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Mackenzie Truko

"Sure I can fix it, but what the #%*& did you do..?"

0 · 427 views · located in Ter'Ciel

a character in “Eulogy for the Immortal”, as played by aerineth

Description

Image


Name
Mackenzie Truko

Nickname
Mack

Age
25

Height
5'8"

Weight
175

Appearance: Tall, broad shouldered and all muscle, there's still no mistaking her figure as anything other than a woman. Usually wrapped in tough canvas work clothes or a full mechanic's jumpsuit, her wide 'load bearing' hips and thick legs tend to emphasize the sway in her walk. And that's not to mention her full bust, a feature she often tries to keep under tight wrap for freedom of movement. Under a good half pound of grit and grime is a fair skinned, foul mouthed face, usually wearing a smirk. Given a good scrub, it might be possible to see the light sprinkling of freckles, but that's seldom the case. Long blond hair cascades down her back, usually tied back with a pencil, string, or maybe just a spare gasket, and often with a streak or two of engine grease. The only spot of her not smeared with soot or grease is a pair of icy blue eyes that seem to bore through anything they focus on, especially machinery.

Personality: Though she'd be lumped in by most into the category of 'rough company', her lack of polished manners is far from making her company unpleasant. She can hold up with the rest of the boys when it comes to insulting eachother's mothers, but usually for the purposes of a good hearty laugh. Quick to laugh and slow to anger, Mack carries herself with a casual swagger. Her laid back nature and lack of concern for the superficial lets her get on easy regardless of the company she's keeping. With a skin thick as iron, any barbs and insults from those unimpressed by her company are usually met with a laugh, and on occasion "That's a good one!" But when that boiler does finally burst in anger, woe be unto those in the path of destruction.

Likes
Machines
Good company
A good joke

Dislikes
Dressing up
False politeness
Babies

Fears
Losing her mind
Drowning
Being responsible for children

Talents
Engineering
Comfortably talking to anyone
Bar bets

Weakness/Vices
Doubts her own sanity
Judgement fails when a wager is involved
Unsophisticated


Abilities/Fighting Style:
Mack is a master of the bar brawl and improvised weapon. She isn't the sort to keep weapons on her person, she simply doesn't know how to use them. But she always has a set of tools on hand and the massive steamwork wrenches she works are like an extension of her own body. This isn't something she makes a habit of in her usual brawls, but she seldom gets into the kind of life or death scrape that calls for that kind of brute force. In a casual fight, the worst she deals out is a brutally wicked head butt. She does have a handy knack for knowing the weak points of any mechanical weapons turned against her - if she gets in close, she can pull a firing pin or bend a tension rod to render the weapon useless as anything but a blunt object. She can also take a hit and keep coming. Most of her bruises, burns and scars come from her everyday work at a job that she loves. She often earns beer money by taking punches to the gut without flinching.

Background:
There were many gods created to serve the creator and humanity, but one was made to serve the gods themselves. Worshiped by few beyond devout master craftsmen, her name was unknown even to them. The god of forge and fire was instead meant to build weapons and tools for the gods themselves. There was no material she could not shape, no monument she could not build. All the great powers born of divine weapons were forged by her hand. When the darkness came, it was she who built the first walls, learning the strength of the evil that tore them down. It was she who forged the foundations of the great seal into which all would impart their powers, knowing full well she would give her life to it.

Mackenzie Truko was known to many. To those in her sleepy hometown, she was laughter and she was trouble. She was also the best mechanic a body could find for at least two weeks' journey, if not more. Raised by her father, it soon became clear that dresses and dolls would not entertain her. Her greatest passion was how things worked. First she learned by taking apart - a troubling phase for everyone in town. But when she learned to put them together again, making things right and repairing the unrepairable, she was free to tinker with any mechanism she could get her hands on. She was still just a girl when people started bringing her things to fix, letting her contribute to her father's modest income to keep them happy and comfortable.

With more and more of the great steamworks being built, it wasn't long after she could travel alone that she migrated to the industrial hubs. With her natural talent, she found herself easily employable, working her way up through the factories with odd jobs and hard work until she found herself helping with construction of prototypes and overseeing the expansion of steam powered infrastructure. Her greatest joy is being elbow deep in grease, limbs stuck precariously through interlocking gears, prying a jam from the internal mechanisms with a screwdriver. It was a good life. A great life. Nothing could ever make her leave. Not until that machine jam turned out to be an odd looking bronze token.

Thinking nothing of it, Mack swore at the other machinists about dropping things down the gearworks, stuck it in her pocket and forgot about it. Whenever she found it in her laundry, she put it back in her pocket. Soon it became something of a lucky charm to fidget with, and fidget she did. It didn't occur to her that it might be the reason for her dissatisfaction. She'd always been a bit restless. Her nights were filled with strange dreams and wild stories, all more fantastic than the last. She used to tell them to anyone who would listen when she was a child, but in time she learned to keep them to herself. Everyone had dreams, she was told, so what was the worry in what kind you had? Still, they seemed more to her, stranger, more real. She didn't tell anyone when the images started bleeding into her waking life. Usually fragments or brief flashes, they were never enough to disrupt what she was doing. Still, it worried her that it wasn't something that seemed to happen to other people. When the dreams and the flashes started drawing her to Kirlsa, she was sure it was a sign of her worsening symptoms. Never had her dreams been so focused before. She resisted the pull for as long as she could.

Still, the dreams and the restlessness ate at her until she finally gave in. Taking leave from her supervisor, she packed up her gear and hopped on a transport. Some itches have to be scratched, and one way or another she'd find answers is Kirlsa.

So begins...

Mackenzie Truko's Story

Setting

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Character Portrait: Mackenzie Truko
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  1. possible wrong location

    by aerineth

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The journey to Kirlsa had been an uneventful one, but Mack was more than ready to be done with it. When she discovered the last leg of her journey would be by horse drawn coach, she had almost turned back. It was hard to imagine a city worth visiting without at least one motorized transport. Even so, it seemed a pity to travel so far for nothing. Soon she found herself jostled against local passengers on their way back to home at an excruciatingly slow pace. She passed the time flipping the bronze token over her knuckles and pondering the logistics of getting parts into Kirlsa to build a car.

She was relieved to climb out of the coach and after a brief bustle to sort bags and parcels, Mack found herself alone in the square. Looking around, the largest structures seemed to be a groaning ancient windmill and a somewhat ostentatious house. No real industry to speak of, though that should have been no surprise. She wondered again why she had come. Finding at least one familiar structure in town, she directed her stride toward the local tavern and inn.

She claimed a seat at the bar, dropping her duffel with a thud and a clank, then ordered a hot meal and a pint from the charming country girl who was tending. She put down coin for her meal and more for a room, then turned to take in the locals. The crowd seemed typical of a small town by the sea. There were fishers and farmers and other hardworking folk taking a well-earned break at the end of a hard day. Finishing her meal, she struck up a conversation with a sailor seated near her at the bar.

"Evening, friend. Know anyplace to get work around these parts?"

The man turned to look her over, his gaze and grin typical of a man just returned from the sea. "Why don't ya come sit in my lap, love, and I'll whisper in yer ear."

"Sure thing I would, but then there'd be no place for your mother. Wouldn't be right taking any seats from the elderly," she quipped back.

The sailor didn't seem much amused, especially when his drinking mate guffawed and gave him a thwap on the back, this one a farmer by the looks of it. "Oh come now, ya had that coming. Don't mind my friend here, he'd sure enough grab after anything with legs by now."

Mack chuckled, turning an amicable smile back to the sailor. "No troubles, friend. Here, I'll buy the next round if it'll smooth things over."

The sailor seemed appeased and the farmer approving, so she waved over the keeper and asked for three pints and three shots.

"Tell ya what, gents. I'll pay tab for the night if one of you can drink all three shots before I can drink all three pints."

The two looked skeptical, but the farmer took up the offer over the sailor's grumblings of mistrust. "You're on."

Mack gave a challenging grin as she arranged the glasses, three small shots of whiskey before the farmer and three tall pints of the hearty local ale in front of her. "Rules are this - ya have to finish all three to the bottom, and there'll be NO touchin' of the other's glasses. Hands on your own, and that's it. Understood?"

The farmer grinned back, ready to start the challenge as he nodded his agreement.

"GO!"

Mack was chugging back the thick amber liquid as fast as she could go while the farmer easily knocked back the first shot. In a tavern like this, there'd be no top shelf booze so it didn't go smooth, but he was used to the local rotgut and Mack was only halfway through her first glass. The farmer took a deep breath, picking up the next shot and downing it before laughing at his obvious triumph - the loudmouth mechanic was only just finishing her first pint. Mack was too quick, though. Before the man could grab his last shot, she slammed the pint glass on the bar, upside down over top of the last full shot glass. The farmer smirked and went to move the glass out of the way, but Mack held the glass down firm. "NO touchin' the other's glasses, remember?"

The farmer groaned when he realized the trick and it was the sailor's turn to laugh while he grumbled over the loss. Mack downed the other two pints in decent time, then moved the pint glass aside for the farmer to have the last shot. "That there's a dirty trick," he complained, downing the last shot to ease his injured pride.

"Sure it was, but don't worry. I'm not after the tab. I'm just looking to know if there's any machinework hereabouts. Anything'll do. Gotta fund these tabs somehow, ya know?"

The farmer chuckled, feeling much more amicable after learning that he wasn't about to foot the bill. "Well, there's not a whole lot of that sort of thing around here. It's not often the steamships come out this way and there ain't much in town. Odd job or two maybe, but there's some ginger fella been snappin' all that work up the last week or so."

Mackenzie swore. "That about figures." Her coin purse wasn't overly light, so she could afford to stay a while. Still it looked better and better to cut her losses and go back. But for right now, she was already paid for the night. "Thanks, lads." There might be something more to be found come tomorrow, so tonight she was happy to enjoy drinks with the locals 'till the inn closed shop.

The setting changes from Ter'Ciel to Kirlsa

Setting

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Character Portrait: Hans Amsel Character Portrait: Mackenzie Truko
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Hans Amsel


Kirlsa was disgusting. From the poorly built shacks to the dusty dirt roads and the offensive smell of the sea, it was obvious that coming to this shantytown was an unfortunate mistake.

Hans sighed loudly, now completely baffled as to why he'd decided to travel to this meaningless speck on the map. If not for his aching feet, the young man would have immediately turned and left Kirlsa right then. As the sun continued to set, darkness was beginning to encroach upon the far corners of the town. It wouldn't be long before night would fall, and then traveling anywhere would be completely out of the question.

Staring at the dilapidated building that was the village inn, Hans bit his lip and steeled himself for whatever filth he'd find inside. Putting a delicate hand against the thick wooden door, he pushed it open...

...and wrinkled his nose in disgust. The room reeked of ale and sweat. Simpletons chattered over the din of silverware and plates clanging. Hans looked around for the proprietor of the establishment. They appeared to be behind the bar, but the view was blocked by a group of rugged men drinking alongside what appeared to be a woman...although it was difficult to tell, given the grime and unrefined way they carried themselves.

'Nope. Nevermind. Absolutely not.'

Hans could not bring himself to take another step in. He turned on his heel to leave, but hadn't noticed the group of men that had gathered behind him. Hans knocked into one of them, the man spilling his mug of ale onto the wooden floor.

"Ey! Wha th'ell do you think you're doin'!?" Hot breath hit Hans in the face, making his skin crawl. Unable to stand any more of this cesspool, the young man rolled his eyes and waved dismissively.

"Consider it a blessing, old man. You look like you've had more than enough." Hans turned and exited the tavern.

Unsure of where he was walking to, Hans let his feet take over as his mind was lost in thought. He was stuck. It was too late to travel anywhere else, as the roads could be dangerous at night. Cursing himself for ever setting foot in Kirlsa, Hans found his way to the docks. Perhaps by some miracle, a boat would be leaving soon. At this point, it didn't even matter where it was headed. Anywhere would be better than here. All he had to do was find -

"Hey!"

Hans was ripped from his thoughts by a newly familiar voice. He turned to see the slob who had spilled his drink in the tavern. With him were two other greasy, rugged men, their faces red and sweating.

"We don' take kindly ta stuck up lil' lasses like you causin' trouble in our bar!" Droplets of spit flew from his mouth with each word. Hans merely looked on in disgust as the drunkard continued...

"Now...if'n you gimme a kiss...then maybe I'll forgeh abou' everthing..." With that, he stumbled down the docks toward Hans.

'Dear gods, could this night get any worse?'

If this fool thought that he'd be getting anything from a pretty girl tonight, he was in for a major disappointment. Hans smirked as he pictured the look on the man's face once he realized the mistake he'd made. Still, the situation wasn't looking very promising. He was trapped on the docks and sure as hell wasn't going in the water wearing this outfit. He needed to think of something, and swiftly...

Setting

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Character Portrait: Hans Amsel Character Portrait: Mackenzie Truko
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At the sound of the scuffle, the two men at the bar turned to look then shared knowing glances. Mack turned to look just in time to see a finely dressed lady leave in a huff and a handful of toughs head out after.

"Bastard never could hold his liquor," muttered the sailor, his companion nodding somberly.

Drunk was one thing, but this drunk seemed to have malice in mind. "Seems he's doin' more than stumbling. Ya think maybe someone aught to talk some sense into him? Don't seem like his friends are doin' much but encouraging."

The pair looked to each other then back to Mack and shrugged, turning back to their beer. From the looks of them, they'd written off the scuffle and the drunk as a case of Somebody Else's Problem. Mack grumbled and got up from her stool, leaving coins for the tip and the bill before slinging the hefty duffel over her shoulder again.

In a tiny quiet town like this, it wasn't hard to find a handful of rowdy drunks. Mack soon found herself at the docks. Coming up behind the group, it seemed she had been right about their intent.

"Ahoy gents!" she called loudly, trying to draw their attention from the lady they had been pursuing. "I see you found my friend. Thanks for that. We were just waitin' on a room to be made up." She nodded towards Hans. "All's ready now, y'can come settle in. If you'll excuse us, gents..."

Setting

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Character Portrait: Hans Amsel Character Portrait: Mackenzie Truko
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Hans Amsel


Unbelievable. That greasy woman had actually come to his rescue. It appeared her good natured words were enough to quell those filthy drunks. She clearly knew them. Probably cavorted with them all the time, just drinking and making fools of themselves. What left Hans feeling particularly vexed, however, was the undeniable fact that she had saved him from a heap of trouble.

'Hmph.'

He glanced over at her while they walked. She was dressed in the drab clothing of the working class. The simple type who go for function over appearance. Her hands were stained with grease. Black streaks that matched the ones on her pants.

'Probably considers that the equivalent to hand washing.'

Her blonde hair was dull and lifeless, ponytail swaying with each unrefined clunk, clunk, clunk of her workboots.

'Gods, even the way she walks is annoying...'

Most offensive of all, Hans realized, was the fact that, underneath the grime and grit...this woman could perhaps actually be pretty. Her baggy clothes couldn't hide the unmistakable curves of a sultry figure and her eyes were a magnificent blue that called to mind images of a frozen lake. But she seemed either unaware or uncaring of her aesthetic potential, and Hans couldn't bear to see beauty wasted.

The two continued to make the trek back from the docks to the center of town in an awkward silence.

'I suppose I should thank her...'

Hans opened his mouth to speak, but his eyes caught sight of something approaching them. Two figures, tall and clad in dark cloaks came into view. A moment later and the mysterious couple were blocking their path.

Eyes narrowed, Hans regarded them cautiously. In the darkness of the approaching night, he could still see the deep crimson color of the expensive fabric. Embroidered with gold trim, they stood out from the drab backdrop that was Kirlsa. Obviously, they didn't belong. But just what did they want? Hans' question was answered all too soon...

One of the hooded figures spoke to them. The voice was deep, clearly belonging to a male.

"Outsiders. We have urgent business with you. We understand your confusion but would appreciate your cooperation in this matter."

The second figure drew their sleeve up to reveal a dagger clutched in their hand.

"Should you resist...we will use force. Regrettably, of course..."

What the hell was going on in this town!? Hans stepped back in disbelief. He could handle the lowlifes. Wrinkle his nose at the simple farmhands and sloppy drunks. But now creepy, hooded...cultists? What else could Kirlsa possibly throw at him?

Hans looked over to the woman beside him. They seemed to be talking to her too. They called them 'outsiders'. So she wasn't from Kirlsa either? He should have known better. Her clothes were covered in oil and she looked like an iron worker. People like that only lived and worked in the cities. What had she done to attract their attention like this?

The cloaked figures stepped toward them. Hans had no idea what these two wanted with them, but he certainly knew that he would have no part of it. Taking another step back, he kept his face calm. Softly, he spoke from the corner of his mouth, his voice low...

"What's the plan?"

Like her or not, it appeared fate had decided that Hans and this woman were bound by some unknown tie. Carefully, his eyes scanned the area for any potential escape routes. If she proved to be as big a dolt as she looked, he had no problems cutting her loose.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hans Amsel Character Portrait: Kai Seward Character Portrait: Mackenzie Truko
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"We don' take kindly ta stuck up lil' lasses like you causin' trouble in our bar!"

...Or, at least, it was quiet. Couldn't he have some peace for just one night?! He huffed and stood up, ready to berate the drunkards, when he saw another boy approaching the two drunk men and the woman they were harassing.

Wait...what?

As he heard the boy's voice, he realized the boy wasn't a boy at all, but a rather a grease-and-dirt-covered woman who looked as if she could easily take out any man who underestimated her. As she got closer, her figure came into view, and Kai could see she was very much a woman. She appeared to be coming to the other girl's rescue...or...was that girl actually a boy? The more Kai looked, the harder it was to tell the gender of the blonde individual. Was it a girl coming to rescue a boy then? These two certainly shattered traditional gender roles.

Regardless, it seemed that the drunkards wouldn't be an issue, and the boy/girl wouldn't be harassed any longer. Kai huffed, figuring he should probably get looking for a place to stay instead of people-watching. Gathering up his things, he began heading in the direction the definitely-a-woman came from. He didn't get far, however, before the unusual couple distracted him once more. Now instead of dealing with rowdy drunks, they were stopped by two hooded figures. Kai couldn't hear everything they were saying, but he did pick up on the word 'outsiders'.

Those two weren't from here, then? Neither was Kai... Did this town have something against outsiders? Is that why it was so desolate? It would definitely explain how run-down and empty it seemed. Regardless, Kirlsa suddenly didn't seem like such a quiet place to be anymore. As he watched the hooded men, a glint of metal caught his eye. They were armed. Kai didn't know who any of those people were, however, and for once he wasn't about to jump into fight. Something was wrong. These weren't ordinary thugs. He stepped back slightly as he continued to watch from a distance, ready to spring into action if need-be, though he felt he was far enough away that nobody would notice him while he tried to figure out what was going on...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hans Amsel Character Portrait: Kai Seward Character Portrait: Mackenzie Truko
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When the damsel had woven her way through the rowdies to where Mack stood, she gave a nod and a warning look to the drunks to indicate their funny business was done for the night. Turning to head back to the tavern with the woman, she tried to figure out what was strange about her. She didn’t pay much mind to fancy lasses though and simply attributed it to difference in breeding. At this point it didn’t matter. She had just opened her mouth to ask if Hans was alright when the cloaked figures approached.

Putting a hand to her bag to steady it where it hung from her shoulder, she stopped to watch their approach with caution. Drunks were one thing, especially in a town like this, but… “What in the name of Sonheit’s red ass is this balderdash?” she muttered aloud as the hooded figures gave their demands. The flash of a dagger prompted Mack’s hand against her bag to grip onto a handle sticking out of one of the side pockets. She wasn’t out to start a fight, but she’d be ready if it came to that.

When Hans turned to her for a plan, she considered the odds. It was two for two, but she had little way of knowing what sort of kick there was under the flounce and lace beside her. Keeping a hand on her wrench, she responded loud and clear for the cloaked figures to hear. “Well now, let’s just let the lads explain themselves first. That’s no way to go about starting a business arrangement, though.”

“You are to accompany us at once to the windmill,” came the clarified demand. “The matter at hand will be revealed to you there.” As two squared off against two, Mack looked to her companion with a shrug. She was curious to know what lie at the meeting at the windmill but it didn’t sit right to be taken by armed guards. It didn’t bode well for what might be waiting. In either case, the lady next to her would know her own abilities and if she was up for the scrap, Mack was more than ready to back her up. She hoped maybe she’d know more about these cloak and dagger dealings to know whether to trust their escorts.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hans Amsel Character Portrait: Caedes Risus Character Portrait: Mackenzie Truko Character Portrait: Celsia Vorrine Character Portrait: Maren LeChance
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Hans Amsel


The rusty blades of the windmill creaked in the wind. It reminded Hans of the moans of an elderly woman. A banshee whose cries echoed throughout the night in this godsforsaken hovel.

The greaseball woman had apparently felt it perfectly acceptable to have an evening stroll with the knife-wielding strangers. Where there was a tiny, glimmering shred of doubt in his mind just moments before, Hans now concluded with regrettable certainty that this woman was an idiot. Plain and simple. But he'd kept his mouth shut and played it cool. For now, at least. It would probably be best for him to first find out why he and the woman were wanted by these creeps in the first place.

The mysterious couple had led them to the windmill in the center of town. Now they stood before the rickety wooden door that led inside.

'No. No way. Bad. Not a chance in hell am I going in there.'

Hans opened his mouth to protest, but stifled himself immediately once he felt the unmistakable tip of a dagger placed at his back. His skin crawled with dread as a wave of fear swept over his body.

"Inside, if you please." The stranger's voice was just as sickeningly cordial as before. As if he were being invited to a dinner party with some new acquaintances.

Swallowing hard, Hans decided now was not the time to lose his cool. Mustering the courage to move, he began to walk inside the windmill. It was then that his eyes caught sight of something. Movement. From the corner of his field of vision. He turned to see two figures, a tall male and short female. They were walking toward the windmill where he and the greaseball stood. Without thinking, Hans called out to them...

"Hey! Over here! Hey!!"

...before he felt a large hand at his back, pushing him inside. Hans stumbled through the threshold and heard the despairing slam of the door shutting behind him.

One of the hooded strangers moved past him and kicked aside a small throw rug that was placed on the floor, revealing a trapdoor underneath. He pulled it up and a blast of cold air was released, blowing across Hans' face.

Knife at his back once more, he was ushered down into the basement where he found a few more people, all clad in the same crimson robe. Except for one individual...

A young man with red hair was on the ground in the corner of the room. His hands were bound behind his back and he looked just as dazed and bewildered as Hans himself did...

'That man...do I...know him?'

The thought only crossed his mind for a moment before it returned to the grim situation at hand. Here, underground, in a backwater town miles from any place he ever called home... Hans mind raced with questions...and the unmistakable feeling of dread because he knew, deep down, that he would soon have the answers.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hans Amsel Character Portrait: Kai Seward Character Portrait: Caedes Risus Character Portrait: Mackenzie Truko Character Portrait: Celsia Vorrine Character Portrait: Maren LeChance
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This place was so weird.

First the place was dead quiet and boring, then two individuals who shattered all gender stereotypes had to fight off a couple drunks, then these robed cultists came out of nowhere and threatened said ambiguous individuals who just sort of went with it without putting up a fight. What was so special about that rickety windmill after all? Kai didn't know what to expect from this village anymore. Maybe this was why nobody ever talked about it.

Whatever. It'd been a long day, and Kai just wanted to rest. As he turned to make his way toward the Inn, a robed figure standing before him made him jump.

Instinctively, his hand reached for the hilt of his sword. Where the hell did this guy come from?! Kai hadn't noticed somebody approach him at all. Surely he hadn't been so distracted by the scene before him to let down his guard enough to be snuck up on.

"I wouldn't do that if I were you." The man said, low and menacing, though not enough to intimidate Kai.

"What the hell do you want?"

"You are to accompany me to the windmill. You can walk along with me, or I can take you by force. Resistance is futile."

Kai almost laughed. Who did this guy think he was? The main antagonist of a bad story? Like hell he was going along with this weirdo. "Look, I don't know who you are, or why that stupid windmill is so important, but the only place I'm going is to bed. I didn't come here to start trouble, so just leave me alone."

"So be it."

In an instant, the man was behind Kai, ready to bring a dagger to his neck. Kai barely had time to react, ducking just in time to avoid contact with the blade, sweeping his leg underneath his assailant and delivering a swift punch to his jaw as he fell. It was enough to bring him down. Unfortunately, the man fell by the feet of two others. Just where were all these people coming from?!

Kai drew his sword just as the shorter of the two robed individuals did the same, blades clashing. While sword-fighting had been a past-time of Kai's, he had never been formally trained, and facing against somebody who had could prove to be problematic. Luckily, he had been in enough fistfights to make up for his lack of skill in armed combat. As the taller person moved to get behind him, Kai pushed against the one in front, breaking the hold and causing the person to stumble back slightly. He was physically stronger- good. He spun around, bashing the hilt of his weapon into the shoulder of the one behind him, knocking them off balance. He quickly repositioned himself so that he was facing both opponents. Taking advantage of his strength over the shorter attacker, he went on the offensive, knocking away his opponent's blows easily and causing their sword to fly from their hands. Kai smirked and aimed a punch. Before it connected, the cloaked individual ducked out of the way and out of reach. Before Kai could attack again, they rushed forward, kicking him in the stomach with enough force to send him slamming into the ground gasping for breath. What these guys lacked in physical strength they made up for in speed.

Next thing Kai knew, his own sword was pointed at his neck.

'Shit'

"Shall we try this again?" A feminine voice came from underneath the hood of the shorter individual. Did he just get bested by a girl?!

Without waiting for a response, he was roughly brought to his feet by both people, hands quickly tied behind his back tight enough that he suspected he might lose circulation. As he tried to struggle, the first person he had fought had regained his composure and returned the blow he had previously received. The unmistakable taste of blood filled his tongue as his lip split, and, while not an unfamiliar taste by any means, Kai knew he was defeated.

"You guys think you're so tough." The girl said, swinging Kai's sword. "That's what happens when you overestimate your abilities."

"Silence." The tallest of the three said, ending any and all conversation.

It wasn't long before they had reached the windmill, though it felt far too long to Kai. There were two other people in sight- a fragile-looking girl and a man who looked like he could give anybody else Kai had ever fought a run for their money- including the local cult. He glanced at them as he was shoved into the building- they didn't appear to be being...escorted...like he was. In fact they looked as if they were waltzing up as if this whole thing was normal. As he descended into what he could only describe as a scene from the aforementioned bad story, three other non-robed people came into sight: a redhead bound as he was, and the pair from earlier.

"What the hell is going on here?"

The setting changes from Kirlsa to Ter'Ciel

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hans Amsel Character Portrait: Kai Seward Character Portrait: Mackenzie Truko Character Portrait: Maren LeChance
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Mack had been ready for things to come to blows, but for the time being things had calmed. It was probably for the best considering the seemingly delicate nature of the lady beside. She stayed close to Hans as they walked, giving the men with blades a hard look when they edged too close. Every time a blade-tip pressed close to either her or her companion, the iron-filled duffel would swing behind just enough to drive them back a bit. The show of force was understood, but she made it clear she wasn't going to be menaced by it.

She had done work for the city planner and other fine upstanding organizations in the past, but that was not the extent of her experience. Seldom was there a large industrial city with no seedy underbelly. The bigger and more dangerous they were, the more they had to spend and without the bureaucratic red tape, criminal organizations were often at the forefront of technology. This wasn't the first meeting she'd attended at the tip of a blade, and they had often turned out in her favor.

Still, she would not be intimidated by matching uniforms and pocket knives. She walked with the same confident swagger she always did, whistling off key as her bag swung behind, forcing their escorts to either dance back and forth to avoid it or keep a respectable distance. When one reached to try to grab hold of the bag, she turned, heavy metal wrapped in canvas striking the extended fingers hard. "Hands off," she warned before continuing her walk, the man clutching his blade with one hand as he nursed the broken fingers of the other.

The windmill itself was far from inviting, but that was no surprise either. When they were invited in, Mack stepped through the door, turning just in time to see Hans panic and call for help. She moved to catch the distraught young woman as the door slammed behind, helping her steady herself with a reassuring grip at her arm. Whatever these pretentious toughs were trying to sell, she wouldn't let them rough up an innocent girl.

Following the cloaked man's lead down to the basement, Mackenzie looked around at the scene. Candles, more hooded guards, and a man bound on the floor between them, none of which were reassuring. She moved a hand to grip at a wrench, sliding it loose of the pocket this time, calm but ready to swing. She positioned herself protectively beside Hans - it wasn't yet clear whether the girl was in a heap of trouble or if she had been dragged along from her proximity to Mack - but in either case, she wasn't about to let somebody she had only just rescued fall victim to more violence.

"Alright. We're here now. Who's in charge?"

She glanced around as another was added to their number, this time a dark haired man with blue eyes. Escorted by guards and demanding to know what was going on, this man was obviously not the answer to her question. This was getting to be concerning. Still, the more captives they brought down, the more allies there would be if it came to a fight, and this guy looked like he might actually stand a chance. If she could get something sharp to the man on the ground, that would be three fighters plus one delicate princess. Not bad odds by her count.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hans Amsel Character Portrait: Kai Seward Character Portrait: Caedes Risus Character Portrait: Devlin Íobairt Character Portrait: Mackenzie Truko Character Portrait: Laelynn Wyght Character Portrait: Celsia Vorrine
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Cae was casually taking his time, hands still resting behind his head with his arms up, watching the groups of people from a distance as he leisurely strolled towards the windmill. 'Hey! Over here! Hey!!' one of the two women called out to them before being shoved inside. "Looks like a party, huh?" He spoke, not quickening his pace at all, clearly in no immediate rush.

Cel gave her partner an incredulous look, "Did you see the cloaked men with them? I think they could be in a situation like we were a moment ago.." She gave the windmill another cursory glance. "Didn't they want to bring us to the windmill, too?"

"They sure did." Cae nodded as he watched a man with blue hair be escorted into it as well only a few moments later. "Well... there is clearly some hidden room in there... unless they expected all of us to be buddy buddy and stand on top of each other." He sighed slightly. The pair continued to approach the windmill, Cae doing his best to inspect it as they grew closer, not noticing anything particularly special about the top of it- no lights, no sounds- so clearly they weren't being taken up, so the only other option was down. He started to think over his options.

Well, the two of them were outnumbered. Even if the three other captives were proficient at fighting, there were at least two guards per captive, and who knows how many more were stationed inside. But the only way to find out was to get in and look around. He stopped in his tracks for a moment. "What do you want to do?" His head turned towards his partner, raising a brow, wondering what the girl might be thinking.

She chewed on her lower lip, thinking for a minute. Barely out into the world and already caught up in a strange situation, she wasn't sure if she wanted to get caught up into more trouble. Still though, it was obvious the people pushed into the windmill weren't being led by their own volition, and if one of those cloaked men could attack her, she was sure they could do the same to those people. "I think we should check it out." She waved her hand a bit. "Well, I mean, if you think it's safe. I don't think the people in there will be much for conversation..."

"Really? I think that's their main topic, actually." He said rather bluntly as he started back up again. "Sure, they were threatening you, and wouldn't hesitate to harm you. But that man you cut had plenty of chances to kill you had he wanted.. so they are trying to gather us for a reason, and until then, I think they won't do anymo-" Cae cut himself off as he turned his head at the approaching pair of footsteps jogging to them. "Well, these two clearly aren't of the same group..." He said aloud as they approached and the boy gave his frantic request.

Cel narrowed her eyes at Cae. "They wouldn't have killed me, I had them handled just fine...." Her voice trailed off as the two strangers approached them. They both looked rather reserved, and it was obvious they were on edge about something. As she eyed them closer, she realized she had seen them somewhere before, as well. Putting a shaky hand on the side of her dizzy head, she listened to the boy speak. Are they caught up in this as well? She wondered.

The two were clearly worried about something going on, and it seemed far too coincidental that these men were gathering up people to the windmill. Cae looked down at the boy with a reassuring smile. Taking note of his appearance and the way he carried himself. A timid boy who was pushed to do something he didn't want to, ask help, from a stranger no less. The tattoo he had under his eye was a bit of a surprise though. But what Cae noticed the most was a flicker of determination behind his eyes, that shone through his stuttering. And then there was the girl. Not too much shorter than the boy, dark clothing, and looking around a bit to avoid eye contact. Not too unlike the boy before him, but seemingly more bothered by the asking for help.
His hands dropped down, one of them swiftly fishing out the old bronze coin, flipping it into the air and catching it, putting it onto his hand. "Call it, boy. If you're right, I'll help ya out." Cae had a feeling, a nagging notion, that no matter what the boy called, Cae would be helping him. Somehow he was sure all this was tied together somehow, and he couldn't help but feel the hunger for a new hunt grow inside him.

Devlin looked between the two confused, and nervously, eyeing the coin for a moment before stammering out a response before the coin his his hand. "T... Tails!"

"Well, looks like you win." Cae spoke as he removed his hand, not even looking at the coin, feeling that he had already won. "Here's the deal. This lovely lady and I have a date in that windmill with a bunch of assholes." As he spoke, he was putting the coin away, confirming that the boy before him had indeed won, and pointing to the foreboding windmill. "Now... it's just a hunch, but it seems like you might know something about these weird cultist guys that are after us. I understand if you can't tell us now.. but you are welcome to use my boat for shelter until we return, it's the small one with a single cabin, probably the only one in the port right now." Without waiting to see what the others were doing, he started walking, waving a hand over his head to the pair. "Name's Cae. You can thank me later. Or, you could come with us for the hunt." He flashed his smile over his shoulder.

Looking between the two and her friend, Cel watched Cae as he casually strolled away. "Sorry, um," she pointed a thumb at Cae, then gave a quick half-bow to the two strangers. "I'm Celsia Vorrine." She mumbled, then quickly ran to catch up to Caedes.

The timid pair looked to each other, shocked by the man who offered them sanctuary over a coin flip. "T-thank you..But... we will.. we will go to your boat.." Devlin stammered out, accepting the kindness from the two strangers. At the blonde woman's bow, he gave his own, taking notice of her more polite nature. The pair headed off to the port in search of the man's boat.

"Hope you are ready Cel, get your knife drawn and your reflexes sharp. We are walking into their territory." Unlike what Cae had told Cel to do, his hands were finding their way back behind his head, neither taking the appearance of one with sharp reflexes, or drawing his weapon. As the two approached the door, Cae moved his hand to knock on it, shrugged, then casually kicked the door in.

"Helllooooo~" He called out. listening for any sort of motion about. It was exactly a large room, and the stairs leading up clearly hadn't been used in some time. Looks like my hunch was right He looked around and sighed, kicking the rug to the side. "How cliche can you be..? Well. Get ready Cel, time to see why we were invited here." He pulled open the trap door and descended into the darkness, faint light could be seen below them, along with a small murmur of voices, too far off and distorted by the echos to make out. The pair made their way down the stairs, awaiting their encounter with the group.

The setting changes from Ter'Ciel to Kirlsa

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hans Amsel Character Portrait: Kai Seward Character Portrait: Caedes Risus Character Portrait: Mackenzie Truko Character Portrait: Celsia Vorrine Character Portrait: Maren LeChance
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From the dark, unseen corner of the room, he watched them. One by one, brought into the basement, their bewildered visages illuminated by candlelight. His skin crawled with anticipation.

One of the hooded figures approached him. Kneeling to his left. He leaned in, giving them his ear.

"Sir, we located two more subjects but were...unable to detain them. My apologies."

Lips curled into a smile. With regal confidence he spoke...

"It matters not. They will soon arrive of their own volition."



Maren LeChance


Several others had joined him in the abyss. The first was a female. To say she was stunning seemed insulting. Long hair of gold fell to her trim waistline and, although she was quite flat chested, her long legs more than made up for it. Even now, in the face of uncertain doom, Maren couldn't help his eyes from resting on her.

Several moments had passed before he even realized that another individual had been brought in with the girl. Another female...although this one was anything but eye candy. The way she carried herself reminded Maren of the guys he used to go bar hopping with. Her expression was more annoyed than frightened over their shared situation, as if being detained by creepy hooded freaks had interrupted her drinking time.

'Probably has, hehe...'

Maren suprised himself at his ability to find humor even under these bleak circumstances. Perhaps it was due to him no longer being in here alone. In fact, the sight of the other two actually filled him with a renewed sense of confidence. Slowly, he felt the warm, familiar feeling of optimism return. This was only bolstered further when the next victim was brought in moments later.

A guy this time. He appeared to be about Maren's own age. If looks could kill, everyone in the room would have keeled over when he showed up. His face scowled with disgust and it seemed as if he would lash out at any moment. Loose cannon was good, however. When it came to getting out of here -

'Which we totally will.'

- a little bit of fire and passion could go a long way. Maren hid his smile as best he could, but the feeling in the room was shifting. It was beginning to feel more and more...dare he say it? Exciting.

It was then that two more people made their way into the chamber. Unlike the rest, these two weren't escorted by someone wearing a gaudy hood. The man was tall. In the dim light, Maren could make out the many scars than ran across his face. It was clear that this was someone who -

'Heyyy now...'

The girl behind him was cute. Petite and soft, her fair skin almost radiating in the candlelight like some kind of shimmering beacon. If only he wasn't bound on the floor like a loser, he could be acting all suave and cool right now. Probably reassure her that everything would be okay and that he'd get her out of here.

As soon as they entered, the couple was swarmed by several of the hooded people jumping to action. They surrounded the two, blades drawn and for a minute, Maren felt his stomach lurch with dread.

'They can't take on this many...can they?'

He didn't have to wait a second longer to find out. As the first figure moved in, the silver haired man moved to the side, tripping them over his foot. As the figure went down, the others jumped to action.

Silver Hair revealed a blade of his own as he repelled the first knife to come at him. In one fluid motion, he was twisting the attacker's arm behind them, using their body as a human shield. The lone assailant to come up from behind him had his knuckles swiftly sliced open by the girl. Cursing, he dropped his weapon and withdrew his bleeding hand. And then...silence. The couple stared down the group, waiting for the next move. The only sound was the heavy breathing of the poor bastard in the grip of Silver Hair, knife at his heaving throat.

'...oh.'

"That will be enough!" A voice echoed from the back of the room. All heads turned to watch a single man step forward from the darkness.

He was large. Not as tall as Silver Hair, but with heavy features. He walked with calm purpose, chest puffed out with an air of regal confidence. And when he spoke, it was with a foreboding etiquette that suggested nobility. The hooded figures stood firm, blades still at the ready, but it was clear that this man was the one who commanded them.

"Forgive my rather...crude methods of escort. But I hope you all will understand, given the circumstances..."



Hans Amsel



Hans watched in silence as the man in charge addressed them all. His attire was different from the rest, though just as lavish. Perhaps more, even. His robes were of a thick, black brocade with gold embellishments. Detail work traced the edges of his turned up hood and cascaded down the full length of the garment. It was beautiful. Even now, Hans found himself admiring the gentleman's taste, however unsavory his personality may be.

"It appears you've left me in a bit of a predicament." He spoke to the couple who had just fended off his lackeys.

"For you see...I had hoped that this evening would proceed gracefully for all parties. Alas...I admit, I did not account for your...tenacity. Nor did I foresee the tragic inability of my subordinates."

The last comment was laced with bitter venom, and a collective shudder could be felt among the hooded group.

The leader was silent for a moment. Perhaps weighing his next move carefully. No one spoke before him.

"I suspect none of you have yet realized the reason you've been brought here. Nor do you yet comprehend your role in all this..."

He strolled about the room casually, head upturned as if speaking to an unseen presence.

"Enyo...Venor...Nost...Sonheit...and who knows how many else? They walk among us today! Free! Unaware of themselves!"

'Sonheit...'

The name struck a chord within Hans. He'd heard it before, of course. It was supposed to be the name of an ancient, mythological deity. He really didn't know much more than that, aside from some people's tendency to use the name in vain, cursing their misfortune or expressing disbelief. Why did the man bring this up? Just what was he getting at with this tired speech?





"I lament I was not able to detain all of you. Indeed, I sorely underestimated your capabilities." He nodded to the silver haired man still holding his hostage.

"I admit, I am at somewhat of a disadvantage here. And thus, I propose to you the following... The individuals you see here before you are a danger to this world. Such danger must be avoided by any means necessary."

He waved his hand and gestured to Hans and the others who were on the other side of the room. Without a word, the remaining cloaked figures withdrew from the couple and instead focused their weapons on the other four.

"For the sake of Ter'Ciel, these four will die here tonight. But for you two...I propose the following; you share a destiny with these other souls. You possess a power too great for this world to handle. Surely, you must be aware of this...even somewhat. Things you do that others cannot? Feelings and instincts that overpower you? The constant, nagging feeling that you a different from ordinary people?"

He extended a hand to the silver haired man.

"Join me. Follow me and I will reveal exactly what your true destiny is. I can promise you power beyond anything you have ever imagined before."

From below the hood, a snakelike grin crept across his darkened face. He let his words sink in for a moment. The plans had to be changed somewhat, but things were still under control. The next few moments would determine exactly how this situation would play out. The pieces were in place. The game had begun. And here, under the forgotten windmill of Kirlsa, Lord Grayson hoped to make a swift and decisive checkmate.

Drawing one of the lackeys to his side, he spoke.

"The time has come. Go and fetch Devlin."

The setting changes from Kirlsa to Ter'Ciel

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hans Amsel Character Portrait: Kai Seward Character Portrait: Caedes Risus Character Portrait: Mackenzie Truko Character Portrait: Celsia Vorrine Character Portrait: Maren LeChance
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#, as written by Celsium
-Celsia Vorrine-


The room was dark, save for the dim light that emanated from the small candles nearby. The groan and grind of the windmill overhead churned away, muffled.

Where am I?

Celsia opened her eyes. The walls were still dirt. The candles still flickered. The cloaked crimson figures she had seen before now stood before her, threatening them all. All of their faces were ones she recognized, and yet she knew none of them.

The leader of the group spoke. He was clearly a nobleman of some type- his clothes were spotless and he carried himself with a sort of pompous arrogance. So why was he bothering with the people in this room?

"For the sake of Ter'Ciel, these four will die here tonight."

She felt her heart beat harder. He wants to kill them? Her eyes scanned over them again. Other than the fair maiden that wore beautiful lace and had golden hair, the others all looked like relatively normal people. The other woman looked like she made a living by working with her hands, and vaguely reminded Celsia of her friend, Gar. There were two other young men sitting near them, one with a sort of bemused look on his face, and the other clearly irritated. What threat could they be?

"But for you two...I propose the following; you share a destiny with these other souls. You possess a power too great for this world to handle. Surely, you must be aware of this...even somewhat. Things you do that others cannot? Feelings and instincts that overpower you? The constant, nagging feeling that you a different from ordinary people?"

Her eyes shot back up to the man. He was right. She felt that way quite often- when she had her strange dreams, or saw things she felt she shouldn't see. Did he know something about her she did not?

She watched as the man extended his hand out towards Caedes, with a sickening grin creeping onto his hooded face. It made her feel uncomfortable, though it was not the first time she had seen it. With a sideways glance towards Cae, she wished desperately that she could speak to him. But the room was quiet as the grave, and she knew any words she spoke would be heard by the others. I need you to trust me on this one. She thought, hoping maybe he could somehow hear it.

Though he reached to stop her, Celsia brushed past Caedes and stepped towards the man. "I don't want to fight anymore." Her quiet voice seemed very loud, cutting through the silence. "You say that you can tell me what my destiny is, and why I'm this way..." She gave a defeated sigh. "If I go with you, you swear you'll offer mercy to me?" The words felt selfish as they left her mouth, but it was the best option she could think of.

The man gave her a dark smile, and leaned a little closer, clearly pleased with himself. "Your wisdom belies your age," He gave Caedes an irritated look. "It appears the wisdom of the ancients is not completely lost..." Cae narrowed his eyes at the man and her, perplexed at what she could be doing. Still though, he remained silent, watching the events play out.

She stepped closer to the man still, "I want to be strong," She mumbled, "I want.. that power you spoke of." The man reached out his hand to her once more. "And I can give it to you," he promised. She took his hand in her own and gave him a sheepish smile.

"But.." Her smile faded, "Someone as weak as you couldn't offer me anything like that." In one fluid motion Celsia summoned her strength and held his wrist fast, pulling out her blade and stabbing it into his palm. With a roar of anger the man struck her, knocking her dagger to the ground. He roughly pulled her to him, retrieving a blade from his long sleeve.
"Insolent whelp!" Grayson pushed the tip of the dagger into Celsia's neck gently. A small droplet of blood began to form at the indent. Lord Grayson regained his composure, turning back toward Cae. "If you wish to watch this foolish wretch die before you, by all means, advance." He paused a moment, sizing the man up. Then, he called to his underlings. "Bind him."

Caedes gave Celsia an incredulous look. "I told you to be prepared, not fall into his trap... "He shook his head and let out a gruff sigh as the lackeys began to bind his hands behind his back. I can't believe she thought that would work.

Shit. Thought Celsia, I really thought that would work.

The setting changes from Ter'Ciel to Kirlsa

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hans Amsel Character Portrait: Kai Seward Character Portrait: Caedes Risus Character Portrait: Devlin Íobairt Character Portrait: Mackenzie Truko Character Portrait: Laelynn Wyght Character Portrait: Celsia Vorrine Character Portrait: Maren LeChance
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The man Devlin had asked for help wasn't the type of person Laelynn would normally have approached. He was tall, intimidating, and looked as if he'd seen his share of bloodshed. This wasn't quite a normal circumstance, however, and the girl beside him appeared every bit his opposite. They were a strange pair to see traveling around together, but now wasn't the time to ask such questions. The real question was why was this man leaving his decision up to a coin flip? It seemed quite odd to leave such a decision up to something so very insignificant, and she didn't like the idea of chance deciding whether or not such a rough character would help them. Luck didn't seem to completely abandon them, however, as the coin had landed the way Devlin had called it, and the man agreed to help them. He had offered them his boat- a gracious offer- and Devlin accepted.

As Cae and Celsia (so they had introduced themselves as) headed toward the windmill, Laelynn and Devlin made their way to the boat. What was happening at the windmill? And who were the "weird cultist guys" Cae had been talking about? None of it made much sense, and it all felt very wrong. As Devlin began to climb into the boat, Laelynn paused and glanced back at the creaky windmill.

"What's wrong?" Devlin asked, feeling her hand pull away from his. "We should hurry."

"I don't know. Just...this whole thing. It doesn't feel right. I don't know what it is, but something's just wrong." It was almost as if the windmill itself was calling to her. No, not the windmill, something inside of it. Some nagging feeling that she couldn't place. Actually, it was quite similar to the way she felt about coming to Kirlsa. Something pulling her in, something she couldn't identify but couldn't ignore.

Laelynn turned to Devlin, unsure of what to do. He, too, seemed to pause at her words. He must have felt it as well. But what could they do? Devlin didn't exactly seem to be the fighting type, and Laelynn had no self-defense skills either. Well....except for...

"What do we do?" Devlin asked, stopping Laelynn's thoughts before they went down the wrong path.

Before Laelynn could answer, a voice shouted out from behind them.

"There he is!"

The two jumped. As Laelynn whirled around, several robed men ran at them, grabbing her as she tried to scramble into the boat. She glanced over at Devlin as he was grabbed as well, eyes filled with terror.

"Y-y-you-! He sputtered out, completely frozen in their grasps.

One of the men grinned one of the most sinister smiles Laelynn had never hoped to see. "You are needed, Devlin."

The two were dragged away from the boat, toward the source of all this confusion. Laelynn tried to pull free, but their grips were far too tight. They entered the windmill and were directed down a staircase into what could only be described as a dungeon. Several other individuals were already there, including the pair they had asked for help. A few of the people there were bound, including Cae. Celsia had a dagger to her neck. What was happening? Where were they? Why was this happening?! Laelynn was beginning to find it hard to breathe as she took in the situation she had found herself in. The voice that squeaked out of Devlin sounded like a mouse trapped in the paws of a lion,

"L-L-L-Lord G-Grayson?!"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hans Amsel Character Portrait: Kai Seward Character Portrait: Caedes Risus Character Portrait: Devlin Íobairt Character Portrait: Mackenzie Truko Character Portrait: Laelynn Wyght Character Portrait: Celsia Vorrine Character Portrait: Maren LeChance
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The dumbfounded child was as clueless as ever. Even now, Grayson felt nothing but contempt as he gazed upon Devlin's pathetic form. The boy had been nothing more than a tool. He'd gone through so much trouble to confirm the boy's existence, his location, to secure him and keep him confined in the manor for all these years. Always scampering about underfoot, trying to remain unseen, without any sense of pride or self. It was revolting to think that his, of all the souls on Ter'Ciel, was the one they needed. The one they all needed.

A tool. A tool he'd kept safe and polished and prepped for this very moment. Such a long time...but now the anticipation was unbearable.

With a voice that was all too familiar to the boy, Grayson called him...

"Devlin! Come!"



Devlin Íobairt


He was frightened. Lord Grayson's dress...his mannerisms...his face... It no longer resembled the man he'd feared his entire life. Twisted in terrifying display, Devlin stared at his master, eyes wide in disbelief. The man he saw scared him. But more than that, beyond the black cloak, the dagger, the trembling girl in his clutches...was his voice. It was unmistakably the voice of his master. Had it been just as unrecognizable as the rest of him, Devlin could have steeled himself. But the tone, the pitch, the accent, everything about it was burned into his mind just as it had been since he'd taken his first innocent steps into House Grayson. The fear and dread that accompanied was nearly instinct to the boy. As it reached his ears, he felt the pain of every lashing, every beating, every night spent without supper, all in a flash. And then it was over. He was moving. Standing before his master, awaiting his command. Ever the dutiful servant...

"Devlin." Grayson spoke, "The time has come for the most important command you are ever to receive. This girl is a danger to us all. To all Ter'Ciel. She and the rest of these cretins have eluded justice for years, but we have finally prevailed!"

The girl in his grip struggled to free herself. Instantly, Devlin recognized her.

'The girl from outside...'

He had just seen her moments before, walking with the silver haired man in the corner. He'd offered them his boat. Somewhere he and the maid girl would be safe. How long ago that seemed now...How far away that lonely, unreachable boat felt to him now. Almost like a daydream he wasn't sure he'd had.

When Lord Grayson spoke to him again this time, his voice was unrecognizable.

"Devlin...You must help me. Help us all. What I am saying will make no sense to you now, but you must trust in me. You are the only one who is capable of this!" Grayson sounded kind. He sounded...fatherly. Gentle yet firm. It was the way he'd speak to his sons during their fencing lessons or when they learned to ride horseback.

'Wh-what? Me...? What could I possibly do?'

The boy was speechless. His mind was racing to wrap itself around this entire situation because it was so far out of the norm from anything he'd ever known before. Ever since this trip started, his entire life had been turned upside down. Grayson had never been able to stand so much as the sight of him before. And then he goes and requests him as a personal servant for a trip to the middle of nowhere? And now here they were, underground in some scary looking dungeon with strangers who were tied up and...and...

Devlin felt out of breath. He needed to know what was going on here. Now.

One of the hooded people approached and grasped his hand. Devlin looked down as they placed a small, golden dagger in his grip. The hilt was warm and the blade felt surprisingly heavy despite its size. He glanced back up at his master quizzically.

"Devlin...you must steel yourself and end the life of this girl. Of all these prisoners!"

'What!?!?'

"Obey your master and kill her now!"

'No no no no no no...'

It was unreal. He was asking him to...to kill someone!?

'Why me!? Why do I have to be the one!? What have these people done? How are they dangerous?'

They didn't look dangerous at all. In fact, most looked to be about his own age. They were normal looking people. They weren't the ones wearing cloaks and holding knives!

'What is going on...?'

Grayson noted the boy's hesitation. He raised his voice, anger and impatience getting the better of him.

"Kill her!!"

Devlin's mouth opened in protest, but no sound left his lips. His entire body was trembling.

'I-I can't! I can't do that! I can't kill her! I can't kill anyone! I can't do it...I can't...I can't...!'

Suddenly, Devlin was being grabbed from behind. He watched in horror as a crimson clad arm reached over and grabbed the hand clutching the golden dagger. Squeezing their grip, they forced the boy's arm up. Blade poised above the girl, he was unable to move, the girl's eyes squinting shut in terror. Someone screamed. Or was it his own voice?

Devlin's vision whited out as the figure readied to bring the dagger down, his hand down and plunge it into the girl's chest.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kai Seward Character Portrait: Caedes Risus Character Portrait: Devlin Íobairt Character Portrait: Mackenzie Truko Character Portrait: Laelynn Wyght Character Portrait: Celsia Vorrine Character Portrait: Genevieve Oullet Character Portrait: Maren LeChance
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Things…spiraled out of control rather quickly. Guards scattered, people began to shuffle about the town, and men and women donning cloaks began to descend upon the small town of Kirlsa. It was difficult to describe the sight that Genevieve was viewing within the town. It became both more lively and more cryptically empty at the same time. It was clear activity was taking place, the townsfolk retreating to their homes, shops beginning to close up, but this overwhelming darkness began to sweep over the dusty roads, and Genevieve did not like it.

Augusto looked over to the young witch, beckoning to her. “Come with me my lady, I believe the gathering is nearly complete. You should witness the fruit of your labors.” Augusto spoke with an otherworldly arrogance that was not of his regular show of ignorance. She was slightly unnerved to follow him towards the windmill, but in the role she was playing, she had no choice.
“Of course my lord, I would be happy to accompany you. To where are we going?”

“To the windmill darling, we have a stronghold there and that is where we will complete our work.” She didn’t like the way her used to the word “we.” It didn’t feel like he was using the word to refer to the High Council of Airyglyph, but a more personal, intimate group of…”we.”

As she followed Augusto into the base of the windmill, to find the captives that he had taken, she realized just how much of her original plan was falling apart. In the dark hole that was the subterranean lair of Augusto and his group of followers, she saw all of the people that she had summoned with her spell months before. They varied from looks of panic, fear, determination, and indignation. She saw the young maid and Devlin, obviously failing to get out of the city.

As commotion and yelling between parties was commencing, Genevieve blocked it out and got to work. She removed her family’s grimoire from her bag and began to search through for the spell she needed. She didn’t want to see the death of these people, and she was going to have to work quickly to stop it. First, she needed to link together the group so that whatever happened to one, happened to all. Also, she needed to use Devlin’s power and her own to begin to the process of reawakening the gods. At least, she hoped that her hunches were correct and that her family’s grimoire was pointing her to the right conclusion about the young lives that were now so precariously hanging in the balance.

It was just as she saw Devlin about to plunge a dagger into the young girl’s chest that she found what she needed, “Motis!” With a blast of pure force the man let go of Devlin’s hand and flew against the nearby wall, slumping to the ground unconscious.

“What is the meaning of this Genevieve?!” Augusto spat at her.

“I’m sorry my lord, but I cannot let them die so soon. At Lydia’s request I need to complete a final spell to make sure they are the ones we seek…and that their powers are not yet awakened,” Genevieve lied. She wanted to try and give as much information to the group of young captives she could, so that maybe they would understand that she was on their side, at least for the moment.

“Lydia always did like to be thorough…fine, but make it quick,” Augusto said.

Genevieve worked at a frenzied speed. She set up candles throughout the room, drew blood once again from Devlin’s hand and her own, and took a strand of hair from each captive. Sitting in the middle of the room she muddled together all of the ingredients in her mortar and placed it in front of the candle.

In a low voice, she began chanting, “O ni om naha, ma pharenu , o ni om naha, ma pharenu…” She continued to chant, power welling up inside the room slowly, winds picking up around them, howling to life as she continued to chant, louder and louder over the screech of the winds in the cave, flames from the candles licking the walls, blood beginning to run down the nose of Genevieve, the spell taking a very heavy physical toll on her body. Chaos was completely erupting from within the small room, and her spell was taking effect. Genevieve was casting a spell that linked together the reincarnations of the former gods, Devlin, and herself. Genevieve acted as the conduit for power, Devlin as the key to which it traveled through, and the gods as the recipients of the power. But, she was missing one critical ingredient to the spell that even she did not know, and thus was casting magic that was rather unstable and taking a much harsher toll on her body than she would have imagined.

Waves of energy crashed over everyone in the room, and she could not hold on to the spell any longer, and with one final scream of her incantations, she collapsed unconscious, blood freely flowing from her nose, eyes, and mouth, and weakened beyond all recognition.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hans Amsel Character Portrait: Kai Seward Character Portrait: Caedes Risus Character Portrait: Devlin Íobairt Character Portrait: Mackenzie Truko Character Portrait: Laelynn Wyght Character Portrait: Celsia Vorrine Character Portrait: Genevieve Oullet Character Portrait: Maren LeChance
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"Kill her!"

Laelynn watched the scene play out before her in horror. It all felt so surreal, and yet, she knew it was very real. All around her were prisoners- herself included. They had been gathered up to this slaughterhouse for reasons she couldn't begin to figure out. Devlin was being forced to kill the girl they had just met, the girl who had tried to help them escape. As Laelynn saw the dagger rise up into the air, her entire body froze.

Glass Shattering.

Screams.

Blood.

The overhead lights glinting off of the knife as he turned to face her next.


The screams from the room mixed with the screams in her head as past and present melded together. Somebody yelled something. A body flew back, slamming into a wall. She knew this scenario all too well. It was just like that time.

What time?

That's why she had wanted to leave her city. So many lives lost, because of a single person, years ago. Was it years ago? What had caused it? Why hadn't she remembered until this point? Though, she hadn't ever truly forgotten. If she had, it wouldn't be coming back to her now. The memories that were buried were pushing their way up, forcing through the barriers that had kept them down since the incident- the barriers that had kept her safe.

An uncontrollable fear welled up inside of her. Death was hovering just outside the room, waiting to reap. How many would die was uncertain, but lives would certainly be lost tonight. Those who didn't kill would be killed.

A woman began to chant something. Laelynn's eyes were fixated on her. She recognized the woman's face, though could not place who it was. The chants got louder, but were gradually got drown out as the winds picked up and the world around Laelynn grew dark, something heavy pressing on her senses. Soon, the only thing she could see was the face of the woman, blood pouring from every crevice.

'Destroy.'

The ground around her feet began to split. A line shot out, running along the ground and up a wall. The sound of cracking rocks echoed through the room as an unseen force tore up the walls. Wood splintered as it continued to the floor above. Genevieve collapsed. Panicked voices began to rise up amongst the noise. (Was there any other noise?) An uncontrollable power surged through the room, threatening to engulf them all. Dust and debris fell from overhead.

The windmill was going to collapse.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hans Amsel Character Portrait: Kai Seward Character Portrait: Caedes Risus Character Portrait: Devlin Íobairt Character Portrait: Mackenzie Truko Character Portrait: Laelynn Wyght Character Portrait: Celsia Vorrine Character Portrait: Genevieve Oullet Character Portrait: Maren LeChance
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Iron, stone and building pressure, Mackenzie took in everything as it occurred. The prophecy of her death gave her expression a hardened look, but little else changed in her stance. The little slip of a girl showed spirit, but the timing was wrong. The witch’s distraction held more promise, drawing more gazes away from her and her companion as she began her ritual. She glanced at the others, counting captives and captors with disappointing results. She might be able to make it to the doorway, but hauling Little Miss Fancypants through was not going to be easy, let alone getting any of the other captives out. She knew she wasn’t responsible for any of them really, even the lady from the tavern, but she wasn’t the type to run from a fight when help was needed.

The energy filling the room did not go unnoticed either. Whatever the witch was doing, it seemed like this would be her chance. She gripped the handle of her wrench more firmly, the familiar sensation of metal against skin strangely more intense, as if she could feel the entire length of the tool and all its parts. For a moment it seemed a shame to use such a solidly wrought tool as a weapon, yet she knew more deeply than ever the endurance forged within the iron.

Blood dripped from the witch’s face and she started to slip downward. Mackenzie surged, erupting from stillness just as the ground split. An arcing swing connected, reshaping the skull of the nearest hooded figure in a way that could not be recovered. The earth moved, a shudder racing through the foundations of the mill. Glass shattered, solid beams groaned under the strain. Gaining a firm grasp on Hans’ arm with her free hand, she swung again, letting momentum pull the girl to safety as the next guard crumpled.

When the timbers gave way, they appeared as a flash, visible yet not throughout the entire structure. Having already shifted her momentum, the strangeness of this did not stop the ironworker in her path. Another swing brought another strike, this one meeting the delicate steel of a dagger drawn in defense. The guards were rousing themselves, struck by the confusion but scrambling to defend. The dainty weapon and the fingers that grasped it gave way, only managing to redirect the blow to the man’s ribs and send him flying. Another flash from the structure, another groan of wood, this time alarming Mackenzie in a way she could not yet identify. Shoving Hans roughly away from her in the direction of escape, the two separated just as a pile of debris rained down onto the spot they had just stood. How she had recognized the instability would come down at that moment was unclear, but now was not the time to mull it over.

“GO!” she barked, a swift order of a woman accustomed to making herself heard, ordering Hans to seek safety as she went for the next nearest captive, pulling a short utility blade to cut the redhead loose – the more free hands the better. The mill was falling around them, but she knew there was a chance to help at least some of the others to safety.

The setting changes from Kirlsa to Ter'Ciel

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Hans Amsel Character Portrait: Kai Seward Character Portrait: Caedes Risus Character Portrait: Devlin Íobairt Character Portrait: Mackenzie Truko Character Portrait: Laelynn Wyght Character Portrait: Celsia Vorrine Character Portrait: Genevieve Oullet Character Portrait: Maren LeChance
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#, as written by Celsium
She squeezed her eyes shut as the boy before her raised his blade high- but no harm came to her. With a powerful shove by an unknown force, the cloaked assailant in front of her was slammed into the wall. She whipped her head towards a dark-haired woman and felt herself become faint upon seeing her face. Was it because she, too, was familiar? No, it was something more than that. Some type of power radiated about her. A witch?

Celsia complied and offered her hair to the mysterious dark lady. It wasn't like she could say no- after all, the woman had just prevented her untimely death. Watching in a trance, the woman began to chant incantations, stronger and louder with each word. The air in the room felt thick, and heavy, as if they were underwater. And yet the air began to swirl and rush by with great force.
It was hard to breathe. Like an intense and powerful heat wave, something in the air was overpowering. Celsia looked up to face her friend, but instead a raging storm at sea crashed at her feet.

What is happening?! She looked up into the clouds and the sky opened up like a canvas, hosting blurry visions and images. They flashed by her eyes one after another- some places she had never been to- some faces she had seen before. She looked back down. Perched atop scorched earth, a great chasm had torn through the earth and there was no sign of life anywhere. Where am I?!
The world around her began to spin uncontrollably, the wind blowing around like a raging tornado, the visions swirling before her. There was grass beneath her feet- snow- cobblestone-- she couldn't keep up. Trapped in a torrent reverie, she thought she could hear someone scream one last incantation.
The ground stopped shifting, the world stopped spinning. Celsia closed her eyes and fell away with her visions into the darkness.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hans Amsel Character Portrait: Kai Seward Character Portrait: Caedes Risus Character Portrait: Devlin Íobairt Character Portrait: Mackenzie Truko Character Portrait: Laelynn Wyght Character Portrait: Celsia Vorrine Character Portrait: Genevieve Oullet Character Portrait: Maren LeChance
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The mans eyes were frantic, looking for an opening, looking for anything that he could use to try and help Cel out of the dire situation. Only one thing came to mind, while everyone watched the boy with the blade, Cae's hand went to his sword. He inched slightly as the boy fought with himself, clearly not wanting to do stab Celsia, but from what Cae could tell, starting to lose himself to the will of Grayson. 'Sorry kid.. nothing personal.' He thought to himself as he readied himself to slash through the guard that was guiding Devlin's hand, and cut off Devlin's hand if needed. Right as he took his breath, a woman yelled out a foreign word, and there was a sudden blast of energy. With the confusion, Cae fixed himself, trying to not look too obvious, but he was just as curious as the rest of the group was. What had just happened.

A witch? Here? Just what he would have liked the least to be there, was someone using magic. While Cae had some run ins with wannabe mages or witches, he had never really experienced a spell up close like this, a shudder vibrated through his spine. He couldn't even see the spell, so how was he going to fight a witch and manage to get out. His mind was a race, his eyes scanning around constantly, but always finding a moment to look back and make sure Cel was alright.

As the witch spoke, Cae started to get a feeling from her. It was almost as if she was stalling.. And she surely was giving out a lot more information than anyone else had since entering here.. Was she trying to save them? 'Woah. Hey there.' He thought for a moment as the witch came and plucked one of his hairs. His eyes gave her a glance over, despite her attire, she had a figure, and he couldn't help take notice. Shaking his head clear for a moment, he noticed Cel had been released, so that the witch could retrieve a lock of hair from her as well. 'I hate magic...' He thought again before his eyes widened at what he was witnessing. He could feel a strange energy churning around him, the hair on his body standing on end as his instincts to run went crazy. The floor vibrated, the cave they were in shook, he could feel it all, he could sense the disaster incoming. This was no place to be with this much energy going rampant. He made a move to get to Cel as all eyes were on the witch. Except for the larger, more built woman that had come in ahead of him. He glanced over at the familiar sound of a head being caved in by a blunt tool. His grin that had been lost since Cel's capture had returned. 'Looks like the party is starting.'

As he took his steps towards Celsia and Grayson, Cae felt some weird pressure on his head, but he didnt think anything of it. All that was on his mind was grabbing Cel and getting out of this cave before it collapsed. All this energy was freaking him out for some reason, but he took deep breaths, remaining cool and collected. A guard that had turned from the magic faced him, looking up slightly, just above Cae's head, his brows furrowed in confusion, but Cae didn't question it. In a swift horizontal motion, Cae cut him open then moved to the next, each one, for some reason looking up, above his head. He didn't have time to look around to see what was going on. Everything was clear around him. He could hear every breath in the room, he could smell the scent of blood pouring from the victims of the wrench and his own blade, the scent of fear as the cultists were slowly realizing what was going on. His eyes were sharp. While the pirate had been known for his good vision before, this was to the next level. Every little detail could be seen. Every movement, he could see, process, and react to, it was like he was an animal going for the kill. Nothing was going to escape him. Unknown to him, he had infact grown a pair of black furred, canine like ears from the top of his head, and his eyes had shifted from their normal deep red, to a bright, vibrant yellow.

As he got closer, the cultists backed away, afraid of the demon walking before them. Despite Grayson's commands to attack, they started to mostly ignore the pirate with glowing yellow eyes, pushing each other back to get away. "Smart choice. Guess you recognize the Silver Fang finally. " The scarred face smirked as he made his way to Cel, who thankfully had stepped a few wobbly feet closer to the witch, and luckily away from Grayson. Before he could get to her, she started to collapse. "CEL!" He yelled, jumping to her while putting his sword away, catching her in his arms before she could hit the dirt. She was unconcious, the magic must have done something to her. Or maybe the shock of almost being a sacrifice... oh well, she was safe now. Shifting her onto his back, he hunched over a bit and wrapped her arms around him, both his hands supporting the small girls legs. He knew she was light, but for some reason, she felt lighter than normal, like he was stronger. Maybe it was all the adrenaline kicking in, but it felt like she was nothing.

Next were the two kids, Devlin and the black haired girl. From the sound of it, the larger woman was helping out one of the other prisoners, so they should be ok. And most of the cultists were trying to leave as well. "Hey, kid!" He looked down at the two, not sure what was going on with the black haired girl, but she looked like she was having a panic attack. "Dev. Snap out of it. Get her out of her. COME ON KID! Be a man and help me get these two out of here." They didn't have time to stand there trying to comfort everyone, and they were now becoming more separated from the other group of prisoners from collapsing ceilings and walls spliting open. His head turned back to Devlin. "If you don't hurry up, I'm leaving without you." He spoke rather harshly, but he needed the boy to snap out of it and move.

The setting changes from Ter'Ciel to Kirlsa

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hans Amsel Character Portrait: Kai Seward Character Portrait: Caedes Risus Character Portrait: Devlin Íobairt Character Portrait: Mackenzie Truko Character Portrait: Laelynn Wyght Character Portrait: Celsia Vorrine Character Portrait: Rais Crevan
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Hans Amsel


Hans had always loved the moonlight. The way it bathed everything it touched in a serene, pale glow. In the moonlight, dark shadows were cast upon one's face, creating a unique, beautiful contour that couldn't be seen in the bright light of day. Human passion had always seemed stronger after dark. Inspiration, love, lust...all things were more beautiful in the moonlight. How appropriate, then, that it was in the moonlight that the man had appeared.

Tall and lithe with tanned skin, he looked like a man who had seen much of the world. Hans' eyes traveled up and down the stranger, drinking in every last detail; His confident stance and charismatic gestures. The fine details of his clothing. And his eyes. Piercing blue and sincere, as if the man would be incapable of lying. Even the stranger's silver hair seemed to have a shimmering aura under the light of the moon, not like the dull, lifeless strands on that ragged pirate fellow.

And just like the other unfortunate souls he had regretfully come into contact with tonight, Hans sensed a peculiar familiarity with the man. He was handsome. And while Hans found himself unable to look away, he felt the hot spark of irritation flare up inside him.

'I hate you.'

"I saw what happened. I can get you guys out of here. I know you're probably wondering who the hell I am, but we don't have much time to sit around chatting. I don't think I have to tell you something weird is going on in this place. I can get you all out of here and to a place you can safely rest."

The man spoke hurriedly and Hans' eyes narrowed. He was right. Standing in a group here just outside the wreckage of was once the ugly windmill, they were easy prey for a concentrated force of those cultists. He looked around at who had made it outside...

The unsightly brigand with...wolf ears?

'Shame is face is so scarred.'

The foolish little girl he held in his arms.

'Beautiful, yes. But not too bright.'

The whiny servant child.

'I'm no babysitter.'

The quiet, dark haired girl.

'With a little more confidence, she could have potential.'

The brutish woman he'd started this hellish night with.

'I'll thank you later, my dowdy savior.'

And the angry looking young man with the dark hair.

'I've seen lovestruck women who were more in control of their emotions.'

...and decided that none of them were especially capable to take action. A look of disgust flashed across Hans' delicate features before he stepped toward the handsome stranger.

"I do believe I speak for everyone when I say that we are at an unfortunate loss of where to go next. We need to get out of here, and fast."

He nodded toward the man with the wolf ears.

"This man claims to have a boat docked nearby.

Hans folded his arms across his chest with slight impatience.

"Unless you have a better idea?"

The setting changes from Kirlsa to Ter'Ciel

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hans Amsel Character Portrait: Kai Seward Character Portrait: Caedes Risus Character Portrait: Mackenzie Truko Character Portrait: Celsia Vorrine Character Portrait: Rais Crevan
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#, as written by Celsium
The sudden entry of the blonde woman snapped Celsia back to reality. They were okay and mostly unharmed, but they could catch up on details later after they moved somewhere safer. Quickly eyeing over the lady, she couldn't help but notice the frilly clothes. Small bunches of lace lined the seams, and the material looked well-made and durable. The clothes of someone upper-class.

Or, well, someone pretending to be. Though it did not show on her face, Celsia knew the woman's mouth betrayed her. No high class woman would speak so bluntly to strangers. You should be seen, not heard. As her father used to say.
Regardless, she wasn't in a place to judge upbringing or lack thereof. All that was important right now was getting out of Kirlsa.

"My apologies," She cleared her throat upon seeing a slight look of irritation in Caedes' eyes. "I was distracting him from the engine room it seems." Shaking some of the dust off of her dress, Celsia stepped forward towards the woman and held out a hand. "My name is Celsia Vorrine. It seems we'll be shipmates for a little longer yet."
The woman looked at Celsia's dirtied hands with a scrunch of her nose. Without skipping a beat, Celsia withdrew her hand and gave a swift bow instead. "Sorry for my appearance. I think we're all in need of a good nights rest and some clean clothes." She looked over her shoulder to Caedes. "I'll go check up on the others while you take a look at the engine." She brushed past the woman and let out a sigh of relief once into the hallway. Hopefully the others could offer a more polite introduction. She's probably just tired and stressed out. Pushing it out of her mind, she noted the dusty footsteps leading into one of the other boarding rooms. Whoever was in there could be resting, so she didn't want to disturb them.
Strolling through the boat, she was surprised at how much larger this one was compared to Caedes' other. It was in desperate need of cleaning though, and it had definitely seen its share of years on the water already.

Stepping up the creaky stairs to the main deck, Celsia was pleasantly surprised to see the others there. The boy who almost stabbed her was missing. Maybe down below deck in the room. The witch, red haired man, and quiet girl were also gone. She did a quick inventory of all present. A grumpy looking dark haired man, the broad-shouldered woman, and a tall silver-haired man who she didn't recognize from the windmill.
"Hello, um," The others turned towards her. "Caedes is working to start the engines and then we should be moving along. There's a few lodging rooms below if you need to rest in the meantime. My name is Celsia V-"

Her eyes locked onto the tall man's. They were a deep blue; It was almost like she was gazing into her own. She had many deja vu moments in the past, but this was different. Some sort of connection she couldn't quite place, like she had known him for a very long time. Yet, she didn't know his name.

She cleared her throat again, "I'm Celsia Vorrine. I hope you're all okay, given the circumstances.."