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Mundus alter

Another World

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a part of Mundus alter, by umademeink96.

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umademeink96 holds sovereignty over Another World, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

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Another World is a part of Mundus alter.

7 Places in Another World:


Setting

5 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Trytheus Morrela Character Portrait: Amir Taheri Character Portrait: Alasahe, The Melgrove Character Portrait: May and Meg Character Portrait: Dae Valen
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Heat. Oh the heat was unbearable. Why were there deserts and places hot enough that it was visible to see the heat rise with the naked eye? There was hardly a thing that lived out here anyway. It was a waste of space if anyone asked Dae and he was completely miserable during this half the journey. There weren't even trees or shade to gain reprieve. He had been perfectly fine on the boat when they sailed to this distant and mysterious shore but now it was just annoying. Why couldn't the twins live on a grassy island? Or better yet, why couldn't it be raining? Dae sighed to himself and adjusted the wet cloth that he had placed over his head to keep the sun at bay and cool himself off. His golden strands fell limply against his face and stuck to his skin in the most annoying way possible. His amber colored eyes gazed out into the distance and he couldn't help the smile that touched his lips when he saw the fence and the house that was his destination.

"Finally! We are almost there!" he called to his constant companion. Truly, Aquarian would be the one suffering the most in this heat. He was surprised the siren wasn't panting beside him. "How are you holding up?"

"I am fine, Dae. Unlike you, I have a layer of cool water drawn around my body," the siren grinned. "I am perfectly hydrated and cool."


"Show off. Why didn't you tell me you could do that? You could have saved me a miserable trek."

"You didn't ask. I assumed you wanted to torture yourself. You do that all the time after all. Always the martyr," Aquarian mocked.

Dae's eye twitched and he glared at his taller guide. "I do not play the martyr and I don't like pain. I am just not selfish. Why must you always say things like that?"

"Because it is true. Did you want me to cool you down?" the siren questioned with a grin playing on his full lips. The siren's sea-foam eyes sparkled with mirth at his rider's frustration with him as his own long hair flowed around him as if he were beneath the waves of the ocean.

"There is no point now," Dae grumbled, "We are here."

Dae pulled the shirt off of his head and quickly pulled it on properly. He did not wish to call attention to himself after all and it was best to be appropriately clothed when meeting strangers that were not part of the Tribe. He saw a great dragon lifting into the sky then and had to assume there was at least one rider already waiting inside the house. Who was the Dragon Rider this time? He ran a hand through his own hair to try and fix the mess induced by the shirt. He was surprised when Aquarian helped him fix it. Then again, Aquarian was a vain creature. He was probably helping Dae only to ensure the preservation of his own image. Dae represented him just as Aquarian represented Dae after all.

Dae saw Meg and Mary first at the door and offered them a polite bow.
"Welcome Maelstrom, our Siren-Rider. And to you, Aquarian."
"Welcome Maelstrom, our Siren-Rider. And to you, Aquarian."

"You are the-"
"-third to arrive."

Dae entered the room and quickly settled his gaze on the two other riders in the room. One male and one female. Considering the male had the phoenix fluttering about him, it was safe to assume the girl was the dragon rider. So, they were waiting on three more riders; the Griffin, Cerberus, and Pegasus. He was eager to see them as well. He gave the two a nod in greeting.
"Hello." He leaned against a wall a small distance away from the two and took out his flask to take a long drought of water to try and hydrate himself a bit. He was so not used to the sweltering of the desert.

Setting

2 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alasahe, The Melgrove Character Portrait: May and Meg
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Alasahe ignored the other riders as she waited for the Twins to begin the meeting. None of the others seemed to be quite as insufferable as Amir, but she wasn't quite ready to commit to getting to know them better until they proved that they would be useful to her. She leaned back into her throne, feeling a strange sense of comfort. Thousands of years ago, she'd been not much older than the Cerberus-Rider, a child with a adult's burden. But her former self had asked that this chair be fashioned for the ruler she would become. Even then, she never doubted the power she and Fiir would command together. Power to steer her kingdom safely through any storm. She stretched languidly against the wood and imagined she could feel the brush of the dozens of forms she'd worn over the centuries.

She sat up at the Twins' words. Languire shared a border with Melgrove. A roving Kelpie could prove devastating to her own lands, not to mention the effect it could have on trade with other lands if it went elsewhere. She rolled her eyes at May and Meg's casual tone.

"Faery wood will not be particularly easy to come by. The fae are protective of their trees. We would have to strike a bargain," she mused quietly. Her eyebrows shot up at the Twins' second quest.

"Could the rest of us expect the same should our monster die before us?" she asked mildly. She wasn't squeamish about the idea of killing the unicorn rider or about being killed herself. The knowledge that she would live on through her next incarnation was all of the comfort she truly needed. But it did seem oddly wasteful. Meg and May turned to her as one and leered an eerie smile.

"Your purpose, Dragon-rider, is to--"
"--maintain Mundus Alter," they said, one after another.

"That is not possible without your monster."
"That is not possible without your monster."

"And if you cannot do your duty--"
"--we will do what we must to fulfill ours."

Alasahe hummed and tapped her fingernail against the armrest of her throne. Fiir descended from his perch on the wall and wound himself around her, his tail curling around her feet, his massive head resting on the table to her right. "In any case, bandits cannot be made to feel that they can set upon a rider without consequence. They should also be disposed of on our way to deal with the rider."

Setting

6 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Benedict Trish Character Portrait: Trytheus Morrela Character Portrait: Amir Taheri Character Portrait: Alasahe, The Melgrove Character Portrait: May and Meg Character Portrait: Dae Valen
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Dae couldn't help the quirk of his lips at Amir's interaction with Hassan. It reminded him of his own conversations with Aquarian. it was easy to see that the name calling was just teasing and subtle affection. Amir seemed to speak whatever thought came to mind. That was a good thing in Dae's book. That meant he was less to lie an cheat. He wore his heart on his sleeve. He wasn't used to the man's choice of words, but it was refreshing. His people didn't often swear around him in conversation considering his status. He almost felt normal around these riders. What an odd thought.

Dae glanced to the side when he felt eyes on him and saw the Griffin-Rider glaring at him with such disdain. He arched an eyebrow at the judgmental gaze. He knew that in the past they weren't too friendly with each other, but their borders were still united. Dae ensured that both their trade routes remained safe and he had never raised a hand to his neighbor. Why should he look at him with such anger and distrust? It seemed that some riders didn't like to let the past go. The rider didn't even know what he was like in this life time. He shook his head before taking his seat as instructed and waited for the twins to begin their meeting. He did find it strange that they were starting before the Unicorn-Rider arrived. Aquarian himself leaned against the chair and crossed his arms as he waited.

The rider's eyes widened as the twin's spoke and leaned back in his chair contemplating the courses of action before them. He hugged himself and tapped his index finger on his lips. They had to kill the unicorn and its rider? It seemed like such a waste. The rider needed aid from her brothers and sister riders. It was not her fault misfortune fell upon her. It did strike home the fact that though their lives were all bonded together, not a single one of them owed the other a thing. Their only worth was the bond they had to their creatures and without it... the rider was useless. It really was a shame. He wanted to go and help the rider but he knew there was nothing they could do about the fact that she had lost her worth. How unfortunate. In the end, killing the rider was probably a mercy anyway.

So, he would either go after the unicorn before it turned Kelpie or go after the rider and the bandits. He looked over at Aquarian who eyed him, silent as Dae worked through his thoughts. Where would their strengths be the most useful? No matter how he thought about it, going after the Kelpie was the best option for them.

Is this your heart talking or your rationality? Aquarian asked mentally and toyed with one of the few blue strands in his own hair, testing his rider's resolve.

My rationality. I wish to spare the rider, but that is not a choice for us right now. You and I both know that if that unicorn changes, we are the best chance at going after it in the water. We can't let it escape and poison the water and surface somewhere else where it will kill unchecked until we get to it again.

Dae cleared his throat and turned his attention to the twins who were eyeing him. He had no doubt that they to would have known what he was thinking. "I can only assume we are going to be splitting up to deal with these two tasks as quickly and efficiently as possible. I would like to be on the team to go after the Kelpie. If we fail to burn the body in time and it shifts, it will escape towards the ocean. Aquarian and I are the only ones here that can breathe underwater and go after it. Aquarian's speed will be our asset beneath the waves to steer it back towards the rest of the group for the finishing blow," he announced. "We would also be able to set up a trap in the water to slow it down. We need to make sure it doesn't escape by that route."

Setting

6 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Benedict Trish Character Portrait: Trytheus Morrela Character Portrait: Amir Taheri Character Portrait: Alasahe, The Melgrove Character Portrait: May and Meg Character Portrait: Dae Valen
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Amir let himself lean into his throne, his head tilting up to look at Hassan who was peering down at him with soft eyes. The bird at settled comfortably atop the wooden phoenix and was taking in all the other riders as they discussed, no doubt working through its own knowledge and experience with kelpies. He didn't care for whatever Alasahe had to say, but he did give credit to the small cerberus rider for having the courage to volunteer for the mission. He smiled as Hassan clucked quietly at him and he reached up to tap the bird’s beak , it responded with a shake of the head and scolded him. “You should be paying attention to your meeting Amir, this is a very serious matter.”

Amir rolled his eyes at the bird, it was always a serious matter, though he did have a point. Even if Amir had never met the Unicorn rider they still were all bonded as riders. It wouldn’t be like slaying a crime lord, it would be like murdering a sister. He shifted his weight uncomfortably as the other riders began giving their two cents on the situation. Amir didn’t really care for where he ended up on the outside, but he secretly hoped that he wouldn’t be going after the kelpie. Fire and water did not go well together, he would be placed at a large disadvantage.

Amir raised an eyebrow as the griffin rider began speaking his part the boy almost got up and left. He had heard the griffin rider liked to… take command, but this was ridiculous. His speech left no room for argument; it was annoying that he thought he knew what was best. But it was even more that it was a solid plan because he didn’t want the man to be right. Meg and May listened to the griffin rider speak as well, the old twins looked on amused with what looked like a sparkle of recognition in their eyes, clearly the griffin rider was living up to his bloodline.

“Your skills as a tactician are still sharp Griffin-Rider.”
“The unicorn rider has been located in Tempress Cape, a place our Lady Sahira is very familiar with.” They gestured towards Amir and he sighed in annoyance. The twins called everyone by their beast except him, and he was pretty sure they were doing it on purpose now. He supposed he was going to have to take it, he and the twins knew Amir was no match for them. So he turned his attention to his partner, the griffin rider.

“So me and Tall, Dark and Armor are headed for the promise land aye? Sounds good to me. Let’s get a move on.” As he pushed himself out of the throne he saluted everyone at the table making sure to send a wink towards Dae before looking at Alasahe and the young Cerberus rider. “See ya on the flip side.”

He was going to end the sentence with an elegant ‘motherfucker’, but decided against it with the kid present. He figured the griffin rider would follow him out, he didn’t seem like the type to waste time. Hassan flew after him, it tail feathers alight with warm looking flames that licked against the air. As he was exiting the room he heard the tail end of the twin’s speech.

“Languinre is full of monsters attracted by the unicorn’s good magic, they are mostly harmless, and finding faery wood should not be a huge issue.”
“Near the body of the dead unicorn everything will be dead, and there is be darker presences, there will be no faery wood near the body so you will have to collect it along the way.”

Amir left the room, looking up at the sun and pulled the white scarf back over his head. “What d’ya think Hassan, about a day walk to the palace? Get some intel on Tempress and then set out to kill a rider?”

Hassan chirped at him, stretching its wings before answering. “I am not sure the griffin rider would be keen on walking through the desert for an entire day.”

Amir snorted, “I’m sure the Ever Noble and Great Griffin Rider will have no trouble with a little walk in some sand.”

Setting

3 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Benedict Trish Character Portrait: Alasahe, The Melgrove Character Portrait: Dae Valen
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Alasahe pressed her lips into a thin line. Every word out of his mouth felt like a command. And in her experience she was the one who gave the commands. Still, she and her advisors had recently been discussing the perks of keeping her mouth shut, so she sulked silently until he and Amir were gone. Fiir watched the griffin stroll from the room and sent her a wave of amusement. Fiir was more connected with his past lives than she was. He actually had residual memories from former incarnations of himself while she only had shelves and shelves of journals. Apparently this griffin lived to its reputation particularly well. Fiir found such a small, unimposing creature with such enormous pride amusing. Alasahe cast a glance at him and rolled her eyes again.

She surveyed her companions. The cerberus-rider though young, had proven himself mature enough, at least, to sit still and quietly during the meeting. Dae seemed more interested in the decor than the meeting, constantly casting glances at everything other than the other riders. They had not betrayed much more about themselves.

"This is fine by me," he said, looking down at his young monster, "however we will need an alternative form of travel since I cannot ride my beast like the rest of you." Alasahe cast a doubtful glance at Dae and his siren. She wasn't sure he would be able to use his monster for transportation either.

"Fiir could carry you and I, assuming you could keep your monster under control, but not all four of you," she said, nodding toward Dae and Aquarian. "I have a ship waiting in the small port town near here. We can sail from there to Languinre and continue on foot to the carcass." She stood, combing her fingers through her hair and then stopped. "What's your name? I won't call you Cerberus-rider indefinitely."

Setting

1 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dae Valen
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Dae and Aquarian traveled through the desert without stopping. They knew they had a place to be and they didn’t have time to rest. They could rest once they were on the ship. For now, they just sipped at the water they carried with them and pushed themselves faster through the damnable desert. Dae couldn’t wait till they could set sail with the wind blowing and water spraying against his skin to cool him off. He was sure Aquarian was feeling the same. He bet that if Aquarian wasn’t tired, he’d jump straight into the water and swim beside the boat. They needed to reserve their energy however. The unicorn carcass could potentially become a danger if they didn’t get there in time. At least the sun had gone down so now the world was becoming chillier. Dae found it quite a relief to finally be out of the sun.

Dae paused on a larger mound of sand and pulled out his telescope and peered through it as he scanned the distance and judged their progress. ”Almost there. I figure about…. A few more hours of traveling and we’ll reach the shore of this desolate wasteland. We’ll reach it before the moon reaches its zenith.” they were making good time. Dae put away his scope and stretched his arms and rolled his shoulders. He started to move forward again when Aquarian reached out and gripped his arm. Dae looked back at his companion and tilted his head. Aquarian was not looking at him or the shore but darting around in confusion.

”There is something wrong…” he muttered. He couldn’t quite place the odd feeling however. It felt like it was coming from everywhere around them.

Dae looked around trying to see if he could catch sight of anything when the ground started to shake. Dae gasped and crouched low to keep his balance. [color=0D4F8B]”An earthquake?”[/color]

”Dae!” Aquarian cried and grabbed his rider’s shoulders and shoved him as hard as he could forward. The two of them rolled down the sand mound just as there was an explosion of sand. Dae covered his face to shield it from the avalanche. When it was over, Dae looked up just in time to see a giant worm the color of burnt wood arching to dive towards him. He’d never encounter this creature before but he could be awe struck another time.

Dae rolled to his side just as the worm landed and slid into the sand again, spraying dust and blinding him for a moment. He tried to stand quickly but toppled over with the quaking earth beneath him. He looked around wildly for Aquarian to ensure he was all right as well. The siren had rolled quite a distance away and was crouched low to the ground as it tried to sense the creature’s mind and somehow get control of it. Every time it dove, Aquarian lost his connection. Aquarian hissed in his frustration. Unlike with the watery depths, the sand was messing with Aquarian’s sonar location. He couldn’t locate the damn thing till it was close to the surface.

”Shit!” Dae growled to himself. This was exactly what they needed right now. He had other problems to deal with! ”Run!” Dae got to his feet and he and Aquarian started to run for dear life towards the shore, hoping they could get away from this desert demon.

The earth started moving again and the sand receded around Dae’s foot fall, causing him to slide with the shifting ground and fall forward. He scrambled in the sand pit as Aquarian raised his voice in song, trying to use his Siren’s Call to divert the creature. Unfortunately, the worm didn’t have ears on its outer shell for the song to entice. Dae whirled to his back to try and face the creature just as the worm rose from the sand again and opened up its armored jaw. Dae gripped his dagger and his eyes widened in surprise when the inside of the creature’s mouth was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. Had this creature swallowed her to? Before Dae could roll away, the creature and the woman closed in till he was in the worm’s mouth. The jaws clamped shut around him, pressing him flush against the woman as it dove beneath the sand.

Dae had to save this woman and himself someway! It was obvious that Aquarian wouldn’t be able to help him here. ”I’ll save you, I promise,” he growled to the woman as he struggled against her and the fleshy folds of the monster’s mouth. Everything was sticking to him making it that much harder to move anything. The woman giggled, her bright eyes roaming over her new found mate. She wrapped her arms around him and pressed harder against the young man and sucked at his throat. ”I don’t need saving, handsome… and neither do you. You are the most beautiful human I have ever seen. Stay with me. I’ll protect you and give you everything you need. I love you. Stay” she purred, as the enzymes around her began to eat away at his clothing. The fleshy folds started to secrete something that seemed to induce pleasure and Dae found himself moaning against the woman as she rolled against him.

Dae shook his head to clear it and stay focused even as the woman began her motions to seduce his body into giving in. ”It is okay… let go.” she moaned. Well then; wasn’t this a fitting challenge? A siren-rider that thrived on seducing others with his siren and enticing them with looks, pitted against the siren of the desert. The water siren was much more subtle but this brunt approached seemed rather effective to. Dae shakily continued to try to lift the hand that gripped his dagger but the folds kept the hand locked down. The creature’s acid had already dissolved most of the cloth on his chest and was now eating through his pants but he had to get his arms working. The creature kissed his lips and forced her tongue into his mouth, her hands gripping his head to keep it still. Dae moaned and pretended to give in then, or at least sorta pretended. Her touch was setting him on fire from the inside and threatened to take over his mind. With the hand he wasn’t holding the dagger with, he caressed her side and pressed up against her to show his excitement.

It worked. The fold that kept his hands in place eased away. Dae pulled the dagger free then and he thrust it deep into her side. The woman screeched and he felt the worm shooting upwards, hopefully towards the surface. He yanked his dagger free and stabbed her again. The creature retaliated by clawing Dae’s arm and biting his shoulder to inject her venom. She even managed to leave three long gashes on his right cheek, aiming for his eyes. Dae didn’t relent as he managed to free a second dagger and used both hands to stab the creature repeatedly with his limited movement. Then the worm’s armored jaws opened, oozing blood as it screamed. Dae used that moment to slide the dagger upwards through the female’s side up to her chest and twisted.

The giant worm gave one last agonizing cry as she dropped onto the surface of the sand. The female inner body panted as she glared down at Dae, blood oozing out of her mouth as she lay atop him. ”I could… have given… you… e-everything… The light faded from her eyes as she died.

Dae panted in relief and started to pull himself from beneath her and out of the sticky folds. He slid among the enzymes but at last he managed to crawl free of the beast and onto the cool sand. He coughed and groaned, sand instantly sticking to him and the goo that surrounded him. He never thought he’d be happy to see desert sand again. He groaned and reached up to grip his aching shoulder as he panted and inhaled the clean air.

Aquarian was upon him in seconds. ”Dae! I thought I lost you when it went below ground!”

Dae shook his head and looked up at his stricken companion and offered the man a cheeky grin. ”Can’t get rid of me that easy. She bit and clawed me. You need to clean the wounds.” Aquarian nodded and called upon some of the water inside the flask at Dae’s side to clean the wounds. Aquarian leaned down then and started to suck on the bite, tasting for venom. When he did indeed taste the mixed blood, he began to suck out the poison and spit it upon the sand. When he only tasted blood again, he sat up and wiped at his mouth. Aquarian helped Dae stand then. Dae shook his head and groaned in disgust. His clothes and body was covered in that sticky nastiness that had served to keep him immobile and enticed and his clothes were hardly clothes anymore. He struggled to get rid of the tattered remnants of shirt as he wobbled forward towards the shore again.

”Come on. Let’s get the hell out of here.” He was not about to stop and have another lovely encounter with one of these creatures. He was bleeding and he was sure he smelled like that creature to which would no doubt call more of them. Aquarian hurried to stay by his side and kept his senses up in case another beast decided to show itself.

Setting

3 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Benedict Trish Character Portrait: Alasahe, The Melgrove Character Portrait: Dae Valen
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ignore.

Setting

2 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Benedict Trish Character Portrait: Alasahe, The Melgrove
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Fiir ignored the cerberus as it darted under his feet, nipping. He glanced down and Alasahe felt another wave of smugness emanate from the dragon. He whipped the tip of his tail just in front of the three-headed pup, startling him. Alasahe watched, amused to see a more playful side of Fiir. Normally, it was difficult to get him interested in anything other than coins and jewels.

Fiir had settled them in a small field just on the edge of town. Within only a few moments they were walking through the city center. Fiir snorted as the streets became narrow and crowded and took to the air, circling. A young man, around nineteen years old craned his head back, gawking at the dragon against the stars. Alasahe watched him look from Fiir to her and back before he hurried up to them, smiling smugly.

"That's a fearsome beast for such a slight thing," he said. Alasahe did not pause and he fell in beside her. "Is your husband a beast trainer?" Alasahe did not answer. "He must not be a very honorable man. If you were mine, I would not leave you to be escorted by this boy. Little women need protection." Alasahe narrowed her eyes.

"I have no time for Languinre peasants. Be gone," she said, again not breaking her stride. The man stopped walking in shock and then hurried to catch up with them again.

"Now I see why you go unescorted," he snapped, reaching for her arm. "No man would have such a disrespectful bi--"

Alasahe turned and struck the man hard across the face with her elbow. He stumbled, but she reached out, took hold of the front of his shirt, drawing a dagger from her hip. She pressed the dagger against his face, leaning in close to him.

"I am the Melgrove," she snarled, "And your Unicorn-rider is conveniently missing from his throne. I should cut out your tongue."

Setting

2 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Benedict Trish Character Portrait: Alasahe, The Melgrove
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With a whip of Fiir's tail, Orpheus yelped and jumped back before growling at the infernal thing.

This tail is big.

We have to bite it off.

It will kill us.

We should have Benny kill the tail.


Nah.

Benedict shot a smile of approval toward the dragon, glad that they were at least somewhat getting along. He knew that it would be tougher the larger the beasts grew but for now they seemed content to play with one another. Plus the Cerberus was far too small to do any damage should it get angry.

Orpheus soon became bored of the dragon and settled for walking behind their rider as they entered the center of Languinre Town. Like all capitals, people were packed but unlike most capitals most seemed calmer and more hospitable versus his homeland. He supposed he was biased since Wolfbane hinged on a single religious destination where as people knew Languinre for the lush, green foliage and wild animals.

"He must not be a very honorable man. If you were mine, I would not leave you to be escorted by this boy. Little women need protection."

Of course there were exceptions. Before Benedict could tell Alashe to leave the sleazebag (because that's honestly what he was) tried to grab The Melgrove and quickly learned what it meant to be ruler of Melgrove. He took the elbow with a resounding thud that attracted the attention of some passing tourists and a nearby shopkeeper.

Yes cut his tongue!

We want blood!

We want death!

Kill him!


As much as Ben wanted to agree they had a mission.

"Wait, Alashe," Benedict turned over to the other male, "do you know anything about a unicorn killed nearby?"

Setting

2 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Benedict Trish Character Portrait: Alasahe, The Melgrove
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"Alasahe, wait."

Alasahe's temper flared and she turned her head to glare at Ben. In Melgrove, people understood the power of connection, how easy it was to give and take from the mind of another. As ruler, it was rare for people to even dare to meet her gaze without her express permission out of respect for her. She hadn't been touched against her will in years. The last person who attempted it had been burned alive by Fiir. He hated it when people grabbed her. His long shadow flitted over them as he circled restlessly.

"Do you know anything about a unicorn killed nearby?" Ben said to the man. Alasahe rolled her eyes, but bit her tongue. They could get information from anyone, and he wanted her to spare the filth so that they could get it from him? The man began to quake and it only served to inflame her anger. It was bad enough that he had dared to attempt to lay a hand on her. It was worse that he was such a coward.

She listened to his information with disinterest. They could have learned the same from anyone. The fact that it had to come from someone so repulsive made her grit her teeth. She pressed her lips together as the man begged her for her forgiveness. She didn't care for his apologies. He was sorry because she was strong enough to make him sorry. What kind of queen was this Serafina that such men roamed her capital with such confidence?

In one swift movement, Alasahe slashed with her dagger and the man doubled over clutching the side of his head. The top tip of his ear hit the ground wetly. He would be fine, but he would think carefully the next time he felt the urge to disrespect a woman. "Now get out of my sight," she snarled, "before I take something more essential." The man scuttled backward and disappeared into the crowd. Alasahe turned on her heel and strode down the street once more. She only stopped once they were in front of an inn that she deemed secure enough for them. She paused before she pushed the door of the inn open.

[color=#ab0000]"You are more soft-hearted than I imagined a cerberus rider," she told him with a scowl.

Setting

3 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Benedict Trish Character Portrait: Alasahe, The Melgrove Character Portrait: Dae Valen
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"The unicorn's body was found on the s-shore but the Regina.... Lady Serafina wasn't t-there. It's b-been rotting there for a w-week. No one k-knows what to do to g-get rid of it. Some of the p-priests set up scrolls to p-purify it and stop it from c-changing but its not working. P-Please, Lady M-Melgrove, f-forgive me for my slight."

Though Benedict nodded along to the information, Alashe was much less forgiving. Her anger colored her reaction and though she may have been right about finding the information from other people she was acting like a total hard ass (he liked that insult) over it. They needed to focus on the rotting-carcass-turned-possible-Kelpie.

"You are more soft-hearted than I imagined a cerberus rider."

The lady is right.

You should have killed him.

Kill him now!

Chase him down.

Chase him down.

Chase. Him. Down.


Benedict pressed his lips together and followed after her, narrowing his eyes at his monster. They managed to project their pent up frustration on him as he felt the urge to kill course through his body. They wanted a new plaything, a toy they would kill in due time.

But that's not until tomorrow, he thought darkly as they entered the inn.

The next morning the two riders were shore-bound with their animals in tow and hopefully Dae not far behind. He assumed that the siren-rider would have the advantage swimming from his position. Plus mermaids were usually friends with fish right?

"Alashe do we have the faery wood?"

Setting

2 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Benedict Trish Character Portrait: Alasahe, The Melgrove
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Alasahe looked out at the shore and smiled a rare smile. Melgrove City, where she had been born and raised, was a port town. The scent of the sea was one of the few pleasant backdrops of her childhood.

And then the wind shifted and Alasahe had to wrinkle her nose. Fiir rumbled and beat his wings, driving away the foul stench drifting down to them from the north. Even the water seemed to tinge dark brown as she looked farther up shore. She could see where the Languinre priests had tried to set up their wards. It was a futile attempt. The monsters and their magic went beyond human power and comprehension.

You had to fight monster with monster.

"We do," she answered Ben, reaching up to unhook a few boughs of wood from Fiir's saddle. The dragon seemed to be impatient with their errand and while they slept, had found his way into the Faery wood and removed several boughs of wood. She worried about what repercussions there might be to that, the faeries were notoriously protective of their trees... "Fiir took care of it for us. Should we wait for Dae? He should be along shortly, shouldn't he?"

Setting

3 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Benedict Trish Character Portrait: Alasahe, The Melgrove Character Portrait: Dae Valen
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Alasahe started slightly as Dae and Aquarian rose from the waves, and then scowled. She hated being caught unprepared.

"You needn't wait," he said. "I am here."

Ben looked at them. "Good timing," he said.

Alasahe just wrinkled her nose and went back to unloading the boughs of wood from Fiir's saddle. "Finally," she muttered. She wasn't sure how much time they would have, but it wouldn't take long at all to start the fire and be done with the problem. Was it her or was the stink getting stronger, more potent by the second. She looked up from Fiir's side and caught sight of Dae's face, his eyes wide and his features suddenly pale.

"The wood! We need the wood now! Blast it with fire!" Alasahe turned, curious to see what must be causing such a panic in him, and almost dropped the wood in shock. A unicorn was a glorious creature to behold, whiter than white, luminous with something more powerful than light. With goodness. Now, it was something else, something more twisted and ugly and black than anything Alasahe had laid eyes on in her entire life. She whirled and raised the bough, bracing herself for the heat of Fiir's blast...

But it was too late.

The beast heaved itself to its feet, and without even a glance in their direction, headed for the sea.

Alasahe could see their future laid out before them. The kelpie was pure poison. Nothing could survive it, especially once it took to the ocean. The fish would die first. Thousands of fisherman for hundreds of miles in all directions would suddenly come home with empty nets. Then the water itself would begin to rot, noxious gasses rising up, choking unsuspecting sailors. Everything, every sea bird, every untouched beach, it would all die.

And it would be their fault.

Alasahe's eyes narrowed. Melgroves did not fail.

Dae acted first, sending Aquarian to pull back the waves while Ben struck out with hand-held bombs. The beast was turning, if ever so slightly back towards them and away from the sea. Alasahe dropped one of the branches next to Ben and slung the other over her shoulder, grabbing as many of the explosives in her hand as she could.

"Here," she said, stripping a few twigs from the branch as quickly as she could. "Wrap these around the bombs before you launch them. The fey fire is its weakness." She didn't wait for confirmation. This is what it meant to be part of a team. Ben was young, but he was a rider. She had to trust him to be able to do his job.

She threw herself into Fiir's saddle, reaching forward so that she could extend the branch. At the same moment, he turned his head and blew flames, catching the leafy edge of the branch. Fey fire burned bright and hot and Alasahe squinted. Fiir launched himself into the air, skimming just over the sand, snaking around so that they were blocking the kelpie's way to the water.

Setting

3 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Trytheus Morrela Character Portrait: Amir Taheri Character Portrait: Serafina Constantinescu
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Amir was livid. Beyond livid, was there a word to describe a fury beyond livid because nothing came to mind as he watched the griffin rider get conveniently swept away by his beast leaving himself and Sera behind in the Cape. He wasn’t really sure what was worse, the fact that Trytheus completely abandoned them, or the fact Trytheus completely abandoned them while at the same time alerting all the criminals in the vicinity of their locations. If he didn’t die he was killing that man, he was gouging his eyes out and flaying his skin and he was going to make a fire god damn hot enough to melt that armor off the damn bastard. Fuck him, fuck him and not in the good sensual way, just fuck, fucking that stupid fucking bastard that fucking prick, fuck, fuck, fuck fuck fuck him.

At some point the internal rant became external and his head wiped in the direction of the unicorn rider as she started speaking to him. He rolled his neck, a sharp pain danced over his spine but he ignored it, an injury to that extent was ignorable considering the circumstances. Soon the criminals would begin investigating, Amir’s portrait was pasted all over this place, they were so screwed if they didn’t get moving. Hassan would not have enough time to heal him until they were free of this place. “I’m fine, it doesn’t fucking hurt. He’s going to fucking hurt when I’m fucking through with that fucking piece of shit. Fuck him, I’m gonna string him up and fucking beat the shit out of his shitty fucking face.”


He adjusted his grip on his sword and then looked the girl up and down. They wouldn’t be able to move as fast as he wanted, but she was injured, beaten, abused, a good reason to slow them down. Not Trytheus though, he was just a big baby that didn’t know how to deal with a conflict of interests and instead had mental breakdowns that made everyone else’s life harder. He motioned for her to follow him, this place had to of had a back door that spat people out into the back alley. No doubt there’d be people hovering around the building, but at least it’d be easier to fight with the volume bottlenecked in the alley.

He was right, as soon as he stepped out there were about seven people hovering around the building curiously. Probably a mix of Snake-Bite and other organizations that had heard the commotion. He didn’t hesitated to cut down the nearest man, spinning his body to connect a kick in another and then hit another with another slash of the sword. Then he used the bleeding man’s body to deter the others that stood in his way and ran past them, he trusted Sera to be able to keep up as they moved. Amir could hear the foot fall behind him of multiple people, some of them calling that the Phoenix Rider was present. If he had been by himself he would have been knocking things down to hinder their path, but with Sera behind him that wasn’t an option. “Unicorn, anything that looks tippable, hit it as we go. It’ll slow them down a little bit.”

He spared her only a glance to make sure she was actually behind him before picking up the speed and taking the next corner with a sharp turn. Three people were loitering and the boy didn’t blink as his sword struck the closest one, it sailed into their neck and the momentum sent the body tumbling into the others and he hacked into them before Sera even turned the corner. He paused on to look at the girl, eyes blazing before he continued forward.

“That fucking prick. Lectured me the entire time we’ve been together. Amir you are too cowardly, Amir you are too weak, Amir you bring ruin to everyone around you. Well you know what Trytheus? You can go fucking shove it!” He started speaking in a normal tone, running and mindlessly swinging the blade at any thing that moved in front of him, but by the end of his rant he was screaming. His sword hissed through the air decapitating the poor woman that dared challenge him. The blood rained over him and more criminals descended upon him with the fall of the woman. An arrow struck his shoulder blade, the blunt end of a sword buried itself into his upper arm, it left a deep gash that gushed immediately. The injuries only fueled his anger though, pain seemed to fuel the rage inside. He couldn’t even comprehend why he was so angry at Trytheus anymore. Did the man’s actions cause him pain? Could it be Amir had developed even a sliver of trust, and, painstakingly, respect for the man? It had seemed the rants and lectures of heroism and justice had seeded somewhere inside, blooming when confronted with Sera. So was this an emotional wound? Betrayal? Amir never imagined the man would freak out in the manor he had, never imagined he would abandon him. Was that where the rage that hadn’t ebbed originated?

He was brought back by searing pain, so bad it brought the boy to a knee if only for a moment. His left arm from the elbow down gone, discarded on the ground. The string of curse words that spilled from his mouth were indecipherable as he charged forward, there were a ton of men in the alley way. Amir wasn’t sure when he let it get out of control, it must have happened when he was on autopilot thinking about Trytheus. He shouldn’t have gone on autopilot, not when he was protecting the Unicorn Rider. The boy was sure she could handle herself in a fight, but probably nothing of this volume. He swung his sword and as the man in front of him was knocked away he spit into the eyes of the man right behind him. “You fucking took my arm, I’m going to fucking slaughter the god damn lot of you!”

He raised his sword high, it barely caught the light of the sun in the alley way, but it was enough. There were probably at least twenty men squeezed in the alley’s expanse in front of him, with a bleeding arm, a missing arm and an arrow in his back there was no way he could kill them all. He lowered his blade as an ear splitting screech thundered in the alley way. A huge plume of fire rained down on the men in front of him as Hassan reappeared after his brief absence. The bird rocketed through the group of criminals leaving nothing untouched with its flames. The heat was blistering, but nothing he couldn’t handle, though blood loss was starting to make his mind cloudy.

Not a single man was left standing as Hassan disappeared back into the sky, the close quarters of the alley making the fire attack three times more powerful than normal. He bent down to pick up his arm, sword clenched between his teeth as he retrieved the two golden bangles he usually kept on his left wrist. He shook the severed arm nonchalantly, letting the bangles clatter to the ground before discarding his arm to the side and picking up the jewelry carefully with his right arm, but his fingers shook and his right arm throbbed because of the deep gash in it. He struggled trying to get the bracelets around his wrist before turning to Sera.

“Umicore, can yub hep muee?” He asked, his voice muffled by the sword in his mouth and he shook his hand with the bangles on it. They slide on with little effort with the aid of someone else and he reclaimed the sword from his mouth in his right hand. He immediately started going forward, but stumbled a bit, his head swimming. Blood loss was a bitch. He murmured a soft shit before running through the carnage before them. It was hot and sweltering, and smelled absolutely disgusting. Brunt human flesh was nothing to be desired, the melted and fried flesh squelched and squished under his foot fall. The scene was so over powering that his eyes teared up, and the boy could barely keep from dry heaving. They had to keep moving though, the scene Hassan caused would no doubt draw even more attention so they had to get clear of it before more people came. The boy doubted he would be capable of putting up much more of a fight.

With nothing but willpower left the boy charged forward, the mental map of Tempress Cape driving his direction. Instinct guided his sword as his heavy arm and legs moved with only adrenaline left to keep him mobile. His breathes felt ragged in his lungs, and there wasn’t enough oxygen in the world to stop the ache they felt, there wasn’t enough blood in his body to ease his mind. The world seemed to tip on its side and all he could do was close his eyes and count his foot steps to keep from collapsing. Poison, definitely poison on the arrow embedded in in his shoulder.

It seemed a miracle that no one was by the breach in the fencing around the Cape they’d be using to escape. He kicked at the weak wood and it fell away without any effort. The boy turned to the unicorn rider, motioning for her to crawl before following close behind. Sweat drenched his body, everything hurt, but that was probably a good thing. When things stopped hurting then the boy knew he was in trouble. He motioned in a direction for them to move in before falling to a knee. The adrenaline seemed used up, “I need Hassan.”

Had he said that out loud? It was supposed to be a thought. He briefly noted the silver flash of the unicorn rider before it was blocked out by a warmth of red and orange. “I am here Amir.” The voice was reassuring and he felt himself sigh as the tension ebbed from his wounded body. The rush of cool that ran through him was familiar and welcome, his hammering heart slowing to a comfortable speed as the familiar presented itself. The throbbing in his head went away almost instantly as the cool comfort of the Phoenix tears rushed through his body. His right arm returned to strength and he reached around, grasping the arrow by the shaft and yanking it out his shoulder with a string of cuss words to follow. He leaned back against the wooden fence of the Cape, taking steadying breathes as his arm began regenerating. Limb regeneration was by far the worst thing the tears did. The nerve endings were the first to reconstruct and every bit of regrowth was felt vividly. He’d need something to take his mind off it.

With a sigh the boy stood, looking towards the unicorn rider and tilting his head in the direction he had pointed to before collapsing. The closest dune would put them out of sight of the Cape and then they would start looking for the rat bastard that abandoned them. “Unfortunately for us, the fastest way to get you back to that unicorn is the griffon. We’ve gotta find that child before it’s too late for your beast.”

Walking was much easier when there was enough blood in his body to function. Hassan perched onto his shoulder, and he was grateful his biggest concern was finding a dumb ass. Even the horrendous pain of his left arm being regrown didn’t compare to the priority of finding Trytheus. He hummed and lifted his right arm to look at the five bangles that clattered loudly on his wrist. It was too much jewelry to put on one limb and he actually found it annoying, but the bracelets were the only things he couldn’t allow himself to part with. He shot an unsure glance at Sera, he had saved her for all the wrong reasons, and he debated telling her the truth. Surely even just a few days or a week of that kind of constant abuse would leave scars. It would probably plague her dreams for weeks, months, maybe even years. He had never talked to anyone about his experiences. Though almost all of the permanent residents of Gnaji Town knew about what had happened, he had never confided in someone about what really had happened. The boy was still plagued with nightmares of that past, maybe if she knew she could talk to him he could prevent her from going through that.

“You know… You can talk to me if you need too… about what happened while you were prisoner.” He started unsure and cast the girl a soft look, he doubted she would want to talk with just that. He knew that he never had wanted to tell anyone, but he was pretty fucked up now. The eleven year old him might have been different, might have confided in someone he trusted, he wanted this girl to never become the way he was now. “You might think I won’t understand, but I will, I promise. I was in nearly the same situation as you, but I was eleven when it happen… And, ah, no one saved me from that hell.” He tried to keep his voice flat, unwavering and gentle, but just thinking about telling his story had his voice quaking.

Setting

3 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Benedict Trish Character Portrait: Alasahe, The Melgrove Character Portrait: Dae Valen
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Alasahe saw what would happen before it did, not through any kind of foresight or premonition, but through the dread welling up in the pit of her stomach. This was the way of the world, the life of a rider. You set off on a stroll through your lands, and your unicorn was killed, prompting your kin to be sent to kill you. You head off on a seemingly benign mission to slay a beast, and die yourself. The life of a rider was flashy, brief, and ironic.

She locked eyes with Ben, and sensed that he would not do it. He fiddled with the bombs, and Orpheus tossed something to Dae. Alasahe narrowed her eyes and gritted her teeth. She would not falter. She would never tell anyone of the sick feeling that writhed in the center of her chest. Fiir knew, but he did not seem to notice. Mortality made one short-sighted, and she was much more mortal than he. He was used to her qualms and he carried on despite him.

Dae scrambled to his feet and cried out, "Blast it!" and Alasahe was already lining up her shot.

She took her bough of fae wood and reached forward, holding it aloft in front of Fiir's snout. The dragon heaved a breath and Alasahe turned her face into his neck, squeezing her eyes shut as flames erupted from his mouth. The flames shot like a pillar, straight and true, right at the Kelpie and Dae beside it.

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