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located in The West, a part of Exalted: A Tale in the Time of Tumult, one of the many universes on RPG.

The West

A vast expanse of Ocean that stretches into infinity, broken only by scattered islands that grow fewer the farther one goes. Many myths tell of what lies beyond it, but few that venture that far return.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Astrid Grünewald Character Portrait: Lux Fiala Character Portrait: Calliope Lordes
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Posting part 1 of the big collab, next parts to follow


The sounds of a scuffle caught Astrid's ears, the groan of metal on metal coming from above her drew attention, and only a few moments later Calliope fell over the edge of the balcony railing. The smell of blood was in the air, and Calliope's bloody robes confirmed it was hers. Their bout wasn't over however and the man tried to make a move, before being squarely punched in the face. Seeming to notice their presence after successfully subduing the man, Astrid waved lazily after hearing her name called. "Hiiiii 'Allliii! Wash thish man gibbing you truble? Ya want, I should exshecute 'im?"

The quizzical and faint call of her name caught Lux’s attention, as smashed as she was, she was still cognitive enough to comprehend the fading consciousness that accompanied her name. With Astrid still holding onto her as if she were a sack of potatoes, Lux’s ditzy smile faded as her foggy mind struggled to piece together who said her name, and from where they’d said it...she knew the voice. Dumbly blinking a few times, the Terrestrial glanced to and fro. That was...Calliope? The pretty pink princess from Gladommm? She sounded...not good.

Craning her head as far as was humanly possible for her to do; Lux set her eyes on a sight that very nearly sent her spiraling back into sobriety instantaneously. Calliope collapsing, clutching onto her stomach as the grip upon her sword loosened, and it fell to the ground with a loud metallic clatter before another...pink person? Who was...ascending to his feet and reaching for Calliope’s sword? Oh, no!

With no words to Astrid, Lux wriggled her way free of the Lunar’s tight grip, landing on her hands and knees before she scrambled up onto her feet. Earnestness drove Lux straight into a dead sprint, and though she was nowhere as fast as Astrid, there was no denying the little Dragon-Blooded moved with purpose. The rose-skinned man who stood above Calliope, brandishing her sword, merely stared at her agape, apparently too dumbfounded to react as Lux moved in on him. Stunned and betrayed by his reflexes, the man beheld the terrifying sight of one, very small woman coming at him in full tilt.

Still somewhere between clear-headedness and inebriation, Lux shouted at the top of her lungs, “Get t’Hell awaaay fr'm our pr’tty pink priiiincess!” before she came to dead stop right before him, and swung her leg upward...hitting a rather...sensitive spot right between the man’s own legs with all the force she could muster.... A strained groan came from the man as his pink complexion paled, and he lost his grip on the sword and it clattered to the ground again. He swayed upon his feet, and could manage no words before he fell backward and hit the ground with a hard thud.

Where he laid, the stranger now guarded his face, assuming a fetal position in order to brace himself for any further attacks. Calliope, on the other hand, struggled to keep her eyes open. The room was spinning. She moaned, fading in and out of consciousness.

With inhuman speed, Astrid darted to the man before he could regain his senses, picking him up by the throat and holding him off the ground. The pink stranger yelped in terror at the sheer strength of the Lunar. "Shheee now w-why why ya gosh ta be bullyin' the perdy pink prinshess!? Ish not nishe, and I do not approve!" Shaking the man to emphasize her point, she tightened her grip to the point where he couldn't breathe then dropped him quite unceremoniously on his butt.

Glaring at the man, Lux stuck her tongue out at him in a rather childish manner before she knelt down next to Calliope, shushing in a soothing manning her as she moaned. [color=red]“S’gonna be ‘kay, promise, s’gonna b’okay....”
she said softly as she gently lifted the Solar’s bloodied hand from her stomach to get a look at the wound...as carefully as she could manage in her half-drunk state, the Dragon-Blooded pulled at the rip in her dress as much as she could without further damaging the clothing, and squinted, as she took to examining what she could. It was shallow, at least, though still bleeding a bit. It didn’t look to be bad enough to cause Calliope to be on the cusp of fainting though. Perhaps she’d hit her head...?

"How'she lookin' Lux?"

“’Tomach’s not bad, but I thin’ she hit h’head.” she answered.

He fell like a rag doll, gasping for breathe. "Who ARE you?!" He demanded, through his pitiful gasps. "Please! Leave me alone! I don't want anymore trouble!" There was a panic in his voice, and his eyes darted around, looking for any which way he could escape. Admittedly, he could still feel the Terrestrial's heel in a not so nice place. Astrid grinned and struck a triumphant pose. "I am Luna'sh wraf made 'uman. I am Nightffaang. I am the cat when yer tha mouse. I am become deaf." He began a quick crawl. "And I do sho luff it when they run. Go on lozer. Jusht try me."

Before the man could gain any distance, Lux huffed and tore off one of her heavy, gold-plated shoes, and lobbed it at him as hard as she could...hitting him square in the back of his head. “Don't matter whooooo...I am, you's...an idiot!”

He let out an indignant cry, falling on his face once more. He turned himself around, on his back, so that he was now facing the two threatening women. He reached into his muddied boot for a hidden knife, and in a smooth throw he aimed for Astrid's side, missing by a foot or so. Lux started at the knife as it sailed past, and couldn't contain her snort at the pathetic display.

He continued to crawl backwards desperately. "Please don't kill me! Please don't kill me!"

Calliope stirred, attempting to prop herself up on her elbows. All the commotion drew her attention, and she struggled to get a view of what was happening. All she saw were Astrid's two long muscular legs, and the partial bust of the royal blooded man, attempting to escape the drunk wrath of Calliope's new companions. "I ag- I agree with the pitiful cre-eature," Calliope groaned. "His life belongs to the royal fammmm...fammmily." She collapsed again, but she was already feeling marginally better.

"What she said!" The stranger plead. "It- ah, it would only be right if she killed me. L-lady Calliope!" He was internally kicking himself for assaulting a princess. What the hell was he thinking?

"Tch... Ffiine he livesh." Not wanting to wait, for fear they might further change their opinion, Astrid angrily walked over to the man. Raising a foot straight into the air until she was doing a standing split, and bringing it down full force onto the man's head. "Wash gone play cat'n'moushe wif 'em. Perdy pink prinshesh hash all tha fun."

Turning her attention back to the princess and away from the pathetic excuse that donned the skin of a man, Lux moved herself into a proper seated position. “S’okay, gotta b’easy, think y’hit your head....”

Grabbing the scruff of the man's neck, Astrid made her way back over to Lux and Calliope, leaving the man laying in a heap next to them. Kneeling down next to them, she turned to Lux and whispered, rather loudly, to her. "Did she shay if she lubs er perdy dreshes?"

Lux shook her head in response to Astrid’s inquiry. “Ha...haven’t asked.”

Before he could make any further pleas, the stranger was out cold, on his face, with his rear end rather uncomfortably up in the air. The princess groaned. "Is he dead?" Calliope asked gruffly, from her comfortable position on her back.

Stealing a minute glance at the sorry sod, Lux confirmed his status. “S’not dead, still breathin’, ‘Alli...ope....” Lux hiccupped as she tried to say the Solar’s name. Gathering whatever few wits she had, Lux tried to speak as gently as she could manage in her state, “I thin’ y’hit yooour head, need t’be car’ful....” She stole a glance at the Solar’s stomach again, and noticed that the wound seemed to have clotted. [color=red]“Should get ba...band’ges f’that...then y’can tell us what y’think of our f’ncy clothes!”

Nodding vigorously and brandishing a big goofy grin, Astrid agreed with Lux. "Thuh lubberly Mish Lux ish cerrect! I got a perdy dresh! Now Lux ish muh twinshy! I'd wrip uh sleeve awf tuh dress ya... but... Perdy dresh." After a few seconds of having a nearly blank mind, Astrid realized Calliope's robe was all but ruined currently. "Mebe, Lux can use yer bloody robe ta manage a.... um... wrap!"

Calliope attempted to sit up again, but stuggled to do so, as if some otherworldly force was pressing down upon her chest. She winced, but beared the pain. But once she had managed to sit up fully, she rested her veering gaze on her two companions.

"Oh," she said, in a rather monotoned voice. "You have channged. It looks..." she chose her words carefully, while her eyes still attempted to roll back into her eye-sockets. "Adequate. I mmean- uh, nnnnnnice. Does the mmaterial stretch well for commmbat purposes?" She inquired, debating whether or not she wanted a change as well. Calliope looked down at her robes, and half-heartedly poked at the new hole in them.

The grin on the Lunar's face faded slightly at the Solar's answer, and hearing enquiries about its efficacy in battle caused the smile to vanish. She always had to think about clothing's battle potential, and that was not what made this outfit so special. "Ish perdy dresh, ish not supposhed ta be combat perpush. Ish shupposhed ta be perdy."

A big smile broke out over Lux’s face, mind too fuzzy to process the beginning bit of Calliope’s comment, “They are ‘eally nice! Comfy, too.... D’know about c-combaaat pu...purrposes’s ‘hough.” She did notice though that the princess was fiddling with the blood-soaked tear in her robes, “D’worry ‘bout that rip, M’sure the handmaaaidens’ll fix y’up wit' some fancy cl'thes!”

The pink man began snoring abruptly. He was still lying directly on his face, dribble rolling down his chin. "Annd where is all this alcohol you have clearly consumed? I amm goinng to nneed it." That question brought a smile back to Astrid's face, they would indeed need more drink for the long journey. In her haze, that thought had escaped her, how embarassing considering how simple a notion it was.

The Dragon-Blooded turned her gaze onto the unconscious man, and peered at him with irritation on her face. He’d hurt their pretty pink princess and now he had the gall to start snoring and drooling right near her! Annoying, he was annoying.... She puffed her cheeks out in a manner that rather resembled a squirrel, contemplating giving the man another well-aimed kick. As tempting as that was, though, Lux decided it was not worth her time, “‘Strid an’I got the al-alcohol while we’s were bondin’ w’the handmaid’ns!” Lux moved herself to her knees, swaying just a bit from her woozy state. “L...let’s g’get that cut cleeeeaned, at least-st! I can d’that, know how, have ‘perience....” she trailed off, “Theeen, n’clothes!”

Calliope cringed at the thought of being cleaned and dressed. It was not custom for Gladomain royalty to be served, not to mention the years of combat and reflex training could easily end in tears for the first machination that laid a finger on her. The Noble could almost imagine herself, reacting impulsively to the touch of one of the poor handmaidens, and taking her arm off as a consequence. She wouldn't know what hit her.

Calliope began shaking her head anxiously. "I'mm afraid that wonn't be nnecessary! A banndage will suffice," she insisted.

But, but...pretty dresses...and bonding....

Lux couldn’t help the pout on her face, but if Calliope didn’t want to.... There was no making her. She sighed, rather disappointed, “‘Kay then, just...ban’age a-and make sure y'head's 'kay, let’ssss do ‘hat, then....”[/color] Lux, woozily got up to her feet, and stood quiet for a second, trying to figure out why something felt awkward...before she looked down and realized she was only wearing one shoe. “Oop, need...need m'shoe f'st....” she mumbled, remembering that she'd lobbed it at the man earlier, Lux looked around, til she found it laying on the ground a few feet away. She clumsily hobbled over, picked it up and put it back on, almost falling over as she did so.

Narrowing her eyes at Calliope, Astrid put a hand on either of the Solar's shoulders. "Whaa? No, no, no. Yer clothez er very ruinet! Ish unaceppting. Nagashani will bring ya shome er.. uh... new clothez! No butzz! We'zsave the baf fer later!" Finishing the sentence, she began to stroke the pink girl's cheek with her right hand, mumbling something about, "Perdy perty princshesh alrerdy baffed, shmell it on her shkin."

"Oh dear, you are innnndeed soused," Calliope sighed, laying a compassionate hand on Astrid's. Calliope couldn't imagine how long she'd wandered the halls before the wild encounter with one of her own kind. And though she regretted her decision to topple right over the edge of the balcony, she was glad she had at last crossed paths with familiar faces, as drunken as they were. They were... starting to grow on her.

She looked straight up at the balcony from which she fell, wondering if it was a good thing how easily she was able to just throw herself off heights, but then, she wouldn't be Calliope if she wasn't a little reckless. They were all a little reckless, she recognized. Maybe aside from the mysterious Artisan, who seemed to throw himself at the feet of anyone, given it would benefit him to be in their good fortune. She knew not Lux's temperment, but it was clear she was more...clumsy than reckless. Calliope felt in good hands, with Astrid's hand on her cheek. She felt something different for these individuals than she had for anyone back in her village. But the word for this relationship she could not think of.

A thought occurred to her. "Oh! I bear glad tidinngs!" She reached awkwardly for the food bag strapped onto her back. "I helped mmmyself to somme snnacks!" Calliope offered the bag to her colleagues, just as the pink man stirred.

After Lux managed to slip her shoe back on without falling flat onto her backside, she found herself in yet another daze, her mind blanking for a moment as she stared off into the sky with a dull look on her face. She swayed a on her feet before shaking herself off her stupor at the announcement and offer of snacks...hopefully, there were sweets! “Snaaacks ‘ound yummy....” she mumbled, wandering back over to Calliope, Astrid and the pathetic peon who...was, of course, beginning to rouse, ruining Lux’s pleasant mood.

Astrid didn't like being brushed off when it came to her pretty dress suggestion, surely Calliope should join them in being pretty. She also didn't appreciate the comment about being drunk, they all had access to drinks with their meal and it wasn't her fault Calliope didn't indulge. Taking a few crab legs out of the bag that had been offered, the Lunar chieftain began to plot a way to force the Solar's wardrobe change.

"Where am I?" He muttered, rolling onto his back and falling back asleep. Calliope wasn't the only one with a bit of brain damage.

The man started snoring and snorting again...what a piece of work. That he could forget that he assaulted Calliope like that—even if he was hit in the head with a shoe and kicked by Astrid, there was no excuse, Lux felt an odd urge to hiss at the man much like a cat...so, she did, not even remembering that Astrid had earlier assumed the form of a housecat. The small girl's hiss drew Astrid's attention, briefly distracting her from her plotting, and eliciting a surprised, "Mew?" Popping a piece of meat into her mouth, she briefly wondered if the girl could speak cat, maybe commune with other animals.

"Does he have annny idenntificationn?" Calliope asked, gracelessly finding her way to her feet.

There was something stately about the man's appearance. His clothes were practical, but made of strong material. His well-kept shock of flowing white hair was distinctive, similar to Calliope herself, but westernized just enough that he seemed foreign. He had nice leather shoes with shining brass buckles, and a set of traveler's trousers, paired with an aristocratic frock.

Calliope picked her sword up off the ground, and pointed it at the man's face. "Search him."

Lux made no motions toward the idiot for a moment and merely leered at him, her lips pursed. Not really even wanting to touch him, Lux instead moved her foot out, and poked his ribs a few times with the tip of her shoes. At this point, Lux was feeling relatively sure that he wasn’t a threat anymore, just a nuisance and a nimrod. “Y’okay, gonna...do that.” Lux somewhat reluctantly obliged, kneeling over, “Goin’ guess, t'is a’distant...rel’tive?” she idly asked, as she knelt over and started to aimlessly poke at the pink man’s clothes, reaching into any stray pocket she found, finding little more than miscellanea, including what looked like several random pieces of a...jigsaw puzzle? What?

"Distannnt relative?" Calliope wondered. "I have nnno relatives outside of mmy mmother lannd!" The princess utilized the tip of her sword to open up his coat, exposing what appeared to be yellow embroidery. "What does it say?" She asked insistently.

The unconscious man was no longer of interest to Astrid, he was unconscious and therefore unable to run or fight, which meant he was effectively invisible to her currently. Gaze locked onto Calliope, she barely understand the girl's command to search the whelp. As Lux made her way towards the man, Astrid advanced a bit of a ways behind her, as if to follow Calliope's orders. However when within range of Calliope, she reached out towards the girl, placing a hand on either shoulder, and ripping the sleeves off her robe, while screaming out, "Peerdy Dreeeesssssshhhhhh," as if it were a battle-cry.

Before Lux was able to manage out an answer, she found herself rather distracted by the sound of tearing fabric, which caused her to turn her gaze back toward both Astrid and Calliope. A hiccup came from the inebriated Terrestrial, and she giggled a bit. Silly Astrid....

"Astrid!!" Calliope cried in annoyance. [color=#FE6979]"What has possessed you?!"
Calliope ripped the robe sleeve out of the chieftain's hand, indignantly throwing her arms down at her sides like a child throwing a fit. As if suddenly incapable of complex sentences Astrid, with wild eyes locked onto Calliope, she simply grunted out "You! Perdy dresh! Like meh!" Hooking her thumb back to point at herself while standing with the other hand on her hip, the Lunar eyed the princess, obstinate about getting the Solar to join the club of pretty dresses. Ready to continue her onslaught should the need arise, she swayed slightly while waiting for Calliope to acquiesce.

Lux did have to admit that she did like the idea of Calliope getting a pretty dress too—she and Astrid both already had one! Getting up to her feet, the little Dragon-Blooded bounced excitedly onto the tips of her toes at the prospect of the three of them matching, it’d be so much fun~ “Pr’tty dress, pr’etty dreeeess....” she quietly cheered in a rather giddy manner.

Calliope growled, her gaze flickering between the dumbfounding Astrid and the man in question. She thought and schemed of some plan to get her way, but there seemed to be but one option... and she wasn't going to like it. There was no use arguing with the Lunar, as psychotic as she was. Astrid was clearly her match in strength and dexterity, maybe even while inebriated.

"If you aid mme, I will," she sighed in frustration, closing her eyes and furrowing her brow. "I will do the pretty dress. Now what does that say?" Calliope kept her blade at the man's throat.

Lux squealed in delight as Calliope agreed. However, though, the subject of the embroidery had all been forgotten by Lux, her thought process still rather simplistic, the clarity she’d acquired before had all but faded. The Solar’s inquiry fell on deaf ears as Lux clapped her hands together in delight.

With a wild grin, Astrid half picked up and half tackled Calliope, holding her up and spinning with her while gracelessly giggling and laughing. "Yezsh!" Having to shift back into her Beastman form might have very well sobered her up, perish the thought! Throwing Calliope slightly into the air, she caught her again with a bearhug around her waist, and buried her face into the girl's stomach, rubbing her face against it like a cat marking family. "We'z all gerna be sho perdy! Shzave tha day! Sho Kawaii!" (Kawaii presumably being a High Realm word for cute which wouldn't register on anyone who didn't speak High Realm due to Fakharu's translation magic)

“Ka...kawaiiiiiii! Goin’ be so...k’waii~” Lux mimicked Astrid, tipping herself to and fro as she hummed a nonsensical little tune.

"I ish gone ta waatch the prizoner!" Setting Calliope down as gently as could be managed in her inebriated state, she stalked over to the unconscious man and grabbed him by his hair, beginning to set off in the direction of Nagasani, dragging the poor soul behind her. At least, where she had last seen the entourage. The man moaned in pain, but aside from that, he hardly stirred.

Calliope followed Astrid reluctantly, but with her captive in the hands of the Lunar, she had no other choice.

Lux followed along, happily humming to herself—she was so excited!

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