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Fantasy The Cyclone - Act I: The West

To Ged's surprise, there was a stifled laughter from what sounded like a kid among the bunch, though it was the same distant yet close feeling that the man gave them when he spoke. Another attempt at communication through magic, it would seem. Though the fungus was expressionless, there was disappointment written all over his would be face. After all, Julia appeared to be more of a 'jokester', and not a very tasteful one at that. Not in regards to the comments on his appearance, but... more so on her narrow-sighted approach to everything. "You should be glad you met me, Julia and... Jebediah, was it?"

A sigh was heard as he turned to look at one of the other people, exchanging a quiet and nerve-wrackingly still glance with them before he turned back to the two again... supposedly 'turned back to them', at least, his lack of any facial features really made it hard to pinpoint where the front and where the back was. "Any other one in here wouldn't have hesitated to kill you, probably.", Ged finished off rather unfazed, turning his 'gaze' to Ras. "If you don't get your friend's manners in shape, I can see her wishing she had been turned into one of us next time she runs into a magical creature."

Putting aside the bad foot they were definitely getting off on, he looked to be ready to add something before the same kid that laughed earlier stepped forwards. It was discernible from its smaller frame, though its traits were very much grotesquely the same. Its body was covered in this fungus and its head had been replaced by a mushroom stem and cap. "We don't have much use for goods here, but um... Do you have any potions?", he simply asked the group, sounding rather hopeful. "Ahem, to address your concerns... Rel, aren't you hungry?", Ged asked the child who nodded, followed by what would normally be a gesture with his head.

And so, the kid's form began to change as it planted itself into the ground until there was nothing more than a mushroom with roots spreading deep into the soil, absorbing nutrients and water from all around. "We're vulnerable like that, but that's how we feed. Potions are a 'delicacy' to us, however. They're refreshing on our skin and seem to work wonders on us, no matter their nature. If you do have any, we'd greatly appreciate them."

He was sure that the lesson in their anatomy and behavior wasn't going unappreciated, but remembering that one of the two was a lot more airheaded and whimsical than the other, he mentally heaved a heavy sigh and put a hand to his would be head. "Do not confuse us for 'humans'. We've already become something entirely different. Some of us had magic before our transformation- no, mutation too. But it is not the same. Currently, 'magic' is what 'energy' is to you. An odd sensation that determines your... stamina, would you call it?"

Trying to use as simple terms to describe it as possible, he tapped the cap for a moment as some of the other transformed ex-humans began to walk back to their posts. Some went to talking while heading down one of the village's paths, others went to the half-built house and some just began feeding on the spot, in much the same way as Rel had. Speaking of the little devil- "Dad said your bodies cannot retain magic though, so you have to constantly take it from around you!"

"... That's a nice way of putting it, good job Rel.", he said as one of the men that had walked off was heading back on over towards the lot. "I have to say, you two are either naive or aloof, too. Did the 'disease started here' part of my story not sound like a warning?", Ged expressed what sounded like disappointment as he took a step back and turned his head to the ground. And from there, a small quadruped with the form of a pup emerged, shyly walking towards the group with a book in its still un-infected maw. The rest of its body though wasn't quite as lucky.

"Fear not, this rascal's 'book' solved our issues. Thankfully, it appeared to meddle with the core of the spell and stopped the disease from spreading. Unfortunately though, the Skolver appears to have fallen victim to this mutation too... and the book, I'd venture to guess is nowhere nearly as useful now, too. Its form has altered enough as is, but it's all yours. We have no use for it.", he proclaimed as the Skolver placed it down, looking up at them with its one eye that remained yet uncovered by the fungus. "We will care for it. Poor creature. It was only looking for magic, and look where it ended up. A cautionary tale, for some."

That would probably strike someone's nerve... As would a spray of acid from the pup, that luckily enough didn't come in contact with any one of them, or the book. The book, curiously enough, seemed to be infested in much the same way as the creatures, except it was like fungus was growing from its insides. Weak roots that pulsed like veins, as well as some small mushrooms growing on said roots, keeping it well-shut from how they were snuggly tangled around its leather form.

"And that is why I asked you keep your distance. Whenever we feel intense emotion, it would seem, we expunge some form of nasty acid. A defensive mechanism for our species, maybe.", he left the question rather open, taking a few more steps back before some acid shot out from his form too. Maybe the entire discussion about their properties was more of Ged monologuing over his life's passion than him just exchanging very long-winded pleasantries.

"Um, so about those potions! We have some coins to give if you want to trade.", a peculiar and rather pushy offer from the kid, who was still feeding but seemed to perk his head out just slightly more to make his presence known, even if he remained little in size compared to the adventurers.


Interactions: Heyitsjiwon Heyitsjiwon (Ras) & Key of Stars Key of Stars (Julia) as Ged and Rel
Location: Deep Wayward Forest, ???
Julia Rille

Julia snorted, loudly. "My manners?" She asked incredulously. She wanted nothing more than to speak the rest of her thoughts aloud but even in her anger she realized that might actually get her killed. Still, that was rich coming from a mushroom guy living in a shabby village in the middle of nowhere in a forest. Julia might not be a royal, but if they were voting on who was more civilized she doubted she'd lose.

She barely supressed a groan at having to deal with two of the mushroom people now instead of one, though this new addition seemed a little more laid-back and less up their own ass than Ged. She was about to answer when Ged skipped over it and continued the conversation. Julia shrugged, whatever, that suited her just fine.

And... more useless information, whoo. Julia welcomed any and all sorts of information, but when it came from someone she wanted to punch, hard, and the information was all just a biology lesson about mushroom people, something she had no intention of ever encountering again after this. She could not possibly care less. So, she loudly yawned, only raising her hand in front of her mouth after the fact. "Sorry," She added, sarcasm dripping off her every short syllable.

HUH?! Now that was the biggest load of dogshit she'd heard since the day she was born. Naive or aloof?! This piece of shit. This asshole who belonged on a roasted meat skewer. He'd basically kidnapped them and now he was scolding them for going along. SHE DID NOT EVEN WANT TO BE HERE! And she'd made as much perfectly clear before, Ged just hadn't listened, or at the very least not cared. Which, looking back at him judging her manners, was a very rude thing to do.

And it only got WORSE. The only reason she'd come along, the book they were supposed to return to Ras in return for magic, was looking less like a book and more like a collection of a few barely connected pieces of scrap. Oh how she wished she could do what her mother did to clients of the library who brought back damaged books, chase them around town with her massive hammer, though she figured her gauntlets would work too.

Cautionary tale her ass, it was going to be a cautionary tale when she punched a hole right through that stupid non-existent face of his.

Don't care, did not ask, she didn't even react to the spray of acid. Crossing her arms and regarding Ged. "Listen here, mister age of enlightenment. You took us here, against our will I might add, because we wanted that book. The book that you knew, was destroyed. So pray tell me, what kindness exactly, should I be returning here?" She turned to Ras right after, slinging her arm around his neck forcefully and pulling him to the side slightly. "If you offer to be their courier again I will bash your head in twice over, so shut up unless you have something to say that will let us get out of here faster." She hissed.

She heaved a heavy sigh as the kid started talking again, but eventually she relented. Turning around on her heel and placing the strange vial she'd received from Rak earlier in front of the kid. "Here, make the old guy pay me, also for the vial, I drink from those." She said. "Oh and kid, don't let the adults get to you, authority stinks." She extended her fist for him to bump, realizing rather quickly that that wouldn't work with his body still largely buried under the ground, so she awkwardly retracted her hand.


Interactions: Gary Sue Gary Sue (Ged and Rel) Heyitsjiwon Heyitsjiwon (Ras)
Location: Deep wayward forest, ???
Ras had hoped that offering to be their courier would let them leave the forest, perhaps with some coins in their pocket. Yet, as Ras listened to the two, he had a sneaking suspicion that they had little need for tools or supplies. Instead, Ras pondered the words of the Ged and Rel. Their bodies could not retain magic? Therefore, they had to find ways to absorb it from their environment? It was an interesting tid bit of information that he made sure to keep as a mental note somewhere in his brain as he racked up ideas as to how they would get back to the settlement. Hopefully with the tome, though such dreams were soon shattered once it was revealed that both the skover and the tome had been infected as well. Ras stood in stunned silence before Julia pulled him to the side and hissed at him in anger.

Ras slowly brought his hand to his face as he witnessed his little ploy get shattered into a million pieces. He secretly wished he could silently communicate with his... eager companion. Ras was no fool. He was well aware that they were at the whim of these... infested people. That way, he had been desperately trying to find some sort of excuse to get away from this clearly cursed place. Maybe they could help them later, but priority right now was to try and get away. "What do you think offering to be their courier is?" Ras whispered back. "Might as well try to seem useful or helpful so that they have a reason to keep us alive and to leave." He looked at the now infected book and said "Well, at least the disease was stopped for now... though the question remains if it can be cured. At least we have something to bring back to Rak, though it might not be the best news possible." as he pondered if it was possible to get the book disinfected and back to its normal form.

Ras gingerly picked up the leather bound book and was careful to not touch the fungus or roots. He then reached into one of his pouches and pulled out his potion as well. "I have a potion as well that I could be convinced to trade."


Interactions: Gary Sue Gary Sue (Ged and Rel) Key of Stars Key of Stars (Julia)
Location: Deep Wayward Forest
Though Ged understood why they would be somewhat on edge, it appeared they were a bit more upset than anticipated. It was most likely he hadn't taken in how terrifying or strange it was to them, to see a has-been human in a now-is mushroom creature. Most definitely something he too, would regard as a monster. Whichever the case, it was clear that the group didn't feel 'welcomed' quite proper from the rowdy one's usually nonsensical lash-outs. "I believe you were looking for the book for someone, correct? If they are the one that made the book... you shouldn't underestimate their power.", he warned, trying to keep his personal thoughts on her attitude to himself this time around. Best not go down the page long list that had formed by now.

"I also take it there were three of you before you appeared, correct? Perhaps you wouldn't be quite as lucky, if another Thorn Hound found you. And Lariel would have had more to say about you culling the population, too.", the last part was spoken lower, more so as a warning rather than a threat, if they could tell the difference in their current position at least. "Though some monsters could penetrate through the wall around the town, most cannot. And those that can, we can communicate with. Meaning that if I talked to you outside, all three of us might have been a proper meal to a predator."

While Julia was talking to the child, its head that protruded from the ground had started bouncing some, and the roots it had spread appeared to be more active. Though he provided no explanation, eventually a hand popped up- clearly its own- and made an effort to pull the rest of its body out. When the other arm was out, it wasn't tough to see a piece of papyrus clasped tightly in its hand, though torn and worn. "Dad, I found this out of the walls!", the boy exclaimed rather loudly to Ged's dismay, though whatever conversation happened there was entirely silent, private amongst the two of them probably.

"... Very well then.", Ged grumbled and took the scroll from Rel, giving the illegible to the group symbols a brief look over before holding it out for Julia to take, while his son had rushed to take the potion from them and could be seen bouncing some from excitement, followed by a thankfully weak spray of acid around him. "Take this scroll too, 'for your troubles', since you demand recompense. You came from Aeredale, correct? You're to head that way.", as he gave them directions and cut their encounter short all too suddenly, he turned around to talk to one of the other folks who presented a pouch with a hefty amount of coins inside.

"For the potions. It's about all we the budget we had- two hundred or so coins. They're worthless to us, and there's little help for you to provide. Whatever 'curse' this is, is irreparable, for us humans.", he sighed out as he waited for Ras to hand over his potion, if he were fine with this amount. If they had any more use for the coins than they did the potions, maybe they'd have been more hesitant to trade this absurd an amount that could fetch anyone a good suit of armor- but there were two, or better yet, three of them. Past this trade, it was up to the group to split the money however they wished. "If you choose to come back... I'm unsure what we'll be able to provide. But we'll appreciate your assistance regardless, if you have more potions to offer us."

Due to the way that the book in Ras' hands had spread its newfound roots, the way he held it to avoid touching any of them looked funny if anything. Realising that something might be up, Ged thought to give a passing warning just in case. "As unattractive as that book might look, it's non-contagious. Just like us, it transformed. It carries with it none of the spore's potency anymore, though. Caress it all you please.", he even tried to crack a joke, though his voice appeared ever so slightly more tired than before. And with that, a humming noise sounded from the entrance the group had only minutes ago entered through, as the spores left an opening wide enough for the duo to start taking their leave as soon as they were done.

Rel turned his attention from the pup he was frolicking with to the group, waving and waiting for them to take off. If any of his features were there, he would be looking at them like a child seeing his knightly father out of the house with eagerness all over its face. "I wish you'd stay more, but... come back again!", the youngster chirped at the two, continuing to wave with whatever energy his excitement had provided.


Julia gives her x1 Suspicious-Looking Vial to Rel.
Ged offers 200⋢ and a Scroll of '???????????' for Ras' x1 Suspicious-Looking Vial.

An odd gut feeling of being watched takes over as the barrier is opened for the two to leave.

Interactions: Heyitsjiwon Heyitsjiwon (Ras) & Key of Stars Key of Stars (Julia) as Ged and Rel
Location: Deep Wayward Forest, ???
"Compensation from you, yeah, not the kid." She answered, still not hesitating even a moment to take the scroll from the man. "The kid's done nothing wrong." She quickly glanced over the scroll, she didn't understand any of what was written on it but she figured someone she knew might just have a clue. "This is fine though." She simply said, gently rolling the scroll up and stowing it in the inside pocket of her jacket. She might have few to no kind words to say about Ged, she still wasn't going to pass up on a scroll with unknown information.

She didn't say anything as Ras was handed the coins for now, they could talk about splitting those later, or not, she didn't care too much. She just wanted to keep the scroll no matter what. Either way, she definitely was not planning on coming back, no matter how well it may or may not pay. If Ras felt differently, well, she inwardly shrugged, he could go on his own in that case. She wasn't stepping foot in this village ever again.

She listened to Ged's explanation on the book with a quiet nod, snagging it from Ras' hands as soon as she heard the spores were safe to touch. She flipped through the pages, or well, rather, what had been the pages before. "Normally this would be a hefty fine," She muttered, more to herself than anyone else. "Rak is not going to be happy," And neither was she, for that matter. The book had been her ticket to magic, but with it in such a state she doubted Rak would really still feel like teaching her anything. She shoved the book back into Rak's arms with a dissatisfied look.

Finally, they were allowed to leave. She awkwardly smiled at the child, giving a wave back but choosing not to say anything. She actually felt a little bit, the kid might have actually hoped to see them again someday. Well, she didn't have anything against him but she certainly wasn't ever coming. So, she turned around and walked out of the village, gesturing for Ras to follow her, though she didn't think she would have to tell him twice either. "Sorry kid, but I am absolutely never going back." She muttered.


Interactions: Heyitsjiwon Heyitsjiwon (Ras) Gary Sue Gary Sue (Ged and Rel)
Location: Deep Wayward Forest, ???
Ras considered his options as Ged offered 200 coins for his potion. It seemed that they didn't have much to offer, but Ras looked outside and noted that the day was starting to pass by. Would they be able to make it back to the settlement by sunset? Ras wasn't too sure. It was then that he realized that this camp had numerous lanterns filled with bright spores and wisps that lit up the modest, run down settlement. Ras turned to look at Ged and said "Throw in two of those wispy lanterns and you've got yourself a deal." He would hand over the potion if Ged accepted.

As the group left the odd settlement, Ras turned back to wave at Rel before he turned back to mutter to Julia and said "I don't know if you realize, but this place is a literal gold mine. They're a captive audience unable to leave their self-imposed exile, but are willing to trade what they have for any potions. If I were a shrewd merchant, I would buy as many cheap potions as possible and sell it here. But either way, yes, Rak won't be happy about his book. Still, he deserves to know and learn what happened to this book. Might take him some time, but hopefully he can put together a new tome." Ras said trying to reassure Julia though to be honest he had no idea what making a tome involved, much less anything involving magic.

It was then that Ras was hit by the sensation of being... watched? Ras muttered to himself "What now." as he cautiously lifted his lance and began searching the area to see if he could discover the source of this feeling.


Interactions: Gary Sue Gary Sue (Julia) Key of Stars Key of Stars (Ged and Rel)
Location: Deep Wayward Forest
Action: Searching
Ged found no reason to tell the already disheartened Julia that the kid nor anyone else in there, had any use for the scroll. They couldn't cast magic without a tome, and they had no interest in collecting spells when they'd be confined to this space, to make sure they and everything around them too, is safe. With a silent parting as they simply bid the lot farewell with a wave, the faceless dwellers of the village closed their fungal barrier around it and let them be on their way, somewhere that they'd feel more welcome and comfortable at that.

Needless to say, Ged had no reason to turn down the offer of two lanterns among the many they had, with some fresh spores that could last for much too long, if they simply wanted to get out the forest. If they wanted to keep them around for more than a day though, Ras and Julia would both find themselves wholly disappointed at their light source dying down- but they looked like they already knew that.

And so the group ventured forth once again, with a foreboding feeling constantly watching over them and never quite getting shaken off. Leaves rustled and animals seemed to move around from time to time, alongside some monsters that were timid and almost respectful of the two adventurers. After all, they weren't simple humans, they had felled one of their 'kings' not too long ago on their own. Whatever this presence was, it watched through their surroundings.

Sometimes it was the ghastly blue orbs that peered through the greenery before fading back into the shadows, and others it wouldn't be more than an ominous crack of a tree branch, despite no critters being around. Watched, but never quite approached by their stalker. Even so, the animals' activity remained all the same, as if their stalker was neither man nor beast, but something in perfect harmony with everything. Maybe it was just a freaky sensation from the previous encounter with the fungal folks, or whatever was out there just wasn't interested enough to make a move.

Suffice to say, they were rather safe in the quietly settling insecurity. There was naught but their path to Aeredale and the occasional potion component to be found, be it in the form of a juicy berry or some interesting leave to be brewed into a tonic.


Trading with the fungal humans was enough to offer some experience to both Ras and Julia. // +100 [Merchanting] Proficiency

Ras finds x1 [Handpicked Wayward Forest] Alchemy Reagent.

Action Progress: Exiting the Wayward Forest 0/2
Available Actions: Searching, Resting & Exiting the Wayward Forest

Interactions: n/a
Mentions: Heyitsjiwon Heyitsjiwon (Ras), Key of Stars Key of Stars (Julia)
Location: Deep Wayward Forest
She looked back at Ras as they walked back into the jungle. "Yes, I have realized, and no, I do not care." She said with a dismissive gesture. "I'm not looking to get rich, I'm looking for magic and adventure. Sure, money might help me with that, but I'm not willing to deal with this stuff again, even if it makes me rich." She felt better now that their were in the forest again, even with the constant feeling of being watched not escaping her senses.

"I feel bad for the kid, I do." She continued, kicking a small rock in front of her everytime she stumbled across it. "But what can you do, sometimes life deals you a bad hand. He didn't seem to hung up about it for that matter." She added with a shrug, fiddling a little with the lantern she was holding.

She stayed alert enough, ready to push her hand into her gloves at any moment should something attack them, as for right now though, it didn't really seem like it was going to happen. "Can't exactly say we got dealt the best hand either," She said with a small sigh. "I managed to get a pretty interesting scroll out of this whole ordeal but not only did Rak's tome get completely destroyed, we also lost my future sister in law and thereby only way of getting my brother out of my hair."

She was in a, well, somewhat foul mood. Not nearly as bad as it had been, the scroll she'd received held enough of her interest to be cautiously optimistic about the otherwise disasterous journey. And also, she'd gotten to punch a few monsters, that was nice. "Let's just hurry back," She eventually told Ras. "I need a drink."


Interactions: Heyitsjiwon Heyitsjiwon (Ras)
Location: Deep Wayward Forest
Action: Exiting the Wayward Forest
Ras nodded and curtly replied "Fair enough. Though, money certainly does help make adventures a bit easier and safer." as Ras was more concerned about keeping an eye out for a potential ambush or nasty surprise. However, as the two began to make their way out of the Deep Wayward Forest, he felt slightly more comfortable as the forest seemed to settle a bit. He couldn't shake off the feeling that they were being watched, but whatever it was seemed to be not interested in a fight. Ras had kept an eye out and didn't encounter much other than some alchemy reagents. He threw the reagents into a pouch next to another rather fat purse that had numerous coins.

"I was about to say. We weren't exactly handed the best cards either. Definitely not as bad as all those folks back there, but still. Not the best possible ending to our journey. At least we can give Rak some closure... and who knows. If he really is a power mage like Ged said, then maybe he can recover some of the tome if not the entire tome. Regardless, yes we should hurry back. I could use a nice hot bath after we give Rak the news and the high fiber mushroom sandwich that was once his tome." Ras commented as he continued forward to leave the Deep Wayward Forest.


Interactions: Key of Stars Key of Stars (Julia)
Location: Deep Wayward Forest
Action: Exiting the Wayward Forest
A few minutes ago...
Where the others stood in front of a mushroom that talked, Irena had instead found herself in a more curious predicament. Despite the exchange transpiring before her very eyes, a wisp that almost whispered sweet "follow me's" and pleas to her soul flew by her and into the distance. With an unusual and unexpected wave of fatigue washing over her and only getting stronger when the wisp moved further, the swordswoman would sooner or later find herself inclined to follow along its tracks.

The sensation was odd and unlike anything else, but the best way to put it into words would be to say it felt almost like a part of her was drawing further and further when she stayed away from the flickering, yet bright blue flame. Worse yet, it was going to an entirely different direction than where the group would head afterwards, but that was to be the least of her concerns by this point in time.

Irena found herself separating from the rest of her party as she followed the wisps. Where were they taking here? She followed them along a narrow path that could barely be discerned from the underbrush.

Though the lighting was dim, it wasn't too long before a clearing of sorts revealed itself before her. Despite her certainly still being close to the others- she hadn't moved too much after all- what she saw before her eyes was completely different and felt... wrong.

Art owned by Pixelcat
(Piece Name: Cliff Castle)

How could a cliffside just be in the middle of a forest, and how could the air carry the salty scent of the sea? The nearest port-town they were in was a few weeks of travelling to the north and then some. Hell, where did all the trees, the Wayward Forest itself go? And yet the wisps continued to move, even floating off the cliff and stopping when they were just out of arm's reach from her, were she to stretch and try to grab them.

"How do you feel?", a childish, high pitched voice hummed softly through her as their flames began to switch to a teal that was easier on the eyes, alternating between its two colors.

Ren was perplexed. This wasn't right. Something was off and she intended to find out what. If only she could stop her legs from following the wisps. At least she was able to stop before she walked off the cliff.

"Who are you? Why did you lead me here?" Irena's training in high-stress situations kept her calm. "And what sorcery is this?"

The wisps colors changed back to the colder and darker blue they were shining only moments ago, as though it was displeased with her reaction. "I can't answer any of that. Can you?", without any attempt at negotiation it flipped the questions right back to her, making small leaps left and right, left and right, left and...

Just barely out of reach. "You didn't answer my question. How does it feel, to see me?", it simply repeated in its eerily out of touch and happy voice, as if a kid asking its parent whether they were 'there' yet or not.

"You're... the will o wisps." A part of her wanted to unsheathe her sword but the wiser voice told her not to. Against a magic-user, weapons were at a disadvantage and it might anger the being further. "It's good to meet you."

Although its color turned lighter again, as if she were playing a game of hot or cold with the wisp, it wasn't quite back to the same teal as though before. Perhaps uncovering what she could from its cryptic words would lead her closer to whatever its goal was, unknown as it were. "'Meet you'?", it repeated after her before bursting into laughter.

The flame floated closer, though it ascended into the air just high enough to remain ever so slightly out of reach. "So who are you?", another plain question was asked her way, as the fatigue that was already weighing her down began to grew alarmingly stronger. Even so, she had no choice but to endure it.

Irena's senses dulled as she felt fatigue drain her strength. "I am Irena, a knight-in-training," she only just managed to get out.

"Is that all?", a rather expectant and almost condescending sneer from the wisp, although its color remained the same. Maybe this was just an attempt at gently pushing her in the right direction, whatever that could mean. "You don't have much time. Think, think- is that all?"

"I'm a Snowfarer, the apprentice of the late Sir Drake the Heavyhearted, wielder of his blade." that was all she could get out before the fatigue overtook her and she had to rest.

Even so, in her predicament it would only feel as though her stamina was growing thinner and thinner despite the rest, be it against a tree, on some boulders or some tall hedges the land had formed.
"Okay, Snowfarer Irena. Then who am I?", the wisp repeated a prior question as its flame lit in the color of a more familiar, comforting glow.

It sounded like a riddle. Irena's fatigue-addles mind felt sluggish and thick. Her thoughts were as mud. She remembered an old wives' tale.
"Are you perhaps the souls of the dearly departed?"


As the wisp grew more and more disappointed with the answers she gave, the fatigue grew stronger. What was unexpected though, was the sudden burst of vigor she felt alongside a soothing presence that was almost watching from afar. Not revealed, yet close enough for Irena to know. She was no longer alone.

"Then you've given up already, Snowfarer Irena?", the voice plainly questioned while the body of fire drew slightly further out of reach and more distant from the edge of the cliff.

She took heart from the unexpected reprieve.
"I have no time for tricks and games. I have to return to my companions. They'll be wondering about me. If you have any business with me speak plainly."

"Your life is at stake here.", a deeper and much more human voice finally emerged as in a blink, a man wearing what looked to be an ordinary garb had emerged, bar the hood over his head. His face was concealed, however even throughout the shadows the faint blue glow of his eyes showed. Staring right into Irena, were she to look back, he kept his eyes firmly pinned on her. "'It' won't talk plainly. So answer its question. Are you already dead, Snowfarer Irena?"

Despite this stranger's presence and intrusion in what should have been a matter of life and death for her, the wisp continued to observe from a distance as it awaited an answer. "Did you give up, or are you going to return to your companions?"

"I will return to my companions." She thought for a moment longer. A though occurred to her. "Are you someone I have met before?" Perhaps asking it more questions would reveal more clues as to what this creature was getting at.

In the little quiet before the wisp thought to muster a response, the man interjected once more to be of further assistance to Irena.
"It's someone you've always been with- think, and say their name.", he instructed as he walked a few steps closer, still standing a small distance from the knight as he averted his gaze to idly look at the flames too, which continuously swapped between their warmer and colder colors as Irena's thoughts ran on and on.

"You've never been alone, even when you're on your own. Is that any clearer?", the mysterious figure sounded almost bothered by Irena, though it began to sound some like his attitude was brought out by worry if anything.


"The only thing that's been with me all the time is my sword, Noble Gambit." Irena cocked her head, unsure of whether her response was the one the wisp was looking for.

Easy to forget as it was after it stopped taking effects, the fatigue returned if only for a few moments to pulse through Irena before the man, slightly more irate than before, pinched his nose under the hood and shook his head.
"Look into Noble Gambit. Who do you see?", his question was accompanied with a wave crashing against the cliff they stood on, as his breathing became more and more unsteady. "Be fast. I can't help you much longer."

"Do you mean Sir Drake?" she asked.

After what felt like entire hours of silence despite having been nothing more than a minute or two, the wisp finally spoke. Though rather than to assist, it appeared to be a jab at her ego as if there was no point to the riddle anymore.
"She's hopeless, and you still want to save-"

"You'll stay completely quiet, Celadon's puppet. You impose all these games and tricks onto people and play them off like..."

After showing more emotion than was expected, the man took a moment to breathe and try to compose his thoughts. Stretching his hand out, he mumbled some words lowly under his breath as a chill began to extent from his grip. "Glaciem, lino... tendo.", he commanded none other than himself while the air solidified before him into a thick chunk of ice that soon enough appeared to take the form of a blade.

The manner he held the sword out pointed at the wisp was definitely worthy of attention, and its perfect form reflected Irena's when looked at directly. There were many things wrong with what he was currently doing, but this was going to be his issue to solve, not hers. So he drew his hood back some, revealing the scarred left side of his face alongside his slightly chapped lips. And without talking, he slowly spelled the following out for her.

'The reflection. Who do you see.'

The man who had appeared out of nowhere seemed to have some trouble composing himself. Irena wasn't sure what they were both playing at but felt rather dense nonetheless. What was clear was that he could use magic, an unusual ability. A frown furrowed her brow. "Myself, but that's impossible. You can't be me," she asserted quite sure of herself and shook her head. "What do you stand to gain from these childish riddles?"

"It's not you, yet. You'll understand as soon as you're out of the woods, but for now, you should finish this.", the man attempted to keep an edge to his voice though his relief was evident. Shifting his grip on the weapon, he thrust it into the ground and planted it firmly, moving behind Irena as a wave crashed against the rocky bluff once again. "The last thing I can do is give you a little push- catch the wisp with your hands.", he spoke and did exactly as he said.

A light push from the man threw Irena off the cliff, as the wisp tried to flee below her. Still, with the speed they were falling she began catching up, and the fall would last very, very long even if she couldn't capture it immediately. Despite being at a cliff only moments ago, it was almost like they were falling through the sky as they passed through dense clouds and the sea below them had disappeared. Or rather, it was there, but no matter how much they fell it felt like they never got any closer than they already were.

Irena didn't have time to be confused. A moment later she found herself falling with the wisp. Panic flooded her mind as she free fell, but with discipling she focused on what she could do. As the man had said, she reached out her hand and swiped at the glowing ball of light. As soon as she grabbed hold of the wisp, a squeal sounded and another wave of fatigue washed over her, the strongest one yet at that. She must have been on the verge of passing out before it subsided again, although along with its passing sounded a very loud ringing.

And accompanying the ringing, a flash of white spread from her hands and made it impossible to see, before everything turned black once again. It was impossible to see anything, to the point where it was questionable whether or not she was even conscious anymore."H-Hey,
move! Pre...", whoever it was talking with all the world's worry in their voice, it faded away once again as silence took over.


Art owned by Jack Bailey
(Piece Name: Dungeon Synth 001)

Aeredale, Western Cyclone

With the pace the two were moving at, thankfully Julia and Ras didn't take more than a few minutes to trek all the way back to the entrance of the forest, quickly finding themselves in the familiar winding path that had shortly led them to their fateful encounter with the Thorn Hound. The marks of their battle were still there, as were the felled trees from when Rak had entered the jungle. Continuing up ahead brought an even more comforting, familiar sight in the form of Aeredale beginning to rear its head, along with the gate sentries and red kobold who waited by it.

The most curious sight to behold though, was the person laying right beside the panicking kobold who rummaged through his previously empty satchel time and time again, always to the same result. Nothing coming out- not a surprise considering its quite literally lacking contents. "Get back to the world of the awake ones, please...", the little guy grumbled repeatedly almost under his breath, taking until the adventurers had approached them once again to actually notice their presence. In what could be considered as a 'major security flaw' for Aeredale, the same could be said about the concerned sentries who were scratching their heads to figure out how they could help.

Any healing magics that Rak knew how to use, he'd tried to use on Irena but to no avail. The one potion he found still on her satchel, he tried to make her drink but chose not to out of caution for potential choking hazards. His hands were tied and there were too few options left by this point, so he turned to Ras and Julia. "Pretty one caught mana fever- is killing her. I found her near entrance of forest, this one was burning up. But temperature is down now..!", he explained the situation briefly and placed his cold hand on her forehead once again. It's not like he had a great hand for measuring human temperature, but with a quick comparison to the sentries... it was about the same.

Needless to say the sentries hadn't been asked beforehand, but they got no say in the matter. "Hasn't woken up, still sleepy... Rak thought the one who protects was with you? Why did Rak find near here?", the kobold raised his head to look at the two quietly, exchanging swift glances before his eyes tracked some form of movement from Irena. Was that a breath too, that he just heard? Now he was certain- finally, she was regaining consciousness again!

"Oh..! Is waking up..! Pretty one come around from fever!", the voice ringing into her ears returned what felt like only moments later as Irena began to awaken. And with that consciousness, came a strong sense of vigor followed with what felt like overwhelming clarity of mind and energy flowing through her. Something was different about her, as they would all soon enough find out. With these pleasant news, the little menace left in their hands got enough time to heave out a heavy sigh and place a hand on the top of his head in what appeared to be a self-pat for his efforts. That's when he noticed the 'thing' that became of the book in Ras' hands, too. "You find book of books, yes? Tell Rak, where is?"

That was probably going to be a bit hard to explain calmly. At least the feeling of being watched had dissipated in full by now, so they wouldn't have to worry about that on top of breaking the news to the swamp dweller.


After leaving the forest, the group's expedition finally comes to a close and everyone is reunited once more.

Interactions: Elowyn Elowyn (Irena) as Wisp & Hooded Man and Key of Stars Key of Stars (Julia) & Heyitsjiwon Heyitsjiwon (Ras) as Rak
Location: Wayward Forest -> Aeredale, Southern Entrance
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Julia breathed a sigh of relief as Aeredale came back into a view, a sigh that soon turned into a tired one as she noticed the commotion ahead. She pushed the fatigue to the back, rushing forward and sinking to her knees next to Irena. Truth be told, she was happy to see the other adventurer, and not solely because she was planning on marrying her off to her brother, though that definitely played a role.

She gently pushed Rak's hand out of the way and felt Irena's temperature for herself. "It's warm, but nothing life threatening. Still, if she was burning up, why has she not been moved to a proper location?" She asked, eyeing the sentries with a level gaze, briefly considering if she should knock their lights out if their answer was insufficient.

She held a hand up to stop Rak from continuing his question. "We don't know either, there's something seriously wrong with that forest." She reached for her belt, snatching a vial from her hip and throwing its contents back in a single gulp, feeling the familiar burn in her throat. "Still, she can't have had it all too much worse than we did." She added, gesturing in Ras' general direction with a pained smile.

She smiled as Irena slowly opened her eyes again. "Mornin' sis in law, you have a nice nap?" She asked. "Next time you're going to disappear on us, a little warning would be nice. That way we can at least look for a replacement when dealing with sentient mushrooms." She added with a dry grin.

She glanced at Ras when Rak mentioned the book. "You tell him, you owe me, this whole mess was basically your fault to begin with."


Interactions: Gary Sue Gary Sue (Rak), Elowyn Elowyn (Irena), Heyitsjiwon Heyitsjiwon (Ras)
Location: Aeredale, Southern Entrance

Irena Rosenthal



Irena woke to the sound of Rak's voice. She felt warm all over but felt better after a few moments. Then Julia's face came into view. She blinked and gathered herself, managing to sit upright and listen to Julia talk at the same time.

"That was strange. The wisp brought me to a cliff, but there couldn't have been a cliff in the forest. I would have known by now. And there was a strange man who helped me... the wisp kept asking me riddles." She groaned, trying to parse through memories. Something Julia said caught her attention and she looked at the energetic woman. "Wait, did you say sentient mushrooms? What happened while I was out?"

"And did you two find the book?" she asked Ras.

Mentions & Interactions: Gary Sue Gary Sue [Rak] Heyitsjiwon Heyitsjiwon [Ras] Key of Stars Key of Stars [Julia]
Location: Aeredale, Southern Entrance

Ras walked up to the entrance of the settlement and found himself silent and unsure what to make of Irena's sudden return or appearance. Wisps? Cliffs? Ras was confused by what Irena said as she seemed to awaken from her magically inflicted slumber. He was also confused by the overall carefree attitude of the local guards. A passed out Knight at their very gates... and they do nothing? Something seemed odd to Ras, but he would not comment about it now. "Glad to see you're fine, Irena. We got pretty worried when we realized that we lost you. Though we did find more than enough trouble ourselves." Ras said with a gentle smile to the Knight. "Are you feeling okay? Should we bring you to the local apothecary at the very least?" Ras asked Irena. "True, said I would buy you a drink, but I reckon thanks to me we also quickly found out what was going on. I can't imagine how much time we would have spent if we weren't brought to Ged." Ras replied to Julia.

Ras cleared his throat and lifted the fungus infested tome and said "Rak, I am sorry to say, but this is your tome. To try and make a long story short... there are a group of humans in the forest who became cursed with some sort of magical fungus. The skolver pup apparently ran into the magical fungus and got infected along with the book. However, the strong magic in the tome countered the infectious ability of the fungus, so now no one else can be infected now. I hope you can recover something from the tome, but at the very least the tome helped prevent a potential magical crisis from growing in the forest. The skolver pup... who knows how long it has to live at this point, but seeing the other infected creatures... it doesn't seem too long." as he handed over the misshapen tome.


Interactions: Gary Sue Gary Sue (Rak), Key of Stars Key of Stars (Julia), Elowyn Elowyn (Irena)
Location: Aeredale, Southern Entrance
Every event that unfolded before his eyes, the descriptions of their misadventures and the questioning of his methods and particularly the sentries'... The two guards tried to cover their own arses for having acted little on Irena's situation, but they were promptly interrupted by Rak, as was expected. "Th-The truth is that we tried, but-"

"Silences! Unmagicked ones had no idea what pretty one had!", he almost barked at them as he turned back their way, stomping his foot down on the ground and raising small clouds of dust. "Normal ones' medicine never help, Rak knew better! Heard of magick potion from Col'kirk, tried on blue one but... she woke fast. Very fast, unusualest of mana fevers.", the little kobold's rant quickly became more of a monologue as he grumbled and scratched his chin, ignoring the sentries who were trying to gather up whatever pieces of their ripped apart self confidence were left. "B-But our mortality rates from mana fever are very low in Aeredale..."

"Big ones!", the red-scaled lizard turned right back to the others, tapping his forehead softly with a large nail as he tried to drum up ideas. What had they run into in the forest? "Rak has never seen mushroom person, yes. Nor mushroom one who barks. Unsure what mushroom looks like...", his tone lowered more and more as he proceeded to mutter under his own breath about allergies and Kobolds. For a one-track mind, he was surprisingly capable of withholding his excitement when he saw the tome he'd created in Ras' hands, even though it looked oddly decorated unlike what he remembered. Stretching a palm towards the lancer's direction, he turned back to Irena and pointed at her with a sharp claw.

"Blue one! Wisp does not exist anymore, long gone in years. Creatures of legend and curses, and not here in the jungle either. Pretty one was dreaming.", a confident declaration followed by nods to himself and grunts of self-approval. "Yes yes, mana fever give bad dreams. But you woke, and now you are magicked. Can cast spells, Rak show you how. Didn't expect Kobold potion this effective..."

. . .

And at long last, now it was time to turn his attention to his beloved tome. He pulled it out of Ras' hands, looking at the growths in confusion and a particularly disgusted manner. "Wh-What did you do to tome..? Book of books reeks.", he opened the tome just to be greeted with a mushroom that appeared to be sprouting from the very middle of it, its roots keeping the rest of the pages shut and almost sewn together. With a surprised yelp, the tiny reptilian man dropped the book and took a few steps back, hissing as his tail whipped left and right. "T-Tome usable but disgusting, all spells gone! R-Rak doesn't want anymore, hates smell of thing..!"

Rak's distaste for the fungus appeared stronger than anything else, as he moved his hands and with a horizontal motion, shot out what appeared to be a clean slice of wind at the book that cut the mushroom's cap from the stem. From there, the stem and roots mostly crumbled to dust although not all traces of the fungus could possibly be removed from the tome. "Take weird hat away from Rak, burns eyes and nose to be near... Keep it for potion, is horrible... b-but maybe useful... But Rak would burn.", he almost shooed away the group, waiting for them to pick up the small mushroom cap before he approached the book again.

Seeing some roots ingrained into pages caused him to physically cringe and shudder, but after looking through the pages he had made up his mind. He triumphantly closed the book, gave everyone a half hearted look and held the tome out towards them. "Book of books is um... b-book of average books now. Spells got overwritten by weird creature that was on book... Can keep. Rak go back home and make new one for self."

Where the group had feared for what should have been an explosive reaction from the Kobold, they instead got more of his hopefully delightful antics, after fighting for their lives in more than one kerfuffles in the woods. "Ah, smartest one got idea! Listen, um... big ones train. No more danger come meet them, get stronger and Rak take you to Col'kirk? Try to make you book of books, real from scratch. Let you use most expensive coins too with my people, yes?", he did his best to strike a deal with the tired adventurers who probably dreaded the trip, although he knew just how very much he needed the escort. He wasn't chasing behind a Skolver or his own shadow anymore, and he definitely couldn't pull a stunt like that for a few days on end again.

If all of them could get a tome though, then maybe it'd be worth it? The Kobold took another two wooden coins out of his pouch, holding them out and offering the troublemaker's toothy grin. Yes, the same one he always put on before managing to involuntarily get them tangled up in his... curious, business. "Rak can't pay for training expenses, but can convince weaponsmaster to give discount..? Very strong after practice of only few days, is guarantee. One with big arms learn how to punch better, then get magic book! And one who protects becomes protector... of more! S-Sounds good, yes?"


Rak offers the group a... [Cursed Tome of Fungus]? It seems to contain some spells already, though their runes are quite similar.

Interactions: Elowyn Elowyn (Irena), Heyitsjiwon Heyitsjiwon (Ras) & Key of Stars Key of Stars (Julia) as Rak and the Sentries
Location: Aeredale, Southern Entrance
Julia waved her hand dismissively. "Sure, sure, but I would have rather spend a week trekking through that forest than interacting with an annoying mushroom man with a permanent stick up his ass." She said with a sigh, closing her eyes for just a moment, opening them again just as fast as Rak said something to Irena.

"Hey hey, hold on, back it up." She desperately waved her hands, Rak seemed more than a little too nonchalant for what he had just said. "What do you mean Irena is magicked? What do you mean she can do spells now? You're telling me all she had to do to get magic was get lost?!" Julia groaned loudly. "That's just plain unfair!"

She weakly swung at a nearby wall, glacing up at Rak afterward. "Quick, give me some of those potions of yours! I'll drink them all if that's what it takes. Or... I don't know, knock me out and throw me into the forest so I go through my own narcotic induced fever dream like sis in law!" The next few minutes of conversation all went over her head as she was desperately coming up with increasingly crazy ideas to potentially live through her own weird dream, visibly deflated from the fact that she had been so very close to obtaining magic but had instead been forced to spend the better part of her day getting all but held hostage.

"Train? Book?" She muttered quietly, perking up at the mention of the two words. Julia had never missed a day of training in her life, which only made it more frustrating that her brother was still stronger than her while he trained 3 times a week as most, but, god forbid she go on another rant about that. Perhaps training was just what she needed to take her mind off of things for a moment.

The moment Rak even mentioned her getting a magic book she immediately nodded furiously. "I'll go! Though I'm a little offended you doubt my punching technique." She added with a small chuckle, her earlier despair completely forgotten. "Oh, before I forget, Rak, could you take a look at this for me?" She gently pulled the scroll from the inside pocket of her jacket and held it out for the Kobold to take. "I received it for my... services, I guess."


Interactions: Heyitsjiwon Heyitsjiwon (Ras) Elowyn Elowyn (Irena) Gary Sue Gary Sue (Rak)
Location: Aeredale, Southern Entrance

Irena Rosenthal



"Thanks for your concern, Ras," Ren replied. "It sounds like you ran into some strange creatures yourselves." She wasn't quite sure what he was talking about regarding the book. Something about fungus? Fungus people? She hadn't come across anything like that in her travels and training before, but she supposed the world was a lot bigger than she knew. Irena did feel a bit disappointed that they hadn't been able to deliver the book in good condition to Rak, and then reminded herself that that hadn't been her priority in the first place. She had simply wanted to "take a break" as her commander had told her to. It wasn't clear to her whether she accomplished it, but she did have fun journeying with these strangers.

She turned her head to listen to the kobold speak. Whether or not the wisps were real remained to be seen. It sure felt real when she was following them, but it was possible that it was all a fever-induced dream. "Huh? I can use magic now?" She looked at her hands. She didn't feel any different, except for her body temperature. Irena had never anticipated that she would gain magical abilities. She always relied on steel and her own strength to get by, but certainly magic wouldn't hurt. Receiving training from Rak, however, might be time consuming. She hoped that she could master the basics quickly and that would suffice.

At his offer of a discount with the weapons master, she shrugged. "I don't mind a discount." "Looks like you did get something out of the trip into the forest, though." Irena remarked as Julia took out the scroll.

Mentions & Interactions: Gary Sue Gary Sue [Rak] Heyitsjiwon Heyitsjiwon [Ras] Key of Stars Key of Stars [Julia]
Location: Aeredale, Southern Entrance

Ras scratched his head as he tried to discern what sort of crazy idea Rak had in mind for them all now. Ras took back the... book? as it was shoved back in his direction. Ras picked up the fungus off the street. Even if no one wanted anything to do with it... Ras wasn't comfortable with the idea of it just sitting around where it could end up anywhere... like somewhere it shouldn't be. However, the tome was just an average book now according to Rak due to the fungus who... rewrote it? Ras wasn't sure how magic worked nor how tomes worked, but seeing how calmly and casually Rak flipped through the pages. The book was at least safe to handle, right? Ras wasn't sure what exactly was going on, but it seemed like Rak wanted to get them all tomes?

Ras had to admit that Rak was more than what met the eye. Ged had mentioned it as well. Whoever made the original tome was quite powerful. Ras couldn't help but be intrigued by this odd kobold. Ultimately, Ras sighed and took his share of the wooden coin. "Guess we should start to get ready and prepare for this journey to Col'kirk." He said in a semi-exacerbated manner. However, he was mostly thinking about the logistics behind this journey. First... he wasn't sure how far the Kobold settlement was. How much food and supplies should he pack? What was the environment like? Swampy? If so, then he would be wise to get his hands on some nice boots.

Ras began to take his first steps to enter deeper into the town. He wanted to inquire about new equipment when he remembered the other scrolls that they had obtained, which made him stop in his tracks. "While we're here talking about scrolls, we also got these other two from our fight." Ras mentioned as he pulled out the scrolls, one red and one green. "We should probably take a moment and figure out how to split everything. We did find quite a bit back there."


Mentions: Gary Sue Gary Sue (Rak) Elowyn Elowyn (Irena) Key of Stars Key of Stars (Julia)
Location: Aeredale, Southern Entrance
When the scrolls were finally stretched towards him, Rak grabbed them though he gave a harsh glare to Julia. "Foolish one, if get mana fever, you die! Is surprising Rak managed to save Irena... Rak is very smart one.", he huffed and shook his head in disapproval, turning to look at Ras and collect the parchments from his hands too. "Oh, one of these Rak hadn't seen before... Interesting.", the kobold was quick to unfurl them and begin his read, his eyes zipping from line to line and taking in whatever the runes could possibly be spelling out for him. "These useless... for now. You three need book to use many times- otherwise, the magicks disappear after use. Scroll burn up."

Actually... An idea ran through his head as he huffed and strutted towards the stool, climbing atop of it and placing both of his little clawed hands on his hips. "Lesson in magicks! Ahahem!", he cleared his throat unnecessarily loudly, earning a sigh out of one of the sentries who had returned to their posts by this point. His tired mutter could even be heard from further apart, though it was no louder than a whisper. "Poor lads..."

"Red scroll is for attack, blue is for protecting and green is for useful ones. Some spells are 'roots'! Can use them and then use other magicks to achieve complicated things. Ball of fire, trap of zap, and the like that unmagicked ones desire.", that particular line was directed at Julia, as she could probably tell from the confident stare and nod he was giving her when he crossed his arms. "Scrolls fragile and written in magick, so unmagicked can't read. Pretty one should be able to, but she has trouble understanding because she knows little magick.", the confident nods at none other than himself continued as he revealed to them that their contents would be easily readable, provided they obtained magic themselves.

"Fancier scroll means rarer magick. But hard to get, many exist but dangerous ones have them. Big and scary, and very strong. You three have one scroll like that. Not rarest, only rare. Is a scroll of protecting, Bractea. Creates magicked armor, but very tiring to use.", he finally began getting into the nitty gritty of things that everyone and most especially their brawler would be happy to hear, holding it out towards Ras under the assumption he'd then show it to the rest of the group.

"Then one scroll of attack, Glaciem... This one is root spell, can become many things. Spear of ice, trap that stops ones in their step, burst of cold, and the like! And then you have a funny scroll... Rak hasn't seen, is 'Colligentes'. Rare spell, it looks...", the kobold played with the gold imprint on the scroll's corners, getting distracted before going back to reading its runic contents. "... gather magicked energy? Rak knows not what this does. Looks hard to use, very tiring... Is bad spell, useless in group of magicked ones."

He squinted while looking at it, reading it time and time again before he tapped his toes on the stool some, bouncing up and down. After a moment or two of intense glances between him and the scroll, he just tilted his head and sighed before letting out a dreadful "... Wh-Why..?". Worst of all, that was the scroll Julia had received from Ged. Handing it back, Rak looked at the common offensive scroll and just snickered on his own. "Is funny one- ice magicks are used by the Cobalt Lich. Very far away, has scary blue eyes and protects. Like the pretty one. You should have it!", he held the magic scroll of ice out towards Irena, grinning almost childishly.

. . .
Rather than choosing to keep his Magic 101 lecture, Rak proceeded to jump off of the stool and dust his hands once everybody had collected their scroll, rubbing his chin and pondering over something. Certainly after a brief while, he made up his mind and began to head into the town with a hand to ask the rest of them to follow right along. "Rak tell pretty one how to use magicks once you talk with trainer. Smart one gets you discount now.", the group entered Aeredale and though they were walking at a normal, steady pace, the kobold was rushing along fast enough to be further ahead of the rest as he followed a straightforward path towards the inn, then the stalls that they'd met at as he waved at any merchants along the way (much to their dismay) and lastly he took a turn.

The group was approaching what appeared to be an arena, though the closer they got the more apparent it became that this was nothing more than training grounds on an even piece of land, covered in dirt with dummies placed here and there. There were some more curious things of note like what looked to be training devices, though their condition revealed that they were more probably than not, not used quite often... "Weaponmaster hangs there. Rak asked for help once, but wise one said 'no work for free, go away'. We get you good price and have you train, your magicks surprise him."

... He did have a plan, right?


Rak identifies the Scrolls for the group, and they receive:
- Ras: x1 Scroll of [Bractea], x1 [Cursed Tome of Fungus]
- Julia: x1 Scroll of [Colligentes]
- Irena: x1 Scroll of [Glaciem]

Interactions: Heyitsjiwon Heyitsjiwon (Ras), Key of Stars Key of Stars (Julia) & Elowyn Elowyn (Irena) as Rak
Location: Aeredale, Southern Entrance -> Aeredale, Training Grounds Entrance
Julia resisted the urge to wave her hands at Irena. If mana fever kills you, why was her future sister-in-law walking around like nothing had happened with newly acquired magical powers? Surely if Rak could save Irena he could save her as well should she fall into, likely self-induced, mana fever.

She placed the idea out of her head for now. From the way Rak explained it, she would be able to use magic herself once she had a magic book and the kobold had already promised to get her one after training.

She leaned against a nearby wall as Rak explained magic, hanging onto his every word with the usual curiousity she had almost been afraid she'd lost because of the boring mushroom wizard fellas she'd dealt with. "Of course," She answered confidently, "Who doesn't dream of wielding flashy magic? A perfect party trick and a strong tool in battle. Your popularity and strength will sky-rocket." She declared with a grin.

She perked up even further when Rak got to her scroll, visibly deflating a little when Rak confidently declared it was a bad spell. "Damned mushroom bastards." She muttered, though that did not seem to be the whole story, she narrowed her eyes as Rak let out his desperate why, taking the scroll from him and placing it back in the inside pocket of her jacket carefully. She suspected Rak wasn't telling her everything, well, that was fine, she would get him to tell her somehow, or she would simply read for herself once she'd obtained magic.

As Rak jumped off of the stool and started walking towards the town she casually strolled after him. Julia had intended to have a drink and a bath first before doing anything else, but if she had to train to obtain magic, so be it. She reached for her final filled vial at her belt, throwing the contents back in a single gulp as she followed the kobold.

She came to a halt behind Rak in the arena. "Right, you do remember that we can't actually use magic yet, right?" She didn't want to doubt the eccentric Kobold, rather she didn't want to doubt her ticket to magic. But when it came to things other than magic Rak seemed a lot less reliable.


Interactions: Gary Sue Gary Sue (Rak) Elowyn Elowyn (Irena)
Location: Aeredale, Training Grounds Entrance

Irena Rosenthal



As well as she felt now, there was no doubt that she had a brush with death according to their red-skinned kobold. Irena listened as Rak described the basics of magic use. It sounded like they needed a spell book, not the scrolls her fellow adventurers had obtained from the mushroom people.

In the back of her mind, however, was the journey to Col'kirk. She certainly had no plans to go there. The knights who returned from there had no taste for the dangers that lurked in the swamp. In general, Irena didn't consider kobolds as worthy opponents mainly because they chose to use magic.

She returned to the present moment when Rak held out a scroll to her. "Oh, thank you." She took the scroll, but was still unsure how to use it.

The group followed the kobold into town and Irena recognized the path they took towards the inn, but had never taken that turn before as she had no reason to go to that trainer since her training took place in the knights' compound.

Mentions & Interactions: Gary Sue Gary Sue [Rak]
Location: Aeredale, Southern Entrance

Ras listened intently as Rak explained how the scrolls worked and what they contained. It was an interesting tidbit of information that Ras knew little bit about, but not this much in depth. Ras was never particularly interested in magic since it seemed like such a foreign idea to him. Almost like stumbling across a long forgotten treasure in a random cave and becoming as wealthy as a king, or something along the lines of that. However, Rak now seemed to be offering to teach them all magic... but why? Why would Rak go out of his way to try and bring all of them to Col'kirk and teach them all magic? Something seemed a bit fishy with the situation as Ras thought through the situation. Still, it seemed that he had been bestowed the scroll that contained some sort of defensive magic armor spell.

Sighing deeply, Ras pinched the bridge of his nose he heard Rak's proposal. Another one of his... "business proposals". Rak's ability to schmooze and make deals with humans seemed to be rather lacking. Ras spoke up "Reckon most people would not be willing to work for free. The wood coins are... not typical currency among humans after all." as he looked around the arena. It seemed almost depressingly empty and quiet here. Business was clearly rather slow, and Ras already began to rack his head with ideas of trying to make a good deal with the weaponmaster. Once the group entered, Ras loudly called out "Hail Weaponmaster, we seek your tutelage. Are you present and willing?"


Mentions: (Rak & Weaponmaster) Gary Sue Gary Sue
Location: Aeredale, Arena
To be doubted like that by Julia- oh, the gall! "Big hands should let Rak handle, pretty one can use magicks! And Rak can too, just watch, watch.", he appeared almost ready to get going before he started to hear what sounded like backtalk from Ras too- and now this one was underestimating his wooden coins too... "Y-You think smart one's coins invaluable? Very expensive, took lots of time to carve..! Humans no use because they're not smart. Kobold, Kobold money! We love carving, brings joy in one's hands and looks very pretty. Is very expensive, hold onto it!"

Truthfully, it would sound like they got scammed into accepting no payment if it wasn't for how riled up Rak seemed to have gotten when the importance of his wooden coins got shunned right before him. He hadn't even gotten the time to look for the Weaponmaster before he was called by the lancer, to which they got a most fitting response- "Who in the seven 'ells?"

He hadn't quite been lurking on the training grounds, as much as by the side, leaning against one of the few small walls that surrounded the open field and polishing his sword. With a huff, he pushed himself off of it and sheathed his longsword by his hip again, raising an eyebrow and running a hand through his dirty blond hair. "Present for sure, but willing... debatable. How much money do you have on hand?", the man approached them wearing what looked like somewhat faded garbs, though the damage was clearly from the passage of time.

His slight excitement and willingness appeared to fade when standing before the group, he looked down to see the red menace and let out the deepest, most tired sigh of tiredness he could have. "... I'm not workin' for free, I told you already.", he crossed his hands once more and straightened his back, standing taller above everyone in the group with intent to assert himself. And it would work, if it wasn't for Rak's thick skull.

. . .

"Looks, Rak got book of books back. No need help anymore!"

"Then your group doesn't need my help either."
"S-Stop, is for training! They can use magicks now!"

"... They look normal to me."
"Are normal, very! But they killed beasts in jungle to retrieve book, and pretty one survived mana fever! Fighter ones, they are!"

. . .
When Rak pointed a finger at the blue haired knight, the Weaponmaster's gaze followed and he raised a brow, inspecting her up and down. The first thing he did was give a quiet nod, though that was mostly in agreement with Rak's choice of words for her nickname. The suspecting frown in his face was enough proof that he hadn't been fully convinced though. Taking a good luck at everyone, they were all bruised up to an extent, though none of them had suffered any major damages- couldn't call it a battle with no scars, right? "And you guys killed... what, a Crawler? There's many of them in the woods."

Jumpy as he was, the Kobold prepared himself to answer the question right away but... he just found himself hopping in place as he turned to the group in anticipation for their answer. Surely they'd killed something worthy of note, right? Because admittedly, he was just trying to get them their discount and building them up so far. "... Mana fever, too? What was it like, girl?", a question that though most dreaded the answer, he didn't even seem curious. Just... critical, with a raised brow and a skeptical frown all the same. "And when did you wake?"

"P-Preposterous, Rak would never-"

"Shush. Let her talk."

Interactions: Heyitsjiwon Heyitsjiwon (Ras), Key of Stars Key of Stars (Julia) & Elowyn Elowyn (Irena) as Rak and the Weaponmaster
Location: Aeredale, Training Grounds
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Irena Rosenthal



Truthfully, Irena couldn't care less about the wooden coins either, but she wasn't about to start an argument over it. Being a knight-in-training had taught her that it wasn't worth getting into petty arguments. The mission was the main focus.

Her thoughts on Rak were that he was an odd kobold and probably none-too-reliable. But since she decided that she liked traveling with this ragtag group and that it would probably help her on her main goal, she went with it. After some thought, she really wasn't sure she could use magic even though the red-skinned kobold said otherwise. Still, it wouldn't hurt to try.

When asked about her mana fever, she spoke up. "It was... unlike anything I had ever experienced before. I wasn't sure when it started, but I woke up less than an hour ago." She knew that if she relayed the story of wisps and mysterious hooded figures and riddles she would likely be ridiculed. So unless he asked further, that was as far as she went.

Mentions & Interactions: Gary Sue Gary Sue [weaponsmaster]
Location: Training Grounds, Aeredale

Despite the short and non-descript answer, the Weaponmaster silently examined Irena. Looking almost satisfied, though he was still doubtful- better safe than sorry was something that characterised this man, though they'd never find that out given their current progress in convincing him. That's when Rak perked up again, against his better judgement. He couldn't blush, but it was clear that he felt embarrassed just for saying it. "Rak gave her potion, help wake up. She saw e-er... strange person and wisp. Mystical, kept asking her!"

Was this what 'self sacrifice' looks like, throwing what little dignity he had on the line for 'the pretty one'? For once, the man actually looked intrigued by one of Rak's statements. When he heard this, he pondered for a few seconds with the same skeptical, if not concerned, look on his face and a raised brow, rubbing the little stub on his chin before he asked with crossed arms. "... Girl, is that true?"

Upon seeing Irena's nod in response, he huffed tiredly and gave a small, sympathetic smile that faded rather quickly as he looked among the rest again. "A-Armed one believe Rak now, yes? Train Rak friends for cheap?", and back he went to being as unconvincing and unflattering as possible. "Yeah yeah, sure. I'll still need some coin, and I have to see everyone's weapons. Don't know how to train ya if I don't know what you fight with.", and that should have answered Ras' question. Present, he definitely was, and something about the mana fever had gotten him to become quite willing, too.

"I see a pair of gauntlets, a bastard sword and a flagpole..? Take that stick off your back and let me see it.", he then proceeded to even command the vanguard, with a small, confident grin on his face. Whenever he wasn't dismissive of Rak, his presence was actually fairly comforting. If the group actually looked towards the side where he came from, they would quickly notice a small rack besides where he stood, with all manners of weapons. The more eastern curved blades, a greatsword of his own, lances, gauntlets, a small and a large mace, and even more curiously shields and what looked like a straightsword with a curved handle and... some barrel mechanism right after it? An impractical experiment at best, for this world's standards.


Interactions: Heyitsjiwon Heyitsjiwon (Ras), Key of Stars Key of Stars (Julia) & Elowyn Elowyn (Irena) as Rak and the Weaponmaster
Location: Aeredale, Training Grounds
Julia, well, Julia was being ignored. As soon as they stood in front of the weaponmaster Irena and Rak hogged all the attention, which, fair enough, the kobold and her blue-haired companion stood out more than her anyway. But when the weaponmaster turned to Ras immediately afterwards after only really acknowledging her presence with a grand total of three words. Well, she couldn't help but feel a little annoyed.

So she stepped forward, slipping her hands into her gauntlets and raising them up. "Oi, you gonna get to me? I traded a fun evening of free drinks and a hot bath for this training because Rak over here says it'll help me wield magic." She said with a huff, jabbing a gauntleted thumb towards the kobold. "And after getting kidnapped by a bunch of mushroom freaks, the last thing I need is another waste of time." She added, tapping her foot on the ground impatiently.

"So how about it?" She jabbed her finger towards the sword at the weaponmaster's hip next. "You say you wanna see what you're working with? Well so do I, you wouldn't want to waste the time of a young lady in the prime of her life, would you?" She said with a defiant smile, stretching her fingers inside of her gauntlets. "What do ya say? Ready to show me you're worth the coin I'm inevitabily going to have to cough up? It ain't polite to make a proper lady wait you know."


Mentions & Interactions: Gary Sue Gary Sue (Rak & Weaponmaster), Elowyn Elowyn (Irena), Heyitsjiwon Heyitsjiwon (Ras)
Location: Aeredale, Training Grounds

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