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Mal Mayfair


0 · 675 views · located in Aires

a character in “Birthstone Spirits: The Revival”, as played by Retrovertigo




Name: Malcolm “Mal” Mayfair
Age: 20
Height: 6’3”
Eyes : Green
Hair: Brown
Nation: United States

Image Fast Facts :

* Mal is an only child. Once he hated this and wished his parents had at least another child so he wouldn’t feel so alone. After his mother died and Mal was left alone with his father he was grateful that that no one else had to put up with the man.

* Mal’s mother died when he was eight years old in a boating accident. Some believe there may be foul play involved on the part of Mal’s father who was the only other person on the small yacht at the time. Nothing has ever been proven and Mal has always kept his opinion on the matter to himself.

* With an IQ of over one hundred and forty Mal is a certified genius. He finished school quite early having attended the best boarding schools in the U.S. His studies lean more towards ancient history, anthropology, sociology and various mythologies. He’s currently taking a break from higher education to figure out exactly what he wants to do. Follow in his father’s footsteps or break out on his own.

Likes: Old Books – Autumn – New Wave Music – Ancient History – Being Right – Learning
Dislikes: His father - Cheap Beer – Being Ignored – Condescension – Deep Water – Big Cities

The Heirophant:
To most people Malcolm Mayfair’s life would seem charmed. The only son of publishing magnate Michael Mayfair, Malcolm has never wanted for anything material having grown up in the lap of luxury in a picturesque New England town. A place Malcolm’s mother insisted they lived having grown to detest the hustle and bustle of New York City even if Mals father rarely made an appearance.

It wasn’t until Vivienne Mayfair’s death twelve years ago that Mal actually began to learn exactly who his father was. A ruthless man in business and in his personal life he seldom had time for his young son. Michael especially had little patience for Malcolm’s precociousness and advanced intellect choosing to send his son to a series of boarding schools. Invariably when he did spend time with Mal he was cold, distant and disparaging thinking that spending time with his son was taking him away from more important pursuits. Namely money and women.

As Mal excelled in school, striving to impress his father any way he could Michael began criticizing his son constantly hoping to turn Malcolm into someone worthy to succeed him. Eager to please Malcolm would do anything his father said, would be anything his father said until he realized that nothing he ever did would be enough for the man. Eventually his need to please turned towards apathy. The Mayfair’s settled into a life of quiet resentment and neglect.
Now having graduated university Mal had a decision to make. To proceed towards graduate school and pursue studies that actually interested him or put the business degree he’d gotten to please his father to use immediately by taking a job in Mayfair Media. Having been given an ultimatum by his father Malcolm had until the end of summer to come to a decision. Join his father at Mayfair Media or be cut off indefinitely.

So begins...

Mal Mayfair's Story


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yasmin De La Rosa Character Portrait: Xabier Sanchez Character Portrait: Dorian Steinsson Character Portrait: Pene Michaels Character Portrait: Angela Taylor Character Portrait: Ron Muller
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Tallyho heard a soft echo in her ear, the voice of the young woman who looked so panicked before. She was grabbing Tallyho’s hand, tugging firmly to lead her away. The blonde offered a low grunt, thick and unladylike, as all the weight in her waif body seemed to sink to her hips, holding her heavy in the grass like a stone at the bottom of a river or like a paper weight.

“I can’t…” she slurred drearily. “I need water.”

Tallyho Abel had a very firm idea of what her threshold was for giving up, and sometimes it wasn’t very high. Finessing herself out of the tree was enough for the day, with this fainting spell coming up it didn’t look like running was in the books for her. Even as the girl tugged at her arm, she half way fought to keep put. If she ran in this condition, she’d only pass out and hold the girl back in a vulnerable space.

She was so out of it that she didn’t even get the satisfaction out of watching someone take her advice. She didn’t hear the curdling hack of the warrior’s sword in the cyclopean’s neck, or the tingle of small onyx shards raining on the width of his blade.

What she did notice was a soft rumble in the ground. She begrudgingly attempted to sit up again, hoping that the quaking she felt was a figment of her own nausea. And yet, there was a shake. She could tell by the way that the trees wavered and the leaves rustled. She let in a sharp breath, throwing one hand over to brush the other girl’s leg—a non-verbal gesture that essentially said, “Not today Satan,” if there were such a figure in Airesian lore.

She turned her eyes to the horizon, everything around them just seemed to keep going. The metal machines that roamed the roads continued to move, undisturbed by the disturbance under the earth. And the people that she could see far beyond the confines of this small corner of greenspace were the same way. But the trees—they were shaking.

And then there was a light, a growing dome that seemed to creep from between the tall buildings in the horizon, and toward the lawn where this slain creature lay scattered. It was slow at first, but as the blinding spectacle came closer it seemed to come faster, and the earthquake more intense. With the light came a fantastic gust of wind that licked back Tallyho’s hair in a sudden woosh.

Tallyho, if she wasn’t already dreaming, was going to die today. The wall of light wasn’t stopping. And as it hurdled toward her and the other girl, the wind felt increasingly suffocating. She always knew that if she was going to die young, it was going to be on her own terms. But now, she supposed, that she was too young to know everything. Blinded, she closed her eyes, held her breath, and let the wall of energy crash into her very being.

What came next was like experiencing death while still being very alive, at least from Tallyho’s perspective. It wasn’t that she was reviewing every memory that encompassed her life, or watching her body from high up, cursing herself to get up. It was a different kind of ethereal removal, a feeling that she was floating in the center of nothing and everything. She was floating in this nothingness for eternity, incubated and healed of all that ailed her only moments before. The dizziness, nausea, and heaviness in her heart was spooned from her body and spilled far away.

Another light flickered in the distance, but it was nothing like the frightening wall of energy that brought her here. It was warmer, sparser, like a single laser pointing to the center of the universe. It grew, but slowly.

Tallyho no longer felt like she was floating. Something cold pressed against her soles, and the pull of gravity felt gradually more apparent. Below her feet, a sprinkling of small white balls of light, almost like stars in a night sky, dotted a path running toward the light.

Beneath the transparent path of stars, a murky body of water was churning as if it wavered in a storm. And then she looked up, catching a glimpse of a flock of twelve large birds. They, glided above her gracefully, a mass exodus of white underbellies toward the warmth of the light. Their bellies were soft and round and their gentle coos rang throughout the space. Before her she saw the path of light. But what was behind her? She turned around to see a wide gaping vortex of blue and black.

And as if on cue, it was like the houselights came on in the theatre. It wasn’t that the darkness was gone, but gradually the blonde was able to make out the forms of the other people around her. There weren’t many, she actually recognized most of them: The girl who tried to help her, the warrior, and other blonde, the man with the loud machine, the fighting trio. And there were even a couple who Tallyho hadn’t really noticed before. She wondered if they saw all that she had seen and felt everything she felt. Could they see her as well as she could see them? The answers to all of these questions were more likely than not going to be yes. She took a step forward. Physically she felt great. It was like she never jumped out of the tree or was on the verge of throwing up. She wondered if those who had been wounded felt similar effects. She wondered if they also felt an inexplicable pressure to make a decision.

“I think,” she began, pausing briefly to behold the way that her voice reverberated throughout the space. “That I’m going to go that way...”

She pointed toward the softer light that was moving ever closer. That’s the direction in which the twelve birds flew and the warped vortex on the other end of the path didn’t seem particularly inviting. In any normal situation Tallyho would have questioned the logistics of such an experience. But something about this made her want to act based on her most primal instincts.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yasmin De La Rosa Character Portrait: Xabier Sanchez Character Portrait: Dorian Steinsson Character Portrait: Pene Michaels Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Angela Taylor
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Roísin O Connor

As panic took hold of Roísin’s body she could feel all her muscles lock with tension, her stomach revisiting that nauseous feeling from this morning, her vision blurry with hot tears, her lungs burning with the desire for more than the shallow breaths she was taking, her ears could only hear the distant shouts of others, a few loud bangs and her heart beating furiously in her chest. For a moment she felt as if her ribs would shatter and break. She was vaguely aware of a man stepping in front of her but she could not make out his face nor the words he said, her eyes were focused on the 9 ft tall creature only a few feet away from her. It screamed, she tried to scream but nothing would come out of her mouth. She could almost imagine how she looked, as people around moved quickly and decidedly as merely a frightened woman. Hunched over, paler than usual, with a white knuckle grip on her phone Roísin had heard of the fight or flight response before, in fact she spoke about it often when she described her heroes and their stories and had always thought that she would be a fighter-considering how many arguments she got into. But never did she expect that she would freeze.

The shattering of the creature broke the spell over her in the same why the monster broke into a hundred shining black pieces. Roísin was overcome with gratefulness that it was gone and fell to her knees and slowing she began to get her senses and emotions other than fear back. Though what also washed over her was shame and guilt that she had done little but be a screaming girl in the background. She cursed herself, having always loudly condemned female characters in stories that did nothing while a man saved them. And a mystery man to top it off, her eyes flickered to Dorian while she rubbed away her tears who was inspecting the onyx shards and her heart began to beat a little faster for her would be rescuer, it didn’t matter in that moment that the strangely clothed man had probable been trying to save himself, he had saved her by proxy. And Roísin was grateful. Reaching out with her right hand she grabbed one of the glittering pieces and stuffed it in her bag- no doubt when she calmed and told a story about this later she’d want some evidence it actually happened. She then became aware of a cramp in her left hand, where she still clung onto her phone. Needing some comfort of home Roísin dialled the number of her mother, not really caring what time it was back in Ireland.

“Dia duit mo ghrá” [Hello my love] her mother answered into the receiver.
Roísin almost started to cry once more, with relief she felt completely safe while listening to her mothers voice.
“Dia duit mo chroí” [Hello my heart] she replied. “Ní bheidh tú buille faoi thuairim cad a tharla sa lá atá inniu. A ollphéist agus fear...” [You’ll never guess what happened today. There was a monster and a man...].

Upon saying the words monster and man Roísin’s eyes looked at the pile of jewels and at Dorian who looked...bright? She trailed off from her mother as she squinted at the warrior man, it wasn’t he who bright but a brightness coming towards them, the ground beneath her started to quake as adrenaline and fear revisited her as quickly as they had come before.

“Buíochas le Dia! Uimh! Níl, níl mé ag iarraidh go bás.” [Oh my god! No! No, no I don’t want to die] she almost whispered into the speaker of the phone. It seemed like even if she ran it would do no good. She watched helplessly as she saw others collide with the dome of light. It would be her next. “Is breá liom tú” [I love you]. That was the last thing Roísin said to her mother and as she could hear her mother screaming her name the light came upon her in a rush and she was swept up in a hale of wind and then. Silence.

If death felt like this, this disconnection, this nothingness yet she could still feel her body but almost as if it was far away. Almost like the place between awake and sleeping when you know you are in a dream. It wasn’t so bad. It wasn’t so bad to be dead. After what seemed like an eternity and also seconds Roísin became aware of other around her. As she lay still on the floor she leaned to see a blonde girl already walking towards a very inviting path. Roísin wanted to follow this woman, her own body was light and calm, no longer filled with anxiety and last night’s bad decisions. As she got to her feet she heard a thud, her phone clamored to the ground. And as clear as day see could see the words “Máthair [mother] Disconnected."

Cold tears slid down Roísin's cheeks as she reached for the phone and stared at the screen. Her mind was telling her to walk away, to move towards the light but she found herself trying to call her mother back only to hear the long, lonely beeps of a connection not being able to get through. Her face scrunched up as she tried again, and again, silently sobbing a little harder with each failed attempt. "I...I can't get through ah, I, I can't get in touch with my mother" she said quietly, defeatedly, hoping that this was a dream.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yasmin De La Rosa Character Portrait: Xabier Sanchez Character Portrait: Dorian Steinsson Character Portrait: Pene Michaels Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Angela Taylor
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A week ago Tallyho would have said that she was indifferent toward the idea of death. It wasn’t that she thought that life on the other side would be a bed of roses, it’s just that she decided that there wasn’t much to look forward to. Especially so after her 16th birthday, the year when she learned that girls like her weren’t allowed to live their lives and do what they wanted. That a girl was raised to clean and cook and bed whichever loser a council of old welted fruits chose for her. That she had to sing hard, dance harder, or, if she was talentless like Tallyho, work admissions for a performance she’s heard a million times. And yet, the girl here in this space of everything and nothing yearned to hear that performance again.

Tallyho, though she’d always been a relatively independent young woman, was somewhat relieved to see that she wasn’t going to be walking into the light alone. Although she hesitated when one girl started crying and another went over to help her. The blonde stopped to look at them, now unsure of her choice. The girls were huddled over their small rectangular slabs, swiping their pale fingers against its shiny, glowing surface. She would have taken that time to finally ask what those contraptions were had she not noticed the change in the waves below them. The water seemed restless and she could feel the faint tapping of deep vibrations from the star path at her feet.

“I really think we should go,” she said louder than before. She blurted this out uncomfortably, offended by the sound of her own voice and the way it ground against the acoustics of the space. Although to be fair, her voice sounds much lovelier than she thinks it does. She halfway hoped that the warrior would follow her advice again and get the rest of them to budge. Sometimes all it took for a woman to be heard was the cooperation of a man who, in recounting his choice, would say that it was his idea all along. That’s how that half of the human race worked.

The blonde flinched, sucking air through her teeth as a cold wave of water billowed up on the path and took a lick at her feet. More waves seemed to follow suit. The water was rising and it didn’t seem like they had much time to meander in the void any longer. It was now or never.

Tallyho glanced pleadingly at the group. “Now,” she huffed before turning on the balls of her feet and making a sprint toward the light. The warmth enveloped her and she performed what felt like a nosedive into the sun.


There were birds chirping and Tallyho basked in the warmth that settled on her back. She was lying face down and could feel the texture of dry grass pressing onto her cheek. Her pink lips curled into a half smile but her eyes were still shut. She knew it was all a dream, but didn’t care much to know that she wasn’t in her tent, only that she felt alive. She felt a sudden jut in her side from a hard metal object. It wasn’t particularly painful, but it was the kind of sensation that made you scream “OW” just because you were shocked and not because you were actually in pain. She recoiled, gasping for air as her eyes bugged out and she floundered in the opposite direction of the probe.

Bleary-eyed, she made out the image of a red-faced older man with thick grey tufts in his salt and pepper hair. He wore a white cotton shirt, dirty and untucked from thin brown trousers reminiscent of potato sacks. In his hands was the long garden hoe that he used to wake her up, jabbing her in the side like she was a tiny spud fresh from the dirt. She was lying in a field of wheat, which made Tallyho wonder why he didn’t wield a sickle. She fixated her jaw to scream but could only let out a winded wimper-huff.

The man, unbothered looked out into the distance and called out.

“Mary, get th’ boss. It looks like ther’re a lot of em!”

A lot of them? Surely he didn’t mean the others from the strange dream? Tallyho began her scramble backwards, attempting to work her way into standing upright. The man looked back at her, noticing her discomfort. His voice was stern and intimidating.

“Now look here girl. I don’t know what you and yer friends were stealing from this farm but yer gonna have to answer to the big guy now.”

The big guy? Friends??

“I don’t know what you’re talking about…”

“Don’t play dumb, girl!” his voice rose dramatically.

“I’m not playing anything.” She replied sternly.

“What’s going on out here?” a voice from the distance implored. Tallyho couldn’t see the voice’s owner over the wheat, but it sounded finer, not fancy but any means, but much smoother than the voice of the man in front of her. Younger too.

“We’ve got thieves!” The older man howled.

Tallyho hoisted herself onto her feet and the man posed to stop her as if she were about to make a run for it. She turned toward the other voice.

Before her was a grand old house. The wood was old but she could tell that the building had antiquity rather than rats. Around her was an expanse of land, cultivated into rows and rows of crops and wheat. Around her stood other people she hadn’t seen before, many of whom were men of varying looks and ages who wielded gardening tools. They seemed to be looking down at the ground in front of them. Tallyho wondered if they waking up those others? They couldn’t be here right?

“Oh right, I was expecting guests.”

Tallyho looked back over at the house where she saw a young man taking a huff of a cigar that seemed far too rich for this backdrop. He wasn’t overly extravagant, his pants looked like they were made of a nicer material, but he wore a plain white button down (similar to those of many of the men in the field). The only difference was that his shirt was clean. His hair, a tuft of brilliant auburn, was slicked back with a mannish care—groomed, but not too meticulous. His gray eyes scanned the field and when they landed on Tallyho she grew rigid. He didn’t seem particularly amused or bothered by her reaction, in all honesty he seemed a bit deadpan, like he’d done and seen all of this before.

He popped the cigar out of his mouth and let out a huff of smoke. He put it out in an ash tray presented to him in a timely fashion by a woman with the mark of a big scar on her face. It looked old and well worn, like she’d gotten it years ago. When she caught Tallyho staring she rolled her eyes and smirked, causing the blonde to glance away.

Once everyone woke up the young man spoke again. “Dinner’s almost ready and I’m sure you all have a lot of questions. Let’s get you cleaned up and settled and we can chat maybe?”


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yasmin De La Rosa Character Portrait: Xabier Sanchez Character Portrait: Dorian Steinsson Character Portrait: Pene Michaels Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Angela Taylor
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Willow had awoken this afternoon to a slight burning on her neck as the emerald choker she wore grew hotter she sat up quickly and looked around. After a few seconds the burning stopped, Willow looked in the mirror her blue eyes slowly adjusting to her dark apartment as she found her clock it was pretty late in the day and she had a paper to work on. With a low sigh she stood up and grabbed her brush running it through her mated red hair quickly before throwing on a black t-shirt and a pair of black leggings.

She left her apartment and had made it halfway down the hall before she remembered to grab her backpack 'Ah! why can't i ever remember my stuff?' she asked herself internally as she face-palmed quickly before shouldering the large galaxy colored backpack. Now finally at her door she looked out at central park 'Might as well take a walk since i already slept away the day, stupid all nighters... .' she thought before running across the street quickly a tinge of pain coming from hr throat as the choker grew hot once again igniting a fear in her as she remembered the last time that had happened and how she woke up in the middle of the woods next to a half eaten rabbit, Willow shuddered as she shook the thoughts from her mind and looked out at the park the scent of grass filling her nose. Willow felt immediately at ease surrounded by grass and trees and let out a content sigh closing her eyes to listen, only to hear a loud commotion, her head wiped to the east and suddenly her choker was a sun on her neck. Blackness, all around her was darkness, Willow felt like she was floating in her own mind and she was " Shit! Not again..." she said to herself her voice clearly afraid of the darkness.

Willow's body had frozen for a moment as her eyes shifted to an emerald green and her lips parted in a confident smile as the earth took her over one bit at a time. This was not Willow in the earthly sense as she had been, for the second time, awakened to her powers allowing the great earth spirits to take over and use her body as she lie dormant in her mind though the spirits could hear her they didn't much care for the girls wishes. Earth Willow broke into an inhumanly fast sprint her black sneakers barely touching the well kept grass as she went "Yes, freedom at last!" she said loudly to herself. It had been less than a minute when she reached the commotion that was a battle with a cyclonean. Earth Willow smirked at the death of the vulgar creature and noticed the trees were shaking as the world around her suddenly became silent and the pillar of light that led back to the spirits home world opened, she saw a couple humans go forth into the pillar and felt as though she was forgetting something before she shook her head " I'm going home." she said with a cocky grin and ran full speed into the pillar ignoring the others as she plunged into the pillar like a child into a warm bath. Light, all around her was light.

Willow had awoken from the darkness to be surrounded by light, her hands felt grass below her and she took in the scents around her suddenly she heard voices and sat up with a start.

“Mary, get th’ boss. It looks like ther’re a lot of em!”

“Now look here girl. I don’t know what you and yer friends were stealing from this farm but yer gonna have to answer to the big guy now.”

The big guy? Friends??

“I don’t know what you’re talking about…”

“Don’t play dumb, girl!” his voice rose dramatically.

“I’m not playing anything.” She replied sternly.

“What’s going on out here?” a voice from the distance implored.

“We’ve got thieves!” The older man howled.

“Oh right, I was expecting guests.”

“Dinner’s almost ready and I’m sure you all have a lot of questions. Let’s get you cleaned up and settled and we can chat maybe?”

Willow stared at the man in complete confusion as she stood up looking at the field around her as a panic built in her slightly her eyes rested on the very large house that must have been the well dressed mans. She walked closer to a blonde girl who had been the source of one of the voices earlier than she looked to the man with a calm face and asked with a slight sharpness, 'Where in the hell are we? And how did we get here?" she added a slight flirty smile at the end without actually noticing she had done so. Her choker had gone cold now and she felt as if she had forgotten something important as the spirit inside became as unaware as she was to her powers and the world she had now entered leaving only a faint remembrance of what it had to do, protect.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yasmin De La Rosa Character Portrait: Xabier Sanchez Character Portrait: Dorian Steinsson Character Portrait: Pene Michaels Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Angela Taylor
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Dorian fought the urge to sink down to his knees in the grass- and it had to be grass although it was so lush and vibrant- and simply breathe for a moment. He’d probably been awake for nearing twenty-two hours at this point, and he’d just fought what was most likely the most interesting battle of his life thus far. All he wanted to do was have a seat, maybe drink a bit of water, and then figure out what in Her Fury was going on.

He refrained, however. It was a matter of dignity as a soldier not to show weakness in front of strangers, especially when representing Hales. Also the strange others had begun converging on the area where he stood, whooping and chattering loudly in a bizarre mix of Common and some things entirely foreign to him or pocketing shards of the shattered Cyclopean like so many curious little baubles, which, alright, sort of weird.

He’d heard of people collecting the supposed relics of Month Warriors* to display, but never of Cyclopeans. Okay, yes, he’d taken up the shards first, but he had fought the thing and had to take a victor’s prize, and it seemed relevant to get something like this back home where people might like to know that a creature that shattered into onyx shards was stalking the tundra. He’d never expected to be a trendsetter, and these strangers seemed like they were more inclined towards such morbid things as collectables, even after said creature had attempted to slaughter a few of them.

*He’d seen one such relic at a little church his grandmother had taken him to. The main draw had been the favorite left shoe of June for pilgrims, placed on a dais for pilgrims to worship. Dorian had never quite understood why it had been June’s favorite left shoe rather than shoe overall, but he’d been too afraid to ask given that his grandmother was in one of her “religious fervors”.

He frowned a little or, to be more precise, his permanent scowl lost even more of its pleasantness as he wandered away from these flippant strangers, already more concerned about his wound than their magpie-like tendencies. His arm had begun to ache as the adrenaline wore off, even if the jagged wound was now only bleeding sluggishly. It was at least a clean cut, Dorian realized as he tore at the hole in his jacket, then shirt sleeve, exposing the wound to his sight. No dirt, not deep enough to really butcher the muscles, no obvious signs of poison or immediate infection because who knew where those claws had been? He would live, Dorian decided as he pulled out a scarf from his pack* and began to dress the wound. Probably.

*Most Hales soldiers carry around scarves in order to wrap them around their faces in the event of a snow storm or to ward off frost-bite. Dorian’s was oddly patterned, lop-sided and just plain ugly, the victim of one of his mother’s first attempts to knit something. He knew he’d have to work very hard to put on a sad face when he explained to his mother why he’d had to throw it away.

If Dorian hadn’t been quite so tired or quite so wounded, perhaps he would have taken a moment instead to try to adjust to his new surroundings. Maybe he would have spotted the cars still trundling by in late afternoon traffic. Maybe he would have admired the skyscrapers dominating the skyline a little more, beacons of man’s ingenuity. However, he did not, and, really, it was just as well because he wasn’t exactly going to get a chance to go sight-seeing.

He felt the rumble before he saw it, the tremor not violent but still enough to set his nerves on edge. The trees were swaying, the wind picking up into a violent fervor as it whipped around him with sharp gusts and gales, and the ground beneath his feet began churning wildly before light was suddenly arcing over the horizon, racing to engulf them all. Dorian dropped into a sturdy, defensive stance, the only thing he had a chance to do before the light had swallowed him up.

His only thought, drifting or perhaps flying or maybe even staying completely still in the void was something akin to “here we go again”. Did these things happen to other people because Dorian was starting to think that it was just him. At least this sudden bizarre trip through space didn’t include a Cyclopean appearing in flashes around him like a demented firefly or like what he imagined a firefly to be. There was none of the panic of last time, none of the fear and anger. Just frustration linked with exhaustion and a certain surrender as his entirety began to shift with the environment around him. He wasn’t used to it, but at least he had a better idea of what to expect than last time.

He waited patiently as the world began to grow clear again, something solid appearing under his feet. It was already an improvement from bursting out of the ground like a hare wriggling out of its burrow. What he’d mistaken for the sea of stars lay underfoot, now revealed as a solid path of the Heavens, glittering as if a beacon over a murky lake, urging him to follow it to the warm, dull light ahead. It wasn’t very frightening, Dorian thought, if only because he had only the swirling dark vortex behind him and the rough waters below to compare it to. Honestly, it seemed downright inviting.

It took a moment for Dorian to realize that he wasn’t alone in this strange abyss. He could see those who had made their appearances during the fight and some he’d not managed to catch sight of in the midst of everything around him on the path. Many clutched little rectangles that lit their faces with an eerie, unnatural glow. The most normally dressed blonde seemed confident enough to approach the light by herself, not defiant or curious but resigned to their only option. One of the girls began to cry before his sword-profferer moved to her side with soothing words. Or at least probably soothing words. She was speaking quietly and waving about one of those rectangles, and Dorian strained to understand as he tried to knock some of the mental dust off of his knowledge of Common.

He began to move too, closer to the back as he took in his surroundings. One of the girls- the girl with the cats and curlier hair than he’d ever seen- had gravitated to his side, close but not quite too close.

"I just really need someone to relate to right now so.. I am really really scared.."

It took him a moment to understand her, especially as she was murmuring, but he caught the gist of it. While Dorian had never been particularly good as comforting people, something that he’d come to accept long ago as a fact of life, but he could relate. He leafed through his mental dictionary of Common, trying to come up with a coherent sentence.

“No fear.” He tried. Ineloquent, but he was sure it made some sort of point, even if it wasn’t what he wanted to say.

But the water was rising now, becoming more and more violent as it sought to overtake the path of stars. The people were moving slowly or not moving at all. Maybe there was a reason to fear after all?

“I really think we should go.”

It was the blonde woman again, already so near to the light as she glanced back at those still lingering, worried for them perhaps or just sensing the awe still instilled in everyone and not being completely terrible.

Dorian cottoned on rather quickly. The waves were more violent now, and some people had yet to really get moving. He, not being a complete bastard (regardless of what those who fought him said) turned to the few still around him at the back, particularly the cat girl still by his side and the woman most concerned with her rectangle who was wearing far fewer clothes than Dorian could quite fathom, battling his words, rusty with misuse.

“Us go.”

No, that wasn’t right.

“We go now.”

Almost, but not quite.

“No fear, yes?”

Fine. Good enough. He’d worry about modifiers and grammar and sentence structure later when there wasn’t a threat hovering over his head. The language was blossoming again on his tongue, weighted down with the Koran accent in the Hales region* and the flipping through the mental pages of his Common dictionary. It was coming easier, at least.

*The Hales accent is something that sounds like an odd mix between Russian and Swiss. The closer to Kora you’re from, the more Russian the accent, giving city-folks a harsher appearance vocally than those who dwell in villages.
And he was moving now, jogging than running as the waves began to wet the path before he too threw himself into the light.

Dorian awoke on his back, sunlight nearly blinding him. The world had changed again, and now he was surrounded by a field of what he thought was wheat, golden crops reaching skyward and completely masking the rest of his view. He struggled to his feet wearily, wondering where on Aires he could be now. Not Hales, clearly. Apparently that would be too convenient.

A cry of pain, or at least shock, cut through the air, and he stood a little quicker as argument quickly followed. He could pick out some of the others now, gazing above the grain. It was the blonde woman again, facing down a farmer of some sort, howling about thieves and arguing with her. Dorian, for lack of any other option, trudged from his landing-spot cradling his injured arm, moving forward just as a red-haired man entered the fray.

He was dressed plainly, but the cigar dangling from his lips spoke of something more wealthy than the old man grumbling before him. The entire image was made even more aristocratic by the proffered ashtray, held up by a woman with a scarred, smirking face.

“Dinner’s almost ready and I’m sure you all have a lot of questions. Let’s get you cleaned up and settled and we can chat maybe?”

Those were the first words Dorian really caught, and they were automatically the only words that mattered. He hadn’t eaten in a while, and while his stomach did not let out a well-timed growl, he began to feel the ache. Besides, the offer of getting cleaned up and maybe some sort of answers was not to be passed up.

One girl didn’t seem keen to wait, already demanding answers with an odd smile. Dorian bit back a sigh before stepping a little closer, gesturing to his arm. He didn’t like being needy, but, well, he did need.

“And bandage too, please?” Ah, that sounded about right. It was still a bit stiff, but the language was coming back to him a bit.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yasmin De La Rosa Character Portrait: Xabier Sanchez Character Portrait: Dorian Steinsson Character Portrait: Pene Michaels Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Angela Taylor
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The woman with the scar retreated into the house with the man’s half-smoked cigar crumpled at the bottom of a delicate porcelain dish. She handled the saucer with a rough familiarity. The man shifted on his weight, wincing a bit at the small flirty smile that punctuated the red head girl’s coarse disregard of his suggestion to ask questions later. He placed his hands behind his back and stood straight, a pose reminiscent of a high military official with far too much influence.

“My name is Haru, this is my farm,” he began. His voice was crisp and clear, every sentence he spoke held an air of old authority and legitimacy, something that didn’t match his youthful appearance. He spoke like an old king but looked like a fun-loving prince. “You’re in a very faraway place from where this chaos began. But I truly believe that these questions are best answered sitting down.”

The young man perked up to an interruption from an unfamiliar voice with a very familiar accent.

“And bandage too, please?”

Haru tilted his chip up and appraised the warrior through hooded eyes. “Yes,” he said calmly. “I’m sure some of you need bandaging too.” He turned to the men in the field, who had since set their tools in the high grass. “Scout out the injured and take them to the back to have their wounds cleaned and tended to.” They immediately obeyed, scanning the group for open wounds so that they could help hoist them up and escort them to the infirmary for a quick patch.

“For the rest of you, please, come in. We have plenty of bed space.” Haru stepped to the side, clearing a path for the ragtag group. The woman with the scar came out of the house and back onto the porch. She nodded approvingly at the group, encouraging them to step forward.

Tallyho, being so close to the front of the group, felt obliged to step forward first. She looked around, paranoid that if she moved too slowly two men would grab her arms and hoist her up the stairs. She moved carefully, making it to the porch without any further “assistance.”

She wasn’t drawn to the porch in the same way that she was drawn to the light. Back in that space, she unquestionably trusted that what she was about to do was the right thing. This time, such certainty was foreign to her. She didn’t go into the house because it felt like a safe haven, but rather because there was nothing left for her to do. She scanned the area for other forms of civilization: There were miles of wheat fields, a few scattered wooden houses (most likely reserved for the farm hands) a mountain range to the north, and a wide expanse of sky. If she declined this offer not only would she be at a loss for free food, but she might even be left to die with a group of people whose sense of self-preservation told them to do everything to a cyclopean but the one thing that would kill it.

The woman held the door open for Tallyho and all who happened to follow. She shimmied toward the front of the group and cleared her throat for their attention.

“We have three guest rooms in this house with 4 beds in each. You may take whichever room you like,” she turned to hike the stairs and lead them to their rooms. As Tallyho followed, she mulled over the math in her head and how many people had landed in the field. A bed for everyone? This farm seemed very prepared to receive them and it was a little off-putting.

The woman led them down a narrow hallway and gestured toward the three doors. “Choose any room you like, I will be bringing you fresh clothes. You might want to visit one of the bath houses nearby before dinner. They are separated by gender. To find them go downstairs and toward the back of the house. There will be two sheds—left for ladies, right for men.”

Without much of a goodbye the woman turned to leave.

Without thinking, Tallyho retreated into the room at the very end of the hall. The room was quite simple: Wooden floors and walls with a pair of parallel narrow beds on each side of the room. The blonde claimed one of the beds near the window and dug her knees into the mattress, which was packed with sheep’s wool. She’d never really had a bed that wasn’t a cluster of blankets on the floor of a tent or in the back of a wagon. She rubbed the fabric of the sheets between her fingers then glanced out of the window at the expanse of wheat.

Tallyho wasn’t sure what was going on, but she needed to make sure that she didn’t die tonight, especially after surviving the cyclopean. Being killed by anything less than that monstrosity would be a shame. It didn’t take long for the woman to come back into her room with a bundle of folded clothes. She slapped them down onto each bed haphazardly, only pausing to differentiate men’s trousers from women’s dresses, depending on who occupied the other beds. Tallyho gathered the dress into her arms. It was no more special than the dress she already wore: light and airy, perfect for the heat of a Solace summer. She could move around in it, which was a plus if Tallyho had to make any mad dashes.

Still without shoes, she gathered the new dress to her bosom and headed straight for the bath house.

She took a deep breath as she entered the shed. The air was thick and moist and hard to breathe through. She was greeted by an older woman, who sat next of a large cauldron of boiling water and another filled with chunks of ice in water. Upon seeing the blonde enter, she reached for a wooden bucket and dunked it into the boiling water before hobbling over to one of 4 separated stalls. She dumped the water into the small wooden tub and repeated the process (mixing the boiling water with the ice water) until the tub was filled up at an acceptable temperature. As she did so, she made small talk:

“Ye lot are very lucky to have this man taking care of ye,” she hummed in her thick common. “I was near m’sixties when m’son died. The only person taking care of me.”

The woman dumped another bucket.

“I came ‘ere and he let me in, gave me food and shelter… Something to do with m’time!” She looked at her bucket and laughed, her lungs sounded like they were full of cobwebs.

“When ye don’t have nowhere to go ye come ‘ere… He don’t care where ye been and where ye going. As long as you pull yer weight and don’t cause no trouble ye have a home here till you get back on yer feet.”

Tallyho replayed this woman’s statements as she sat in her bath stable. She curled into herself with her legs pulled up to her chest. Her knees looked like small crescent moons above the water. Why was she here, in this space for people with nowhere to go? She drafted questions in her head, planning to bring them to the attention of her host over what would hopefully be a very heavy dinner.

She finished her bath and draped herself in her new cotton dress. Later, she sat on a bench nearby a pump well next to the bath houses. She sat alone, attempting to smooth out wrinkles in a dress that was a little large and certainly wasn’t tailored for her figure. Her damp blonde hair curled and clung to her doe-like face.