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Pau'Ka

"The Darkness has tried to tame me and failed. Who else wishes to try their hand?!"

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a character in “Divinity Unbound”, as played by KumoriRyuu

Description

Image





Age: 27
Race: Draconian
Height: 6’
Weight: 145 lbs
Voice: Pau'Ka

Magical Element: Seid

Alternate Form: Draconian Form

Alternate Form Attributes: Pau’Ka changes quite drastically from human to Draconian Form.

Height: 9’ 8”
Weight: 350 lbs
Hair Color: Silver-White
Eye Color: Deep Crimson
Skin Color: Pale White
Scale Color: Black

School of Practice: Modol’Ni School Of Seid Magic
Years of Practice: 25
Primary Focus: Combat/Support
Mentor: Saulu’Ka (Her Mother)

Affiliation: None

Personal Strengths:

* Strong
* Fearless
* Unflappable

Personal Weaknesses:

* Hides Real Feelings
* Defiant
* Pride

Personality: Pau’Ka is a powerful and confident Draconian of Royal lineage. As a Royal, she’s proud, dignified, and well-spoken (sharp-tongued, as well). She doesn’t mince words and she restrains herself only when she knows she needs something from someone. Otherwise you get the full and uncensored version of her feelings about the subject matter. She can sometimes be a bit headstrong which has gotten her in trouble with powerful enemies and creatures of the night, hence her numerous scars. However, despite this tough, unfiltered, often tomboyish attitude, Pau’Ka is a deeply caring and affectionate person who simply has a hard time accepting her own feelings.

Biography: Pau’Ka was born as the second daughter of the Draconian Royal Family. She was raised from birth to harness her affinity for Seid Magic, learning to utilize her voice for both offensive and supporting magical incantations and songs. She grew up practicing against her siblings, all of whom, save her younger brother, were older and more powerful magic users than she was growing up. But work ethic and determination saw Pau’Ka become the strongest magic user and the most powerful Draconian in the Royal Family by the time she was eighteen. Since then she has continued to hone her body and her craft, and now hears the call of a disembodied voice which feels… Strangely familiar, somehow. Following the voice has led her to a human settlement where she prepares to embark on a journey across the seas to Dragon’s Cove… A place nobody has ever lived to set foot on, until now!

So begins...

Pau'Ka's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sil'Eph Niir Character Portrait: Pau'Ka

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The wind blew from the East, but the foul sensation in the air meant it was actually blowing towards her to the West. On the forested mountains, she was engaged in combat with a dozen monstrous arachnid creatures. They were swarming around her at a desperate pace, itching to tear into flesh and bone to feed their growling stomachs.

... It wasn't their fault. These poor creatures were driven from their deep cave homes by horrid goblin-like creatures and pushed to starvation due to lack of access to their natural diet. They had been feeding like crazy on the local livestock of a nearby town, and they had to be put down.

"Take to your graves the fact I understand your plight." She said quietly.

Clasping her hands together Pau'Ka began to sing an up-tempo song of battle which assaulted all twelve creatures at once. Their bodies began convulsing and spontaneously burst into flames. The poor spiders screeched and scurried about desperately to attempt to escape the flames. But it was no use. Their insides cooked and their bodies charred. They all died in seconds. Not exactly painless, but it was the fastest method she had to dispatch them and end their suffering.

When it was done, she kept her hands clasped and whispered a silent prayer before sensing once again that call on the wind.

"Gods above, who's heart cries out to me so?" She asked aloud.

She received no answer, but she felt that call emanating from deep inside as she took a deep breath and resolved to head back into town to wait for the next mater-magic driven vessel to take her to Dragon's Cove. That, or buy her own vessel and make her way there. But one way or the other, her answers lie in the Cove at the center of the world.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sil'Eph Niir Character Portrait: Neden Wrel Character Portrait: Dreux Andica Character Portrait: Elena Character Portrait: Zaldir Kestal Character Portrait: Saewyn Anaya Ehrhard Character Portrait: Aznyxphia, the Pariah Knight Character Portrait: Pau'Ka

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From the center of the world, Dragon's Cove, home of Dragons and the slumbering Goddess unbeknownst to the world beyond, came a surge of black magic. The Dragons roared in pain as the darkness seeped into their flesh tainting their purity and benevolence, and transforming them into black, twisted versions of their original selves.

... All save a select few.

The handful of Dragons who shook off the magical wave swarmed to Sil'Eph Niir's head to protect her most sensitive area as the twisted Dragons took flight and began flying out towards all corners of the world. Their mission... Was anyone's guess. However, given the level of negative Mana emanating from their bodies, it wasn't hard to figure it out.

Sil'Eph Niir's body stirred, and her mouth opened slightly as she released a deafening roar shaking the ground for dozens of miles in all directions.

...

In her cabin, thousands of miles away, Elena's mind was suddenly overcome by a loud, clear message from a desperate and pleading source.

"Mortals! Hear my voice! The Evil King has unleashed a plague upon your world! My Children, the Dragons, have been tainted by his vile magic! Protect yourselves! And please! Save my Children! They mean you no harm, but they cannot fight his evil will! Save them! I beg you all!"

Elena fell to the floor from the magnitude of power emanating from that voice. If she didn't know better she'd think that voice belonged to-

...

Pau'Ka, a few hundred miles from Elena, heard the voice and fell to her knees as she walked the dirt roads of the countryside. The pressure. That's what it was. Pressure. Like the magnitude of pure Mana in that voice was weighing her down. Crushing her. But the voice seemed... So familiar, somehow.

Alas, Sil'Eph Niir's call would not reach everyone. Only certain bloodlines would be able to discern it from a whisper on the wind. But for those who could hear, it came without the need for further explanation. Sil'Eph Niir's telepathic powers sent them a clear visual of what happened to the Dragons. Their twisted, blackened forms. The dark Mana emanating from their bodies. The danger and terror they would soon unleash. They could see it all clearly in their mind's eye.

Elena and Pau'Ka, simultaneously despite their distance, turned towards Dragon's Cove with determination in their eyes. They had to find the source of this voice. This "mother" to the Dragons. Whoever she was. She would have answers, and she would know what to do to save them.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sil'Eph Niir Character Portrait: Neden Wrel Character Portrait: Dreux Andica Character Portrait: Elena Character Portrait: Zaldir Kestal Character Portrait: Saewyn Anaya Ehrhard Character Portrait: Aznyxphia, the Pariah Knight Character Portrait: Pau'Ka

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As Aznyxphia was attempting to mime out a request from the weapons smith, she suddenly staggered back as if she had been hit, her eyes wide. The merchant was probably confused, but she could not see him. All she could see was great shadows rushing across her vision, attacking a... larger white shape? Wait... were those dragons?!
Within her mind a voice was screaming, but it was as if it were screaming from afar. She could only make out some words. "Mortals! Hear my ... The Evil King ... plague upon your world! ... Children, the Dragons, have ... his vile magic! ... please! ... They ... harm, ... they ... his evil will! ... beg you..." The voice got fainter and fainter as it went on until it was silent.
She had missed most of what the woman had said, but she immediately recognized the voice as the one that had spoken earlier, saying "Please... Save them... My children... Please."
Obviously, when she said "children" she meant the species living on this planet. Who else could she be talking about? The gods created the humans, elves, succubi, and all the other beings of this world. The dark shapes must have been these dragons she spoke of, and the white shape... could have been none other than the goddess herself!
Using all of this information, Aznyxphia was able to piece together what the goddess had really said: "Mortals! Hear my call, and heed this warning! The Evil King has brought forth plague upon your world! Children, the Dragons have gained usage of his vile magic! Please! They will do great harm, for they serve his evil will! Please... I beg you..."
Aznyxphia could already see it playing out in her head. She, leader of a group of a select few heroes of the divinity, would go on a grand quest to save the life of the goddess and the world itself, with all its inhabitants, slaying this "Evil King" - probably some powerful mortal sorcerer who'd acquired the power of dragon mind control - and any dark dragons he sent their way. I must lead these heroes. It has always been my destiny, but I have never realized it, the knight errant realized.
All thoughts of the merchant gone from her head, she took to the skies after a running start, flying in the direction she had first heard the voice - where she was determined she would find others to help her.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Elena Character Portrait: Pau'Ka

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For Elena, the message was all too clear. Not a word escaped her. Not an ounce of the Goddess's anguish left unrecognized. She was a Goddess. There was no denying it. But the sound of sadness and yearning to save Her Children was unmistakable.

But... Why would it be so? Elena didn't have any children that she knew of... No matter. The message was clear. A Goddess needed help, and with her faith in the Gods being as strong as it was there was no way she'd ever leave a Goddess in distress. She would find a way to help.

It took three days of hiding, but she reached the port town of Hylen and found a boat service. Dragon's Cove was her destination, and although the driver was reluctant she managed to show enough coin to convince him to take her. Shortly after arriving, another woman appeared asking the same. She was a pale white skinned woman with blonde hair and red-pink eyes. Scars adorned her body, a warrior, clearly, and she boarded the vessel greeting Elena who could only bow and wave her hello.

The two shared a moment to speak, with Elena signing her answers or gesturing to get her point across. Pau'Ka introduced herself and figured enough out to understand Elena heard the voice as well, and they decided it would be best for them to team up and prepare to meet the Goddess together.

With that done and no further passengers daring to accompany them, the boat departed.

To do so, the driver, also the owner of the vessel and a water mage, began concentrating the water around the base of the boat to push it away from the dock. Turning the vessel, he then began concentrating the water behind the vessel to push against its rear and move it forward out to open sea. A fairly simple process.

But it was the method of "continuous propulsion" which drew Pau'Ka's attention. The mage was able to cast a repeating spell which handled itself by utilizing the Mana in the water around the boat to keep the enchantment running. A useful technique. Self-sustaining magical enchantments were very rare and very situational. But in this case as the boat moved it was able to absorb Mana from the water and air and continue to power the enchantment until the mage had to change directions or bring the vessel to a stop. This way he didn't have to constantly concentrate on or waste energy on the boat's movements.

With the vessel on its way, Dragon's Cove would be a roughly 8 day journey at sea... To meet a Goddess.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Elena Character Portrait: Pau'Ka

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White water rose in undulating walls around the boat before crashing into the calmer rippling waves which carved a 'V' shape behind them. The tranquil blue waves of the ocean rose and fell with the tides and currents, gently rocking the passengers aboard as they leaned over the edge watching the horizon.

Pau'Ka, a Draconian. And Elena, a High Elf.

An odd pairing, to be sure. But a pairing nonetheless. In the two days they'd been at sea they'd formed a silent, but powerful bond as two women sensing the same Divine voice and searching for answers to questions yet answered. Though one didn't speak the common tongue beyond a few select words, they communicated with their eyes, facial expressions, and and gestures. And they had a great time doing it. Constantly they could be seen laughing and playing on deck. Sometimes the crew would just sit and watch while the boat's owner and driver steered them on with silent dread in his heart.

It would take another week or so on the waves before they arrived at the Cove. In the meantime they occasionally stopped to fish and partake of the ocean's bounty in an effort to conserve food for the journey. Stored food on ships usually kept well, but the changing temperatures and rapidly shifting weather wreaked havoc on their preservatives.

On this day, the ocean was calm and the skies clear. But that silent, ominous wind still tainted the world around them. The very air was thickened by its foul weight, bearing down on their shoulders like gripping and slithering hands caressing places which didn't wish to be touched. Both women felt violated just being held within its grip, though for Elena it was much, much worse.

Hours passed as the boat was drawn to a fishing stop. Even taking once-a-day fishing rests for about two hours would not delay their arrival time, so they saw no reason to push themselves. As the men partook in fishing, the women lounged on deck soaking in the sun's rays and joyously playing games to pass the time. Pau'Ka was, in particular, an excellent player of "Fisherman's Bluff," a board game where you rolled a single six-sided die and hid the result from your opponent. The goal was to bluff your way to a total cumulative score of 40, a number considered lucky in the sea-faring cultures of the world. If your bluff was called once, your score reset to its previous value. If your bluff was called two turns in a row, your score reset to 0.

Elena, by contrast, was terrible at the game and often found herself with a score of 0 by the end. She was just too honest in her face and body language for her own good and easy to read. Meanwhile Pau'Ka even took to betting the crewmen for meals, as she had quite the ravenous appetite for a woman of such a fine, slender, athletic figure.

... And then, the winds changed.

It was in the middle of a game of Fisherman's Bluff as Pau'Ka was about to throw her die when her hand caught on the wind and the die fell from a semi-open palm to the table below and rolled onto the deck. She and Elena both stood up and gazed out at the horizon as they felt a tremendous, evil pressure building and beginning to rapidly approach their position. The two women held hands as the crew looked on in bewilderment, none of them having magical potential to sense the threat. But the boat owner did, and he concentrated his magic, as did Pau'Ka, for what lay ahead.

But what they saw quickly sapped any and all sense of "fight" from their bodies. A dark, undulating cloud appeared on the horizon. It moved consistently and with grace, like a bird in flight... And as it drew closer it became clear that this was no cloud. It was a black, winged creature large enough to make their eyes believe they were seeing a cloud until it broke through the haze of the horizon line.

"Dragon!!!" Cried the captain.

The men all dove for cover below deck as the captain and Pau'Ka prepared their best magic for combat, Pau'Ka warming up her voice for her most powerful Seid song. Elena was whisked below deck with the crew, but watched from the door in silent prayer that her friend and the captain would be okay.

The Dragon rapidly approached and slammed its wings at the boat causing the seas to churn and twist beneath rocking it violently too and fro beneath a rapidly darkening sky. It was almost as if the Dragon's presence alone drew in the power to block out the sun. Pau'Ka's breath hitched in her throat as she tried to begin singing. Her body trembled in primal fear as the Dragon unleashed a mighty, ear-splitting roar to the heaven's forcing all on board to cover their ears. As the roar came to an end the Dragon up and over the boat looking down at its terrified prey before beginning a dive.

The boat master quickly threw a massive pointed wave over and across the deck blocking the Dragon's path which broke its dive as it veered off to circle around and try again. The boat master continued to use his magical skills to deflect its path away from the boat, but he wouldn't be able to keep this up for long. Eventually the Dragon would push through once it realized these were smaller and less powerful spells meant only to visually distract it.

Meanwhile, Pau'Ka closed her eyes and chanted an ancient incantation passed down through the Ancient's Tradition in the Seid Magic community she grew up in. Harnessing all of her power, Pau'Ka shifted from a chant to a song, and as she sang the sea trembled, the ocean's surface vibrated and the boat along with it, and the Dragon began roaring in pain thrashing its head left and right to the rhythm of Pau'Ka's song.

Divines bless my Soul, for I am unto thee your humble servant!
Banish thine enemy within my sight, my body thy loyal Sword!
Unto thine blessed hand, my blade shall pierce the night!
And through my hallowed vessel, thine might shall slay the Beast!


...

In response to Pau'Ka's song, far in the distance, a single glowing golden eyes opened. And from a gaping maw large as a mountain emerged a powerful roar, the force of which streaked through the skies fueled by Divine Magical energies in the direction of the battle.

Back on the boat the Dragon floated ominously as the boat master began to tire from the use of his spells. And Pau'Ka, still in song, but now having little effect as the Dragon had acclimated to her assault and now merely absorbed the incoming mana before deflecting it harmlessly away in an invisible diffusion of magic. However, as the Dragon began to calmly descend like a wolf upon its prey, the Dragon's head suddenly snapped upwards and turned around before its body was struck with the oncoming rush of Divine Magical energy. Its body thrashed and convulsed in the air as the energies raced toward and slammed into Pau'Ka's body.

Her eyes went white as her mouth opened and she unleashed a shriek like none she'd ever let loose before. Her body crackled and glowed with white-yellow light, and within seconds her shriek came to an end as the magical energies settled within her body and her now glowing pink-red eyes snapped open laced with ferocity. Pau'Ka's arms flew to the sides, palms open facing the Dragon, and she began her song anew as the Dragon continued convulsing and thrashing about before falling into the waters below.

As Pau'Ka's song came to an end, she dropped to her knees and fell unconscious on the deck of the boat, her eyes rolled into the backs of the sockets and her mouth hanging agape with a trickle of saliva dripping from her mouth. Elena rushed to her friend's side immediately shouting in High Elvish and shaking her body in an attempt to wake her. The Dragon, shockingly, was still alive and burst from the water before flying off to the far West back the direction they'd come. Thank the Gods it didn't continue its assault, or they'd all have been dead right then and there.

However, Pau'Ka's condition did not improve. An hour passed, and she was still the same. Elena grew frantic, fighting desperately to wake her friend and see her pink-red eyes once more the way they were meant to be seen. But it was no use. Pau'Ka would not wake.

In sheer panic and sadness, Elena gripped the sides of her head as a wave of helplessness overcame her. Shaking like a leaf in a hurricane, her body suddenly began glowing with golden light, and the energies formed a small, thin line to the center of Pau'Ka's back. Elena was oblivious to the change as her eyes, shut tight, leaked tears of sorrow and internal torment. Pau'Ka's body began to glow in response to the energies being sent to it, and Elena's eyes finally snapped open as she looked at Pau'Ka and felt the magic within taking hold.

... It was warm... It was oh, so very warm. And as she instinctively laid her hands upon Pau'Ka's back, the light grew brighter and Pau'Ka's eyes slowly rolled back to where they belonged as her eyelids slid shut. Her breathing returned to normal, and her mouth closed softly. The light faded, and Elena knelt down checking on Pau'Ka's heart to find a steady and strong beat beneath her palm. With tears now of joy leaking from her eyes, she laid down on top of Pau'Ka's torso embracing her in a hug. Sitting upright, she set Pau'Ka's head in her lap and stroked her hair until the sleeping blonde awoke a few minutes later.

Sitting upright slowly and shaking her head, Pau'Ka asked what had happened. Everyone, the crew, captain, and even Elena, all did their best to relay what they saw and experienced. Pau'Ka's memory of the event flooded back into her mind as the recollection of that impact of energy suddenly became clear.

"I heard Her... The Goddess." She whispered.

Everyone's eyes widened in shock.

"When the magic flooded into my body, I heard her voice. She said, 'Receive my Power, my Child, and protect yourself!'"

Everyone was stunned that the Goddess had spoken to Pau'Ka once again. Not only once before in plea to save "Her Children," but now again to protect herself from a dark and obviously corrupted Dragon. Just who was this Goddess, truly? Who was Pau'Ka to receive a second hearing of Her Holy voice?

At Pau'Ka's command, the captain resumed the journey. The path to the Goddess would not likely end with only one such attack. They were likely to face more. But if not more Dragons... Surely more servants of Darkness.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Neden Wrel Character Portrait: Dreux Andica Character Portrait: Elena Character Portrait: Zaldir Kestal Character Portrait: Saewyn Anaya Ehrhard Character Portrait: Aznyxphia, the Pariah Knight Character Portrait: Pau'Ka Character Portrait: Vernon Shulls Character Portrait: Carmen 'Ruffles' Rufferones Character Portrait: Korose Character Portrait: Aranaea Kestal

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(OOC: Skipping ahead to the date of arrival with Kumori's permission. If anyone objects, talk to him in the discord.)

Finally, the Dragon's Cove. The thing everyone had been searching for. It has been many days since they first left, but at last their long journey is over. But little did anyone know that it had only just begun.
As the hardy group of travelers arrived on land after so long, the first thing they would encounter would be a woman sitting on a large boulder, cleaning her sword. She wore black armor and had large, raven-like wings sprouting from her back. As the group approached, she looked up and smiled, sheathing her sword. She jumped off the boulder and landed softly on the ground, using her wings to slow her descent.
The woman pulled out a large piece of parchment. Written on it in dried ink was this message:
"Hello. My name is Aznyxphia. I have been waiting for all of you here on behest of the gods. As decreed by our Lord and Creator, I hereby announce myself as leader of this band of hardy adventurers. I cannot speak, so if one of you knows sign language it would be handy. In any case, you shall follow me to our grand destiny."
After they all got a good look, this Aznyxphia woman rolled up the parchment and then stood waiting for a response, smiling faintly.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sil'Eph Niir Character Portrait: Neden Wrel Character Portrait: Dreux Andica Character Portrait: Elena Character Portrait: Zaldir Kestal Character Portrait: Saewyn Anaya Ehrhard Character Portrait: Aznyxphia, the Pariah Knight Character Portrait: Pau'Ka Character Portrait: Vernon Shulls Character Portrait: Carmen 'Ruffles' Rufferones Character Portrait: Korose Character Portrait: Aranaea Kestal

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The islands came into view on the horizon, and everyone's hearts were erratically beating in their chests. Elena's heart was in her throat while Pau'Ka rubbed her back and helped calm her with a softly hummed melody. Korose, meanwhile, was arriving as well on another boat just beside theirs.

As the boats touched down, they all disembarked and met for the first time as they all acknowledged they were there for the same reason: They heard the voice of the Gods.

"So you all heard the voice as well."

"Yes. Both of us."

"I see. Does she speak?"

"She does, but she knows very little of the modern tongue. She speaks in the ancient language of the High Elves."

"Understood."

As the trio walked forward, they beheld a woman with black wings who approached them and held up a parchment detailing that she was declaring herself the leader. Something about the Gods wanting it to be so. But given what they'd heard, they couldn't really dismiss the thought. They didn't know what she was told compared to themselves, so they agreed to go with it for the time being.

However, they were all noticing something rather... Ominous.

The Dragons who were present were all watching them like hawks. No blinking. No signs of even breathing. If they were, the breaths were so subtle and well controlled it didn't look like they were. They almost looked more like statues glaring down at them. But they weren't attacking which was... Interesting.

"Wonder why they're being so passive?"

"I sense concern in their hearts... They're scared."

"What did she say?"

"I don't know. She usually writes it down on parchment or signs."

Elena approached the black-winged woman and signed: Have they said anything to you?, motioning towards the Dragons.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sil'Eph Niir Character Portrait: Neden Wrel Character Portrait: Dreux Andica Character Portrait: Elena Character Portrait: Zaldir Kestal Character Portrait: Saewyn Anaya Ehrhard Character Portrait: Aznyxphia, the Pariah Knight Character Portrait: Pau'Ka Character Portrait: Vernon Shulls Character Portrait: Carmen 'Ruffles' Rufferones Character Portrait: Korose Character Portrait: Aranaea Kestal

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Aranaea’s boat arrived to Dragon’s Cove, and the Fire Mage used her spell to jump off the ship and fly to the Beach and land, approaching the gathering group. Out of the corner of her left eye she saw another elf taking a rowboat off of another ship and arriving as with the rest of her gaze, spied several others. One of which was a dark haired elf that, to say in short, took her breath away by his appearance.

”He’s handsome, I’ll give him that.” Aranaea thought. She watched as the winged woman held out a parchment introducing herself. She raised an eyebrow at her apparent declaration. Whilst she may have also heard the voice of some of the Gods, it was apparent that somehow, she may have interpreted it with her own beliefs in mind.

That was when fate gave her the shock of her life.

”Leader? You? You take off and leave someone without a word of thanks for attempting to help you for some delusion? What kind of leader would be that rude to a person?” said the elf she saw before. Aranaea turned to face him.

”Don’t be rude to someone you just me-“ She shouted on Elvish before she stopped short. She stared at the Amulet around his neck and slowly reached for it.

”Paws off you crazy lady! That amulet’s the only thing I got left of my sister!” the elf declared, making her gasp even more so.

”I know. She gave it to you when you were seven years old. It was your birthday present from your big sister. A sister who was afraid she’d never see you again, Zaldir.” she said, switching back to common as she pulled back her hood, revealing her face, now showing that there were tears openly flowing. ”But I finally found you, after fifty long years I’ve found you.”

Zaldir’s eyes blinked once, twice before they widened. ”Aranaea? S-Sis? Is it really-agh!” he couldn’t say anything more, as the embracing hug surrounded and crushed him like a snake. Something they were both very afraid of. But soon, Zaldir returned the embrace.

”I have so many questions.” He said, voice cracking with emotion.

”All in good time, little brother. We have a much more pressing matter to tend to.” Aranaea replied, wiping her tears and looking up to eye the dragons currently watching them.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sil'Eph Niir Character Portrait: Neden Wrel Character Portrait: Dreux Andica Character Portrait: Zaldir Kestal Character Portrait: Saewyn Anaya Ehrhard Character Portrait: Aznyxphia, the Pariah Knight Character Portrait: Pau'Ka Character Portrait: Vernon Shulls Character Portrait: Carmen 'Ruffles' Rufferones Character Portrait: Korose Character Portrait: Aranaea Kestal

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The days slowly passed by for the duo and Luther, who as usual left them alone for the most part. All the while on their trip to the cove they kept their weapons close and always kept an eye and ear out for any possible future dragon attack, thankfully there was none. As the days had passed, Neden had asked Dreux several times what happened when the dragon attacked, and he only ever gave her the same answer, that she'd find out in due time. That it'd be better she found out by someone that wasn't him. Reluctantly she listened to him and they continued with their daily things, sitting down for breakfast, chatting, talking about their pasts and home life, more so Neden on the latter than Dreux.

But eventually, a small island appeared in the distance, that only grew larger and large the closer they got to it. Neden's eyes widened as they slowly grew closer to the island, this was the first time she was outside of her village back in the mountains, and everything amazed her, from the color of the skies to the smells, to the sights, the people she had brief encounters with back at the port. But not all was well with her, all the way from the port to now, she had been sick to her stomach whenever she looked at the water. She had never learned to swim, and as she had almost drowned as a child years ago, it further cemented her fear of water in her, even now. And for well over a week she was surrounded by dark, deep water and nowhere to go.

But as their boat came to a stop as it made a soft thud as it hit the sandy shores of Dragon Cove, Neden looked around, seeing several other boats large and small beaching as well. Clearly, they heard the call as well, as no one would normally come to this place, and as she looked up she clearly understood why. The name gave it all she needed to know, there was indeed a cove, but more so awe-inspiring to her, was the fact that on the cliffs above, there loomed large and frightful and otherwise beautiful beasts. She couldn't help but have her jaw drop as she looked up at them, something familiar, and almost safe made her feel at ease being with them. But she couldn't place her finger on why. She looked up at the large beasts once more as the others began to gather into a group with a large rock before them, she smiled at them then looked back down and felt her stomach turn.

"You alright, Ne?" Dreux asked as he had stayed back with her by the boats.

Neden looked at him and shook her head, "I-I was on the water for so long...It feels weird to be standing on-wh-what is this?" she asked as she looked down, and knelt, taking some of the golden colored texture in her hand and seeing as it seemed to fall like water between her fingers, but had a texture she had no familiarity with. It was warm and soft, but also brittle in a sense.

Dreux looked at her and chuckled, shaking his head as he answered her question, "It's what is called sand, Neden. It can be found on beaches like this, or in vast majorities in deserts, completely made of this. Have you never seen this before?" he asked, with genuine curiosity, for how little did Neden really know of the world outside of her village, it anything.

Neden's eyes widened a little as he explained what it was, she squeezed it in her hands a little, and as she unfolded her hand, she saw it had formed into a compact texture and appearance. " I...I didn't mean to-" she started as she dropped it and looked at Dreux with a slightly sad look on her face as if she had done something wrong.

Dreux shook his head yet again and chuckled as he knelt down beside her, gently placing his hand on her's, "It's alright, Neden. It's what sand does. It can be molded into many shapes, or even smelted down with enough heat to make glass. You didn't do anything wrong." he gave her a smile and gently ruffled her hair as he stood up, and helped her to her feet.

Neden nodded at him and gave him a shy and bashful look on her face as a slight blush covered her cheeks. She shook her head and looked at the slowly forming group that was up more against the rocks and cove itself, "W-we should probably meet up with the others now..." she said softly in her clan's tongue, and quickly tried to recorrect herself by speaking in the common tongue, "I-I mean-" she was cut off as Dreux gently took her hand.

"It's alright, Neden. I can understand your clan's language, if not perfectly. It'll take you some time to learn to speak with the common tongue but don't be ashamed." he gave her a kind smile and led her to the others.

They stood in the back of the group, eyeing the others and seeing who the others were that heard the voice. Dreux recognized the fact that there were a few elves, a succubus, which he noted was a rare sight indeed, what appeared to be a female dark elf, which was another rare sight, and two human looking people that stuck together, a male and a female. But what struck him as odd, and caused a small smile to spread on his face, was the scent of a Draconian, not Neden, but another one. He looked where the scent came from and saw that it belonged to the rather tall woman with blonde hair and dark red eyes, another rare sight, a Draconian with red eyes. He turned back to Neden and smiled, now seeing how she wasn't alone.

His attention was taken from the Succubus who had apparently decided she was to be the leader, to the female elf with blue hair and the man she was speaking with, the male elf. From what transpired, the tears and hugs, clearly a sign of that they knew each other, which brought a smile on his face.

Meanwhile, Neden was currently not feeling very well and had to excuse herself as she quickly ran to the boats, knelt down and emptied the contents of her stomach, and stayed near the water's edge for a few moments in case nausea came back to her. But after a few moments, she dusted herself off and cleaned her mouth and regrouped with the others, remaining silent as she stood with her arms crossed over her chest and her eyes darting over the others, and her eyes stopped as her eyes scanned the woman that made Dreux smile. She felt a small blush cover her cheeks and immediately looked away from her and back to the woman with wings, as the others spoke, deciding on what to do.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sil'Eph Niir Character Portrait: Neden Wrel Character Portrait: Dreux Andica Character Portrait: Zaldir Kestal Character Portrait: Saewyn Anaya Ehrhard Character Portrait: Aznyxphia, the Pariah Knight Character Portrait: Pau'Ka Character Portrait: Vernon Shulls Character Portrait: Carmen 'Ruffles' Rufferones Character Portrait: Korose Character Portrait: Aranaea Kestal

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#, as written by Tanman
Vernon Shulls / Carmen ‘Ruffles’ Rufferones
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It had taken some convincing to have Vernon take her to Dragon’s Cove. After all, the crew had a close enough call in their first dragon encounter; not to mention their ship was in a state of disrepair thanks to that monster. Still, with enough pleading and the promise that they’d at least be able to moor and conduct repairs, Vernon relented. He didn’t exactly believe her nonsense about some ‘voices in her head calling for aid’ - after all, she was a bit of a ditz – but their personal lady luck had never lead them astray since her arrival. He’d have to trust that there was some reason she felt compelled to go there.

Docking near the beach as they dropped the anchor, Vernon looked with some trepidation at the number of other boats that had arrived. Dragon’s Cove wasn’t exactly a common trade route, so the fact that so many ships were here was an omen indeed. Assigning the crew to their repair tasks and promising to be quick, Vernon and Carmen dropped the rowboat and began to head for shore. Not that Vernon needed to do any rowing. Sliding gracefully off the back of the boat and holding onto the stern; there was a brief flash of pinkish red light before Carmen underwent her transformation. With her large tail, it was a simple matter for the mermaid to push the small ship to the beach, the girl changing back to her human form once she could get some traction in the sand.

After securing their ship into place, the duo slowly made their way over to the others – Vernon with folded arms and Carmen with hers eagerly in front of her. Seeing so many people, Vernon subconsciously felt the weight on his back, the bundle of weapons ready to be used at a moment’s notice in case things turned sour. Still, these individuals didn’t look particularly threatening, except perhaps that winged woman or the elf with the faint red eyes. No, the more pressing concern was the den of beasts behind the winged woman, the dragons eying them all with caution. If they decided to attack, things could get ugly, so Vernon, despite his nonchalant posture, remained ready. Not being particularly social, Vernon took place following just behind Carmen as the Mermaid hurried forward to introduce herself.

“Hey everybody! I’m Carmen and this is Vernon. I was having these weird dreams and things, but like, this proves I’m not crazy, right? Something’s going on here, yeah? Does anyone know what’s going on? Who’s in charge?” At those words, there was some ruffling as a parchment was flapped a couple of times in the wind. Looking over, Carmen made her way over to the somewhat intimidating looking woman holding the paper and took hold of it to have a read. The opportunity was short lived, as Vernon moved up and ruffled her hair, distracting the mermaid long enough for him to pilfer the parchment and give it a read.

Ignoring the already present squabbling between what appeared to be some reuniting siblings, Vernon gave his own ‘insightful’ comments to their supposed leader. “How do you even pronounce that? I almost suffocate just looking at it.” Grunting a bit as Carmen shoved him in the side with a look that said ‘don’t be rude’, Vernon sighed. “More importantly, I don’t believe or care about gods, lords or any of that crap. What I do care about is some young broad who can’t even give orders without a parchment trying to play Captain. You want me to follow you?” Vernon took a step back, cracking his knuckles. “Then make me submit.”

“Vernon! Stop being an ass! Geez!” Carmen huffed, tugging on Vernon’s arm and waving her hand in a calming gesture. “Ignore him. He’s uh… Special. Dropped on the head as a baby. Real Tragedy. We’re all coming to terms with it…” Trailing off mournfully, Carmen was clearly poking fun. Soon enough, Vernon shrugged free of Carmen, shaking his head and turning his back to the group. “Whatever. Once we find out what you’re here for and the ship is repaired, we’re setting sail.” Taking a few more steps away onto a rock, Vernon took some time to appraise the group, but all the while, his eyes continued to watch the dragons. Perhaps there would be some challenge here after all.

Still standing and grinning to herself happily, Carmen briefly glanced behind her to see a couple more newcomers. Seeing as the Elves were having a hugfest, and the other trio with the pink haired lass were already talking amongst themselves, maybe she’d go make friends with the latest arrivals? Skipping over towards the beach, Carmen went to make her intentions known. “Yo! I’m Carmen, what-“ Cutting herself off as the pretty lady ran off to… Return favour to the ocean. Not wanting to draw attention to her failed conversation starter, the mermaid kind of awkwardly stood between all the parties, only slowly making her way over once the woman returned.

“Take two! Yo ho ho, I’m Carmen. Do you guys hear voices in your head too?” Not paying attention to how bad that sounded out of context, Carmen continued, leaning in towards the female of the pair. “Also, you’re looking a bit pale. If the sea ails ya, I probably have some home remedies back on my ship. I’m like, second in command and the navigator, so I’m kind of a big deal.” Attempting to talk herself up, Carmen had her hands on her hips standing proudly. After all, she’d recently stopped a dragon attack. She was totally officially a big deal now. Hopefully they’d be impressed.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Neden Wrel Character Portrait: Dreux Andica Character Portrait: Elena Character Portrait: Zaldir Kestal Character Portrait: Saewyn Anaya Ehrhard Character Portrait: Aznyxphia, the Pariah Knight Character Portrait: Pau'Ka Character Portrait: Vernon Shulls Character Portrait: Carmen 'Ruffles' Rufferones Character Portrait: Korose Character Portrait: Aranaea Kestal

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#, as written by Saivie
As Saewyn arrived at the cove she realized just how bad a bunch of fools she could've been trapped with. A hefty sigh left her lips, as did a well-needed sum of her mana, used toward the end of masking her presence to the others. A few steps forward and she already found herself evading one of the... people... on their way to the ocean. Oh good gracious. What HAVE I gotten myself into? , She asked herself as she studied the others. With a second of hesitation, Sae stopped and wondered if taking down her cloaking was a good idea, but it would have to be done if she was to truly decide if the fools around her were just that.

"You! All of you. Why are you here, if not for a summons." she said rather loudly, whilst moving from spot to spot hoping to remain hidden for the time being. Her cover now mostly blown by her own choosing, she stepped out from behind Dreux, dropping her use of mana to upkeep the illusion of being part of the surroundings.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Neden Wrel Character Portrait: Dreux Andica Character Portrait: Elena Character Portrait: Zaldir Kestal Character Portrait: Saewyn Anaya Ehrhard Character Portrait: Aznyxphia, the Pariah Knight Character Portrait: Pau'Ka Character Portrait: Vernon Shulls Character Portrait: Carmen 'Ruffles' Rufferones Character Portrait: Korose Character Portrait: Aranaea Kestal

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Aznyxphia stood shocked as everybody started complaining to her. One angry fellow lashed out at her, saying she could not be leader with her traits. Two people were hugging, one was barfing, and pretty much everyone either ignored her or were angry with her for some reason.
Personally, Az did not understand all this. She had a decree from the Great Goddess; how could these people dare defy the orders of a god? Such blasphemy!
As the others squabbled, Aznyxphia wrote down yet another decree, and when she was done, she began stomping her foot to get everyone's attention. Once she did, she held up the scroll once again, the peppy smile gone from her face and replaced with a stern frown.
"To the young brown-haired woman, no, those are simply statues. No fell magic can cause any creature to be so stalwart and still. It is probably either an illusion, or perhaps an enchantment to create golems we must fight to gain entrance. A test from the gods, I assure you, to weigh our belief in their strife. I thank you for taking concern in your new leader's well-being, however. And I can hear what people say, so do not feel the need to sign at me. However, it would be useful if you could serve as my translator so I don't have to keep writing these big posters.
"You, merchant. I apologize for my sudden urgency to leave our matters behind, but the call of a goddess cannot be ignored. I was sent a calling by her, as all of you were, that we must save her from the vile sorcerer who calls himself The Evil King. All earthly matters are behind us now in the eyes of the gods, and I hope you may put our grievances behind you as I lead us on to divine glory. Also, I congratulate you on being reunited with your family member. May your platonic love for one another never falter.
"You there, one who calls himself Vernon." As he read this part, Az glowered at him with all of the holier-than-thouness she could muster. "How dare you blasphemy the gods who have sent you on this grand mission. If not for them, you would be a measly, unimportant sea urchin squalling around the world with no purpose in life. Fortunately, the Great Goddess, my queen and fearless leader, is ever-forgiving, and forgives this grand insult you have placed upon her daughter. I am not as forgiving. But, as the Goddess wills, I relent. But I will bear your harmful words in mind, and I promise you - there shall be retribution. I will lead all of you to victory, whether you like it or not. As the gods command."
After that, she rolled up the parchment and began walking off towards the entrance to the cove, not looking back to see if any of them were following her or not. At this point, even in spite of her goddess' decree, she had no interest in travelling with such dull, spiteful folk. They were the ones who you could make a mistake with once and would never let it up to you, always carrying that grudge. Especially that pirate lad, Vernon. She did not like him. Not at all.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sil'Eph Niir Character Portrait: Neden Wrel Character Portrait: Dreux Andica Character Portrait: Elena Character Portrait: Zaldir Kestal Character Portrait: Saewyn Anaya Ehrhard Character Portrait: Aznyxphia, the Pariah Knight Character Portrait: Pau'Ka Character Portrait: Carmen 'Ruffles' Rufferones Character Portrait: Korose Character Portrait: Aranaea Kestal

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Elena was rather perturbed by the exchanges. Such hostility. They were in a foreign land after all of them had heard the voice of a Goddess, so there was an element of understanding within her heart despite her wish to speak out. But it was Korose, the elf behind her with the glowing red eyes, who spoke first.

"We may as well follow her for now. Standing around bickering about who is or is not 'in charge' isn't going to help anything. If we all heard the voice of the Goddess Sil'Eph Niir, then it stands to reason that she's here somewhere and can clear everything up."

"I can't say I agree with you about the leadership role, but I agree we should find the Goddess if she's here."

Elena turned and nodded her agreement. It was time to move, not bicker.

However, before they could go much further than the edge of the beach, one of the dragon statues suddenly shifted. Its eyes darted downwards and, in an instant, it leaped from the hilltop it was perched on and landed before the woman with black wings.

The creature stood, at least, 20' tall at the shoulder alone not including its neck and head which made it look even bigger. With its massive forward swept horns and elongated claws, it was not a creature either Korose, Pau'Ka, or Elena dared wish to tangle with. Nevertheless they all stopped and remained very still as the creature growled and hissed at them. An obvious indication that they were not to proceed.

But a moment later a soft rumbling in the Earth caught their attention. The dragon seemed to hear something they didn't and turned its head around to look down the path Az had previously been walking. When its gaze returned to the newcomers, it seemed to carry a softness to it as the creature walked back up to its hilltop and laid down. The other dragons around it also laid down, a clear indication that they'd dropped their hostilities.

"Looks like they're letting us pass after all." Korose said.

Together the group walked on down the grass-bordered dirt path. As they walked, they passed by an expanse of grasslands framed by mountains which seemed to go on forever into the horizon. And yet, somehow, despite how far they walked they never seemed to tire nor feel the burn of fatigue. There was something about this place which seemed to preserve their stamina and vitality. And for Elena, it was obvious.

As a High Elf with the greatest sensitivity to mana, she could feel the weight of mana in the air as they walked pouring through her body. The sheer magnitude of it is what preserved them so. But what she didn't know was why the area was so thick with mana. Was it the dragons? Their magnificent existence possibly fueling the mana's pooling here? Was it the presence of the Goddess? Her massive energy and divine presence? Or was it just the nature of Dragon's Cove as a location?

Whatever the reason soon became irrelevant, as the group rounded the bend in the path and, from behind the edge of a mountain up ahead they beheld a massive red wall crossing the Cove. Partially submerged in water, this red wall looked, at first, like it was curved. But surely it was not, right? No. It was curved. This was no "wall." This was a tube of some kind, surely. But then... Why did it seem to have scales?

Pau'Ka felt something from the structure. A kind of... Sense of "home."

"Is that... A dragon?" She asked quietly.

Elena felt the mana emanating from it, even from this distance, and she was all but overwhelmed by it and became light headed and somewhat unsteady on her feet. Pau'Ka helped lend her shoulder so she could walk easier, but still Elena seemed to suffer from the sheer magnitude of mana pouring free from whatever that was.

As they drew closer, the tube appeared to, ever so slowly, stretch and relax. Like it was breathing.

And, at long, long last... They beheld Her.

Crossing a bridge and coming free of a line of trees, the head of a massive dragon the likes of which the group could not even imagine in their most lucid dreams emerged. Partially submerged in water, laying on Her side, was the massive body of the Dragon Goddess Sil'Eph Niir. Her long, serpentine form stretched from her head all the way to the far side of the Cove. And it became clear to them that her body nearly lay across the entire thing.

"She's... I can't even..." Pau'Ka whispered to herself.

"Is this the Goddess?"

Elena nodded.

"She's sleeping, but it's her. The Goddess Sil'Eph Niir. I can sense it." She said in High Elven.

A pair of mighty dragons lay to either side of her massive head which had to be the size of a small mountain. Her enormous form was miles long. At least two by the looks of it. The sheer scale of Her was... Staggering.

"Incredible." Korose said quietly.

The group approached as far as the two dragons would let them, and then stopped... Waiting.

And finally, the head of Sil'Eph Niir stirred and one of Her eyes partially slid open. Glowing with golden light, it pierced through them all at once before her head shifted slightly, putting Her more on Her stomach.


"You have come..."

Her mouth didn't move, but they all heard Her voice in their heads.

"You all have my eternal gratitude."

Korose, Elena, and Pau'Ka were all slack jawed as they watched the Goddess and heard Her voice. It nearly brought tears to Elena's eyes, and a sense of comfort and warmth to Pau'Ka like none she'd ever felt before.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sil'Eph Niir Character Portrait: Neden Wrel Character Portrait: Dreux Andica Character Portrait: Zaldir Kestal Character Portrait: Saewyn Anaya Ehrhard Character Portrait: Aznyxphia, the Pariah Knight Character Portrait: Pau'Ka Character Portrait: Vernon Shulls Character Portrait: Carmen 'Ruffles' Rufferones Character Portrait: Korose Character Portrait: Aranaea Kestal

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The unlikely duo silently watched as the others bickered and talked, mainly arguing with the woman with the wings. But suddenly a voice spoke up, and out stepped a woman behind Dreux, who only almost jumped out of his skin when he saw her suddenly appear, clearly she was the voice that asked why they were all here. Despite her surprisingly tall stature, her voice and face looked much younger and softer than he would have expected. But something then happened that got their attention, a rumble that caused the dragons to move out of the way and let them continue with their meeting with who called them there in the first place.

Slowly they made their way down the path, and down the middle of grass-covered valleys and mountains. And eventually to the heart and center of Dragon Cove. In the center was something far too large to be real, or what they thought to be real. It was at least two miles long in length, red and golden colored what seemed to scales, and if they paid attention to it, seemed to be...breathing? Yes, it was breathing...Wait a minute. Neden and Dreux stopped in their places as they realized what they were actually looking at, it was...a Dragon. A massive dragon, one the size of a large mountain, and it slowly began to awaken, as it lifted its head. Three smaller dragons were now awake as well and looking at them, which caused Neden and Dreux to keep their hands close by their sides, next to their weapons in case they wished to turn against them or start strife, which they honestly did not want.

But as they continued to look on, the dragon looked at them with a surprisingly calm look and spoke, not with a physical voice, but the same voice they had all heard earlier, the one that called them here. Dreux' eyes opened when he made the connection, this was who called them, the very dragon goddess herself. She called them, and that meant, the one that Neden called upon at the ship the day the dragon attacked, this was who answered her cry for help. Dreux looked upon the dragon as she spoke and gave her a bow, in pure awestruck surprise and amazement, as he was now face to face with a Goddess.

Neden, on the other hand was silent as well, in awestruck and amazement as she looked at the dragon that was before them. She was something Neden had never seen before, and her eyes slowly began to swell up with tears. Not from sadness as someone else would think, but due to the fact that this meant she was right. All of her questionings, wondering if there really was anything out there other than just her and the village. That her constant asking would indeed be answered, and now, if not later would slowly begin to be answered. And something about this dragon felt, familiar to her, as if she somehow knew this beast that lay before her.

Neden slowly walked past Dreux as she felt the strength in her legs again and walked up to the front of the group and looked on at the dragon, her eyes slowly trailing over every part of this creature, everything she ever hoped and dreamed of was now before her very eyes, and she couldn't help but form a small smile on her face as she looked on as the dragon spoke, and gave a silent nod, smiling all the while.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sil'Eph Niir Character Portrait: Neden Wrel Character Portrait: Dreux Andica Character Portrait: Zaldir Kestal Character Portrait: Saewyn Anaya Ehrhard Character Portrait: Aznyxphia, the Pariah Knight Character Portrait: Pau'Ka Character Portrait: Vernon Shulls Character Portrait: Carmen 'Ruffles' Rufferones Character Portrait: Korose Character Portrait: Aranaea Kestal

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The reunion of the Kestal siblings was brief, however as they agreed to follow the succubus for the time being to get to the answers they were indeed looking for. The moment the dragons moved however, it put the younger Kestal on the alert as he recalled the Dragon he scarred in the Port town. He feared one day he’d run into that beast again.

But so it was, the group began to make their way into the cove as Zaldir and Aranaea walked side by side, taking in the sights and sounds of the Cove. ”So, Uhm... is there anyone else from our family still living? Or am I getting my hopes up?” the young brown haired elf asked as he walked. He glanced briefly towards the more silent elf, and felt a small bit of himself feel at awe. She was elven but she seemed more radiant and beautiful then other elves. Could she be a High Elf? He wasn’t too sure.

”Father died fighting the greenskins. Mother is with Grandmother’s Clan. She’s been... unwell since fifty years ago. You may not remember Zaldir, or maybe you do, but the Scattering was too terrible, even for a simple Orc Raid.” Aranaea replied. She Said nothing more and the sharp spring in her step caused her brother to think that now probably wasn’t a truly good time to converse about what happened that day.

As the siblings walked on with the group they began to realize how mana rich the environment was, before noticing at last the various sections of a scaled serpentine body.

“Could it be...?” Zaldir said aloud as Aranaea was slowly looking astonished as now the group came into view of the massive dragon. Before either sibling could reply they heard the voice in their heads again, now realizing at last they were meeting the Dragon Goddess who summoned them here.

“Sil’Eph Niir.” Aranaea uttered with a look of shock and wonder to her eyes. Zaldir’s eyes became wide as tears began to well up in them. For a long time, he thought he’d never be assured the Gods cared. But today, with the reunion of his sister and now coming face to face with the Dragon Goddess. He had now come to a conclusion.

“They do care.” He whispered to himself in Elvish. He silently let the tears flow. A part of him now felt regretful of how cynical he had become in his life.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sil'Eph Niir Character Portrait: Neden Wrel Character Portrait: Dreux Andica Character Portrait: Elena Character Portrait: Zaldir Kestal Character Portrait: Saewyn Anaya Ehrhard Character Portrait: Aznyxphia, the Pariah Knight Character Portrait: Pau'Ka Character Portrait: Vernon Shulls Character Portrait: Carmen 'Ruffles' Rufferones Character Portrait: Korose Character Portrait: Aranaea Kestal

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As Aznyxphia approached the statues, they immediately leapt down to confront her, making predatory hissing noises. I guess that young woman was right about them being statues, the knight thought to herself, drawing her azure steel longsword. Very well; a battle it shall be.
But she never got the chance to do any combat. The dragons cocked their heads, as if they could hear a sound she could not. Then, they stepped to the side, resting docilely. As the others walked past, the dragons did nothing but stare and blink slowly. Aznyxphia sheathed her sword rather hesitantly, fearing a trap, but as nothing happened, she willed herself to move back to the head of the group. She was their leader, after all, and leaders must appear strong (especially with such mutinous folk like Vernon among her group).
As they entered the fertile valley, everyone felt the rush of strong winds over their head, and anyone looking up would see Aznyxphia swoop by on her ebony wings, leading them onwards in the air - at least, in her mind. The air blowing by her usually felt good, but today it was... different. The air felt almost... heavier. Thicker. Sweeter. As if it were drugged. As she traveled farther, the sensation became greater. She did not like it. Not one bit. I knew this was a trap, she thought. If anything happens, I must protect my vassals - even if it means my death. Just in case the drugged air got too much for her, she touched back down to the ground and continued walking from there.
As she travelled forwards to almost certain doom, Aznyxphia uttered a prayer to the Gods of Light, the creators and protectors of the humanoids of the world - gods who, ironically, did not actually exist, though not to Az's knowledge, of course. Great Goddess of Light and all the lower gods of Light, here my prayer. I cannot remove thy cup from mine lips, so I shall uphold your duty to the best of my honor. Mark my words, this day the Evil King and his vile dragons shall fall, and the world shall be safe again. If I may die, I pray I shall be forever rewarded in the shining Halls of Valour. Amen.
Finally, the group reached the source of what they had been looking for. What first appeared to be a rounded red wall reared its ugly head and stared the intrepid adventurers down. Soon, everyone began to fall to their knees from the aura of unholiness the loathsome creature generated. At once, Aznyxphia knew this was the Evil King, the Plague Upon the Land, the King of the Dragons. The monster the Great Goddess had sent them to slay. Their doom, and their salvation.
Even as she realized this, the dragon spoke lies of power: words to coax her chosen warriors into betraying their goddess and join his side. One of her subjects, a young, pretty blonde-haired lass who had apparently lost all rational thought, began approaching the Evil King on weakened legs, tears streaking down her eyes.
With the sweep of a dark gauntlet, Aznyxphia pushed the girl back, out of harm's way. There was both fury and fear in her eyes, and everyone could tell what she meant: "GET BACK!!!"
Then, the Pariah Knight turned back to her sworn enemy, swiftly drawing her sword again and spreading out her wings to form a shadowy wall that would protect her chosen from the evil sorcery the dragon could work.
EVIL KING! Aznyxphia snarled mentally, using the two-way telepathic communique the fell monster had set up with them. BY THE ORDER OF THE GREAT GODDESS OF LIGHT, YOUR TYRANNY SHALL BE VANQUISHED. THIS DAY, YOUR PLAGUE UPON THE WORLD SHALL BE ENDED! THIS WORLD SHALL SURVIVE!!!

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sil'Eph Niir Character Portrait: Neden Wrel Character Portrait: Dreux Andica Character Portrait: Pau'Ka

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Neden looked up as the being spoke to her in a calm voice as she did before, nodding silently as she listened intently to every word that was spoken. To hear that she didn't know who she was, did indeed break her heart a little to hear that, but to know that yes indeed she was a part of her descendants, that part relieved a little of the tension and emptiness that she felt in her heart. Once Sil'Eph Niir had finally finished speaking, Neden gave her a solid nod as a few stray tears ran down her face.

"Thank you, Sil'Eph Niir. Thank you for letting me know that much at least, thank you...I will do whatever it is that you ask of me, I owe the Gods that much." she said softly as she looked up at the being and nodded once, and finally turned to rejoin with the group.

She stood with Dreux as the others either communicated with the Goddess or each other, she wasn't fully paying attention as she started talking with Dreux, explaining what she was told.

Dreux gave her a small and ruffled her hair a bit, "I'm glad that you at least found out that you are also a Draconian. Thought I was going to have to tell you myself." he said with a chuckle, which caused Neden's eyes to widen.

"You knew this whole time??" she almost yelled at him as they continued to talk.

"I only knew when you changed forms on the boat that day, until then I didn't really have a solid idea. I knew you were special, or at least different than the rest." he said rather plainly.

"You mean at the village, when you were watching me. That's why you did it, didn't you?" she asked.

"Yes..I sensed something in you...I didn't know what until that day...I'm sorry." he said as he hung his head and looked away from her, feeling as though he betrayed her trust.

Neden nodded and sighed, stepping forward she gave him a gentle hug and then spoke again, "I'm not angry...Just, try living your whole life not knowing anything about you, and then finding out like this...Finally knowing that you were right...And not only that, that someone else in the group is just like you...The woman standing by the male elf over there, the pre-the one with the red eyes I mean. She's just like me...Well...same race..." she said as she turned and looked away, feeling her face turn a light pink as she almost called the other woman pretty without knowing what she was even talking about.

Dreux chuckled and shook his head, "I know she is, I could smell it as soon as we got onto this island. You should go say hi and introduce yourself to her." he said with a smile and gentle push, as the other woman was only a few feet away from them.

"N-no, that...That sounds like a bad idea, Dreux. I don't know her. She could probably kill me with ease if I said the wrong thing!" she said as she looked at him with a nervous look on her face.

Dreux chuckled and gently grabbed her by the arm, "I'm sure everything will be fine. Besides,I'll be right beside you if she were to try anything. Now, come along." he said as he began to walk over to the other Draconian female in question, dragging Neden along as she tried to struggle out of his grasp.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Neden Wrel Character Portrait: Dreux Andica Character Portrait: Pau'Ka

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Pau'Ka and Elena remained together as Elena slowly recovered from the overwhelming mana in the area and from the Goddess before her. She was magnificent. The sheer scale of Her. It was breathtaking. Finally Elena managed to stand on her own without help, and Pau'Ka noticed a pair of individuals approaching her.

"Can I help you with anything?" She asked.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Neden Wrel Character Portrait: Dreux Andica Character Portrait: Pau'Ka

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Dreux continued to drag Neden along until they were close enough to the woman in question and when they were about a foot or two appart Dreux stopped and introduced themselves when she asked if she could help them with anything. Dreux smiled and gave her a small bow before he spoke, and held onto Neden's arm with a firm grip to make sure she didn't try to walk away from this as he could sense that was her goal.

"Hello, ma'am. My name is Dreux, and this here is Neden, and you are? We, well I was wondering if you would be able to help her understand a few things? You see, she too is Draconian, as is yourself." he said with a smile and nod of his head.

Meanwhile, Neden eventually got out from his grasp but remained standing next to him as about as awkwardly as she could have. She tried to avoid eye contact with the surprisingly tall woman that was now only about a foot from her. She smiled awkwardly and after Dreux had finished speaking she gave an awkward chuckle and tried to speak with the smallest amount of her accent as she could,"H-Hello, I'm Neden. Wh-what he failed to inform you is that I didn't know that I was what you call Draconian. I don't expect you to help, as he kinda forced me to come over here...It would just be nice to have someone else that's like me to help me understand...But like I said, I don't expect you to want to have to deal with such a pain in the ass like myself." she said with almost stuttering and eyes darting away from the woman every few seconds as she spoke, wishing she was somewhere else but there at the moment, currently mentally kicking herself for more than likely sounding like an incredibly stupid idiot and more so embarrassing herself in front of someone that probably spent most of her life as a Draconian and wouldn't want the burden of helping someone that had no clue how it worked or what it really meant.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Neden Wrel Character Portrait: Dreux Andica Character Portrait: Pau'Ka

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Pau'Ka was caught rather off guard by what she was hearing and gave an equally nervous chuckle as Neden spoke up.

"I uh... Wow. You're rather self deprecating, aren't you?" She asked quietly.

She shook her head.

"My name is Pau'Ka. Princess of Modol'Ni, home nation of the Draconian Race. It's a pleasure to meet both of you." She said with a light bow.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Neden Wrel Character Portrait: Dreux Andica Character Portrait: Pau'Ka

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Neden awkwardly rubbed the back of her neck as Pau'Ka all too easily criticized her for being self-deprecating, especially to the degree as she did, which caused her to blush and look down.

Dreux chuckled and gently placed his hand on her shoulder, "R-royalty? O-oh good gracious, my apologies, Princess!" he exclaimed as he immediately knelt down and gave her an awkward smile. He looked up at Neden and motioned she did the same. As Neden too knelt, as awkwardly as she could, he whispered to her, "That means that she was born into a very rich family with power and control." he said calmly as they stood back up.

Neden's eyes widened as Dreux explained what it meant to her, she never met someone with such a status like this, nevermind not even knowing what it meant until Dreux explained what it meant to her. She blushed more now knowing who she was, even if she didn't exactly understand just yet. "I-I'm sorry, Princess. I didn't mean to...I'm just...I uhm...I-I'm not very good with people and uhm...yeah...I'm sorry." she stuttered out as she tried to think of what to say.

Dreux chuckled and resumed to speak for Neden, "What she means is, if you could help spend some time with her and help explain some things to her. See, she was raised in a small village in the northern mountains, rather closed off from the world. But, if that is too much to ask, especially with your rank and title, we would understand completely. Just forget that we asked, M'lady." he said as he gave her another bow and began to walk away, leaving Neden alone with Pau'Ka. And if Neden ended up following him he'd understand what that meant and would understand that Pau'ka wouldn't be interested in helping Neden.

"Why do I always get stuck with the icky jobs...?" he muttered to himself as he walked away from the two girls and their hopeful beginning in helping Neden.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Neden Wrel Character Portrait: Dreux Andica Character Portrait: Pau'Ka

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Pau'Ka listened to what the pair had to say and nodded slowly.

"I understand." She said calmly.

She looked at Neden and offered a smile.

"I'd be happy to spend time and teach you more about your heritage. I don't know if I'll be the best teacher since I've never taught anyone anything before. But I'll do my best!"

She extended a hand to Neden.

"It's nice to meet you Neden."

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Neden Wrel Character Portrait: Dreux Andica Character Portrait: Pau'Ka

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Neden's eyes widened when Dreux left her side and began to walk away from her, "Y-you said you'd stay by my side!! You coward!!" she exclaimed as she huffed as she looked at him walk off.

Dreux chuckled and gave her a thumbs up and wave as he continued to walk out of the cave and walk back to the boats, "You'll be thanking me later, good luck, Ne!"

Neden's eyes rolled as she looked at him as he disappeared out of the cove, a soft growl exiting her lips as she watched him walk away. And just like that, they were alone, left to talk about whatever it would be. Neden turned back to look at Pau'Ka that stood behind her and awkwardly smiled as she had introduced herself when Neden yelled at Deux for leaving her alone.

"I-I'm sorry about that, Princess. That was...Not okay. My apologies." she said with a light blush and awkwardly rubbed the back of her head, her accent coming out rather strong as she spoke. She gently and rather awkwardly took her hand and returned the handshake, "It's nice to meet you as well. I-I'm sorry for being so awkward, I'm not very good with new people, much like Dreux explained." she said with an awkward chuckle and slightly swayed on her feet, trying to not feel as awkward as she did in that moment.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sil'Eph Niir Character Portrait: Neden Wrel Character Portrait: Dreux Andica Character Portrait: Elena Character Portrait: Zaldir Kestal Character Portrait: Saewyn Anaya Ehrhard Character Portrait: Aznyxphia, the Pariah Knight Character Portrait: Pau'Ka Character Portrait: Vernon Shulls Character Portrait: Carmen 'Ruffles' Rufferones Character Portrait: Korose Character Portrait: Aranaea Kestal

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Pau'Ka shook her hand and smiled warmly for her.

"It's not a problem at all, Neden. Social anxieties born of isolation are common among all races. It's nothing to be ashamed of."

She let go of Neden's hand and gently placed her index finger against her chin.

"So what would you like to know? I'll answer as best I can."



Meanwhile, Korose had wandered closer to the Goddess as well to speak to her mentally.

You can hear my thoughts, correct?

Yes.

What's going on? Why are we here?

Sil'Eph Niir let her answer carry to the entire group so that all may hear, including Az as she flew away even if this was a bit of a recap of what she'd heard before.

The Evil King seeks to break the seal we placed on him long ago and escape to your world. His servants now siphon magical energies from around the globe in an effort to see this dark design fulfilled. If they succeed, he will grow stronger and likely attempt to overtake the Higher Plane just as he tried to do eons ago. You are all here because you hold ancient bloodlines blessed by the Gods. Once you awaken the power of your bloodline, you'll be strong enough to take the fight to his servants and prevent his escape from the Nether Realm. Seek out the Diviner on the tallest peak in the world in the frozen North, and he will help you awaken your long-dormant power.

And the dragons?

As their life force is siphoned to fuel the rebirth of my Son, Maglissos, under His wicked control, their forms become tainted and twisted into the beasts you fought previously. But they can be saved. If you combine your awakened powers, you can help sever the connection which siphons their life force and return them to normal. When they come back to themselves, they will aid you however they can. You have my word as their Mother and Goddess.

Korose nodded, looking back to the others and now speaking out loud.

"If anyone has any last questions for the Goddess, now's the time to ask. If not, we should leave at once for the frozen North. The sooner we awaken our bloodline's powers, the better. The Goddess may be on our side, but time most certainly isn't." He called out.

Elena took a few steps towards Sil'Eph Niir, clasping her hands and dropping to her knees as she bowed her head in respect.

Great Goddess Sil'Eph Niir. Will you not join us in this endeavor?

I sincerely wish I could, dear Child of the Forest. But until my body has recovered from both my battle with the Evil King and my labor of creating the Dragon Race eons ago, I am unable to fully awaken from this state. Even now, despite this mental communication, my physical body slumbers and is useless to you.

Elena opened her eyes and nodded quietly.

We will rescue your children, great Goddess. I promise. We'll save them all.

Elena suddenly received a mental vision of Sil'Eph Niir's beautiful human form smiling at her.

Thank you, dear Child of the Forest. You've no idea the joy it brings me to hear such kind words.

Elena bowed and turned around, ready to proceed with their mission to seek out the Diviner in the frozen North whenever the others were ready to join them.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sil'Eph Niir Character Portrait: Neden Wrel Character Portrait: Dreux Andica Character Portrait: Zaldir Kestal Character Portrait: Saewyn Anaya Ehrhard Character Portrait: Aznyxphia, the Pariah Knight Character Portrait: Pau'Ka Character Portrait: Vernon Shulls Character Portrait: Carmen 'Ruffles' Rufferones Character Portrait: Korose Character Portrait: Aranaea Kestal

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Neden listened silently as Pau'Ka reassured her that there was nothing to be ashamed about, which caused a small smile to appear on her face. She tried to think of what to ask about first, but there were so many different questions. But some she knew Pau'Ka wouldn't know the answer to, such as who she was and who her family was, since even the very Goddess of who she is a great decendant of doesn't even know. She continued to think silently, her right hand resting on her chin as she was lost deep in thought, biting her bottom lip as she tried to concentrate on what to ask. But suddenly that same voice was heard in her head again, the voice of Sil'Eph Niir, and clearly it was everyone that heard it as they all looked at her and nodded when she was done speaking.

She understood the importance of time, especially knowing that Sil'Eph Niir would need time to heal, and she nodded. Turning back to Pau'Ka she motioned for her to stay for a moment, and ran back up to the mighty being that was laying still on the cove's floor. "I promise...We will help your children and you. For you and your children, fall and none...as well as for my clan's honor, and maybe finding out who I am. Thank you, Sil'Eph Niiir. We won't let you done. Just rest." she said softly, gently and nervously placing her hand against Sil'Eph Niir's red scales, feeling them under her palm for a moment as she gave a silent prayer of healing and safety towards the Goddess, and turned back around to rejoin with the group.

As she neared Pau'Ka she spoke as she motioned her to join as they were slowly heading back to the boats, "We can talk about this as we head back to the boats if you like. But like she said, time is important, and I don't want to waste more of her precious time. But trust me, I have...a lot of questions.." she said as she gave the woman a small smile and nod, as well as a bow and began walking towards the boats, not sure if Pau'Ka would follow her or not.

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