Announcements: Universe of the Month! » Finding Universes to Join (and making yours more visible!) » Guide To Universes On RPG » Starter Locations & Prompts for Newbies » RPG Chat — the official app » USERNAME CHANGES » Suggestions & Requests: THE MASTER THREAD »

Latest Discussions: Impending Pursuit Q&A » Eudaimonia » Loot! » Natural Kinds » I have a funny idea » Life in the 21st century. » Song of the Runes » Plato’s Beard » Clues » Nihilism » Strange Tales From Hadean » Art Gulag [ Come get this Commish! ] » Visibility of Private Universes & Profile Customisation » Presuppositionalism » Aphantasia » Skill Trees - Good, Bad & Ugly » In-Game Gods & Gameplay Impact » Cunningham's Law » The Tribalism of Religion » Lost Library »

Players Wanted: Looking For A New Partner » Hellboy characters » 18+ Writing Partner [Fantasy, Romance, Etc.] » 18+, Multi-Para to Novella Writers please! » Looking for roleplayers » Fun tale full of angels, demons, and humans » Looking for roleplayers » A Fairytale World in Need of Heroes & Villains! » Are You a Crime Addict? » Wuxia RP » Looking for roleplayers » New Realistic Roleplay - Small World Life ٩( ´・ш・)و » Mentors Wanted » MV Recruiting Drive: sci-fi players wanted! » Veilbrand: The Revolution » Gonna do this anyway. » Looking for Kamen Rider Players » Elysium » Looking for roleplayers for a dystopian past! » Revamping Fantasy Adventure RPG, need new players »

0
followers
follow

Haru Sinwood

The Guardian of February

0 · 1,011 views · located in Aires

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

Description

Image
Haru Sinwood

Gender: MaleUnknown:Birthday
Age: UnknownAires:Home World
Height: 6'0Halesian (Salt Folk Ancestry) :Ethnicity


Background

Most who meet Haru might think of him as a simple, tobacco smoking land owner whose authoritarian personality "turns around" the lives of the wayward souls who find themselves working on his farm. However, not many (not even those on his farm) know much about Haru as a friend as he tends to keep to himself. But what they do take from interactions with him is that he's a strict, reserved man who's an incredibly hard worker and enjoys a good cigar. He has no family and no history in Solace. He showed up in the area about ten years ago, bought a farm, and offered a warm bed and a hot meal to any social outcast who was willing to earn his keep and turn his life around. Many say that since then, he hasn't aged a day.


The Warmonger

“The Red Commander” is a familiar name in some history books. It brings to mind the distant memory of a military commander from Hales who rose through the ranks quickly and showed so little mercy on the battlefield that he might have single-handedly contributed to much of the nation’s hostile stereotypes.

No one alive today could accurately recount how the red commander looked or how he was as a person, if he rose through the ranks fairly or not, or he even if he ever made himself vulnerable enough to love. But what if I told you that Haru, this brooding farmer based in the plains of Solace, was such a man? That the infamous Red Commander has lived on for years in disguise, waiting for the new month warriors?

When the original month warriors were born, each of them was granted a guardian angel of sorts that was sworn to protect and guide them. The Goddess assigned this special role to 12 souls so sinful and rotten in their past lives, that their only chance at eternal redemption was to see to it that the month warriors saved the human race. The deal was that once their mission was completed, their curse of immortality would be broken and they would be allowed to die peacefully without spiritual punishment. Haru Sinwood (or The Red One himself) was divinely charged with protecting the Warrior of February, a woman who, in his opinion, had melee skills that even the most ruthless of military personnel could admire. He was very serious about seeing the warriors complete their jobs thoroughly, and did everything in his power to make sure that they succeeded.

After losing the great battle and failing his mission, the former commander felt such a sting to his pride that he withdrew from the other guardians, relegating himself to wandering among the mortals in solitude and obscurity. He spent generations travelling through Aires, faking his death many times over, and earning riches and friendships only to gamble them away.

The first warriors were extremely impressive. They honed their powers quickly and worked as a team. But this time the Red Commander may have his work cut out for him. After all, humans have a tendency resist destiny. For better or worse.





Image


Traits
  • Prideful: Haru is extremely proud of his work and doesn't take kindly to any sabotage or failure. He would do anything to keep this group of warriors alive and this time it isn't as much about earning his spiritual salvation as much as it is about gesturing back to his (military) success as the Red Commander.
  • Cold Shoulder: Haru stiffens up at affection. In fact, he is a very unflirty individual and it would take a very special person to even begin to soften him up.
  • Smoker: Haru will smoke a cigar a day. In fact, if he doesn't start his morning with one, he's cranky for the rest of the day.


    Items
      [desc]
    • Cigar box and matchbook (Sulfur matches: small sticks of pinewood impregnated with sulfur).

So begins...

Haru Sinwood's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Heather Devereaux Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Calliope Alexander Character Portrait: Angela Taylor Character Portrait: Jules Fontaine Character Portrait: Haru Sinwood Character Portrait: Dorian Steinsson Character Portrait: Ron Muller Character Portrait: Aster Storm Character Portrait: Sorrell Hunt Character Portrait: Vegas Sinclair Character Portrait: James Labonair Character Portrait: Emerson Motlilio
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
Image
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
HEX COLOR | #510000
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

vegas had grown up in new york city.

this didn't mean she was immune to all weirdness, and the chaotic drama happening as people materialized on the ground was mostly easy to handle, as long as she didn't think too hard. sure, it was confusing, but she'd learned to prioritize and figure things out one step at a time. v had considered, strongly considered, just walking away and leaving the scene for the rest of the people to deal with, but the sudden burning pain from her choker convinced her otherwise.

she pulled the metal away from her skin, wondering what could possibly have caused such intense blistering pain. she noticed a few others tugging at accessories as well- perhaps whatever was bringing these people out of thin air reacted negatively with the metal. she unclasped the choker, sliding it into her pocket and hoping that some thief wouldn't snatch it.

it was clear that a pickpocket would be the least of her worries as soon as a man appeared from seemingly nowhere like the rest had. he was attractive enough, she supposed, but with how bundled up he was she couldn't really see much of him at all. the odd manner of dress reminded her of period pieces that she'd seen her father directing- clothing that she couldn't quite place, but seemed aged nonetheless. the girl backed away, careful to avoid the group clustered by the sidewalk.

it wasn't until screams of pedestrians sounded in her ears that vegas truly glanced back to the scene. a massive, godzilla-esque monster had appeared along with the mysterious strangers.

v wanted to run, to hide with the pedestrians, but something pulled her back towards the creature. she fished in her purse for a second before procuring a small can of pepper spray.

she didn't want to get too close, but if the thing charged at her, she wanted to be well-protected.

luckily, she didn't end up needing it at all. her mind was spinning, but she was sure that she saw a couple of the people distracting the creature while the man in thick clothing swiped at it with a sword that was most definitely not a stage prop. she couldn't look away- she had a strong stomach, and biology had always been a favorite class of hers. she found herself inching forward, knowing that it was quite dangerous to do so.

one of the girls from before called something out about going for the head, and things clicked for v. were these people from the same place as this monster? did it follow them here?

she watched in twisted interest as the bundled-up-man took multiple chops at the thing's neck. she didn't mind the blood and gore, and the fact that it looked like no creature she'd ever seen before piqued her interest. she walked closer, only a dozen or so feet behind the man as the creature dissipated into dust. he crouched to collect something, scale-looking rounds, and v peered down at them. she was hesitant to pick them up, but when the man shoveled a bunch into his pockets, she delicately bent down to pick a couple up. maybe she could match them up later if she had some free time.

now wasn't the time, though. she glanced around, trying to take in the aftermath of the creature's attack. the guy with the dog returned, talking to the man in coats, and v decided that she might as well try to figure out what was going on too. she stepped up, physically inserting herself into the conversation. her eyes glanced down to the dog, a tiny smile curving her lips.

"i'm vegas," she interjected. he voiced her thoughts, and she added on to the end-"are these things from wherever you guys came from? i'm assuming you're not from around here, considering those jackets."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Heather Devereaux Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Calliope Alexander Character Portrait: Angela Taylor Character Portrait: Jules Fontaine Character Portrait: Haru Sinwood Character Portrait: Dorian Steinsson Character Portrait: Ron Muller Character Portrait: Aster Storm Character Portrait: Sorrell Hunt Character Portrait: Vegas Sinclair Character Portrait: James Labonair Character Portrait: Emerson Motlilio
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Image

OOC: **WELCOME TO AIRES** I've added an event to the Events/Side plots board.



Tallyho was face down in the dirt, basking in the warmth of the sun like a fried egg. The skirt of her white dress and her yellow hair spread about her in tangles, crinkles and knots, the kinds of imperfect textures a person discovers after waking from the deepest of slumbers. Once again, the bounties of nature pressed deeply into her cheek as she nuzzled the soil, sleepily brushing way the itching and pinching sensations brought on by the dry grass and small pebbles that cradled her face.

Tallyho was alive. The corners of her mouth tugged slightly, she knew it was all a dream! She knew it. She didn’t hear the loud rumbles of those machines and didn’t struggle to wheeze in the thick (likely toxic) air she was surrounded by only moments before. She was ali—

“Ahy!” Tallyho’s eyes flashed open at a sudden jut in her side. She could feel immediately that it came from a hard metal object, but it definitely wasn’t a sword. It didn’t even hurt really, it was just the kind of sensation that would make a person scream “OW” if only because they were caught off guard. She recoiled, lashes fluttering as her eyes bugged and blinked trying to pinpoint the offender, her corneas were assaulted by the sudden burst of light from the sun high in the midday sky.

Bleary-eyed, she made out the silhouette of a man. She squinted— 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 trousers that resembled potato sacks. He gripped a long garden hoe and without much hesitation he tapped at her again, jabbing her in the side like she was a tiny spud, fresh from the dirt and ready for harvest. She sat up this time—her brows tangled in a fury that non-verbally seemed to scream, Are you serious? She curled her lips, face fixed to chew the man out, but she was so disoriented that she could only let out a winded huff.

The man, stared her in the eye as he called out, “Mary, get th’ boss. It looks like ther’re a lot of em!”

Well Tallyho could tell by the crude, unflattering accent that she was still in Solace at least. But what did he mean by a lot of them? Surely he didn’t suggest that the others from her strange dream were also in this field, strewn out around her in this neatly groomed plot? Wait, what do you mean that’s exactly what he meant?

As Tallyho pushed herself a butts’ scoot away from the old man, she looked around in panic, noticing more than a few familiar faces around her. All of the people from that strange city, all of the people from that bridge of stars. All eleven. The man continued to look at her. His voice was stern and on the offensive.

“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 boss now.”

Tallyho trembled quietly in fury and confusion. Steal? If Tallyho was going to steal anything it was going to be a hot cooked meal, not this guys’ nakky crops. And who exactly was this ‘big boss’?

“I-I don’t know what you talking about…” Her voice trembled but she brought it down low so that she didn’t sound too mousy.

“Don’t play dumb, girl!” his voice seemed to boom down at Tallyho and while she flinched out of shock, she was definitely feeling very attacked. The blonde almost expected him to stand tall and knock her out with his hoe because of how passionately he barked at her. She never really cared for most men, but this guy was really trying her nerves. This whole experience was trying her nerves. Tallyho was never one to anger quickly, but she was so confused, emotionally exhausted and irritable, that there was a very limited list of things a person could do that wouldn’t absolutely send her over the edge at this point. She didn’t even know if this was real life or a dream or anything really, and here was this three-toothed peasant man slinging his rancid breath and spittle down on her face like some Goddess-given natural disaster. That is where she had enough.

“I not play anything, old man! You the one who play dumb!” She barked accusingly. Her soft spritely features were highlighted by a flush of red that beamed just below the surface of her entire face. “You jab me again with that thing? You will be sorry,“ she hissed, finally swallowing her outburst at its vaguest point. Moments like these were when she wished her mom would
have let her carry a dagger, maybe then she could actually show people exactly why they should be sorry. But unfortunately for Tallyho, this man would never know. And for the record, she definitely wanted to cut him.

Yet somehow the blonde swallowed her anger nearly as quickly as it shot out. She looked away as the older man grimaced above her, his hairy knuckles were curled into two tight knots of anger. The red left Tallyho’s face and it was almost like she never raised her voice at all. This was how it always was, when Tallyho got too angry, excited or happy, her state of neutrality always overcame. She wasn’t exactly sure why she was this way, because it certainly wasn’t the case in the earlier parts of her adolescence, but she definitely had a talent (?) for calming her emotions.

“What’s going on out here?” a voice from the distance implored. Tallyho’s attention whipped to the other end of the field. Another field hand, a younger looking man who was landing a finishing swing at the loosened soil in front of him, wiped his brow and squinted out at the group. He was statuesque, a muscular frame towering six feet high. Tallyho thought he looked a bit like a candle with papery skin and fiery red hair fell in disarray from what looked like a hard day’s work. He was dressed simply—not too dissimilarly from the man Tallyho had been arguing with—but his presence felt a bit more stately. And his voice commanded an air of respect, finer and more confident than the voice of the old man towering above her in an intimidating fashion.

“We’ve got thieves!” The older man howled like a hurt dog cowering to its owner.

“No they’re guests. Stand down. They look worn,” the redhead said resolutely before dropping his gardening tool and walking up toward a grand old house in front of the field. The wood looked old but one could tell that the two story house was well-cared for and rather charming.

As the man swaggered onto the porch, Tallyho wondered if he was going to go get “the big boss” himself. But imagine her confusion when a woman with a large, prominent scar jetting across the better part of her face came gliding toward the man expectedly. On the tray she carried was a brown cloth and a small mysterious box. He took the cloth first, wiping the sweat off of his sun-burnt face and prominent brow before reaching into the small box. Out came a hand-rolled cigar which the woman immediately lit with a sulfur match fished from her apron’s pocket. And like a shadow, she retreated back into the house as quickly as she came.

Tallyho watched the man curiously, the way his narrow eyes appraised the ragtag group. If she didn’t know any better, she would say that he looked a little disappointed.

Between two long puffs of his cigar he spoke:

“You saw some things I presume. I have your answers,” he hummed, squinting at the mountains in the horizon. As he released smoke from the side of his mouth the scar faced woman came back again, this time presenting a saucer that he flicked his ashes into.

If no one understood by then, this man was indeed the big boss.

“Dinner’s almost ready. I’ll answer your questions there.” He said. He seemed so relaxed about it, as if he was used to people stumbling upon his farm like this. He looked at the scar-faced woman, “They’ll be cleaned up and settled by dinner.”

The offer caught Tallyho off guard, but when the man turned around and lumbered into the house casually, leaving no room for questions or banter (at least not with him), Tallyho realized that it wasn’t an offer at all but a fact of life.

The woman with the scar, who looked to be in her late twenties, stepped forward. She had warm brown skin, and dark silken hair that gathered into a tight, almost reflective knot of a bun at the nape of her neck. Her face, even without the scar, would have been average enough, but Tallyho couldn’t help but wonder what she would look like without it even before she wondered what could have caused it.

“That is Haru and this is his farm,” she said. She spoke crisply, offering every syllable with a sharp upward edge. Tallyho could tell even before she spoke that she was another free person (a term the nomadic tribes use to describe themselves as a greater entity)—an Oni tribesman if she was being specific.

“Please. You are welcome to our bath, food, and beds here as our guests. You look like you have many questions. Haru knows lots of things and I’m sure he can help you.”
She nodded approvingly at the group, encouraging them to step forward.

Tallyho glanced at the others, hesitating. To be quite honest, she could use the meal and the bath. But she was already the first to walk into that light and as far as the sun girl was concerned, all of her leadership credits for the day had been expended.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Heather Devereaux Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Calliope Alexander Character Portrait: Angela Taylor Character Portrait: Jules Fontaine Character Portrait: Haru Sinwood Character Portrait: Dorian Steinsson Character Portrait: Ron Muller Character Portrait: Aster Storm Character Portrait: Sorrell Hunt Character Portrait: Vegas Sinclair Character Portrait: James Labonair
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

As the world around him faded to black, Ron was taken by surprise. It felt almost like a trip, but too real. Drugs usually gave a daze like feeling to the world, almost as if one was immortal. This was different since he was too aware of his surroundings. Turning around, there was only one thing in sight, a glowing pillar. Ron gasped as he had thought that he had died and was now in limbo. After a moment of hesitation the young man simply sprinted through the pillar, anxious to see what was on the other side.

Suddenly the darkness transformed into a lush farm. The skies were clear, the air perfect, the birds chirped, and he could hear no automobile from any distance. This must heaven. Ron thought to himself, grinning like a school child. The thought of Hell always hid in his mind, though knowing that he made the right choices in life or receiving great grace filled him with joy. Off in the distance he saw the pretty girl who was in the park speaking to an old man. It looked like an intense argument so he made his way over, so he reached into his inside jacket for his revolver, just in case.

The closer he came, the more the words became clear. The old man accused them of being thieves while the girl furiously retorted. "Shit, I guess I was wrong." He mumbled to himself. If this really was heaven, then there would be no point in coveting resources without mortal bodies. Then a woman with a scar broke the argument by stating that a man named Haru was expecting them all along and was waiting for them.

As Ron made his way to the house he stopped by the old man and cocked his head. "I know you think you must be hot shit, old timer, but if you ever talk to her like that again then I'll shoot you dead." He formed his hand into the shape of a gun and jerked it back violently. "BAM! BAM!" He smirked as he made his way to the house.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Heather Devereaux Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Calliope Alexander Character Portrait: Angela Taylor Character Portrait: Jules Fontaine Character Portrait: Haru Sinwood Character Portrait: Dorian Steinsson Character Portrait: Ron Muller Character Portrait: Aster Storm Character Portrait: Sorrell Hunt Character Portrait: Vegas Sinclair Character Portrait: James Labonair Character Portrait: Emerson Motlilio
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

────────────────────────────
Image
────────────────────────────
H E A T H E RXD E V E R E U X
_____ T H EXA R T I S T _____

Outfit: Link Here
Location: Aires
Dialogue Color ✦ #8A4E62
Thought Color ✧ #3A0012



Without warning, Heather felt warm, soft grass beneath her hands and sliding against her bare legs as she moved, and she quickly scrambled up into a sitting position, eyes adjusting to the...landscape. And what a landscape it was because this wasn't New York. Not at all! Heather half-expected the theme song for Little House on the Prairie to start playing because obviously, the universe was fucking with her. It had to be. Today had been racked with frustration and then surprise after surprise, and Heather had reached her surprise quota for the day, thank you very much. When she had stormed out of the restaurant away from her family, Heather had no intention of seeing some random girl in a tree who was clearly more lost than Dorothy in Oz, some warrior-dude and a monster that gave the writers of Game of Thrones a run for their money, nor some random ass gust of pure light and energy that forced her to go down a path (because walking into the black void-thing wasn't even an option that Heather was going to entertain because that had all kinds of the devil in there). And here she was with a group of absolute strangers - whom she clearly was not going to be rid of any time soon - in the middle of nowhere-she-felt-particularly-safe-in and Heather wasn't going to freak out, not in front of these people, but something had to give in about two point five seconds -

"Whoa, hey, Tallyho!" Heather had only heard a small noise from the small distance between herself and Tallyho, but when she heard the blonde yell, that had been enough to get Heather to her feet and jogging over to the girl. At the back of her head, Heather surmised that her shoes were definitely not meant for this terrain. Even though by the time Heather got to Tallyho's side, there was a redhead male peering over at all of them and the older man who apparently been harassing Tallyho backed off, Heather still glared at anyone who wasn't in their rag-tag group, glancing at the side of Tallyho's face to inspect her carefully. "Are you okay?" If there was an answer, Heather couldn't hear it over the redhead male speaking up and Heather watched with narrow eyes as he basically ordered them to get bathed and to have dinner with him for answers, and she huffed in irritation. Big boss or not, Heather didn't like being ordered around, especially after a day like the one they had. But before she could utter a complaint, he was back in the house. "What in the hell is any of this?" She hissed, more to herself than anyone else.

The woman with the scar spoke up then and Heather had to take a fortifying breath if she didn't want to snap at her. The woman wasn't the one who had dismissed them and even though this Haru was offering them a kindness - again, given the day, she still wanted to snap. But the woman before them didn't deserve it. So, when Tallyho pleadingly stared back at the rest of them, Heather sighed, glancing back at the others imploringly. "We should go," she stated and then gestured around them. "We're not getting any answers out here and," Heather finally noticed there was blood on the warrior-guy, "dude, you look like you need medical attention, like, yesterday." Back to the others, she added, "And I don't know about the rest of you, but I don't know where the hell I am and I'm not waiting for another creature thing to come and let me know with their claws, so I'm going in." Sighing again, Heather turned to the woman, putting on a cordial smile, stepping towards the house. "Umm, thank you."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Heather Devereaux Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Calliope Alexander Character Portrait: Angela Taylor Character Portrait: Jules Fontaine Character Portrait: Haru Sinwood Character Portrait: Dorian Steinsson Character Portrait: Ron Muller Character Portrait: Aster Storm Character Portrait: Sorrell Hunt Character Portrait: Vegas Sinclair Character Portrait: Emerson Motlilio
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Dorian Steinsson


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-four 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 if something stronger wasn’t available*, and then figure out what in Her Fury was going on.

*Of course he had something stronger available. Stereotypical though it may be, many Halesian citizens did wander around with small flasks of Pyrewater. It was good for battling the cold and had gotten many shepherds and soldiers through the aching chill of Hales in winter.

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 variety of Common, some raising odd flashing devices, and other 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 earned his victor’s prize, and it seemed relevant to get something like this back home where people might like to know that a mythical 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 creature collectables, even after said creature had eagerly 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, placed on a dais for pilgrims to worship and pray towards. Dorian had never quite understood why it had been June’s favorite left shoe rather than favorite shoe overall, but he’d been too afraid to ask given that his grandmother was in what his mother referred to as “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 own wound than their jovial actions and 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 beneath, no obvious signs of poison or immediate infection (because who knew where those claws had been?). He would like, Dorian decided as he pulled out a scarf from his pack, a spare his mother had made that was a little too lop-sided to wear with his uniform, and began to dress the wound.

Then there was something pressing up against his hand. Even through his thick gloves he could feel it, soft and snuffling intently. He glanced down, piercing gray eyes meeting something far more pleasant and warm. It was the dog from before, the one who’d charged forward to try to take on the Cyclopean, tail wiggling warmly, a far cry from the way it had snarled and lunged and snapped earlier.

Dorian didn’t have a lot of experience with dogs and certainly never one that looked like this, but he accepted the small comfort with gratitude, reaching down and awkwardly patting the creature’s head. Dogs liked that, right? Well, it didn’t bite him, so there was that.

Then the dog’s handler was approaching, the first non-scavenger to come too close to the impromptu battlefield. He seemed to be showing Dorian that he had no weapons, hands up and open before crouching next to his canine companion and pulling the dog into an embrace. It was a little insulting, honestly. There was a cigarette dangling from his lips, or at least what Dorian supposed was one. It smelled more toxic than the ones in Hales, pungent and foul in an uncomfortably artificial way.

The other man, bizarrely clad in colorful clothes and a strange hat that extended backwards (possibly to shade his neck but not his face?) was saying something to the dog, and Dorian tried to pick out the words but could only manage a few. He took a moment to shake off the cobwebs of his mental Common dictionary and escape the exhausted fog that was threatening to set in. Now was no time to let his mind wander. The stakes were too high, and he couldn’t afford to let himself get distracted. Just because one danger was over didn’t mean that another wouldn’t soon begin.

He glanced back again when the dog-handler stood, the first person to deign to get too close. The words and meanings became clearer with each passing moment, and he was finally beginning to understand what was being said. It was just an introduction at first, a small thanks for Dorian killing the beast. The man- Emerson… his name was foreign and strange, as was his dog’s, but he should have expected that. He clearly wasn’t in Hales anymore, wasn’t anywhere he could possibly understand.

And the newly introduced Emerson was speaking softer now so that Dorian had to lean in to catch the foreign language tumbling from his lips. Was it some great secret? No. Just a request for information Dorian didn’t have. If Dorian had been anyone else, he would have laughed. Perhaps he would have said “I don’t know, but be sure to let me know if you find out” in a companionable and earnest way. But that wasn’t Dorian’s way, no matter how hilarious his attempt at casual levity might be.

He settled on a shrug, trusting that to be a universal sign throughout Aires. After a moment, he realized that might not be enough and he had a few questions too, damn it, so he attempted to cobble together a sentence, his ability to speak the language not quite as good as his ability to comprehend it.

“Dorian,” he said, hand flickering to himself. He took Emerson’s offered hand, shook it just once with a too-firm grip (the people of Hales were not fond of limp handshakes) before retracting his hand. “Me… I am…” He struggled to find the appropriate words before settling on, “This is… Where?” a question tinged with a demand filling his tone. The words were thick, framed with the typical Halesian accent, something like a mix between Russian and Norwegian*.

*The Halesian dialect differs depending on your location in the country. More provincial towns and villages tend to lean towards comparatively Norwegian lilts as opposed to the thick Russian-like accents found in larger cities.

Before Dorian could butcher Common further, a woman approached. He recognized her from the few that had wandered over the pile of shards, squirreling a few away as some sort of morbid souvenir. She was no-nonsense, interjecting herself into the conversation without so much as a by your leave, demanding to know if… if these things were from where he was from? Things? Now that was truly bizarre. Every Airesian knew the story of the Goddess and her Month Warriors, a tale so universal that it was found in every continent, every country with little variation. Had she really not recognized the monster for what it was?

“Cyclopean,” he reiterated, gesturing at the pile. The word was universal too, a phrase found in every language known to man on Aires. As for Hales, well… “No. Cyclopean is… Cyclopean is not-“

Whatever Cyclopeans were not, Vegas and Emerson would have to wait quite a while to find out because the light had descended on them, swallowing Dorian from behind. It would infuriate him to no end knowing that he’d been too distracted to see or feel it coming.



Jules Fontaine


In the meantime, Jules was also not having a very good time of it but for very different reasons.

When he’d pulled Sorrell down, he had been moving on pure instinct, the last of an adrenaline filled rush. With that gone, he was simply strewn out like a marionette who’d had its strings cut, gazing at the closest thing- the girl he’d sporadically helped and…

Was she laughing? Was she seriously laughing right now? Jules laid dazed on the tree’s roots, as the girl stood, groaning and chuckling lightly like she hadn’t almost died. Like she hadn’t been a completely idiot. In retrospect it was only a little laugh, something that dazed and shocked people are likely to do, but things were so muddled in Jules’s mind that it might as well have been a big belly laugh or a horse-like guffaw. Chuckling while the Man Out of Time hacked away at the monster’s neck, chuckling as the monster shattered into onyx shards, some flying through the air and dusting his face. He moved reflexively, sputtering as he tried to wipe off the bits of glittering gore that had gotten into his hair. He was met with limited success.

When he stopped his efforts, the girl was smiling at him, a bright, warm grin that contrasted painfully with the world Jules was currently experiencing.

“Only the mad are worth talking to, anyway. Or rescuing, I guess.” It was quirky, it was cute, and it sent Jules into a sputtering mess, phrases like “That doesn’t make any-“, “You crazy-“, and “What, what, what-!” warring with one another until he just staring dumbly, absently flicking a few more pieces of tiny onyx shards off of his person. It wasn’t her fault, not really, but she was the most abnormal, normal thing around him right now, and he had to grasp onto that reality.

So when she finally thanked him and shook his hand as he struggled to his feet on shaking knees, Jules could really do nothing but stare because who even was this Sorrell? How was she not having a panic attack? Is that what was happening to Jules right now? A panic attack? Yeah, well, pretty f*ing likely. He leaned against the tree, breathing shallow, little breaths as cheers broke out, cameras flashed, and others came closer and closer.

He closed his eyes and stilled because he would not make a scene in public. He was one thousand percent better than that, even if he did deserve a little meltdown because, yeah, he had been that close to a giant monster and his own horrible death. All he had to do was back away, find himself a drink (just one, to settle the nerves) and make it to the theatre to hide in his safe space filled with fabrics and sewing machines and not monsters that turned into jewels when their heads were chopped off. Plus, it wasn’t as if he could miss work. While almost dying and seeing something nearly inconceivable might be an acceptable reason to miss work for most people, Madame Belle certainly wouldn’t see it that way.

He was so preoccupied that he didn’t hear the low rumble rising in the distance, couldn’t be bothered to pay attention to the way the wind began to pick up and the ground began to tremble and his necklace had turned ice cold under his shirt. He didn’t notice anything, too far gone in his own mind, until Sorrell moved backwards, bumping into him. His eyes shot open, arms reaching out to steady her automatically as the cold from his necklace seemed to spread to Sorrell, a swear on the tip of his tongue until he saw the light.

It was already bearing down on him, and he couldn’t do much more than scowl because really? Really?


Dorian Steinsson


Dorian’s only thought, drifting or perhaps flying or maybe even staying completely still in this realm of nothingness 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 nightmare flashes around him like a demented firefly (or at least what he imagined a firefly to be).

There was none of the panic of last time, none of the fear and anger. Just 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. Additionally his wounds were beginning to heal, torn flesh stitching together, phantom aches and pains evaporating like all of his wounds had been wiped clean with a single swipe of a warm compress.

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 wiggling out of its burrow. What he’d mistaken for the sea of stars now lay underfoot, now revealed as a solid path of the Heaven, glittering as if a beacon over a murky lake, urging it him to follow it to the warm, dull light shining ahead. It wasn’t very frightening, Dorian thought, if only because had only the swirling dark vortex behind him and the rough waters below to compare it to. It was honestly downright inviting. Others seemed to think so, a handful of people who’d also been found in that strange place only moments ago- Emerson, Vegas, the girl who’d shouted her advice… All here with him.

So he began to move forward, pace hastened by the way the waters were now rising, quickly and steadily and ferociously towards those still on the path.



Jules Fontaine


Jules’s trip was not as self-assured. The calm that swept over them all brushed over him as well, kissing upon minor bruises, trailing a touch up the scrape on his hand from where he’d fallen and erasing the small aches and injuries tenderly. It was like being swaddled in a cocoon, but… But Jules had never been good at being told how to feel, unless it was in an acting sense. It was warmth, but it was artificial, and something inside his mind was demanding that he fight it, swinging fists at the soothing emotion as if yelling “Make me, you sonovabitch”

So he thrashed and gasped and found he could not speak, which made him fight it even more. He liked the sound of his own voice, thank you, and he would not be, could not be stifled.

So he arrived in the… in the nothingness, in the darkness still thrashing and gasping and a strangled snarl that echoed loudly, too loudly among the others. He quieted instantly, pulling himself together as the world became whole around him. He stood on a pathway of stars, glittering fairy lights flickering beneath his boots. It drew the eyes, like a powerful stage design, towards the water below, thrashing and murky and ominous before making you want to look up, just in time to see the large white birds overhead, flying towards a warm light, less overwhelming than the one from before. It beckoned silently, a sharp contrast to the less thank welcoming void humming behind him.

It was a simple choice, in terms of basic common sense. Beautiful white birds, warmth, light- it all seemed to point in one direction. The void was a thing of fear, of swirling dark shades of black and blue, the color palette of something more painful, more unpleasant in comparison. Others seemed to agree, stepping slowly towards the initial light. The first one seemed to be glowing, angelic as the warm light pulled her forwards, pulled her in. Others followed, some taking trance-like steps forward, other hurrying forward, flinging themselves into the light.

Jules lingered where he was, content to stay for the moment to assess the situation. Or maybe he was just too tired, too shocked to do much more than gape at this place outside of known reality. That is, he was content to stay until something wet lapped against his ankle. He glanced down, eyes widening. The angry waters below were rising, rising upwards towards them, and urging them to choose their paths now or face something more definite and destructive. The choice was easy. The timing a little less so.

So he began to run, and that was fine except his heels were slipping on the quickly developing puddles, his body already off-kilter from the heavy bag he hugged to his chest (he always said that he’d rather die than lose its contents, and apparently the world was trying to call his bluff). He was falling, falling towards the side of the path, towards the edge, towards the murk that exuded only unpleasantness and fear when a strong hand caught his arm, dragging him up and up and up, then onwards and forwards to the light. It was the Stranger, eyes forward and hand clasped firmly around Jules’s arm, and Jules for one appreciated the assist.

“We go,” the man said, glancing at Jules only once, his voice thick with some odd accent but firm. Jules nodded once, dazedly, as both men picked up speed and jumped through the light together.

Side by Side


They awoke in a country that wasn’t their own, and both men knew from very different signs. Dorian came to facing the sky, a more relaxed heat warming him from Aires’ familiar sun than the place he’d been spirited away to before. But it wasn’t Hales, clearly. You could tell from the weather, from the fields spreading here and there, from the absence of Hales’ jagged, icy peaks on the horizon. No, he was somewhere else. Solace, perhaps, but hopefully not, he barely held back a shudder, the Rose Kingdom.

Jules’s world upon awakening was a world of dirt and pebbles. He was face-down in the soil and couldn’t be bothered to move, hunched over as he was over his bag. He was being childish, he knew that, but he didn’t want to get up and face the reality of the situation. He knew this wasn’t New York. This place was silent in a way New York could never be, the air actually weightless rather than bogged down with smog and general big city stink. Nope. Jules was good down here, defiantly lying face-down on the ground.

So it was Dorian who watched Tallyho’s verbal spar with the crotchety old man, her snarled retort to his spittle-filled rage. He never thought to step in, didn’t quite see the point given that she was holding her own and the old man had done little else than jab at her with accusations and a garden hoe. It was far more interesting to see her retract her emotions, an impressive feat in Dorian’s mind to be able to beat back the incendiary flames of anger so quickly.

But it was Jules, finally dragging himself upwards, clearly under protest, who spotted the other man first. How could he not? A ginger giant, all big and buff and with a swagger permanently set in his step. Jules resisted the urge to groan. Was this just a bizarre lucid dream? Was he in a coma somewhere or maybe Purgatory? It sure as Hell better not be the latter. Jules was not going to play that Lost game.

What happened next felt like a scene from a play, the man pulling out all the stops to show just what position in the pecking order he held. Cigars were lit, ashtrays proffered, and a smooth offer of answers and food were laid before the eleven people, linked together by a single moment, for their consideration. He left them then, seemingly knowing how they would answer.

They stared on in dumb silence. Jules still trying to comprehend what in the name of God was going on and Dorian turning over his own emotions. When the man had spoken, he’d felt the need to stand at attention, but that… That wasn’t right. This man wasn’t a military commander, wasn’t the leader of a mission. Why had he been so compelling? And where had he heard that name…

Haru. That was the man, his scar-faced attendant revealed, a pretty enough woman made all the more striking for the marking. She was more inviting, more polite and succinct in her words. She was waiting for them the make the first move, and for a moment they all shuffled their feet.

That is before one of them, someone neither Jules nor Dorian recognized, began moving forward, self-assured and swaggering. That wasn’t too terribly exciting. No, the really striking thing he did was threaten the old man nearby, the one who’d mistaken them for thieves with a g*d* gun before wandering inside. Dorian narrowed his eyes, the threat clear but the method a little less. Jules stared, mouth agape. This. This he could focus on in a world of insanity and confusion.

“Are you fucking serious?” He breathed, throwing up his arms in exasperation. “Let’s not wait to let everyone know we’re a goddamn sociopath, I guess.”

He turned to the scar-faced woman, lips pulled into a thin line. He didn’t really care what the rest of these chuckleheads did*, but the bulky red-head had mentioned that by the time they’d been cleaned up dinner and, more importantly, answer would be ready. Another girl was already willing to politely take up the offer, team leader level advice included.

*That wasn’t true. He was well and truly invested in what the man with the theoretically itchy trigger finger wanted to do and how to avoid ever going near him again.

"Not exactly any other options," he mumbled, blowing a strand of hair from his face. He glanced at the scarred woman and shrugged, his version of deference. "Mind showing us the way?". A moment of politeness. Remarkable.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Heather Devereaux Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Calliope Alexander Character Portrait: Angela Taylor Character Portrait: Jules Fontaine Character Portrait: Haru Sinwood Character Portrait: Dorian Steinsson Character Portrait: Ron Muller Character Portrait: Aster Storm Character Portrait: Sorrell Hunt Character Portrait: Vegas Sinclair Character Portrait: James Labonair Character Portrait: Emerson Motlilio
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Aster Storm




She really only had a moment to ponder the man completely ignoring her talking to him before a huge bright light obstructed her vision. As the light moved toward her she tried in vain to shade her eyes with her hand.

There was a moment of nothingness before a feeling of nothingness before a wave of blissful ease. No pain, and no fear.

The sound of waves came to her before she was able to see again. There was a light in the distance and it seemed the people from the place she was before were all with her. There were beautiful birds flying toward the light and it seemed that most people were making their way there as well. Some people were running, some walking. Two of the men were walking together.

After a moment's hesitation, Aster took off towards the light holding her skirt so she wouldn't trip. She loved to run, and the feeling of her legs pumping towards a purpose made her grin. She dove for the light, following those who had made it there first.

Happiness wrapped around Aster like the warmth of a fire on a cold winter's night. She remembered the years in her childhood before her father died and the smiles on her's and her father's faces as he told her stories of her mother. She remembered the feeling of accomplishment when she saw that her first healing concoction had worked.

The grass around her was was sweet and soft. She felt like she could lie there forever. There were no strange lands, people or monsters to bother her now. The peace only lasted for a moment before she heard the ruckus of an argument that was quickly put to rest. She sat to see the man with vibrant red hair invite them to bath and eat with him. What else was there to do, but to comply? After all they were in yet another land, and it didn't look like any of them knew what was really going on. She yet again followed the others into the farmhouse, thanking the woman at the door and waiting for anyone to have an idea of what was actually happening here.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Haru Sinwood Character Portrait: Emerson Motlilio
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
Image
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
HEX COLOR | #510000
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Vegas was used to strange situations, and she liked to think that she’d managed the strange creature and the newcomers from another land pretty well. However, as the conversation she’d managed to start came to life like a tiny flicker of flame, a massive wall of light snuffed it. Her vision went dark and she lost sight of her new companions- Emerson and the warrior-man. The soldier had started to say something when the whole world was blipped out, but she hadn’t managed to glean any words- and therefore, answers- from his lips.

V hadn’t seen the light coming, but once she was inside the strange ether-space, it was impossible to deny how strange the turn of events was. She stood for a second, taking in the situation and catching her breath, before feeling a wetness lapping at her feet. Glancing down, the teen noticed a slowly-but-surely rising waterline. It seemed like they were in a huge ocean, with only a small doorway of light manipulating shadows on the rippling waves. It was like watching the sun set over the ocean, except this light wasn’t going anywhere and it was too dark. The girl looked around, seeing some of the other people from the park heading towards it. As the cold sensation crept up her calves, V decided that she had to make a choice.

College in New York City was promising. It offered education and a new life, and there was no telling where this pathway led. If it was some sort of crazy hallucination, then she’d wake up from it- maybe not alive and well, but she’d be back. So, for now, Vegas decided that there was no harm in indulging her mind, stretching its limits. Anything to be away from the creeping water and the huge oilslick monster- the Cyclopean.

She stepped forward, slowly but surely, trying to make sure that there were no sudden pitfalls under the pitch-black water. V was hesitant to run and fall off the edge of the earth. Instead, she watched the others closely as they forged forwards, and before she knew it, light was burning into her eyes.

V was one of the lucky few who had managed to land on their feet. She looked around, her hand straying to her purse to make sure it was still there. She unzipped it, fishing around only a moment for her switchblade. She always carried something to defend herself- after all, as a model in New York, anything could happen. Flipping open the knife, she almost didn’t notice the blonde arguing with a huge redneck-looking type. V considered helping the other girl out, but she seemed to have the situation under control.

Instead, she found her way over to where Emerson stood shakily, his dog beside him. She smiled, her eyes finding the woman with a scarred face. She was a cold kind of beautiful, almost predatory, but she was surprisingly welcoming. A redheaded man seemed to run the whole place, and as Emerson seemed to make his way into the house wordlessly, Vegas decided she’d follow. He was one of the only people that she was even vaguely familiar with, and his dog was cute.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Heather Devereaux Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Haru Sinwood Character Portrait: Ron Muller
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Image

A couple of people stepped in to help mediate the argument, but the most confusing “savior” was one of the strangely dressed young men who threatened the old farmer with a “BAM BAM” before sauntering into the house. The blonde looked on questionably as he walked off, not totally sure of what he meant. And if she were being honest, the farmer didn’t look so keen on what was going on either. Nonetheless, he took a step back, mostly out of a dazed confusion, as the young man breezed through.

Tallyho still felt reluctant to go. The scar-faced woman looked trustworthy enough and Tallyho would be more apt to trust another free person than any other type of person, but for some reason she had trouble surrendering herself to this moment, even after all the unbelievable decisions she was forced to make today. Sure, yeah she was totally fine with running on a path of stars and into a big pillar of light, but this completely normal farm house? Well, she’d have some thinking to do, certainly! Tallyho was a pretty self-aware person (almost painfully so) so she recognized the ridiculousness of her relative skepticism, but something about this particular experience felt like it was going to last with her forever. And at this point, it would be a kick in the shin to die on the farm in the middle of nowhere after surviving an actual cyclopean attack.

The woman with the intricate hair, who Tallyho dubbed her consequential companion for the day, announced her entrance into the house. Her intentions seemed good so far, Tallyho felt, and the blonde would have felt pretty bad if she left this perfect stranger alone in what could become a peculiar situation. Many of the others began making a similar decision, and one by one they marched. She scanned the area for other forms of civilization: There were miles of wheat fields, a few wooden houses scattered in the distance (most likely reserved for the farm hands) a mountain range to the north, and a wide expanse of sky. She wasn’t sure if this place was going to be a safe haven, but there was really nothing left for her to do. At least, Tallyho figured, their host seemed to be the quiet type—a personal quality that she wouldn’t mind enduring after such a hectic day.

The woman held the door open for Tallyho as she did for all of the others. Once everyone entered, their hostess, who as about as petite as Tallyho if not slightly taller, 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 announced. She looked down at the dog, nodding and offering a tight line of a smile to Emerson. “If you don’t mind, we can set up a nice haystack for your friend in one of the sheds in the back? I manage the house and I have the illness to dogs,” she said, gesturing toward her nose. She nodded toward another house keeper in the dining room who curiously peered at the unusually large influx of people entering her domain. “If this is fine, Nan over there can take care of your friend, yes?”

Once that was settled, she turned to hike the stairs, the skirt of her plain cotton dress knotted up in her tightly clutched fist. “Follow me please,” she hummed. And the group was lead up what Tallyho felt like was a surprisingly steep flight of stairs. She heaved quietly, trying hard not to betray her slobbish wheezing. She definitely wasn’t the athletic type.

The woman led them down a narrow hallway and gestured toward the three doors at the end of the hall. “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 man and woman. To find them go downstairs to the back of the house. There will be two sheds—left for ladies, right for men. Dinner will be at the turn of light in a couple of hours, please make yourself comfortable.”

And with that, she left.

Well that all seemed easy enough, although it was a little off-putting to Tallyho that there were exactly enough beds in the house available for each of them.

The blonde retreated into the room at the very end of the hall. It was a simple set up: Wooden floors and walls with a pair of parallel beds on each side of the room. But to someone who spent their entire life sleeping in the back of wagons and in tents, it all felt a bit extravagant. She was drawn to one of the beds near the window, and her slender hands traced the wood finish of the bed frame with care. Then she pressed a hand into the mattress, shifting all of her weight into the mass of packed sheep’s wool. The fabric of the sheets were light and airy, perfect for hot summer nights. This… This was nice, Tallyho thought, and her expression showed it. She smirked slyly, lips curling tight as she held back a flash of her teeth. And in one very sudden motion, she thrust herself onto the bed, limbs spread carelessly and unaware of whoever might have been watching.

It didn’t take long for the woman to come to the 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. “I will bring shoes later,” she announced.

Tallyho gathered the dress into her arms: a peasant’s garb, light and airy, perfect for the heat of a summer in solace. It looked a bit too Solacian for her tastes but it was a free thing and that was enough to get her at least a little giddy. Plus she could move around in it if she had to make any mad dashes. One could have called Tallyho a material girl of sorts, not in the classic, I have a white horse and the latest fashion sense, but in the sense that any sort of food, cloth or knick knack she happened upon really got her kind of excited. And if TLC ever produced a Hoarders: Aires edition, Tallyho would have easily been the pilot episode's star if given the chance to collect all the things she wanted. And it was kind of a curse (or blessing) that she lived in a community that frowned upon personal ownership, squashing any opportunities for the blonde to act on any of her hoarder-esque predispositions.

The dress was muddled with crisp wrinkles and seemed to have been folded for some time. She hugged the wrinkled ball of fabric, already stoked at the idea of claiming something so simple as her own. Then she made an immediate break for the bath house.

She took a deep breath as she entered the women’s shed. The air was thick and moist and hard to breathe through, but it was no different than any other public bath houses in western Aires. She was greeted by the attendant, an older woman, who sat hunchback between a large caldron of boiling water and another filled with cooler water.

When she saw the blonde enter, the old woman carefully submerged a wooden bucket in the pot of 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 cold water) until the tub was filled and at an acceptable temperature.

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

The woman dumped another bucket.

“When ye don’t have nowhere to go ye come ‘ere… Y’know?”

In the tub, Tallyho thought long and hard about what the woman said. She sat comfortably in her bath stable, white knees pulled up to her chest. She thought that they looked like the two moons of Aires, small crescents of light rocking above the water.

Why were they here in this space for people with nowhere to go?

When Tallyho finished her bath and draped herself in her new cotton dress, she perched on a bench nearby the pump well next to the bath houses, hoping to dry her head with what little light the setting sun could muster before the moons took their shift. Though it was warm outside, the relatively cooler air made her scalp tingle and her pores gasp. She always got to bathe regularly, but that was the best bath she had in a long while. She sat alone, unsuccessfully smoothing out the wrinkles in a dress far too big for her. It swallowed her boyish figure unforgivingly, but seeing as she got it for free, it didn’t seem very reasonable for Tallyho to ask for a different dress. As she peeled back the damp hairs that curled and clung to the back of her neck and the sides of her face, she wondered what they would have for dinner.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Calliope Alexander Character Portrait: Haru Sinwood
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Image
[Calliope Alexander] - [#551a8b] - [Mood]
Her vision was blurred as she stumbled aimlessly with the sounds seeming to be filtering in as if from underwater. She could hear the cries of people in pain and the faint echoes of what could be explosions. It felt as if everything was closing in, trapping her with no escape. Her skin was beginning to drip with cold sweat as it started to prickle and inch. She wanted to scream, add her voice to those all around her as she collapsed to the floor, her leg buckling as flared in agony, blood coating her fingers as she stared around wildly with sightless eyes.

She bolted upright, gasping for air and whimpering in pain while her hands reached instinctively for her leg to find no blood, nor pain. Shuddering a little, her body shaking as she tried to calm down she felt the pain return again and clasped her hand over her necklace, grunting with a sharp intake of breath as it seared her skin before its warm receded. Glancing down she noticed that the gemstone was flickering slowly, causing it to increase in heat in time with her heartbeat and had managed to leave a significant mark across her collarbone. Whatever had caused it to burn as brightly as it had seemed to have ceased now she was awake.

Looking around she felt herself even more confused that she had while asleep since nothing around her looked familiar. Nearby a rather weather-beaten man was berating the tree-climbing girl for trying to steal from their farm. ”What farm…” she mumbled to herself as she tried to ease into a standing position, wincing slightly as her leg struggled with her weight. The pair seemed to be content to argue about the current predicament of roughly a dozen strangers having appeared in the middle of a field when another of the locals announced that they were not simply thieves but instead guests that were expected. Clearly this simply had to be a dream within a dream to explain such madness, something like that DiCaprio film, whatever it was called.

The man who had explained away their presence rather dismissively introduced himself as Haru, before inviting them to refresh themselves before attending dinner. This was certainly a much more formal and lucid dream that she was accustomed to and the confusion seemed to be evenly spread among the rest of those in attendance. She could already find flaws in her own reasoning for this being simply a dream but had not yet dismissed the possibility entirely and was in part clinging onto it for some modicum of comfort rather than trying to face the potential reality.

While the others, be they real or just figments of her dream went about their own ways she decided to perch herself in a secluded corner of the room where dinner was to be served after asking for a glass of water. Once seated she simply pulled her jacket tight around herself and kept watch on the entrances as she tried to make sense of what was happening. At best she was keeping herself tightly wound to avoid succumbing to the panic attack she could feel bubbling in her chest as realisation stole over her that this wasn’t just a dream. Glancing around she kept thinking she saw her own reflection mouthing her fears back to her which was honestly now starting to bother her more than panic her.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Calliope Alexander Character Portrait: Haru Sinwood
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Image


Tallyho spent the sunset wringing her hair dry. After her argument with the old farmer, she hadn’t had much of a reason to get all riled up. She was clean, she was alone, and there was the promise of hot food and a warm bed right on the other side of those sun-beaten walls. If you asked her, it was all so eerily pleasant, and strangely, she didn’t seem to mind it one bit. In fact, she wasn’t as scared of being on this farm as she was of being left behind on it. She briefly thought of the others, if they were huddled in their cots, plotting an escape.

The sound of tin rang across the farm, a promising sound that could get a rise out of the most exhausted farm hands. It was a common thing to do in Solace. Wood to tin means dinner’s in. It’s such a common practice across households that in many residential areas, families have to compose their own family chime so that children running home don’t confuse their neighbor’s dinner bell with their own. Tallyho had a faint memory of a dinner bell competition that happened in a smaller village the caravan was touring though. It was wholesome event: Enthusiastic families performed their (surprisingly elaborate) jingles in front of a judge panel of shop keepers (butchers, blacksmiths, tailors) and the family with the most impressive jingle won a huge ham.

Tallyho absolutely sucked at music, but if she had to choose her favorite instrument, it would undoubtedly be the dinner bell. And if not for the unique culture that developed around it, definitely for the fact that it meant food was just a few steps away. And so, Tallyho hadn’t hesitated when the dinner bell rang. She rose smoothly, almost like an apparition, and strode across the lawn and through the back door.

She’d say that the thick wafting smells hit her like a truck if she knew what a truck was. She was so hungry it felt like her stomach was spreading outward, stretching wide as if it were preparing to envelope her first bite into a huge congratulatory embrace.

The maid who rang the bell was still ringing it enthusiastically, leaning out of the dining room window in case there were a few stragglers finishing their baths in the back.

“Dinner! Dinner for our guests,” she called out, the dinner bell clutched tight her small pale hands.

The blonde slid her hands through her hair as she mounted a chair nearby one of the girls from the cyclopean attack. It looked to Tallyho like she had been sitting there for quite a while, sipping on water rigidly. The sun girl stole glances at her, though she never fully turned her way, especially since the other girl seemed to be looking intently at spaces where, as far as Tallyho could see, nothing was there. So if the way the other young woman’s eyes darted around the room in slight paranoia was any indication of this, it didn’t seem like everyone was settling into this situation as well as the Tallyho was.

As the bell ringing wound down, the blonde began the winding her damp hair into an imperfect twist of a bun high on the crown of her head. The dinner setup was intimate, wedged in a room not much bigger than the large wooden table that occupied it. Tallyho, as slender as she was, had to hike up her hips and shuffle behind the chairs on her tip toes just to seat herself in one of the tighter corners. The furniture itself was very simple. For a place that looked so grand on the outside, Haru seemed to have a taste for the rustic. No room was doted on with fine décor or accents. Every room seemed to have exactly what it needed, no more no less.

It hadn’t taken more than ten minutes for a couple of maids to start slinging food on the table. It was a small feast: Iron cast cauldrons were huddled lip to lip at the center of the table, steaming with an assortment of meats and starches. One pot was heavy with red potatoes, quartered and patiently roasted with oil, herbs and salt. Another had a dark beef tip stew with a flour-based broth, and the third carried a hearty vegetable stew with carrots, corn, onions and beans. At the end of the table there was a honey-glazed hen with light, flaky skin drawn back from the heat of the furnace, and next to that, a plate of warm golden rolls. To Tallyho’s delight there was even a bowl of Banya, a dish from Solace that bakes sweet corn, grain, eggs, cream and sugar together to make a sweet dessert casserole. She had a particular fondness for the dish, and made it her business to reach for a spoonful of it as soon as it hit the table. She pulled the bowl close, scooping a large glop of the delicacy onto her dish.

The maid who rang the bell sucked her teeth at the sight. How could the blonde have the audacity to start tearing the food apart even before her host had arrived? The older woman itched to chastise her, but held her tongue when Haru entered the room. It would have been easy to miss him since he moved into his seat at the head of the table with a cool calm. His hair was damp so one could tell that he’d just bathed even if his fresh set of clothes looked just as rough and worn as the ones he was working in earlier in the day. He took the cloth folded under his utensils with a coarseness and plotted it on his lap. He hadn’t even taken the time to smooth it out evenly over his pants so one could have wondered why he even bothered putting the napkin down on his lap in the first place. When Tallyho finally noticed him, her body was hunched over her meal and her arm swung around the circumference of her plate like she was a prisoner protecting her food from the thieves around her. Haru met her eyes with a coolness and she stiffened a bit, not sure if she should have been more polite or at least a little more graceful in her consumption of food.

“Please eat,” he said. The deepness and resolute nature of his booming voice was just as startling as it was the first time he spoke. “We have plenty of time to talk.” The redhead then reached for the hen, pulling a sizable portion off the bone and onto his own plate. He ate contently, occasionally brushing stray crumbs from his facial hair.

Tallyho, not wanting to strike up a conversation, dove back into her food, continuing to eat if only because she was nervous. She would continue to eat until everyone reached the table, and by the time he’d given them the same “eat now, talk later" spiel the petite girl was stuffed. But instead of looking at Haru, or even taking another serving, she chose to stare at everyone else’s plates as they scooped and scraped the food into their mouths.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Haru Sinwood Character Portrait: Ron Muller
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Ron wandered around the house for a bit before stopping in the living room. The furniture was humble, meaning whoever their host was, he did not care for luxury. Then he found a bookshelf and began to look through them. Most books displayed were either something that complimented the host's interest or were popular enough to recognize. However he could not recognize any of them. Most had foreign titles that he had never heard of until he picked up one called 'Scrapes to Scabs'. He sat down and began to read.

When dinner was called, Ron was stilled buried in the book. It turned out to be an educational book, cataloging every plant and various diseases of an exotic continent. After sitting down out the table he took out a small planner he kept in his jacket pocket and began writing notes to go along with the book. Many of the supposed diseases were similar to malaria or cholera, which could be treated well enough. Though the book advised in this case to treat the subject with salves and potions. It felt more like a hospice care manual than an actual remedy book. Even the treatments were similar to low yield pain painkillers.

"Excuse me, Haru was it?" He addressed the host "Is this book from before the germ theory or is it a history book?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Heather Devereaux Character Portrait: Angela Taylor Character Portrait: Haru Sinwood
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

#, as written by Linnea
"Totally! I'll see you later!" Angela waved goodbye, a sense of relief flooding her. She knew someone now. She didn't know her well, but she knew her. Her name, at least. In a situation like this, that was more than enough. Plus, Heather seemed nice. Definitely the kind of person Angela would want to be around.

Angela was quick to change into her new clothes. She didn't feel particularly safe in her shorts and somewhat revealing top. They certainly wouldn't protect her from the elements. Then there was the possibility of strange men. With no clue where she was, looking cute wasn't exactly a priority or even particularly wanted. Best to lay low.

The outfit given to her was simple. A dusty pink dress with a white apron. Perfect for the summer heat, but providing enough coverage so that her skin wasn't as vulnerable. It reminded Angela of pictures of pioneers she had seen in her schoolbooks.

Her bath was quick. She was a bit dirty, but there was no way she was going to spend a long amount of time naked in this place. So, instead, she waited in her room until she heard the dinner bell.

The smell was enough to nearly knock her dead. Metaphorically speaking. Since when did food smell that good? Was it only after some sort of trauma?

When she was finally able to eat, Angela was careful to take only a little of what she wanted. Some chicken, some stew, some of what she would later learn was called banya. Eating slowly as if she feared being poisoned. All the while, she couldn't help but steal glances around the room. Particularly at Haru. As great as food was, and good god was the food great, she would have preferred an explanation during dinner. Staying confused for this long was leaving her incredibly frustrated.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Heather Devereaux Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Calliope Alexander Character Portrait: Angela Taylor Character Portrait: Haru Sinwood
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

────────────────────────────
Image
────────────────────────────
H E A T H E RXD E V E R E U X
_____ T H EXA R T I S T _____

Outfit: Link Here
Location: Aires - Haru's Farm
Dialogue Color ✦ #8A4E62
Thought Color ✧ #3A0012



Heather had a quick bath.

Normally, she could soak for an entire hour, feel the sudsy surface of her nearly scalding hot water glide across her skin silkily, softening it as she lay back until all but her head was submerged in it. But she knew it wouldn't be like those baths and swallowed down the discontent when she finally saddled into one of the tubs. Besides, she wasn't doing this for enjoyment, not really. Her host had offered it and Heather wasn't about to turn down his hospitality, carrying around the dress that had been offered for the evening. So, she hurried herself along and once done, she slipped into the dress. She took a moment to use the shea butter mixture on her skin; new place or not, if Heather control it, she wasn't going to allow herself to go anywhere with ashy skin. It just wasn't happening. Sliding back into her sandals, Heather released her faux locs from the bun she had styled it in that morning, slipping the scrunchie onto her wrist for safe keeping. Gathering her things, she headed back into the house, the woman with the scar's words still resonating in the back of her mind.

At the time, the woman's brief story had left Heather stunned, lips barely parted in a wordless apology as an expression of sympathy and awe that this woman could find a semblance of amusement in her reaction to what had happened to her. Heather didn't know what she would do in that situation. She would've probably tried to kill someone, honestly. But the point was that she didn't know if she would've had the strength inside of herself to relay the story to anyone else. Heather barely talked about the most mundane if they bothered her. And then to now not fear anyone? Heather liked to believe that she could be fearless, that she already was, in her own way. But then the memory of earlier - of her helplessness at the sight of that monster, of not really doing anything - added itself to the mix and she paused at the back door, frowning. She couldn't do that anymore. If they were going to be confronted with another one of those...things, she needed to be better. She had to be.

"It smells divine in here," Heather exclaimed by way of announcing her presence, not really feeling it to just slip in without saying a word. Before she could sit down, however, her eyes fell on the figure huddled in the corner, eyes partially glazed. "Why is she - ?" Heather briefly glanced at the others in wonder - at Tallyho's ravenous disposition, Angela's somewhat cheerier, one of the other males and Haru - before stepping to the brunette, lowering herself gently without touching her. Heather tilted her head slightly, worried, as she inquired in a softer tone, "Hey...you with us?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Heather Devereaux Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Calliope Alexander Character Portrait: Angela Taylor Character Portrait: Jules Fontaine Character Portrait: Haru Sinwood Character Portrait: Dorian Steinsson Character Portrait: Ron Muller Character Portrait: Aster Storm Character Portrait: Sorrell Hunt Character Portrait: Vegas Sinclair Character Portrait: James Labonair Character Portrait: Emerson Motlilio
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Image


Haru ate patiently, not paying too much attention to Tallyho who gobbled up her food ravenously, or Calliope who was clammed up in the corner. If anything he felt like his attention would have made their nervous behaviors worse, and so he focused on seeming as non-threatening as possible by just staying quiet and eating (not that that helped any.) He pinched away yet another dash of crumbs from his beard. Eventually, he thought, he would be due for a cut. But the days have been so long and preparations for this… interesting (?) group of warriors had taken up so much of his time that he didn’t get much of a chance to even think about personal grooming.

This group… They truly weren’t what he expected. Haru thought he would be given a cast of toned and well-weathered individuals ready for battle, especially considering what happened to the last ones. But instead he got a cast of, well, pretty people. The thought of training them made him want to snicker and a part of his soul buckled down for another century or two of waiting for the next cast of warriors because if this dinner scene told Haru anything, these kids might just die.

He hunched down for another snarl at his hen when one of the young men inquired about his book. Scrapes to Scabs… Haru hadn’t picked the thing up in ages and was a little surprised that it was still in the house. Even more surprised that this kid had the balls to touch anything in his house and talk about it.

“It’s… One of the first books of its kind I suppose. Written a long time by this man named Constance,” Haru paused, not sure how to continue talking about the book without telling everyone that they were in a completely different world. “Let me… Help explain what happened today.”

By the time Haru sat up to speak an adequate amount of time had passed for people to consume at least one serving.

“I wanted to let you eat first before getting into all of this,” he sighed. He wrung his callused hands on the table and leaned forward like a father preparing to firmly tell his child that Santa isn’t real and that the pet goldfish died last week. He didn’t speak in the most coddling tone, but he was straining to sound comforting.

“I’ll try to answer all of your questions best I can, but I ask that you let me explain a few things first... That monster you saw today, the one that was growling and snarling, snapping jaws at you… Most of you have not seen or read about anything like it. But I’m sorry to say that there are more of them. A lot more of them. And somehow, someway, maybe because we’re all just really unlucky, it’s our job to get rid of them before they destroy everything and everyone.

It’s weird to say, but you’re not on earth anymore. Today you are in Aires. And I wish that I could tell you it’s as simple as “being on another planet,” but it’s a little more complicated than that. Aires is nothing like earth. It doesn’t run on the same fabric of time or development. It has none of the technologies most of you are familiar with. It’s a different line of reality with a different set of physics, and when you crossed that path of stars back there you were dumped right into this universe.

While Aires is very different from Earth on a fundamental level. What you all witnessed back there wasn’t normal for your world or mine. These monsters have been appearing in small numbers across our world, and it looks like they’re about to infiltrate yours.

We call them cyclopean. They haven’t been seen in hundreds of years around here, and that was because we had a full line of defense against them. And at the top of this defense was an elite group of 12 warriors named for the months of the year. They were given special abilities that were activated by the gemstones they wore. And with those powers they were given the task of protecting humans from the cyclopean. They failed their mission and were all killed a very long time ago… And now, coincidentally, all of you are wearing their gemstones. Don’t ask me how they got to your world because I don’t have much of a clue… But they are lodged into the necklaces and bracelets and rings from your grandfathers, and fate brought them to you.

There’s a prophecy that says that the stones will find kindred souls to finish the work that the original warriors started, and as much as I’d like to tell you that you can simply give them away and walk away from this, I need to be frank: You are the next set of warriors and the powers that those stones possess, can only be unlocked by you and no one else. I’m sure you felt your stones burning in confirmation… It was the spirit in your gem telling you that you are chosen and that you are not alone. That the people you are meant to embark on this journey with all happened to be in the right place at the right time. I don’t know why any of you are chosen, in fact if I had the choice I would ask for a more… A stronger group to be generous. But you are who you are.”

Haru exhaled quietly. He realized how ridiculous it all sounded, and halfway through he had already committed himself to all the hell he was about to get for it. But if he was being fair, there was no other way for him to give such a complex explanation for “here’s why you’re at my dinner table” in a simpler way.

“Okay… Now you can ask questions,” the redhead grumbled before reaching over for another slice of hen. If he was going to be roasted by a bunch of super powered, baby-faced infants, he might as well reward himself with more food.

[/font]

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Heather Devereaux Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Calliope Alexander Character Portrait: Angela Taylor Character Portrait: Jules Fontaine Character Portrait: Haru Sinwood Character Portrait: Dorian Steinsson Character Portrait: Ron Muller Character Portrait: Aster Storm Character Portrait: Sorrell Hunt Character Portrait: Vegas Sinclair Character Portrait: James Labonair Character Portrait: Emerson Motlilio
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

────────────────────────────
Image
────────────────────────────
H E A T H E RXD E V E R E U X
_____ T H EXA R T I S T _____

Outfit: Link Here
Location: Aires - Haru's Farm
Dialogue Color ✦ #8A4E62
Thought Color ✧ #3A0012



Haru began speaking and although Heather was concerned about the brunette in the corner, she turned her head to gaze at the red-headed male as he continued. What wasn't surprising was the confirmation of her earlier thoughts, that they were far far away from home. And though she had already contended with that truth before the words had ever left her mouth, when she swallowed, it felt like something rancid had gone down Heather's dry throat. What she didn't do, though, was immediately head for the food yet. Instead, she took one of the cups of water off of one of the empty plate settings to drink. The cool drink did little to squelch the hunger Heather had been ignoring since leaving the restaurant some time ago - which now felt like an entire lifetime ago - but she needed to hear everything first.

When Haru intimated that the creatures were more than likely just starting to infiltrate their world - and fuck, wasn't that a concept? Their world? - her mind immediately went to her mother, not at all up to her standard of excellent health, still needing longer breaks in between what she normally would have never considered strenuous activity. Of her father whose favorite weapon was an aluminum bat and how puny it and he would look in the face of one of those creatures. And of her sister who had yet to tell anyone that she was dating, that she was happy and planning on moving out. It made something in Heather ache and she clutched the cup in her hand just a little tighter. As Haru continued, Heather couldn't help but glance down at her bracelets, particularly the turquoise one, as she recalled the burning from earlier. It had just been a gift. It was never supposed to be anything more than that, a thank you of sorts...except it was more. So much more. She even remembered when her mom gave it to her, how she had known that Heather preferred bangles and shades of brown, but for some reason, the turquoise just demanding that it be given to her. How right it had felt. A swirl of emotion hit her then and Heather drank the rest of the water in her cup, needing something to occupy her focus with. She almost wished she had drank more of the wine from earlier because clearly this moment required it.

What Heather could have done was call his bluff and walk the hell out of the room, just nope her way out of the situation. She still had half the mind to do it, to be quite honest. She should have demanded for the host of Punk'd to bring their asses out so she could tell them about themselves, and how they seriously need to work with HBO because their CGI had been absolutely believable. However, she found herself going to the exact plate setting from which she had received her cup and took the seat, taking a breath as she sat. "Okay," she was surprised by how steady her voice sounded, even though on the inside, she felt far less together. She felt wobbly and disoriented, to be exact. Like she clearly needed to lay down and go to sleep so that she could wake up and realize that it was all a dream. At the same time, Haru seemed too serious of a person to play games like this and the events of the earlier part of the day had been too tangible for her to deny their existence.

So, after setting her cup down, Heather reached for a leg of the hen, not knowing how the hell she was going to put anything on her stomach, but knowing that she needed to. In some weird way, food seemed like it was going to help hold her together. Or at least fill in the gaps in which she felt too malleable and not at all steady. While doing this - fixing a plate - her gaze stayed on Haru as she continued speaking, "so, say that we buckle down and do this - be this..." Heather had to clear her throat, pausing at scooping up some of the vegetable stew because regardless of how much she was giving this a chance, there was a note of ridiculousness to it all that her Earth-born brain could not ignore, "line of defense you speak of. What happens after that? Do any of us go home?" Because Heather could do this. It was crazy and she was crazy for saying that she could go with it - any of it. But she wouldn't walk away. There was nowhere to walk in the first place, especially after she herself had already come to terms with them not being anywhere near home. "Because while all of this sounds like a load of crap, at the end of the day, something had to be real in all the shit that we've seen and if these monsters are actually going to start affecting my home and my family, I'll be damned if I don't do something about it. I just need to know what the end result's gonna be if we all do this. Are stuck here indefinitely?" At the time, Heather didn't even know that there was an if to her surviving anything at all. Death just didn't seem like an option, not one she wanted to entertain at the moment, even without the knowledge of her powers.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Heather Devereaux Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Calliope Alexander Character Portrait: Angela Taylor Character Portrait: Jules Fontaine Character Portrait: Haru Sinwood Character Portrait: Dorian Steinsson Character Portrait: Ron Muller Character Portrait: Aster Storm Character Portrait: Sorrell Hunt Character Portrait: Vegas Sinclair Character Portrait: James Labonair Character Portrait: Emerson Motlilio
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Dorian and Jules followed behind their hostess, led along in their small group through the up the stairs and through the wooden halls of the great house. There was a certain relief that came with their entrance along with the woman’s brief explanation. It was a mental shrinking of this strange place they found themselves in to a much more manageable size. Homes, no matter how large, were far less disconcerting for the man born of ice and snow and another who’d grown up in a concrete jungle than the open fields and rolling hills cresting like grassy waves on the horizon. That was not to say that either man was comfortable, however.

Jules, for instance, insisted on walking with his bag clutched tightly to his chest, back hunched as he leaned protectively over it. It was like a child carrying a security blanket, especially given the way that the blonde was absently and anxiously toying with the shoulder strap, although Jules would insist that he was simply being practical. He didn’t know where he was or how long the hospitality would last. It was better to keep his possessions close at hand for a quick escape or at least to hit someone with if things went sour. Given the way some of the others in the group had acted thus far, it seemed like the smart thing to do.

Dorian had his own form of practicality, standing ramrod straight as his eyes darted around the halls. Each doorway, every nook and cranny was noted with a suspicious eye. This was unknown territory in a country that surely wasn’t his own. Anything was possible after what he’d experienced in the past eight or so hours, and he would not be caught off guard again. Short of the Goddess flying in through the roof, he was reasonably certain that he was prepared for anything.

The group was brought to a halt by the natural end of the hallway, three doors the only real disruption in the endless wood panels, as well as the scar-faced woman’s final words. These were to be their rooms. They could bathe, change clothes, wait for dinner, and something about that bothered Jules. Well, many things bothered Jules, especially right now, but that- that was especially not good. They were expected- the bulky ginger had said as much before, the twelve of them guests for their mysterious host. There was a quiet plot here, carrying on at least from the all-consuming light if not further before, and screw that. Jules wasn’t particularly fond of the idea of someone pulling his strings like a marionette, making him gambol and jape towards a destination unknown. His lips twisted into a scowl, and he clutched his bag closer to him.

With the woman gone without another word, the group began to scatter, wandering into rooms or to parts unknown. Some seemed at ease, taking this turn of events into stride, while others seemed harried or upset, tears pricking at eyes and deep breaths attempting to overcome all-consuming panic. They had an hour, maybe two before the light had faded sufficiently to herald the coming of a meal. Now it was all about how to spend that time.


Dorian Steinsson

The room at the end of the hall was filling up quickly, and Dorian found himself moving towards the one closest to the way they’d come. He’d rather be close to the exits should something happen, and if it didn’t, well, one room was as good as another. The rooms were sparsely furnished but almost clinically neat, the beds spread out precisely in a way that kept the room from feeling crowded. Perhaps a few others filtered in behind, so he wasn’t terribly surprised when the blonde person, the one who’d intervened in the fight just long enough to save the brunette girl’s life, wandered in as well, collapsing sulkily on the nearest bed, still cradling their bag.

Never one for breezy conversation, Dorian sat down heavily as well, finally taking the chance to give his person a once-over. The wounds were still gone, not even the crick in his neck from the watch he’d taken in Hales remaining. But the tear in his coat was still there, and dirt and blood, both his and the Cyclopean’s, still stained the fabric. He brushed his hand over the hole in his overcoat and was surprised when someone spoke.

“You want me to fix that?”

It was his blonde roommate-apparent. They hadn’t sat up yet, but their tired, kohl-smudged eyes were now turned on him instead of the ceiling. To their credit, they only flinched a little when Dorian turned fully towards them.

“Your coat-thing. I can, you know-“ He mimed a needle, stitching it through the air. “Fix it. Stitch it up. Whatever.”

Their Common was a little strange, tinged with an accent he couldn’t place, and their words were broken up, more abrupt than the flowing, flowery sentences used by diplomats or taught in school. It took a moment to adjust and piece together, and that was a moment too long for the blonde, apparently.

“Look, you know, I don’t have to. It’s fine. Just thought I’d offer, since, like, there’s nothing else to do-”

“Yes.” Dorian’s answer was as abrupt as the original question. He’d finally caught up with the other’s train of thought and found that he rather liked it. “You fix coat? Yes. Please.”

He shucked his overcoat and walked it over just as the woman returned, a pile of thin, airy clothes clutched in her arms. She handed Dorian his set, neatly folded light brown pants and an off-white shirt, and hesitated momentarily with his roommate who looked suddenly thoughtful.

“Pants, please,” they said after a moment, collecting an outfit much like Dorian’s. The woman left after catering to whoever else may have been in the room. The clothes weren’t very appealing, too thin and lacking the sturdy craftsmanship of Halesian clothes, but they weren’t stained with blood or sweat and were therefore a bit of a better option. Well, after a bath, perhaps. He may not understand or trust the situation, but perhaps he’d feel more human again after washing off the stink of the last few hours and by avoiding dying of heat-stroke in his uniform.

He moved to leave before glancing back at the blonde who had already pulled out a thick, sharp needle from their pack along with an odd sort of thread. Their face was pinched into a look of pure concentration, ignoring the clothes scattered to their side.

“Thank you…?” Dorian said after a moment, trailing off with a slight questioning look.
“Jules,” The other replied after a moment, not bothering to look up. “Who’re you, then? Since we’re stuck together for the time being.”

“I am Dorian.”

“Alright, Dorian. I’ll take care of it.” Dorian caught the affirmative nod, as good a dismissal as any, and left for the baths.


Jules Fontaine

Jules fixed the hole after twenty minutes, most of that time spent examining the cloth itself. The overcoat felt like it was wool, but not a variety Jules had ever seen or heard of, almost too thick to pass even his sharpest needle through. It was a good challenge while it lasted, but not he was stuck with the reality of the situation. This place was all kinds of fucked up. Weird warriors with almost Russian accents, fabric that shouldn’t exist on Earth anymore or ever, and God knows what lurking just outside this room. It was really all too much, so you’d have to forgive him if the only thing that drew him out of his scowl and his room was a maid peeking in the doorway, urging him to follow her to dinner. Jules followed, however reluctantly, leaving the new clothes behind but dragging his bag along with him.

He wasn’t hungry, not even when the magnificent wave of smells came wafting into the hallway as they approached the dining room. Not when the spread, something stripped out of a fantasy film, was revealed, all mouth-watering morsels and tender bites the likes of which you simply didn’t get in New York without offering up a good chunk of change. Not even when others sat down to devour the feast, the warrior, Dorian (still damp from his bath and smelling a whole Hell of a lot better), perhaps most gruesomely of all, attacking the spread like a starving wolf. He certainly looked the part, the thin clothes exposing a lither frame than Jules had expected when they’d first met. Jules sat down next to him, having labeled the other man as “kind of safe the be around” or at least “he owes me a favor”, and sullenly picked apart one of the buttered rolls.

Everyone, or at least almost everyone, had taken their seat by the time Haru cleared his throat, attention drawn to him automatically. Here were the answers to their questions, a plot unveiled. And what a plot it was.


Dorian Steinsson

Month Warriors, Cyclopeans, magic- it was like the stories of old, albeit with the addition of apparently another planet being dragged into the legend.

Most people do not have simple decision making processes, simply because people are quite complex. Dorian was not an exception to that norm, but allow us a moment to briefly see what was going through his brain at that moment. It’s only a fraction of the million thoughts that surely ran through all of their heads, but this specific fraction does a decent job of simplifying it.

The idea of another planet, another world, was probably what convinced Dorian first. These people from Earth, these aliens, accepted that for a fact. Earth, a place Dorian had never heard of, was a real place to almost all of the surrounding group, and the very mention of Aires confounded them. That would explain the general confusion in regards to legends and their frankly bizarre and mildly embarrassing clothing. And wouldn’t that also explain the world he’d glimpsed only a short while ago? The land of giant metal buildings and people with glowing rectangles (glued? Attached?) to their hands. That wasn’t normal. That wasn’t Aires.

The monstrosity he’d fought was a second clue because that was a Cyclopean. It just was. Despite the fact that he’d very contentedly spent a good majority of his life assuming they were merely nightmarish stories to make children behave, he knew one when he saw one. It would be like if a centaur pranced in front of someone from Earth. You would know it to be a centaur from the horse bits combined with the person bits in a very certain way, and it would be impossible, of course, but there it was, eating a carrot right in front of you. That would be a centaur, and in the very same course of logic Dorian knew his mythical encounter was with a Cyclopean.

The magic was perhaps the most difficult thing to grasp, but already Dorian was posed to believe that more than his Earthling neighbors. For a person who’d seen Aires’ first attempt at a flashlight only six months ago, his mind simply wasn’t ready to propose anything like hallucinogenic drugs or perhaps advanced portal technologies. Magic was a much easier explanation for everything that had happened to him within the past day, something thoroughly engrained in even a more scientific culture like the great cities of Hales. Nothing else fit the puzzle quite right, and it was the last answer standing.

Dorian was a rational man, and sometimes the most rational explanation was also the one that you didn’t really want to believe. When you have managed to discount every other possibility, the only explanation left, no matter how fantastical, has to be the truth. Even if he wasn’t thoroughly convinced that he was the right person, he believed enough not to throw a fit or attempt anything rash.

His eyes darted wearily down to his shirt, the impression of his aquamarine necklace under the thin cloth now more ominous than comforting. Dorian didn’t like the idea that a myth was around his neck, dangling like a noose. He wasn’t fond of the fact that now everyone was in an uproar and his life was going to be changed no matter what he did. He certainly disliked the fact that he was miles and miles from home and his worldview had been tilted on its axis. And he hated, absolutely hated, that he had no questions to ask because all he wanted to know was when he could go back home. Home to his job, his family, his beloved country. His home, which was in danger because even if Dorian had rationalized away everything Haru had said, he knew that Cyclopeans were real now, that their attacks would likely increase. So the only question he could think to ask was the one he already knew the answer to; once the job is done.

All of these complex thoughts translated outwardly in this manner: Dorian’s eyes widened a bit, he nodded his head with a little grunt of agreement, and then he turned moodily back to his banya. Because he knew, he knew he couldn’t even think of leaving before he found out a way to bring a solution to the most pressing problem of evil monsters once again terrorizing the land back to Hales. This place, this man, was his best shot. And if it was fake, what had he done other than survived a strange encounter in a strange land? There really wasn’t much to lose

Jules Fontaine

Others did not take the revelation quite as well. Others who had thoughts that echoed Heather’s own initial desire to leave, which she’d squashed down for a more sensible attitude and questions that might actually get them somewhere. Others who did not feel the natural inclination to be mature about all this. Others like Jules.

“Nope.” The single word almost echoed in the initial silence before Haru could reply to Heather’s question, the “p” popping loudly. Jules was already standing up, almost knocking his chair over in his haste. His face had gone white as a sheet, his lips pressed together into a thin line. He was backing away from the table now, quick little steps leading him to the door as he shouldered his bag once again. “I'm gonna ..."
Jules stopped at the doorway, fingers tapping nervously on the door’s frame for a fraction of a moment as he surveyed the table, eyes flashing over everyone gathered together before landing on Haru. He took a shallow, shuddering breath.

“Excuse me. Just a minute." And with that announcement, Jules was gone leaving only the sound of his footsteps fading behind.

Where was he going? Jules really had no idea and was oddly comfortable with that fact. His present destination was “not here” or, alternatively, “far away from whatever the Hell was happening”. There was only so much a modern, reasonable human could be confronted with before his mind reverted into something a little simpler to help him cope.

As far as Jules was concerned, he’d already been subjected to a giant lizard monster, almost dying, what was maybe a pocket dimension straight out of a sci-fi novel, and with what he was beginning to expect was a dinner from maybe Game of Thrones. You would have to pardon him if being told he was on a different planet and had super powers he had to use to save the world was a bit too much. He didn’t have a better explanation, of course, but fever dream and an elaborate prank were at least possibilities he could accept, unlikely as they may be.

Jules wasn’t running as much as he was striding with determination. That is to say that he was going as fast as he could without actually running because he wasn't particularly desirous if a heel getting stuck in a gopher hole. He’d find a cab, eventually. Maybe a surrounding house that wasn’t completely batshit backwards like this place. With that pace he made it out the front door with no one to stop him and was halfway across the yard, headed towards the fields or the hills or wherever the Hell he was going when he noticed that something was off.

It was nighttime. That much was obvious. The blue skies had been traded for a blanket of darkness and stars twinkled overhead. That was fine. That was normal. It was just that there was a strange brightness about everything, the world a little less dark than it should have been, especially with no electric lights to be found. His gait faltered for a moment as he glanced upwards and found the moon. And the moon. There were two moons, both nearly full and glowing in the night sky. It was beautiful, it was fantastic, and it was horrifying all in one. That was it. There was no denying that this wasn’t Earth anymore. This was somewhere else completely, a world away from home.

Jules heard a little whimper as he fell backwards into the grass and was only slightly surprised to realize that it had come from him. He sat there, body still and eyes glued on the alien impossibility hanging overhead.

"Fuck,” Jules breathed, frustration, and the first notes of acceptance staining his words. He lingered for a moment, gazing at those impossible moons before getting to his feet. Well he might as well keep from dying for awhile longer. Somehow cowardice meant not running away, which was very disappointing. Running away tended to be much easier. Well, self preservation must win out in the end.

Jules made his way back inside, slower than his initial exit. If he was going to have to play the marionette, he was going to do it with all the reluctance he felt. No gambolling or japing included.

Jules returned to the dining room, although he refused to let any sheepishness or embarrassment bleed through.

"Yeah. Yep. Best option only option."

"They have two moons, you know," he said dryly as he sat, arms crossed. "Just in case you people were wondering. Jesus."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Heather Devereaux Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Jules Fontaine Character Portrait: Haru Sinwood Character Portrait: Dorian Steinsson
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Image

He called her a Month Warrior. A reincarnation of a legend that was the bread and butter of her entire worldview, whether she chose to believe it wholeheartedly or not. She remembered spending her twelfth birthday packed in the school tent, wistfully reciting the elements of each stone while balancing an Old Thought tome on her crown. Her long, slender neck had enough trouble keeping that bobble head afloat on her narrow shoulders, let alone with the addition of such a thick collection of yellowed paper. The tome was bound in a back so old that the corners of the cover wiggled more her adolescent teeth. The Sun People were more apt to teach their children about the battles and homelands of mythical figures who felt more like dreamy superheroes than actual historical figures, and not basic things like math or science. In fact, the only reason Tallyho was able to learn how to read (and trust she’s not the best reader) was because her grandmother insisted on making her and her cousins read every verse of the Battle of the Gems before bedtime. It wouldn’t do, Baba always said, to believe anything you couldn’t discover for yourself.

While Baba’s words were intended to help her grandkids relish in the Airesian equivalent of the Holy Ghost, Tallyho used the lesson to justify her own disinterest in spirituality. Because after all, it wouldn’t due for her to believe in something like the month warriors or even the cyclopean if she hadn’t seen any proof with her own eyes. Just a day ago she could have cared less about the feats her birth warrior and yet here she was, newly saved from being eaten by a cyclopean and seated across from a man who gave her the biggest “jokes on you” moment of her 19 years of consciousness.

What an ironic turn of events. She didn’t see the proof because she was the proof.

The whole thing hit her like a tree collapsing. And she was stuck under it, reeling in disbelief, laughing in dark comedy. As heather pressed for questions and the ambiguous looking blonde trudged out of the room, Tallyho rolled her eyes to the ceiling and released a wheeze of a chuckle from her chest.

“You joking me, yes?” Her voice was firm and loud but when her eyes finally fell on Haru’s sincerely stoic mug she knew his answer. If that news wasn’t enough to help her catch a second wind after such a coma-inducing meal, then nothing would have. “You tell me I have power? Like what I just zap? Like that?”


Image

Truthfully, Haru expected more difficult reactions. A mass retaliation, a slashed throat. Something a little more headache inducing. But this? Well he could kind of tolerate this. While a portion of the warriors seemed to gruffly accept what’s to come next (he quietly took note of who), another portion asked what would objectively be seen as reasonable questions. But don’t be fooled. A third portion seemed extremely happy to leave the premises immediately and never come back. But those problems tend to take care of themselves usually.
Haru remained quiet as the group came forth with their own questions and decisions. He waited patiently when Jules left, not very insecure about the teen’s likelihood of coming back. If the way the blonde clutched that bag was any indication of how disturbed they were was by this situation, Haru knew that they wouldn’t risk even one night out in the world alone. Jules hadn’t been gone for very long before they marched back to their seat at the table exasperated and, to say quite plainly, shook.

Haru sat up in his chair and the old wood whined and creaked against the pressure of his shifting weight.

“This is… not a joke I’m afraid. But I promise that when you finish this you will go home and everything and everyone will be just how you left them. But in order to secure your future you must sacrifice your time now. If you do not trust me, and you want to take your chances out there alone… Well you are adults and I cannot stop you. Please, walk through this door and do not look back. I can only warn that you are safer as a team than alone. But if you do trust me… Well, the sooner we win the war, the sooner you get home.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Heather Devereaux Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Calliope Alexander Character Portrait: Angela Taylor Character Portrait: Jules Fontaine Character Portrait: Haru Sinwood Character Portrait: Dorian Steinsson Character Portrait: Ron Muller Character Portrait: Aster Storm Character Portrait: Sorrell Hunt Character Portrait: Vegas Sinclair Character Portrait: James Labonair
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

As Ron sat through Haru's long explanation of their current situation, he could not help but let his emotions run rampant. On one hand he was now the main character of what was essentially an RPG/Manga plot. On the other hand he would never be able to finish that final season of Game of Thrones. Overall there were probably more pros then cons. In this world he would have superior technological knowledge and magic to boot. He could use his powers to place himself at the center stage of importance.

Ron began to run through all the scenario's in his head on how the shows placed the protagonist in power when they were sent to a new world. If he had an offensive power he could raise an army and use superior weapons and tactics to claim vast territory; If instead he gained a passive magic then he could gather a cult of personality. Earth was a violent, wicked place that he felt indifferent in, getting high with no clear purpose in life. However, in this world he could be the savior.

Feeling giddy as a school girl he decided to voice his thoughts. "Don't you guys see? This is a blessing in disguise! We'll have the knowledge and power to reshape this world as we see fit. I personally don't want to go back to being a gear in the cog like on Earth. However, I want a few things before signing on. First I want all the books on the history, culture, and geography of this world. Second I'd eventually like a keg of gunpowder. Third, I'm more of the gun for hire type so I'll need a payment up front or I'm sitting right here." Ron reached for the bottle of wine on the table and began to pour wine into his cup, before realizing the last question he would need to ask. "By the way, what's my power?

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Heather Devereaux Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Calliope Alexander Character Portrait: Angela Taylor Character Portrait: Jules Fontaine Character Portrait: Haru Sinwood Character Portrait: Dorian Steinsson Character Portrait: Ron Muller Character Portrait: Aster Storm Character Portrait: Sorrell Hunt Character Portrait: Vegas Sinclair Character Portrait: James Labonair
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Image


Tallyho felt a little flutter in her chest when the young man who had threatened (at least she supposed he had) the farmer from earlier spoke up. But it wasn’t a flattering kind of flutter — the kind that makes a person steal looks across the room between the warm rushes of blood swelling their cheeks. No it was the kind of flutter that signaled a bit of baffle and shock. Maybe a bit of disgust.

Reshape this place? Them? If she understood everything correctly, now these aliens were coming to change her world to how they saw fit? Tallyho wasn’t the smarted person, but she definitely wasn’t an idiot. If there was a moment where she was kind of on board with the month warrior thing, this new element of world domination really took her back to the drawing board. Especially when he had the audacity to ask for payment. And Goddess only knew what a gunpowder was…

Tallyho pressed her lips firmly together, stoic. The only expressive behaviors that gave away how turned off she was at the nerve of this man were the glances she stole across the table toward to the only two dinner guests who, by dress, she could assume were from Aires. The warrior and another blonde.
Then she looked to Haru.


Image


Haru wasn’t the most patient person, but he had will power.

“Well Ron,” he put an emphasis on his name as if to signal that he knew all of their names, and he did. “I can certainly get you the education you need. First lesson: There is no gun powder here. No guns even. This is the kind of world where men fight fist to fist and sword to sword, which might be honorable to some… I highly recommend you get trained in hand to hand combat, especially with the power you have… Which is why I’ll be talking everyone to a special academy north of here for training at the break of dawn. It will be your home for a little while. A hero’s journey begins with your ordinary world, a call to adventure, the refusal to said adventure and then a brush with a mentor. And I am your mentor, not your contractor. Therefore, I won’t be paying you. But you’re welcome to forego the journey. Sit here, run off, you’re welcome to take some food too. But if you choose not to cross the threshold of this adventure, then you ought not to know anything about your power, right? You’d be safer not knowing anything if you’re not committed to the cause. So go off if you’d like, or stay. But these are the terms.”

Haru stood up and his chair slid back with a heavy grunt. “For those of you who will be here tomorrow free of charge, be ready. When we get to the top of the academy, I’ll tell you your true potential. But for now, sleep. It will be a very long day.”
And with that, Haru left.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Heather Devereaux Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Calliope Alexander Character Portrait: Angela Taylor Character Portrait: Jules Fontaine Character Portrait: Haru Sinwood Character Portrait: Dorian Steinsson Character Portrait: Ron Muller Character Portrait: Aster Storm Character Portrait: Vegas Sinclair Character Portrait: James Labonair
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

#, as written by Linnea
When Haru first spoke, Angela’s heart muddily skipped a beat. It wasn’t a pleasant feeling. Rather, it was one of inevitability finally arriving. Like test scores being revealed or checking your credit score. It didn’t help that he was an intimidating man. Though different than the soldier that slayed the beast and ate like a man condemned to death, Haru still had an air of power about him. Angela swallowed a bit of stew. For whatever reason, this didn’t seem like something to listen to with her mouth full.

And it really wasn’t, for she just might have done a dramatic spit take had she actually had anything in there when she heard the news. She could deal with the reality of monsters. The park had solidified her thoughts on that. But another world? Even she found that hard to believe. As he went on Angela stared wide eyed. It was a lot of information to digest.

Angela wasn’t exactly what one would call a sceptic. There comes a point where after buying multiple candles and going through so many seances (failed though they were) that one simply has to admit they might be a bit of an eccentric. Still, even Angela had her limits. Even she needed some shred of evidence. Some reason to believe. She brushed her fingers over her own gem, hoping it would burn as it did before. Any bit of confirmation would have been wonderful. However, it remained the same. So, she was left to think about this situation. Questions just couldn’t come to mind. She was too confused.

This was all unbelievable, but it had happened. A monster appeared in central park. A bridge of stars and oceans had led them somewhere. There weren’t any other explanations. At least, none that Angela liked. Drugs, kidnapping, these thoughts had been racing through her mind. But for some reason they seemed less believable. Maybe, the more she thought about it, the less she wanted to believe it. A reality where they were warriors and there was magic, that one was more palatable.

Others spoke up, and Angela found herself nodding in approval. She even had the brief thought of following the blond who left the building. But, she remained in her seat. Even if it was out of nothing but begrudging acceptance. She couldn’t stay skeptical for too long. It just wasn’t in her nature. So, fine. There were monsters, and other worlds, and warriors with magical stones. It was better to believe in this reality. In this reality, they had a fighting chance.

Maybe that’s why she stood up after the threatening man spoke, her face flushed with anger. Haru left, and had said his piece. Truthfully, Angela thought he said it well. He said it far better than she.

“You gotta be kidding, dude! Like, holy shit. Reshape? What, like a god or something? I mean, if this is all real, these are peoples lives we’re dealing with! Man! I know this is weird, but you don’t gotta be a creep about it!” The words tumbled out of her mouth, clumsy and awkward. She sank back into her seat sheepishly, refusing to make eye contact. But she continued to speak.

“If there are people in danger, in whatever world, and we can do something to stop that, then shouldn’t we? Do we even have a choice, like, as humans? It’s just the moral thing to do, right? Be good and helpful and stuff? So, I’m going along. If there’s any way I can help, I want to. And even if this is all just some dumb thing or drugs or whatever or who knows, at least I tried. I can be proud of myself for that.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Heather Devereaux Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Calliope Alexander Character Portrait: Angela Taylor Character Portrait: Jules Fontaine Character Portrait: Haru Sinwood Character Portrait: Dorian Steinsson Character Portrait: Ron Muller
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Image


Tallyho let a wheeze escape her lungs as one of the foreigners (a blonde one, and boy were there a lot of them) boldly condemned the other man’s reasoning. Perhaps they wouldn’t be as much of a problem in that regard as she thought. It would be bad, but not that bad, she thought. And almost immediately she realized that she was already making concessions for a life she didn’t officially choose yet, accepting this task and the nakky personalities that came with it as reality. She was never that good at fighting back, always raising a voice but nary a finger. Her mind wasn’t racing with plans to escape. At the time she didn’t think of the door as much as she thought she would, and didn’t take the prospect of stealing a horse and galloping out into the night that seriously. She didn’t think about inciting a revolution where they collectively flipped the table and marched out. And to be quite honest, she wasn’t sure if she would have joined in on a rebellion like that anyway.

“I too, am staying,” she hummed. She wait to see who else was going to pledge their lives away to a cause they never knew existed. Instead, she made swift break for the door, marching up the stairs with a firm haste. Her hands were pale and clammy on the stair rails and her palms stuck to the wood as she went. The last they heard from Tallyho that night was the heavy thud of a door.

Tallyho had trouble sleeping that night. After all, she was petrified. This was the most important night of her life. Her presence on the farm by the break of dawn was her signature on a very serious contract. And this very night was her last moment to rip it to shreds before it was notarized. Yet, while she was scared of this metaphorical contract and all the terms and footnotes that came with it, she was more anxious about what would happen if she didn’t sign it.

She knew too much. Too much about the legend and the stakes of a mission like this. And now, too much about herself. Because unlike the warriors from earth who knew nothing about the legends of the gems, Tallyho knew who she was supposed to be. She clasped her stone between her fingers, and a look of wild panic crossed her face. Tallyho was born on February 17th, seventy five seasons ago*, during a thunderstorm. Her birth, as her mother always told it, consisted of her mother, father and a midwife from the Oni tribe, nestled on a bluff overlooking the coast of Freeland. Birthing a child on the face of the edge of the world. It was always a poetic scene by its own merit, but when the baby born of thunder and lightning becomes its conductor, it’s a completely different poem altogether.

She sat up in her bed, watching the window and the way the dark mountains only slightly traced the horizon. She imagined herself galloping northward on a dark horse, determined to be reunited with her nomadic family. But her trot would slow as she moved farther and farther away from the tiny farm, and then, with a face filled with stupor and regret, she would stop her horse completely. She would look back at Haru’s tiny farm, and wonder where on Aires she would go next. She would be alone.

It was this vision that made Tallyho give up on another alternative. She wasn’t going to find her family on her own. And as far as her mom knew, her daughter could have run away on her own merit to find something better. It was very unfortunate that Tallyho only now realized how little she seemed to enjoy her family. And with everything she ever knew lost somewhere on the continent, probably miles and miles away, she was missing them incredibly.

The blonde reclined back into her bed and blinked away a wave of tears. She breathed in, clearing her sinus of an impending gush of mucus. She, at least, hoped that her mother craft a more positive narrative around her disappearance. One where Tallyho ran away to find a passion that didn’t fit within her current reality. One where she fell in love and was off having fun and being free. Her mother would like to think that, even if she lost her child in a pursuit of happiness. More than anything she hoped that her mother didn’t have nightmares about her daughter face down in a river, or defiled by a man, or both. Tallyho wasn’t sure if she would be able to live with those images. And so, for the first time since she was an impressionable 8 year old, Tallyho prayed to the Goddess.

The last time Tallyho Abel fell asleep, she sunk into her blankets and woke up in another world. On this day, however, she woke up in Aires, to soft light from a dusty window, a bed head like a fuzzy halo, sore legs and her hands clasped and cramped from the fervor of nocturnal prayer.

Image


Every morning Haru would perch outside with a cigar and watch the dawn’s white sky turn blue. It was a ritual he rarely missed, and today was no different. The redhead was perched on the back of a cart, breezily blowing smoke into the air. One farm hand was perched on the driver’s stoop, and though the soles of his feet were pressed firmly against the footboard, his legs were so long that they folded dramatically to his chest like twin spires. He was bent over a jar, spooning a goopy starch into his mouth and shooing away persistent horse flies between bites. He was spooning up glops of warm biscuits and venison gravy that the maids prepared in the wee hours of the morning. Another farmhand was loading extra jars in the back corner of the wagon. They were wrapped in cloth and he was careful to stack the two dozen or so jars in such a way that they would not take up too much space. It was enough food for everyone to have a breakfast this morning and a lunch later. Anything after that would have to be bought from a village market on the way up north.

Haru took a long, deep inhale of his cigar as he waited for the warriors to come outside. They were going up the mountain for the first course of their journey, for training. Truthfully, he looked forward to this moment, interested in seeing who lasted the night. He didn’t think many of them would stick with the program so one could imagine his surprise when one out of the house was one of those shrimpy blonde kids.

Tallyho was bracing herself against the cool air of dawn. The early mornings were getting colder and colder, a sign that summer was ending. Haru squinted his eyes and chuckled dryly.

“Well… Hello my savior. At least there’s one of you.” As she got closer Haru could tell that she wasn’t very amused. The farmer flattened his lips into a tight, awkward smile. He wasn’t the best at jokes he supposed. “Hop on in the cart and get a good seat. There are jars for food back there, some water tins too. I’ll have them pack some blankets. The ride is going to be a day or two.”

Tallyho nodded dejectedly and rummaged through the jars, and although they all had the same amount of food she selected one that she thought felt the heaviest in her hand. The jar screwed open with a wheeze and a pop and the blonde proceeded to push her biscuit down into the thick gravy with the wooden spoons Haru provided. The taste was warm and hearty.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Heather Devereaux Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Calliope Alexander Character Portrait: Angela Taylor Character Portrait: Jules Fontaine Character Portrait: Haru Sinwood Character Portrait: Dorian Steinsson Character Portrait: Ron Muller
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

────────────────────────────
Image
────────────────────────────
H E A T H E RXD E V E R E U X
_____ T H EXA R T I S T _____

Outfit: Link Here
Location: Aires - Haru's Farm
Dialogue Color ✦ #8A4E62
Thought Color ✧ #3A0012



Heather had felt her heart flutter when Haru stated that the sooner that they won the war, they could all go home. That was her motivation. There was no glory in the battle that she knew of, no adrenaline at the thought of fighting and swords clashing (because she was seriously envisioning one of them on some excalibur type shit at the moment) and possibly getting hurt. Heather could definitely do without that last part. She'd seen enough fantasy shows and films to know that guts on the ground and all that gore wasn't exactly the kind of life she was about. At the same time, experiencing all of that could lead to going home and unlike Ron, Heather wasn't ecstatic about being away from the life that she had known. She didn't hate her world as much as he apparently did. So, she had already made up her mind, yes, that she was going to do it. But Haru confirming that home could very well be an option only solidified her resolve.

Ron speaking, however, made Heather cut her eyes at him, even as she wanted to apologize to Haru like a mother for the sake of her irrational and disrespectful child. Except had it been Heather's mom, said child would've gotten their butts spanked in front of the company they disrespected while being expected to apologize afterwards or even during. Such a thought, even paired with the memories of a younger version of herself being crazy hurt over being hit for something she had done, sent a pang of longing to Heather's heart that she stuffed with a mouthful of bread. Nevertheless, she almost choked on said bread when Haru threw what Heather was definitely going to classify as shade before dipping out, leaving just them. The Month Warriors. Definitely gonna take some getting used to, she thought as she poured some wine into her cup. Heather had really not wanted to do it, but after the kind of talk they had all had, it was needed. No point in denying herself that. She had half the mind to leave the Ron situation alone; Angela had handled it in her own way. But Heather couldn't help but feel insulted in Haru's place, especially after all of his hospitality. More than that, though, Ron sounding like a complete ass made it an excuse for Heather to unleash some kind of venom from her mind. She had let everything roll over her today and other than a brief moment of weakness that she thought only one person had seen, she didn't want to let this roll over her. Plus, they were all going to be together for a good amount of time. They were going to have to get used to each other anyway, and that included getting used to her mouth.

"And gun for hire type , dude? Really?" She demanded incredulously. "You're honestly lucky he wasn't an ass for hire type who told your dumb butt to go follow the yellow brick road off a goddamn cliff for even demanding some shit like that after helping us like he did today, with your wannabe Joffrey Lannister lookin' ass." She sneered, mocking Ron's tone, "'I'll need a payment upfront.' You better hope your newfound god complex don't make your payment me Olenna Tyrell-ing your ass on this road 'cause I might not know much here, but my parents are doctors and I learn fast." It occurred to Heather, only after the fact, that Ron was the only one with a gun and that he could therefore pose as a threat to her for her to be issuing threats of her own. But this entire day had been a threat to Heather - to everything she has ever known - and that made her unflinching in her anger and disgust as she glared at the man. Before long, though, Heather was exiting the room herself with nothing more to say to him nor anyone else at the table, leaving behind her half-finished stew and nearly gone piece of hen. She took the cup of wine with her, though.


___________________________________


By the time Heather made it past the front door, she was back in her clothing from yesterday and was in the process of tying her hair up into an updo. The cool breeze that greeted her made her almost rethink the idea, but then her hair was fully up and Heather just didn't have it in her to let it back down. Besides, she figured she would need to get used to it. They were supposed to be training or something like that; she had to accustom herself to having the hair out of her way. She had even debated just using the night before to take out all of the locs, but opted against it. While the thought had been a good distraction and something to focus on other than second thoughts about her decision to stick with Haru, Heather thought it smarter to deal with a protective style for as long as she could before having to deal with her own natural hair, especially with limited options as there were. Eventually, though, she was going to have to deal with the fact that none of them were really going to be able to do much about looking cute or switching up like she was used to. So, for now, this would have to do.

"Morning," she greeted with a thin smile as she climbed into the cart, distantly trying to tell her mind to not worry about the cool weather. Heather was used to telling her mom that she could handle the cooler weather just a little while longer, opting plenty of times to wear lighter sweaters or jackets than the ones her mother had always wanted for her. She ran warmer, she would always remind the woman, warming her mother's hands with her own when her thin gloves did very little for her. At this point, though, Heather almost wished she had a sweater then and there. It wasn't unbearable and she would adjust soon. Hopefully, anyway.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Haru Sinwood Character Portrait: Ron Muller
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Ron found the trip to be fine enough, although he could do for more blankets and less of Haru's snoring. He mostly either slept or read the Scrapes to Scabs along with the other maps. He learned quite a bit about the world from that book. Medicine was virtually nonexistent as the remedies mentioned were just for easing pain. It read more like a guide to how to work in hospice care rather than an actual doctor. It also gave a list of herbs and drugs that were very similar to the ones on earth, though slightly different in appearance. The diseases were also somewhat similar. Some had similarities to small pox or Bubonic, while others looked like something from GOT. Throughout the journey Haru started acting unusually friendly and started to point out spots like they were on a tour. At that point Ron would just light one up, ignoring anyone else who disliked the smell of tobacco.

Eventually they reached Malboro. Ron first laughed when Haru said that was the name of the capital, mostly because it sounded like a city ran by big tobacco. Still the town was pretty enough. Although the population was probably small compared to Earth, it still did not stop the city from looking like Troy over from the distance. The walls were strong and impressive, like they could hold out near any attack. Soon they got off and went into a small inn. So instead of getting food with the group's bumpkin, he decided to go out and get a strong drink.

After wondering around a bit, Ron walked into a tavern that looked cleaner on the outside. Inside it was dark wood and their were loads of pipe smokers. He came up to the barkeep and ordered a beer. What he got tasted like watered down bud-light, it would have to do. Ron eyed around the bar until he spotted a middle age man in the corner of the room. He wore an eye patch like a pirate and kept blowing on a candle that just refused to go out. So he downed his ale, bought two better ones, and brought the pints over to the man's table. There he placed the extra pint in front of the stranger before asking, "May I sit here?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Heather Devereaux Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Calliope Alexander Character Portrait: Angela Taylor Character Portrait: Jules Fontaine Character Portrait: Haru Sinwood Character Portrait: Dorian Steinsson Character Portrait: Ron Muller
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

────────────────────────────
Image
────────────────────────────
H E A T H E RXD E V E R E U X
_____ T H EXA R T I S T _____

Outfit: Link Here
Location: Aires - Marlboro
Dialogue Color ✦ #8A4E62
Thought Color ✧ #3A0012



While Heather couldn't genuinely say that the ride to Marlboro was the most unpleasant one she had ever been on - while notably different, the journey was definitely similar to Megabus rides and road trips that offered little room and sometimes an inability to stop an actual restroom to use the bathroom - she was ecstatic upon learning that they were arriving in a place where they could freely stop for a little bit of comfort. She had held her tongue when they first arrived in front of the guards, staring the men down when their gazes seemed to linger on her for far too long. Great. I get trapped in the Seven Kingdoms and racism is everywhere, she thought sourly, sending the guards one final cold look as they passed through without trouble. Soon, though, Heather was distracted by the throng of people and honestly this picturesque visage of life in the city. It didn't matter that this wasn't a city as she had learned to know them, but it was one reminiscent to the depictions in museums and text books of the past when she had to study different time periods. Her hands ached, once more, to paint this, to bring it to life on canvas. Yet and still, Heather had no such materials and pouted inwardly as she followed Haru to where they would be staying.

"Yes, definitely," Heather replied immediately upon Tallyho wanting to know if they were getting something to eat. In fact, Heather had only readily nodded when Tallyho turned her gaze to her in question of who everyone who room with. It seemed only natural that Heather would go with the blonde. At the moment, though the only person she truly seemed to have any issues with was Ron even with his unexpected show of excitement during the day, it was only between Tallyho and Angela that Heather would choose to be in a room with. Them or that Dorian guy. He was somewhat frigid, sure, but Heather wasn't going to deny to herself when someone was attractive. Not the time, she had tell herself, shaking her head before going with Tallyho and the others to find food. Eventually, they did and it was definitely more delicious than the biscuits and gravy, though that might have something to do with satisfying the sweet tooth Heather had with what she learned the other night had been banya. Eventually, though, they had all finished their food and began to wander about, taking in the sights of this land none of them were familiar with. It must've been the artist in her - the one who had helped with set design during her freshman year for a play over on Morehouse's campus - that was drawn to a tent where she heard loud laughter.

"Hey, guys, let's go over here," she called out loud enough for them to hear her, already steps ahead as she bound over, not even paying attention to who followed her or not. She couldn't help it; she was intrigued and upon seeing that it was a play, Heather couldn't help but be interested. She remembered reading about how playwrights like Shakespeare wrote about the political issues of the age in jesting manners, oftentimes hiding negative opinions by colorful words and exaggerated actions from his various characters. And considering the large amount of people within the tent, watching raptly, Heather couldn't help but become one of them, unaware of having needed to pay before entering.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Heather Devereaux Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Calliope Alexander Character Portrait: Angela Taylor Character Portrait: Jules Fontaine Character Portrait: Haru Sinwood Character Portrait: Dorian Steinsson Character Portrait: Ron Muller Character Portrait: Aster Storm Character Portrait: Sorrell Hunt Character Portrait: Vegas Sinclair Character Portrait: James Labonair Character Portrait: Emerson Motlilio
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Image


One would be lying if they didn’t admit that the Month Warriors had a collectively chaotic day in Malboro. Nonetheless, the strange encounters they’ve experienced were no reason to not move on from the walled city before day break. Haru made sure of that, taking it upon himself to wake up early and personally round up the warriors, even if it meant snatching the wool blankets right off of their unconscious bodies. They had one more day of travel left.

You see, Haru wasn't the only immortal who had been waiting for the next group for hundreds of years. There was more of him where he came from, twelve to be exact. And while he knew not of where most of his fellow guardians went, he knew of at least one person who was only a cart ride away. And today, they were going to him.

Tallyho, who had been one of those who slept so soundly that Haru had to physically snatch her covers off, didn't take kindly to the rude and early awakening. In fact, she was a little angry, although she was much too scared of Haru to outwardly voice her wrath. And so she spent the earliest part of their ride quietly fuming in the corner of the cart. To be fair, that wasn't the only reason why she was peeved though.

All of her “best friends” growing up were her cousins and even then she didn’t feel like she had that much of an attachment to them. But in the off chance she made a friend with a settler, the friendship seemed to end almost as swiftly as it began. Such was the case with Ingra, at least she thought so at the time. When they parted ways last night Ingra invited Tallyho to visit her in Malboro whenever she wanted. Tallyho accepted the invitation uneasily. But in her heart she knew that she’d probably never see the towering feminine figure again. Especially when she didn’t know where she’d be next.

The next five hours were probably the most trying. There were no more snacks in the cart and a strong scent was beginning to develop amongst the group members. They travelled so much before this point but Tallyho, years later, would always remember those five hours as the most uncomfortable hours of her life. She needed to get out of this cart. Fast. And it didn’t help that they had gained some altitude on the mountain path. The ground was far below them, hidden by canopies of trees and autumn mist. The snow was going to come down soon enough.

She wondered if they’d be trapped on this mountain and how high they were going to go. By this point they were nowhere near the top.

“We are almost there,” Haru assured them, as if on cue. “Ryou lives here. He was a guardian too. And when we went our separate ways he built a modest training ground up here. Takes in a handful of students, many orphans, and teaches them how to fight. Many go on to be mercenaries. This academy will be your new home for a few months. You need to learn how to defend yourselves because there will be lots of people who want to challenge you, test you, kill you… So you need to be ready.”

As they weaved and turned precariously on the winding mountain path, Haru proceeded to name each of the teenagers and their associated powers off to them. He hadn't forgotten his promise to tell them who they were. But Tallyho, being Airesian, was quite aware of who she was already.

Soon after, the upward path levelled into narrow road that wedged through two slabs of mountain face. And soon, they were surrounded by forest. The view over mountain ledge was gone, and besides the fact that Tallyho’s ears had popped, she wouldn't have been able to tell that they were in fact, on a mountain.

“It looks like we’re here,” Haru said.