Pegulis, Chapter 8

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  1. Chapter 8
    Into the Past

    Medwick sneezed into his cup of coffee and drank it anyways. He stowed the thermic-warmed cup into his backpack. Mountaineering up a sheer face was hard; pioneering a thousand times harder. Deconstructing his hammock each time he took a rest was exhausting, and the sun was already at high noon by the time he finished.

    One hundred steps above he saw the vanishingly thin slits that peaked into the observation turret. Right underneath the turret there was a wooden trapdoor. The man-made underhang was the closest he would get to death in this whole ordeal.

    His breath bounced off the cliff face and fogged his eyes. Carval clung to the rocks like a woodpecker, his size belying his weightlessness. His aux scrambled up the face. In a way, it shamed Medwick that he could not perceive the paths up this last stretch, and had to rely on a hidden part of his soul, given flight by his aux, to guide him onward.

    Eirene passed the next day and two inside her prison. She ate and slept well. But up here she was blocked from governing her city - no, her nation. Her Archonship granted her special powers, but the Council and the Inner Sages could suppress her with a supermajority.

    So she was first pleased, second surprised, and third admonishing when Medwick's frost-encrusted hair popped up through the trapdoor. His punishment was to struggle through the opening unaided while warm air howled past his ears out into the barren mountain ranges. The Archon waited for him to sate his hunger and gather his breath and to speak.

    "I need answers." He folded his knees before her, hands clasped and back straight. "I brought back the Libras Sphere. After nearly a year abroad I brought back the transmutation relic that left its shards in dragons, whales, and everything in Sunne that eats and shits."

    "Why was I not given a hero's welcome? Why is the Sphere nowhere to be found? Why is nobody studying it? Why have we forgotten about it?"
    Medwick was not complacent. He was sharp. In effect, he was asking: what happened to the prevailing attitude in Barvelle?

    "The people decide whether you are a hero or a pariah, Medwick." Eirene managed to look regal in her winter endurance wear. She smoothed the furs. "The Ghoul Sage paid us a visit. It was decided that it was not worth our interests to dig into the past."

    "What is the Ghoul Sage? And why does he hold such power over Pegulis?"

    "The Ghoul Sage ... "

    Good Morning, Eirene. She gazed into the infinite abyss in the hood, from inside a coffin similar to the Utandis Cradle.

    "Without him, we would not have thermic gems."

    Velkan has deserted me.

    "When I journeyed deep into the Barvelle mountains he was there ... a capsule preserved from the Cataclysm."

    Arktus has convinced me that you'll be different.

    Something seemed to be blocking Eirene's memory. Her forehead was pinched and her knuckles were white with fistfuls of fur.

    "I'm going to get to the bottom of this." Eirene recognized that same look on his face the day they laid out the plans to journey south to recover the Libras sphere. The weight of responsibility that rapidly boiled down to fatalistic determination. He shouldered his backpack and dropped back through the trapdoor. A minute later, a hand reached up and palmed the spell circle, activating the ethereal tether along which he would zip line down the edge of the mountain.

    At least he had the courtesy to close the door after him.
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  2. Artorius Cale - Barvelle, burlywood
    Barvelle was a grand and beautiful place to be sure, but Artorius also found it to be a very frustrating one. It took a full three days to memorize directions from the tavern he was currently residing in to the General Assembly, where he'd ask to be seen five days out of the past week, the other two spent wasting his ever diminishing coin on booze in the aforementioned tavern. After being turned away each time he'd gone to ask for assistance, Art was about ready to give up on getting back home any time soon. He sure as hell wasn't about to try walking alone in the snow, but neither was he going to repeat the mistake of trusting the first bunch of mercenaries to come along.

    One more try, he'd told himself, one more try before settling in and waiting for things to calm down. Would they though, really? With as much as was going on lately, he imagined he'd be stuck in Barvelle for the foreseeable future.

    One more try before learning the horsemaster's schedule, he'd thought.

    Like the previous attempts, this one ended in failure. Again, no one could spare time to see the Aldusian councilman's son. With a sigh, Artorius departed from the assembly. This was expected, he admitted to himself when he leaned against an outer wall. The question now was how long to wait before he'd make off with a mount and try to go back on his own. Part of him didn't want to go back, the part that made distinction between petty theft and unjustified murder. He couldn't live in a city whose council condoned such wretched deeds, nor could he face his father after he'd taken part in that decision.

    Still so, it was his home. He grew up there, knew the people there. There had to be something else at work. Lingering magic from the storm, or maybe they'd been forced by some villain or another. Maybe it was just a lie, a rumor started to stir discontent. Why the guard captain's daughter though? Why wouldn't one take advantage of Eirene's apparent quarantine for their scheming?

    Too many questions and possibilities wracked at Art's mind. The normally care-free rogue looked worn, eyes dark and stress apparent. He needed something else to occupy his mind for a while. He'd have to return home and see for himself eventually, but for now he needed to forget, if only briefly.

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  3. Dane Myros - Aldus
    Before, the stir of echoes of all that encompassed Aldus once sang within Dane's head. Stories of its past, its present, its future, all rumbled like gears churning in a massive mill, lumbering within his mind. Most things he couldn't even begin to comprehend, but he could pick up fragments and pieces - shards of clarity in a massive cloudy nebula of memories and emotions and images.

    He was connected, in a way no Aldean would ever understand. Dane wasn't just part of the city; he was the city. For that time he was limitless, boundless, unrestrained to the confines of his human body. Every sound, every action, every thought that occurred in Aldus so too occurred in Dane.

    Every swing of Karissa's dangling feet from the rope from which she was hanged.

    Every clash of steel and gush of blood as Ilsa slayed the Aldus Council one by one.

    Every laugh from that gods-damned parasite Azareth as he left his host - the city itself - to rot in the madness he had infested it with.​

    Now, the echoes were silent. They had gone. In their place was only pain; not just emotional or psychological, but real, physical pain.

    Probably because of the giant wound in his chest.


    Dane thrashed restlessly in his prison "cot," a cushionless wooden plank sitting on a metal frame. Surrounding him were cold stone walls and floors, a steel reinforced door his only link to the outside world. He wrestled with the nightmares that plagued him, leaving him in a foggy state drifting somewhere between sleep and consciousness.

    He had been so boundless, so expansive, so massive, that he no longer felt suited to be cramped and stuffed into this tiny human frame. Time felt agonizingly slow.


    Dane grunted in his sleep, shirtless save for a series of tightly wrapped bandages around his chest, soaked by a dark crimson streak that seeped upwards along its length above the center of his chest where he had been cut open.

    "Nnng.. aahhhhHHH!!!"

    He wrestled himself awake, pupils dilated, sweat beading upon his forehead as the sound of his own tormented voice echoed off the walls. His eyes took in his surroundings as he regained his bearings, doing his best to steady his breath if for no other reason than that breathing hard hurt his chest. It was a routine he'd experienced for weeks, maybe months - he couldn't tell.

    As had been his routine, he stood up, walked briskly to the door and pounded on it fiercely. "'Ey! Lemme outta here! I din't do nothin' wr--" his voice trailed, as, for the first time, the door creaked open without resistance.

    The door opened fully, revealing a dead guard whose job it had been to watch the cell. His body was slumped against the wall, bloodstains caking from what looked like days of age. A note was affixed to the guard's chest, held in place by a finely crafted, exotic looking dagger. Dane crouched down to read it.


    You are welcome. Now run.

    ~ Nuria "Angel"

    P.S. I would like this dagger back.
    #3 fatalrendezvous, Jan 27, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2015
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  4. Collaboration-ish with LVL1337N00B

    Barvelle It didn't take long for the City of Barvelle to loose its grandeur for the Tavarkian huntress. Mountains towered over the carved settlement and at first they were impressive, but impressive quickly became oppressive. Tavark's walls did not compare, there was no arguing that, yet they at least made her feel welcomed to come and go as she saw fit. Barvelle was more of an "in or out" kind of place. It was also alien and difficult to navigate and her newest aversion to alleys and back roads didn't help in the least when it came to finding the tavern she decided to utilize until she figured out where she was to go from there. It nearly took her two hours to retrace her steps up to the point she finally got fed up and marched down a pass that would cut her aggravations in half. She was so aggravated in fact she didn't even notice she had drawn her dagger. At this rate it wouldn't be long before the Barvenese recognized her as an alley-prowling lunatic.

    Amara bobbed and weaved through the markets though she had no real need for them any more. She had sold the oversized clothes for better fitting apparel, even going as far as to replace her old Tavarkian clothes, and had just enough money left over to purchase a pair of fingerless gloves complete with button on hoods. Any other pair of gloves would have done just fine but she was tickled pink by the find. Who else could lay claim to a pair of gloves that could be converted into a pair of mittens? Still, there was an itch to restock her supplies. She had enough money from her odd jobs to pay for them but she just didn't see an explicit need to squander it away to an old habit. (Old habit? Was that what hunting was to her? Her favorite pass time and main source of food and trade an old habit?) She shook her head and pressed onward.

    Soon the markets were nothing more than background noise after she broke free of the temptation to buy more things than necessary for the moment. She wandered for bit, half-heartily looking for work if only to keep her busy and buy her time to form a proper plan. What was she even thinking coming here in the first place? I wasn't, Amara answered herself glumly. I needed to run and Barvelle seemed liked the perfect escape. As if it wasn't having its own problems. When she had first stumbled in the city seemed to her like paradise compared to Tavark's state and her five day long journey, but Barvelle had a thing for looks in the way they were deceiving. Rumors solidified the pretty picture the mountain city's lore painted for her and the more she listened the more she realized Tavark wasn't the only one that suffered, and that realization brought a sort of strange feeling of... relief? Guilt? Annoyance? Possibly a mixture of all of them. If anything, it solved the mystery as to why Tavark was left to wallow in its misery.

    The huntress eventually stopped in front of a large, imposing structure and stared up at it blankly, lost in her own thoughts. She knew enough to know Barvelle wasn't too informed on the on-goings of her proud home and it would be easy enough to march through the doors and seek counsel with the, well, council, but she couldn't entirely bring herself to do it. She had a feeling Barvelle wasn't in any position to lend aid. "
    I wonder," she began, still examining the building. "Is this place as important as it looks?" She flashed a grin at the man draped against a wall near enough to be in earshot, who seemed to wear his fair share of hardships like one would wear a shawl.

    Of course, this is where matters of the utmost importance are put to debate, decisions made by vote", the man told her, pulled out of thought by her voice and drawn in by her grin. If it needed to be said, it didn't take much for a member of the opposite sex to catch his attention. "That's what the books say, anyhow. I'd imagine all the really pressing issues are settled long before the assembly doors are opened", he continued as he stood straight and made his way over, hands pushed down into his coat pockets, "If you came looking for the council's help, I'm afraid you'll be turned away, the same as me."

    On her shoulder, Tang bristled and narrowed his sockets at the assembly. So, it's not that they're unable to help, it's more like they're unwilling to help, Amara mused. Even if they couldn't help directly they could at least offer solutions or something! These mountains really are they're prison.

    If I can, however, I'd be pleased to offer my own assistance,", the rogue offered, his eyes set on hers as he extended his hand, "Artorius Cale, at your service."

    The huntress smiled warmly and grabbed his forearm in the customary Tavarkian greeting. "
    Amara Desini, and thanks but I'm afraid the problems my home face are beyond either of us."

    #4 Noctis the Devious, Jan 29, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2015
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  5. Ophanim Hayyoth

    Hoisting up his bag for the umpteenth time that day, the Avian scanned the streets with his eyes. Had he been down there in the left alley yet? The male wasn’t too sure, but neither did he dare to ask anyone for the way around. No one could be trusted, no one was to be trusted. Clenching his fist a little tighter around the hinge, Ophanim shifted his head across the streets, before stepping out of the shadows and continuing his road. There didn’t seem to be any familiar faces around so he thought of himself as safe for the time being.

    It wasn’t too long ago that the sages had left him alone to work. Leaving him with endlessly carving the spell circles and the golems. After the whole event with Mordakar, revealing that his efforts were fruitless, as nothing new would be found, had left some resentment with him. Anger and disappointment, that they hadn’t trusted him a little more, but Ophanim had soon realised that it was silly to ask for trust. These men, the sages, had considered themselves above him and the rest, treating them as the lesser folk, who had to be educated and that image didn’t sit well with the Avian.

    For that reason Ophanim had decided to pack his work and move out of the workplace he had locked himself at ever since he arrived in Barvelle. He planned to go down, into the undergrounds, and receive all of the answers he could, or so he believed that he would find in the dungeons. Though the warning parting words of the sage lingered inside of his mind, convincing him all the more that the dungeons indeed held the answers he sought.

    However, the male couldn’t consult anyone, nor ask questions. He didn’t dared to, as he felt that everyone could be a possible spy, a tattler who would rat him out once they had the slightest suspicion. Roughly put, the Avian felt unsafe and it showed in his behaviour as he peeked from side to side every now and then. Could they see it? The goods he had packed and taken away without leaving a message? Was he too obvious? He tried to act as casually as he could, but the beating of his heart already betrayed the image he was hoping to form.
  6. Prelude
    "I feel like a sloth waking from hibernation."

    Medwick tested the backpack. It was far different from the mountaineering rucksack: stiffened with metal rods, with a very sturdy leather belt to cinch around his waist. In either hand he gripped two wooden poles, their ends charred to improve their toughness. He kicked at the ice and stone floor with shoes sheathed with metal spikes.

    "Sloths don't hibernate." The manager of the store, Olev, swept the coins from off the counter top and into the sack he called a cashier.


    "That's a pretty rare phrase to hear from you."

    "I didn't mean it."

    He wiggled, trying to set the straps into a more comfortable position and shift the heavier items to the bottom. In his backpack he carried mostly rations. There was nothing to worry about with regards to the weather, as the temperature below ground remained remarkably stable (and chilly) all year round. That was how those who lived in Barvelle stored their food, lowering it into dark wells or sinkholes deep in the ground. Many times, the ropes came up frayed and the food was lost - those were carefully marked on a map, and the holes sealed with magical traps and forgotten.

    A few days ago, Medwick dropped a glowworm down one of those holes. It went straight to the bottom and made a yellow-green flourescent puddle. Nothing else happened until the glow faded. As good a place to start as any.

    And he sure as hell wasn't going to walk down.

    "See you around."

    "Don't get lost down there."

    "Who said I was going down?"


    "Well, I'm not." The sage stomped out of the cavern with his thermic lantern, and the glow followed him into the dark tunnel.
    One loud click, then silence. The spell drove the hammer deep into the rock, and Medwick secured the rope through the hole at the top. Same idea. His leather gloves squeaked on the thick hemp rope. Same idea.

    He dropped another glowworm down the hole, and jumped off the edge of the hole. His hands started to heat up from the rope as he rappelled down. The rock blurred in front of him, and he was almost hypnotized by the fall -- a classic rookie mistake. He landed harder than he wanted to, and a bolt of pain shot up his lame leg.

    Quite the ignoble start. He dialed up the thermic lantern - a piece of wire heated white hot by a gem, imported from the merchants - and he moved into the darkness.
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  7. Collaboration with Noctis the Devious and WishfulNemo.


    In Pursuit of a Lost Birdie - Barvelle, burlywood
    "..wave after wave of golems, each batch more ruthless than the last, but in the end we stood victorious." Artorius had just finished telling his story to the Tavarkian huntress, the details of which had become even more unnecessarily exaggerated than before. The pair had gone for a walk after their introductions, exploring the city and making small talk along the way. Somewhere down the line, the question of what brought Art to Barvelle came up and one thing lead to another. "All in all it was a rather stressful ordeal. I'm sure you can understand why I volunteered to deliver those blueprints."

    "How about you, miss Desini, what brings you to the secret city?"

    Amara listened intently, hanging on every word Art spoke and asking questions when the opportunity arose. Hearing him speak brought a strange feeling of normalcy, though she was concerned for the state of Aldus. When the conversation turned to her, she merely shrugged, shifting her pack with a sheepish chuckle. "Sight seeing I guess," she supplied. "Barvelle is definitely not Tavark, that's for sure." She gripped a strap of her pack to make up for the absence of her quiver, secured to the side of her pack along with her bow.

    "It certainly is different here", Artorius agreed, glancing toward the stone above his head for what must have been the third time that day alone. He shook his head and turned to smirk at Amara, but instead an eyebrow raised as he looked past her. The rogue set a hand on the girl's shoulder, the other's thumb lightly pushing against the side of her chin until she faced the direction of the shifty looking fellow that distracted him.

    Amara allowed her attention to be redirected and she watched the avian with curiosity. "You know, I once knew an avian who had secrets to guard and I imagine that avian doesn't want anybody to know his little secret either." She barely finished her sentence before stalking forward, Art following close behind with a smirk on his face. The huntress was told time and time again how her curiosity was going to be her undoing, but if one is going to act suspicious they might as be demanding for someone to be curious about them and their equally suspicious activities.

    A deep sigh, a huff and another shrug of his shoulder to hoist his bag up. Ophanim hadn't made any progress yet, still searching for his way around and still on edge for the content his bag held. It made him all the more anxious, thinking of how he could be found by anyone who knew him at any given moment. It took up half his mind, drifted his attention as every stranger's face crossed as 'vaguely familiar'.

    He also felt watched by everyone. Every eye contact he had, and broke off as quickly as he could, they all struck him with paranoia. What if they already knew and were following him? Not daring to peek over his shoulder the Avian continued his way, ever so clueless of the way around. His nerves were eating him and the slightest movement, even if meant friendly, could have him lash out now.

    The huntress trailed after the suspicious avian, keeping back so not to tip him off. He seemed like someone who held a 'me against the world' attitude so either he had people after him or suspected people to be after him once they found out what he was hiding. Either way, it'd make her visit that much more interesting. She closed in on him gradually until she was casually walking along side him with a reasonable distance between them.

    "You know, usually when someone is trying to get away with something they try to act more... subtle. But maybe I'm just old fashion like that." She smirked at the startled avian, who barely took the time to recover before bolting down the nearest side street with the curious Amara at his heels.

    "A bit skittish, isn't he?", Artorius asked as he quickly caught up with Amara, his grin stretching wide as they gave chase. The rogue chuckled to himself as an amusing thought crossed his mind; Until now, he'd always been the one fleeing.

    In blind panic Ophanim had given into a chase, running and pushing past the people in the way. The voice had startled him, not giving him enough time to see who it was, or think it all thoroughly. It certainly didn't help his situation though, as this time the eyes in his back weren't imaginated.

    What also didn't help was the wall in front of him. Ophanim's lack of planning, and knowledge of the city had him literally driven into a corner. Staring up against the dead end he met, the Avian made a sharp turn around, facing his chasers. "Please..." He mumbled in a low voice, but it wasn't to them and neither to himself. What was he going to do now?

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  8. High up in the middle of nowhere, teal


    Days past since Medwick jumped back down the maintenance chute. Eirene sat up in the watchtower, still trapped, still fed, still sleeping, still isolated.

    She was readying a spell to blast the trapdoor open when it happened.

    A single point of light winked into existence in the middle of the room. The point became a line, elongating symmetrically, and the line extended downwards to become a rectangle. The blinding white plane shimmered and resolved into the end of a tunnel, from which emerged three solid, voluminous objects. Three hooded sages, one of which placed a small crystal on the top of the vibrating door. The spinning gem stabilized the portal.

    Before she could speak, the first hooded figure held a finger to its lips. Only after they sealed the room with pasted spell circles did they speak.

    "We apologize for the delay, Eirene. Mordakar has ears everywhere."

    "Who are you?" She still casually held the blasting spell in her hands, the pulsing sphere promising deadly retaliation.

    "Friends, Archon." The three knelt before her.

    "Explain this portal."

    "A prism door, Archon. This is how the Ghoul Sage has been able to move so freely over Pegulis - and we suspect, Sunne."

    The Archon was no stranger to the wonderful, such as the miracle of thermic gems or the horror of the Ghoul Sage, but even she was startled by such a flagrant display of powerful magic. No ... it was not magic. Magic was subtle, the spark of an advent, the intricate design of a spell circle. In front of the door, Archon Eirene began to feel a certain sort of reverence, a bubbling effervescence that she was in the presence of something unknowable, something that would have taken her one hundred - no, a thousand - years to understand.

    "We have learned many things about the Ghoul Sage. Secrets he has been keeping from us. Secrets that will allow us to throw his chains off and stop the Czar."

    "You mean ... " She had suspected, but never confirmed. The crushing presence, the overwhelming, ancient power, choking like a tornado of dust ...

    "The Ghoul Sage is an Old God."
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  9. Dane Myros - The Lisbon Home
    Dane sat at the Lisbons' dining table, one hand pinching the bridge of his nose, the other drumming against the wood. Nuria was seated across from him, quietly studying a town flyer that advertised an upcoming town forum for the citizens to discuss, nominate, and potentially elect an entirely new city council. Ilsa's mother bumbled about, busying herself preparing a lunch for her two guests who had now become frequent and regular visitors.

    This house had practically become home to Dane; Ilsa's mother managed to avoid the public eye since Lisbon was Ilsa's married name. As such, Ilsa's mother did not carry it and was able to avoid much of the tension associated with the Lisbon name. Even before Karissa's death, Dane had spent time in the home simply learning from the Lisbon girl. She'd taught him to read, to write, and to carry himself with proper manners (though Dane still often forgot). He owed a lot to her, and, by extension, to Ilsa.

    Nuria also owed; the Lisbons graciously took in the Avians when few others would, providing them with shelter and food without asking for anything in return. They saw firsthand the good of people, of Karissa, who did not judge but rather sought to learn. They saw firsthand the bad in people, too, as Karissa was marched to her hanging, her death cheered for by hundreds, if not thousands, of townsfolk. Nuria was indebted to the Lisbons at least as much as helping to clear their name.

    "We gotta do somethin'!" Dane protested as his bare fist landed on the tabletop, jostling the glasses of water sitting atop it. "All the townsfolk think the Captain is some kinda murderer, and none of this is her fault at all!"

    Nuria continued to stare down at the flyer in her hand as she responded, her voice a whisper. "The snow has been allowed to roll for too long. We cannot stop an avalanche."

    Dane exhaled in frustration at Nuria's manner of speech as his he cradled his forehead with his palm. At least he understood the metaphor - several months ago, the meaning of that analogy might have been lost on him. "...And like an avalanche, all we can do is wait for it 'ta pass, then rebuild."

    The Avian sitting across from him nodded quietly in affirmation. "The damage is too recent; it will take time. The land is not yet ready to be sown." Nuria held up the flyer.

    "But we can prepare for it to be."

    Dane eyed the flyer in her hand from across the table. "What're you plannin'?"

    "I, too, know of the darkness that the Mother of the Free Child was attempting to abolish." Nuria shook the flyer with emphasis, causing it to flap loosely from the movement. "The Avians have shown our good will. I will push for amnesty for us here, and hope that Avian votes are enough to elect me to council. I am experienced in politics, after all. Perhaps more experienced than anyone left in the city."

    "From there, we begin to rewrite history."
    #9 fatalrendezvous, Feb 27, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2015
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  10. Slowly running out of time, teal
    The tunnel he was following bifurcated. For a long time - too long - Medwick sat in front of the choice with his arms crossed. From both tunnels flowed cool air. One of the streams was slightly stale. Was it a sign of air flowing from deeper down, or air flowing from a place where people breathed it?

    Agh. Medwick ripped his climber's suit open and gently peeled the thermic gem from the harness that held it over his heart. The flesh underneath was red and looked slightly ... cooked. He was seized by a sudden nausea, and spat up the sour, half digested pemmican. For a few days since his climb up the mountainside, he had felt sick from time to time, and experienced bouts of weakness.

    The bile smell flooded his nose. He reeled and could no longer remember which one he chose, and simply stumbled down one instead. Hours later, the tunnel was growing more and more constricted. He saw the light of the end in the distance, but as he crawled to the end, it was revealed to be a small hole, only large enough for his head.

    Would he have to turn back? No. He carefully scratched a circle into the opening, sweat beading on his nose from his contorted pose. Crouching down behind his backpack, he whispered the incantation and ducked behind the muffled roar and bits of debris. The front of his pack was slightly shredded, but it would hold.


    It was not like he expected anything else. Still, the sight of more caverns, more tunnels, and nothing to navigate by depressed him. He reminded himself to stay positive and sat down for a small meal. Unfortunately, the smell of shit lingered in the cavern. Perhaps the Barvelle sewer lines were nearby.
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  11. ooc: Collaboration between @LVL1337N00B, @Noctis the Devious & @Peregrine

    [Ophanim Hayyoth]
    "The dungeons of Barvelle," Ophanim's voice trembled as he said that. Clenching his fist even tighter the Avian shifted his eyes over the two, gulping a little as he tried to reason for a way out. "I... no, ... The dunge-... Barve-" his sentences broke up and never finished, frustrating the man. He knew what he wanted to say, but his mind couldn't form the proper sentences to explain.

    "Secrets, there are secrets in the dungeons," Ophanim finally managed to choke out, fear striking him in the gut that he might have said too much.

    [Artorius Cale]
    "Secrets, you say?", Artorius asked, his brow raised, "Valuable secrets, perhaps?"

    The rogue rubbed his chin in a brief moment of mock contemplation, as though he hadn't actually already decided. "You'll want someone watching your back as you delve into the deep, dark tunnels, yes? I can't say I have anything better to do..", he said with a smirk as he walked past the avian, in the direction he'd been headed. He glanced back at Amara, jerking his head in a gesture for her to come along as well. "This ought to be interesting."

    [Amara Desini]
    Amara, as much as she wanted to be thrilled by the new development, hesitated. It was hard to imagine herself willingly wandering down under the earth were tunnels confide the space. No fresh air, no open skies-- far from her normal prowling grounds. But the look Art gave her had her quickly deciding she didn't want her inner thoughts escaping. "Yep," she quipped. "It should be really interesting," she grinned ear from ear and shifted the pack on her shoulders. She was tempted to draw her bow but stopped herself and contented herself with knowing her hatchet and dagger were at her sides, occasionally brushing her fingers over the weapons.

    [Ophanim Hayyoth]
    The nonchalance the man replied to him, and the suspicious moves of the female, Ophanim wondered if he could trust them. "It is..." he mumbled a little vaguely, not answering to either of them as he was too distracted with his own plan of escape.

    "I'm sorry." Ophanim's voice never rose from a whisper. Taking a slight step back, he had his aux come out, moving it near to his chest to prepare for the advent. Though he could only 'lock' one person to their spot, the Avian had assumed himself to be faster than the man, and thus decided to freeze the female that was with him. With every intention to put his plan into execution, Ophanim didn't think that he would be awfully out of balance with each movement backwards.

    [Amara Desini]
    Amara turned at the distant tone the avian's voice took on and her eyes caught something. "Wait!" she exclaimed, thrusting her hand towards him. Her breath caught when his aux began to glow with the talltale signs of an advent and mentally cursed. That was all she had the time to do. The avian teteered at the edge of a shaft just as she felt her muscles lock into place and she couldn't even do anything to prevent herself from falling forward, sending them both sliding down the chute.

    [Artorius Cale]
    "Shit", Artorius muttered as he swiped at the Tavarkian's arm and missed, quickly realizing he'd doomed himself in doing so when he felt himself slipping. The young man tried to steady himself, but to no avail. The curse was repeated when each attempt to correct his footing caused him to slide around more, until finally he fell face-first into a puddle and down the same chute as the others. The putrid smell in Art's nostrils had his eyes watering and his face discolored, and when he collided with the others he immediately lost the contents of his last meal.

    [Ophanim Hayyoth]
    Ophanim had hoped to go down the dungeons, but never in the fashion he did now. Sliding down through the thick, smelling substance the male pressed his lips and eyes to each other in all his might, not wanting any of it to enter in any way. Though he could only hold in his breath for so long, and with another weight on his chest the Avian felt all the more pressured to breath, unwillingly taking in a deep breath from his nose.

    It was fortunate that the slide down didn't take too long, for he would surely have released the content of his stomach if it did last any longer, as his back hit the ground, slamming the air out of his lungs. The force and weight in which he landed was enough to make him see stars for a while, blinking to himself before he pushed the female on top of him away. Slipping and feeling around the Avian clumsily tried to get up, his arms waving around in the air in the hope to grab something to pull himself up with. Trying his hardest to breath as little as possible, for it was too hard to ignore the smell.

    Only a few tunnels over, Ethelwen was knee deep in a sewer blockage, fishing with a large pole to try and dislodge whatever was covering the drain. But the construction of the tunnels meant that, as soon as the three unexpected visitors crashed into the tunnel, it sounded as though he was standing right next to where they landed. Ethelwen nearly dropped the pole, catching it scant inches above the muck. He let out a relieved sigh, before turning away. What had that been?

    It only took a few moments for curiosity to overcome him. The sewers were generally a quiet place, with few disruptions. He waded his way carefully down the hallway, trying to pinpoint where he had heard the noise.

    A couple of wrong turns later, and he finally found the noise. Three people were standing in a dry corridor, looking entirely out of place. Ethelwen couldn’t restrain a faint laugh.

    “What are you guys doing down here?”

    [Amara Desini]
    ...59...60... Amara sighed as the advent wore off and flexed her arms, shooting an annoyed look at the avian. "Men, they can never seem to look where they're going," she huffed. She made a face at her ruined new clothes and quickly dug out her mother's salve from her belt pocket. The root her mother used to make it had a particular scent. It wasn't sweet, more like... fresh. She wiped her hands off and lightly smeared the creamy substance under her nose. Who knew such a small thing could make a big difference? She offered some to the Art and then to the avian, both who obviously never been in such gross circumstances. "Well," she began, keeping an eye on how much each person used. "If you must know Mr. Feathers decided a nice walk in the bowels of Barvelle would be an awesome way to spend the day. Art, being bored, randomly thought being a sword for hire would be so much fun. As for me, I'm in it for the fame and glory, as you can probably tell." Amara grinned and made an exaggerated hand motion over her front. "Amara Desini, please to make your aquaintance." Instead of her hand, she offered him her salve. He was probably used to the smell but any one could use a pick me up.

    [Artorius Cale]
    "Sword for hire?", Artorius asked, taking a dab of Amara's salve and applying it as she had. He paused for a moment, surprise evident on his face as he no longer felt the urge to gag with every breath. "I don't recall asking for payment in exchange for my services", he said, shooting a smirk Amara's way, "But if you insist, I wouldn't say no to a drink or two at the tavern later."

    "But for now, we could use some directions", he continued, turning his attention to the anima, "Our evasive and.. Oddly familiar friend here" - he pointed a thumb toward Ophanim - "wants to delve into the deepest parts of this city."

    [Ophanim Hayyoth]
    Shifting a little at the glare he was given, Ophanim reluctantly struck his hand out towards the salve, following the example as the rest without making much of a sound. The rest seemed to be more comfortable talking, so the Avian had figured that it was better to leave it to them. Besides, he didn't want to reveal too much about the reasons why he wished to go down the sewers, still wary for any possible spies.

    "Ophanim Hayyoth," he mumbled, slipping his bag off his shoulder. He was fortunate that it didn't fall off, but he worried for the content, sighing in relief as he opened the sack. At least he hadn't lost the most important part of his work. Yet.

    However, just as he felt relieved he stiffened up again, his eyes shifting over to the stranger that had joined their group. "What are you doing here?" he asked, wondering what other business someone could have down below the ground.

    "I work here," Ethelwen replied, still staring at the odd trio with a bewildered expression. "But you certainly took a very... unusual path down." Ethelwen let out a sigh. It looked like his work wasn't going to get completed today. Again.

    "Come on," he said, gesturing down the tunnel. "I'll take you back to the main tunnels. It is easy to get lost down here if you don't know your way around."

    With that the group followed the stranger, moving through excrement before finally reaching somewhat cleaner grounds. “There you go,” their guide said. The three wanderers let go of a sigh in relief, happily breathing in fresher smelling air.
    #11 Nemopedia, Feb 28, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2015
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  12. Nowhere to go but down
    General Coul would have many things to worry about, if he ever returned to Pegulis. On top of certain war with the Red Empire, Barvelle still struggled in the aftermath of Caoimhe. Little was known about her past, present, or future, except that she was one of Medwick's assistants on his many archaeological digs. No one knew why her presence in the Secret City had caused it to become dysfunctional in so many subtle ways. A foul sickness spread through the smoke from piles of burning waste and dead bodies in the sewers, rendering the lower levels of Barvelle completely inaccessible. The city council closed the passageways, rolling door-boulders that had not been moved since Barvelle was carved, and sealed the edges with whale fat.

    That was not the end of their problems. Man-sized burrows began to pop up all over the city. The night was punctuated by screeches and trails of violent blood that disappeared into the wormholes. When they poured boiling water down the holes, sometimes a very human scream would float upwards accompanied by the smell of cooking flesh.

    Shit was mixed in with their fungus fields, spoiling months of harvest.

    The fermentation tanks for the seal meat were left wide open, and the contents spoiled in under a day.

    If the situation wasn't so dire, the town criers would have joked that the sewers were coming back to haunt them. Worst of all, many passageways led to the outside, as if a race of ice-eating, human-hating, human-sized termites had invaded Barvelle. The security problems nearly drove the junior officers insane. The ice-welders and architects were working overtime to fill in the holes and hide the entrances to the outside.

    Presiding over the chaos was silence. Eirene was still confined to the upper observatory tower, and the Governing Council suffered from the lack of leadership.

    Ophanim's tumbling down the chute had not gone unnoticed. From higher up in the tunnel, a figure stared down at them. The blood on its dagger was brown; it had been used to carve through long dead flesh.

    The shaman snarled at them, a hissing language intermixed with hoarse croaking and clucking. It sounded like the Draken's secret language and the lonely cries of the few remaining dragons on Sunne. It then slid out of view, leaving the path ahead littered with makeshift caltrops and shrapnel.
    #12 unanun, Mar 4, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2015
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  13. A Cold Wind
    An uneasy feeling had ridden in the wind, haunting the General of Pegulis as he and his group of dejected diplomats waded home through the snow and ice. It kept him from resting easy at night, and he would wake in the early hours of the morning, pushing the people with him harder and longer. He tried to ignore the gnawing anxiety, to focus. There was still so much for him to do.

    But, still days out from Barvelle, Coul folded. That night, under the cover of a clouded sky, his advent brought the sounds from the Cheronese to his ears.


    He waited, his aux swirling around him. He should hear something. But all there was to hear was the jangling of chains, the howling of the Cheronese wind, and the bass beat of marching feet.

    Ilsa was captured, and the Kaustrian army was marching. His golem had been nothing but a bluff. All was lost.

    There would be no more rest for the Pegulian delegates. Not until they made it back to the walls of Barvelle. Kaustir was coming, and there was nothing that they could do to stop them from entering the frozen lands.
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  14. Ophanim Hayyoth

    Without much thought Ophanim followed the stranger that offered to be their guide. His feet felt heavy from the liquid that his socks soaked up. The sloshing sound with each step he took sent shivers down his spine. To calm his mind the Avian tried to trick himself into believing that it was water and mud at his feet. However, the smell betrayed his imagination, serving as a grim reminder. It made him wonder if this was something he could get used to, if he wanted to get used

    Every now and then the group would see a light source, giving them a clearer few of their path. It was never enough, though, as the lights were spread as efficient as they could. With each light they passed they could never see the next light ahead. Neither did the lights ever seem to intersect with each other. However, now Ophanim could distinguish the different shades of the shadows surrounding them. He assumed that the dark circles in the wall were the chutes. Tunnels like the group had fallen through and were walking in now.

    The sewers held a mysterious air due to the lack of light and the bare signs of life. Only a labyrinth of tunnels surrounded them. Some were on the same level, others only accessible by climbing the iron bars. The Avian wondered which one of the caves hid the secrets he was looking for. To him, each possible road he could explore looked uninviting. Not to mention the smell that had invaded every corner of this place. The stench was a mixture of ammonia, rotten eggs, and more. Scents that reminded Ophanim of corpses and rotten food.

    “Work you said?” Ophanim questioned, trying to distract himself from his own disgust. He wondered what kind of job would take anyone down here. Would it be cleaning? This place could undeniably use some cleaning, but it would never get rid of the smell. Moving forward in a line of four Ophanim craned his neck a little to the front. “What kind of work?” he continued. The sewers were too narrow for them to walk side by side, forcing the group of four to line up. Their guide in front of the line and him at the back, for Ophanim couldn't move as fast as the rest. It was the excrement, he told himself, wading through the water required more muscle. Muscles he didn't have, or only had so little of.

    A sound above the group made him turn his head to the view above him, from where the noise came from. Somewhere, in a path above he could see the vague outline of another presence. What they were saying he couldn't understand, he could only guess what was said. However the Avian could swear that he saw something blinking in their hand. The answers to his questions had to wait, it seemed.

    Holding in his breath the male wondered what the noise meant. Flickering his eyes over to the rest of his group the Avian wondered if they knew. Could it be a code? A signal to get rid of them, him? Ophanim knew it sounded too convenient to bump into anything breathing in the underground. Letting go of a whimper the male froze in his steps, as his hand trailed over the uneven bricks. Pushing himself off the wall the clockmaker made a turn around, running and slipping.

    He despised how narrow the place was. Hating the idea that he couldn't spread his wings without bumping into the walls. It robbed him off his freedom to choose, chained him down to the ground and hurt his pride. Stumbling over the wet stones covered by excrement Ophanim tried to find his grip. Grabbing an iron bar the male tried to climb one of the stairs that led to another tunnel up. If the way down had him ending up here, he believed that the way up would get him out. Not wanting to spend any longer in the breathless, narrow space, Ophanim was desperate to get his freedom back.
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  15. Viule Vanukar - Aldus
    He stood just outside the stone fence of the newly built house, overseeing the arrival of its furnishings. This was to be the new house of Turin of Belfast, a powerful man of Aldus and employer to the Nocturne steward that managed his property and financial affairs. To the steward, the events that had pummeled the city of Aldus had been a rest period in comparison to its aftermath. What Viule's statute-like posture now failed to show was the exhaustive days that followed. Physically moving debris in aid of others had been one thing, dealing with the Belfast household in psychological disarray had been another. The bruised City of Aldus. Mobilizing the broken hearts of its people to do his bidding had been likewise a great feat.

    Here he was, staring blankly at the working ants, pushing the limit of his bloodless days. He needed to feed. He also needed the house to be livable by nightfall. The wind blew and he shivered with the thought of the work that lay ahead, as much as with the cold that plagued him, when someone approached with a query concerning the position of a bed and the textiles to match it.
    He couldn't do it anymore.
    Viule wasn't in the mood. He was tired, hungry, and in the wrong mental state to play his role at the moment. He walked away wordlessly, leaving the protection of the stone that had blocked him from the cold wind, for the first time breaking the part of the dedicated and servile steward he'd created long ago.


    "Vanu," he whispered to the snow before him, "I need to feed."
    How long had it been since he'd last spoken to his aux? It didn't matter. Nothing mattered right now but his single need. Turin of Belfast would have to wait, for once. His lurid hound peeked around a building a short distance away. It's twelve red eyes eager. The all too familiar look made Viule look away. In all this time, had he changed so little?
    Viule followed his aux, or whatever glimpses of it he caught. He needed to familiarize himself with this part of town very soon if he wanted to find the best deals for his needed fresh source of food.

    #15 Mglo, Mar 9, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2015
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  16. Under Barvelle
    Medwick may have spent time in Barvelle but he had been born in Aldus, and he was unfamiliar with the nature of the deep, uncut tunnels. Above the tunnels were carefully shaped by pickaxe and magic, but here they were rough, raw, and they carried sound unpredictably. For that reason, it was a sudden shock when the sound of a shouting voice hit him.

    “Oph... Avian! What are you doing?”

    Medwick jerked back from stirring the cooking pot, following it up with a prompt swear as the hot liquid splashed all over his hand. As if that wasn’t enough of a shock, a figure appeared suddenly from the ground, not even pausing before barreling in his direction. His advents useless in such a situation, Medwick fell back on the next best thing.

    The barrier spell bloomed in front of him with a muttered word, nothing more than a distortion in the air. As effective as it was for cutting through bad weather and offering a modicum of protection, it was even better at stopping the avian in his headlong, panicked flight. Ophanim hit the ward like a pile of bricks, crumping to the ground as the wind was knocked out of him. He gasped for a moment, eyes wide, before he finally saw the shadowed figure of Medwick looming behind the barrier. Only the timely arrival of Artorius, who had been the first to turn around and chase after the fleeing clockmaker, kept the panicking avian from having a heart attack.

    “The hell?”

    “What the fuck are you doing down here?”

    “I could ask you the same question!”

    “That is none...”

    Medwick’s potential tirade was broken off by the appearance of Amara, whose head popped up from the next level down. She looked around briefly before scowling. “What is today, National Meet-Strangers-In-The-Sewers Day?” She crawled the rest of the way out, straightened her shirt, and hurried over. “Who are you?”

    “Galean Medwick. Not that...”

    “Well, I’m Amara, that’s Artorius, and the birdbrain over there is Ophanim. Now that we all know each other, can we please get out of here?” Amara looked around. “What happened to our guide?”

    Ethelwen, for his part, was doing his best to pretend he was not there. He could not abandon the strange trio, but the last thing he had expected was to see a face he recognized down here. Unfortunately, his attempt to remain in the shadows failed with unprecedented speed.

    “You, cat.” Ethelwen twitched. “I know you. You were with the Archon. What are you doing down here?”

    “I work here...” It seemed to be his fallback answer.

    “Here? I thought you worked for the Archon. No matter. If you know these tunnels, that means that you can lead me.” He cast a brief, almost dismissive glance at the rest of the gathered people. "If the rest of you are down here you might as well make yourselves useful too. Follow me."

    Medwick paused only long enough to scoop up the pot, dump out the boiled water, and put it into his scorched pack before he started walking. He quickly came to a halt when he realized that the other four were not following him. “You are supposed to be guiding, cat. A requisite of that is you being in front.”

    “...Where are we going?”

    “Down. As deep as possible.”

    To everyone’s surprise, Ophanim was the first to begin moving. He seemed to have somewhat gotten over his panic now that he was in a cavern that was more than large enough to spread his wings. “What? he asked, shrugging his shoulders. “I wanted to go there anyways.”
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  17. The streets of Aldus
    Battered buildings thinly lined with snow made up Aldus’ new landscape. There was a stillness to it that had nothing to do with peace. The wind howled lightly through its nooks and crannies as Viule ambled past them. He’d fed in the northern outskirts of the city, where an old couple struggled to maintain whatever remnants of the elk farm they once had. Viule had been generous; Money had a way of putting people at ease, and being in a position of servitude helped speed things along. A leashed dog wasn’t as scary. The blood had been excellent, so much so that he’d gone so far as to initiate casual conversation. It was, of course, not without purpose. As a nocturne, he’d need them regularly. As a steward, lord Belfast had instructed him on being particularly helpful around town. As if Viule wasn’t already doing enough for the man. Building an image and doing publicity wasn’t part of his job or set of skills, but if lord Belfast succeeded it would have to be.

    “Hey! You!” called out a man from a side street just before he momentarily froze. His eyes turned weary as he faltered before speaking his purpose, “may we have your aid?”

    The situation made Viule uncomfortable but the social expectation was clear. He smiled kindly as he wished himself back at the Belfast house picking textiles or whatever, “or course. Turin of Belfast wouldn’t have it any other way.”
    Too soon, too direct, and to obvious in trying to please. In a way, he thought this forced good will a good thing despite his unwillingness. If he gave into it, perhaps he’d find a gentle side of himself he never knew he had. His own sentimentality both repulsed and gladdened him. Change was change, even if slow.

    How appropriate that he should live in Aldus at this point in time. They were, in many ways, reflections of each other. And here he was, using his own stained hands to help the city stand. Surely, the city would one day pay him back.

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  18. Aldus Elections
    Aldus was cold, lost, and confused. Turin of Belfast recognized it just as clearly as he had when he looked at Viule. How easy it had been to acquire his services. How easy it would be to acquire the city. Everyone and everything could be pulled and pushed in the right direction with the proper tools and Turin was confident he had pulled and pushed just right. It wasn't a natural talent, but a skill he had learned to polish with the passing of years. He had his reputation and money to show for it. However, he wasn't the best at it but he had other ways -tools- of making up for it. His steward, for example, had thus far proven to be quite the useful tool. Even now, as he sat thinking about elections.

    Aldus was desperate to be administered. Elections were upon them and they were eager to be guided. The Assembly had already gathered at the City's core. Anyone and everyone was welcomed and even invited to join in on the deliberation of the candidates up for Council positions. Everyone and anyone except, of course, the candidates themselves. Each candidate was allowed to send a representative to speak on their behalf, but at the end of the day it was the people's choice. The Assembly would end with their final votes. Their voice and their hopes. The new Council Members would be announced immediately after the vote count, whereupon the newly elected would be summoned to enter their first and inevitable Council Meeting.

    Turin of Belfast was ready to be called upon. In fact, he expected it. Comfortably sitting in his study he smiled in victory. A fire blazing warmth throughout the room of his newly built and newly furnished house on the northern side of Aldus. His steward nowhere to be found. Turin had made sure to feed the nocturne with strong points for his candidacy as well as the counter arguments that inevitably would be needed. The quick study had responded beautifully. The boy was not intelligent by Aldus standards, but he was quick to memorize. Best of all, he moved wonderfully quiet and fluidly smooth with reflexes that made it seem as if he could disappear before your very eyes. Had Turin not seen it happen by accident, he would have only thought of Viule as a nimble, skillful, and perfectly invisible servant, as servants often were. The odd thing was that, despite such preparations, Viule was not Turin of Belfast's representative in the Assembly.

    The large open room, cracked and shattered in places, clearly repaired in others, was full to the brim. Viule ambled through the crowd with ease. His presence still very much visible. His orders were to observe and locate points of opposition. To whisper Turin's words behind the public's ears unnoticed. To cause a quieting pain on the outspoken Turin antagonists without being recognized as his servant, without, in fact, being seen. Vilue's blank stare surveyed the room without interest. He was dressed in forgettable clothing, his hair without his usual sleeked-back style and unkempt. Of course, nothing could hide his race, but when the time came he'd put on his hat, wrap a cloth around his neck and par to his face, and begin to do what he did best; what he'd been taught to do up until the point he'd ran away from it. Why he'd continued his training even after escaping he didn't know. He would often tell himself it was just habit.
    #18 Mglo, Mar 14, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2015
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  19. Dane Myros - Echoes of the Past
    "Aw'right, go on ahead 'n lay those over there! Easy, now."

    Dane's involvement in the rebuilding efforts of the three spires of Aldus had been steadily growing since his recovery. All of the recent chaotic events in the city had left the Aldus Watch regrettably short-staffed, and though Commander (now Captain) Marin was reluctant to assign the country boy any duties more advanced than those fitting for a bumpkin, it was borne of simple necessity and lack of able bodies.

    Marin had kept a watchful eye on Dane at first, but found herself continually impressed by him despite her desire to find fault. He was different now than before; Dane would have explained that it was thanks to Karissa, but his experience with the Ghoul Sage and with Aldus had changed him.

    He was selfless now; detached, almost. But at the same time, he struggled to care for people the same way he had before. Half-remembered visions tormented him constantly, both asleep and in waking. The only way Dane could somewhat effectively ignore them was to busy himself, so in that way he was grateful to have more duties with the Watch.

    The watchman continued to direct civilian volunteers (of which the Nocturne Viule had briefly assisted before leaving to tend to other affairs) to aid in the "reconstruction" of one of the three towers along The Wall that had been destroyed. Of course, the spires themselves were ancient, having been erected long before Aldus and before Pegulis, so the stories went. Nobody knew exactly what they did or what they were for, and though Dane had a vague idea, he wouldn't be able to describe any of his memory accurately (or perhaps believably) enough. The citizens couldn't hope to actually rebuild the Spires, and so instead they merely helped to fill the gaps in the walls with stone bricks.

    "Dane." A familiar voice caught Dane's attention as Captain Marin approached.

    Dane offered one of the civilians a pat on the back before stepping away from his work for a moment to convene with Marin. "Afternoon, Command-- err, Captain. Sorry."

    Marin's normally stern features lifted into an understanding smile. "It's fine, I understand. How's progress?"

    "It's goin' good," Dane nodded, before catching himself and hearing Karissa's lecturing voice in the back of his head. "Or it's goin' well, I mean." He still wasn't sure he understood the difference, but continued anyway. "The townsfolk are pretty willin' to help and are doin' a good job." Dane paused to reflect on the words once more. A well job? No, probably not. "But we don't have many stonemasons left in Aldus, so it's still gonna take a while."

    The new Watch Captain sighed and nodded her head, causing her straight raven-black hair to bounce around weightlessly. "Callen - Ilsa's late husband - was great with stonework. People say that masonry ran in his blood. I heard he was expected to take over for his father, until he was made Captain of the Watch." Marin's admiration for the late Captain was clear in her tone and facial expression; though she knew what Ilsa had done and what the townsfolk were saying about her, she could not shake that nagging feeling that they might be wrong.

    Dane nodded, folding his arms over his chest as he and Marin watched the townfolk milling about in the rebuilding efforts. "Hey, Captain?" He asked, prompting Marin to turn her head towards him. "What ever happened to Callen, anyway?"
    #19 fatalrendezvous, Mar 14, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2015
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  20. Ophanim Hayyoth

    “What made you run?”

    The question from the group startled Ophanim a little, freezing a little before he relaxed and rubbed the back of his head. Hadn’t they heard it? The Avian wondered if he had imagined everything, the shadow, the strange sound, and the dull reflection of something sharp. It could have easily been a rat, or some other animal that wouldn’t mind the stench, maybe even a hallucination because of the tension and smell surrounding him. However, He didn’t feel convinced by anything he thought though.

    “Didn’t you see that figure?” he mumbled, his eyes trailing up again. He knew that whatever he saw wasn’t up there, the group having moved on from their previous spot. It didn’t put his mind at ease however, the image of the metal still clear inside of his memory. Scratching his forehead a little the male pondered what to say more. What if he really did imagine it all and it was just a play of light what he saw? Gulping a little Ophanim closed his eyes as he let go of a deep breath. A mistake as a mouthful of odour entered his throat when he inhaled.

    Spluttering and coughing the Avian clasped his hand over his mouth, his face seeing green by disgust. The taste of the air worsened the smell surrounding them, bringing the feathered man tears into his eyes. “I…” catching up on his breath again he continued to talk. “I thought I saw something like a blade,” he replied a little meekly, feeling cold eyes turning over to him. Wincing a little the clockmaker suddenly felt a feeling of guilt growing inside of him, though he wasn’t sure what he had done.
    #20 Nemopedia, Mar 14, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2015
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