The Guild of El'yssi (Exploration Fantasy)

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    The Guilds of El'yssi


    One by one, men and women began to spill into the room where they seated themselves along the perimeter of a conference table which inhabited a majority of the potential space. The room, itself, was nothing less than drab given the washed out grey which defined every object including the surface of every windowless wall. To make matters worse, every individual remained in absolute silence apart from the occasional sound of rustling papers as they gradually flipped through a stack retrieved from their briefcases. Here and there, grunts and snorts began to sound--at least until the room's door flew open for the sixth time. The latest arrival was a striking figure with brown, medium length hair pulled into a well formed bun, deep blue eyes veiled by a pair of slim glasses, and a business suit perfectly fitted against her confident posture which invoked a sense of authority from her ever dominant aura. At only seconds past her arrival, the woman wasted no time in jumping to business as she quickly engaged the floor with her announcements for the morning.

    "Greetings, fellow Numbers.
    It is good of you to join me on this momentous day as we initialize yet another Trials.
    Gazing from your expressions, it seems many of you have read through the debriefing and have seen the ....minor...changes set in place for this year.
    There is no point in me attempting to explain the reasoning behind such changes; thus, without further ado, allow me to introduce the source himself, this years Trial Head, Vin."

    Gently, the door creaked open just wide enough for a slender, masked man to squeeze his way through. Immediately, he reached to remove his veil just as gasps erupted among the crowd. A sliver of a smile formed on his face as he gazed upon the disturbed expressions of each seated individual in the room. Nonetheless, both he and his predecessor seemed entirely calm in light of the complaints which began to roar.

    What right does he have to sit on the board?
    The complaints went on, at least until the woman cleared her throat and overpowered their voices with a bold declaration of her own.

    Is this how we act in front of our guest?
    There is no doubt that we have had our differences in the past; however, that does not change the pertinence of the present. our council implying that we wish to go against the will of the Chairman?"

    The woman's final statement had noticeable impact on the room as each individual quickly fell to silence despite their progressive objections to the unexpected guest. Nonetheless, it was with full attention that they proceeded to bide the subsequent speech spoken by the flamboyant man.

    "The times change ever so rapidly so why does it seem fitting that our organization remains as it was many decades past. Every day, countless explorers lose their lives to the illusion of success--a grandiose fantasy formulated in their head. What does the council do, however?
    One...Two...Three...Four...Five...Six...Six I count! Six of you manage the will of our Chairman, yet 5% progress at the cost of 48%? A ludicrous performance if you ask me. Not at all elegant like leaders should be.
    Believe me, change is coming--with or without your cooperation
    Go ahead! Deny me...scorn me...defy my methods. My results shall speak for themselves.
    It is going to be a grand year, my enemies...A grand year indeed."

    As expected, the expressions of the council grew increasingly more furious over the insults in his words, yet the vivid tone of the man failed to waver. Till completion, he remained true to his motives; after which, a quick bow preceded his departure from the room with the woman close behind. It was after they had reached a sizable distance from the room that she began to speak in a hushed whisper that only he could hear.

    "A bit much, no?
    Your ratings are already the lowest in the history of the Trials, and they haven't even begun."

    Low chuckles emitted from the man as he stopped to pet the top of the woman's head who in response, angrily slapped his hand away. His laughter only grew in volume as he shook his lightly stinging wound with a pouting expression upon his face.

    "To bring about chaos, requires a little push--a catalyst if you will.
    Rest easy, Number 1. I wouldn't miss the Trials for anything.
    Black blood, I believe is the term they call it, and two of them at that. A delectable treat and the perfect piece they shall be. A masterpiece is coming, my dear; glorious, chaotic, and simply artistic."


    Chapter 1: Let the Trials Begin

    The morning sun glistened bright upon the streets of Pokos which were filled with the diversity of race that El'yssi had to offer. Once again, it was that time of the year when adventurers, young and old, made their way to the capital for the largest event since the initiation of the Guild. As per tradition, hundreds of hopeful applicants were present for the Trials which were due to begin when the sun reached its highest point in the sky. For now, everyone was left to their own means of preparation, whether that meant shopping for supplies, early drinking at the taverns, or simply enjoying the bizarre sights of Synthi technology. For many, it was a cultural shock seeing foreign peculiarities such as four-wheeled machines zipping down roads or the bulky inventions displayed in most shops. That being said, it was largely a welcoming experience given the warm, enthusiasm that most, if not all, residents directed towards the crowd of potential new clients for their trade.

    Not everything was festivities, however. While many took the time to enjoy themselves before the main event, many others were solely concerned with the varying levels of preparation they deemed satisfactory for their success. Historically, past regulations had been heavily concerned with the well being of participants, yet in this year, everything had changed. This time, anything was allowed so long as it wasn't a direct act of murder upon another contestant. With this in mind, the entire event had to be approached from an entirely new angle; especially when none of the round details had been disclosed to the public, unlike before.

    That being said, there was little to no time for any major preparations apart from journeying to the flooded markets in hopes for anything that might give a quick survival edge. There were only a few hours left till the event was due to begin, and participants were required an early attendance. Thankfully, finding their destination was no more than a quick gaze towards the sky, as the Guild Headquarters was without a doubt unmatched in terms of unique size and architecture. Yet for those who still remained at a loss, an announcement began to broadcast across the city though a recent innovation based upon an accidental discovery of radio waves.

    "Good morning, citizens of El'yssi.
    This is your host and Trial head, here to welcome each and everyone one of you to the greatest event of the century...and it hasn't even begun.
    For anyone who has lost their way in the scary alleys of our fine city, simply look to the sky and realign your journey...After all, if your fail to arrive, then you were a hopeless candidate to begin with.
    But for those who do arrive in a timely manner, I hope you have come prepared. As many of you might have realized, things are not like the past. Many of you are going to fail...many of your are going to...die. But so is the life of exploration.
    The best shall survive, and the weak shall perish--just as it is in the wilds which surrounds us.
    I wish you all the best of luck, and hope to see you soon, my dears."
    #1 Tsu, Aug 26, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2016
  2. "Sister... you have to be safe. At least promise that if you're going to leave us so soon, won't you?"

    "I can not promise anything, little one."

    "But... that isn't fair! I want to see you again; this is all too sudden, too soon...! You can't leave. Tell mother and father you can't... you simply can't... not if you can't even promise me that I'm going to see you again."

    "...Shhh... there, there. Don't cry. You know I hate it when you cry."

    "But I don't want you to go..."

    "I'm sorry. But... this is what I was destined to do. I've done so much that I cannot just turn my back on this now, do you understand? We have talked about this so many times..."

    "I know...! And I know I promised you I wouldn't cry, b-But now that you're leaving, it just seems so much more unfair..."


    "K-Kula... *sniff*..."

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    The crack of the stagecoach driver's whip was what shook Kula out of her distant thoughts. Ever since she'd truly left from home, the parting conversation she'd had with one of her little sisters was one of the only things she could think about. How sad she'd made her... it refused to stop playing on repeat in her head, it refused to go away. She could still feel her little sister's hair where she'd brushed it to try and make it feel better, she could still feel her tears on her han-

    "Ma'am. Sir. We've arrived. Gather your things; the trials now await you."

    Kula closed her left eye, emitting a quiet sigh through her narrow lips. No more time to think about it now. Sitting up a little in the blue-cushioned seat of the inside of the stagecoach, Kula's eye looked thoughtfully out of the window for a moment, before she looked across to the Northern Sári sitting the opposite side to her.

    "Well, Caris, it appears our time has come. Do you have everything ready?" She asked, reserved and polite as ever, giving a small smile to the bulky man. The Northern Sári was signing up for the guild and was to enter the trials, just like her, though Kula still didn't know him all that well. She'd enjoyed some chat with him to pass by the time of the long journey; Caris seemed quite upbeat and friendly, and in a way, he reminded Kula of her dear old mentor in a way. Caris was still mostly a stranger to her, but... already, she could feel some sort of bond with the man, she supposed.

    How she'd met Caris was a funny story. This stagecoach had originally been reserved by Kula's parents for herself exclusively; they'd wanted to make sure the long journey would be in the comfort of a posh, fast and expensive stagecoach. Long hikes by foot on land were... quite daunting, to say the least, especially for the water-preferring Sári. It was about halfway on her travels when she'd seen Caris out of her stagecoach window: doing just that. Travelling on foot. And judging by all of his equipment, and the heavy trident strapped to his back, Kula could only guess he was heading for the guild, too. So to help another Sári, she'd stopped the coach and offered the big man to ride with her.

    Opening the door, Kula carefully stepped out, taking in the view of the large industrial city. It was certainly a place much bigger and less remote than she was used to, and the place had a strange smoky smell to it that made her nostrils wrinkle in mild disgust. The place was much too busy and loud for her liking, but she supposed she'd have to get used to it. Her spear and small bag over her back, Kula walked to the front of the stagecoach, paying the green-scaled Southern Sári driver.

    "For the fine riding. You have my deepest thanks for bringing us here on time." Kula warmly said.
    "My pleasure, muh'lady. Just... do be careful, won't you. It's a dangerous business, this 'exploring'."
    "I will be careful, but that is all I can promise. Please do not worry about me, though. Ride safely home."

    With that, the driver gave a slow nod, before heading off, leaving Kula and Caris standing within the bustling city of Pokos. Despite the unfamiliar smells, it was a nice day, at least. It didn't seem to be barely any time before the trial head gave his announcement... how he said it loud enough for everybody to hear was a mystery to Kula. Either they'd been just in time for this announcement, or he gave multiple announcements through the course of the day.

    In one quick glance, Kula could count at least one member of each race walking about on the streets, some looking more pleased to be here than others. The streets were narrow and could've led anywhere, but the path to the trials were clear. Whilst she felt bewildered by the huge and 'techy' place at first, Kula wouldn't let this city overwhelm her. If she could be merely defeated by brick walls, then she didn't have the potential to do anything at all.

    "It is certainly a much... bigger place than I expected. Hopefully we can find our way." Kula quietly said to Caris, holding both of her hands in front of her, taking in the view of the city in carefully. "At least this 'trial head' seems optimistic. Shall we head straight there? I think I have all I'll need for the trials."
  3. It was a small note that she had left for her parents. There really wasn't much she had to say. Ninian had left it, pinned to the counter of their store, where they were sure to see it the first thing in the morning. A few drops of dried water, and some hastily scrawled script, reading simply, "I'm sorry. I have to leave. I love you. Ninian."

    She let the door shut behind her, and could hear the lock automatically click shut. She had left her keys behind as well, not wanting their temptation to return to her parents weighing on her. She had to travel light. Her gun was slung over her back, wrapped tightly in leather. This served two purposes; one was to keep any unnecessary contaminants from interacting with the device. She knew the thing could run in a swamp, but she didn't want to test that if she didn't need to. The second reason was obviously to keep it out of the eyes of the public - she didn't want to go around scaring people with her gun. Anyone looking at it would just see something long and tubular wrapped in leather. It really could be anything.

    Her legs whirred and clicked as she walked down their shop's remarkably clean alleyway, echoing out into the brisk morning air. She didn't need to leave this early. The city was one she had walked through hundreds of times, and she knew exactly where she was going. But she wanted to leave before her parents woke up, so that she wouldn't have to look them in the eye when she left. She didn't think that she had enough strength to do that.

    So she walked, out into the chill air, streets already swarming with people, taking her time and strolling through the crowds, trying not to think too much about the journey she was going on. She never got out this early, she had always fallen asleep in the workshop and woken up by noon. There seemed to be many more people out today, and way more non-synthi than usual. While the capital never had a lack of the other races, Synthi still help the majority - but today was the testing day. And all bets were off.

    As she wandered, she began to eat a roll. She had made some food for herself the night before, not that she was much of a cook. Still, she had hidden away dozens of rolls, and had brought them with her. There was no telling what or how long the tests would be, and she needed to be as prepared as possible. She had attached several pockets to her belt, almost overloading the thing, and stuffed each of them full with her tools, materials, and most importantly, ammunition. While her robotic legs could deliver a mean kick if necessary, her 5-round rifle was going to be infinitely better in most situations.

    The loud voice coming from the speaker system made her stop, and stare up at the sky. For as nervous and scared as she was, she felt a wave of excitement roll through her. This was it. This was something new, something crazy, something exciting. She could feel a shiver running through her bones. She had trained for this, and she was ready. Ready for the trial, and ready for her future. This was her moment. She stuffed the rest of the roll into her mouth, and a grin spread across her face as she chewed heavily, and started marching down the street.
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  4. "So there I am yeah? I got the rabbit in one hand and my crossbow in the other, and the bear is looking me dead in the eye like 'yeah that's my dinner', but I'm not about to give up this hunt-"

    "Did you kill the bear?"

    Reylla rolls her eyes. "Shut up Gary, will ya? Let me tell it!"

    Reylla sits in the middle of a crowded tavern, telling another tale from her travels. A group of about 5 locals sit around her, listening amiably as they nurse their own drinks. The Copper Chicken is usually a quiet tavern for common laborers within the city, not often frequented by guests. However the night before Reylla had burst in, all of her towering form covered in mud and dried blood. She approached the bar, slammed a wild boar carcass on the counter, and asked if she could trade it for a round for the entire bar. She even offered to clean it and cook if the barkeep didn't know how.

    She had found herself fairly popular after that, and had only stopped drinking and swapping stories to take a nap and wash up. She had never been so far from home, and meeting so many new people was thrilling, while a little confusing. It was customary in her village to greet people as they passed, but here folks on the street looked at her like she had an extra head when she tried to say hello. She was happy to have found a group of friendly people to pass the time with before the trial.

    Laying close to her feet is a mean looking dire wolf. He appears relaxed but his eyes continually move from person to person around the room, keeping alert and wary. Reylla gives her wolf a jolly pat on the head, "so Velos here starts running at the bear, and-"

    She's cut off by an unexpected booming voice. The tavern falls quiet as they listen. When the echoing voice stops, the regulars all turn to look at Reylla, interested in her response to hearing such statements. "Many of you are going to fail...many of you are going to...die. But so is the life of exploration." Reylla repeats slowly. Her face breaks out into a wide grin. "Well if that isn't a goddamned challenge, I don't know what is." She stands, tying her fur coat around her waist and stuffing the rest of her sandwich into her mouth. "Come on Vel, time to go!" She waves a cheery goodbye to her new friends, grabs her pack, and leaves the bar as suddenly as she had come. One of the regulars turns to the barkeep. "Did all that food and drink trade for the meat she gave you?"

    "Nah," the barkeep responds. "I'll keep her tab open, she eats free for a while."

    "She'd probably let me use her tab..."

    "Shut up, Gary."

    Reylla marches out the door and down the street, realizes she's going the wrong direction, and corrects herself, off to a new adventure.
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  5. Caris squeezed himself out of the carriage and looked around at the big city around him. Compared to the igloos and lodgings of his home...things were certainly different. It was also much warmer, and Caris couldn't help but smile. This land was much more least climatewise. he briefly wondered how the winters were, but shook his head. With a climate like this, chances were that it was warm least by Caris' standards.

    The northern Sari had his attention brought back to earth by his traveling companion Kula calling his name. The southern Sari girl was a mysterious one to say the least. On one hand, she seemed to be a rich folk, given her elegant carriage and her general demeanor, but Caris didn't know many people, rich or poor, that would extend a hand and offer a seat in her carriage to a stranger. She was interesting too, after talking for a fair while, Caris had felt a sort of kindred spirits between the two, discussing their lives and the differences between the north and the south. Caris felt a small bond developing, but only time could tell if they would become good friends.

    "This land is a strange one to both of us, to hang about would be a pretty bad idea if you ask me...tricky people are in all parts of the world, even this one." He chuckled and swung his trident over his shoulder, gazing about. It seemed the pair weren't the only people moving towards the trial grounds, and Caris motioned for Kula to follow along and get moving. He wasn't sure if there was some sort of time limit, but a small part of Caris had to wonder if the first people there would have some kind of advantage to teach others not to dither behind. after walking for a bit, Caris motioned to his vials.

    "I've got pretty much everything I need here myself Kula, short of going out and looking for some more herbs...which we don't really have time for, we've got everything we need!" Caris grinned. "Personally, I'm excited. Exploring...a chance to get out there and see the world! Discover new places! The chances are almost limiteless really, personally? I share the trial head's optomism. Nobody need die so long as we all cooperate and work together, we'll all be fine!"

    Caris fired Kula a big thumbs up with a happy smile behind it. Confident they at least would do well.

    "No point waiting around here! Let's get going!"
  6. "You filthy- so it was you! We knew that no one but an Auroboros could craft such a thing. Riding on the coattails of our technology, Hm?"

    Her father, a dignified, proper man who had aged quite gracefully, looked positively malignant, wrinkles prominent as he basically snarled at An and waved the pressed blueprints like a weapon. An simply blinked, then shrugged, going back to eating her dinner, making sure to shove a big bite in before turning her attention back to her father, speech muffled by half chewed food still in her mouth. He hated bad table etiquette; it would've been hilarious to see what he decided to criticise first.

    "I 'unno, sir. Maybe I was holding onto those blueprints for a technician that y'all overlooked and shoved into general engineering." A trace of bitterness had entered her voice, but An felt a faint smugness when she saw the vein stand out prominently on her father's forehead, his face quickly reddening and his grip crinkling the delicate paper of the blueprints.

    Before he could say anything else, An suddenly stood up and started to walk away, swiping an apple from the fruit bowl as she did so.

    "Overstayed my welcome, yeah? Gonna go for a walk."

    They both knew she wasn't coming back.


    Her first stop had been her dear friend's house. They had been coworkers, back in that shirts how of a factory; to say An was fond would be quite an understatement, as she had quite a soft spot for her coworker and often siphoned funds to help their family.

    "Tae!" An cheered, arms spread open and a wide grin spreading on her face when the aforementioned girl opened the door to her home.

    "An? What're you... It's nearly nine thirty. Did you... Did you walk?"

    An looked behind her, as if to confirm the absence of a powered bike for the hour-long trip.

    "Yup. Can I get my things?" An simply said, breezing past Tae with a small wink before practically prancing over to her gauntlets stashed in the hall, picking up the contraption and giving it a kiss.

    "Awww, mommy missed you! C'mon now, we've got a trial to attend." She cooed, already on her way out, trying to leave as quickly as she came.

    "What? A tri- Are you going to the trial??? An, are you insane?? Do y-"

    "Shhhh." An put a hand over Tae's mouth, effectively silencing all speech, before detouring to the modest kitchen and stealing another apple while rummaging through her backpack, producing a crisp envelope and putting it on the kitchen table.

    "A parting gift! I'll see ya after everything, yeah?" Not waiting for Tae's reply and ignoring the other girl's calls, An just hurried out the door and skipped to the end of the street, pausing only for a small wave and a cheeky grin. Only when she had turned the streetcorner did An let her expression dip into a tiny frown and a small sigh to release from her lips.

    Despite being a bit sore from sleeping leaning against a lamp, An was looking quite relaxed considering the circumstances and also quite out of place, as her current attire was still the crisp blouse and pressed jeans she wore around the estate(read: clearly expensive as all get out despite being a bit rumpled). Not to mention the new tech that was resting next to her. She didn't seem too worried about getting robbed, though, and was sprawled out, boots just out enough to be a slight bother to foot traffic, turning and twisting a stray piece of wire over and over in her hands.

    If she was being honest, An really just didn't have any place to go; she didn't want to bother her friend anymore, and the trial hasn't been announced yet. She was quite content with people-watching, especially with the sudden flux of alien races, and sometimes the ignorant or the visiting did see her as a beggar and gifted her some money. Trial contenders were also quite easy to spot; many were laden with supplies, and nearly all had an air of nervous energy around them. Her gaze followed a Synthi girl that passed her by, interest piqued by the overabundant supplies and the "something strange" that An simply couldn't pinpoint. Slipping the wire into her pocket, An opened her backpack and quickly rifled through the contents, a quick inventory check to make sure she was prepared. Maintenance supplies, some food and drink, her goggles, a generous sum of money, and a bit of pain medicine; yep, she was good to go.

    She had just finished zipping up her pack and funneling the spare coins away when his voice sounded. The tournament man, whatever his name was. Suddenly jumping to her feet and scaring a passing Fytáli -she apologised with a slight bow and a teasing grin, as one does- An walked briskly down the street, gently tossing and twirling a shiny red apple as she did. She soon caught up to the Synthi from before. Only hesitating a split second, An shrugged before looping an arm around Ninian's shoulders.

    "Hhheeeellloooo there." An drawled, a slow grin growing on her face as she gazed at the stranger. "You seem quite excited for the Trials; it's gonna be great fun, no? Hope ya ain't afraid t'die."

    An tossed her apple again before taking a swift bite, offering an untouched part to Ninian.

    "Wanna bite?"
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  7. The final destination for the applicants of the Trials was not located within Guild Headquarters, but rather, in a medium-sized, dirt clearing directly adjacent to the building. For the most part, there was little space due to the congestion of hopeful explorers, yet it was obvious this location was solely a meeting point given the plethora of carriages which occupied a bulk of the field's capacity. In the downtime of waiting for further instructions, conversation began to populate the crowd--some out of innocent curiosity while others solely for the purpose of ulterior motives. At the end of the day, the Trials were a competition given the limited number of applicants who, historically, have succeeded the event. As such, underhand tactics were not out of the question, and even more so when "an anything goes policy" was in effect. For some, light chat was a means of scouting out the weak links in the crowd, while for others, it was an opportunity to crush the morale of those who suffered from anxiety or low confidence towards the event. Regardless, the opportunity to speak did not last long, as no more than a second past the scheduled start of the event, did a comical voice explode across the clearing.


    The sudden greeting was immediately followed by an eruption of multicolored smoke in the center of the clearing. Gradually, the fumes began to fade and the outline of an individual became strikingly more apparent, especially after he began to wave his arms as a means of further dispersing his antics. He was peculiar...and drab. Spiked grey hair lushly covered his head while a black overcoat, akin to the nobles of the city, was draped over his ever lanky body. Most notable, however, was the stunning smile directed towards the crowd of applicants that he proceeded to address in a booming tone which reached the furthest extents of the field.

    "Many of you are probably aware of my name, but for those who do not, consider leaving your rock once and while and learning about the great explorers of our era."

    It was an obvious joke given the sarcasm dripping from his voice, and one that was well received as the crowd burst into laughter. Nonetheless, they were quickly silenced by the continuation of his speech which far overpowered their collective voice.

    "Jokes aside, my name is Vin*, and I shall serve as this years Trial Head.
    Without further delay, I wish to officially commence the event. Still, there are minor logistics which stand in my way...Insects that need to learn their place in the hierarchy of exploration.
    Overweight man in the first row, wearing a leather suit. You have failed the exam."

    What started as a humorous tone quickly turned to darkness as his words sent a wave of petrification across the clearing. Even the man in question remained entirely motionless and silent as his mind struggled to process that which had been said. From the perspective of the Trial Head, however, the silence was taken as agreement given the quick continuation of his inquisition.

    "Youth in the blue shirt, four rows back. You have failed.
    Woman with the sword..."

    The list went on, as one by one, individuals all across the field were rapidly expelled from the examination without as much as a proper reasoning behind the decision. Nonetheless, it was by this point in time that the initial shock had worn off and numerous complaints began to explode in protest. In response, Vin only seemed to chuckle; an action which royally angered particular individuals--some of which sprung to action. The "overweight" man from the front row reached forward to grab the Trial Head by his coat; however, all he managed was a fistful of smoke as his target had seemingly vanished in mid air. That being said, Vin's absence was momentary as a clatter of metal followed by a short scream erupted from within the crowd. A sadistic smile encompassed his face as he stood with his arms wrapped around the neck of a particular man whose rifle was on the ground and whose eyes and mouth were sewn shut. As the Trial head released his embrace, the man fell the ground where drops of blood gradually began to fall from his wounds, and periodic whimpers began to escape his muffled mouth. Immediately, a wide breadth of space was given around Vin who only continued to smile in response to the sudden order which fell upon the crowd.

    "I do wonder how long the lot of you plan to gawk at the failures.
    There are exactly three hundred and fourteen remaining applicants, and there are twenty-five carriages which host two people each.
    Now If recall, I already stated that the event had started, and it seems five carriages have already departed.
    Good luck, my dears."

    *Vin is the Rank 2 Archeologist in the Guild.
    *This is not the tutorial. Don't need to roll dice or anything for "combat". Just rp it away.
    #7 Tsu, Aug 29, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2016
  8. Reylla begins speedily moving through the crowd, but she’s going in the opposite direction of the rush to the carriage. She’s moving to the form she can still barely see, the man with the rifle is very nearly trampled, flailing weakly at his face. She realizes this might mean she's already failed the test, but she can't possibly leave someone in that state.

    Velos runs ahead, using snarls and his bared fangs to push scattering people out of Reylla’s way. She makes her way to the man, giving no heed to whether or not Vin is still standing there, or even still watching. She finally reaches the man’s curled up form, and leans in close, whispers comforting words. “Hey, don’t worry, it’s okay, I got ya.” She picks up his head and puts it in her lap. Velos circles the two, growling slightly, but Reylla pushes him away. “Stop it, I’ll go in a little while.”

    Gently, still speaking to the man in her arms, Reylla takes out a dagger and begins to remove the strings from his eyes first. She explains what she’s doing as she does, not wanting him to panic and try to get away. She brushes her hair out of the way, trying to work as quickly as she can. Velos is trying his best to keep people from running them over, but the crowd is still rushing for the carriages. Fights are breaking out at the doors, screams and clashing metal can already be heard.
  9. Caris blinked softly in suprise at Vin's words and the crippled man. He hadn't exactly been expecting such a display of violence when he signed up for this...but if he had to get past this to get into the guild...well, it was called a trial after all. Caris called out to his ally, "Kula! C'mon! We gotta go!" Before darting forward into the crowd, using his bulk to his advantage when him or Kula was starting to feel a little pinned in by the throng of panicking people around them. But wehre others parted (Or at least, some of them did.) to avoid the fallen gunman, Caris planted his feet and spun around, using his body as a wedge in the throng of people. "Hey! He alright?" Caris called out as he joined up with Velos in the guarding inititive. "Kula! See what you can do maybe? I'll do my best to hold off the crowds. Let's get him to saftey then hop onto a carriage of our own!"

    Caris fired off a grin to Kula before taking a somewhat more serious expression on his face. Velos was doing it's best as a wedge, but it was clear to the northern Sari that the wolf-dog was hard pressed to keep back the masses. Cracking his knuckles, Caris took up a defensive stance, fists hanging to his side and doing his best to cut an intimidating presence. As far as Northern Sari went, Caris was far from the biggest. But his people as a whole were still large, and he could cut an intimidating figure.

    After pushing back yet another panicked stranger and scaring more to the side with Caris and Velos working in tandem, Caris called over his shoulder.

    "We making good progress here? I don't know how much longer me and Fang here can hold on!"
  10. Kula's face remained emotionless throughout the whole ordeal, her eyes focusing purely on 'Vin' until he'd finished speaking. What Vin had done to the gun-wielding man had been horrible, true, but... considering he'd dropped a rifle, it had likely not been for no reason. It didn't take long for the facts to click together within Kula's head. Vin had deliberately chosen 'random' people to be failed to start an uproar within the crowd. A girl had gone to help the man who'd been sewn up... it was very kind of her, but...

    There was no true reason for him 'failing' people, it was just to provoke reactions. Once the crowd seemed heated up enough, Vin then wanted to see who could brawl their way to the carriages. He was already testing everyone within the first handful of seconds, and it was clear Kula wasn't the only one who had figured this out. Some were securing places in the carriages already whilst the others stood dumbfounded. They had to get themselves a place...

    "Kula! C'mon! We gotta go!"

    "...Huh?" Kula blinked as Caris addressed her, shaken out of her thoughts. Before she could say another word, Caris was off, shoving his way through people who didn't move out of the way like a human bulldozer. Kula wasn't sure what he had planned, but she stuck close behind him, wincing as the occasional random punch from the crazed crowd hit her in the side of the body, but Caris was strong enough to take most of the assault without flinching.

    "Kula! See what you can do maybe? I'll do my best to hold off the crowds. Let's get him to safety then hop onto a carriage of our own!"

    Kula cocked her head for a moment, before her eyes widened in understanding.
    "...Yes, you are right. He'll probably die here like that. We can still secure a place whilst helping to do the right thing..." Kula mumbled, looking over to the injured man. The woman who was trying to help him was merely using a knife to remove the stitches... that would ages, and her kindness would mean she wasn't going to get a place. "Please don't get hurt, Caris. I'll be right back."

    Slipping out from behind the large Northern Sári, Kula grimaced as she put a guard above her head to block punches to the head from the shoving and pushing crowd. Barging her way through, for such a delicate-seeming Southern Sári, Kula was surprisingly strong, even if she was getting pushed about a lot more than most. When she was confident she was in range of the sewn-up man, Kula crouched down with the large girl trying to help the man.

    "Your kindness is admirable, but you are going to lose yourself a place on one of these carriages." Kula calmly said to the girl. "I can heal him with spirit magic, but once I'm done, you are going to have to be quick, and so am I. Ready?" Kula paused for a moment, before her muscles tensed. Water seemed to be brewing and forming underneath the man, before suddenly, in one big reaction, a small wave rose from the ground, carrying the man away from the crowd. Not only that, but the water that carried him seemed to be dancing around him, shimmering slightly as the half-cut strings keeping his eyes and mouth shut came loose, and the blood stopped pouring, leaving him wet and coughing on the ground, but back to normal. This was Koa Waverider, one of the powers within Kula from the Aolani bloodline.

    Without another word to the large girl other than a quiet 'go', Kula zipped back around, shoving her way back to Caris. Carriages were starting to leave, but Caris was doing a great job blocking the way, along with... some sort of... wolf? Perhaps that had belonged to that giantfolk?

    "We making good progress here? I don't know how much longer me and Fang here can hold on!"

    "Yes, I'm done- u-urk!" Kula was cut off by a man from behind grabbing her from the neck, grunting something in her ear that was too fast for her to understand. Something about 'precious little bitch'... 'not getting a place', but thankfully, the man was shoved aside by another crazed member of the crowd. Gasping for breath, Kula held her neck for a moment, before wincing and pushing her way to Caris. "We... *cough*... we need to go. Vin has sent the crowd into a frenzy... p-people are losing their morals... I dread to think what'll happen to us if we get caught off guard here." Kula croaked, her neck still aching from where it'd been grabbed. The true darkness and desperation of man was showing, and she knew fully well from Vin's sadistic smile, that he was enjoying every second of it.

    Blinking, Kula spotted a carriage with two spots. People were starting to rush to it, and they were closer to it than Caris and Kula were, but acting quickly, Kula's muscles tensed again.
    "Keep your balance and be ready to hold some people off, Caris. We are going to that carriage, and those people aren't going to be happy about it." Kula mumbled. Suddenly, Koa Waverider was cast once again by Kula, but this time, not to heal wounds.

    Waves emitted from under the two Sári, propelling them forward across the masses for a good fifteen meters. Despite the wave being small, it was buoyant and extremely easy to keep balance on whilst standing, as if the wave was carrying the two to victory. With this extra speed, the wave pushed rushers to the empty carriage aside, causing furious roars and cursewords to be thrown. The extra push had been enough to secure the two a place in the carriage, but Kula couldn't have done it without the help of Caris. Thank goodness she'd found him on that road.

    Literally jumping inside the carriage and bracing herself for the oncoming people, Kula knew that some of the crowd were going to try and pull her and Caris out, even whilst the carriage was moving. That kind woman who'd helped the man initially... had she managed to get herself a place? It was unknown to Kula, but now, she could only pray that this thing moved quickly, because it wouldn't be long before someone even bigger than Caris decided to have a go at chucking them out.
    "You have my thanks, f-for... *cough*... holding them off for so long. That man is safe, and I managed to get here, because of you." Kula wheezed under her breath to the Northern Sári, though it was mostly inaudible due to the roars of the crowd.

    Strangled on the first day by another recruit. Bearing witness to an attempted murder. A literal riot. This was not the initial test to the Guild Kula had been expecting. Vin indeed had some interesting methods.
  11. While Ninian and An's trip to the trial building had been filled mostly with playful and curious conversation, mostly poking jabs at each other, the moment Ninian saw the field her expression hardened - she was all business now. In just a few minutes, the trial would begin, and she had to keep focused. She glanced sideways at An. She didn't think that the Synthi girl meant her any harm, but she couldn't be sure what might change when the trial started. Still, she confidently walked forward and took her place at the back of the large crowd.

    Ninian stood with her hands on her hips and her face set as the strange man she knew as Vin started talking about the trials. She glanced at the synthi standing next to her, and gave An a nudge. "This probably isn't gonna go super great. Maybe we should..." She flicks her head in the direction of the carriages behind her, and pulls her still leather-bound rifle from her back, in preparation of the coming storm. When Vin started spouting off names, she winced, glancing around at the people he was cutting, trying to find some sort of pattern. "Hope you're good enough not to get cut," she joked nervously to An, taking a short step back.

    She could feel it in her legs, the growing anger and movement in the room vibrating through the mechanisms and gears socketed into her steel appendages. She took a step back, a grim expression growing over her face, and took her still-wrapped rifle from her back. She could see a few people filtering out through the crowd, not many, but enough to be clear to her that she needed to get there, too. Ninian was prepared to use her rifle, but she didn't want to kill anybody unless they tried to kill her.

    As Vin suddenly appeared next to the man with the rifle, Ninian jumped heavily, and finally made the decision to exit the scenario before the crowd got any more restless. She couldn't tell exactly what Vin had done to the man, being so far back in the crowd, but from the gasps and reactions of those around her, she knew it couldn't be good. As the crowd started rolling and boiling with anger, she could spot two tall people - they looked like a Chitos and a southern Sari - making wedges against the crowd, not moving towards the door or brawling like everyone else. So tall... She could have sworn that she saw others moving towards the fallen rifleman, but there was no time. "Come on if you're coming on, we gotta go now," Ninian said, having to shout a little over the rising din, and held out her hand to grab onto An's and pull her towards closest carriage.

    Outside the crowd did not have many people in it yet, and fortunately there was a carriage nearby that she could stuff herself into. Still, she began to unfold her rifle as she sat down inside, not sure if there would be another part to this test after they were already inside - Ninian revealed the brass-colored rifle to the interior of the carriage, and began to shunt metal, cartridge-less bullets into the magazine opening, cocking the lever and examining it to make sure everything was in working order. Of course it was. After loading and checking the thing, she set it gently on her lap, letting out a gentle sigh of relief and looking out the window. The test had definitely started.
    #11 Niiwa, Aug 30, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2016
  12. An cast a sideways glance at Ninian, curious about the sudden somber mood. "Well! Quite a serious one when you need to be, eh?" She chuckled. She made her way beside Ninian, diverting a few nosy competitors with a patented "you done?" expression, but for the most part they were alone on the fringes of the crowd. To be honest, An wasn't nearly as focused as her rifle-wielding counterpart; rather, she seemed to be contemplating whether to sit down or not, and quietly yawned a couple of times.

    Pulled out of her stupor by Ninian's worried voice, An cast a glance at the crowd and shrugged, snickering. "He called us insects. The nerve of that man!" She joked as a reply, not sounding put out in the slightest. "They're getting mighty riled, ain't they? What fun. Wonder who they'll start hitting first." Still, An shrugged on her gauntlets, and gave Ninian a light, consoling pat. Or as light as one could, with augmented gloves on.

    An did feel a spike of concern shoot through her body when Vin started cutting people, just like that, but she kept calm mostly for Ninian's sake; the poor Synthi looked nervous to the point of fainting. She cast a glance over the crowd again, a small frown dimpling her forehead as she quickly forced Ninjan to lower her package. "Don't hold it out yet, he might-"

    An breathed out a small curse and cringed when Vin teleported; she might not be able to see, but she could most definitely still hear the agony. She laid a hand on Ninian's shoulder again, giving her a warning glance; Vin had most definitely accosted that man in particular because he had been about to shoot. if Ninian had jerked her gun a bit higher... Letting out a low whistle, An spun on her heel and started ambling away, shaking her head. "Yeah, nope." She called, popping the 'p'.

    "I'm sooo not o- oh, okay, I guess we're walking faster now." An blinked her surprise but didn't do much else, content to let Ninian lead them away at a pace just short of a jog. Just as she was about to get into the carriage after the Synthi, a disheveled man with twin Battleaxes strapped to his back bodily shoved her out of the way, causing her to stumble a few steps. She leveled a frown at his back, putting a hand on his shoulder, forcing him to let go of the door jamb and spin around.

    "Now, that was real rude. Just what are you doing, trying to get into a two-person carriage with an unsuspecting girl maybe..." She gave his uneven beard and dark circles a cursory glance. "Maybe seven years younger than you? Not to mention you cut in line." She gave him an admonishing pout that quickly devolved into a brooding scowl.

    "Now leave."

    With a hiss and faint whirr of circulating air and water, An used the hand that was still on his shoulder to shove him to the ground, hard enough that a faint crack emitted from somewhere in his vicinity(it was unclear if that was his body, the ground, or his gear) and the man yelled out in pain. An had already turned around by then, and slid smoothly into her spot opposite Ninian, shutting the door with a rattle. Her reach was just enough so that she could grab both doorhandles, holding them firmly shut as the faint hiss of air and water was practically blanketed by the muffled rioting from outside.

    "Well, this is exciting." An simply chirped, a small grimace marring her face when someone slammed into the door to her right -most likely trying to force it open- only to be met with pounds of augmented resistance.

    "Nice weapon, by the way. Foldable gun, eh? Very nice make. You make it yourself?"
  13. The Testing Grounds of Pokos

    "You're a crazy sonuvabitch; you know that, Vin?"

    The incited chaos was coming to a close; not because sense returned to the warring crowd, but because of the many applicants who laid battered on the ground. All across the clearing, victors roared for their success, only to realize crushing defeat in the form of lacking wagons. By this point in time, every vehicle had long departed--now occupied by the applicants who had immediately focused on the task or those with skills that had been better suited for mobility. Nonetheless, there were some who seemed entirely nonchalant towards their seeming failure. Their attire was pristine and their expression was bored. It was almost as if they had moved to the outskirts rather than even attempt to withstand the insanity of human desperation. Of these individuals was a particular man who had spoken whilst sharply slapping the jester's back. A startled yelp escaped the lips of the engrossed Trial Head who turned to glare at a familiar, aged face whose grey body was covered in a cloak of arid vines and leaves. Strapped on his back was a long rifle made from what appeared to be a black bark, and on his right eye was a peculiar monocle shaped from a similar material.

    "You are one to talk. I cannot say a man who has journeyed to hell and back is the model example of sanity. Unless of course, the judgement of society has changed in the last, say fifteen minutes? Regardless, what brings a man such as yourself to a lowly event meant for the children of our land?"

    Deep chuckles erupted in response to Vin's description of the Trials which in turn, forced laughter from the source as well. Together, the pair remained in humorous spirits as they gazed onto the field and observed the remaining applicants--a majority who were either in too much pain to move or were busy groveling on the ground in light of their failure. It was at this time that the applicants on the outskirts began to walk in the direction that the wagons had gone; ultimately, leaving two outliers left on the field.

    "Restrictions, ol' friend.
    The ol' whore on the council is makin' it harder to do business as usual.
    Ain't no sweat off my back, of course. Ya tric's got nothin' on these ancient eyes.
    Besides, the potential of the youth keeps me young jus' `like em, and 'pose it's about time we be on our way."

    "A giant who sacrificed its chance for an idiot, and a lost adult with little to no power apparent from his form. You find potential in the strangest of individuals."

    Only chuckles escaped the withered lips of the man who departed with a backwards wave directed at Vin. For a moment, the Trial Head watched as the elder Fytali walked towards his first target, yet his interest quickly waned in light of the event's completion. For most applicants, the Trials were over. There was nothing more to say or do for those without the will to continue. In their eyes, there was no hope for progression, and without the guardian care of an experienced "explorer," it was a definite truth. As much as he might have enjoyed further instigating the emotions of the fallen, the present damage had been enough. There were limits to everything, and the current peak had been reached. A sullen sigh escaped Vin's lips as he vanished in a puff of smoke.

    "Young Chitos, the decisions ya have made are noble yet ignorant.
    Same goes to ya, child of the Synthi.
    Your 'perience at explorin' is at best a childs, yet ya waste time towards progressin'.
    Come, let us walk and hear 'bout the reasonin' for ya bein' here.
    We got a slow journey ahead--might as well make it interestrin'."

    At best, the elder stopped to speak his mind before continuing along his walk--also in the direction that the carriages had gone. Whether or not, the pair chose to follow was entirely of their own accord as any further persuasion was unlikely to come. He had fallen entirely silent and intended to stay that way unless given reason to reply. He did, however, proceed to cover his left eye as a means of gazing solely through the wooden monocle on his right. Shortly after, a small snort came from his figure as he mumbled insignificant words that were unlikely to be comprehended by anyone around him.

    "The tric's never stop, ya crazy sonuvabitch."


    The Carriages in Route
    From the moment an enclosed wagon was filled, the driver cracked his whip as a signal for the horses to explode forward. With all the mayhem surrounding the area, it was a danger, not only for the applicants, but also for the public, were any vehicle to linger. Even then, some failed to make it as far as down street. Under the pressure of mobs and their skills, some carriages were utterly shattered with wood flying in every other direction, and the rider and his horses desperately fleeing for their own safety. Out of the original twenty-five which were intended to leave, nearly a quarter of that number were rendered unable to continue--nearly fifteen less applicants that would potentially progress assuming the wagons were the correct way forward. Truthfully, very few people in the wagons were confident in their decision. There was little to no way to confirm the validity of Vin's words, and it was but a whim which had led them into the decision they chose. All in all, there was no time for regret or modifications to plans. Towards the front of the carriage, a light hiss began to sound, and it was in the same moment that the driver opened a wooden latch and tossed a smoking object into the back. In a matter of seconds, the entire rear was due to be filled with a fast-acting sleeping toxin which would last, not only the duration of the trip, but also well into their arrival at the final destination.


    The sound was rhythmic, yet ominously so, as applicants who awoke before others, chose to panic in light of the present situation. Each pair from each wagon were situated in cells stemming from what appeared to be the ruins of an old, underground jail. That being said, the locked gates which blocked their exit were far from the condition of the deteriorated surroundings as even the largest of the Chitos and Sari were unable to as much as budge or bend the hardened alloy. The room was divided into two lengths of eighteen cells with a wide stretch of walk space along the center path which ultimately led to a stairwell leading upwards and out. Nonetheless, such an escape seemed entirely illogical due to the time it would take to break the bars and the rush of murky water which was pouring down the stairway.

    Each cell was fairly small in size, yet it held just enough room for two occupants and its decomposed furniture. A bed and table were common to all cells; however, notable was the back walls where a small piece of paper lingered just above the several feet water level.
    There comes times when even the best of explorers find themselves in a watery tomb.
    With your supplies likely ruined and some weapons out of order, one must wonder how to escape.
    Though, it wouldn't be a Trial if you were told.
    That being said, sometimes you just have to think outside of the cell.
    Good Luck, my dears.

    Accessing the letter was a race against time due to a small flow of clearer water which drizzled along the wall where the paper resided. Given the time most applicants had remained asleep, the ink was already beginning to blur--not that Vin's words were anything more than a simple description of what most already knew. Whether a blessing or curse, it was obvious this was a next step in the Trials, and one that had a time limit at that. The Sari were at an obvious advantage when it came to the water; however, due to its almost sludge-like texture and appearance, even then it begged the question of their survival.

    #13 Tsu, Aug 31, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2016
  14. Tracer Welt 1472695630342.png

    El'yssi Hall

    Tracer watched as the entire hall erupted into chaos. Within minutes of this fiendish initiation's beginning, someone was already half dead. Looking through the crowd, a female giant rushed to the dying man's aide. A Souther Sári quickly joined her, using magic to tend to the male's wounds. He didn't quite understand why they would waste time on someone in such a manner. Surely if the man giving the initiation deemed him unworthy of continuing, there was no point in tending to him unless one wanted to give up their chances of becoming a fully fledged member of Guild.

    With all the fuss that was now ensuing, there was no easy way to access the carriages. If there wasn't such a rushing crowd, he'd rely on Léiritheoir as a grappling hook, but there was no guarantee he'd land safely, and he didn't want to use up one of his precious uses on a gamble. Instead, he resolved to play a gamble of a different sort. There was no doubt that Guild members often traveled in teams. That's what the whole pair system Vin hinted at seemed to suggest. Perhaps the half dead man was a test in itself.

    Giving himself to this thought, Trace approached the giant, the Southern Sári having already left after healing the majority of his wounds. Kneeling down, Trace offered some medicinal herbs he had on his person. Though they wouldn't do much for his wounds, they were of the Anasth variety, and would help numb the pain for a while. He couldn't help but be impressed with the Sári's power. The man was well mended, and there was still hope that he'd survive. "Use this. It'll rid him of his pain."

    While the giant graciously accepted his offering, Trace looked about the hall once more. The carriages had most certainly left by now, and only the distraught failures remained now. He spotted Vin, who gave the remains of this year's participants a quick glance over before focusing on him, the giant, and the fallen man. A Fytali approached Vin from behind, the two of them seeming to be on good terms with each other. Even someone such as himself couldn't help but feel relieved. The pair was demonstrating interest in the two.

    After Vin departed from his plant friend, they were approached by the Fytali. There was a black bark rifle slung over his back, and the way he presented himself said a lot. This was obviously an individual well versed in both the way of battle and of travelling. Trace, for one, was the type to respect such stature, even though he himself had never enjoyed such a pleasure.

    "Young Chitos, the decisions ya have made are noble yet ignorant. Same goes to ya, child of the Synthi. Your 'perience at explorin' is at best a childs, yet ya waste time towards progressin'. Come, let us walk and hear 'bout the reasonin' for ya bein' here. We got a slow journey ahead--might as well make it interestrin'," the plant man spoke as he neared them.

    "Trace Welt. I'm here to continue my father's work," Trace replied, curtly. He rose from the injured man to meet this newest engagement. "As for my inability to board a carriage, it was by my own intellect that I decided it best to remain behind, placing a gamble that this man's near death experience might be a test. Would I be wrong to assume such?" His tone was formal, as it always was when he was trying to maintain a calmer demeanor. It was only once he stumbled upon a discovery that his speech faltered and became erratic.

    Long shot though it might be, the man's earlier statement regarding a "slow journey" seemed to hint at such. If this meant they were still accepted, all well and good. What awaited those who chose to take the carriages was a mystery to them, but he wouldn't be surprised if they were to find that a horrible trial awaited them. Not that he and the giant, who he was assuming he'd be paired with, could possibly be getting off any easier.

    Inventory (open)
    1. Shoulder bag.
    2. A case of ammo containing 10 stun rounds.
    3. Four small food packs.
    4. Two smoke grenades.
    5. A pack of various medicinal herbs.
    6. Solar charger.
    7. A pistol blade.

    @Tsu @becna

  15. As Kula's consciousness returned, she was awakened to a multitude of things. An awful smell. A bleak coldness. And the feeling of vile sludge running inbetween her webbed feet, all accompanied by an orchestra of gushing water and the panicked hyperventilating and screaming of other applicants. The sight of a prison cell on bought back memories of Dex, and how she'd condemned him to a place like this. Jumping up to her feet, her breathing out of control, Kula's back laid against the wall as she tried to recollect herself from the sudden mad situation she'd been thrown into.

    The sudden gas grenade... the dizzy feeling she'd felt... she remembered now. Plus, it was relieving that she wasn't here alone; a half-asleep Caris was still with her, and she could spot a pair of Synthi girls in the opposite cell. Her breathing went down to a normal level as she reminded herself that this was all still part of the test. The true fear wasn't the awful conditions or the rising muck, it was the fact that she might've failed by going onto the carriage. Praise above, that wasn't the case.

    Still, despite Kula being ready for a challenge, they really weren't giving them even a second to prepare for the next thing, were they? Kula hadn't been given to change out of these robes into her proper gear, and as she'd been thrown into this cell in a unceremonious position, her bag had already been soaked through with filth. The rations, paper, spare clothing, and other such things would undoubtedly be ruined... typical.

    Her eyes scanning past the bars, Kula looked at the flow of pungent water that was starting to slowly flood the cell. Being quite short, she was already knee-deep in the stuff. Reaching down, Kula placed a hand in, closely inspecting the substance. It stuck to her hand, dripping down in big gooey drops. There was no way her or Caris was going to be able to breathe in this stuff once the cell filled up. In fact, because there was a small amount of breathable water in it, it would just mean it would take them longer to choke to death on it. Drowning in filth was the punishment for failure here. Wonderful.
    "You could definitely take some lessons on how to accommodate a lady, Vin..." Kula mused under her breath in a monotone, her face far from impressed as she lowered her hand. Where the man was now was unknown. "...He probably did a number one in this water, and is laughing about that very fact as I speak. ...Bastard."

    Kula's next action was to look around for anything out of place. A quick search yielded nothing of note hidden behind the chairs and beds, but the most obvious out-of-place objects were the bars. Crafted from tough alloy, it was obvious they'd been recently installed to replace old rusty metal bars for the purpose of this test. Vin had put these here to signal that the bars definitely weren't the way out, chipping through them wasn't the answer here. Even if someone did manage to get past the bars, they'd have to fight against the torrent of sludge coming down the stairs afterwards to 'escape' via the hall. Even for a confident swimmer like Kula, she wasn't used to swimming in muck, especially muck that was going towards you at high speeds. There had to be another way out.

    Kula's attention was then fixed to the note. Some of the ink had been smudged from the water running down it, but she could still make out some integral things. 'Escape'... 'Think outside the cell'... oh, and most importantly, 'Love, Vin'. A true gentleman. Jokes aside, thinking outside the cell definietely reinforced Kula's idea that escaping through bars wasn't the obvious way here. Though, when she felt around the walls, there was no sign of there being a weakness in any of them. What was the alternate way out here? There no time to commit to a big digging project without getting a mouthful of sewage.

    Think outside the cell... outside the cell. Kula paced around the sludge-filling for a moment, silent as she weighed up all the factors.

    It was then something obvious hit her. The water coming down that was smearing the note... it was clean, and clear. Unlike the sludge, this water wasn't an artificial source. The note seemed pointless at first, but it could've been a direct clue. In order for water to flow from above like that, the stone ceiling would have to be permeable enough to let water through, meaning that the ceiling was weak and thin, protecting a layer of soil, and could likely be mined through. Furthermore, for clean water to flow down here, that meant there was a water source of some sort from above. If they could dig up and reach that water source...

    "Caris," Kula mumbled, looking at her cellmate wide-eyed. "I may have an idea. Even if it's a long shot from the correct one, I can't see any other alternatives at the moment. Do you see how clean water is pouring on the note from above?" Kula gave it a while to sink in. "If we can dig upwards towards that clean water, we might hit the source. Breathable water. Until we think of a better idea, I have a small feeling this could be it."

    With that, there wasn't much time to waste. Realligning a bed so she could stand on it to reach the ceiling, Kula rifled through her bag, grabbing the biggest climbing piton she had, and her climbing hammer. She hadn't bought anything like a pick, but these could serve as a makeshift hammer and chisel. Trying to dig directly upwards from where the water was dripping down, Kula worked as hard as her thin arms could to make a start on chipping away at the ceiling.

    Inventory (open)

    A gilded trident [Equipped]
    Cyan robes [Equipped]
    A deep blue bag [Equipped]
    A sapphire lamp
    Climbing equipment
    A long length of rope
    A utility knife
    A decorated steel flute
    Leather/cloth battle garments
    Various maps [Ruined]
    A notebook [Ruined]
    A quill and inkpot [Ruined]
    Waterskins of clean water [Ruined]
    Preserved raw fish [Ruined]
    #15 Jakers, Sep 1, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2016
  16. Caris awoke with a groan a short time after Kula did, perhaps it was his size that kept the northern Sari down for longer, or simply the heavy beating he had taken acting as a stalwart guard against the rioting mob. Even once the pair had entered the carriage, Caris' job hadn't quite ended yet. There had been a few stragglers with a mix of desperation and determination who had clung to the side of the carriage, threatening to overwhlem it and send it to the same destroyed fate as the others. With a small frown on his face, Caris had set about dislodiging the stowaways, and with a few "Sorry!'s", "Apologies!", and of course, a "Best of luck to ya!" Caris sent them all sprawling to the side of the road, hoping the fall didn't hurt them too bad. As the carriage started to pull away in earnest and the interlopers had been cleared away, Caris finally let his guard down and went to speak to Kula.

    This is, of course, when the smoke bomb struck. The carriage quickly filled up with a smoke that Caris knew was...probably dangerous. Acting quickly, Caris held his breath, then he opened one of his vials, doing his best to capture the smoke inside. Whatever it long as it didn't kill them, it might have a use down the road. Unfortunately for Caris however, he couldn't hold his breath forever, and he quickly fell asleep beside Kula, vial tucked away in his bandoleer.

    In the cell, Caris stumbled groggily to his feet, taking a few minutes to reassess himself and uncover the facts that Kula had long ago already diserned. They were clearly trapped in the cell as some part of the trial...but escape was going to prove difficult indeed. The note was even more destroyed by the time Caris manged to read it, but "Think outside the cell." and "Vin" were the only two lines left, which gave Caris something close to an idea. Firstly, he examined the crude looking water that was slowly filling the cell. While normally the Sari would have no reason to fear the water...this looked hardly habitable, and chances were it just meant a slow death by suffocation rather than a relatively quick drowning.

    Caris' somewhat morbid Thoughts were brought back to earth by Kula, Caris listened in. Nodding softly as she suggested that the clear water might be their way out of the cell. It made sense, but Caris couldn't help but wonder if the note was being a little more literal. "I'll help you pick at the roof in a moment Kula, I want to try something first."

    Moving towards the cell, Caris first tried to simply push or pull on the cell bars. It was a long shot, but Caris wanted to be able to say he at least tried to break his way out. To boot, if the bars were simply illusions and convinced some folks not to try...well, Caris didn't want to be tricked by that. After grumbling softly to himself as he efforts bared fruitless, Caris resumed step two in his plan. While his arms were big, Caris could get his arms outside the cell somewhat. Taking whatever time he needed and occasionally poking his head out to check, he began to feel his way around hte edge of the cell, searching for anything of use or even something to press. He started with the floor, since chances were that'd be rough to search after a bit of time. Then he'd move onto the walls, before feeling the outside above the cell. If need be Caris would grab the chair to use as a stool, but thanks to his height he was hoping it'd be unnecessary.

    If his efforts failed there two, Caris would take Kula's side, and start hacking away at the roof with a hatchet.

    "Kula, if this doesn't work, you have a backup plan?"

    inventory (open)

    Jarasian Trident
    Brown shorts
    Smoke filled vial
    6 poisoned vials
    6 empty vials
    A small hatchet
    A length of rope
    A harpoon
    Bag of rations

  17. Ninian + Tae

    Ninian awoke slowly, deliberately, and groggily. The last thing she remembered was smoke, hissing out from a strange-looking canister that had been hocked into their carriage, and then... nothing. She didn't even have time to react. And now she was here, in this dank cell, with a a steady dripping of water falling onto her head and running down her nose with utter regularity.
    It really was annoying.

    An woke a few moments after Ninian, smacking her lips and turning with a groan. Shooting to her feet when she registered the wetness against her skin, she splashed and whirled to face the fellow Synthi, looking quite comical with her eyes blown wide in surprise and viscous "water" dripping from her body. Her gaze quickly panned the cell before her expression settled into something more placid, the smirk forming on her face just screaming of another misplaced comment to come.

    The synthi took a moment to look around - her rifle was still here and intact, and as she patted at the wet pouches on her belt, she did not find anything missing from her inventory. Still, she immediately saw that things were not right, as the murky water from a nearby stairway rushed down the corridor and into her cell. Glancing around, she found the note, pinned to the wall.

    An's eyes followed Ninian, although she herself didn't budge. "Gee, they sure are creative." She piped, striding over to the bars instead. She tapped lightly on the metal and took a glance outside the cage.

    Ninian glanced at An. "Glad you're up," she said, her voice serious and even. "This could be rough." She glanced down at the water, slowly lapping against her feet. She grimaced and took a step back.

    "Think you can break those bars?"

    "Well, a girl does need her beauty sleep." An called back, chirpy despite the focused look on her face as she continued to tap along the bars. "T'be honest, I'm not entirely sure; this metal is an alloy of some sort. 'Unno what. B'sides; still gotta let my babies air out a little, balance some circulation." An clenched and unclenched her fists, her gauntlets and backpack ejecting small spouts of mist as she did so.

    "Any luck over there? What does the note say?"

    Ninian ran her eyes over the degrading note once more. "Watery grave, ruined equipment, think outside the cage... mostly sarcastic stuff." Ninian rolled her eyes and picked up her rifle, cocking it a few times and feeling the action of the lever flow smoothly. At least it still worked. "I'd say I could shoot the lock, but if you can't bend it I doubt one of my bullets'll do anything."

    An hummed to herself, shaking out her gauntlets and clenching and unclenching her fists again. "Hmmm... I'll give it a shot." She didn't sound very hopeful, and her doubts were confirmed when the bars didn't so much as creak. "Ugh." An groaned, slightly out of breath. "My gauntlets can go up to 150 psi alone; these things are damn strong. Breaking 'em ain't gonna be an option."

    She strided over to where Ninian was standing instead, squinting at the mostly ruined note as she plucked it off the wall. "Think... think outside... the... cage. Hm." She glanced around, tapping at the walls, hoping to hear a hollow tap, spitting when a spray of water hit her in the face when her gauntlet met the rivulets.

    Wait. Water? Not strange sludge?

    "Hey, check this out. Water's different." An nudged Ninian, pointing.

    Ninian glanced over to the wall at An's nudge, raising an eyebrow at her companion's wet face, but not mentioning it. "Looks like... normal water." She raised a hand to gently feel the wall herself, careful not to put any pressure on it. "Could be something behind here. Could be a lot of water that'll drown us." Ninian glanced away, a small expression of uncomfortableness playing across her face. "I'm not the, uh... best swimmer."

    "Hmm." An mused again, gaze following the small trickle of water up the wall. Perhaps she sensed the true unease in Ninian's voice, as the blonde turned to the fellow Synthi with a slightly more genuine expression of sympathy.

    "Aw, honey..." She crooned, giving Ninian's shoulder a small pat. "Y'know, I had been thinking that outside the cells could also mean outside those bars, y'know?" An gave a general wave in that direction. "How about I try to track this strange ceiling water and you look for clues outside the bars? That way, you won't be hit with surprise deluges of water if something happens." An held her tongue as her mind told her that it wouldn't matter where they were in the cell if a torrent of water rushed down; the girl looked nervous enough as is.

    "Ow," Ninian said, somewhat jokingly - the gauntled hands, though well-weilded, still clanked against her shoulder, causing minor discomfort. She gave a slight smile at An's kind suggestion. She knew that if the water got in here, she probably wouldn't have a place to run to, but she could at least pretend to put that possibility out of her mind. At least for now. "Ok. I'll check it out, I should be able to find something. An alternate solution."

    She ran a gloved hand through her long, white hair, and strode over to the cage door, trying to look outside. It probably wasn't going to be as easy as finding a lever within arm's reach, but maybe there was something she could do. She ran a hand down the wall and the lock, trying to examine it's quality. As the sludgy water continued to rise past her shins, she gave the rock that the bars were attached to a tap or two. It seemed like it might be vulnerable enough to An's punching, but if that still let in a rush of water... Ninian tapped her robotic legs nervously. She'd have to figure it out. "An, could we just punch the rock around the bars and slide them out individually? One or two should be enough to let us through."

    An had pulled a chair next to the wall and had been standing on it, tapping on the wall and ceiling and trying to look for a source. Blinking owlishly at Ninian for a second, she shrugged and hopped off her chair with a loud and messy splash.

    "We could... try. I'm not sure, though." An murmured, walking up to Ninian, before giving her a warning glance.

    "Please stand back."

    She leveled a series of punches at the crumbling stone casts for the alloy bars along the ceiling, hoping for the best.

    Ninian took a few steps back, looking warily at An's gauntlets. She hadn't quite figured out what they were made of, but she could tell that she didn't want to be anywhere near them when they started punching. "Ok, uh, let it rip, I guess." She tensed, hoping that this would work, and that hundreds of gallons of water were not about to pour in and drown her.

    Nini's Inventory (open)

    - 100 Rounds of Ammunition
    - 5 Spare water cartridges
    - 12 food
    - Gadgetry tuning tools
    - Manacles
    - Matches

    An's Inventory (open)

    -Misc. Metal parts and cylinders
    - Small can of oil(inedible)
    - Water bottle, with purifier
    - Bag of misc. Dried food
    - Money(paper and coin)
    - Bottle of pain/numbing medicine
    - Linen wraps
    - Goggles(welding)

    (OOC: This just in! Iwaku's coding is buggy to high heaven and a simple left/right alignment that should have taken a minute was not only unsuccessful despite working in other websites with identical coding, it caused 20 minutes of coding redundancies that I had to manually fix. Go iwaku! :))))))))
  18. [BCOLOR=transparent]Reylla was halfway finished with the man's right eye when a Sarí woman knelt next to her. Her wave of magic water caught Reylla completely off guard, and she watched open mouthed as it drove paths right threw the angry crowds. All around her was chaos.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]And suddenly, it wasn't. By the time she had stood and reoriented herself, the last carriage was pulling away from the square, people were pulling themselves up or collapsing over in pain, and the realization that she had failed the first trial of the test, and therefore the entire test, begins to sink in. The crushing blanket of failure covers her back, and she hangs her head in shame for a moment.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]The voice of the Fytali man distracts her, however. At his word she springs forward, not hesitating in the slightest. She could tell he was important - he had spoken to Vin personally, and now he called to her to walk with him? Even if he walked them to the edge of town and told them to leave, Reylla wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to spend time with someone like this.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]Velos growls grumpily at their strange new companions, but follows Reylla obediently. His patchy fur stands up along his spine, as if warning them that they are not to be messed with. Reylla does everything she can to dissuade them of Velos’s warning though.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]“Reylla Stonearm!” She announces enthusiastically. Over her day and a half in town, she had learned that most people did not appreciate the common [/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent]Lingivik greeting of grabbing your new companion’s hand, pulling them to your chest, and smacking them on the back. Instead she went with the less polite greeting, shaking their hand with both of hers. Whether or not her new compatriots accept her offered greeting does nothing to her mood suddenly sunny mood.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]“It’s great to meet you, are you an Explorer? I never met a Fytali before, well I’ve seen quite a few since I been in town, but not ones that I get to shake hands with and chat for a little while!” She turns briefly to her new Synthi companion, saying, “ I met a few Synthi, locals mostly. You know Gary and Halfath over at the Copper Chicken?”[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]Without waiting for his answer, she continues. “I knew he was testing us to get to the carriage, but I couldn’t let a man with his eyes and mouth sewn shut get trampled by a crowd running crazier than a rabbit with a bobcat at it’s tail.”[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]She continues to make conversation as they leave the square, obviously excited to be connecting with someone. “I do really wanna join the guild, but not at the expense of some young idiot’s life. I’d rather try again next year. But I guess I won’t have to if I’m walking this way with you.” She looks down with a mixture of hope and curiosity. “Right?”[/BCOLOR]
  19. The decision to punch through the upper level rock was both a blessing and a curse for the applicants trapped within their cell. It was a blessing due to the jagged pathway which winded up and about; however, it was a curse due to the stream of water which began to pour from the newly formed opening. To make matters worse, those who chose to rummage in the sludge water outside of their cell found themselves violently pulled under and slammed against the bars. From the instance their hands had extended passed the strengthened alloy, a tendril had immediately wrapped itself around their arm--numerous suction cups preventing ease of escape as the source of the tentacle began to forcefully pull. Under any other circumstance, the sudden attack would have been nothing more than a minor inconvenience; however, due to the general realization of the escape path, the room's water level was suddenly rising at nearly triple its original rate.

    To help their trapped partner or continue the process of further widening the path for their own escape. This was the glaring decision to be made; since in under a minute, the water level was bound to reach the ceiling of the prison. If the path were properly widened, then it was nothing more than a test of each applicant's aquatic strength, yet were it not, then it was a watery grave since breaking through granite and stone was an unlikely feat given the thick resistance of the murky water. All across the prison, cries of "Help me," and "Don't leave," began to scream from those desperately fighting against the unknown creature; while in some cells, fights began to break out as many wished for individuality in regards to their cell's escape. Nonetheless, regardless of what was happening, it was an obvious fact that this prison was soon to become a resting place for many once hopeful souls.

    For those who did manage to escape, the pathway was a simple maneuver for the smaller, thinner races, and a minor challenge for any larger. Overall, the path was wide enough for even the fat, blubbery bodies of the northern Sari; however, around angles and bends, it mildly narrowed for an uncomfortably tight fit. Regardless, the length of the tunnel was far from extended as the goal was barely two minutes away--another similarly sized room whose interior consisted of several feet of water and a single deteriorated pillar upon which Vin sat. A bored expression encompassed his face and didn't change in light of the applicants who gradually peeked their head above water level.

    "A mistake, 'ndeed.
    It was a noble gesture to consida the well bein' of 'nother, yet in light of his actions can ya say that he did deserve what came to him?
    Furthamore, there was nothin' to stop him from furtha retaliatin' against his beneficiaries--a scenario in which ya would have been likely caught off guard.
    If ya plan to become the next generation of explorers, then it is wise to consida yaself above all others.
    Nonethaless, as our Chitos friend assumes, the Trials are not yet over for yaselves.
    Ol' Vin never claimed the wagons as the only way...just a way."

    The Fytali spoke at a fairly slow pace--small talk to occupy the time as he directed the party towards a particular side alley. There, a wagon existed under the veil of vines which rapidly withered at the touch of their creator. Immediately, a plant-like wolf sprung from the carriage's interior and began happily nuzzling its master who quickly beckoned in the direction of the anterior. From appearances, it was obvious that this carriage was not solely for human transportation given the large quantity of relics and goods which were neatly stored in the back. Nonetheless, there were no explanations or answers provided in light of the swift departure which followed their entry into the carriage. In a matter of minutes, the carriage blasted through the city's side gate and found itself soon journeying along an unkempt, dirt road.

    "Prepare yaselves.
    Ol' Vin aint so dumb that he wouldn't consida alternate entry to the next Trial.
    Ya betcha ya ass that we gonna find trouble 'long the way."

    That being said, despite the warning, nothing came to pass across the thirty minutes it took to reach the first landmark along the way--a dense forest which seemingly stretched the distance of the horizon as far as the eye could reach in either direction. Gradually, the wagon came to a stop after-which the Fytali jumped onto the ground with a beckon for the party to follow his actions. From their current position, they were still a mile away from the entrance to the forest; however, it was a wise distance given the sudden flurry of arrows which fell short of their position by several yards. A heavy sigh exhaled from the elder who situated himself along the cover of the wagon and began inspecting the forest line for the source of the attack. Such actions did not last long, however, as only a couple seconds passed by before the announcement of his findings was vocalized to the party.

    "Seems like we found the location. Thirteen wagons for thirteen arrows.
    The bastards are the drivers and they hidin' in the trees--bout a mile out from our position.
    It ain't gonna be an easy approach, but I trust we can handle it.
    I'll mark, we get as close as we need, then we light 'em up.

    As he spoke, the Fytali placed his right hand against the ground; an action which caused notable commotion along the forest line. Although the enemies remained overall obstructed from view, the vibrant pink flowers of the vines which wrapped themselves around each individual were far from unnoticeable--even more so considering the light glow which emitted in the waning light of the evening.

    "Let's fly."

    • Love Love x 1
  20. Tracer Welt 1472695630342.png
    Forest Outskirts

    Tracer was glad to see his beliefs weren't entirely misplaced. While it was true that the injured man wasn't a test, it did end up benefiting the Synthi scientist, as well as his would-be Giant partner, whose name, by way of mouth, was revealed to be Reylla Stonearm. The scientist could only hope the cheerful female lived up to what her surname suggested. But then, didn't all giants have last names such as that?

    Leading them along, their Fytalian guide led them to a carriage hidden among the brush. It was filled with all sorts of relics and other goodies. If Tracer was a thief, he'd probably be delighted to see such a large assortment of trinkets. Were he a fool, he might try to snatch them right from underneath the Fytali's nose. Tracer wasn't the latter, and so he contained his curiosity. There was a greater task at hand. Leaving no time for explanation, the two were loaded into the carriage, and off they went.

    The inside of the carriage was spacious despite its baggage. He ventured a guess that this was the Fytali's own carriage, and that it was far more luxurious than those afforded to those who rushed ahead. God only knows where they wound up. The male tried to enjoy the ride, knowing that it would probably be his last peaceful one until the end of the trials.

    It wasn't long before they came to a stop along some forest outskirts. As soon as the Fytali left the carriage, arrows were fired just short of his feet. Tracer met the being's continued calm with a complex mix of surprise and expectancy. Of course an adventurer that Vin personally mingled with would maintain a calm demeanor, even after just having been nearly shot down. It was strange though. Were the assailants piss poor shots, or were they told not to kill him? Tracer could only assume it was the latter.

    "So this is our first one, hm?" Tracer asked, readying his Léiritheoir, he looked onward into the depths of the forest. The targets were only visible by the glowing vines that the Fytali entwined them with. If they were to progress, a clearing of the forest was inevitable. "Thirteen?" he asked, wanting to make sure he heard correctly. Looking over to Reylla, he noted her crossbow. It seemed like it fired more powerful shots than those of normal crossbows, so it was less likely she'd miss. On the other hand, she was also a larger target. Without proper support, she'd be shot down before she could clear them out.

    That was where he'd come in. Reaching into his pack, he pulled out a smoke grenade and flashed it to the Fytali. "It may not be the most foolproof idea, but I have a plan. Stonearm." His attention shifted to the giant. "If I throw this smoke grenade, can you take aim at the glowing vines? My part will be to rush in using my Léiritheoir in shield mode under the cover of smoke, and take them out from the inside with this." Tracer flashed his pistol dagger before replacing it. "It isn't the quietest, but if Stonearm can provide a good enough distraction, I should be able to pull it off. Any thoughts?" While Tracer was usually a solo worker, he valued the input of others he viewed as being equal or superior to him. If the Fytali agreed the plan had a shot, then it was likely to succeed.

    Inventory (open)
    1. Léiritheoir
    2. Shoulder bag.
    3. A case of ammo containing 10 stun rounds.
    4. Four small food packs.
    5. Two smoke grenades.
    6. A pack of various medicinal herbs.
    7. Solar charger.
    8. A pistol blade.

    @Tsu @becna
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