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  1. #341
    Rekōdo City: In the Dungeon of the Grand Palace

    Attachment 2352

    Emit, High Chronicler of Rekōdo, Prince Eri, Acting Ruler of Rekōdo and and his guards Ganard of House Fallandor and Merelin of House Diorna

    The Prince looked tired, as tired as any man who had come back from balancing on the brink of grief and madness could be. There was a heavy sag to his shoulders now, where he knelt. He felt crushed beneath the burden of his actions and his sorrows, sorrows which he felt were endless. There was an emptiness where the presence of his sister had always been, at least for so long that he knew no other way. Now, their severed bond created an abyss within him that he did not know how to mend.

    Eliona's words sting. She can see that in the corners of his good eye as he winced and drew his lips down into a deeper frown than they normally carried. He cannot find a response for her words, truthful words. The Prince returned his stared to his sword as it hummed before him from where it had been thrust into the defaced tome. Ryth's words made the Prince look up from the sword. He watched in silence as everyone left the cell. He remained there, upon his knees, in as much a prison of abandonment and guilt as he was in the High Chronicler's cell.

    As the High Chronicler stepped out, the guards of the Prince each offered him the necessary bow of respect. Merelin and then Ganard were silent as they entered the cell to tend to the Prince. Their magikal imprints joined the Prince's half of the infinite diamond of Rekōdo. Curiously, they fit together like a completed painting: Merelin's pale white symbol bloomed around the edges of the door where the Prince's symbol could not reach, where his sister's would undoubtedly have completed the infinite symbol. The lines of the healer's tree spread out from an elegant trunk of pure white. As Ganard entered, his imprint connected the two of their together, like bridges, leaves of the tree and rivers that caressed and flowed out from the Prince's symbol. The colors of the lines varied in color, as many who had lived for generations within the City did, but his were mostly pale blue, as if aligned so acutely to Merelin' white and Eri's azure lineage that he blended the two colors together.

    The High Chronicler was left breathing hard as he re-entered the world of magik that he knew and could feel. He felt his sense and magikal presence return to him and awaken him as if he'd jumped off the cliffs at Cajos and into the Ocean of Liar'Adon. As Ryth and Eliona fiddled with the Guild Badge, Emit put a hand on the cold, damp stone of the wall. He drew his colonial-style coat on and frowned at the state of it. It had endured much and was both singed and bloodied. An attempt was made to brush some of the singe away, but it was in vain. The notion of the Observatory being used for a Council Meeting caused the High Chronicler to look up suddenly. His sense of duty to Rekōdo kicked in. Wrapping on the High Council table began recording the meetings in one of the texts of the restricted room of the library. It was a stone Totem, ancient and from the founding of their united provinces. The meeting could not be recorded. A piece of history was being lost to time. At least, from the sounds of it, it was secure. She was secure. He was safe. Everything was safe.

    The High Chronicler's mental exhaustion was apparent this close to Eliona. There were rings under his eyes and a paleness to his already light complexion. His blue-grey eyes regard her, finally able to observe her for the first time.

    "Thank you" he said gently, a bit of himself far from her. He mentally explored his magik for a moment, taking inventory and becoming familiar with it again. He had been cut off from it so haphazardly for so long that it almost felt foreign to him. He looked to the portal before them and reached out a hand that shook, despite his desire not to, and took Eliona's arm. He looped his elbow with hers, as if they were going to go for a promenade through the City. There was a bit of weight to his end. He felt more off balanced than he wanted to admit. His eyes studied her, to be sure her offer for aid extended to assisting him through the portal. With a gentlemen's protocol, he gesture with a hand for Eliona to enter the portal. The High Chronicler followed behind her through the portal and stepped out into the atmosphere of the Heli'Dom.


    Faraking Island of Taroc in Far Western Rekōdo: The Floating Heli'Dom

    Attachment 2351

    Pasce, Princess of Rekōdo, Arion, Second of Taroc, Nalia of Enchantry, Sacha, Shepherd of Souls and Aramil, his Advisor

    ~It might be better~ Nalia's quiet voice replied within Branwen's mind ~if Kali knew. Then she would not badger me so about resting.~

    Nalia's emerald eyes, glowing lightly around the irises with the cut of emerald stone that dangled at her forehead, moved sideways to Branwen from where she stood. A small, smile accompanied. Small and quick as her fingertips glowed aloft before before her. Branwen would feel the acceptance of energies move in Nalia's direction. She took just a little, just enough to tithe her over for just a little longer. She dipper her head to Branwen subtly. Then Nalia's eyes moved to Alain. The eyes in the room that knew Alain all seem to have moved to the adrift Guild Master of Taroc. Sacha's blue eyes looked between them all and his white brows furrowed. They all showed patience, a patience he came to realize was because they knew the Master well. They knew something was coming from the internal conversation taking place between the Vessel of Taroc and the Spirit he housed.

    "The First Creations of Liar'Adon, the things we can only call lore, have long removed themselves from the world of men." What remained of the original High Council under Heron were most comfortable with speaking up in a place filled with such important bodies. Nalia's quiet voiced drifted easily through the gathered like the mist that crept along the waters by the Ailes. "The O'aris are the first to have be sighted in generations."

    "The Dragonkind have not come beyond the Holds of Maginus since before the Great War ended. We-" Sacha outwardly frowned. "- have not allowed it." He continued and glanced at Alain as he spoke. "They were well informed of what was current in Rekōdo. Karythar heard the rumor of Darmon's murder by Nalia. She spoke of knowing word beyond the mountain. They could have spies."

    Caldur could be a spy to Karythar. Sacha implied as much, but it could just be Maginus paranoia. They, at least, had a reason to strike against Maginus as Caldur had, but Arion had said the man was tainted with Maginus presence in his Soul Song. Sacha and Nalia's eyes shifted to the Princess, but Pasce's eyes had changed.

    Evalynn senses instantly alerted her to the trinket pulled from Olivia's bag. Her blue eyes follow the undead woman's movements. The room is bathed in the dark blue glow of the fire and it casts Evalynn's face in a play of light and shadow. It caused the scales on her arm to glisten and shine. Evalynn opened her palms as the wave of energy flowed over the room. She felt a curtain close around the Heli'Dom, a veil of sorts that the made this place impermeable to crossing. Evalynn studied the components of the veil, the making of its magik with her senses. Without hesitating, she took Olivia's hand. It was when Sacha of Maginus presented his hand to her that she paused.

    The Guild Master of Maginus's serious blue eyes settled on her and she felt every fiber within her being freeze. He stared, unblinking at her through strands of ghostly white hair. What was the story she was told as a child about white hair on someone too young to naturally have it? There was a story. Something about Spirits. But her mind simply could not function under the unwavering gaze of the man who now housed more power than anyone in Maginus. Evalynn felt her chest tighten and the runes carved into the side of her face burn with spells long since cast. Since escaping to Enchantry, seeing the attempted assassination of Nalia al'Vatar, and how the foolishness with with Darmon of Maginus almost threw them all into a third Great War, Evalynn had done everything in her power to avoid Maginus at all costs. Now, here it was, offering her its hand.

    Arion turned to look at the space where a portal would blossom to life. For a long moment, he was silent, listning to something only he could hear. Then a lopsided grin took hostage os his mouth. He spoke to Alain mostly, but his voice lifted to the ear of everyone present.

    "Ryth an' Eliona are comin'." His face changed. His brow furrowed. "They've got... someone with 'em."

    An official Taroc military portal opened exactly where Arion had looked. The Princess stared at the portal. Her face was unreadable. Sacha continued to stare at Evalynn. His hand was still offered to her. Evalynn felt herself being examined under the serious and silent gaze of the young Guild Master of Maginus. Her blue eyes grew unsure under the consistent scrutiny of his gaze.

    Then Ryth, Eliona and the High Chronicler of Rekōdo came through the portal. The Princess made a soft sound at the sight fo the last, but restrained herself from taking a single step forward.
    Last edited by SilntAngl5; 10-06-2018 at 06:12 PM.
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  2. #342
    The Great Orange One Qwaring's clone#1 is offline Qwaring's clone#1's Avatar
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    Lieutenant Lydmila Pavlich, Doctor Doraen & Berlix Ruelle

    The City of Clow, In the Province of Taroc...

    Lydmila recognizes the house. Every powerful seer of Taroc has visited, or been visited by, Zinna and her legendary house. Though, this appearance seems different. The house usually slips its way, unseen, into a place. Here it seems to have blundered out onto the stage like a drunken actor.

    The sniper is visibly surprised to see Doraen stumble out of the house. It seems unlikely the doctor would have stolen the house for some kind of joyride. The man respects his grandmother too much to take her home away from her.

    Doraen senses the confusion in his longtime friend. He opens his mind to her. Lydmila's psyche pulls away from the wolves. They will sense her thoughts embracing those of Doraen's. Information flows between them, like two halves being joined back together.

    They live out the recent experiences of the other. Lydmila's travel to Capios aboard the ghost ship. Zinna betraying Taroc, and meeting her ultimate end. First encountering the wolves. Reuniting with Udaya and Berlix. The battle for Enchantry. Learning the truth of the lost guilds. Clow assigning Lydmila to investigate the origins of the wolves.

    It's Udaya's conversation with the Alpha that shows the Taroc man and woman that their separate paths are actually entwined.

    Lydmila breaks her connection with Doraen, retreating from him. She turns away from the others. There's too much to process.

    Doraen picks himself up off of the railing, only the great space between him and his friend prevents him from reaching out to her. To comfort her as she struggles with the same agony that has threatened to drive him mad. The tip of a cutlass being pointed at Doraen's nose diverts the doctor's attention from Lydmila. He turns to see an azure ghost pointing his sword at Doraen. One blazing golden eye glaring at the doctor.

    Gold-Eye draws an ancient flintlock pistol from his belt and aims it at Udaya's top hat.

    "You've boarded the wrong ship," the ghost pirate snarls. "You've stolen the wrong house, from a nice old woman that I owe many debts to. You seem quite friendly with pals of mine, and so I do not slice you to pieces or shoot new holes through you."

    "Uh- I'm Zinna's grandson," Doraen stammers as he raises his hands and tries to remember any spell that can banish or offer protection from ghosts. No such spells come to mind at the moment. It has been a long night. "We didn't steal the house, it- well- I suppose she left it to me."

    "Left it- ?" the captain whispers. He gazes at the house. His golden eye sees the image of a kindly old woman waving goodbye to him. He had never seen Zinna in life. She spoke to him after the Great War, when he had lost his sight. He heard her projected thoughts after his death, when she convinced him to accept Olivia's offer of a new existence in the living word. He's somehow certain this image is Zinna. Gold-Eye lowers his weapons as the image fades from his mystical senses. "She's gone?"

    Not dead. He can feel that. No. She's simply gone. As if she never was. An end that even the dead fear.

    With the sword no longer pointed at him, Doraen raises his cane, as if to use it to defend himself if the pirate changes his mind and attacks.

    Gold-Eye walks away from the doctor. He pulls his hat from his head and holds it to his chest.

    "Twice that old gal gave me a reason to go on. Without her I would have either ended my miserable life or remained in the great beyond. I am what I am because of that woman."

    Lydmila glances over her shoulder and up at the ghost. Zinna was a traitor. Committing unknown crimes. Betraying so many that didn't deserve such treatment. And yet, she did do some good. Saved some souls.

    It's something to consider as Lydmila wrestles with the knowledge that Clow and Taroc had been a part of the Quieting of two provinces. Clow had participated in attempted genocide.

    How is she to view her friend and mentor now? Saint or monster? A wise spirit or a foolish demon?

    Did he send her here to help him to uncover a great injustice, or to harm him by exposing his greatest crime?

    She closes her eyes. Breathes. Pushes away the things Clow taught her of wisdom, foresight, and following the laws of Taroc and the laws of the stars. The spirit's lessons feel poisonous now. Lydmila summons up the lessons of LeCavalier. The ways of his clan. Of ancient justice, protecting those in need, and fighting against those who would do harm to the innocent.

    Clow and the old council did what their laws deemed was right. It wasn't morally right. It wasn't justice. The LeCavalier's knew this. This is why there is evidence of their clan rebelling against Taroc. Their instincts always guide them towards justice.

    These are the instincts that LeCavalier sought to impart upon Lydmila.

    Lydmila turns to look to Udaya. The sniper radiates the certainty of purpose that Doraen sought her out to find.

    "We will do what must be done," Lydmila tells the old Shamaa woman. She looks to the Alpha. "Can you find your way back to what had once been your homeland?"

  3. #343
    The World of Dreams, Clow...

    The Dire Wolves of the Ailes and Udaya of Shamaa

    In their attentive pets from the ancient Shamaa woman, the pack of noir Dire Wolves does not notice Lydmila slip from their presence. They eagerly nudged their noses forward to get at Udaya, to smell her and be touched by her. She lifted her hands from them as they fought.

    "None of dat here, now!" she scolded seriously and wagged a crooked finger at them. "Dere is plenty to be given out by dese here. Udaya's old hands are no ordinary tings like a delicate flower! Dey will not tire, boys. De are all yours now."

    Like with the Raven's Triumph and her crew, the greeting the Wolves gave her was excited and familial. Their tails wagged eagerly and their wide, crimson eyes tried to squeeze their way to the front of the pack and vie for Udaya's affections. Their noses sniffed loudly at the odd, old woman. They especially were fond of the many pockets of her apron. The air rose and fell with their pants and whines.

    Only the Alpha Wolf noticed Lydmila's slight departure from them. His stature remained poised, erect where he sat, but solemn. Outside the excitement, he was the only one of his pack to realize what was transpiring between Doctor and the Sniper. The large Wolf regarded the two of them with his crimson gaze and silently watched over the two halves joining in something so uniquely perfect that it felt familiar. It felt balanced, like home once did, when he had a home. Lydmila suddenly turning away from them all distracted him from fully re-living that memory.

    That, and the sudden sounds and images of confusion from his pack. The Alpha's mind was suddenly swarmed with images of all their angles, of the Ghost Captain pointing a weapon at the elder Shamaa woman. Their whines rose in distress at two allies at odds. The pack shifted their paws, stepping back adn then unsurely moving forward. They did not know what to do.

    "What is de sense in pointing dat ting at Old Udaya's hat?" she questioned amid the flurry of large, dark bodies moving near her. "Dere is nothing dere!"

    She let out a hearty cackle and looked up beyond the old, misshapen brim of her hat.

    "Dats funny right dere... You are just a hat now."

    Udaya's amused smile faded as Gold Eye realized Zinna's fate. Her squinted, wrinkle-burdened eyes regarded the Captain with a solemness to rival the Alpha Wolf's.

    "Put dat cane down" she whispered loudly to Doraen. "Zinna's boy has more sense den dat. Dese ones here are harmless."

    She smiled a cheeky, toothless smile at the Captain and his crew. Her smile grew excited at Lydmila's proclamation. She waved a vague hand at Doraen while ardently listening to Lydmila.

    "Here, Zinna's boy. Listen to dis girl here. We are going on a trip now."

    But the Alpha Wolf is silent. Lydmila's request drew out a slow silence from the all pack. Eerything dow to their tail tips were still.

    ~I know the way.~

    There was a type of silence at the end that implied there was more to say. The lead Wolf rose from where he sat as if preparing himself for a great journey. Around them, the hazy, pastel color of the Dream World began to shift and morph. The Alpha's crimson eyes stared hard at Lydmila. There was a shine to the blood-color. Aboard the house and ship, Udaya looked down at the ground beyond her feet and pursed her lips in a distorted frown.

    ~Prepare yourselves~ he warned Lydmila, warned them all. ~It is most dangerous to travel there in Dreams.~


    The World of Dreams, The Northeast Edge of The Marshlands...

    The World around them changed the moment they blinked their eyes. The sudden appearance of the airy space of the fields all around them would be dizzying and disorienting. The City of Clow was gone, replaced by vastness of the Marshlands of the South. The world was a hazy color, but here, it almost faded to dull grays and browns. The World of Dreams appeared sickened. The tall grasses that would be a rich gold in color were a dull gray and the riverlets of water that pocketed the extensive fields to the south and west were gray. The buildings of Ardhin in Shamaa were not visible where they stood. They were on the last stretch of dry ground before the Tiarna Wood, her Border Forests and the Marshlands that separated her from the forest they stood and faced.

    It would take only a moment for the to realize where they were. The distant glisten of the Sea of Sul and the dark buildings of the city of Ardhin were to their right, to the south and west. Behind them was the rise of the Tiarna Woods. Her energies hummed and stirred the air at their backs with energy. There was a stillness to the air, one that was made the energies of the forest far behind them and the energies of the looming, dark before them.

    The Alpha Wolf had brought them to the Wilderlands. He stood in the tall grasses and faced the forest silently. The rest of the pack came and stood behind him. Their fur moved subtly in a breeze that did not exist here. The forest was still several yards off, but was an imposing wall of darkness that swayed in sync with the same breeze that subjected the Dire Wolves' fur to movement. As the breeze blew the air and energy of the forest reached them. The Wolves stood perfectly still, but the hair on everyone human would raise in alarm. Something about the air here was wrong. It felt off, charged, dark as if haunted. The forest stood silently before them. From the edge of the porch on Zinna's house, Udaya put a hand up to her old, top hat.

    "Oh no."

    One member of the Alpha Wolf's pack made a quiet, high noise.

  4. #344
    The Great Orange One Qwaring's clone#1 is offline Qwaring's clone#1's Avatar
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    Lieutenant Lydmila Pavlich, Doctor Doraen & Berlix Ruelle

    The World of Dreams, The Northeast Edge of The Marshlands...

    Gold-Eye isn't certain where to glare first.

    "First you plant a house on my beautiful Raven," the ghost complains at Doraen. Then he turns to growl at the Alpha, "Now you've kidnapped my poor boat!"

    Gold-Eye storms away from the others. He walks through the house, passing immaterially through its walls. The pirate emerges out from the house and continues onward up some steps and to the helm of his ship. There he recovers a dented brass telescope. He peers his empty eye socket through the broken telescope and at the surrounding dreamscape.

    "Ruining a perfectly good fishing vacation," Gold-Eye grumbles to himself.

    Doraen pays little attention to the ghost, now that Udaya has assured him that it's safe. It also helps that the ghost doesn't seem to want to kill any of them right now, despite the complaints. The doctor instead looks at the wolves. According to Lydmila's recent experiences, these wolves are really men. Warriors of the lost province. Doraen stares at them, trying to use his mystically enhanced senses to detect the humans dwelling within the forms of these giant wolves.

    Lydmila's focus is on their surroundings. Ever the sniper, her eyes scan the horizons. She quickly finds the darkness. Feels the chilling corruption of this place slithers across her senses. Lydmila grabs the strap of the rifle slung over her shoulder, ready to tug the strap and pull her weapon into her hands.

    Doraen's study of the wolves ends when he also feels the unnatural energy radiating from the dark wilderness. With a shudder he looks out at the Wilderlands.

    "Feels like an infected wound," Doraen whispers. Such imagery is the first image the combat physician can conjure as he beholds such a foreboding place.

    Gold-Eye, tiring of what he sees, or doesn't see, through his broken telescope, throws the dented brass thing away.

    "What is this place?" Gold-Eye demands, as he sets a hand on the wheel of the helm. With a slight nudge of the wheel, the entire ship begins to turn itself. Slowly the vessel starts to drift towards the haunted Wilderlands. "It looks cursed. Haunted. Dangerous. No doubt there are countless horrible beasties lurking about in such a place."

    Gold-Eye enjoys a twisted grin as they drift ever closer to the place he is describing.

    Meanwhile, Lydmila, who still hasn't boarded the ship, notices the Raven's Triumph slowly moving forward. She pulls her rifle from over her shoulder, and holds the weapon at the ready. Lydmila then begins moving forward, walking beside the large ship. The Raven's Triumph is lurching forward at such a slow pace, that Lydmila is able to easily keep up with it.

    "Is it wise to go into there?"Doraen worries aloud. He then looks to Udaya. "Should we research this a bit more? Gather some information first?"

    "Bah!" Gold-Eye scoffs. "The sound of that beating heart is filling your head with nonsense. Once that heart stops, you can hear how silly fear is."

  5. #345
    The World of Dreams, The Northeast Edge of The Marshlands...

    The Dire Wolves of the Ailes and Udaya of Shamaa

    The Alpha's right ear skewed behind his head in the Captain's direction, but he otherwise remained forward-facing. The entirety of the pack has gone still. Their silence added to the eerie atmosphere of the foreboding, tall forest before them. This was the first they had seen their homeland in so many years they'd lost count. None of them remembered. They had lost most of their humanity and could not return to their human forms. Only the Alpha remembered, but even he was slowly losing his memories and was too stuck in the form of a wolf. Someday he would forget entirely and they would be merely wolves and nothing more of a man. Standing before the forest awoke a sense of familiarity in the Dire Wolves. Something that told them to leave this place. Something urgent.

    The change in the pack's stance, how rigidly they remained immobile, was noticed by Udaya. The old Shamaa woman frowned her lips and tilted her head back toward the pacing golden-eyed captain and listened to his grumblings. She kept her squinted eyes on the wolves.

    "We are outside Rekōdo" she said as the ship started to slither forward. There was an intrigued quality of haunting to her aged voice.

    Carefully, with a caution that would rapidly spill over to fear if the pack were not so well trained, the Alpha shared this sensation with the others. "Dis place here is as old as de Tiarna Wood. De magik here is of de same cloth worn by Emporium."

    Udaya was standing to observe the Dire Wolves, but now she sat down. She used the oar to guide her unsteady descent and made a noise as she landed upon the top stair of the House's porch. She sat firmly and stared down the forest as they made their slow approach toward it.

    "De Captain is right" she said after a moment. "It is wiser to not fear here."

    Slowly, the ship and the sniper come upon the Wolves. The breeze that touched the trees and made them sway ruffled their fur at their erect ears. Without word or command, the pack, as a unit, started forward. The Alpha walks in the front of the formation of dark shapes alongside Lydmila.

    ~This place~ The Great Wolf began. He seemed to struggle to produce the thoughts he needed to explain to them the depth of the things they felt in the air. How much worse it would be within the forest itself. ~It has been corrupted.~

    The phantom breeze toyed aggressively with the Wolf's fur. His crimson eyes were unblinking in their commitment to the forest ahead.

    ~The clans of the Wilderlands have been lost to the Blight, one by one. For a long time, it was fought, but we were not enough. In Dreams, it came, and our people were lost, but even now in the waking world, we have not heard the sounds of our people for decades.~

    There was a frown painted upon Udaya's face that seemed to become a permanent fixture since they'd arrived at the Wilderland forest. She crossed her gangly arms across her chest and sat on the porch of Doraen's house in stony silence, stew-stained oar in hand.

    ~The dark things we fought on the Ailes~ said the Wolf ~have the same stench as the things found here.~

    Udaya looked sharply down at the Wolf now. Her already slivered eyes sharpened to needles.

    "De soldiers of Dreams have been scattered to de four winds, but not all are lost to de dark. Not yet. old Udaya's hut is close to dis place and to de Mother Woods. Her old ears can still hear de drums of de men."

    ~They have gone from here, Old Woman. The drums you hear are echoes of what our greatness once was, before the time we forgot and were forgotten.~

    Udaya silently considered this.

    "Perhaps, but de land does not forget even if de people do. De drums still have life in dem."

    The Wolf snuffed air out of his nose, a human equivalent to a snort of disbelief. He continued on, speaking once more to all of them.

    ~The Blight was always there, as was the way to Dreams and other things, but we could fight it and beat it. But it grew more powerful after the spell was cast. There was no one who could fight with us after we were forgotten.~

    The forest loomed tall before them. A darkness began to dampen the air, as if there were clouds above them bringing forth a storm.

    ~If you enter the Woods~ the Alpha said without ceasing his gate. ~You become a warrior beside us, part of our fight. If you do not desire combat against the Blight, then go back to Clow.~
    Last edited by SilntAngl5; 11-11-2018 at 02:08 PM.

  6. #346
    Count / Countess Tigers is offline Tigers's Avatar
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    May 2004
    Your guess is as good as mine
    Blog Entries


    Branwen returned Olivia’s nod of thanks as she focuses on Alain. Knowing that the Guild Masters had been stripped of their ancestral spirits and left powerless, she could understand the need to make sure one was ready and up to task for whatever challenges lay before them.

    “Of course, it is my pleasure, if there is a need later you have only but to ask.” She replied to the leader of Taroc."

    And though Nalia had not ever housed an additional spirit other than her own, she understood in many subtle ways why she was reluctant to drink in the offered gift. Although her eyes took in the entirety of the room, they slid ever so slightly toward the Enchantry leader and softly gazed upon the expectant mother. A smile touched her lips as she replied…

    “Kali tends to have a heavy hand, but you know her heart to be pure.”



    Before either of the two could converse further, Kali looked directly between both women, her eyes also settling upon Nalia.

    “I already know, and that still won’t keep me from badgering you when it comes to your safety and the child’s, Nalia.”

    There was no venom in Kali’s words, the anger within her had grown over the last few months to a more channeled and productive outlet….her enemies. And as of this moment, she was still sizing up the new Guild Master for Maginus. And speaking of Maginus, her focus was immediately snatched away from her sister and Nalia at Sacha’s words.

    “The Dragonkind have not come down because the world of man does not deserve their wisdom and teachings. You hunt them and treat them as mindless beasts and then you place your human thoughts, and beliefs upon them. What makes you, HUMAN, believe that you could possibly know or understand them, let alone make crass assumptions that they would even need spies to know what is happening in this world.”

    Her venom stopped short as she looked back at Nalia, and addressed her leader’s earlier words.

    “The First Creations of Lia’Adon, Nalia. They are closer to divine than those of us walking in flesh. The O’aris, they took a chance because of you, you showed them the first glimpse that their lesser brethren still had possibilities, you gave them hope. “

    Her eye’s turned toward Sacha and narrowed slightly.

    “Whether arrogance will continue to blind you to the truth, they are your older brother’s and sister’s, we are all related whether we believe it or not and yet we war against each other and take the lives of our family just because they are different. And it is not just the O’aris or Dragonkind, we do it to each other too.”

    It had taken awhile for Kali to not take slight in the fact that her interactions with the dragons had not led to anything more than acceptance. She had come to realize, it was because she was more of what they were, a child from another place that was half one thing and half another. It needed to be someone like Nalia, or Evalynn or anyone that was human and of Lia’Adon’s creations to bring about the possibilities of harmony and union.
    Peace is a lie
    There is only passion
    Through passion I gain strength
    Through strength I gain power
    Through power I gain victory
    Through victory my chains are broken
    The Force shall set me free

  7. #347
    The Great Orange One Qwaring's clone#1 is offline Qwaring's clone#1's Avatar
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    Alain LeCavalier, Verona Aliester, Olivia Kuhrson, Eliona & Filip Ryth

    Faraking Island of Taroc in Far Western Rekōdo: The Floating Heli'Dom

    When Arion predicts the arrival of Ryth, Eliona, and another, Alain turns to look at where he predicts this portal will appear. Clow informs his host that the portal will actually appear fifteen degrees to his left. Alain turns to the spot the ancestral spirit indicates, and as surely as the sun rises every morning the portal arrives where and when the Second and spirit predicted.

    Ryth is the first to step through the portal. An old soldier, in battle-worn civilian clothes. Next through the portal is Eliona. She's a pair of compassionate eyes peering out from the Astralian dignity and grace that she seems to have been sculpted from. Lastly, Emit, the High Chronicler of Rekōdo arrives. His arm is looped with one of Eliona's arms. Emit's clothes will look clean and pristine, befitting a man of his station in Rekōdo society. Wisps of Astralian magic fades from his restored outfit.

    During the portal journey, Eliona had taken the liberty of using her magic to make Emit's clothes look better than the state they were in when he was freed from the dungeon. Even the odors of the dungeon are gone, replaced with the scents of ancient tomes and candles burning long into a night spent studying arcane secrets.

    Ryth approaches Pasce, places a fist over his heart, and bows to the princess. A salute to her, and no other.

    "Message delivered," Ryth reports to Pasce. He then steps away, doing his best to stay out of the way of whatever ritual is obviously starting to take place.

    Eliona grants a graceful curtsy to the gathering in the chamber. There are too many powerful and influential people in the observatory to truly give every one of them the respect and pleasantries that they deserve, plus Eliona doubts they want their meeting interrupted by a would-be healer trying to be polite.

    Alain looks at the new arrivals. Making mental notes on them all, but it's the High Chronicler that Alain focuses on. Something about the way the man moves seems off to the Guild Master. Clow reminds Alain that Emit had suffered a great deal when Jinai and her second tortured the Chronicler. Alain concedes that this could very well be the cause, but he suspects something recent may have happened.

    Verona taps her pencil on her pad of paper, as if pondering some point she had just written. In reality, the tapping is an audible signal that lets Alain know he is staring. Alain takes his aide's hint and returns his attention to the conversation.

    Alain decides to signal the others that these new arrivals can be trusted with the important matters they are discussing. He does so by continuing the conversation with no show of reluctance.

    "The world of man may not deserve the wisdom of the dragons, but I would say it could deserve their infiltration and intervention," Alain comments. "When Master Sacha and myself spoke to the dragons, they revealed that when Darmon stole the dragon staff from them it had a devastating effect on them. No new dragons have been born since the loss of the staff. Unless the staff is returned to them they will face extinction.

    "Master Sacha and myself have pledged to the dragons that we would do everything within our power to return the staff to them."

    Alain pauses to weigh the possibilities.

    "However, if Caldur was a dragon agent, he would have returned the staff to them already," Alain observes. "It might be too soon to jump to any single conclusion."

    As Alain seeks to understand the nature of their enemy, Olivia is focused on the task of protecting the upcoming ritual. The methods Olivia is utilizing is simple, primordial. It's taught to every novice sorcerer in Maginus. It was practiced by their most ancient ancestors in ages long since forgotten. However, she is using this most basic method of magical manipulation to shape an intensely complex structure. The simplicity of it will allow their work to act as a brute force method of driving off any threats. The complexity of it will work to baffle and disperse any intelligent attempts to intrude upon the ritual.

    Olivia crafts an invisible webbing of mystical and spiritual forces over the area. From this webbing she begins hanging defensive spells. The webbing reaches out to capture any energies and spells that Sacha and Evalynn are contributing to the structure that Olivia is building. The webbing hungrily seeks to pull in whatever structures and spells the other two Maginus-born sorcerers will contribute. The webbing is extra greedy in its attempt to ensnare and draw in whatever the new Guild Master creates for this defensive barrier. Sacha does have access to more power, and through his spirit he can gain more skills, and so Olivia wants him to know more is expected of him. It's an obvious challenge for the new Master to show what he is capable of.

    The air over the ritual begins to glow with grey, blue, and violet runes of ancient Maginus. The high ceilings of the Heli'Dom creaks nervously as it smells the Maginus sorcery being woven.

  8. #348
    Faraking Island of Taroc in Far Western Rekōdo: The Floating Heli'Dom

    Attachment 2352 Attachment 2351

    Pasce, Princess of Rekōdo, Emit, High Chronicler of Rekōdo Arion, Second of Taroc, Nalia of Enchantry, Evalynn Agravaine of Enchantry, Sacha, Shepherd of Souls and Aramil, his Advisor

    It was Kali's relentless venom that distracted Sacha from the blue eyes of the Maginus-born Enchantress. Whatever spell of exploration he'd fallen under with her presence nearby was broken and Sacha's blue eyes narrowed as he turned to face the wrathful Second of Enchantry.

    "A human can understand the language of any of Liar'Adon's creations if they know how to listen." There was a slight seething in Sacha's voice, a subtle emphasis on words with his voice. "They do not come because they fear eternal death for their kind."

    It was not atypical for Maginus to be lumped under one dark, ugly umbrella. It was done to each province by every other. Maginus was too dark. Shamaa was too savage. Taroc was too personal. Da'Jinn was too traditional. Astral was too lax. Enchantry was too mysterious. Rekōdo City was waxed on as being too modern. While he personally had never hunted the Dragonkind in any way- he was not that kind of Maginus Priest- the sting of an entire population being scolded together was irksome for the new Guild Master. His tone was dangerously low as he continued.

    "Maginus and the Dragonkind have warred for so long that our history and stories do not tell of a time before. Even such a history is riddled with information. For example, it is known that the nature of the Dragonkind allows them to shape shift."

    The Guild Master of Maginus's eyes leveled on Kali. It might not have been something that they shared with Kali. That was not knowledge he had ready. Personally, he had not seen such a transformation, but he trusted the texts of old enough to know when the opinion o the scholar clouded the accuracy of the information.

    "Master Sacha speaks truthfully" Nalia said with something odd and shaky in her voice. She glanced at Alain, Kali and Pasce before continuing. "When I underwent Darmon's trials to be the Second of Maginus, I met three of the Uru'Loki in a cave beneath a lake. Two of the three were humanoid in form."

    Nalia made herself keep eye contact with the group present. A small portion of the people here knew why that memory was a cursed one for her. Arion could hear her discomfort and knew her well enough to see it masked upon her face. He interjected.

    "I've never 'eard a Dragon Soul Song before. I 'ave nothin' to compare Caldur's Song to."

    Sacha made a noise of displeasure. The more he thought about it, the more Caldur being an agent of the Dragonkind sat well with him. He did not argue the point any further. He would not let the idea get dismissed, but he could not disagree with the Master of Taroc. They needed more information, more evidence before anything could be narrowed down. His blue eyes settled cooly on Kali and stayed there a long moment.

    "Perhaps the alliance Master Alain and I showed to them will help persuade them to take a chance on humankind once more."

    With that, Sacha turned, hooked the half-arrowhead end of his crook on the front of his shoulder, and offered his hand once more to the Enchantress born of Maginus blood. Her eyes were ringed with violet, spirit-light as she looked cautiously up at the white-haired Guild Master of Maginus.

    "I may be from Maginus" Sacha whispered under his breath to her. "but I do not bite."

    He extended his hand and opened his palm to her without breaking eye contact. Evalynn inhaled deeply and gave him her hand. There was a rushing sound in their ears and they found each other standing across from each other in a void of darkness. They stood at opposite ends of a large, round shield bearing the crest of Maginus on its face. The sky of the pitch black void flickered above them and sent lightning crackling along the dark blue and violet webbing that seemed to coat the entirety of the ceiling. It was high above, and when the flickering revealed them, it also illumined the webbing beneath the transparent floor that connected them to the energy-hungry spells Olivia had crafted. The webbing that snakes from Sacha is intricate and extensive. More is drawn from the Guild Master and his Ancestral Spirit, and he gives it willingly to Olivia's network of power lines. Inwardly, Arxus prided in Sacha's ability to show off his magikal might, but his host remained humbly silent. Evalynn's network is not so grand as his, but it glows violet and violently in such a way that it drew the Guild Master's attention. Something moved along the lines of power offered by the Enchantress. It snaked and curled along them like an agile snake. It made it's way down to Evalynn's main line and surged upward around her. The Master of Maginus firmed his ground as a translucent, violet dragon coiled up her body. Upon reaching her head, it leapt outward between she and the Guild Master and craned its neck back proudly. It flared open its wings with a spray of electric-like sparks, the light of which reflected off its almost clear, violet scales. The dragoness looked at the Guild Master of Maginus with its blue eyes, placed a taloned claw atop the lightning bolt of Maginus protectively, and then let out a fearsome, yet utterly silent roar.

    The void disappeared from them both in a blink and left both of them without breath and with hearts pounding. Kali would feel a quickening of her own heart, one to match the rushing and pounding of Evalynn's as she stared up at the Guild Master of Maginus with wide eyes. Her shocked stare was mirrored by him. Kali would feel their connection through her blood bond with Evalynn. Something had happened between them, but the extent of it would be unresolved. Sacha's attention was drawn from Evalynn as Aramil began to stir from his meditation. His roguish brown eyes Sacha almost immediately.

    "Ah, very good!" he said and then looked around to observe the magikal air around him. He gave an approving nod. "Fantastic. Shall we begin?"

    Arion had begun to hum lightly as the Heli'Dom began to groan. The air had changed in magikal content and he thought it would soothe the ancient structure to hear something of Taroc among so much foreign magik. His voice, so quietly, alit lightly in the air and somehow touched the ears of all those who had lived in the land of Taroc. He began a slow walk, as he had done before while playing. With his body, he traced out Taroc runes upon the stone floor of the Heli'Dom. His crimson eyes glanced over at the Princess and the newly arrived. Nalia too took notice of the Princess. As she came slowly to stand by Alain's side and observe her, Arion gave Alain a psychic nudge and nodded over at Ryth and the Princess.

    Pasce had not come to fulfill her part of the ritual yet. The Princess's back was to the room and so her face too was hidden from them. One of her hands came out and touched Ryth's arm before he could move too far away from the Maginus hoodoo being procured.

    "My thanks cannot be numbered, Master Ryth" she said to him and then removed her hand from the old soldier. Eliona is offered a grateful nod from the Princess in response to her curtsy. Pasce eyes could not be seen by the room, but to Eliona they showed relief and so much thanks. Then her eyes moved to the High Chronicler.

    Despite his grievances, the pale-blond man of high station came to one knee before her and bowed to her with a hand laid across his chest, over his heart. Pasce was very still, but her face ached as she watched him lower himself, stiff, tight and clearly hurting. She could not bear to see him rise alone. Her hands were infinitely gentle as they eclipsed one of his, as if the act of touching him might break him. The High Chronicler's head whipped up and his blue-grey eyes settled on her and, for a long moment, stared silently. He then put the hand that had crossed his chest for her atop her hands and gave a subtle nod. Together, they rose.

    The Princess looked up at the High Chronicler of Rekōdo, who was easily taller than her. Beneath his top hand, hers held his tightly.

    "You received my messages?" he sad gently after a clear of his throat.

    "Every one" she said at grateful a whisper. "The Spirits have been returned to Alain and Maginus's new Guild Master, Sacha. We are getting ready to free Mindoka and Herotus from Da'Jinn control."

    "What about Jinai?" There was a tightness to his voice, one she understood.

    "She has yet to be found."

    Emit looked down. Frustration and anger to move unbridled across his face. Pasce watched him silently. She waited for it to pass.

    "She will be found, Emit."

    "What of the Da'Jinn Spirit?" he asked. He would not assign the Spirit to Jinai any longer. She was undeserving after such betrayal, after what she had done to the Princess and to him. For the first time since arriving, he was Pasce frown openly.

    "It and two others were taken by Caldur of Isolert."

    "Two others?"

    Pasce lifted a hand.

    "You are owed so much, High Chronicler of Rekōdo, the least of which is an explanation. I am sorry there was not enough time."

    The High Chronicler's face changed again as did his voice.

    "There was almost no time at all."

    Now the Princess's face changed.

    "I am so sorry if I worried you" she whispered in a voice soft enough for only him. She felt the hand atop hers tighten."I am so sorry for the unspeakable things my brother has done to you."

    Emit swallowed and fought against the memories of the Prince of Rekōdo looming over him with the Sword of LeCavalier pointed at his neck. He'd had enough time after he had been healed from his physical wounds to match the crest and red-accented hilt to texts he'd read on Taroc Swords: A History of the Craft. As he collected himself, he realized how tightly he was holding her hands and loosened his grip.

    "Your brother, when he... When he learned of your death, he said you were fond of me. Did he speak truthfully?"

    A blossom of pink rose into the Princess's cheeks. She opened her mouth to answer him-


    -but them looked away. Slowly, she slipped her hands from his. She moved them before him. it took him a moment to realize she was ghost writing. It was runic writing without the magikal output, the light, the expression of power. It was difficult, terribly so, as one could not see the spells they were creating. A single mis-stroke could alter or defect the spell. But she did it with confidence and precision. It was mere seconds of movement before a tome appeared in the air between them. It was simple with no wording at all on its spine. The only thing it was adorned with was a golden filigree etch of the infinite diamond of Rekōdo. Pasce reached forth a hand and held it above the cover. She closed her eyes and her fingertips glowed. The book opened and the pages fluttered by. More rapidly than a man could read- and he certainly tried to catch a glimpse of the writing that bloomed to life on the pages- the text became filled to the last page and then shut. Pasce opened her eyes and stepped back in disorientation. The High Chronicler took a step forward to aid her, but she put up a hand and then moved her fingers to float the book to him. Emit took the book in his hands.

    "It's all there" she said to him quietly. "The answers I never gave you."

    Emit looked down at the tome. He rans his fingers over the symbol and watched the golden etch glint in what light was left over by the ritual that was being set up. Emit reflexively shivered at the feel of so much Maginus magik in the air. Pasce looked behind her, past Alain and Nalia to the ritual Olivia was molding. She turned back around to Emit.

    "You enjoy books, so I thought this would be best."

    Pasce clasped her hands before her. Emit sensed a return of formalities and straightened up.

    "You will have questions. You will be upset" she said. "Angry. When this is over, I will answer any questions that you have. I owe you that much and so much more."

    Pasce bowed her head to the High Chronicler. He offered a slow bow back to her. A hand cross his chest and touched his heart.

    "Thank you" he said and looked down to the book. The Princess turned and left him with the tome. She did not look at Alain and Nalia as she passed them, nor Branwen and Kali. She came to the group holding hands and casting spells, to the foreign man who would lead them through freeing two Guild Masters from slavery. But before she reached them. she turned back and looked at the High Chronicler of Rekōdo.

  9. #349
    Count / Countess Tigers is offline Tigers's Avatar
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    It was not Kali’s way to interfere with the dragons of this world. She had sought permission to fly with them, be near them, her distant kin. She had been allowed, for what reasons she did not know, but she was certain that that at least one of them was because they sensed no ill intentions towards them. But that had all changed for her when she had repeated Nalia’s task for Darmon. She had promised them that she would help them, and Kali aimed to keep that promise.

    "There is only one other who has the key to this most sacred text. You will aid the man whose strength is made with this same gold. He must gather the faithful and seek the one who holds the key. Find her and bring her to safety, wherever in the stars that may be."

    "Help the man whose strength is made with the gold forged of Tel'Parma en' Rinarim. He must find your lost Princess. She holds the only other key."

    Karythar’s words whispered within her mind. She would not be deterred from her promise to them. Her eye’s locked on Alain’s as he spoke of the pledge that he and Sacha and sworn to them. Her gaze went over to the Princess as Karythar’s words continued to whisper in her mind. Were the two tasks interwoven? Her thoughts went to Nalia, but her eye’s shifted to Sacha.

    A dragon was a predator, and Kali could be no different. Sacha’s seething tone only brought a sparkle of something darker and a slight curl to her lip. If it were not for the squeeze of her hand from Branwen, it would be easy to lose herself in this little game. Her predatory smile turned into one of amusement instead.

    She listened to Sacha’s words, and for reasons’ Kali could not immediately comprehend, she knew that dragons from many places had warred not only against each other, but with their humanoid counter parts. What they were called and how they looked were never the same, but the similarities were undeniable. There were always subtle differences, for one, off this world, not all dragons could take on different forms. Apparently, the dragons on this planet could all shape shift. It was something Kali simply never questioned.

    “Would you like to see? Although, I’d recommend we step outside where there’s more room.”

    Was its Sacha’s tie to Maginus that rattled her scales and prickled her skin in agitation, or simply because there were similarities between the two that her mind had not reconciled. Either way, Kali found it almost as easy to taunt Sacha as she had Darmon. It was an unfair judgement if that was the case, but Kali was running on pure adrenaline now without her full faculties engaged.

    Kali’s immediately turned to regard Nalia. There had not been time to discuss what had happened that day that Darmon had nearly killed her. She would see in Kali’s eye’s an understanding of the words she spoke, and the deepest desire to speak with her. Besides her own guild, Alain and Branwen, Kali did not trust easily.

    “I wanted to tell you that day.” She whispered in Nalia’s mind.

    “There was no time, and so much has happened.”

    Nalia would hear the echo of Karythar’s voice within Kali’s mind, as well as a photographic imprint of what took place within the cavern.

    “I swore to them I would help. Could this all be related?”

    Kali studied Nalia with great intensity. If they were not tied, maybe their Guild Mistress would have a clue to the task that Karythar had given her. If nothing else, until there was more to go on, or at least a direction to take, Kali could add her distant kin in the recovery of the staff.

  10. #350
    The Great Orange One Qwaring's clone#1 is offline Qwaring's clone#1's Avatar
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    Alain LeCavalier, Verona Aliester, Olivia Kuhrson, Eliona & Filip Ryth

    Faraking Island of Taroc in Far Western Rekōdo: The Floating Heli'Dom

    Alain looks to Nalia as she speaks of her trial for Maginus. He feels too far from her. Alain wants to hold her. Do something to comfort her in the shadows of the horrors that must haunt her still.

    Unfortunately, even though Alain is sure he and Nalia won't have to suffer a Quieting for their relationship, he knows it's not the time for such shows of affection. Despite being in the same chamber they are still held apart by their duties.

    All Alain can offer is a sympathetic look.

    Ryth only responds to Pasce's words with a respectful bow. Normally a Taroc soldier would take great pride in any words of praise from a member of the royal family. Ryth feels no such pride. This wasn't a mission to be proud of. Some good was done, but its worth is overwhelmed by the tragedy of all Ryth encountered at the palace.

    Ryth sets the sword of LeCavalier down onto Alain's desk. He can see the Guild Master has other matters to focus on, and Ryth is in no mood to give Alain a report on Eri. The old soldier continues his walk until he exits the chamber. Once in the hall Ryth leans against the doorway and slides down until he is seated. It's been too long since he's had the chance to sit and rest. His side still aches from his recent wounds. He'll let the others focus on doing what they must do, this old soldier just needs a moment to finally catch his breath.

    Olivia silently observes the addition of Sacha and then Evalynn to the protection spell. Olivia studies the magical workings of the new Guild Master, trying to decipher any iota of information this display of mystical prowess can offer her. She's so intent on watching Sacha that she is taken by surprise when dragon energy springs forth from Evalynn.

    Olivia had played a small part in tutoring Evalynn in mastering her darker magicks. She knows there should be no trace of such forces within the Enchantress. This is new.

    Olivia glances in Kali's direction for a moment. It doesn't take much to figure out where this dragon-like influence originated from. Olivia returns her attention back to the spell. She's not certain what to think of this change in Evalynn. Her instincts tell her not to trust it, to expect this change to lead to disaster. However, Olivia ignores these instincts. She knows Evalynn. Even changed as she is, Olivia trusts this woman.

    "As my grandfather used to say, 'Know when you have enough battles to fight,'" Alain tells the others as the discussion about the dragonkind seems to get a bit heated. "Right now we have no shortage of enemies wanting us all dead, there's no need to seek out more. I suggest we focus on more immediate matters."

    Alain removes his gloves, baring one hand of flesh and another of stone with curling lines of gold. He closes his eyes and focuses on his internal magical power. It's an all too familiar well of might and fire.

    His power is an odd construct to navigate, but the Guild Master does so with great ease. He has his own innate magical power, melded with the massive reservoir of energy granted to him by being Taroc's Guild Master, and finally there's the unearthly might granted to him by his arm of stone and gold. It's from this melding of magical power that Alain finds the forces he'll need to play his part in this ritual.

    Typically, the fire Alain can summon is only used to teleport. It's warm, but does not burn. However, when needed Alain can alter the nature of the flames to burn hot. Now he focuses on summoning the full heat of his power.

    The plan is to melt the away the lamps that currently imprison two Guild Masters.

    From Alain's palms blossoms twin spheres of bright crimson fire. The core of these fiery spheres shines bright white. The air around his burning hands ripples with intense heat. Alain's eyes open as the fire needed to melt down the accursed lamps burns in the palm of his hands.

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