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  1. #331
    Faraking Island of Taroc in Far Western Rekōdo: The Floating Heli'Dom

    Nalia.jpg


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



    Aramil looked with some sympathy over at the Second of Shamaa.

    "Months" he said in a voice that matched Branwen's. His lips pursed lightly in an attempt to form a hopeful smile for her sake.

    "I hear your need, Lady of Shamaa" he said in validation of her plight with his eastern accent. "I will do everything in my power to right this wrong done to your people. You have my word."

    The word of a man from a traitorous land may seem like little to those assembled, but the Da'Jinn held several things in high honor. The word of a man was one of those things held aloft with high regard. Such oaths were not broken lightly.

    Sacha's blue eyes leveled with Kali and did not falter in their gaze. His stance was calm, but strong. There was a hint of a frown on his face as he steeled himself from all the intense scrutiny. He had been in the crosshairs of the Dragonkind once already today. Kali's glowing eyes were matched by the dangerous calm of his icy blue. Nalia saw their gazes and looked down. She took the brief seconds away from her to regroup herself. When Kali's attention returned to her, she returned her smile with one of her own, but it was short lived.

    "I am needed here" she replied to Kali softly and moved her eyes to the gathering of great leaders and powers. She did not deny that she should have been resting and Kali would know enough of Nalia's subtlety with words to know she was admitting that without saying it directly. Nalia nodded and glanced in the direction Sacha of Maginus. She pursed her lips lightly and nodded Kali in the direction of her sister. She released her after one final squeeze of her arm.

    She and Evalynn were still bonded by touch.

    ~Use me~ Evalynn's voice interjected into both Nalia and Kali's head. There was a look of worry on her silent features. ~Us us both. I can see your strength, Nalia. It is always there, but it must be conserved.~

    In Maginus households, it was common for noblewomen to be put on bedrest the last weeks before giving birth. It was said to help preserve their strength. As many things in Maginus did, the tradition had an ulterior motive. Nalia's cool hand on Evalynn's bare skin tightened. She looked again to the light amount of scales Evalynn had in patches on her arm.

    ~A lot has happened~ she said evasively.

    Nalia's emerald eyes studied Evalynn and then she nodded.

    "We can speak of it another time" she whispered with understanding. She squeezed Evaynn's arm and let her go. Arion looked curiously at Evalynn from where he stood, now holding the lamps containing the Masters in his hands. He did not know a frown marred his face. The energies from the lamps were like veils of mourning over the Songs of those within. It dampened them, shrouded them from the world around them. It was the sound of being held hostage. Of being trapped.

    A hand on Arion's shoulder caused him to start. He looked beside him and found himself staring into the eyes of the Princess of Rekōdo. She held out a hand to him, but he found himself unable to look away from her as he handed over to her the lamps with which he had been entrusted. The quiet power of her Song was intoxicating, like the first winds of a hurricane, or the eerily calm eye at its center. She took the lamps and held them tenderly. What they held within was most precious. The Princess nodded to Arion, a silent release of his watch over the lamps and the Second of Taroc returned to his Master's side.

    "The Masters and their Spirits will not be detected" Nalia said surely, with quiet confidence that left little room for doubt. Nalia looked to Evalynn and Kali. "They were never here."

    Nalia lifted a hand and inhaled a long breath. The cut of emerald on her head began to glow softly. The stones worn by Kali and Evalynn's as a polished ring upon her finger, began to hum as power was cycled through them. It illumined her face in light and shadow. Evalynn stood straight and looked at Nalia, then the lamps. There was a shift in the air surrounding the Princess, one she felt and moved as if to avoid. She looked down and the lamps in her hand were gone. Shock momentarily ensnared Pasce into its trap. The air shimmered a faint emerald again and expanded until it encompassed them all in a dome. As they were each brought under it, they would see that the lamps remained in the Princess's custody. It was an illusion. Anyone outside the dome would see only what Nalia projected to them. Despite its simplicity, it was powerful. With its creation, the dome's projection of what was in the illusionary space actually caused thoughts that the lamps hadn't been there to begin with. Nalia lifted both hand to expand the dome to the edges of the Heli'Dom, the maximum space that they had to work their magik.

    Aramil walked to the edge of the dome and leaned his head as far outside it as he could. He craned his neck and looked inward. The Heli'Dom appeared empty, turned down for the night. He drew back in, studied the state of what was before him, and stuck his head out again. He drew back in under the illusion of her dome and turned to face Nalia. He whistled softly and nodded his head.

    "I heard stories of your power to deceive, Lady Nalia" he said impressed as he walked toward her. He tapped a finger to his temple. "But to make a man second guess what was plain before his eyes. To not see what should so plainly exist... You hide full truths from the world and make them see half truths and lies."

    Nalia straightened before Aramil. There was a slight lift to her chin, one that made him smile and laugh. He clapped his hands together and when he drew them back apart, the all-seeing eye of Da'Jinn eagerly glowed one orange and one green within each of his spread palms.

    "Finish whatever preparations you need. I will prepare myself until it is time."

    Aramil turned from them and faced east, toward Da'Jinn. He sat cross-legged with his glowing palms facing each other. He closed his eyes and blocked them all from world. Nalia's emerald eyes watched Aramil like a hawk as he separated himself from them. Her hands remained aloft as a visual that her illusion was holding.

    "I 'eard Caldur's Soul Song" Arion said mostly to Alain, but making no effort to hide his gentle tone from the rest of them. "A' th' Battle of Capios by the cliffs of Windf'rte."

    Nalia turned her intense gaze away from Aramil and found Arion. She was very still. The man he and Olivia spoke of was the man who helped aid the attack on her Guild. Slowly, the new Master of Maginus stepped forward.

    " 'e sounded like earth an' sea an' sky. I' sounded natural... like what the stars could soun' like on a clear nigh'. Chaos. Burnin' like a fire, a wind blowing a nebula clou'. Darkness heatin' up the rock of the earth."

    Arion looked at Pasce.

    " 'e sounded like you, Princess-"

    -and then to Kali-

    " an' like you, in a way, when you shif' but... tain'ed wi' Maginus tones."

    Sacha froze. The look on his face was unreadable.

    "I mean' 'is blood an' upbringing is of Maginus. 'e sounded too natural, like all the elements singin' together or the stars were music, if there could be such a soun'. I's as if Liar'Adon 'imself 'ad plucked chords from an instrument an' sen' them to the world. I' was corrup'ed, distor'ed, but i' was there."

    "Liar'Adon himself..."

    Pasce looked up suddenly, sharply. Arion lifted his hands.

    " 'e's no' a God. The Song of something tha' powerful would 'ave 'urt me to 'ear. This was differen'. As if 'e was... related to those elemen's. A brother or a cousin. 'e is someone wi' a vas' amoun' of power. The only thing greater is the soun' of Liar'Adon's children."

    Arion's crimson eyes were gentle as they looked upon the Princess. Pasce looked down at the lamps in her hand as she processed what Arion had said.

    "Is the line of Liar'Adon corrupted?"

    The eyes upon Sacha were not gentle, but a mixture of emotions bred from uncertainty.

    "I read from the Book of Memories while hidden in the World of Dreams" Pasce said with a hint of strain in her voice. "I saw evidence of no such thing recorded to history."

    "It gets worse." Arion said and looked at them all in turn. "I 'eard six other men with 'im on the cliffs of Windf'rte. They all 'ad the same Sound, but none as powerful as Caldur's."

    Silence proceeded Arion's words. It weighed heavy and thick as the snow falling soft and deep outside.

    "This... man has attacked Enchantry and seeks to control Maginus." The voice of the white-haired Guild Master of Maginus was bristling. "He must be stopped before he seeks the others."

    Eyes fell, once again, to Pasce. It was said, by those in the palace who tutored her or had been in her presence even as a small child, that she was very watchful. Both children of Heron were watchful and attentive to detail. Though both she and her brother were quiet, she was considerably more so. It was a quality her father had loved about her, that she listened more than commanded, before she commanded. She had told him, once, that a King was only as wise as the council he kept. Pasce regarded her Council now, four of Taroc, three of Enchantry, one of Shamaa, one of Maginus and one of Da'Jinn.

    "Though we are not within the High Council chamber, this is the first meeting of its kind under my reign. I hear you, all of you and I agree: We must act." Pasce looked calmly upon the powers gathered before her, all older than her by considerable years. "This new threat to Rekōdo is powerful, and still a mystery in too many ways. If we are to be greater than our adversary, then Rekōdo must have unity. We will need all her Provinces under her one banner."

    She looked to the lamps in her hands.

    "Let us start mending the Oaths that bind us together by freeing Shamaa and Astral."
    *The Golden Goddess|The Goddess of All Motherless Secundae*
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    -Official #2 fan of Greg Land|#1 fan of Reesha Teramu & Nevole|#3 fan of Gareth|#4 fan of Arwyn
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    \"You know me: everything detailed and long, blah blah blah.\" (Brath OOC)

  2. #332
    The Great Orange One Qwaring's clone#1 is offline Qwaring's clone#1's Avatar
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    Lieutenant Lydmila Pavlich




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



    Karine eagerly pulls the images of the keeper of Maginus' ancestral spirit into her mind. She's only ever heard stories about others like herself. Those blessed or burdened with caretaking their guild's spirit. This is the first time she's seen another.

    As she processes the shared images, she grows more and more quiet. More distant. The Maginus keeper is out in the world. Free to summon spirits and have adventures. Karine had always thought other like herself would be confined or hidden away. Certainly the stars don't sing to them, but she had believed some forces would turn them into keepers, and would make such things impossible. Now she sees her assumptions were wrong. Somehow this makes her feel more alone.

    Karine is roused from her slip into sadness, and a bit of envy, to notice the wolf pack departing. Still working her way free from melancholy thoughts, she can only wave to her departing guests.




    The World of Dreams, Clow...

    Lydmila exits the tear. She squints her eyes as she looks around at the realm of shades and echoes. A faint glow glimmers in her irises. One of her hands fumbles at her coat pockets until they find a pair of goggles. She slips the goggles on.

    Her mystically enhanced sight never plays well with the other realms. Doraen had to cook up these enchanted goggles to filter out the noise.

    With her vision protected, Lydmila watches the Alpha push a stone back into place. She stares at the stone. Lydmila is unaccustomed to any who have the power to manipulate the reality of other realms. She knows some can naturally travel to the World of Dreams, but hasn't heard of anyone holding this kind of mastery over it.

    Lydmila is moments away from asking about this ability when the other wolves start running off to something only their great hearing can detect. She immediately follows after the pack. She's foreseen they can help find the path she needs to travel, and so her immediate instinct is to go where they lead.

    Eventually, they arrive at a market square and the source of the singing. The cobblestone streets of the square ripples like the ocean as a large, severely damaged sailing ship floats upon it. Lydmila and the wolves easily recognize the vessel as the Raven's Triumph. The singing comes from Captain Gold-Eye, as he sits on a rail, with his legs dangling off of the ship. The ghost captain has a fishing pole. As he sings ancient Taroc sea shanties he casts out his line into the maze of shops. Behind him, on the deck of his ship, is a pile of random items that he's managed to fish out of the waking world and bring into the World of Dreams. Into his greedy possession.

    His golden eye lights up, and he turns to look down at the approaching wolves and Taroc sniper. His smoky, azure features twist up into a joyous, toothy smile.


    "Ahoy, poochies and lass!" he calls out to the new arrivals. He lets out a deep chuckle as he reaches behind himself to the pile of fished items. He picks up a slab of beef fished out of a butchers shop. He tosses the tombstone sized chunk of meat to the first wolf to arrive at the ship. A reward for the swiftest member of the pack.

    "Captain," Lydmila replies as she leans against a lamp post, working to catch her breath. She's no stranger to running, but the effort of trying to keep up with the pack is beyond her regular exercise regiment.

    Lydmila looks around as the cobblestone rolls like the ocean water. It's very disorientating.


    "What brings you lot to my little fishing vacation?" Gold-Eye asks.

    "I'm not entirely sure," Lymila admits. She looks to the Alpha. "Clow only pointed to this realm, he did not direct me any further than here. Do you know of the path we are here to follow?"

    "Oh, well, if a spirit told you to do it, it couldn't have been so bad an idea, eh?" Gold-Eye enjoys a deep cackle.

  3. #333
    The Great Orange One Qwaring's clone#1 is offline Qwaring's clone#1's Avatar
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    Doctor Doraen & Berlix Ruelle




    Zinna's House, in the World of Dreams...


    "I don't know what to do," Doraen whispers in response to Udaya's question. He looks down at the city. His tear filled gaze reflecting back every twinkling of dream light this wondrous place has to offer. "How could I have answers, yet end up more lost than before?"

    His question wasn't directed at anyone. It's a puzzle for the world to solve. Doraen doubts any single mortal will have an answer for him.

    "This is wrong, all wrong," he mutters. "To change it we would have to risk hurting everyone. Doing great damage to everything that we've built.

    "But it's built on lies. The world is sick, because of what was done. In order to begin healing this sickness, we would have to mortally wound our entire society."

    Doraen looks down at his hands. Surgeons hands. They've mended a million wounds. Yet they can do nothing to fix this. Doraen knows he doesn't have the strength for this. He's not a great man, he only serves to keep great men and women alive so that they can continue to do greatness.

    This is beyond him.

    Berlix can see it. Doraen can't deal with this. She's been silent through all of this. The girl has her own pieces to put together. Trying to figure out what Udaya is talking about. Realizing that the old woman has made reference to Nalia, and Enchantry being a restoration of one of the lost provinces.

    Her eyes glow. She can see it. A vision of the symbol of Enchantry fitting into an empty space. A space that seemed to have been made for the Guild, but was only the emptiness left over by the destruction of what had been there before.

    It's why Alain was so easily swayed by the idea of Enchantry. He could sense it was a restoration of the natural order. Long before his mind could rationalize it, his instincts would have told him I was right. The LeCavalier's had trained themselves to be perfectly balanced weapons of defense and destruction, that they would have had to have found some way to adapt to an unbalanced world. Like sailors learning how to walk on a ship rocking on the ocean waves. This training would have made the Guild Master more sensitive to a renewal of balance in the world.

    There's another absence, like the missing guild of old Enchantry. Berlix can almost see it, but it hurts to look at. Hurts like Doraen's magic item crashing into a remnants of ancient Quieting magic. This other lost Guild is worse off than old Enchantry.

    She shifts her senses away from the painful vision, and sees something else. A powerful seer has entered the World of Dreams. It's usually difficult to detect the movements of other seers in Taroc, because the province is populated by those with the gift of sight. However, it's easy to predict the arrival of one so powerful in a place with so very few oracles walking about. Like a single lantern being lit in an open field at night.

    Curiosity urges Berlix onward, and she directs her sight onto the city of Clow, in the heart of Taroc. There she discovers something that makes her smile.


    "Lydmila is here in the World of Dreams," Berlix tells the others. "She's with others. Giant wolves and a ghost pirate?"

    Berlix rubs her eyes, doubting what her magic has shown her. The teen has heard that being in other realms can cause pain for other powerful seers, and she wonders if it's making her hallucinate.

    Doraen stands up. He wipes his eyes with his coat sleeves. Takes in a deep breath.

    Lydmila's out there. A great woman. Someone with the strength to do great things. During the War, members of LeCavalier's elite squad needed to know when it was time to seek out the help of their comrades, and when to lean on one another for support. Doraen knows now is such a time.


    "House, take us to Lydmila," Doraen calls out to the dwelling. He seems to have forgotten that travelling by house isn't the best methods of transport.

    Reality twirls about then uncoils, and the house is now in a different place.


    "WHAT IN THE MANY HELLS!" Captain Gold-Eye shouts as a house appears on the deck of the Raven's Triumph. His ship shakes and tips back and forth. Gold-Eye is knocked off of the railing he sat upon, and falls back onto the deck. His fishing poll drops down to the rippling street below. This newly appeared house manages to just barely fit on the deck of the ship, but only after knocking out some of the railings and one of the masts.

    Disorientated by the travel, and the rocking of the unstable ship, Doraen stumbles out of the house and onto the ship. He leans against a partially destroyed railing. The doctor looks over the edge of the boat, and spots Lydmila and several massive wolves on the streets.


    "Oh, hi, Lydie," a queasy Doraen says to his old friend, while offering her a small wave. There's a visible struggle in the man's features, as he fights against the effects of a second trip in the house and tries to keep down his recently eaten food.

    From inside of the kitchen, where she had retreated to throw up her meal into a trash bin, Berlix shouts out to Doraen,
    "Stop doing that!"

  4. #334
    Maginus, in Far Northern Rekōdo: The Great Hold



    Caldur Eirikson of Isolert and his Six Brothers



    He and his six brothers had retreated to the safety of the mountainous Great Swells of Maginus. The Great Hold was said to be the safest place in the entire Province. It was nestled in the middle of jagged, tooth-like peaks of barren bedrock and snow. It sat on the precipice of the Province, where the Dragonkind had made their last stand against the might of Maginus and lost. It was the farthest south the scaled beasts had managed to push into Rekōdo. Since, the Great Hold had been refortified and the Lesser Holds strengthened to keep vigil and withstand the once mighty Dragons of the Unsettled Lands. Here, in the Great Hold, it was safest. Here, in the Great Hold, Caldur was miserable.

    He had failed them all. The Ancestral Spirits of Rekōdo were within his sights and they'd slipped through his fingers and back into the hands of his enemies. He'd taken a bite out of their incredible magikal might. Within his hands he held the Spirits of Da'Jinn and Enchantry, plus whatever mystical power had come with her. Two out of six. It was hardly something to celebrate.

    He had not caught Arxus. With the Spirit of Maginus, he would have instant control over this vast, northern Province, but even this place was a mere stepping stone to the greatness she sought. Arxus's disappearance was one that caused concern. The Spirit was released with the Princess's death in the heart of Taroc, Maginus's eternal enemy. Where, exactly, was unknown. Delving too far outside their surge for capture would expose them further. The time for them to be known to the world would come. If Arxus had chosen a new host, he would need to come forward eventually. Until then, he had the Staff of Darmon and would rule as a faux leader. The High Priests had gone back into their hiding far below the Great Hold in the depths of the mountain. They had not been seen since one of their own was lost on the Cliffs to the madman with the Arm of LeCavalier. it had been thefted from the archives in the High Priests' stronghold some days ago. A new High priest would need to be chosen. He left such things up to the quasi dead blasphemes.

    Maginus was so rigid in its traditions that they can run themselves without much need for a figurehead or Guild Master. It was the people that needed to be kept under control. For now, the Staff in his possession would be enough. Now he waited for good news.

    "They have come."

    It was the ever-watchful Baerd by one of the tall, thin windows of the massive fortress who spoke. He was sharpening a thick sword with a cut of stone that hummed along the blade. There was a round shield strapped over his cloak.

    Caldur glanced up from where he sat in a tall, high-backed chair meant to imitate a throne within the large sitting room. A large hearth spread warmth that the chill of the windows could not better. Bothvar and Roneth opened a thick set of heavy doors and entered. First Bothvar and then Roneth. Between them were two hooded figures. One was considerably smaller than the other's massive, muscled frame, and beautifully more feminine. They made noise as they walked. The jingling of metal bands and jewelries was not doused to hide their foreign presence. They were expected, the Lady of Da'Jinn and her Second.

    Gunnar looked up from his place beside Cal on his throned seat. He stood with a hand holding the hilt of a heavy axe. Häming and Evyind looked up from their stations across the room, opposite Baerd on stiff, dark-blue couches around a table with maps and Maginus scrying stones. For now, they were silent. The dark eyes of the the Second of Da'Jinn stared them all down from beneath the cowl of his hood. He wore a large scimitar belted at his waist. It was noted by all the brothers present. The men of the room sized each other up.

    It was the woman amidst them who stepped forward and spread her open palms to the man seated with the Staff of Darmon of Maginus in his right hand. The emerald eyes of the ashen, lacquered staff gleamed at the woman across from Caldur. Her golden bracelets jingled lightly together and am embroidered slipper stepped forward from the equivalently ornate hem of her sari-like garb. She should be freezing, but Jinai of Da'Jinn, Favored Lady of the East showed no weakness, not even to the biting cold of Maginus. Caldur of Isolert, ruler of Maginus did not return the Da'Jinn greeting of peace.

    "You come at last, Lady of the East."

    "The way west is a difficult one when traveling without magik" she said, undaunted.

    Caldur made a dismissive noise. The hulking, cloaked man at her side clenched one of his large fists.

    "And you come to stand before me with empty hands." Caldur shifted on his throne as if annoyed. "This may be respectful in the East, but in the West it is a sign of disrespect to not bring tribute to a greater being."

    Majed's dark eyes glowed with anger only second to the white teeth he bore.

    "Do you know who stands before you?" he growled. "You sit before a Guild Master of Da'Jinn! The descendant of Princes and Emperors. You skin demands your obedience. You are but dust on the soles of her sandal. I will cut out your tongue if you address her with anything but respect."

    Caldur completely ignored Majed and stared now, with annoyance at Jinai. Her empty hands did not spell good news and his anger was quick to bubble close to the surface of his calm, bronzed skin. Like two of his brothers, their mothers appeared to be of Da'Jinn descent. They were gifted with the tanned skin of the East, though Caldur was the only of the bronzed brothers who retained the blond hair growth of his father. Skin, to him, was just skin.

    <<Restraint, my Amulet>> she clucked in Da'Jinn while eying Caldur with her sultry eyes. "We do not want our host to think we are so barbaric as to cut out the tongues of angry men. Just the insolent ones."

    There was a shift in her eyes, from one of cunning to one of power.

    "But you are not entirely a man, are you?"

    "Your entire purpose for coming here" Caldur snapped. "was to fulfill your end of our agreement."

    Jinai smiled beneath her face veil, but made no move to procure anything. She was well aware that she was powerless, but not entirely. The Da'Jinn were known to hide totems on their person among the various jewelries they wore.

    "If I had any trinkets to procure, I would have done so with the fanfare we Da'Jinn are so known for."

    From across the room, Häming and Eyvind exchanged glances and then looked up at Caldur. The eldest of the brothers sat up straight within his chair. There was a slight jingle as one of Jinai's hands slid back beneath her cloak. The other turned and gesture toward the agitated Caldur.

    "You did not think I would actually bring it to you, did you? My only bargaining chip? That would be unwise."

    Caldur's fist slammed down upon the arm of the chair where he sat. He stood abruptly. Majed drew himself to his full, muscled height and stepped before Jinai. The half- All-Seeing Eye tattoo beneath his left eye grew tight with tension.

    "I am in no mood for games" he growled through Majed to the Lady of Da'Jinn. There was a shift in stance from Bothvar and Roneth that made Häming and Eyvind stand from their places. Caldur walked forward to stand an arms length away from Majed. He still acted boldly, as if the man were not there, and stared just past him to Jinai who's smile had deepened at the hint of chaos.

    "Where are they?" he asked, his tone dripping with impatience. "Where are the lamps of Shama and Astral?"
    Last edited by SilntAngl5; 09-16-2018 at 08:11 PM.

  5. #335
    Rekōdo City: In the Dungeon of the Grand Palace

    Emit_Handsome.jpg



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



    Neither Ganard or Merelin looked at Ganard. They seemed incapable of taking their eyes off the Prince from where they stood just outside the doorway. They both blocked anyone from seeing what transpired within the cell and kept themselves from being aligned in what was happening. They had removed themselves from the Prince on this, something he had explicitly told them they would do, because the fault was and is and would ever be entirely his. His to live with, if he should live long enough, and his to bear upon his shoulders. Their magikal imprint was not added to the beautiful tapestry upon the Tiarnawood door left ajar. The Prince's actions came without their consent, knowledge or witness and it was evident on both their faces.

    Ganard's eyes were hard, angered and something much worse upon the Prince as he tossed the High Chronicler his sword. He looked desperately as if he wanted to speak, but his lips were pursed tightly shut. His entire body seemed tense with restraint and one of his hands twitched as his fingertips touched the hilt of his sword. Merelin's large, brown eyes brimmed with tears. Shock, disappointment, shame. One of her hands rested on the armor above her heart, as if something beneath the enchanted metals were breaking or broken. She breathed shallowly, as if incapable of being anything more than a whisper. She waited, looked as if she were waiting for something more horrible to happen than the sight of the healed, tortured man.

    Ryth's questioning look goes entirely unnoticed.

    If the gravity of the odd exchange between the Prince and High Chronicler of Rekōdo was not leveled upon them all, the look on the faces of the Prince's High Guard would begin to bring the weight of it heavily down upon the room.

    "Eri" Merelin managed weakly from the doorway. "Don't-"

    The Prince swiftly upheld a hand. The High Chronicler reflexively winced. The Prince did not turn to face the healing half of his personal guard. He did not take his stern, brown eyes from Emit.

    "He has the right" Eri stated simply.

    No more protest came from her lips, though she too, like Ganard, looked as if she desperately want to say something more. The tradition Eri was performing was simple yet ancient, and the only reason they knew of it was because it was a story Ganard had told both he and Merelin when they were much, much younger.

    Eri was named after his Uncle, Ehrin, Elder brother to his father and Ruler of Rekōdo. Heron was not meant to rule, but took up the mantle willingly after the premature death of his younger brother, who was ill. Like the first King Tradisius, Heron fought with the army of Rekōdo in the battlefield with abandon. There were no heirs to succeed him should the sword claim him. Many say he sought an end to the grief of his brother's passing in a warrior's death. Heron was always said to have been cast perfectly for the mold of Protector to the Heir rather than the ruling heir himself.

    In a battle that otherwise held no significance to the historical outcome of the Great War, that a group of Da'Jinn mercenaries tracked and poisoned an entire Shamaa tribe. Under the cover of Astral illusion, the mercenaries snuck into their encampment and pierced the skin of every warrior on watch and sleeping with sharpened twigs from the branches of blackened trees from the Wilderlands. Da'Jinn men who were branded with the half-eye tattoo below their left eye, were said to have completed the Rite of Passage ritual similar to that done by the Shamaa in the Tiarna Wood. The Da'Jinn were not readily welcome in that sacred place, so they ventured beyond the lands of Rekōdo to the Wilderlands to seek out this warrior's glory. They said, the madness, the visions and magiklessness brought them close to divinity itself. Poisoned by the twigs that leaked sap into their veins, the tribe was afflicted with such horrible hallucinations that they attacked the King and his army that had made camp beside them. Not realizing they were being attacked by their allies, King Heron and his army fought the insane hoard of tribesmen and slaughtered every last one of them. It decimated nearly an entire tribe of the Shamaa lands and struck a blow to Mindoka, who had lost 1/3 of his might in the senseless battle.

    The truth of the attack was found out, when Mindoka withdrew the poisoned barbs from the bodies of his slain. He confronted Heron, enraged that his King bring low those who were pledged to be his allies. He laid the poison at the King's feet and the King, moved by his own grief and the anger he saw mirrored in Mindoka, tossed his heron-crested blade to Mindoka and came to his knees at the Guild Master's feet. He spoke to a young Ganard of Fallandor, who was at his side just as he was now at the side of his Prince, and said he was witness to having given Mindoka of Shamaa his blade of his own accord. He offered Mindoka the chance to exact justice for what had been done. He offered Mindoka a chance to slay him without any repercussions to the Great Stag or Shamaa. Mindoka had throw the sword down into the dirt before the King. His wrath, he said, was withheld for the Da'Jinn.

    There were no heirs. Mindoka could have thrown all of Rekōdo into chaos by ending the line of Liar'Adon forever in the midst of war. Even when angered, Mindoka was a creature of logic and reason above all else. He would have recognized what exacting vengeance upon the King would do and perhaps that played a great part in staying his grieved hand. And he could have done so without any of the consequences that would come swiftly and harshly for assassinating a King.

    But here, with the Prince and the High Chronicler, there was no threat of ending Liar'Adon's line. The Prince was not the last. The prince had willingly shared that with tortured man before handing his sword over. He did so of his own accord and therefore accepted the consequences of what could happen by that blade. Ryth and Eliona were the witnesses. If Emit Shornoc, High Chronicler of Rekōdo were to use that blade to end the Prince's life, it was done so with permission of the Prince.

    "I have changed you in a way that I cannot mend. The fault of which is mine and mine alone. I offer you my sword to exact upon me the justice you see fit. This is your only chance."

    The last words were repeated again, but much quieter, by the Prince. It was a tradition that was as old as Rekōdo itself. Surely, a learned Man of Books such as Emit would know its significance. The weight of option played across the High Chronicler's face as his hand gripped the hilt of the sword, a sword that was heavy with a weight he did not wish to carry. His blue-gray eyes settled onto the symbol Ryth tapped at his shoulder and saw it for what it truly was for the first time. Something in the High Chronicler's shoulders sagged as a noise of relief and a grief of a different kind escaped him. When his eyes settled onto the Prince once more, he suddenly steeled himself. He threw the bloodied tome upon the ground before the Prince and then stabbed his sword down into its cover. The sword lodged there with a resounding sound and wobbled as the High Chronicler released it and righted himself. Even in his imprisonment, even sent away from the Princess's side, he had made every effort to help her. After all that he had gone through, his only thoughts even here had been to assist her so that he could fulfill the promise he'd made to a frightened, young girl that had come to him begging his aide. A girl he had carried halfway across Rekōdo City and endured horrible tortures to save.

    He was shaking with the desire to do no harm, the grief for his tortures and pains, and the adrenaline that coursed through him and pushed him to take back that sword and feel it bite through the flesh of the man who'd harmed him.

    "I do not need protection" the High Chronicler of Rekōdo said and moved past the Prince.

    His gait was slow and more unsteady that he wished it to be, but he made it to Ryth and the stairs beyond Ryth that led up and out of this place. Along the way, he bent with too much effort and retrieved his battered, colonial-style coat from the floor.

  6. #336
    The World of Dreams, Clow...



    The Dire Wolves of the Ailes and Udaya of Shamaa



    The greeting given by the pack to the Raven's Triumph is familial, a reunion anointed by their yips and howls of glee. The pack of large Wolves surround the ship with tails wagging. The cut of meat is the only detour they take from smelling and nudging the ship with their faces. Three of the pack ignore the meat completely and look for their favorite, boney crew member. The others fight over control for the meat. The Alpha remained apart from the pack, close to Lydmila. His crimson eyes stared at her solemnly.

    The pack suddenly froze and then scattered back from the boat. Warning yelps blanched the oddly silent air of the Dream Realm. The Alpha stood stiffly and stepped in front of Lydmila as a house appeared on top of the Raven's Triumph. The pack scattered backward and the mental air between them was bombarded with pictures, senses, emotions. They paced back and forth about the ship, whining and whimpering.

    An old cackle made the whimpering Wolves fall silent.

    "Hoo boy! Dat was some trip right dere!"

    Udaya's cackles grew louder with her amusement. She slapped a hand on her knee, swooned and teetered for a moment before grabbing one of the posts to the porch for support. Unlike the good Doctor and young Seer of the house, Udaya seems otherwise unaffected by the sudden lurching travel within the Realm of Dreams. She tottered off the house and stopped on the last step of the porch. She tapped the deck of the raven's Triumph with her bare toe and, deeming solid enough for her, left Zinna's house entirely.

    She looked at the ship, its brokenness and its usefulness. She stopped to rap on the ancient wood and ectoplasmic replacements with her weathered knuckles. When she heard the noises made by the pack of Dire Wolves, Udaya froze. She swung around so forcefully that she clapped a hand on the curled brim of her ancient-looking top hat. Her squinted eyes narrowed her vision on the dark shapes around the boat and then went wide.

    "All de Spirits of Shamaa" she breathed. Udaya reached for the canoe oar she'd used to stir her pot of food, fumbled her way to the nearest gang plank and walked as hurriedly as her old legs would allow. At the end of the plank, the Wolves suddenly took notice of Udaya and their tails began to wag. She reached out a hand that trembled with age and excitement.

    "Look!" she called to Doraen excitedly. "Look here, Zinna's boy! Dis here is a grand sight for dese old eyes!"

    Her gnarled hand entwined in the thick black fur of the nearest wolf. She lovingly stroke from its cheek down into the furs of its neck. her toothless mouth was bent upward in a joyous grin.

    "Where have you been?" Udaya petted the Wolves and each fought to have their snout touched by the old woman. They could easily devour her in a few bites, but they sniffed her eagerly and their tails wagged like welcome banners. Udaya spoke over her shoulder to Doraen. "I have not see dese boys in ages and ages past! Old Udaya was tinking dey forgot about where her house is at by de two rivers. Dey have forgotten so much already. Where have you been dat kept you from Old Udaya for so long, hmm?"

    ~The Ailes.~

    Udaya looked up and around for the voice that touched her mind. She found the Alpha over by Lydmila. The large beast sat his hindquarters on the cobblestone ground. Some of the pack dispersed back to the Raven's Triumph.

    "Dats a long way to be away, Old Dog. What you and your boys been doin' over dere by all dem pretty ladies, hmm?"

    ~We were told to protect and we obeyed.~

    "After all dis time den?"

    The Alpha was silent for a long time.

    ~We forgot the way home.~

    Udaya looked to the pack. her face grew solemn.

    "Even here in Dreams? Have dey all forgotten what de fields between feel like? De sound of de wild forests dat sing to Tiarna?"

    ~I am the last to remember.~

    Udaya shook her head and fell silent. She looked back over her shoulder to Doraen.

    "Rekōdo does not forget what it was to be balanced. It will find a way even if we do not help her, but if we do not chose de way, den we must accept whatever way she choses."

    The Alpha stayed silent. Everything about him was still, listening, calm.

    "Dere are dose dat have already tried and suffered greatly to right a tiny fraction of de wrong dat was done to our world. What would de world say if de find out about dis here a year from now? Ten years? More years dan Old Udaya has breath in her? De reaction will be de same. De hurt will be de same. De healing will be de same. Who will be de ones to start de healing is de question. De wounds we make by fixing dis here are bad ones, but if de parts dat make up de order of our world are strong enough, den dey can hold it all together, dey can."

  7. #337
    Count / Countess Tigers is offline Tigers's Avatar
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    Branwen

    Months, that was far better than Branwen would have hoped for. It could have been so much longer, years, centuries even. Mindoka had never spoken to her about it, but Branwen was well aware that there was a huge probability that she could not take the ancestral spirit. She was an alien to this world after all. Her outward appearance seemed just like theirs, she bled, had flesh and bone just as they did, but she was very different.

    She and Kali had been placed with Guilds where their abilities were closely matched, but even then they were not perfectly so. Shamaa needed Mindoka back, for the betterment of their future. Branwen's future was uncertain, there were things that only the gods could control, and what she desired did not mean that was what was meant for her, or Kali.

    She loved these people, this had become the first home she could remember in a long time. But, then there was their mother, their other siblings that were out there somewhere. And Altwaal only knew what they were all going through, if they were still alive. These were things she put to the side, the future would be decided, but not today. Today, she had to focus on Mindoka, Shamaa and Rekōdo. In this, she knew she was even honoring her mother's wish.

    "It is more than I had hoped for." Branwen replied

    Branwen's eyes began to glow a light orange as she looked upon the small gathering of people. It felt as if she had lived here forever. Turning to Alain and Olivia, Branwen bowed.

    "My services are at your disposal. As long as I remain conscious, I will channel energy from the elements to where you need it most."

    Branwen gave a small smile.

    "Think of me as your connection to an unlimited source of energy."

    As Branwen's eyes traveled toward Kali, her eyes beheld the weariness in Nalia's being. She was such a proud woman, would she even acknowledge her need or allow herself to seem vulnerable. As her eye's swept back toward those in the room, settling on the lamps that held Mindoka and Herotus, she knew the answer as well as she knew herself. But she would not be who she was, if she did not at least offer a small respite to Nalia.

    Branwen focused on the elements in the room, as long as she was bringing attention to ability to help in this capacity, she could disguise the small gesture she sent toward Nalia.

    "Please, accept just a little Nalia." Branwen whispered in her mind.

    "No one will know, not even Kali."


    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

  8. #338
    Count / Countess Tigers is offline Tigers's Avatar
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    KALI

    A small swirl of smoke exited from Kali's nostrils at Nalia's response. Of course that old urge to want to argue with her began to rear it's ugly head and the cool look from Sacha was not helping. Kali pushed it aside as she felt the tingling glow of her emerald. If Nalia wouldn't rest, she would make sure she used her strength so that Nalia would not have to, at least she set that desire in her mind. She knew better though than to expect Nalia not to give everything she had.

    Seeing the swell of her belly and the hidden stance that held Nalia's proud stubbornness, Kali softened and raged at the same time. For her sister's, for Nalia, her heart beat with a protective pulse ever alert for danger, but Kali's blood still boiled with the recent battle with the Nightmares and this strange tug she felt from Evalynn's changing blood.

    She did not know what Evalynn was feeling, but for Kali it was like being on the knife's edge and any perceived threat to Nalia, her unborn child, her newly blooded sister, Branwen, or Enchantry could bring out the beast in her. If it hadn't been for Branwen standing next to her, and her willingness to ever be receptive to Branwen's cool head, Kali knew her wings would have burst forth from her back.

    It wasn't until she felt the cool touch of Branwen's energies rise, that Kali could feel the knife's edge begin to soften. A quick look and she could see the glowing aura of her sister's now orange eyes. It was not the almost dark flaming aura that surrounded Kali, but it suited her sister's character, just as hers did.

    She acquiesced with a slight bow of her head, the emerald tipped horns glistening in the light of the room. The illusion was set and it would not break with the three of them here. There were other places to focus her boiling blood, like Caldur and the ilk that followed him.

    Unconsciously, Kali licked her lips in anticipation as she listened to Arion. Wasn't that the way of men, never to be at peace, always seeking power, control over people and things? Being female, she was already a creature of chaos, something she was learning could easily take you over without self-control. The Nightmare's were a beast of a different nature, but when Kali's mind went to Calder and the others, she smiled.


    "And then we go hunting."
    Kali replied after the Princess spoke.


  9. #339
    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






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


    Alain listens to Arion's description of Caldur's song. His gaze drifts back and forth over the air in front of him, as the Guild Master and Clow share a brief conversation. The spirit consults recalled texts written by oracles that may have detected something similar. They discuss prophesies on the lineage of the royal family.

    To any paying attention, it will seem as though Alain's focus is adrift for a few moments. Soon he returns, now armed with a whole conversation of half theories and remembered notions. Nothing concrete.


    "If they're not of the royal line, then perhaps they're something else that is more closely tied to Liar'Adon than humans are," Alain offers with a shrug. It's not much, but it's something to ponder. "One of his other creations? Something older than mankind?"

    Beside Alain, Verona scribbles in her notebook. She's writing out a list of creation myth texts to order, and several experts to call in to research the possibilities of some other ancient creation of Liar'Adon's existing today and impersonating humans.

    Olivia takes a bit of the energy Branwen offers. It's a swift, measured capture of a specific amount. Like a thief taking only what's needed to fund a larger crime.

    Outwardly, Olivia only nods thankfully to the Second, and then turns her attention to the bag that's slung over one shoulder. She walks to a table and sets her bag down onto it. Olivia begins removing and organizing spell components that she might need.


    "Thank you for the offer, Branwen," Alain replies. "But I'd like to test out my recently restored power. See if the old fire is what it should be."

    Meanwhile, Olivia pulls several violet candles out from her bag. She lights them with icy spirit fire and sends them floating out around the room. Once thirteen dark candles are hovering about, Olivia pulls a hand out of her bag.

    Someone familiar with the necromantic arts might assume this is a fabled Hand of Glory, a magical talisman made from the severed hand of a hanged man, pickled and infused with dark magic. A Hand of Glory provides a thief with power needed to rob any house. This, however, is not a Hand of Glory. It's instead Olivia's attempt to create the opposite. A tool of a protector, and not a thief.

    The hand is one of Olivia's rarest trinkets. The appendage was harvested from a warrior that had died protecting the thing he loved most. It was subjected to a special mummification process that has left it pale and rigid like a stone sculpture.

    Olivia approaches the fireplace, and tosses the hand into the flames. The fire wraps around the appendage, lifting it aloft, but does not burn it. Instead the flames turn a dark blue. The fingers of the hand close into a fist and a wave of energy passes through the chamber. Ghosts and entities that lurk in the dead realms are now locked out of this room, preventing them from trying to take advantage of the soon to be freed Guild Masters in their spiritually vulnerable state.

    She then stands near Aramil, and holds one of her own hands out to Sacha and her other hand out to Evalynn.


    "We should form a triangle around Aramil as he casts the spell to free the Masters," Olivia explains to the two others of Maginus blood. "By attuning our auras and extending it out, we can strengthen and safeguard their souls."

    It's a simple feat for those trained in the arts of Maginus magic. Although, when this method is used by masters of the craft it can create a very powerful effect. A group of highly experienced sorcerers can sculpt their own auras into virtual fortresses of spiritual and magical might.

    Olivia's quite curious what this odd gathering of Maginus sorcerers can create with their own power. It will make an interesting test to see what the young Guild Master and the enchantress can do.

    Alain, on the other hand, awaits his part in this process, and does his best not to look uncomfortable during this open display of dark Maginus magic within one of his favorite sanctuaries. Clow informs his host that the Heli'Dom has already been the site of many dark rituals this night, and it's much too late to worry about it now.

    Alain glances to Verona, who holds up her notebook and shows him a note. The writing informs Alain that a mystical cleansing for the entire Heli'Dom has already been scheduled for tomorrow afternoon. The Guild Master smiles and nods approvingly to his aide.

  10. #340
    The Great Orange One Qwaring's clone#1 is offline Qwaring's clone#1's Avatar
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    Eliona & Filip Ryth




    Rekōdo City: In the Dungeon of the Grand Palace


    Eliona steps to follow Emit, but reluctantly pauses beside the prince.

    "You've dug yourself into a pit, sire" Eliona whispers to Eri. Summoning some sympathy through the weight of outrage is a struggle for her. "If you love your sister you will find a way to climb back out. Otherwise you risk dragging her in with you."

    Eliona isn't sure if her words will do any good. Still she had to say something. Even if she hates Eri at his moment, he is still in pain. Eliona once made oaths to heal any in need, even those that would bring harm to others.

    She then continues following Emit. Out of the cell and up the stairs.

    Ryth pauses.


    "Things are going to hell, boy," the tired, old soldier tells Eri. "I'm not even going to pretend I know how you can make things right. I just know there's a lot of people hurting out there. If you're gonna lose your damned mind, a lot more are going to suffer for it."

    Ryth shakes his head and turns away from Eri. There's nothing more an old, broken soldier can do here.

    There's no salute, or other traditional sign of respect. No attempt to follow protocol. Ryth simply turns away from this mess and walks out.

    He joins Emit and Eliona. The Astral woman has the Taroc guild badge, that Alain gave to her, in her hands. She's shaking the badge, trying to get it to open a portal for them. She eventually holds the badge out to Ryth, hoping he can diagnose how she's misusing this baffling Taroc trinket.

    Ryth takes one glance, reading the hidden meaning to the hum and glow of the badge.


    "It looks like the main observatory is being used as part of a council meeting," Ryth comments. "Security protocol forbids any low ranking, or unranked, agents from opening a portal into such gatherings."

    "Isn't that a bit paranoid?" Eliona mutters as she hands the badge to Ryth.

    "Yeah, that's the point," the old soldier comments as he uses the badge to open a portal. The doorway will take them directly to the observatory. Ryth wants them all to see the state of the Chronicler. He's in no mood to hide the sins of others. He wants the guilty to face the full light of day.

    No one should get away with such crimes.


    "C'mon, let's move," Ryth tells the chronicler and healer. He then steps through the portal.

    Eliona waits. She looks to Emit and speaks softly to him,
    "If you have any further need of healing, please call upon my talents. I know of methods for healing not only the body but also the mind and soul. All you have to do is ask, at any time, and I am entirely at your service."

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