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Birthstone Spirits: The Second Revival

Aires

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a part of Birthstone Spirits: The Second Revival, by birthstone_spirits.

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birthstone_spirits holds sovereignty over Aires, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

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Aires

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Aires is a part of Birthstone Spirits: The Second Revival.

17 Characters Here

Tallyho Abel [88] The Apathetic Amethyst
Heather Devereaux [86] The Tenacious Turquoise
Angela Taylor [77] The Cheerful Topaz
Ron Muller [66] The Reckless Garnet
Calliope Alexander [61] Perilous Peridot
Jules Fontaine [55] The Petulant Pearl
Dorian Steinsson [50] The Chilly Aquamarine
Haru Sinwood [46] The Guardian of February
Emerson Motlilio [40] WIP
Sorrell Hunt [36] Fateful Sapphire

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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: Dorian Steinsson Character Portrait: Ron Muller Character Portrait: Aster Storm Character Portrait: Sorrell Hunt Character Portrait: Vegas Sinclair Character Portrait: Emerson Motlilio
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Dorian Steinsson


If Dorian had been concerned about fighting a legendary monster with just a sword (which, as a relatively sensible person who was already injured, he absolutely was), there was some modicum of relief for him within the following four minutes. People were screaming the moment the Cyclopean arrived, something Dorian could hardly fault them for. The words were mostly in Common, he guessed, stained with accents he couldn't quite put his finger on (not surprising given that his encounters with foreigners were few and far between, even in Kora. Those that he'd actually interacted with were more keen to practice their own grasp of his language than to let him practice theirs, as was the way of foreign diplomats eager to impress), and he was momentarily grateful for his mother's insistence on teaching him more than just the language of Hales. Well, grateful until he realized the initial gems of knowledge being throw his way were simply to run.

That was all well and good for them, Dorian supposed, but turning your back on a nine-foot nightmare that seemed relatively eager to rip out your spine simply wasn't in the cards for this soldier. He dropped into a more appropriate defensive stance, adjusting his grip on his sword. No, there was no running away. The name of the game was survival, and, as the Cyclopean lashed its tail feverishly from side-to-side and jerkily began to thrust forward a menacing claw already glistening scarlet with Dorian's blood, Dorian was reminded that one of the most important elements of survival was luck. Which, as it turned out, most people around here didn't really have.

Take for instance the dog (or at least he thought it was a dog, although not a breed he'd ever seen) hurtling towards the Cyclopean and sinking its teeth into the monster's haunch, a bewildered and horrified boy not far behind. The nightmare creature let out another blood-curdling screech, another chilling message being sent to the prehistoric hind brain of all those who heard it to run, run, run. It was a wounded animal, after all, not one seeking revenge. It would go after the most pressing threat, and that did not exclude small beasts with sharp teeth, even if it didn't succeed in breaking through the Cyclopean's thick, scaly hide.

The boy pulled the dog off but froze to the spot as his dog continued to howl and snarl, lunging for the Cyclopean again and again. The boy hissed something, something foreign and strange (and maybe about ducks and life? Was that the Common word he had used?) and turned to stare at Dorian. And now, Dorian realized, he had a responsibility. Great. There were few things worse in a battle than having to worry about another person, especially one missing both weapon and appropriate protection from the elements. It was even worse in close quarters where they made life more difficult simply by being too close, a possible further obstacle in an already difficult fight.

That was when the call was made, a yell among the chaos that caught even Dorian's attention in the heat of the moment.

"Hey, take off the head!"


He spared the speaker a half-second glance, an oddly dressed girl possibly from Nomansland standing next to a nearly catatonic blonde, the only person here who didn't look strange apart from her clothes being the wrong season. The call was in Common, but he was adjusting quickly enough, always better at comprehending than speaking the other language.

The head. That was right. That was the appropriate way to do it. It was always the head in his grandmother's stories, always the neck that needed to be chopped through to kill a Cyclopean quickly. There were other ways to do it, but this was the way of the human hero, not one of the glistening Month Warriors with their spectacular powers and weapons.

Which left his next course of action clear. Step one was to get the other man out of the way, and it wouldn't be pleasant- for the other boy at least. Dorian's unarmed hand was already lashing out, thrusting a palm painfully and forcefully into the other boy's chest. The movement ached, Dorian remembering too late that he was using his injured, bleeding arm, but with any luck, the other boy would go flying back, out of the range of the Cyclopean's swooping claws and thrashing tail. The dog may be loose for a moment, may even turn on him for attacking its apparent owner, but Dorian was far more willing to take that chance than risk another untrained person running around underfoot.

Now was his chance. The beast was still distracted, black, black eyes narrowed in on the dog and its master, and it was time for step two, to simply cut off the creature's head. It would have been that easy if another person hadn't entered the fray.

It was a girl, a brunette running towards them and jumping onto a tree branch, yelling at him to... yelling at him to move while the monster was distracted. And the Cyclopean was distracted, but perhaps not in the way she had hoped. The Cyclopean was confused, but it was like an automaton, a being that would keep moving, keep fighting until it was no longer able, regardless of wounds and the odds against it*. It would go for the closest threat, and this pale little thing throwing itself into the creature's space and yelling alien, alien words was as good a threat as any.

*When later recounting the moment, Dorian would feel an odd sort of kinship with the Cyclopean at that description, which he decided to never dwell upon again because that was just depressing.


The Cyclopean reared another arm back, claws sharp as swords arcing forward in a sudden movement. Dorian didn't have time to do anything about that because it was moving too fast and just a little too far for him to intervene. He pitied her fate, but didn't feel any particular remorse on his own part. She'd thrown herself into a battle, had likely known the odds, and this was the price to be paid by all combatants some day. Instead, he let himself move behind the creature, sword arcing backwards to take its head. Too late for the girl, but not too late for Dorian or the rest of these strange people.


Jules Fontaine


This, of course, didn't happen. To pull our attention back to another player in this incredibly bizarre game of Monster Fighting, Jules was, against his better judgement, still on the scene. Of all of the Earthlings in Central Park, he was possibly the only one convinced of the monster and his vicious looking opponent's authenticity almost automatically. After all, Dorian had literally burst from the Earth about three feet from Jules, dragging an unmanly shrill shriek from Jules's mouth when the sword popped out first followed by an actual human. And that was weird. That was incredibly, stupidly weird, so Jules began to back-pedal, out of the way of the bizarre man with an honest-to-God sword who'd just randomly popped out of the Earth.

Wide-eyed and confused, he'd observed the man with the same sort of shocked way the man was observing his own surroundings. He was a fierce, dark looking person, a little too sharp, a little too lean, and a little too wolf-like for Jules's taste. His clothes were thick and the fabric- it was breath-taking, all wool and a type of cloth he'd never seen before, something painfully foreign and old-fashioned. He looked every part the villain from some Game of Thrones knock-off, and common sense had Jules inch slowly backwards, careful not to draw attention to himself.

But maybe this man wasn't the villain of this piece, he later realized, because a giant monster was suddenly digging itself out of the same hole. Now that... That was villain material. The other man looked practically heroic in comparison. The thing was a piece of Jules's darkest nightmares, too alien, too lizard-like, and too frightening almost to comprehend. He stumbled backwards, unheeding of being quiet or careful now, throwing himself behind the nearest tree. The tree that started it all, although he was never to know that.

He wanted to run, wanted to get out of there and make it for home (he would choose even the pretentious scoffs of actors over death any day, although it was a near thing), but his legs were like jelly, buckling around the knees until he collapsed behind his hiding spot. Oh, God. Oh, God. Why hadn't he just gone home? He was going to die here, and... Nope. This was not his fault. This was definitely going to be someone else's fault because Jules did not ask for this. Whether it was the monster's fault for springing into existence from the depths of human terror or his parents' fault for being so dumb and disappointed that he didn't want to go home, this was not on him. Fuck that. His choices were fine.

Despite his panic, despite the way that his teeth were set on edge and the goose flesh that rose on his skin in primal terror when the monster screamed, he was soon able to move a little, to turn back and witness the scene behind him. There was that dog again, its animal instincts driving it to attack the giant, looming threat, despite its owner's protests. And the warrior, he was still there (thank God), pushing the boy and dog back and heaving his giant sword (if it had been any other situation, he might have giggled at the phrasing) backwards, ready to take the advice of someone shouting about cutting off its head. Good. Good, yeah, that was good. Things could end well.

Or maybe not because a girl was suddenly at the very same damn tree he was trying to hide behind, yelling and swinging on a branch to catch the monster's attention. And the monster was moving too fast for anyone to stop, deciding the yelling girl was a threat to be reckoned with. Enormous claws sliced through the air, aimed right at her throat. That's when Jules did an incredibly stupid thing.

There wasn't much thought that propelled him forward, no real common sense. He was just moving, and it felt like an out-of-body experience because surely this wasn't Jules Fontaine rushing forward, surely it wasn't him jumping and grabbing the girl around the middle, pulling her forcefully down, down, down to the earth below, landing among the winding roots of the tree in a tangle of limbs. The claw passed through thin air, striking the tree itself and sending shattered bark onto the two beneath the tree.

"You crazy bitch," Jules breathed, in shock of his own actions, and one could never be sure if it was to Sorrell or to himself.


Dorian Steinsson


Now that was unexpected. Dorian hadn't seen the person behind the tree (an issue he'd have to work on because he knew better than to ignore his surroundings during a fight), but he'd certainly seen the blonde person move, yanking the girl out of the way in one quick, brutal move. Well. Good on (her? him? Dorian didn't have the time to really tell or really care).

Dorian took his opportunity, moving swiftly, unhindered by his familiar blade and the pumping adrenaline of a fight masking the ache of his arm. He could feel the necklace under his shirt pulsate with his heart beat, now warm and grounding instead of burning. He didn't bother to cry out when he moved (screaming at enemies was typically frowned upon in a sneak attack), instead swinging his sword with a quiet precision at the Cyclopean's neck. The first blow didn't cut through the scales completely, stopping halfway. The second nearly had it as the Cyclopean let out its last blood-curdling screech. The third, however, finished the job, the head toppling to the ground in a dramatic, but surprisingly clean fashion. There was no spurt of blood, no slow ooze from the stump of its neck as the body toppled over soon after. Instead, the body seemed to glisten in the sun, glitter like a thousand jewels before shattering into onyx shards.

Dorian stood above the mound for a moment, breathing hard and resisting the urge to smash through the stones again with his sword just for good measure. Instead he knelt down and grabbed a handful of them in a gloved hand. A good trophy, perhaps, or at least something to deliver back to Hales as evidence.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Heather Devereaux Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Angela Taylor Character Portrait: Jules Fontaine Character Portrait: Dorian Steinsson Character Portrait: Aster Storm Character Portrait: Sorrell Hunt Character Portrait: Vegas Sinclair Character Portrait: Emerson Motlilio
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Emerson fell backwards in defeat. His ass hit the grass, watching as the monster turn into sparkly dust. His hands were shaky, tightly gripping at Hades harness. The dog was still barking, canines snapping in anger. Emerson grabbed the dog, tugging him close until he calmed. Letting go, Emerson watched his pet walk over to the pile of shards, sniffing it.

Nothing was making sense to him, except the tremble of his hand as he fished out a pack of cigarettes. He placed the firestick between his lips, producing a little flame from a Zippo lighter. He inhaled deeply, holding onto the breath for several seconds. Smoke slowly began to waft out of nose when he exhaled.

Dropping the pack and lighter into the grass, tossing his hat aside as he ran his hands through his hair. His hand felt like it was on fire, the burning centered around his ring. Paying it no mind, Emerson closed his eyes. Noises of a crowd was all he heard, the click of a camera. Some people were even clapping. Looking up, he watched the man with the sword. He was striking, albeit dressed a little out of season. And century. He watched the man as he examined the shards. He watched Hades, tail wagging as the pup looked up at the soldier. It was almost as if Hades was telling the man a job well done, nudging at his hands that had the shards.

Emerson stood up, grabbing his belongings and walking over to them. As he walked over, he had his hands up in surrender, just in case the guy felt like he needed to hack his neck off too. Instead he crouched down, putting his hat on and twisting the cap backwards. Patting his knees, Hades jumped up to greet the man. He grabbed the canine by the face, pressing his skin together, ”You’re a fucking ballsy idiot, aren’t you?” He cooed.

He pet the dog, making sure not to blow smoke into his dogs face. Hades seemed pleased with himself, licking his owners face and receiving all the praise Emerson gave him. Looking up at the man, he rose to his feet. There was something foreign about him, but Emerson felt as if he owed his man his life. Frankly, he probably saved many lives today.

“I don’t who you are, or whatever that thing was, but thanks.” He practically stammered the sentence, holding out a free hand to the man. He had no desire to piss off the man with a weapon, instead giving him a gentle smile. “I’m Emerson, this here is Hades.” He gave his pet a pat to the head. He stepped closer to the man, his voice lowering, “Now, a bunch of crazy shit has been happening, any idea why?”

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: 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
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Aster Storm


It's just a dream.Aster told herself, denying that the painful heat coming from her wrist meant that it could not be. Really. It will be okay. I don't know where I am, but it will be okay.

She desperately clutched at the basket of, admittedly ragged, roses that had somehow managed to come with her. The tension in her stomach eased as she took a deep breath and tried to get her bearings.

Then came the roar, unlike anything she had heard before. The color left her face and, though she certainly did not want to see what had made the awful sound, she could not stop herself from turning around. Her eyes met the creature and, for a moment, Aster was completely in denial.

Impossible. It isn't real. It cannot to be real.

Of course, the people in Le Fey believed fervently in the Old Thought, and therefore the Cyclopeans. Though that was what she was raised to believe the stories of the King of the Void and the mother, she had always assumed them to be old superstitions. She never dreamed them to real, and definitely never thought to see one.

Having little idea as to what else she could do, Aster ducked behind the bench, hoping in vain for any amount of protection the small thing could provide, not even noticing the battle ensuing behind her.

Some man strolled up to her like there was no danger whatsoever and started talking to her.

Bewildered, she rambles in her almost British accent,"What are you doing? What are you talking about? What is a movie?" Then she pulled at his hand to try to get him under some sort of cover as well. "Why would you be so laid-back about a Cyclopean? They kill people!"

Nearly as quickly as she had finished her little freakout, she heard the creature's cries of pain and then a hush. How much crazier could this get?

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
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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: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Heather Devereaux Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Calliope Alexander Character Portrait: Angela Taylor Character Portrait: Jules Fontaine 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
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Tallyho hardened her stance as the woman with the intricate hair gripped her arm firmly. She couldn’t blame her, utter chaos was unfolding around them: The sweet pup who’d doused the blonde’s face in sloppy kisses only moments before, was now unsheathing its teeth, gnawing at the cyclopean like a particularly empowered mosquito. People around them were screaming and gawking, aiming their small rectangular devices in the direction of the monster. She wondered if the curious knick-knacks agitated the cyclopean more, seeing as they didn’t seem to be doing anything to kill it. One woman even threw herself upon the very tree that Tallyho had been trying to finesse her way out of since the beginning of this fiasco. And when the cyclopean let out another blood curdling screech? Well, Tallyho’s heart sank to the absolute pit of her stomach. Her legs felt weak and her waif figure threatened to collapse into the grass like a skipped stone sinks to the bottom of a river bank. Tallyho’s ears seemed to fill with water as she watched the warrior take a few messy swings to the monster’s neck. She couldn’t clearly hear the curdling hack of the warrior’s sword into the cyclopean’s tough, scaly neck, or the tingle of small onyx shards raining down on the width of his blade as the terror shattered from existence.

She stood there for a while, watching the pile of shards as a few hands seemed to pick through the dark gems left behind. As pieces were taken, Tallyho wondered what part of the cyclopean they were taking with them? Arm or leg? Jaw or claw? She halfway wondered why they’d want this sort of memorabilia at all. Her light head seemed to float back down to reality and the echoes in her ears corrected themselves.

She was a bit pleased (just a little) that her advice was right. That for once, she could definitively prove to her Baba that she had been listening to something all these years. She would have counted this accomplishment as a personal victory for the day, except what happened next gave breath to a whole new list of things she could have given herself a pat of the back for surviving.

There was a soft, low rumble in the distance. A sound Tallyho likened to wind rippling past her ears when she rode a horse at full speed. The sound was dense, and increasingly becoming loud. And then there were the trees—the leaves shuddered slightly and then more abruptly. Her green eyes were trained on the foliage, and without thinking she slowly reached up to grab the other girl’s arm too. It was a non-verbal gesture—one that would have translated as “not today Satan,” had there been such a figure in Airesian lore.

And then there was a light, a growing dome that seemed to creep from between the tall buildings on the horizon. The light inched slowly at first, but as it grew closer, one would realize that it was barreling in their direction at such a high speed that there was no chance at out-running it. As it came, the slow tremble of the lawn became more of an earthquake accompanied by a fantastic gust of wind that licked back Tallyho’s tresses in a single brush.

Tallyho, if she wasn’t already gone, decided that she was going to die today. The wall of light wasn’t stopping. It was far from stopping. It was going to decimate everything in its path and all of this extraneous stress would have been for absolutely nothing. Tallyho’s existence would have meant nothing. That cyclopean? Nothing. The wind felt increasingly suffocating as the light hurdled closer. Tallyho always thought that if she was going to die young, it was going to be on her own terms. But now, she supposed that she was a total fool because, hello, who could ever forget the great big explosion of light that occasionally ravaged the planet at unexpected moments? Silly, silly Tally.

The light was here now. Blinded, the child of the sun closed her eyes, held her breath, and let the wall of energy crash into her being.


*** THE CORE ***


It was like experiencing death while still being very alive. Sounds like some form of torture, but Tallyho didn’t seem to feel much of anything. It was a form of removal. Not the emotional kind she tended to excel at, but a more spiritual sort. She was floating in the center of nothing and everything. In nothingness for eternity. Incubated and independent of all facets of reality. Healed of all that ailed her only moments before: The dizziness, nausea, and heaviness in her heart was spooned from her chest and poured somewhere far away. The scrapes and scars on her knees and elbows that she acquired from her fall were wiped smooth from her skin. Her eyes were open, but everything was so dark that she wouldn’t have known the difference.

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

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

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

And as if on cue, it was like the houselights came on in a theatre. Gradually, scattered along the narrow path of stars, the blonde was able to make out the forms of the other people around her. There weren’t many, but she actually recognized some of them: The girl with the intricate hair, the warrior, the man with his dog, and others. She wondered if they could see her as well as she could see them? She took a step forward and physically she felt great. It was like she never jumped out of the tree or was on the verge of throwing up. She wondered if they felt the same inexplicable pressure to make a decision: To walk toward the light? Or not?

She looked toward the soft light, the direction in which the twelve birds flew. Then she turned to face the warped vortex at the other end of the path. It didn’t seem particularly inviting.


She wasn’t sure whether or not she should inquire about what everyone else was going to do. It was simple for her, she had made her decision. Besides there weren’t many options to choose from.

“I don’t know what happen,” she began. “But I go this way, I think.” Her voice echoed softly in the darkness. The blonde turned on her heels and began a hesitant stride toward the light. Her pale skin and light hair looked luminescent as she went.

The water below seemed to grow increasingly restless. Tallyho stopped half way across the path, growing ridged as she felt the faint vibrations from the star path at her feet. She thought of it as a threat that the path could shatter at any moment and dump them all into the mysterious waters below. Tallyho knew that she wasn’t going to allow herself to fall into that, but she halfway hoped that the others would pick a side of the path and scram, because this didn’t seem like a very stable place.

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

She glanced pleadingly at the group before continuing on even faster, nearly sprinting toward the light. The warmth enveloped her and she fell into what felt like a nosedive into the sun.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Jules Fontaine Character Portrait: Dorian Steinsson Character Portrait: Sorrell Hunt Character Portrait: Emerson Motlilio
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Sorrell knew within the span of one minute that her decision had been a very poor one. Her instinct to just act had clouded her (usually) sound judgement, and she was going to pay for it. As the beast regarded her, she felt herself prepare for death. She prayed the soldier-man would at least be able to kill the thing once it was finished with her, if only for the sake of the others that had gathered here in the park. She thought of her sweet kitten, sitting at the door waiting for a reunion that would never come. Sorrell hoped that someone would check on Maelee and care for her after Sorrell, herself, was gone. Sorrell thought of her small, triangular, face as she closed her eyes and waited for death...

...only to be catapulted from the tree a moment later. She felt the impact around her waist and the thud of the ground she landed on. Her ribs were screaming from the impact and her eyes blinked away stars. I'm not...dead? She thought wondrously. Still dazed, she looked to her left to see her rescuer laying next to her, appearing equally dazed from the fall. What on Earth prompted you to do that? She pondered. "You crazy bitch," the other guy says. At least, Sorrell thought it was a man. He had to be, right?

Chuckling slightly, she groans to a sitting position as the monster is, at last, beheaded by soldier-man. She hoped her act of stupidity wouldn't jeopardize their relationship in any way, but she also supposed that that probably wasn't what she ought to be thinking of at the moment. Turning to her momentary companion, she smiles brightly, "Only the mad are worth talking to, anyway. Or rescuing, I guess." Sorrell liked to think she was being clever in the moment, but her internal fist was already jabbing at her brain for saying such a weird comment instead of something normal and simple, like, thank you.

"Thanks, by the way. I'm Sorrell." She reaches out her hand and firmly shakes his. Others had begun to walk around aimlessly, either playing with the monster's remains or standing in utter shock of what had just occurred in the park. Sorrell had no interest in touching even one ounce of the thing she had just been face-to-face with, so she merely stood and watched the others, as was her way. She supposed that it all would have worked out well after that, if it hadn't been for the sheer wall of light that was making its way towards the assembled party.

Her initial response to the threat was to back into something, anything, so that she didn't feel so alone standing there. She felt something cool against her back, but was too threatened by the Light to fully comprehend whether it was an inanimate object or an animated one.

"What the--" but her words were abruptly cut off as she was enveloped in the light and the world around her ceased to exist. Sorrell had the brief assumption that God must be screwing with her in some way. Surely she must have been meant to die by the hands of the monster, and was not destined to be saved, after all. This was merely His justification of the ripple of time. She must have altered Death's plans in some major way, if He was going to such extremes to rectify the situation.

Of course, Sorrell did not meet Death, as she had once thought. Instead, once the Light faded and she had regained her sight, she realized that she was in some sort of landscape. She saw water and trees, and at first she thought that nothing had changed; that she was still in Central Park, and she was indeed going to see Maelee again that night. This idea of hers also proved to be too fanciful, as the shapes of her other companions began to materialize, and she realized that there wasn't even a lake anywhere near where she'd been before. So, somehow, she and the rest of these strangers had been transported to some unknown location for some unknown purpose. I need to stop drinking Hot Chocolate before bed, Sorrell concluded. Surely that would stop this strange event from taking place.

There was another Light appearing. Sorrell stiffened, almost imperceptibly, thinking that It, whatever her transition had been from place to place, was about to happen again. But the light stayed where it was, and she watched as the birds flew directly into it. She saw no blood come from the light, so the birds had not been killed on impact, but she had no interest in finding out. Looking to her other side, she saw a dark void. Sorrell knew, thought not understanding how she might have been drawn to this conclusion, that the dark was bad and the light was good. That much was easy to tell just by looking at them. However, Sorrell was content to just stay where she was on the starry path that they had been placed on. That much was safe, so far.

So, when Tallyho decided to run for the light, one could say that Sorrell wasn't pleased. It took her a moment to realize why the blonde had begun to sprint, though. When the path she was standing on began to dissolve and the Void seemed to draw itself so much closer, Sorrell knew what needed to be done. As with the earlier monster, her instinct took over and she pumped her legs in the direction of the warm light. As she leaped into it, her only thought was that it felt almost like a warm hug from someone she loved. Something innocent and strong at the same time. Something that settles in a person, without them really understanding why. Something that makes living worth doing.

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#, as written by Linnea
Angela's choker felt like it was burning. She grasped at it, but her fingers were only stung by the heat. She backed away much faster now as she hoped to make an escape. Even if it was pointless, she might as well try.

However, it wasn't needed. The strange warrior (cosplayer?) swung his sword and the fight was over.

"Woah! Way to go, dude!" Angela hollered and cheered at the victory. She almost had a moment of relief. The beast was dead. That was all there was to it, right? She could meet up with her friends and leave this place far behind. Except, she couldn't. Things like that never just happened without something following.

She stood silent now. The falling shards of onyx resembled a dream she never had. The glow of the sunset and the glistening shimmering black rain. The trembling earth and shivering trees. It all evoked a feeling of foggy and distant emotion. Something that couldn't quite be described. When it was like that, didn't it have to be a dream? She wondered why she hadn't explored that possibility before. It was the only explanation she could think of for the strange events.

Her phone buzzed in her hands, her friends messaging that they would be there soon. With her free hand, she shielded her eyes from the encroaching light. It proved to be useless. Not enough. Angela closed her eyes. It was brighter than she could have imagined. Searing, almost.

The winds buffeted Angela and the earth continued to shake with such ferocity that it was a miracle she didn't lose her footing. She tried to yell, to do something, but her voice failed her. There was nothing to say.

Then, she existed.

She simply existed.

She was nothing. She was everything. She was alive and unafraid but not living. Not really living. There was no other way for her to describe what was occurring.

Angela opened her eyes. There was no reason not to. Everything had melted. Dripped down like candle wax. Emotions, thoughts, pain.

Where had she gone?

Oh, there she was. She was right there.

So were others. People together on the path of starlight. She could stand. She was fine now.

Angela faced the beacon. The future? Magic? Behind her was something else. The past, maybe? Limitations?

The raging ocean beneath was reason enough for her to progress. No point in sitting around waiting. She looked at the others who hadn't entered, waved to call them over, and walked through.

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Character Portrait: Heather Devereaux Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Calliope Alexander Character Portrait: Angela Taylor Character Portrait: Jules Fontaine Character Portrait: Dorian Steinsson Character Portrait: Ron Muller Character Portrait: Aster Storm Character Portrait: Sorrell Hunt Character Portrait: James Labonair Character Portrait: Emerson Motlilio
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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: Central Park, NY
Dialogue Color ✦ #8A4E62
Thought Color ✧ #3A0012



Heather could've smacked the brunette for running over to the tree in the way that she had, ineffectively trying to distract the monster so that the warrior guy could do as they instructed. Heather herself would've did the same thing, if she had the opportunity, but it was easy from the outside to be upset, to worry. To mother-hen, as her sister said she was capable of doing. Heather denied it, but there was some truth to the accusation. When it was herself doing the risking, it escaped her primary thought process that she mattered as well and therefore, should think of her own self-preservation, not just everyone else's. But that didn't mean that she couldn't scowl at the brunette for endangering herself like that, especially since the monster had already been distracted when she did it and she only made it slightly more difficult for warrior-guy. However, then a blonde snatched her from the tree just before the girl could obviously die and Heather breathed out a sigh of relief, sending an almost ecstatic smile to Tallyho before realizing that the blonde beside her was looking at something much different than she was a moment later.

The sound that whizzed past Heather's ears reminded her of her childhood of taller roller-coasters that went faster and flipped her around and around, and it was near deafening. But more importantly, the light approaching them was overwhelming and yet beautiful. It reminded Heather of all of those Sunday school jeers from classmates that believed that the world would end in fire. That they would all be swept up in a suffocating flurry of all-consuming flames and heat, and everything that they knew would be disintegrated. She remembered crying the first time she heard it because God had promised that he would not flood the earth like he had done before, and fire seemed plausible to her younger brain. It also had seemed painful. And this light - though obviously not flame-like in appearance at all - promised a fate that Heather knew she couldn't run from. So, she stayed, a tear she hadn't even realized had been welling in her eye, dropping onto her cheek as she felt Tallyho reach out for her. As it closed over her, swiping through her being with such a blinding ferocity that Heather had to close her eyes on a gasp, she wished she could see her mother at that moment. She had promised the older woman a self-portrait before they left.

The first things that Heather saw when she was able to again were the birds. They were concentrated in their swarming, a cloud of pristine-white that glided effortlessly with one another. It was like a little show, she mused. And they were all moving towards another light, and Heather felt its beckon even as she felt a flicker of trepidation. Looking back, what she had noted as a sort of ephemeral darkness - the one that had overwhelmed her mere moments ago - looked like a black hole to Heather. It looked like it would suck her into nothingness and spit her out chewed out and damaged beyond repair. And she didn't want that, not when it felt like there was something better down the path. The decision was made even more apparent by the backward steps she took from the Void, refusing at all to be lured by it. There was a surge of energy in her core, a light presence that had not been there when they had been in Central Park, and it propelled her towards the light, her steps faltering only when the path beneath her trembled in what Heather believed to be impatience, but that was also her brain feeling slightly muddled even as she quickened into a jog. Briefly, before she passed through the light, Heather thought of her mom. She also thought of her sister and how whenever she got back home, she was never letting her older sister try hallucinogens. Because Heather was witnessing something fantastical beyond her wildest dreams without the aid of drugs. Obviously, her sister didn't need that shit.

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Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Calliope Alexander Character Portrait: Dorian Steinsson Character Portrait: Sorrell Hunt Character Portrait: Emerson Motlilio
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[Calliope Alexander] - [#551a8b] - [Mood]
The strange girl's confusion, who now that Cali thought about it appeared to only be wearing a slightly torn nightdress, didn’t appear to have been improved even though she was now standing. Cali wondered a little to herself if she was perhaps the victim of a freshman prank as her cousins often talked about and had warned her before she started studying over here. She was able to pose further queries to the girl as the boy with his yapping dog was already trying to do something similar but before he could complete anything concrete they were all interrupted by what sounded like a beastial roar from nearby.

She turned round; trying to find their source before spotting what looked at first glance to be an oversized human in shape but upon closer inspection looked to have a singular eye. Whatever the creature was cyclops or not it was locked in combat with a figure wrapped in thick, fur-lined clothing more suited for the middle of winter than a warm autumn afternoon. At first she’d simply rolled her eyes and been about to turn back to confused girl putting the creature down somebody else’s problem as it was most likely some kind of promotional event.

”I wonder why Polyphemus is hanging out in central park” she muttered to herself before noticing that the strange girl was almost rigid, staring at the creature in shock and perhaps a little fear. The other couple were looking at the creature a little more uncertainly which was causing Cali to have doubts about her initial assessment as well, more so given that she could feel the hair on the back of her neck standing on end. The sensation brought back memories of when she’d been out on deployment and her nerves had been on edge when things just felt wrong. Her perception of the world faded in and out a little as she heard people shouting suggestions to the fighter. She finally snapped back to reality as a girl called out to the man fighting the beast to attack while she distracted it. Cali couldn’t help but feel strangely helpless and wondering if she should do something but her body wouldn’t obey her and she honestly didn’t know if it was because it couldn’t or just because she didn’t know what she wanted it to do.

Staggering backwards as she refocused on the fight she was struggling with the concept that it might be something real rather than simply a staged effect show. Her mouth began to feel dry as steadied herself, glancing round to see who else was nearby and if the creature was real what threat it posed. Her reactions were far slower than they’d been less than a year earlier and she silently cursed herself, grimacing as her leg twinged under her weight.

Suddenly the park fell silent, leaving only the sound of her breathing and heartbeat ringing in her ears as not animals made a noise as the giants headless body hit the grass with a soft thud. The world around her seemed to be getting brighter as warm, white light suddenly began to pour from a space beyond where the monster now lay. Looking around now she saw that most of the people nearby were either being engulfed by this strange light or for one or two of the more stranger looking of them simply dashing straight into its path.

As it swept closer, almost touching her, Cali felt a sharp burning in her chest and reached up her hand to where her necklace was now flaring as if it wanted to outshine whatever was coming. The pain was beginning to cause her to cry out as she clasped her hand tightly around the glowing stone. Through her streaming eyes she saw herself staring back at her, with a strange calm as she beckoned Cali to follow her. Confused and whimpering a little she thought she caught glimpses of herself standing all around her, closing in on her as if to make her claustrophobic.

She felt a sharp tug and push on her back as she tumbled forwards into the whiteness that enveloped her. And she fell into nothing. While behind her a black void faded.

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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
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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
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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.

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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
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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."

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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
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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.

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Emerson opened his mouth in shock, realizing, rudely, he assumed the man could speak fluent English. The man spoke of something called a Cyclopean, but Emerson didn’t know how to tell him that cyclops were one-eyed monsters and not lizards of any form. But before he could say anything, another woman joined into the conversation. He glanced over to her, a brief hello passing his lips as he turned his attention back onto the knight. Clearly, he had no idea where he was. Emerson couldn’t fault him though. The man and beast had appeared out of thin air almost and anyone would be lost in that situation.

Before Em could speak, a white light blinded him. He held an arm over his eyes, groaning in annoyance. It felt as if a warm glow had wafted over them. Except this one was very bright, and turned very dark rather quickly. He opened his eyes, black with shimmering stars surrounding them. And by them, he meant all of them. Every person who had gotten into the way of the odd encounter. Emerson couldn’t shake the feeling he was dead. Maybe he had just assumed the monster had died. Maybe it actually killed him and now he was in purgatory waiting to be judged for his wrongdoings.

Hades was with him, causing him to initially think of the movie All Dogs Go to Heaven. It caused a little chuckle out of the man, but the sound of water broke him out of whatever trance he had found himself in. He looked back, watching as the water rose around him. It was probably best to follow the others.

He held onto Hades’ leash, tugging the pup along as he followed the others. The water tugged at his ankles, a terrifying reminder that he was frankly, surrounded by it. An ocean was one thing, but an endless abyss with nothing in sight was entirely another. He picked up his pace, following the light. He didn’t believe in God, but if this was how Emerson was to meet the big man, well, he felt very underdressed.

_________________________________________________________________________

He didn’t wake up in Heaven, that part was most noticeable to Emerson. Instead, he was laying in the grass, a man yelling jargon towards him. He wasn’t sure if it was directed towards him, but as he opened his eyes, he realized he wasn’t alone. In fact, everyone was there. His brows furrowed in confusion as he sat upwards, patting himself down to make sure he was still the owner of all his bits and pieces. Luckily, he was.

While the man yelled, another joined. He was big, telling the old kook that they were not thieves. Standing up, Emerson was glad to see his canine companion was still with him. It growled at the old man, something dressed akin to a peasant in a movie. Where in hell was he? Wherever, the accent was odd and it looked nothing like the skyscrapers he was used to.

A woman made her way towards the group, speaking to them of answers and a meal. Frankly, they seemed hospitable, causing Emerson to slump in relief. One man threatened the farmer, or what Em assumed was a farmer, and he shook his head. That was no help to them, and frankly they looked as if they were in a year where guns weren’t a thing. He tugged on the leash in his grip, walking towards the woman with a curt and quiet nod. Words couldn’t come to him at the moment, he felt as if he was trying to swallow acid. He simply stepped inside the cabin, rubbing furiously at his eyes as he did.

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Character Portrait: Heather Devereaux Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Jules Fontaine Character Portrait: Sorrell Hunt Character Portrait: Emerson Motlilio
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Sorrell landed in a crooked fetal position, atop a grassy knoll with the rest of the mysterious group. It was all well and good that she'd chosen to wear her favorite Birkenstock sandals that evening, the ones she had spent months saving paychecks for, since they were now ruined beyond repair. There was already dirt crusted under her nails, and some had even started to crack and bleed from the multiple impacts with Mother Nature. Groaning a little less cheerfully this time, she sat up and blinked at the bright sunlight. Hadn't it just been getting dark out? How long had they been in that purgatory? Or were they simply just in a different time zone? These were the questions that roamed Sorrell's mind, though she was far from the truth.

Getting to her feet, she noticed that the guy who had saved her earlier was also coming to his senses. She also realized that she had never gotten his name. Of course, these factors became inconsequential when an unfamiliar figure approached them and started speaking to Tallyho. Sorrell could tell that the conversation was agitated, even though her ears were still ringing and she was a bit of a distance away. Looking around, the brunette saw the rest of the group getting re-aquainted and tuning in on the conversation, so she decided to move forward towards the tall, brooding redhead that had entered the arena.

"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," the hipster that Sorrell had previously admired remarked. It was a strong statement, said by someone who, apparently, was used to leadership positions. This comforted Sorrell, in a way, because it meant that she didn't need to take a step forward for the moment. She could just watch from the back as her world started spinning away from her. It was easier to handle that way.

It was all fine until a particularly fiery one of the group decided to threaten the woman, albeit it to protect Tallyho. Sorrell tensed, watching as the only familiar face to her voiced the same concerns. So, when he entered the location, followed by the clumsy guy from earlier, she decided to follow as well. Her heart started to beat a little faster as she entered the cabin, taking a deep breath and looking around.

"Something tells me our world is about to get a whole lot bigger," Sorrell mutters. She stands to the side, keeping a polite expression on her face as she waited to see exactly what was in store for this ragtag group.

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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
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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.

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#, as written by Linnea
As the summer sun beat down on Angela's face, she slowly opened her eyes. She could see pebbles poking at her skin and dry grass tangling in her hair. Nearby, the others from the park lie down as she did. Her head was spinning, her body aching. Where was she? How did she get here?

It started at the park with that monster. Was that even real? The fear sure was. So was the sense of relief when the beast fell. An old man's voice boomed and echoed in Angela's ears. He sounded just as surprised as she was. That was also very clearly real.

What had happened to the bridge of stars? The pillar of light? Had they fallen? Drowned? Teleported? Or was that some sort of drug trip? She'd seen enough crime dramas to know it was possible. But if she had been drugged then why was she here? Maybe the group had escaped. It'd explain the confused farmer and their appearance in the fields. If that was the case, however, then why were they guests?

Angela quickly checked her phone. It took a moment to turn on, but was still charged. No bars, however. No wifi. Nothing helpful. She turned it off again. People could still track her GPS if it was off, right?

She didn't question the situation much beyond that. In fact, she stopped herself from thinking too hard. It wasn't that she was stupid, per say. She'd gotten into college just fine and was actually quite intelligent in scholarly situations. But this? This was different. Dangerous. Strange. If only Jess was there. Her best friend would know what to do. As the leader of the cheer pack, she always knew what to do. They'd laugh about it later, share a couple drinks to soothe the nerves, complain about the fuss. They'd wake up hungover to the sound of infomercials and laugh and order chinese food for breakfast. Then all the weirdness would just go away.

God, Angela missed Jess.

She took a deep breath and smiled. Hopefully, she could trick her brain into being a little less confused and scared. She had no clue what was going on, but at least she wasn't alone. There were other people there who were likely just as freaked out as she was. So, she had allies. That meant--

Wait, no, at least one person was totally nuts. Angela made a face quite similar to a dog after eating a lemon for the first time. She was a pretty tolerant person, and genuinely enjoyed making friends. But this guy- this guy she hated. Right off the bat. Even Angela had standards.

She entered the house with the others. So long as they weren't all lunatics, she figured she'd get along okay with them.

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Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Haru Sinwood Character Portrait: Emerson Motlilio
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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.

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Character Portrait: Heather Devereaux Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Haru Sinwood Character Portrait: Ron Muller
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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.

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Character Portrait: Heather Devereaux
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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



It wasn't until Heather was in one of the guest bedrooms that it officially occurred to her that they weren't exactly somewhere normal. At least, in her terms of normal.

Obviously, normalcy was either a dead or foreign concept today all things considered, but she had overlooked the state of dress of their host and the female she wasn't sure if she could call the hostess or not. That relationship remained unseen. Heather had noticed their clothing style, dating them back to years and years before she had even been thought of. Hell, years before either of her grandparents as well. However, with moving through a stranger's home with a group of people Heather still did not know despite having one hell of a shared experience, she hadn't bothered to mull over it for longer than was necessary. Then the scar-faced woman was leaving them in the hallway and Heather picked out the first room that had been pointing out, not even bothering to consider following the one person she was the most familiar with at the moment. It had just been instinctual and she hadn't even looked around the room before she, much like her only truly known companion though she wouldn't have known it, found herself seated on the bed closest to the window. It was then that, out of habit, that Heather finally pulled out from her purse her phone only to be confronted with the fact that there were no bars. No service. Which meant absolutely no communication with her mother. It was the first time, since everything that had happened, that Heather genuinely felt the weight of all that had transpired today hit her, so much so that she seemed to lose the very breath in her lungs.

The last time Heather had had a panic attack was when her Dad had called to inform her of her mother's breast cancer. Heather had been initially venting about the three essays she had due in the next forty-eight hours and once the words left her father's lips, them and the crippling weight of school work plus having an actual job made everything go fuzzy. His voice had felt far, far away, Heather had somehow gotten on the floor with her knees drawn to her chest, face wet with tears, and she had the faint suspicion that she was close to unconsciousness because her brain clearly could not get enough oxygen at the moment even though it hadn't occurred to her that she just wasn't breathing...not until her father's voice, louder out of nowhere, instructed her to do so. Since then, Heather had made the effort to not be in that kind of situation ever again. It had been debilitating and pathetic, and she just couldn't bear being that vulnerable. Even though, logically, she knew that at this point, she had every right. She was clearly either warped back in time or in some random ass Game of Thrones episode - maybe Doctor Who, while she was at it - and the only things that tied her to her world - her reality - were the clothes on her back and the contents of her purse. Yet and still, Heather refused to allow herself that luxury. She stamped it all down in favor of reminding herself that she was with strangers. Absolute strangers and now wasn't the time. It was never the time, in her eyes - not for her - but especially not now. So lost in her head, gripping her phone so tightly, she almost missed when the scarred woman came in until clothes were plopped in Heather's bed. She flinched at both the close proximity and at the sound.

“I will bring shoes later,” she announced and Heather nodded, not even looking at her for fear that one wrong eye movement would cause the un-shed tears to spill. She didn't think she'd stop crying if that happened. So, she waited until the door was closed again before taking a few steadying breaths and took action. Heather dropped her phone back into her purse, turning it off for good measure. It was at seventy-eight percent battery and without a charger, she didn't want to risk it going all the way dead. None of them knew when or if they were going back to New York and at the first chance of service - if they found it - Heather was calling her family. She checked back through her inventory, mostly to remind herself of what was her life: cake-batter flavored lip balm, a brush she had been planning on using on her sister's hair when they all hung out in the park because that ponytail needed to be fixed, her container of shea butter mixed with sweet almond oil that she had made to occupy her time on the way to New York, two scrunchies, a travel-size pack of wipes for her makeup, and the pocket knife. They all weren't exactly going to help her on this - was this a journey of some sorts? Some kind of test that Heather obviously was unprepared for? A gag on MTV? She couldn't tell, but none of the items she had were really going to help her. But that didn't stop them from being able to ground her. She had a home somewhere, even if it was far away from wherever the hell they currently were. She was going back, one way or another.

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Character Portrait: Heather Devereaux Character Portrait: Angela Taylor
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#, as written by Linnea
Angela nodded thankfully at the woman who opened the door and took a deep breath. She listened to the sound of her feet on the wooden floors and counted her steps up the stairs. It was enough to give her a moment to calm down. Soon enough, she was back to normal. Well, as normal as she could be at the moment.

Things were a little freaky. Okay, really freaky. Pretty scary actually. But if she started thinking like that she might freak out and there was no point in doing that. Therefore, the label of "a little freaky" would have to do.

A little freaky. Which was fine. She'd get through this, she'd be fine, she just needed to calm down and stick with a group. The more people the better. If things went wrong, a group could help fight back. This was the mentality that caused her to follow the nearest person into their room. As it so happened, it was the girl who had loudly announced to cut off the head of the monster. Angela couldn't quite remember her name.

The girl seemed upset. Angela could understand that. She was pretty upset herself. The situation was strange and there were hardly any clues as to the cause of it. She took another deep breath to relax. After thanking the woman for bringing clothes, and she was especially thankful to have something more conservative to wear in a strange location, Angela walked up to the girl she had followed and smiled.

"Weird day, huh? First that girl was in the tree, then that guy and the monster showed up and just woah!" Angela said, her voice a little more enthusiastic than she had planned. She tried to make it gentler.

"But, uh, at least you knew what you were doing. Like, talking to Tallyho and all. I had NO idea what to do. I still don't really know what to do, but at least we're all here and sorta confused at the same time!" She chuckled. Mostly at herself. So much for a nice speech to make the girl feel better.

"I'm Angela by the way! It's nice to meet you!" She extended a hand, hoping for a handshake.

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Character Portrait: Heather Devereaux Character Portrait: Angela Taylor
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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



It took a moment longer than she liked for Heather to realize that another person had entered the room. It didn't occur to her until she heard another voice - feminine - thank the woman with the scar and Heather's eyes shot up to the blonde, hand immediately swiping at a stray tear before it could be seen. At least, she hoped it hadn't been seen. Considering their her apparent luck for the day, anything was possible at this point. Luckily, it seemed like the girl was more concentrated on speaking, which was fine with Heather. She could appreciate the distraction at this point and honestly, it felt good to hear someone else babble. She was pretty sure at some point she'd start doing it, so at least she wouldn't be alone. She couldn't help but snort at the girl's recollection of the past events, a small grin taking the place of the frown that had marred her face only minutes ago.

"Trust me," Heather insisted after a huff of breath, an almost uncomfortable laugh mixed with relief at interacting with someone she could deem as normal, "I was definitely as confused as I am now." The admittance almost made her frown, but Angela extended a hand and Heather took it, shaking it with a smile.

In truth, Heather hadn't known what to do at the time. Her instinct, as she always had joked with friends about what they would do in lieu of a killer or monster from whatever movie they watched, had been to run, but she had not been able to. For once, especially in retrospection now that she wasn't in a large crowd nor in immediate danger (at least, as far as she was concerned), Heather actually understood the paralyzing fear or shock she read about from the countless heroes and heroines whose books she had at home. How they were unable to move even when they knew that they should, even when they wanted to. The only fortifying thing had been the person standing beside her and the words Tallyho had uttered. Even though faint and to herself, they were the first things that Heather had been able to take hold of when in such a perilous situation and she had clung to them - reveled in them, even. Those words and Tallyho's presence had felt like the realest thing in an unfamiliar and like Angela said, weird, situation. Heather had done nothing but cleave to them like a child when all she wanted was to be near her mother again.

"I'm Heather, nice to meet you," she said, genuine, before rising. She gathered the dress, which felt more like a shift and reminded her of The Tudors series she had once geeked out over, in her arms in consideration. "Well, I'm gonna go try the bath thing out. More than likely not gonna be what I think it is considering I'm pretty sure we're back in 1352, but I could honestly use it. See you in a bit?" Heather shot Angela a wider smile before heading towards the bedroom door and out of it, peeking around the empty hall.

The wedge heel of sandals clacked against the thick wood of the floor as Heather descended down the steps. The descent was actually a touch harder than the ascent, her choice of shoes for the day biting her in the ass as the steep steps seemed more like a death trap this time around. Once outside, Heather took another deep breath, ready to follow the instructions that would've led her to the baths, but a figure in a periphery's presence demanded her attention more. Heather glanced to her left and noted the woman with the scar, tilting her head slightly as she watched the woman gaze at the sunset over the mountains. The sun's rays painted an orange glow upon the land around them, the color blending into the pinks and fading blue of the sky in a way that Heather longed to depict with her oil paints and brush. Maybe that was what caused her steps to head into that direction, maybe it was the mountains themselves...Heather didn't know. All that she knew was that at one point she had decided upon heading towards the baths, and the next she was nearing the scarred woman.

"It's a beautiful view," Heather commented once settled by the woman's side. "I'm Heather, by the way, I didn't mean to intrude," she added after a furtive glance the woman's way, her gaze going back to the sunset. "The only time I really got to see a sight like this was when I went camping. I used to hate not being able to paint it."

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Character Portrait: Heather Devereaux
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The colors in the sky were converging. Thick smotherings of blues, pinks and oranges congealed together in a ritualistic mixing of color that eventually yeilded the darkest of blacks. A Solacian sunset was an easy thing to admire: something about its open expanse of land and tinted mountains framed to colors so perfectly. It was a joy to watch (no matter how often) and the woman with the scar, who spent her summer evenings watching the same show before dinner, could attest to this sentiment.

"It's a beautiful view."

The woman looked over to appraise one of their many guests. She watched silently as the young woman continued to introduce herself, and was actually quite impressed that her eyes hadn't once broken away from the sight to bore straight into the scar tissue adorning a great portion of her face. Not that this sort of attention bothered her, she was very used to it and often found the curiosity (and at times creativity) of her admirers amusing.

"Heather," the woman repeated with an extra emphasis on the "TH" sound. "It is very pretty sunset Heather..."

The woman didn't bother offering her own name because, as far as she was concerned, she didn't have one. Her name lost its pride and power so long ago, and she was still trying to find a new one.

"Haru says that you all are from a far away place. That you never seen a place like this before," she hummed, her interest in the sky wavering as its colors lost contrast. She looked at the young woman more deeply.

"I feel you scared, you lonely... Why you feel this?"

It was a shame that these sunsets were so fleeting. The collage of color was replaced with a monocromatic composition of dark navy clouds on the young night. Their curves and edges were highlighted by the light of not one, but two small moons, full and vibrant.

"You have nothing to worry about here. Not on this farm."

To say the least the woman was coarse and straight to the point in her ways. But her inquiry came not from a place of defensiveness like "Oh, how dare you not feel comfortable in my domain?" But from of a strange, tough sort of compassion.

(Forgive any typos and the shortness, I'm on my phone.)

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Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Calliope Alexander Character Portrait: Haru Sinwood
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[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.

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Character Portrait: Heather Devereaux
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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



To be fair, Heather hadn't thought the scar was something she was supposed to look at. There were people with different skin pigmentation on one part of their body than another, disfigurements and scars galore in the world. Her Dad had scolded her and her sister enough times for the both of them to learn to note that there was, in fact, something not normal, and then consider it a non-pressing issue. Everyone in the world was already self-concious about one thing or another. She saw no point in bringing up something they already either felt some way about or make them feel something when they had worked not to.

Besides, Heather didn't even have time to comment on that because she wound up blinking at the suddenly intense look the other woman shot her. It didn't help that she named at least two of the emotions Heather was feeling, which made Heather's skin prickle with self-consciousness. Heather never saw herself as some unreadable person; she was expressive to a fault, she had to admit, though grudgingly. But still, it never made her comfortable that half of her emotions could be so evident on her face, especially after she had just convinced herself to calm down and put all of that on the back-burner. So, to ignore the discomfort, she huffed out a small breath before retorting, "Shouldn't I be? Scared, I mean?" She cast the still unnamed woman a long look before continuing, "Like you said, I am far, far from home and this, um, Haru...he must know what we've seen today. Been through, even. Shouldn't I be scared?" Heather pointedly ignored the well-meaning jab at loneliness. She was twenty years old, for goodness sake. She was at the age where no one found comfort in being called out for wanting to be held by their mother.