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Hidden 2 mos ago Post by jasbraq
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jasbraq Professional Nibbler

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Dorothea Hohnstein
von Albesatz-Danzau



Interacting with: Manfred:@Force and Fury, Carmilla:@Animus


Seeing the team composition made the Feskan both glad as well as scared. Having someone like Manfred around her group gave her some reassurance that she has someone to rely on as well someone who's fluent in the language. On the other hand you have a person like mister Solaire. Her thoughts about him are mostly based on rumors, although if they were true. . . It may cause more problems than needs to happen.

Eun-Ji was someone that Manfred has put his trust in so she had put her judgement of her to the side. Zarra. . . The fact that she has not a lot of knowledge on him scared her, although the fact that he was a Perrench noble told her enough. Those guys can't even trade without bickering. .

After being deep in thought on how to best use everyone on this mission she felt a shiver down her spine as the last of her teammates approached her. Carmillia another Perrench. . . Yet there is no discomfort like with others. Weirdly enough the noblewoman felt rather comfortable with the merchant, like she's known her for some time.

"Well, maybe he's not used to a bit of a chill." Dorothea whispered back to Carmillia as she snickered. Clinging to her cloak. "Let's use this chance to get to know each other better." Her unusual openness to someone she barely knows might have been noticeable by the Kerreman if he paid attention.

Finally, a chance to stick it to those damned Rednitz! If I could get my hands on one of those bastards, I will make them wish they never touched our branch families. A rather sinister smirk would appear on her face just thinking of giving them the same hurt her family felt to any extent brought her the greatest Ecstasy.

Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by BreathOfTheWoof
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BreathOfTheWoof Arbiter of Creation

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Onarr @Bork Lazer, Desmond @Th3King0fChaos, Trypano @A Lowly Wretch, Ingrid @dragonpiece, Eun-Ji @Medili, Carmilla @Animus, Dorothea @jasbraq, Leon @Jumbus, Manfred, Jocasta Re, Hugo Hunghorasz @Force and Fury


In an instant, that's all it takes...
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Zarra was also spooked by Onarr's confidence, his heart spiking from the back of misfit party. His first instinct is to shift and bolt for the door. However, as the dark tower changes in contrast, the door is seemingly despondent, rather than slam shut deafeningly like he expected. He takes a process that Onarr had in fact said the right answer. He was a little unconfident in the other's arithmetic, thanking the gods a little in while nobody can hear him.

He quickly realizes his mistake that maybe shifting in front of bunch of random students wasn't a good idea, but he undercuts that logic, he's gonna be studying and living with them, it'd be an uphill battle hiding such a fundamental part of himself, it might as well be now than never... But to his surprise, nobody notices he's gone.

What happens next can be only described as surreal to Zarra, the normally lifeless dimension around him explodes in iridescent colors, magentas and aquas his eyes have never processed. He has a feeling like he's never had before: While not painful, it's almost like his very soul is being pulled forward, Zarra wonders if this is what it's like to die as he's transported into a room he's never seen before, one of age and wear. The mirage of deathly grey fog reemerges, ironically comforting him, it was familiar, not aggressively hued like whatever the hell that was. He wonders if anyone else felt that, but every single student seems unphased, like their transport process was unhurdled. Strange...

Instead everyone is staring intently into the room. Words come from the room, impossible to decipher in the alternate plane, sounding like a locomotive underwater than anything tangeable. Despite his disassociation, Zarra still manages to be surprised again within ten seconds of the first time. Even without any shades or hues to guide him, his memory sparks at the sight of an elderly humanoid, one he swear he'd only see in texts... Unsure of his assessment, he takes a very generous look to see, Hugo Hunghorasz?!

He solved a puzzle designed by Hugo himself?! Zarra basically jumps for joy excitedly as he then punches his own hand in excitement. "I get to meet the best mage of our era! What do I even say? How do you even engage someone so out of your league?" Zarra is used to talking outloud to himself in the second person, people can find it strange all they want, often it's all he needs to get his thoughts into a more cohesive manner. He must be the reason for the strange experience, it's almost blissful to him that Hugo of all people has the power to teleport even a shifted grayblood to his abode. At the same time, it's scary, is that some sort of omen? Are him and Luna simply beings of time? He decides to save the thought for a later date, a theory worth investigating at a better time.

The exchanges between Hugo and the other students mean little to Zarra, he can barely make out something about Pirates, and that's only making assumptions based of what syllables he heard. He's far more preoccupied about what's the best way to engage Hugo. He comes to the epiphany that overthinking it will only dampen the impression, so rather than let anxiety take hold, he audibly inhales.

Zarra steps forward, intangibly passing through the other students, and directly in front of Hugo. He re-entries reality like it's second nature, doing it in the sights of the entire students body. If anyone could make an impression on the whole class, it was him. He proceeds to hijack the conversation, interrupting anything the students said before him, who had questions after Hugo asked everyone to either stay a leave. Clearly a detail the audacious achievement hunter missed in his mission to be the wizard's center of attention.

"Hello, Archmage Hugo, my name is Zarra, and this is how we solved your puzzle." The blonde scrawny boy hands the aged man his now written-in notebook. His proud face betrays the sheer level of excitement ready to burst from him, only thwarted by Zarra's need to not embarrass himself in front of such a legend.
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Medili
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Medili Connoisseur of Fine Pineapples

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Mission Briefing

Hugo's Study | Daytime


She remembered the days back then when she could deal with surprises and even mostly enjoyed them. But then those were mundane things; surprise birthday party, surprise gifts, surprising reunion with a longtime friend... Ever since she became a Lotus Sentry however, surprises had only ever meant trouble. A surprised clandestine agent generally quickly became a dead clandestine agent and while she had no qualms about being killed in the line of duty, she would rather not die if she can help it, especially not due to some nasty magical surprise. And this was exactly that type of surprise, yet again. Again and again, magic on a level far beyond what she could possibly muster herself kept on happening, all despite the fact that she had only been in Ersand'Enise for a relatively short time.

She repressed a sigh, keeping it all internally within her mind while her face showed an expression as neutral as always. She was already ensnared in it, and it didn't seem like Manfred or the others that she knew revealed any intent to leave, so she might as well stay and see where this less than welcome surprise will lead her.

Still, she was very uneasy and more than just a bit intimidated. In fact, it went beyond that. Due to her training and experiences in the Lotus Sentry, Eun-Ji had barely ever felt fear nor ever felt intimidated, not even when facing a vastly superior foe under disadvantageous condition like what happened the night before with the masked Magusjaeger. As far as she can recall, only three individuals incited an immediate feeling of dread into her mind just with their presence alone: The Cruel, His Majesty of Tan Keoul, Cheol Sang-nam. Avrael, the Shadow-Killing Phantom, Volto Bianco of the Dieci Volti Nascosti. And lastly the Lightning Falcon, leader of the Lotus Sentry, Commander Han Yeong-Gi.

Hugo Hunghorasz, then, had easily became the fourth. And it was not because of his legendary reputation or his rumored god-like powers as the greatest mage who ever lived. More than that, it was because something about him felt very wrong. She didn't know exactly why, but being this close to the Paradigm made Eun-Ji felt very uneasy. Pretty much by instinct, she had moved herself behind Manfred so that she were hidden from Hugo's direct line of sight. She paid little attention to Leon's comment about dressing state and to Zarra's incorporeality show. Nor did she paid any heed to Carmillia and Dorothea's interaction. Instead, she focused her mind and sight to the papers filled with the details of the mission, both as preparations for the mission itself and to push her unease and worry away from her mind.
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Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Ypnosi
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Ypnosi

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Wvysen Myranne



Interactions: @Force and Fury Hugo, @Th3King0fChaosDesmond, The remainder of the pirate group, probably.


Wvysen blinked as her group of five simply… appeared elsewhere, taking off her glasses to rub her eyes, just making sure she wasn’t seeing things. Nope, that was right. After the dark, stormy night, they had ended up in a… sunny, bright tower. Something about that didn’t check out right to her. Either some seriously strong teleportation just happened, or… some seriously strong temporal magic just happened. And either way, that was a sign that who they were speaking to was the genuine deal. The greatest mage of the day, perhaps ever.

...Moving on from her initial surprise, she raised her eyebrows at the paradigm’s tirade on crowns, laurels, and head mages. Well. She wasn’t entirely sure what she was expecting, but this wasn’t exactly it. They could push him out of power that easily..? Well, I guess politics is about a bit more than just magical power, even among mages, but still. It’s an honor to be among the chosen, even if it is… a pretty small group.

Right, so they were chosen to be his on the… weekends? Oh, by the Five, this was going to make balancing her homework so much harder, wasn’t it? Wvysen frowned at herself at that thought and shook her head. Based on what he was saying, this was a bit more important than homework anyways. When the choice was given, Wvysen weighed her options for a moment, but eventually, took a seat. She wouldn’t really be able to live with herself if she just walked out of an opportunity like this, and while there was undoubtedly a risk to the offer itself… it was one she had to accept. With most of the further chairs claimed while she was debating, Wvysen frowned, but ended up taking one somewhat closer to the Paradigm.

A raised eyebrow at the opening of portals, but Wvysen remained silent during the spiel. Obviously the Paradigm knew magic far beyond what she did, that wasn’t too surprising. A riverboat gambling house (Wvysen frowned. Gambling was a vice she did her utmost to avoid completely), a den of pirates (thieves and scoundrels…), and a house of a soon-to-be assassination. A stolen artifact and a riot, a hostage and emboldened pirates, and someone who could do immeasurable good… well, good and bad were a bit difficult to measure anyways, and- Not the time to pursue tangents, Myranne. Oh, so the teams were already chosen? That’s a bit surprising, I would figure that… well, I suppose he probably knows who will do best where.

Wvysen picked up her own paper to study it. So she was handling the pirates, huh? Her stomach dropped a bit, but she saw why soon enough. Isle d’Amoto… had she heard of that before? Right, pirate hideout, obviously. Ah! Right, it was right on the edge of the border between Arsica and Mycormi. Organizing against it was difficult, because any significant force headed that way might be seen as hostile to Mycormi, on top of the possibility of potential corrupt officials that could give the pirates warning, whether through Arsican officials, or, expanding on the Mycormi issue, any intercepted communication to explain an attack, or potential corrupt Mycormi officials. It was a situation her father had complained about on more than one occasion, though more to Wvysen's older brother than Wvysen herself.

Hm, was there anything in particular she needed to bring? She doubted it. She had her usual daily attires with her, meaning she should be good. Lets see… her team was Desmond, Benedetto, Ismet (oh. That’s a long name.), and… a bunch of other names, none of which Wvysen really recognized. This was certainly going to be an interesting group.

Almost at once, their group had erupted into concerns about the plan going forwards, namely about the lack of information, which Wvysen nodded about, rubbing her temple. Think, Wvysen, think. Pirates. She had studied this before. She just needed to think about shipping routes, and remember the flags, and what she had heard. After a moment, she spoke herself, though waiting for one of the men in the group to finish before saying her part. ”If we can spot the flag, I might know something about them, but chances are that you’re right. Pirates aren’t exactly a unified group, even in a den of them. The only common point they have between them is that they’re all scheming thieves on the run from the law. Apart from that, any other pirates are a rival in their businesses. Though I hesitate to really call it a business.” Hm… it wasn’t something she had herself, but it was likely something the Paradigm could retrieve without much difficulty… even if she did feel a bit awkward about asking it, she didn’t really have much of a choice in her options. Acquiring it in this short of a time span would be difficult, especially if it was still night back at the academy.

Working up the courage, she moved over to the Paradigm. ”Ah, it’s… not something I brought to the Academy myself, but a good tool for something like this, do you have a map of the shipping lanes between Arsica and Mycormi? Or, failing that, just a map including the two nations? …Uhm, and a pen, preferably. Sorry. I don’t mean to impose upon you, but I’m not all too sure if I can get something like that on the Academy this late at night. Or… if it is still night?” That last bit was more of a murmur to herself, Wvysen still a tad confused about the whole day/night situation with the tower being sunny and all. ”Ah- and I’ll need some paper, but I can, uhm, retrieve that myself. …and a pen, thinking about it. So I really just could use the map, if that’s alright.”
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Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Bork Lazer
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Onarr Yidlob




Interacting with: Desmond @Th3King0fChaos, Trypano @A Lowly Wretch, Ingrid @dragonpiece, Eun-Ji @Medili, Carmilla @Animus, Dorothea @jasbraq, Leon @Jumbus, Manfred, Jocasta Re, Hugo Hunghorasz @Force and Fury




The morning had already been full of surprises so meeting the paradigm himself, Hugo Hunghorasz, on any other day would have reduced him to fits of prostate bowing in front of a magician of astronomical caliber. Seeing Jocasta, the student that he had met in the local Stresian Guild library, was also quite a shock but that didn’t even come close to the announcements that the Arch-Zeno laid before them like a decree.

30 minutes to prepare? I can barely make a cup of Danzagg in 30 minutes!

This was a task far more suited for a Stresian diplomat or an expeditionary, not a scholar of his trade who was far more used to the bookshelf than traversing the vast opens of Constantia like a gallivanting adventurer. Onarr, however, didn’t have enough will in him to testify against an Arch-Zeno, especially one above him in the societal totem pole of Ersand’Enise. He would just have to put faith in the old mage’s wisdom and hope that he wasn’t sending students to their death in an attempt to make room for classes.

Onarr studied what he had on his person. He was currently in his evening clothes and his cloak, with a block of dried goat cheese and his trusty helmet covering his hideous face along with a few curios on his person. Good items for a day of academic study but completely lacking for excursions in foreign lands. Taking out a piece of parchment, Onarr took out a chunk of coal from his pockets and began to scrawl out a list of items for Jocasta to bring to him.



After completing his shopping list and handing it over to Jocasta, Onarr walked over the group, recognising a few familiar faces such as Leon Soilare, his fellow first year student who made a stunning impression at the induction ceremony. The storm of conversation and harried planning made the Joruban lose his mind but eventually, he found focus as he began to speak. “ Appropriate disguises will be needed, most assuredly,” Onarr nodded in response to Desmond’s plans, before raising a finger. “ We would need to also adopt the local slang of the region in order to better conform and reduce attention to ourselves and ingratiate ourselves with these vagabonds. I am only familiar with “ Arrrr, me maties” . Does anyone know any other local Mycormish slang?”

Onarr’s mind quickly began accelerating at all the possible items he would need. Whilst he was no stranger to seawater, his helmet was constructed of castle-forged steel. His helmet would most likely rust and fall apart whilst on this mission which would render his magnetic magicks useless. After some consideration, his mind turned to one of the many Stresian Scholars, Ioha, to be precise. Her work on construction of naval vessels was interesting but what was far more interesting were her conjectures on the application of chemical magic in metallurgy…..

“ I believe I require the most change in attire. A helmet such as this will falter in the environment we will be heading to,” Onarr rapped the steel of his helm before turning towards Hugo. “ Would it be possible to acquire a 1 kilogram block of raw zinc? For experimental purposes, of course. “
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Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Force and Fury
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C H A P T E R 1 1 : I N T O T H E R I F T






Some may have considered it the strangest flock to have ever taken flight above the grounds of Ersand'Enise, but such was the school's history and oddness that there had, in fact, been stranger in the distant past. Yet, where great flocks of crows, magpies, and ravens had flown mere hours ago, now items of an entirely different nature swirled through the sky.

Books, maps, clothing, coin, and weapons, there seemed to be no rhyme or reason to them. Locks jiggled and popped open, doors creaked, shutters fluttered, and the strange procession continued. These items, a keen eye may have noticed, all made their way to the same destination: a single window rather high up in the Forked Tower. They found their way into the hands of a pretty young blonde woman who was seated in a wheeled-chair just inside. These, she dispensed to those around her with smiles and well-wishes. The stream became a trickle. Her accomplices gradually disappeared through a door that was most certainly not within the official floorplan of the tower. She was left alone. She let out a long sigh and glanced up and down the stairs. Then, she turned and glanced with annoyance at the door that should not have existed, schooled her features, and wheeled through.




Inside (but not truly inside, for it was daylight there and quite obviously an entirely different place) preparations were finished. At the flick of a wrist, people had gotten either what they had desired or what they had deserved. In most cases, those were one and the same. In a handful, they were not. They listened to the address of Hugo Hunghorasz with varying degrees of rapt or feigned interest. Some had so little regard for the great mage or else so much excitement for their upcoming endeavour that they could not even feign engagement. "I would wish you luck," he concluded, "but you must remember that there is no such thing and, even if there were, I would expect you to succeed without it."

With that there was a surge of magical energies so intense and alien that a handful of students visibly winced. Temporal magic... felt different: warm, easy, and comforting, like a bonfire on an Dorrad's night, but also as if chaos and void were waiting just outside of its glow. Three portals opened and three sets of students were dispersed through them. At the last moment, one - Karim Nazeri - got cold feet and was replaced by another: Penny Pellegrin, who was all-too well known to most of her peers.

The youths glanced at each other with varying degrees of nervousness and anticipation. Then, they stepped through.



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






A portal opened and six youths stepped through. They found themselves on a wooden deck near the very top of the Lorentine Queen. The rumble of the great riverboat's engines could be subtly felt even this high up. They were of a peculiar type - unknown anywhere else in the world - that used compressed steam, heated by arcane mages, to power them. The air was warm and muggy, and two towering black iron smokestacks poured great gouts of smoke into it, obscuring parts of the starscape above. The world slowly moved as the ship plied its way up the calm, muddy waters of the river for which it was named. Lanterns and bonfires flickered ashore, illuminating dwellings, businesses, and towering willow trees. Further on were the spratz farms, those notorious places. Other smaller ships - many of them floating rooming houses - hunkered in inlets, oxbows, and creeks by the shore, their lights mostly out at this hour.

Yet, all was clearly not peaceful here. As the Queen headed a bit further up, towards the shallow inland sea of The Gods' Eye, gunfire could be heard. Along one distant part of the shore, torches en masse lit up the night. Down below, were sounds of raucous debauchery, mostly coming from near the stern of the ship. Somebody was hammering away with great skill at a piano - another recent invention of Revidian manufacture - and dozens of card, dice, and darts games were underway. The ladies of the night were out in full force as well, pulling eager and inebriated men into their rooms just upstairs. Periodically, a fight would break out, swords or guns would be drawn, and matters would resolve themselves one way or the other right then and there.

On towards the bow, past the area amidships taken up mostly by the engines and massive paddlewheels and traversible only by means of a passage about three men wide, a different sort of violence was simmering and ready to explode. "Even now," a man shouted, "ashore, they are breaking their chains of servitude. Do not you see their torches in the night? Their tools of farming raised as weapons in defense of their rights? And 'rights' I say for that is what they are! Answer me: where is it in the Menan that one man - or woman - should be subject to another? Where does it say that his freedom to act on his own desires and to profit from his labour should be curtailed so that some other who may - or may not - have had an ancestor who'd done a 'noble' deed in the past may benefit?" Voices rose in angry agreement and he continued. "And then there are ships like this one, to serve your needs, because a mere plant is considered more valuable than your right to own a house and raise a family. They ply up and down this Godsforsaken river, sucking the money from your pockets so that you will never have the resources to challenge those who have named themselves your betters! Rheinsburg! Benrath! Rednitz!" The last one elicited a particularly strong response and he paused for dramatic effect, the ambient noise of water churning, voices shouting, and distant music playing taking over for a moment. "Already, they claim the Gift for themselves, just like they claim the spratz, and jealously guard both. Truly, this is why we bend our backs and obey, why we allow our nature to be suppressed in the service of a 'survival' provided from their lacy-cuffed hands!" The crowd was rather worked up now. "There is a way, my friends. You know me for who I am. I have shared your tables. I have worked in your fields. I have slept in those rat-infested barges they force upon you as homes. I tell you that those great gifts they call 'aberrations' are not to be feared so long as one makes use of them in moderation. I tell you that I can now do the things that a nobleman does because of them. No longer does he hold the threat of inescapabale violence above my head. Mine is now the power to say 'no' to him where, before, I could not. I come, this night, to share with you the Gift!" Close by to where he was speaking out on the forward deck, there appeared a spot of the purest blackness, darkly scintillating. He was poised to invite people up to make contact with it.

Meanwhile, however, there was one further act of note taking place aboard the Lorentine Queen, pride of House Rednitz's rivergoing fleet. The six youths who'd just arrived had been apprised of the location, in the ship's hold, just aft of the engine room, of a holy artifact of priceless value: the Lyre of Ipte-Zept. At that very moment, as the gathering of rough-hewn fieldhands threatened to turn into a shipboard riot, the speaker's accomplices were headed aft to take advantage of the impending chaos. One could only speculate at what they hoped to achieve but, contrary to its grassroots impression, this was clearly a well-planned and tightly executed operation with a clear goal in mind. All that left to be seen was where the six youths who had just arrived would fit into it: allies, enemies, or something else entirely?




B L A C K F L A G






A portal opened onto Isla d'Amato and a motley assortment of eight youths stepped through. There were three exceptionally tall women, a fourth - merely tall - who leaned on a single crutch, and a fifth who seemed greatly fond of the colour red. The three young men who followed them through consisted of a pair who had the distinct look of mercenaries and a third who was... exceptionally short. They found themselves on a near empty dock at the very edge of a ramshackle settlement. Waves lapped gently at its posts and crickets chirped in the tall grass and subtropical undergrowth. There were birds in the sparse growth of palm trees which swayed quietly in a light breeze.

The eight young people were dressed in clothes that might mark them out as pirates and, looking upon the nearby settlement, it became evident why. Lamplight burned into the warm, humid night, and the sounds of gambling, brawling, and merrymaking wafted out across the docks. Ships groaned softly and sails stood sentry, bound and furled under the light of four moons. This, then, was the Isla d'Amato: notorious place that it was and home to many of the most storied pirate crews of the Ensollian Sea.

It appeared that, near to where the infiltrators had landed, along with a wagon and some chests of what were either plunder or supplies, a dirt road began, winding into the heart of town. Perhaps those perceptive enough would note the names of a handful of establishments close by:

1) A large stone and wood building of some three floors, with wraparound balconies and an inner courtyard. It flew the Pennant of Revidia and was named 'The Doge's Breeches'. It appeared to be quite full but perhaps not as raucous as some of the others.

2) A tall wooden structure in the heart of town, with elegant carved balustrades and balconies and a red lantern burning in one window. It was called 'La Fleur Rouge'. Sounds of drinking and laughter emanated from its direction and a great many provocatively dressed women could be seen in the area.

3) A smaller, well-maintained stone building towards the near edge of town, close to the ships, called 'The Main', which flew a Dorvalish flag. There appeared to be a handful of crews making their way back and forth between it and a couple of ships.

4) A great rambling compound perched on higher ground towards the far edge of the townsite. Its construction was markedly different from that of the other three buildings and a great many individuals seemed to be coming and going from it in various states of inebriation. Its name - in an unfamiliar script - was translated by Ismette as "The Mermaid's Knees".

Further afield, there may well have been other places of interest, and the picaroons, in particular, were known to inhabit areas some ways from the townsite, but these four were the significant ones closest to the ersatz pirates. The question now became, "where to begin?" Indeed, a plan for tackling their goal had been the subject of not a little discussion among the group. Would they remain united or was it time to divide and conquer?




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Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Th3King0fChaos
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Th3King0fChaos The Weird

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Location: Hugo Hunghorasz's Study -> Isla d'Amato

Interactions: Onarr @Bork Lazer, Trypano @A Lowly Wretch, Ingrid @dragonpiece, VVvysin @Ypnosi, Ismet'ych'lahin'dichora, Penny Pellegrin, Benedetto Corvi, Jocasta Re, and Hugo Hunghorasz @Force and Fury














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Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Force and Fury
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Bianche, Verdi 35, Dami-Zept 54, 1:45 HI



Penny was dubious about the whole endeavour. She had been dubious when she had watched a raven smack into her window. She had been dubious during every one-legged step she'd taken up the Forked Tower. When she and Carmille had crouched within a drafty stairwell measuring stone blocks with a fork, she had also been dubious. The dubiousness had remained as Hugo Hunghorasz had explained what it was that he wanted of her. It had intensified when she had been swapped teams at the last moment when Karim had backed out. Truth be told, she could not blame him. When she had been handed her hand-chosen... outfit by some Enthish mercenary named Desmond, she had finally reached peak dubiousness. Or so she had thought. A well-placed bookshelf and a bit of an Arcane glamour had allowed her to change outfits quickly and with her dignity intact. Penelope de Perrence had not the slightest idea how to use throwing knives and, when she was walking, only ever had one hand free in any case. The belt was cute, at least. So was the boot, and at least her bosom was... held in with more than straps and faint prayer. It was the pants, though. They were tailored so as to fit her perfectly - even accounting for her missing leg. Yet... they were a man's garment. No respectable woman wore... pants. How strangely exposed she felt. How the snug fabric chafed at her skin. How the shape of her stump was laid bare for all to see. She did not like them: not at all.

"Ahh, good to meet you, you must be my new crew member. I'm Captain Desmond Cutter-Gretz Von Sausex-Eisenac, Captain of the Golden Sun. What's your name and what do you bring to the ship?"

Penny nearly peed herself out of mirth. Surely, he could not be serious! Quickly biting back her laughter, she flashed her winningest smile. "Ahoy, matey. Pegleg Penny be's mi'name. I be a pirate, and pirate I be: born t'sail the seven seas. Yeh best be callin' on me fer yer needs in the galley."

They ended up on a dock and their self-appointed captain traipsed into the lead and began assigning people to go gather intelligence in what appeared to be a maddening mix of arbitrary and considered motive. When he assigned her and Wvysen to the Doge's Breeches, it was indicative of how daft she thought he was by now that she questioned his sanity as opposed to his intentions. Had he been most others, she'd have genuinely wondered if he was trying to do away with her. Sending two Perrenchwomen to infiltrate a staunchly Revidian faction in a time of near-war...truly? Next, she imagined he'd have her try to win a footrace. Perhaps he'd place Onarr in charge of procuring items from high shelving or get that giantess Trypano to squeeze into some tiny space. Penny glanced at Wvysen dubiously and then at Desmond. She cleared her throat. "Ah oui. Nous ferons de notre mieux en tant que Revidiennes et non en tant que Perençaises."*1 She smiled with exaggerated sweetness and resisted the temptation to adjust her stupid pants for at least the fourth time tonight. "Je ne prévois aucun problème: aucun!"*2 She twisted to regard Wvysen and took the other girl, unbidden by the hands. "Viens viens, Wvysen, allons-y!"*3


Hidden 2 mos ago Post by A Lowly Wretch
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Trypano stood by after they had resolved their planning, the fellow apparently named Desmond going out of his way to set up a majority of the details as he took most of the plan upon himself. It wasn't a great plan, it wasn't even really much of a good plan but it was a plan nonetheless. Pretty much any plan they'd make going into this would require more information and given their apparent timeframe that information would need to be taken on the go.

After returning to the room in the costume he had set aside for her she stood by and awaited transport to the mission. While she much preferred colors that blended well with the stains she often accrued she saw little point in complaining. This mission was to earn further trust from the paradigm himself, little else about it mattered really. There was slim potential for honing her binding in this scenario.

_
The tropical air mingled with her long vibrant hair, red strands dancing in the breeze which swept past. Though they had procurred a costume for her it wasn't strictly custom made. The ordinarily loose shirt was still small for her frame given her wide shoulders and generous other features. The long black skirt only hung right at her knees, revealing shin, knees and hints of thigh. The tips of her black boots were even a bit small for the ends of her feet. It wasn't great for comfort but ever still it hardly mattered. She just wanted this over and done with so she could return to what mattered: dissecting the secrets of blood.

With little more than a nod she took her supply of cash and for some reason alcohol and proceeded off towards what was most likely a Yasoian establishment. Why they were to carry alcohol when they were heading to a place which sells alcohol in the first place was a questionable decision but hardly the first one she'd been subject to so far.

There was no more need for delay. With one foot in front of the other she began en-route to The Mermaid's Knees.


Direct interactions - @Th3King0fChaos,@Force and Fury.
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Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Th3King0fChaos
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Th3King0fChaos The Weird

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Location: Isla d'Amato

Interactions: Onarr @Bork Lazer, Trypano @A Lowly Wretch, Ingrid @dragonpiece, VVvysin @Ypnosi, Ismet'ych'lahin'dichora, Penny Pellegrin, Benedetto Corvi @Force and Fury








Once Desmond was passing around the coins, Trypano seemed to have taken her role in a silent acceptance, it was what he was expecting from most. They had the simplest job so Desmond wasn't worrying as he waved to them and said in a laugh, "Don’t have too much fun!" As he continued to hand out coin bags, the next he landed to was Onarr and Ingrid. These two he knew were going to be in the most trouble as they had no exact place in his mind where they'd go.

When Desmond passed Onarr and Ingrid their coin bags, Desmond let off a smile as he said, "If you find the place a drag, maybe walk around! You can probably find some trouble somewhere else". Desmond had no clue on where they could go to talk to some Pirates they could possibly communicate with, but if it was anywhere, it could be 'The Main' or near it as it is a trading hub, but he didn't want to force them, after all, they are a strange pair together. Yet it seemed the next set had one person who seemed extra keen on showing her feelings, Penny.

Penny seemed to have been very upset with Desmond, it wasn't hard to tell from her stares. Probably thinking he had a nail or 2 loose, he could tell from how she looked at him, and from the way she began tp speak in Perrench at him as she seemed to make some bitchy remarks. Desmond let out a laugh and waved to them as Penny began to walk away, he said with a smile and a jovial voice, "Vous pouvez demander gentil. Je peux voir si vous obtenez un emploi à La Fleur Rouge!"*1 As once they were almost gone he yelled to them, "Bonne chance, amusez-vous!"*2 His tongue had a thick accent, a bit of slang from the start, yet when he said the second part it sounded quite smooth like he spoke Perrench quite fluently. He knew it could annoy her, most higher merchants and noble types hated hearing their language be butchered, and what it seemed to be on purpose. Desmond was was hoping it would rile her up a little, maybe it will make her Revidian extra spicy.

As finally, he looked to his compatriot, Benedetto, honestly Desmond had no clue on what he could and couldn't do, so he had to wing it with him looking like the young mercenary type. Desmond gave the man a smile, slightly devious in nature as he said in Perrench once more, "Viens, mon ami, Laissez-nous trouver un peu de plaisir!"*3


Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by dragonpiece
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dragonpiece

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Location: Hugo Hunghorasz's Study -> Isla d'Amato

Interactions: Onarr @Bork Lazer, Trypano @A Lowly Wretch, Desmond @Th3King0fChaos, VVvysin @Ypnosi, Ismet'ych'lahin'dichora, Penny Pellegrin, Benedetto Corvi @Force and Fury



Ingrid didn't have much the say about the mission. She felt inadequate for the task and knew that her magic wasn't suited for stealth. Maybe I could provide a distraction? Or who knows, I could be exceptional at sneaking around a den of criminals. Ingrid was overtaken with a moment of spontaneous optimism about the mission. Even appeared excited about it as Desmond handed over the outfit, feeding in to her compulsion to dress for the occasion. The outfit fitted well enough. Ingrid was quite fond of the outfit. The shirt had a lower cut than Ingrid would normally choose for herself but modesty isn't a pirate characteristic is it. The small vest helped her feel a bit more covered until she thought it would just bring more focus to her chest. Dressing in such a way was new to her and added to her ever-growing excitement. The portals Were to be opening soon and her optimism was starting to wane. Ingrid questioned if she could do the things that would be needed. Trepidation started to build in Ingrid's mind. But all those thoughts were cut short by the opening of the portals.

Ingrid had always been interested in explosions. From chemical reactants to massive transfers of kinetic energy that create craters, Ingrid is in love with all of it. For that reason, temporal magic has never interested her. But when Ingrid witnessed Hugo's temporal magic, the beauty of it was chilling. The power of what he did made her shiver. Her lips curled into an uncontrollable smile as she could only imagine what other beauties she could witness if she continued with the mission. Blinded by beauty, Ingrid's genuine worries were set aside as her desire took the reigns. She followed the rest of her group into the portal

------------------------------

The air here was drastically different from the room, it felt sticky and warm. It brought some discomfort but it was interesting to her. There had to be a lot of energy present for it to feel oh so terrible. She started to excitedly look around. Trying to gather a basic sense of where she was. Desmond started to go over the brief plan. The first step was to gain information on our target. Ingrid understood that this was extremely important but also wanted to release this excitement by blowing up a ship. But she contained her energy and went along with the plan. Desmond directed them to go to 'The Main', an establishment that is sure to be useful under the small stipulation that we can actually speak to them. Ingrid didn't know the language so that left Onarr.

Ingrid looks down towards Onarr, "Thanks for the fork in the tower by the way." Ingrid wished to make sure that a thank you was given before they continue, only then turning towards 'The Main'. "I think we can do it. I can't speak Dorvalish but there is a language I believe everyone understands" Ingrid pulls out a coin, tossing it in the air and catching it. She began to slowly walk over to 'The Main', turning her head steadily more towards Onarr, giving a most bewitching smile, attempting to lure him into her shaky plan.
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Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Jumbus
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Jumbus My life be like oooooh-aaaah ooooh-aaaah

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Manfred:@Force and Fury, Eun-Ji @Medili, Carmilla @Animus, Dorothea @jasbraq, Zarra @BreathOfTheWoof



Leon had warmer receptions from Eskand he thought as he saw the entire group more or less ignore him. It wasn’t something disastrous but it did bruise the ego a little bit. Carmilla was whispering off to someone Leon hadn’t meet yet. No doubt shyly admiring him as he expected from Carmilla at this point. But shyness was not a virtue and Leon was left waiting on the portal to open.

As Leon waited on Hugo to progress them, he thought about the team more in-depth.

Carmilla was the one he had the most experience with. While he did enjoy her company, he had yet to learn what she could actually do with magic. Hell, he couldn’t even remember what school of magic she studied. After all this time, he would like to think that she would have displayed something. Shyness is what he chalked it up to. But he wondered if she could actually do anything.

Leon had far more confidence in Eun-Ji’s combat ability by comparison. He had seen it head-on and knew if things got nasty, she would have no problems with fighting. But she was too effective, something that sparks worry when Leon reflects that he barely knows the girl. With a few exchanges and an off-handed date, there was little to go off. Only that she was friendly enough and had a past that prepared her for combat beyond a reasonable degree. Could the friendliness all be a facade?

Manfred was the only other one Leon had seen before and only briefly. It was hard not to let assumptions take to his mind. While Leon could suspend his disbelief when it came to Revidia’s participation in the assassinations, he could not say the same for the bullets of Kerreman’s. Perhaps Manfred could be different, but the military dignity shown in his apparel brought little confidence.

Dorothea is the name he assumed belonged to the girl who was whispering with Carmilla. There were few thoughts he could form on her so far.

And lastly, Zarra… Zarra? Maybe the one talking to the archmage? He couldn’t be sure.




When the portals opened up, Leon was the first to go through. Placing his apple core in the nearest provided bin, or what he assumed to be one at least, he through his momentum forward and his hands toward the ground. With his usual flair, Leon went feet first cartwheeling through the portal.

Before he knew it, Leon was in the Feskan night air sticking the landing with a “ta-da!” Only to find that there was no one around to impress. There was audible commotion all over the place but the old man felt it best to teleport them to an unoccupied space? What a waste of a portal.

Moving past that, Leon waited for the rest of the team. He leaned back against the railing of the upper deck and took in the scenery. It was a nice night really the stars shone high in the sky, the moon above reflecting the sun’s radiance bathed the ship in a pale glow where the ship’s lights had missed. Music and commotion were something he hadn’t been getting enough of since leaving his traveller life behind. A peaceful smile took his face as the ambience whisked his thoughts away.

But all was not perfect. Much like the ugly smoke being poured into the sky, the sounds of aggressive murmuring and a galvanizing speech were taking place. Flipping around to look at the rabble below, Leon frowned as he remembered there was a riot they had to stop. This wasn’t a vacation, he knew that, but couldn’t the wizard with control over time give them a couple of hours of fun first. Leon sighed as he listened in on the speech, he may as well try to understand where they are coming from.

Leon couldn’t imagine blaming a gambling ship for taking his money. An optional luxury being thrust up as an entity where one is helpless to it brings you to poverty. How silly. While he agreed the world shouldn’t belong to those born into wealth, at the same time it didn’t belong to the unexceptional who can’t rise on their own merits. And these people were painfully unexceptional. People who spoke like this could never succeed.

“Well, you heard them down there.” Leon spun around to face the team. “They have plenty more rioters on the shoreline. Someone should go and get the captain to stop the ship.” Leon stepped away from the balcony, looking to leave the gathering. “As for me, I plan to help defend the lyre. Come with me, if you like. But I need to actually find it first.” He directed at no one in particular as he left.





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Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Animus
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Animus I live in Singapore.

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Discussions of a Revolution


Collab with Dorothea @jasbraq
Hugo Hunghorasz's study. Shortly before mission commencement.



Carmillia smiled inwardly upon watching her magic work it’s effects on Dorothea. She seemed receptive enough. Though they shared both Statecraft and Business electives, they had never actually held a proper conversation before.

Though I don’t know what to make of that smile… she thought.

It was only for a brief moment, but a sinister smirk had flashed across the Feskan’s face. It was unlikely that it was directed towards her but Carmillia raised her guard.

“To formally introduce myself, I’m Carmillia of House Carbonneau,” she said. “Merchant caste. Perhaps you’ve heard of our textiles? We’re quite prominent in Perrence.”

“My father has said something about that name a long time ago. Can’t say I remember too much about it, apologies.”

It seems that the smirk had already faded from her face, now being filled with a rather apologetic look instead.

Seeing as Dorothea knew little of her, Carmillia went on to explain briefly about her family business—though her ‘family’ basically only consisted of her. It was necessary to hint at her influence since there was a caste difference between the two girls. Carmillia took particular care to make it come off as ‘sharing’ as opposed to bragging. She wanted Dorothea to view her as an equal and it wouldn’t do if all she achieved was appearing as a poser.

“But it’s a pleasure to finally meet you nonetheless! I guess I should introduce myself properly as well. I’m Dorothea of House Hohnstein… Our house is a branch of the Albesatz
Family, specifically the Danzau branch.”


You finally introduced yourself properly! You make the family proud, Dory. Moments after introducing herself a soft chuckle came out of her mouth.

“Oh please, the pleasure should be mine,” she responded. “I’ve seen how you’ve carried yourself during Statecraft with Zeno Serra. You’re an inspiration. We should pair up during the mock debates. I have much to learn from you.”

Pleasantries were constantly exchanged between the two as they talked amongst themselves. Carmillia shared about her business dealings and the travels and experiences that came with them. Dorothea talked about the Spratz and how it linked back to Feska, thinking that it might be some nice information for the mission.

Carmillia had been planning on steering the conversation back to the mission once Dorothea was comfortable enough but the young woman had done the deed herself.

“It still feels a little bit crazy, doesn’t it?” asked Carmillia. “I wasn’t exactly expecting Ersand’Enise to be a normal school but to think we’d be personally selected by the Paradigm himself for secret missions?”

“Well, it is a school that managed to stay neutral through all of this. I did not expect to be chosen for any sort of mission though.”

Dorothea knew how bad she was in general magic, thinking that would’ve been the reason why she shouldn’t be chosen.

With her attention hooked, Carmillia went in for the kill.

“The Lorentine Queen… Truth be told, the riots don’t come as a surprise to me. I’ve heard some…”—Carmillia broke into a whisper—“nasty rumours regarding the noble regime there.”

Carmillia pretended to look around to see if others were listening in on their conversation before continueing.

“Particularly about the House of Rheinsburg, the House of Benrath and the House of Rednitz.”

Dorothea tried her best to keep a rational mind around those names.

“What have you heard about them…? Anything out of the ordinary?”

“You mentioned Feskan Spratz earlier, right? I’ve heard from fellow merchants that local taxes have been raised multiple times. Perhaps with all the trouble that the Traveler has been stirring up, they wanted to pad their financial reserves.

“It’s a prudent decision—if you don't care about the moral implications. I may be a merchant but even I believe there are lines that shouldn’t be crossed. What ever happened to Noblesse Oblige?”


“Don’t bother trying to rationalise their actions. They’re filth that will do anything to stay in charge of the other dog houses. If need be they’ll bring another house to near extinction. If only we expected such a betrayal… People wouldn’t be suffering this much for all those years…”

A pained expression would show on her face, this was something she’d only ever told Manfred about.

Carmillia had envisioned Dorothea’s desire for vengeance to be sealed in a vault but it was clear it was closer to an unlocked door. All Carmillia had to do was open it. Whether it was ultimately due to her feeling comfortable around Carmillia herself or that it was simply impossible for her rage to be kept under wraps; it didn’t matter, the cogs of fate were now turning.

“Betrayal…?” asked Carmillia.

"Yeah, it was a betrayal alrighta. Those dogs turned on us. All while we gave them peace, gave them independence... Gave them our trust…"

Her face didn't change much, however her eyes… Her eyes had a sense of flame inside of it.

"They burned and took our estate… They killed my family… My great grandfather was mockingly executed in public."

“I’m so sorry for your loss,” said Carmillia.

She gave Dorothea a moment to steady herself. During this period, her eyes fleeted around her other teammates. Though her conversation with Dorothea was held slightly aways from them, some might have heard the edge in her voice.

“I was on the fence earlier, Dorothea. I’m not one to simply believe in rumours but hearing this directly from you—and I trust you—then the ones we should be aiding should be the common citizens and not those nobles.

“Paradigm Hugo did not specify whom we were to give our aid to. I believe it was yet another test. A test to see if we could see through the smoke and shadows to find the real victims. Reihnsburg, Benrath and Rednitz are not fit to rule.”


The Feskan started cheering up slowly but surely, seems like this little talk just now made up for the hate she spewed.

"Thank you… for believing in me. They are not fit to rule anything… They're boot licking dogs… And finally someone who gets it… Mind if I tell you a little secret?"

“You can trust me with it,” said Carmillia reassuringly.

“I’m trying to convince the Kerreman queen to help me overthrow the Feskan nobles… Sorry if it sounds weird…”

Her face would have a slight blush on her face, waiting to see if Carmillia took her seriously. In response, Carmillia slowly nodded her head whilst looking deep in thought. This was no pretence.

Her inner thoughts were most likely different from what the Feskan girl was expecting though.

“It’s not,” she responded. “That said, I doubt the queen would be able to overthrow them without any justification. It all depends on the scale of the riot. Too small and it will be quelled without consequence. Too large and the aid of those three houses become essential to maintain order. Either way, her hands become tied.”

Carmillia went on to explain.

If utilised correctly, the riot could serve as an ideal catalyst. If they could seize control of it, they could force the queen to move. They needed the riot to be the right size and cause enough damage that the queen had justification to remove the nobles from power. If the students were able to quell the riot at that point and return the Lyre, the queen would rightfully owe them. All Dorothea would have to do then would be to propose alternate noble families to help manage the state.

The queen would be able to solve her issues and solve the matter of reward. The rioters would be appeased in seeing their efforts result in an actual change and Dorothea would restore renown not only to her family but as well as her own personal glory.

“Well, it’s easier said than done.”

“I want to sow seeds of discontent in the public, making sure that the houses are beyond saving. My family’s renown should be enough for me to help them direct their anger to the noble houses. I do not care for independence any longer. I just want my people to stop suffering like this. This pain they had to go through has lasted way too long and if servitude will make it stop, then I’ll be the queen’s servant…”

It really seemed like she was thinking about her nation’s interest more than her own. Was it a ploy or just the flat truth.

“As someone from the merchant caste this might seem absurd, doesn’t it? Why would a noble care about their people?”

“It’s not as absurd as you make it out to be. I’ve met my fair share of nobles. Some fit the stereotype and are obnoxious and arrogant as they come, others… surprised me. Take me for example, do you think I’m unscrupulous and only think of profit, as most people view merchants?”

“My view on merchants might not be too mean thanks to my family’s dealing with them, but you don’t seem like a merchant at all… You’re way too sincere to be a merchant.”

“Just as I’m different, so are you. We’re the sum of our own actions and not our labels.”

“That’s a different way to look at things… but I like it. Let’s make the most of this riot..”

Just as she finished her sentence, Paradigm Hugo called for the students to gather. It was time.
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Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Bork Lazer
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Bork Lazer Chomping Time

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Onarr Yidlob





Interacting With: @dragonpiece





Isla DÁmato reminded him of the Joruban Republic with its humid climate and the crowds of sailors he’d regularly see whenever he accompanied his father down to the docks, plying their trade and salvaging steel from weary sellswords who were looking to make a quick coin. He adjusted the scuff of his helm, now glowing with a more silver luster than before. He hoped the alterations he made would allow his treasured gift from his brother to weather the briny air.

He ignored the gazes of the onlookers who by all accounts, looked as though they had never seen a dwarf in their entire life. As he listened to Desmond’s plans, he was nonplussed by the air of bravado his classmate seemed to be determined to put on. His head craned towards the location where Desmond pointed to and he frowned. Dorvalish was not a part of his limited repertoire of languages. It would be hard for him and Ingrid to fit in and he severely doubted that she spoke adequate Dorvalish.

“ Thank you,” he replied to Ingrid as they both walked together to the Main. His ears perked up at her plan and he looked up at her in anticipation.

“ Do tell. Does it involve subtlety or something more….loud?”
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Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by dragonpiece
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dragonpiece

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Location: Isla d'Amato

Interactions: Onarr @Bork Lazer




Ingrid let out a small chuckle as Onarr asked if the plan would be loud. "Do not fret Onarr, I'm not insane enough to go in bombing places for information though I will keep it in mind," Ingrid gave him a wink before continuing, "I know this may seem a little naïve but I believe that this can be pretty simple. All these pirates live together on this island for what reason? I believe beyond the protection it gives, it is for economic gain. It's essentially a merchant hub. So if we go to the right people to buy information, I believe we should get some of the missing pieces we need to complete this mission." Ingrid took a breath out. She knew what is being risked but she believes that as long as they are careful, people will prioritize profits over most things. Ingrid attempts to sell this to Onarr by speaking her plan a bit simpler. "We'll go and do what merchants do best, make deals and profit."

In that bit of time they had left Ingrid did some light observations of the people walking about, scanning for key characteristics of a leader here. There wasn't enough time for her to make anything close to a deep analysis but hopefully enough to keep her from making a fool's mistake. Who they choose to interact with is critical to the success of the mission. When they were within 10 meters of 'The Main', Ingrid stopped and looked at Onarr, "Are you ready? Anything we want to discuss before going in?"
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Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Medili
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Medili Connoisseur of Fine Pineapples

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Aboard the Riverboat

Lorentine Queen, Top Deck | Nighttime
Interactions with: Leon@Jumbus Dory@jasbraq Carmillia@Animus Zarra@BreathOfTheWoof Manfred@Force and Fury


Arriving on the riverboat with her team, Eun-Ji immediately shifted her mind fully into focusing on the task at hand... Which, alas, was deliberately left rather open-ended by Hugo in terms of what they really were supposed to achieve. Personally, she was used to and thus preferred having very clear objectives. Then she would only need to put her entire body, mind, and soul to the order of her superior. Alas, that was not the case with this mission given to her and her team by the Paradigm. Regardless, she quickly got into surveying the surrounding area, something that was made easy by the fact that Hugo had portalled the group onto the Top Deck which provided a good vantage point for observation. She noticed the rabble-rouser down on the front of the Main Deck, provoking a crowd. Then these must be the potential rioters... And that man, an agent of the Traveler.

That was one of the thing mentioned to be their mission, the riot. As for the other one...

“Well, you heard them down there.” Leon spoke up, facing Eun-Ji and the rest of the team. “They have plenty more rioters on the shoreline. Someone should go and get the captain to stop the ship.” The performer stated as he moved to leave. “As for me, I plan to help defend the lyre. Come with me, if you like. But I need to actually find it first.”

That was the other objective. In any case, she would rather not take on the task of convincing the captain to stop the ship; she was far from the best choice when it came to persuasion after all. Protecting the lyre, which very likely involved fighting and might even involve a chance to use her expertise with stealth and combat, however... "Then I shall come with you to make sure the lyre will not be stolen, Leon." She turned around, addressing Zarra, Carmillia, Dory, and Manfred. "If I may suggest... It might be prudent then for one of you to be the one persuading the captain to stop the ship. And then the rest can deal with the potential riot. Regardless, I believe we shall all need to make haste. That crowd looks like it is just about ready to turn violent, and we don't know if the lyre is even still safe. I wish you all good luck."

Finishing her words with a polite nod to the four, she then turned around to follow Leon, hastening her pace until she walked beside him. While keeping her gaze casually around to observe her surrounding as she walked, she spoke up. "Among the information provided by the Paradigm to us, it was stated that there is only a single cargo hold in this ship, right within the hull... I believe checking the cargo hold might presently be our best option, Leon."
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Animus
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Animus I live in Singapore.

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Carmillia Carbonneau


Place(s): Feskan Riverboat Gambling House
Interactions:Manfred:@Force and Fury, Eun-Ji @Medili, Leon @Jumbus, Dorothea @jasbraq, Zarra @BreathOfTheWoof




The muted sounds that could be heard from the portal blared to life as Carmillia and the rest of the party stepped through the portal. The cool and comfortable present in Paradigm Hugo's study was now replaced by something far more warm and humid. Even though they were on the upper deck, Carmillia could smell the stench of vomit and alcohol wafting up from below.

She couldn't help but smile. It was a nostalgic atmosphere.

There were a few others up here and judging from the shuffleboard courts, they were probably betting on a game or trying to get some fresh air. The strangest thing was they seemed to pay little attention to Carmillia and the rest. Other than odd gaze or two, they didn't seem all that interested. Too drunk to care about witnessing even a temporal portal? she thought. But Carmillia quickly saw where their attention had been focused on.

A man was giving a charismatic speech below and was riling up the passengers of the Lorentine Queen. He was inciting them to touch a moderately sized abberation on the front deck. Memories of her time back in Zeno Fade-in-Moonlight's townhouse stirred.

Carmillia had expected there to be time provided for them to do some reconaissence of the vessel but it looked like Hugo had other plans for them.

“Well, you heard them down there.” Leon spoke up, facing Eun-Ji and the rest of the team. “They have plenty more rioters on the shoreline. Someone should go and get the captain to stop the ship.” The performer stated as he moved to leave. “As for me, I plan to help defend the lyre. Come with me, if you like. But I need to actually find it first.”

Classic Leon. Thinking before moving had never been his forte.

Carmillia had just been about to interject when the Tan Keoulian girl spoke up. Though she phrased it somewhat differently, she was essentially declaring she was on babysitting duty and that the rest of them should deal with the riot.

"I wish you all good luck."

"Likewise to you," she responded. Though I'm not so sure that we'll be stopping the riot, she thought as she looked at Dorothea. The plan had been to bring to light the conversation between them earlier once they stepped through the portal. Though she had not predicted the current unforeseen circumstances, they could still move ahead with it. If anything, Leon and Eun-ji not being here might have been considered a boon. Leon was unpredictable and Eun-ji seemed like the type of person who was averse radical ideas. Securing a majority vote now would make it easier to convince them.

Aware that the others were watching, Carmillia addressed Dorothea.

"I had hoped for more time but it's now or never," she said. "What'll it be? Do we quell the riot and help the nobles keep power. Or will you stand up and make a difference?"

Though it went against her nature, she refrained from using magic on the Feskan girl. Carmillia was testing her. If she couldn't muster the courage on her own to follow through with her ambitions, Dorothea Hohnstein was not worth gambling on.
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Hidden 2 mos ago 1 mo ago Post by pantothenic
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pantothenic bored part-timer

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Dear dad,

A storm falls upon Ersand'Enise tonight. What a terrible racket it is! For an hour I attempted to rest my head only for the wind to angrily shake my window. The squalls of Miatto’s great plains seemed so far away under the protection of the monastery’s roof. I plan to have the craftsmen fashion me a pair of ear plugs at the soonest opportunity. In the meantime, I am considering stuffing my ears with the down of my pillow.

Life in the city of magic is terrifyingly convenient. By the time my training concludes I fear I will have become a gadabout. I’ve come to understand why you seldom used the Gift in front of us. Taking turns stoking a fire to keep the baths warm seems like a wasted effort when magic can complete the same task with a mere gesture. I would like to be as disciplined with magic as you, but in order to achieve mastery we students are encouraged to use it at every opportunity. To practice Arcane channeling, I am writing this letter to you with my robe cast aside. If I do not continuously warm myself with the room’s energy, the night chill will take me and my hand will become unsteady.

I was afraid that adjusting to life here would be more difficult, but I am in a more familiar environment than I imagined. Being a student at the academy is not much different from the days I attended primary school at the abbey. We sit at our desks, we listen to our professors, and we take notes. The curriculum here is surprisingly well rounded. Along with our lessons in magic, we continue to study mathematics and literature. It seems that becoming a master thaumaturge requires a vast repertoire of knowledge. I have not made any friends in school yet, but everyone here is friendly enough. I am humbled by the sheer talent that has gathered here. My teachers as well as my peers are all exceptional individuals. My unworthy self must do all I can to keep up.

In your last letter you told me that Colette plans to join the order of the Unconquered Sun. I offer my heartfelt congratulations! Our big sister has always been a fine servant to the Creator. No matter where her purpose may be found, I pray for her night and day. Please thank her for the dried dates. They were delicious. I will think of a fitting return gift soon. I remember her having a vicious craving for fruit pies…

There is so much more I’d like to say but the parchment runs short, and my pen is empty. I eagerly await your next missive. Be well. Oraff keep you. I will visit you all soon.

Yalen




After making one last pen stroke, Yalen set his writing implements aside and took a breather. Goosebumps crept up his arm as he halted his internal heating spell, leaving him vulnerable to the icy night air. The hearth had been extinguished for some time now. Unless Yalen wanted to exhaust himself drawing arcane energy all night, it was best to return to bed. He snuffed his candle and rolled up the letter, intending to seal and deliver it after tomorrow’s classes were over.

Yalen gripped the edge of his study desk and gradually left his chair. He had to take it slow or else he might fall over. It was especially difficult in the hours of Dami, when the extremities grew numb. Right now it felt like his toes had disappeared entirely, which made it hard to stand up straight. Eventually Yalen did manage to get up, though he kept holding the desk with one hand in case his legs couldn’t support his weight.

Yalen shuffled across the floor of the cozy merchant dormitory and headed straight back to bed. He wrapped his quilt around himself and waited for his body heat to fill the space. For a few minutes the only sound in the room was the pattering of rain, the distant howling of the wind, and the muted ticking of a wooden pendulum clock. Yalen silenced his inner thoughts by focusing his attention on the white noise of the rain.

Before the oblivion of sleep could overtake him, Yalen’s peace was disturbed by the sound of something loudly tapping against his window. Alarmed by this disturbance, Yalen pushed himself into a sitting position and looked towards the source of the noise.

Tap tap tap. Something continued to knock on the glass, hidden from view by the drawn curtains. This dorm room was on the second story of the complex, and the window faced the street. One would have to climb or fly up to reach it. This was not a normal visitor, and that fact made Yalen feel a little uneasy. He carefully slid out of bed and grabbed the candle on his desk. The candle wick was still hot to the touch. Yalen cupped it with his left hand and closed his eyes. Reaching out with his mind, he drew upon the candle’s radiant heat. There wasn’t much energy there, but it was enough.

All-knowing Shune, please grant me your flame. Yalen focused the heat he’d gathered around the tip of the candle. He concentrated it into a small, singular point until the candle wick came back to life. The room filled with faint orange candle light.

With light in hand, Yalen opened one of the desk’s drawers and took hold of his holy symbol, the icon of the setting sun. He wrapped the chain tightly around his left fist and brought it to his right hip for a brief second. Surely it’s only a tree branch. Yalen thought this to himself before he limped towards the curtains and thrust them open.

There on the windowsill was a white faced rook, its shiny black feathers illuminated only by the distant flashes of lightning and the candle in Yalen’s hand. When it was clear that it had his attention, the carrion bird began squawking and scratching the window with its toes.

Yalen’s mouth opened in surprise. “What in the world…?”




Before he could make the trip to the Forked Tower, Yalen had to make ready. He began by tightly wrapping a thin cloth over both of his ankles. He had already spent the whole day walking between classes, and his feet couldn’t take much more. Yalen donned his ecclesiastical vestments and retrieved his book bag and walking cane from where they lay.

When Yalen first stepped outside of his dorm room, he had to brace himself against a sudden gust. The wind was strong enough that at times, it seemed like the clouds were raining sideways. Despite covering nearly the entire sky, the overcast clouds could scarcely be seen this late at night. Thankfully, the lamp lighters had made their rounds before the storm hit, so Yalen could still navigate the city.

From underneath his armpit he pulled out a wide brimmed hat, which he secured tightly over his chin length blonde hair. Both the hat and his clerical attire were treated with a coating of boiled seed oils, making them a little more resistant to water than ordinary clothes. This was the extent to which he could prepare himself. Leaning heavily on his cane, Yalen proceeded to make the arduous trip to the Forked Tower.

After he managed to walk a fair distance, Yalen noticed something unusual in his surroundings. He thought he could hear something above the din of pouring rain. Footsteps. Several of them. He sent out a mental probe, feeling for other sources of energy in the immediate area. It was a challenge to detect human body heat under the cover of the storm, but there were a lot of people running about Ersand’Enise, far more than what would be normal for this time of night. Yalen wondered if it was the city guards, or a noble’s private retinue. Did they have anything to do with the cryptic message he’d received?

The Forked Tower huh? The orchestrator of this plot has quite the sense of humor. In truth, Yalen worked out the first half of the riddle by accident. He had been at a loss for an answer until his eyes coincidentally fell upon his leftover dessert; before bed time, he’d been snacking on a scrumptious fruit tart.

Others may have received the note as well. But what was its purpose? No promise of a reward was made nor did he have an inkling of why he was chosen to begin with. Somehow Yalen just felt he had to go.

If I’ve made the wrong decision… Oraff preserve me.




Yalen was a bit slow to reach the Forked Tower. By the time he reached the lofty citadel, he could no longer feel the presence of other mages. It was like all the people he sensed before had disappeared without a trace. He stood at the entrance, his approach momentarily halted by indecision.

If I am to make a choice it has to be now. Will I be able to face whatever lays within the tower? Am I truly meant to be here? Yalen rested his weight on his walking cane. No matter how much he thought about it, the answer would not come from within. He needed guidance. Yalen placed his cane on the ground. With practiced hands he touched his shoulders, then his hips. Palms clasped in prayer, he completed the sign of the Pentad. Lover, Learner, Creator, Destroyer, and Judge. Please listen to the pleas of your ignorant servant. Shune, I beseech thee, grant me the barest modicum of your insight. Dami, with all my humility, I ask you to show me the path of righteousness.

Yalen stood firm, praying in complete silence with no regard for the wind or the rain. A stray leaf stuck to his cheek, carried by the gale. He ignored it. So deep in concentration was he that even the boom of thunder failed to register in his mind.

Something flew out of the darkness and landed on his shoulder. Yalen opened his eyes and looked over to see the rook that had visited him some time ago. The bird screeched at him and groomed his hair with its beak. Yalen smiled and reached up to tickle the corvid’s hairy feet. “It’s you again. Has your master instructed you to guide me?” His avian companion made a clicking sound and took off into the tower. Yalen picked up his cane and followed, the doubts now cleared from his mind. As expected, nobody could be found loitering in the interior. He’d sensed dozens of people converging here and yet he saw no-one leave. To where could they have gone? Yalen did not stop to admire the tower’s construction. He had to find the bird. He lost sight of it, but it was certainly waiting for him somewhere above.

The note said to meet at floor twenty and a half. I’ll go to the twentieth floor and figure out what to do from there. Yalen mentally steeled himself. Ascending the Forked Tower was probably nothing to the mages who arrived before, but with Yalen’s tethered body it would be like crossing a river without a raft. He knew nothing of Kinesis, and his knowledge of Binding and Chemical magic was still in its infancy. Determined to see this through to the end, Yalen marched upwards.

By the time he reached the stairs between floor twenty and twenty one, Yalen’s arms and legs were burning. His weak lower body was a burden the whole way, and he had to support himself on his cane while gripping the brick wall most of the way up. He sat on the stone steps to let his muscles recover, paying no mind to the fact that his robe might get dirty.

Yalen heard something fall behind him and twisted himself around to see what it was. The light sources within the tower were sparse, but Yalen’s eyes had acclimated enough to the dark for him to spot the silver fork resting on the steps, which to him looked as if it materialized out of nothing. He got up in order to investigate. Many would have picked the fork up out of habit, but Yalen showed restraint. This whole incident began with a riddle, and for all he knew this puzzling silverware was part of yet another test.

Yalen peered around the stairwell space looking for further clues. In the direction the fork was pointing, something was off about the walls. The brickwork did not line up uniformly like it was supposed to. The moment his eyes lit up with recognition, the rook came out of hiding. It dropped a piece of paper next to the fork and departed just as quickly, its task now complete. Yalen stooped down to pick up the fork and the note, then hobbled over to the strangely asymmetric wall pattern.

I suppose this note is my hint. Let’s see it then. Yalen unfurled the sheet and read the contents aloud. “Measure a brick with the instrument that you have on hand. You will find all uniform. Speak the perimeter and only the perimeter. If you speak other words, the door will close.” Between the words, a pattern matching the wall had been printed.

Yalen put his cane down and held the fork up to his face. The instrument you have on hand... This fork? I suppose that’s correct. It’s the Forked Tower after all. The true riddle is what this fork represents. The note says to measure the brick, so am I supposed to use it like a ruler? Not having any other option, Yalen experimentally lined up the fork so one of its ends were perfectly aligned with the top brick. Using his other hand to keep track of his place, Yalen gradually scraped the fork across the wall until he was able to fully measure the long side. It was a nearly perfect match. Eight forks. This revelation made the gears turn in Yalen’s head. After measuring the rest of the bricks, he immediately sat on the floor and opened his book bag in order to retrieve a journal and a fountain pen.

Eight by three for a total of twenty two. But that shape! I have to think…! Yalen heatedly scribbled inside his journal. For some time, he simply drew and redrew the brick pattern, trying to make sense of its shape and the relation it had to the problem. He wasn’t bad at solving word problems, but it wasn’t a specialty of his either. It took several minutes of concentration and wasted ink before he stumbled upon something resembling an answer. Sixty fi- no, sixty six! “It’s sixty-six!” Yalen realized that he had uttered the number out loud without stopping to review his work. He knew what the note said. He had only one chance to answer the riddle, and if what he just announced was wrong then that was it. His heart sank into his stomach as he stood up and waited for whatever came next.

But nothing came, no matter how patiently he stood by. Yalen brushed his fingers through the gap between the bricks, wondering where he had failed. Was his calculation wrong, or was he just too slow to get here? Yalen solemnly closed his eyes, head hung in defeat. He put away his writing tools and took up his cane in preparation for his departure. I was just too weak to face this trial. It’s time to move on.

Just as he reached the bottom of the twentieth staircase Yalen was overwhelmed by a feeling of vertigo, and in a split second he vanished.




The transition occurred so swiftly that Yalen had no time to perceive it. It was as if the spot where he once stood was merely a dream and he had just woken up. He twisted his head left and right, trying to grasp his current whereabouts.

The word ‘study’ barely described the place Yalen found himself. It was something much grander than that. The room was vast, and tall as well, almost impossibly so. If this was a part of the Forked Tower, its dimensions could only be realized with the application of powerful magic. There were tables full of maps, books, and equipment for experiments both magical and scientific. Stained glass windows filled the room with light, forcing Yalen to squint until his eyes could adjust.

How can it be light out when there is a storm outside? Am I perhaps no longer inside the Forked Tower? Yalen wrung his hands in confusion, feeling unsure of what to do with himself. Then he felt a hand squeeze his shoulder.

“You were late,” said an aged voice with a hint of dry amusement, “but it seems you have… powerful friends.” The unseen figure regarded the youth’s robes for a moment. Yalen spun around in bewilderment. He hadn’t felt the presence of another person in the slightest!

“You’re-” Yalen’s breath stopped. No matter what country you hailed from, no matter how rural a town you lived in, if you called yourself a practitioner of magic you had to know the man standing before Yalen. It was no other than Hugo Hunghorasz. The paradigm. The mage among mages. The absurdity of this sudden meeting stalled Yalen’s reaction, but he had enough presence of mind to remove his hat and bow his head. “Paradigm Hunghorasz! Please forgive me for not greeting you right away. You must understand my situation. How could I know that following those riddles would lead me to your eminence...”

The ancient wizard cracked a slight grin. “Eminence, hmm?” He stroked his beard for a moment. “Now there’s one I still haven’t gotten completely used to.” He let out an easy chuckle. “I’d ask who you are but, as you may have guessed, I already know.” He took a couple of steps, gesturing for the boy to follow. “Come, have a seat. You’ve been… summoned I suppose you could say, for a reason, of course.” As he spoke, the table that Yalen had spotted in passing earlier seemed suddenly somehow closer, and there appeared to be people seated around it where there had been none before.

Yalen advanced towards the table as Hugo instructed. With so many other people in the room, he began to feel conscious of his condition. He quickly stashed his cane under his robe and tried to walk as straight as possible while taking his seat. “Summoned? Dare I ask what for? Of all the students in Ersand’Enise the paradigm could call to arms, you could easily find someone worthier than myself…” Yalen’s eyes drifted to the table sheepishly.

The Paradigm waved a hand almost… dismissively. “Worthy,” he harrumphed. “Such a broad term. Good thaumaturges do not use broad terms, for a lack of precision in magic can be the last mistake of your life.” He twisted, with a hint of age’s tremulousness. “Remember, you’re not only a priest now, boy.” Then, Hugo Hunghorasz sat himself at the head and settled his elbows on the oaken surface. "All of you who remain here: Ysilla Al Nader, Zarina Al Nader, Ayla Arslan, Kaspar von Wentoft, and Jocasta Re, please meet Yalen Castel. He was... slightly tardy in his arrival but an important member of your team nonetheless.” Yalen listened as the paradigm described his offer to them. He needed the students to take on a mission. As Paradigm Hugo spoke, three identical folders floated down and opened before him and the other newcomers. Yalen scanned the document first with curiosity, then with disbelief.

Look at these people. They're tethered too, just like me. Yalen was momentarily overcome with pity. He was quiet as the paradigm continued his speech. Once the sage was finished speaking he paused and waved a hand and, just like that, a tear in the fabric of spacetime appeared beside him. Sounds, scents, and even sensations drifted through: the chirp of crickets in a vast, arid plain, the aroma of dust and cactus blooms, and a cool night breeze that stirred sparse tufts of grass and caused a tumble weed to drift lazily by. "Thank you for your patience. It is no accident that you are the final group through. We were... waiting on one." He glanced at Yalen and smiled warmly. "Now, you'll see that the scenario in question is within the High Desert of Torragon and involves a Tethered refuge. As you might imagine, this is a sensitive mission. That is why two of you whom I've called upon are Tethered yourselves, another is Torragonese, and our pair of Viragish are... an asset of a different sort. Your job is to stop the threat outlined in the folder and to do so while respecting the rights of those in the refuge if at all possible.”

Yalen closed his folder and shook his head. “You need not question my resolve. I would go alone if I had to!"
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Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Th3King0fChaos
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Th3King0fChaos The Weird

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The moment that the others were out of earshot, Benedetto turned to his ‘captain’ with a smile on his face. “You speak Perrench to me again and I’ll rip your tongue out.” He kept his tone somewhere between light, like he might be joking, and serious, like he definitely wasn’t, just to mess with this guy. Making people uncomfortable was one of Benedetto’s favourite pastimes and he’d might as well have some kind of fun on this stupid mission.

As they walked Desmond was wondering why his companion was unusually quiet, as the moment Benedetto spoke, Desmond knew he was going to have an interesting time. He let out a laugh as he said, “O-ho~, I’ll keep that in mind~”. Desmond kept up his jovial voice and an air of light nature, but inside he is keeping up a guard in anticipation. He’s unsure how much of a loose cannon the man he decided to work with is, but Desmond is not one to wish to get stabbed in the back while he is in a brothel. Desmond used his off hand to gesture to La Fleur Rouge and said, ”Since that’s settled, let’s be off!”

Benny grinned, showing - as usual - a few too many teeth. “Good,” he replied. “Good, we have an understanding. Now, let’s see if we have to kill ourselves any frogs tonight.” His tone made little effort to hide the fact that he was hoping for it and he shot a fork of lightning at a nearby bird that had been chirping incessantly for the past few minutes, frying it into a tiny roasted turkey. Then, he walked along in silence for a blessed moment, Edmund or whatever his name mercifully quiet for once lest he end up like the bird. A thought occurred to Benny. “But not the prostitutes,” he amended. He furrowed his brow. “They’re just doing their jobs, and they’ll be our best source of information.” Presently, the doors of La Fleur Rouge drew near, as well as the handful of surreptitiously rough figures that stood outside. “I don’t speak their greasy tongue,” Benny advised his ‘captain’. “It’s all you, bud.”

As they walked, Desmond was anticipating what could be the many words that’d spill from this idiot's mouth, as it seemed he had a hankering for some blood. As when they walked Desmond saw Benedetto’s many ‘quirks’, the killing of birds who seemed to chirp for a little too long seemed to be but a small one. Desmond felt a weight come onto him as he realized he was going to be working with a psychopath, but some of it came off of his shoulders when he heard his bloodthirsty ‘crewmate’ had some morals toward the prostitutes, at least. Desmond was still worried about him dropping some kind of hell onto them because of his blatant hatred for those around him. Yet he seemed to have some mind to him as he told Desmond he was going to be unable to speak here. Which was a boon to Desmond, as Benedetto’s hatred might have made it too hard for them to even get a bit of information. Desmond looked over to his crazy partner and said, ”Oh that’s more than fine to me. What’s a language you know? Don’t want the worker to need to draw ideas to work with her”.

Benny was barely listening to whatever Edmund was saying. Something about workers and drawing. The real fun would be inside. It was definitely the Perrench. Damned grenouilles could never stop preying on Revidian ships, and that had been the Maria Nera’s game as of late. Thing was, the Nera wasn’t a Perrench ship. Benedetto was actually kind of interested in how that’d resolve itself… so long as he didn’t have to do any of the work figuring it out.

Of course, he had other motives for being here, but Edmund didn’t have to know those. Nobody did, and he’d kill them if they tried to find out: even the high-ranking Volti. His RAS was higher than just about any of theirs anyways. The two youths stopped at the door and Benny simply flashed his coins, a grin, and a wiggled eyebrow. His partner could try to talk his way in. Body language spoke louder, though. Already he could see the well-stocked bar inside, the Perrench and Miattan pirates lounging about on divans and sofas, the scantily-clad women playing lutes, harpsichords, and other instruments. They bounced from one man’s lap to another until they found likely prey and then they sucked him dry… in more than one way. Smart, he thought, and cruel.

Benedetto wanted to fuck them, no money paid, and end their little game. He could kill any of these frilly Perrenchmen and take the women by force. That’d leave the world with another bastard, though. That’d leave the world with another him. He came back to his senses. He had a job to do. He let Desmond do his, getting through the front door, and then leaned in. “We should split up and gather intel separately. We’ll cover more ground that way.” It wasn’t a suggestion, the way that he said it. He was going to do what he was going to do regardless.

Desmond let out a slight laugh as he heard Benedetto’s response to his question as they stepped in. Desmond took point as he was the talker for them to get in, as once they made it in, his partner ‘suggested’ they split up. It was less of a suggestion as he already began walking away before Desmond could even say otherwise, yet he didn’t mind, them being away from each other could make it much easier for him to do his own thing. Desmond began looking around and started going his own way, trying to pick out his own prey, trying to find a mistress of the night that might have been here for some time.

There were a handful of women who remained uncoupled, though one of these could be counted among the number of the pirates. She was rather drunk and sour-looking. Another was a good deal older and rather striking for her age, but seemed mostly to be a musician unless a particularly good opportunity arose. There was a third of particularly exotic extraction working the bar, doing all sorts of tricks with pouring drinks and lighting alcohol on fire. It was clear that she had a touch of the Gift about her. Fourth and final was a petite striking beauty with black hair and blue eyes. She sat alone on a barstool, sipping demurely from a tall glass. There was something tense about her, and it was hard to place exactly what. Presently, she glanced his way and locked eyes with him, her gaze intense and… perhaps evaluative before she remembered to smile coyly, flick her hair over her shoulder, and bat her eyelashes before returning to her drink.

Desmond looked to each of the women here, some seemed to have had more than their fill of alcohol, while others almost played with it to entertain those watching. But one seemed to almost have magic coming from her, her presence seemed serene yet the moment Desmond locked eyes with her, it was intense. Which told Desmond everything he needed. As he sauntered on over, he took a quick gander at others around her, hoping to take in his surroundings before he sat down. Desmond sat down and looked towards the young woman with ebony hair and entrancing azure eyes and said, "Why hello there~, who might you be?"

The woman smiled at him. “Was wondering when you’d come over,” she cooed, her voice rising and falling with an accent that was distinctly not that of a native Perrench-speaker. She twirled some of that hair that he seemed to be fascinated with. “I could tell just from looking at you that you weren’t one of the usual sorts we see around here.” She paused. Her voice lowered and her eyes sparkled. “New people… interest me.”

Desmond listened to the woman she seemed to be interesting, her tongue seemed to carry an accent that was from another land rather than the normal rolling that the Perrench is known for. Desmond was fascinated by her, almost as much as she seems fascinated by him. Desmond had a smile curl as he looked her in the eyes and said, ”O-ho~, it seems I’m not the only one interested. Desmond looked at this woman with a grin and leaned in further and spoke only for her to hear, ”How about we get acquainted?”

{To be continued}
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BreathOfTheWoof Arbiter of Creation

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Dorothea Hohnstein



Carmillia Carbonneau



Interactions: Manfred:@Force and Fury, Eun-Ji @Medili, Leon @Jumbus, Dorothea @jasbraq, Zarra @BreathOfTheWoof


Zarra took Hugo's words of waiting to a more literal extent than the archmage may have expected, opting to instead be the last person to have their questions addressed. But he had an important one nonetheless. "My issue with all of this, is that, look at me? I'm basically a noble from a children's illustration book. If you want me to go anywhere near rioters, you're gonna need me to wear something that will scream that I'm on their side. I can't look like a peasant because my education would give me away irrationally quickly. Logically, I need to look like staff on the ship. This'll also allow me into areas of the ship I'm not normally allowed in emergencies; is it against the rules? Absolutely, but riots are their own beasts, you know?" Zarra with all his discipline attempts to justify his thinking to a man who's 4 steps ahead of him on every front.

Hugo blinks. He strokes his beard. There is an intense rush of magic. He disappears and there is only the sound of conversation overlying ambient noise. He reappears with a rather fanciful uniform: all frilled cuffs, brass buttons, and bright red with coattails. "Go slay yourself a beast, young fellow." He holds it out to Zarra.

The young man appreciates that bit of banter. Investigating the attire, he feels more ridiculous than if he just wore his distinctly purpled but practical clothes. In short, he feels like a clown. How does anyone stand to wear something this outlandish? Regardless, he's not gonna sabotage the mission over self-consciousness and puts it on in a shadowed corridor of the room.

Almost immediately after Hugo addresses Zarra's concerns, does he notice his teammates either being entirely standoff to each other except for the 2 distinct girls whispering to each other. He always thought that was a thing kids do, he reevaluates his stereotype, that woman of any age will do that. Regardless, they've seemed to doing it for a hot minute, though they're careful to look around themselves, his wonder deters any worry that may have stirred. He pretends to be distracted in his notebook as he eavesdrops on the girls, catching the full details of Dorothea's strategy.

“I’m trying to convince the Kerreman queen to help me overthrow the Feskan nobles… Sorry if it sounds weird…”
“That said, I doubt the queen would be able to overthrow them without any justification. It all depends on the scale of the riot. Too small and it will be quelled without consequence. Too large and the aid of those three houses become essential to maintain order. Either way, her hands become tied."

Carm's willingness to manipulate the riot in their favor intrigued him about her true agenda. Still, she made a very solid point, if it's too small nothing will happen. If it's too big, well, I think they'll have other issues at hand if that's what the fates decide.

“As someone from the merchant caste this might seem absurd, doesn’t it? Why would a noble care about their people?”

Despite being a noble himself by blood, Zarra gives little thought to his status and what it means to turn his back on people of his societal scale. He grew being told to adapt, to think, to question. More often in situations like this, with disgruntled workers and high classmen flaunting luxuries, that yes, the rich are the bad guys. He wanted part of this plan, and surely follows the other rest of his team into the portal. Maybe Hugo, assuming he's still around, can one day teach him the secret of instant transportation.

Aware that the others were watching, Carmillia addressed Dorothea.

"I had hoped for more time but it's now or never," she said. "What'll it be? Do we quell the riot and help the nobles keep power? Or will you stand up and make a difference?"

Manfred was already headed toward the pilothouse to speak with the helmsman when he heard her. He had his opinions. Carmillia was dangerous: the sort of pretty girl who manipulated others for gain. She fairly smacked of it and he had little use and even more wariness for those sorts. Mind you, sometimes he wondered if Dory wasn't the same. He kept those feelings to himself, however. "I am headed to the pilothouse. If the two groups meet up, this will become a situation beyond our ability to control it. The lyre is our goal."

Before Zarra can engage Carmilla and Dorothea, he listened to the dialogue of Leon and... He doesn't know that girl's name, how embarrassing. Maybe he can ruse one of the other classmates into telling it to him, he hates looking like he's not up to date on information. Despite this, he responds to her, "Oh, I can do that, I bet. Like Leon said, I'll have to you know, find him first."

Zarra gives little care to that fact he will need to admit to eavesdropping, having been naturally curious at the fact Dorothea and Carmilla were making quick friends of each other, and more importantly, clearly plotting something. He goes over to them and without consent, inserts himself into the conversation. "You really think you're gonna do this without an extra hand? You said it yourself, you can't risk the riot being too small, there's where I come in." He makes no hesitation to flash a cunning smile to the girls.
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