Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by Hitman
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Hitman Loosey Goosey

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Act I: Castle In The Mountains


It was a bitter journey through the mountains. My skin grew blue and firm. Alas, it was frostbite! Dread filled my body like a flood. But the voice within called to me. It told me to keep traveling, and soon, I stumbled upon the castle in the mountains. Oh! How beautiful, how marvelous, how splendid it was to see it! As I laid foot onto the cobblestone walkways, I felt as though I was warmed by a thousand suns, and I fell down in pure bliss. I had found a home.
Diary of Alfred P. Hogsworth, Communicator of Ra (1817)

The Sky Palace is located in the state of New Hampshire in the US, nestled in the depths of the White Mountains. The Sky Palace is a 1-2 hour walk away from the nearest town, a small hamlet called Burlingwood. The path quickly becomes impossible to traverse by anything other than foot, and the walk is not easy. Far from it. At the end of the road is the whirling, endless storm of snow and ice that is only traversable by Communicators. On this particular early October day, it is especially cold and snowy in the range. With luck and guidance from their mentors, hopefully, the Communicators will be able to reach their goal of arriving at the Palace. Though the journey to the palace is not necessarily a test, there have been Communicators that failed to complete the journey...




Gwendolyn Elery Zhang hated the cold.

Gwen had grown accustomed to California summers for the past 18 years of her life. She had once traveled up north to Washington State to visit her uncle Joe, who lived in Seattle, but that was in the late spring, when the weather was a little nippy, and quite rainy, but overall agreeable. This trek was totally different, however. Totally different. As soon as she stepped foot off the plane, she was hit with a crushing wave of cold that she had never experienced before. Luckily for her, she had a nice, warm bus ride across the countryside awaiting her. But once Ryujin told her that the rest of the journey would be conducted through the blistering cold while on foot, Gwen died a bit inside. And for good reason. She already wanted to just curl up in bed after 10 minutes on the path.

Calling it a path was an understatement. Ryujin had guided her out of the homey town of Burlingwood into a thick coniferous forest, and then onto a narrow path that looped around the mountains. It was narrow, precarious, and snowy. The thin pathway was covered in a layer of snow, as was the rest of the mountain. Gwen had very nearly plunged to her death twice along the journey down the looping lane. The pathway went around the entire mountain before sloping into another evergreen, snow-covered forest in a valley between the mountains. After two hours of this pain, Gwen was now cold, wet, terrified, and very, very tired.

"How much longer?" the 18-year-old girl moaned. She shivered, clutching onto her jacket tightly. Her jacket was a heavy, sky-blue parka that she had bought during her brief stop in Burlingwood, and she also adorned a pair of salopettes and black snow boots. These boots were not at all visible to an observer, though- the snow nearly up to Gwen's knees. Gwen was admittedly rather petite, but it was still a lot of snow, more than Gwen had ever seen before in her life. The wind was also starting to act up, an ominous howl of the gale resonating through the area, and blowing shards of ice and pinecones into Gwen's face.

"Not too much," came the response in Gwen's mind, the deep, reassuring voice of her mentor, the dragon Ryujin. At this point, though, not much besides the fleeting thought of warmth and a cozy bed could reassure Gwen. "You have reached the edge of the barrier. Hence, you can feel the strength of the winds grow stronger."

"Are you sure this is the only way to get here?" Gwen said with a pout as she continued to trek forwards, the crunch of the snow beneath her feet almost inaudible from the blowing winds. "This was terrible. Correction: is terrible. This is terrible."

"There is another way. Through a cave full of giant spiders and bats. I imagine you would prefer this route, considering that you almost had a heart attack when you found a daddy-long-legs in your bedroom a week ago," Ryujin said politely, though there was an edge of snarkiness in the dragon's tone. Gwen decided to shut up and continue walking, cupping her hands together as she did so. A puff of steam rose from her fingers as a small pool of water formed in her hands. Gwen smiled softly before eagerly raising her cupped palms to her face, and gulped down the water before it could freeze from the cold.

A short while of silence later, Gwen saw a clearing in the forest and picked up her speed using the little energy she had left, moving as fast as her tiny legs would carry her. Once she managed to escape the canopy of evergreen trees, she saw a pass between two massive mountains of stone. The passage was wide but not enormous, perhaps about 150 feet across. At the end of the passageway, a good distance away, was what appeared to be a wall of snow, whipping around furiously. It was like a blizzard, but strangely, it seemed to get quieter as Gwen got closer, as if it was beckoning the girl forwards. Though she still had a few more minutes of walking to go, Gwen was feeling quite confident in herself, and proud of her accomplishments. Throughout all this pain and suffering and coldness, here was the light at the end of the tunnel. That was, at least until she heard the scream.

"Scream" wasn't an accurate term, it was more of a screech. Gwen quickly jerked her head to look at the source of the sound, and found it immediately. Sitting perched on a rock was a hideous, bird-like creature. It was ugly, with the upper half of its body being some sort of disgusting-looking female, and the rest of its torso is that of a hawk. The creature's golden eyes were locked onto Gwen, and it was staring at her cruelly. Gwen squeaked. "Ryujin, what the hell is that thing?!"

"It's a harpy. Strange, they've never come this close to the barrier before..." Ryujin paused. "Anyway, you might want to kill it. It's probably going to try and either eat you, or abduct you for its children to feast on."

Gwen shivered, in a combination of pure fear and the cold, as she put up her hands hopelessly as the creature cawed again. She had left her only weapon- a nice ornate dagger Ryujin had procured for her- in her luggage, which Ryujin had said would be brought to the Sky Palace in advance. The only thing Gwen had on her was her fists, along with the two Tide Jewels that were dangling from her neck. Still, Gwen hadn't exactly had much experience using her powers for combat. She had only used them to create drinking water and create cool-looking fountains in the past. Still, it was either she figure it out now or get taken to some nest to be chewed up by a bunch of angry bird ladies. IT was time to learn on the fly, Gwen supposed.

Before she could even channel her magic, though, the harpy attacked, diving at Gwen and swinging its talons. Gwen lifted her arms in an 'X,' bracing herself from the attack. The thick parka blocked the slice, leaving a massive tear in Gwen's sleeves, but keeping the girl unharmed for now. The blow knocked Gwen onto her back and into the snow, however. As she struggled to get up from the thick, knee-high layer of snow, Gwen gulped as the harpy looped around midair, before facing Gwen once more. With another loud crow, the harpy began to launch towards the junior Communicator once again, talons outstretched and ready to slice.



"Another spider. Fuckin' Christ."

Teddy walked through the dark cave, shaking his head in vexation. He was wearing a dark fur coat and holding a flickering torch in his hand that cast a glow across the darkness of the chilly cave. He walked slowly, leaving behind a trail of green footprints in his wake. "I knew there would be spiders, but not this many. Ugh." Teddy stopped for a moment, holding up his torch to illuminate the area. The cave was creepy, even Teddy had to admit. It was covered in stalagmites and stalactites everywhere, that jutted up and down everywhere throughout the cave, like razor-sharp stone teeth. Small pools of water formed at some points of the cave. While not as bitterly chilling as the outdoors, the cave was still rather cold. Teddy continued to walk through the cave, swerving around the stalagmites as he made his way through. Anubis had given him instructions to get to this point, but had gone silent since: Teddy had guessed that the God of the Dead was testing him.

Teddy continued to walk through the cave, holding the torch ahead of him to guide him in his path. He stopped suddenly, his eyes darting around the room as he heard a strange fluttering sound. He lifted his other hand, his eyes gliding across the room as he did so, before he found his target, a massive bat-like creature that was hiding behind a stalactite. The creature noticed Teddy's awareness and tried to attack, his fangs beared and ready to suck the Communicator dry, had Teddy not been prepared. The young man flicked his wrist, and as if by magic a blast of what appeared to be bandages launched from Teddy's hand, ensnaring the bat and wrapping it, head-to-toe, in a cocoon. The creature dropped to the floor, looking like a football that had been wrapped in bandages. Teddy scoffed as he made his way forwards. "Clearly, I'm the first one to pass through here," Teddy muttered as he continued to walk through the area.

Teddy had been trekking through this cave for about an hour, give or take, when he hit a wall in his journey. A literal wall. The wall was covered in runes and markings, with edges and grooves that made Teddy suspect there was some sort of inner workings at play in the wall. Teddy ran his fingers along the mysterious wall, trying to decipher it. After a moment, he stepped back, stroking his chin as he examined the wall further. There was something here that he was missing...

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Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by King Cosmos
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King Cosmos

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Akeno Kudo


She wasn’t the first person to pass through here. Given the situation Akeno wasn’t sure if that should be reassuring or worrying. On the one hand the signs of previous passage, namely the trail of highly visible footprints left by whoever it was that came before her, meant that she was probably on the right track at least, but it was also safe to assume that whoever that person was they were… like her. A Communicator. She didn’t know what to think of that yet.

When she found the wriggling thing wrapped in a cocoon of bandages later on it only confirmed her worries. Akeno continued through the cave, this time with a hand hovering near the hilt of the sword at her waist.

The voice in her head, the one that claimed to be a god, hadn’t spoken up since it had presented her with the choice between the caves she was currently in or climbing the mountain above it. She’d chosen the cave; reasoning that whatever was in there couldn’t be harder than fighting an entire mountain, but the deeper she trod into the darkness the more she began to question the wisdom of her choice. Maybe if the god had deigned to tell her where she was going Akeno would feel better about things, but her hallucinations had never been particularly forthcoming.

Akeno stopped, letting out a sigh that fogged in the freezing cavern air. If only she could easily dismiss this all as some delusion on her part; she wouldn’t have trekked halfway across the continent is she truly believed she was crazy. The voice was one thing, the dreams another, but it was impossible to dismiss the changes that were taking place to her own body and her own mind ever since she’d started hearing the words of a god. Not to mention the sword that hung from her waistband, the one that had suddenly appeared in her dorm room out of thin air.

A sound to her left, one separate from the constant ambience of dripping water drew her attention. Her flashlight honed in on it, following the skittering of something with lots of legs moving over hard rock, until she caught sight of a spider scuttling towards her. Normally this wouldn’t be a cause for concern, but then most spiders weren’t knee high and the light reflecting off of its tiny fangs showed that it wasn’t just a harmless house spider.

Akeno’s hand wrapped around and drew the sword from her hip, the knowledge of how to use said weapon flooding her mind and strength filling her body as soon as her fingers made contact with the hilt. The spider leapt for her and steel flashed in the dark as she swung once, neatly bisecting the head of the oversized arachnid before it could reach her.

With another swing she shook the ichor from the blade before sheathing it again at her hip, also shaking the uncomfortable feeling from her brain as she did so. It was a strange sensation, having instincts that were hers and yet not hers at the same time take control of her body. She’d learned to fight over the years, but never with a sword; to do so meant ignoring her own experiences and giving herself over to something that came from something else. Not something she was comfortable doing.

Her journey through the cave continued for another hour at least after that, through which she saw neither more spiders nor anything else of note. Not until she found him anyway. She froze when her flashlight revealed another human being down in the darkness with her and she barely even saw the runic markings he was pondering over. Her hand came to rest on her hilt of her sword in as casual a manner as she could manage and she started to move again.

“Hey.” What did you even say in a situation like this? “You too?”

@Hitman
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Hidden 2 yrs ago 2 yrs ago Post by tokkiya
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There was a certain quietness to the room as the light from the night sky gently flooded through a crack between the window curtains. Sounds of spring peepers chirping outside beyond the hillside reverberated to the house. (Unusual for fall, but not unheard of for the frogs to start a chorus outside of mating season.) Under a thin sheet and on the bed, Torbjørn concentrated on the rests between the frogs’ chirping while he focused. Slight movements beneath his eyelids seemed to keep beat with each thought.

Everything seems to be going smoothly, finally.

Chirp.

Father’s caretaker is scheduled to arrive tomorrow morning.

Chirp, chirp.

And studying can finally be a priority.

A gentle breeze flowed through the property. The dying leaves on trees rustled against each other just as the window curtains gracefully danced in the breeze.

Chirp, chirp, chirp, chirp, chirp.

Indeed, it can, a disembodied and alien voice casually agreed.

Quicker than a bolt of lightning Torbjørn’s eyelids snapped open and his body tensed where he lay. The blue of his eyes captured the dim starlight and flickered in the darkness as he shifted his eyes from side to side.

“Wh… wh-what the hell was that?” he whispered in a strained hushed tone.

By ‘what’ I think that you mean ‘whom.’

No words could escape his mouth or enter his mind. The only response he could manage was a guttural sound as a shade of panic colored his face.

Hm. You react as though you’ve never been chosen by a god before.

Tor’s brows furrowed and his lips fumbled to formulate a word.

Ah, ah, ah, but shh, the unwanted voice interrupted. With the same breath it continued, I am Baldr and you are my chosen communicator. Studying is indeed a priority for you now—as a fledgling communicator—and you will begin by ascending to the Lopt Kastali, or Sky Palace as the others refer to it. This voice, that is Baldr’s voice, sharply inhaled before continuing. If you are asking yourself where this so-called Sky Palace is located, look no further than the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

Silence filled the space of Tor’s mind.

Chirp.

Still, silence. Four seconds, five seconds, six seconds…

Chirp, chirp, chirp.

Slowly Torbjørn blinked his eyes for the first time since the voice materialized. The muscles in his body relaxed uneasily and he cleared his throat.

“Far er det du?” he asked with a shallow breath, the words barely pushing past his lips, eyes now fixed on the bedroom door.

Do you really expect your father to respond? Now stop pretending as though you don’t hear me in your head. The voice continued in the same fashion as before as to not allow Torbjørn to get a word in edgewise. Let’s do it this way then. When you wake in the morning, you will find a smooth stone and engraved upon it will be the sowulo rune. Should you observe it in darkness, you will find that the edges of the rune possess an unnatural glow. In a short pause, the voice breaks what has sounded like a run-on sentence. The rune will prove that I am who I say I am, and that you, Torbjørn Varg, you will do as I say. You will access the foot of the mountain from the village of Burlington. Ascend the mountain.

His mind emptied itself of the unexpected visitor as quickly as the voice had materialized in it; yet, somehow, the feeling of complete privacy within his own thoughts felt distant.


Opening heavy eyes, Torbjørn rolled over in bed extending his arm to haplessly find the source of a morning alarm. After multiple attempts to find the source, he grunted and forced himself to focus. The clock read 6:30 a.m. in blue numbers as the digital alarm continued to blare. Eyes burning, the man sighed and turned off the alarm with one hand as the other ran through his hair. Just as sleep began to envelop him again, a jolt went through his body triggering a rush of adrenaline.

Last night, what was last night?

Tor squeezed his eyes shut as though to recant last night’s occurrence.

It was… just a dream. Yes, a very realistic and vivid dream, he half-heartedly reassured himself.

The edge of a forced smile crept onto his countenance. He inhaled slowly and placed his right forearm behind his head, then casually looked to his right toward the nightstand. It was then that his smile dissipated; his heart nearly stopping for a second.

Atop the nightstand sat a round stone.

”No…,” he uttered in disbelief.

Swallowing, Torbjørn rolled onto his side and swung his legs out over the bed. Sitting upright now he could clearly see the stone and a rune of some sort etched into it. His blood ran cold. A moment passed as he sat motionless. Observing the stone he couldn’t find anything to formulate into words or thoughts… it all seemed too surreal. Finally steeling himself, he stood up and began to reach for the stone only to stop within a millimeter of it, never breaking eyesight with it.

The morning sun blanketed the room with its warm glow. Its rays glinted off of the stone in an unusual way. It was as though the stone was absorbing the light. The edges of the carved rune slowly pulsed with a soft glow; yet, something about it felt restrained.

The millimeter of distance remaining between him and the stone closed. His heart raced when his fingertips scrutinized the surface of the mysterious stone. Echoing through his mind were the words of the voice from last night.

The rune will prove that I am who I say I am, and that you, Torbjørn Varg, you will do as I say. You will access the foot of the mountain from the village of Burlington. Ascend the mountain.

With eyes still transfixed upon the stone, now holding the stone in his palm, Tor muttered, ”Never in a hundred years would I have thought I’d do this.” He closed his hand around the stone. ”Dette er galskap.”


“Å hallo!” a middle-aged woman greeted Tor. “I assume you are Torbjørn, ja?”

The woman spun around as Torbjørn brushed past her in the hallway.

“H-hallo?” she nervously stuttered.

”Beklager frue. Ja jeg er Torbjørn,” he replied. His eyes never made eye contact with hers as he rushed around.

The woman looked at him with an unsure expression. “You look like you’re going somewhere. Will you be back today?” She spun around again as he brushed past her.

Not to be bothered with neatly organizing items, Tor stuffed clothing into a black backpack with an internal frame. Practically about to burst, he had to really force the last few articles into the bag. He had heard the woman’s question, but his main concern was his father as thoughts and questions raced through his mind.

She continued to stand in the middle of the hallway, wide-eyed and mouth slightly parted open. Zipping the main compartment closed, Tor maneuvered past her one last time. The bulky backpack made just enough contact to knock the caretaker slightly off balance.

“Ugh, brute…,” she whispered beneath her breath.

Tor kneeled next to his father who was sitting in a recliner. “Far. Jeg skal på tur og vet ikke hvor lenge jeg er borte. Jeg beklager at jeg ikke kan forklare. Det ser ut til å være ... presserende skjønt. Jeg lover å sende deg brev hvis jeg kan,” he gently explained. (Translation: I'm going on a trip and do not know how long I will be away. I'm sorry I can’t explain. It seems to be... urgent though. I will sending you letters if I can.) Trying to formulate his next words, he looked over to the woman and made eye contact with her for the first time. He turned back to his father once more. “Din vaktmester er her. Hun virker som en veldig snill kvinne. Hun vil sørge for at du har alt du trenger.” (Translation: Your caretaker is here. She seems like a very kind woman. She will make sure that you have everything that you need.) Turning his attention back to the woman, he smiled with a sort of sadness.

“Kanskje han ikke er en så brutal tross alt...,” she shyly said to herself. (Translation: Maybe he’s not such a brute after all…)

Slowly Tor stood up again. He shifted the backpack higher onto his back as he gripped the straps with both hands. He observed his father. He had aged so much just within the past decade or so. It would be easy to understand if someone mistook his father to be much older than he really was. A somber sadness spread through Tor as he looked upon a man whom he always thought was invincible and outside of death’s reach.

“Don’t give this woman any trouble, you hear?” He chuckled and tried to appear optimistic and strong for his father. Placing a hand on his father’s shoulder, he looked into his father’s eyes—eyes that seemed to look beyond anything in the room. “Glad i deg pappa.”

With those last words, Tor squeezed the shoulder of his father and headed out the front door shutting it behind him.

“Jeg elsker deg også sønn.”
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Hidden 2 yrs ago 2 yrs ago Post by Angel Of Red
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Angel Of Red

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Out in the middle of Maine, a seemingly abandoned cabin was nestled deep within the forests that littered the landscape. As the morning sunlight began to filter in through the tattered curtains of the make-shift bedroom window, a soft yawn followed by the groans of a stretch left Fianna's mouth. Her bright blue eyes stared up at the ceiling in a glazed-off manner for a bit, every time she closed her eyes to sleep she experienced that dreadful night over and over. Her thoughts drifted like that of the newly fallen snow outside, Abnoda was able to heal Fia's body but one cannot heal the mind so easily.

The young woman sat up stiffly and scratched through her mane of red before she peeled back her quilt to let her legs dangle off the side of the bed just for a moment. Fianna stood up and glanced out of the window to see Fèidhgeal, a giant white doe and Abnoda's familiar.

"Oh, crabgrass! I forgot!" The redhead said as she scrambled as fast as she could to get dressed. Fia tugged up a pair of jeans, pulled herself through a long-sleeved thermal, zipped up a vest, and stepped into a pair of hiking boots. She had already been wearing her underclothes with warm, wool socks. Fianna grabbed her bow and quiver, then her hiking backpack filled with all the essentials, her winter coat with matching hat and mittens and left the cabin abruptly. She ran to the edge of the forest where Fèidhgeal was standing, she put up a hand to tell the deer to give her a moment to catch her breath.

"You're late, Fianna," Fèidhgeal stated the obvious and Fia glared slightly up at the giant doe before she stood up straight and adjusted the backpack on herself.

"I realize that Fèidhgeal. If you are that worried, let us get going," Fianna said as she gestured towards the West.

Fèidhgeal knelt down and looked at Fianna "It will be faster if you allow me to carry you there," the doe replied and allowed the young woman to climb upon her back. "You may want to hang on," she stated before she began to take off.




After what seemed like an eternity to Fianna, Fèidhgeal stopped at the base of the mountain. "Here is where we must walk together," the white doe stated as she bent down to let Fia slide off. Fianna then looked at the snow-covered mountain and let out a soft sigh. "I cannot carry you to the top of this mountain but I can follow with you," Fèidhgeal suggested.

The young woman nervously resituated her backpack once again as becoming Abnoda's Communicator was going to be quite a daunting task. Plus, other people were going to be there. Actual, people! Fia hadn't talked to anyone but Fèidhgeal since the night that changed her life. Fianna looked up at her doe companion and smiled softly. "Thank you, Fèidhgeal. I would appreciate that a lot if you could," she said as she began the climb up the mountain.

It wasn't too terribly long before they came upon signs that directed them to a cave or a path. Fianna pursed her lips softly. "I think we should take the mountain path. The cave will likely have all sorts of spiders and you are not the best with creepy crawlies, Fèidhgeal, and it appears that someone has begun the journey on the path anyway," she mentioned as she turned around and frowned. "Of course you would leave," the redhead muttered softly before she began to follow the tracks in the snow along the path.

After following the footprints for a while, Fianna's head snapped up as she heard the weirdest noise ever. She saw a girl getting attacked by the ugliest creature Fia has ever seen. The redhead ran as fast as she could towards the girl. She quickly drew her bow, took her stance, and shot an arrow at the winged creature. Fianna's arrow lodged itself in the creature's right wing, she let loose another arrow hitting it square in the chest. The creature dropped to the ground, screaming in pain. Fia ran up and dispatched another arrow in its head before she looked at the girl.

"Are you alright?" Fianna asked as she placed her bow back in her quiver with its arrows and offered the girl a hand.
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Hidden 2 yrs ago 2 yrs ago Post by Kumbaris
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Oh god. This feels like hell. I now know why that Red Haired woman wanted me to train with her every 3 days in that blasted gym. Pole Vaulting, Close Combat Fighting and all that stuff. This climb feels incredibly treacherous even with the powers gifted to me. I don't even want to think about what happens if I climb without my gifted powers.

"Ah, c'est la merde. J'arrive à Boston et puis je besoin montée la montagne?" I complained to myself. "The TSA is bad enough, why can't I spend my first days here discovering Boston huh? At least experience some of the American culture for myself."

"Oh c'mon, you've been to Mali and Afghanistan, can you really complain about all this cold?" A Red Haired woman said, floating just right besides me as I slowly climb the mountain. "I'm know that you've been contemplating climbing Mont Blanc for a while now, just interpret this as a test run before the actual event.

"Seriously?" I asked. "I was working in my café before suddenly you came here and asked me to come to America. No explanations, no nothing, and you're really insistent about it. 'Bah oui' I said, flying all the way from my town to Boston, and then I have to take an Autobus from Boston to some Small Town, before finally we're here. Just what are you hiding from me Scathach?"

"Wait. Someone's here, you know what to do."

I quickly nodded and activated my powers, completely making me invisible, my footsteps already gave it away, but should a would be attacker noticed it, I can pounce on them and make short work should I need to. There is a commotion nearby, a fight of sorts. "Hmmm, qu'est-ce que c'est..." I muttered, peering from a rock outcropping that I've hid myself into."

There is a bird like creature attacking some girl, before some other woman attacked it with a bow and seemed to kill it. "Other Communicators perhaps?"

"Oh... is that, seems like it, a Communicator of Abnoba and Ryujin by the looks of it. Don't worry, I don't think they'll attack you, definitely not Abnoba's Communicator. Just depower and say hello." The woman said, sitting on top of the rock outcropping, motioning me to reveal myself.

Depowering my invisibility, I walked out of the rock outcropping, waving my hands to the two women that seemed to dispatch the monster. "Bonjour, vous êtes une Communicatrice non?"

"Not in French! They're not French!!" The figure accompanying me screamed, shaking her head.

@Angel of Red
@Hitman
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Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by RainforestGiant
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The mountain side was cold, but Nathaniel was used to that. In fact, men in his tribe had gone naked much of the year until the start of the twentieth century. This snow was deep but dry not wet and clingy. The better question was 'what in the world was he doing here?'

Thunderbird rarely 'talked to Nathaniel directly, for which Nate was truly grateful, but he had directed Nate to this mountain. If Thunderbird knew the reason or reasons, he was playing it close to the vest.

He had packed for winter hiking but he was too warm and took off his jacket tying it to the outside of his pack. His war paddle was in his hand, it made a handy walking stick and Nate was wearing black leather and kevlar combat boots.

What am I doing here? he asked himself then saw a strange sight. The path ahead was shimmering and not with heat waves or an illusion brought on by snow-blindness. He walked forward until he was directly in front of it and reached out a hand to touch it. He felt resistance.

"So that's what an invisible barrier looks like," he said in surprise.
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Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by Hitman
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Gwen was absolutely and utterly terrified by this giant harpy creature that was now bearing down upon her. Ryujin had told her about these sort of creatures existing out in the depths of the wild, but had not expected to encounter one so soon into her tenure as a Communicator, and was far too exhausted and cold to think as to how to rationally. She was about to just try and dodge and make a break for it when the bird was suddenly speared clean out of the sky by an arrow. Gwen’s head turned with a start to see another individual approaching. Another Communicator. Or at least, what Gwen assumed to be another Communicator, unless the random hikers of New Hampshire carried around bows to shoot down wild bird monsters.

The girl walked over, offing the harpy with another arrow to the head, before approaching Gwen. She wasn’t too intimidating, Gwen supposed. She was a bit older than Gwen and her musculature more well-defined, but overall she looked very approachable. She took the young woman’s hand, pulling herself to her feet. "Gwen," the 18-year-old said with her best attempt at a chipper smile. "Thank you so much for the help," Gwen said, taking a glance back at the harpy that was bleeding out on the ground, staining the white snow with a dark maroon froth. "I didn’t bring a weapon, because, you know, I wasn’t told that I was going to be attacked by flying birds."

”You are beyond stubborn,” Ryujin said in the girl’s head.

"Anyway," the younger girl continued, shivering slightly in the cold, "thanks again. I owe you one, big time.” Gwen didn’t know exactly how she could pay this woman back, but she’d figure it out. She did save her life, after all. Before she could ask for the redhead’s name, however, another woman approached the duo, appearing out of nowhere. She was larger and apparently very French, and she began speaking to the two in French. Gwen looked at the woman like a deer in headlights. ”Umm...oui oui?”



Teddy ran his fingers along the carvings of the wall. It was fascinating. It seemed to be some sort of painting, like a cave painting, depicting the Olympians and Egyptian Gods meeting atop a massive cloud. The details of the image were strangely both archaic but incredibly precise and smooth. No regular mortal could have ever carved something like this, something so precisely created and etched into the cave's walls. Teddy could tell that the doorway was made by some sort of divine presence.

As he examined the mysterious wall, though, he heard a voice behind him. Teddy turned his head, looking at the girl standing before him. She was around Teddy's age and fairly tall, with a sword hanging from her hip, standing in the middle of a deadly spider-infested cave. It didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out who Teddy was dealing with. The youth gave a curt nod to Akeno, his lips tightly compressed as he thought of what to say. After leaving her question in the air for a couple of seconds, he responded with a simple, "yeah," before adding, "Me too. Think I'm figuring something out here..."

Teddy pressed his hand against a large carving of the sun in the middle of the etched portrait, and there was a loud rumbling sound as the wall began to part right down the middle. A confident smirk on his face clear as day even in the darkness of the cave, Teddy stepped back as the painting split open in the middle, revealing a large hidden chamber behind the wall. Unlike the rest of the cave, this chamber seemed to have been crafted by some other figure, with perfectly even, polished stone walls equipped with scarlet flickering torches. "Ladies first," Teddy pined quietly as he examined the hidden corridor.

As he took his first steps into the corridor, Teddy quickly stopped as he noticed something on the other end. Two glowing green lights, vastly different from the flickering torches that lined the corridor. Teddy had a realization in his heart of what was about to happen as he saw the creature slink out from the darkness. It was a cobra. A very large cobra, as tall as Teddy, perhaps, with a body that winded into the dark recesses of the corridor.

Teddy held up the torch as he stepped back, looking at the creature, which seemed to be preparing to make a move. "Looks like they wanted to test us," Teddy said with a certain sense of familiarity, standing lightly on his toes as he looked over to his fellow Communicator. Evidently, the Gods were not afraid of putting them in life-or-death situations off the bat. This was a message and a test. A message to tell the Communicators that they were not special, but disposable- and a test for the Communicators to prove the Gods wrong.

"I hope you know how to use that thing," Teddy was, gesturing to the sword as the massive cobra reared its head back, preparing to bite. "And I hope you’re not afraid of snakes,"


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Darrin pulled his coat closer to his body as he trudged through the snow, shaking softly in the freezing temperatures. Even with three layers of clothes, the mountain was far colder than anything the young man had ever experienced. He felt like this must have been what Frankenstein must have been feeling when he was discovered by Captain Walton in the artic. And to think, Darrin thought it was bad when he finally returned to St. Austell...

"A-are we there yet...?"

Darrin's voice creaked from behind chattering teeth, the young man eager to reach cover. Around 3 meters away, Cu Sith was walking slowly into the storm, moving in a strange path that zigged and shifted at random. Darrin had learned to follow the path his familiar set when he plunged knee-deep in the snow, soaking his pants and boots. The beast turned and shook its head at its master, eliciting a cracking sound from the bark that made up its neck.

Darrin sighed.

'I'm biting the bullet - Can we start going to the cave?'

And almost immediately, Darrin felt his arm completely lose feeling from the elbow down, shooting out to the right without any input on Darrin's part.

Darrin nodded and broke into a jog - or, at least as close to one as he could manage in the snow. It was a terribly uncomfortable feeling; as if someone had emptied out Darrin's arm and jammed their own inside it, wearing it like some kind of meat suit. But Cernunnos didn't like talking, and this was how the god directed Darrin back to his home months ago - so Darrin knew that eventually, he'd regain control and it'd be like nothing happened...

Darrin was still going to rush this as much as he could though. Just because he knew it was harmless didn't mean it wasn't super uncomfortable...

When he was visited by the voices in his dreams and given the options for getting to Sky Palace (Dennis? Darrin really couldn't keep track of all the names), Darrin wanted to avoid considering the path with spiders and other bugs. He wasn't really sure how easily he could get help if any were venomous, and he'd never been spelunking before. But at this point, he felt like a few stings would be worth it if only to take a break from the chill and the wind.

Within minutes, the cave opening came into view. Cu Sith entered first and sat a few meters inside, and Darrin was quick to follow. Even the mouth of the cave felt significantly warmer than the outside, if only because it was shielded from the intense winds from outside. Darrin squatted against the cave wall and removed his gloves, pressing his hands deep into Cu Sith's fur. The dog's skin really felt like wood... but at least it was warm. Darrin pet the dog in this manner for a minute or so, the creature uncaring for the attention.

Darrin stared deeper into the cave as he put his gloves back on. It was... definitely dark. Reaching into his pack, Darrin removed a flashlight and flicked it on. Darrin smiled as the cave suddenly lit up, a few small spiders skittering away from the sudden brightness.

"Man, I'd have killed for one of these a few years ago..."



As it turned out, navigating a cave was really hard. Like, really hard. Everything looked the exact same, and there were more than a few times when Darrin's arm threw itself in a seemingly random direction only for him to notice an opening that had blended in with the shadows cast from his flashlight. Cu Sith thankfully was in the lead, breaking through webs and taking dozens of bites without flinching.

Eventually, they reached an opening in the system that made navigation much more simple. Darrin rubbed his forearm, thankful to finally have it back under his own control.

"Never going to get used to that..."

Unfortunately, the freedom from his god giving him directions came at the cost of way more spiders... The ground seemed to have already been cleared, a path of green goo and splattered exoskeletons indicating that someone must have walked through recently. Pointing his light to the ceiling, Darrin felt nauseous when it looked like the top of the cave was moving. A sea of spiders, agitated by the sudden lighting, seemed to border holes in the ceiling of the cave. Pointing his light back down, Darrin simply followed the path his predecessors laid out, hoping the squished spiders might dissuade other spiders from coming. It seemed like the majority of the spiders stayed near the ceiling for some reason.

As he passed by a mound of spiders, Darrin pointed his light at it, causing them to move slightly and show what they were swarming. Some bat-like creature was being eaten by the spiders, having been restrained by bandages and left to die. That explained why there were so many more on the ceiling of the cave - they must eat these bats. The restrained bat wriggled as the light hit it, only enticing more spiders to come investigate the catch. Darrin, decided now would probably be a good time to leave, before a big spider found the free meal someone left for it. The thought of using his power crossed Darrin's mind - making the cave harder to navigate would mean he'd have a much easier time escaping from any more of these bat things and spiders...

...Then again, it'd also be a death sentence for anyone else here. Darrin didn't really want to accidentally kill anyone, especially if they were new communicators like him. And if gods were as petty as the stories made them out to be, then killing their communicators was probably an easy way to end up on their shit list.

Instead, he continued walking down the path, allowing Cu Sith to squish any spiders they encountered and doing his best to think about how warm Sky Palace probably was. It felt like days had passed by the time they finally reached a dead end, though really Darrin knew it had been an hour at most. A loud rumbling caught Darrin's attention, and immediately he slid behind a stalagmite and flicked his flashlight off. Peaking from his hiding position, Darrin saw two humanoid shapes holding torches next to a doorway. Darrin sighed and left his hiding position, walking towards the figures. Those most have been the people who were walking in front of him - Darrin would have to thank them for taking care of all the big stuff!

As he came closer, however, Darrin saw that they had both stopped and were now in defensive stances. Peering over, the young man soon realized why the pair were nervous - they were right in front of a giant cobra!

... Well, it wasn't actually that scary. Darrin had never seen a cobra before, but the anacondas in the rainforest were a lot longer than this thing. And while it was probably still intimidating for these guys, Darrin had nothing to fear from snakes anymore.

Darrin focused on the creature, imagining himself wearing its body like a skinsuit, displacing its flesh with his own, splintering its bones, eating it alive. When Darrin blinked, he opened the snake's eyes.

'Weird! No move body, want move! MOVE! BITE!'

God (Gods?), this felt weird both ways, huh? Darrin ignored the snake's thoughts, trying to justify the guilt he felt at taking over its body. He could hear it after all - it wanted to kill these people, so he shouldn't feel guilty at what he was about to do. It took a few seconds of flailing around to get used to the snake's body before Darrin managed to twist it onto its back, exposing the neck and vital organs.

"Cu Sith, I can't really see right now - mind walking me to them?"

The dog quickly responded, lightly biting Darrin's sleeve and dragging him over to the pair. As he came into the snake's vision, Darrin waved to the two other communicators.

"Hey, sorry if that freaked you guys out! I don't get to use the 'Controlling Snakes' thing much, so it might have looked a little weird..."

'AHHHHHHHHHH! Stop showing stomach! DANGER! Strike while prey distracted! Strike now, move! WHY BODY NO MOVE!?'

Darrin shook his head slightly. He'd have to ask one of the voices if there was a way to mute these things the next time he went to sleep.

"Not sure if you guys want to kill it or let it loose, but it's pretty angry right now. I'd probably have to send it a bit back into the cave if we're doing the latter."

@Hitman@King Cosmos
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Hidden 2 yrs ago 2 yrs ago Post by Kumbaris
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Of course. Both of them doesn't speak French, this is America after all.

"Sorry sorry. I should've known better. But I was asking if you are both Communicators. If that is a yes, then I think that we should band together and walk towards the destination together. It's much better if we can dispatch threats like that Bird Thing miss... uhh, Miss Écosse just killed together."

"You mean a Harpy. That thing is called a harpy

Ah, so that's what it is. Harpies.

"Anyway, I don't think you two women would be happy if I call you Madame Écosse and you Madame Chinois. Why don't you both introduce yourselves? My name is Marinette Caron. Communicatrice of Scathach, former Captain of the 1ère Régiment de Hussards Parachutistes, and currently climbing a cold mountain just to fulfill my Deity's wishes I guess. What about you two?"

@Hitman
@Angel Of Red
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Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by King Cosmos
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King Cosmos

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Akeno Kudo


“I can use it.” Akeno drew the sword with a sense of resignation, wondering how she’d gotten into this mess and whether it was too late to turn back. She wasn’t even sure what had compelled her to follow the instructions from the voice in her head up to this point, other than the fact that it was a literal divine mandate and ignoring those seemed like a bad idea. Even so, throwing herself into the jaws of a giant cobra was a bit much for a god to ask of her, divine retribution or not.

She didn’t turn to leave though.

“Stand back. Let me deal with it.”

Instead she eyed the walls of the corridor, judging the hidden chamber wide enough that it shouldn’t make swinging her weapon impossible but that she’d still need to be careful. There wasn’t enough room to dodge the snake if it lunged at her, nowhere to hide if she didn’t kill it on the first stroke; she would need to kill it either before it attacked her or as it was attacking her. That would have been impossible, even for someone with years or martial arts experience like her, but with the sword in hand and the skills it gave such a thing was possible even for someone like her.

Akeno could see the technique that would let her do it, the counterstroke that would sever the serpents head in the moment before its fangs struck her. Knowing how to do it and actually doing it were two different things however. She was just borrowing these skills from someone else, they weren’t her own; how could she trust that they would even work, or that she could do them properly? She wasn’t good at the whole ‘blind faith’ thing.

In the end it wasn’t necessary. Before either she or the snake could strike something took over its body as the serpent flopped over onto its back and exposed its belly to them. Another Communicator joined them a moment later, blind, being led by a… thing that looked like a dog. “You did that?” Akeno gestured towards the still struggling, yet helpless snake before realising that the action was likely pointless. “Thanks.”

She walked over to the creature, keeping her sword pointed at its throat the entire time, until she was standing over its body. “If we leave it alive, it might attack anyone who comes through here after us right?” Akeno held her sword out so that the blade was poised over its throat; it was too large to try and decapitate, so slitting its body open was probably the best way to deal with it. “We should kill it.”

The sword didn’t move. Akeno looked over at the others.

“We should kill it, right?”
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Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by Blizz
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Sam Jester


Kenaz

Algiz

Raidho


Those were the three runes burning along the body of Sam’s magic guitar, which generated a respectable supply of heat, like a very large hand warmer, or a torch that’s hotter than usual. “Well done,” said the god in the drifter’s head. Bragi, bard of the Aesir tribe and the first mortal musician of the nine lands. Sam held the guitar up over his head like a lighthouse to shine through the snow that whipped through the air. He had two layers over his chest, and a pair of jeans and boots, he wasn’t exactly miserable thanks to his magic, but on the downside, the runes made the snow just ever so slightly blinding. If anything, he stuck out like a sore thumb while being somewhat warmer than anything else that was probably making its way through this slog of a storm. Anything could easily see the warm, orange glow between the snowflakes and sneak up on him no doubt. The howls of the wind were deafening, but Bragi seemed to know the way.

”Damn...how much further?” Sam called out in a raised voice, as if Bragi wasn’t between his ears already.

“Just keep moving and remember what I said.”

And keep moving he did, for what felt like an eternity. The mountain was cold, but thanks to the half-baked magic Sam still didn’t exactly know like the back of his hands, it was manageable. If you had told Sam he’d come here, to a frigid mountain in New Hampsire, a few months ago then he’d look at you like you had two heads. Still, it’s not like he hasn’t been to cold places before, but usually this amount of wind isn’t present. God, that damn wind. ”Shoulda’ brought a hood.” Frankly, Sam couldn’t see shit. Bragi had to call out like the ground was on fire once or twice to stop him from veering off a ledge. To make matters worse, the light was starting to dim. Rune magic only lasted a while, not permanently. It didn’t matter anyway, Sam was warm enough for a while. Once it faded, he flicked his wrist, and if anyone saw it, it would be like the guitar defies reality and vanished.

Which it did.

“Sam, continue on. There is a passage way out of the storm just ahead of you. Yet be ready for danger.”

”Why?”

“Spiders, large enough to ride as a horse.”

”You're shittin’ me.”

“I am not.”

”Well, fuck...Ay. Bragi. The dead guys are up ahead.”

Draugr.

Scandinavian warriors who never had the chance to find peace, cursed to wander Midgard until they can exact vengeance upon some figure in their lives. In the haze of the snow, Sam made out the look of one covered in an animal skin cloak, with an axe dragging through the snow as it stood with the stance of someone with dementia. Bragi told him about these things, said that lots of things guarded the entrance to the castle, or palace, whatever. It didn’t see them just yet, meaning it wouldn’t take Sam by surprise...meaning he could just walk up to it. Sam stared at the poor zombie motherfucker for a moment before waking slowly forward.

“Do you recall what I said?”

”Yep.”

Finally, the Draugr laid eyes on Sam, and stared at him with cold, dead eyes. Sam stopped dead in his traps with the most deadpan, unconcerned look he could give. It wore armor made of hide and leather, a rusted knife plunged deep into its throat, and an arrow in it’s shoulder, it had clearly never been one to care for pain, and could easily fold Sam like a lawn chair with or without the axe it weakly cling to. Still, Sam maintained a look of apathy. That was the trick to dealing with Draugr: Never show fear. The Draugr simply grunted and lost interest in Sam as it turned to hobble away, Sam simply slowly strode past it as he reached for something in the winter air in front of him, a weapon. Or an instrument? No, both.

”Fuck you-“ In a flash, the untreatable guitar materialized in his hands as he swung it into the side of the Draugr’s decayed skull. A wet, stiff crack filled the air before it made a loud thud in the snow. Surprisingly, nordic zombies don’t go down that easily, so with a hiss and an angry attempt to get up, the Draugr’s grip cling to its axe tighter, before a musical sound followed suit. A glowing symbol lit up in between the two.

Isa

Suddenly, the cold became much colder for the Draugr’s whose movements became much slower until rime encased its limbs. The rune had frozen it solid. Sam followed this up with a shattering stomp of his guitar into it’s body. Now the dead fighter was just a pile of ice.

”Bastard.”

”Back to the hall of the Wave Mother with you, creature.”

”Where’m I going?”




A short while later, Sam found the entrance of a cave. It was quiet, which was good. Dark, wet, and cold, but still better than out there. Sam strung the torchlight runes again to light the way, emitting enough light to see much more clearly from his instrument. Several minutes of walking showed little resistance as his footsteps echoed off the walls of the cavern. For a spider cave, there weren’t any spiders, oh wait, there’s one. Dead. Cut in half? Damn. Sam stared at the half dead corpse for a moment, someone else was here besides him. Other communicators, maybe?

”Man, this one got- what’s that?”

Sam could hear voices.

That was people!

”Well damn, hello?” He called out as he kept moving onwards, seeing a bat in a cocoon, and eventually coming to a wall, there were people here trying to get past a wall. He stood a few feet away from them shining light from his guitar against the wall like a floodlight. A man and a woman, the man held a torch, the women held a sword. ”Hey, god people?” When the wall actually opened, there was a snake in the way. Shit. That’s a big snake. ”I’m guessing I picked a bad time to show up...” Sam raised the guitar overhead like a baseball bat in case the snake lunged at them.

”Uh- YEAH we should kill it!”


@King Cosmos@Hitman
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Hidden 2 yrs ago 2 yrs ago Post by Angel Of Red
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Fianna smiled gently as Gwen offered her thanks. She listened to Gwen speak about how she didn't know about these creatures living here and that all she knew was that there was going to be a blizzard. "You're welcome, I wouldn't want these creatures at a tea party that's for sure," she laughed lightly as she kicked the dead creature just to make sure only for its last reflexes to react similarly to a chicken with its head cut off.

Fia screamed in surprise before stepping on the dead creature's neck and used a spare arrow to slice its jugular for good measure. The redhead sighed softly as she realized her mistake with stomping on the corpse, as her boots were now covered in the creature's blood. She turned around to see a tall, blonde, and apparently French, woman who tried to converse with them in her native language.

Fianna blinked her blue eyes in a confused manner before the French woman corrected herself. Fia quickly wiped her arrow off in the snow and put it back in her quiver. "My name is Fianna, I'm the Communicator for the Goddess Abnoda. It is nice to meet both of you," she said as she proceeded to wipe her boots off in the snow then removed the other two arrows from the harpy's corpse.

"Although, I don't think we should stop and chat for long," Fianna commented as the blizzard never seemed to stop or slow down. "I prefer not to be a popsicle for another one of these creatures," she added with a gentle but nervous smile. Most birds in nature were in flocks and she didn't know how many arrows she would have if they would have to fend off a whole flock of these dumb things.

Fia looked at Gwen and tilted her head. Her expression became one of concern. "Are you alright, Gwen? It looks like that creature got your arm," she said pointing out the rips on the girl's sleeve.

@Hitman@Kumbaris
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Hidden 2 yrs ago 2 yrs ago Post by tokkiya
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The foot of the White Mountains was like any other mountain. It was toward the top that that changed—swirling masses of snow encircled the top making it look as though the summit reached into the heavens. Past the area of what a normal hiker could endure, the face of the mountain was steep, treacherous, and covered in meters of deep snow.

Unforgiving wind bit at Torbjørn’s exposed skin. Its bitterness seemingly froze superficial capillaries causing them to produce a crackling sensation. Years of living in Norway gave Tor the opportunity to become a proficient mountaineer, but even this was a challenge for him. Between the howling wind and snow from the depths of Niflheim, navigating his way to the summit was disorienting and punishing. His lips were raw and chapped beneath a balaclava, his hands and feet felt like burning bricks, and his muscles were growing painfully weak and aching.

All the while Baldr offered no hints, encouragement, or even the slightest inkling of his existence within Torbjørn’s mind. The trek to the summit was Tor’s mission and his alone apparently.

Clack. A sturdy ice axe stabbed into the mountain’s icy rock. The hood of a fur-lined parka rose over the edge of a cliff, then a heavily gloved hand. With reflective snow sport goggles donned, Tor peaked over the top of the cliff and grasped for a handling to hoist himself onto level ground. He threw himself into the snow after his feet found solid ground. His breaths were labored and the warm yet unwelcomed moisture of sweat beaded on parts of his body unexposed to the otherworldly cold.

Why the hell did I come here? he asked himself. Gotta find a place to rest. Finding a resting place was vital. If he pushed himself too hard, he would begin to really sweat and create the perfect condition for hypothermia.

With a moan, Tor looked up from a prone position. The piercing wind whipped snow and ice incessantly. There was no break from the torture—save for a few less powerful gusts. It was in one of those moments that he was able to make out the entrance to a small cave. Not having many other choices, making a temporary shelter there was the best next course of action. Slowly he placed a foot beneath him and kneeled with the other leg. He picked up the ice axe he had carelessly casted next to him after falling into the snow.



As soon as he entered the mouth of the cave he let out a sigh of relief. The cover of the cave provided shelter from the wind and that alone was enough to make anyone cry tears of joy. Drained, Tor sat down to enjoy a short-lived period of respite. He removed his hood, lowered his balaclava, then took his goggles off and placed it into a compartment of the backpack. The crystals of ice that formed in the fur glistened as they fell off. Red impressions were left around his brow, cheeks, and the bridge of his nose from the goggles.

It was when Tor wiped sweat from his brow that he heard an echo from within the cave that sounded something like, yeah. Some other echoes followed, but that was the only sound that struck him as a word.

Something told him to investigate, and it wasn’t Baldr. If he was crazy enough to scale a mountain at the request of a voice in his head, could someone else be doing the same thing? All of it was strange. He rationalized that he was already this far, so might as well delve deeper into the rabbit hole. It was like a scene out of a horrible horror movie where a character goes against any sane person’s instincts. Part of him wanted to scream, “Stop, you idiot!” Nevertheless, deeper into the rabbit hole he went.

Out from a side pocket of his mountaineering backpack was a right angle flashlight that he clipped onto the strap. The Norwegian turned it on. Its bright white light illuminated every nook and cranny between it and a large distance. Scuttling of insects and other cave inhabitants reverberated off the innumerous stalagmites and stalactites within the void of the mountain.

Certainly not alone in here.

Without any sense of danger and unknowing of how much danger was actually ahead, he continued further into the cavern.
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Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by Kumbaris
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Marinette summoned her spear. A red object made out of pure metal and proceeded to scout the route slightly ahead. It appears that it is relatively clear, she doesn't see any harpies around that could interfere with the journey.

She also noticed that, just trekking a short while longer. The wind completely stops and Marinette can see a gate. So this is why Scathach is adamant on her walking here. Is this the place where the gods reside? Marinette couldn't wait any longer and hurried back to where Fianna and the Chinese girl was.

She eventually turned around, seeing Fianna noticing the rip out of the Chinese woman's shirt. This shouldn't be a massive issue, but one can never be too sure if the Climate is this harsh. A single mistake can ruin your entire day, she learned that in the military so many, many times.

"I can help you tie that up. It doesn't look like it's visibly bleeding, and right now the priority is to get out of this cold. I just trekked a little bit and saw that there's a gate just a short walk away. We'll get to the gate and then we can properly treat any wounds you have."

"Ça va?" She asked. "C'mon, it's only a short trek and everything will be okay."

@Hitman@Angel Of Red Hey, can we wrap up this little arc? I mean, all three of us are already at the gates of the palace. Might as well take the jump and shift the story to there.
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Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by RainforestGiant
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A barrier, not one of the physical world, but in the physical world and spiritual as well unless Nate's eyes were cheated by some deceit. Would this barrier stop him though? That was the question and seeing a way to slip between the layers of the barrier he tried it.

Success! Now to find whatever was at the end of this figurative rainbow. Nathan was utterly silent in the snow. He was brought up in the rainforest and this forest was as easy as strolling through a camas meadow by comparison. Something moved at the corner of his vision and he froze.

Black and feathered, he was certain it was something from the Outer Dark, but it was worse. Ba'Yak! The damnable Raven oh, he was disguised as just another raven, but Nate knew him, could see his true nature. Raven was a trickster and a jealous, covetous, tattletale and rumor monger. If he spotted Nathan, he would be sure to tell someone, if for no other reason than to cause problems. Raven excelled at that.

Before he was selected by Thunderbird, Nathan could walk up on a doe with fawns and touch her on the flanks unaware. Now he could see where Raven was looking and decided he might as well give the trickster something to talk about, even if Ba'Yak would be in the dark as to the reason.

Sidling closer, Nathan used his oar in the classic maneuver used to flick sand in an enemy's eyes. Nathan just used the snow instead and with a speed he could have never matched before snapped a bucket-load of snow into Raven knocking him from his perch and blinding him while the black bird struggled to get free of the clinging snow and shake himself until he could see again Nathan moved quickly and quietly out of sight.

By then Nate was passed the meddlesome Raven and carefully watching for other creatures both above and below. He could still hear Raven complaining to himself, Raven would speak whether or not there was anyone to listen or not. He was a noisy creature.

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Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by GrizzTheMauler
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GrizzTheMauler a real bear

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It was supposed to be just a short hike through the mountains, he said. It would be easy, he said. But the dumb god failed to mention that there would be monsters. He wasn't afraid of them, no. It was just... How many of these were out an about?

"It's part of the job to make sure they don't become too much of a problem." The gods voice spoke smoothly from the mouth of the raven that alighted on his shoulder. "You have a ways yet. And as you cannot yet tame Slepnir, you are stuck walking."

"The bloody spider legged horse nearly threw me into the sea!" Mazorn grunted. "I'm fine with the cold. I'm from the North as it is." He reached the spot where he had thrown his spear. "Ugh... Gross." He shook his head as he pulled it free from the draugr. "These old zombies smell worse than a high school boy's locker room and their blood is literally rotten. That makes sixteen. A lot of people must die here... Or worse... Someone's raising them."

"Well then, you'll have to... Get a closer look." The gods voice rumbled.

"Why don't you just come over here yourself? You did it before. When you..." Mazorn paused his walking. "Wait... I've seen this." He focused his eyesight further up the mountain. He pulled out his runes, the smoothed stones glittering softly as he awoke his power. He sought wisdom on the road ahead, to see what dangers might lie before him. "Ansuz Raidho Thurisaz." The runes in question rose up, their symbols forming int he air above them as they swirled together. "Show me the Path."

The snow seemed to freeze int he air as the power of the Wyrd was called upon. He willingly gave up a bit of his energy as the world opened around him. He could see Draugr, bears and harpies, but he was focused on something else. There was people. He could see one group facing off against harpies, and another around a large snake. "I think they have this under control but... There is a harpy hiding in wait."

Lifting Gungnir, the silvery gold spear shifted itself to fit perfectly balanced in his hand. He took aim, mentally targeting the harpy before letting loose, throwing the spear as hard as he could. He wasn't worried about intercept or theft. Gungnir was inordinately heavy and refused to work for anyone it didn't consider it's wielder. He watched the spear sway in the air, as if swimming, before it picked up speed and launched itself into the prey's head, pinning it in place before the spear returned to him just as swiftly, the man cursing and dodging the pointed end. "Rasshøl!" He picked himself up off the snow, shaking himself off.

He could practically feel Odin's mirth. "Perhaps you should instruct Gungnir to safely return to your hand, next time."

"When I get up there I'm challenging you to a Holmgang." He made it to the cave, noting the figure that had just entered. His vision tinged the man with a red-orange glow, like the beginning of sunrise. He could see how cold the man was and instantly evoked the rune for fire. While it burned within him already, keeping his own chills far away, it now quickly warmed the area around them.

"Hils, venn!" He called to the man, Gungnir glowing softly with the evoked rune, Kenaz, shimmering on it's point. The spear was as tall as Mazorn, the silvery wood shining with a golden tone. The shaft appeared both straight and wavy, the exact state imperceptible to the eye. The man holding it, however, seemed quite odd; as he was dressed in light winter gear, a gleeful expression on his face. "You seemed a bit cold. What brings you on this perilous journey, friend?" He quickly head over to the Torbjørn. "Oh don't give me that look, you have the Wyrd about you as well."

The raven on his shoulder ruffled it's feathers. "The son." It piercing gaze was directed at the other man, it's words clear and sonorous. The raven had a soft silvery glow in the darkness of the cave. "The Sun."

Tilting his head, Mazorn raised an eyebrow. "The Son... The-OH!" He clapped his hands together. "Baldur! That explains the glow!" The large man cackled with delight. The first one he'd met belonged to Odin's son! "Don't mind Himinn. He's an oddball. And as for my lack of winter attire, wolves don't need jackets. I'm Mazorn, Odin's Communicator."

@tokkiya
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Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by canaryrose
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canaryrose

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Josephine Hughes was no stranger to the cold. She had been raised in Minnesota, whose winters were always below freezing. She had even once nearly died to the cold in a lake on a terrible December day. As the memory crossed her mind, she shook it off, wishing to forget it as soon as she remembered it. Today was a good day, a new beginning. There was no need to think of her end. Perhaps her familiarity with the cold was what made this so easy, she mused. Her climb up the mountain hadn’t been difficult so far… although it hadn’t been easy by any means. As she climbed further up, the air became thinner and the wind stronger. Almost as if it was trying to keep her out.

The wind raced towards her and her dog, Kevin, with a ferocity that could bend even the strongest of pine trees. Her blonde hair, mercifully, stayed in its bun against the blinding gales of wind. Her poor fuzzy scarf did not. “Damnit!” she yelled, and stomped her foot as her warmest scarf disappeared into the wind. There went any semblance of warmth for her neck. God, how she hated this mountain… Jo steeled herself against the wind and kept walking, Kevin by her side.

“It will be alright. You will get a new scarf,” said the voice in her head. Hecate, the goddess of witchcraft.

Josephine jumped. She wasn’t sure she would ever get used to that. I know. I would really just like a new scarf before my neck freezes off.

“Then use your incantations, like I taught you.”

Fine. Jo took a breath of the searing air and began to mutter. “Dóse mou thermótita,” she whispered, over and over again, hand clutched around the bag of herbs in her pocket, until her eyes began to glow and a warm heat radiated from her core. She sighed with relief. That was lovely. Kevin the dog rubbed himself against her leg, clearly happy too. “Oh, that’s a good boy!”

They continued walking for an hour more, shuffling through the unrelenting snow and wind. For brief moments, Jo thought of home. She had left only a few days ago, courtesy of the voice in her head, and she had already begun to wonder if it was a mistake. After all, she was ascending a mountain a thousand miles away from home with a stray dog and a new voice in her head. Maybe she should be in the mental institution. Not on a mountain in the middle of nowhere. Could she even do this?

Just as those morbid thoughts crossed her mind, a wall of white appeared in her vision. Jo gasped. Was that supposed to be the barrier? Kevin barked, and she shared the sentiment. It was a churning mass of wind and storm, grand in stature. She felt like an ant next to it, a particularly brave ant who had ventured from her anthill. Grimly, she set her jaw and went to find a tree to lean against to stare at the wall. She would rather wait until more people got here until she crossed herself. As selfish as it was, she didn’t want to find what was in there alone.
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Hidden 2 yrs ago 2 yrs ago Post by Kumbaris
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Kumbaris

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This is my second time in America, and probably the first time I've ever been to the New England region. Living in Virginia for so long and interacting with people who knows the government does warp your perception of America somewhat. I am used to having the perception of Americans being an incredibly intelligent people, government officials meeting and discussing national strategies, congressmen and women (I interned at a Congressman's office) meeting and discussing pertinent laws in Capitol Hill, and of course, college educated employees of both the Public and Private sectors meeting and talking about all sorts of things. World events, some local happenings, even personal stuff since they are all close to each other.

It feels like one, big, not entirely happy but still functional family of professors.

And New Hampshire isn't exactly that.

It's quite the opposite really, the people are more simple, their outlook on life more geared towards what they should do that could make them happy and that's it. Not the most educated people in the world. But a hardy one, it has been an interesting experience for me seeing such a drastic change in America.

There are also the Bostonians, very rude people, wouldn't recommend them. But other than that it has been an interesting shift, I get to see the nature of the American Northeast in detail, and the amount of trees present fascinates me. Well, I'm no longer in the woods anymore, I'm more like in the Snow Capped mountains, climbing the summit at Inari's request. A very weird request, but nothing too difficult. The Fox Fire orbs circling around me provided a non insignificant amount of warmth my body dearly needed, and the various climbing gear I just bought has helped me somewhat, but I am no expert mountain climber and the trek isn't getting easier.

Then, as if all of a sudden, I encountered a wall of white, nearly blinding me, what greeted my eyes next was a massive gate in front of me and another woman. She seemed like a White American, and looks just as confused as myself.

"Mmm, excuse me?" I asked. "Are you a communicator?"

@canaryrose
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Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by King Cosmos
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King Cosmos

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Akeno Kudo


Easy to say that something should be killed, when you weren’t the one doing the killing.

Akeno brought the sword down, its point piercing through the throat of the giant snake as easily as lowering it into water. There was hardly any resistance at all. In one quick motion she swiped the sword down the length of the snake’s body, opening up a long gash in its underbelly; several feet long and already starting to seep blood.

A single swing of the sword was enough to shake the blood from the blade and she sheathed it again as she turned away from the body of the serpent she had just slain. She pointedly didn’t look at it again as she locked eyes with the newcomer who had emphatically declared that she should kill it.

“Okay, let’s get going then.”

She was just a college student a month ago.

@Blizz@Hitman
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Hidden 2 yrs ago 2 yrs ago Post by tokkiya
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tokkiya

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Upon the evocation of the torch rune, a welcomed warmth grew from within Torbjørn’s body and radiated out to his toes and fingertips. The below zero temperature was suddenly much more bearable.

After turning around to the sound of another voice (an external one), he could only stare for a moment. He was a bit speechless after experiencing such an otherworldly sensation. A raven was perched upon the man’s shoulder. Its jet black feathers had a silky and sharp look about them. It cocked its head from side to side as the words “The son, the sun” formed from only what Tor could assume was its ability to manipulate airflow, much like a parrot.

“Den ravnen,” he managed to mutter, wide-eyed. Tor ever so slightly shook his head as if to snap out of a trance, then made eye contact with the other Norwegian. Right away he noticed what appeared to be a rune tattooed over the man’s left eye. Despite being of Norwegian descent and growing up in Norway, Tor had forgotten most of what he learned about runes from grade school. To him the value of learning them was purely of historical value; however, he had a feeling that they were going to become much more important. From the little did he remember, he thought that the tattooed rune could be Ansuz.

”Unnskyld… I’m Torbjørn.” He did his best to smile amicably, though it ended up just looking awkward. He never was much of a smiler. “Thanks for the, uh, stave, I think it was?” Curious, he glanced at the meager winter attire that the other Norwegian was wearing. “Ah, you are a true Norwegian!” he joked and added, “Is that why Odin chose you, friend? I must admit that I was beginning to think that I had lost my mind—that my missing Norway had manifested itself as a voice claiming to be that of Baldr. Yet, here I am.” His attempt at a friendly smile faded. A look of doubt replaced it. “You are real-“ He paused. “Right? Not a figment of my imagination?” Tor took a few tepid steps closer to Odin’s Communicator, unsure if he was going to disappear like a hallucination.

@GrizzTheMauler
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