Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Jumbus
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Jumbus My life be like oooooh-aaaah ooooh-aaaah

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Eun-Ji @Medili, Carmilla @Animus, Zarra @BreathOfTheWoof, Dory @Jasbraq, Manfred @Force and Fury



They were still going in there. It was only a brief moment when his performance finale had ceased all the fighting. But now it had begun again, too long for comfort and it only worsened. When would it end? Even then he dreaded the idea of what it would all look like after it all went quiet. Leon heard the sound between laboured breaths and was comforted by the cost of using his power so selfishly. At what cost was this lyre won? Would it truly do more good to make up for what is happening now? Who knew, but Leon’s mind delved into the matter. Guilt was not something the boy had often felt in the past.

"You must not be very good at hide-and-seek, seeing as you're just standing about here in the open."

Leon was looking away, out into the water when Carmillia met him under the verandah. The second the sound of her voice reached him, his breathing was suddenly under control and he spun around with a smile. But she heard it, who was he trying to fool and what was he trying to say with such a front. I am Leon Solaire. I am invincible. What a silly display it must seem in Carmillia’s eyes, but to Leon, it held great importance.

Leon chuckled in response to his moonlit companions quip. "It is true. I have never been very good at hiding. But I would like to think I have learned how to be found by the right people." Leon pushed himself off his leaned position on the railing and calmly walked toward Carmillia. Then he reached out a hand as if inviting her to dance. The sound of the riot raged on but he kept a closed-lip smile. "The music is hardly adequate, I know, but I would like to dance while we talk." There were traces of an uncharacteristically serious undertone in Leon's voice. It was certainly a departure from his celebrity persona, no matter how hard he tried to hide it. Like a mask starting to slip.

"Your hand won’t slip through me this time. I promise."


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Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Force and Fury
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Force and Fury Actually kind of mellow

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One by one, the six students plus Marci trickled in through Jocasta's portal and faced the room's lone occupant. There on her bed, leaning cross-legged against a corner, was the waifish figure of Amanda. Her room was lit by an oil lantern and a candle. Moonlight streamed in through a small window. As Jocasta entered, a large smile creased the older woman's lips. The palms of her hands, which lay open on her lap, lit up with an arcane glow. "Hello... Jocasta," she said softly, her eyes going to the others, "I take it you're the friends that she mentioned."

Jocasta nodded, coming to a stop. "I see your powers of deduction remain strong."

Amanda smiled and let out a little snort. "Ah!" she chirped, "and Marci!"

"And Marci."

"I'm not a friend?" the girl protested.

"You're much better than a friend, mija. Come here and sit beside me."

Marci more or less threw herself onto the bed, snuggling delicately into Amanda's side, for just a moment so utterly unlike the precocious girl they'd gotten to know to this point. "Mom," she said softly, laying her head on the older woman's shoulder. She grinned. "Hey, isn't it past your bedtime?" Amanda planted a small kiss on the top of it. "Isn't it past yours, precious little pumpkin?"

"You're laying it on really thick," Marci whined, but her mother was already looking out at the others. "The expedition was a proper disaster, I trust?" She raised her eyebrows expectantly. "We have a giant, angry dragon headed our way?" She tilted her head to the side momentarily.

Marceline, beside her, nodded glumly. A limp-wristed hand reached up to stroke her hair. "Don't worry, little pumpkin." The girl flashed her a stink-eye, but Amanda was looking at the others. "There is much to worry about, of course, for all of us, but I think I know how we can overcome this and, dare I say, a great many other problems." She pursed her lips, and the glow in her palms lit her face from below with a certain dramatic flare as her expression morphed into an enigmatic grin. "First, though, I imagine you've questions and ideas of your own and you've received precious few answers in this place. I have lived here thirty-one years and I'm an open book."

Leaning back on an ancient desk in the old Tourrare style, elbows propped against it, Jocasta pushed off. She tipped forward and her front wheels hit the round with a light 'clunk.' "For what it's worth," she offered, "so am I, and I used to live here too."


It All Comes Out

Amanda blinked. Not a day went by when she didn't curse her disease at least once, but there were rare moments when the lack of body language was to her benefit.

This was one such moment.

They were all so... formal around her, like she was some sort of revered elder or whatever. She had to pull a bit on the Gift to keep the redness from her cheeks. "It's... a pleasure to meet you all, and please forgive me if I have to ask you for names thrice more. I've heard people go senile at my age." She smirked. They were teens, the whole group, and something about them reminded her of a moment, half a lifetime ago, when it had been her in their position, gathered with two of her fellow Afortunados, green and nervous, a handful of young soldiers they'd befriended, and him: Marci's father.

The nature of the danger was different here, however, two-pronged. That from without was clear if not present, and when it reached them or the town, it would mean death if not stopped, but there was a subtler enemy: a poison and inertia in this place that would cripple any response capable of actually taking down the aberration-mad beast. Warden Ortega was a fearful man. For all that he tried to exude power and confidence, she could see it in his posture and feel it in his eyes. He would rather risk feeding the fire with more lives than changing the way that he did things. He knew the abuses. He had looked away from them for years. He was paranoid that at least one among the Tethered, were they to know their true power, would come for his head. He would let others die so that he might continue to live as he pleased.

She realised that she had sunk into thought for a moment and found herself both embarrassed and worried. It was ever a struggle, these days, to remind people that her mind was as sharp and functional as ever, even if her body had all but given up. "Sorry," she joked, marshalling a rueful smile onward, "going senile after all, it appears." Consuela - no, Jocasta - had opened another portal. The Afortunado were entering, from Oscar, the oldest, to Laelle, the newest initiate. Abdel, who the cardinals disliked so, and Felix and Luisa, the lovers who were ever nestled beneath the ranches of the Great Naranja. With quiet greetings and mostly solemn faces, they took their places. Amanda could feel herself slipping to the side as Marci shifted and was about to pull upon the Gift to right herself, when the girl pushed her gently back upright.

"Zarina speaks truly," she began, heart pounding, or so she imagined. She chose her next words carefully. "They are not friends, but... keepers at best, and a keeper's job is to placate the beasts." Her eyes darted from face to face. "We have an army here," she continued. "It's that simple. Four hundred Tethered, plus yourselves and the Afortunado, with even rudimentary training, will make short work of that Wyrm, aberration-mad or not." A stray lock of hair had spilled over one of her eyes and Marci reached up to brush it free. "Thank you, mi vida," said mother to daughter.

"De nada."

"The problem is," Amanda concluded, "the warden and much of the staff, especially those with guilty consciences, will never let it happen. They fear that we will rise up and kill them all." Her eyes flicked over in Jocasta’s direction. “But they are wrong. We do not want violence. We want purpose: to be people, like all of you are. Yet, we are not whilst we are here, and we will never be so long as they remain in charge.” Again, her eyes found Jocasta, and the younger woman took up the story.

“By now, All of you know that I used to live here, and now you've also seen the Gift that I have." She shrugged and knitted her hands in her lap, not quite knowing what to do with them. "When I was eleven, I was asked to join the Afortunado because I would use my power with or without training, and it was a way for them to control me. Nobody here would ever say no, and I was no exception. Maybe you've seen those clovers on the tree. You've seen the one for Consuela.” Jocasta pursed her lips for a moment and nodded. “She was somebody dear to me: somebody I saw every day. Like mine, her memories were erased when she arrived here and, with them, much of who she was. For most of us, the abuses of the Refuge are subtle things: brainwashing, a design meant to confine rather than free us, a stunted sense of purpose, experiments that don't feel like what they are, drugs in your food once you hit puberty to make you less... hormonal, to keep you sleepy and weak. Consuela avoided a lot of that by being one of the ‘Lucky Ones’. She trained so that, when she turned sixteen, she could be chosen to go on missions and kill people for whoever paid the Regure their price. It was macabre, sure, but she was desperate to see at least a small piece of the world that she knew was out there despite the caretakers’ best efforts to hide it from her."

Jocasta placed her hands nervously on her wheels and rolled back a half-push. For a moment, she was the scared child that Amanda remembered standing by the gatehouse on a dusty Rezaindian day as storm clouds gathered in the sky. It made the elder Tethered miss her arms dearly. How she would've wrapped one each around her daughter and the other she had once called 'little sister'. "Instead," the young woman said quietly, eyes shifting down towards her lap, "a ranger named Gutierrez - Joaquin Gutierrez - raped her." Her fists clenched around the folds of her dress and she looked back up, swallowing. "Again, and again, he raped her. She was neither the first nor the last girl and he was not the only man to do things like that, but I was so afraid of him and those like him - we all were - that there was nothing we dared to do. We believed that they were much stronger than us." Jocasta nodded bitterly. "Consuela was fourteen when he put a baby in her and she was so lost that she hid it for months, until the Vulture found it as he was 'checking on her wellness' one day. She had been throwing up. I always held her hair out of the way." The Tethered reached up, absently, and brushed some hair from her face.

Jocasta's eyes found the window for a moment. She took a deep breath in and let it out. "I went to the warden's office to tell him what Gutierrez had done. I'd had enough of sitting by as he destroyed us.” She wrapped her arms around herself protectively. “He told me that it would be alright and that he would handle the problem. He told me what a good girl I was for telling him.” She raised her eyes, daring anyone to interrupt her now. “So they told her that she would have to have her baby elsewhere. That she would have to leave the Refuge for a few months. They fed her a fine meal before departure and Gutierrez sat across from her at the table. Instead, the food was drugged. They strapped her to a table and ripped the baby from her body. They took her out into the desert to murder her and bury the corpse. Two of them disappeared, but the girl was gone too.”

The young woman’s lip quavered. She took a steadying breath. “She looks different now, since she had to change, but sometimes, I still see Consuela,” she said simply, “when I look in the mirror.” Her eyes flashed and she met those of the others, “Because she’s me,” she squeaked, barely choking the last bit out. Jocasta wrapped her arms around herself and a tear raced down her cheek. When a couple of people moved to comfort her, however, she held out a hand to forestall it.

She swallowed momentarily and there was steel in her voice when it returned. “I tell you what I have because I need you to understand - I want you to understand - that this is what a Refuge is like. This is what all of the polite, smiling people in their nice robes condone and continue. They cannot be convinced or reasoned with. This is what happened to me, it was what was soon to happen to Marceline. Someday, it was going to happen to Laelle, to Rita, even to some of the boys. They suffer too. It is why the warden and his flock cannot be in charge and it is why I killed Gutierrez.” She watched them then, a mixture of fear, sadness, defiance, and even fury in her eyes. “That is why I killed the Vulture. They were evil. You would do best,” she warned, “not to condemn my decision.”

After a long moment, Jocasta closed her eyes and breathed: once, twice, and then a third smaller one. She put her hands on her wheels as if about to go somewhere, before realising that there was no space even to manoeuvre in the small, crowded room. Instead, she took her fingertips and drummed on her knees with them. “I will also not kill again,” she promised. “Aside from the warden, the other people here are bad, but not evil. They cannot, however, be left in control.” Jocasta’s eyes took in the entire room. “Tomorrow morning, we will move to neutralise the Owls, the Cardinals, and the Warden. They will fall unconscious. They will be fed the poison they use when they need us sedated. We Tethered will control our destiny.” She looked at Amanda.

“We will train the children to use the Gift and we will employ that against the sand wyrm and any other threats that appear. It will be as nothing for us, even the half-trained. It will die as it needs to, miles from our gates. Then, we will employ the Gift, in peace, to grow our crops, to mend our clothes, and to clean our rooms. Where our bodies may fail us, the Gift shall uplift.”

“Any who come in good faith,” said one of the Afortunado, “are welcome to remain, to teach us, to learn from us, to live among us, but we will not be treated the way that we have been any longer.”

“I’ve been writing a letter,” said Marci. She scooted forward a bit, standing unsteadily. “One mama dictated to me.” Slipping through the crowd, she hobbled over to the ancient desk. From its small drawer, she pulled out a sealed envelope and held it up between her thumb and fingers. “In here is our petition to King Sancho.” She glanced uncertainly at Amanda, who nodded encouragingly for her to continue. She looked the five students in the eyes. “It has our entire plan and how we will make it work. It has our evidence and witness test…” She paused, forgetting a word. “Well, reports and our words, from us. It has our promise to live in peace and to always remain loyal to this country should it need us. With it, we will send the Refuge’s senior staff. Finally, it contains an invitation for the King or someone he trusts as his eyes and ears, to come and visit and see us.” Marci held it out towards the five.

“But it must be delivered,” said Amanda, “by people who do not have a prior stake in our fight. That sends a stronger message. It gives us a better chance.”

Nearly a dozen pairs of eyes, of all colours and ages turned to the five students, watching hopefully.


Something Solid

There were many kind words spoken, and many earnest ones. Hands were taken in embrace. People held hands and murmured excitedly at Ayla's presentation. One by one, the members of the group pledged their support and Amanda was relieved to find that it was unanimous. She glanced at Jocasta and the younger woman's relief was palpable as well. She let out a long breath, feeling the tension leave her... at least in a sense. It was not as strange as it should've been, to not be able to feel her body anymore: to be a head and a neck detached from all other sensation. Her losses had been gradual and persistent and she had grown used to them.

But I've done it, she thought. At the very end, I have. It was almost too much for her and she blinked back tears. She would see her people free before she died. She would see precious Marci - the smart, beautiful, loving young person who had come from her - free. She would see Consuela, who had been so sweet, gentle, and loving as a child let go of the bitterness that had taken over her soul.

She couldn't hold the tears back any longer and they spilled out of her. Amanda cried: a soft, happy sobbing that heaved her chest and blurred her vision. After a moment of absently trying to wipe away tears with the back of a hand that was not hers to feel, she remembered to use the Gift to move it. Marci, alarmed, leaned in with a kerchief to dab the rest. "Mom, why are you crying?" she begged. "This is a happy time, isn't it!"

Amanda took the deepest breath that she could and blinked a couple of times. "Happy tears, mi vida. I promise."

"Happy for me too," agreed Marci. Many among the Afortunado nodded and voiced their agreement.

"As for your part in this," Jocasta said, turning to look in Zarina's direction. Something in her eyes had changed. "You are not mere tools, at least to my knowledge." She shook her head. "This was something that I had in mind for quite some time, though my ideas were undirected: only an outpouring of anger."

The blonde set hands to wheels again, as if anxious to pace, to move, to not be confined in a small, static space. "Marceline and I talked yesterday evening. And then I spoke with Amanda in the morning."

Amanda, having gathered herself, nodded. "We told her about what we had been hoping to do, waiting for the right opportunity to do."

"We talked her down from it," said Marceline.

"And I'm glad you did," Jocasta admitted. She gestured toward her fellow students. "And you five too." She took a deep breath and glanced out the window for a moment. "Sometimes it isn't easy to hold back when you... are what I am, when you have the Gift like I do. It isn't easy to find people who will say 'no' to you." She smiled wanly. "Thanks for being those people, sometimes."

"In short, it was a coincidence," Amanda concluded, “unless the school knew something, but I don't see how they could have.”

For what it was worth, a strange feeling passed through Jocasta's stomach. She thought of the Paradigm. Perhaps someone like him might know. Perhaps he had... She shook her head, somewhat visibly. Now was not the time to bring that up. It would only serve as a distraction. "I actually have theories on that, Zamira, but we will talk later." She caught herself. "Wait, no, Zarina. Ugh, I'm sorry. I've gotten into the habit now. I'm a bitch. Really."

"I can confirm that," Amanda agreed. "It's her little passive-aggressive thing she's been doing since she was a kid. I was 'Manta' for a whole month at one time." She shook her head and rolled her eyes.

"How about the Warden?" prodded Felix, and it took people a moment to pick him out from Kaspar while he was seated on the corner of the bed.

"He will not go down easily," Amanda declared. "Not at all, but Tio Manuel-" She paused. "That is Head Ranger Escarra to you," she told the students from Ersand'Enise. "-Is speaking with him right now. Hopefully, he will see sense. If not, we Afortunado will hold him down with the Gift and Jocasta, Marci, and the head ranger will drug him in the morning." She looked about the room. "I want this to be bloodless. Our friends from far away are right." She used her magic to lift her arms and spread her curled fingers apart. She clapped her hands twice in mimicry of the very man whose fate they had just discussed. "Now, we have our roles and our lines. Any last questions?"




Come Clean

Amanda found herself alone with her thoughts again until footsteps pulled her from her melancholy, headed down the hallway at a brisk pace. They were ones that she recognized well, and she reached out with the Gift. "Tio Manuel," she said, turning as the door opened. He closed it behind him. His eyes were dark and worried - or as worried as they ever got, with him. She opened her mouth to ask what was wrong, but he preempted her. "The warden is dead," he said calmly. "I killed him."

Amanda's mind lit on fire, then. She struggled for words. Her uncle - who was really her father - placed himself at the corner of her desk, face tight, eyes flicking out her small window. "W-why?" she managed.

"He would not listen." Papa crossed his arms. "He wanted to throw those five and Consuela at the Wyrm and have them die so the school would send a Zeno." He shook his head. "He wouldn't let the Tethered learn so they could fight for themselves. He wouldn't call the duke. He wouldn't call the king. Nothing," he grated. "I tried it all."

Papa was usually short on words. When he talked this much, it meant that he was lying. "There's more," she replied, voice firm and patient. "What else?"

His eyes met hers unflinchingly. "He threatened you."

"Papa, we talked about it. I told you-"

"It is already bad enough that I cannot openly call you what you are, but one does not threaten my daughter to my face without consequence."

"Papa, please!" she begged, pulling upon the Gift to roll up to him. "It isn't worth it. I have maybe a year or-"

"He threatened Marci, mi vida." There was real anger on his face, now. His lip quivered. "He threatened both my girls, on top of risking how many other lives here?"

Amanda breathed, in and out. "So he's dead. Does anyone else know?"

"Only me and you."

She glanced down at her lap and then over her shoulder, at the window. "The others will not be happy. This endangers our whole plan."

His eyes lit up. "So, you're going through with it!"

The Tethered felt a flash of annoyance. "We have no choice now, but this will complicate things. It will complicate them greatly. The students know it too."

"I can keep it hidden until lunchtime tomorrow."

"It was one more night, Papa!" she hissed. "Ejerran Mio! I know he's awful, but..." She shook her head and it was hard - hard when she got wound up like this. The muscles were weak and the nerves unresponsive.

"I should have controlled myself. I am sorry, mija. You get all of your smarts from your mother, I fear, but I will do whatever I can to help."

"Tomorrow by lunch, we have?"

"He usually does his rounds then."

The wheels in her head were turning, running through a hundred scenarios. She nodded. "I need to speak with the others. I will give them one night of serenity, but we convene at breakfast." She took a calming breath. "I will come up with something by then."

"By breakfast?"

"Yes, in the small room."

"Amanda..." He trailed off for a moment. "You haven't been there for three years."

Two years, nine months, and twenty-two days. The anxiety burned at the edges of her thoughts, threatening to overwhelm them. "I know," she replied, "but I must be there. You need to take me. We will win the day and then I will come clean on your behalf."

The grizzled ranger paused, feeling nothing if not the slight sting of shame. "That is something I will do myself."


Ghosts

They gathered then, an hour hence, in the common room of the guest dormitories where they were staying. It was utterly still and silent, much of the furniture covered in sheets that waited like dust-covered ghosts until Jocasta glided through the double doors, the air sparkling around her with dust disturbed from its slumber. She spun on the spot and sheets flipped and flew, folding themselves in midair and tucking away into closets and cabinets. A dozen candles lit themselves within their lanterns and a faint and ever-growing light took hold where there had been only gloom a minute earlier. The other students of Ersand'Enise filtered into the room, including the one who had called this get-together: Yalen Castel.

It was not him who drew the curtains on their proceedings, however, but one of the others: perhaps Ayla, Jocasta, or some combination. Whatever was said or done in that room remained unseen and unheard by outside senses until the students trickled back out. Only Jocasta and Yalen remained, for some time after their peers had left. Then, they too were on their way.

The Refuge in the middle of the High Desert of Inner Torragon slumbered, then: restlessly, fitfully. Froabasses circled in the sky and chattered and howled on the clifftops in the near distance. Lanterns twinkled into the endless darkness, and the leaves of the great Naranja tree by the pool stirred in the embrace of a chill wind. With it came a veil of clouds that obscured the three moons above: first Viejo, then Azogue, and finally Granrojo. Finally, beneath the cooling sands a creature, vast and ancient, hurtled through a canyon known as the Devil's Throat, its mind consumed by an inescapable madness, its actions senseless even by its own reckoning. Its anguished, furious roars split the stillness of the night, promising death to whatever stood before the beast when it was able to break free of its confines.


The Rain Comes

Morning came to the Refuge, cool and cloudy by its standards, and the children who called it home were soon gathered in anticipation in the courtyard, chatting excitedly and gesturing up towards the sky. Rainy days were rare. The last one had been just over a year ago. Some of the youngest, in fact, had yet to experience one and had no concept of rain in their memories beyond what they had been told and had read about in books.

It was against this backdrop that the revolution began. A dozen individuals gathered for breakfast around a large table in the Administrators' Tower. The floor was white marble and the furniture opulent in slightly worn, outdated sort of way. Manuel Escarra sat at the head in the high-backed chair that was usually the warden's. Beside him was Amanda, and she had introduced him as her uncle. "At this moment," she was saying, "across the Refuge, our people are in place and ready to neutralize those likely to resist us." Her eyes swept the room. "We do not wish for any bloodshed, but we will not be cowed either. This place will either change to meet the oncoming threat or perish in the face of it. I heartily wish for the former."

"The warden has already been taken care of," continued Escarra. "He will not be a problem, but we will need two people to assist with the Vice-Wardens. They are not weak. We must hold them down and sedate them, unless any of you are skilled in Chemical magic." He paused, brow heavy and furrowed. "They will be held in the basement of the Red Tower, under guard, fed and given water in shifts."

"We will also need two more to manage the younglings in the courtyard," added Amanda. "The rain is a blessing. It will keep them out of the buildings while we work. Gods willing, they will not even know what has happened until we call an assembly in the plaza."

"At 5:00 Shune, the gates will open for the morning scout patrol." Escarra's eyes went to the clock for a moment, before returning to the eleven young people before him. They had about fifteen minutes. "The bell will ring once the two rangers have left, and that will be the signal."

"When it is finished, I will need to see everyone back here," added Amanda. "There is another matter of import we all must discuss. Now... any questions?" she finished.




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Hidden 5 mos ago 5 mos ago Post by Medili
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Medili Connoisseur of Fine Pineapples

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L O R E N T I N E Q U E E N




Lorentine Queen | Nighttime
Carmillia@Animus | Zarra@BreathOfTheWoof | Dory@Jasbraq | Manfred@Force and Fury | Leon@Jumbus | Seung Eun-Ji


She dances. Moonlight sparkles against the slow, muddy waters of the Lorentz, turning them into something better for a flicker of time. Carmillia takes Leon’s proffered hard and the two of them sway in a brief, slow waltz to music that exists mostly in their heads. Pressed close against each other in the confined space of the rear verandah, the two are clearly in conversation, though anyone listening from without would be hard pressed to pick out the precise words exchanged.

Zarra, meanwhile, has led Dorothea into the hold, both out of a concern for her safety and his own fidgety need to not be idle. Then, they uncover it: the lyre or… rather, a lyre. The craftsmanship is breathtaking: smooth, lacquered wood in a sweeping avian design and tasteful gold leaf accents. The Perrenchman picks the instrument up and is able to play a handful of notes on it. They reverberate through the cluttered space with the most beautiful sound, but there doesn’t appear to be any magical effect. He and Dory glance at each other, a similar thought perhaps coming to both simultaneously: What does a holy lyre actually look like? What does it actually do?

However, while some are dancing, swept up in an idyllic Malabash summer of revelry, and others’ eyes sparkle with the thrill of discovery, the majority of the ship’s passengers are fighting for their very lives. The anger that the Traveler’s agents stoked was co-opted by the six students, or at least some among them, and then used effectively but selfishly to buy them time to complete one part of their mission. What exists now is nothing short of a riot. People are fighting and many don’t know why. Some simply attack those who attacked them. Others expected a Leon Solaire appearance and instead found a group of angry political agitators trying to shove them out of the way. Alcohol and anger are a potent mix. There are those who are genuinely revolutionary, and others who are simply taking the opportunity to pilfer. Whatever their motivations, perhaps the saddest part is that no nobles - or almost no nobles - have been harmed in the making of this revolt. Aside from the captain, an officer or two, and the ship’s engine room arcanists, the only nobility on board are some of the students. Common people are beating and killing common people so that six youths from a school for elite magic users can sneak away with an item of cargo from the ship.

The violence spills across all decks of the technological marvel that is the Lorentine Queen. An officer, trying in vain to calm down a group of six rioters, fires his pistol into the crowd and gets rushed and torn to shreds. A second, seeking some sort of… his motivations are unclear, unleashes his kinetic magic into the mob. Human bodies are ragdolled into tables, walls, and support beams. A table leg is launched into the wall with such force that it punctures the wooden hall and cold, muddy water starts to pour in. An entire plank peels loose with a crackling groan and the water pours in faster! The smell of smoke fills the air ever thicker as oil lamps crash to the carpet and the wooden deck. Panic, increasing shouts and screams as people grow frightened with those not rioting attempting to flee the destruction wrought by others. A holy man hurrying along as he makes the sign of the pentad, "Oraff keep us, enlighten us Shune, Dami guide us so we don't greet you soon!". Whilst some of the fires are put out by the nascent flooding, others travel upwards, licking at wood and wallpaper and growing, billowing out with waves of heat. At this rate, the ship is going to sink.

It is finally enough to interrupt Carmillia and Leon, who had been dancing as the world burnt around them. The severity of the situation can no longer be missed or misinterpreted by Zarra, Dory, or any of the others except by willful ignorance. Indeed, Eun-Ji, frustrated with the near-complete lack of attention to teamwork and mission objectives, has used her magic to send water clones out and retrieve the team’s various members. Manfred proves momentarily preoccupied. As a couple of rioters swing at him, he is forced to defend himself, using the butt of his rifle and his skills as a Kastang practitioner. Zarra, when he emerges, will be a likely target as well with his staff uniform. In any event, they all find Eun-Ji - or rather magic that looks like her - appearing in front of them, urging them to collective action of a sort.

It was not at all an easy feat for Eun-Ji to create multiple water clones and then control their movements with precision. Still, she had to try. Liquid manipulation was her specialty after all and with the ship taking in water, there was no better time to use it. She used some of the water that leaked into the boat to sculpt them, two human-shaped bodies of water around the same size as herself. Applying the final touch in the form of illusion, she sent them; one to the cargo hold and one in search of Leon and Carmillia. Meanwhile, the real Eun-Ji attempted to hold back the flow of water that had poured into where she, Manfred, and the six commoners were located. It took everything she had to perform all these simultaneously, and she most definitely cannot keep it up indefinitely.

The clone that went to the cargo hold arrived first, stopping from ‘her’ run in front of Zarra and Dory. ”We need you both” the clone seemingly said to them as the image of Eun-Ji moved its mouth. Her words and tone were polite as ever despite the frustration she hid in herself. ”It was a smart decision to go here to seek safety, but we need you both. Everything is going very out of control and this ship might really end up sinking, taking countless lives with it. We need everyone if we are to deal with this crisis. As soon as Ms. Hohnstein is well enough to act, please join me and Manfred outside. It is time to coordinate and actually start working together.” Eun-Ji’s image over the humanoid body of water disappeared then, followed by the water itself losing cohesion and splashing down into the ground.

Finding Leon and Carmillia took slightly more time, although it wasn’t particularly difficult to surmise where Leon would go after his boombastic performance. The clone found the two just as they finished their dance in the covered verandah. ”Mr. Solaire, Ms. Carbonneau, you are both needed. It is quite likely now that this ship is going to sink if we do not act. There are holes on the ship that need to be patched up, fires have broken out and are threatening to spread wildly. But most importantly, this chaos needs to be controlled. Otherwise, countless lives will likely be lost. Please, do whatever it is that you think can help. All of us need to work together if we are to manage this situation.” With her message spoken, this clone too dispersed, returning back to only water that flowed back to the river. All the while, just as the clone of Eun-Ji had spoken, the chaos continued to spread.

It is amidst this chaos that a lyre flies through the air. It is a pretty instrument, though some simply seek to destroy it. One among them, however, seems to recognize illusion for what it is. A tall man with a beard and a bandanna, he plucks it gracefully from the air. This was not the revolution that he came here for. This has been corrupted and co-opted by bad faith actors, and he scowls. Nonetheless, he feels some small sense of solace that he has succeeded in procuring the Lyre of Ipte-Zept for those who wish to change this world for the better.

“Help! Eshiran spare us!” a woman shouts, and he turns. She is sheltering against the gunwale with two small children, shielding them with her body as a pair of enraged labourers brawl with a member of staff. What the hell are children doing in a floating casino? One of the labourers - a huge man - is pushed off balance and starts to stumble into the trio. The Traveler’s agent acts, pushing him to the side with a rudimentary kinetic shove. It isn’t a school that he’s good with. He is and always has been an arcanist, like his fellow agent of change: Seer. He nods at the woman and she nods back, but the situation is critical. He staggers away, looking for a secluded place where he can speak the signal words and he and his partner can be extracted. Yet, his conscience burns. Some violence is necessary. Some death is inevitable, and he has never shirked from that, but hundreds of common people, spurred to violence, their motives used and twisted, are going to die here if he and Seer do nothing. He begins drawing from the fires, quenching them, and expelling the energy as he can to prevent people from harming each other. There needs to be a more concrete solution, though: a more permanent one. Perhaps his arcane abilities can be put to better use.

Manfred has dealt with his immediate threats and he, too, has started to think of uttering the words of extraction that he and Eun-Ji were entrusted with. Yet… can he really just leave hundreds to perish? Slipping out of the rear gambling area, ravaged as it is, he asks her for an update on where the others are and if she’s found them. His eyes scan the river and the shore. If they could just get the ship moving again, they could beach or maybe even dock it. Manfred lacks the skill to run the engines, though, and not only are they damaged, but two of the arcanists are down for the count, one as a result of his action.

It is then that he comes face to face with a tall, bearded man with a frighteningly intense gaze. A bandanna is tied around his head. There is a second, shorter man in his shadow and his bandanna covers his eyes: a powergazer. Manfred prepares to fight but, first, he opens his mouth to speak, another - albeit crazy - idea hitting him.


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Hidden 5 mos ago 5 mos ago Post by Force and Fury
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Force and Fury Actually kind of mellow

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Ahn-Dami Took the Reins For This One, Sorry


Oh, hello there, mortals. It is I: Ahn-Dami. Yes, I'm speaking with you directly. Listen: I have heard your mewling little cries and, in my infinite wisdom and mercy, have decided to answer them. You've packed yourselves onto a pair of rickety constructs made of dead tree and are currently floating on the water towards either your possible doom or that of those who have subjectively been labeled as your enemies. There are moments when I heartily regret allowing sentients their free will.

It has been a long and trying journey. Members of your group have saved and taken life. Some have entered the embrace of my sister, Ahn-Eshiran. You've encountered a cast of colourful characters along the way to make allies or enemies of and now, in this moment, as rousing speeches and brilliant plans come together, you stand poised at the precipice of... well, being over it, really, don't you? There's only so much combat, intrigue, and danger that the human or yasoi mind can take. It is love, laughter, and camaraderie that fills your cup as well. It is discovery, knowledge, and exploration! One needs Ipte and Shune to thrive more so than Eshiran.

And so, we shall seize the hands of time, dear humans and yasoi, and move them quickly in the direction that you know best, for such is the power of a goddess of the Pentad. As an aside, I shall expect your finest offerings at some later juncture.



B L A C K F L A G






The Maria Nera, black-sailed beauty that she was, was still a relatively mundane ship. That she had a complement of mages was a given, and these were reasonably skilled and innovative. They made the cardinal mistake of thinking that their adversaries would rely on magic to counter them and, unless they could count a tethered among their number, the battle would be fought at the edge of magic range or perhaps even closer. Instead, the students of Ersand'Enise relied on gunnery. Ismette held the Golden Sun perfectly still on the pitching waves, Trypano lined her up, and Ingrid and Desmond fired the gigantic 'fuck you' gun they had made with 'F E A R L E S S I N N O V A T I O N'. It missed.

As he had a penchant for, Benedetto decided to come to the rescue at that very moment, flying in like some sort of death god, right up to the Nera, and holding it steady. Captain Falzon grumbled something about seamanship and recoil and stupid weapons, but they fired the gun again, it struck home, and well... pirate ships just can't repel firepower of that magnitude. At least the mages on board could save everyone else from drowning. They surrendered to the snaggle-toothed old seadog who was Captain of the St. Elmo's Fyre, along with his chosen Queen, their reign of terror at an end.

The issue was that Xavier Falzon had been right about one thing: the Golden Sun sailed like a pig with the weight of a weapon like that mounted where it would have a decent field of fire, and the sheer recoil broke her back after a couple of rounds. Trypano worked hard to patch her up, but she'd taken in so much water by then that capsizing was inevitable. Desmond was able to save the flag, at least. Perhaps, in the future, some other - greater - ship will fly it.

It was the Flamant Royale that picked them up and rendezvoused with the Fyre and both of these ships returned to the hidden cove that the Nera had been operating out of. It was...eerily quiet as they hove to and docked. Stepping onto the sand, the group found themselves on high alert, all except for Benedetto. "Heh, looks like the idiots all fled," he joked. "Guess we're just that scary."

They spread out, after that: the crew of the Royale in one direction and a party from the Fyre - including Amelea - in the other. "I... don't like this," warned Penny, and Ismette nodded. Everything had been left exactly as the former had encountered it a few hours earlier, save some matters related to the ship casting off and the hasty packing of some ammunition and navigational maps, yet, she also notcied some odd... burn marks on some of the walls and... irregular globs of glass in the sand.

Eventually, both parties converged on the caves where much of the treasure had been stored and 'Amelea's' chamber was located. She wanted to go and investigate it. There was treasure to be distributed, and she desired to look for something incriminating on her uncle. On the other hand, there were the deeper reaches of the cave to explore. How much deeper they went seemed to be a matter of some dispute. Penny maintained that she'd reached the end of what was navigable earlier and there'd been nothing of note. Ismette reached out with her keen yasoi senses and she noticed something in the sand soil beneath them: it looked almost like something had been dragged or... perhaps undulated over here, but the tracks disappeared against the back of the stone cavern. She quietly shared that information with her trusted peers. As everyone talked, however, Benedetto, serious for once, tapped idly on the wall, until he heard something that sounded... hollow beyond it. Amelea beckoned them one way. Benedetto, with a complete lack of reverence, the other. Which would the group choose?




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Hidden 5 mos ago Post by jasbraq
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jasbraq Professional Nibbler

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Dorothea Hohnstein
von Albesatz-Danzau


Interactions: Herself?, Zarra:@BreathOfTheWoof




“The ship is sinking? Did my reckless actions really get this bad? Maybe that man was right and I don’t deserve my people’s faith” Dorothea’s expression would worsen even further. “But if they need me, I can’t sit here doing nothing…” The woman was in a state of deep thought as everything in her close vicinity burned and flooded.

An image of herself with a wicked grin appeared in her mind. “As if you could ever live up to your family’s legacy. It’s a futile struggle, how can you even think that under the Rednitz you could even regain a small bit of the family’s former prestige?” “Shut it, Why would I think that?” A sigh came from the image “Accept it, you are only the heir of the Hohnsteins because your brother is more worthless than you and the only other candidate… well let’s just say you took care of that yourself.” “That was a mistake! I never thought he’d try to break the rules in a duel.” “Yet you crippled him for life for a small cheat, was that really worth it?” the true Dory's expression became more and more melancholic “I… I have nothing to defend that, that is why I want to lead this family to some extent to greatness.” The image began to get impatient with the self to cope with her circumstances. “Believe it or not but this joke of a noble family you call great will be nothing but a speck of dust once you fail once more and get married off to, what was his name again? Oh right, Alfred. You know, becoming his wife might not be the worst. It beats trying to save a dead family.” Dorothea remembered one thing that caused her to smirk. “If you truly think that, you aren’t worth my time.”

Opening her eyes once again the Feskan stood up. “If they truly need me, I should at least try. Giving up is not a thing I was taught after all.” standing up, not with the best mood but at least she stands again. The Feskan rushed towards the door of the cargo hold before turning around and looking at Zarra. “Thank you, for taking care of me.” Now turning back towards the door and running out. If she could help in any way she will.
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Hidden 5 mos ago 5 mos ago Post by Animus
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Animus I live in Singapore.

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Carmillia Carbonneau
&
Leon Solaire


Collaboration between @Jumbus and @Animus
Place(s): Covered Verandah and Entertainment Lounge, Lorentine Queen
Interactions: Firebrand & Various @Medili@Force And Fury




As Carmilla took Leon’s hand and, therefore, his offer to dance, Leon gently pulled her toward him. Then placed her right arm to come around his chest with the hand landing on his back while Leon rested his left hand on her shoulder. Their other hands joined out toward the side and they were beginning to dance. The place Leon decided to position Carmillia’s hand would not go unnoticed. In Perrence and surrounding cultures, it was expected for the male to symbolically support his partner’s back during such a dance. Leon had intentionally reversed the gender roles of it.

While the decision to dance nor the reversal of gender roles was out of place, especially during such an event as this, it was nothing that couldn’t be explained away as more of Leon’s eccentric behaviour. But only to Carmillia would the real message be revealed as she felt something against his back. She had seen nothing out of the ordinary earlier. But sure enough, the wooden frame of an instrument could be felt there. It was the lyre. He was using illusion magic to hide it on himself.

Meanwhile, Leon seemed not to acknowledge this discovery at all. Without a word, he was telling Carmillia that he possessed the lyre while keeping suspicion from onlookers.

Carmillia matched him beat for beat, the revelation of the Lyre's location seemingly not bothering her. Any curious onlookers that had noticed the pair dancing on the verandah and come to observe would have found nothing amiss, other than the fact the two of them were twirling about admist a riot. But such an act wasn't too surprising when one was talking about the likes of Leon and a person he'd chosen to dance with.

In truth, Carmillia's inner thoughts were in turmoil.

I could snatch it right from him right now, she thought. Even though all signs of Leon's laborious breathing had vanished when they begun dancing, either out of false bravado to put up a front for her or the various beaten, bruised and drunk observers that were streaming in, the occasional tremble told her enough.

And do what with it? She admonished herself. Her innate greed had always acted as a powerful motivator but it was pointless unless she was in control with it. Leon was an ally, for now.

Contrary to Leon's expectations or intentions, he was having fun with the dance. Of course, it was not the focus of such a conversation. But he did not expect Carmillia to dance so well. For a shy girl, at least shy in his perception, she danced with a degree of confidence.

They were performing a standard Perrench waltz routine, albeit with reversed gender roles. Carmillia chose her time to speak carefully. As Leon twirled away in a spin, she gently snapped him back with a tug and he rolled back into her arms.

Leon returned from the spin with a tug from Carmillia, perfectly timed with the imaginary rythym. Now close to her, he awaited a response. He could only hope she had read between the lines of his actions.

"I'm not too sure either Manfred or Eun-ji would be happy that you made off with it like this." Though her words were chiding, her tone was gentle and hushed.

Leon chuckled. Then spoke matching his company's volume in turn. "No, I'm not sure they would be happy with all this at all. But Manfred and... Eun-Ji, they don't need to know right now." Leon's gazed wandered onto the walls of the entertainment hall they came from, his head turning to adjust to where the waltz took the two. "People who follow orders so tightly are rarely good at dancing after all." He remarked in an offhanded but matter of fact demeanor.

Carmillia momentarily pictured either of the two dancing. She could imagine the stoic Kerreman being versed in standard ballroom dances due to his noble heritage. Eun-ji most likely knew some traditional Tan Keoulian dances. She doubted that they would have been particularly skilled at them.

The thought faded away quickly. They weren't of importance at the moment.

What was important was to steer the conversation towards the topic of the Lyre. What were Leon's plans for the artifact? Patience, she thought. There was no need to rush. He had revealed on his own accord that the Lyre was on him. That discussion would come organically. Humor him.

Though she was still somewhat fatigued from the earlier brawl against the agents, she worked her magics on him. She was normally wary of employing her magic on him but she doubted he'd detect it in his current condition.

Leon was lost in the dance while waiting on Carmillia's response. His thoughts wandered to Manfred and Eun-Ji. How would they really react when they saw he had the lyre?

Manfred would probably try to take it from Leon by force if nessecary. It was about as much as he expected from a Kerreman soldier. And force would be necessary to take it from Leon's hands. He could not fond out yet.

Then Eun-Ji. Truthfully, he didn't know how she would react. But he doubted he could have much fun flirting with her afterwards.

Leon would let them know eventually. But first they had to learn to dance as Carmillia does.

"Are you implying I'm not good at following orders?" she asked, smiling as she did so.

Tendrils of magic worked their way into Leon, releasing endorphins that would relax him and cover up his fatigue. A temporary rejuvenation spell.

Carmillia's response snapped him out of thought. His gazed gently returning back to her. With a refreshing surge of energy, he was feeling a lot better. Even on the surface, his smile grew wider. But this time the smile held a more genuine quality to it.

"I didn't say that Carmillia. Truth be told, I know very little about you." Leon readjusted Carmillia's on his back, further onto the lyre. "But there is a reason I chose to waltz with you under the pale moonlight and not them."

Carmillia raised an eyebrow.

"We made an agreement to help one another. And I always keep my word."

"I'd argue that the one who's providing aid at the moment would be me."

Leon looked back toward Carmillia with some confusion. "How so?"

She smiled at his reaction. "Why, I was worried and came after you, did I not?" She paused momentarily as Leon bent backwards during the dip and continued when he came back up. "And I'd say the dancing has helped quite a bit, seeing as you no longer look as miserable as you did before."

So she did take notice of his fatigued state. That was cause for some concern in Leon's mind. But she wasn't taking advantage of it right now, and besides people get tired all the time. He chuckled after coming up from the dip with some relief. "You do have a point. But we must not forget the reason why we are dancing in the first place. Unless, you care little for such novelties?"

The Lyre.

"I wouldn't say that I cared little for it. The important question is, what do you think I want with it?"

"Well everyone who is anyone seems to want it. I just thought you would be the same." Leon took a pause to think out his next words. "As for why you would want it, I have no clue. I'm not even sure what to do with it myself."

"Are you implying you made off with it just for me?" she asked innocently.

"For us." A well told lie.

Carmillia refrained from believing she had Leon in the bag. Her experience with Dorothea served as a grim reminder. The students in Ersand'Enise were far more unpredictable than the rabble she usually dealt with. And she considered Leon to be several tiers above Dorothea in that aspect.

"For us," she echoed.

"I'm not sure what I am going to do with it. I just know that I want it right now. Out of the hands of the Traveller and those silly nobles."

"That is a notion I can agree with. Whatever the Lyre may actually be, I think it's time people like us take it away from their political chessboards."

And onto mine.

As the male role in the dance and consequently the lead, Carmillia changed up the tempo. Gone were the slow waltzes and foxtrots as she delved into a fiery tango, confident that Leon wouldn't fail to follow. The onlookers that had been mesmerised by their delicate dance were snapped back to reality as Carmillia used the escalating screams and cries of the riot as the musical backdrop their dance.

"I couldn't agree more." Leon matched Carmillia's pace in no time at all. He was fully prepared to dance the night away having little to gain but risking everything to try and help the riot. "I have been meaning to ask. Why is this ship sinking? I thought you and... those other two were going to stop the riot." Slowly, Leon began to take the lead of the dance despite remaining in the female role.

Carmillia adjusted accordingly, taking a background approach and letting Leon take center stage.

"The plan was to stop the riot. What actually happened was..." Instead of words, Carmillia used the dance to finish her sentence, shrugging twice, the moves uncannily timed with the sound of two quick explosions. "Let's just say Zarra went on a trip and Dory got caught up in the abberation."

Leon squeezed Carmillia's hand a bit when she mentioned aberrations. But released as soon as he realised and readjusted his smile.

It was not something Carmillia failed to notice.

"Ah, cuddling up with abberations. Madness and tragedy is sure to follow. You were happily to whispering with her just earlier. Could you do nothing to stop her?" Leon made sure to keep a playful tone, keeping out any accusatory inflections.

Carmillia showed a mock grimace. "Unfortunately, no. Dory took the lead in the negotiations due to her heritage. She got swept up by the pressure and we were seperated by dozens of rioters when she had taken in the abberation."

As if to show her dejection, her movements slowed down and she no longer matched up to Leon's lead as well as she did before.

Leon was slow to match back down to Carmillia's speed. "So then there was nothing you could have done could you..."

"I'd have stopped her if I could," she responded as she slowed to a stop. The dance was over. She gave a remorseful look, clearly blaming herself though whereas one might have intepreted her as feeling guilt over not being able to help Dorothea, the reality was she was actually frustrated by how she had naively believed in Dorothea's capabilities.

While the curiosity of what Carmillia could actually do perked up in Leon's mind. He could see it was not the time or place for that. He had clearly hit a sore spot for the girl.

It was at this moment that Eun-ji appeared.

"Mr. Solaire, Ms. Carbonneau, you are both needed. It is quite likely now that this ship is going to sink if we do not act. There are holes on the ship that need to be patched up, fires have broken out and are threatening to spread wildly. But most importantly, this chaos needs to be controlled. Otherwise, countless lives will likely be lost. Please, do whatever it is that you think can help. All of us need to work together if we are to manage this situation.”

Once she had finished her message, she dispersed into a puddle of water.

That would explain the complete lack of awareness, she thought. Carmillia snapped back to her usual self, any signs of her prior dejection gone.

"Any proposals, Leon?"

Leon's gaze was on the puddle which had once held the shape of Eun-Ji. What an interesting technique. He considered asking the girl to teach him that one day. But he wouldn't be willing to give away his own tricks in turn.

"I suppose we should go help. I wasn't paying attention if Hugo had mentioned how to get out of here." Leon looked toward Carmillia. "Besides, one should be wary of dancing for too long anyway. Or they risk being lost to fantasy forever." Leon took Carmillia's hand and kissed it with a bow as a sign of respect for his dance.

"Shall we save this boat?" He gestured toward the hall.

Truth be told, Carmillia would have preferred if they could have made off with the Lyre on one of the remaining rowboats but the repercussions would have been dire. It was much easier to attempt to salvage the mission and instead hide away the Lyre when Paradigm Hugo recalled them.

The two of them went back into the entertainment hall in hopes of quelling the riot. Things were looking grim; Carmillia lacked the ability to employ chemical magic over such a wide scale at a significant effect and Leon was running on fumes.

In the midst of the chaos, something caught Carmillia's eye. Two were dressed in similar garbs to the Traveler agents they had fought earlier. But that wasn't what caught her eye, it was the fact of the two, the man had been focusing on putting out the smaller fires in the hall. He had even just saved a woman and her two children from a rioter. She felt the gears in her head turning. She pulled on Leon's hand and went after him.

Carmillia had waited for the agents to seperate before making her appearance.

"So that's it? You stir up this... this chaos and run away with your tail tugged in between your legs?"

Leon was taken aback a bit. He did not expect Carmillia to be so confrontational. He was running on fumes but he did need to show it. He simply stood in a confident pose, but back a bit allowing himself to play second fiddle to her.

I'm lucky Carmillia is none the wiser to my weakened state. But I need to fool the agent as well.

The agent whirled to face her and Leon. Perhaps the tensity had gotten to him but he hadn't picked up on them sneaking up on him. He stared capriciously, eyes flitting between them. Carmillia sensed his lack of conviction and tugged.

"Is this what the Traveler stands for? Senseless violence and death?"

Carmilla could feel him drawing on energy, he was ready to engage in battle. He had no plans on talking things out. Not yet anyway. She waited till he made his move. Two more agents manifested, one on either side of him. To the naked eye, they were perfect clones. There was no shimmering of any sorts to imply they were illusions but unlike whatever Leon had did earlier, any trained magus could sense the arcane energies these possessed.

This was perfect, she thought.

Just as he was about to jump on them, Carmillia interrupted him.

"Yesterday's enemy is today's friend-"

He paused. In that instance of hesitation, Carmillia worked her magic onto him, stirring on his uneasiness and doubt.

Leon kept quiet, but kept his composure. He had made his stance with the Traveller clear back in the cargo hold. But its not as if news would have spread to his agents yet. Nevertheless, Carmillia was making sense.

"-and you can still make a difference instead of running. The innocents on this ship don't deserve to suffer for the war you have with the nobles. Help us. Help us save them." Carmillia waved at rioters senselessly dying before their eyes.

"What...what do you need me to do?"

"A ceasefire of sorts sounds like a good idea, no? No side wins if they all go down with the ship." Leon looked around the unconcious bodies scattered around the floor. "To make a change, you need people left to actually make it." He stopped himself there, allowing Carmillia to lead the conversation again.

Carmillia gave the quick run down on her plan. Leon would seize the attention of the rioters in the entertainment hall in order to put an end to the violence. As he was still fatigued, Firebrand would make up for the theatrics. Fortunately for them, Firebrand was a skilled arcane illusionist.

"I am perfectly able to cast of course. But it would be more fun to see an agent of the Traveller be my lights show."

While the riot is distracted by Leon's performance, Carmillia would seek out the original riot 'leaders'. Those that held influence over the common folk rioting. She would convince them to stop the riot.

Without casting, marbles, or an instrument Leon was pretty light on options. And no, he wasn't about to use the lyre of the gods just for a tune. Luckily, it wouldn't take anything fancy just enough to get their attentions off fighting. And a big display was needed for that.

Leon took an elevated position on a nearby table that hadn't been smashed in half. Then with the signal given to Firebrand, harmless but flashy light bathed the room emanating from Leon.

"Ladies and gentlemen. I think it's time we stopped fighting and looked upon the entertainment for tonight. Me."

An acrobatics show was just what the crowd needed and Leon was there to deliver.

With the crowd's attention on Leon, Carmillia bade her way towards the rioters of influence, recalling several from the upper deck where Dorothea had gone wild. Even an agent of the Traveler could see the senselessness of the riot which meant rabble like them could easily be convinced. She still had enough in her to sway them with her magics if needed.
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Hidden 5 mos ago 5 mos ago Post by YummyYummy
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YummyYummy Ayyyyy

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Interacting with: Yalen @pantothenic, Jocasta / Adela / Luisa @Force and Fury, Ayla @Ti, Kaspar @Wolfieh
Location: Tethered Refuge -> Zarina's Quarters -> Stables



"If you were able to time travel, what do you think you'd do with it?"

This philosophical question was brought to you by Jocasta Re as the group of school-age teens made their way from Amanda’s room to the common room. Kaspar and Yalen seized this opportunity to express their thoughts, and Ayla soon after with an equally thought-provoking idea. And yet, one remained discreet, keeping her eyes forward and somewhat separated from the group.

"How about you, Strong-but-Silent?"

Jocasta prodded. Zarina had remained conspicuously silent during this exchange. The subject itself did not appear to inspire much from the tall teen, and if anything, it prompted her to stick to the background. Her arms crossed under her chest as she paced slightly behind the others and just watched the evening skies. Jocasta then poked for both Ayla’s and Zarina’s attention, and again the Virangish kept discreet while the Torragonese expressed her views on the matter, more so than a wish. With the tone she used, it seemed like the subject had affected her patience and forced herself to answer.

”I don’t like to think of these things.” she states when a moment of silence came and inevitable attention was brought to her again, ”They busy the mind with things that won’t– or shouldn’t happen.” she scratched her cheek, ”I don’t dwell on the past and I make the future what I want it to be. No point skipping ahead.”

Zarina pursed her lips and shrugged to the group, knowing full-well that her answer brought nothing but awkwardness. She kept it at that and clearly didn’t seem too enthusiastic over the notion of sharing her genuine thoughts on such matters. It was almost quite cold how she held herself in such a harmless and probably meaningless exchange between friends. When they reached the common room, Jocasta and Yalen entered together to get things ready, while the Virangish went off to get a drink, only to find an adorable scene not long later.

Giving the two blondes the privacy they deserved, Zaz simply waited outside and gatekept those that would potentially intrude.

"Good to see you Zarina. Please, come in." Yalen held the door open and politely gestured for her to proceed, all the while keeping his eyes peeled for any other arrivals.

It looked as though the two were done. The door creasing open prompted Zarina to relent on the ‘too cool for school’ posture she held by it. She peered at the cuddle-recovering blonde that invited her back in, ”How we feeling, Yalen?” she was definitely still giving the look alright.

She took the invitation and stepped into the room, although she kept to the edges and didn’t appear to want to be noticed all too much, ”I hope you can excuse my lack of participation,” Zarina speaks up before others may join, ”I don’t exactly share the same enthusiasm for the Pentad as some others might.” and yet here she was.

Zarina kept herself in the background, vigilant and present. Where others prayed, she was left to her thoughts in the most uncomfortable of ways. At some point she would have to pay some mind to the communal worship, even if she didn’t quite participate. It allowed her to focus on other things- on others. How they conducted their faiths, potentially why they did it, and how much they were tied to it. She watched and judged, all so she couldn’t be left to observe and judge her own person.




The sun had long since fallen into the horizon, Zarina had retreated to her room, just as many others had. It was at this point that she fully realised how rancid her clothing had gotten, and to a lesser extent her entire being. Dried blood and guts were really reeking in the crevices of her attire, her hair was dried from all the dust and sand as well as- you know it- disgusting remains. She shuddered at the sight of her reflection on the mirror and quickly purged herself of the ranger clothing given to her, relegating them to a remote corner of her room. She was left with but a single, long top that covered most of her dignity.

A bath was readied, and in the meantime she would perform the second prayer of the day. Realistically, she hadn’t had a proper opportunity to do so, except perhaps when they stopped to eat. But by the time she had gotten through her issues with Marceline, it was time to go. So, as many did in Hexaism, she simply ‘expressed’ it. Prayers, after all, were meant to dedicate time of one’s life for worship, show discipline and some degrees of humility by sacrificing potentially good moments and giving time to prayer. But it was also all just works. Rituals, which most held close to their hearts but reasonably found shortcuts when circumstances made it so. Some were even lax enough to simply half-ass all prayers. All but the last one. The one before bed- the one before one dreamed. This one- every Hexaic worth their soul would do it right.

Zarina did her second while still mostly covered in filth and simply recited the words via mumbles while kneeling rapidly, wanting to just get it over with. The bath was more important. Once it was done, she cleaned up, enjoyed a good half-hour of heated water and thorough scrubbing before getting back at it.

The final prayer of the day could begin. Clean, with fresh clothes and the Hexaic pendant set right before her, hanging from the nightstand. Like the previous moment of worship, she mumbled over uttering, but she took her time. Eyes closed, muscles relaxed and mind made to be as serene as her washed body. Only, Zarina’s mind seldom ever found serenity. Whereas yesterday she thought of compassion and her hopes for others, a boiling anger deep inside was growing on this very night. The very stone her carpet was set upon was beyond soiled and this place reeked of nothing but death and misery.

May the nightmare …

She thought, gritting her teeth. The Virangish tried her best to purge the vile thoughts. The thoughts of a cauchemardesque world, where her anger was unrestrained and many feared her as much as they feared her mother. She imaged the faces- even those she’s never seen- of those that defiled these kids. Those that defiled the calamity that is Jocasta. Despite the endless compassion and generosity the awakening of the Dreamer could usher, she wished nothing but the nightmarish abyss to those many wicked in this world.

... seep into your very soul.

This release of anger, the excess energy she had remaining before hitting exhaustion- it was cathartic to release it. It was liberating, in a way, to poison the world and its future, just so those she hated could suffer. It was so easy to forget the good in the world. The Ayla’s, the Kaspar’s, the Yalen’s … When pain and anger all filled your head, at this very time. She did not want to hurt them, she wanted the best for them. But maybe, her desire to damn the wicked in her misplaced indignation was stronger than her will to bring good to those that deserved it. She hoped it wasn’t the case, but sometimes she wondered.

For the first time in a week, Zarina managed to sleep. Well, she collapsed onto her bed and slept in a dreamless slumber. She awoke earlier than most, but she was refreshed and not as volatile as she could be. First came the coffee, and then came a relaxing stroll outdoors before joining the meeting led by Escarra and Amanda.




Morning came, most were awake and Escarra, along with Amanda, announced the state of things. The Warden had been taken care of, the schedule was established and the next operation was to be conducted very soon. Zarina, sitting with a half-finished breakfast before her, raised her hand to pose her question, ”Where did you put the Warden?” she asked plainly, no beating around the bush with her eyes focused on Escarra in particular. Given their tight timeframe, if the answer wasn’t satisfactory, she would still have to go on doing her job.

”Otherwise, I can handle one of the Vice-Wardens. I just need a chem-person to help.” she then took a bit of churros and brought her gaze toward Luisa, who so happened to have stepped up in all her talkative glory. They all quickly went into action, with Luisa providing enough information on Adela’s routine to prepare an ambush. And it so happened that the stables were a good point of interception. This was going to be a good day, Zarina could feel it.



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Hidden 5 mos ago 5 mos ago Post by BreathOfTheWoof
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BreathOfTheWoof Arbiter of Creation

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Dorothea@Jasbraq | Eun-Ji@Medili

Inner Boat Storage Room, Entertainment Area, Outer Boat Storage Room, and On-Deck Restaurant



Zarra was still playing with the likely fake lyre when caught floor movement. “Oh merde!” Was his first thought, he was lucky he had the discipline to not shout allowed, Poetically, alarms went off in his blonde head. “The ship is actually leaking! How on Eshiran did they manage to breach the hull??” Eun-ji finally breaks him out of his trance and engages the distracted mage, very expertly fighting off any signs of having a mini-panic attack.

”We need you both. It was a smart decision to go here to seek safety, but we need you both. Everything is going very out of control and this ship might really end up sinking, taking countless lives with it. We need everyone if we are to deal with this crisis. As soon as Ms. Hohnstein is well enough to act, please join me and Manfred outside. It is time to coordinate and actually start working together.”

Trying to make sure he wasn't the only person who saw that, he turned to Dorothea, who curiously was hardcore spacing out, awkward silence between them both. Dorothea breaks her silence, making eye contact with him.
"If they truly need me, I should at least try. Giving up is not a thing I was taught after all. Thank you, for taking care of me.”

Zarra was thrown a little off-guard at her just leaving like that, he was about to chase after her, but he saw that he went back towards the direction of Manfred. He'll let him handle her at this point, Zarra realizes at this moment that duty calls. While Eun-Ji would sure like to set up a strategy with him, all that will do is take extra time and arguing they simply can't afford.

Zarra reasons there must holes on the bottom of the boat if they're taking in water, he'll prioritize finding those first as the higher floors would take too long and by the point the water reaches those, they're pretty, well, sunk. He shifts into his greyborn form, the boat's momentum no longer effecting him and actually giving him a bit of vertigo for a second watching it bob and weave without him. Regardless, he continues his mission. The lack of visibility surely is a problem, and actually, he thinks it's gotten worse? It isn't an issue as long as he can still the outlines of walls and the rising liquid. He first follows the obvious leak into the storage room, the current leading him through the wall and into an entertainment room.

To his luck, nobody is there. However, can see water patiently leaking out of a hole in which someone shoved a cap into. While he was appreciative that someone atleast tried to fix the leak, it wasn't enough, that's where he'd come in. He touches the cracks around the plug, slowly but surely weakening the atoms and reforming their bonds. At his skill level, the bonds will be weak, and shatter upon any force impact, but it's better than doing nothing. With that fixed, he thought about his options.

He assumes that since most of the rioters don't have magic, the only way to pull off such a feat is with tools. He remembers the supply closet that he came out of when he first sabotaged the ship, after going ghost, he decides to check there. Unsurprisingly, Zarra finds that the storage closet has been forced open, and all of its equipment missing. “Well that solves that question...” While he doesn't see anyone around right away, he does hear the noise of destruction. Following the noise, deciding to be incorporeal was a smart play here. Several rioters are splitting open crates, hoping to find anything of value to thieve. A bunch more are arguing over a large dent in the side of the ship, which has a slit in it and naturally water pouring out. Zarra walks in, strategically choosing to rematerialize outside the vision of others, as to not spark panic. The wall of the ship makes a loud wrenching noise as Zarra uses his basic understanding of magnetic on it, everyone in the room staring at him incredulously. He is able to undo the warping, leaving the hull almost concave in shape. He goes towards the wall, and uses magic to seal the split shut, his fellow men watching in awe, fixing the problem that everyone in the room was worried about.

Zarra decides to entertain their astonishment, he turns around, addressing the whole room. “Not all nobles are bad, this one just saved your ass.” And with that, he seemingly does the impossible and walks through the wall he had just fixed. Some of onlookers are gonna need new pairs of pants after that.

Outside the ship, Zarra catches the view of a bearded man in the water and struggling to stay afloat, he must have gotten pushed off at some point. Before the boy can even comprehend the idea of saving him, an alligator basically launches out of the water and bodyslams this dude. Zarra almost turns white at the idea of a crocodilian pretending to be a Luchador. After the splashing clears, the poor soul is limp and face down in the water. He's then pulled underwater, and blood rises just as quickly in his place. Zarra makes a hand gesture reminiscent of a prayer, backing away and continuing to logic out where other possible damage could be.

The binder thinks long and hard. “Wait, didn't the ship have a restaurant section? Surely some idiot has managed to blow something up in there” Continuing to ignore such simple obstacles like debris and walls, he heads to the kitchen of the lower deck. “How even?!...” he mentally exclaims. There is a giant hole where clearly something used to be. The tide is seeping in every few seconds, and the floor is soaked up to his ankles. He considers his options on how to fix such a problem, and after some solid seconds letting the water chill his feet, Zarra gets an idea.

He flips over one of the wooden large restaurant tables. While the wood is rather light, him being so scrawny means he struggles to lift it. He dusts away the legs of the table, absorbing their energy with a strategy in mind. He goes over to the gaping chasm and recreates the table legs so they it matches the depth of the breached metal. He does this 4 all legs, then goes back to the table. He rebinds the table legs back on into the center of the table, in such a way that they all create a tight square. He then takes another table, faces the flat side towards the wall, and pushes it near the ominously large rupture, this so he can reach it for the final part of his plan. Finally, he nears the DIY table, and lifts it.

He shifts into the other dimension, you would think by doing so, any object going with would be weightless. But this sadly not the case. Good thing he has such an ability, otherwise he'd have to explain why he's without clothes every time he uses the power. Using the intangibility to his advantage, he shoves the table through the walls of the ship, intentionally making it land outside. In quick succession, he reforms and pulls hard, slamming the table against the hull and by extension sealing the gap, He holds on to the table legs that he created as both handholds and as a way to fuse both tables together. However, to his dismay, he can't reach other table and pull it closer, having misjudged the distance. He's using his entire body weight to keep the water shield from falling into the sea. If that happens, the overgrown lizards will have it. With his arm starting to get tired, he starts using kinetic to hopefully spin the other table over in front of him.

After a few tries, he loses his patience and puts his whole force into it, causing the table to almost spin midair. He narrowly manages to dodge crushing his own arm. But in those few moments, all his mana reserves are continued to be taxed as he summons wind from outside the ship to hold the outer board in place, and he slams himself into the inner board, causing them to collide in a racket of wood and metal. As the final piece of the puzzle, Zarra uses binding to fuse the exposed ends of the table legs to the other table, essentially interlocking both and making it impossible to move one without the other. He analyzes his work, to his relief, the boards seem tight enough to never waver. Zarra thinks about a way to get rid of all the water, but his stamina depleted, he decides to let Eun-Ji, someone more specialized in water manipulation than he is, to handle that task. Finally mentally done with fixing the ship, he phases one last time to head towards the team intervention... Or so he thought.

As he passed the bloodmage's body, he facepalms himself. He forgot that he had sabotaged the engine. Being that it's their only real option for getting back to shore, he sighs. He telefrags the air one more time and goes over to the Traveler Agent's body. He pulls out the pipe, still covered in bits of gore and brain matter. He uses basic binding to undo his work, including remaking the little bolt holes. After scanning the room, he finds that the arcane mages and Forceful are missing, he decides not to worry about it. He goes over to where the missing section is, steam pathetically rising out. He looks down, and realizes the rivets are gone, having rolled away from the back and forth of the ship. Zarra rolls his eyes and binds the pipe to the rest of the system.

A combination of magic overuse and seasickness finally get to him, He ends up leaning over braced against the wall, his nausea building. Without much remorse, he vomits moderately onto himself and the floor, cleaning himself off with a nearby towel. He ultimately decides he doesn't have the constitution or energy to use his greyborn powers again and just walks his way to the meeting.
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Hidden 5 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Ti
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Ti House Arslan / Sipentaverse

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Jocasta @Force and Fury, Yalen @pantothenic, Ysilla @Pirouette, Zarina @YummyYummy, various NPCs.
Event: Hugo's task | Location:Bedroom, Tethered Refuge, Torragonese High Desert.


After another late evening and a sermon by Yalen, Ayla spends the opportunity to collapse upon the bed and start to sleep. The girl was barely out of her clothing as she crawled upon the top of it, sinking into the duvet. It seems like forever since she had the luxury of a good night's sleep, and with the promise of further disruption in the morning, perhaps she had a very real temptation to lock herself away completely for the night. Life has taken some unusual turns and in such a small space of time as well. The life of the student at the academy was active in the extracurricular department. Though, for now, she is at home in this room, with this comfy pillow, and nothing to do but rest and sleep for a long peaceful moment.



Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Ayla grumbles as she is disturbed by it. ”What is this noise?”. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. The repetitive ticking of a bell and wood coming together was relentless. Begrudgingly, she opened her eyes as she turned to look on the bedside cabinet next to her, peering at a pint-sized Ysilla looking down towards her, the workings exposed as it moved around in a manner similar to a marionette. ”Oh, Ysilla, you surprised me.” She looks up towards her as the marionette puppet shifts its posture and expression as it communicates towards her. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Ayla offers her a questioning look, ”Fine, but it better be important to disturb my sleep like this”. She picks up the puppet within her arms as she makes her way towards the door and steps through it to enter the balcony back in Varrahasta. ”See? Everything is how it should be.”.Tock. Tock. Tock. The puppet cranes its head as it appears upside down as it looks up towards Ayla, its arm rising in a stilted manner as it points in the distance as a dark ominous cloud seems to obscure the sky as it travels towards the docks.

Ayla could feel a breeze upon her face as she swept the hair to the side, as it fluttered behind her. On the dockside she notices something, someone, a figure dressed in an usual blue. She starts to walk off the balcony towards it. As her feet walk through the air, she experiences a strong vibration sensation tickling the skin, the feeling as if she was standing on a piano during a concert. As she makes her way down these invisible steps, instinctively knowing where the next one is, hopping between them with a light bounce. Feeling mischievous, as she realises what is happening, she tries to step off the set route, soon distracted and misstepping to fall flat upon another platform. She looks up to the disapproving look of Ysilla glaring down towards her. Tick. Tick. Tick. ”You don’t have to give me that look. It is not everyday you are walking on sound.” She starts to pick herself back up again, brushing herself down. ”Since you are in one of those moods, let me show you something.” Ayla slams her foot down as the platform erupts in a bass drop, the pair of them propelling through the air, as Ayla waves her hands, smashing through platform after platform, feeling herself accelerating as she flies at increasing velocity. Ysilla cannot contain her excitement as her cog head continues to spin around in circles. ”See? Knew you would like this.” The pair seem to grow heavier, a sensation as if they were turning into a solid lump as they were approaching some kind of invisible barrier, the air whipping around them. The platform ahead was now simmering to an extent that they could not clearly see through the other side. As they impact it their bodies seem to feel as if they were morphing into liquid as a massive eruption of sound breaks around them, then being flung forward faster than the speed of sound itself. At this point, Ayla is unable to communicate at all with Ysilla as the puppet seems to cling onto its hat. The water around her eyes evaporates, everything goes blurry and dark, passing out during the transit.

Ayla suddenly shudders violently as almost falls backwards in her chair. The crowd of people looking towards her in a disapproving manner. King Sancho claps his hands together, ”Glad you have returned to us, Señora Arslan, we still have important matters to attend to.”, the others in the room laugh as she takes stock of what is going on around her. She only appears to know a few of these individuals by their reputation alone, but these are all powerful and influential figures of Torragon, including her own father and brother, positioned near the head council. It appears they are looking over a map of Sipenta, one that seems to shift as seasons pass. From what she can see, it appears that the world is truly at war as the borders are constantly shifting and changing. Tick. Tick. Tock. The last rung is slower and sad. Ysilla puppet is sitting on the map where Virang is, showing a creeping line of a Torragonese advance. What is surprising is the sudden surge from Duque Frannemas, as he waves his hand as he seems to be almost suppressing Virang himself single-handedly, occupying the Hexiac nation. The Duque moves his hand over to place it upon Ayla’s knee, lifting up a glass in celebration, “There is one who should truly take credit for this, my dear Arslan”. She looks up and around to see eyes are fixed towards her, a shadow cast over their faces, her father and brother… even the King. Duque Frannemas removes his hand with a condescending smirk, as he raises his arms as those present kneel down before him. As the Duque gloats in his accomplish, it was this moment the Ysilla puppet starts to wobble, moving in a very clunky marionette manner towards him as it falls apart, a white snake uncoiling and slithers towards the edge of the table, lunging forward to bite right into the man’s jugular, as he begins to wither and collapse upon the floor, gasping for his breath.

Ayla hears sounds around her, parseltongue accent. “Silence brethren”, “Silence.”, “The Sleeper has awakened”, “The Sleeper”. She looks around only to see herself surrounded in darkness. ”Who are you?”, the girl feeling very unnerved, as a rhythmic hissing and rattling permeates the air. The spice of the sand wyrm penetrates her nostrils. “We are those who slither in the dark”, “Slithering”, “Those slithering”, “The dreamer must continue to sleep”. Bright blue serpentine like eyes appear in the darkness, glaring towards her.


Ayla shifts her position as she turns, also turning the pillow over in the process. Pillow had dampness from her mouth as she appeared to be drooling. She sighs as she buries her face into that softness.

She now finds herself in a greenhouse filled with a rich herbal aroma, a cup of Zeno Bucks coffee in her hand. “You'n trippin on me already?”, she turns to face a strange Yasoi woman. “You’re in for a right doozy.” She feels herself passing out again.

Ayla is walking through the dark cloud as she is overlooking the world below. “Nid yw pethau byth yn newid”, a strange blonde woman, the one from the docks earlier, is standing next to her seemingly taking observations below her. She turns to face Ayla, briefly examining the female before continuing on, “Mae'n ymddangos eich bod yn anghywir”. Ayla is unfamiliar with this language, trying to indicate and return her speech in Avincian, “Who are you?”. The woman pauses for a moment, seeming to be almost as perplexed as Ayla looks yet somehow able to hold a stoic quality to her expression, as she seems to be pressing on some kind of board in front of her after this development. “Aeronwyr. We have not had a speaker in here before.” The blonde continues to press upon her board as the glass below appears to disappear into darkness as she walks off to the side. ”So… where are we?” as she looks expectantly towards her. The woman, Aeronwyr, seems to show the briefest of smiles before adopting a formality in her posture. “Who, What, Where, When and Why”. She moves over as she seems to continue examining a strange array of all weird and wonderful objects. What Ayla notices most of all is a persistent buzz in the air, a sound that is ever present and unrelenting. “The short answer to your question. You are not meant to be here.” Ayla rolls her eyes as the woman seems to state the obvious, ”We were down there.”, she gestures towards the blackened windows, the Ysilla puppet twirling its head around as it is sat upon the desk, its features missing vital panels though it appears as if it had tried to partially re-assemble itself. Aeronwyr puts down the board, as Ayla can see the colourful moving pictures upon it. “You never existed. Because of the meddling, you came to be. All is not lost, the breach can be repaired”, Aeronwyr seems to be pressing upon the board in a rather enthusiastic manner. “You have to ensure the traveller doesn’t succeed. You have to take his towel. I cannot explain further.” Even the Ysilla doll looks terribly confused with its expressionless face at this revelation. “May the Tridecagon be preserved. Sister protect.”, Ayla tilts her head to the side to ask the most important question, “The Tri-what?”.

Ayla is amongst a field filled with flowers, a canopy of colours similar to that of a rainbow. However, Ysilla has now fallen beyond repair next to her, the bell is not even giving its chirping ticks. She feels sad as she starts to brush away the dirt, making a hole where to place the disassembled pieces. ”Thank you for always being by my side.” The puppet looks up with her expressionless face, though emotion in the air is sombre as the world responds to her. As she covers the puppet up, the remaining pieces unfold to reveal a seed which is watered and the earth patted down. The seed sprouts as a green shoot rises up into the sky, the stem forming bark as it grows width and mighty with the tree sprouting seven branches. Jocasta moves next to Ayla, looking up to admire the sight with her, “This is the earth tree, Ysdrasilla”. The girl moves her hand to point towards a little bud blossoming into a flower adorning the third branch. ”That is you, my dear Ayla.” Ayla looks up at the tree in amazement and awe of its size, especially as five great trunks weave and intertwine amongst the branches. ”What do those represent?”, as she points them out to Jocasta. The blonde seems to demonstrate a blush as her cheeks grow rosy, ”Well, a girl is allowed to have secrets.”


Ayla shifts her position yet again as she senses the light already pouring into her room as the rays lay across her face, turning her back on them. She curls up under the sheet as she pushes back against the world.

Yalen is sitting there reading a book as she looks up towards him, ”How long have you been there?” she questions. The blonde boy continues to read after seemingly his chapter has finished, placing in a bookmark between the pages and closing it. “I have come bearing a prophecy.” The boy makes the sign of the pentad hourglass, placing his hands together in prayer. “You must eat your greens. I have spoken.” The door opens as an oversized tree of broccoli bursts through it. “TOOO LATEEE….!”, if Broccoli had a mouth, it would show a very menacing right now, especially as she could feeling the murderous intent as it is now charges towards her, the world fading into darkness

“What is it with you and the blondes, kitty cat?”, Zarina stands there looking towards her with those wide eyes and glossy thick black mane. Ayla moves over to stroke the horse along its neck in gentle affectionate caresses. ”Apparently to save the world, one needs a towel and a stick of broccoli”. Zarina the horse gestures with its head for Ayla to heat up the coffee jug as she continues to listen. ”It is a problem. Where are you going to find a stick of broccoli in the desert?”, Ayla has never considered this possibility before, turning inwards with her thoughts for the briefest of moments. ”Don’t stress too much, otherwise I would need to carry you on my back again.” Zarina gives a big neigh as she bumps her head into the side of Ayla. ”Get pouring that coffee.”

“Sand Wyrm’s use chemical magic to create a psychoactive dust cloud to confuse prey and predator alike”, the mysterious figure walks around the bed as he seems to be pointing out various features of Ayla’s body as she is lying there asleep. “It is my belief that this specimen is suffering from short term exposure.”, one of the others seems to be taking a closer look, “This one does appear to be healthy. At these levels of concentration, it shouldn’t affect her”, “Now that may be conventionally true, this one appears to be drug-naïve.” Other individuals appear to be taking notes as Ayla is watching the demonstration from afar in an out of body experience.


Ayla grumbles as the morning bells within the refugio are ringing as her senses start to demonstrate some clarity, the vivid nature of reality overloading as everything appears to be crystal sharp and in focus as she drags herself from the bed and starts to make her way to the bath to prepare for the day. As the plans are starting to unfold, she does find herself in the centre of things to come within this facility. ”Perhaps the children will distract me from those bizarre dreams…”, as she walks out she notices something, a gift, seemingly left out for her on the bedside cabinet. ”Huh.”




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Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Th3King0fChaos
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Th3King0fChaos The Weird

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Collaboration of: @Th3King0fChaos, @A Lowly Wretch, @dragonpiece, @Pirouette, and @Force and Fury





















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pantothenic bored part-timer

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Ghosts - Continued



The moon washed the refuge in a faint glow as Yalen’s second night in Torragon came to an end. Once again the students of Ersand’Enise found themselves walking in unison, the Red Tower slowly receding behind them. Slightly ahead of everyone else was Jocasta, her wheels gliding effortlessly across the stone colonnade. The demure mask from before was now gone. In its place was something more genuine. She had become more laid-back, and perhaps more cheeky as well. The tethered girl looked over her shoulder.

”Hey you four, I’m curious. If you were able to time travel, what do you think you would do with it?” Jocasta called out to them.

”Time travel? Indeed…” Yalen had a faraway look as he seriously pondered over Jocasta’s question. There were so many answers to pick from. Reverse a tragic event? Meet someone no longer alive, or yet to be born? The opportunities were endless. ”I think I would speak to my future self. If I end up with any regrets in my life, it would be a privilege to have a second chance.” He finally decided upon his answer after a few seconds of contemplation.

The gap between Jocasta and the others closed as she became more conscious of her pace. ”I could hardly fault you,” she replied, “though I think I’ll probably have far more regrets than someone as… just damned good as you.” Though she obviously meant it in a good way, Yalen frowned at the remark.

There’s no need to put yourself down like that. He thought to himself.

”There are questions I’d like to ask, or things I would’ve liked to have figured out earlier,” Kaspar started in a soft tone,”But… perhaps I’d go to some time I’ve never been or never will be. Some time removed from myself - to have the chance to see something I’ll never get to see.”

He blushed lightly, shooting a glance toward the wheelchair-bound girl. ”But, ah… That’s perhaps a less… productive way to use such a power,” he admitted.

Jocasta smiled at Kaspar's blush. "Gettin' all bashful on me, there, eh?” She pushed off again - a great big one that let her glide freely, but then she grabbed her wheels, pushed back, and ended up beside Kaspar. "I'd go far into the future and see what kind of world we've made for ourselves by then." She paused, pressing a pensive finger to her lips for a moment. "Or maybe way back to the start of it all." Her eyes gazed wistfully into the distance, but the guest dormitories were not far now.

"Perhaps you could tell us whether the chicken or the egg came first?" Yalen suggested jokingly. His poor attempt at humor caused Zarina to poke him in the side, at which he recoiled. He rubbed his ribcage and tightened his lips.
"I could answer your question,” Jocasta teased Yalen, "Though I'd be deathly afraid of rolling over the wrong egg and fouling up the entire flow of history. Time is... not to be trifled with, I think. I'd also have to scrub yolk off my wheels. Ugh. No thank you." She blinked and looked towards the other two women, who'd been silent to now. "How about you, Strong-but-Silent?" she prodded.

Ayla mused over the question for a while before answering. "There is nothing to change in the past. For what has happened, has been. Our lives are filled with regret, failure, and missed opportunities. But to human is to err, and only by failure will we learn and become better than our previous selves. If we change the past, we don't learn those lessons, and we are doomed to repeat them. By undoing one event, won’t we create even more potentially bad ends?". She places her hand over her friend’s, knowing of the trouble in her past. "With a power like that, it is not about changing the past, but changing the future. The power to know what may happen and change it, making a better world for ourselves and others around us. We may not erase the past, but we can prevent such things from happening in the first place. Learn lessons without the price of failure."

Ayla's more serious answer gave Jocasta pause. "Heprates has nothing on you," she joked, rolling out ahead again. "But I think you're right, you know. Changing the past - well, more than a couple minutes of it - does no good. Failing to use such a gift to create a better future might be wasting it. Still," she mused aloud, "I wonder so much what times distant from ours will look like. Will they really be better?"

Ayla smiles as she moves to stroke her fingers through Jo's blonde hair in a comforting manner, caressing it lightly at its ends. "If there is ever the opportunity, don't forget about your amiga, Ayla.". She teases her friend with her comment, "Though such wishful thinking is most likely only so. Never heard of such a gift before.".

Zarina had remained conspicuously silent during this exchange. Her arms crossed under her chest as she she paced slightly behind the others and just watched the evening skies. When Jocasta poked for both Ayla’s and Zarina’s attention, the Virangish kept discreet while the Torragonese expressed her views on the matter, more so than a wish. With the tone she used, it seemed like the subject had affected her patience and forced herself to answer. ”I don’t like to think of these things.” she states when a moment of silence came and inevitable attention was brought to her again, ”They busy the mind with things that won’t– or shouldn’t happen.” she scratched her cheek, ”I don’t dwell on the past and I make the future what I want it to be. No point skipping ahead.”

"Well, don't feel compelled to answer Zarina. We're just passing time." Yalen offered in an attempt to smooth things over.

Indeed, time had passed and they were back in their dorm area now. For a moment, Jocasta glared daggers at Ayla's offending hands, but her face soon softened. In response to her, Yalen, and - most especially - Zarina, the tethered merely giggled. "Oh, I know it's all just a hypothetical. Still," she concluded, "I find it fun to think about and... who knows, y'know?" She may or may not have winked, it was so brief, but she set hands to wheels and turned off in the direction of the big common room.

"Anyways, I'm off to go be a maid for the next little while. I'll see you soon!"

A maid? You're the one who offered to help! Yalen thought to himself. The number of cheeky women in the group was growing. Yalen entered the common room with Jocasta, and with her help the space was made a bit cleaner and more well lit. Candles and lanterns were appropriated and unnecessary furniture pushed to the edges of the room. Only a low lying table was allowed to remain in the middle, with floor cushions spread out so that each student had a place. Jocasta may have rolled her eyes a bit when Yalen even insisted on rearranging some of the lights so they would form a five sided perimeter around them. Once the arrangements had been made, Yalen took his seat while Jocasta was allowed to choose between remaining in her wheelchair or using one of the cushions herself. "Thanks Jocasta. I couldn't have managed by myself." Yalen said gratefully. His eyes were drawn to the Kerreman time piece on the wall. The agreed upon hour was only a couple minutes away, so it wouldn't be long until their friends joined them.

"I'll admit to helping because I was intrigued,” Jocasta replied, backing up to admire some of their handiwork with the low table. "Place looks more alive than I've ever seen it,", she agreed, turning on the spot to take it all in. She came to a stop and breathed. "You know, we used to call it the 'Ghost Room' when we were kids. We'd dare each other to go in there and complete 'missions' and things." She let out a snort and smiled faintly, wistfully, looking up at Yalen. "We thought it was haunted, but it was just a room that never got used." She rolled forward a bit, bending over and repositioning the cushion beside him with her hands instead of the Gift. With a small grunt of exertion, she swung herself down onto it, taking a moment to sweep some golden locks from her eyes. "Something poetic about this, whatever happens tomorrow," she remarked, eyes roving for a moment before finding his. Absently, she gathered her legs and crossed them. "And, well... before anyone else gets here, I just... wanna say a thank you of my own." She glanced down at her lap, smoothing out some of the folds in her dress before resting her hands on her knees. "You knew me for what I was this morning - Eshiran, I could see your fear - but you didn't try to use me or destroy me for it." She pressed her eyelids shut for just a moment and time slipped away. In the anticipatory stillness of this place, the senses became acute. One could feel the air brush their skin as it was warmed by a dozen candles. The snapping of tiny flames and the ticking of a clock echoed through the silence, and if one listened closely they might even hear their own pulse.

Yalen leaned forward on the table and rested his chin on top of his arms. He lay there staring at a flickering candle. It was strange how uneasy he felt right now. The priest in training had held dozens of people's hands as they pleaded to Dami for clemency, felt the life slip out of their body as they slowly faded away. He had prayed for them, and cried for them, but the short time spent with his new friends had exposed Yalen to emotions he'd never had to deal with before.

"I'm sorry Jocasta, but you're mistaken. I didn't know anything until recently. What you saw in me this morning was merely the lingering touch of a bad dream." Yalen sighed heavily. I never would have doubted you at all were it not for other people whispering in my ear. I admit I did begin to suspect you, and when I finally learned of your past wrongdoings... After trusting you so innocently, I felt betrayed." There was a pause as Yalen stopped to take a breath. He still wasn't looking at her, but he felt her gaze drilling into the back of his head. Without seeing her face it was impossible to know how she was feeling right now. "The others say they forgive you... but I cannot do the same." This time Yalen sat up straight and met her eyes. "But it's not because you don't deserve it. The right to forgive belongs to the victims, and to yourself."

Yalen placed a gentle hand on Jocasta's scalp, the same way he would comfort a crying child. When he did so, his sixth sense detected an influx of energy being drawn into her body. She was like a wild cat being touched for the first time. "The only choice that is truly our own, is the choice of whether to accept what we see before us." "In you... I indeed see a sinner. A murderer, but I don't believe that is who you are deep inside. I can feel the good in you, and I know you didn't just protect us for the sake of the warden's mission. You did what you had to do to survive your terrible circumstances." Without warning, he reached out and forced her face into his chest. Trapped in his hug, Jocasta could no longer see Yalen's face, but it was easy to feel the hammering of his heartbeat.

"I accept all that you are, and I know the others do too. If you ever feel yourself stray from the path of justice again, think of us. We met as strangers, but by brushing with death we have all gained something deeper than friendship. We will never betray you." Seconds went by and Jocasta remained unresponsive, but eventually she moved her hands from the floor to embrace Yalen in return.

”Cute.” The two tethered were so focused on each other that they hadn’t felt Zarina slip into the room unannounced. Yalen looked over to see her throw him a cheeky grin from behind a glass of water. Turning full 180, she stepped out of the room and closed the door. The Virangish waited by the entrance for a few minutes, making sure the two blondes had their moment unperturbed.

"Well I think we both heard that. The others must be waiting outside. Let's not keep them any longer. Yalen gave Jocasta one final pat on the back and helped her back onto her seat, taking care to provide enough support without outright babying her. He got up and made for the door, and when he opened it he could still see Zarina giving him the look. It was good that she was having fun he supposed, though he wished she would tone down the sauciness once in a while. "Good to see you Zarina. Please, come in. Yalen held the door open and politely gestured for her to proceed. She took the invitation and stepped into the room, although she kept to the edges and didn’t appear to want to be noticed all too much, ”I hope you can excuse my lack of participation,” Zarina speaks up before others may join, ”I don’t exactly share the same enthusiasm for the Pentad as some others might.” and yet here she was.

Shortly after, Ayla came in with a big knowing smile as she made her way towards Jo. She sat beside the girl, her hand being placed within Jo's reach as if being offered for her to take it. "We do have a lot of discuss about the petition. It can be rather dry, so we were thinking... ... why not make a girls night out of it? We can see about arranging some nice food, some music, some... privacy for talking. Try to lighten the atmosphere a bit. It has almost been non-stop since we came here. Very exhausting."

Yalen and Zarina exchanged pleasantries while Ayla and Jocasta had their own little conversation. Kaspar eventually turned up as well, though he was a few minutes late. Everyone that needed to be here was now present.

”Everyone, I cannot express how happy I am that you’ve agreed to sit with me tonight. It seems our final trial awaits, and I grow fearful for our safety. With such an uncertain fate awaiting us, it was my hope to bring all of us under one roof to seek the Pentad’s grace. You need not close your eyes or bow your heads. I know a couple of you do not share my enthusiasm for the Menana, and that is okay, for it is enough that you are here. Now, let’s proceed without delay.”

”Tonight I borrow inspiration from the life of Lysander the Worldbinder. It is he who is said to have crossed the Ensollian Sea and entered the land of Zaqhora, where he sought to claim the Sword of Kings and become the chosen prophet of Eshiran. At the time, the holy relic was in the possession of the pharaoh Amunkhare, who in the age of myths commanded the greatest dynasty of ancient Severa. After much deliberation, the mighty pharaoh did agree to relinquish the treasured blade, and revealed the location of its tomb. However, Lysander found the sword protected by the most cunning of trials. Five mighty gates barred the way to the relic, and five tests to unseal them. The night before delving into the tomb, the Worldbinder sat with his closest companions and called to the gods for protection and strength. Since then, circles like these have become traditional practice among the more devout practitioners of Quentism. With that all said, let us pray.”

Yalen placed his right hand beneath his left shoulder. ”I speak to Ipte, designer of all this world’s love and beauty. Thank you for blessing us with the bonds of new friendship. Though we may not see eye to eye in all things, our kindred spirits have tied our fates together. Let this meeting not be a chance encounter, but a relationship that we carry to the end of our lives. Let your love touch the residents of this sanctuary, so that they may overcome the wounds in their hearts and live on.”

Yalen placed his left hand beneath his right shoulder. ”I speak to Shune, the all seeing and all knowing one. This sacred mission has been a learning experience for all of us. Here in this foreign land, we encounter new ideas and perspectives that would be out of reach within our own narrow understanding. Bless us Enlightened One, for we need your guidance now more than ever. In order to save the tethered, we must negotiate on their behalf and show the world that they are not a people to be feared. It is ignorance that plagues this land, and we seek to be the cure.”

Yalen placed his left hand on his right hip. ”I speak to Oraff, my beloved patron and creator of life as we know it. In the face of grave danger, we plea to you for preservation. In order to destroy the mad wyrm, we must put many lives at stake. Perhaps some of us shall meet our end. If any are to fall tomorrow, I humbly ask that they may go in peace, without any undue suffering. Protect those with righteousness in their hearts, for it is they who shall lead this world unto a brighter future.”

Yalen placed his right hand on his left hip. ”I speak to Eshiran, whose power and fury we rightfully fear. Mighty destroyer, grant us the strength to do your deeds. For those willing to fight, give them the courage and strength to persevere. Many of those who will stand on the field tomorrow have never known the fear of battle. Look upon us and smile, as we fight for the sake of those too weak to fight for themselves. In order to protect that which we hold dear, please empower us.”

Finally, Yalen brought his hands together just below his chest. “Last but not least I speak to Dami, the holder of the scales and dispenser of the holy law. Of the judge most supreme, I request your guiding hand as we strive to do what we think is right. This refuge is not a place of peace as we once believed. It is a prison. A monument to the hubris of evil men. We will face opposition from those who seek to hide their dark deeds from the world. Strike down their fallacious words. Let no falsehoods remain. As arbiters of justice, we shall overturn this flawed system and deliver hope to the people.”

After having said so much, the young priest needed a long moment to catch his breath. Once he had collected himself, he unclasped his hands and looked towards Zarina, who was still playing the part of the wallflower. To her, he offered a warm smile. Unbeknownst to her, the prayer was not yet over.

”...I know little of the Dreamer believed to slumber at the heart of our world. Whether such a being exists is beyond the extent of my faith. If this existence truly is a product of Vashdal’s dream… then I can only pray that their slumber continues to be a pleasant one.”

For a moment, Jocasta simply sat here, cross-legged, palms pressed together. It had been… years since last she’d prayed, but the motions had been drilled into her at some point in the part of her life she did not remember and subsequently reinforced during her time at San Agustin. She closed her eyes for a moment. “This, we ask of you,” she concluded. “In nomini Ipte, Shune, Oraff, Eshiran, Dami. Amen.” She opened them and it was finished.




Nothing unusual transpired as Yalen went through his morning routine. He got out of bed nice and early and bowed his head in silent conversation with the Creator, thankful to be alive for one more glorious day. After cleansing his body and getting dressed he left his room and made for the administrative tower as instructed. Unlike the past couple of days, the weather was pleasantly cool and overcast. He listened and observed as children around the refuge scurried about, cheering excitedly for the rain to come down.

Yalen was in high spirits during the meeting, his slumber no longer plagued by ill dreams. He tucked into his breakfast with gratitude, sampling a small bit of every dish on the table. He listened carefully to the words of Amanda and Don Escarra as he ate, and when the subject of managing the children came up he was quick to volunteer.

”I am prepared to fight when necessary, but I feel that I am better off watching the kids. There are others here more powerful than I who would do a better job at capturing the Vice-Wardens, and I have already gained the favor of some of the young ones.”
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Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Pirouette
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Pirouette Ghoul

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My Dearest Patrons,

The conceptualization of my experiment began at a young age for me. Our lives are a fleeting concept, carried on the whims of our fickle creators. I sought the ambitions to be the one to escape the limiting workings of this world. Overzealous, I overextended and yet with the nurturing hands of your encouragement, I kept my aspirations enough to proceed. The initial experimentation was trying and yet I had vision of something extravagant planned.

How imprudent was I to contrive such an end without first understanding the beginning? The Doll is dead. In a deathrattle, she preserved the secret I have so carefully kept. A parting letter bequeathed on the Deserted bed where she had last been seen. Hidden from their view, I have made a request to a Confidante to retrieve the vessel and be returned. They need not be the wiser to my macabre experiment and my more, eccentric machinations.

I conclude my letter with an assurance. I shall toil away, shrouded from view. This was initially a haggard experience but one to be learned from. Murmurs of my demise are greatly exaggerated.

I will return.

In Confidence,

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Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Medili
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Medili Connoisseur of Fine Pineapples

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L O R E N T I N E Q U E E N




Lorentine Queen | Nighttime


Dorothea Hohnstein@Jasbraq & Seung Eun-Ji
___________________________________________

Taking the stairs up after leaving Zarra, Dory emerges from the Cargo Hold to find that there's nobody in the room outside. Nobody that is conscious, at least, just fallen bodies that are either conscious or dead. Seeing these bodies are not doing any good for her still shocked mind. Were these bodies too somehow the result of what she had done? The reality of course is that these are the bodies of the fallen combatants from the earlier fight between her fellow students, two of the ship's Arcanists, and the traveler agents but there's no real way for Dory to know that right now considering she was unconscious while the fight took place. Dory also knows that she need to keep moving on, not being hold up by bodies. She resolved to help with the situation and do what she can after all, and that is what matters most right now. So she continues on out of the room, getting to the corridor where more bodies are present. A part of the walls in this corridor is leaking water, although Manfred had jammed a chandelier cap on the hole to try to slow it down earlier. It holds for now, though more solid repair will be needed for sure. Alas, it is not something Dory can manage on her own; she's no Binder.

It is as she is traversing through this corridor that she comes upon Eun-Ji, the real one this time, that is coming from the other way. Eun-Ji had went to do a quick scouting of the ship earlier to get a better idea of what needs to be done before then updating Manfred about it and about how she had managed to find everyone in the team and relayed to them about the less than desirable situation of the Lorentine Queen. Afterwards, the two separated again with Manfred continuing on while Eun-Ji backtracked to meet with Dory and Zarra as she had promised.

"Ms. Honhstein" Eun-Ji says as she jogs over toward Dory. She stops in front of Dory, giving her a polite nod even considering the dire circumstances. "Where is Mr. Travendour? Actually, never mind." From what she had seen so far of Zarra, she quickly makes the necessary assumption that he must have decided to go on his own way again. She'll just have to trust that he's going to help. Thus, she decides to move on with just Dory. "I'm glad to see that you've recollected yourself... As I have said, there's much to do." Eun-Ji pauses just a moment, regarding Dory with calculating eyes and recalling what little she knows about Dory. "If I am not mistaken, you are an Arcanist of some manner, yes?"

"Then we can work together on dealing with the fires that had broken out throughout the ship and spreading rapidly. There are some others, people without the gift, that are trying to put out the fires even amidst the chaos... But they will need our help." Eun-Ji gestures politely for Dory to come with her, knowing that the most dangerous outbreak of fire is currently located in the 1st Cabin deck above with its many walls, wallpapers, and other flammable things; too many flammable things that will allow the fire to spread rapidly if not quickly taken care off. Additionally, there are also other fires that they can quickly snuff out along the way. "Shall we, Ms. Hohnstein?"

Leon Solaire@Jumbus(and his temporary sidekick Firebrand!)
______________________________________________________

Leon once more acts to take the stage and draw attention to himself, with the help of Firebrand to provide him the necessary fabulous display of magical illusion this time. The flashy but otherwise harmless display of light that seems to emanate from Leon succeeds in taking the attention of just about every single of the rabble in the entertainment hall. Even the drunkest of them (or perhaps these are the most susceptible considering how inebriated they are) stops whatever it is they are doing at that moment; some still have their fists raised and ready to brawl with each other. A short skinny man, earlier busy taking advantage of the situation by shoving whatever valuable things he can found into his pockets, stops awkwardly before realizing that nobody's looking at him. All gazes are locked onto the extremely famous performer after all. The first part of his plan had succeeded as the fighting and chaos are disrupted.

He seizes the moment immediately by going on an impromptu acrobatics show, showing off his well trained finesse and agility by dancing and leaping from one intact table to the others all while Firebrand continues to support him by making one entrancing illusory light after another. Noises of chaos from the other parts of the ship provides the ambience to the otherwise rather silent show as the lounge that was just as rowdy a moment before is now enchanted by the performance, and soon enough the silence was yet again replaced by a commotion... One of applause, cheering, and whistling from the crowd that had became enchanted by Leon.

It goes on like that for a while, and it seems very likely that Leon and Firebrand will be able to take control of the situation here. More people trickles to the entertainment lounge, attracted by the jolly atmosphere that is a notable contrast from the uncontrolled chaos that is present in nearly all other parts of the boat. At this rate, they might even be able to pacify a large enough number of people that the riot and fighting will be much more manageable for the rest of the team.

Alas, not all of the people among the newcomers trickling into the lounge seem to be too keen to see Leon. One such person, a lanky gentleman that is leading two others, disrupts the show with his own small trick of the gift. He amplifies his voice just enough to overcome the cheering and clapping of the crowd as he gets up onto a table of his own and gestures a clenched fist at Leon in challenge. "Oy! Leon Solaire you charlatan! What game are you playing at??" The crowd goes silent once more as all eyes are now unto this attention stealing man. The man has the look of a half-drunk and furious fellow, staring dagger at Leon. There's also hints of grief in his visage. "The nerve of you! First you promised a show, telling people to go out there to the deck... But what awaited us was chaos! My brother got his skull caved in and his nephew got trampled to death! And now you dare show up and do all these like nothing happened, Eshiran curse your cold heart!"

The crowd continues their silence. Some looks confused, but most seems excited. It seems that most of them doesn't really care much of what the man said, but they are curious of how Leon will react to this man that is challenging his dominance for the spotlight. To them, this is just more entertainment. Firebrand too looks unsure as he looks at Leon, standing near the left entrance of the lounge away from the crowd's attention. All it seems, is waiting for Leon to respond to the man.

Carmillia Carbonneau@Animus
____________________________

Meanwhile, Carmillia is moving away on her search for the agent provocateurs while Leon deals with the crowd. Heading for the upper deck, her trip is cut short as she encounters one such individual that is very clearly fanning the flames of the riot movement. An older man white grey balding hair and a thick beard, skinny yet with quite the force behind his voice, is shouting words of provocation at his fellow rioters. "Keep it up, comrades! Down with the Rednitz scum!" the man said with gusto, right hand balled into a fist and raised high in the air. "Is it not our rights to take what is owned to us from those so-called noble leeches? Indeed it is! Today, this boat! Tomorrow, the country! Down with the Rednitz!"

Two other men, both tall and strong in stature, follows the older man like loyal followers as he slowly walks around the open air walkway of the 1st Cabin Deck. Rioters cheer and raise their fists in reply as the man walks pass them, his words clearly having the effects that he desired upon his so-called comrades in revolution. The emboldened and zealous rabble continue their fighting, plundering and pillaging, either seemingly blind to or just trying to take as much as they can even as fires continue to spread slowly but surely throughout the level. Only a few people in comparison are trying to put out the fires, either because their minds are sound enough to understand the danger of the situation or simply because they are good enough that they couldn't just let the fires spread unchecked.

For now none yet directly accost the pale, white-haired young woman that sticks out like a sore thumb among these mostly male rabble, although she's definitely starting to attract attention for better or for worse. Most doesn't seem to care much for her as of now but a few that pass by her gives her some looks of suspicion, as the overall chaos of the situation seems to fuel the paranoia in their hearts. Between the flame and the general air of hostility, it is clear then that it is best for her not to idly linger for long.

Zarra Travendour@BreathOfTheWoof
_________________________________

The young Perrench nobleman had achieved much as he puts himself into action to actually help with potentially saving the Lorentine Queen from having her last voyage, in a way undoing the damage that he and a few others had caused with their earlier chaotic actions during the earlier phase of the mission. Taking full advantage of his ability to quickly traverse the ship by phasing in and out of the material realm, he mended the holes that had allowed water to leak in and even fixed and returned the pipe that he had earlier stolen from the engine room back to where it belongs. Of course, using so much of his gift and unique ability as a greyborn in a relatively short span of time didn't come without its own consequences as he is now starting to be exhausted.

Patching the holes did indeed buy them more time to deal with the situation, but for as long as the riot itself remains unstopped it is just a matter of time until more damages and holes will inevitably be made to the ship...

Back to where he started his first act of pipe thievery, the tired Zarra walks through the area with the machinery when he comes upon a group of four rioters. At first, they seem to give him little care as they're too busy trying to find things to pillage. But then, one of the man stops and gives Zarra a good look. The outfit that he is currently wearing marks him as an employee of the ship... And those are not currently seen in a very good light in the eyes of these rioters. Indeed, it is mostly a case of targeting the wrong people considering most of the crews of the ship are common folks just like them but that is currently far from the recognition of their overly zealous minds. "Oy folks, look what we 'ave here. One of them traitors who kowtowed to the Rednitz scums." The man's words cause the three others to stop what they are doing and turn, all focusing on Zarra. "Aye man, sure looks like one to me now that you said it" said one of the other man. The third crack his knuckles, slowly walking toward Zarra with violence in his mind, while the fourth man seems to think that surely his three friends are enough to rough up a ship crew as he continues to look for things to pillage.

Things, it seems, refuse to be so simple.

Manfred Hohenfelter@Force and Fury
_________________________________

Wary of another fight when there are so many lives that can be saved instead, Manfred decides to go on ahead with his crazy idea. He starts to talk instead with the traveler agents facing him. "This isn't the time for petty fights" he starts. "Not when hundreds of lives are on the line unless this madness is stopped. Unless WE stop this." The Magusjaeger keeps staring straight at the agents, unyielding in his gaze. Yet he had also made his intention very clear and extended to them an offer: To cease on the fighting between those with the gifts, instead using those gifts to save lives. The agents remain silent for a while. The Powergazer, despite his covered eyes, seems as if he is returning Manfred gaze with a burning one of his own...

And then he relaxes his posture slightly and nods at Manfred. "On that we agree, stranger. This insanity where the innocents are becoming victims of those who misuse their gifts is not what we stands for." He looks at his taller partner and exchange nods with him. "We will work with you."

Perhaps that idea was not so crazy after all. Though he didn't exactly expect that the agents would actually agree to work together, Manfred also doesn't waste any time. There's not even a single moment to be wasted on being surprised after all. "Great" he replies simply before continuing. "Others are already at work to save this ship, and I am sure they will manage." Well, some of them at least... "But still more need to be done... I'm thinking we need to get this ship moving, put it to shore where people will be able to get back no land safely."

"Then we need to get the machinery to work again. I can aid with that." The Powergazer pauses for a moment, as if contemplating something. "But not by myself. We will need others."

Terror of The Lorentine River, The Schluckodil
_______________________________________

After Zarra had left, a duo of pillagers end up in the kitchen with the tables being used to patch the giant hole. "Where's all the food, man? Surely there's something good here, it's the kitchen." says one of the man, looking through the kitchen cabinets. "Just keep looking, Franz." the other man replies while also searching through the kitchen for something good to eat. "There's definitely gotta be something we can find. Maybe some really good meat or booze, yeah?" The first man nods in agreement as the two continue their search.

A sudden loud thud emerges from somewhere in the walls, causing the two to stop their rummaging about. The first man, Franz, frowns before starting to speak. "Did you hear that? The heck's that? You hear that right?" The other man shrugs, looking agitated. "I don't know, Franz. I heard it alright, but I don't know what the heck that was. Maybe the boat hits something, eh?" In response, Franz looks at his friend like he is mad. "This boat's not moving right now. How can it hit anything if it's not moving?"

And then there is another thud, louder, followed by a third. The two man gaze at the tables being used to cover the big hole, realizing that that is where the thudding are coming from. Though of course, they don't know that there's a hole there. Frowning, Franz moves closer to the tables against his better judgment as the thudding continues. "Maybe, maybe we should just leave Franz. Let's go..." says the other man, getting more and more agitated by the passing seconds. In return, Franz merely raises his left hand as it to tell the other man to be quiet while he continue to approach the tables. As he draws very close to it, the thudding stops as suddenly as it had started. Silent passes for a few seconds... Franz turns around and shrugs at his friend. "Eeeh. Probably just a fish or something. Nothing to be worried about." He chuckles and starts to walk away from the tables again. That is when the tables give away. Franz turns around once more...

He comes face to face with the open jaw of a giant reptile. The other man screams in terror in place of Franz, who doesn't even have the luxury of screaming as the creature devours him whole in short order...


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Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Wolfieh
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Wolfieh eternally terrified / he/they

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LOCATION: The Refuge
INTERACTIONS: Felix and Don Quintana, @Force and Fury — Mentions of: Ayla @Ti; Jocasta @Force and Fury; Yalen @pantothenic; Zarina @YummyYummy




LOCATION: The Red Tower








LOCATION: Wolfieh's Mind


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Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Force and Fury
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Force and Fury Actually kind of mellow

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I N T O T H E D E P T H S




After an awkward moment, One eased up. "Apologiesss," he offered, and this was followed by a symphony of apology from the others, including Nine. "We had received a notification that there were othersss in the caves: pirates. It did not come from people whom we trussst."

"It did not," someone echoed.

"A notification."

"Piratesss."

"We don't trussst them." The last was hissed by Nine with uncharacteristic venom. "Kassseels!" A handful of others repeated after her with equal intensity.

"In any event," said One, "I must be on a call with Kassseel One now." He looked distinctly unhappy about it.

"Kassseel One," the others growled.

"Feel free to enjoy the ressst of your dinner."

Nine was quick to distract. She eventually coaxed her sister Ten out of the doorframe and the two of leaned easily against each other, tails flicking back and forth, the elder teasing the younger about her hesitancy to emerge. There were plenty of questions to ask and answer and the sirrahi seemed alright with doing so.



Then, came Ingrid's questions about... sirrahi culture and romance:

"What are your favorite genre of music?"

"What do you guys fine attractive?"

"Do you kiss?"

"Do you also have trashy romance novels?"

"What's your favorite food?"

At Ingrid's first question, Nine pursed her lips quizzically. "Electronic, mostly," she replied.

"Electronic," echoed some of her siblings enthusiastically.

"Mostly," deadpanned Ten.

"Though I'm not sure how much that might mean to you," the sirrahi clarified. "Think of it as music made using machines instead of instruments."

"Machines."

"Instead of instruments."

The Eskandishwoman asked further questions, and her new... friend answered as best she could. Apparently, nice arms were attractive on a man, sirrahi did kiss, in a sense, and sirrahi romance novels were never trashy but, instead, works of art. There was a pause. "Ingrid?" Nine asked, tilting her head to the side with a cheeky smile, but then closing her mouth, wary of making the humans nervous.

"Ingrid," said another sirrahi.

"Ingrid."

"Ingrid."

"If I did not know any better, I would think that you are 'hitting on' me." She tried the odd human phrase out and then simply couldn't stop a big snakey grin from spreading across her face. "But, um... my favourite food isss... right here in this room, actually. You guessss!" she squealed.

"You guess!"

"Right here!"

Ingrid giggled a bit and looked at Nine. "Well you see, Eskandish people do love getting to know each other through more intimate means."

Both had initially been joking but, after a moment of consideration, were intrigued. Simply put, the sequence led to... what may have been the world's very first human-sirrahi female-female interspecies kiss. "Not bad," Nine mused as they pulled apart. "Does not hurt that you are pretty."

"Not bad," the other sirrahi echoed, and this drew more of them out. They surrounded the humans inquisitively. "I want to kiss a human!" one of her brothers exclaimed, but she shot him down. "I want the yasoi!" said another, and Ismette looked... less so insulted than fairly open to it, actually.

Long story short, it was a good evening, though Penny never made an appearance. The Diskas promised them an escort close to the surface in the morning, though it was impossible to say what time it was beneath the ground like this. When they were led to their rooms down a hallway similar to the one they'd been in, care was taken to keep their prying eyes away from technological secrets. The issue was that it wasn't so much 'rooms' as 'a room'. There was a single enormous circular bed in the middle, its mattress made not of hay nor down, but of some unknown substance that was at once gloriously soft and perfectly supportive. With a final wave from Nine, the group was left to their own devices. Ismette threw herself back onto the bed, sighing. "You can all sleep on the floor," she teased, "I claim it!" and she began undressing.

"So you just gonna strip?" Benny interjected.

"Pretty much," Ismette replied. "I sleep in the buff, you know."

Benedetto's eyes wandered momentarily to her chest, still covered in a light chemise, but he quickly pulled them away.

"I'm just fucking with you," she laughed, "Ipte! Don't get a stiffy." Dressed in something like a nightgown but too short to be one, she sat up and swept some hair over a shoulder. One way or another, the group found sleep that night, of varying quality.



It was difficult to tell what time it was, but Ismette did not feel rested when she awoke to find Nine gently shaking her. The sirrahi seemed to have recently-dried tears in her eyes. "Friend," she said, and there was nobody there to echo her. It felt... oddly lacking.

Ismette blinked. "What's up?"

"You are naked."

"Aw shit." The yasoi covered herself up.

"Ismette."

"Yeah, what's going on?"

"We have not been totally honessst with you."

"No shit."

Nine hung her head for a moment, but then she continued. She seemed to have some fire in her eyes. "There is a war among my people right now: it is not a 'hot war' but a 'cold one'. The other group here: the Kassseels, they are from the other ssside. They view your peoples as 'lesssser races' and -"

"What are you trying to justify, Nine?" There was no annoyance or accusation in Ismette's voice. She simply wanted to know.

Nine's face became serious. She expelled air from her nose. "Trypano mentioned a woman with one leg. The Kasseels have her. They have blocked off her magic and they are going to kill her."

There was more. Nine was an empathetic being. Ismette could sense it. She could also sense that something further was wrong, even without the Gift. "What else, Nine?"

The Sirrahi worked her jaw back and forth and looked away for a moment. "It wasn't humans," she said, in a quiet, angry voice.

"What wasn't humans?"
the yasoi prodded, sitting up, careful not to disturb the others. Desmond was rolling over, though, Trypano was already sitting up, and Ingrid had opened her eyes. Benedetto was sprawled across half the bed, still asleep.

"Who killed my sissster." Nine clenched and unclenched her fists. "It was the Kasssseels." Tears formed in the corners of her eyes. "They murdered her for going up to the surface and made it look like the humansss to cover up their crime. We have jussst learned this." The sirrahi took a handful of deep breaths, addressing everyone now that they were awake. "I am sssory." she bowed low. "I do not want to drag you into my fight. Thisss is why I talked to Ismette." She turned to the yasoi. "I know how you feel about violence. I am angry. Thisss is more anger than I have ever felt and I do not know what to do about it." She was still wearing her 'hair', and she tossed it over a shoulder. "I hate them!" she hissed. "For a sirrahi to kill in cold blood isss.... unthinkable. We have... weapons for our protection, but we are not much in the habit of using them, not the civilized people on my ssside anyways."

"So what are you saying?" Benny croaked, sitting up and rubbing the sleep from his eyes. A dark sort of light came into them. "You want us to kill those fuckers for you?" He grinned.

"Why are you happy about death!?" Nine squeaked.

"Won't you be happy when the Kasseels are dead?" he replied, tilting his head to one side.

"I do not know," replied the the sirrahi anxiously. "I do not know what I will feel, only that I cannot jussst let them.... get away with this!"

Benedetto stood, his face serious for once, and placed a hand on her shoulder. "That's called revenge, Nine, and it's something I'm very familiar with."

"It's a dark emotion," warned Ismette. "Acting upon it rarely leaves one better off."

"You don't care about Penny, then?"

"You don't," Ismette shot back, and a mix of the others' and Nine's intervention was required to cool things off.

"For what it is worth, Ismette," the sirrahi remarked, "One agreed with you. He wanted to negotiate with the Kasseels, but his blood runs too cold and he does not see that you cannot negotiate with people who murder your sister." She regarded the others. "I believe that this 'revenge' is something I need, and I cannot let anything happen to the friend of my friends. The Kasseels have killed enough."

"So uh... one small problem," observed Benedetto. "We don't have the Gift here."

"No, you don't," admitted Nine, furrowing her brow. "Not in here, and you won't in their base either, not unless you shut down or destroy the emitters. I will seek to do that. In the meantime, I mentioned that we still had weapons." She nodded matter-of-factly, drawing up taller on her coils. "I can help you save your friend. You can help me have revenge."



This was done without the approval of One, Two, Three, Six, and Eight. Ten slithered up alongside them, as well as Four and Five. They made their way stealthily through the hall. "The Kasseels are many," Ten said with concern. "They use artificial means to increase their numbers. There are twenty of them in this little outpost."

"Twenty of them," echoed Five.

"Artificial means," said Four and Nine.

Then, they were in the armoury, Nine having pressed some strange species of card to the lock mechanism in order to open it. The variety and advancement of the weaponry present was breathtaking. Desmond, in particular, had ascended to fifth heaven. The five humans and yasoi equipped themselves with a form of armour known as bulletproof vests, and the following weapons:

Ingrid: Pistol, Grenades, Chainsaw
Trypano: Machine Gun, Medkit
Desmond: Rifle, Shotgun
Ismette: Gas Gun, Taser
Benedetto: Atomic Blunderbuss, pistol

Nine took a submachine gun, a pistol, and a sword. Her brothers and sister armed themselves too, and all learned that, just because the sirrahi abhorred violence did not mean that they didn't train - extensively - in the use of weapons. "Now," their host said, screwing a silencer onto her pistol. "Let usss go: quickly and quietly, like a human ssstriking in the night."

"Quickly and sssilently," echoed Four and Five. "Like a human."

"That does not work so well with actual humans here, sissster," observed Ten.

Nine blinked. "No, I sssupose it does not." She turned to the group. "Sssorry, humans." She blushed.



They slipped out through a small side door, with another one of those card taps and a blinking light that went from red to green. Then, they were in a long, hollowed out hallway of stone, hewn from the rock and evidently quite old. There were occasional faint lights along its length, and then a great steel door at the end. Nine fished a key from her pocket instead, and it rattled in the lock as the door opened. "Keep your eyes sharp and your witsss about you," she warned. "We are in the cave now. It is not our friend."

"In the cave now."

"Wits about you."

"Not our friend."

Nine had given them each a thing called a flashlight and, as the five youths left the underground compound of the Diskas, they could feel the Gift returning to them. They could feel the magnetic currents flowing, as if in controlled lightning inside these devices. The lead sirrahi twisted back at them knowingly and smiled. "I hope for the day when your peoplesss can use these freely." Her siblings repeated after her in nervous chorus.

They crept, then, with guarded silence, through the dark caverns, and the smell of sulfur and a faint heat grew stronger. Nine was reaching in her mouth, now, and so were her siblings. "Milking our venom," she explained in a low whisper. "We may need it."

Ten dutifully whispered a repetition. Then, they saw it in the distance: a glow, as if from some sort of artificial light. It was some thirty yards distant, around a shallow bend. Desmond held up a hand for them to stop simultaneously with Nine. "That will be their door," the latter whispered.

"Their door." Hatred had returned to her face, and determination.

"They will have a camera: one of those artificial eyes I told you about, that they can all see through if they look on a screen." The group had witnessed a screen: a wondrous device that was like an arcane illusion, but a perfect reproduction, and using a machine instead of The Gift. "When you enter, you will lose the Gift. Right now, though, can you kill that camera or use your... illusions to trick it?"

"Then," breathed Ten, drawing near to the front, "we will enter. We will go in 'hot', claim your friend, and have revenge for Seven."

"Revenge."

"Your friend."

"For Seven," they all said together, making that same strange gesture they had made hours ago when the students had first arrived. Nine held up a hand, her other cradling a gun. Five fingers stood up, then four.

Three.

Two.

One.



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Hidden 5 mos ago 5 mos ago Post by Force and Fury
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Force and Fury Actually kind of mellow

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The clock struck five and, across San Agustín de las Arenas, it happened. Four of the six Internal Guards, called 'owls' by the residents, collapsed where they stood: two rendered unconscious by internal chemical spells, one by a hard knock to the head, and another - notorious for his abuses of the Tethered - by having his neck slit. The remaining two slept in their rooms, off shift and having been made asleep for... much longer than was natural.

Cardinals at their posts found themselves overwhelmed by lesser Afortunado - half-trained boys and girls - but overwhelmed nonetheless, for such is the powerful advantage bestowed by the Gift. A couple tried to fight and were subdued. One took flight through the hedgerows and flowerbeds of the gardens and was unceremoniously knocked out mere feet from the Side Gate. Others protested with words, recognizing resistance as futile. Many were, in fact, already loyal to Don Escarra and this was mere formality. They nodded to the Tethered and continued to guard, in some cases turning their attention on those less cooperative.


When he returned, the kids appeared to be occupied with whatever new game Ayla came up with to distract them. Ayla and Jocasta were whispering worriedly to each other, leading him to approach the two and squeeze into the conversation.

When Ayla mentioned the others, Yalen looked at Jocasta and spoke in a hushed tone. "That magic you use. The... space-time stuff? Can you use it to observe people remotely?"

Jocasta blinked. "We... can, in theory. I haven't really mastered the art of it, though." She turned to Ayla. "And I suppose we could try to check in on the others with it." She rolled off to the side, then, a bit away from the swimming area, and furrowed her brow in concentration. Around her moved the fabric of space and time. Jocasta reached out for it, finding some of its threads, and started to reel them in. People, long gone, and even glimmers of those yet to come flashed past too quickly to make sense of them. Stone smoothed and cracked with age and wear. Trees grew, sands shifted, voices came and went.

Then, she was in the present and searching. Dully, it occurred to her that she'd forgotten to ask 'who' Yalen had wanted to observe, and she could not do it now, so intense was her concentration. She tried focusing in on the various places visually, without tearing a hole in the fabric so that she could move through to them, but it was hard, and she lost it after a moment. Jocasta blinked and shook her head, taking in and releasing a deep breath. "I fear it is not easy to look without opening a physical path and, in any case, I forgot to ask you who you'd intended to look in upon." She shrugged in apology. "We can always just reach out and sense their energies, too."

It bothered the Djamantese, though, that she could not do it. That was a skill that she would have to practice: practice until she could master it.

Yalen scratched his head nervously. "Ah, the thought merely occurred to me since Ayla showed concern for Zarina and Kaspar. We can indeed check to see if they're still alive from here, but I see there is no way to gauge the success of their mission without going there in person..."

The young priest did not have much of a respite, however. No sooner had he started to turn away than Rita was there. "Mistuh Yawen?" she prodded, tugging on his sleeve. "That wasn't juss a show, was it?" Her face was earnest and implacable. At his momentary discomfiture, she decided to provide more evidence. "Caretaker Manazes nevuh does shows fow us." She shook her head adamantly. Almost as if to underscore the loss of innocence, the sky chose that moment to open up, and the rain went quickly from a few stray drops to a downpour.

Yet, for all that Yalen found himself having to offer a mea culpa or a very convincing lie, things had come together everywhere else. The old regime fell as surely as the rain did, though precisely what shape its replacement would take remained as yet undetermined. For now, Head Ranger Escarra took Warden Ortega's place in the big chair. That he had killed Tavio was revealed only to a select few, and with mixed reactions. The remainder believed him locked in the securest part of the dungeon beneath the Red Tower. Nonetheless, Escarra remained nominally in charge.

There was much to do. All evidence of the uprising was removed, aside from its organizational results: blood scrubbed from tiles, clothes laundered, wounds bound, and the bodies of three staff who had died for various reasons sent to the crematorium along with that of one 'zero' who had breathed his last as the revolution succeeded in freeing his people.

The Tethered who had formerly assisted in bookkeeping now took over the posts of those who they'd worked for. Many of the guards who remained found little change aside from the hovering threat of the Royal Sand Wyrm, maddened by an aberration, lurking somewhere in the desert. The residents swept the endless wastes, in every direction, for hours each day with the Gift. Patrols were sent out. Yet, while it entered their senses from time to time, at the edge of their range, it had not yet approached the Refuge. The place remained true to its name, for the time being, for once.

Two days passed like this, but they were not idle ones. A portal was opened on the first to Ersand'Enise and, with Hugo's silent approval, Ysilla, fallen strangely ill, went home. Three new faces replaced her, and then more familiar ones. The recent arrivals were brought up to speed quickly and then the majority of the students set about training the Tethered to use the mana in their blood and not just to suffer from it. They lived, slept, and worked amongst them under the desert sun. The wyrm would come, sooner more likely than later, and they would need to be ready.

The third day of freedom at San Agustín de las Arenas dawned cool and windy, but it dawned with news. "Jocasta! Jocasta!" shouted Laëlle, hammering on her door. The older girl rolled over in bed and hoisted herself out of it with the Gift. "What is it?" she demanded, "to be waking me up as Ipte is barely over!" She floated over to the door and opened it.

The lord of this region, and solidly a quarter of all Torragon, was on his way. His messenger was nearing the gate and a host of some four thousand soldiers would soon follow: an apparition from the sands, but one all too real. The night guards, ebbing in energy and attention at this hour, had sensed them. This, then, must be Duque Huarcan Frannemas - El Patrón - who they had received furtive warnings about. Yet for all of these, his agenda and his purpose remained variables that they could not truly account for. He would likely not be pleased.

Still worn out from two days of using the full extent of her magic to physically restructure every aspect of the Refuge that created barriers for the non-ambulant, Jocasta stretched and rolled her neck. This was it, then: the reckoning, or at least one of two. "Go tell the others, Laëlle: students, Afortunado, Escarra, and Amanda." She was already getting herself ready, mind racing with scenarios and ideas. "Tell them to be on the staff patio overlooking the Great Bath by... 1:00 Shune, no exceptions." She was already in her day dress. Jocasta allowed herself to settle into her wheeled-chair. "I will meet them there. Time is of the essence."



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Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Jumbus
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Jumbus My life be like oooooh-aaaah ooooh-aaaah

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Eun-Ji @Medili, Carmilla @Animus, Zarra @BreathOfTheWoof, Dory @Jasbraq, Manfred @Force and Fury



Leon was elated to see his performance was bringing the fighting to a halt in the hall. Frankly, he had no expectations that such a plan would work. His companion of unfortunate political affiliations was hardly a showman. As far as his abilities were concerned, Firebrand could certainly create lights. But he lacked a sense of grace and beauty needed for such a thing. It still captured the crowd's attention, so Leon wasn’t complaining.

As the crowd gradually slowed its fighting, it became less like a writhing mass of people and weapons and easier to distinguish individual people in it. With that the consequences of the riot were unearthed, despite their cheers now the ground was littered with bodies. It wasn’t something Leon could ignore anymore. Those were dead bodies.

Leon could only continue his performance with the scene in front of him putting a strain on his plastic smile. That was until a heckler called him out and joined him on the table. Leon moved his weight accordingly so it wouldn’t tip over from the drunk’s oafish movements. The crowd was silent and Firebrand had stopped.

The man said his peace. Cursing Leon for what had happened and the people he lost to the conflict. To some degree, Leon felt responsible. He had chosen the lyre over helping these people and now those bodies on the ground paid the price. This was not just a drunken heckler, it was a man that had lost for Leon’s ambitions. Not even the stench of strong alcohol on the man could make him be dismissed.

Leon’s shoulders dropped and the performer’s mask slipped. He wasn’t Leon Solaire, Chosen of the Sun, standing on the table. Just a boy with no name disgusted by what was happening around him. The boy embraced the man knowing that he couldn’t make up for the loss but had little else to give.

Exiting the hug, he turned to the crowd. But he couldn’t face the crowd like this. He brought Leon back, the same routine just without the smile.

“Don’t let this man’s words go to waste. The disgust he feels for what happened here is real, I feel it too. Even if he points his finger in the wrong direction.”

“I was here to give you a show! But I go backstage to prepare for 5 minutes and I come back out to this!? Brother fighting brother. What are you even fighting for? To take down the nobility? Well, I don’t see any nobles in this crowd. The only thing you have to win is to be the king of a sinking ship. The ship is sinking!” With the limited space to move on the table, Leon made a few gestures and steps. But was limited by needing to counterbalance the man on the other side of it.

“I tried to stop you all, I did. But I feel that this man here is the first to finally grab the attention of you all. For that, I thank him. Those he lost can never be brought back, but we can honour their memory by stopping all this.”

Leon shifted his hands down to the surface of the table and transitioned into a one-handed handstand. Then flipped over back into a sitting position on the side of the table. It was a display of incredible balance and acrobatics. His continually serious expression betrayed the whimsicality of such a move. “I say we should put this to a vote.”

“For those who wish to continue fighting for the rule of a doomed riverboat, keep your hands down…"

"But for those who wish to be the survivors of a riverboat that almost sank, raise your hands now and help put an end to this senseless bloodshed.”


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Hidden 5 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by Animus
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Animus I live in Singapore.

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Carmillia Carbonneau


Place(s): Corridor to Upper Deck and Entertainment Lounge, Lorentine Queen
Interactions: Various @Medili


"Is it not our rights to take what is owned to us from those so-called noble leeches? Indeed it is! Today, this boat! Tomorrow, the country! Down with the Rednitz!"

Pointless talk. You've got guts, I'll give you that. But even a monkey is more capable of forethought.

The type of person she hated the most was someone who lived within their assigned 'roles', never seeking better. In that respect, Carmillia felt a hint of approval towards these rioters. Of course, all of that was washed away by the imbecilic way they were going about things. Did they really think they'd make a difference like this? This was just random violence. Burning down a boat and killing a bunch of mages assigned to run the steam engines achieved nothing.

She dismissed her reprovals with a sigh and started working the cogs in her brain.

There was an oppurtunity to be harvested here.

"You might not be noble scum, but you money-grubbing merchants aren't much better. Why should we listen ta' you?"

The man speaking to her had introduced himself as Mortas Dred. The current ringleader of the rioters on the upper deck. Carmillia had approached him and curtly pointed out the futility of their actions. He didn't seem to take her words too kindly.

"Eshiran's Bones! Tell me why we shouldn't be gutting you right now instead?"

The men at his side moved to surround her. Knuckles were cracked. Sneers and menacing grins were shown. Essentially, they were doing their best impressions of third-rate thugs trying to be intimidating.

She refrained from yawning. Without batting an eye, she gave her response.

"Go ahead."

Noone moved. Carmillia's lack of concern was no doubt confusing to them. They were worried she unfazed due to the fact she was a powerful mage. It couldn't be further from reality. Her napalm canisters were used up and she was fatigued from overdrawing. She still had her trusty dagger but the odds weren't looking great. Despite all that, she continued her charade by raising an eyebrow.

"What's wrong? You don't actually think I can take on all of you at once? Go on, kill me. Then you can continue burning this ship till it sinks. Tomorrow, you can storm the capital and finally kill the oh so hated Rednitz. Once that's done, the country is yours. It's a bloody great plan, if you ask me."

The weight of her words seemed to finally penetrate their thick skulls. Even these obtuse men understood they were simply that they'd hadn't exactly thought everything through and that there would be consequences for their actions. That being said, rabble like these don't take well to be told they're wrong. They'd rather suffer than experience the humiliation of admitting their fault.

"Shut the hell up, ya stinking merchant whore!" yelled one of the men. He swung a fist straight at her. She was capable of dodging it but she took it square in the face. A sickening crunch could be heard and the blow her sent sprawling onto the ground. After a moment's rest, she got back up despite the throbbing pain. Blood dripped from her nose.

"That's what ya get for running your mouth. And it's far from over."

The man was grinning, his frustration at her words replaced by the satisfaction of violence. Cheers could be heared from his comrades. They were all elated at putting Carmillia in her place. They jeered at her.

She burst out laughing.

"Feels good, doesn't it?" She sputtered. "I'm sure the Rednitz are going to enjoy it just as much when they do it to your families."

It was as if her words were an icy hell that froze them all over.

Rabble would rather suffer than experience the humiliation of admitting their fault. But would they choose to make their loved ones suffer?

"Maybe all does go well. Maybe when you storm the capital, you manage to kill all the Rednitz. I can't say it's impossible. But what are the odds of that happening? You might be willing to bet your lives on that tiny chance but are you willing to bet the lives of your families?"

Carmillia had intentionally let him hit her. She wanted to drive home to them that right now, she was a helpless girl at their mercy. Just like how their families would be at the mercy of the Rednitz House if their revolution failed. And it would fail. They knew it. They had no plan. They had no means of taking the Rednitz down. They were just indulging in a fantasy and getting high off the chaos.

"Get of your damned high horses. Look at what we're on. A river casino. Instead of being at home, spending time with those that actually matter, you're here getting drunk and pissing whatever meager coins you have away. The irony. Who do you think owns the Lorentine Queen? You're throwing back your coin at the Rednitz!"

At this point, she was surrounded by far more rioters than Mortas' original lackeys. They had come to observe what was happening. They had heard her words. Now they were all speechless and at a loss. The silence continued until Mortas spoke up.

"So we suffer in silence? Live our lives like their dogs and be happy with what we have? If that's the case, I'd rather spare my family from living a life of servitude!"

Mortas had yet to give up. He was still trying to breathe life back into the riot but his words lacked the charisma it had earlier. It was glaringly obvious. Everyone observing could sense it.

"No, you fool. You avoid pointless deaths and senseless violence. You play the game they play. The game of plots and schemes. Sure, you might not have any experience in it but fortunately for you, you have me."

"Ha! You're just some girl."

"Am I? Even without resources or tools or power, I've brought all of you to a stop with just my words."

Murmurs could be heard all around.

Mortas was stunned. It dawned upon him that Carmillia had orchestrated and planned everything from the start. That even getting hit was part of her calculations. He shuddered at the thought.

"...even if you are that capable. And I'm saying if, why should we trust you?"

Carmillia took out a handkerchief to wipe away the blood off her face. She wrinkled her nose and regretted it instantly as pain shot through her face. On the bright side, it was starting to clot.

"Because I'm a money-grubbing merchant. And when things change for the better, you'll owe me a cut of the revenue from the spratz. Along with other benefits like tariff exceptions throughout the Feskan region and what not. The only way you can trust anyone is if they need you. And with this deal, we'll need each other."

Carmillia looked up at Mortas and then around her.

"Any disagreements? No? Then first up is getting the rest of the rioters up to speed so this boat doesn't sink. Can't have you drunks be drowning before we actually accomplish anything."

Noone seemed to move. Until Mortas spoke up.

"You lot heard her, get your asses moving."
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