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Mundus alter

Meg and May's House of Wonders

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a part of Mundus alter, by umademeink96.

Meeting hall of the six riders. Also the place the six beasts are reincarnated in.

umademeink96 holds sovereignty over Meg and May's House of Wonders, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

382 readers have been here.

Setting

TBA
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Meg and May's House of Wonders

Meeting hall of the six riders. Also the place the six beasts are reincarnated in.

Minimap

Meg and May's House of Wonders is a part of Gnaji.

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2 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Amir Taheri Character Portrait: May and Meg
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“Welcome to Meg-“

“-and May’s House of Wonders"

An old wooden house nearly materializes out of thing air. It stands tall at two stories and it bordered by a rickety looking cast iron fence. The sun feels so hot on the back of your neck it feels as if thousands of white hot needles are pressing against your pores and you are tempted to believe that this, as have been the last four watering holes, is merely a mirage manifested by your mind in a desperate attempt to gain shelter from the unrelenting sun.

As you approach the building does not disappear and you feel your heart rate pick up, finally, shelter. Your legs feel as if fifty-pound weights had been strapped to the ankles, but you manage force yourself forward, willing momentum to throw your steps into a run. “Oh my, look-“


”-what we have here.” Two women that look older than time itself stand on the steps leading up to the inside of the strange house. The sand displaces as you force your feet down and you nearly collapse with each step. Each breath scraps against your lungs like fire, sand particles cut against the flesh of your lungs and you can’t help but wonder if you could possibly drown in your own blood. The old women are smiling at you, arms extend in welcome and you can’t keep the smile off your face. You had accepted death in the middle of this desert, your tongue is so swollen in your mouth you can’t even speak, you’ve sweat so much there is no more liquid to be expelled from your body. Your eyes crinkle and your lungs wheeze out grateful for the women. If you were hydrated there would have been tears in your eyes. “Come in-“

“-my darling.” They say with smiles that never fade. They seem to be so old their wrinkles have folded over themselves and their skin looks as if it were crafted from worn leather. You can’t be bothered to care about their odd behavior though, not when you are so desperate for anything but the sun. You are close enough to touch them now, and you reach towards them, your hands caked with a thick layer of dust and grim, it hurts to stretch the skin of your hands as you splay your palms open. You are so, so grateful for this place. “Oh dear, it seems-“

“We’ve made a mistake. This human-“

“-is not a rider.” One of the woman’s voices changes from the soft, fragile nature of the elderly, to a menacing baritone. You don’t have the energy or reflexes to stop your hands from interlocking with the two women’s. The moment you make contact they take you in a vice grip. The bones of your hands snap without any resistance and if you could have screamed you would have. Their grins widen menacingly and their crinkled old eyes black out. You are in too much pain to resist whatever monster trap you have stumbled into. All you can do is watch as the two old women begin to mesh together in a series cracks and squelches of adjusting bones and fusing flesh. The monster that holds you in its death grip is nothing you’ve ever seen in the books, but it is by far the most terrifying. It is possibly even scarier than the legendary Huitzilopotchli. The creature holding you cackles. “You hear that May? It thinks-“

“-we’re scarier than Huitzilopochtli!” The beast erupts into a fit of laughter again before sobering quickly.

“We’ll kill you quickly now.”
“We’ll kill you quickly now.”
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Clink. Clink. Clink.

The methodical ringing of golden bracelets around a young man’s ankles was the only sound to keep him company as he trekked through the desert. The clink that echoed with each step was proof he was moving forward. A trick he had learned because sometimes you needed something to ground you when all your surroundings looked exactly the same. It seemed especially hot today though, the white cloth scarf draped over his head was doing little to ease the burn of the sun. The blonde man reached towards his side, feeling the camel-skin water pouch was also a comfort as its contents sloshed up against his side with each step the man took forward.

A screech rang out above him, it sounded the way heat made the air quiver and he wondered if it was hot enough to alter sound waves. A bright flurry of flames passed over his vision and Amir sighed as his beast, Hassan, perched itself on his shoulder. It was a bird made of fire, yet its flames did not catch his clothing or skin, they only aided in making him hotter than he already was. The blonde man could feel the sweat drops dripping down his cheeks and with some annoyance he shoved at the bird’s body. Hassan let out a startled squawk as it lost its balance, and he heard the frantic rustle of feathers as it tried to regain itself.

“That was quite rude Amir, you know I have no control of my body temperature.” It whispered to him, reclaiming the perch of his shoulder. The man sighed, reaching up to stroke the fiery feathers, they were extremely warm, but they did not burn him. He didn’t quite understand how the phoenix worked, but Hassan had assured him that the bird’s fire would never burn him.

“Fuck you, let me be miserable. Are we almost there?” He could feel Hassan’s annoyance with him even with no physical cues from the bird, the prolonged silence was enough to tell Amir that the beast was getting tired of his persistent whining. He was caught off guard, however, when the beast nipped his ear. He jumped and shoved the bird again in distain, this time it didn’t return to his shoulder and flew towards the clear blue sky. Amir stopped walking to follow the burning bird in the sky. He watched Hassan circle the sky a few times before diving back to him.

“It’s just ahead, however; the twins seem… preoccupied.” Amir raised and eyebrow curious. When the twins called a meeting Amir was generally the first of the riders to arrive to the House of Wonders, he was the closest so it only made sense that he was there first. Meg and May weren’t in the habit of receiving visitors, and Amir couldn’t contain his apprehension. The man could tell Hassan felt his unease because the bird nipped his ear again. “Things should be taken care of by the time you get there, so stop whining. It’s so unbecoming for the leader of Gnaji”

Amir nodded, but Hassan’s words did little to satiate his curiosity, the man didn’t even retort as Hassan nagged him. He walked in silence while Hassan began to chatter, the bird’s voice was a comfort, but still once the house came into view he couldn’t help but feel like he needed to hide and fell in to a crouch. Meg and May were in their true form, a terrifying two-headed monster, with what looked to be a normal human crushed in their grip. Amir rose eyebrow at the scene, the twins hardly ever donned their true form, and the man pulled himself to his feet, leaning his forearms against the scorching cast iron fence.

“What are they doing Hassan?”

“I think they were just bored of waiting for you.” His bird whispered to him and Amir couldn’t look away as the monster tore the man in half, each head consuming one half. Being the Leader of Gnaji he often saw carnage, was often the cause of it, but this was on an entirely different level from anything he had ever executed.

“Are you ladies fucking finished messing around?” He quipped at the monster in an attempt to hide that the twins had actually frightened him. The monster turned its two geometric heads towards him and Amir felt his muscles tense under its gaze. They stood frozen for a moment before the monster started deconstructing itself and the twins separated into their human skins.

“Welcome, Lady Sahira, Hassan. We apologize for any inconvenience”
“Welcome, Lady Sahira, Hassan. We apologize for any inconvenience”

Amir scoffed, pushing himself off the fence and walking towards the familiar sight of the Gemini twins. Now that they were back in their familiar form he could finally feel his heart rate go under control. He walked forward and past the twins before he decided to acknowledge them, the fear he felt before making him more defensive and he bite out a response as he entered the House of Wonders.

“I told you to stop fucking calling me a woman, and the wrong name. I’m not the first rider.”

“Oh but Lady Sahira, our dear rider-“
“You have only ever been her.”

3 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Amir Taheri Character Portrait: Alasahe, The Melgrove Character Portrait: May and Meg
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"Melgrove."

Alasahe did not turn her gaze from the ocean stretched out before her, reaching all of the way to the horizon, and beyond. The water was midnight blue, white crests frothing up in the ship's wake. The view was suddenly overlain by a vision of the deck of the ship as seen from above, floating placidly on top of the sparkling sea. The vision calmed her, as did the simple pleasure Fiir filtered down to her, of watching the radiance play out across the water. Alasahe snorted and tilted her face up towards the sky just as Fiir's shadow slid by.

"Are we there yet?" she said, still studying the sky.

"The port town is within sight, Melgrove. We will make anchor in two hours or so."

She narrowed her eyes and glanced over her shoulder at the robed figure several paces behind her. "You promised me we would make the port town before noon," she snapped. The figure, to his credit, did not shrink away, but he suddenly went very still. Fiir's shadow passed over head again and the dragon swooped down to the ocean's surface a few miles away, skimming his claws lazily through the water, watching the spray shoot high in the air, sunlight playing through it. He wondered absently at her ire, but without much interest.

"Our delays were unforeseeable, Melgrove. Please forgive me." Alasahe snorted again, and took hold of a line, hauling herself up onto the rail of the ship.

"Fiir and I will continue from here on our own. See to our business in town and then await me here." Fiir was suddenly there, cruising alongside the ship, scarlet wings stretched wide as he snapped at the surface of the water. Alasahe watched his wings carefully for a moment and then leap from the ship, sliding down his upturned wing towards his back. She rolled into the leather saddle fastened there and deftly strapped herself in, ignoring Fiir's annoyed rumble. "See to it that any delays for our return journey are well-foreseen," she snapped and yanked on the makeshift reigns, prompting Fiir high into the sky. He rumbled again and Alasahe rolled her eyes.

"And now what's wrong with you?" she said, much of the heat gone from her voice. Fiir thought longingly again about the surface of the water and Alasahe sighed. "Pull it together, will you? We have work to do."

The trip from the coast of Gnaji to the House of Wonders was never long from the air. Soon, the seas of sands (which Fiir regarded disdainfully) gave way to browning grass ringed by an old cast-iron fence. Fiir swooped lower and Alasahe caught sight of the Gemini Twins greeting a small, blonde-haired figure. Fiir landed heavily, throwing sand in all directions. Alasahe leaped from his back reaching up to knock him in the shoulder affectionately. The top of her head didn't even reach his shoulder, but he bent his neck to snap playfully at her shoulder. Alasahe leaped out of the way and knocked him in the snout lightly. "I'll call for you if you're needed," she said and turned to approach the looming two-story. Fiir was still fairly protective of her, would be for a few more decades. It annoyed him when she died and was made small and helpless again.

She approached the house calmly. This was a place of minimal danger, although she'd never felt quite comfortable among the Gemini Twins.

"Welcome, Dragon-Rider."
"Welcome, Dragon-Rider."

Alasahe inclined her head to the twins, stopping so that she was level with Amir. "Are the others here yet?" she asked, brushing past him. "Or are we the first?"

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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#, as written by claw
Drifting from air current to air current, gliding across the desert sands, flew the griffon. It flew more like an eagle than a raven, flapping its great wings only to add a burst of speed to the next updraft as it picked its way through the sky, ever onwards to its destination. The greatest downside to this however was for the human perched on the griffon Mavegens back, clad from head to toe his bright steel armour, small stars and diamonds gave away where the metal had been folded over and over many times in its construction, a rare skill indeed. The simple act of moving from warm spot to warm spot in the blistering heat of the desert meant that the Rider Trytheus Morrela, was essentially being slowly roasted alive in his suit, with the only small bliss being his open visor- yet that did not prevent the odd stray specks of sand somehow managing to fly the half mile up to land in his eye, a worryingly frequent problem.

He rode in silence, unlike the other Riders, man and beast had no telepathic link to communicate- griffons were far too proud for that- instead they learned over the long years, how to judge each others body language, so that they needed to only glance at each other to speak to each other. Even know he could tell that Mavegen wished to be done in the desert, her shoulders rolled in their sockets and her head turned constantly on a swivel. He had to admit to himself that he shared the same sentiment, indeed a part of him wished to remove at least some part of his shining armour, he was far too stubborn to actually contemplate doing it, so instead he enduring the blistering heat as the sunlight bounced off his grieves and his long red and gold cloak fluttering loudly in the wind behind him, even as it howled in the gap in his helm.

He had to admit to himself that the very nature of this was folly, he was needed in his kingdom now more than ever. The Kingdom of Amstra had ever been a realm under the threat of turmoil, its economical power also made it a ripe target for criminals and lawlessness, no matter how many the Amstrian army stamped out or the Forge Knights removed, in a matter of years they would simply reform, usually smarter and larger than before, as if something had decided that Amstra had to be limited, he couldn't help but recall the audience he was holding a week ago before he departed.

"And so your Grace, it has come to my attention that the very same band has been raiding my own lands as well as those of Lord Vais." The fat man droned on. Lord Vais and the current speaker, Lord Rikkar, were two minor land holders on the southern border of Amstra, though they had both been encouraged many times before to expand their lands further south into the unclaimed lands, they often cited many reasons not to, ranging from monsters to bandits to a lack of funds, personally Trytheus simply believed that they wished to spend more time in the capital rather than empower the kingdom.

Like many things in the Smiths Keep, the forge imagery was ever present, be it the hammer wielding Forge Knights, or the fact the very throne itself was designed to look like a giant, multitiered anvil, the whole motif was unavoidable. Sat on that throne was Trytheus himself, though his full title would be King Trytheus Morrela CCCXXXII, King of Amstra and Griffon Rider, Lord Commander of the Order of the Forge and Lord Millitant of the armies of Amstra. He now presided over the third time the two lords had sought an audience for the same issue.
"I have no doubt that these bandits and brigands are a realm threat, my lord, though twice I have ordered support to be lended to you. What happened to them? Was my aide waylaid? OR was it simply ineffective."
"Of course not, your Grace." Lord Rikkar spluttered, narrowly insulting the crown. "The fault was ours, we underestimated the strength and underhand guile of these outlaws."
"I see." Trytheus sighed, the growing incompetence of the border lords was a worrying issue, he had begun to wonder if a number of them were beginning to brew rebellion in their distance lands. He was about to simple send them away when he felt a twinge in the back of his mind, like a mental slap in his head, glancing down at Mavegen, was slept at the foot of his throne, he saw that she had awoken and the two of them locked eyes, it appeared they had been summoned.
"My lords Rikkar and Vias, I shall send to you a contingent of Forge Knights to assist in the removal of any unwanted troubles to the kingdoms security." The threat there was clear, yet they naturally couldn't complain about it, they had gotten the support they wanted and were swiftly ushered from the throne room. "Chancellor Vex, you are my regent until my return, I trust you will keep things in order." The Chancellor was a former Forge Knight, whose days in his armour had long since passed.

Trytheus was quickly brought out of his reverie by the swiftly approaching House of May and Meg, as well it would seem the presence of three other riders, once more he was cured to be the fourth to arrive. Mavegen landed a short distance away from the others and Trytheus swiftly dismounted, a quick glance back was enough to tell him that Mavegen was more than happy for the armoured weight to be removed from her back. He strode across the desert sands, his feet sinking slightly under him, before halting before the Gemini twins and bowing before them as tradition dictates.
"Greetings, Ladies Gemini. It is an honour to finally meet you in this life."
"Greetings to you, Griffon Rider. You are the fourth to arrive."
"Greetings to you, Griffon Rider. You are the fourth to arrive."

With an inclination of his head, he stepped past the two and headed inside, pleased to be out of the ever present sun. Once inside he cast a quickly glance at the other riders, though he did not know any of them personally, he had of course read all about them. Though he did not try to make himself overly comfortable, he did permit himself to remove his helm, and to shake the stray snad from his hair.

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 sauntered past the sisters and into the structure. He had been to the House of Wonders on multiple occasions, Hassan had been able to guide him to the obscure place multiple times when they needed information that not even his best informants had on the goings-on of Tempress Cape. Generally though, the information sought from the twins was monster related. It still amazed him, however; how big the inside of the House of Wonders actually was. He was sure that the twins had done some sort of strange monster space distortion thing, but that didn’t stop the awe.

In the opening foyer, the floor was made of white and black marble that stretched as far back as three times the size of the outside, and the ceiling stretched up so high he could barely make out where it ended. In the back a grand staircase stood proudly, leading up to a cut out second floor and served as a balcony to peer down upon the first floor. The walls of the second floor were entirely bookcases, packed tightly without room for even a single more novella. Amir walked forward, pulling the white cloth he had been using to shield his face as he observed the newly decorated first floor. The golden bracelets clanked softly as he moved forward. A grand oak table sat in the very middle of the floor, masked servants rushed around, busily setting order to things that Amir hadn’t realized had been out of place in the first place.

The table had seven chairs stationed around it, each carved to represent one of the riders and then a throne for the twins as well. The Gemini throne was large enough to fit two people, though he was sure that was on purpose, and it looked as through two separate chairs had been artfully fused together. Existing in harmony despite being two separate entities. Amir scanned the other thrones until he spotted the wooden carving that had to have been for the phoenix rider. The wood had been shaped to mimic rising flames, yet they weren’t harsh or violet, and they billowed up the wooden surface warmly. The throne’s flames morphed into the plumage that was distinctly familiar and a wooden phoenix lay atop the throne looking down softly at the empty space where someone would sit. The sight filled him with something distinctly nostalgic, but before he could think on it he was pulled away from his thoughts.

"Are the others here yet? Or are we the first?" Amir looked to his right to see a silver haired girl walking past him. Alasahe was the only one of the riders that Amir had met prior to this meeting and he could feel the distasteful frown press his lips down as she spoke. She was much too honest for him, and even when they had worked together they hadn’t been able to get along.

“Oh great.. Melgrove,”
He started sarcastically, and his tone vocalized an eye roll as he spoke. “Glad to see you’re still as pleasant as ever.” He purposely ignored her question, not seeing a reason to give her any information freely no matter how insignificant. Hassan clucked at him, tugging at the earring that was dangling from his earlobe and he pushed lightly at his beast. The phoenix was a big believer in things like manners, and while Amir agrees politeness was the best way to lower someone’s guard he couldn’t stand people like Alasahe, who valued honesty over anything else. He briefly pondered that idea of attacking, but that damn beast of hers was nothing to bat and eye at. He may have been a skilled fighter, but he doubted he could take on an ancient dragon. Amir hadn’t realized he had been gripping the hilt of his dagger until his grip on the instrument lessened.

"Hello." Amir turned to see another rider had arrived already. The rider was quite good looking, and if the presence of a partner was any further a clue he’d have to guess the man was the siren rider. He had spoken to the twins before about the different riders, and they had informed him the siren rider was nearly always beautiful. He cast a smirk at Alasahe before making his way over to the new rider, his jewelry clanked softly with his movement, and Amir reached out to the man, offering his hand.

“Hi, my name’s Amir Taheri, I’m the Phoenix Rider. You’ve got to be the Siren Rider, right? What’s your name?” Before he could get an answer another rider arrived. His presence was large and dominating, it cause Amir to look over his shoulder as the man entered the house, donned head to toe in armor. As Amir watched him he could tell the man was leader, his commanding presence left no room to argue and he hadn’t even said anything. It was quite impressive.

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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"Sir Trish I am afraid I can take you no further."

Benedict recalled the words of his handler very clearly as he'd been walking for what felt like miles. He hadn't heard much about the Gemini Twins nor their location but he had heard tales from the handlers of past riders who said very simply that the House of Wonders only allowed the worthy. It didn't worry him as Ben himself was a rider (young, but a rider still), but tickled his curiosity as to what was so exclusive that they need be in the desert.

"There is no one here," a raspy voice hissed from beneath the boy's feet.

"Maybe nobody wants to come out this far," Ben shrugged as he adjusted his hat.

The three headed beast shook its center head before the rest voiced their disapproval.

"I smell blood!"

"There's a killer!"

"We should catch!"

"We should kill!"

"Kill!"


"We don't have time for that," Benedict sighed, wiping sweat off of his forehead, "I'm almost out of water."

"Why do you need water?

"We drank three hours ago."

"Just kill the next traveler and steal their water."


Despite the wide brim and his threadbare clothing, he was a mountain boy at heart and thus, not used to the sweltering desert or blinding sun. He wanted to go home or back to the milder side of Gnaji. Well except for the part where he didn't because he really did want to see the House of Wonders. Orpheus did too. The two were united in their determination to find the unknown and in Benedict's case, learn from it. He liked to think that these treks were worth taking on so long as the destination provided something he hadn't known before. Granted, some of his reactions have been less than good (i.e. taking a page from Orpheus's book and smashing a priceless vase after the owner refused to sell it) but no one needed to know about that. No one would believe him.

"So are we going to kill them?"

Benedict glanced upward and saw a griffin flying overhead before sighing. He could feel the restlessness, the urge to run ahead of their rider but also the sense of duty that tethered Orpheus to him. The Cerberus was, unfortunately, still quite young (reflecting Benedict's own age) so it was not yet big or strong enough to carry him for great distances without needing breaks. Well that wasn't true. They could theoretically carry him but they would merely be too distracted. Half the time they preferred running in Ben's shadow to being out in the sun.

Still they somehow managed to finish their long walk to the House of Wonders where the twins greeted him.

"Greetings to you, young Ulysses. You are the fifth to arrive."
"Greetings to you, young Ulysses. You are the fifth to arrive."

Orpheus circled around the twins, sniffing them thoroughly (one of the heads nearly peeking under Meg's dress) before Benedict started walking inside.

"Or-phe-us come on!" he called, gesturing for them to follow.

The two (technically four) met the other four duos, each of varying appearance but likely all the same age.

Typical that they'd all be adults.

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"Oh great... Melgrove."

Alasahe frowned and narrowed her eyes. Amir was a fearsome ally and an infuriating associate. She would have dissolved their alliance long ago if not for the sheer usefulness of it. Still, after the journey she'd endured to make it to this sun-roasted patch of desert, she almost would rather have cut out his tongue herself and wage war against his land than hear him speak her title with such derision.

"Glad to see you're just as pleasant as ever," he sneered, rolling his eyes. His hand moved minutely and suddenly he was gripping the dagger at his side tightly. In a flash, Fiir dashed through the double doors, snaking past the pair of strangers in his way and flowed into the great room. He crawled into the room and then up onto the walls, curling his long sleek body around the top of a window, hanging there like a monstrous salamander. In any other structure, the sheer weight of him would have pulled the wall down, but Alasahe supposed that the house had long ago been imbued with the magic necessary to rear such a strange clutch of magical creatures. He rumbled a growl at Amir, watching him closely. Alasahe sniffed.

"Hm. More desert sarcasm. As always, you are ever the irritant in my eye, Amir." she said and brushed past him again. Her seat was carved with great scales, reaching high, far higher than her head, the edges wreathed in a spurt of carved flames and smoke. She threw herself into it, throwing one leg over the armrest. Fiir scuttled along the wall so that he could settle himself just behind her, watching the newcommers intently.

Alasahe had never seen the other three before, but she had studied the documents left behind by previous Melgroves carefully before her journey. None concerned her so much as the Siren-rider and beast itself. The pair wielded a worrisome power, one she would be soundly displeased to experience herself. The Griffon Rider seemed the eldest by far and was blessedly short in his greeting. Alasahe hated small talk. The last to arrive was no more than a child, a small, three-headed dog bounding in his wake. There were certainly a young group. Fiir watched the dog, a sound sense of smugness floating down to her. He was about eight feet tall at the shoulder, and an easy twelve feet long, not including his tail and at only 200 years old, still an adolescent by dragon standards. He seemed pleased at the head-start he had on the Cerberus.

She inclined her head minutely to the three newcomers. "Alasahe," she said. Fiir rumbled again. There probably wasn't much of a point of saying she was the Dragon-rider.

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's eyes scanned the strange house he found himself in. He had never been here before so its wonders were new. Actually, he had been here many times over in past lives but not the current life time. The carving of the house was truly exquisite. The people of Sui Generis were craftsman and he himself loved carving wood when he wasn't painting or fulfilling his duties as the guardian of Sui Generis and its trade routes, so he could truly understand and appreciate the structure and architecture that went into this home. He found himself extending a hand to caress some of the knobs and delicate lines of the railing, people and creatures forgotten for the moment. He was always one to take note of the smallest detail and ignore the social interactions around him. He took less stock in those. What was a little conversation compared to art that would last beyond millennial and forever gather millions of perceptions?

Dae walked over to his seat then and traced the beautiful and intriguing wood work that shaped the almost lifelike looking shells of varying sizes and species. He had the suspicion that this was his work. The lines felt familiar to him as if he had been the one to slave away the many hours it took to make this chair. His first life must have been the one to carve the piece.

He was brought out of his revere when he noticed he was being approached. He turned his gaze upward and saw Amir, the Phoenix-Rider coming towards him. He straightened himself and offered a small polite smile as Aquarian leaned over to wrap his arms around Dae's neck and draped himself like a charm on his rider. The siren watched Amir with interest and tilted his head to the side as he took in his features. And this is why Dae and Aquarian worked well as a team regardless of their point of views. While Dae took in the scenery and details, Aquarian observed the people and interactions so they made up for the others downfall. Their mental connection allows the observations to pass freely between them.

Before he could speak, the door opened again and both he and Aquarian looked to the door to see the man that entered. His presence was intriguing. He was imposing with his armor but Dae could tell that even without it he would be intimidating. He walked with the grace of a prowling animal and as tall as the oldest fir. This was a man proud in his heritage and it was easy to tell he was the Griffin-Rider. How interesting that they all had such different personalities and yet worked well throughout the generations. He pulled his gaze away from the newcomer to look back at Amir.

"Dae," he answered and extended his hand to shake Amir's hand firmly. "And yes, I am the Siren-Rider. Nice to meet you."

"And I am Aquarian," the siren answered though the rider hadn't spoken to him.

Then another rider appeared; smaller than the rest. He was a child compared to the rest of them if the three-headed dog behind him was any indication. Dae couldn't help but grin. Cerberus looked adorable as a puppy! Even the rider was adorable. It did cause him to worry though. He was yet a child. He would need to be protected while they were on this mission. He knew better than to underestimate the young rider however. He was sure the rider was capable of keeping up with them in a fight. It was just something in Dae that always made him partial to bring those younger under his wing, so to speak. He would wait to approach. As always, he was the cautious one. He always liked to wait to get a feel of those around him before he intervened. He had already learned much from Amir and Alasahe. They must have met each other before this gathering and it was obvious they did not like each other. It would be wise to stay out of their squabble and not take sides. Both were formidable warriors and too hot headed. Any slight would set them off it seemed.

5 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Benedict Trish Character Portrait: Trytheus Morrela Character Portrait: Amir Taheri Character Portrait: Alasahe, The Melgrove Character Portrait: Dae Valen
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To say Trytheus was stoic was an understatement, his face betrayed no emotion as he cast a long look across the room. A small part of him was pleased that his entrance could cause all the others to turn and look at his presence. His eyes were drawn to the dragon that clung to the wall.

"Such a pitiful creature." He mused to himself. "Relying on fear and fire to be respected among beasts, it is no true king of beasts, no matter how it would dream it." As if on cue, Mavegen crossed the threshold to stand alongside him, the griffon was taller even than him, by a good many hands indeed, and without the added weight of the saddle pressing down on her back she could now stand tall and proud, though he was always impressed at how easily the griffon could remove her saddle when she wished.

Something seemed wrong though, her head was tilted at an angle and her eyes kept darting to... Oh but of course, the Siren-Rider, the ruler of the lands directly to the north of Amstra, he began to step deeper inside as he cast a glare towards his neighbor, brief but still present. He did not trust the Siren-Rider, if nothing else he mistrusted the vast difference between them, the griffon was honour, bravery and justice, the siren however, that monster was one of treachery and falsehood. Naturally the Phoenix-Rider was associating himself with the Siren-Rider, it seemed to be the reoccurring trait that people quickly found themselves desiring the Siren-Rider. Trytheus scoffed at the idea of lust and such temporary loyalty that it brings, nations are forged on the bonds of battle and hardship, tragedies are forged on the notions of love and companionship. Indeed he scoffed at even calling the pair true riders, they seemed more companion to their beasts than rider. He turned back to catch Mavegen looking at him, she simply gave a shake of her mane, she did not disapprove of his opinion it seemed, but was simply indifferent about the two themselves.

He halted behind the throne that was designated for him, it was a tall sweeping affair, with feathers carved from the wood that splayed out from the back of the throne itself, the arm rests ended in gilded talons but as for that it was carved with patterns that what must be what the currents of wind appeared to the eyes of the griffon. He would not take to his throne before the Gemini twins took theirs, as a mark of respect.

The arrival of another newcomer made his head slowly turn, it was a boy. Apparently some ill fate had befallen the Cerberus-Rider of late, as their latest incarnation hardly seemed large enough to hold a sword, let alone control that unruly three headed monster. He heard a snort behind him from Mavegen, it seemed the griffon disliked the unpredictable and unruly nature of the cerberus, and he couldn't help but agree on that.

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 watched the griffon rider observe all of them. Even without words it was easy to tell the man was judging all of them, a distinct look of, I-am-better-than-all-these-people sat smugly on his features. A look Amir often saw on the faces of crime lords when they thought they had subdued the Great Phoenix Rider, and Amir actually liked that. He had been told the Amstra King was all about those noble traits such as honor and loyalty, but it was nice to see him looking down on others. They all were riders after all, they were better than the rest.

"Dae, and yes, I am the Siren-Rider. Nice to meet you."
Amir gave him a warm smile and ever slightly he could hear Hassan’s exasperated sigh from where he sat on Amir’s shoulder. Disappointing Hassan with his actions had become a regular, somewhat enjoyable, occurrence ever since Amir had hit puberty. He liked to think that despite Hassan’s growing disappointment in him, if he ever got into something seriously bad his red-feathered beast would stop him. He was about to continue when Dae’s siren spoke first. It caught him a bit off guard, as Hassan only vocalized bird relevant sounds, all words the phoenix spoke were only inside Amir’s head. "And I am Aquarian."

“Dae and Aquarian,” He started, letting the names roll off his tongue. They were quite the pair, considering the siren wasn’t too hard on the eyes either. He smiled at the beast and then gestured to his own. The bird straightened, his fiery plumage puffing outwards and brightening to show itself off. Hassan, like his rider, enjoyed showing off, albeit subtly. “This shit head here is Hassan, owe my life to this bird on multiple different counts.” Shit head in this case meant nothing but affection, though the bird still nipped his earring. Amir laughed, pushing at his beast and it clucked back at him as if to scold the man. “Sorry about him, it’s really easy to get him all fired up.”

Hassan was going to bite him again for the horribly placed pun, but the entrance of the young Cerberus rider stopped both of them. He was young, really young, and so was his Cerberus, though that just meant it was less threatening for the time being. The kid was the Cerberus rider, probably the one that struggled the most with controlling their beast, Amir doubted that the kid was anything less than capable. May and Meg trailed in after the boy, they shot both their glances towards Amir and Dae, a call to get to their places among the table as they slid into their respective throne. “Amir, please, try to control your mouth.”

Amir motioned for Dae and Aquarian to follow, it was time to get to business. “Relax bird-brain, when am I ever not on my best behavior? He waved off his bird, who fluttered to the perch at the top of his throne and slide into the wooden chair with ease. The wood was hard, but the throne was carved as if it was made to fit his body, which it actually probably was some thousand years ago. Amir scanned the other riders, surprised to see the twins had started the meeting despite missing one the unicorn rider. He was pretty sure the current reincarnation was a female, but to start without her was surely unusual.

“We have called you here today, five riders-”
“-to discuss a matter of utmost urgency The twins began, speaking in broken sentences as they always have.

“The unicorn is dead!”
“But its rider lives on!” The two threw their hands into the air in sync, their words suddenly going faster, overlapping. “Bandits killed the unicorn and stole the rider-”

“-leaving the unicorn to rot in Languinre. But, my dear riders,”
“A dead unicorn is far more dangerous than a living one.” Amir felt his blood run cold. Unicorns were peaceful monsters with a strong magical resonance, if a unicorn died naturally its body became one with the earth and nourished it further. But if it were killed, all the land would-

“-rot and die. That is correct my dear Sahira, that unicorn carcass is toxic to any and all living things.”
“If left too long that rotten meat will reanimate as a Kelpie-”
“-quite the fearsome beast.” Amir tensed under the word kelpie, they were fearsome beasts that made there homes in water, poisoning anything that came too close. Such a creature would wreck havoc across Mundus alter. “There are few ways to kill the kelpie, but-”

“-alas, this beast has yet to turn. Burn its body-”
“-with a fire made with faery wood to stop the change.” Amir sighed, he had seen a kelpie before, at the cape, it had completely destroyed over a third of all the activity just by passing through, they were incredibly dangerous monsters. “But this is not the end of our tale.”

“A new unicorn has not appeared. The unicorn rider is-”
“still alive. Some of you must go-”

“And kill her.”
“And kill her. For a rider without their beast-”

“Is worthless.”

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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Before Benedict could do himself the pleasure of introducing himself it seemed that Orpheus already had the job covered.

"Bark! Bark! This table is made of bark!"

"It's the bird-horse we saw earlier!"

"Kill bird-horse!"

"No! Kill the other bird. It's burning."


The Cerberus ran around the room, surveying the different riders as they announced their names. It was the first time in a long time that the pup had been around so many new monsters (typically being in more human-dense areas). They felt the urge to jump and swipe at the great phoenix known as Hassan, but the fire also felt rather intimidating given their...past experiences (i.e. needing to be bandaged after running through a campfire to catch a racoon. Nonetheless, they were ready to unleash a torrent of barking before feeling a mental pang of pain.

"This is not the time."

Orpheus's demeanor changed, stopping to skitter back to their rider as introductions continued. He recognized Amir and Alashe as royalty for their respective kingdoms, but the siren and griffin riders were lost on him as he'd come in later than everyone else. Nonetheless he could ask their names at a later time. He needed to get to his seat, which stood out against their grandiose counterparts.

As the legend went, each throne was carved out in the image of the rider and their monster (such as the flames for the phoenix or seashells for the siren), but Cerberus was the exception. Ulysses being a simple man merely wanted cushions for his back and seat as well as holder for his walking stick. Who was once the oldest among all the riders was now the youngest and the irony was not lost on him...even if Orpheus didn't care so much. The identity of the chair lied in the ebony, shiny in some places, but dulled where it counted. Scratches covered the legs and back where teeth might have once been and at the top, three separate sets of eyes carved and painted red.

After Benedict sat he slid his walking stick into the holder provided by the chair and patted to signal Orpheus to sit upon his lap. The dog obliged and quietly, they all listened to the Gemini Twins describe the mission ahead of them. Though the unicorn died its rider was still alive and both needed to be disposed of.

"Kill?"

"Yes let's go! I want to kill them."

"Can we kill the human first?"


Benny raised an eyebrow. While he could feel the dog's blood lust in the back of his mind the thought of traveling to Languine interested him more. He'd never been there before and it wasn't as though he had easy access to the memories of his predecessors. It was all too interesting to pass up.

"We're willing to go."

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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With the Gemini twins now arrived, and seated, he himself could sit. It felt strange how much sitting down he was being made to do of late, Amstra was at a point where it required the deft touch of diplomacy rather than riding into battle, the majority of the bands of bandits had been crushed the last few years, all that remained were the organised crime syndicates and the nobles smuggling rings, though no doubt by the time he had returned the bandits would have begun to rise again. Mavegen sat next to his throne, their eyes now at an equal level, to the observer it would appear the two were all but carbon copies of each other, they both sat upright, their eyes unwavering and proud, it had always been this way with the griffon and the rider.

Though he was not expecting the news, he kept his expression blank, better that than let the others know his mind. To kidnap a rider and slay its beast? Such things happened barely once every quarter millennium if the ancient carvings his past lives had left behind were to be believed, he wondered how such a thing could happen, either the Unicorn-Rider was especially weak, or else something dark was at work here for simple brigands to manage such a task.

He kept quiet until the others had talked, as was his custom, and all others turned their attention to him, as he was the last to contribute to the meeting. Though he did not revel in the task, he understood the necessity of it, they were bound to their beasts, as their beasts were to them, they were the symbol of their immortal power and their right to rule.

"I take no pleasure in saying that this task is of great importance." He declared in a rich baritone. "But destroying the body of the unicorn is not my place, should we arrive too late then I am ill suited to combating a creature who is most at home in the water, my domain is of open skies and wide plains, not vast waterways, which is why the Siren-Rider should be the leader of undertaking that task." He lent forwards in his throne, to ensure he had their full attention, he only wished he also knew their names, it helps get people on board if one addressees them by name rather than title. "Additionally I believe the range advantage of a flying dragon, would be of great use in this task, as dealing with organised banditry is often a business that requires some discretion, it is also no place for a child, the task of destroying the unicorn or the beast that it forms, should fall to the siren, dragon and cerberus. I am far more accustomed to dealing with human bandits than I am with roaming beasts, so I propose that I go to slay the Unicorn-Rider and eliminate these bandits. Though to go alone would be fool hardy and could result in an ever greater issue for the others, so I propose that the Phoenix-Rider accompany me, I hear tell that he too deals with bandits and piracy in his own lands and such is well suited for the task." Trytheus was a natural born warrior, and over the years he had become an adept tactician, as was required for him, he expected some disagreement- it was only natural, yet as far as he could see it was the best course of action that relied on all the strengths of the riders present, then again his lack of knowledge on the parts of the others could mean he was overlooking a useful trait or another, something which could prove disastrous, but it was a necessary risk

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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Benedict nodded along to everyone's discussion, choosing to remain silent while he soaked in the information. They all knew more about this strategy stuff and while it was interesting his mind wandered more toward the lush greenery, the animals, and of course the unicorn's carcass. Meg and May, being the old and wise beings they were made him curious about the actual amount of harm that a rotting unicorn could do. It couldn't be that bad right? And if it wasn't could he touch it? Sketching would be a for sure thing (he liked drawing), but imagine if he could grab the unicorn horn or a hair or something.

"Additionally I believe the range advantage of a flying dragon, would be of great use in this task, as dealing with organised banditry is often a business that requires some discretion, it is also no place for a child, the task of destroying the unicorn or the beast that it forms, should fall to the siren, dragon and cerberus."

"Child?"

"He thinks we can't kill rider?"

"Kill him."

"Kill the bird-horse too."


Orpheus stiffened as the three pairs of eyes glared at the griffin-rider with a hint of aggression. Tiny as they were, the three would have none of those insults. It was bad enough that they'd yet to outgrow any of the other beasts, but to be told they would not be able to fight some weak humans was awful.

Calm down, we are not here to argue. We're a team here, Ben thought, petting their body.

As much as he wanted to have more input on the conversation (in part due to Orpheus's desires) he sat patiently in order to listen to the rest of Amir's input. It seemed the two assigned rider killers would have to walk around in the desert which suited the Cerberus rider just fine. He was tired of the sand anyway.

"This is fine by me," he shrugged, "however we will need an alternative form of travel since I cannot ride my beast like the rest of you."

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 was amused as the Griffon-rider spoke, assuming command of the whole situation. He knew that he would so it really wasn't all that surprising. A bit peeving for sure, as Amir was already flustered, but foreseeable. He was a bit surprised when the man had appointed him as leader of the second group going after the Kelpie however. He figured the man hated him enough that he wouldn't trust him as a leader. The comment even earned a small quirk of his lips. He was still concerned with the Cerberus rider. Going after the Kelpie could pose more dangerous for him considering the three headed dog was yet a puppy and harder to control. What if the dog decided to rush forward and bite the dead carcass? The poisons in the shifting creature could kill the dog and Dae would be severely heart broken if they had to kill the young boy as a result. He never wanted a hand in killing a child. Caring for children had always been ingrained in the siren rider considering the fact that the his ancestor had struck the deal because of her own dead children.

Focus, Dae. You're getting side-tracked. Aquarian murmured in his head. Dae spared him a glance before he sat forward and watched Amir and Trytheus depart. They too needed to get a move on. There was no time to waste. Dae looked over at the younger rider as he began to speak then and gave a nod. The two of them were at a disadvantage. The Cerberus was too small yet to carry its rider and there was no way he could ride on Aquarian, though quite a sight that would be.

He cleared his throat then and turned his attention to his team. "Benedict has a point. I can't ride Aquarian through the desert either. Walking is going to take a lot of time for us. Alasahe, would you and your dragon be willing to carry us so that we may reach our destination faster? If that is not a possibility, I propose then that you fly on ahead and scout the area. Since you will have the advantage of flight and speed, you'd be able to search for the wood we require. It will be easier to spot over the landscape from the sky compared to the ground. You would also be the first one to reach the carcass. You'd be able to monitor the change and help set up a barrier to keep the creature from escaping by land. That would leave Benedict and myself to travel by land till we get to the boat waiting at the shore. If you can still carry Benedict and the Cerberus however, that would be the better option. That way the two of you can get a head start and you'll have back up if need be.

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As Amir and the griffin-rider departed, Benedict turned toward Alashe and nodded once he got a clearer view of Fiir. Though he was larger than the others still remaining in the room he could see that he wasn't nearly large enough to carry everyone. Plus the siren-rider was an adult. He ought to be able to walk on his own. Ben on the other hand could not make the same concessions.

If we get a ride we could hunt birds.

If we're in the air we could fall off!

It's worth it!

It's not, not with the dragon!

But we can look through the skies.

I love the sky!


"Of course I can keep them in check," Benedict smiled, "the both of us are perfectly fine with sitting quietly, right?"

The black-haired boy looked down at his monster whose tail was wagging at the thought of sightseeing, well as much as an internally conflicted, three-headed dog could. His rider could feel the discontent, but rather than stifle it he pushed the chair back and allowed the Cerberus to jump off and run around while he mulled over the siren-rider's input. That meant that he and Alashe would arrive first and possibly need to deal with the prospect of looking for the special wood, something that would only be slightly more fun than traversing the desert.

"What's your name? I won't call you Cerberus-rider indefinitely."

"Benedict," he said politely, "Orpheus is the one running around, but I assure you that they are better off tiring themselves out now than while they are on your dragon's back. I recognize you Alashe, but what is your name siren-rider?"

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Alasahe found herself nodding along with Dae's suggestions. Finally, someone clear-headed and thoughtful. Perhaps working with her two companions would not be a complete chore. She glanced around the room. She thought she remembered...

There, tucked away in an adjacent corner of the room was a large, elaborate map of Mundus Alter, its lands outlined in thick, gold lines. "Look here," she said, pointing to a point on the southern end of the land mass. "This is Languinre Town, the capital of their land. Since we do not know exactly were the carcass rots, I suggest we begin our search here. Someone there should be able to tell us where their rider was going when the unicorn was struck down. And if not," she shrugged, "the blight caused by a dead unicorn will be the talk of the town. There will be more than enough rumors to point us in the right direction." She turned back to Dae and Aquarian. "Benedict, Orpheus, and I will ride ahead, as you say. It will take us a full day of riding. We will reunite there."

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Dae looked over at Benedict when the young man asked him for his name. Oh. He forgot to introduce himself! How rude he must seem to his companions. He had only introduced himself to the Amir. Alasahe might have heard him since it was quite enough at the time but Benedict had come in much later after all. He offered the boy a smile and tipped an imaginary hat.

"My apologies for not introducing myself earlier. I am Dae. My siren companion is Aquarian. It is a pleasure to meet all four of you in this life-time," he answered, addressing both riders and their companions. Their beasts were a huge part of their identity after all. It was only right to acknowledge them all.

Aquarian himself gave a regal incline of his head to the boy and Alasahe. "Pleasure to see you all again."

Dae then turned his attention to Alasahe as she spoke and gave a nod. Her idea of gather information from the towns people themselves was a good one. They would feel the loss of their rider deeply and would most definitely point them towards the rotting carcass so that it may be disposed of before it started to sicken everything around it. He was also quite thrilled that she would be able to take Benedict and the Cerberus with her. It wasn't that he didn't want a travel companion, but it really was best for him to accompany Alasahe so they'd get to the unicorn faster. Alasahe may need help if she encountered the revived creature. And besides, both he and Aquarian had longer legs to walk quickly and he wasn't 100% certain that Benedict would be able to keep up with his pace.

"Then we have a plan. Since I am walking and arriving by boat, It may take me 2-3 days depending on the weather. I will meet you both at the Languinre Town. Safe traveling. To aid the well wishing of his words, Dae raised his right hand to his heart before extending it, a motion that was custom among his people. Dae then turned to Meg and May and repeated the hand motion out of respect before he vacated the building.

Once outside, Dae turned to Aquarian and rested his hands on his hips. "This time, you are going to put that water layer on me to. I don't want to have a heat stroke before I even get to the boat."

"You are so polite," Aquarian said with a teasing smirk before he leaned forward and kissed Dae, extending his magic over his rider so that a small water layer covered his skin and kept him cool and hydrated.

Dae pulled away from Aquarian and rolled his eyes at the siren. "Why is it that everything you do involves kissing?" he grumbled as he started to hurry back through the dreaded desert.

"It is more fun that way, he teased, "but it also provides the necessary bridge of energy transfer. It is also quick and easy."

"I think you use that as an excuse to kiss people and get a rise out of them."

Aquarian just chuckled. "Maybe. Maybe not."

Dae shoved Aquarian lightly before he picked up the pace hoping to cover as much ground as he could. He was already going to take a lot of time to get where he needed to go.