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Sil'Eph Niir

"My Children are dying... Please... Save them."

88 views · last seen in Universe
a character in “Divinity Unbound”, as played by KumoriRyuu

Description

Sil'Eph Niir

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Age: Indeterminable
Race: Goddess
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 135 lbs
Voice: Sil'Eph Niir's Voice

Magical Element: Divine

Alternate Form: Divine Dragon
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Alternate Form Attributes:

Height: ~ 750-1,500 feet (posture depending)
Length:: ~ 8,965 feet (~2.7km or 1.7 miles)
Wingspan ~ 6,450 feet (~2 km or 1.2 miles
Weight: ~ 200,000 tons

Affiliation: The Gods

Personal Strengths:

* Divine Magic
* Dragon Form
* Telepathy
* Wise

Personal Weaknesses:

* Naive
* Emotional
* Ignorant
* Large in Dragon Form

Personality: Sil'Eph Niir, as a Goddess, is highly benevolent and kind hearted. She sees the good in people first and is always willing to give the benefit of the doubt. She wears Her heart on Her sleeves and is sometimes painfully honest, and also very naive. She's highly maternal and, ever since losing Her son, Maglissos, to the Evil King long ago, She has never been able to cope with the emptiness She feels inside. She harbors a deep rooted fear of the Evil King because of what He did to Her and to the rest of the Gods. His dark forces are also a source of fear for Sil'Eph Niir, as she recalls seeing what they did to Her brothers and sisters in the Higher Plane. She's fearful of physical contact by others unless they're one of Her children, but She's slowly working towards overcoming that fear.

Biography: Sil'Eph Niir Awoke during time immemorial before the universe had been given form. She came into consciousness at the urging of the All Mother and All Father, the first child of the Gods. Following the creation of the universe and the planet Earth, Sil'Eph Niir gave birth to a son, Maglissos, a Black Dragon God. Shortly after (thousands of years, but "shortly" to the Gods) the Higher Plane was attacked by the Evil King and his forces. Sil'Eph Niir, being the eldest and most powerful of the Gods thanks to Her Dragon Form, took it upon Herself to battle the Evil King. She was defeated and gravely injured while the Evil King set His sights of the All Mother and All Father. Her son, Maglissos, despite still being but an infant fought valiantly against the Evil King and landed a single powerful blow against the mighty Dark Spawn. But ultimately Maglissos was felled by a single swipe of the Blade of Evil.

Driven by rage and sorrow, Sil'Eph Niir took to Her Dragon Form to do battle with the Evil King once more. But She was met with the same result. The All Mother and All Father realized the grave nature they and their children faced, and so sacrificed their life energy to Sil'Eph Niir to give Her the power She needed to seize victory from the jaws of defeat. The Evil King was defeated and forced to retreat to the Nether Realm, but in doing so His forces secured the corpse of Maglissos and spirited it away to the Nether Realm. Following the deaths of the All Mother and All Father, Sil'Eph Niir felt a primal calling and Descended to the Mortal Realm where She landed in what now is known as Dragon's Cove. There, at the center of the world, She created and gave birth to the mighty Dragon Race, the first creatures ever to walk the Earth. And with Her labor complete and her power drained, Sil'Eph Niir took to hibernation laying Her massive body down across the Northwestern Islands where She remains to this day. Her slumbering form is guarded closely by Her children who defend her with extreme aggression and tenacity.

And so she sleeps... But the gathering of foul magics which now drain the life energy of her children are beginning to cause her massive body to stir. Could She be awakening to the cries of pain from Her children?

So begins...

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

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As time passed, Neden and Dreux sat there in the cave as the fire cast its glow across the ice wall and across their faces, as if dancing in the moonlight that managed to peak into the cave. As they were mid-sentence, Neden and Dreux were taken out of their current train of thought as another gust of wind blew, but this time something else came with it, a voice. A voice neither of them had fully heard until now. But it was almost as if someone was shouting into their ears for desperation and sadness as the apparent female voice spoke to them from somewhere unknown in the world.

"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! " the voice seemed to have shouted but as the two sat there and blinked, they realized it had only been in their minds as if someone was communicating with them telepathically.

Dreux was the first one to respond to it as he fell back from where he was sitting and felt as though he was light-headed from the sudden voice in his head, meanwhile Neden sat there in silence as she took in the words and what they meant. Dreux sat there with his hands on his head as if holding his ears from pain, "Wha...what was that? Wh-who's....who's voice was that? If not the voice of the almighty Goddess herself, I don't know..." Dreux seemed to have muttered out as he looked out from the cave and where they were hiding from the weather. He blinked slowly as he came out from his shock filled state and only sat there as he waited to see if Neden had heard it as well if it were only just him or not.

Neden sat there just as Dreux did, staring blankly out of the cave's entrance at the nothingness that existed out there. Whose voice was it and what did she mean by saving her children? Who? Who was this and who were the children she was speaking of? And...and did the voice say dragons?! Like actual dragons? With wings and fire breathing? Perhaps like the ones she heard of in story tales and fables from the supposed crazy elder in her village? She wasn't sure, but all she knew is that she had to figure out who the voice was, and what they needed. Who was the supposed evil king? And why did he want the voice killed? That was something she was too going to find out over time.

A few moments after they eventually came out of their state of shock and confusion, they looked up at each other and nodded. They looked out and saw that the wind was dying down, and in a few hours, the sun would begin to rise eventually. They packed up their things and Neden wrapped her cloak around her tightly as they exited the cave. Neden looked on as Dreux took a deep breath and slowly shifted into the same exact giant black wolf from the forest from before. She looked at him with a look of shock on her face, as well as a twinkle of hope in her eyes as he slowly walked over to her and towered over the already rather talk woman as he looked into her eyes, "So...it really is you, huh? I'm just happy that I was right...about everything...Now, how about we go and find out where that voice is coming from, huh boy?" she asked as she gently stroked his nose and chin, her fingers entangling in his dark and thick fur. Dreux gave her a nod and knelt down to let her onto his back.

Neden made sure she had everything she would need, her mask that hung tightly to her waist by the metal chain that it was connected to, sword that was in its sheath by her sight on the left of her belt, shield that she kept on her back by the leather strap that held her things, her kusarigama that were attached her to belt by the chain in a way for easy access to the weapon as well as keeping it safe, and lastly her bag that she kept on her back with small supplies that were rescued from the incident at the lake, and then the necklace that was given to her by her mother before her passing and apparent abandonment. Neden clutched the necklace in her hands tightly and mumbled something softly to herself and got onto Dreux's back with ease and with that, the duo made their way to wherever they were headed in search of the voice that called out to them, bringing them where it was, but little did they know they were headed to Dragon Cove at the center of the world.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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After two days at sea, the sun was high in the sky, and Neden and Dreux were in their normal spot on the small vessel. They were talking about normal things between them, Neden telling him about her village and what it was like living in a warrior based village and how she was an outcast since she could remember. He nodded and comforted her the best he could letting her know she was not alone in being an outcast, as he too was an outcast in his village and people. They discussed their common interests in battle, travel, exploration, and things of the unknown and mysterious. Dreux helped explain to her how magic worked in the world, and how certain people were born with special powers and abilities, as well as special connections to their gods, depending on what race they were in they weren't human.

"So..What other kinds of humans or races are there? Aside from human like me and Miithi like you, Dreux?" she asked as she took some bites of her food as they were enjoying their breakfast alone on the deck as the captain that had introduced himself as Luther, captain of the Omen, a single pirate that roamed the seas. He had left them to their own devices as he simply didn't care and stayed to himself, as he kept the boat going to Dragon Cove as he manipulated the water with his powers. Which had in all truth intrigued Neden and slightly scared her at the same time, usually being told to leave Luther alone as she'd watch him as he worked.

Dreux chuckled at her question and nodded as he wiped his mouth after a mouthful of rice and fish, placing the napkin on his lap he spoke, "There are many different races, dear. There's Miithi, which is what I am. We can be any kind, differing in canine like me, or felines, or bears...too many to count, honestly. Then there's Orcs, Goblins, Hobgoblins, Elves, Dark Elves, and High Elves, each having their own attributes and such of the like. Faeries, Nymphs, Merfolk, Giants, Treants, and then there's the descendants of Dragons...Draconians. Those that appear human and are very much so human but can change into their dragon forms whenever they see fit. All races have a mana threshold, depending on the race, they have a certain level of power. Et Cetera, Et Cetera. Anything else, my dear?" he asked and took another bite of food as he listened if Neden had any further questions.

Neden sat silently there as Dreux spoke of all the other kinds of races and how magic worked, her eyes widened as he spoke. Her mind was going all over the place trying to take in all the information she was given, it was almost too much for her, but she managed to retain it the best she could. She nodded and then looked down at her plate and then back up, and was about to speak when she felt a shiver go down her spine again.

She looked out towards the sea as something was calling towards her again, Dreux too looked towards the water and went silent, as if they were entranced by something. Dreux looked at Neden with a serious look on his face as he spoke the following, "Get up and get your sword and shield. Now!" he exclaimed as he jumped to his feet and retrieved his own sword and shield he had bought at the port town, and got into a defensive stance as Neden ran back with her sword and shield and stood in the same position as Dreux, with her shield in front of her as well as her sword in an offensive manner. Her hands held tightly to her weaponry as she looked around and then back at Dreux in confusion, "What...what is it?" she questioned

Dreux gripped his sword tightly as his eyes remained glued towards the sea, "Any second now...I can..oh fu-" he was cut off as a large shadow dashed across the water, causing the ship to almost tip over, but due to the captain maintaining his composure, the boat didn't keel over.

"Wh...what was-"

A scream echoed out, causing all three of the party to cover their ears in pain as they crouched down, and stood back up as the cry ended, looking around as confusion and worry set in for all of them. Dreux turned his head slowly around but saw nothing. A few short moments later the dark shadow made it's appearance again and what lied before they made them all stop and stare where they stood. A few feet above the water hovered a large, black shadowy figure as it seemed to examine the three. A large, black scaled dragon was before them. Its black and golden scales reflected in the light, as its shadow like fog covered the nearby vicinity of the boat around them. Encasing the ship in darkness, meaning their visibility was now hindered.

Dreux stayed closely by Neden as he continued to look around in the encroaching fog as he had to know where the beast was, "Ever fight a dragon before?" he said with a teasing tone in his voice.

Neden gave him a look of confusion on her face, "Wh-what? Have I ever fought a what?!" she exclaimed as she looked back around, trying to find the sight of the creature.

"I'll take that as a no. Dragons are said to be the oldest living beings. I guess you could say, they're the children of the Gods and Goddesses, and if more correctly, all life itself in one way or another. Did your village not teach you of the Gods?" he questioned her as he remained looking out as the dragon could attack any moment.

"No...They forbade it...I was never taught anything of the Gods...I guess you could I'm naive to this world?" she said with a bit of a tone of embarrassment and sadness as the realization of her not really knowing much of the world set in.

"It isn't really anything to be ashamed of. You weren't allowed to know, it's understandable. It doesn't make you naive or dumb...Just ill taught. Nothing to blame yourself for-" he was cut off as the voice of the captain came from the deck of the ship.

"Enough of this shit! Keep your eyes open for this bastar- AGH!!" he was immediately blasted off the main and onto where they were by a blast of what seemed to be black and purple smoke. He stood up and dusted himself off, unsheathing his own weapons as the thee kept their backs towards each other and their eyes and ears all around them.

Another screech rang out as the dragon darted out of the fog and shot another blast at Neden. Neden's eyes widened as the blast rocketed towards her, instinctively she guarded herself with her shield and prepared to be thrown back from the immense force of the projectile. But as the blast made contact with her shield, she was only moved back by a few inches as the power and mana that was infused into the shield gave Divine Protection and lessened the blow. Her eyes widened, and her hands wrapped around her weapons tighter, realizing this was life or death, and whatever powers her shield contained, it was clearly strong enough to keep herself getting blasted by its breath. But, it would not be enough to help defeat it. If the ship went down, they would all surely die.

Neden looked towards the others and then trialed the beast with her eyes, "It's encircling us! Keep your guards up!" she exclaimed and made a dash for the back of the ship. Dreux's eyes widened as he saw her run, but he had to hold his ground and keep his eyes open and alert for the next attack from the beast.

But another screech sounded, and out of nowhere another blast shot out and was aimed towards Neden. She managed to turn on her heels quickly, but it was too fast, out of instinct she guarded herself with her arms. After a few short moments of her eyes being shut, she slowly blinked, seeing that the blast was nowhere to be seen. But what was before her, made her eyes widen and her hands began to shake. In front of her, suspended in water was the blast. Neden looked to Luther to see if it was him, but he had his sword and shield in his hands and was dodging the dragons rapid-fire blasts that were aimed towards him. Neden looked next at Dreux, who only looked at her with a small smile on his face, "I knew it..." he mumbled to himself, as it was revealed that it was, in fact, Neden herself that had caused the water to form and take control of the blast.

Neden blinked and her hands shook, and after a few short moments, the water lost its form and fell to the floor of the ship as Neden lost her concentration. Dreux ran over to her and helped keep her protected as Luther fought off the dragon as best as he could, using a combination of his weapons and manipulation of the water to fend of the beast.

Neden looked at Dreux as he helped her to her feet, "Wh...what was...Dreux..?" she questioned with a scared tone to her voice as she looked up at the male that loomed over her.

Dreux smiled at her and held her hand as they began to engage the beats in combat again, "I will explain later, but now...We need to get this beast out of here or we will die! Pray to the Gods that we don't perish this day..." he said softly as the beast roared and sent several more blasts aimed towards them. Dreux sighed and sheathed his weapons. He dodged a few of the blasts, and as he saw an opening, he took a deep breath, planted his feet to the deck of the ship and sent a bolt of lightning at the beast, it managed to hit the right wing of the beast and it faulted for a few moments as it recovered from the attack. Luther took the moment as an opportunity and used his power to force a wave to smash into the beast, staggering it for a few moments until it recovered and flew up higher into the sky.

Neden watched as the other fought to the beast, doing their best to drive it away if they could. She looked towards the sky and closed her eyes for just a moment and spoke a soft prayer, "I don't know who's listening...But please...Please...Anyone...help us...Please!" she cried out in her mind as she joined the others to engage in a more than likely losing battle against a beast that was far more powerful than they were, but it did seem to be getting ready to leave, but they continued to press on. Dreux and Luther sending bolts of lightning and water against it whenever they had the opening to and dodged out of the way as more bursts of shadow magic were aimed at them. All they had to do was hope to the Gods that they could either tire it or by some miracle it would turn tail and leave them alone, as the ship had begone to become rather damaged from the magic of the beast.

As they continued what seemed to be their endless fight against the beast, Neden felt a breeze graze their skin and toss the boat to one side for a moment and all was still again. "What the bloody hell..." Luther muttered as he remained vigilant and looked around for the beast. Dreux looked at Neden as she looked at him with wide eyes until she collapsed onto the floor of the ship as a sharp pain found itself in her head. It was a voice, no...It was the same voice she had heard from before, the one calling them to help come to Dragon Cove. The very reason she was on the mission with Dreux at this very moment.

"My Child. Take this. My Power. Protect yourself from the Darkness!" the voice sounded as it reverberated through her head.

Dreux ran over to her as she fell, looking at her with concern. "Neden, are you okay? What happened?" he said with worry as he looked down at her with compassion and worry written all over his face.

Neden looked back up at him slowly, causing Dreux to draw back as he saw that her eyes were now black instead of white as they normally were, "A-are...are you alright-" he was cut off as Neden slowly rose to feet and brushed past him as her eyes trailed the beast in the sky as it circled above. She looked at him and shook her head, turning back towards the monster a light growl erupted from her throat as she fell to the floor once more and convulsed as she could feel something overtaking her body from within. Dreux rushed towards her and laid his hands on her gently, "It's alright, Neden...Just breathe...Breathe, and you'll be okay. Just...Just let the power flow..." he softly spoke to her and rose back to his feet, and turned to engage with the beast again.

As the two engaged in combat yet again, they were too busy to notice what was going on behind them. Suddenly something rushed past them and engaged in combat with the beast itself, it was a blur as it happened so quickly. But after a few moments of them recollecting themselves, they realized what it was. They watched as the dragon was busy fighting something else, it was smaller than the beast itself but larger than them. It was human in stature but was covered in light ice blue and silver colored scales, but it was lacking wings and a tail, unlike the beast they had been fighting.

"Is...Is that...?" Luther mumbled as he looked at Dreux who was in just as much shock as he was.

Dreux looked at him and nodded, "Yes...Yes, it is." he said with a small smile across his face as he watched the two creatures fight.

The black dragon shot up into the air as the smaller blue and gray one clung tightly to it, as it started crawing higher onto the beast. As a ditch attempt to shake off the smaller being, the dragon soared up into the sky and spun around, trying to shake itself free of the dragon. After what seemed to be an eternity of shaking it free, the beast shook itself free one more time, the smaller one digging its claws into the beast, blood oozing out of the small puncture wounds that were now dotted into its flesh. The large beast shook the smaller one off and it slammed onto the deck of the ship, as the larger black dragon had enough and flew off and eventually out of sight, taking the black and dark purple smog with it.

Luther and Dreux looked at each other, and then back at the beast that was smashed into the boat and ran over to it. It was crumpled into a pile, its arms and legs were curled up as it laid there silently, not moving. Luther looked at Dreux, then back at the beast and then back at Dreux, "Do...do you think it's de-" he was cut off as Dreux shook his head and knelt down beside it, gently placing his hand on the creature's shoulder.

"No. She'll be fine...She just needs to rest." he said calmly as he looked over the creature.

"But...That's a..A Draconian..It hit the ship rather hard..."

Dreux chuckled, "Just give her some time. She'll be back to her normal self after some time."

"She? You...You've seen these things, haven't you? Dragons and others?"

"I've seen a lot of things in my time...Draconians like Neden here are nothing new to me." he stated plainly as he looked at Luther, then back at the Draconian as it slowly began to lose its scales and reptilian features and turned back into the human form that dominated its body for more than twenty years. "She's been in her human form for twenty years...Those that possess dark magic or are corrupted by it will seek out beings with power, and since Neden here has been in her human form for the majority of her life from my assumptions...The dragon sensed her power and attacked us. This is why we need to get to Dragon Cove as soon as we can. For our safety's sake, as well as fixing up the ship, and Neden."

Luther nodded and turned his back as he examined his ship, "This is going to cost you two...But I appreciate what your friend here did...I think without her, we would have...well...ya know.." he murmured the rest of his apology and went to go see what would need to be fixed.

Meanwhile, Dreux attended to Neden and her wounds and would have to explain what happened to her when she came to, this was going to be a long story..

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: 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: Aznyxphia, the Pariah Knight

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As Aznyxphia drew her blade and prepared for combat, the Dragon's half-shut eye flashed with golden light.

The dragons to either side of the Goddess's body rose to their feet and flew away, almost as if giving Az a free path to Her. She made no move to fight. No attempt to flee. She only sat there gazing at Az and the group.


"Your heart is true, young Child of the Earthen Gods."

The voice was female. Soft and warm. No malice. No negativity.

"Please, behold the Evil King through my memories."

The Dragon's eye flashed once again with golden light, and Az's mind was overcome with Sil'Eph Niir's memory of doing battle with the Evil King eons ago in the Higher Plane, before the creation of the Earthly races. Her struggles and Her defeat by the Evil King's hand in their first engagement. The death of Her son, Maglissos, by the Evil King's hand. And the Evil King's final defeat by Sil'Eph Niir following the sacrifice of the All Mother and All Father.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sil'Eph Niir Character Portrait: Aznyxphia, the Pariah Knight

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(OOC: A collaboration with Kumori)

No
No it can't be no, it is an illusion, the Evil King is weaving an illusion over you stand strong snap out of it dammit
They will kill your vassals drink their blood rend flesh from bone sup on their marrow and they will laugh laugh at the weakling laugh at the dead the dead the dying laugh at me lying there on the ground they are laughing at me I am dead
No wait that isn't right there is a light what is the light oh gods what is that oh gods oh gods OH GODS OH GODSOHGODSOHGODSOHGODSOHGODS
OH GODS!!!

* * *

Aznyxphia awoke.
She sat up, her back popping, and stretched her wings. She felt tired. So, so tired. It was so bright here, and she had to put an arm against her eyes to shield them. She didn't know where she was, but it wasn't where she had been. She looked down at herself and dressed not in her Darksteel armor, but in light, billowy robes, like those worn by priests or ascetics.
Where am I? she wondered, amazed.
Finally, the light faded away, she saw the truth. And all she had known crumbled to dust.

* * *

Even after the vision of the events of the world's creation were gone, she still sat there, stunned after all she saw. The light was gone, and she was in darkness. She was scared, and cold, and confused. She barely knew what to make of what she had seen.
Suddenly, footsteps in the dark. Aznyxphia turned and stared at the great dragon goddess - her true goddess - herself. Sil'Eph Niir. She was in human form, a mental projection. She was very beautiful; in spite of her piety, felt herself blushing a teensy bit.
Soon, they were looking at each other, face to face. Then, she asked the questions that had been nagging at her spirit:
"If you are not the evil king, as you say, then where is he? Why are we here if not to defeat our enemy?"
”Following his return to the Nether Realm after I drove him away, my Brothers and Sisters and I worked together to create a barrier between realms which has kept him sealed there for eons. But now his servants are siphoning magical energies from your world to fuel his escape. They also siphon the living energy of my Children, the Dragon Race, tainting their existence into the twisted forms you saw before to fuel the revival of my son, Maglissos, as a servant under his control... You and the others are all descended from ancient and powerful bloodlines blessed by the Gods. You have already tasted of our power when you defeated the dragons on your way to find me. You will need power comparable to that if you are to stop his servants from freeing him and unleashing my resurrected son on this world.”
"Why have you let us believe in falsities? Why hide your existence from the world?"
”Our existence was kept secret because we believe in your right as our Children to craft your own existence. Your own reality. We gave you a world to live in, but have left you to your own devices out of respect for your autonomy.”
"If we are to stop these vile monsters from resurrecting your son, then where are we to find him?"
”You must awaken the power of your ancient bloodlines. When you do, you'll be able to sense their presence to seek and destroy them.”
Aznyxphia kneels before her new goddess. "Forgive me for my naivete, my liege. I was blind to your holiness, corrupted by the unbelievers. I promise to be your faithful servant from this day forward, and I will lead the rest to victory."
Sil'Eph Niir smiled. ”Rise, young one. You do not serve me. You serve yourself and those who now travel with you. My body and power are not yet ready to join you in this fight, so I am useless to you.”
She approaches and places a hand on Az's shoulder. ”Seek the Diviner, a lonely hermit in the frozen North who dwells on the highest peak in the world. It is he who will teach you to unlock the power of your ancient bloodlines and allow you to take the fight to the servants of evil.”
She removes her hand. ”And please, I beg you. Should you encounter one of my twisted children, please save them. The Evil King's influence is strong, but if you combine your strengths you should be able to help them break free of His control. When they do, they will aid you in whatever way possible. I promise.”
"Fair lady, upon all of my honor as a knight errant, I swear it shall be done."
And just as she said that, the blinding light returned, washed over her in a gentle balm. And suddenly she was back in the cove, with the group and the dragons. Looking one last time at Sil'Eph Niir and nodding, she took to the skies, flying back towards the ships on which the others had said, motioning for the others to follow.
She had been sent on a quest by a goddess to fulfill her destiny. And she would be damned if she wouldn't do it.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sil'Eph Niir Character Portrait: Neden Wrel

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As she began to walk closer to the being, Neden was forcefully pushed back by the self-proclaimed "savior" of the group, which caused a soft hiss to escape her lips as she looked at the woman in question. Ever since they got onto the island, she had been nothing but rude and a bother to everyone else, and she wasn't going to stand for it. But something told her to stand back and wait her turn to talk to her, as it appeared that the woman with wings was communing with the great beast that was apparently called Sil'Eph Niir.

Once it appeared to be over, and the woman with the raven black wings took off in flight again, Neden turned back to the being that was clearly the kind voice she had heard before, once back in her village as just wind and a feeling, to the frozen lake as a soft and unclear whisper, to the call at the boat as she cried out for help, and then just now. She had heard what the being said in her mind, confirming that this is who called them. Neden silently stepped forward, finding new courage and curiosity filling her veins, taking a few more steps forward until she felt she was close enough. She took a deep breath and with as confident of a voice she could muster, she spoke to the being in question.

"E-excuse me, Sil'Eph Niir? If I may ask you a question if you wouldn't mind...There is something that I have wanted to know for a long time." she started as she slowly moved a few steps closer to the being, remembering to speak in the normal tongue, not caring if the others overheard her end of the conversation with the being.

"And I'd understand if you don't know, which...I wouldn't be surprised because I am a nobody from a small village in the frozen mountains...Which, I'm sure you know. Since, well...I guess I've always heard, or at least felt your voice my whole life. If that was you...A-anyway, my question...Is...Do you know who I am? Am I really a no one from a small village in the mountains that was just born too curious for my own good, or...Am I really not one of them? Not one of the people from there, and if I'm not...Then who? Who am I, and who was my mother and father, if you even know...I don't expect you to understand or know, but my life has always been nothing but unanswered questions and mysteries I've always wanted to know. So please, if you know anything at all, it would help fill that void that I feel..." she pleaded as tears slowly filled her eyes, if this being knew anything at all, it would help settle all anxiety and emptiness that this poor young woman ever had and hopefully, they'd be relieved.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sil'Eph Niir Character Portrait: Neden Wrel

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The Dragon's eye shifted slightly in the socket, almost as if to look at Neden.

"I know not where you were born or who your parents were, dear one. I know only that you are Draconian. A distant descendant and evolution of my Children, the Dragon Race. The blood of my blood. You are one of my Children. You and the young woman standing near the elf with red eyes." Came a voice in her head that was almost a whisper.

"But not matter where you come from, the most important thing to remember is that you are who you choose to be my Child. So forge your own identity and destiny in this world. Your life is yours to live. But know that I will always be here for you if you call to me... Always."

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: 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.

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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Aranaea paled at the message given. ”The North...? I don’t even have enough money for winter clothes!” She shouted in dismay as Zaldir looked at her with an incredulous look.

”I’ll see what I can scrounge up from my business coffers... I’m probably going to have to sell stuff in the next town the ships stop in before we head out.” He said to his sister in Elvish. He gave a small glance towards the High Elf woman and noted that indeed, she was pretty. He could almost see her as being a Noblewoman if he had the chance to.

In the meanwhile Aranaea began to walk with some of the others, until she paused right near a foot of the dark haired elf. She could feel it if only barely. He was radiating heat off him like no tomorrow! Was he a fellow Fire Mage? Only way to find out was to ask him! Moving to walk side by side with him, she decided it was best to get to know at least one of her new group members.

”Hello there. I’m Aranaea Kestal of the Elven Clan of Kestal. Might I have your name?” she asked, bowing her head with the secret intent of scanning the handsome elf’s features. He seemed intriguing, worthy of her attention on her part.

”Steady Naea, You need to play hard to get if there’s a chance.” She scolded herself. But she could tell that he had an air of mystery about him. She wanted to learn more of this Mystery.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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#, as written by Tanman
Vernon Shulls / Carmen ‘Ruffles’ Rufferones
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Having stepped up to the seasick lady (Though simultaneously keeping a ‘safe’ distance in case of projectile vomit), Carmen’s attention was diverted as the man named Dreux introduced himself. He was pretty formal, what with the whole ‘Miss’ Schtick. The only person who called her ‘Miss’ was her mother, and even then, that was ‘Little Miss’ and when she was in trouble. Regardless, he also introduced Neden, and the idea of ‘the call’ which was apparently the term for the voices in her head. Of course she knew that, but it was nice to know they knew what it was called too. Yup, she was clued in.

“Just Carmen will do, Droo~. We’re all friends and Callies, right?” Immediately trying to use her newly appropriated term to name the group, Carmen remained chipper that her introduction was going well. "H-hello, C-Carmen. As Dreux here said, we too heard the voice I suppose? A-as for the medicine....I-it would be appreciated. I'm not...not very fond of wanter, nor the sea." Neden spoke up, but clearly she was still under the weather, the poor thing so sick she was stuttering and her voice was changing in pitch. Still, Carmen couldn’t suppress her slight frown that Neden disliked to ocean of all things! She could understand not liking being seasick, but the sea was great! In fact, she’d just have to inform her how wonderful the ocean depths could be-

As Carmen was about to comment, Dreux stepped in once more, clarifying Neden’s upbringing and bringing some much needed context. Oohhhhhh. She didn’t know how to swim! That explained it! Gosh, how weird. Who didn’t know how to swim? She must have really been from the boonies if they didn’t have a lake or anything to dip in. Well, that wouldn’t do at all! Carmen would have to teach her at some point, if they all continued to hang out. But for now, medicine did seem to be the order of the day. Making a gesture where she clapped her flexed bicep, Carmen gave the two a wink and a grin. “You can count on me. I’ll get it right now. Aaaannnddd you two can pay me back with an undisclosed favour.” Smirking, Carmen went to run past them and quickly scoot back to the ship, but was suddenly startled by the appearance of another shouting and appearing out of thin air!

“Ack!” Flailing her arms about to maintain her balance and not collide with the unexpected figure, Carmen gave a faint sigh as she managed to catch her thumping heart. “Geez… Don’t do that! I thought you were a sea witch coming to drag me to the depths for my hubris…” Mumbling out the last part as she recalled a few childhood fairy tales, Carmen quickly stepped around the mystery figure, but decided to answer her question. “And we ARE here as part of a summons. We’re all Callies, though I don’t really know what we were called for…” Musing on this fact, Carmen was going to slip away when some loud but also not that loud stomping from the Succubus called for attention. Impressive she could do that on sand, and also that it did work in drawing everyone’s attention to her.

Being somewhat nearby, Vernon sighed as she aggressively flailed the paper around to try and get both his and everyone else’s attention. He didn’t really intend to read it, but seeing as they were all ‘playing nice’ for the moment, it wouldn’t hurt to accommodate the delusional demoness. How quaint. She was addressing him personally. In his peripheral, Vernon could feel the seething hatred in her eyes, which only served to widen his smirk as he read, stroking his chin. Well now, she certainly was a radical thinker. Vernon hated the overly religious and preachy types, and it seemed that she was one of those. An ignorant one too, especially if she thought those dragons were just for show. Definitely more warning flags that following her as a subordinate would be a foolish idea.

As she stormed off to try and lead the way, Vernon thought about commenting again, but felt a sharp elbow in his side, Carmen having returned up next to him while he’d been reading. Looking to her dryly, he got the message, and simply sighed again, folding his arms in front of himself once more. Probably for the best he didn’t comment. Those fanatical ones never did listen to logic or reason; and her inflated sense of pride in herself seemed to be rivalled only by her naivety. Maybe she’d learn her lesson before meeting an untimely end, but that overconfidence combined with a stupidity to rival Ruffles didn’t give her good odds.

The rest of the group seemed to be in agreement that now was the time to move, but as the dragon moved to cut off Aznyxphia, Vernon immediately tensed, shoving his collection of weapons into Carmen’s hands. “Be ready.” He stated, the mermaid giving a quick nod in response. Vernon was eager to test his mettle against another dragon, but with a horde like this, even he had to concede that it was a suicidal prospect. That said, it would be interesting to see how their ‘Oh so mighty Leader’ handled herself in combat. Extending his hand to claim his first weapon from Carmen, he was surprised to find nothing there, turning to look at the smiling face of his first mate. “It’ll be okay. Wait for it.” Carmen grinned playfully, and although Vernon didn’t know what she was expecting, he trusted her. Moments later, a rumbling filled the earth, and the dragons around them returned to their rest.

"Looks like they're letting us pass after all." The cloaked elven figure spoke, before moving up to lead with Aznyxphia. It seemed that something or someone was allowing them to continue. Reaching over to Carmen, Vernon returned his bundle of weapons to his back and began making his way forward. He hadn’t heard this voice or anything, but the situation had peeked his interest. Evil Kings, dragons, and now a being powerful enough to command them? He could feel his blood boiling. What would it be like to challenge something that powerful? Making his way down the tunnel with others, Vernon made a point of grabbing the back of Carmen’s hair to tug her away from the dragons she was thanking. Little idiot was going to get herself eaten if she wasn’t careful…



Emerging through the cave and travelling across the grasslands, when the group finally came across the goddess herself, Vernon was left in stunned silence, while Carmen faintly gasped as she looked upon the majesty of her enormous form. As the voice, louder than ever rang through Carmen’s mind, she could only faintly nod. Vernon however, clutched his head, hearing her words for the first time. It echoed through him, and faintly, he could feel his body trembling. Was it… Fear? He’d never felt afraid since that day… And yet… Clenching his fist, Vernon steadied himself. She was insurmountable to him, a presence beyond the scope of his world. He needed to become so much stronger. If this truly was the goddess Sil’Eph Niir… Then part of his life he had been living a lie. He was mortal. Human. There was no way he could challenge a being of this power… And yet… he would strive to.

As Aznyxphia continued to prove her inexperience and inadequacy as leader, Vernon watched her stagger and stop, as if frozen in time. Clearly, the goddess had stepped in to stop her assault somehow. It took some time, but then, she was off, flying out of the cove, faintly gesturing for them to follow, but he wasn’t sure how she expected most of them to notice that – They were all a bit focussed on the being in front of them. A leader’s job was to lead, certainly; but it seemed she hadn’t learned how to communicate with her crew and read the room. Watching as everyone in the room took turns to speak to the goddess, clearly receiving answers in their mind, Vernon wondered what he had to say, if anything. As the group heard her explanation, more thoughts crossed his mind, and when prompted by that shadowy elf fellow, he still felt unprepared. Thankfully, he was given more time to think as his first mate Carmen stepped up, and, possibly braver than anyone else in the group, placed a hand against the goddess’s form.

“Whoah… You’re real…” Carmen spoke, gently prodding the scales before shutting her eyes. “You’re… I read about you, but I never thought…” Carmen stumbled over her words a bit as she thought back to her studies at home, the family and life she’d left. Moving up closer and resting her head against the dragon, she began to whisper, hoping the dragon could hear in her mind, but that none of the others in the group would see her weakness. “I heard your call… So I came but… Why me? I’m…” Pausing before she said the words, Carmen didn’t like saying such things, but in front of a goddess, her usual bravado and forced confidence felt as frail as glass. “…I’m a failure. I ran from home… I help pirates raid and pillage to feel needed and important, I steal with them selfishly, and make excuses that it’s just the world we live in… But… When it comes down to it, there has to be so many more qualified than me! You’re a goddess, and you need heroes! Not some castaway mermaid who couldn’t learn more than the basics of divination magic… Surely someone like my Mother or siblings would have been a better choice to call here... I’m not the only one with the blood of the ancestors…”

Watching Carmen speak to the goddess, Vernon finally had his own thoughts come to mind, raising his arm and pointing a fist directly at the Goddess’s eye. “I didn’t hear your call, nor do I have an ancient bloodline. I don’t even care for your plight. All I seek is strength, and worthy opponents. If this Evil King is as powerful as you say, then I see no reason not to fight. You should feel fortunate our goals align.” Grinning, Vernon pulled his hand back in. “One day, I’ll surpass even the gods themselves. When that time comes, I’ll challenge even you, Sil’Eph Niir.” Pivoting on the spot, Vernon had stated what he intended, making his way to leave. Turning to look over his shoulder, he spoke to the others. “The Delmoray is the fastest ship on the sea, and you won’t find a better crew. The Silverstar Pirates we’ll see to it we reach our destination. I’ll see to it that we’re prepared to leave at a moment’s notice.” Striding away, Vernon would leave the group to their discussions with the dragon goddess. None of that concerned him.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sil'Eph Niir Character Portrait: Vernon Shulls Character Portrait: Carmen 'Ruffles' Rufferones

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Following Carmen's statement that she was a failure and providing details of her past, the Goddess of Dragons slowly lowered her towering mass of a head to look straight at Carmen, turning her head sideways so one house-sized golden glowing eyeball was resting right ahead of her.

"Dear Child of the Seas, take more heart in yourself and what you can do. One's worth is not measured by the deeds of days gone by or memories which haunt you."

She pulled her head back and up into the sky, peeing down at the group which remained.

"Your worth lies far beyond such trivial matters." She said softly.

"So go now, dear Child of the Seas. Forge your path forward with confidence and grace. And pray, take care of yourself and your friends. In this cruel world where nothing is certain, our bonds become our greatest weapon and our pillar of support."

And then... It was Vernon's turn.

"Child of man, your determination is admirable. However, I pray in due time you'll come to understand that true strength is not recognized by whom you can defeat, or how. It comes from somewhere much deeper and more personal... So go now. And pray, protect yourself well. The Darkness which lies ahead cannot be slain by mortal weaponry alone. You'll need something more."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sil'Eph Niir Character Portrait: Vernon Shulls Character Portrait: Carmen 'Ruffles' Rufferones

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#, as written by Tanman
Vernon Shulls / Carmen ‘Ruffles’ Rufferones
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Listening to Sil’eph Niir, Carmen was unblinking as the huge eye stared at her; not scared, but still, frozen to the spot. As the voice filled her mind once more, it told her to have faith and believe in what she could do, along with the others around her. Carmen wanted to with all her might but… Taking a step back to bow at Sil’Eph Niir, Carmen didn’t voice her fears, but her mind was racing a mile a minute. She just had to believe in herself, like the goddess said… But she could be such a screw up! There was no way this would work, there had to be a mistake, the goddess… Carmen swallowed nervously. Was she really trying to challenge the word of a goddess? Sil believed in her… Needed her to succeed, just like the others. Even if Carmen couldn’t see it… Clearly, there was something she could do. The goddess believed in her. So she’d have to believe in herself too.

“I’ll do it. I can’t say whether or not I succeed, but I’ll believe that I can, just like you believe in me! No matter what comes, I’ll give it my best, and try to protect everyone!” Carmen raised her head, bringing back her upbeat confidence in full swing as she brought her hand to her head, cocking her hat with a grin. “After all, I’m the maiden of fortune herself, Carmen Rufferones!” Spinning around to make a ‘cool’ pose to the others, she skipped over. She had to remain positive, no matter how scared she was. Sil’Eph was right. Bonds could be strength, and support was indispensable. She’d be that pillar for all of them if needed. “So, you think they’ll name a constellation after me when we save the world?” Carmen asked to no-one in particular as she re-joined them.

For Vernon, even before the goddess had begun speaking, he’d found his resolve. He had his own strength, and he wasn’t about to abandon it for a new philosophy. In his mind, he conveyed one simple response to her words. “If no mortal blade will work, I’ll simply have to find a blade greater than the heavens themselves. That’s all there is to it.” It was true, he was mortal, and perhaps unfit to take on the demons ahead of them. That didn’t change anything for him. He’d simply have to surpass the gods. Even if it meant he was no longer human. And if he couldn’t become powerful enough to fight them, he’d find a weapon that could. Grinning, Vernon made his way out to the ship to explain to his crew. His passion had been reignited. He was looking forward to the trials ahead.

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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Together the group slowly returned to the boats and made their way to the Northern Continent. The journey took approximately one week, but with all the boats traveling together and sharing in the bounty of the seas as well as their stockpiled goods, everyone was kept well fed and safe.

One Week Later...

Touching ground for the first time in just over seven days, the group all disembarked. Korose set foot on land and smiled slightly, glad to have the Earth beneath his feet again alongside Aranaea. Elena, having gone bare foot the whole time, stepped down and used her toes to grip the sand and dirt with a contented smile as she stretched her arms out to the sides and yawned.

Pau'Ka, had elected to remain with Neden on her ship. The whole time she made Neden tea to help settle her stomach and deal with the sea sickness, even if it didn't quite get rid of it completely. She also took what time she could to teach Neden about little bits of their race's history and culture.

The legend went that long ago the Dragons took to human forms during a terrible crisis at the earliest stages of the humanoid race's introduction to the world. During said time, they encountered a magical menace which used a form of magic never before seen to siphon their energies and create humanoid copies of them. These copies eventually broke free of his control with the help of the original Dragons and, together, they vanquished the menace and his armies of copy-cat races. At the end, the Dragons returned to Dragon's Cove while the humanoids remained as their own newfound race called the Draconians. Because they were copies, they couldn't fully transform into Dragons. But they did have a form which drew from their Dragon heritage which is what both Neden and Pau'Ka had done when they defeated the Twisted Dragons before meeting the Goddess.

Meanwhile, as they touched land for the first time the Goddess reached out to them once again.

"Everyone. Please beware. Having spent time in my presence your bodies are emitting residual Divine Mana which will attract the forces of Darkness to your location. Please always be on guard and ready to protect one another!"

Korose took a deep breath and nodded to himself. Elena did the same, placing her hand over her heart and promising Sil she'd do all she could to help everyone. Pau'Ka nodded firmly, helping Neden work through her seasickness so they could move on together.

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