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Fantasy The Great Games of Nye

Anya flinched as a BRICK was thrown at her FACE, but managed to catch it instead of cowering. She swallowed her snarky comment and examined the brick trying to ignore the question of landsharks once more. It felt like any other brick she’d held. The paint had soaked into the surface and didn’t come off with her nail. “Well if anything I can put it in a sock.” She muttered, keeping it in her hand, as she carefully ignored the charge in the air. Electricity could still kill her, if she wasn’t careful, but she had adverted it from her heart before. Still as the click of heels heralded her departure, she gave a soft exhale and shared a glance with Kallos. “Note to self, never be alone with her.” She murmured to her familiar as she followed everyone out last.

The walk was meaningless. She tried to spend it studying the brick, absorbing Kallos to try to figure something out with the block. She couldn't. Her eyes dilated, she stumbled a little as the ground changed and lifted her head. Oh. Instead of dead bodies there was a dead building.

Then Narzas spoke up. Obviously, Anya hadn’t seen anything, but when the assassin called Ren’s name, the cyborg glanced around, surprised not to see the boy. “What are you saying, that he like, disappeared?” She asked, sounding more creeped out than disbelieving. Walking carefully over to her, she suggested with a shrug, “Maybe we can send one of our familiar’s through--see what happens then absorb them if they disappear too.” Kallos stepped forward, but Anya shrugged, “We might want someone less conspicuous.
Brynwyr Protheroe

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“A good observation,” Brynwyr murmured in response to Esther, if not obvious enough, “though, I must wonder if subduing prey was wholly the intention of its attack.” It obviously would have been, given such a powerful beast. They were foreign bodies on the serpent’s territory, which would have been enough reason to be attacked in the first instance.

Rhys shrugged a little, his smile somewhat innocent in the face of Spivey’s statement on his mask. Though, that smile dropped at the ominous tone they used, warning about his familiar, the Leatherback. Rhys’s right hand went to the other, rubbing it as if it had already been ripped away from him. “You don’t make it sound very appealing,” he laughed nervously, and the Petrie tucked into the collar of his shirt. “And not especially to Petrie. She’s a frog-spotted gecko. I would hate to think how she would be swallowed,” he rambled, and it was clear he regretted giving the suggestion of that thought.

“Spivey can show us the mouth of a Leatherback,” Brynwyr started, and as if on cue, Cleonard emitted a low snarl, “and perhaps Cleonard can show his in return. We can see who swallows who whole first.” She was still unsure as to how far Spivey would take their jokes, as harmless and crude as they had been so far. She did not know any of these people.

Brynwyr was not far behind Spivey, enough to keep an eye on Rhys as he followed. Her gaze moved to Esther too, regarding Spivey’s words of how she was keeping up. “If we need to stop, Esther,” though, this was addressed with Spivey in mind also, “we can pause at any time. I can imagine that treatment took much out of you.” She would not argue or be insistent with the woman who saved her cousin’s life. Then again, she had to wonder as to the whereabouts of their comrades and centurion, dead or alive.
Charlie Redding
For better or worse (most likely better), Charlie had managed to resist the urge to invert Zulan's knee's for his commentary earlier. As to the smith's questioning, she'd been quite honest. "Bout as honorable as you can get as a guy can get, I 'spose. Least he's got morals on 'em, that count for anything?" Under the cover that the smith gave them the party headed back out into the streets, following close behind their guide. One foot after the other, trying to keep time and keep close to each other. There was no way they'd lost those blokes on the roofs, Charlie wasn't stupid or naive by any measure. But if they were Escarra's men, she considered them all good to snap a bone or two if they tried anything. After all, they weren't mob folks...if they came swinging, they'd be swinging to kill. And she'd be happy to oblige the death wish. But for all her adrenaline that continued to roar in her veins and ears and the tightened muscles that she tried to relax through will, she wasn't about to be caught unaware. Her familiar made itself scarce in short measure, the Pitohui leaving its perch on her shoulder.

Charlie was raised in Macragge and worked as a detective, bounty hunter, and occasional hitman. Moved to the DMZ and went full time detective...two of the most 'shithole' places on a shithole planet as one could find, really. But it cultivated certain skills, like the ability to hunt down information and be aware without being noticed doing so. After all, those who didn't get good at their craft at either geographical locale wound up with an unfortunate case of 'slitthroatitus' and 'snapped neck disease', unfortunately a very prevelent and lethal condition in both places. Charlie's failure to contract either was proof that she wasn't a slouch at what she did. Through the stealthy set of eyes in the sky that managed to fly in shadow and out of sight, the gruff woman was able to keep an eye on their trackers.

Not that she necessarily needed it as they drew closer to their target. Hair on the nape of her neck stood on end and goosepimples running up her arms. It was deathly quiet in this spot, no rioters, no death and danger...which meant it was right around the corner. It didn't scream danger...honestly, she wished it did. No, the warehouses whispered it like a lover in the night, pressed close to the back and to her ear. She could practically feel the metaphorical knife tip pointed right towards her back, icy cold that danced across her skin...maybe she needed to talk to her sister about an over-active imagination when she got home. Charlie raised a hand as she snapped her attention around...no point in saying anything, each time she had the last few times it went over everyone's head. No, rather Charlie had her attention snapped towards the woman before she was even properly righting herself out of her hiding spot. The bird came to land atop the back of her hand, hop hop hopping up to her shoulder. One two...five six....ten...fifteen...twenty, and the lass made twenty-one. She didn't like her odds, but she'd fought through a larger horde before if it came down to it.

"Bad luck? Shite, you're kiddin me! A bunch of secret admirers, what more could a gal ask for? Not so secret I spose though lass, some of your lads could lose a few pounds, I heard em for the past few blocks with their cloddin' around." Sarcasm laced her tone, the Macragge accent thick and prevelent with each word. "I'm all 'bout opportunity, chikadee, but at least offer dinner first? If yer' lookin' to parlay, I don't think any of us are opposed to a nice healthy conversation. Already had me weekly bloodbath love, not lookin' to double up, savvy?" Charlie rolled her neck for a moment, a noisy crack audible to her nearby companions. "So come off it, what's the occasion that we got a buncha' fans? Ya obviously got somethin' in mind, otherwise you'd have tried your luck at cavin' skulls in out the gates." While Charlie certainly hadn't put to a vote on who was going to lead dialogue with the group that'd be tailing her...well by her standards, she'd been spotting them the entire damn time, she got dibs on it.
Jet Jet EldridSmith EldridSmith rozukitsune rozukitsune Lost Echo Lost Echo
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"Fuck no she ain't." Dalton crouched forward while answering Bracken's question, checking the ground for traps and tripwires. He knew the locals liked to do that on occasion, leaving a wounded person with traps surrounding them on all sides, maiming anyone who dared help. If he ever needed another reason to hate the savage bastards, that was a pretty good bet.

"Spag's like a coyote, ain't never in one place for too long. That's what makes em so hard to kill — and why she ain't one of them."

He stopped besides the wounded woman, her chest rapidly rose as she gasped for air. Her eyes were wild and blood trickled down her chin. He could only sigh at how annoying the whole thing was. He wanted to fight not play doctor for random grunts. "Say Bracken, I get the sense you don't appreciate my well cultivated views, but I've spent years fighting the worst a these fuckers."

"Seen my share of shit, you'll see now that you're on my side... just you wait." He looked away and focused on the woman once again, she was too rattled to speak in plain tongue. Thankfully he had a remedy for that.

"Calm your shit lady," he gently smacked her face. "We ain't here to hurt you, only here cause your centurion friend's missin."

Her breathing slowed but she wheezed evey time her chest rose, and darkness shrouded her eyes like mist. He figured there was bleeding within her body. "I recon she was already hurt before we got here," he said to Ilana. "You did the right thing."

"Better to be safe than on the wrong end of a spear... but now the question is, we get our answers now and risk her passin later? Or we take her to the town and risk losin' them answers?" He was curious to see what they would pick, better to know their morals before it actually mattered. He was content to sit there and stoke his chin like he actually gave a shit, pretending he didn't want to leave her on the mountain.

ZackStop ZackStop Fred Colon Fred Colon

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Zulan watched Charlie blow up unflinching, though a small grin crept on his face. "You act as if that is a deterrent, I like strong women." He muttered to himself, though she likely heard it with her perceptive abilities. "I'm aware, I'm just not used to having allies to also watch so I've taken time to adjust. You seem to think me incompitent, I assure you were that the case I'd already be in Nahzir." He remarked flatly before letting her get onto the chat with the blacksmith. Who apparantly knew better than he when it came to woman of white countries, the region he was from it wasn't the same case. He would have to keep an eye out for cultural differences again, there were many more than he expected. The smith explained the situation as he mused on this, keeping tabs on both. Cover of smoke would be the best they could get, at least it was better than nothing. The smith then inquired of Kwame and Charlie responded, Zulan was about to but the group came back in.

Zulan was admittedly annoyed they walked right into a trap, there were many ways around this and their disguises should have been enough to get them past this had they split up, but things had already happened. To be honest he wanted to get the mission done and leave, he very much wanted Nye citizenship to escape Nahzir so he could make up for his crimes by helping others. It seemed me might have to add more to the pile on this mission. Great.

Charlie took the opportunity to retort to the group. He didn't feel like piping up, there wasn't much for him to say. Not like this group would be interested in debating philosophy. Wasting words wasn't worth it, Charlie was more familiar with these types of people than he, seeing as he was already dealing with cultural differences and issues... he didn't feel like pushing his luck.
ManofManyRoles ManofManyRoles rozukitsune rozukitsune Lost Echo Lost Echo Jet Jet
Baryn was clearly in fight or flight mode after the rustling bushes, he was using to urban warfare, not being a sitting duck in the damn jungle. He was normally merged with his familiar for fleeing as well allowing him to have sharper senses. He only started picking up the ques when Euclaire started responding to them, but at that point he had already come off as a blockhead to Tessia. He didn't really care at this point, he wanted to LIVE more than he wanted to flirt or get laid. "Yeah... I had a few like that..." He responded as he looked at his surroundings, as inconspicuously as possible.

Yeah yeah I understand, can we work on getting the fuck away from here, just like we did our stalkers?" He responded nervously, he may have been a wind user but he wasn't a combatant, he was good at getting away from combat if anything. He REALLY didn't want to confront them, an enemy who thought themself undiscovered would be easier to make a break from he thought. Torches, she wanted to burn this place down. Great. "I could, or we could... just get the fuck away." He responded, he wasn't a pacifist or a coward, but he sure as hell didn't way to make unnecessary enemies or fight something they could easily escape. "I'll have Khan roar as a last resort." He whispered in her ear.

I already said I got it, sheesh." He huffed. "Yeah one I became friends with, and one I ran from. I've not studied fighting aside how to protect myself from projectiles and how to escape." He responded using the code. "Well the government trying to oppress us didn't really teach us anything useful like that." He responded to how she got an entire seminar about combat. He then tensed up as it seemed they were about to get into a fight, he was about to signal Khan to roar. Thankfully a young girl emerged and he let out a sigh of relief. "Oh fucking thank you whatever god is watching." He sighed as he released a good deal of tension from his body. "Sorry for not picking up the tip offs right away, and yelling. I'm stressed as fuck." He stated before he turned Khan to face the girl. "Can you understand us?" He inquired in all the languages he knew ranging from byzantine, Zuanshi, United Eastern Kingdoms, to Ahr'Wahida. Should that not work, music was the universal language which could express emotion better than anything else in the world.
Jet Jet Monbon Monbon
Renee followed after the others, doing her best to keep her hood covering her head. She took things one step at a tRenn 4.pngime and honestly entirely missed the ambush unlike literally everyone else. She'd never been cornered in a dark alley before. She was a Noble... she didn't go into alleys at all normally. This city seemed to have nothing but them though which was good - she assumed, to escape the pursuers that Charlie had been concerned about but... evidently not. She felt her heart quail as the 20 some-odd ruffians popped out and then their leader - who looked awful familiar actually... stepped up and claimed she wanted to parlay. Parlay? More than likely they wanted her or Gailene to surrender themselves and then they'd just let everyone else go. Seemed like a logical leap to make anyway since Gailene had already revealed herself to be something of an icon on Xysma. She was honestly pretty impressed with Charlie's ability to talk tough and demand things, but she wondered if that would be enough to put the stranger off her game.

Renee closed her eyes and took a breath. It was time to stop running and face the music, it seemed. Perhaps these individuals would at least be nice to her and just keep her around for ransoming back to her family. It was obvious to anyone with eyes she was the weakest link here. If they could surrender anyone... well the others probably would try to talk her out of it - nice of them; but Gailene was right. It was time to decide who she was and stop waffling around how terrible it was she was raised a certain way to do certain things with her life.

She stepped up next to Charlie, quivering like a leaf - yet feeling more herself than she had the last couple of weeks as she pulled her hood down and spread out her arms as though to shield everyone else. "You can have me." She called to the leader. "Just let everyone else go. We're not here for you or anyone else here... we just wanted to find out what happened to some Centurions."

Lost Echo Lost Echo Jet Jet ManofManyRoles ManofManyRoles EldridSmith EldridSmith
Ivan could tell that they underestimate his knowledge of the artic. He was keen on learning as well, but he had a handful of tricks he had learned. It turned out Mav was capable of sailing which was fantastic to say the least considering the scenario. The outer ring of the artic was melted and weather would be freezing to pleasant in the outer ring depending on the time of day. It seemed the man also knew of the Norse gods. "I've been in the artic circle in winter, I'm not comparing ice cubes to glaciers. I would request you not make judgements before understanding my knowledge." He remarked faltly as he let the others continue, while he didn't know as much as Arnheid he did know about the weather and how to survive it in the north. Zak then commented on sea monsters. "She's right, the monsters of these lands are where the tales of Jormungandr comes from." He said looking at Zak. "I could say the same of Macragge, too hot and the value of life is little." Ivan remarked when Zak said how miserable this place is.

"Well with the right clothes laughter doesn't have to be, do you have any wool clothes or cloth? The others don't have the ability to stay warm from merely merging with their familiars like I do considering mine is a mammoth." He explained once she was finished, ignoring Zak's statement for the moment. "Also I will have to ask for seals blood if you have any. We won't be dining on steak but I know anything alive in the artic, above or below water, will go crazy over it." He stated. "And thank you for the log, I know this means a lot to a sailor." He said with a friendly smile before turning to Zak. "If you're keen on dying alone in the frozen wasteland you can act as foolish as you wish, but my knowledge of the area ends in the middle ring of the artic circle. Hers covers that and I'm very keen on learning more so that I don't die. Now I can show you all how to make an igloo before we head out seeing as we'll only have body heat and clothes to stay warm for this trip. There's nothing to start a fire with that far north."
Jet Jet ManofManyRoles ManofManyRoles

He was the roots running below the trees — the dense earth and water that nourished them. He was the warm breeze and the dew coating the grass. He was the forest given form. His name was Huracan and he was like a flash through the forest; branches whooshed with every stride he took. His brow glistened with a thin layer of sweat; his heart pounded and his chest rose like bellows. He winced as branches whipped his skin. His legs were bleeding and his feet screamed in pain, but they were right behind him.

A vicious warband hunting him down like a dog. He'd no choice but to run until they collapsed from exhaustion, so he weaved through trees turning on a dime, running over hills and scrambling down ditches. He looked for a hiding spot but with them so close behind, all he could do was run. If they caught him he'd never be free again. They'd put him in the mine and make him dig until he was dead, like so many captives before him.

"From Above," he wheezed between breaths. "The house of heaven."

"Where star people—

"And ancestors gather."

"May their blessings come to me now."

There was a path cutting through the forest up ahead, he'd cross it in a single jump. Huracan was one with the wind. "Come to me now, blessings of my ancestors!"

He leaped over the path with his legs wheeling under him, looking like an angel with his good looks and flowing white hair, his determined smile and lean muscles. He was a really awesome guy, nothing could stop him unless there was a random person in front of him, maybe a woman in the wrong place at the wrong time, walking down the path he was crossing...

Someone like Esther for example.

He could hardly believe it when he saw her standing there, but there was nothing he could do. He tackled and toppled over her with a loud heavy thump, faceplanting in the black mud. He was too stunned to move for a moment, wheezing on the ground before looking up.

"Ku yáalkab idiotas!" He pushed to his feet and pulled Esther's arm, looking back at where he emerged from the brush. The warband was growing louder with every second. They were only seconds behind him.

"Puetabo!" He cursed before running away again, looking back as he yelled, "RUN!"

His timing couldn't be any better — or worse because once the word left his mouth, a dozen men rushed from the treeline. They were bare chested and covered in turquoise warpaint, and each had a weapon tipped with obsidian. Their screams were incomprehensible yet their meaning was crystal clear, they would kill or capture anyone who stood before them.

Lost Echo Lost Echo ZackStop ZackStop Arcanist Arcanist
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Goliath inhaled deeply as the hag started speaking in gibberish, once again mentioning a sacrifice. Her repeated way of speaking in riddles only making the creature more difficult for Goliath to understand, like he could only catch about 10% of the information provided.

His eyes went to the knife, listening to the chant, but she was not focused on them anymore, meaning .. no. She wasn’t going to .. He couldn’t even finish the thought before he watched the removal of the hag’s ear in one swift motion. The metal clanging of the knife as it hit the floor and the sounds of her .. almost enjoying it as the blood dripped.

Goliath’s hands were open, moving to the metal spear hanging across his back. He was worried things would become worse .. and he was right. The person from the painting was suddenly gone, replaced by a dark demon that had broken free of the frame. Now .. all he could do was watch silently while it took over the hag's body rather painfully with narrowed eyes. Would it attack them? It was so unlike anything he’d ever seen that no amount of experience could have prepared him for this mission.

Adrian spoke to the spirit, though the spear Goliath carried had now been completely removed from its sling. It was long, the bottom blade resting on the floor beside him while his body was turned slightly to shield Faraji. An indoor battle, within the small room, was bad. Fire would engulf the dry wood if Adrian let loose. Not to mention the eyes in the field, doubting if they could even make it back. Fuck. “I don’t like this situation,” he muttered.

His grip tightened on the wrapped handle in the center of the spear as the limbs contorted on the body in front of him, though he didn’t feel bad. That had been her choice. When it finally spoke Goliath’s body only tensed further, gritting his teeth as the sound, definitely not human, surrounded them. The world should probably be rid of this creature, but he selfishly listened. Because .. there had to be some truth. The hag had undoubtedly known things that she shouldn’t.

He recoiled at the compliment, the way he felt like the demon would devour him, followed by the instructions. Take. Kill. Lose. Which was his task from the three? Any guess was as good as another. But he found his eyes glancing at Faraji .. who, from the revealed information, had the most valuable person to lose. And that was .. to sustain this thing? The riddles were no better now than before.

Goliath looked over as he heard the long-haired male step back, holding his ground as it came closer. Faraji seemingly speaking questions in a way that seemed panicked, but he agreed. Why were they different? Why them? “Make sure to breathe,” he whispered, trying to console him before turning back to the demon. “If you are sustained, what does that mean? Will you be able to walk around free without a sacrifice?” he added.

When it explained what it was from Adrian’s pressing, he felt more confused. It .. guides dreams and nightmares. Something about webs and veils? Should he think it wasn’t all bad? No, the dark aura would disagree. He blinked, certain he had started hallucinating, but the redheaded woman remained in front of him. Kind of.

Goliath really didn't like the sound of there being no death that this thing did not choose, meaning they were helpless. So he wondered how long an ear could channel something like this into the living world, the only positive being it wasn’t revealing things about him like the hag.

Your instructions for us are rather vague. Can you tell us who has which task? Or at least when it is supposed to happen?” Goliath questioned, not holding his breath that he would be answered, so he asked another. “You know everything as you say .. so don’t you also know the choices we will make and what it will mean for you?

Jet Jet (Adrian) Arcanist Arcanist (Faraji)

Leon blinked, knowing only a little about geography. “The DMZ? No thanks. And you’re right. Byzantine would also be awful. No wonder they are at war. People can only put up with it for so long,” he laughed in agreement. Much preferring the backwater town he called home. Maybe it was poor and didn’t have the fanciest technology, but they were free, and everyone cared for one another.

He was happy by the new information revealed, and how annoyed Dalton would be that they found it, though Leon turned when Mischa said his name. He raised his eyebrow for a second before laughing about the spider comment. “If you don’t want—” he trailed off, watching her get down to start checking. Completely calm until he heard her question come out of the blue.

Huh!?! I — Uhh..” he stuttered, his face getting progressively more red until it got to the tops of his ears. Leon nearly dropped the bed on top of Mischa, having to readjust his grip. Who was the leading lady of a romance novel if he was the main character? Leon had never thought about it before. He wasn’t too lucky in the romance department, at least on his island. Which was why Leo got so easily flustered. The grandmas he would bring items to had always said he was cute .. not that it really meant anything.

Maybe some people were smooth enough to turn what she said into a pick-up line. Or at minimum, that she was the only woman here. But Leon couldn’t even begin to do any of that. If he was being honest .. he found Mischa to be very pretty. She was also strong, smart, and opinionated. But to say any of that? When Rat chimed in, the male wasn’t helping, saying it would be her. His face only darkening in color. “I don’t .. know?” He spoke, clearly lying as he avoided her eyes, hoping she’d let it go.

But at least the other male did. The redhead smiled when Rat agreed with his earlier idea of talking to the woman, glad his idea had been helpful. And that it would be best to share with the others. “She may be chained to a radiator somewhere with this kind of behavior if I am being honest.” He sighed. “Are you done down there? Sorry, it didn’t yield anything,” He tried to change the topic, putting it down as she moved away from the bed.

And you’re right. Dalton's heart might actually stop if we find anything else. But we weren’t thatttt bad this morning.” He laughed as well. After this much time, he was back to sober, only a very minor headache lingering. “But yes, less angry is good. I would still like a centurion badge for this, and it is ultimately up to him.” He reminded the others as well.

Leon started to make his way back through the base to head outside, not wanting to go back into the dusty air, but that was the only option. Just hoping they’d be off the desert-covered land soon. Leo wasn’t much of a fighter, but the lack of water only made it more concerning. “So .. do you think the others have found anything interesting?” He asked, as they stepped back out into the beaming hot sun.

Jet Jet (Mischa) @Emphoa (Rat)

Elriel had to fight to keep from laughing as the list of things they needed for the trip grew rapidly, full of items he had never had any reason to use before. Elriel knew that nothing came cheap, which was also obvious by how Darius clenched his jaw, clearly annoyed by the situation.

Sir. If you happen to want any additional funds for our trip, do not hesitate to ask. I am unsure about the others, but we are all adults. And you are not our personal bank. As the heir to one of the four noble families of Valencia I would be happy to support the voyage.” He bowed, not pressing the topic. He knew they might never get along, but he also couldn’t not offer.

He looked over to Ada and gave a subtle nod before walking out of the barn to find the other members of their team as they had suggested. Elriel was curious if they would lose anyone when they explained to them the details they now knew. Like if Ace would join them with their difficulties walking or if they would wait here.

As soon as they were out of sight of the barn doors, he let his hand reach over and take Ada’s if they let him. “There is no reason for you to walk in the freezing rain. My ice umbrella is plenty big for both of us, don’t you think.” He whispered. Thankfully, he didn’t see fire or hear screaming, so the buying mission couldn’t be going too bad.

Darius will be awhile. What do you say we take our time finding the others. We are alone together again .. so we could enjoy one of our last nights on solid ground if you want? We will soon be trapped on a boat with people we don’t know but will have to learn to trust.” He asked with a soft smile on his face. “But maybe we can find a tavern for dinner to get you out of the cold instead of a night walk. I don’t want you catching a cold before our voyage.

@Emphoa (Adamaris) Jet Jet (Darius)

"Okay, I patient," he said before she answered his question. He was stunned at how many interests she had besides medicine — were all humans so varied in their interests? He could hardly understand people and their thousand and one hobbies. His purpose was defined and everything else was irrelevant, there was no room for music and reading and tending to bloody plants. He didn't understand why they were so distracted from their purpose.

"Medical books? Medical plants? Music... therapy?" He was desperate for some direction here. He prayed her interests were connected to medicine in some way, otherwise he was completely lost. "I no hobbies, machines are hobby."

"But you are like machine with many functions, variable tool."

He offered her a tool with size different prongs of various shapes and sizes, folded back into a blue wooden handle. "Best type of tools," he said while holding it towards her. "You can keep, very good tool."

He flashed his version of a smile, little more than a twitch at the corners of his mouth. He was Casanova if awkwardness converted to charisma, but he was derailed by the noise coming from outside. His smile faded and he peaked out behind Yua, curious to see what was going on. "What happen?"

He looked over to Yua and nodded at her questions, he was thinking the same as her. "You're good at questions, another tool."

"Hmm?" Isaac looked over at the kids. "I can't say without knowing their captain. There are some who view us as a monolith of barbarians. They could pose a serious threat to the peace — even if indirectly."

"But others understand the difference between the hundred tribes, view them as humans no different than themselves. I hope we have the latter."

He prayed they were dealing with a Kwame not a Darius, but most were power drunk kids wielding magic like a hammer, smiling as they ruined lives on a whim. He doubted they would send someone decent either; Nye wanted revenge and would send a real bastard, someone to make the west pay in blood.

"I expect they'll send a killer not a thinker, but you'll be among the first to know when I find out." He was ready to move on but then a thought crossed his mind, careless and dumb but exciting nonetheless. "Or, seeing as you have a ship, we could go—

"Ah what am I saying! You're not here to risk your lives on a whim! It's best to ignore centurions and the sordid business they take pride in. If they cross out paths than so be it."

He felt the ache of adventure calling from his younger days, but he knew it was a bad idea. He was an old man with aches and pains in every bone, not a young soldier in his prime.

ManofManyRoles ManofManyRoles
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Rini?” White as a ghost, she stared at her dead sister. She stepped forward, a hand outstretched before stopping in doubt. Sarcasm laced the air, but it was the loud crack from the Macraggee that restarted her thinking.

Half of her mind was screaming: how was her sister alive? Had they brainwashed her? Had they tortured her? But she forced those questions back, by pretending to be Elyscia, a tactic she’d used often in training. It was probably one she should have tried when this clusterfuck had started. They had been confused about how weapons and insurgents had gotten onto Xysma. But if a Hydraline was with them…so much now made sense.

Then Renee stepped forward, proving bravery was just another word for idiocy.What are you doing? The guide hissed, grabbing a risen arm and pulling her backward, as she stepped forward.

No one’s having anyone.” Her voice came out firm as if she knew what she was doing. “We’re just talking. It’s a parley. We accept Irina.” She swallowed down her emotions that wanted to overwhelm her as she stood in front of her sister. She had to stop thinking of her that way. “Knuckles is right. You’ve been following us since the beginning. You should know what Red said is true. We’re not here for you.” At least unless this group had killed the Cents…but that was before the riots. Gailene wasn’t sure what to do if that was the case. They obviously had manpower, but enough to kill two of them? “If you don’t want us dead, then let us just check out the factory. Then they can leave.” There was no reason they'd want her. Gailene wasn't high enough to influence anything. Even if she were beheaded, it wouldn't change the Hydraline strategy.

Jet Jet ManofManyRoles ManofManyRoles EldridSmith EldridSmith rozukitsune rozukitsune
Once Vixie had stepped away, the game continued. Nihal gave a nod to the man's words, but there was skepticism in his eyes. Profit made the world go around. He knew that since birth. His home was one of those profit farms, and as he grew up, he remained a cash cow.

He let out a chuckle at the double entendre from the other. Right now though, he couldn't see Dante as anyone he could pursue. It was similar to when he greeted a particularly forward fan.

"Free to perform from the heart, huh?" he questioned. "Wouldn't he need quite a bit of status in the first place to even be allowed in a place like this? Or is the establishment hiring him? In that case, wouldn't he need to tailor his work to please his employer?" The performer's words caused his own demeanor to drop slightly. He had supposedly been celebrating his freedom the past few days, but it seemed freedom was never finite. Despite what one would expect from a celebrity of his status, he didn't exactly have much money. He could probably start a career on his own terms and hire management who actually backed up his vision, but... what if that didn't sell? Even now, he escaped the contract he was previously under only by being contracted by another employer. Was freedom ever actually possible in the world they lived in?

He let out another chuckle. "And what you have in mind... is that from your own volition? Or just a part of the job?"

And there it was. Nihal's brow furrowed when Dante all but confirmed what he was expecting. He shifted away, putting as much space as possible between them in the tiny seat for two, a courtesy he himself had rarely been afforded. He found himself at a loss for words. This was what he wanted to figure out, and yet... now what was he going to do? The slam from Vixie dropping the book caught his attention. He turned to her just in time to hear her exclaim. A feeling of guilt rose up in him for essentially being the cause for to lose a little more of her innocence. The girl eventually ended up turning away again, but it was already apparent even this small alcove wasn't a good place for her. They should do their business and leave. And yet... he found himself concerned about the man sitting right next to him. Someone who Nihal might very well have been if things had turned out differently.

The laugh from the other caught him by surprise and the explanation brought some relief to him. And yet, he still found himself somewhat concerned. The man let out a sigh. "Is this... really what you wanted? You didn't have any dreams as a child that you wanted to pursue?" Nihal's "upbringing" was certainly worse, but in a twisted way, he considered himself the lucky one. People saw talent in him in something he loved to do. They fostered that talent and allowed him to pursue a dream of his. It was a dream that was twisted and distorted by his caretakers once it came true, but... there were moments where it felt pure when he was living it that he relished.

Jet Jet Lost Echo Lost Echo
Yua Smith

Alas, Tawny's questions were going to have to hold for a bit of time until the issue at hand was resolved at the very least. And yes she had interest in all of those variations of them, but they weren't limited to such a niche! The blonde glanced between Isaac and Tawny, slowly working the tool Tawny had given to her mere moments ago between her fingers. It was almost like a swiss army knife, if it was all tools and no blades. A killer or a thinker...was there truly no middleground there? She couldn't fathom their luck if they ran into only a brute. But...maybe they'd luck out and find a middleground here? Just maybe...she hated to consider it, but if it came down to it maybe she could leverage her family influence if it meant the survival of everyone? She could feel her skin crawl at the very notion, brandishing her background like a badge of authority. But she wasn't blind to the fact that her family held sway in many places across the globe...she'd keep that as a last resort of last resort method of diplomacy.

At the mention of the ship she glanced towards Isaac, a nervous smile blossoming on her lips and withering, only to go through that cycle time and again in a lifespan similar to a malnourished phoenix. "I am...willing for us to investigate if you think it necessary, sir. I did promise to help you and your people. But I have been informed my days are numbered, as is everyone who would leave the city walls...If you think there's a method of safe travel at this point, or you think we have a small window of opportunity at the moment...I'd be willing to assist you, sir." Yua continued to fuss with the tool in her grasp now, passing it from one hand to the other in her motions as she looked towards Felix as if he might have some golden answer to their troubles. Alas, no such luck of any nature on that front...impassive as ever and watching her patiently, as if he too worked to weigh and understand what she had to say. He was never dimissive of her, but as she was growing older he was letting her make her own decisions...and he only really stepped in if the idea was truly gods awful.
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euclaire.pngEuclaire expected a great deal of things to come out of hiding. Cannibals, snakes, monkeys she heard in the distance, maybe even those weird little creatures from before. However she didn't expect a little girl to pop out of nowhere. She didn't know if it was that soulless gaze or her vibe but the child was unnerving. Her hand didn't move a single inch away from her kusarigama. She didn't even try talking to them as the other two had it covered. What would she say to someone that probably doesn't even speak their language? Most children could be bought over by a flashy show and cheap tricks but other than her appearance, the child didn't even feel like a child.

Not wanting to seem too out of place, she kneeled down to the young one's level and offered the girl a smile. Wasn't hard to fake as she found it pretty comedic how the one who needed the most help out of the three of them was asking a child that was fearlessly roaming a jungle alone if they needed help.

Never fully turning away from the child, Euclaire turned her attention back to Baryn who was apologizing for being stressed. Weird thing to apologize for but it was water under the bridge now. "We just got shot out of the sky by a giant serpent that's who knows where. You'd have to be a lunatic or hopelessly optimistic to not be stressed right now. That clumsy attack from before? Never happened. Your reaction now. Also didn't happen. If Tess bleeds to death, she died valiantly in battle. We can just talk about the good things once we get back. Who's gonna question it?" Casually cursing the centurion to death Euclaire lightheartedly tried to comfort the other.

"In any case, we still need to find the others first. We can bring the baby with us. Maybe her parents are around here somewhere. Even a tiger doesn't abandon their cubs." She suggested, not giving the child room to object. What was it going to do? Bite them if they carried it back by force? Taking it with them and keeping an eye on it felt safer than just leaving there to continue to follow them.

EldridSmith EldridSmith Jet Jet

"I've never met a reasonable craggy before... funny." Irina floated from the rooftop and landed on the street, her wind magic was graceful as ever. Her eyes gleamed with amusement at the situation as she saw it, how foolish they were for three separate reasons.

"Oh lower your arms girl, we don't kidnap gogo dancers. We've much grander designs than that."

"I won't bore you with word games nor hide behind secrecy, there's a certain... freshness that comes with bluntness."

"You're investigating the murder of two unfortunate centurions, butchered like the dogs they were. You want to bring their killers to justice to suit the whims of your masters. You want them to pat your heads like very good dogs."

"You say you have no business with us, that you're not here for us—

Her smile widened as she revealed the second reason. "But who do you think orchestrated their murders?"

"In fact, I was standing right here when they were killed. It was a moment worth its weight in gold, to see them experience a modicum of the pain they caused here."

Her eyes twinkled as the third reason came to light. "You've two options now that you know the truth, we continue our parlay and I offer you a chance to change the world, or we can see who brought the best killers. Either way—

Her gaze moved to her sister. "You won't simply leave this place."

Irina would capture her sister instead of killing her, but the rest could die for all she cared, she had no sympathy for centurion supporters who knew nothing. The dead men smuggled organs and abused women and killed prisoners on many occasions. They deserved every second of the slow, drawn out deaths They experienced, but they was just the beginning.

Lost Echo Lost Echo rozukitsune rozukitsune EldridSmith EldridSmith ManofManyRoles ManofManyRoles

Fascinating. “I suppose that also answers the mask question.” The comment was absentminded as Esther imagined how the leatherback’s prongs in its throat would line the esophagus of a human. It lacked the evolutionary need to keep food down. Was there a benefit offensive-wise to it? It was meant to keep things in/down, not out. She ignored the banter between the mercenary and the two knights, only surfacing when Brynwyr spoke to her directly. Blinking, she shook her head, her focus on the blonde “We can take one before we turn into the jungle. It’d be best not to stop when we’re--” She started to turn, hearing something, but its source was so quiet, she wasn’t sure “in the thick--SHIT” Before she could fully face it, she was bowled over. Hit by pure muscle that mowed her down. She fell onto her side, wincing as her arm was awkwardly crushed beneath her body. There were heartbeats where she protested ever moving again, but then the man was pulling her up.

Trust me. He said in Swahili, followed by calling her an idiot. And she was: it took her precious seconds to realize he couldn’t speak Swahili. He’d likely never left the Americas. In fact, it was only when he said he’d sing in Latin that she was sure. Finally, after he’d started to flee once more, a word came through clearly, to run. But by that point, the noises of his pursuers were loud enough to be seen. They would have to face his enemies, but maybe the guy could get away. Waving a hand to tell him to go on, Esther merged with Dart, wings folding behind her back, and the flare of red a warning on her throat. A crest of blue could be seen underneath her hat. They wanted to appear strong to meet the war party, but not provoke them. It was absolutely lovely that they had to land in a place that was contested between at least two tribes. It’d be difficult to play politics well enough to keep them both away. “We mean no harm.” She spoke calmly, holding her empty hands in front of her, her bow slung over her shoulder still. She would do the fleeing man a favor by distracting them--it’d been awfully sweet that he attempted to get her, who was dressed so differently from him to run as well, but not at the cost of their lives.

ZackStop ZackStop Arcanist Arcanist Jet Jet
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As Rhys mentioned their familiar being swallowed whole, something they weren't exactly implying, Spivey turned their head slightly so one side of the visor became visible to them as it gleamed from the sun in a reflective blue tone, icy like the place they grew up. Cold. Then when the knight woman spoke further on that matter, the merc couldn't help but smile. Hidden but menacing, as Spivey stopped and turned towards the duo.

"Wouldn't be his first rodeo. I used to put em in cage fights. Familiar against familiar." The leatherback began to emerge from the mercenary's back as Spivey went on to pull his mouth open, revealing the marvelously spine chilling sight as promised. "Go ahead, take a look. Just hold onto that lizard of yours."

Just as those words escaped the drunk's mouth, the rustling in the green began as someone came flying out towards their resident nerd, Esther, who was soon tackled to the ground. Looking up at the scene, Spivey let go of the familiar's maw as it clamped shut, standing straight now with a finger on the trigger.

"Well now." Spivey said aloud with their harsh voice, walking over to Esther to get a better look at the scene, but as they did the wild man running for his life continued to run. Watching him run off, the next thing that appeared was who he was running from, what looked to be a bunch of natives. They shouted and roared in a savage rage, surely they were warriors out for blood, perhaps chasing the man for sport. Spivey couldn't tell, but what they could surmise is that these guys probably weren't a fan of getting burned.

"Braveheart?" They asked rhetorically, poking fun at their stupid looking war paint as the men shouted, and while Esther tried to reason with them. A click could be heard from Spivey's weapon as they flipped a little switch, and as if in complete opposition to Esther's suggestion that they were a merry group of friendly travelers, Spivey spewed a torrent of fire out at the group with no regard for their safety or that of the forest. "They're savages, Doc! They would skin us alive even if they could understand what 'no harm' meant!" The merc shouted over the roar of their flamethrower.

Lost Echo Lost Echo Arcanist Arcanist Jet Jet
a2e946aa82971421f4f461c1b369f785.jpgAs the two men spoke to each other all while approaching the woman with caution, Ilana was just trying to process what she had done. An innocent woman as far as she could tell just experienced what it's like to fly in a not so painless kind of way. She felt bad, and a little embarrassed while making her way to this victim of Ilana's wrath. She was not at all concerned about traps, the girl didn't even think to look, but now face to face with the woman as she cried, Ilana recognized her wounds. They were there long before the three arrived but from what? And why?

She opened her mouth to ask her, but the woman didn't look like she was in a good state of mind to talk right now. The sound of Dolton rattling on in an aggressive tone towards their guide made it somewhat difficult to think of what to say, so Ilana shut her mouth with a small clack of her teeth. Looking over with some annoyance as she crossed her arms.

The two eventually made it over to the woman who was hunched over, shaking, hurt and afraid. Ilana stepped back to let Dolton do whatever it was he was going to do. Maybe he had more experience. But as the sound of hand slapping against cheek, the girl grimaced.

Ilana looked around for any possible attacks coming. This woman could just be some sort of bait after all, but when faced with a decision, Ilana looked back at the matter at hand. Seeing the scared expression of the woman filled the girl's heart with pity. She couldn't just let the woman die. After all if she did it would partly be her fault for disturbing the injured woman so violently. Ilana had to look away as she thought on what Dolton was asking.

"We're already heading there aren't we? She's pretty beat up. Doubt she'll run. And there's no use leaving her out here now that we found her. Nothing's stopping us from questioning her on the way either."

Jet Jet Fred Colon Fred Colon

"What will I do to poor little Faraji?" The witch preened with her arms swimming through the air, almost dancing around the room. "There are so many uses for a handsome man like you! I could boil you in a pot to make a tasty stew, your sinews and fats swimming in sweet broth. I could make you a marionette and sow your lips shut," her voice raised to a sweet sounding falsetto. "Nobody would hear your screams."

"Enough." Adrian coated his swords with fire. They flickered as shadows danced on his face. "You may be immortal but your host isn't, and your alter is begging to be broken."

"Oh?" Her voice surrounded them on all sides, electronic and disembodied, a chorus of a thousand speaking at once. The walls groaned as they leaned towards the men; wood splintered and formed jagged teeth made of rotten oak. The furniture clattered on the cracked floorboards; plates and cups crashed as she screamed, "HOW DELIGHTFUL!"




"Then cease your riddles!" Adrian clenched his jaw and stood as strong as he could. He wondered if he'd overstepped his bounds. He didn't know if the she could be harmed even if the alter was destroyed, and fear crept through the corners of his mind. That despite how many books he'd read about monsters and men and how to kill anything that moved, he'd no conception of this thing. It defied everything he knew about the world.

"We're not here to fight, but we won't be turned into stew or puppets for your amusement. I've no idea what you are, but I do know what's important to you. You care about sacrifices and your host—

"Your alter. Without them you've got nothing."

"Such a headstrong boy," said the witch. "You must use your ears instead of your foul dripping mouth, we need each other to survive."

"To save yourself you will help me. Your fate guides you there unlike the husk I inhabit." Her eyes flicked to Faraji. "Existence hangs in the balance dear boy, fail me and you fail yourselves, your world and every person you've ever known."

Her gaze moved to Goliath as she said, "You will sustain us both by sustaining this world, the same world you cling to like a precious trinket. Who's to say what you will lose, but deny me and you'll lose it all the same."

Her eyes glimmered with energy and her voice dripped with power, the following words were a command given by a God — a primordial force from the beginning of the universe. "Go to the Labyrinthian where none have returned, find the man covered in white burns! He dances on strings to a monster's dark whims, who hides from his sins like a cur. His shadows drip like the fat of a corpse! His smile's a lie and his gifts are a curse! He makes a promise to keep but twists your truth like a knife, leaving you broken and dead."

"He is the Bearer of Gifts, and you my sweet boys, you will stop him for me."
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𝓜𝓪𝓿𝓲𝓸𝓻 '𝓜𝓪𝓿𝓮𝓻𝓲𝓬𝓴' 𝓑𝓸𝓸𝓴𝓮𝓻
Mavior was silent, attention having drifted towards Ivan as he was addressed. There was a slight cant of his head, a motion reminiscent of a curious cat almost as empty goggles stared upwards... "You have my apologies, then. I should hope your knowledge serves us well, then." He then glanced towards Zak, tone flat and impassive as ever as he addressed him, "Precognition. Foresight and the ability to see the future. I lack the ability to manipulate the strands of time to my benefit." As that captain's log was offered, though, Mavior was practically drawn to its presence. Captivated like a moth to a flame, or a sailor to siren song...the promise of knowledge, of information of what trials lay before them. But so much more than that, knowledge of a world he'd never experienced before...while Ivan had acknowledged it, Mavior was the one who accepted it. A gloved hand reached forward, cuff of his shirt rolled back just enough to expose the gauze that wrapped up the arm and wrists beneath, before he tentatively took the log and held it in both hands. Like a devout who had received his first written scripture, Mavior's gaze was glued to that book for a few minutes before he gave a firm nod, looking towards Zak.

"If you care so little for it, I will ensure you are the only one in our party who is not informed if that is how you should request." Mavior was already trying to make plans even as he opened the first few pages and began to read, every word etched into his brain like chiseled stone. Eidictic memory...photographic memory....perfect recall, any of the terms were applicable. Where his sister excelled in all things physical, Mavior had been blessed with intellect and memory beyond compare back where he called home...and he could only hope that memorizing this log would serve them just as well. While he read he spoke up, no longer looking towards any of the members in the room as he studied his new holy-book. "If you should have it, a hook and rope would also be appreciated...your generosity in giving us this log is beyond measure, however. You have my gratitude." Numbers danced through his mind, trying to calculate just how their rations could be distributed among all members for a travel like this. They'd have to pack non-perishable food that could be eaten simply...body mass, and the effect of your energy actively being sapped by the environment was something to consider. He could imagine Ivan would need a larger sum of rations than the rest of them...Adamaris and Elriel would quickly have to lose any sort of noble pickiness they may have. Zak was a wildcard, as was Darius. He was relatively confident he could guesstimate what he'd need and what he could survive off of. Less than the others, but by how much? So many unknowns to consider...but he was certain they could make it through this. After all...death was the alternative, and one he wasn't willing to take. Though there was a snag for him...he may need less food, but if it was sunlight out in the arctic they'd have no night...meaning he'd need to be conscious of the flowery balm he had to apply...bothersome.
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Charlie Redding
Charlie's attention had snapped towards Renee as she offered herself up on a silver platter, the woman staring at her like she'd gone insane and declared herself queen of the universe. "Oh come off it-" she'd managed to start before Gailene grabbed the red-head and yanked her back. Well, it was good that she'd intervened, because Charlie was about to slap her upside the back of her head for that stupid stunt. You didn't just roll over and show your belly! Her frustration and anger with Zulan had dissipated as her attention had shifted. She could strangle him later, but they had other situations to address...like how apparently Renee thought her only useful quality was being a damned bargaining chip! Charlie's attention shifted towards the woman as she drifted down...wind mage, so she'd be more technical in her approach to a fight if they came to blows. Wind wasn't great for offense, but if she was smart about it she'd be a damned pest to swat. And yet...in spite of the tense situation, Charlie had to choke back a chuckle at the term of 'knuckles'. "Knuckles, really? Izzat the best ya had last minute?" Her attention shifted towards Irina, as that seemed to be her name. "And I ain't never met a lass with twenty boyfriends, but hey, whatever works for you yeah?"

Charlie gave a simple shrug, eyes never leaving the woman before her even as her familiar bounced slightly on her shoulder. There was the faintest eyetwitch as Charlie and the group was compared to loyal hounds, the term dog irking something in her. "Hell, y'should join the fantastical games of Nye with olympic level jumps like that for your conclusions. You committed murder,good on ya, want a lolly? You severely overestimate the shits I got ta' give about Centurions. Talkin' ta me like I'm dense though is a right fine way to make me a much less reasonable Craggie, so reign it in there lass." Charlie's tone was surprisingly...even-keeled and level headed. Sure, she sounded pissed, but then again she always sounded pissed. Though with that said, her eyes narrowed a bit. "Though I gotta say, if you're with that Escarra fella', man's on my shit list already. I don't 'preciate have a crowd being sent after me, feel that's a universal complaint folks would 'ave." Charlie rested a hand on her hip, glancing towards the men on the rooftops for just a moment and then Irena. "If yer' done with yer' grand standin' and exposition, let's parlay then. You with Escarra, or yer' own lass? What do ya' want from us, and what do we get out of you in exchange? And don't fuckin' tell me that you ain't gonna kill us, because that parlay is as empty as the space between this one's ears," she suddenly jutted a thumb in Zulan's direction without even looking at him, keeping her stance loose and easy. If they could have a meaningful chat, that was all the better...they could fight their way out of this, sure. But she knew there was always more than one side to a story in life, and Nye was always too damn clean-cut and orderly since she'd arrived for her to think it was all glitterin' jewels.

Jet Jet EldridSmith EldridSmith rozukitsune rozukitsune Lost Echo Lost Echo

Dante twinged when she dropped the priceless book, bouncing it from the table below her hands. His mouth pursed as he wondered how damaged it was, even a small tear would change the value by thousands. It was a work of fiction from the great poet Hobbes.

Her eyes were like the winter.

Her dance was slow, her touch still lingered.

There I stood on the bridge and remembered her smile.

Rare like a diamond in the rough.

Then I jumped.

The water reminded me of her — cold and unflinching.

Sinking to the bottom with her.

Dante remembered the words as a smile crossed his face, meeting her eyes with as much warmth as he could muster. "I implore you to treat our works with care, that book is worth more than our meager lives combined. I've always had a soft spot for Hobbes, such a uniquely depressed man. If only his works hadn't been so representative of his mental state. The poor man flung himself from a cliff, and funny enough—

"Only then were his works recognized." He looked back at Nihall as his smile faded away; he was more intrigued than anything. He wondered if the singer was being serious or simply playing games, if he'd ever consider a change of scenery. "Perhaps I poorly explained what kind of place you're sitting in. This is a haven of self expression not conformity. He would be welcomed to perform whatever he desires, no matter how experimental."

"Take me for example, my decisions are purely my desires, an extension of my own... self expression if you will. I wouldn't with you if I didn't want to be." He paused for a moment in thought. It was funny how hard it was to convince them of his happiness, like he carried a sign for needing sympathy. "You must understand where I come from. In the crushing depths of poverty like I was at the bottom of the ocean, and Giovanni gave me a chance to see the light. To breath clean air instead of wallowing in darkness."

"You ask if I had any dreams? I dreamed of eating food not scrounged from a dumpster, drinking water not infested with disease. I dreamed of sleeping on clean sheets and traveling the world. He gave me those dreams and much, much more. But enough wallowing in my tragic backstory. There's much more pressing matters to attend to, like why you're here? What's brought you to the Casablanca my dear....?"

He knew Nihall's name but wanted to hear what he would say, aliases were all in good fun, especially when both sides knew the truth.

Anne Boolean Anne Boolean Lost Echo Lost Echo
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