." The female dire wold stood down and layed next to the rest of her pups, as Slone started to lick her wounds.

    Charter breather a sigh of re leaf and sees a woman petting one of Slone's kids."Um hi, um who are you?"

    "I'm sorry for causing a fight. I just like the company of animals." Sylvie responded, standing up.

    "It's fine my friends mate is, well she doesn't like humans." Charter looked down and sees one of Slone's kids rubbing his head on the girls arm."Huh I see that one of them is taking a liking to you."

    She slowly lifted him up and planted a gentle kiss on the puppy's head. "Such a good little doggy..."

    The little dire wolf licked the girl and wagged his tail. "Hum nice to see that he's liking you. Hi I'm Charter and the male dire wolf is my partner Slone, and the female is his mate."

    "Sylvie. Are you from the guild by any chance?" She asked, standing up.

    "Yes, been with them for a few weeks. I take it you're a new comer too?"

    "I am. I'm a hunter from a far away hamlet. Would I be wrong to assume you're a man of the land yourself?" She asked, stepping closer.

    "In a way, I'm a knight form Mirandia, I'm kinda far away from home. So then what country are you from or did you even live in a city?"

    "No city, but I do come from the country to the north you call Neren'teva." She explained, scratching Sloan behind the ears.

    "Really, I've been there a few times. It's a nice place, very green, plenty of trees there, I take it you lived in the forests then?" One of the pups went back to Slone as he coddled his pup.

    "I do indeed. My father says almost all travelers stick to the coast when they visit, where most of the cities are. My village is hardly found unless you're looking for it, and even then..." Sylvie trailed off.

    "Even then what, was your village well hidden or what, is something the matter?"

    "Nothings the matter. Those who search us out don't always make it, for those who do, it can take months. Ahusirra is slow to trust newcomers, but after you do earn her trust, you'll find that you are always welcomed back." The forest girl explained.

    "Ahusirra, I take it that's the guardian of your forest. That's amazing, think you can tell me more of your village?"

    "I'm getting a lot of curiosity about it, although I shouldn't be surprised. You outsiders always did find our village odd." Sylvie smirked, crossing her arms. "Yes, Ahusirra is the deity of our little hamlet, her aspect is fertility and nature."

    "Hum, how very interesting. Mind telling more about this Ahusirra, what kind of deity is she to you and your people?"

    "She is our protector. Her will is that of nature itself, kind and peaceful, but also savage and vicious." The green haired girl continued.

    "Hum she sounds like the goddess of justice, kind but ruthless to those that have done wrong, and the protector of the weak."

    "Nature is savage, ruthless. But still, she takes care of us, out of love, I'd like to think." As she said this, Slone could just barely pick up some movement in some far off foliage.

    Slone stood up and turned towards the sound he heard, laying back down on the ground.

    "Hum agreed, nature can be cruel when it want's to be, but it also has it's beauty when you look for it. Or stumble on to it by accident."

    "You're right. Now enough about me, what about you? You said you were from Mirandia, but is there anything else?" She sat back down slowly.

    "Well I was raised to be a knight, my training started when I was seven. I was also taught to respect the other races."

    "That's a good thing to teach, prejudices are a construct of society. You're either alive or you're not. There's no difference whether you're an Elf or a Human or a Thrope." Sylvie nodded.

    "Heh ain't that the truth, I never understood why people could never like other races because there different from you. I was a former mercenary, sort of. I kept to my principles and did what I thought was right, free of charge of course."

    "That's good to hear. People have to take care of each other, this world is dangerous." Sylvie stated. "Have you traveled alone all this time?"

    Charter nodded his head towards Slone. "Not entirely, I had him by my side, but in terms of a person. No I've been traveling by myself for years now, I didn't want to travel with anyone because the way I worked I'm sure who ever my partner was or would have been they would not have liked my, 'work for free style do the right thing style'."

    "Not really much of a mercenary if you're always working for free." The village girl pointed out, smiling. "You're rather like... A wandering hero. Like the ones you find in the storybooks."

    "Heh, that's what I want to be. I read so many books about heroes taking on dragons, vampires, werewolves, etc. I want to be something like that to everyone around me and just saves lives, so you could say I'm living the dream."

    "Some would say this world isn't made for heroes. That heroes aren't real." Sylvie stated. "But I believe there must some truth to the stories at least.

    "I don't care, what people say. I wish to do good, if I'm called a hero then so be it. I want to inspire people. Give them hope and not live in fear for there lives from, monsters raiders and the lot. That's one reason I joined this guild to do good and serve the land."

    "Keep in mind though, teaching them to defend themselves is just as important as protecting them." The Earth mage replied. "If they can fight back too, they will be safer."

    "Of course, don't want people to solely to rely on the lone hero and his companion. Hopefully they learn to defend themselves not sure how they will do it but they need to figure it out."

    "Well, why not teach all of them to fight like you do?" Sylvie suggested.

    "Because that takes a lot of time and effort, as well as co-adaptation. Can't make farmers, well anyone do something they don't want to do. Or just can't do."

    "True. But if they aren't willing to defend themselves, how much do they really value their lives?" Sylvie continued.

    "They do value their lives, but think about what they can lose if they were like us. We don't have children, there's no one counting on us to feed others to keep the lights on etc. See I'm sure every farmer or anyone that is attacked by raiders and monsters, I'm sure they would love to fight them off but they can't. That's where guilds and the military comes in, we protect them from the raiders and monsters and so on and in turn their food feeds not just us but everyone."

    Charter looked at Sylvie, "That's just how things are."

    "That's an interesting way to look at things..." She replied. "Everyone works together doing what they do best. Reminds me of my home."

    "That's good to hear, I do hope you enjoy your time in this outside world. I have have a book that can tell you more about the different races, would you like to have it? It can help you learn more about this world."

    "Well... I'm sure the books at my old library were thorough enough, but I won't pass up a good read." Sylvie stated, patting Slone on the head again. "It was good to meet you Charter."

    "As it was to meet you, now then I have to tend to Slone's kids. And some how talk to lady Havenbrook to convince her or tell her about Slone's kids."

    "I happen to be pretty good with animals. If you want, I can take care of them when you're out on assignments." The huntress offered.

    One of the pups, went up to Sylvie and started to lick her leg ."Hum guess I don't have a choice in that matter, guess you have a deal, thanks."

    "Don't worry, you can trust me with them, I would never allow such cute little things to come to harm." She responded happily, "And I have a few tricks for getting them to behave, all safe, I assure you..."
     
  19. ExoGrim

    ExoGrim Active Member

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    A Corrupted Past: One Among Many


    While the children played in the garden, Jarison was managing the plants and keeping on eye on the little ones. As their main supervisor, it was his responsibility to make sure they didn’t hurt themselves. The garden in Helidim was one of the most beautiful places the young priest had ever seen… though he knew that it was not the most beautiful thing ever. While he worked on the garden, he noticed one of the kids, alone, in the corner. He walked up to the kid and crouched next to him. “Everything okay, Zulik?”


    The child looked at the priest. “No one want to play with me…”


    “Well… sometimes people are like that…” Jarison took note of Zulik’s darker than normal skin as he spoke. “They judge you by your looks and choose to avoid you because… your different. But they’ll come around, just give them time.”


    “Is that what you did, Brother Jarison?” Young Zulik asked innocently.


    “Yes, of course.” The priest said, though he had often forgot that he was not like the others. He was of a lighter breed of elf, but no one in this small village seemed to mind. It was the reason he chose to live here. An idea popped in his head. “How would like to help me gather some supplies from the store?”


    The little one jumped up excitedly. “Yes! I’d love to!”


    The priest smiled and guided Zulik to the store just across the street of the church. Mediv, the store owner, seemed to have a temper when they entered. Jarison noticed this as he payed for the supplies. “Something bothering you?”


    “A couple of damn travelers are stirring up trouble…” The store owner grumbled.


    “And where are they now?” The young priest inquired, flexing the muscles in his arm inside his sleeve.


    “I just saw them going into the tavern a little bit ago.”


    “Alright then…” Jarison said, taking the boy’s hand. “I’ll inform the guard about this right away.”


    The priest left before Mediv had a chance to reply. He made his way to the tavern… only to hear Zulik say. “Isn’t the town hall that way?”


    Jarison sighed. “Zulik… sometimes you need to take matters into your own hands. I don’t think the guards will be able to do anything, but I didn’t want Mediv to worry about me.”


    “So you lied?” The young boy looked at the priest worryingly.


    “Sometimes you have to lie to protect those you care about.” The priest told young Zulik. “Now I need you to stay back and hide. I don’t want you getting hurt.”


    Zulik looked at the priest and said. “Okay.” before hiding behind a barrel by the barber shop.


    By that time, the two travelers came out of the tavern. One was a tall and well-built human, the other, a slender elf in robes. The human noticed the priest approaching. “Looky what we’ve got here… a Light Elf. How pitiful that they even plague this village.”


    “Now, now.” The Elf replied. “There’s no need to associate with this village trash, we have business to take care of.”


    “Actually, I’ve been told you two have been causing problems.” Jarison told the travelers. “I wish for you to leave as quietly as you can.”


    “Or what? Your pansy ass is gonna take me out?” The human began to laugh. “Likely story comin’ from a stupid low breed like yourself.”


    The Elf merely raised an eyebrow. “Do you honestly think you can challenge us? I wasn’t wrong about your kind being as dumb as a cow… seeing as you raise them regularly.”


    “I am a priest, not a farmer.” Jarison said, raising his sleeve to reveal a steel gauntlet. “More importantly, I am a priest of Nemesis… and I will not stand for this injustice.”


    “Nemesis?” The Elf huffed. “You think that praying to a god makes you stronger? I’ll show you just how wrong you are. Leroy, take him out.”


    The Human charged Jarison at full speed. The priest quickly ducked under the large man and slammed him hard in the gut. The force was enough to not only stun him, but cause him to collapse to the ground in pain. The priest looked at the Elf. “You have one minute took take your brute and get out of this village.”


    The Elf sighed. “Fine, we’ll leave… never wanted this land anyway.”


    The elf lifted his comrade with magic and walked away. Jarison looked in the direction of Zulik, who was in awe. The kid jumped up and yelled. “That was awesome!”
     
  20. MarineAvenger

    MarineAvenger Operator 21O Staff Member

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    Crimson Sun (MarineAvenger and ZombieSlayer53)

    The gates to the Havenbrook manor opened slowly, the light overcast in the sky causing a few droplets of freezing rain to come down, not quite cold enough for snow. An individual stepped into the courtyard looking over the place with a smile. It was an off smile, one that left someone unsettled with how disingenuous it felt. His right arm was slung against his shoulder as a bag dangled behind him and rested against the man's back.

    A cold breeze blew from the east, causing his dark blue hair to blow up, not too long, only barely an inch long. His coat went down to his knees and was of a blood red color, made even more crimson by how damp it was from the rain with a high collar, the trim of which was black, as well as the top of the shoulders and the sides of the coat arms. The shirt underneath was a dark gray color while his pants were just as blue as his hair. A flanged mace rested on his belt and looked slightly scratched up from long use, but well maintained. He proceeded forwards slowly.

    One of the gate's guards followed along, close enough to escort but a few steps away, feeling a foot or two between then was in order. They reached the main doors and he opened them. "Up the stairs, to the right. Lady Havenbrook's office is marked."

    "Thanks. Here, you can use this to buy yourself some new skivvies." The man threw a gold coin behind him half-heartedly as he continued inside and followed the directions.

    In her office, Wilhelmina marked a few papers on her Hunters. A large amount of her work time was spent on evaluation, needing to make sure everyone was properly documented so she new exactly who to keep on after contracts expired, and what ranks to assign people who renewed their contracts.

    With a short, two rap knock, the door opened and the new visitor entered into her office and stood without closing the door. "Hello there,"

    Mina looked up, and slowly took off a pair of reading glasses. "What's the point of knocking of you're just going to barge in?" she mumbled to herself. "Come on in. Close the door. Take a seat. Tell me what I can do for you."

    "Better to be safe than sorry when being rude." The man strolled in and took a seat as directed, being casual about it. "I want to be hired."

    "Alright." Mina grabbed some paperwork from a drawer. "We are always looking for new hires. Engineer? Witch? Housekeeping? Or are you applying as a Hunter like most?"

    "I do make a mean quiche. Though I am here to be a Hunter. I hear you take in runaway assassins after all." The man set down a bag on the floor that had extreme weight to it.

    Mina raised an eyebrow. "That is an oddly specific thing to hear about... but not untrue. As long as you don't start assassinating anyone here, you are welcome."

    "Please, I follow three simple rules when it comes to business. Never mix it with pleasure, always be thorough, and never screw over your associates. After all, what is the good of other people to be scared or admire you if they are dead?" The newcomer asked with a slight wry grin, "Am I wrong?"

    Mina smiled back. "You are not wrong. You have an admirable work ethic." She grabbed a pen. "What is... your name, race, country of origin, and weapons of choice."

    "Davon Reinhold, human, Stormrend, my repeating crossbow and mace." The last name was a familiar one and with good reason. Reinhold was a familiar name if a more antiquated one from a time of the first monster hunters who defended the human capital. Later when safety had been relatively secured, the family turned their attention to banking and how to further their influence with wealth rather than war.

    However the family has never been involved in the big public eye with no scandals to speak of and no real public name as the places they funded were the places that invested in business, making them essentially wealth brokers from the shadows. The front behind the front.

    "I go by Ra'shavarak. A street name. One I go by for business. I can't exactly go around brandishing the golden Reinhold axe as a top-class assassin." Davon explained without losing that casual yet on edge manner.

    "No, I suppose you can't." Mina have him a curious look. "May I ask why you chose to be a Hunter? And why my Guild?"

    The crimson clad man rose a finger and shook it. "I have my reasons. Some that I wish to keep to myself. Do not worry, it is not to escape a criminal charge."

    Mina narrowed her eyes. "You know, a lie would have been a better answer then telling me you won't answer. Out with it."

    "Fine, if you want to ruin the mystery. There is someone I need to kill for... personal reasons. He runs operations in monster hunting, but I don't have an idea about where he is. If you are worried about me going after an innocent, do not fret. This man's soul is blacker than pitch. I will be doing the world a favor. Besides, I have... Let us call them 'assets'. Some of which I hear you could use. Money and ears are something everyone needs in this day and age." Davon rationalized in a slow way so she caught on without needing another explanation about what he meant. "As I said before, no trouble for anyone here. As for the monsters and the man I am after... That is a different matter entirely. I can be trouble when I wish. The good kind." he gave her a wink.

    Mina chuckled. "Well, sir, I consider myself something of a humanitarian... but that doesn't mean I don't recognize when a dirty deed is needed to be done to make the world a little better... and I've been known to take on a shady job or two." She jotted some things down and slid a contract and a pen forward. "I won't get in the way of your business, if you don't let it get in the way of your job here. Contract is for the minimum of one year. Everyone starts at C rank. Acceptable?"

    "You had me at that smile." Davon said, signing his name in an elegant hand without a second thought. "I didn't walk the entire way here. I hope I can put my horse somewhere? He's still out in the forest."

    "Of course. We have a stable where your horse will be well cared for. No extra charge. Happens to be a... hobby of mine." Mina cleared her throat. "Know that as a former, or current, assassin, we will back you up if some random person comes after you. But if, say, the Mirandia or Stormrend royal army is after you for assassinating a prince or princess or royal hound, you're on your own."

    "Oh you wouldn't have to worry about that. After all, I hear the Stormrend princess is quite alive and well despite what he family claims. The bounty for her capture... If I wasn't already wealthy beyond imagination, that many zeros might make things interesting." Ra'shavarak stroked his chin and eyed Mina, much like a chess player who was close to calling a check.

    Mina slowly nodded. "I might have to keep an ear open for that. Not our usual forte, but it wouldn't be the first bounty we've collected." She slowly stood up, and offered her hand. "Welcome to the Havenbrook Organization."

    The assassin reached out and delicately grasped Wilhemina's hand. "Interesting wounds."

    Mina flinched a bit, but didn't pull her hands back. "Yes... they're burn wounds from a failed attempt to... save my parents from our burning home. They act as a reminder that not everyone is what they seem, so care is always in order."

    "An important lesson for anyone to learn. Especially when in our line of work. A warning to the people: good and evil." It was Davon who released his grip first, slowly as he reached down and took hold of his bag. "This will be quite a brand new journey for those good and evil."

    Mina nodded. "I will be looking forward to seeing which side you lean towards." She sat back down. "Choose any room with an empty bed, and... start making friends."

    "I make no promises on that front." Davon noted as he backed away from her desk and bowed slightly, turning and walking out.

    Mina chuckled one last time and shook her head. "I'll have to keep an eye on that one."