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Sombreness would only lead to disaster it seemed, Yue’s thoughts were too distracted to grant a warning word to Koralia who in her recklessness received the second curse of the group. Staring astonished at the woman, Yue couldn’t quite believe that Koralia would go to touch something that wasn’t hers so easily, especially something that belonged to the demon they had just been vanquishing. Even more shocking was the scene that followed after, Veruul in ashes and gone. Lips thinning into a line, the spirit kept her mouth shut rather than scold the human, it seemed she’d already learnt her lesson anyway, Korro’s rebukes and a curse the telling off Koralia needed for her foolishness. Her gaze turned even more baleful when Wexel parted with her, reuniting with Khatiy, their connection should’ve been obvious as she noted their similar styles of weaponry and attire. Yue hoped Khatiy would bring the little monkey out again sometime.

Filling her snack pouch full to the brim, Yue knew she was ready for the road ahead, less so for what it may entail. Munching on a sweet dumpling with her mood considerably brightening at the treat, the spirit cast her curious gaze to the strange goat that was their latest companion. Her nose twitched as she considered its smell, it smelt like a normal enough goat even if there was the odd sense it definitely wasn’t, yet she didn’t think there was much harm in using it to carry belongings, so she piled her things alongside the others.

As the sun sunk behind the mountains and descended the departing day into the chill of night, Yue helped set up camp eagerly, a second wind of energy sparking her onwards as she embraced the night air eagerly, her skin luminous under the light of the moon. Once a fire was burning, she opted to go foraging for something the group could eat alongside their rice and mutton, filling her pockets full of edible plants and bringing them back to camp, adding some to the cooking pot and munching idly on some not so edible leaves (for humans at least) as she glanced around the camp curiously. Her eyes first landed on the bronze skin of Khatiy, watching her slightly entertained, wondering idly if she was trying to use magic on the goat with little success. Then there was Korro and Roshan talking together which the spirit deemed to be quite endearing, and the less endearing one way conversation of Koralia talking to herself, but at least Xe seemed to be looking out for her. Falarion seemed to be tired, a sight that surprised the spirit. Last night he had seemed so lively, surely the day couldn’t have tired him that much even if they had been fighting.

“You shouldn’t have your head like that, you’ll get a headache,” Yue chided Falarion lightly, smiling down at his slumped form briefly, bright eyes widening as she took in the burns tarnishing his skin. Knitting her brows, the smile adorning her face faded, “deary me, you look positively awful. You silly boy, why did you not say something?” Taking a seat on the log beside Falarion, Yue’s frown deepened at the demon and she outstretched her hand now enveloped in a soothing glow, brushing her fingertips over his blistered, inflamed flesh and watching satisfied with her work as his burns melted back into untouched skin. She beamed at him, “good as new! Don’t be afraid to ask for help, okay?”

At the sound of dinner being served, Yue trotted back over to the fire, claiming her mutton-less bowl and helping herself to the rice as she took a seat. Eating a few spoonfuls gingerly, she contemplated when she would finally say something to the rest of the group about her suggestion on how to deal with the curses. With everyone going to gather for their food, perhaps this would be the best time. Clearing her throat, the spirit raised her voice to be heard by the rest of the group. “Sorry to interrupt this lovely meal we are having, but I must borrow everyone’s attention,” Yue’s voice lost the nonchalant airiness it often held, replaced with something more firm as she continued to speak, “with the cursed we happen to have within our group, we are in dire need of someone who can cleanse our afflicted and I happen to be familiar with an excellent cultivator who lives in a city not to far from here.” Leveling a glance at Koralia, but more importantly Korro, the spirit continued on, “I don’t think she would refuse me, even if our group has… an unusual mix of people within it. I believe this cultivator to be our best chance of helping Koralia and Korro.”


Location: Campsite in the Eastern Mountains
Time: Evening
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Mentions: Lioness075 Lioness075 Merciless Medic Merciless Medic Arai Arai Kibaa Kibaa

Roshan was happy to listen to Korro's explanation of local herbs. For one thing, he always appreciated good food. Knowing how to make it always came in handy, and it would give him more ways to help out in the future. For another, he was simply glad to hear the sound of another voice. While he listened, he stirred the pot in Korro's stead and let his eyes roam around the camp to see what the others were up to. Seen on his human form, with no feathers to disguise it, Falarion's burn looked very red and raw. Surely it would heal better and trouble him less with a proper dressing. In the back of his mind, he began constructing a plan to approach the demon without setting him on edge. It would have to be very casual. Perhaps he would make an excuse to pass by him, and casually remark about the medical supplies?

However, Xe'lik beat him to it, simply tossing a roll of bandages his way. Nicely done. After that, he sat down near Koralia, who was meditating, but didn't look quite as peaceful as usual. He then took off his outer robe, revealing some sort of pink rash on his bare arms, and began to bandage them. Now, that was strange. It explained the bandages he'd worn on the rest of his body before, but not the reason he needed them to cover his face. Maybe he liked going incognito. Those irritated blotches were worrisome, but at least Xe'lik seemed capable of taking care of himself. Meanwhile, Khatiy was drawing in what appeared to be the same book as last night, the one with the animal illustrations, probably making new entries. When Yue approached Falarion, airily brushing past any resistance, to heal his wounds with her magic, a broad grin broke out on Roshan's face. Silly boy, indeed. It certainly was a boon to have a healer in their group.

When Korro rose to summon the others to dinner, Roshan started setting out the bowls. By now, he was quite hungry, and that small taste earlier had only served to whet his appetite. As the others gathered around the fire to eat, he would ladle out portions for them before settling down with his own. If the night spent together in the temple had felt like home compared to the months of mostly solitary travel, this was even more homelike. Comfort mingled with a pang of nostalgia. All for them, he thought, remembering what he'd told Korro. Someday he would see his people gathered round a meal without wounds or battle-weariness lining their faces or the ever-present shadow of danger and uncertainty. For now, he would enjoy this new company while it lasted.

Soon, Yue spoke up, telling of a 'cultivator' she knew, someone who could lift Korro's and Koralia's curses. Apparently, Yue was on good enough terms with this person that she wouldn't refuse to treat a demon at her friend's request. That was good. "Then that should be our next destination," he said, expecting agreement as he looked around at the others. According to Korro, Koralia wouldn't be able to resist the curse indefinitely. As one of the most powerful warriors, Korro himself ought to be a priority. Thank the gods Yue knew of such a person in the first place.


Koralia Stormcaller
On the road

"You alright? Heard you talking to yourself."

She nodded at Xe with a smile. Moping wouldn't make her feel better. "It's strange, there's definitely another Prescence, but it's less, malicious than I thought? So far it's just been poking around in memories and thoughts and stuff," She admitted. No point in lying about something that the rest of her group seemed to have decided was already predestined. Silly human. Foolish Koralia. Dumb enough to tamper with magic beyond her station. "I was expecting a wicked transformation and the temptation to knock sweets out of children's hands, but so far it's just been...curious," she finished, lacking a better term. Though she wouldn't admit it, it felt like she was being guided to something. The others would immediately tell her to stop, and she'd be lying if she didn't want to know where that path lead.

"So, your meditation thing. I find it curious. Where'd you learn it from? Seems peaceful."

Koralia stood up, dusting off her coat. There were a few new stains from their time in the village, and one sleeve was badly burnt after her lightning strike. "My tribe. Stormcaller isn't my name, it's my people. We look for signs in weather and nature to guide the tribe to help people in need," she explained, drawing up old memories. Climbing mountain sides, building campfires, visiting people whose lives had been damaged by demons. Destroyed even. And yet now she was breaking bread with them, in a clearing where her people had rested at some point. Her stomach knotted. What would the elders think if they saw her now?

"I guess the closest thing to it is we draw energy from weather magic. There are spots in the world where that magic is a little easier to access," She paused, sniffing the air. Even now the weather held memories. A storm had swept the valley a few days before their arrival. Lightning had struck the cliff face above them, and the wind would blow at their backs tomorrow. That was one of her first lessons, using remnants of magic to forecast the future weather. "Can you smell the static in the air? I didn't just pick this place because I was tired. It's got a connection to weather magic. I can manipulate a little lightning, but places like this make practice a cinch. Being closer to the source makes meditation, proper meditation, easier to do"

Koralia heard Khatiy cry out in frustration, seemingly angry with...the goat? She looked to be doing some kind of magic with little success. At Korro's cry, she motioned for Xe to join her by the fire, catching the end of Korro's conversation. As he spoke, she took a bowl from Roshan and nodded her thanks with a smile. He seemed to think the Goat could also be a demon. "more demons, great" she joked as she sat by the fire. "I was worried we were gonna run out," She paused, trying to gage the other's reaction. If they were going to analyse her, she'd analyse right back.

“Sorry to interrupt this lovely meal we are having, but I must borrow everyone’s attention,”

Koralia paused her meal to listen, and a part of her was almost disappointed at her suggestion. Was dealing with a curse like this that important? The Goddess was protecting her already otherwise she'd be a pile of dust swept in Keimaura right now. And she wanted more of an opportunity to commune with the prescence, it might be able to provide insight into their true foe, or maybe improve her own strength in this group of divine creatures. And who was this other cursed person she was talking about?

"...Koralia and Korro,"

"Korro's cursed?" She blurted out, putting her food down, and looked at the demon. He didn't look any different, but then again neither did she. "You came down on me for being dumb and foolish when you've got the same problem? That's hypocritical!" She pointed out, jabbing her chopstick in the air at him.

"Then that should be our next destination," Roshan had added in agreement, looking around for approval, and caught her eye. She frowned. "Should it?" She asked, feeling eyes turn. "Shouldn't we be focused on the task the Divine set us to?" She closed her eyes, feeling for the prescence for a moment.

Go on, tell them how you feel.

"I know the curse is a problem, believe me. But we have an opportunity to get information here. When I meditate I can feel this other...thing, and I think with a bit of time I can get information from it. Don't you guys want to know who sent Veruul? Or what that bird thing was? This could be a chance for answers, to gain an advantage!" She explained. The prescence approved, she could feel it emanating with pride. She wasn't sure what to think of that.

The journey had just begun—on a sour note with a curse already at play—but still Fin felt that hope welling up within his chest. Many of his party members knew how to hunt, so it would be a fun competition to see who could claim the greatest prey in the future.

Most of his team spoke and acted awkwardly regarding the goat. Some even thought it was a demon, but Fin had his own idea. "One way to tell is to cut it and see what color it bleeds... not that I advise it. I suspect this is a lesser spirit, not quite sapient, but smart and obedient, not unlike my Roul."

With his fairly keen hearing, the hunter could faintly hear talking from the edge of the camp. Xe'lik and Koralia were discussing something, likely regarding her meditation practices. However, he chose to tune them out and let them have their privacy; eavesdropping would set a bad precedent. As much as he wanted to keep tabs on these demons and their angles and agendas, being noticed while snooping may harm the humans' trust in the gods—or at least in him. It wasn't until the Stormcaller rejoined the larger conversation that he paid attention again.

"Wolf...?" Fin muttered as Yue discussed her plan. Korro was also cursed? Then he recalled it. "The wound...!" he said aloud. His eyes squinched shut in discomfort as Koralia practically gloated that she wasn't the only afflicted person. "Koralia," the deity started, as a teacher would when reprimanding his student. "If I'm correct, he was struck with a cursed weapon. I was lucky enough to avoid the sting of such a blade, but not all are so fortunate." Deep down, he was revolted to come to his enemy's defense, but he chose to at least be fair here.

As the woman confessed her knowledge of the force communicating with her, Finyagur's eyes went noticeably wide. "It is... gathering information?" he echoed. "This is worse than I thought. Some demons use curses to perform reconnaissance on their quarry. If it knows all about your clan and your history, it could use that information to harm you on a deeper level, by breaking your spirit. Can you see why we are concerned?"

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Location: Forest Path, Eastern Mountains
Date: Day 1, Night
Interactions: Koralia, Korro, Roshan, Khatiy, Finyagur, Yue
Mentions: N/A
Arai Arai Lioness075 Lioness075 SilverFlight SilverFlight Monday Monday Kibaa Kibaa Goonfire Goonfire ShadyLady ShadyLady

While he was conversing with Koralia, Xe’lik couldn’t help but notice Khatiy drawing something in front of the goat. He was unsure as to why, but as he witnessed some minor explosion happen, he realized she was trying to use beastmaster glyphs. These were things he’s rarely seen, but they gave an unforgettable experience when he fought against a beastmaster. He didn’t want to remember those bears right now…

Koralia spoke of the presence in her head and Xe’lik tried to be a bit impartial in his expression, yet he couldn’t help the concern that bubbled its way to the surface. He finished bandaging his arms, scratched at his neck idly, then winced. Seeing black bits on his fingertips, he sighed and went about bandaging his neck to not only hide the sore spot he scratched, but keep himself from scratching it. He calmed down some as she explained her tribe and the meditations, smiling at her reasoning for being here. “That is interesting. A little quirk about my people and I. We prefer cavern water, rich in minerals. Without the minerals, the water tastes sad, so we put rocks in our drinks to give it that taste we like. We don’t eat them though.” He chuckled, finding that a little humorous.

Being called to the group by Korro, Xe’lik waited for Koralia to get up before following her, sitting near her and getting a bowl of food from Roshan, giving him a gracious smile before setting his bowl down. He noticed Yue had healed Falarion and he wondered why she hadn’t done that before. Was it something she had to use sparingly? Koralia’s joke kind of fell flat but he simply had a smirk and shook his head, and Fin’s explanation of the goat seemed to be the end of that.

It was then that the spirit spoke of knowing a person to go to, and the godling’s and spirit’s subsequent uncertainty about Koralia’s cursed condition. When it came out that Korro was cursed, his eyes traveled to Korro, unsure of where he got it but it likely wasn’t too recent. Koralia accused him of being a hypocrite and Fin came to his enemy’s rescue. Wanting to speak up before it was too late, he did so, choosing his words carefully.

“We can’t focus on the task the Divine set us to do if we lose you, Koralia. You’re a part of the team. Only humans can read the scrolls, and your connection to your god gives you an edge. You can grow stronger, but you can only do that if you get rid of this curse. It’s foreign, it’s not a part of you and will never be a part of you, so don’t let it get comfortable. If we let it fester like an old wound, it will start to rot you away. We are only wanting to see you get better because we are concerned for you and your health. The deadlier and more debilitating curses are usually the ones that don’t feel dangerous at first. Although…” He paused briefly, then turned a little to face her. “What if it gives you false information? I think our hunter is right. This curse is trying to learn about you so it can harm you later. It’s not interested in giving you information, and if it did, they’re likely red herrings. It’s supposed to misdirect you and make you believe the twists it makes to hurt you. If we don’t get rid of it when we’re able to…” He rubbed the bracelet around his arm that shackled him, and he shifted uncomfortably.

“Well, I, for multiple reasons, don’t want to let that happen. I will fail my teamwork-based code that I grew up with, I get attached to the team I work with because of that code, and I’d rather not have the Goddess punish me again.” There was a voice crack at the end, and he winced and grasped his hand as a thorn pushed out. Growling, he tore it off and threw it away, then quickly wrapped a bandage around it. “Damned magic…” He mumbled to himself, clearly irate at how willfully his magic happened on a whim of his emotions. While he wrapped his hand in a bandage, he looked back up at her, his brows knitted in that very human concern.

“No matter what it says to you or what you do based on what information it gives you, I will still stand by your side to make sure you’re safe, and that goes for everyone here, too. For me, race doesn’t matter except in communication and cultural understanding and differences. We’re a team now, and that’s all there is to it.” He looked over at everyone, finishing tying off his bandage and going to his food. It was clear what stance he took over the group and it was very neutral, yet benevolent. This wasn't obligation, but a clear drive for teamwork. He did it more so to ease those who were there to his presence in the group because he knew almost everyone here wasn’t too enthused about demons having to be in the group.

He hoped that would be enough.

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Name: O'Korro - "Wolf"
Location: The town of Bajie, Eastern mountains
Time: Morning in the town of Bajie

Interactions: Goonfire Goonfire ShadyLady ShadyLady Arai Arai Merciless Medic Merciless Medic Lioness075 Lioness075 Kibaa Kibaa Monday Monday

When they were all gathered about the fire for supper, Korro served the others before taking food for himself. He hadn't thought about it, but that was how he had served his soldiers back in the Sunset King's army...how he had treated friends. Korro silenced that thought quickly.

Yue spoke then, telling of a friend who could help their afflicted human, a growing sense of unease coiled up from the pit of his stomach...when she leveled her gaze at him.
"...Koralia and Korro."

The wolf could not prevent a blatant bolt of panic surface on his face. His eyes darted to the others to glean their reactions, before landing back on the moon spirit with a quiet fury.
Now Fin knew. The last thing he wanted was for his mortal enemy to learn of this weakness, but Fin's reaction was not what he expected...
Koralia's outburst earned her a scornful look, despite Korro's embarrassment.
"Our circumstances are not the same." He snapped in a voice that was dangerously low.

"Fin is...Fin is right." That felt awful to say. "Whatever connection you may think you have. We can be fairly sure it goes both ways. You may be able to glean information from it, but it is most certainly collecting information too. And Xe'lik brings up another excellent point. No, the sooner we rid you of this affliction the better."


The next few days were spent traversing narrow mountain roads; climbing over canyons and descending through valleys. It was cool but not unpleasant, except when harsh weather surprised them on a bare slope. The knowledge and magic in the group helped keep them safe however. Through it all the goat kept up and offered no complaint, a silent and stoic figure, bearing their belongings and staring at people uncomfortably through slitted eyes.

Korro could feel some of his power returning, and he channeled it into keeping the curse at bay, but even so, we was weakening visibly. His steps became slow and sluggish, dark circles pressed under his eyes. Surprisingly his temper also cooled. He became softer, taking longer than a moment to provoke. Even Fin had a hard time getting a rise out of him, by the time the turrets and rooftops of their destination came into view.

The town was larger than Keimara by quite a long way, with several main streets snaking their way to a central ring with a gated public garden, surrounding a small lake. The buildings were tall and regal, with even the lowest echelons on the outskirts of the city displaying refined woodworking trailing gables and eaves. Most of the buildings were wood, painted in demure white, blue and burgundy. Just outside of the city on the Western side, a tall thicket of bamboo marked the entrance to a grandiose estate. From their place on the mountain road Korro could make out white stone gardens and lavish pavilions, no doubt each with their own poetic names.
As they drew nearer the gates, the smell of burning charcoal, wicker and cooked rice filled Korro with a sense of longing for home. He no longer guarded his emotions, so the sadness appeared quietly on his down-turned face.

"State your business in our town." One of the guards instructed, holding his pole arm perfectly parallel with his body. This man clearly took his job very seriously.

You can smell something foul eminating from the town gates, and inside it is too quiet for a town of this size. There is a sickly aura about this place. Something is wrong.

Chapter 2 - Curses and Secrets

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Location: Forest Path -> Town of Bajie, Eastern Mountains
Time: Day 1, Night -> Day 4, Morning
Interactions: Koralia, Falarion, Korro, Roshan, Khatiy, Finyagur, Yue
Mentions: N/A
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Xe’lik thanked Korro with a nod as he received his bowl Korro so graciously filled with food. He also noticed Korro’s reaction to being said he had a cursed injury, too. Xe’lik swore he was smelling something fishy and he didn’t know if it was just a strong scent due to being next to Koralia or if someone else had a cursed injury, too.

Either way, Xe’lik was silent for most of the night, keeping an eye on Koralia and making sure nobody else needed help before going to bed for the night, uncaring if the others preferred a demon didn't ask them if they needed anything. They were all in this together, and Xe’lik felt like he was going to become the glue that kept the group together due to how neutral of a stance he took to this, even if that sounded almost righteous or made himself out to be better.

During the next few days, Xe’lik made sure wounds were tended to (even if it was just a reminder) and made sure everyone had their things before trekking, as well as tending to his cracking skin that took pleasure in the increased humidity it could feel. However, Korro’s weakening from the curse had him concerned. He wondered how Koralia was holding up. Considering Korro was affected by this a while ago, it was likely Koralia won’t be far behind before she started feeling the physical sapping of the curse.

At least, by his calculations.

It was then that they approached a town, however his nose and ears picked up something off before his eyes could focus on the walls of the town, and the guard that stood in their way.

He was just a demon, these guards would prefer he didn’t speak. He looked up at Finyagur, Roshan, Khatiy, Yue, and Koralia. He wanted them to speak instead, but he went ahead anyway. “We are the Goddess’s Chosen…” This was what all he said before stepping back with his head bowed, hiding the bracelet underneath this robe’s sleeves.

He smelled something awful, however. It made him choke and he coughed, bringing up his bracelet-less arm to cover his face as he turned away and spoke to Finyagur, Falarion, Yue, and any others who were near him in a harsh whisper. “Something smells wrong in the town, and it’s far too quiet in there... When we enter, we should be extremely careful not to stay for too long... Nor should we bring too much attention to ourselves...” He raspily said, his raised hand now rubbing his throat. Since he was covered in bandages since before they arrived, it just made him look like he was sickly.

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Entrance to the Town of Bajie

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The Heiress had spent more time than she would have cared to admit attempting to author a summoning pact with the party's new companion, the mysterious goat. For one reason or another, such magic did not seem to work on the goat. In other words, the goat seemed to possess some kind of immunity towards it-- or, at the very least, Khatiy's beastmastery magic was not strong enough to affect the goat. This puzzled the Usaaman greatly, even after Korro had explained to her that there may be something paranormal about the goat. In all of her 18 years, Khatiy had not met a mundane animal that was immune to beastmastery, and so a conclusion was made that perhaps the goat was not so mundane at all.

When questioned about her beastiary and her summoning scroll, she responded with sarcasm, as if the answer was obvious. In fact, she had gone on to question the rest of the party, completely puzzled on as to why they didn't have their own summoning scrolls. It was that night that Khatiy had realized that summoning magic was not a universal practice, at least not in the ritualistic form of summoning scrolls, an ancient and outdated practice. It also dawned upon her that not everyone was a summoner in the first place. Usaama was a very far and different place from the rest of the world. Nevertheless, she would have explained to Korro what she was doing, and how her summoning scroll works. She went so far as to give a live demonstration, casting a subtle beastmastery incantation on a moth that had been circling the campfire, and writing down a summoning script into her scroll, binding the moth into her service, to be called upon whenever her scroll is activated.


Through the ensuing journey, the party may have noticed that Khatiy moved through the wilderness with impressive grace, tact and knowledge, at least for someone who gave off the impression of being a royal. Despite the clunkiness and clumsiness of her equipment, the heiress appeared to be particularly adept and navigating through canyons and dryer environments, which was perhaps to be expected from someone that hailed from Keshkartha. It would also be easy to note that she was an incredibly talkative individual, often spending long moments conversing with Roshan about Keshkartha, inquiring with Yue and Falarion about their respective homes, and constantly bombarding Fin and Korro with questions about the north and what their wildlife was like. She claims she has never seen snow.

Through one way or another, she had managed to re-braid her long, voluminous hair, although it still remained a little wiry at certain sections. She restored the Khopesh of Amanirenas to pristine condition, grinding away any buffs that had been sustained during the battle, and re-dressing it in its characteristic white bandages which served as some form of Usaaman sheath, quite similar to the bandages that had acted as the handle of Wexel's sword earlier in Keimara. Perhaps, she borrowed these bandages from Xe'lik, or perhaps she herself offered some to Xe'lik to redress his sickly body.

Khatiy seemed visibly captivated by the sight of Bajie. Clearly, she had never seen a place like this before, dumbfounded by its architecture, its color scheme, and its surroundings. So impressive was this display that, at first, Khatiy had hardly noticed the odors that emanated from this place. As the party drew closer, however, such odors became un-ignorable to her sensitive nose. It scrunched, briefly forming lines over her cheeks as the foul odor drew a concerned, disgusted expression over her bronze features. She only nodded quietly in agreement with what Xe'lik had to say, briefly glancing to Falarion and then to Koralia. "I smell it too.." She remarks in a hushed tone, pausing as the group is engaged by the guard. He seemed like the serious kind. Without being too sure of what to do, Khatiy simply turned her gaze to Yue, who had been the one that mentioned that she knew a certain person. Not wanting to potentially jeapardize this sutation by saying something that shouldn't be said, Khatiy remained quiet, thinking that perhaps Yue, Korro, or Fin should do the talking.
Female Human Form.jpg
Name: FalarionRace: Demon
Location: The town of BajieCurrent Form: Male huma to female human

Falarion barely had any time to react before Xe was throwing a bandage at his head. He ducked to the side just in time, barely avoiding the projectile as it bounced harmlessly on the ground beside him. He questioned how hygienic it would be to use it, but then pushed those thoughts down when he realized he would have to ask for help to get something better.
"Oi, is tha' how ye help a injured partner, ye wanker?"
Falarion glared at Xe before he began unwrapping the bandage to figure out how he could best use it.
He did not get to try before yet another person was interrupting him. He halfheartedly snarled at Yue, but then cut himself off in surprise when she bullied her way into his personal space.

Well, that's new and stupid, he thought to himself.
Falarion eyed Yue suspiciously, but allowed her to do her supposed healing. A strong itching sensation suddenly overwhelmed him and he grimaced as he struggled to sit still while Tue kept her glowing magic-ness near his face. Once the glowing died down, Falarion was quick to scoot away and give himself some distance from her. He narrowed his eyes at her suspiciously before gingerly running a hand along the right side of his previously burnt face. He was still squinting out of his right eye, but the skin no longer hurt to the touch. It was hard to describe how it felt to him now. It was not untarnished as it has been prior to the injury, but it also thankfully did not feel like he was going to rub his ruined skin right off his face. It felt kind of wrinkly, leathery as well. He had a feeling he would not be keen to seek out his reflection any time soon, but at least he had a gnarly scar to impress the ladies and lads with.
By the time he finally returned to the present from his thoughts, Falarion noticed most everyone had nodded off for the night. He let out a low yawn and decided to follow suit, slouching over near the fire once more.


In the days to come, Falarion spent his time shifting back and forth between his few forms he had access to. He thoroughly enjoyed the freedom in his current company to be able to do so without having an extreme reaction each time. Sure, he enjoyed frightening an tormenting his humans back home. But this...this was nice.
When they were accosted by the harsh weather, Falarion simply assumed his gryphon form and used his wings to shield two of his nearest companions until the weather lifted. He then promptly folded his wings and trudged on as if that had never occurred.

When asked about his home, Falarion focused on sharing details regarding the forest he had made his home as well as various stories about tormenting his silly little humans. If anyone were to pay special attention to his stories, they would be able to discern that he never let any physical harm come to the humans. Overall, he was more than happy to share details of his home, eager to return to it as soon as he could.

Falarion also took some time out of each day to challenge the goat to a staring contest and no matter what form he took, the damned beast won each time. This only served to increase Falarion's suspicions that something was very off about the goat. He did not trust it one bit.

When they reached their destination, Falarion hung back in the group, having donned her female human form this day. She had never really thought twice about it - how she casually swapped genders randomly. It was her normal, after all. She simply felt this form call to her today and so she slipped into it. In her female human form, Falarion did not have a lion's tail, aiding her in better blending in with the human populace.
Eyeing the architecture, Falarion briefly admired seeing something different for once considering she saw the same style for hundreds of years. But then she heard someone speak and her attention whipped to the human guard before their group.
As the guard waited for one of their team to speak, Falarion felt an uncomfortable itch growing inside of her. Despite not being able to place it, she still found an urge to absentmindedly itch at her right cheek before she frowned and caught a whiff of the awful stench emanating from the town.
Glancing about the team to see who else may have noticed, Falarion nodded at Xe and Khatiy who quietly mentioned it. She briefly noticed a melancholy expression on Korro and made a mental note to inquire about it later. She could tell that now was not the time for such questions with her own instinctive defensives rising.

SilverFlight SilverFlight Goonfire Goonfire ShadyLady ShadyLady Arai Arai Merciless Medic Merciless Medic Kibaa Kibaa Monday Monday


Koralia Stormcaller
Interactions: Merciless Medic Merciless Medic SilverFlight SilverFlight

Koralia frowned, half expecting the answer that hse had received, but didn't press the matter any further for now. Her travelling companions may have refused her suggestion, but they couldn't stop her from doing it herself until this situation was resolved. Eventually the group began to dissapate and head to respective rests, and Koralia ellected to join them. She was vaguely aware of Xe'lik's pressing gaze, so elected not to attract further conversation, performing so simple evening rituals before heading to sleep herself.

Despite everyone's concern over Korro's rapid deterioation, Koralia felt herself growing from strength to strength. Her conversations with the prescence were further forward, and it was easier to speak to than previously. Most of the time it asked her for favours and, to her credit, most of the time she refused. She did on occasion ascertain it's requests, but it was mainly to ask a question of her companion here, think of a certain memory there. Nothing Koralia could see as hugely harmful. Most mornings she was up first, and happily volunteered to scout paths ahead, the mountain terrain somewhat familiar under her feet. Sleep had been a struggle, but that was mostly because her communion kept her up late. Bad sleep coupled with more strenuous activity than usual had left her smelling a little...foisty.

Eventually, travel came to an end. Koralia could faintly smell cooking fires on the breeze, and the beautiful wals and buildings of Bajie settled into view. She'd never been there herself, but her elders had told stories of the town and it's grandiose style. He'd spoke of Bajie's oppulence and the peace that accompaied it. It was a town of strength, and judging by it's walls, had no problem demonstrating it. We're approaching the human villlage.

"So I've noticed," Koralia replied in her mind, ignoring the subtext. Pretty soon she'd have to make her case again. Ignoring me won't help you grow stronger friend. "The others don't trust you. Neither do I really. But there's plenty of time yet," She concluded, blocking the voice from further communication. She found it resist her abilities to block it for some short moments, before she overpowered it, or it retreated back to the shadows of her memories. As long as it was gone she didn't care. She vaguely listened to Xe'lik's attempt at entry, then frowned as he mentioned their missin. Was that something they should be so easy to annouce? Wasn't he putting a target on their back?

A target on your back you mean. No one is hunting him for divine magic are they? Koralia didn't answer.

Xe'lik mentioned the smell, and she struggled to pick it up under the smell of food, but the demon's senses were likely more sensitive than her own. She laughed as he suggested avoiding undue attention. "Xe, you just told the guard we are chosen by a God. That's a great way to get attention," She replied in jest quietly, a hint of irritation in the undertone. Thankfully, nomads tended to have a bit of experience getting into towns, and certain laws existed for that very purpose. She turned to the guard. "Just a group of humble acolytes of the divine Goddess Sir, hoping to rest in town for a few days while we meet with a healer. One of our number..." She gestured to Korro. "...has been scarred terrbily by a demon, and seeks medical and spiritual aid. We were hoping to find it here, in accordance with the Divine Accords of Liberum Itinerantur,"

The Divine Accords were a series of laws that had been drilled into the deepest pit of Koralia's mind since she was a child. Most were totally useless and spokie of burial rites and the proper way to wear a frock. But some came in handy from time to time. For those who followed it, the Accords of Liberum Itinerantur specifically meant Acolytes and nomads were welcome to rest and settle within a city, so long as they did not preach or prophesise their religion to the townsfolk, nor become a nuisance. For those who didn't...well, cross that bridge when they came to it.


Name: O'Korro - "Wolf"
Location: The town of Bajie, Eastern mountains
Time: Morning in the town of Bajie

Interactions: Arai Arai Merciless Medic Merciless Medic

Monday Monday Goonfire Goonfire ShadyLady ShadyLady Lioness075 Lioness075 Kibaa Kibaa Aquarin Aquarin

The guard looked quizzically at Xe'lik. Korro grit his teeth. It was apparent that no one outside of Keimara was aware of their quest.
He nodded in agreement when Koralia cautioned the bandaged demon. When she gestured to him however, Korro turned his head away. He had made sure his eyes and hair had darkened before they reached the gates, making him look as human as possible so as not to arouse suspicion, still, any attention was bad attention in his eyes.

The guard's face became a picture of understanding. "Ah! You are holy folk! Not too many of those left in these mountains." He took a long look at Korro.
"If your friend is hurt, you will want to speak to the cultivator at the manor on the hill. If you like I can send a messenger up to them. They can come find you by the inn, if they have time for more patients that is."

"What do you mean?" Korro asked, trying not to let the pain he felt enter his voice.

The guard looked uncomfortable. "There is a strange sickness that has taken over the northern district of the city. It is cordoned off. No one is permitted to enter or leave save the healers and apprentices from the manor of the Seven Moons. It is taking most of their resources to manage things there. If your business can wait, I advise perhaps returning in a month or two. I have every confidence in our cultivators, they will solve this problem soon, until then, I cannot say your visit will be entirely safe."

Korro exchanged a worried look with his companions, and spared a concerned glance for Koralia too. They could not wait a month.
"We have come to see the cultivator." Korro answered slowly.

The guard nodded, his expression grave but understanding and made a gesture. The gates slowly parted. He grabbed a young boy in trainee armour and bade him send the message. The town was now open to them.

Korro had marked his companions' words about the peculiar scent. He turned his nose to the air. Though his senses were still dampened he did smell something.
"If this is a regular plague, it is like nothing I have smelled before. Even as I am, I can sense something with malice at it's heart."

The high street was normal enough: a fine morning mist trailed the ground, lurking in alleyways and down shaded streets. People moved to and fro, between market stalls and shop fronts, not busy, but active. On one corner just past the first street sat a two-story inn, it's sign framed with a curved burgundy wood frame. Outside on the terrace there were benches and tables, and a few patrons quietly enjoying tea.

"I suppose we can explore a little, until the messenger comes for us at the inn." Korro said quietly. "I will wait there."
Slowly the demon started for the terrace, taking in the strange atmosphere. There was a cloaked beggar by a set of stone steps across from him. Sitting still with their head bowed. Beside them Korro caught a flash of movement and a rat darted for the gutter. Before it vanished it looked back, and he could have sworn it looked straight at them.
Suddenly Korro felt a searing pain shoot through the wound in his side. His hand flew to it and he sank to his knees.
A cold sweat began to bead on his brow. He tried to struggle to his feet but his strength had abandoned him. He could only kneel there on the cobbles, helpless and infuriated by the fact.


Xie Dongmei

An encounter preordained​

When the Goddess called for her contribution, Xie Dongmei hurried to Bajie without a moment of delay. Yet, weeks passed before the plague erupted. It was fortunate that she had spent precious time conversing with the healers of Seven Moons; it prevented doubt when she offered her help in solving the plague. Still, the path ahead was steep.

Xie Dongmei had seen two bouts of plague during her journey with the Priestess, yet this one was a disease unknown to her. It was not leprosy nor the geese-caused disease she faced. The cure was an even more difficult topic; she was not familiar with the medicinal plants of the Eastern Mountain. The Seven Moon healers knew more than she ever could. Healing magic was not within her expertise either. Her intimacy always lied deeper with the sword and Cold Wind spells than that of Life.

Pungent medical scents infiltrated her smell as Xie Dongmei entered the hall. Low murmurs encroached the vast chamber. Groans, muffled discussion between healers, and breathless prayers tangled and suffocated. Xie Dongmei pulled a tassel from her waist and clasped its mirror-like plate in her hands. The silver plate pressed cold against her palm and heart. Clear as midday snow, Xie Dongmei began to pray.

"Save your servant, O Sustainer of Life,
From too early a death.
Free me of that affliction of believers
Who so easily become rigid of heart

In their journeys to you.

Bestow upon us like a dove,
Shield and protect the one I love,
Cover their pain with Your graced wings,

Shield them from sorrow, breathe hope songs within."

Her prayer drowned the patient hall into a tranquil lull. Cool wind blew and eased the heat and discomfort of the afflicted. Xie Dongmei halted her prayers after enough time pass to brew a cup of tea. A helper hurried and offered her water, which she took gratefully.

"Thank you, Master Xie." A healer looked relieved as his patient drifted asleep. Xie Dongmei nodded and the pride inside her bloomed. Her spells could bring comfort, even if she could not cure them. In times of uncertainty, she could prevented the untowards from happening. Twice she prevented family members from barging into the hall in their worry and once she had to draw her sword to prevent a healer from being attacked.

Just as she sat down to rest, a helper hurried and told her that a patient was looking for her outside. A Victim of a demon attack, they said.

Xie Dongmei rubbed her eyes. "I will head out before the sun peaks. Alone."


Xie Dongmei left the manor after she changed into a fresh set of clothes and hid her puffy eyes. The town had came to see her as an esteemed cultivator and she appeared to fulfill that impression. Stares and looks, admiring, covetous, and otherwise, fell upon her. Her white clothes stood out like a fire upon a starless night and the veiled hat distanced her one step further. She liked the attention, Xie Dongmei admitted to herself and no one else.

Still, for all the gazes upon her, none was daring or foolish enough to approach. Her identity was well-spread and her swordsmanship embellished after she overwhelmed the few that tried to barge into the hall.

Soon, Xie Dongmei arrived at the inn designated. She did not need to step into its ground to sense the unusuality within; it reminded her of the Goddess. She did not get far in, either. At the terrace, a figure suddenly dropped onto the cobbled floor. Xie Dongmei frowned. This...

"Are you alright, young man?" She knelt down to examine the man better. The irony of her calling Korro a 'young man' was unknown to her at the moment. Forget the Goddess, she felt demon from him, too. This must be the patient the letter asked for.

Interaction: Korro
SilverFlight SilverFlight

Mention: -

Marching through the village, Fin perceived an underlying malice behind the plague which ravaged so many of these humans. A low, irritated growl seeped from deep within his throat. This had to be the work of demons, given the state of the world at large. He felt this and much more strife could have been prevented, had the gods not been recalled.

Though Koralia half-joked, Fin recognized the undertone, and for the slightest moment, one might recognize the makings of a humble smile. "We are lucky these people still have faith," he stated, sounding truly relieved. "Could you sense it, in the guard? Amidst all this turmoil, he granted us passage when Xe told the truth. Perhaps we can help them in kind." Secretly, the hunter wondered if the guard would've been so kind if he knew of a few characters' demonic nature.

Korro seized and fell to his knees, producing a 'thud' that drew Fin to investigate. The god's thick eyebrows rose. The sight of this demon writhing in pain inspired... Could it be? Pity? His gaze shifted to the approaching woman, though he couldn't quite restore his stone facade in time to adequately deny his thoughts, should one pry. Indeed, this stranger harbored a sliver of familiar power; it seemed too uncanny to be coincidental that she would cross paths with the pilgrims. "Are you the cultivator we seek?" he questioned, squatting with his spear leaning against his shoulder. "My rival has been cursed, his wounds... severe," he explained in a hushed, grave tone—not an ounce of gloating to be heard, perhaps remarkably. He and his adversary had shrugged off many grievous wounds; this one could not be the wolf's undoing. "He must be healed of his affliction, lest he perish."

Interactions: Arai Arai Damafaud Damafaud
Mentions: SilverFlight SilverFlight
Ranger of the Nameless Shade
Alitheia Sera'lios

Location: Bajie - inn
Aesthetic: x
Playlist: x
SilverFlight SilverFlight Goonfire Goonfire Damafaud Damafaud

The marksman closed her eyes and inhaled, feeling the push and pull of the world through the air drawn into her lungs. On her clouded exhale her eyes opened in time with the steady draw of her bow, her arm drawing back against the heavy tension with which the wood was strung. Starting high, she settled, her body easing into a natural stance while her eye tracked her target. Her chest was empty now - her body a framework for the weapon in her hands. The muscles of her back and shoulders began to protest, but she gave no outward sign of the discomfort.

She waited. She didn’t breathe as she followed the creature, the sounds of birds carrying on overhead as it shuffled through the undergrowth. Her sights were so natural that when the moment came, she barely recognized it. Her fingers released the bowstring with a snap, the arrow there one moment, then simply not. A short scream leapt into the air before all was quiet once more. The hunter stood still, pausing before allowing herself to draw breath again, the chill morning air biting at her face. Content her target had been felled, she let the massive bow hang in a loose grip at her side as she moved on between the trees.

The creature she had ended lay on its side, roughly a meter in length, an arrow shaft standing straight from the soft flesh where foreleg met body. It was female, larger than its male counterparts; it’d pay better too. The thing stank of moldering earth and peat moss, but she didn’t balk. Instead she retrieved her arrow with a smooth and familiar movement, wiping the heart’s blood from the head and inspecting it before returning it to her quiver.
“You’ll do just fine,”
she hushed as she bent to take the thing by its forelegs, hoisting it onto her shoulder.

A dun colored gelding awaited her over a rise, contentedly grazing despite the burden of the dozen or so carcasses already tied to the saddle. The last joined its brethren and the hunter threw a sheet of waxed canvas to cover them, though a haphazard cloven foot or bill could be seen beneath its edge. They were called griglings, destroyers of farmland and forests alike, and the closest settlement would pay handsomely for their carcasses.
The message came quietly that night, and not by any human hand; of that she was certain. Nothing had roused her from her half-sleep in the shadowed boughs of an ancient tree, just outside the farming village where she had turned in her kills. Yet when the pre-dawn signaled for her to rise, an immaculately sealed scroll awaited her atop her mount’s stashed saddle.

She had had to reread the letter several times before she sat heavily on a desiccated log. She was nearly two weeks' ride from Bajie, which lay to the east. Distance aside… The God Queen, and a journey to the end of the world. She felt the gloom tucked amongst the forest understory lean to her, a confirmation. Her horse tossed his dark mane, huffing as he was wont to do when the darkness reached for her. Her fingers moved to rub the smooth wood of her bow, laying across her lap. It too seemed to sing in uncharacteristic agreement with the shadows.

So, the ranger left the sticky forests of the south and traveled north east through familiar lands. She did not stop in populated areas, uncertain of what other deities and their agents may have their eyes set on a somehow-chosen of the God Queen. The lowlands broke their bounds for the sky after only a few days' hard ride, turning to high plains, then to steep cliffs with deeper valleys.

This land was familiar enough to her, the terrain alone stirring a painful nostalgia behind her breast bone. Though her home had been further west and much further north the peaks here felt not all that different. The environment was where the similarities ended. Bajie was unlike the fallen High Certare - to start with, her home no longer stood. A bitter note chimed in her mind like a funeral bell. She pushed the grim thought away.
By the time the woman entered Bajie, she had reviewed the God Queen’s letter so many times that the words were burned into her mind. She was to seek her soon-companions at an inn on the high street of Bajie proper. There was no mention of plague in the summons, yet she had been informed at the gate that sickness had spread and been contained, just days before her arrival. A nameless tension wove between her ribs and when she found the inn, blossomed.

There was no party waiting for her there - she was early it seemed. She did not identify herself to the innkeeper, but bought a room and stabled her horse, then set about waiting. While she did, she learned of the Seven Moons, of the city, and of the plague itself. Normally she would pursue such illness and need, but she did not trust the gods, and though she wasn’t certain, the darkness in her dreams made her think that it was not all it seemed.

She waited.
An early riser, the ranger sat outside in the cool morning, tea on the table before her and her bow, Lyana in her grip. She sat with the bow's bottom nock kicked out in front of her, its curve rising to allow the woman to lean her shoulder against it. It was nearly as tall as she was, its wood dark and inlaid with swirls of gold that matched the metallic shine of its string. If one looked closely, there were flowers on either side of the ornate grip, true blossoms closed and awaiting the warmth of the sun.

The ranger was running a soft cloth over the bows limbs when she stilled suddenly. Attention prickled the back of her neck. She was accustomed to curious glances - she struck a strange figure in most places - but this itched like something else.

As she made to twist in her seat, motion snagged her attention instead. A man fell to the cobblestone, and a woman in white, all grace and godly glow, intervened. The man wasn’t alone either. The ranger stood smoothly, her bow in her grip and at her side not unlike a staff.

Her companions had arrived, and were she a betting woman, that graceful creature in white was the cultivator. The God Queen’s summons had not been in error.

If the ranger appeared to be anything, it was out of place. Her garb was obviously meant for travel over appearance, and to the trained eye she was equipped for a fight. Her face served to identify her as well - scars pulled at the left side of her face and neck, but most unsettling were her eyes. Her pupils reflected light, as those of a predator of the night might in moon-lit gloom.
Code By Nano
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Similar to her initial experience in the village of Keimara, Khatiy felt as if she stuck out like a sore thumb here in Bajie. The fact that their relation to the Goddess had been immediately revealed was only half of it-- Khatiy felt foreign here, not able to see many Keshkarthans here at all other than Roshan. Everything about this place, as beautiful as it was, felt strange and obscure. She could feel the eyes that followed her and the rest of the party, feeling quite out of place clad in her raggedy desert-proof robes. The Heiress pulled her furred robe, which was decorated with two ornamental cat ears that proudly displayed her Usaaman origin, so as to perhaps hide her long braids and her bronzen skin. Curious cat-like eyes observantly kept watch of her surroundings as the party made way for the inn.

Khatiy remained close to Korro and Fin, for lack of a better thing to do. Koralia seemed a little more familiar with this place, at least, but part of her thought that Korro seemed to know what he was doing, and she had been told that the party should be wary of their trustworthiness towards Koralia for now, until the matter of the curse is resolved. Sitting herself upon one of the edges of the terrace, Khatiy's eyes flickered about before an employee of the inn had approached her.

"A honeyed ale? I'm not sure what that is.. But, certainly, I'll try one." She replied to the employee meekly. Did it occur to Khatiy that she had no currency on her?

Her gaze flickered to Korro, then, who seemed to suddenly falter, for a reason inexplicable. Just as she was about to rise and see what the matter was, the Usaaman observed as Fin came to his aid, and then a lady dressed in fine robes. She could be the cultivator, or so Finn seemed to think. Korro seemed to be in good hands, and so Khatiy did not feel the need to intervene either. Hmmm. She wondered, what were Falarion, Roshan, Koralia and Xe'lik up to now? Had they followed into the inn? From the corner of her eye, Khatiy spotted a who seemed a little out of place too. Where she hailed from, though, Khatiy could not tell. She knew little about the world outside of Usaama.
Treasure Demon

Time has always been a weird concept for Sovann. While not as easily countable as piles of coins may be, most still credit it with more worth than every king's treasure could ever hold. The demon didn't understand the notion of counting one's time and keeping track of it as if it would change its flow or add value to this useless act. Whatever time passed, will have passed and truly didn't even matter in the end. The world didn't care if—what humans called—a year or thirty more of these years went by, and so Sovann wouldn't either.

Naturally, he couldn't remember how long he had been waiting for his god-appointed companions.

The call of the Goddess resided as nothing more than hazy memories in the depths of his consciousness. Overwritten by sluggish movements as he made an effort to leave his birthplace-turned-battlefield. Sovann didn't recall most of the journey to the unknown city either. Confused pathways and unfriendly travellers who seemed to be more interested in the content of his pockets than anything else.

While Bajie itself was more worthwhile than the trek towards it—streets filled with life and playing children—he couldn't help but notice the lethargic veil that slowly started to creep over the settlement. It drained the energy of the locals and raised a distinctive stank that was hard to miss. Clinging to individuals like beggars to their cups, the smell accompanied them to their very bitter end. Though most didn't seem to notice that coincidence.

The quarantine of the northern district followed soon after, an attempt to contain the mysterious sickness and placate the masses. But Sovann heard the whispers of the people, gamblers losing their partner's savings as they murmured about their upcoming demise. Merchants weaved stories about the work of a demon or the curse of a lover mourning her partner. Some even put the blame on the Seven Moons because, in the minds of most, surely, kindness couldn't come without a price. However, theories remained nothing more than old wives' tales, as no cause or cure was found.

But well, that wasn't currently much of Sovann's issue, was it?

"Come back tomorrow, good fellow! I will save a bag just for you." The vendor called out to him, a slight hint of greed layered in his voice as he earned a small fortune by selling those overpriced apples. Sovann glanced back, waving half-heartedly with the hand that held tightly onto his newly acquired possession filled with fruits, before he turned around again. His staff was firmly in his other hand as the demon made his way through the morning streets, ignoring the calls for attention from the other stalls.

Waiting around the inn became tiresome; his feet itched to traverse the paths outside the city, to see sights he couldn't fathom before. But bound to this place, Sovann had to make do with the busy market districts. At least the food was great, although he did miss his rocks.

He turned around the next corner, opening the bag in the meantime and taking out one of the apples. Its skin glistened in the morning rays, and the crunch was delectable when he bit into it. The way back to his current resting place was deeply familiar to him by now, but as Sovann approached the terrace, he saw some unfamiliar faces. He glanced at the man kneeling over in the midst of the streets, surrounded by a woman clothed completely in white and a giant whose appearance prickled the back of his neck and spread unease in the demon's inside.

A feeling told Sovann that these could be the people he had been waiting for, but hesitation stopped him from approaching them. What if they wanted some of his apples? His grip tightened around the bag as he slightly hid it behind himself, pulling his hood further down in the process.

Stopping in his walk, Sovann leaned against his staff and watched the small group from a distance. He tilted his head apprehensively while he munched on the fruit still in his hand. Would it be weird if he followed them without introducing himself? The demon twiddled around with that idea in his head, not inherently disliking that notion even when faced with its impracticality.

"Maybe they're just a bunch of unrelated strangers," Sovann unconsciously muttered under his breath while nibbling at the apple's core. He sighed. This would have been much easier if they could just wear a sign that read, 'Follow me if you were bothered by a Goddess before'.
Code by Serobliss
Mentions: SilverFlight SilverFlight Damafaud Damafaud Goonfire Goonfire

Interactions: //

Location: Town of Bajie, Eastern Mountains
Time: Day 4, Morning
Interactions: Sovann, Finyagur, Xie, Korro, Koralia, Falarion
Mentions: Roshan, Khatiy, Alitheia
Aquarin Aquarin Goonfire Goonfire Damafaud Damafaud SilverFlight SilverFlight Arai Arai Lioness075 Lioness075 Monday Monday Kibaa Kibaa DirtyBirdyAK DirtyBirdyAK

At least Xe wasn’t the only one to smell the plague, as Khatiy and Falarion - who was now a woman - noticed it.

Wait, how did he do that? Xe’lik had to give Falarion a once over and a twice over, not realizing he had turned at all until now.

Honestly, Falarion was pretty hot like that, but he wasn’t going to say that out loud.

As Koralia basically replied to Xe, he shrugged. The guard didn’t seem to care, so it was no skin off his back. He waited for Koralia to talk to the guard and for them to walk inside before speaking to Koralia about it. Of course, after Korro asked and got a bit more understanding of Bajie in its current state. They were set upon by a plague, with the north sectioned off with healers in the Seven Moons helping out.

He whispered back to her, giving her a reason once they crossed the threshold. “Given the context, I look crazy and not all there anyway. If I said anything wrong, they'd just pass it off as if I'm just spouting crazy-talk. If they were worshipping the Goddess and were aware of our Quest, they would let us in. Since they haven’t done so based on us being on the Quest, I’ve surmised any talk of our assignment wouldn’t do us any favors.”

As they walked towards the inn, Xe looked around, keeping everyone in his vision. Roshan, Koralia, Falarion, Finyagur, Korro, Khatiy-

Immediately, Xe went to Korro’s side, giving him much the same help as he tried with Koralia. At that moment, a woman arrived and she had this ethereal feeling to her. Then he noticed she was god-touched.

The divine sensations made his inner demonic sensations hungry for power, but he figured she was a part of this Quest, too.

Fin interjected, telling her of Korro’s severe wounds. Was that concern? Xe eyed with incredulity. He was a god, and he hated demons. Or was it just Korro? Either way, he also noticed another woman in hunter garb staring at them, and then a man eyeing at them. He caught wind of what he said with his sensitive ears, and deadpanned. Unrelated strangers? Was he searching for them too?

He raised up his wrist to show off the Goddess’s shackled armband on his wrist, staring directly at him before looking at the woman, spotting Khatiy behind her at the bar. “His injury is of… magical origin. Are you able to fix it?” He asked, making it vague while giving some insight as to the nature of the injury.


Name: O'Korro - "Wolf"
Location: The town of Bajie, Eastern mountains
Time: Morning in the town of Bajie

Interactions: Merciless Medic Merciless Medic Goonfire Goonfire Damafaud Damafaud Aquarin Aquarin DirtyBirdyAK DirtyBirdyAK

Monday Monday ShadyLady ShadyLady Lioness075 Lioness075 Kibaa Kibaa Arai Arai

"Don't you dare pity me." Korro snarled at Fin, though he didn't look up. He had no bite left anymore. Korro's vision began to swim, but be forbade himself to faint. Not in front of his century-old rival.
Korro forced himself up, clenching his teeth against the pain so tightly he thought they might shatter. Still, he swayed back, and had to reply on Xe's support before he toppled into the gutter.

The woman he did not even notice, until the soft white of her gown fluttered into his view. He lifted his head then, blinked and seemed confused.
"You're human." He said, his mind in a fog. She hadn't looked human, not dressed as she was, pristine and elegant in the grey of the city morning, but he could sense the power of the God queen flowing through her, his injured body yearned for the power contained there, but Korro clenched his fist against the hunger.

Instead he looked away, his companions pleading his case much more graciously than he ever would. He helped them by saying nothing.
His eyes caught on a stranger, standing with a bag of apples not too far away. He was elegant too, but there was a little less human to him in Korro's eyes. Then he caught sight of the delicate beads about the stranger's neck. He recognized the glint of them.

"You...you were bound by the God queen." Korro shifted his stance to get a better look at him, the fur of his cloak fell aside, revealing the torc around his own neck, a testament to their shared fate. Korro pointed at the demon to alert his companions.

An acolyte from the manor came scurrying down the cobbled slope, the edges of his robe flapping in the breeze he made with his urgency.
"Lady! My Lady!" He called out to Xie, nearly forgetting to bow when he reached her, hands clasped in a hurried circle before him.
"They are about to close the gates to the city. The plague has broken out of the Northern district. I was instructed to guide you and our guests back to the manor immediately."

He glanced at the group, and his gaze settled on two figures standing apart. The man Korro had called to, and a woman sitting on the terrace of the nearby inn.
"Are they with you?" The acolyte asked politely.

Korro examined the woman sitting there. Yes. She had the same power, another human for the pilgrimage of the scrolls.
"They are." Korro said, before his legs threatened to give out again.
His gaze trailed the steep, sloped road up to the manor. He swallowed. It was a long way. Slowly his eyes began to grow lighter, and his hair. His control over his appearance was slipping...if the white-clad stranger did not know his demonic nature before, she would now.

No one else noticed however, because suddenly shouts came from behind them. There was a small crowd of people gathered on the side of the street. Someone was lying there. The beggar by the doorway. His body completely limp. Someone screamed. "The plague is here!" Suddenly there was a flurry around them, people scrambling for their doors, packing up their shops, covering their faces with their clothes. Korro remembered the rat he had seen, how it had looked at them, but before his mind could come to any conclusions, his consciousness began to fade...

((If you want to change the scene in your next posts, I have a description of the manor below))

The Seven Moons manor was an ancient place, elegant and proud. Thickets of towering bamboo crowded around the circular front gates, pressing against pristine white walls that surrounded the compound. There were three central pavilions, nested in beds of white stones that had been raked into spiral patterns about rocks and tended trees. Each pavillion was elevated in foundations of white stone and each had a name. Behind them, the sloping slate rooftops of more buildings could be seen, disappearing into a high bamboo thicket. They were the private quarters, guest houses, acolyte dormitories and kitchens. Smooth slabs of stone lay out trails through the gardens, all leading from the buildings to a central square set in the middle of the main three pavilions. Its ground was made of rough, white marble and sat in elegant compliment to the white stone gardens that surrounded each structure. The pavilions themselves were built from strong pillars of deep rosewood, the walls in between, both inside and out painted opal-white. The doorways were made of the same wood, unpainted but intricately carved from halfway up, leaving open spaces between delicate flowers and regal birds etched into the wood.


Xie Dongmei

Meeting the procession
: The path to Seven Manor, Town of Bajie
Time: Morning
Xie Dongmei's gaze fell on the giant and she was grateful once again for her veiled hat. She cranked her head to Xe'lik, bandages obscuring his visage, and, following a pause to collect herself, to mute the glitter in her eyes, to douse her blush and to extinguish the imagery that lit an unearthly heat inside her, an image unthinkable in the northern cold even in the fiercest summer yet not unpleasant to her eyes in its alarming boldness, returned a subtle nod.

"I am Xie Dongmei, a follower of Zima. I have healed similar wounds before." Though, humans? Xie Dongmei started as the freckled man pointed at another. God Queen. A sharp breath followed the realization. She took a subconscious step away from both Korro and the demon he pointed.

She could count the number of friendly demons she met on both hands. The promise of God Queen prevented her from deviating further. Xie Dongmei forced herself to meet the eyes of the other demon. He looked human. In fact, if not for the faint sense of unease and divine power intermingling, she would have mistaken him for a rich young master.

Xie Dongmei tilted her lips upward. The demon's wound aside, the entourage's appearance was the first good news she had for a while.

And naturally, it did not last.

She helplessly foresaw the sleepless nights ahead as the acolyte delivered the news. Xie Dongmei sighed softly and accepted his bow. "These benefactors came from afar. A sword and an ax can cut a tree, but an ax does it better. The physicians and healers are working hard to end this plague, but I am the only one able to solve this master's ailment."

There was little time for introductions. As the acolyte led the way, a commotion at the side of the street turned Xie Dongmei's expression grave. The plague was a ticking time bomb they were not close to solving.

"We still do not know where the plague came from or how it is spread. There was no similar cases in the past and it appeared abruptly without warning-" Xie Dongmei bit her explanation as the ashen young man fell right in front of her eyes. She threw her veiled hat over him, her thin brows furrowed in concern as she asked of the acolyte, "Please prepare a house distant from the others. This gentleman is frail of health. His affliction and the plague should not be mixed."

Without her veiled hat, Xie Dongmei's jade-like features met the world bare. She added at a low voice the acolyte cannot hear, "I have only cleansed ailment of magic inflicted on the humans of Northern Plain before."

In other words, she had no idea if her methods would work on a demon.

Interaction: Korro, Finyagur, Xe'lik
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Mention: Sovann
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Treasure Demon

The shine of an armband made him raise his head, his senses suddenly focusing on the accessory its bandaged wearer was proudly showcasing. Sovann could feel the power hiding behind the unassuming shimmer of a golden casting—traces of a divine touch. Beads that were barely touching his neck seemed to be even hotter than normally, constraining his breath in short, exhausting puffs as it reminded him of its presence.

"You...you were bound by the God queen." And wasn't this a fate to rejoice over?

His gaze drifted over the crowd, searching for the person that said these words. It didn't take long for Sovann to locate the source in the kneeling man with a finger pointed in his direction. The stranger's stare burned despite the coldness in his yellow eyes, and the snake had to suppress the urge to coil up. But judging by the torc around his neck, they at least seemed to share the same fate as well.

He felt the weight of the woman staring at him soon after. Almost gratefully, his eyes shifted towards her, caught in the brilliance of her aura. Xie Dongmei—if his ears didn't betray him—a healer who was apparently going to help the wounded demon. But looking at the wariness in her stance, he was wondering if she would truly follow through.

Sovann noticed that demons and humans seemed to despise each other by nature; assistance was not something easily exchanged and was far more easily traded with outright hostility. It was a given truth, just like gods would always stand above them—a reality that no one wanted to challenge. But Sovann wasn't really able to see the reasoning behind it.

He thought that there were far more shared similarities in their behaviours, emotions that influenced both races equally, and desires that were not born out of righteousness either. Collective interests were usually enough to open up common ground to have a friendly talk with one another. Though, as Sovann supposed, that could also be one cause of their hatred. It was significantly easier and more comfortable to shift the blame from one's own behaviour to that of someone else. How could it be the queen's fault when she encroached on the demon's territory to expand her land when the greedy demon could have just left or reduced his area?

He blinked. The hurried appearance of the acolyte interrupted his flow, ripping him out of his thoughts as Sovann listened to his message. The plague escaped. That would explain the sudden spread of the faint smell across the city over the last few days. Now not something merely concentrated in the northern district anymore.

Sudden screams, a fallen beggar, Sovann turned around, catching a hasty overview over the situation. Why the panic?

Instinctively, he approached the group. A failing attempt to avoid the frenzy of bystanders turning into trampling scaremongers. Shoulders bumped against his, and Sovann almost lost his grip on the apples in the hysteria. An irritated hiss escaped his throat, loud enough to scare the closest humans and make them back off.

He reached his new companions just in time to see his fellow demon fall. Similar to the beggar, but distinctly still breathing and, weirdly enough, partly covered by a hat.

Curiosity overcame him, and, wordlessly, Sovann reached below one of the ashen man's arm with the end of his staff. Lifting the limp appendage upwards, only to let it carelessly be claimed by gravity again when he pulled the staff away. Mild disappointment shone in his golden eyes, almost as if the demon expected something else to happen. But no words would escape his lips that would voice that feeling or, more importantly, give an explanation to why he just did that.

Not that he had one.
Code by Serobliss
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Koralia Stormcaller
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"We are lucky these people still have faith," Finyagur pointed out to her as they passed the guard, and she reluctantly nodded in agreement. "Could you sense it, in the guard? Amidst all this turmoil, he granted us passage when Xe told the truth. Perhaps we can help them in kind."

Koralia turned back to the guard, then at their party, and put voice to his thoughts. "I think if he knew he'd just let several demons into his fair city he'd be calling for more guards, divine mission or not," She said with a smile, walking backwards along the cobbles as she faced him. Xe's concern was the same as he chimed in to defend himself.

“Given the context, I look crazy and not all there anyway. If I said anything wrong, they'd just pass it off as if I'm just spouting crazy-talk. If they were worshipping the Goddess and were aware of our Quest, they would let us in,”

She disagreed wholeheartedly, though kept it to herself. Faith in the Goddess didn't go as far as it used to, demons and monsters had seen to that. In the wider view of her travels, the fact that they had gotten this lucky early on was something of a miracle. Koralia had been turned away many a time from other inns and settlements to who the accord didn't stretch as far as a few gold coins. Her thoughts were shaken by Korro's collapse, though she stayed back as a new woman apporached, robes of gleaming white and piety just as pure. As several of her allies rushed to Korro's aid to help him and the woman, she hung back, trying to downplay her own affliction. Maybe she would get lucky and they would forget, or it wouldn't be noticeable forever. It was going well so far.

As the group coallesced, she found her attention drawn to another...human looking (No way to tell anymore, the journey had taught her that much) figure, her outfit similar to her own. Utility over style, and one of solitary living. There was another man, garbed in gold and oppulence, and...distractingly pleasant to look at. Not as much in an attractive way as one would look at a nice water feature or a mountain view. Several of the others had seemed to notice them as well, but whether the demons had sensed anything or not, she couldn't tell.

And then she could.

It was such a strange senstation at first that she took a deep breath as it happened, almost a gasp. It wasn't that there was a...smell about the woman in white and the travel garbed person, but she could feel something. A light and warmth that a part of her she didn't understand was desperate to be a part of, for reasons she couldn't understand. And the third figure, though she wasn't sure how, she knew was a demon that was bound alongside them.

Talk to them, more humans means more allies against them if things go south.

Koralia didn't need to be told twice, and was about to step forward when shouts from behind them began, and there was a scream about a plague. People moved about in a panic, closing store fronts, barricading doors. Whatever this plague was, taking their chances with it probably wasn't a good idea. Still, the white one was offering sanctuary, so she flagged the other woman to approach and walk with them to safety. The demon man was already doing the same. Whatever pull she was sensing might be stronger if they were closer to them.

"Yeah, we're not the most inconspicuous group," She started with a shrug. "If you're looking for the divine servants of the goddess," she sang, putting on a fake falsetto for the phrase. "Then you've found them. I'm Koralia," She said with a small wave, then gestured to their group and named them in turn. "Have you guys been in town long?"
Ranger of the Nameless Shade
Alitheia Sera'lios

Location: Bajie - inn
Aesthetic: x
Playlist: x
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The morning calm had ended. The ranger almost mourned its loss. Silvered eyes slid over the strange cast of characters, of which she was quickly forming suspicions that they weren't all humans. She had spent many years moving between settlements, and most of her time was spent outside them. Demons were not unfamiliar to her.

The God Queens missive had said nothing of demons. She acknowledged this with a bitter note. Of course. Lyana, the bow that rested against her side, was warm to the touch. If the ranger didn't know any better, it was excited.

Her gaze moved to the man the ailed one pointed to, confirming her suspicions. He was all shining blond and gold.

When the alcolyte approached to share dismal news, the ailed man looked directly to her. She met his gaze and tipped her head in confirmation. "They are." The words felt somehow final; a seal stamped, a nail driven.

The ranger turned away from the scene, ducking inside the inn and passing through its main room. As she did, she noted a beautiful woman there on the terrace with warm honied eyes. So rapt had she been in the arrival of the party she hadn't caught her sitting down.

She would leave her horse to be escorted but she would not leave her kit. She took the stairs three at a time and retrieved all her possessions not kept with her mount. A slinged bag, a long quiver at her hip, and her spear Lyst. She strung Lyana across her chest, its grip resting squarely between her shoulder blades in a familiar embrace, will Lyst took up its roll of staff until more violent needs arose.

As she left her room of only a few days she heard the screams of plague. It had been inevitable. She stopped at the bar to deposit a handful of coins and offer the keeper a soft smile.
"Please make sure my horse follows to the manor hosting the Cultivator."
His gaze shifted nervously to the open terrace and the plague beyond.

"This is too much," he insisted, looking back at her.

"No. Thank you for keeping me."
And then she was gone, rejoining those outside, looking ever more the ranger she was.

Was this a beginning or an end, she wondered as she fell in step with the strange group. Her scars itched under her skin in some prickling warning, more in her mind than body, but she didn't touch them.

One of the women of the group raised her hand to her and joined in their step. The ranger followed her introductions and wondered at the number of them. How had they been chosen? How had she been chosen?

"Alitheia Sera'lios,"
she offered. Her voice was soft and even, though it would sometimes go weeks without use.
"I arrived a few days ago to await those chosen, but I didnt expect the group to be so large. Or so diverse."
She was raised to fear demons. To kill without so much as a grain of remorse. Her life was built around the idea, and when her city fell she likely should have held to those beliefs. Yet, it only took a handful of seasons for her to find her peace. Nature had a way of doing that. In the wilderness alies were alies, regardless of the crimes of their race, and when she carried the shadow she did, was she truly human any more?

"How long have you all been traveling? The Goddess' summons had few details."
Storm-silvered eyes studied Koralia, wondering at her divinity or lack thereof. Something stirred at the back of her mind, some skulking darkness that chose then to rear it's head. Curiosity bloomed, and for a moment Alitheia could not tell whether the thought was hers or its. Something was clinging to her, not unlike Alie. A muscle flickered in her jaw as memories from that night a decade ago rose unbidden.
Code By Nano
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Fin grunted in irritation as his fading foe sassed him. "Do not speak. You need all your strength," he commanded, not caring if Korro disliked his tone. The Cultivator, thankfully, knew of cursed wounds and the treatment. Breaking the curse on a demon couldn't have been too dissimilar.

Though panic ensued as the plague spread and Korro collapsed, Fin kept a level head. He beckoned the two new faces; one clearly bore the God Queen's blessing, while the other's strangely opulent appearance and lustrous golden hair marked him as non-human. He knew of no other gods who roamed the human realm, nor did he know any spirit who would smother oneself in such luxurious fabrics. It had to be another demon. Merely thinking about traveling with a fourth disgusted him.

Scooping up the unconscious demon with ease, the god audibly and almost mischievously growled, "You will repay me in sheer amusement, Wolf." He then proceeded with Korro held in a bridal carry, following Xie Dongmei's lead. "We can only try," he replied to the healer, who seemed uncertain if even she could lift the curse from a demon. "A spirit told of your gifts. Do you remember one by the name of Ying Yue?" He glanced around, wondering where she had went.

Since Alitheia expressed interest in the quest thus far, Fin passed the short travel time getting the three up to speed. "Our journey has only begun. We met at the temple in Keimara. This stop was necessary because two of us are cursed, in fact." With his dark eyes, he motioned to Koralia; his hands were too full to gesture towards her. "Of course, the Queen bestows unexpected blessings, placing new allies in our path."

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Female Human Form.jpg
Name: FalarionRace: Demon
Location: The town of BajieCurrent Form: Female human

Falarion mindfully catalogued the information regarding a Cultivator and strange illness about in the area, but then promptly shoved that information aside when an inn was mentioned.

"Sweet blessed...finally an actual bed!"

Before the group could get too far into the village to explore, Korro promptly collapsed in pain and Falarion was about to move to his aid before she saw movement in her peripherals and was distracted by the lone rat dashing to the side. Narrowing her eyes at it, Falarion decided the newcomer coming to Korro's side could handle his situation at this moment and slunk after the rat. Not a moment later, it stared right at their group and Falarion froze in her movements to watch it disappear down the gutter. Odd.

By the time Falarion had walked a few circles around the gutter entrance and glared at it being so small, she decided against exploring it alone and sighed forlornly. If she were at full strength, she would not have hesitated to shift and dart down there herself, but just about everything that could go wrong had done so thus far. She was not keen to encourage any further strife.

Turning back to the group, Falarion noticed a few had gathered around Korro now and even another newcomer off to the side with odd eyes. Unable to help herself, Falarion narrowed her own eyes at the woman, but otherwise kept to herself. For now.

Sighting Xe at Korro's side now, Falarion finally made the move to rejoin the small gathering and promptly muttered from the side,
"Oi, careful. Xe there will throw shit at ya to help heal ya." She gave a halfhearted glare to Xe then, clearly teasing the demon.

Introductions were made, panic ensued, the beggar collapsed with plague that was no doubt from the rat that made a brief appearance earlier, and Fin was quick to sweep up Korro bridal style. Yeah, Falarion was not going to let him live that down either.

Strolling after their ever-growing group, Falarion simply listened to the conversations and decided to butt in when Fin mentioned 'blessings'.

"Aye, I'm one o' those blessin's, naturally. Name's Falarion, by the way." She grinned toothily at the newcomers of their group and then winked at Fin.


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Name: O'Korro - "Wolf"
Location: The town of Bajie, Eastern mountains
Time: Morning in the town of Bajie

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Korro slipped in and out of waking as the group made their way up the steps. An uncharacteristic sweat put a sheen on his pale face.
The acolyte hurried along in front of them. The gates stood proudly, set against the afternoon sun at the top of the hill. Something shimmered between them, a protection spell. Symbols carved into the wood of each beam glowed faintly with purification magic.

The acolyte looked uneasily at Korro, revealed as a demon. The others could tell he was assessing just how many demons he was about to let into their safe haven. One look at Xie however, made him dutifully open the barrier, and let them through.

((The description of the manor again, in case you missed it))

The Seven Moons manor was an ancient place, elegant and proud. Thickets of towering bamboo crowded around the circular front gates, pressing against pristine white walls that surrounded the compound. There were three central pavilions, nested in beds of white stones that had been raked into spiral patterns about rocks and tended trees. Each pavillion was elevated in foundations of white stone and each had a name. Behind them, the sloping slate rooftops of more buildings could be seen, disappearing into a high bamboo thicket. They were the private quarters, guest houses, acolyte dormitories and kitchens. Smooth slabs of stone lay out trails through the gardens, all leading from the buildings to a central square set in the middle of the main three pavilions. Its ground was made of rough, white marble and sat in elegant compliment to the white stone gardens that surrounded each structure. The pavilions themselves were built from strong pillars of deep rosewood, the walls in between, both inside and out painted opal-white. The doorways were made of the same wood, unpainted but intricately carved from halfway up, leaving open spaces between delicate flowers and regal birds etched into the wood.

The acolyte lead Fin to a small house behind the central three, a small building away from the larger ones used to treat the plague afflicted. People walked briskly back and forth, carrying supplies, messages and doing other small tasks. Interestingly, non of the acolytes seemed worried about a spreading infection. They wore no protection. Obviously there was something they knew about the plague that others did not and there were plenty of them to ask.

The room was simple, and clean, with a dark wood floor, white walls and drifting silk curtains embroidered expertly with the phases of the moon.
The acolyte gestured to a short bed on which Korro could be placed, he then stepped back to allow Xie space to work.

Outside the central building, at the base of the steps a woman was playing with her young son. The boy couldn't have been more than two, stumbling about on his short legs. The woman looked at the newcomers warily, reaching for her child, but she did not leave, only watched them as he son squirmed in her grasp.

Korro's cursed wound is in his lower back on the left hand side. Xie can use her purification magic to purge the curse. It will cause Korro a lot of pain, but it won't kill him. After the curse is removed, Korro's natural healing will close the wound and restore him.

The plague is a rather curious thing, apparently it cannot be spread by touch or through air, or the acolytes would be better protected. The more sensitive characters will guess that the plague is no normal affliction, and is linked to something with an air of malice behind it. It might be worth asking a few questions to the manor staff that are running about on the grounds. Or, perhaps Xie knows something?

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