Azure - the continent that is home to many. It is filled with lush forests, rising cities, busy ports, unforgiving deserts and dangerous volcanoes. It is a place that many creatures roam and live, some don't look much different from you and I, however some could be described as "Mythical" and "Strange". Many have speculated on how and why so many different creatures are able to thrive within Azure however the answer is more simple than what you might think; .
Magic is the very core of Azure, it flows and gives life to the great Kokinna Dentro, the celestial tree that is home to the dragon gods. It is magic that causes the water to move, the winds to blow and the sun to shine. It fills the air and breathes life into every living creature. However not magic is not always good, for some magic is used as a means to further their own goals whether they are good or bad. For human's, who do not inherently posses the ability to use magic unless they are specially trained for it, they see magic and grow greedy.
This is the entire cause for the Beastkin War, human's were greedy at the Beastkin's magic and wanted it for themselves - thus tearing down a peace that shouldn't have been disturbed. Men, women and children slaughtered in the name of "good" - innocents shot down in their prime all because human's couldn't simply live with what they were given. Two people who were once friends were now enemies thrown into a bitter war that seemingly had no end, even now after many generations the hate and bloodshed run as strong as they did back then.
The conflict between the two wages so strongly that other races were pulled into the conflict, some taking the side of the human's and some the Beastkin. Those who chose not to get involved fled to where the war would not reach them, hiding their families from an unnecessary death. The Beastkin War has shaped and defined many cultures and races within Azure, no one can even remember the start of it anymore. Why were they fighting? Is it worth it to continue? Is there no way for these two races to be friends once more? How many more should have to die in the name of a greater cause?
These are questions that don't have a clear answer yet however, even now as the sun begins to peak over the horizon, a feeling of hope still falls over the land. Hope that this war will not last for much longer, hope that no more will have to die, hope that once and for all Azure can be at peace.
The fate of Azure will rest on it's current inhabitants and the choices they make, the stories they create and the relationships they discover.
Welcome Everyone to Azure!
This is simply a small intro post to giver you a feel for what's going on, though it's meant to be a bit vague. For now I would like everyone to simply be doing their own thing in their own part of Azure, doing what they do best. Though do keep in mind that some of these character can and will know each other. Everyone should know about the Beastkin war, it isn't something that is isolated within Ghaba Medina or Kina City, it is spread all through Azure. While individual characters have their own say on who they support or not these are the current standings for who supports who race wise:
Beastkin Supporters Harpies Shadow Elves
Human Supporters Naga Wood and Light Elves
Neutral Angaria Fae Drakari Other Races (If you have made a race and wish to be in one of the above lists please let me know)
This is a vary open world and there aren't a whole lot of limits, however if you are ever unsure of something please do not hesitate to come to me with any questions you have. Also if you have anyone plot twists or idea's that may be good people either PM them to me or DM in discord. If you have not joined our discord please do. Post wise I'm not expecting novels but I'm not limiting you either, however I do ask PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE post at least a decent paragraph (I would love more) but I won't force you to write - Quality over quantity.
Also please do not post continuously, what I mean by this is you HAVE to wait a few posts in between your own before posting again. I want this so that two people don't go off on their own and leave everyone else behind. If I see that it's becoming a problem I will assign a posting order, however I hate doing that and really don't want it to come to that. Also please let me know if things happen and you cannot post!
That was the last directive deciphered from the garbled remains of the Prime Circuit, and Io had followed it since. Endless violence between Kina City and Ghaba Madina, and the nations surrounding them who profited off conflict. The Sentry had gathered much in their last month of activity, and now sought to gather more within the walls of the mountainous fortress-nation.
The sky was blue and bright, clouds splotching cerulean purity with their puffy, white forms. The sun beat down overhead, gently roasting the white stones that Kina City was constructed of. Masses of humanity could be found everywhere, and so could their ideologies. Posters plastered the walls, decrying the atrocities of the beastman and calling for the pureblooded to rise and defend their nation from the savage threat. Crippled veterans stood out on wide-open plazas, the Voice Stones tied around their necks enabling their fiery rhetoric about the immoral, deviant crimes of war committed by their mutant foes to echo through crowds of people whose opinions already aligned with them before this. Off to a corner, an ugly child, forced into a cloak of animal furs, was being beaten by crueller peers. Elsewhere, someone peddled magical tools bearing the mark of Ghaba Madina, having liberated them from a caravan a few days past.
Io closed their eyes, briefly. They remembered that caravan. Crows chewing intestines, the shattered husk of a carriage left to rot and rust on the bottom of a valley.
They opened them again, recording the face of the merchant, the crowds of prospective customers they drew in. Then turned and walked off. The Hope District was meaningless, the Light District was toothless. If one were to follow violence and vice, the Dark District was the only way to go.
The buildings became taller and the streets narrower. Even in midday, long shadows were cast over the roads and alleyways, the sky becoming slivers amongst the desiccated cesspool that was the Dark District. This was the endpoint of wealth and affluence, the rotten underbelly of prosperity. Io took it all in, their senses sharp enough to draw in all that the district’s citizens have grown numb to. White sheets dried in the stale air, but they’d never be clean, not where it mattered. Children in the body of grown men picked fights with wild abandoned, spitting out teeth as onlookers laughed. Merchants and customers would slit each other’s throats alike if they knew they could get away with it. A degraded noble rocked quietly against a piss-stained wall, thin rags hiding their emaciated frame but doing little to hide the stench of the parasites chewing away their insides.
Io did not shy away from this either. They continued to observe, their green hair flat against their back, their glowing eyes boring into the skulls of all those that required further observation. None of them looked like they would like to be remembered, but the Sentry didn’t care either.
The nature-infested nation of Ghaba Madina was much nicer, much brighter, much softer. There would be no answers there. A war born had not been born there. No, it was within this melting pot of greed and sadism that a greater conflict had been wrought. Io took it all in. This was where the origin must be. Now, to find i-
A bottle shattered against the back of their head, lukewarm alcohol spilling over their head.
Behind him, a muscled human, a prior target of observation, shouted incoherently at Io, still brandish the weapon, now much more lethal with a dozen jagged points. Io watched him, recording the stream of slurred words into their personal storage without decrypting it. Their Abacus Circuitry spun meaninglessly, feeding garbage statistics to their Logic Circuits, before Io calmly shut them down, and decided to refrain from action.
They’ve judged the man an example of irrational violence: willing to inflict it, but unable to inflict it.
Moments later, Io was proven correct.
A sickening crunch resounded through the alleyways of the Dark District as the man broke three fingers against the Sentry’s slim nose. He howled and screamed, the tantrum of an undeveloped adult, as Io continued to stare, recording his expressions for posterity.
✧ Location: ??? ☀ Interactions: Any ☽ Text colour: #91DB94
The wooden wheels of a small wagon clattered against the vast road ahead. Inside the wagon, the sound of glass jars clinking against each other could be heard every time the carriage crossed a sizable pebble on the road. In front of the wagon sat a green tiefling, horns curling to meet the sky as the rays of sun glimmered against the stained glass ornaments worn on her horns. It was mildly cloudy, but every once in a while the sun would reveal its energisizing precence to the traveller. Teya held on to the leather straps attached to the horse pulling the wagon, her mind entirely elsewhere. The tiefling let out a content sigh as she gazed at the clouds, letting her mind wander off to a plane far beyond this world.
'Hello, Dream Weaver. I can't wait to tell you about what I've been up to these past few days,' Teya's mind hummed against the soft wind. The tiefling closed her silver eyes, willing herself to feel the familiar presence of her patron. 'Travelling is amazing. I do feel a bit guilty for leaving dad's workshop behind, but on the road I can help so many more people. Besides... I feel like you have something big in store for me. Do you?' A crash from the outside world startled Teya back into awareness. There was a sound of wood cracking and jars clinking against each other violently, rolling against wood and being thrown off balance. The horse pulling the carriage stopped, looking around nervously. Teya sighed. "Please don't tell me..." the tiefling prayed, looking back slowly. "No no no no..." she groaned as she noticed the broken wheel, jumping off the wagon on the ground and examining the damage more closely. What had broken the wheel? As Teya glanced around, all she saw was the tall, old woods around her. There was no one else on the road, either. "Did you have something to do with this?" Teya asked the horse in frustration, not really serious about her accusation. It just seemed like the wheel had given out without a reason. Maybe the road had been too bumpy for the old wagon to handle it. The yound dream catcher couldn't really find another explanation. That, or someone was messing with her. The woods could do strange things to wanderers, after all. Teya walked to the back of the wagon, groaning as she saw some of its precious contents had rolled on the ground after the jostle. Crouching down, Teya gathered the odd jars in her arms, making sure the lids were still sealed tight and that no cracks were to be seen on the glass. "Don't worry, all the dreams are safe," Teya reassured the Dream Weaver as she placed the jars back in their area of the wagon. Her god had never spoken to her directly, but Teya had always felt her presence. It had comforted her in her early childhood when her father had been busy and she'd been alone. Teya couldn't really tell what she was following, exactly, but she did trust it. Looking at the jars, they were seemingly empty as long as you held them still. After they'd been shaken by the halt in their journey, however, you could distinctly see a faint smoke-like substance swirling inside. The color and shape of each smoke was unique, and Teya was sure to place the jars back into the right spots and under the right labels. Next the tiefling made sure that all the other equipment in the wagon was still there: the brewing supplies, the incense, the various dream catchers and supplies that they were made of. Nothing seemed to be amiss, which made Teya all the more confident that this had just been a random accident. Maybe she was being tested. "Well... there's really not much I can do right now," Teya spoke aloud as she wiped the road dust off her pants. She didn't have a spell that could repair a broken wheel, and she didn't exactly have the tools to do it manually either. The tiefling looked around the road to see if there was anyone nearby. "You wouldn't happen to know where we're at?" the tiefling then asked her horse, realising that she'd been so spaced out she hadn't kept track of where she was. The horse neighed in response. "I'll take that's a no," Teya sighed. "Didn't think so."
✧ Location: ??? ☀ Interactions: @Cio@Shard ☽ Text colour: #92278f
"Do you see the road ahead? Do you see the end? Do you see a hearth and home, Over yonder bend?
Can you hear the birdsong? Taste rain upon the air? Are we close to monster caves? Or saving maidens fair?
Are we close to stories? Or better; stolen dreams? And are we here to fill the gaps, Like stitches in the seam?
That sort of base excitement; The hand to turn the page, Of all my years in service, And purest wisdoms, sage,
I find that life is better With a bit less tell than show, I think that life is better, With all of it unknown."
It'd be wrong to call it a song. She spoke it with a nice sing-song lilt, but the words that left her lips, even in rhythm to that clip-clop-tick-tack of cloven hooves on treaded road, lent themselves much nicer to the realm of spontaneous poetry, or a sand mandala. It had its moment, was, and then was gone. Lost into the sunny weather and wind that the odd looking figure (and her shorter, much cuter travelling companion) were sharing with one another. It didn't trouble her that she didn't quite know what she was doing on the road, or where they were headed. She figured, in opposition to her job as a 'guide', that Umbra would steer her right if he had something specific to procure for his master, or some specific knowledge to glean for his mother.
No, Saranja was just fine with wandering. You had to get lost before you could be found, and it was the seekers and finders of the world that she was interested in. Hence her present company. Her robes were comfortable against her skin and in the weather, and though she had been advisedordered to stay armed and armoured on the roads, she had left it all within Tenebrae's walls and opted for her 'walking stick' instead. Despite the blindfold along her eyes, she was an expert nomad, and walked without issue on uneven ground, stray rocks and other miscellaneous naturally occurring trip hazards. Years of practice. Maybe a bit of healthy cheating.
Turning 'yonder bend' - there was no hearth, but maybe a travelling home. A bit less travelling and a bit more home with its current stop. Stolen dreams. Prophetic! Saranja beamed a smile to herself, and strode up and alongside, declaring herself quite loudly. "Three Fates guide and guard you!" She came to a stop next to the cart, facing the green tiefling with a friendly expression. "You'll have to forgive my worries, but being a wanderer for so long instils superstition in you - I wouldn't dream of passing by a traveller in need, lest I bring about misfortune and ill portent upon myself. I am Saranja, Seer and Guardian in service to Prince Umbra Nox." Letting the quarterstaff lean against her shoulder, she held one hand to heart and the other low, flat and to her side, in introduction of the young prince!
Location: Kina City, Dark District Interactions: IO@ERode
Liberated artifacts from Ghaba Madina. Liberated my foot.
Artificer Marius Hierophox had been standing over the subdued bodies of a couple of thugs. The Kina City Ministry of Order very rarely goes into the Dark District to deal with petty crime, but when the words 'artifact smuggling' and 'magic weapons in the hands of civilians' come up, its a big deal. A very big deal. A deal big enough that even the nobles of the Light District might have to sweat under the order of a judge if they dared buy, or gods save them, sell such contraband. This gang of miscreants were using their 'weapons' to essentially form a protection racket through the entire district. Apparently their weapons didn't help when a platoon of City Watchmen stormed their warehouse. Thats where Artificer 'Pox' came in. In order to access the dangerous technology they've uncovered.
Criminals with artifacts. Order was hard enough as it was with all the beastman propaganda getting everyone in a stink so that unfair policies could be implemented. There's a food riot, blame the beastmen. Taxes are up cause of those damn beastmen. It was ridiculous. It didnt even make any sense, but they were an easy scape goat. Easy enough that people in the city could treat each other like dirt to vent their frustrations. Gods, there hasnt been an engagement in years, were they even at war anymore?
Holding a Crystal Bracer in his hands, he adjusted his glasses, the spell within them assessing and appraising the device until he came to a rather surprising conclusion. "Its fake."
The boss, a huge guy chained up thanks to a restrainer golem keeping him tight. "W-wha?"
"I mean it didn't work during the attack right?"
The boss seemed both pissed and completely dumbfounded. "But I-I saw it. I used it my-"
"Oh, you probably did use a real one, but then you got a crate of fakes. Guess your seller also told you it had had limited uses so you never actually would use if you didn't have to. Frankly its not a bad idea. Someone brandishing one of these would probably make a lot of people think twice about resisting. And you were just using it to bully people into giving you money. We've seen this kind of thing before. Its not that uncommon."
The boss seemed bristled. "You're lying... he would never-!"
"No I'll show you." He put his teeth on one of the jagged edges and actually bit the supposedly indestructible crystal right off. He chewed it. "MMm... sugar crystals. Sorry, you got conned."
The boss' whole world seemed to be crashing down. "W-why, how could he-?"
Pox smiled down at him casually. "Real question you should be asking. Why are you still protecting him?" That is when the boss gave up. He'd tell the city watch everything... Pox was outside the warehouse on a pretty crummy street, the watch keeping the crowds from hanging out too long, keep things moving so there wasn't a riot all of a sudden from some frustrated people. Without the protection racket, it should ease some of the burdens here. Maybe people can find work... maybe. Sadly this was a story all too common, and the watch didnt look here more then they should. Pox was proud of his work, but also dejected. So much suffering and he was stuck at the top of it. Maybe someday... a few of his projects protected, maybe he could help.
He heard a crash of a bottle, some shouting down an alleyway. He sighed. Another fight. He wasn't going to let another person get hurt, he'd seen enough suffering today. "Just going for a walk." He waved off to the other watchmen. They protested that it was dangerous. "I have my kit. There shouldn't be a problem."
He turned down the alley and saw a big muscled man yelling at a boy... a- a girl... a kid. What the heck, a father beating their kid. He saw the man raise his fist and Pox ran forward. "Hey! HEY! STOP!" A smack uttered through the alley followed by a wailing scream. The guy just struck that kid! He ran forward without thinking, his heart and concern reaching out for- "Hey kid you-- you're okay." Pox seemed confused for a split second. Not even a blemish as he looked over his/her almost porcelain face. It was an odd sense of jaded malaise he saw, almost inhuman.
Then the man roared with pain much to Pox's surprise. His hand looked bleeding, gnarled, he clutched it for dear as he howled. Pox turned his attention to him. "Sir? Sir? Are you okay!"
The man spat through rotten teeth. "Ya damn freaks! I'll teach you to mess with me!" Through the pain he swung back with his uninjured hand.
Pox raised his own hands ready to defend himself when, there was a spray of whitish smoke from under the Artificer's sleeve into the man's face. Some kind of concealed aerosol dispenser... or something. There was a quick ruffling of movement under the nobles uniform. At any rate, the man seemed to stop dead in his tracks, slump down on his knees and then flop onto the pavement. Pox face twisted into one of disappointment. "This day is just awful." He commented before leaning down and taking a bottle from a satchel at his side. The mans hurt knuckle would have this blue gel slathered across it, disinfecting and helping to properly dress the wound. It was all Pox could do right now. Hopefully the man would get proper treatment when he wakes, and sobers up. Gods what a stink.
Pox stood back up and addressed the child. He smiled. "Are you hurt?" He asked concerned. "That wasn't your father was it?" There may be a social services problem here.
A creature of night, Umbra did not find himself getting along with the celestial body above, that of which surface dwellers called the sun. Indeed, the young prince, young for a fae, one might add, had been traveling along with Saranja, his trusted friend, for quite a notable amount of time, by this point. The sun was not an unknown concept, sadly, and thus, Umbra was often times forced to cast a spell which obfuscated him from the piercing rays of an unforgiving orb, of embers. It was a simple spell, one harnessing the dark energies within to create a parasol, of sorts, which covered the caster's frame. Taking the shape of a dim outline which circled the prince, one would sooner point out the black energies carrying him above ground. Why, pray tell, would a fairy prince dirty his feet upon the path of dirt, and muck? A ridiculous proposition, truly.
His garb would quite clearly depict the prince's status, with blacks and silvers intertwining and slithering together in a fantastical display. Umbra wore a black vest upon his scrawny, lithe chest, which remained buttoned in a noble fashion, hugging his torso tightly, but also, comfortably. In the silken fabric, silver decorations rowed the regalia, clearly an expensive piece of art. He would be honored to say, that he had tailored the piece, himself. Following suit, the prince wore a pair of baggy pants, inspired by the desert fashion of the southern pearls. They moved down to his ankles where they hugged the slender appendages, and left his paws bare, for why would he wear shoes? His four claws would make the feat quite difficult, and he rarely ever graced surfaces with his physical presence. They would have to make do with the mere sight, of him. "Is that a tiefling, I see?" Umbra tilted his head, clawed hands plucking the strings of a lute clearly made to match his clothes. Anything else would be unacceptable. "Well..," the prince began, turning to look at Saranja, a claw rising to scratch the tip of his snout, "it would only be customary to offer a meal, a song and.., oh, we have no castle, now do we?" The prince looked from right to left, as if seeking one, with little luck.
He placed one leg over the other and leaned back, in the air, as if he was sitting on a chair. No, a throne. The expression on Umbra's face would consider him bored, in almost all circumstances. However, this was not case. Indeed, the prince was merely cursed with the persistent state of a resting bitch visage. Lazily motioning towards the broken wheel upon their guest's, for yes, that was what she was, carriage, the prince rubbed his chin, in thought. "There might be a spell for this in here.., somewhere..," he began, rummaging through a shoulder bag he wore. From it, the prince produced a book, a grimoire, to be precise. "It's not made of bones, is it? Hm..," he continued to flip through the pages, tracing a claw across the magical runes inscribed on each. "Aha, here we go. Dark Mending," Umbra snapped his fingers, triumphant, "we will need the blood of an orphan, the locks of a virgin, the hopes of a child, and the sadness of a widow. Simple."
Clip clop clip clop... A sound which grew less distant with each passing moment. Sitting there on the edge of her broken wagon, Teya's curious gaze lingered to the road to see two oncoming figures. It looked quite fancy, as the tiefling would note in her humble peasant opinion. Well. Perhaps not quite a peasant, as she was the daughter of a dream seller, but Teya was not the wealthiest of wanderers for sure.
The Dream Catcher was met with quite the peculiar ensamble: a tall goat-like woman with wild, deep purple locks and a tiny beastlike fey creature in what seemed like fancier clothing than Teya could've dreamt of. It definitely made her leather bodice paired with a cottony white, drapey tunic pale in comparison. Even the stained glass jewellery she wore seemed to dim when put next to the peculiar dark creature. Prince Umbra Nox. A name which the teal coloured tiefling had not heard before, but one that was every bit as important sounding as the clothing the little fey was wearing. "My heavens, I was not prepared to cross paths with a royal and his Guardian," Teya mused in response, curious silver eyes big and searching. "You must forgive me, for I have little to no clue as to where I am either," Teya admitted with a sheepish smile, "and as you can see, my carriage is... more than a little worse for wear," she concluded. Looking at the goat lady, Teya now noticed her eyes were covered by a blindfold she hadn't noticed upon first meeting the two. This sparked curiosity in the young tiefling, a shift which was apparent in her expression.
Teya chuckled at the warm greeting, feeling a bit uncertain of how to act with a higher presence around, but all the while feeling like there was a meaning for this encounter. "I don't know about a meal or a song, but a help at fixing my wagon would be most apprecia-" the tiefling began, only to get interrupted by the fey prince who was already on it. As the dark fey listed the components needed for a successful mending spell, Teya's eyes widened in excitement. "Oh!" she exclaimed, forgetting her lower status, "I am... 80 percent sure I am in posession of the last two, actually! Would that help with the spell? Please, I really could use some help from a proper magic user," Teya pleaded, her tail swinging behind her as she turned around to rummage through some of her dream jars, looking for a label that best matched the description. Hopes of a child was an easy find, as almost every pleasant dream jarred from a child was at least somewhat hopeful. The sorrow of a widow, though... "Hold on, I'm sure it's here somewhere..." Teya assured as she turned around the jars, reading the smudged ink on the labels. Why was her handwriting so messy again? "A-ha! I knew a widow came in for a nightmare extraction at some point. Here, do these help?" Teya asked as she spun back around with two jars in her hands. The other contained a smoke-like substance that took the colour of a bloody red with a tint of sickly green, and the other was a nice pastel yellow substance. Teya looked at the two strangers - Saranja and Prince Umbra - with hopeful eyes and a spacey smile.
✢ Location: Kina City // Ambassador's suite ✻ Interactions: Any ❀ Text colour: #91DB94
A pale naga slithered across the silent garden, slow gaze following the outline of the endless blossoms on the trees planted there. Lady Amira was in Kina City for a sales deal that had been freshly made between Mizu Port and Kina City, but now the fair serpent could enjoy a rare moment of downtime in her usually crowded day. The private garden Amira was currently sightseeing was a part of the so called suite meant for the ambassadors and noble visitors alike from outside the big city. Amira quite enjoyed the luxury, although she couldn't help but feel a bit alone in the quiet garden. Only her two bodyguards - the pair always present but silent as stone - remained her company, guarding the balcony enterance like statues in kind. Lady Amira sighed and trailed her slender hand along the freshly cut leaves of a bush, mind wandering to a secret place no one could reach her from. The trade deal had been a success on both ends, and while that meant good news for Mizu Port, Amira herself couldn't help but feel a bit bored of her latest assignments. They were all boring trade deals or diplomacy visits that meant nothing beyond the public eye. It felt almost a bit stupid, to hope there would be some kind of conflict for her to be able to feel meaningful and settle it, but Amira couldn't help her nature. Moving further away from her bodyguards, Amira breathed in the unfamiliar scenery so different from her home. The two guards were an unwelcome presence nowadays, even if she needed them because of security. With them she couldn't help but feel even more alone, more disconnected from the world around her. More like she wasn't a part of something. It was frustrating, and while Amira appreciated their service, sometimes she wished they weren't there at all.
☼Location; Mizu Port ☼Interactions; Open for business ☼Font Color; 2E8B57 ___________________________________
"Ah, Good morning Echo!"
A woman called out to a small female, her voice ringing through the trade district of Mizu Port. The small girl looked to the woman with a smile, skipping over to the booth where the woman happened to be selling some small trinkets. Amber eyes glanced over the items for a moment before looking up to her and pointing at a tiny golden locket, looking to the woman who laughed lightly. "You want this? Alright, I'll even give you a discount since your such a loyal customer." Echo's eyes glittered as she quickly dug into the cloth pouch at her hip and pulled out several silver coins, pressing them into the woman's hand before taking the pretty locket with a large smile. The woman laughed and waved to Echo again as the Banshee skipped away happily, holding her new trinket in her hands tightly.
Echo moved the Mizu Port with very little effort, she lived nearby in the surrounding waters and spent most of her time here. She knew every nick and cranny. She could point to the best bread shop, the best place to get potions or where to get the tastiest fish. Everyone in Mizu Port practically knew her as well, she had been there for a very long time. People had gotten used to her and knew that she wasn't human - though they really didn't seem to mind. Many of them even saw her as a good luck charm of sorts; If you see the happy girl in a green dress then you would be blessed for the day!
While Echo knew all of Mizu Port she had a bad habit of not paying attention to where she was going and ran right into someone, falling to the ground. The golden locket slipped from her thin fingers and clattered to the ground with a small tinkle. "Look what we got here boys, think this could go for some silver?" A deep and masculine voice caught Echo's attention, when she looked up there stood three very large men who kind of looked scary. Echo quickly reached for the locket but one of them scooped it up before she could get to it. "Awe, the girly wants her locket back." The largest of the bunch laughed as he held it high in the air. "Gotta reach it first."
Echo frowned as she got to her feet and tried to reach for the locket but the brute was holding it to high for her to reach. She made some intelligible sounds as she strained to grab it from him, it only made the three rude men laugh. One of the elder shop keepers noticed Echo's struggle and called out to the men, "Leave the poor girl alone and give it back" The men simply told him to piss off and continued with their bullying, it only frustrated her even more. In a fit of irritation Echo pushed as hard as she could into the largest guys chest, apparently that was a bad idea because it only annoyed him. He grabbed Echo's dress collar and practically lifted her off the ground. "Watch it girlie, you don't want to make me mad."
the blonde girl huffed and used her feet to kick him in the chest, since she was already dangling it really wasn't that hard. The guy practically threw her to the ground in annoyance, she was so small she wasn't hurting him. It was like poking a large bear with a tiny stick. But Echo wasn't just going to let them take the locket, it was hers. She got to her feet and once again tried to take it back, failing miserably. It didn't help that she couldn't speak.
Kina City///Dark District An interloper. 181.74 centimeters tall, dull, blond hair, and indigo eyes. Sinewy frame, clear even through the uniform of Kina City’s civil servants. On reflex, Io sought access to the Greater Space, an infinitesimally small beam of light shooting through the back of their head towards the skies above. But access was not granted. Their credentials remained too corrupted to reach the archives within and cross-reference information. The crest was of the military, the details in the ironwork detailing his specialties. The musk of chemicals and black powder clung onto the man stubbornly, a shroud that could not be washed away even with soap and regular scrubbing. Far more potent in the air were the traces of a compound: powderized Yellow Earishill and vaporized Siltlight, designed to be neutralized seconds after being introduced to the air, but potent enough to knock out an inebriated man instantly.
Io rewound the scene in their left eye, repeating the sequence of motions performed until they could state with certainty that the dispenser had come from the disguised cufflink on the man’s right wrist, a small piece of a larger contraption. For an assassination tool, it wasn’t polished. For a policing tool, it was useful. They recorded the military man’s first aid as well, noting the focus on preventing infection rather than treating the injury itself. Practical. Efficient. No hypothesis necessary for whether or not Subject B was aware of the state of Subject A’s fingers. It wasn’t the first time those bones had broken, and it wouldn’t be the last.
Io focused on their nose, where blood and oils still remained from Subject A’s first and only punch. The foreign fluids dissipated immediately, absorbed into the Sentry’s form for continued analysis over the course of the next twenty three minutes. Though differences have been gradual, the make-up of human beings have changed over the course of the eras, and it remained their duty to take samples of and document these changes. The same could be said of the alcohol and shards of glass that managed to stick onto Io’s head; like blood and oil, those too were assimilated into the Sentry’s body with little ceremony. Craftsmanship was useful to keep track of as well. Not all trades progressed at the same rate of technological development, after all, while some regressed intentionally after reaching a certain level. Compartmentalization of Circuitry enabled multiple analyses to occur while maintaining enough to continue general observation duties.
Unblinking, Io shifted out of their mind and back into the world. Seconds had passed at this point, Subject B’s question lingering in the air. Accessing short-term storage enabled the Sentry to uncover the question that had been asked, but, as always, the Façade Decryption Module had difficulty with the myriad of muscle twitches performed in the span of seventy two milliseconds, and the process was manually shut down before it consumed too much processing power.
“No.” was the answer that arose after Io consolidated all the voices they’ve heard since coming to Kina City, fusing them all into a singular voice that at once old and young, masculine and feminine, wholly inflection-less.
And that was all that Io judged necessary.
Turning away, Io continued down the narrow streets.
The directive of the Prime Circuit echoed through their senses once more, and the Sentry obeyed without hesitation.
☥ Location: Border between the Erimos Desert and Ke'ano, on it's way to Ghaba Medina
☥ Interactions: Any
☥ Font Color: d3c28b
To those making the trip from the Erimos Desert to Ghaba Medina, no map was needed as the border between the two was visible even from a distance. In one side, a lush, green line in the horizon, a strange sight to those who were used on seeing only small patches of green on the oasis that sparsely dotted the arid and cruel desert lands. In the other, a sea of sand stretching itself as far as the eye could see, an unthinkable sight for those who were raised in the vast forests of Ke'ano. There was but a single road going from one to another, which consisted of nothing more than a few signs and stone markings in an unpaved road.
Other than the occasional merchant caravan transporting jewelries and spices bought from the nomad tribes to Ghaba Medina or the bandits seeking to prey on the same merchants, there were few who were corageous, prepared or foolish enough to make the long trip by themselves. Amongst those rare wanderers, a single Seshem calmly made his way towards Ghaba Medina. Carrying little more than his Khopesh on his waist and a small bag with a few supplies for the long trip, it carried itself with calm, dignified steps and showing no fear as it walked down the desert road by himself despite the gold decorations and the valuable Seshem armor it wore. While certainly a rare sight, those who knew even a bit about the Erimos Desert and the tribes that lived there knew that they shouldn't mess with a Seshem warrior.
Nefersetekh couldn't help but stop for a moment and look to the green sea that stretched to the horizon in front of him as he stood nearby the border between the Erimos Desert and Ghaba Medina. For him, it was a strange, yet curious sight. Even the climate was different from the arid deserts he was born. A few meters behind him, a single merchant slowed down his wagon to a halt, waiting for the Seshem to resume it's way. It had been following Nefersetekh for a good while now, voluntarily slowing down to match the Seshem's pace, seeking safety with the Seshem's company. After a little pause, Nefersetekh resumed his way, followed shortly by the merchant and it's wagon.
Taking a few strips of dried meat from inside the bag he was carrying with him together with a water skin, Nefersetekh began to calmly eat them, taking a sip of water between each one of them as he continued walking. The road ahead of him was still long, but from that moment onwards, everything would be new to him. Despite keeping the same calm expression, it was clear that he was intrigued by the idea of being on different, unknown lands. Other than that, he was definitely enjoying the radically different climate, compared to the extremes heat and cold one had to face to survive in the Erimos Desert.
🏮Location: Mizu Port 🏮Interactions: @Allycat 🏮Font Color: f26522, bc8dbf
It was early in the morning and the Meifeng sisters were almost done opening shop. Lin's street performance yesterday evening made a decent amount of revenue, and she was able to sell a bundle of good luck charms to weary travelers. Things at the port town have gotten quite busy as of late, what with all the political talks and the beastkin war going on. Fu wanted to try her best to stay out of it though, right now the main thing on her mind was taking care of her sister and the shop. Although, she did like the prospect of getting more customers.
"LinLin, how many charms do we have left over from last night?" Ask the kitsune to her sibling.
Lin clumsy shuffled through the shop's inventory in response to her sister's inquiry. When finishing she popped her head up from the crate she was looking in. "Looks like all we got left are some Laughing Buddha figurines and Dzi beads sis." Lin replied in a playful tone.
"Hmm...I may need to go out to restock this afternoon. I doubt my vendor's going to make it today." Fu has a vendor that visits the shop once a week to provide her with merchandise and useful info. Recently he sent Fu a letter saying that his visits may become less frequent for the time being. Apparently the Ministry of Order has a strong presence in the region where he resides and they've been enforcing trade and travel restrictions due to recent skirmishes with beastkin warriors. All Fu could do was sigh at everything, hopefully they could at least get by for now. "I'm gonna change the sign now, be a lamb make sure everything's organized would you?" Fu began making her way to the entrance while waving gently at Lin.
"Aye aye, sis!" Lin responded with a silly salute.
After heading outside to switch the sign to open, Fu heard an old man yell out something, she recognized him as one of the elder merchants in the area. She then noticed what seemed to be a group of three men bullying a little girl in the street. Nodding her head in disapproval, she had planned on calling the authorities to settle the matter, but upon closer inspection she saw the young girl was actually Echo. Echo was well known throughout the port, being a frequent at many shops, including Fu's. Aside from an obvious moral standpoint of stopping grown men from hurting a little girl, Fu was already not in the best of moods and needed to vent. Walking up to the men, Fu hastily made her presence known.
"You three must have been cursed with defects in the lower extremities if you think bullying that girl makes you look tough. Leave her alone and give back her trinket...or else." She said ominously. She shot a small fireball at the man who threw Echo to the ground, hoping to hit him right in the posterior.
Location: Kina City, Dark District Interactions: IO@ERode
And Marius almost immediately started seeing a bunch of strange things about this... well...
He immediately backed up when he suddenly got the overwhelming sense of the uncanny about this one. Maybe it was the blank expression. Maybe it the fact that they had no pupils. Maybe it was the way their skin seemed to absorb the blood, the glass, the alcohol in a way akin to osmosis, maybe it was the way it spoke in a few dozen violence to make one word. Whatever it was Marius made a face that was a mixture of abject fear, surprise, and utter fascination. "What the?"
Now, Marius knew automatons. Knew golems. Some of them were incredibly intricate pieces of technology. Magnificently sculpted to become a simulacrum of life akin to a person, save marred by time and cast of metal, marble, or reinforced crystal. These however barely had little more function then merely being an oriental piece. A piece of prestige to showcase. The automaton of copper, jade, mythril, steam, clockwork mechanisms, belts, gears, and orichalcum were less refined but much more common. Some of the war machines were truly siege monsters. Some of the construction golems could replace entire work teams, with a hundred other smaller refined models in between. Marius had a few such creations in his care. While having more functions, they were obviously manufactured. The product of an industrial, if primitive age as compared to the true marvels of the ancient world.
This kid... this thing had all the makings of something synthetic, like a proper robot.
Marius immediately ran after him getting in front. "Hold on a second!" Pox trying to get the new being to stop so he could get the faintest glimpse of an answer to the ten thousand questions. "You're not human are you?" He asked. "And I know that sounds very rude but you don't have any pupils. Thats usually a give away of not human status." If IO didn't stop, Marius would follow close behind even walking backward if he had too. "If you're some kind of undead, or fey, or magical creature, its okay, you can tell me. I know there's a 'war'-" he air quoted. "Going on but trust me, not all of us are war mongering thugs. In fact, I would consider it a great honor if you were to come with me to the- Oww." Having found something Marius did not fully understand, he was absolutely desperate to study her/him and back in the Light District would give him access to his tools and lab. However some one else had another idea.
The bird had been flying behind him and he back pedaled right into it causing the bird to wobble and then re steady itself. The bird fulfilled its duty, a little copper cylinder popping out of its back. Marius cursed. "What the heck, I've just encountered the greatest find in-" This has been happening more and more often, he had the reputation of moving around alot, and so, all manner of departments used him for various tasks. He tried to read the scroll as he kept up with IO. "Diplomat? Negotiate? Are the battles starting again?" He asked aloud, his eyes scanning towards the core of the city and the plateaus of the richer district above.
He'd then address IO again, trying to get in front of him. "Please, can I get your name and what you are? I've never seen something like you before. It would really make my day." He tried to be pleasant and polite but this was an unusually busy day.
Saranja wasn't able to stop herself smiling at the humble reaction the dreamsage had taken, as well as her readiness to provide in Umbra's intangible shopping list. "Would that we were of great enough import to offer you our own wagon, but we travel the roads on foot." She looked down pointedly at her hooves, and the paws of Umbra levitating off the ground. "In a manner of speaking." She took a pause for a moment, her gaze looking past (though not really focusing on anything) the green tiefling to glance at her wagon. "Not that I am one to trade in promises and bargains, but should we manage to fit the wagon to the wheel, may we share the road? If we are to be lost it is always better to be lost in good company." She tangled her horns into Umbra's own at that statement, as a quite obvious sign of affection.
Teya held back a look of surprise at being proposed such an offer. The tiefling looked at Saranja at first, then at Umbra, rather unsure of which one of them to address as she spoke. The goat lady was very much blindfolded, so would she even notice? Or was there magic at play? Teya glanced at her broken wagon wheel behind them. "Oh? Well, there's always room on my wagon, should you need a lift!" Teya assured, holding the two dream jars close to her chest as she nodded excitedly. "It might be a bit cramped inside, as I hold most my equipment and belongins there, but there's enough room for all of us," the dreamy tiefling added as she motioned to the back of the carriage filled with so many odd accessories and artifacts stacked up on each other that it seemed like a minor safety hazard. "Of course, if you were kind enough to help me I'd also offer you my homebrew dream tea. Or... perhaps an iced dream tea, as the weather is what it is," Teya mused. "I'm sorry, that's about all I can offer for your help..."
Umbra was quite surprised by the crafty tiefling, where she presented two of the most difficult ingredients, and so quickly. If honesty played a part in this, the fae had not expected them able to procure the required materials for the spell, at hand. As it was, Dark Magic revolved around life and death. Spells like the Dark Mending, which was described in Umbra Nox's spellbook, stretched itself outside the allowed confines of black magic. As such, it required physical ingredients to construct that bridge, one could say. No spell of the dark kind would manage a solution to broken objects, of the non-organic sort, one might add, without extended ingredients.
Feeling a tingle of warmth making its way down his spine, suddenly, Umbra rubbed his fuzzy cheek against Saranja, a response to her affectionate statement of physical proportions. She was a cuddly sort, indeed, and as the fates had turned, so was the prince. "Firstly..," the prince spoke, a playful lick of his small, pink tongue tracing its way across Saranja's cheek. "Coat me with a layer of surprise, I did not expect you to produce two of the ingredients, and with such haste," he spoke, scratching the tip of his snout. "Secondly, I happen to be in a position where I can..," Umbra cleared his throat, "expend a serving of virgin's locks," he confessed. "Additionally, I am unaware of this.., Dream Tea. Very well, you have intrigued me," the prince reached for a small, ornate dagger at his belt, under no circumstances considered an actual weapon. Drawing it, he cut a lock of raven, black hair from his head, and returned the blade to where it had rested. "Do you both happen to have life-granters still drawing breath?"
Saranja wordlessly answered the question by untangling her horns from Umbra, and then placing her hand onto the tip of his, dragging her palm down it roughly to bleed. "I am a child of the stars, a daughter of Fate, and while there are Three that still draw breath, it would be wrong to say they were ever a parent to me." She said, in a complete non-answer, though held her bleeding palm for Umbra to collect from. The blood of a seer, a satyr and an orphan, all in one! She wondered if that made for a potent reagent, or if she put too much stock into her own importance.. It wasn't as if any one of the three were too outlandish and rare, but the combination itself still made her smile.
It might have looked odd to the other two, since upon thinking about this, she'd spaced out a little bit, and was just holding her palm out while smiling brightly to herself as blood dripped down her palm and across her forearms. It contrasted with her skin in the same sort of way that the rest of her ritual markings did. "We do make for quite an odd trio, don't we?" She said, suddenly. She then frowned a little to herself. "My apologies if anyone else was speaking, I was away with the fairies, so to speak." She smiled at her own little wordplay, though her gaze once again directed to the back of the wagon. "I have so many questions wriggling under my skin. But they can wait. A rest, a mending and a journey will each do wonders in helping me refine them."
Teya chuckled at being able to surprise a royal. She would've lied if she had said the thought didn't spark a sense of pride in her. Hear that, my dearest Dream Weaver? I've impressed a prince, Teya spoke in her mind, feeling a familiar tingly feeling in response. The tiefling hoped she had made her deity happy, smiling despite herself. The conversation turned to the tiefling's tea offer then, and the prince expressed interest in that as well. Teya simply hummed excitedly in response, only to be taken aback by the goat lady using the prince's horn to pierce her own palm to get the last ingredient. Teya, too, would count an orphan now, she realised. Her father had died before she'd become of age, and her mother? Well... she'd never been there. But Teya considered herself quite lucky despite all this, having her patron there, looking out for her. The tiefling didn't remember feeling alone as long as the Dream Weaver was there, looking over. "How shall I prepare the ingredients I have? Do you mind them being jarred, or would that somehow disturb the ritual?" Teya asked Umbra all the while she was cradling the two jars in her arms. "I ask because... Well, nevermind that. Just... are you able to perform the spell with the ingredients contained?" the young tiefling wondered with a worried look, the jewellery on her horns clinking together lightly as she tilted her head to the side. Teya offered the two jars to Umbra, placing them with him gently. "Treat them with caution, they're sensitive... I mean, um, just... be careful," she instructed out of habit and maybe a bit out of fear. It was not often that Teya trusted any dreams in the hands of those who were not educated on how to handle them. Even if it was a prince she was trusting them to, it did make Teya nervous. She wouldn't want him to be sloppy and accidentally unleash a widow's worst nightmare on himself.
"They can remain, as they are," Umbra returned, as a claw extended. Dark energy began to sizzle, ever so softly, atop his digit, moving along every motion, as if the prince was holding a pen. He began to draw, in the air, a symbol. With the first motion, Saranja's blood levitated, and formed a circle around the symbol as it was being drawn. When the dark magician had been offered the two ingredients afforded him by the tiefling, he extended his remaining, free hand.
Mimicking the motions of the first, dark energy began emitting from his claw. In lamen's terms, one could consider it a sorcerer's ink, used to perform Dark Magic. It was what allowed the realms of Dark and that of Gaia, the earth they inhabited, to share a bond, for a brief moment as the spell took hold. The prince's claw lightly tapped its way onto the lid of a jar, and then again, and again. He was knocking on it. Eventually, the nightmare within was knocking back, wanting to be let out. Though he was asked to be careful, Umbra casually opened the lid, and the Nightmare flew out of its prison, slithering its way into Saranja's blood trail, joining the circle. This process was repeated for the opposing dream, the hopes of a child.
Finally, Umbra tossed his severed hair into the ritual, as he finished drawing the circle. It would be wise to add that the ambidexterity performed in this manner required many, many failures. Luckily, enough of them had happened, for Umbra to prevent further disaster.., otherwise caused by himself.
The strands soaked up every drop of blood, every fragment of essence, before at his behest, wrapped themselves around the wheel, putting the pieces together. It was, as if, the hair then melted into the newly repaired, and fully functional device. "There, we are," Umbra nodded, rubbing his small, clawed hands together.
She took this mostly in stride, though shook her head by the end of it. "So very different to the naked prancing in streams and woods that I'm used to for ritual magic. Whatever happened to good fey values?" She said, clearly in jest by the way the wide smile claimed her face so readily. She stretched out wide, a few cracks sounding out as she gave a soft flex and resumed her comfortable slump again. "You will keep an eye out for any signs as we pass by, won't you my dearest ward?" She said, facing Umbra. "While we are both very good at being lost it wouldn't do for us to be found by less endearing types than our wonderful dreamseller here, especially not with the precious things she holds within this humble wagon." She took a pause, then facing the green tiefling again. "You haven't given us a name to use yet, and I've learned that it's a social faux-pas to say someone's name before they've introduced it." She said, as if that made any sense whatsoever.
Teya observed the ritual from the side, silver eyes big and curious. The moment Prince Umbra opened the jar's lid, however... a little yelp escaped the green tiefling's mouth. "No don't open the-" she began with a hand outstretched, only to sigh when the worst didn't happen. The tiefling watched with careful expression as the prince completed the spell, mending the broken wheel completely. Still, what she felt wasn't joy, but a slowly fleeting sense of dread. Had it been in her nature, she would've scolded the young prince for meddling with things he didn't know about. He'd been really lucky, no doubt. "That could've ended so much worse, uh, your... highness," Teya supplied, breathless from the anticipation. Indeed, Umbra had been very lucky, regardless of how skilled he might be, dreams were feeble creatures capable of the most unexpected twists, especially in the hands of someone who hadn't grown up handling their physical manifestation. What had she been thinking, wasting dreams like that? For her own use, no less? Teya shook her head and put her hands together in a humble apology for the Dream Weaver, apologising for her foolishness. Dreams were much more valuable than that, and Teya had sworn she would treat them with respect. As Teya finished her apology, she allowed herself to move on and turn to examine the newly fixed wagon wheel with an admiring look on her face. "It's exactly like it was before, if not better! Thank you, thank you, thank you!" Teya sing sang, her hand skimming along the rim of the wheel. Then the tiefling paused, something not seeming right with her. The goat lady, specifically. "I'm sorry, ma'am... how- why'd you- did you call me a dream seller? 'Cause that's - that is, not what I do, or... In a way, I suppose, but... Oh my dreams! You are... a seer, yes, you mentioned! Pardon me. I am... Teya. Teya Dreamster, in your service," Teya introduced herself to end a long and incoherent monologue, doing a small curtsey with her tail perking up gleefully. "Would you like a refreshment for your troubles now or on the way to the unknown?"
Raising a brow at Saranja, the prince eventually managed a smirk, and shook his head. "Ah, my dear," he stated, brushing spindly fingers through the thickness of his raven bangs, "I shall aspire to view the course of magic, as it dances a path across my sight.., laid bare and freed of the obfuscation warranted by cloth." He would then shift his attention to the wagon, once more placing one leg over the other, as he leaned back. "Accompanying our new ally appears to be a decision founded in logic," he stated. However, as Teya began speaking to him, and appeared more than a little rattled, Umbra's expression remained motionless, as it so often did. Sometimes, it was theorized that he had the one, and on the best of days, different variations of it. "Chaos is generally fun, and quite the interesting playmate," the prince shrugged, thumbing at Saranja, "this one can see things," he continued. Then, he paused, considering his statement. That did not come out right, at all. However, he found it humorous, and left it. Yes, Saranja could see things. "A pleasure to make your acquaintance, and all that," Umbra Nox stated, gently rubbing his fingers together, "Teya of house.., Dreamster," he raised a brow, trying to wrap his head around the name. It was an odd handle, but quite the charming one.
"We should be on our way. I believe Mother insisted on the trade routes growing more dangerous, the longer you remain idle," Umbra sighed, rubbing his forehead, "and I would consider myself in good fortune, if she chooses to tailor a new dress, in lieu of calling for me.., again." The fae rolled his eyes, a claw idly tapping the dimly glowing, grey crystal attached to his bracelet. They could surely imbibe in Teya's offer for tea, while riding along.
"I meant no offense, I assure you. I did not mean to make you out to be some peddler of something so precious." She said, apologetically to the green tiefling, dipping her head ever so slightly. "Thank you again for agreeing to take us along, though I am a veteran wanderer there is only so much you can do before the hooves ache and the fur sticks." She held a hand to her heart, decidedly keeping the bleeding palmed one at her side, drip-dropping away onto the floor below. She didn't seem to mind. "I think we should indulge when we come to a rest for the night - not that I am trying to overstate our boundaries or indeed overstay our welcome, just that it would be difficult to do so while journeying on, and inadvisable to stay in one place on the roads, as both said well by Queen Nox and quoted by my dear Prince here."
Teya smiled in response and nodded softly, seeming to accept the explanation. She chose to ignore the Prince's attempt at figuring her last name out, just smiling at the cute confusion. Tiefling names were a very peculiar subject, one that not many others fully understood. "Well then, shall we get going?"
Saranja breathed out softly, and joined the dreamy tiefling onto the wagon along with Umbra. Maybe seating him on her lap.
"Aaah... I'm so hungry..." It had been a good week since Triko had left the confines of her cozy nest, shooed off by her mother for reasons she still didnt completely understand. While initially excited to see the world, Triko began to quickly realize the world wasn't as hospitable as she would've liked. She blew through her rations her mother had prepared in mere days, not familiar at all with the act of rationing. Sleep was quite hard to find as well. While the lush, verdant forests she flew across had plenty of trees to safely sleep in; they were a far cry from the warm, comfy nestings she had grew up in. By the time her rations had run out, Triko had to make do with whatever fruit she could find in the forests; which thankfully were plentiful given the temperate climate, but not as nutritional as a traveling harpy would need.
With no real goal to meet, Triko simply kept flying further and further south; until eventually the great ocean opened up on the horizon. It was as good a goal as any to fly towards and maybe take some rest, after all, Triko had never in her life seen that much water before. As she came closer and closer, a large port town caught her keen eyes; making for an excellent landmark to fly towards.
Of course, with hardly any food or rest, the poor thing was utterly exhausted. And while the details of the port town came into better view, Triko found her eyelids growing heavier and heavier.
"Five seconds... I'll just rest my eyes for... Five... Seconds..." The haggard harpy thought to herself as she closed her eyes. With exhaustion taking her consciousness, the now limply gliding harpy entered a quick descent; unaware of the rapidly approaching ground.
In the ambassador's suite's garden, Amira's thoughts would no doubt be rudely interrupted by a sudden cracking of branches of a nearby tree, followed by a heavy thud as a particularly colorful harpy suddenly crash landed into the luxurious garden; sending the brightly colored feathers flying all over the place.
Now dirtied, emaciated and with cuts across her face and arms, Triko looked up in confusion; her eyes growing large as Amira's guards were rapidly approaching the possible threat with their weapons drawn. Triko had never seen a naga before, but it didn't take a genius to understand they weren't coming to her help. "Ah! I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" The girl cried out, scrambling up onto her trembling feet. Dazed and confused, she turned around and tried to make a running start to fly off again... But her limbs felt like stone and her wings had obviously taken some damage during her fall. She could barely take four steps before she fell to her knees again.
"No, no, no! Please don't hurt me! It was an accident! I didn't mean it!" She cried out, scampering up to the base of the tree and curling up into a ball; her colorful wings wrapping around her trembling body in a defensive gesture.
Io reanalyzed their structure, referenced human beings in the immediate vicinity, and closed their eyes. It took only a moment to correct their mistake, and when they opened their eyes once more, there were pupils. Pupils that didn’t truly let light in, pupils that did not dilate or contract in response to levels of light, but pupils none the less. They stared at the male with those pupiled eyes, before continuing to walk, recording all that he said not out of obligation or importance, but simply for posterity. There was a ‘war’. Not all were war-mongerers, but from previous experience, the majority were. What was important, then, was to establish why this war persisted, and why this war had yet to truly erupt, even after decades of transgressions.
And though the myth behind the start of the way may be nothing more than a romantic lie, Io still could not reconcile it: what power laid in the heart of a beastkin? Things to consider, things to research. Certainly, the automations they had spotted in Kina City earlier that day weren’t powered by anything as fanciful and illogical as the heart of another creature. Perhaps Io will have to find themselves a beastkin heart after all.
A brass flicker, and Io turned around, observing the clockwork bird that had come to deliver a message. Inefficient design, but the aesthetics of humanity scoffed at efficiency. Adjusting their vision was enough to read the held-up scroll, everything reconstructed into their mind as details were highlighted for ease of access later on. A call to serve as an ambassador by Lieutenant Florence, addressed towards Lientenant Marius. Trade relations with Lady Amira of Mizu Port then? Or b- Io cut off their hypotheses and stopped. It didn’t matter. This individual was of greater importance than expected, and thus, this was certainly an advantageous encounter. Access to the Light District would be difficult otherwise, and opportunities were countless in delving within the Dusk District.
Rationality overrode directives, as long as the benefits outweighed the cost of disloyalty.
“No,” Io said, stopping in place. “Your directives are more important. Complete them before reengaging, Marius. Until you have satisfactorily resolved your duties, I shall follow.”
What was it? Lady Amira paused on her trail, her silhouette still against the soft light filtered through the leaves of the garden trees. Another woosh. This time, a leaf slowly descended from below, landing softly on the fair serpent’s head. How peculiar. Then...
In a flash and a blur, there was a heap of colours and feathers; all the hues of a rainbow, presented before Amira. It had nearly hit her! The naga gasped with a shocked frown before settling into a defensive position as she realised what the creature was. Amira moved back as her guards rushed forward, rushing past her with their spears pointed at the small harpy. The bird was saying something, pleading perhaps, but Amira didn’t want to listen. She hadn’t come across a harpy in nearly ten years, and it was not by sheer coincidence. To see one now… it… it brought up some painful memories the fair lady would rather forget for the rest of her days. So it was to be expected that she felt little more than suspicious of the bird’s intentions. Motioning for the guards to step aside without lowering their spears, Amira slithered forward, towering over the creature. It looked innocent, but looks… they could fool you. Amira trusted no harpy. Looking the cowering being in the eyes, Amira willed magic to help her coax an honest answer out of her. “State your purpose,” the serpent ordered with a cold, matter-of-fact voice. “Who sent you? The truth,” Amira specified, her tongue wrapping around the words firmly, almost in a hypnotising manner. The way she pronounced the letter ‘s’ in particular stood out, signifying her snake-like qualities.
Triko carefully peeked up from behind her wings, blinking a few times as the scary looking snake-people stopped approaching. “Ah! No… I didn’t mean to land here!” She cried out. ”I… I… I fell asleep! And… And…” The poor bird stuttered, eyes frantically darting between the three naga.
Sensing that she was at least out of immediate danger, Triko quickly got onto her knees and bowed her head. “I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I’m sorry!” She whined. ”Please dont kill me! I’ll be on my way if you let me go!” The poor thing’s stomach decided now was an excellent time to rumble loudly.
Amira looked at the scared little bird with a cold glare before sighing reluctantly. “She’s telling the truth,” the light naga stated to her guards. Not like she had any choice. Still… even after knowing the harpy wasn’t there with ill intent… Amira couldn’t bring herself to trust it. Just seeing the feathers and clawed feet made the fair snake remember things she’d rather forget. From Triko’s perspective, the bird would soon see the guards lowering their spears, and another one of the guards going to Amira to whisper something into her ear. Amira seemed to be listening before frowning and giving the guard a look, which prompted the guard to bow and apologise. After a brief pause, Amira sighed again, seeming to be in a battle with her own mind. “You are hurt,” lady Amira observed then, lowering herself closer to the harpy while still maintaining an air of superiority to her stance. She was trying - and perhaps failing a bit - to see past her personal issues on the matter, concentrating on trying to help the bird. “And, you are hungry too, it appears. Murai, please fetch this girl something to eat while I mend her wounds,” Amira ordered. The armoured, dark gray female naga nodded and slithered inside the building. Amira turned her attention back to the bird, her expression a weird mix of tense reservedness and gentle calmness. “The fall hurt you. Will you allow me to heal you?” It wasn’t really a question.
With the excitement dying down, Triko became painfully aware of her wing’s condition. Wincing, she tried to move them, but it was becoming increasing more difficult; probably hinting at several fractures. “Euhm… O-okay…” She cooed meekly. The way the scary naga-lady was talking reminded Triko of the Owls back in her nest. They too had a way of asking things in a way that made it impossible to say no.
Carefully, the little harpy shuffled a little closer. ”Ow… I’m really, really, really sorry, lady! I really didnt mean to crash into your pretty garden.” She mumbled. ”Oh! My name’s Triko by the way!” The way she pronounced her name was less like pronouncing a word, but more a bird-like chirp.
Amira kept her cool as the bird apologised over and over. She kneeled down to her level, her snake-like body curling behind her. “Not my garden,” Amira replied with a voice just a bit softer than the one she’d used before. She made sure not to look at the bird - Triko - in the eyes. She didn’t want to face the harpy’s gaze. “Now… Triko,” Amira repeated the name in her thick naga accent, “This may sting a bit.” A nearby garden fountain’s water began glowing and floating towards Amira. Her gray eyes lit up in a ghostly glow, the water circling around her palms as she whispered some words in naga. Then Amira pressed her hands to the wounds on the winds, causing the glowing water to enter the wounds and fractures, healing them slowly. ”You should be feeling better in a few hours.”
The harpy’s eyes widened as she watched the swirl of magic lazily float over towards her. ”Whoaaaaaa! You know magic?” She cooed excitedly, because letting out a quick yelp as the cold water worked its way past her feathers and into the damaged areas. Biting her lower lip, Triko squirmed and whimpered; tears welling up in her eyes as the healing magic began the painful process of mending her broken bones.
Triko looked back up at Amira with big, wet eyes. ”Mn... T-thank you!” She managed to chirp in between sniffles.
“Not so much magic as just… this and that,” Amira replied as she concentrated on finishing the healing. Just as she was wrapping up, the other naga guard returned with a hesitant look and a piece of bread: “I uh… milady, I didn’t know what uh… harpies eat, so I just thought… bread is kind of like seeds and birds eat seeds, right?” Amira bit her lip to keep from smiling at the guard’s lack of knowledge. “Thank you. Do you eat bread, Triko?” Amira asked the rainbow creature, reaching up to receive the bread and giving it to Triko.
Triko eagerly nodded her head, her stomach rumbling loudly. “Mmhmm! I like bread!” She chirped happily, before eagerly digging into the offered piece. Even if it was just plain bread, after days of just fruit, it felt great to finally eat something hearty. The piece was gone within seconds.
“Aaaah, so much better!” The harpy cooed, smiling up innocently at the towering naga. “Thanks! Pretty snake-lady!” Even her wings started to hurt less, though it would definitely be some time before she’d be able to take off again.
Amira was used to hearing compliments, but they were usually empty words. Hearing Triko eat the bread with such joy and then thank her with such innocence, however… it made it very hard for Amira not to grow a soft spot. Maybe the harpykind had changed in ten years. Maybe. Or maybe this particular harpy was just something else. She certainly had the most colourful rainbow feathers. ”I... You’re welcome,” she simply answered with a small smile neither of the guards saw. After being so immersed in her work for years, it was nice to actually help someone.
Marius interactions with this odd being can only be described as a child trying to converse with a rather interesting bit of wall and for a moment he figured he was being flat out ignored, which wasn't even the being's fault. If it was some kind of sophisticated automaton or vastly intricate undead, the implications of it could be utterly vast. Maybe the beastkin had made their own automaton's as spies. Maybe this was a kind of weapon seeking out weaknesses in the city. An assassin that currently was on a mission. In any case, Marius could be utterly ignored, he wasn't part of the creation's programming.
In typical fashion, Marius' paranoia and gut instincts were utterly eclipsed by the ever present desire to develop several encyclopedias on the subject and quite possible dissect it to see how it works.
The actual speech was a quite a shock. 'NO.' Io might as well smacked an ice cream cone out of his hands for how disappointed Marius seemed. But then continued to speak. The way he did, getting information about him, presumably by reading his correspondence cause Marius to hold the note flush to his chest and turn away slightly as if IO had been caught trying to cheat on a test.
However he did agree to come along. "Oooo-kay?" Having dealt with logic circuits before Marius did know how to, 'speak robot' as some of his peers liked to call it. But he just gave IO a warm smile. "Thank you for the opportunity! I will most assuredly make this worth your time. I might even be able to give you a tune up. Maybe even help on whatever prerogative you're on. It'll be so much fun!" He said getting back into a simply sunny mood. He walked towards his men. "Captain! Captain, I'll be off! Other fires to put out!"
KINA CITY Light District: Emissary Quarter
A carriage ride of the same questions to IO concerning his make, model, name, origin, power source, reason for visiting, favorite color, what they eat, could they eat, how they did that cool thing with their eyes; would make up the trip through Kina City. Marius talked... alot, even without answers.
"He-eh-she-eh, they are a guest to our city under my personal admittance. Hence why they are escorting me." As a state sponsored Artificer there were few places Marius could not go, and particularly cause his correspondence granted him the seal of his colleague from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Him getting into the part of the city dedicated to non humans, visiting dignitaries, important merchants, and ambassadors was not the problem. The odd inhuman that the guards hadnt recognized and without proper paperwork had the trouble. It was a minor inconvenience at worst.
Stopping before the embassy for Port Mizu, Marius walked out, and it was a quick walk and a number of questions later and his explanation for filling in for Lieutenant Florence when it came to reasons of diplomacy. He was given a folder with some of the correspondence between Mizu and Kina concerning. "Trade disputes?" The letter he got from Florence seemed like a much more dire need, but this was just Florence asking for a favor, carefully disguised as something much worse then it was. Marius sighed feeling suddenly tired all of a sudden.
He then met his first Naga of the day, one of Lady Amira's retinue. The story changed about why IO was following, now Marius claimed him to be his attendant. It made for less questions. Most Diplomats had attendants. And of course, Marius was asked to relieve himself of weaponry. He almost forgot he was still in his field uniform and probably looked a wreck. He quickly tried to fix his hair, a futile effort as would be getting the smootz off from the Dark District on his lapel.
"Lady Amira is currently in private garden." Advised her attendant as Marius was brought to a simple waiting room with luxurious couches nearby.
"I can wait if she needs." He stated, not wanting to rush anyone.
"I will go announce you. Please make yourself comfortable."
He nodded, a happy smile behind his glasses before he looked to IO. "I'm sorry, this must all seem very dull."
Out in the garden after the fiasco with the sudden Harpy, Amira's attendant would inform that "Lord Artificer Marius Hierophox, has arrived." Guess it would be time to get to work, or let the humans wait. They often times did not give Port Mizu the same courtesy.
Despite his long journey, when he had arrived on Ghaba Medina's gates, he found them close to outsiders due to 'internal affairs'. No matter how curious Nefersetekh was to see how Ghaba Medina was, he had no choice but to simply continue on his way. In a fortunate coincidence though, the very merchant whom he was travelling with was also barred from entering the city. Seeing the Seshem under the same predicament than him, he finally gathered enough courage to offer the Seshem a deal. He would take him to his next destination, which was Mizu Port via a small trading ship in exchange for protection during the time they were on land. Luckily, the trip this time wasn't as long since he was always inside the merchant's carriage and after that, a small cargo ship.
Mizu Port was unlike the forests Nefersetekh was. The cool breeze coming from the ocean was always present, as it was the smell of sea, salt and the most varied types of spices and products brought from all parts of the continent and even beyond by the merchants. Even though the strong smells present in the port were a bit too overwhelming for Nefersetekh's nose, the port was bustling with activity. With only a small glance, he could see people of all different races working together, either selling or buying things. Other than that, if one looked further inside the city, past the trading district, it would realize that the city wasn't just a 'trading hub', and instead had fancy inns, resorts and even paradisiacal landscapes.
Despite the people from Mizu Port being obviously accustomed to outsiders and people from all types of races visiting the city, Nefersetekh still attracted a lot of stares due to being a Seshem, a race that most people never saw in their lives unless they visited the Erimos Desert. Despite that, he simply continued his way, calmly looking around the city. As his sense of smell started to get a bit more accustomed with the sheer variety of smells, he started to gradually perceive and appreciate the many different scents, from food, spices and products of all types.
A few meters ahead, on the corner of the street, his eyes caught a particular scene, three adult men mistreating a petite, blond haired girl as she unsuccessfully tried to get back her locket. Despite not making mention to hide themselves or even trying to be discrete, there were few who acted up and tried to do something, instead choosing to simply ignore. Although things like that weren't nearly as bad as what happened in the Erimos Desert, where most of the times situations quickly degraded into a 'killing or being killed' situation, it still wasn't something to be ignored by Nefersetekh.
Before he could get closer though, a kitsune promptly put herself in front of the three men, demanding them to leave the petite girl alone as she threatened them. While it certainly didn't have anything to do with him, Nefersetekh approached the group. Without saying a single word, he stood behind the kitsune, with a cold, predatory gaze to the three men. Nefersetekh knew very well that things were much different there inside a city, than they were on the Erimos Desert. As such, he didn't want to have to resort to violence of any kind, as it would undoubtedly attract the attention of authorities and it would certainly become a problem, even if he did it for the 'right' reasons according to his and his race's creeds.
☼Location; Mizu Port ☼Interactions; @AzureKnight and @13org ☼Font Color; 2E8B57 ___________________________________
The men hadn't been aware of the kitsune until she spoke, her words causing their eyes to almost pop out of their heads in anger. Echo swore she could see the veins bulge on one of their faces. The three brutes straightened themselves to attempt to appear more menacing and took a step towards the fox woman, Echo's locket still clutched in the leaders sweaty grasp. "Look at this boys, we have a mutt trying to save the brat." Not even a second passed before a steamy yet small fireball seemed to come out of no where and hit the leader in the bum, he let out the squeakiest and girly cry. His two lackeys laughed softly and even Echo let out a little giggle, how could such a large man make such a silly sound?
The guy roared in anger and spun to face the Kitsune as if to do something, however a new figure made him stop. A massive dog-man who had a glare that could kill. The guy was obviously caught off guard and realize that he was under-powered now, what had been an attempt to take a small girl's trinket turned into something bigger. The guy let out a spew of obscenities and threw the locket down on the ground in front of Echo before he and the other two took off. Echo grabbed the locket with a smile and got to her feet, running over to Fu and giving her a very large and very happy smile. She nodded her head in appreciation, she liked Fu and her sister. They were always nice to her and they always sold the neatest things in their shop.
Echo made some gestured with her hands, it was hard to communicate what she wanted to say since she couldn't speak. The blonde girl then turned to the large man who had helped her, also offering him a large smile. Echo didn't see race like other's did, she didn't judge nor did she discriminate people based on what they looked like. She supposed that was why so many people liked her and simply let her do what she wanted. Echo tapped her chin for a moment thinking of how to repay them for their kindness before an idea popped in her hand. The Banshee held up a finger as if to say "Wait a moment" and scurried off. She was gone for only a minute before returning, two little gems in her hands. One was a Tourmaline and the other was a Tiger's eye. She handed the Tourmaline to Fu and the other to the dog-man, letting out a small laugh. Many people wondered how Echo bought things and why she bought random trinkets. What they didn't know was she lived in a sunken ship that had massive amounts of gold and that she had a tiny shack by the coast that she liked to collect things in.
❈ Location: A human village between Misu and Kina ❈ Interaction: None With slow steps, the angaria wanderer moved along the road, it was a pleasant morning day, the mist from a nearby lake covering the still sleepy land. Jaranda liked the fog, the humidity felt nice and she walked too slowly to mind the vision impairment.
As she crossed a bridge, she would see a silhouette moving towards her, soon seeing a rugged looking figure in leather armor carrying a knife. “Hello, it seems you are trying to cross my bridge, its fine, I just need a little compensation for…” just then did the man see what he was trying to rob, looking up and meeting the sap colored eyes of the towering tree angaria. “WHAT THE…”
Jaranda did not quite understand the human, was this his bridge? The wood looked older than he, though humans often claimed to own things that did not belong to them. ”Hello bridge...man.” she rose her arm to wave, but the man cowered at that sudden rise of something that could very well be a wooden club, Jaranda looked confused, wasn’t waving hands a symbol of goodwill?
“What are you?” the man questioned.
”This one is Jaranda.” she said placing a hand over her torso.
“No... I mean, what are you? You aren’t one of those beastman monsters, are you?” he said, slowly regaining his courage as he noticed the ‘tree thing’ seemed to not be on the clever side.
”No... I would not say I am not that, whatever that is.” she wasn’t used to such a term being used to describe anyone. ”I am just a person, and you are a human. No?”
“Why are you talking as if I was the weird one here?” he barked, before shaking his head. “Nevertheless, I need the money, now.” She tilted her head at that and he sighed. “Money, gold, gems, that staff you are carrying, everything you have.”
”Oh… This one couldn’t part way with these things, I have nothing to spare. It seems I will need to take another path.”
“Oh it’s not that simple, you have already used my bridge, aren’t you stepping on it?” he rose his knife “So come on, hand your valuables.”
There would be a long moment of silence, before the angaria crossed her arms. ”This one doesn’t get it.”
“Tisone is going to be in a fight soon if she keeps playing dumb.” As the mist started to disperse, more figures would be revealed, four in total, a whole gang of highwayman. Since the towering creature was still unfazed by it, one of the ruffians shot an arrow at her, while the other went for a stab. She was still unfazed.
Finally a bandit with an axe stepped forward, this Jaranda could see as a threat. ”Oh… this is a fight?” she had only seen other races doing this once before, she was not very used to the concept yet. Reaching forward with a sudden move, she slapped the axe out of the hand of the brigand with such strength, that it fell on the water a long distance from the lake’s shore. ”Hmm… Did this one win the fight?” she asked, unsure of how it worked.
The bandits were also unsure now, especially since the creature was so passive towards them, not aiming for any strike after taking away the axe. There was to reason for fight or flight, the first one to approach was also the first to speak, starting to truly understand that this one did not understand much about the human world. “Y-Yeah you did.” He said, nervously at first. “Uhm… So, you said your name is Jaranda, right?”
The other bandits looked confused at this sudden small talk, but they were already confused anyway. The angaria nodded. ”Yes.”
“So… you can cross the bridge now.” He continued looking over her. “But before you go, you said you had no money, right? Do you need work?” the other bandits rose their eyebrows and looked as if their partner had gone mad.
”Work would be good. Yes. Do you have some? I would rather not fight again though, it’s strange.” as she spoke, she rose her hand and removed the arrow from her arm, returning it to the archer.
Slowly, the cart moved towards the coast. The group of bandits still had a hard time dealing with the aloof tree creature, though no longer being rivals was a positive point, even though their master plan to get her to work for them didn’t go as well as they expected, they still figured out she ought to make a good distraction if they get approached by any sort of rival group or authority who might want to see if they have valuables or contraband. After that, the group was not so sure, but there were plenty of opportunities down in Misu.