Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Lucius Cypher
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The sun never sets in the Brighted Lands. More a curse than a blessing. Despite the sun's constant presence, it provided no warmth. The land was cold, dry, and desperate for life. What exists are ruins and shadows, dust and decay. In a nameless coastal village, Yin was searching for food. Sometimes she could find something that wasn't too rotten that she could eat, or if she was really lucky she would find a plant she could eat. She thought about hunting before, but most creatures she encountered were monsters. Even the birds looked scary and almost as big as her. Yet despite how bleak things were, she's always kept a smile on her face. A skip in her step. Something about her was... Hopeful, despite how desolate these lands were.

Even now as her stomach growled and her body was so thin. She hasn't had much to eat except a strange root she had dug up yesterday. It tasted like dirt, but it didn't make her puke, so it was delicious. But it wasn't enough. She searched through the ruins of a building covered in sand. Long chairs had been broken down due to sand and time, but somehow the stone altar remained. Though dirty it didn't show too much signs of decay, though whatever was written on it was on sort of language Yin doesn't understand. Or maybe her eyes were just playing tricks on her due to her hunger. Still... This alter felt nice. Smooth and oddly warm. Yin sat on it to get a moment of rest. "Suppose I could try and see if there's anything to eat in the water. Even if it's far away... I could try. I could... Try..."

Yin was tired. She had been walking for as long as she had been awake. Sometimes she would run. When she stopped, she simply sat down, closing her eyes for a bit before running off again. Day and night. She was so tired... So lonely. She laid down on the altar for a moment. It was comfortable. Warm, even in the shadow of this dilapidated building. It would be the first time she's truly had rest. She closed her eyes, taking a deep breath. She took in the senses of her surroundings. The sound of the waves. The smell of the sea. The dryness of her skin. The bitter taste on her tongue. "Yeah... This is a good place to rest..."




It has been forever since you had died. And it also felt like it was only a moment ago you breathed your last breath. Death. Even for the most stalwart of martyrs, no one can escape the burden of death on one's soul. For many, the experience is enough to drive a man to insanity. A quite whimper would be the best he could muster. But for some... Craven, courageous, wise, or witless, they can find the strength of self to go beyond death. You awaken in a destroyed temple. You don't truly feel like yourself, yet at the same time you feel as though you're alive again. Yet when you try to move, even as you lift your foot and put it in front of the other, you don't move from your spot. You see three other figures near you. Strangers yet somehow there's a sense of kinship with these people. And at the center, a young woman sleeping on an altar. She looks gaunt and hungry, yet somehow sleeping peacefully on this stone bed.

But something is coming. How far or how many, it's hard to tell. But you know danger will arrive. Something threatens you, yet at the same time you hardly feel fear. Or anything for that matter. There is no heart beat, no breath. You couldn't move because your feet are not touching the floor. Even if you tried to touch your hand or your chest, it's as if there's nothing there at all. You are a spirit, bound to a mortal. How or why, you do not know. But you have the instinctive feeling of protecting this person, if only out of self-preservation. You know your life is linked to hers. For better or for worse, because you had the will to live you are here. Now you must use that will to fight for your life.

There is some time before this profane feeling approaches. You should speak to these fellow spirits, and learn who you're accompanying. The girl doesn't seem to stir, though she still lives. For now.
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Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Guardian Angel Haruki
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Eyelids flutter open to reveal green eyes with slit pupils. The woman with black hair looks around curiously as she tries to recuperate. A low serpentine like hiss comes from her, "What...? By Moradin'ssss Beard, What isssss thissss placcce?"

She quickly takes stock of her memories, her surroundings, and the others nearby. Many questions arose at the fact that she is dead and is currently a spirit. She noticed the sense of kinship between the other three spirits, and the girl sleeping on the altar.

"How sssstrange. I may need to take notessss on thisss later..."

Her head snaps warily towards the sense of profane danger that approaches. She wanted to speak with the others and get to know them more, but she knows that they need to get the girl in front of them ready for a fight.

While she may not fear death anymore, she still is aware that they shouldn't waste any time if they want to be able to make it through the fight. Preparation ahead of time can do wonders for the girl's survival after all.

She looks to the group and quickly introduces herself, "I fear we might not have much time, sssso, I'll quickly introduccce myssssself. My name issss Alssssei Cogsssspeaker. It issss niccce to meet you. Now then..."

After introducing herself, she looks around quickly and speaks to herself, "Now....where isss PAL? He sssshhhould be...Ah! There you are!"

Her eyes land on the steel defender that lied nearby covered in sand. She noted the sand and figured that a lot of time had passed. PAL clearly needs maintenance, but at a glance, it seems like PAL should still be functional.

She clears her throat and with her attention directed to the steel defender, she speaks with authority, "Voiccce Authentication: Eight Two Ssssixxx Five. Risssse and Sssshhhine PAL. It isss time for a new day, and time to fulfill your duty as Guardian!"



((This part is just in case the voice authentication works. If this doesn't work, I'll delete this section))

After Alsei gave the voice authentication, the steel defender's eyes shine with a blue light. The steel defender moves to stand up and turns to face Yin, unmoving and waiting for commands or any sign of threats. It stands vigilantly as it speaks, "Voice Authentication confirmed. Ally registered. Awaiting commands,
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by XxFellsingxX
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When the shortest of the four spirits awoke, their first instinct upon finding themself among these spectral strangers was to get into a defensive stance. While their expression was hidden behind a mask, the distrusting glint in their eyes as their gaze swept over each member of the group was unmistakable. Eventually, their sight rest on the woman asleep on the altar. At the sight of her, the masked spirit felt themselves relax slightly, though they weren't sure why. She was just as unknown to them as the others. However, unlike them, she seemed to be tangible, alive, and not in the best condition due to hunger. A strange feeling of... protectiveness passed over the small spirit and they attempted to approach the woman, only to find they couldn't move. Frustrated, they muttered something under their breath. It sounded like it was in halfling, but even if the other spirits couldn't understand it, they could probably tell it was some kind of curse.

It was at this point one of the other spirits, a (seemingly) human woman with an unusual green eyes spoke up, introducing herself to the rest of them as Alsei. The masked halfling glanced at her, scrutinizing her once again. She didn't seem hostile, at least not towards current company. In fact, her sense of urgency and her willingness to be the first to speak up meant that the halfling couldn't help but respect her, even if they still weren't sure if they could trust her.

"Tamzen," they grunted in response. "Tamzen Silentflight." They watched as Alsei then started scanning the surroundings in search of something she referred to as 'PAL'. Tamzen followed the woman's gaze towards a shape sitting submerged in the sand that, on closer inspection, appear vaguely humanoid in shape. How had Tamzen not noticed that before? They'd have to be much more alert going forward if they wanted to figure out what was going on.
Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Fading Memory
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It was too bright. The vestiges of power that the Kenku had clung to were beginning to burn away. Memories fragmented- slipped away- disappeared- and with them so too did the power that was granted to Whisper by his Patron and Master. Greatness was stripped from his very soul, power and purpose eradicated in the oppressive light of these Bright Lands... Finally the cycle of death and visions was broken, finally his spirit could try to piece itself back together with the echo of his Master's voice in his mind.

and what remained was the shell of Death's Apprentice. A being coalescing of shadows, murky and bestowed of an abyssal gloom, took form in the recesses of the Altar that Yin had lain upon. The wretched form of Whisper- a puppet without strings, bones holding up a shell of skin and feathers, a faceless horror of skull and beak, an eyeless creature ever watching- solidified in this place of darkness and rose from it into visibility. At first it was as if the strange Kenku were asleep, its body somewhat curled in on itself, but in short order the spectral creature unfurled and presented itself to the others. Its robes were dark and heavy, the feathers of a dense and dark cloak blending with his natural plumage where possible- and offering some semblance of coverage for his gangling and strange appearance in others. His arms moved stiffly, the quiet creak of bones apparent in his otherwise languid movements; he raised his arms up and pulled the hood of his cloak up over his head, stifling most of the skull into shadow that left his beak protruding out into the visible strata of light. Quietly, almost purely to himself, the beak parted to utter a phrase in a voice as timeless and as booming as the thudding of tombstones into earth;

DEATH IS ONLY A BEGINNING.

The hood shifts, attention moving to speaking voices. Feathers rise, danger sensed. An arm reaches out into empty air, a hand only half-covered by flesh and feather stretching and coiling experimentally. Seemingly satisfied, the creature's hand suddenly closed tightly into the air as shadows whirled about its spectral form and coalesced into the form of a large reaping scythe, which it brought about to bear in both hands. Gripping this weapon tightly seemed to bring about an air of comfort to the strange Kenku, and as the hood tilted down to give the impression of a gaze being lowered Whisper appraised the girl on the altar. A weighty inspection.

"I think we shall call you Whisper."

This time when the Kenku's beak parted, the soft and pleasant tones of a woman's voice slipped from the beak. It occurred to Whisper that he had no recollection of who the voice had belonged to even as the words left his beak. This made his grip on the scythe tighten visibly as he lowered his head further. Damn that insufferable Brightness. He would remember with time...

But for now, he resolved himself to protect this girl. Whoever she was, she did not deserve this fate. He decided this suddenly, but he felt secure and comfortable in the resolution. So far, keeping her alive was the only thing that made any sense- and he still remembered enough to know that keeping people alive was most certainly not his ordinary order of business. There was never a simple day of work anymore.




Mechanical tidbits; Summoned Pact of the Blade weapon, re-flavored 'Halberd' as a Scythe
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by rush99999
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One moment, Graham Douglas had been the undisputed master of all he surveyed. The next, he had been bleeding out on the ground, a knife shoved into his back by his traitorous right hand man. And now here he was. Rather than heading off to whatever afterlife was waiting for him, Graham instead found himself in a crumbling temple with with a bunch of other dead people all surrounding a girl who was still clearly alive and sleeping soundly on the temple's altar. Though he was incapable of moving away from where he appeared, Graham had the fortune of appearing within sitting distance of one of the few long chairs that time had yet to break beyond use. As he sat down, Graham heard the others start talking and introducing themselves, so Graham figured he'd get in on that. "Graham Douglas." Graham introduced himself. "By the by, does anyone else 'ave this strange feelin' in the back o' their 'eads that somethin' dangerous is 'eaded this way or is that just death makin' me go a bit loopy?"
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Lucius Cypher
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As the four were trying to figure out what was going on with their situation, the girl began to rouse. Strangely enough as she was becoming conscious, everyone would feel more mobile. They were able to move around her, though no further than five feet or so. She sat up, rubbing her eyes, and looked around. For a moment she seemed shocked. She was quiet and you could all tell she was afraid. Yet at the same time, despite being so much smaller, so much weaker, there was a certain level of defiance within her. As if she was ready to fight despite how hopelessly outmatched she would be. "Who are you all? You're not... Did you just come here? You don't look like the monsters in these lands." Yin gulped. She had no weapons, not even a rock, but her hands were held tightly to her chest as if to protect her vitals. "I'm Yin... Do you all live here?"

Whisper would also notice something now that they have awakened mentally. The altar the girl sat upon was dedicated to a certain deity. The name would elude them due to the void in their memories, but off the top of their heads Whisper could remember their had something to do with voyaging and safe passage: sensible things to want in this pastoral coastal ruin. Whisper himself would know that there are similar deities within the realm of death, such as the Ferryman of Souls. Perhaps it was no coincidence that Whisper would awaken here then, in this place meant to guide people to their destination, be it new lands or an afterlife. As for Graham, while most of his memories unrelated to his vengeance are also a blur, something about some of the ruined iconography was familiar. It was strange because the markings weren't anything like what was on the altar. But it would only take a moment for him to remember some cult or religion that was rather notable back in his city that had the tendency to plaster their symbols everywhere, especially in temples. Even if Graham is not a religious man, he would know that such graffiti had one purpose: marking an enemy area as your territory. Perhaps it was no time that brought this temple to ruin after all.

That foreboding feeling was still coming. And for some it was heard. Tamzen was able to hear the flaps of a large winged creature: this was no mere bird. Something much bigger, and was moving fast and with purpose. It was uncertain to know if they realized Yin was here but Tamzen could at least recognize some flying creature was approaching the area due north. As for the others, Alsei would only need a short moment to realize that Yin was overly malnourished. Any strenuous physical activity would drain her quickly, and there was no doubt that if anything came by to attack her, her chances of survival was slim. The fact she survived for this long was nothing short of a miracle. PAL would approach, it's body largely functional however many parts of it's chassis and equipment were rusted and in a state of ruin. The flail heads were gone, likely lost underneath the sand, the tabard was eaten away but insects, and the shield was warped and rusted as well. It would take some time to fix PAL back to it's previous state, but it was still functional nonetheless.
Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by XxFellsingxX
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As the other two introduced themselves, Tamzen looked over their new companions once again, eyes lingering on Whisper in particular. They hadn't encountered many kenku in their travels, but they were pretty sure that skeletal, eyeless face was not a common trait. Did it have something to do with how he had died? None of the others showed such severe disfigurements, meaning either the kenku's death had been particularly horrific or there was something else at play here.

The halfling didn't have too long to comtemplate what to do about this before the woman on the altar finally awoke. Tamzen turned their head towards her. Just as they were about to open their mouth to answer her queries, however, their pointed ears suddenly pricked up as they became aware of large wingbeats, slowly growing louder and louder.

"Something's coming," they said. They pointed northwards. "From over that way." They looked back at Yin. "It appears we are not safe here. Do you know how to fight?" They then glanced at the other members of the group. "Do any of you know how to fight or..." They looked down at their ghostly hands. Could they even fight like this? They weren't even sure if they could move, let alone hit something. They shook their head. "I think we should consider retreating, find a place to hide, get our bearings."
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by rush99999
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From where he was sitting, Graham pulled out his bubble pipe and began 'smoking' it. As he did so, he became aware of a number of eight-pointed stars graffitied all across the temple. Graham was familiar with this type of graffiti. He'd frequently used his own version of it over his many campaigns of underworld conquest at the head of the Lamb Street Shanks. It was the sort of graffiti that was left behind after an attack to let people know just who it was that rolled on through and set fire to everything. Most of the gangs Graham had dealt with hadn't been religious in nature, the closest he'd ever come being some pirates led by a hobgoblin paladin. But even so, Graham had seen these symbols before when he was alive. They belonged to a cult that paid homage to the Bright for power or protection. They never made an effort to oppose him and he had never antagonized them, so Graham didn't know much about them. But he did know that a good portion of the Lamb Street Shanks were also members of this cult.

Graham didn't remember there being a quiet costal village near the city he lived in though, so he wondered what these symbols were doing here. Perhaps the cults operation was farther reaching than he thought. Or perhaps they had moved or expanded far beyond the city between Graham's death and now. Either way, Graham put those thoughts aside as Yin woke up and spoke.

"Graham Douglas." Graham introduced himself a second time once Yin was done talking. "We just got 'ere through some magical shenanigan or another and were just as puzzled as you are on 'ow that 'appened."

When Tamzen mentioned that something was coming and suggested they run and hide, Graham was deeply offended by the notion. "Bugger that!" Graham exclaimed. "If whatever's comin' this way is a threat, I say we kill it!" With that said, Graham put away his pipe, pulled out his crossbow, and readied himself for battle.
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Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Fading Memory
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"Yin. Graham Douglas. Tamzen Silentflight. Alssssei Cogsssspeaker."

The chorus of voices rolled out from the hooded Kenku, a perfect copy of each being reflected back to their speakers. He shifted, flowing like a rolling cloud of fog in his shadowy form towards the Altar- and towards Yin. She would be permitted, indirectly, to see into his hood and to see the abominable visage that he possesses as he quietly contemplates the Altar. Oh, how his mind failed him! A lifetime of a body that creaked and groaned only to lose his mind as a spirit! It set nerves- Nerves that shouldn't function, he has no glands or organs for them to connect to after all- on edge. At the alrert of Danger, the Kenku's feathers flattened out and smoothed down. This simple thing resulted in Whisper losing most of his volume and his robes shifting as if something beneath them were alive as his stature was reduced to that of a gaunt frame beneath the black of his attire. Truly, in life, he must have been miserable.

Whirling the scythe slowly in his hands, his beak parted;

"You don't look like the monsters in these lands." He echoed back to Yin, shadows flowing down his arms and along the scythe. These shadows formed into a larger cloud that Whisper suddenly turned and slashed the Scythe through; the cloud erupting around Yin and melding her into the shadows as well.

[Action: Spell Slot expended to Cast Invisibility upon Yin].

"Find a place to hide, kill it, fullfill your duty as Guardian!." he declared to the group.

Whisper's scythe stilled in the air, trembling as the magic flowed off him and over Yin. The beak parted one final time, whispering to Yin in a strange kaleidoscope of voices;

"Somethin' dangerous is 'eaded this way, we are not safe here I fear we might not have much time. My name issss... Whisper."

the final voice was once again that wondrously pleasant female voice he couldn't quite recall.
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Lucius Cypher
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Yin was confused why these people were here, though at the same time she didn't feel too... Threaten, at least not by them. It was a strange feeling, almost familiar? But there wasn't really any time to question it. Soon a loud, ear piercing screech ripped through the air. Yin looked around scared before glancing back to Tamzen. "I... I don't know how to fight. But I know how to hide." The church wasn't a very great place to hide as it was quite open, lacking doors and most of it's roof. Yin ran out of the ruined temple and the others would feel themselves get pulled alongside her. Yin moved somewhat quick, but it helped that she was very light and spry. She ran out of the temple and looked around for a place to hide. Lots of ruins that wouldn't provide much cover, but there was a well in the distance. Yin could potentially hide down there, assuming there wasn't anything lurking within.

But as the young woman was running towards the well, the others would see something in the sky. The shadow it cast looked like a woman... But the physical body was that of a monster. The creature was about 200 feet away, and flying towards Yin. She dove behind a wall and held her breath, hoping the beast hadn't spotted her. However from the way it was flying closer, it may be too late for Yin... But not for the spirits.

Though they couldn't stray far from her, they were unimpeded by the physical barriers around her. They were able to phase out of the wall and floor, and the weapons on their back had weight and heft to them. Even if Yin could not fight, perhaps these spirits could. Or at least do something to help Yin escape this flying beast, as her heartbeat and heavy breathing was revealing her position to any creature with keen senses.
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by XxFellsingxX
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While it was partially obscured by their mask, Tamzen had shot a pretty fierce glare in Graham's direction. The man had completely regarded their concerns, seemingly ignorant of the kind of troublesome position they were in. "Listen," Tamzen said. Had they been able to move, they might have taken a step towards Graham, as if in an attempt to intimidate him. However, their feet remained anchored to where they had first spawned, and instead they could only lean forward slightly to get their point across. "We don't even know if we can fight in our current state, do you really think-" They were cut off suddenly when Whisper spoke again. He chanted each of the group's names in turn, perfectly mimicking the sound of each of their voices. It took all of Tamzen's will not to shudder as hearing their own voice coming out of another's mouth... err, beak.

Then the Kenku did something else unexpected. With a flick of his scythe, he enveloped Yin in a shroud of darkness, causing her to disappear completely from sight. Tamzen's body tensed again, only to immediately relax once he realised what had happened. A spell... the Kenku had used a spell to hide Yin.

"Magic still works, it seems," Tamzen muttered, more to themself than anyone else. Still, that didn't help them much. Their power didn't come from magic - not in the traditional sense, anyway - but from the energy that runs through all living things, that which some monastic traditions referred to as 'ki'. Tamzen glanced down at their hands, grimacing slightly. If their power was tied to life force, and they were no longer alive, how could they still possibly use it?

They didn't have much time to ponder on this however, as a loud piercing shriek sounded from the sky. Tamzen tensed up again. They heard Yin admit that she didn't know how to fight, and they had to resist the urge to mutter another curse. It couldn't be helped.

"We need to get her out of here," Tamzen said to the others, though those words were barely out of their mouth before both they and their new compatriots were suddenly pulled away from the temple. "What..." As they couldn't see Yin, it took a long moment to realise that she had bolted, and in the process had pulled them along. Eventually, they came to stop a few feet away from the well. "... ok," they said. They were starting to sound exhausted. This was just too much, and just when they thought they could barely handle any more of this chaos, they spotted the shadow on the ground. Tamzen raised their head up towards the sky, and muttered another halfling curse to themself as they caught sight of the creature. It seemed, despite Whisper's spell, it was still making a beeline towards Yin.

"What do we do now?" they asked the others, unable to hide the slowly building panic in their voice.
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"What do we do now?" Graham heard Tamzen ask in panic.

"Now we kill it, of course." Graham said as he stowed his bubble pipe and drew his heavy crossbow. "That ugly bitch up there is a Peryton. It's 'ungry for 'earts, and once yer 'eart is on the menu the only way it's gettin' off is by killin' the one what placed the order. If ya got a ranged weapon, start shootin'. If ya got magic use that instead. Normal stuff can still 'urt a Peryton, but not as much as it should. An' if yer invisible, keep it that way. It's senses are keen enough to find ya without bein' able to see ya, but it'll still 'ave trouble gettin' an 'it in if yer invisible." With that said, Graham took aim and fired.


Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Fading Memory
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Whisper's movements were guided by Yin's hasty exodus, and in silence the shrouded spectral kenku observed. He listened. Even his silence has a grave weight to it, which was perhaps aided by the unnerving realization he could- and would- mimic anything said nearby. The shadow of the creature drew Whisper's gaze about, and the kenku's movements were in a languid sort of lethargy as his companions conversed and readied themselves;

The bones creaked. The hands tightened. The robes shifted uneasily as the Kenku brought the heavy scythe up in its hands and raised the weapon back. Its ghostly form shifted, moving to the wall that Yin had chosen to hide behind, and prepared itself there; almost as if trying to physically shield the invisible girl from harm. Some part of Whisper's mind clicked its beak at himself; this act was a foolish one, he was no more tangible than a thought. His grip adjusted on the scythe's handles as he considered this, and steeled himself to protect the girl nontheless. He remained utterly silent, even as the time eventually came to swing the Scythe silently through the air in a motion that seemed as practiced as the most skilled farmer's own harvesting technique.



Mechanics

Initiative Roll if required: 11

Held Action even if Whisper's turn comes up before the Peryton's in formal initiative: Attack With Pact Scythe if Peryton Enters Reach [Reminder: Scythe has Reach property, so 10 foot threat area!]

Attack Roll: 26: Critical Hit!
Attack Damage: 10! Magical Slashing damage
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