Hunters of Terra Dolor (Role Playing Section)

ZombieSplitter53

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R'lyeh, Pacific Ocean, 47°9′S, 126°43′W
#61
Black0ut, Dahlexpert, MarineAvenger, & ZombieSplitter53

"Howls of Festellia"
Location: Festellia Forest, Serasam
Client: The town of Vindercast
Target: Wolves


Info:
Near the center of Serasam, south of the transcontinental river, is a rather large forest named Festellia. It is home to quite a number of beasts and creatures, though it is too far south and too chilly to home to an Ophidian tribe. It is also home to a large pack of wolves that were previously confined to the western section, but in recent weeks, the wolves have not only moved to the eastern most part, but have been attacking Vindercast, a town just outside of the forest.

Those residents who have survived the attacks defined the wolves as ruthless, well organized, and calculating. They attacked with a purpose, dragging away people and animals into the forest. Whatsmore, food stores disappeared during the attack, though it is assumed someone simply took advantage of the attack.

Our job is to take out monsters, and wolves hardly qualify as monsters. It is possible that these are actually dire wolves considering how vicious they were described as being, which is more up our alley. Furthermore, the town is offering a substantial reward, so there is little reason not to take it. Your mission is to investigate the forest and deal with the wolves. Drive them back to their former territory, or if need be, destroy them all.

*****

The Town of Vindercast
West Edge
Jan. 29th, 3349
11:27 a.m.


There was a pleasant scent of fruit in the air of Vindercast, the city currently harvest a peculiar fruit known as the frost apple, which grew in the fall and was in full bloom in the winter. This combined with the weather, which was relatively pleasant with the sun reflecting off a recently fallen snow, and it was a nice day. The solemn faces of the residents said otherwise. The citizens had lost many, many animals to the wolf attacks, and a fair number of citizens as well.

Eraqus stared down at a rather messy looking thing that had once been a pig. It was ripped open, its internal organs apparently having been eaten while the poor creature was still clinging to life. He had Titania, Jay, and Charter seeking information around town, while Chivi searched the border of the forest by air. Eraqus looked over to his Husky, who was sniffing some paw prints. “And you’re sure this was done by wolves?”

“Sure?” The mayor scoffed. “What do you mean, sure? Of course I’m sure! What kind of question is that…?”

Eraqus held his hand up. “Easy. I’m just trying to make sure we have all the facts. You’d be surprised how often information is off, even directly from the source.”

“And why would I not tell you the trust?” the mayor asked with another scoff.

“Well, sometimes people overstate because they expect us to send more or stronger hunters… sometimes they understate because they hope for a lower bill… and sometimes they do one or the other as an honest mistake.”

“Well, I made no mistake! These were wolves…”

“...wolves, yeah. Got it.” Eraqus shook his head, and looked to the side. “Drayce! That dragon-boy nose of yours telling you anything?”

“A perfectly good meal went to waste…” the young man wrapped up in his cloak mumbled as he looked at the corpse of the pig, “It looked so succulent…”

Eraqus gave him a worried look. “You’re not going to eat it, are you? Do I have to remind you that you’d be have some wolf’s drool covered sloppy leftovers?”

“They wasted so much.” the Dragon Thrope let out a small sigh and pointed north. “I do have a smell. It is easy to tell because all wolves smell like wet dogs covered in their own scat.”

Eraqus nodded. “Camping towards the north.” He whistled, but his canine didn’t return, only letting out a whine. So the Elf trotted over to her and knelt down. “What is it, Midna?” He watched as she put her paw next to a paw print, and raised an eyebrow. “Definitely not a normal wolf. Even for a Dire Wolf… pretty big.” He shook his head. “The others should be back, Dragon Boy. We’ll head into the forest towards the north. You will stay back with Midna when the fighting starts, and only join in if we really need you. Lady Havenbrook wanted to see what you can do, but I don’t want to explain to her how I got you killed.”

Drayce gave a quick salute and sat next to Midna like a dog would as well. Eraqus gave him a satisfied nod, and turned as the others walked up. “Titania, you and Jay find anything out talking to some of the victims’ families?”

“The wolves were reported to be large, and seemed to act with some intelligence when attacking. The villagers also say that the wolves dragged most of their victims back into the forest, but judging by some of the bites and scratches of people and the properties, I doubt it's just wolves we’re dealing with… their claws are way larger than mine when I compared.” Titania replied, looking at Jay to respond.

The mage shrugged, “Pretty much the same thing as her. I don’t like what we’re walking into, sir…”

Eraqus nodded. “Right… these things are never as simple as they appear.”

Chivi flew over, her wind-element, hawk-like construct hovering behind her. “Not see wolfies, but trees disturbed. Big wolves. Nasty wolves. We must travel careful.”

“Right,” Eraqus repeated. He motioned for the others to follow as they headed into the forest. “Alright, Chivi, you’ll be our eyes in the sky and are high attacker.”

“Yes sir,” she stated.

“Titania, hopefully your wolf-nature will help give us some ground on these things. If not, I’ll be counting on your fighting style.”

Titania dashed behind Eraqus, and nodded, even though he couldn’t see her. “If I can talk them down, I will. But just like their pack, I have my own. You don’t have to worry, Captain.”

“Good.” Eraqus looked over to Jay. Clearing his throat, and remembering the lecturing he got before leaving for this mission, he gave an encouraging smile. “I have my fire magic, but I need to be careful with it with this flammable trees everywhere. Your water and light magic will be quite valuable here.”

“Understood.” Jay said nonchalantly, as he cracked his fingers and took out his staff.

“Drayce, just because I want you to hang back doesn’t mean I don’t want you to help out, especially if things get heated. You said you can fight, right?”

“I can, but you know… things might get a bit messy and on fire. Dragons aren’t known for… tact when in the middle of a battle. Usually we don’t fight. Hunting is different.” The young man explained as he slowly stroked Midna.

Minda rubbed her head against him. “Well, think of this as a hunting mission. You want to take down the prey without… you know, burning everything.” Eraqus turned to Charter. “And you’re here since you are so used to dealing with dire wolves. You know how they hunt. You know how they fight. I’ll be counting on you and Slone to watch our backs.”

Slone shook his body and looked at the other hunters. “Right, I got an idea how they hunt: in packs, surrounding their enemies, going for the slightest openings. However, if these are dire wolves, then not only are their jaws bigger as you can see from Slone… then they can fit a whole limb in their mouths, so watch yourselves.”

“Or fit whole body.” Chivi floated close to Slone’s head, and was not happy with the size comparison. “Must be careful…”
 
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ZombieSplitter53

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#62
Howls of Festellia
Part Two


It took less than an hour for the signs of wolf activity to become obvious to even the least trained hunters. It seemed the beasts did not want to be too far from the village. It was little wonder, as this side of the forest was sparsely populated by any other source of food. It left them all wondering what made the wolves come to this end in the first place.

Then, a rustling. Something moving in the bushes to the side. It slowly moved along with them for a minute, then disappeared. Not to long after, Midna slowed to a stop. She stared ahead, growling softly as her hair stood on end. “Drayce?” Eraqus asked, looking over to him. “That smell you had before coming from ahead?”

Drayce gave the air a few sniffs and plugged up his nose as he nodded, “Yeah. Smells really bad here.”

There was a low growl from up ahead. Very low. Quite loud and angry. A canine nose stuck out of the bush ahead, sniffing and snarling. Eraqus cleared his throat and whispered, “Titiania? Wanna… do your thing?”

The wolf Thrope nodded,as she began to transform, becoming far more wolf-like. “Hello. Why are you attacking the… prey from the town? Have they attacked you before?” She asked, her eyes reflecting a feral look.

The creature snarl. “Human woman, attacks us. Steals our land. Can not go home. Brings monster, and our lessers. We make humans suffer. Take our land… we take them.

“Before you go hunting after that human pack, can you tell me about the monster. What did it look like?” Titania asked, as she relaxed her body to show her peaceful intentions.

It stepped forward, its head poking out of the brush. It was massive, even bigger than Slone, and had a demon-like countenance - something very off about it. “Big. Bigger than us. Like wolf, but not. Like…” It looked over to Midna. “Like one of that but big. Fire. Two heads.

Titania paled under her fur for a moment, before regaining her composure. “I… see. One last question, and then, I’ll talk to my pack and see if we can help you. Well, actually, two: Are you the Alpha, and if you are, will you stop attacking the humans if we deal with the not-wolf?”

The creature stared at her for a moment, then seemed to snarl. After a moment, she realized it wasn’t a snarl. It was a laugh. “Are you trying to claim you would kill this creature to save the other humans?” it asked in fluent Doloran.

Another one, not quite as big as the first, but still quite large, stepped out of the bush to the left. “You are not from there. You are strangers in this land. Why would you care?”

“It is a ploy,” said one to the right, stepping out with two others. “They do not have their two-headed beast. They can not beat us. They make bargains so we will spare them.”

“Shit,” Eraqus mumbled. “These aren’t wolves, these are Worgs…”

Turning her head to her Captain, “Don’t raise your weapons and don’t attack first.” Turning back to the largest Worg, Titania sighed, “My reason for talking instead of attacking, is that while most humans don’t believe that you can be reasoned with or even trusted, I do. I may not be of your kind, and I am a foreigner to your lands, but I don’t want to see a war fully break out between you and the humans. I’d rather you keep your forest, persecuting trespassers, as you will, without a giant two-headed dog attacking you.”

Titania walked forward and stopped just in front of what she assumed was the Alpha Worg. “If you have a better plan to re-take your land quickly, and without immense losses, I’d like to hear it. Or, perhaps would it be more wise to send a group of strangers to try to kill the beast for you?”

The Alpha Worg snarled, as though it felt challenged, one of the smaller Worg, however, stepped forward. “This one speaks the truth. These puny humans can not sustain us. We should try and get our land back.”

Another huffed, walking towards the back of the group and towering over the young dragon Thrope. “Waste of time. Look. They would fight with children.” It gave him a small snarl. “You think you are stronger than us, little man?”

“Much. Puny wolves are always too big for their snouts. It is why we will always be the top predators while they can enjoy the scraps.” Drayce said it so matter of factually, and stared down the Worg with a challenging gaze of smoldering eyes.

The Worg growled loudly. “Let me eat him, Edge. He insults us. Thinks he is bigger.”

Eraqus held out a hand. “If… if they fight, and Drayce wins, you’ll listen to Titania and let us try and help.”

The Alpha nodded. “If he loses… we eat you all.”

Eraqus gave a nervous nod. “Drayce, um… counting on you. Just try not to kill…”

The Worg suddenly pounced at the dragon boy, mouth snapping.

Drayce watched calmly as the beast got close, a slender object slid from underneath his cloak and smacked the Worg to the ground, the Dragon Thrope pulling back his red and black scaled tail. “Persvek wer myvillion thaczil, wer darastrixi vebren mrith janik.” he mumbled, taking a step back so now he could be ready without being attacked preemptively. Taking a deep breath -and adding in a small smirk for how long he had gone without doing this- he let out a roar, one which was louder and more unusual than any monster could make.

The proud Worg, fierce and deadly, stopped short, and slowly backed away. “What is it?”

“And that was just with a roar!” Eraqus insisted. “Let us go. The worse thing that happens, we die, and you go about your business.”

The Alpha stared at its failed underling with disgust, and turned its head towards Titania. “You have two moons. It should take you less than one to find them. Understand?”

Titania nodded, and lowered her head slightly in respect. “Thank you. We’ll do our best to reclaim your homeland.” Walking back to the others, her fur retracted, as did all the features that came with her transformation. “I think we should start moving, Captain. We shouldn’t stay here for too long, both due to the disrespect it might cause and… also because one of them is eyeing me with a weird look.” Titania stated matter of factually, her voice hiding her fear, but her face baring it for all to see.

“R-right. Plus, the… time restraint.” Eraqus patted her shoulder. “Good work. Let’s head out, all.”
 
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ZombieSplitter53

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#63
Howls of Festellia
Part Three


Nearly a day later, half their time just about gone, the group made it to a clearing that, according to Drayce, reeked of wolves. In the center of it were dozens of dire wolves, actual ones this time, all chowing down on the luscious prey this part of the forest provided. In the center of it all was a slumbering beast. From where the group entered, it looked like a really, really big dog. Oddest of all was the figure sitting on top of it, and tall, attractive woman, human by the look of her, with slender features, long, black hair, and a coy smile.

“Alright, everyone fan out,” Eraqus whispered. “We’ll take them by surprise if need be, but if we can talk to that woman who is… controlling them?” He looked over at Charter. “You want to try? You are the most well spoken of us, and the presence of Slone might confuse the dire wolves.”

“It’s worth a shot, but I would keep your swords ready. Also if something goes wrong, as much as I don’t want to kill the other wolves, please take them out quickly. Being around a pack of dire wolves, even for me, is unsettling.”

Eraqus nodded, and everyone slowly, quietly fanned out within the tree line as Charter approached the group. One by one, the wolves lifted their heads, snarling. The woman glanced over to see what had them so upset, and smiled widely. “My, my, what have we here? Did you find one of my puppies and wish to return him?”

Slone started to growl at the woman, but he also looked at the other wolves around him. “Easy Slone. This dire wolf is mine. He does not belong to you. I have to say, this is quite the pack you have here.”

“Why, thank you!” The woman laughed as she looked around. “It was quite the undertaking, gathering them. Picking them out from other packs to get the best ones I could. Of course, the rest of their packs could be so fussy.” She shrugged. “So what brings you here, human?”

“Heard about a pack of dire wolves attacking villages. Mind you that seems out of the ordinary. I mean, dire wolves tend to keep to themselves and not attack people unless they're in the woods, or alone by themselves. So tell me my...” Charter rolled his neck around. “Lovey vixen you wouldn't know anything about that now would you?”

“No, no, you don’t have to worry about that. My dire wolves here are quite happy with what they have now that those nasty Worgs are gone. Wait!” She gasped, and held her hands over her mouth. “Don’t tell me the Worgs have actually started attacking a village after we drove them out!”

“What are you talking about, the Worgs are the one’s attacking people? May I approach you, dear Dire wolf queen?”

The woman laughed, and jumped down, petting some of the beasts as she stepped out from among them and motioned for him to approach. “This is… such wonderful news! Come… tell me all the details.”

Slone’s guard started to lower a bit as him and Charter approached the woman. “We ran into some people that said that a pack of dire wolves are attacking people, devouring them and destroying entire villages. Are you telling me that’s not you?” Luke slowly took his hand off his sword, but his fist was clenching on his shield. Ready to bash the woman just in case.

She laughed, and waved her hand. “No, no. That isn’t how I do things. You see, it would have been too easy if I simply had the wolves attack the village, and they wouldn’t have cause as much damage as the Worgs. Don’t you see? That’s why I drove them out. I take over this area, drive the Worgs somewhere that they wouldn’t get enough food, and BAM! They start attacking nearby villages. And you tell me it worked!” She laugh hysterically. “It worked far faster than I had even dreamed! Oh, sweet, predictable beasts…”

Charter looked at the woman in confusion. “Wait so you're telling me you're the good one, you're actually protecting the forest and the people in the villages and not killing them off. Wait, can you promise me something, and if you give me your word, nothing will happen to you or your family. Because trust me, I don’t want to kill dire wolves unnecessarily.”

“Oh, my dear sweet man. So caring. So… innocent. I feel you are judging me based on something that hasn’t occurred to you about my possible motivations.” She whistled, and one of the dire wolves trotted over. “I’m not protecting the forest. I’m not worried about the creatures, or the people, or the Worgs.” The wolf rubbed against her, and she stepped to the side. With a swift kick, she shattered the bones in its left side, the bones in its right side shattering against the tree it slammed into. “And I don’t care about these wolves. I just wanted to cause as much death… and destruction… and chaos as possible. Understand?”

Slone started to growl at the woman and showed his teeth. Charter unsheathed his sword and looked at the woman. “I’m going to give you a chance, to denounce what you're doing. You have the capability to do something good with these wolves and for the people around the area, please think of all the people you can help.”

“Hmm… let me… think…” The woman tapped her lips, and suddenly jumped back, landing among the wolves. “KILL HIM!” she yelled, and the dire wolves charged, ready to devour Charter and Slone.

“Attack!” Eraqus yelled, and the rest of the group charged forward, and were able to take out several of the wolves before they realized what was happening. But there were many, many left.

They seemed organized and intelligent. They split into even groups, and tried to use their numbers to their advantage. Jay quickly found himself surrounded by four of them, all ready to attack at the same time.

The mage merely smiled, as many orbs of both water and light appeared. Quite a bit of mana… I hope I don’t run out soon. And with that thought, the mage threw many, but not all, of the orbs at the wolves, hitting all but only killing two. He raised his staff in one hand and his gauntlet in the other as the two tore at him, only to be struck down by the remainder of the orbs. “What… a bitch.” he growled in pain, his teeth gritted as he sent healing orbs to attend to the others.

Titania, on the other hand, was able to move faster and only be minorly sore from her movement -, thanks to Ed’s handiwork - as she sliced through several of the wolves with ease. She, in all her speed and foresight, failed to see one of the wolves as it bit her torso, puncturing the leather armor easily. Quickly reaching inside the wolf’s mouth, she retrieved a dagger and stabbed upwards. “Ugh… maybe I need better armor...”

“Careful, Anmie lady!” Chivi’s stayed back while her Construct did the fighting. Blades extended from its wings and sliced through one wolf after another. But there were more wolves then she expected, and they were cunning. Hearing a sound behind her, she turned just in time for a wolf to slash her across the belly. Crying out, she sent her Construct to kill it, but that just left room for another to slash her. Chivi killed it too, but a third charged her, mouth wide. It snatched her out of the air and bit down, the young Netzi screaming in pain.

Titania moved on instinct, moving faster than she had before, becoming a full blur. She grunted as her legs hurt, her speed too fast for Ed’s contraption to help. She reached the Netzi’s location and sent her dagger into the Wolf’s eye, the blade going fully in, she released the blade and opened the beast’s mouth to retrieve her ally. Noting the wounds, she growled as the feral look in her eyes grew. “I will slaughter you for what you’ve done. Justice must be served.” She growled, as she eyed the woman who had started the battle, before turning her gaze to Jay. “Jay guard her.”

The mage merely nodded as his companion charged at her target, preparing her Revenge Strike to end the battle in one swift moment. The woman turned her attention to the charging Thrope, and laughed loudly. She jumped back, and the beast she had been sitting on stood. The two headed Orthrus roared, and swiped its claws towards Titania.

A ball of fire exploded against its paws, Drayce sitting on the ground like a loyal dog as he slowly pet Midna’s head. “Sorry pup. I suppose I help too. These aren’t people so I shouldn’t have to hold back.” the Thrope told the dog with a child-like smile.

As the dire wolf's started to attack Slone and Charter. Slone lunged at one of the dire wolves, sinking his teeth into it’s neck. Charter plunged his sword into one of the other wolves mouth and slashed it the sword out of the wolf's side. Charter looked at the woman, and got enraged by her. “Slone! Come!” Slone came to Charter’s side, and Charter looked at Eraqus. “Captain give me some back up! This woman is mine!” Both Charter and Slone charged the woman and her dire wolf.

Eraqus slashed a dire wolf that tried to attack Charter, and yelled, “Jay, watch our injured and keep us healed! Titania, take care of those Wolves with my help! Charter will handle the woman. Drayce…” He shook his head. “Hate to ask you, but handle the two headed doggy! At least try and keep it busy!”

Charter using his shield lunged himself into the woman, while she was down Charter switched to his bow and arrow. “Call off your wolves and stand down!”

She laughed. “Why? This is so much fun! Look, look! My Orthrus is about to eat the little boy!” She pointed to the side as the beast pounced the child, easily five times his size.
 
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ZombieSplitter53

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#64
Howls of Festellia
Part Four


Drayce puffed out his cheeks in annoyance, aware enough to have been getting tired of all the talking down to him. His eyes turned slitted and his right hand became scaly and claw-like, Drayce swinging his fist and punching the Orthus back several feet. “Stupid dog…” he looked behind him, “Don’t give me that look Midna, you know who I am referring to.”

Midna seemed to spend most of the time keeping Drayce between her and the dire wolves, the latter of who seemed to avoid the former. The Orthrus, on the other hand, was just mad to be on the receiving end of a punch that nearly knocked out own of its heads. With a roar, it opened its maws, streams of flames shooting towards the boy.

They rushed over the Thrope, letting out a pleasurable sigh. “That feels nice…” Inhaling deeply, the flames entered into Drayce’s own mouth. With a gulp, he wiped his mouth. “But it has a horrible after taste.” He stood there with a smoking and slightly on fire cloak, but his light armor underneath was miraculously untouched by the flames just like his skin. “So you can have it back.” Opening his mouth, the torrent of flame shot out twice as large, black flames being swirled in with as chaos magic was laced seamlessly in with the attack.

The Orthrus cried out in anger and pain, quickly backing away. The woman controlling it pouted. “Oh, poo… well… the others are going to be eaten by my puppies!”

Eraqus let out a cry as his helmet was knocked off and her was slashed in the face. With an angry yell, he slashed one wolf and slammed it into another. He backed off, glancing back at Jay. “How’s Chivi? She still with us?”

“Yes. But my protection will soon fade.” Jay responded, as several projectiles remained out of the dozens he had created. Jay had only a single healing orb left, and not enough mana to make another, his mana having been drained keeping the wolves away.

Eraqus looked over to it. “Can you turn that into a flash bomb?”

“No, but I’ll do something else…” Jay replied as a couple of his attack orbs faded, and with those orbs gone, Jay had enough mana to let loose a weak flash attack.

Luckily, none of the wolves understood what they were saying, and didn’t shield their eyes. “Titania, strike down as many as you can!” While they were dazed, he rushed a group of them, taking down three and blasting away a fourth with the last of his fire magic.

The Thrope swordswoman sped through the a pack of wolves, having already drawn her dagger to aid her, as she sliced her way to through, hoping that her enhanced speed would prove to be enough. Half a dozen more fell. The remaining wolves’ sight returned, but at the sight of so many of their kind lying dead, they faltered, backing away.

The woman let out a snarl worthy of a wolf herself, and she glared up at Charter. “Bastard! You’re ruining my fun!”

Charter started firing his arrows and one of the arrows hit the woman in the leg. “Slone, don’t let the dire wolves get away. Don’t let them run into the forest just yet alright.” Slone turned to the pack of wolves and ran after them, Charter then turned his attention back to the woman. “See what happens when you don’t treat animals like your partners, instead of just worthless beast.”

She rose her head, and snared at him. Her eyes shifted to the side, and she smiled. “Wanna see what happens when I have enough worthless beasts on my side?”

Charter followed her gaze, and noted their dragon Thrope still dealing with the Orthrus “Watch out!” he yelled, but it was too late, a lone dire wolf sneaking up behind him and pouncing, sinking its teeth into him.

Drayce cried out in pain, the dire wolf getting him on the left side where shoulder met neck, the teeth just able to break through the scale and into his body to draw blood. Drayce’s pupil dilated and he let out a primal dragon roar, his cloak tearing off as black wings and red tail emerged as more of his body became covered in scales. A clawed hand reached back and grabbed the enemy, forcibly tearing the animal off, the direwolf losing several of its teeth which stayed sunk into the target. With great strength, it was slammed into the ground, serrated teeth digging into the wolf and tearing out its throat. That wasn’t enough, grabbing it again and throwing it into a tree which snapped half of it on impact. A ball of fire soared towards the wolf and turned the dying, suffering animal into nothing but a charred, indistinguishable husk. Drayce roared into the sky, wings extended as if stretching after a long rest.

“Gods…” Eraqus muttered, staring in shock. “Glad he’s on our…” He looked to the side. “Charter! The Orthrus is coming your way!”

Looking back, Charter saw the injured, slightly charred beast barreling down on him, blood leaking from its mouth from the damage it had been dealt.

Chatrer used his bow as a bludgeoning weapon, swinging it into the near dead dog, Charter then drew an arrow and fired it into the Dire wolf through it’s eye. Charter then threw his bow on the ground and drew his sword and and held his shield, and looked at the woman. “Stand up, and fight your own battle. Judgement will now be passed on you, now draw your weapon.”

The woman stood up, and yanked the arrow from her leg. She slowly circled around the man, and stepped next to her injured, burned, partially blind beast. “You really… think you can fight me?” She looked around. “Your friends are all half dead. One of them a bit closer. Your strongest member is having a fit. Granted, I don’t have many allies myself.” She reached down, and snapped one of the Orthrus’ necks, then the other. “But I think I can manage.”

Charter then ran to the woman and lunged his sword at the woman, the woman dodged the obvious attack. But when she was backing up, Charter used his shield edge to hit the woman in her lower jaw.” Gods of Justice and light, please tell me what sort of punishment should I deliver to this heathen?”

She snarled. “How dare you invoke their names!” She turned her attention to Slone. “You killed so many… but you missed one!” She charged Charter’s partner, hands out.

Slone then jumped on the woman pinning her on the ground. “Nice to see you friend.” Charter then looked at his sword and looked at the woman. “You had a choice, it did not have to come to this. I wanted to hear you out. I wanted to give you a chance. I believed you to be good and just, but you chose this path this could have been avoided if you have just listened to me.” Charter shook his head.” Time for judgment. Slone.”

Slone looked at the wolves that are hiding in the forest, Slone then howled to them making them step forward. Charter then put his sword back in his sheath. “She’s all yours, enjoy your meal.”

Eraqus cringed as the animals charged her and dug in. Oddly enough, until her cries turned to gurgles, she was laughing as they bit into her. He cleared his throat. “Okay, um… let’s… head back. We need to tell those Worgs that they can return here rather than feed off the village, and Chivi needs attention. Um… good job taking care of her, Jay. Will she be able to make it now that you’ve used up so much energy?”

“Her internal bleeding is gone, but I can’t fully stop the blood flow. She needs some medical attention, but she’ll have a few days before her wounds are too grave to treat,” the mage replied.

Eraqus nodded. “Alright. Good thing we’re only a day away from the village.” He gave Chivi a sad look. While the Orthrus was unexpected, he still felt they took too much damage for the mission they were expecting, fighting dire wolves. Beneath his cold exterior, he felt guilty for every injury they took.

Charter had his head down and looked at the fire and his boss. “Maybe we should put dirt on the fire, think our dragon friend can help. Also when did we get a dragon?”

Eraqus sighed. “You’re the only one not exhausted and covered in wounds. You see what you can do about the fires. And find my helmet, please.” He stepped into the middle of the field. “Hey! Dragon Boy! Gonna… gonna need you to calm down! Come on, I’ll get you something nice to eat!”

Drayce let out a low, rumbling growl as he got down on all fours, staring down Eraqus. Smoke began to pour from his mouth.

Charter went to Eraqus. “Um, boss, can I ask for a few things? Did you think I was wrong for letting her ‘pets’ eat their ‘master’?”

Eraqus slowly circled around Drayce, watching for his attack. “I think it was… a-a little harsh, but fitting. After all, how many villagers were devoured because of her actions.” He swallowed hard, his eyes shifting about. “L-look, Drayce! A big, fat, meaty Orthrus! All for you to eat! Just… just calm down, and it’s all yours.”

Charter looked at the dragon boy and back at his Eraqus. “Good, there’s just one more thing.” Charter looked at Slone and the rest of the wolves, and exhaled.” What do we do with them, they think Slone is their Alpha?” Charter then looked back at the dragon Thrope and looked at the pile of dead wolves.” Hey dragon, there are piles of meat down here, so just calm down and have some wolf meat! If not then make yourself useful and put out the fire!” Charter yelled at the young dragon.

Eraqus took a cautious step away from Charter. Drayce’s eyes went to the man who yelled and he roared, opening his mouth and spraying flames in an arc in front of him, intent on killing both the remaining wolves and the people agitating him.
 
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ZombieSplitter53

Game Master
Staff member
May 27, 2013
6,050
2,626
113
33
R'lyeh, Pacific Ocean, 47°9′S, 126°43′W
#65
Howls of Festellia
Part Five


A blur moved Charter out of the way of the flames, and seemed to go around behind Drayce before stopping, her legs beginning to wear out. “Drayce… I-I know you’re upset, but please calm down. It’s over. No one’s going to hurt you. I promise.” Titania pleaded, dropping her weapons on the ground.

The dragon’s wings extended and he took flight for a few moments, soaring over the others and going after his first great annoyance: the putrid smell of wolf. He came down on the first of the woman’s surviving dire wolves, grabbing its head and snapping it, tearing flesh from body as he turned and set fire to a second.

“Slone, get them out of here!” Slone howled and led the wolves into the parts of woods that weren’t on fire, getting them away from the enraged dragon. Charter then looked at Eraqus. “Sir, if we don’t calm him down ,we're gonna have to kill him. And I don’t feel like killing a partner. Hey you damn kid the wolves are gone this is not necessary!”

“Charter, we’re not killing him! Just… stand down!” Eraqus sighed. “I was not prepared for this.” He walked over to Titania and placed a hand on her shoulder, sure she had the right idea. “You’re not in danger anymore. The dire wolf that hurt you is dead. Most of them are dead. But you’re hurting the forest and the creatures that live in it. That isn’t you, is it? And you have a teammate who is hurt really bad. Please… we need you to calm down… and turn back into that fun loving boy from before.”

Drayce crashed to the ground, low to the ground. He once more stared down the group, growling as his eyes remained on Charter, filled with hate.

“Charter… don’t move. Don’t say anything. Don’t do anything that could be remotely considered threatening.” Eraqus nudged Titania. “Please… while he is on the ground. Do what you can.”

Charter put his weapons on the ground, and took off his helmet down. “Easy big guy. Look, I’m sorry for yelling at you, it’s not everyday someone sees a legendary creature that has only only read about. Look, I’m sorry for yelling, but the wolves are gone, and I’m not gonna hurt you. Despite what I said earlier, and I know that doesn't help, but I put my weapons down as a sign of trust. So can you please just go back to your Thope form please.” Charter said in a calm voice.

Titania moved slowly, parts of her body being covered in fur due to sheer fear. She stopped in front of half Dragon, knelt down, and proceeded to hug him, hoping it would suffice in calming him down, and if not, hoping he wouldn’t kill her. “Please. I just want to see you as you were before this mission, back when the only thing that worried you was learning about our ‘Southlander’ culture.”

The half-dragon breathed deeply, his scales almost below scalding to the touch, and barely bearable. After a few seconds, one of his arms went around Titania as the more bestial parts slowly receded, Drayce starting to become more and more human again.

Eraqus let out a cautious sigh of relief. “Alright…” He looked over to the others. “Jay, start back for the village as fast as you can with Chivi. Charter, tell Sloan to head back to the manor with the… the you-know-whats. I’m sure Lady Havenbrook wouldn’t mind them patrolling the woods nearby.” He slowly approached the hugging pair. “Titania… good job. I think a bonus is in order for… you know, saving our asses from being torched.”

Titania sighed, “I think half of that bonus should go to Drayce, Captain. He did help keep the giant… whatever it was away. Besides, I myself almost went feral a couple times, so I don’t think Drayce should be penalized for it, sir. The Thrope Swordswoman pleaded once more, as she winced from the several puncture wounds she had, causing her to let go of Drayce.

Eraqus knelt down and lifted Drayce into his arms. He turned and said, “Climb on my back, Titania. I’ll carry you until you feel better.”

Charter went to Eraqus, and patted his shoulders. “Um boss, I’m gonna be gone for a few days. Let the dragon fully calm down and, and then I’m gonna talk to miss Havenbrook about the…. well, you know. I’ll meet you back in about three days to take care.” Charter grabbed his weapons and helmet and went into the forest, were Slone went.

Eraqus smiled, and lifted the two, straining a bit, but not letting them know. “Um… oh. Mission accomplished. Good job, guys.”

Drayce stared up at Eraqus, his eyes not returning to normal quite yet. Closing his eyes, Drayce took a deep breath and tried to find comfort in the fact sleep came quickly for him.

*****

The young man with pearl-white hair, and eye patch, and a bored look on his face stared down at the pitiful sight of the would-be dire wolf master. Her stomach was ripped open in a sickening scene, several fingers were missing, and the half of her face still remaining was frozen in a grin. The man stared at her for a while, then rolled his eyes. “How long are you going to keep putting on this act?” Nothing happened. “Do I have to get grandpa, and tell him he is going to have an unusual guest?” He gave her a quick swift in the side. “Mom! Enough already!”

The woman’s body fidgeted, and started to bubble. The flesh and gore melted away, and from it rose the crazed woman, completely unharmed. “Sorry, I started to fall asleep. I had to close my senses to the outside world. It was the only way to keep from breaking into hysterical laughter when their little dragon boy went crazy… and to not weep tears of anguish when he fail to kill a single on of them.”

“Tch.” Her ‘son’ rolled his eyes again. “Why did you even let them ‘kill’ you? It would have been bad enough if that knight guy did it. But eaten by wolves, dire or otherwise? Pathetic.”

“Oh, my dear sweet boy. You… you just don’t get it, do you?”

“If I did, I wouldn’t be asking.”

“To know full disorder, true… chaos… you have to be willing to invest every part of yourself into it. You can’t just inflict pain, you have to experience. And to know exactly what each and every one of those villages went through first hand?” She grinned widely. “Priceless. Makes it all the more sweet to think about.”

The man sighed. “Gods, you’re messed up in the head. Glad I have dads sensibility… at least, from when he’s sober, however rare that might be.” He poked one of the many dead dire wolves with his foot. “Now what? Destroy the village?”

“If I kill them outright, how can I inflict more chaos on them?”

“Kill the worgs on their way back to take their precious land back.”

“No, they did me too proud. Who knows how much I can use them in the future?

“Are you at least going to kill the people that screwed up your plans? I heard one of them mention Havenbrook…”

“Is my little Seclevar finally getting some of mommy’s blood lust.” the woman asked proudly, wrapping her arms around him and leaning against his back.

“Pft, no. I prefer to mess with them. The more I can get them out of sorts, the better. Can’t do that when their dead.” Seclevar shook his head. “But I know how you think.”

She chuckled. “Then maybe I’ll surprise you. I… think I might have fun with these ones. And I’m sure you could to. Lots of your favorite prey…”

The man slowly smiled, and wolf ears sprouted from his head. “That one girl looked like she’d… be fun.”

His mother clapped her hands together. “That’s my boy!” She cracked her neck, and allowed her large, black wings to unfold out of her back. She held a hand up, and a dark swirl of energy formed before her. “Let’s go home. It stinks too much of dog around here.” The pair entered the portal, leaving the grisly scene behind.
 
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MarineAvenger

Operator 21O
Staff member
Dec 9, 2013
3,310
849
113
New York, USA
#66
Deduction and Concoctions (ExoGrim and MarineAvenger)

Arlia made her way through the garden, taking various herbs she would need for her poisons. Most of her poisons were simple, but need specific herbs to work. During her journey, she came across a small patch of nightshade. It’s been awhile since I’ve used that before. The assassin thought as she went to pluck a few.

“It is rather beautiful, is it not?” Another voice asked from behind Arlia, one suave and confident in tone.

“That’s not my intention for using them.” Arlia replied, not turning around to face the figure. “They are useful in a knockout drug I may need in the future.”

“A knockout drug? Oh but that is such a waste. Solanaceae can be used in so much more potent concoctions. There are other such plants that can get the same results for knocking out, but not as deadly as that plant there.” Adjusting his red coat, the young man approached, taking a knee. Wiping some blue hair aside, he glanced over at her, “Quite beautiful eyes you have.”

“Why do I have a feeling you are here for more than just talk.” The assassin muttered under her breath before looking at the man. “You seem to know your way around herbs, I’m assuming you're an assassin as well then. Either that or you have to much time on your hands.”

“Astute. They certainly are making them better than other lowlife urchins fighting over scraps.” The man pursed his lips in an amused smile, “But you have never had to scrape by, have you? No… you are too… well maintained to have been an urchin, and certainly not a beggar.”

“Some of us are luckier than others.” Arlia stood from the flower patch. “Being in a family of noble warriors has it’s perks… at least it did.”

“Noble warriors? I see. Pray tell… from what family?” The stranger inquired with his tone turning sly.

“That would be none of your concern.” Arlia slightly glared at the stranger. “We’ve just barely met, so you have no right to know that yet.”

“Well excuse me… princess.” the man quipped with a very subtle bow of his head.

Arlia immediately placed her blade against the man’s throat. “Tell me who you are and why you know who I am now and I may consider not killing you right now.”

“Touchy, touchy.” Arlia heard the cock of a crossbow string being pulled back, his handheld single shot emergency one attached to his forearm being aimed at her chest. “May want to take the blade away. Even if you sliced my throat, I would have time to pull the trigger, and I do have an impeccable aim. We would both be dead before anyone even found us.”

The assassin growled, but put her blade back in it’s sheath. “You better answer my questions then. Who are you and how do you know who I am?”

The blue haired man’s smile widened, “My name is Davon Reinhold. Let’s just say I am Stormrend’s most professional assassin, no offense to you. I am just more organized in my field.”

“Except that doesn’t explain how you know who I am.” The princess scowled. “All of my tracks are dead with Sandā Outpost. The only person who still thinks I’m alive is my father and he did even know I was in that watch tower.”

“You are good at hiding your tracks, but there is one thing you could never cover up. Your start in this career. It took a lot of hypothesis and deduction work, but a princess goes missing from her home, a highly important military official dies in battle, and suddenly a very skilled woman appears who is oh so effective at opening up arteries. Lady Arlia, something you should know about me is I do not believe in coincidence. I believe in sequential timelines, and yours just so happened to line up in my head. Glad to see it wasn’t the early stages of lunacy. I am rather too young to be going insane just yet.” Davon held out a hand towards the woman, “I would say it is an honor meeting you but that of course would be a lie. Besides, we are just two coworkers. There is honor among thieves, not killers.” he said with distinct metaphor to his word choice.

“So you have no intention of turning me in?” Arlia inquired, not quite sure what to make of the situation.

“Your father put a lot of zeros on your wanted poster. Unfortunately for our shared, and dear king… I have more riches than I know to do with. I have no intention getting rid of a rather intriguing individual such as yourself. Do you know of the Reinhold family name?” the red coated assassin questioned as he reached out and plucked one of the nightshade by the stem.

“I’ve heard of them before. They lead most of Stormrend’s trade deals and my father has talked with them in meetings before.” The princess answered. “I’ve never seen one of them as an assassin, but it wouldn’t surprise me if you needed someone in your family to do your dirty work.”

“A princess’ naivety if you think trade is all we do.” Davon commented casually, holding out the flower to her, “In my care, my family does more than just trade, we regulate a large part of the underworld now as well, at least in the capital. There will always be crime in the world, so why not at least try to regulate and make a profit off of it in the end instead of having it be senseless and rampant?”

Arlia chuckled. “That’s an interesting creed you have there. But, yes, being able to keep criminal activity in check can be very useful… especially in a place like Stormrend.”

Especially in a place like Stormrend. If our people don’t show our superiority, we will be a laughing stock like our peace-loving neighbors. Though I am curious as to how you see the world. Once wearing frills and attending balls, now you threaten to run a river of blood for merely knowing your true identity. A curious and drastic change indeed.”

“It was the war that caused that change…” The black-armored assassin stated. “When dead and wounded warriors flooded our gates from the first battle, I couldn’t just stand by and watching them fall. There was no point in being noble when you weren’t willing to protect those whom you rule over. When I snuck out to join the militia, I did it because I wanted to be able to lessen the death toll of the war… guess that’s why I did so well as an assassin. All I did was kill high priority targets, but it made fights easier, it left armies without a leader.”

“Hehe… ohh, I like you love.” Davon whispered with a coy smile, leaning in close, “Though it still seems you never shed that little princess inside of you. Me, I found that innocent little part of me and killed it. Metaphorically of course. My reasons for becoming an assassin are nothing as noble as yours. No, no… my goal is to kill a single man. No, kill is not even my goal. I want to ruin him. Take everything he loves and burn it to the ground all around him. While he reaches out for the ashes of his world, and he has lost all hope; when broken beyond repair… that is when I will kill him.”

Arlia raised an eyebrow. “May I ask what this man’s name is?”

“But why spoil the surprise so early? Usually it is proper someone of higher birth to treat her constituents to something special before they blather all their secrets.” Davon contested smoothly, shrugging.

“Then how’s tomorrow night sound to you?” The princess asked with slight coy.

“Truly full of surprises.” the man said with a small, satisfied nod. “It’s a date.”

“Until then…” Arlia added, making her way out of the garden. “For now, I need to prepare myself for any future confrontations that await… that and sleep comes in handy on occasion.”

After the woman had left, Davon stood and looked to the sky, “Wonder if she’ll spoil me.” he turned, leaving after a couple more minutes, wondering how proper he should dress.
 

ExoGrim

Active Member
Nov 13, 2015
641
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19
Washington state
www.youtube.com
#67
The Assassin’s Past: War

Arlia rushed to get her armor on. They were to fight their first battle… as intelligence found a large platoon heading straight for the outpost. She quickly grabbed her katana and a set of her throwing tools before bolting out the tent. Malder was at the front gate waiting for her… there small scouting group ready to go. The group consisted of the two of them, Garc Midwall, and a fairy by the name of Viniti.

Garc was their brute if they needed to fight, though he was at least decent at stealth. Arlia wasn’t sure why the fairy was helping them… or how helpful the small being would actually be. All she knew was that General Thunder as mentioned the fairies wanting to help with the war to protect their forests and that would have positions in all fronts.

The only one she knew she could trust was Malder. The man had a knack for disappearing at the best of times and was one of the fastest swordsman in the militia. Though many questioned his viability with a wooden sword, the princess knew better than that. She had seen him cut through trees with that “weak” blade of his.

General Thunder walked up to the group and cleared his throat. “Alright soldiers… you know what you’re supposed to do. Investigate this platoon our intelligence said they spotted and report how strong of a force we’re going to need to stop them. I want you back in a day or less.”

“Don’t worry about it, General.” Malder said casually. “We’ll be back before you know it.”

“You better,” The General muttered before he turned to Arlia. “Any objections, miss Shade?”

Arlia looked up at the General. “War may not be the answer, General… but I will fight it if it means protecting my home.”

The large man grinned. “That’s good to hear. Garc, Viniti, do me a favor and try and keep these rookies out of trouble.”

The small creature bowed. “I will do my best.”

Garc grunted. “Yeah, yeah, whatever.”

The General left after the conference and opened the gates of the outpost. They were off as soon as that happened, going off the main road to insure they wouldn’t be noticed.

-----

They made it to the platoon within 3 hours. Unfortunately, the term platoon was an understatement. The force as a least a thousand strong with 5 siege engines alongside them. “An invasion force for a small outpost like this?” Malder muttered. “Isn’t that a bit over doing it?”

“I don’t know… I didn’t think Sandā Outpost was that big a deal.” Arlia remarked, before a cry of agony behind her. She turned to see a black cloaked man channeling magic into Garc. Malder noticed the man as well. He darted to the man and stabbed the mage in the throat.

The mage merely laughed, blood spilling out his mouth. “You’re too late… he’s already ours…”

The mage dropped dead, a faint explosion of energy filling the air. No one notice the corrupting energy enter their bodies… or Arlia’s sword. The bruted looked up at his comrades and let out a menacing roar… like one of a bear.

Viniti had tried to blast Garc with a bolt of water energy, but he merely shrugged it off and snatched the poor fairy out of the air. With little effort, the brute crushed every bone in the small creatures body and dropped the corpse on the ground only to step on it. A small pool of blood formed around where the fairy once was.

Arlia and Malder stared at the sight in terror. Thunder said that the man was loyal and durable, but the General never took into account mind control. Malder forced himself to draw his sword and charge their former comrade. He slashed at the man’s arm, but the blade couldn’t cut as deep as he intended to, as Garc’s skin was slightly stronger than steel. The swift swordsman attacked from almost every angle, but none of his attempts could get past the thick hided brute. Garc merely swung once, sending Malder flying in a rock. The brute walked over a began to pound on the swordsman, breaking bones with each strike. Arlia, who had watch the whole thing in terror, tried her best to focus her mind… but she was too afraid. She was too scared of what would happen to her if she attacked.

Then she looked at shurikens… and remember the poison she had one them: Blood Blight. With all of the open wounds Malder had created, getting the poison in his system would be easy. The hard part would be surviving long enough for it to kill him. Nevertheless, the princess threw a shuriken at one of the wounds in the brute’s arm, causing Garc to turn to her. The man roared again and charged Arlia at full force. The assassin barely managed to dodge out of the way, the brute falling off the cliff behind her.

Arlia refused to look and see if what happened to Garc. Instead, she rushed to Malder. “Malder, are you still there? Can you hear me?” The princess panicked, trying to find any sign that he was still alive. Luckily for her, the man was still breathing and his heart was still pumping. She quickly grabbed the fallen swordsman and dashed back towards the outpost. General Thunder had to know… and Malder needed medical treatment as soon as possible.
 

ZombieSplitter53

Game Master
Staff member
May 27, 2013
6,050
2,626
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R'lyeh, Pacific Ocean, 47°9′S, 126°43′W
#68
DarkGemini24601 & ZombieSplitter53
Eclectic Enchantress


Havenbrook Manor/Guildhouse
Basement, Main Lab
Jan. 31st, 3349
12:47 a.m.


The lights were turned down more than usual. Many of the machines were turned to their lowest settings, only soft hums letting out white noise that lulled several of the rabbits to sleep. Not the one sitting before Erin, though. It was wide awake as it stared up at the petite witch. She slowly, carefully pour a potion into an eyedropper. “Alright, little one,” she said as she had it taste a few drops of the fluid. “If all goes well, this should help you be… green…” She took her goggles off, and stared down at the rabbit and its now-green fur. “Why… why does it keep turning them green!” she yelled, tossing the goggles to the side and sitting back with a huff.

A knock came on the door of Starstorm’s lab, waking a rabbit curled up nearby and causing it to shift frustratedly. Noting the lack of light coming from the gap just underneath the door, the young woman on the other side questioned, “is anyone in there?”

Erin slowly turned her head towards the door. Relishing the distraction from her rare failure, she called out, “Yes, the lab is occupied. Please, come on in.”

The door opened, and the pair of Temporal Knights entered. Sela walked in first, wearing her armor but having her helmet in the crook of her arm. She stepped in a little further and looked around curiously, while Solomon - in a similar state of attire to his pupil - didn’t linger, instead walking over to Erin. Bowing slightly, he introduced himself and his squire. “Solomon Duonnium, and this is Sela Fay’thiel. It is a pleasure to meet you, Miss Starstorm. Sela has heard a lot about you, and I figured we should capitalize upon the opportunity to meet the guild’s head sorceror.”

Erin couldn’t help but smile at the word ‘sorcerer’. “Yes, well, I do hope that she heard good things. Naturally, I feel I am safe to assume so.” She hopped off her chair, and raised her hand to the much taller man. “Welcome to my lab. It is the place where I skip past magic and go straight to miracles.”

Having taken in enough of the room to satisfy her curiosity for now, Sela looked down upon the mage. A brief flash of surprise suggested she hadn’t initially seen the short Thrope. “Miracles?” she echoed. “What do you mean by that?”

Erin bounced a bit, giving a confident smile. “Why, my magical feats are nothing short of miracles. I would never want to exaggerate or anything, but I can assure you, my dear, this Organization became infinitely better when I joined.” Her eyes turned over to the green rabbit for a moment. “Though even I can find a challenge or two every now and again…”

Solomon followed her glance, his expression becoming quizzical. “What were you trying to do to it?”

Erin let out a soft sigh, her ears drooping a bit. “I discovered a new herb that increases vitality when mixed with the right materials. I have been trying to up its potency so I can make a vitality potion with half the materials… but all it seems to do is turn fur and - I’m assuming hair - green. It is mindboggling. As if the gods themselves are messing with me. It would not surprise me, honestly. It takes a power such as theirs to throw of someone of my power and intellect.”

The elder knight shrugged. “Perhaps. I wish I could offer some sort of assistance, but my magic is specialized and practical; I am not versed in theory or the like.”

“Worry not, it is only a matter of time for me to solve this conundrum.” Erin hopped onto a chair in front of a desk covered in a variety of vials, chemicals, and potions, and began mixing a few. “So tell me, my good associates, what kind of specialized and practical magic are you skilled with?”

“Time magic,” Solomon replied simply. “I can slow or cease the clock’s movement in localized areas, whereas Sela focused on acceleration to different ends.”

“Really? That is quite the rare talent.” Erin looked back and gave them a big smile. “Where did you learn such a unique skill? You armor tells me you are from outside of Serasam. Perhaps somewhere quite warm.”

“Astute,” Solomon affirmed. “We are from the Duchy of Kemar. Specifically, there is a monastery called the Immoradia Archives - dedicated to Tempora and literature. That is where I was taught.”

“Fascinating. And could you perhaps share the exact location of this monastery?” Erin asked. “I might like to take a trip there sometime myself.”

Solomon studied her for a moment, before replying at last, “I could point it out on a map. It’s fairly out of the way; landmarks along main roads won’t do.”

“That would be lovely.” Finishing her concoctions, Erin brought two vials over to the green rabbit. “In the meantime, would you be opposed to giving me a blood sample?”

The Temporal Knight again considered the question with some degree of pensiveness. “So long as you do not take too much,” he agreed at length.

“Oh, do not worry about that. It only takes a little bit to gather so much information. Blood type, magical properties, potency. So much delightful data.” The short witch poured one of the potions over the rabbit, and its green fur fell off, leaving it as hairless as the day it was born. “What about you… Sela, right?”

“Uhhhh… depends on if I could ask for a favor in return,” the elf responded hesitantly.

“A favor? Well… it sounds only right.” Erin poured the second potion over the rabbit, and its fur slowly grew back, its original brown having returned. “And what favor would that be, my dear?”

“Does your field of magical expertise also include enchanting?” Sela inquired hopefully.

“Naturally. I took several classes on enchanting back home, in fact.” Erin picked up the rabbit, lightly stroking it as she walked over to the cages. “And what would you like me to enchant?”

The squire rolled her shoulders. “My armor, preferably. I was hoping I could eventually infuse it with my power so it passively bends time… or at the very least make it more lightweight so I can run faster. Admittedly, I’m not sure how the whole process works, or what is possible and what isn’t.”

“Oh, that sounds like quite the undertaking.” Erin caged her pet/lab animal, and tapped her chin. “A passive infusion to set the armor out of sync with the current time space. It would allow you to use your ability to speed up yourself without having to constantly concentrate on it, at least for a short time. And by disturbing its temporal balance, why… you could make it seem to weigh nothing.” She gave a big, joyful smile and nodded. “Yes, I would love to assist you in this venture. To know that I had a hand in such a unique skill would be quite joyful.”

Sela grinned. “Alright then. A blood sample is worth that, then.”

Erin glanced at the older man. “And what about you, dear? Any special favors you wish to ask of Erin, sorceress supreme?”

“If I were to seek any enchantments, they would be of the more subtle variety,” Solomon responded more modestly. “A sharpening of my partisan, a hardening of my regalia… simple and easy upgrades that make my capabilities more effective overall.”

“I will see what I can do to help you.” She looked back at her desk of various liquids. “For now, I have to complete my current experiments before my current concoctions lose their potency. If you should return tomorrow at this time, I can get my samples. And Sela, dear, please come with your armor off so that I might work on enchanting it, if you would be so kind. I can probably do it while you have it on, but… it can be a bit awkward when I start rubbing my hands on it.”

The elf laughed. “Of course, I’ll make sure to bring it separately,” she agreed.

“Yes, well… off with you my dearies.” Erin opened a cage and pulled out a small, white rabbit. “This one… will surely not turn green,” she said confidently. “Will you, my sweet?”
 

ZombieSplitter53

Game Master
Staff member
May 27, 2013
6,050
2,626
113
33
R'lyeh, Pacific Ocean, 47°9′S, 126°43′W
#69
Black0ut & ZombieSplitter53
Light and Dark


Festellia Forest
Near Center
Jan. 32st, 3349
11:27 p.m.


Late that night, the group settled down to make camp. They had a bit of walking to go, and it would do no good to try and fight while dead tired. Eraqus jotted Jay tending the camp fire, and he say next to him. "Hey," he said simply.

Jay nodded at his superior, "Hello, sir. What can I do for you?" He asked.

Eraqus sighed. "I... I wanted to talk to you... well, Lady Havenbrook wanted me to talk with you as well. It's about what happened between you, and... a man named Zulik."

Jay stopped tending the flames, opting to stare into them. "Ah. The Elf who cooked me alive, and choked me. The one who nearly killed me... I assume he came to you."

"To Lady Havenbrook, yes." Eraqus stated into the flames himself. "He says you attacked him unprovoked, while he was explaining his corruption. We thought we should... get your side of the story."

"And why would that matter? My words, as time has taught me, are meaningless when compared to an Elf's. No offense, of course, sir." Jay replied as he continued tending to the fire.

Eraqus slowly nodded. "Yeah... yeah, I deserve that. My people have never been exactly kind to yours... myself included. But I... I'm not here as an Elf. I'm here as someone who wants to get your side... and be sure that you aren't punished when you don't deserve it." He looked over. "It's about... how you lost your eye, right?"

Jay stopped and sighed. "Yes.. but don't take this the wrong way, but, sir... I respect you greatly, but I don't share my stories unless they're to a friend. And I haven't even told Titania about the one you ask for." He turned and studied Eraqus, trying to discern his intentions without magic. Sighing once more, Jay created numerous orbs of water, spelling 'What do Light Elves do in Helvan?' while he tended the flames.

Eraqus cleared his throat. "Well, they, um... I believe they mostly makeup the service industry, as well as..." His eyes turned low. "Making up the majority of the slave labor."

Jay didn't talk but let the water's shape turn and change, now a simple message, 'I'm from Helvan.'

Eraqus slowly nodded. "Lady... Lady Havenbrook thought that might be the case. That's why she didn't want to take any actions against you." He held his hand open, and a flame flew out of it. It danced in the air, near but never touching Jay's water. "My... my people look at ourselves as near perfection. Some of them, anyway. And any deviation from perfection is a step towards the undesirable. And as Light Elves are seen as our opposites..." He shook his head. "I'm sorry. My... I-I don't support slavery. I am a member of a race that has a grate many attributes, but our hate is not one of them. The pains you must have suffered..." He chuckled. "Let's just say, between us, you're the only one with a good reason to have hatred in your heart."

"I don't hate Elves or Humans. Not anymore." Jay replied, still staring into the fire. "The pains you reference... I have only been free of for four years. In that time, I have learned of the goodness in both Elves and Humans, but... occasionally, one of your kind, or one of the Humans acts in a way of asserting dominance, and I snap. The day before we left, my skin was blackened, it hurt to breathe, and I could only feel pain. I had visible bones, but no one paid me attention, except a healer named Sylvie. She's the only reason I'm alive." The Elven mage paused, turning his gaze to the Second-in-Command. "I also assume Zulik's still alive after our... encounter, with no permanent damage?"

Eraqus nodded. "He was in just as bad shape. Made it through because of the head of the labs, whom she went to because of his... unique nature." He tried for a small smile. "You hurt him just as bad as he hurt you if that's any consolation." His smile dropped. "Which I'm sure it isn't."

"It's not. So what now? Should I assume that I'll be dismissed from the guild upon our return?" The mage asked, as the water orbs disappeared.

Eraqus shook his head. "No... no, you won't. Just try and keep your temper down to a simmer, don't try and kill anyone who tries to compare their lose to what you went through and..." He closed his fist tightly. "And I swear I'll try and do better by your kind. And make sure everyone else does as well."

"...I didn't try to kill him initially. I put him in a vortex, and tried to calm myself down when I noticed it started to wound him too much. I only tried to kill him after he roasted me." Jay corrected, slight indignation in his eyes before that too turned into an apathetic look. "And I'll hold you to your promise, sir. Assuming I survive, of course."

"You will, friend. From what I've seen, you'll do quite well, and we'll be counting on you." Eraqus stood up and gave Jay a pat on the shoulder. "Don't stay up too late. We'll need you well rested for the fight tomorrow."

"Yes, Captain." The Elven mage replied, turning away slightly so as to not be rude, but also hiding the slight smile he held on his face.
 

Dahlexpert

Well-Known Member
Jun 23, 2013
2,548
527
113
25
USA
#70
Dahlexpert and ExoGrim
Havenbrook Manor/Guildhouse
Hunters rooms
3;15 pm

Charter sleeps in his bed, finally coming back from the last mission. Charter sleeps face first on his pillow. One of Slone’s puppies lick Charter’s face trying to get his attention. “ No, this is not play this is not lick Charter time. Please let me sleep.” The baby dire wolf then rubs his head on charter.” No stop snuggling, this is no time for snuggles. Go to daddy Slone, go to daddy.” The baby dire wolf layed down next to Charter. “Ugh fine, guess you better than a pillow.” Charter brought the baby dire wolf next to him and held him close to his chest.

Zulik knocked on the door of Charter’s room. “Hello, is this the room of Charter?”

A weak groan came from the other side of the door. “Who’s asking, Charter is not available right now he’s tired.”

“Well, at you’re still alive.” Zulik said jokingly. “As for who’s asking… the name’s Zulik.”

Charter groaned and got out of his bed, and went to the door. When the door opend the baby direwolf looked at the man. “Um hi...can I help you?” Charter said while yawning.

“Just wanted to make sure you were okay.” The corrupted elf replied. “From what I heard, you took the worst beating, and it would be bad if you weren’t able to fight again.”

“Ugh, I’m fine the battle was not the worst part. It was the days coming here that was hard, had to gain the respect of the other wolves and that took it’s tole on me.” Once charter opened his eyes he can see that the Elf looked diffrent.” Hum what’s with you? You seem weird?”

“To put it simply, I am physically corrupted by chaos magic.” Zulik sighed. “But that’s not really important right now. There’s something else I wanted to talk to you about.”

“Really, and what does a corrupted Elf want with me. I don’t know who you are or what you want. So what is this about?”

“I heard you encountered a very particular woman during the mission.” Zulik mentioned. “I was wondering if you could help me fill in the gaps in my knowledge of this info.”

“Ou the lunatic, what about her? There is nothing I really want to talk about her.”

“I may have an idea of who she is, but I need more info before I can make my conclusion.” The Elf remarked. “Especially since, if I’m correct, she may still be alive.”

“That’s impossible, she’s a pile of meat and bones. I saw Slone and the other wolves tear her apart, she’s dead.”

“Unfortunately, things don’t work like that with them.” The corrupted elf muttered. “Your familiar with the gods and their lore, correct?”

“With the majority of them yes, wait what does this have to do with the woman?”

“From what I heard, she went on and on about spreading chaos and destruction…” Zulik paused for a moment before continuing. “It is very possible she was Tecunte, The goddess of discord.”

“You mean to tell me that a god was doing all that, no the gods are good and pure and.” Charter recalled when he mentioned the goddess of justice and light, she said how dare he mention their names. “Ok you have my attention, did you go to Lady Havenbrook with this?”

“I didn’t want to go to Lady Havenbrook until I had all my facts right.” Zulik stated. “If you’re saying that all the info I had was correct, I’ll need to inform her immediately.”

“Fine, yes she mentioned about spreading Chaos and destruction. And how she assembled a pack of Dire wolves to attack the Worgs, and make them attack the village. Also she said I had no right to mention the names of the goddess of justice and light, any of that help you? I’m assuming you're a priest, which is ironic that a priest is corrupt.”

“Yes, I am a priest, though I had no say in my corruption… but that’s a story for another time.” Zulik bowed to the warrior. “As you know, Nemesis isn’t the most patient when it comes to making sure justice is served. That and Wilhelmina should be informed that there may be divine meddling in this area.”

“Humm well I’m sure she will be happy, the woman was eaten by the wolves that she controlled. And now the wolves are with us. So why are you worrying about this, she’s gone.”

“Because gods don’t simply die.” The priest informed Charter. “They can be killed temporarily, but they will come back, most likely wanting to kill the person who ended that life.”

“Are you telling me, I may now have a pissed off god, crazy god, coming for my head. All because I sent her own dogs on her?!” Charter said while in a somewhat panic.

“It is very possible… but knowing Tecunte, she’s more focused on mass chaos then killing off a single soul.” The corrupted elf assured. “If she really had it out for you, the whole manor would’ve been dead already.”

“Well then there’s some silver lining there, right. Well thank you for the nightmares I will be having, and me praying more than I usually do. This is not a play to make me pray more is it?”

“If I was joking, I would’ve told you by now…” Zulik argued, before sighing. “I should go now, Lady Havenbrook needs to know this.” The corrupted elf began to make his way to Havenbrook’s main office, not taking the time to hear the mercenary’s next remark.

“Great you do that.” Charter looked at the baby dire wolf, and looked at the priest that has left him to ponder what he just heard. “Sigh well when I wake up, gonna have to train the wolves more than normal.”
 

Black0ut

Active Member
Feb 5, 2015
598
89
28
19
[REDACTED], Washington
#71
Black0ut and Frostlich present:

A Helping Hand, Part 1


Jay sat down on his bed, a book in hand, but per the norm, he wasn’t reading it. Instead, he remembered his duel with Zulik that nearly killed them both… and the encounter afterwards with the healer who saved his life.

---------------------------------
Two day before the Guild mission...


Jay stared out at the training field from his spot in the groves, too tired to call out for help, and too wounded to actually ask. His skin had blackened and cracked, and one of his hands showed bone instead of skin and muscle. His eyes were much the same, but his actual eye was healed more than his blind one. Jay had recovered some mana a little after his fight with Zulik, but it had only eased the pain and repaired some minor damage. Four years of adventuring and this is how it could end…? Wonderful… The mage thought angrily as he slowly blinked.

Suddenly, the sight of a young doe entered his vision. It stepped in front of him, eyeing him and silently looking over his injuries. After a second, it gently bumped his arm with it’s head.

Jay mentally cried out, but his body failed to produce a sound, his mouth slightly opening in response to the pain. If I die to a deer… I swear either the gods will have shown their dislike of me or one of them is just screwing with me.

Making a gentle, almost sheep like bleeting sound, the young doe nudged him again. It then suddenly looked up towards the direction of the manor and took off in that direction quickly.

The Doe quickly spotted Sylvie, sitting in her usual place in the garden, tending to the flowers, specifically the ones she had harvested when Arlia came to her. Her ears picking up the sounds of the doe’s hooves clacking against the stone, she turned and smiled gently as it approached her.

“A doe... “ She said, petting its neck. “Have you come to socialize little friend?”

The doe simply began to nudge her arm repeatedly, trying to get Sylvie’s attention. “What’s the matter?” The Huntress replied. It then began to clack it’s hooves loudly, running back and forth between her and where it had found the injured Elf.

“You… Want me to follow you? Is this some kind of sign?” Sylvie spoke to herself, picking herself up and quickly following the doe as it galloped off. The Earth mage quickly found herself in a clearing where the doe had stopped, laying down next to something, something breathing.

Upon closer inspection, Sylvie quickly realized what it was exactly, an injured and dying person! “Hello? Can you hear me?”

Jay merely blinked, incapable of conjuring or talking. He focused on her, studying the woman and recalled seeing her earlier as he had crawled through the training grounds. Am I dead? ‘Cause I don’t recall myself being here with a beautiful woman… just a doe that liked to hurt me…

Laying down gently as surveying his injuries, she could tell that they were pretty severe. She knew she could at least stabilize him and get him healthy enough to be moved, but the more severe wounds would take her much longer to heal. Healing him by herself could take thirty minutes at least, thankfully there was plenty of flora to work with.

Hovering her hands over him, her palms glowed green with magic as she first began to pull energy from the tree he was laying against. Jay could instantly feel the pain begin to subside as she worked.

After a couple of minutes, Jay found he could talk. It hurt to do so, but he still managed to croak out, a greeting. “Hi.” He tried to move, but instead groaned.

She quickly hushed him, “Please, no talking, you’ll only use more of your energy. My name is Sylvie, okay? You’re lucky, if this doe hadn’t led me to where you were, I don’t think anyone would’ve found you.”

“Syl...vie. That’s -cough- a lovely… name.” Jay responded, despite Sylvie’s warning.

“Is it? My mom gave it to me.” She smiled, still healing him. “Don’t worry... I’ve got you.”

“Thank you.” Jay quickly eked out, as some of the blackened skin started to heal, as it returned to its natural hue, while new skin replaced the far gone areas. “Why… did you… follow a deer?”

“You see… Deer have a special significance to me... “ Sylvie explained, her brow sweating a little. “They are… Attracted to me, you could say.”

“How so?” Jay asked quietly, his voice sound less coarse than it did earlier.

“My father says they are signs from Ahusirra, he said that one visited them on the day of my birth, since then they’ve always been close to me. They are…” The green-haired haired girl took a second to find the words. “My spirit animal, you could say.”

“That’s cool. How are you… doing? Besides, healing… a pretty crispy guy?” Jay asked as he moved his arm forward only to grimace due to the intense pain.
 

Black0ut

Active Member
Feb 5, 2015
598
89
28
19
[REDACTED], Washington
#72
A Helping Hand, Part 2

“This is… Taking a little bit out of me… Thankfully, my healing doesn’t deplete my magic pool that fast…” She explained, moving her hands up and pulling from the plants under him now. “Most of what I’m using my energy for is… Transferring… For the healing itself, I use the energy I borrow from other things.”

“Well, I appreciate it. I can’t really heal too much with my own magic, as I specialize in offense.” Jay responded, as nervousness finally sank in. “Umm… not to sound -cough- ungrateful, but who is ‘Ahusirra’?”

“Ah… I’m sorry, she’s my village’s deity, her power is over nature and fertility, of crops and animals.” Sylvie answered as the doe next to them began to chew some grass.

“And so she sends a doe to hurt me slash check on me. Got it.” Jay joked, his eyes drooping in exhaustion.

“I think she could sense your pain, the doe, I mean. They’re smarter than they look.” The village girl stated.

“I guess so. After all you’re healing me, a complete stranger in a grove of trees. So… where do you hail from, Sylvie?” Jay asked, now able to fully talk without coughing or pausing.

“I hail from Neren’teva, to the north.” She replied simply.

“Helvan. Not a fun place to live. I’d recommend you stay as far away as you can. They’re terrible.” Jay moved his arm, grimacing but finally able to do so without feeling as if he was dying, he scooted back, so he could lean against the tree that was behind him.

The tree he was laying against had lost much of it’s color from Sylvie’s healing, as did the winter flowers below. “I… I may be forced to… Kill the tree, I don’t want to but you’re in no state to be moved yet.”

“I’ll be fine. I just need to recover my mana. Then I can heal myself. In the meantime… could I bother you for a chat?” Jay asked, giving a smile despite the pain he was in.

“Okay, but only if you promise me you’ll plant an acorn or two after this, this tree is giving a lot to help you. It’s only right to pay it forward.” Sylvie replied, looking up at the probably thirty year-old tree.

“Deal. So, uh… how’s your day been going? Besides finding a guy who was half dead?” The mage asked, as he examined his burned, but not destroyed heart protector he wore.

“Fine, relaxing actually.” The huntress responded. “I’ve been reading a nice book from the library for most of the morning.”

“Sorry to disturb you reading time. But near incinerations tend to take up time to fix, I hear.” The mage opened and closed his hands, testing out his strength. “What book were you reading, if I may be so bold?”

“History of Elluviana, my father told me that Ahusirra has some presence there as well, despite Neren’teva being her true home. I wanted to learn more.” Sylvie replied, looking him in the eye.

“That’s something everyone should do. Learn something new. Might help us out of these more dark-ish times.”

Sylvie smiled, but her look became a little more serious quickly. “You… Haven’t told me what exactly happened to you yet… Unless you’re telling me you did this to yourself somehow.”

“I’m a Light Elf. I can’t use fire magic. An Elf, on the other hand, can.” Jay replied, his voice colder than normal.

“So, you’re telling me someone attacked you? It wasn’t some kind of duel?” Sylvie confirmed, her breathing becoming labored as she continued her healing.

“Stop healing me. You need to rest too.” Jay snapped, before continuing with his original train of thought. “Yes and no. It wasn’t a duel, but he provoked me into an attack. I probably should’ve calmed down… but I suppose it’s too late for that.”

Certain enough that Jay had been stabilized at this point, Sylvie listened, sitting down and leaning on the tree next to him. “So, who was it exactly? Someone from the manor?”

“An Elf named Zulik. Hunter, if I remember. I… gave him more or less similar damage. He’ll probably run off to someone for healing, and I’ll be reprimanded for the incident. Fun times. Can’t wait to see Lady Havenbrook while she’s pissed at me.” Jay replied sarcastically, and stared into the sky for a few seconds before sighing. “Today’s not my day.”

Jay could tell by her face that she instantly recognized the name. “Zulik? The corrupted elf? I knew I had a bad feeling about him when I first met him… He’s just, leaking with dark… How exactly did he provoke you?”

Jay’s eyes darkened, “...In order to tell you what happened, and have you be fully aware of why I reacted the way I did, I have to tell you about my past. And we have only just met. That is something I cannot tell you yet. However, I’ll show you something.” The mage reached up and began to pull his fake eye out.

She quickly grew a surprised look on her face. “He… He took out your eye? Wait… No… That doesn’t make sense… When did you lose it?”
 

Black0ut

Active Member
Feb 5, 2015
598
89
28
19
[REDACTED], Washington
#73
A Helping Hand, Part 3


Jay popped out the glass eye, and stared at it for a moment. When he finally spoke, it was a quiet, soft, and hurt voice, one that he hadn’t used in years. “When I lived in Helvan.”

She placed a gentle hand on his shoulder, “I’m sorry for whatever happened… I don’t need to know, either, it doesn’t make a difference to me.”

Jay nodded, as he looked lost in thought. After a few minutes of silence, the mage put his eye back in the socket. “Thank you. I… don’t usually tell people anything about my past. But I feel like in time, I can tell you. You seem… trustworthy.”

“Thanks…” She closed her eyes. “You know… I don’t think you ever told me your name…”

“Jay.” The mage replied simply, closing his eyes as well.

“Well, I know you said this wasn’t your day Jay, but you’re alive, and not only that, we ran into each other.” The human girl pointed out.

Jay grinned, “Always looking on the bright side of things, Sylvie? You and Titania would get along great with one another, as you two always look on the positive side of things…”

“Well someone has to…” She replied, then opened one eye. “Did you say Titania? We already met actually. Is she your friend?”

“Yeah. We travelled for four years together. She- Oh. I’m more screwed than I realized. She’s probably looking for me… we did plan to train together…” The mage groaned.

“That may be a little difficult now…” She stated the obvious.

“She’s not going to be too happy…” Jay murmured, before he pushed himself up, groaning as he did so.

“Are you saying she’s going to be mad at you?” Sylvie asked, tilting her head in confusion.

Jay raised his hand, which still had blackened skin. “She’s going to ask about this, and I don’t want to kill the trees to heal this.”

“Then just tell her what happened.” The Huntress replied simply.

“Then she’s going to ask how the fight started, which will lead to a very, very long argument, probably lasting through the night.” Jay explained, as he laid back down, still not fully having the strength to walk into the training grounds.

“Then what will you tell her? That this was some kind of accident?”

“I.. don’t know. I don’t think she’d believe me if I said it happened while sparring, ‘cause she’d asked about why I haven’t gone into the clinic. Godsdammit… I hate situations like this.” Jay groaned, as he began rubbing his temples.

“Then maybe it would be easier to just accept the scolding…”She suggested calmly.

“You’ve never seen Titania mad, then. With me, she playfully throws things at me, daggers included. I don’t think I’m in the proper physical shape to deal with her…” An idea soon formed in Jay’s head, causing the Light Elf to suddenly look over at Sylvie. “Strange question, and probably not appropriate, could you help hide me in your room for the night? When I go on my next Hunter mission, I promise I’ll pay you back.”

“I don’t see a problem with that.” Sylvie smiled, slowly picking herself up. “Do you think you have enough energy to move?”

“I should…” Jay groaned as he got up, as he managed to stay on his feet, looking as if he might fall if someone were to poke him.

Wrapping her arm around his body, Sylvie propped him up, helping him move. “It’s late enough now that we should be able to get to the room without being spotted.”

“R-right. Thank you, Sylvie.” Jay replied, as he struggled to keep quiet.

For a brief second, the Earth Mage looked back towards the now sleeping doe, nodding a silent ‘thank you’ as she continued to carry him. After a minute, Sylvie reached the garden once again. As she walked forward, she spotted lights on inside the building, clearly indicating that someone was inside. Quickly looking up, she picked out the window to her room and noted that there was a patch of bare dirt underneath. “Hang onto me tightly, alright Jay?”

“As you wish.” Jay clung to Sylvie, making sure that he was prepared for anything she might do.

Stepping onto the bare dirt, Sylvie used her magic to send roots from the trees in the garden under the ground towards them. At once, she command them to weave together into a platform and rise from the ground, pushing them up to the window and allowing her to open it from the outside. “Do you think you can make it in?”
 

Black0ut

Active Member
Feb 5, 2015
598
89
28
19
[REDACTED], Washington
#74
A Helping Hand, Part 4


“I-I think so.” The elven mage responded, as he tried to climb through getting half of his body in, before promptly slipping, turning the attempted climb in into the attempt to not fall out of the window. Climbing through herself, Sylvie grabbed his arm gently and helped pull him through, picking him back up on the other side and laying him in her bed.

Looking over him once again, she crossed her arms. “Jay, think you can take off your shirt for me?”

“Erm… may I ask why?”

“I want to see how much of your skin is still burned and how much still needs to be healed.” She explained, sitting on the bed next to him.

“O-okay…” Jay replied hesitantly, slowly lifting his shirt up to reveal a plethora of scars that covered a good chunk of his back, sides, and chest.

Examining them closely, she came to a quick conclusion. “These are… Old scars…”

Jay looked away, his voice becoming quiet. “Yes… they are. Did you find any burns?”

“No, your chest is mostly fine, it’s where I was focusing the majority of my healing.” She replied, looking back up at him. “You should sleep here until tomorrow, that way we can gather up our energy and deal with the rest of the burns in the morning.”

Jay nodded, “Agreed.” Climbing off the bed, he laid on the floor, dusting the area around it with his hand before laying down.

“You want to sleep on the floor? Why? We can just share the bed, you need rest.” Sylvie asked, offering him her hand.

Jay paused, and raised an eyebrow. “And should someone come in, that person might make assumptions… Besides, while this isn’t exactly comfortable, it sure beats Hel-” The Elven mage started, and cursed himself for partially revealing himself. Sancros quickly turned away, looking elsewhere, anywhere, so he could hide his gaze from Sylvie’s.

“Jay… Please, just lay in the bed…” She pleaded, sighing. “You’re hurt, you need something comfortable to lie on.”

Jay remained on the ground, finally turning over so his back was to Sylvie. “I’ve been hurt before. This is fine. Thank you for letting me spend the night here, Sylvie. I appreciate it, even if my stubbornness says otherwise.”

“If that’s what you want then…” She responded, rolling her eyes as she began to pull off her dress.

“It is. But I guess I should explain myself… you see, I’ve strived to have good manners, so I usually try to not to bother anyone with myself. That’s part of it, and the other bit is we’ve just met. To me, even though you insisted, it feels… rude and somewhat wrong. I hope that makes sense.”

Sylvie chuckled. “Not really. You’re not bothering me, I chose to help you because you were dying. I’ve already helped you this much, letting you sleep in my bed doesn’t seem like much after that. And you’re right, we have only just met, but where I’m from, your neighbors are your family, if they need something, you get it for them. Now, I may not be in the village anymore, but we are all going to be fighting alongside each other, that means we watch eachother’s back, while on and home from hunts.”

“Huh. I guess I can see your logic, but I don’t think many hunters will forge a bond that strong, especially in our profession. Maybe, eventually, you and I may have that bond, but that’ll be a bit of time.” Jay responded, as he took his weapons off as well as the heart protector armor he wore.

She quickly finished pulling off her dress, revealing her undergarments, which were a simple and white bra and panties, the former supporting an impressive chest. “Now, despite what I said, I might not have just invited anyone into my bedroom… I just so happen to like you, you’re a good man, Jay.”

“I suppose… but I’ve done things I’m not proud of.” Jay said, turning to talk to Sylvie. Upon turning, he quickly realized her state of dress, and promptly turned back, his face a bright red. “B-b-but I’ve been striving to redeem m-myself by saving as many people as I can while I’m a Hunter.”

“I didn’t know you in the past, it’s no concern of mine. What you do right now is far more important to me, and right now, you’re a good man.” The Hunter girl slid into her bed, bringing the covers up snugly around her. “I think it’s best we get our sleep, it’s going to be a long morning.”

“Agreed. Good night, Sylvie.” Jay responded, as he grabbed his poor excuse for armor and put it under his head.

“Good night.”
 

DarkGemini24601

Well-Known Member
Sep 25, 2014
5,153
1,085
113
19
Texas, United States
#75
DarkGemini24601 & Dahlexpert: “Mahogany Versus Metal”

IMPORTANT: Takes place before "Howls of Festellia"

Solomon crossed his arms, scrutinizing the wooden approximation of his partisan. While a bit crude in design, it would serve nicely. As riveting as sparring matches with real weapons could be, he'd quickly assessed his fellow hunters were skilled enough to land hits. Titania hadn't harmed him with her blow, but the gash in the plating had landed his armor in the shop for awhile. The inconvenience practice-damage could cause if a mission or such presented itself was troublesome; wieldinga somewhat-ugly model weapon was vastly preferrable to what was essentially tactical incapacitation.

Satisfied - at least for now - Solomon picked up the weapon. He wore his armor in the training grounds, both for maintaining his physical conditioning and just in case the manor was attacked; for a similar reason his real partisan leaned up against a weapon rack, in repose. The Temporal Knight swung the wooden partisan a few times to get a feel for the weight. Naturally, it was too light. To compensate, he spent the next few minutes fashioning iron balls to various points along the practice spear, focusing around the center of mass. A few more swings and subsequent corrections later and he had a harmless polearm that felt right in his hands.

Now there was just the matter of testing the oaken partisan in a match. As if guided to him by divine providence, a figure appeared in the distance. As the man exiting the guildhouse drew closer, Solomon recognized him as Charter. "Van Dam!" Solomon called out in a hearty greeting. "Good morning, my friend! How fare you?"

Charter smiled at Solomon and waved. "Doing fine, my friend. I see that your training... in a way, but..." Charter looked at the iron ball attached to the wooden spear. "Doesn't feel the same as holding a real spear does it? Not enough weight to it - too light, feels like you're holding nothing."

"Hence the weighted spheres," Solomon explained, hefting the patchwork spear. "With some adjustments, the timber-partisan feels more akin to its metal brother."

"Or you could justuseits metal brother," Charter countered. "Hum... why don't you train withme? That way you can use a real weapon, and we can see each-others' skills. Also, I'm sure it has been awhile that either of us had a real duel with real weapons."

"Hmmm..." The Temporal Knight frowned. "The issue therein is that my armor or yours could be damaged in the process. Thou hast yet to go on a hunt; it would be unfortunate if you were precluded from such by some slashes across your plating." An idea came to him. "Why don't I show you how effective my method is? Hand me your sword. I shall get a sense of its weight, and then replicate that heavyness in a practice weapon."

"Well then," Charter apprised his sword and handed it to Solomon "be careful with that. I've held onto it since I left home. It's very precious to me."

"I am a blacksmith," Solomon responded reassuringly. "I would not mishandle a blade." He gave Charter's trusty longsword a few swings, and then set up an array of metal baubles on a wooden sword of the same size. He tested it, then handed it to Charter. "Try it out, you'd be surprised how precise I can be."

Charter swung the wooden blade; he could barley notice the difference. "Not bad, not bad at all. Heh, I guess the smithing god favors you. Or you pray to her from time to time. I think you can do the same with a shield?" Charter handed his shield to Solomon; it was much heavier than the sword.

"I may worship Tempora primarily, but I do hold Saboran in the highest of respects," Solomon affirmed. He studied the craftsmanship of the shield for a moment, admiring the work its creator had put into it. "I could make you a practice shield, although there's really no need," Solomon responded calmly. "A shield can't cut armor as a blade does." He grabbed his own shield, returned Charter's, and had both of them pick up their weighted wooden weapons. "Shall we spar?"

"Ah a spear and a shield... I have to say, I enjoy the classics." Charter took his stance and prepared for Solomon.

Solomon lifted his shield defensively, and then made a few experimental jabs in Charter's direction. None of the attacks overextended him; his shield remained in optimal position as he sought Charter's reaction to the measured offensive.

Charter, blocking Solomon attacks, decided to go on the offensive. During Solomon's latest thrust, his opponent used his shield to not only block the attack, but to move the spear to the right. Swiftly, Charter followed up the parry with a kick to Solomon's leg. He then backed off. "You alright? That didn't hurt too badly did it?"

The Temporal Knight chuckled, the sonorous laughter echoing in his helmet. "Oh, I felt that blow, certainly. However, it did not stagger me. You were wise to retreat after striking, lest I riposte in reprisal."

"I've been fighting for a very long time. I got the basics down quite well." Charter slashed his sword at Solomon. As the other knight blocked Charter's attacks, he swung his shield in a right hook at Solomon.

Solomon stepped to the side, narrowly avoiding the attack. "I see you use your shield as a weapon, as I do."

"Oh, but of course. After all, the best defense is a great offensive, isn't that right?"

"Quite true!" Solomon swept his partisan in an arc across the air, forcing Charter to back off slightly. The Temporal Knight used the opportunity to rethink his approach. Instead of uselessly glancing his spear off Charter's shield in thrust attacks, Solomon began to advance, slashing across the air with the tip and bladed side of his spearhead. He was using his polearm like an extended sword, aiming to make contact with Charter's legs or sword-arm that were not protected beneath the umbrella of the Van Dam knight's aegis.

Charter took steps back trying to come up with a way to counterthe flurry. He decided to thrust his sword into Solomon’s spear. The parry was enough to stop the most recent attack, allowing Charter to then thrust his shield forward like a sword. When Solomon backed up Charter then used his sword attacking Solomon, whenever Solomon blocked charter sword he would use his shield to keep him back.

"It would seem-" a clang "-that we are-" another clang "-at an impassive here!" Solomon continued to back up, allowing Charter to press and pressupon his defenses. Then, he suddenly retracted his spear. It dove backwards, and in its place Solomon swung his hammer. Hastily drawn and one-handed, the heavy weapon's arc was not precise. With such a wide surface area on the head, it didn't need to be as it swung perilously towards Charter's side.

The hammer knocked Charter'ssword out of his hand. It stuck into the ground. “Well, that's very impressive." Charter dug his shield into the terra firma as well. "I think that should be a good place to end, don't you think?”

Solomon nodded. "Youfought well, Van Dam."

"Years of training… we could go on,but... with us going all out one another, even with wooden weapons, you and I can still do some serious damage."

"And a hammer may harm without an edge," Solomon agreed. "Regardless, this was a fine test run for the weighted practice weaponry. Many thanksfor your assistance."

"No problem, great work with theweapons. They’re excellent for practice; I’m sure your squire will appreciate this."

"I'm sure she will. Enjoy the restof your day," Solomon spoke in parting.

"You too, friend. I hope we can train with each other again soon."
 

ZombieSplitter53

Game Master
Staff member
May 27, 2013
6,050
2,626
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R'lyeh, Pacific Ocean, 47°9′S, 126°43′W
#76
Dahlexpert & ZombieSplitter53
Puppy Experiments


Havenbrook Manor/Guildhouse
The Garden
February 2nd, 3349


Charter was outside, training with the newest additions to the guild, the half dozen dire wolves that joined Slone to protect the guild. "Right, well, since that damn woman 'trained' them, in a way, they're used to humans. But best to get them used to everyone else." Charter lowered his weapon and the wolves stopped attacking.

"Oh yeah, you're gonna be very useful. Right boy?" Slone looked at his new pack and back at his master. He rubbed against Charter, showing he still trusted him.

"Oh, dear." Erin stopped short as she turned a corner, staring down the half dozen huge canines. Where as other Thropes, like Drayce or Titania, had to fight their primal urges to attack in stressful situations, Erin had to deal with a rodent's instinctive nervous response to danger, such as a rabbit woman facing down several dire wolves. She slowly approached, a slight shake in her voice as she said, "They are... quite large, aren't they?"

Charter looked over to see a rabbit Thropes. He looked at the wolves and ordered them to fall back. They went back into the forest, and on patrol. "Not used to seeing dire wolves up close I take it?"

"Not used to seeing any animal of the canine variety, to be honest," Erin stated, stepping forward. "I don't even care for the wolf and bear Eraqus calls dogs." She cleared her throat. "Are you named Charter? I'm afraid I didn't get your last name."

"Van Dam. It's a pleasure to meet you. To whom am I talking to by the way?"

"Erin Starstorm." She offered her hand palm down as though she was a noblewoman. "A pleasure."

Charter took her hand. "A pleasure to meet you. Nice ears by the way. I take it you're a Rabbit Thropes. Haven't meet one of you yet, so it's an extra pleasure."

Erin smiled. "Yes, well... I do hope my ears are a proper excuse for being wary of your... pets. Though in truth, it was your connection to these creatures that led me to seek you out. As I understand it, you have an affinity for them, and have one as a partner of sorts."

"Yes I do, hold one a second." Charter whistled and Slone came out of the bushes and to his master. The giant white wolf looked at his master and at the Rabbit Thropes. "Easy Slone, easy. Is this a good example for you?"

Erin laughed nervously. "Y-yes, he is a... uh, very handsome beast. Um... so, word has it that you have some pups. Is this so?"

Slone then howled, and a couple pups along with his wife came out of the woods. Charter then steeped in front of Erin. "Um, just to tell you, his wife is not like Slone. She's an untrained wolf."

"Oh... so there is no way I could maybe examine one of the pups?" Erin asked with an almost flirtatious smile.

"You can. Mama won't like it, but Slone would keep her under control. Come on, I will show you there den." Erin nodded, walking over to Charter and staying close, trusting him to keep her from being eaten alive. Slone also stood behind them, to make sure that nothing would happen. Once they entered the den, there was a litter of puppies playing with each other. "There they are. Still, watch yourself."

Erin nodded again, and slowly, cautiously approached, extending a hand. "Here, little ones. Come to Erin."

One of the baby wolves approached Erin. Once she let her guard down, the other pups started to surround her. They pounced on her, then licked her.

Erin laughed uncontrollably. "Stop, stop! This is most undignified. Oh... it tickles! Please, I implore you to stop before your mother makes a chew toy out of me."

Their mother and father laid down, looking at their pups licking Erin. "Well, it would seem that their mother is fine with you being like this."

"Excellent." Erin smiled up at Charter. "This is wonderful news. Especially since I wanted to ask you a favor."

"Ugh, boy, this should be good. So what's this favor you're asking?"

Erin waved a hand dismissively. "Nothing big. I simply want one of them."

"Alright, fine, but do anything weird or out of place, then..." Charter looked at not only Slone but his wife as well. "Sigh, just be careful. Gods, you're sounding like my sister."

Erin started combing through the puppies, looking for the one she thought would be best. "And what is your sister like, pray tell?"

"She's an upcoming sorcerous, a strong magic user. She can use ice, fire, and wind magic. Though she's strong, she's quiet and, how to say... not good around people.”

Erin laughed. "My my, Mr. Van Dam. I do hope you are not making unfounded assumptions about me. Though that you deduced I am one skilled with magic is impressive."

"I'm sure you're a powerful mage, otherwise you wouldn't be here. Anyway, if you're curious about my sister, she's back home, probably doing... whatever experiment she's doing."

"I would like to contact her some time. I am she she is not nearly as skilled as me in the field of magic, but inspiration comes from all levels, my dear."

"Hum, anyway, what do you plan on doing to one of the pups?"

"Hmm?" Erin waved her hand. "Oh... nothing you need concern yourself." She lifted the largest male. "I'll take this healthy specimen."

Slone started to growl at the woman. "Might want to be careful. Slone doesn't like experiments. Especially since my sister tried it on him, and since he was smaller then, she got bit by Slone. So be careful."

"Really?" Erin delicately pet the animal in her arms. "What kind of experiment?"

"Lets just say wolves don't like any going up their other end, and leave it at that."

Erin laughed. "Sorry... sorry. I'm sure you don't find it funny. But... what if I promised the little one would come to no harm?"

"Then you can take him, just be very careful with him."

"Thank you!" Erin lifted the pup up and looked into his eyes. "Does he have a name? Do any of them?"

"That one is Blisk. If you noticed, he was the one that led the attack on you."

Erin giggled, and looked over to the mother. "I will take excellent care of him. You'll have him back in a month. Maybe less."

The dire wolf mother looked at Erin and started to growl at her. Blisk started to wiggle out of Erin's arms. Once free, Blisk started to whine to his mother. She looked at her pup, the back at Erin. She licked her pup and pushed him to Erin.

Erin laughed nervously as she picked the pup up again. "I assure you, ma'am, part of my research is to better understand your kind so I can interact with you and... and I am explaining myself to an animal that has no idea what I'm saying, aren't I?"

Character chuckled. "Yes you are, and don't worry about mama. I'm guessing Blisk just vouched for you."

Erin rubbed her nose against Blisk's. "I am in your debt, Mr. Van Dam. If there is anything I or the labs can do for you, just let me know, dear."

"Careful how you say that, anyone else might take it out of context."

Erin blushed a bit. "Yes, well... I already have one stalker. A would hate for you to turn into a second, my dear." She headed out of the den, bowing her head to Charter. "Until next we meet.”

"Until next time. Hmm, she seems interesting. So a rabbit Thrope? How very interesting.”
 
Last edited:

Black0ut

Active Member
Feb 5, 2015
598
89
28
19
[REDACTED], Washington
#77
Black0ut And Dahlexpert presents:
Pack Bonding

Titania walked throughout the manor, hoping to find something to interest her. She soon stopped in the Grand hall and laid down on the staircase, her wounds sore but not life-threatening. She slowly closed her eyes, and rested.

Slone entered the manner as well, tired from his day of training. He sees a Titania sitting on the main staircase, Slone then picked up the young woman and put her down the stairs. And laid next to her.

Titania surprised by the action, tilted her head slightly in confusion, but soon relaxed and began petting Slone, not feeling scared of the Direwolf due to her affinity. “Hey, Slone. I wonder where your partner is…”

Slone breathed outward enjoying the woman's touch. Charter then entered the manner and saw that his wolf met another friend. “Well I see that Slone met another friend. Hi, um remind me who are you again?”

“Titania. You’re… Charter, I believe. We were on the same mission. Nice fighting, by the way. If you weren’t there, we might’ve lost.” The Thrope Swordswoman responded.

“I wouldn't say that, I just kept that but I did keep that crazy woman busy from ordering more wolves on you guys. Hell that probably helped a little bit.

“I'd say it helped us avoid dying. What happened to the Direwolves you brought back?” Titania asked, as she stopped petting Slone.

“I’m training them, they obey me to an extent. Now I'm just training them to be more efficient, it’s a lot of work.”

“I bet. I mean, normal wolves don't like outsiders, so I'd bet Direwolves are even more so.” Titania replied.

“Yea, it takes time. That’s why It took me nearly a week to come back, I had to earn their trust which with wolves it was painful.”

“I think if we worked together, at least when it involves Worgs, wolves or Direwolves, it might be a bit easier and a less painful experience. That is, if you're actually interested in working with me.” Titania offered, as she resumed petting Slone.

“I have them somewhat under control, but I would rather keep them to their roots and not domesticate them fully you know what I mean.”

“I understand, and I can still help with that. I'm a Wolf-Thrope, so I can communicate with them a lot better than you can.” Titania explained.

“If you want to then sure, they're outside right now guarding the area so if you're serious about this then come on.”

Titania scratched around Slone’s ears before standing. “Alright. I'll follow your lead, Charter.”

Charter lead Titania outside where the wolves were, the wolves are chewing on a recent deer kill. "Well they're eating so they're distracted for the moment so if you want to go near them if you want.”

Titania nodded, and began to transform, except this time she transformed fully into a white wolf. She gingerly approached one of the much larger Direwolves, being very cautious to avoid being eaten or provoking the large animal. After a few moments, she curled up next to the Direwolf, as she too rested.

“Wow impressive, I have to say. Guess you being part wolf does help, still I guess I'm old fashioned but I would rather get the scars and all that.”

Titania raised her head, shaking it slightly as she couldn't talk once transformed fully. She looked at the Direwolf next to her, who had recently finished its meal. It looked at her, to which Titania lowered her head, so as to not challenge the Direwolf. Accepting her surrender, the Direwolf laid down next to Titania.

“You really are good at this.” Slone then looked at the white wolf and started to lay next to her as well, the others looked at Slone and back at the wolf. The wolves started to approach the non-Direwolf where she was surrounded.

Titania raised her head slightly, hoping that the pack of Direwolves wouldn’t prey on her. I’m counting on you Slone… I don’t know this crowd as well as you do… She thought nervously.

Slone tapped his head against her's, Slone then howled, and the wolves came to him. Slone communicated with the other wolves telling them that Titania is to be trusted.

Titania, understanding the wolf-speak due to her affinity, thanked Slone, before staring at the other Direwolves. She did her best to look non-threatening, so as not to provoke the others.

The others looked at Titania, and went back to the forest. “Well guess they like you or there undecided on you, I don’t speak wolf.”

The Wolf-Thrope reverted into her human form, and looked at Charter, “Slone probably saved me from becoming the next meal for the pack, so I owe your partner. But in regards to whether or not they like me… some probably do, some probably don’t. Most are probably undecided.”

“Well Slone likes you, and they will follow him. Annnnd if they challenge him, he has no problem to show his dominance to them. Heh it’s kinda weird seeing the wolf I raised now having his own pack now.”

“It's always kinda weird seeing the ones closest to us changing, for better or for worse.” Titania pointed out, sitting down on the ground.

Charter sat right next to her. “Yea, especially since I raised him since he was a pup, it’s weird seeing him become an alpha wolf. And I couldn't be prouder.”

Titania smiled, “He's like your son, isn't he? Kinda wish I had that bond with someone or something.”

“Well you could bond with this pack here, I mean if it can give you a chance to tap into your animal side more. Annd i’m making no sense am I?”

“You are. I don't know if they'll fully accept me, Y’know, cause I'm a wolf while they're of the dire variety. But I'll give it a shot.”

“That’s the idea, just try and see what happens.” Charter stood up and stretched. “Well I had a very long day, with other people interacting with my wolves, and meeting other in the guild. I’m gonna turn in, have fun with wolves.” Charter entered the manner to catch some sleep.

“What an interesting man. However, I'm not going to push my luck with the others, lest I wind up a chew toy.” Titania murmured, taking her weapons out and heading for the training grounds.
 

MarineAvenger

Operator 21O
Staff member
Dec 9, 2013
3,310
849
113
New York, USA
#78
Grounded (MarineAvenger and ZombieSlayer)

Havenbrook HQ
Hunter’s Rooms
Feb. 2nd, 3349

Mina stuck her head in Drayce’s room, scoffing at the empty and barely used bed. “Damn it.” She stepped out, and started down the hall. “Drayce!” she called out. “Where would he be? The garden? Training? Doubt that… the ceiling again? Drayce!” She continued her aggravating search.

After an hour longer of the aggravating search, she eventually was walking down one of the corridors and saw something swinging back and forth outside one of the windows, a scaly black with red tinge tail.

“There you are…” Mina threw open the window. “Drayce! I need to talk to you!”

“No!” Drayce yelled back like a stubborn child. “You’ll yell at me!”

“Don’t you…!” Mina stepped back, and held her fists tightly. She took in several deep breaths, and stepped forward. “Drayce… please come in.”

There was a little whimper, the tail disappearing and being replaced by the top half of his head, “There, we can talk just fine like this. Away from where you can poke me or otherwise harm me.”

“Poke and…” Mina chuckled under her breath. “You are acting quite timid considering how easily you could roast me. Though I do appreciate the compliment on my ability to be imposing.” She looked him over, something about the worry in his eyes making hers soften. “Just… tell me what happened. From your perspective.”

“That tisvelk soti stuck his teeth into me. I wanted to destroy him, and then that stupid man with his own tisvelk soti acted mean. I hate him and his hairy dog.” Drayce explained with a deep growl. “I hate him.”

“The… you mean Charter, right?” Mina folded her arms. “Did you want to destroy him too?” The response she got was another deep growl, his eyes shifting to dragon form. With a groan, she asked, “And the others? Would you have killed Eraqus to get to him if Titania hadn’t stopped you?”

“He wouldn’t have gotten in the way. I could smell the reek of fear on him. I would not hurt Titania. She understands. Charter believes himself a master of beasts when all he is is a pompous shashti sonear!” The Dragon Thrope growled vindictively.

“Drayce!” She pointed an angry finger. “You are not to incinerate your teammates, no matter what you think of them! Understand? I don’t know how dragons act when they dislike someone, but we southlanders don’t kill each other.” Her eyes shifted about. “Uh, some people do, but not here.”

“I will incinerate who I want! You are not my dask! And you can’t stop me. Bleeeeeh!” He stuck his tongue out at Wilhelmina and quickly pulled his head out of sight.

Her eye twitched, and she pointed in front of her. “Get in here. Now.”

“No! I hate you!” Drayce retorted plainly.

“Get in here… now! Or so help me…”

“Or what? You’ll kill me? Like all the others in your lands who know what I am? I will not die lying down! My dask taught me better than that!” A ball of fire shot off into the courtyard, and after that, Drayce became silent.

Mina walked forward, looking out into the courtyard to make sure he didn’t hit anyone. Sighing in relief at the lone burning bush, she looked up and said, “I’m not going to kill you. I’m going to ground you. You don’t want to talk to me like an adult? You want to act like a child? I’m grounding you like a child.”

“You and what army!? If you dare touch my wings, I will kill you! A dragon’s wings are our defining feature, and if you try to mutilate them, I will not hesitate to burn you to a crisp.” the young man threatened, claws digging into the roof.

Mina practically hung backwards out the window and waved her finger at him angrily. “Don’t threaten me! You came here for my help, and you will do as I say!” She scoffed. “And that’s not what it means to be grounded. It means I take away the things you like until you behave. Word is, you refuse to eat the food they prepare in the mess hall. You insist on only eating raw meat, right?”

“Your cooks ruin meat and make it horrible.” Drayce mumbled with a low growl to his voice.

Mina stepped back into the building and walked away from the window. “Guess who doesn’t get any raw meat anymore…”

“...I can hunt on my own you know.” The young man said in almost a whisper, some droplet falling against the windowsill, both clear and crimson.

“I heard that. And good luck hiding from the people who would…” She looked back, and noted the drops. She slowly stuck her head out the window and looked up at him.

The dragon was half transformed at that point, shaking from both his strong emotions and what must have been a wound on his left shoulder from the large amounts of blood pouring down his arm. “All you humans are the same… none of you understand… I hate all southlanders… I just want to go home… I just… want to go home…”

Mina sighed. “Drayce… why didn’t you get that wound looked at when you got back? We have a doctor on staff.”

“Dragons do not have doctors. They endure or-” he winced as he jostled his arm a bit too quickly, “ow… die.”

“Well, you’re not just a dragon. You’re also a young man who is hurt, and here, we take care of each other.” Mina stepped back. “Please, come inside.”

There was a minute of silence until finally there was a shuffling and he swung through the window using his right arm, landing on the floor and staying squated down, looking at Mina warily, as if ready to escape should she try something.

Lady Havenbrook knelt next to him and looked over the wound. “It isn’t too deep. You’re thick skinned, my friend. But it is a wide wound, and it could get infected if you don’t get it treated.” She stood up and offered her hand. “Come on. Let’s go get you a bandage.”

Looking at the hand, Drayce closed his eyes and slowly reached out to take it, “Okay…”

Mina walked him to the small medical room on the first floor. Carefully considering, she asked the doctor to step out, deciding she didn’t want to risk anyone else. She sat him on the examination table and got some antiseptic and alcohol. “Please take off your cloak and shirt.”

Without much pouting funnily enough, the young man complied and within the minute, his upper torso was exposed. Things were worse than Mina thought though, there being more blood then shown with his clothing on, and the wound looking to be in the early stages of an infection.

“Oh, Drayce… what am I going to do with you…?” She grabbed a few more bandages, as well as a needle and medical string. “I’m going to put something on your shoulder that is going to hurt. It is going to make sure you don’t get infected. Just make sure you restrain yourself and don’t turn around and gut me.” She slowly poured the alcohol over the wounds.

The Dragon Thrope let out a booming roar, pulling his shoulder away and putting a hand over it, “That hurt!’ he exclaimed, “More than you said!”

“I’m sorry,” Mina said honestly. “I’m just trying to help you. Please, move your hand. I have to close this larger wound.” With a pout, the young man complied with her request and moved closer, turning his head away. Mina carefully started sewing the wound together. It hurt a bit, but nothing compared to being actually bitten. “Drayce?”

“What?” the very irritated but currently held back half-dragon asked in return.

“I’m sorry” she said softly. “You came to me for protection, but my curiosity got the better of me. I wanted to see what you were capable of, and sent you out there. I shouldn’t have been so reckless.”

“I… you were not the one who directed those beasts. I do not blame you. I… I do not hate you. I really… love you.” Drayce said, shifting with some discomfort.

“What?” Mina smiled softly, grabbing the bandages and starting applying them. “Why love me? You barely know me. Besides, I’m just the mean lady that yells at you, right?”

“You are a mean lady who yells… a lot. But you are the only southlander who has shown me kindness. I didn’t mean what I said. I love you Mina.” Drayce said with a firm nod.

Mina finished his bandages, and rested her hand against his back. “You’re a good kid, Drayce. I’m sorry I yell all the time. I just want you to stay out of trouble. Just… promise me you won’t deep fry my hunters, and I promise I won’t yell as much. Deal?”

“I won’t… hurt anyone.” the Thrope agreed slowly.

“Thank you.” Mina carefully cleaned off the blood on his shoulder, touching him gently like a mother. “In that case, you’re not grounded. You can have all the raw meat you want. I don’t want to make you to go out to hunt where you can be exposed. I… I’d be really sad if you were taken away. And I know a certain blind girl that has taken a liking to you that would be pretty sad too.”

Leaning back, Drayce laid his head against her shoulder, turning so he pressed against her neck. Mina’s smile widened a bit, a she pressed her head against the top of his. “I’m glad you came, Drayce. You’ll be safe here, and make lots of friends, and learn everything there is about us Southlanders.”

“I hope…” The Dragon Thrope whispered, reaching over and grabbing hold of the middle of her shirt. “This is the only place I have anymore…”

Mina wrapped her hand around his. “Then I’ll have to do my best to make sure you’re happy to be hear. And… maybe someday… we’ll find the means to let you go home again.”

“I would like nothing more.” the bare chested young man let out a brief sniffle, then proceeded to quietly cry on Mina, holding her closer. Mina wrapped her arm around him, and held him tight. She slowly rubbed his back. She wasn’t used to being this comforting to someone. It seemed a part of her that died long ago. But she closed her eyes, and rocked him back and forth lightly, softly humming a soft song from her childhood.
 

ZombieSplitter53

Game Master
Staff member
May 27, 2013
6,050
2,626
113
33
R'lyeh, Pacific Ocean, 47°9′S, 126°43′W
#79
ExoGrim & ZombieSplitter53

Lost Child of Mine
Location: Cleardevon, Serasam
Client: Mr. & Mrs. Madinbrue & the Havenbrook Organization
Target: Manticore Thrope


Zulik walked into the room, making note of Arlia slightly glaring at him. He took his seat and said. “I was told I was needed for something… May I ask what that is?”

Arlia didn’t respond. She still didn’t quite trust the corrupted elf and she didn’t feel he should be with her for the mission that Lady Havenbrook wanted them to do. But, she did have a way to get the man in, so at the very least gave Zulik the documents she had forged for him and hoped their companion or the guild leader would explain.

Mina folded her hands behind her desk. To the side of the room, a Thrope with Bat features leaned against the wall. Two distraught looking Thropes, civilians by the look of them, sat on the couch on the side of the room. “Have either of you met a boy named Drayce by any chance?” Mina asked.

“I’ve met him…” Arlia replied. “I was the one who let him in when he first got here.”

Zulik sighed. “I’ve heard about him from the others, but I haven’t met him personally.”

Mina nodded. “This might come as a surprise, and I’m only sharing this with you because it is relevant and the boy doesn’t seem to understand the concept of keeping quiet, but… Drayce is a Dragon Thrope. As in, he developed dragon features, and thus must have been around dragons themselves.”

Zulik nodded, hiding his surprise well. “That’s quite a feat, being about to live around Dragons long enough to be like them… but what does that have to do with today’s mission?”

Lady Havenbrook sighed. “I have decided to take in Drayce because, besides being someone who could be a great benefit to the Havenbrook Organization, there are those who would wish to capture him for a variety of reasons. Experimentation. Hopes he would lead the to the dragons. Or simply…” Her eyes wandered over to the couple for a moment. “...to own something rare. On that note, do you know what a manticore is?”

“No I do not.” The corrupted elf answer. Arlia merely sat silently as the two discussed.

“It is a naturally occurring chimera of sorts. Most lion in composition, but with large, bat-like wings and a scorpion’s stinger. Quite dangerous. They increase the rank of a mission by one for each known one in the area. I bring this up because sometimes Thropes end up becoming attached to odd animals. Not as rare as, say, a dragon. But look at our Guild. We have a Fly Thrope. And Bea here is a vampire bat Thrope, one of only two this Guild has ever known. Granted, someone actually being around something like a manticore and liking it is extremely rare, but when it happens… some people would kill to have them, just as much as someone like Drayce. And that is why you two are here now.”

“So, you’re saying that someone has gotten their hands on a Manticore Thrope illegally?” Zulik inquired. “And you want us to find the people who has?”

Lady Havenbrook looked over to the couple. “Please… tell them what you told me.”

The woman wiped her eyes. She looked as though she wanted to cry, but was so used to cry that she was able to control is. “Our daughter… little Allie… she’s all that we care about in this world… please…”

Her husband put his hand over hers. “We do research in Bevland on rare and unique creatures and monsters. One of them was a Manticore that Allie took a liking to. We just thought it was just a child’s fascination with the strange and unusual, until… she came of age, and took on manticore features. Our jobs gave us a decent living in a country where Thropes usually making up the lower classes. But we’re still Thropes, and because of this, when she was kidnapped and taken out of the country, no one stepped up to help us. By the time we found out who had her, they had already forged some fake documents stating she is a legally owned slave.”

“They’re a side show!” The mother shouted. “A glorified travelling circus and zoo of weird and exotic creatures, and they display our daughter like an animal. Like an… an object! And because of some diplomatic loopholes, even though they’re here in Serasam where slavery has been abolished, we can’t get her away from them!”

Mina crossed her arms. “She’s right. We can’t legally get Allie.”

“So, you want us to get her, regardless of what the law says…” Zulik muttered, looking over the documents that Arlia gave him. “Then may I ask what these are for?”

“There for getting you in undercover.” The assassin responded. “Those documents should allow you to bypass the checking they do for the show and get you into the back room… where you’ll prepare things for me and her to get in.”

The Bat woman nodded. Speaking in an odd, foreign accent, she said, “Arlia and I are both trained for sneaking around. You will get us in, and we will get the girl out. Besides covering entry, you are also there for heavy hitting should we be compromised.”

“That is, of course… if you agree.” Mina gave Arlia and Zulik a serious look. “This is extremely risky for all different reasons than what you are use to. Should you be discovered and captured… I can’t claim any knowledge of your actions. That’s why I am only sending three of you… and why this is volunteer only. I won’t fault you if either of you decline.”

Arlia looked at the guild leader. “I don’t see why not to. It’s may be a legal loophole, but it should be abused so easily. As for you?” She looked at Zulik.

“I’m willing to help where needed.”

“Excellent.” Lady Havenbrook sat back. “You leave at once. Good luck.”

*****

The Next Day
The City of Cleardevon
West of the Havenbrook Manor
10:45 p.m.


The pair of covert Hunters sat outside the main storage building, waiting for Zulik to open the door for them. There was no telling when the opportunity would arise. They had been waiting an hour, and it could be another five hours or another five minutes. This, of course, was assuming he was coming at all. After all, it was entirely possible he was caught. The pair could only wait.

“This your first time using your skills to save and not kill?” Bea asked quietly, wishing to break the tense silence.

“Yes, it is.” Arlia responded and left it at that.

Bea couldn’t help but smile at the cold reaction. “You are not happy about your violent career, are you? The many lives you have taken. Were they, perhaps, done for reasons beyond some noble standard you aspire to?”

“I do what I must to protect my home…” Arlia said. “Even if it means not being there anymore.”

“Ah, this I understand.” Bea sighed, leaning back a bit. “I left my home on bad terms. You people call me an assassin. Where I am from, though, I am qatal. I work for my government, and sticking to the shadows is not always needed, or appropriate. I miss my home, even though I left, and I fight for its honor. I am thinking you do the same, yes?”

“Yes, but for different reason then you would think.” The human assassin answered, before Zulik popped out of the building and walked back in, leaving the door unlocked for them.

Bea smile, securing her odd weapon on her back. “There is our window. I am more experienced hunter, but you are more experienced with stealth, so I offer you to lead.”

Arlia smirked at the bat Thrope and made her way to the door. She slightly opened the door to look inside and see who was still there.

The entryway was large enough to let several people in at once, and led to two hall ways going diagonally forward. The room was not full, something Zulik was meant to be sure of, but there were two guards chatting near the north hallway. They were equipped with a pair of meaty swords and expensive looking pistols, unusually will stocked for a pair of circus guards.

Arlia pulled out two kunai, judging the distance as she prepared her throwing arm. When she was sure that she could hit them, she threw the two blade, aiming for the back of their necks with curved shots.

They both hit, one of the guards falling immediately. The other cried out in pain, and looked towards Arlia’s position. “What the f-.”

A knife flew through the air and through the man’s mouth. He crumpled to the floor, and Bea walked towards him to recover her weapon. “You have surprisingly good aim, my associate.”

Arlia took the kunai from her ally. “I’ve had many years of practice… now where are they hiding her?” Arlia began inspecting the area, seeing if the Thrope they were looking for was there.

Bea rubbed her large ears. She crouched down and closed her eyes. “The halls, they lead to many rooms. Some with animals. Some with people. Some with nothing. Cover me, and remain silent. I shall try and find the right room.”

Arlia nodded in response, staying near the Thrope as they made their way down the hallways.

Bea suddenly lifted her room. “There… crying. It can be someone else, but it is certainly a person. Either it is a member of the show, or one of the staff members are having a bad day.” She waved and led Arlia to another center room. There, they saw three guards, and what were likely two stage hands or some other kind of crew. Bea looked to Arlia and whispered. “There is a saying where I come from. Those that pick arms against the innocent are no longer innocent, no matter their circumstances. These guards, we kill. They know what it is that they do. But as for the other two, they are simply, how do you say… grunts. The help. I have my own opinion, but as I said, I will follow your lead. It is up to you whether they die as well or not.”

Arlia nodded and whispered. “Whatever it takes to get her back to her parents.” She took three shurikens off her belt, each poisoned with Aggre Spree. She threw them at each of the guards’ arms.
 

ZombieSplitter53

Game Master
Staff member
May 27, 2013
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R'lyeh, Pacific Ocean, 47°9′S, 126°43′W
#80
Lost Child of Mine
Part Two


Two hit flesh, while the other was deflected by an arm guard and a last minute movement. The first two guards started sweating profusely, and both dropped to their knees, looking deathly pale. With a war cry, Bea charged out of cover. Lifting her broadsword, she smashed it against the sword of the one healthy guard again and again. The two had a dual that lasted only a few seconds. Meanwhile, the two grunts stepped back in fear, and the two poisoned guards drew their pistols as Bea implanted her sword into their teammates shoulder.

Taking note of the two poisoned guards’ actions, Arlia quickly threw two kunai in attempt to either throw off their aim or disarm them entirely. One dropped his gun, the other fired a shot that missed entirely. With an angry yell, Bea grabbed the staff off her back, unfolded it and stuck the blade on the end, and used the now-scythe to cut them both down. “Thanks for the assist, friend!” She turned to the cowering stage hands. “Would you like to cut these two down?”

“No, they are not worth the time, we need to get Allie out of here as soon as possible.” The assassin replied, seeing if she could get past the cage lock.

Bea kept a close eye on the pair as she did, returning her weapon to its smaller state and pointing it at them in a threatening manner. “Make it quick. There is no telling who heard that gunshot.”

While Arlia worked on the lock, from the shadows of the cage, in tattered clothes, the young manticore Thrope stepped forward. “Who are you people? What do you want with me?”

Arlia looked up at the girl. “We’re here to help you… you’re parents set us to get you out of this hell hole.”

Zulik walked into the room, with a guard close behind him. When the corrupted elf saw the two of them in the room, he immediately grabbed his “comrade” by the head and snapped the man’s neck. “I would’ve thought you two would be gone by now. What’s with the hold up… and the gun fire?”

“There is more resistance than we thought there might be,” Bea answered. “What I heard is true. This must be a favorite of Bevland royalty. This explains the well armed guards, as well as the ‘diplomatic’ loopholes, or whatever it is. Do you have any other guards following you, Zulik?”

“No, it was just the one.” The Elf replied. “But there expecting me back with a report… and I don’t think a dead guard is good evidence. So, we may have to get out the hard way now.”

Arlia finally got past the lock, tossing it behind her as she opened the door to the cage. “Allie, it’s time for you to come home.”

Allie quickly jumped out of the cage, and fell to her knees. She lightly rubbed her legs. “I’m sorry. They don’t let me walk around much, a-and my legs hurt. If… if I slow you down, please leave me behind.”

Zulik looked at the young girl. “Since we can’t leave you behind, as we need to get you back to your parents… you do look pretty lightweight so…” The mage walked over a picked up Allie, holding her over his shoulder. “This should work out better.”

Arlia nodded and looked at Bea. “Can you give us a path with as little guards as possible. Zulik not returning means there already looking for us… so our original path wouldn’t work.”

Bea nodded, and waved for them to follow. “I shall lead us away from the back entrance. They will not expect us to go for the main entrance. We may need to fight our way out a little though. Is this acceptable?”

“Yes it is…” Arlia followed the bat Thrope to the main gate.

They arrived with no resistance, but resistance was certainly waiting for them to leave. Seven well aimed guards blocked their path out, while around them others scurried to move towards the back. “This is too dangerous,” Allie whispered. “Please, just leave me. You’ll never make it out with me in tow.”

“Well, you see, I have something that would help in this situation.” Zulik whispered back. He prepared his spell with his free hand, fire forming around it. When he had enough power stored in his arm, he unleashed the Inferno Blast. A massive wave of fire charged the guards at full force.

All were knocked to the ground, two consumed and dying immediately, the others all injured, some catching on fire. “Alaintiha' minha!” Bea yelled, rushing into the fray. She unzipped her sleeves and unfurled her wings, flying up a few feet then dropping, diving her sword into one of the men’s chests.

As one of the guards began to get up, Arlia dashed towards him. She took a second to focus before her katana blurred through the man’s neck.

The three remaining guards were awe struck. One ran to the side, aiming a pistol at Arlia, and another dashed towards the seemingly vulnerable Zulik. The third ran to get out of the fray.

Zulik blocked the blade, as his gauntlet hand was his free one, and grabbed him by the wrist. He twisted it just enough to break it, but not enough to break the arm itself. Arlia noticed the gun pointed at her, but was too late to avoid the shot, taking the bullet to the side.

“Abn nnadhill aleahirat!” Bea charged the man that had shot Arlia. She drove her scythe deep into his back, and tossed the weapon, man and all, towards Zulik. It crashed into the second guard, slamming him into a wall. Bea knelt before the young assassin. “Is it serious?”

Arlia looked at the wound, judging the depth of the shot. “I’ll need medical attention, but I should be fine until we get back.” The assassin stood, slightly dazed from the blood lose. If she had one, she would’ve used a Wound Burn, but the last one she had used when she last saw Titania.

Bea quickly moved to her weapon, swiftly kicking the last guard in the head to make sure he was out (or dead). Her ears twitched, and she looked towards the building. “More are coming. And they are bringing something with them.” She looked back. “You two, run away. The path is clear. I shall remain and assure your escape.”

“But there would be no guarantee you’ll survive.” Zulik remarked. “Are you willing to make that sacrifice?”

Bea turned back and smiled at Arlia. “Whatever it takes to get her back to her parents. This young one’s life, as well as the safety of my two comrades, is worth the sacrifice. Khayr alkthyr hu 'akthar 'ahammiat min khayr alqillat.”

Arlia and Zulik nodded, darting away to give Bea the space to prepare herself for her fight.

Bea watched as they went, making sure they went. Turning back to the entrance, she cracked her neck from side to side, and prepared herself for the coming pain.

*****

Over an hour’s walk away, towards the Havenbrook guild, the group settled around a campfire. The girl the pair had fought to save held her legs tightly against her chest, staring into the fire. “She… she’s coming back… isn’t she?”

“We have no way of knowing that.” Arlia said, trying her best to treat her wound. “Though if she did live, she would’ve been back by now.”

The girl buried her face against her legs. “It’s my fault. She probably died because of me. I’m such a pain. I should have been left there. I… should just… die…”

“Then our mission would not be complete.” Zulik remarked, keeping calm. “She did what she saw necessary to insure we made it out with you. She knew full well that she would die because of that decision and chose to make it on her own free will.”

“That doesn’t really make me feel better,” Allie whispered.

Suddenly, outside of the cave they were hiding in, Zulik felt something of immense strength nearby. Nothing magical, but angry. Sinister. Evil. After a few minutes, someone yelled out, “Hello! You bumpkins done stole my animal! I want it back! Come out, wherever you are!”

Zulik poked out of the cave, checking to see who, or what, was after them. Arlia had too wounded to even fight, so he was by himself this time. “And what happens if I choose to decline your demand?” The corrupted Elf yelled back.

After a moment's hesitation, Zulik could feel the force coming towards him. Soon, he could hear the sounds of heavy footsteps. “So yer willing to cooperate? ‘Cause I got a little somethin’ you might want to trade for. Something you left behind.”

“And what might that be?” Zulik said back, preparing himself for the worst.

“A nasty little bat. She put up quite the fight. Not sure if she’ll make it, to be honest. Though if she does, well… she is a rare breed. Not as rare as a manticore girl, but I could always put her in the show.”

“Then how about you show yourself and then I may think about it.” Zulik bluffed, hoping to get a better idea of what he was fighting.

After a bit more stomping, they came into view. A fairly overweight man wearing quite a fancy getup and jewelry led the charge. Next to him, a guard on his last leg, likely indicating that Bea had injured or killed most of the guards if he was the only one coming with, had the Bat Thrope over his shoulder. And behind them, the imposing figure of a fifteen foot Giant stomped forward, an incredibly large club like a tree trunk over his shoulder, an unusual collar on his neck, an angry sneer on his face.

“You must be the one in charge of the show…” Zulik said to the fat man. “ I can see that you show your power very well.”

The man laughed heartily, not taking any possible double meaning in his words. “Yes, well, you’re just lucky I didn’t bring an actual manticore. Figured Chugs here could do the job well enough.” He tapped some ashes off of an expensive looking cigar. “So… you gonna give me the damn girl or not?”

“Like I said earlier, what would happen if I declined your demand?” Zulik stated, quietly judging the throw needed to grab the thing around the giant’s neck with a void chain. “Though, I’m curious why you have control over a giant… magic wouldn’t be sustained for so long… an enchanted device maybe?”