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Eulogy for the Immortal

Kirlsa

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a part of Eulogy for the Immortal, by ~Evil Cream Puff~.

The quiet, dirt roads of Kirlsa will lead you to your destiny.

~Evil Cream Puff~ holds sovereignty over Kirlsa, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

323 readers have been here.

Setting

On the southern coastline of the Thalian Continent lies a village known as Kirlsa. Any more information about the village remains widely unknown by the general populace. Most simply know it as a dot on a map and nothing more.

Kirlsa does not boast any important commercial nor agricultural importance. It does not feature any impressive landmarks. Kirlsa is, simply put, a cluster of farmhouses, dirt roads, and a single windmill.

To the common man's eye, the village is just a quiet place to live out the remaining years of one's life. But in the eyes of the opportunist, Kirlsa may just be the perfect backdrop for the cloak and dagger of Ter'Ciel.
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Kirlsa

The quiet, dirt roads of Kirlsa will lead you to your destiny.

Minimap

Kirlsa is a part of Ter'Ciel.


Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kai Seward
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Kirlsa was definitely not a place people would go out of their way to visit. It was small, nondescript, and, honestly, looked dirty and poor. While Kai had never known much of a wealthy lifestyle (much less the social etiquette of the wealthy), he could at least say he didn't grow up in a place that looked like it was falling apart. Selen, while nothing extravagant, was home to fairly well-educated people. Why had he wanted to come here? What about this town had drawn him in?

Well, there was the nearby sea. The sound of the waves was probably the most soothing sound in the world. Selen wasn't directly next to the water, so whenever he had wanted to go for a swim or just relax, he had to take a small trip. The most he had quick access to was a rather small pond, which wasn't enough to drown out the hustle and bustle that was becoming more and more prominent in his town. Kirlsa had no hustle nor bustle, and easy access to the sea did give it some brownie points. Kai could at least hope it would help him keep his temper in check, lest he get kicked out of the tiny village entirely.

In fact, the first place Kai went was to the water. The trip from Selen had taken a couple of days, and the crashing of the waves reminded him of just how much he missed that sound. Placing his pack on the ground beside him, he sat on the edge of a dock. He leaned back on his hands and took a deep breath, exhaling as a wave crashed against the rocks. The water glistened underneath the moonlight, creating a scene that made Kai wonder why the village wasn't a more popular destination. Then again, not everyone appreciated the water like Kai did. Some people he had met found it soothing, but nobody seemed to understand the deep connection he felt with it. The only person who had come close was his friend, Noah.

Noah would often accompany Kai to have a swim, or even just to relax by the water and get away from everything else. The first time they had gone together, Noah laughed. Apparently it was unusual to see the local punk relaxing by the stillness of a lake. Still, Noah respected Kai, and never once doubted how calming it was for him. Noah, too, enjoyed being by the water, and would sometimes drag Kai there to calm him down and avoid a fistfight. It was a shame he couldn't have made this trip with him.

Kai sighed. Despite the soothing sounds of the sea, something was still nagging at him, though he couldn't place what. He probably just needed a good rest. It always took some time for him to come down from any sort of excitement, and he had been so frustrated the past couple of weeks even he was surprised he managed to leave without causing any major issues. It was about time he was able to just sit and relax a bit. Kirlsa might not be the most interesting place in the world, but at least it was quiet...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Genevieve Oullet
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“Well, where are they Genevieve?” Lydia was in no mood for small talk and went straight to the point. Her words were sharp and cutting, feeling as if they alone could rip out Genevieve’s throat. Her eyes narrowed into a glare and she waited expectantly for the young witch’s answer.

“If we even knew who we were looking for I could perform a locator spell, but seeing as you have no clue who these people are or how many I may have summoned, your guess is as good as mine.” Genevieve had spent the past few months getting to know everyone in the High Council intimately and learning as many faces, places, and secrets about them as possible. But one still eluded her: How did Lydia even know about these people and what connection did they have to the “future of Tar’Cien” as she had boldly put it months before in her shop?

“I can’t believe I ever thought trusting a street witch would ever result in anything but utter disappointment no matter how rich the bloodline she derives from is. Do something else. We NEED these people brought into the capital.” Lydia lost a bit of her composure. Genevieve had never seen her come so unhinged, and for the first time took the threats that were coming out of her mouth seriously. The candle that sat on the table in the middle of Genevieve’s shop cast a sinister glow upon Lydia’s face.

“Lydia, if there was anything else that could be done, I would do it. I don’t need any problems from you or anyone else on the council. But in lieu of me going to Kirlsa and seeing if I can find them myself, there isn’t much I can do magically without something more concrete.” As soon as the words left her mouth Genevieve instantly regretted them. Lydia looked slyly over to Genevieve.

“Oh, well why didn’t you say so? You leave for Kirlsa in the morning. The Grayson’s arrived there a day prior. When you get there, visit the butler boy of the Grayson’s and work some of your witchy charms on him. He should be able to act as your compass.” Genevieve looked perplexed back at Lydia. The butler boy Devlin? What did he have to do with anything? Was he born in Kirlsa? Was she summoning his family because he was an orphan and no one knows who they were and they pose a threat to the realm? The ideas that flashed through her head were ludicrous to say the least, but they would have to wait.

“I guess I don’t have much of a choice then…I’ll prepare my things.” With that, Lydia turned to leave, but stopped in the doorway to say one last thing before she departed into the night.

“You remember Mr. and Mrs. Feldspar don’t you? Lovely little elderly couple you gave some herbs to treat Mrs. Feldspar’s heart condition last week? Well if you don’t return, you won’t have to worry about refilling her supply ever again. Safe travels Genevieve.” She left, leaving nothing but the feeling a demon was just exorcised from her home, and a sting in Genevieve’s heart, because now this game Lydia is playing was going to get bloody if Genevieve did not play it better.

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Genevieve was dressed as a traveler would. High leather boots, a loose fitting black tunic, some basic jewelry adorned on her wrists, and a pendant around her neck. She had a bag with her filled with some witch oddities: a silver knife, some candles, a pendulum, and some herbs with a mortar and pestle. She was dropped off by a royal steam car a few moments ago and the sun was just hitting its apex, signaling that it was noon. Even with the brightest sunlight, Kirlsa looked drab. It was painted in shades of gray and brown and left no wonder to the imagination. This was a town where the people live here because they were born here and don’t have the means to leave, not a place anyone moves to for work, trade, or pleasure.

Genevieve strode up to the door of the royal housing that the Grayson’s would beinhabiting and knocked on the door. She took a deep breath and waited for someone, most likely Devlin, to answer the door and for this mystery to finally begin to unravel.

Setting

Characters Present

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

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Laelynn Wyght
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knock knock knock

Laelynn jumped at the sound of the door, almost spilling the glass of water she had been staring into before the sound knocked her out of her thoughts. Being the maid of somebody else's residence was not something she was used to, especially when said residence belonged to a mayor. Granted, Kirlsa was quite small and insignificant, so the mayor didn't actually have that much power, but she was still quite honored to have been offered the position, especially considering she had only been in Kirlsa just over a week.

It had been two days since she had arrived in the small village and was having a difficult time finding a job. Because it was so small, there wasn't all too much to do. Most of the jobs were already taken by residents who had been there for far longer than her. There was an opening at a stable, but, despite all of her efforts, animals just didn't like her. She could still remember the first time she tried to ride a horse as a child: She had been in the process of climbing onto the saddle when the horse suddenly whinnied and knocked her down, almost trampling her as it trotted away. Her parents had been too afraid to let her near another horse after that, and she didn't fare very well with other animals either. It was an unfortunate fact she just had to live with, but it meant she couldn't take on any sort of job which involved caring for animals.

Having just made a small amount of money washing dishes for the local tavern (which she had gotten only because the normal dishwasher was ill and unable to work), Laelynn had been on her way to treat herself to a small lunch when she came across a traveling peddler. Curious as to what goods he had, she slowly walked by. He seemed to be in the middle of a transaction with an elderly man when his eyes caught hers. With a large smile, he waved her over.

"You seem interested, lass. May I interest you in some lovely jewelry? High-quality stuff from Airglyph. I got it at a discount, as the jeweler had an excess of goods that he wished to get rid of to make way for the new trends of the season. I have a necklace that I think would look just stunning on you."

Laelynn wasn't much for fancy accessories, but was interested in seeing just how high-quality this stuff was, especially once she saw the large amount of money the elderly gentleman was about to hand over to the peddler.

"You said this was from Airglyph?" She asked, looking at what appeared to be a golden necklace with a tear drop-shaped ruby dangling from it, "Do you know what it's made out of?"

"Only the highest quality gold and gems, my dear. The Capital City sells only the best merchandise!"

Laelynn took the necklace into her hand to give it a better look. Something about it didn't feel right. This wasn't gold. She looked over at what the gentleman was buying: a silverware set, which looked rather high-class.

"Do you mind if I see one of those for a moment?"

The man looked confused, but held the set out to her, allowing her to pick up one of the forks. This didn't feel right either. It felt fragile and impure. "Um...sir, I'm not sure this is worth the price this man is charging you."

Almost as soon as the words left her mouth, the previously friendly peddler's face grew hard. "Are you accusing me of lying?"

"No, sir, but I'm not sure if you are aware exactly what these are made out of. If you paid a good price for these, I'm afraid you've been swindled." To prove her point, she pushed on the prongs of the fork, which began to give under the slight pressure. "High-quality silverware shouldn't bend this easily."

The peddler's face drained and the elderly man withdrew the money he was about to hand him. The air grew tense as the peddler looked between the man and the girl before him, as if trying to decide his best course of action. After a moment, the friendly smile returned to his face, once again presenting his false demeanor. "Young lady, thank you for informing me. I will be returning to Airglyph and demanding my money back for these items. I apologize for troubling you." With that, he took back his merchandise, turned around, and headed off in the opposite direction.

"Um...sorry about that." Laelynn said, turning to the elderly man, "I hope I didn't intrude, but there was no way that that set was worth what you were about to pay him, and I'd hate to see you be cheated by a swindler."

The man gave a warm, genuine smile. "My dear, no need to apologize. You just saved me quite a bit of money! Besides, I have important guests coming over soon, I very well couldn't be serving them food with silverware that would bend as they ate! You aren't from here, are you?" The man chuckled and continued before she had a chance to answer, "I know everyone in this village. After all, I am the mayor. I haven't seen your face around before. What brings you to Kirlsa?"

Laelynn's eyes widened slightly as the man introduced himself. The mayor? Sure, it was a small village, but that was still an important title. "Oh, um... just looking for a quiet place to live. My home town, Selen, has been having trouble with crime as of late, so I came here hoping it would be a nice place to settle in."

The mayor nodded. "I see. Well, this is certainly the place to be if you wish to get away. What you just witnessed is about the worst of the crime we see here, and even then, it's rare. It's such a small village, there is nothing of interest for most people." He paused, as if thinking for a moment. "If you haven't already found employment, how would you like to work for me? I could use an honest, hard-working girl such as yourself. As I mentioned before, I have some very important guests traveling here from Airglyph, and I could use your help making sure everything is clean and our guests are well cared for."

"O-oh! Um...if you would have me, I would be honored!"

"That settles it then." The mayor smiled. "Let's get you all settled in."

And just like that, Laelynn had become the maid for the mayor of Kirlsa. Their guests had just arrived a couple of days ago, though she had not yet gotten to speak with them or see much of them, as she had been quite busy cooking and cleaning. They weren't supposed to be getting any other visitors, however. Perhaps it was just a local.

Setting her glass of water down, Laelynn headed to the door, opening it with a smile.

The person on the other side was dressed in very standard traveler attire. Whether or not she was from around here, Laelynn didn't know, though something about her didn't quite fit the clothes she was wearing. She had a very pretty face, and something about her seemed to clash with the dull tunic. Nevertheless, she was a guest, and it was Laelynn's duty to help any guest of the mayor's.

"Good afternoon. How may I assist you?"

Setting

Characters Present

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

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Devlin Íobairt Character Portrait: Genevieve Oullet
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Devlin Íobairt


The light knock on his chamber door gave Devlin pause. Was it real? Was he actually hearing someone or was the isolation beginning to take its toll on his psyche? The mayor, Lord Grayson, it honestly didn't matter who was knocking. Devlin couldn't deny the not so subtle leap his heart had taken. With equal parts enthusiasm and hesitation, he opened the door...

“Oh thank GOODNESS! Please get to work on this and make it snappy!”

A flashing glimpse of a woman and then he was blinded.

'Wha...?'

The stranger had thrown something over his head. Instinctively, Devlin reached up, his fingers touching the unmistakable texture of velvet. Pulling the fabric off of him, the boy's eyes adjusted to the room. There, in the center of his bedchamber, she stood. She was petite. Slight but curvaceous, with raven black hair that fell to her waist in shimmering waves. She was rummaging through a satchel she carried and appeared to no longer notice him standing there.

Unsure of what, exactly, he should make of the situation, Devlin assumed she was an associate of the mayor or even Lord Grayson. She did look rather familiar. Without a word, he walked over to his sewing supplies on the table. He threaded a needle and began to work on repairing the torn garment.

In and out, he stitched, sneaking a glimpse of the woman whenever he could. When she withdrew a handful of herbs and a candle from her bag, it hit him;

'The witch lady!'

Of course! He'd seen her at the Grayson estate several times over the past few months. She was a witch. And quite the talented one if rumor were to be believed. Devlin had heard the other, more streetwise servants speak of her, always in hushed tones as if at any moment she could curse the lot of them. He had always been rather skeptical. What the boy saw next, however, chased away every bit of skepticism from his mind...

The woman must have lit the candle somehow. Setting it down, she focused her attention on him. Devlin watched as she made her way over to him, taking his hands in her own. She deftly pressed down on his fingers, which were still holding the sewing needle. A flash of pain shot through his hand and the boy cried out. He tried to pull away but found himself unable to move. His blood ran cold in an instant, veins carrying ice to all extremities of his body. Eyes wide, Devlin watched the woman whisper to him over and over again, though the words failed to reach his ears. Then, just as quickly as it had happened, it was over. She let go of him and the boy's body felt warm once more, as if the incident had never actually happened.

'Wh-what on earth...!?'

Through gasping breaths, the witch spoke. Her words were heavy with urgency...

“Tell me you see them. Close your eyes and please tell me you can see them!”

While Devlin rightfully had a rapidly growing list of questions for this mysterious woman, he found himself unable to form the words to ask any of them. Instead, he did as he was told. It was almost instinctual, how right it felt to close his eyes. And so the boy did as he was commanded...

He was moving. Fast. Blurs of colors and sounds passed him by. But he was staying still...No, it was the world itself that was moving. It moved with knowledge. With purpose. It was guiding him somewhere. Somewhere Devlin knew he should be. Giving himself up to the power, he allowed himself to see what it wanted to show him. Back in his lonely bedchamber, he spoke aloud what his mind saw...

"I see...the ocean. There's a dock...and...people...three people."

The images before him warped and twisted until they formed a new vision.

"A marketplace...here in town...I know...The windmill I saw it from here in my room."

Finally, the vision changed once more. He recognized it right away.

"A foyer...There's the mayor and...and Lord Grayson...!"

And suddenly he was falling. Forward and backward and out of control and -

- he was back in his room. The dark haired woman had an arm around his shoulders.

Devlin's eyes darted around the room. The table. The bed. The window. It was all here...Not moving...No more moving...
He looked up into the woman's face. She had done this. Of that, he was certain. When his breath returned to him, Devlin found the words to speak.

"Wh-what was that...? What did I see?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Devlin Íobairt Character Portrait: Laelynn Wyght Character Portrait: Genevieve Oullet
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There were few times in her life that left Laelynn utterly confused. Preferring to stay in the background and avoid any form of confrontation meant she was very observant and often knew what was going on around her. Now, however, was one of those times where she had absolutely no clue what was happening. The woman before her hadn't even finished her sentence before Lord Augustine pushed past her, ushering the woman in. It was almost as if she wasn't even there, with the way both of them brushed past her without paying her any mind. Who was Lydia? If this woman, Genevieve, was royalty (which would explain why her clothes clashed so much with her face), why was she traveling alone?

None of these questions even came close to being answered, as Genevieve was soon rushing off, and Lord Augustine was certainly not going to provide any answers. Of course, Laelynn was okay with that- he didn't seem like the most friendly individual. Closing the door (which had been left open in the woman's haste) Laelynn simply waited for a moment for something else to happen, or to be given some direction. After a moment, Lord Greyson turned to her.

"Well? What are you waiting for? Prepare her some food and drink! She just had a rough journey!"

Laelynn jumped slightly, still surprised from the sudden commotion. "O-oh, yes! My apologies!" She scurried off, glad to be out of his presence. She hadn't done more than get a dish and glass out before a shrill voice screamed from down the hall.

Now what was going on?! Genevieve was a witch? There were enemies of Airyglyph around? What would people who were clearly wanted be doing in this tiny village, of all places? Hiding? But why hide somewhere they could easily be picked out from the natives of the village? She had left Selene to avoid criminals, she didn't want to end up where there were more!

She began to panic as the guards cried out and stormed out of the house. She didn't like this. She didn't like this at all. The last time she encountered a criminal, it nearly resulted in her death. Granted, she couldn't remember much of it- she had passed out at some point and was awoken to a guard making sure she was okay. The feeling, however, was still there, ingrained into her just as strongly as the time she had discovered she herself was capable of harm.

Before she got too caught up in her panic, however, Genevieve- the witch- turned to her.

"Be safe, huh? Trust him. He'll know what to do."

What? Trust who? Devlin? What does he know? That quiet boy, is he in on this too? She hadn't gotten the opportunity to do more than introduce herself and serve him meals, but she supposed now he would be her only source of answers. She watched as the woman swept through the room and out the door.

What was happening?

Confused and overwhelmed, Laelynn wandered down the hall, settling into a corner to gain some composure.

Don't panic. Don't panic. It will be okay. Just breathe. The guards will take care of whatever is wrong. Airyglyph guards. In Kirlsa. Yes, surely they can keep everyone safe. They are highly trained. It will be okay.

"...Devlin?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Devlin Íobairt Character Portrait: Laelynn Wyght
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Devlin Íobairt


In an instant, his life had changed. The shrill cries of the witch lady soon gave way to the clamoring of voices and footsteps as the commotion gradually drifted away from his tiny bedchamber. His birdcage.

They really had left. The lady was right. Lord Grayson, his bodyguards, the mayor...They had all chased off after...something. Or perhaps someone? Devlin's mind floundered across the myriad of possibilities. But the lady's words were what struck him hardest...

'Leave Kirlsa? With that maid girl? Why? I wish someone would please tell me what is going on!'

She'd warned him to avoid the capital. But Airyglyph was his home. Lord Grayson's manor was the closest thing to a home the boy had ever known. Change his name? Start a new life? As if he were some sort of wanted criminal or something? Devlin felt his face grow hot and his pulse quicken because it just didn't make any sense.

The boy would have questioned whether or not the entire incident had even taken place at all. Doubted what his eyes had seen and his ears had heard, if not for the object clutched in his hand. The proof that all of this was indeed, real.

Devlin opened trembling fingers to reveal a small gemstone he couldn't identify. Angled, obsidian black surfaces that flashed a deep violet in the light. It was strung on a thin chain of silver. The pendant felt cool in his hand...

'The...Rain Fallers?'

Devlin felt as cold as the pendant he held. Should he believe the words of that witch lady? She'd given him this pendant to offer some kind of protection.

'Protection from what?'

Lord Grayson had ordered him to stay in his room. Should he obey? Would he be returning soon? Devlin winced at the thought of what would happen to him should he disobey...but if what that witch said was true then -

"Devlin?"

The boy was ripped from his thoughts by a voice. Slight, like the tiniest draft from a crack in the wall. Devlin was even surprised he'd heard it at all. Cautiously, he grasped the doorknob. Holding his breath, he turned it and pushed the door open with a sickening creeeeak. For the first time in two days, the boy took his first steps outside of his bedchamber.

He'd found her immediately. In the corner, leaning against the wall, was a girl. Long, dark hair fell over her shoulders and when she looked at him,

'Those eyes...'

he saw his own fear and confusion reflecting back at him. It was like breathing. Devlin didn't question it right then, but hours later he would recall just how effortless it was. Instinctive. How he'd approached her, knowing that she was the one the witch had told him about. He steadied his hand as best he could, offering it to the girl.

"Are you all right?"

He grasped her hand.

"I...I'm not sure what's going on here, but...we have to go. Please, trust me...?"

That last part sounded more like a sad plea than anything reassuring. But how could he possibly reassure her of anything at all when he, himself, wasn't even sure of what he was doing?

Devlin felt her warm hand in his own and he held it tightly. Together, they ran, footsteps echoing in the now empty house. Down the hall and through the kitchen, he saw a small door that led outside. Without another thought, Devlin ran through, girl in tow. The cool night air filled his senses as it had before when he'd looked out the window of his bedchamber. His birdcage. But there was no birdcage anymore. He was spreading his wings and had to learn how to fly - and quickly. Devlin felt a rush of freedom unlike anything he'd ever known before. The dirt roads, the trees, the sky...Everything looked so different to him right now. It wasn't until he heard the commotion in the distance that his fear and adrenaline pushed itself back in.

Voices. And they were yelling. Whatever "commotion" that witch lady had caused was certainly effective. They had to move. Now. Or else there would be no luxury of a birdcage to return to. Somehow, Devlin knew that part of his life was over forever.

He turned to the girl beside him.

"What now? Where do we go?"

For having his first real taste of freedom, Devlin certainly didn't know how to savor it. How can he run from something when he didn't even know what he was running from? This girl...she lived here. Surely, she would know where they could go...

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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.

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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...

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Character Portrait: Devlin Íobairt Character Portrait: Laelynn Wyght
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Laelynn's instinct once Devlin's fingers wrapped around her hand and she was steadied was to pull away, but he held firmly. This was the first time she'd seen him so close. He had a peculiar blue mark under his right eye. The boy certainly didn't seem the type to go and get a crazy tattoo, but it was definitely strange as far as natural marks go. He seemed just as scared as she was, but something in his grip was reassuring, even if his voice trembled. What other choice did she have but to trust him? He didn't seem to be faking his fear- in fact he'd have to be a star actor to be this convincing. The only other thing she could have done would be to wait there until the mayor and the others got back, but that wasn't currently something she wanted to do. She wanted to trust the boy. She just wanted to leave. Now.

She gave him a small nod, and the two took off into the moonlit night. She tightened her grip on his hand as they ran. It was unusual for her to connect with somebody, but there was just something about Devlin that drew her to him. It felt strange, nothing that she'd experienced previously. It wasn't friendship; it wasn't attraction. Honestly, she hadn't the slightest clue what it was or why she was feeling it, almost like some strange spiritual connection, though she had never been particularly spiritual, which made it all the more strange. Still, she felt a sort of security from him. Should things go wrong, it seemed like they'd find a way to get out of whatever mess they might find themselves in, though she definitely didn't want to think of what sort of mess that could be at this point.

"What now? Where do we go?" Devlin asked her as they slowed their pace to a stop.

Laelynn glanced around, trying to get through the jumbled state her mind was in enough to remember the layout of the village. "The docks. There's a way out of the village past them. It's usually pretty quiet at this time from what I've been able to tell, and the path past the docks is the lesser traveled path- well, not that any of the paths around here are particularly well-traveled. We should just be careful around the Tavern. I'm guessing that would be one of the top places to search for...whatever they're looking for... They might be making sure nobody leaves via boat as well, though, so we should proceed carefully. But quickly. Please."

She hoped she was making sense. She also hoped that she was right. Since being employed with the Mayor, she hadn't been around the village much, so all she had to go by was her first couple of days after arriving. At this point, she wasn't sure what was right or wrong. The whole village seemed to be getting turned-upside down, even though just a few hours ago it was the quietest, low-key place she had ever imagined. They just needed to find somewhere safe where they could start trying to figure out what was going on, and what to do next...

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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.

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Character Portrait: Maren LeChance
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Maren LeChance


She smelled of wildflowers. Maren recalled the fields of them near his old home in Serf. Softly, he brushed aside the auburn curls of hair, revealing her slender neck. Arms around her petite frame, he leaned in, pressing his lips against her sweet skin. He felt the softness of her neck. Heard her stifled gasp in his ear. Leaning back, Maren faced her. Eye to eye with the tavern girl now, she gave him a coquettish smile. Maren cocked his head.

"You just have to try my new cherry pie recipe, Maren." Her country drawl seemed intoxicating now. Maren cleared his throat, unable to hold back the wide grin across his face.

"Sure thing, babe. But first I want to taste more of those sweet lips of yours..."

The tavern girl giggled and Maren was mentally high-fiving himself.

'Maren, you are on FIRE tonight! Smooth as hell.'

Suddenly, her face changed. Eyes narrow and mouth curling into a devilish smirk. Without warning, she shoved Maren backward and into the wall.

"W-woah! Hehe...Somebody wants to take charge."

The girl put a hand to his head, running slender fingers through his hair before firmly gripping it and pulling. With strength that belied her slight appearance, she threw him to the floor.

Maren stumbled, clumsily attempting to get back on his feet.

"Hey! T-take it easy, babe..."

Her face was different now. Dark. Sinister. Rearing back, she slapped Maren across the face.

"Get up!"

'Whaaa...?'

He was fading. The room, the furniture, the tavern girl...everything was fading away

"Get up! Now!"

Another slap and Maren was opening his eyes. Or at least he thought he was. The room seemed to be very dimly lit. Slowly, his sleepy eyes adjusted to make out the form of a person standing before him. Two people. They were dressed in robes and had their hoods drawn up.

'What in the hell...?'

Maren's head hurt. He moved to place a hand to his forehead and was alarmed to find that he couldn't do so. Just then, the feeling of stiff pressure cut into his wrists. He was bound. Hands tied behind his back with rope or...something.

"Wh...what is this?" His bewildered voice broke the eerie silence around him.

The floor was dirt. Sliding himself into a sitting position, he leaned against the wall and found that it was dirt as well. Candles were placed about the room, illuminating the sparsely furnished chamber. Just where in the hell was he?

"Hey!" Maren shouted to the figure standing opposite himself. "You mind telling me what the hell is going on here? Where is this place? And who the hell are you!?"

He felt a painful lump rise in his dry throat. Heartbeat echoing in his temples.

Slowly, the figure across from him rose a single finger in the air and brought it to their lips.

"Ssshhhh." The man whispered. "The others will be arriving shortly."

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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.

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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?"

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Character Portrait: Caedes Risus Character Portrait: Devlin Íobairt Character Portrait: Laelynn Wyght Character Portrait: Celsia Vorrine
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Devlin Íobairt


The warmth of the girl's hand anchored Devlin's feet to the earth and drove him onward.

'You're not alone... You're not alone...'

She was a stranger. He hadn't yet learned her name, even. But somehow, she instilled in him a sense of comfort. Of newfound confidence.

'Just get to the docks. Get to the docks and...and...?'

He couldn't bear to overthink things right now. The grim reminder that he had absolutely no plan made his stomach lurch with dread.

Bounding through a few backyards and alleyways, Devlin and the girl rounded a corner and the sea came into view. The shabby little pier that gave way to the waters; a churning, black mass in the moonlight. As the two sprinted forward, another two was gradually making their way toward them.

Devlin's eyes narrowed, unsure of whether or not they posed a threat. Should they run the other way? Did they already see him?

One was tall. Broad shouldered with messy white hair. The other was small and fair, practically radiating under the pale light of the moon.

Before he even realized what he was doing, Devlin was slowing to a jog before them. He felt the grip on his hand tighten and he squeezed back, hoping it would ease the girl's nerves. When they were just steps away from the couple, Devlin stopped. He tried to speak in between catching his breath...

"E-Excuse me...but...something is wrong...back in town." Devlin gestured back toward the center of Kirlsa. "We're trying to get out of here... Do you...do you know somewhere we could go? A boat, perhaps...?"

Why on earth was he talking to these two? It wasn't like him to be so outspoken. In truth, the last two sentences seemed like the most the boy had said in ages.

The maid from the mayor's house... The tall man, covered in scars... The petite girl with pale blonde hair...

He trusted them all. Even before he'd heard any of them speak, Devlin had decided that he trusted them. Was it mere naivete? A simple, childish ignorance and lack of street smarts? Or could it be something more? Something deeper?

Devlin's heart raced and his body felt electric in their presence. Toiling away in the Grayson manor every day of his life, the boy thought little of destiny. There was little point in pondering such things when it seemed the only "destiny" he was bound to was serving the nobility. A destiny of washing dishes, of cooking and sewing and cleaning... But now?

He felt an unmistakable connection here. As if someone or something had forged a tether between him and these three strangers. He couldn't be wrong. He simply couldn't... Standing here under the night sky of a town few visited, the air heavy and foreboding...Devlin felt this was the beginning of something much greater than he could ever fathom.

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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."

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.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Caedes Risus Character Portrait: Devlin Íobairt Character Portrait: Laelynn Wyght
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"What can I do, what is my choice?
How can I live if I destroy?"


Laelynn Wyght

Footsteps and screams echoed in her head as panic overtook the room. All around her, people were moving, but it all sounded far away, and she saw nothing. Laelynn felt disconnected, as if she were just listening to a movie in the background, not truly registering was was going on. She was not even aware of her own existence.

From between the screams came a softer voice. It sounded closer to her than all the others. She couldn't make out what it was saying. Gradually, it grew in volume and became the dominant sound despite being far softer than the barks and cries from everyone else, pulling her back into herself as she once again became aware of her presence.

"...going to be alright... Everyone is together now, and we'll be fine. Please...we have to go now."

All at once, the scene came crashing into her. Things were shattering and crumbling all around. People were running away, fighting, escaping. A pair of arms were around her, and somebody's chin was resting on her shoulder.

Devlin.

Panicked, she shoved him off of her. As their eyes locked, she could see the confusion, worry, and even a tinge of hurt in his expression. She said nothing, simply staring at him for a brief moment. As something large fell somewhere behind them, she knew she had to get him out. She ran past him, roughly grabbing his wrist with no explanation, holding on only long enough for him to start running with her, then immediately letting go. She knew if he remained too close, she would hurt him. She wanted to scold him for getting so close, for touching her, but there wasn't time for that. She couldn't let him get hurt.

Ahead of them was the couple from before, the man glancing back, appearing to check if the others were following. Did he always have animal ears? Was she imagining things? Either way, it wasn't important. One of the cloaked men tried to block their path, but Laelynn simply shoved into him, catching him off-guard enough for him to stumble aside and let them by. She kept running, following the dog-eared man, not knowing nor caring where they were going. All she wanted was to get away. Far away. And once they were away from here, she would keep running, away from all of them. She couldn't be here. She couldn't be near them. She wasn't going to once again cause the death of somebody who was trying to protect her.

"What is my destiny?
Where is the reason to exist?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kai Seward Character Portrait: Caedes Risus Character Portrait: Devlin Íobairt Character Portrait: Laelynn Wyght Character Portrait: Celsia Vorrine Character Portrait: Rais Crevan
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"My arms are outstretched, I hope for the best
And act rich before I get paid"


Rais Crevan

The clanking of glasses and sound of laughter filled the air around the tavern. Farther into the village, it was calm and quiet. On the surface, it seemed like another typical night in Kirlsa. But as time went on, this night would be unlike any other the small village had ever experienced.

There was an almost undetectable energy flowing through the air, like tiny static shocks ready to zap anyone who wandered too close into a heightened state of alertness. Rais could feel a slight prickling sensation that had nothing to do with the beer he had consumed a short while ago while talking to a couple lovely ladies at the bar.

Something was happening, and it was happening soon.

"It was very lovely talking to you both, but I'm afraid I must get going."

The brunette girl pouted, as if such an expression would make him change his mind. "So soon? It's still so early!"

"Come on, at least one more drink." the blonde smirked, index finger running up the length of Rais' arm.

The man flashed an apologetic sort of smile as he rose from his seat. "As much as I'd love to share another, I have a busy day ahead of me tomorrow. Drinking all night wouldn't be wise. Here, as a thanks for the company, take this." He tossed a bronze token, amused as the two drunk women fumbled to catch it. "It was a gift, now I'm passing it on to you. Take care of yourselves."

Leaving them to decide who would hold onto it (and which one he had "totally" winked at), Rais made his way out of the noisy tavern. While bars were a great place to find out the latest happenings of any town, it was astounding how stupid people could get when they'd consumed alcohol. Of course, that just made talking to them even easier. Of course, in a town like this, there wasn't much in terms of interesting occurrences, not until recently, at least.

According to long-time residents, more new faces had begun showing up as of late. Outside of business trades, not many people wandered into Kirlsa. A new few faces were apparently floating about, and Rais had heard some vague mentionings of somebody important coming to visit the mayor this evening. Normally, it wasn't something to make a big deal about, but tonight wasn't normal.

Rais hadn't come to Kirlsa because it sounded like a fun place to be. On the contrary, it was the complete opposite of where he would choose to travel to. Rais had come to Kirlsa because he knew he would find the answers he needed here. And now, with this strange energy gently pulsing through the town, he knew his instinct had been correct. The clock was ticking. All this waiting around was about to pay off.

In what somehow felt like hours and seconds at the same time, the stillness of the night was broken.

The sounds of pounding footsteps and shouts startled the quiet village. Foreign guards ran through with purpose as scared residents locked their doors and peeked out from behind their windows. Sounds of scuffle broke out here and there, and strange cloaked figures swept through the night, claiming various individuals.

Rais had heard about some sort of large-scale even that would eventually be taking place from a passerby a few days ago. Alcohol made the tongue loose, and Rais had easily pried some interesting tidbits from the strange man. By all accounts, he sounded like a drunk lunatic, mumbling about the "power of the gods" and an ushering of a "new era", and under any other circumstances, Rais would dismiss him as such, but he knew this man was not just mental.

The gods were real.

How Rais knew this, he couldn't explain. It made about as much sense as his desire to come to Kirlsa, but something told him that this was real.

Rais snuck about the chaos, keeping to the shadows as not to be caught. Not too far away from where he was watching, a dark-haired man was being harassed by some of the cloaked individuals. While he put up a fight, ultimately, he lost, being tied up and dragged away. The man required much of their attention, so once they were far enough away, Rais quietly followed them. When they disappeared into the windmill, Rais hid nearby, waiting to see what would happen.

For a while, everything was dead quiet. The yells at stopped and there was nobody else running around. None of the residents dared to come out from their homes, likely terrified at the sudden chaos in their dull village. Only the sound of the ocean reached Rais' ears.

Suddenly, the energy picked up again. The sparks of energy became blasts, and Rais could swear he felt the very earth beneath him tremble. All at once, something without physical form slammed into him, paralyzing him.

Something from the past. A memory, seen from somebody else's eyes that belonged to him. Others around him, weak but determined. An evil, engulfing the world. A woman, promising that they would one day return.

"I'll see you again, Brother."

'I won't let this foolishness happen again!'

The gods were real.

Their powers were back.

They were here.

Reborn.

Then, almost as soon as they started, the memories stopped. The energy in the air vanished. The tremors, however, did not. As the ground shook, a loud crack pierced the sky. Rais watched as the windmill began falling apart. Panicked screams could be heard issuing from somewhere inside of it. People began rushing out, some of them the cloaked individuals from before. Rais' eyes locked onto a small woman being carried in a man's arms. He'd never seen her before in his life, and yet, she looked familiar...

"...Brother."

A small group had formed a short distance away. As Rais got closer, he heard a man's voice ask, "Well, now what?" As they talked amongst themselves, Rais approached.

"Hey!" The conversation stopped as everyone turned to him. A couple of them looked absolutely terrified. What was left of the energy from before seemed to concentrate all in this one spot. These had to be the people he was looking for. "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."

He watched the group's reaction, hoping they wouldn't question him too much, as he didn't think he could explain properly if he tried. Judging by the expressions on their faces, however, they knew even less of why they were all there. "How about it?"


"After the party I know everybody
But no one gets beyond this mask"

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?"

cron