Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by Heckno12
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Troe Revinah


The stink boat rocked violently as one of the attacking boats exploded. Shouts of panic were heard as those that witnessed the ship's demise had no clue how this small group had managed to destroy an entire ship...or if the same thing was about to happen to the other ship. The assault on the stairs lessened considerably as some of the combatants retreated to the other ship to find a 'bomb' that didn't even exist. Naturally this chaos allowed the crew of the stink boat to push back up above deck without much opposition.

Once they were back up in the fresh air Troe took stock of the situation. The panicking enemies were hardly fighting back at this point save for a select few. A man with a spear attempted to stab Troe in the chaos only to miss before feeling the wind mage's hand on his chest. Before he could even react he found himself airborne as a blast of wind launched him across the water and into a gaping hole in burning boat. Troe sighed, he wasn't normally too fond of killing people...yet these people had attacked them without any such hang-ups.

A number of the pirates still onboard had already laid down their weapons, though there were still a few trying to take control of the situation. Fortunately the remaining boat of pirates was also in chaos as they tried to make sure their own vessel wasn't about to suddenly combust like its sister-ship. The archers and mages that lined the ship before were nowhere to be found, it seemed that this battle was all but won by the actions of that idiot Kavius.

Troe sighed as he approached Samara and the aforementioned fool. He cleared a few of the distracted enemies that surrounded the pair, the remainders scattering as they still had no clue what was going on. "Get him below deck and tended to, I believe Mikhail and the others have the situation under control from here."
Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by Emeth
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Get up, Ashley.

...Leave me.

Lord Clive is here to see you.

Clive..? ...I know nobody by that name. Send him away.

Hmph. As you wish.

...

How long do you intend to mourn? It's high time you put the past behind you.

What does the word 'past' mean to you?

I won't spend the rest of my life looking after a useless girl who does nothing but sleep. Even if she only eats once in a blue moon.

Then, leave me. Like mother, like father... like the Goddess.

You speak as though you've learned something no one else has, but you've only just now learned what everyone else knows already.

...What?

Life is cruel. People are cruel. You are the only one who has your own best interests at heart. The only person you can count on is yourself.

...What are you selling?

If you cannot put the past behind you, then put it beneath you. Grow, evolve, transform.

So much so that the you of today wouldn't recognize her own self on the street. As though you were reborn from the ashes.

I have... no talents.

You have one. Do not deny it. Even so—if you're not good at anything, find something no one else is willing to do, and do that.

Like standing up for justice?

Like standing up for justice. ...If it pleases you. Though, the image of knighthood hardly suits you.

No. I'll do it my way.





"Uncle..." Ashley mumbled as she lay on a wooden crate, which was being used as a makeshift operating table for Aleria. As Ashley drifted in and out of consciousness, she picked up a few key pieces of information. The first being that, at some point, she had lost consciousness. The second being that, at some point, Aleria had removed the arrow from her shoulder and closed up the wound. Thirdly, that her mouth was full of the taste of iron.

For someone who had drunken relations with a barbarian woman she'd just met, she's surprisingly reliable...

BANG.

Ashley's cycle of resting and waking was ended by the sound of an explosion. She jolted to an upright position, which made her feel as though her head had just flown right off her shoulders and into the stratosphere—a predictable result of the inevitable anemia she'd just received along with her injury. If she hadn't been expecting it, perhaps she'd have really thought she'd lost her head for a moment.

"What in the seven hells... was that..?"

Ashley couldn't quite understand what Aleria said in response, but it did register—eventually—that she'd been handed a vulnerary, and was most likely expected to finish it. She'd probably be tasting iron for the next day and a half, but that was a small price to pay to get back into the battle quickly.

"Disgusting. ...Give me another," Ashley demanded, as though she were a problem customer at a bar.

By the time Ashley decided that the room had in fact stopped spinning, and only the ocean's movement remained, the sounds of battle had dimmed significantly. That was either a sign that a miracle had happened and it was time to press their advantage—or, as was much more likely, that their loss was inevitable and it was time to accept their defeat. With this dichotomy in mind, she slowly rose to her feet and threw her cloak back on, a bad attitude plain on her face for all to see.

I won't wait here to be claimed like some spoils of war, she thought bitterly.




As Ashley slowly climbed the stairs that had nearly sent her through the very crust of the earth and straight into the underworld, she took stock of the situation above. There were no longer any archers, and while there were indeed weapons on the ground, Mikhail's spear and Tonka's axe were still firmly in their owners' hands. Even more unbelievably, there were no heads missing from Ashley's Allies.

Perhaps the Goddess hasn't abandoned me just yet, she thought, without the slightest flicker of emotion on her face.

"Oi, Mikhail. Are you not finished yet?" she demanded, as though this miraculous victory were somehow utterly pedestrian to her.

The dripping condescension did not go unnoticed among their enemies, who were utterly terrified now. None of them had caught a glimpse of the moment Ashley had been hit, and they had no idea that she had been flirting with the reaper only moments ago—thus far, their only impression of her was that she was all but entirely immune to magic, and had apparently been so confident in her crew's victory against such an overwhelming disadvantage of numbers that she didn't even feel the need to provide her support. No, their leader had only revealed herself in order to complain that their crushing victory had taken a few minutes.

Perhaps it was the slow, dramatic way she walked, letting her boots hit the deck loudly to announce her presence—as she did while walking on stage—that gave it away, but Mikhail could clearly tell that she was in no position to be oozing this level of confidence. She was bluffing. Indeed, at this very moment, Ashley was doing her best to keep a stable footing and posture, and the intimidation factor was almost accidental.

"We surrender!" "Please, spare us!" the pirates pleaded.

"Pirates, pleading to a woman for mercy... what irony," Ashley replied with no emotion whatsoever—not even a fake one.

"But we're not pirates! We're mercenaries, just like you!"

"You became pirates the moment you fired your first shot. And this knight—who is not a mercenary, for those keeping score—has no mercy to offer to pirates."

"What kind of knight degrades herself to witchhood?! Or what kind of vile Lord knights a witch?! Is that allowed in our country?!"

In a moment, Ashley reached past her sword, deeper into her cloak, and drew another sword. This one announced itself not with the typical sound of a sword being drawn, but rather a flash of violet light, with some fragments of it flying off the sword like sparks and dancing through the air like pieces of broken glass. In an instant, the man who had pleaded with her for mercy had lost both his head and his defensively raised hands. As his decapitated, de-limbed corpse crumpled to the ground in a heap and quickly formed a pool of blood at her feet, Ashley gave the man who insulted her and Clive a moment to contemplate his fate before taking his head as well. She then returned the devilish-looking sword to the unseen sheath from whence it came.

"Sorry, but I'm not taking any more questions today," she said calmly, slowly rising from her stance back to standing upright.

"...Kill them all," she ordered, completely checked out—trying to sound bored, rather than tired.

Ashley could feel wet spots forming beneath the bandages on her arms. Her cursed sword had reopened old wounds—literally. She'd made a bad move, and she knew it, but thankfully it wouldn't end up hurting her too much this time around.
Hidden 2 yrs ago 2 yrs ago Post by dabombjk
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Earlier but not too early

With a smile Kavius looked Sam in the eyes, unable to stand and gasping for air, in pain with every other word he spoke. "Hi..Sammy..just..been..out..for..a..stroll."There was still battle raging, but everyone seemed to be doing their part or defending themselves. "Having..fun?"

Or rather, Kavius tried to communicate this. In fact this is what Kav would have said verbatim. Unfortunately after Kavius had pulled himself on board the enemy ship his gaze fell upon Sam who was in fact being attacked by pirates who had not taken kindly to either one of them being on their ship. Sam was nimble enough to evade or with her knife direct enemy weapons away as she should be. After all of the training she put Kavius and herself through, Especially Sam since she spars against Kavius who fights very unorthodox like, Sam was able to dispatch the first pirate with a quick stab to his knee followed by a rapid diagonal slash to the throat while only having been nicked in the arm as her damage taken. The deceased pirate had gone from standing, to his knee, to the ground having fallen in front of and across from another pirate who looked to have been killed in a similar manner. Samara dodged backwards as a second pirate took his turn on attack to swing at Sam. In what Kavius would have described later as just a single blur of motion, Samara sheathed her dagger, pulled out and knocked and arrow from her quiver, took a step and fire at point blank range into the eyehole of the pirate. While wiping a smidge of blood off her face with her free hand Samara could not help but chuckle softly herself. Sam knew Kav was going to freak out when she told him that the maneuver she insisted he helped her practice so much actually worked and saved her life, which caused Samara to smile even as she was catching her breath.

The pirates were still coming out from below deck slowly, not that there were too many left in already, but they seemed to have mostly lost their will to fight. A few were still causing trouble but the very few near Kavius and Samara seemed smart enough to throw down their weapons and surrender. With this well earned reprieve Kavius took this chance to clear his throat, alerting Sam and showing her that he made it on the boat. Kavius pulled himself up from sitting against the side of the deck in enough time as Sam walked over and stood in front of him, a single eyebrow raised at him as she took in his appearance.

"Kav...you look like crap", Sam said. She looked at Kavius in his eyes and raised her hand hesitantly as if she was going to touch his shoulder. Sam changed her mind, lowering her now balled up right fist to her chest instead. "We need to get back to the ship as quick as possible." Sam attempted to speak more but was cutoff by Kavius with his own spoken thoughts.

"SAMMY...Sam-ah-laHEUH-HEU-HAUH", Kavius tried to say but ended up in a small coughing fit, "HEUH-HAUH...ugh um sorry about that. Choked on my own saliva. Or blood. I can't tell what liquid is currently dominating the inside of my mouth", Kavius said honestly.

"Kav, stop talking. We need to get you to Aleria before you keel over, you idiot."

"Sammy! We've talked about that, I am not gonna die anytime soon", Kavius said as he is reminded by Samara glaring at Kav and pointing at his bleeding leg that he almost did die in fact.

Kavius watched as Sam walked forward, grabbed Kavius' arm, and placed it around her shoulder and helped Kavius find his footing as she did. The adrenaline in Kavs body was still pumping, helping to dull any major pain he might have been feeling otherwise as Samara helped Kav get back to the ship. As they did, Samara tried to keep Kavius from speaking, out of concern and other reasons, but Kavius still had more to say.

"Sorry for worrying you by the way...I will admit this time things got a little dangerous."

"Save your energy Kav", Samara glancing at Kavius as she spoke, "but yes that was extremely reckless. Even for you this sets the bar a little higher but if I didn't get so seasick I would have stopped you. Or gone with you. What did you do by the way?"

"I snuck aboard that sinking ship that's on fire. I was the one who set it on fire."

Samaras eyes opened wide for a moment, her face showing shock for only a second. "You...wait...that explosion earlier. That was your fault?"

Kavius rolled his eyes as he began to speak. "I mean yes I did if you wanna word it like that. I made something explode. Not my fault these guys already had loot below their ships deck. flammable and explosive loot. Saffron, flint, and the like do not go well together."

"Last I saw you, you were running pretty much head first into the enemy. Don't say it's not your fault because you could have stayed back."

"Says the charming rogue who was also on an enemy ship and not making it explode."

Samara scowled at Kavius, which made Kav laugh. As she did the two of them reached the stink boat and their companions. Kav looked over everyone topside and surveyed the situation. A few pirates were still attempting to fight, enough to surround himself and Sam, when all of the aforementioned pirates were taken down by a magical Troe. Once the enemies were magically cleared, Troe spoke to Sam.

"Get him below deck and tended to, I believe Mikhail and the others have the situation under control from here."

Kav frowned, having absolutely no reason to not believe Troe but still doubting him, and shrugged. Which is when Ashley made her dramatic appearance, her footsteps loud and demanding attention. Sam attempted to move towards the hatch to below the ship but Kavius stayed glued to where he was standing with Sam.

"Kav, c'mon, let's go see Aleria. You're still bleeding."

Kavius stayed still, watching Ashley and listening to her exchange with the pirate crew.

"Pirates, pleading to a woman for mercy... what irony."

"But we're not pirates! We're mercenaries, just like you!"

"You became pirates the moment you fired your first shot. And this knight—who is not a mercenary, for those keeping score—has no mercy to offer to pirates."

Suddenly and as quick as lightning in Kavs eyes Ashley drew a dazzling sword from the sheath on her hip, and in an instant the merc in front of her was much more dead than he was a few seconds ago.

"Sorry, but I'm not taking any more questions today...Kill them all."

At this point Kavius was slightly shocked. Her movement was decisive, her strike lethal, and her heart.........cold as ice. He could see that there was no concern or remorse in her eyes, granted against these guys it makes sense, and her previous actions dictated that she most definitely saw herself as the leader doing what was necessary. Kavius scowled, he hated those self righteous asshole types. At this point in time, he forgot about Sam, the boat, his injuries, his teammates, and stared at Ashley. He felt a little better, still in pain but able to deal with it better now that some time has passed, and wanted nothing more than to draw his sword. He knew that made no sense, but seeing people get executed never sat right with him. He also felt Ash was someone he was going to end up fighting and not someone whose orders he would follow. Kav motioned to Sam that he was ready to go and they both walked to and walked down the hatch leading to below deck and Aleria.


Below Deck

As the slaughter raged topside Kavius had his wounds treated by Aleria. multiple sword cuts along his arms, all ten fingers he owned were calloused and red with small arrow head cuts along the side of his right hand, burn spots all along his body on the backside, and while the arrow was removed his leg had been pierced cleanly through by an enemy arrow. Aleria had her own comments to make, to which Sam mostly responded as Kav was silent for most of the treatment. However Samara had plenty to say. To try to explain just how upset she was with Kavius would not do Samara justice. This happened quite frequently to be honest but usually the jobs they worked did not have tactical sea warfare. Normally they aren't surrounded and when that does happen they make a quick escape. What Kavius did was something so asinine not even she could let this slide. Sam stood next to Kavius, eyes glaring the entire time Aleria performed.

"So....", Sam began to say keeping a cool exterior, "[color=darkslateblue]Wanna run by why you thought what you did was a good idea in the first place? You have some level of skill but what in the Gods-forsaken-crap logic did you use to assume you should charge ahead when you have a WHOLE TEAM NEXT TO YOU." Sam calmed herself and continued. "What about me? Did you think-..", Sam began to say before she realized Kavs eyes were glazed over, obviously deep in thought. It took all of her strength to not hit him. Sam snapped her fingers a few times to get his attention. "Don't you dare ignore me Kavius! I am not going to travel with someone who is as suicidal as you or someone who so blatantly ignores me!"

At this Kav looked up and towards Sam, eyes still not fully focused. "You can hear it cant you? The sounds of those men upstairs dying horribly because captain bitch thinks nothing of just execu-", Kav said as he was cut off by Sam.

"NO! You are not doing that! Those people forfeited their lives when they attacked us and they knew exactly what they were doing. If they wanted to live so bad they wouldn't be doing the things they do!"

"SO ITS OK TO JUST KILL ANYONE WHO TRIES TO KILL YOU?"

"WOULD YOU RATHER SHOW THEM MERCY SO THEY CAN STAB YOU IN THE BACK?"

"MOST OF THOSE MEN THREW THEIR WEAPONS DOWN. THEY MIGHT DIE NO MATTER WHAT NOW AND WE CAN'T TAKE THEM WITH US BUT WE COULD HAVE JUST THROWN THEM OVER BOARD OR INCAPACITATED THEIR SECOND SHIP!"

Sam sighed and rubbed her temples. "Kav, there were gonna die no matter what, even the guys who surrendered. We are in the middle of the ocean, days away from the last island we saw and the place we are going isn't safe." Sam clapped her hands together and crouched to get eye level to Kav. "Grow up Kav. Even if we wanted to show mercy we are not in any type of position to do that. I didn't show mercy earlier and I still wont."

"I just cant accept that", Kav said with his eyes finally returning focus and a cold edge in his voice. As he spoke he returned Sams gaze finally. "I cant accept cold blooded murder against someone who has surrendered."

"Cold blooded? Ignoring how stupid that is, you blew up one of their ships! You struck them down earlier and I have seen you kill people before."

"Not after they surrendered. And yea I did blow it up, I was being attacked and I had no choice but to do something drastic. No one was gonna show me mercy in that situation show I returned that in kind. Ashley..", Kavs expression grew cold and into something Sam had never seen before as he spoke Ashleys name, "I don't trust her. I don't like her. She is probably the type of person whose chip on their shoulder comes from some stupid sub plot from their past. It would be different if she showed any kind of human emotion while giving the order, but she called for all of those men's deaths after they surrendered. People like that will justify anything, she would probably kill her own mother if she could find a reason for it."

At this Sam did indeed slap Kavs face, a loud pop emanating through the lower deck. She did not like that expression on Kav, she had never seen it before. Kavius is a good man, a kind man, and yes he is annoying and slightly hypocritical, lazy, and apparently naïve as shit. But that was one of the reasons she followed him. Well not exactly,but its partially why she stayed this entire time they have known each other. Kav touched his cheek and felt the sting harshly. His eyes never left Sam.

Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by Lunamaria Hawke
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Margot


In the stink boat's captain's quarters


Wine, wine, you are my best friend. Isn't this how I should treat my best friend? Margot gulped her wine glass.

Wow, for some reason this amazing wine is making me turned on! I can't wait for when the captain comes back! i'm gonna fuck him wild!

But first, I need to pee...

"Aaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh --" said a voice outside.

Margot looked up from her wine glasses. She swerved her gaze away from the captain's wine collection and looked at the door. What is that noise outside?

She gulped down her wine glass, wiped her mouth, and put on her pants. Then, she walked to the door and put her hand on the knob.

Wait, I'm not supposed to come out. Then the rest of the crew will know that I've been hooking up with the captain.

"PLEASE, NO! PLEASE, MERCY! HAVE MERCY! AHHHHH --" said another voice.

Margot frowned. She opened the door slowly. She peeked her head out of the captain's cabin. The first thing she noticed was how bright everything was. The sun shined on her face. And the smell of... fire and blood rushed her nostrils???

OMG! What happened here? There is so much blood on the wooden floor of the boat!

Why is there so much blood everywhere!???


She glanced left and right. That's when she saw the motionless corpses of the stinkboat's crewmembers AND pirates littering the floor. Weapons and equipment littered the floor as well. Her eyes opened wide when she saw a headless man -- its body twitched on the floor. The blood drained from her face.

"Eeek!" She closed the door.

She tried to find a lock to lock the door from inside, but couldn't find one. Then, she ran to the captain's hammock and hid underneath the hammock.

She closed her eyes, and put her hands on her ears to muffle the noise coming from outside.

No one saw me. No one saw me! I'm not supposed to be here. Momma. Momma! No one wants to hurt me. No one want to hurt me. I didn't do anything wrong. I'm Innocent! No one wants to hurt me. Momma! Momma!
Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Heckno12
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Troe Revinah


Ashley's order to kill all of the 'pirates' didn't exactly sit well with Troe. Of course, he understood it was the most pragmatic solution that had the smallest chance of backfiring...but they had already surrendered. Instead of participating or protesting, Troe made his way below deck and sat down to wait out the slaughter. Even if he couldn't find reason to disagree with the call, he wasn't going to have any part in it.

The group had sustained their share of casualties and injuries that would need tending to, even as decisive as the victory had been they weren't able to come out unscathed. Several of their best fighters were down for the count and would need several days' rest to recover. Truth be told, the only thing that kept Troe from bringing up the idea of heading back to recuperate was their proximity to the island at this point.




Another Day Later


The first shouting of 'land ho!' broke out across the Stink Boat as the island finally came into sight. The mess from the battle the day before had all been swabbed and scrubbed away, other than the occasional mark on the wood of the boat it was hard to tell they had encountered any adversity along the way. Of course, below the deck was another story. Several of the main party members as well as a few of the Stink Boat's crew were completely out of commission.

The coastline of Irinoth was littered by boats and wreckage. Some of the boats seemed to burn with a strange smokeless black flame as their crews attempted in vain to put the fires out. Odder still, other than the fire, there didn't seem to be any sort of hostile response from whatever had taken the island.

Once the ship had neared the coastline enough for people to wade in the water Troe and a few others disembarked and waded closer to the actual shoreline to see an odd greyish mist rising from the sand. A ornately dressed woman shouted for them to not get any closer. Troe recognized her as a rather famous Gremory from the capital. Kathila, if he remembered right, was one of the most powerful magic users in the entire archipelago.

"Stop! Do not touch the mist if you value your lives!" She said as she approached the group. She simply gestured to a few corpses nearby that were engulfed in the flames despite being completely submerged in the water. "This strange flame seems to capture any and all who attempt to cross the threshold of the island. Even those who launch themselves through the air or go underneath...the mist is merely an indicator of where it begins. Magic doesn't stop it, in fact it seems to burn away just like living beings."

Troe paused for a moment before approaching the mist once more. He fired a small gust of wind magic that seemed to flare up in the mist before evaporating into nothingness. He took a deep breath, knowing his next move could mean death and yet...curiosity got the best of him as he touched the very border of the mist with his pinky finger. The burning that overtook it was unlike anything he had ever felt. It seemed to be burning away at the essence of his finger, not just its physical presence. With a swift motion Troe used his magic to sever his pinky and step away from it. Despite wincing with pain as he dressed the nub where his pinky finger had been he smiled with interest.

"Perplexing..." He said. This was truly unlike anything he had ever seen. If only it were possible to obtain a sample of this fire...but seeing as it seemed to not care whether it was burning metal or glass or anything of the sort, it could very well be unobtainable.

Kathila looked at Troe as though he was a fool. "Maiming yourself just to confirm what I was saying...Are you some sort of fool?" She asked, only to get a sly look from the wind mage.

"Couldn't just go off of your findings, regardless of how brilliant you're said to be." Troe said as though it was obvious. "Had to confirm it, but yes as you implied...simply entering the island is suicide by all measures."
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Overall, the order had been agreed to, reluctantly—but hard to stomach, for most of Ashley's Allies—a ragtag group which still had no official name. Much more easily persuaded and eager than they to seek vengeance were the ship's crew, who had suffered all of the casualties, and did most of the cleanup after the screaming ceased. In truth, Ashley herself had no taste for the slaughter that came, and excused herself shortly after it began—another callous act that could have pushed Kavius' temper over the edge once he'd heard about it—if not for what she said to him later that night.

"I won't ask you who you really are, or where you came from—but I will apologize for speaking to you as though you were a child." Not a single unnecessary muscle on her face moved while she said it. She looked almost like a lifeless doll. Still, something about the proper bow she gave afterwards seemed to lend a genuineness to her compliment.

For a few moments Kav did not speak or move. At times like this it was more likely for him to be at the receiving end of some form of complaint for his actions or words, often causing nothing but strife for himself and Sam. Especially from people who act all proper and bloody as this woman does. It was not as if he had a reason to dislike her at the beginning, he did not have a good or bad thought about anyone here in the group. The more he listened and the more he watched the better feel for these people Kav seemed to gain and Ashley…..well not matter before, after today's events, Kav in part tried to stay away from most of the crew to avoid looking like he was avoiding her. For his protection and hers.

If you have something to say then say it”, he said with little emotion, “Words hold no weight anyways so just get on with it.

"A little bird told me that you single-handedly turned the tide of this losing battle. That's a feat I won't soon forget. You have won my gratitude, respect, confidence, and a good word—if ever you need it," she concluded, bowing again to excuse herself and leave Kavius to his thoughts. A losing battle? So, she was bluffing, and not simply daft.

As Ashley walked away Kavius relaxed his grip on his sword's hilt, hidden behind where he was sitting. In truth he was not concerned with her seeing him armed or if Ashley had missed it but he was glad it was over. As much as Kavius did like to speak, at times and to certain people, he was glad that conversation was over. It did not matter how much she apologized, Kavius refused to trust people who could give orders like that out. Life was not something you should just discard so quickly. Kav knew he was guilty of killing before but nothing close to what happened.

Kavius injuries were tended after the battle had ended save for a lingering soreness. Kavius spent the rest of his time aboard the boat resting below deck, finding an out of the way corner spot and sleeping off his battle fatigue. In truth Kavius was not so much as battered physically as he was mentally. Fighting was not something he was unaccustomed to, nor was killing, but fighting for others was….somewhat different than what he was used to. Fighting with Sam was different in its own way and was beneficial for the both of them since they worked in tangent so well. He knew he went a bit overboard in the battle but he felt like showing he could be of value to everyone and not just a sack of dead weight was necessary. Before Kav drifted off into slumber below deck he smiled to himself, thinking how since he had shown he was somewhat capable no one would try to get him to do something to prove himself, knowing how there would be less work involved for himself. He could probably even hide and just sleep if nothing was to hold his interest in the coming days.

Three things haunted Ashley that night.

The first was the taste of iron from the vulneraries. It reminded her of the taste of blood. How she loathed it. She was so sickened by it that she found herself once again reaching for the bottle. Unwilling to wait out the taste of it, she allowed the strong alcohol to burn her mouth, before spitting it overboard; she wouldn't make the same mistake twice. This worked, and though it left her mouth feeling like it had been scalded with boiling water, she found pain preferable to the taste of blood.

The second was a haunting of a third kind.

It appeared suddenly, as though it had simply faded in from the shadows on the walls. The lanky, pitch-black creature with glowing red eyes stood tall in the room that Ashley was sleeping in—so tall that it was hunched over Ashley's bunk, its back pressed up against the ceiling. When it swiftly and silently descended onto Ashley's back with impossible speed, she made a noise like she had been gently disturbed, but her eyes remained closed, apparently not waking up.

Long, teeth-like protrusions extended from the end of its amorphous "face," slowly sliding along the back of Ashley's head, and across her scalp. Then, they slowly retracted—and extended again, as though the monstrous entity were struggling to get her entire head in its hideous maw. Then, just as suddenly as it had appeared and descended upon Ashley's helpless body, it vanished. At the same time, Ashley inhaled sharply, as though she had just woken up—before rolling over and going back to sleep, as if she hadn't noticed a thing.

Long after the first rays of sunlight lit the morning bright did Kavius awaken. Slowly unfolding himself out of the pretzel he shaped himself into when he found it felt perfect to sleep in, Kav thought to himself how he had not had such a peaceful sleep in days. Peaceful boat sleep anyways. Making sure to gather himself and his things as he stood up and made his way topside, he was immediately taken back by the dramatic visuals he could see, a litter of broken ships and ship parts were everywhere. He felt a twinge of pain cross his body as he stood above deck.

Well this sucks”, Kavius said to himself out loud, “Cool shipwrecked coast to explore and I can barely move at a decent walking speed without feeling sore.

Kavius sighed as his eyes explored every inch of the beach that he could see. The delightful mist that seemed to make its home on the shore line puzzled him slightly but peaked his curiosity. His gaze turned from the shoreline, back to his surroundings on the boat. His companions seemed to be just as curious as he was as it seemed, even Troe who looked a tad bit more eager to get an up close look than the others..

Ashley had woken up feeling oddly refreshed—so much so that she couldn't even muster any annoyance at the fact that the cries of "land ho" came before she could finish her morning coffee. Her eyes narrowed, though, when she saw the wreckage. Ignoring Kavius, her eyes scanned the shoreline, looking for the wreckage of a particular ship she'd recognize. She didn't find what she was looking for, but she found Kathila, a woman she did recognize.

Ashley's face betrayed no emotion as she looked at her, sizing her up. Out here, a powerful magic caster like her was a threat. Kathila probably would not recognize Ashley on sight like she did her, but if she heard the name "Wycliffe" spoken out loud in Ashley's general direction, it could be a disaster. Ashley was a woman with enemies—powerful enemies, who demanded protection from powerful allies like Lord Clive. Out here, in the open ocean and at Irinoth, she had no such protection—hence the Santa Lyrica mutiny-by-mercenary plot that had thankfully failed thus far—and Ashley had no idea if Kathila was for or against her. Given what Ashley knew about her, she could be cautiously optimistic, but never certain. All she knew was that, being a powerful person, she would almost certainly have an opinion one way or the other—probably a strong opinion.

None of that seemed to matter, though, as Kathila was far too distracted by Troe's antics, which also earned a small wince from Ashley. As she approached both him and the shoreline, she attempted to heal his finger, to no avail. It was simply… gone.

Kavius followed behind Ashley, at a distance, just as eager as she was apparently to get over to Troe. What really made him want to follow though was the look in Ashley's eyes when she spotted the random on the shoreline. He did not approve of Ash but anything that could make her go from 'normal’ to ‘totally not forced normal’ is something he wanted to know about. He found it quite hilarious when Troe lost his pinky though and Ashley's failed attempts at healing.

Oh yea this is great. Misty beachfront view, gorgeous shipwrecked sea, a side character that makes me feel like we should go because if she dies I don't wanna get blamed, oh yea who wouldn't wanna come here”, Kavius said sarcastically..

Ashley glanced at Kavius, acknowledging him for the first time that morning. "Hmph. I daresay anyone who comes here is a fool, including yours truly," Ashley remarked in agreement with both Kavius and Kathila, shaking her head. "If magic does indeed 'burn away' as she says, then even—even I can do nothing," she said, giving Troe a meaningful look. She meant, of course, that even if the phenomena was a curse, her unique line of work would do no good here. She wouldn't even be able to study its makeup, let alone change it.
"That still leaves the matter of obtaining proof of what took place here. I doubt a severed finger will appease the king's court—and even if we could transport the flames, that only seems like a disaster waiting to happen." She again glanced at Troe, as she called back to her earlier conversation with him, about her doubts regarding bringing this "thing" back to Faroth-En.

Ashley frowned. This time, she was truly out of her depth, and even if it was only a little bit, it showed.

What now? was the unspoken question on her mind.

With Troe enamored with what was happening and Ashley pondering, Kavius gained a thought. The random side character here might have more to say if they just ask the right questions. Or rather really he was just bored now and wanted something to do. Forgetting the fact he was supposed to be on a mission because of the obstacle in front of him Kavius spoke to Kathila.

So...sooooo….come here often”, he asked hesitantly.

Ashley looked visibly disappointed, lowering her head and hiding her face with her hand as she sighed. She surely hadn’t expected her word to be tested so soon, and in the presence of someone as powerful as Kathila no less. Kavius probably wouldn’t even appreciate the favor, and would just chalk it up to her supposed honor as a knight, but… a promise was a promise.

”Pardon my partners’ lack of manners. Rest assured, they’re worth keeping around.”

Ashley offered Kathila a curtsy for an apology, putting on significantly fewer airs than usual. Despite being in the presence of someone who was obviously more of a somebody than she was, the lady knight Ashley was nowhere to be seen; she hadn’t even introduced herself. Perhaps she was embracing her new ragtag allies and life as a mercenary—or more likely, she was being deceptive as usual.

Kavius scoffed. “As if it is that easy to get rid of me in the first place.”

Kav crossed his arms while avoiding the gaze of Kathila, spotting the wrecked ships again floating in the sea. Quite suddenly, almost making Kav do a double take, he realized something. A half of a thought was formed in his head, but Kav decided to keep this to himself for now. Looking back at Kathila, Kavius relaxed a bit and smiled. Kav took a few steps toward Kathila until he was a few feet away from in front of her.

Hey. You’re old so you probably know a lot right? That's probably why you’re here in the first place. Send the older and….maybe stronger”, Kavius said questiongly, “So if nothing can get in, including even you oh so shockingly, doesn't that mean there is a decent chance of something even stronger being trapped in.

There was no doubt in his mind that this was weird. He did not know much about magic, but this whole scene reeked of it and something strange was taking place that he could not see. Kav walked over until he was just to the edge of where the mist would not touch him, staring at it as he spoke to the Gremory next.

Wait, that's silly, how would you know that? Although...you did say you knew this magic crap doesn't stop here but continues inward. I'm sure you knew that though cause you look like a mage so you can probably sense that stuff or something?

If Sam had been standing closer by she would have stopped him sooner but the comment on the Gremory’s age could not go unnoticed. Walking up behind him, Samara gave a quick smack on the back of Kav’s neck. ”Please excuse this knucklehead. He was raised in a barn so he doesn’t have much manners. But he does bring up a good point. How do you know it doesn’t engulf the entire island?”

Kathila softly chuckled at the sight of Kavius being smacked. “Well I suppose it is a good thing the boy has you to watch over him and keep him out of trouble. I doubt he would survive here for very long, carrying on like a small stray.”

Bristled at being called a boy Kavius placed his hand on the hilt of his sword but gave a hearty laugh, confusing the Gremory and those around him, save Sam. As Kavius began to walk back from the mist Sam softly spoke a warning to him.

“Kav…..just don't.”

With a shrug Kavius walked past Sam and stood in front of Kathila, looking her in her eyes and flashing a big smile. She still had not answered any of his or Sam's questions, while continuing to treat him with little to no regard. Granted Kavius was normally unaffected by the tauntings of others as he was the taunter more often than not and knew getting angry would do nothing but hurt him. This woman reeked of magic and Kav was not very well prepared at the moment to deal with her. So with a heavy sigh and rolling of the eyes, Kavius put his pride aside for the moment.

Whatever little woman. Look can you actually tell us that could be of any help, unless you really came here just to enjoy the sights. Sights being the ocean and nothing else.

Kathila frowned but chose to speak regardless of the young man's crude mannerisms as Samara appeared next to Kavius to smack him once again, this time hard enough for an echo to emanate. “What I can tell you will bring you no happiness, although I am sure someone like yourself is ever truly happy less you are indulging in personal vices. There are many who would wish all of you harm, and would risk life and limb to satisfy their bloodlust. This island holds many perils hidden by the mist, to which I have no explanation to give you.”

“Can we please skip the fancy words? You really haven’t told us anything we couldn’t or haven’t already figured out. Do you intend to be an ally or are you simply going to watch as we try to do something besides sit in the water?” But then Sam sized up the woman as if thinking. ‘Or is she planning to be an enemy at any point?’

To be an enemy of this woman was not something Kavius wished for, in fact if she were to simply leave he would not protest. After the bloodbath previously he had no wish to harm another human for a while.
Hidden 1 yr ago 1 yr ago Post by Lunamaria Hawke
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Margot


At the shore of the island


While no one was looking, Margot silently approached the group of adventurers who were gathering near the shore in front of the wall of fiery mist.

She saw Kavius, Sam, Ashley, and Troe... and this new old-lady mage who looked so out of place.

Margot looked at the magical barrier. She had no clue what it was made of or how to get around it.

Where's my money?

How am I going to become rich and famous with all this mist stuff preventing me from getting onto the island?

How am I going to seduce the king if I can't get the money?

Where's my money???


Margot eyed the old lady mage suspiciously.

I bet that old lady mage has something to do with what's happening on the island! Maybe she's some type of henchman or minion of the real person who is messing up the island! Cuz why would all these boats wreck on this shore if she's been standing there the whole time to alert all the boats to avoid this shore? Maybe she's the one who got these boats to come to this shore. I find it really hard to believe that every boat that came near this island wrecked on this one mile coastline. Something smells fishy about this old woman mage.

Margot's eyes thinned as she thought of what she would do. Hmm... I will play along. I will gather information about her. Then, if I am right, at some point, I will expose her for what she is..

Then, I will finally get my money.


Margot spoke. "Uh, maybe if we um... go left or right, I mean... uh... sideways... maybe we'll eventually get to a part of the island's parameter where the mist won't be as strong, maybe?"

Maybe this old lady mage made the mist, and if we mute her magic, we'll make the mist go away!
Hidden 1 yr ago 1 yr ago Post by BreathOfTheWoof
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Xara Travendour & Ashley


Unfortunately, Xara was one of the mentioned injured. After his failed attempt to shoot through the porthole, he was left with cracked hips and a nasty case of whiplash. Healing magic fortunately works on such trivial internal wounds, but the soreness doesn’t go away right away. He can still walk, but it hurts to do so and often Xara has to rely on a makeshift cane Tedreus supplied him. He’ll hopefully be better before they land into combat, or his one defensive benefactor, his mobility, will be left completely null. Because of his unwillingness to move or stand, Xara has been mostly sitting, listening to the conversations of the others.

Xara was deeply fascinated with the mist, and he takes special note of Kathila mentioning that going over and under doesn’t seem to work. Xara tries to reason what probably hasn’t been tried, after all, if there was a person who could figure that out, it was him. He wonders if sea water is what stops it, as after all, it doesn’t seem to spread past the coast line, but how on earth are they gonna use that to fight it off? If it is the solution, it’ll definitely require some shenanigans to pull off. What about dark magic? That lady is a gremory, after all, it is unlikely she knows those kinds of magic, unless she’s one of the few who can access it, but she really doesn’t want to confront her on it, he’s hurt already and she may just get mad he essentially asked her if she was a witch. After all, he knows one already. Xara stands up, hand on his side, going up to Ashley.
“Hey, can I talk to you in private? It’s about something personal”

Ashley gave Xara the side-eye, but nodded almost imperceptibly. ”Right, let us ignore the well of wisdom before us and turn aside to foolishness first,” she remarked out loud, her words as dry as the group’s collective wisdom in that moment. ”There remains, after all, some merit to the process of elimination,” she said as she gave Troe’s missing finger a meaningful look. ”We’ll be back, I’m sure.” Excusing herself from Kathila with another curtsy, she motioned for the group to follow her as she began leading them along the coast, remaining silent until she could be reasonably sure she was out of earshot of Kathila.

Xara leans against the cane, trying to keep casual, but seems to be struggling a little bit against the tidal sand. “So what if we try using dark magic on it? Or even a curse? Surely nobody of your skill has tried yet-” Xara is interrupted by Ashley, as if she knew how he was going to finish his sentence. He doesn’t like that, he doesn’t like being predictable.

”I’ve told you before,” she began sternly. ”I don’t—do—curses. ...If you were hoping for a miracle, you should know that a witch is generally considered a poor consultant for that line of work,” she helpfully informed Xara, her irritation fueled by many ill-informed requests in the past. ”When working with dark magic, I find it imprudent to feed it more, until I know what I’m dealing with. In other words, what’s fueling these flames? I ought to know at least that much before I go tossing whatever I please into it.”

Xara sighs as he realizes that they’re now at an impasse. “Runes, sorry. Anyway, how do we find that out when we can’t get near it? The only thing that makes sense is the ground itself, but how do we gain a sample? Kathila said magic and flesh burns in the mist. Maybe we can try a contraption of some kind that won’t burn?... It’s deeply unlikely, but it’s not like we have anything else to try.” Xara wonders if maybe the mist only burns living things, and if there’s a possibility it fills the entire inland, and not just what the mist let’s them see.

Ashley would have been lying if she’d said she wasn’t the least bit curious what would happen if she stuck her Devil Sword into the mist, but her apprehension outweighed her curiosity. ”Well, I don’t know what sort of dark magic you’re familiar with, but the sort I’ve used is fueled by such things as emotions and memories. Use it too much, and you’ll be left an empty husk. It can do worse things than deal death; our friend Troe is lucky to be merely missing his finger, and not feel it burning constantly,” Ashley cautioned, looking at Troe rather than Xara. ”We’re better served staying away from this sort of thing. Frankly, I’m uncomfortably close as it is.”

The young mage looks utterly baffled by Ashley’s words. How can she be so skilled if she can never even use her own magic? It contradicts his personal magical experience, dark magic continues to be an entirely untouchable beast to him, it never follows basic rules like anima or light magic. What does she mean anyway? Does it burn away her emotions and memories? That sounds like a horrible drawback, possibly losing the very knowledge you need to understand what you’re doing. “Well, then what are we supposed to do? Go home with news of dead crewman? It seems like such a huge waste of effort to not try, even if we don’t understand how to win this situation.” As the gremory in training proceeds to look disappointed, Xara’s cane finally slips, causing him to collapse on his side and give him a shooting pain that he would enjoy never feeling again. He is now slightly wet, but that’s the least of his concerns right now as forced himself upright with all his effort.

Ashley pulled Xara up by his collar with a firm hand. ”Believe me, no one is more unhappy than I about being useless in this situation. My best guess is that someone hated this island and wanted it destroyed, which, despite the different connotation that takes given the nature of dark magic, is not very useful information. Even if this patch of dirt out in the middle of the ocean was the object of someone’s obsession—if it had a dark and sordid history that was offered up as a sacrifice of some kind, that still leaves a who and a why,” she said, once again looking at Troe.

Xara, not really having much else to say, wobbles deeper into the water to stare at the endless sea, not annoyed, just left solemn. This was his big chance to prove himself useful intellectually to Ashley after his very bad first impression with her, once again she knows exactly what to say to shut him down. He can’t help but stare at the ground with a blank look on his face as the word “miracle” echoes inside his head louder than his body aches. All he can do is introspect and obsess over what information is missing.
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Aleria
and Troe


Most of the time on the ship Aleria could unfortunately not remember. Through the commotion she tried her best to help but sheltered as she was she froze. She had never seen true combat and she realized that day that she had a lot more to learn if she was to survive. Forget anything else, money and rewards be damned. If she couldn’t fight or even stomach it she was sure to end up as fish food eventually. Looking to the Goddess for strength she sighed and moved along with checking in on her crew mates, grateful none of them truly mentioned her blunder in not being more prominent in the main fight.

—-
Kathila struck an odd cord with Aleria, she couldn’t quite place it but she didn’t like the woman. She couldn’t tell why or how she just didn’t. She didn't want to put much stock into it; however there was no point in sowing seeds of distrust that didn’t need to be sown. Turning her attention to Troe and away from everyone else she grabbed his hand, inspecting the severed pinky. She shot him a disapproving look. “Why in the Goddess’ name would you do that? You could have just taken the lady at face value.” She said softly, much more interested in the wound than scolding him. It would go nowhere of course, in one ear and out the other. She’s dealt with his type before, stubborn and stupid truly. Taking a closer look Aleria noticed something peculiar about the wound, the blood was acting weird. It was almost as if..it was flowing backwards. Doing a double take, sure enough it was. She assumed it had to be due to whatever magic was imbued in this gas but she had never seen anything like it. Before tending to the wound she made sure to let him know, “Do me a favor, take a look at your finger? Why is your blood doing this?” She wondered aloud.

“If I had taken her word without any peer review...what if she had been wrong or misunderstood the phenomenon?” Troe asked genuinely. He respected her concern, but truly didn’t consider his sacrifice to be in vain...especially now that he was observing what Aleria had pointed out. His blood was seemingly being pulled along the water. He intentionally squeezed a bit more through his temporary bandage to be sure, but sure enough it was trailing westward along the coast at a rather peculiar pace.

Troe surrendered his injured hand to the healer, but not without indicating that the group should follow where his blood was leading. Thankfully Kathila was seemingly distracted once more and hadn’t seen what was going on.Good. Troe thought. It seems we may have found a lead that she was unaware of...best to keep it that way. He noted in his head that this was rather absurd.

“I mean with what you discovered inadvertently I believe it was helpful without a doubt. Doesn’t mean it wasn’t reckless” She shook her head. Least it was a genuine insight into Troe’s psyche. After making sure that proper care was applied she looked back at Kathila and then back to the group.

“I think we should keep to ourselves for the next portion of our journey. How exactly do we follow what we found without letting her know? I mean our group is..eccentric to say the least but I trust them at least.” She asked, crossing her arms.

Troe thought for a moment before getting Kathila’s attention. “Does this mist continue all the way down the coast?” He asked, knowing the answer.

“Obviously.” She said, seemingly disappointed by the mere question.Troe looked at her the same way he had when before sacrificing his pinky. “We’ll have to verify that as well.” He said, not even noting the subtle disgust in the woman’s eyes at being doubted. She had clearly written the group off at this point as people that would likely get themselves killed without any intervention. Troe gave Aleria and Ashley a knowing look before slowly but surely following the trail of blood, making certain to keep himself between the dark red and Kathila’s gaze lest she realised they had a lead.

Aleria turned her attention to where Troe was heading, ready to follow the blood trail. Thankfully it seemed that Kathila had no intentions of following them currently so they made it out of eye sight easily. After walking for a bit, Aleria made her way over to Ashley to explain the situation in a bit more detail.

“You by chance wouldn’t know what exactly is causing this would you? I’m perplexed, it’s out of my depth.” She lamented, confused but curious what would happen next.

Eventually after following the coast line they reached a peculiar formation. The blood seemed to indicate that this is where the next step in their journey would be. Stepping forward, she could see the crumbled remains of what used to be a shrine. The earth had slowly over taken what was left of it and it seemed to have been left and forgotten. The only thing remaining was an altar, covered in bramble and thorns around the base. It had a deep basin in it almost like a bird bath. A sense of unease flooded Alerias body, something telling her that she did not want to be here by any means. She chalked it up to the island, and the strange phenomenons they had already encountered since being here. If put in context then truly this wasn’t out of place. But the tint of red the earth held in this particular place did not ease her worries. She turned to Troe, looking at him with wide eyes wondering what to do next.

“You're the one with the strange blood, pray tell what do we do?”

Troe didn’t even hear Aleria as he studied the strange shrine...He had been here before...He remembered that when he was young he had been scolded for playing near this very ruin. He walked forward in an almost trance-like state as he looked closer at the inscriptions on the cave wall before approaching the altar. He looked it up and down before using his hand to attempt to dust off one of the inscriptions near the top of the aforementioned basin.

“The blood of the last son of house Rev…” He began to read the old runes aloud before noticing a faint red glow as his hand made contact.

A spike suddenly shot out from one of the letters impaling the center of Troe’s hand. He yelped in pain as the basin seemed to drink his blood as it poured from the wound. He kept himself from trying to remove his hand as he felt a strange need to let this altar drink its fill. Just as suddenly as the spike had appeared though, it sank back into the inscription leaving Troe’s hand oddly uninjured. He still felt lightheaded from the loss of blood, but was otherwise seemingly no worse for wear.

The shrine’s inscriptions suddenly began to glow red as the area around the group began to shake and stir. The inscription on the cliff-wall glowed especially bright as the wall itself shifted and seemed to open into an odd cave entrance. Odder still, despite leading onto the island there was no sign of the black mist that had been repelling them from the island. Troe took a few steps before collapsing to one knee, slightly anemic and not quite balanced.
Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Emeth
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As Ashley looked back at Troe once more after finishing her talk with Xara, she caught Aleria splashing through the tide to catch up to her. "This can't be good," she remarked out loud as she waited for her and Troe to catch up. Ashley lent Aleria her ear as she obviously had something to report that she didn't want overheard.

“You by chance wouldn’t know what exactly is causing this would you? I’m perplexed, it’s out of my depth.”

Ashley looked back at the snaking trail of blood that was steadily flowing in their direction. "Curious," she remarked in a hushed tone. "I've had an uncomfortable gut feeling for some time now that something on the island was reaching out to him," she told Aleria, but omitted the part where she more specifically thought it was thirsting for his blood. "It could of course, be nothing—but one of very few, unexplored benefits of having less turbulent emotions as a dark mage, is that you might just become so good at reading a room that you start feeling the lingering emotions of the dead," she explained to Aleria as she waited for Troe to take the lead. "—but, further research must be done to back such claims. That is to say, it's out of my depth as well."

Ashley had no idea how literally true her hunch would be, even as they approached the shrine with the basin that should have given it away immediately. As the words "strange blood" escaped Aleria's lips, Ashley too felt a twinge of unease, which wasn't helped by the unnatural way Troe was approaching the altar.

“The blood of the last son of house Rev…” he uttered, causing Ashley to put two and two together.

"Troe! STOP!" Ashley blurted out suddenly, sounding genuinely distressed as she splashed over toward him.

The ground began to shake, and Ashley lost her balance and fell to her knees at the edge of the beach—but as soon as she was able, she scrambled again to her feet and ran up behind Troe, intent on removing his hand from the altar. If only she'd been slightly less of a coward, followed just a bit more closely behind him, she could have been there already—alas, she found herself arriving at his side too late. After seeing that his hand was more or less uninjured, she exhaled, shaking the wet sand from her own hands. "Are you alright?" she asked, just before he fell to one knee.

Quickly, she knelt down and lifted him up beneath his arms, throwing his left around her neck and supporting him with her own strength. She turned around to look at Aleria and made a motion with her hand as though she were mixing the contents of a flask. "Would you please stop mutilating yourself for science?" she grumbled at Troe while motioning to Aleria for the vulnerary. "This is how people get themselves cursed, you know? Don't be reckless just because I'm here, or you'll end up spending your share of the reward paying me to get rid of it for you," she japed. She'd mentioned that her services were fairly cheap, so most of what she'd said was just banter. "Show me your hand. Give it here," she said as she reached for Troe's wrist, taking his hand to inspect the wound, or lack thereof, for traces of malevolent magic.
Hidden 1 yr ago 1 yr ago Post by Lunamaria Hawke
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Margot


At the shore of the island near Troe's shrine


Margot followed Troe, Aleria, and Ashley as they waited near the shrine. She didn't really know what she was getting into, but she really really wanted the prize money, so she tried to make it look like she was taking part in all this. In reality, Margot wanted to do as little as possible and still get her "fair" share of prize money.

Margot watched Troe, Aleria, and Ashley make their next move. She quietly edged herself into the group by pretending to care for Troe. But in reality, Margot snickered to herself: I can't wait to get the prize money so I can buy all this exorbitant clothe and makeup so I can seduce the king with my beauty. Then, I will get the king to divorce his wife and marry me, instead! Then, walah! I'll become queen of Faroth-En and I'll have my own castle! I'll have servants to attend to my every need and I'll be able put anyone i don't like to the sword! Gods know that I've met my fair share of enemies, including some people in this group!

After I'm done ending their misery, I will then create a new world order where I am worshiped as a sainte and a goddess. I will be engraved within the memory of my civilization as a herald who brought a new world of change. Millions of men will worship me even after I've reached my 10th century of life, and of course I will find the elixir of eternal life so I will live forever.

A new world is coming, my friends!
Margot snickered as her pupils dilated due to the prolonged effects of time weed inhalation. She touched her time weed pouch and was a little worried that she had consumed too many mushrooms in the trip to this island. Oh no, maybe I can find time weed on the island, or meet some time weed dealers who are still on the island! This would be terrible if I ran out of my precious good stuff!
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Troe Revinah


"Would you please stop mutilating yourself for science?"

Troe leaned a bit into Ash as he tried to steady himself. "Nothing ventured, nothing gained." He chuckled weakly as he allowed Ashley to look over his shockingly unscathed hand. Whatever had drawn his blood had inexplicably not left a mark. Troe gladly took the vulnerary and chugged. Satisfied with the condition of his hand he looked at the strange entrance that had opened up. "I think it's safe to say that we've made it further than that Gremory hoped we would." He removed himself from Ashley and steadied himself a moment with a few breaths.

After a few moments he felt a bit of his strength return. He fired a small blast of wind into the cave entrance only for it to continue on into the darkness. As it didn't burn up like everything on the mainland it seemed that this entrance was legit. "I suppose that my parents were wrong, my ancestors haven't actually forsaken me." He said with a bit of sarcasm. The fact that he was not only Rjaskavi, but a noble at that was out of the bag. He casually produced his signet ring from his robes and wore it to spite the island that had cast him out as a boy.

As much as he wanted to study the workings of the strange shrine-like lock system that this entrance used, he knew that they were currently working on a much bigger mystery. Upon entering he felt an odd warmth, almost as though he had returned to a welcoming home...which was half-true he supposed. The ancient looking stone hallway seemed to go on for quite a distance with a couple of small sidepaths along the way. As if by instinct, he could tell that the end of this path led outside...it was as though he had been through here a million times before despite the impossibility of such a thing. Even more interesting to him though, he felt a familiar pull towards one of the pathways on the side. He just hoped that whatever this was wouldn't charge the same toll as the door. As Troe took another step forward he felt a pressure plate slide downwards and quickly jumped back as a litany of torches suddenly lit the entire corridor. Despite Ashley's earlier warning, Troe moved forward with very little regard for his own safety.

He only hesitated slightly as he entered the side room. The room was lit similarly to the corridor with a few inexplicably lit torches, but in its center was a strange horn-like object that Troe was being drawn to. The walls were marked with odd drawings of black towers, some odd monstrous shape, and a number of golden weapons and other pieces of gear...including what appeared to be the horn that Troe had already snatched. It rumbled slightly in his hand but settled comfortably after a moment. Now that he had taken the horn, the odd feeling that had been pulling him along let up and he turned to the group.

"Ashley, I think...I think we were supposed to find all of this." He said, pointing to the drawings on the walls. "Whatever's going on on Irinoth, it's safe to assume this stuff is relevant." Troe fervently pulled his notebook and began making rudimentary sketches of what he saw. This was likely one of the best pieces of evidence they could have even hoped for, but it still wouldn't be enough. Surely at least a few reasonable skeptics would think that the group made all of this up just for the reward money. No, they would need something concrete.

"Well, I suppose it's time for us to properly enter Irinoth." Troe said as he walked to the exit. He would have liked to have studied more, but given what the drawings showed it would be a safe bet that their time was limited.

As the group emerged into the light...or surprising lack thereof. The sky was dark and cloudy and even the ground seemed quite dead. This was completely contradictory to what they had seen from the outside. Worse still, the feeling from the 'deadzone' back on the ocean pervaded the area. Troe looked over the dead land with a dread that he didn't expect. He thought that he'd be completely indifferent...he knew his home was gone and up until now he just didn't care but something about seeing it like this...Hurt. Fields that he played in as a kid, the nearby town completely in ashes, everything being so far gone hit him in a place that he hadn't felt since his exile. He almost didn't even see the massive black spire that extended far above the clouds seemingly into infinity. Without a word he sprinted towards his family home, praying that there was someone or something there.
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