Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by Tenma Tendo
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Tenma Tendo Thunder Pillar in Training

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Laphicet looked over to Aro with wide eyes when she said that they were going to find and get Sunny back. He wanted to agree, he really did, but without Sunny there, without someone he fully trusted to tell him what to do, Laphicet's mind was practically spinning. He unconsciously flinched when the same voice from before spoke up again in a much snappier tone.

Hearing the man go on about a Terror and a griffin (was that the bird that attacked them?), Laphi took this chance to grab the astolabe that Sunny unintentionally dropped and scurried over to Aro, hiding just behind and gripping the back of her clothes with his free hand. He didn't know what else to do and his face and ears showed it as clear as day. Following Aro made the most sense, but this man was telling them that it was all futile... just the thought of not possibly not being able to see Sunny again caused the cat boy to relapse into a fit of quick breaths and quiet tears. Instead of making a choice for himself, Laphicet just followed after the girl he was latched onto, hoping she knew what she was doing... Despite his mind being in complete shambles however, Laphi was still thinking and accidentally spoke on a question that was meant to stay in his mind.
"I-If...I-If Aro did ch-change i-its form...why w-was it a g-griffin...?"

@Mokley@LordofthePies
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Hidden 2 yrs ago 2 yrs ago Post by LordofthePies
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LordofthePies A Mess

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When the words came out of Laphicet's mouth, Aro immediately stopped walking. She turned to him, biting her lip. She didn't know how to explain what happened. She didn't even know if she wanted to. The Terror taking form was her fault, but it wasn't something she could control. Ever since it happened, Aro couldn't stop thinking about it. The Terror looked exactly like the Griffin that haunted her dreams. It was the exact one that destroyed everything she had ever known. Aro didn't know how to tell him. She took a deep breath, thinking of the words.

Aro whispered to him, not letting the old man or Nyte know about her not-so-secret secret. "A long time ago... A long time ago, I used to have a group I wandered with. We were in a forest, kind of like this one, but snowy. We... we didn't know we were in Griffin's territory. I was on watch, and I didn't see it. I didn't see it go to the camp and kill everyone. When I got back, it was... it was eating my mom. It looked at me, and was burned into my mind ever since. It's the only thing I really ever think about."

Aro looked away from Laphicet, ashamed. She was starting to cry, the memory pulling the tears from her eyes. She had just met Laphi, and he already knew what she had done. He had already seen her cry.

"That thing that took Sunny, it looks exactly like the Griffin that killed my family." Aro looked back to Laphicet, not bothering to wipe the tears running down her cheeks. "I have to fix this."

She turned back and continued to walk to where she figured the Griffin was. She walked with purpose, tears washing away the dirt on her face.

@Tenma Tendo@Mokley
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Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by Riaxh
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Riaxh

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"Admit it, you fell in by accident, and now we're lost."
"Nonsense. My mind's impeccable treasure sense led us, and the ruin's supposed to be around here somewhere. For all we know, these tunnels could be a part of it... Ouch!" Edric looked at the raven-like bird hovering on his shoulder accusingly, having been jabbed by a beak.
"Seems perfectly peckable to me." Balsaam admonished haughtily. Edric could barely make out his friend's pitch black feathers in the gloom of the cave, only the weight and sharp yellow eyes floating in the dark and told him he was there at all. "I don't see any forgotten treasure or ruins. This is just a damp, nasty cave that's making my feathers all dewy and we're only here because you can't see an inch in front of your nose in that silly hat." he grumbled. Edric clutched his wide-brimmed hat defensively, as if afraid it might get offended. He could feel the claws kneading his shoulder, letting him feel the weight of his partner's displeasure. Balsaam was always cranky underground. They both were, though Edric did his best to supress it, because who would respect a claustrophobic treasure hunter?
"Well we might as well take a look now." he said firmly. The bird could warble as much as he wanted. There was something to this cave, Edric could feel it. "Besides" he said, unable to resist a rebuttal. "where were you, my keen eyes in the sky? Off chatting up some forest songbird I bet, otherwise you could have warned me there was a bleeding crevice in all that foliage." He kept trudging through the darkness of the twisting tunnels, keeping one hand on the wet stony wall as he went, trusting in Balsaam's keen eyes to catch any threat to his footing despite what he'd just said, and ignoring the bird's squawks of indignation and insistence that he was a gentlebird who was above that sort of thing.

Their bickering was eventually cut short, as they noticed a soft glow ahead. It was an object. Impaled in the rough floor ahead of the them was an opulent sword, bathing the crude walls of the cave in a shimmering, mystical light. Edric approached enraptured. It was beautiful. Like every magic sword he'd ever imagined.
"Edric, this is..." Balsaam counselled hesitantly, but the man had already grasped it with both hands, and pulled. It came free of the ground with the sound of a clear bell, and Edric held it reverently. He could feel it thrumming with energy. He gave it a swing and it cleaved the air with the sound of a thunderclap, causing Balsaam to squawk and take off in alarm.
Yes, he thought, feeling a surge course through his arms as he held the weapon aloft. This is the power I need. With this I can finally- The weapon abruptly burst into flames, shocking him, and suddenly he heard the screams. The awful, familiar screams filling his head with their fear. The glowering, hot metal seared him, and in the bright, flickering blade he could see the shadows of other things burning. Houses. People. It was like he was there again. He could almost smell it. He cried out, hurling the sword away. The blaze flared once brightly, and then the cave plunged into darkness. Blinded, he fell to the ground, clutching himself as the screaming gradually subsided.

He lay there afterward for a moment, flinching when he felt something land beside him. It laid a comforting wing across his head, saying nothing. Eventually his eyes adjusted back to the gloom, and he made an effort to rise, not wanting to look weak in front of his partner. "We've come across some nasty traps in our time." he said shakily. "But that was..." He fell silent.
"I understand if you're a little shaken up after that" Balsaam crowed nervously. "But we've got to get moving now." Edric nodded, and the pair lapsed into uncomfortable silence as they started down the tunnel again "I could hear those screams." he eventually said hesitantly, "were they from..?"
"Yes"
He shook his head. "Then that was no trap. This place is unnatural. The longer we stay here, the more in danger we are."
"Then go fly ahead. Find us a way out."
The creature shook his head seriously. "I'd never find you again in the darkness." It was a valid point, but Edric thought his reluctance was probably founded on not wanting to leave him alone with more illusions. "I-" Balsaam stopped, tensing up. "Do you hear that?"
Edric did. It sounded like crying. A gentle sobbing being carried by the acoustics of the cavern. Moreover there was another light, softer and less eerie than the first, up ahead. He could make out some figures at its centre. "Another trap?" he whispered.
"Yes. Or other people stuck down here." he heard whispered in his ear. "Either way, we don't have much of a choice."
He was right, they couldn't get out the way they'd come in. He advanced cautiously, Balsaam huddled down on his shoulder, entering a much larger cavern. Disturbingly, Edric had seen no trace of the sword, as though it had never been there to begin with, though his scolded hands testified otherwise. What he could see was drawings, everywhere, covering the vast ceiling, though he kept his attention on the three figures in front of him as he neared them.

They were certainly a bizarre looking trio. "Um, is this illusion targeted at you, Bal? I've definitely never met..." he squinted. "A knight, a wildling and a cat-person."
"What?.. No! Besides, they don't feel like the sword did. My intuition tells me they're real."
He had no idea what such a motely bunch would be doing down here, but they didn't look very dangerous. Edric closed the rest of the distance and stepped into the circle of light that emanated from the group, his hands held up so as to try and not cause alarm. "Er, Hello there fellow spelunkers. My friend and I are kind of lost." he said uncertainly, taking in the two teary-eyed faces and inscrutable gaze of the knight. Aw hell. I'm no good with kids. he thought. "I don't suppose you folks know where we could find an exit?" he asked, without much hope.
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Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by Mokley
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Mokley aka windyfiend

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The old man spun around immediately at the echo of another voice at the edge of the lantern-light -- and he held up the flame to get a better, squinting look at the big-hatted man and his strange birdlike companion. Instinctively he stepped to the side, shielding the young and timid Laphi from anything this new potential threat could conjure.

"An exit!" he huffed, his long beard waggling. His wild dark eyes gleamed in the light. "The very worst error you could make in these caves is to search for what you want -- because when you find it, you'll never know if it's real." He peered into Edric's eyes, and saw there a telltale gleam. "So you already know."

He looked up, above Edric's head, at a glinting in the distant darkness. Sunny's voice echoed on the walls, but her words were impossible to make out -- if it was her speaking at all.

The air was beginning to thicken with the faint musky smell of woodsmoke and copper. Somewhere, chains clinked. A woman sobbed. A metal door slammed shut with the click of a lock. The griffin screeched.

"I hate you," a faint, child's voice whispered all around.

The darkness thickened, encroached upon the edges of the light, pressed closer and darker as if it intended to swallow them all whole.

"Blast your nightmares," the old man breathed, watching around him carefully. The fears and horrors of those gathered were slowly manifesting, reverberating in the rough stone walls, trembling in the haunting mosaics of civilizations swallowed by dreams.

The cavern, long deprived, was hungry.

"Come, keep moving. The only way out is --" The old man strode forward, resolute on his bony legs, but skidded to a halt as his light revealed the iron gleam of a cage wall. He lifted the lantern, explored to each side -- but in the darkness they had been quietly imprisoned, a cage that had materialized around them while they had discussed the nature of nightmares.

The old man growled. "Which of you is responsible for this?" he demanded, accusing.

The cage walls slowly, silently moved inward -- trapped them, forced them to move closer together, threatened to eventually crush them between the bars. The darkness loomed just behind it, to snuff out their light and to suffocate them in its black nothingness.

"Destroy it, damn you!" the old man hollered, stumbling backward into Edric to avoid the encroaching iron bars.
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