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  1. #351
    Faraking Island of Taroc in Far Western Rekōdo: The Floating Heli'Dom

    Attachment 2352 Attachment 2351


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




    Nalia glanced downward as she processed the images and words Kali shared with her. She recognized the voice of the High Priestess Karythar en' Uru'Loki and her counterpart, Maska’lalaith, the Dream Walker. Nalia's breathing quickened and her heartbeat raced blood through her body. She went very still. The last time she heard those two voices- The last time she had been in that cavern-

    Nalia closed her eyes and forced herself to breathe slowly. The life within her moved. She placed a hand atop her womb. An expectant mother's habit.

    ~It is difficult to say- ~ only because she did not want to jump to conclusions. Nalia glanced at Alain as he moved forward and brandished his red fire. The shadows of its light an the warmth of its intense heat reflected in flickers of scarlet light across her face. Her emerald eyes focused on Alain's mythical arm. She had heard so many stories of it, most told to her as a child by adults of Alain's trusted company who had consumed too much beverage to keep from regaling the very quiet child in stories of the past. The story of Alain's arm was a favorite, one of many. Nalia racked her mind over the memory of that story.

    ~ - but I do not know the makings of his strength. No one does.~

    Nalia shared with Kali the picture of Karythar's octagonal pendant around her neck. The light on the thick, golden chain reflected in the torchlight. There was a click as latch in the large, golden, octagonal pendant about her neck sprung open, like rays of a golden sunrise. This key was placed in the center of three identical locks and, when the key was moved, they all turned in sync to open the lustrous case that housed Rekōdo's sacred Tel'Parma en' Rinarim. It could fit easily within the palm of the Dragoness's hand, almost like a small box.

    Nalia knew every swirl, every whorl and eddy of golden lining within Alain's arm. She could reproduce its image from perfect memory right now if she so desired. As Nalia's mind replayed a snippet from a memory she had tried so hard to forget, she focused on the lines of golden embellishment and carving that outlined the octagonal pendant that was a key to a most sacred text. Nalia felt her heart trip within her chest. Her eyes were wide as she looked down from Alain's arm. Unwittingly or wantingly, Alain had been thrust into a most pivotal role in their world's future. The kind of part that became stories and legends long after the stars in them were gone.

    ~Where is safe, Kali?~

    Nalia glanced up at her, seeking the answer to a question meant for her inquiry and her own need. The more she thought on Kali's memory the more rapidly her heart beat. Nalia glanced at Alain with growing trepidation. The dread of how deeply woven they all were into history's tapestry threatened to bring her to her knees. Again, the life within her moved. Nalia looked down and then back up at her Second.

    ~Where can Alain possibly bring her that is safe?~



    -+-



    "The ritual is complex."

    Aramil spoke to everyone, but kept his eyes on the Princess, who would complete his half of the magik needed to make any of this work. He had some confidence in the girl knowing Da'Jinn and a vast trove of power. Some. Such rituals were not meant to exist. Such bonds were not meant to be broken

    "When Jinai pulled you from the World of Dreams, she did so by threatening to sever your life thread, thus extinguishing your life from Emporium. All of us are threads in the tapestry of our world. Our actions and motions weave together a pattern, a history. We are not weavers at the loom, but what we must undo is what one must do to correct a mistake in their work. Go back too far, and you lose precious work. Untie the wrong threads and you lose more than you desire."

    As he explained this, his hands moved through the air. Tails of exotic orange and green light trailed behind his fingertips. he swirled his hands before Pasce and then closer to his own body until the weavings created the All-seeing Eye of Da'Jinn, which was their self-proclaimed symbol. It set before Aramil, seeing before itself and behind itself. It blazed, unblinking, staring, watching.

    The Da'Jinn man turned Maginus Priest offered his hands, palm up to Pasce. The custom of the East was to show a man was unarmed and came in peace, but here he sought something. The Princess visibly hesitated, which caused the tanned man to smile beneath his beard and with his eyes.

    "I will take care" he offered her. Honest words from a man who was genuinely honest.

    The Princess nodded. She untied the lamps from her belt and placed the onyx lanterns in his weathered palms. The golden scratch marks of the Provinces of Shamaa and Astral glittered eerily in the magik light of Olivia's workings around them. Aramil's face was illumined beneath the deep cowl of his hood. He held the lamps with great reverence and care, as he promised. His movements were slow and careful as he set the lamp in their locations: One between Pasce and The Eye, the other between it and himself.

    "I will speak the words. The Ancient Da'Jinn. They are meant only to be spoken by a man of Da'Jinn. It will not work otherwise. It will fight against you. You must remain with me if you are to be of use."

    He placed one hand on the lamp of Astral, facing him, and the other he reached around the eye to touch the lamp of Shamaa before the Princess. Aramil nodded and Pasce did the same: one hand on the lamp before her, the other around the All-Seeing Eye to the second. They made the iris of an eye around The Eye, to see what it sees. To see the power within the lamps, the secrets they cannot otherwise yield. To watch The Eye, in case it shows them only trickery. Aramil peeked around the Princess and looked until his dark brown eyes found Arion.

    "You there! With the guitar!"

    Arion looked up sharply from his runic paths around the Heli'Dom.

    "Play something a little more Da'Jinn, hmm?"

    Arion's brow furrowed and glanced at Alain. He raised an eyebrow in inquiry to his Guild Master, then shook his head and continued on his purposeful path. Music continued to flow in soft, gentle waves around the Heli'Dom. Music of Taroc, old ballads to soothe the structure. Occasionally, a hint of something exotic graced his strumming. Couplets of Da'Jinn chords. Arion looked to the ritual to see if what he added would suffice, but the Maginus Priest had already returned to the task at hand.

    "Once the Spirits and their Vessels are liberated from their bonds, we will release the lamps. They are yours to melt, Master of Taroc, and yours to cool with waters, Lady of Shamaa."

    Aramil's fingertips touched the Princess so that her eyes looked at him.

    "We must remove all threads binding them to their lamps if they are to be freed, but we must take great care to leave the threads that bind the Spirits to the Masters. The threads that bind them here, on Emporium, must also remain."

    The Princess nodded. She understood completely. Aramil shifted, as if settling in for a wrestling-of-arms and then closed his eyes. He began to chant. The words rolling articulately off Aramil's tongue in the manner of a literate and intelligent man. The syllables and lilting would be nearly impossible for her to mimic at his rate and speed. Pasce felt drawn to close her eyes, as if she were falling asleep but entirely aware that she was succumbing to it. As soon as her eyes closed, she and Aramil stood within darkness. Just as Jinai had appeared on her carpet flanked by the bound Masters, so Mindoka and Herotus hovered here. Their eyes glowed depthlessly and emotionlessly. Their hands were shackled with clasps of gold and they were wisps of magik from their midsections downward. They trailed off into threads. Different colors for different weavings of their lives. They trailed off into the darkness that had no end. Aramil gestured and Pasce followed him together, they began cutting the threads that bound them to their respective lamps. Aramil taught her the words and with magik they unbound them.



    -+-



    Evalynn sought to draw her hand out of Sacha's. He knew. He knew about the alterations to her blood, the thing anyone from Maginus would see as a blasphemous taint. She wrung his hand in hers and twisted to free herself, but Sacha gripped hers so tightly she cried out. A faint glitter of violet scales on her arms catch the magik light through the tears in her blouse.

    "No" he said so sternly she went still and ceased her struggle. "No." Much more gently. "We must together."

    Evalynn's wide blue eyes looked to Olivia. Sacha's hand readjusted its hold on hers. The change in touch, more stable, drew her eyes back to him. Slowly, she nodded. Colored smoke began pouring out from the lamps. It began as the colored of Da'Jinn, of their servitude, and faded to the colors of their Province. A shape writhed in each cloud on the Princess and Priest's left and right. Of two men in agony and denial as they felt the strong, magikal threads that bound them to the onyx and gold lamps being cut a strand at a time. The process was slow and arduous for the Princess and the Priest. The strands resisted her touch, but she summoned forth her will and power and matched Aramil's pace as he cut ties to the lamps.

    Gradually, those shapes became more defined. The large, unmistakeable mountainous figure of Mindoka of Shamaa and the chiseled Herotus of Astral became less and less of smoke and more of life and flesh. Bands of golden servitude were clapped about their wrists. Their eyes no longer retained the orange glow of Da'Jinn, but of their own lands. The vaporous smokes seemed to invert their flow and draw inward under the assault. The two Guild Master's backs arched as they felt the pull to go back. The lamps under Pasce's touch began to rattle and shake. Aramil shouted something in the Common Tongue, but it was lost among the continuous chanting from Pasce. She too uttered the Da'Jinn spell. The lamps reverberated violently and then shuddered out one final attempt to call back its occupants before the smoke disappeared within the lamps and the two freed men dropped to the floor. Their golden manacles snapped off and clattered to the ground. They disappeared in a puff of smoke. Aramil released the lamps, oriented himself and then grabbed the Princess. He pulled her away from the lamps by her shoulders so hard that they tumbled to the floor.
    Last edited by SilntAngl5; 02-01-2019 at 11:33 PM.
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  2. #352
    Count / Countess Tigers is offline Tigers's Avatar
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    KALI

    Kali watched Nalia with great intensity. Her eye’s flicked almost hypnotically in color as the energies of magic ebbed and flowed like the ocean’s tide around them. Her exposed skin began to buzz and her scales itched with need to cover her body. She felt Branwen’s focus on those working on freeing the two guild masters and her growing connection to Evalynn shot through her like a bolt of lightning. Through those of her kin and her bond by blood, she suddenly felt connected and alive with the energies of those in the room, but all of that seemed minuscule next to the woman across from her.

    Her eye’s followed Nalia’s to Alain’s arm. Although Kali could see the markings with the vision of a dragon’s, it was multiplied by the image Kali caught in Nalia’s mind. The memory Nalia shared of her visit to the cavern’s overlaid upon the image of Alain’s unnatural hand and as the locket snapped open the connection was made in Kali’s mind.

    Kali's eye’s sprang back to Nalia’s as her Guild Mistress addressed her. The fear in her eyes was subtle to what she felt inside of her. So schooled and practiced with her outside appearance, only those closest to her would even know what beat inside of her.


    “No where.”

    It was an honest answer, for the most determined will find a way to reach their goal, no matter what it was. As much as Kali wanted to protect her from even the truth, it would be a great injustice to them all to lie.

    “We can find places to fortify, to give us the best chance until the promise is fulfilled, but nothing is foolproof, nothing is ever completely safe.”

    She watched Nalia further, her mind running through every place she could think of. They could take them to the places between the worlds, but even that had its own dangers.

    “We will find an answer Nalia, we will make it all work, whatever solution we come up with.”



    ****************



    Branwen

    Branwen’s eyes would wonder to the lamp holding the spirit of Mindoka, but her ears were ever sharp to every word that passed from the mouth of the man from Da’Jinn. Working with the elements was as natural to Branwen as breathing, but she knew from experience that the workings of the universe, whether it was called magic or miracle or witchery worked differently depending on where you were.

    She found herself begin pulled toward Mindoka’s lamp, as if an invisible force drew her nearer and when Aramil spoke to her, her intelligent eyes found the man of Da’Jinn’s. With a nod, Branwen drew upon the moisture in the air and water formed above her hand, waiting to be sent to whatever task it was directed too. She briefly looked to the Guild Master of Taroc before returning her gaze back to the lamp.

    All around her, a mist formed and out of this mist, spirit animals came to stand beside her in excited anticipation. At the head was the form of a majestic stag, standing proud, ears flickering to and fro. Branwen would be ready, taking her cue from Alain as soon as he melted the lamps. It was a struggle as their forms changed from smoke to that of flesh and the struggle of the magically ties that had bound them was evident in the visual display of agony.

    It was all Branwen could do to not want to grasp Herotus for his treachery when he was completely freed from the lamp. The tension in the air was thick and the stag dug his cloven hoof at the ground in anxiousness and Branwen fought the feelings within her to keep from running forward to the form of Mindoka who suddenly fell to the ground. The water that floated above her hand vibrated in waves to the magic and tension in the air, almost as if it had a life of its own, waiting to be freed to perform its task.



    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

  3. #353
    The World of Dreams, The Forest of the Wilderlands







    The transition from the marshland fields into the forest was breath-snatching. It was like walking from bright sunlight into jelly and through it to atmosphere miles from the ground. A coldness entered their bodies through the lungs. The intense feel of it would beg them to close their eyes, so that when they were opened, they would see this world anew.

    It looked like a regular forest would at night. There was a dimness to the air, and the paleness of bright moonlight through the tree branches. The trees, as they went farther in, became more twisted and hung with the long, fanciful drapery of moss that signaled this was a damp place, ripe with swamp and bayou not very far into its core. here, the earth was still dry enough to walk upon. There was dew in the moss, like diamonds had been plucked form the sky and set into its gnarled, knotted elegance. It sparkled, like stars.

    It was night in this forest, a time rife with sounds unheard during the daytime, but here, in Dreams, this forest was silent. The starkness of how still the air was, how utterly devoid of any sound except the water within the forest, made any noise they made seem loud. Their noises were foreign here, but the muted air kept their sounds from traveling far.

    It was smothering, but in a way that was oddly internal. Nothing moved in the forest. Even in Dreams, there was no wind, no sense of the hazy sun above them somewhere. It felt like night and the darkness seemed to be too close, but in its place when your eyes sought it out. And, unlike many other places in The World of Dreams, there was no flickering of the presence of someone who unknowingly touched the Dreamworld before fading back out. They were utterly alone here.


    -+-


    It had been many years since outsiders had entered the wood in the World of Dreams. How many was hard to remember. It certainly had been a long time and the roots beneath the mossy-covered soil trembled in anticipation of the feet and- as it happened- paws that would soon traverse its dreamy contents. The vibrations of the tree roots rippled throughout the forest until the entire underground network of limbs and wooden capillaries hummed.

    It had been a long time.

    Perhaps not in the years of trees. Exactly how long was difficult to remember. This was an old forest, one of the oldest in this land and gauging age and time was not a strong skill for the woods. The moments leading up to the last warriors who fought against the dark that was spreading over Emporium had the forest remember that they left quite suddenly and took much of the darkness with them on their way out. Such a drastic shift from dark to light left the forest reeling and unable to think. It had let their guard down an in their years of weakness the darkness crept back in to their canopy and blotted out the light from their earth one ray at a time.

    It had been a very long time. But the forest was beginning to remember.


    -+-


    They awoke.

    In tandem with the vast network of trembling and humming tree roots, they too felt the arrival of the Dreamwalkers. Unlike the forest, though, they were attentive, immediate to welcome the guests to the forest. Unlike the forest, waking hazily from a long slumber, they slept lightly over the two decades or so that it had been since the last of them had come in numbers big enough to be a concern to them. Oh, they came on occasion. Sometimes with purpose- rarely with purpose- and never truly entered the woods. The men were afraid, though they would never say it. Some came by accident, popping into the Dreamworld unguarded. They guessed that they used- what did they call them?- Totems to keep themselves from coming here. It mattered little to them. The battle had been won long ago. There was no going back now.

    There was an interesting amount of curiosity though. The furry ones were a familiar sight. Recently they had come to the Woods. Rather than come into it, though, they had curiously run from it. These creatures were not known to run away. If it was the same creatures at all. They used to be numerous, as many as the boughs of the trees. They saw to it that theirs was the only darkness within this forests. The black wolves were no more.

    And yet, here they were upon the threshold of their woods.

    There was a stirring in the forest. One alien to the humming of the vast root system, but one that also sought to tap into the universal Energies of this planet. They had long been silent, waiting on the chess piece they'd sent out into the world. They waited for her to release them into the waking day. These here would be dealt with. All they had to do was cross the threshold and enter the woods.

  4. #354
    The Great Orange One Qwaring's clone#1 is offline Qwaring's clone#1's Avatar
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    Alain LeCavalier







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


    Alain, ever the soldier, has his orders and they become his entire world. Throughout the ritual, his attention is on the lamps.

    Clow has some complaints about not being able to watch the ritual. He was extremely curious to see if it will work and set the other Masters and spirits free. Alain ignores Clow. Only his task matters.

    The moment the lamps begin to fall Alain is moving. In addition to his strength, his stone arm grants him great speed. He is across the room in the time it takes someone to blink one and a half times. In his younger days it would have been less than a single blink.

    He catches the lamps before they can touch the carpeted floor. Alain holds a lamp in each of his fiery hands. He backs away from the others as the flames in his hands reach a white hot intensity. His features tense and redden with incredible strain. Sweat shines over his features. The sweat soon evaporates to steam as an aura of scarlet flames flows around Alain's entire frame. He is calling upon the full might of a Guild Master.

    The metal of the lamps lets out a anguished whine as it succumbs to the heat. The shapes of the lamps begins to droop and collapse. Molten metal pools up within the flames as Alain's power contains what it melts. What Da'Jinn genie magic has created Alain of Taroc has destroyed.

    Within Alain's mind, Clow watches the lamps melt into swirling masses of liquid metal. Ever the fortune teller, Clow reads the many shapes and patterns contained within the swirling metal. The spirit gains small insights that he knows his host won't like. Fortunately, now is not the time to speak of such matters, and so the spirit remains silent.

    The fires in Alain's hands dim to their usual scarlet color. They are no longer burning hot. Now the flames only act to hold the twin pools of melted metal.

    Alain approaches Branwen, holding his hands and the molten masses towards her.


    "It's your turn to cool and reshape these," Alain tells Branwen, as he offers the liquid metal to her.

  5. #355
    The Great Orange One Qwaring's clone#1 is offline Qwaring's clone#1's Avatar
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    Lieutenant Lydmila Pavlich, Doctor Doraen & Berlix Ruelle




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


    Doraen ponders the Alpha's words of warning. The physician looks towards the house. At the window that Berlix is peering out of.

    The teenage seer is a bit shell-shocked. A ghost pirate had just walked through the walls of the house after all. And that wasn't even the strangest sight she's witnessed today.

    Despite her shaken state, Berlix soon foresees Doraen's future actions. Her eyes glows violet as she can see what the doctor is going to do. Berlix rushes towards the door of the house. Doraen places a hand on the wooden railing of the house's front porch. He closes his eyes and thinks a command to the house.

    Berlix opens the door and rushes through. She exits the house and onto the streets of Clow. Berlix turns around to see the house is no longer behind her. It takes her a moment to realize that she is once again in the waking world. Standing outside of the Guild Master's mansion in the northern quarter of Clow city.

    Back in the World of Dreams, the door of the house had been opened, but no one emerged. The house is now unoccupied. Doraen opens his eyes to check to see that his command to the house had been followed. The doctor had told the house to send Berlix back home. This dark, corrupt domain is no place for a teenage girl.

    Meanwhile, Captain Gold-eye takes in a deep breath through flared nostrils. Smelling the thick, unnatural atmosphere of this accursed place. His single eye glows as it gazes upon the murky depths of this place. He sees tragedies, atrocities, and endless agonies. The captain smiles the broad grin of a madman that is hungry for new dangers.

    Lydmila stops the moment she sets foot into this cursed place. Icy fingers of dread run up the length of her body. Fight or flight instincts argue for dominance within the back of her brain. She tightens her hold on her weapon and washes all fear and doubt from her soul. Lydmila decides she doesn't like the scent of this place and raises her red scarf up over her mouth and nose.

    After a momentary pause, Lydmila continues walking forward. Her keen sight scans every shadow, searching for potential enemies to be struck down.

    Doraen limps his way towards the railing of the ship. He rests both of his hands on the wooden railing. He sets a stern glare on the dreary landscape. His features tense into a concentrated expression that his friends will recognize as the physician trying to diagnose a disturbing illness.

    It takes a few contemplative moments, but gradually Doraen's expression changes from one of concentration to one of horrified surprise. He recognizes some part of the aura of this place. There was only one other place that felt like this accursed domain.


    "It feels like the al'Vatar house," Doraen whispers. A haunted shiver runs through the old doctor as he recalls being a part of the team that accompanied Alain to that place of horrors.

  6. #356
    Count / Countess Tigers is offline Tigers's Avatar
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    Branwen

    Branwen watched Alain, but it was not merely for the purposes of satisfying curiosity as much as it was for her own mind to focus on bringing the two guild masters back to their former selves. A small piece of Branwen was left to keep an energetic flow throughout the group, revitalizing and refreshing them as they all completed tasks or took a moment of needed rest. The rest of her was dedicated to focusing on the elements of life broken down in the glowing fiery pools.

    Each essence of life set itself apart from the molten metal, a rainbow of colors for the elements of creation from earth, animal and star dust. Just as the colors distinguished themselves in Branwen’s sight, the harmonies surely sang their own song to the ears of Arion. It was a beautiful sight of dancing colors being untangled from disruptive magick to its pure form, waiting to be woven back into the tapestry of a living begin.

    There was no fear in Branwen, only focus, because she knew that she was just a vessel for the creator to repair what had been corrupted. It was an honor and very humbling to know she was not needed for such a task, but allowed to participate all the same. Her body was on auto-pilot and the energies of the universe began to coalesce around her, the elements dancing to an unheard rhythm to all, save maybe one.

    As Alain approached Branwen, her hands came up with palms open to receive the molten forms in his possession. Her eyes flickered from an orange aura to almost white as the elements danced their way from Alain to her. Universal energies swirled around the molten shapes, lifting them up and carrying them to Branwen’s waiting hands. Earth, water, fire, air and the elements of the universe began to weave in and out, around and through the molten forms. Slowly, as if from a sculptor’s table those molten forms began to take shape in the images of Mindoka and Herotus.

    As the figures grew the energies carried them from Branwen’s palm to the space in between where she stood and where Alain had been moment’s ago. Water became life’s blood, earth the flesh that covered the skin, air the breath of life and fire the individual spirit housed within. Featureless forms became chiseled works of art that only the creator could make and in a blinding flash of light the souls were reunited with the vessels that once housed them. Mindoka and Herotus were once again made whole.

    Branwen stepped back as her body shook from the energies that had surged through and around her being. Perspiration covered her brow and left a shine to her skin as she stepped back in anticipation to hear Mindoka speak for the first time since his imprisonment. At last her people could be whole again with the return of their Guild Master.

  7. #357
    The World of Dreams, The Forest of the Wilderlands



    The Dire Wolves of the Ailes and Udaya of Shamaa



    A homecoming was usually an occasion for great joy and celebration, but the Wolves displayed no canine habits of happiness here. They entered the Woods with noses straight and heads erect against the onslaught to their senses. Their shoulders hunched as they walked and their gait was slow. In the darkened atmosphere of the thick trees and swaying moss, the crimson eyes of the Wolves held a slight glow. Their colored-orbs were equipped for sight in the dark. A few of the pack shook their bodies to rid themselves of the internal wave of cold thats wept over them. Still, despite their efforts, the fur on their back slightly raised.

    The pack spread out to fan the floating ship-house and its occupants as they entered the Wood behind them. They were the frontline of an assault they new would come. As the pack moved forward, the Alpha hesitated. The female called Lydmila had stopped. His nose moved subtly and took in her scent. He felt the shift, the change and inwardly was impressed with her wolf-like ability to banish fear in the face of battle. Momentarily, he lamented her declination to become a Wolfsister, but the choice was hers. When she continued forward, so did he. He matched her pace and moved beside her. He made his presence increasingly known to her, not invading her mental space, but traveling beside it in a reassuring manner. He was by her side as she was by his.

    "You were wise to send de girl away" Udaya said quietly. Her squinted eyes stared into the dark foliage ahead of them. Though she was considerably older than Doraen, how intently she stared into the Wood gave the impression that she could see farther into it than any other here. There was a subtle, blue glow to her eyes, barely visible among the squints and folds of her age. She folded her thin arms across the dirtied apron of many pockets and settled into her spot on Doraen's front porch.

    Both Udaya and the Wolves react to Doraen's proclamation. Udaya raised an eyebrow and glanced over at the Healer. The Alpha and his pack hesitated and glanced at Doraen. The Alpha stopped entirely. His crimson eyes stared long at Doraen. Doraen would feel a trickle of the Alpha's presence, just enough for him to gleam the memory of when he first met the pregnant Guild Mistress. The Alpha and his pack had invaded Nalia's memories to seek out her true intention for fleeing to the Ailes after the Hated Man's death. They thought she sought to take all that did not belong to her, the only thing left of Capria's legacy beside her missing heir: the Ailes themselves. They had been trapped as the Guardian's of the Aile Bones since the mass Quieting that changed their world. They had to bear witness to the ruination of her, her Guild and then its deterioration from the earth as it was forgotten in time. In this sharing of their first actual encounter with Nalia, they shared that they knew of the reference he made.

    ~You were there~ he said to Doraen. ~You were present when the Man of Crimson Fire found her. We were on Capios when the Hated Man released the darkness there.~

    The Alpha knew of the thing he felt, the deep, horrifying dark. He had been chased out of Nalia's mind by its dying presence. Everytime she used the White Light, the presence of the darkness became less and less. They had fought that darkness on Capios.

    "Dey are de same" she connected aloud for the Wolf. "De dark here and de dark in dat sad place."

    ~This darkness is evil. It destroyed our home. There are no warriors left to fight the Great Battle.~

    "De are still here, Wolf."

    The Alpha glanced sharply over its shoulder at Udaya.

    ~Look around you, Old Woman? Do you see them? If there are any to number not even they dare to come here. Not even in Dreams. Over the years since the darkness breached our lands, their numbers grew fewer and fewer. After the Great Battle turned, they are but gone.~

    Udaya straightened her curved spine and stood up from the stoop of the house. Her gnarled hand held the soup-stained oar tightly.

    "Dey do not come here because dere are only Nightmares! Dere are no more Dreams, but dat does not mean dey are gone! Udaya knows dat. Dey are scattered and few, but dey remain. Dey fight still!"

    The Wolf snuffed air harshly out of his nose. The light of his crimson eyes within the darkening forest brightened.

    ~If we do not have our land, then we have nothing. We have become nothing.~

    Udaya waved a fed-up hand at the Wolf and turned her head away with a pout.

    "Why are de men so in need of de land? Dey are more dan de boundaries dey create."

    But the Wolf shook his head and walked forward with angry vigor in his padding. The silence between the pack and Udaya was heavy. The boat moved steadily forward despite the forest. The woods seemed to bow out away from the ship and then return to normalcy in its wake. An odd thing. Just as the Triumph rolled on, Udaya's thoughts rolled on.

    "See, dis here dog got Udaya's brain all fixed on de wrong ting."

    The Alpha Wolf seemed to scowl back at her as it looked over its shoulder at Udaya. The old Shamaa woman gestured at the Wolf annoyedly with an open, gnarled hand.

    "We be asking de wrong questions here."

    Udaya put a hand to her chin and rubbed it, thinking.

    "How is it dat these tings here are de same? Dayena and de Wilderlands are too far apart."

    Neither the Alpha Wolf or his pack responded. Their pace had changed, slowed. Their ears flattened. Lydmila would see pictures the Alpha sent, directions. The flank-ends of the pack responded by circling wider, disappearing into the darkness and traveling ahead. They were scouting. Behind them now was only trees smattered in darkness. They could not see the entrance to the Wood. They were surrounded by dark.
    Last edited by SilntAngl5; 03-30-2019 at 10:46 AM.

  8. #358
    Faraking Island of Taroc in Far Western Rekōdo: The Floating Heli'Dom

    Attachment 2352 Attachment 2351


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



    Nalia's green eyes watched Alain work his fire. The pure crimson flames are something she's seen countless time, a fire that never burned or consumed unless commanded. She squinted and looked down and away from the intensity of the fire's light for just a moment. Kali was always honest with her, with everyone. Sometimes brutally so, but everyone in Capios always knew where she stood. It was contrary to their sometimes quiet and overly inward-thinking Guild Mistress. It was often reassuring to have their two halves in leadership.

    But as Nalia looked down from the intense illumination of Taroc's fire, Kali would see it in her eyes. Doubt. Just fleeting and ever so brief, but it was there. Since her banishment from Astral, Nalia's every morning began with knowing all happiness in her life would end with tragedy. She was cursed and burdened with being intelligent enough to know it. Every day was a battle against succumbing to the sometime unbearable weight of her doubt. She always kept it at bay, somehow. But now she was weary. Her eyes showed it even if her stature did not. They betrayed the distrustful feeling she harbored against Kali's bid for hope. Nalia looked back up at Alain and his fire when her eyes adjusted to its brilliance and the doubt was gone. Erased by a determination to not look away from the warmth again. Her eyes remained fixed resolutely upon Alain even as fire was traded in for water.


    -+-


    A hooded and bearded man looked around from where he protectively shielded the Princess of Rekōdo beneath him. Aramil of Sahil, Advisor to the new Guild Master of Maginus, sat up, took one of Pasce's hands delicately with his, and guided the her up from the floor. He offered her a bow of apology when they came to equal height.

    "Forgive me, Highness. I should have offered a warning."

    He was a genuine man, if not humorous. When the bonds to the onyx lamps of servitude had been severed, he had grabbed the Princess and brought her to the ground. He shielded her with his own body as the prisons were melted down and rendered inert by two of Emporiums base elements. A shadow came to stand over them and both the Priest and the Princess looked up to see a hand offered to her by the Guild Master of Maginus. Quips against Aramil came to mind, but Sacha would not slander the Da'Jinn man before royalty. He would take the joking blow to his pride as a wound too deep. Truthfully, being silent was fine to the white-haired Guild Master. Sacha was silent as he helped Pasce to rise. To Aramil, he only offered the half-arrow end of his Shepherd's Crook. Aramil's face still managed to look wounded that he was not offered something more, but he grabbed it and was pulled up by his Master all the same. Both men afforded each other a nod of approval.


    -+-


    There was carpet below him. Not luxurious, hand-woven from Da'Jinn as he would prefer- really, he never preferred carpet when there were more exquisite floorings available. The entire atmosphere of this place hosted an awful smell in the air. An olio of magik and something metallic and burnt. He was on his hands and knees and he was remembering the beginning, when he made a deal and sealed it between silken bed sheets and tanned legs. It worked so effortlessly, the betrayal at the river-ways of Dayena and subsequent capture of Mindoka of Shamaa, all for the glory of Astral. Glory. He had never been one to want for glory from battle, but when Jinai came to him with a plot to overthrow the brokenness of Rekōdo with their combined might, he simply could not resist. It would have been easy. It should have been. He'd barely lifted a finger for the first part of their plan. There was an Astral saying: "Where there is one man who desires, there will always be one who desires more." He was a fool. Astral was betrayed. They were, both of them, imprisoned and lost because of his folly.

    Now, he would never be greater than the man, a brother, that he had betrayed. His loss was permanent and heavy as he came to realize the greatness of its weight.

    Smoke poured off of them, steam, as if the combinations of intense fire and cool water had affected them, not just their prisons. A soft hissing sound became a backdrop to the gentle sounds of a guritar played off in the distance. Music he knew. At least in origin, it was Shamaa music. The golden manacles that fell of their wrists crumbled into fine sand and blew away from the Heli'dom. A tide of memories came rolling in and crashed down upon both men who blinked away the haziness of enslavement from their prostrate positions on the floor. One man breathed breaths that made his form rise and fall like a mountain awaking from a tumultuous slumber.

    One man of servitude awoke in anger, the other in grief. Both men's eyes were wide as they planted their palms upon the ground. Around their necks, an onyx ring dangled from a golden-colored cord. It's sway from their necks and tried to lull them back under the spell of the broken magik from which they were freed. One man's eyes radiated intense emotions: anger, betrayal. The other's swam in confusion and grief. Something was lost. The loud silence within him threatened to swallow him whole and the way his mouth gaped open in his torment left him momentarily unaware of the great group of powers around him. It gave the other man the chance to be the first to raise his head and observe those present powers.

    The guritar music had stopped. There was no need for it now. The boots of the Second of Taroc stepped into the view of Mindoka of Shamaa. His moves were subtle, as if he sought to unobtrusively come to the front of the group. Arion slid between Kali and Nalia and shielded the Guild Mistress of Enchantry with his body, just enough so that her emerald eyes could see Mindoka. She and all she hid from the world remained in secret to the Great Stag's eyes. So it was that when he raised his tattooed head, his brown eyes came to rest on Arion, Nalia and Kali first. He registered them for who they were, not threats, and turned his head. He found Branwen and stared at her. His mind was sharp, though it was still ensnared by fog. The recognition of his Second moved his eyes to a moment of relief, but he could not linger. He felt compelled to find one person. While anger drove the beating pf his heart within his chest, his mind fixated on a single task.

    Once he found Alain of Taroc, the rest of the people in the room became tertiary. Mindoka breathed deeply and kept a fist rooted to the ground as he sought to straighten his bowed frame. It took effort and it would be known between the warriors in the room. Mindoka took the sight of Alain in and took his time as he often did to craft his words carefully and succinctly.


    "Brother..." Mindoka's voice rumbled at Alain. "Where is Jinai?"
    Last edited by SilntAngl5; 04-01-2019 at 08:33 PM.

  9. #359
    The Great Orange One Qwaring's clone#1 is offline Qwaring's clone#1's Avatar
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    Alain LeCavalier & Olivia Kuhrson







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


    "Jinai has gone to ground," Alain tells Mindoka. He chose a hunting term to let the Shamaa man know that even though their prey has gone into hiding the hunt for her will continue.

    Alain holds out a hand for Mindoka. He's possibly one of the few around with the mystical strength needed to effortlessly help the mountainous Guild Master up onto his feet.


    "You've missed quite a bit," Alain says. "Pasce is free. She no longer contains the spirits, though some are unaccounted for and might be in the hands of a new enemy. As of right now Jinai and her Second no longer control Da'Jinn. Darmon is dead, and this white haired young man is Sacha, his replacement."

    The ritual is over. The aura of defense that Olivia, Evalynn, and Sacha have formed is no longer needed. When Sacha and Evalynn leave the effort to maintain the aura, so that it might fade, Olivia takes full control of the energy web they had created. She pulls upon the magical construct and with several arcane gestures she sends the web of protection flowing across the room and towards Herotus.

    An aura of defense is immediately reweaved into a web of containment. It's cold strands will stick to the body and spirit of Herotus and bind him to the surrounding structure. This web was crafted by the power of Sacha, Evalynn, and Olivia, it's their combined power that the recently freed Herotus will have to overcome if he wishes to escape this place.

    Olivia concentrates and creates a rune of colorless light. She takes hold of this mystical symbol and brings it to Arion. She offers the energy rune for the Second of Taroc to take.


    "The control spell for Herotus's bonds," Olivia tells Arion. "Break the rune to set him free. Squeeze it to tighten his bonds."

  10. #360
    Count / Countess Tigers is offline Tigers's Avatar
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    KALI


    Not for the first time, and certainly not for the last, Kali wondered if maybe she had been too callous with her words. Inwardly there was a passion within the young woman that burned as bright and hot as the flames that come forth from her mouth in dragon form.

    From memory, Branwen was the first to start chipping away at that bitter exterior and since their arrival here, Nalia had begun to affect her as well. When she saw the doubt flicker in Nalia’s eyes, had she been too callous with her words, or the delivery of those words? She believed in honesty, could never understand the need to not be, even when it was brutal and hurtful.

    She studied Nalia, even as her mind quickly evaluated her actions. As a shapeshifter, her very nature was deceptive, and she herself was very capable of such a nature. But Kali realized that somewhere inside herself, the desire for the truth burned brighter than that of giving into lies and deception. Such a dual nature lived inside of her, and she wondered if it was from her mother where the passion for truth came from?

    Kali watched the flicker of doubt fade into the steel resolve that often masked Nalia’s face. A smile curved the corners of her mouth, because even with all of their Guild mistress’s doubts, she had a fighting spirit. Despite how she felt, Nalia’s actions would be the opposite and that in the face of grave circumstances could often turn the tide into something far better.

    Every being was different, and many found their strength in different things, from Kali’s perspective right or wrong, Nalia’s strength was Alain. And as Kali was learning, often times through one’s life, that strength often came from different things, in oneself, faith in something higher than oneself, a parent, a sibling, a lover or in a cause or a group. For Kali herself, it was first in herself, then in others, and now, it was in something far greater than herself.

    A flush crept over her skin, and she quickly looked at Branwen. Faith. Could it possibly be that she was beginning to have faith in something greater? That was a humbling thought, because even though she didn’t view herself as someone arrogant, how often did she carry herself as such with a false sense of self. But all Kali had to do was travel back to her earliest memory of meeting Branwen and their journey up to where they now stood.

    Kali looked back between Nalia and Branwen and then her eyes looked over to her new blood sister, Evalynn. She was suddenly struck with the idea that she’d “grown,” in person as Branwen would say. But the reflective moment that lead to a shocking discovery was soon subdued by Arion’s actions. Although subtle, Kali was a being of instinct and it quickly became obvious to her why Arion had stepped between her and Nalia. She turned to focus on the now rising Mindoka and the broken and confused looking Herotus.

    On instinct, her wings slightly moved away from her body and she turned to fully face the two released Guild Masters. Her nostrils filled with the sudden swirling emotions, this situation could erupt into something very ugly, very quickly. And at the heart of this situation, stood Nalia, who would and could very easily be the scapegoat for all these burning whirlwinds of emotions.



    ****************************



    Branwen

    Unlike the current emotions running through her sister, Branwen could only watch in relief as Mindoka’s form began to rise from the floor. His anger at betrayal palpable, at least to Branwen. She could feel the need for justice that if not tempered could teeter dangerously to vengeance singing sweetly in the air at the first breathe of freedom.

    Mindoka was not a vengeful man, not in the years that she had known him. It was nothing she had ever felt from him, but she knew of the temptation. She had felt it firsthand when they had been betrayed by Astral and Da’Jinn, especially when Mindoka had been taken. It rang in her ears and beat in her heart and pushed her to action that lead to different paths. She had tasted the temptation and beaten it, thank Altwaal.

    Her eyes did not waver from his form, even weakened from his imprisonment, he was still a formidable site. When his eye’s landed upon her, the relief flooded through him and mingled with that of hers, betraying their outward appearances. For Branwen, it was like a lover’s caress as their shared relief touched and wrapped around each other, letting the bond convey that which their outward selves could not.

    It would seem as the relief of Master and Second being reunited if interpreted by those outside of this bond, but it was more than that. Branwen knew in her heart that she would take the mantel of partner, mate, companion of Mindoka. She would easily be the soil to grow his children, he was a good man and a great leader whose ancestral lineage should be honored in longevity. If this was how Nalia felt toward Alain, how could anyone judge her or Alain harshly. As her adopted home, her feelings towards some of the laws often competed within her for supremacy.

    But her feelings for Mindoka, did not outweigh their duty to their people and to Rekōdo, that was why they both worked so well. For now, her duty was as it had been since it’s appointment, Mindoka’s Second. She watched the exchange between the two Guild Master’s who were more like brothers, she would wait, until she was needed.

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