Hunters of Terra Dolor (Role Playing Section)

ZombieSplitter53

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The Cow Thrope dropped her sister, looking at her Mother with tears in her eyes. "I... I can't believe it's you..."

"I'm so happy you're safe Carol!" She rushed up and hugged her, it was clear that the years without human interaction or touch had taken quite a toll on her.

Methos helped Mags to her feet. "You okay?"

"Kinda queasy..." Mags chuckled, smiling at the both of them.

Methos rubbed her back. "Come on. Let's go see how the rest of youur family reacts. I especially want to see your younger sister."

"Her poor heart." Mags chuckled, wrapping her arm around the two of them. "Come on. Let's go see the rest of your family."

She nodded happily, happier than she had been in years, as they walked into the home. The first one to greet them was their father who was currently sweeping up around the house. He looked up a Carol before seeing Maribeth. "Carol, who... I... Oh my gods... Mary..."

She covered her mouth, she was Speechless.

Methos felt like her heart would stop watching the reunion.

"John..." Her voice cracked as he dropped his broom, running up to her and kissing her.

It lasted a while before they pulled away, both of them sobbing now, "Beth... I thought... I thought you were gone... Dead or worse..."

"I'm here John... I'm so sorry I left... I... I couldn't take sitting while Carol was gone... I had to... I thought I had to... But you all needed me just as much and I failed you..." She pressed her forehead against his.

"No... We failed you... I failed you... I'm so sorry..." He said through a pained voice.

"It's not anyone's fault. We were all just people dealing with grief and pain... Neither of you are to blame." Mags told them, choking up as well.

Methos leaned next to Carol and whispered, "Why don't you hurry and get your other sister?"

Carol almost jumped, "You're right!" She then quickly made her way over to Selene's door.

"Selene! Come out here! It's really important!" Carol called.

A voice spoke from inside, "Hmm...? What? What is it?"

"Just get out here sleepy! It's really important!" The Sheep called around. There were tumbling sound and a yawn before the bird Thrope opened the door, her feathers ruffled.

"Mmm... Yeah?" She rubbed her eyes. "What is it? M-Methos?"

"Hello, Selene." She motioned towards her mother. "We have a very special surprise for you."

"Wha..." She looked as her mother turned to face her.

"Hey Songbird..." Maribeth said through the tears, opening her arms up.

Selene just shook her head, covering her mouth and falling backwards like she had seen a ghost. "You're not real... There's no way you're real..."

"Come now..." Methos knelt by her. "You live among the gods. Is this really that hard to believe?"

Her breathing hitched slightly, "Momma... I'm so sorry... It's my fault Carol was-"

Maribeth kneeled down and shushed her, "You still believe that? After all this time? It was never your fault dear."

Selene just pulled her in tightly, weeping loudly as John and Carol joined them, Mags smiling contently, wrapping her arms around all of them last. The Sheep then looked up at Methos, motioning her to join them.

Methos did so, hugging them all tightly as she too shed many tears.

It was a long time before they broke apart, John, Mags' Father smiling, "Let's get a good dinner in you."

She chuckled, "You. Good dinner? I have to see this."

"Well someone had to cook." He elbowed her lightly, the almost perpetually tired man gaining a glimmer back into his eye.
 

ZombieSplitter53

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Frostlich1228 & ZombieSplitter53
Norsca All Over Again


It had been a week since Rumi had returned home with the others. She thought that maybe she was in the clear for helping Norsca.

Then the summons came for her and, as far as she knew, only her.

She entered the chamber of the elders. Junior Elder members were being trained to act as advisers for the queen, but it seemed the nation would stay ruled by the queen for a long time to come. She was the hero of the short but bloddy war with Alice Valentine, and the people counted on her guidance. She was a hero to many.

She was a hero to Rumi at least, which was one of many reasons why Rumi was so nervous as she walked into the chambers, all heads around the lengthy table turning towards her, all voices falling silent.

"You... wanted... to see me, your majesty?" Rumi stated, her voice echoing throughout the room, heads turning to the chair where Lily Valentine once sat before her disgraceful excommunication.

"Yes dear. Rumi." Lana'thel crossed her arms at the table. "I first want to welcome you back. I was worried when you didn't come back with the rest of the Seven."

"Y-yes, sorry I was delayed. B-but I was... rrrright behind them, you see?" Rumi rubbed her hands nervously.

"That was a lot longer than right behind them, you were gone for a few extra weeks. What were you doing?" Lana'thel asked calmly.

"I... I-I was..." Rumi sighed. If the Blood Queen didn't already know, she would find out. Lying would only make things worse. "I was... helping to safeguard the children of... Norsca..."

Lana face just dropped, then she smiled again. "Um... What was that honey? Could you maybe explain?"

"You see..." Rumi stuttered a bit. "They, um... th-they had just defeated the cultist... y-you know, in service o-of the gods... a-and were going off to fight an Old God, Yig. S-so I thought I'd... h-help them out just... j-j-just this once... by protecting... children?"

Lana just looked at her advisors, "Everyone. I think this is a good time for a break. Please ajourn."

They Immediately stood up, able to read the situation well enough to know that they did not want to be there and after a few moments they had all evacuated the room. Lana cleared her throat, her smile dropping, "So... They were going to fight an Old One... They were vulnerable... And you offered to babysit for them? The kids that in all likelihood were kidnapped or held forcibly by them along with their parents. Am I understanding this right?"

The color drained from Rumi's face like a vampire had sucked her dry. "I don't... I don't think they... I-I don't... they don't kidnap children, they were... children of the... I didn't think..."

"Oh no. They just offer them a place in their bandit gang, training them how to be killers, right? I'm sure if they wanted to they could leave at any time, right? I mean, just ask Ergo how that works out." Lana stood up.

"Th-that was... under Al... the former leader. I'm sure... I believe they can leave..." Rumi took a step back even though she was some distance away from Lana. "I... we were sent there to warn them and get them to turn themselves in, and... a-and they were dealt a serious blow from the... Themosa army, so it... evens... out?" She wanted to run, her legs trembling.

"Well. The turning themselves in that was more of a formality you see. I'm going to kill them all. I didn't expect for you to get so... Chummy?" Lana began to walk towards her slowly. "What do you do with them? I mean, it must've been pretty pleasant considering how long you were there. Did you reminice about the good old days over some tea? 'Hey remember that time you guys forced the person who raised me to kill one of my closest friends? Good times right'?

"No, I...!" Rumi swallowed hard. "I didn't... I barely saw the three of them in charge. It was mostly..." She started to look desperate. "It was their weak and their children! I... I have a soft spot for kids. It reminds me of... when I was a kid, alone... and Gravel..."

"Gravel is gone... He left because they forced him to cut down his best friend... Don't you remember? He can barely live with the guilt!"

"And what if they had tricked you? Captured you! Killed you!? Mind controlled you again!?" Lana exclaimed, "What then... They're monsters. You know that. How could you do that after you swore to me that'd you'd make it up to me and stop them? To redeem yourself? After I saved your life? After I moved mountains to stop Helvan or Themosa from just executing you?"

Rumi broke into tears, sobbing like a child. "I'm sorry! I don't know what I was thinking! I'll never... ever... I'm sorry..." She broke down, collapsing onto the floor. "I'm sorry... I can't..."

She made her way over to her, rubbing her back, "Can't what? Can't fight them? Then I'll take you off the Seven. I'm not sure if I can even trust you still... They've gotten in your head again."

"No! Please!" Rumi stood up, trying to wipe her tears away. "I... I'll fight them! I'll go take them on by myself right now if you want! Please, the Band of Seven is my life! Don't take it from me!"

"How do I know you aren't some kind of mole for them now? How do I know I can still trust you? Honestly, you're the only Human among the Seven. You are more vulnerable than anyone. It's probably better this way." Lana shook her head like a disapproving parent. "You can take a leave of absence like Gravel. Clear your head."

Rumi bowed her head. "Please... I'll do anything to prove my innocence. I... I know I don't deserve it... but please give me one more chance."

"What can you tell me about their plans? What were they doing before you left?" Lana'thel sighed, crossing her arms.

"They... they were angry," Rumi told them. "They failed to defeat Yig, and planned to take him on again. And... a-and they were mad that the rebellion in Themosa abandoned them. They said they were... going to make the countey pay."

She paced, looking down, "So. It's like I feared... The Intel now is they've already started. Towns have been burned, cities taken, nobles and mayors executed along with anyone who tries to stop them, including the rebels. They've been drafting slaves into their army and continuing to kill and kill and kill."

Lana shook her head. "It's Norsca all over again."

Rumi felt several pangs of guilt. "W-what do we do? Do we move in to stop them? What if Themosa gets upset about us crossing into their borders again?"

"We have to pin them in. We'll lead them into a trap. When they attack Themosa City, they'll find the citizens evacuated. Then, the Royal Themosan army and hopefully us will surround the city, moving in and killing them while pushing them towards the coast. The Ships of Themosa will be moved and formed into a sea blockade, cutting off their only escape route. Being attacked by land and from sea they'll be slaughtered in one fell swoop." She explained. "However. I am aware that much of their army are escaped conscripted slaves. All we really need to do is cut off the heads of this Hydra. If we kill the leaders the rest of the Norsca army will break, the ones that aren't as brainwashed will likely surrender, the ones that are... We'll try to give them fair trails but many of them will likely die fighting us."

"Please let me join the fight." Rumi held her hands together. "I will prove to you that I am, and always will be, loyal to the vampires."

"Rumi... First tell me everything you know about the leaders of Norsca, the inner circle. Who did you meet? Who did you talk to?" Lana helped her up.

"Well... there is Crixus, A... A-Alice's former right hand turned leader. Wulfric, a human, and Lorica, a Thrope, work as secondary leaders. Lorica just brought in a bunch of new people but I left before meeting them. And then there is Marilith, a rather large, six armed Ophidian woman who brought a bunch of her people with her. I think she and Wulfric have a thing together."

Rumi scratched her chin. "Crixus is the most level headed of the group, but he is prone to violence like the rest. And Lorica is as wild as the beasts she tames. They also have a giant, a bunch of monsters, and a group of harpies."

"What is this Marilith's goal with them?" The Queen questioned.

Rumi shrugged. "I don't think she has a grand plan of building a nation like the others. I think she just... wants to get rich quick through killing and banditry."

"Well. That's where you're wrong. They want the same things. They could've had a home if they simply stopped trying to take it from others." Lana explained to her. "But look at them. Killing, burning, raping, pillaging, they didn't learn from Helvan. Now they're going to face the justice they deserve, all of them."

"You have a good plan to destroy them," a celestial voice said around them. "But I am afraid you are too late."

Lana quickly turned, her eyes darting around, "Who is this? What're you talking about?"

What appeared to be a light elf with flowing blonde hair stepped out of the shadows and bowed her head. "Forgive me for eavesdropping. I am Ledono, goddess of Creation."

"Well... You're not the God that usually associates with Vampires... Not that many do already." Lana'thel spoke to her calmly.

The goddess nodded. "Yes, you usually associate more with my nephew, the god of Death. But this matter does not concern him as much as it does my sister, Birusu. She has not directly assisted Norsca, but she does encourage them and they fight in her name. It has caused untold destruction as a result."

"So they've found yet another Godly patron like Grimora..." Lana sighed heavily. "But what did you mean I'm too late?"
 

ZombieSplitter53

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Ledono let out a long breath. She held up an orb, showing events that had passed. "The King raised the white flag before they could attack the capital. In exchamge for them leaving, and a large sum of their plunder, he agreed to end slavery for the lower classes and to give them... someone. It would seem the king preferred money over retribution for their evil deeds."

She lowered her hands. "Norsca is on their way out of Themosa now, likely on their way back to the Duchy of Kemar."

"That Coward!" Lana exclaimed with an irreverent fury, smashing a table against the wall. "How could you fall for their scare tactics! Who did he give away!?"

Ledono's shoulders slumped. "V... Veronica Themosan..."

"He traded his own daughter to bandits!?" Lana looked down, tapping her foot. "Alright... Then we'll do it ourselves. Just me and the Seven."

Rumi cleared her throat. "M-may I... make a suggestion?"

"Yes Rumi?" She turned to look at her.

"They plan on fighting Yig, Old Snake God of the Desert. Why not wait to see how that battle turns out? If they fail, Yig will kill them all. If they succeed, they will... be at their weakest, and then we can strike."

"And what about the Princess? How long are they going to get to do whatever they want with her?" Lana'thel asked. "They got their ransom so I don't know what they want with her. I'm thinking along the lines of rape and torture."

"Not to mention if we wait for them to fight Yig all those innocent Thropes and Children will be butchered while we take advantage of it. I refuse to do that."

Rumi nodded. "I understand. I will tell the others to get ready to move out immediately, with your permission."

"No. I... I want to show you something... You can come if you like Goddess, not that I could really stop you anyway..." The Blood Queen made her way down the hall out of the room.

Rumi followed loyally, and Ledono followed out of curiosity. Both wondered what she could possibly have to show them relating to this.

After making her way down the hall she turned the corner into what Rumi knee was a storage closet without much in it. However when they both caught up with her they saw her shifting boxes for what seemed like no reason. She shifted one from one corner to another, a click followed, then she moved another into the middle of the room, another click. Next, she stacked a box on top of the first one she moved, a third click, finally she moved the middle box a foot or so away, waiting a few seconds before moving it back, a final click. Afterwards the stone wall at the back of the closet area slid back and to the side, revealing a secret hallway that Rumi had no idea about.

"Whoa..." Rumi smiled nervously. "What do you keep back there?"

"I'll show you." As they made their way down, the air got noticably colder, almost unnaturally so. As they reached the room at the other end of the hall they saw what looked to be a large stone table and laying on it appeared to be a body covered in a white sheet. "Here we are."

Rumi got a shiver down her spine, thinking of the lab of Alice's horrible alchemist. "And who is this," Ledono asked casually.

Lana'thel sighed, reaching over and pulling away the sheet to reveal the cold, perservered body of Alice Valentine. "I went to great lengths to retrieve this after the battle."

Rumi gasped. "W... why did you take her body? And... what are you doing with it?"

"Because it's dangerous to leave in the wrong hands. Because if any powerful necromancer got a hold of it we would be in trouble... Or Vampire..." Lana looked back. "Her blood still contains the essence and power of the entire Vampire council."

Rumi's eyes widened. "That's right. She absorbed all of their blood. Shouldn't... we dispose of her in some way?"

"Or did you have something else in mind?" Ledono wondered out loud.

"I kept it for another reason... In case I was desperate enough, I could drink her blood and gain her power, along with my friend's..." The Blood Mage looked at her adoptive daughter's dead body.

Ledono gave her a sad look. "I'm... sorry things had to end the way they did. Maybe... if the gods stepped in more, to at least balance out those on her side, the outcome could have been better."

"They took... Everything from me... That's why I'm so protective of you Rumi. You're the only Daughter I have left..." Lana smiled softly at her.

Rumi looked down in shame. "I swear... I will never betray your trust again." When she looked up, it was a with a determined look. "We warned them. They were given a chance to leave. To hole up somewhere and be happy with all they had. But instead the decided to continue their reign of terror for greed and petty revenge. There... there will be no second warning."

Lana'thel placed a hand on Rumi's shoulder, then she looked back at Alice. "So... Should I?"

Rumi nodded. "Better you have the power then anyone else."

"Ledono? Do you have any imput?" She looked up at the Goddess curiously.

"It is... an awful lot of power for one person to have," Ledono stated. "But as long as you feel you can handle the responsibility, I do not see why you shouldn't."

Lana sighed, turning back to stand over her daughter, rubbing her face gently. "I'm sorry I failed you... I was a terrible mother to you... I just wish I could've done better..."

Rumi shook her head. "You can't blame yourself like that. You shouldn't."

"But it was my fault... I let her turn into that Monster... I should've been a better parent... I even alienated Kva..." Lana said with a hollow tone. "I thought maybe I could redeem myself... But that chance was stolen from me... I have to get rid of them, I can't let them kill anyone else's children... I'd gladly die to see them face justice..."

"I'll help you," Rumi assured her. "But you can't die. We all need you. I... I need you..."

"Rumi... Can't you see them for the manipulating, cruel, monsters they are? Can't you see why I hate them? They spin their evil like it's something good, like they're making the world a better place." Lana'thel turned around without taking her hand off the table. "They're so self righteous and... Arrogant to think that they can just waltz around in the open after killing my daughter... Dorian... Killing Ergo and experimenting on his people... No, they have to die. For all the good people that died stopping them. For what they did to you. We have to finish this."

Rumi squeezed her fist tightly and nodded. "I understand. I will not be fooled again."

"Good... Then I suppose that only leaves one thing..." Lana'thel looked back at the corpse, this time just for a single moment, before gingery reaching down and sinking her fangs into her arm. The corpse's skin sank into the face, the remains of the Vampire who caused all of this deteriorating in front of them before The Blood Queen pulled away.

She could feel the power, it was a lot, her dark magic pulsed powerfully in her veins, as it stood, she was likely the most powerful Vampire in the world now, maybe even in history. Lana let out a heavy sigh, "There. It's done."

Ledono gave her a concerned look. "How do you feel?"

"Powerful... But still empty inside... Guess that won't exactly change any time soon..." She shook her head.

Rumi rubbed her arm. "Come on... let's go make a plan with the others."

"Actually... Can you fetch Marlee so the three of us can speak in private. I'd like a word with her too." Lana'thel asked.

Rumi nodded, and took off. Ledono bowed and said, "Thank you for sharing this secret." She opened a portal and stepped through, saying, "I wish you luck, Blood Queen."

"Is there anything you can do to help us fight this? A blessing? Something?" The Vampire looked up at her.

Ledono paused, then stepped back out, amd wrote a sigil in the air. Lana glowed for a brief moment. "When the time is right, this blessing will activate, giving your troops an increase in vitality. It isn't much, but it will assure your people can fight a bit harder then they normally would. It is only fair for you to have some advantage, considering Norsca had the War goddess' blessing during your last fight with them."

"And the Goddess of Shadow interfering." Lana reminded.

Ledono nodded. "I am sorry. But this time, you will have more then one goddess on your side," she assured Lana before finally taking her leave.

After Ledono left, Lana'thel made her way back out to meet up with Marlee, closing the secret passage behind her.
 

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She found Marlee and Rumi waiting in the Chamber of the Elders. Marlee avoided eye contact, obviously afraid she was in trouble.

"Marlee. Rumi recently informed me that they were... Well, you were, rather cordial with the Norscans..." Lana stepped up to her, dark power almost licking off of her, but she didn't seem to be angry. "Would you say that was what happened?"

"Y-yes..." Marlee bowed her head. "Forgive me, my queen."

"You should despise them. Alice kidnapped you, mind controlled you, and literally treated you like a Dog." Lana stepped around her. "Didn't you say you wanted to repent for your crimes as well? For what happened to Kva?"

Marlee nodded shamefully. "I swear to you, next time we meet... it will be as vicious enemies. I warned them as much."

"Good. Make sure. And while I love you two, if this happens again, it will be treason, understand?" She leaned down, looking into Marlee's eyes. "Remember why you fight them. I'm sure you know about they're recent actions in Themosa, so I won't repeat myself."

Marlee nodded nervously, but looked determined. "Understood, my queen."

"I'll be coming with you..." She brought them into a big hug, "And please. Be safe."

They both smiled, hugging her back and reveling in her warm embrace.

"Oh! I almost forgot." She pulled away, "There's someone I'd like you to meet. I had been looking for someone to fill in the final place in the Seven for some time, and I think I found him."

Rumi and Marlee exchanged a grin. "Who is it?" Rumi asked excitedly.

"I'll show you. I had some men fetch him on the way here. He's been living in Draculesti all his life, he's a skilled warrior and spellcaster, but unfortunately a tragedy has befallen him due to recent events." Lana'thel informed them, "He's... A little eccentric though."

"Like... eccentric in what way?" Marlee asked.

They heard a number of footsteps rounding the corner of the house behind them, walking with two guards was a man in long black leathers rife with straps and belts. He had messy, long black hair that reached down to his shoulders, he held a long cane or staff in his left hand. As well, he had a faceless white mask nestled in past his long hair, completely hiding his appearance, the only feature on the mask being two pointed, carved eye holes.

"Girls. This is Abathur Widowghast of the Noble House Widowghast." Lana stepped back.

He bowed, his aged voice muffled, "Hello. Rumi and Marlee I believe? A pleasure."

They both bowed back. "Welcome, Mr. Widowghast," Rumi said. "We didn't expect a nobel to be joining us."

"What? Don't think I can keep up? Rest assured..." He cocked his head to the side.

Marlee waved her hands. "No, no, that isn't what she meant at all. If the queen chose you, you must be quite strong."

"To be honest though. Being considered a noble is... New to me." He mentioned. "My house took over house Valenestra's place."

Rumi and Marlee's shoulders sank. Despite what they thought of Alice, Lilith had been important to them. To hear her noble house was dismantled was another reminder that they would likely never see her again.

Lana'thel sighed at this, she missed Lilith, but banishing her was the least she could do, she murdered all of her closest friends and mentors. "You... Understand I did what I had to do, right?"

They nodded. They might not have likednit, but they understood her reasoning. Deep down, they new it was right.

"Anyway. I... Am looking forward to working with you..." Abatur nodded.

"Another thing... His daughters were recently kidnapped, we don't know where they are. If you could look into that while
you're deal with Norca. I'm sure he's greatly appreciate it." Lana noted.

Marlee nodded. "We would be happy to. I've... heard some bad rumors coming from Themosa..."

"My daughters names are... Ashira and Ariamis Widowghast... I... They should've been the ones to join, they love the Seven, but now I'm here in their place." The Masked Man spoke somberly.

Rumi smiled at him. "Don't worry sir. We'll find them. You can count on us."

"Thank you... But I'll be there with you." He held out his hand. "I'm happy to work with you."

They both shook it warmly with a smile on their faces. The band of seven was whole once again.
 

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Bandit Princess


Virando

The Norscan finally made there way out of Themosa and just like Crixus said there food rain out but lucky for them they were in the land of farms and wealth. Crixus made his way to his tent Were Veronica was." You know you don't have to stay here right I mean you have been training pretty good lately."

Veronica nodded. "I know, and I thank you. But someone has to stay behind and defend the camp. After all, we're in unfamiliar territory."

"Weve been here before for a very short time actually, but now comes the what we need to talk about." Crixus sat on his bed." The food we hunted is gone and there's no water."

Veronica nodded. "I noticed. You ever think of... settling down? You know... growing and raising your own food?"

"Veronica come here for a minuets sit next to me." Crixus patted that spot next to him on the bed.

She sighed, but got up and sat next to him. "Yes?"

"We have had a lot of homes, we were originally in Serasam had village there. We then conquered the capital of Halvan, when ever we do have a place of our own place we do grow our own food croops and the like. I told Korra this before she fucked off on us, I do plan on finding us a home but not while were on the run like this."

"Well, stop being on the run all the time." Veronica shook her head. "Find a place only you would know about and build a community there. Use the gold you've been gathering to buy food and water instead of hoarding the money and stealing the food. You... you can't be raiders forever. Eventually, all the enemies you make are going to catch up with you."

"I know that!" Crixus shouted. "I know that, tell me Veronica how can I pay for food and for my men? How do I get a ship to get us away from this country, would my men still fight if they wren't getting paid. Some sure if there blood thirsty, so tell me Mrs Veronica how can I get ship material to make weapons, enough food and water for us to leave this island without being ripped off by the nations that want my head.!?" Crixus asked seeing if she could figure out something he hasn't.

She sneered at him for a moment, and looked away. "I don't know. Maybe you should evaluate what is more important, and your people should too. Being safe and secure, or fighting. You might be surprised how many of your men would rather settle down then keep fighting. And those who don't... maybe it is time to let them go."

"It's not that easy there are a few things we need to settle before we leave this land we have to help the gods with one task that that would be it. Then we get money and food and some ship so we could leave this land and start our own lives." Crixus held Veronica hand. " I'm trying to defend my people, I am and they will always be my first priority. But I have a question for you how do you tell people that has been fighting for so long that we may not know anything else?"

Veronica shook her head. "I... don't know. I guess you just tell them... and hope they trust you as a leader."

"It's a lot of things Veronica, I don't think we can stop fighting. Maybe when our job is done here, I might have to ask them that question." Crixus put his hands on his face and looked at the ground." Do you know why I don't like Korra?"

"Because she left when you needed her. You blame her for the loss of your troops. You probably think she is some kind of coward."

"No I get why Korra left us, it was bad for her image. Doesn't look good when your a freedom fighter when your working with the most wanted raider group in Terra history. I hate Korra for the way she did things, if she had come to us face to face and just say. Hay thanks for your help but it's best we separate, if she had done that. I wouldn't hate her."

Veronica lowered her head. "Then you... shouldn't hate her. You should... should hate me." She sighed. "I am the one who convinced her not to come to you directly. I didn't trust you not to... simply kill the rebels in anger. You know you could have. You even did so a bit by attacking towns where they were stationed..."

"Yea I told Lorica out of anger to see if she could burn them, but Lorica attacked one of them and told me that there not worth the time attacking. They were just ordinary people with little defenses, so I ordered not to attack anymore of the resistance bases." Crixus looked at Veronica." Funny you asked Korra not to come to us, because you were fear full. And now your with us. I'm not mad at you ether Veronica after all you saw us as monsters don't blame you."

"But you still hate Korra, huh?"

"No because I get why she did it, besides I have thousands of raiders to look after. And then there's you. What do I do with you? Veronica do you know what I mean when I say you are mine and mine alone?"

"Sounds like a kind of... twisted sense of love. Not sure where it comes from." Veronica shrugged.

"You could say that, what I mean by your mine alone. That means that I want know one else in this world to have you, I will not have anyone else lay with you." Crixus lifted Veronica cine so she's looking into his eyes." When this is all over I want you to have my children, I want you to be strong enough to fight guild members like there weaklings. I want to see you tame monsters, I want you to do all this. I want you to be an amazing warrior and only showing your soft side to me."

Veronica smiled. "That is... surprisingly sweet. Not... sure about the children part, but... well, let's see how things play out..."

Crixus kissed Veronica. "Ou if i'm determend enough we'll see about the kid part, but for I still need to find a way to sleep with you without you feeling forced or disgusted about it."

Veronica frowned. "You do know that I still love Korra, right?"

"You haven't seen me try getting you yet. Once I set my mind to it, i'm sure you could love even me. Now come on I sen't a scout ahead to look at near by city, besides I wanna show you something I ordered my forges to make."

Veronica nodded, jumping to her feet and stretching. "Something for me?"

"Yea come along." As they left his tent Veronica noticed that some still looked at her as a piece of meat, though a lot less then last time." Thatch, did you get what I wanted for her?"

The man looked at Veronica he was human about the same height as Wulfric and looked just as strong. " Yea I got something for the munchkin." The man whipped out some armor for Veronica." Leather armor with a plate inside a nice litle feature so even if your stabbed it would stop a sword and ax in place, and you have some flexibility as well. He also tossed her a sword, the sword it's self was a cutlass." Decent equipment for a new raider."

"Wow, thanks." Veronica tried out a few practice swings and smiled at the feel.

"You could thank me by getting some soldier blood on it, Crixus thinks you have the making of a great fighter. I don't see it but I will trust Crixus judgement."

"That reminds me thatch are those certain item ready for testing?"

"The catapults yea and the special ammo is as well."

Veronica frowned. More killing. More murder. Korra failed to change them at all. What hope did she have? "You're going to bomb the city, huh? Won't that cause a lot of collateral damage and cost innocent lives. Not like you're attacking a fort with nothing but soldiers..."

"That's why it's a test, come along." Crixus walked Veronica towards the catapults it seem to once the object was fired it would fall back automatically, there was some weird glowing barrels next to them though.

Veronica examined them from a distance, afraid to touch them. "What are these?"

"See when we were last in the desert there were these monsters called Cockataks horrible beast, if you got bitten by them or if they breathed on you you will turn to stone the reason they could do this is because they eat a special cactus that is in that desert that if you touch the spikes on it you will also turn to stone. But Maralith daughter gave us a great idea launch poison into the fields to lower there numbers and force them out, so I decided to take that idea and modify it with catapults. What you see on the ground is ammunition, there's poison belfire frost bombs the works." Crixus said with pride.

Veronica frowned. More destruction. She forced herself to smile and said, "They won't know what hit them, huh? That's a... smart idea."
 

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"But then I though about how many people that want my head, and your god damn infuiance and made other versions." Crixus walked Veronica to another batch of ammo. This is what well be testing out today, these barrels are nonlethal, these are filled with paralyze a special fear ammo that will cause illusions and make the people fear in panic. But the one well be testing out today is sleep ammo, hopefully the towns folk will be knocked out for a day."

"Whoa..." Veronica blinked in surprise. "Really?"

"Yes because like I said you will be leading side by side with me some day, so I might as well listen to you suggestions." Crixus looked at Veronica. "You seem surprised, I told you your not my slave now all you need is the confidence to do so."

She nodded, smiling for real. "Cool. Let's try one out then. I want to see how far it flies."

"Ou now i got your attention, don't be smiling to much. If this does work you will be joining us when attacking one of the forts, the for that were looking at after this is filled with food water and money. So once were done with this get ready for fight Veronica." Crixus said looking into Veronica eyes.

Surprisingly, she nodded. "As long as there are no innocents, I'll do what I can."

"Good let's get to it." Crixus lead Veronica to the launching spot and told the men to fir at the city with the sleeping ammo they launched three barrels into the town, the liquid went through out the town making a large cloud. once it dedicated Crixus told Veronica to take a few of the men and go plunder the city.

Veronica followed closely behind Crixus. "Not a big fan of stealing from innocents, but at least we're not killing them."

“Just fallow me in stealing things, and watch yourself if any of the men or women do anything to you you’re on your own and I won’t help you. Do you understand Veronica?”

"Got it," Veronica assured him, holding on to the hilt of her cutlass.

As the raiders went into the city they saw the towns people sleeping, some even pocked a couple The were completely out, so they went about there business picking pockets homes stores they wanted to pick the city clean of everything. Veronica looked sad while they were finishing up, something weighing heavy on her mind. "How... will these people survive without food, water, or money?" she asked sadly. "We're dooming them..."

“Well if it isn’t Crixus prize Veronica Themosan.” When she turned around she saw a human standing next to her.

She blinked, and frowned. "I don't belong to him. I'm no one's prize. Who are you?"

“Ou you’re not Crixus woman even better, that man thinks he could keep you away from us well he’s nowhere around. The man pulled out a sword.” But I feel like softening you up first before I make you mine.”

Veronica jumped back and pulled out her own sword. "And what happens afterwards, assuming I let you? You know Crixus would never let you live."

“Ou you’re assuming that your gonna win this, I’ll deal with Crixus when I get there.” The charged forward and slashed his sword at Veronica.

Veronica jumped back again, barely blocking the attack. "Why are you doing this? We're on the same team!"

“Team, Ou I guess that resistance thing got you confused. You’re not on our side, you’re a slave pretending to be one of us.” The raider continue to slash at Veronica.” But don’t worry I’ll put you We’re you belong, in your knees begging us to continue to fuck you!” He yelled as he punched Veronica.

Veronica heaved, her knees nearly buckling. No one was coming to save her. Crixus wouldn't if he was there anyway. She had to do this herself. With her teeths grit and her eyes full of rage, she spat out a mouthful of bile and went on the offense, her sword swings surprisingly fast.

The raider was taken back he clearly underestimated Veronica thinking that this would be easy, for his miss judgement several cuts around his chest.” Now why you gotta fight back it makes me have to work harder, but that just means I’m be even rougher with you!” The man fought back and parrying one of her attacks and knees her in the stomach and punched her to the ground.

Veronica's elbows shook as she pushed herself up. The man was more skilled then her. She only had one hope to win. She slowly stood up, holding out her sword with shaking hands. "D-don't... make me... kill you..."

The man laughed.” You kill me Ou that’s the funniest thing I heard all day, you couldn’t kill a baby dire wolf if you’re life depended on it.” Now if you were to be my slave and sucked me dry and open your legs whenever I say so I might just forgive you.”

"I warned you," she whispered, dropping her sword and slowly walking over to him.

The man chuckled.” That’s a good girl, now why don’t you start with taking that armor off.”

When she reached him, she slowly slid a hand behind her, reaching for a clasp. Once it was undone, she reached her hand beneath her armor and quickly pulled out a dagger she had hidden underneath. Before her could react, she stabbed it inot his side, then used his shock and pain to run back and retrieve her sword.

The man dropped to his knees in pain, taken completely off guard by the dagger.” You fucking bitch, you’re gonna pay for that!”

Veronica held her sword firmly. "Don't blame me. Blame your colleagues for teaching me to fight like a bandit. And yourself for letting an enemy get so close so you could get your dick wet. Now, you can't fight like that. Drop your sword. Please... I don't want to kill you."

"Why are you so god damn soft?" A voice came from the side of the room and it was Crixus.

"B...Boss it's not it."

"Shut it you, I'll get back to you in a second." Crixus looked at Veronica with disappointment." Why are you so gods damn soft!" Crixus yelled.

"Being soft and being merciful are not the same things!" She insisted. "This man..."

"This man tried to rape, make you his slave. And you show him mercy, have you lost your damn mind!? Do you have no self respect or is this clouded sense of honor blinded you?"

"Don't talk to me about honor! Your stupid raider honor had you stand there watching while I was attacked, didn't it?! Would you have watched him rape my broken body too?!" She slowly approached the man, sword raised.

"If he would have gotten to a point I would have stepped in, and I recommend you put that sword back in it's holster because unless you plan on killing thin man. Or making some laughable attempt at fighting me you best put your sword down."

"I'm not going to fight you, stupid," Veronica snapped, this suddenly plunged her sword into her attacker's throat. "And I did plan to kill him. It is more merciful then anything you'd do to him."

Crixus looked at Veronica plunging her sword into the man throat, and smiled at the man. He then started to clap his hands." Wow congratulations you killed someone on purpose and not by accident, how do you fell about that?"

"Like I want to throw up." She glared at Crixus. "You know... if Korra was in your place, I'd have no doubt she would help me out of a jam. You? Or any of your people?" She pulled out her sword. "I trust you about as much as I trusted him." She walked over to Crixus and stared into his eyes. "You'll never except me as one of you until I can prove I can fight on my own? Well... I'll never except myself as one of you until I can trust you... and I... do not... trust you. Or your men not to use me. Or Lorica, Wulfric, or Marilith not to stab me in the back just for looking at them wrong." She stomped past Crixus, shoulder checking him as she did.

Crixus couldn't help but smile and say to himself." Her spine is growing, she's slowly changing but she still has that Korra thinking. If she could get rid of that, and understand that no one is coming for her. But time changes everyone." Crixus grabbed the body of the man and walked outside, as he walked towards the gates he saw a newspaper artical mentioning that the queen of Themosa was dead and that the resistance was over. Crixus grabbed the newspaper and returned to camp.

Marilith was stretching out and yawning. "That was too easy. What's the point if we can't raise hell?" She watched Crixus walked over. "Who's that guy? Who'd he die if everyone was asleep? Fall on his own sword?"

"This dumb ass was trying to rape our good buddy Veronica, and she fought and killed this fool."

Lorica and wulfric looked suprised." Wow so she can kill to defend herself i'm shocked to hear that." Wulfric said.
 

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"Yea and it turns out, apparently Veronica mother died. which is weird."

"How did she die?" The snake woman asked.

"According to this paper she died in her sleep, now we didn't see her when we were talking to the king so I just assumed that her mother was dead for years."

"Humm that is weird that the moment we take Veronica her mother would give herself poison instead of sending bounty hunters after us. Lorica questioned.

"What are you going to say to Veronica," asked Marilith.

"I'll wait it out, until we get what we need from this country." Crixus rubbed her head. "But she did make a great point, tell me all of you what do you think of me giving our people a choice. We can ether keep fighting and raiding tell were eventually hunted down and dead, or pay off our bounty and leave Terra Dorra and make our own home?" Crixus asked his friends.

"Crixus were is this coming from, is Veronica getting to you?" Lorica asked

"No I've been thinking about for a while now, we can't keep doing this forever. with the children we have with us and about five countries wanting our heads what do you all think?"

"I think you shouldn't trust anything that woman says," Marilith said. "No matter what you think, she'll never be one of us. I don't trust her." She rubbed her chin. "Although..."

"Although what, and trust me the feeling is mutual she doesn't trust us ether. But tell me what are you thinking Maralith?"

"Well, I mean..." She shrugged. "I guess it wouldn't... hurt to ask everyone. I..." She looked up at the others. Don't get me wrong, I like you three, and I'll go wherever you guys go. But if you decided to settle down... I wouldn't mind giving Angelika a nice place to live in peace..."

“Well I’m a hunter, I go we’re the food is, but settling down would be nice.” Lorica added.”

“And I will go we’re you all go, besides being with Marilith here and giving Angelika a brother or sister would be nice.” Wulfric added.

Marilith smiled at him, squeezing one of his hands.

"I love you guys your the best crew a man could ever ask for, so here's the plan. We attack the fortress then we go rading the towns doing what we did today. I know you don't like it Maralith I don't ether but we need all the people we can if we plan to save your goddess, once we get the food and money. I will give our people a choice once were done fighting Yig to ether come with us and stop fighting or to leave."

Marilith nodded. "I can assure you most if not all of my Ophidians will stay with us."

"And my tribe men will also stay." Lorica said.

"Huh thanks all of you, for putting my mind at easy. Looks like Veronica was right about something."

That morning the Norscans along with Veronica approached the fortress, and fired barrels of belfire to draw out the solders in the fort. Once out the Norscans would fired fire barreled into the group of soldiers. Crixus Wulfric and Lorica drove right through the soldiers. Wulfric was cutting through the soldiers like a hot knife through butter, Crixus looked like a one man army and Lorica was using her wolf rider to fire arrows into the group of soldiers.

Marilith was a moving cutting machine, slicing down all who stood before her. "Now this is what I'm talking about!"

As the battle was reaching its conclusion, Rebecca the cat Thrope, who was turning into quite the raider herself, ran over to Crixus. "Sir! I found something in the fort! Something bad!"

"Ou great figured that things couldn't have gone this easily, alright tell me what did you find?"

She pulled out a map of the country and placed it on the ground. "Look. These X's? They are all places we have been already. Virandio... h-has been tracking us, following our movements and predicting our attacks." Rebecca swallowed nervously. "A-and this map doesn't show the army positions like I'd expect it to, plus it was right out in the open." She looked up at Crixus. "That means they were either unusually sloppy... or this map was left out as a warning that they're watching us... and are coming for us."

For the first time in this Crixus skin turned pale he balled his fist tight, and called his generals and Veronica around." Ok i'm gonna say this a best I can, ether we have been getting sloppy which were not or We have a mole in our ranks!"

"What are you on about?" Lorica said.

Pulled out a map that Rebecca showed him." This X's are we we've been all over Virandio, which means they know were we are right now." Crixus and looked at Veronica. "Which means, if there is a mole we need to scrub them out."

Veronica backed away. "W-why are you looking at me?"

"Because it's probably you, 'princess'." Marilith pointed two right swords at her. "I knew bringing her along was a bad idea. Let's deal with her right now."

"Calm down I will deal with her, until then count our money and see if Angelica can get in contact with our god friends. I have an idea, now get moving!"

The rest of the leader begrugently left Crixus and Veronica alone. "Ok Veronica i'm gonna say this one time, did you betray us thinking that you could go back to the resistance. Because if you did I have some bad news for you."

"Bad... news?" Veronica took a step back.

"Relax i'm not gonna hurt you, that much. But I need to know if you betrayed us, or do you want the bad news that I gotta tell you first. Hell that might actually be better because you'll be forced to tell the truth." Crixus said in a calm yet cold manner.

"What are you going to..." Veronica shook her head. "I mean, no! No, I didn't betray anyone!"

Crixus looked doubtful but decided to go with it.” Alright I don’t fully believe you but what I have to say will shock you.” Crixus pulled a char for Veronica to sit in.” Veronica I don’t know how to say this but you’re mother is dead.”

Veronica's eyes widened in shock. "N... n-no. You... you're lying. You're trying ro upset me so I'll... so I'll confess. I told you, I'm no mole! I wouldn't even know how to contact anyone!"

“I’m not lying.” Crixus pulled out part of a newspaper, and showed it to her.” It’s not just her ether the resistance is also done for, I didn’t wanna show this to you because I didn’t want you to blame yourself.”

"N-no..." Her eyes read the paper over and over again. This couldn't be true. The resistance being done for could have just been propaganda from her father, but her mother's death was real. There was no reason to lie about that. There was no way to fake it. "No... suicide...?"

Crixus just looked at Veronica.” I’m sorry for your loss Veronica I thought she died years ago and that’s why she wasn’t around when we talked to your dad. I didn’t think she was still alive.”
 

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Veronica started to cry, her tears staining the paper. "No... this is all my fault!"

Crixus hesitantly hugged Veronica.” It’s not your fault Veronica, Look can’t control things like this but you can’t blame yourself.”

"But it is!" she insisted. "If... if I never betrayed my father's trust, he wouldn't have given me away... and my mother wouldn't have been so depressed! It's all my fault!"

“It’s not your fault, you’re father is a prick that would have kept you in a cell. Look at me, Look at me Veronica!” Crixus forced Veronica to look at him.” Listen to me your not alone here for you, I’m here to help and take care of you understand?”

She slowly nodded, then started sobbing loudly, burying her head against his chest and crying until her throat was hoarse.

He just stood rubbing her head.” It’s okay it’s okay I’m here for you until my men need me to get us out of this mess.”

After a while, she pulled away. "I'm... I... I need to... be alone for a while."

“I understand that, but for the love of the gods don’t don anything stupid.” Crixus left Veronica alone and went to his friends.” Right hows our money situation?”

"Better then it has ever been according to cat girl," Marilith said.

Crixus rubbed his chin.” Alright then I have a plan keep our god friends on standby, I need to do something.” Crixus walked to the highest part of the fort and looked down at his men.

“Listen up there is a mole in our ranks, they have been giving the local army our location for the past few weeks. Now they know we’re here, how many are there I don’t know it doesn’t matter because there is a worst enemy we’re gonna figh an old god in the great dessert. Now for those of you who don’t want to face an old god and think we’re gonna be raiding small village forever, take what you need to survive and leave.” Crixus said looking at his vast army.

There were murmurs amongst the crowd, many looking nervous, especially some of the newer, former slaves. Some did want to keep fighting, others were afraid to admit they didn't as they might be accused of being a mole.

Crixus rubbed his head.” Alright let me say this then, if we do some how defeat this old god we’re leaving this land.” Crixus put his ax down.” We will travel to the great north lands, or the lands to the far west and make a home there, no more raiding no more fighting, I don’t care if there’s a mole in our group. If you want to find a new home with us then stay and help us fight one last battle so we can finally leave this place. If that doesn’t apply to you, take what money you need and get the hell out. I plan on giving a home to those that never truly had one and give them a peaceful life, if you wanna keep raiding go join another raider group.”

Some of the men grumbled and walked off. But a surprisingly large number, at least 97%, stayed, letting out cheers and clapping. It seemed settling down appealed to them more then anyone could have imagined. It made Crixus feel like he was looking at one big extended family.

Crixus grabbed his ax and whipped his face a few tears escaping him as he walked to his friends who were sitting next to the gods.”

“I gotta admit Crixus that was risky, telling everyone about the plan. I’m surprised so many stayed.” Lorica said.

“Yeah now we really are a tribe of brothers and sisters aren’t we.” Wulfric added.

Marilith laughed, none of her Ophidians leaving. "Almost there. Now all we have to do is slay a god..."

“That we do but for now we gotta lay low and gather our strength so we’re ready for him.” Crixus looked at Grimora.” Hay Grimora can I ask a favor can you teleport us to Sarasam, back to the castle that we first used?”

Grimora blinked, and smiled. "Sure thing. Only a few people would look for you there. I'll get you all there in a jiffy."

“Thanks Grimora I Ou you one the rest of you gather the loot food and water, I need to go and check on our guest.”

Crixus walked back to We’re he left Veronica.” Veronica I swear to the gods you better not see your throat slit by the sword I gave you or your dead body, or you that you ran away.” Crixus whispered to himself as he opened the door.

She was sitting in the room, very much alive, though she had a dead look in her eyes. She quickly wiped her eyes when he entered and asked, "H-how did... things go? I heard your announcement from here."

Crixus smiled at the woman.” Come here you beautiful sexy woman.” Crixus rubbed to Veronica and started kissing her lovingly.” You were right my people trusted my judgment only a handful of them left, so many of them just wanna settle down and all the scum in my group is gone. Gods damn I love you and your ideas.” He went back to kissing Veronica being more passionate then the last one.

Veronica kissed him back briefly before looking to the side. "I'm... I'm sorry. I can't."

Crixus looked confused.” What this is great, you said you wanted us to change and I find out that the majority of my people wanna settle down and not fight. And Grimora is gonna send all of us back to our original output sob we can gather our strength.” Crixus then grabbed Veronica waist and brought her closer to him.” This is a time to celebrate so what’s wrong?”

"I'm sorry. I know... I know you want me. And I know you chose me out of all the women you could have..." She looked him in the eyes. "But I still love Korra. I can't betray her like this. Maybe... if things were different between the resistance and your raiders... maybe if she gave permission. But not like this. I... I'm sorry..."

Crixus looked heart broken to hear that, no matter what he would do she would never return his feelings. He kissed her again this time being quick about it.” Ugh still need you to help with the old god fight, after that well I don’t know what to do with you. I guess I could just let you go after our fight.”

She smiled at him, and hugged him tightly. "You... you're really not as bad as you let on, are you?"

“No or at least I try not to my people, and your currently in my care so I’m still gonna train you. Besides if sure if I fight long enough I’ll find someone or not. Figured with you I could make the impossible happen with a princess falling for a raider.”

"Not impossible. Just hard." She smirked. "I saw that cat thrope giving you eyes."

“If she wants me then she can come to me herself, anyway we probably don’t got much time before that army shows up and tries to kill us.” Crixus offered his hand to Veronica.” Come along Then, you’re about to see we’re we came from.”

Veronica gladly took his hard and walked out with him to help every one pack up.

That night when everyone pack there loot and food, Grimora teleported the raiders to Sarasam were they stood outside a gate. Crixus kicked the gate door open and saw that the small village they made outside the castle was still there. And it looked like no one moved into the castle ether.

“Ugh it’s been forever since we been here, welcome home everyone welcome to the birth place of Norsca.” Crixus said.

There were several cheers from the men as tents and fires were set up. Norsca was home... for now.
 
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Frostlich1228 & Black0ut present:
A Titan and the Forest


Titania had ran in remarkable time to Ahusirra's forest, her new God powers proving themselves. "Come on, Ahusirra. We need to talk."

It was quiet, then suddenly a large flower bloomed out of nowhere, the bud opening up to reveal the Goddess. Ahusirra gave her a smile. "Titania. Or should I say, Goddess Titania? It's good to see you."

"Titania is fine and I wish I could say the same. I admit, the cause of my visit isn't too pleasant." Titania started, rubbing her temples. "Just because I became a Goddess doesn't mean the grievances I had with you when I was mortal have disappeared. It means I have to work it out with you. Hence me coming."

"I see. And how do you plan for us to 'Work this out?'" The Nature Goddess asked.

"I see three ways: One, we could fight it out. While that may be cathartic for me, I doubt you'll say the same. Two, we could try diplomatic talking. Not my strong suit, but it may at least render me amicable to you. Three, you owe me another favor. Anything I want this time." Titania offered, crossing her arms. "Personally, I want option three, but everything else works."

"I assume this is because of what happened with Sylvie and Jay, correct?" The Goddess stepped forward.

"Yes, although it's more to do with Jay. I recognized your claim to her early on and was fine to let you do whatever, as long as Jay didn't get hurt. Considering his suicidal nature afterwards, I believe you overstepped." Titania answered, a defiant light in her eyes. "So. Which option do you choose?"

"I'd rather like to discuss it, if I might." Ahusirra sighed. "I'd rather not hurt the newly-minted Goddess and I'm not sure I know you well enough to give you such a powerful boon."

"Fair enough. Keep in mind, we were friends at some point, and even though I want to smash you into a tree or two, I still consider you as such." Titania's attire switched to a black full plate armor set. "So, explain. Why shouldn't I be mad at you?"

"I don't think I can tell the Goddess of Rage to not be angry." Scathatch chuckled lightly. "Honestly. I don't know how much you've been told about what happened in that cave."

"I'm smart. I guessed what happened. Sylvie was a Sylvan, her body lay in a bloody heap. The wound inflicted on her looked to be self-inflicted. And Jay was crying. The only way that would happen is if Sylvie died. So, My guess is that in order to become a Sylvan, you have to kill yourself, probably in a ritualistic manner." Titania replied, raising an eyebrow. "Which would be very dumb, considering the man Sylvie is with was a slave for over forty years and struggles to form personal connections with anyone. Not to mention, his dreams are usually nightmares of his past. Please, I'm all ears." Titania's ears did perk up at her words, almost humorously so.

"Sylvie needed to do it in order to stand a chance against Hastur and protect her people in the future. It's something every one of my daughters must go through. Especially now that we are so weak." The Goddess admitted. "But it's never easy to watch... And it's always hard on the loved one... What Jay went through was unfortunate but that doesn't stop the ritual from being necessary. I tried my best to calm him and explain to him that she wasn't truly dying, but I wasn't getting through to him."

"Let me say this again: I understand why you did it. But again, he was fragile to begin with. Watching Kva die in my arms hurt like hell. Even though she didn't die truly, she did die. I already got the gist of what happened to you, Scathatch, from other gods. You put him into an impossible situation: You made him watch her kill herself. The fact you broke him so extensively that you managed to damage his relationship with your champion and with his friends... He doesn't do anything with nature anymore, despite him loving it. That is why I am upset." Titania said quietly, her eyes flashing feral for a moment. "You didn't hurt Jay; You nearly destroyed him. Almost to the same point those cultists hurt your heart."

She was quiet, dead quiet. "It's something that I regret every time. I regretted it with Sylvie's Father too. I spent a lot of time with Jay before the ritual, I knew it would be hard for him. But it's hard for everyone. I don't expect him to forgive me. But... He did comfort me when I thought I lost my daughter..."

The Goddess shook her head, "But that means I owe Jay. Not you."

"That is true, you do owe him. Greatly. Seeing as you were the only person to restore his trust in the Gods. You managed to make him hate us angels even more." Titania started, staring into the other Goddess' eyes. "Now, I've only gotten him to be okay with me recently, but how long will I have my best friend for, due to your fuck up?"

"My 'Fuck Up?', you understand why I did it correct? And if you were aware that Jay hated Gods..." Ahusirra looked her over. "Then it's not my fault that you decided to become one."

"Maybe so, Ahu. But with Magdalene and me now Goddesses, what do you think will happen with Jasmine? He will teach her to hate you. And now I have no way to make him see reason." Titania pointed out, shaking her head. "Which again stems from your decision. You'll be lucky if he ever comes back here, even more so if his child does. And before you try to take her from him, he has proven himself to be smart and incredibly vengeful."

"And has he considered how Sylvie feels? If he really decides to separate Jasmine from her people, then we might have a problem." She let out a deep sigh. "I have tried to do nothing but support them. To make a difference in the world, unlike the other Gods who almost caused the apocalypse... I want to free the Slaves of the world and give them a new home, put an end to the practices of Helvan and Themosa once and for all. I want to help heal the world."

"To be fair, I do like the idea behind your actions. I think it's noble, what you're trying to do. However, you won't win favor with us- erm - mortals if you hurt them as badly as you did Jay." Titania started stretching, her eyes still on Ahusirra.

"Not everyone is going to like me... I accept that many will even hate me. But Jay... He's so protective... He's been through much pain..." She walked over, sitting upon a nearby mossy log. "He's a lot like me in many ways. Though I think he fails to see it. Perhaps that's why he detests me so much."

"Do you seek to repair your relationship with him?" Titania asked, sitting next to her friend. "I'll help you out if that's what you want, but I'm still gonna slug your arm. So... Why do you want to fix things up with Sancros?"

"Because as I said, we're very similar, we've both been through much pain. We both have a hatred of the world due to the wrongs we have suffered, we both have a darker side." Scathatch admitted. "And I like to believe that he is a decent person. I trust Sylvie's judgement. I merely think he has misunderstood what I want."

Titania disappeared for a moment, reappearing on the Forest Goddess' back, arms gently wrapped around her neck. "He is. He's... Very sweet. He bakes desserts for people he likes, especially when things are rough. He blames himself for things beyond his control... even if means going to war. He acts very stoic and standoffish, but he cares deeply about the people he lets in. To those who get to see that rare side of him... We become defensive. Hence why I was - and still am- upset at you. Jay is a troubled, good man." Titania whispered, her eyes softening. "Your prides are what separate you both. His to see a different kind of world, yours to change it. Let yours go and meet him not as a God, but as a woman, as a friend. He'll be mean and rude, but like any wounded animal, you must weather it to gain his trust."

She lightly smacked the Goddess' head. "Don't mess it up this time, Ahu. Sylvie and I cannot repair the damage a second time."

The Goddess sat quietly, looking down at the dirt below her feet. Something about her softened, she stopped being so standoffish, turning solemn.

After a moment, she looked up, pointing forward at a Maiden tree not far ahead of her, the arms of the Humanoid tree clutched close to it's chest and a mask shaped like an inquisitive Monkey. "Her name is Lania... She was such a soft-spoken girl... Her heart so big it was bursting out of her, she could barely contain her love for everything and everyone. She loved to paint, using dyes from plants she found in the woods. She loved Dandelions... She would paint fields and fields of Dandelions..."

"She loved a Man named Cabil. He was an easy-going guy, he had so much life in him, they fell for each other so hard. They would go on long walks through the night. She loved Unicorns. Unicorns and Monkeys. Monkeys reminded her of Cabil, she said, but she loved them even before they met, it had to be fate."

Ahusirra seemed saddened. "It destroyed poor Cabil. He barely spoke to anyone after that. All he would do was draw. Draw Dandelions. Of course, I tried to let them see each other when they could, but there was so little time, and so much to protect."

"Lania missed him, but she knew she had to be strong to protect him and everyone else. I... Don't like hurting people, Titania... But sacrifice is never easy... Especially when someone has already suffered so much like Jay."

"But I never forget them... Even after centuries... I always remember... I would not be so cruel to forget... I don't want to forget... I loved Lania and Cabil alike, just like I love Sylvie and Jay."
 
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[REDACTED], Washington
A Titan and the Forest, pt.2


"Then ask for help. You worry endlessly for your people, so scared to lose the last vestiges of someone you loved... I can tell you're not a monster. You're just like him... Different shell, a more regal one... But the same in every regard. You don't want to be hurt anymore, but you don't want to hurt others." Titania appeared in front of her, holding Ahusirra's face. "We all hurt and we all suffer the same. You do not need to be strong everytime someone gets close to you. You are just as much my friend as my love Kva is. There is no difference. So come here... And let all the pain, the heartache, the suffering... The unshed tears you have acquired over the years... Let it all out." The Thrope wrapped her arms around the Goddess, rubbing her back in a soothing manner.

Dark, sap like tears ran down her face. "You had the luxury of being by your loved ones side when she died... And in a way, you got to keep her... I never did, He was there, then he was gone. He didn't even defend himself. They murdered a defenceless man. The kindest, gentlest soul that had ever graced Terra. All I had left was my daughter... And anger. I was so angry. I am so angry. They did it. Those who would destroy this world for profit, those who want to change a world that is already perfect. They killed him. I won't sit idly by while they kill anyone else."

"I know. And they do get their own, as eventually people get tired of them. I may have gotten to watch her as she died... I was not okay. I attacked my ancestor, who defended Sylvie. I would've killed her in my rage and sorrow. I would've killed many in rage, hunted down Alice's army and butchered everyone, children included... but she stopped me. She reminded me that was not who I was, some rageful creature of hate. She died believing in this world, wanting to make it better. Even though I feel that burning rage, that pure unadulterated anger for those who harmed her... That is not how she wanted me to live. And I'm sure he wouldn't want you to be murderous and rageful." Titania's golden eye left a tear trail as she rubbed Scathatch's cheek, wiping away the tears. "Show the world the woman he loved, not the rage and misery that is consuming her."

"I can't... Titania. I can't be the same person that I was all those years ago. I have too much I still have to protect." Ahusirra shook her head.

"Hey... Stop that. I'm here now. I'll help you with your people, and I bet others will gladly offer to help you." Titania kissed her forehead, before booping her nose. "You worry that the outside world is not safe. It never will be, even with every God helping to make it so. But this forest of yours is strong. You have guardians within it. You yourself can be summoned here. Hell, you got me to help you. Stop panicking, or I'll slap you until you beat me up." The Thrope promptly lifted the Goddess up with ease. "Now I'm kidnapping you. Deal with it."

"Yo, Skye! Hold down the fort, your mom is gonna fuckin relax cause she forgot how!"

A Winged, Tan Skinned woman flew down, "I was wondering when you would notice me."

"Daughter help. I am being kidnapped." Scathatch blinked, saying matter of factly.

"Where are you planning to go?" Skye chuckled.

"Well, first a massage parlor in Stormrend, that my best friend and I used to go to. Then, a nail salon in Mirandia, to get her a manicure and a pedicure. Finally, she's going to spend the night at my place." Titania answered merrily, chuckling as she did so. "Nice wings. They're really cute on you."

"Mother doesn't really like civilization. Why're you letting her do this?" The Winged Goddess asked curiously.

Scathatch sighed. "I owe her a favor..."

"One of two. She also owed me and my girlfriend a favor, but I can't say why. That one will come up later." Titania chuckled, shaking her friend a little. "But yeah, I'm kidnapping her for now. I will eventually come back and kidnap you as well. I am a bit of a bossy bitch after all." The Thrope began to blur. "You might wanna land... I'm faster than my mother so I might accidentally knock you out of the sky with my running technique..."

Skye smiled, "I'll race you."

Titania's golden iris seemed to glitter mischievously as she seemed to disappear. "Have it your way..." A cyclone of air seemed to form instantly, threatening to knock Skye out of air before its side bursted open. "Think I should keep going a little slow, Ahu? I'd feel bad if I left her behind..."

Suddenly, a woman on Golden Wings zoomed up next to her, they weren't flapping, they were stationary, propelling her forward at ridiculous speed. "What happened? Run out of steam?"

"No, I just didn't want you to lose sight of me. It'd be bad if my friend got lost because of me. That said, try to keep up if you can~" Titania said with a smile, her next step leaving a small impact crater, forcefully propelling herself away. An afterimage of the two seemed to linger by Skye before fading away.

With one flap, Skye rocketed forward, the air around her rushing in to take the suddenly empty space and creating a loud boom. As the Goddess of Travel flew by Titania, a mach come had formed around her, but they were just going fast enough for the Wolf to see a smug grin on her face.

"Oh-ho-ho! I see you're fast too! Whoever gets to the Stormrend city of Shi-yuuki has to do whatever the other says for a day!" Titania pushed herself to the limit, a cone of her own forming at the cost of a sweaty brow.

As Titania passed her, Skye kicked up her wings one more time, flying straight up and then rocketing across the Sky. A massive explosion of rainbow color shook the ground, and ahead of the bomb of color lay a streak of sparkling condensed water droplets, forming a long white line.

"Show off!" Titania called out, smiling as she sighed, knowing she would lose the race. "Oh well... Not the first time I've lost. And you're still worried about your tribe? I think they'll be fine with us three protecting them, Ahu."

"Well. She is the Goddess of Travel now. Still... Strange to see her that way..." Ahusirra explained. "But it's not just my people that I have to protect. I need to stop Civilization from destroying everything my love died for."

"They cannot destroy nature. There are enough nations that protect forests and jungles. To destroy nature would be to declare war on the Gods themselves. However... forcefully changing their views will not make them any less destructive... I'd be willing to bet that you would make them hate nature even more. Ease them into it... You have hundreds, if not thousands of years to plan this out. So stop trying to force everyone to change... Again, because this is not who you are. My friend is still a sweet, thoughtful and caring soul, and while she can be a raging bitch at times, she forgets to lower her emotional shell so everyone can see the inner beauty she has." Titania practically whispered, a hand brushing Ahusirra's cheek.

"And before you try to say you can't be that person anymore, you have, on multiple occasions, done exactly that. Maybe not for long, but you have been that way. So, young lady, you will listen to me."

"And what happens when we reach the point of no return?" Ahusirra sighed grumpily.

"It won't happen. Bevland loves its forests and the Jungle kingdom will never be conquered. Keep in mind that only a couple of countries are self-destructive. The rest coexist or protect it." Titania countered, shaking her head slightly. "Coming from mortals, I can assure you the situation isn't as bad as you think. Although a few more oasis in Kemar would help greatly. They need a bit of greenery, but keep parts of their desert. You wouldn't want to destroy their culture and piss off several Old Ones, right?"

"It won't happen. That kind of attitude is what allows tragedies to happen in the first place." Scathatch pointed out.

"Considering I've walked among them, worked with leaders of state, seen the worst this world has to offer... I can say without hesitation that you're worries are almost unfounded." Titania said with a sigh, her voice more stern. "You have not been among us in a very long time. You guess how the world works based off your champions. The fact is, you no longer have personal experience with this world and no longer know how countries operate. Truthfully, only Themosa and Fairaven abuse nature... yet you make it sound like the world hates nature, and by extent, you. We don't at all."

"Well. You're not exactly part of the world anymore, are you? Little Goddess, you haven't seen anything yet. I see everything. I feel everything. I know... More than anyone..." Ahusirra chastised her.

"I've seen bigotry and racism in Themosa and Stormrend. I've had assassins after me since I was eighteen. I got to see slaves broken with no light in their eyes. I've seen many injustices in this world with my short life and read many more." Titania countered, slowing down as they began to approach the town. "Don't discredit my words by mentioning my age. That is below you... Aren't you supposed to be relaxing, Ahu?"
 
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[REDACTED], Washington
A Titan and the Forest, pt.3

"One of your friends burned one of my daughters alive. And I felt it. I feel it every day. I'm always in pain, Titania. I've just gotten used to it." She sighed. "I don't think there I'd any kind of relaxing for me."

"Firstly, Tack wasn't my friend, he was an acquaintance. Betty and Veeti were his friends. Secondly, bullshit. You can relax, you actively choose not to. And I understand it's hard with pain delivered to your descendants that you receive as well, but you can't be Forest Goddess Scathatch all the time. You also need to be Ahusirra the woman, the jovial, the goofy. You protect many, but you neglect yourself. I don't want to see you lose yourself entirely. I care too much about you, Ahu." Titania came to a stop, groaning as she saw Skye, closing her eyes as soon as she did so. "A deal's a deal... I owe you a favor. Even though I loathe how fast you are..."

"Sorry. Goddess of Travel now. I'm not about to let you beat me at my own game." Skye chuckled.

"Still, considering I'm probably the second fastest in the Pantheon, I'm your only real rival and I trail literal leagues behind you." Titania opened her eyes and stuck out her tongue. "Guess I'm paying for everyone's massage. Although we should look mortal, people... And Ahu, I already heard the tale of you flashing Sancros. Make sure you add clothes."

"Fine Fine..." Scathatch morphed into a tan skinned woman like Skye, but with a simple, extremely basic dress. Meanwhile Skye transformed her elaborate clothes into a Simple Shirt and Jeans, hiding her wings as well.

Titania's metal armor merely turned into plain old leather armor. "Alright! Time for Girls' day out!" The Thrope woman wasted no time grabbing both women's hands, dragging them onwards. "And no fighting anyone, okay? They don't tend to like any other races save humans and elves, but technically being a noble has its privileges."

They passed through most of the town without many reactions from the townspeople. However, an older man, a guard for the city began following them, seemingly annoyed at Titania's presence.

"Friend of yours?" Scathatch asked.

"Nope. Probably a racist. Pay him no mind." Titania replied back, before giggling loudly and revealing her posh noble accent. "Skye, I am still amazed that you managed to beat me. I thought my carriage would be faster... I'm still happy you agreed to help me find a suitable massage parlor. You would not believe the quantity of low-class establishments in even large cities like this one."

The guard looked surprised, but quickly picked up a bored look, no less hatred still on his face.

Ahusirra leaned in, "Should I just deal with him?"

"No. This is politeness to what I'm used to." Titania whispered back, before loudly saying. "No, they do use all natural ingredients in the oils. None of that new synth crap."

The guard slowed, trailing behind even further.

Ahusirra cleared her throat. "Yes. Quite. I cannot let any of that unnatural oil touch my perfect skin!"

The guard grunted before walking off.

"Whew... He was an ass." Titania sighed, relieved that she didn't have to start a fight. She paused, as she had nearly passed the massage parlor. "And here we are ladies! Go on in, I got a running deal with them."

"So... What do they... Do here?" Scathatch asked confusedly.

Titania closed the door behind them. "They put their hands on you and press into your back, shoulders, neck and legs. Hope you guys got on underwear and a bra..." Titania explained somewhat, removing her armor to reveal a black shirt and a pair of short shorts, before shedding those for a red bra and a simple black pair of panties.

"I learned my lesson after Jay took me out..." Scathatch chuckled.

Titania chuckled as well. "He was so embarrassed. He barely could talk about it when I asked, more mumbles and grumpiness than anything else. You'll have to tell me the story later, A-... Hmm... I should make a new nickname. I think Twigs or sca is apropos."

"Nickname? I thought Ahu was fine." The Goddess sighed.

"True, but Ahusirra isn't your real name. I'd rather a nickname based on teasing remarks or a shortened bit of your name." Titania pointed out, poking the woman's nose before repeating the action to her daughter. "Feel free to give me a nickname if you want."

"Skye?" She chuckled. "Does it really need to be shortened?"

"Nah, but I like making nicknames."

A short woman came forward smiling. "Ah, Ms. Regallis! Pleasure to see you! The usual for you and your friends?"

"Yup, but they're new to being massaged."

"Oh, that's fine. New customers are very interesting, always flustered normally." The woman waved her hand before turning towards the other two goddesses. "What are your names?"

Ahusirra stepped up, "I am Annabelle."

"And I am Morrigan." Skye replied.

"Follow me, you are going to get full body massages, as is Tania's regular." The woman said as she turned around and started walking. Titania followed, shrugging as she did so.

Ahusirra sighed while Skye seemed more intrigued, following the woman.

They arrived at a door that opened into a fairly large room with three long, padded tables. The woman gestured towards the masseuse tables. "Lay face down on those and someone will come to massage you. Feel free to take your bras off when you lay down." The woman walked back out the door before closing it, seemingly offering some privacy.

Titania shrugged, taking her bra off and setting it beside one of the tables. "Come on, take it off." Titania murmured to her friends as she laid down properly on the table, her head above the padded hole for it.

"Uh... Is this a mating thing? Because I'm not interested in that." Ahu spoke Truthfully.

Titania rolled her eyes and turned to the side to look straight at the Goddess. "No, and I feel I should be offended. I already heard your history and wouldn't dare set you up... have a little faith in someone who is a friend of yours." Titania scolded, a stern look on her face that few save Faith and Andy had seen.

"I don't know your proclivities. This could be how you pass time." Ahusirra shrugged, looking around to make sure no one was watching as she made her top vanish.

Skye just shrugged as she quickly removed her own top, like she had seen her mother's chest a thousand times, in fact, she had.

"If I was going to pass the time, I'd have challenged you to a sparring match. You'll find I'm a very simple creature, Ahu. I just like fighting and hanging out with my friends." Titania started before laying back down, her voice a bit muffled. "Besides, if I was going to introduce you two to sexual things, I'd've taken you to a fancy whorehouse in Bevland."

"I thought this was a Whorehouse." Scathatch told her, sighing and laying on the table.

"Miss Annabelle, you are officially receiving a noogie from me at full speed." Titania warned, before her sad emotions bled through onto her face, which was hidden by the head hole. "I mean, I never said whorehouse... Just a massage parlor and a couple other niceties. I'm tempted to ask if you just think my mind's on sex all the time..."

"It isn't?" She chuckled lightly.

"Imma smack you if you don't quit." Titania grumbled lightheartedly before a knock on the door came.

A high-pitched feminine voice rang out, "Misses Annabelle, Morrigan, and Titania? Are you ready for us to come in?"

Titania raised her head looking at her friends on either table. "Are we, ladies?"

Skye and Scathatch looked at each other, nodding as 'Annabelle' spoke up. "Yes. We are."

The door opened as three people entered, two men and a woman. The men went over to Titania and 'Morrigan' while the woman attended 'Annabelle'. The woman seemed eager to massage the Goddess in disguise, putting some oil on her hands before rubbing them together. Placing her hands on Ahu's back, she began the deep tissue massage that would be the type that all of them would have.

The man massaging Skye suppressed a chuckle before he applied a lavender smelling oil to her back. He promptly got to work trying to get all the kinks in her back out.

Titana's masseuse grumbled under his breath before he applied a vanilla-scented oil to her, before doing the same as his co-workers.

The former Thrope sighed happily, before speeding her mouth up so the mortals couldn't hear her. "How do you guys feel?"

Skye tried the same trick. "It's nice... Your servants are phenomenal."

Ahusirra blinked, then a voice popped into their heads, her lips unmoving. "It's... Mmm... It's weird..." Meanwhile the masseuse was having a hard time working the many kinks out of Scathatch's back.

"Not my servants... These people do it for a living." Titania corrected, before her masseuse managed to pop her back. "Ahhh... W-what do you mean by weird, Ahu?"

Skye's masseuse masterfully popped her spine into alignment, seemingly trying to get her to relax.

Scathatch's struggled, resorting to gently using her elbows to get the kinks out faster.

"It's... I don't know how to describe it..." She spoke.

"Does it feel good?" Titania asked, her eyes going half-lidded.

The masseuses continued their work, applying more oil to each Goddess as the two men tried to make their charges fall asleep.

Skye actually seemed to be enjoying it quite a bit, her body relaxing, but Scathatch's refused to fall asleep.

"Yoooou gotta relax, Ahu..." Titania whispered, her voice still accelerated, promptly before she gave in to enjoy the massage.

The masseuse working Ahusirra's back sighed, going for her shoulders. "What's bothering you?" The woman asked with a sigh.

"I... There's a lot of stress in my life that I'm thinking about..." The Goddess of Flora and Fauna sighed. "I'm always stressed."
 
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[REDACTED], Washington
A Titan and the Forest, pt. 4

"Well, that's vague... But you can't always worry about every tiny or big thing that happens. You need to take time for yourself, so that when you come back to your problems, you do so with a clear mind and a renewed will." The woman offered softly, gently massaging Ahu's back. "Allowing your stress to overtake you not only hurts you physically, but mentally and emotionally. So let go of those worries of yours for a half hour, let yourself relax..."

Ahusirra motioned for the masseuse to get closer, whispering to her. "Have you... Ever made a choice to do something that most people would disagree with... For the sake of your Family? For the sake of what you believe in?"

"I have. I've had that happen multiple times. Each time, I asked myself 'what the hell are you doing, Janette? This will affect many people, not just you'." The woman whispered back, her tone somber. "Each time, I tried hardening myself so I could do what I needed to, but I kept losing a bit of myself each time. Only when I took a moment did I realize what I needed, not what I had to do."

The woman kept up her massage, offering a small smile. "So rest for a moment, Annabelle, so you can make better decisions."

Ahusirra was quiet for a moment, letting out a deep breath, her muscles finally relaxing.

The masseuse smiled. "There you go..." The woman popped the Goddess' spine into alignment as well as popping each vertebrae. She went for her shoulders next, pressing a tad bit harder, trying to work out her strongest kinks.

"Ah!... Mnn... You're pretty good at that..." Ahusirra chuckled lightly.

"A few years with this job and you can get all the kinks out of someone's back." Janette said softly, adding more oil as she continued. "Just so you know, when we're done, you should take a nap, okay? It'll help with the mental and emotional stress, okay?"

"I guess... Perhaps..." Scathatch sighed. "I don't even remember when I slept last... B-Because I'm so busy all the time."

"Well, take a day or two for yourself. You can always come back to deal with your problems..." The woman paused as her arm seemed to stop dead. "Apologies... I'll get someone else to massage you..." The arm seemed to move off of the Goddess and if she turned her head, she would see the girl's arm was disconnected at the elbow, the lifelike prosthetic malfunctioning in her other arm.

The Goddess seemed confused. "What happened?"

"Oh, my arm. Fritzed out again. I'm terribly sorry about this, Annabelle." The woman apologized, bowing somewhat deeply.

"No... It's okay..." Scathatch spoke, sad that she had to go.

"Tell you what..." The woman set down the now spasming arm down and took out a pen and paper. She wrote what looked to be an address. "To make up for this, stop by my house. I'll give you a free massage." She laid it next to Ahu's cheek, before grabbing her other arm, the man massaging Titania going over to open the door for Janette.

Before she left, she called out, "And remember to take a nap when you can." And with that, she was gone. The man who massaged Titania took over for his female counterpart, as Titania seemed to be asleep, but with Scathatch's knowledge, was merely relaxing.

He didn't have the same touch she had, maybe she would take her up on the offer.

In time, another masseuse came to massage Ahu, freeing the other one up to return to Titania. Eventually, all three left, leaving the women to relax and put their garments back on when they were ready to leave.

"So... Did I pick a bad spot, Ahu? Skye? Or did I pick out a good one?" Titania asked, standing up to stretch, still topless.

"I thought It was nice." Skye smiled.

Scathatch was just silent however, thinking to herself.

"A copper for your thoughts, Ahu?" Titania asked, as she put her bra back on, and materialized her clothes back on.

"I don't have any use for money. But... This has put a few things into perspective for me. I... I need time to be alone." Ahusirra told them.

"Alright. Just remember: I'm expecting to hang out with you again." Titania replied, before glancing at Skye. "Feathers, still got some time? I had at least one another place we could head to if you're up for it...?"

Skye nodded, "Sure. I'm free."

Titania nodded, before patting Ahusirra's back. "Be safe wherever you head off to." Titania grabbed Skye's hand, leading the taller woman out towards their next adventure, leaving Scathatch to her thoughts.
 
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