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Tales of Ayoth

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The threads of fate have been weaved into a single line, that spans through the lands of Ayoth, passing through various paths, twisting and turning on different parts.

This is the story of several individuals, and the journey they make.​
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#1
Tales of Ayoth

Far from the eight continents that occupies more than half of the world’s space, lies Ayoth - a lone continent located millions of miles away from the dreaded Mid-Sea, lying on what they call as ‘Leraus Ocean’.

It is fairly large, filled with fertile plains and towering mountains, adorned by various wonders of nature, such as dense forests, vast deserts, lengthy mountain ranges, and intricate underground caves.

The inhabitants of this land are no less than those from the eight main continents of Verattia, for they are of the same origin. The people of this land are no natives, instead, they have arrived here through the disasters of the forgotten Mid-Sea War, mainly due to the terrifyingly powerful torrents and hurricanes. Of course, they would have not survived such a thing without help from the gods.

The first civilization was established two years after the end of the Mid-Sea War, which laid the foundations for their rapid advancement in the various aspects of society. Now, the continent Ayoth rivals the populace of both Ristafel and Yislone combined, with four nations claiming territories all over the lands.


Somewhere in the great land of Ayoth, the destinies of several individuals are called upon and entwined into a single thread - that shall be weaved as a story that will be remembered through the ages.

 

Emmi

Jumin's Bae
#2




[IMG='width:1064px;']https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/c4/a1/db/c4a1db0aad9118fee20a8055d03683c7.jpg[/IMG]

The blonde raised an eyebrow at a pirate male who was part of her crew. She pursed her lips, and tilted her head. She brushed her fingertips against her sheathed cutlass that was at her side on her belt. "John told me you brought a woman here. Is that true, Edward?" Edward gulped. "Of course not--Captain! He's lying!" The sound of a metal cutlass unsheathed echoed in the night air, and Edward took a step back. The pirate captain stared at her silver companion, lips pursed. "You know the pirate code, Edward. You are to never bring a date home. If so..." She looked up at Edward, her eyes dull with boredom. "You shall be put to death." Edward's legs shook like unstable jelly, staring at the cutlass, sweat dripping from his forehead.

"But, where is the proof of this indeed..." Celeste sheathed her sword again. A sigh of relief echoed on Edward's lips. Almost on cue, Celeste immediately lunged and grabbed him by the throat in a flash, pinning him to a wall. Her voice dropped to a dead whisper, "Right... Edward, darling, if you were indeed innocent, why on Earth are you so... nervous? So... sweaty? So... relieved?" Edward's eyes widened with fear. "You know what to do." She slowly let the pirate out of her grasp. The pirate was shaking madly, pale. "Go on. Would you like me to murder your date for you?" Edward gasped. "I-I thought--"

"That I would make you walk the plank?" Celeste snorted, slowly walked towards him. She stomped her foot on him, adding extra weight on him as well as pain. "I'll give you a second chance, as long as you kill her. It's either her, or you." She looked down at her foot, then back up. "And if you ever think about running away--I will find you. I will always find you." She let go of his foot, and he nodded. He started to run away, very far.

Another male pirate that was part of Celeste's crew emerged from the shadows. He was a young pirate--but a bit older than Celeste. He had slicked back raven hair and stunning hazel eyes. "Captain Esmerelda--You do know that he may run off with the--" he sneered, "girl?"

Celeste sighed, and brushed the dirt off her boot. "I know. He's a pain in the arse. Iss' better for me when he's gone."

They were currently on the docks. A few members of the crew was anchoring the ship, while a few others were laughing and enjoying rum. "Life is great!" One pirate shouted, laughing. "Aye!" Another agreed. "We have em' riches.. we have em' rum... and we have eh girl captain--"

A dagger flew by the pirate, grazing his crooked nose. The cut started to bleed, and he turned bright red, staring directly at his captain. "I don't miss," she hissed, warning him. "I need to go to town and fetch a few paintbrushes." She said, turning to John. "I believe you'll take care of the ship while I'm gone, aye?"

"Aye aye, Captain! That's what ye First Mate is for!"

Celeste nodded, and walked off, her leather boots clopping on the wooden dock, her curly white blonde hair neatly tied with a brown bow tie flying behind her as she headed towards the town of Thorus--her home land.

Mood: Pissed || Interacting with: N/A || Location: Docks, Thorus Kingdom
 
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Archie

Not even my final form
Supporter
#3
MANFRED OF SLIGO

"To the harbor! To the harbor!" shouted Manfred. He felt like he was out of breath, but he never acted that way. The light of Arce and the fear of disappointing the hierarchy of the Creed gave him all the motivation he needed.

"Upon the round trip, you will be reformed!" he shouted to the slave rowers manning the twin decks of the Lex Asteria, the confiscated ship of a former heretic - a heretic that Manfred had killed. That man had sold spices to a vile witch. Those who wished not to offend called them Druids, but Manfred had no time for such twisting of words. Words had to mean something - that was why the Creed was successful, because its members stood in the light while others attempted to call the light darkness and darkness the light. It was up to an inquisitorial Berserker to use his right of commandeering to procure all means of transportation and resources when his budget was insufficient, and it was always insufficient. The disbursement office provided him with not more than thirty Salvations and nine hundred pence - enough only for a long carriage ride to Thorus, where his next mission was - and that would leave him nothing for food and lodging.

"Sire, once we're done with this voyage, who's to have the ship?" asked the First Mate, a portly man of thirty nine with a balding head.

"Why, you of course!" The tall Holy Knight shouted back.

"For performing an invaluable service to the holy mother Creed" he pontificated.

"The sword brothers of Obil will overlook your gluttony due to the obvious righteousness of your convictions"

Despite the back handed insult, the statement seemed to make the first mate inordinately happy. Secs, Manfred thought. That was short for Seculars - those outside the fortresses of the sword brothers and the abbeys of the Monks of the faith - those who lived not with Goddess, but with their funds and their assets. Those who held property instead of dedicating all material things to higher spiritual needs. Seculars were so concerned with what was "theirs", when it could be taken from them in a moment by a storm, by a wind, by a murder, or by a clever forgery. What was the point in having things, in experiencing pleasure, if such things were fleeting? The only true happiness came from spirituality and a sense of mission - this Manfred knew.

The creaking wooden ship had docked in the harbor. The slaves on the upper level, who had been tending to the sails, looked at their new captain and then to the Berserker, who had taken off his armor and wore a plain green robe to blend in with the Throian crowd.

"I'd leave you all a tip, but I regret to inform you that I'm poor" he said.

"Now this man is your new captain! Obey him and heed his word, for he is now your owner and your master! Know well that the Prophecy of Arce states - he who must be lashed by his lawful master will be lashed ten thousand times over by the plagues of the world, and ten thousand times more in the afterlife! His skin shall be lascerated and his his eyes shall turn to puss. Thine station in life is given by Goddess, and to escape it is to be a child trying to escape his father. Know well that a slave to a master is like fruit to a vine - without him you will shrivel and die"

Unsurprisingly, the galley slaves stared at him blankly, giving him no response to his sermon. They were born to their station because of their inherent lack of faith. There was no way such low creatures could understand the enlightened message of the Creed.

However, the fat man beamed with glee. Greed had turned him into a true believer, if only for a moment.

"Please, Sir Manfred, you must accept a token of thanks, a donation to your mission" said the man before Manfred was about to depart from the ship. The knight turned and smiled.

"I don't want your money. Arce provided this ship, and she will provide funds as well"

As he left the ship by his plank, he scanned his surroundings. He had no armor and no weapons except his butterfly daggers - he had left those with a sword brother back home. He trusted completely that Arce would give him the strength to procure new arms as his mission went on. He was to hunt a specific number of criminals, heretics, and monsters, who had done great offense to the Creed, and, more importantly, had damaged the interests of the government of Obil. The Creed was not known for providing details - Arce would provide them herself. Manfred had only a list of names and crimes.

Cerwyn Lermantes - Conjouring
Sir Abernathy Konwin - High treason
Alexandra Orrensius - Witchcraft
Faust Telmarine - Fraud
"The Griffin" - Assassination
Celeste Esmerelda - Piracy
Tanoth Dar - Black Magic
Thula Tatterleaf - Heresy


He crumpled up the list and put it into his back pocket before continuing out of the docks and towards the primary place of worship in the dockside part of the city. He needed to acquire weapons and information. Manfred loved away missions - those outside the borders of Obil. The dual challenge existed of smiting heretics and ensuring local authorities were none the wiser. In spite of the hostility that many militaries and constable's offices had towards Obil's agents, the most radical priests of Arce were in direct communication with Obil's Creed and provided shelter to his followers. The priest of the local house of worship was known to be sympathetic, and Manfred trusted that he could persuade the man to fund his noble and righteous cause.

Manfred saw rows of stores on the left and right of him, from taverns to meat smokeries. The people of Thorus truly had trinkets, but those things were the opposite of true wealth. True wealth only came from the knowledge that Arce was with you.

As he continued down the cobblestone street, the green-coated Berserker looked to the blue sky. He silently mouthed a prayer.

Arce, give me strength - to purge the world of all the agents of evil, so that all the people of virtue may worship you in faith. Bless me in my coming extermination, as you have in the past. Let your light guide me to save this world from itself.
 
#4
Thula, Thorian Countryside

It's been a few days spent travelling through the countryside, a bizzare experience to an extent, yet very familiar to the other. Life seemed busy, full of hardships for the families that made their nest there, working away all day to keep themselves alive on the next morning. Fields, barns, carriages... all new concepts to the druid, intriguing to say the least. The worst of these concepts was, without a single raindrop of doubt "money." Before, trust was the currency for which things were recieved, mutual trust and necessity, but now, "money" was a thing. For a while, she managed to survive door to door, helping around the households in exchange for a place to spend the night at, but with each passing day, approaching closer to the cities of bustle, the need for these pieces of whatever became more and more dire.

Up until this point, she had offered her services for nothing more than a bed of hay, these people seemed kind, after all. Plus, it was the way of the druids to help all in need, friend, stranger and even foe if required.
"However, however..."
Thula mused to herself, strolling along an overgrown cobble road. It was time to adapt to her surroundings, otherwise the destiny the Archdruid spoke of may never even be found. Luckily enough, a daughter belonging to a household of the more privileged variety seemed to have fallen in with an illness and a healer was needed.

Privileged enough to have a shoddy road, at least. One that made the feet suffer twice as much as a snakebite.
Also one that was worth a few snakebites.

It would take some more minutes to reach the house, but when it happened at last, it served as a tiny light on the path from impoverishment. The building towered over the druid, built predominantly out of stone, having three wings of it and a rotund tower, staring into the hilly distance. Thula used her staff to knock as hard she could on the heavy door of wood, then it was only a matter of waiting for them to open.

And open they did, each door brought inward by a steward of some kind. In the middle of the doorframe stood an older man, dressed in tunic and shirt, its sleeves lined with purple.
"Ah, we've been told you'd come, what a blessing."
Thula let a smile to grow across her face, letting out a single chuckle.
"You have?"
The man nodded, eyeing the druid.
"Rumours of strangers spread fast, especially with those who have little going on in their lives."
"Well, if you say so."
"B-but yes, I digress, we must hurry, fast! Elithia just keeps on getting worse!"

Before there was time to reply, Thula was being dragged by the garb through the structure of stone, through doors and halls, into a room where a young girl lay covered in blankets, squirming with discomfort.
"Please... look at her. Do something, just save my girl!"

With an affirming nod from the druid, the owner of the house left the room, magic was about to take place.
 
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#5
It is the 65th day of Hearthglow, in the 197th year of Ayoth's existence. The climate is somewhat warm, with the hot season just fading away a week earlier. Though it is the middle of the day, the sky is quite clear - there are a few clouds here and there, and the sun's light isn't too blinding to the naked eye. It's seems to be a pretty fair day.

Alnwich, a city on the outskirts of the Thorus Kingdom, has changed drastically ever since the new lord arrived almost a decade ago. What once used to be a simply fishing town, is now a fairly-sized city known for its aquaculture - where people from all over the western area of Thorus go to for their aquatic goods. The city's location is just a few meters beside the eastern shores of the land, allowing it near dominion over the said market. Large walls made of cobble and wood surround the city proper, where the guards would patrol vigorously day and night.

Currently, the city is preparing for a feast - to celebrate the 15th birthday of Stronvorth's, the ruling lord, daughter. The markets are crowded, the streets are riddled various folks - performers, merchants, and even simple bystanders. One could easily see the eagerness of the city to go and enjoy the coming festivities tonight.


As the man in green coat gazed up to the clear skies, and prayed silently, a woman bumps onto him and falls to the ground. Quickly, she rises to her feet and bows down.

"Sorry.", she said, and erected herself to a proper posture.

This woman wore white robes, with a few blue trimmings on the edges of the sleeves, and an simple line of blue from the collar down to the end of her clothes. On her neck was a silver necklace with a small crystalline star hanging down upon it. Her brown hair was slightly curly, and a bit unkempt, her skin in a rather fair complexion - a rather obvious sign that she rarely goes out of her abode.

Her bright green eyes widened as she gazed upon the man before her.

"Thank the Goddess!", she sighed in relief. "I found you!"

@Archie


To the captain, the city would seem rather unfamiliar from what she had seen. Travelling the waters tend to take quite some time, and in such times, there is much to occur. This city used to be a small town, and clearly, the difference between now and then is miles apart. There are now more guards that patrol the area, and even the ones that she would have bribed ages ago are no longer there.

Before she would be able to reach the main entrance, she would be able to see various signs planted upon the ground. And on those wooden slates were images of different people, but with similar sentences - criminals. A rather outdated image of the pirate known as Ice Heart is posted on one of these signs, and it is rather difficult to miss it.

Sitting down on a pile of wooden crates, was a man in rugged clothing. He stares as the pirate captain approaches the city closer, with a sinister grin slowly forming on his face as he rubbed his hands together. He cleared his throat, and spat on the ground that the pirate would have walked upon.

"Ye ain't welcome 'ere.", he grunted.

@Emmi
 

Emmi

Jumin's Bae
#6




The captain pursed her lips, and held her head high like a cocky aristocrat. Hand on her sheathed cutlass, she looked around. The place itself seemed rather distant and unfamiliar. After all, it's been ten years since she was last here at Thorus. My, how times have changed. She was once a naive child who would get pushed around. Now? Look at her, a captain with a heart of ice. The place had changed dramatically. As a child, Celeste remembered herself running around in the fields with a couple of other children in the small town. There were very few people who would supervise the place. However, in present day, the town grew larger. The number of guards increased.

But the most dramatic difference that caught her eye were the various number of signs stuck in the ground. The signs had many images and wanted paintings of different criminals. At the corner of her eye, she caught a sign of herself. A very large image of herself--well, a bit younger--was painted on the sign, back when she had shorter hair. She scoffed. Guess comin' 'ere with my outfit wasn't exactly a wise move, she thought. Perhaps she should've worn a more.. girlish costume and hid her face. Perhaps even pose as a male and hide her face under a large hat?

While walking to the city closer, she stepped on fresh spit. She paused, and took a step back, gazing down at the spit with utter disgust and distaste. A man sitting down on a very large pile of wooden crates in very rugged and dirty clothing was staring at her, a grin plastered cross his face.

"Ye ain't welcome 'ere.", he grunted.

Celeste stared at the man, her eyes cold and dull like fogged ice. She gazed at his feet, slowly making her way up to his hair. She sneered, the thought of a man opposing her was quite amusing.

"And... you are?"

She stared at him, blankly. "I am indeed welcomed to my 'ome country," She snapped, staying put, head held high, looking down at the man in a calm manner. She slowly took off her hat, holding it in her hands. She calmly stated, "Now, I'd best be on my way. I 'ave a very important matter to attend, and I shan't spend my time with a rantallion like you." She just needed to leave and buy some paints and canvases. She had ran out, and she doesn't have the materials needed to make her own. She really wasn't in the mood for this bull, since she had to deal with Edward earlier.

She glanced over at the city. It was so close--but that damned man was blocking her way. Should've stopped by Etrea instead, she rolled her eyes. She could go around, but that man would most likely alert the guards if he knew who she was. But hell--can she take on multiple? She may get wounded and injured very badly in the end with no one to medically help her. She's skilled. Highly skilled, but it's one battle she will indefinitely lose, since it's one skilled fighter against a dozen other skilled fighters.

Mood: Annoyed || Interacting with: @Reinhardt || Location: At the Edge of the City, Thorus
 
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#7
Thula, Thorian Countryside - Alnwich

A single browncap from the Forest of yore to cleanse the spirit, flowerheads of chamomile to relieve the mind, a few drops of smerdanstalk milk mixed with the blood of a druid to heal the body. All finding their way into a conveniently placed cup of water, resting on a bedside table in the far-right corner of the room. Some crushed, some whole, but all certainly needing heat and time. Fortunately enough, the room had a few candles, sitting up in holders made up of four intertwining rods, ready to be used. Thula picked up one of these, taking out the partially melted candle and placing it upon the floor, as it secured its stability with wax. Over it was placed the holder, now holding the cup-trapped mixture, letting in the heat from below.

As the candle burned away, Thula examined her surroundings. Doing so, there really was no wonder that a child would fall sick. Weeds peeked out of the crevices in the floor, mould and even moss occupied the upper corners. If the girl was already prone to disease, this could very well serve as a sealing of her fate. By now, Thula had started preparations for a spell, her staff grasped firmly in both hands, its top lightly covered in a thin layer of bone-dust. She had began to chant out a prayer, ranging from choir-like singing to animalistic calling. Its first part was a plea to Cerpus and the spirits of the place, while the second was purely a spell, drawing the life and energy from the room's "greenery" and sending it as a flux into the ill-fallen body. It wasn't a lot, but it improved the girl's state by at least a little bit.

In the meanwhile, the candle-heated concoction came complete, and after it was set aside and cooled, Thula gave it to the girl, who had come to better senses, to gulp down. This sent her into a more... relieved state, the mind and spirit calmer, the body's condition bound to improve. Following this, the druid knocked once on the room's door, before opening it, revealing the man who was anxiously waiting behind it.
"W-well, have you done it? Is she... healthy again?"
Thula spoke with a calm expression and reassuring tone, wiping off the blood from her thumb, onto the insides of her garb.
"Your daughter will make it through, have no worry, I've done my best to grant her divine protection. I've also removed the source of her illness, I believe. Although, be sure to check for mould."
"Oh, thank the Goddess! Bless you, I-uh... have to show my gratitude somehow!"
He does. Though, he really doesn't ask any questions, does he.

Then Thula was being dragged through the building again, engaging in a frantic conversation along the way, being given some bread and enough coin to survive for a few days. At last, even introductions came into play, all culminating in a druid about to travel once more. The morning was near its end, and two people were standing infront of the doorstep.
"Before I go, I must ask something. The nearest city, where do I find it?"
Cities... like a dozen villages stuck together, they say.
"Oh, that'd be Alnwich, an hour's journey north."
Thula nodded, and with a final farewell took her first steps north, along the road of cobble that bites like a snake, the hums of the sea in the distance.

And so, time strolled along as did the feet.
 
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DergTheDergon

Huggles fo all :3
Moderator
Supporter
#8
As the sun rose above the trees on the horizon, Zashi had already risen, both from slumber and her campsite below a tree, now sitting on a sturdy branch above as she went about her daily ritual of smoking her pipe while she took in the sunrise. Vibrant shades of orange, yellow and subtle in-betweens gradually painted the brightening skies with their splendor. Zashi felt the sun warming her scales more with each passing moment, eyes closed as she exhaled, entrails of smoke wafting outwards and upwards from her lips as it leaves them, until it is no longer visible and only leaving a faint scent behind.

With a raspy, breathy sigh and a stretch, she put her pipe back into the leather satchel resting overtop her bow and quiver upon her back. She had a plan, and so she now felt it was time to put it into action. Civilization ho, one could say, and indeed she found herself excited. A few passers-by on the road several days prior were chatting about the feast in Alnwich, an occasion she wouldn’t miss if she could help it. She has glad she’d overheard that, as she tended to lose track of what calendar day, week or even month it is during her long excursions through the wilds, and thus otherwise she would’ve had the possibility of not realizing she’d missed the merry occasion. Being among the cheer, and of course sampling the extravagant food offers during the feast, had become a rather rejuvenating yearly occasion for Zashi for.. This would be the fourth year now, she realized. She was beginning to feel she was getting old, and also feeling restless. It was as if she felt her purpose was just in reach everywhere she went, and yet, it never seemed to make itself known to her as she’d trusted it to in the past. Sighing, she decided that visiting Alnwich would be good for her mental health, at least. Maybe she just needed to see a few familiar faces and places, taste a few familiar foods, and she’d not be worrying herself over something that seemed utterly intangible and nonsensical to every part of her mind not involved in said worrying.


Sighing, the median deftly leapt from the mid-height branch she’d been balanced on, landing on her feet in a practiced motion before eating a breakfast of berries, mushrooms and other edible flora she’d picked on her way here. Subsequently, she set about cleaning up her campsite, ensuring not a trace of her having been here was left. Well, all except for one detail for the good of nature. Taking up her pipe once more, she knelt down before the bare patch of earth she’d set her campfire up in, and dumped her ashes therein, mixing them into the soil. The beauty of this stuff was that the charred plant matter acted as a type of fertilizer for anything wishing to take root there in future. She’d learned that little tidbit from a farmer in the town she’d lived out her early years in.

On the way to town, the lizard found herself catching a familiar, and mouthwatering, whiff of deer in the adjacent forest due to her keen nose. The prospect of hunting one down was certainly a very appetizing prospect to her right now, as she hadn’t been able to down down some good meat for quite a while now. It was still a day or two to the city, and her current provisions certainly were running low. Having made up her mind, she stepped off the road, sneaking up behind a tree by the side of the road for cover whilst she brought her bow up off of her back and into her clawed hand, carefully and silently knocking an arrow there while she sniffed the air to discern more about the animal she was chasing. It was a doe, and her scent seemed to be coming from an area a short ways northwest from here.

She began to creep in a practiced slow pace toward the scent, and began to pick up another distinct scent. Sniffing the air again a few times, turning her head this way and that, she determined it was a human male. She may have competition if he was so close to this animal as well, though it didn’t sour her mood for hunting; quite the opposite, in fact. It made her want to get to that deer first even more, if her hunch about the human was correct. Human hunters often tended to hunt for sport.They would kill for the rush of it and for no true need, or worse yet ot Zashi’s eyes, to sell the pelt and meat for coin that they may not truly need, in order to live beyond their current means. Such intents were against the laws of nature as Zashi had been taught them. There was a chance he was hunting the deer for survival, yes, though because their location was not very far from a nearby village in which he may live and have plenty of food this time of year, Zashi felt she could not ignore the possibility that if this man was after this deer and not in need of it for himself or to feed others dear to him. In fact, as she thought this out for a moment, she could only smell his scent a bit stronger, definitely closing in on the direction of the doe. It was then that she made her decision; she began to move a faster toward the deer’s location, knocked arrow in hand.

Soon, she’d managed to fell the beast, sending it toppling over. As she emerged from the brush into the clearing where the doe had died, she plucked the arrow from it and began to carefully cut into the skin with her claws to get at the meat.

She smelled that human scent getting closer, then, and a moment later a human stepped into the clearing from the other side, bow knocked with an arrow. She backed off from the corpse, holding her hands high as she stood, the man training his bow on her.

“I wish no quarrel with you, human,”

she said, but the man continued to level his bow at her. “I don’t mean to do this, Median, but... “ he had a sense of desperation in his voice, and Zashi took his pause to appeal to that.

“You or your kin are in need of the meat and hide, yes?” She asked, softly, meeting his eyes without even a hint of fear or animosity, simply empathy. The man found himself lowering his bow. ‘Yes… I…” After thinking for a moment, he drew his arrow back again, aiming for her head. “I’m sorry. Selling your hide too might be the ticket I need to get my family out of poverty.”

She grimaced for a moment, heart racing, but still met his eyes. “You are at a loss… you do not wish to do this, but feel you have little choice, yes? I give you a choice. You may have the deer, and I promise you things will be better off in the long run, or you can kill me, and whilst things may be better for you financially for a while, the karma of your misdeeds will haunt you. The types one deals with to sell Median hides are… not the sorts of beings to bring around a family either, I assure you.”

The man was taken aback by her essentially leaving her life in his hands, and so just as she’d had faith would happen, he soon lowered the bow. “Go on, get out of here. I’ll… I’ll remember your words.Thank you.”

Zashi stood, I bit shakily, and stepped back. “And I will remember your actions as a show of the good of this world. Farewell.”

Her heart still pounded for a mile or two after that encounter, even after she’d lost scent of the man. The experience had been surreal and harrowing, yet had left her with much to ponder. In the moment, faced with her death, she’d essentially accepted the possibility of it, yet now she wondered why, feeling she had so much left to experience, that she wasn’t ready. Perhaps she had simply had faith in the man, and saw in him the pain and desperation she had felt in the past. For now, she decided to focus on her journey to Alnwich, which was less than a day away. She ended up completing the rest of the journey without a hitch, but that encounter still weighed heavily on her mind. Once in Alnwich, she headed for the square where the festivities would be occurring nearly 24/7 around this time, fancying the idea of a pint or two to help wind down from her journey.
 
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Archie

Not even my final form
Supporter
#9
MANFRED OF SLIGO


As Manfred continued down the road to his destination, he scanned some of the wooden wanted posters. Some of these illustrations were horrendous, but he did find Faust Telmarine and Tanoth Dar on the posters. That was bad news - it was infinitely easier to assassinate someone who was a criminal in Obil's eyes but not in Thorus's, and avoid the authorities from finding out, than it was to track someone down whom the local authorities also couldn't find. But, as long as he had the light of Arce, Manfred had no doubt that this mission, too, would be successful.

His search was interrupted when an elaborately robed woman seemed all to happy to see him. He was about to say something along the lines of how in the Goddess's name can I assist you but held his tongue. He had to remember that his mission was a covert one.

"Who are you and what do you need?" he asked, trying to sound as normal as he possibly could, all while trying to be helpful in the name of Arce. The act was not convincing. What kind of stranger followed up who are you with what do you need?

These facts passed over Manfred's head. He was only concerned with one reality, and that was his own, and he was going to be successful simply because Arce willed it, as she had demonstrated in the past. He did not need to act. He did not need to sell himself out and change who he was simply to maintain cover. If needed, Arce would bless him with the strength to bend prison bars and slaughter the garrison of this city if they disapproved of his actions, as that would make them all enemies of the faith and worthy only of death!

The young man put his hand on his sword. His mind flashed back to the last time a young woman was approaching him in all too friendly a way. The next moment, she drew a knife and tried to impale him through the jugular.
 
#10
The man rose up, and stood - he was more or less the same height as the pirate captain. His skin was riddled with dirt, his rugged clothes decorated with a few holes and tears. His hair was completely a mess, there were even a few flakes on it. He gazed at the pirate, eye to eye. His brows furrowed, then he spat on the ground.

"Ye may 'ave forgotten me, but I ain't forgetting a face aboard that ship...", he said. "...the Truth of the Sea."

From the depths of his tattered clothes, he drew a small object, and revealed it to her. It was a metal insignia in the form of a crow's head, with two small, but noticeable, anchors on the side. It was the symbol of a famous ship known as Korzad - housing a group of seafarers that defended Ayoth from the dangers of the waters and beyond, and was loyal not to any of the nations, but to the land itself. Unfortunately that ship disappeared somewhere in the vast Leraus Ocean, though no one has known why it did - some say the monsters of the waters devoured it, others say it fell prey to the storms of the seas. Up until this day, the truth behind the Korzad's vanishing remains a mystery, as none of the crew that boarded it ever came back.

The man, then returned the insignia back to the pockets of his dirty clothes. He muttered a bunch of words under his breath, some of which was just blatant cursing. He sighed, a second after.

"Pirates like you ain't welcome here, but I know a way to get in the city without the guards knowing.", it was evident that he didn't want to do this, but he had to. For some reason, he had to collaborate with a pirate, which he clearly despised. He went off the road, and into one of the many bushes that surrounded the entrance.

It would lead to a small grove - there the man stopped, and gazed upon the earth - as if he was observing it, looking for something.

@Emmi


While nothing hindered the path of the druid's journey to Alnwich, there were a few things on the road that would have caught her eye.

First was the greenery that surrounded it - there were some plants that had withered and died out, it seemed natural, but it appeared as if it didn't occur as nature intended so. There were saplings that didn't even get to grow, some fallen leaves and even seeds were rotten. There was no smell, no stench.

Next would be that the wildlife in the area seemed to be dwindling. The fauna is still there, though there are noticeably less and less of them as the path grows closer to Alnwich. There were even some small bone-y, animal remains near the path, hidden to the eye of the common folk, but not to someone attuned to nature.

Finally, before the druid would have entered the city of Alnwich, she would be able to notice a small sparrow standing on top of a nearby sign. Its feathers were of varying shades of gray and brown, and would have passed of as just another bird, if it wasn't following the druid with its glowing blue eyes, before flying off into the city as soon as it got noticed.

@Avi-Sina


Before the median would be able to reach the square, her path would be blocked by a pile of crates falling onto the ground before her. Not even a second after this, a girl would come running towards the median and bow down with a series of apologies.

"Sorry! Sorry! Sorry! Sorry! Sorry! Sorry! Sorry!", the girl said repeatedly for about 3 times before stopping and erecting herself.

As her gaze landed towards the figure before her, a pair of fur-covered ears twitched on top of her head - causing a few strands of her short, pale blonde hair, that once covered this, fall into place and reveal her ears, which resembled that of a feline's. That moment, her eyes lit up and a smile formed on her face.

"Thanks the Goddess!", she exclaimed and hugged the figure before without hesitation. Immediately, she retracted herself and took a step back, with a blush on her face. "S-sorry. I'm not used to seeing other medians around here."

@DergTheDergon


The woman with the white robes gave a short and gentle bow. "My apologies.", she then, placed her hand on her chest and cleared her throat. "I am Hilma. I, among several others, keep watch over the sick and the wounded in the slums of Alnwich."

"Father Omos told to look for you." She looked to the ground for a second, then turned her gaze back to the man before her. "He said you could help us. You are Manfred, are you not?"

Father Omos, was one of the local priest to the Creed of Arce, more specifically, the one who gave Manfred a place to stay in his time here. That man was kind and gentle, though his old age seems to have began getting to his capabilities - more often than not, he would require the assistance of others in his daily works.

@Archie
 

DergTheDergon

Huggles fo all :3
Moderator
Supporter
#11
The sudden obstruction caused the Median to reflexively jump backwards a bit, looking this way and that frantically for the source of the sudden marketplace mishap. The source then seemed to willingly reveal herself, her frantic apologies giving the more lizard-like Median further pause, especially coupled with the sight of her ears. It was a pleasant surprise to see another Median here. After a moment, Zashi composed herself and found herself meeting the girl with empathetic eyes as she waited for her apologetic outburst to be finished so that she could comfort the poor feline.

Instead, however, the girl surprised her even more with her sudden hug, the Median freezing in place. She had not felt another’s arms around her as such in many years. Blinking with confusion for a moment, Zashi then couldn’t help but laugh lightheartedly at the display. This girl was certainly a breath of fresh air, clearly a very kind and gentle soul, discernible even from this first meeting, Zashi felt. She shook her head with a hopefully reassuring smile at the girl’s apology. Once she was able to speak, she began softly after taking a moment to consider what to say in this interesting situation.

“It’s quite alright, and I promise that you are not bothering me in any way. In fact I am equally as glad to meet another Median here. Unless you’ve other things to attend to, mayhaps you could join me in the festivities for a time? I go by Zashi, by the by, it is nice to meet you, miss...?”
@Reinhardt
 
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Emmi

Jumin's Bae
#12




Celeste cringed at how dirty the man himself was with his dirty skin, teared up rugged clothes, and his flaky hair. When he spat on the ground, Celeste gagged. Has he ever 'eard of proper 'ygiene? She thought to himself, staring at the man with a face of pure disgust.

"Ye may 'ave forgotten me, but I ain't forgetting a face aboard that ship...", he said. "...the Truth of the Sea."

The blonde captain was immediately on high alert since the man clearly knew who she was. She gripped on Silver Death tighter, in case a battle was to be fought. The man drew a small object, and Celeste stared at it with her bluish-silverish eyes. It was a metal insignia in the form of a crow's head, with two small, but noticeable, anchors on the side. Her eyes widened as she realized what the symbol meant. It was the symbol of a ship. A very famous ship named Korzad.

He then placed the object back in his tattered clothing, leaving Celeste to purse her lips, wondering what may happen next. Would he alert the guards, since he knew who she was? The pirate would have to get ready for a fight--a bloody fight. She slowly wore her brown leather hat again, confusion written on her face. She had over a million questions to ask him, but she decided it was not the time to ask them.

"Pirates like you ain't welcome here, but I know a way to get in the city without the guards knowing." Celeste raised an eyebrow as he went off the road, and into one of the many bushes that surrounded the entrance. After a minute, she followed the strange man, and found him standing and gazing at the ground, as if he was looking for something. "Might I ask, why would you want to 'elp me?" She asked, her cold attitude breaking slightly, replaced by curiosity. "Why not just snitch on me to those guards? I believe they'd pay a generous bounty." She sighed.

Maybe this was all a trap? Maybe he was just leading her to the dungeons. Either way, she can't let her guard down. Those who knew her and wasn't loyal to her tend to double cross her. She then wanted to leave and find a new way to get in undetected, and not take any help from this man. She found it embarrassing that she had to take help from a stranger to get inside the kingdom. Although it hurt her pride, she decided to stay, since she needed to get inside Thorus, after all. She just needed some new paintbrushes and paints, and not cause any chaos. She wanted to do this secretly and quietly, since no one besides her first mate knew she liked to paint.

"If you are thinking of any funny business, just know I can slit your throat in mere seconds, aye?" She growled, letting herself get helped out by a stranger.

Mood: Embarrassed, Confused. || Interacting With: @Reinhardt || Mentioned: N/A || Location: Grove, Near the City, Thorus Kingdom
 

Archie

Not even my final form
Supporter
#13
MANFRED OF SLIGO


Manfred looked at the white robed woman. There was only one person who was in Thorus who knew he was coming, and that was the father. Against the advice of his officers to hide wherever possible, Manfred made the decision to place his fate in Arce's hands and blow his cover.

"Yes, that is I" he said plainly

"The father is surely doing the work of Arce with his achievements" he said, continuing confidently in his direction

"Before I ask your name, my lady - why is it the father has come to fetch me and not the other way around?" he asked, sensing relief and panic on the woman's face during their first encounter.

"What do you need assistance with?" he asked, always willing to take responsibility for the wellbeing of others, though the knight saw this new development as unwelcome. The only thing he wanted to do was get on with his mission and kill the men on the list before his knight captain suspected he had gone heretic.

@Reinhardt
 
#14
When the reptilian median's response did not turn out as she expected, the girl raised her head, her eyes glimmering with wonder and excitement. Most of the time, when she would encounter people from outside Alnwich's walls, she would either be ignored or dismissed like some unwanted company - this one, however, even invited her to accompany them in the festivities!

"Zashi, what a wonderful name! My name's Ameerha!" A genuine smiled formed on the girl's face as she answered back. She turned her gaze to the pile of fallen crates, and sighed softly. "I'd love to join you, but I still need to get all of this sorted up before I could leave. It's gonna be a busy night later after all."

To the side of the fallen crates was a small porch that was attached to an establishment - a tavern that goes by the name "The Sleepy Rhino". It's not as famous as other big names out there, but it holds enough influence in the area to have word about it spreading. And with the festivities that would occur tonight, this place will most certainly be having more customers than usual, perhaps even have the place filled to the brim.

A loud voice came from inside the tavern, calling out towards the girl. "Ameerha!", it shouted. "Where are those crates?!"

Ameerha turned her gaze towards the tavern's open doors, and shouted back. "C-coming, sir!", she then picked up a crate.

@DergTheDergon


The man took a short pause after hearing Celeste's questions.

"I have my reasons.", he said. And of course, the pirate asked him of a different way this could have gone - one where he would alert the guards of her presence, which would have gotten him a fair share of the bounty placed on Celeste's head. He chuckled softly.

"It's always about the money with your kind, isn't it?", he turned towards her with a rather disappointed look, then return his gaze to the ground and continued his search for whatever it was that he was searching. "Money won't get me what I want."

After a short while of rummaging the ground, removing fallen, dried leaves and dust from the surface, a set of rocks buried onto the soil was revealed - it was shaped in the form of an arrow, pointing towards a small passage through two arching trees. He, then stood back up and faced that way.

"Aye.", he grumbled, as he moved forward and into the passage. Once through, it would take them about 15 minutes before reaching the end of the grove, where a small part of the city's walls could be found. Lodged onto a small crack on the surface is a wooden stick, of the same length of a torch.

"We're here.", he said.

@Emmi


The woman looked left and right, her gaze scanning not only the environment, but the people were there - those who passed by, those who idled around, without an exception. After a short moment, she lowered her gaze, and took a step closer towards the man in armor.

"It's better if we take this matter in a more private area.", she spoke softly, clearly trying to be discreet.

Hilma, then, would lead Manfred through various streets and alleys of the city's slums - which revealed a side of the city that not most have seen past its vibrant exterior. In this area, one could see people who've lost hope, people who are struggling with not only money, but their life as well. Various forms of disabled folks are scattered here and there. The sudden change from the city's main residential area was somewhat bizarre.

After sifting through the area for a while, Hilma would have led Manfred to a fairly large building with no doors. In there, they would see a large number of people, wounded and sick - some where lying on the sheet-covered ground, others were on top of wooden beds, some even on makeshift tables and other platforms. Among these, were more, those who went from one corner to another, those who attended to the sick - they were the ones who took care of the folks in this makeshift infirmary. Most of these folks carried the the symbol of Arce - a star inside an upside-down triangle border.

Further into the building, Hilma would bring Manfred to a specific part of the place - where an aged man, dressed in white robes trimmed with gold and red, would be seen kneeling down before a wooden bed. On top of the bed is a body - its bones almost sticking out of the blackened skin, like it had been drained of its life. After a short while, the aged man would stand, and turn towards the company.

"Hilma", the old man would say. Sorrow clearly evident in his eye and tone. He seemed like he had not rested for days, like he had been praying over these for quite a while now.

"Father Omos.", Hilma would bow gently, before raising her head back up. "I've brought Sir Manfred, as you've said."

"Thank you.", he would bow in response, and then turn his gaze towards the man. "Manfred. It is good to see you."

@Archie

 
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Emmi

Jumin's Bae
#15





The man paused, and Celeste raised her eyebrow, waiting for an answer to her questions.

"I have my reasons," he replied, causing the blonde to roll her eyes. God, she hated these answers. 'I have my own reasons'. 'I don't know.' 'You'll know soon enough'. She just wanted to rip off their heads and feed them to the crows. After the mention of money, the man chuckled softly, and she held her breath gripping on her cutlass tighter. Perhaps he was going to reveal his big plan?

"It's always about the money with your kind, isn't it?" He turned towards her, a disappointed look plastered on his face. He then gazed back at the ground, leaving Celeste to ponder about his question. "Money won't get me what I want."

The pirate grit her teeth, and took a deep breath to calm herself. "Iss' not just about money," she slowly said, her eyebrow raised. "Iss' about our crew--our Captains--our first mates. Money is just a small part of what we desire. We desire something bigger--something 'arder to earn." She paused. "Freedom." She didn't elaborate. Her crew escaped their families to earn freedom. Instead of sticking around a place where they were unhappy or unable to have a say in things. They didn't let themselves get pushed around. John--Her first mate--escaped his physically abusive family. Elvis escaped enslavement. Celeste? She left the chains of nobility at a chance for her own happiness. Her own freedom. It was never about money for her. Sure--she may act out of selfishness, but money proved to be her family's downfall.

The man suddenly stood, in a certain direction.

"Aye," he grumbled, as he moved forward and into the passage. Celeste bit her lip, wondering whether or not she should follow him. Finally overcoming her suspicious, she followed him in the passageway. They were through, it took fifteen minutes before reaching the end of the grove, where a small part of the city's walls could be found. Lodged onto a small crack on the surface is a wooden stick, of the same length of a torch.

"We're here."

Celeste stared at the city's walls. Her blue eyes wide, she swallowed, nervous. After many years, she was back. Back to Thorus. She curled her toes in her boots, and a gush of wind blew her hat away. Celeste immediately jumped to catch the hat, and had a rough landed. She almost fell, but caught herself in time. Her left cheek pink from embarrassment, she placed the hat back on her head.

"I see..." She finally whispered.

Mood: Pissed, Embarrassed, Awed || Interacting With: @Reinhardt || Mentioned: N/A || Location: City walls, Thorus Kingdom
 
#16
Althea Lowell

Since the start of her journey, Althea had always held the Etrea Kingdom and Socleidan Empire in high regard. One was her hometown and a wellspring of knowledge; the other was a treasure trove of wondrous gadgetry. In comparison, the Theocracy of Obil and Thorus Kingdom were nations that she hadn’t spent extensive amounts of her year exploring. Her avoidance of the former held fairly practical reasons: she wasn’t sure how the zealots among Arce’s followers would react to her identity. While it was true that those who could tell her apart from an ordinary human were few and far between, it didn’t hurt to be extra careful. The Thorus Kingdom, on the other hand, was simply due to Althea finding that its features were not nearly as mentally stimulating as Etrea or Socleid.

Still, Althea made countless exceptions when it came to festivals, much like Alnwich’s celebration of the 15th birthday of Lord Stronvorth’s daughter. Where there were festivities, there was fun. And where there was fun, there was either experience to gain or money to be made.

“Little miss, what is this peculiar device?”

Amber eyes flicked towards the man flipping the item in question this way and that. Then, she smiled mischievously. “It looks interesting, doesn’t it? I picked it up while in the Socleidan Empire, but I’m not really sure what it does.”

At this, the man frowned. “Not even a hint?”

“It seems it requires a certain amount of mana to be injected into it,” Althea answered with a shrug, “I’ve never tried it myself since my ability to manipulate mana is crippled.”

Surprisingly, her vague words didn’t seem to discourage the man, and in a matter of minutes, the brunette sat at her stall with a newly acquired dagger in hand. If she were being honest, she would have prefered a book or knick-knack that she could tinker with, but considering that he was trading for a fairly suspicious item, she announced no complaints regarding the trade.

Althea idly twirled the sheathed blade. What would the next person show her?
 

Archie

Not even my final form
Supporter
#17
MANFRED OF SLIGO


Manfred accompanied the white robed woman through the slus of the city, where the disabled and the crippled lived in total squalor. The shacks looked like they had been built by ogres, and could collapse or catch fire any second. Manfred wondered what horrible sins these wretches had to have committed during their lives to warrant such a punishment. After all, Manfred himself was guilty of a great deal, but Arce had blessed him with her strength.

"There is much sin in this kingdom. This must be the cause of the suffering of these people" Manfred remarked as the pair walked through the slums. It was a more censored version of the thoughts going through his head.

Manfred noticed the shrunken corpses as he walked into the makeshift hospice. No doubt Father Omos was doing good work for the people here, caring for them against such a demonic affliction. He veered dangerously close to some of the bodies that appeared sick, as if he was trying to prove his invincibility and testing the trust and protection that Arce put on him.

"Father Omos" Manfred greeted as he met the man at the head of this establishment,

"Thank you for taking me in."

He looked at the body in front of the weary minister.

"I have never seen something like this before"

That was not, however, the first time Manfred had said something like that. Because of his habit of charging into battle blind and hunting monsters he had not seen before, this was far from the first time he would have to learn his enemy's identity as he tried to fight it.
 
#18
Thula, on the road - Alnwich

The winds were calm and the sun followed its path, much like a cat following a thread slithering forward. Thula mused to herself as she strolled on, the leaves of oak and birch shyly humming along. All seemed peaceful, the way it should be. No, that wasn't right, the way it should be... Wrong, very wrong.
"The way that seems right to the eyes, but uneases the soul."
The druid spoke out aloud, closely eyeing her surroundings. A number of plants and other greenery seemingly had their lifeforce sapped out of them, taking upon brown and black color, crumbling away like aged sandstone whipped by gale. Unsprouted seeds and misgrown saplings also caught her notice, not the happiest of sights. Most intriguing of all, however, was the fact that although rot was certainly present, none of its abhorrent stench accompanied it. This was a foreign land, perhaps it was natural, albeit still very odd. The occurrence also added a new task upon her tasklist, to gather information about the area and hopefully find a way to stop this whole withering business. It was always wise to measure, maybe even twice, before cutting.

With a sigh, Thula made way yet again, only to notice that the fauna of the land too was suspiciously lacking. She had spotted a small doe earlier, some critters here and there, but the closer the road became to the city, the less likely she was to see one. Moreover, on closer inspection, bones littered the sides of the road, partially concealed by the wilted flora. The druid again stopped in her tracks, kneeling down by the roadside, picking up an individual bone and inspecting it for any signs of magic. Whatever the result of that was, she'd then place the bone inside a pouch strapped to her belt, before travelling on.

It took only a smatter more of minutes along the Snaketooth road, as the druid came to personally name it, until the walls of a port city came into view. Standing proud of wood and stone, they were definitely not the walls of a poor, rural town. Near one of the city gates there stood a wooden sign, but its text was not what compelled Thula to let her gaze fall onto it, for a brownish sparrow had made it its temporary resting place. Interestingly enough, its eyes were of a blue hue, meeting hers before abruptly flying off. Tracking the bird's path as best she could, Thula then went into the city, cautiously following the creature's direction. Upon entry, there arose the smell of fish, objectively not what stood out the most to an until-lately-fairly-alienated-druid, as the city was bustling with faces and sounds, busy to say the least.

Alas, there was no time to get lost in a sea of bodies and voices, the sparrow won't follow itself.
 

DergTheDergon

Huggles fo all :3
Moderator
Supporter
#19
The positively elated look in the catlike girl’s eyes elicited a soft, kind, empathetic gaze in return form the reptilian eyes of Zashi. A smile accompanied this look in her eyes as she heard the joy in Ameerha’s voice, such happiness upon meeting a stranger both contagious and refreshing, she found. Zashi nodded, mentally noting the name. ‘Ameerha,’ she thought. ‘It’s always interesting to hear names crafted in a language other than your own.’ Knowing the tribal nature of Medians, Ameerha probably came from her own culture that was wildly different from that of Zashi’s tribe, including language, customs, and other generally accepted ideas that made up the average individual’s way of life in any society. Zashi hoped to sit down with the catgirl and chat about her culture someday soon. However, Ameerha then explained that it would need to wait for another time. She apparently was currently working for the purveyors of the nearest building, a tavern by the name of The Sleepy Rhino.

Suddenly, a voice that could only have come from a man whom Ameerha was working under called her away from their conversation, and Zashi nodded in understanding. “Have a wonderful evening, Ameerha. I hope we run into each other again.” Seeing as Zashi planned be here until the festivities concluded, and she now knew one place where the catgirl would likely reliably be near, she had a feeling she’d have her chance to talk to the excitable feline soon. In the meantime, she supposed she could wander into The Sleeping Rhino itself and have a drink or two. They must be serving quite a few of the merrymakers if they were as busy as Ameerha and her apparent boss seemed to allude to.

Meandering into the front door of the establishment, Zashi eyed her surroundings, taking in the place and all the people within. She felt more cozy with every step as she meandered toward the bar. A lizard-like Median was a rare sight indeed in the more civilized parts of Ayoth, so it was very likely many heads were turning her way. She’d gotten used to the stares over the years, paying them no mind and decidedly attributing them to the natural curiosity within all beings rather than other, more prejudiced possibilities. Thus, she seemed unfazed by any stares she may have gotten from the others within the crowded building.

Approaching the bar, the lizard-like woman waited for the bartender and, once they were available, ordered their strongest. She’d had quite the journey, after all, why not celebrate a little?

Whilst keeping an eye out for Ameerha who might still be working, Zashi settled in for a drink and observed the other patrons. People watching had always been quite the hobby of hers, and she felt that she’d learned, and would continue to learn, a great deal from it. Learning through experience was what had kept her going, after all, as well as using that knowledge to live in ways that contributed more than they took from the world, whether nature or other beings. The deep green of her eyes scanned the room curiously, her tongue flicking from her muzzle every now and then to subconsciously aid in her other perceptions of the room, namely in processing the myriad smells.
@Reinhardt
 
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#20
Once there, the dirtied man placed his hand on the wedged stick, and pulled on it. It didn't move an inch. However, strange, ancient symbols glowed on its surface, which spread into the wall itself and arranged itself into the shape of a doorway.

With his hand still gripping the stick, he turned his gaze towards the pirate, acknowledging the words she spoke of earlier.

"If that is true, then swear me this, Ice Heart.", his eyes turned grim. "You will not forget this act. This...favor."

He, then, muttered a few words under his breath, and an opening appeared upon the wall - creating a hole in the same shape that the symbols formed. Should the pirate enter through the new passage, it will close itself behind her.

Beyond the passage lies what appears to be a dimly lit area. All around the vicinity, one could find different mercantile stalls and small shops - each having an assortment of goods that one would not easily find out there in the public markets. Even some of the wares in here are deemed illegal by the laws of Alnwich, and Thorus in general. Most of the folks in here appear to be shady, whether they are roaming around to purchase goods, or they are the ones selling the wares themselves.

The place seems to be in an enclosed space, with source of light other than the various lanterns and candles scattered around the area - there are no windows, nor doors. However, there are some noticeably similar symbols like the ones from earlier, scattered around the walls of the place - there's a point where these symbols all converge into one, glowing circle, but it is about a few minutes walk from here.

Some faces around here may be familiar to the pirate, some may be completely new to her. Among these faces, one appears to stand out in the rather small crowd - a man in a rather...unique clothing, with his staff. Moving. Approaching. Getting closer and closer.

@Emmi @Archon


The marketplace is still quite busy at this point of the day - though the crowd is not as large as earlier, there is still a lot of foot traffic that more often than not would reel in the money. However, as time pass by, the crowd gradually narrows down, even some of the shops and stalls begin to close out. Some say it is due to the incoming festivities, some say simply because there aren't a lot of buyers anymore. While both of those may prove to be true, there are still a countable few stalls and shops who remain to have a decent amount of their wares, and some weren't even able to sell anything.

A small child approaches Althea and lightly tugs on her clothes. She wore slightly tattered clothing, with a few stains of dust and dirt on them. Her short, black hair is a mess. She's stands about 2 and a half feet tall.

"Lady, lady.", she says in a shaky voice, as she gazes up to her, somewhat teary-eyed and her free hand clasped to her chest. "C-can you help me? I'm lost"

@Nano


The priest takes a quick glance to the corpse, then returns his gaze back to Manfred. He closes his eyes for a short moment, and takes a deep breath.

"Neither have I, child.", he said. "This is the fourth time this week."

Hilma drags a seat, and offers it to the old man - who silently mouths a thank you to the girl in white robes as he sat down. Hilma would, then, do the same for Manfred and offer him a seat.

"These sick and wounded people have been in our care for long, and it has not been since the last month that their numbers increased.", Father Omos looks to the ground, as he speaks softly. "We cannot even provide them proper beds, as you may have seen."

"And they all die the same way.", he takes another gaze at the corpse. "I believe this may be Arce's punishment for our sins. But..."

His eyes slowly look towards Hilma as he deeply sighs. "Hilma here believes it is the work of something else.", he gestured his open palm towards her for a second.

"It clearly is, Father Omos.", Hilma would speak with confidence, and point towards the corpse. "They die as if their lives have been drained from them! Arce is full of mercy - she will not give them this horrid death!"

"Lower your tone, Hilma", the priest would speak with his eyes closed.

"I apologize.", she bowed gently, before raising her head back up again. "There is definitely something behind this. I say it is the heretics taking their vengeance upon Arce's faithful. Their vile traditions and savagery would urge them to do so!"

Clearly, Hilma was very determined about seeing this matter through - it showed not only in the way she spoke, but in her eyes as well. She wanted these people's suffering to end - and her way was to put the blame on the heretics. Which is not an entirely bad idea, with regards to how the Creed of Arce sees the non-believers.

She turns her gaze towards Manfred. "Do you not agree, Sir Manfred?"

@Archie


The sparrow would fly through the city's streets, occasionally going around in circles, as if it knows someone was following it, and that it needs to get rid of whoever was doing so. Every so often, the bird would perch down on signs and posts, and its chest would slightly puff in and out, as if it was trying to catch its breath. The longer the druid would keep their eyes fixated onto this mysterious animal, the more that they would realize it was no regular animal at all.

Eventually, the sparrow would lead the druid into a dark alley somewhere deep within the city, and land down a pile of broken and abandoned crates. It would turn its blue eyes, now glowing more clearly than earlier, and gaze intensely towards the being that was following it. Should their eyes lock gaze, the druid will hear a voice inside their head - somewhat young, yet sounding tired.

"Why do you follow me, human?", it would say. "Do you wish to capture me - sell me for gold? Do you wish to kill me - sell my feathers to the markets? Perhaps you wish to feast upon my little flesh?"

@Avi-Sina


Ameerha smiles back at Zashi, and returns to her work. She begins to transfer the crate into the tavern, storing them behind its many rooms. She would go back and forth, until the deed is complete.

When the reptilian Median entered the place, a lot of eyes turned towards her way. Some began to whisper to their companions, others simply turned their attention back to where it once was. The noise was turned down when the Median went to the bar and ordered for their strongest - to which the bartender, a middle-aged man, dressed in simple tunic with a slightly stained apron, complied.

A large mug of reddish brown liquid would be placed in front of her. "Thar 'ya go.", the man said. "The Devil's Juice. Our strongest."

The man leaned in closer and pointed towards her. "Now don't 'ya be complainin' if 'ya can't take this. Remember, 'ya asked for this."

Eventually, the same man would notice Zashi, keeping at eye out for Ameerha - who would, by this time, be going in and out of the rooms she stored the crates in, opening and sorting the contents. The man, after wiping a glass clean, would get closer, from behind the counter of course, once more.

"D'ya fancy her?", he would say with a chuckle, looking to Ameerha as well. Then his gaze will be fixated on the median. "Ya wanna buy 'er?"

@DergTheDergon
 

Archon

Friendly Neighborhood Gem-Collector
#21
Sharp eyes admonished the assortments of counterfeit scrap littering the stalls, their wood crude and rotted, befitting the ill-mannered nature of such a place of dishonesty. With a reluctant glance did the tall warlock peer over at a minute emerald gemstone, shimmering in the darkness with tantalizing orange hue. The very touch of such magnificence pulling on the threads of mana that swirled about his frame. "Say, friend, this artifact... how much?" Dri'izt inquired with a flat stare, calmness radiating in rapt abundance.

The elderly smuggler grimaced at the elf and spat to the side, disgust burning in his eyes. "How much yeh got?" The man bitterly answered, harsh wrinkles and rough skin baring skewed fangs.

Dri'izt straightened, "More than enough to pay," he spoke, facing the smuggler head on, "How much?"

The man grinned, his visage painted with smug satisfaction. "Ain't nothing for ya here, knife-ear!" He growled, anger barely restrained behind the twitching of his cheek and agitated flexing of his palms.

Internally sighing, Dri'izt wordlessly departed from the disaster-zone-to-be with a renewed sense of purpose, this minor inconvenience inflicted by some unruly merchant would hardly halt the progression of power. But alas, the rest of the useless trinkets would, mockingly paraded as magical gifts, they possessed little more than snippets of drained mana. No, if he was to find a satisfactory transaction then his borders would have to stretch to the horizon, and perhaps beyond. This City held nothing of use to be grasped by the likes of him. Spying through the cloud of ne'er-do-wells, the dark mage spied the sharp silhouette of what appeared to be a pirate - one lacking a stall - and a good thing too, if they weren't selling goods, then they were either recruiting or selling passage, lacking a ship of his own, Dri'izt didn't fancy the idea of swimming across the vast blue waters. Besides, pirated were a notoriously resourceful lot, if the Gods' blessed their wayward wizard, he may yet find more succulent texts hidden within these dark and unlawful havens.

With purpose to his stride, he neared closer with a whimsical smile aimed at the pirate who, on closer inspection, appeared to be a woman, pale as the winter's dawn. "Greetings," Dri'izt started slowly, roaming eyes studying the pirate for signs that might mirror the outburst of his former contact, "I assume your presence here isn't to see the sights, but to engage in questionable acts and dubious trades." His voice addressed with an indistinct elegance, a tone that integrated with how he lazily leaned upon his staff.


"I offer a transaction." With a deep smile he pressed on, hands clenching the oak with tightening grip, "I'm a wizard," He stated with a hint of warning, "One in search of spell tomes of dubious origin. There're non to be found here, and I'm willing to pay you very very handsomely for said tomes, and for passage across the sea."

The intent was there, purpose laid bare to the waking world, it made Dri'izt feel oddly on edge. The creeping tendrils of paranoia dancing along his spine, he'd spent so little time among society that change was ever present in his isolation, what if this lady-Pirate elected to sell him to the guards? The images of endless hazards was were all too prominent in his addled mind. With a light shuffle of his feet, he stifled his suspicion and attempted to keep his calm facade apparent. The truth was, he despised these denizens of the underworld because they were just like him - only out for themselves.
@Emmi
 

DergTheDergon

Huggles fo all :3
Moderator
Supporter
#22
The lizard sniffed at the drink the grizzled man offered her and immediately begin to think that, mayhaps, she may have found her match in liquor form, even as resilient to alcohol her kind’s blood tended to be. However, she had wanted to be a bit more adventurous, and the drink was already in front of her. She took a few sips, and already felt a little light-headed as expected. Though, she also felt that if she paced herself, she could avoid getting drunk to the point where inhibitions were gone, or worse, vomiting and/or blacking out became imminent possibilities. She had a feeling that she’d end up handling the drink a bit better than the perveyor seemed to think she would, given his warning.

Settling into carefully nursing her drink, she smiled as she saw Ameerha in the back, seeming to be working to unload the crates she’d been bringing in.

The lizard-like Median blushed a deep crimson as the bartender asked if she “fancied” Ameerha. “A-ah, well I-” It was true that she found the girl very pleasant to interact with, not to mention rather cute, but the lizard-like woman wondered why the man would ask for a moment (as much as her already high buzz would allow). Her eyes widened and the purplish blush upon her green skin deepened as the bartender then mentioned buying the catgirl, catching the more lizard-like beast woman off guard a little. She then noticed the significance of his words. If he was offering to sell a sentient, sapient being to her… was Ameerha his slave? Something similar? In Thorus, no less? She narrowed her eyes at the man for a moment, seeing him as rather dishonorable for the implications behind his sudden offer.

However…. She did have a fair bit of coin knocking around from helping townsfolk that she always saved for living expenses whenever she was among civilization. Depending on how much he wanted for her, Zashi realized she might be able to set the catgirl free from him this way, no violence or trickery involved on her part. Ameerha certainly didn’t seem to be a fan of the job, and if she truly was an indentured servant of one kind or another that was treated very lowly by this man, it would certainly explain why. Besides, material things were of little worth to her. If out of coin, she knew literally hundreds of ways she could easily acquire all necessities in the wilds just outside the city’s walls. For other things like the occasional drink she was enjoying now, for example, she could always acquire coin through odd jobs or selling hunt game. Beyond that, coin was of little use to her.

So, perhaps unexpectedly, she took the leather coin purse from her belt and emptied it onto the counter decisively. It was by no means a king’s bounty, but more coin than an average citizen would keep on their person more than likely. “This is all the coin I currently possess. If it is not enough, I shall be happy to aid her in restocking your shelves before we depart to find her someplace she’ll be appreciated. I had a bad feeling when she profusely apologized to me for accidentally blocking my path as if I were about to beat her for it.” She narrowed her eyes at the man once again at her last statement, crossing her scaled arms as she waited for his answer.
@Reinhardt
 
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#23
Thula, Alnwich

Slowly but surely following the sparrow, Thula wrought her legs onward, as had become the common thing for her to spend time doing. Every now and then, when the bird took its time flying around in circles, the druid took in the scenery of the port-town. This was the biggest settlement she had ever laid her bare feet in, the amount of people and ongoings almost overwhelming. A few days ago, this is how she'd attempt to describe a country as, so to think that this was but a single city, that was quite staggering. Speaking of staggering, the little sky-critter certainly possessed less stamina than you'd expect from a bird. Landing on signs in huff'n'puff, it resembled someone groomed a bit too well, running for the first time. All the more mystery, all the more reason to follow.

Thula got so lost in thought that she hadn't even noticed how dark everything had become over the past half-minute or so. She travelled deep into the city streets and now, it was as if the dense forest surrounded the druid, catching and devouring all but seldom a sunray. Her eyes circled the area, until they befell the blue-orbed sparrow, perched down upon some broken wood crates. That hue of blue Thula noticed earlier now appeared much more intense, like a moon reflecting itself onto waters of brilliant azure. As they met, small bird-head to face, a young voice started to find its way into the druid's head.
"Why do you follow me, human?"
It would say.
"Do you wish to capture me - sell me for gold? Do you wish to kill me - sell my feathers to the markets? Perhaps you wish to feast upon my little flesh?"
Thula couldn't help but to start smirking a tiny bit, is this how the people are around here? Without much hesitation, she responded to the bird's inquiry, with a tone of easiness and confidence.
"You must have made a faulty assumption, to consider me a bird of prey."
Before continuing to speak, the druid started to search through her pouches.
"My teacher always used to tell me that men of the outside are most often motivated by greed or glutton, yet I am hardly a man of the outside."
Bird or whatever else, this creature could have high potential to know something...
"It is curiosity that led me to following your trail. You see, there is something I've decided to look into around here."
Thula then tossed the bone, collected beside the road, in front of the sparrow.

"Something is tormenting these lands, is it not?"
 
#24
Juniper
At Alnwich

This little Thorian port town was cute, but busy, and it felt very far from home. To be fair, that feeling never left Juniper, regardless of where she was, but here it felt more glaring, because she spent no more time in this nation than passing through it in her travels, while she searched for ancient and historical ruins and tombs.

Before she proceeded further into the city, she decided to stop at the docks to get an idea of the kind of people that visited.

June’s efforts to find a pattern were fruitless; there appeared no way to predict the people that passed by her. There was a woman that, despite the rugged look that suggested she spent most of her life on the sea, had skin almost snowy pale. A small drunk posse stumbled across the docks after nearly tumbling off the gangplank of a ship. Another man walked with so regal and rigid a posture, he himself clashed with the almost-common clothes he wore.

Still, she failed to distract herself from the isolated feeling of distance and unfamiliarity. While being near the sea was a landscape she was used to, there was still something different about it. There were fewer navy ships. Things looked so lax, like anyone could hop onto a random ship and nobody would question it or care. Being out on the water wasn’t one of Juniper’s interests, anyway. She decided to look for something that would be more homey feeling.

She turned away from the docks and back toward the town and its large stone walls. The signs posted with faces and bounties made it feel even more unwelcoming, even though none were bounties for Aendariin feathers.
With no idea of what or who a guard would open the gates for, she tried to strike up conversation with one with a friendly, colloquial tone.
‘Say, could you give me directions to a library in this town? Where in this place can a girl find a good book?’

@Reinhardt
 
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#25
A gentle smile formed on the man's face, as he chuckled softly - his hand over the pile of coins atop the counter. His gaze turned towards the money presented. It seemed like he could not believe what just happened. Perhaps he was lacking in coin these days, and the sight of such an earning was awe-spiring, despite it not being large by standard.

He grabbed one coin from the pile, and fiddled with it using the same hand, as he continued to chuckle after a short pause. After a few seconds, he held the coin with two fingers, and dropped it back to the pile.

He turned his gaze towards Ameerha, who was busily doing her task, and then returned it back to the median.

"Say, what is your name?", he asked.

@DergTheDergon


The bird's gaze remained fixated onto the druid, as she spoke. However, as the druid continued to speak, the small bird seemed to be puffing its chest in and out once more, as the glow of its blue eyes began to flicker. It seemed to growing rather more tired as the time passes.

When the druid threw the bone, the bird's gaze averted towards it, and it stopped puffing - though the glow in its eyes continued to flicker and dim. The bones was outlined a greenish-blue glow, and hovered above the ground for about a second, before the light faded in an instant and fell back onto the earth.

It was in that moment that the bird's eyes no longer glowed. In a sudden, a breeze carrying the scent of the forest burst from the bird, as grass and twigs swirled around it in a small pillar of about 4 feet - obscuring vision of the animal. After a few seconds, all these floating components fell to the ground, along with a small pile of feathers - revealing a young girl, which now crashed onto the pile of crates, heavily breathing.

This girl had a rather unkempt hair, in a mixture of gray and brown strands. Her skin is slightly tanned, and appeared to be dirty, as if she had spend quite her time in the wilderness. She was dressed lightly in rags, which upon closer inspection, would be a mixture of animal pelts - with majority being wolf and bear skin. But most of all, her eyes were of the same blue tint as the sparrow's.

@Avi-Sina


One of the guards who stood by the entry to Alnwich turned towards her after hearing her words. Then, he looked at one of his fellow guards.

"Oi! Herman!", he said.

"Whad'ya want?", the guard named Herman responded.

"You know if we got a library in 'ere?"

"A what now?"

"A library!", he shouted. Then, he pointed towards Juniper. "This one's lookin' for it!"

Herman turned to gaze at Juniper, his eyes squinting before relaxing them once more. He moved a few steps closer, and pointed towards the open archway into the city, and towards the main road.

"You just go straight ahead, lady.", Herman said, pointing towards a medium-sized tower with an upside down triangle on its top. "You see that tower there with the weird roof? That's the library."

The other guard walked back to his post, as Herman took a quick glance at the slowly darkening sky.

"You best hurry, lady. Most of 'em stores will be closin' soon for the celebration.", Herman added, before returning to his post as well.

A bunch of folks walk past as they conversed, followed by a fair number of visitors from different towns and cities, which were inspected by the guards before letting them in.

@Spazzycat101

 

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