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Nomad Clan

The Snapa-verse

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a part of Nomad Clan, by Nulix.

Welcome to my Snap house

Nulix holds sovereignty over The Snapa-verse, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

2,482 readers have been here.

Setting

Hey Snapa, it's me Snapa
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The Snapa-verse

Welcome to my Snap house

Minimap

The Snapa-verse is a part of Nomad Clan.

16 Characters Here

Uluru [352] The slayer of beasts on the hunt for and an even greater quarry...
Dustin vel Iz'Raphel [282] Driven by duty, beleaguered by responsibility, a young man searches for a way to put meaning into this cruel existence.
Skullivan [276] The Wetland Traitor himself
Bohdana Yātrī [264] A clanless girl fighting to keep a generational dream.
Xaverius Rusten [225] Somewhat hefty explorer who wants to make a name for himself in the lands and to help those in need.
Sören Ahlgren [208] Something of an exiled prince with nothing to lose but his life
Ka'Wa Jekund [207] A warrior who persists through her collapse.
Elise Seaver [206] Young traveler seeking to leave her mark on the world.
Whisper [202] Talking your way into a grave is easy. Talking your way out, now that's talent.
Musa Grazing Bull [202] Musa's face is impassive until her eyes finish viewing you. Then she blinks and gives you a small smile.

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Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Uluru Character Portrait: Dustin vel Iz'Raphel
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#, as written by Jaek
Dustin looked around at the surrounding people. Their faces wore a mixed expression of sullenness and disdain. It made sense, the Meltsanders were their enemies and vice versa, but he couldn't shake the feeling that something was off. They were sentencing these people to defeat.

The Atzerii shook his head. He wasn't a child and this was reality, not some sugar-coated existence. They were likely sentencing many of these people to death. It didn't sit well with him. Sure, he had killed several and imprisoned twice as many being a bounty hunter, but those people were bad. Wanted. For a good reason. Murderers, thieves, they were bad people. The Aklar clan... Dustin didn't know these people. He didn't know their story, the reason for their conflict with the Meltsanders.

The First Sword of Kasselland's conscious wore down on him like a boulder strapped to his back. Each step turned into a trudge, the basic movement turning into more of a laboring task. His new position only strengthened the crushing feeling of his conscious as he looked from one goggled face to the next.

No. This is for our survival, he reminded himself. We do what we have to in order to live so we can find the Change and help everyone, both Meltsander and Aklar.

It was time to get to business.

"It might be best to stop whispering to the cages," Dustin said to both Uluru and Slathe, his face expressionless as he observed the crowd gathering. "No need to make them any more suspicious than they already are."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ka'Wa Jekund Character Portrait: Uluru Character Portrait: Dustin vel Iz'Raphel
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Ka'Wa opened her mouth but Dustin's words stopped her, the knight promptly shutting her mouth again. It was true. The situation already looked precarious and for Ka'Wa to add to it, to incite more conversation, would only test Dustin's words. She shifted a bit, feeling exposed without her armor. On Musa's advice, Ka'Wa had decided to put it in a pack, thankful it was collapsible despite its bulky appearance. But the sun warrior found herself at a loss without weapon or armor. Helpless rather.

"Trust Slathe as you said you would. He was always right," the knight whispered, averting her gaze from them. The whisper was enough for them to hear and there was a finality in her voice to avoid further conversation.

The woman almost smiled at how contradictory she could be. Even if she had no weapon, her words worked just fine. Something, she had to do something and somehow that came to be to urge them to Slathe's side. Admittedly, there was a possibility it would lead to Slathe's split from his clan. However, if there was a way to get out of this, Slathe would know best. He had always known even when she had been to stubborn to accept it. Ka'Wa frowned. Even if that something led to the demise of Slathe's happiness.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ka'Wa Jekund Character Portrait: Uluru Character Portrait: Dustin vel Iz'Raphel
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"I'll keep your words in mind, but..." Uluru shook his head. "That's a lot of trust to place upon someone so willing to betray another's," he noted to Ka'wa, no longer conversing with Slathe as Dustin had suggested a new mechanical marvel began to make it's way towards them from the citadel. It was an oddly shaped vehicle, triangular, with three wheels, one in the front and two in the back. It had two seats, one in the front for it's driver and a large seat in the back big enough for approximately four people to sit in. In the back sat two armed guards, alert for any sign of danger as they guarded a thin man who sat in the middle. The man, who the group would quickly identify as the Aklar's Chief Engineer Rowlen, sported goggles, like the rest of his people, that rested atop his forehead along with a long, dirtied white lab coat and heavily singed brown gloves. Around his mouth was a green breathing apparatus of sorts, which he cautiously lowered as he drew closer to the group and their false captives. His hair was dark gray and shaved, while his face was clean shaven and one could place him at around his late 40s. His overall demeanor was very nervous.

As the vehicle drew closer, the group would get a closer inspection of the Aklar Clan's weaponry as well...if one could call it that. The firearms the guards sported were very short range rifles, powered by some sort of flimsy mechanic and not powered by crystals in the slightest. And while they also sported blades, axes, and other melee weapons at their sides, it seemed that for all the Aklar's mechanical prowess, warfare wasn't quite as advanced. Their guards even, dirtied faces lined more with curiosity and caution than authority and danger. One of the guards, in fact, didn't look particularly well at all, coughing slightly as he approached their wagon, causing Rowlen to briefly turn his head in concern.

Rowlen stepped out of the vehicle after his guards exited. And walked over to the wagons and observed the would be bounty hunters and their prisoners. "As I live and breathe..." he sighed, relief evident in his voice as he observed the captives sitting i nthe cages. "Their commander, Hanmar...you've captured her!" he gave a chuckle of disbelief, the weary lines on his face relaxing somewhat though his eyes seemed to constantly dart from Uluru and the others and back to the captives again as he spoke, almost as if he wasn't sure of what he was seeing.

"Wasn't easy..." Uluru nodded. "But we heard of your plight. Thought we could help. Not...that we were entirely altruistic in our goals. We hope...there can be a sort of payment involved?"

"Payment?" Rowlen nodded briskly, tapping his chin. "Well, I, that is to say...we don't have much, but..." he seemed to mull it over a bit. "I suppose something could be arranged if we can manage to part with it, that is."

"Sounds good to me..." Uluru nodded glancing briefly at the others as if to say, "so far, so good." Uluru then looked towards Rowlen once more asking, "Where would we, ah, drop the prisoners off. I doubt you have the transport to haul all of them in yourself."

"Well, in the citadel, we do have some holding cells," Rowlen shrugged. "If you can transport them there, I'm certain we can work a deal over some of our-," Rowlen was interrupted by a fit of coughing emerging fro ma woman on the street next to him. She had collapsed onto the ground, hyperventilating and several other Aklarites rushed to her aid. "Our salvage..." Rowln finished emptily as he looked on regretfully as the woman was sat up by her compatriots. "Forgive...forgive me," he shook his head "As you can see, we Aklar are not what we once were," he sighed as he walked over and gave his rebreather to the Aklarites, holding the woman up, which they were quick to place onto her. Rowlen returned, shooting Hanmar, Slathe, and the other captive Meltsanders a disgusted look. "But with this...I hope that will begin to change."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Uluru Character Portrait: Dustin vel Iz'Raphel
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#, as written by Jaek
Dustin avoided eye contact with the man by the name of Rowlen. He did not look at the woman who collapsed. He forced nearly every shred of remorse out of his system and out of his mind. He continued to survey the crowd and looked at the citadel their chief engineer mentioned.

With a deep breath he put on a smile. "We're glad to help," he stated with a gruffer voice, void of his accent. "We'll go ahead and take the prisoners to the citadel then we can sort out the reward."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skullivan Character Portrait: Mirova
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#, as written by Nulix
Skullivan nodded, decked out in hot bounty-hunter garb, several spare weapons and goggles strapped to his body, as he glanced around the sickly villagers. "Nice to meet you, Rowlen," Skullivan said to the man, standing with his comrades in front of the wagons. "I'm Nadan- we're happy to be of service. For the right price of course."

Slathe leaned on the bars of his cage, his eye's piercing at Rowlen through the metal. Behind him three more disarmed figures sat nervously behind bars, Meltsand soldiers - Sacko among them.

Mirova sat on the cage beside them, Hanmar's cage, her eye's hidden beneath a white Meltsand healer's robe...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skullivan Character Portrait: Mirova Character Portrait: Bohdana Yātrī Character Portrait: Jake "Honō no ko" Character Portrait: Ka'Wa Jekund Character Portrait: Uluru Character Portrait: Aisha 'Ai' Abdul'la Character Portrait: Elise Seaver Character Portrait: Musa Grazing Bull Character Portrait: Xaverius Rusten Character Portrait: Dustin vel Iz'Raphel Character Portrait: Whisper
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The three wheeled vehicle led the wagons through the dirt-ridden roads, giving the group insight into Clan Aklar's inner workings. There didn't seem to be many markets as there were in Dol-Duna, though this town was a bit smaller. There were a few stands selling vegetables here and there but mostly the streets bustled woth construction and industrialism. Men and women in hard hats hammering down on various homes to improve their livlihood.

The citadel lay before them, and with it two gleaming metallic gates, which opened before them. Once the gate behind them closed, the road changed from a sand one to one paved with steel. The steel road began to shake as the vehicles drove onto it and the group heard the sound of gears grinding as the road began to lower downward into some sort of ramp as it led them to a cavern underneath the citadel.

"Our prisons lie here!" Rowlen shouted over the grinding of the gears. "I can have my guards drop off the prisoners to their cells while we discuss payments!"

Uluru nodded at Rowlen's words and at the same time, signaling the Meltsanders to play their part while the rest of them distracted the Aklar for a time. "Where will we be receiving our payment?" Uluru asked.

"In the citadel proper," Rowlen explained, pointing to lift to his right. "Halls that have stood for sixty years and then some. Halls that I now have confidence will stand the test of time," he sighed proudly, before walking towards the lift, Uluru following his lead.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skullivan Character Portrait: Ka'Wa Jekund Character Portrait: Uluru Character Portrait: Dustin vel Iz'Raphel
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#, as written by Jaek
"Halls that I now have confidence will stand the test of time."

The irony was almost deafening to Dustin, but he continued to play his part. He watched as the wagons filled with cages containing the Meltsanders and company began the descent into the Aklar dungeons. Once the last few had passed him the posing bounty hunter turned to where Rowlen gestured and followed them up to where the proper of the citadel lie in wait along with their reward.

Perhaps the reward from the ones he was sent to destroy would take his mind off of that very fact.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skullivan Character Portrait: Ka'Wa Jekund Character Portrait: Uluru Character Portrait: Musa Grazing Bull Character Portrait: Xaverius Rusten Character Portrait: Dustin vel Iz'Raphel Character Portrait: Whisper
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The lift pulled them upwards and further into the halls of the citadel proper. The things they immediately noticed as they were drawn into the main hall were the loud rumbling noises emanating from a few 10 ft automatrons in the room. They mostly seemed like a mechanical body and tprso, without a head and a sensor visor where the line of the neck would normally be. Two were bending girders and lifting piles of metal, aiding in further construction of the citadel while another, that had hot sparks fly out of it's hands as it welded panels on the wall together.

"Repair drones," Rowlen began to explain. "They became a neccesary after illness swept the land. And our final line of defence should the Meltsanders breach these walls..." as he continued to speak, two smaller automatrons whizzed by, crystals powering their dual propellers as they made drop-off across the hall. "And this are our scout drones. We call them dust flies and they were usually used as our primary method of conducting trade or delivering and receiving messages from nearby settlements such as Dol-Duna."

"...Have the Meltsanders hindered trade much?" Uluru asked. "How long has your clan been at war with them anyway?"

"Longer than I even remember," Rowlen shook his head. "When I first joined the Aklarite Counsel, before I was appointed Chief Engineer, we had a truce formed. The Meltsanders..." Rowlen shook his head, anger and sorrow welling up in his voice as he spoke. "They squandered it...tarnished it. Forced war upon us yet again. I thank you for your timely assitance, regardless of your intent. Before you all arrived, we were preparing to mount a final assault against the fiends."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Bohdana Yātrī Character Portrait: Musa Grazing Bull
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Musa sat in her glass cage with her legs crossed and her arms folded. She was dressed as a meltsander would but the extra layers of clothing was making her extremely uncomfortable. Especially while she was in her cell. The only thing that put her apart from the Meltsanders was the animal skull atop her head. She had refused to part with it while dressing for her role, arguing that some empty headed fool might sit on it and crush it. It was a valuable piece to her and her people.

Upon entering the Aklar camp she made a low noise of frustration and discomfort at the ruckus inside. The only thing that distracted her from it was the state of the Aklar people and the musky scent of sickness and strife toxifying the air. Her frown melted away as she moved closer to the bars and examined the sickly people, staring at the woman who had collapsed.
"The people are already at the mercy of illness.. Why does your clan insist on playing as the hand of death?" She had slowly turned her head to look at Hanmar while her voice was low enough for the 'prisoners' on her wagon to hear. "Is there a glory in kicking the enemy while they are down..?" She frowned again.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skullivan Character Portrait: Mirova Character Portrait: Uluru Character Portrait: Musa Grazing Bull Character Portrait: Xaverius Rusten
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#, as written by Nulix
The golden fire-lights of the under-Citadel shun through the uneven glass of their cages, illuminating Mirova's face beneath her crinkled Meltsander hood. Sparks and firelight from the automated machines repairing the damaged machinery of the war, Taqa crystals glowing in their backs.

"That's how you win wars," Mirova whispered, glancing up at Musa who sat across from her in their cage. The senior woman smiled as her head bobbed with the wagon's movement. "No mercy."

Skullivan swallowed as he walked in front of the cage, it feeling like they were marching deeper and deeper into the heart of Aklar invention. Outside the Citadel the people of the clan struggled to keep their stomachs full and their huts operational from the war-time damage received, but inside the Citadel it was clear a stronghold of Aklar ingenuity still existed.

Skullivan rose an eyebrow hesitantly as their guide, Rowlen, dismissed Uluru's question about payment once again. He glanced to Xaverius, who marched beside him disguised in mercenary gear. "...The further down we're led... the less I like this situation," He whispered to the man.

Skullivan watched as the man, Rowlen, pointed to the lift to their side - separating them from the prisoners. With a hesitant sigh Skullivan began to walk away with his other teammates disguised as mercenaries, looking back at the cages they left behind. "I hope we don't regret this," He muttered under his breath, stepping onto the other lift. With a blast of air it began to rise, the cages disappearing out of view behind them....

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skullivan Character Portrait: Ka'Wa Jekund Character Portrait: Uluru Character Portrait: Xaverius Rusten Character Portrait: Dustin vel Iz'Raphel Character Portrait: Whisper
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"We managed to fight off and capture a few Meltsanders here and there but that was just after the disease took hold," Rowlen continued as the lift stopped on a pristine white floor, obviously finished compared to the rest of the citadel and the town in general. "A disease that the Meltsanders had spread onto us..." Rowlen glanced back at the 'bounty hunters behind him as he led them down a hallway, with various rooms along it's sides. Some seemed to simply house more of the automatons that were aiding in construction of the citadel while a peek through the windows of various sealed rooms allowed the grup to see various Aklarites operating various crystal machines to perform autopsies on the bodies of dead Aklarites who had been stricken with the crippling disease affecting their clan.

"We have dabbled here and there in the sciences, though our specialty lies in engineering and medicine. No matter what we attempt to uncover, we can find no cure for this disease. We don't know when or how it can infect people or whether it is even truly contagious or not...I have seen a countless amount of my people...die. I have seen many suffer. My own son..." he sighed deeply, before his composure regained. "I cannot rest until something is done about this virus," he stated determinedly. "Capturing the Meltsander leaders before they could spread more bloodlust and disease upon our clan, will aid us greatly in that endeavor," he stated, stopping as they reached a room with two sealed doors and small square monitor-shaped mechanism jutting out of the wall with the outline of a hand on it's screen.

"Hmm...hadn't seen one of those things since the University," Uluru commented as Rowlen placed his hand on the screen, a low thrum coming from the machine as the screen suddenly began to glow green and make a beeping noise as the two sealed doors before them began to open. Before them lied yet another machine, housed in the center of a large, clean room. A large sphere attached to a pillar of tangled wires and machinery that extended below the floor they were standing in and deep into the ground. Inside the sphere lay a large number of crystals. More than many of the travelers had seen gathered in one place, all glowing and convulsing with a green light.

"This, I believe is the crowning achievement of the Aklar," Rowlen nodded with certainty as he looked towards the others apologetically. "I hope I haven't bored you with the tales of our plight, but it's been so long since anyone could just stop and listen. It feels good to talk about it," he chuckled somberly before looking at the machine again. "With this we may not have a cure, but perhaps an even better solution."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skullivan Character Portrait: Sören Ahlgren
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#, as written by Nulix
Skullivan rose an eyebrow as Rowlen pressed his hand down onto the machine, his palm sinking in as the light moved across the curves of his fingers - a different sized hand and the door might not open at all. The door before them opened revolving before them a globe of wires and crystals, the light of all the Taqa overwhelming the hanging fire-light of the room.

Skullivan squinted at the dangerous looking device. "How exactly do you figure the Meltsanders... gave you disease?" He questioned skeptically. He turned to the globe, it clearly the result of scrap metal and fine desert engineering. Not as clean as something from the Wetlands but still impressive. "And what... is this thing?"

"If this is how they treat their friends I'd hate to see how they treat their enemies," Sören grunted beneath his helmet disguise...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mirova Character Portrait: Bohdana Yātrī Character Portrait: Musa Grazing Bull
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"Mercy...." Hanmar grinned, her eye glinting in the darkness, "If you believe the Aklar are at the mercy of anything other than Rowlen, then you are a fool."

Bohdana swallowed, studying the Commander who had seemed to change into a different person, leaning against the cage with one arm propped up on her knee, gazing out wistfully at Aklar. Boh cleared her throat, "What do you mean? You haven't told us anythin', miss, but it is our business now. We're involved. We'd like to know the truth."

Hanmar stared at Bohdana with fearful eyes. Suddenly Boh was terrified.

"I'm sorry, girl. You know, she wasn't much older than you look when they murdered her. Burned her alive. That's what's going to happen to all of us if this plan doesn't work," Hanmar whispered.

"Who?" Boh whispered back.

"My daughter. She was in love with his son."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dustin vel Iz'Raphel
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#, as written by Jaek
Dustin observed the machinery and automatons surrounding the inner workings of the citadel with a sense of awe. His people were exceptional metalworkers, but not to this degree. Taqa were used to power certain objects and processes. Even one of his daggers was energized by a Taqa crystal in its hilt, but he had never laid eyes upon handcrafted metal beasts of labor brought to life by the crystals.

"What is your 'better solution,' Mr. Rowlen?" Dustin looked up at this "core" thing made of a mass of wires and crystals.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skullivan Character Portrait: Ka'Wa Jekund Character Portrait: Uluru Character Portrait: Xaverius Rusten Character Portrait: Dustin vel Iz'Raphel Character Portrait: Whisper Character Portrait: Sören Ahlgren
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"My son...It was the Meltsanders who infected my son. One of them in particular. Four years ago my son had continuous contact with her and then after a few months he began to show signs....signs of infection," Rowlen shook his head. "We Aklar have traditionally been a reclusive people...free of contact with the outside world. The Aklar always had walls so to speak..." he began to pace around the room, searching for something.

"Years ago we realized we need to venture out...to expand...and that's when we forst encountered the Aklar, who accused us of trying to breach their territory. They introduced us to war...to a taste of the world outside of our clan. And now, a few years after a truce had been established...they introduce us to disease..." Rowlen shook his head. "The Meltsander girl became...intimate with my son and through repeated contact with her he first began to show signs. A virus from the outside world."

"I wasn't certain at first, but then Meltsanders had come demanding explanations as to why we had ceased any and all trade with them as per the treaty. And soon after these negotiations, soon after those Meltsander Barbarians strolled into our streets, more infected emerged," Rowlen continued as he examined one of his dust fly drones left on a shelf to the left of the orb.

"War soon broke out one again....and needless to say we were more I'll equipped to wage it than we had ever been," Rowlen shook his head, looking to his machine once more. "This device...the Tecton-Sphere was built as a sort of last resort. Something to turn to should all hope for our people be lost. We, as a people need to expand, but with the Meltsanders at our heel that became difficult...but it soon became clear, to me, at least that they were not our obstacle. The Meltsanders were simply a part of the problem."

Rowlen glanced up towards a shelf, seemingly finding what he was looking for on it. He reached up, standing in the tips of his toes as he carefully drew down what looked to be one of many minature sets of the the sphere and it's placement in the desert along with two other shapes in the set. One an approximation of the Meltsander war camp...and the other a very accurate model of Dol-duna.

"The Dust Flies came in a couple days ago, reporting of altercations in Dol-Duna...visitors from a land not of the sands. Our machines meant to conduct trade with potential allies, quickly acted as spies for neighboring clans...and one thing became abundantly clear. War is the nature of the desert and disease is it's brother. It is strange to the Aklar, but it is no stranger to the Meltsanders. Or the Dol-Dunans, such ands the one they let into their fold. If the Aklar wish to grow, outcomes such as bloodshed and illness become inevitabilies rather than possibilities. And it is due to that inevitability that forces my hand, whether the council agrees with me or not..."

Rowlen clicked a button atop the minature sphere. "The Tecton-Sphere' 'roots' go deep underground. Eighty-nine crystals allowing it's processes to move with complete efficiency..." he spoke as the minature began to shake intensely. "With simple coordination from our dust flies we can accurately pinpoint the weak links within the earth beneath the locations our neighbors lie in, precisely two at a time, and deliver shockwaves to the faults below. In thirty minutes time..." he paused as a loud crack was heard as the minature Meltsand camp and Dol-Duna sunk beneath the sands as if being pulled in to a jagged sinkhole beneath the ground. "Their clans fall, broken and forgotten like the old world before us and with them their bloodlust and pestilence. Now more than ever, with the Meltsanders leaders captured and their people unaware...I can flush out the rest in one fell swoop."

"....Wipe them all out...just like that?" Uluru asked slowly, glaring in shock at the minature destruction he witnessed.

"Do you think me barbaric?" Rowlen asked. "Once the Meltsanders and Dol-duna's camps are no more we will give put warning to any other clans to evacuate and flee the Qafar. I would prefer it that way...but if they resist...In place my people above all others," he glared up at the group, his eyes empty of the passion he once had when discussing the plight of his own people.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skullivan Character Portrait: Mirova Character Portrait: Bohdana Yātrī Character Portrait: Jake "Honō no ko" Character Portrait: Ka'Wa Jekund Character Portrait: Uluru Character Portrait: Xaverius Rusten Character Portrait: Dustin vel Iz'Raphel
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Jake strode off into the night, making good time on his long legs.

"Well, this was a really weird adventure," Jake said, laughing as he left it all behind, never to be seen or heard from again.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Uluru Character Portrait: Musa Grazing Bull
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Musa was teetering back and forth on what side to choose. Was Hanmar right in pursuing a dying people in order to put an end to a war? Were the actions of the Aklar justified by their fear and helplessness?

She didn't know. She found that all of it made her stomach turn and put a frown on her lips. Her eyes were a dark gold as she mulled over the information being fed to her. "I do not understand." She murmured.

"I do not understand." She called, sitting up straighter and holding the bars of her cell. "If you are in possession of such intelligence then why is it so cumbersome to find the real source of your plague? You have riches beyond that of many clans in these sands." Musa looked around the hall. "Why not purchase a being who could find the answers you seek?" Her gaze was now on one of her jailers whom had been either strolling down the length of the occupied cells or chatting with his clan mate. Her eyes pierced the darkness and their perception should give the man a feeling of uneasiness.

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Character Portrait: Elise Seaver
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Elise placed her hand over her mouth, trying to hide the gasp that slipped out after watching Dol-Duna slip into the sands below. Suddenly all reservations faded about helping the Meltsanders destroy Aklar. Though she didn't want to see the tribes wipe one another out, she couldn't deny the world would be better without them both. However, she knew that was selfish, there were innocents all around paying the price for this war, a war many may not have even asked for. "What...what if there's another way? What if we can Change all of this?" Why does it have to be 'us or them' all the time?" She shook her head, feeling tears well up in her eyes. "You use all these resources to create a weapon instead of putting your best engineers at work finding a cure for the disease plaguing your people. You're nothing more than a man set on vengeance, you don't care at all for these people. You're nothing but a coward, and you act as if you are the only one who lost someone in this insane war you wage against the meltsanders!"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skullivan Character Portrait: Uluru Character Portrait: Dustin vel Iz'Raphel
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#, as written by Jaek
"Once the Meltsanders and Dol-duna's camps are no more we will give put warning to any other clans to evacuate and flee the Qafar."

Dustin's previously leisurely grip on his scimitar's hilt quickly turned into a vice as he held himself from drawing on Rowlen. He grit his teeth as his jaw flexed, the muscles visibly throbbing. That included the Atzerii. His people.

"I would prefer it that way...but if they resist...In place my people above all others."

He couldn't argue with that. Dustin held that same sentiment. But it was also that same sentiment that furthered his resolve to defeat this Rowlen and any other Aklar that would stand in his way. Rowlen needed to go, Rowlen and the object of his ideals.

"I think you desperate," the Kassellander responded, maintaining his cool and his adopted gruffer voice. "And I don't blame you. But I also wouldn't blame other clans of the Sea and Qafar for uniting to bring down a mutual enemy."

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Character Portrait: Skullivan
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#, as written by Nulix
Skullivan glared at Rowlen, at his death-machine. It was like nothing he'd ever before seen - nothing the Wetlander's had ever before seen. "You're insane," He breathed at Rowlen. "Instead of helping your people you... you built this... thing?" Skullivan blinked. "You sit in your fortress... with your machines and your inventions... how many people could you have saved instead?"

Skullivan looked at his teammates. "Your little clan isn't an Empire... and it doesn't support your ambition. It dies under it."

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Character Portrait: Skullivan Character Portrait: Uluru Character Portrait: Elise Seaver Character Portrait: Dustin vel Iz'Raphel
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"WE ARE NOT DOCTORS!" Rowlen screamed, in contrast to his usual calm demeanor. "We are inventors! We build and build until we find solutions! We cannot find a cure to the disease that plagues us, we cannot find a way to stop the war that looms upon us, so I've built something to cut it off at the root!"

"So why tell us all this?" Uluru questioned, his hand edging towards his blade. "You know how insane this sounds, right?"

"Perhaps I thought to gain sympathy for our plight-," Rowlen began, shaking his head.

"Sympathy for your people perhaps, but you...this plan...it's insane," Uluru interrupted. "Send a message to Dol-duna. Ask for medical assitance for your clan, for medicine."

"No! Ask for aid from outsiders?! And bring more of their disease?! Their war..." Rowlen began to ramble. "There is...a secondary reason, however. I'm afraid, I was never to had much to pay you with. Outsiders...bring nothing but terror to our people. I've debated whether or not to let you go because you have aided us so. But you're insensitivity and lack of understanding only prove to further my theories on you outsiders."

The group would here a massive clang behind them as the slow, heavy, metallic footsteps of the robotic workers. They could smell the rust and smoke edging off their hides. "I do not intend to kill you, do not worry. But with the knowledge I have given you and your inability to understand, I cannot let you leave." He stated as the heavy lifting workers clicked their claws and the welding ones shot warning sparks from their flamethrower hands.

"You will be fed, cared for, observed, and studied by the Aklar's few medical experts...we hope through your the ample experimentation, we can discover a cure for our people," Rowlen frowned, as he turned, facing away from them with his hands behind his back as he glanced at his Tecton-Sphere. "I hope your survivability is stronger than that Meltsander girl's..."

"Shit," Uluru swore, wishing he had someone of his explosive crystals on him. He had lent some to the Meltsanders to aid them in escaping their sturdy glass cages, not anticipating the madness they would encounter once they met the leader of the Aklar. "My advice?" He began, shot ting a shocking blast at the machine, causing it to stumble back aways. Let's all concentrate on taking down one first, they're fairly slow."

***
"Sulfast...SULFURIOUS!" Sulfurious screamed, rattling in his glass cell.

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Character Portrait: Skullivan Character Portrait: Mirova Character Portrait: Bohdana Yātrī Character Portrait: Ka'Wa Jekund Character Portrait: Uluru Character Portrait: Aisha 'Ai' Abdul'la Character Portrait: Elise Seaver Character Portrait: Musa Grazing Bull Character Portrait: Xaverius Rusten Character Portrait: Dustin vel Iz'Raphel Character Portrait: Whisper Character Portrait: Sören Ahlgren
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#, as written by Nulix
Skullivan looked up as the lumbering clockwork machine approached, crystal's chugging throughout it's body as sand fell from it's shoulder's. He glanced to the other's in the team of mercenaries - Uluru, Xaverius, Dustin, Elise, Ka'Wa, and Sören. Warriors. Battle-hardened. Capable.

Unlike him.

Skullivan immediately ran for the door, leaving his comrades to fight the lumbering artifact of the old world and Aklar invention. "Coward," Sören hissed in an accented voice before reaching his hands forward, ice blasting out of his tattoos and smashing the machine's legs backwards, causing it to stumble back - shaking the ground as it did.

***

In the cell's below the ceiling shook, sand and dust coming down chaotically. Slathe leaned against the glass of his cage, glancing up at the ceiling of their chamber. "Something's happening up there," Slathe whispered, looking behind him. In his cell Sulfurious, Bohdana, and several Meltsand Warriors stood, weaponless but still lethal looking. In the glass cage across from them Hanmar, Mirova, Aisha, Musa, and Whisper sat in their cages. Jake and Thessir hadn't accompanied them.

Slathe stared over at his commander. "Alright," He nodded, before reaching into his armour. From his breast-pocket he pulled out a small, purple crystal, a sticky substance on the outer end. Slathe then took a knee, with his free hand igniting a match on the rocky ground. "Everyone stand back!" He called, pushing those in his cage against a wall as he ignited the crystal-explosive and threw it against the glass. The cage wall shattered, fragmented glass flying forward and shattering the glass of Hanmar's cage also.

Slathe stepped through the broken cages, into the hallway of their chamber. An Aklar guard at the end of the hallway, coughed in fear before collapsing dead - his spear falling weakly on the ground. "Right, that takes care of the guards," Slathe muttered, turning to the newly escaped prisoners. "Something's happening up there - I didn't trust that Aklar leader," Slathe hissed, his eyes looking over the assembled characters. "And I promised I'd protect you guys. So we have to figure out what we're going to do, fast."

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Character Portrait: Skullivan Character Portrait: Uluru Character Portrait: Xaverius Rusten Character Portrait: Dustin vel Iz'Raphel Character Portrait: Sören Ahlgren
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#, as written by Jaek
As much as the Kassellander wanted to kill Rowlen on the spot, he didn't pose as much of a threat as the automatons presently. Dustin whirled around and dashed for the robot worker that had just fallen to Soren's ice. With a grunt of effort he quickly shoved his scimitar straight through the Taqa crystal in its back effectively shattering it and shutting down the machine.

"Bring them to the ground!" he called. "Then take out the crystal!"

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Character Portrait: Mirova Character Portrait: Bohdana Yātrī Character Portrait: Ka'Wa Jekund Character Portrait: Aisha 'Ai' Abdul'la Character Portrait: Musa Grazing Bull Character Portrait: Whisper
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Wrong, Aisha though, This is all wrong. Sitting in meditation in that cage, she couldn't help but feel sick to her stomach. War was going to break out between the bloodthirsty Meltsanders and the self-centered Aklarites, and she willingly preventing herself from doing anything about it. Only, as Aisha could view it, neither truly fit those descriptions, as much as her anxiety would like to believe. No, the people of Aklar, although Aisha knew little of their plight, were simply a Clan that wanted to be left alone and to their own interests, whereas the Meltsand Clan had their own interests they wanted to protect. Both viewed each other a threat to their own interests, rather than an opportunity, for fear of a stranger's potential greed was at the heart of xenophobia, which fueled many conflicts between the Clans. Such was what Aisha was taught.

Still, it seemed as if war was going to be inevitable. The effects of a possible cacophony up above had reached them. Aisha felt in her heart that the time had come. Sure enough, the Meltsanders made their move, violently destroying the cages of glass. Shards flew everywhere, and although Aisha had not personally been harmed, there definitely was at least one casualty. The single Aklar guard who was intended to keep watch over them. The first victim of war, Aisha thought, walking over to the guard and examining him. It was a heavy sight to behold. Could the man have had a family? He didn't seem the sort who deserved to die. He appeared weak and pale, although there were distinct black spots on his legs. The way his mouth hung open in horror was a ghastly sight. He appeared to be missing some teeth, and his gums were oddly swollen.

"That's odd," Aisha remarked unhesitatingly, observing the man's symptoms of some seemingly horrific disease, "This looks like an acute case of Scurvy."

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Character Portrait: Mirova Character Portrait: Aisha 'Ai' Abdul'la
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#, as written by Nulix
Slathe stepped forward cautiously, as Aisha examined the corpse. "What... what is that?"

"And more importantly," Mirova added. "How can it be cured?"