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Maybe the real plot was the friends we made along the way. [Last Updated: May 9th 2018]

I'm 22 years old, a factory laborer, and ready to start my first year of college to pursue my major in Psychology!

Obviously I enjoy reading and writing if I made an account on this website, and I like to think I'm not half bad at it. I first started writing and roleplaying at the start of 2010 and I've stuck with it ever since. I've had a couple of dry spells along the way, but I always seem to come back to it. I enjoy most genres, but if I had to pick a few favorites, they would be sci-fi, superpowers, and high fantasy, with the latter being the king. Some of my favorite and best characters have come from Elder Scrolls roleplays! What can I say? It appeals to the D&D nerd in me.

I've thought about this for a long while, and even now I still think about it. If I had to say I had a specialty, I would say it's the human experience. Ask any of my friends, and they'll tell you that the history sections of nearly all my characters are obnoxiously long. I probably definitely have a problem, and it's because I get so carried away with telling their story. I want my readers to know how their story influences them as a person. I love creating tragedy and watching a character overcome those tragedies and finding themselves, watching their identities shatter and coming back together. I've always been a fan of characters overcoming their weaknesses and obstacles, showing heart and soul, and I try to make that show in many of my characters. You could say that I even try to write my characters in such a way so that they can inspire me, as pretentious as that might sound.

I also try to research whatever it is I'm writing about so that I'm not just pulling shit out of my ass - unless that's what my character is doing, in which case I try to make sure that's made clear in my writing. Just because I'm a melodramatic piece of shit doesn't mean I don't try to write a compelling story. I enjoy writing characters with a grey morality because evil is cringey and benevolence is exhausting, so anything in between I think is the sweet spot. Even in the characters with a "good" morality, I try my best to incorporate flaws so that they still feel human. Calen Mirthwood is a bard who loves being alive, is a compulsive flirt, and tries to see the beauty in all things. He is also a coward, a fool, and sometimes he's accidentally a thoughtless heart-breaker. Andrea Pasternack is a humble and intelligent young woman who wants to do right by the world and help others as they've helped her. She's also has depression and PTSD after she dropped out of Yale due to a bad drug problem. She's been clean for a while now, but her past haunts her.

So there you have it. Hope we can write together some time!

Prime Rib Boneheads

@He Who Walks Behind
@Surtr Inc

Current Roleplays
You can find me in:
The Elder Scrolls: Fruits of Contention (Chapter 2) by @Gcold

Most Recent Posts

ft. @Father Hank and @Chicken

Noon of the 5th day of Last Seed, 4E205
Solitude, Skyrim
Aboard the Kyne’s Tear

While the rest of the mercenaries, able-bodied men and women all, carried their belongings (if they weren’t already there) and supplies onto the ship, Niernen had made herself comfortable on the deck, sitting cross-legged on a crate, reduced to watching the proceedings unfold. She was useless when it came to heavy lifting. Her meager belongings were already stowed below, so she supposed that she could have helped a bit with telekinesis, but it was draining to have to lift something as heavy as the mercenaries’ chests and barrels of goods and she preferred to have her magicka reserves fully replenished when they set sail. Her time at sea hadn’t exactly been uneventful so far -- the Dunmer sorceress had been involved in two-and-a-half naval battles just in the past week. You never knew when you needed to hurl fireballs at opportunistic pirates or, gods forbid, the Kamal.

Word had come through the grapevine (i.e. Dough-Boy telling everyone who wanted to hear about it) that some new recruits had signed up with the Company. Niernen had already spotted one, a Khajiit, but he looked like he didn’t feel very well so she left him alone. She thought about the people that had died or vanished so far and sighed. Valen’s demise, especially the look on his face as the dying Kamal dragged him into the waves, was still etched into her mind. Niernen hoped that the worst was behind them now and the new sign-ups wouldn’t have to endure the same hardships.

A dark-skinned Hammerfell warrior started past the ship, but stopped and peered back at it. The warrior turned back and started toward the vessel, heading up onto the deck, his - wait, no, her - padded cloth just a bit too bright and red, and the chainmail decorated with a tabard of what must have been some Redguard symbol of some kind. Certainly, though, the fighter was a little short for her race… Niernen squinted at the approaching woman and spied some of the same facial features she recognized from Wylendriel.

Wait, was that a Bosmer? She was tall for her race. The dark-skinned elvish woman stepped up aboard the ship, then focused her attention on Niernen with haughty, sharp amber eyes. She removed her helmet, tucked it under her arm, then shook her head so her dreadlocks waved from side to side. Niernen returned the Bosmer’s gaze with a mixture of trepidation and politeness. Odds were that this woman was one of the new recruits, but Niernen’s anxiety made her wary all the same.

“You work for Ashav,” the odd elf said. Her tone was matter-of-fact and allowed no argument. “Tell me where my quarters are.”

Surprised and bemused at the Bosmer’s tone, Niernen raised an eyebrow. “I don’t know,” she replied. “But based on your outfit I’m guessing that you’ll be joining the infantry, so probably with the rest of us on the first level of the hold. What’s your name? I’m Niernen, the company’s resident battlemage.”

“Are not battlemages normally hale and hearty?” mused the Hammerfell warrior. She gave Niernen a scrutinizing look, peering up and down at her. “You are barely in a shape to walk, let alone fight.” Then she let her wrist rest idly at her side, and she bowed in a cordial, formal fashion to the seated Dunmer. When she spoke again, it was with pride: “I am Adaeze at-Djer. I am Ra Gada.”

“Charmed.” Niernen frowned and bit her tongue -- her own pride was hissing at her to inform this callous Adaeze woman that physical prowess was irrelevant when it came to incinerating her enemies, but she didn’t. The Bosmer would eventually learn that Niernen was just as dangerous as the rest of the mercenaries. Actions speak louder than words, after all. But she couldn’t resist a prying question about Adaeze’s own appearance, and said: “And you look a little elvish to be calling yourself that, Adaeze.” That brought a twitch to the Bosmer’s eye. “I thought the Ra Gada were Redguards. Isn’t it --”

“I am Redguard!” snapped the elf with a hiss of a tone. Her eyes were narrowed in a glare, and at a second glance it appeared she was gripping her sword’s hilt. Niernen was a little taken aback by this and her sour expression made way for one of surprise. It took a very visible effort - an effort seen on Adaeze’s face as she closed her eyes and took a deep breath - to pull her hand away from her sword. The dark-skinned elf exhaled, then snapped her eyes open, regarding Niernen with a stony expression.

“I am Redguard,” she repeated, her voice shaky. “And it besmirches my honor that I nearly struck at you. You have my apologies. But,” she added in a warning tone, regaining her composure, “do not mistake my apology for allowance to repeat your insult.”

“Ayem’s mercy, woman,” Niernen said, her tone slightly exasperated. “And I thought my brother was prejudiced towards Bosmer.”

“I’m not prejudiced,” protested Adaeze, folding her arms over her chest. “I’m merely speaking truth. I am Ra Gada.

Can you not be Ra Gada and Bosmer at the same time? Niernen thought but she didn’t vocalize the question out loud, lest she taunted Adaeze into actually striking her down with that sword of hers. It was a dangerous looking sword, to be sure, large enough to slice someone in twain, and with a silvery sheen.

“Enough of that,” the Hammerfell woman said. “I should know when we mean to set out, and whether you know what manner of deeds we’ll be committing in High Rock. Tell me that, if you will.” Her words were clipped and terse, and she stood a few steps further back than she had before she exploded.

“Very well,” Niernen acquiesced, glad that the confrontational moment was over and eager to move onto a less offensive topic of conversation. “We are to set sail today, as it so happens. I don’t know what we’ll be doing in High Rock. That shall depend on who becomes our employer. We served the Jarl in Dawnstar before this so I imagine that Ashav and Gustav will offer our services to the local authorities first. And it’s High Rock, you know what Bretons are like,” Niernen said, attempting a moment of camaraderie in being condescending towards a race that wasn’t one of theirs. “Always scheming.”

“They’re a squirmy lot, to be sure,” Adaeze mused, peering off toward the ocean. “But as much as we’ve fought in the past, they’re at least better than the orcs. Their unique style of swordsmanship is well-suited to fighting armored foes as well. I look forward to learning what I can while we’re there.” The warrior paused, then looked back at Niernen.

“Are there any aboard this vessel whom would duel, should the mood strike them?” The dark Bosmer tapped the sheathed sword at her side. “I look forward to testing my mettle against that of seasoned mercenaries, and it would help prepare us for the coming days.”

Niernen immediately pictured Adaeze facing off against Narzul and his ebony sword and failed to suppress laughter at the thought. She had no way of gauging the skill of this Bosmeri Redguard, of course, so it wasn’t the forecome conclusion of the outcome that she was laughing at, but it seemed a stretch to assume that the elf would fare well against Niernen’s brother. Even so, what she was really laughing at were the barbed insults that Narzul would undoubtedly taunt Adaeze with, if his encounter with Wylendriel was anything to go by. Normally Niernen didn’t take kindly to Narzul’s racism but Adaeze’s apparent inclination to rise to the bait of such venom made for too much of an amusing mental image.

“I’m sorry, I’m not laughing at you,” the Dunmer clarified immediately after.

“Then what are you laughing at?” demanded a once-again sour-faced Adaeze.

“Ah, well, it’s just such a forward question, you know?” Niernen lied, improvising another plausible reason for her laughter. “You’re the first person I’ve ever met that’s immediately inquired after potential sparring partners upon meeting new people. Nothing wrong with that, just unexpected. Now, let me think,” she continued and tapped her chin with her index finger.

The words seemed to mollify the Bosmer. She calmed, closed her eyes, exhaled - a refrain to the previous deescalation - and then finally waved her hand in a ‘go on’ sort of gesture.

“Though I have never seen him do so, you might find one of our Khajiit, Do’Karth, to agree to a sparring match. He’s a very agile pacifist that fights with a staff. Quite unorthodox. There’s also a Nord woman on board named Sevine.” Niernen swallowed hard and suppressed the emotions associated with that name. “Nords love a challenge. Oh! Daixanos, one of the Argonians, is a very skilled hunter and warrior, and I believe he acted as a champion in a duel before. I don’t know the full story, wasn’t around for that, but you should ask him.”

Then she sighed. “And then there’s my brother, Narzul. Redoran warrior. I would stay away from him for the time being if I were you, though. He’s… really, really Dunmer. Know what I mean?”

“He wears bugs?” asked the wood elf in a confused tone. Apparently, that passed as ‘really, really Dunmer’ for Hammerfell folk.

Dumbfounded, Niernen took a second or two to answer. “What? No. No bugs.”

“I am misinformed,” Adaeze mused, then peered about the ship, as if to try and spot the crew Niernen spoke of. “And who among all those people you mentioned would be the most handy with a blade? I wish to face the best this company has to offer. If I win, I shall understand the limits of what I will learn from my compatriots. If I lose, I shall have a goal.”

“That would be Narzul,” Niernen replied without hesitation. “But let me clarify what I meant before when I said ‘really, really Dunmer’: he will not only call you a Bosmer upon seeing you, he will also incessantly insult you for being one -- not that I’m saying you’re Bosmer! But he will say that. Most of my people are… well, pretty racist. I try not to be. He makes no such efforts.”

“I see,” mused Adaeze. She reached up with one hand and stroked her chin, seeming deep in thought. Perhaps reason had found purchase. Perhaps she wouldn’t go and immediately-

“I should like to fight him right away,” the wood elf decided. “Perhaps when he is beaten he will learn some humility.”

Niernen nodded slowly. “I see. We tried that before and it didn’t work, actually.”

“I have a way with swords,” the wood elf said. “He’ll see my viewpoint.”

“If you insist,” the Dunmer replied, thinking quickly. “I’ll go find him! You wait here, alright?” Niernen waved a quick goodbye as she hopped off the crate and set off as fast as her sore legs could carry her towards the stairs down to the hold, determined to find Narzul and insist that he did not, under any circumstances, duel Adaeze. Or engage with her at all. She didn’t trust him not to aggravate her too badly, and she had enough of dealing with the social mess Narzul made.

As she fled away, Adaeze simply smiled contentedly. “What a helpful woman,” she said to herself.

“You handle yourself like a Jaqspur before the hunt,” said the sound of an amused feminine voice. Adaeze's first instinct was to grip the hilt of her sword, alarmed that someone could have sneaked up o her. It came a couple of feet away from Adaeze’s side and, upon investigation, it became clear it had come from a shorter bosmer woman dressed in green and brown robes made of various furs, wool, and leathers. She was leaning against the taffrail around port side of the main deck, crossing her arms, and a bemused look seemed to liven up an otherwise weary face.

Adaeze didn’t speak immediately. Indeed, she didn’t do much at all but raise her eyebrows and stare in a sort of dumbfounded manner at the other Bosmer woman. As the uncomfortable silence fell, the only word that escaped the Hammerfell woman’s mouth was “Jaqspur?” in a bewildered tone.

The smile on the priestess’ face turned back into a frown for a moment, then almost into a look of pity. She rocked her head to the side and sighed, “I thought not. It’s a shame to see a daughter of the Earth Bones born so far from home.”

“My home is Hammerfell,” said the other elf matter-of-factly.

At first the priestess shook her head, apparently not agreeing with the claim Adaeze had made, but there was a moment of hesitation where no words or argument came out. Instead, she merely dipped her head out of respect, clearly seeing that she has offended and showed her apologies through this simple gesture. Looking back up to face Adaeze, her tired yet welcoming expression became a touch more somber. It was a look of disappointment as much as it was one of understanding.

“Ah… sorry then.” She said. “I suppose I was hoping for some familiarity here. Skyrim has been… inhospitable.”

“The land is frozen, the sky rains ice, and the people that dwell here are walking bears,” muttered Adaeze. She absently rubbed her hands together for warmth. Her hand was away from her sword for once! “I will rest easier when we arrive in High Rock. The Bretons can be disagreeable, but the land itself is comfortable, if rocky.”

The woman just smiled and stifled a bit of laughter, trying instead to keep her composure. She nodded and said, “Yes it’s cold, but that’s nothing you can’t get used to.”

She stuck out her hand to Adaeze and greeted her with a warm expression, saying, “My name is Wylendriel. I’m this company’s chaplain.”

Yet Adaeze didn’t answer immediately. Her attention was focused on Wylendriel’s smile - or, more specifically, her sharp teeth. A frown slowly drifted onto her face. “Of course,” said the swordswoman, not truly having heard the other Bosmer’s words.

Wylendriel retrieved her hand and absentmindedly held her arms together close to her body, raising an eyebrow at Adaeze. Her curious look became more scrutinizing as she said, “Did I offend?”

“What?” The warrior’s stare flicked away from Wylendriel’s teeth. “Offend? No.” She spoke in a clipped tone and swept her left hand to the side, then let it rest on her sheathed sword at the wrist, just as she had earlier. “You are what again?”

“A chaplain.” Wy repeated. She studied Adaeze more closely now, making note how her eyes would quickly flit one way then back to eye contact - one way, then back to eye contact. She was looking at her own mouth, leer intently at her eyes, perhaps to the sides of Wy’s head; her ears? Though the priestess was previously self-conscious and guarded, her disposition softened, as did the manner of her countenance. “By Y’ffre,” she cooed, “poor thing. Bela fara, don’t tell me you’ve never met your own kind before.”

Something about the way Wylendriel spoke sparked a fire in the darker-skinned elf. Adaeze scowled at the other woman, and seemed about to retort. Her right hand rose up, one finger raised, and she seemed ready to burst. She stopped, however. Instead, the Hammerfell warrior lowered her hand, and said in a level (but cold) tone, “I believe I need to settle in.”

That was all. Adaeze started marching away from the other elf, down toward the lower decks. Wylendriel watched, puzzled and slightly worried, as the proud warrior left her view with an angry scowl dressing her face. Part of her wanted to grab the collar of the lass and yank her back like the child she was and get to the bottom of her haughty attitude, sitting her down by force if she must! But the more she thought about it, the more perturbed she felt about what had just happened. The first time she got to see another bosmer in Skyrim, and she looked at her like she was an alien, then left with a cold shoulder to her own devices. She felt the heat of her ire welling into her chest, but it suddenly sank low and heavy. Cold.

‘Why does this keep happening to me?’ She thought. ‘Is all of this my fault?’

The priestess looked off to the side to see the old khajiit once again, next to Dough-Boy who was hard at work at cleaning the laundry that Ashav must have appointed him to. Poor kid. The new blood was distracting himself with meditation, and though he was difficult to read, it seemed not even he could hide the signs of a bad case of nausea. Perhaps another day she would have greeted them - helped them even, but with one failed meeting already under her belt, she didn’t feel up to any more disappointments for today. With a word on the tip of her tongue, she closed her lips and remained silent. Instead she meandered off elsewhere, continuing her rounds around the ship.
Noon, Last Seed 5
Kyne's Tear, Solitude Harbor

The crashing of the waves.

Whooooosh... ssss..

No matter where one was at in the world, the mother moons were always a constant. They pull at the very oceans of Mundus, and it was those very waves that battered against the jagged rocks along the shore of Haafingar, spraying salty mist into the air and giving it the same taste and smell as the ocean. To some, it smelled like home. While the stinging bite of its coldness was sharp against the lungs compared to the warmer, gentler, and thicker air of Senchal, there was no doubt in the old khajiit's mind that it was the same ocean smell he remembered and that made his trip on board this miserable boat slightly more bearable.

It was just enough to stifle the sour smell of his new commander's vomit that spilled all over that uppity and frolicking snoot's laundry basket before him. He never trusted such figures, if for no other reason than because of the authority they imposed. Who was any one man to lead the life of another? The lives of many? Emperors, Kings, and Manes - it did not matter. Being favored by the gods did not mean favored by mortalkind as gods could see potential but mortals could not. They'd have to prove that potential to them, and so far, Dar'Jzo did not see it. He only provided a service in exchange for payment.

Though Dar'Jzo maintained a stoic and stony disposition, he leered again into the basket and bristled his whiskers. He felt his stomach turn at both the smell of grisly task laid before him and the bobbing of the ship on the water. This was not the kind of labor he meant. He was no enemy of hard or dirty work and he couldn't say that he was above of such labors, no - he has sunken far lower before - but today of all days? He simply did not have the stomach for it. It was only just the other day did he hear from a local just outside of Solitude that they saw another khajiit matching Saddi's profile with a human girl on a travel carriage heading westward toward High Rock.

Supposedly the road led to Jehanna, and that was when he learned of this mercenary company heading in the same direction by boat. If he had a senche friend with him, he'd be catching up to his grandson in no time. Now? He just had to take a rickety old boat and hope that the smell of vomit, bobbing on the water, and the sense of trepidation didn't work together to make him lose his breakfast. Every time he looked down at the job expected of him, he'd return his gaze straight ahead and steel his nerves. His composure was impressive - anyone else would just see a quiet, mysterious, and gloomy old cat. They never would've known that it was taking everything from him just to keep himself together.

His scrawny companion across from him seemed less reluctant in diving into the mess, furiously scrubbing away at one of the garments inside a bucket of clean water. The sooner it's done, the sooner it's over with, he'd say. When one of the crew called him Dough-Boy, Dar'Jzo must have preferred that instead of his actual name, since he had long since forgotten was his real name actually was. Dough-Boy was hard at work while Dar'Jzo seemed at ease in his meditation. He sat on the deck with his legs crossed, hands rested on his knees, and leering at everything with squinted eyes - wordlessly. To be honest, it was getting on the young man's nerves, yet the strange old cat made him feel a tad too uncomfortable to really say much about it. He found him off-putting even during their first meeting, for he was not much for chit-chat. He said his name was Dar'Jzo, and that was it for introductions. When pressed to share more about himself, all he said was that "this one works and he hunts".

You know what he has done so far ever since he told him what their shared responsibility for today was? Sitting in the same spot, expressionless and speechless, and staring at him the whole damn time. To be honest it was starting to get a little creepy. Whoever this Dar'Jzo guy was, he was unsettling, and it was getting on his nerves that he wasn't doing a damn thing to help! Meanwhile, Dough-Boy just spent all morning hauling cargo and now he was cleaning someone else's vomit for Stendarr's sake!

"Uh... Dar'Jzo?" The young man says nervously. The old cat didn't move his head or any other part of his body, only aiming his feline eyes at the young man. Dough-Boy averted eye-contact and continued, "Would you mind giving me a hand? The commander put me in charge of you new bloods, I can't just let you... well, do nothing."

"Yes." He answered simply. A brief moment of quiet had brewed between the two for a while. Both silent, both unmoving - until Dough-Boy broke the silence with, "Uh... yes as in...? You'll help? Or you do mind?"


"Right..." The young man continued awkwardly, rubbing the back of his neck with one hand - before suddenly realizing that he had been using that hand to clean vomit and quickly recoiled, wiping that hand dry on his shirt. His eyes darted uncomfortably between the laundry and Dar'Jzo, trying to think of something or some way to get his authority across.

"This one cannot help you." Dar'Jzo said. Though he sent his message across plainly in his gravelly old voice, he could practically feel his soul screaming inside. His stomach was wrenching itself, his brain was slamming itself against the inside of his cranium - and Dar'Jzo couldn't help but think, 'Please kid, do not make this worse for yourself than it has to be.' He just wanted a bit of silence so that he could focus on not turning inside out, but Dough-Boy's sense of responsibility, while admirable, was something of a hound that wouldn't stop humping his leg.

Great, now he had that image stuck in his head. Dar'Jzo just felt himself getting sicker, but not an ounce of it showed on his forever stoic face.

"Don't, uh, take this the wrong way and... like, stuff..." He started, growing increasingly both nervous and irritated as the creepy old khajiit just kept on staring at him with his sunken eyes, "and I mean no offense... but if you can't help me do laundry, then..."

Dough-Boy threw his arms out, gesturing to the entire ship around him. Then he huffed, hanging his head low. "You know what? Never mind. I don't know why I try."

"Dar'Jzo did not say he will not. Dar'Jzo will, but now he cannot. Only when the time is right."

The young man leaned in curiously, as if trying to decipher some kind of hidden meaning behind the elder's words. When the time was right? What could that possibly mean? Was... was he testing him? What if this entire time, this mysterious stranger was... maybe he was secretly a monk or something? Silly, yes, but... what if it was true? What if he was on some kind of nomad on a spiritual journey? Could he... could he train him? Be his master? Help him perfect the art of an ancient hand to hand combat style? Antii and Fjuhl wouldn't see that coming. He must know!

Dough-Boy leaned in closer, his voice hushed as he asked, "What do you mean when the time is right?"

"After this storm comes to pass." Dar'Jzo replied, deadpan as always.

Dough-Boy looked around the ocean skies. It was clearly blue as far as the eyes could see. He looked back at the khajiit and asked again, "What storm?"

Dar'Jzo did not answer, only staring ahead - almost through Dough-Boy with the same grim expression. His brows casted shadows over his bagged eyes, and the breeze whistled through the tribal-looking beads adorning his dreaded black beard and dreaded black mane, only intensifying the mystical aura which seemed to surround him. Then, for a split second, his face moved. His eyes widened, ever so slightly - then he bowed his head and hunkered over the laundry basket without warning, depositing even more vomit on top of the clothes than there was originally. The cat didn't even spray it or anything! He just bent over and, gosh, it just fell out of his mouth! Dar'Jzo returned to his original position, his expression finally taken over by one of weariness and nausea as his brows hung low. Some leftover bile collected in a small patch of fur underneath his bottom lip.

Dough-Boy reeled back the moment it had occurred and watched with horror as Dar'Jzo contributed to the disgusting mess that had to be cleaned up. His face was replaced by a look of disappointment as the old cat single-handedly crushed his daydreams with a swing of his neck and a handful of cat barf. Of course. He should have expected something like this. He took a deep sigh and shook his head, now in understanding why Dar'Jzo was telling him why he couldn't help him. He waved a dismissive hand at the new-blood and said, "You know what? Don't worry about it. I'll take care of this. Just see if you can't find some ginger for yourself."

"Dar'Jzo is fine." He lied. "He does not need the ginger."

He could about feel himself reeling. His chest heaved for a brief second, but he was able to keep it down. Nearby, a much shorter woman watched with a long drawn-out sigh. Her green and brown fur and leather robes indicative of her status as the company's one and only priestess. She had to admit that she felt indifferent toward the few of the crew who had not yet found their sea legs when she thought she should have been feeling more empathetic. Curious how some people would seem to pray more often while on a boat than when nursing whatever wounds they had. Her magic and healing ability was the real reason these people came to her. They weren't looking for someone to tend to their crises of faith like Ashav said they might. They were less willing to confront the wounds in their faith than in the wounds in their bodies.

Let the actual "medic" deal with their upset stomachs. She wasn't going to waste any time on ills mundane.

Wylendriel shook her head and kept on walking, make her way around the boat, watching the deckhands and the mercenaries hard at work. She was supposed to be keeping an eye on them and making sure they were in good and stable health. Perhaps she should be looking inward toward her own turmoil, but she buried it deep like she did many things. She hadn't felt the same since they left Dawnstar - ever since Tzinasha's death. It weighed heavily on her mind, and on her heart, but probably not for the reason it should. The dunmer assassin they captured ultimately decided that killing herself was preferable to giving up information... no, that wasn't it. That wasn't the fact that was bothering her. It was that she took the coward's way out. It was that she stole her opportunity to get back at her. She stole the life of her friend and stole her opportunity for revenge. She stole from her.

The priestess' fists clenched and slowly, she tried to control her breathing.

This wasn't right. Whatever this is that's happening to her, it isn't right. She has to get herself in order before she loses her self-control. She just hoped that there were places in High Rock where should could continue her pilgrimage. Surely the bretons had a chapel to at least one of the Nine... or one of the gods from her own people's Pantheon - she wasn't sure if it hardly even mattered who she prayed to anymore. Her thoughts returned to the moment she had signed herself up for Ashav's company. Part of her wished that she was more upfront with what she wanted from him. If she could've gotten him to agree, then he'd be beholden to his word.

By Y'ffre's hairy feet, she wish she had a pact-hostage in him right about now.

No. No, actually, she wished she had a way to bleed this feeling of anger out. No matter what she did, she felt like she was trapped inside her own head.

Gods, this was going to be a long trip.
Well this isn't turning out quite like I expected. Penny somehow managed to target three of Andrea's pet issues in the same breath without even realizing it.

Grand Ridge - Conference Room
@Surtr Inc@Atrophy

Not to sell everyone else short, but Andrea really didn't expect her little speech to go as well as it did. Sure, she hoped that people would listen to reason. She liked to believe in the best of people and that one level head in an massive argument can go a long way – but damn was the tension high, and she wasn't holding her breath for anything. First was the asian boy whose name she didn't know, then Britney, Claire seemed like, well, Claire, then the hipster girl, and then the loud mouthed kid that started escalating the situation in the first place. Penny looked like she was just stewing in self righteous anger or something. A few of the other students participants that were quiet just went on ahead to progress the conversation, and Britney was more than happy to oblige them.

Granted, she felt a little frustrated because she was still in the dark, but at least everyone seemed to cool it a little bit. Still, it would've helped her help them if she understood what was happening. What they're talking about started sounding like a foreign language to her; a bunch of nonsense about “abstractions”, weird dreams, and some kind of journal featuring some dead person's handwriting. Using context clues, however, she could tell that the dead person was connected to their problems in one way or another. Whether they were a previous victim, present in their dreams – it was hard to tell, maybe the man was both. Regardless, it seemed to point some of these kids towards a very dangerous direction, and Claire had no issue with making her opposition loud and clear... but Andrea didn't have much time to think about it before Penny lost it.

Needless to say, there were a list of things in her dramatic tirade that started waving red flags in Andrea's head. Insults and barbs that made her feel like red-hot needles were pricking at her skin and closing in from all sides. The steady drumming of her heart against her chest escalated as she felt her head become light-headed. If she doesn't fall into an anxiety attack, then she was about to get very pissed. There weren't very many ways to go about doing that.

“...makes me want to put a bullet through my God damn head.”

“Nobody was expecting the town whore to step up from her fucking knees!”

“...putting what shit you do into your body, trying to, like, open your mind, man...

If she were the target of these disgustingly incendiary jabs, she might have shut down, but she wasn't. Claire was, and in that moment, she knew more about those two women than she bargained for. Now she was pissed.

She was never really the type to get into yelling contests with other people whenever she got angry like some of the people here. No, she just made it very clear that she wasn't your friend. Perhaps most people wouldn't care, but she doesn't dare spare a single ounce of her boundless generosity with anyone like that. All she could really bring herself to do is stand between Claire and Penny. At first she looked at Claire with a knowing, sympathetic glance – no, empathetic, her eyes were welling with emotion as she hovered close in front of her. Then she turned that glance to face Penny with such a look of scorn that none of her friends would think possible (Britney has certainly never seen it).

“You need to leave. Now.” Was all she said, growling at her as she pointed to the door, not taking her eyes off of the other blonde. As far as she was concerned, nothing else needed to be said. Anything more would be redundant. Penny knew now that she wasn't welcomed here. She already got her licks in, and if she continued then she'd just be making a fool of herself. Andrea hoped she was reasonable enough to see that.

Maybe part of her wanted to show Claire that she had to be the better person here, even if it's hard. Even Andrea thought it was hard, since the idea of getting back at her was such an attractive option... but they had to prove that they were better people than her. That's all one can really do about people like that. Be the better person - even if your voice and your fists were trembling. Lord knows her body was shaking with barely controlled rage.

Grand Ridge - Conference Room @Surtr Inc@Atrophy@FernStone@Prosaic

There was a lot going on that Andrea didn't understand, and she had sort of expected that going into this whole situation. She wasn't a part of the camping tragedy like the other students here, so she suspected some issues arising such as not being able to relate to their unique and collective struggle. She expected that maybe her being an implant or a foreigner to this state - and hell, country - would set her aside from the peer group of pre-acquainted individuals, outcasted and ostracized so to speak. She wasn't expecting talk of invisible tattoos and shared dreams, or a bat magically appearing out of thin air. She wasn't expecting superpowers. That's what a number of these kids were calling them. One of them even talked as though it were normal. What could possibly be normal about it?

Her own issues and trauma, despite how profoundly they affected her, suddenly felt very small in the grand scheme of things. Part of her thought she might be going crazy, maybe she relapsed doesn't remember, and now she's hallucinating. The only problem with that logic was that felt completely sober. She has managed to stayed sober for a very long time. Even though she knew that Britney was trying to keep the situation under control, she just wished that her friend would come out with it and explain to her what was really happening. Then the pretty blonde girl spoke up.

Andrea liked to think she was able to get a good read on people, but she didn't know what her problem was. The best thing she could guess was that she and Britney already had a tumultuous relationship with one another before this brouhaha even occurred. She called her a crony, said that Brit was playing favorites - and although Andrea knew that her criticisms were emotionally charged and weren't really based on a foundation of logic or reason, it hurt her. Her words stung and they made her want to clam up and she didn't even know her.

This whole thing was her idea in the first place and it backfired terribly! It was her fault, and... gosh, she didn't even know her. She didn't even know her...

Andrea steeled her nerves and her resolve, stepping in between Britney and Penny, looking at the the latter with a pained expression on her face.

"Uh, miss? I'm sorry, but... you don't even know me." She scolded, her voice slightly trembling in her Polish accent. She looked around the room, "None of you know me, and I'm sorry that I did not make a proper introduction. To start, my name isn't crony."

She stabbed a glance at Penny and said, "Its Andrea, and it was my idea to get you all together in the first place. I wasn't there when the tragedy happened. That's why Britney was talking to me and trying to help me understand. Are you satisfied?"

With that biting remark out of the way, she continued to everyone else, "This is the first time I've been asked to help in facilitating a group, but it isn't my first time in counseling. I've visited counselors and groups like these for a long time. We're in all in college now. We're all adults now. We can be civil. Some of you might not agree with each other, but there's nothing wrong with that. All of you came here because maybe you either wanted to heal or feel like you weren't alone. You shared a struggle together, find unity in that if nothing else. We're all responsible for our own healing. I don't understand what's going on, but it isn't too late to restart. Maybe we can begin by apologizing and then everyone can work together to get me up to speed - from the beginning."
Sorry for the delay y'all. Now get ready for some normal fucking people doing normal fucking shit.

Grand Ridge - Conference Room [@fuck all everybody in the room, I don't give a shit]

Britney was the one who invited her to this meeting in the first place. Andrea suggested that perhaps she shouldn't, since she wasn't involved in that very emotionally-charged event, but her friend was persistent that she joined them. Britney was a confident woman, but perhaps she wasn't as confident as she portrays herself as. Andrea had implied that she had experience in participating in groups like these, so maybe her friend was low-key relying on that experience to guide them through this process as painlessly as possible. Perhaps she thought that it was because she wasn't there that she was the best one with the clearest head to help these people out.

Part of Andrea wondered if this was just one big prank being pulled on her for being foreign and so trusting.

First she heard someone talking about their weird new neck tattoo – they stretched their neck out and pointed at it, and nothing was there. Someone mentioned their own new tattoo that they don't remember getting and rolled up their sleeve. Nothing there. This continued on for a while with different parts of different people's bodies, and then they started talking about dreams and nightmares. They were talking about how they apparently all had the same dreams. Such things may not be uncommon when multiple people suffer an extremely traumatic event together, but their conversations were getting oddly specific. Then someone else in the crowd, someone named Billy, starts dismissing all of it like one big joke. She felt her chest getting tighter.

Then Britney starts whispering, telling her about strange happenings unique to this town. Then she asks her if she believes in magic. Andrea looked at her, her eyes slightly red and watering, staring daggers into her own.

“I don't appreciate being made a fool.” She managed to choke out. “If you wanted to--”

Then suddenly a bat randomly flew out of one student's notebook and into another student's face.

“--Ah!” She shrieked. She jumped back, pinning herself against the wall in front of the classroom, her hair brushing against the chalkboard. Now she forgot all about the sense of betrayal and the pain that came with it. She was breathing heavy, her chest heaving, and her eyes were open wide like full moons. She turned to Britney, like she was expecting some sort of explanation.

“Wh-what? What was that?!”

I know what y'all are thinking: "Oh great. He has another character."

This is just an incomplete something that I made for fun a while back when I was thinking of joining one of Dervish's games if it ever opened (spoilers: it didn't), which is why the format is a little different from this one. I almost used him for this one, but decided against it. I'm just sharing it publicly for funsies and so I could waste everyone's time. Try to enjoy!

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