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  1. #991
    The Great Orange One Qwaring's clone#1 is offline Qwaring's clone#1's Avatar
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    Gustella, Eliona & Commander Filip Ryth



    The Province of Astral, Dayena City...



    "These things hate the cold?" Eliona asks in annoyance as she pulls her cloak tighter around her in an effort to block out the chilling rain. "I happen to hate the cold too. I'm freezing."

    "It's not cold enough," Ryth replies as he pauses next to a mystically powered wagon. He's trying to assess if the vehicle is in working order and can be used to transport the three of them to the embassy. "It needs to be cold enough to snow. When they get that cold the monsters hop back to their own reality. Do you gals get snow here?"

    Once he's sure the wagon won't function, Ryth turns his attention skyward. He knows it will be snowing in Taroc. But here it's rain.

    "Not this early into the season, and not for very long," Gustella answers him.

    "Unless you want to ski, that is," Eliona offers.

    "Ski?" Ryth asks as he continues leading the sisters down the street.

    "During winter an artificial mountain is summoned, and a ritual is cast to create snow and cold over the mountain," Gustella explains. Her tone is apologetic, as if dealing with her sister's ridiculous observation is beneath a hero of the Great War.

    "Nah, I don't think we'll have time for skiing," Ryth mutters as he crouches beside an overturned air chariot. He scans the streets ahead. The two sisters crouch right beside him.

    "That's a shame, I do enjoy skiing," Eliona whispers.

    Ryth enjoys a small smirk. He doesn't have it in him to laugh right now. He glances at the sisters.

    "I didn't get your names," Ryth realizes aloud.

    "Eliona, and this is my sister, Gustella," Eliona replies while she leans against the chariot, seeking to hide away from the rain.

    "Is there anything we should know about the Grimal?" Gustella whispers to Ryth.

    "Huh?" Ryth mutters as he searches the surrounding streets once again. "Oh, sure. They hate cold. Uh- They're bigger than we can see. There's more to them than a cat body and the head-thing. That's how they catch people, with their invisible limbs. So if they catch you, swing that hatchet, and you'll hit some part of them. Um... They can't feed on someone if anyone is watching."

    "What?" Eliona asks.

    "I don't know how they do it," Ryth struggles to explain, as he rises from the fallen chariot and continues to lead the women down the street. "They just make people disappear. That's how they feed and kill. But they can't do that if someone is looking at them. They catch someone, and drag them off to where no one can see them. Then they feed, and that person is gone."

    "That's what happened with Savill and Zezilia," Gustella says with a distant voice.

    "We'll put a stop to this," Ryth assures Gustella, as he leads the sisters through a courtyard. "We'll find out who's doing this, and make them pay."

    Gustella offers the man a thankful smile. Making someone pay for these horrors won't bring her friends back, it won't erase the pain and loss, but it will save others. It will get justice for those she lost.

    Eventually, the three emerge from the courtyard and onto the street in front of the Taroc embassy. Ryth pauses as he looks upon the wide structure of proud marble and tall windows. He should be seeing guards around the embassy. There should be someone watching over this tiny pocket of Taroc. Either the guards moved inside of the building to find a more defensible position, or they've been taken and devoured by the Grimal beasts.

    After a moment to weigh his options, Ryth approaches the embassy. The sisters follow after him. When Ryth is several paces from the front door there is a small glimmer of red and gold light around the doorway, as the embassy recognizes a member of the High Guard and unlocks the wards in place over the door.

    Ryth enters the building. His pistol is held at the ready. Behind him walks Gustella and Eliona. The younger sister still holds the chilled elemental hatchet. Eliona clutches her rain-drenched cloak tightly around herself.

    The inside of the embassy is silent. Every move the trio makes echoes through this place, as there is no other noise to compete with. The lights are dim, as if this place is balanced between darkness and a spark of the light that should fill its many halls and chambers.

    Eventually, they discover the guards and embassy staff. They're scattered throughout the halls. Lying on the floor, trapped in a deep sleep. Ryth crouches beside one of the slumbering guards and shakes him. The sleeping man remains asleep.


    "What happened?" Gustella whispers. Ryth silences any further questions by holding up a hand to her. He's listening to the embassy. Ryth can almost detect something, some noise, deeper into the structure.

  2. #992
    Southern Rekōdo in the Shamaa Province: Siochana... The Capital City




    Zarena of the Maloto Tribe, a Dream Speaker






    Udaya of Shamaa


    In the middle of them all was a great fire. It burned and churned upward billows of mythical smoke that sparked and churned like a great rolling ocean. It swelled high into the air of the great meeting house and rolled into a canopy above them. Actions played out in the smoke. Reminders and great deeds done during the Great War. The faces of the fallen, the honored warriors of the Shamaa moved and waved with the rolling, enchanted smoke. The tribal representatives and several of their warriors sat around the great fire in a circle. They drummed and several men and women felt the pull of the drums. They had made their own circle within the great circle and danced as warriors did in the hype before battle. There was chanting and singing in the ancient tribal way. Animal Spirits bounded in azure light around the circles and between them. Bison, birds of the air, animals of the forest and swamp. Every creature swam and leaped and bounded in the arena. It was when the Second of Shamaa, their Acting Guild Mistress came forward that the beating drums died down and the ceased. They hollered proudly at her appearance and then respectfully took their places as she began to speak.

    Udaya stood respectfully back from Branwen, behind her and slightly to the side so she could watch the woman speak.

    They nodded and whispered to each other as she spoke. The whispers grew louder to sounds of outrage and anger at Darmon of Maginus being brought back. Such was against nature, an abomination. The fire in the room reflected the growing swing of the crowd. The gray smoke churned and turned crimson and purple. But their anger only had the return of Darmon. Nothing more to go on and soon the cries of the crowds died out.

    "De do not know what it is dat is de problem wid our world, but dat is not der fault."

    Udaya's old voice lifted up to her like a butterfly reaching for the air. Udaya had found a stick somewhere along their way here and was tracing things in the dirt with it.

    "Dey cannot know what dey cannot hear. Dey cannot see what has been blinded to dem. Dey cannot taste what has been stricken from de earth."

    A woman with a painted face and twin, blue dreamfeathers hanging beside her face stepped forward. There was a tribal band of runes tattooed across her forehead and her long, smooth black hair hung down on either side of her face. She radiated the beauty and fierceness of intelligence and held her head high. All here knew Zarena, Sister of Zareb, who was Second before Branwen before he died. Their family was of the Maloto Tribe, a people infamous for producing Dream-Speakers, those who walked-in and cured the world of darkness with and in Dreams. She was highly regarded, being the most skilled of their people.

    "None of our Seers can feel what the earth needs of its people. None of the Dream Speakers can find answers in Dreams. There is a stench of rot in our world, but it comes from all directions with no source."

    Everything about her was hawk-like, sharp, precise. There were two small capes behind her, one off her left shoulder, the other off her right. They were decorated with feathers and came to the backs of her thighs. When she held her arms close to her body, the feathered capes closed, like a falcon's wings. When she moved, the capes moved with her, as if she were about to take flight.

    "If it has no direction, then it comes from everywhere. What news do you bring from the world outside Shamaa, Honored Second of The People? What news of Mindoka? What news of the lineage of the Gods? Are they freed from the Sand?"

    Udaya continued tracing in the dried earth with her stick. Being so small, she looked much like a child set in timeout. But her large, top hat and dress marked her for the honored, yet slightly askew Shamaa Wise Woman.

    "No one knows de way. No one can see what was lost to dese eyes here. De ones who can are gone."

    Her voice is a murmur that only Branwen could hear with their proximity to each other.

    "But der is hope here yet. De light has come back. Where de light comes back de hope is strongest."

    Udaya looked down at what she was drawing in the sand again. It was a circular shape with two identical symbols within its borders, two opposing yet equal halves of a complete picture. Within the circle were two smaller circles, with tails that came from them like comets. The design swirled outward from the circle and was eclipsed within the infinite diamond symbol of Rekōdo. One end of the pointed diamond was surrounded by lines symbolizing light. The other was smudged by Udaya's stick as if smothered, erased or washed away by the opposite of light.
    Last edited by SilntAngl5; 10-10-2017 at 11:10 AM.
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  3. #993
    Above Faraking Island: The Heli'Dom Infirmary

    Attachment 2137

    Arion, Second of Taroc

    It had been ages since he was able to Dreamwalk.

    In his homeland, the Wilderlands, past the borders of Shamaa, Astral and the Shifting Sands, his people could do so easily. Not all, but more than most. It was the same way in the Border Forests or the Tiarna Wood or in beautiful Tuah. Their attune to the Old Magik opened avenues of magik to them that were lost and clouded to the modern magik wielders of today. Since leaving the Wilderlands, the lush forests and boggy marshlands by the coast, he had been unable to Dream Walk. It had become a dangerous thing to do. In his homeland Existing had become a dangerous thing to do in the Wilderlands. After the Great Sickness took so many, all of what he knew, there was no point in staying.

    He did not expect the be in the World of Dreams. Palurin en' Kaimelrim as his people called it in what was their old tongue. He could not control such a gift, though he had the means to get himself there. How long he stayed was varied and erratic. He was out of practice, as it was. It must have been the crazy Doctor's doing.

    The hazy world was a familiar sight to him. The flickering of immaterial things that were not stationary. The eerie feeling of being completely alone and watched at the same time. His homeland was on his mind since he found himself in Dreams. Perhaps that was why he found himself there an eye-blink later and it took him even longer to wrap his mind around the idea. He was home. What was, not what is. He knew where he was. he could feel where he was. Even though The Great Hunt had passed this fall and he'd managed to resist its temptations another year, he could feel the hum of the Old Magik in this place. A long, long stretch of field that faded away to marshlands, rich for hunting, in the west and south. He was the point of an obtuse triangle between Eloruh in Shamaa and Lymes in Astral. He was in a vast field between two forests. The great, tall trees of the Wilderlands lay behind him and the Border Forests of Shamaa before him. Even here the imposing presence of trees was known. These trees were older than almost anything in Rekōdo.

    The forest behind called to him.

    Arion turned around to face the great woods. There was something there, in the trees. Something dark, rushing his way. He could see it, individual shapes herded together to appear as a great mass. They came tearing form the woods, fanned out as if to eclipse him and capture his way of escape. Arion's red, almond-shaped eyes squinted to try and make out the shapes. He took a step forward.

    He saw images. Movement. Sounds. Pictures. The forest gave way to field and brightness. He could feel the fields all around him, the grasses as they whipped by. He was running. No. They were running. A blur of motion, a train barreling forward. He could see himself at a distance. Images flashed into his mind. Too many to process. Feeling. Emotions. Actions. Feelings. Pictures. Smells. Pictures. Feelings. More pictures.

    Arion stumbled back against the mental onslaught. They were coming. They were coming for him. Whatever happened to him in Dreams was how he'd be when he awoke. If he awoke. He could die here. He could die in his sleep. They were coming. His mind was bombarded. The tidal wave of darkness was closer now. He could see movement in the grass. Legs running. They were coming for him. He had to go. He had to get back to the infirmary. Back to Taroc. He had to wake up.

    Arion's eyes shot open and he inhaled sharply, like someone who'd surfaced from a near drowning. His crimson eyes blinked and a hand came up to touch his head. The daze from awaking in a rush was being burnt off by the awareness of a note upon his chest. It was folded. Arion sat up in his bed and lifted his hands to take the note. He stared at his hands, stitched and whole. His fingers looked like fingers again, not mangled, broken pieces of sad bone beneath the mythically wrapped bandages that fit like gloves. He tried to flex them and winced. He would have to work himself back up to playing his guritar. Swelling prevented them from fully closing and gripping, but they were functional. He would actually have to thank Doraen for once. He winced decidedly as he opened Doraen's note.

    He read the first and then looked at his hands again. He really would have to thank the Doctor, wherever he went. Arion's eyes closed a moment. The muffled, fuzziness of the world around him still muted the Soul Sounds of the world around him.

    The end of Doraen's note calls for a quick re-scan of the infirmary. Arion found Verona sleeping peacefully on an infirmary bed beside his. His face melted into a small smile as he took a luxury moment to watch her. His eyes continued to travel until he saw a pair of deathly-looking Seers across the room. He picked up the bottle and gave it a tiny sniff. Arion's nose wrinkled. He looked curiously at it, cross referenced the note attached, shook his head and pocketed the swirling golden liquid.

    "Oyi there." Arion called to the impish creatures spoiling Verona's pad as he swung his long legs over the side of his bed. He stands shakily and when he got a sense of his own balance shooed the creatures away with a wave of his bandaged hands. "Go on now."

    If the imps chose to cause more problems, Arion would give them a very wolfish growl and secure Verona's notepad by tucking it gently under one of her arms. Arion hears distant sounds, but they're muddled. He sighs gently and takes in a deep breath. He turns his attention to the other two people in the room. He walked slowly over, but his pace picked up when he saw that they were detained with Maginus manacles. He slid to a stop beside the first bed and Arion's face erupts in shock.

    "Go's of my Ances'ors!" he swore loudly. His hands reach to free her, but he stops. Those bonds are only used to detain the most lethal of threats to Taroc. But the Seer and the Mistress... They were of Taroc. They were Taroc. Arion's face tensed as he reached to try and sense the state of their Souls. The music he heard, mystical in all its qualities, was distant and indiscernable, cotton-balled in its notes and delayed in its melodies. It sounded disjointed, like things were missing or warped. Changed. The changed pieces did not fit in with their Song. Pieces that should be making notes were missing, replaced by these strokes of wrong keys. Even with his sense muffled, he could heard the great discord in their Soul Songs.

    There are Maginus blood orbs floating above them. Arion did not want to disturb Verona. She needed rest just as much as he had. He turned to go back to her bedside, when he saw another note in a chair beside the frail women. Arion looked from the note to the infamous Seer.

    "Paint?" Arion's brow furrowed. He stretched and pushed his throbbing horns again. The fractured, disjointed sound of her Soul Song trickled in. He shook his head and looked to his hands. he could barely hear her Song. He couldn't play. He couldn't fix this.

    He did not want to think about what Doraen said about the extra organs.

    But Doraen actually did something phenomenal. And foolish. Something that made Arion's eyes go wide.

    "The fool's goin' t' ge' 'imself killed."

    And he couldn't go. Ryth was there. There was hope, Ruth was there.

    Why was Ryth in Astral? Arion re-scanned the note to make sure he read it correctly.

    He had a High Council Meeting with the Prince? Darmon was brought back from the dead? Doraen brought him outfits? Alain is going to handle undead Darmon? He looked at the list of the names of the members of the Circle and his eyes went wide.

    Now, Arion finally turned and rushed back across the infirmary to Verona. He gently sat on the edge of her bed and touched her hand with his. He wrapped his long digits around her small palm and squeezed it gently. he took a moment to appreciate that he could touch her with his own hands again, not his gauntlets.

    "V'rona, love" he called gently, urgently. "C'mon love. I need you. the worl's gone crazy on us while we've slep'."

  4. #994
    The City of Mararat in Da'Jinn To the Far East of Rekōdo: Jinai’s Fallen Palace

    Attachment 1638 Attachment 2240


    Pasce, Princess of Rekōdo, Prince Eri, his guards Ganard of House Fallandor and Merelin of House Diorna, and Nalia of Enchantry



    Nalia leaned heavily on Alain. Her limbs seemed to not want to work in tandem with what was needed of them. They wobbled and stepped in their own accord to whatever toll the rises and falls her being spat out of a current of immense healing would have upon her. It felt like getting land legs back after being at sail for months with no berth. Nalia closed her eyes and allowed Alain to lead her, lest she fall. She tapped into the bracelet Olivia had re-given her. Alain would see her illusion take place. Just an instant of their own outlines shimmering and regaining focus, like the waves of signal becoming one. He would see the illusion of himself leading hers with much less effort to the chair and how they melded back together when he and Nalia became one again with their identical images. It would be disorienting, if she had not used the shimmering to silently communicate to him that she was casting a very small and momentary illusion. She had used it before, in Taroc or elsewhere, when they went out in secret together and something momentary needed to be done or hidden. The illusion lasted seconds and it seemed to weight heavily on her as she sat down in the chair. She took a moment to regain her breath and then sat straight as she could manage and release the images as if they never had been.

    ~Do not worry for me~ she whispered without looking at him. Her psychic voice usually held a quiet quality to it. This quiet was different. Taxed. Tired. She did not tell him she was fine. She would be lying and he would know it.

    Pasce looked up sharply from where her brother looked with an unhidden amount of scrutiny and curiosity to the handiwork of Nalia's healing upon her hand. The Princess seemed to go very still, so much so that Eri stopped looking at her perfectly healthy hand and looked down at her. Pasce did not move. She was waiting for an answer to coincide with what she had of her own.

    Arxus stared at Olivia through Pasce. He stared long and hard, weighing a great many things in his head. There was a long frown on his face, long but not deep. There was something else etched in the line of the forever age on his face. He was intently and deeply in thought.


    ~How much do you know about the origin of that Staff?~

    ~I know much, but not all, Good Spirit.~

    ~From your Book of Secrets?~

    The Book of Memories. Tel' Parma en' Rinarim. The name he'd used was the more vile version. One spoken out of contempt, sometimes fear or jealousy of something one would never be able to know. He would get the sense that Pasce was inwardly sighing in a tired way.

    ~From what study I have completed of the Uru'Loki and of the Book, yes.~ she said simply, tiredly. Arxus considered this silently for a moment. Then, to them all, the Princess inhaled deeply and looked at all in the room as she processed the words of the Master of Maginus. There was a look in her eyes, something distant and devastating. The princess opened her mouth, closed it and schooled herself back into control. She inhaled deeply and looked at everyone before focusing on Alain and Olivia.

    "The knowledge I will give you cannot leave this room. Not yet" she said gravely. She lifted a hand and gently gestured towards everyone before her.

    "You all know pieces of what I know, what the Spirits know. Each of you offers a valuable piece to the puzzle of our world. It is time those pieces were put together."

    Her pale green eyes looked to Nalia and held hers.

    "No more secrets" the princess said in a whisper, something meant for Nalia specifically, but loud enough for them all to hear. Nalia's eyes changed, unable to be completely immune to everything her words and stare conveyed. She nodded slowly. Her eyes looked to Alain and then down where she held a great, hidden secret of her own. Pasce held Nalia in her sight a second longer and then returned her gaze to Alain and Olivia.

    "The Staff is a Totem, among the first to be created on Emporium" Pasce explained carefully. "It's lore is well hidden from our world, because it was not meant for our world. It was meant for the Uru'loki. The Dragonfolk. It is of Old Magik, of their magik. It is-"

    Pasce's lips pursed. She hears Arxus in her head and closes her eyes. She waits for him to finish and then continues.

    "Arxus refers to it as a prison... It is a... holding place for a great treasure. The greatest treasure."

    Pasce lifted her hand and light blue light swirled upward from her palm, blossoming and expanding into a mist and cloud that filled the air above them. Her words took shapes and scrawled in motion and story before them all like a movie, a fable come to life.

    "According to The Beginning according to the Uru'loki, There was the water and the land and the Creator. The Creator was lonely and he made the Uru'loki to rules the air, the O'aris the sea and for the land he made mankind after his visage. The very first of these was the Dragons. The first was Estanesse, the Firstborn and she is the mother of al Uru'loki. but she was lonely and wept. Her tears made the oceans. Liar'Adon was moved by her tears and the creation of oceans from them and he gifted her with the ability to multiply. He caught seven of her tears and fashioned them into eggs. These were her first children. The O'aris were made to dwell and protect the water and men to have dominion and livelihood over the land. The dragons were given eternity to live, that they might guard this world and all in it because they were the first. The O'aris were given a need of men, that they might always be connected to the land and there brethren there. But men, they were given death, that they might appreciate and cherish their short time on earth and behold the wisdom of the first two Creations and be guided by them. They were, all three in harmony, until man changed everything with war and want for power. Their selfishness and forgetfulness isolated them from the first two of Liar'Adon's Creation. Estanesse's heart was weakened by the division of their world, and so she went to sleep. The land grew over the sleeping Dragoness, to shelter and protect her."

    The land began to spread over the water until the land they knew as Rekōdo was made. Nalia, watching intently from her cushioned chair, rose to stand. She took a step forward from the comfort of her seat and looked up. The image of the map reflected in her eyes.

    "The Dragon's Throat" Nalia's eyes were wide as she looked to Alain. "Olivia will know it. Darmon called it... It's the Old Maginus name for the Strait of Rekōdo, between Windrf'rte and Al'rora..."

    "The Ailes Bones."

    The princess's voice was calm and steady as she beheld Nalia as she began to understand and put the map of their world into a greater scope. Nalia's eyes moved from the map to the princess/

    "Faraking would be her skull, the Aile Bones her glittering scales. The Twin Cities her throat. The Great Swells the horns along the spine of the world. The seas and lakes are shallows where her wings held the rains. Tradisi the tail."

    "Rekōdo City is her heart."

    The Princess looked tired again. Nalia looked tired as she and the princess stared at each other.

    "Many people came to be on the new land. It was the richest and most fertile in all of Emporium. It was rich in magik, tied to the earth, a way to remember the past. Those who are forgotten and the old blood from the forests were the first of Liar'Adon's creations to be made. Then the mountain men came down from the north and those who could map the stars from across the vast western oceans. Last, those who traversed the sand. All of Liar'Adon's last creation gathered together on one soil to exist together like a vast bouquet of flowers. But they could not co-exist. They fought with magik and it hurt the land and the first of all creation beneath the land. It trembled with hurt and the first cities of men fell. The Uru'loki created this Totem from ashes and the worked shells that birthed Estanesse's first children."

    The Dragonstaff appeared again. Darkly laquered, scaled with claws and tail and mane and horns and gaping mouth with emerald eyes began to gleam down at them.

    "To protect us and to protect the world, the Uru'Loki infused the Soul of their first, their mother, the first of Liar'Adon's creation into this staff to protect her. Men were killing her and would not listen to them when they tried to explain. Men had forgotten where they'd come from and who had come before. The Uru'loki sealed the staff with the greatest of magik and kept it hidden from the want and greed of men-"

    "The cave."

    Nalia's voice was so quiet it could almost pass without notice, except that the princess stopped speaking when she heard her. The princess looked to Nalia and there was a wealth of great sadness in her eyes. Alain would know where Nalia's mind went. To what cave she spoke of. The Prince knew, but only Alain and the princess knew of Nalia's memory of the cave, why she was there and what horrible thing happened after. Nalia suddenly needed to sit down. She groped blindly for the cushioned chair behind her and sad hard when she found it. She made a noise as she hit the chair and a hand went to the smooth belt at her womb.

    "Darmon of Maginus found out about the Staff. He and Arxus found information on it as they co-searched for a way to protect Maginus from the Uru'loki. They sought to rid their land of the Dragonfolk for good. It was this that Darmon stole from them. Their most precious treasure: the Soul of Liar'Adon's first creation and the thing that cradles our world. An equivalent theft was made. The Uru'loki stole our Book of Memories and put a copy in its place. Darmon stole their heart. they stole our memories. A mercy- I am told- because the fault was not by all of Rekōdo."

    Nalia held a hand to her forehead and one draped loosely across her stomach. There were teardrops on Nalia's hand. Eri's brown eyes stared hard at Pasce as she spoke, but she did not look at him. She looked, instead, at those who were hurting even more greatly because of the actions of one, selfish man.

    "With every use, the staff drains life energy from the Spirit within. It was meant as a visual to the Uru'Loki, a symbol, never to be used unless there was a reason to end this world. If the slumbering First Life of Liar'Adon beneath our world should perish because of that staff, everything here is lost."

    "At Arx" Nalia's voice lifted from where she sat as she lifted her head. There were fresh tear stains upon her cheeks as she looked up at the princess. "I grabbed the Staff while it was in Darmon's hands. The explosion... It was because of us. Because I touched the staff and my White Power came. The Light against his Dark magik. The whole earth shook because-"

    She could not finish her sentence.

    "- because of one man's selfishness and greed. he intended to use all the power in the staff. He was going to watch our world burn."
    Last edited by SilntAngl5; 10-13-2017 at 06:13 PM.

  5. #995
    The Great Orange One Qwaring's clone#1 is offline Qwaring's clone#1's Avatar
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    Alain LeCavalier & Olivia Kuhrson



    The City of Mararat in Da'Jinn To the Far East of Rekōdo: Jinai's Fallen Palace...


    There are many times during the tale of the Staff of Estenesse that Alain and Olivia exchange glances. These two old friends seem to share miniature, muted dialogues with one another entirely through brief looks and subtle shifts in expression.

    Alain is visibly angered by the notion of Darmon playing with such an artifact. The power of Armageddon in the hands of a sadistic, power mad nihilist. Now that power belongs to this mysterious Caldur. Alain wonders if they would have all been better off if he had kept the Great War going. Taroc and Maginus would have been destroyed, but the other provinces may have survived and would not face possible destruction from the hands of these power hungry men of Maginus.

    Olivia is silent. She's cross referencing this information with what she knows. There are old Maginus legends a very young Olivia was told by her great-grandmother. Whispered tales bought in the back alleys of Elve. Legends and prophesies studied in dark tomes. And the secrets torn out of spirits summoned from the Great Beyond.


    "Maginus can't keep the staff," Alain states as if it's a tangible fact. "At best Caldur is a lying, murdering opportunist that doesn't know what he has laid claim to, or at worst he's a threat to our entire world. How much he knows and what he's capable of should be fully assessed. We should be working to take the staff from him as soon as possible."

    Olivia clasps her hands behind herself and seems lost in thought for a long moment. Gradually she draws her attention back to Alain.

    "He knows," Olivia informs her friend. "You don't swagger up to a bunch of High Priests and treat them like underlings unless you know for sure you can back up that confidence with something substantial."

    Alain nods to Olivia, trusting her assessment as surely as he trusts dawn will follow night. He crosses his broad arms over his chest. His brow tenses under the weight of strategies he works his way through.

    "I would suggest Prince Eri meet with Arion, Branwen, and Kali before their upcoming council gathering," Alain offers to the royal siblings. "They can be trusted, and should be brought in on this. The council meeting might offer an opportunity to, at the very least, gather information on Caldur, or at the most take the staff from him. For these tasks Eri will need allies in the meeting. Especially since direct actions cannot be taken in the council meeting chamber."

    Alain wants to go to Caldur, deal with this crisis personally, but he can't. He can't leave Nalia's side. He must protect her from Darmon's wrath. The instinct to defend his family is too strong to ignore.

    He finds himself thinking back on Harbin. His grandfather could not seek out and eliminate the corruption hidden within Taroc, all because he also had to protect his family. Harbin wasted away and eventually Taroc burned, all because of that inescapable instinct. Alain wants to wonder if he's making a mistake, but he knows staying with Nalia is the right thing to do. He can't even question the decision.

    Olivia ponders a few schemes of her own, but after a glance at Eri and his two guardians, she decides to keep them quiet for now. An overprotective brother and royal guards might object to using the dark arts with the princess. Olivia will keep her ideas to herself, and wait for the opportunity to offer them when there are fewer people to debate against them.

    Instead, she tries to focus on less mystical solutions. Her skills as a spy and a criminal come into play.


    "Perhaps..." Olivia begins slowly. Thoughts are still forming. She needs to shape her ideas to be consumed by the audience. These aren't war ravaged Taroc soldiers, nor are they hardened criminals. "Darmon is a threat to Caldur as well. Caldur has something Darmon would want to eventually reclaim. It might be worth it to offer Caldur the services of Rekōdo's guard for his own security, but to also keep an eye on him. If we know where he goes and what he does we can properly plan against him."

  6. #996
    The City of Mararat in Da'Jinn To the Far East of Rekōdo: Jinai’s Fallen Palace

    Attachment 1638 Attachment 2240


    Pasce, Princess of Rekōdo, Prince Eri, his guards Ganard of House Fallandor and Merelin of House Diorna, and Nalia of Enchantry





    ~Are you mad?~ Clow stepped toward Arxus threateningly, in the same way he had when he attempted to strangle the old ghoul in the World of Dreams. The Forgotten Spirit threw a hand across Clow's chest and detained him, but the Spirit kept shouting. ~You gave Darmon access to something that could end the entirety of our world? Why, Arxus? Why would you allow your Vessel something so powerful?~

    ~To end Taroc.~

    Clow's red-glowing eyes frothed intense flames of hatred. His hand clawed at the immaterial barrier holding him from Arxus. The other hand reached as far as it could, as if magikally hoping he could mythically choke the afterlife out of the Spirit of Maginus.

    ~It would have been easy, like breaking a toothpick. Darmon only scratched the surface of its abilities, what it could have him do. What happened at Arx was only a fraction of what it can do. We had to test and see how far it could go without dire consequence. Nalia's choice to not give Darmon the book... and again with her Second at Arx was... At the time... Unfortunate.~

    The Spirit of the Forgotten Province tilted his head from Clow toward Arxus. Without looking at the Spirit of Maginus, consideration to release Clow was seen to move across his face. J'Adonai's hands were uplifted as he scrolled through the rune work that spanned all around the Princess's conscious mind. He paused in his reading to consider what Arxus said.

    ~And would you have stopped at Taroc, brother? What would keep Darmon from destroying everything of our ways of life for his own selfish gain?~

    ~Nothing.~

    Arxus spoke without hestitation.

    ~Taroc was only a satisfaction, a stepping stone. Once he gained the Book of Memories from the filthy, scale-ridden lizards in the lands to the north, Maginus could reclaim that land as theirs and do with the provinces as it willed. Once Darmon knew of the place of the true book and that he could gain access to all the secrets of- ~

    ~Arxus. How could you? You would just let him destroy everything? For what gain?~

    Capria stepped forward and her lover raised his other hand to halt her, but a gentle touch of her hand on his froze his efforts. Capria's brown were wide, incredulous as she looked upon Arxus.

    ~He would have ruined everything, Arxus. Rekōdo would have burned... All of it.~

    Clow had stopped fighting against the Forgotten Spirit's arm across his chest. Now he pushed weakly against it.
    All the wind was gone from his sails of anger. Now he was left with utter disappointment and defeat. He looked at Arxus,
    waiting for a plausible explanation of why he would let such a thing come to pass. Arxus looked down and silently worked through what he wanted to say.


    ~I know.~ ~If Darmon had gotten that book from the Dragons, the Princess's Dream would have come to pass. Rekōdo would be gone and Darmon would sit on a throne of ashes.~

    Clow stepped back from the restrains against him. He stumbled back as if wounded until he was far enough from Arxus that he could bring himself to turn around and put his back to the man while he sorted himself out. He looked down into the runes around Pasce's mind emptily. He said nothing. Arxus looked around the other Spirits to Clow. He called to Clow as if apologizing.

    ~If it's any consolation~ he called out
    ~What happened with Nalia after her failure to retrieve the book at the lake- horrible as it may be- distracted Darmon from going back for the Book.~

    Capria blinked and now her lover did have to restrain her as she barreled forward.

    ~Horrible as it may be!?~

    ~Oh, set aside your womanly emotions, Capria! It's the truth! She ruined him! She derailed ever perfect plan we had laid out. All of our plots for conquest of this desolate world were thrown to the wind after that day. When Nalia broke with Maginus it consumed him in a way from which not even I could rouse him. He was obsessed with her! And it's because she suffered his insatiable want that everything is as it is today!~

    The Spirits were all silent. The same rage taken out of her sails left Capria drowning in empty desolation left with its passing. Her lover held her there, but differently now, in consolation.

    ~Do you still feel this way, brother?~ Clow's defeated voice called out from where he stood. He still did not turn to face Arxus. ~After all we've gone through, being here like this. Do you still want to end everything?~

    Arxus' glowing eyes regarded Clow's back.

    ~No~ he said. ~Not now. Probably not again. With Darmon, it was different... It could all have worked so effortlessly, so fluidly. We could have Quieted all of Rekōdo with that kind of power and none would know the better for it.~

    ~That was almost an apology for your actions, Arxus.~

    Arxus threw the turbaned Spirit a glare. He threw a hand in Clow's direction.

    ~An apology? I am not going to apologize for any of that.~

    Arxus suddenly got wind of the new conversation taking place outside. He threw his angry hands out again,
    one at the Vessel of Taroc and the other at the Princess's presence.


    ~And who is he to tell her Maginus can't keep that staff!?~

    The princess sighed audibly and rubbed her temple as if it would bring her some sort of relief. Eri looked at his sister and frowned.

    "I will meet with the three acting Guild Masters on this matter. I will need their cooperation if we are going to find out anything and conceive a plan to stop him. The Man of Isolert knowing of the Staff's true potential makes him very dangerous. I do not think Rekōdo can handle this on top of its current problem without unfixable consequenc e."

    The Princess looked to her brother and they exchanged a long, silent look similar to that which was shared between Alain and Olivia.

    "When I call a High Council meeting, I am going to assume Caldur will show himself there to make his presence known and more established. If he is treated like a member of the high Council, it further validates his claim to control over Maginus and will give him a sense of false confidence. If we treat him like an ally and Darmon like a threat, we can offer him services and gain a chance at better insight as your agent suggests, Master Alain."

    "Offer as many men as necessary without weakening or overtaxing our ranks. Deception of this man is our best course at the moment, until we find out more information."

    "Forgive me, Prince Eri" the Prince turned from his sister upon her throne to face the voice that called to him. Nalia of Enchantry had risen from her cushioned chair. She looked to be hurting, possibly from the effects of healing the Princess, but rose her chin in the face of her aching. In her hands was a the tin box that she had placed down beside the cushioned chair that Alain LeCavalier had ferried her to. She held is sacredly between her two elegant hands and approach the bottom stair carefully.

    "When you return to the palace, you will need this." Without asking or waiting for permission, Nalia ascended the stairs and stopped two stairs beneath the Prince. Whatever was in the tin box was more important than whatever protocol would have been necessary for such an offering. The Prince's guards had risen at her approach, but something silent commanded them to stay where they were.

    "It is a gift to replace something you lost." She lifted the tin box to the Prince. "It something that belonged to a dear friend of mine. All I ask is that you use it wisely and remember his sacrifice."

    The Prince's stern brown eyes watched to Nalia who was unyielding in her gaze as she handed him the small tin box. Only when he nodded to her did she bow and step back down the stairs to stand beside Alain and Olivia. Curiously, the Prince looked to her and then opened the box. His single eye went wide and his face was cast in a bright golden glow before it faded down to just shade the deepest depths of his pupils. The Prince regarded the gift and then closed the lid of the box. He tucked the box to his chest and held it close. He looked to his sister who was curious. All he gave her was a small nod. If there were words spoken between the royal siblings, nothing was revealed.

    "Your friend" he asked after a moment considering the box and its contents again.
    "What was his name?"

    Nalia glanced to Olivia a moment, and then back to the Prince.

    "Captain Jacob Petrov. He is of Taroc."

    Is. If the Prince picked up on the purposeful verb tense, he did not show it. He bowed his head to Nalia.

    "Please give him my thanks when you see him again."

    There was a knock on the large, gilded doors of the chamber. It was loud and brisk, and it echoed thrice. A first knock a pause and a daring second and third. Pasce lifted a hand and the doors to the right of Ganard and Merelin opened. They had purposely placed themselves at the first line of the door, should anything happen. Anything bad.

    A messenger came in bearing the hammered infinite diamond into his breastplate. His controlled face held an edge of tenseness to it. He bowed deeply to Pasce upon her throne and then to the Prince and the Guild Master and Mistress present. He held a rolled parchment in his hand, small enough to carry a detailed message without being too cumbersome to carry. It was sealed with a waxen crest of Heron, the seal used for his direct bloodline. It hummed with wards and enchantments. Nalia's brow furrowed and her lips parted just slightly as they tended to do when she was working through something.

    "Forgive my interruption, Majesties. This just arrived from the Grand Palace... From the Regeants Council."

    The Prince stepped lightly down the last few stairs between he and the level ground and took the parchment. The messenger bowed to him and even more deeply to Pasce.

    "Liar'Adon is gracious to us for your safe return. May you reign a thousand years, Majesty."

    He rose from his bow and exited the room. The doors were drawn closed behind him. Eri looked to the parchment and then Alain. He stepped, with a slightly faster tempo up the stairs to the Princess and handed the parchment to her. She broke the seal and the hum of the wards died. Her pale, green eyes flew unrolled manuscript. The farther she read, her face grew grim. When the message was completed, she closed her eyes. The parchment was laid in her lap atop the Da'Jinn tome. She looked to Nalia when she opened her eyes.

    "Eri" she said quietly but with a tone that made the Prince snap all his attention to her. "Brother, forgive me, but you must leave for home now. You are needed there."

    She was still looking at Nalia. Alain would see the well hidden but telltale signs of anxiety in Nalia. The way her hands were lifted slightly from her body, as if she were about to run or fight. Her eyes were wide, unblinking, waiting.

    "He has come to Capios" the Princess said simply as she watched Nalia. "He waits for you there."

    The Princess eyes reflected something grim and sad. Something she knew would hurt this woman more deeply than she desired.

    "He has an army-" she hesitates as Nalia's eyes grow wide. - Enchantry is surrounded by Nightmares."

  7. #997
    Dear Friends & Readers,

    Happy 100 pages of Emporium!

    This humble thread has come a long way since its inception. So much has changed, everything has evolved and become the beautiful, rich tapestry we've now woven together. 100 pages is something to be proud of. It's also A LOT of writing.

    It is the regulation of this RP Forum that, for archiving sake, a thread that reaches 100 pages/1000 posts will be locked and a new thread automatically made. Since we've reached a point where several plots and subplots will begin to merge together, the decision was made to cliff-hang our current story line here and begin our second thread for Emporium. It all came together rather nicely right before that 1000 post mark.

    So, I hereby announce and encourage you to join our migration to the new thread where the story of Emporium will continue in the Second Thread...
    Emporium: The Hunt of Light & Dark

    Won't you join us in the hunt?

    With warmest regards,
    The Emporium Writing Team

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