MAIN STORY The Seed of Life

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melting away
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He hadn’t wanted this. He hadn't wanted bloodshed. What a fool he was, thinking fighting would come at no cost! What did he expect when he asked Tza to teach him? A good fall on unbent elbows and he would walk away the champion? Idiot! His reflection in the water was one he didn’t recognize. The blood spattered across his face only served as a reminder and suddenly Charlie splashed the water up, scrubbing viciously, till his face was red and there was no trace of the blood but he could still feel it sticking upon his skin.

All the while he could feel his chest tightening, tears mixing with the water that he threw in his face. He was an idiot. Stuck in a hopeless delusion. This was what the world was like, what Lannya had kept him from. He felt almost betrayed. All his life he had grown not knowing a thing.. not knowing the wars fought... the evils carried out. Constantly, relentlessly. He tried to blame Lannya and he tried to blame the circumstances but once Charlie could scrub no more he knew he had only himself to blame.

For his foolish hopefulness. It was he who had overlooked all of the happenings. Through this journey he had been but a willing victim, thrown, tossed about from one scalding situation to another. He’d wept for his own ache but he never once considered the rest. Perhaps if he has never fought, never burned through the ivy or blasted fire at those elves.. perhaps he would have been blind a little longer. And even that he felt he didn’t deserve.

By the time his lip curled and he buried his face in his hands, he wasn’t sure who he was crying for. For himself, for his friends, for those he had hurt and left behind. He cried for the blood that he now understood had to be spilled, and he cried for the fact that he would likely have to do it himself.

His body wracked with sobs, Charlie sobbed for the loss of his own innocence.

Their return to the ship had been surprisingly without incident, and for that, Wynleth could not have felt a greater sense of relief. But not all was well with their team, and it didn’t take the instinct of a woman burned by her own heavy losses to know it. Charlie had vanished fairly quickly when they arrived, and in her conscious mind, she knew that what he was going through had driven him into himself. She knew because she had felt it, herself, after the Monastery. And she could not, in her heart, allow him to endure it on his own the way she had.

Leaving Hal with the assurity that she would return soon, she made her way along the odd incline of the Skadrad, to where Charlie’s room resided and with a deep breath, she tapped her knuckles against the wood, “...Charlie? It’s Wyn. Can I come in?”

Not soon after he had finally caved into his emotions did Charlie hear a knock on the door, causing him to jump, tears still freshly flowing. He quickly dragged a towel across his face but it served to only make him redder. For a moment he had thought it to be Inara, another heartfelt conversation like before ahead of him, and he was nearly ready to tell her to leave him be. But it was Wyn.

Walking up to the door Charlie hesitated in his hold on the door knob. Wyn’s question begged more of him than he was prepared to give, and he didn’t know if he could handle the sight of her.

“Is.. it… urgent?” Charlie mumbled from behind the door, voice nasally and on the edge of a whine.

Should could hear it in his voice, the emotion… or rather, the attempts to hide the emotion and it broke Wyn’s heart, her eyes falling closed as her palm rested against the door. For a moment, she thought of lying… of telling it was urgent, because she could think of nothing worse than allowing him to retreat inside himself, but Wyn was an honest person, to a fault, and Charlie deserved that much.

“...I just… I wanted to talk to you. But you can keep the door shut, if you’d prefer. I don’t mind…”

His shoulders sagged. Well, any further than they already were. Wyn’s words were kind.. they always were. He felt it wrong to push her away even though he so desperately wanted too.. she was willing to talk him through the door, and he almost hated her for it.

Against what Charlie thought was his better judgement, he unlocked the door without another word, trudging over to the bed and sitting on the edge, eyes glazed over in an empty stare.

She heard the click and a small, sad smile appeared for a moment, before she turned the knob, letting herself in. Looking at him for a moment, she hovered in the doorway before she turned and shut it, then crossing the room, she sank down beside him and without a word, Wyn wrapped her arms around Charlie’s shoulders and pulled him in a hug.

Words didn’t help. Words never helped, because for whatever the other person had to say, there was no way past the guilt, the fear, the pain… not really. And the only thing was the all encompassing loneliness she had felt in her grief… and how desperately she had just wanted to feel like there was someone there.

For Charlie, it was easy to be that person… Good, gentle, sweet Charlie, who had no right to look so sad… so broken.

Her embrace was one he did not return. Charlie allowed himself to be limp in her arms, trying to keep anymore tears down. He didn’t know how to respond.. he didn’t have anything to say. He didn’t want pity and he felt that he knew no other way to handle this than to berate himself. And to do that he wanted to be alone.

“..Thanks.” But he didn’t mean it, because he didn’t know how too.

Leaning back a little, Wyn folded her hands in her lap, looking down at them for a moment, “Do you remember when we first met, Charlie? I know it wasn’t that long ago… but sometimes it feels like years. Back at the inn? With the Shae…?”

Hands shifting in his lap, Charlie glanced off to the side. So she wasn’t going to go that easy. “Of.. course.” He muttered. “I remember.” What’s that got to do with anything? He wanted to snap. This was probably going to be some whole story about fate.. and doing the right thing, but he didn’t want to hear it. His brows furrowed in anger but he spoke not a word of his thoughts. He felt helpless enough that not even Wyn could say something that would change his mind.

“I was there at the inn… before any of you. I didn’t even know that the letters had been sent. And I didn’t care. When I’d first heard the Shae speaking. I didn’t care. I was angry, Charlie… and hurting. I had just lost the man I loved in a horrible, despicable fashion and all I wanted was to be alone. But you… Charlie... I’d known you less than ten minutes and you looked right at me, and you said to me ‘we’ll figure it out’. And I knew that any mission with someone like you coming along… would be worth going on, whether or not we succeeded. It was your heart. I saw it there, and when you came along to help Hal’s family… and in Lauderdine. You and I… we aren’t so different. We’re overlooked, because we aren’t strong, and we don’t seem particularly brave. But we’re here, because all we want, all we have ever wanted was to protect the people we care about.”

A sigh escaped and she looked up at him, “...And the only way that we can do that… is by protecting the Seed. And you did that today. I know that you think what you did was wrong. I know, because when… when we were attacked in Lauderdine, I couldn’t… I couldn’t even use my magic against the Shadow Casters there. I was so afraid of doing the wrong thing. Of feeling the way I did when… when I lost that boy’s mother in Hal’s village. But the thing is, sometimes we have to make decisions to do what feels wrong, for the right reasons. Just like the Shadow Casters… doing what they think is right, all for the wrong reason. The courage it took for you to protect that Seed, Charlie. To protect all of us… Hal’s okay. I know that, but when I saw him go down today, I was so sure… and I had to go to him. And you were there, Charlie, when I needed you to be. Unreservedly. You are always there. And you think for one moment what happened out there has changed who you are, I hope you’re listening… Because I won’t let anyone tell you you are anything less than the bravest person I know.”

Throughout her speech, the one he had diligently been steeling himself again, the one he had been preparing not to hear, Charlie couldn’t manage to hold himself. His lip curled and his eyes welled and he sniffed once, twice, three times, each time trying to pretend it was nothing more than a would-be sneeze, his expression so forcefully mad it was almost laughable. And by the time she finished he was once more a mess of tears and snot, hands trembling, viciously shaking his head. “I don’t deserve that.” He said, quivering. “Stop it, I don’t.. I don’t deserve that. I killed someone.. I hurt so many. It can’t be right. It can’t be right.”

“All of our hands have blood on them Charlie…” She said, quietly, “...Literally… figuratively. It doesn’t matter. We’ve all done things that we never thought we would. Things that will haunt us… because we are good people. You and me, and everyone here, Charlie. We are good people. And that is why it feels so bad. But if you hadn’t done what you did, who knows what would have happened. To you, to us… to the Seed. No one will look back at this when they tell of our story, Charlie… and think any less of you for what happened today. No one.” Looking up at him, she shook her head, “...You saved my life. I thought… I thought I was going to die. Without what you did, I might have.”

“I don’t understand.” He whimpered. “I don’t understand why good people have to do bad things. I don’t want to hurt anybody.. Doesn’t that make me bad? It’s what makes the Shadow bad.. People who hurt other people aren’t good.” His voice was strained. He was struggling to understand, understand the clearest black and white principals he had based everything in his life upon.

“Do you think Inara is a bad person, Charlie? Or Tryn? Or Tza…? What about me or Hal? We have all had to make choices we didn’t want to make, but we made them because there is nothing else we could do. You are not a bad person. And you are nothing like the Shadow Casters. They would burn our world for their own selfish reasons… and there is not a selfish thought in your mind. You are my friend, Charlie. And I love you. And I don’t ever want to hear you compare yourself to them again… Not ever.”

And with that he finally caved, collapsing into Wyn’s embrace and crying heartily against her shoulder, trying to never hear the screams of the elves again. Trying to forget. But things weren’t so easily forgotten and he knew that, he knew that. He knew that he’d never forget. But Wyn spoke truth.. he thought none of his friends to be bad people. There had to be choices. He would have to make them.

Wyn didn’t say anything after that. There was no need to. Her arms came around Charlie and she gingerly brushed a hand across his shoulders, letting him cry, letting him get it out as long as he needed to.

Red Thunder

A Warrior in a Garden
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Trynten Lothorsen
the Skadrad


From one scene of destruction to another. It was a strange feeling, to leave a place of corpse and viscera in fear and find comforting refuge in a veritable crater of splintered trees and cracked hull planks. But safety there was; as the orc sailors raised defenses, Tryn hobbled to assist them. He paused; Tza was quite possibly still worse off than he, and while he wouldn’t compromise her reputation, he couldn’t leave her to care for herself. Not without her insistence.

“Come,” he huffed, the hurried retreat leaving him breathless. “Inside. You’re still not healed fully, and the sailors can handle any intrusion.”

Probably. Trynten glanced at the rapidly forming front. Strong and frankly ingenious for the circumstances, it was nevertheless haphazard, it seemed to him. They were likely unpracticed against these druids’ magic and fighting styles; hell, the only reason his own little coterie was alive was because of Vi’s well timed light burst.

Where was the damned half-elf, anyway? The woodsman frowned. Surely he wasn’t still in that chaos behind them. He was every bit a wet blanket, but Tryn wasn’t about to leave him behind. For that matter, where was Iballat? Or Inara? Damn! Careful to still bear what weight Tza needed help with, Tryn raised his voice, calling back the way they’d come in a panic.

“Inara! Iballat! Vi?” His stomach began tightening. “Inara!

The knot loosened as he spotted them emerging from the forest; late, likely given Vi’s diversion tactic, but alive. He released a tense breath.

“Good.” He smiled. “I’m glad you’re safe.”

rissa rissa

Doctor Jax

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Tza'Hal Aggraf

  The orc had not given a second glance backward during their entire mad dash out of the forests towards the Skadrad. Perhaps it was prior training - perhaps it was the adrenaline. Whatever the case, she had almost completely forgotten Iballat and Vi and Inara until Tryn had stopped them and gestured for her to go back to the Skadrad while he lingered, no longer blinded by Vi's blast. The tug of concern in her chest drew her to look back for a moment, ignoring Tryn's suggestion for the moment until she saw the dark-skinned man, the half-elf, and their ranger friend emerge from the foliage.

She breathed a sigh, not missing the fact that Tryn had shouted Inara's name, not once, but twice. She wasn't quite sure what to do with that information yet - but perhaps it would be useful for later. She hailed them with a lifted hand, huffing a little bit as she sought to catch her breath. Oddly, she found herself dizzy, and she realized that perhaps it would be good for her to climb back into the Skadrad and rest. She was not so proud to be reckless, and she knew she had sustained a few small wounds in the skirmish.

"I will meet you back at the ship. See to Inara and the rest," Tza'hal agreed, gesturing with an open palm before turning around.

The entire trip back to the Skadrad seemed to take longer than the dash away from the druids. With the excitement draining out of her, she felt every little ache, most of all the arrowhead still lodged in her leg. Their madcap run had aggravated it, though she had largely ignored it in favor of immediate welfare. Now, she regretted it. Every step with that leg was turning into agony, and by the time she got into the Skadrad, she was hissing and spitting, finding the nearest place to sit and take a look at her wound.

Her leg was worrying warm by now. The bandaged dressing had begun to bleed through, a bad sign. The arrowhead was still sawing the flesh inside with its recurved edges, doing what Baladuri arrows do best - be a nuisance. She began to unwind the bandage, biting her lip with worry as she lifted the edge. Nothing black underneath, besides a plug of a scab that was cracking and breaking, though the wound had become an angry red.

"It can't ever be easy," she muttered to herself as she re-wrapped the wound and went scrounging for whatever medical supplies were still aboard the ship. If another battle was to ensue, she'd have to hang back.

Red Thunder Red Thunder


the clairvoyant pterodactyl


The Skadrad gave no comfort to the Northlyn native and as the sun began to creep below the horizon, Inara grew ever more restless. After she, Vi, and Iballat had made it back they went their separate ways, as did the rest of the orc crew and her friends. Some to be by themselves, some to aid in the repair of the airship, and likely some parted to set up a patrol in case the Druids attacked once more. She hesitated just beyond the Skadrad’s threshold, glancing around at the fading parties.

Inara was inclined to follow any of them, yet she didn’t and instead climbed her way back to her quarters.

Minutes alone turned to hours and even though a part of herself yearned for the company of someone else, Inara stayed within her room. She couldn’t sit still, however, and spent the time alone cleaning her desperate leathers, organizing the dwindling contents of her shoulder bag, cleaning the shallow cut above her eye, and building up the courage to leave her room.

She grabbed the tome from her awkwardly tilted bed and without even knowing where he might be, set out after Vi. Except, not a few feet from her threshold did she hesitate, her feet planting themselves against fleeting desires. The indecipherable text drove her mad, embedded awkward, nagging, and doubt-inspiring thoughts into her mind, but above all, she couldn’t figure out why. Her hand rose to her chest, where the crystal Theresia had given her was still concealed within a hidden, hand-sewn pocket, and changed her mind.

As she turned on her heel and made it back into the comfort of her bed, she made a mental note to tell Hal of its presence. Not that she meant to hide it, it just never happened to cross her mind when they were resting between onslaught after onslaught. Not that that much time had passed anyways… Since Pippa. Since she left the comfort of home in Emalnahar.

Inara could still smell it, the scent of her favorite patch of woods, the sweet, wafting breeze during spring, and the crisp aroma of autumn. And she could see it too, when she closed her eyes and concentrated. The remembered sight of her beloved bioluminescent canopies eased her into an unsteady sleep that she desperately needed.

She woke with a start only a few hours later. Inara felt her stomach flip and somewhere between asleep and not, Inara came to as the Skadrad righted itself. With a jittery sigh she made her way to her feet, eyes blinking repeatedly to clear them of sleep. She peeked out of the porthole window, finding dawn staring back at her, before grabbing her belongings and making her way to the common area, curious to know of what was to come.
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Smut. Romance as a main plot. Horror. Grimdark.

  Wyn left Charlie only when she was sure her half-elf friend could handle being on his own without the same strain she had found him with. It had been significantly longer than she’d intended, and by the time she worked her way back along the oddly angled deck, the sky overhead was dappled by starlight, the world a different place then when they had first returned to the Skadrad.

It seemed strange how much had happened… The day seemed to hold a hundred days in only a few hours, and it was hard to believe that not too long ago, she had been tied to the trunk of a tree, fairly convinced it would be her last moments. Emotions were funny, the way that they could spin off in a million different directions, with no real way of predicting where they might go. The overflow of Charlie’s sadness, coupled by the fear and adrenaline of the battle with the elves Wyn felt on edge, and the only person in the world that she wanted to see, the only soul in that moment that mattered was Hal Midigan.

With the time that had passed, she figured she would find Hal at his room, so heading straight there, she paused outside the door and softly, wrapped her knuckle against it.

“It’s open.” His voice was calm through the door, and even a laugh could be heard softly from his chest. “I would get up but it’s a bit of a task, really.”

Reaching for the knob, Wyn pushed inside the dimly lit room before closing the door behind her, “...Hey.”

Another chuckle escaped him as Wynleth entered the room. Due to the state of the Skadrad, Hal’s room was at an angle with the downward slope towards her right. Hal had his back to one of the walls, his lower body resting on the bed at an angle where his feet looked nearly to be at eye level.

But his smile of amusement in his situation faded as he looked over at Wynleth, and he opened his arms outward. “Care to join me?” he asked.

Smiling faintly at Hal’s odd position, Wyn tilted her head, looking him over with a small, dry chuckle, “Let me figure out how, first…”

It took some work, and not a small amount of thought, before she was finally able to maneuver herself beside him, and curling up into his arms, she lay her head against his shoulder with a sigh, “...What a day…”

His arms wrapped around her, holding her close graciously, heart fluttering as he felt a sense of closure. Out there in the woods against the dangers of the Druids, Hal was not sure then he would be able to embrace her as he did now. “What a day,” he repeated, and kissed her temple gently.

“How is Charlie?” he asked.

Tipping her head against that kiss, her mouth fell into a soft frown, “He’s… he’ll be alright, I think. He blames himself for a lot of things, Charlie. Struggles to see that sometimes the decisions we need to make can’t be all good. But he’ll heal.” Weaving her fingers through his, she pulled his knuckles against her lips, “Thank you, Hal. For… for coming after me.”

He squeezed his hold just a little tighter in assurance as he rested against her. “You’ve become a bit of a weakness for me,” he said. “I don’t mind it. But when we couldn’t find you I feared the worst and had to go looking. A compulsion I can’t ignore. You’re important to me. Thank goodness you were all alive.”

“...I’ve never been so afraid, Hal. It wasn’t the idea of being taken. I know the risk we all must face, being a part of this. But what they do… What they were going to do…” Breathing out, she shifted carefully, to curl closer to him, “And when I had seen that they had you? I would never walk away from what it is we’re doing. But today is not the first time I have thought about what exactly we stand to lose. What I stand to lose. But you… you made me want to fight harder than I ever have. Maybe it’s not about weakness… Maybe it’s about what makes us stronger?”

“Perhaps so,” he thought out loud. “We’ve all only known each other for a quarter season yet we all have very strong bonds. We’re loyal to each other and it brings about a certain care. At least the ones we’ve known the longest, anyway. The ones of us summoned by Shae Pippa.”

His fingers gently curled into her blonde locks, brushing through it gingerly as the realization of time sank in. How could time feel so stretched and yet so fleeting all at once? Spring had already rolled into Summer, but it all felt a blur. “Do you think the orcs would allow us to help repair the ship? I hate that we failed to get the supplies they need. We’re stranded if we don’t figure something out.”

“I don't doubt she knew exactly what she was doing when she called all of you together. I told Charlie tonight if it hadn't been for him, I would not ever have left the inn. I would have waited for those Wardens, waited until I couldn't pretend anymore, and then… I no doubt would have gone home.”

How funny to think it hadn't been more time than a month… It seemed ages had passed, and she had no doubt if they made it through, if they survived, they would be tied together forever.

“I imagine they'd let us help where we're able. I also imagine they know we're stubborn enough to help anyway.” She teased, with a small smile.

“I'm starting to feel restless,” he admitted as his head rolled back to rest against the wall. “ I don't know much about ships, though. Or how to repair whatever is broken here. Before you came I had been sitting here in debate of just that. Should I sit here politely out of the way, or should I go out and practically force the crew to give me something to do.“

Laughing softly, Wynleth shook her head, “If you ran out of good natured things to do, Hal, you would try to save the shore from the waves. And I suppose we're all a bit like that. But then again… maybe we earned a night off? Today could have gone very differently… for any one of us. Maybe just this once, we could just… let someone else take care of it?”

It was a difficult thing to ask of Hal. He wanted to lay there with Wynleth and imagine their life in a better state, or just chat about simple things with a carefree air. But life was not currently in such a place of comfort. Even as he held her close to him, feeling her heartbeat and the brush of her fingers and the scent of her hair, they rested in the room of a beached airship at a jarring incline with cannibal Druids angry at their presence within their sacred woods.

Placing a kiss upon her head, Hal shuffled from their embrace to stand as best he could within his room. “When we get this thing airborne again I’ll feel a bit better,” he said, his tone apologetic. “I’m sure I can be of some use, but I fear I’ll be too restless until we are up in the air.”

Chuckling as he unraveled himself from her hold, Wyn nodded, “Alright. I understand. Let's go see if we can help anywhere. But Hal? You need to promise me…” Moving closer, she reached up to press a palm to his cheek, “When we get moving again, you need to rest. You can't hold up the world if you're too tired to stand.” Pushing onto her toes, she pressed a kiss to the corner of his lips, “Okay?”

A smile spread across his lips as he huffed a laugh, more out of endearment towards his lover’s concern. “No need to worry, Wyn,” he assured. “I’d be useless if I let myself get to that point! And then what good would I be? Let’s go pester some orcs.”

  TAGS || Collab with Effie | Doctor Jax Doctor Jax , Effervescent Effervescent , rissa rissa , Red Thunder Red Thunder , CloudyBlueDay CloudyBlueDay
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Rests Chin In Hands

Hal Midigan

The crew of the Skadrad were split between repairs and defenses, a few scouts around the perimeter to look for any Druid activity. They’d rather not instigate or engage, but prepared themselves regardless for an attack. The buoyant was deflated enough to allow the thickly woven wires to descend low enough to secure them back to the ship. They were heavy, requiring multiple orcs to hold one in place while another team worked as quickly as possible to mend the damage and disperse the weight effectively. Tza’Hal lended her thoughts into the reconstruction of the damaged structures and how it could be achieved with the success they would need to hold the ship’s weight with the bouyant. Discussions into the reparations were done in their native tongue even as Hal and Wynleth joined the efforts.

The captain was hesitant at first, looking the two over with scrutiny into their strength. But he eventually agreed to their aid, sending them over to help in holding wood planks and steel sheets into place for the orcs to secure with thick bolts. They worked well into the night, offering commands in common when necessary though ultimately remaining quiet. Even the workers occasionally looked to the treeline as they set an internal deadline to bring the ship afloat before the Druids mount an attack.

But the Druids remained unseen for reasons unknown, and a few orcs laughed as they claimed the elves were scared. The air was tense as each station called out to the ready stating their work was complete, and the buoyant began to slowly fill and rise. Despite the confidence in their work, they were still nervous. It was unsure just how far the repairs would take them, and they held their breaths as the lines went taut.

The Skadrad creaked and moaned as it pulled itself from the earth, dirt spattering the sides that fell in chunks upon release. As the ship righted itself and the crew oriented themselves on the new plane, the first mate called for a halt to inspect the side of the ship.

There was significant damage towards the base where the ship had its initial impact with the earth, but it did not appear to affect its structural integrity. They deemed the ship fit to fly, boarding and securing the affected quarters for their trip to the nearest skyport. The buoyant filled, the ship rising further above the treetops before the engine whirred to life and propelled them slowly forward.

Djavi Nam Abil

The Inner Light was useful, and it tied himself to his culture and people he hadn’t seen or heard from in decades. But Vi couldn’t help but wonder how powerful he could be at Arcane if he just let his Inner Light go. Iballat had once said to him that the strongest magic was Inner Light but they were too flawed to wield it to its fullest potential. To a degree he could see the logic behind such an opinion. It was a diverse form of magic.

But that one spell he cast in the woods to disorient the Druids completely tapped the Dvadri elf. Balancing between two forms of magic had its uses that did not seem to outweigh its losses. Vi was sure he was unable to follow the same path as Iballat.

This was evident as they entered the Skadrad and collected themselves from the chaos they’d managed to escape from. Once inside the lopsided airship, Iballat had quickly determined his next course of action and headed for the kitchen to help clean and prepare food. Where he had chosen to help, Vi thought more selfishly, avoiding his traveling companions to lock himself away in his room.

They were all fools in his mind, even himself. The philosophy for Inner Light suggested that all things happened for a reason. Theresia being taken was the threat that brought him to Bastillos to seek out Iballat, and his quest to find his former teacher brought them to this very moment, stranded in Druid Lands with the Seed of Life - the final Seed of Life - in their midst. And now he was far too involved and spent much of his time alone considering a way out.

This was cowardice he refused to acknowledge. Vi desired to live his life with tunnel vision only seeing his own path and no one else beside him. It made him weak; weaker than he should be. He pushed away the notion as soon as it intruded his thoughts. To him, attachments and friendships were the weakness. They could be exploited too easily by the enemy. Hal had displayed what he deemed a weakness when he could not find Wynleth. Trynten had displayed the weakness even just as a friend when he took off in search for their missing companion.

The evening turned into the night, as Iballat’s rounds with plates of food finally made it to his door. It came in a soft knocking as he announced his presence, the Maldviri bracing himself against the wall as he entered. “How has your isolated brooding been?” he asked playfully. “I brought some food.”

There was no comfortable way to set the tray of food down, or even walk over to retrieve it. Vi precariously reached out and took the tray of food, placing it in his lap as he sat in the crook of the bed’s footboard and mattress. “Thank you,” he said. “And I wasn’t brooding.”

“You have a sour look,” Iballat pointed out. “Want to talk about it?”

“My Inner Light is weak because I choose to hold onto the Arcane,” Vi began. “And my Arcane is weak because I choose to accept the Inner Light.”

“It’s the culture of your people, is it not?” he said. “I remember that was your statement long ago, and it reminded me of the need to respect cultures outside my own. Why does this weigh on you now?”

“Because,” he said in hesitation, not really sure of his own words as he collected his feelings more cohesively. “I can do so little when there needs to be more. One Inner Light spell and I’m tapped.”

“It was powerful,” Iballat stated. “And useful. It did just the right thing for the situation. You still have your Arcane in the meantime. That’s more than what could be said of myself. All I have is a staff and quick wit!”

“Do you believe in the Greater Purpose?” Vi asked. “Truly believe it?”

Iballat’s head nodded somewhat, eyes cast away as he thought upon the question. “Sometimes I feel it in every part of my being,” he said. “And sometimes I question it. We search through what we sense and feel for answers and insight into life and how we can help. What if we have it all wrong? Who are we to deem the morality of the world and what our purpose is within it? Sometimes our path is laid out for us to take as it is now, but nothing forces us to continue. That is our choice to make.”

“I don’t want this to be my Greater Purpose,” he said. “I know where this is headed. I know what is to come.”

“Oh, I was not aware I was sitting with a Shae!” Iballat teased, though Vi did not find it so amusing.

“You know it too,” he countered.

“I can guess just as well as you can,” he said. “And I know what you want to ask of me.”

“You’re stronger.”

“I also have my own Greater Purpose here in Edros,” Iballat said solemnly. “You would face a greater challenge replacing yours with mine. You don’t have to follow this path, but you cannot ask me to abandon the one I willingly accepted.”

The tone shifted as the ship groaned, lifting and righting itself with strain. The two braces themselves to counter the shift, gracious to sit normally and relieved to know repairs were successful. Vi couldn’t look at Iballat after their exchange, focusing instead on fixing his tray of food from the toss.

“If it’s any consolation,” Iballat said quietly, “I believe you can do it and not have to sacrifice as much of yourself as you believe.”

A Rickety Flight

Tension in success was electric in the air around the crew of the Skadrad. The ship was floating over the trees in the night, slowly pushing through the air in hesitancy over the Druid Woodlands as they set a course for the nearest skyport. It was an hour or two westward to Balvid, their arrival heralded by the striking line of an orange sunrise across the horizon.

The captain requested the lowest dock at the Balvid Skyport, the structure being a simple tower comprised of only four tiers meant for smaller airships. It was not a town that received larger shipments of supplies, and likely had most business in personal travel. The crew wasted no time once docked and headed out for better supplies while the captain left to acquire a repair dock for an extended period of time. In the meantime, the First Mate gathered their passengers for a brief meeting.

“Due to the damages sustained in Cabric,” she began formally, “we will be forced to stay grounded for an undetermined amount of time while we repair the ship. Balvid has a lot of passenger ships that regularly come through that we highly recommend you take advantage. To be clear, we will not be able to ferry you to the coast as originally planned. Drabul will have your partial reimbursement on the pier.”

She didn’t open the floor for questions as she exited the common area to continue her own priorities leaving the others to gather their belongings and exit the ship at their leisure. Hal collected his things and found the orc named Drabul sitting on a chair next to the ramp leading up to the Skadrad. He handed him the coin purse without a word, nodding once at the exchange.

Balvid was a sprawling town filled with businesses and storefronts in a clean and well kept appearance. The morning wafted scents of meats in the air as taverns and residences prepared breakfast, and the early risers walked the streets to their work. The town was shaped like a crescent moon, the streets flowing out from various circular gardens throughout the fluid shape. It was established around a hill with a stair path leading up through its woods to a Dradmidan temple that glimmered as the rising sun hit its stony structure. A bell chimed seven through the Summer air.

[accordion]{slide=Currently}Now faced with finding another ride across Edros, the gang finds themselves in Balvid. The only ship in the skyport is the Skadrad, so for the time being they will have to wait for the next passenger ship to a location they would like to go. This would be a good time to get supplies if any are needed, or to grab a bite to eat, or to explore while they wait. If you’d like any details on locations, feel free to ask and I can give you a better run down! The gang should be able to find shops for any of their needs. There may or may not be things of interest where they choose to go, so I would like the chance to detail locations if they go anywhere specific!{/slide}[/accordion]
Elle Joyner Elle Joyner Red Thunder Red Thunder rissa rissa Doctor Jax Doctor Jax CloudyBlueDay CloudyBlueDay


melting away
Roleplay Invitations
Group Roleplays, One on One Roleplays, Chat Roleplays, Not Taking RP Invites at this Time, Private Convo Roleplays
Posting Speed
A Few Posts a Week, One Post a Week
My Usual Online Time
I check as often as I can.
Writing Levels
Intermediate, Adept, Advanced, Adaptable
Genders You Prefer Playing
Male, Female, No Preferences
Playing Style- Passive or Aggressive
Favorite Genres
Fantasy, Realistic/Modern, Magic, Scifi, Romance
Genre You DON'T Like
I am generally not a huge fan of RPing Fandom, but it can depend.

After Wyn left his room, Charlie felt a great deal better. With a bit of the weight on his shoulders lifted, Charlie laid in his bed with the seed on his chest, trying to allow it to recover its warmth. For a moment, he brought it up to his chin, squinting, trying to see inside it. Past the thick moss and earthly layer. Was there something inside that made it what it was? He couldn’t tell.

After a while he put it on the bed and began to shuffle through his bag, taking out each trinket, laying it out on the bed. Rocks, shells, thimbles, buttons. He’d been collecting so many things for so long, not every one of them had a story anymore. For the ones he couldn’t remember, he put them on the corner of the bed. The pile grew.

He was done being a child… and he didn’t need to hold onto every loose piece of string. With his bag much less heavy and his heart a little heavier, Charlie dozed off with the seed held closely to him.

When he woke sun poked in through the curtains. As they were gathered for a meeting Charlie offered a smile to his friends, one that felt a little hard to put on. It didn’t seem to help with the news that was delivered; they were being booted off the Skadrad. Well.. it was fun while it lasted. And it seems they had another bustling port to explore.

Charlie ducked away to walk around Balvid himself. He wasn’t sure what he had to say to any of his companions, and they all paired off without him. He needed the time to himself anyway.

It was lively, Balvid. Delectable smells wafted through the air, all sorts of trinkets and goods being sold. He thought of Cabric. It had been like this… innocent one moment, a battleground the next. His steps were tentative. He was glancing over his shoulder. At every rustle he flinched, just waiting for a darkness to befall the place… but it didn’t come.

And when it didn’t come Charlie let himself relax a little. The people were kind; they nodded their heads as he passed, and everyone seemed to be humming with purpose. He considered buying another sweater but the growling of his stomach desired that the money he had left be spent elsewhere.

As he let his nose guide him Charlie came across the most peculiar of creatures; Lizards that looked like shimmering jewels in the blazing sun. However still he attempted to make himself, they scurried away when he got close. Eager for something to distract him, he chased as many of them as he could find. He trekked all over the marketplace, in search of every lizard he could possibly (attempt to) catch.

He was coming up on one he thought he had chased into a bush, but the sound coming from the bush.. Was not a lizard. Did lizards make sounds? Charlie didn’t know. He knelt down to the ground and reached into the bush. Lizards weren’t fuzzy either. And what Charlie pulled out of the bush was definitely not a lizard.

It was the tiniest of cats. Practically a ball of fluff, gray with startling blue eyes. The kitten meweled at him, and Charlie stared at it in shock, bringing it close to his chest and stroking its fur gently. He checked in the bush once more for any others. He checked the surrounding bushes. He looked everywhere nearby he could possibly think that a cat would hide, and there were no more kittens, nor a mama cat.

“You’re all alone.” He mumbled, scratching the kitten behind the ear. Like I was.

With one, two glances around, making sure no one was watching, Charlie stalked off with the kitten hidden in his arm, wondering if the gang would let him keep it.