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Zaldir Kestal

How May I be of Service today?

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

Description

Zaldir Kestal
Image





Age: 57
Race: Elf
Height: 5”11
Weight: 145 lbs
Voice: Zaldir

Magical Element: Magic Smithing

School of Practice: Ragnar and Sons’ Blacksmithing School for Magical Enchantments
Years of Practice: 32 years
Primary Focus: Combat
Mentor: Xandra, a blacksmith who taught him how to fight and how to be a magic blacksmith.

Affiliation: Himself, the Gods (if they still hear his prayers), the people he helps

Personal Strengths: Swordsmanship | Agility | Blacksmithing | Kind | Compassionate

Personal Weaknesses: Cynical | Partially judgemental | Easily suspicious | Ophidiophobic

Personality: He's a young elf who has learned at a young age to trust very little in most people due to a tragic event in his life. In other words, he is cynical. But to those he feels has earned his trust, wouldn’t find a better friend or Guardian of their lives if an enemy or Orc threatens them. His heart is easily moved by Innocent people caught up in a conflict or a raid. Just don’t toss a snake near him. He’ll grab anything on hand to try and kill it.

Biography: There was once a clan of elves known as the Kestal clan who took upon themselves to dedicate their lives to help those less fortunate in times of strife. There were once many of this noble and courageous clan. Yet now, their numbers were only a handful, scattered by a massacre consisting of an orc raid. Among them was a boy, not quite 7 at the time. This boy was taken in by a woman who treated him as an apprentice. Training him in her swordstyle for several years, before taking him to a magic blacksmithing school at 10 to further his education. By 42 boy became the traveling blacksmith/swordsman known only as Zaldir Kestal.

He fights those who wrong others, offers other warriors the wares he makes, yet keeps himself at arm’s length from people. For he knows not how to trust people completely. All he knows is that he is alone and that the best he could do, is quietly do his work. But at night, his dreams have been haunted by a cry for help. He longs to answer it, but knows not how to.

So begins...

Zaldir Kestal's Story

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zaldir Kestal

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On a road a solitary wagon was rolling down its way. It was being pulled by a black horse, the Wagon’s owner looked at the sky and heaved a great sigh.

”Well Ardyn, we’ve got a long road ahead of us. Let’s make the most of it till we reach the next town to sell our wares.” Said The young elf riding in the wagon. On the side of the wagon, a sign read “Kestal’s Magical Armnaments and Enchantments”, showcasing his profession. He was also a warrior for hire at times.

Zaldir sighed and felt the breeze, only, the breeze today felt oddly different. In fact, it felt like a heavy wind with a sour feeling to it. His brow furrowed as his lips began to turn into a frown as he felt the wind for awhile longer. First his dreams were being haunted by someone asking for his help, now this? It felt almost unnatural for him. The last time he felt like that was the day when the orcs came and...

”Ardyn. Something is very wrong.” He noted warily, his hand going towards his weapon and resting on it. ”Very wrong indeed. First sign of trouble we make a bolt for it alright? Gods help us.” the last part he said in Elvish as he continued down the road, feeling a bit paranoid of whatever he might run into on this lonely road.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zaldir Kestal

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Zaldir was looking at a Map as he pulled the wagon to a stop momentarily. ”Let me see here, if we take the right path we’ll miss the port town by a day’s travel....so we go left and save a day!” he confirmed as he put the map away and flicked the reins. ”Lets move Ardyn!”

And so the duo continue on, continuing on a long trip to the port town to see if he can get ores to shape into new weapons and armor to make better with his magic. Aside from what had occurred moments ago with what he assumed was an omen of something very wrong, Zaldir Kestal just watched the road ahead as he sighed contently.

”This is the life. Road ahead of me, making a profit for my creations and enchantments, I can make a great living with this for the next couple hundred years. Anyway, I’ve got a week to pass by till my next stop! Might as well take the quiet while I can!”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zaldir Kestal Character Portrait: Aznyxphia, the Pariah Knight

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The sky was a deepest shade of blue, like the feathers of a jay. The sun was like an eye, a glowing orb hanging from the sky. And it was partially blotted out as a large, dark shape flew over it.
The large, dark shape was a woman dressed in dark armor. She had eyes of emerald, skin of cream and long, glossy hair like thin ropes of onyx, whipping and blowing in the wind as she flew. From her back sprouted the wings of a raven - a raven with a wingspan of about 20 feet or more, if such a creature existed. Strapped on her back, in the space between the wings (or the shoulderblades of a normal human) was a long, elegant blade held in a scabbard of tanned leather - though unless one was flying above her they would not have seen the weapon.
The woman was on a mission. She had heard a voice, calling to her from some distant place. "Please... Save them... My children... Please."
The woman, a succubus knight by the name of Aznyxphia, was almost certain it was the voice of a goddess. She knew the words of the priests. How the Gods of Light and Darkness were forever intertwined in conflict. And now one of the Gods of Light needed her help. As a knight errant of the Order of the Light, it was her duty to fight against the darkness seeping into this mortal coil.
About a half-hour later, Aznyxphia touched down on the ground. She was tired, and checked her dwindling rations with a sort of pessimism, knowing she would find very little there.
I suppose I will have to go hunting again, she thought, sighing internally.
Just then, she began to pick out the clomp of hooves, the trundling of a cart. Turning, she saw what appeared to be some sort of merchant wagon coming up the dirt road near where she'd landed. Ahh, perfect.
As the wagon neared, Aznyxphia began approaching in a steady and calm pace, trying not to look too fearsome; many a merchant would run if they saw a fully-dressed warrior walking towards them, much less one with giant black wings.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zaldir Kestal Character Portrait: Aznyxphia, the Pariah Knight

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Zaldir was checking is position on the map, when all of a sudden, he felt the cart begin to slow down as if to stop eventually. Raising an eyebrow he asked in Elvish, ”What is it Ardyn?” The Horse chuffed a bit as if to answer back so he slowly lowered the map to see what was going on.

It was a young woman with large wings dressed in armor. He gripped his sword. The wagon stopped. ”Greetings. Are you in need of anything today?” He said, with a guarded tone. He didn’t want to fight her if he didn’t have to.

”Do you wish for an enchantment? New weapon maybe? Or even a lift to town?” He asked, listing them to try and discern his suspicions and set his afraid mind at ease. Ardyn simply moved a bit backwards, the horse slightly nervous at seeing an individual with wings.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zaldir Kestal Character Portrait: Aznyxphia, the Pariah Knight

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Aznyxphia approached the wagon calmly, both horse and driver nervous of her. Looking around at the contents of the wagon, her face fell. The man seemed to be some sort of weapons smith. He probably would not have any food for her that he did not own as his own.
Then he mentioned a lift to town, and her face brightened. She was in an area she was not familiar with, as her map did not do a great job of indicating her location. The man probably did not know sign language, so she would have to mime it.
Pulling out her map, she pointed at it, then down the road, then at him questioningly.

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: Zaldir Kestal Character Portrait: Aznyxphia, the Pariah Knight

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He heard the voice, received the vision. He couldn’t quite understand what it all meant but the mention of dragons meant he could probably, if he wanted to, find answers at the elusively and almost foreboding Dragon Cove. If this was a message from the gods, he should get more clarification and understanding before he did anything.

By the time he snapped out of his reverie, the winged woman was gone. And not even a single goodbye. ”Well that was rude, to ask for help and then leave immediately before I could help. So! Ardyn! Shall we press forward to the Town? I’ve a feeling I want to go gather enough of my funds and then some to go for a boat trip.” He said as he began to urged his horse forward. ”No, not sure if I can take you with. he added in Elvish as he went.

Thus began a journey he’d remember for centuries to come. One he hoped would be filled with some fun, some action, and with some of his Creations being put to good use! ”This could be a lot of fun, by the Mother Goddess’ will.” He thought as he began to form a small grin. He then decided to sing a road trip tune as he headed to a port town that sat northwest of his position on a river delta.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zaldir Kestal Character Portrait: Aranaea Kestal

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Zaldir’s cart rolls up into the busy port town, the owner smiling brightly. ”Business, People! Money!” He thought silently with glee. However, thoughts drifted towards his vision and the warning by the voice begging for help that has dogged his dreams. A frown affixed his face.

”I’ll see about arranging for a trip as soon as I can, but I wish I knew what in blazes was going on.. heh. It’s funny, I’d always go to my Sister for these problems. I remember her face, and now she’d always have an answer to any question I’d have. Please... if any of my family are left, I pray my sister is among them.” with that thought he tugged began to search for a place to stay and operate his services for a time, and maybe get some money saved up for an investigation into Dragon Cove.

Maybe even spend time at a local forge to hammer out some new creations too, the thought brightly overcame the uncertainty of the investigation. Making some new baubles always was something fun for the Magic Blacksmith.

——

The sound of a staff clinking along the road as the individual walked towards her next destination, leaving a village she helped behind. She concluded counting silver coins before putting them in her coin purse, pulling her hood over her head, before feeling a wind blow it back again.

As she was about to pull up on her hood, she felt a cry for help, this time, it was a call to prepare for conflict. ”What? This plea is more sincere and dire then the last, I must understand it more!” she muttered to herself as the young elven mage picked up the pace, before taking a big jump, clicking her heels as two small jets of Fire appeared underneath them. An experimental spell crafted by herself in her long years of study. She’ll hopefully make it to the next town within the hour at that rate.

”Brother, wherever you are.. be safe. Big Sis will find you as soon as she unravels this mystery. Keep building your Blacksmith business you’re rumored to be in if that is you.” she thought. She was desperate to find the person of her thoughts, and it might even be a different elf in general. But as soon as she was able, she’d determine if this rumored Magic Blacksmith was indeed her brother.

”I, Aranaea Kestal swear it! I will continue my family’s legacy!”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zaldir Kestal

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Zaldir was in the midst of a transaction of a magical item he crafted, when his ears twitched. A small look of concern crossed his face. He looked towards the sea of the port town he was in for the purpose of gaining enough money to purchase a boat. The sea seemed calm.

Quiet. Too quiet. Much like the day they came and took everything from him. He looked at the sea, not noticing that a cloud passing over him, might not have been a cloud. Then there was a crash, Screams and panic. He heard the sound of growling close by, as he turned around slowly. There, face to not so close face, was a dragon, staring at everything below it like an normal mortal would look at an ant.

”Oh crap.” he said as the dragon roared. Chaos reigned as town guards moved to attack the creature to drive it back. However, all attacks made it seem futile as it only began to breathe fire upon the town. Zaldir ran for his horse and cart and began to try and make for a hasty getaway. He had to leave. But before he even did anything, he saw a mother taking a child from the scene, only to get a wagon falling on top of them.

The elf’s mind took him to another place, to a moment where he thought He was back amongst people he lost. He then grit his teeth in anger and dove out of his cart and hurried to the fallen wagon, hoping to ad other villagers until, A fiery explosion knocked him towards his cart once more, and turned to where it came from. His eyes widened as he saw charred, still burning remains of the people he aided before. Panicked, Zaldir began to scramble.

”Ardyn! We gotta get out of here!” He shouted at his horse who at this point panicked so hard the moment rubble separated him from the cart, the stallion bolted. ”Ardyn Wait for me!”

But his cries couldn’t deter the horse from trying to find a point of safety on its own. Abandoned and alone once more, Zaldir’s hands trembled. He reached for an amulet around his neck. He remembered the face of his sister who gave it to him. His right hand gripped his sword, the other onto this token that represented his one of very few good memories left of his family he lost.

”Mother Goddess, and all other gods I can name, I call on all of you. Zaldir, Last of the Kestal Clan, requests only this; Help these people, give these people the strength to fight back! Give them hope! This is my wish! I know I’ve given selfish prayers, wanting my life to be better, I’ve been bitter and alone, But for them let me be strong!” He Mentally prayed out, drawing his sword and preparing for an inevitable death, and therefore, bringing the Male line of Clan Kestal to an end.

Then, all of a sudden, he heard a voice, making his ears twitch once more. "Child of the Forest. Flesh of the Earth. Receive now my power, and drive away the Darkness!"

Zaldir felt a rush of magic flowing into his veins. It felt foreign, yet so invitingly peaceful. The magic mingled with his own as he poured as much of it into his own sword, the blade gaining an aura of fire as the elf glared at the dragon, and the creature now giving him it’s full attention.

He ran towards the beast and threw arcs of fire at the dragon by merely swinging the sword. The arcs struck the dragon’s face as it drew back in pain and terror as it took to the skies. It took one final look at the elf that managed to leave a defining mark on its face, before taking to the skies. Zaldir began to attempt pursuit when he suddenly began to feel drained of energy. It was then he heard the voice again.

"Seek out my Sister, Sil'Eph Niir. The Dragon Goddess. She sleeps, and calls to you, from Dragon's Cove. Hurry my Child! There is no time!"

”Okay... I just.. need a nap.” he mumbled as he began to head for his cart, and collapse near it in exhaustion. The last thing he heard was the clop of a horse’s hooves.

”I hope you’re here to apologize Ardyn....asshole.” he muttered in Elvish as consciousness was lost to him.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

"So you all heard the voice as well."

"Yes. Both of us."

"I see. Does she speak?"

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

"Understood."

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

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

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

"Wonder why they're being so passive?"

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

"What did she say?"

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Is this the Goddess?"

Elena nodded.

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

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

"Incredible." Korose said quietly.

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

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


"You have come..."

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

"You all have my eternal gratitude."

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sil'Eph Niir Character Portrait: Neden Wrel Character Portrait: Dreux Andica Character Portrait: 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: Elena Character Portrait: Zaldir Kestal Character Portrait: Korose Character Portrait: Aranaea Kestal

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Korose. That was his name. She smiled softly as she nodded at his name.”It’s a pleasure. Are you perchance a Fire Mage? You seem to exert an amount of heat.” she asked, getting to the topic of her wishing to talk to him.

In the Meantime, Zaldir was walking behind his sister several paces behind her. He didn’t know what to make of it all, but he gave a silent prayer of thanks to the gods for the chance to finally understand that they were there and his small prayers were at least being heard. He gave a sideways glance towards the High Elf and gave a wave to her.

”Hello. I’m Zaldir, a Magic Blacksmith. May I ask what you are called?” Zaldir said in Elvish. He hoped he would be able to try and establish communication with her using his Elven tongue. If not, well no one could say he didn’t try. Though he was sure if Ardyn saw this and it failed, the horse would be laughing in his own way.

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