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I studied Bio in high school once.

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Okay no worries, you're welcome back anytime
For newcomers:

We have finished colab posts with the exception of three of us. The rest of us will be moving back to singular posts
Dirty Bastard

@JerkChicken, @13org, @fetzen

This was it, just when he expected it would happen. The man sneezed and wrinkled his nose as the scent of pollen filled his lungs. He could feel the power that was coursing through him fizzle and leave him, like a drink that's gone flat. Truthfully while he expected to be hit by the deterrent as he reached Tex, he wasn't expecting Tex the one to be hit for the sake of dispersing the pollen. Of course, even if he was expecting it, there was still the issue if he could manage getting through this fight without his powers. At least Tex was out of the picture. The woman managed to trip him up successfully. He scarcely had time to do anything else but use his staff as balancing aid. Using the flexibility of the bamboo, he used it to spring back rather the stumble. Much to his annoyance Smit summoned yet another cultist. He narrowly avoided getting clocked by the cudgel.

It was annoying, he had two people with equal reach that were going to poke at him while he also was trying to take care of the cudgel wielder from getting close. He rushed down the cudgel user with his staff as he kept striking the limb which held the cudgel. Eventually his arm was beginning to turn into limp spaghetti which allowed him to acquaint his staff to the man's face. His staff deflected the knife, which in turn was thrown at the spear user. He methodically attacked her as they were equal in reach. The man was focused on doing strikes on her limbs. The legs to if not trip her, than slow and make her movements wobbly from fatiguing them. Same logic went to her arms which he focused on more. It seemed as if he was attempting to disarm her, which was true. He wanted to temporarily take her staff whose solid oak material would be useful for what he had in mind.

The man with the cudgel got smacked right in the nose. He collapsed on his back, grabbing a broken nose that bled freely. The next to go down was the spearman going backing up the woman with the quarterstaff. Keln was his name.

Smit watched as the knife bedded itself in Keln’s neck. He fell to his knees, grasping desperately at his neck. He pulled out the knife. It was a useless attempt to save himself. His death came soon after.

Keln took his last breath. He had been a good lad. Always followed instructions and attentive to orders. Smit had high hopes for that one. Now those hopes were gone.

The man with the cudgel stood back up, his balance unsteady. Meanwhile, the woman with the quarterstaff was struggling knock the man’s strikes away from her feet. Fortunately she was granted a reprieve.

Having finished binding the dazed Tex, the third spearman jumped in to aid her. He slapped away the bamboo staff with the butt of the spear. Twirling the spear back around, he did a quick jab for the gut followed by a slash.

Smit shook his head. Things were not looking good. The man didn’t even appear to be breaking a sweat. Tayla should have been here. What was she doing?

Smit turned his gaze upwards in time to see two clan members hurrying down the steps. “Where are the others?” He asked, trying to keep the worry from his face.

The two clan members looked to one another. It was the female deterrent user who answered. “Dead.” She said.

Smit’s face paled. “And Tayla?” He asked.

“She’s...” The woman hesitated, causing Smit’s anxiety to spike. The woman looked upwards, clearly concerned.

“She’s still fighting.” The woman said at last. “Ordered us to help the rest of you.”

“She’s fighting alone?!” Smit asked in shock. The two nodded.

Several loud bursts came from above. Smit tore his attention away from the two clan members and towards the commotion above. Cursing, Smit looked back to their target. His mind was made up.

“Go help them!” He ordered the two. To the deterrent user, he said. “Hearing and sight deterrents didn't work. Likely magic is touch or smell. Already tagged him with pollen. ” He ran past the two and up the stairs.

“What about taste?” The female deterrent asked behind him.

“Probably not.” He called back.

"Idiot! You shouldn't have pulled it out." He said as he watched the young man in such a dumb way. It was weird saying that to an enemy that was going to harm him. But something about it just made him blurt that out loud. Also, unlike his other comrades upstairs there was certain unwillingness to fully embrace the killing of the cultists. Perhaps it was a foolish hope, but he was aware of the nature of their corruption. He was hoping that perhaps if they move swiftly enough and kill the seed the cultists would return to their damn senses since the Insight was helping them go nuts and corrupting them. Perhaps there were some who were irredeemable, but all he saw was mostly small fry who could still turn it around should they regain clarity. Whatever it was a complicated matter and no doubt it would be complicated by his allies who were probably way less merciful.

The man smirked at the news of the the woman fighting the others by herself. Good, it was the least he could do. She might be strong, but at least she wasn't being aided by underlings. Unlike this man her whose abilities consisted of deterrents and lackeys. Not to say it wasn't a bad strategy but there seemed to be some sort of power difference between the two. Likely a strong individual warrior backed by someone who was better at managing and analyzing things.

His strikes were seemingly starting to wear away at that woman. He would have been victorious were it not for the other spearman intervening. And now was he taunting him or just overconfident? All that unnecessary motion with shifting the spear to the point again. The man punished the spear user heavily. He cracked him on the hands with his staff and pushed it forward to shove him away. He would then retreat to re-engage the woman again.

He would hit the back of her ribs with a sideswipe and moved in close for a palm strike to a nerve cluster that her out for the count. The man would drop the bamboo staff and kick the wooden quarterstaff into his hands. It was heavier and stiffer, but the weight and its solidity was what he needed. Damn he needed to finish this up for everyone's sake. Even with his great stamina, he wouldn't be able to fight forever. "Hey don't run away you coward!" He yelled at Smit.

"You're not going anywhere!" One of the spearman said as he was running up to skewer him. He had let himself get too distracted by Smit and now it was too late for a proper defense. The vagrant would jut out his staff in a last minute defense against the spearman. The staff would deflect the point away from a much more devastating point, but due to the lateness instead of being deflected safely away instead the point found itself slicing into his upper arm. Of course the spearman would also find himself receiving a painful thrust of wood into his throat straight into his jugular notch.

"I guess I should congratulate finally wounding me. I'm still gonna kick your master's ass once I finish with you all." He'd say coolly. The man he had strike was unable to speak as he was coughing and it seemed the hit was hard enough to trigger a gag reflex. He'd run to the stunned Tex and dodge the deterrents' thrown knives and the cudgel user's swings.

"Dammit Tex is down and he's taking the wine! Are we sure he isn't taste user?" One of the deterrents said in anger.

"Prepare the deterrent for it regardless!" The other one would say. Meanwhile the man had already taken the top off and was consuming the alcohol inside. The remaining weapon users closed in on the man. The cudgel user's attack would find itself denied by the staff yet again. The spear user would however be more successful in skewering the wine skin and pulling it away as the liquid spilled everywhere.

A little bladder filled with Liquid Ageusia would be thrown and pop right on the wound. The man would wince as it hit and he felt the effects of it enter his body. He grit his teeth in response and refused to swallow any of the wine in his mouth, even if was feeling super dry in the mouth from the deterrent. "Good job you hit him!" One of the cultists said. The man in turn would quickly spray wine in the faces of the spear and cudgel user.
Also you don't have to make it a touch magic system just because I suggested it. It can be another sense. Lastly your nation does not dictate the type of magic you have nor your ability as an adept, if your character is an adept that is.
So this would definitely need to be tweaked to some extent for this rp. though perhaps not much.

The biggest tweak would be to the magic system. I love the concept of applying different magics to different objects using runes. We just need to mold it to fit the sense based magic system of the rp.

I think we could fudge it to be a touch based magic. Like perhaps you have to touch and understand/speak to the material in order form a rune. Or the runes are complicated to make and you have to properly draw them with your finger without making mistakes (the connection here would be dexterity of the hand)

Additionally, it would need a fuel source, otherwise your fuel becomes your sanity (in other words you are one of the Crazed).

Another minor tweak would have to be your nation. Other than that, that's about it. We might need to discuss how dwarfs fit into the story though.

@infernal PM me your thoughts and tweaks and we will work things out from there. Also be sure to look over the CS template whenever you have the chance. I look forward to seeing what you have to say :)
@infernal so that's funny because we already have an abnormally tall character @fetzen. A short character beside him would make for some good times :p.

So at the moment, this isn't necessarily a high fantasy rp. so I'm not sure how I feel about a dwarf per se, but I'm open to the idea of adding dwarfs. (we would have to tweak the lore but not much).

Send a CS my way and I'll take a look for you. :)

Fyi we do have familiars (see sight example magic), so you are welcome to have one.

Im currently on vacation, but don't hesitate to ask questions. Also I'll have to update the recap as soon as I get back. Not too too much has happened since the last update.

Ferris Talese
Chres Sansus

@Typical @hokumpocus @Pezz570

Octavio descended the stairs with agile, careful movements, distrustful of both the aged stone around him and entire situation in general. When they had at last arrived at the secret chamber, he wasn´t the least bit interested in the odd sight of men in rags tending to a pair of fires. He had seen far stranger things happening to people with less clothing in the parties certain wealthy nobles had hosted, and if it was something related to magic, then they were obviously going to keep their mouth shut about it. Even with his poor sense of smell he picked up faint traces of stale air. He wondered how Ferris felt whenever he winded up in caverns, dungeons, and the like, considering how much worse they could be once you started throwing diseased animals and corpses into the mix.

Lynx had been quiet for some time now, keeping his thoughts to himself. A familiar content with servitude…

The words were head by no one. He mulled some more, finally speaking to Octavio once he was satisfied with his theory.

This man clearly has a lot of protection. That ought to be a powerful incentive if you´re weak.

Ah, so he had been trying to justify acting like a brat. Octavio nearly sighed out loud. Like us?

They had been ordered to remove their weapons before having entered the chamber, which had filled Octavio with unease. He had plotted to keep a few on him, but seeing his companions obey the command had persuaded him to follow suit. He didn´t want to be the reason they got impaled in a secret chamber after all. He was now without his twin daggers, throwing knives, and the jewelry that allowed him to summon illusions, and if that hadn´t been concerning enough, there were a handful of armed guards near each of the chamber´s many passages.

A man inside the chamber spoke to them, his words causing confusion to color Octavio´s face.

“Theatric ones? What do you mean by that?” he asked, amused. A part of him wanted to desperately worry about how this man had learned about their exploits, but if Octavio´s encounter with the being of many names had taught him anything, it was that it was best to just let these people go ahead with their powermongering and hope you weren´t incinerated at some point. His own words, ones he had told the party far back, echoed in his mind. If he wanted to kill us, then he would´ve already done it.

The black haired woman turned a lazy gaze to the silver haired man. “Kharu-Natjer,” She said. Her voice was melodic and smooth. “Mayhap these are not the people you thought. Should we let the dogs slit their throats?” Her words came much like a calm stream of flowing water, as if discussing of death was a natural routine for her.

The dark skinned man sniffed at the woman’s words. “Wasteful.” He said. There was a dignity to his words. His voice was deep and rich. His accent, local to the Nation of Sight. “At the very least, do away with that abomination.” He motioned over to Ferris. “Its kind is unpredictable at best.”

The Kharu-Natjer raised his hand silencing the two. “Peace, my friends.” He said “Our guests are simply apprehensive, is all. I’m sure you both can relate.”

The dark skinned man let out a begrudging ‘Hmph’. He flicked his gaze back towards the black flames sprouting from the fire. Tightening the blanket wrapped around him, he leaned closer to the fire’s warmth.

The woman said nothing. Her steady gaze studied the group. Her expression remained unreadable. Chres’ instincts told him this woman was dangerous. Best to keep an eye on her.

“Or, perhaps I was incorrect.” The Kharu-Natjer continued. “Perhaps… some cleanup is required.” His smile deepened.

"They had us surrounded.” Chres said. “The building was on fire. Escape by rooftop was a necessity.”

“Indeed.” The Kharu-Natjer agreed. “It seems we share a mutual foe…”

The silver haired man clapped his hands twice. On cue, the guards left the room. Four new male slaves entered replacing the guards. Three slaves carried cushioned chairs. The fourth had a comfortable looking mat that one would give a pet.

Each of the slaves had the same orange-tan skin tone. Their faces also covered by veils. These slaves were better dressed than the ones tending the fire, though not by much. They wore a robe, of a similar style to the silver haired man’s garments. Unlike his clothes, theirs were thin and tattered. It stopped short around their knees and the sleeves had been ripped off. Their feet were bare and thick with calluses.

The slaves placed the furnishings around the silver haired man and his group. Then as quickly as they had come, they left. Not a word to be said.

“Come.” The Kharu-Natjer said. “Have a seat by the fire.”

Hesitantly, Chres walked forward and took a seat.

The woman’s words drew Ferris’ eyes to her, but Ferris’ attention was quickly refocused on the dark-skinned man across from her. Judging by the sneer earlier, the dark-skinned man had disdain for him at best, but though Ferris didn’t mind the label, he did mind the easy suggestions of death being thrown around. He’d pegged the organization as harsh, perhaps severe in their methods, but not unscrupulous; while Ferris and his companions were the ones that had sought them out, they were the ones who’d opened the door and asked them to remove their weapons, which they did as a sign of good faith. Their words now, then, suggested that they didn’t care for such gestures, didn’t care for the visit or their visitors in general, and that was unfortunate.

Easing the situation over was Kharu-Natjer, or so the woman beside the center man had called him. Whether the name was a given name, a title, or some mixture of both was unclear, but he was the clear leader in the room, even with his suave manner of speech. Kharu-Natjer’s suggestion of ‘cleanup,’ followed by his ready acceptance of Chres’ words and summoning of some chairs for the group, had Ferris develop a dislike for The Watch. He’d assumed the group to be a righteous one, fighting to maintain the dignity of their people and nation, but with every other sentence they sunk lower, throwing threats around to get reactions despite knowing exactly why their visitors had come. It was a poor mockery of brandishing the carrot and stick, especially since Ferris and his companions had no way of knowing whether they held either, but when the man invited them to sit, Ferris heeded, taking the seat closest to dark-skinned man. Though he didn’t like to stir up the water, the sooner the man got the message that he was staying, the better. Besides, if they thought he was a threat, they wouldn’t have let him walk through the door, much less show him the path down.

When he looked over, Ferris met his eyes, then slid his gaze back to Kharu-Natjer, who’d already established the peace. Abomination he might be, but it’d be a waste for The Watch to refuse help of any kind, given the state of their kingdom.

The Kharu-Natjer gave a satisfied smiled as he watched everyone take a seat. "Wonderful." He said while absently snapping his fingers three times. He clasped his hands behind his back and turned to the fire.

Three more slaves entered the room. These ones were female. Each wore black collars around their neck and the same veils as the men. They had a dirty white cloth wrapped intricately around their upper bodies accompanied by a moth-bitten skirt with a tattered drape that flowing down from their waist to just above their left ankle.

Like the other slaves, these ones had a the same orange-tan skin tone. They entered with their heads were bowed, revealing a shaven head. Each carried a tray with food or drink. One carried a tray with wine. Another had bread and fruit. The third carried exotic cheeses.

The slaves made their rounds to each of them. The woman took a few grapes. Lounging in the crevice of the sofa, She plucked a single grape from the bunch but did not lower the exaggerated turtle neck that covered the bottom of her face. Instead she stretched it outwards with her free hand. She dropped the grape into the opening and chewed. Her eyes never left the group.

The Kharu-Natjer grabbed a glass of wine, and a pick of cheese. He ate the cheese, putting the stay pick back on the tray. He did not take a sip from his glass of wine, though. Instead, he held it to his lips as if in thought.

The dark skinned man took nothing. Instead he gave the slaves a disdainful look and waved them away. He then turned his arrogance to Ferris, eyeing the Crazed with annoyance. He opened his mouth as if he were about to say something, but then thought better of it. Instead he sniffed and looked away.

The slaves made their way to Chres. Taking the dark skinned man's lead, he waved them along as well. It didn't feel quite right being fed this way. The rest of the town was unable to get the food they needed. Instead of the helping the town which the food problem, these people instead seemed to be stockpiling their own stores.

"The Watch seems quite comfortable considering everyone else in town will soon be starving." Chres said offhandedly.

The woman said nothing in response to Chres's comment. Instead her eyes appear to twinkle with amusement. She dropped another grape beneath the cover of her turtle neck.

The dark skinned man had quite the opposite reaction. His eye twitched as if Chres had hit a nerve. His lips curled upwards in a sneer. "The Watch-" He growled. "-was made by the people, for the people! These people do not represent our ideals."

The comments caught Chres off guard. He had assumed that everything they encountered was of The Watch's doing. However, the man's words implied that he was mistaken.

"One should not bite the hand that feeds it." Talon said. His feathers ruffled and smooth excitedly. "Would you prefer my master to end our assistance to your cause?" The bird leaned forward in his perch and stared down the man predatorily.

"The watch... I see... so that's why you've come..." The Kharu-Natjer said as he lowered the wine glass from his lips. "Calm yourself Malkev... These people did not know that only one of us here represents The Watch."

Chres narrowed his eyes. What was it the innkeeper had said? He thought. That he knew of someone who might know where to find The Watch? Chres re-evaluated The Kharu-Natjer. So then... who has our friend brought us too?

As if reading his mind, The Kharu-Natjer turned towards the group and answered. "Allow me to introduce myself, though I do not have a name in the strictest sense... It was traded long, long ago..."

The Kharu-Natjer raised his glass to his lips and took a sip. "Those who know me have given me the name Kharu-Natjer... Though, it's more of a title really. I act as... a resource to some... An information broker to others." The Kharu-Natjer said, choosing his words carefully. "I suppose that is why your friend brought you here... Little did he know..." He smiled as if amused.

The Kharu-Natjer stretched his palm to the dark skinned man. "To the left you have the Malkev. Head of The Watch." Malkev frowned, shifting uncomfortably in his seat at the mention of his title. "And to my right-"

"Svephraey." The woman interrupted causally. She tossed another grape into her mouth.

The Kharu-Natjer smiled, as he gave her a side long glance. "She's a-"

"-I am the order to man's chaos." Svephraey continued ambiguously. "An unseen shadow who keeps the dogs loyal, while putting down the rabid... or-" Svephraey looked to each of them in turn, and then to the the final grape which she had delicately pulled from the bunch. She raised the grape level with her eye. "-those who like to talk." Absently, she squished the grape between her thumb and forefinger. Its remains were tossed into the fire behind her.

The Kharu-Natjer chuckled softly. "I was going to say '-friend'." Svephraey eyed The Kharu-Natjer and shrugged.
Dirty Bastard

@JerkChicken, @13org, @fetzen

The man saw how many cultists were running through despite his best efforts. He was busy fighting off some of flunkies when Tayla and some others rode up to the bell platform with the help of some magic. It was quite a sight, seeing the floor stretch up like it was elastic. It was also very very bad, as they circumvented his his attempt to keep them occupied. "Hey! Where are you going?" He yelled at them. He needed to go up and help the two.

"Tex! You're up!" The woman shouted.

All of a sudden this rag wearing man drank some wine and leaned against the wall. He went from shrimp to beefy as Tex launched himself at him. He found his gaze lingering on his bottle. If not good, at least it seemed to have some sort of kick to it. And something strong would be nice, especially after all his gourds have been drank dry. He'd dodge Tex's lunge, and then focus on a series of jabs with his bamboo staff. This would be interesting, he needed to figure out his magic's gimmick and beat him down before Týfurkh and Karina got worn down by the horde above.

Smit cursed as he watched Tayla, leave him behind. What was she up to? Their target was right here!

"What are you doing?! Go back Tex up!" He shouted to three other clan men, who wielded spears. "The rest of you, block off the exit so he can't escape."

The two clans men nodded, running up to attack from behind. The others went to the exit.

Smit grit his teeth, as he turned face the dirtied man fighting Tex. Tex dodged the first two jabs from the staff. The third he knocked to the side with his left hand. He threw a punch with his right fist.

What sort of magic was the man using? Smit wondered. Hearing? Touch? Smell? Well, he would start with the basics.

Smit pulled out his Untuning fork, and banged it against the wall. Wincing at it's unpleasant sound.

The fork gave off a wail. It's pitch alternating from high to low. The sound lingered in the air, pounding at the ear drums of all who listened.

The man saw the Cultist shouting orders. From what he could tell he seemed to have some sort of leadership position. However, he needed to take care of the spear wielders and this Tex fellow. "How about you let me have a sip and we'll be on even ground?" He said playfully to Tex.The man was too busy with the spears to really have a chance to dodge against his fist. He called upon his power to harden himself against the strike. Surely it was better than getting skewered right? Unsurprisingly, the blow had quite a bit of force and he found himself walking back while using the staff to block the spear strikes.

His urge to beat Tex and the flunkies only grew when Smit was bringing out his toys. The untuning fork was just noise simple as that, but he was aware by process of elimination he'd cancel out his power. Sure, he could still fight, but having some fancy tricks would sure be useful in this crowded environment. The man began to weave his counterattack, the spear lackeys were just there to keep him distracted while Tex actually did the damage. He took advantage of the staff's flexibility and their over reliance on thrusting to control their movements with well placed strikes.

Smit would find himself rather crowded as his lackeys moved their fight closer to him. One of Tex's punches would miss and come uncomfortably close to Smit. "Sorry!" The vagrant warrior would say in mock apology. He'd then take advantage of one of the spear user's formation breaking up a bit from the others to try and trip him with his a sweep and give him some good whacks. He needed to dispatch of one of them and get to Tex, and snatch that wineskin too.

Smit dodged out of the way of Tex's punch. Raising an eye brow at the dirtied man's snide apology. The fight was getting too close, they needed to regroup. His ears still pounded from the wail of the fork. The sound still lingered, but gradually getting softer.

The dirtied man tripped one of the spear men and gave him a few wacks. The man groaned on the ground.

Bringing armor would have been a good idea. Smit noted. He whistled twice. Two of the woman by the door joined the fight. One with a quarterstaff of her own. The other, a sword.

He reached into one of his bags, and pulled out a handful of dust sand. "Dusters!" He shouted. A warning to his comrades about the sand he was about to throw. Smit threw the sand out around him. The sand spread through the room, much like a gas. It floated in the air like dust.

Smit's eye grew watery. His vision blurry. He stepped back from the stairs, away from the fight.

"Tex," Smit shouted. "punches aren't working. Go defensive instead."

Tex nodded and touched the stone wall again. The man's muscles deflated. His skin thickened and hardened. Tex dove to the side, snatching up the down man's spear.

Smit grit his teeth. Would this be enough? He looked up towards the stairs. He wanted to follow after Tayla. But Sightless Syella wouldn't be happy if they fail. She especially wouldn't be happy with Tayla in particular.

The man noticed these extra interlopers joining the fight after being summoned with the whistle. He feeling constrained by time as really needed to deal with these people and get upstairs to help before it got rough for them. With no idea of the situation above there was only a sense of creeping urgency and a general idea that the more time passed the worse it could get. It was mildly annoying as if they were together or if he had a better idea of what was going on, he could fight them in a more leisurely manner. "This guy, really doesn't want to fight directly does he?" He thought to himself.

Smit did yet another move to try and block magic. This time it was against sight as he threw dust sand at the ground. He stifled the urge to cough as the mildly unpleasant musty smell hit his lungs as his eyes watered from the dust. He made an odd face as one eye was bit more closed than the other. It was distracting but it wouldn't shut him down. Luckily for him, everyone else was suffering from the attack. He noticed Tex touch the wall and deflate as Smit told him fight defensively. His resolve to get to that man only increased. "So far he's used the two out of the five blockers. If I can get to him before he uses my blocker and take the numbing agent, I can get an easier fight since he's one of the few real threats..." He thought to himself as he dodged the staff wielder.

Tex had bent over to pick up the spear. It was at that moment he had called on his power again and rushed towards him with great speed. Rather than attack he stepped over him and used him as a springboard of sorts to get to Smit. He was quickly intercepted by the sword wielder who had swung in a way to break his staff. Unfortunately for her, he had taken care to infuse his staff with his energy. the impact against the wood left not even a mark! To her, it felt like steel hitting steel as the sword hit the staff causing it bounce slightly. He took advantage with a strike that placed part of the staff against her hand and wrist area that was holding the sword. By doing this, he was controlling her attack movement as he used the staff as leverage against her. Try as she might, she could not escape the pin and was disarmed and jabbed in a pressure point for her troubles.

He then flicked the sword up into the other hand with his staff as he got closer to Smit. "Why so concerned about what's going upstairs? Don't you have here to worry about?" He taunted as he looked over Smit trying to quickly identify where the deterrents were on his body. As much as he wanted to thrash him around, he was really looking for that numbing sap. He gave a swipe with the sword at his waist, trying to cut his belt as he figured that might be the location for his magic blockers. Of course he was aware this was easier said than done. Tex and the others were still gunning for him and he didn't know what threat Smit was himself.

Upon seeing the man block a sword with his wooden staff, Smit suspected that the sight deterrent was not effective. He need to move on to the next deterrent. He reached into his pouch and pulled out some wheezing pollen.

As if on cue, the man lept over Smit's clan mates and began mocking him for not paying attention. He tilted his head to the side. "You certainly like to talk a lot." He said, while trying to keep to the man's right side.

Smit was at a clear disadvantage in regards to reach. He would not win a fight one on one. The best he could do was to stay away from that sword, and stick closer to the staff. He was far more likely to survive a blow to the gut than a stab in the gut.

Smit pulled out a numbing oil coated knife in his left hand. His other hand still held the pollen. He continued his circling, waiting to see what the man would do. He looked to his teammates. Watched as they closed in on the dirtied man.

"Well someone has to make up for the lack of talkativeness on your behalf" He said with a smile.

The man was cornered by him successfully and he needed to be careful getting hit by desperate move. Even if Smit was disadvantaged, he had still had his goons with him. The vagrant saw Smit produce two things, one of them immediately caught his eyes. It was the knife! He knew that Smit was going to rush through the remaining deterrents that he thought would affect him. That knife had to be numbing sap and that clenched fist no doubt had to be some other powder. He knew he was going to be temporarily disabled by the man's next attack. So he had to hurry but and the goons hit him.

"Let me borrow that!" He said cheerfully as he swatted the knife out from his hand with the staff. He dropped and kicked the sword away as he grabbed the knife. Calling upon his power for possibly the last time before he loses it, he enhances his reflexes and perception to beautifully embed the dagger into Tex's shoulder. He then ran after him as swung his staff at the other flunky and focused on beating Tex down while he was weakened. He was anticipating the powder with a cool state of mind. It should be a fair trade right? Lose his power in exchange for taking down one annoying flunky. Besides Smit was next provided he didn't run away from this.

Smit cursed. That was a foolish mishap. The dirtied man had done well to guess that Tex’s magic utilized Touch.

Smit scrunched the pollen, he held, into the form of a ball. He dared not throw it at the dirtied man, his movement was peculiar. Instead, he threw the pollen ball at the man’s next target, Tex.

Surprise. That was the only expression Tex showed before the ball of pollen exploded on his face. It clouded the air around both him and the dirtied man. That made three out of five deterrents. He only could hope that this one worked.

The dirtied man made to strike Tex, but not before the woman with the quarterstaff swiped Tex’s footing out from underneath him. One of the
two remaining spear men pulled Tex aside. He removed the knife and began bandaging him up. The other spear man went to back up the woman with the staff.

The woman brought her sweep upwards, in one fluid motion, knocking aside the target's attack. She then quickly adjusted her footing with a pivot, swinging out the other end of her staff to bring out the dirtied man’s footing from underneath him.

With Tex down, Smit whistled yet again. The last man guarding the exit joined the fray. The man pulled out a cudgel. He charged at the dirtied man from behind.

Smit pulled out another knife with numbing oil. He chucked it at the dirtied man’s side. As the knife left his hand, Smit swooped down and grabbed the sword discarded by their target.
Chres Sansus

Interaction with @Typical @HokumPocus

As Lynx spoke, Talon began to slowly crouch forward, almost predatorily. His eyes narrowed into what could only be amusement. The feathers on his body ruffled and smoothed excitedly as he spanned out his wings and gave them two quick flaps. The familiar seemed eager, perhaps even pleasured by Lynx’s own indignation.

Reluctantly, he slowly turned his hungry gaze away from Lynx. His attention directed towards Octavio. His posture straightened and calmed. His wings folding back into their resting position.

“A master wise beyond his years.” Talon remarked in his drawn-out voice. “And yet, he still hesitates… Perhaps not so wise after all.”

Chres looked to his companions and then to the door. He took step forward.

“Leave your weapons with the guards.” Talon drawled without paying the man a second glance.

Chres eyed the bird as he walked past. He began undoing his dagger as well as the short sword and hatchet, which he had scavenged from the cult members the previous day. He hand them to one of the guards at the door.

“The knives too.” Talon said behind him.

Chres gave the bird a sidelong glance. He reached into his boots and pulled out the knives hidden within. The guard took the knives. His companion then patted Chres down. Finding nothing else concerning, he let Chres inside.

The side entrance gave way to a living space containing two other armed men. Crystal Jade candles scattered the room. Their positioning appeared strategic, making the most out their light distribution. The windows to the room remained covered. Likely to avoid prying eyes as well as to block out any daylight that might interfere with the Crystal Jade’s ability to glow.

The four men lifted a rug and opened a concealed trap door. The door revealed a set of stairs, lined with more crystal jade candles. The stairway led down into the earth below. The men motioned Chres to proceed. Nodding he made his way to the stairs.

The steps looked ancient. Their stone surface weathered and uneven. The kind of deterioration that takes years to occur. Whoever originally made this passage was certainly not the people using it today.

Chres carefully made his way down the first few steps, all the while taking in the passage’s musky, stale smell. An unnatural awareness washed over him. A strange feeling best described as an almost increased awareness of everything he was experiencing. An awareness of common sensations that he would have normally ignored. The feeling lasted for a second before vanishing as abruptly as it occurred.

Chres stopped his descent. An itch crawled up the back of his neck, as if urging Chres to turn back. A strong itch. Stronger than usual. Chres took a deep breath, squashed the urge to retreat and continued downwards.

The stairs seemed to descend forever, though the decent couldn't have been more than a minute. At last they opened into a small corridor. The corridor had a slight slope upwards. Its end fed out into what appeared to be a much larger stone chamber. Chres trekked onward. Pooling water and hushed voices could be heard echoing out from the chamber ahead.

I don’t like this. Sil thought. The words caught him off guard. They mirrored the same thoughts in Chres’s head. Unusual for Sil.

Chres looked to her form, sitting atop his shoulder. She was huddled in a ball. Arms wrapped around her legs. She shivered. Her image blurred once, twice, three times.

Sil, what’s wrong? Chres thought to her with concern.

Something… in my head… looking… searching…

Sil… Chres thought back. She didn’t answer.

“Sil!” Chres said more urgently.

Sil’s form burred thrice more, before finally settling down. Her shivering ceased. She lift her head and blinked.

“Sil…” Chres said again.

She then looked to Chres and smiled. “Oh... Why hello there, Chres.” She said happily. “Hm?” Sil blinked again, her attention drawn to their surroundings. “Oh… We’re still here?”

Still concerned, Chres was about to question Sil further when he noticed the voices had quieted in the chamber ahead.

“Aaaah, it sounds like our guests have arrived…” Came a male voice from the chamber. The owner had an accent that Chres couldn’t quite place. “Come on in then…”

Reluctantly, Chres turned his attention away from Sil and entered the chamber. The chamber was large and circular, with five other exits other than the one they came from. Armed men stood by each of the entrances, carrying quarterstaffs and cudgels. The ceiling was domed shape. From it hung several crystal jade lanterns lighting up the room.

Trickles of water pooled out from a few holes on the far side of the wall. The water ran down a rocky surface and into a pool below. The pool itself fed into two small channels that split the room. The channels curved off in separate directions, each feeding into their own openings. Their destination unknown.

To the left and right were two burning hearths. The flames colored black, from the distortion, and yet they still gave off an orange glow. The fires pillared smoke which rose into ventilation shafts that likely led to the surface above. Several smaller shafts dotted the walls and ceilings. They likely acted as a precaution against any smoke that built up, and as a means to recycle the chamber’s air with the air above.

A man stood chained by each of the fires. Naked save for a rag around their waists and a veil covering their faces. Their feet were shackled and chained to a nearby wall. Their skin an odd orange brown hue.

The men tended to the fires. Placing logs as needed. With the limited clothing provided, Chres suspected their lives likely depended on maintaining the fire, least they succumb to the cavern's chill.

Lounging on a sofa, by the leftmost fire, lay a full-bosomed woman with almond shaped eyes and silky black hair tied in a bun. The woman was wrapped in a thick, long, forest green cloak. A white wool turtleneck popped out from beneath. The turtleneck's length had been exaggerated enough to cover the bottom half of her face. She studied the Chres and his companions silently. Judging them with her eyes.

Sitting on a cushioned chair across from her was a tall dark skinned man. His hair grey and balding. Creases lined the man’s face. They etched a permanent frown. The man was wrapped in wool blankets, struggling to stay warm in the chilly cavern. He eyed each of them distrustfully. When his eyes fell upon Ferris, he sneered. He then turned away and inched closer to the fire.

Between the two of them stood an average sized man. Interestingly, skin was of the same hue as the slaves tending to the fire. His hair was long and silver. His eyes light blue. He was draped in long, strange foreign clothes tied at his waist. They were a dark greenish grey in color and stopped just above his feet.

The man clasped his hands behind his back, and gave them a smile that did not reach his eyes. “Well, well.” Said the silver haired man in his accented voice. “If it isn’t the ones who ran across the rooftops.”

Chres felt a breeze brush by him. Talon had swooped down from behind them. The familiar landed comfortably on a wooden perch designed specifically for him. He eyed the group with disinterest.

“Go on then.” The man continued. “What business does the theatric ones have with me?”
Karina Frost

A familiar face appeared at the opening to the top of the tower. It was her! The white haired woman! Tayla's lips curled into a smile. She watched as the coins flew towards the woman's face.

To Tayla's dismay, the woman jumped to the ground and barely avoided the attack. Tayla bared her teeth. She pushed the cotton tufts off to the side with her tongue.

"GET HER!" She raged. "SMASH HER FACE IN!"

The first of her men made it to the top, his club raised above his head. He ran at the woman. Ready to slam his weapon down on the woman's back.

Some of the coins that Tayla had launched had made their way towards Týfurkh and impacted on his shoulder plate and armor, both of which he had luckily strapped on again just moments before. There was a saying that money was the root of evil, but it being that dangerous was something that could only mean that the cultists were back.

"How the hell..."

He didn't get any further with his exclamation as a potential disaster unfolded right in front of his eyes. Týfurkh not really had time to think about things, but decided spontaneously to not even try to aim and fire a bolt at the charging man. Instead he did the same thing and tried to intercept him at speed in order to slam the metal front end of his crossbow into a place where it was bound to hurt or to simply ram the attacker off the platform.

The two men's height was so vastly different, the charging giant ended up smashing the man in the chest. The man was sent flying backwards to the ground. The impact causing him to drop his club.

Tayla cursed. The giant would be difficult to deal with. She figured that if she could get close enough to touch him, then she could use her Hydraision magic to make his armor heavier. But first, they would need to get off these stairs.

Grabbing more coins, Tayla shifted the cotton in her mouth until she tasted sour. The coins launched up the stairs

It was just a single glance, but upon seeing that face and hearing the enraged shouts, Karina almost instantly knew who was responsible for the coin shower. It was the cultist woman she had beaten before. Apparently she wasn't very happy she got so humiliated...

Her plan, coupled with the fact that Karina was caught off guard almost resulted in Karina's death but thankfully, she wasn't alone. The second the man began running towards her with his club raised, he was brutally smashed on the wall by Týfurkh's charge, immediately making him drop the club.

With a thankful nod towards Týfurkh, Karina quickly got up and prepared herself to fight. Tayla was still on the stairs, behind the group she brought with her and she was certain that she wouldn't stay still, patiently waiting for her turn.

"Be careful with the coins!" Karina shouted to Týfurkh as a cold aura began forming around her as she formed two sharp ice spikes. Just as she finished doing that though, just as she had just said, more coins flew up the stairs, but this time Karina was prepared and had something planned to retaliate.

"Let's see if you learned anything..." Karina said to herself with a smirk as she shot the ice spikes towards Tayla. While the spikes would go to the general direction where Tayla was, upon getting close to her and the rest of the people she was with, they would explode, sending many ice shards flying everywhere to cut those nearby.

If it worked as Karina was planning it would buy her and Týfurkh a little bit of time to think of what to do...

The two icicles shot towards Tayla. She grit her teeth.

Not this time Tayla thought. Those icicles were dangerous. The woman did all sorts of sneaky tricks with them. Best to avoid them. Tayla slid her left hand along the stone wall and swapped around the cotton in her mouth. Savory.

A single stone in the wall extended. It wrapped around Tayla's wrist, stretching as she ran up the stairs. This allowed her to maintain contact with the stone. The warped stone then shot outwards from her wrist, stretching sideways to form a protective roof over the people on the stairs. Though this would protect them from the icicles, Tayla knew it wasn't enough. The person at the front would still be vulnerable.

Tayla warped the stone further, stretching it beyond the opening to the floor above. The stone curved downwards, making a protective alcove. It's opening facing away from the giant and the white haired woman.

Still not enough. Without a distraction, her team would remain on the defensive. The stone warped further. Several spikes shot out from the back side of the alcove, towards the woman and the man. She couldn't see pass the opening above, so she fanned the spikes out blindly. Unsure if they would actually hit anything.

"Damn it, Tayla!" She heard a shout from above. "I'm on your side!" The clansman with the club. Still alive, apparently.

Tayla licked her drying lips. She was pushing herself. Dangerous, she knew. And yet, it was necessary. She would do what it took to beat this women.

Tayla took another sip of water from her skin. Two more people made it to the top. One of them was a female deterrent user under Smit's tutelage.

"Ready the deterrents!" Tayla shouted. The woman pulled out her throwing knives.

Karina couldn't help but to let out a smirk when she saw Tayla's reaction. She had indeed learned from their last encounter. Karina wasn't wrong when she got interested by that girl in the first time they met. It was truly a shame she was on the wrong side though.

Tayla's next move was smart though, protecting the ones who came with her from Karina's ranged attacks. They were in a pretty disadvantageous position and Tayla knew that as it became clear on how she used the alcove she formed to send spikes towards them. Even if it was a blind attack, it still served to further push Karina and Týfurkh back, making them step back and give Tayla's allies enough space and buying them enough time for them to get up and corner them.

Despite Týfurkh and Karina's position, Karina knew very well that Tayla was pushing herself much more than Karina or Týfurkh were. Other than that, Tayla was enraged just by seeing Karina. Judging by how she was acting and screaming, Karina doubt she would be able to keep her cool if she provoked her a bit more. Luckily, she would make a mistake and give them an opportunity to either escape or turn the battle in their favor.

Using her magic once more, Karina readied the same ice blades she had used against Tayla on their last battle. More of them would soon get up, they couldn't let Tayla and her allies to overwhelm them at any costs.

"Týfurkh, don't let them overwhelm us, try to eliminate them quickly, otherwise we wont stand a chance!" Karina said, as she got ready to impale whoever was the one who tried to get up next with two of her ice blades.

"Pathetic to the very end. Couldn't beat me in a duel so you resort to an ambush..." Karina shouted, with a cruel smile as she tried to provoke her.

Just as the next two people arrived on the top, Karina sent two ice blades to impale one of them as she got ready to fight. They needed to take them down quickly, before more were able to get up...

Mr. Club had made the mistake of betraying the fact that he was still alive, something he wouldn't survive. Having noticed it, Týfurkh once more slammed the front end of his crossbow against him, this time aiming at his throat. It was apparent that something very important for breathing had given way as a result, leaving the attacker regurgigating blood and on his way of dying if left untreated.

Týfurkh stepped back, trying to get some distance between him, the edge of the platform and the entrace where Tayla's weird magic was about to make its appearance. That weirdly warped piece of stone was an obstacle very hard to go around for both any individual and any projective, however it seemed that their men didn't have to face this problem.

Faced with a rather one-sided situation, Týfurkh sticked to Karina's advice of trying to kill quickly. However while there were Tayla's men standing on the other side of her obstance maybe she'd refrain from using it as a source of shrapnels again. The last volley of them had almost hit Týfurkh in his face and, in fact, a small amount of blood had started to pour from a place where his armor wasn't metal. The next piece of stone flying at him might not be so 'benevolent'.

One bolt was ready in his crossbow and Týfurkh pulled the trigger at a very close distance. He didn't care much about where it hit as long as it did hit. At this range there was so much kinetic energy involved that the bold possibly would just rip through the flesh and leave a large cavity behind. Still he couldn't be sure if that was enough, so Týfurkh also gave the attacker a kick in his belly region that was intended to make him stumble and come to a fall rather close to dead Mr. Club.

The obvious disadvantage of this action was that now the crossbow needed to be reloaded and this would require at least a bunch of seconds. However hopefully this barricade was as intransparent as it seemed to be from this side so hopefully none of the attackers on the other side would know this. And they had moved themselves into a cramped space Týfurkh intended to utilize with the next bolt. With a certain plan firmly in his mind, the giant started the reloading procedure as quickly as he could.

Tayla got to the top of the steps in time for the woman’s taunts to reach her ears. Her ears turned red as the hatred seeped through her. To the side, she noticed some of her comrades looking to one another. Perhaps second guessing the reason why they up here. Tayla’s face redden further. She reached for one of the blades at her side.

Without warning, one of her men stepped out from the warped stone’s protective cover. His actions earning him a crossbow bolt in the chest. He fell to the ground bleeding out. Another got his shoulder impaled by a blade of ice. Their dying forms. tampered Tayla’s rage and give her a moment of clarity. Reluctantly, Tayla relinquished her grip on her blade.

They were focusing on the ones stepping out of cover. That probably meant that her comrade, with the club, was no longer a threat. All of the enemy’s focus would remain on the rest of her team hiding behind Tayla’s cover. A cover she could not hold forever. To make matters worse, both of her opponents could use projectiles. Despite their numbers being on her side, range had her team at a severe disadvantage.

Tayla looked around, wondering what she could do to turn things in their favor. She saw nothing. Nothing, save the dangling rope hanging from the giant bell above them. Her eyes widened. A plan starting to form in her head. A desperate plan, but a plan nonetheless.

A strange calm filled Tayla as a familiar itch crawled up her neck. “Go back downstairs and help the others.” Tayla told her team coolly.

The others hesitated, looking to her as if she were crazy. Tayla sighed. She grabbed a handful of coins while eyeing them threateningly. “Now.” She said firmly.

Grudgingly, they turned to leave. “You.” She said to the magic deterrent user. “I’ll be needing those knives…”

Moments later, the remainder of her team had begun their trek back down the stairwell. Tayla grabbed her skin of water and took a long sip. She released her hold on the stone wall and let it revert back to its original shape.
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