Hidden 26 days ago Post by Loksfjoer
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Fenna hadn't walked through the park long before she heard someone call her name and saw MacKensie. She waved back as she approached the younger woman. When she asked how she was holding up she thought about what to answer for a moment. "It was tough," she said. "Reading that message yesterday made me feel a lot of things, but I'm doing better now. I feel more focussed on my goal." She paused and showed a smile. "How are you doing?" She put a hand on MacKensie's shoulder after her answer, appreciating the honesty in it. She accepted a couple of the nuts, that reminded her of the cashew nuts back home.

"I don't have anything planned," she answered her friend's question, and followed her, curious about this perfect place to spent the afternoon. When she mentioned the spa, Fenna stopped. How much would that cost? She had factored in some money to spend on nice things, but she had places like the hot herbal beverages shop in mind. MacKensie was adamant, and wouldn't take no for an answer, but Fenna remained reluctant. Until MacKensie mentioned it would be her treat; while she didn't feel entirely comfortable someone would spend a lot of money on her, it took away the main concern she had. "Okay then," she said and she turned to Sil. "Why don't you stay in this park? Maybe you can catch some rodents."

Sil flew up and picked a tree branch to sit on, watching the two rangers leave before she turned her eyes on the ground below to try and spot some small rodents.

The Bazaar was still a busy place, but Fenna noticed a difference since the last time she had walked here. People still went about their daily lives, but the last time this was a place filled with small talk, excited voices, laughs. The people were a lot more serious today and the conversations were mostly whispers about the siege and the war, and the doubts these people had.

They found the spa and went down beautiful lit steps and into the large reception area. The stone and wood had warm colour, and the potted plants in marble vases were a nice touch. As MacKensie asked about the services and prizes, Fenna tried to bring up they didn't really need this or that, but MacKensie ignored her and filled up the afternoon with the best of the best the place had to offer. Fenna knew better than to ask if MacKensie was certain she wanted to spent that kind of money, there was no stopping her. And, truth to be told, Fenna started to look forward to it.

The massage with a scented oil made her relax muscled she hadn't even realized had tensed up. The face mask made her face feel cleaner than it had done in ages and the music that played in the background added to the relaxation. There were snacks and drinks between all booked treatments, until they started the last one: 1 hour of soaking in the hotspring.

Fenna closed her eyes as she leaned back, this was heavenly. She lazily opened an eye when MacKensie spoke. "Thank you for taking me."
She didn't regret ordering her new boots, they were practical and would be useful, but being here reminded her that sometimes it was okay to take a breather and just enjoy herself. She didn't even want to think about what she would do when the hour was up, she was here now and that was all that mattered.

This was a place for small talk and happy memories, and that's what Fenna shared with MacKensie. And of course, love. She talked about when she met her husband and the first time they had gone to a sauna. And that led her to a question. "I noticed how some of the members of our party act around you. You don't have to answer this, of course, but I was wondering how you feel about the members of the party and if you perhaps like a little more?"

She'd listen to anything MacKensie wanted to share on the subject, and didn't press for any information she was uncomfortable sharing. This was a place for lighthearted conversation after all, but also for some girl-time, without any of the guys listening.
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Hidden 24 days ago Post by Jay009
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Barracker entered the leather workshop in Valhiem. Nimuer Farlorn’s establishment. The man wore a big smile on his face and greeted Barracker. Barracker knew Nimuer from purchasing his armour from him many years back, shortly after leaving the army. Nimuer understood the problem as soon as Barracker entered the shop, his leather armour had been torn to shreds, this time from a water domain user, he had explained. The grin did not drop and Barracker felt at ease with the man as he studied his leather piece eyeing the damage. Nimuer came from round the counter, wearing his green apron on, his hands receiving the leather, light armour from his hands and looked it over once more before giving him a price on fixing it up. It was a bit higher than usual as being caught in Zigmunds water blast had torn the armour, ripping it apart completely. The fabrics all split and separated, Barracker knew this would be a lot of work for the man in green but Barracker had faith in Nimuer, his craftsmanship was on par with the Blacksmiths reputation.

Once business was done he left the shop and next on the list of things to do was sort his tower shield out and return to Gildor Hammerfist for the repair of his helmet. Getting all his gear sorted would cost him quite the sum and leave him near to nothing, taking most of his money from the funds received from the mission awarded, most of it going to the expensive Orichalcum claymore to be forged back to new. He knew to find a tower shield, the barracks at Paladin’s respite would have one. The Barracks were reliable and offered a number of shields, including tower shields for the different styles practised by Paladins in training.

The courtyard may be quiet around this time.

It was late afternoon by the time Barracker picked up a two-handed sword and tower shield and began swinging, shadow fighting and practising his stances and sword strikes. To be an effective soldier you must always practise, prioritise and stay true, his late mentor’s words, he will never forget, his voice loud, saying the words in his head as he watched the skies being bombed with fire. The enemy is still on the doorstep.
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Hidden 24 days ago Post by Zool
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MacKensie was overjoyed to see Fenna's shoulders free of weight, even if it was only temporary. As they shared amiable conversation and fond memories, the frenchwoman was positively giggly with good vibes. They talked about things that they valued a lot; treasured times and moments of their lives. They talked about things Mytherian and magical; the best moments of their combat experience, the coolest things they could remember themselves doing. And threaded through these topics were tangeants that were so incredibley normal; favourite way to have one's eggs with toast, the woes of public transportation in European cities. These small things that were so boring and regular, no longer taken for granted, were probably where the most animated excitement exuded from the low-energy duo who were so engulfed with the heavenly comfort, that even their laughs came out in a relaxed cadence.

Fenna's story about how she met her husband had MacKensie fawning throughout. "That is so romantic," she commented at one point.

The topic of 'new love' turned MacKensie's mind onto her own potientally romantic situation. It seemed both women's minds had gone to the exact same thing because Fenna was the one to bring it up.

"I noticed how some of the members of our party act around you. You don't have to answer this, of course, but I was wondering how you feel about the members of the party and if you perhaps like a little more?"

There, it appeared - that knot in her stomach. That bright red face. And of course; Fenna was talking about Adam and Zell, she didn't have to say their names. Here, in the paradise of the hotspring and with it 'just between the girls,' it lessened the embarassment. Nonetheless, Fenna was still met with a flustered MacKensie Trydant. There was a moment of stalling from the younger woman, but then she found her words. "Sacre bleu, Fenna," was her intial response. "It is chaos in my mind to think of this question. I don't know how it has come to this, I wish it never would have happened. Before this, it was perfect, I..." Her mind was thinking a million things per second, she wasn't sure which thought to voice. "I feel so connected with everyone here, in Second Chance. So deeply connected for everything we have been through together. But with those two...? Things have become - maybe - something more and I feel like... this is a decision I must make, which rests so heavy on me. Fear to hurt someone, fear of getting hurt, fear of creating a rift in Second Chance." Fear of an adult relationship. She would not voice this one, even for the woman she trusted more than anything these days. That was too pathetic and embarassing to even say out loud whilst alone.

MacKensie laid out her mass of thoughts with such disorganisation, that it would have been understandable if Fenna struggled to keep up. Eventually, and in random pieces; she'd confided all of her specific feelings regarding Adam and Zell, conceding how difficult it was to have these very real kinds of emotions towards two men at once. It didn't comport with her sense of honour as an individual. It didn't make sense to her simplistic 'everyone has a type' narrative, when these two men were so utterly worlds apart in personality. Somewhere in the mix of sentences, she admitted that the easiest decision would be to shut down all advances, make it clear that she was firmly committed to friendship and balance with both. This would put everything right. But she would lose out on her chance for that special someone - her 'Monsieur Postma.' And she may have let slip that she already felt something stronger with one man more than the other. Even if she didn't quite understand it or want to admit it to herself, when so many thoughts come out, Fenna could likely surmise through the clues, which of the two men her heart leaned towards. Would she regret it if she just shut them both down and rid everyone of the conundrum? She could not see the answer. And; even if she did regret, did that change what was the correct decision?

"Is any of this normal?" MacKensie moaned to Fenna. "I am so frustrated that I cannot tell."

She would ask Fenna more about her husband and how it was for her, how he could make her feel, how she knew that he was the one, MacKensie seeking to understand someone who had been through this kind of thing and actually come away with the man of her destiny. This whole topic had been a moment to truly appreciate Fenna being Fenna. The conundrum of Adam and Zell was something MacKensie thought she was stuck all alone with, but Fenna was here for her. It meant a lot.
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Hidden 23 days ago Post by xenon
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“Excuse me Lucy, could you please show me how to send a message using the Source Mail? I'd like to send something to my friend Glee and I've only used it to view the one from yesterday. Of course, if you're busy now, I can come back later.”

Lucy waved away the politeness. "Not at all, young sir. If you'd like to follow me, I'll take you through everything."

Lucy showed Adam how to use the client holo-screens to navigate his profile and access the Source Comm.

"And if you just hit that symbol there, you'll open up a new Comm to write." Lucy waited for Adam to touch the screen, then explained the presentation of the next screen that popped up. Fortunately, Adam would find himself quite familiar with the process, as it was remarkably similar to sending emails. "Here is where you enter the name of the Adventurer Party. Ooo... True Grade," she realised. "I see you've become familiar with one of the more famous Party Names of this era." She raised her eyebrows as she nosily inquired. "Friends in high places? Or just a fan?"

However Adam answered, Lucy explained that entering just a letter or two of the first name of the recipient would automate the rest. Source Code connected everything in Mytheria, but no men and women were more connected than those crystal bearers who whose to be Adventurers.

"I'll let you have some privacy, Adam. If you need anything, just shout down and I'll come back up."

With that, Adam was left alone to send his message. It would be some number of days before True Grade arrived at the northern fortress, Fornost, and Glee the famous Diamond Tier Druid would have a chance to connect to the system and see the message, but it would be waiting for him when he did.
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Hidden 21 days ago Post by Teyao
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"I imagine you've got quite a bit of information that might be able to help me out, here." Zell gave a little head-tilt. "From being a Cleric maybe, aswell as being... Zigmund- Bro, are you totally sure you've 'Made Peace' with this arrangement in your noggin, right now? Do you know if you'll have to live with this for the rest of your life, or what?" A small part of him suddenly wondered if James was dealing with any resentment due to Zigmund getting killed by Second Chance. "If you're sure, then I trust you, of course - say no more. But we should probably create contingency plans for eachother, just in case anything goes wrong."
Zell

He shook his head lightly from side to side "I appreciate the feeling but I don't think it needed" He gave the other man a side glance then looked back to the canal "I will not lie to you, my feelings ARE a mess of guilt, resentment, and love, true. But above all I adore you guys, I would first die before letting anything happen to you" He directed a grin that immediately became a frown "But nevermind that, my issues are mostly handled, yours are not" He jabbed a finger in the other man's direction.

"That sword is an insidious thing and as you have volunteered to carry the curse even throwing it away will just have it find its way back towards you" It's what happened to him after all "It will always feel like you are in control, it won't change your personality, instead, it will exaggerate your bad traits, the worst part is that in the unlikely event that you notice it happening that 'you' will likely decide they are the better version of 'yourself', even if everyone else tells you the contrary" He stood up, he was about to start gesturing when a thought crossed his mind, was... was he giving a sermon? Oh Gods he was, wasn't he?

Well shit, he was already this far in, no reason to back down now, mama didn't raise no quitter "However!" Shit he was getting into it just like when he practiced with cousin Pedro "Don't despair, Zigmund may be a bastard but he was a cautious bastard, he learned how to conduct and sealing ritual tailored for the Black Sword in case he needed an out, poor idiot didn't realize he got caught in the trap but the knowledge is still here" Two fingers tapped at his head "We may not be able to get rid of it for you but we can make sure its influence is contained until we find a solution" He gave a last look at the other man "Give me 3 days and I will have the ritual ready but Zell, for it to work the affected must be willing to face separation, unless you truly desire getting rid of it it won't work, so what do you say Zell Brooks? Are you willing to be healed?"

...Okay for an impromptu speech, it wasn't bad, it just felt lacking, why oh why couldn't Zigmund come with oratory skills? Knowing the fastest way to kill a man with your bare hands held no shit to basic speechcraft.
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Hidden 19 days ago Post by Jay009
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Barracker goes to the inquisitor's desk to ask the head Paladin about getting his hands on a shield, fitting his combat style. He had no luck as he was shooed away immediately with a lazy answer, which was meant as a no to the vampire, immediately shutting down any further requests. Inquisitor Franklin was his usual self, uptight and far from helpful. This man, along with many, despised Barrackers existence and duty as a fellow Paladin.

Some time later on the training grounds, as Barracker was going through his training regiment, he caught a mean glance across the yard, for the third time. It was the Burns brothers. They had a similar idea of preparing for the war ahead, getting as much training in as possible. Barracker did not feel uneasy, and ordinarily he did not care and would just ignore it. But there were more important things to worry about than petty squabbles, so he decided to be the bigger man and approach the two.

Barracker started straight to the point. “I know we have our differences, that may never be resolved but right now,” he paused with a sigh, and gestured towards the two before continuing. This is our home, all of us. We are Valhiem. Valhiem is in trouble. We would be stronger together than divided in spirit,” Barracker held out his hand, hoping they would shake it. "Please,” he said showing humility, "Let us remember why we became Paladin protectors in the first place.”

It was apparent from Eric’s face that there was a struggle in his mind, but he eventually grabbed Barracker’s hand, “For Valhiem.”

Barracker nodded gratefully, and repeated, "For Valhiem.”

The other brother Warren followed suit afterwards and the three started to discuss the morale of Paladins Respite.
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Hidden 17 days ago Post by Zapdos
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Lucy was very helpful to the new source mail user. Immediately taking the time to help and explaining the interface - similar to email, really - made the process incredibly simple, and Adam was sure to show his appreciation. One statement the Guild master said left the Druid slightly confused though.

"Here is where you enter the name of the Adventurer Party.  Ooo... True Grade," she realised.  "I see you've become familiar with one of the more famous Party Names of this era." She raised her eyebrows as she nosily inquired.  "Friends in high places?  Or just a fan?"
Lucy Bottrill


“A friend,” the man simply responded, “is he really that famous?” Glee certainly didn't come off that way, though maybe that explained the crush Fiona had on him. 

After listening to Lucy's answer and thanking her again before she left, Adam wrote his letter to his apparently famous friend.

-----

Hello Glee!

First, if this message is garbled or incomplete, it's the Witch Queen. It's far too much to explain here, though I'd be glad to do so the next time we meet. Suffice it to say, it happened once, so I'm writing all this in case it happens again. Hopefully not though!

That being said, I hope all is well with you. I wanted to thank you for your help with improving my casting, and for introducing me to Gilligan. He did teach me Shapeshifting like you said, which was useful during my last battle against a powerful water ninja. Druid magic is much more versatile than I could have imagined, and I feel my proficiency in it has grown (pun not intended) since our last meeting.


Adam thought for a second, then continued writing. It wasn't the purpose of the letter, but this could end up making a difference in something very important.

In much more unfortunate news, Valheim is currently under siege. I have been told by a reliable source that in nine days, the Witch Queen's forces will start their attack when the city's shields are worn out. If you happen to be nearby or know anyone who is, any help with the defense is appreciated. If not, I understand completely. In either case, I will do my best to defend this place and the people in it.

Come to think of it, are you from Valheim? One of my friends and teammates, our Paladin, is. He's a good guy. Everyone in Second Chance is, really. 

Anyway, I'll stop here. Thanks again for the help, and I wish you all the best.

Sincerely,

Adam Phillips


After he finished typing, the fisherman sent his letter. Glad to have done so, the fisherman left the Guildhouse, ready for whatever happened next.
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Hidden 17 days ago Post by Saiyan
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When James was giving his feelings on his own predicament; the mess of conflict in his mind being present but not trumping his adoration of the group - Zell felt confident that the cleric was being honest and so he gave a satisfactory nod.

"But nevermind that, my issues are mostly handled, yours are not"

"True," Zell replied. "So long as you know that I'm here if you need anything. But with that out of the way... yeah... I'm completely fucked, ell-oh-ell."

Zell couldn't help but snicker. His only course for feeling better about the situation was to make light of it all.

"That sword is an insidious thing and as you have volunteered to carry the curse even throwing it away will just have it find its way back towards you"

"Jeez," Zell remarked. "Seems as though I've found meself in the middle of a horror movie." He shook his head regretfully. If only he'd known what he was getting into. "Fuck."

"It will always feel like you are in control, it won't change your personality, instead, it will exaggerate your bad traits, the worst part is that in the unlikely event that you notice it happening that 'you' will likely decide they are the better version of 'yourself', even if everyone else tells you the contrary"

"Yeah, that makes sense." When James got up, Zell delayed in mirroring him, staring into the water thoughtfully. "I can feel Him searching around my mind. Probing for weaknesses. Prodding soft spots for a reaction. I can stave Him for off for now, He's not exactly subtle. But I can see a future where this constant attack eventually takes it's toll - breaks me down... maybe."

"However!" Zell was taken aback by the sudden change in volume, his brow furrowing and a smile spreading across his face. Bruh. Zell looked around to make sure no one was around, then looked back up to his crazy-ass friend who was reeling off a solution packaged in what sounded like he'd morphed into some fundamentalist christian preacher or something. It was entertaining, in all honesty - Zell stretched his legs out and leaned back onto a hand in the grass, itching the back of his head nervously, but overall enjoying the show. And, of course, listening to the important part; the words that were contained within James' delivery. "Give me 3 days and I will have the ritual ready but Zell, for it to work the affected must be willing to face separation, unless you truly desire getting rid of it it won't work, so what do you say Zell Brooks? Are you willing to be healed?"

"Alright, enough you barmy twat," Zell couldn't take anymore and was laughing loudly. He affected the voice a stereo-typical member of a preacher's flock, his effort to do a southern-state American accent was awful. "Yays, oh ministaw James, shed yo light on me, oh great one. Heal meh."

He got up to his feet to meet James at something closer to eye level, a grin on his face. "Three days, huh? Alright then. I can wait until then, no problem." He yawned and stretched, accompanied by his usual ridiculously loud strain. "Oh, what a weight off my shoulders. Thanks bro. You have no idea how much I appreciate this. Honest."

With everything settled, Zell suggested going for a quick beer at The Thieves Guild. "Just fucking one or two, this time. I'm not up for going on another binge-crawl that leads to jail."

It was a wonderful release of tension to get all these problems into the open. To know that James hadn't broken his own brain by what he did to Zigmund. And having gotten his worries about Baphomet off his chest, not to mention get a possible solution from his friend. And it was fucking lovely to have an ice-cold beer in the rowdy atmosphere of the Thieves' Guild.

Zell and James bumped into Devon, the face-tatted jack of all criminal trades. The Englishman got a round of drinks in for the lads and Devon gave news about how Valhiem's underworld was responding to the siege. Zell kept the Citadel business out of conversation but did end up loudly drawing in a small crowd as he told the tale of Second Chance clashing with 'The Witch Queen's most infamous assassin,' Zigmund the Metal Ninja. The embellishment of Zigmund's standing within the enemy ranks was probably the only thing that was questionable in Zell's telling of the story - there was no need to exagerrate anything else about the battle, it was fantastical enough. And once the swordsman backtracked to tie the whole thing in with the awesome clash with Aurok the Maneater (a tale that had spread around Valhiem and been confirmed by other sources) the crowd of locals, thugs and ne'er-do-wells were fully invested, firing comments throughout. Zell ended up stood on a chair, handling the crowd's heckling with witty comembacks and jokes, and also dragged James into the show as much as the Mexicano would allow.

One or two drinks turned into a few more, but fortunately both James and Zell were cognizant of not getting too wasted, so they knew to pace themselves and also when to stop. It was a fun evening. Much-needed after the last couple of stressful days.
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Hidden 15 days ago 9 days ago Post by Loksfjoer
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Fenna listened to what the flustered MacKensie shared with her as she laid out all her thoughts and fears. While Fenna couldn’t tell her what to do as that was simply not her place, there were a few insights she shared.

“Normal?” Fenna repeated when MacKensie asked if any of it was normal. “You’re not in a normal situation. People who go through hardship together form a bond, and I can see the appeal in both men. They have their strong suits, each in their own way. So I understand your conundrum and the frustration that comes with it." This place had done a good job at keeping the war far away, and the privacy of this space made it easy to talk about personal things. "That being said," she continued, "your feelings are understandable. Sometimes someone can like two people. Take my sister, she had a crush on someone while being in a relationship and thought a lot about staying or leaving and the pros and cons. In the end she decided to stay with her boyfriend and to my knowledge she never cheated on him, but she had doubts about who would be best for her.”

When asked about her husband and how she had realised he was the one, she thought back to the beginning of her relationship with him. She had already mentioned where she met him – a concert of a band they both liked – but not why she chose him. “He wasn’t my first love,” Fenna said. “Some people have love at first sight and that is great, but my love at first sight didn’t turn into something lasting, he was cute, smart and politically we aligned. He was a good catch, so to speak, and I did enjoy spending time with him, but he had his hobbies and I had mine. When I met my husband. It just… clicked, you know. We shared interests and a sense of humour, and his eyes lit up in a certain way…” Fenna smiled when she thought about those eyes. “What makes someone the one is different for everyone, we all look for different things in our partners. For me, it was the things we could do together and the things we could laugh about.”

In the end, the hour went by fast and when left the hotspring she felt relaxed and ready to take on the world. It was time to get dressed again. “I know I already said this, but thanks for this. I needed it. And you’re always welcome to talk about anything that is troubling you, okay?”
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Hidden 15 days ago Post by Zool
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It felt very validating to hear Fenna's thoughts on the matter. To know that she wasn't alone or abnormal, to hear that she was not some horrible harlot for having these feelings... it was not a remedy for her problems or that knot in her stomach, but it did make everything feel a little less daunting, a little less like the end of the world.

MacKensie absently stared at her wiggling toes from the foot she had halfway protruding from the misty water, all the while considering Fenna's sister and the information she'd been given about her and projecting some of her own emotions onto her good friend's sister, trying to relate to how the woman might have felt. The uncertainty. The guilt. The bravery to make her decision and move forward through life and accept whatever came next.

Her wandering mind came back to the present moment to listen to Fenna talking about her own experience in romance, the older woman briefly touching on her first love before dreamily recounting anecdotes about her husband. MacKensie was captivated, enjoying this side of Fenna that she'd never seen before. What a difference some relaxation, pampering and privacy could make.

“What makes someone the one is different for everyone, we all look for different things in our partners." MacKensie nodded her understanding and admitted to herself that it was not for Fenna to give her some magical golden answer to her conundrum. She would have to decide what was important to herself and find her own answer from there. "For me, it was the things we could do together and the things we could laugh about.”

"I see," MacKensie acknowledged. Again she considered moments she'd had with Adam and Zell. Both privately and amongst the group. Ones that included interaction with her and ones where she was simply on the edge observing them. After a moment of silence she continued to Fenna. "I am grateful for your insights, Fenna. I believe you have helped me, at least, to get a handle on how to approach this situation." Then she smiled. "I am so glad to have another woman on the team to confide in. You are a rock for me, ma Soeur."

When their time was up, MacKensie begrudingly left the hotspring to go and get dressed. If only we could have booked another hour... or six, she thought bittersweetly.

The establishment-provided hairpins meant that she'd not need dry her hair, so it was simply a matter of a quick comb through and replacement of her headband. After giving herself a look in the mirror, she left the changing rooms.

"All set?" she asked the other Ranger.

“I know I already said this, but thanks for this. I needed it." MacKensie gave Fenna a hug and replied that it was her pleasure. "And you’re always welcome to talk about anything that is troubling you, okay?”

Releasing the other woman, MacKensie nodded gratefully. "Thank you. The same goes for you, from me. I will likely take you up on that offer, with the amount of troubles this world throws at me."

With a chuckle, the two women exited the area, thanked the attendants for their service and found their way back to the surface and the outside, met with a darkened sky. The afternoon had passed them by, but it was the best afternoon MacKensie had enjoyed since landing in Hommas and climbing out of the coffin. In fact, it may have been the best afternoon MacKensie had enjoyed for a long time, going back even further than that.

To the northeast, the fire in the sky was always that constant reminder of the siege, but it was not enough to remove all the good feeling from the Spa. "Shall we go back to The Mended Drum and see what Frederick is cooking for dinner, or if there was somewhere you wanted to go first, I would gladly tag along."
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Hidden 13 days ago Post by Teyao
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...Okay he might have exaggerated the never part of never again BUT in his defense, him drinking this refreshingly cold extra-large beer was more for Zell's sake than his own.

Trust.

Of course, then the idiot decided that a retelling of that moment was needed and decided he had to participate as well. His ears were burning and it wasn't the alcohol, he once again thanked the fact that his fit had a hood integrated or else the stares would have killed him. Were his body not too tired to attack he would have slammed his anchor into the idiot, perhaps going drinking with this guy was a bad luck spell or something.

After a couple hours of playing a somewhat modified retelling of the history (Funnily he found himself switching between the roles of James and Zigmund when Zell had to explain something), he finally was allowed to move on. A slight buzz accompanied every step he took but he was not totally wasted. The last thing he wanted was to show up drunk to the next meeting in his itinerary.

Finally after what he felt was an eternity he stood in front of an unadorned door, according to his source (Freddo) this was the room Mac was staying in. Hestiantily he gave it a few nocks.

"Hey Mac, you there!"

He waited a few seconds before releasing a sigh, there was no sound coming from within so most likely she had yet to return. James wanted to take it as an excuse to delay this until tomorrow but Zifmund dug his feet in, this was their mess and he had to clean it up. With scalding reasoning he burned his soul he pressed his back against the wall beside the door, hoping against hope that she decided to spend the night elsewhere.

It took less time than he wished for her to arrive.

"Hey Mac, do you mind if we talk?"
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Hidden 12 days ago Post by Jay009
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Barracker had explained his matter of urgency about the loss of his tower shield from the previous mission, just gone. Eric and Warren had heard him out and procured him a tower shield from Paladin’s Respite armoury. It was a good fit and the exact size he was used to, he had given his thanks.

Barracker rolled his shoulder with his shield arm to acclimatize to the weight. The Burns brothers watched him closely and mentioned it took the two of them to carry the shield out. “Inquisitor Franklin, won’t be too happy with us. If he knows we helped you, but enough of that, come,” Eric waved Barracker to follow.

Warren made clear his feelings on the current truce between them. “Listen, we’re putting this aside for Valhiem’s sake and that’s it,” he said with a sternness in his voice.

“Understood. Our mentor Odis would be proud to see that we have done that today.” Barracker replied.

Eric nudged his brother, and whispered enough said, before adding, “Oh that old turtle, wise, and just as grumpy. Not afraid to tell you when you’ve done something wrong.”

“I think he actually enjoyed it,” Barracker joked fondly. The three men bonded over common ground of being students to apprenticeship under one of the best Paladins ever to grace Valhiem.

Warren chimed in, “He was hard nosed, harsh toned but his heart was for the people. It's a damn shame that he fell to Cerberus.”

Barracker clenched his fist, “On my honour as a Paladin, before I meet Hades, I will see that beast meets Hell.”

Eric hissed a sceptical breath, “That’s a mighty big pledge. That monstrous canine is of a legendary power. Some suspect that it is a creature that survived from the Mythic Age.”

They got some good training in, until dark. Eric, with the blessing of the crystal, wanted to take on Barracker in a duel.

In the later hours of the evening, Barracker bid the two farwell and made his way to the top of the wall. There was a mixed reaction, once at the top, he could see from the watchmen’s faces, their body language and the words they spoke. The psyche here was low and was on edge with the pressing battle on their doorstep. A rare handful of the soldiers were calm to the eye and stood unflinching in the way of the catapult bombs crashing down, above their heads. Some were sitting inside the confines of the towers, some were muttering prayers. Some had completely broken, their eyes showing visible signs of interacting with the new faces popping in or out of the room. Barracker stood on the wall staring into the distance.

What will the outcome of Valhiem be? Evelyne, was it a mistake to leave it like this between us?
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James was thick-skinned enough to not make the walk back to The Mended Drum awkward. Both he and Zell even cracked a little banter along the way. But in the back of Zell's mind, something resembling a conscience - weak as it was - was niggling at him. It had all started, at The Thieves Guild, when the beer got flowing and Zell decided that he wanted all the boisterious and dodgy energy in the room. Typical Zell fucking Brooks. And this time, it was at the express expense of his best friend. No 'Out' for the polarizing rogue, this time. No, "Oh shit, I wasn't thinking," or no, "Silly me, I forgot about that."

Nope.

He'd just been told by James, some ninety minutes beforehand, that the cleric was dealing with a complete absorption of the memories, emotions and personality of their enemy, Zigmund Mugba-Zarak. And he decided to celebrate in front of a bunch of strangers, the death of said enemy. And he'd realised too, what he was doing, less than two minutes into his performance, when trying to drag James into it - he realised that he was putting his best friend in the most awkward emotional position in the world. But Zell had let the atmosphere and attention drown out respect and consideration for his comrade - the man who had just pledged to help him deal with Baphomet, and to keep his secret. To have his back, the way a friend should - and Zell being Zell, carried on, full steam ahead.

First MacKensie. Shit, at least regarding her gripes with him, he could say that it didn't even occur to him, in the moment, the ramifications, or that anything bad would come of it. Now it was James feeling the burn of Zell simply not giving two fucks about anyone but himself.

Niggling niggling, but hell, the Englishman wouldn't let it show. The buzzed bants continued until they were back in the inn they called home.

"One more?" Zell asked, before he and James parted ways. "Alright, bruv, catch ye later." He nodded to Frederick as he took a stool, pausing before his bum hit the seat to get back up and declare, "We're gearing up to win a battle and show the Witch Queen what's what! Lift your heads and throw your fears in the gutter. Round for the house on me! Give us a war song, lads."

There was barely a reaction, but the musicians did play something different. Zell didn't know if it was a war song or not. He didn't care. None of his bravado gave him any company... he was left alone with that crippled little thing people called a conscience. Well, there was at least one person he could bring in for company and that was the man who was collecting a gold piece off of him. He sipped half of his beer before he said anything.

"I'm a piece of shit, Fred," he started. Fred was taken a little by surprise, but took it in stride and started buffing down the bar near Zell with the towel that'd been over his shoulder.

"You seem an alright lad to me, Zell."

"You know what I did in my last life? Under the guise of a student, I filled the academy campus with contraband." Fred raised his eyebrows. "Anyone who tried to do even a fraction of the same thing, I set my dogs on them. Anyone who failed to pay me got similar treatment. Very persuasive. And of course, I was insulated. Hands clean. Popular all around the campus. Captain of the football team. I used everyone close to me - people I called friends." Zell took another swig. Fred was unreadable. "I died in a traffic accident before I landed in this world. You could call it a coincidence, but I'm starting to think that fate was just excising a cancerous fuck out of the universe."

Everyone in Second Chance he considered a friend. But James and MacKensie were closer than that. And here he was in a second life, with a 'second chance' doing the same old selfish shit that Zell Brooks was known for.

"Just today, I considered trying to set up a contraband distribution network in this world." He caught Fred's cautionary look and waved it off. "Don't worry, I'm not gonna. But it's like... just the thought, ye know... shows that I've not changed at all. I'm supposed to have a fresh slate. New life. Source Crystal. A Hero." It is not cringey... ...It noble and dignified. Zell shrugged. "How can I be a hero if I'm about as far from noble and dignified as the fucking cretins outside the city walls, right now."

While Fred served customers, Zell moped in his own world. Fred did come back to him though. "Listen lad, you're not so far gone that you can be compared to the evil out there. And if you can recognise what's wrong, then you've taken the first step. You can save yourself. I've heard worser crimes from men sat in that stool there than you've spoken tonight. And I keep it to myself because it's none of my business. But trust me, you're a big, strong lad, with a big strong backbone... use it. Instead of crying like a little girl." Zell nodded as he looked at the barman who nodded back and held his gaze. "Yeah?"

"Yeah," Zell agreed.

"Your friends... you care about em?" Zell nodded. "Well, that's not enough. I hate to say it, but you have to want to change... for you."

Zell thought about it. Did he want to change? He wanted his friendships. He wanted to help protect this world that he now had to live in. But did that mean he wanted to change for his own sake?

...

Zell found himself, quite expectedly, stood in a familiar void of impenetrable and unending darkness.

"Ugh... I'm not in the mood for this," he groaned, letting himself fall backward onto his back. But he did not hit any kind of floor. In fact, the entire void seemed to rotate around him so, while he did fall backwards, he ended up still standing. Just now with an additional wave of motion sickness.

"Seems as though you need me now, more than ever." That voice was like metal scraping along metal inside his head whilst simultaneously echoing throughout the void.

"How so?" Zell asked, about as unenthusiastically as humanly possible.

"You took his sword. You took his pride. You took his life." Zell knew where this was going and he didn't like it. "And now he is closer to you than ever before. What would you do, if you were in Zigmund's position?"

Zell tiredly rubbed his eyes. This was a proposition he did not even want to consider.

Baphomet chuckled. "Oh, what interesting tales you mortals weave." His chuckling turned to outright laughter. "He will try to take his revenge. One day from now or one year. And you will not be ready, without me."
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Hidden 10 days ago Post by Zool
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At some point during their conversation, walking the streets of Valhiem, the topic of money and budgetary constraints came up, prompting MacKensie to come to a quick conclusion that she should probably spend some of her money on something that would be useful for the impending assault on the city. "Hmmm... Fenna, might I trouble you to prepare some more enchanted bolts for me? You said that you could make both fire and ice bolts for my crossbow. I still have the ten ice bolts you enchanted for me, but perhaps if I had some ammunition of both elements, I might be more effective in combat." Whatever Fenna's answer, there was a more pressing concern and that was the fact that her crossbow was not powerful enough to harm the larger and tougher foes they were starting to come across. She needed something that hit harder, no matter what ammunition she was firing. "I have just realised that I must double-back to the Bazaar. I will catch up with you later."

She gave Fenna a quick hug and air-kiss before saying her goodbye and turning back toward the market. She should really have thought of this earlier and Fenna could have just come with her - a short stop on the way back the Mended Drum - but now her change of course would mean that getting some dinner would be unnecessarily delayed, so she would not put upon the Ranger to join her.

At the Bazaar, she wasted her time with a slew of 2nd-rate shops and stalls, selling little in the way of enticing weaponry. After a couple of hours browsing, she happened upon Gildor Hammerfist's Shop. Now this looked like the place she ought to be. The shop was well-stocked, wares presented beautifully, prices ranging from affordable to sky-high and a shopkeeper who was in the middle of performing some kind of magical process that filled the very air inside the shop with the power of Source.

Gildor noticed and briefly acknowledged her but MacKensie stood patiently and politely until he'd put down his tools and turned to face her properly. "Greetings."

"And a Good Evening to you too, sir. I am a Ranger, looking to upgrade my current weapon in preparation for the upcoming battle. I was hoping to get some advice and prices on one-handed crossbows," she explained. "I have some questions. Namely; is there a way to measure the umm... caliber... or perhaps I should say; the general power and velocity of the crossbow string itself? I need something that packs a bigger punch than this."

She took out her current weapon from her bag and, with an idea of how much money she had left, the two talked business...

She didn't get back to the Mended Drum until late. Gildor had left her a lot to think about and she would make a decision tomorrow. So engrossed in her decision-making process was she, that she completely forgot about dinner and walked straight through the taproom of the Mended Drum without even noticing anyone. It was a big financial decision. As she went up the stairs, she would lament her lack of fiscal responsibility - shopping and spending money being one of her weaknesses, for sure, but what was done was done.

"James," she noticed as she turned the corner at the top of the stairs. Her friend was stood by the door of her room, looking rather apprehensive. "What's wrong?"

"Hey Mac, do you mind if we talk?"

How could she forget? She was mad at him. After spending the afternoon in the bliss of the Mountain Spa, she'd completely put her anger behind her, regarding the two terrorists that had almost sullied her reputation with The Adventurer's Guild. "Of course," she answered. "Co-" She froze in terror as she realised she was just about to invite him into her room to talk, but with all that was going on in her head, with Adam and Zell, she felt it quite possibly the worst idea in the world to have any man in her room. "Let us, ahh," she stalled, her hand recoiling from the doorknob. "Let us go sit at the windowsill on the top floor. I think that will be where we have less chance of being disturbed."

She suspected he was here to apologise. And she would forgive him, of course. They were friends. Close friends, who'd fought unimaginable dangers together and showed trust and care, each in their own way, to a level of family. In some ways they were more than family - uniquely bonded like no one else in this world or the last. They were willing to die for eachother. Kill for eachother. And take on wave upon wave of whatever danger this world could throw at them, and stand shoulder-to-shoulder to meet it.

How could she not forgive the man who'd led them with such care and calculation, for a silly mistake?

But, she would let him say his piece first and then respond.
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Hidden 10 days ago Post by Zapdos
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The only thing Adam had thought to do with his day was send the letter, really. It wasn't even a long process like he suspected it could be. So what else to do? He didn't think he needed any supplies. There was something he wanted to ask a certain someone, but he didn't think he had the nerve yet. Absent-mindedly, the Druid sat down against a tree, taking in the view of the people walking down an ordinary Valheim street. At least he had managed to thank his friend who had taught him things and recommended some-

Some books!

Adam took out one of them and went to the index. He knew what sort of plant he wanted to learn about, and would search his little library until he found it. Then, well…then it'd be time to start casting.
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Hidden 9 days ago 9 days ago Post by Loksfjoer
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After leaving the dressing room with MacKensie Fenna noticed some cloaked figures standing together, but when they saw them they turned around. She had seen them before. When going from the hotspring to changing room there had been several connected corridors, several of which they had visited that day. Some had been labelled as "Staff Only", and from one of those she had seen these robed figures coming up the stairs. They had waited until MacKensie and Fenna had passed and for a moment she had made eye contact with one of them. It had lasted only a moment, in which she had noticed strange symbols on the man's forehead. It hadn't been important enough to bring up with MacKensie at that time.

Again she thought about the symbols as she walked towards the exit with MacKensie, they were familiar. Suddenly she remembered: the Magi-tech computers. That's where she had seen them, on the loading screen.

When MacKensie asked if they would go back to the Mended Drum, Fenna agreed. The day was almost over, it was a good moment to return to the inn.
As they walked and talked about budgets, Fenna explained about the boots she had ordered. Then the question about the bolts came.
"Of course, I can make you some fire bolts this evening," she promised and accepted the bolts MacKensie offered.

As MacKensie left to go to the Bazaar, Fenna paused to think about what she would now. Straight to the inn? Fenna decided to go to the park first, where she had left Sil. Maybe the falcon would still be there. In the fading light, she entered the park and Sil flew down from one of the trees. "I'm happy to see you too," she said, smiling at the bird. "I'm going back to the inn."
Sil spread her wings and flew up, going in the direction of the inn.

When Fenna arrived, Sil was sitting on the roof. She ordered a simple meal, even though the higher-priced meals were suggested to her. Of course they'd try to make the most of adventurers and wanted them to spend their money here, but Fenna stayed true to her budget. Eating was a necessity, but that didn't mean she had to spend a lot of money on it. In the end, if her stomach was full it was good enough.
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Hidden 8 days ago Post by xenon
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Early in the morning, official messengers were deployed from the Citadel all over Valhiem to get instructions to the leaders of the 6 Adventurer Parties that were located in various places.

The message was simple:

-All Druid Class Adventurers and Earth Domain magic users are to make their way to Golden Tree Park and report to Wartime Industrial Officials there.

-All magic users of other Domain’s are to make their way to The Academy and report to the first available Academy Official.

-All those of every Class not included above are to report to Valhiem’s Military Centre.


Aside from this, there was a special message for James Sirius:

-Clarissa Shields has requested your presence at The Academy.

________________________________________________________________________________________________


By around 10am, all members of the 6 Adventurer Parties in Valhiem were gathered in their designated locations...



Michael Fern was in charge of the Military Industrial Branch of the siege. He was coordinating all of the teams for the purposes of creating scaffolding, trebuchets, city-street blockades, gate reinforcements and other things.

Druids, both non-Adventurers and those coming from the Adventurer Parties, were organized to grow Oak Trees. Other workers would gather acorns for further planting. Lumberjacks were on hand to fell the trees.

On site were machine operators to create workable lumber from the trees and transports were in place to get the lumber to industry.

Michael Fern was there to greet the summoned Druid Adventurers and briefed on their task to join in the process.

“This work will run all the way up to the day of the assault,” Michael explained. “Everyone here is a volunteer, working together for our survival. But that does not mean that you must commit all of your waking hours. We understand that your magical reserves will limit your contribution in lumber creation and you must have your rest, mental and physical. As adventurers, you are not obligated to commit any of your time here. But Valhiem thanks you for anything you can contribute.



James would be escorted to the lab where Clarissa and her team were trying to work with the Mysterious Cube that Second Chance had first delivered to Valhiem, by request of Commander Vadim of the village of Hommas. After the two were introduced by the escort, Clarissa would get straight to the point.

“I’ve asked for you on the recommendation from trusted sources that you are uniquely intelligent and gifted.” She gestured to the cube that was being held in magical stasis amidst different kinds of machinery and computers. “This is technology beyond Mytheria. And you being from beyond Mytheria, puts you in a unique position to help us by providing an intellectual perspective that none of us have.”



Once all of the Adventurers were gathered at the Military Centre, Vice Commander Jeremiah came to meet them and thanked them for their presence.

“When the time for battle comes, the defense will be coordinated from Citadel Mountain by Commander Thorn using Voice Amplification to distribute overarching commands throughout our three sections; The East Flank, Centre and West Flank. Each section will be have some autonomous control by a General, who will interpret the overarching commands in context of their situation.”

He led them out onto the massive yard where soldiers were marching, going through disciplinary exercises and training. However, there were 2000 soldiers stood to attention in blocks of 100 each, waiting on Vice Commander Jeremiah and the Adventurers.

“To spread the power of our Source Crystal Users, each of you will Captain 100 men. It will be for you to fight with them, lead them and help reiterate instructions from the Chain of Command.”

The entire city garrison of 4000 men were divided into these blocks but the other half of the army had been given Captains already. Each block was not it’s own separate entity, nonetheless it was given a flag and a name for the purposes of communication.

The Vice Commander would introduce each Adventurer to a block, who would salute their new Captain. Each block would be briefed; firstly on the specific position in the city streets to gather and form up upon hearing the sounding of the alarm. Each block would be given their position amongst the East Flank, Centre and West Flank. Maps for the city were handed out, each marked with chokepoints, wall-access points and other pertinent information.

Each Captain would be given full discretion to train, prepare or address their block however they wanted. Melee and Ranged status was given to all blocks, requiring all soldiers to hold appropriate weapons for the possible range of instructions that came from the Chain of Command.
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Hidden 7 days ago Post by Teyao
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Ah shit she was mad.

Well, she didn't sound angry but he had caught the brief annoyance in her eyes and very small frown, Mac was certainly more the most open and expressive of them so it was pretty evident what she was feeling unless she made an effort to hide it.

"Of course," she answered. "Co-" She froze in terror as she realised she was just about to invite him into her room to talk, but with all that was going on in her head, with Adam and Zell, she felt it quite possibly the worst idea in the world to have any man in her room. "Let us, ahh," she stalled, her hand recoiling from the doorknob. "Let us go sit at the windowsill on the top floor. I think that will be where we have less chance of being disturbed."
Mac

He lifted an eyebrow before gesturing for her to lead the way, her caution was cute but he was not interested in diving into the mess that was her love life, uh, maybe thinking about it Fenna was his favorite party member, she was the only one who had her shit together.

Eventually, they were sitting on the windowsill in silence.

She seemed content on letting him speak first which was something he was not looking forward to but eventually, the silence became so unbearable that he ended up spilling the beans. Letting out a big breath he prepared.

"Look Mac, I ain't gonna beat around the bush, the night before we left for the temple me and Zell got sloshed at a tavern and then got into mischief, but I forgot I had the blessing with your appearance active. I meant to clear the misunderstanding but, well, everything else happened and we got busy" A hand went to rub the back of his neck "What I am trying to say is... sorry Mac, I fucked up and forgot to warn you"

He wanted to keep apologizing, to ask how he could make amends but... but first he had to hear a response. Didn't make sense to apologize and then not let the other person talk.




The next morning started normal -or as normal as it could be with everything that was happening, it was pleasant enough, with a fulfilling breakfast and friendly faces. Then the official messenger arrived, the message itself was brief but it still threw a wrench into his plans. No matter, the first day was just to coordinate and inform so he could get everything moving.

But first he had to notify his party members of the new orders.
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Hidden 4 days ago Post by Saiyan
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Zell stayed off Citadel Hill this morning. He wasn't interested in making himself a nuisance for the guards.

This early morning exercise was a test of the limits of his Ascended strength. The results were extraordinary. One-armed pull-ups - Suprisingly doable. Handstand press-ups - Relatively easy. Upside-down hanging sit ups - No problem.

He needed to find a gym, at some point - Lift some real weight. This power was insane. Question was, was it all just Ascension? Or was it Baphomet?

He got back to the Mended Drum at around 7am, no usual dumb grin for his friends. Just a neutral 'Alright mate' for any greeting. A straight-face. A quiet demeanor. He'd been on auto-pilot since he awoke, his thoughts pulled all over the place... none of them in a happy or positive direction. His shower was five times longer than usual, causing Frederick to mistime the Englishman's breakfast (Not the innkeeper's fault, of course, Zell was usual up, in, out and downstairs in less than fifteen minutes.) He added a little to the conversation among his friends at breakfast, gave eye contact and showed a base-level attentiveness, but he definitely lacked the jovial and confident present-mindedness he normally had. He wasn't moody. He was just 'elsewhere' in his head and not doing the best job at hiding it. And wow; he wasn't even first to finish his food!

The messenger almost came and went without his notice. He just about saw James giving a nod to the goverment official before the man from The Citadel departed. Second Chance's leader relayed the message to the gang - a summons for each of them. Seems as though it was time to get the offical promotion to Captain of the Garrison. Although Adam had been given a seperate summons to Golden Tree Park, and James to the Citadel. Zell could guess why for Adam, that one was obvious, but James' individual instruction was interesting.

"I'll go get my gear on," Zell told Fenna and MacKensie, who'd also been summoned to the Military Centre. "Back in a sec."

...

On the walk there, he had to admit that he was relieved to be away from James. How ridiculous was that?! Baphomet had really fucked up his head with this bullshit narrative that Zigmund was was biding his time, within James, to make a move for revenge. Zell knew, truly, it was all BS, but he couldn't stop thinking about it... about that 1% chance that Tin Can had the actual power to override his best friend. Still... bullshit, for sure. What was more substantive was that he owed James an apology for the performance at the Thieves Guild, but Zell being Zell (foreign to the uncomfortable feeling of remorse) and James being James (pretty laidback and cool enough to not make a big deal about it, but smart enough to know that Zell had done him wrong, however big or small that 'wrong' was,) Zell had lacked the courage and decency to take the initiative and just say something to his best friend.

Speaking of apologies; the woman walking beside him kinda deserved one too. It was actually James who'd done all that crazy shit, that night, while looking like MacKensie, so from one perspective, one could say the cleric was the one who had done wrong. But then there was another perspective and that was; James was drunk and probably forgot who he looked like. Zell was the one who could clearly see the disguise and was, all night, in a position to remind his friend of this fact and pump the brakes on the increasingly wild night. So all of this wasn't just on James. Zell was just as culpable.

And if Zell wasn't man enough to take accountability for his actions, even with his close friends, how could he possibly take steps towards being the hero that Mytheria needed, and not just some fool with a Source Crystal's worth of power?

"Makes sense that they'd spread us out as Captain's of soldiers, rather than let us fight as a party," he said, at one point, trying to rid himself of the air of 'mood and brood.' He glanced sidelong at his friends as he walked in step with them. "The difference in power between even a well-trained soldier and a silver tier adventurer must be huge. Remember those ambushers outside the temple. They lost their element of suprise and we wiped the floor with them in seconds, without a scratch." They turned a street corner, the oppressive ambience of a city unsure of it's survival past next week... it was palpable. Citizens eyed them overly long as they passed. Not out of malice - out of hope. Out of desperation. "We'll be more useful to the defence, this way. And I know that we have the ability to lead. Each of us can do this job. I believe in you both."

Though he was talking for the sake of talking, just to halt his intrusive thoughts, he was not talking crap. He truly believed in them. Fenna was a natural when it came to making tough decisions with clarity under stress. MacKensie was a bright light of righteousness and will power. They could lead, for sure.

As for himself, Zell had no qualms or doubts about being able to lead. For Zell, the questions were not ones of capability - what he doubted was his worthiness.
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Hidden 4 days ago 4 days ago Post by Loksfjoer
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During breakfast, Fenna thought back to the wonderful time at the spa and the hooded figures she had seen. What was located below the spa? It was something she was curious about, but it didn't seem relevant to bring up. It was a mild curiosity that kept her thoughts from wandering too far, like back to earth.

A messenger came in and James had things to say. Today was a big day. Again she was very thankful for MacKensie dragging her to the spa. It didn't sound like they would have a lot of time for such things today.

She nodded and smiled when Zell went to grab his gear after they were being summoned. While she was already dressed in her armour, she did need to get her spear. When her friends were ready as well, they set out to the Military Centre. For a while they were all silent, until Zell began talking about how it made sense they were split up and expressing how much faith he had in them.
"We can do this," Fenna said, although she wasn't fully convinced herself. She had never seen herself in a leadership position before, and now she was supposed to lead soldiers into a war. Although she had successfully organised family vacations, that had to count for something.

Fenna went with the others to the Military Centre where she listened to what Vice Commander Jeremiah had to say. She was introduced to her block and saluted back when the hundred soldiers saluted her. Wasn't that what the military did? Her only experience was watching war movies on TV and she had spent many hours watching Dad's Army. It would be fine.
"Good morning, I'm Fenna, a Ranger of Second Chance." She noticed the name was recognised by several soldiers and thankfully in a good way. "And I have been appointed as your Captain." She took in the white flag with two black triangles that met in the middle. "Do we have a name appointed to us?"
"Not yet ma'am," the soldier holding the flag pole replied.
"Right." She was about to call Sil, but the falcon came down already and landed on her extended arm. "Then we'll be the Falcons. Any objections?" There were none. "That's settled then."

Fenna relayed the information she had received about where her block had to gather when the alarm sounded and what their position would be. "I know the war seems big, so let's just focus on what we can do. If we work together and do our part in our section of the army, we will succeed. Use the time we have left to train." She had no idea if she was doing a good job as captain, but at least the soldiers listened to what she had to say. There were still some things she had to figure out, but at least the day had only just begun."Next I want you all to introduce yourself. One by one give me your name and years of experience or hours trained with melee and ranged weapons. Front row far left begins."

It would give her some time to decide what to do next with these people she had to command. There was no way she'd remember all 100 names, but she'd try to remember as many as she could. Some of soldiers had barely any practice with weapons, but she could delegate the training to those with experience. It didn't surprise Fenna that not all soldiers were trained professionals, a good portion would be citizens who had taken up arms or were given arms to defend the city.
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