CLOSED SIGNUPS Heart of the World

DinoFeather

just some pigeons in a people suit
Original poster
DONATING MEMBER
Invitation Status
, ,
Posting Speed
1-3 posts per week, One post per week, Slow As Molasses
Online Availability
Evenings, mostly.
Writing Levels
Advanced, Prestige, Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
No Preferences
Genres
Low/High Fantasy, Medieval Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Victorian-Era, Grimdark, Gothic-Horror, Supernatural (not the show), Limited Fandoms, Magic, Adventure.
Heart of the World



  • A
    etheria: an ancient world wrought of mystery and magic. It is said that, during formation of the tiny planet, Aetheria was in turmoil. Unbalanced magic tore the world apart, pushing up mountains, shifting continents, and spitting molten rock up from the depths. The world burned, tremored, cooled, and was ravaged by wild magic again and again. And yet, despite the chaos, life endured. Perhaps the world took pity on the struggling creatures, or perhaps it’s simply the way of magic, but the chaotic energy began to coalesce in the centre of the world and from it grew a tiny sapling.

    As the years passed, the sapling grew into a vast tree which would become the very heart of the world, stabilizing the chaotic energy to maintain balance and harmony in cycles of prosperity and dormancy. Civilizations grew and, eventually, all of Aetheria fell under the rule of the Taitellen Empire. Seeking to put an end to the periods of the land’s dormancy, the Empire took away the protective stones that permitted the Heart of Aetheria to flourish.

    Now, the world has begun to wane and rebellion is stirring.
  • As a supportive party of the rebellion, you're well aware of the dangers that await, should you be discovered.

    Two months ago, a celebrated rebel leader was apprehended by the Imperial Guard. The man, Magister Kiernan, was a well-known scholar and one of the visionaries behind the rebel cause and his punishment adequately reflected his crimes against the Empire. An announcement was made, and Kiernan was publicly executed by way of beheading. If his imprisonment hadn't been enough to stifle rebellious tendencies, the execution surely was, and many rebels fled Taitelle to regroup in other territories. Rumours that had been circulating about another task Kiernan had begun were immediately hushed, and for two months no one has spoken of ancient Trees or dying lands.

    Until today, that is, when you discover a curious piece of parchment that could only be meant for a rebel supporter...




    5 Lekthas, 3rd Quarter of the Crone, 192 TE


    I regret to inform you that the rumours are true: the Heart of Aetheria is dying.

    I understand that a letter of this nature seems an unusual method of communicating this, but in the present circumstances, it is a necessary precaution: I cannot risk direct communication at this time. We are reaching a critical situation and action must be taken. As you read this, I am quietly assembling a group of scholars, mages, and soldiers who support the cause, and I must ask that this be kept secret, at least for now.

    We are now beginning to see the effects of our actions those years ago, and the situation is dire. Reports from coastal cities are steadily increasing, bringing messages of failing crops and emaciated cattle. Hunters are taking less prey and rates of wildlife predation have increased far beyond what is common in a dormancy cycle. Thus far, these reports have been kept quiet. The Empire was sending meagre relief efforts to the affected areas, though it quickly became far more than they could handle. The efforts are being halted, as the Emperor has decided the plight of these areas must be due to rebel sabotage and does not merit attention or aide.

    Fatalities are on the rise as magical instability increases- something I’m sure you have already seen. Where possible, these deaths are also being attributed to rebel attacks and, otherwise, ignored. They are refusing to see what is plainly before their eyes, and Aetheria and all her people are going to pay the price.

    As you know, fifty-one years ago, the Empire forcibly removed the guard stones from the Tree. In those fifty-one years, the Tree has been unable to enter dormancy and revitalize itself. The argument was that no dormancy meant limitless prosperity-- but our research indicates that without dormancy cycles, the Tree can neither regulate magic nor support prosperity in the land.

    Without dormancy cycles, I am confident the Tree will die.

    No matter how many times he is confronted with evidence, the Emperor refuses to listen. I worry he is so blinded by the threat of revolution and repercussions of what it would mean if our research is correct (which it is), he refuses to see the truth. The more we press him to take action, the more obstinate he becomes.

    Two weeks ago, our most outspoken scholar, Magister Avelissa, was sent to Portwatch to “observe the conditions there,” and we have not heard from her since… I now fear the worst.

    The crystalline guard stones removed from the tree have been destroyed, save for the sample specimens that remain in our study. I plan to take these pieces, journey through the Forest of the Ancients, and return them to the Tree. Experiments with the crystals and bark samples taken from the Tree have given us reason to believe that even the smallest piece of crystal may act as a catalyst and restore what we so foolishly removed.

    This will not be an easy undertaking, especially when the Empire discovers what I am doing, as I have no doubt they will. However, it is a risk I am willing to take- and a risk that is necessary if we are to preserve the Aetheria we know and love. Should the Heart of Aetheria be lost, so too shall we.

    Please send return word using the same enchantment by which this message was concealed. If you are interested in furthering your support, I will then contact you with the date, time, and location of our first gathering to discuss options and concerns, and determine how best we may proceed.

    For dissolution, harmony, and a free Aetheria!

    - Kiernan


    6-3-1, 193 TE

    If you think we're giving up because of a little public execution, you are sorely mistaken. To those who wish to actually make a contribution to the world that enables your existence, be at the Randy Gander in the Taithros outskirts by sundown on 21/3/1. Request a room with Chasma-- and don't be a transparent fuckass. If you're followed, you're shit out of luck. Bring ideas, a pack, and a can-do attitude. No one else is going to save our asses.

  • Hello and welcome to Heart of the World!


    If you’re looking for a fantasy save-the-world adventure with rebellion, a heist, and hippie communes, you’ve come to the right place! Take a look around and please be sure to read the rules! If you have any questions, let us know!

    GM
    - DinoFeather DinoFeather
    co-GM
    - Lillian Gray Lillian Gray

    Rules and Guidelines

    Adept Writers
    - Please be able to produce several solid paragraphs with relevant content and demonstrate a knowledge of the English language.

    Active Players
    - We're asking for a minimum of one post per week to keep people active and interested! However, if something comes up and you need more time, or if you'll be inactive for a period but are still interested, please let us know-- real life always comes first!

    Respectful Players
    - Drama? In character only! We're looking for good attitudes and respect for others. It’s okay to have conflict now and then, but it will be resolved in a mature and respectful manner, or you’re outta here. If you have an issue, please come to us.

    GMs in Control
    - Please do not attempt to hijack the plot or attempt to spin the story to be only about your character. We aim to involve everyone, and if there is a special plot point you'd like to explore, please speak to us about it for approval. GM word is law.

    Player Autonomy
    - Do not control other peoples' characters! Also, please don't conflate what you, the player, knows with what your character knows.

    All Iwaku Rules Apply
    - If you are unfamiliar, please go review them!

    Creative Contribution
    - Want to help us flesh out the world by adding a bit of your own content? Awesome! Have an idea you think we should try? Let us know! We want to hear from you, but we do need to approve ideas before they're just added in to the world.

    Sense of Humour
    - While there will be serious moments, injury, and possibly even death, this is not intended to be a dark or “edgy” RP.

    Mature Players
    - Preferred* There won’t be graphic sex scenes in posts and what-have-you (PM the person, if that’s your jam), but there will be strong language, violence, and lewd allusions.

    And most importantly-- HAVE FUN!​



Characters
  • Ilex Cassine
    Nymph | 22 | Taithros
    Name:
    Ilex Cassine

    Nickname:
    None

    Race:
    Nymph

    Age:
    22

    Home Territory:
    Taithros

    Profession:
    A little bit of everything: lockpick, thief, sailor, skald ... He's truly a jack of all trades.

    Description:
    Ilex is a fairly average 5'10", with a frame more suited to running and climbing than lifting weights or clocking chins. His skin is almost deathly pale, his hair a shade darker than paper. Two, large green eyes are the main draw of his boyish face, followed by an ever-present smile. Upon close inspection, his skin is nearly papery, like a thin bark, and it is soft to the touch, but not the consistency of human skin. This is most evident at the bend of his joints, where it somewhat flakes away to reveal a fresh, greenish layer, with a feel almost like thick petals, while the callouses on his hands have a much harder, barklike consistency. He is very humanoid in comparison to his other nymph kindred, able to pass off as a human from a distance relatively easily. Depending on season, sometimes he has small, trumpet like flowers sprout under his hair.

    However, like the rest of his nymph kindred, his body is beginning to fail him. His skin is a less healthy white, instead shading to a shade of gray. It is obvious that this is a sick nymph, whatever his smiling face might say.

    Personality:
    Ilex takes almost nothing seriously. He is puckish by nature, prone to cracking jokes and enlivening others - and distracting them, as well. He is highly charismatic, with a slight flair for the dramatic, and he enjoys a good show as much as anyone else. He is likewise a fantastic liar and prank, finding it fun to watch others deal with the confusion he instills just for kicks. He does understand when enough is enough, however, and he is sympathetic to the sufferings of others. He has a little bit of a wild streak, tending to go off on his own and do a bit of a job solo, especially to sate his own curiosity, a near compulsion to know things which others wish to hide. That said, his myriad of jobs - many of them illicit - has granted him a rather cunning mind, always thinking several steps ahead.

    Bio:
    Ilex Cassine was born in the manner of most nymphs - through their union within a single tree. However, unlike most nymphs, he was not just born anywhere - he was born in the heart of the Empire, in Taithros - not from just any tree, but a datura. From the very outset, it seemed his parents had planned for him a purpose already in mind. That plan, unfortunately, was never articulated, as Ilex was left, orphaned, on the streets. He matured quickly and learned hard the world of the capital city. A nymph like him stood out, and without his parents to guide him, he was left to his own devices. The pecking order was not kind to him, as a sickly nymph with no one to look out for him, until one day he was caught stealing.... and offered a job.

    From that point on, he grew a reputation as someone who had... a particular brand of skills. The underground world of Taithros, of its beggar children, of its night women, of its contraband goods and its nobles with their wants, soon became his playground. To those willing to learn the ropes, so to speak, the doors opened were endless. Always there was crime to be had, needs to meet. He did a little bit of everything from that point, keeping his ear to the ground for better and better contracts, though nothing that would necessitate his hands getting too dirty. It was through this network that he first heard about Kiernan's Rebellion, their attempt to revive the World Tree and right the rocking ship they all happened to live on. Of course, despite his image and less-than-shiny background, Ilex had no desire to see famine sweep the land, for the continent to be plunged into lawless darkness. Instead, he decided to offer his... unique services... to the rebellion instead, knowing that eventually they might need someone who could smuggle them around.

    And on top of that... this may be a way to get back in touch with a people he had never known.

    Magic:
    Elemental earth magic (beginner)

    Skills:
    - Lockpicking/breaking
    - General person-to-person combat, with and without weapons
    - Strategy and planning
    - Networking
    - Juggling (just for fun)
    - Knot-tying (it is a surprisingly useful skill)


    Strengths:

    - extraordinarily even-keel even as plans fall apart
    - able to improvise
    - works independently very well
    - an amazing liar
    - good for morale

    Weaknesses:

    - tends to underestimate enemies and fortifications
    - currently not at his physical best
    - a fan of fancy plans -- which can get out of hand quickly
    - lets his curiosity get the best of him far too often

    Romanceable:
    No. c: Sorry.

    Artist:
    awanqi


  • Kholas Abalyshevska
    Goblin | 33 | Taitelle
    NAME

    Kholas Abalyshevska

    NICKNAME

    Kho
    Sunshine (Used exclusively by Linnae)

    RACE

    Goblin

    AGE

    33

    HOME TERRITORY

    Taithros, Taitelle

    PROFESSION

    Healer; Organizer of Rebel Remains

    DESCRIPTION

    Tall for a goblin, Kholas stands just over five feet in height, though he still is comparably small to most other denizens of Aetheria. His complexion is green-toned with darker markings over his head and back. Vast, bat-like ears protrude from the sides of his head, with his right ear bearing several piercings. Though he has a flat and rather serpentine nose, the rest of his features are sharp and angular, giving way to dark, silken fur around the edges of his face and jaw. Bright crimson eyes are often lined with kohl, a trend shared by many goblins from Khal Miras.

    Possessing a small and lightweight frame, Kholas highly favours dexterity over strength, though he certainly doesn't look the part of an athlete. Perhaps somewhat unbefitting a healer, he wears his clawlike nails long, though they are kept meticulously clean. Generally well-groomed, he is fond of darker, heavily-saturated coloured garments, which are sometimes accented with small "souvenirs" from his work. A large, carved wooden skull can generally be found lashed to his right shoulder, the enchanted stone inside serving as a magical reservoir of sorts.

    PERSONALITY

    Though not as callous as he might have you believe, Kholas isn't exactly overflowing with warmth and generosity. Perhaps the kindest word one would use to describe him is "incisive," though most would settle for something closer to "acerbic." Results driven, Kholas is tireless in his work, be it his practice of healing, his research, or his efforts with the rebellion. With a record of achievement he has no intention of relinquishing, Kholas is relentless in pursuit of his goals. Shrewd, clever, and confident in his own abilities, the goblin can sometimes come off as conceited, though he has the ability to back up his claims. He has little patience for those he perceives as close-minded or melodramatic-- and even less patience for those who cannot say what they mean. Though not the kindest or most morally upright individual, Kholas can always be relied upon for honesty or a practiced hand in matters of healing.

    BIO

    Born and raised in Khal Miras, Kholas was fortunate to discover his magic abilities early on. Tireless study and relentless practice saw him rise quickly through academies and gain entrance to the prestigious Magesteria Academy in Taithros, first as a student and again as faculty. While his main focus was magical medicine and healing, he also began extensive research in channelling abilities. Afflicted with an unknown ailment that causes periodic pain, fatigue, and weakness, he was sometimes forced to rely on others to provide him with magical energy when his skills as a healer were needed. Wishing to be more self-reliant and to contribute to the collective knowledge of the Academy, Kholas threw himself into his work on developing methods of storing magic.

    With a partial success, his research was deemed to be of great interest to the Empire, and he was given extensive resources and a team to help him further develop his magic "reservoirs." It was through his research that he discovered shards of the guard stones were still preserved in the Academy, and also how he first met Kiernan. Academic interest turned to friendship, and Kholas began aiding Kiernan in his efforts to better understand the guard stones' relationship to the Tree and its magic. When messages of blight and fading lands reached Taithros, Kholas was quick to back Kiernan's claims and support his rebel cause. Because of his staunch and outspoken support of the known rebel leader, Kholas was forced to flee the Academy when Kiernan was arrested, leaving his work behind.

    Though it took some time to regroup with Linnae, an unlikely friend introduced to him by Kiernan, Kholas vowed to carry out Kiernan's vision of restoring the Tree and eliminating the Taitellen Empire.

    MAGIC

    Restorative - Healing & Channeling

    SKILLS

    • Anatomy and medicine
    • Planning and information-acquisition
    • Innovation and problem-solving
    • Potion and poison-crafting

    STRENGTHS

    • Exceptional healer
    • Resourceful and quick-thinking
    • Relentless in pursuit of goals

    WEAKNESSES

    • Lacking physical strength and periodically enfeebeled
    • Routinely overworks himself
    • Sardonic and abrasive

    ROMANCEABLE

    Yes

    Artist:
    Nicholas Kole


  • Laceae
    Nymph | 45 | Taitelle
    Name:
    Laceae Magnolia Obovata Asiaticus

    Nickname:
    Lia
    Buttercup (by family)
    Maggie (by family)

    Race:
    Nymph

    Age:
    45

    Home Territory:
    the woods west of Thaemar

    Profession:
    Herbologist, Healer

    Description:
    At a quick glance, this nymph in her outerwear is easily mistaken to be human, though perhaps a short one. Her smooth, blush skin and her meager height, just a few inches above four foot, have tricked many into believing the young nymph to be a human adolescent. But just beyond her neckline, her petal-soft skin transitions first into a sensitive, leafy green and then into a rough, flaky bark around her extremities. Laceae's fingers are twiggish, with bark that splits around her joints to reveal the pale pith inside, and her bowed calves are even darker in color and somewhat thicker skinned. Like an exoskeleton, this bark also follows up her spine to the base of her neck. From there grow the thin branches framing her scalp from which bulbous blossoms grow in pale pinks and oranges. The flowers and their leaves weave through her white hair, which grows sometimes so thick that it smothers the flowers with its volume. Smaller flowers bud and bloom along her hands and legs, the same pale tone of her hair. Her eyes are amber in color.

    Laceae's bowed legs are only one of several physical defects she possesses, though they're perhaps the most obvious. Her spine has a slight curve and her shoulders uneven, though not enough to affect further affect her gait. Several of her fingers also lack the flexible interior pith and are instead tough, immovable bark. She suspects that she would be a few inches taller had she a straighter back and legs. Additionally, the greenish skin on her upper left arm and shoulder are dark and tough with scarring. She prefers to dress in lightweight clothes, as scratchy fabrics irritate her softer skin, and heavier ones damage the flora around the upper half of her body. One allowance she makes is for a gifted, sleeved cloak which she wears into large cities and cooler climates.

    Personality:
    At her core, Laceae is a mother. She carries strong maternal instincts that carry into her medical career, resulting in unusually fierce, protective behavior over her patients. Over time she grows to feel similarly about companions and friends, and treats those close to her like an extended family. This extended family is massive, and ever growing. Her interest in travel has shown Laceae all around the world, and she adds each new friend to her mental connections catalog, many of whom she loves like children, siblings or aunts/uncles. She loves easy, and hard, and takes betrayal very personally.

    What Laceae lacks in body she makes up for in zest. Shes an outrageously joyful spirit and a loud personality, which often manages to make her seem bigger than she is. Her strong presence is largely attributed to her confident manner of speaking--without yelling, she manages to project her voice in an authoritative way that manages to avoid sounding rude or commandeering. A bubbly and typically positive attitude give her a few more inches to boot. Since she was young Laceae was always an outspoken individual, even sometimes to her own detriment. She sometimes lack the foresight to hold her tongue, and holds the belief that honesty is always the best policy, even when the truth hurts. Abundant with confidence, she is fearless pursuing her beliefs and goals.

    Bio:


    Laceae grew up in a small grove near the woods west of Thaemar, occupied by herself, her mother and her many siblings. Her mother, unusually involved and maternal, was the glue that held their family unit together, teaching her children to garden and grow the many herbs she'd gathered on her adventures across Atheria. She would tell stories to Laceae of great adventure, where Laceae herself was always the heroine saving her mother's fictional worlds. When she began to grow ill, their family began to grow apart. Several of Laceae's elder siblings moved on to live more solitary lives, while her siblings with youth grew more separated from their previously tight knit family life. Their grove garden began to wilt. Desperate to heal her mother, Laceae first tried to use her weak healing magic to treat her mother, and when her efforts failed, enlisted the help of Thaemar's greatest healers, but none could slow the progression of her mother's illness, and she eventually died.

    Laceae was riddled with misplaced guilt, and helplessness. What good was her magical gift if she couldn't save her own mother's life? Distraught, she impulsively decided to return to Thaemar with one of the healers, who took her on as an apprentice in the city. Though he couldn't teach her much in the ways of magic, he began her traditional education in medicine. Not long after her arrival in Thaemar, she grew thirsty for more knowledge, and for more opportunities to help others in need. She began to travel from city to city, learning from the healers as she went and catching rides from caravans and messengers to save her the exhaustion of walking the roads with her ambling gait.

    Eventually her travels brought her to Tórlinn, where she settled down with a medical crew tending to the mine workers. Here she met Shaela, a young horned woman and single mother to a half human half horned daughter, Raycene. Their love was hard, and fast, and short; Shaela fell to black lung, and too stubborn to quit working, it became deadly too soon to be treated. Laceae did what she could, healing with her novice magic and with her homebrewed medicines, but after only a year together, she passed away, leaving Raycene in Laceae's care.

    Once more feeling like a failure, Laceae took Raycene with her to Taitelle, where she sought a proper magical education at the Academy. She met a small group of nymphs displaced from Eldan by the cropland expansion and took up residence with them. She found sweet commonality in living with working nymphs, and in sharing their pains over the slow poisoning of Alterra's environment. It seemed every day more people came to the city seeking refuge and food that there simply wasn't to be had. Laceae took to offering free medical care to such refugees, creating her own medicines from the herbs in her garden. She eventually found herself taking on a role more involved than that of nurse; unwilling to watch young children starve, she adopted several more youths into her shared home.

    In the capital, Laceae was introduced to imperial politics, and before long began to hear whispers of rebellion. At first, she vehemently avoided these whispers and the people who spoke them, unwilling to become involved and risk the safety of her family. It was when Raycene was arrested due to rebel involvement that Laceae experienced a shift of opinion. Her home became a halfway house for those wanted by the Empire, and she used her magical gift with earth to coax her garden into growing faster and stronger so that she could feed her many charges. Some of the Eldan nymphs she originally sheltered with supported her; but others disagreed with the risk she was taking, and left to live in Estura. Although it pained her, she sent several of herbadopted children away too to live with family in her homeland grove.

    Initially when Laceae received the letter, she felt skeptical. She was playing her own part, and couldn't abandon her children and family. It wasn't until a rebel refugee told her that her daughter Raycene till lived that she made up her mind to accept and take a role in saving the world. Her mother, she felt, would be proud.


    Magic:

    • Restorative: Healing and Enhancing
    • Elemental: Earth

    Skills:

    • Herbology & Botany: skilled with identifying, utilizing and growing various flora, particularly medicinal plants and herbs
    • Culinary: though a vegetarian, Laceae has a knack with food and a strong palette, particularly with pastries (though her sweet tooth isn't quite to everyone's taste)
    • Tinkering: when life gives Laceae lemons, she experiments with them! She often uses homespun tools to help her with life's everyday activities. Among her favorites are a glove to help her grip her sewing needle, and the "arm-extenders" she uses to cook while keeping a healthy distance away from the fire (one can never be too far away from a flame!). Not all of her gadgets are particularly sturdy, however...
    • Medicine: Laceae has been studying and using traditional methods of medicine since before she began to study magic. She has a strong understanding of physiology and pathology, making her particularly well suited to treating disease and infections, but is also practiced in tasks such as bone-setting, diagnosing and some surgical procedures.
    • Sewing

    Strengths:

    • Empathetic and motherly: Laceae makes a particularly good nurse to the sick and injured, not just because of her medical skills but because of her empathetic and caring attitude
    • Creative: being somewhat maladapted to the world, Laceae had to grow accustomed to finding her own solutions to everyday problems.
    • Natural navigator
    • Collected
    • Astute

    Weaknesses:

    • Maladroit: Laceae, unlike others of her kind, lacks physical agility and can struggle with dexterity due to her bowed legs and the stiffness of some of her fingers. While she still possesses stamina, she struggles with maneuvering obstacles unaided in unfamiliar environments, and walks with a visible limp. She refuses, however, to carry a cane or any sort of walking aid.
    • Gaps of knowledge: though a great doctor, Laceae is primarily accustomed to family medicine. She is not particularly skilled with poisons, curses or battlefield care and may struggle without her handy medic kit
    • Combat deadweight: that is to say, Laceae has never received combat training and doesn't want to. She will defend herself, but isn't inclined to carrying a weapon and would rather flee or hide than attack
    • Blunt
    • Pyrophobic

    Romanceable:
    Yes

    Artist:
    Lourdes Saraiva

  • Linnae
    Nymph of Aquifoliaceae | 75 | Estura
    Name:

    Linnae Ilex Aquifolium of Aquifoliaceae

    Nickname:

    Holly
    Brambles (used exclusively by Kholas)

    Race:

    Nymph

    Age:

    75

    Home Territory:

    Outskirts of Caelora, Estura

    Profession:

    None

    Description:

    For a nymph of her species, Linnae is somewhat stunted in height, being only 5'3" from her heels to the branch like 'hair' on her head. She blames it on the current situation with the guard stones. Her skin is soft, and closer to actual skin than bark, and a pale olive in color. Linnae has dark ruby red eyes. At first glance, she does appear more humanoid than some of her brothers and sisters, although the supple twigs coming from her make it apparently plain that she is anything but human. During periods of growth, short green leaves sprout from the twigs and sometimes produce small holly berries.

    Do not eat the berries. Holly berries are poisonous and Linnae will be annoyed.

    Having spent so much time mingling within Taithros in order to stay close to Kiernan and the rebellion, Linnae grew comfortable with the idea of donning layer upon layer of the garments typical humans wore in order to blend in. Within any densely populated city, Linnae wears the long robes of a scholar, with a delicate mantle to cover her head - one of the few personal effects of the nymph's. Anywhere else, she prefers something that is easy to move in. Outside the city, Linnae will typically wear a sleeveless tunic tied at her waist, with leathers and flat sandals.

    Personality:

    Years of witnessing the destruction and vandalism of the Forest of the Ancients, and its precious Heart, have made Linnae wholly distrustful of all races and left her with vehement opposition to Taitellen rule. She regards strangers with skepticism and often times an air of hostility that does not go unnoticed. To friends and allies, Linnae is actually quite relaxed and temperate in nature, although it takes time before she considers a person to be close enough to be called as such.

    The Nymph is not cruel. She is guarded, cautious, and harbors feelings of disapproval not unlike those living within the larger capital cities of the five greater nations. However, it can be difficult to see past her initial persona. Once allied with Linnae, she is incredibly loyal and wants nothing more than to provide whatever assistance she can. Then - she is friendly, warm, and would do nothing short of take an ax to the arm to see her family safe.

    Bio:

    Linnae was born not long after the removal of the guard stones was deemed necessary, and was a young sprout of a nymph when they were removed from the innermost center of the Forest of the Ancients. She claims to have few memories of the event, blocking them out from the chaos within the communities of nymphs in the wooded areas around and within the forest. But that claim is a lie. Watching, feeling it in the dirt and in the trees, as men came and shattered the enigmatic stones. That kind of horror as the very world she knew fell apart bit by bit, those kinds of memories were impossible to forget. She could feel the effects in the years after whenever she ventured too far from the forest itself, and at first she brushed it off as nothing more than discomfort being so far from home. But the lethargy, the rumors from the far-reaching isles, Linnae found it too difficult to ignore. It wasn't until almost two decades later she met a most curious man, a teacher.

    He explained how he felt he had made a grave mistake in helping to remove the guard stones, and she felt inclined to believe him, but offered no help. Had less time passed, she might have held enough fury to end the man's life right then and there. Unfortunately, he was found and taken to Taitelle before he was able to carry out the vaguely detailed mission he had shared with the nymph. The then curious Linnae followed. In the years that followed she met his student, Kiernan, finding his company to be tolerable despite the city he hailed from. Linnae began to spend less time near the center of Aetheria, and more near the outskirts of the very city she hated. In time, she was introduced to Kho, and an odd friendship was formed. The rest, was history.

    Magic:

    ❧ Subliminal - Soothing & Hypnosis
    ❧ Elemental - Earth

    Skills:

    ❧ Gardening
    ❧ Botany
    ❧ Deception

    Strengths:

    ❧ Devoted ally
    ❧ Attuned with nature
    ❧ Physically strong despite small stature

    Weaknesses:

    ❧ Distrustful of strangers
    ❧ Declining health tied to the Heart of Aetheria
    ❧ Highly susceptible to heat and flame

    Romanceable:

    Sure if you want to bark up that tree...I'll be rooting for you.
    Yes. The answer is yes.

    Art:
    Credit to SEPHITROTH ART

  • Malik

    Human | 34 | Stillharbour, Ventha
    NAME:

    Malik Shendoa

    RACE:

    Human

    AGE:

    34

    HOME TERRITORY:

    Ventha

    PROFESSION:

    Previously, loyal soldier of the Taitellen Empire. More recently, deserter.

    DESCRIPTION:

    Standing at 6'2", Malik is on the taller end of the human scale, with a stocky build that even a year on the run couldn't quite diminish. His stature has traditionally been useful, what with the longer reach that comes with it, but he's gotten into the habit of slouching and keeping his head down since his desertion. Standing out in a crowd when one is a wanted criminal is bad, after all. A pair of old scars mar the right side of his face; one cuts through his eyebrow and curves uncomfortably close to his right eye, and the other slashes down his cheek and through his signature black-and-silver goatee. His eyes are a pretty blue-green, pale green around the pupil that shifts into blue around the outer edge of the iris. Black runic tattoos are usually hidden beneath the armor he wears far too often these days and the only other notable scars he bears are on his chest.

    PERSONALITY:

    Though the last few years have put a sizable dent in Malik's previously bold outward personality, there's no doubt that he remains an extrovert. He's patient and warm, the sort who makes a good listener and conversation partner...provided one doesn't mind his particular brand of blunt humor, of course. Malik was raised around sailors and dockworkers and spent his adult life surrounded by the common soldier - if someone is looking for politeness, manners, and a lack of cursing, they'd best look elsewhere. Something else that tends to come across soon after one meets Malik is his stubborn nature, as that stubbornness underlines many of the things he is and does. It makes him a dedicated ally and all the better at defensive magic. It also serves as the reason he spent so many years working for the Empire.

    BIO:

    Born to a pair of dockworkers in the ever-expanding port of Stillharbour, far in the south of Ventha, Malik had a simple and rainy childhood. When Malik recalls it, he usually tells of imagined adventures on the beach and watching all the comings and goings in the harbour with childlike wonder. When his parents recall it, they describe how adventurous and troublesome their son was with a fond sort of exasperation, and highlight his fascination with scaling Mt. Kinsae, which still looms threateningly over the island. Whichever version one chooses to believe, before Malik was twelve years of age he could tie an excellent whipping knot and had already collected a few scars.

    The pressures of adulthood began to press more on Malik as he grew into his teenage years. After eight months spent working on the docks with his parents, Malik came to the conclusion that life in Stillharbour wasn't quite right for him any longer. At age nineteen, he decided to enlist in the military. Serving the Empire that managed to remove the guardstones sounded like a truly excellent idea back then, and Malik is grateful for that chance to pursue magic, but sometimes...he wishes he'd thought to stay in the city of his birth.

    Four years after he joined the military, Emperor Ruslan died, and within a year the Sovereign Treaty was retracted by his replacement. Then only twenty-four, an apprentice Runic mage and a dime-for-a-dozen soldier, Malik had his first thoughts of rebellion. But he was a willful child that grew into a stubborn man, and he refused to abandon his choice of career. It took seven more years of carrying out Emperor Petros' increasing cruelties on the population for Malik to snap and abandon the banner he'd faithfully served for so long. He was lucky enough to trip over the Rebellion a few months after his desertion, and threw himself into proving himself to them with all the fierce loyalty he'd previously had for the Empire. Subtle he was not, but he was a fighter, intimately familiar with the Empire's tactics and training. A useful asset. Then Kiernan was killed, and everything fell to pieces.

    Malik has wandered for the months since, careful and cautious. It's dangerous to be a deserter in these times.

    MAGIC:

    Runic - Defensive, Warding
    Runic Tattoos
    - A set of three runes are inked across the outside of his left forearm to ease the summoning of his shield, and the backs of both his hands are each tattooed with a circle of defensive runes. The runes are functional, but artfully done; Malik likes to believe that form and function aren't mutually exclusive.

    Warded Amulet
    - Though it isn't so much an amulet as a smooth river stone hanging from a leather thong, it's marked with a ward which vibrates the stone whenever something moves within a short radius around Malik. He has to deactivate and reactivate it periodically to prevent the ward failing on its own.


    SKILLS:

    Magical combat, swordsmanship

    Ropework

    Planning and laying out fortifications & defenses


    STRENGTHS:

    Physically strong

    High levels of endurance and general sturdiness

    Dedicated

    Patient, nearly unflappable

    Considerate and empathetic


    WEAKNESSES:

    Too heavy for agility

    Terrible sense of manners and propriety

    Stubborn

    As subtle as a sledgehammer

    Worries about everything


    ROMANCEABLE:

    No

    ARTIST:

    Marccus, on Tumblr.

  • Melsinde Blackfinger
    Satyr/Female | 37 | Venthas
    Name:
    Melsinde

    Nickname:
    Melly, Mel

    Race:
    Satyr

    Age:
    37

    Home Territory:
    Venthas

    Profession:
    Chronicler; storyteller

    Description:
    Melsinde stands a petite 5'2", her horns barely pushing her to 5'5". Her build is best described as slender, with thin arms, spindly legs, and a swannish neck supporting a thin face. The satyr has a set of narrow hips, leading to a set of shaggy goat legs, as is the custom for her race. Her hooves are neatly kept, the fur a light speckled gray and black. Her skin is fair, with slight freckling and scarring from a storied life, and her coloring is light, with fawnish brown hair and light brown eyes. Her hair is often down, free-flowing around her face, falling to her shoulders. Melsinde's voice is a soothing, even alto, with a slight scratch from years of smoking a long pipe.

    She carries herself with regal, if a bit stiff, bearing, a countenance of confidence. Her clothing style is often in grayer tones, with flowing blouses and skirts covered by a well-worn, brown traveling cloak smelling heavily of tobacco smoke and earth. Her horns are well maintained, about two feet in length curving away from her face, often decorated with chains. Her fingers are ink-stained from long hours writing with quill and parchment. Her every move is languid, careful. Poised best describes her appearance.

    Personality:
    The single word that sums up Melsinde's personality is 'even-keel'. The satyr is calm to an almost catatonic degree, finding little to ruffle her feathers. Panic is not in her vocabulary, managing to keep her cool in trying situations. That is not to say she lacks emotion - merely that she processes events carefully and methodically, before finally digesting the events in question. Her sense of humor is wide, stomaching all manners of japes. There is little that offends her sensibilities. That said, she does have a deep, simmering anger when sufficiently disturbed, and she holds grudges for quite a long time.

    Bio:
    Melsinde is somewhat of an outsider, even among her own race. Hailing from around the Briar Glen, as a young satyr she was found by shepherds, alone and lost, somehow separated from her family. Moved by her apparent distress, the old shepherd couple took her into their home temporarily, knowing that there would no doubt be another group of satyrs to come through. However, time dragged on, and Mel soon became a part of their family.

    Yet, even with her adopted human family, there was a burning need to know what had happened to her biological parents. A wanderlust and desire to travel seemed inborn, faceted by the structure and discipline of shepherding with the couple that had raised her. When her adopted father finally died, she stayed for the funeral, though the rest of the family seemed unsure what to do with this additional member. Aware that she was an interloper in her own family, she chose to leave her elderly 'mother' in her foster sisters' and brothers' care, to search for her family... and perhaps run from a grief she had not totally processed.

    She traveled to Briar Glen at the age of seventeen, speaking to groups of satyrs in search of her family. However, so much time had passed, and she found the satyr almost as confusing as her adopted human kin. Eventually, she did find her lost satyr folk, and while they thought her as odd to them as they were to her, they accepted her with open arms, glad to have found a lost daughter. There seemed a lingering sadness in her, nevertheless, that would not abate. The lack of structure to satyrical life was difficult for her to adjust to, having grown used to often herding sheep, soothing sick animals, fetching hay and water. She eventually left them as an adult, feeling that there was still something missing to this life.

    Heading to the heart of the empire, she attempted to enroll in a school, and immediately she was enthralled by the act of penning stories, real and imagined. As part of the university in Taithros, specifically in the College of Annals, she soon found herself recording the rebellions and disasters going on in other parts of the empire, sojourning to bear witness to others' stories - but forced to write them in the Empire's favor, despite what she may see. She traveled, listening to and asking about the stories surrounding rebellion, loss, and hardship.

    This led to a vested interest in Kiernan's rebellion, hearing through the grapevine that there was a man looking to replace the Guard Stones that had been removed from the Tree. Painstakingly, she sought to build trust with the resistance force, feeding them information much sought after through the libraries she had access to, using her network of contacts to tip them off about patrols. In the meantime, she has helped to compile their information, curating the story of the rebellion - and the expedition to revive the Tree.

    However, a black cloud fell over when Kiernan was found out and sentenced to execution. Melsinde Blackfinger was requested to bear witness, to pen the proceedings and the event in question. She was present at his beheading, with a front-row seat and no choice but to pretend to be an impartial observer of the Empire. She can only hope that the presence of a friend gave him some little comfort.

    Magic:
    Subliminal: Illusory branch - Projection (only). Adept. She has been working on a way to store magical energy through a glass box that would later project events as seen through the eyes of the observing magician. It is a very slow process, however. She is particularly good at projecting memories, but only for short bursts of time. The effect is a bit like a vignette, with blurred edges and the most important or well-remembered elements standing out in stark clarity. She can also project multiples of herself within 20 feet.

    Skills:

    + Smooth Talking
    + Excellent audiovisual memory
    + Deductive reasoning
    + Can read and write


    Strengths:

    + Emotional stability
    + Great sense of hearing
    + Gifted in persuasion
    + Very good with maps
    + Perseverance

    Weaknesses:

    + Strictly non-combative
    + Easily distracted, especially by a good story
    + Little stamina
    + Physically average
    + Procrastinator/Perfectionist

    Romanceable:
    No.

    Artist:
    Aditya777


  • Miri Vaunea
    Horned/Human | 23 | Wyndfel
    Name:
    Miri Vaunea

    Nickname:
    None

    Race:
    Half human, half horned

    Age:
    23

    Home Territory:

    Wyndfel

    Profession:
    Silk merchant/Drug Dealer Psychedelic Fungi Seller on the side

    Description:

    Miri, like all half-breeds, takes after her mother, a human. She keeps her red, curly hair cut short to just below her chin because if she lets it grow longer, it tends to get out of control. She has light, freckled skin and wears large round glasses. From her father, she inherited two small horns that grow straight back from her temples, curling slightly upwards at the ends and blue eyes. Although her father was average height for a horned, her mother was fairly short. Miri is somewhere in between them around 5.5". She has 7 total ear piercings, 2 in each of her lobes, 2 in her left helix and an industrial in her right. Her body is covered in tattoos of various plants and animals, mostly on her back and legs. Most of them are kept covered except for a small tattoo of a mushroom on her left wrist and an opium poppy on her right.

    Personality:

    Miri somehow has an amazing memory and is extremely forgetful at the same time. She can recite a book word for word after reading it only a couple times but forgets things like appointments and important dates regularly. She gets distracted very easily and is extremely curious. Things about fungi pique her interest the most, but she loves learning about just about everything. In her free time, she enjoys cultivating her collection of fungi and drawing detailed diagrams. Cheerful and friendly, she tends to be overly talkative. Miri isn't afraid to say what's on her mind and can be very blunt. She is a very straightforward person and can have a hard time understanding people who are sarcastic and is a bit gullible.

    Bio:

    Miri's mother was the daughter of a wealthy silk merchant from Tumana. Her family often went on vacation in the Wyndel mountains near Tórlinn in the winter, which is where she meat Miri's father. She attended the Magisteria Academy, specializing in Runic enchantments and warding. After graduating, she turned down an apprenticeship and settled down with her horned lover in Wyndfel. The two of them love children. Miri has 9 younger siblings and the twelve of them all work together to keep their family business of selling enchanted armor, clothes and wards afloat. Miri proved to be horrible at both silk making and her father's trades of smithing and leatherworking. She did, however, have a talent in enchantments and wards. After finishing her work, Miri would often wander into the mountains around their home to avoid babysitting duty. She often spent several days at a time in them and soon, grew a special fascination for the fungi that lived there. Miri began cultivating her own mushrooms and soon became notorious among the community for selling psychedelics. Although she grew poppy, she never sold opiates. She only grew it because she found it fascinating that such an innocent-looking flower could produce such a powerful drug.

    As rumors of rebellion began, Miri's mother received a letter from an old classmate, asking for her help. Initially reluctant, she and her husband began secretly supplying the rebellion with enchanted items after seeing the effects of the crystals' removal on their home. After Kiernan's arrest, however, Miri's mother cut off all contact with the rebellion, afraid of putting their family and young children at risk. Her father reluctantly agreed and left the letter he received a year later on his desk unopened.

    Meanwhile, Miri, who spent much of her in the mountains, was among the first in her village to notice and voice her concerns about the dying vegetation. She began to become resentful of the empire. When Miri found the letter addressed to her father, it was the first time she had ever heard anything about her family being involved in the rebellion. She made the decision to join and left home.

    Magic:


    Runic - warding and enchantment

    Her poppy tattoo is a ward against subliminal magic. It doesn't make her immune but does help make her more resistant. Her mushroom tattoo is a ward against poisons. Unfortunately, she messed it up when making it and it also prevents her from getting high and drunk. Although she can do both enchantment and warding, her specialty is in wards.

    Skills:

    • Mountain survival skills
    • Growing and identifying fungi
    • Photographic memory

    Strengths:

    • Learns quickly
    • Skilled at Warding
    • Patient

    Weaknesses:

    • No combat experience
    • Easily Distracted
    • Can be forgetful

    Romanceable:
    Yes

    Artist:
    NA


  • Pan Tall-Bones
    Satyr | 21 years | Wyndfel
    Name:
    Pan Tall-Bones

    Race:
    Satyr

    Age:
    21

    Home Territory:
    Wyndfel

    Profession:
    Miner

    Description:
    Pan towers above his Goblin peers but is himself of unremarkable height at 5’7”, though his profession keeps him solid and strong. His exposed skin tone tends to the light tan, while his fur tends toward a walnut brown. Scars shallow and deep etch his skin, as a smile perpetually etches his face.

    While he goes about in mining leathers on the usual, Pan does wear a mixture of hide and heavy bark armor to fend off the more territorial, mountain-dwelling creatures that occasionally seek to win back the caves the mining Goblins intruded upon.

    Personality:
    Pan is almost a prototypical 'good-ol-boy’. Raised to seek out those in need and aid them where he may, he is patient and trusting. That trust comes easily but is re-earned painstakingly, and he has no use for liars. His strong sense of justice has more than once prevented him from coming to a point of empathy, and bridges have been burned because of it, and sometimes literally. Mostly uneducated but a hard worker, and with an almost unerring sense of direction, Pan has made himself an asset to his adoptive family

    Bio:
    Raised from birth in the little-regarded Goblin mining village of the Heights in the Black Mountains between Estura and Wyndfel, Pan Tall-Bones was born to a refugee Satyr woman fleeing a fear she refused to ever name. He never knew her, she having survived his birth only long enough to wean him, leaving an old Goblin maester to adopt him and raise him with his daughter. Yigwit the Maester taught him as much as he could about mining, and Pan became valued in the community for his size, being therefore much more efficient than the average Goblin at their mining. Moreover, he was far a more threatening presence to the cave-dwelling predators and mountain stalking monsters than his fairly short family, which only made him more popular.

    Yigwit called Pan into his hut one day with a grave expression. The world was dying, he said, and its one vocal proponent had been killed for daring to say something about it. Pan, furious at this injustice, asked how it was Yigwit even knew about all this. The Maester, it seemed, had been in contact with Kiernan, the man in question, and being something of an expert on all things Stone, had been advising him on the subject. Moreover, Yigwit explained, Pan's foster-sister Periwinkle had discovered the week previous a metal that enhanced twofold the effects of runic magic that it was charged with. The rebellion, what remained of it, could surely use the material in their weaponry, Yigwit surmised, but they had to know about it. Pan accepted his task willingly, and packing his bag with two samples of the metal, one blank and one charged with defensive wards, supplies, and strapping an axe forged by Periwinkle to his back, he set off for Taithros.

    Magic:
    No magic

    Skills:
    Pan is a miner by trade, so his skill set mostly falls under that purview. He is also reasonably handy with weaponry, if never properly trained.

    Strengths:

    • Strength (literally; breaking and hauling rocks for a living will do that)
    • Agile climber
    • Proficient and creative cook (to a goblin palate, anyhow)

    Weaknesses:

    • Struggles understanding anything more complicated than a wheelbarrow
    • Uneducated and mostly illiterate
    • Ignorant of the world beyond his borders

    Romanceable:
    ...Yyyyyes?

    Artist:
    https://cdnb.artstation.com/p/asset...a-bonacini-schizzi-uomo-bestia.jpg?1492373841

  • Penelope Pexori
    Horned | 26 | Bard
    Name:

    Penelope Pexori
    Prudence Hawthorne

    Nickname:

    Penny

    Race:

    Horned

    Age:

    26

    Home Territory:

    Tórlinn, Wyndfel

    Profession:

    Bard

    Description:

    Often times, you'll hear Penelope strumming a tune on her worn down lyre before you ever see her face. Her melodic voice is often described as being soothing, and pleasant to one's ear. She stands tall at an even 6'0" with sharp features and a permanent smile etched onto her face. She often wears the same deep purple coat, a gift she is sincerely grateful of. Otherwise Penelope can be most often seen wearing tunics ten sizes too large, cinched with thick belts to keep her figure about her. Two horns curl horizontally away from her forehead, tips pointing towards the sky. Her skin is an ashy gray tinged with a light blue color. From head to toe she is covered in minor scrapes and burns, the most obvious she keeps under wraps around her wrists and arm for when she is performing. Penelope has thick black hair with a few interwoven braids, and two bright blue eyes.

    Always at her side is a large black and gray cat named Jack.

    Personality:

    Penelope is good-natured at heart, an altruistic soul with the best of intentions and nothing to her name but the shirt on her back and the lyre in her hands. She'd give her last coin to a complete stranger for no better reason than because they'd asked. Although her generous nature makes many think the horned woman is a bit of a pushover, she is anything but. A girl still needs to eat, after all. Despite the open friendliness she displays, the horned woman never talks much about herself, preferring to keep her own life private.

    She tends to dote on her friends at every opportunity. And to Penelope everyone is a friend as soon as she knows their name. Penelope isn't one to display weakness, and has a difficult time accepting help from others. Call it pride, she just doesn't feel comfortable taking more than she needs. Considering her personality Penelope tries not to think about the obvious hypocrisy.

    Jack is the best. He's a sweet cat with so much love. Air biscuit master.

    Bio:

    Born in Tórlinn, Penelope Pexori was born Prudence Hawthorne to a well to do couple in support of the Empire. She spent the early years of her life in her mother's shadow, who worked the medical tents outside the larger mines and assisting those who had been injured mining or smithing. Her father was a soldier for the Taitellen Empire and his loyalty to the military was unquestionable. In time, he earned a promotion and the family was relocated to Taithros. It was during this stressful move in which Penelope first discovered her innate ability for healing. While her father was ecstatic, her mother showed signs of unease with every improvement the young girl made. At the age of fourteen, her father had her enrolled in the military to hone her abilities and support the Empire. Her mother didn't approve. Her parents constantly fought over whether or not it was appropriate for her to be enlisted at such a young age. Then, one day, her mother fell ill and within days lost her life to an unknown ailment.

    It wasn't until years later Penelope finally learned the truth. In a drunken episode, her father finally admitted he had poisoned her. It was for the good of the Empire, he had said, and that she was not a true supporter of their Emperor. When Penelope discovered her father was behind her mother's death, she was devastated. The last two years of her life she'd spent in the military on her father's order and decided she had to leave at the age of sixteen. They argued, they fought, and in the end Penelope stabbed her father in his sleep and ran without looking back. Penelope isn't sure if he's alive or dead. She hardly cares.

    It was on the road to nowhere she encountered Octavius and Beaumont. They were kind enough to let the starving girl travel with them, even going so far as to help her find a place in one of the many schools at Khal Miras dedicated to fine arts. It was Beaumont who encouraged her to take up the life of a bard after listening to her sing on the road. She dedicated her life to spreading joy and helping others, just as the two strangers had for her.

    There are very few people in the world who know of her actual history in Taithros. Penelope tells everyone she grew up in Khal Miras and her parents died when she was young to avoid the sensitive topic, and no one has questioned her otherwise.

    Magic:

    ❖ Restorative - Healing, Purifying

    Skills:

    ❖ Swordplay - Being in the military, even if only for a short while, came with some perks
    ❖ Identification of poisons and toxins - Training in the military has given Penelope the advantage of a wider array of knowledge of common poisons and toxins
    ❖ A variety of musical instruments, favors the lyre - She can play many instruments but this one is her favorite and the only one she owns
    ❖ Cooking - The young woman enjoys learning new recipes and is an excellent on the spot chef

    Strengths:

    ❖ Charismatic - friendly to anyone she meets and radiates confidence in her speech
    ❖ Purification - the branch of Restoration magic has always come naturally to Penelope
    ❖ Good natured - honest intentions, is always willing to go the extra mile for others

    Weaknesses:

    ❖ Hot headed - Hot tempered and foul mouthed, can be easily set off if one can find the right sore spots
    ❖ Lost - Directionally challenged despite her ability to navigate difficult terrain
    ❖ Reckless - Emotions tend to blind Penelope from rationalization, she has little regard for the consequences

    Romanceable:

    Absolutely.

    Art:
    Credit to WingBuffet Twitter

  • PHINEAS
    Human | 36 | Taithros, Taitelle
    Name:
    Phineas de Pemos

    Nicknames:
    Fin, Finny (for his lovers only)

    Race:
    Human

    Age:
    36

    Home Territory:
    Taithros, Taitelle

    Profession:
    Ghostwriter (and impromptu advisor)

    Description:


    Phineas is an impressive specimen of man, gifted with a stature of 6 ft and impeccably handsome features. His body is lean and in good form, though to say he was athletically built would be a generous statement. He is meticulously well-kept, with nary a hair out of place on his head nor on his face. His hands and skin are surprisingly soft, a key indicator of the pampered life he has lived up until this point. When he walks, it is with a slight swagger, limbs loose and relaxed as if he hadn’t a care in the world.

    His outer garments often betray him as someone of wealth. Try as he might, his penchant for finer things prevent him from wearing anything of poor quality. He tends to wear long tunics and high-collar shirts, staying away from the over-the-top robes his contemporaries insist on wearing. A steel sword hangs always at his side. At the hilt of the sword is scratched out hole where the family emblem used to sit.


    Personality:


    Endowed with a spritely and vivacious spirit, Phineas is not one to remain stagnant in his persona. Loving both life and all that comes with it, he lives each moment to the fullest, with a heady energy hardly found in men his age. He is a passionate man, whether it be in his love, his work, or anything else he sets his attentions too. Perhaps passionate to a fault; in his pursuit to experience all that life has to offer, Phineas is susceptible to making reckless decisions on a whim. He fancies himself a heroic adventurer of sorts and does not seem to realize that he is not, in fact, invincible.

    But he can be quite chivalrous. Phineas’ immense respect for the opposite sex has put him in the mindset that they must be treated well at all times, as one would care for their own wife. He loves all women deeply and is quick to pursue it; race matters little to him. His affection towards them has spawned him no small smattering of lovers (and perhaps children) throughout Taithros, although he does not confess to committing to any of them.


    Bio:


    Phineas has never worked a hard day in his life. Being born to the Pemos family name came with automatic merits: endless coffers, elite education, and the immense privilege of being part of one of the oldest families in Taitelle. His parent’s specific branch of the family oversaw tax collections for the main district of Portwatch and its surrounding residences. As the youngest of three, it did not fall on Phineas’ shoulders to continue the family empire. Instead, for a time he was pushed to pursue a career in the Imperial Guard. Back then, his skill with a sword seemed promising. Delighted, he felt his calling was to be a valiant knight and signed up with the Imperial Guard as soon as he was able to. The experience was tragically short-lived. He never spoke of what happened to anyone, but sources claimed it involved a sword, his foe’s severed arm, and his face planting itself into the ground. Phineas wisely decided on another career.

    He moved on to his next best talent: writing. It turned out that many high-ranking army officials and politicians were quite lacking in literacy and paid a pretty coin for someone to write speeches and letters for them. They needed something to infuse their image with intellect and charm, both of which Phineas possessed in apparent abundance. The demand for his written art placed him in a social sphere close to the Emperor and his associates, and by his 2nd year living in Taithros, he had firmly established himself as a fixture in Taithros’ elite society. Around this time, Phineas made a sizable contribution to the Magisteria Academy, where he would meet his soon-to-be good friend Magister Aona. He often attended her lectures on the guardian stones, and in private they discussed the state of the world and the wide scale corruption he witnessed when associating with his “high-class” friends. It was Aona who finally introduced him to the rebellion.

    Phineas took her invitation to heart. He accompanied her to a small meeting of five, and although met with open hostility, he quickly pledged his support. The rebel cause utilized him to write anonymous and highly discreet missive to try and rally further support for the rebellion. Further, he would incorporate their words into current works he published. A rebel could identify a coded message from other literary works by a distinct watermark in the bottom right corner; after performing a short spell, the true words reveal themselves. He continued this work up until Magister Kiernan was executed. After that, he sought out Aona at the Academy but found her nowhere to be found. She had disappeared without a trace, and Phineas feared for the worst. Two months have passed with no word yet from her. It is his ardent hope that he will find her safe from harm at the next rebel’s meeting.


    Magic:

    • Illusory (Glamour) - Adept, middle tier skill. Something that has more than once saved him from capture from would-be foes and spurned lovers.
    • Repel Enchantment - This enchantment on his sword allows any debris--blood, flesh, dirt--to be repelled instantly from his sword, keeping it clean at all times. A petty thing to most people, but necessary for Phineas.
    Skills:

    • Grand Orator - His immense skill with both spoken and written words allows him to give voice to the cause, as well as provide rousing speeches for low morale.
    • Bladesman - Phineas is an average swordsman, although he hardly utilizes it, preferring to spare weapons until no other recourse can be taken. The blade at his side is mostly for show.
    • Blockhead - He has a higher tolerance towards subliminal magic than most, and can sense when someone is employing it against him. In addition, his skull is very hard. Avoid headbutting him.
    • Sharpshooter - As with most things, he was tutored in archery in his youth. Phineas still retains a high level of skill as an archer despite his reluctance to engage in battle.
    • Escape Artist - He’s had much practice over the years of breaking free from constrainments. Armed with a meager lockpicking skill and flexibility, Phineas is able to worm his way out of most traps and cages set upon him by others.
    • Mirror Image - His most impressive skill is the ability to mimick the movements, mannerisms, and occasionally voice of a subject after quick study. Combined with his illusory magic, he is able to create a convincing doppelganger of another man.

    Strengths:

    • Wealth - Being of the Pemos family, Phineas possesses a considerable amount of money, as well as the deeds to certain holdings in the territory of Taitelle, as well as one in Estura.
    • Links - Both his line of work and his family have provided him with valuable connections with both government and army officials, although whether they will provide much use is questionable.
    • Humble - Despite his status in life, Phineas is reasonable in his view of himself, thinking he is no better than any other fool put on this planet. His lack of an ego allows him to function well in team capacities.
    • Renaissance Man - Having gained a general education of most studies as a youth, Phineas is a cultured, intelligent man. He retains knowledge easily.
    • Big Heart - Phineas is an affectionate man and loves freely. He is known to be a fantastic lover.

    Weaknesses:

    • Gore - Phineas has a strong reaction to anything bloody or gory. He simply cannot stomach it; he will swoon.
    • Magic-less - Offensive and defensive magic never quite took to him, so he's quite ignorant and ill-prepared for it.
    • Lustful Eye - Beautiful creatures, predominantly women, distract him, to the point of abandoning tasks entirely. His insatiable desire for companionship can be a hindrance to others.
    • Noncommittal - Phineas is fiercely independent and wayward. Nothing can tie him down permanently, which makes him a flight risk if a situation turns hairy.
    • Rich Boy - Having lived a life of ease, he is unused to hard work and rough, poor travel. He stands out easily as someone of higher birth no matter how hard he tries to blend in.

    Other Info:

    • He’s an absolutely atrocious flute player, but will insist on playing at any given opportunity. His response to criticism is that he’s still “learning”-- despite the fact he’s been playing since childhood.
    • Phineas is currently engaged to a rich heiress from Portwatch. He has been dodging the wedding for years now, which has moved his would-be bride to hire men to hunt him down and retrieve him. They have yet to succeed.
    • The Pemos family is widely despised by the common people for their widespread corruption and their collection of taxes for the Emperor. Although Phineas is cut from a different cloth, he often refrains from admitting his true identity upon first meeting individuals, especially fellow rebels.

    Romanceable:
    Yes, in every way

    Artist:
    (Include credit for FC artist, if applicable.)


  • Rahne O'Braoin
    Human/Female | 25 | Wyndfel
    Name:
    Rahne O'Braoin

    Nickname:
    None.

    Race:
    Human

    Age:
    25

    Home Territory:
    Wyndfel

    Profession:
    Ex-Soldier

    Description:
    Rahne stands proudly at a rather modest height of 5'4,the average for someone of her age. She has a strong, lean, well-muscled figure that screams fighter. As if they weren't enough, her body has various scars, across her arms and even the bridge of her nose and eye. It's quite rare to see her without some sort of injury. Her somewhat fair skin is often marred with bruises, or her fingers wrapped in bandages. Her hair is a salamander shade of orange and is kept straight and somewhat long, descending just past her shoulders. Her eyes are teal blue.

    Personality:

    Rahne is not the most intelligent person. She leaves much to be desired as far as formal education goes. She can handle the most basic of maths (so long as she can use her fingers), and she can read, though she isn't the fastest. Beyond that, she knows nothing, and even within that, she finds herself struggling often. She finds herself struggling when it comes to the nuance of social interactions, often misunderstanding a situation entirely, or even being fooled.

    But for what she lacks in intelligence she more than makes up for in ferocity, conviction, and heart. She's a stubborn and unyielding girl who, when convinced that she's right, is nigh impossible to convince otherwise. When she commits to something, she commits wholeheartedly, sticking with her decision until the end, even when the going gets tough. She always says what she means and means what she says, even if it comes across as offensive. She means well and tries to do right by everyone when she can.


    Bio:

    The eldest child born to her parents, Rahne was born and raised in Rola. As a child, she would go outside to play and often come back with scrapes and bruises from fighting with other kids or trying to do something dangerous to impress others as well as herself. This worried her parents to no end, and eventually resulted in her father to bringing her to assist him with logging, making her use her energy for something more productive than scrapping with other kids or pulling some dangerous stunt. The work was tough, but it was simple and rewarding, and Rahne quickly grew to appreciate it. But as she grew, her appreciation for the work was dwarfed by a sense of wanderlust, a desire for adventure.

    As Rahne grew older she began to grow bored with her life in the small town. It was pleasant, but it was repetitive. The days began to run into one another and she found herself unhappy with her life. It was on her 19th birthday that she made the only decision she could think of to get out of Rola and explore: enlist in the military. Unfortunately, her first few years as a soldier weren't what she thought they would be. While she was no longer bored with her life, it was far from how she thought it would be. While she had always pictured her life as a soldier as one of heroics and adventure, the cruelty of the empire did not sit well with her, affecting her sleep and even her appetite despite never partaking in the actions. Just sitting idly by and working with those who would follow through with any order, no matter how cruel was enough to make her regret her decision to enlist. She lasted only three years in the military before she defected.

    It wouldn't be long before she found herself shacking up with the Rebellion. To her, it was an easy choice to make. What the empire had become could not be allowed to stand any longer. If rebellion was the only way to bring about change then so be it. The only thing she could offer was her sword and skill, who would turn down another body to throw at the enemy?

    Magic:
    Runic - Offensive.
    Runic Belt - The runes engraved on her belt increase her physical abilities, allowing her to be stronger, faster and resist fatigue longer than she normally would. She can even take a few more blows than normal so long as the leather belt is wrapped around her waist.


    Skills:

    Swordsmanship
    Hand-To-Hand Combat
    Intimidation

    Strengths:

    Sturdy and Enduring
    Dedicated and strong willed
    Bold and unyielding
    Open and honest
    Agile

    Weaknesses:

    Rather stupid
    Terrible leader
    Speaks mind without thinking of the consequences
    Stubborn as a mule, not very flexible when it comes to opposing viewpoints
    Headstrong and rash
    Prideful

    Romanceable:
    Yes.
    Artist:
    Art is by Morry!


  • Eulalia Belemoux
    Lamia | 28 | Southern Luras
    Name:
    Eulalia Belemoux

    Nickname:
    Ula

    Race:
    Lamia

    Age:
    28

    Home Territory:
    Southern Luras

    Profession:
    Jeweler

    Description:

    When standing upright, Ula stands at an average height of 5’7” with a slim build. Her midnight-black hair falls past her waist and is often pulled back into a loose braid when she is working, revealing a pair of pointed ears. Her peachy skin is often decorated in various necklaces and jewels, a sign of pride of both her family and her own work. The toned muscles of her stomach slowly give away to iridescent black scales that seem more blue in the right light.

    Her full lips hide sharp teeth that she flashes liberally when irritated. Freckles span across the bridge of her nose. Her bright emerald eyes are narrow, framed by long lashes and dark eyebrows that are often raised in silent judgement.

    Personality:

    Ula had learned quickly that people didn’t like her based off of her family line. Who could blame them? Her family had profited off of the Empire for generations. She wears this prejudice like a badge, keeping her chin high and never apologizing for the family that she was born into. Her pride is often her downfall, as she refuses to admit that her family was in the wrong for opening up trade with the Empire.

    Her enemies would describe her as two-faced while her friends would describe her as resourceful. She is fiercely loyal to those who gain her favor. Her allies’ enemies become her enemies. When she isn’t playing a part, she truly enjoys the company of others and finds it easy to relax around those that she trusts.

    Bio:

    Ula had always been ambitious, even as a child. Half of her time was spent watching her father twist shining metals and jewels into beautiful chains and bracelets while she spent the other half studying magic with her estranged cousin.

    Long before Ula was born, when Merizoc surrendered control to the Taitellen Empire, her family had been one of the few to benefit. They had taken their fine jewels and carefully crafted silks and begun to send those most comfortable with leaving their home territory to Taithros to trade. Their business had gone as far as providing carefully crafted jewelry for officials in the Empire. Her father had been the one to take their goods to the capital, a job that was to be passed onto Ula one day. As a young lamia, she’d accompany her father on long expeditions to Taithros to trade. She’d been fascinated by the Aetherian Market, from the different species that dwelt there to the wide variety of goods.

    It was when her father was falsely accused of conspiring with the rebellion and promptly arrested that the market lost its luster. She’d been 19 and unable to convince the guards that her father was innocent before she was forced to return to Merizoc.

    Upon returning home, her cousin approached her with an offer to join the rebellion and save her father. Her association with the rebellion began as a way to get her father back but slowly became a cause that she was loyal to. She hadn’t realized that the Empire’s actions had truly damaged the rest of the world. While the search for her father didn’t yield any results, she did find a sense of belonging in the rebellion.

    She continued her father’s craft of creating beautiful jewelry to sell, only this time she used her constant traveling to deliver messages for the rebellion. Despite her father’s arrest all those years ago, her family still remained a renowned trader in the Aetherian Market. Her facade as the vain and materialistic daughter of the Belemoux family served her well, allowing her into upper class circles.

    Although she fights for the rebellion, in the end her loyalty is to her family and to making the Empire pay for taking her father from her.

    Magic:
    Subliminal - Alteration


    Skills:

    • Metal working; Ula is very good at creating accessories and light ornamental armor.
    • Gem identification; Ula can properly identify and work with most gems and precious metals.
    • Hand to Hand Combat; Ula learned how to defend herself once she realized that playing the role of a spy can be dangerous.

    Strengths:

    • Charisma; Ula’s tongue is as silver as the metals that she works with.
    • Speed; Ula is fast and relies on this heavily during fights.
    • Adaption; Ula is very good at ‘shedding her skin’ and becoming whoever she needs to be for different social situations.
    • Connections; Ula has many connections from her time at the Aetherian Market.

    Weaknesses:

    • Endurance; while Ula may be fast, her stamina keeps her from maintaining her speed for too long.
    • Cold Climates; Ula cannot handle cold climates and finds it difficult to accomplish anything, even if she is wearing enough layers to be warm.
    • Ranged Attacks; due to her nearsightedness, she cannot see ranged attacks until they are literally upon her.
    • Pride; Ula does not take criticism about herself or her family very well and is not easily swayed on her opinions, even if she's wrong.

    Romanceable:
    Yes

    Artist:
    wlop

 
Last edited by a moderator:

DinoFeather

just some pigeons in a people suit
Original poster
DONATING MEMBER
Invitation Status
, ,
Posting Speed
1-3 posts per week, One post per week, Slow As Molasses
Online Availability
Evenings, mostly.
Writing Levels
Advanced, Prestige, Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
No Preferences
Genres
Low/High Fantasy, Medieval Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Victorian-Era, Grimdark, Gothic-Horror, Supernatural (not the show), Limited Fandoms, Magic, Adventure.

Kholas and Linnae
21/3/1 193 TE | Sunset | Raining
DinoFeather DinoFeather | Lillian Gray Lillian Gray


  • The Randy Gander was a large building in the way of taverns, three stories high and built in the traditional early-Taitellen style with dark wood and white-washed stone exterior. In the fashion of taverns all over Aetheria, both the windows and the exterior weren’t routinely cleaned or well maintained, giving the building a slightly dingy appearance. An old, weathered sign bearing only a carved goose was mounted over the door, swaying on rusty hangings in the cold wind.

    The dim glow of firelight through the grime-streaked windows cast small pools of light on the muddy street like small beacons in the growing darkness of the evening. An increasingly steady cadence of rain beat on the tiled roof, though the sound was inaudible to those inside, drowned out by the clamour and commotion of patrons. The warm, lively atmosphere inside was a stark contrast to the utterly dismal weather that had been lingering in Taithros for the past several days. Grey skies and cold rain-- not the most promising conditions travellers could hope for. Whether or not it was an omen of the task at hand remained to be seen. For now, however, the cold and damp were far and away, staved off by warm fires, dry beds, and pleasant music. Most of all, there was privacy.

    Perhaps a crowded tavern wasn’t the place most would seek out for private affairs, especially not one doubling as a pleasure house. And located in the Imperial Capital, surrounded by patrols that could so easily mark the end of their endeavour. But, sometimes, hiding in plain sight was the easiest solution, and wasting an opportunity wasn’t something the rebellion could afford-- not at the moment, anyway. And so, here they were, in a tavern in Taithros, right under the Emperor’s beak of a nose.

    Here’s to hoping the good fortune lasts.

    An odd insight, perhaps, considering what set them on this path to begin with. Exposure of plans and public beheading wasn’t something Kholas considered “good fortune,” but he’d held his tongue out of gratitude. Sniping at the pub owner who was risking her both life and livelihood to aid them wasn’t worth the details. For the past week and a half, they’d been permitted to stay free of charge, paying only a minimal fee for food and drink. Now, the woman was permitting a full rebellion meeting to take place in her establishment and offering to put the others up free of charge as well. She’d done more than most. Perhaps she’d been wishing the good fortune for herself.

    Stifling a yawn, the goblin shifted in his seat and tugged the dark wool cloak tighter around his slim shoulders and looked up at the nymph seated across from him. She looked paler than usual and slightly wilted, and he was sure that her extended stay in the city was not doing her any favours. Of course, he wasn’t sure he was looking much better. Though not impacted by the waning of the world, he hadn’t slept well lately, even in the warm, secure confines of the tavern.

    While it wasn’t uncommon for him to wake in the small hours of the morning to make notes, or even to forego sleep entirely to revisit plans, the increasing stress and anxiety around what they were about to attempt had taken its toll. Dark circles that even kohl couldn’t hide rimmed his eyes and the tension that had settled on him after Kiernan’s death had only increased, leaving him looking drawn and pale.

    Between the two of them, they would cut an interesting image for those soon to arrive.

    “You’d best perk up, Brambles,” Kholas said dryly, smoothing out a scroll of paper against the table and glancing down at it. “You’re starting to look like an aging bouquet. Doesn’t inspire much confidence.”

    “No, I suppose it does not.” Linnae smiled quietly to herself, nursing a full cup of liquid that smelled far too sweet to be any sort of liquor. “I thought that was why we kept you around, Sunshine. You always know just what to say.”

    The nymph hardly moved other than to tilt her head in her companion’s general direction, letting her eyes shift the rest of the way to give Kholas a look of tired appreciation from behind the hood of her heavy green cloak. She was fatigued, yes, and she’d been confined within the walls of Taithros for too long. With the state of the world as it was, there was always an uncertain threat looming overhead-- manifested as an illness even she didn’t understand.

    Although passable for a human in the dim light, once up close it was more clear that Linnae was something else entirely. She kept her hood drawn at all times, but on the back of her head there were odd angles and folds where the branch-like protrusions on her head met the green cloth. Small leaves sprouted on her skin, although she hadn’t seen any for weeks now. The most notable feature, aside from the literal branches in place of having a head of hair, were perhaps the bright red berries that framed her olive-toned face.

    “Well, you usually know what to say.” Linnae tapped the cup in her hands with her fingertips, the simple noise was immediately drowned out by the clamour and general rowdiness above them. “Commenting on the age of a woman? Oh, Kho. An aging bouquet, honestly.”

    She finally took a sip from the sickly sweet-scented liquid, downing half of its content in one gulp. Linnae knew what he really meant though. It was an appropriate metaphor.

    “And here I thought you preferred honesty,” the goblin mused as he continued to glance over the document spread on the table. How many people were going to show up? Two were expected, maybe even three, but beyond that, he could only guess. And hope. How many people had even received the letter? How many would come with such scant details and, of those, how many would be willing to risk everything?

    Not that there were many options left.

    Above them, Kholas could hear the bustle of the tavern as more and more patrons made their way in for the evening. He and Linnae were tucked away below the main room, down in the spacious storage cellar. Many of the crates and wine barrels had been shifted to make a den-like area around an old wood-burning stove. A circular, scrubbed wood table had been moved down for them, along with various chairs and a large rug. Their few belongings were tucked up on one of the several broken bedframes that had also been pushed aside.

    A few twanging notes carried faintly down through the floor, followed by a raucous cheer from the patrons. A moment later, a bright voice began to sing.

  • The Randy Gander is three stories tall and your standard “ye olde tavern.” The interior is pretty clean and there are several bartenders, all wearing blue tunics or blouses. The main floor is the tavern area and is filled with numerous tables, there are stools at the bar, and there’s a growing number of patrons. Toward the wall across from the bar is a slightly elevated platform where Brandi has just begun playing and singing.

    Floors two and three are rooms for rent and where living quarters for the courtesans and owner are.

    When requested, Chasma will lead you to a basement area where Kho and Linnae are waiting. Those with wards may notice there is a glamour up in the bar, though it is subtle and very well done. If you ask Chasma about the glamour, they will tell you it's to make the occupants more visually appealing. If another patron asks where they are going, Chasma will call it the “basement affair, not open to the public."



    Name:
    Chasma

    Race:
    Horned

    Profession:
    Courtesan and Rebel Supporter

    Descriptors:
    average height, androgynous, willowy, pleasant, soft-spoken

    Magic:
    Subliminal - Soothing

  • 5 Lekthas, 3rd Quarter of the Crone, 192 TE

    I regret to inform you that the rumours are true: the Heart of Aetheria is dying.

    I understand that a letter of this nature seems an unusual method of communicating this, but in the present circumstances, it is a necessary precaution: I cannot risk direct communication at this time. We are reaching a critical situation and action must be taken. As you read this, I am quietly assembling a group of scholars, mages, and soldiers who support the cause, and I must ask that this be kept secret, at least for now.

    We are now beginning to see the effects of our actions those years ago, and the situation is dire. Reports from coastal cities are steadily increasing, bringing messages of failing crops and emaciated cattle. Hunters are taking less prey and rates of wildlife predation have increased far beyond what is common in a dormancy cycle. Thus far, these reports have been kept quiet. The Empire was sending meagre relief efforts to the affected areas, though it quickly became far more than they could handle. The efforts are being halted, as the Emperor has decided the plight of these areas must be due to rebel sabotage and does not merit attention or aide.

    Fatalities are on the rise as magical instability increases- something I’m sure you have already seen. Where possible, these deaths are also being attributed to rebel attacks and, otherwise, ignored. They are refusing to see what is plainly before their eyes, and Aetheria and all her people are going to pay the price.

    As you know, fifty-one years ago, the Empire forcibly removed the guard stones from the Tree. In those fifty-one years, the Tree has been unable to enter dormancy and revitalize itself. The argument was that no dormancy meant limitless prosperity-- but our research indicates that without dormancy cycles, the Tree can neither regulate magic nor support prosperity in the land.

    Without dormancy cycles, I am confident the Tree will die.

    No matter how many times he is confronted with evidence, the Emperor refuses to listen. I worry he is so blinded by the threat of revolution and repercussions of what it would mean if our research is correct (which it is), he refuses to see the truth. The more we press him to take action, the more obstinate he becomes.

    Two weeks ago, our most outspoken scholar, Magister Avelissa, was sent to Portwatch to “observe the conditions there,” and we have not heard from her since… I now fear the worst.

    The crystalline guard stones removed from the tree have been destroyed, save for the sample specimens that remain in our study. I plan to take these pieces, journey through the Forest of the Ancients, and return them to the Tree. Experiments with the crystals and bark samples taken from the Tree have given us reason to believe that even the smallest piece of crystal may act as a catalyst and restore what we so foolishly removed.

    This will not be an easy undertaking, especially when the Empire discovers what I am doing, as I have no doubt they will. However, it is a risk I am willing to take- and a risk that is necessary if we are to preserve the Aetheria we know and love. Should the Heart of Aetheria be lost, so too shall we.

    Please send return word using the same enchantment by which this message was concealed. If you are interested in furthering your support, I will then contact you with the date, time, and location of our first gathering to discuss options and concerns, and determine how best we may proceed.

    For dissolution, harmony, and a free Aetheria!


    - Kiernan

    6-3-1, 193 TE

    If you think we're giving up because of a little public execution, you are sorely mistaken. To those who wish to actually make a contribution to the world that enables your existence, be at the Randy Gander in the Taithros outskirts by sundown on 21/3/1. Request a room with Chasma-- and don't be a transparent fuckass. If you're followed, you're shit out of luck. Bring ideas, a pack, and a can-do attitude. No one else is going to save our asses.
 
Last edited:

Red Thunder

A Warrior in a Garden
Invitation Status
Posting Speed
1-3 posts per week, One post per week, Slow As Molasses
Writing Levels
Adept, Advanced, Prestige
Preferred Character Gender
Male, Female, Primarily Prefer Male
Genres
Fantasy, SciFi, Modern, Magical
PAN TALL-BONES​
x

Something stank. Something stank very badly. It caused the forehead to furrow, lifting the cheeks and the labial folds around the nose with them, in the body's subconscious effort to spare the mind the olfactory assault. It was strangely earthy, a mix of musk and clay touched with sulfur, and underlined by a putrid essence of days worth of rancid sweat.

Pan Tall-Bones stood unmoving with arms raised, ignoring or perhaps just unaware of the sidelong glances he was receiving from passersby. Whispers followed the looks, people discussing in hushed tones the strange, foul-smelling lad who apparently worshipped the storm itself.

It'd been the first real wash he'd had since leaving his home in the Heights, oh, it felt like months ago. Pan smiled in appreciation as weeks of road filth fell from his clothes and his skin. He stayed that way for an uncomfortably long moment, until finally he relaxed his arms. The rain had saturated everything, but when your life was mine-dust under fingernails and filling your fur, you learned to appreciate a good soaking. There was besides nothing on his person to be ruined by it; everything of value was in his pack. Including Yigwit's metals. And speaking of, they needed delivering.

“'Scuse me, miss!” Pan gestured to a passing woman, a Horned dressed well against the deluge in an oiled hooded cloak. She turned and looked down, bring a full head taller than the Satyr that addressed her in his drawl of an accent. “Yeah, sorry, miss, but I gotta find the ‘Randy Gander’ or some such, and I ain't gotta clue where it is.”

“It's- Why should I know where that place is?” Her face drew up in feigned offense.

“I dunno; kinda figured it might be a popular joint. Meetin’ some frie- freshly poured mugs of ale. Cause I'm thirsty. And nothin’ else.”

“I'm sure.” She gestured down the street surreptitiously. “That way.”

“Thank ya kindly, miss!”

Pan turned on his heel and strode off in the direction his guide had indicated. She watched him leave, slight bemusement on her face. Too many people in Taithros were mean and rude, and the country bumpkin's rough manners had been- refreshing. She touched her cloak where a talisman hung underneath: two stags locked in combat, a holy symbol.

“May your task bear fruit,” she muttered, and turned to resume her own.

Pan reached the Randy Gander in short time. He pushed the door open eagerly, clueless as to what might greet him. Excitement and baited breath seemed to fill the tavern, a cheer having died as Pan entered. He cocked his head, the question that had been birthed in his mind being answered before it made its way to his mouth. A bard, it seemed, had stolen the attention of all within the spacious room.

But Pan had a mission. Steeling his jaw but sailing to prevent an occasional glance toward the musician, he weaved his way to the bar. A person stood behind it. Soft and slight, they looked- well, like a sickly, malnourished Satyr to Pan. His eyes scanned their face, filled with concern. But no; gawking was rude, and he had a job.

“Hey, uh. Sir?” He hadn't a clue whether that was right, but he couldn't just say ‘hey, you’. “Um- I'm trying to find… a room? From a- Chasma?”

“Certainly,” came the gentle reply, and Chasma smiled. Without any to do, they turned and headed away from the main room. Casting a glance backward, Pan followed slowly, still dripping wet from the rain. A short trip down the stairs while Chasma waited at the door, and Pan found himself staring rather obviously at the two figures who yet occupied the space. The hooded figure was as strange a form as ever the Satyr was used to, but the Goblin at least was familiar.

“You Mr. Kholas?” He approached the Goblin, hand presented for a proffered handshake. “I'm supposed to deliver something to ya. If- ya know, if that's ok.”

His gaze drifted to the other figure, and his heart jumped. What were those red bumps all over the creature's face? Was it… sick? He swallowed the question; first thing first.

 
Last edited:

Spectre of the Fade

Nerd
DONATING MEMBER
Invitation Status
,
Posting Speed
1-3 posts per week, One post per week, Slow As Molasses
Writing Levels
Intermediate, Adept, Advanced
Preferred Character Gender
Primarily Prefer Male
Genres
Fantasy, Sci-fi, Modern, Apocalypse, Action and adventure, Steampunk, Dieselpunk, People with Powers, some historical eras, lots and lots of other things. Feel free to ask.
Malik Shendoa and Rahne O'Braoin
Collab between Spectre of the Fade Spectre of the Fade and SkittlesAndSpike SkittlesAndSpike
The road back to Taithros had been long in both the literal and metaphorical sense for the pair of deserters that were making their way toward the city. Kiernan’s execution had robbed them both of what sanctuary they had found with the Rebellion.

Malik, personally, was worried. About the situation, about the letter, about whatever tattered remains of the Rebellion might still be floating around. He worried about his companion and himself, and he worried that the letter which drew them to the capital of the fucking Empire was a trap. Some gut instinct told him the location was far too bold for a trap set by any agent of Petros, but still he worried. The rain that dripped down the hood which covered his face and soaked into the bunched cloth around his shoulders seemed to suit his mood.

...Well, some might call it rain. Malik called it bird piss, but he’d grown up on the coast of Ventha. He didn’t call it rain until the pitter patter was a constant barrage of noise. Even so, the cold drizzle and the failing light of the setting sun felt apt. A little depressing, maybe, but apt.

How are you feeling, Rahne?” he asked, casting his eyes toward his companion.

Ah’m doing alright!” Came Rahne’s response, quick and cheery, almost, despite the downpour the two of them were trudging through. The cloak she wore in an attempt to protect herself from the rain had long since been soaked. The hood attached had never made it over her head, she never bothered to put it on, and so her face and hair were rather soaked. “But ah’d be lyin’ if I didn’t admit that I was a little worried. I dunno what to expect.” She was worried, and it was evident in both, her speech and her body language.

When she read the letter for the first time, her heart was set on heading to the capital, just to figure what was what. She had faith that there was a good reason to meet in what was by far the most dangerous city for a rebel, there had to be. But it could be something much, much worse. “Ah’ keep thinkin’, what if it’s a trap? What if they catch some ‘a the others.” Keyword being others. She was worried for her and Malik, yes, but she was confident that they could take care of themselves. They’d done alright so far.

Our numbers are small enough. We don’t need ta’ waltz into an ambush an’ end up scurryin’ off inta’ the wind anymore than we already are.

Hard for me to believe any agent of the Empire would have the balls to set a trap right outside the city walls,” Malik offered with smile meant to be reassuring, blue eyes trailing toward that very wall, standing dark and imposing past the city’s outlying buildings. Tree’s Grace, he was glad they wouldn’t have to smuggle themselves past the guards at the gates. With Rahne’s fiercely distinctive head of hair and the scars marking his own face, they’d certainly stand out, which meant glamours, which meant work to find someone who would do glamours for them.

Better to not think about it.

Luring all of us out to some nowhere town for a quick date with a knife to the back is more the Empire’s style,” he continued, but his casual tone couldn’t cover the tension in his voice. Or the tension in his back, and the fist gripping his cloak closed so it covered his armor.

Ah’ suppose yer’ right,” Rahne responded, mulling it over for a brief second, “That’s just askin’ fer’ trouble, right? Ah’ mean, with so many people around, tryin’ ta start a fight wouldn’t go so well.” The point he made did put her at ease somewhat. So maybe it really was a meeting, then. A real meeting.

But then wonder, why here?” She narrowed her eyes at the city walls. It looked so much more imposing now than when she had first joined the military. “Meetin’ under tha’ enemy’s nose is pretty smart, now that ah’m thinkin’ about it. Who’d expect us ta’ be hidin’ in their home?” Her smug grin could be heard in her voice, now. “All we’ve gotta do is not get caught.

With those words, she remembered to raise her hood over her head, now that they were closer to the city walls. If either of them were recognized, then that would ruin everything right away. “Ah’ think that’ll be easy though. Ah’ just hope that others will show up. A meetin’ like this has got ta’ be juicy.

Juicy? Certainly. Especially since, if Malik’s memory served him well, the Randy Gander was both a tavern and a pleasure house. He’d never been inside, but he’d spent enough time in Taithros as a young soldier that he was familiar with the local bars and entertainment.

There’ll be at least three of us.” Someone had to send the letters, after all. “That’ll have to be enough,” Malik affirmed, a stubborn seriousness to his tone. Hard to imagine only three people could successfully journey into the Forest, but Malik was committed. He’d poured all he had into the Empire for far too long; the Rebellion would get nothing less. And the whole Tree business? Well above his head, but it sounded worthy enough.

Right! Three of us will have ta’ do!” The numbers didn’t seem to phase Rahne. After all, as long as there was one able-bodied person to fight, then it wasn’t the end.

We’re looking for a sign with a wooden goose,” Malik reminded as the pair passed the first loose cluster of buildings on the road to the capital. Not too far now, and well before the sun dipped below the horizon. Good.

A sign with a wooden goose. Got it.” Rahne repeated the description Malik had given her aloud several times as they walked, doing her best to commit it to memory as she scanned the many buildings and signs. It wasn’t long until she spotted the sign, grinning from ear to ear upon seeing the wooden gander. “Ah’ found it!” She exclaimed, pointing a finger at the sign.

Rahne’s exclamation pulled Malik’s attention away from the group of passerby who’d been eyeing him - he’d been eyeing them right back, of course. Finding their destination was plenty reason to look away, though, and sure enough, there it was. The Randy Gander.

Good spotting,” he offered with a smile, bumping Rahne with his elbow as he moved toward the tavern’s door. He self-consciously adjusted the hood that hid his face before pushing the door open, only to be immediately buffeted by tavern noise and the playing of the bard claiming the little stage across from the bar. Holding the door so Rahne could step inside, Malik swept one last look over the road. Guards would be hard to miss and he hadn’t spotted any yet, but one could never be too careful.

Rahne stepped inside after Malik, making a small noise of relief. She enjoyed the rain, but only to a point. Between the dry and warmth of the tavern and the song of the bard, the atmosphere indoors was the exact opposite of the outside. Warm and welcoming. She was tempted to take off her hood, and almost did just that, but quickly remembered they were still keeping a low profile, and so left it on.

The door closed with a firm noise, leaving the pair to look over the tavern’s patrons. Malik took a moment to wistfully wish he had the time and coin for a drink, then made his way over to the bar.

My companion and I are looking for a room with Chasma,” he murmured as soon as he grabbed the attention of one of the tavern staff. He got a knowing smile in return, and soon the pleasant Horned appeared to guide the pair down to the basement.

Apprehension wrote itself into the lines of Malik’s face, but that didn’t keep him from following Chasma down the stairs and toward a space that looked to be cleared specifically for this purpose. Waiting there were two figures - one was roughly human-like and clad in a hood, the other looked to be a goblin wrapped in dark wool. Neither looked particularly well-rested, and that fact was what relaxed Malik’s suspicions about this being a trap. He wasn’t particularly well rested, either. These were dangerous times.

There was a third figure as well, a satyr, but he looked to be a new arrival, same as Malik and Rahne, so it was to the seated pair that Malik turned to as he pulled back his wet hood. No need to hide his face, now.

Malik Shendoa, reporting. Got the pack and the can do attitude, but I’m not exactly an ideas man.

Seeing Malik remove his hood, Rahne did the same thing, wasting no time in introducing herself. “Rahne O’Braoin! Reportin’ for duty!” Counting herself, Malik and the three strangers, that made a total of...five! Five people so far! “Glad it’s more than just the two of us.
 

Jorick

Magnificent Bastard
Invitation Status
Posting Speed
One post per week, Slow As Molasses
Writing Levels
Adept, Advanced, Prestige, Douche, Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
Male, Female
Genres
Fantasy is my #1; I will give almost anything a chance if it has strong fantasy elements. Post apocalyptic, superhero, alternate history, science fantasy, some supernatural, romance, and a few fandoms (especially Game of Thrones) are also likely to catch my eye.
The rain pitter-pattering along the roof made for a soothing background noise, barely heard beneath Brandi's song and the chatter of the patrons of the Randy Gander. Kacius had been surprised but quite pleased when he saw that the meeting of the rebels was to take place in one of his favorite taverns in the city, and he'd decided to take a bit of time to enjoy the place before getting down to business. Whenever he was coming back to Taithros from the northwest and had coin to spend and time to waste, the Randy Gander was his venue of choice. The ladies there all appeared more enticing than in other taverns, which had been explained to him more than once before as some kind of magic but he hadn't bothered to remember the details, and that certainly made it more fun than similar taverns. He'd pick elsewhere if he was just after a good drink, of course, but it wasn't often that Kacius would choose just good booze when he could have decent booze and a romp with one of the gorgeous courtesans instead.

As the song wound down, Kacius tossed a coin into the tiny pile of tips for the singer that had only started to build for the evening, then downed the last two mouthfuls of ale from his mug and made for the counter. Moving around inside with his pack and full traveling gear still on under his cloak was less than comfortable, but he made do. He caught the attention of one of the bartenders, one who he recognized but wouldn't have been able to name if his life was on the line, and flashed a crooked grin at the man. "I'd like a room, my friend. With Chasma, if she's available." The bartender looked mildly surprised, though it was impossible to tell whether it was because he recalled that Kacius never asked for a specific courtesan or because he didn't expect a semi-regular patron to be part of the special meeting. Chasma herself was a somewhat familiar sight once she appeared, though he didn't recall spending any personal time with her in the past, and Kacius busied himself with flirtatious flattery as she led him down to the basement. The little smile on her face could've been anything from pleased satisfaction with his words to amused confusion, but by the time she left him at the bottom of the stairs he was absolutely certain she enjoyed his chattering and was at least a little smitten with him.

The basement meeting room was nothing special, in fact a little dingy and depressing compared to the lively atmosphere upstairs, but Kacius supposed that was fitting for a clandestine meeting. The people already present were an interesting lot, not exactly the shady looking folks he'd been expecting when imagining the meeting, but he'd take new and interesting over the thugs and crooks he normally worked with any day. There was a goblin that he didn't recognize sitting in the room, a satyr who looked oddly familiar standing and looking at the goblin, a human fellow who he'd never met but looked like he could handle himself in a fight, a human lady with vibrant orange hair who also looked like a fighter of some kind, and...

"Linnae!" Kacius brushed past the assorted standing strangers to plop down into a chair next to her. He'd done some jobs for the nymph in the past, generally acquiring seeds from some sort of rare or exotic plants and smuggling them back to her, but it had been a little while since the last one. "I figured you'd be here, and I found something you might like. I don't think it's rare or anything because I got it from this field in Ventha that was FULL of them, but they've got purple and yellow petals and they're very pretty. Also very large thorns, but I only got cut maybe three times. I think it's a kind of rose maybe? They might look nice in your garden." As he spoke, he reached around into his pack and pulled out a little cloth pouch, which he set down in front of Linnae rather than waiting for her to take it. "It's some of those, uh... I don't know what they're called, you probably told me before, but the little fruit things with the seeds inside."

Kacius gave her a proud grin, satisfied that she would be happy with the gift even before he saw any glimmer of a reaction, and turned to observe the rest of the room with curiosity. "Hello there, new friends. I'm Kacius. Nice to meet you!" His sudden exclamation was boisterous and earnest, certainly not the kind of mood one would expect from a secret meeting of rebels, but he wasn't going to let that stop him from being himself. Kacius had already decided that he would have to be the heart and morale booster of this dour lot, even before he'd seen any of them or confirmed their dourness, and he would stick to that plan no matter what.
 

Doctor Jax

Lord of the Mice
Invitation Status
,
Posting Speed
1-3 posts per week
Online Availability
3PM CST - 9 PM CST
Writing Levels
Intermediate, Adept, Advanced, Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
Male, Female, , No Preferences
Genres
Fantasy, Scifi, Urban Fantasy, Horror
The ceiling was tiled in intricate patterns, the apartment well-furnished, the accouterments cozy though too tidy to be a place someone spent time in for long. A set of eyes traced those patterns above her head, laying upon her back in her bed, and though they registered the swirls and floral patterns, her mind was far elsewhere. Tonight was to be that fated meeting with the rest of the rebellion, though the likelihood of that being a trap was... increasingly high, the longer she ruminated upon it.

As well it should be. Eyes meeting hers, unreadable. The ax swung again. A deafening, solid thump. The soft shh of a head inside a reed basket. Applause. Numbness. And drink. So much drink. Yet, perhaps it would be better for the ax to finally fall, rather than abide with bated breath for its coming.

But there was much to lose, a head foremost. And other things besides. No, she would act with not undue caution, for several reasons. Aetheria as a whole, for one. And for two...

She rolled onto her side, facing the high, stained-glass window framing the alcove in which her bed rested. Another body, male, young, stretched out in a nap. Her eyes fell over him with fondness, from black curling hair to thick shoulder to light skin. His beard was trimmed tight, his face slack with slumber, a far change from his usual cool but assessing expression in class. A pang of guilt raced through her. She sincerely hoped their discretion proved true this past year. Should she be found out, alongside his association with her... It did not bear thinking about.

Cloven hooves met the floor soundlessly, and she moved to dress in evening clothes. An oiled cloak fell over her slender proportions, becoming swiftly a shapeless mass. She forewent her typical jewelry in bid for anonymity, walking back towards the sitting area to pen a short note --

"Goin' somewhere?" a quiet, bass voice asked, colored by a strange accent, and she turned to see Blaine propped on an elbow, looking her over. She smiled warmly, walking back to him. She bent down to give him a gentle peck, their gaze lingering.

"Nowhere special," she assured. He caught her by the wrist, with sudden fervor. She kept her gaze neutral, as he softly took her hand. He did not look at her as he squeezed it. Bright black eyes knowingly traced her face, and a spike of realization speared her. He knew. Not everything, but enough. He was frightfully perceptive.

"Stay safe, Mel."

"... Should I be offended, in that you think I would not be?"

His last scoff at her parting joke had rung in her head, a small warmth to carry out into the cold, rainy night. The Randy Gander was easy enough to find, a hotspot for gossip, for Academy students lacking taste, for all manner of unsavory doings. Her sort of place, if she was honest. She walked in as if she had been here many a time before, asking for Chasma lightly. Her request was filled shortly, and she inclined her head politely to lead the way. Her eyes continued to survey her surroundings, the tavern seeming to slow as she took in the milieu. Not a single person out of place... And the exits were plenty here. Not a good place for an ambush. However, as they headed for the basement, Mel quietly quailed. One entrance - one exit. A predicament of a rendezvous...

Her paranoia was quickly allayed. The group sitting at the table was ragtag, but a few she recognized. She was surprised to see Kacius, her some-time guard and guide, among those in attendance, though the familiar outline of Kho's small form gave her a measure more of confidence. The others were less known - two soldiers, from the look of them, one of her kinfolk who... frankly stank to high heaven of wet fur (she was practiced in maintaining a neutral expression), and a woman she had not met but seemed familiar with Kho. Kacius was, of course, introducing himself loudly to the rest, and she had to quirk a smile at that.

"Well-met, sir, again," she stated as she strode to the table, sitting down in a vacant chair. "I would prefer I keep my name private for the time being, at least until I hear what we are here to meet about. I will understand if others wish the same." She was aware that such would perhaps produce paranoia in the others about the table, but it was for their benefit as well. One could not give up a name they did not know.
 

Nemopedia

Chaotic Lawful
Invitation Status
Not accepting invites at this time
Posting Speed
Slow As Molasses
Online Availability
GMT +1/2 | CET/CEST | Random, mostly on my phone
Writing Levels
Intermediate, Adept, Advanced, Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
No Preferences
Genres
Tragedy, Psychological, Historical, Steampunk, Mystery, Thriller, Sci-fi, see tag list for more...
For over a year now Pyre had returned to the city, but not once did he seek out his friends in the Randy Gander. In part it was because there had been too much swirling around. A decade long travel was bound to bring a boatload of work upon his return, both in administration as in life. Added to it came a stern warning from his physician to stay away from alcohol. And then there was a lack of urge to seek a warm body. However, the tavern had deserved better attention from Pyre, much better after a decade of absence.

“Thought I’d hop by and try some fresh meat. Heard that Chasma is good,” Pyre smirked, leaning against the bar as if no time had passed at all. The face behind the counter wasn’t one he recognised, but the mood was all the same. Despite the time that had lapsed the tavern had hardly changed at all. If it wasn't for the note Pyre would have quickly forgotten what his purpose was here and slipped right back into his old habits.

A smack to the back of his head brought him back. “You’re late and you offer no drink or story. I’m hurt, Pyre.”

Turning around Pyre didn’t have to guess to know who this was, a broad smile playing on his face as he opened his arms for his old friend. “Another time,” he promised after the hug, slipping a pouch of money to the other.

A horned glided over to Pyre, interrupting the meeting. A mysterious smile was seen on their lips as they extended a hand. Offering his arm Pyre pulled the horned close, a wink on his face. “I’m here to enjoy my youth. Treat yourself, or the rest!” the professor called over his shoulder, nodding to the money he had slipped over, before slinging an arm around Chasma.

“Haven’t seen you around, you must be new,” he questioned, but the horned didn’t answer as he was led to the basement. Once out of sight Pyre let go of Chasma and proceeded alone through the door the horned pointed at.

Brazing himself for what was to come Pyre waltzed into the room, boots sounding heavy on the floor. He had never been known for his brisk and light steps. “Goodday you lot,” the man waltzed in, hands resting on his back. Scanning over the group that had already arrived the man felt amused at the variety of them. As if a teacher had wondered what group would be most unlikely to interact with each other if not thrown together for a project now. Humans, Goblins, Nymphs... None were familiar, until...

“Kholas?” There was surprise as Pyre recognised his colleague from the Academy. Surprise and at the same time it wasn't. Kiernan and Kholas were known to be friends.

Grinning Pyre went straight for the goblin, his steps once more booming. “Now I’m sure this isn’t a bust. With someone as careful as you!” he expressed himself elated, as if greeting an old friend.






Professor Moysei Pyre
 

Kuno

Django Jane
DONATING MEMBER
Posting Speed
One post per day, 1-3 posts per week, One post per week
Writing Levels
Intermediate, Adept, Advanced, Prestige, Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
No Preferences
Genres
Fantasy, Sci fi, Romance, Historical, Modern, Supernatural
There were far too many people in the ballroom. Far too many gowns, far too many perfumes, and far too many varied food dishes intermingling and coalescing to create one ungodly mix of scents that offended one’s senses. A beautiful scene no less, but...pungent.

Almost as pungent as Captain John’s breath.

Phineas blinked as more spittle from the captain’s mouth flew at his face and chin. The man had worked himself up into a drunken tirade and somehow found Phineas to be a suitable listening ear--as well as a few other hapless victims. Not that he was disinclined to stay. The good captain drew plenty an eye with his antics, which was exactly what he wanted. None could say that they had not seen the youngest de Pemos entertained at the captain’s party. None would be able to remember him leaving either.

“Outrageous! I say, the very idea of some vagabond in my bed--”

“The very idea,” Phineas echoed, dabbing at his face with a handkerchief.

“--with my wife. Can you imagine--”

“I can scarcely imagine.”

Indeed, he could not imagine such a thing; not when the captain’s wife already had a young bard to warm her backside. And it was the captain’s own daughter who had told him that. Intimacy made gossip flow freely, he supposed. Or perhaps they were a family foreign to the simple concept of loyalty, like so many other nobles. Phineas took a generous sip of his goblet, eyes flickering towards the three moon’s ascents. The hour was growing late. It was time he went on his way.

Thankfully, the Captain had alighted his eyes on a new victim. Phineas slipped away behind a passing servant and down through the back hall, his shoes clicking on the floor. The Captain’s estate was similar to his own in Portwatch. The servant’s hall was bound to be in the left wing, around the corner from the kitchen. Phineas intended to leave through the servant’s stairway. With any luck, he would reach the meeting before it was over.

“Where are you going?”

Phineas whirled around to face a young woman silhouetted by the wall hangings and candlelight. At closer examination, he recognized her. Enmai: the captain’s youngest daughter. And a voracious gossip.

Shit.

“I’m sorry,” He began warmly, “It’s just...I’m terribly exhausted, but I’d hate to offend your parents by leaving early. Do you know another, back way out perhaps?”

Enmai walked towards him in measured steps. A pace away, she stopped, an unreadable expression on her face. Phineas waited with bated breath.

“Yes,” She finally breathed. Phineas smiled encouragingly, before noticing the color filling her cheeks. He squinted. “Yes...I know a way out. Through the back hall. You can...climb down from my bedroom window and--”

Her words sang of entrapment. Another night, and he would’ve been inclined to humor her. But now?

“No, nevermind, my dear. That’s alright.” He cut her off, brushing past her. “I’ll simply go down the servant’s stairway. Good night!”

She was so stunned by his abrupt dismissal that she stood rooted to the spot, gaping after him. At length, she apparently mustered the courage to go after him. But by then he was gone, not trusting her naivete alone to keep her from chasing after him. The rain came down in torrents while he stepped out into the night. He made sure to pull up his cloak before stepping away from the protection of the walls, out into the cobblestone streets.

The Randy Gander was an establishment he was hardly a stranger to. It was not lost on him the brazenness of the rebels meeting there. Certain traitors all congregating under the eyes and ears of the Emperor’s men; should someone discover them, the guillotine would be waiting. Or perhap something worse in his case. The Emperor feelings towards nobles had grown worse in the passing years, the problem no doubt excarberated by his eldest brother’s ceaseless ass-kissing. Maybe he would be drawn and quartered if discovered. Or something far more sinister, concocted from the depths of the mad man’s mind. Either way, he had to doubly cautious.

So, he’d chosen to wear a glamour Guion: a bedraggled, lazy-eyed, snaggle-toothed fishman who haggled oysters and other prized wares with Phineas’ head chef. He moved as if he dragged the weight of the world on his right shin and spat wherever spit could fly. Phineas had only imitated him once before, but it’d been enough to convince his head chef. Good enough for a ruse, then. Phineas-Guion entered the tavern with little fanfare and immediately followed the letter’s instructions. When Chasma approached him, he saw a faint glimmer of suspicion in their eyes. Though smiling, Chasma’s jaw tightened at the glamour.

Ah. But of course.

For the briefest of seconds, his glamour gave way to reveal his true form, causing Chasma’s eyes to widen with recognition. He quickly snapped the glamour back into place, lest one of the glassy-eyed patrons have a better memory than they think. He spat to to the side, to get back into character.

“A simple precaution. I didn’t want any unwanted company to interrupt us.”

Suspicion gave way to understanding, and the Horned nodded once before turning away. He followed with a signature limp as Chasma led him to the appointed room. He was surprised they were meeting in the basement, but made no commentary on it. When he reached the bottom step of the stairs, he paused, eye and lazy eye alike taking in the many faces gathered around the table.

“What a fine assortment of creatures here tonight,” Phineas-Guion rasped, turning his head about the room. More people came than he thought would come, and he was inwardly pleased at the turnout. When his lazy eye fell upon Melsindre, he couldn’t help himself; he gave her a rotten-toothed smile.

The glamour fell away. Phineas smiled as himself, winking at the taciturn satyr before addressing the others. “Good evening. I apologize for the act, but I couldn’t risk being followed. The Empire has yet to attach a spy to my good fisherman Guion...I believe.”

He was only half-joking.
 
Last edited:

DinoFeather

just some pigeons in a people suit
Original poster
DONATING MEMBER
Invitation Status
, ,
Posting Speed
1-3 posts per week, One post per week, Slow As Molasses
Online Availability
Evenings, mostly.
Writing Levels
Advanced, Prestige, Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
No Preferences
Genres
Low/High Fantasy, Medieval Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Victorian-Era, Grimdark, Gothic-Horror, Supernatural (not the show), Limited Fandoms, Magic, Adventure.

Kholas and Linnae
21/3/1 193 TE | Dusk | Raining
DinoFeather DinoFeather | Lillian Gray Lillian Gray

  • For a brief moment, Kholas lost himself in the singing that was drifting down to them from the rooms above. What he wouldn’t give to just slip away into a careless oblivion, heedless of the situation of the world. His best friend was dead, his research was gone, the land was dying, the Emperor was a madman, and their probability of their success was...well, not good. He had never been one for high spirits and good cheer, but he could feel the morose shift in himself. Which he, largely, ignored. He was in better shape than Linnae, and she seemed to be holding it together well enough.

    Coming back to himself, the goblin had just opened his mouth to inquire as to what exactly the nymph was drinking when the sound of a door opening caused his ears to flick up briefly. Turning toward the stairs to see a tall satyr descending, Kholas glanced at Linnae, then back to the approaching stranger. They had received word from a mining village a few weeks prior, notifying them that a young satyr would be delivering an unusual new metal to them. What Maester Yigwit had failed to mention was that their delivery boy seemed to lack any concept of acceptable hygiene. The satyr absolutely reeked of sweat and wet fur.

    Wrinkling his nose slightly as the satyr approached, Kholas stared at the outstretched hand for a moment before finally taking it. “I am,” he replied, retracting his own hand and wiping it on his cloak under the table. “Seeing as how you’re already here, I suppose it doesn’t matter-- but yes. We were informed by one Maester Yigwit that you would be attending and bringing with you something of interest to the rebellion.” The sound of more feet on the stairs gave the goblin pause. “But for the sake of privacy, we’ll discuss that in further detail at a later time.” That was, of course, once he was sure everyone attending was truly committed to their cause, and if they survived their task at hand.

    Watching as the two others proceeded down the stairs and began their introductions, Kholas inclined his head in acknowledgement. At Malik’s mention of not being much of an ideas man, Kholas bit his tongue and merely nodded once again. Looking at the young woman, Kholas got the distinct impression that neither of them were much for ideas, though he felt that perhaps opening with that wasn’t the most amicable approach. Besides, he wasn’t about to turn down two former soldiers. “Yes,” he agreed, then nodded in the direction of the broken bed frames. “Anything wet can go over there for now.” Including the satyr.

    Gesturing to the various chairs scattered around the table, Kholas then scratched off the names of the newcomers on the parchment in front of him on the table. It was a list of twenty-three people they’d sent letters to over the past weeks. He did not expect most, if any, of them to actually show up. He did not, however, have to wait long for a boisterous horned man to appear, launching into discussion with Linnae about plants. Well, at least she’d have like-minded company. Sort of. He was glad to see enthusiasm, though he had a sneaking suspicion this one might be quick to grate his nerves. “A pleasure, Kacius,” Kholas said flatly as he scratched off that name as well. “But do keep in mind this is a secret meeting. Please don’t announce us to everyone upstairs.”

    That aside, this was already more promising that he’d originally hoped. He had no idea how many people would respond to the letters, but his expectations had been exceeded-- and more footfalls announced yet more people. Perhaps it was a bit early on, but a tiny flicker of relief sparked somewhere in his chest.

    This time, it was the familiar figure of Melsinde who approached them. Careful as usual, she declined to give her name. Curling his lips into a half-smirk and exhaling the ghost of a laugh, Kholas glanced over at the woman. “It’s a bit late for that,” he said dryly. Once they put their plans into motion, names weren’t going to mean much-- they would all be wanted. Or dead. But that could wait. More footfalls were sounding on the stairs, and a moment later Moysei Pyre was striding toward him with an exuberance Kholas couldn’t quite return.

    They had never been more than colleagues, and honestly, Kholas was surprised to see the professor actually turn up. They had no way of knowing the note had actually reached him in his travels. He was not, of course, unwelcome; his knowledge of the Academy would be useful, should he decide to stay. “Moysei,” Kholas returned, extending a narrow hand to grasp the other’s. “We’ll see,” was all he said as he indicated an open chair. Perhaps he’d been careful with their contacts and escaping the Empire long enough to have a meeting-- but they were about to try something incredibly stupid.

    When there was a considerable pause in arrivals, Kholas scanned his list once more, crossing off the final names. Eight in all. Not horrible, all things considered. Crimson eyes lingered for a moment on the small block of names he’d circled toward the bottom of the page. Nymphs-- Linnae’s friends, who’d they heard nothing from at all. He’d hoped that, for her sake, at least one of them would have made it, but it seemed they hadn’t fared as favourably as some. The goblin glanced up at his hooded companion, then turned his attention to those crowding around the table, briefly taking them in. Two former soldiers, both of whom looked to be highly capable fighters; two satyrs, one brilliant and careful, one muscular and a potential physical force; a skilled mage with knowledge of the Academy, and horned he knew little about but looked to be fit enough. It could’ve been a far worse assembly of people.

    Clearing his throat, Kholas began to get to his feet when the irregular clump of feet drew his gaze toward the stairs once more. Tensing at the appearance of the man, Kholas flicked an ear in annoyance as he observed the newcomer. Chasma wouldn’t have let them in unless-- ah. With the glamour down and his identity revealed, Kholas heaved a sigh at Phineas, frowning slightly. “You’d best hope not,” he said curtly, before turning his attention back to the rest. It was time to get started. Any stragglers could be caught up later.

    “Well then, good evening,” Kholas said, gazing at them each in turn. His voice was low and sharp with a slight scratch, but his tone was even. It was his “lecture” voice, which was the most polite he could offer at the moment. “Thank you for coming. Forgive my lack of ceremony, but I prefer to get straight to the point, as I’m sure most of you have questions. For those of you who don’t already know me, my name is Kholas Abalyshevska. I am a former researcher and professor of restorative magics at the Magisteria Academy, and I worked extensively with Kiernan on researching the connection between the guard stones and the Tree. I am going to assume you were all prudent enough to read the letter that was originally from Kiernan explaining the dilemma we are now facing.

    “If you didn’t, here’s what you need to know: the world is fucked. If we don’t manage to reunite the stones with the Tree, the land will continue to wither until it can no longer sustain life. I’m sure you have all seen at least some degree of this blight that’s taking hold, and it’s only going to get worse.” At this, Kholas paused and briefly fixed his gaze on Melsinde, then Phineas. “Before we continue, I’ll address the wyvern in the room. We had no indication that Kiernan was going to be arrested. When they came for him, I fled at his insistence. If you have further concerns or questions, see me later. What is need-to-know is that I was unable to leave with the pieces of the guard stones, which we need in order to further our plans. If you’ve pieced together what that might mean, congratulations. No one in the Academy has the balls to steal the pieces themselves, so that leaves the task to us. That’s why you’re here. If you are not prepared to risk your freedom and your life, leave now.”

    Linnae thumbed the cloth pouch Kacius had given her, the repetitive motion being quite soothing after having spent most of the day beneath the floorboards in preparation for a highly illegal, incredibly dangerous, absolutely treasonous meeting. Her ruby eyes panned from left to right, only vaguely recognizing the individuals based on correspondence from Kiernan from before. The odd gaggle of Taithros elite in their midst was a bit of a surprise. While she knew of other scholars and well-connected citizens assisting in the rebellion, she never imagined seeing Phineas de Pemos. She knew the name, Kiernan had told it to her many times, but the connection was only being made now-- a bit late for that revelation.

    And Moysei. Her eyes narrowed with great disdain. Hard for a nymph to trust anyone who dealt in fire.

    A quiet hum passed her pale lips. While she had meant it earlier, Kholas certainly knew what to say during difficult times, perhaps the stress of the world had his tongue in a knot. He certainly wasn’t alone in that regard. Not that he wasn’t always a bit blunt, or profane, but hadn’t he said something about inspiring confidence? She placed her hand on his arm beneath the table, hoping it might provide some small amount of reassurance.

    “I know many of you weren’t expecting this kind of call to arms. I understand that.” Linnae’s voice was much softer than Kholas’, though it still demanded attention from the newcomers. She continued to fiddle with the cloth pouch to soothe the feeling of restlessness in her entire body, though nothing in her face suggested she was apprehensive about the meeting at all. “But the Tree, this blight, we are nearly to the point of no return. I can feel it with each passing day, like some kind of sickness, something is not right. Without dormancy, without the natural order, this land requires, it will die. We will all die.”

    Inspiring, Linnae thought, telling people they’re going to die is truly inspiring.

    “The risk is incredible. There’s likely no reward, and you’ll have a bounty on your head the moment the Empire discovers what we’ve done. But if we don’t take back those shards, then Petros Taites wins. Long may he reign.” Linnae’s face hardened. The more she spoke, the more heated she became. “And if that petulant tyrant wins, then that means Kiernan died in vain for nothing more than the truth, and we’ll all be meeting him soon enough.”

    Too much. That was what the brief touch from his companion had told him, and Kholas stood quietly by as Linnae spoke to the group. Her words, though not exactly inspiring, did seem somewhat more appealing, and Kholas was grateful. Everything said seemed melodramatic, but it was the unfortunate truth. No point in dressing it up.

    “That in mind,” he added, tempering himself as Linnae trailed off, “we’d like to know why you’ve chosen to dedicate yourself to this and what strengths you bring. While we know some of you, understanding everyone’s abilities is integral to effective planning. And, before I begin laying out finer details of the plan, we need to know you’re fully committed.”

    With that, he slowly sank back into his chair, his eyes again flickering between faces.

  • The Randy Gander is three stories tall and your standard “ye olde tavern.” The interior is pretty clean and there are several bartenders, all wearing blue tunics or blouses. The main floor is the tavern area and is filled with numerous tables, there are stools at the bar, and there’s a growing number of patrons. Toward the wall across from the bar is a slightly elevated platform where Brandi has just begun playing and singing.

    Floors two and three are rooms for rent and where living quarters for the courtesans and owner are.

    When requested, Chasma will lead you to a basement area where Kho and Linnae are waiting. Those with wards may notice there is a glamour up in the bar, though it is subtle and very well done. If you ask Chasma about the glamour, they will tell you it's to make the occupants more visually appealing. If another patron asks where they are going, Chasma will call it the “basement affair, not open to the public."



    Name:
    Chasma

    Race:
    Horned

    Profession:
    Courtesan and Rebel Supporter

    Descriptors:
    average height, androgynous, willowy, pleasant, soft-spoken

    Magic:
    Subliminal - Soothing

  • 5 Lekthas, 3rd Quarter of the Crone, 192 TE

    I regret to inform you that the rumours are true: the Heart of Aetheria is dying.

    I understand that a letter of this nature seems an unusual method of communicating this, but in the present circumstances, it is a necessary precaution: I cannot risk direct communication at this time. We are reaching a critical situation and action must be taken. As you read this, I am quietly assembling a group of scholars, mages, and soldiers who support the cause, and I must ask that this be kept secret, at least for now.

    We are now beginning to see the effects of our actions those years ago, and the situation is dire. Reports from coastal cities are steadily increasing, bringing messages of failing crops and emaciated cattle. Hunters are taking less prey and rates of wildlife predation have increased far beyond what is common in a dormancy cycle. Thus far, these reports have been kept quiet. The Empire was sending meagre relief efforts to the affected areas, though it quickly became far more than they could handle. The efforts are being halted, as the Emperor has decided the plight of these areas must be due to rebel sabotage and does not merit attention or aide.

    Fatalities are on the rise as magical instability increases- something I’m sure you have already seen. Where possible, these deaths are also being attributed to rebel attacks and, otherwise, ignored. They are refusing to see what is plainly before their eyes, and Aetheria and all her people are going to pay the price.

    As you know, fifty-one years ago, the Empire forcibly removed the guard stones from the Tree. In those fifty-one years, the Tree has been unable to enter dormancy and revitalize itself. The argument was that no dormancy meant limitless prosperity-- but our research indicates that without dormancy cycles, the Tree can neither regulate magic nor support prosperity in the land.

    Without dormancy cycles, I am confident the Tree will die.

    No matter how many times he is confronted with evidence, the Emperor refuses to listen. I worry he is so blinded by the threat of revolution and repercussions of what it would mean if our research is correct (which it is), he refuses to see the truth. The more we press him to take action, the more obstinate he becomes.

    Two weeks ago, our most outspoken scholar, Magister Avelissa, was sent to Portwatch to “observe the conditions there,” and we have not heard from her since… I now fear the worst.

    The crystalline guard stones removed from the tree have been destroyed, save for the sample specimens that remain in our study. I plan to take these pieces, journey through the Forest of the Ancients, and return them to the Tree. Experiments with the crystals and bark samples taken from the Tree have given us reason to believe that even the smallest piece of crystal may act as a catalyst and restore what we so foolishly removed.

    This will not be an easy undertaking, especially when the Empire discovers what I am doing, as I have no doubt they will. However, it is a risk I am willing to take- and a risk that is necessary if we are to preserve the Aetheria we know and love. Should the Heart of Aetheria be lost, so too shall we.

    Please send return word using the same enchantment by which this message was concealed. If you are interested in furthering your support, I will then contact you with the date, time, and location of our first gathering to discuss options and concerns, and determine how best we may proceed.

    For dissolution, harmony, and a free Aetheria!


    - Kiernan

    6-3-1, 193 TE

    If you think we're giving up because of a little public execution, you are sorely mistaken. To those who wish to actually make a contribution to the world that enables your existence, be at the Randy Gander in the Taithros outskirts by sundown on 21/3/1. Request a room with Chasma-- and don't be a transparent fuckass. If you're followed, you're shit out of luck. Bring ideas, a pack, and a can-do attitude. No one else is going to save our asses.
 
Last edited:

Spectre of the Fade

Nerd
DONATING MEMBER
Invitation Status
,
Posting Speed
1-3 posts per week, One post per week, Slow As Molasses
Writing Levels
Intermediate, Adept, Advanced
Preferred Character Gender
Primarily Prefer Male
Genres
Fantasy, Sci-fi, Modern, Apocalypse, Action and adventure, Steampunk, Dieselpunk, People with Powers, some historical eras, lots and lots of other things. Feel free to ask.


Human
Neutral Good
Aries
Stubborn as a motherfucker
The party's cool uncle - empathetic and warm, lots of stories, A+ storyteller, and he will laugh at you if you get yourself hurt then offer you a beer afterward

Runic magic - Defensive and Warding.
Defensive is his primary - he's got tattoos on his left arm to allow him to easily summon a round shield that goes where his arm does, and tattoos on his hands so he can easily summon a much larger area-protecting half-dome that requires both hands and c o n c e n t r a t i o n.
Warding is the nerdy thing his instructor touched on for like 2 secs in training but Malik was like "yes, this, I like it" and just. stubbornly decided he was gonna learn it properly.

Warded stone - a smol smooth blue circular rock hangs from a leather string around his neck, usually tucked directly against his skin. It's warded - vibrates intently whenever something moves in a couple-meter radius around Malik. He made it after Kiernan's death, as he felt supremely unsafe without the relative security hiding with the Rebellion offered. He doesn't sleep well unless he's got it active...or someone he trusts is on guard duty.
*He must deactivate it and reactivate it periodically.*

Born in Stillharbour, Ventha. Port city. Destroyed by a volcano 117 years before roleplay time - rebuilt.
2 entire living parents, 1 younger sibling, all currently unnamed.
Him and Rahne are acquainted and friends - she used to be apart of his squad and they ended up deserting together.

Equipment: 1 cloak, brown and plain. 1 set of armor, blue in theme, with all the emblems of the Empire removed. 1 longsword, plain but sharp and functional. 1 stylus, in case he gotta mark a ward or some such.



M
alik
S
hendoa
Mood: Determined Location: The Randy Gander, basement level Tagged: @errybody, except Day, sorry Day
Character SheetThe Art Credit
As per the goblin's instruction, Malik unclasped his cloak and tugged the damp brown fabric off his shoulders, then laid it across the end of one broken frame with care. Sitting down was a decidedly more noisy process given the clanking and rustling of his armor and belt as he settled down. Luckily, it didn't take him long to get comfortable, and he sat quietly to watch the rest file in. First impressions weren't all that important, by Malik's estimation. He'll judge these people off their mettle in whatever days might come. Still, keeping an eye on things was never a bad idea.

There was the satyr he'd noted before, a sociable horned, a second and much more mysterious satyr, an energetic human, a man who dropped his disguise with a certain flair. A certain familiar flair. The face was familiar, too, now that Malik was thinking about it. He gave that last man a more heavily appraising look than the rest, trying to work out where the familiarity was from.

The goblin started speaking before he got anywhere significant with that chain of thought.

Malik shifted his full attention to him, folding his hands on the table and leaning in to hear more clearly. Kholas. Alright, he could remember that. Guy was definitely leading things here, and he was direct enough. Good. The world is fucked, and the Academy has the tools to fix it but certainly won't. Less good. Kholas owned up to fleeing after Kiernan was arrested - admirable - and pressed on the risk involved in everything he had planned. Which, sounded like theft. From the Academy. Malik let out a soft breath at that, attention shifting to his hands folded on the table. He was, honestly, more amused than anything. His freedom was already gone. His life was already at risk. He hadn't seen his family in far too long and the only proven ally he had left was the woman he walked in with. What else could the Empire possibly do to him?

A soft voice from the hooded figure he noticed when he first arrived grabbed his attention. Upon this closer inspection, he noted the odd way her hood laid on her head. Nymph, then? Hm. Her expression was all grave seriousness, and she spoke of death. Her words made him glad he and Rahne had made the journey, taken the risk. Though he still worried if all those gathered were as serious as he was.

Kholas spoke once more, requesting the strengths and commitments of everyone gathered 'round. Malik had plenty of both.

Shifting to lean further forward and dragging blue eyes over the others gathered around, he spoke. "I gave my all to the Empire for far too long. Spent too many years doing terrible shit -"- and babysitting nobles -"- until I finally broke." He gave Rahne a brief but significant look, then. Certainly she remembered. His eyes shifted over the rest once again, as he felt it was important he convey his own seriousness on this. "I'm here because I refuse to give any less to the Rebellion than I gave to the Empire. Got a lot of trust to earn, I know, but I'll earn it. I'll do what it takes. Not like I'll get any mercy from Petros' dogs either way." That finished, he nodded and leaned back in the chair, arms crossing over his chest. "I'm a runic mage, defensive and warding. Lotta years of combat experience, and I know the Empire's tactics like I know the back of my own hand."

With a second and much more firm nod, Malik waved a hand, indicating he'd spoken his piece.
 

Doctor Jax

Lord of the Mice
Invitation Status
,
Posting Speed
1-3 posts per week
Online Availability
3PM CST - 9 PM CST
Writing Levels
Intermediate, Adept, Advanced, Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
Male, Female, , No Preferences
Genres
Fantasy, Scifi, Urban Fantasy, Horror
It seemed that there were others still to join the merry band, and both of them were at least somewhat familiar to her - the latter very much so. The first fellow left her with some lingering annoyance she couldn't quite place, despite being unable to put his name to his visage, but from his walk, the way he talked, the general carousing air he sported... well, she merely squinted her eyes momentarily before lamenting she had not gotten herself a drink before heading down. At de Pemos, she merely rolled her eyes with mock long-suffering. At the least, he had the good sense not to refer to her by name.

However, Kho was quick to state that the time for caution was over. They were in the end stages of the disease crippling the continent. Her gaze, direct and unbridled, bore into either leader as they spoke of the withering and wasting that had taken hold. She had seen it with her own eyes - had seen it for some years. The task they would be put up to was no small one, as the Academia Magisteria was not one left foolishly unguarded and open to any wadwallop who chose to stroll in. They would need an insider's knowledge, and a thief's cunning. Her eyes scanned those around the table, and she carefully managed not to grimace. A quiet looming satyr, two soldiers, a goblin, a nymph, a Horned caravan guard, de Pemos, herself, and this other man Kholas was familiar with... They weren't working with much by way of stealth, though she knew by fact that Finn was an excellent sneak. Yet, heists were not won by a singular thief, and they would need coordination as well.

She had been so lost in thought about how to go about such a task that she almost missed one of the soldiers speak his allegiance. She turned her gaze and respectfully drank in every word, and a small ember did spark in her skeptic's heart. These people were dedicated to the task at hand. That may outweigh any lack of talent. With the table falling silent again, she answered Malik's profession adroitly.

"You have a commendable background. I, for one, shall feel all the safer for a runic mage in our midst, especially one well-versed in defense," Melsinde stated softly in encouragement, her voice carrying despite the low volume of her alto. Looking about the table, she sighed through her nose and removed her hood. Horns and ears were on display, her face no doubt recognizable to any who had been to a public function - a face often without a name, without a voice, but nearly always present.

"Kho, I believe you are right. Trust is earned, and to earn it, sometimes trust must be given first."

Her eyes remained on the table.

"My name is Melsinde Blackfinger, scribe to the Emperor Petros Taites, historian for the Academy. I describe the major events, political and public, which occur in the Empire as best I can, as impartially as they shall allow me. I have... special access to the libraries, in particular maps and other information of imperial security. You understand my hesitance to speak my name."

She paused.

"I myself also pledge life and limb to this endeavor. For several long years, I have traveled our vast and beautiful continent, only to watch as... as famine sweeps whole towns under its brown cape. Babes, left to die for want of milk, bread, a house with not enough rooms and not few enough mouths. Forests and arable land, turned to the locusts, the blight. Magic, uncontrolled, bursting out and killing innocents from what should be normal spells, average in potency. And the things the Empire did to maintain such order as needed when those driven by hunger and fear were at their wits end... I have broken the code of a scribe by penning that which is not true and disseminating it. I have lied for the Empire, to paint its conquests in fair light, and I cannot any longer. This venture must not fail, and should it... well, our children, should any survive, shall know exactly why it did," she spoke gravely, giving a shudder. "As soon as there was a man willing to do something about it, I followed him. To the end."

She looked across to Kholas and Linnae, her expression stricken.

"I see no reason to stop now."
 

Red Thunder

A Warrior in a Garden
Invitation Status
Posting Speed
1-3 posts per week, One post per week, Slow As Molasses
Writing Levels
Adept, Advanced, Prestige
Preferred Character Gender
Male, Female, Primarily Prefer Male
Genres
Fantasy, SciFi, Modern, Magical
PAN TALL-BONES​
x

Pan shifted uncomfortably, the fractured bed frame on which he sat as uncomfortable as any stone on which he'd ever sat. Anything wet, Kholas had instructed. Well, obviously that had meant him, as well! It was just a shame that the circle of conspirators was so far away; it felt like he was eight years old again, sitting at the kid's table while the adults gossiped about who-knew-what. Close enough to hear, but not enough to interject without it becoming awkward.

A few of the people had also followed the Goblin's instructions regarding their wet things, and as first Kholas and then Linnae droned on about boring topics like rebellion and the death of the world, Pan found his attention wander to the cloaks beside him. He examined the nearest; the large dark man, a soldier? had dropped it there. It looked like a soldier's cloak: worn with weather and travel, it had certainly seen better days. As had the lot of them gathered there.

The world was dying, they said. Pan had guessed; his journey South had shown that much, if in fact the nature of the Heights location didn't lend itself to exhibiting it well. Most of their food was traded for, as were most of their textiles. The Heights was there to mine, so mine they did.

Reaching into his pack, Pan lifted out Yigwit's metal. It was ordinary, its natural gray hue having been purified with the heating process into a vague luminescent blueish silver. This was supposed to help the Rebellion, right? But it amplified runes, and they had another job first. Replacing the metal within his bag, Pan raised his hand as Melsinde finished.

“Sorry. Uh, sorry, ma'am. Were you finished? I didn't mean ta interrupt.” With no challenge from his fellow Satyr, he stood to continue. “Maester Yigwit sent me here a’purpose, ta help you all. And I've a right mind to, cause Pa says I should and he's real smart.”

He paused, his face contorting in an obvious effort to translate thought to word.

“But if the Empire is wrong, and we wanna be right, shouldn't we do the right thing? Pa always said that stealin’ was- well, wrong. Didn't matter if that swine-face Raths took your best mallet; didn't give you no right to break into his house and just take it back.

“Anyway- that's all I got to say about that. I'm with ya; I just felt like it needed sayin’, is all.”
His piece having been said, he sat down.
“Oh! I'm Pan Tall-Bones, by the way. Nice to meet you all.”

 

Jorick

Magnificent Bastard
Invitation Status
Posting Speed
One post per week, Slow As Molasses
Writing Levels
Adept, Advanced, Prestige, Douche, Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
Male, Female
Genres
Fantasy is my #1; I will give almost anything a chance if it has strong fantasy elements. Post apocalyptic, superhero, alternate history, science fantasy, some supernatural, romance, and a few fandoms (especially Game of Thrones) are also likely to catch my eye.
With the greeting given and Linnae seeming more or less pleased by the gift, Kacius sat back in his chair and watched the proceedings with keen interest. The goblin said something to him about keeping things secret, but he wasn't paying attention and just nodded as he continued to peer at the others in the room and those who entered after him. He almost greeted Mel by name, but he managed instead to bite his tongue and give her a conspiratorial nod. An older human came in next, and he looked like a guy who knew how to enjoy everything a tavern had to offer, but both of his friends (and business associates) gave the man less-than-friendly looks. He mentally noted that he would need to work to patch up whatever rift existed between the old fellow and the ladies in order to make sure the group worked smoothly together. The last to show up was at first highly interesting, a ragged-looking man with a heavy limp, but he turned out to be just some nobleman in disguise. Kacius lost interest almost immediately, though he did notice that he and Mel seemed to know each other and might even be friends, so perhaps the man was more than just a rich snob.

All the talk about the world being doomed and the mission to save it droned on long enough for Kacius to need to suppress a yawn, but he made an effort to pay at least half attention to Linnae's part of the speech. He got the gist of it: steal some things, bring them to the Tree, save the world... or die trying. Seemed pretty straightforward to him, at least. Could've all been put in the letter really, but he supposed the meeting was a good thing for getting acquainted with the group. The thing that finally piqued Kacius' interest was the call to prove their commitment and explain their strengths. He'd always loved showing off, and this would be the perfect chance, but he let some of the others go first in order to make his go even more impressive by comparison.

One of the soldiers said some stuff about making up for working for the Empire, which was interesting enough by itself, though the fact that he was also a runic mage was more interesting still. Not just a runic mage, but one who worked with the two aspects of it that Kacius himself hadn't spent much time with. Having someone specialized in defense, as well as Kholas' mentioned restorative magic, was definitely reassuring. Mel went next, and he was surprised to hear the details of what she did. He knew some of it, that she was some kind of scribe and worked for the Empire, but Kacius wasn't sure if he'd known that she worked directly for the Emperor himself. Had she declined to mention that, or had she told him and he forgot? Didn't make much of a difference either way, he supposed, but it was nice to hear that even someone so closely tied to the Emperor was willing to work against his foolishness. The large satyr spoke up next, and he was apparently even more of a simple fellow than he looked. After Pan finished his piece, Kacius decided that was the perfect moment for him to jump in.

"Sometimes you've gotta do a little wrong thing to avoid a bigger wrong thing, friend." As he spoke to both the satyr and the room at large, he pulled three of his daggers out of their sheathes on his belt and started juggling them idly, as if not even paying attention to the action. "Which is more wrong: stealing something, or not stealing something and letting everyone in the world die? Seems like a simple choice to me." Kacius directed his attention to Kholas and flung a dagger at one walls without stopping the juggling, but before it struck wood a runic mark glowed on the hilt and it flew right back toward his hand and joined back in the flipping and twirling with the other two. "My biggest strength is that I am always the life of the party, of course." Kacius gave the goblin a wide grin, brimming with self-confidence at the sheer truth of his statement. "The knife tricks are good both for fun and for dealing with unpleasant people, and they can pack more of a punch than you'd expect. I'm a runic mage as well, like our soldier friend who spoke up first, but I focus on the offensive side and do some enchanting."

Kacius threw the three daggers in rapid succession, boosting both his speed and strength with the runic tattoos hidden under his clothing, and each of the blades drove into a wooden beam hard enough that their crossguards slammed into the wood as well. If not for the singing and noise in the tavern above, the thunk of metal slamming into wood surely would have drawn attention and questions. "Haven't had any need to throw them at armor yet, because nobody has come at me with a full helmet, but I'm pretty sure those would go through a breastplate." One by one, each dagger was tugged back to his hand with the enchantments on them, and he spoke with the easy confidence of arrogance as he continued speaking. "Aside from that, I've done some work as a thief in my time here in the city, so I'm your man when it comes to sneaking in somewhere and retrieving something, which just so happens to be what we need to do first. Good thing you've got me here, don't you think? Oh, as for my commitment, I've seen what has been happening to the world and I know it needs to be stopped. Simply put, Linnae was mistaken. There is a reward: our lives, and the lives of every person, plant, and animal currently suffering from the Empire's foolishness. I quite enjoy living, so I can think of no better motivation for taking on such a dangerous mission."

With his longer than expected speech concluded, Kacius sat back in his chair and looked expectantly toward each of those who hadn't yet responded to Kholas' challenge. He was absolutely certain his would end up being the best, but there was plenty to be learned about his new friends by how they chose to follow up his marvelous performance.
 

Nemopedia

Chaotic Lawful
Invitation Status
Not accepting invites at this time
Posting Speed
Slow As Molasses
Online Availability
GMT +1/2 | CET/CEST | Random, mostly on my phone
Writing Levels
Intermediate, Adept, Advanced, Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
No Preferences
Genres
Tragedy, Psychological, Historical, Steampunk, Mystery, Thriller, Sci-fi, see tag list for more...
Kholas provided Pyre with a sparse greeting, naturally holding the other at a distance as the man was gestured to a seat. Taking it Pyre's attention went to the companion next to his colleague, sending a wink into the direction of the cloaked figure. A slight chill came from her, but nothing he wasn't confident in warming up. Or so he believed as he wasn't sure what he had done to deserve such a reaction in the first place.

After a brief word from Kholas and his friend the introductions started. First another human, a soldier it seemed to which he had the build for as well. Pyre didn't catch the name, but that didn't matter for now.

The way the man spoke and carried himself fit with the image he carried. Pyre would have risen a glass for the soldier if he had one, impressed with the passion and zeal of the fellow rebel. It almost surprised him to have such a respectable and straight-laced fellow amongst them.

Following that was yet another cloaked figure revealing herself to be a satyr. Mel, Pyre recognised her name and her position, having written and received numerous notes to and from her desk. It was nice to link a face to the name, and a voice to the words. Yet another surprise as he wouldn't have guessed someone so passionate stuck in such a dull job Though, he supposed that everyone wanted to brighten up their lives once in a while.

Then another satyr followed, nervous and clumsy. He sat an odd way apart from the rest, having seated himself to the 'damp' corner Kholas had assigned earlier. Surely he didn't think?...

Pyre didn't doubt that the poor satyr, Pan, had sent himself into the corner. Not after hearing the man speak, which amused him all the more. Sincere. Pyre decided that he liked this rebel as well, even if Pan didn't seem all that clued in.

A flash of the blade took Pyre's attention once more, a horned was juggling three knives putting his ability to show for all. Confident and sure, but with a smugness within that the man recognised from his own youth. This group was proving itself to be promising, with all of its members likable so far.

"Moysei Pyre, professor at the academy," Pyre finally started, straightening himself up as he looked everyone in the eye. "I have been travelling for a decade, so I'm still adjusting to the city-life," he continued with a smirk and a longing sigh, as if missing something. Which he did, returning to the academy was terribly boring, as well as dangerous now that they had started this undertaking. More so than any of his wild adventures.

"I specialise in pyromagic. You can imagine how much I rely on the tree," he spoke with a shrug and a chuckle almost as if he didn't care otherwise. Unable to stop himself he gestured for the satyr Pan to come to him, a small flame flickering in the palm of his hand. He couldn't leave the poor thing alone, cold and wet as the satyr was.

"I rather not lose my fire, yet." The wink this time was sent after Mel. How often she had to deal with declaration notices and damage reports from Pyre. He tried to keep them at a minimum, but fire had this feral quality about it, or so he always claimed in his notes.

Satisfied with his introduction the man fell quiet, a triumphant smile on his face as he slumped back. There was more that Pyre could say and offer, though he found that the reasons given were plenty to show his support to the cause and his usefulness to the group.






Professor Moysei Pyre
 

Lillian Gray

Craft Master
DONATING MEMBER
Invitation Status
Posting Speed
1-3 posts per week, One post per week
Writing Levels
Give-No-Fucks, Advanced, Adaptable
Genres
Fantasy, Romance, Medieval, Action, Magic, Sci-fi
Linnae Ilex Aquifolium of Aquifoliaceae


Date | 21/3/1
Time | Dusk
Weather | Raining
Mood | Cautious


Without ever speaking a word herself, the nymph listened quietly as support was voiced around the room. It started with the soldier, Malik. He seemed strong-- capable, and his loyalties were without a doubt far from the right hand of Petros. She could trust in that, and extend that trust to his companion assuming they arrived under similar conditions. The next woman to speak, a satyr she couldn't put a name to, seemed familiar somehow. She was one of Kholas' contacts. A spark of recognition glowed in Linnae's ruby eyes as she revealed herself to be that of one of Petros' scribes. Regardless, the fact she revealed herself to the group left a positive impression on the nymph. Sticking her neck out to meet with them was a great personal risk for her. Linnae appreciated her sentiment, about trust being earned, and by taking that first step-- for both of them to take the first step and speak up would be well rewarded.

So long as they considered the companionship of a distrustful nymph and a sardonic goblin to be rewarding company.

At the satyr's notions of right and wrong, Linnae concealed a dry scoff behind an extended sip of her near empty mug. In all her years she'd never known the Empire to be anything but the latter. True though, they had to tread carefully if they wanted to garner support from the masses, and maintaining a certain standard of morality would only provide more credibility for their cause. However, the world wasn't so black and white. There was gray, and there were easily a hundred different shades of it. Much as she would've enjoyed the luxury of such simple decisions, doing the right thing in this lifetime required a bit of thievery.

But even then, was it really wrong? The piece was never the Empire's to begin with, it belonged to the Forest of the Ancients and its dying heart. They had stolen it. If a thief stole from another thief, who was right and who was wrong then?

Linnae was about to pull away, perhaps give yet another wordy speech on morality when Kacius spoke up. So she let him speak his turn. Her scoff slowly turned into a grin at his skillful display. She agreed that his experience as a thief would be invaluable for the heist they were trying to pull. Before he ran off, Linnae reminded herself to catch him out of the group so she could personally thank him for coming.

She looked back to Pan and sighed, outright ignoring Professor Pyre. She already knew his name. The stories that spread throughout the academy during his absence. Fire mage, man of many mysteries, and as a nymph she already had a disliking for someone who could quite literally snap his fingers and incinerate her into a fine ash.

Doing her best not to attract any attention while the Professor spoke, Linnae stepped away from the table and silently towards Pan Tall-Bones. Her small footsteps hardly seemed to make any noise at all, but given the raucous patrons from above her delicate motions mattered little. His wet fur reeked, but that didn't mean he had to quite literally stand out and away from the rest of them. The literal interpretation of Kholas' instructions was somewhat pitiful to watch drag out for so long.

"Pan?" Linnae's hand hovered over his arm. "Dear, you can take my seat but could you-"

Out of the corner of her eyes, Moysei had gestured that the satyr come forward. There was a gentle flame in his hand. Then, he was off winking at the scribe. Perverted old man. And a fire mage to boot. I can't believe this. Linnae took a hesitant step back, not wanting to be the cause of any tension so early on in meeting their fellow rebellion members. Her own bias was getting the better of her already. If that subtle flame so much as scorched a hair on Pan's horned head...

"Here." Linnae whispered. She reached into her cloak until she found a small bundle of dried blue petals. They were intended for something else, but, the flower itself was sweet in scent and would make a perfect perfume for masking the smell of his wet fur. It was far more pungent. The nymph cupped the petals between her hands. With practiced focus and memorized words, she easily turned the simple petals into a small orb of mist that sat obediently in her palm. She offered it to him.

"Dry off, and take this." She said with a polite smile as she dropped the misty blue orb into Pan's hands. "You can take my place next to Kholas. I don't mind."
 
Last edited:

DayDreamer

Badger Supreme
Writing Levels
Adaptable

Atlak
Forest Centaur | 24/Mail Centaur | Taitele/Kelna


Atlak had been murmuring and huffing, snorting like a reindeer people would argue, all the way from Kelna. Summons from the rebellion had found him and he had been eager to comply despite his father's warnings. However something far worse than the threat of losing his head from his shoulders had also found him along with that letter. A package of notes and letters to a certain old man that Atlak was convinced he was senile. It really was fairly simple to stick around the general area of your delivery, so the mail could find you. Why the old man could never seem to grasp that very basic concept was beyond the centaur.

But here he was, rather late for his important meeting, with an extra satchel on his hind and the cloak his mother had weaved thoroughly drenched. The young centaur had given up on finding the old pyromaniac and was planning on returning the mail or giving it off to another courier depending on the outcome of this meeting. Stepping inside the tavern as instructed in the letter, Atlak nervously tapped his hind hooves to the wooden floor, taken aback by the sudden noise and multitude of smells inside. The patrons were loud and there was plenty in terms of alcohol and smoke to make his nostrils flare in discomfort at the stinging they received. In all honesty, being inside such a building made him nervous. He was used to feel at home in the forests, open spaces and quiet were his tune. Not that the bard singing had a terrible voice, quite the contrary in fact.

Gathering his soggy cloak in a bundle that would minimize water dripping on the floor, he made his way over to the bar, antlers dripping water on his hair. "Hi, can I talk to Chasma? I know she has a room waiting for me...." He trailed off, trying to keep any awkwardness or nervousness out of his voice. The bartender only had to nod off to somewhere behind Atlak and he turned to see a really beautiful Horned One coming up at him, eyeing his rather tired and agitated self up and down, briefly stopping on the mud that covered a significant portion of his silvery grey legs. "I'm Chasma. Come on kid, let's get you all settled." She told him with a charming smile as she led him down to....

Woah! Back up! THE CELLAR?! She wanted him to go underground? He almost reared as they neared the stairs that led to the meeting room. "Easy there! It's alright. I promise." Chasma said and patted him on the back briefly to calm him down. Atlak could feel his face heat up "Sorry." He muttered and hung his head low in embarrassment, which only received a smile from Chasma. "Off you go." She shooed him and returned to her patrons.

He didn't have much trouble going down the stairs, though he had to be especially careful to not get his antlers stuck anywhere as it had happened before. He was not used to having stuff hanging down from roofs he was under, stuff like signs or chandeliers. "Sorry I'm late, I was supposed to hand out some....." He started as he managed to properly get a look around the room, to see the occupants that were going to join him in this fool's mission. "You!" His eyes flashed with disbelief that was quick to turn to extreme annoyance. "You senile, fire loving old gizzard!" He sputtered as he approached Pyre, a hand rummaging through his satchel to grab the pack of letters. "Why can't you stick to one place long enough to get your bloody mail?!" He huffed and threw him the package before going off to the side, as far away as possible so he could throw his wet cloak on one of the bed frames and to lightly shake himself dry, being very careful not to get anyone else too wet in the process.
 

SkittlesAndSpike

Definitely not a Fekfox
COMMUNITY DEPARTMENT
Invitation Status
,
Posting Speed
1-3 posts per week
Writing Levels
Intermediate, Adept, Advanced, Prestige, Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
Male, Female
Rahne listened to Malik as he spoke, her eyes meeting his when he looked her way, giving him an encouraging nod. She remembered the day he'd had enough. It was the same day that she'd decided enough was enough. The same day they'd deserted the Empire. They both were here to try and make up for everything they'd done while they were soldiers for the empire.

She listened intently to everyone else as they introduced themselves, doing her best to commit their names and skills to memory. So far, her first impression of everyone was...well...they were colorful. Colorful and varied. She would get to know them more as they tried to save the world, she was sure. But at least they were interesting, skilled, and more importantly, they showed up. They were a small group, sure, but with enough determination, and everyone's skillsets, she had the utmost faith they could handle this task. She found herself stifling a laugh when a Centaur stumbled into the room and threw a package at the pyromancer. "Well, one more added to the ranks!" She couldn't help the grin on her face as she stood from her seat, taking this as her chance to introduce herself.

"Well, like ah' said before, my name is Rahne. Rahne O'Braoin. Like Malik, Ah' used ta' be a soldier for the empire right along with Malik." She nodded her head in his direction once more. "Ah' joined up with 'em as soon as ah' was old enough ta'. Wanted to get outta my little town and do somethin' other than log. 'Course, Ah' found Ah' wasn't happy with the way the empire was doin' things, and when Malik left, ah' went along with him. Never looked back." She wasn't one to doubt herself or her choices, but she'd never been so sure she was doing the right thing as she did then. The only thing that came close was when she sided with the rebellion. "Ah'm willin' to die if it means gettin' the job done. Anything ya' need me ta' do? Ah'll do it." She looked directly to Kholas as she finished up. She proceeded to sit down, only to pause halfway and shoot back up.

"Aw shit," She chuckled sheepishly, hand rubbing the back of her neck, "Forgot...aside from knowin' how to handle myself in a fight, Ah'm a runic mage as well. Ah' ain't gonna be able to throw up a fancy shield, Malik'll hafta' do that for ya. But if ya ever need some muscle, Ah'm the gal for ya." With that said, Rahne settled into her chair again, resting one leg on top of the other and crossing her arms, confident that she'd said everything that she needed to. As far as she could tell now, the only one left was the Centaur that had just come in. ​
 

Red Thunder

A Warrior in a Garden
Invitation Status
Posting Speed
1-3 posts per week, One post per week, Slow As Molasses
Writing Levels
Adept, Advanced, Prestige
Preferred Character Gender
Male, Female, Primarily Prefer Male
Genres
Fantasy, SciFi, Modern, Magical
PAN TALL-BONES​
x

Low but undeniable, Pan's stomach rumbled. He had focused on the journey, eating only what he needed to sustain his pace. His task was important, Yigwit had told him. Well, if the old Goblin had thought it so important, best to hurry. It felt really good, actually, to be sitting down; save for the four to six hours of sleep a night, he'd be on his feet for … days? weeks? However long.

His internal monologue droned on, distracting the boy from the machinations of the others, save for when his ears would prick as names were dropped. Pyre's gesture when unseen, and Kacius’ admonition went unintentionally ignored. It was not until Linnae appeared suddenly in his field of vision that the wheels in his brain stopped grinding.

“Yer seat? No no, I couldn't. Ain't about to sit while a lady stands.”

His eyes had widened at the sight of flower petals, and his stomach gave a pitiable gurgle of desperation; they smelled so good. He reached forward just as she cupped them in her hands, then they dipped just a little with his heart as Linnae placed the petals, now mist, into his palms. He couldn't eat fog. What was he to do with it? Drink it? Uncertain, he eyed her questioningly.

The light squish of drenched leathers smacking the wooden bedframes drew his attention, and he turned to look. A hail of rain drops flew at him, infiltrating his till now slowly drying fur, though not to the degree at which he entered initially. Blinking in confusion at yet another thing happening, his mouth opened in a stammer.

“I- he- uh, erm, do I need to make room for you, too, Mr. Reindeer? Oh! Wait.” Using his free hand, he brushed his fingers through his fur, clearing out some small amount of rain before shaking it off over the cloaks to avoid getting Linnae wet. Eyeing the mist, he smacked it against his chest in the obvious assumption that it'd stick to him and make his smell nicer. “You can have my seat while you dry off, since yer still wet. I'll jus’ stand over by the table, since I'm dry now.

“And thanks, Ms. Linnae; that was right kind. But yeah, you take yer own seat; not right, me sitting while you stand.

Muscle. Pan's attention was drawn once more. Talk of robbery for the greater good, of plans and machinations, was all beyond the mind of a simple miner. But strength, ah; there was a subject he could speak on. Too much was going on right now to ask, but he made a note to ask her about her best feat of strength. He loved being impressed and learning of new ways to lift things.

 

DinoFeather

just some pigeons in a people suit
Original poster
DONATING MEMBER
Invitation Status
, ,
Posting Speed
1-3 posts per week, One post per week, Slow As Molasses
Online Availability
Evenings, mostly.
Writing Levels
Advanced, Prestige, Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
No Preferences
Genres
Low/High Fantasy, Medieval Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Victorian-Era, Grimdark, Gothic-Horror, Supernatural (not the show), Limited Fandoms, Magic, Adventure.
Kholas Abalyshevska

Location: Basement
Mood: Meh
Status: Stressed
Mentions: @everyone
Listening with an expression of mild concentration while those gathered began to speak, Kholas scribbled notes in loose shorthand. Apart from the soft scratch of the quill as he wrote, the goblin was silent, taking in the confessions and proclamations of support. Not usually quick to trust, he was somewhat surprised at his own willingness to rely on strangers, but his options were dwindling by the day. Overall, they could’ve had a far worse group of people. Diverse skills-- and many of them mages. Some were familiar with the Academy, which would be beneficial as well. Rahne and Malik struck him as solid, trustworthy folk with good intentions. He liked that. And, though they were deserters, he did not doubt they would be loyal to their new cause.

Phineas was another he knew he could trust, what with his extensive involvement in the Rebellion. Mel, too, he knew would devote herself wholly to the rebellion. Not only had she said as much, but the fact that she had given her name and position was enough to condemn her, should she change her mind. This would indeed require trust, as one turncoat could be the death of them all.

And he was uneasy about the other satyr, Pan. Perhaps “uneasy” wasn’t the correct word, but instead “unsure?” Clearly, the boy was a bit simple and they did not have room for discussions of black and white morals right now. They were far beyond taking the high road, and Kholas was prepared to do anything for their cause. So far, the others had seemed to feel similarly, but Pan was making him question that. Likely, he would follow directions, but how far would he go before stubbornly refusing because he perceived an action as “wrong?” There was potential for catastrophe there. Perhaps not abject betrayal, but any hesitation could cost them. He scratched down an additional note beside Pan’s name and information. He would need to talk to Linnae about him later.

Kacius, on the other hand, seemed capable of getting a job done without question, though Kholas hadn’t been overly impressed by his apparent boredom. He was less impressed when the man began whipping daggers at the wall as a demonstration of his skill. Talented, perhaps, but a bit of a braggart. Kholas watched him recall the blades with a flat expression, his ears laid back and a single eyebrow raised. “I see,” was his only reply before making a few more notations on his parchment. Obnoxious though he may be, having previous experience as a thief was a definite advantage. Provided he didn’t give the game away with his ostentation.

On the topic of advantage, the goblin was glad to have Linnae and Mel, who were both familiar with the layout of the Academy. He did, however, have some minor doubts about Moysei Pyre. He supposed it was enough for the man to show up, knowing he wouldn’t be able to, barring some miracle, set foot in the Academy again. Still, he had never been able to read Pyre well, and the man seemed to act on little more than his whims. Still, he was an undeniably skilled mage. Who, he noticed, was going out of his way to be kind to the satyr boy. He could feel the discomfort emanating from Linnae, even as she moved away from Pyre and toward Pan, but she had a right to be suspicious of someone so enamoured with fire.

Pausing only briefly to allow the newcomer, a courier, to introduce himself and explain his tardiness, Kholas finished his notes and sat back to examine them for a moment. There were ten of them in all. Not bad. And the courier was an excellent addition.

“All right,” he said after another moment of scanning his notes. “Most of you are mages, which is helpful. Skills are diverse, which is also helpful, as we are going to be splitting into three groups for this task.” He leaned down for a moment to retrieve three more roles of parchment from a leather bag that rested near his feet. Spreading the first open on the table, he positioned his goblet and Linnae’s cup on either end to prevent it from rolling back up. Drawn on the parchment in careful lines was the floorplan of the Magisteria Academy.

“As we have so dramatically implied,” he said dryly, “we will be stealing the pieces of the guard stone from the Magisteria Academy as the first portion of our task. If you would hold any questions until I have fully explained the plans, this will go more quickly,” he added. “Now, as I said, we will be splitting into three groups. We have a contact who will be leaving a side door unlocked for us three hours after sunset tomorrow, which is when we will act. They are not willing to do more than that; they will not be present and they do not wish to be seen or mentioned by name for their safety and job security, the cowardly prick. However, that eliminates the need for breaking in, which I suppose is something.” The last word was said with an evident distaste, but he pressed on.

“The first group, and the only group that our contact is aware of, will consist of me, Melsinde, and Rahne. We will break into our component groups after this to discuss our task in further detail over dinner, as I’m sure many of you are hungry.” At this, he gave a quick glance in Pan’s direction before continuing. “We will be the first in and will, hopefully, collect the shards and leave without needing the second group.” Extending a thin, clawed finger, he pointed to a small door that was circled on the map. “We will enter here and make our way into the North Wing. The stone shards were moved to a small study near the central conservatory for safekeeping.” He tapped the inner portion of the North Wing, “About here. We plan to leave the same way we entered, but there are alternate routes out, which are here,” he indicated two more doors marked on the floor plan, “and here. As a contingency, group two will follow us in a few minutes after we enter and will serve as a backup, should something go wrong. Group two will be lead by Linnae, and will include,” he consulted his list, “Pyre, Kacius, and, ah-- Pan, I think. These groups will need to work quickly, quietly, and, I cannot stress this enough,” he said, crimson eyes flicking between Kacius and Pan, “discreetly. We want to be in and out without incident, if at all possible.”

“Lastly, we need team three to remain outside. As luck would have it, we appear to have a convenient courier for the stones.” He gave a nod in Atlak’s direction. “We had planned on carrying them, however, using a runner seems safer, as we seem to now have the option. As soon as we get them to you, Atlak, you will get them out of the city and to a safe destination, which will be explained to you in detail tomorrow. Should the situation take an unfortunate turn, we will need you to deliver a letter to a contact in Wyndfel.” Pausing, he considered for a moment, then shook the thought away. “We will also need people outside to deter any patrols. We will try to work between them, and it isn’t often they enter the academy, but they do routinely check the doors. We don’t want any unexpected visitors in the North Wing of the academy while we’re inside or trying to make an escape. Considering your experience and skills, group three will consist of Atlak, Phineas, and Malik. Malik, if you are not opposed to it, I’d like you to be the leader of group three, as I believe you’re experienced with patrols and soldiers.”

Moving the cups out of the way, Kholas rolled up the map and his list of notes and tucked them away in his bag. Dinner was sure to be a messy affair. “Now,” he said, sliding off the chair and to his feet, “I’m sure you have questions, as that was a lot to process at once. You’re free to discuss questions and concerns over dinner, as well as talk amongst yourselves. It would be advisable to get to know our collective skills and strengths somewhat better. If you have any immediate concerns, please see me or Linnae. After dinner, we will reconvene.”

With that, he withdrew a small, silvery bell from a pocket of his cloak and rang it three times, it’s soft, melodic chime faint against the sounds from upstairs. A few moments later, the door at the top of the stairs opened, and several figures began to make their way down, bringing with them the appetizing smells of various foods and drink.
 
Last edited:

Nemopedia

Chaotic Lawful
Invitation Status
Not accepting invites at this time
Posting Speed
Slow As Molasses
Online Availability
GMT +1/2 | CET/CEST | Random, mostly on my phone
Writing Levels
Intermediate, Adept, Advanced, Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
No Preferences
Genres
Tragedy, Psychological, Historical, Steampunk, Mystery, Thriller, Sci-fi, see tag list for more...
The nymph really seemed to dislike Pyre, though the man couldn’t for the life of him figure out why. Had he unwittingly offended her? Or crossed paths with her both literally and figuratively? He couldn’t recall, but when she gave him yet another glare Pyre promised that he would set out on finding out why and how he could make it up. The female offered a blue orb to Pan, effectively making the two of them ignore the firemage. Yet another reason to pout over, which the man eventually did as he summoned his fire back.

Just in time, as a centaur stumbled in an apology on his lips before the deer froze and locked eyes with the professor.

“Atlak!” Pyre exclaimed happily, excited to see his favourite courier. The feelings were not returned as he instead got smacked square in the face with a pile of letters. It seemed that whatever unfortunate business had held the courier up was called 'Moysei Pyre'. An unsurprising fact and a point of hilarity.

“It is hardly travelling if I’m always stuck to the same place. It is the very definition of it, Atlak!” Pyre tried to defend himself to the man, hoping that it would calm the tirade down. Though it was likely to annoy the centaur further because both Pyre and Atlak knew --with Mel likely included-- that Pyre had a bad habit of reporting of his plans and whereabouts in a timely manner.

“For the trouble,” Pyre tossed Atlak a string of coins after some digging in his pockets. The letters were likely already paid for, but Pyre liked to reward the courier with something anyway. No one could claim that he didn’t appreciate the time and effort it took to track him down and no one did quite the job Atlak does in finding him. “If even Atlak couldn’t find me here I’m sure no one has followed me,” the male continued with a happy grin, as if he wasn’t sure if he had been followed.

Half of them were belated briefings from the academy. None that he cared for, though others proved themselves to be more interesting; speaking of the villages he had passed by on his travels.

Opening a few of the letters Pyre noted that half of them were belated postings from the Academy. Even after a year of return there were still letters to be delivered. Uninterested he tucked those away before his eyes falling over a few exchanges from places he had passed by. Interesting. Tucking those into his inner pocket the man returned to the meeting at hand.

With everyone arrived and introduced Kholas took the word again. A map was rolled out, explaining where to go and what the groups were to be like. The interior of the Academy hadn’t changed much at all. In all the decades he had spent within the building and even with his time away Pyre could still dream the hallways of the Academy. Back up team he heard and Pyre judged that to be a reasonable position for himself. His eyes glanced over those who were named with him, Kholas making it easier to put name to face as he gave them a warning look.

With that all explained the food came. Grateful that he wasn’t to leave the tavern on an empty stomach Pyre picked up some of everything on two platters, making sure to keep all animal produce and meats separate from the fruits and vegetables before stalking over to Pan’s corner.

“Nourishment for all,” he exclaimed holding the plates towards his new teammates. Linnae and Pan already settled, Kacius joining them later with a plate of his own.

“Let’s bury whatever axes we have and speak for a bit,” he spoke easily, letting himself sit down next to Pan. Though forever smiling Pyre’s voice had dropped, hinting at a more serious tone.






Professor Moysei Pyre