Hunters of Terra Dolor (Role Playing Section)

Black0ut

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ZombieSplitter53 & Black0ut present:
Dealing with Death

A symbol was drawn repeatedly into the ground, the person drawing, running so fast to create the glyph for Taydar. A tiny bit of blood trailed as the runner gripped her hand so hard out of nervousness that she bled. "Come on... answer the glyph..."

A viscous black smoke arose from the ground, meaning it either worked, or she had managed to summon a demon. Granted, when Taydar appeared out of the smoke, his armor was reminiscent of a demon. He looked over the woman with suspicious eyes as she slowed from her sprint. "Who dares call the God of Death directly?"

"Hey, cousin Taydar." Titania said casually as she removed her mask. "You may be the god of death but from how Kva talked about you... you sounded incredibly sweet. I'm Titania Regallis, of House Regallis, formerly just Regalia. Say... you wanna go get something to eat as we talk?"

Taydar was taken aback by her casual nature. He slowly removed his helmet, revealing a scarred but handsome face. "You are the one Kva spoke of. The one she wanted to see one last time before coming under my service, yes?"

"Yeah. Her visit is part of the reason I'm not entirely batshit crazy and murdering the group Alice made. But seriously, you want get some food? I know a guy who makes some amazing stuff. It'll give us a place to sit down and talk, rather than standing in a field being too formal with one another. Plus, I'm pretty sure this is the first time someone called you cousin, Taydar, and didn't immediately ask for all your cosmic help with everything." Titania started as she started walking away, looking over her shoulder at the god before smiling. "So... what do you say? Have some dinner, I treat you like the person you are and we talk?"

Taydar scratched the side of his head, a bit perplexed. After a moment, he shrugged and hurried after her. In a flash of smoke, his clothing changed to something more casual, a red shirt, black vest, and black slacks, along with a red bandana that showed off his insignia.

"Nice clothes. They definitely suit you better than your Godly ones. Shows off your ruggedly handsome features." Titania commented, offering him a smile. "So, cousin, do you like this bit of informality? I bet great Aunty Nemesis wouldn't be too thrilled, but I think a few other cousins, like you, love being treated like actual people rather than just personifcations of their powers. Or am I wrong?"

"Well, it's different," Taydar commented. "But... not all together unpleasant. It does get a bit tiring being big, scary Taydar all the time." He gave the smallest hint of a smile. "You're Runseca's daughter, right? For the last few months, she won't stop talking about you."

"Yep, that's my mom. She... I didn't know she was my mom at first, but... we bonded. I hope to eventually ease some of her burdens of being the messenger goddess. That may have to happen after my life here on Terra Dolor, but... hopefully it does happen. She deserves a bit more time to herself." Titania said with a twinkle in her eyes, before blushing as she tried to change the subject. "I-I plan on honing my artistic skills for a couple of paintings for her, but if you want, I could make one for you. It's not often I make friends with my family, especially with such distant one. S-so... would that be fine with you? A painting?"

"A painting..." Taydar rubbed his chin. "That sounds rather pleasant actually. I have been captured in an artistic way many, many times over the centuries, in paintings and sculptures and the like, but never from the viewpoint of a relative. They are always so... you know, dark and foreboding. Perhaps one from a new perspective such as yours would be... nice." His smile was more noticeable now.

Titania paused briefly as she noted his smile and how relaxed he seemed. She would draw this very moment where he seemed happy and normal. "Alright. A painting to a very sweet cousin. Be careful... smile like those tend to stick. I might have to bail you out from all the ladies who see you like this... they'll surely fall for you immediately." Titania teased lightheartedly, playfully bumping into him.

Taydar let out a gruff chuckle. "I doubt that very much. I am Taydar the Death Bringer. Taydar the Blight. Women tell their children scary stories about me to set them straight. I doubt any who know who I am will come running for me..."

"Keyword: know. Right now, you're Taydar the man with scars who's big and strong. I doubt very much that women won't be trying to either sex you or date you, my edgy friend." Titania replied as they neared the town. "Besides, those titles don't define you. So far as I've been with you, you have been nice and kind. Lots of women want a man like that."

Taydar nodded. "Thank you. That is... quite kind of you." He raised an eyebrow. Several thoughts ran through his head. She didn't seem like she was flirting with him. She would no doubt be calling him anything other then cousin if she was. But it did feel like he was being buttered up for something. But did she mean what she said. He was not used to anyone being either so casual or so complimentary with him.

"Listen... I know I seem a bit extra." Titania said without the joy that had been in her voice earlier. "I'm not... as happy as I normally would be. Kva's death hit hard for me, and it changed me dramatically. I'm unhappy with how things went, but... Kva she absolutely adores you. She respects you so much... it's almost silly. Regardless... what I'm getting at... thank you for being so sweet and kind to her. I'm not really good at this whole socializing thing... but when I do ask my favor, I want you to disregard anything I've said up until that point. Look at it purely in a logical and business-like mindset, okay?"

Before Taydar could respond, she added. "I'd rather have you as a friend and not abuse our friendship then use you. Though," Titania looked ahead at a woman who was trying to discreetly look at the God, "I think she's interested in 'using' you’, though."

Taydar gave a small wave to the woman. "Yes, she... does seem interested." He cleared his throat. "But I am here to... to have lunch with my cousin. It has been a while since I ate mortal food, and even longer... since I had company."

Titania looked up at him. "You don't spend much time out of your role, do you? Tell you what: come find me sometime in the future and we'll do whatever you want, Taydar."

"Really? I mean..." He looked over at the smiling woman. "How about tomorrow?"

"Sure. Just be aware I might try to set you up with a girl. In fact," Titania started, a laugh bubbling up inside her, "I worry more for you than I do her."

The fresh and pleasant aroma of pastries and bread floated through the air accompanied by the sound of idle chatter.

Taydar smiled and nodded, bowing his head before walking off to talk to the woman, smiling back at Titania as he went.

"Hello there, handsome. Is the anything I can do for you?" The woman asked, offering him a warm, if not flirtatious, smile.

Taydar rubbed his arm nervously. "Well, I'm... just looking for a... good time? I'm new around here, and... ahem..."

"Well... how about this: you and I can go around town and I'll show you where everything is." She batted her eyes at him as she took his hand gingerly, his nearly twice the size of hers.

Titania snorted at the display, as she ordered some food for them both.

Taydar smiled at her. "That would be lovely. My name is Tay... T-Trey, by the way."

"Tay-Trey? Seems a bit exotic. Where are you from, Tay-Trey?" The woman asked as she started to lead him out.

"As much as I like watching my cousin stumble around women, he's got prior engagements with me." Titania butted in, placing her hands on her armored hips. "Perhaps tomorrow?

The woman narrowed her eyes at Titania before the warm, inviting look returned. "Well, if that's the case, maybe I can see you tomorrow, handsome?"

Taydar nodded. "Yes, of course. Tomorrow. The, uh... the gods themselves couldn't stop me from coming."

"Alright... see you, cutie." The woman winked at him before walking out.

"Cousin... that's why I worry for you. You're a bit rusty at romance. Enough so, that any girl can seduce you." Titania grabbed their food and began walking towards a table. "Hells, I probably could and my version is to swing a weapon at you."

"Do many women attempt to seduce the opposite sex by trying to assault them?" Taydar asked, looking over his dish with curiosity.

"No, but I'm more of a tomboy kind of girl and I can read people better when they fight. As for your question," Titania started, taking a bite of a pancake, "we flirt like we would with most guys, trying to either show a bit of our personalities, or we just seduce them with suggestive sentences. You are... easier than most to get all bothered, Taydar. How long... has it been since you were intimate with someone?"

Taydar sighed. "Longer than I can remember if I am being truthful. My job leaves little free time. Making sure the dead pass on and get to where they are supposed to be is a full time job. If it wasn't for my Reapers, I'd have no free time at all..."
 
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Black0ut

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Dealing with Death, cont.

"Then my question to you is this: if you found a woman you loved so intensely, would you try to keep her or would you pass her soul along? Are you a man first or are you a God?" Titania asked, before waving her hand. "Don't answer yet, do it when you have met with me enough times to truly call me a friend."

"Mr. Big, Scary Edgelord... I... hesitate to ask how everything with all my relatives up top goes. How is..." Titania's eyes twitched and went briefly feral before she resumed her carefree demeanor. "That new Goddess doing?"

Taydar took a bite, surprised how good it is. "Are you referring to Grimora's daughter, Erinika... or my newly revived daughter?" He was sure by her reaction he knew the answer to that.

"Neither." Titania started, before shaking her head. "Believe me, your daughter and I will have a talk, which will end with me either punching her or starting to forgive her. She's still on my shitlist until then, but not the one who has my ire. I'm referring to the abandoned Goddess. Mevah's kid."

"Ah. I see. She is... struggling to fit in. She has many ideas for how things should change and is... adamant about her beliefs. So much so that she is producing a following of other gods who share her ideals. I fear they may come to ahead with the gods that oppose those ideas. Hopefully not a violent one. I... remember she transformed one of your colleagues. I take it you are not happy about that."

"I was more shocked then upset, but... in doing so, she made a man born in slavery, who's mental fortitude was quite high, break. She destroyed his psyche, leaving him a hurt and bitter man." Titania explained, her eyes losing their warmth as they grew murderously cold. "The man in question was my best friend, so... you see why I wouldn't mind hitting her over the head with a trowel."

Taydar scratched his cheek. "Y-yes, well... I am... neutral on the subject of her and her activities, but I can certainly see where you are coming from..."

Titania took a deep breath, followed by a very large bite of her meal. "She was my friend. We were planning on sparring together, she'd take it easy on me and still win. That..." Titania paused as she realized that she was ranting, "isn't your problem. Sorry. I'm kind of out of friends right now. One is currently too bitter, two caused said friend to be bitter, Kva works for you, and lastly, my sister is Gods know where. Which leads me into my deal with you. The matter of Kva. Before we begin, I again ask you to be objective and business-like. Do you think you can manage it?"

Taydar folded his hands and nodded. "I am nothing if not professional. Please, speak your mind."

"I want Kva back for a week every year. In return, for I know a week, even though short, will affect you greatly, I will serve you and hunt down unruly souls for a time. Given the fact I possess great combat skills as a mortal and given my reputation for being hard to kill, even against God fragments, I would serve well as a temporary Reaper. The only two questions are if you'd consider me and for how long you'd request my services." Titania finished, her accent fully coming out to reveal her as nobility, her posture straight and her etiquette refined.

"Hmm... an interesting idea. You're not the first to request time with a soul, but never a Reaper. Not that it is beyond the realm of possibility." Taydar leaned forward a bit. "How long a service do you believe a week of her time is worth, Titania?"

"Well... to keep this contract as an annual agreement, it would be under a year. Given the fact she never tires and never rests, qualities I do not possess, along with her skill... I'd say two months of service from me would be equivalent to a single week of hers." Titania eyed Taydar with an inquisitive look. "Unless... you think more time is needed. I doubt a week, even for your best Reaper exceeds half a year."

"Well..." Taydar slowly took a bite of his meal. "You have shown me quite a bit of goodwill and patience. You have treated me to a lovely meal, and treated me like a normal person. I have not been shown this degree of kindness in a long time." He smiled. "How does a month sound?"

"I..." Titania hesitated, as she seemed torn. She wanted to accept it and have it as a month, but it seemed he was favoring her and that wouldn't be very honorable if she accepted. "Are you sure that my past actions aren't... influencing your decision? I..."

"They are, in a way." Taydar sat back. "You have done much for the gods and gotten very little in return. I know your noble heritage makes you want this deal to be fair on both sides. Trust me, it is. You are owed a favor or two."

"Still... by ancient Regalia creed, I cannot accept a deal that leans too far to my side, favors or not. I, personally, have not done anything for you, and while I may have helped Destani out, he is a separate entity from you." Titania countered softly, a rogue smile appearing briefly.

"To stack favors on 'The Gods' and distribute them across everyone... I believe that ignores who each of you are. Jerin'dek is more than just King of the Gods, he's my grandpa. Destani is more than his station. He's a friend and potentially a good drinking buddy. You too, are more than just a God to me... which is why I can't accept something so weighted in my favor. I haven't earned a favor from you."

Taydar chuckled. "Such resolve. Such a noble heart. It really does bring a smile to my face and a warmth to my heart. Very well. Two months a year for one week with Kva. Is that acceptable?"

"Perfectly. I appreciate you hearing my request." Titania started, offering a small bow. After raising her head, her casual smile returned. "Normally, I'd curtsey to show you respect, but uh... full armor is near impossible without falling and the last thing you need is having a girl fall on you."

Taydar nodded. "A curtsy doesn't seem your style anyway. Though I would accept a handshake." He offered his hand.

Titania reached out and shook his hand. "I thank you for hearing me out." She said quietly, a twinkle in her eyes as she switched subjects. "I also am going to enjoy playing matchmaker with you, just because you're sweet and dare I say, shy. Maybe, just maybe we can find a woman who can help you with your work."

Taydar chuckled nervously. "I, um... am looking forward to it."

"So... how much more time do you have? I feel somewhat bad for monopolizing your time like this... so if you do have to go because of your work, I understand." Titania said quietly, offering him a big smile.

Taydar smiled back. "I really should be getting back to be honest... but if you had something in mind, I wouldn't mind staying a little longer."

"I have a bit of an errand at a clothing store. I'm pretty sure you'll like it, the place has clothing from everywhere you can imagine." Titania offered before recalling her friend at the shop. "Oh, and there is a woman there who probably has humbled Gods before. But it's up to you, cousin, if you want to go."

Taydar laughed, but shook his head. "One woman is enough for me for now. I... suppose I have a date to prepare for tomorrow, don't I?"

"You do. But try to relax, Taydar. I can almost smell the nervousness coming off you... and I'm almost tempted to ask you how long it's been since you went on a date..." Titania teased, smirking at the God.

"That is an answer I would rather not give." Taydar stood up, and walked over to Titania. "Thank you. This has been an enjoyable experience for me. And I am glad we could come to an agreement."

Titania stood up as well. "Likewise. If you need anything, let me know, okay? I hope you feel you can come to me for a friendly ear and a mostly indifferent opinion." The Thrope began to blur then disappear from sight, save from the God. "Oh! Before I forget, there's a pretty strong Ophidian in the Four Hells. Assassin fellow, so not exactly clean, but extremely capable. Look him up if you need anymore Reapers, but bind him to a contract. He's annoyingly honorable when it comes to contracts. Anyways..." Titania hugged her relative quickly offering him one last smile before dashing out. "Take care and have fun on your date!"

Taydar smiled as he waved, letting out a happy sigh.
 

Dahlexpert

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Confections

(With help from Zombiesplitter53)

Havebrook manor

After the business with the succubus and feeling pity for himself for months Character went to the forge area.” Ed we’re are you I need some help with something.” Character said sitting down on a bench.

Ed slowly walked out from the back behind the counter. "Charter? When did you get back? It's been so long, a lot of us thought something happened to you."

"You could say something has, look Ed I need you to make me an ax, also my bow need some improvement or replaced all together. Think you could do all that for me I can help and this should take care of the fees." Charter pulled out ten gold coins.

Ed took the coins, closely examining them. "This should cover it, yes. What kind of axe did you want? Though you were more of a sword and board kind of guy..."

"I'm adding verity in case I lose my sword, and just a regular one handed ax. Besides i'm not staying here long I have other things I need to handle."

"Uh huh. This involve killing more cultist in search of Esmeralda?" Ed asked knowingly.

"No I’m goanna get Es I'm goanna kill that false god, then I’m goanna bring her to Elma so she could help her then I’m goanna bring her here. That is the plane I’m going with."

Edminfar sighed deeply and leaned forward. "You up for a little advice, my boy?"

"Not really, but I'll listen to it regardless." Charter said while looking at his sword and used his whetstone to sharpen it.

The Netzi shook his head. "You don't have to do this alone. We're planning on going after her ourselves. I bet Lady Havenbrook is planning our assault right now."

"Ed I need to do this alone, I lost Es months ago when she was first taken. I was injured then I couldn't do nothing, then someone else rescues her. Then I tried to make things right with her and she leaves of her own free will. I need to handle this on my own, I need to see her for myself this is my problem not HaveBrook yet. So many people were hurt during during that fight, I can't let anyone else get hurt for my problem."

"Damn it, Charter, you're being stubborn!" Ed floated onto the counter. "Can't you see this isn't a one man thing? She isn't going to be out in the open like last time, she's going to be surrounded by their best, including Hastur himself! You're just going to get yourself killed!"

"Who cares I swore that I will protect people, I need to do this alone so nobody else can get hurt."

Ed snarled and stomped his foot. "You pig-headed idiot! When you die, and you will die, we'll go in with one less fighter! Can't you see you'll have a better chance of protecting people by joining us?"

"I have a plan Ed I can reach Esmeralda, but I need you to improve my bow and give me an ax. Believe me I will reach Esmeralda if it's the last thing I do."

"It will be the last thing you do, you stubborn fool," Ed muttered, floating down fromthe counter. "Whatever. I said my piece so I have no guilt. But it'll take a few days to get your weapons ready. Why not go see Lady Havenbrook? Maybe she can talk some sense into that thick skull of yours..."

"Fine i'll talk to Mina you take care of yourself Ed." Charter left the forge and went to Mina office. “Miss HaveBrook its Charter can we talk?"

Mina looked up from her desk, various papers and maps strewn about it. "Charter! Gods, where have you been?! I've been worried sick! I thought the cultist got you..."

"Not yet they haven't, listen I need about three weeks of my payment I need that money because I have a plan to get Esmerelda back but I need to go alone at it."

Mina folded her arms. "That... sounds extremely dangerous. What is your plan to take on the forces of Hastur alone?"

"I'm going to Stormrend to get some explosives, and add those explosives to my arrows. I'm not letting anyone else get in this fight Mina I can't allow anyone else to get hurt in this."

Mina folded her arms. "Alright... I'll help you. But only if you agree to my stipulations."

"Stipulations? What kind of stipulations are those Mina?"

"You'll go in ahead of us and cause as much damage as you can, but your job is to get Esmeralda out. Got it? If you have the opportunity to grab her and go you take it. We'll be waiting in the back to move in and finish what you started."

Charter looked confused. "Your not goanna stop me or disappointed in me or something like that? Why dare I ask are you not goanna give me typical speech of convincing me to not go in alone?"

Mina placed her hands on her hips. "You want me to be honest? I think it is a stupid idea. If you had any sense of self preservation, you would be fighting with us. Especially since that has the better chance of getting Esmeralda back. But... I've known you long enough to know you won't listen to reason, so I am trying to work with you. Why? Will you listen to reason?"

"Mina I need help I do, but I can't let other people get hurt for what is mine to handle. This is my problem i'm the one that was to injured to save Es the first time, the second time she left with them, I need to know personally if the Es I know is still there. I need to know if i'm wasting my time trying to save her or put her down, I need to see Es face to face so I can see if she's to fare gone or not."

Mina walked over to him and placed a hand on Charter's shoulder. "But why can't you trust us to do that together? Everyone is trying their best, including your sister who is preparing in Fairaven. Remember, this isn't just about Esmeralda. This is the fate of the entire world we're talking about."

"I know I know. But please understand I just." Charter rubbed his head." Look I need to handle somethings not just getting the materials I need and I need figure out somethings with myself as well and fix things with the warlord god. I just need you to give me the money i'll be back in a few weeks, I promise Mina i'm trying and I have a plan OK?"

Mina sighed, and nodded. She walked to the door to her room and asked, "Three weeks of pay?"

"Three weeks of pay, trust me Mina I need to handle this I will be back soon I promise. And I will try my damnedest not to run off to chase Esmerelda alone but no promises though."

Mina walked into her room to her personal safe, returning with a sack full of gold and silver coins. "Here. This is three weeks plus a bonus for all the cultist jobs you've been doing. Just... please, be careful."

“No promises Mina, but I will try.” Character looked at Mina stomach.” Hum say Mina when is your baby dew?”

"Some time in the next month," Mina answered, rubbing her rather bulky stomach. "I... know you're worried about your child. But I want him to have a father waiting for him."

"I know and I thank you for being worried about me, i'll be back in a few weeks and I will try and be careful Mina." Charter walked around Mina desk and hugged her, while being cautious of her baby.

Mina hugged him back with a small, worried smile. "Good luck."

"I will be, and thank you Mina." Charter let go of Mina and left her office making his way to the stables grabbing a horse and riding it to the train station, once Charter paid for the ticket he got on the train and made his way to Stormrend. After several hours of travel Charter made it to Stormrend at dusk and looked around. “Ugh it’s been a while since I’ve been here, I’m not goanna learn what I need at this time best find an inn and get some proper sleep.” Charter made his way through town and asked around for a local inn, once he found an inn he payed for a room and went to bed.” Ugh I know I’m wrong but I need to get Esmerelda back before she’s too far gone and my kid… Our kid goes with her.” That morning Charter asked around town if there was anyone that could teach him about Stormrends gun powder.
 

Dahlexpert

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Jun 23, 2013
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Part 2

Eventually Charter started to see a pattern with everyone pointing north of the mountains, as Charter fallowed were people were pointing to he saw a forge in the mountain. As Charter looked around he could see rows of guns mortars and other weapons, as Charter entered the forge he asked around to see where he could learn about gunpowder. The weapons smiths escorted him to the back of the forge away from the fires were he saw a group of people covered in charcoal dust.

“Ah and who is this a new worker perhaps.” A man in his mid-thirties asked.

“No, my name is Charter sir and I would like to learn how you make gun powder so I could make some explosive arrows.”

“Hum so you wish you make explosive arrows boy, are you even skilled in alchemy to even know what you’re asking for?”

“Yes I’m an alchemist, a very skilled one.” Charter opened his pouches and showed him tons of potions.” See I made all these in case you asked.”

“Anyone can buy positions and pass it off as they made it, I need to see you make a potion.” The man handed Charter a death bell and a wolf bane. “Here make me a healing potion out of these.”

Charter looked at the materials. “You want me to make you a potion out of poisonous plants?”

“Hum so you at least know what plants are poisonous right off the bat, Ok so you said you wanted to know about gunpowder huh or the composites to make it right?”

“Yes I need to know how to make this so I can save someone I love, and protect them.”

“Hum very well luckily for you I could teach you right now come on, we could use and extra hand around here you don’t mind do you?”

“Not at all I would love to help if needed.” As charter helped with the gunpowder he realized that this was something he couldn’t make easily, the Charcoal was the easy part it was the sulfur and the Potassium nitrate that was the difficult parts. Charter soon realized that the making of gunpowder was near impossible for one man to do despite Charter trying anyway. After severial days and Charter being covered in chorale Charter stepped outside and took a breath.

“Do you see now son, Gunpowder is not something anyone can make.”

“Yea yea I get it sorry to have wasted your time, with my foolish request.”

“It wasn’t foolish boy, you learned how gunpowder is made and admit its damn near impossible for one person to make. You be surprised how many people think this is very simple to do.”

“Yea…Yea I did so it’s better to just by the stuff then it is to make it then.” Charter reached into his pouch and pulled out his pouch and showed a half of his money. How many explosive arrows can I order with these?”

“Ou I would say about thirty five in total, which should be plenty for whatever you need to get done.

“Thank you for this, I very much appreciate this lesson and for you humbling me in thinking I could make this.”

“Very few people get to see gun powder Charter, fewer have the money to use it in any degree. I hope we made a customer out of you?”

“Ou you did I will be sure to keep ordering from you guys, and I will also be sure to tell Mina HavenBrook about your guys.” As Charter got his explosive arrows he had one more thing to do, and that was to go home and make his peace. As Charter entered the train he couldn’t get Es out of his mind.

Once Charter mad it to Mirandia he went to the church where he saw one of his old friends.” Father Dutch drunk again I see, you know it’s amazing that you’re a preacher.”

The man looked at Charter and smiled, he was a human but around his mid thirty’s. “Charter my boy! It’s so good to see you again it’s been year’s son.” The man hugged Charter and patted his back.

Charter patted the mans back and let him go.” Father can I talk to you, well I need some advice.

Dutch looked confused by what Charter said. “Um sure my boy, please come it come it.” Dutch escorted Charter into the church and sat him in a bench. “So tell me my boy what seems to be the problem you never talk about anything wrong with you?”

“Well you see Father there’s this girl that I love.”

“You… You fell in love with someone, gods this is serious I never thought you of all people would fall for someone. Is she human, Thorpe Elf Light Elf?”

“She’s a light Elf, around my age well she’s about two years younger than me actually.”

“Ah young Charter like Light Elves huh, I don’t blame you they are very attractive there curves on some of them. There beautiful skin there amazing features.”

“Father!” Charter yelled, then regained his composure. “Dutch She’s pregnant with my child, and she was kidnapped by the cult of Hastur and now they plan to sacrifice her!”

Dutch looked surprised by what Charter told him, the fact that the young boy he saw around the church helping around the area. He would soon be a father but to hear that his woman was taken by cultes and a false god surprised him, Dutch held Charters hand.” Son, Charter why are you here what is bothering you?”

“It’s just, I cheated on her with her sister and I think that’s the reason why she left with the Cult. And I want to get her back but… I’m scared Dutch. I’m scared the woman I love is lost to me forever with our child, I’m scared that she may never come back to my arms. But most of all I’m afraid that if I go after her I may have to kill her and my child.”

Dutch cold see the fear in Charter’s eyes and sweat dripping off his head.” Charter your human, we make mistakes son. No matter how trained you are or how strong you think you are you will make mistakes in a relationship, things will get rocky for you but you must persevere. Now as for you fighting the cult, Charter I’m glad that you admitted that you’re scared. But you can’t do this alone son I know you want to save this woman and get your child back but you can’t be stupid in this one. If you die that woman will regret what she did forever and she will be a widow to that child of yours please be smart about this.”

“I know father it’s just that, I don’t want anyone else to get hurt for my problems.”

“Charter you’re a knight, I know you have your codes. But you can’t be stupid here don’t let your pride be the down fall of you both.”

“I know father, but I just I just don’t know what to do.”

Dutch put his hand on Charters back. “Charter I know your scared but I know you Charter and I know that you will do anything to help this woman, but don’t do anything to reckless you have to be smart about this. “ Dutch then stood up.” Cheer up boy I’m sure you handle this and make it somehow work for you, after all you’ve lived this long doing what you do which is saying a lot in Terra.”

“Yea thanks Dutch, but I need to go home and prepare myself and there’s also one more person I need to speak to and patch things up with.” Charter reached into his bag and pulled out five gold coins and ten silver coins. “Here this should be good for the church and not for your drinking.”

“Ou come on Charter have some faith in me won’t you.”

“Charter rolled his eyes and left the church and go on the nearest train, and went back to HaveBrook.
 

ZombieSplitter53

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Finally Set in Motion


Aethereum
Library of Time
December 13th, 3349
8:47 p.m.


It was cold and musty in the great library, the smell of ancient books bringing a smile to Tempora's face. The God of Time was preparing for slumber with one of his favorite activities, reading the book on the life of one of histories greatest heroes.

He stopped reading and slowly lifted his head. Something was off. Something was wrong. Someone was there that should not be there. Someone who shouldn't have had the power to be there. There was a crackling sound to his right. A magical orb responsible for inscribing time onto pages sparked and zapped in ways Tempora had not seen in the over three millenia he had been there. Something was seriously wrong with the very near future.

Slowly, trying to remain calm, Tempora stood up and looked around. "Whoever you are... show yourself," he stated in a steady voice.

"This is quite the collection. So much knowledge... Shame you hoard it to yourself like a child with his favorite toy..." A posh and arrogant sounding female voice replied from below, a tall figure in dark blue, swirling robes flipping through the pages of a thick book.

Tempora sneered, quickly walking downthe stairs to face the intruder. "What are you doing here?" He demanded. "Who are you?" He gave her a perplexed look, like he was looking at a ghost, or at least someone, or something, that shouldn't exist.

The light blue tentacles hung out of the hood, two peircing eyes looking in his direction. She spoke again, but this time his voice was deep and masculine with a wised, older quality to it. "Tempora....The God of Time... For someone so... Knowledgeable... You seem... Surprised to see me?"

"You... your kind should be..." The god squeezed his fists shut. "Who did you work for? Hastur?"

"Please. I don't work for that glorified manchild. I have a higher calling. We just happen to be on the same wavelength as of this moment." He shook his head, sitting the book back on the shelf.

"Cthulhu then." Tempora grunted. "That doesn't explain how you got in here. Cthulhu's power alone..."

"Wouldn't be enough to break your precious barriers. Yes, we know." Hastur stepped around a corner. "But with our powers combined..." He looked at his partner in crime. "Glorified manchild? Really? Is that you or my brother speaking?"

"Simply because we are working together doesn't mean I have to like you..." He looked over, "Besides, six of one half dozen of the other."

Hastur shook his head. "Anyone ever tell you you're weird? And that's coming from me!" Tempora suddenly took off for the stairs, and Hastur chuckled. "Isn't that cute. He's going to lock this place down and alert the others." He waved his baggy sleeve. "Would you like the honors, Anaqua'serenis?"

"Very well. If I must." He reached out a hand, a water blue glow forming around it. As Tempora ran a portal suddenly opened up in front of him, pulling him in and depositing him right back in front of the two Old Ones. Chains of blue lightning then wrapped around his body, constricting and holding him in place as well as shocking him if he tried to move. "You Gods have gotten too slow. Too lazy."

"Try... this!" Tempora glared at them, and time froze fro the pair... for a few seconds. The space around them shattered, and they were instantly freed. Hastur laughed. "Do you really think we would come after the false God of Time and not have magic to stop him from manipulating time? Give him a few good zaps as punishment, please."

Anaqua placed a gangly hand on his shoulder, suddenly the God was filled with a white hot pain that shot through his body. "Can't you see when you are in unwinnable situation?"

Hastur grunted. "Noted. I know my brother enjoys seeing them in pain as much I can. Too bad he couldn't come himself. Of course, even if he wasn't dealing with death, the only reason he agreed to help me as father can fix that, he wouldn't fit through the door."

Tempora panted heavily, glaring at the with pure hatred. "You think you'll get away with this? This is a direct assault on a god! The truce..."

"You Senile Fool. Can't you see we've already gotten away with it?" He leaned down, speaking in the female voice again. "The Truce... Is no longer useful..."

"Hold him nice and tight." Hastur walked up the stairs. "I'll be right back."

Tempora tried to look after him, but was shocked again for trying to move so much. "S-stop this! If you're here to manipulate time, you don't know the reprecutions! You... you could end up doing more damage to your own plans!"

"We're on a bit of a crunch. If you're so worried about the time stream you could always help this go smoother..." She stood above him, placing a single finger on his forehead.

Tempora grit his teeth. "If you think I'd ever help a lowly, bottom feeding, piece of sh-."

The Illithid seemed to not be amused, leaning down and wrapping her tendrils around his face and gripping the back of his head. The God was then face to face with a sharp pointed beak as the sigils on Anaqua's tentacles glowed with magic. He quickly felt the creature trying to magically drain his intelligence and will with the power of Cthulhu, she seemed to be making slow progress. "Do you want to say that again? If you won't help us... Maybe you could share that knowledge of yours? I bet it would be delicious..."

Tempora squeezed his eyes shut, in so much pain. "Stop! Stop!"

"Found it." Hastur walked back down with a large, glowing orange ball. There was a single, solid black line running through it. "Weird to think the universal structure of time itself can be contained in such a small thing. Drain any knowledge on bending time or time compression from that noggin of his?"

"Almost there... Last Chance to tell us before I rip it out of your pathetic little skull..." She warned him, pushing more power into painfully breaking though his defenses.

"I would... rather... die!" Tempora declared, fighting this losing battle as best he could.

"Very well. Perhaps this will put things into perspective for your simple mind." Anaqua belittled him, the magic finally breaking through. Pain filled him as he felt the Illithid search his mind for what she needed, but it felt more like she was digging through his very soul, it felt almost like he was bring choked. After a few moments of horrible choking pain, which to the God felt like much longer, he finally felt something in his soul pull away, then something else, then something else; leaving in him with an empty feeling as Anaqua retracted her tendrils.

Hastur stared down at the broken god with no pity. "Do we need him anymore?" he asked simply.

"Are you suggesting we kill him? Don't be so simple, he could be a useful bargaining chip." She reached down holding his chin up. "Then again... I would enjoy killing you, not as much as Xelia would, but stealing her revenge from her would be amusing."

"We don't need a bargaining chip. What we need is energy. A lot of it. And while our power combined would be enough, why tire ourselves out when we have him." Hastur let the orb float between them. He placed one tendril on Tempora's head and held the other one out for Anaqua to take. "This is the beginning of the end for their kind. Let us do this."

"Very well. Looks like it's the end Tempora. A shame." The Male voiced returned, grabbing him and using her magic to channel his power into the orb. However, he didn't convert it all into raw power, storing enough of his soul to use for him and his Master's designs if need be.

Despite what Hastur assumed, the power of the single god wasn't enough alone. He and Cthulhu channelling through Anaqua poured into the orb, and slowly, the line within started to fold.

*****

Mina gave Betty a serious look. "You're sure you're up to assault Hastur? You and Betty took a bit of damage in that last fight with his underling."

Betty sighed, rubbing a harsh looking scar that ran from her collar bone down diagonally to her belly button on the side of her heart, currently covered by her clothes, that had been caused by Charter's blade. Despite the extensive healing, that wound was deep, she had pretty much been cut straight down the middle, narrowly avoiding her heart, the Tinkerer only surviving due to quick medical attention and raw willpower. "Yeah. I'm not scared. Besides, I owe her back for zhis."

Erin nodded. "This isn't just about Esmeralda anymore. We have to..."

She was cut off by the shaking. The trio were barely able to stay on their feet. It wasn't an earthquake though. It was more like the very space around them was shaking. Erin fely split, and for a minute could see things here and in her lab. When Betty looked up, she could see two Minas, both looking very confused and shaken but in two different spots of the room.

Slowly, the duplicates came together. "Whawhatt isis haphappenpeninging?

"Sosomeme kikindnd ofof titimeme compcompresionresion..." Erin held her head as unfamiliar memories flooded in. "Iitt ffeelleellss lliikkee tthhee pprreesseenntt aanndd tthhee ffuuttuurree aarree hhaappppeenniinngg aatt tthhee same time..." The shaking died down. "Betty, are you okay?"

Betty began breathing, having a mess of emotions and seeing phantasmal images of her daughters, Pearl still in her hospital bed. "Wha-What happened...?"

The Fly suddenly flashed back to the experience with Destani and the Time Bubbles, grabbing both of them by the hands and pulling them into the center of the room. "Stay... Stay away from the walls..."

The sound of a baby crying made Mina gasp. She rushed away from Betty and into her adjoining room, returning with a baby girl in her arms. The child looked to be about half a year old despite Mina still looking very much pregnant. "This is weird..."
 

ZombieSplitter53

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"What... I don't..." The Fly looked down at it.

"M-Maa-Mahhma... Mama Betty? Mama Erin?" A staticy voice soon became clear, a little girl walking in behind Mina. They both recognized this as Pearl, but there was much different, it looked as if she was wearing a white scarf around her neck. She also had what appeared to be rabbit ears and small antler like horns poking out of her head, the latter in front of the former. She wore what looked to be thick clothing designed for colder weather, a thick jacket with lots of puff and heft to it. "What's going on? I heard you yelling?"

Erin blinked. "It... it's okay, dear... we're okay. Everything is fine." She looked around. When the white void didn't come rushing in, she said, "I think we are okay. Someone is messing with the future, not the past. It is like... we are living in two time periods at once." He eyes widdened. "Look!"

Out the window, the sky was dark despite the sun being out. Also out was a big, full moon, colored blood red and glowing.

"Zhat... Can't be good..." Betty shook her head, "What... What do we do?"

"Mrs. Havenbrook?" The little girl looked out the window and then back to them. "I... I don't feel so good... Like... Fuzzy... What's happening?"

Mina knelt in front of her, trying to smile but having a hard time at it. If Erin was right, this girl existed like this and didn't exist like this at the same time. "I don't know, dear," she said softly. "I honestly don't know..."

*****

Anaqua'serenis and Hastur stepped back from the God of Time, their task complete. The l8ne in the orb was folded some a point on the right side was touching the center.

"Dad!" Destani rushed into the room and over to his falling father, just in time to catch him before the withered husky crumbled into dust. "No... you bastards!"

"What's the matter? We left you enough to bury... Or whatever it is you gods do." Anaqua chuckled, clamping down on Destani's shoulder. "Perhaps you'll be more cooperative, unless you want to join him."

Destani grit his teeth. Hastur walked over. "Leave him. He is nothing. I had a premonition, and we should attend to it quickly." If Hastur had a proper face under his mask, he'd be grinning ear to ear. "You suggested a bargaining chip against the gods? How about the two biggest chips of them all?"

"If you're suggesting what I think you are... You're an ambitious one... Why not simply Summon your Father first? Secure our victory? They will bend the knee in due time." The Avatar of Cthulhu spoke.

Hastur stepped past Destani like he wasn't even there. "They have a weapon, one so powerful, it could beat even my father, and I sensed its partial activation. We need to take steps to assure it is impossible to activate." He opened a portal to a qhite, vibrant room and looked back. "Come on... don't you trust me?"

"I don't. Obviously. You're being very clearly vague about this 'weapon' of theirs and all I have to go on is that you sensed it." He looked back at the library. "Besides, this is a prime opportunity to learn much the Gods never wanted us to know."

"Stay if you wish. I am going to capture a knig and queen." Hastur started forward again. "I am grateful that you do not feel like you have to keep an eye on me. ."

"I'd prefer not to get too close to you, lest you get too comfortable and try to lay me like you did my Sister." He snarked, beginning to pull books from the shelf.

Hastur grunted, and walked towards the portal. "Pathetic. To think a follower of my brother would be so afraid of Jerin'dek and Xia'tar. Or myself for that matter. I wish Xilia had come with instead. She has more of a spine."

He squinted, "I am the Right Hand of Cthulhu. Do you think me scared of them after we have already won?"

Hastur looked back. "Considering you have been with me this whole time but suddenly have an urge to read some dusty old books now that I am going to see them? Yes. Yes, I do. Please, enjoy your reading while I do the hard work."

He put the books in a bag, grumbling. "Very. Well. If you insist on my help so badly I feel as though I have to come so you don't muck it up somehow."

Hastur smiled on the inside. "Such little trust. Very well. Come along."

The pair stepped into the thrown room of the gods, where the king and queen were already prepared for a fight, standing with swords drawn. "You do not belong here, monsters!" Jerin'dek declared.

"Such harsh words..." Hastur's attention turned to a large, glowing sphere giving off a radiant light. It had a large, obvious crack going from the edge to the center. "So it is true. That is how you use the weapon..."

"Tempora!" Xia'tar raised her sword. "What have you down with him?!"

"He'll no longer be an issue. We made sure of it." Anaqua spoke, her feminine voice growing sinister and devious. "He was old and lazy... Just like you two... Sitting upon your Thrones without a care..."

"I'll show you old and lazy!" Jerin'dek charged the Illithid, intent on slicing him in two.

A small portal opened before the King of the Gods, quickly consuming his sword arm as well as the blade itself. It lingered and as Jeren'dek tries to instinctively pull it out, he found it stuck, the portal holding it in place.

"Jerin'dek!" Xia'tar rushed over to help. Yellow electricity emerged from Hastur's robes and struck her, pinning her to her knees. "How are... you two so strong?"

"How?" Hastur laughed. "Are you so blind you did not noticw the Blood Moon? It is the one time in 335 years that we "monsters", as you put it, are strongest! You are nothing compared to our power!"

Jerin'dek pulled and pulled. "I will peraonally see your heads mounted outside on pikes!"

"Ahh... You gods have the situational awareness and understand of a deaf blind man... Allow me to illuminate..." He flicked his finger and the portal holding Jeren'dek's arm snapped shut, taking the arm with it wherever it went and leaving a clean, precise amputation.

The man cried out in pain, dropping to his knees. "B-bastard..."

Hastur laughed. "Good show. Do you happen to know the Curse of Power Contained?" As he asked, a bubble surrounded Xia'tar, sapping her strength and growing stronger as she grew weaker.

"A fine choice." The Illithid Woman chuckled, walking up to Jeren'dek casually. "Ah... It is nice to see a man like you on your knees."

Jerin'dek glared at the Illithid. "G-go to... hell..."

"Jerin!" Xia'tar banged on the inside of the bubble as it seemed to seal like it was being frozen. "Help me! Help...!" She froze mid sentence.

"Ah. I guess she loved you after all. Or is that merely desperation? Who knows?" She ran her fingers gently across his shoulders. "Now. What to do with the little god king here?"

Jerin lunged forward, only to suddenly be caught in a bubble of his own. "Really, Anaqua." Hastur stepped next to her. "You really are like a cat, playing with their food before killing it."

"I've been looking forward to this day for a long time. While I have little love for my kind. They did kill my entire people." She looked back down at The God King. "And I'll admit... I take pleasure in this sense of superiority over them..."

"If you think this makes you at all superior..." Jerin'dek started before he too was frozen, the King and Queen of the Gods captured.

Hastur placed a hand on Anaqua'serenis' shoulder. "We make a pretty good team, huh?"

"What did I say about trying to lay me? I'm sure my sister would prefer you all to herself anyway." He nonchalantly glanced over.

"Oh don't worry. I have no intention of doing anything with you. In fact..." The orbs containing the gods flew behind Hastur and started feeding energy into him. "...our business is complete." He began electrocuting Anaqua with the same yellow lightning he used of Xia'tar.

She let out a primordial wail, her muscles locking up, but as soon as she regained control she fired a blast of blue magic backwards at where Hastur had been.

Hastur deftly dodged back and continued his assault. "It is nothing personal. Actually, it was my father's idea. He said he doesn't appreciate Cthulhu's selfish reasons for helping. I do though. Really, I do. Things wouldn't have gone nearly as smoothly without you. So thank you." He turned up the intensity of the attack.

Anaqua opened up a portal, the attack passing into it and bring redirected back at Hastur. "How very unsurprising. For him to call My Master out on his selfishness while being selfish himself... You were always the lesser son anyway... What's the matter? Finally taking your chance to get the attention from Daddy you always wanted but could never have?"

Hastur snarled angrily, cutting off the attack and dashing forward. He wrapped a tentacle around Anaqua's throat and lifted her up. "You have a big mouth and a big head! I was goingg to let you crawl back to your master... but perhaps I should bring this head back with me..."

"Gah! Guh..." Anaqua gasped, choking around the tentacles. "You'll... Get your due... You disgusting worm... We won't forget this betrayal... Lucky for me... I never trusted you..."

The Illithid glowed with blue magic, tapping into some of the power of Tempora's soul as she began to fizzle out of time, likely reversing what they had caused only on herself, enough to send her back to the original unmelded timeline. "Yougghh wiillllll anssswweeeerrrr."

Hastur scoffed, and looked up at the frozen gods. "Answer to what? I have time where I want it. I have these two where I want the. Now as long as... Xelia..." Hastur suddenly turned around. "Something is... happening back at my castle. Something is wrong... Xelia isn't there! What is happening!?!" He opened another portal, rushing back home with the two gods in tow.

His portal suddenly fizzled out, the spell being cancelled by a counter magic spell. Anaqua knew it was only a minor inconvenience, but yet, he chuckled, laughing harder as he realized what had happened as he faded completely from the current time stream.
 

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The End Approacheth


Havenbrook manor

Charter returned to the forge, after getting his explosive arrows he needed his new ax which Ed has had several days to work on and hopefully completed. "Ed It's Charter you around here?"

"Yeah!" He called form within the forge. "Come on back. I have something for you."

Charter looked at his bow and didn't want to bring explosive bows to a forge, so he put them to the side of the room and entered the forge. "Thanks Ed and sorry for the last time I was here so where is my new ax?"

Ed placed his hand on an obsidian black axe with a long, slightly curved handle, and a head with a crescent curve on the front and a deadly spike on the back. "Here you are. I made it with a special feature too."

"This is... I must admit Ed this is a masterpiece this is easy one of the best weapons you made for me by fare. But you said this came with a special feature what is it?"

"Twist that little knob in the center of the handle." When Charter did, the bottom half of the handle slipped off, making it the perfect size to be a throwing axe. "Thought you might as well get the best of both worlds."

"Ah that's quite impressive Ed, I have to say this was worth every penny." Charter put the ax on his hilt." Thank you Ed for this I very much appreciate it, but if you don't mind I have to leave there's a certain someone I need to talk to."

Ed nodded. "Keep yourself alive. I gave you that axe to help with that. Just... don't do anything foolish."

"No promises, especially with what i'm about to do." Charter left the forge and grabbed the his arrows, but before he left he forgot something. "Ou Ed I forgot I gave you my bow as well how did that go?"

Ed floated out with the bow in hand. "Still in great condition, but I re-stringed it and worked out the damage. I reinforced the frame as well so it should be able to take a beating."

"Thank you Ed IOU one, well several times over. Anyway It's best I get ready for a fight hopefully the person I wanna talk to has calmed down some since we last encountered."

Ed raised an eyebrow, wondering who he was talking about, and nodded. "Good luck. Come back in one piece."

"I will try." Charter left the forge and went outside, he looked around to see if anyone was around. When he didn't see anyone her called out. "Alright hey Fya'munt you and I need to have a little chat."

There was a flash of light behind him. "Yes, we do, boy," the Warlord god said, stepping in front of Charter.

Charter didn't flinch at the light and looked at the warlord god, he then rubbed his head." Ok let me get this out of the way, I love Esmeralda and I will do my damned dist to protect her and my child. Now do you understand why I fought you?"

Fya'munt turned to face him. "Of course I do. Though I thought you came with me in the first place to get away from that."

"No I came with you because I was weak, I came with you so I could get stronger to protect my family and others. And for that I'm sorry for using you like that, now I still worship you and respect. But know that I will not abandon my family."

Fya'munt sighed. "Yeah... I know. So... what now? Going after them?"

"That's the plain, but i'm probably gonna die doing it." Charter sat down and sighed." Do you think i'm a fool for doing this?"

"Probably. But... I know there are things a man must do to prove himself to... well, himself. And I know you still carry a lot of guilt for what happened between you and her sister."

"Is it that obvious, I mean I do regret that. But in the moment it was great, she was wonderful in that moment all my guilt and everything just went away. and then I realize what I did, I need to get her back and I know Es is still mad at me for what I did. I felt like we were getting past that until she was taken again."

The Warlord nodded. "Are you sure... she will come back willingly? What if she fights you?"

"Then that says how far she's gone and the Es I know is dead, and I will put her down as such." Charter stood up. "Your gonna send me there, if so let me gather a few things." Charter went back to the manor and garbed some potions, as well as his sword and shield and picked up his arrows." Alright then, hopefully this goes well."

Fya'munt tossed a small, pink pill to Charter. "We need to stop off at Aethereum first. Swallow that and come with me."

Charter looked down and the pill and swallowed it." Um why are we going to Aethereum, first is there something there that I need? Or someone you need to talk to."

"The latter. There is someone I want you to talk to." Fya'munt opened a portal. "There is a reason I was so quick to come here. The timing is perfect. We need to talk strategy."

"Um Ok, I gotta admit this is kinda weird. But i'll follow along with this, after are you are a warlord and if you have plan I won't argue with it."

The Warlord god led him threw a portal to the heart of the gods' city, straight into what looked like a war room. There were two women there, whom Fya'munt introduced. "Charter Van Dam, this is my mother Aratenda, Goddess of War, and Nemesis, Goddess of Justice. Ladies, this is my reluctant protege, Charter Van Dam."

Charter kneeled to goddess.” It’s a true honor to meet you two.”

Nemesis raised her hand. "Arise, Mr. Van Dam. Your respect is appreciated..."

"But we don't really have time for it." Aratenda waved for him to come over. "We are on a time limit so to speak." She waved a hand over the display on the table. "This is Hastur's castle. I hear you plan to drop in and say hello."

"That I do, and i'm surprised that you all want to help me. So you all have a plan for me to do this?"

Nemesis nodded. "The truth is, we were going to stop you. If you went in and faced Hastur alone..."

"You'd be killed like an ant under someone's shoe," Aratenda said with a laugh. "Lucky for you, we have an inside source. They told us Hastur is leaving his castle for a while, so now will be the perfect time for you to go in."

The Warlord god nodded, and tapped the display. A yellow sphere appeared around the castle. "Naturally, one of us could go in ourselves to try and get her. But as you can see, their is a magical shield around the stronghold. The moment any being with godly power stepped in there, Hastur would be alerted and be back to stop us in mere moments. But a human would be undetected."

"I don't know what's more shocking the fact that Hastur is gone, and to who knows were. Or the fact that you all have a spy in this Castle, so the question is how i'm gonna get in there?"

Nemesis pointed to the east side of the castle. "We will be dropping you off here, just outside of the barrier. With your level of power, especially as a non-magic user, you won't set the barrier off by entering it."

"There is a small hitch though." Aratenda pointed to a section of the castle. "According to our spy, every group of Cultist has a leader with a direct mental line to Hastur. If he connects with Hastur, you're dead. So before you do anything, find him and kill him. He should be in one of these rooms on the first floor. Apparently he wears a really obvious and stupid looking headdress."

"Don't they all through, but I think a have a way for the cult to just lead me to him. I just need one of the cults get up make a little noise, while in the panic I ask to see this cult leader and put him down."

Fya'munt nodded. "As long as your acting skills are up to chops."

"Before you go, I have to warn you of something." Nemesis gave Charter a serious look. "We can not let Hastur bring his father into our world. No matter what. We have decided to give you a chance, but if you fail, we... we will have no choice but to try and kill Esmeralda before he can use her."

"I understand I hope it doesn't come with that, but if I see Es has fallen then you don't have to worry about that part then. I'm hoping it doesn't come to that."

"Are you ready to go?" Fya'munt asked. "We don't know how long Hastur will be gone, so we must hurry."

"I'm ready to go, I want to get my Esmeralda and my baby boy back."
 
Last edited:

ZombieSplitter53

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The god nodded and opened a portal. "I will be able to get you a portal out of there as soon as you get clear of the barrier. Good luck, and godspeed."

Charter nodded his head and went through the portal, when he came out of the portal he saw that he was in front of a castle." Alright now what I need first, is one of those cloaks now I just have to be careful." Charter started to sneak around the castle.

He quickly ducked into a bush when two sentries rounded a corner, one looking to be about his size. "I don't understand why we have to patrol in the snow like this," the larger of the two complained. "Who even knows we're up here, let alone would come up here."

"Ssh! Watch who you are saying that to. You know Hastur doesn't like his orders questioned, and he is not in the best of moods lately."

"Oh yeah? Well, rumor is Yig gave him the brush off. Boy, is that snake going to be sorry when..." He paused. "Whose footprints are these?"

Charter stayed in the bushes and pulled out his ax, he had to make this count without destroying the robes. but just to be sure he pulled out one of his normal arrows, and aimed at the furthest guard away from him and waited.

They followed the footprints and stopped near the bushes. "Quickly," the taller one said. "Run back to Master Richard and tell him we might have an intruder!"

An arrow pierced the eye of the smallest of the two cultist, and Charter wrapped his arms around the man that was his side and put him in a choke hold and brought him to the ground and snapping his neck. Charter then picked up the body of the other one and threw him into the bushes, he then grabbed the rob of the man that was his size and put it on. "Ok that was easy, now then let's get this over with." Charter also covered up the blood with snow and went into the castle.

He was walking through it for a few minutes before he heard a high pitched woman's voice behind him. "Hey! You!"

Charter stooped and sighed." Well time to try my hand at acting." Charter coughed and try to clear his throat. "Yes mam can I help you?"

"Ma'am?" The cultist looked like she was now more than sixteen, a young and chipper rabbit thrope that reminded him of Erin, save for the white hair. "That makes me sound old, silly!"

"Hum yea I guess, sorry about that. But um can I help you with something, or did you want to talk?"

"Yeah, do you, like... know if I have to present myself to Master Richard or something? 'Cause I'm new around here and stuff?" She tilted her head in a cute way. The last thing she looked like was an evil cultist, save for the robes with Hastur's sign on it.

Charter looked at the teen and saw that she was confused in herself. Charter put his hands on the teens shoulders." Tell me kid do you know why your here, why did you join our church?" Charter said through his teeth.

She tilted her head the other way. "Why? Um... I don't know. They said I wouldn't have to listen to my parents or go to school. And, like... the world was gonna come to an end and stuff, and I would be spared if I put on this robe and did what the creepy guy in the yellow robes said to do. Why? Like... why did you join?"

Charter looked at the teen and looked around. "I need you to listen to me, i'm not with these people i'm here to rescue someone I love that this cult kidnapped. I'm telling you right now child find some place to hid and don't come out until the fighting is over, because believe me when I start the attack i'm killing all in my way. So for your own sake stay hidden understand, but before that happens." Charter put his arm around the teen. "Were both gonna talk to this high priest and you pretend like your gonna join alright?"

Her hairs stood on end. "U-um... o-okay. J-just... p-promise not to hurt me..."

"You won't get hurt that I can promise, now let's go ask around so we can find this high priest." Charter and the young teen asked around until they were lead to what seemed like a church.

Several cultist were walking out, having just listen to a sermon of how great Hastur was and how the end was near and how they would be exalted for their place here. A man in a funny looking headdress, with tentacles on the side and Hastur's symbol in the center, was chatting with a few other cultist. "I-I think that's him," the girl said nervously.

"Ok now then let's play this cool and calm and then when I give you the signal you will run and hide." Charter escorted the girl to the priest and bowed his head to him." Father I brought you a new child."

"A, thank you my boy, thank you." The high priest turned to the girl. "I am Master Richard. And you are?"

"M-me! M-my n-name... i-is J-Jackie..."

"No need to be nervous." Richard raised an eyebrow. "Is there something the matter?"

"She's just nervous about joining us, that's all it is father." Charter said while putting his hand on his sword. while his hands are under his robes.

"Y-yes, I... I am... h-happy... ah!" Jackie ran away, hiding under the podium. "I'm sorry!"

Richard pulled out a knife. "We have a heretic! Sacrifice the heretic! Sacrifice the..."

Charter pulled his sword out and in one motion trusted it through his chin into his skull dropping the man to the ground. "Damn cultist scum, do you see now coming here was a bad idea child." Charter said taking off the robes.

She poked her head out. "Uh huh. Look out!" She pointed at the four cultist rushing him from behind.

Charter looked at the cultist and was unimpressed he then changed the cult, he slashed at one of the cultist stomach and quickly thrusted his sword into the others heart.” Ou come now is this all you got?”

Twelve more charged in, grinning widely as they completely surrounded him.

“Hum well I guess now is the best time to test these.” Charter put his sword away and pulled out his bow and put something on the tip of them, when he fired the arrow it exploded on impact killing the surrounding cultist.” Woah now that’s incredible!”

"Th-that was pretty cool, but..." Jackie peaked over her hiding spot. "You realize most of the castle will know you're here now, right?"

“Yep that’s the plan, I want them to know I’m here. Now as for you.” Charter grabbed a weapon off one of the cultist.” Hid somewhere or steal a horse to get out of here alright.”

"A-alright. Th-thank you, sir..." Jackie rushed out of the room as fast as she could, leaving Charter alone with the sounds of people running around and panicking all around.

Charter chuckled to himself.” Alright you bastards you took someone I care for now I’m getting her back!” Charter yelled while firing another explosive arrow at another group

As he ran through the castle, he soon found himself against more then just cultist. The castle was also home to the squid faced Cthulhi. Several shapeshifted into huge, gelatinous squids, legged sharks, and gigantic humanoids to charge him, trying to get too close for him to use his bomb arrows.

“Whoa!” Charter yelled as he slid under it.” What kind of monsters are you?”

It let out a garbled mess of unknown words as the shark leapt forward, rows of teeth coming right at Charter. Charter ran towards the monsters and slid under it, his sword slicing through its chest. It let out a gurgling death rattle as it flopped down and started to melt. The creature in the form of a squid shot out its arms, trying to entangle the man.

Charter quickly fired off two arrows at the monster blowing it to bits, Charter then saw he was running low on arrows.” Ok I have about twelve left, Ok then guess I better start saving these.” Charter then yelled at the top of his lungs.” Es! It’s Charter I’ve come to save you.”

Esmeralda was sitting alone in her room, Xelia having gone off to work on "something important". She blinked when she heard what sounded like Charter's voice echoing through the castle. "No way," she muttered as she walked out of her room and headed towards where all the commotion was.

She could see what looked to be flashes coming down the hall. Charter fired another explosive arrow at the cultist and saw that he only had seven left." Alright then, I guess i'm gonna have to do this the usual way." So who wants to come at me first huh?" Charter said pulling out his new ax and shield.
 
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ZombieSplitter53

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Charter felt an incredible pressure pushing down on him as he was surrounded once more. He was momentarily vulnerable, one of the cthulhi jumping forward to take advantage, but was shoved away with such incredible force, it practically splattered against the wall. "What are you doing here?" Esmeralda asked, walking over with her arms folded.

Charter looked at the woman that looked liked a dark elf. "Well hello Es, you know I just got tired of feeling pity for myself and I figured to myself you know what I feel like dying I might as well die trying to save the people I love."

Es chuckled, releasing the pressure on him. "You know, I..." She started when a cultist tried to stab Charter in the back. He was telekinetically lifted in the air by his neck. "What part of the squid splattered on the fucking wall didn't tell you I was going to talk to him!" she yelled with a sudden burst of anger Charter had never seen in her before snapping the cultist's neck and tossing him to the side.

Charter's eyes widen at the complete change in Esmeralda." Well it would seem what I feared has happen, that bastard did change you, Listen to me Es HaveBrook isn't here. There's no men behind me or waiting outside to save me, it's just me I'm alone on this I came all this way to bring you back home or die trying."

Esmeralda sighed and placed her hand on her head. "Why is it so hard for you people to understand that this is the better place for me? I'm allowed to be who I really am here! I get to be with my mother! And soon, I'll be queen of the mortals! Don't... don't you love me enough to want what is best for me?"

“Have you lost your damn mind, I didn’t realize that you were a murderer. That’s who you wanna be Huh. And what’s this queen of mortal crap since when did you ever care about being queen of anything!”

"Since... since..." Es faltered for a moment. "S-since... my mother told me I could be the queen. And... a-and..."

“Es there lying to you, I know you’re smarter than this. I will admit Es I’m not perfect and after everything that I did with your sister when you were first taken I’m sorry about that. Hell I’ve haven’t even been back to the guild since you were taken again.” Charter slowly started to walk to Esmeralda.” But I came here because I love you, and will do anything for you. Es I helped you with your family, your real family when you couldn’t stand up to them I was happy to hear that you were pregnant with our child, for helping you with the library to your garden or just being around you Es. I love and cherish you more than anything so please come back home with me, these people are just gonna kill you when they're done with you Es.”

Esmeralda took a step back. "No... n-no, Xelia said... said they'll keep me alive. Why... why are you calling her a liar?"

"Es think there buttering you up, they will tell you what they want you to hear. They will kill you, hell they made you almost kill your brother but he's alive and back at the guild."

"E... Elma said that. But... but it isn't fair..." Tears rolled down her cheeks. "D-don't you see? I'm... I'm strong now. I... was so weak!" She reached into her bag and pulled out her tonfa, throwing them to the ground. "All I knew how to use were weapons to block attacks!" She pulled out a smoke bomb. "And these... these... stupid things! They just let me run away! I was pathetic! Everyone thought I was pathetic! They would..."

She burst into tears. "They would laugh at me! That's all anyone ever did! And I would laugh at myself. Esmeralda the airhead. Esmeralda the dummy! No one respected me! But now... now, they... they..." She let the smoke bomb go. It rolled across the floor to Charter's feet.

Charter looked down at the smoke bomb and back at Esmeralda, he then raised his eyebrow and looked at his ax. Charter smiled and slashed the ground making sparks, the sparks hit the smoke bomb and Charter ran to Esmerelda and grabbed her. "Time to go!" With Es in hand Charter ran down the hall, as the cult tried to go after him the smoke bomb went off making a good distraction. For Charter and Es to go into a nearby room, he then closed the door and used a shelf to block it.

Esmeralda sniffled, and wiped her eyes. "Please... stop this Charter. Don't you see? I... don't want to go back to being that weak woman again."

Charter rolled his eyes and held Esmeralda. "Who called you that, Es you look I know that this is frustrating but everyone has their role yours is not to fight. Es you’re not weak alright nobody calls you that."

Suddenly he heard a familiar voice from behind him. There before them, stepping out of the shadows, was the tall visage of Xelitha'qha, clad in her green robes and still missing her leg. “You've made quite the… Oh. It's you. Of course. You're very stubborn if nothing else.”

Charter’s eyes widen and he quickly pulled out his bow and arrows and put Es behind him. “Hum of all the things I had to run into I had to run into you, well then I’m curious if these arrows will effect that damn magic of yours.”

“Stop it!” Esmeralda yelled. “I don’t want you to hurt her! I… I don’t want you to hurt each other…”

“Es this thing assaulted the manor, and harmed so many of our friends. And as far as i’m concerned made you this monster!” Charter pulled his bow back ready to fire his explosive arrow.

She sighed, raising her hands up. “Enough. I'm on your side boy.”

Esmeralda gave her a surprised look. “On… his side? I don’t understand…”

“Is this some kind of a joke, why would you help me take Es away from your master?”

“Because unlike what you may think I actually do care about her. Why do you think I gave my leg to stop you lot from locking in her room for who knows how long.” Xelia put her hands down. “Hastur refuses to listen to me anymore. I implored him to spare Esmeralda. To reward her by becoming a Queen, but it seems my Master has become rash and arrogant. He would rather kill her all for the sake of petty revenge or sport.”

Esmeralda had a sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach. She moved between the two and looked back and forth. “Th-then we have to get out of here!” She looked at Charter. “You can work with her in order to save me, right?”

Charter’s eyes twitch as he still held the explosive arrow Xelia, he then heard the door being broken in by Hastur's followers getting into the room. Charter then turned around and fired the arrow at the cultist killing several of them. “I’m going against my judgement here, well it’s clear that i’ve lost my mind just coming here. But i’m getting Es out of this mess you wanna help fine but i’m watching you.”

“I don't want help you dolt I'm helping you. Who do you think contacted the God's about this places location? Including the exact time Hastur would be away? But we have to hurry.” Xelitha'qha stepped forward past him, her head glowing slightly green. Charter could then hear the cultists begin moving away from them in different directions. “They don't think we're here anymore. I made them forget about us for now but there will be others.”

Es watched with confusion as one ran right past her, ut shrugged. “Cool. How, um… how do you get out of here?” She looked at Chater’s bomb arrows. “Make a hole to the outside?”

“Before we do that.” Xelia stopped them. “I need to get something. It's in my workshop. I would've gotten it already but you made so much noise you attracted everyone.”

“Hay that was the point, I was hoping that if I got enough after me so I could use my arrows to destroy the roof above me and bring rubble down on them. Thuse blocking them off, and giving me plenty of time to search for Es.”

“No arguing, either of you.” Esmeralda turned to Xelia. “So, you lead the way to your workshop, and I guess Charter and I will cover you.”

“Esmeralda.” Xelia leaned down, placing a hand on her shoulder. “Just stay safe. I can handle these pitiful excuses for followers.”

Es smiled. “Okay. You be safe too. You’re important to me, you know? And now, with Ma… Hastur betraying us, you’re the only one here I can trust.”

“Gee thanks for bode of confidence Es, aint like I went against Havenbrook orders and probably gonna have her rip my head off for this. And you know possibly dying.” Charter said in a agitated tone.

“Enough. While I could talk about your incompetence all day Hunter, we have places to be.” The Illithid poled her head out to make sure they were indeed gone for now, she ushered them out. “My Workshop is down the hall a ways and around two corners. Should be quick but expect a fight just in case.”

Esmeralda nodded, rolling her neck as her eyes glowed pink.

They quickly made their way out of the room and down that hall as silently as possible, Xelia using her suggestive powers to cause patrols to avoid them, the Cthuli and young men and women were easily manipulated, that was why Hastur preferred them.

Esmeralda followed closely with Charter by her side. She was creeped out by the way people ignored them, almost as much as how creeped out she was that all these former allies were now her enemies.
 

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“You know Es before I came here into the castle I ran into one of your cultist, she was a teen she looked so confused and not aware of what she was getting into when she wanted to join this cult.”

“That's how Hastur likes them. He picks young, desperate people, naive peasant farmers and the like… Easier to intimidate kids and easier to indoctrinate them to murder and chaos.” Xelia replied without looking.

“Teh some master you got there, praying on the weak and feeble minded sounds like quiet the leader to follow. I swear I will kill him at some point.” Charter said standing next to Esmerelda.” And as for you Es, your brother will be happy to see you. If I live long enough through Mina rage at me to see it.”

“That's rich coming from you. Servant of the War God. Never has there been such an agent of slaughter and depravity before.” The Illithid bit back, nearing the room now.

Es rubbed her head. “We all have our negative points and things we can argue about when we get out of here. For now…” One of the Cthulhi elite rounded a corner, it’s mental fortitude too strong to be simply mesmerized. Using its own mental abilities, it commanded a squadron of its people to attack. Es quickly put up an invisible wall to block their progress. “Xelia, please hurry!”

“Keep it up. We're here.” The Mindflayer strengthened the barrier with her own mind as she quickly ushered them through a steel door on their right. Inside was a cold, dark interior, a low mist was covering the floor like the inside of a cooler. Lining the walls on shelves were severed heads and brains in jar suspended in a strange slightly opaque blue fluid. In the center on the room was what looked to be a black leather tarp covering a large cuboid object.

“This place is horrid, though to be fair it’s not the worst place i’ve been through. I take it that is our way out of here and down the mountain?”

“No. It's my special project.” Xelia floated forward towards it as she spoke. “And while it may be grisly these were all victims of Hastur. I merely kept them alive when they would've died. Although… I can't say honestly that they were all dying when I did this.” As she spoke one of the heads opened his eyes, the sockets dark and sunken as he silently watched the two newcomers.

Esmeralda shuttered. “C-can we make this quick? I have to admit… this is creeping me out.” She flinched. “And… they’re going to break through my shield soon…”

Picking a key off of a table Xelia moved the tarp away with her mind, revealing what seemed to be a large metal cage. Inside was a bed, dresser, toilet, bath, all the necessary amenities… as well as a familiar looking girl laying on her back in the cot in a fruity, frilly dress. She had dark skin like it was covered in soot as well as a unique fair of Fly Like Eyes. She was an exact mirror of Betty, except for her hair and her outfit of course, the former done up in a fancy braid inlaid with flowers. “Girl. Get up. We're leaving.”

She tilted her head back, “We are? Good. This place was stuffy and boring.”

“I, um… have so many questions.” Es dropped to her knee. “L-later. Charter! Get ready a couple of those arrows!”

“Finally, look i’ll hold them off for as long as I can.” Charter looked at his explosive arrows and saw that he only had seven left.” Alright seven arrows left huh.” Charter kneeled down and went through his bag, and pulled out a wine bottle. “Ah there we go this should come in handy. Ok so just so you two know when I through this bottle you might wanna cover your mouths.” Charter pulled out a cloth and wrapped it around Es mouth. “There that should do for you.”

Xelia grumbled, quickly unlocking the cage and tossing the Copy Betty a scrap of her robe to wrap around her mouth. “You're lucky. I have an alternative way out of here. Although… I hope you have strong stomachs.”

“If I didn't I wouldn't be a knight, now would i, now then let me slow them down a bit.” Charter threw the bottle out of the lab and into the group, when the bottle broke the cult started to grab their necks and started to choke the then dropped to there knees with blood coming out of there mouths and there eyes turning red.” Right well that group is dealt with, now don’t breathe this in alright, especially you Es.”

Es rubbed the back of her neck. Hastur’s betrayal, this lab, the copy Betty, and now Charter’s brutal weaponry were really starting to get to her. “Y-you said you had a way out, Xelia?”

Xelia opened up a latch on the metal floor with her mind revealing a hole a number of feet deep and pitch black. “Down here. It leads out to the mountain side.”

The Copy Betty stretched lightly, making the way out of the cell and quickly hopping form with much of a thought, they even heard what they thought could've been… giggling?

“Who in the god's name could be giggling at a time like this, this ain't exactly fun times!” Charter said while firing one of his arrows to seal the door behind them with rubble, and quickly made a torch so everyone could see. As everyone got down the hole they were met with the acrid smell of old blood and rot and as the torch was lit it reveal a canal of blood and strewn body parts leading out to a point of light not too far away. It was almost like an abandoned butcher's market had exploded, rats scurrying around and collecting bits of the unidentifiable meat and organs.

Esmeralda shook slightly as they walked along. “What… is this place? What were you doing in your lab?”

“It connects to the other sacrificial areas too, but I used it for… disposing of… unusable parts…” Xelia sighed, wrapping an arm around and trying to comfort Esmeralda. “This is how we fed the Cthuli. You were on the set of a stage unfortunately… And this is the reality behind the curtain…”

“Some mother you have there Es, and wanted to follow these people this what you wanted huh the ruler of this.”

“Watch your tongue. I saw the Cultists you butchered and tortured needlessly. I will admit that I'm a monster, but I did all this for a reason. You did what you did to those men and women because you enjoyed it. Besides, the bodies have to go somewhere… I didn't kill all of these people myself… with my own two hands…” Xelia countered with her own biting insult.

“I did not enjoy killing your cultist, and I at least disposed of the body's by burning them to ash once they were dead. Not keep a massive grave under the castle, you sick fuck!” Charter said keeping his agitation and annoyance working with someone he would rather kill.

“Enough… I've had enough of your self righteous preaching.” The Illithid looking down towards Es, pangs of newfound guilt hitting her as she brushed her hair gently.

Halfway through, and their loud arguing came to bite them. The halls suddenly surged forth with dozens of Cthulhi at once. These ones were young and feral, like rabid beasts that piled on and over one another as the charged their fresh meat. Esmeralda held her hands out, slamming one after another into the walls, but there seemed to be no end to them as they got closer and closer.

Xelitha'qha put herself in front of Esmeralda, blocking her as she send out a shockwave of psychic force, the first dozen or so Cthuli in the front falling over as twitching as they bled from their ears. “Hunter! Don't use your explosives! You could cave us in with them!”

Charter put his bow back and pulled out his sword and shield and charged into the group, Charter cut through the Cthuli like they were paper and used his shield to bash their skulls. “ Hay what the hell are these things weak to, if I can’t use my explosives they will overwhelm us so what are the weak to what spell of anything flammable?”

“Um…” Esmeralda tried to think to her studies. “They are normally in the water, so they are very dry on land. So… yeah, fire is their weakness. Though these ones are extra squishy and can’t transform yet.”

“Great if there was ever a time for Elma to be here.” Charter then remembered that Erin made some enchantments for him some time ago, Charter slashed one of the Cthuli and ran to Xelia and stood behind the barrier and looked through his bag. “ Poison potions, come on where are this damn ha.” Charter pulled out a small vile of orange liquid and a few others. “Ou it’s been forever since I used these, Es hold my shield use it to protect you.” Charter looked at the viles and poured two with liquids on his sword and ax a green liquid on them and a orange liquid on each. “Ok now we should have a way out and I should be able to get us out of here.”

The Illithid was blasting waves of force out at the oncoming swarm sending them hard into walls and causing them to splatter against the stonework. “You have an a plan!?”

“Yes and no, look just stay back.” Charter slashed his weapons and a line of fire came out of them burning the Catuli.”Yes! They still work ou how I have forgotten about these enchantments, now get behind me these don’t last long so stay close and protect Es.” Charter then slashed his weapons again and a row of fire came out of them making a path for the group to to find the exit, He continued to slaw and slash at the hord killing dozens of them at once with his enchanted weapons and the fire coming out of them.” Hay how much further?”
 

ZombieSplitter53

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Looking ahead it was pretty easy to see the light coming into the tunnel only forty or so feet away, they began making their way there as Xelia added her psychic walls of force where needed to keep the swarm at bay. They slowly but surely made it to the exit of the tunnel system but the Cthuli we're right on their trail as the sunlight hit their faces. Xelia turned to look at Charter, yelling, “Now! Use your Explosives and block off that tunnel!”

“I know that.” Charter used his weapons to kill of the Cthuli to drive them back, he then pulled out his bow and firered his explosive arrow at the entrance causing a cave in. Charter then looked behind him and looked at Es. “Es my Esmerelda are you alright, are you hurt in any way?”

Esmeralda let out a sigh of relief. “I’m just glad it’s over. Though how are we…” As if to answer her question, a portal opened up before them, a glowing one from the gods now that they were clear of the castle. “Oh, great. Now we have to rely on… the gods to… to safapafa…” Esmeralda suddenly collapsed, falling unconscious.

“Esmeralda!” The Eldritch Creature ran over to her side, looking into the portal with a glare.

Charter got under Es helping her up but being careful of their baby.” Come on we have to get her out of here it won’t be long before Hastur finds out about this portal.”

“Honestly.” The Doppelganger Betty spoke up, helping pull Es through as she was getting impatient. “You two are like… The worst at this.”

Xelia grumbled, agreeing as she carefully brought her through, on guard for any treachery by the gods. As they passed through, Esmeralda’s hair slowly turned blonde.

*****

Up in the Grand City of the Gods, Xelia and Charter were in deep conversation with the gods of recent happenings. Meanwhile, in a special room designed for mortals, Esmeralda rested comfortably, her features now completely that of a Light Elf.

Watching over her were two individuals. One was a curious looking fly Thrope, the secret project of Xelia bearing a striking resemblance to a certain Havenbrook hunter. The other was a fleeing former cultist, a rabbit Thrope still in the robes of her former cult who was looking rather distraught.

The latter shot the former the occasional look. A look of curiosity. A look of confusion. A look of bewilderment. Finally, she broke the silence by bluntly asking, "So are you, like, a demon or something? Or some kinda... weird spider Thrope? Because the first is, like, really weird, but the second is even weirder. Like, who would bond with a spider?"

"I'm a Fly. Actually. Preeeetty rare Ms. Cute Bunny." She smiled as she replied, almost too friendly. "You're one of those cult guys right?"

"Pft. Not anymore." Jackie pulled her legs close to her body. "Thought I was going a cool ass sect with a strange but understanding leader. Turns out I was joining a cult with a squid faced maniac that likes to sacrifice people. And experiment on people. And just, like, plain kill people." She placed her chin against her knees. "Actually makes my parents look like decent people..."

"Well. My Daddy is great. But... Things happened and I got separated from him. Xelia saved me." The Fly girl kicked her legs lightly as she sat.

"Your daddy... right." Jackie gave her a suspicious look. "And... who is your dad? Where is he?"

"Themosa probably. He's a Netzi. Don't really have a Mommy. Guess Xelia's my Mommy." She leaned her head on her fist with a bored expression. "So what about you? What's wrong with your parents?"

"Tch!" Jackie waved her hand irritably. "All they ever do is argue. They barely talk to each other without raising their voices. And they fight so much, they barely even pay attention to me. Probably don't even notice I'm gone." She pouted, looking away. "I hate them."

"Oh. Well. Sorry." She scratched her head. "What's your name? I'm... Amy. I'm Amy."

"Jackie." The Rabbit Thrope smiled lightly. "N... nice to meet you, Amy."

"Who... are you?" Esmeralda, now awake and staring up at Amy, asked," What are you?"

"She's a fly Thrope," Jackie explained.

The Light Elf frowned. "That's not what I meant. Why do you look just like Betty? Did... Xelia make you?"

"Yeah. She did. Kind of. Betty made me. Mommy just gave me a body." Amy smiled. "Oh! Hi Esmeralda. It's nice to meet you again."

"H... hi..." Es slowly sat up, holding her aching head. "What do you mean, Betty made you and Xelia gave you a body? I don't understand. Can you... explain how you came to be?"

"I'm part of Betty. Or I was. Although she didn't like me very much, we were always fighting for control." Amy explained briefly. "But I was really created when Daddy took her and Erin in and I've been around ever since. I've been trying to get Betty to accept that I'm the real her, but it wasn't flying, she's so serious."

Esmeralda shifted so she was facing her. "What do you mean, the real her?" She looked Amy up and down, studying her expression. "You mean... ever since she was kidnapped, she has become too stern, careful, and serious, and the real her is more joyful, carefree... and happy?"

"Kind of. You see, I'm the her she's always wanted to be. She liked being 'kidnapped', she liked serving Daddy. She just didn't want to admit it. Instead, she locked me away, but I'd always come back to remind her." The Other Betty added.

"O-oh. That... i-interesting..." Esmeralda said with a blush.

Jackie giggled. "Kinky. I guess that explains who you are and how you were made, but not why..."

"Maybe..." Es' expression fell. He head lowered and she closed her eyes. "Maybe... Amy is my replacement. A daughter Xelia could rely on more. Maybe... she was suppised to take my place..."

"What? No. From what she was telling me she wanted me to be like your sister. Like a friend." Amy told her, shrugging.

"Really?" Esmeralda let out a long sigh. "Sorry. So much has been going on. I don't know who to trust anymore. Charter did so many terrible things trying to find me. Xelia had that... th-that creepy tunnel under her lab, not to mention the lab itself. And Hastur just outright betrayed us."

Jackie walked over. "On the other hand, Charter risked life and limb on a practical suicide mission to save you, and despite what Xelia might have been into, she did betray someone as big and scary as Hastur just to protect you, and that has to be worth something, right? I mean, if that's not love, I don't know what is." She looked to Amy for more words of encouragement.

"Well. I think Mommy Xelia loves you lots. Especially since she went out of her way to make me so you'd have a friend." The Fly pointed out.

Esmeralda nodded. "Thank you. I just feel so... strange..." She looked down at her pale hands with a surprised look. She then reached back and pulled her hair forward, noting it was blonde again. "The... the corruption for Hastur is gone! But how? Did one of the gods do this?"

"I... Don't know... I mean, you'd know right?" The Doppelganger asked.

"I don't. I mean... I... I remember escaping the... pits... and the portal, then it all goes dark." She rubbed her chin. "Did something happen to Hastur?"

"I doubt it. Who could be stronger then him?" Jackie shrugged herself. "So, um... Amy. What are you going to do now that you're free? Are you going to stay with Xelia? Go find this Betty person? Or go do your own thing?"

"I wanna rekindle my relationship with Erin I think... I dunno..." Amy leaned back, "You actually look a lot like her. You know. With the ears."

"Thanks... I think?" Jackie looked at Esmeralda. "Was that a compliment?"

Es nodded. "Considering how close they are, and that they have two children together, I'd say yeah."

"Oh, Erin is a guy?" Jackie tilted her head and looked back at Amy. "But... you said 'her'. I'm confused."

"It's complicated. Buuut... If Xelia can do to her what she did to Betty I can have my Girlfriend back."

"Girl... friend?" The rabbit girl blushed. "Ooooh..."

Es giggled, and nodded. "That would probably be for the best, considering it would get pretty complicated with two Bettys. I can try and convince Erin..." He smile faded, and she looked sad again. "I mean... I can try. But after everything I have put them through... put everyone through..."
 

ZombieSplitter53

Game Master
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May 27, 2013
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"Oh hush. If I know Betty. And I do. She was worried sick about you. You'll be fine." Amy explained.

Esmeralda took in a deep breath. "I... I hope you're right." She twirled a lock of hair. "Incidentally, why were you in a cage when we found you. Doesn't seem like you'd run away from Xelia or anything." She reddened a bit. "Is that p-part of your... interests?"

"I'm not opposed. She just didn't want the Cultists to see me. Hastur might get upset." She shrugged.

"Probably." Jackie sat back down. "Glad I got out of there when I did."

Esmeralda nodded. "Well, Amy... it is a pleasure to meet you." She offered her hand, and her old, bubbly smile returned for the first time in a long time. "I hope we can be friends, and sisters, for a long time to come."

Amy smiled widely, shaking it quickly. "Thanks. Hopefully after I replace Betty and steal her life for myself."

Esmeralda's smile dropped. "W... what?"

Amy just laughed, nudging her arm. "Ha! You should've seen your face you totally fell for it!"

Esmeralda chuckled, running a hand through her hair, then laughed out loud. She reached into the pack at her side with a smile, and pulled out a round object. "Wanna... see one of my home made smoke bombs?"

Xelia made her way into the room with the girls looking quite a but spent after the escape. Her eye perked up however when he saw Esmeralda though. "Hello Dear. You know. I liked the black hair more, but hair dye is easier to get out than dark corruption..."

Esmeralda lowered her eyes. "H-hello, Xelia. Are you... okay? Are you well?"

"Yes... For the time..." She sat down slowly. "Hopefully Hastur doesn't get any ideas."

Es raised her eyes a bit. "Ideas... like what?"

"To come after us. But don't worry. If he does I won't let him lay a single tendril on you." Xelitha'qha looked over, trying to comfort her.

Esmeralda smiled softly. "Are you... sure you still want to protect me? I've... changed back. The corruption is gone for some reason. I'm... not the same Esmeralda you liked before..."

"Yes you are. You weren't corrupted when you listened to my story back when we first met. When you showed me that empathy." Xelia noted.

Esmeralda nodded. "I, um... I have something to... confess to you. Something about Charter that you're... not going to like..."

"What?" Xelia said plainly.

Esmeralda stared down at the ground. "I... I-I still... I think I... still love him. A-and I want to find a way to... to have you both in my life."

She seemed utterly confused by this. "You're confused. This is the same man who cheated on you when you were captured. Who tried to kill and attack me despite your protests. Wouldn't even consider your desire to leave. You're too good for him."

Esmeralda sulked. "He... is also the man that went on a suicide mission to bring me back. And..." She rubbed her belly. "He is the father of my child. Please, I... I-I don't want you two to fight over me anymore. Can't we find some common ground?"

"I know his type. As soon as you stopped being the obedient little girlfriend he left you. He gave up on you. He only saved you because he's desperate, because no one else will take him. Or even more likely because you are the key to Hastur's plans, nothing more." The Illithid explained.

Esmeralda curled up, placing her head against her legs. "This is... the same thing I'm going to have to go through when I talk to him about you, isn't it. The two of you will never accept each other. You'll force me to make a choice between the two of you... a choice I can't make." She started to sob softly.

The Eldritch Creature took a shot of guilt to the chest before sighing. "Very well dear. I'll give him a chance. For you. But the second he hurts you again I'll have his head."

She looked up and smiled lightly, wiping her tears. "Deal. Thank you. I... I knew you would understand."

"So, um... ahem..." Jackie cleared her throat, looking very unnerved. "What, uh... like, uh... what are you? Are you, like, related to Hastur or something?"

She looked over quickly, almost as if they had forgotten they were here. "Oh. I'm an llithid. The last of a long dead race from before the God's came into power. I believe a Human once called me a... Mind Flayer? A less than flattering title, but it's merely a very literal common colloquialism."

"Uh... cooool..." The rabbit teen scratched her ear. "And you're, like... on our side, right?"

Esmeralda nodded. "She risked everything for me, and betrayed her long time master for me." She gave Xelia a concerned look. "Are you going to be okay? Where will you go? Um... if the gods support you, I'm sure Ms. Havenbrook will take you in. There might be a few people who are... bitter towards you, but we'll work it out somehow."

"Mina Havenbrook will really take me in? And what? Will I become a Hunter I wonder?" The Gangly Woman chuckled.

Esmeralda giggled. "It is a big world. You can do anything you want." She frowned. "I... I hope the gods are going to give you more then me for all you have done for them. Please tell me you get something else out of this."

"I get you." Xelia replied sweetly. "And perhaps even... My people can come back... Although that seems like a pipe dream..."

Esmeralda leaned against her and closed her eyes. "I hope they can. I truly do."

The door opened a minute later, the Goddess of Justice stepping inside. She looked at Xelia and said, "Can you come with me?"

"Right." Xelia stood up, looking over at Es. "Whatever is decided... I... I love you. Esmeralda."

The Light Elf nodded, smiling back at her. "I know. I love you too."

The Former Servant of Hastur nodded slowly, following The Goddess out of the room without another word. Nemesis was silent for a while as they walked through the empty streets of the mega city. When they reached its edge, she pulled off her helmet, and looked to be in the midst of a nervous sweat. "We have a problem." She pointed off in the direction of Hastur's castle. Even though it was hundreds of miles away, they could make out what looked to be a glowing red sphere in the sky.

Xelitha'qha leaned forward slightly, shaking her head. "What... How!? We took her he shouldn't have been able start the ritual!"

"We don't know. Maybe he found a work around we didn't think of." Nemesis waved her hand, and an image of the castle appeared before them. Its walls were pitch black, oozing with sinister energy, and the entire building and the ground underneath was floating in the air.

"The energy coming off of it is... is an equal combination of Hastur's... a-and Yog-Sothoth's. And Yog's power is growing. As it does, Hastur's power grows weaker. Yog's strength is currently equal to his son's, but at the rate it is growing, it is only a matter of time until Yog is at full strength."

She snapped her head over to her. "Well. What is your plan!? We need to stop Hastur while he and his father are weak!"

Nemesis nodded. "Things are a mess with the gods now. While Hastur was away from the castle, he managed to capture the king and queen of the gods and... and kill Tempora. It has shaken our confidence..." Nemesis smiled nervously. "But I have a plan."

"Oh? Because now would be the time to hear it." Xelia ushered.

Nemesis waved her hand. "I know what you're thinking. I know what you're going to say. This is our fault for sotting on our hands for so long. Well... I believe I can change that. The other gods, for whatever reason, are looking to me and Reht'nar for leadership, and we are going to lead them..." She pointed off into the distance. "Right into that castle. We'll need the mortals' help to keep his subjects busy, and while they do that, we gods will assault Hastur, his father, or whoever is waiting for us head on. We have stood ideally by for too long, and that has cost us. No longer."

"All of you against Hastur then? Well perhaps if you're quick you can defeat Hastur before he summons his father... If he does..." Xelitha'qha told her with a forboding tone.

Nemesis started counting on her fingers. "Omniscience, Omnipresence, Immortality, Invulnerability, Reality Warping, Non-Corporeal existance, Acausality, Telepathy, Causality Manipulation, Durability Negation. Yeah... we have an idea of what happens if we fail." She frowned. "Look... you have no love for us for obvious reasons. And if any of us survive this, I will try and make sure your wish is fulfilled. I won't ask you to fight with us, but please... fight along side the mortals. They deserve to have your help."

Xelia sighed. "I'm around as strong as a weak God. I may be of more use helping you, if you all fail, there won't be much point protecting the mortals."

"Then... can we count on you to fight by our side?" Nemesis extended a hand.

"And you won't choose to quickly and conveintly forget about this in the frankly unlikely event that we win?" Xelia's hand stopped only a few inches before hers.

Nemesis chuckled, and shook her head. "On my honor. It is ths only thing I have. My Hastur himself do cruel and unspeakable things to me if I am lying."

"Oh he will. He is made entirely out of tentacles. I bet he could fit three in every orifice." The Illithid cruelly taunted, shaking her hand.

Nemesis laighed, until she realized Xelia was being serious. With a sunken in, fearful expression, she sadi, "C-come on... let's... talk to the others..."

"Don't worry too much. I'll be right there beside you if that happens." Xelia noted, the two of the making their way through the door.
 
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Insane Darkness and Black0ut present...
Familial Reassurance


The peace was mitigated as a Thrope in full black armor and a black metal mask limped into her grove. She was badly wounded: large holes that one could see through were present, as were her guts, a hand over them to keep them in. She coughed, grimacing as she did so. “Fuck… Mina should make me an A-rank for all the contracts I’ve been doing recently… Especially the last one. Who the fuck makes a warhammer that shoots bullets? That Trick hammer-maker should… should… make me one.” She leaned against a tree coughing as she slid down it, a bloody trail following her down. “I might need… to take a break… can’t… can’t keep injuring… myself.”

As dramatic an angelic entrance could possibly be, Faith descended from the treetops, arms outstretched in a divine pose and light poured around her. As soon as she opened her eyes, what she saw quickly made her drop to the ground and rush over to her mother. “What the Hell, Titania?! Do you have some sort of death wish?!” Faith quickly removed her robes so as to not get them dirty, now just in her underwear. She held Titania’s sides, filling in the wound with Titania’s skin and repairing any damage her guts and especially any blood vessels may have taken. With the wound as severe as it was, she even impressed herself at how quickly the wound seemed to be healing with her touch.

“No… but this dickhead with a gun in his warhammer thought it’d be better you not have me. I disagreed. And then this happened.” She joked, blood still dripping off her chin. “Besides… I would never abandon you. Not even death will separate me from you, daughter of mine.”

“Alright. Well, at least you aren’t mentally damaged. Or, at least, not severely.” Faith gave Titania a look that made it rather clear that what Titania said was way too cheesy. “Now… where are those pesky exit holes?...”

“I may have gotten shot… twelve times…” Titania murmured sheepishly. “And pried out the bullets… maybe burned the wounds shut…” Titania reached up to rub her ear nervously, the fluffy appendage twitching.

Faith quickly reached up to smack Titania’s hand away. “Stay still, Survival Woman.” Faith cut off Titania’s armor at a weak point, baring her torso and all of its bloody glory. “Dear Gods…” She held Titania’s arms and legs down with her body to count the number of cauterizations and holes remaining. “I think you got all the bullets… So that’s good. Don’t want that staying in your system.” Faith worked on smoothing out the cauterized skin to look like new and fixing the two holes Titania couldn’t reach to cauterize, releasing the woman’s arms as she had to use her own to operate. “Any injuries on your lower body?” she asked, monotone due to the fixation on her work.

“No, but I do think I have been eating right… maybe I need more milk in my diet.” Titania rolled her eyes under her mask. “I’m fine, Faith… although I probably would’ve struggled to make it home with my own entrails trying to escape. Thank you.”

“It’s basically my hobby, by this point. Just know that I could accidentally blast your arm off… very... precisely… if I’m not careful. So, just understand that I’m not being anti-sass for no reason.” Faith blew a light wind across Titania’s back to slightly tease her.

If Titania noticed, she didn’t let on. Instead, she reached out with her non-bloody gauntlet and rubbed a metallic finger over Faith’s cheek. “You’ve grown so much… you’re going to be way stronger than me for sure. Maybe even the best warrior this land will see in centuries. I hope that when that happens, when you’re beaming out that ray of glory, I can be right next to you, just… catching a glimmer of the light that comes off of you.”

“You seem more hopeful to be next to me than Jay is. I believe he expects to die much before I ever become some hero that you both expect me to become. Just something I’ve noted.” The blood on Titania’s other gauntlet soaked into it, giving it a deathly red tint. “I suppose your gauntlet could become a little darker with more blood, but that’s the best I could do. Just some weird Light Magic skill I picked up from some book-reading.” Faith motioned for Titania to look at said gauntlet, her face stoic.

Titania glanced over at it, briefly smiling before turning her attention back to Faith. “He… I don’t know anymore. I hope he won’t go on a suicidal endeavor… but he just might due to what Sylvie did to him. I wish he’d talk to me…” The older Thrope sighed, rubbing her temples.

“I suppose that even Jay can be edgier than you.” Faith shrugged, massaging the muscles that she repaired back into place. “Does this feel okay?”

“It does, but… these days I feel safer with my armor on.” Titania said quietly, standing up whilst holding Faith to her. “Perhaps that’s just a result of losing someone I care about… or maybe it’s my primal instincts telling me to be ready to defend myself and my child.”

“You’re also very sensitive right now. Your armor could also symbolize a way of protecting your outer self that feels like you’re protecting your inner self. Although, I suppose your inner self was spilling all over your outer self just a few minutes ago…” Faith suppressed a laugh before she continued. “I wish I was able to know Kva like you did. I wish I could sympathize with you, but I’ve only ever lost my real parents, which is a different experience, I’m sure. I wish… there was more I could do. I’m no mind-reader, even when the wind whispers words to me. Wow… that makes me sound really crazy.”

“Only mildly so.” Titania teased before growing incredibly silent.

Faith slowly removed herself from Titania’s grasp, picking up her robes and Titania’s armor. She dressed the both of them before realizing that Titania’s armor was sagging on her body. “Whoops…”

“It’s fine. Ed owes me a favor for trying… lewd things. He’ll fix up my armor and I’ll ask him to make you a masterpiece weapon with Betty. Flameveil is a little too dear for me to let go, just yet.” Titania started before clearing her throat. "I may have struck a deal with the God of Death over Kva.”

“That seems… very risky. But go on.”

“Kva comes back for a week, every year. But… I will be, uh, away for two months as a temporary Reaper.” Titania said quietly, looking everywhere other than at Faith under her mask.

“That will be a very hot and heavy week, then.” Faith remarked, choosing not to do so for the part that Titania was embarrassed to mention.

“... Why? Just why?” Titania groaned as she rubbed her forehead. “You are a very lewd child, Faith. Part of the reason I did so… was so you could… get to know Kva better. She… She considers you her kid as much as I do.”

“Are you trying to deny the existence of Night-Time Fun Time? Because I highly doubt that you’ll convince me that it won’t happen.”

“Of course it happens! Just… ugh… stop dancing around what I’m telling you with clever wordplay and innuendos.”

“It’s punishment for being selfish and selfless. Just to make you spend more time with her than me. Because while I would like to get to know her better, as I’ve previously stated, you were the one who made the deal. You should spend every waking moment you have with her. Not me.”

“I plan to ask Tempora for a favor, stretch the days for a few minutes. He’ll probably say no, but… I understand why. Besides, being selfish got me nowhere. I lost my soulmate doing that. Being Selfless… I can at least make sure you have two parents instead of just one.” Titania said quietly, rubbing her ear once more.

“So, I lose a nervous tick and you gain one, huh?...” Faith mumbled.

“I always had it, I just had less worries when I met you.” Titania explained, a hand darting up to her mask before she thought better and lowered it.

Faith’s shopping trip suddenly resurfaced in her mind. “Ooh, I bought you something! Come on! Let’s go back to Havenbrook!” She pulled on Titania’s arm in the guild’s direction, her attitude much brighter than before.

“Well, as it so happens, so have I. I left it at the Guild when I came home, unfortunately during one of your hunts for books.” Titania followed her daughter, keeping her speed down to that what Faith could manage.

---

As the two of them entered Faith’s claustrophobia-inducing room, the girl herself quickly let go of Titania to grab a bag hiding underneath her bed before turning back to the Wolf Thrope. “These are yours.” she stated, holding them away from her body and towards Titania.

Titania disappeared for a moment or two before holding three boxes. The one at the bottom was quite big and seemed to hint at its contents with a metallic clink. The second was a bit smaller but what it contained was a mystery. The last box that was on top of the others was small enough to only be a piece of jewelry. “Wh-which would you like to open first?”

“I’d like for you to open yours first.” she answered, motioning to the bed for Titania’s gifts or Titania herself to sit upon.

Titania set the gifts by the door as she moved over to the bed, sitting down as she reached into the bag to pull out a pair of boots.

Considering it came from a clothing store, the quality and durability of the boots were rather impressive, let alone the beauty that the studs gave the pair. They were decently hefty but not restricting, powerful yet tight-fitting. The pair could definitely take a few hits and still do their job.

“I thought they might’ve been a little too heavy or possibly even a weird thing to find in a clothing store, but…” Faith paused for a moment, unsure of what to say. “What do you think?”

Titania stared at the boots for a few moments before turning her head over to Faith, blurring for a moment as her armor appeared on the ground before she tackle-hugged Faith. “I love them. Thank you...”

“Oof… Edgy enough... for the edge-lord… That’s… good…” Faith strained from underneath Titania’s weight.
 
Familial Reassurance pt. 2


The older Thrope stood up, carrying the small Thrope as she laid on the bed and snuggled her daughter. “It means more that you spent time looking for something special for me than the gift does. Even though I do love it.”

Faith smiled, unsure of how to respond other than taking in the fresh air she was prevented from having a moment before.

“I love you, Faith.” The wolf said quietly, smiling under her mask.

“I love you too, Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing.” Faith stuck out her tongue in jest with the nickname she gave Titania.

“I see the Ham has not changed at all.” Titania groaned, still smiling despite doing so. “I think it’s time for you to open up your gifts, goofball.”

“Aww, I can’t! I’m currently pinned down by a big bad wolf threatening me with snuggles and, Gods forbid, kisses. Oh Gods, not the kisses!” Faith pretended to fear for her life from the kisses, playing incredibly overdramatic.

Titania chuckled, planting a couple on her cheek before releasing her. “I swear you’re going to drive your future boyfriend crazy.”

“Oh, the pain! The agony! Someone, stop this madwoman! Oh Gods, it hurts!” Faith rolled around in place, feigning pain from the kisses as she ignored Titania’s comment.

“What’s that? Do I hear ‘Titania, I love you and you’re amazing, please stay so awesome that I can one day be like you’? Why, thank you Faith, I love you too, you’ll be better than I probably ever will be.” Titania playfully countered, rubbing Faith’s head.

Faith stopped turning as she was facing Titania, touching her bill to Titania’s nose and staring into the wolf’s eyes. “I suppose that people understand hidden meanings after being with me long enough. Kinda boring, really, though it makes me feel very transparent.”

“Then be happy you’re only vaguely transparent to me, Ducky.” Titania planted another kiss on her head before gesturing over to her presents she got.

“Umm, actually, the correct word choice would be ‘translucent’.” Faith held up a finger in a snobby sort of way, using it to adjust her glasses that were squished against the side of her face because of the bed. “Also, I suppose that I could just keep those boxes by the door for eternity. Maybe, one day, I won’t be here and someone will break in and take them… Maybe not the bottom one, but the top two would be easier for someone with a bad back to carry.”

Titania poked Faith’s forehead. “Please?”

“But they make such amazing decorations in my room.” Faith pretended to argue.

“I suppose my gifts aren’t that important.” Titania started, trying to guilt trip Faith.

“Don’t start with those puppy dog eyes, missy.”

“Oh my Gods… I swear you pick up Jay’s evil, evil puns more and more everyday...” Titania feigned a groan as she rolled her eyes.

Faith’s mischievous smile was ever-present before she transformed into her duck form, flying around the room and picking up the top box before placing it on the bed next to Titania. She gave the wolf a quack, seemingly asking whether that was the one Titania wanted her to start on.

“Go ahead. I… will admit, I am nervous if you’ll like any of my gifts.” The Thrope murmured, looking away.

The duck flapped her wings, rising into the air before dramatically falling like a dart, wings outstretched. Her bill made contact with the top of the box, getting her somewhat stuck when the cardboard didn’t exactly shred to pieces. She gave an indignant quack from within.

Titania looked over, chuckling as she removed one of her gauntlets to tear the box open a bit more so Faith could escape. “I’m going to tease you over this for years.”

As Faith transformed back, her bill lined up with one of the tears Titania’s claws made, allowing Faith’s duck bill nose to easily slide out of the box. “I mean, it was intentional. But you can do whatever you want.” Faith tore the box perpendicular to the previous tears, making the contents inside known to the duck. A beautifully-made necklace with small flecks of gold inlining around a ruby that had a small glyph in the middle. On the back of the necklace was smoothed stone with the words ‘To the most amazing daughter that I was ever blessed to have.’ The silver bands that made it a necklace each bearing a small duck with the topmost showing a wolf. “I… I hope you… like it?”

Faith had no words to say except, “Jewelry…” She tilted her head slightly as she read what was on the back, her face showing no emotion. “I’ve… never gotten jewelry before. Even about a week ago, I… bought my first dress… This… is too much.”

“Oh… I-I’m sorry. I can… take it back if you’d like?” Titania started before her thoughts offered a different statement. I know you haven’t had much jewelry but I was hoping to get you something you’d like…

“N-no… It’s definitely not… a bad thing…” Faith was way too silent, seemingly lost in her head while admiring her gift.

“I… I wanted to give you something that… I personally haven’t gotten anything other than a sword from my family. That and training, and, I… I wanted to give you something so even if I’m gone, you still have a little piece of me… and your, uh, grandmother.”

“Wow, I’m terrible at gift-giving…” Faith mumbled to herself, picking up the necklace and holding it to her chest.

“I, uh… may have gotten you some other things… that you… might like.” Titania practically whispered, her carefully hidden shyness coming out.

Faith wrapped the necklace around her neck before standing up. “Okay… But stop being shy. You’re making me feel shy… And I’ve already been shy… Too much, one could say…”

“Apologies… I'm quite self-conscious at times. I'll try to seem a bit more confident.” Titania started before asking, “So you like it?”

“Yeah.” Faith turned around to smile at the prone Titania before moving towards the door to grab the second box from the tower. She came back to place the box on the bed, looking at Titania expectedly.

“I wanted to ensure your safety and… well that one is technically two presents. One for battle… one for home or when you go out. “

“Thanks for the forewarning.” Faith joked, opening the box normally. What laid inside was finely crafted leather armor, each piece tailored to Faith’s measurements. Engraved on the chest piece was an empty circle, devoid of any other noticeable design. The entire battlewear was done up in her favorite colors as well.

“I wanted to leave the circle unadorned so when you get a symbol you want for yourself, you can put in on your armor” Titania explained.

“I’m not creative enough for that…” Faith muttered, depressed.

“Says the witty and incredibly smart woman.” Titania countered, as she rubbed Faith’s head. “Don't be so tough on yourself.”

“I don’t know if that translates to creativity.” Faith pointed out.

“Being witty does. You have to be clever and creative in order to create good puns or jokes.”

“That still doesn’t mean I can put shapes in a pretty pattern.”

“Symbols aren't made like that… at least, not entirely. They're formed over harrowing adventures, fighting or just through living life. When a specific moment comes where everything just… clicks, you'll have found what you were looking for. You'll have your symbol.” Titania advised slash lectured.

“Is that what happened for you?” Faith asked, wondering if her mother was speaking from experience.

“I… I have up having a symbol, given the fact I technically ran away from home to be a Hunter.” Titania said quietly, before brightening up, “But you will have no such hiccups like that, so it’ll be all good."

Unsure of what to say other than, “Okay,” she lifted the armor out of the box and placed it on her lap. A second glance at the box turned her attention to what was underneath the armor before it was removed. Still in the box was a beautiful, flowing green dress embroidered with silver flower petals. Each petal held a different engraved image, most being moments that Titania shared with Faith, save one. The One that was near the top showed a tiny Faith studying, a smile on her face. “I… am so bad at gift-giving…” Faith declared matter-of-factly.

“No, I’m just bad at not spoiling you… or maybe I just feel guilty at not getting you gifts in the past.” Titania tilted her head, her tone friendly and warm.

Faith floated off the bed and retrieved the last box by the door, tripping with a terrible step in the wrong direction. She knew she shouldn’t be moving around, let alone using magic after the fight with Jay a few days prior, but she couldn’t help it. As she pushed herself up, not noticing any bruises or broken bones, she moved the box to the bed with her magic, feeling the pain of hitting the ground reverberate throughout her body. “That… was not intentional...”
 
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Familial Reassurance pt. 3


Titania immediately grew worried, entering her near infamous mom mode. “Are you sure?” “You’re not bruised are you?” “Is there anything I can do to make you feel better? A cup of hot chocolate?” and other such phrases poured out of Titania’s mouth as she looked over her daughter.

“I’m fine… Just… I fell a lot faster than I thought I would.” Faith responded, not looking at Titania for fear that she would question her further and end up getting mad at Jay because she wouldn’t be able to keep quiet under the pressure. She sat down on the bed, adjusting the box perpendicular to her body before glancing halfway up Titania’s body, still unwilling to look her in the face. She waited for any commentary Titania might’ve had about the box between her hands, still radiating mild pain.

Titania’s tone became more authoritative,. “What’s wrong Faith? Is there something I should know?”

“I don’t think it’s a matter of ‘should’, per se…” Faith trailed off. “I think it’s more of an, ‘I don’t want a situation to become worse than it is’.”

“Someone did something to you? Who?” Titania asked, an almost murderous coldness to her words rising up.

“It’s uh…” Faith let out a fake cough. “It’s not something I couldn’t handle.”

“Are they a higher-ranked Hunter?” Titania pressed, her aura becoming murderous as well.

“I don’t think I’ve seen them kill any rabbits.” Faith answered, pertaining to the other definition of Hunter.

“A Hunter from our guild, are they or are they not? And if so, do they possess a B-rank or Higher?”

“I… have never asked them.” Faith stated honestly.

“Do you have any knowledge of their occupation, and if so, that they are a Hunter of a certain rank?”

Suddenly, Faith disappeared, a duck-shaped imprint within Faith’s robes where she would have been. The duck opted to stay silent and still, so as to protect Jay’s identity and to concede defeat, as she’d run out of clever things to say.

“Fine… if they mean that much to you… I’ll leave whoever it is alone. Just make sure they don’t hurt you again, alright?” Titania relented, sighing as she rubbed her temples.

The Duck Thrope reappeared, laying down on the bed and showing an expression that made it very obvious she was uncomfortable. She pushed herself up to a seated position and readjusted her underwear, irritated with the places they decided to shove themselves into somehow. “Anything I should know about this last present?” Faith asked as she finished adjusting her bra back into place.

“I… I’m sorry.” Titania said looking away sheepishly, before hanging her head a bit down. “It’s something to keep you safe.”

“Well, clearly, my mother has a lot of things to keep me safe from…” Faith agreed, unwrapping her gift and lifting it out of the box with relative ease. A green and black suit of armor greeted her, beautifully crafted with runic symbols in Elven, Doloran, and written Ophidian script. They all read ‘The Guardian of the world and of Life itself, may you forever succeed.’ It was fitted to her size and would look rather impressive on her.

“Umm… I know you don’t like heavy armor… but…” Titania trailed off.

“I’m sure I can get used to it.” Faith said, a smile on her face as she reassured Titania. She placed it next to the other items, tossing the box with the others.

“I know I can be a bit extra at times, and I know I’ve been rather shitty as a mother… I hope this will go a little towards saying I’m sorry.” Titania said quietly, raising her hands to her mask to remove it. She paused ever so slightly when she began, before revealing her cold, and hard looking eyes. They were fierce and showed little of what Titania’s carefree gaze had been.

“I don’t see exactly what you mean, but I suppose I accept your apology. Not that you needed to spoil me to get to that point.” Faith poked Titania’s cheek, as she was unable to do so with the mask in the way.

Titania reached over and hugged Faith. “It’s a parent’s job to ensure they’re child is safe… besides, I thought spoiling you would be a bit fun.” She said softly, resting her head on top of Faith’s.

“And now I shall suffocate in your boobs.” Faith announced, her voice muffled.

“Why? Can’t I have a loving daughter-mother moment without some of your crassness?” Titania groaned, her normal accent coming out.

“But it’s so hard… ‘Besides, I thought being crass would be a bit fun.’” The Duck mocked. “Still suffocating, though.”

“Suffocating, you say? With what cleavage?” Titania challenged, raising an eyebrow that made her hard look inquisitive. “Need I remind you I’m not that busty? I doubt a B-cup is enough to suffocate anyone.”

“I mean, if you squish them together…” Faith noted, moving her hands up slowly and creepily to insinuate that she would do so.

A flick to Faith’s head was Titania’s only warning. “Not even if I did that. Trust me, a couple guys I was intimate with experimented with that idea. They were sorely disappointed.”

“Yes, but did they have a duck nose?”

“No, but one did have an amazingly long tongue that could just--”

“Mmm, sounds kinky. Please, continue. Don’t let me interrupt your amazing story.”

Titania sighed. “You know, trying to be lewd and get you to stop doesn’t seem to ever work. But… grounding you from the library however…”

“I knew this would happen… so…” Faith motorboated Titania’s boobs, getting as much enjoyment out of it as she could.

Titania suddenly vanished, reappearing behind the duck Thrope. She put a hand on Faith’s shoulder. “Daughter…”

The duck let out a snicker. “Y-yes?” she answered, trying to hold back her laughter.

Titania’s grasp loosened, as a veritable tornado swept through the room, revealing many books Faith had before the tornado of speed disappeared. For a few seconds, the room looked like a disaster zone, before the blur seemingly returned fixing the room before Titania’s hand began giving Faith a noogie. “Bad Faith! Suffer a thousand noogies!”

“Nuuuuuuuu!” Faith cried, trying to cover her head. She threw her blanket over Titania’s head with her magic so that she could dive forwards and get under the pillow.

Titania noogied her daughter through the pillow, before suddenly letting up.

Faith refused to leave her sanctuary, the pillow still strapped to her head.

A sigh permeated the air as a shift on the bed marked Titania getting off the bed, slow steps which turned heavier as she probably retrieved her armor. The door made a soft creak as she tried to exit.

Faith fake-sneezed, forcing the door shut with her magic as she did so. The pillow hid her smile.

The older Thrope tried to open the door once more, using more of her strength than normal.

Faith’s magic pushed back. When she felt that all of Titania’s effort was on opening the door, the duck flew onto her head in animal form, relaxing upon it.

The Older Thrope stopped, and sat down, seemingly given up. However if Faith had seen Titania’s expression she might’ve been worried as the cold fury that normally sat on her face was replaced with some worry and dread.

The duck attempted to nonchalantly clean Titania’s sensitive wolf ears with her bill, using little effort to actually move her body to do so.

Titania reached up and gently scratched Faith’s head, making sure to not put too much effort in, less her claws cut her head.

Faith continued cleaning Titania’s ears, her feathers fluffing up at the wolf’s kind gesture.

Titania’s other hand went up to rub one of her ears, her nervous tick finally popping through her not-so-hidden concern.

The duck bit at Titania’s hand before pecking the top of her head, as if to ask her to explain her actions.

“I’m worried.” Titania put simply, knowing that would probably irritate Faith a little.

The duck rolled its eyes before stepping off of the wolf’s head into her lap, flapping its wings so that it didn’t hurt itself before relaxing once more.

“I’m worried about what’s going to happen with Hastur and his gang of cronies.” Titania explained further, petting the duck’s head.

The duck maneuvered its head to rub Titania’s hands with her bill.
 
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Familial Reassurance pt. 4


“I might not make it out of this one, Faith. Well, maybe more than ‘might’. It’s going to be far worse and I know many of the people who’re my friends will die.” She continued, sighing as she wrapped an arm protectively around Faith. “And so… I’m worried.”

The duck hopped out of Titania’s grasp and brought her clothing to her. As she transformed back to her human form, her undergarments slid on just in time to where even any nearby Gods who wanted to sneak a peek couldn’t. Her leather armor went on over those, and her heaviest armor on top of that. Her robes barely fit over both layers, but they were rather baggy to begin with. Her boots and gauntlets were left by her bed, as she didn’t find them too necessary to put on at the moment. She looked at Titania, her amulet on her neck reflecting the light. “We can do this. I still have some money, so… maybe we can get your armor magically embedded or something. How’s that sound?”

“I…” Titania started, her gaze softening by emotion for the first time since Kva’s death. “I want you to be safe. And I know you’ll come with us to protect me. Just promise me something, okay? Promise me that despite whatever happens, you will live on with your life.”

“I can only keep that promise as long as you live. After that, I will no longer hold it. Not to say I’ll kill myself if you do end up dead, but I won’t be so meticulous on surviving after that point, is what I’m saying.” Faith shrugged, sitting down next to Titania. “I believe in you.”

“Well… dammit, you make it so hard to be pessimistic…” Titania sighed, before meeting Faith’s gaze. “I promise that I will try to survive… but--”

“Sh-sh-sh-sh-sh-shhhhhhhhhh.” Faith interrupted, holding a finger to Titania’s mouth. “No buts. You said you will try to survive. That’s good enough for me.” She gave her mother a reassuring smile before removing her hand from the wolf’s mouth. “Okay, now you can speak. So long as there are no more buts.”

“I don’t deserve to have a daughter like you…” Titania murmured, looking away for a moment. “If I think that you will be killed I will not hesitate to take that blow for you, even at the cost of my own life. Okay? I would become very evil if I lost you too.”
 
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The fallowing is done by Dhalexpert and ZombieSplitter53
How raiders prepare for the end


Themosa
Korra and the leaders of the Norsca tribe sat in the main camp tent. "Alright Lorica you wanted this meeting, so why did you call us all here for."

Lorica stood up, her face looking more serious then her typical savage look." Alright look we have to many people here, it's a good problem to have but for the last few weeks weve added not only the freed slaved to our ranks and those that havent, we also gained some more harpies on our side hell even three giants the point is we have to many mouths around here. So I Contacted Scarlet."

"You did what!" Crixus shouted. "You didn't think about telling us about this?"

"Look we need Scarlet as well as the rest of our money, and the ships we had, Crixus what i'm suggesting is that Scarlet helps us out and take some of the former slaves off our hands and take them someplace safe."

"I'm sorry, but who is Scarlet?" Korra asked, looking between the group. "Another of your... um, band of merry thieves?"

“She’s the most wanted pirate in Terra, Lorica knew her longer then any of us. She has a large pirate fleet with her.”

“And all the money that we raided from Halvan. But she’s also a smuggler, she can get us weapons trading goods and get Korra people out of here and some place safe.” Lorica said.

"Well, I'm only interested in getting the people who don't want to fight out. The rest of us need to stay and deal with this revolution." Korra glanced at Crixus. "How do you know you can trust this woman. She is a pirate after all. For all you know, she's keeping your money."

"We worked with her, and she gave was in charge of our navy back when we had one." Wulfric said. "Pluse when she was with us she also made a crap tone of money." Crixus said.

"Indeed Scarlet is also a vampire, well a half bread of one anyway." Wulfic said

"So we are consorting with bandits, pirates, and a rouge Dhampir's unassociated with the rest of their race..." Korra rubbed her temples. "I am going straight to Hell when I die. And one of my so called allies might be the one to send me there..."

"Ou come on that the fun of it all, now I also have a plan. See we have been raiding small towns, mines and all that good stuff and that's great but." Lorica patted Korra shoulder. "See we plan on raiding an actual city, a major city with a doc so we can get some ships."

Korra frowned. "That's extremely dangerous. It'll be hard to convince my people of the tactical advantage of doing that. I'll... need to promise a lot of funds coming our way to justify it."

"Here's your justification see you could use a city see we could continue raiding mines and taking down small towns. But the major cites is were the slaves are bought and were there are more of them there as survent and fighters for entertainment. Also the amount of money that major city have are outstanding." Lorica said smiling at Korra.

Korra ribbed her chin. "So... we drive out the army... and we can use the city as a staging ground for our attacks?" She gave it some thought. "Would still be pretty dangerous to stay in such a big place... but our people are spread out and our secret bases are all over crowded..."

"See it all works to our advantage, now as for us planing our attack I have a plan for that as well." Lorica looked at Marilith. "My serpentine friend there is a train station a the city we plan to attack now before we attack they may try to take the money away that way, think you and your people can deal with them so they don't go anywhere it will also help that doing this will prevent them from leaving and be forced to go on the roads were we could ambush them."

Wulfric and Crixus looked at each other. "Lorica when did you become a tactician? I mean usually your a savage."

"Well we have a lot on our table, we have this war to win for our friend here get the weapons we need to go back to the dessert and help Marilith with uniting the Ophians. I can't be crazy all the time."

Korra shrugged. "I think it's an improvement..."

Marilith laughed. "As long as you don't completely lose that savage side. You leave those trains to us. Not a single one will escape on our watch."

"Just try and disable the station, not destroy it," Korra attempted to caution. "We could really use those trains for our own purposes, and I know a certain underground railroad that could benefit from an actual railroad."

"Fine just be careful Marilith, alright. Now as for the city itself, I believe we need to discus this with our old friends. Marilith think you could get your daughter to call down our god friends for us."

The large Ophidian slithered off to find her daughter. Korra sighed and shook her head. "You know... I don't like having children so close to the battlefields," she mumbled. "Especially ones like Angelika who have little or no battle interest or knowledge."

"Look Korra." Crixus said. "We know what were doing, the children will be kept in a safe place with those that can't fight, now If Lorica is planning what I think she's planning. We will take the city before they even have the chance to defend it, leaving us with minimum casualty."

Korra nodded. "I hope you're right..." She looked to the side as the Ophidians returned.

"Hello everyone." Angelika glanced at Crixus and blished. "H-hello... Crixus..."

Crixus patted Angelika head."Hay there kiddo, look we need you to call our god friends you know the one of destruction and chaos."

"Hay why not Grimorra as well it's been forever since we seen her, who knows how she's doing." Wulfric added."

"Right, Angelika think you can manage that or is it to much for you? If so we could find another way to contact them."

"N-nope! I can do it!" She laid her book out and started drawing patterns in the ground with special chalk. She chanted over it, and the group waited several minutes.

A bead of sweat rolled down Angelika's brow when no one showed up. "I-I... did the same thing as...last time. Um... um... let me... try..." She drew out a much simpler pattern, many of them recognizing the messenger goddess' symbol.

Sure enough, Runseca rushed into the camp an minute later, several papers flying about in her wake. "Yo, what's up? Someone call me?"

"Ok number one thank you kiddo, seconded Runseca how are you it's been a little while." Crixus said.

"Oh... the raiders." Runseca placed her hands behind her head. "I'm okay. Been busy lately what with... everything going on. Looks like your numbers have gone up. Almost back to your strength under Valentine?"

"Almost, think you can bring some of our friends down here. We would like to see the goddess of Darkness destruction and bring the god of Chaos it's been forever since we've seen Sevlevar."

Runseca bit her lip. "Birusu might be a little hard to get. We have some serious goings-on in Aethereum. But I can try, and I'm sure I can get the other two. Gimme a minute?"

"What the hell could that have meant." Lorica looked at her brothers. "Hopefully we can pick up the pace on this war and end it quickly, sounds like we have another possible battle after were done with the dessert."

Wulfric sighed. "It never ends with us doesn't, but for now we don't know there situation so for now we do nothing and focus on this war and helping Korra."

Korra nodded. "Look... I don't really agree with... well, what you do and what you stand for. But... you have helped me, and we have freed more slaves then ever before. So before I lose my nerve and become my usual bitchy self... thank you. I mean it."

Lorica sighed.” Look you and I didn’t get along mostly because I enjoy solving my problem through fighting. But try and keep your head up, our race deserves more then this so keep fighting for our freedom here.”

"Here here!" Seclavar stepped out of a portal, currently in the form of a wolf Thrope. "You are my favorite race, after all."
 

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Part 2
"It isn't about playing favorites." Grimora stepped out of the portal. "It is about equality for all. That is what Alice fought for in her own way. So her people would be seen as equals, not superior." There was a young woman cloaked in black they couldn't help but notice was hiding behind the goddess of darkness.

"Here here!" Seclavar stepped out of a portal, currently in the form of a wolf Thrope. "You are my favorite race, after all."

"It isn't about playing favorites." Grimora stepped out of the portal. "It is about equality for all. That is what Alice fought for in her own way. So her people would be seen as equals, not superior." There was a young woman cloaked in black they couldn't help but notice was hiding behind the goddess of darkness.

"Um good to see you guys again it's been to long but who's your third party there?" Crixus asked.

"Her?" Grimora looked over her shoulder. "She's afraid you'll try and hurt her as soon as you see her."

“Hurt her, why would we do that? Isn’t that your daughter the goddess of shadows.” Wulfric said.

"No." Erinika stepped out of a shadow. "I'm over here. That is my reborn aunt, Tecunte, goddess of Chaos."

Tecunte poked her head out from behind Grimora, looking like a late teenager. She smiled awkwardly and said, "L-long time no see, Crixus."

Crixus eyes widen as he reached for his sword." What in the hell is she doing alive, I thought that she was dead!"

Grimora shrugged. "Part of her soul survived.”A more pure part. So with Alice's own permission, she was reconstituted to do her job right this time." She rubbed her chin. "Oh, um... Alice was reincarnated by the way. Sorry, been too busy to come let you know."

"So Alice is well and truly gone now huh, I hope that whatever life she lives now she finds her peace. But why no how, how could Alice forgive this woman that tried to use her for her own selfishness!"

Grimora shrugged. "Her long stint of penance taught her compassion I guess. Maybe... you should try the same."

"No, I... I hurt him too. And all his people." Tecunte stepped forward and walked up to Crixus. "I will... accept whatever punishment you wish to give me."

Crixus looked like he was gonna cut her down, but Wulfric stopped him." Crixus I get it Alice didn't trust her, but somehow she found a way to forgive her. For whatever reason she did so for now let's work with her."

Tecunte bowed her head. "I'd be glad to help to make up for my past mistakes. Please... give me a chance. I mean... your whole group is full of people who needed a second chance at life, right?"

"Well she does have a point, we have all been given a second chance by Alice. Were giving the Ophien a second chance hell the resistance were helping them out. So why not take the help Crixus." Lorica said.

Crixus took a deep breath and sighed and put his sword away." Were planing to raid a city again, we need your help to get us near the gates of it so they don't have time to prepare for the assault, do you think you could do that for us?"

"Also we need you to bring in Scarlet and her people, she by sea so they can destroy the doc so there. Think you to can do that, all of you?" Lorica added."

Seclavar scratched his head. "Shouldn't... be involved in this now that I have a baby at home, but I guess we can help you out for old times sake."


The three leaders looked at each other." I'm sorry what you have a baby?" Lorica questioned.

"How did you and Alice ha a... Could we see it by chance?" Crixus asked.

Seclavar nodded, and stepped into a portal. He returned moments later with a half asleep baby, with jet black hair and most of Alice's facial features in baby form. Her father smiled as he showed her off. "As far as I know, she is currently the only half god, half vampire in the world. She is going to be very strong when she grows up."

"Aww look at her, she looks like a miny Alice. Hiii i'm your aunt Lorica. That big red head guy is your uncle Wulfic and the other guy is your uncle Crikus."

The baby open her eyes and smiled at the trio while sucking on her fathers finger.

Angelika stood on her tippy toes to see the baby, speaking baby talk to the child. Erinika watched them all with confusion, her head tilted slightly. "What is it about a baby that makes grown men and women of your profession grow so... enthusiastic?"

"Because this is the child of our leader, this is Alice baby something that we didn't think was possible." Crixus said.

"Yea and she's so cute and looks just like our leader." Lorica shook her head."Besides how often do you get to see a vampire baby, not to mention the first ever vampire demigod?"

Seclavar chuckled at them, wishing he had brought the girl to begon with. "Who knows? Maybe when you're all old and grey and she's an adult, she'll command a great force like yours. Though..." He frowned. "I want a bit more for her. I want her to be great. I want her to be known as a hero of her people. I... I want her to have the credit for helping her people that Alice will never get."

"We understand that, We are Alice sword she wanted us to help her race that job is done. We are on our own now, but her ideals still stick with us."

"She could be whoever she wants when she gets older, now Crixus and Wulfric will probably be old and gray. I'm gonna live for a long time. Lorica said boasting about Thorphan loge lives.

"But regardless we need to plan our assault make weapons and get ourselves ready for the fight." Wulfric looked at the baby." And get to see more of this little one."

The baby smiled as she closed her eyes sleeping in her father’s arm, burring herself in them.

Grimora chuckled, stepping behind her own daughter and running a hand through her hair. "We will get you into that city. But... we have a small request to ask of you."



Crixus looked at Grimora.” That’s odd you typically never ask for anything, but sure whatever it is I’m sure we will find a way to handle it.”

Grimora frowned. "We are about to go into a great battle ourselves. One we might not survive. Please... when we go, watch over our children in case we... aren't there for them by the end."


"Why what's going on, I mean don't get me wrong we will do it. We will protect them as if they were our own, but what's happening." Crixus asked.

"It's Hastur isn't it?" Wulfric asked. "Has he finally made his move?"

Tecunte nodded. "We fear he has either been able to tap into his father's power and is about to summon him, or he already has in a weakened form."

"The gods are putting aside our differences, our egos, and our long standing sense of superiority to band together for one big assault on Hastur's castle," Seclavar added. "We will not stand by and let the world fall into ruin if there is anything we can do to stop it. People like the Havenbrook Organization put their mortality on the line to fight him all the time. It is time we risk ourselves all the same."

“The Trio looked at each other then to minara.” We need to get those weapons and fast, sounds like you threw could definitely use us. Is there anything we could do?”

The gods looked among each other. "Are you sure you want to take a risk like this?" Grimora asked. "Not like there is a profit in it, and you could all be killed."

“Ha Alice made us to fight this bastard in anyway, so of course will help you.”

Lorica looked at Korra.” And Well Help you win this war as well.”

Korra nodded. "I can watch the children while you guys fight if you want."

"There is a tactical advantage to including your group," Erinika stated. "The gods plan to assault Hastur directly while the Havenbrook Hunters fight the cultist. No doubt Hastur will summon as many cultist as he can fit in the castle from their main encampment. If you were to assault the encampment, you could prevent any reinforcements from arriving."

"Of course when that time comes you could count on us for that." Crixus said.

Lorica looked at Korra." Thank you for that as well Korra, but for now we have a battle to win. We need to capture that city, once we do that we move on to the next and the next gaining more allies and weapons. No matter what by the time you need us we will be more then what those bastards expect to fight."

Wulfirc steeped forward." But for now we take this one step at a time, our raiding will make you three stronger yes as well as the goddess of the destruction right?"

The trio nodded. Grimora smiled and cracked her knuckles. "Let's bust some heads."

"That's great now then Marilith you best get on that train, disable it as best you can. As for the rest of us we best be getting ready will ready the harpy's and our giants, I'll inform Grot about all this." Lorica said leaving the tent.

"I'll get our men in order, and tell them to be ready for battle. Korra I suggest that you get your people ready as well. What about you Wulfric?"
 

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Part 3

"I will help Marilith, with the train then i'll rejoin you in the assault if possible, right Marilith?"

"Sounds like a great plan." The snake woman grinned at him. "As long as you promise to keep up."

"Ou come now I should be telling you that, hell it will be fun the two of us working together." Wulfric smiling at Marilith.

"Can't wait." She looked down at her daughter. "Stay..."

"In the camp. I know, I know." Angelika sat down and hugged her book with a huff. "I never get to go with..."

"Kid this is a dangerous fight, we don't know how this will go also this is a raid. Not some kind of game alright."

"I know it isn't a game." Angelika mumbled, looking away. "And I'm not just a kid..."

Wulfric rolled his eyes.” Well she’s your daughter you want her to stay after that?”

Maralith nodded. "Ignore her. She is a child. She doesn't know what is best for her. Come... let us go get ready."

“Right best get a move on, don’t worry kid will take you hunting after this is over.” As Wulfric and Maralith left Crixus sighed.

“Well then Lorica is no doubt getting her monsters ready, so Hay kiddo wanna help me check on our men make sure there ready and to keep them in line?”

Angelika perked up, jumping to her feet. "Sure thing, Mr. Crixus. Just tell me what to do."

"Were gonna go over the camp and prepare everyone, and tell them what position they will be i during the fight. And make sure the harpy get there bombs and the giants... Make sure Grot has the other giants under control. What about you Korra?"

"I'm going to go talk to my people here in camp," Korra answered. "Bethany in particular has been arguing with me a lot. Partially because she and Lorica have their little rivalry going on. But I'm sure she'll be happy when she hears the prospect of our own city."

"Sounds like we have a plan, now then." Crixus looked at the gods." Are you sure you don't want to stay with us? And I don't know make sure Hastur doesn't search for you?"

They all shook their heads. "All of us are going to be needed for this fight," Grimora stated. "And if we lose... there will be nowhere to hide."

"Alright then well guess me and the kid will do the rounds and make sure everyone is combat ready. And don't worry you three we will be there for you, and tell our other allies that were with them to. And if possible ask the god of hunters if there is a monster we could fight and kill in his name to make him stronger as well."

"Will do." Tecunte bowed deeply. "Thank you so much. Let us know when you are ready for your battle." The three portalled away, Seclavar taking his daughter while Grimora's left with her.

"We will, come along kiddo best we make sure that everyone is up and ready for the coming battle." Crixus and Angelika left their tent and looked over the camp.

Angelika hurried along to keep up with Crixus, staying close to him as they reached the usual rowdy men and women of the camp. "S-so, um... what do you do first?"

"Me I look around and see who is worthy of leading certain groups, as well as who could be trusted into our inner circle. Now we take those that are rill and put them in line for the raid and make sure that they are put in there place."

"Oh... that sounds hard." Angelika looked around at everyone watching them. "I bet you're really good at it though, Mr. Crixus."

"It's annoying, but I also saw that you were displessed with your mother leaving you behind. Now why would you be upset about that?" Crixus said while looking at a Bull Thorpen.

Angelika hugged her book with a frustrated look. "Ever since I was kidnapped, she doesn't trust me. She treats me like a fragile jewel, one that'll shatter if I am in any danger. I... I want to help more. I'm tired of sitting on my hands while everyone else does the hard work."

"Kid were raiders, our work involves a lot of killing and burning and robing people it's not something a child should be a part of. I mean isn’t good that your mother is being a mother to you and is worried about you?"

"I guess..." Angelika looked away. "But... I just wish... I could be strong like her. And I'll never get stronger always sitting around camp."

"Then ask your mother if she could train you, I mean you want to get stronger but have done nothing to get stronger. Strength doesn't come easy, also your a child there's nothing wrong with being a kid believe me your gonna want to enjoy being a child for as long as you can."

She smiled softly, and nodded at him. "Okay, Mr. Crixus. Though I'm... more grown up then you might think." She swayed a bit, blushing.

"Really kid and how are you grown up huh?" He said as he sees some humans jumping the Ox Thrope, but the Ox just slammed one into the ground and punched the other into a hay bell." Excuse me kid. Hay you Ox Thrope!"

The Ox Thrope looked at Crixus surprised that one of the Norsca leaders is coming to him." Yes Crixus?

"Look if you wanna fight these pathetic mongols, you challenge them to a duel not fight each other in a camp best embarrass the fool then give him a hurt pride also in a duel whoever wins that your pettiness for one another is over. If you attack each other again you will get less payed continue to do so and you'll be scooping the beast pins for the next three months!"

The Ox Thrope and the human looked at each other, and nodded their heads." Fine Crixus, we will try and not have this happen again."

"Wow..." Angelika looked up at Crixus as the moved along. "That was really cool how you took charge, even though that Ox guy was bigger than you. I... I could never do that..."

"I couldn't ether a year ago until Alice found me, and she made me a better leader. Leadership is made child very few are born leaders, you need to be confident and not afraid to put your foot down."

Angelika nodded. "Condient. Put your foot down. I promise to remember that."

"That's good now come on we have more work to do."
 

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USA
Part 4

Miles outside the camp Wulfric and Marilth, road there way to the train station." Alright now then, so this is how were gonna do this, we get to that train take down the possible guards steal anything worth taking then we stop that train and disable the engine and keep it stuck there. Now as for the station we go in take it over and disable the train tracks."

Marilith nodded. "Sounds good. And we can kill the guards, right? Korra won't get butt hurt if they're in uniform, right?"

"Sure we could kill the guards, now the people that may possibly be on the train we let them go alright. I gotta say Marilith I’m surprised that you didn't want to bring your daughter on this gig."

"She's too weak." Marilith sighed, stretching out her body. No one wanted to share a train car with a huge snake woman, so they had the car to themselves. "I know what you're thinking. And it isn't true. I... I really do care about her. Seeing the other children at camp, I see now that she should have a right to choose. I don't want this life for her. It isn't that she is too weak to be a bandit. She is too smart to waste her potential."

"Ou by the gods, you actually care about her that's nice it's surprising that you want more out of her. Compared to when we first me you didn't care for her barley at all."

"Yeah, well... things change. People change. But keep this between us... or I'll gut you like a pig. I will talk to her when I am ready, and I don't need everyone thinking I've gone soft."

"Of course this will stay between us now then best we get this over with, we got a job to do and the quicker we get this done the quicker we could get back to the others." Wulfric stood up and started to make his way to the front of the cart.

As they did, people gave Marilith a frightened look, the large Ophidian squeezing past them. "At least we don't have to worry about them getting in the way," Marilith stated, the passangers all quick to rush into the cars they came from to avoid her.

"You know it's a shame that people are afraid of you, they don't see the beauty in you. But then again it does make things a lot easier so people don't get in the way of us."

Marilith smiled and the compliment. "I like being feared. And only those who can see my beauty beyond the fear are worthy of me. That's how it was with Angelika's father. That is how I would like it to be with the next man I bed."

"Well as much as I would live to learn about your past and who your last mate was." When Wulfice opened a cart door there was a guard trying to stop him, Wulfric grabbed the man and slammed his head into a wall until he finally threw him out the window. "But we have a job to do, now don't we." Wulfric pulled out his hammer and sheild and mover forward." You wanna take out the next couple of guards?"

"Leave it to me!" Marilith snaked forward, a pair of surprised guard pulling out swords. They chuckled, think the snake woman a big target who couldn't do much in the tight space. She surprised them again with how nimble she was, moving her lower half forward and slamming them into the wall hard enough to break their spines. They didn't have time to worry about that, as they too were thrown out of windows. "This is fun," Marilith cackled.

"That it is, I would consider the men you just took out lucky I woulden't mind getting wrapped by you." Wulfic pushed forward using his shield as a battering ram to ram into another guard dropping him to the ground and slamming the bottom part of his shield to smash his head in. Another guard tried to attack Wulfric but he used his hammer to block the attack and headbutted the man stunning him, Wulfric then used his hammer breaking the man’s ribs and punching his lungs.

"This train is... well-guarded..." Marilith stabbed two of her swords through a man. "Well, not well guarded, but it has a lot of guards. Think they're expecting us? Or maybe there is something valuable on this train."

"I doubt they were expecting us, since we’ve been in the country side and raiding mines and small villages and the occasional town. So that means they more than likely have something valuable on board or someone valuable, if it's a person then we could hold them for ransom after the siege." Wulfice continued moving forward smashing the skull of another guard.

Marilith slithered backwards, taking out the guards that tried to get them from behind. "Looks like we're almost to the front."

“You know I expected more security, you would think that raider being in the area you would secure your valuables.”

Marilith laughed as she ran another man through. "If this is lax security to you, I'd hate to see what heavy security is."

“You should see a shipyard, there security that’s were all the good stuff is.” Finally making it to the front of the cart, Wulfric kicked the door down.

The conductor swirled around, staring at the two in fear. "W-what do you want?!" she asked, slowly approaching the wall.

“Ou Don’t worry we won’t kill you, yet but why all the security on this train?”

The woman kept creeping to the side slowly. "Here? Nothing! We're just... t-transporting soldiers. The, um... the main transport train... broke... down."

Wulfric looked annoyed by the conductor obviously lying.” Marilith would you please wrap yourself around the woman.”

The woman dove for a big, red button on the wall, but the snake woman grabbed her before she reached it, wrapping her tightly. "No!" she yelled. "I... I can't! You'll just kill me afterwards anyway! And if you don't, the King will!"

“Look lady my friend could kill you but squeezing you so hard you’re inside come out or our coming gang could rape to death. Or you could tell us the truth about what on this train and be our prisoner and live with us.”

"Alright... alright! Veronica Themosia! She's hidden on the train as a regular passenger!" The woman declared.

“I take it that she’s royalty, could you tell me more about her.”

"R-royalty? Sh-she's the only princess of the kingdom!" The woman desperately tried to get free, prompting Marilith to squeeze harder. "Ah! Please, I... I don't know! I wasn't shown to her! A-all I know is she has purple hair and eyes! Really, they only told me she was on board so they could threaten to execute me if she didn't get home safe!"

“Hum Ok Look, we believe it or not will not kill you if you play along with us, I want you to stop the train so our boys can get on. Then we kidnap this Veronica woman and you will play the kidnapped victim as well alright?”

D-do I have a choice?" she asked.

"Nope." Marilith released her and shrugged. "I mean, we could always kill you and try and drive this thing ourselves."

The conductor sighed, removing her hat and scratching a small cat ear. "I don't make nearly enough for this," she muttered, putting the hat back on and going back to the controls. "The next stop is the last one before the city. You want me to stop there?"

“No your gonna Keep this train moving, we will stop just short of the city. See we plan on reading that city, and it would be best that we don’t add more passengers to that fight.”

"Fine, fine." She sped up the train a bit. "But you're costing me a job that was really hard for someone like me to get. The least you can do is keep your promise not to kill me. Oh... and you have to promise not to hurt the princess either."

“Ou you won’t be harmed, and she’s to valuable to hurt. But keep playing along and we will pay you.”

"I'll keep that in mind," she responded, smiling.

Marilith nudged her head back. "Wanna go find the princess, or wait for the others first?"

“Let’s wait for the others, this security was nothing compared to what we’ll face.”

It wasn't long after passing the next stop that the conductor spotted dozens of men and women stepping out of a portal. "Weird," she muttered, and slowed the train to a stop.

“Boys it would seem we have royalty on this here train, now her name is miss Veronica Themosa. Now according to our friend here she has purple hair and eyes, so get to searching up and down this train for her and bring her to me!”

The bandits went up and down the train, killing more of the soldiers along the way. They returned a bit later with several woman the right age, and one of them pushed forward a woman with violet hair and eyes. "What is the meaning of this?" she demanded.

"Simple are you the only princess of Themosa, Veronica? If you are I'm Wulfric this is Mirilith and you are our prisoner."

The woman sighed and nodded. "Yes. I am Veronica Themosia. Leave these women be, and I will come quietly."