Hidden 6 mos ago Post by Kirah
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The fog shifted around the group, seeming to push in. Pressing against them. Astrid maintained her concentration on the tangled lay line easily. It seemed to have snapped into place in front of her.

Everyone else would find keeping eyes on her difficult though. Kade grabbed Sumi's shoulder, who let out a startled sound but then realized what he was doing. She reached forward and gently put her hand on Astrid's shoulder hoping it wouldn't break the valkyries concentration. Astrid would be able to hold her concentration through the touch.

The noises the group heard seemed to echo and none of them could fix where the noise was coming from. Christopher said, "It sounds like music." For him, it was the music of Mariposa. He moved so he could reach forward and place his hand on Kade's shoulder. The draw to follow the music was strong, but he kept with the group. His free hand gripping the bone flute tightly.

"Astrid, once everyone is hooked up we need to move quickly. We've stayed in this spot too long." Kade said nervously, whatever he heard he didn't share, but it was clear to the group he was not excited to follow it.
Hidden 6 mos ago Post by kittyluna45
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Katalina


"Music? I keep hearing the surf... the ocean... it's calling to me. Calling me home." Katalina blinked at that as she looked over at where the sound was until she felt someone's hand upon her shoulder. That drew her back into the moment and she looked down at the ground in a bit of shame. She had almost lost track of what they were doing, why they were even here, all because she wanted to go home. She knew that she wasn't the only one to feel like that, but they had a mission. She hooked her hand upon Alexander's shoulder as they formed the chain.




Astrid


Astrid couldn't hear anything at all, not what everyone else was hearing at all. She was too focused on following the lay lines, following the one that was calling to her, snapping into place as she followed it. Astrid could feel the touch of another upon her shoulder, and she nodded at Kade's words.

"Let me know when everyone is hooked up then. We're going the right way." Astrid said softly at that point as she paused in her steps to wait for them to all link up. Once they had confirmed they were all party of their chain, Astrid started moving again. She could still see the lay line laid out in front of her, and she followed it, picking up the pace in that moment.
Hidden 6 mos ago Post by Saltwater Thief
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Alexander


Now the sound was shifting about. First from his left, then his right, behind him, above him, back to his right... it never stayed in the save direction for long. And soon it grew more elaborate; not just a creaking ship, but a soft evening airstream blowing past, and the distant call of birds as they soared on it. It was so enticing, but he knew that was what base it dangerous. Anything like that just had to be a baited line.

And on the subject of lines, it seemed he was one of the last ones to join the group's. He placed his hand on Christopher's shoulder, and shortly after felt Katalina's hand on his. His other hand, meanwhile, had only tightened it's grip on the knife. But he hadn't drawn it. Not just yet...
Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Kirah
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The group all connected felt the pressure of the fog snap and release. It didn't go away but it felt less oppressive as if whatever had been trying to drive them to get lost knew it has failed. The noises faded, not completely but enough that the group no longer felt the pull of their worlds. Replaced by jingle bells that even Astrid could hear. Inexplicably they all knew in their heart of hearts whether they believed or not that was the sound of Saint Nicholas' sleigh.

Kade shifted nervously. It was the wrong time of year, months from when Santa should be speeding around the planet.

Astrid found the thread of tangled magic clear in her mind even more. A small part wondering if it was Santa's gift that she should pass this test. She led the group unerring through twists and turns that in the fog would have easily lost any one of them if they weren't linked. As she guided them the jingling sound rose until it was overpowering the other noises the group individually heard.

Astrid was so focused on the feel of the tangle that she failed to realize she had found what could only be described as the end of the world. She took a step forward, but Sumi held onto her shirt and pulled her back before Astrid could fall into the abyss of fog before her.

The bells were ringing so loud that conversation at normal volume would be impossible.
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Alexander


There was a sudden release of tension as the fog seemed to shift while not actually moving. The cry of birds and the gentle blowing of the inviting wind faded away, but was soon replaced by something else. The sound of jingling bells made Alexander go from simply keeping a hand on his knife to fully drawing it and looking around nervously.

"Aw crap, not here, not NOW you one-eyed bearded bastard..." he said through a clenched jaw.

Kris Kringle was not a jolly old man on Sylvent. He was actually quite well built, very physically fit, and at some point had something happen to his right eye as evidenced by the eyepatch he wore over it. He still delivered gifts, but any ship he visited with them had to nominate somebody to fight him for the gifts. Not to the death or mortally, but you had to impress the old man before he would open the sack. And Alexander had some bad memories of the one time he'd been nominated. And all of that was precisely why he was so on guard with the sound of those infernal bells.
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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by kittyluna45
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Astrid


Astrid had been so wrapped up in what she had been doing, following the thread of the lay line until it was due to lead them right off the cliff. With a yelp she jolted back as she realized they were about to walk right off the edge into an abyss. "What the... but the magic... here?" She looked confused for a moment, as she had thought this was a gift from Santa, until she realized who on incarnation of Santa was... one of the Original ones. "Odin...All Father..." She said breathlessly and then turned as Alexander cursed like that. "Hey... Don't curse out AllFather like that!"

However, as the jingling continued she realized it wasn't the Allfather. For one... the atmosphere was all wrong. The bells were too loud, and... she wasn't filled with the urge to fight. "Uh... never mind. That is not him." She frowned at that as she gripped her spear more at that point and looked around.




Katalina


Katalina had stopped believing in Santa Claus when she had been taken away to her World. They didn't have any sense of what seasons were under the ocean, and thus, they didn't have celebrations during the various times of year. Also being locked up in a war with no real goodwill in the world had knocked any sense of belief in the man out of the young woman. So, hearing those bells and feeling that feeling triggered not the happy response another child might have. She pulled out her knife and looked around.

"So, I'm guessing everyone can hear that, huh?" She yelled over the ever present jingling. It seemed that they were at a standstill at that point anyways, with the jingling echoing in the clearing, while the edge of the World was staring them in the face. What were they going to do now?
Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Kirah
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Even as the clanging of bells filled the air Sumi ignored it and examined the edge. She bit at her lip as she thought. Her hand running along the edge, and then a tentative foot placed out into the open air searching. Sumi looked much like she had at the top of the castle. She seemed to get increasingly frustrated as she found only empty air. "How far are we from the tangle?" She asked Astrid, having to yell over the sound of the bells. She was certain after this if she wasn't partially deafened she would always hear the sound of bells.

Kade tried to give her a reassuring smile, but it looked much like how he felt, nervous and painful. Christopher had already moved to plug his ears and was pleasantly surprised when it seemed to lessen the noise.

As for the bells there seemed to be no direction it came from. What might have been a blessing in the beginning as it had driven away the sounds that called the group to their homes it was no only a nuisance.

But then as Astrid went to speak, her voice loud to overcome the sound of the bells it cut off. Stopped and gone. Though it didn't end the ringing in any of their ears.
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Astrid


The bells suddenly cutting off sent a chill running up and down the valkyrie's spine. Her ears were still ringing with the sound of those bells, as her eye continued to look around as she tried to find where the sound came from. She knew she needed to answer Sumi, bu she still wasn't sure how to answer. "It... it's still that way, but I'm not sure how we can get to it. It's not like any of us have our mounts with us... well those of us that had mounts." She frowned a bit at that as she rubbed her ears a bit and then looked to Christopher. "You can take your fingers out, we should be fine."

Astrid frowned a bit as she looked around the clearing, and then walked to the edge and started prodding at the air with her spear. She was hoping that she might be able to find a path, a way or something towards the leyline... but it seemed that there was truly nothing there at that point.



Katalina


Katalina shook her head as the sound vanished when the blonde spoke, and she rubbed her temples a bit at that. "So... one eyed bastard?" She asked softly as she looked at Alexander and blinked a bit at that. "Dare I even ask?" She said and sighed at that.

"Each world has their own version of Santa... or Saint Nicholas... some are not always kind." Kade said, his twang coming out pretty hard at that point.
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Hidden 1 mo ago Post by Saltwater Thief
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Alexander


"Allfather?" he asked as the bells became obnoxiously loud and disruptive. "What does that..."

"EVEN MEAN?" he ended up yelling overly loud as the bells suddenly ceased. The volume of his own voice in the empty air took Alexander by surprise and made his ears ache even more than they did before for a moment. "Ow..."

"Oh, right, I never mentioned that," he said in response to Katalina, "Back home we have a Santa of sorts, and he's friendly enough, but he's also buff as hell and wears an eyepatch. He gives gifts to the ships he visits, but only if a member of the crew agrees to fight him and impresses him enough. And, well, one year it was me who got nominated and... let's just say my midsection aches whenever I hear sleigh bells."
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Hidden 1 mo ago Post by Kirah
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"Well, whatever he wanted...he must have gotten here. He never landed." Sumi seemed okay with that. The group now stood on what must be the edge of the world. "We have to get out there. That's where you said the tangle was." Sumi said pointing out into the void. She stared out where there was nothing but space and fog. This wasn't like the top of the castle. How were they supposed to progress?

She turned to the others. "Any ideas?" Sumi was out of them. There was one idea tingling at the back of her brain. It was a nonsense one, of course, if the others didn't have a good idea then she'd try hers. It wasn't like she could permanently die.

Christopher shrugged. "There aren't any bones around here. I can't make them dance."

Kade stared at the void not saying anything.
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Astrid


"What it means is that you were describing the Allfather, and he is... one of the original spirits of Christmas. I... thought you were insulting him. I'm sorry. Allfather... you might know him by another name. He is Odin." Astrid spoke even while she kept prodding the edge and frowned a bit more at that. Gods what she wouldn't give to have her mount with her, to be able to fly again. She'd even take the ability to shift into a swan at the moment as she looked at the edge. She wasn't sure what they were going to do at that point.

"I don't suppose anyone has a winged mount here, right?" She turned to look at the others.



Katalina


"So, you fought Santa, or your world's version of Santa? Huh. I forgot about him, to be honest. We... don't have a version of him on my world. Also I thought he was... y'know..." Katalina trailed off a bit at that point and then she looked off the edge of the cliff. She looked around to see if there was anywhere they could tie a rope to... or maybe they could find one of those ladders again?

"Kade, you're getting awfully quiet there."
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Alexander


Alexander winced at the mention of winged mounts. He'd been so close... but, he thought, this was no time for such things. They were stuck again. True, Julie would make this a trifle. Probably. Assuming it was actually air and not something else entirely. There might be a way to determine that, and find a path if it was there, he started considering, but it was a long shot.

"Well... hmm. Might be worth a shot, quiet down for a minute," he said as he stepped forward, as close as he dared to, closed his eyes, and listened for the wind. If this was a space it could pass into, he would hear it flowing that way, and if there was anything obstructing it, like a walkway or a tangled mess, with utmost concentration it was possible he'd hear the air whipping around and through it...
Hidden 28 days ago Post by Kirah
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As Alexander focused on the wind it was hard to tell at first. He could hear it, and could even hear parts of it being obstructed. But it seemed like whatever obstructed it didn't last long. Invisible....moving....platforms. Alexander would struggle to keep tracking them, but it appeared there was some sort of pattern.

"I'm concerned about this place is all." Kade's accent came out soft. He wasn't certain of what to think about it. This was a quest. They had lost one of their numbers, but it was likely they would lose a second.

Sumi still stood on the edge. She turned back to face the nothingness in front of them. "We have to get there. We have to get to the knot."
Hidden 24 days ago Post by kittyluna45
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Astrid


Astrid sighed a bit at that as she leaned in and gently poked the tip of her spear in the air in front of her and sighed a bit. She had to have some hope at that point, and she frowned as she wasn't finding anything but air. She did keep quiet as she looked over at Sumi and then frowned more. "I know we need to get to the knot... but I'm not sure how we're going to get there..."



Katalina


Katalina was kicking at the ground for a moment, and she sighed. She really did not like being up this high, and then there was the thought of they needing to go... off that cliff. It would be more comforting if there was water under there, but... she wasn't sure about that. So, she sat down on the cliff and waited.
Hidden 20 days ago Post by Saltwater Thief
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Alexander


"Oh you've got to be kidding me..." Alexander nearly swore as he figured out what was happening. "I have good news, and I have bad news. The good news is, there is a way across."

As he spoke he stood up and fished into his pocket for the apple core from earlier. "The bad news..." he said as he closed his eyes again, listened intently, and focused in on the closest disturbance where the wind was butting against the nearest platform, and he kept listening until he deciphered its pattern. Once he had that in his head, he waited until it was about to reach a specific point, and tossed the apple core out to land on the platform.

"Is that."
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The group watched as the apple core flew in a nice arc landing on seemingly nothing and then continued to move to the side.

"Oh, great, awesome. Moving invisible platforms." Christopher sighed and looked over at Sumi who was chewing her lip.

Sumi clapped her hands suddenly and faced the group. "Okay, here is the plan. Alexander is going to guide us as we leap from platform to platform. But first I need another candy bar."

Kade reached into his bag and handed over a new candy bar to Sumi, who almost swallowed it whole.

((How this will work is I'll have you each roll 3x for each character. If you roll a 9 or less let me know. DC 10 b/c of Alexander's assistance))
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Alexander


"Alright then," he said as got up, "I'll jump first since I can kind of tell where they are. Then everybody else can aim for me." With that he squared up and looked toward the first platform. He watched the apple core as it moved for a time, then when he felt confident in the timing he took the cliff at a run. As close to the dropping face as he dared he coiled his leg and sprang forward, flying out into the the thin air with his arms swinging behind him for momentum. His other foot struck almost right next to the apple core...! Only for him to realize that it hadn't landed toward the middle as he'd hoped it would, but had tumbled closer to the edge of the platform- the edge that his foot had found and was only halfway on it.

With neither room nor time to recover and redirect his momentum, Alexander first began to slip and then to fall outright into the abyss! His eyes went wide with surprise and his mouth opened as he started to fall, but as he fell below the fog it wasn't a scream or a yell that came out. Instead, acting on raw instinct and well-entrenched muscle memory, his hand curled into a fist with his index and thumb curled out almost like pincers and flew towards his mouth which swiftly closed on the tips of his fingers and released a shrill whistle out into the air. He hadn't even paused to remember that Julie wasn't here; when you fell into the sky, you called for your bird. It was second nature for someone like him.

But before he could recognize that his feathered companion wouldn't answer his call and admonish himself for thinking that she would, something else responded instead. A massive updraft suddenly formed in the air around him, slowing his descent and then blowing harder still until it was propelling him the other way, back up toward the platforms! With a great burst of air and mist he erupted out of the fog again and landed firmly on the platform, smashing the apple core under his shoe as it rolled toward the center with the force of the updraft. His breathing was fast and hard in the wake of the landing, and it took him almost a full minute before he managed to get himself to his feet again. "Holy crap," he whispered to himself before shaking his head. "I am never gonna get used to that sort of thing. Right then, let's make sure I know where the middle is here..."

He took a moment to careful plot out the platform with slow, wary steps, stopping when his toes no longer had purchase and then counting his steps. First in one direction, then the other, until finally he stepped to a corner and recounted from both sides to place himself as close to the center as he could. "Alright!" he yelled to the others, "Aim for me, you should be fine!"
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Hidden 15 days ago Post by kittyluna45
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Katalina


"Ugh I hate heights but fine!" The former water creature frowned as she looked over at Alexander and then sighed as she watched Alexander crossed the invisible platforms at that point... and she let out a squeak as he nearly fell off of one. God she already hated heights, but here she was, standing by as she watched Alexander about to fall to his death and she couldn't do a damned thing about it. Thankfully it seemed that Alexander could catch himself and he got back on the platform.

"...Gods of the Oceans... protect me." Katalina went to take the first step, making a jump towards the platform, but she was use to jumping in the ocean so... she misjudged her jump and her foot slipped off the edge of the platform. Thankfully, Alexander grabbed her hand and then helped her up. "Thanks Alex..." She squeaked out and then headed to the other side after he helped her up. "Ugh I really hate heights... next quest can we please go to the ocean or something like that?"



Astrid


Astrid watched, blinking a bit as both Alexander and Katalina crossed the platform with a bit of difficulty. It would be so easy if she had VeĆ°rriddari... but well there was nothing she could do about that. She really needed to stop thinking about her precious mount, especially when she was so far away from him. So far away from home.

After she was sure it was fine, she gently pressed the knot on her spear and it shrunk back to it's more travel friendly size, and she put it back around her neck. "Alright then..." She gently hopped from the cliff to the first platform with no trouble. Soon she was across and standing right before were the knot of energy was. "We're here..."
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Hidden 13 days ago Post by Kirah
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Sumi was quick to follow, jumping easily from platform to platform after Alexander until they were safe on the other side. She was in good shape, especially for someone who lived off of sugar. Sumi had always been fairly athletic though, and while good with her hands this was a breeze for her.

Christopher followed next, slipping, but he felt a draft pick him up and save him from falling endlessly. He nodded at Alexander, thanking him.

Kade was last across. Maybe that worked against him, maybe it was just bad luck. He missed the first platform, but reached out and caught the edge of it. A draft of air picked him up and tumbled him onto the platform. After taking a few deep breaths centering himself he hurried after the group. He leaned against Sumi for a moment, shaking.

"At least there isn't a drowned god down there keeping you as payment," Sumi said softly. Kade snickered and then stood up straight.

"Alright, Astrid. Can you try to get it untangled?" Kade asked Astrid.

Energy started sparking around them and all the hair on the back of their necks and arms stood on end. "Quickly," Sumi snapped.
Hidden 7 days ago Post by kittyluna45
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Astrid


The Valkyrie stepped towards the tangle and gently pulled out her spear and extended it to it's full length again. She gently looked at the tangle, and then started to traces a rune in the air and focused. "Allfather, lend me strength..." She muttered at that and then she closed her eyes and focused as she channeled her powers.

There was the feeling of something untangle... and then there was a snap as if something was falling back into line. She stumbled a bit as she had not used so much energy/ power in a long time, and she used her spear to brace herself a bit at that point. "Woah... I... hope that worked."
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