Divinity Unbound

Divinity Unbound

The Dragon Goddess slumbers as the reanimated corpse of Her son, Maglissos, is rejuvenated by forbidden magics which siphon the life energy of the Dragon Race. Can our heroes save the Dragons and wake the Goddess before it's too late?

2,252 readers have visited this universe since KumoriRyuu created it.

Introduction

“The Gods are not born. They simply Awaken…”

- Anonymous

During time immemorial, before the universe or even the concept of time existed… Two Gods Awoke to the vast emptiness of the Void.

They were the All Father and the All Mother. The King and Queen, as well as Father and Mother of the Gods. They knew this, as did all who came after. Realizing that they didn’t have the power to accomplish the tasks which existed in their minds, they set about Awakening their Children to assist them in their labor.

Their first child was the embodiment of beauty and power, and Awoke to the Void in a form entirely different to Her parents. With a serpentine body, massive wings which generated a hurricane with each flap, and a ferocious roar which made even the infinite Void tremble in fear, the Dragon Goddess, Sil’Eph Niir, was born.

Eons passed and the emptiness of the Void was given form by the All Father and life by the All Mother. They, alongside their Children, then ascended to the Higher Plane, a separate realm from that of the Mortal universe. However, what they did not anticipate or realize at the time was that alongside the birth of this new universe was another realm born with it. A realm every bit its equal and opposite. The Nether Realm. And within this Nether Realm was the embodiment of all negative forces: The King of the Nether Realm (also known more simply as the Evil King).

This Evil King began infecting the Universe with His negative energy which paved the way for all that is known as “evil” to exist in the world. Greed. Corruption. Cruelty. And more.

Following the creation of the Mortal Realm, Sil’Eph Niir gave birth to Her first Child, Maglissos, a Black Dragon God. Drained of power by her labor, Sil’Eph Niir took to rest as Her Son continued to grow and flourish alongside her and the rest of the Gods in the Higher Plane.

However, the Evil King launched an attack on the Higher Plane. Despite her condition Sil’Eph Niir, as the eldest and most powerful Child of the All Mother and All Father, took it upon Herself to do battle with the Evil King. The rest of the Gods fought against his forces, and the battle took a turn for the worse when Sil’Eph Niir was defeated. The King of Evil advanced against the All Mother and All Father, but Maglissos, still an infant, stood strong against the Evil King and delivered a powerful blow before being dealt a mortal wound by his Blade of Darkness.

Out of rage and emotion at the death of Her Son, Sil’Eph Niir took to Her Dragon form to do battle with the Evil King once again. However, due to Her injuries, this battle saw Her fare no better than their first. In the end the All Mother and All Father sacrificed what remained of their life energy to Sil’Eph Niir thus giving Her the strength to overcome this almighty foe. Driven back by the power of the Dragon Goddess, the Evil King retreated to the Nether Realm. But not before His forces retrieved the corpse of Maglissos delivering it to His hand as He entered the portal to His realm of darkness.

Following the loss of Her Son, and the sacrifice of the All Mother and All Father, Sil’Eph Niir sensed a new calling within the core of her being and Descended to the Mortal Realm to create and give birth to the first Children of Earth: The Dragon Race.

As the first creatures ever to set foot on the planet and call it "home," they know instinctively they are the product of Sil’Eph Niir’s labor and love. Exhausted and drained of her power, Sil’Eph Niir took to hibernation in Dragon’s Cove at the center of the world. Her Children gathered around Her body and, to this day, stand watch over Her waiting for the day She awakens. All who venture into the waters of Dragon’s Cove are viciously attacked or turned away by Her sea-going Children.

And so we find ourselves in the present day as mortals on Earth.

A cult of eclectic humanoids worshiping the forces of Darkness have stolen ancient and forbidden magics which have since been activated and now siphon the life energy from the Dragon Race to fuel the rebirth of the now reanimated body of Maglissos within the Nether Realm. Having been reanimated and endowed with the power of the Evil King, his body has grown to maturity. As He gathers the energy of the Dragon Race, He awaits the moment His strength reaches its absolute peak that He may Ascend to the Mortal Realm to destroy His Mother once and for all in accordance with the will of the Evil King.

And thus we find our heroes being sucked into this war between Gods and men.

Will you survive?

Will you help protect Sil’Eph Niir and Her Children from evil?

Or will your story be one of many which perish in the flames of an ancient and unforgiving feud among Gods?

Toggle Rules

1) COMMUNICATE!!

If I do not receive an introduction from you about your desire to join, you will not be allowed to join. Communication is a basic courtesy, and if you can't share that courtesy with me then I don't want you here.

Thank you.

2) No God-Modding, Metagaming, or Power Playing.

God-Modding - Making your character unkillable and constantly dodging any and all incoming attacks which could cause your character harm for the sake of them being invincible.

Metagaming - Writing knowledge and experience which your characters does not or should not possess. If your character is a thief, they're not a field medic or surgeon. If your character is written to have experience with knives and bows, that's all they get. If they pick up a sword, axe, spear, or anything else, they don't know how to use it.

Power Playing - Writing actions for other player-controlled characters to give your own an advantageous or superior position, and doing so without the consent of the player who owns said character.

The use of any of these will earn you a one-way trip out of the RP!!

3) Ask Questions.

This RP has much about it that differs from other fantasy lore you're familiar with. You may not, under any circumstances, presume you know something works and start writing for things or creating lore to suit your character or your own agenda. If you can't make a character who fits with the world and lore I've created, kindly leave.

The Story So Far... Write a Post » as written by 7 authors

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Elena

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A cold autumn breeze swept across the land of Irleth (on the world map, it's the Southwest region labeled Lhamia). At the tip of the Northeastern mountain range sat a small cabin in the woods surrounded by forest animals. They all seemed to wait for something. Or someone. And, sure enough, as the door groaned upon opening a beautiful High Elf maiden stepped foot outside into the morning air.

Wearing a long white dress with frilled shoulders and hem, sporting metallic coverings over her ears and a face angels themselves would be jealous over, she was the epitome of natural beauty. Upon her reveal to the world the animals stirred and began approaching. A deer on the left. A few rabbits on the right. Several birds and squirrels in the trees and edges of the cabin lined up to greet her.

"Good morning, everyone." She said in the High Elven Tongue.

"Jean, how are you this morning dear?" She asked, scratching the chin of the deer.

She squatted down and pet some of the rabbits, "Good morning Kolan, Alandra. How are you and the children today?" The rabbits, and their numerous children, scooted over and enjoyed pets and scratches behind the ears and along their backs. Birds chirped and tweeted whilst the squirrels and other small animals gathered round for their turn to share time and affection with the Elven beauty.

Suddenly, the animals scattered. The Elven maiden stood slowly and looked out towards the Northeast following the line of the mountain towards the sea.

"... There it is again." She whispered.

A soft voice on the wind echoed, "Please... Save them... My children... Please."

"Get a hold of yourself, Elena. It's just a trick of the wind. It has to be."

She turned and began to go back inside, but as she tripped the door handle she couldn't stop herself from looking out again to the distant horizon beyond the trees.

"Who are you?" She asked aloud.

The only thing to the Northeast, as the crow flies, was Dragon's Cove, a series of islands in the center of the world where dwelt the Dragon Race. And none dared venture anywhere near it. The Dragons were known to attack anything and everything that ventured too close with incredible ferocity. Sailors. Traders. Water Mages on overseas pilgrimages using magic to glide through or across the surface of the water. Bandits and raiders. Treasure hunters. Glory seekers. None were spared the Dragon's wrath.

A long standing superstition and theory was that the Dragons were protecting something on those islands. Maybe it was just their territory. Maybe it was their food source. Maybe it was their nesting grounds... Nobody knew for certain. But theories and superstition abound the world over as to what exactly was being kept hidden on those islands.

As the wind swept Elena's hair over her shoulders it caused a chill to run down her spine.

"The voice is growing louder of late." She muttered. "Maybe I should-... No! No... Just go inside and get some tea, Elena. This will pass... Eventually."

Elena walked inside and closed the door softly, but the world around her continued to stir as a malevolent wind overtook the once gentle breeze forcing it into the opposite direction. Now flowing Southwest, the winds carried a dark and heavy weight. And the faint sensation of malice and ill will tickled her senses. She was instantly back on her feet, having sat down in her chair, and walked outside once more to feel that horrible wind. And as it blew across her body it felt almost like a violation of her existence. Like hands of darkness were caressing her body without her consent. It made her shudder, and she unconsciously gripped her elbows in a self-hug as she went inside and closed the door more forcefully.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Neden Wrel Character Portrait: Dreux Andica

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The sun was high in the light blue sky, with light gray wispy clouds scattered across the pale blue backround of which they were held. The day had already begun, people were tending to their fields, chores, animal hide tanning, and black smithing, among the young adults busily training in the snow scatterd training grounds. An old man with pepper colored hair stood with his arms crossed as he surveyed the students hard at work, "Marlush, poor foot work! You mess up like that again and it'll be your hide they're tanning!" he barked at the young yet to be warrior as he had tripped backwards. The young boy got back up on his feet and continued on with his training, while the old man watched. The man's name was Iven Kaldoras, and he was the Silverwind Clan's mentor, if not the best aged warrior they had. His silver eyes scanned the area as he continued watching the practice match unfold around him. Another man walked up beside him, "No Neden today? Or has she other duties to attend to?" asked the man with slicked back black hair and dark gray eyes. Iven chuckled and shook his head, "Sent her off for hunting and tracking today. Should be back soon enough." he said as he turned and placed his hand on the man's shoulder.

"You know she isn't like the others-She's...She's too rash. She needs more training, Iven. She isn't ready." said the other man, Iven turned to him and sighed, "Are you saying that because you care, or simply because you're her adoptive father, Alexander?" Iven questioned. Alexander sighed and crossed his arms as the two men conversed privately. "I say it because it is true. She has spent nearly half of her life training, and for what? She only wants to leave here.." he said with a tone of disapointment.

Iven shook his head silently and left Alexander to his thoughts. Alexander Wrel was one of the most well known and even feared among his clan's warriors. He was the best of the best and only wished his daughter withheld the same. But up the pathway and behind the village lead to a forest. Further along the path and past trees and stumps, animals, and the river that traveled from the village and up to the forest, sat a figure dressed in light armor and a cloak, she looked straight into the clearing that was before her. "...What....What is this feeling... " she mumbled under her breath as she stared blankly ahead as a cold winter's breeze swept past her. Her one silver and one light ice blue eye scanned the area, something didn't feel right to her, as she felt as though something was off and out of order. The young woman stood up and slowly began to make her way back down to the village, but little did she know that something was watching her from the shadows. Under the large wall of rocks, in the shadows of the formation two golden eyes scanned and locked onto the young woman and as she slowly made her way, as did the large shadowy figure from in the rocks emerge, slowly begining to follow its unknowing prey as it too felt something was a miss, about the wind and her...

Setting

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: Neden Wrel Character Portrait: Dreux Andica

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Unknown to the figure that was making her way back down to her village, a large and dark figure was sticking to the shadows and were busily watching her each and every movement she made. The dark shadow was confused, what was this...thing doing? The small figure was covered by a black cloak and appeared to have a mask covering its face. The larger and darker figure had never seen a creature like this before, from the way it moved to how it acted, it intrigued it more than anything had ever done before and it wanted to know more.

Neden was slowly walking her way back, her feet slowly crunching the snow under each step as she walked, her mind elsewhere. As she was going to take another step she froze, she heard footsteps somewhere behind her. Neden slowly reached for her sword by her side and once her hand made contact with the hilt she took a deep breath and quickly turned around to see...nothing. Nothing was there. Yet she could have sworn something was there, following and watching her as if something from the shadows itself was observing her. She sighed and shrugged it off, simply thinking it was her mind playing tricks on her in the otherwise silent forest. She turned on her heel and went to walk, but only walked into something. Neden stopped dead in her tracks as she saw nothing yet again, but it was literally nothing. No light. No snow. Nothing. Only darkness. But as Neden slowly came to the realization, that she had walked into something, and something was large, black, and....soft?

Yes, soft. Whatever it was, it was soft. But with shaky hands Neden slowly backed up and looked up, to only see two bright, big golden eyes looking down at her.

"Wha...what? N-no...Y-you're not...You're not real, are you??" she asked as she backed away, grabbing her sword and holding it in a defensive manner in front of her as she had a stare down with the giant, black wolf. A much larger wolf than she had ever seen before. The creature looked at Neden with a perplexed look on its face, if an animal could that is. The wolf's head tilted to the side and its ears flopped from side to side as it looked at Neden from different angles.

Neden stared at the wolf from behind her mask as it stared at her, "Wh-wh...what are you? Wh-why are you looking at me like that? Go away, shoo!" she huffed at the beast as she looked at it, then tilted her sword at it in an attempt to ward it off. But the wolf only sat down, head tilted to the left and stared at her more.

"I'm warning you! If you don't back off...I...I'll...I'll kill you, you hear me beast? Yeah, I'll kill you and take your head back to my father." she said with an even more opposing voice.

But the wolf only seemed to find amusement with her threat and inched closer, causing Neden to move back more as well, but only to trip and fall down a large, steep hill. Neden tumbled and fell, scraping her arm and face on the way down when she eventually stopped at the bottom, she landed in a large snow bank as her mask had come off as she fell, landing beside her.

But what Neden didn't know is that the wolf had followed her and was now sitting close in front of her, staring down at her with its golden eyes. As Neden's eyesight slowly came to and her eyesight regained, she looked up and saw the wolf staring down at her again. She attempted to scramble away, only for the wolf to come up right to her and placing its nose against her's and stopped, her eyes widened as the wolf made contact with her. They remained in a staredown for what seemed like an eternity but was only a short few seconds. The wolf slowly stepped back and gave a dip of its head, turned on its feet and looked at Neden, who looked at it in confusion.

The wolf sighed and nodded its head, which Neden tilted her head for a moment and then realized what the creature was trying to say, "You...You want me to get on..?" she asked, the beast nodded, and with shaky hands, Neden slowly approached the wolf. Slowly and with help, she mounted the beast, and with not a second delay the wolf jumped and landed back up to where Neden had fallen from which resulted in a yelp from Neden.

The wolf seemed to have been amused and seemed to have chuckled. But once they were on solid ground, Neden jumped off and looked at the beast, and gently placed her hand on its head and closed her eyes. But she soon felt nothing and opened her eyes to see nothing, as the wolf had disappeared. Neden stood in place for a moment and shook her head, "That...That was only a dream....right?" she questioned aloud. But she only shook her head and turned back and left for her village. After a few minutes, she was eventually back at her home and opened the door to see her father, standing there waiting for her, "Neden...We need to talk. Sit." he said as he motioned to the wooden chair. Neden sighed, placing her satchel down and walked over to the chair and sat down with her right leg tucked under her left, and braced herself for the lecture that was awaiting her.

Alexander stepped towards Neden with his hands clasped together firmly behind his back, staring her down. He easily loomed over her and was easily taller and stronger than her, but she simply looked at him with an emotionless and stone-faced expression. He took a sigh and after a few moments of awkward silence, he spoke with a rough but genuine voice one he wouldn't use when in the company of the clan, "Neden, I...I think it best for you to leave." he said plainly. Neden looked up at him with wide eyes, but then soon regained her composure, "You're joking..." she softly mumbled, which Alexander was only able to shake his head solemnly. Her eyes grew wide again and she sat up in her chair, "Y-you're not joking..? Y-you're serious? You...You really want me to go outside of the village? Is this one of the elder's tests or..." her voice grew softer and fainter as she spoke.

The man shook his head and turned away from her for a moment, then back at her, "You are well past the age of adulthood...And...There's not really much that we can teach you. You are a great warrior, and I am proud of you and proud to call you my daughter, but...I just think it'd be wise for you to go. See what's out there, what's outside of the village. It's what you want." he answered. Neden examined his face as he spoke, she would have believed him, if there wasn't one thing. She knew Alexander, and she knew how he acted. "That's a lie...What's the real reason? Is it because I'm not like the others? Because I want to know more and you know if I keep asking I'll be exiled or killed for wanting to know who I am?" she yelled.

Alexander looked at her with wide eyes, " What...? What do you mean who you are? " he demanded as he eyed her. Neden sighed and stood up, distancing herself from him, "I'm not like the others. I've always known that. I don't talk like them, act like them, or think like them. Or you. So tell me...Who was she? Who I am really?" Neden demanded, her eyes slowly filling with tears, not of sadness but of anger and confusion.

Alexander sighed and shifted his weight, "Your mother...She came to the village when you were just an infant. She asked me to raise you as my own, and so I did. Soon after, she died. She only told me to look after you and for you to never remove your necklace...Other than that, I know nothing. She said the necklace would keep you safe. That is all I know." he said as he looked back at his daughter.

Neden's mind was racing as well as her heart. She knew she was right, that there was more to her, to life and who she was. "Then...Then what now..?" she asked as she looked up at him. He remained silent for a few minutes, and then walked over to an old chest in the corner and shifted through it. He turned and walked back over to Neden with a shield in his hands.

He handed it to her, and she gently clasped it, feeling the thick and durable, yet surprisingly light metal graze under her fingertips as she looked it over, and the glow it gave off, which caused her eyebrow to raise, Alexander chuckled, "I knew you'd like it. And I knew you'd be confused. It was a gift from your mother as well, she said to give it to you when you were older. And now, seeing as you'll need it, I felt it was right. It homes some sort of unknown power...But I guess that is for you to discover..." he said as he stepped away. Neden placed the shield on the table and stood up, she gave her father, well Alexander a hug and then soon parted. She gathered her things, spare clothing, weapons, a skinning knife, compound bow and quiver with twenty arrows, a water skin pouch, some rations, and supplies of a tent, animal skin bedroll, and some obscure items and a map. Once her supplies were gathered, she gave the few people she knew in the village a farewell, as well as Iven and left.

She was gifted a large, and slender mare from the village as a parting gift, and she took her leave. She turned her back on the clan and rode off down the beaten and ice and snow covered path, with only snow and an iced over lake for the next few miles were ahead of her. She wrapped her cloak around her tightly, mask attached to her waist by a metal linked chain, and swords by her side, and a horse as her only companion. But little did she know that a familiar shadow was trailing from behind in the distance...

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: Neden Wrel Character Portrait: Dreux Andica

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Slowly the young woman cantered across the frozen over lake on the armored horse that she had been gifted for her parting. Neden sat relaxed on the back of the young mare as they took their time making their journey, wherever they'd be headed, and gently stroked the horse's nose as the horse named Amethyst gave her a huff. "What is it, girl?" she asked as she looked around them. Nothing was to be seen besides snow covering everything and the frozen lake under their feet as the hooves slowly and softly grazed the thick ice.

Amethyst huffed again as she trotted along on the ice, her footing slipping every few steps, Gonna have to get her some irons at the next village..., she thought as she took notice of the slipping hooves. As they continued on, yet again another cold wind blew, causing the young girl to shiver but not from the cold but from the dread and fear she felt when the breeze passed over her. C'mon, girl. Let's move faster." she said as she gently nudged the horse along as she realized she would have to hopefully set up camp as daylight would soon be lost while on the lake, meaning animals would be coming out and could mean danger as well as the need of a warm place to endure the night's harsh winds.

But one thing Neden hadn't realized was that the ice had begun to crack behind them, and where they were heading was a weak point in the ice as it had multiple thinning parts scattered throughout. Neden softly whistled a tune from her clan as the pair continued onward, unknowingly as the ice continued to crack behind them.

The dark and large shadowy figure continued behind the horse and girl, using the constant snow banks as its cover and hiding spot from the two. The wolf kept its eyes on the girl, not the horse but the woman on top of it. Something about her was special to the being and it wasn't sure why. What are you, young one...? the being thought to their self as it continued lurking in the background.

Some time passed as they continued, Neden yawned softly as she was slowly growing tired and stretched and relaxed on the back of Amethyst a bit more. But, as she did so she heard a noise. Something she recognized all too well, Neden turned her head behind them and saw the ice was slowly cracking behind them and was slowly edging closer to them as the seconds passed by. Her eyes grew wide as dinner plates back at her village and she immediately acted on instinct. She dug her heels into Amethyst's side and clicked her tongue between her teeth telling her to go and they took off like a rocket, the horse's hooves cut into the ice as they clambered on the thin ice sheet beneath them.

Neden nudged Amethyst's sides again, urging her to move faster, but that was a mistake. The next few feet in front of them were far thinner and weaker than the ice they had been on, and Neden hadn't realized it until it was too late. Neden pulled on the reigns, causing Ameythst to come to a screeching halt as the reigns were pulled backward. The young girl and horse breathed heavily as they had a moment of relief, but it was soon over as she heard another crack beneath them, and as she nudged her sides again, the ice gave out from under them and due to Amethyst's nature and how she was raised to help keep her rider alive more so than her, she bucked Neden off and forward as she herself fell into the cold water below. Neden landed on her side and rolled over, softly gasping for air as she landed on the cold and frozen surface under her. She quickly regained her bearings and scrambled over to the hole in the ice that Amethyst had fallen through, the horse doing everything in her power she could do to get out from the frozen depths. Neden reached for the reigns and pulled with all of her might as she could to help the poor beast who was slowly failing and slipping away due to the frigidness of the water she was in.

In the horse's panicked state she accidentally panicked and pulled Neden into the water with her. Neden managed to pull herself together and weakly tried to pull herself out of the water as her hands weakly and shakily attempted to grab for anything for her fingertips to only slip from their grasp and fall back into the water. She felt her resolve and will power slowly dwindling as she slowly began to sink into the depths, but before her eyes and mind went completely blank and silent she felt something grab onto her neck and slowly pull her from the water, and then everything went silent and dark.

What Neden didn't know is that the whole time the figure from before had been watching the duo and had witnessed the ice breaking beneath them and watched as the horse fell, her trying to save the horse and for her to only fall through the water with the horse. The wolf decided to help them if they could, by coming out of his hiding spot behind the snow banks and ran over to the hole in the ice and quickly grabbed her by the back of her clothing and pulled her out of the water and dropped her on the ice. The wolf examined her as her breathing slowed down tremendously and would easily die within a few moments after being exposed to the frigid water and the air. His natural instincts to help people kicked in for him and he helped slide Neden onto his back and decided to carry her the best he could until they managed to find shelter. The supplies that were on the horse were gone, meaning she had lost her map and tent and food, but everything else was in her bag and was thrown off when Amethyst threw her off and landed on the ice.

The wolf grabbed the bag with his teeth and looked around for anything else that was her's, everything that wasn't on her was on the horse which had fallen to the bottom of the lake by this time and sadly he looked down and gave the fallen beast a moment of silence as she had given her life to save her rider than her own life. Seeing as how the girl was something special, at least to his knowledge he had decided to help. Once he was sure he had gotten all of her things, he saw a small cave further up along the way and decided it would be the best option o help them stave off the cold for the night. Once inside, he lowered her onto the ground with her things and looked around and sighed. Slowly the wolf began to shrink in stature, losing his fur and golden eye color and stature, resulting in a smaller and wiry framed, black shaggy colored hair, pale skin, and a kind look on his face young male dressed in black stood before her.

He examined her face as he knelt down before her, his tail and ears swayed in the wind as he looked back out at the entrance, "We're going to need some heat if she is to make it through the night...Alright, Dreux." the male spoke to himself in a soft voice. He reached into his bag and took out some kindling supplies and began to make a small fire close to the back of the cave and next to the woman he had previously rescued, draping her animal skin bed over her to keep her as warm as he could, when he was sure the fire was stoked enough he laid down beside her and gently kept her next to him as he attempted to share his body heat the best he could with her as he planned to help pass the night the best he could, making sure to keep the young girl alive as the night's cold air raged on outside of their small cave and current safe haven.

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: 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: Neden Wrel Character Portrait: Dreux Andica

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The sun had slowly begun to go down as the wind outside of the small ice cave began to pick it, sounding as if there were whistles and soft whispers from the outside calling to them. The young male that was sitting with his back against the ice wall sighed as he looked down at the sleeping girl with her head on his lap, fast asleep and occasionally making soft and small sleeping noises as she was clearly having a nightmare or terror. As much as Dreux wanted to wake her up and let her know it was okay, he knew that was the last thing he should do. Wake someone up after they had such a traumatic event as she had almost died, as well as seeing her steed perish in front of her eyes. He took part to blame, as he stayed in the shadows, he could help but feel guilty. He only sat there with his thoughts as he listened to the wind howl outside of their small cave. It sounded as though someone was whispering and pleading to them for help...

He remained still as the fire shone off of his face, the light of the fire flickering across his face as the embers danced and shot off across the cave. Dreux looked down when he saw Neden begin to stir awake, "Easy there...Everything's alright, young one." he softly whispered as he gave her a gentle smile, his teeth sparkled as he gave her a toothy grin.

Neden only blinked, and as she slowly took what was going on around her, her being cuddled up to some stranger in a cave on top of the fact she had no idea where she was caused panic to course through her veins. neden quickly açted on instinct and pushed herself off of him and against the wall on the other side of the cave.

"Wh...what? Wh-who are you??" she demanded as she instinctively kept widening the space between her and the stranger that sat before her.

Dreux's eyes opened wide when she had awoken and suddenly moved away from him, causing a small frown to appear on his face, "It-it's me! It's me, I'm not going to hurt you, I promise!" he exclaimed as calmly as he could, remaining where he was to not cause her any more stress.

Neden looked at him oddly, her right eyebrow arched when he said 'It was him'. She examined him as best as she could with the poor lighting from the fire. "Wh-what do you mean by you? I've never seen you in my life. So...explain yourself..." she said as she gripped her knife by her side, never letting him out of his sight if he tried anything.

Dreux sighed and nodded at her question of who he was. Which resulted in him to give a soft chuckle. "You do know me...Just not in this form, hun." he said as he slowly pulled back his hood, exposing his wolf ears to her, causing his face to grow a light pink as he was anxious and shy of showing his Miithi traits to strangers.

Neden silently watched as he removed his hood, revealing two black wolf ears atop his head. Her eyes widened, was he being serious? Were her eyes playing tricks on her? She blinked as she struggled with what to say, "Y-you mean...You're the wolf from the forest? B-but how...That's not...Is it? If so...what are you..?" she questioned.

Dreux chuckled as he looked at her trying to figure out what she was seeing. Clearly, her first time seeing someone that wasn't fully human. "I'm what we call Miithi. I can turn into that giant wolf, the one that you saw in the forest. I honestly mean you no harm. I saw you were in trouble and helped...Sadly...your horse wasn't so lucky. After this storm passes, by tomorrow morning if you want help or me to accompany you to the next town, I'd be glad to. But only under one thing, you tell me a little bit about yourself...You're not like the others in your clan." he said as he put his hood back and looked at the girl that sat across him, as she had obviously understood what he was saying the best she could.

Neden didn't know what he meant by Miithi, but she was relieved that she was correct about others out there, not like the rest. "Seeing as how I have no other choice, alright...But okay...It's a long story..." she started, but her attention was taken when she heard a voice call from outside. It was soft and barely above a whisper. But she knew it, she heard some voice call out for help from the wind, staring blankly outside of the cave.

Dreux took note of her too hearing the voice and nodded, "So you too also hear the voice? And feel the presence in the wind?" he questioned softly.

Neden only nodded silently at his question, staring out. Almost as though she was being pulled by some invisible force. she shook her head, and for the remaining hours of the two made small talk and told each other stories as a way to help pass the time as they waited for daybreak to come at last for them.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Saewyn Anaya Ehrhard

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#, as written by Saivie
Taking her seat, Saewyn looked around the tavern. Mostly humans, a dwarf, and a few dark elves. she noted as she put on her hood to cover her ears. From her waist, she removed a pouch filled with a few gold and silver coins, how she came across the coins would remain unknown, simply due to the fact that currency is currency, and the barkeep just wanted the coin, not the story.

"A pint of your strongest, please."

"Our strongest, eh!? A small thing like you should get something less heavy." the barkeep laughed heartily.

"Bertrand, you and I both know that's a load of bullshit, now here's your coin. Give me my ale."

"Fine, fine. I forgot how 'no-nonsense' you are. Are you sure you're part human, girl?" Bertrand asked as he slid over a tankard of Galdrik's Crystal Lager.

Saewyn simply shook her head and tossed him a gold coin. This was her way of saying thanks to a friend, as Bertrand had given her room and board for a few nights, not without something in return, of course. Saewyn had been his poster girl for the week in exchange for her place to sleep. Over the course of her week, each time she would drift off to sleep, she had a recurring dream. One of at first, a formless voice, muffled and quiet. By the end of the week -last night, in fact- she could almost see the figure from which a voice called out to her.

"Bertrand, thank you for your hospitality and companionship. But I must bid you farewell as I feel a pull towards the center of the world.. Ignoring such a call would be irresponsible as well as an affront to whoever is calling to me." she spoke quietly, so as not to catch anyone else's attention but Bertrand's. After a few moments of thinking, without so much as a word, he made eye contact with Saewyn and nodded.

With a small smile to grace her lips, she rose from her seat and hoisted a pack up onto her back, and secured two blades to her hip. To herself, she thought, Valtiir and Sleipnir... my most trusted companions. We'll get to the bottom of this cry for help eventually...

The tall halfbreed elf set out before being stopped by Bertrand... and a horsedrawn wagon.

"Lassie... I know it's not my journey, nor my calling, but let me go with ya. It'll go faster with a friend to share stories with, eh?"

"Bertrand! I presumed you would be running the tavern. But I would not turn down the company should it be offered. Thank you my fr... My friend." she stopped to climb into the back of the wagon, thinking about her words. Perhaps this wouldn't be such a bad thing after all.

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: 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: Elena Character Portrait: Pau'Ka

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vernon Shulls Character Portrait: Carmen 'Ruffles' Rufferones

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#, as written by Tanman
Vernon Shulls /Carmen ‘Ruffles’ Rufferones

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“…Ah..!” Sitting up from her position bent over the railing at the bow of the ship, Carmen Rufferones turned to look towards the horizon. There it was again. That nagging voice and feeling in the back of her mind. It was kind of like when she went down to the hold to get something, and then forgot why she went down there in the first place, and so then she went above deck and remembered she needed the mop and… What was she worried about again? Drumming her fingers along the rim of the railing, Carmen turned around, leaning her back towards the ocean as she let out a deep sigh, throwing her head back and looking up to the gulls in the sky. Squinting through the sunlight, she recalled how it had been kind of boring these past few days. They’d been at sea a couple of weeks, or was it months now? She never was good at tracking time. Either way, they’d already interrupted a few trading vessels between Hylen and the nearby ports; and there hadn’t been another ship since then. Maybe they’d already altered their trade routes once word had spread?

Rotating around again to face the ocean, Carmen fiddled with her pocket to retrieve her spyglass, peering out across the horizon for any signs of activity. Not a boat, dinghy or shoreline in sight. Maybe she’d have to try her luck and give the wheel a spin? That normally led them somewhere interesting at the very least. Then again, she wasn’t the captain. Even if she was the navigator, she couldn’t change their course without a reason. Perhaps she was just being impatient. Shrinking down the spyglass and pocketing it once more, Carmen gave another small sigh. “Even if I am being impatient, it doesn’t change the fact that it’s super boring right now!” Raising her voice towards the end and rocking back and forth against the railing, Carmen huffed and turned towards the deck, stomping over towards the masts and where she knew their captain would be. Sure enough, he was slumped in a hammock, dozing slightly in the morning sun and letting the steady sway of the ship rock him to sleep.

“Vernooooonnnn, this is boring! Can’t we go back to shore or go looking for some treasure or something?” Whining and gently shaking the hammock to get her captain’s attention, Carmen was as petulant as ever. Groaning faintly, Captain Shulls, the Blade Hoarder slowly scratched his head and gave a yawn, lazily opening an eye. Then, shifting his leg slightly, he kicked Carmen squarely in the side of the head, knocking the dazed woman to the deck. Howling out in pain, Carmen clutched her face, whimpering before turning back to Vernon to shout indignantly. “What the hell Cap’n?! What was that for?!”

“Not so boring now, is it Ruffles?” Vernon smirked, folding his arms behind his head. Watching the girl prattle on angrily about his abuse was mildly amusing, but it did seem to have taken her mind off of her boredom. Honestly, he hadn’t met many merfolk, but he wondered if they were all as childish as this one. Once Ruffles paused long enough to let him get another word in, Vernon rolled out of the hammock, standing up and stretching. Flicking her in the forehead, Vernon scratched himself as he lazily headed over to the edge of the ship. “If you’re still bored, you can start by making the Captain and his crew their breakfast.” Unzipping his fly, Captain Vernon attended to the first business of the day. Averting her gaze, Carmen grumbled about vulgarity, but quickly changed topic. “I only cook for those who earn their keep. Frankly, you don’t deserve anything from me Captain.”

As Vernon whistled and finished his morning relief, the pirate seemed unfazed by Carmen’s comment, straightening up his belt before turning back to face her. “Guess you ain’t eating either. For our resident Lady luck, we haven’t exactly had much luck.” Striding back over to Carmen, Vernon gave her a couple of pats on the shoulder. “We’ll head back for shore. See if we can find some more work or figure out what route the merchants have changed to. It’ll be a good chance to restock our supplies as well.” Continuing past Carmen, Vernon began making his way below deck, waving his hand. “See to it that we get there soon, Navigator.” Nodding vigorously, Carmen gave a firm salute. “Aye Aye Captain! You can count on me! Oi! Harvey! Jenkins! Get the sail turned around, we’re heading back to Hylen!”




“Harvey, you’re in charge while we run supplies. Try to lie low, but be ready to set sail and meet us at the usual spot if things go south. Anyone asks, you’re merchants taking shelter from pirates.” Vernon called out to his crew before sliding down the rope ladder on the side, firmly landing on the pier behind Carmen. On his back was a large wrapped tarp, filled with all sorts of jagged shapes, slung over his shoulder with a simple strap. Of course, this wasn’t to sell or store their purchases; Vernon rarely went anywhere without an armoury of weapons ready to use. Beside him, Carmen trotted along, eying up the various stalls and wares as they headed down Market street. She too had some bags ready to collect supplies, but for the most part, they’d need to get a cart down to the docks and have them loaded onto the ship in bulk.

“Do you have to wear that ridiculous hat?” Vernon asked, noting the stares the duo were getting and attributing it to his comrades strange fashion sense.

“Of course! How else will they know that I’m a proud member of the Silverstar Pirates?”

“That’s precisely the opposite of what we want, but I suppose I should be thankful that no pirate would be stupid enough to declare themselves like that. You’re lucky you can hide in plain sight, Ruffles.”

“Heh, yeah… Wait, are you calling me stupid?!”

“No, I was talking about all the other pirates that walk around wearing pirate hats…”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Neden Wrel Character Portrait: Dreux Andica

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The day passed by slowly as Neden and Dreux slowly made the rest of their way across the frozen lake and into another set of woods and forests, passing by small villages and towns as they eventually came to their destination as the sun had begun to set. It was a small port town at the far of the small archipelago of small islands in the upper region of the world just below the mountains and frozen wasteland that was where Neden has spent so much of her life in the small and reclusive village in the mountains. Dreux huffed a sigh of relief as they slowly made their way into the town, it was small, and surrounded by a mountain range in the backside of the town, while the front and portside were open to the waters.

Neden looked at Dreux as they caught a moment to breathe as they had spent the whole day traveling to the small port, just to go to Dragon Cove the next morning. She looked at Dreux as she pat his side, "I'll go look for a place to find supplies and some new clothes...seeing as how I won't need these anymore. When I find them I'll let you know. I entrust you to look for a way to get to Dragon Cove in the meantime, alright?" she said as she gave him another stroke on his nose and left to find supplies.

Meanwhile, Dreux had shifted back into his more human looking form and stretched. He had been in his wolf form all day and needed to stretch his legs and arms, nevermind that he wasn't exactly used to carrying someone else for half of a day. He craned his neck to one side, and then looked out towards the ocean as ships sailed in the sunset of the sun's glow, and smiled. He hadn't been to a port town in years and it brought back many memories for him, mainly good but a mix of sadness was there. He shook his head and examined himself as he looked at the outfit he was wearing and dusted himself off, "I'm going to need a better outfit...But that's another worry entirely. Now, now we search for a way to get to Dragon Cove..." he muttered to himself as he bumbled along the port town for a way to find a ride to Dragon Port, asking several different captains and boatings for rides, and many turned him down as it was too late for them to leave port until morning. With many rejections or being told to wait until morning, eventually started to make his way back to where he would wait for Neden, that is unless another opportunity for him arrived on the way back to find Neden.

Neden, on the other hand, had managed to find herself wandering into a small shop on the east side of the port town, she rummaged through many of the outfits they were offering, but many didn't suit her until she managed to find one in particular. It had light barings of armor and metal but was for the most part fluid in how she would be able to move in combat. She nodded and asked if she could try it on, but at first, the woman had no idea what she was trying to say, as Neden had forgotten that she was speaking in her tribe's tongue without a second thought. She cleared her throat and spoke the best she could in the common tongue with a rough accent blended in, "S-sorry, I meant to say if I could try this on?" she asked as her face turned a light pink from embarrassment, how had she not realized she was speaking with her clan's tongue. She shook her head and was lead into where she could change into the outfit she had picked.

She looked herself in the mirror and studied the way she looked after she fumbled with the armor and the straps it came with. As she looked into the mirror she fell into a trance-like state, only being taken out of it when she heard a knock on the door and being asked if she was alright, "I-I'm alright, thank you." she shook her head and looked back at herself in the mirror and stopped, slowly drawing closer to the mirror as she noticed something was off. She wasn't sure if it was just her imagination was playing tricks on her, but she could have sworn for a split second that her eyes changed colors. Not the iris, but the white part of her eyes flashed for a second into a more darker color, as if almost black in nature. She blinked a few more times and shook her head, seeing as her eyes were back to the normal white and mixed colors of grey and blue. She sighed and rubbed her face, "Get it together, Neden...It's been a long day but..calm yourself. You're just imagining things. You've been through alot...You almost died, and learned that magic exists...as well as dragons, and Miithis...Maybe I need a drink...or food...or both.." she mumbled and left the room, she handed the woman some coins for the clothing and left and eventually met back up with Dreux, the two discussing that they had no way of getting to Dragon Cove, not until they managed to find someone that was willing for the right price.

After a few more hours of sailors rejecting their need to get to Dragon Cove, they eventually say down at a small restuarant to gather their thoughts and think of something. Dreux was alone to his thoughts as was Neden. But she sighed and stood up and craned her neck and looked around.

"I'm gonna try to find one more person...maybe they'll agree to certain terms. I'll see what I can do." she said as she nodded and walked away, leaving Dreux to continue thinking of what to do.

Neden left Dreux along and walked down one of the pier's as she looked for someone to help, anyone at this point. And she'd be willing to help them in anyway that they could. Eventually she managed to find an older man by his vesssel. She took a deep breath and approached the man.

She remembered to speak in the common tongue allbeit with a minor accent, "E-excuse me, sir? Me and a friend are looking for someone to help us to Dragon Cove? Would you be willing to help us? We have money, and if that isn't enough, I'm sure we would be willing to do a favor for you?" she asked with a bit of a shakey voice.

The man looked up at her with his silver eyes and chuckled, "If it's a ride to Dragon Cove that you seek, you're out of luck, Lassie. I'm not a travel or luxary vessel. Try somewhere else." she said with a gruff tone in his voice as he went back to fiddling with his vessel.

Neden's hand twitched as she grew closer to him, "Please, sir...we have to get there. As soon as possible. Please..."

The man sighed and looked back at her again, "What about no do you not understand, love? I already said no, once. I'm not..." his voice drifted as a small smirk creased his lips. He looked back up at her and continued, "Ya know...there is, something that you could do for me." he said with a rather large and uncomfortable smile.

Neden's eyebrow raised she looked at him with confusion, "Like I said..Payment of any kind isn't a problem." she said again.

The man grinned and stood up, towering over her by at least a few inches, "I'll bring you and your friend....Only if you promise to...help me after I bring you there for your bussiness."

Neden awkwardly nodded at him as she began to walk away from the man to go get Dreux. A few minutes later she came back with him and they bordered the man's strange ship. After a few moments it began to move and bustle as water was used to propel it across the ocean. Neden sat down at one of the sides of the ship, her back against the edge of the ship at Dreux sat next to her. She explained what his agreement was, and he knew all too well what the man meant by favor, and if he could do anything about it, he'd make sure they got far enough away from him after they arrived and made sure that Neden was always next to him at all times, not willing to take a chance for him to make a move on her while they sailed across the ocean to Dragon Cove.

Dreux noticed that Neden held onto him rather tightly, "Are you alright?" he asked

Neden shook her head and held to his arm with her dear life, "I...I don't know how to swim...and I'm deathly afraid of it.." she said softly as she stayed close to him for safety and warmth.

Dreux nodded at her and held her tightly, understanding all too well what one's fear would do to someone, especially when they had nowhere to go and were only surrounded by it until they got off at Dragon Cove.

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: Vernon Shulls Character Portrait: Carmen 'Ruffles' Rufferones

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#, as written by Tanman
Vernon Shulls /Carmen ‘Ruffles’ Rufferones

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“Thanks for taking the time to help us. The way you talk about it, we’re lucky we made it here in one piece.” Vernon spoke to the merchant in front of him, handing over the coins as the sailors and merchants helped load up his vessel. Arms folded, he surveyed the work, but there was something more important he needed to address. Thankfully, no one seemed particularly suspicious of him or his crew. So long as they kept up appearances, they had all the paperwork and makings of a trade ship. They could blend in seamlessly, restock their supplies, and head back out to sea with the town none the wiser. Still, if he could get some more information about the local trade ships and why the channels had been so quiet, that’d go a long way to giving them some job security over the next few days. “Still, to think that there’s pirates about. I imaging your trading vessels would’ve suffered some losses…”

“Well, after our first ship was pillaged, we had to take certain precautions…” Stroking his beard, the older merchant was a larger fellow, and seemed to be the leader for the local traders. “In fact, we’ve put a stop on the port for all our merchant vessels. It’s our hope that if we keep things quiet they’ll have to move on. You’d best stay in town until we receive word that they’re elsewhere.” As the merchant spoke more and more, Vernon could only smile. How trusting of the man to provide so much information… And how naïve. Still, that explained why the past few days they hadn’t spotted a single ship worth robbing. Perhaps this was an opportunity that he could take advantage of.

“Is that so? Unfortunately, we’re a bit short on time, we have more deliveries to make in Archaeon. I’m confident in the Fillagray to outrun any pirates, so if there’s any supplies you’d like delivered, we’d happily take them… Of course, there’d be a fee, and we’d need a trade document from you…” Vernon turned towards the man, eying him off. If there had been a freeze on sea-trade, the town would likely be behind on their schedules. If they were all scared to leave port, they might just be willing to share their profit with a fellow ‘merchant’ if it meant getting their business running again. Of course, anything they did want delivered… Well, this was an easier way to rob them than intercepting at sea.

“Hmm… Well, it is true that we’re due to make a delivery to Archaeon… I’ll speak with my associates and see whether we can make arrangements.” The merchant nodded, raising an eyebrow. “Of course, this’ll all depend on that fee you speak of…”

“Naturally. I’m sure that fine gentleman such as ourselves can come to a fair arrangement…” Smirking again, Vernon gestured into the nearby bar, leading the way to further discussion.



“…So we’ve got ourselves some extra cargo to ‘deliver’. Roscoe wants us to take it to Archaeon, though we’re holding off until morning. Apparently even the travel ships have been hiding out for fear of us, so we’re going to have some extra passengers for the journey.” Sipping his beer, Vernon set it down gently, eying over the rest of his crew. “We’ll do some honest work if no one asks questions. If things go south, we’ll leave them adrift and let the tide take them in.” Rolling back in his seat, Vernon put his feet up on the table. “Which means don’t do anything stupid, got that?”

”Aye aye Captain!” Was the resounding chorus from the men, Carmen included. They’d done similar scams in the past, and depending on who was on board, they might even rob or thieve from a few of them before they dropped them off at a port. That was her job. Well, not the actual stealing, but she was a nice, friendly face. Her job was to make friends, scout their valuables and see if any of them were worth holding up. Vernon said they already had a few passengers wanting to go to a few places, but the one that caught her eye was Dragon Cove. Why was it that the name seemed important to her? Shrugging it off, Ruffles ordered herself a drink while she plotted out their course on the map. As navigator, that was also one of her duties; and one of the things that she knew how to do pretty well. She’d see Dragon’s Cove herself in a few days’ time. She’d work out why it seemed familiar then.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aznyxphia, the Pariah Knight

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Aznyxphia flew through the clouds, a dark figure against a stark white canvas. The wind whipped at her face, but she was happy. She always felt so free when flying, as if her troubles were finally far away. For now she had a duty to perform. All else was irrelevant.
She was, to be frank, enthused about the adventure that lay before her. Finally! The calling every knight errant awaits; the call of divinity, to serve a god and save the entire world itself. To be immortalized in history as a savior. Maybe even becoming a demigod herself!
But I cannot let my hubris corrupt me, she reminded herself. I must prove myself better than my foes. Always show honor and piety, but strike down your foes so they can bring no more harm to the innocents of this world.
Now she was flying over the sea, watching the sunlight sparkle and glimmer over the water and her reflection onto it. For a moment, the sunlight glinted off her armor, and she looked like some sort of humanoid supernova, or perhaps a black hole; a well of darkness at the lip of which light gathers. But then the moment passed, and she flew onwards towards the Dragon's Cove.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Korose

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Far away in the rolling green plains on the Eastern lands of Kirkalth on the far north edge of the Lonesome Sea, a dark and ominous wind was blowing in from the East... Which meant it was actually coming from the West, towards the center of the world.

He'd heard the call. Felt the change of the winds. But his Shadowfare magic told him the shift was a lie. A feint. The Darkness masking its movements and trying to shift the senses of the world of mortals to remain ignorant to its true intentions.

But that didn't matter now... He had work to do.

Glowing crimson eyes gazed through the night towards the north end of the city of Fausen. There, in the tallest tower of the largest estate in the land, was the master bedroom of one Grand Vizier Totomeo Haakun. A vile, wicked, corrupt man whose very existence made life miserable for the people of this city, and many other cities surrounding it across the land. His influence had shifted the balance of power in this land in favor of the aristocracy, siphoning it away from the King and Queen where it truly belonged. And this was an affront he would not, and could not stand for.

The glowing crimson orbs faded and blended with the darkness, the figure they belonged to becoming not but a whisper of the night.

In the estate of Totomeo Haakun, life was very different from outside his "sacred" walls.

Skipping briskly through his hallways, he laughed and pranced about like a child through a field of flowers. His night robe, a gleaming golden trim surrounding a beige/white core, flowed around his legs like whispy clouds.

"Oh hohohohoho! Such a marvelous, glorious night, is it not?" He asked aloud to nobody in particular.

Passing a maid, he smiled sweetly and caressed a lock of her hair. The gesture made her freeze in place and the color drained from her flesh as her body trembled at his touch.

"Come now, Otomi... Is it not a beautiful evening?"

"O-of course, sire. Beautiful indeed." She replied in a meek, quivering voice matching her body's shakes.

"Ah, my dear, sweet Otomi. You don't seem to believe the words you speak."

Her eyes widened and her pupils dilated as he came closer, breathing against the side of her face and whispering into her ear...

"Tonight, I shall bed you and prove to you that the night is truly beautiful. Just. Like. You." He said, kissing her cheek.

As he pranced away, Otomi fell to her knees, her hands covering her groin over her dress as tears leaked furiously from her wide, panicked eyes.

Continuing down the hall and up the stairs, he passed a butler.

"Oh ho! Franklin! Lovely night, isn't it?"

The butler bowed swiftly, a hand across his abdomen.

"That it is, sire. I'm happy to see you in such high spirits."

"Ah, of course! On a night like this where nothing can go wrong, what's not to be joyous about?"

"As you say, sire."

"Have you taken any maids yet, by chance?"

"N-no, sire. I haven't. I-... I feel I am not yet ready to do so."

Haakun skipped forward rapidly, closing the gap between them. His eyes glistened with the lamp light as one finger rested beneath Franklin's chin, lifting it slightly towards Haakun's face and lips.

"Now, now, Franklin. In this household, the ladies are never left to fend for themselves. You must become accustomed to taking them to your bed in the evening. Only then will they attain true happiness within our sacred walls. No?"

Franklin's temples dripped with sweat as he lost some of the color in his face.

""O-of course, sire. I-I sh-shall... Make a choice tonight. Yes."

"Excellent... How about Neharu?"

"B-b-but, sire! Lady Neharu is my lord's sister, is she not?"

Haakun's finger slid forward to Franklin's Adam's apple, his fingernail digging into flesh as his eyes gleamed dangerously with a smile that could only belong to a Demon from Hell.

"... No woman is ever left to fend for herself. Not even those in my family... Understood?"

"Y-... Yes, sire. I shall visit Lady Neharu... Promptly."

The smile became joyous once again.

"Excellent! Please, see to all of her needs and bring her the greatest joy and pleasure you can! If not, I shall knooooowwww!"

Skipping happily away, Franklin leaned against the wall in a cold sweat, adjusting his collar and tie to let him get some air flow through his formal attire.

Arriving in his bedroom, Haakun beheld four gorgeous women waiting for him. All were stark naked, on all fours on his bed, facing away from him while looking back over their shoulders. He could see everything, and his smile widened considerably as he flicked a lock of his long, luscious hair back over his shoulder and approached slowly.

"Sorry my darlings. I didn't mean to keep you waiting... Are you ready for me?"

His eyes trailed them over, observing faces and... Lips. Moistened and primed, he approached the blonde on the far left and observed how she gently rocked her hips back and forth for his viewing pleasure. And when ready, Haakun lay a single hand on the small of her back. The mere sensation of his hand against her flesh made her shudder and her blood run cold. Tears stung her tightly shut eyes as she felt it begin. Her nightmare. Gently rocking forward and back she gripped the sheets as the others watched in horror while trying to make it look like they were eagerly awaiting their turns.

"Now, now, my darlings. Be joyous this beautiful night! It-... Aaahh~... It shall all come to a glorious conclusion before our time is up!" He stated as he began to intensify his performance.

The sound of the bed groaning and creaking as it rocked back and forth filled the room. He moved from girl to girl, one after the other, back and forth to experience them all at his leisure. Each turned away to cry when it was their turn, and quickly dried their tears to look his way when he moved on.

If they looked at him with tears in their eyes... A gathering of skeletal remains of women of various races beneath the estate's dungeon in a pit awaited them.

Finally, he reached the culmination of his performance and held fast to the blonde on the left as he felt himself lose a few fractions of a pound. Pulling back he observed her calmly and with a sickening smile, licking his lips as he saw the fruits of his "labor" appear from her. She quivered intensely and dipped her head, the others breathing a sigh of relief that it was not them who experienced his finish.

"Thank you, my beautiful darlings. You may go now."

All four women got of the bed, bowed, and left the room slowly and silently. But in the halls a fair distance away from the room, the blonde broke down in uncontrollable tears scratching at her womanhood as if it would remove from her body what he had done. The others knelt down, tears dripping from their faces as they tried desperately to comfort her. But nothing could. With that monster's seed sewn, in time she may find an unhappy surprise growing within her as many women often did so long as they lived here.

Haakun laid down on his bed, exposed and still excited, as he breathed in a deep, fulfilling breath of fresh air mixed with the scent of women.

"Such a beautiful night where nothing could possibly go wrong." He whispered to himself.

Slowly, his excitement began to fade. And as it did he rose to his feet to douse the lamps. One. Two. Three. Two lamps left. He approached the fourth lamp and blew it out, and as he did he looked up at the glass window and saw a pair of gleaming crimson orbs staring back at him. He jumped back in horror for a second, but the orbs were gone in an instant. He looked outside at the sheer drop to the ground over one hundred feet below and shook his head.

"Surely a trick of the night... Yes."

He closed and locked the window, only to experience a small gust of wind behind him as the final lamp was extinguished on the other side of the room.

"What?!"

He spun around.

"I-... Is someone there?"

Silence.

"If this is some kind of joke!" He said, marching to the middle of the room.

The faintest glow of red light surrounded him. He looked left. Right. Behind him. And back to the front. But nothing. So where...

Slowly, he looked up and spied a mass of shadowy tendrils gathered in the ceiling. At their center was a solid orb of darkness, and from the center of the orb stared two glowing red eyes like none he'd ever seen before... But which he knew by reputation all too well.

"Y-y-... You!" He cried as he stumbled back.

The mass remained still, save the whipping shadowy tendrils, and the eyes widened with dilating pupils as he trembled in fear.

"It has to be you... The Red-Eyed Demon!"

The mass dropped from the ceiling and landed before him. As he tried to scoot back the tendrils wrapped around behind him entrapping him in its cold, slithering embrace. He was pushed towards the eyes, shaking and crying every inch of the way trying desperately to free himself from the darkness. But it was no use. He was finally pushed directly before the eyes, and his breath caught in his throat.

"... Perish." Came a deep, demonic, double-toned voice.

Haakun was suddenly overcome by shadows and his screams muffled before suddenly cutting off. When the darkness retreated, only an emaciated corpse was left in its wake and sent sprawling to the floor below. The shadows retreated out one of the nearby windows... And were gone.

The next morning, the corpse was discovered and reported to authorities. His body was cremated, and given a burial fit for a noble of the highest order. A blessing he didn't deserve, but one his fortune afforded him.

The one who stole his life, the Red-Eyed Demon, had completed his contract. And now, it was time to investigate what was going on in the center of the world... In Dragon's Cove.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

... And then, the winds changed.

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

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

"Dragon!!!" Cried the captain.

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

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

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

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

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


...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Everyone's eyes widened in shock.

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: 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..

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