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Emerin "Emry" Liro

"Time for an adventure!"

2 · 611 views · located in The World known as Tavia

a character in “Mirror's Edge”, as played by LookingAtPerks


Name: Emerin Liro

Nicknames: His friends use the nickname Emry or Emery, his closest friends often using the suffix -Shu.

Age: 10.

Personality: Among ways to describe Emry's personality, cheerful, loyal, brave, and hot blooded would be some of them. If you hurt a friend of his, or anyone he cares about, and he will retaliate in force. Only the people who he is really close to though call him Emry-Shu, since he is friendly with a lot of them, such as one of his closest friends Altian, or Alt/Alt-Shu for short. He is the kind of person who would not sit by if someone was getting hurt, but he isn't stupid either. He would go in smart (probably), not rush in head first blindly. At the very least, it would have some tactics.

Appearance: While Emry usually wears something different depending on the weather, due to the desert heat its not uncommon for him to just wear pants or shorts, and a cloak, to avoid overheating. Plus, he loves the feel of the wind.

Skills: Baking, Food Preparation, Survival, Stealing, Climbing, Running, Magic, and some weapons training. He also knows some medicine, but he isn't the best, and cannot treat complicated wounds. He is familiar with poisons though, as much of the plantlife in the area is poisonous, a self preservation evolution so that predators would think twice before eating them.

Magical Power: His Overall Magical Power is High, with his Specialties involving Portal, Spatial, Lightning, Enhancement, Wind, and Projection based magic. Of course, he has also learned all the fundementals of Basic Magic as well. His most notable magical powers are Wind Barrier, Lightning Claw, Portal Jump, Super-Enhance, Shield Projection, Energy Sphere (Projection based magic), Lightning Pierce, and Azma's signature Wind Spell, which can only be learned by those who live in Azma for a few years, Windbreaker. He also found a way to utilize Wind Magic to control the sand, giving him sand based magical powers as well, such as Sand Dragon, Sandstorm Slasher, and when he adds lightning to sear the sand into glass, Glass Prison and Glass Shardstorm.

There is also a very special spell that Emry has known since forever, but he never uses it unless its an emergency. Its takes a lot out of him, after all.

Species: Orphaned, so probably human given appearance. Though he could be Altarin, he would have to be famous for being the most magically capable Altarin ever.

Weapons and Items of Note: Shadowfang, a dagger with a handle that can expand, which allows it to double as a Spear. It was left with him when he was found by his adoptive father. It has several magical crystals imbedded with it to allow for additional abilities.

Strengths: High magical power and high magical supply allow him to stay in the battle for a long period of time as a heavy hitter. Physically, he is fairly adept as well, being a great runner and climber. His body is also unnaturally light, which allows him to use Wind Magic to fly to limited degrees.

Weaknesses: His light body also means a higher risk of being sent flying by an enemy attack, though he can still endure it. Additionally, while he isn't stupid, he can be easily provoked if you hurt someone he is close to. Even threatening someone can cause him to become upset with you. This is all a part of his loyalty to his friends.

History: Emerin, or Emry for short, is a ten year old orphan that was adopted and raised by his adoptive father, Shonar Liro. Emry grew up working with his father, but he often also played with the other children in the city, particularly the orphans since he was one too. That was never hidden from him. There is a magical tattoo of a dragon on his back, though the tail reaches down to a small portion of his right leg. Its been there since birth, and grows with him, but he knows nothing about it. And when he was four, his magical powers started to develop. This is exceptionally early for most people, and they developed when a customer tried to hit his father to steal their money and food. A Wind Barrier was created around the two of them, so when the man attacked, he was torn to shreds and repelled back. His first magical power: Wind Barrier.

From then on, he started to learn the basics of magic from a local mage, and some books at his friend's Altian's, who Emry refers to as Alt-Shu due to the fact they are close friends. In fact, Emry once helped kick out a troublemaker who was planning on doing some damage to the shop because he figured, being an Ex-Soldier, he should get stuff for free. Emry is usually hanging out with Alt and everyone else, either swimming in the nearby river, playing on the rooftops, training to become adventurers, or reading up on various lands. He also took a crack at fishing, and once caught a large fish at their swimming spot. Emry has repeatedly stuck up for his friends, never letting anyone hurt them while he is around.

Other: Whenever Emry gets really worked up magically, Emry's dragon might light up, and text appears along the dragon. Of course, due to the position of the dragon, no one has ever seen the full dragon since Emry would have to be naked, but also he usually only goes full magic in a heated battle so its not like he would just stop and stand still. The only one he has ever let see the whole thing is Alt-Shu when he asked for help figuring it out, not like he had to ask anyways.

So begins...

Emerin "Emry" Liro's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Emerin "Emry" Liro Character Portrait: Altian Acropaleus
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  1. Just so you know, I meticulously planned each and every sentence here with meaning. :) I wanted to show Emerin's character as much as possible. The way he respects people, the kindness he shows, and how he just cant resist a fight. XD Hope you all enjoy and pick onto his quirks.

    by LookingAtPerks

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(Gotta go all out on the intro post, get the whole RP set up for everyone. So, I started working on it really early. :3 As a result, I added more and more over time, so I went overboard) (So, please keep in mind what kind of world this is, and make sure your character acts appropriately. No calling 911 anyone. And be ready to settle things with your fists on more then one occasion) (Also, please let me know in the OOC if you were even partially moved emotionally by this post. :3)

Emerin was just relaxing in the hot spring's soothing water. Next time, he would make sure that the ball was not so dangerous. The group of boys were happy that the owner was nice though and let them in on a discount. They might be orphans, but there was enough jobs to be done at the Market each day that they could earn some money. They all ranged around the same age, give or take a few years, but the bath was more then large enough for everyone and then some. As Emry rested on the side and looked up at the open sky, his Dragon Tattoo, which had been there since birth and grew with him, was fully visible since they were in the hot springs bath.

Emerin was busy dreaming about the world when one of the younger children, an eight year old orphan named Addicus, swam up next to him. "So, is it true that you have had that since birth, and it grows with you? Its gotta be magic right? Do you think it means something?"

Addicus was always asking about things, and wondering about things. He also showed quite a bit of magical potential himself. Emry joked that he was like a mini Alt. "Yeah, its all true. Yes, its magic. And probably, but no one, even Alt-Shu, knows that for certain".

Emry then felt his hand touch the part of it on his back. "Addicus, you shouldn't touch people like that without asking first, unless its some sort of emergency or something. That said, what do you think?"

"Scaley" he said as he retracted, learning his lesson. "And Kava (sorry), Emerin-Lovir, didn't mean to intrude".

Emry hid a small blush. Being naked in front of his friends, no problem they come to the hot springs together all the time, and its not like its that unnatural for a desert city, and they all swim naked anyways. What Emry found embarrassing was when people referred to him with the suffix Lovir, or as it means, the person being seen as a Superior, Parent, Teacher or Caretaker to the one using it. He just helped them out, the orphans, the Children of Azma, so they didn't feel so alone or abandoned. But he was the same age as them, so for them to use the suffix Lovir when addressing him just got him embarrassed. Plus, its not like he would be here forever. Emerin dreamed of becoming an adventurer, of seeing the world. He wanted to feel and experience everything first hand.

Emry looked over at Altian, who was one of his closest friends if not his closest out of all of them. "Alt-Shu, I swear, he might just be as curious as you are right now. One day, he is going to leave Azma on his own adventure. I keep wondering, when do you think we will start ours?" He turned his body a bit to face him better, as the sun rose overhead. "I am not sure how much longer I can wait".

Emry lowered his body so the water was up to his neck. "I wonder what its like, all those wonderful places out there. Sure, you can hear and read the stories, but that's through the account of someone else. I want to experience it close up. For one thing, living in this desert city, I have no idea what snow is like. Alt-Shu, wouldn't it be nice to know how it feels ourselves? When we start our adventure, we should run into a place with snow. And beaches. And the ocean. And unexplored temples and ruins and what not. I want to know what it feels like to walk through those places on my two feet. Stories, logs, even artificial magically created snow isn't enough for me".

He wrapped his arm around Alt-Shu's neck, and smiled. "Given all the training we have done, combined with my high magical power and your expansive research and knowledge, we could probably become great adventurers right now Alt-Shu! After all, there is no one I would trust more to have my back!"

After releasing Altian, he just floated there for a bit, taking in the peace and happiness of hanging out with friends while dreaming about adventures, Emerin suddenly got a feeling something was up. Before he could even leave the water, another orphan, Hawke, showed up. "Emerin, its Vale! Some strange foreign knight cornered him into an alley and attacked him after Vale just passed him near the Market close by, screaming something about how filthy trash should keep to themselves!"

Moving so quickly that anyone looking would only barely see, Emerin now stood behind Hawke, completely out of the water, dripping wet, with his dragon tattoo beginning to glow. "Hawke, don't worry, I will handle it. You ran here right? Store your stuff and rest in the hot springs for awhile. You should have already, its against the rules to be in the bathing room with clothes on. You have to respect rules when it matters, such as in the establishment of this kind man, got it?"

"Kava, yes sir" he said, getting Emry all embarrassed again as he quickly got dressed in his short pants and his cloak, before looking back at the others. Being a desert city, he never had to dress much. And he liked to be barefoot because he loved the feel of the ground underneath his feet and the wind between his toes, and he didn't wear a shirt all the time because of the heat as well as the ability to feel the wind against his chest as he ran.

"Lotota (Worries No/No Worries), it won't take long" he promised. "I will make sure Vale is safe. Alt-Shu, if you want, I might need your help if he is powerful. Don't want to risk anyone getting hurt".

He then moved at amazing speeds, thanks to his light body. He knew where the market was from there, and knew which alley he likely was cornered in. Emry had no intention of allowing anyone to get hurt for what seemed to be a knight with too much pride and stupid. Even then, he had to be a horrible man, to outright attack a child with a sword. Its why the dragon was glowing. His anger was bringing forth his magical power. "This knight....Bakata Gvel Vokima Vro Hashel!" (Idiot will learn his lesson!)

As he turned the corner, he found Vale cornered by the Knight near the market. "Hey, you. What the hell do you think you are doing?"

"Fucking brats, I am a Knight, and you will show me your respect once I beat you within an inch of your life".

Given the way he sounded, Emry guessed he was either part of an order that did not teach modesty and respect, at least self respect, or he was a former knight who had been kicked out and disgraced and was taking his anger out on those who could not fight back, or who he thought could not fight back. Emerin planned to teach him what happens when you harm one of the Children of Azma. "Exactly who do you think you are, hitting a child like that?"

"A Knight with the Order of Truth, I am Sir Ramsly, and my order are those who hunt for the Truth and dispel the lies of darkness. And I will prove to my order that I am the right successor to lead the Order. This boy dare disgraced my by touching me without even apologizing in the street, someone of his filth doesn't even have the right to look at me directly".

Suddenly, Emery appeared on the other side of the night, and picked up the small boy, Vale, in his arms. "So, your just some disgraced anger filled knight who didn't get what he wanted right away and decided to take it out on others. How pitiful. I am betting you are a spoiled noble too, who knows nothing of hard work and got everything you have so far dropped into your lap. You clearly cannot be from our lands, because our King, Royal Knights, Knights, and even just regular guards and even nobles all work hard. This is Azma, in the land of Ashara, where everyone works hard to get where they are. This boy, Vale, is better then you by far already. He works hard for his dream, working every day to earn money to buy food, water, and clothes. In fact, he even sometimes buy books and helps teach other orphans to read. He works hard for his dream, and to help others achieve their dreams, while you just gave up because something did not go avira rais!" (your way!)

The Knight got irritated, and lunged at him, swinging his blade to slash Emerin's back to create a deep gash if not outright cut him in two, only Emerin was no longer there. "What the fuck? Stop running and fight me if you think you are so tough!"

He had moved to the entrance of the alley again, and put Vale down. "Listen, Vale. Once I am done, I will treat your wound or get you a doctor if needs be, unless Alt-Shu shows up first to use his healing magic on you and that's all you need. But, right now rest, I will deal with this Bakata".

"You dare turn your back on me twice?!" he shouted, slashing at Emerin....only for his blade to get stuck in seeming mid-air as the growing crowd oohed and ahhed. Emerin's cloak flew into the air, so now all he was wearing was his shorts, and most of the dragon was clearly visible to those behind him. "What the fuck is this!?!"

One of them stepped forward, a member of the guard who knew Emerin well. "No need to call the other guards. Emerin is more then capable of taking on this weakling".

Another onlooker however took interest in the Dragon Tattooed boy. He began muttering to himself. "I wonder....could he be the one we have been searching for?"

"This is part of my magical power, the first power I ever developed. Wind Barrier! It can stop any sword made of steel with ease, and even magical attacks can be blown away by it" Emerin explained as the Knight's sword was barely gripped by his hands. "Huh, your not as weak as I thought. Too bad its not at full power. And I suppose I should introduce myself. My name is Emerin, Emry or Emery for short, and I am a Wizard and a Child of Azma, one of the luckier ones who got adopted".

The Knight tried to press further, but the barrier bounced him back. As he got to his feet, he realized just now what the real point of the wind barrier was. Thanks to it, he could not get to that boy, Vale, and use him against Emerin. In fact, he could not run at all. Emerin's wind barrier had blocked off the alley. But he had his own tricks. He slashed his sword, and suddenly a wave of energy erupted from it and slashed at Emerin. It nearly hit, but Emerin blocked in time with his dagger. "The fuck? What is that made of?"

"Good question" Emerin mentioned. He didn't actually know. "That said, while you cannot manifest your magic directly like a Wizard, Mage, or Sorcerer, you can clearly utilize your sword to help utilize the little magical power inside you, just like how at least some bit of magic exists inside us all. I guess you are more dangerous then I realized, maybe you actually did some work, though nowhere near as much in your whole lifetime as this boy has to do in one year. I better take you out quickly so no one gets hurt all the same though, many people here don't know how to fight properly and just want to live their average lives".

"What was that you brat?! You cannot defeat a Knight like myself!" he yelled, charging at Emerin with fury and vigor, his magical energy flowing into his blade which caused it to actually manage to start to break through Emerin's Wind Barrier. Still, Emerin did not show any sign of worry. He grabbed the blade with one hand, stopping it completely.

"This is another one of the magical powers I have acquired and trained. Physical Enhancement! It allows me to enhance my already well developed body to become unnaturally strong. A normal steel blade cannot penetrate my skin when I have Physical Enhancement enabled. And now for another one of my magical powers....Lightning Claw!"

He snapped his fingers, and lightning charged up into his other hand. He then jabbed it right into his armor protected stomach, and sent the disgraced knight sprawling backwards. As he struggled to get back up, Emerin had already moved up right in front of him, and kicked him square in the face, knocking him back further. Still, the knight got up, with even more anger. "I am a knight, clad in armor and wielding a sword in which I protect the good, just people! And a knight will not be beaten by some worthless trash!"

"Its a good thing you don't deserve to be called a Knight then" Emerin remarked with wit. Suddenly, powerful wind started to flow around his arm. While technically, he was personally attuned towards Spatial Magic, having lived in Azma for his whole life, he was also exceptional in Wind Magic. "Now, its time for the signature Wind Spell of Azma. Only those who lived in Azma for years, and who know the feel of the hot desert wind of the day, the cool desert wind of the night, and the power of the vicious sandstorm winds, can know how to use and cast this spell. Now, I use the Ultimate Spell, Windbreaker!"

Suddenly, as Emerin punched forward, a small but powerful tornado of wind charged forth at amazing speed from his fist and arm and rammed into the knight, shattering his sword and armor made of steel, and sending him flying backwards. Windbreaker, the power of Wind so great it could shatter stone and steel. It could only be learned by those who knew and experienced the winds of Azma for a long period of time. He looked at the unconscious knight, and turned away. "Weakest Knight I have ever met. No willpower, no strength. Incapable of understanding that things are rarely just served up to you so easily. Any number of orphans I know could have beaten you". He then looked down at Vale. "Like you Vale, who has worked hard for everything and is ready for setbacks. You are an example of why I care about you all. You Vale, will grow up to be much stronger then him".

This was why Emerin was well respected and well liked by the orphans, the Children of Azma as they are called, most store owners, quite a few guards, and every single honest hard working person in Azma. He respected hard work, and showed respect for hard work. Emerin had helped countless people throughout Azma who work hard. The farmers who struggle to grow their crops, Emerin helped provide water so they could grow and flourish during a dry spell. He was always there to help those who tried to pick on the tired who had finished a hard days work, or were faced against an enemy who was clearly too much for them. And they also respected Emerin's own hard work. He has worked so much to work on increasing his strength, speed, magical power, and combat abilities to become an adventurer. That is why a ten year old boy like him was able to shatter the armor and weapon of a knight. The knight believed he had been entitled to everything, and didn't understand hard work, while Emerin worked hard nearly every day of his life to get stronger, faster, better.

And he inspired others to do the same. A few years ago, the orphans of the street were alone, starving, and barely getting by. So one day, he worked extra hard at the Bakery, and did some extra work for others on the side to buy ingredients, and he made a ton of extra bread he and his father didn't need. He then went and distributed that bread to each and every orphan in the city. He helped them form a family, unite together, help each other out and support each other, and work together to do small jobs around the city to make money instead of just having to beg and steal. It was he who gave them the name Children of Azma, instead of just orphans, because it meant they were all part of one family. They might not know their birth parents, but they knew they were from Azma, so they were the Children of Azma, and everyone in Azma. They belonged to no one, but were taken care of by everyone and by each other.

To others who were not used to the traditions and way this world worked, Emerin might seem a little weird at first. Not caring about being seen naked by his friends, caring so much about people who were not even related to him, indulging Addicus' and Altian/Alt-Shu's curiosity, and the way he spoke to Hawke about respect. But for this world, it was not as weird. It was just Emerin, with his kind heart. He didn't coddle the Children of Azma, but he didn't let anyone push them around either. He only interefered when he needed to, and otherwise helped them stand on their own, so they would have the chance to grow up strong and loved, to have a chance at a future. A simple story of friendship, that was Emerin. Friendship, respect, and kindness. Emerin looked at Vale, with a half smile and half concern. He kneeled down to talk to Vale eye to eye. He always made himself eye level to those he spoke to when he could. A lot of people looked up to him, and he was a bit embarrassed by that. "Vale, never ever give up or let anyone push you around, got it?"

Vale, still weak, handed him a journal. "Emerin-Lovir, I overheard him...I am sorry for causing this trouble, but you have to read it. Its all his discoveries, and when he had it open, I noticed a section...about a Dragon Tattoo, linked to some rare texts and some sort of ancient prophecy. I just....after all you had done for us, I thought you might want to find answers about what has always bothered you the most: Your origin...".

Emerin smiled. "You shouldn't steal, at least not without great thought and good hearted reasons, but thank you Vale...Vale-Shu. You truly are one of the greatest".

Vale smiled back, as Emerin caught his cloak which fell back down from the sky while the dragon's glow faded until it went away. Vale had this peaceful smile, though Emerin had already made sure he was not at risk of dying. He was just happy and tired. "You called me Vale-Shu..."

Meanwhile, a few onlookers watched with peaked curiosity. They had come here for something else, but now... "Yes, I am certain now....we have finally found him, the one that got away. The key to finding Mirror's Edge, the great power" one of them said to himself as he slipped away.

As Emerin stood back up, his bare feet pivoting on the sandy street as the wind pushed against his chest, he got a strange feeling he was being watched, and something would happen soon. But that second one he already knew. He smiled, and half spoke to himself. "Well Alt-Shu, looks like its beginning sooner then we thought. Because I trust you can find a clue inside this notebook combined with all your research into the tattoo already. I have no doubt in your abilities".

And once again, Emry had this smile on his face. A smile that radiated warmth, that let you know the world was not a dark place, a smile that showed how kind and wonderful of a person he was. It was a goofy smile granted, but all the same, there were some people in town who would pay money to help bring that smile back if it was ever lost. It was the smile of a kind but hot blooded adventurer.

(Welp, the fight wasn't that epic, but that Knight was kinda lame anyways. Still, a good way to open up) (And no, I don't expect everyone's post to be as long as this one all the time, but I had to do something to keep myself busy)

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Emerin "Emry" Liro Character Portrait: Willow
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The Sun.

Ugh. Willow was all for sunny days, but it was different when there was nothing but sun. To escape it's painful rays, she'd taken refuge underneath a large white cloak that hid every visible part of skin she had. There really was no other choice for her, unless she just decided to bathe in lotion. Willow was albino, which meant her skin had no pigment to help fight against sunburn. A lesson she learned after her first day traveling through the desert. Nothing in the desert posed as much a threat as sunburn. Even presently, she could feel the skin on her shoulders beginning to peel from that mistake she made days ago. Still, she had decided to leave the hood down, and instead apply a layer of lavender scented lotion to her face to aid in the fight against sunburn, though it had a nasty habit of mixing with her sweat and seeping into her eyes.

While she believed that she followed the Flow, sometimes she wished it'd lead her around some of the places she went through. Though she supposed it'd be hard to go around a desert, and it was far too late to change directions now-- if she even could, without making a huge circle. She'd finally reached an oasis of sorts, in the form of the city of Azma. She glanced up as she entered the gate that led into the city, smiling all the while.

It was to be her last stop before she entered the Misty Wood to begin ritual of the Almighty Flow. Somewhere within the forest she'd find where the magic currents fought against each other, and where she'd meditate for a day to determine if she was truly blessed by the Flow, or if she was simply blessed to make it that far. It was an exciting thought, though she knew she would have to be patient. To plunge ahead without thought, rest, and without replenishing her supplies would simply be foolhardy. The Flow may have guided her, but it would not feed her or quench her thirst.

That, and she fully intended to make use of the city's hot springs before she left. Once she was inside the city, she oriented herself and headed toward the market, hopefully she would find an inn to rest before her journey led her into the Misty Woods. Before that, however, she'd give herself a week to bask in the city. She had heard stories of Azma, specifically of their Market. Sure, while her journey could be called a pilgrimage, of a sort anyway, no one said that pilgrimages had to be dull. Eventually, after a few wrong turns and somehow ending up staring up the stairs toward the palace in the Central District, she'd managed to find her way into the market.

The hustle and bustle of the city seemed to centralize in the market as shops and stalls littered the streets, every one of them hocking wares or entertainment. She felt like a child in a candy store-- of which there were a few of as well, and more than likely she'd also visit. She'd slowed her gait to peruse the stalls before she found her inn. A scent of cherry in the air drew her toward one such stall. The shop in question sold a variety of pipes with accompanying flavored smoke. With her fancy tickled, Willow splurged and purchased a white painted pipe and the cherry flavored smoke. As she continued to browse the market, the pipe dangled loosely from her lips, though she decided against lighting the smoke just yet.

Another stall she stopped at hocked fresh apples. “I want three,” she asked, plucking the three she wanted out of the stall. As she held the apples with one hand, she used her other hand to gesture something, causing a hole to open in the air where she gestured. She set the apples on the counter as she threw her pipe and smoke into the open hole and reached her hand in to fish around. Elbow deep and a few moments later, Willow withdrew her arm with a handful coins, which she offered to the shopkeeper. Before she closed the dimension, however, she tossed two of the apples into its hungry maw, opting to chew on the one remaining. As she closed the dimension, a nearby commotion caught her attention. “What...?” she quietly asked herself before heading toward the noise.

The ruckus was coming from a nearby alley, and as she approached, she noticed others had already gathered to watch. She slipped her way toward the front, and came to witness what seemed to be a grown man in armor fighting with what seemed to be children. “What?” She asked again, her brow raising in confusion. Someone next to her simple answered with a shrug. She made it just in time to hear one of the children lecture the man before he attack them. The man's ferocity against children of all people took Willow aback and left her mouth agape. “Wait, that's not... Why...? I missed something,” Willow muttered to herself. Still, despite herself she found herself biting into her apple.

Her hair the fluttered in the wind as one of the children called upon wind spell called Windbreaker. The spell shattered the man's armor and sword, and left him sprawled on the ground. Willow only sighed and took another bite from the apple. “Right... Well. That was... interesting?” she asked herself. She shook her head and turned away from the scuffle. The child seemed to have handled himself admirably, though perhaps he lacked a certain degree of control. Still, far be it for her to question who the Flow does and does not bless. Certainly, everything will work itself out in the end. She'd just have be keep a mind out for any ambitiously arrogant knights.

She bit into the apple in her hand once more and turned back toward the market. Surely a there was a tea house somewhere in the city. She could use a nice cup of tea. Oh, and maybe a pastry, too. She smiled to herself as she went to find such a place.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Emerin "Emry" Liro Character Portrait: Mako "Mac" Mynvera
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Hot... it was hot. With each step the sand seared Mako's webbed feet, the sun bearing down upon his skin making him feel slowly more and more like a cooked fish filet. The weight of the bag of treasure upon his back didn't help as it shook back and forth throwing his balance off slightly each time. He had pushed out pain from his mind and keep his eyes set forward, not looking back. It was how he approached much of his life since leaving his clan, it was the way of a treasure hunter, of an adventurer. Any personal pain was a small price to pay to pave the road of glory. These goals of mine reach wider than the oceans are deep, he thinks, pulling out a scroll from his bag to write that one down for his autobiography.

He had come to Azma with the vaguest hint that something may be around, some clue to the location of a long lost treasure... mirror something. He probably should have asked instead of rushing at the mention of treasure, but here he was, no point to that now. Anyways, if it was a bust, he'd still be able to make a fine trade with the various relics he'd acquired from depths these land dwellers would likely never get to see. It wasn't all profit though, some could end up on display somewhere for all to see. It was a bit to hope for, but it was certainly a better chance than withering away in some tomb or underwater wreckage.

As he continues onwards he feels something is off, and turns around to see a large dune behind him. Peculiar, I do not remember scaling that, he thinks. He shrugs it off and continues his trek, then he hears it, the ever so subtle sound of shifting sand. He furrows his brow and picks up his pace some, the sand mound following behind him closely like a lost puppy. Not the weirdest thing to be pursued by a dune, but it is certainly up there, he ponders with some annoyance.

"Look, I don't know what form of horrid monstrosity you are, friend, but I'd suggest you turn yourself right around and go home," he says as if the creature would be intelligent enough to understand him. It was worth a shot, at least, to be courteous in case it understood, after all, it is what separates right upstanding intelligent beings from carnivorous monstrosities from the depths. In this case, however, it didn't mean anything to the creature as it continued stalking him. "Alright, I'll give you a fair countdown, 5... 4... 3... 2..."

The sand dune bursts open and a large sandworm lunges out from it, right at Mako. He freezes in place, but instead of turning in sock or horror, the look on his face is that of mild annoyance at best. He snaps one of his long fingers and the canteens of water pop open, shooting forth tentacle-like streams of water that entangle the creature, much to its shock. It squirms but it is futile. "How sad, I don't imagine your pea brain can properly appreciate the elegance of such a spell as Hydra's Wrath... it is something of my own experiment, I really should brand it," he says nonchalantly, the creature obviously not understanding a word of it. "Ah well, such is wasted on the likes of you, so be off."

With that he shrugs his shoulders and continues forwards, the jets of water shoot upwards sending the creature hurdling into the air. "Ridiculous worm, forcing me to waste precious water," he mutters as he dangles an empty canteen. The worm landing with a resounding impact in the distance, sending sand flying into the air, embedded in tail straight up from the ground before toppling over then taking off at full speed in the opposite direction of Mako.

Moments later after that long trek he comes into Azma, expecting it to be rather dull, instead bustling with activity over something as a crowd was gathered. "What is this now, some festivities perchance?" He rushes over despite his fatigue. He came in just in time to see a young boy and a man brawling it out over something. He looked to the crowd in puzzlement and some annoyance wondering why none of them were doing anything about it. Not even the ones who appear as guards! He sighs, figuring if anyone was to be a man around here it may as well be...

Before he could finish that thought, he witnessed the boy utilize some form of intense wind magic upon the facadical knight, the man's armor was reduced to mere scrap. Mako looks on in awe, a bit of shrapnel harmlessly imprinted in his forehead. He looks to the worthless man laying unconscious, then back to the boy. He watched as he went to comfort who he assumed a friend of his. He heard muttering in the crowd, but the crowd was too thick, he could not detect its source, something about Mirror's Edge, great power, and the boy being connected to it. This peaked his curiosity, it sounded like what he had come here for.

With that he stepped forward shoving through the crowd, and with a wide grin he begins to applaud Emerin. "Well shown, you display your wind skills quite elegantly, boy! How unfortunate a lowly beast as he will be unlikely to appreciate it," he says in a highly upbeat tone. He kneels down courteously and takes the heavy bag from his back placing it before him. "I am Mako Mynvera, a treasure hunter and adventurer... normally I'd place a price... but as I see it, in a world as this, certainly no noble deed should go unrewarded."

The thought does cross his mind that a stranger as he would quickly become suspicious, but someone as forward as him cared little of that. From what he saw, he had already some respect for the boy, and if he was something connected to the treasure he sought, it was far more sensible to earn his way in than to use the deceptive ways of lesser men. "So, what say you, hero, anything you want?"

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Character Portrait: Emerin "Emry" Liro Character Portrait: Altian Acropaleus Character Portrait: Mako "Mac" Mynvera
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The life of Altian Acropaleus was this: take in everything. From the simplest of children books to the most advanced of novels. From the barest of phrases to the most cryptic of languages. From the simple chore of baking bread to the most complex hoe to be crafted.

From the most painful of dodging zap balls to the most healing of hot springs.

Yeah, that previous bit had sucked. Alt was never good enough at the game and he often got hit plenty of times. The vastness of the knowledge he had couldn't save him from electrocuted madness as he dove and blocked every which way. But he still played the game and he still had fun. Because he was with Emry-Shu.

Alt sighed as he closed his eyes and let his skin take in all the nutrients Tavia had to offer. And the reward for participation sure was worth it.

"Alt-Shu, I swear, he might just be as curious as you are right now. One day, he is going to leave Azma on his own adventure. I keep wondering, when do you think we will start ours?"

He turned to glance at Emry-Shu, who was floating on his back, but staring at him. "I am not sure how much longer I can wait."

Alt smiled calmly, "We'll know when the time comes. Fate will bring us a goal to strive for. That is when we embark."

Emry-Shu just kept looking at the crystal clear sky,"I wonder what its like, all those wonderful places out there. Sure, you can hear and read the stories, but that's through the account of someone else. I want to experience it close up. For one thing, living in this desert city, I have no idea what snow is like. Alt-Shu, wouldn't it be nice to know how it feels ourselves? When we start our adventure, we should run into a place with snow. And beaches. And the ocean. And unexplored temples and ruins and what not. I want to know what it feels like to walk through those places on my two feet. Stories, logs, even artificial magically created snow isn't enough for me".

Alt looked outward, towards the vast desert. The seemingly endless span of sand, rocks, and other earthly origins invited him, urging him to put his knowledge to the test. To just go out and explore new things, new places, and new people. He'd read enough about them to know what to expect, but those were just the books in his parents' library. Nothing could compare against the real deal.

But his gaze fell back towards the orphans, all of them swimming around the two. Emry was their mentor and their guide, much more so than Alt was. In fact, Alt was the only non-orphan among them. While all these kids, Emry-Shu included, had no idea where they came from and who their real parents were, Altian was born and raised by his in Azma. Still, he looked upon them with a fondness so endearing that it didn't matter. He was considered one of them anyway. What would become of them when they left on this adventure?

He felt the hand of Emry fall across his neck as he spoke, "Given all the training we have done, combined with my high magical power and your expansive research and knowledge, we could probably become great adventurers right now Alt-Shu! After all, there is no one I would trust more to have my back!"

Altian clasped Emry's shoulder in response, "And yours to mine, Emry-Shu!"

As the young boy continued to float in the water, Alt couldn't help but think about the Dragon Tattoo on his back...the puzzle that was missing so many pieces it was practically unsolvable. It boggled his mind that such a mark wouldn't show up in any of the books he'd read. And he'd read pretty much every book in the library. But Alt's determination shined through all that, shoving impossibility aside and taking every route he knew to take possible. He was going to figure it out some day. Even if it meant going out into the world just for that reason.

The words of Hawke cut through Alt's train of thought as he shifted in the water to get a better look. As expected, Emerian was already out of the water, by his side and helping the orphan. It was his compassionate side that Alt liked the most. The ability for him to set everything aside personally and take on not just his own burdens, but other people's as well. It was an admirable trait that Emry-Shu wished to inspire into others.

"Alt-Shu, if you want, I might need your help if he is powerful. Don't want to risk anyone getting hurt".

Alt was already climbing out of the spring himself, drying off and putting on his clothes, "I agree. Although I'm pretty sure a bastard who picks on orphans isn't much of a fighter anyway. I'll step in if the situation becomes dire."

And Emry was off, Altian close behind. While Emry had his lightweight body to help him move faster, Altian was using a method of travel called Pfen (Streak, Line) Movement. A nearly forgotten mode of travel, Pfen Movement allowed Alt to vault forward at a faster speed by morphing into a ball of a glowing white substance, leaving a trail of white behind him, hence streak. The streak itself dazed everyone who ran into it, concussing them for a few seconds. It was one of the more unique magical abilities Altian had mastered and he chose it because of how little magic it used. Teleportation was another skill he knew, but it took up much more mana than Pfen Movement did.

As Emry rounded the bend, Alt morphed back into his human self the moment the knight was in view. He knew immediately by the way the Knight stood over Vale that this was going to be a one sided fight and that he wouldn't need to do anything but protect Vale from becoming a target. He focused his energy and produced a barrier, surrounding Vale within for his protection while Emry and the knight fought.

"A Knight with the Order of Truth," He heard the knight utter, "I am Sir Ramsly, and my order are those who hunt for the Truth and dispel the lies of darkness. And I will prove to my order that I am the right successor to lead the Order. This boy dare disgraced my by touching me without even apologizing in the street, someone of his filth doesn't even have the right to look at me directly."

Altian recalled some information about the Order of Truth, The Order of Truth. A group of nomadic knights who believe themselves superior to the civilians around them because of their "chivalrous ways". Originating in the city of Glimohlt, they spread out across the world, seeking the truth and dispelling those who spread lies and slander. While first intentions were good, the group has, since it's creation, devolved into a group of criminals who use their motto as a front to bash and bully their way into getting what they want...usually more treasure. But there were some members who were sadistic enough to use it as an excuse to hurt innocent civilians.

Like the dunderhead Sir Ramsly over there who was getting his ass firmly handed to him by Emry's Windbreaker.

He smiled at the familiar move. It was a move only people who have been around Azma for a while knew. Emry had the strongest Windbreaker to date among the young crowd, but Alt wasn't far behind. He watched with a calm smile on his face as the knight was sent careening into the street in front, weapon in shambles and armor in pieces.

"I'll take it from here, Emry-Shu!" he called back, and began walking towards the Knight. The Knight saw him coming and spit in front of him, his nose scrunched up in anger.

"You fuckin' little turd!" he threw a punch in Alt's direction, but Alt easily threw a barrier up for his fist to bounce off of. The force of impact dropped him onto the ground once more. Alt tsked as he stood above him.

"A shame someone had the honor of placing you in a knightly position. Though from an organization as low and dishonest as the Order of Truth, I can see why you were." Sir Ramsly reached out to punch Alt again, but Alt calculated the flimsy fist and caught it easily in the palm of his hand. "Not so scary without your sword..."

The Knight stared up at him, all levels of anger in his eyes as the brutality sunk in of being beaten by a couple of kids. Alt merely smiled and gripped his fist tighter, his blue eyes intensely reflecting his analytical side as he spoke again.

"My name is Altian. And you are no longer welcome in Azma."

And with that, the Knight disappeared. Alt had teleported him somewhere. When Alt didn't think of a destination, the item or person he wished to teleport was whisked away to a random location on Tavia. Sir Ramsly could literally have spawned in the middle of Vera-Sul (South Ocean) and he wouldn't have known it.

Alt turned back around, catching the eyes of someone slipping away into the darkness. It was too late to pursue as the mystery figure would likely be long gone by the time he got there. Altian's smile faded, unsure of what that meant. But he knew it couldn't be good.

He turned to see the smiling face of Emry once more, except this time he was holding a journal. "Well Alt-Shu, looks like its beginning sooner then we thought. Because I trust you can find a clue inside this notebook combined with all your research into the tattoo already. I have no doubt in your abilities."

Alt examined the journal's cover on the outside, "Then I guess we should start at the-"

A loud clap broke through the air, interrupting Altian as a figure approached them, "Well shown, you display your wind skills quite elegantly, boy! How unfortunate a lowly beast as he will be unlikely to appreciate it." Altian's gaze narrowed at the Lopid with the heavy sack approached. "I am Mako Mynvera, a treasure hunter and adventurer... normally I'd place a price... but as I see it, in a world as this, certainly no noble deed should go unrewarded."

Alt did not like this one. Not from the moment he emerged with his bag of goodies in tow. He could sense the sin he carried the moment he walked straight to Emerin. Greed. A plague that struck many. He wanted something and Altian knew it.

"So, what say you, hero, anything you want?"

Altian stepped in the way, "I think we're good. Emry-Shu, we need to go. I still need your help dusting off my bookshelves!" That was a lie and Emry would know it, but he needed some kind of front to keep the Lopid at bay.

He didn't wait for Emry's response, grabbing his arm and tugging him easy feat given how light he was.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Emerin "Emry" Liro Character Portrait: Altian Acropaleus Character Portrait: Willow Character Portrait: Mako "Mac" Mynvera
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Emerin had no doubt that Altian could handle the guy, even if he had his armor and weapon, Alt-Shu could handle a guy five times as strong as that worthless excuse for a Knight. After all, he knew pretty much everything, including the best counters for the best attacks, how to alter the frequency of a sonic barrier to better defend against different situations, and even which elemental magic works best against other elemental magics.

As the two traded remarks, Emerin made sure all of Vale's wounds were treated. They were, apparently that knight didn't even manage to hit him properly. Really kind of pathetic. Emerin felt sad, not for the Knight, he was a bastard. He felt sad for Alt-Shu who had to deal with that piece of scum.

As Alt-Shu walked over, Emerin nodded. "Don't think I could have put it better myself, Alt-Shu. I am curious though, you ever wonder if people get teleported into trees or anything?"

As he put his cloak back on, he suddenly got grabbed before he could reply. Which, of course, led to him getting pulled and running right into a female Crotayin. "Oh, sorry about that. Guess we got a bit ahead of ourselves. Now, guess we better get to the library. Hey, is the translation guides still next to that book of maps about Misty Forest? Also...."

He grabbed Altian's hand, and poured on the wind magic. He barely needed any for himself, for others it was a different matter entirely....when they flew up into the air. But the Azma wind let them soar just a little bit easier. Granted, Altian probably wasn't as used to it as Emerin was. He loved doing this, because it let him feel the wind. "...gotta love the light body".

It didn't take them long to reach the library though. "So yeah, the guy was a creep, but did you really have to pull that hard?"

As they entered, he looked around. He also used a bit of wind magic so they didn't track sand inside. "Now, do you know what it says Alt-Shu? I didn't look at it very long, but Vale told me some of it spoke of Dragon tattoos and what not".

Emerin hadn't really looked through it yet. "You know, I just realized, I should have used that guy as a test subject for this new combo move I want to try out, Razor Tornado. Its a combination of Razor Wind and Updraft Tornado". He then looked at the journal. "So, you think it holds any clues?

(Just cause you can write long, doesn't always mean you should. Or can)

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Character Portrait: Emerin "Emry" Liro Character Portrait: Altian Acropaleus Character Portrait: Willow
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Willow hesitated. She closed her eyes and shook her head. Maps of the Misty Woods? “Well. There's an idea,” she told herself. Personally, Willow would've rather find her own way, and let the Flow guide her to wherever it deemed her fitting., and hope that she'd find where the magic collided. Usually she'd turn her nose up at the idea of the maps but... It was clear that this was the path the Flow has chosen for her. It was the only explanation for the contrived coincidence landing basically what amounted to in her lap, and Willow was not the type to run counter to the current of the Flow. Though, it did manage to throw her planned schedule off.

A sigh escaped her as the child and a friend zipped off using wind magic before she had a chance to speak to them. Impulsive too, she thought as the boys' forms grew smaller as they gained distance. She couldn't help but wonder what kind of individuals the kids would be if they had trained under a monk of the Almighty Flow. Regardless, Willow gestured and opened up her pocket dimension before reaching in and across to pull out a paper. A to-do list of sorts. On the front page were a list of items she needed for her journey, along with some things she wanted. On the back were the things she wanted to do in Azma before she left. Among them, visiting the library was already present, if only to see what material they had on the Almighty Flow, but it was near the tail end of her visit. She'd have to move that up, and push some of the other things back.

It seemed she'd have to find that tea house later. Flipping the paper back over to the list of essentials, she closed the pocket dimension and nodded. She'd head toward the library, picking up what items she could as she went. The tea and pastries could come later, as well as whatever she missed on her list. With that, she began to move back down through the market, asking for directions to the library as she went. Willow did not come away from her jaunt through the markets empty handed, however. Among her finds were containers of water, a supply of dried food that were magically preserved to last-- though at the cost of flavor, and other various necessities. Beside the essentials, Willow also found a new stock of dried watercolor pigments and a new set of brushes. Her old set had the bristles falling out and her paint was starting to lose it's luster.

Eventually, her shopping spree came to a close and she had the task of finding the library ahead of her. Instead of immediately finding the library, however, she found instead the steps that led up to the palace. Again. She huffed at herself before she continued, allowing the Flow to guide her... Along with the directions of a few individuals she passed by. Soon, she found her destination without much more distractions. Glancing around herself, and nodded herself and headed inside. One the door was behind her, she took off her cloak and gestured again, tossing it into the recently opened portal. Bright red sunburned shoulders were beginning to peel, and a line was beginning to form around her neck where she had been wearing her cloak. Rubbing the skin on the back of her neck she rolled her shoulders.

“Anyone here?” she called gently into the library. She knew better to shout. It was a library after all, but she still needed help to find what she was looking for. “I, uh... heard that there were maps of the Misty Woods here?” she asked.

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Character Portrait: Emerin "Emry" Liro Character Portrait: Altian Acropaleus Character Portrait: Willow
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Altian kept running, further and further away from the alleyway. He continued to make his way through the market, taking a glance back to see if the Lopid was following.

That was his mistake. A moment later, he slammed into the Crotayin at full force. Staggering back, he looked up at the female, "Sorry miss!" he apologized before taking off again, heading towards the library. Luckily, they had the luxury of being kids, meaning they could get away with a few of those moments. He felt his feet leave the ground as he was whisked up by Emry-Shu's Wind Magic.

The library wasn't too impressive looking on the outside, made from the same adobe brick as most other buildings were in Azma. But the design was...kind of weird. One could tell from the outside that the building had three floors just by the design, as it almst looked like a square snowman without the corn cob pipe and the button nose...not like any of them knew what snow was anyway. The building was square all around with a square in the second and third floor. Once Altian saw the familiar sight in front of him, he let the wind bubble take the down in front of it.

He recalled the last statement Emry-Shu had said before they took off, right before the man had shown up. "I am curious though, you ever wonder if people get teleported into trees or anything?"

He laughed at the absurdity of the question, "Well, as much as I'd like to say yes for that bataka, it doesn't work like that. It's not possible to teleport to a place that magic is currently occupying. And all life forms carry magic, including trees. Of course, no one has ever tried, but it might be worth looking into some day."

They walked in through the front doors into Altian's little paradise. The place wasn't that expansive, but it was fairly big for a city in Azma. They walked on a wooden floor between bookshelves through the dimly lit building. There was a lot of dust on the shelves themselves. History, Altian called it. In the middle of the place was a spiral staircase that led up to the second and third floor. His parents weren't here right now. They were likely in the market, trying to find some good trades and talk to the heroes and adventurers on their eternal quest for Altian was.

They approached the staircase and began climbing, up to the second floor and beyond. The first floor carried some of the general knowledge, the second more specific. But it was the third floor that Altian was leading him, a room Emry had been in before, but no one else besides Alt and his parents. Reaching into his pocket, Alt produced a key as they climbed to the third floor. All that was there when they got there was a door, presumably locked. Alt entered, the key in the keyhole, turned the knob, and entered his real paradise.

There weren't nearly as many books in this room so much as they were in the other rooms. There were maps with drawings all over them, directing the reader to certain places. A globe of Tavia was positioned in the center of the room with it's own markings on it. Many things were framed on the walls. Parchments with spells on them, swords for future champions who wished to claim them. Many an adventurer had left their belongings in the company of this library, leaving their mark in it's history. The public information these men wished to give to anyone was put down below in the standard library. But for those that wished to keep secrets...for those that wanted this information to be for as few ears as possible, it was stored here. On the door facing the inside was a list...a list of people that were allowed to enter this place to claim what was theirs. Altian and Emerian were the only two exceptions, given that his parents trusted them to not take anything out of it.

But now, it looked like something was going to go in.

Closing and locking the door behind him, Alt finally felt safe as he approached Emry. "There were people watching you back there...watching you with interest. Whatever is in that journal had to be very valuable. And we can't let it fall into the wrong hands." He led Emry over to one of the side tables where there was some room to work.

"That's why I dragged you away so quickly. They won't be able to spy on us in here." He pointed at the journal, "Now...let's see what secrets this thing holds."

As he felt the book in his hands, he felt the apprehension...the power within. He was in his element here and he knew it. Grinning widely, he opened the book and looked at all the information inside.

A nasty surprise awaited him. Altian knew a lot of languages, but he didn't know this one. The script was written in an odd but familiar pattern. Curious, he turned to Emry. "Let me see your dragon tattoo."

He didn't wait for an answer as he knew it would be yes. He lifted Emry's shirt, revealing the thing on his back. Sure enough, the text popped out to him, the same familiar pattern in the words.

"Yep, the words in the book are written in the same language as the ones on the tattoo," he told him, "Let me get some translation books and see if it'll help me decipher it. You stay here. Try to see if you can find anything you can read in it."

He exited the room, walked down to the first floor, and proceeded to find every translation book this library had. He knew the general vicinity of where they would be, so finding them was quicker. He grabbed a large stack of them and use levitation magic to keep them afloat in the air behind him. He could've used telekinesis to take all the books he needed off the shelf and take them upstairs, but he wanted to conserve as much magical energy as he could muster. For that reason, he pulled them out by hand.

About twenty minutes passed before Alt reappeared into the room, a few large stacks of books floating behind him.

"I think I got them all. Did you-"

“Anyone here?” he heard a call from below, “I, uh... heard that there were maps of the Misty Woods here?”

Crap."Hold that thought, Emry-Shu. I'll go deal with the customer. See if any of these books can translate the text."

Once more descending the stairs, he stopped short when he spotted the Crotayin in front of him...the same one he bumped into earlier. He rubbed the back of his head, "Oh, uh...hi there ma'am. Yes we do carry maps to the Misty Woods, if you'll follow me." He led her to the area where they stored the maps. "And, uh...sorry about earlier. Me and my friend weren't looking where we were going."

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Character Portrait: Emerin "Emry" Liro Character Portrait: Altian Acropaleus Character Portrait: Willow
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As Alt-Shu explained how they couldn't do that, Emry was a little disappointed. He sort of hoped he would, given how much of an ass and a bataka he was. "Too bad. Well, maybe we got lucky, and he ended up in a fishing barrel or something with stinky fish".

As they climbed the library, Emry started to think about what this could mean, where it could lead them. After all, it was finally here, he was sure of it, the dawn of their adventure. Every cell in his body could feel it, his excitement nearly uncontainable. Actually, it did start becoming uncontainable, as his dragon tattoo lit up, revealing the words once more.

As they entered the third floor, Emry finally couldn't contain himself. "Alt-Shu, its gotta be it. If it really has information on this tattoo, then it might lead us to where I am from! This is it, this is the start of our adventure!"

As Emerin was practically hopping with joy, until Altian mentioned the people watching him. Its true, he could sense it back there. At least three or four people looked at him with interest, though maybe the interest part was because they were interesting themselves. It could be possible. But it didn't shake the feeling that at least one of them had dark intentions. Not the creepy guy, but someone else who slipped away. Someone with dark intentions. Emry knew he had to take Alt-Shu with him, not only because he completely trusted him, he was his best friend, and he was the smartest person Emry knew, but also because he didn't want to risk the guy going after him for information on Emry....and not getting any. Alt-Shu would never give up information on Emerin, he was sure of it, so he would likely suffer and die if he was caught.

He then replied immediately. "I agree, which means once we decode this, we should leave at once! Like I said, I wouldn't prefer anyone else to watch my back Alt-Shu, and there is a lot you know that will come in useful, so I think we should both leave as soon as possible, if only to get away from that guy who paid way too much attention to me and slipped away. I only barely noticed him, so he must be really skilled. And since he saw us both, we should both go".

Emerin had probably already given away his intentions. He was never much to run away from a fight, which meant A: He wanted to start his adventure, and B: He wanted Alt-Shu to come with him on the adventure, plus C: He wanted Alt-Shu to not be hurt by this shady person, were probably easy to guess for him.

As he asked to see the tattoo after looking at the journal, he already guessed Emry's answer. He lifted his cloak to look at it. He then told him the text did match. As he did, Emry grabbed the journal and looked at it. As Altian left, Emry realized he could read the words. And then, a grave revelation hit him. He had never once seen the words on his own tattoo when it was lit up. After all, whenever he tried to get a look himself, he wasn't fired up enough for it to be glowing. Emerin grew a bit pale. How is it he never realized this sooner.

It did bother him though a Knight wrote it down in his notebook when Altian never found a single translation. That's a bit strange in its own right. It also meant that even though he read every book in this, he never translated it, so there was no translation book that could translate it. So, he just decided to read it out loud as Alt-Shu came in.

"'You are here by ordered to investigate the Library of Elliad, where recently a room full of ancient texts and statues have been found. Rumors indicate that it may be linked to the source of this ancient language passed down through our organization's ranks for generations. As a result, we wrote the instructions down to make it impossible for anyone to intercept, and sent several other Knights along different routes to get there. Ensure no one else finds it first, especially them...' Alt-Shu, do you know what this means? We can start our adventure by heading to the place you always talk about and what to visit since forever! I wonder who them refers to though? No matter, given the urgency of the message, the fact we have others to contend with, and the fact there is someone around here who might try to do us harm, I think we should leave immediately!"

Alt-Shu then asked him to hold that thought as another customer showed up. Emerin, too excited to wait, jumped down and used wind magic to cause him to not get injured from the fall. He then noticed the Crotayin from earlier. "Oh, sorry about earlier again. Anyways, Alt-Shu! We should probably get ready immediately. We might need a map of the Misty Forest for reference, since we will probably need to pass through that and the Duvane desert to get to The Library of Elliad (P.S.: Elt = Universe, Liad = Consult, but when you pronounce it you take off the T, so it becomes Elliad)".

Then he looked down at what he was wearing. "And I should probably get some extra clothes, or just a shirt and some shoes in general, for when we reach colder places. Now, Alt-Shu, I will wait here, you get everything you need here, and then we can go to my place and get my stuff. We should probably hurry though, before that guy finds us".

While he left time for Alt-Shu get some stuff, he then looked at the Crotayin. "Sorry again, its just we made a discovery recently, and its kinda important, so we are in a rush. I hope I didn't cause you any trouble earlier".

As soon as Alt-Shu was ready, he would open a giant portal and take them to their destination.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Emerin "Emry" Liro Character Portrait: Altian Acropaleus Character Portrait: Willow
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Willow followed the child toward where they kept the maps. In the room was a wall lined with scrolls of parchments, most likely maps of other areas. In response Willow smiled and shook her head, “Thank you, and don't worry about it.” With that she took a step toward the wall and inspected the racks of parchments. Most likely organized alphabetically, she began to finger through them looking for her quarry. She'd managed to reach the H's before another child entered close behind the first. This one she recognized the one that fought with the knight before flying off with his friend to the library. The impulsive one. She offered him a smile upon his entrance. Likewise to the boy from before, Alt from what his friend called him, Willow simply brushed his apology off as it was no big deal.

By the time the other boy also mentioned the maps to the Misty Woods, Willow finally had it in her hands. She hesitated for a moment, before slowly turning around with a confused look on her face. You need the map too?” she asked, an alabaster brow arching over her forehead. “Huh, imagine that,” she said. Her eyes flicked toward the map in her hand, which with a flick of a hand she opened, for a moment before it alighted on the children again. “We seem to have a coincidence here. see, I need the maps too,” she said cheerily. She knew there were no such things as coincidences, there was only the path the Flow laid out before her.

While she spoke, she made the gesture for her pocket dimension with her hand, which to the kids would seem like a simple circle with an X crossed through the middle. With the same hand, she reached in and began to fish around for something. As she fished, she continued to speak. “See, there's a ritual I wanna do, right? But the thing is...” she paused for a moment, focusing on her hand for a moment before she continued, “I want to do it in the Misty Wood. Sure, I could do it else where, and it'd probably be a lot safer but... Aha!” she exclaimed. She withdrew the hand to reveal a length of parchment and a pencil between her fingers. “Like I was saying, it'd be a really good test for myself if I manage to do the ritual in the Misty Wood, see?”

With that, she smiled again, “I figure I can just copy down enough of the map to get me where I'm going while you two get ready to do... whatever it is you are planning to do. Sound good?” she asked.

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Character Portrait: Emerin "Emry" Liro Character Portrait: Altian Acropaleus Character Portrait: Willow
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Altian couldn't help but have the alarm bells go off in his head as the Crotayin mentioned that she needed to go to the same place as him and Emry-Shu. It wasn't that he didn't believe in coincidences...they were just few and far in between in his world. And it was always safer to assume otherwise.

But then logic kicked in and Altian realized that there was no way she could've known anything about the book or their travels. Unlike the Lopid they'd ran away from earlier, she wasn't close enough to see Vale hand Emry the journal. And they had run into her, not the other way around. Plus, she seemed to carry the trait of diligence with her, a virtuous one. She was going on about testing herself and she'd even offered to write down specifically where she needed to go on the map. She'd even pulled a piece of paper from her pocket dimension...the place where she stored all her stuff. Alt recognized the pattern she made with her finger. Personally, he didn't have a use for it. It took too much of his mana and he didn't carry much with him anyways. It was a great place to store items and keep them hidden, so long as no one else knew you had the pocket dimension. Otherwise, they could use a variety of spatial magic to get in and loot it...a lot of which Altian knew how to do. In fact, he made a symbol of his own behind his back, little circle of his own, but with a slash through it rather than an X.

He finally replied, "Yeah, I guess so. But you pull that sword out of your pocket dimension on us and so help me, by the name of Doromyn, I will whisk you away to some random swamp in Wazvera!"

He was using the Peek Dimension charm, an ability that let him see the contents of other people's pocket dimensions, but not take from them. Unlike summoning a pocket dimension itself, it took much less mana and was a lot more useful to Altian.

With that out of the way, he turned to Emry-Shu, "Okay, I'm going to get a few things. You just get to know our new acquaintance here and I'll be back in a bit."

With that, he ran up the spiral staircase, entering the room on the third floor. The first thing he noticed upon entering was that in Emry-Shu's excitement, he forgot to take the book with him. Shaking his head in amusement, Alt reached up and snatched the book off the table. Only Emry-Shu...

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Emerin "Emry" Liro Character Portrait: Altian Acropaleus Character Portrait: Willow Character Portrait: Mako "Mac" Mynvera Character Portrait: Tam Mhel Farshaw
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Emerin tried to figure out a way to settle this peacefully and intelligently. She didn't come off as a threat to him, but he was still worried about a lot. Enough that magical energy was practically radiating magical pressure. So, his response was fairly straight forward. "Hey, I know! Why don't you come with us! Its safer to travel in larger groups anyways!"

Alt-Shu might be a bit upset with him for this, but Emry didn't know how powerful this guy was, and he figured it was the smart play. After all, Emry might be hot blooded, but he wasn't an idiot. He liked to stack the odds in his favor. Its not like he went around forgetting....

Alt-Shu came down with the journal. Oops, forgot that. As they all showed up, and with Willow in agreement to go with them (as I discussed earlier with Tali), Emry decided to open a portal and take them all to the Bakery. He couldn't normally open a portal to a place he could not see, but the Bakery was an exception. Instead of making anyone jump into the portal though, he moved the portal through them, having them appear in front of the bakery. "Okay, let me just get some stuff, and then we can head out".

As he walked in, he immediately noticed creepyguy and freaked out inside his own head. Emry used a Wind Magic technique, Wind Whisper, to secretly let Altian know. He snuck by, and managed to get the attention of his father, who quickly gave Emry a big hug. "Welcome back, son! Whats with the look on your face?"

"Me and Alt-Shu need to be heading out soon into the Misty Woods. Here, I will explain the situation to you" he told him, explaining the long story about everything. It wasn't that long, but still. Once it was one, he simply nodded.

"Well, you were getting impatient, so here" he said with a smile, giving him two packs full of stuff. He stored them both in his dimensional closet, via his portal magic. "It has clothes for all types of weather, a large supply of food, and a journal so you can keep records of your travels. I knew it would happen one day soon. Just promise me you will try to be safe".

"Yes, Papa" Emerin told him as he gave him a hug goodbye. "I promise I will look after the both of us".

"That's good. And don't worry, I can manage just fine on my own. Also here...." he said, taking out a blue vest like shirt. It was open in the front, and sleeveless. "To help hide the dragon so you will be harder to identify. Now, be safe. And just make sure to have fun, okay?"

He smiled, and gave him a hug goodbye, before rejoining the others. He was a bit emotional, and still on edge, so he was still radiating magic like crazy, that only those sensitive to it would realize though. "So, I guess its time to make our way through the Misty Woods. Then me and Alt-Shu need to reach The Library of Elliad, in the Gilded City". And hopefully, we lose that one guy that I can't help but notice is watching us even now, from across the street...

"So, anything else we need?"

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Character Portrait: Emerin "Emry" Liro Character Portrait: Mako "Mac" Mynvera Character Portrait: Tam Mhel Farshaw
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Mako nearly jumped at first when that blue haired boy entered the shop. He had forgotten why he came here in the first place becoming preoccupied with pastries. He tried to act inconspicious by pretending to browse, keeping an eye on father and son. When Emerin left, he gave a wistful expression and let out a sigh. The exchange reminded him of what he had left behind. The difference here was that nobody was begging the boy not to go. Ignoring the glares by Tam, he went up to the blue haired boy's father.

"Excuse me for intruding but that was your boy, wasn't it," he asks in a growingly sympathetic tone. "I had just arrived and yet... after such a short time I could tell that the people here... they really love him... willing to protect him."

With that he looms over the counter some. "When I left for a life of adventure, I was little older than he is now, and I had to peel myself away, I was begged to stay," he says, raising a brow, or would if he had one, and holds his hands out. "So... why?"

"Because one, I know better" he joked. "Plus, it was clear from his expression this wasn't an optional choice of his. He has to do this, for a few reasons, but a new reason seems to have come up that made it urgent. And considering how he explained things to me, I agree with him. And the reason the people love him so much is because he best represents what Azma truly is. Besides, it clear by his eyes. I just wish I could do a little more to help, but I raised him so well, he is pretty much his own man. Though, he definently gets credit as well. He really is an exceptional kid, and for that matter, so is his friend, Altian".

"I can see that clearly now, it is as if he's the heart of Azma," Mako says with a chuckle, before giving a downcast expression. "But he is still just a boy, as I was, and he will see things both amazing... and terrifying. I will not lie, either, I came here on a trail of a certain interest, and found that boy of yours in a fight with a rather nasty fellow, he handled himself well enough, the guy was just a thug, a real pushover but... well, I suppose you may know where this is going... there will come a time when it isn't just a thug. You know this, right?"

"Well to be honest, Emerin has enough raw magical power to be a force of reckoning of his own. To be honest, he has been ready for this adventure for the past two years. And when he is with Altian, who is pretty much a super genius, the two of them are a force that could probably rival a Royal Guard. Trust me, doubting them is the last thing you should do. Besides, if my boy had been really trying, I would know it. I doubt he even used his most powerful spell, cause that is something that draws attention".

"I have no doubt if I could do it alone, they could do it together. It is just that reading about the world and experiencing it are two different things. I'm just saying..." he says as he straightens up. "Them kids, despite all their power and smarts still need someone who's been there, seen it, done it, lived it. Y'know, a guardian who can pick them up in case they fall. I admit there's personal interest in this, I'm not one to lie, but I don't know, kid's a treasure in his own right for the people here, and I, Mako, renowned adventurer and treasure hunter, want to see him succeed."

"Well, I cant really pay you, but if your offering to help him, I won't say no. He might be a little bit stubborn on the matter though, but so long as you dont muck up the first impression, it should be easy" he said unknowingly.

"Yeah, heh, sure," he responds awkwardly rubbing the back of his neck. He then behins checking his bag and putting some more coins out before Emerin's father. "And as for pay, I should rather pay you, here, take this as for being a good father and listener, I'll make sure you will get to see your boy again." He then just heads out, taking a moment in passing to take one final glance at the bakery before tracking where Emerin went.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Emerin "Emry" Liro Character Portrait: Altian Acropaleus Character Portrait: Willow Character Portrait: Mako "Mac" Mynvera Character Portrait: Tam Mhel Farshaw
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Tam watched as the younglings whirl-winded by, they were planning a trip to the misty woods it seemed. A apt journy for the youngones… Tho where their watchers* were Tam couldn’t say… Strange that the boy’s father would allow him on such a trip with not a care. Tams mind wandered through various paths that the youth might tread. Fairly safe so long as they kept east…

None of my buisness----

‘"So, I guess its time to make our way through the Misty Woods. Then me and Alt-Shu need to reach The Library of Elliad, in the Gilded City"

…. That was through the As’deen land…

Turning quickly , Tam followed the young man, tho his eyes caught sight of the Crotayin. At least they have a watcher… This softened an otherwise harsh scorn from his voice.

“ Younglings , I did not mean to spy , however; do you really think you’ll be allowed to cross As’deen land and the great sands ? With no permission? Do you know where water and shade are? “ The large sun bronzed man looked down at the boy with a hardened face, tho his eyes were touched with honest concern.

“ The Misty Wood is far enough for an adventure younglings, You would not have to prove your manhood by venturing there , even with able company” he nodded to the Crotayin cautiously not wanting to offend her honor.

As he spoke and listened to the young man, he could not help but overhear the Lopid again… such an irritating creature…
“ Do you really wish that thing… as your watcher as well?” He added in a softer tone, leaning over the young man a bit , shaking his head in Mac’s direction.

Watches* people, typically young adults , who follow younglings to make sure they do not get into more trouble than they can handle, or bring back the bodies of the younglings should they do just that...

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Emerin "Emry" Liro Character Portrait: Altian Acropaleus Character Portrait: Willow Character Portrait: Mako "Mac" Mynvera Character Portrait: Tam Mhel Farshaw
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Okay, first things first. Altian began scouring the room in search of something he knew was in here...something he knew they couldn't leave without. He had to be careful, though. Although he knew this particular item he was searching for wasn't enchanted, a large variety of items in this room were and he had to be careful not to touch them. While this was one of the safest places in Azma to store anything of worth, champions still put safeguards on their items to protect them in case the worst happened. It would not be a pretty fate for anyone who dared to try and use them and Alt definitely didn't want to discover protection enchantment spells by experience.

He climbed onto the rolling book ladder and rolled his way across, looking for the familiar cover. He often times scanned through books like this because he could do it, it was faster, and it was more fun than scanning through them the traditional way. Besides, this way he didn't have to touch any of them. Faster he went until...

Aha! He spotted the light tan cover and plucked the book from it's slot in the bookshelf. He hopped off the ladder and examined it, just to make sure he picked out the right one. Sure enough, he recognized the light green ink scribbled on the cover which read: Alticus's Log. On the spine were the words "Misty Woods: Flora and Fauna Part I". He pocketed the journal in his massive cargo pants pocket.

He remembered meeting the Altarin when he was six. He walked right in and handed him the book, asking him if he could get his parents to put it in the "special library" as he described it to the little boy. When Alt had asked him what was in it, Alticus smiled and said, "Just a few things about the Misty Woods and the plants and animals that live there. It's not complete, but I want to keep the information safe in case the worst fate fall upon me. I will be back to claim it soon!"

Alticus never returned to the library, meaning he likely perished or worse. But his knowledge would not be lost or unused. Altian would make sure of that.

As he closed the door and locked it behind him, Alt trotted on down to the second floor, figuring out what other books they would need. They were going to the Gilded City, so he took a book detailing the city landmarks. He also grabbed a comprehensive demographic encyclopedia of Glideen, the kingdom in which they were traveling to. In it detailed all the cities, landmarks, and important information about the kingdom, something he wanted to keep handy just in case. He grabbed a book on surviving in the wild without using magic, a book on surviving in the wild with using magic, a book on advanced defensive spells and techiques, and finally a fictional novel about an anthropomorphic creature from another dimension who fought crime in an urban sprawl.

Fru-Fru the Wonder Hamster, don't fail me now...

He wasn't worried about clothes. He had set up a rune to his closet a while back that allowed for easy access to his wardrobe wherever he went. He also wasn't worried about food or water. He knew Emry-Shu's dad would've packed a ton of each for the two of them to take with them. He put the books in his pack as well as an empty canteen and an herbal medicine kit...just in case. He tapped his ear to make sure his pen was still there, which it was. He also grasped hold of the White Teardrop necklace he always wore around his neck. He never knew the story behind it or why he got it, but his parents refused to tell him why he had it. It didn't affect his magical or physical abilities in any way as far as he knew. He still wore it for good luck, however.

Finally, he was ready...well almost. One last thing had to be done as he grabbed his pen and a parchment and proceeded to write. After a few minutes of scribbles, he sighed and clicked the pen, placing it on his familiar perch behind his ear. He read the words over and over again, a sense of nervousness and excitement, joy and sadness, all rushing through him at once. Don't cry...

He placed the parchment behind the desk, and walked away, joining Willow and Emry-Shu. "Alright, I'm ready," he said with sure confidence.

Dear Mom and Dad,

I am going away for awhile. It appears that my adventure has begun. I know you two are the worrying type and I figured I shouldn't just leave without leaving something for you guys to find. I won't be alone though. Emry-Shu is coming with me. You guys knew how strong he is at using magic, so rest assured I should be fine in his company. We have each other's backs always, anyway. You guys have prepared me for this moment. It's time I used all this knowledge I have learned. I wish I could see your faces just one more time before I left. But I know you'll be rooting for me wherever you guys are. Thanks for everything. I love you guys!

Altian Acropaleus

Teleporting to Liro Bakery, the first thing Altian noticed as Emry-Shu ran to hug his adoptive father was the Lopid, the same one from the market earlier. He tensed up immediately, keeping an eye on his movements as he walked through the bakery. He heard Emry-Shu's Wind Whisper and responded accordingly, letting Emry-Shu know he would take care of him should he dare try anything towards them.

But another figure caught his attention...a being he didn't expect to see here. He was Altarin, he could see that much. But the markings on his arms and legs...the way the patterns seemed to merge with one another, as if they were to be read like a story. He was from the As’deen land, which was most peculiar indeed. Not many of them wandered out to the far reaches of Azma. He was curious what he was doing here.

He really wished he had packed a book on the As’deen people...

The Altarin approached them as they were discussing locations. Alt knew he could trust this one. The As’deen people swore an oath to never lie, he knew. And he was interested in learning a bit more about them, what their practices were, etc. It was hard to come across information about them.

Altian turned to Emry, "We can trust him. He is of the As'deen Tribe. They live a virtuous and honorable life. And I hadn't even considered how we were going to get across the Duvane Desert without raising the attention of the people there. He could be our escort."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Emerin "Emry" Liro Character Portrait: Altian Acropaleus Character Portrait: Willow Character Portrait: Mako "Mac" Mynvera Character Portrait: Tam Mhel Farshaw
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Willow was a little disappointed to find the Flow had decided to abruptly end her little planned getaway to Azma. She'd not got to do half of the things she wished, nor even probably a quarter of them. It seemed she'd have to put a hold on finding the tea house and visiting the hot spring, at least until she returned. Fortunately, she'd already got to replenish most of her supplies, as well as picking up a few knickknacks along the way. Anything else, she figured she could scavenge from the Forest. The Almighty Flow would provide, and she was not about to travel against it. Else she'd go find her tea house right then

Eventually, they traveled to the bakery that Emerin's, the other child's name, father owned. While the child went inside to speak to his father and collect supplies, Willow wandered to the other side of the street where, as luck would have it, a tea house was situated. Glancing around, she took the opportunity to dash inside and order a cup. Moments later, she emerged with a cup of hot white tea cradled in both hands, filled with plenty of sugar. She exited the tea house just in time to see Emerin do the same from the bakery, and they reunited outside on the street.

Willow took a sip of the tea, but recoiled a moment afterward. It wasn't the taste, the taste was glorious. It was the wafting off of it, in a dessert city. To fix it, Willow rotated the cup in her hand a drew a bit of magic to her hands. Frost quickly lined the rim as the steam quickly stopped rising. Taking another sip, she smiled, content with her now cooled tea. “He's not wrong,” Willow cooed in agreement with the As'Deen, almost sagely. The Misty Wood would be dangerous alone, not to mention the desert beyond that, as the As'Deen alluded to. Willow had a sneaking suspicion though, that the man's warning would go unheeded, the children seemed the headstrong sort. Despite their apparent age, they seemed rather powerful considering, but she had only witnessed their spat with the knight and nothing else. It was perhaps a good thing that the Flow dragged her into their journey.

However, she did not know if their paths would diverge or continue at pace after she had completed her ritual in the Misty Wood. They could decide to leave her during the day she needed to spend mediating, and that thought worried her a little. Upon his mention, Willow glanced up to look at the Lopoid before quietly chuckling to herself. After she took another sip from her cup, she spoke again. “I dunno, I think he's kinda cute. You know, in that lovable puppy that always follows you type of way. Though... fishier in this case,” Willow amended before chuckling again.

The same thought that came to Alt, came to her, which caused the ears on top of her head to stand up and her tail to swish back and forth. “Why not join us then, Wayfinder?” She asked. While admittedly she did not know the context of the markings on his skin, she knew of the As'Deen, and their prowess of pathfinding. At the very least, he'd be a nice addition to their rather... colorful band, which included the Lopoid. He seemed like the stubborn type.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Emerin "Emry" Liro Character Portrait: Altian Acropaleus Character Portrait: Willow Character Portrait: Mako "Mac" Mynvera Character Portrait: Tam Mhel Farshaw
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As he took in everything, and as everyone relied in after another before he could get a word in, he made some realizations....and was set off by something else.

"First of all, before I react to that silly comment you just made" he said while facing Tam, he then turned to face Willow. "I just realized, as the one person here who hasn't insulted me, has been really nice, and isn't acting like a stalker, I should have properly introduced myself but I never did earlier. The name is Emerin Liro of Azma, but my friends call me Emery or Emry, it is a pleasure to meet you". Emerin did not bow, or look up at her, but figuratively speaking, you could tell by his voice he did not look down on her either. He also left out all the names the Children of Azma call him, cause he found those embarrassing. Then, he faced the Wayfinder again.

"Lets get one thing clear, if anything, me and Alt-Shu are the ones taking care of or watching you. Alt-Shu is a super genius who is smarter then all of us here, probably all of us here combined, and is great with magic in his own way, not to mention he knows how to counter all sorts of things and is great at reacting. And me..." he started, when he noticed the condemned building being taken down by workers. They were making room to build a new building. He went over there, and after saying a few words, they all got out and away from the site. The building might be condemned, but it was made with stone, and was still good, just not what the new owner of the land needed. So Emerin decided to do these hard working men a favor. "...well, one theory we came up with as to why my body is so light I can fly, is that maybe it has a lower density because I have so much magic stored within me. The Windbreaker you saw before....was not even at half power. Didn't want to cause any destruction or harm to others, you see. But since no one is in here and this building is slated for demolition...".

Suddenly, a large torrent of wind consumed Emerin's bare arm. He had to admit, the new shirt his father had just given him was nice, but he already missed feeling the full force of the wind. Still, they were about to go on a journey, so Emerin had to be used to that anyways. As the wind charged to unbelievable levels to those who have not lived in Azma, Emerin made sure to stop before he got close to full power. He then punched forward. "Windbreaker!"

The Windbreaker drilled through the stone, and cracked the whole building. Emerin then bent the Windbreaker so it moved back and forth, until a few seconds later, the whole building was rubble. He turned around to face them, a look of fierceness in his eyes...but behind that, one of loyalty, honor, and truth, more then enough to state he was not threatening anyone.

Emerin had only used Windbreaker at the full power he could muster once. Three years ago, when he was seven, it had been a really hot day, the hottest most of them had ever felt, so him, Alt-Shu, and a few others went down to the river, stripped off their clothes, and went swimming in it. While in the river, they encountered a giant fish, and so the group made a game of it. They all decided to try and catch it without using any magic or special abilities or anything, just their bare hands. While it had been evasive, Alt-Shu had come up with a plan that he and Emry used to help corner and catch the fish with their bare hands. Someone nearby had been watching, and he was so impressed, he used a magic tool and took a picture of Emry and Alt holding the fist above their heads. Of course, he wasn't a creep, so the picture only showed their torsos up, so no one could see they were naked, but everyone was smiling that day from their catch.

However, soon after, they were attacked by slavers who had also been watching, to see if they were good targets. They figured it was the best time to attack, but since none of them had used magic to catch the fish, none of them were expecting Emerin or Altian. As they popped out of the sand itself and ran towards the children, he saw three of them running for him and Altian, and out of concern for his friend, unleashed a full powered Windbreaker, hitting each and every slaver with it and sending them flying, while saving everyone else. Emerin kept that photo with him at all times, in his pocket, because it reminded him of that time at the river, and just how capable he really was.

He looked back at Altian first, then Willow, and then back at the Wayfinder. "I trust Alt-Shu's judgement though, so if he says its okay, and this nice woman as well, then fine. But don't assume we are helpless because of our ages. Me and Alt-Shu can take care of ourselves, and the only two people allowed to take care of me in any capacity is my papa, and Alt-Shu".

Emerin was a bit of an oddball. He hated being looked down on or being looked up to, but if his abilities are quested he is not afraid of showing off. In fact, he loves it. He hates being seen as a caretaker, but he loves to protect and care for people. He was hot headed, but kind. Reckless, but responsible.

As he was about to leave, a few of the orphans of the city had gathered to say goodbye. Emry then looked at the others, and then back to the orphans, and spoke to them eye to eye. "Don't worry, you will all be fine. The main reason we are leaving though is that we do not know the resources and the capabilities of everyone after what we discovered have, and we cannot guarantee everyone's safety. If they are strong enough, the fights could risk the lives of the people around us, or they might target you all if we stay. That is why me and Alt-Shu have to leave. But keep practicing, and stay strong. I know you all are more then capable of it. After all, you, me, all of us, no matter who we were born to, what type of family we came from, and what our strengths and weaknesses are, we are the Children of Azma. We are the Children of City, belonging to everyone and no one. We are independent and united. Even if we are weak, we are strong. Even if we are short, we are tall. Even if we are dumb, we are wise....or you can always go to Alt-Shu for help". The last part wasn't intended to be part of the motto, but the joke stuck because of how true it was. "Well, his parents will still be here, so they will help you. After all, we do not envy those who have parents, get adopted, or know their family, because we are all our family....and Alt-Shu has done more then enough to earn our friendship, thanks, and gratitude". He turned to face Alt-Shu. "I would trust him with my life".

As they nodded, they handed him a bag of gold. "No, this is what you earned, I will be fine with what I have..."

"No, please. We heard enough, you are going to find where you came from, right? Well, if you do, and you decide to stay there, consider this our payment, for your promise that if you do find a home, we can come and live with or near you, okay?"

Emry smiled. "Of course then. And thank you".

As he stood up and walked towards the group and the exit to Azma, a passerby brushed his hair a little with his hand. "Careful, you talk like that, and someone might think you are a prince....or a King...."

For a moment, the man, who was wearing a cloak so Emry couldn't get a good look at him, sounded familiar....but he shook his head. "No, couldn't be". He then joined the others, and started walking towards the path to the Misty Woods. "Well, we better get going!"


About an hour after they left, the same cloaked man met with another agent. "You sure do like being reckless. Anyways, what is your interest in that boy, your Majesty, King Ordin Okaba, King of these great lands and cities of Ashara?"

"I met him once before. I grew interested when I heard one boy had organized the Orphans of Azma together into this group known as the Children of Azma. Just like now, back then much like other desert children, he didn't wear much clothing, so I got a good look at it once. That Dragon on his back. And it appears others have taken notice too now. That boy, he doesn't even realize what he is...or what is in store for him".

"Then why not have a member of the Royal Guard escort him if he is that important?"

"Because one, he is like me. I can tell he wants to do things himself" he mentioned, causing his friend to make a "really?" expression. Sometimes he felt like the king could be a bit too lax. "Plus, it would draw too much attention. But, I want you to shadow them from afar, outside of the range of their magic, using that special skill you can use. Only interfere if another member of anyone's Royal Guard does in a way that threatens them directly. Otherwise, even if it looks like they might die, do not interfere, or even be noticeable".

"Why do you have this much faith in a child? He isn't your son or something, is he?"

"Lets just say he is important" the King replied, before walking off. Meanwhile, the other man rushed off, to track them from afar. It was likely he would not become involved or notice for quite some time however....

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Emerin "Emry" Liro Character Portrait: Altian Acropaleus Character Portrait: Willow Character Portrait: Mako "Mac" Mynvera Character Portrait: Tam Mhel Farshaw
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The desert dweller offered a kind smile to the white wolf. “ Well met, may you find shade and water. If the lady finds him amusing as a pet , I am not the one to argue.” He said, bowing his head slightly.

But the smile faded quickly as he watched the frog stir. Tam had agreed to join their party, tho not without speaking his mind about the boys show of force making his feelings painfully clear. It hadn't had the impact the boy had been looking for, if anything it had the opposite. Power with no caution was worse than being powerless and cautious he had explained. And weather he liked it or not Tam was going to provide that caution.

Even if the Frog had managed to come along… through their walk tam had gone out of his way to stay on the other side of the group from the Lopid. The man had spoken little since the boy’s displace, but seemed to watch everything, every snap of twig, rustle of grass, but it was not a fear, more like direction potential sudden violent action kept back by the finest of tripwires.

When Tam finally did speak it was to Willow.
“ If I may, what is your name White wolf, where do you come from and where are you going?” He said , curiosity edged into his measured tone tho his eyes never rested on one spot for too long.

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Character Portrait: Emerin "Emry" Liro Character Portrait: Altian Acropaleus Character Portrait: Willow Character Portrait: Mako "Mac" Mynvera Character Portrait: Tam Mhel Farshaw
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With a tilt of her head, she returned the Wayfinder's bow and then she smiled and sipped on her tea once more as she listened to Emerin speak. Bold again was the word she found herself thinking when he spoke, and chances were it wasn't the last time she'd think he would've made a good monk She watched him demolish a building with a gross display of power with an arched brow. “A little unnecessary,” she chuckled as she sipped.. Eventually, after Emerin gave a spiel to the orphans who'd came to see them of, they finally began to make forward progress toward the Misty Wood.

Her ears twitched and her tail swished from the prospect of conversation. Traveling to the Almighty Flow's whim meant that she usually wandered alone, and it had been a while yet since she'd held a actual conversation. “Me?” she asked, though she knew that no one else could've fit the description of white wolf. Which reminded her, she opened her pocket dimension a she spoke, “Oh, well my name is Willow.” She said with a bright smile as she reached into the portal to retrieve her white cloak again. She dare not wander too far without it, lest she risk even more sunburns. “And I come from a little monastery near the coast, devoted to the Almight Flow.”

After she took the moment to throw the cloak over her shoulders, she began to speak again. “As for where I'm going?” at that, she shrugged, “I suppose wherever the Almighty Flow believes that I need to go,” she hesitated there for a moment. “Though, presently, she added, “I'm planning to test my favor with the Flow within the Misty Wood,” she said with pride. “I hope to find a place where the magic currents converge in the Woods and meditate there. Or... Rather, that's the plan,” she said with coy grin. Plans, expecially her plans, were always subject to change.

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Character Portrait: Emerin "Emry" Liro Character Portrait: Altian Acropaleus Character Portrait: Willow Character Portrait: Mako "Mac" Mynvera Character Portrait: Tam Mhel Farshaw
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He had last spoken an introduction again after Emerin offered his, in usual fashion, with full title and flair. Though it may have once again been at a loss. Since then he had been deep thought, on how Emerin spoke back then to the orphaned children. Mako had felt it as well, to him it was painfully obvious that people would be after him, and far less caring what means they used to get their hands on the boy.

Of all his travels, no trap was more deadly, and no beast more twisted than the hearts of some people. Those lesser men who hide in the shadows like scavengers, preying upon weakness, jumping at any chance to fatten their wallets or increase their power. Dark... There were those that didn't care if they were women or children. Dark... twisted...

He was suddenly broken from his thoughts, deeper in them than he'd realized. He had been quiet for quite some time now, he had been daydreaming this whole time. He glanced across, hearing the As'deen tribesman, Tam, and the Crotayin wolf who he recalled calling him a lost puppy earlier. He found this more amusing than offensive, imagining himself as a tail wagging land mammal, how absurd! The desert dweller obviously wasn't as kind, his words were without any subtlety, but as long as it was directed at just him, he wasn't going to make issue of it. It wouldn't be his first time receiving flak for his race, wouldn't be the last.

"Excuse me, but the Flow you say, miss Willow," he queries breaking his awkward bout of silence. "You are among those that believe in magic as a living being, are you not?"

He glances past Tam, maintaining distance to try not to aggravate him further or incite any aggressive response.

"If I may say something on the matter, and mind you, I am no follower of the Flow," he mutters some, scratching the back of his neck thinking on what to say. "But to me, at least, I find it more impressive that there are people who see magic as just something dumb or lifeless, like a tool. Then again, many people are more preoccupied watching their own feet than to look up and see anything beyond their own little bubbles."

Then as quick as he finished he grinned and shrugged his shoulders. "But eheh, sorry for butting in on you guy's conversation like that, just found it interesting, is all." With that he looked ahead, at Altian and Emerin, then around at the surroundings. "You know, it is embarrassing to say, but in all my travels I had never been to the Misty Woods before. Honestly, I'm excited!"

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Character Portrait: Emerin "Emry" Liro Character Portrait: Altian Acropaleus Character Portrait: Willow Character Portrait: Mako "Mac" Mynvera Character Portrait: Tam Mhel Farshaw
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Altian watched from the side with mild interest as Emerin proceeded to level the building that was already scheduled to be taken down. He'd seen him in action before, like that time when they fought those slave traders. He himself had a fairly strong Wind Breaker, but it paled in comparison to this kind of power. He could have all the smarts he wanted, but he would never have the kind of natural ability his best friend had. And the best part was...

He knew Emry was still holding back.

Alt chuckled at the mentioning of having guardians. It was true that the two of them could do this quest alone if they wanted to and likely succeed. But there was strength in numbers, a value that couldn't be ignored in the ultimate equation. Each individual here brought something else to the table...he could feel it. Yes, even the shifty Lopid. Sure, Emry had a point. With just the two of them, they could accomplish what they wished and more. But with five of them...

They would be nearly unbeatable.

Altian stood off to the side as the swarm of orphans all united under Emry crowded up around him to say goodbye. After all, he was a very loved figure in Azma. His face disappearing from the city markets would surely leave a hole in many a person's heart. Especially the Children of Azma, whom which he'd united under one protect each other. Now that knowledge was going to be put to the test. They would have to band together while they went off on their adventures, fending for themselves and having each other's backs...just like the two of them did on a daily basis.

He couldn't help but think back to the time when he and Emry had the idea. It was about four years ago, two years after they had met. Already, they had a conglomeration of kiddies behind them. All of them were orphans minus Altian. They were relaxing in the hot springs, a place that was a typical favorite spot for Alt and Emry. But it had just been the two of them at that point. Sure, they were friends with all the other kids, but him and Emry practically did everything together...just the two of them.

They were soaking up the nutrients that healed their aching bones and gave them energy. They had just gone hiking into the jungle, not too far from the city, to test a new river for fishing. The fact that they hiked the full three miles there and back to come up empty-handed showed how well that endeavor went. But they enjoyed the journey and had a good time. Plus, it was far enough away that they were a little bit reckless in using their abilities.

Suddenly, Emerin spoke, "We should invite the other kids up here."

Alt had mixed feelings about the idea, "You think?"

"Well, yeah," Emry turned to Alt, confusion on his face, "You don't think so?"

He could easily see through Alt's tone of hesitation towards the idea and Alt knew it. They knew each other too well. There were no secrets. And Alt didn't plan to keep any, "It's not that I'm not for the idea. I just hadn't considered it. But...well, this is our spot, Emry-Shu."

"Why can't it be our spot with everyone else?"

"I mean, it can," Alt shrugged, "I'm just...worried is all."

"About what?"

"Well, if we invite the other kids up here, then we lose our spot. Then where are we going to go to hang you, just you and me?" Alt shifted his weight to stare at Emry, who was still floating in the pool, "I don't want to lose you as a friend."

The moment that last sentence came out, Emry started laughing. Alt crossed his arms and scowled, "What's so funny?"

Through uncontrollable giggles, Emry replied, "THAT'S what you're worried about? Really?"

Alt looked puzzled, a face he rarely made ever, and it has only been made in front of Emry. His best friend wiped a tear from his eye as he explained.

"'re always going to be my best friend. No matter what. Ever since the day we met, I knew we were. But we can't hog places for ourselves. That's selfish. The hot springs deserve to be enjoyed by all our friends, not just you and I."

Altian sighed as he nodded his head in agreement, "Yeah, you're right. I'm acting like a bataka, aren't I?"

Emerin stirred from his floating position to swim over to Alt and pat his shoulder, "You are no bataka. You are Alt-Shu, the smartest and greatest person I've ever known. And we will have each other's backs...always."

Alt, feeling much better, grasped his best friend's shoulder, "Always."

After that, the kids were united together as the Children of Azma. Emry made a fantastic leader for them to follow while Altian was the guide for the directions they should take. And as a group, the Children of Azma have since become a formidable force for any slave trader or prideful knight to take on. Because when you messed with one of them, you messed with all of them.

"...Even if we are dumb, we are wise....or you can always go to Alt-Shu for help."

Alt winked at them in response as a few of the kids turned to face him. A couple chuckled at Emerin's words. Most of the kids had tears in their eyes. But they had strong spirits and good hearts, Alt knew. And with their motto to live under, nothing should tear them apart.

They would do fine.

After waving final goodbyes to people, Emry, Alt, Mako, Tam, and Willow were off to the Misty Woods. Alt, for the most part, disregarded all conversation between everyone as they got there. Instead, he pulled out the journal and started reading everything he could. On occasion, he'd get so involved with it that he'd wander a bit from the group, to which Emry had to keep a close eye on him and drag him back to the company of everyone else. At times, it would get annoying. But once Alt started reading, it took ten times the power of Emry's Windbreaker to snap him out of it.

He would sometimes grab the map to the Misty Woods, making notes from the journal and putting annotations in proper places as he went along. What berries would be safe to eat and what berries wouldn't. Certain landmarks that weren't put on the map already. Even general areas to find certain creatures that resided in the Misty Woods. Except the most notorious of them all...

"I've flipped through this thing inside and out," Alt began to hold the book at random and various vantage points as if to illustrate the thought, "But there is nothing about where the Akrnara live in here. Perhaps that was the reason Alticus went missing..."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Emerin "Emry" Liro Character Portrait: Altian Acropaleus Character Portrait: Willow Character Portrait: Mako "Mac" Mynvera Character Portrait: Tam Mhel Farshaw
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As they continued to travel through the Misty Woods, Emerin only grew more and more excited. This was it! The ground under his feet, and the wind in his hair. The start of their journey! He was getting so excited, he could barely contain his energies. Actually, he was failing partially at that, because his dragon tattoo was more lit up then a Christmas tree. He was just so happy. But as they continued, Emerin also grew a bit more worried about what the people behind them was waiting for. He counted fourteen of them in total, a feat which would have been impossible if he was only using his senses of sight and sound. But he had one magic based technique even their advanced concealment magic was not countering. Still, it was impressive. Emerin had to check one thing though, to confirm their identity.

He rummaged around his dimensional closet while they walked, until he found what he was looking for. A Magic Tool that his father got for them. They looked like a pair of normal goggles, but once he put them on, he confirmed. THey were not even leaving heat signatures. He also confirmed that hidden behind the mist, there seemed to be hundreds of creatures around them, but they were so weak, not a single one dared to attack them for some reason. Then it occurred to Emerin, he was giving off a magical signature strong enough to mimic their predator's predator. Still, at least he did confirm their identities...if he was remembering what Alt-Shu told him right.

They were sitting on the fountain in their shorts, dunking their heads in the water to fight the heat. "What do you mean, a new type of magic Alt-Shu?"

"It seems to be called Shadow Magic, and it was invented by slaves who used it to revolt and take over the kingdom. Apparently, some of it is mind magic, but it also involves manipulating shadows themselves. Not only can they use it to make themselves completely invisible, but you won't even be able to hear their footsteps or heartbeats, and even their magical presence is completely masked! They can also use it to manipulate people's hearts and minds too. I am not sure I want to learn it though...."

As the blue haired boy looked at the sun, Emerin got concerned. "Why not, Alt-Shu?"

"Apparently, you have to be a slave or an Ex-Slave in order to learn it, no one is sure why".

"Makes sense. I am sure you will find your own way, though. You are Alt-Shu after all!" he said, splashing some water in Altian's direction while having a big smile.

He looked back at Altian and the three others, and then around them once more. So, their agents are using shadow magic huh? Very well, I will let them make the first move, given their pasts, but I don't trust them. Just something about them. Well, I still have my unique method to track them.

When Altian mentioned not knowing where Akrnara live here, Emerin had a strange idea why. "Alt-Shu, I get the feelings that's because they live everywhere. We have been surrounded for some time now, but most of them seem to be too afraid of us, or waiting for something, nothing around us I can definitively say is Akrnara. I know they are there, but this mist...things native to this forest are hard for me to keep track of, though this isn't much of a surprise for me, but its like the mist itself is trying to enshroud me and suffocate me..."

"However, I can tell that recently, quite a few large, hungry beasts have surrounded us" Emerin then added. And those guys are still waiting behind us. The situation isn't ideal, but....I give our chances of defeat at zero percent, I think. There is one guy that is puzzling me...why does he...

Suddenly, Emerin spotted it. Something large moving through the mist. "Alt-Shu, have you managed to identify anything around us? Are they threats, or are they just going to keep....watching us? Its getting kind of annoying".

Emerin kept a spell charged just in case regardless though.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Emerin "Emry" Liro Character Portrait: Altian Acropaleus Character Portrait: Willow Character Portrait: Mako "Mac" Mynvera Character Portrait: Tam Mhel Farshaw
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( joint post between me and Vole)

Tam watched with curiosity as she pulled the white cloak from the air, strange thing, who wished for a white cloak of all things?
“Willow, white cloak of the coastal monastery.” He said to him self, setting her name into his mind.

“ You seek to find favor with the flow as well? The Dalh’nim of my people venture to the hand of Dalh , and meditate at it's highest point. I’ve not been there myself, but my spear sister said she could never describe the colors. “ He looked around odd … It was quiet. No birds chimed in with the wind.

Tam rolled his shoulder, as if he might have a crick in his neck before fingering the long blade on the tip of his spear. Someone was watching them..

Tam’s icy orbs watched the Lopid as he spoke, a slightly raised eyebrow was all the outward expression he gave. The lopid had gained some respect in tam’s eyes, but as the Lopid spoke on, he undermined him self in that regard. Talking about one’s own bubble as if that comment would not have been caught.

Seeing as he was likely going to have to deal with the thing a while longer than he wished he figured ‘some’ manners were in order.
“ You spoke of writing a book, wh---- “ He cut off as the boys spoke.

“ The Akrnara are not as simple as you would think… I have seen the lost of many before their claws. “ he said ,the very edge of sadness crept into his voice, tho when he returned his attention to the Lopid it was as it had never been.

" Pardon," He lead " What sort of writing do--- your people do?" He said, tip toeing around the words clearly, it was an attempt at being polite as he could with out lying to him self.

"My p- ah... well, put simply, I am writing about my travels and what I've seen," he says, but then waves his hand. "Putting it less simply, I am writing about places long abandoned by people, either by the culture's destruction, or just abandonment for one reason or another. Recording what I can decipher of old text and offer something definitive where most history is lost."

Tam followed the creatures words with curiosity.
" A very narrow, yet broad topic. That is not something one stumbles upon by their lonesome. What swayed you to take on such an endeavor?" He asked, tho as he asked his eyes searched the shadows around them, something had broken a twig, yet did not stir after as if trying to remain quiet... The knuckles on his spear flashed white but other than that he did not stir... Tho he seemed on edge of violent action, tho when As'deen didn't seem that way was rare.

" Do not stirr Lopid, Willow.... but I think eyes are upon us.. I cannot say what, but be aware..." He said in a hushed tone before looking at the creature expectantly, he was waiting on an answer for his questions.

"Yes, and the mist itself is strange, almost stifling," he says, taking a moment to shift his eyes. He decided to respond to Tam's question. He reached to his back and pulled out a strange black knife from a makeshift sheath. It had a strange twisted design to it, a shallow curved blade with various twisted teeth, and a looped pommel. It lacked any visible inscription, just an empty hole in its hilt where something was once held. "My inspiration was this, I had found it in a forgotten tomb that had sunk into the ocean. It was my first discovery, and yet I've found nothing similar to it, no clues to who once held it nor the culture surrounding it."

A vexed expression washed over the sun bronzed man's face.
" Be wary, Mako Mynvera of the Lopid, weapons laid to rest , will wish to remain in the hand of it's owner... or within those who wretched it from it's place..." he cautioned.... The As'deen were buried with their weapons, and believed that they would raise again when the need was greatest.

He had started to look deeply at the blade, as if transfixed briefly. "It wasn't exactly my first choice, I don't know what brought me to wrench it from those hands, it just started to feel like something that had to be." He looked up and rubbed his forehead and eyes. "Plus, it has been broken, see? There was something in this hoop here, and there was no trace of it in the tomb, I would imagine such a piece is still out there somewhere."

Tam eyed the steel like a viper. " Great ira( As'deen for vengeance, hate and madness) rest within that blade, how would you feel being taken from your home and torn apart..." sympathy leaked into his tone.

"I imagine... it would desire its other half," he says in a cryptic tone, as he runs a finger across the empty segment, noting small grooves within where some vessel was once held. Faint wisps of magic emanating from within the loop, residue of what once was. "Even now it calls, er... or well... as much as a magical bonding can be described as such."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Emerin "Emry" Liro Character Portrait: Altian Acropaleus Character Portrait: Willow Character Portrait: Mako "Mac" Mynvera Character Portrait: Tam Mhel Farshaw
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The mist was playing havoc with her senses. Willow's nose scrunched and straightened many times as she walked, and her ears twitched erratically. It was like a blanket was being held over her head, muddying her sense of smell. It smelled thick and heavy, not unlike the grass when it begins to rain only... more so. Her hearing, however, was fine. “I feel them too, Wayfinder,” she replied, her gray eyes peering into the mist.

She'd heard the stick snap as well, causing her tail to droop low in caution. In the end however, the only thing she did was sigh. She would not be the transgressor in a strange place. If they were to be attacked, then it would be unprovoked, but she would defend herself. In that vein, she found herself unconsciously creeping closer to the children. Once Mako drew his blade, Willow's eyes first went to the weapon, and then to the mist. “Be careful drawing weapons,” she warned while her eyes darted to and fro around them. Whoever or... whatever was watching would take such an action as a threat and attack.

Eventually, she took another glance back at the blade and raised a curious brow. She could feel the faint magic within the weapon, and her head tilted quizzically. “It wishes to be whole again,” Willow added. At least, that's what it sounded like from Mako's description. Glancing up from the weapon to the Lopid wielding it, Willow nodded, a smile tugging at the corners of her lips, even despite the situation. “It's alive, or, rather. The magic inside it makes it alive.” The Flow taught that magic was alive and present in everything, working through and around the world. It only made sense that the magic inhabiting the blade wished to be whole again.

Then she frowned. Like all living creatures, however, magic likewise was unpredictable. Perhaps even more so. She gave the blade a wary glance before she shrugged, her mood resetting to it's usual jovial setting. “Regardless, I do wish whatever's waiting in the mist would hurry up and decide if they want to say hi or not.” She said with a good natured chuckle.

“Staring is rude.”

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Character Portrait: Emerin "Emry" Liro Character Portrait: Altian Acropaleus Character Portrait: Willow Character Portrait: Mako "Mac" Mynvera Character Portrait: Tam Mhel Farshaw
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"And it wants to stay alive," he says cryptically under his breath.

Mako put the blade down to his side, then slowly sheathed it. He felt it, eyes from the mist following their every movement behind that stifling fog... but if they were beasts of prey then they were waiting for a moment of weakness... if they were not, then they were assessing them anyways. It was little different to him than back in the ocean with his tribe, the Agouo'n, hunting and being hunted. This feeling was nothing new.

What was new was that the blue haired boy now radiating more light than an agitated glowscale*. He took a long look and narrowed his eyes, remembering the first time he laid eyes on the boy. "The one that got away," he remember the shady voice saying, "the key to finding Mirror's Edge." Thinking back on it, he didn't very much like the way the guy spoke about Emery. And they called him creepy.

He began to mentally piece it together as much he can with what little information he currently has. First deduction: With too few similarities between them, he's not the baker's son by blood. Secondly- He was then broken from his thoughts when he heard Willow speak.

"Maybe they are thinking the same," he jokes, shrugging his arms. He puts on a goofy smile, trying to easy the tension, but inside he's trying to assess the situation and ready to act in the event of hostile action. "Hello denizens of the Misty Woods, we come in peace."

* Glowscale is a type of fish from the deeper parts of the ocean known to radiate intense light when frightened. They are common around the sunken caves in Agouo'n territory. Agouo'n is the Lopid tribe Mako derives from.

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Character Portrait: Emerin "Emry" Liro Character Portrait: Altian Acropaleus Character Portrait: Willow Character Portrait: Mako "Mac" Mynvera Character Portrait: Tam Mhel Farshaw
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Altian eyed around them carefully, feeling the magical presences around them about as well as Emry was. It was getting kind of annoying, as Emry-Shu mentioned earlier. Quickly, he scanned the map and zeroed in on their position.

"I think we're around here," he pointed towards a spot on the trail that was surrounded by a blue silhouette. Thank God for colored pencils... "Which means we should be fairly quiet. These beings around us wish no harm. They just don't want to be provoked, so they're watching us curiously from afar and seeing what we're doing. So long as we don't interact with them-"

"Hello denizens of the Misty Woods, we come in peace."

Facepalming almost immediately, Alt turned to glare at the Lopid as he finished his sentence with a tone of mild annoyance, "...they shouldn't try to attack us..."

Almost immediately, he heard a rustling of trees around them. Altian's eyes widened as he took a couple steps back, motioning for everyone to do the same, "Circle up, everyone. They're gonna try to strike from all directions."

As everyone did so, Altian spouted some knowledge he learned from the journal, "These creatures should be the Aksians. They're kind of small, but they pack a punch with them. Avoid their fangs and you should be fine." He grabbed the pen that had been resting on his ear for the entirety of their adventure so far. Closing his eyes and clicking the pen, it began to morph in front of their every eyes, manifesting into a single handed, dual-bladed sword of polished steel. He eyed the noises around them, keeping a frame of mind and calculating their approach. "The adventurer who wrote this guide said we either go offensive or defensive."

For a moment, all was silent. Alt looked left, then right, tension behind his stare. His grip on his sword was firm, but loose, trained like a standard swordsman.

"Now!" he called and thrust his sword forward.

At that moment, the forest around them erupted, a swarm of what looked like large rat-like creatures coming out of the forest and launching themselves at the group, fangs bared. Their fur was as black as the shadows and dirt around them, their only telling feature being their gleaming teeth and their large red eyes. Their furry bodies crashed into them at their max force, roughly near thirty of them. Alt's sword thrust cut through one of them, but he had to set up a rapid barrier to guard the rest of them.

But they weren't notoriously difficult creature to take down, even in large swarms like this. Altian circled around, catching a couple Aksian throats as he did so with his blade before slicing through a couple more. They were like grunts. Even the knight would be a harder fight than this.