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  1. #291
    The Great Orange One Qwaring's clone#1 is online now Qwaring's clone#1's Avatar
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    Jun 2004
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    Alain LeCavalier, Verona Aliester & Olivia Kuhrson

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

    When Sacha arrives, Olivia's previous nervousness is forgotten. She wears Pasce's words of confidence as a knight would wear a suit of armor. The necromancer's blue eyes stare upon the young Guild Master with all of the unflinching cold of a frigid Maginus sky in the height of winter.

    The necromancer has learned long ago that there are times that she must place her survival entirely within the hands of those she has allowed to become her trusted allies and friends. Though, this is the first time that Olivia has considered a member of the royal family as one of these trusted guardians. Normally she would think the royal family would be the first to raise a guillotine in response to Olivia's work. Thankfully Pasce only knows a portion of Olivia's true nature, her necromantic skills, and even this dark aspect has been tempered by its use in saving the princess and freeing the spirits.

    Alain offers a mental connection to Nalia. His mind reaches to her, just as his arms envelope her in a hug. Should she accept the telepathic connection, Nalia will feel his full power burning within him once more. His telepathy is no longer a trick of stolen magic, but is now the full majestic might of a restored Guild Master.

    Nalia would also get the sense of Clow once again moving through Alain's mind. It is not unusual to have a feeling of this ancient presence when in mental contact with Alain. Although, now it feels very much like Clow is a homeowner returned to their house after a natural disaster has wrecked its way through their dwelling. The old spirit sounds busy, putting the recently abused psyche of his host back into proper working order. Making sure all of the corners of Alain's mind are back the way they were when Clow was last inhabiting his host. Sitting the furniture back upright, putting the fallen library back onto the shelves, sweeping piles of debris under the rugs.

    Alain and Nalia's embrace does not last long enough. Alain wants to hold on to Nalia forever. Unfortunately, the needs of the wider world makes this impossible.

    Remembering others exist, Alain glances back at the rest of the room. He sees the new Guild Master meeting with Pasce, Arion, and Olivia. Clow nudges him towards them. The old spirit allowed his host to neglect his duties in order to enjoy this reunion with Nalia, but now Clow is quite insistent that Alain does his duty.

    ~This is Sacha, the new Master of Maginus,~ Alain telepathically tells Nalia. ~He's a rare one. A Maginus man that doesn't currently want me dead.~

    Alain stops a moment and studies Nalia's features. He frowns at the signs of great exhaustion on his love's pale features. She was very drained when he last saw her in Da'Jinn, but he had hoped time and the restoration of her magic would infuse some new life to her. He worries that the pain of the attack on Capria, and Alain's own seeming demise, may have taken a great toll upon Nalia.

    Alain wants to sweep Nalia up into his arms and take her away from here. He wants to ensure she gets the rest and restoration that she and their child need, but Clow reminds his host that their world is still in great danger, and Alain cannot delay his duties any longer.

    Alain leads the way towards the others. As he approaches them he stares at Pasce. Alain's eyes are bright, presenting an energy and life that had been missing for far too long. Pasce will sense Clow bowing to her, like a gentleman of old showing the proper respect to his queen.

    Alain offers a smile to Arion. He claps a hand onto his Second's shoulder.

    "When we have the time, you must tell me all about your miraculous recovery," Alain tells Arion. He then looks back to Pasce. "I imagine we all have tales of our own miraculous survivals to share. Unfortunately, there is more pressing business to discuss."

    Alain's hand slips off of Arion's shoulder. His smile dims, as grim information must now be shared.

    "Darmon of Maginus is no more," Alain tells the gathering. "I had vowed to hand him over to the dragonkind once he had faced Rekōdo justice. Since his descent into undeath, our justice would only bring about his destruction, thus robbing the dragons of the prize I had promised them.

    "I decided handing him over to the dragons would fulfill my promise and bring about that monster's destruction with as few innocent casualties as possible. If I have erred in my decision, I am willing to submit myself to judgment and punishment. Though, considering the current state of disorder the council and throne are in, I would wager it will be some time before such hearings can be organized and implemented.

    "In the meantime, I'll continue to serve in my capacity as leader of Taroc and council to the throne."

    Alain offers a small smile and a shrug. For once the chaos is working to his advantage, as a gathering of the king or queen and a majority of the council would need to be involved with such proceedings against Alain. The man of Taroc is confident that any mistake he may have made in dealing with Darmon will go unpunished for weeks or months. Or if their world does come to an end any punishment he might face will be delayed indefinitely.

    "The accursed doorway to the Realm of Nightmares has been sent to an inescapable void. The blight of the Nightmares has been rendered finite. Only the fiends that were released earlier this night remain."

    Alain turns and gazes out at the snowfall dancing on the cold night air. He seems to be gazing upon something only his eyes will ever see. Hearing only what his soul can detect.

    Nalia, due to the connection she shares with Alain, will be able to sense his mind reaching out beyond these walls. He's awakening the sleeping giant that is the province of Taroc. His mind finds key individuals and connects with them. There is a sharing of information, a communion of purpose.

    Pasce might see Clow's joy at once again connecting with his beloved Taroc in ways only Alain has ever granted to him. Arion would hear the soul songs of countless others mingling with Alain and Clow's, to form the symphony of a province falling back into the harmony of one man's will. Sacha and Arxus will detect the souls of Guild Master and Ancestral Spirit expanding out and becoming a part of something greater than themselves.

    Somewhere out in the dark is a light. A guardian angel fighting alongside giant wolves, ghosts, and dragons. Alain briefly connects with Lydmila's mind, and they are as one. Alain shares all he can, and the sniper replies with all she knows and sees.

    Alain's mind drifts over the thoughts of a lone soldier he detects stationed on an island near Capria. Colina Wier feels the awareness of her Guild Master drift by, and she eagerly and dutifully connects with it. She shares the battle with him, and he rewards her with the information he needs to share with her.

    Alain's awareness sweeps across the ocean, contacting captains and admirals. He weaves his will though the chain of command of Taroc's navy, and sends them off with new purpose.

    Gradually, Alain reaches out over mainland Taroc. He connects with his military leaders, mystics, seers, and regents. From them he gains greater insights into the current state of Taroc. As his mind passes through the awareness of others Alain deposits some instructions and praise for those who continue to faithfully serve their land and people.

    Eventually, Alain returns to the gathering. He is armed with greater knowledge. The land of Taroc has been awakened, and vast mechanisms have been set into motion.

    "I have been holding most of Taroc's navy in reserve," Alain tells the others. "It's one of the largest forces to sail the seas, and has been relatively unharmed in Astral's betrayal. I can bring these ships and crewmen forth to lend humanitarian and defensive aid to Capria."

    Alain looks to Nalia, "Lydmila is in Capios. The last of the cities inhabitants are escaping into the caverns. The last of the Nightmares are being held at bay by Kali, spirits, giant wolves, the crew of the Raven's Triumph, and otherworldly dragons Kali has summoned. There have been some casualties, but most of the women of Enchantry survive."

    Alain looks to Sacha, "A man of Da'Jinn descent, wearing Maginus priestly robes, is on an island adjacent to Capios. He's safe and with a gathering of Shamaa warriors and Dream Speakers that are on the island to lend aid to Enchantry."

    Alain takes in a deep breath. He only rarely reaches his mind and soul out as far as he did. It's a taxing use of his powers, and only ever used when it's necessary to draw in information from every corner of Taroc. In this instance, Alain and Clow wanted to stretch their muscles, and to let the people of Taroc know their Guild Master was still very much in command.

    "Da'Jinn descent?" Olivia asks, raising an eyebrow towards Sacha. "I don't suppose he has any experience in ancient Da'Jinn rituals? Specifically those pertaining to the bondage of genie?"

  2. #292
    Outside and Inside of Rekōdo: Zinna's House, in the Vision Domain

    Udaya of Shamaa

    It took the old Shamaa woman time to catch her breath. She pushed herself up in her chair with shaking limbs and more droop to her many wrinkled features than before. Udaya sighed as she eased back into a hunched position on her chair. She waved Doraen's thoughts away impatiently with a gnarled, leathered hand.

    "Zinna could not see... Dis is bigger dan dat. Bigger dan de problems of Taroc. It effects us all."

    Udaya's wagging finger turn on Berlix, but instead of condemning the girl's words, she pointed with shaky eagerness at the young Seer.

    "She is a smart one dat girl is." Then Udaya sat up and leaned forward. "But rude for not eating de good food provided to her!"

    Udaya's wrinkled featured soured further into a scowl. She seemed confused when Doraen took her hand, but looked up at the doctor with a pleased smile. She abandoned her spoon to her dish of warm stew and patted the man's cheek with a wrinkled but surprisingly gentle hand.

    "De cause it taken from us. We are blind to it, but who is to say dat de Ancestors of Alain of Taroc are de only ones who did de fighting? Hmm? Why would it be just dem?"

    She paused and listened for something that went unheard. She frowned deeply.

    "De needs balance or it will only continue to topple over until it cannot get up."

    Udaya lifted her spoon up to take another bite of her stew, but stops to watch the light steam swirl and eddy up from the spoon.

    "Dere are clues all around us, but we cannot see dem for what dey truly are."

    Doraen had asked her a question. One she had not answered directly.

    "De darkness- it is more den dat. It is like when we close our eyes to sleep. Everything we knew as truth is forgotten. We do not even remember falling asleep. Once we were not and den we suddenly are."

    Udaya licked her lips nervously as if she were waiting for the seizing stiffness to come crashing down upon her again. The power of the Quieting is so strickening that even those who could remember, somehow, against the weight of its binding power were still imprisoned by it. Trapped with memories and warnings that only they had. Ones that could not be shared with the world around them. A world that slowly forgot.

    "Sometimes we dream and memories come back to us den, but dese will not return to us unless we dream more deeply den many of us know how" she said carefully with tip-toed words. An idea seemed to hit her and she was filled with a little bounce of excitement as she sat in her chair. It came and it went, but there was a hint of urging in her voice.

    "It is like Dreams, Doraen. Yes. It is like Dreams."

    She fed herself a large spoonful of her creation and smiled as if pleased with herself for making such splendid food. Her wrinkles bundled upward in a grin as she kicked her bare feet, much like a child. She happily spooned more into her mouth. For the second time in both their lives, she called the good doctor by his given name.
    *The Golden Goddess|The Goddess of All Motherless Secundae*
    *Dexter to the Core|Council of Guidance|Matriarch of Poetry*
    -Official #2 fan of Greg Land|#1 fan of Reesha Teramu & Nevole|#3 fan of Gareth|#4 fan of Arwyn
    1656OF56**Beeber Heads Unite!**4270

    \"You know me: everything detailed and long, blah blah blah.\" (Brath OOC)

  3. #293
    The Great Orange One Qwaring's clone#1 is online now Qwaring's clone#1's Avatar
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    Doctor Doraen & Berlix Ruelle

    Zinna's House, in the Vision Domain...

    When her reluctance to try Udaya's food is pointed out, Berlix hesitantly eats a spoonful. She's surprised to discover it's not as inedible as she had imagined. In fact, it tastes quite good. Her second bite is taken with less reluctance.

    Doraen's hand slips away from Udaya's. He's lost in thought once again. He's dissecting her words, like a scientist examining a newly discovered creature.

    Then it happens. The doctor falls entirely still. A quiet pause drifts through the house, as if the building were waiting for something to pass.

    Soon the moment is gone. Doraen lets out a breath he was holding.

    "LeCavalier and Clow have communed with Taroc," Doraen whispers. He can't help but smile as it feels like some small bit of order has been restored to Taroc. The wise and powerful Alain LeCavalier once more stands watch over his beloved people.

    Berlix is quiet. She could also sense something, but couldn't identify what it was. Alain and Clow rarely use their power in this way. She's never experienced this. There is some comfort in the Guild Master being able to get a full sense of the status of his province, but there's also a silent unease at detecting such a display of vast power and awareness.

    Doraen's smile is short lived. There is still so much wrong in the world, Doraen can't allow himself to celebrate a small victory. He needs to stay focused on the problem at hand. A healer that can't give his patient his full attention will soon find his patient under the care of the undertaker.

    "Dreams?" Doraen asks. The feeling of Alain and Clow reaching themselves out over all of Taroc had distracted the doctor. This shift in attention had stripped away most of Udaya's words that Doraen had been pondering. Only the word 'dreams' remained in Doraen's thoughts when he returns his focus to the conversation.

    "A theft of memories on such a massive scale would leave its marks on the realm that is so closely tied to our thoughts and recollections," Doraen ponders. He's mostly speaking to himself.

    He snaps his fingers as excited ideas overpopulate his mind. Like a child with a new toy, the doctor basks in thought of new avenues to explore and further diagnose the problem.

    "I happen to know of a ritual that will allow me to explore the Realm of Dreams, and once there I can- " Doraen begins to explain a half conceived plan. His words end abruptly as it feels like the room has unfolded the spirits of all within the house and refolded them into some new configuration. A deeply disorientated Doraen staggers forward and has to catch himself on the chair he once occupied. Reality has changed in some unexpected way.

    Udaya will not be hit by this strange sensation as harshly as Doraen and Berlix, as the older woman will have long ago grown accustomed to being inside of Zinna's house when it has travelled from one realm to another. Doraen and Berix have never travelled in the house, and so they are impacted by the effects of the transition that the old woman that can easily shrug.

    A notion of light drifts in through the windows of the house. The entire dwelling creaks and groans for a moment as it settles onto a new location.

    Berlix, assuming this deeply disturbing sensation is caused by the crazy woman's food, slides her bowl away from her. The girl leans against the table, hoping the sudden shift in her stomach won't cause the violent expulsion of the half of the bowl she had already eaten.

    "Are you all right?" Doraen asks Berlix. The teen nods to him, letting him know she'll be able to handle this. The doctor then looks to Udaya, checking on her. As his legs regain some stability, he releases the chair and stands up. Doraen is immediately struck by a familiar combination of pain and regret throbbing in his leg. His limp has returned to him.

    The doctor hobbles his way across the kitchen, and he recovers his cane and healer's bag. As he moves, Doraen glances out of a window. His eyes open wide to fully take in an unexpected sight. Shock pales his already shaken features. It's obvious the house and everyone inside has been taken to the Realm of Dreams, but the sight Doraen sees out of the window doesn't look quite like it should.

    With the aid of his cane, Doraen makes his way to the back door. He opens the door and peers out at the world beyond the house.

    He sees a misty daydream of Rekōdo city. It stretches out far below them. Zinna's house now sits balanced on the top of the tallest tower of the royal palace.

    This is how Doraen learns an important lesson: the owner of the house should always be specific when intentionally or unintentionally directing the house to travel someplace. Otherwise, the house will wander to some interesting places.

  4. #294
    Rekōdo City: The Audience Chamber of the Grand Palace

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

    The Prince winced at the raised chair leg but does not move. As Ryth approached, he simply waited for the blow to come. Even if it came to him, Ganard was already there and shouldered his body half in front of the Prince to block him from harm. He did not block his vision, though. He made sure the Prince could see what he had done. Ganard, the immovable wall of protection stood in interception of the path of where Ryth's arm arc would lead the chair leg, should it come. But even there, the Prince's sight did not leave Ryth. He touched Ganard's elbow and, even after Ryth hurled his wrathful words at the Prince faithful Ganard moved to the side. Duty committed him to not go more than a breath from the Prince's side. Even if he trusts the High Guard Commander, he is still angry. Even the most brilliant men have made great errors in their ire.

    The Prince stared at Ryth with labored breathing even as A second Eliona appeared and walked toward him. She is given a glance and then discarded from his sight for Ryth again. The Prince's earthly eye is wide and reflecting the golden light of the Totem eye in his left socket. His breathing is ragged, not out of fear, but being overcome. His eyes left Ryth only when the illusion spoke, but he could not stay focused on her. His eyes drifted to each rendition of Eliona as they manifested. He was drawn to the one at the table who retrieved his Sister's letter. He blinked and his sister was sitting there on the table's edge looking up at Eliona as she inspected her letter. Her hands were folded delicately on her lap and she watched Eliona with calmness. It was at Pasce that he looked as Eliona approached him with the letter. When he finally had to succumb to his eye's need to blink, she was gone once more. Finally, he was able to look at Eliona.

    She was the true woman and he saw himself in her eyes, the human part of himself he buried in his anguish and had left to die. The Prince has gone still and blinked again when the chair leg was discarded. Eliona's face is bathed in a gentle golden glow of the emotionless Totem-eye. It is in his true eye that she will see was crawling back up from the pit of his grief.

    "It is not my desire to harm either of you. It was for-" He stopped himself with a need to catch his breath. In the absence of his words he shook his head. Without command spoken aloud, Ganard went to the back wall and retrieved the Sword of the LeCavalier Clan from where it had fallen on the floor. He brought it to the Prince who untied the sheath from his belt with one hand. He did not break eye contact with Eliona as he and then sheathed the blade.

    "It was misplaced. My anger is not for you or for him."

    He returned the sheathed blade to Ganard and looked past Eliona to Ryth.

    "Please return this blade to Master Alain. I am not worthy of carrying it at my side."

    Ganard brought the blade to Ryth and held it out rested on his two palms to the old soldier. Ganard's blue eyes were stern but there was much less tenseness to the old soldier's body as he approached Ryth now. With the blade removed, the Prince received the envelope from Eliona's hands.

    "My sister" he said with an edge of something upsetting to his tone "has already judged me, Lady Eliona. Even with the Oath of Protection broken between us, she still knew me enough to know you would both need to be protected."

    "The Bond can be re-forged, Eri" Ganard's firm voice rang out from Ryth's side. "What was broken between you can be mended."

    The Prince nodded and looked to the envelope. Beside him, his sister waited with patient encouragement. He blinked and she was gone. He looked at the envelope again. Something subtle in his expression shifted, not necessarily for the better.

    "It can" he said finally and lifted his thumb to lips. The digit was then brought to the circlet beneath his sister's symbol upon the parchment. Light blue light, so pure in its hue it was almost white, radiated up from his impression. His symbol scrawled itself onto the paper, blue to her royal purple, and connected to hers with his own archaic mark holding his half of the infinite diamond symbol of Rekōdo. Together, they made the symbol of their land along with their halves of the birthmark of Liar'Adon's line: the moon-and-star-like feminine half symbolizing Deanna the Blessed and mother of humanity and the male, sun-like half for Liar'Adon, the Creator of them all. The glow subsided and the Prince opened the parchment. He inhaled at the sight of her elegant scrawl, at the ancient runes that she so loved.

    Dear Brother,

    -it read-

    I am alive.

    Even so far from you, I feel your grief and your anger. Do not let it consume you. You are strong even without me.

    Comander Ryth and Lady Eliona are able to fill you in on the spells needed to release the Ancestral Spirits from me. I saw father and mother in the Beyond. He knew you would lead in my stead and that you would restore peace. I do not doubt his trust placed in you. Rekōdo needs balance, brother, not peace. Father was a wise man, but he was complicit as were all our line before us. We must make Rekōdo whole again. We must make her remember.

    I will come to you when I can. Find me in Dreams. I am so sorry for the grief I have caused you. The Book of Memories showed me many grievances with our current world. I will explain everything in time. Until then, lead with strength and compassion.

    Remember your promise to me.


    The Prince stepped back, as if the letter had delivered a physical blow to his body.

    "I am afraid you were mistaken" he said breathlessly to Eliona. When he looked up at her from the letter, there was a great amount of sorrow in his mortal eye, all which he allowed her to see. He held the letter in his hand and turned from Eliona. Merelin was sitting up fully now. The Prince went to her and held out a hand for her to take. Merelin looked at it and then up at the Prince. Slowly, she removed her hand from her head and took it in her own. He helped her to rise.

    "One grief is replaced by another. Though not the same ache, the hurt is still there. I have wronged too many in my short time as the Acting Ruler of Rekōdo. I... I can see that now."

    The Prince's hand continued to hold on to his guard's hand for just a moment longer than needed. Her eyes moved slightly, as she mentally responded to something between only them. She nodded slightly to whatever was said. When the Prince spoke aloud, he looked at her, but addressed them all.

    "Grief is like a shield" he said. "It's emblem on the front shows the world a picture of the weight of our sorrow and protects us from whatever of it is projected back at us." He turned back to Eliona, Ryth and Ganard. "But, behind it, it also hides the true depth of our anguish. Being unable to see the true scope of one's grief entirely is a danger to all."

    His eyes, both his and the Totem given to him by an undead man and an Enchantress, looked at Ryth and Eliona. His breathing, labored again, this time as a control mechanism for the renewed chagrin he felt at what his Totem eye showed of the intentions and thoughts of the two ambassadors before him. Truly, he did not deserve to wear the crown of rule.

    "I- I'm sorry" he brought forth in quiet shame. "You spoke the truth. You were right, both of you and I appreciate your boldness, your honesty."

    He hesitated.

    "But I need to be further honest with you, no matter the shame it heaps upon my name."

    Ganard's brow furrowed. He glanced at Merelin, but her face was stern with concern. Neither knew what the Prince was speaking of.

    "If you are willing-" -if they could trust him- "- would you please come with me?"

    The Prince gestured behind him to the interior of the palace.

  5. #295
    Faraking Island of Taroc in Far Western Rekōdo: The Floating Heli'Dom


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

    Nalia embraced Alain in a coolness that he would know, one that would send a shiver through his body, but settle welcomingly into his mind like a cool, refreshing blanket. Her embrace was slow and meaningful, tender and tired, but there. It is a security when she cannot physically be with him and she welcomed him and breathed deeply at the feel of Alain and Clow reunited once more. He would feel relief lift something heavy from her mind and allow her to breathe more easily. Tentatively and with much more concentration than she'd previously needed, Nalia reached out to Clow. She could feel the Spirit was busy, so it was a simple bubble of her presence floating near him that housed a multitude of emotions: welcoming home, thankfulness for finding Alain, relief, so much relief, and a desire that Clow would keep Alain safe. It would be like her voice whispered the words she felt and needed to say, and that they would echo softly to the Spirit of Taroc. After he had received them, when he was ready, that kernel of Nalia would burst and dissipate from the busy Spirit's presence.

    For a long moment after Alain mentally introduced the new Guild Master of Maginus to Nalia, the Mistress of Enchantry is silent. Nalia's emerald eyes study the new Guild Master as he interacts with the others. Worry touched her face as she saw how Arion bristled at something only he could hear, how his body stance changed at the sight of Olivia. Her tired eyes swept over the man, his staff in rapid recording to her memory. In the silence that succeeded his introduction of Sacha, there was also a profound lacking in her. Where Alain's reunion with the Ancestral Spirit of Taroc burned brightly and as powerfully as a newborn star, Nalia's magikal presence was dim and faint. Her own magik, her power, had not been returned to her. All that sustained her was her own strength.

    In the end, she does not say anything of the newest Guild Master. Her silence speaks for her own uncertainty and caution, but when Alain lead her back toward the group around the Princess, she dutifully followed. Not even she could neglect her duties as a Guild Mistress. As Alain briefly speaks to his Second, Nalia and Sacha's eyes settle upon each other. The white-haired Guild Master of Maginus's lips purse lightly out of uncertainty as to what to say to the Guild Mistress of Enchantry. He is slightly taken-aback at her presence being so very with-child, but it is not his to comment on. He can see the skepticism in her eyes. Nothing of it rings in her stance, which she steeled into still perfection even while carrying a child, before his eyes. Her emerald orbs belayed her fatigue, but he saw it most deeply in her Soul. Something that- were he not here in this place among these people, would alarm him. Many came to the Temple at Windf'rte to pray, to seek help and aid. Women due with child sometimes came to give birth there on the temple grounds. Soul and Spirit played a greater part in childbirth than many outside Maginus could understand. Sacha nodded his head to Nalia in as best a greeting as he could muster. Her reaction was delayed, thoughtful on her end, but she too returned his nod with her own.

    The exchange might have been missed by Alain. The Princess's eyes met his and stared deeply into them, just as they had Sacha's. She looked more deeply into him than most people would dare. Delicately, Pasce's mental presence reached out toward Alain's. She did not touch his, but it felt as if she were hovering over him, like the hand she'd placed near the Master of Maginus's head. Her presence hovered there, merely sensing the state of the Ancestral Spirit within his Vessel. A corner of the Princess's lips moved into a smile. The Spirit of Taroc and his Host would feel the Princess return the gesture of respect: A low, deep curtsy just for Clow and the same echoing of the words she'd given aloud to Arxus.

    ~Welcome home, Master Clow~ her presence whispered. ~It is good to see you whole again.~

    Arion's hand found Alain's shoulder and he stood facing his Guild Master as two Taroc brothers would greet each other. As two soldiers would face each other. Arion's smile deepened, mischievous and wolfish. If this were any other time, they would have drank and shared the stories of their adventures. Arion could almost hear Alain's laughter and disbelief at learning he'd kissed a mermaid and fought an entire fleet of Da'Jinn Dhow Floating Ships and Soldiers of Sand, Jinn and Efreet. Arion, his passive but highly skilled Second. He gave Alain a nod, one that would hold the Guild Master to his word. Stories were important among the tribes of the Wilderlands, and Alain would know that it was how they chronicled their history. Stories were told to be remembered, even ones over a campfire and a hot beverage.

    Despite the serious mood that swung in with the information given by his Guild Master, Arion's smile deepened in momentary satisfaction at the end of the Man of Maginus. His smile faded to seriousness as he looked to the current Guild Master of Maginus. The white-haired youth was still and serious. His intense, blue eyes were fixed on Alain as he spoke and he held his Shepherd's Crook calmly at his side. Aside from his Soul Song, Arion was unnerved to find that he would have a hard time reading this man from the outside.

    No one objected aloud to Alain's words on the banishment of Darmon and his delay in justice against him being sought. The only things- both easily missed slights- were a small wince in the eyes of the young, Master of Maginus and a slight tensing in the Mistress of Enchantry. Whatever accursed verbalizations the Spirit Sacha housed shared with him remained unvoiced aloud by white-haired Priest. Everyone and every Spirit present was hushed into silence by the unfolded presence of Alain and Clow. Nalia and Arion both inhaled deeply and let the feeling wash over them: Arion closed his eyes and inhaled a shuddering breath at the Sounds of everyone Alain connected with as they filled his senses like a giant, singing symphony. His horns vibrated in an exhilarating way and sent an excitement into his bones that he had been denied with Clow's absence from his Guild Master. Nalia lets her mind drift in its wake, waving and watching like blades of grass in the Hills of Deanna as the warm, southern winds of first spring send dandelion seedlings spiraling away.

    "The lan's of Enchan'ry will need to be cleansed" Arion said aloud after the breathlessness of Clow and Alain's feat left him. "I' will be tainted by the Nigh'mare's presence."

    "Maginus as well" Sacha added cautiously. "Many innocent of Windf'rte were lost as they were lead to Enchantry."

    He paused as if waiting for someone to interject or disagree. Hearing none, he continued with more confidence to his voice.

    "The survivors and the deceased will need their Souls and bodies purified of the dark taint left behind. If Enchantry will welcome it, Maginus can spare Priests from Windf'rte who have been trained in the Arts of the Soul."

    A glance is given to Olivia. There is something unsure there, as if Sacha is not sure what she should take away from his words.

    "The flee's of Maginus from Win'f'rte tha' aided in th' attack on Capios may 'ave sustained some minor damage despite my bes' efforts. A small battalion of Taroc's Navy protected Capios from Da'Jinn an' your drakkar were swep' back to port at the battle's conclusion." Arion admitted with more pride than caution.

    "I am aware. The Temple where I was a Priest is in Windf'rte" Sacha reminded Arion curtly, then calmed his tone. "I appreciate your honestly. Any damages done will be forgiven."

    Arion had expected a much different reaction from Maginus, but this was not Darmon. It would take time before any of them were accustomed to speaking to the newest Guild Master of Rekōdo. Old habits and mannerisms would be hard to erase. The Second of Taroc tensed at Sacha's reply.

    "Enchantry would be grateful for any assistance from both Provinces" the emerald-eyed Guild Mistress intoned evenly. "I would caution that the presence of Maginus on her shores be withheld until we can ascertain their need. Many of my people would be apprehensive at an overwhelming presence from your province."

    Sacha held an arm to the side, palm facing Nalia and bowed his head. It was a gesture akin to someone in Da'Jinn approaching another with both their palms presence and raised upward, showing they had nothing to hide or for the other to fear.

    "Maginus will await your word."

    Nalia was hesitant, but she offered Sacha a quiet, contemplative return nod of her head. When she looked to Alain again, he would feel the inward gratitude she felt to him for Taroc's aid to Capios. She processed the list of people and things he named on Capios that worked to eradicate the last of the Nightmare presence there. Another wave of relief seemed to wash some of the tension in her features away. She still appeared tired, but with a blanket of peace where worry once held her captive.

    "Enchantry is endowed with many allies" Nalia commended quietly, then added. "I will need to contact my people once they return to Capios, my Council before."

    It was a subtle sentence for Alain and Olivia. Need, because she could not do it on her own. She would need their help. She also implied that her people were no longer on Capios as they would need to return. None of them would know of her architect for escape during the possibility of a Nightmare invasion, or any devastating invasion for that matter. Nalia lfet breadcrumbs for those who knew her to follow.

    The white-haired Master of Maginus stepped forward. For the first time to those present, the newest of their rank showed something of excitement as opposed to his quiet, contemplating demeanor.

    "That is Aramil, my Advisor from the Temple of Souls" Sacha explained. "We traveled there from Windf'rte in search of the Ancestral Spirit of Maginus."

    The eagerness in Sacha faded slightly as self control took rigid reign of his emotions.

    "I am pleased to hear he is alive. He is a good man."

    Sacha turned to face Olivia when she spoke. He hesitates under the luxurious pull of her presence, the call for him to fulfill his previous duty to guide wayward Souls onward.

    "Aramil might be able to offer insight to-" he paused slightly as Arxus relayed information that has been given to them by Alain. There had been much said to help the new Guild Master be brought up to speed. "- aid in freeing the Masters of Shamaa and Astral. He was a scholar and takes pride in his education of Da'Jinn culture."

    Again, Sacha hesitated, but this time it was to look around the disheveled Heli'Dom.

    "Who possesses the Masters now?"

    There was a sound of gently clattering metal as Arion untied the dual, onyx lamps from his waist. It was with sombre reverence and care that the tall Second of Taroc held up the two prisons in his hands. The golden-scratched markings of the Shamaa and Astral Province caught what light was offered by the Heli'Dome and reflected it ominously at the crowd of royalty, Masters and their allies gathered there.

  6. #296
    Count / Countess Tigers is offline Tigers's Avatar
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    Branwen listened to Zarena as she reported the condition of Caprios and her people. She had no doubt in the skills of the Maloto tribe and their leader. Zarena and those warriors with her would have done everything in their power to aide their sister guild. Shamaa had a vested interest in peace and harmony with all, but even more so when they had family and members that had joined Nalia’s guild. Her eyes drifted toward Merriam and Fateema for a moment.

    “It is not surprising that many have survived thus far. Kali has spoken highly of Nalia and those of the inner council. She may not verbalize it, but she has great love and respect for them all.” She replied to Zarena.

    Branwen was relieved to hear that there had been additional help for Capios. She was glad to hear of Sacha’s support and the wise choice of summoning the ancestors to aid in the protection of the women of the isle. Surprising even more were the reports of the wolves and additional spirits. It would be interesting when things settled to find out more of the unknowns that had been involved, but now was not the time to think about such things. There was still much work to do and Capios had a long road ahead of them to mourn and mend their souls from the loss.

    Branwen turned her inward thoughts back to the present as Zarena addressed her once more. Both women already thinking about what steps needed to be taken next for their sister guild.

    “I agree. Let me know Zarena what you need. We will send a runner back to our people to bring additional healers for both mind and body, and those we can spare for helping to clean up and restore the isle, as well as provide food, water and shelter.”

    Branwen’s mind was ticking through a list of things they would need, but above all, she needed to contact Alain and any of the other guild masters. She needed to make sure this was an isolated situation and that the Nightmares had not spread to other parts of Rekōdo while they were busy with their battle here. It would do no good for them to start trying to aid in recovery if the thread still loomed at large in other parts of the land.

    Branwen turned to Colina.

    “Commander Weir, do you still have a way to contact Alain? If Rekōdo is going to heal properly, we need to do it as one entity and not as separate pieces of a whole.”

    Peace is a lie
    There is only passion
    Through passion I gain strength
    Through strength I gain power
    Through power I gain victory
    Through victory my chains are broken
    The Force shall set me free

  7. #297
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    Lieutenant Lydmila Pavlich

    The Island of Capios...

    The wolves will feel it. It's like a sun dawns over Lydmila's mind. A sun with a piece missing in it. Lydmila fits perfectly into this gap, as if both she and this blazing presence were crafted to be one.

    It's the Guild Master and Ancestral Spirit of Taroc. They're communing with the mind and soul of the woman that had been their guardian angel in the Great War. When Master, Spirit, and Angel are fit back together there is an exchange. Half of a whole communicating with another half. One hand telling the other what it's doing.

    Despite this psychic communion, Lydmila never stops her attack. In fact, her actions seem to speed up. She's accessing the tactical mind and predictive talents of those she's now linked to. This grants her an inhuman certainty in every motion.

    This link only lasts a few moments. Alain is the master of an entire province, and so his mind must move on from this one lone Taroc soldier and visit his attention to others. However, Clow's attention lingers a few moments longer than the Guild Master's. The Ancestral Spirit has insights to share with the prophetic sniper. He eventually departs, leaving a new mission for her.

    It's a mission Clow intends only for Lydmila. A task the spirit did not inform his host about.

    Lydmila looks around. Her path here ends. It's not how she had foreseen it, but the word of Clow has a way of bending the already winding roads of fate.

    The source of the Nightmares has been ended. The guardians and leaders of Enchantry are mighty and noble enough to protect their escaping people. Lydmila hopes her being called away will not harm those she came here to aid.

    She pauses her attack and telepathically speaks to the Alpha wolf,
    ~I am being called away from here by the spirit of Taroc. Clow wants me to begin the task of helping your people.~

    Lydmila taps her guild badge and a Taroc military portal spreads open beside her. The portal glows with red and gold light. The sniper taps her badge again and the portal trembles as it expands to a size a pack of dire wolves might slip through.

    ~If you and your pack want to join me on this mission, I welcome you to follow me through this portal.~

    Lydmila then steps through the mystical door and departs from Enchantry.

  8. #298
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    Commander Colina Weir

    The Ailes Bones... To the Southwest: Dragon Scale Island

    The psychic and mystical presence of her Guild Master and Ancestral Spirit washes over Colina. It's something the woman has only experienced once. At the end of the Great War, a ceasefire was arranged with the other provinces, and Alain reached out to all of his soldiers and let them know they could stop fighting for the first time in what had felt like ages. Back then it was like bathing in the light of Taroc. This time it's different.

    This time Alain accepts knowledge as well as shares it. Colina welcomes her leader's mind and freely gives him whatever information he might need. She shares the meeting in Shamaa, the battle on this island, the meddling of the Maginus priests, the presence of refugees from Enchantry, and the current situation.

    Alain exchanges Colina's insights for a few pieces of information he needs her to pass along.

    Eventually the communion with the Guild Master ends, and Colina returns to reality. Her eyes open. There's a new calm to her, as if the recent violence and hardships have been bathed away from her soul and all sense of confidence and purpose have been restored.

    To Branwen's question, Colina nods to the Second.

    "I have just been in communication with Master LeCavalier," Colina gladly tells Branwen. "Darmon and the source of these Nightmares have been disposed of."

    Colina falls silent as the news of the end of Darmon sinks in, and leaves her feeling overjoyed. If she didn't have more to share, the commander might let out a celebratory shout and offers to buy everyone drinks. However, there is still more to share. More to do. The party can come later, for now Colina is still a commander in Alain's army, and she has a duty to perform.

    "He wants me to invite all of you to the Heli'Dom. There your warriors can rest and recover in the lower guest chambers. Meanwhile, I will escort you and others to join a meeting Alain is having about the current situation. He's currently speaking with Pasce, Nalia, Arion, and a new master of Maginus."

    Colina offers Aramil an almost civil glance, with words of a non-hostile tone to match, "I've also been told to invite you, so that you can be reunited with Shepherd Sacha. He is attending this meeting as well."

    There's a hint of discomfort, as the commander seems unsettled about inviting a Maginus man to a place of great importance to Taroc. However, this is an order from her Guild Master, and Colina can't disobey it.

    "This way to the guest chambers," Colina tells everyone as she summons a Taroc military portal. Any who seek rest, food and refuge in the lower floors of the Heli'Dom can enter. Beside the first portal Colina opens a second. "This way to the meeting."

    ((Sil and Tigers, I'll leave it up to you to decide which characters you want to send to the meeting in the main observatory of the Heli'Dom. Branwen is definitely invited. Other characters can attend if you want to use them in the scene.

    ((Everyone else can go hang out elsewhere in the Heli'Dom. There are a lot of places for them to stretch out, relax, grab some snacks, play some airhockey, make pillow forts, and whatever else will help with their post battle recovery.))

  9. #299
    Count / Countess Tigers is offline Tigers's Avatar
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    Claws and teeth ripped at Nightmares as they dove toward the last remaining targets of Enchantry. Kali was too busy keeping them in the air and fending off the fiends to pay attention to the door as much as she would have liked. At Dyani’s words, her reptilian eyes narrowed toward the caverns as her long neck snaked towards the entrance. She gave off a throaty sound that eerily sounding like a chuckle.

    “Thank the gods above and below for scales.” She sent out to Dyani.

    Like an arrow, sent forth from the bow, Kali’s legs and wings tucked tightly against her body. Parts of her wings jutting up to form a protective barrier around the warrior who rode atop her back. With a final roar and gout of dream fire, the two shot toward the door with a speed they had performed many times before. This time however, they were slightly battered and bruised from the day’s events and exhaustion was creeping in from all sides.

    Somewhere above them, Kali could hear the screech of Dyani’s animal spirit. As they breached the entrance to the cavern a loud “WHOOMP” sounded, as the air followed them through the tight space. There was nowhere for Kali to bring her legs down to land, she would have to slide in on her belly, one of the only true softer spots of a dragon. Dirt, rock and various types of debris flew all around the tight space as Kali slide on the cavern floor, hoping beyond hope not to shoot out the other end into the open area of the cave where the remaining sisters would be.

    Thankfully, her size was enough to slow her down as she finally came to a resting place upon the ground. She snorted the cloud of dirt and debris from her nose and groaned slightly at the burning and searing pain of their landing. At the moment, she was too numb to feel her companion above her, but she could sense her through other means.

    “No rest for the wicked, we need to shut those doors and get to the water.”

    As practiced, Kali began to shrink in size so they could maneuver in the cave, giving Dyani the chance to dismount and race over to the large doors. She was mere seconds behind Dyani when she noticed the carved path they had made entering the cave. Dressed back in her dragon scale armour of black and emerald, Kali reached the other door as the two closed and sealed them as one. To reinforce what Nalia had already set in place, she added a darker enchantment to the door, sealing it with dragon’s flame.

    She turned to Dyani, the gaze in her eyes intense, but the weariness evident on the young female’s face. Her once bright and shiny scales that covered the most vital and intimate parts of herself glistened with wetness where the blood could not be easily seen against the dark surface. Many of the scales near her exposed abdomen looked rough, dirty, bent or missing from where they had slid across the cavern floor. So too where the appearance at the bottom of her arms and the tops of her thighs, but it did not cause her to pause in their current mission.

    “Let’s get to the others.”

    They still needed to get a tally of their dead and Kali had news to give to her other sister’s on the council concerning Merriam and Fateema. She had seen Vucan and Evalynn race towards the cavern and there was concern in the back of her mind about Shalla. Kali would try to help ease the tension she knew would be there between the two companions if she could. She could not only feel the changes within Evalynn, but she could feel the frantic need to reconnect with Shalla, and if she could feel it, Shalla definitely would. For now she had more pressing issues as she looked over Dyani for injuries and waited for the slight nod or word affirmation before moving on.

    They would carry each other if needed to move through the cavern to reach the waters edge. The need to reunite with the others a growing storm within their chests. They were ready for the day to end, but they would spend the last of their dying breath protecting each other and this guild if it were needed. But, Kali hoped beyond hope that it was finally over and they could pick up the pieces and start the healing. She was over these Nightmare creatures, over the fighting between some of the guilds, she was just over it all. At Dyani's acknowledgement, they raced toward the back of the cave toward the water.

  10. #300
    The Island of Capios

    The Dire Wolves of the Ailes

    Mentally, the Wolf pack paused in their near-constant communications with each other and all turned. Collectively, they shifted their presence to the south and west as if to watch this glorious sun rise. Members of the pack lifted their heads to howl, a long, generous note in the air to honor the presence of the Spirit who displayed that power. They are within the shadow where the missing piece lay. As Lydmila is reunited with her purpose, with what they understood was the leader of her own pack, all lifted their heads and howled. They are a backdrop to the communications, a serenade of their reunion. Outwardly, they continued to fight alongside Lydmila. Now, there was a hunger to their movements as they strove to keep up with the invigorated attacks of the sniper. Like a game of fetch, the canines eagerly chase after her superhuman pace.

    When at last she stopped her advances on the now-fleeing darkness, so too did the Dire Wolves. When Lydmila spoke to them, all of the Wolves fell silent. It is a heavy silence.

    ~Your Spirit honors us~ the Alpha said finally. Several of the Wolves flinch back at the sight of the manifested portal. They have never seen such a thing. Not in a very long time.

    Lydmila departs from them. One of the Wolves of the pack whined highly after her, softly. Several others take a single step forward in anticipation. A silent exchange was made between the Alpha and his beloved pack.

    Then without hesitation, they turned and ran through the portal after Lydmila.


    The Island of Capios: The Caverns

    Dyani of the Border Forests and Evalynn Agravaine of Maginus, Sisters of Enchantry

    The doors, at last, were closed. Dyani felt powerful as she used her strength to push the heavy, carved stone door shut. As the last of the outside world was shut out, Dyani's blue eyes locked with her Spirit Animal. She solemnly bowed her head to it and whispered something of thanks. It called to her one last time and then disappeared from their realm with a final swoop and arched turn. Immediately after, she felt the jellying of utter fatigue ripple up her legs. Not yet. There was still too much left to be done. Down the carved, old stairwell the Totem arches still hummed from the vibrations given off by Kali's landing. The entire Cavern had rumbled at the impact and slide.

    Dyani's sharp gaze met Kali's and too held at bay an incredible amount of fatigue. The Shamaa warrior's lips pursed at the sight of her damaged body.

    "Find Ev" she said, repeating what Kali had already voiced. She sealed their words with a nod and started down the stairs toward the open area of the Caverns. Dyani, like many from Shamaa, could run like the wind. Even in boots her footfalls were so light that their echo barely had enough sound to be heard. She tried to temper her pace, in case Kali's injuries hurt so that she could not maintain the same pace, but her heart soared ahead of her. She had no choice but to follow. Immediately, the sound of the distant sets of waterfalls and the smell and sound of the tall, dark grasses beneath her feet made her acute, earthen senses come alive. This place hummed of Old Magik and everything was filled with its power.

    There was a gathering of Sisters on the hill, the ones who'd come from beneath the white dome. Down the main hill, at the vast gray-blue water's edge, stood two.


    Dyani's shout was swallowed by the sheer space of the Cavern, but the blond by the shore turned. There was barely controlled panic fighting with relief in her eyes. Beside Dyani and Kali, the ancient, stone archways hummed perceptively. Dyani made her way fast down the hill, possibly even too fast for Kali to follow. Evalynn took steps back from the water's edge, but her legs failed her. Shalla was down there, somewhere in the water. Laelis too. It was no matter. Dyani came to her and lifted her from the ground in a bear-hug embrace. The speed of her descent down the hill spun them both around. Dyani's body could not sustain the embrace for long and she was forced to let Evalynn go. She touched her face with a hand, then her shoulders as if searching her for injuries. She got to the torn sleeves of her white blouse and pulled the fabric aside so she could better see the glittering growth of blue-violet scales that patched the ivory color of her skin. Dyani whirled her head and shot hot anger at Vucan.

    "You were supposed to protect her!" she snapped. "What did you do to her!?"

    ~Shalla's gone, Dyani. Laelis too.~

    The fragility of Evalynn's voice drew Dyani back from the anthill of anger she'd marched upon.

    ~I cannot hear either of them.~

    Within the gray-blue water, one of the O'aris glided forward to the edge of where the shelf of rock dropped off and down into impenetrable dark. There were many more shapes swimming underneath those who remained above the surface with spears and tridents of their own making. They were armed in iridescent, coral armor that gleamed luminously like the scales of fish. Several still held outstretched, webbed hands patiently to the group gathered on the hill. Some looked to those at the shore, but hands were not offered to them. The sentinel that approached was female and carried a trident that appeared to be made of glass seaweed.

    "They are not gone, but beneath the waves" she offered in a distinctly accented tongue, almost over annunciated. "Farther than any Land Dwellers have ever gone and lived."

    Dyani closed her eyes and allowed herself a moment of relief.

    ~I must go to them~ Evalynn declared boldly. ~Will you take me to them?~


    "No?" Anger reared itself up within Dyani again. She was too tired for this. They had come all this way, fought against unspeakable things to be denied safe passage to their Sisters? If it was because Evalynn was from Maginus...

    "No" the Sentinel repeated with a tightness to her voice that said she was not used to being argued with. "They live and they rest as the Life Giver requested. The one to whom you were first bonded is safe."

    Evalynn shook her head lightly. She did not understand.

    ~Please. I must- ~

    ~Your Soul is divided amongst many houses. You have bonded yourself with Spirits and earth, fire and air. The air was of Liar'Adon's first creation, then the waters and last the land. Your destiny lies not within these waters, but in the air.~

    ... It couldn't be an anti-Maginus thing. The SIsters of Enchantry who hailed from Maginus weren't left on the shore. Dyani looked at the Merwoman and then at Evalynn. She let out an exasperated noise and threw up her arms impatiently.

    "Well what does that mean!?"

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