• This section is for roleplays only.
    ALL interest checks/recruiting threads must go in the Recruit Here section.

    Please remember to credit artists when using works not your own.

Fantasy Terrorchild: Awakening

2. Stay - "You're right. I guess I'll need a new excuse, now," you reply, glumly. You want to move on, but you're on the verge of learning some truly useful abilities. Perhaps it would be best to just linger for a few more weeks?

Embryx nods in agreement. "I'm sure we can at least come up with something mundane, this time," she says. "Anyway, I wanted to tell you that the whole circle will be at the tavern tonight. We've been getting together at Nytha's house these past few weeks since Ika was helping you with the basics at our normal spot, and we had to stay out of it. Now that you're with us, there's nothing to hide. And honestly, I can't wait to practice with someone on my own level - we could be rivals, you know."

You shrug again.

"...Well, anyway," Embryx says, sensing your lukewarm reaction, "I hope things go well between you and the other sisters. Nytha might be a bit of a challenge; I think she's like most elves. She said something about not wanting the smell of tabaxi in her house - which was like, wow, totally not okay, alright? - and she seems to think Corrinth is exaggerating about how strong you are. Just be careful around her, alright?"

You're tempted to say something threatening, here, but something draws you back a bit. You realize it's because you're not sure if Embryx is being honest with you about the elf's behavior or if she's trying to manipulate you. "...I'll do my best to get along with her," you reply, taking a similar approach to how you handled Lachlaen's visit, yesterday.

"But, uhm, Agranne?" Embryx adds, "...You do smell pretty bad. I think it's mainly your clothes? Would it be alright if I gave you a few things to wear? I know you don't have any honest money left over from your job thanks to Ika, but we can call it a loan until you can dig up the coin you stole." She gives a nervous smile.

You set your bucket down on the ground. "Okay," you say. You almost ask her to find you something that isn't black, since you've been stuck with black clothes since even before you received your current outfit, but oddly, you don't seem to care anymore. Black fits you. You wonder if this is more of the dark magic's influence, or just your bleak outlook on life for the moment. Either way, you decide not to provide any direction and simply thank Embryx for the trouble. "I'll be near the inn, waiting for you," you say. "After you bring the clothes, I'll wash up and get changed, and then-"

You were about to say, I'll meet you at the tavern, but it occurs to you that since you've gotten better at your job, you've been finishing earlier in the day than when you started. You have a bit of time. "...I guess I'll figure it out when I get there. Thanks again."

Embryx gives a grin. "I'll be back soon," she says.

As the drow heads out, you pick your bucket back up and lug it down the pathway to the inn. Along the way, you start to think about the empty houses where those two onlookers lived that you and Ika scared out of town. Maybe, with the right lies, you could pretend there's a legitimate source for your money, and you could use that as a way to get a home. That's apparently what most of these witches are doing, so why not you?

After a while of sitting on the grass near the inn, Embryx and Corrinth come up the road together to meet you. To your surprise, in Embryx's hands is a bundle of clothing tied up with twine that's a sort of wine red - a dress, while Corrinth carries a pair of common shoes and a hat that's not as eclectic as your now ubiquitous pointed hat. You wonder if the townsfolk will even recognize you without it. You find yourself smiling a bit as they reach you.

"I figured you'd like something a little less rugged," Embryx says, "since you're not in a hurry to get back on the road." She unfurls the outfit and reveals the fashionable cut. Even though it's used, it's still nicer than what you used to wear in Zuklanar.

"It's good to hear you're not going anywhere, sister," Corrinth adds. "Strong as you are, it's dangerous out there. I can teach you how to survive," she adds, with her trademark sadistic smile.

It's bleedingly obvious what she means by survive, but you don't take the bait. You're not here to learn how to torture and kill people just for the fun of it, even if you'll learn nonetheless. "Well that's good," you reply blandly. "What are we covering first, after I wash up?"

"Crows!" Corrinth replies, clapping her hands together. "Then, like I said, we'll teach you whatever you want to learn."

You blink, surprised you didn't think of it before. To be able to send messages using crows could come in handy. As for your next magical discipline beyond?

1. Learn Compulsion - Corrinth has compelled you to move and to speak involuntary truths; it seems to be one of her favorite talents. You would be a lot safer with this power - for example, what if you could have compelled Lachlaen to freeze and keep his mouth shut, so that you could speak to him freely those weeks ago when he threatened your life?

2. Learn Emotional Manipulation - Ika displayed a variation of compulsion that's a bit more intimate than Corrinth's puppeteering. She had intended to enrage Lachlaen for her own amusement, and later, stoked horrific fear in the minds of those onlookers - enough to make them flee town. To have such sway over others would almost make the more direct compulsion unnecessary, and is far more subtle, to boot.

3. Learn Telekinesis - When you threw those onlookers onto the ground yesterday, you realized that your ability to strike was really just a powerful push, and with delicate and precise pushing, you could possibly move objects about safely in the air. That seems like quite the skill to have.

4. Learn Enchanted Fire - Ika showed off her ability to throw fire that would burn to her specifications, and it was apparently so easy for her that she could do it half-drunk. You figure an elemental ability like this could be the start of great things, and might be easier and safer to learn than hexes cast on living people.
3. Learn Telekinesis - When you threw those onlookers onto the ground yesterday, you realized that your ability to strike was really just a powerful push, and with delicate and precise pushing, you could possibly move objects about safely in the air. That seems like quite the skill to have.

"I've been getting more skilled with using my magic to move things," you say, being intentionally vague. In case Ika hasn't fully explained what happened the prior morning on your misadventure into town, you keep mum about the incident. "I'm starting to think that maybe I could learn to levitate objects, or push and pull them around in the air."

Corrinth nods, seeming a bit troubled by your answer, before shrugging it off. "Sure," she replies, "it'd definitely help you hone your fine control even further. I think Nytha's the best to work with for physical spells like this, but Embryx isn't bad herself, either."

Embryx flashes a grin. "I'm a quick learner; anything you want to learn, I'll probably be a step or two ahead of you."

"How about casting without a wand?" you ask, sharply.

She laughs. "Good one."

The sun has fully set by the time you reach the tavern, although its reddish-orange glow is still clinging to the lower edges of the clouds. Coming inside, you find that the town's regular patrons haven't yet departed for the night, as they're still enjoying their dinners or some drinks to cap off the evening. Two young men in colorful outfits are here as well, and you quickly realize that while you've never seen them before, you recognize one of them as the villager who mocked Lachlaen yesterday from inside the rundown shack at the edge of town. He's singing, and while he sings, his brother plays a lively tune on a lute - they're bards, which explains the singer's quick wit.

Ika, of course, is present and trying her damnedest to savor what little bit of alcohol Iona has given her, but the other witches haven't yet arrived. You take a seat next to her and listen to the music, a gentle smile coming to you for the second time today.

"...Into the wide sea did Rovikan row,
his head held high and his hopes just the same,
When came the sea-wenches, they did not know,
the foolish man's lusts or even his name!"

The song wrapped up to a round of applause around the room, with a few patrons standing to drop coins into the brothers' bucket at about the same time Iona arrives with a bowl of soup for you. "Aw, you look cute," she says with a smile, embarrassing you a bit as she pinches the fabric of your new dress and lifts your arm a bit. "Embryx has a good eye," she says.

"Thanks," you reply a bit bashfully, forgetting the reality of your relationship with this woman, her daughter, and the town, for just a moment while appreciating the splendid normalcy of everything. Shortly afterward, however, a courier arrives to bring a letter to one of the bar patrons, and Iona stops the carrier to ask about news from the road.

"News?" the young rider replies. He thinks for a moment, rubbing his chin before replying, "Well, let's see... they finally caught that tabaxi witch that was causing so much trouble in Zuklanar. I heard they got her just yesterday - she got herself surrounded in a barn, and then went up in flames. Good riddance, right?"

There's a round of cheers from the patrons and even the two bards. Iona feigns excitement, and does her best to encourage you to do the same. You force a smile and act as if this is the great news you've been waiting on so that you can get back on the road to your baren homeland. "Th-thank you, that's great news," you say. "I suppose I can finally go home," you say as you turn back to Iona, knowing that she would want you to continue playing along.

But among the friendly voices and encouragement around the bar, there's one sour note.

"Why? You seem to be well taken-care-of here," Lucyk remarks, motioning at your new clothes. "Didn't you say your family was destitude?"

You know that Lucyk is slightly drunk, but you still can't forgive him for the sort of implication he's making here - that you've been given too much charity, and that your family isn't as poor as you led on. Either way, the brief respite you had from the ugly feelings brewing in your mind ends abruptly, and in your imagination, you start to picture ways to humiliate or even hurt the gardener for his attitude.

0. Politely Rationalize - You take a breath, and avoid taking offense. You try to defuse the situation with a simple explanation, instead: "The people here have been very kind to me, but my family needs me," you say. (Not Available)

1. Rudely Rationalize - "It might come as a surprise to you, but some people in this town are actually quite keen to help the 'destitute.' I'm sure my family will be thankful that Tashlaan didn't let me starve in rags. ...And I'm sure they'll also be thankful that I didn't forget them just because someone did something selfless for me, for once."

2. Insult - You glare at the selfish groundskeeper. "Mind your own business, drow. Better people than you are talking."
1. Rudely Rationalize - "It might come as a surprise to you, but some people in this town are actually quite keen to help the 'destitute.' I'm sure my family will be thankful that Tashlaan didn't let me starve in rags. ...And I'm sure they'll also be thankful that I didn't forget them just because someone did something selfless for me, for once."

Lucyk rolls his eyes at your tone. "...This, again?"

"Yeah, this again," you reply with an expression that dares him to say what's really on his mind.

The drow picks his drink off the counter, finishes the last couple of gulps, and puts the empty mug down on the counter. "There's something going on," he says, angrily. "...People took you in, they gave you clothes, and money, and food-" he lists, gesturing at Iona, who tries to cut him off.


"-and you're still all piss and vinegar. How anyone enjoys your company is beyond me." Lucyk pulls a few copper coins out and puts them on the table for his tab before looking up to meet Iona's judgmental gaze. "I've got nothing else to say, about her or your daughter, don't worry.


You can tell he has a lot on his mind to say, but he won't do it and risk losing access to the town's only real spot for drink and entertainment. It occurs to you at this moment that Corrinth gave an excuse that she was leaving town to pay a debt three weeks ago, and then on the night of her return, a rival merchant in town suffered a break-in and had his money stolen. You suddenly realize how suspicious it actually looks, in hindsight, and you wonder how many other incidents like these might have coincided with Corrinth's movements. She did reveal to you that she's a petty thief, so maybe...

The argument fizzles out as he and a friend walk out of the bar together. You figure the other one is his regular assistant, Rythe.

"I could've gotten at least one more pour out of him," Iona mutters half-resentfully as she sweeps the coin off the bar top into her hand. "Still, we are getting a bit more business tonight than usual," she reasons with a twinkle of thankfulness in her eyes, knowing that you helped caused it.

Ika speaks up, having watched the whole exchange in rapt silence. "Zo, you were zaying?"

You remember that the conversation was about your intent to leave Tashlaan and return to your family. There were other people listening before you were interrupted, and you remember that you need a new excuse as to why you'll stay. "...I should probably start saving for a ride home, since it's such a long ways. I don't want to be camping by the roadside," you explain.

Iona nods, sagely. "You don't want to get kidnapped again. There's not just witches out there, but highwaymen."

"Not to mention beaztz and beaztly men," Ika adds.

You remember your initial concern with Lachlaen. "That's true. I guess I'll wait until we get a merchant from my area of Zuklanar, and then I'll hitch a ride back home."

The end of the night has arrived at the tavern, and the last few patrons clear out. You do as well, along with Ika in order maintain appearances, and after the remaining witnesses move on, you meet back up and let yourselves in, one by one. Corrinth places a candle on the ground in the center of the room, and you each take your seat on the floor in the space around it. The last to arrive is Nytha, who sits as far from you as she can manage on the opposite side of the flame, and while you had intended to sit close to Ika again, Corrinth and Embryx sandwiched you in while the goblin was again looking for alcohol to steal.

"Well sisters," Corrinth begins, "tonight is the night that our circle acknowledges the arrival of Agranne of Ryggander, a hexblood acolyte of the Eldest."

Nytha stiffly congratulates you on your acceptance of Syrith's guidance, but a warmer welcome comes from Faran, the human among the group whom you've spoken to the least since your arrival in town. She's the oldest of the group by physical appearance, although the elf and drow in your midst are likely considerably older; you haven't asked. "Welcome, Agranne," she says. "I know we haven't quite met yet, but from this point forward, I hope you know that you can rely on me if you need help."

"Thank you," you reply, still uncomfortable with the ritual of the moment.

"Now," Corrinth says, clapping her hands together, "let's discuss the happenings in town."

For a time, you sit in silence as the circle discusses gossip and drama from around Tashlaan, as well as news which had arrived from elsewhere. Much of it seems trivial at first, until one or more of the witches takes surprising interest in the seemingly-mundane. For example, when a young farmhand was mentioned as being ill, Nytha commented that his wife had spent much more time in church as of late to pray for him. Ika then commented that it would be a prime opportunity to hex the local priest into falling for her, as the resulting scandal would damage the church's image.

Once the gossip is through, Corrinth rises and walks over to a window. "Agranne, come here a moment," she instructs, and you join her. She opens the glass panel outward, and a trio of crows swoop into the room and land on a table before she closes it again. She draws her wand and points it to the first bird. "Speak," she instructs.

It cocks its head a few times before coughing up its message in its strange, corvid voice: "Three new sisters! Tychan, Ruluc, Ya-a! Vanach!" it says before dancing a little circle. Corrinth reaches into her pocket and tosses a bit of stale bread from the kitchen onto the table for the first crow to eat. She hands you a piece of bread and nods toward the second one.

You point your finger at the second crow. "Speak," you say.

The second crow immediately answers: "Death! Sister Nava, Turunave Creek. Hunters!" it answers.

You toss a bit of bread and check the reaction from the room, and while the other witches seem a bit frustrated or alarmed, Corrinth remains simultaneously cold and cheerful. "That's about twenty-five miles east of here," she explains with a twisted smile. "If there are hunters here tomorrow, we'll lay low. If that doesn't work, we'll deal with them."

"...Speak," you instruct the last one. It takes a while to answer, but finally: "Welcome! Agranne! Sister Nava! Turunave Creek!"

Now, Corrinth's smile fades. "That's a shame. It would have been nice to send a reply."

1. Scheme - "...Tell me about the witch hunters. I want to know what we're up against," you say.

2. Inquire - "Who was she?" you ask, wondering why Nava was the only witch that chose to reply to Corrinth's messages from the prior evening.

3. Ignore - You proceed with the lesson, not wanting to get sidetracked from your plans tonight.

Users who are viewing this thread