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Pandora Ex Machina

Pandora Ex Machina

They call themselves Talos, bringers of peace, but all they were was conquerors. They took it all, our "burdens" as they call it, and we became hardly even secondary citizens to them in the exchange of our freedom.

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Topics: aliens, creatures, fantasy, futuristic, heroes, monsters, original, sci-fantasy, sci-fi, and super heroes (Add Tags »)
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Introduction

Despite our greatest advances in society, in our Aethertech, our triumphs in engineering even ourselves, and triumphs in medicine, we could never solve the problem of our continued distrust among nations and races. We did not want war, but it takes little imagination on how they must have saw us when they broke into our world through that shiny gate in the sky. The Talos... they brought us unity, all of us, regardless of country, race, or species. They made us all citizens of equal value and equal voice, unfortunately, that equality meant we were all merely third-rate citizens now, and they held power over everything.

We were too awe stricken at the time to struggle, especially against their gilded god, that Deus Mammonas, beautiful as he is absolutely terrifying. They came as peace makers, and we felt it was true, in their own logical way. Their words were so smooth, with their perfect voices, we complied with little hesitation. Were we naive? Perhaps. We didn't know what to expect then. We still don't know what to expect now. They reforged our cities into this cleaner, smoother, more effecient form it is now, and they improved our technology, all for the price of our freedom. Curfews... they started curfews, inspections, they invaded our privacy to ensure our continued unity.

Eventually, over the years, Deus Mammonas's rule expanded, taking on primary dominion, and with it, even their own would be dumped in with us, their undesirables, their "deviants," who either cracked from the stresses of their own perfectionist culture or even so simply dared to question their ways! All of them cast out amongst us imperfects. Unity, laughable, they are no better than we were, perhaps even worse.

What they don't seem to realize yet is that the unity they gave us has, in fact, made us stronger, and we intend to take back our world.

Rules

This is a futuristic fantasy setting, somewhat akin to some Final Fantasy games, including the existence of magic and the supernatural is pretty well not that uncommon. Magic, is in fact a natural part of the body even, referred to as one's Aethera, and can manifest a number of traits, including, but not limited to elemental affinity, to more unusual and complex manifestations such as materialization and augmentation/transformation and reanimation and restoration (healing)... so many -ions... anywho, I'll expand further if needed. Similarly, weapons and such can be powered by aethera to have ray guns with different elemental properties, so keep this in mind. Talos have their own powerful kinds of magic as well, specializing in complex materialization.

Species are not that limited here, can be pretty big if desired, the Talos kinda balance that out anyways with their forces. No one-man shows and chosen ones here! Even a Talos is possible, just keep in mind that they are quite different from humans, having a sleek hard outer bodies, aka exoskeletons, that has both an organic and mechanical quality to it, and an inner body filled with gelatinized living energy, called "Ichor", held in by a softer "husk" that can varie greatly in shape, from more animalistic to somewhat more humanoid, and deviants tend to remold themselves to suit themselves.

As usual, no godmodding or character killing, no limitless energy draining and such either... and try to keep emo to the minimum, may sound weird but trust me, I've had the full Coldsteel the Edgehog package in the past. XD

General layout of profile is as follows:
Name(s): This can include nicknames, or preferred name
Age:
Species:
Gender:
Hair Color:
Eye Color:
Occupation: If applicable.
Appearance:
Brief Behavior Summary:
Brief Background:
Other:

Some species include, but not limited to: humans, Titan-kin (Behemoths, Leviathans, Ziz, which are rather large earth, water, and air creatures respectively), Lylanges (tall, long tailed, catlike creatures with long necks and humanoid faces that specialize in flexibility and body/healing magic. They come in four kinds, Southern Lylanges, with tall thin, spotted bodies, somewhat akin to a leopard or cheetah, slightly taller than humans, and red, dark brown, or black hair running from their head down their necks, the Northern Lylanges, with bigger, taller, thicker, and stronger bodies, as well as thick coats of fur, freckle-like markings on their faces, and long blond hair, the Eastern Lylanges with thinner fur and more humanoid appearance, having an Asian flair to them, as well as a tendacy to be the swiftest Lylanges, and lastly, the more animalistic Western Lylanges, hailing from swamplands, having striped tails, dark gray-and-white fur, elongated maws, and having the strongest bodies of all Lylang, at the cost of their human-like faces,) then there is the Ga'ragh and Weeping Ga'ragh, kind of imagine Khajit, with regular Ga'ragh being lion men with manes (only males have these) and and tiger-like stripes, and the Weeping Variant being cheetah-like people with the black tear markings and Caracal/Bobcat ears. They tend to specialize in fire and heat related magic, and generally, but not always, have short tails.

These are just examples, mind you, I'm not really going to apply too heavy of limits this time around. There can even be genetic experiments and so forth. Just try not to go god level chosen one on me!

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Character Portrait: Kiara Abinichia made from a genetic experiment involving the breeding of a Western Lylange and a Ga'ragh. turned ut to be full cat but very odd...
Character Portrait: Orpheus
Orpheus played by MartinVole
An odd black Talos deviant with a passion for music. Past functions unknown.
Character Portrait: Viktoriya
Viktoriya played by MartinVole
A surviving weapon used by the Kaymbdenites in the war before the coming of the Talos.
Character Portrait: Amarion
Amarion played by claw
Character Portrait: Eskja
Eskja played by Abraxas_Axis
"This is my tree. My land. My home. Stay out of it."
Character Portrait: Kokkino
Kokkino played by MartinVole
A brilliant red Talos Centurion with magnifiscent wings
Character Portrait: Zeke
Zeke played by MartinVole
An experimental ex-soldier, now a wanderer, vagrant, yet somehow more resolved and at peace.

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These poor, unfortunate souls were once a part of this great world, but have been abandoned. Why don't you consider viewing their profiles and making a decision on whether or not you can roleplay them accurately?


View All »Places in Pandora Ex Machina

Solium

Solium by MartinVole

None

Wilderness

Wilderness by MartinVole

The untamed lands beyond the walls, yet to be conquered by the Talos, home to the natural fauna of this world, in both its wonders and horror.

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Arcs are bundles of posts that you can organize on your own. They're useful for telling a story that might span long periods of time or space.

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Events

Soon™.

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Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kiara Abinichia Character Portrait: Orpheus Character Portrait: Kaenid Alopex Character Portrait: Amarion Character Portrait: Eskja Character Portrait: Kokkino Character Portrait: Zeke
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It was the yet another sunrise for Solium, the pristine structures of the Talos gleam in dawn's early light, the golden glimmer from the great temple of Deus Mammonas even visible from the common man's sectors at the outer rims or the citadel walls. To the non-Talos, the true natives of this world, the sunrise was like a constant reminder of who was now in charge, who had ultimately won the war, yet came as uninvited guests to it. With the rise of the sun, came a resonant chime signaling an end to the curfew, and slowly life came to the streets once more.

One of the hot spots of activity remained the tavern, more so than ever, it was one of the few luxuries allowed to this world's "savages," to keep them placated, perhaps. It stood out among the efficiency oriented one-size-fits-all homes provided by the Talos, it had actual wood floors and tables, and only the bare minimum of Talos construction, and only for anything electronic, so they actually function on the Talos grid. It was one of the few places that one could at least try to forget they were here.

That was, at the exception of the bard leaned in a corner, strumming away at his strings, creating a contemplative little melody. A peculiar creature, calling himself "Orpheus," a Talos Nosos, an exile who dared to have desires other than what served their golden lord's efficiency. Regardless, it made him no more friend to the native barflies, who seated themselves away from him, a matter he had grown to accept. He was the outsider here, not them, he couldn't blame them for their suspicions.

"Perhaps a more joyous tune is preferred..?" he asks no one in particular, his voice soft, almost human, but it resonant. "Or perhaps my song would be best needed elsewhere?"

A light blond haired man sat at a table, his blue eyes into a cup as the bard's hard feet clattered against the hard wood floor. The man, Ezekiel, or Zeke, for short, was a peculiar sight himself, a remaining experiment from the war that started this all. A real mess he was, back then, uncontrollable, egotistical, but now... now... what was the point? It landed him here, with everyone else, stronger than the average civilian, but still just another mook under the eye of the golden palace. He sighs, pushing the glass away, laying himself over his table.

"Man, it is still too early for this," he mutters, but his body betrayed his words, his hand picking up the glass, and shaking it overhead for another drink.

A crescendo of warbles echoed throughout Solium, causing the veteran to drop the glass on the side as he stumbles from his chair, the barkeep deftly diving as the glass rolled off the table and into his hands.

"Blast that noise!" Zeke yelled, his voice slurred swinging his arm limply as he struggled to waken from his stupor, stumbling out the door in a frenzy. "I'll show em' what's comin' to em'!"

As he stumbled out into the street, the light of the sun struck his eyes, reflected by something shiny, covering them he stumbled through people who had gathered around. It took him a moment to gather his thoughts on what was going on. He looked up, a shimmer in the air as a projection formed in the sky. It was an announcement of some kind, Deus Mammonas himself was ready to speak, his massive golden godlike form unmistakable from any other Talos.

"The hell does he want..?" Zeka mutters, someone shushing him immediately, as the deep yet soothing voice of Mammonas washed over them.

"Do you think your Deus is deaf to your plights? Blind to your desires? Have I not provided you with everything you require? And yet, I hear of murmurs, of misinterpretations to my intentions. Have I not held my end? Surely you think not ill of my good works, after all, I've done all what is only for the best. Need I remind you all of your liberation from a savage war-torn world? Surely I do not. Should I state that I have removed the fears of pestilence and infirmity? Surely I should not. These I gave freely, charitably. And all your Deus asks is your adherence to the laws established, and the smallest bit of patronage."

"I took over your world, worship me," Zeke says under his breath, a wry grin on his face.

"But perhaps you believe more is required? Perhaps that is what you desire. It is your world, and you feel you should have more a hand in it, a higher position in it, perhaps. I can reason with this. But, you must earn your way back. Your world is still savage, untamed, neglected. My... foundation, has found itself having difficulty circumventing some problems you have left behind, beasts you had failed to tame. Simply put, perhaps there are those of you that are more informed of your peculiar fauna my Talos have been impeded by? If there are those among you able, here is your chance to redeem yourselves, to show that you are worthy of your world. This is me reaching out to you a desire only to get past any enmity that persists, to reach understanding. Those able can report your desire to assist to an Architect or Centurion. Praise to the Talos."

The projection breaks, and people begin to talk amongst themselves. This was something different, causing quite the stir among the people. It was a stretch, not many trusted the words, but wanted to. A chance to raise to relevant citizens in their own world again, a chance to be free of curfews and, more importantly, the damnable walls that bind them? It was too good to ignore.

"I'm having trouble conquering the rest of your world, so do it for me because I'm too important, and... worship me, again," Zeke mutters again, a crooked smirk on his face. He then sighs, scratching his side. "Honestly, who'd fall for this..? Then again... maybe I should..?"



Within the pristine gold-and-white palace of the Deus, the great Talos seated himself upon his massive circular throne after finishing the broadcast, his mood unreadable. They knew not to question, not to second guess, well, most of them did. A ruckus outside the throne room announced an arrival of someone, and Mammonas already aware of who. With a loud rumble, a scarlet Centurion came in, only to immediately drop to her knee and kneel before him, head lowered. Kokkino, one of the most faithful of his Centurions, and most obsessive.

"You disapprove, Centurion?" his voice smooth, piercing.

"My Deus, am I not faithful to you? Am I not loyal!?" she speaks, her voice cracking, borderline hysterical.

"I wasn't aware these matters were brought into question," Mammonas responds, brushing it off, only to meet the eyes of his zealot.

"Then why is your first choice to turn to these creatures instead!?" she yells, loudly pounding her breastplate, the sound echoing through the halls. Her eyes fix daringly into Mammonas's own, making the other attending Talos nervous as to what she may do. She again lowers her head, eyes dimming. "Order me and I will do so freely, without condition, to death if necessary. For Centurion, no greater pleasure is to serve you, our Deus."

"Exactly. There is nothing deeper to test, nothing to strengthen further than it already is. Your devotion is unconditional, unwavering. What have I to gain in sending you? The creatures of this world, however, they I've yet to achieve the same with. Does this satisfy you?"

"You wish to assimilate them?" she asked, her tone confused.

"If they serve a use."

"And if they they fail, if they refuse?"

"Then, by all means, as my blades, carve into this world my order."

Kokkino's eyes flare for a moment before narrowing, her arms crossing and banging against her chest. "Praise to the Talos!" She then stood up and backed out of the throne room, head respectfully lowered until out the door.

"Hm, should I consider reforging that one?" he asked, stating so rather coldly.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Viktoriya Character Portrait: Kaenid Alopex Character Portrait: Eskja
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The Wilderness. The last bastion of what used to be, before those extra-dimensional beings just... appeared from elsewhere and started making this world exactly like their own. The civilized parts were the easiest to tame, of course. But the wilds, hah! These miraculous beings did not realise how utterly unprepared they were to even set foot in these untamed lands. It wasn't just Nature stubbornly being Nature, always reminding folk just how fleeting life is.

No, the Aether of this world was a force in it of itself; although one could argue that this is just a derivation of Nature... Still, the old Aether permeated many parts of the Wilderness in many different (and deadly) manners. This particular patch of woods, somewhat close to Solium yet removed from the main throroughfares, was quite odd. The trees were grown in all sorts of weird shapes: trunks at strangely perfect right angles to their roots, twisted sickenly around themselves and their neighbours, effectively barring progress at times, and some were alarming hues of all sorts. Furthermore, a foreboding thunderhead hovered above this bizarre landscape, almost like a guardian of sorts. Closer to ground level, at the heart of the woods, a bank of fog gathered, seeming even at a distance to be impermeable.

Steadily making headway through this melange toward a small clearing well past the fringes of this Aether-touched wood a hooded figure walked. Neither moving stealthily nor announcing her presence, merely moving with confidence and an unapologising air of just... belonging here. Or at least having a reasonable pretense.

Any place that the Talos aren't, that's the place I'd like to be, eh? *rimshot* Oh, wait, I'm just thinking at myself...

With a bit of a start, the Ranger realised she couldn't be certain if she had internalised the outburst, that it was just as likely she did speak aloud. Just as quickly, she dismissed it with an outward shrug as neither here nor there; it would only lend credence her open and non-threatening approach. The traps she had spotted, she sidestepped without springing them, save for one which received a subtle thwack that was like a courtesy knock before letting oneself into a friend's home, unbidden. There was no accounting for the traps she hadn't seen, of course.

There were many uncertainties here (not least the fact she could be dead wrong on all accounts), but the few certainties Kaenid did have were enough. The flora was enough of an interest, for she already knew that was simply a direct manifestation of the wild Aether, not to mention the fauna that might abound. The weather could also be attributed to that, but it didn't feel quite right. Add in the stories the local woodcutters tell about this 'haunted' wood -of sudden winds and sudden lightning when they dared venture close for the exotic wood- and Kaen knew she had to check it out. Something... or someone... could be here, and it seemed they preferred their solitude.

So... Kaenid continued unobtrusively into the clearing, still a respectful distance from the heart of the woods. Lit a small fire using fuel already fallen from the trees. Killed a rabbit or two with a rock (still unthreatening), skinned them, and set them to slow roast over the fire. The smell already causing her stomach to grumble loudly, reminding her she had skipped breakfast this morning. But she would patiently wait, allowing the scent to drift all over. Yes, she would wait, maybe even spend a few days here. The Talos surely wouldn't be far behind Kaen if her intuitions turned out to be right...

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Character Portrait: Viktoriya Character Portrait: Kaenid Alopex Character Portrait: Eskja
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A tall and muscular shadowy shape would drop to the forest floor near Kaenid's fire. The gloom of the night was pierced by the distant rumble of thunder, and the clouds swirled into a deep gray mass.
This creature- no, this person, appeared as a young woman of a strange form. She appeared as some strange cross between a Western Lylange, an Eastern Lylange, and a Human. She wore bits of hide, snug against her body and only covering the essentials for better maneuverability.
Lightning cracked; the sudden flash illuminated a hateful scowl. "This is my forest," said the Windwalker. "Stay out of it."

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Kiara was always a light sleeper, as the door of her room ( it was for of a cage ) opened, she quickly sat up. it was Kyle, the person who always came in to feed her give her a shot and the one who always looked at her and sadly smiled every morning when she asked " will I get out today? " as the normal routine of questions and eating, Kyle was looking at her strange. " today" he announced"you get out!" Kiara perked up, surprised. as Kyle opened the door, Kiara gave him a hug and whispered " thank you." before running into the woods, she glanced back quickly to see him waving, she waved back and kept running.

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Character Portrait: Kiara Abinichia Character Portrait: Viktoriya Character Portrait: Kaenid Alopex Character Portrait: Eskja
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So it didn't really take all that long, after all. This... Lylange... human...? Was rather quite territorial -not that Kaen was surprised nor did she blame her. It was obvious this woman had undergone some terrible experimentation. So maybe this was just a waste of time, after all. But still, Kaenid at least owed her a fair warning.

Even so, she took her time pulling the rabbits off the fire. Profferred one to the other woman before voraciously tearing into her own. Only after she was halfway finished with her rabbit, did she look up and say, with respect, but also a mischievous smirk playing about her muzzle: “It is an honour to meet you, Mistress of the Winds. I am Kaenid. I have heard a tale or two about you...”

A delighted little laugh started to follow this, but was drowned out by a horrendous *crack* coming from the far side of the woods. Then an odd little trill came from the axes at her hips, which also seemed to be giving off a strange dark green aura. More snapping sounds followed, but none quite as fearsome as the first.

“Well, shit... it sounds like some of the rampant Aether is waking up,” Kaenid said, all seriousness now and rising, rabbit forgotten. “I don't know if you're familiar with your roommates or not, but I suggest you stay near me for the time being. These things tend not to want to talk...”

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The Windwalker scoffed. "Please," she said. "I know this forest. I rule it. Nothing would dare attack me here."

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as Kiara kept running, she heard voices near her, she crept toward them, seeing two people bye a fire.

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Character Portrait: Kiara Abinichia Character Portrait: Viktoriya Character Portrait: Kaenid Alopex Character Portrait: Eskja
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Fragments rise and fall in the depth of the mind... incomplete, barely substantial enough for cohesive thought. Faces, places, names, all memories, falling and fading slowly like a snowfall composed of mirror shards, remaining facets of humanity. This is what dreams were for the beast, or what could be considered dreams as she rested, as the mind tries to sort itself out. And there were two names repeated over and over:

Vitaliya... Roksana...

Then suddenly, rudely, there was a stir, something in the air, shaking her from her long nap. Opening her eyes, she awoke to a damp cave, dug out by the flow of water through it. With her mighty claws she pressed against the floor, pushing up her massive form, grumbling as she does, stretching. Taking a moment she taps the side of her head for the comm implant, murmuring something only to receive silence as a response. Her ears draw back, a guttural sound deep in her throat as pieces in her mind fit together, there's no one there anymore, I'm alone.

With a sigh, the creature lowered her front-most limbs, gleaming eyes narrowing, ready to return to her waiting sleep, when something glimmered into her eyes, causing them shoot open again. A green ghostly glow was in the air and water, like foxfire and fireflies in spring. The markings in her body began to react, glowing dimly, energy returning to her tired body. Reaching out she scooped at it with her claws, uttering a small inquiring yelp, before opening her mighty jaws and greedily inhaling it, as if instinctively, the entirety of her body tingling. Pieces of rock dropped onto the top of her head, snapping her from her feeding, her attention snapped upwards, her four big ears pointing erect now as sounds could be heard from the surface. The sound itself now was reverberating throughout the hollow caverns.

Enemies..!

Hurriedly, she scrambled out from her cave, her heavy steps echoing throughout the cave as she made her way to one of its vertical shafts, clawing her way to the surface and pulling her large body out into the dim light of the surface. Her breathing grew shallow as she watched and listened, blue eyes adjusting their pupils to narrow slits. Several several smells she gathered with a whiff, several voices came to her ears, and sounds as if the earth itself were shifting.

Destroy!? her mind screamed, eager for a confirmation her commanders, a confirmation that they will not be able to deliver.

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The Windwalker turned a disapproving eye towards Kaenid. "I believe that I am not most likely to be hurt in this situation, and rather it would be you." Her glower deepened. "Get out of my forest, interloper. I will not ask again." Lightning crashed; thunder rumbled. While it was intended to scare off - or at least intimidate - this strange fox woman, it also would possibly scare off whatever strange being was rumbling around in her woods. Her eyes glowed with a fury almost divine; she was one with the storm. The storm was one with her.

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Character Portrait: Kiara Abinichia Character Portrait: Viktoriya Character Portrait: Kaenid Alopex Character Portrait: Eskja
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Despite all the huster and bluster from the crossbreed, Kaen was focused on what was happening, most of it was drowned out by more foreboding snapping and cracking and creaking anyway. It sounded as if the trees were uprooting themselves from the ground, which was what was happening, actually. Except that these weren't quite trees, but more on that when we see them shortly. Kaenid had come across these things once before (not that that had turned out too well), and knew those harrowing sounds.

No, something else caught her attention by appearing in the middle-ground between themselves in the clearing and the cracking sounds coming closer: a thing that was like a dragon but not a dragon. Contrary to the looming danger, Kaenid burst out laughing, thinking she had stumbled upon a big fluffy dragon with an extra set of forelegs. Definitely not a dragon, for surely if it was a dragon they'd already be toasted or boiled or flayed (if not all of the above) alive by now. Most dragons would happily gobble up this easy meat sitting on the doorstep of their hibernation lair. And it seemed more surprised at seeing them there than anything else.

Kaenid caught a glimpse of something vaguely familiar pulsing like a tattoo on the fluffy dragon's forehead, then all hell seemed to subsequently break loose and the creature became something on the edges of her awareness. All she could tell at the moment was that about half a dozen tree-shaped things came upon the fluffy dragon from the edge of the clearing. At that point, about six more appeared closer to the pair near the fire, coming from behind Eskja.

These things had wooden bodies like trees, their “feet” masses of roots that moved in clumps like several legs, and limbs that swung like massive arms. Several had more than one pair of “arms”, grown in tiers up their trunks. All of them were coated in swathes of thick moss, many of course [comically] sporting thick green beards. The biggest and tallest (therefore oldest) of them sported a crown of thick, writhing green vines. Z'ychuula, crazed Aether beings trapped in trees, had awoken after an apparently long slumber. These guys have definitely been sleeping much longer than this storm witch has been living here, that was sure.

That was all the time Kaenid had before the first Z'ychuula made a long horizontal swipe toward the windmage. Without a moment's hesitation, Kaenid leaped across the fire and literally drop-kicked the woman out of the way, aiming her feet at the hip to minimise injury. Probably unneccesary, but for her it was an attack of oppurtunity. Landing quite painfully on her back, she didn't even wait for the pain, was already latched on the receding arm and climbing. Not fooling around, she quickly reached the head of the shambling tree and began hacking away with both axes, holding on with her legs. It took a bit of chopping, but not overmuch, to reveal the “brain” or “heart” of this thing. It only takes about one good whack to break open this core and release the trapped spirit within to dissipate in the rising sun.

The wind shifted as she rode the falling tree-carcass down to the ground, bringing a scent to her not insensitive nose of somebody else being near. A troubling scent of cages and cloying medicine and... youngness. Kaenid paused only long enough to look in that direction and call: “Stay hidden, little one! We shall handle the Z'ychuula, but if we don't, keep running south until you get to the walls and tell them!”

With that, Kaen was already fending off another attack from the next Z'ychuula, scuttling up its side...

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Eskja clambered up, grunting. She already felt a bruise appearing on her hip. Who the hell does this woman think she is?! she thought as she watched Kaenid deftly climb on top of one of the strange tree beings and hack at it. These creatures are not of my forest; I do not recognize them. They must be interlopers, like this annoying fox woman.
Well, if these things were interlopers, she'd do her best to fend them off, even though the woman called for her to get out of there. "Little one"? Exactly how lowly do I seem to her? she mused incredulously as she rose into the air, arms outstretched. Lightning crackled from the dark whirlpool of cloud that appeared above her from the sky, and then Eskja performed one of her weather techniques, one she had learned that was best for fending off a large crowd:
Chain Lightning.
A flash of blinding light accompanied by a shower of sparks and a wave of lightning appeared from the clouds. They rammed through the crowd of tree creatures, burning or killing many of them or, if they were lucky, extremely weakened. She did her best to avoid the fox woman, but did give her a tiny bit of an electric shock as payback for the kick.

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keeps hiding v.v

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The creature stood pensively as some of the tree creatures surrounded her, her markings glimmering with slowly intensifying light. She was not attacking, still awaiting confirmation, which came only after one of the tree creatures got bold and swung down upon her. As if like a trigger pulled, Viktoriya reacted immediately, her claw swinging out and digging itself into the wooden body, cutting deep into it, bark and splinters of wood sent hurdling through the air. Spinning around rather elegantly for her size, she uses her massive tail to whip the tree creature, cracking into its now compromised form and toppling it into a heap of wood, the aether bleeding out of its riven body. The others became enraged, more than they were, at least, bearing down on her now in force. As big as she was, it was hard for the tree creatures not to land blows, a strike against her face with their long twisted branch arms, and one into her shoulder causing her to recoil back.

This is your last order: Face your enemies, and destroy them! her mind screamed, a final order echoing from long ago, now louder now than ever before. Her blue eyes flared furiously, and flinging her neck around, mouth agape, a thunderous shriek filled the air, drowning out even thunder. Shards and chunks of gnarled wood spray through the air as one of the Z'ychuula's bodies are caved in by an unseen force, flung backwards before Viktoriya lunges forward and onto her hind legs, digging all four of her claws into it, and prying it in half with a loud crack. Tentacle-like roots wrap themselves around her front limbs, trying to hold her. But she twists around to face her captor silently, spinning one arm to intentionally wrap her upper right limb tighter to get a better grip, digging her claws in, and tugging on it with as much force as she could muster. The tree monster's body creaks as it is dragged along by Viktoriya, roots digging into the earth as it tries to hold its ground, her own hind leg claws digging into the ground. With several loud snaps, the roots are torn off the cursed tree, finally giving from the strain, and like a slingshot, the released force sends the tree airborne, flailing against its comrades violently as they are battered with their own kin brutally by the Kaymbdenite monster, one in front bashed through as the other two were pushed along.

Slamming the creature onto the ground, she flips her massive form over onto it, and with clinched claws, begins to pound away at it like some street brawl, pulverizing the tree monster's face to mulch, but splintering her knuckles in the process. The others were still rattled by the swing from earlier, left open to being hit by their brethren's remains as Viktoriya charges into them with it, like a battering ram.

In the chaos, she barely noticed the others, her wild glimmering blue eyes glancing over Eskja and Kaenida as she charged through, contemplating what part they play in this battlefield.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Kiara Abinichia Character Portrait: Viktoriya Character Portrait: Kaenid Alopex Character Portrait: Eskja
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Of course the storm witch summoned a storm, when things would have been simpler with an axe or other bladed weapon. These were spirits trapped within trees, destoying their bodies was akin to destroying nature. A little hacking was necessary, sure, but lightning was a bit overkill. They'd have to worry later about the fires that sprang up on the Z'cyhuula that were struck. And of course there were the Talos to be concerned about. They would surely notice the storm and the spike in the Aetheric activity here.

Of course there was also the angry trees still trying to kill her, Kaenid could only see the rest of the situation at the edges of her perception. She could feel all the electrical energy around her, even felt that payback jolt and let it launch her from her current kill to the next Z'ychuula. Which, thanks to the storm mage's storm, happened to be the biggest and baddest one of them left. This one was occcupied with one set of arms beating out the fire that had burst out on its beard, so Kaenid nearly made it to the crown of python-like vines before it even noticed her axes cutting into it.

A surefire way to get a tree demon's attention, also kinda dumb. The vines whipped out and tried to wrap around her, but she chopped those away, which just pissed it off even more. That was when Kaenid heard the shriek from the big fluffeh dragon, drowning out whatever pissed off noises the Z'ychuula was making. It also basically struck her senseless for a moment or two, drilling into her sensitive ears. Which was more than enough time for the big bad to fling her out and away from it.

Tumbling through the air, Kaenid couldn't quite make anything out until she struck the gray-white wall of fur. There was a sickening crack or two coming from her chest, then she began rolling down the fluffy dragon's back, oblivious to everything but the pain.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Viktoriya Character Portrait: Kaenid Alopex Character Portrait: Eskja
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Eskja immediately summoned a wall of lightning that repeatedly crashed into the ground between Kaenid and the strange, roaring creature. Hopefully, this would keep the creature at bay for a little while. Just to be sure, she extended it in a thick ring around the creature.
Meanwhile, she flew down and gently picked up Kaenid using wind telekinesis. It appeared from her gentle gruntings as she was lifted that she had broken a rib or two. Well, that's what she got for going in close quarters with so many enemies rather than blasting them from afar.
Eskja quickly evaluated the situation in her mind. A bunch of strange creatures not under her rule were attacking her and this infuriating fox woman. Obviously, she had to vacate the immediate area. Fortunately, she had other hidey-holes otherwhere in the forest.
She flew off, the winds shielding her as they carried her into the distance.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Orpheus Character Portrait: Amarion Character Portrait: Zeke Character Portrait: Lukas Owynn Worthington
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Meanwhile, back at the ranch... er... tavern...




Given the early hour, the subdued atmosphere within the tavern was no surprise. Though it did seem rather more full, one couldn't tell by the brief, hushed conversation of the patrons. There was an almost palpable tension in the air this morning, despite the pleasant contemplative melodies coming from the Talos Nosos bard. The citizens-that-were-not citizens of this city were expecting something, though they weren't certain what.

Sitting at the corner of the bar, where he could keep an eye on the entry and exits, was a somewhat conspicuous character ingesting a hearty breakfast and washing it all down with a large tankard of mead. Lukas was barely paying any mind to the food, just mechanically eating as his one good eye roved all around the room. Never outright staring, just learning mostly useless information from mostly useless people. Well, perhaps they were useful in some way, shape, or form; they just weren't useful to Lukas at current. In all honesty, all this avid people-watching was mostly to pass the time as he ate the most important meal of the day.

The bard was obviously an exceptionally skilled musician, and it bothered Luke (a bit) that most of the patrons were keeping their distance and barely appreciating the music. While not being too great himself with instruments, he still had ears. And those ears told him that this strange Talos was the real deal. Also, there was another reason to pique Luke's interest: the bard's colour wasn't black (or the absence of colour, a colour his mind couldn't comprehend). Beneath the eye-patch, the strange eye was also roving around, seeing in a different manner, albeit obscured. It perceived beings and some objects as a vague impression of their form in one stark colour. An impression of their aura, in a way. At least insofar as to indicate their benignness, or lack thereof. Lukas didn't entirely understand the damned thing yet, so he didn't rely solely on it.

In one corner he saw a Builder -what he called the Talos Architects- quietly drinking, the shadows suggesting the appearance of spikes about his carapace. But depth perception is a bitch when you only have one eye, and that could just be Luke's imagination playing with shadows...

The Blue Dude was the only other one that drew his attention. Not just for the colour, which was a deep midnight blue (hence the name), but for the simple fact that the guy looked kind of familiar. Lukas could almost have sworn he had seen this guy during the war. ”A bit younger and less scarred then, yes, this is the guy that had something to do with your missing eye,” Luke mused to himself. ”Ahh... but did he take it or did he give me this one? That war is just a bloody blur to me anymore...”

Finished with his breakfast, Lukas rose and walked over to the bard, dropping a generous amount into the open instrument case. ”Keep playing, bard.” He said simply, before the summons was sounded. Almost like he timed it that way...

Somehow, he ended up not far from the Blue Dude, and quietly chuckled at every snarky comment the other veteran made during the Deus' grand speech. Having already known the gist of it, Lukas only half-listened to this self-righteous rant. Falling neatly into step next to the Blue Dude as the crowd began to disperse, Lukas could not help but to half-jokingly respond with:

”Yes, let's go volunteer, actually, it's not a half-bad idea. At the very least, we'd get inside the palace, no? Could cause some mischief, no doubt, either way you look at it...

This was delivered with what he hoped was a friendly enough smile, if somewhat snarly, and a genuine deep belly laugh.

Pandora Ex Machina: Out Of Character (OOC)

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