Viridos, Chapter 2

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  1. “Carus. Tell me something you’ve never told anyone.”
    “When I was very small, I asked my nurse, ‘who built the Aviary?’ To which she replied that it was the avians. I wanted to know what kept it in the sky. Then, she did something very strange, something that I had never seen an elder do before.”

    “What was that?”
    “She said that she did not know.”


    “As I grew, the stories of my tutors were much the same. That somehow, the avians of old constructed this city in the clouds. They did it to escape the freezing mountains, to be closer to the sky.”

    “Then, on my eighteenth namesake, my father told me the truth: that the Aviary has been kept aloft for three hundred years by a device beyond our comprehension.”

    “A what?”

    “A device, little fool. A strange crystal, the only of its kind: the alate.”

    “If you built the Aviary, how do you not know what an alate is?”
    “The avians did not create this city.”
    “Then who did?”

    “I don’t know.”

    His companion made a whistling noise that became a peel of laughter when he nuzzled her small breasts, nipping at the soft flesh. They laid together in his bed, sheets still tangled, sweat still glistened on their brows. The Avian closed his eyes and basked in the scent of her. “Tell me a secret, Nama.”

    Nama did not reply right away. She brushed her fingers through his flaxen hair, fingernails ghosting his scalp. “Doesn’t your father return tomorrow?”

    Carus’ wings twitched, unfurled slightly. “Is this a secret I want to hear?”

    Nama showed him just how unamused she was by ceasing to massage his scalp. Carus grumbled, pressed his head into her fingers. “Surely the governor of the Aviary would be upset if he found his only son consorting with the likes of me.”

    Carus’ breath tickled her collarbone as he spoke. “Despite what others may say,” his hand drifted down to stroke the curve her hip, the swell of her thigh. “I do not care what my father thinks.”

    He propped himself on one elbow, face hovering above hers, so that he could watch her expressions. “It is our proud traditions that are killing us. Every year, our numbers grow smaller, our wings weaker.” His other hand found a more subtle flesh. His fingers parted her, then entered. “We must look to the other races for mingling.” The Forest Kin gasped, delighted by the intrusion.

    Carus lowered his lips to her ear, whispered in a way that made her shudder. “Are you going to tell me a secret, now? Or must I force it out of you?” Then, he kissed her, deeply, never pulling away until he coaxed her body into arching against his hand. She cried out, then, in some desperate, mad attempt.


    He watched her, still clutching the sheets, still flushed from desire. The violet pigment she painted on her lips smudged. His vision whirls. Her lips had such a strange taste. He feels drunk.

    “My name,” Nama smiled, still basking in the afterglow of her climax, “isn’t Nama.”

    Carus slumped face forward into the cushions next to her. The Forest Kin slipped out from underneath him, grinning as she studied a seemingly ordinary key in her palm. “Sorry, my love. It wouldn’t have worked out between us, anyway.”


    The Staircase was located beneath the sky city. It was aptly named, for a wide channel carved out of the rock which lead to a 180 degree drop to the toxic forest miles below. It was a staircase only an avian could use. It contained one thing.

    Rasfien descended the Staircase, facing downward, the giant spider sac attached to her leg guiding her down. She went parallel to a length of chain suspended from high above. Midway through the channel, Rasfien discovered the metal cage.

    The Forest Kin drew a long vial from her tool belt; containing a large centipede. She shook the vial, triggering the centipede’s defense mechanism: a bright fluorescent glow. This she placed between her teeth, before she withdrew the key she had stolen from Carus. There was a moment of awkwardly swaying by her spider silk before Rasfien could work the lock open.

    From inside the pouch on her back came a ferret with shining eyes. Its body shimmered with the glow of an advent as it jumped from her back and into the cage. When it returned to the cage’s opening, clutching a smooth, glowing crystal, Rasfien held out her hands to catch him. Aux and alate tucked safely away, Rasfien placed the centipede vial into the cage, its top smudged with the violet from her lips.

    Rasfien drew a dagger, hauled herself up and cut the spider silk. The wind took the air from her lungs as she fell, but the suit her employer had given her proved its usefulness. A wing-like fabric unfurled with the wind, connecting to the hooks lining her arms, her thighs. The thief hollered in elation as she glided fast towards the forest below. Already, parts of the Aviary were beginning to fall away.

    The Chimera had struck again.

    Chapter 2
    The Aviary

    #1 Tegan, Apr 22, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2014
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  2. Malachi, darkgreen The ship had been on high alert since that... thing had been brought aboard. He didn't know the specifics, but what he did know was that there was something wrong with it. Everyone could feel it. To say that it made him feel uncomfortable was an understatement worthy of recognition alongside the failure of the Gods. It was like someone had poured molten iron down his throat and left it to burn in his stomach while locking him in a crate of barbed needles. Every nerve he had was on edge and screaming at him. Having the monolith onboard was far more than uncomfortable. He had no idea why anyone would want the thing, but that wasn't his concern. His concern presently was getting it off this ship and onto The Silver Shadow.

    It was to this end that he found himself climbing down the side of the Sea Wraith in the middle of the night. During the days that led up to bringing the monolith aboard, he had managed to weaken some of the rigging. The Cook had been more than happy to take his place keeping an eye on the prisoner while he attended to 'Sailor's Business', and this had opened him back up to his work of sabotaging. The gambling pirate was nearly done with his job. The only thing left to do was to signal his comrade. Three flashes of a lantern off the starboard side into open water, a few second pause, and then two more flashes.

    The signal was given, and Malachi climbed back aboard, nearly being spotted by a few sailors who happened to be passing nearby. Nobody seemed to be able sleep with that thing aboard. He expected that once they got the monolith into the pirate ship, it would be a long trip back. He knew he was going to regret riding with, but he was also aware that staying aboard the Sea Wraith would likely get him killed. It was unfortunately, unavoidable.
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  3. Sevoret Umilas

    Indeed, the expedition group had been gaining on the Monolith site, just as Niyashi, the avian scout, had reported. At that point on, the Sea Wraith had found itself coming to a halt. It was time that the small boats to be loaded with the group. The water fey hobbler Sprig would lead these boats to where it is they needed to be. And apparently, they needed to be at a cove, which is where Sprig made his stop.

    “Oy! When ye’ ready fer’ me to guide ye back, jus’ give the signal!” the short hobbler said before turning his attention to the great Sea Wraith.
    After this, they set off to finish what had been started. Throughout the entire time, Nahsahr murmured within Sevoret of the potential danger that lurked and surrounded the group. His small warnings caused Sevoret to become more uneasy.

    And unease was such a right sensation to be feeling.......

    Gomyar had been leading the group, given his position as a forest purifier. Sevoret was on standby, prepared with her twin daggers to strike at what may come their way. However, when she drew her daggers at a particular moment, only an eerie and ominous silence was the retaliation to her actions. But, soon and before the group even thought to scream or run, something seemed to grip their necks, threatening their very lives. It was a forceful, yet invisible thing that dragged them forth. It was only until Gomyar chanted something a foreign tongue, something that would release the voyagers from the hold that possessed them.

    The expedition group had all but finally retrieved the Monolith, and they set back to the Sea Wraith. However, seeing as they now had possession of this forceful thing, the mood has shifted slightly. An ominous tone dripped over the situation as they stored the Monolith on the ship. All could feel it's present. It was the shadow that was never truly there. And all knew this.

    Sevoret had resolved to go to her bunk. She laid in her hammock, looking up at the ceiling of the small bunk room. Her bag and weapons lay in the left corner of the small room, however she started to wonder whether or not she should keep her weapon at her side. Paranoia had begun to set in.

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  4. Ayanne Marshden, green
    Laughter. The stench of death. Voices. Shadows, moving shadows. Decay. Greys and blacks. Rotten vegetation. Watching, eyes always watching.
    Image after image assaulted Ayanne's mind every time she tried to close her eyes.
    A grim smile. Ruins she couldn't read. Silence, deathly silence. Chiseled lines. The group being pulled forward by their necks. It.
    Even with her eyes open she couldn't escape the feeling. The feeling of being watched, as if someone was standing right behind her yet gone every time she turned around to look.

    If only she's understood what she was doing at the time, if only she understood what she'd seen.
    But perhaps that understanding would have driven her completely mad instead.

    She shouldn't have looked, she shouldn't have studied. She should have done her job and kept her head down.
    But at the time it had seemed a good idea . . . to memorize each and every surface of the monolith. To permanently commit every point, line and edge to be recalled on demand.
    She couldn't get the images out of her mind.
    She couldn't forget.
    Only shove them to the back and hope they didn't resurface at the wrong time, like when she closed her eyes.
    Oh, Light, Light, help her forget!

    The sixth time she woke just short of screaming she considered drugging herself. The seventh she headed up on deck, praying the fresh air would do some good.
    Cold, she was so cold and the knot of fear that had settled between her shoulder blades only made it worse.
    She walked to the bow, as far from the monolith as she could get without climbing the rigging. She sat with her back against the foremast, hugging her healer's bag to her chest, shivering.
    In her eyes was a look of pure terror.
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  5. Gomyar's shame at hiding at sea had been redeemed in the forest, the one place he felt most secure. There was probably something he could have done when the Killing Cloud had come over them, but he had been too frightened, too uncomfortable, and just a little bit sea sick. Hiding while everyone else handled the situation made him feel terrible, like a waste of space on board the ship. He had decided then and there he would make up for it the next chance he could. The quiet whisper in his mind suggested this too, and for the first time in days they were in agreement.

    His chance had come in the forest. In truth he didn't really know what the words he had said meant, but the purifiers who had taught them to him insisted they were important for keeping certain dark plants at bay, plants that attacked too suddenly for him to restore. He was glad it had not turned out to be just gibberish.

    As soon as they found the Monolith Gomyar returned to the forest they had left, trying to clear the path. He didn't want to look at the thing. As a purifier he spent many days surrounded by darkness, by the evil that had corrupted the forest. But that black rock emitted a kind of evil he did not want to combat, a force he dared not go near. So instead, while the others figured out how to move it, he retraced their path, drawing the poisons and magics out of the plants that had attacked them and storing them away in one of his vials. They were normal trees and vines at heart, and would not attack anyone now.

    Back on the ship, with that horrible thing, Gomyar felt considerably better about himself. I told you this voyage would do you good, the voice whispered. He sighed, glad he was being left relatively alone for the moment.

    "Great," he muttered quietly. "I'm getting an 'I told you so' from myself."

    He couldn't help but smile, though. He felt good for what he had done. Now there was just the question of how Lady Ironblood planned to destroy that Monolith.
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    Ozzimus could smell the satin salty cure of the brass in his hands. Held up to his eye the spyglass scoured the horizon. A perfectly moonlit night gracing the Prosperos sea. For hours the crew of the Silver shadow had been on the edge of panic most of the previous day.

    The Killing cloud of spores washed over the deck before most of them knew what was happening. Masks on and their three resident healers on full duty had still seen eighteen of his crew-members dead or dying. alive just long enough to utter their last words to close friends.

    'tell lucy down at the flowershop i loved her'

    'Tell mac i won't be paying my debts afterall'

    'i was going straigth and narrow after this one'

    The words had all been within ear-shot of Ozzimus. a grimace on his face and a growing hunger in his mouth. Dry as a prune he was, lickign his lips. He had a small clay pot of blood laced with liquors from abroad to keep well enough to sustain him a few days... but in the panic of the killing cloud while Ozz was in his cabin, the helmsman had jerked the wheel and his precious crimson life had fallen, the pot cracking and Ozz having to take what he could from it.

    A HUngry Nocturne was a dangerous one... a half nocturne that was hungry was worse.

    Ozzimus felt the brass in his hand had warmed to his touch and pulled it up once-more, looking away from the scene of twelve men being treated by his aging healers. that dozen lives still on the brink.


    Hours passed, and now Ozz could see the SEA WRAITH on the horizon. the kill cloud had set his schedule behind. he had just caught up with the ship. with a smirk on his face he watched the lights from the deck.

    flicker... flicker.. flicker.
    "CLUE UP BOYS!" he yelled loudly. a whisper int he distance to anyone aboard the SEA WRAITH.
    Ozzimus walked birskly from his vnatage point up the deck, men runnign to retrieve their blades, deck cannons hauling up to aim at correct angles.

    "We're Going straight in, switch all topdeck guns to starboard, ready chainshot and mortars!"
    He swiveled up around the smoothe wood of the wheel in his hands., his Aux Cloak wafting int eh breeze as the sails picked up FULL SPEED.

    "THAT, gentlman!" he said, locking the rope on the wheel to keep their course as he drew his blade.
    His blade burst with energy as he pulled a magical orb from his satchel, energy flowing from the orb into the blade. the 'singing' of his blade burst out across the waves.
    "Is the signal!"

    A powerful illusion burst out across the Silver shadow, burying itself in the fleshy form of teeth, sclaes, and develishness.

    `-`-`-`-`-`-` ON THE DECK OF THE SEA WRAITH``-`-`-`-`

    a shock-wave that bellowed with a mighty ROar boomed across the ocean. From it's source deeper into the waves of the Prosperos sea was a great splashing of water. A monsterous cacophany of sound.

    On the horizon with it's eyes glowing yellow and it's leagues and leagues of snake-like tethering green scales.. was a Sea beast with eyes aglowing yellow. A red Mane of hair flying down it's back and it's tail thrashing.

    It was coming closer. It was charging from an entire horizon away at the Sea Wraith.


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  7. The Sea Wraith rocked as an unexpected wave pushed at them. Gomyar looked up from his view of the forest and turned around. The waves were dancing in unexpected ways, moving from side to side in a way that he hadn't yet seen them move.

    That's not normal, the voice whispered to him.

    He held onto the rails, looking around the ship, before shouting, "Someone! Anybody! Come quick! There's something in the water!"
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  8. Buhn had had enough after that confrontation with death a few days ago. She sighed, why was she such a klutz some times. She was just glad she got out of it with minimal damage though her left arm was still bothering her. Mainly her wrist, but she'd had persistent pangs in the arm since the accident. She looked at her hand. Nothing looked swollen, she could do normal things. Though she hadn't done much tattoo work recently. None of her regulars were looking for here. She relied mainly by word of mouth between customers and their onlookers.

    She never really boasted her talent for art, though if someone walked into her tree home, they would see that it was obvious, she had papers with her designs everywhere. Whether they be tattoo designs or ideas for pieces of furniture or new tree homes. She had ideas everywhere. Maiin occasionally would remind her that she should clean up the place every once in a while, but it was pretty much no use, most of the time things would just find a way to get messy again. So she rarely fought with it.

    She looked around her home, empty except for her, and Maiin of course. But she still couldn't get over the feeling that she was all alone. She bit her lip, "
    Maiin?" The little tattoo was trotting around her shoulders in the form of a fox. "Yes? My Buhnwanah?" Buhn smiled, she still couldn't get Maiin to stop calling her that, she'd pretty much given up on the thought. "Do you think that I'm a lonely person? Kind of a... Loner type?" Maiin seemed to hesitate at this question, which Buhn didn't quite like. "Maybe a little bit miss. You don't go out much with what you would call friends. Nor do you have anyone but customers over. I feel that you may be just a little bit of a 'loner' as you have put it. But don't worry miss! You always have me!" Maiin giggled cutely as it bounced on top of her head. Buhn smiled a bit, trying to look up at her little compainion. For it was right, of course. She didn't really have people to talk to just to talk too. She was always talking about work when she was with other people. She didn't know why but that could be why she didn't want to be at home anymore.

    Maybe she would go get her arm rechecked. She felt like the person she'd went to only had small knowledge's of healing beings other than plants. But she didn't know where to go. She sighed again and walked out of her door, locking it just in case. She looked around and tried to relax. She was safe here in Riven wasn't she? Maybe not, completely, but safe enough? She shook her head. No this was wrong. No negative thoughts. She started to go up the Riven tree when she heard a great rumbling from the sky, but it didn't sound like thunder. Hurriedly she ran to the nearest opening in the canopy she could find. Her gut feeling told her that whatever she was hearing, was bad news for any among the lands of the nation.

    Gasping for breath once she got to the opening, she squinted against the bright light of the sun and looked to the sky. "
    Oh dear gods!" Her heart almost stopped as she saw pieces of the Aviary falling to the forests below. So much for peaceful times, whoever or whatever did this, there will be words, and there may just be brawls over safer lands. But by the looks of it, "By the looks of things Maiin... Nowhere is safe now." Maiin hovered around Buhn's right shoulder. "I would agree, My Buhnwanah."
    #8 ChojiYume, Apr 23, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 23, 2014
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  9. He ended up dolling himself up in a little warpaint and armor, for the trip out to retrieve the large monolith. If it wasn't for Gom, he would still be choking next to Sevoret. However, the mission was a this point. Lady Ironblood was on guard and Khanaan was not about to be curious about something that tried to harm him already. Unless ordered, he wouldn't even get near it.

    Still, with it being on the ship, it made the blacksmith a little more cautious. He began wondering a lot more, pacing, and touching his horns. The ship creaked under heavy steps, bring Sevoret into view. She lay in her hammock, in what looked like a thinking pose. They had talked a lot more since sealing a deal a few days ago. For the most part, they seemed to be fast friends. Whenever they get back to Hosia, Khanaan planned on showing her the forge. They both would surely enjoy that. He was going to open their interaction with a little quip but there was commotion coming from upstairs.

    He turned and made a beeline for the surface. It was Gomyar and it seems there was something out in the water. Rushing over, the figure in the water could not be denied.

    "Everyone wake the hell up! We have company! Get to the cannons and grab a damn weapon! Someone alert the captain and Lady Ironblood! A fight is coming!"

    The Bull roars and runs to try and help arm the ship.
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  10. Kozoul, Viridosi witch & Riven bee keeper
    On board the Sea Wraith

    Kozoul licked her parched lips for the nineteeth time, loudly clacking her tongue against the roof of her mouth. Sour and old. The putrid taste of her own vomit lingered still, just as the embarrassment at her visceral reaction upon finding the object. The entire party had fallen to their knees and wept when they found it. A band of many brought together by one tasked by the Jade Prophet himself, the mission goal: to bring back an ancient artifact and deliver it upon the council in Edelon. Uncovering the monolith should have had a sort of ominiously sacred atmosphere if were not for the half kin abruptly making retching sounds. It also would have been somewhat understandable and brushed aside... if the retching did not then continue for the next three minutes. I left such a... a large... soupy... mess. Where did that even come from?! Kozoul was alone in her tiny room on the Sea Wraith again, pushing the end of her quill into her forehead almost as if to physically nudge the memory out of her brain, make it leak out of her ears. She had just finished checking off each of her items in her routine inventory. She ripped off the page with the list and stuck it onto the wall.

    Viridos was indeed overcome with all manner of decay, chaos, and pestilence but the monolith seemed to be the collected, concentrated sludge of all what was plaguing the Green Realm. Its implications alone were enough to send the Riven witchling into fits of dry heaving and watering eyes. Surely the others were suffering at least some of her symptoms, she decided to believe so just for the sake of her own anxiety. Sitting, swaying gently in her hammock Kozoul stared at the new blank page on her ledger
    I should... double check my inventory again, careful is as careful does after al—"... a fight is coming!"

    The Riven witch looked up from where the voice echoed from, the following heavy clop of hoof on wood shook the girl from her stupor. Stupid half-elf, still so dim and spoiled with magic so bright! The imaginary words of Hagmother Drala knocked Kozoul to her feet. She fell onto the perpetually creaky wooden floor in a heap of elbows and knees, N-no... that... wasn't Hagmother that was... it's... it was the ship! she realized. Tentatively grabbing ahold of her hammock to take the weight, Kozoul pulled herself off the floor. It was another peril the Sea Wraith found itself in and the witchling was set to earn Lady Ironblood's praise. She reached for her bags, haphazardly riflling through countless jars, pots, bottles, and flasks filled with powders, gels, liquids, and oddly glowing crystals trying to let her intuition allow her to grab whatever her fingers instinctually curled around. After a minute of tinkling and clinking Kozoul bit her lip looking over the cluttered mess she made of her belongings and backed out of her room as if she was still trying to rationalize the choices she made in picking the items she stuffed in her sleeve. Puffing out her lips she harshly chided herself for her constant self-doubt and second-guessings, to instead absorb the meaning of Hagmother Drala's words and trust that she knew what she was doing. In a flush of billowy sleeves weighed down by magical components, the Riven witch hurried up to the decks, leaving her room open.


    A hulking crew member of the Sea Wraith lumbered down the corridor, bringing up a bag full of gunpowder in one hand and a grip filled with harpoons in the other. He was sweating not only from carrying half his weight in artillery but also at the prospect of battling a sea monster of the likes his fellow sailors must surely be exaggerating. At least, he hoped they were exaggerating. He had silk linens to pick up once they made port in Hosia, beautiful silk linens embroidered with lovely flowers that would just beckon one to enjoy an afternoon nap on in lace and...

    ... Wait! There's a battle coming, a fight for the souls aboard the Sea Wraith! The grim-faced sailor pushed the thought of his linens aside and set his gaze forward jogging through the passenger hold. His stride stopped dead in its tracks as he stood agape at Kozoul's open room. The room was absolutely littered with journal pages, splattered with ink. The Riven bee keeper's soft ledger cover was limp and sunken, filled only with the tattered edges of the pages that were ripped out from the spine. The crewman was entranced by the total chaos of the bunker, while he was accustomed to the messy habits of the ship's personnel... her room was something else in entirely. Something perturbed him about the scattered pages, most of them were lining the walls. The ink blots on them almost looked artistic. Maybe if he...

    ...He took a step back. Looking on in sudden and chilling comprehension.

    The ink that looked it was clumsily spilled all over the torn out pages that were pasted all over the walls had a meaning that became clear once the Sea Wraith sailor stepped far enough away to take it all in. His eyes widened and the new drops of sweat on his brow ran cold down his face as he read the words the messy pages spelled out.

    Illium Wept

    Shuddering, the grizzled sailor averted his eyes and continued on towards the upper deck making a mental note to avoid interacting with the witch from Riven.

    The sea air stung Kozoul's nostrils, for some reason she was feeling hypersensitive to the world around her. Her mind skirted around the idea of it originating from the monolith and swerved onto the idea of dueling a sea monster from the deck of a pirate ship. The familiar sight of undulating muscles, like a writhing mass of sun touched skin pulled taut over ropey muscle, greeted the thin-limbed witch. By now, she had become an expert at floating and flowing through the tides of flesh and positioned herself at the side of the railings peering out at the open sea before them.

    "Wh-what is" Her question trailed off as she looked to and fro along the railings, seeing that she was the only non-crew member at the railings. Her cheeks bloomed pink at her evident confusion and quietly made her way through the forest of sinew to the other side of the ship doing her best to see beyond the pectorals and biceps. She spotted the large, vine-like Forest Kin whom she heard Lady Ironblood refer to as Gomyar. He looked as if he knew what was going on.

    "Br-brother, what is going on? Can...that is to say that I, I can help! What is it?"

    Hahahahahahaha, impotent girl! The strong do not ask help from the weak. My teachings have found no root in you, half-elf.

    Kozoul's eyebrows knitted in consternation at the projected words of Hagmother Drala. If only she had met Lady Ironblood earlier, maybe she would be a renowned high alchemist like her rather than a secluded forest witch. Kozoul imagined her face was indicating her timidity and instead forced herself to adopt a more resolute countenance in the presence of her kin. She could not falter here, the incident with the spore cloud was one mistake too many already this early in the mission. The Riven witch was fixed on upholding her part of the bargain, by any means necessary.

    #10 Kooriryu, Apr 24, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2014
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  11. As soon as there was action on deck Gomyar took the que to get out of the way. Sea monsters were not something he knew how to handle. His only weapon was the barbs he could grow on his arms, and those would be next to useless against the serpent. That wasn't to say he would not try to help, but what honestly could he do?

    "Br-brother, what is going on? Can...that is to say that I, I can help! What is it?"

    Gomyar turned to the woman who had addressed him. Half-Kin - he could tell by the look of her. And she was some kind of witch, wasn't she? Gomyar's earlier hiding had prevented him from familiarizing himself with the other members of the voyage. His social skills probably weren't the finest, either, with him spending most of his days in a quiet forest. He resolved to make an effort to talk to more of the crew if they survived this.

    "I saw something in the water. It appears to be a sea serpent," he told her. "I am not sure what you can do to help, but I think you will be more useful than I here. Do you know any combat magic?"
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  12. Khanaan had riled up some of the men and directed them to the main deck. He ran past a bunch of little rooms to reach his little cubby space. As quick as possible, armor was thrown on. Hammy and his shield was picked up, before the journey to the main deck began again. Without managing to run down any innocent bystanders, his destination was reached.

    The monster was closing in fast. Hammy was at the ready. His eyes narrowed. Gom and Koz were with him, at least. They could hold it off until the rest of the crew got off their asses to save the ship.
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  13. Kozoul, Viridos witch & Riven bee keeper
    On board the Sea Wraith

    The half kin looked out to the sea, trying to find what her kin had saw in the water. The sea was a dark blue that sank into oblivion, almost like the water cloaked itself in blackness if one tried to look too long into it, like the sea was hiding what it truly held. At least in a forest, Kozoul already knew what lay beyond one's sight. She momentarily longed for home again but now was not the time to drift off— Kozoul had to make sure that this time was nothing at all like the spore encounter and the following treachery. She had to help guide the Sea Wraith through this, just like how Lady Ironblood would do.

    Foolish thing, witches and alchemists are nothing alike. You and Ironblood are nothing alike. She is strong where you are weak, where she is weak she is still stronger than you.

    Kozoul turned away from Gomyar, and leaned over the railings trying to search the waters with her eyes.
    "Do you know any combat magic?" the Forest Kin asked her. The witchling made a point to look anywhere but at her kin. She knew of magic but she had never consciously put her skills into such specific categories. She knew how to use her magic to set things on fires, like her hearth, and she knew how to make something explode but as a diversionary tactic to scare away the larger insects who would use her home as their nesting materials. To repurpose her knowledge in such a way that Gomyar was asking... Kozoul wasn't sure she could deliver what the Sea Wraith would need to survive. If she could just see it coming maybe she'd be faster in figuring out what to do. She had to see to act.

    "See... see... see sea seeing the sea, what can I see in the sea...?" the witchling mumbled to herself. She tried to let go of the control in her mind, doing her best to relax and not think too far ahead. The half kin reached into her robes and let her hand scoop out a glass bottle containing rough grains of foggy little crystals. She tapped out a good handful of the granules and flung them into the water, the soft patting sound of disturbed water the only indication that they were now part of the sea.

    "Baes nath'n dhaladuros ulir nathan." she spoke, the words came out monotonously from her, like a school marm reciting a lesson taught to countless children. A susurrus turned in a moderately loud fizzing sound as the water in front of Gomyar and Kozoul dimly grew in effulgence. Kozoul waved her hand and the lights under the sea flowed further apart creating a channel of bioluminescence bright enough to reach the Forest Kin and color their faces with the strange, reflecting light. Surely now they would be able to see what was out there.

    The glowing in the sea plumed further with the currents, lighting up the side of the ship. The ebb and flow creating a haunting prismatic dance of light as the grains were dissolving in the water. It was like dawn's light had decided to join them early, illuminating what they could see.

    And they saw. And it was horrible.

    A monstrous legend come to life, splitting the water in its wake as it barreled towards them, eyes horrible with an unnatural yellow gleam. "L-lady Ironblood... Lady Ironblood! We need Lady Ironblood!" the name of the high alchemist flew out of her mouth in a shriek. The witchling wheeled around and screamed at the crew, "Get your captain! Get Lady Ironblood!"

    The sneering voice of Hagmother Drala was muffled suddenly in Kozoul's mind, her earlier attempt to let go of conscious control and let herself feel and act, long since concluding that for this mission to think before acting resulted in nothing but stagnation as she would lose herself in a maze of hesitation and excuses. The aging witch in the forest was her mentor for decades and in that time Kozoul learned and experimented with all that she was taught. Her volumes of journal entries and record logs proved it. Now all the lessons left to her were in conviction and confidence and not even Hagmother Drala could part that wisdom unto her.

    "Something that can... or maybe... we... we need something to slow it down, they haven't made ready the cannons... assess Kozoul! Assess asse-- n-no, don't assess... do!" she half-screamed at herself, frantically dumping out the contents of her sleeves onto the ship deck, falling to her knees to sort through them. On the ground her hands darted at satchels and flasks. Powders flew everywhere as the Riven witchling pulled out the stoppers from bottles and uncapped flagons and poured an unseemly substance on a multi-colored pile of dust, kneading it as a baker would with dough while muttering in low, baritone voice spell work that sounded more like malevolent curses. What resulted was a ball-sized glob of black pitch that Kozoul picked up like a newborn infant even as it drooped out of her arms like melting putty.

    "Brother, how far can you throw? This... this is, it will... throw it Brother, with all your might and pray do not miss. It will slow down this monster." the witchling was running on her adrenaline as she rattled off the instructions to Gomyar, ripping off fistfuls of the goop and setting them on the rail for him to pick up and throw at his discretion. Struggling to keep the mess in her arms she began running towards all of the crew members holding harpoons, blunting the tips with clumps of the dark colored muck.

    "You have to hit it... hit somewhere on its... on its..." she trailed off, for a moment logic called for her to pay attention. She had wanted to slow it down and concocted the goop that was sagging out of her arms but how to use it effectively? How to utilize the globulous mess to its ultimate potency? They needed time to prepare the cannons. You are here now Kozoul, what to do... what do I do next? How do I slow it down with this? It is huge and you made too little ...This is what Hagmother means! I'm so dull I can't even see five steps ahea— see. SEE! I can't see! How can you do anything when you can't see?! the jubilation that bubbled up in Kozoul was indescribable and hers alone to revel in as she immediately resumed placing clumps of the drooping sludge on every harpoon she saw on deck.


    Hopefully the ooze will solidify and swell fast enough to blind the creature and at the very least provide the time the crew of the Sea Wraith needed to become battle ready.


    #13 Kooriryu, Apr 25, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2014
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  14. Ever since Lady Ironblood's group had returned with the monolith, Valyrin hadn't been able to shake the feeling that something was off. Many times he had caught the flicker of movement out of the corner of his eye only to turn and see nothing there. There was also the lingering feeling that something, or someone was watching him. It was affecting the crew as well. Fortunately they maintained the expected discipline, even if they were a bit more snappy than usual. The sooner they docked and got the strange object off his ship the better.

    At the current moment, he was seated behind the bolted down desk in his cabin, writing out a few things in the captain's log. With a quiet sigh, he set his quill down and picked up a little ceramic shaker filled with fine grained sand and lightly sprinkled the stuff over the wet ink. He had yet to make up his mind on the matter of the prisoner, Aela. He truly was inclined to believe her, and yet he still couldn't bring himself to let her out of the cabin she was locked away in. Even with a pledge of loyalty.. what if she had another moment like the one she had when the spore cloud was almost upon them? It was a risk he wasn't willing to take.

    Just as Valyrin was reaching out to pluck up the mug of rum sitting on his desk, off to one side, a loud hellish sound echoed across the ocean. With a violent curse he forgot about the rum and shot to his feet, even as the shouts of the crew began to fill the night. As he strode towards the door of his cabin he snatched up his blades, pausing only long enough to secure their sheaths on his belt. With that done he was stepping out of his cabin even as one of the crew was rushing towards it.

    "Sea serpent, Captain! Big ugly beastie heading right for us!"

    Another curse passed through Valyrin's lips with that news before he snapped a command, "Go, tell them to ready the cannons! NOW!"

    With a quick salute the sailor turned about and rushed off to relay the captain's orders to the gunners.

    As he made his way up on deck, other members of the crew were raising the harpoons that the witchling, Kozoul, had treated with some strange goop. When the monstrous creature drew close enough they unleashed those weapons with all their might. One of the men had even joined with his Aux to increase his accuracy as he flung his harpoon towards one of those large, yellow eyes. The ship's gunners were loading and readying the twenty-eight, nine-pounder cannons the Sea Wraith was armed with. Other members of the crew were passing out weapons and making other preparations for combat with the monster. Some might panic in such a situation as this, but the majority of the Sea Wraith's sailors were made of sterner stuff.

    A few strides later and Valyrin was standing beside the helmsman, narrowing his eyes at the foul creature that seemed intent on attacking the Sea Wraith. What had drawn its attention to them? Could it be that damned monolith? Those thoughts passed through the half-Kins mind and were shoved aside. Plenty of time to ponder such things after the crisis at hand was dealt with, "Bring the ship about and make ready to unleash a broadside into the scaly bastard!"
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  15. [​IMG]
    ~~~~ On the Deck of the Silver SHadow ~~~~

    Ozzimus held a chuckle in his throat as harpoons flew and men panicked. a roiling laughter gliding up from his throat. He turned to his men. that same sickeningly wicked smirk upon all of their faces.

    "Beena long time, Eh?" He looked to his right. than his left. "Mild mannered Lives for us in Hosia. Me calling all the shots for you boys... telling ya who you can and can't speak to... well." he said, turning around to the whoel crew of the Silver Shadow.

    "You're all A bunch of lunatics, y'eas are!" he yelled, lettignt hat laughter perk up and out of his throat with a victorious smile. his blade still aglow, his eyes afire with a primal hunger. that of bloodshed.

    "But remember the prize. it's not blood today boys.. It's gold.. enough to sink the shadow itself if we can get that relic from the Sea Wraith!"

    "LETS US SHOW THEM HELL BOYS!" he lifted his arms, calling for all of them to raise their voices in ruckus.

    `-`-`-`-`-`On the Deck of the Sea Wraith-`-`-`-`-`

    The Beast's Hide seemed to prove too tough for the harpoons to catch. The thing reared back it's head and let out a mighty Roar as All that was thrown at it was tossed in a uproarious Din of noise and sea-spray. Water kicked up and lashed out around the main deck. A powerful Weight attached to the breeze piercing every inch and slithering through every crevice of the Mighty Sea Wraith. It held fear. it was deafeningly loud, and it held the indirect influence of Fear itself.

    In truth the noise that pounded out of the beast, sending a pulse of dread to bellow about the ship and dirupt the sleep of anyone on either ship was the direct influence of Ozzimus, forcing all the sound his crew made in jeerign eachother on into one focus. intimidation. fear. extortion of what his illusion made them feel. But it was only illusion. the sound may have been real, but it was all just illusion. or was it?....

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  16. It was a daunting sight as the harpoons failed to even scratch the sea serpent. The water lashing onto deck caused a few of the men falling to the deck as they lost their footing. Then the damned hell spawn unleashed such a sound as to rattle even the most stalwart of men. A few of the Sea Wraith's crew dropped their weapons and made to run below deck, as if it would be safer down there. Some froze, shaken to their core. Most, however, fought the fear the horrid sound brought forth within them.

    Valyrin uttered, "Illium watch over us, and see us through this..," under his breath as he steeled his own will before shouting, "Do not falter! Do not give in to the fear! Steady yourselves and stand tall!" one hand resting on his helmsman's shoulder. Thankfully the man wasn't one of those who had given in to the terror the sea monster sowed.

    With a steady hand on the wheel, the helmsman brought the Sea Wraith's starboard to bear on their foe. Trusting that his gunners had managed to load the cannons, the half-Kin captain shouted once more, "For Viridos! For Ilium! Starboard cannons, fire!" This command relayed by Zephyr on the gun deck. An instant later and fourteen cannons fired. At least fourteen had been expected to fire. Eight of the weapons misfired to the dismay of their gun crews. It appeared the Sea Wraith had some bad powder on board.
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  17. Sevoret Umilas

    Sleep was so close, yet so far away all at once. It wanted so badly to overtake poor Sevoret, for her eyes had grown weary from the lack of rest. However, she dared not fall into a slumber. Besides, with the Monolith aboard, it was preventing her from sleeping anyhow. And she was more than certain the crew members and members of the expedition group felt this way as well. Its very presence can send spine-shaking shivers up the backs of those on board. It put everyone on edge. And the fact that such an ancient object could instill this type of intense sensation of being watched and followed in the hearts of men scared Sevoret. She had experienced its magic, and wanted nothing more than to distance herself from the thing.

    Sevoret sat up from her hammock, standing to her sandal-clad feet. She paced the short length of the bunk room. This was until she quickly picked up her bow. She was nervous, and for some reason, wanted to be prepared for what may come from the Monolith. She hadn't been one to be scared of defending herself, but what could she say? This was a whole different situation entirely.

    "Everyone wake the hell up! We have company! Get to the cannons and grab a damn weapon! Someone alert the captain and Lady Ironblood! A fight is coming!" Sevoret could hear Khanaan roar. And at that moment, a shudder racked up her body as she thought of the most terrible scenarios that could fit this predicament. Nonetheless, she grabbed the long, cylindrical container that held her arrows. She crossed the strap over her shoulder before hurrying out, her heart pounding against her chest.

    Tread lightly. May Ilium guide you, My Sevoret. Use me when best needed, Nahsahr spoke out to Sevoret. Sevoret nodded her agreement as she began to make surface. By this time, the ship was shaking violently. Sevoret had taken a fall or two before she even made it to the railing to look over and she saw a yellow-eyed beast with the intent to do severe damage on the Sea Wraith. Some crew members was shooting off their harpoons, in hopes of striking the beast where it hurts most with the black globs that seemed to be stuck to the harpoons, provided by the half-kin witch. But unfortunately, they were failing miserably. The serpent's skin was as thick as iron. And the mighty roar that it gave off immediately gave her a feeling of terror.

    Soon, Captain Valyrin had ordered fire of the cannons, and so it was done. However, it seemed to be a problem with some of the cannons, some of them misfiring.

    Think, Sevoret, think! Sevoret screamed from the inside. She tried to figure out a way to handle their poor situation. But, Nahsahr had apparently done some thinking for her.

    Nahsahr had already separated from his Crux, looking up at her calmly.
    "Use your voice."

    "I don't think it will work for this beast, Nahsahr," Sevoret said nervously. Nahsahr merely supplied her with a deadpan look.

    "At this point, is there any other idea but to at least try?" Sevoret realized that Nahsahr was right, yet she was still a little nervous.

    "EVERYONE COVER YOUR EARS!" Sevoret screeched as loud as her normal voice would allow. She made sure to only carry out the advent when their ears were covered. Ilium knows she wouldn't want to injure their ears.

    Taking a deep breath, Sevoret tried to steady herself on the railing just as Nahsahr joined with her once again so this action could be carried out. And with the joining, Sevoret opened her mouth wide, feeling her loud screech ready to pour out. And so it did.

    And she could only hope that she had helped at least falter the serpent's advance.

    #17 Bahiyya, Apr 26, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2014
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  18. [​IMG]

    Edelon was a place of such sensory excess that even the dullest of wits could find themselves consumed by all that was happening around them. They could simply stand in one spot and allow the odors of animals, communal living, food, flowers—the impossible pigments that dyed their clothes, skin, hair—the melodious chanting of disciples, bells, laughter—to wash over them and forget themselves. It was life in excess. Unabridged celebration.

    At the city’s heart was The Holler, the sound of the waterfalls of Edelon superseded every other distraction in the capital and Ash was grateful for it. Following the Holler gave the undertaker something to focus on, to keep from being swept away by all these beautiful distractions. He passed a vendor selling fermented beans in earthen pots and though he did not need to eat them; he felt the desire of hunger in his belly.

    Ash would never find the Jade Prophet if he allowed these fleeting illusions to occupy his thoughts. So the forest kin left the main streets, in favor of the alleys. Perhaps they would provide a quieter path.

    Ash lost time after that but found himself in a narrow courtyard, surrounded by modest homes. The prop roots of a single Banyan tree had been allowed to weave in and out of the stone buildings. Dozens of lemurs had made a home of the courtyard. They cavorted in the branches and window sills, drank from the crumbling fountain without fear.

    Alone in the courtyard was a young half’kin girl, clad in simple white linen, though the cinnabar sash around her waist gave her away as a neophyte of the Prophet. She did not seem to notice his presence, so focused was she on practicing her mudrās. Ash did not interrupt, instead he followed suit into his own mudrās. His body and mind were in turmoil and in need of balance.

    It was soon clear that the child was anything but balanced. She fought and struggled to push her body into poses far more advanced than her level, becoming more and more frustrated with every failed attempt. This was a common trait observed in most half’kin. Their mortal blood made them impatient, ambitious; driven by a need to impress someone or something abstract. It was something a full forest kin could never truly understand.

    Ash found himself speaking to the child, though he had not intended to. “Patience, child of Ilium. The skill will come.” His own voice sounded foreign to him.

    The girl whirled on him, cheeks flushed with anger, her eyes brimming with unshed tears. “I don’t want to be a Cinnabar Clad! It’s too hard!” Her shout sent the lemurs scurrying for higher ground. “I’m not good at it.” He saw her Aux, a silver acorn pendulum around her neck. It hummed in an attempt to calm her, but this only seemed to stoke her hot temper.

    “You are closed, child of Ilium. Closed from the suffering of disease and poison. You are closed from the love of others. You are iron.” He was speaking the words, but they were not his. They did not first form in his mind before pouring from his lips.

    The half’kin clutched her Aux, not for comfort, but to silence its humming.You can do it, I know you can. Heal me of my human blood.” The tears came at last, but she paid them no mind.

    “Then who would you become?” He reached for her, to stroke her hair and comfort her, but she recoiled from the touch. “Just leave me alone! I hate you!” She fled from the courtyard, leaving him in the wake of her anger.

    It was then that Ash realized that Cora was gone. No, not gone, somewhere within him...
    “You have journeyed far and seen much trouble, Ash of the Heartwood.”
    Ash and Cora, as one, turned. The courtyard fell away around them into the Prosperos Sea. They stood upon the dark waves, in the distance, two ships fired their cannons. Ash knew what this was, though he had only read of it. He was on the Plane, the place between Sunne and the realm of the dead gods. The place where Aux and Crux were one.

    There was only one being in existence who could traverse the Plane.

    Kairos came to him from the waters in the form of a giant stag. “But there is still much suffering in store for you, Child of Ilium. For you are the only one who has seen his face and lived.” The Prophet turned his sylvan gaze to the warring ships beyond. “I am afraid she will not be so lucky.”

    #18 Tegan, Apr 27, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2014
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  19. Dark deeds are done when a sack of pennies are at stake.

    "Ah knew they wuz trouble, ah did," muttered Sprig as he raced through the water, body undulating like a seal beneath his tapered cloak. Sleep was not a concept for Hobbler Fairies, and the trance-like swimming that passed for it had been disturbed by the Nasty Stone. Sprig had vowed to be nowhere near that thing, and as he paddled around with the equivalent of aquatic insomnia, he had received the company of a very gossipy Grouper Fish.

    "Fer sure, fer sure now. Eyed it b' the wake, y'see? Big feckkin thing, ol' treated wood. Long fish in the drink, all hangin' around. No kill-suns or nuttin'. Swam right up fer sure and dallied by the way."

    Easy for him to say. Now, two hours later, Sprig was racing in an arc between the Sea Wraith and the mysterious second ship which the Grouper had spotted. He took a wide berth from the sea serpent, of course, and his headband flickered red as he lit the way for his companions. At his tail came Blue and Green Tangs, a school of Boxer fish, several chattering Groupers, a friendly Eel family, two Mud Dolphins and a fen shark (when asked why he was coming along, the shark said he had his reasons). Their passage was veiled on the surface by a swarm of Jollo Frogs. Some quick diplomacy from Sprig had assured them of tastier fare on the pirate side of this yummy equation.

    "Oi! There it is, you lot!" Sprig shouted as he led the swarm towards the Silver Shadow. "Get 'is tail fin. Cam' on!"

    The dolphins surged ahead and slammed into the rudder of the pirate ship. The wood-section shuddered, then swung into the jaws of the fen shark. The predator flailed on the end of the rudder, and the fish schools arrived to ram and butt the piece in unison. Overhead, the Jollo Frogs leapt up and scaled the stern hull. Tongues lashed out; poison sprayed. The tiller assembly came under full assault from their bio-warfare.

    "'Ave 'im, boys! Right up his jacksie!"

    Sprig sent wave after wave of fish towards the rudder, shouting to hide his terror.

    This was the bravest thing he had ever done.
    #19 Asmodeus, Apr 27, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2014
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  20. --OZZIMUS--
    The illusion only lasted a few moments after that ear-splitting screech. the Air between theSea Waraith and the Silver Shadow shuddered, visible strands of energy clashed mid-air in a blistering display of illustrious light. From this way and that,stern to aft, topsail to sea-water the blinding flashing of energy cratered down into the ocean, flecks of sea-serpent falling down like brittle paper dissolved by the sea.

    -The eyes where the last to fade.-
    Ozzimus fell to one knee, the cup of his blade hitting the plank of wood beneath him as he panted. sickening smolders of black smoke and purple green licks of fyre sputtering from his mouth as he coughed.

    "Cap'n!" Mustard yelled, blades drawn as he slid next to his captain.

    "r-ready hnkk... T-the hooks!" he wheezed at Mustard who blinked stupidly
    "R-reaady the damn hoo-oks!" he yelled, smacking Mustard as hard as he could.

    When the monster was gone, The Silver SHadow appeared, It's crew only mildly protected from the powerful screeching advent of sound by the roar of Ozzimus's last tailings of magic. Men held their ears, too late not to be set on their arse's and stunned, some of theri Ear's bleeding. Just making them Nastier as the Silver Shadow and it's Veteran crew and sails shone bright as Day ever was in those moonlite waters. Not three Meters Away From the Sea Wraith and Her Failing Cannons. Broadside to Broadside, the Silver shadows stunned crew still might've had the Jump on The Sea Wraith. Their Armaments at the Ready.

    Mustard rose back to his feet and filled his lungs with sea-air. " READY THE HOOKS! Ssink em deep into the FLESH of the Sea Wraith and drag those lilly livered explorers in for the kill!" he bellowed.

    The whole ship rocked, eight hooks singing a chorus through the air.

    "SOmethin's in the water!" yelled an avian crewman, who had ventured to fly over the ege and across some of the water. His last words. A flurry of wave and silvery flesh found that Shark a good Meal of the Man.

    Only two hooks found their mark.
    As Ozzimus wreathed to his feet and stumbled back a few paces he found himself next to a Metal grate that showed air and light down into the Gun deck.

    "VOLOK!, FIRE!" He Roared, stumbleing backwards agast a Crate and swinging his sword as if to give the order with gesture instead of voice. The roar of the Cannons was a deafening burst aimed straight for the hull. every last cannon packed tight with Ozzimus's own brand of Gunpowder. teh haze of battle Began with a single volley, the edges of the ships not eight meters away from eachother.

    Pirates of every race and weapon piled off the ship, Harpoons (some of them originally the Sea Wraith's) shot out agaisnt the crew. A mighty Draconic sporting two nasty Axes in his hands and steel plating on his shoulders barreled towards the forward decks.

    #20 Desaecula, Apr 27, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2014
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