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Fantasy The Roaring Sky

Sub Genres
  1. Action
  2. Adventure
  3. Anime
  4. LGTBQ
  5. Magical
  6. Platonic
  7. Romance
Osferth Zylavor
Location: Fort Zeldem

With Alentiar having spoken of himself, the group's introductions were all done. Or at least that was what it seemed. However, in this rather disorderly gathering, where the direction of the event was left in the hands of the attendees instead of an organizer, it pays to have a secure perspective.

Hence, Osferth did his best to recall those who had spoken or more specifically introduced themselves, making sure that no one has been left out or forgotten. Their names flowed through his thoughts, each one bearing a fair, yet indefinite judgment regarding the person in question - from the well-mannered beastfolk that was Vivienne, to the aloof man that was Alentiar. For every name, he gazed to the one it belonged to, counting each head as his eyes passed them by.

In the end, there was a miscount, all but one had introduced themselves. The person in question was present in the vicinity, but he didn't see nor hear him follow suit with the introductions. It was yet another one of those who bore a name he had forgotten - only this time he chose to forget it, rather than him unintentionally doing so. But one thing he did remember about this man from the documents he had been given was that his name was rather...unique. To be a bit more expressive, one could say his name was quite a pain to remember, let alone to speak.

"That's a generous offer. We'd be glad to accept it.", Osferth responded to the man in question. "Of course, you need not do so, if you might find your supplies dwindling as a result."

"Although I believe we have yet to know your name.", he opted to say more, but a certain someone seems to have taken a strong hit from the liquor Numan had served.

Turning his attention to the tipsy Lupa, Osferth tried to think of an immediate remedy for her situation. Not that it was a problem at the moment, but it'd be best to cut off the pesky weed before it grows. In the midst of his thoughts, Osferth's gaze eventually came upon the beardless dwarf, sparking a hint of an idea in his mind - dwarves were known to be resistant to liquor, surely their kin must know of a way to be free from drunkenness.

"Steingrimr.", he called out to her, then gestured towards the lupine beastfolk. "Would you perhaps have some antidote for Lupa's current condition?"


Interaction/s: Myvyryium ( _Line 213 _Line 213 ), Steingrimr ( simj22 simj22 ), Lupa ( Silver Wolf Silver Wolf )
 
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simj22

Awful, Terrible, No-good Layabout
Steingrimr
"BAH! Pottery!" Steingrimr waved away the spider, somehow skimming over the fact that Deirdre had clearly missed her name by several yards. She had no interest in that ceramic rubbish. The Nichtgloom expedition was a grand failure, as far as Steingrimr was concerned. No right-minded dwarf would keep POTTERY around their home. Even if they did, it also meant failure on her part. However, as much contempt as she held for the pieces of rubbish, at least Deirdre here was happy about something. "Well, I am rather nimble with my hands. Wouldn't break a pot if it meant that much to you, aye? I'm glad it gets a nice place in a museum! Bloody nice of the old king to leave it around for you!" She flashed the spider a energetic thumbs up and a beaming grin, before turning her attention to the newly arrived. Her expression lit up as this face was one that she, too, recognised.

"By my grandmother's BEARD! Good old knife-ears has arrived! I've thought I'd never see your fine, fair, fey features again!" She trotted over to the man and, once again, offered him the standard Steingrimr handshake that threatened to stir him out of his armor. "How's the wife, eh? Have you been busy? Any pattering or hints of future of tiny elfin feet upon the floorboards yet?" She chortled as she elbowed him in his armored plate. Now, THIS was an elf she could respect, as much as she hated to say that word to anyone with knife-ears like him. She eyed him up and down, scanning his bearing, his armor, and his armaments. All well-kept, all in functioning order. He was a good soldier, much better than any other knife-ear she cared to name. His wife was a right catch too, that one. All in all, he was good elf. Not that she'd ever say that to his face. She clapped the elf on his back, and turned her attention to Myvyryium, who had decided to channel his voice into his bag for the time being to nag at her.

"Ooh, picking a fight, are we, you old bag! Fancy that! I'd pay good money meself to watch a right tussle 'twixt a dwarf and a leather rummage sack!" Myvyryium was, indeed, still practicing his strange ventriloquism. How odd of his magic to take its form like that! Magical items, she could understand, but magical items that spoke! She could barely wrap her head around the concept. Whatever trickery he employed, she was quite impressed with how he did it without moving his lips. That was, in and of itself, awfully amazing. "Oh, don't you bother your ruddy head about the rough-housing those lads are getting into! Where I came from, beating the snot out of each other's one way to talk, after all! They'll come 'round after a good scuffle or two! Besides, it's good entertainment!" All that she said was true, and, as such, her tone was as genuine and cheerful as it ought to be, without a single hint of sarcasm or venom behind it. Brawls were common amongst her people, because it truly was the one way to get the message through to the other. Yelling and arguing to their hearts' content was acceptable too. Little could be accomplished by bottling up the venom, and much else could be done if only both parties duked it out and aired out every single grievances they had with the other. In the dwarf's head, this was, possibly, the easiest way to work things out. Provided, of course, that neither of them drew a knife across the other's neck in the middle of the night. That would be quite uncivilised. She was drawn out of her thoughts when the Grandmaster himself decided to grace her with his presence, asking her a question.

She took her attention to the lady in question, observing that she was, indeed, quite intoxicated, having participated in quite the respectable amount of drink. In response to the sight, Steingrimr gave an amused snort, then let out a loud exclamation of amusement. "HAH!" She had to pause, and stifle the rest of her laughter, composing herself, before turning to Osferth. "What do you take me for, Grandmaster, some sort of apothecary?" She gave another amused chuckle. "Aye, man, even if I were, there'd be no right cure for getting a little tipsy. I wish I could get into the fine details about it, but I'm no physician!" She proclaimed, rather proudly, despite it not being much to be proud of. She understood it as that the body needed time to process the alcohol, and no curative in the world could possibly speed that up. "In any case, time's her best cure right now. The grog's bound to wear off after her liver's done with it. Keep her away from the drink, give her some water and food, and she'll be right as rain in about, oh I don't know, perhaps an hour! It's your best bet." Or perhaps, there was a better bet. No NORMAL curative could speed the process up, but perhaps a MAGICAL one could.

She directed the Grandmaster to her wizard companion. "Ho there, good Myvyryium! Perhaps you have something for the ailing lass over there. She's a little tipsy for the moment, and I cannae think of anyone else with a more trustworthy pack than yours, grumpy as it is!"

The One Eyed Bandit The One Eyed Bandit CerpinTaxt CerpinTaxt _Line 213 _Line 213 Reinhardt Reinhardt Silver Wolf Silver Wolf (marginally)
 

_Line 213

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Myvyryium Vyrybyryium
Fort Zeldem
Interacting with: Everyone (in particular, simj22 simj22 , CerpinTaxt CerpinTaxt , The One Eyed Bandit The One Eyed Bandit , Birdsie Birdsie , Silver Wolf Silver Wolf , Reinhardt Reinhardt )



The mage turned to look to the meeting's head, watching him silently from behind his tall collar for several moments before seeming to finally, subtly, return to his senses. "Ah--I suppose you haven't," he said, as if the notion were of little consequence and had merely slipped his mind, "I suppose I did not know we were performing introductions." With that, the shrouded man offered a mild half-bow, his staff still clasped with both hands. "Myvyryium Vyrybyryium. Traveler," he introduced himself, an oddly humble title tacked on to the end of his name. The offering, however, seemed more directed to the overseer of the gathering, rather than the gathering at large; were anyone not particularly looking for it, they might have missed it amidst the commotion of the room entirely.

The wizard turned away just as quickly as he had turned to, the mention of his name by their dwarven companion pulling at his attention. His eyes quickly swiveled from Steingrimr to the object of her own attention, landing on the supposedly ailing fox as he quietly assessed her condition. "Well, perhaps; let us see," he said, leaning his staff gingerly against the table as if he were helping a prized elder to their seat, before carefully shrugging his bag off of his back and setting it on the table as he looked through it, humming as he went. "I'm rather certain we found some Marblegrow today..."

With that, he fell silent, continuing to shift through the contents of his sack as the idle chatter of the dining hall continued around him. "Ah--this should do well," he said, pulling free a small branch with green leaves, small collections of white, pinkie-tip sized berries growing from the ends of the stem. The wizard plucked a single small grouping free, setting the rest of the branch on the table as he reached for an empty metal cup. Flicking his wrist just over the rim, a small ball of water began to condense just above the vessel and just below his hand, pouring a stream of water many times its volume into the cup before promptly vanishing with another gesture. The wizard continued his tune as he squished the berries one by one into the now-filled cup, a milky-white juice falling and spreading into the mixture from each, followed by a collection of tiny seeds. The skins, however, were discarded without further thought upon the table as the wizard reached for the nearest spoon to ensure the mixture was well-stirred.

The spoon was set aside after a few brisk cycles, and with another flick of the wrist a small flame formed in the caster's palm, and was promptly directed toward the bottom of the cup as the mixture began to steam, simmer, and finally come to a leaping, bubbling boil that briefly caused the wizard to slowly rear back. Despite putting some distance between himself and the cup, he ultimately maintained the heat as the liquid threatened to leap free of its confines, before promptly willing the flame away with the clenching of his hand. Then, he moved to pour the mixture into a nearby, cooler cup, the liquid freezing into blocks in mid-air as it fell the distance, before melting again as it reached the new stein. The liquid now seemingly prepared, Myvyryium slid it over to the Fox.

"It may not do away with the sensations of drunkenness entirely, but one would hope it will help her concentrate somewhat. Ah--and as a warning," he said, putting the rest of the branch back in his bag before slinging the sack back over his shoulder, "it will taste terrible unsweetened."
 
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ACT I:
The Storm's Secrets
With their introductory rites finished, the Stormchasers were left to their own devices for the remainder of the morning. They were free to eat and drink from the breakfast feast that was served by Numan and his crew, who promptly cleaned up the area once they were done - and should there be any leftovers, those would simply be stored for later consumption, packed into various containers generously provided by the same chef and crew. Of course, those who would rather not join the feast had the liberty of enacting their plans for the morning, be it exercising and practicing in the training facilities of Fort Zeldem, mingling and idling around the area, and other such activities.

After many hours had passed, during the turning point when morning becomes noon, the Stormchasers were, once more, summoned. This time not to gather in the mess hall, rather, to head to the assembly hall - a part of Fort Zeldem that once served as a war room, repurposed and reconstructed to suit the new organization's needs for a conclave.

The assembly hall was not as large as the mess hall, but it had enough space to comfortably fit all of the Stormchasers. At one of the slightly dusty corners of the chamber was a stack of wooden chairs, should there be any need or preference to sit. But other than that, the room was mostly empty - a polished stone floor with a small stage to serve as an accessory for presentation. Torches hanged on various sections of the room's walls, as well as numerous glowing, enchanted stones, etched into the room provided more than enough illumination for one to see clearly.

At the stage, the Grandmaster stood, waiting. Behind him were several large parchments, separated into two groups and pinned onto the once empty wall.

The first group of papers contained varying reports of disturbances in the southern regions of Valheim, and three sketches of the landscape from that area - each one a different picture that painted a story. A vast coastline bordered by grassy fields, numerous towns, and cities. A rapidly drying landscape that once resembled the former, with innumerable settlements in flames and ruins. And finally, a seemingly endless sea of sand, with nothing but tiny semblances of long-gone civilizations. At the center of this group was a recent report regarding the delayed return of a supply caravan from the southern Valheim communities.

The papers at the second grouping appeared a bit dated - several having numerous stains of dirt and wrinkle marks, others bearing a crisp texture that was obvious from sight alone, and a few that had burnt edges as well as torn sections. Each paper telling of a historical landmark unknown to the common folk, but undoubtedly recognizable to those who had pursued higher education - a legendary library supposedly hidden within the eastern lands of Valheim, a treasure trove of knowledge and wisdom that the Emperors were known to utilize.

Once all of the Stormchasers were present in the vicinity, the Grandmaster did not hesitate to begin with the scheduled meeting. With a strong, yet elegant stomp, the very winds that flowed in the room changed - the warm noontime breezes mellowed down as if following his whim. The moment his foot touched the wooden surface of the elevated floor, a commanding noise resonated, demanding absolute attention to the Grandmaster.

"It is good to see you all here. I have called for this gathering to brief you with regards to our first step as the Stormchasers - as people who carry the burden of bearing Valheim's hope for a brighter future.", he spoke with confidence and authority, eyes not perceiving a single individual, but on the group as a whole. "As most of you already know, Fimbulstormr remains to be an enigma to all of us. Numerous theories, stories, and rumors have been made to find some semblance of reason with regards to it, but not a single one has been proven."

"For the past days I have been plagued by curiosities - with all the scholars and mages at the Empire's behest, why hasn't there been a clear answer? How can they, with their reputable minds, be unable to come to an unrefutable conclusion?", Osferth crossed his arms in the midst of his ongoing monologue. "Our gathering earlier has given me the reason why. It is simply because they do not bear the same resolve as we do. They fear leaving the safety of The Citadel. They wish not to put their lives on the line, to brave through any and all risks to put an end to the storm."

"It is up to us to do what they cannot. We will dismantle the mysteries of The Roaring Sky. And we will bring it to its just end.", he said with a steady gaze. "Our current priority is to gather and uncover information about the storm. And that is what we shall do."

"However, Valheim is no mere city that we can scour in a single day. Its lands are vast and rich in history. That is why we shall split into two groups, for greater efficiency and coverage.", he added.

Osferth took a step backward, providing enough space for a countable few to rise to the stage if need be. "When I call your name, come up to the platform."

"Lupa. Band'lur Wallbreaker. Aelfweard Māragas. Vivienne Yvarra. Byakuren Hijiri. Sennen Heydari, and Khur Yshta."

Once those called stepped up, he would remove the pins from the first bundle of parchments and hand them over to either Lupa or Vivienne, whichever of them would take it first. "Your task is to investigate the ignored anomaly at southern Valheim, or The Crawling Sands, as the imperial scouts have named them. If you somehow find the delayed supply caravan and it remains untouched, escort it back to The Citadel.", he said to them. "You are free to head out as soon as you are ready, hopefully not later than today. Feel free to choose among yourselves who shall take charge, if you feel the need for direction. If you have any questions, you may find me at the stables later, if I have not yet left."

After doing so, he would remove the second bundle of parchments pinned to the wall and take them with him.

Those that remained were called upon, as the Grandmaster stepped down from the stage and approached them. "Deirdre. Myvyryium Vyrybyryium.", he said with a bit of caution, still having some slight difficulty with regards to the mage's name. "Virion Ravaren. Steingrimr Shatterarmour. Cecie Fallenmire, and Alentiar Zelthorn."

"You are to come with me - to head to Eastern Valheim and check if The Great Archives of Sai-Za'ar still stands - and if it does, to search for any vital and usable information from its treasures." Osferth would hand over the papers to Deirdre, whom he discovered to have a knack for Valheim history after reviewing the recruitment documents, shortly after the introductory rites were finished. "We leave in the coming hour, ensure that you are ready by then. I shall await you all at the stables."

And with that, the Grandmaster left the assembly hall.


Interaction/s: Band'lur ( Ramjammer Ramjammer ), Sennen ( Cauldhill Cauldhill ), Cecie ( what_if what_if ), Lupa ( Silver Wolf Silver Wolf ), Alentiar ( Xethyrion Xethyrion ), Byakuren ( Sinful Sorcerer Sinful Sorcerer ), Vivienne ( AnonyMouse AnonyMouse ), Aelfweard ( Birdsie Birdsie ), Deirdre ( The One Eyed Bandit The One Eyed Bandit ), Myvyryium ( _Line 213 _Line 213 ), Virion ( CerpinTaxt CerpinTaxt ), Steimgrimr ( simj22 simj22 )
 

Silver Wolf

Something Random
5ae5272e84fcaad23943c3cac4914dfe.jpg
Lupa
Location: Fort Zeldem, Some Heckin Meeting Area -----> Armory
Interactions: Reinhardt Reinhardt (Osferth & Khur), AnonyMouse AnonyMouse (Vivi)
Nearby/Mentioned: Cauldhill Cauldhill (Sennen), Ramjammer Ramjammer (Lizrd), Birdsie Birdsie (Edgelord fucker), what_if what_if (Cecie), _Line 213 _Line 213 (Wizrd), CerpinTaxt CerpinTaxt (Virion), Sinful Sorcerer Sinful Sorcerer (Byakuren), simj22 simj22 (Steingremr), Xethyrion Xethyrion (Alentiar), The One Eyed Bandit The One Eyed Bandit (Deirdre)

After spending the rest of the morning staring at the ceiling with a thousand yard stare, Lupa hopped up off her bed and made her way to the meeting area. She noticed one newcomer she didn't recognize, the only Kharsai she had seen in the fort so far who was presumably part of the Stormchasers. Well whatever, boss man had some orders, so she was going to listen. Once she was called up and handed the parchments, she examined them briefly. Staring back at Osferth to hear him speak further. Of course, she was none too pleased about going to the damned desert. It wasn't the sand that bothered her, but she was never one to deal with heat well. This could mostly be attributed to her wolf side being built for northern climates. Her tail was incredibly well insulated and she had an undercoat where fur did grow. A desolate dry wasteland where the sun practically baked you alive was never a fun place to go.

With a simple nod, Lupa stepped out of the way for the next group and began skimming over the reports. At least they were in chronological order. A lot of the legwork had also been done, but there was one small thing Lupa had wished was obvious on the papers: the starting point. That could provide clues, but it looked like she would have to make an educated guess as to where the desert was radiating from. She hoped some of the roads were still intact, it would be a pain to drag hooved animals through the sand. It would probably be ideal to travel light if possible.

Of course, before Lupa could ask questions Osferth had left. She looked at her team composition and felt a little peeved by one member on it. Well, if she was going to start she might as well grab what she needed. Lupa handed the papers to Vivienne, saying "I'm going to gather what I need. If possible, find a route to go in as deep as possible, maybe even find a point of origin. Also, track the caravan's route. An entire supply caravan doesn't vanish without a sign." The sentence was surprisingly business-like in some manners. She also said it plainly before leaving. She doubted the caravan was intact. Even an amateur could find their way out of the middle of nowhere with a map and a handy object known as the sun. It always sets in the west and rises in the east. If it did get lost, hopefully there was an obvious sign of where it split off from the path. If not, they would probably find whatever doomed it.

Lupa made her way to the armory and opened the doors. She immediately started inventorying her own weapons. She decided on taking some chainmail and leather, a longsword, a standard spear, a crossbow, and her gauntlets with three nasty claws sticking out of a small area over the knuckles. She wondered if Osferth had arranged transport. If not, well she would honestly be surprised. A wagon with supplies would be greatly appreciated and help smooth the journey. If Osferth had indeed arranged his own transportation and not her own group's, it would be rather disappointing. She really did not want to go through packing food, water, feed, tools, and other things. If that was the case, Numen and the others would be at the citadel by the time Lupa's group left.
 

AnonyMouse

Member
Vivienne Yvarra
In the Meeting Chamber​

Vivienne enjoyed the introductions and spent over an hour milling around the mess hall, chatting with anyone and everyone she could. Perhaps she was letting her sense of optimism run wild, but something about this group made her feel they would do great things. The atmosphere felt right, like the hearthfires back home. By the time she left the mess hall, her heart was as full as her belly. She carved out a special place for each of them, even the ones who probably didn't want her attention or affection. This would be a journey like no other and it was her duty to see it to its end.

She spent the remainder of her morning training, which wasn't something Viv did often. Meeting her new comrades had instilled in her a belief that she needed to be stronger to stand beside them or before them. Thus, she set about sharpening the scant few martial skills she possessed. She practiced her agility by weaving between the wooden practice dummies, sometimes unarmed and sometimes with a heavy stick to serve as a stand-in for her sword. Her hooves beat the barren earth, churning up clods of dust as she careened between the humanoid wooden posts, moving with unnatural grace for a creature her size. She even tried out some new, unorthodox maneuvers, such as turning 180 degrees to strike at an enemy's back, something a horse and rider couldn't dream of doing with any degree of finesse.

She performed maneuvers for over an hour before switching to the archery range, where she spent nearly another hour sinking arrows into targets. Her intent was to focus on accuracy, take her time, line up shots and practice her breathing exercises. But, as usual, she fell into the same familiar patterns. After one or two careful shots, she just couldn't help but go all out and try to break her record. She was a speed archer. Shooting fast was in her nature, ingrained through decades of practice. That is what her hands were trained to do. Her fingers were a blur. In under a minute, she turned a clean target into a porcupine, then gingerly collected her arrows and did it all over again. And again. And again.

When noontime struck, Vivienne was in the workshop, fashioning more arrows. She answered the Grandmaster's summons and arrived with her heavy steel bow draped over her shoulder, along with a full quiver. She was pleased to find everyone gathered together once more. The sight instantly brought a healthy radiance to her smile... which promptly vanished when Osferth explained their mission.

The Crawling Sands, a place she had only journeyed to a handful of times and never an inch deeper than absolutely necessary. To say she hated it would be a massive understatement. But she knew it well.. or 'well enough.' As they say, one should always know one's enemy. At the very least, the centaur knew how to get to it and how to get out of it, should one find oneself neck-deep in Valheim's sandy, sun-bleached ass crack, as many a foolhearty traveler did. She was no stranger to search and rescue missions and had pulled more than her fair share of abandoned wagons out of the dunes. Anywhere there is swamp or sand, there is coin to be made from the fools who immerse themselves in it.

Vivienne was still processing all of this when Lupa thrust the dossier into her hands: "I'm going to gather what I need," the lupine beastfolk said. "If possible, find a route to go in as deep as possible, maybe even find a point of origin. Also, track the caravan's route. An entire supply caravan doesn't vanish without a sign."

"In the Crawling Sands, they certainly can... and do," Vivienne said quietly, but Lupa was gone before she could seek clarification or offer a warning. And what was this crazy talk about going as deep as possible? "Oh, dear..." she sighed before re-equipping her cheerful persona. Everything would be fine. Everything would be great.

She turned to the others, but briefly scanned the papers first. Viv's gaze danced across the pages, soaking up tidbits of information, muttering under her breath as she did. "Only gone a few days..." Okay, good, they might still be alive. We need to move quickly, treat this like a search and rescue, not a recovery. "Carrying basic supplies... raw materials, ingredients..." Also good. They're not likely to be targeted by bandits, especially in that region, and can potentially live off of the cargo, if necessary. Food shouldn't be an issue, just water.

When she properly looked to her comrades a few seconds later, Vivienne's optimism was no longer false. Her big, blue eyes sparkled with hope. "I think it is safe to assume Miss Lupa has donned the mantle of leadership. If there are no objections, I shall defer to her wisdom," she said with a pleasant nod as she rolled up Osferth's documents, as if she were relived it was Lupa, not her. "I will draft a travel route and consult with her. In the meantime, I think it best we leave as soon as possible. In my opinion, it is highly likely that the missing caravaneers are still alive and counting on us. So, two hours from now, at most. Let's regroup outside the stables by then, please. Oh, and dress warmly; we will likely need to go through the marshlands as we move south."

She looked to each of them, from Band'lur to Aelf, Sennen and, even the Kharsai, from whom she quickly averted her gaze before settling on Byakuren, the girl who had journeyed here from another continent. Did her homeland have deserts? If her current attire was anything to go by, it seemed unlikely. Viv's eyes lingered on her unnaturally long before shifting away.

"Any questions?" Vivienne asked, to no one in particular.
 
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Birdsie

The God-Emperor of Mankind
Aelfweard Māragas
Meeting Chamber


Overwrite the real with the ideal.

Such had been the motto of their House for generations. The Eye of Delusion known as the Māragagan could transform a falsehood - an imaginary element - into reality, but its power was limited, because even it existed as a real element already. From father to son, mother to daughter, their House had always attempted to create a world of myth and wonder, but cold reality would not bear such insufferable arrogance. It struck back, pulled them down from their eagle's flight with its heaviness, and forced upon them the shackles of disillusion.

Even if a thousand phantasms swirl at once, what does their impudent insistence matter to the earth beneath, which is the only actual thing?

As he listened to the briefing, those were the thoughts that went through Aelfweard's head. Even without the Empire, this world was seemingly devoid of hope. First, the Roaring Sky. And now this - each problem like a grain of sand, and each night, a new desert formed in the world. In this case, a literal desert.

"I think it is safe to assume Miss Lupa has donned the mantle of leadership. If there are no objections, I shall defer to her wisdom."

Aelf imagined the table he was looking at cracking, then exploding into wooden splinters that killed everyone in the room. Even if the Māragagan had been active, he would have been unable to make that much real - but it was a nice fantasy to have. Despite his objections, he didn't object. The Imperial scoundrel-dogs ruled this place, and he was under them, for now.

Instead, he considered what the odds of successful defection were. If he could escape the Stormchasers, he'd be able to return to one of his safehouses and recover. Could they afford to chase him across the desert, when he could imagine water and food for himself, and imagine obstacles behind himself? No. In the first place, his eyes were too atrophied to do that much. He could barely maintain a single soldier in reality without tearing up from the stress on his eyes, let alone a sand-worm or spontaneous parapet in their way. He would not sway them to his side, either - not under a crisis such as this.

And frankly, the crisis needed to be addressed, too. His imprisoners were right - with the Emperor dead, there was no cause to hurry.

There was no cause to thunder or rumble, because such things already existed without his aid.

"Khur Yshta is on your team," pointed out a flying, tabby cat from beside him, soaring on a pair of celestial golden wings. Aelfweard blinked, and it wasn't there anymore. Random delusions, coming back this early?

But it wasn't incorrect. Khur Yshta had also been a prisoner, but Aelfweard did not know his crime. Would he be able to convince the Kharsai to become friends and work together, to escape later on? One of them had a pair of wings, the other, a pair of magical eyes... There was some potential to a cooperative arrangement.

"Under a desert sun, two days is much," Aelfweard pointed out, rather than asking a question, "We should take additional water supplies, and medicinal paste for treating burn victims in case some of them were unable to find sufficient shade. Do we have transport and supply arrangements already prepared, or do we have to go and requisition everything?"

Reinhardt Reinhardt Silver Wolf Silver Wolf AnonyMouse AnonyMouse Cauldhill Cauldhill Ramjammer Ramjammer what_if what_if _Line 213 _Line 213 CerpinTaxt CerpinTaxt Sinful Sorcerer Sinful Sorcerer simj22 simj22 Xethyrion Xethyrion The One Eyed Bandit The One Eyed Bandit
 

Cauldhill

angry fluff
Sennen Heydari
Meeting Chamber - Interactions: AnonyMouse AnonyMouse Silver Wolf Silver Wolf Birdsie Birdsie , with the rest of the group nearby​


As Sennen made his way out of the meeting chamber, he looked at his group and wondered what kind of investigation could they possibly get done with these characters. The leader would most likely have to be chosen by process of elimination. Or so he thought, but it seemed like the group had decided to split up before deciding on a leader, with Lupa being designated as leader by Vivienne. The centaur then started devising a plan of action as the supposed leader was away from the group.

"[...] In the meantime, I think it best we leave as soon as possible. In my opinion, it is highly likely that the missing caravaneers are still alive and counting on us. So, two hours from now, at most. Let's regroup outside the stables by then, please. Oh, and dress warmly; we will likely need to go through the marshlands as we move south." Vivienne said to the group, emphasizing the sense of urgency and responsibility that the group needed to operate under. Two hours? They were supposed the ready for a trip to the damn Crawling Sands in two hours? Aelfweard responded with "We should take additional water supplies, and medicinal paste for treating burn victims in case some of them were unable to find sufficient shade. Do we have transport and supply arrangements already prepared, or do we have to go and requisition everything?"

Upon hearing this, Sennen stepped up and interjected. "I hate to agree with this psycho, but you do have to hold yer horses, horsey. We're better off figuring out the most efficient path forward than jumping into action. We ain't even prepped to enter the desert!" He looked around at the group. Byakuren struggled to understand the local language, and would probably understand much less of the southern dialect. Plus she certainly wasn't dressed for a field trip through the desert. The oh so eager and hard working Lupa certainly didn't seem to Sennen as a desert dweller, and Aelfweard's pale complexion didn't give him any extra confidence. The lizard would probably be fine. "Lemme have a look. " Sennen pulled the papers from Vivienne's hands. There were details on the date and purposes of the caravan's trip, the route the caravan was planning to take and a fairly detailed map of the region, although some of the towns shown on it had most likely been abandoned due to the massive desertification of the region. Nevertheless, it was a pleasant surprise to find the documents to be so well prepared. He thought of his time travelling in the region right after the storm hit, and the massive migrations towards the north and to the spots rumored to have been spared by the desert. A certain town came to his mind. "There's a town, Greemouth it seems you call it." He said, pointing at the map. "Used to be just a shithole, but a ton of southeners moved there when the storm came. I'm sure we can get some thawbs there, and probably hire a local that actually knows how to cross the desert." He held the papers towards Vivienne. "That's my two cents at least."
 

AnonyMouse

Member
Vivienne Yvarra
In the Meeting Chamber​

"Under a desert sun, two days is much," Aelfweard replied, "We should take additional water supplies, and medicinal paste for treating burn victims in case some of them were unable to find sufficient shade. Do we have transport and supply arrangements already prepared, or do we have to go and requisition everything?"

"I hate to agree with this psycho, but you do have to hold yer horses, horsey. We're better off figuring out the most efficient path forward than jumping into action. We ain't even prepped to enter the desert!" Sennen interjected.

"Agreeing with a friend is never a bad thing," Vivienne said in a lilting tone, unable to hide her delight. Despite his gruff demeanor, she was actually glad to see Sennen speak up. She relinquished the papers to him without delay and stared in wonder as he studied them.

"There's a town, Greemouth it seems you call it," Sennen said, pointing at the map. "Used to be just a shithole, but a ton of southeners moved there when the storm came. I'm sure we can get some thawbs there, and probably hire a local that actually knows how to cross the desert." He held the papers towards Vivienne. "That's my two cents at least."

"You know the region, sir? Excellent," she said with a small clap. "Despite my many years of travel, the south is not what it used to be... for obvious reasons." She bowed her head ever-so-slightly. "I defer to the wisdom of the locals and two heads are always better than one." As she accepted the map from Sennen, Viv began to wish Lupa hadn't departed so quickly. She planned to consult with the wolf about her, umm, plan, but it seemed that was happening now. Oh, well, we'll just fill her in later...

She looked to Aelfweard: "To the best of my knowledge, nothing has been requisitioned. I intend to acquire a cart and as many supplies as we can reasonably manage, if one has not been prepared already. Medicinal supplies and water are at the top of my priorities, but I'm open to suggestions," Vivienne said, before turning her attention to the map. "I know a few places we can stop for clean water. In the interest of traveling light, I think it best to leave with a half supply and top off before hitting the desert proper."

She looked to Sennen and pointed to a town on the map. "I would like to leave quickly because it is already past noon. If we set out within the next two --maybe three-- hours, we can reach Holheim by sundown at a brisk, but sustainable pace. It is abandoned, as far as know, but there is a temple there, sturdily built, that has stood for centuries. Safe shelter." With her finger, she traced a line down, "We rest there for the night, and make for the marshlands at dawn. We'll hit the worst of it by noon, where we'll have light --at least as much light as one can have in this storm. There's a little-known road through there, slightly elevated and hard-packed. I haven't been there in years, but it has been pretty reliable, even in the rainy season, so it should be passable," she traced further south, and slightly eastward, arriving at another town, "which will bring us to the ruins of Kellbourg, at the southern edge of the Veiled Forest. We top off at the spring there, rest for the night, and, at dawn..." she traced westward, and slightly south, "we make our way to Greemouth."

She nodded at Sennen, seeking his approval. "Once there, we are in your capable hands, sir. If all are in agreement, I can begin the preparations."

Cauldhill Cauldhill (Sennen)
Birdsie Birdsie (Aelfweard)
 

what_if

~ what if I fall ~ what if I fly ~
Cecie
Location: Arriving at the stables
Intraction/s: No one directly
Upon entering the meeting room, Cecie's attention was immediately captured by the metal bow strung across Vivienne's back. She edged around to the opposite end of the room, but as Osferth talked, she couldn't help glancing at it. There was something about it that tugged at the back of her mind. It wasn't until the briefing had finished that she remembered seeing a target impaled by a dozen arrows. Cecie had been looking for Numen when she passed by the training area. The porcupine of a target had caught her attention for a second, before voices up ahead drew it away. Now she knew who had so brutally killed a painted circle, though. As long as Cecie gave all of Vivienne's targets a wide birth, there shouldn't be too much to worry about. Which wasn't going to be an issue, apparently.

Cecie sized up her travelling companions. With all the ruckus and constant addition of new faces, her notes from the later introductions were messy and sparse. Still, first impressions tend to stick, even when names don't. The gnome ought to be fun at least. Her thoughts were interrupted by the other group's planning. It occurred to Cecie that she had no clue what supplies were being prepared or what the trip might entail. And the person who knew had just left. Of course.

"Right." She said in the general direction of the others. "I'm gonna go pack an' stop by the armory. See ya'll at the stables."

While she had a lot of questions, it was best to save discussions for when everyone was together. Cecie decided to prepare as she would for any ordinary guild trip, albeit with the addition of a few leftovers from the previous meal. If there was anything specific she needed to pack for, that was Osferth's problem.


...
With the help of people she bumped into along the way, she managed to find the stables. The stench of horse butt was a welcome familiarity as well as the weight of her bow and quiver shifting with each step. In the rare moments of quiet between thunder, she could even pretend that she was back home.
Cecie decided to think on other things as she waited for the rest to arrive.
 
Khur Yshta
Location: Fort Zeldem

Khur didn't have anything to say on what had occurred. He was in a room, listening to the Grandmaster speak, surrounded by his fellow Stormchasers that he barely knew of - whatever knowledge he held about them was merely formed from random hearsays and various remarks he had heard. Even after being grouped up, he could not even tell who was who despite hearing their names be uttered by the Grandmaster, not that he did not pay attention to what had transpired in the room.

Turns out that missing the introductory rites had its effects. But what's done is done and what's past is past. He'll just have to go with the flow, as he has done so many times now - not saying that it didn't put him in unwanted situations, but hey, if it works.

The group was quick to discuss their task, some already voicing what they had in mind for the foreseeable future. They were even quick to decide on who shall lead them, though Khur still was not quite certain on whose name belong to who - and whoever that Lupa could be, they were made to sound like someone reliable. That lifted some doubts Khur had if he even had any.

"I also went to the south a while ago. It was kinda dull, just sand everywhere.", he interjected for what seems to be nothing but trivial chatter.


Interaction/s: Vivienne ( AnonyMouse AnonyMouse ), Sennen ( Cauldhill Cauldhill ), Aelfweard ( Birdsie Birdsie )



Osferth Zylavor
Location: Fort Zeldem

At the stables, the horses were separated into two groups, akin to the Stormchasers. A number of them had their straps, reins, and even their saddle painted in black, whilst the other had theirs in the color white. With both groups accompanied by a few stationed carts carrying a decent stash of supplies, it was clear that these were prepared swiftly and promptly before the Grandmaster had decided to send the Stormchasers out on their first set of missions.

Osferth was found sitting down on a wooden stool - with a brown, spotted horse right behind him, calmly pressing its face onto a haystack. There is no evident change to his appearance, as he wore the same attire, with the exception of a sheathed sword strapped to the side of his hip. He was in the midst of a silent contemplation when a new, yet familiar face had arrived in the vicinity.

His eyes swiftly diverted to the newly arrived, recognizing the person from a distance in but a few moments.

"Cecie Fallenmire.", he called, his voice loud, yet refined. "I did not expect you to be the first to come here."

"Eager to leave, are we?", he added with a playful smirk.


Interaction/s: Cecie ( what_if what_if )
 

Birdsie

The God-Emperor of Mankind
Aelfweard Māragas
Meeting Chamber
-> Armory

"I'm in full agreement," Aelfweard voiced his opinion, although he was dimly aware that none valued it with Vivienne's sole exception. It was more of a token statement, made only to have an excuse to say his next line: "I'll head on over to the armory. My eyes aren't fully healed yet, so I can't rely on them for protection. If you'll excuse me."

---

"So? What do you think? I'm sure one of you has an opinion to share," Aelfweard said.

Aelfweard never possessed strong control over his mind. Such was the providence of those who weren't exposed to their subtlest fantasies and delusions at every step. Instead, his mind had a mind of its own.

As a young boy, every slightest dream came to fruition, and every nightmare that haunted him came back to life outside his dreams to do the same. While he was under the aegis and training of his mother, this was manageable, and he'd learned to become the master of his own imagination, but he was unable to use his powers for a decade now. The stark absence of wonder would have felt almost disconcerting had he been forced to bear it a decade ago, but at this point, the numbness of his surroundings felt almost natural.

With such terrifying atrophy, he was exposed to a more sane mindset than ever; it was a sobering thought, especially for someone like him. Everything was so boringly mundane.

All the more sobering, when he knew it would come to end, and soon. From day to day, his imagination would become more over-active. His delusions would come more and more alive, and independent of him. But for now, his control was decent, and he leveraged that to ask them - or himself, in this context - for advice.

"The Crawling Sands. What a formidable adventure we are setting off on," Lord Stoneheart gleefully commented.

The boarman smiled at the rest of the party - the same party that had accompanied Aelfweard throughout his life. A procession of his dead allies, turned into imaginary phantasms, turned back into reality.

Whenever he thought about it, something heavy tugged on his heartstrings - hearing them speak in his own head was like an act of theatrical self-torture. Stupid.

"I'd have preferred the library. At least it doesn't seem we're being sent on a suicide mission, my prince," the Pale Sage offered his advice in turn. "Osferth has some kind of agenda. You've been assigned on a team with the most people who can stomach you. It implies, at least, that he's not going to send you off to die."

"Lupa doesn't like me," Aelfweard pointed out.

"I don't blame her. You've been very caustic so far. That pronouncement on your entry? Very flashy, my lord. Very much so. It seems your mother's lessons on socialization and court etiquette have gone to waste..." The Sage released a deep, tired sigh. "Did you intend to simply hand over the Empire to a random peasant, once your conquest succeeded?"

To be honest, he never expected to get that far - and as it turned out, he was right in that expectation. He didn't say it, though.

"Well, I can't help disliking her. She was with the 5th, with the Imperial dogs." His fists tightened narrowly.

"Right. Well, as a first exercise, I suggest swallowing your pride and apologizing to her. You've already ignored my first piece of sage advice, and done your best to antagonize her. If you can't make friends here, my prince, team effectiveness will suffer. When the time comes to make an offering to the fae, you'll be the first on the sacrificial pyre. Rather than being a master of shards, you act the part of a broken mirror. Please, do pick up the fragments, hm? But then, what am I saying. You've never really been one to clean your room, Aelf."

"You're not my dad."

"You're talking to yourself." Aelfweard hissed as a headache seized him. For a moment, he was disoriented, and the phantasms of his imagination dissolved into thick mist before disappearing entirely.

"Fuck," he cussed, before resuming his walk to the armory.

---

Somewhat numbly, Aelfweard entered the armory with a satchel hanging at the side of his hip. For a moment, he stood near the entrance and stared at Lupa without saying anything, then walked up to a rack and started taking off some of the shared equipment - a shortsword, with a matching scabbard; a number of throwing knives, and some rudimentary armor.

There was a sphere of utter silence and focus in the chamber, for a moment.

"I'd like to apologize," Aelfweard eventually said, with a reserved tone. "A lot of what I said was unprofessional. I'd just been released from prison, on a plea deal that I believed - still believe - to be a suicide mission. I was feeling, and I am feeling, a little frayed, but I realize it's no reason to destroy unit cohesion needlessly. I don't have a grudge against you. I just have a grudge against those who killed the people who are - who were - dear to me, and you happen to be a part of that group. Either way, my life goal has already been achieved, so any personal opinions don't matter at this point. I'll do my best to keep myself indifferent from here on out. No bad blood?"

He looked across the room, at her. He didn't go so far as to extend a palm for a handshake - at least partially because they were standing twenty feet apart.

He chose not to mention that his own delusional imagination put him up to this. Or the fact that, no matter what he said, he didn't consider his goal achieved. It wouldn't be until the rightful Geirskul heir was found and brought to their place on the throne, and until his House's glory was restored; with blood or honor, whichever came first.

At least, he was feeling genuine about the rest of it. Well, some of it.

---
tl;dr: edgelord proclaims he's sorry for being edgy because his brain tumors keep haunting him about it, sadge
Silver Wolf Silver Wolf AnonyMouse AnonyMouse Cauldhill Cauldhill Reinhardt Reinhardt
 
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CerpinTaxt

A Man With No Face
It was certainly nice to see such familiar faces once again.

The introductions had gone quite smoothly, with Virion giving the small dwarf a smile as she nearly tore his arm from its socket. Despite all his strength training that handshake of hers never got any easier. Despite her insistence on using 'knife ears' to refer to him, he liked her quite a bit. "Ah, she's been okay! Though ah..any discussion of children has been shelved until this current predicament has been ah..dealt with." The talk of children was a bit embarrassing for the man, who let out a meek laugh. He did speak the truth however; no children until the land was safe.

Ah, he almost forgot Myv! "Mhm..yes I've been doing well, Myv! Being able to do something for this potentially divine event is a sure way to get my spirits up! I can't say I've had many chances to use my holy gifts." His eyes looked up to the small commotion, watching for a few moments as it settled itself. The crowd had livened up significantly, and Virion took the moment of chaos to politely excuse himself and find himself some food; wanting a chance to eat something before the larger ones of the group had taken it all.

As much as Virion wished to stick around and chat with his friends, the paladin was adamant about keeping himself to a structure; quickly eating before retreating away to the various training rooms hidden away in the fort. There would be plenty of time to talk, but the time to ensure his abilities remained at his current peak was little. His sword didn't leave his side for those precious hours he had to prepare. Time spent reading, meditating, and ensuring his blade was sharpened and that his mind was sharp.

The summoning at noon came to Virion as he sat in the library, a small text detailing the history of various priests of Thiestro, and their accomplishments. He let out a low sigh as he stood to his feet, knowing full well that the book was to stay in the building no matter how much he wished to take it with him. It would be rude to steal, and he knew he was no thief; even if he was certain that he had been the only one to open the book in the past decade. He gently placed the book down on the table and gripped the sheathed Guggenheim as he departed.

--

The meeting had been relatively short, though their assignments had all been handed to them. The Archives, he was familiar with the place but he couldn't say he had ever visited the place. He looked towards Steingrimr and Myvyryium and waved them down. "Come on you two! Ah-" The Caskarieth looked towards the others that had been placed with them; the spider woman and the man who wore the large, dark armor and waved to them as well. "You two as well! Er.." He looked for their last remaining member before sighing as he watched the woman make her exit from the room. "Ah well...I was hoping we could go over and ensure we were all properly ready before heading to the stables.." He let out a laugh. "I was even going to over a blessing of Thiestro to anyone who was interested."

He placed a hand on the pommel of his blade and let his shoulders relax for a moment. "We do have some time to prepare, but I think it's unwise for us to muck about. Are we all ready? Does anyone need anything?"

_Line 213 _Line 213 simj22 simj22 The One Eyed Bandit The One Eyed Bandit Xethyrion Xethyrion
 

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| || || | __
Myvyryium Vyrybyryium
Fort Zeldem
Interacting with: Everyone (in particular, simj22 simj22 , CerpinTaxt CerpinTaxt , The One Eyed Bandit The One Eyed Bandit , Birdsie Birdsie , Silver Wolf Silver Wolf , Xethyrion Xethyrion , what_if what_if )



It was perhaps a good thing that the rest of the wizard's morning proved rather uneventful. After the mild perusal of the fort's facilities--and the usage of practically none of them--the spellcaster retired quietly and humbly to one of the bunks in the now mostly-empty barracks. Where there were once soldiers, there were now only volunteers--and a stunning few of them, at that.

Full of rest, and having failed to partake in any drinking, Myvyryium did not find himself particularly surprised by the idea that he was somewhat restless, the sun having quite a ways to go before they were bound to meet again. All the better, he figured, considering the day that was due ahead. With a light clap, the Familiars were roused once more, though it would be half a day still before they were called to any action. The fields, thankfully, were always there--and there was no telling when the wizard would have another chance at fruitful foraging.

It was thus with a pack freshly filled to bursting that he made his way into the meeting hall, a few leaves and flowers poking out of various pouches on his bag--though unlike last time, the wizard was happy to realize, he was not what some might have considered to be late. A trip to the desert sounded like punishing business; a fabled library, on the other hand, sounded much more his speed. Myvyryium remained silent throughout the explanation, and was, again, quite delighted to hear that his companions for the journey would be none other than his most familiar fellows. So pleased was he, in fact, that if his name had been at all butchered, the wizard did not seem to show it. He glanced briefly toward the wolf-eared woman, as if to gauge her condition in comparison to the hours before, though she--and others in her group--disappeared before the question could be asked.

Well, he could only hope; perhaps he would inquire later. For the time being, however, he drew near the others.

"A blessing of Thiestro indeed," the wizard said, both hands on his staff as he offered a low nod, "it is as if no time has passed at all." He took but a moment to think back to the past, the majority of his focus no doubt on the future. Turning slightly, as if to address his bag, he cleared his throat. "Wellspell," he called, seemingly to no response. He cleared his throat a second time. "Packwell, could you rouse Wellspell for me please?"

Briefly, the bag squirmed, shaking its contents to and fro as it jostled upon the traveler's back. Then, up through the top flap shot a large tome, its cover and spine seemingly fresh, but its pages quite weathered indeed. Flapping upward briefly, as if it were a bird, it eventually came to rest in the air just before Myvyryium, opening to its first page. "Enjoying a tad of time off, were we," he said--though the book remained silent. The astute among the party, however, might notice that the book had managed to stain its response in the margins, as if suddenly flushing with ink and forming its own letters. "Right. Well, a spot of business, if you would be so kind," the wizard continued, "what do you know of the Archives of Sai-Za'ar?"

The book's pages turned and turned, fluttering outward in a coordinated fan as the book flipped through its contents in mere moments to a spot about three-quarters through. "Mm-hm...not much to go by, I'm afraid," he said, before the book etched another response in the margins--one which seemed to catch the caster by surprise. "Oh--really? Quite well-traveled you are."
 
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Silver Wolf

Something Random
5ae5272e84fcaad23943c3cac4914dfe.jpg
Lupa
Location: Fort Zeldem, Armory ----> Stables
Interactions: Birdsie Birdsie (Edgelord fucker)
Nearby/Mentioned: AnonyMouse AnonyMouse (Vivi), Reinhardt Reinhardt (Osferth), what_if what_if (Cecie)


The way Osferth had worded his expectations of their expedition, investigating the anomaly was a primary objective, and the caravan was secondary. Of course, she would look for the caravan if she could, and if their position allowed them to. Yet, she couldn't shake a grim feeling about its fate. Caravans being delayed usually happen for a reason. She shuddered to think of that reason as she hasn't been to the south before. She'd heard tales of swamps and savage crocodilian beastfolk. She doubted such an aquatic beastfolk could live far from swampy areas, but one never knew. She was also considering their options of investigating the anomaly. Perhaps they would find a clue in the epicenter, the origin. If not, then they would be out of luck and have to search for other clues on their way out. All of this was running through her mind as she inventoried her weapons, checking and inspecting them. She didn't notice Aelf walk in, much less him staring at her. She was expecting the armory to receive foot traffic, and her mind was rather busy.

When Aelfweard started speaking, she observed him. His body language, his speech, and his gaze were all under focus. She didn't have him figured out yet. Though she did blink some when he apologized. Her curiousity piqued when he shared a piece of his past that explained his animosity to those part of the Imperial System. She inwardly sighed, why couldn't everybody take this seriously? Why did some people have to be petty and greedy to the bitter end?

Once he was finished, she spoke up, "Thank you for your apology. Though I have something to say myself. I don't know who you are, and I'm not eager to know your past. Your dislike to the imperial system is understandable. I've seen the bad myself, many times. I've had to deal with corrupt superiors and nasty subordinates alike. Not everyone I work with is kind, and I would be naive to see it that way. Trust out in the field is hard to create and even harder to maintain, so it's good you're taking a step there."

Lupa paused and looked at her gauntlet, caressing it a little. A longing smile glossed her face "Yet, if all we do is focus on the bad, we'll never see the good. If I can save someone's life, I'll gladly take that chance over the mission. My own oath is to protect the people, and I'll honor that oath. Those who needlessly cause violence, I pity them that they feel they have exhausted all other options. Yet, I have a job to do to protect those they would harm."

She stood up and took her bundle of weapons. She looked at Aelfweard with a small grin and said again, "Thank you for your apology. I don't understand why you're here or what you have done, but I'd take this as an opportunity for a second chance. If you're willing to take that chance in anyway, you have my full support."

She gave a beaming smile at the end and walked out. After a short treck she reached the stables. Cecie and Osferth were already there, with Osferth seeming to have engaged Cecie in conversation. She walked past them and found a wagon with some supplies in it. A short confirmation with one of the stable hands confirmed it, it was one of two wagons. To Lupa's surprise it was about a week's worth. Definitely enough to get them to the desert, but not enough to sustain them on an extended search. They would need to stock up at a settlement on their way out.

After packing her weapons that weren't the longsword or gauntlet, which sat on either side of her waist, she considered what they would do to stock up if needed. The water issue would be crucial in the desert. While one could probably find a river in any other situation, she knew some water skins would not be nearly enough. She turned her attention back to the stable hand and asked, "Excuse me, do you have a spare barrel? Preferably one to hold water or some other liquid?"

After a short search where she followed the stable hand over, they brought a barrel large enough to fit a person and heaved it onto the wagon. Lupa then climbed in and arranged the supplies so the feed bag was behind the barrel, so it didn't go flying off on account of it being empty. She thanked the man for his help and looked over the supplies again. Food would perhaps be the most annoying. They would have to buy it or get it now. Other things like medicine appeared to be in order, though she knew she wouldn't need as much of it with her own magic. Well, they might benefit from some burn cream. It wasn't like all of them were used to sunlight, much less super intense sunlight which slowly boiled people alive. Again, something they could probably get on the way. For coin at least. Normally she would have gone over the supply inventory a day ahead or more, and then added anything extra before they left. Sadly, she may not have that luxury. Regardless, they were more or less ready to move out with the addition of an entire water barrel.
 
Deirdre
Interacting with: whoever's on my team I don't want to find all the right tags​
Try as she might to stifle it, a grin split across Deirdre's lips as Osferth briefed the gathered Stormchasers. She didn't mean to be inappropriate, she really didn't. Deirdre well understood that they were about to undergo a mission, nay, a quest, to decide the fate of thousands, but the wave of giddy delight she felt wash over her at the mention of the Great Archives was uncontrollable. It was one of the fabled Big Digs, after all, subject of archaeological legend, and unfortunately also the Princess in the tower of a dragon named The Empire.

At least until, apparently, right this moment.

"T-thank you?" Deirdre muttered when Osferth handed her a stack of papers, her expression still stuck as one of dumbstruck joy. She eyed the pile quizzically and then shoved it into the depths of a satchel she'd retrieved after breakfast. She was aware that she was probably the least combat-inclined of the group, but she wasn't sure how she felt about being assigned the role of secretary without consent. Or, at least, that's what she assumed the pile of documents was supposed to suggest.

While her newly-assigned companions talked amongst themselves, Deirdre did as she did best, and didn't pay very much attention. Rather, out of her fantasies of archival deep-diving, a thought sprung forth and caught her by the neck. The more she mulled over it, the deeper her brow drooped, until she sported a fully formed frown.

"Um. If I might interject." Deirdre spoke, a deep concern clearly present in her voice. "You don't suppose the Archives might be flooded, do you?" She queried, though it was to nobody in particular. It was a terrible thought. One of those ugly, uncontrollable little niggles that arose in one's mind and couldn't be expelled until definitively disproven. Flooded ruins weren't an especially uncommon thing, and she'd had first-hand experience with just how badly water damage could mangle the contents of a dig. Just thought of the Great Archives having suffered the same fate was making her feel faint.

"Er. Sorry about that. It's just, well, if they were built in any valleys or flood plains, then all those stories about them being buried might mean..." Her voice trailed off, and all four of her hands worked to imitate a wave for emphasis. "...Every bit of paper, parchment, and papyrus in there is might already be pulp by now." She cringed like somebody was twisting a knife in her gut. "Of course, I can't exactly speak of the integrity of its architecture, in a best-case scenario they'll have some sort of drainage system to stop that, but even if that were the case it assumes that it's still functioning. Who knows if anyone's been maintaining it since the storm started."
 

Sinful Sorcerer

Touhou Enthusiast
Byakuren Hijiri
Location: Fort Zeldem (Meeting Chamber)
Mentioned: Reinhardt Reinhardt {Osferth & Khur}, AnonyMouse AnonyMouse {Vivienne}, Silver Wolf Silver Wolf {Lupa}, Cauldhill Cauldhill {Sennen}, Ramjammer Ramjammer {Band'lur}, Birdsie Birdsie {Aelfweard}
Interactions: The group as a whole and Reinhardt Reinhardt {Khur} in particular​

The reality of the situation had finally began to set in; they were heading on their first expedition as Stormchasers. Osferth, the Grandmaster had split the members into two groups and assigned them each with a task. In Byakuren's case this involved heading south to a desert known as The Crawling Sands, the mere mention of which filled her with worry. Her home island had been rather tropical, lush and green with more arid environments to the north, but there had been no deserts. Even had there been, her duties as High Priestess meant she had never been allowed to leave the vicinity of her home village. The old scriptures in their vast and knowledgeable breath had told of deserts; land that had not seen rain in ages, left to die in a dry rot. It would be her first time seeing one in person and she was not looking forward to it one bit, but she did her best not to let her discontent show. This was the task she had been given and she would do her best to carry it out, it was her honor and duty as a Stormchaser, and she wouldn't be doing it alone.

She was relieved to find a few familiar faces in her group. Vivienne and Lupa who both seemed reliable in their own ways were there and they were joined by Sennen who though bold and perhaps a little intimidating seemed good at heart. Then there was Band'lur, a lizardman with greyish scales much like the ones she had met back home. She wondered if he perhaps had some connection to their tribe, maybe he even knew of the old Shaman who taught her magic. But to make too many assumptions would be unwise and perhaps considered rude. She didn't know much of Lizardmen but the fact that they looked alike was hardly proof that they were from the same place, still she was curious and decided to try asking him in the future, in a polite way if possible. Finally the group was rounded out with Aelfweard, the cynic of a man who had made quite an introduction back at the mess hall, and a new face which seemed to belong to a man by the name of Khur Yshta. They had apparently both been arrested for some crime or other and served the Stormchasers as a form of punishment. This of course meant that they had not chosen to be here and as a result their cooperation was not a given. Even so, as they would be working together now a bond of trust was necessary and it was unlikely that they would extend the first hand so she decided to take the initiative when the situation arises.

Byakuren had no objections to Lupa being made leader of the group, she seemed one of the most trustworthy members and her background as an officer should help her in the role. Vivienne seemed to take charge of planning the route of the expedition, a task suited to her as she had previously worked with numerous caravans. With Sennen's help, they outlined some basic idea of where to go on the map. The man came from the south and knew the area better than anyone else present, or so it seemed at least. This left Byakuren not knowing what to do, she could go to the armory to prepare as Lupa and Aelfweard had done, but she wasn't the type to use weapons and didn't plan on bringing anything of the sort. Perhaps she could return to her room to pack things, but then again she didn't have much of anything with her to begin with; just a set of clothes, the scroll of incantations and some rations. Being idle while her comrades were busy working made her feel a little guilty, but she wasn't the sort to spring into action without a direct plan to follow. Even back as High Priestess she had mostly just followed in her brother's footsteps and sought counsel from the other monks. Resigned to once again asking for guidance, she turned to her fellow Stormchasers;

"Excuse me, do you think there's anything I could do to help? I don't know anything about the desert or how best to plan the course ahead, so I suppose I will rely on you for that. But I want to do something for the group, if I can." she leaned over to get a closer look at the papers, "Is it true that no plants live in the desert? It sounds like an awful place..." Noticing she had yet to properly acknowledge the new face she gave a quick bow to the winged fellow. "Oh, sorry about my lack of manners. It is nice to meet you, ...Khur is it? You don't sound too excited about this plan, but lets do our best out there!"
 

what_if

~ what if I fall ~ what if I fly ~
Cecie
Location: Stables
Interaction/s: Reinhardt Reinhardt {Osferth} Silver Wolf Silver Wolf {Lupa}

"Bad luck to wait long 'fore a journey." Cecie replied. "Especially a dangerous one."

Probably dangerous, she thought. From what she could remember, their group was going to a library of sorts, which didn't sound that bad. However, Cecie doubted that the Stormchasers would be wasted on a trip that just anyone could take. No doubt there were complications that Osferth either didn't know or wasn't telling. Typical wizards.

Cecie glanced over to Lupa who seemed to be checking through the carts. That was good. You could never double-check supplies enough. She was confused, however, when a large barrel was added to one of the wagons.


"What's the barrel for? That how ya like to sleep?" She called out.
 

simj22

Awful, Terrible, No-good Layabout
Steingrimr watched as the people began to mill about, and words were exchanged. Or, at the very least, she tried to. When one came up to about the guts of those around her, one tended to miss out on the actual gesticulating and the chattering in the treetops. Such was the life of a wandering Dwarf. She decided to remain amongst good company, staying by the knife-ear, the ventriloquist, and the spider. The Elf waved to a couple of others, and Steingrimr reasoned that these must be the Alentiar Zelthorn and Cecie Fallenmire. The latter, however, decided to make herself scarce from the room. "That must be the Fallenmire. Cecie sounds like a lass's name, aye?" She turned to the remaining one, and at once, her eyes widened at the sight. At once, all other conversations from Virion and Myvyryium, and speculations from Deidre, vanished into the aether.

That obsidian armor. The red tint upon its night sky, the wild fur that decorated its very trims. It can't be! To think that she would stumble upon it like so! Even the idea of seeing it in real life was a worthy enough tale to include in her grand story. Swiftly, much swifter than one would deem possible for such a vertically-challenged being, she darted across the room, before the man could take his leave from the mess hall. "Ho there! Stay still, will you? You beanpoles lunge all over the place you go! Your strides irritate me, they do!" She may have said that, but the dwarf barely seemed halfway annoyed, her expression still set in that beaming grin of hers. "Alentiar Zelthorn, was it? Tha's what the Grandmaster called you. Now, hold still, and let me take a good look at you." Without waiting for his refusal or acceptance, the stout figure circled around him, studying his armor and its structure, then promptly pulled him towards the group of four, but steadfastly placed herself between him and the rest. "A Steelborne, as I live and breathe!" she muttered under her breath as she took hold of his gauntlet, seemingly studying its make to the very atom itself, her eyes aglow with wonderment. "Anti-magic, strong structure, only four in existence, and you, lad, are in possession of one? Ho ho ho!" she stepped back, giving a deep laugh that came from her belly. This man was an Imp, as sure as the sun was in the sky in the morning. No, this wasn't the time to be amazed at just that. When she was rounding him, she caught sight of something else. She rubbed her chin, studying his figure a little longer, then clapped her hands together, her eyes finally finding purchase on his sword. "Oi!That's an Imp sword too, aye? Oh, the stories that they told about it, the rivers of blood that it spilled, and the lands it has seen and conquered!" Rather than horror like most sane people would choose to depict on their countenance, her expression was positively beaming with fascination and adoration, not for the person holding it, but for the weapon itself.

"To meet a Steelborne, and one who has his hands on the Blade of Vicious Fables itself!" She would be remiss to include this in her tales when she returned. What an honour! What fortune! Such prestigious armaments of nigh-mythical make, and of such rarity, it was an honour to be even within their presence. The beanpole underneath them didn't matter, but provided he didn't loot this off a corpse, this Imp might have proved himself worthy of wielding and wearing those. Such a noble pedigree participating in such a grand adventure was no surprise, Steingrimr reasoned. "An Imp knight, are you? It's a right pleasure to make an acquaintance with you! Come on, give it here!" Almost a tradition by now, she took hold of one of his hands, and gave him a firm shake. Were he a table of expensive china, the china would have the chance of surviving as a grass would a blazing fire.

what_if what_if (mentioned) CerpinTaxt CerpinTaxt The One Eyed Bandit The One Eyed Bandit _Line 213 _Line 213 Xethyrion Xethyrion
 

AnonyMouse

Member
Vivienne Yvarra
Meeting Chamber ----> Her Personal Quarters​

Satisfied that she and Sennen had reached consensus and there were no objections from the other members of the party, Vivienne was about to roll up the papers and depart to begin her own preparations when a soft voice interrupted her.

"Excuse me, do you think there's anything I could do to help? Byakuren said, attempting to view the documents. "I don't know anything about the desert or how best to plan the course ahead, so I suppose I will rely on you for that. But I want to do something for the group, if I can."

Eager to help and willing to learn. Both good attitudes to have when embarking on a journey, Vivienne thought, still trying to piece together the puzzle of why this girl was here. Despite her earlier speech about finding strength in one another and no one being 'weak,' the centaur couldn't help but wonder where this purple-haired young lady fit into it all. But, the picture was becoming clearer....

"Is it true that no plants live in the desert? It sounds like an awful place..." the young lady remarked before turning her attention to the Kharsai. "Oh, sorry about my lack of manners. It is nice to meet you, ...Khur is it? You don't sound too excited about this plan, but lets do our best out there!"

The Kharsai. With mild shock, Vivienne realized she had not acknowledged him. In fact, she had blocked him from her mind, as if he was an unpleasant 'thing'. She knew he was there -- she had seen him and heard him speak -- but gave him no more attention than she had given the drapes or the carpet. Her mask of happiness faltered slightly, her lips formed a thin crease for a half a second before resuming their usual placid smile. At least she had grown enough as a person to realize this and feel some sense of shame, even if only for a millisecond. In times past, she would have glared at him. For someone so well-traveled, some things still remained sealed off to her, some roads untraveled.

"There will be plenty of time for that. The helping, that is. We should get moving," Viv said, briskly rolling up the papers and tucking them into the breast pocket of her thick blue coat for safe-keeping. "For now, just pack your things, as you would for any long journey. We can review them before departing, if you like. And..." with some effort, she managed to look to Khur Yshta. She studied his eyes, probing the depths of his very soul in search of deception or malicious intent... but found none.

"I... I look forward to working with you. All of you," Viv conceded at last, before quickly averting her gaze. While she didn't exactly run away, she aborted their conversation with an abruptness bordering on rudeness and was gone before anything more could be said or done. The walk from the meeting hall to her chambers was all a blur. She barely remembered the corridors, the streets, or even opening the door to her room and locking it behind her. It felt as if she had blinked and suddenly found herself alone, perhaps for the last time in a week or so.

With a small sigh, Vivienne studied her reflection in the mirror and tried to focus on the journey ahead. She kept her travel pack well-stocked. She often refilled it with non-perishables after a journey, so she would be prepared for the next. She needed only give it a quick once-over, change into her travel garb, gather her weapons, and she would be ready to head to the stables to prep the wagon, if one wasn't prepared already. The routine had become commonplace to her. She could do this with her eyes closed.

Which was all the more reason she needed to take a moment, catch her breath, and focus. A wolf. And a Kharsai. And a desert. Don't close your eyes. Don't blink. This isn't like the other journeys.

This is different.

And yet, not different.

Viv sighed. "You're nervous? No... afraid," she whispered to herself as she threw open the doors of her wardrobe. Everything was neat and tidy, arranged by color and purpose. Each piece in its proper place, pressed and folded. Her familiar smile warped into a twisted grin. "Good. I haven't felt this way in years."

Reinhardt Reinhardt
Sinful Sorcerer Sinful Sorcerer
Cauldhill Cauldhill
 
Khur Yshta
Location: Fort Zeldem

"Ah, yeah. I'm Khur Yshta.", Khur replied, clearly having no idea of who the girl was. After clearly having pressed his thoughts for a proper answer, he tried to address the girl by a name - he wasn't entirely sure who it belonged to, but hey, at least he tried. "Nice to meet you too, miss - uh...Sen...nen?"

"...and everyone else! Haha!", he added, trying to save hopefully save face in case he was wrong about the name. Forcing a chuckle out felt like it may have only added to the seemingly uneasy atmosphere, however.

Fortunately, the four-legged beastfolk was there to save the scene with her words before leaving the remnants of the group. There was some slightly strange feeling that emanated from her actions, like when she looked at Khur, but that didn't really seem to bother the Kharsai at all. He simply assumed that she knew of his, err, "crimes", and didn't like that he would be technically pardoned for joining the Stormchasers' efforts - as that was usually the case with the folks who saw him in a negative light. Or at least that was how he saw them.

With only three of them left behind, Khur turned his attention to those who remained - the girl he may have just misnamed, and the guy who clearly had some time to work out.

"Well...uh.", Khur scratched the back of his head. "I guess I'll be going then. See you at the stables!"

He waved goodbye with a five-fingered salute. Then changed it to four-fingered midway, then to three-fingered. He did it about two more times awkwardly until he finally realized that it just made him look even stupider than he already did. "Hahaha.", he chuckled softly, trying to hide the embarrassment as he slowly backed away and headed towards the opened doors of the room.

The Kharsai left the room shortly after.


Interaction/s: Vivienne ( AnonyMouse AnonyMouse ), Byakuren ( Sinful Sorcerer Sinful Sorcerer ), Aelfweard ( Birdsie Birdsie ), Sennen ( Cauldhill Cauldhill )
 

Silver Wolf

Something Random
Lupa
Location: Fort Zeldem, Stables ------> Outside Meeting Area -----> Living Area & Quarters -----> Back to the Wagon
Interactions: Reinhardt Reinhardt (Osferth & Khur), what_if what_if (Cecie)
Nearby/Mentioned: Cauldhill Cauldhill (Sennen), Sinful Sorcerer Sinful Sorcerer (Byakuren)


Lupa gave Cecie a rather unamused stare for a few seconds after she commented on the barrel. After a while looking rather unimpressed, she answered, "No. We're going to the desert, and that means we'll need extra water storage." Though while she looked at Cecie, she turned her attention over to Osferth. "Oh, Grandmaster, is there money included in the supplies? Given this load, we'll have to purchase more before going into the sands."

She really wanted to mention the shocking lack of communication on the supply. Sure, she would be checking it anyways, but she had to affirm that there was supplies at all, which she honestly felt she shouldn't have to. Of course, mouthing to one's superior directly wasn't something that could be done at just any time. She had no idea what Osferth was like as a leader, yet. So, she'll withhold judgement until she does have a handle on her stance. Being too hasty wouldn't be a good thing.

The wolf girl continued rummaging around the wagon a little bit, making sure they had everything they needed, when she realized she would need a few other things. She always saved her personal items for last. "A few extra items, and I'll be ready to go shortly, " She muttered to herself before walking off into the fort.

During her walk she noticed Khur leaving the meeting room. She had no idea what the only Kharsai in the fort was like. He would be invaluable as a scout. All she knew about him was that he was a Kharsai and a Stormchaser, but that was the limit of her knowledge. Her most recent conversation made her wonder though, how many of them were in the Chasers for the right reasons? She did take some time to greet the Kharsai though. She gave her usual smile and said, "Hello, Khur."

After that she continued walking to her room where she began packing some things. Changes of travel clothes, her grooming kit since they were going to the desert, and of course she checked her neck for the charm she always kept: a small silver symbol of Aestara. Essentials really, and that was all she would take. It all fit neatly in a small pack which she slung over her shoulders. If anything, she hoped they would be able to find the anomaly's cause. That was optimistic, but she knew they weren't leaving without a hint. Without anyone specializing in magic, she wondered how they would be able to find out what was happening. All she could guess is that the Crawling Sands is radiating from a central point. If they could find that point, mark it down, observe it, and leave without dying the mission would be a success. A small one, but a success nonetheless.

After returning to the wagon, she set her satchel down and awaited the rest. They should be ready to go, but that would remain to be seen.
 
Osferth Zylavor
Location: Fort Zeldem

The Grandmaster, though evidently wandering deep within his thoughts, somehow heard the lupine beastfolk's words - snapping him out of his temporary trance. He immediately fixed his posture to keep him sitting upright, then promptly turned his attention and gaze towards Lupa.

"There is, indeed.", Osferth answered her. "They are rather finite, however. Keep your spending at a minimum, if possible, try not to spend at all."

And as expected from the reputable imperial, she spoke a good point. The resources they had were supposedly sufficient in the right circumstances, but in a world where an eternal storm reigns supreme, that was least like to happen. Resupplying was an inevitable certainty with both groups, and would need the necessary funds to be properly executed - that, unfortunately, was where the issue rises.

Almost all of the resources at Fort Zeldem were either donated by the hopeful and the good-hearted or they were taken from the rather rare surplus of supplies. When it came to funding, all they had was their own - at least until the Steward has regained her footing in the aristocracy. After all, many nobles are still not quite convinced of her allegiance and true motives, not to mention that some of the Vulkarr loyalists were actively campaigning against her - a few even gutsy enough to accuse her as the cause of the Emperor's dormancy.

However, Osferth decided that such concerns were to be kept private for now. It is not the time for those, after all. Perhaps when they return with results that would satisfy the naysayers, but not for now.


Interaction/s: Lupa ( Silver Wolf Silver Wolf )
 
Location: Fort Zeldem

After the hour has passed, it was finally time for everyone to depart.

Numan, along with his crew, had been notified by Osferth, urging them to leave earlier than scheduled. They were the first to leave the fort, bringing their equipment with them on their way back to the Citadel. The skilled cook, however, before bidding farewell to the Stormchasers, reminded them to return safely to the Fort, for he has left them a parting gift - which doubled as a reward for their respective tasks, only to be opened when they eventually return to Fort Zeldem.

Once Numan was no longer in sight, the Grandmaster ensured that every Stormchaser was accounted for and that they were ready to embark on their missions - sending off first the team that was headed south. He gave them a few remarks about traveling and survival, but nothing that they shouldn't already know. The Grandmaster did emphasize that their priority was learning more about the anomaly that was the Crawling Sands and that retrieving the missing caravan was but a secondary objective - although it would most likely carry some weight to their success, in the eyes of the people. He also reminded them to try not to split themselves up as much as possible, considering that there are two troublemakers in their group.

After the first group had left, it was time for the second team to depart. When everyone was set for the journey, the Grandmaster made sure to secure Fort Zeldem - locking its entries with a short magical ritual. Once finished, the second team ventured forth to the east.

The Stormchasers had finally taken its first step to uncover and solve the mysteries of The Roaring Sky.


TEAM 1
Location: Path to Holheim

While it will take them a few hours or so to reach Holheim, the travel has been quite uneventful so far. There were no disturbances - no stray bandits, no wandering monsters, even The Roaring Sky was surprisingly calm, besides it ominously looming all over Valheim. If this kind of pace continues for the rest of their journey, they should reach the Crawling Sands in a few days' time.

For now, their worries would most likely be pressed on the cohesiveness of their group. Not only were they too varied in race and origin, but also in their motives and opinions. Hopefully, they'd get to secure some reliable camaraderie before anything unexpected occurs.

Hopefully, that is.


Tags: Aelfweard ( Birdsie Birdsie ), Byakuren ( Sinful Sorcerer Sinful Sorcerer ), Lupa ( Silver Wolf Silver Wolf ), Sennen ( Cauldhill Cauldhill ), Vivienne ( AnonyMouse AnonyMouse )

TEAM 2
Location: Eastern Roads

Rough roads were what welcome the first moments of their trip - which was rather expected, though not entirely welcomed. The eastern areas of Valheim were among the first to be emptied out, leaving it unchecked and abandoned for a prolonged period of time, extending up to now. There were some who desires to return to their homes in the east, and there were some who ambitious enough to try and scour it for any resources and riches - both of which either returned empty-handed or never returned at all.

Despite this somewhat uncommon knowledge, the travel was rather dull so far. The first notable landmark was at least an hour away from the group's current position, and all that could be seen on the horizon was either the ever-distant Fort Zeldem, or an empty, slightly dry landscape - most of the fields were still covered in grass, but there were rarely any flora, and if there were it would be mere common shrubs and bushes, usually bundled together.

Perhaps they could amuse themselves with casual chatter and friendly banter in the meantime.


Tags: Alentiar ( Xethyrion Xethyrion ), Cecie ( what_if what_if ), Deirdre ( The One Eyed Bandit The One Eyed Bandit ), Myvyryium ( _Line 213 _Line 213 ), Steingrimr ( simj22 simj22 ), Virion ( CerpinTaxt CerpinTaxt )
 

AnonyMouse

Member
Vivienne Yvarra
On the Road​

“…And then his wife says, ‘that ain’t rum, hon. That’s a water rune!’” Vivienne said, giggling with delight from her position at the head of the traveling party as she finished a (rather long and rambling) story about one of her previous adventures.

Steve did not seem amused.

“Get it?” Vivienne said, tilting her head. “He said he was drunk, but it was just… oh, nevermind,” she said, pouting. “You would had to have been there. It was absolutely hilarious at the time.”

Steve snorted and shook his glossy mane.

“Well, fine, be that way. But no one likes a man with no sense of humor,” Vivienne said, wagging her finger at him. “Even if that man is a horse.”

She trotted along beside a large, black draft horse, which had been chosen to pull their covered wagon. His name was actually Black Lightning or Mountain Thunder or something obtusely badass-adjacent, but she couldn’t be arsed to say the whole thing. (And, frankly, he kind of looked like a ‘Steve.’) Since the task of hauling their gear and supplies had been given to this majestic beast, Viv figured the least she could do is stick by his side and cheer him on with jokes and stories. Unfortunately, Steve was a stone-faced god.

She had been carrying on like this for hours, rarely going silent for more than five minutes at a time. Steve took the brunt of it, but no one in the party was safe from the centaur woman’s incessant prattling. Every once in a while, she would turn to them with a silly joke or one-liner or motivational catch-phrase.

“Almost there!” “You’re doing great!” “Keep up the good work!”

While she wasn’t loud by any stretch of the imagination, her voice was almost always there. Oppressively pleasant, she was, like minding your own damn business and suddenly finding yourself involved in a spontaneous pillow fight. Does it hurt? No. Would your day be just fine without it? Definitely.

But her cheerful demeanor was only a mask put on for the benefit of her clients. When on a job, Viv's duty was to protect her 'herd' and she took that duty very seriously. Despite the constant chatter, she kept her voice quiet enough to hear any potential predators, yet just loud enough to frighten off lesser creatures. If anyone looked closely enough, they would notice her steady blue gaze instinctively scanning the landscape. Even her positioning was kept in constant flux. One moment, she would hold the horse's reins in her right hand and walk to the left of the wagon. From time to time, she would move to the front, drop back behind, or travel on its right side.

The group was now a few hours into their journey, and approximately halfway to their first planned stop. So far, so good. This leg of the journey was relatively easy going, taking them through gently rolling hills, where they could see for miles. And this visibility afforded them a clear view of the dense forest which lay ahead, about another hour or so away at their current pace.

“Wonderful day for a stroll, don’t you think?” the reindeer woman said to no one in particular.

Silver Wolf Silver Wolf (Lupa) ~ Birdsie Birdsie (Aelfweard) ~ Reinhardt Reinhardt (Khur) ~ Ramjammer Ramjammer (Band'lur) ~ Sinful Sorcerer Sinful Sorcerer (Byakuren) ~ Cauldhill Cauldhill (Sennen)​
 
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