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Hidden 8 mos ago 8 mos ago Post by VitaVitaAR
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VitaVitaAR King of Knights

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After speaking to the men about the grove and the rituals carried out there, the plan of action for moving forward became quite clear.

The Kyrnith preferred the burning of Kyr reeds and musical notes with wind instruments. Finding the latter was perhaps not the easiest matter, but locating a plant and striking a flame was far more easily accomplished.

As Nobu lead the way towards the sacred grove, she glanced back towards Misaki.

"You see, when opening negotiations with one who perhaps feels slighted by the other party, a show of good faith can mean a great deal," she began, "This is especially true when it does not appear that you are on equal footing. In this world, this Kyrnith has undeniable control over the forests. As such, we must demonstrate our good will."

The petite black-haired girl smiled.

"We must open with a gift of Kyr Reed."

It was a matter now of finding the plant and burning it, which would be more simple then any of the alternatives and ideally grant a quicker audience due to its speed. Surely, the offering after such consistent neglect would garner attention from the beast more quickly.

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Hidden 8 mos ago Post by PKMNB0Y
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PKMNB0Y Archer Inferno

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Ultimately, Misaki's rounds around town had borne more fruit than she had expected. As it turned out, wandering around was indeed a fair deal more productive than simply waiting for something to happen to her. The presence of salt was immediately noteworthy (though obviously she couldn't even think about taking any for herself), even if she couldn't exactly try to do anything industrial with it... At least, for the moment. Salt like this was probably used for more culinary purposes, anyhow; anything on a larger scale would require a bit more chemistry knowledge than she had at the moment. Could it be reproducible with time?

...Probably; it might be a good idea to check in with other natives in the future to see if things like glass weren't already being refined at a smaller scale to see if she could apply some more modern techniques to their production. Crystal-clear glass could easily be made a luxury if they hadn't already figured out how to produce it, at least...

What was more immediately useful to the foxgirl, though, was the herbalist's helpful crash course in local flora. Even if she didn't have any samples, the voice in her head (her gift, she presumed) was vaguely cataloguing things to reference later. Painkillers, mild depressants, coagulants... Even a doping effect. Needless to say, the matter of dessicating the plants or extracting whatever compounds caused that could prove to be a worthwhile path to pursue in the future, but if they functioned well enough in the same vein as Chinese medicine, then gathering them on a proper trip to the forest couldn't hurt. As for mixing them... Well, it'd be less risky to test that sort of thing once she had a stockpile large enough to consider experimenting with. She wasn't going to toy around with them like herbs from a certain survival horror franchise—at least, not for the moment.

To think that she would immediately be pulled away by Nobunaga to go and pursue a ritual to pay respect to the Kyrinth near the forest, though... Honestly, the foxgirl hadn't expected to be going out of her way to poke around quite yet, but it seemed to be a bit too late to stop the warlord-turned-small girl at this point.

That being said, she couldn't deny the logic in front of her outright; there was some merit to the idea of returning an offering long forgotten, and even if that failed, it was quite possible that she would have the opportunity to gather up some plants to use as well. Maybe examining everything in detail would also allow her to notice plants with other uses—ones that hadn't been explicitly shown to her by the herbalist. After all, herbs and spices were important for a reason.

"Kyr reed, kyr reed..." she said quietly to herself as she followed behind Nobunaga, eyes scanning the area as she weaved about the sides of the path they were taking in order to try and obtain that which they were seeking. If it wasn't readily available here, though...

Well, that only really left trudging through the forest anyways to find it, wouldn't it?

@VitaVitaAR@Rune_Alchemist
Hidden 8 mos ago Post by ERode
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ERode Inheritor

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Their commander was so young?

Isidore locked gazes with Fiacre. Talented then, or nepotistic. Considering the conditions they were in and the low moral of the men, however, it sounded like the former. Talented but unpopular, sent on a mission that was unfavorable to damage his reputation. Such complex politics only popped up later on in Isidore’s life, but it was easy enough to imagine.

“Not the storm,” he said, gazing back the way they came. “We were attacked by the Dirithen soon after coming upon them.” A twist of the dwarvish polearm told what happened afterwards. Simplified, convenient truths. Never a need to speak more than necessary. “Call me Isidore. My companion Augusta.”

More snippets of information. The beast, a missing captain, and the dwarven gates. Internal strife or external threat. Firebeard’s machinations, and the faction he lead. A pass blocked off by an avalanche. He internalized all this, then rubbed his shoulder. Despite Augusta’s healing the night before, it was still sore. Phantom scars, perhaps.

“Tell me about Rheane, the beast, and Railey.” A pause. “I’ll keep an eye out as we go further out.”

With luck, their rations would last until they came across the mushrooms of the Urutha. But if not, a contingency was good. His gaze swept the rest of camp while Fiacre spoke.

Hm.

None with the same breathtaking fairness of Augusta or the budding beauty of Leuca. Was his companion going to be outed on the merit of her heartpiercing allure alone? Isidore shifted his stance casually, interposing himself in front of the long-eared woman more. Maybe a mask would be helpful.
Hidden 8 mos ago Post by Crimson Paladin
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Novak

Novak's hunch about the mask was correct. While it initially resulted in the pitch-black darkness expected from wearing an eyeless mask, a vision gradually coalesced upon his eyes. As it grew clearer, Novak realized that he was seeing the temple through the mask. The mask's sight was colorless and didn't extend very far, but he saw things that he had been otherwise invisible. Orbs of light floated about the temple, and the floor underneath the idol glowed with the same silver light. When he looked at Lazhira, her tattoos and eyes glowed in the mask's sight. According to her, these masks were supposedly used by the Illuminator's priests to see the unseen, but she hadn't been able to use them. If it were not for the mask hiding Novak's face, it would be quite clear that he had beheld something quite strange when looking upon Lazhira.

For a moment, Novak thought about asking Lazhira about her connection to the Illuminator. She might be less keen on playing dumb if she knew that Novak had seen past her facade. Alternatively, perhaps he could question her later, alone, but that carried its own risks. And perhaps it'd be worth looking at Enli with the mask on, he considered.

Then it all happened.

On moment Novak was gazing through the strange mask, marveling at what he saw in it and what it might mean. The next moment, Leannah had decided to put his theory to the test, removing the stone from the statue and plugging it into the wall socket and demonstrating considerable dexterity in the process. Suffice to say, it definitely caused something to happen Something screeched. The temple began to rumble. A voice echoed in Novak's head.

“The pit. Offer yourself.”

Any ambiguity as to what the voice meant became clear as a hole opened up beneath the statue, sending it and Leannah plunging into a pit. It seemed that Leannah had uncovered the deeper part of the Temple that Lazhira had alluded to. Novak lowered the mask off, a bit alarmed at the voice, and very alarmed at a hole opening up and abruptly swallowing his companion. He rushed over to the hole to check on his companion. It was difficult to discern anything through the blinding light of Leannah's light sphere, but he at least was able to see that she was still moving.

"Leannah, are you okay? Are you hurt?" Novak shouted into the pit, hoping she'd be able to reply. His first thought was to use the rope to pull her out, or to lower someone if she was injured from the fall. Unfortunately, it seemed that the hole opening up was not the only thing that the stone had triggered. A disgusting-looking black liquid began to drop from the ceiling and form into hostile-looking animated blobs that began to slowly inch themselves towards the remaining group. If that wasn't bad enough, it seemed that the brush covering the temple had caught fire. It appeared that opening a passage to the rest of the temple was not without consequences.

At this point, offering himself to the pit might end up being the best option.

@Rune_Alchemist@Click This@Crusader Lord
Hidden 8 mos ago Post by Cu Chulainn
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Cu Chulainn Hooked Spear That Fishes With Death

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Malphas
Misty Temple
@Rune_Alchemist

Soyala's comment about meeting this Illuminator caused Malphas to raise another brow. Was this really the same woman who he had slept with the night prior, or someone else? Perhaps even his own affairs were manipulated by this strange being! What a nuisance, really. Still, Malphas chose to hold his tongue, as her continuous amicable nature would be much more advantageous for him to maintain later down the line.

Seeing the flowers laid upon near the tree caused Malphas's eyes to light up in interest. To see such pretty things laid bare, so easily attainable, brougut a smile to Malphas's face. There was more than enough for him to satisfy his quest! Before Malphas would begin to gather the flowers, however, he noticed another wayward creature alongside the flowers...

"Hold on, Soyala. I'll take care of our little friend here... Could you instead be a dear and trench up this tree? Fires are oh so unpredictable, and I wouldn't want its embers to linger onto our bounty."

Whatever Soyala chose to do, if the deer was left alone, Malphas kneeled down to it. He looked deep into the animal's eyes, a hint of sorrow in his own as a tear rolled down his pale face. Despite what people would believe, Malphas truly believed himself to be an emotional man. Many things would cause him to cry, but none of them were as severe as the loss of life.

"You poor, unfortunate soul. It seems you are far beyond saving, are you?" Malphas wept, wiping his tears away before looking onto the flowers. Approaching them, he made sure his gloves were placed on tightly before he kneeled down. Eying the waxy sap from one of the flowers, Malphas drew his dagger, cutting a piece of cloth off from his new clothes. He was already wearing gloves, but he wanted to be extra careful. After all, Malphas remembered his death vividly, and dying of poison was quite a painful, bowel-wrenching experience!

Malphas grabbed the head of one of the flowers, using his dagger to slice open the source of this sap. Once it poured out, Malphas quickly sheathed his dagger, keeping note of its envenomed edge. Grabbing one of his arrows, Malphas allowed the sap to drip onto the arrowhead, lathering it in the alleged poisonous substance.

Malphas then looked back over to the deer, his tears still welling up. As he did, he grabbed his bow and stood back up. In his eyes, his sorrow was replaced with a newfound resolve as he knocked the poisoned arrow back.

It was true that Malphas wept at the idea of death... Or at least, it was much more accurate that Malphas wept at the idea of a useless death. Malphas hated the idea of something so quick, so sudden, so depressing. Instead, Malphas preferred- no, was enamored by death through hardship. Much like those wayward souls in the temple, their death would be filled with heart! Malphas could only imagine their attempts at clambering out of those burning ruins, hungry for life at their last moments! It is through such hardships that humans could truly evolve past their weak and pathetic forms! It is through suffering that one could truly ascend!

It is such a reason that Malphas preferred to use poison on himself and his followers. Either they succumbed and died, or they survived and were uplifted, stronger than they ever were before! Now, more than ever, Malphas believed this to be true. His divine form would attest to that hypothesis, after all!

That said, Malphas did not wish for this deer to ascend, to become stronger from what he is about to do. Instead, he wished to accomplish his other goal, one that he had bestowed upon himself moments prior. He was the Torchbearer, one who used the Illuminator's light to reveal the knowledge hidden to the world. His bow was his torch, the poison on his arrow was the lost knowledge he sought to attain, and the poor deer was but another great bonfire he must light in order to bring himself enlightenment.

"Tell me more about this plant, by the way, Soyala... If an animal were to be poisoned by such a thing, would its meat become inedible?"

And so, Malphas let loose his poisoned arrow, aimed right for the deer's white furred core.

"If so, then perhaps we should find something else for dinner."

Awaiting for the flames of the temple to dwindle, Malphas sat cross-legged as he observed the deer intently. Was this poison fast acting, or would he have to see the results of it later on, after he enters the temple and obtains whatever it was that awaited him within? Only time would tell...
Hidden 8 mos ago Post by PaulHaynek
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PaulHaynek The Roleplayer Nobody Likes

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The Journey Begins


~ Dawn ~


Interacted with: @Rune_Alchemist, @Guy0fV4lor


"Kyrnith, tha Elder beast, not ah god."
Donovan MacConaill


"...What difference does that make?" Nick replied to Donovan's correction.

Lord Enli seemed shocked to hear that Nick and Donovan met with Kyrnith. Sounds like this deer go-- Elder Beast was more important in this story than he seemed although, Nick failed to mention that only Donovan managed to meet with the deity. Nick was only going off of what Donovan had told him about the matter. Then there's the matter with someone called 'The Illuminator'. "Illuminator? Wait, who's 'The Illuminator'? Is it one of Kermit's other names? Are we involved in a god-on-god fight?"

“If you wish to help, then maybe you should start with that old temple in the forest. Some other travelers already agreed to help, so perhaps it wouldn’t be a terrible idea to get their help. An odd Bastelian, a black haired girl and Kitsune from Chagawa. Quite a few to be honest.”
Lord Enli


"Hmm, I don't think they are what you think they are, my dude." Nick said to Enli before turning to Donovan. "Looks like some other people's working on this already. Are we still gonna go help? I mean, I don't wanna attend a show that's already over. You get what I'm saying?"
Hidden 8 mos ago 8 mos ago Post by Click This
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Click This Manchurian Imouto

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Narkissa Langdon


@Rune_Alchemist @Crusader Lord @Crimson Paladin

“Hm. Hmmm…” Lazhira’s answer to her question made Narkissa even more suspicious about the nature of this temple. Although she had her mild suspicions about what Lazhira was omitting herself, even she herself outright admitted that something was up about this place. In the meantime, Novak had found some sort of mask and put it on. Narkissa was going to ask about it, but she had specifically been sticking close to Lazhira for a reason, and that was the fear of activating something bad around the idol when the stone was placed into the slot.

A fear that, as she quickly found out, was very well founded when the entire damn idol dropped from the floor like a nuclear core melting down into the ground. Perhaps that could have been okay, but her foolish companion of a catgirl was still on the actual thing, and fell through the floor with it. Perhaps that could have been easy enough to process, but the same time, strange, hostile blob-like things descended from the ceiling… and to make matters even worse on top of all that, the temple was also on fire for some reason!

It was just about the worst case in a worst-case scenario they could get, beyond the entire roof coming down on top of them, and Narkissa wasn’t sure if that wasn’t yet to come considering the fire.

Thankfully, she was very wise indeed to stick close to Lazhira, although it wasn’t much of a consolation considering the mounting chaos.

“Dammit man, we need to think about ourselves for now! Fire! Blobs! I don’t think those things are going to be friendly!” She shouted after Novak, who was simply gawking into the void where the idol was. From what Lazhira was also blurting out, she was more than a little apprehensive about what the blobs represented. She didn’t like them at all… not even compared to those birds from earlier. Something told her that trying to beat them with a sword probably wouldn’t be the most effective. Their priority should be escaping, although Leannah, if she was still alive, was down in that pit…

Then, she had a wild thought. Fire. And, slimes. Weren’t slimes supposed to be weak against magic? At least, that was what the trope was supposed to be. Maybe. She’d also always had an affinity for water, naturally as a nature of her previous profession. Could she try to use water magic to solve all the problems here? Probably not, considering she’d never even tried to cast water magic during the little training session yesterday, but she had to try.

She prayed. Not to the Illuminator, or any other god that she’d learned about the past few days –they were all so very suspicious—but to the goddess that had given her a second chance at life. Because, right now, it looked like she and the rest of them would really need some help with that second chance.

“Better bloody hope this works, or I’m just going to be standing here like an idiot too,” she muttered under her breath when her brief prayer was done. Trying to take the scraps of Lazhira’s lessons into mind, she tried to summon water. And if she did, direct them towards the fire, and the evil slimes.
Hidden 8 mos ago Post by Crusader Lord
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Crusader Lord A professional, anxiety-riddled, part-time worker

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Leannah





What in the world?! Stick an orb into a wall slot, and suddenly she was now at the bottom of a pit. Perfectly ok really, but at the bottom of a pit with an odd black substance and otherwise. It was insane! There was a path deeper inside the temple, even, which was great! Maybe. Unless she fell into a monster-storage area. Not to mention the glowing white crystals were a nice aesthetic at least. Even so, when she looked back up the glow of something way up there where she'd fallen from was visible, flickering almost-...oh hell. There wasn't normal light up there, right?! So ah, was it the others still there? Did she set the place on fire somehow? Anything could have happened, but she had no idea until a voice seemed to echo down to her off of the stone walls.

"Leannah, are you okay? Are you hurt?"
That Other Guy In The Party She Doesn't Know The Name Of Yet


The catgirl stood up, doing her best to stand safely without slipping on the peculiar floor ooze. It wasn't dissolving her flesh, so that was one good thing at least! But she had no idea what else happened up there, if anything, as if pop culture on Earth taught anything it was that ancient temples and triggering mechanisms could have...bad side effects. Or just good ones. Depended on the place and movie really, so it wasn't much reliable information as much as worrying her instead.

"I'm fine! There's goo at the bottom of this that broke my fall! Walls are lined with crystals! Also a path leading deeper inside!

But I can't tell what's going on up there! What's happening? If anything bad just happened then you all can jump down here safely!!!
"
the catgirl shouted at the very top of her lungs, annunciating her words as clearly as she could as she shouted back, the echo of the crystal-lined stone walls carrying upward.

After shouting, the catgirl let out a small cough from the itch such top-grade shouting caused in her throat. What she'd give for some water, but after a second and a light thumping of her own back with a small fist she let out a sigh. She couldn't do anything from here, and hell if the others were dead already it'd be...well better to not think on that right now. They were a small adventuring party in an ancient temple, right? Ok. Narkissa seemed to have a good head on her shoulders, Lazhira had been here before, and the other guy-...actually she didn't even know his name. Never took the chance, which in hindsight was a bit dumb. Still, he seemed generally willing to work with a team without immediately backstabbing. That was always a good sign! Hopefully so.

The catgirl would walk over to the nearest bunch of crystals on the side wall, trying to see if she could find any little bit of crystal to tear off. Something that'd produce decent light for one catgirl at least. That is if she could tear a little off carefully, which was the aim she had in this action to be blunt. Would it remain lit after tearing a tiny bit off? Would it not remain lit after being torn off (if it did tear off)? Would she manage to collapse this whole place outright? She hoped the lattermost thing wouldn't happen, and at worst the second thing would. But it was worth a shot at least, no sense in wasting time with practical archaeology!

...Still, maybe the others would get down here if anything was REALLY amiss up there or otherwise. She was rather worried regardless. Then again jumping into a dark pit of goo might not be on everyone's list of 'things to do because a catgirl asked you to in an ancient abandoned temple'.
Hidden 8 mos ago Post by Rune_Alchemist
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Rune_Alchemist Absolute Depravity

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Dungeon Diving ho!~
@Crusader Lord@Crimson Paladin@Click This



It seemed their actions, or the actions of others had at least on some level created utter chaos. The foliage on the temple was burning, the blackened slimes slowly shuffled towards the group. Novak rushed to Leannah’s aide, attempting to see if she was fine. A shout up from her was any indication as any. Lazhira was inching her way away from the slimes, towards the back of the temple.

Narkissa seemed to have some other ideas, however.

A prayer offered to the Goddess that bought them here.

A simple, small thing, quite the opposite of Leannah’s grand prayer.



Not that Narkissa would be aware of these idle words of the goddess, for she was not one to directly show herself to her chosen should they call to her. Time however, would seem to slow for her as she watched something sparkling and shiny fell from the roof. A drop of the clearest, purest water she had ever seen. That only she could see. Despite the fires quickly engulfing the place, it fell, barely even being affected by it. A splash as it landed on one of the black slimes.

Narkissa would suddenly feel...off. Not bad, just...off. As though she was both hyper aware of her surroundings, as though she could feel every bit of movement of her own body, and see every movement of those around her. The attempt at making water seemed far too easy in success. A sphere of water formed, held together by raw magical force before it was launched towards the fire and the slimes. In fact, it almost came as naturally to her as breathing it felt. She felt as though she could potentially shape the water to do anything she desired at this moment.

The slimes were shoved back from the impact, but otherwise the two she had hit seemed mostly unaffected. The fire, too, seemed to be slightly quenched by the fire.

Yet...the slime hit by the drop of crystal clear water would roil, the slime on its surface shuddering and quivering as the foreign substance seemingly spread through its entire being. The soft sickly glow from within its core began flickering, slowly fading to a more blue tone. At the same time, its body began growing. Larger and larger, until it had nearly tripled in size. The bones too, seemingly had grown to match.

It lurched towards Narkissa, lashing out with a tendril of goo tipped with a sharp bone acting as a spear as it struk towards her.

“E-eh!? That’s!? R-really?!” Lazhira seemed mildly surprised by the turn of events. She seemed about ready to flee herself, now that they had six small slimes and a massive seventh one to deal with.

“...if you desire my favor...” As the events played out, those in the current room would hear a voice. A familiar, ethereal voice speaking to them from everywhere at once...but it was far colder and far less warm than it had been previously. “...then kill the monstrosity before you. I’ve given you a small boon, do not waste it. Or do, and die. Flee, and incur my wrath. I will be watching, little Narkissa.”

"I don't know what's going on Narkissa, but this is bad! Like really bad!"

Leannah at least would be more or less fine, safe from the chaos happening above as the pit she found herself in was well insulated, even slightly damp and cold. The oily, smooth goo beneath her feet wobbled slightly as she walked, her feet sinking a few centimeters into it with each step as it seemed to barely support her weight completely.

As she walked to a crystal on a wall, it would easily break off at her touch, and thankfully not dim either with the act. Seemed as though it may be a good source of light, if nothing else. That just left her with the room to explore, or finding a way back up to aid her companions. The only way out was a hallway, lined with various rooms it seemed.

Within each were more artifacts it looked like. One room seemed to be an old library. Another seemed as though it was a kitchen. A third seemed to be bunk rooms of some sort...wait. At the end of the hallway.

The rough silhouette of a human illuminated by a crystal. As soon as Leannah would notice it, however, it simply walked off further into the temple. It seemed the hallway branched into two paths. One leading to the left and one leading to the right. If she were to check, the one to the left, the one the figure had walked down didn’t have any noticeable features. Through the one in the right though, she could see a room, another pedestal with seemingly something needing to be placed on it.

...what was someone else doing down here? Should she pursue? Or should she wait for her allies - whoever it was might get away in the meantime.





Nobbu and the Fox
@VitaVitaAR@PKMNB0Y



Deciding to find an offering for the Kyrnith, the duo went about finding a Kyr Reed. Finding such things growing in the village however, seemed to not be entirely fruitful. Given the beach and the more flat, open area it was situated on perhaps that was no surprise. It wouldn’t be until they would find themselves near the edge of the forest did Misaki start noticing things of note. Most of the plants near didn’t have nearly as much medicinal or other herbal applications, as one may expect, but a few…



And nearby, would be the Kyr Reed they were looking for. It seemed as though this would be a somewhat fruitful search. An edible mushroom that may have wider applications, and some sort of...odd snow herb. It would be easy to gather these, if she desired, in some manner of quality if she wanted. A number of Sleep roots and red petals seemed to be nearby, too…

Whenever she went to pick the Reeds, however, she would find she was also not the only one that seemed to want it.

A fawn, with dark blue fur and white spots. It had almost been ready to eat the plant, but the moment it had noticed the two of them, it would jump back, obviously frightened.



The Roma Mob
@ERode@Pyromania99



“...tsk.” Upon hearing that the Dwarves were the source of the deaths of two of their men, Morgan’s mouth turned downwards into a slight scowl. Wordlessly, the one that had walked up a few minutes ago ran off back into the camp, shouting something about setting up a few more defenses if they could. “Maybe I will get to do something this time. Thanks for the information, Isidore. Augusta...” His gaze lingered on the elf for a few uncomfortably long seconds, but his attention was quickly turned back to Isidore as he inquired about Rheane and moved more in front of her.

“I’m no priest, but I’ll tell you what I can.” He turned to the flag waving in the cold wind. The serpent and star may perhaps remind them of Donovan’s own emblem. “We follow Prophet Rheane in order to bring order back to this realm. She claims to be the daughter of the God of this world and seeks to return the land back to the way it was before all the snow, ice, and beasts.” He smirked, shrugging as he said it. “I don’t buy the entire thing myself, but...well, Rheane’s power is real, and there’s just about nothing else looking after us humans. Well...unless you count that Moon ‘Goddess’.” He scoffed at those words, obviously not really considering her to be as such.

“As for the beast...its called Stieneter.” He shook his head. “At least, that’s what the dwarves call it anyways. I’ve only seen it a handful of times from a distance when it surfaces on the mountain. Its some sort of...giant serpent with many legs.” He made a motion towards the west. A series of rocky passes and snow laden ground paved a white path towards the sea. “We saw it only briefly when the storm started, Railey took off after it to make sure it wasn’t going to come after us. You’ll know him when you see him. Should be the only person out here in full armor.” He glanced over his shoulder, back to the camp. “If that’s everything, then I should get back to working out how we’re going to get ourselves out of this mess.”

Assuming Augusta or Isidore had no further questions for Fiacre, he would leave the pair there to ponder their next move, leaving them to decide where to go and what to do next. Assuming too, they would soon meet back up with both Octavia and Leuca, the small elf would worriedly greet the pair as they returned.

“Y-you’re back. Oh thank the Ancestors...” She greeted them, Octavia eagerly rubbing against Augusta, barking and asking to be picked up, leaning on one of her legs with her front paws. “W-what do they want? Did they say anything about Sorcha…?” She asked, hopeful that they may have divulged some information even if they hadn’t directly asked.



Wayward builder
@Guy0fV4lor@PaulHaynek



“...your odd manner of speaking aside,” Enli replied with a bemused smile. “You truly do not know? Well...I suppose the world is far more vast than we know so perhaps it is not strange.” Enli walked over to one of the aged scrolls in the wall, shuffling carefully through a few before deciding on one and walking back over to the pair. He unrolled the piece of parchment, showing the pair its contents.

Upon its old, faded surface was a stylized drawing of two human figures, an old man and a cloaked, dirty old hag. A white colored symbol, the same that Donovan saw on Lazhira’s arm and the same that was upon Enli’s robe.

“Locally, we know him as Iva’Krorh, the God of Knowledge. He illuminates ones path towards secrets, and gifted humans the first spark of knowledge and motivation to...create.” He frowned lightly, rolling up the scroll after they had a decent look at it. “...truthfully, though, people forget his domain isn’t simply knowledge, but the mind itself. When we say ‘knowledge’ we truly mean he’s the one that allowed us to think and understand the world around us, and the right to revoke such knowledge as well - but the cost of doing so was said to have driven him mad.”

He frowned, lowering his voice again.

"I truly do not know what is happening in Dawn. Only that things aren't...right and things are outside of my control aside from keeping the people safe..."



Send Feet Pics
@Cu Chulainn



“Ah? Alright. Do what you want.” Soyala shrugged. “I’ll make sure the fire doesn’t spread to far. The snow should see it doesn’t do too much...but stranger things have happened.” The huntress would leave Malphas to do as he wished, keeping weapon at the ready just in case something jumped them from the forest.

For most people, there would be a tangible feeling of apprehension for doing this. He coated an arrow in the plants toxin, posing a question to the huntress.

“Its particularly nasty, and most wouldn’t dare touch its meat after.” Soyala replied. “If it gets inside, it’ll kill you in an hour. And it’ll be the most unpleasant thing you can experience.” She glanced to the deer, the arrow piercing its furred hide. The deer yelped pitifully as the plants poison entered its bloodstream. “...I’ve been told by that Merchant, that certain people in Chagawa have developed a way to make it work near instantly, but she tells many stories and half truths.” The deer would thrash and cry as it tried to drag itself away from Malphas and the snare that had hung in its leg. More crying, thrashing and pitiful struggling as the toxin did its work.

More disconcertingly, however, was what else was heard in the forest.

A loud, mournful call echoed through the woods followed by a cold, melancholic breeze.



Eventually the deer would stop thrashing altogether, too tired and injured to even thrash at its fate as it awaited the inevitable.

“...if that’s done, we should get moving.” It seemed like whoever was in the temple may not be quite done yet, either. “Follow me. The abode of the Illuminated is close, but not within that trap.”
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Augusta had decided to stay silent through the meeting, keeping a false smile on through out, even when the acting leader was scrutinizing her. She really didn't want to start a scene here. That would be very bad. And she had doubts that they could take on a whole group of twenty people. When she and Isidore returned to Leuca and the faithful hound Octavia, she let her shoulders droop some. She could relax now, right? "Sorcha? No, but they mentioned a Stieneter."

Augusta kneeled down to let Octavia jump into her arms since the hound seemed to want up so much. She snuggled the dog a small bit before answer Leuca again. "Well, if Sorcha is a multilegged serpent monster then they did mention something about her, I suppose." She didn't know quite what Sorcha looked like, so it was a kind of funny joke she could make before rubbing her face against Octavia's to lighten her mood a bit. "What do you guys think we should do? Head into the maw of the beast and find that dwarven stronghold? I'm sure there are others there that might be a bit more receptive to us than that Firebeard bastard. Though, I'm sure the Elves out here would be a bit more receptive to us. Otherwise, your... Big Sis? Sorcha? We could try to find her." She mentioned all of that, but she was sure they didn't have much of a lead on how to get to any of those places.
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It was, admittedly, a bit more difficult for Misaki to carry everything that she wished to pick up, given that she had been unable to procure anything in the same vein as a bag or sling or... Anything of the sort, really. Maybe that was for the best, though; knowing her own curiosity, it might've ended up with her stripping the land of its bounty with reckless abandon. As much as expanding her knowledge tempted her, that sort of thing was only bound to cause more trouble; disrupting the natural ecosystem like that would be near-suicidal, especially given what they had set out to handle.

Of course, that did not mean that she wouldn't pick some up on the way back. The mushroom and the 'snowshade' were obviously worth picking up to investigate further (and if the mushrooms were anything like what she was used to, maybe a taste of home would be nice), but for the moment, reeds took priority.

The deer that stared her straight in the eyes, however, seemed to have other plans.

The foxgirl stumbled back for a moment, spooked by the sudden movement of the herbivore in front of her, before she shook her head and came to her senses. It was... Fairly surreal, seeing a deer with that sort of pigmentation; rather than being naturally born with it, Misaki could have easily believed that someone had simply painted over the animal's skin instead. That was that and this was this, though; in the end, they still had to obtain the reed. Given that the animal seemed to move away, though, Misaki found herself able to slowly move back up towards the plant.

Rather than staring at the deer, though, the foxgirl kept her gaze towards the ground, slowly moving forward to take a few stalks of the plant before moving away. Even if it was a passing tidbit of information, the young woman recalled a video clip mentioning how it was easier to film deer if they weren't being looked at; something about being considered a predator or something in that vein.

Hopefully that held true for these deer as well; if it suddenly bared a mouth full of fangs, then there'd be nothing left to do but run for the hills, after all.

@VitaVitaAR@Rune_Alchemist
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Named after a prophet, rather than a god? The corner of Isidore’s mouth twitched upwards. In every day and age, there was someone claiming to be the Messiah, hm? Donovan undoubtedly would’ve enjoyed this. Interesting too, that the Elder Beast Leuca mentioned seemed to be referred to as just a beast by the Acolytes, if there was an association between the two. Stieneter was another name though. So many names. Back then, he’d have to write those names down and work hard to memorize them. Now, they slid into the cabinets of his mind with an ease that would have been unnerving if it wasn’t convenient.

“Stay strong,” Isidore said as he turned. “If you meet a man named Donovan, tell him about your prophet.” He was sure to be amused by that.

With that, the dark-haired man followed Augusta back to where the others were hiding. Leuca, predictably, wanted answers about her sister, but those answers had not been found at the camp. He shook his head while Augusta responded, one eye still on the encampment they had left behind. “The dwarves are closed, and Firebeard's influence is unknown.” He paused, his gaze shifting further into the mountain. “While there's still light, we look for Sorcha. Start at the pass; all travelers would've funneled to that location. When the sun falls, we rest. At night, the Urutha's signs.”

He gently tugged the hood lower over Leuca's head, then shared some rations to prepare for the journey ahead.

“Leuca, do y-” Isidore’s gaze swept over her and he stopped. “Nevermind. Let’s move.”
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The Journey Begins


~ Dawn ~


Interacted with: @Rune_Alchemist, @Guy0fV4lor


“Locally, we know him as Iva’Krorh, the God of Knowledge. He illuminates ones path towards secrets, and gifted humans the first spark of knowledge and motivation to...create. ...Truthfully, though, people forget his domain isn’t simply knowledge, but the mind itself. When we say ‘knowledge’ we truly mean he’s the one that allowed us to think and understand the world around us, and the right to revoke such knowledge as well - but the cost of doing so was said to have driven him mad.”
Lord Enli


Enli explained who the God of Knowledge by taking a scroll and laying out the parchment for Nick and Donovan to see. The latter probably already knew him, but Nick could definitely use the pointers as this was the third god he'd known in this world so far. However, Nick was confused at the drawings on the scroll. Was Iva'Krorh the old man or the grandma in the cloak? Maybe they were the same person? Nick kept the questions to himself for now and allowed Enli to continue.

"I truly do not know what is happening in Dawn. Only that things aren't...right and things are outside of my control aside from keeping the people safe..."
Lord Enli


"Bummer. But thanks, anyway." Nick searched his head for anything else to ask the village leader. He then snapped his fingers when he remembered. "Oh! There's been other outsiders that came to this village, right? Mind telling us where they are? Are they working on this problem too?"

"And I've heard that there's a Lady Mie hanging around here? What's up with her?"
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Novak

Novak looked down the pit, and back up at the slimes closing in on him and the others. According to Leannah, there was a layer of goo at the bottom of the pit that broke her fall, and a deeper passage leading further in. Novak contemplated his options. He had hoped that he'd have enough time to tie the rope around one of the pillars so they might be able to climb back out, but that would be a risky proposition with these amorphous monsters in the room.

Suddenly, one of the slimes began acting strangely, shifting its color slightly. More alarmingly, it grew until it had tripled in size. Novak had no idea what was happening but he no longer had any interest in sticking around for things to get even worse. Could all of these slimes do that? Things were quickly getting worse, and with every moment the mask's suggested course of action seemed more and more appealing. Even if the slimes were to follow them into the deeper recesses of the temple, it'd at least buy them some time. Assuming, of course, that there was another way out of the temple through the lower levels, because if there wasn't, they could end up trapped down there with these blobs continuing to close in on them.

"Leannah says there's goo at the bottom of the pit that broke her fall," he shouted at he turned back to his companions. "I don't know about the two of you, but I'm taking my chances down there." Novak placed the bundle down near the edge of the hole, just in case there wasn't a way out through the lower levels, then briefly glanced at the mask in his hand.

Well, here goes.

Summoning whatever courage he had (although it was debatable whether jumping into a pit to escape a burning temple full of slime-like monsters constituted an act of courage), he jumped into the pit. He could only hope that Leannah's safe landing was not a fluke or an exclusively feline characteristic.

@Click This@Crusader Lord@Rune_Alchemist
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Narkissa Langdon


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To Narkissa’s stunned surprise, she found time slowing down to a near stop a moment after her prayer. Although the chaos of the flames and the slowly approaching slimes filled her vision, she couldn’t help to be affixed to a single point in the air, as a single, almost crystal-like drop of water descended from the sky. While she found it strange, the significance was lost on her as she simultaneously felt… something change.

She was suddenly ultra-aware of her surroundings. She could feel and see the flames engulfing the temple, licking and scorching the stonework. The slimes continued to inch forward, and she was acutely aware of Novak at the edge of the pit, where she could Leannah shouting from below. And to her greatest surprise, her magic was flawless. Forming a sphere of water, and releasing it as a wave towards the fire and the enemy slimes, which seemed to hold them at bay for a moment. As she summoned up some more water, she realized that it felt almost like second-nature to her, as if this was something she could always have done.

Narkissa wasn’t sure if she had natural affinity after all, or her prayer had worked. Her joy was short-lived, however, as her attention was taken by the one slime that had been touched by the falling water. Something was very strange about it as the water seemed to permeate through its body… transforming and mutating its already repulsive slime body. She immediately sensed the danger, and raised her sword just in time to deflect the bone spear that had shot towards her.

As she cursed like a sailor, she was stunned to hear the familiar voice that filled the temple. The Goddess had answered her prayer… but from the tone and monstrosity before her, in the form of a trial.

Filled with many mixed emotions, she grimaced as Lazhira panicked behind her. So, it seemed fleeing was not much of an option. It flew in the face of her pragmatic attitude, but there was the Goddess’s wrath, and Lazhira behind her… at the very least, it seemed her magic was alright.

"Shit, shit... Lazhira, and you, whoever your name is, I hope you two can fight!"

Raising her sword arm in a guard position, she tried probing the massive slime, while keeping her peripherals on the remaining slimes. Conjuring more water, she imagined a water jet, liquid compressed together by such force that it shot out like a blade or bolt in its own right, and directed it towards the roiling slime monstrosity. As she did so, she backed up towards Lazhira and Novak… only to see him peace out down the pit.

“You… coward!” she cursed, her situation getting worse by the moment.
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Leannah





Wait, was that-...ok now things were getting creepy. Someone was down the hall there! Well, a silhouette of someone lit by a crystal down there at the end of the hall. So one on hand she had a crystal and could at least see in the dark down here, but a mysterious ancient hallway filled with various rooms and a mysterious figure going down a particular path at the end was something. It all smelled of traps and puzzles and the sort, more so the first thing than anything else. Likewise she had no idea if she could get back to her allies, given the brittle nature of the crystals on the walls, and on top of that no idea if they would come down to her or were occupied with some other kind of trouble up there. It was a terrible situation at best, and left a bad taste in her mouth.

Mostly she just hoped the others would get down here as soon as possible, that the guy who'd tagged along with them would at least say something to the others if he decided to come down.

But in the meantime she could at least do something to scout down here. See where danger was, look for clues, etc, or maybe punch another zombie-experiment-thin in the face or such. Anything was better than sitting idly by not knowing what was going on. However, a particular fairytale did come to mind if she wanted to go explore at the very least. To that end, Leannah broke off some more smaller crystals from the goo pit wall, clutched in her left hand, and walked right to where the hallway deeper in began and the goo ended. Keeping her one good bigger chunk of crystal as a light source in her right hand, holding it up to light her way forward and keep a carefully eye and ear and so forth on the walls and ceiling and such, she kept her left hand full of the smaller crystals down closer to the floor. As she moved she began using her left hand thumb to gently push out the other smaller crystals out and onto the floor to carefully lay a trail of 'breadcrumbs' as she moved. Close enough to the floor they would hopefully not shatter and break, as brittle as the crystals were, but still. It would all hopefully be good enough to lay an easy trail for anyone else who fell down into the pit after her. If anyone.

In this manner, Leannah would move to go down the hall and move to cautiously and carefully enter the Old Library.

If she could get inside safely, she'd set the remaining crystals in her left hand by the open entrance of the room to free up her left hand and finally go about searching inside the library proper for clues, odd objects, books or such in good enough condition to be useful, and frankly if there was something like a secret switch hidden in there or installed on a shelf. She had no clue, but she wanted to be sure about this room and not run like an idiot. Let the figure down the hall walk off this time, she wasn't going to lose her life rushing like an idiot. It was a gamble to follow them either way or not, given how her gamble of putting the orb in the slot had left her stuck down here so far.

"I hope there's something interesting down here...in a good way, and for us that is...I just pray the others will be safe or get down here quickly," the catgirl muttered to herself.


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Malphas
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Having watched the deer's passing intently, the cult leader interested in its struggles. Its drive to live as it tries to drag its hooves to safety, its eyes filled with primal fear. For those brief moments, Malphas could only think of one thing: How beautiful this sight would be if he had used this poison on a human. The crying from the woods caused the hairs from the back of Malphas's neck to stand at attention, but he hacked it up to the wind playing tricks on him.

The note that Soyala made about the poison was quite interesting, and Malphas only lamented in not bringing some sort of bottle to preserve the rest of the flower he had tested out. Perhaps he'll ask thar merchant to connect him to the places where he could obtain this faster-acting concoction. Malphas was always particularly drawn to poison, and how it corrupts and kills from within. Having not learned his lesson the first time regarding its dangers, Malphas could not help but want to pursue such a craft once more!

...

"Pitiful..." Malphas sighed as he watched the exhausted deer finally give in. This was why animals didn't interest him as well. Their behaviors are sometimes too predictable, too basic... Nothing else interesting would come of it. "Finish the beast off, and lead the way to what was promised to us, Soyala." Malphas marched towards the direction of the temple, but not before firing one last arrow into the tree, to mark it for when he leaves. Hopefully this abode he is being lead to will at least have some sort of bottle or sack for him to place the flower into...
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A Heroic Trial
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The mutated slime creature struck forwards, the slime’s weapon being weakly deflected off Narkissa’s blade. The force was such that she would stumble back slightly, her arms and muscles straining from the impact. She could take consecutive hits like that from this thing without putting herself in danger, likely.

Quickly thinking, and sensing she had quite likely received some sort of ‘power up’ Narkissa focused that energy within her once more. A precise attack, aimed at the slime creature’s ‘core’. Water gathered at the tip of the blade, coalescing into a single point...a thin stream of highly pressurized water launched towards the slime.

Near instantly the water cut through the slime, the creature gurgling and screaming in seeming discomfort as the water jet cut through it, taking some of its mass with it. At the same time though, it would lash out again, a tendril of the slime slamming against Narkissa’s side just as she said something about Novak being a coward, cutting off the end of her sentence as the force was enough to knock her to the ground, winded.

Strangely enough though, nothing felt broken or seriously injured...yet.

“Narkissa!”

Lazhira would help her to her feet again, concern clear on her face. She glanced at the slowly approaching slime, its body roiling again as it lashed out at the pair.

“...Ngh, okay. I didn’t want to do this. Don’t tell anyone I helped you though, got it!?” Lazhira took both her hands, a white ball of pure silvery white light forming in them. If Narkissa was paying attention, she would notice her eyes flash a similar color. She swung upwards. There was a crackling, sizzling as the creature immediately screeched in pain. Instead of hitting the two of them, it had instead hit a silvery, white hot barrier of some sort. It lasted only a few moments before fading. It recoiled from the attack, shuddering as it formed more tendrils.

“I’ll take care of the little ones, focus on the big guy! I-I’ll help if I can when its done!”

The creature was quickly reforming itself from its previous wound. Narkissa probably had to act fast if she wanted to permanently injure this creature.

Dungeon Diving ho~!
@Crusader Lord@Crimson Paladin



Leannah, instead of taking a chance of getting lost, took more of the crystals that she could carry in her hands. Leaving a trail of breadcrumbs behind for anyone following her so they could easily do so. She walked down the corridor, curious, but not running after the figure she had seen. Who else would be down here after all? Surely it was just a trick of the mind...or perhaps, something, or someone more dangerous.

She found herself in an old library. Like before, most of the books seemed to be weathered and useless, though perhaps there would be something useful to find here. So she would start combing through the books. Most still legible were written in unfamiliar languages. Most of Tthe ones that were writing in something she could understand, weren’t preserved well enough to be of any use.

Maybe if she had Lazhira or someone that could maybe translate…

It was when she was going through a shelf near the entrance of the room, would she perhaps, regret her scholarly pursuits.

She reached for a book, and there was an audible click.

The room rumbled, quaking and moving as a massive stone slab rock fell from the ceiling, completely blocking off the hallway from the outside.

She was now trapped in here.

Instead of helping kill the monstrosity, Novak instead chose the intelligent option, to flee. He had no idea that Narkissa was being coerced to fight here, after all. Would he help even if he did? Perhaps, but that was neither here nor there. He would follow Leannah down the room, and find the same safety she had upon landing. He would bounce lightly as he landed, the soft pliable goop that served as the pits landing. Now that just left where had his feline friend had gone. Surely she hadn’t recklessly started exploring this level by herself, did she?

There was the grinding of stone on stone, something slamming shut.

...seems she might have. Seems she pilfered most of the sources of light from the room too. A trail of the same crystals led forward. He would have just enough time to see the stone wall slamming shut some door. Leaving him with just what seemed to be a kitchen, a bunk area, and the pedestal room...



Nobbu and the Fox
@VitaVitaAR@PKMNB0Y





The fawn that had been surprised at Misaki’s and Nobbus appearance, cautiously watched as the fox tailed girl retrieved the reeds. It didn’t seem hostile at all, and perhaps it might have crossed either of their minds this might be one of the ‘deer’ they weren’t supposed to bother. But why was it out of the grove, in that case? And surely this fawn couldn’t be dangerous to her.

In fact, the small animal seemed almost curious about her, too. It lowered its head, making a call that seemed curious and mildly upset, before sensing that at least Misaki had no intention of harming it. It however, looked to Nobunaga, noticing her weapons and backed off a bit more.

But it wouldn’t leave entirely, no. The moment they would start to leave, it would start following them too. Unless they purposefully interacted with it, they would find it slowly following them through the forest, though it would also cautiously take a few steps back whenever they attempted an approach.

Eventually, whenever they decided to move on they would find the ground beneath them sloping upwards. A hill gently raising above the forest floor, the undergrowth thinning out and eventually fading altogether, leaving just a snow covered ground beneath their feet. Eventually they would find what seemed to be their destination.

A shrine carved from stone, had been erected near a cluster of trees. It was a simple construction. A single slab of stone laying upon the ground and a second erected horizontally over it. A clay bowl was sitting on the one laying down, and small holes had seemingly been carved into the area next to it. Kyr Reed was growing from the base of it.

The party could see in the distance, more of those deer too. Fully grown, though most were paying them no mind. Oddly, an old wooden flute had also been left behind on the altar, though it seemed fairly old and likely it had been there for awhile.

A sense that they were being watched would emanate through the grove. The fawn that had followed them was still watching from a distance too.



The Roma Mob
@ERode@Pyromania99



“...ah?” Leuca looked at Isidore curiously as he cut himself off. She didn’t ask though, and merely nodded. She wasn’t going to be rude and ask questions of those who had saved her life. With a general plan in hand, Leuca would follow Augusta and Isidore both, giving a bit more information as they walked, making sure to stay out of sight of the Apostles as they headed for the pass.

“N-no...Sorcha is a human.” She would say, eating some of the rations. “Steineter...I think its the Elder Beast I-It’s the one I mentioned earlier I think. I heard my uncle and the dwarves that visited us once talk about it. It eats the stone and carves these huge tunnels within the mountain. It really bothers the dwarves a lot with its size and the fact it eats stone, ores, and gems...but I don’t know much else about it…”

She frowned under her hood.

“But...why is it out here if it normally lives in the mountain?” She’d question, though she had no answer. The trio would soon find the pass. It was the easiest path to walk through the mountains...at least until they found how exactly impassible it was.

The path was situated in a valley, peaks of rocks and snow reaching into the sky. Why exactly it was impassable, was quickly gathered. A massive avalanche had completely swallowed what was the safest path forwards. The storm too, had likely piled foot upon foot of snow within the valley creating this massive wall of snow that would impede any progress forward from this way. Certainly they could attempt to circumvent it, but the mountainous terrain full of loose snow, rocks, and who knew what else would likely make traveling fairly dangerous.

The storm once more crackled overhead, rumbling thunder and skies creating a biting wind.

More notable, though, were three bodies.

Covered by snow, their torsos barely just sticking out of a snow drift. They had met their ends violently, judging from the stab wounds upon their bodies. Curiously, if one were to check the wounds their flesh would be burned. A quick check of their equipment too revealed someone had already beaten them to the punch. Anything useful had been taken.

They were most likely apostles, which meant...either they had retrieved their fallen comrades equipment, or someone else had.

However -

Octavia began barking, growling, digging and pawing at the ground beneath their feet. The three of them could see the snow under Augusta’s feet shifting slightly. The elf would have only a few seconds to react or move before insectoid mandibles sprung up from the ground, attempting to grab her leg.

Several more started digging themselves out of the snow around them. About six in total, from what they could see, but they were still too buried to make out what they were entirely.



Wayward builder
@Guy0fV4lor@PaulHaynek



“The pair from Chagawa have taken interest in helping. I believe they said something about trying to meet the Kyrnith themselves...” He replied to Nicholas, thinking. “I believe little Lazhira also took a group to inspect the old temple, though I urge caution if you follow her there. Its a dangerous place, and with the wild life being agitated lately...”

Enli turned his gaze towards Donovan, who went on to clarify more of what Nicholas meant exactly by the village was going to ‘blow’. He frowned deeply upon having the information relayed to him.

“...are...you certain? That’s what it said?” Enli took a moment to collect himself, obviously disturbed by the information. He would then go on to relay a bit more information. “...While we primarily worshipped the God of Knowledge, we also knew of the other Gods as well. The Goddess of the Oceans, Delpithi as you may expect. Much of the old worlds history was lost, but what we know of her...is that the monstrosities once ravaged this land, and she and the Goddess of the Underworld, Rifelshka put them to rest. Rifelshka stealing their immortality and severing their souls, while Delpithi drowned their corpses beneath the ocean and the land.” He would respond to Donovan with a frown.

“If...there is something relating to them and the god of Knowledge seeking to do something with it...” He shook his head. “I can not help much, but I do have some money as well as some sway with some villagers. The workshop where Bolcha makes arms and weapons, as well as the fishermen. If you tell Bolcha Enli needs the work done quickly, he’ll get to it in no time..” Enli would walk over to a storage shelf, pulling out a box with several gold coins. He would gather them up in a small leather sack, and hand them to Donovan.

“I’ll relay this news to the other travelers if they are unsuccessful with their meeting.” He glanced to Nicholas. “To answer your other question though, Lady Mie is a trader from Chagawa. She comes every now and then to trade wares as well as other resources. You can probably find anything that you might find helpful to this endeavor there.”

Unless there was anything else the two needed, Enli would take a seat in a nearby chair, seeming a bit tired and wave the pair off. That left them to decide where to go and what to do here.



Send Feet Pics
@Cu Chulainn



A swift cut to the neck, and the remaining life of the deer bled out on the cold forest ground.

“Of course. Offer still stands to show you how to use that by the way.” Soyala would reassert as she started to lead Malphas to where she was guiding him. The Illuminator wanted to play with him a bit, but she would take the more direct route to his actual temple.

Instead of heading to the obvious temple entrance, Soyala led Malphas away towards the back of the temple. Once there, she began walking in a straight line towards a small, rocky hill that was mostly obscured by the mists. It seemed like she might have been following something, but Malphas couldn’t currently see.

Whatever she was following though, eventually led her to a small cavern cut into the stone. She motioned for Malphas to slip inside first, and she would follow after seemingly making sure they weren’t followed.

“Make sure that honeyed tongue of yours is ready. The others might not take so well to me leading you here.” She’d comment, quickly approaching the back wall of the cave. It looked remarkably plain, save for an image of the Illuminator carved into the wall, a small hole in the center of its face.

Soyala placed the small carved stone into it. A low shriek, and the rock began to crack and...become transparent? He could see through it, another cave that eventually gave way to what looked to be stonework deeper within.

As soon as Malphas would step through however, he would find something unpleasant happening. A dagger being aimed right for his neck from his right.
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Given the fact that the deer didn't simply bolt off the second that she moved to take some of the reeds, Misaki found herself wondering how exactly the people of the village dealt with the deer. It had been surprised by her, obviously enough, but given that the only deer that she knew of that weren't anxious around humans had basically been raised from birth by humans, it wouldn't have been odd to see it run off regardless. Seeing as how there were hunters within the village and that meat hadn't been scarce in the least, it wouldn't have been surprising for them to have had a natural aversion to those who looked like predators.

Seeing as how the deer also shied away from her companion, it at least seemed to recognize that weapons were dangerous, though. That, at least, was a sign of at least some degree of intelligence; how far that extended, though, remained to be seen.

The fact that the deer continued to follow behind them as they proceeded towards the location in question only lent more credence that the deer was likely no simple animal; after all, despite being aware of the danger of weapons, the animal had chosen to follow them. What that meant, though, the foxgirl could only wonder.

The rest of the walk to the shrine had nothing else to note, and the shrine itself was about Misaki would have expected of such a place. The amount of deer in the area was striking, but what was more interesting to Misaki was how they didn't even turn to look as they entered the area.

"...Huh. What odd deer. I guess using Earth logic to figure out how to deal with them might not actually be all that useful, huh?" she muttered to herself as she moved up to examine the structure in detail. The feeling of being watched despite the lack of eyes on them (besides the deer they had just met, it seemed) was mildly worrisome, but at this point it was definitely too late to have second thoughts.

"...Huh. Do we treat the reed like incense...? Actually, given how fresh it is, how well would this plant even burn...?" she muttered to herself, looking over everything a few times before shaking her head. "Maybe the bowl would be the logical place to burn what I have, then? I don't see what other purpose it would serve here..."

With that, the foxgirl placed the reeds in her hands into the bowl before realizing one crucial problem.

"Wait. How am I supposed to start a fire?"

With that, Misaki turned towards Nobunaga, hoping she would have an answer. Failing that, it would probably have to fall to trying to make a fire with magic, but given how that could pan out...

Well, it was a risk that she wasn't sure she'd like taking in the first place.

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Narkissa Langdon


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Narkissa winced as the bone spear just barely glanced off her blade. Slightly overextending her reach to parry the shot, she stumbled backward awkwardly, feeling the strain on her body as much of the force of the blow was still transferred to her. Certainly, this wasn’t a thing that she could fight by constantly blocking.

Thankfully, her follow up was far more effective. Although she began to have her doubts fighting the liquid-like creatures with liquid-based magic, anything sufficiently pressurized was a potent weapon.

For a moment, she thought she had killed the creature completely through the way it took the hit, and was immediately caught out by the misassumption. “Oh shi—” Still screeching about Novak, she took the full force of the sudden attack and was smacked to the ground.

Lucky to not have cracked her head against the ground, she sputtered, her breath knocked out of her lungs by the blow. Surprisingly, however, it didn’t feel like anything was broken, and after a few gulps, she was able to hastily scramble back onto her feet with the help of her sword.

“Blegh… I’m okay... I think.” Distinctly remembering Lazhira having stuck around by her shout of concern, Narkissa took the risk and glanced over to the young girl, chuckling wryly when she did.
“I had a feeling you were hiding something,” she grinned. “B your secret’s safe with me. I’m just glad you have my back.” The strange silvery magic and appearance of her eyes wasn’t any sort of magic she’d seen so far, but it was useful enough. Narkissa wasn’t quite sure if she had attacked the giant slime or caused its attack to recoil in on itself, but it didn’t matter as long as it was injured further.

“Got it. We’ll talk after!” Unwilling to give up the initiative gained by Lazhira’s spell, she followed up her attack with another blade of super-pressurized water. Knowing that it wasn’t enough to finish the job, however, she tried to chain more spells on the end of it, intending to give it no reprieve. The best defense was the best offense, of course.

She reasoned that if Leannah had almost killed them all earlier in Lazhira’s house, then she could probably do better with the goddess’s ‘blessing.’ If she could instantly superheat that smallbolt of water as it broke the monster’s slimy flesh, turning it to steam while it was inside its body, then with no room for it to expand, wouldn’t it sort of… explode? Narkissa gave it a try.
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