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Audona Aislinn Caoimhe

"A sacrifice lost to the ages, it's said."

0 · 592 views · located in Jeildea

a character in “Princess of Massacre || Rebellion”, as played by Skwidge

Description

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Audona. Aislinn. Caoimhe. As an inhuman, these names have been made hers by the whispers of the human-folk, speaking legends and fables of her. These last two names, being what she has been referred to the most, have simply been tacked onto her true name, one she has kept throughout the centuries, though no one knows it.

Audona- (Awh-Doe-Nah): Unknown meaning; Gaelic Origin. Existent from her previous life, before the water horse curse.

Aislinn- (I-Is-Lynn): A dream; A vision; An inspiration. Gaelic Origin. Named this because those that have been unfortunate enough to have stumbled across such a spirit have always described her as dream-like, or having been lulled into a dream-like state when viewing her.

Caoimhe- (Chime-hey): Gentle, Beauty, Grace. Gaelic Origin. She should be malignant, evil, dangerous, deadly, as all inhumans and spirits are. But she is different. She has a gentle timidity about her, almost sorrowful. Her body movement is something to behold, with water as her dwelling it is no surprise that she is graceful and can move just as easily as a stream. Her beauty is one that is remarked only through a few stories in which she has taken human form.

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”Stormy seas and gentle breeze…”
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Image[ Name ]
Audona

[ Nicknames/Aliases ]
Aislinn

Caoimhe

Wandering Water Equine- Nicknamed this for the mournful way she seems to hover around bodies of water, never really staying in the same area for too long. This makes it very difficult to prove her existence, for the stories that farmers and wanderers tell others can never be pinpointed, for the lake or pond she had been in would be empty should any other look for her there again.

Drowned Lass- A name that is rarely uttered anymore, and can only be found from old books and bards who tell of the story behind the lost Kelpie. It’s been at least a century and a half since she has been seen by a mortal in her human form, though that does not mean that she does not occasionally revert to it.

[ Age ]
376

[ Gender ]
Female

[ Race ]
Inhuman; Spirit- Cursed, Consumed, Deceased

[ Role/Occupation ]
Captured Creature; Beast of Burden.

[ Species ]

Kelpie; Water Horse



Image[ Hair Color ]
Murky, dull brown mane with many different highlights of mud coloration and a greenish tint.

*Smooth and calm willow tree brown in human form.

[ Eye Color ]
Entire pupil is a pale yellow, with a frog-like rectangular pupil.

*A gorgeous, deep golden-green color with normal pupils.

[ Skin Tone ]
Pale light green fur with mud colored splotches along the back and shoulders.

*A creamy, fair skinned color with little to no blemishes.

[ Height ]
About the size of a below-average thoroughbred horse; about 13.6 hands.

*5' 7''

[ Weight ]
Around 950 lbs.

*120 lbs.

[ General Description ]

While her form varies with each prior body of water, her appearance remains mostly the same. A skinny yet elegant looking horse about the size of a thoroughbred. With her it is obvious that she is a Kelpie, she has never tried looking like a normal horse, nor does she ever want to. She is oddly colored, with a greenish pelt with cream yellow markings and muddy splotches permanently etched onto her body. Her mane is long and messy, but it looks soft and free like a tumbling waterfall. It parts down her muzzle for her dull yellow eyes to peer out from, and she’s got a gentle air to her.

Atop her head are many different watery objects ranging from seashells, conches, clams, seaweed, mud, algae, vines, and other such paraphernalia. Barnacles are usually hitching a ride on her haunches.

However, her human form is drastically different in many ways. Her hair is long and messy, yet in such a way that it looks like it was styled that way. It tumbles subtly down, and her bangs are usually in her face, parted above one eye with a shorter length on the other. She has an angled chin and gentle cheekbones. Her hair is the color of brown willow bark, and just as in her equine form, it is adorned with memories of the sea, ranging from pearls, smooth pebbles, coral, water lilies, and the occasional stray piece of kelp. Her eyes are large and soft, drawing any soul closer and offering peace. They are a catching color of gold and algae green, and it is easy to get lost in them.

She is fair and cream skinned with little to no blemishes, and her lips are full and inviting, with the subtlest hint of a smile peaking at the corners, despite her usual sorrow. Her frame is sleek, small, and agile, and she has legs to die for.

Usually Audona appears in a black, flowing dress with long sleeves and a hem that cuts off at the front of her knees with a train that continues to flow on in the back, reaching mid-calf. The color highlights her eyes and better displays the array of colorful coral and shells in her hair.


Image[ Likes ]
Raging seas and calm waterfronts.
Lakes, ponds, rivers, marshes, oceans, seas, bodies of water etc.
Rain, storms, morning dew, mist, fog.
Mountains and Forests.
Sandpipers.
Lute and harp music.
Water reeds, lilies, leaves, trees, nature.

[ Dislikes ]
x Deserts and dry landscapes.
x Endless Solitude.
x Being a Kelpie- her cursed situation as well as her age.
x Cities and settlements.
x Being made a spectacle.
x Being held captive against her will; yet she dislikes her freedom as well. After all, what's the entire surface of the earth worth when you're the only one wandering it?

[ Strengths ]
Kelpie: High Endurance; The Strength of Ten Horses.
Age and knowledge of history.
Vocalizations and Loud Noises.
Can easily detect water.

[ Weaknesses ]
Dehydration: If Audona does not lay in water at least once a day, her form begins to crack and shrink a bit, causing extreme pain and quite a bit of weakness to her overall person. She cannot use Water Dispersion in this state.
Timid/Skittish: Aislinn is incredibly wary of everything, from spirits to mortals. Spirits seek destruction of all things, while mortals seek to cause pain and suffering. She does not trust- it seems never to have been in her vocabulary, but... perhaps in a previous life it was. She bolts easily, and it is rare for her to stay in one place for long.
The weakness of all Kelpies: Their bridle or personal item which is imbued with a part of their spirit.

[ Abilities/Skills ]
Water Dispersion: If well maintained, she has minimal control over the water that she calls home, and can harbor water for a long period of time by the use of the conch shells that adorn her head. However, being a spirit, and still having the maliciousness of a Kelpie, she can taint water as well.
Shape-shifting: Able to switch between Human and Equine form.
Wanderer: Having roamed for almost four centuries, Audona knows a lot about different areas and weather patterns.
Storm Warning: As a Kelpie, Caoimhe has an instinctual knack for detecting weather changes in the air, though it is also thought that Kelpies cause the worst of storms themselves.
Ebb and Flow: She is in sync with the tides and knows the strongest and weakest points in currents as long as she has contact with the body of water in question.

[ Personality ]
Audona has always been a gentle soul, never really seeking to harm or destroy anything, except herself perhaps. She has a fond liking for fragile things, probably because it resonates with how she used to be before she was cursed- a mortal, so easily broken. Despite this, she is incredibly stubborn when it comes to things she does not like. It takes a lot to coerce or force her to do something, and she detests the fact that part of her is in the control of another person. It prevents her from wandering her lonely path, despite how futile it has and probably always will be, in search of a way out, in search of her brother.

Overall, Aislinn is quiet, and does not make much noise other than occasional growls or hisses of protest. She keeps utterly to herself, and in alignment with the danger of keeping a fae beast captured, she does try to snap her jaws around wandering hands with her vice-like grip if she can reach them. The only place she is truly happy, or somewhat close to it anyway, is when she is in the water. Perhaps contrary to her nature, she is also bold, curious, and adventuresome, though never really in an excited way. After all, living in sorrow for nearly four centuries will do that to you.

If anyone were to see her in her human form, they would probably be heart-wrenched if they had a shred of empathy in their body. The sorrow that pools in her eyes, the mourning that clings to her face, the hopelessness in the way she holds herself despite the constant grace. It is obvious that she has lost something very dear to her heart, and that the chances of finding it again are slim to none.

There is a deep kindness in her heart though, one that she would express openly if only she could find someone to show it to. She longs for a companion, one that would understand her and share her sentiments, or help hold her burdens- though she knows that is way too much to ask for. On many occasions she has tried to end her existence, to cease the impossible depression that haunts her. But she has never been successful. All she wishes is to be back with the one she loved so many years ago.


Image[ History ]
It was around the year 400 in Cairbre- an unknown land at the very outskirts of Jeildea- during Fómhar in the month of Lunasa on Déardaoin’s Day when the event that would rattle the small village of Samhradh occurred. It was a brisk morning, just like any other August day, and Audona and Alasdair were sitting on the little woven rug in front of the warm hearth of their humble cottage, chatting away in a Gaelic language. Their life was a very simple, rustic one- they lived by the warmth of fire and the sustenance that came from the yield of their own hands. Each family that lived in the village was very close-knit, and everyone knew everyone. They would often gather each night in the common hall and share stories by the fire over warm meals and cheerful ale.

Alasdair was older than Audona by about four years, and was the first son of the Dara family. He was strong and wily, clever and mischievous, and he loved his sister with a deep passion, swearing always to protect her. The two of them were fairly different when it came to their personalities, for while Alasdair was bold and loud, Audona was timid, sweet, and quiet, but she treasured her brother like nothing else. He was always dragging her into trouble, but she didn’t mind.

“Oisin,” Little Deer, that was her- her mother had given them both affectionately teasing nicknames, Alasdair’s was- “Pilib,” Lover of Horses, he had always been so fond of the creatures, and when he wasn’t up to something or other, he was spending time with the family’s draft horses that worked the fields. “Get out from under my feet and go do your chores.” Their mother scolded, shooing them out of the house so she could go about her morning duties. The two of them laughed brightly despite the looming task of hard labor. If only they had known of the darkness that clung to that day.

By the time the sun was beginning to set from its perch in the sky, both Audona and Alasdair had completed their daily tasks- Alasdair mucking out stalls and chopping wood and other such tasks, while Audona went about the village assisting anyone who needed a bit of help- the two of them had met up in their usual rendezvous- the thin wooden fences that held the Guiver family’s flock of sheep. Alasdair had an adventure planned for the two of them, and Audona was ecstatic, ready to disappear into the thick forests that surrounded their home on a quest or two before mother had finished preparing dinner and called them inside. Before they departed, they were joined by one of Alasdair’s friends, Ruadh, and they set off.

They wandered for what seemed like an hour, travelling further and further away from the settlement, following dirt-trodden paths and deer trails. Everything seemed fine for the majority of the adventure, until the three of them neared a small lake nestled in a clearing and Audona suddenly felt a deep sense of darkness and foreboding. She tried to speak up about it to her brother, but he didn’t seem to hear as his eyes settled upon the strangest sight he had ever seen in his life.

A coal black horse stood beside the shore with strange blue highlights to its mane, absolutely stunning and looking lost. Alasdair’s heart was suddenly overwhelmed with desire- such a beautiful horse would be a treasure to their family; father would be pleased. Audona and Ruadh were taken with the sight of the horse as well… at least for the first few moments. Aislinn, being much more of a listener than her brother was, suddenly recalled one of the stories Anma had told her as she was helping the little old lady do some weaving. Alasdair was already beginning to move towards the horse- enraptured with the creature’s beauty, as well as Ruadh, who, despite his unease, was overpowered as well. No matter how hard Caoimhe tried, she could not speak.

By the time Audona opened her mouth and could actually form the words, it was too late for her brother. “Kelpie!” She cried out, breaking the spell the creature seemed to have over the situation. Ruadh’s eyes widened, and he took quick, stumbling steps away from the shore. Her brother was too far gone, however, and was just about to place one hand along the mane of the horse and the other to its muzzle to introduce himself.

Everything happened so quickly after that. Audona suddenly bursting into tears with a scream of horror as Alasdair’s hand suddenly sunk into the flesh of the creature like quicksand. It was then that he realized his mistake. He tried to pull free, but it seemed that the more he struggled the more stuck he became. While Ruadh was frozen in terror, Audona forced her legs to move forward- she had to help her brother. But what could a little girl like her do against a Water Horse?

Her brother turned to look at her, fear plain on his face as he tried to form her name, to plea for help in panic, when the Kelpie suddenly turned its head and latched its jaws onto Alasdair’s arm to drag him into the lake, sharp teeth suddenly flashing in the waning sunlight. A loud, strangled cry of pain left his lips, and that fueled Aislinn’s need even more. The Kelpie was trying to move and force Alasdair into the waves.

For the longest time, Audona had only thought stories about the beast and other creatures just a tale to scare children and make for a good story around fires. But apparently everything about it was real. That creature would devour her brother’s soul, leaving him to wander endlessly in the black abyss of death in extreme pain. She couldn’t let that happen to him- he was her guardian, her big brother, someone who loved her dearly and coaxed her out of her shy shell.

“Please, no!” She screamed as she frantically tried to reach the two of them, closing off the distance ever so increasingly. Once Alasdair’s foot hit the lapping waters of the shore, she launched herself forward at the Kelpie.

In surprise, the beast seemed to stumble a bit, swiveling its head to the side to see what had just tried to attack it. As it did so, however, a sickening crack sounded from her brother’s arm. Unfortunately, Audona could not see what had happened, for the Kelpie was soon upon her. Its teeth sank into her shoulder, and blood pooled beneath the white needles. . Take me instead…. She tried to cry out, but the only sound that left her lips was a horrified scream.

However, it seemed that something had heard her plea. Perhaps it was a Will O’ Wisp, a quiet though wicked spirit that led children to their dooms at night, or maybe it was a strange type of demon. Whatever the inhuman, it looked upon the scene and could hear the plea of the girl. With lifeblood already flowing and the Water Beast already sapping the energy from the both of them, the Spirit decided to grant the girl’s foolish wish. But it was not out of pity or admiration that the demon did so. To have a human so willing to trade their soul away, and it being easy as the blood requirement had already been met, it was impossible to pass such a delicacy up. As all spirits, they have no care for humans, and want them to suffer for as long as possible, so it was not surprising that in the last seconds of the girl’s life, as she was pulled beneath the water to be devoured by the Kelpie, that he had taken the meal right out of the creature’s mouth.

With the chaos happening around her, something strange happened all at once, something that should not have been possible. Consumed by the Kelpie, yet reeled back from darkness; Killed by the creature but existent by the demon’s power; Cursed through the inadvertent rage of the Water Horse directed at the demon but interrupted by her soul; Trapped in a painful state caused by the pulling of two spiritual forces; Transformed by the reaction of her mortal, human soul being battered by forces-never meant to be subjected to such.

Through such, a forced state of Deceased Spirit was born, but under a strange curse formed from unnatural occurrences of Kelpie and demonic magic that never should have met, let alone been mixed with a human element and soul. For Audona, everything went dark as she sank to the bottom of that lake, no longer in a human’s shell, but neither in that of anything else either. She lay dormant there, undisturbed by any spirit or current, lost in a state of limbo for two decades, never awakening, not really existing- just there. For until the Spirit of that Kelpie passed, she could not do anything but wait unawares.

By the time her eyes opened again, she had taken on the Curse of the Water Horse, her soul trapped as a Kelpie- though neither a Spirit nor a supernatural creature yet still both she was- condemned to wander the earth and exist in solitude. Despite the change, her temperament did not change- perhaps because of her strong human attributes or because that was just what happened in such an occasion, or simply because her soul retained the sorrow and terror she felt the day she was split, never wanting to deceive a creature into such a watery fate.

As she emerged from that little lake, she was utterly alone and confused. She did not know what had happened, and simply wandered back to where her village was- knowing only in the back of her mind that she was an inhuman. But when she arrived, nothing was there. Just scarred earth and a bit of rubble scattered about. She seemed to linger there for such a long time, just trying to understand with a muddied mind. Eventually her instincts kicked in and she was forced back to the water, making that her dwelling place. For a couple of years she did not leave that place, still lost and not really knowing what to do with herself. She hadn’t accepted her fate yet.

By the time that she had, she had slipped into the mindset of her inhuman creature. She watched as the world around her was altered through time, with new peoples, new languages, new technology, new magic, wandering from water to water. She was always so intrigued by people, but she always remained hidden, never allowing herself to scare or tempt the fates of others with her presence. By observation she picked up the languages, and after about a century and a half or so, the world seemed fairly settled in its progression. She never ventured from the continent of Jeildea, feeling rooted to the area because of her death.

Audona never knew what happened to her brother- whether or not he escaped from the jaws of the Kelpie, whether he had died but she had saved his soul from nothingness by sacrificing her own, whether he had managed to get away from the clearing with one arm less than he had when he arrived but died from blood loss, whether he made it back to the village and lived a full life and got married and had kids of his own, whether he shared the same fate as her- condemned to the body of a Kelpie, but perhaps in another part of the world where she could not reach him.

Aislinn’s entire existence seemed to be reduced to wandering endlessly in search of that answer, watching the rise and fall of kingdoms, avoiding in fear of her own survival or the survival of the other anything large that existed. Her companions were nothing but the soft lurching of waves, the pattering of rain, the rustling of leaves, the songs of birds, and the noises of civilization somewhere far off in the distance.

For the most part, she remained in her Kelpie form, only transforming for the sake of remembrance and the aching melancholy of being human again.

She heard of the rise and fall of the Massacre Princess as well, through the whispers of men fishing in the sea or bathing in the rivers. It did not concern Audona, though, and she did not pay much heed to it.

Where her brother had sworn to protect her, she had made the ultimate cosanta- protective- sacrifice, to save his life.

[ Other ]
Audona has been in the Massacre Princess’ company for about two years now. Her name is unknown, and she is simply referred to as ‘Kelpie’ by the majority of the group if at all. Her role is that of a pack mule, carrying supplies and the likes on their journeys. To most, the legend of Kelpies is also widely unknown, or very sparsely knowledged to the common person.

Aislinn has never transformed into her human form in the company of the group, so it is not surprising if none know she is even capable of doing such. Adrienne holds power over Audona in the form of the Kelpie’s tether- a simple rope and leather loop.

Because the Tether is bound with a part of her spirit- like all Kelpies- it is impossible for her to leave an area while someone is in possession of it and in close proximity to her. This keeps her from bolting or trying to escape from the group at any given time.

Despite the amount of time she has spent with the group, she still despises her situation as if it were day one, trying to escape and continue her search, or display her discontent by hisses, snarls, bites, and other such examples.

[ Lore ]

Kelpies are the supernatural shape-shifting water horses that haunt rivers, streams, and any other bodies of water. They can take many forms, and they are noted to have an insatiable appetite for human flesh. However, no matter what shape they take, Water Horses always have some mark of their watery home about them. Often they have lake weeds in their hair or their skin will be cold and wet.

Records and stories state that the most common guise the kelpie uses is that of a beautiful tame horse or an equine of strange coloration and design. However, anyone foolish enough to mount the Kelpie- perhaps a stranger unaware of the local spirit lore- would quickly find themselves in dire peril, for the water horse would rear and charge headlong into the deepest part of the water, dragging the unwary traveler into their watery grave with a sound like thunder as they hit the waves. It is also said that they can travel through bodies of water like doorways, one moment there and the next in a lake miles away.

Kelpies cannot form human speech in their equine forms, and rarely in human form. It is assumed that it takes great strength and a strong connection from a past life, curse, or old age for a Kelpie Spirit to know the common tongue. Their grip is said to be like that of a vice, crushing the life out of anybody unfortunate enough to come within the Kelpie’s clutches. Many souls have been taken by Kelpies, as both speculated from those who know of the tales and from survivors who bear the gruesome tale of a fallen comrade.

Kelpies have a variety of vocalizations, from howls and wails, to growls like thunder and the hissing of a snake. One tail tells of a wanderer who was traveling through the mountains and came across a spring over the next rise, just out of sight. The eerie yet devastatingly beautiful sound of weeping and crying could be heard, like that of a young maiden, but by the time the traveler made it over the hill, there was nothing but a clear spring bubbling away quietly. He had known it was a Kelpie by the hoof prints left in the marshy ground. (~Aislinn)

It is said that there is one way in which a Kelpie can be defeated and tamed- if one were so fortunate to come across one and survive long enough to try it, that is. The Kelpie’s power of shape shifting is said to reside in its bridle, and anyone who could claim possession of it could force the Kelpie to submit to their will. It is also possible to use a bridle with the sign of the cross burned into it. Kelpies in subjugation are highly prized, for they have the strength of at least ten horses and the endurance of many more. However, fairy races are always dangerous captives, especially those as malignant as the Kelpie.

Only eight have been recorded in the entire history of Jeildea, with only one account of the spirit being captured somewhere in the year 180 by a miller who used the creature to bear large, heavy millstones to create his watermill.

So begins...

Audona Aislinn Caoimhe's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vern Baralli Character Portrait: Aglaeca Nero Character Portrait: Yuna Ran Character Portrait: Agrona Caedwyn Character Portrait: Kachinonai Aku Character Portrait: Audona Aislinn Caoimhe Character Portrait: Adrienne M. Adamantis Character Portrait: Lyon Kazuto
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"Dawn approaches and the day starts anew. The story is reaching it's end so let it begin."


As morning dawned upon a quiet town, the still air was disrupted a the scream of a young woman. The residents of this town awoke, sleep still clinging to their minds as they stumbled to their windows to figure what was causing a commotion. The girl screamed once more when no one came and this time guards appeared, drawn by the idea that they would finally get some action in such a peaceful town. They looked about and their gaze fell upon the cause of trouble.

Grizzly remains of what seemed human hung from the statue of the town's deity. Sitting expectantly at the base of the statue was the head. With urgent whispers and commands the head guard ordered his fellows to remove the body and someone to escort the girl home. As they scurried off to do so, something caught the man's eye. Tucked beneath the head was a bloodstained note. He cautiously, drew it out, almost dreading what he would find inside. Was it a taunt? A threat? With shaking fingers he nearly tore the parchment in half and dropped in fear before falling to his knees, prayers flying from his lips. She was back...

At edge of the sleepy town, with a quick strides Adrienne Adamantis smirked in satisfaction with hersel as she left. She would surely be scolded by the Cripple for being so rash and confirming her return to the public so soon. It would insight a wave of panic and many other things she could careless about. Then again...he was right. But then again she could careless. In the end she would bring this land the peace they desired, even if her life would be to forfeit.

At the same time, her consciousness slipped into the dark thoughts of her mind, just aware enough that she could navigate through the twisted roots and clawed grip of her surroundings. The past years...for a time she had wandered with two supernatural beings, learned of her cursed existance and what she was. It was disheartening. To be tormented like this, constantly wracked by the guilt and regrets of the past. Confusion, anger, panic, and other emotions swirled inside her threatening to pull her into a world of despair.

It was when the familiar scent of burning wood reached her nostrils, Adrienne pushed the thoughts to depths of her dark mind and brushed it off with a sigh of deep annoyance with herself.

Noisily, she crashed through the underbrush only to find her companions sleeping bodies littered every inch of the available space. She glanced around once before shifting her crystal eyes to the black feather clasped in her hand. Ominous pulses of energy traveled up her arm and urged her...This was the usual occurrence when she came into possession of her feathers. If she gave in, negative emotions of rage, anger, sadness, and so on, reached a peak that would cause harm to those around her. So, until someone awoke and was there to keep her calm, sane, she had to put off the urge to absorb the damn feather.

Behind the aloof expression, her discontent was building. It was dawn already. Why hadn't anyone woken up? She felt drained and all she wanted to do was get this ordeal over with.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aglaeca Nero Character Portrait: Yuna Ran Character Portrait: Agrona Caedwyn Character Portrait: Kachinonai Aku Character Portrait: Audona Aislinn Caoimhe Character Portrait: Adrienne M. Adamantis Character Portrait: Kouri Suishou Character Portrait: Yuzuki Armanago
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"Yuna, kill him!" Her body moved on its own, Yuna had no control; if her Master ordered it, it would be done. The Elf's marks glowed with the radiance of a thousand suns, the world lit up in colors that belonged to otherworldly beings. Yuna's hand had gone through his chest, his blood dripping from her fingertips. The female collapsed with the body, tears stinging her eyes. The pure white elf marks on her body slowly began to change color, staining a permanent red. "You did well Yuna," his hand pat her head, like a loyal dog that had killed the annoying squirrel that was eating the plants in her Masters garden. Is that what she had become... A dog? Barking when he said speak, rolling over to her Masters every whim.

A new character arrived on the grassy plains of the meadow. Her Master was dead, his heard severed, his appendages spilled. The Elf's eyes were wide with both horror and awe. The sword wielder held out her hand, crimson glistening in the low light. "Join me and you will never be controlled by these monsters again."


Yuna awoke with a gasp, every night was the dream. She was free, at least, she had been, however Yuna pledged her alliance to the Princess until Adrienne reached her goal. Speaking of which, where was the Mistress? Yuna arose from the collection of bushes she had been camping out under and raked her hands through her hair. The sun had not yet risen and Adrienne was already on the move. "I should prepare tea... And ointment in case she's injured." Mused the elf quietly, she didn't want to wake anyone up.

She searched through her bag of meager belongings and pulled out a small pot and some bandages, Yuna was just about to do something else when her ears twitched, a stick had broken somewhere close by. She grabbed her bow and quiver, a weapon she had been using since she could walk, and slowly began to make her way towards the disturbance. Walking on silent booted feet across the dead foliage, the only light in the early morning came from her markings which were glowing softly. Her feathers ruffled as a cool breeze passed through them. Yuna folded her wings as much as she could against her back in order to keep them from hitting trees.

She knocked an arrow, searching for the thing that had made the noise. Yuna was deep in the forest now and was keeping a vigilant eye out for anything. She pulled back the bow string, something had moved to her left. Quickly Yuna turned and let the arrow fly, hitting the deer in the chest. Breakfast was going to be great this morning! She marched over to the animal and pulled out the arrow, wiping the blood off on her skirt. "Thank you for your life." Yuna grabbed the thing by the horns and began to pull, tripping over herself and landing in the mud. Whimpering softly Yuna stood and straightened her gloves, grabbing the buck by the head once more and pulling with all her strength back in the direction of the camp.

When she arrived Adrienne had returned, wearing her favorite color; blood. "Oh, good morning Mistress!" Yuna bowed quickly, wiping her dirty hands on her skirt. "I wanted to have breakfast ready when you returned from your trip, but I was a bit held up." She tugged on one of her ears with her right hand, a bad habit she had developed when she was nervous, and with the other gestured towards the animal. "Are you injured? I have ointment and bandages ready." She carefully made her way around the sleeping bodies, keeping her voice and footsteps low. It was only when Yuna reached the other side that she tripped over her foot and face planted in the dirt. "Ow, ow, ow." Yuna spit out a few dead leaves and moved to sit upright. "Oh, good morning Aku!" She said, seeing the older man was awake and teasing Adrienne.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Vern Baralli Character Portrait: Aglaeca Nero Character Portrait: Yuna Ran Character Portrait: Agrona Caedwyn Character Portrait: Kachinonai Aku Character Portrait: Audona Aislinn Caoimhe Character Portrait: Adrienne M. Adamantis Character Portrait: Lyon Kazuto
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There never was much to Vern's dreams, or at least not in creativity. For him it was always a return visit to old moments of his life, in particular the harrowing moments where his life had come so close to an end. Currently this one had him turning a corner of some nondescript building, followed by two fellow soldiers. Even their faces were vague, and it looked like the two of them were both wounded. They had been moving cautiously, as they had to be wary of some enemies. They then began to run, as it seemed they were now being bombarded by some kind of attack from some unseen enemies. Vern had no clue what the attacks even were or where they were coming from, he just knew that he needed to get the hell outta the line of fire. He turned, looking to see one of the soldiers he had been running with had fallen to the ground. They laid in a pool of red, not moving. He was urged on by the remaining soldier, and so he kept running towards another corner to get themselves out of the line of fire. As he rounded the corner though, he was greeted by a soldier dressed in a uniform of the enemy they were fighting. Both Vern and the enemy had caught each other by surprise, but the enemy had been moving this way with his weapon at the ready; it recognized Vern almost immediately as an enemy and it made the only sound that Vern had heard during the entire dream. It was the sound of ignited gases exciting the barrel of its rifle, propelling a bullet towards Vern.

As the bang of the gun reached his ears, Vern shot up from where he was sleeping, eye wide as he looked around in confusion. He quickly looked around to see just where he was and what was going on. He was sitting next to some brush, a small campfire only a few feet away from him. He saw the white haired woman he was travelling with standing nearby, blood splatter here and there on her as she held onto a feather. He continued his search, seeing the masked Aku sitting against the tree saying something, but Vern was still a little out of it and couldn't really understand. The other were here and there, still asleep, as well as the carcass of a deer. It made Vern blink slightly, then his gaze settled on the prone figure that was Yuna spitting some leaves from her mouth before speaking. "Oh, good morning Aku!" she said, her's being the first words that registered in his mind as it fully came to from its groggy state.

"Ugh..." was all Vern could muster as he laid back down, "Well, you're definitely better than a bullet." he muttered as he put his hands over both his eyes. He laid there for a few moments, just collecting his thoughts before taking a deep breath and sitting up again, letting his hands drop as a flat slab of rock rose up out of the ground behind him. He leaned back against it as he yawned then ran his fingers through his hair. "I didn't miss anything too excitin' now did I?" He simply asked, looking out towards them.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vern Baralli Character Portrait: Aglaeca Nero Character Portrait: Yuna Ran Character Portrait: Agrona Caedwyn Character Portrait: Kachinonai Aku Character Portrait: Audona Aislinn Caoimhe Character Portrait: Adrienne M. Adamantis Character Portrait: Lyon Kazuto
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#, as written by phooka
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Sleeping. Dreaming. Words that tasted strange and foreign on the tongue of Agrona Caedwyn. Spirits of her kind needed neither, could attain neither. The closest that she could come was a form of spiritual suspension where she was neither alive nor dead and her consciousness became a part of the aether until her physical reawakening. Needless to say, it was not something that she performed habitually. In fact, the only time that she had used it was as an experiment many hundreds of years ago to see if she could commune with any of her siblings through it in an attempt to find them. It hadn't worked and the aether tempted her very little, along with the vulnerability such a state left the body in.

Therefore, the Spirit did as she did every night after the rest of the group fell asleep in their cute little camps: she wandered. Her skirts flowed behind her with swishing sounds over the floor of the forest as she walked and one could easily confuse her for an apparition the way she walked as though the uneven and treacherous ground was the smooth granite of ballroom tiles with unearthly grace.

As the sun peeked through the holes in the lace of the tops of the trees, Agrona turned and began backtracking back to the camp where she knew the group would be beginning to stir. When she reached the camp she saw that Adrienne had not yet returned from her outing and none of the others were quite awake, so the Spirit silently dug through her things and brought out some traveling robes that would be more sensible on the road than the 'sleeping' gown that she was currently wearing and then slipped back out into the woods to change into them.

Not far from the camp, Agrona could make out the sounds of the group rising and their princess's return and so she made her way back and slipped in silently, making her way over to her sleeping arrangement and traveling bags with a knowing smile and began packing her things back together, careful not to rouse Aglaeca who's set up was beside her's.

A sweep of the campsite with her clear blue eyes showed that other than her and Adrienne; Yuna, Vern, and Aku were also awake. Vern didn't quite look awake yet and Yuna appeared to have had quite an adventure already that morning, covered in dirt and with a large buck in tow. Agrona shook her head with wonder at mortals, such strange and unpredictable creatures.

When her things were in a neat pack, she stood leaning against a tree next to her little Devil's sleeping form and said not a word, content with just watching the dustlings interact and waiting for Aglaeca to wake.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vern Baralli Character Portrait: Aglaeca Nero Character Portrait: Yuna Ran Character Portrait: Agrona Caedwyn Character Portrait: Kachinonai Aku Character Portrait: Audona Aislinn Caoimhe Character Portrait: Adrienne M. Adamantis Character Portrait: Lyon Kazuto
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#, as written by MeshET
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The moon was falling and the sun was peeking out the horizon. The calm dawn ray slowly reveals and lights up the interior of the deep forest. The leaves that was once covered by the darkness of the night regained their color of a healthy green as dawn approaches. Critters wonder about the nature as they start off their day conversing with other animals in their own language. As light reveals yet more of the forest, a man was standing in the middle of the thick forest. The ray of light slowly shone upon his body, the complicated markings on his black boat becoming apparent. A light gust breezed past him, as his coat and hair flapped against the wind.

Affirming the rising of the sun, Lyon raised his hands. He brought it closer and closer to his mask, but just as he touched it, he stopped. However, he continued his motion after. He opened his palms and placed it over his mask. With only a slight pull, the mask came off. As easily as picking up a paper on the table, he removed his mask.

Behind the mask hid a pair of closed eyes, where promptly after removing the mask, opened. It was of without an iris. A grey spot replaced where the red eyes should have been. Similar to dead fish eyes, it was very obvious that the eyes had lost their sight. No matter how much he tried to blink, Lyon couldn't see anything. He could feel standing on the ground, the small wind that breezes by every now and then, the sounds of the various animals around yet he cannot see any of it. "Hmph. As expected."

Lyon places the mask back on after that. He periodically checks whether his sight had been returned to him. Even after maybe the thousandth time, he would try again and again, if not staying positive by telling himself that it would be back the next time he does it. However as reality would have it, it never did. Although the mask was all he needed to see like a normal man again, he would rather throw it away to somewhere obscure. Somewhere he would never have to lay his eyes or hear about ever again. But after meeting Adrienne and his fellow companions, he needs the mask to protect them. The mask has a weakness however.

The mask, in return for granting sight and some supernatural powers, consumes his soul. It's not like completely selling your soul to a devil. You don't lose a huge chunk of it that moment. Rather, when a certain amount of powers are used, it takes away a small part of the soul as a price. When it does, Lyon experiences a noxious feeling, similar to when falling ill to fever. He had only explained this to Adrienne as to not worry the other companions, but he knows that this is not going to work. He needs to find an alternative sooner or later.



He decides to return to where his companions were camping. There are already a few members awake. Yuna, covered in blood and Vern, apparently only awake. Then there is Aku, who is sitting against the bark of a tree in his hood and Agrona, standing beside the sleeping Aglaeca, a young boy but is actually a powerful being. What the boy was, Lyon did not know, but he is content enough knowing that the boy and the lady beside him were helping Adrienne, just like everyone else. There was also Adrienne, awake as usual and seems to be off in her own world, so he decided to let her be.

The others were still sleeping or off somewhere, so Lyon decided to stand beside one of the trees and took out his book, titled 'Valkyrie Ascension', continuing from where he left off.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vern Baralli Character Portrait: Aglaeca Nero Character Portrait: Yuna Ran Character Portrait: Agrona Caedwyn Character Portrait: Kachinonai Aku Character Portrait: Audona Aislinn Caoimhe Character Portrait: Adrienne M. Adamantis
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#, as written by moahi
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Aglaeca's eyes opened to the golden spots of sunlight peeking through the leaves. There were voices and activities going all around him as his groggy mind registered the figures moving and talking. It still felt like a few seconds have passed since he had fallen asleep, but of course the time differences between the underworld and the over world were quite large, and for Aglaeca, who had lived for countless years, days and sometimes months were like minutes to him, passing before they even made an lasting impression on him. It seemed like only a few days since they had met the princess and gained so many companions, and even after his many years in the over world, he could never quite get used to the time they had there.

Sitting up slowly, he rubbed his eyes sleepily and yawned, before almost instinctively calling out "Agrona?" to check her presence, a habit he had developed over the past hundred years they had been working together. Though he knew that she might still be taking her stroll in the forest, he checked nevertheless, before catching sight of her leaning against the tree a few paces beside him, already fully cloaked in her travelling attire, dressed and ready. "You sure are early... had a good sleep?" He asked half-teasingly, knowing full well that sleep was an activity that she did not indulge in, unlike him, who considered it as a luxury.

Allowing his light purple eyes to wander to the others, Yuna, who was almost covered in mud and blood, dragging a deer seemed to already have had her share of a adventure, along with Adrienne, the princess who was , holding a pitch black feather, part of the raw power of the whole contract that he had turned into feathers as it was too much for his power to hold. The echoing voice coming from the man with the mask was definitely Aku, and leaning against a tree was Lyon, reading. Vern probably just woke up like he did, not seeming too energetic yet. The whole camp seemed to be stirring... exactly how late was he in waking up? Still, it seemed like there was not much going on yet.

Flopping back onto his back in boredom, he turned his head slightly to Agrona and asked"Now what?" He had woken up, though it seemed like there was nothing much for him to do, except for waiting for the group to carry on in their journey.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vern Baralli Character Portrait: Aglaeca Nero Character Portrait: Yuna Ran Character Portrait: Agrona Caedwyn Character Portrait: Kachinonai Aku Character Portrait: Audona Aislinn Caoimhe Character Portrait: Adrienne M. Adamantis Character Portrait: Lyon Kazuto
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#, as written by Skwidge
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”Can’t you hear them? They’re calling, they don’t want me to go….”





*~*~*~*

A haunting, eerie melody, the sounds of a harp and the rustle of leaves…. The cries of loons against a sweeping tide, crashing and rolling over some distant shore. Audona could hear incomprehensible whispers every once in a while, almost as if they were emanating from the swishing, whirling tide. She could feel herself wandering as she always did- alone with the souls and sounds of others just out of reach, no matter how hard she strived to near them. But everything was dark and she had to rely on her sense of hearing, which was quickly diminishing into that of someone trapped underwater- gargled and mumbled.

Suddenly everything went deathly silent, as if a deep evil had appeared and all the birds had scattered, the wind held its breath, the water froze paralyzed with fear. A deep thumping stirred somewhere, increasing its tempo and volume with every passing moment. With every beat, Aislinn could feel water begin to fill her lungs, but she could do nothing about it- couldn’t even cry out, for everything was muted except for the unending racing of a heart. A crippling fear was slowly inching towards her, bringing a cold chill and a numbness to her bones that addled her mind to no end. Just as the thumping reached its crescendo, the evil almost upon her, her lungs had opened up despite being filled with water, and it was when she was about to finally scream that she heard a distinct snicker, and everything was dissolving around her- the tenseness of her body, the water in her lungs, the evil presence that lurked above her, it tingled into nothingness.

A voice sounded, different from the prior malicious exhale of breath.

”Oisin; Audona....”

*~*~*~*


The Water Horse’s eyes suddenly opened, the rectangular pupils contracting as morning light met them from the breaks in the leafy canopy above. All hints of sleep one would have expected on any creature were not a part of the Kelpie’s appearance- she was wide awake, almost as if she had never let her mind slip into a resting state in the first place.

A loud whoosh of air passed her nostrils as she stamped her hoof against the ground, shaking her mane of the leaves and bits of grass that undoubtedly made their way into the hair while she slept. She tilted her head and shifted it sideways to stretch her neck a bit before she angled her head up to peer at the treetops with strange, yellow pupils, her maw parting to taste the fresh morning air.

Her musings did not last for more than a second as she returned her head to its original position, staring out into the dim forest. Audona’s nostrils flared and her eyes narrowed, her hoof once more meeting the soft earth below with an irritable stamp. The scent of burnt wood lingered in the air, and the distant sound of mortals stirring filled her ears. How long had it been since was forced into this group, to do the bidding of a snow-capped maiden?

Almost every night Aislinn was tethered to some tree or other, despite the fact that she could not leave regardless, what with her tether in the possession of Fuilteach. She was bound to this place- wherever the woman went she was forced to follow, diminished to nothing more than a pack mule or a simple cart. But she was always stationed far away from the group- a term that had been established two years ago when the Kelpie would refuse to settle in the midst of others- screaming, howling, stamping, decimating anything within reach of her teeth.

She would not allow herself to be ogled every night by those who did not understand, who worked her all day and forced her to share their company. She would not share anyone’s company at night, lest the Water Horse’s ill temper be stirred. It did not matter how far from the group she was- if only off to the side of their resting area distinctly apart from them, or out of sight completely.

However, during the day Aislinn remained rather docile, settled into her fate and allowing herself to be led to wherever the next feather rested. Though, if anyone got too close to her, she would swerve or extend her neck to try to snap her jaws together on any unwary finger or wandering hand. That was another one of her rules- she was not to be touched except when being loaded or unloaded, or when being released into the water. In all reality, it was only the Massacre Princess who did so, as she held possession of the bridle and thus was ‘allowed’ contact.

It wasn’t so much that she despised the others and wanted to bring harm to them, but rather that she was scared and uneasy when in their presence. She didn’t want to be poked and jabbed like a caged animal; everything she did was of an intent of self-preservation and mistrust. There was also the fact that she despised being under the control of another, was in despair that she could not continue her search, no matter how pointless it may be.

Audona stood beside that tree, waiting for the others to get off their lazy bums, for Fuilteach to come and untie her and load supplies onto her back and begin the start of another day. Her situation was not all bad. Despite her longing to be alone, having the company of others where she was previously cursed to wander in solitude was sort of a plus. She didn’t like being with them because of the circumstances, but she made the best of it where she could. It wasn’t like Caoimhe was ignorant or harbored a deep seated hatred for them. No, she was fairly incapable of such- rather focused on the hopelessness of her existence as a whole. In fact, she was somewhat curious about a few of them.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuna Ran Character Portrait: Agrona Caedwyn Character Portrait: Kachinonai Aku Character Portrait: Audona Aislinn Caoimhe Character Portrait: Adrienne M. Adamantis
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#, as written by Taunbon
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It seemed the little elf had been a busy bee. He inclined his head forward slightly to return her greetings, which were far too warm and pleasant for the present company to warrant. His emerald eyes fell on the carcass of the deer she had managed to drag all the way into the camp leaving a trail of blood and disturbed earth behind her. It was impressive that the small woman had managed to drag such a large beast what was, most likely, a considerable distance. He only hoped she had field dressed it as he had no desire for her to gut it in the middle of the camp and leave the entrails there as that would, certainly, cause a rather morbid stench.

It seemed the return of their 'beloved' princess was the catalyst as it seemed everyone was rousing from their slumber, or in the case of the spirit, whatever she did while they slept, but they were not really of his concern. Save for a select few, they were nothing more then the muscle and sycophants of the princess.

Turning his head slightly, he watched the Princess as she absorbed the dark feather once again, he had always been curious of the process, what it would look and feel like, but it seemed he was not going to be able to see it today as her hair, once again, seemed keen on defying his intentions. So, instead, he sated himself with observing her once again. It did not take long, but the sudden change in the air was almost visible, once again something had changed, once again he was forced to watch her behavior to see what had changed, once again, he was preparing to judge her.

Their gaze met and he held it. It seemed he had attracted the attention of his beloved princess. As she walked towards him, he let his gaze fall slightly, not from fear or intimidation, but merely to watch how her body moved as was his hobby. He found everyone had a certain walk or subconscious feel to them as they moved, he always linked the princess to a cat. A predator, but not on that was overly powerful or large. While he could easily picture her stalking the shadows, she was not beheld by them. There was a certain fluidity present.

Aku only brought his eyes back up to meet hers when she stopped by him, and much to his amusement and annoyance, tapped on his mask. The soft clack seeming to echo in his ears. It seemed his presence had some effect, she had certainly seemed to improve in word play. Insulting both his body and his shady past in one phrase, if she had not seem set on continuing in her path, he would have reply, but he would let her have this little win. The trick when dealing with people was to allow them to have just enough room to believe they had control.

With the princess gone, and the others doing what they will, he leaned the back of his head, enjoying the feel of his hood pressed against the bark, he allowed himself to enjoy the few rays of sunlight that were peaking through the trees. It was odd... besides the rustling of the leaves as the occasional breeze blew through, it was... quiet. There was not the occasional song or squalling of the birds.

The rustling of grass caught his attention, and he turned his green eyes to the princess once again and her 'horse'. He was not a fool that was no mere horse, until he met the princess, he had assumed those beast, the Kelpie, were nothing more then fantasies created by the minds of lonely fishermen, but it seemed the legend had some small measure of truth. The beast was... odd, of course, stories of turning to human form was ludicrous, but it was a unique creature.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vern Baralli Character Portrait: Aglaeca Nero Character Portrait: Yuna Ran Character Portrait: Agrona Caedwyn Character Portrait: Kachinonai Aku Character Portrait: Audona Aislinn Caoimhe Character Portrait: Adrienne M. Adamantis Character Portrait: Lyon Kazuto
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Vern nodded his head some as Adrienne stared at him, the kinda stare that would set normal people on edge at the least. Vern however had stared down plenty of mean things in his life by now, so by simple conditioning he no longer was rattled by simple angry gazes. ”Well, guess that could be considered good, if not a little borin’.” He said while stretching his arms up above his head. He followed Adrienne’s gaze when she turned her head, looking over to see Agrona standing next to the waking Aglaeca.

Vern watched the two for a few moments, having lowered his arms. He wasn’t weirded out at the prospect of having non-human in the group or to be working with them; he was perfectly fine with the two and Yuna despite them being of some other race. The thing Yuna had over them though was that Vern knew she was an elf, and not just because of the cute looks or the more obvious ears, but ‘cause she’d actually mentioned it. Those two, he hadn’t an idea of what they were and that made it a little difficult for him to completely trust them. He’d work with them though, but there would always be the little barrier ‘til they told the whole truth.

His eye moved back over to the Princess, turning when he heard a rather ragged inhale of air come from her. He couldn’t see her face, as her hair had fallen over to hide it but was soon moved back as she lifted up her head. He also noticed that the feather she had previously held was now gone. He kept a watch on her for a few moments, but then decided he’d best get himself around. Standing up, leaning back to stretch some more, his back popping in a few places as he did so, he then let the rock wall he was leaning against sink back into the ground as he turned to check on his rucksack. It held what provisions and such that he needed, and he simply checked to make sure everything was in order.

He looked up to see most of the others were up and about by now, or at the very least awake. ”Mornin’, Lyon.” he said noticing the quiet, masked man first. Vern continued digging though his ruck, pulling out a small canteen of water and taking a quick drink from it before putting it back away. He closed it up, now looking up towards Aglaeca and Agrona and saying ”Mornin’ta you two also.” before standing up again.
Looking towards Aku, who was still leaning against the tree, Vern simply nodded his head to the man. It’d taken a few months, but Vern had learned by now that he and Aku were not the most compatible of people. There was no ill feelings on Vern’s end towards the crippled, masked man; Vern though could tell that Aku did not care much for the one-eyed-ex-soldier. Whatever it might be, Vern hadn’t a clue so he simply shrugged and let it be.

He turned to look at Yuna, noticing Adrienne leave the area to probably retrieve the ornery Kelpie, chuckling a bit as he looked over her rather dirty form. ”Been havin’ yourself an adventure this mornin’, eh Yunnie?” He looked over to the buck he had noticed earlier, smiling a bit as he did. ”Lookin’ forward to a solid meal like that, can tell you that much; good catch.” he finished while looking back to the elf. Giving her one last smile, he then made his way past her and towards the edge of the camp. He figured that they’d have a few before they all were ready to get moving on out, and since he was set to go, he’d take the time and practice a bit.

He moved to where the camp was still in sight, as he had no need to get to far away from them, and found a solid looking tree to work with. Cracking his neck, he let his arms hang to his side as he concentrated on the relic around his neck. He could feel the magic flow from it, then only a moment later heard the sound of rock scraping against itself as it roses up from the ground. He then felt the flat pieces of rock surround and conform to the shape of his hands and forearms, a piece also tailing off along the spike of his elbow. He lifted his arms up, flexing them and his hands, feeling the slightly increased weight on his arms and testing the flexibility he still had. Even after having had this relic for more than five years by this point, it still always amazed him some what the magic could do. The relic seemed to support the rocks on his arm so that they didn’t weight them down too much, and the relic was even capable of moving and shaping the rocks in a way that it didn’t rob him of any flexibility in his hands or elbows. Smiling, he then began his quick and simple punch combinations, using the tree as his target; enjoying the light thunk that resounded each time his stone covered fists would meet with the solid trunk of the tree.

He cast a quick glance over to the The Princess when she returned to the camp with the odd horse in tow. He stopped for a moment, somewhat distracted by the strange creature, but shook his head and went back to his combinations. He had no intention of going near it, less he get something nipped or bit by it, and he was close enough that if he was needed, The Princess, or anybody, could call out to him.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vern Baralli Character Portrait: Aglaeca Nero Character Portrait: Yuna Ran Character Portrait: Agrona Caedwyn Character Portrait: Kachinonai Aku Character Portrait: Audona Aislinn Caoimhe Character Portrait: Adrienne M. Adamantis
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"Yeah, I heard it as soon as I woke up." Yuna replied to Vern although it was obvious. She had cleaned out the deer on her way, which was why she was covered in blood, Yuna hadn't wanted the campsite to smell of rotting appendages and it would also keep any wild animals at bay because the scent of meat was stronger then the group's dirty aroma. "Good morning Argona, good morning Aglaeca," the elf didn't like the devil very much because of something in her past, but Yuna would not ignore him because she was raised better then to be so petty as to hold a grudge.

Yuna took out her knife and began to strip the carcass, she was happy that everyone seemed in good spirits this morning. Perhaps a hearty breakfast would help to fuel a great adventure on this beautiful day! A unexplained feeling of panic rose in her throat and Yuna placed the knife on the ground, calmly going through her bag to make sure the relic was still there. Yes, the ancient stone was nested in the cloth on the bottom of her satchel. With a sigh of relief Yuna leaned back and closed her haversack, going back to her previous task of collecting nutriment from the dead animal.

Once she finished Yuna went a bit away from the camp and hung up the meat on a nearby tree so that she could collect wood for the fire. Yuna didn't want to light the fire at their bivouac because she didn't want to draw attention to their presence. The fire was started and slowly she roasted the meat over the flames, glad that there was enough meat for everyone to not only have seconds, but thirds. It had been a large, fat, animal that clearly had, had a good, long life before Yuna had hunted it. "Mm, I can't wait to eat!" She sing songed, licking her lips. She had learned to love whatever food came her way and was no longer particularly picky about what it might be; whether an edible plant, or a desert rat.

The elf put out the fire, all of the meat was done and she had even brewed a pot of tea for Aku from the mint leaves she had been keeping in her bag. Hopefully Yuna would have some time to forge for plants later, but first she wanted to present everyone with the food while it was still warm.

When Yuna returned, Adrienne was arriving with the Kelpie. A wondrous beast that often entranced Yuna; she had no idea if Kelpie ate elves but Yuna was sure to steer clear of the beautiful horse just in case. "Food's ready!" The elf declared, hoping she had projected enough for her all of friends to hear, even the ones that had wandered into the woods. Yuna placed the large leaf with the roasted meat on a dead tree stump and took out a cup to pour the tea for Aku. "Here you go," she said, bringing the cup and two pieces of meat to the older man so that he wouldn't have to get up.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vern Baralli Character Portrait: Aglaeca Nero Character Portrait: Yuna Ran Character Portrait: Agrona Caedwyn Character Portrait: Kachinonai Aku Character Portrait: Audona Aislinn Caoimhe Character Portrait: Adrienne M. Adamantis Character Portrait: Lyon Kazuto
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#, as written by phooka
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Movement in her peripherals caused Aerona to shift her focus back to the form of Aglaeca who was just beginning to come to from his slumber. He spoke her name sleepily and she quietly responded with a simple "I'm here" to confirm her presence to him. Her eyes then swept back across the group and Agrona saw that Lyon had returned leaving everybody but the Kelpie accounted for.

"You sure are early... had a good sleep?" She whipped her head back towards her companion, feigning irritation at the joke that he had made, they both knew each other too long to miss the hint of sarcasm in the other's voice when making such wisecracks.

Her mock anger split into a smile, "oh you know that I did. Now get up and get ready, little monster, or we'll all be waiting on you." However, Agrona saw that her little friend's attention was focused more on the group than on their shared banter, so she also turned her own attentions back towards the rest, her face a mixture of curiosity and amusement. It seemed that Adrienne had gone off to untie the pesky kelpie. Not that she minded the horse's presence, she actually quite enjoyed to think of all of the chaos such a beast could cause if it decided to. As Adrienne was away, the rest of the group carried on in a sleepy manner. The only member who seemed truly away was Yuna, the little elf girl, who was presently stripping the carcass of and preparing deer. While eating wasn't a necessity for the Spirit, she did enjoy partaking in it but the prospect of venison for breakfast did not appeal to her picky palette as it wasn't what she considered to be a breakfast-food. And so, with a melodramatic sigh, Aerona turned her attention to the other members of the group. Unfortunately, neither Aku nor Vern managed to hold her attention very long and all that Lyon was doing was reading, so she turned her eyes back to Aglaeca who was flopped on the ground in a similar state of boredom as she. "Now what?" he asked, his head turned the slightest bit in her direction.

The Spirit gathered her skirts and sat down beside him, "I suppose all that we can do is wait for the dustlings to do something interesting. Funny, their time is fleeting yet they waste it by never doing anything interesting." She closed her eyes, unlike the Mortals she had all the time in the world and, while bored at the moment, she knew how quickly moments get lost in the current of time when you have lived so long as she. If no one else does, perhaps I might have to stir something up, It'd be a shame to give these mortals so much peace. I don't understand how they're not bored out of their minds.' Agrona thought with slight irritation.

Soon, however, the rustling of the underbrush alerted Agrona to the approach of the leader of the group and the kelpie. She reopened her eyes and watched Adrienne. She seemed to be agitated, her posture appeared tense and uncomfortable. The Spirit rose to her feet and she approached the other woman, slightly concerned though not bothering to show it. "Is everything alright, Princess?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vern Baralli Character Portrait: Aglaeca Nero Character Portrait: Yuna Ran Character Portrait: Agrona Caedwyn Character Portrait: Kachinonai Aku Character Portrait: Audona Aislinn Caoimhe Character Portrait: Adrienne M. Adamantis Character Portrait: Lyon Kazuto
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#, as written by MeshET
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In the barren fields, where the fallen comrades remained on the ground, a single body retained life. Her purple armor battered and her lance coated in crimson red, her white hair fluttered about in the air as blood slowly trickled down from her forehead. With one eyes closed, she observed the remains of the battlefield before her. Her comrades, all dressed in similar purple armor, lays lifelessly on the ground, many stabbed and without a head, rarely was there ever a clean body. Beyond the graveyard, armies scattered about the land, injured and in no less serious condition than the female warrior. Yet they stood up, determined.

With a silent roar, battle spirits were stirred up once again in her heart. Her will and determination rises to a higher peak and ignoring the pain that numbs her entire body, she charged forward with her lance in hand. The soldiers responded to their brave enemy, forgetting their injuries as well and going forth into a battle against one of the strongest Valkyrie in the land, without the fear of death itself.




"Mornin', Lyon."

A voice disrupted his attention on his book, as he brought his head up to discern the voice. Vern, apparently already awake since Lyon last saw him, greeted him as he dug through his bag for a small canteen before shoving it back into his bag and walking off. The laid-back fighter was one of the few rare people with the rare color of red for hair. Throughout the course of his journeys, he was told and convinced that the color red was hardly found anywhere and due to that, Lyon's red hair was always the once thing that most people spot for in a crowd. But with his skills and natural ability to retain a small presence, he managed to escape what could be considered life and death situations for him.

He didn't planned to do anything about it however. He believes that this color of his was given to him by his parents, and though he may not have the chance to see her, his mother had one of the most beautiful hair as described by his father. He was blessed with such a color for hair, but had he not lost his sight, maybe he could have appreciated it more.

Lyon despises the color of his hair. For whatever reasons, ever since he possessed this unknown accursed illness that suddenly took his sight one day, robbing him of whatever chance he could have to remember the face of his mother. But Lyon turned away from that awful memory. He closed his eyes lightly, hidden under the mask he wore. Moments later, he opened his eyes again. Everyone else was currently more or less awake, with the Princess bringing back Audona, the Kelpie. Namely, a magical water horse that Adrienne had brought with her along with the group. She was used as a luggage carrier, carrying most of the group's equipment and such. While Lyon certainly did not disagree that having someone - or something - do most of the carrying would definitely lighten the burden on the group, he felt as if he needed to do his work as well, if not to kill off some of the guilt he built inside him. Surely enough, he wanted to treat the horse as an equal, but he didn't dared to speak up for he thought he might overstep certain bounds set by either the group or the horse herself. She was never fond of humans.

Nevertheless, he remained quiet. Agrona seems to have gotten up and went to where the Princess emerged from, asking whether if there was a problem. Deciding that it was best to look directly at the direction of where the two was, he brought his attention back to his book, still splitting a part of his concentration to the conversation in order to see whether anything was really wrong. It was a hunch of his, but he had a feeling something will happen soon. Or he could just be paranoid. Either way, he'll find out soon enough.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vern Baralli Character Portrait: Aglaeca Nero Character Portrait: Yuna Ran Character Portrait: Agrona Caedwyn Character Portrait: Kachinonai Aku Character Portrait: Audona Aislinn Caoimhe Character Portrait: Adrienne M. Adamantis Character Portrait: Luo Qingzhao Character Portrait: Lyon Kazuto
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#, as written by moahi
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"I suppose all that we can do is wait for the dustlings to do something interesting. Funny, their time is fleeting yet they waste it by never doing anything interesting."

Aglaeca sat up from the ground, grinning slightly at the irritation evident in her voice. Agrona was never quite content with giving humans some time for their peace, and like him, she never quite understood how they could not tire of their constant activities. “But thats what makes them interesting, is it not?” he asked, a glint coming into his eyes. For once he looked closer to the creature that he was instead of a normal boy. However, it was gone as soon as it came, his attention directed to the rest of the group, the others who were carrying on in their usual ways, and Yuna, who was the only one wide awake, preparing the deer carcass for their breakfast. The idea of food sounded almost ludicrous to the young devil, whose favorite food used to be the souls of sinners, but he did need nourishment while he was in the over world, after all.

The sound from the undergrowth snapped him out of his thoughts as the princess appeared, leading the odd-looking horse. He had seen many monsters in his stay in the underworld, but none of them looked quite like the kelpie, both beautiful and chaotic. It was a very interesting creature to say the least, though he was sure to stay away from it. He could recover fine, but he did not fancy getting bitten the least.

The princess soon caught his attention as Agrona walked over to her, asking if she was alright. That wasn’t something you see everyday. It was not always that Adrienne appeared irritable and tense, seemingly disturbed by something, to the point that Agrona actually noticed it and was concerned for her. Something was not right this morning, and he could have sworn he saw shadows following the princess, flitting just out of sight whenever she tried to catch sight of them. It could be a part of his imagination though, but he narrowed his eyes at that nevertheless, before getting up and brushing himself off, heading toward Agrona and the Adrienne.

“Something is off today, did we get a few more observers?” He asked them, inclining his head slightly. He didn’t think it was quite a big problem, as the group was more than capable of finishing them off, but you can’t be too careful with things like that.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vern Baralli Character Portrait: Aglaeca Nero Character Portrait: Yuna Ran Character Portrait: Agrona Caedwyn Character Portrait: Kachinonai Aku Character Portrait: Audona Aislinn Caoimhe Character Portrait: Adrienne M. Adamantis Character Portrait: Lyon Kazuto
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#, as written by Skwidge
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With the rustling of the underbrush, Audona tilted her head to peer down at the snow-capped woman, paying little heed to the words that proceeded from her lips as she approached. A soft huff of air passed her nostrils as the other began working on the knots that held her to the tree. The woman seemed to struggle a bit at first with the knots which caused the Kelpie to shift somewhat impatiently, but Adrienne made quick work once she figured them out.

Caoimhe made no attempts to resist as the Princess of Massacre led her back to the group- an unusual occurrence, as it seemed the Kelpie loved to inconvenience the woman as much as possible in any way she could to display her disdain for any one situation. Perhaps it was because she was distracted by that dream, or she was uneasy having been in this area for such a long time. Her maw was about an inch or two away from the woman’s shoulder, being led very closely to the other’s body. Yet she did not try to lash out or bite- she never had attempted to do so with the Princess. It was pointless, and no doubt she would receive some sort of punishment. And the last thing she wanted was more contact or time with Fuilteach.

However, about the same time that Adrienne felt an unnatural presence in the forest with them, Audona made an abrupt stop and steadied her shoulders as she threw her head up softly to pull at the tether in the woman’s hand, a snort leaving her nostrils as she lowered her neck forward and stared at Fuilteach with those strange pupils of hers. Her tail swatted loudly against her haunches, turning her head this way and that to shake her mane out a bit. Her eyes then settled forward, ready to reunite with the group. She did not like being watched, and whatever the other presence was, it bothered her to no end- unsurprising when considering she rarely stayed around when she felt uneasy or threatened. Her actions obviously confirmed Miss Massacre’s suspicions as well, though such confirmation was unneeded.

Adrienne did not dilly dally, and was soon dashing forward; Aislinn might have been caught off guard had she not been watching the woman intently, but her legs moved almost as soon as the snow-capped maiden’s did. Audona was surprised, though- it almost seemed as if she were… concerned? Adrienne did not run from any sort of fight, it wasn’t in her personality to do so.

They appeared in the small clearing shortly after to find everyone minding their own business and apparently greeting one another. However, at the woman’s appearance, everyone turned their head to see what was up. Each one in turn looked first from Fuilteach then to herself. This was why she did not like being in their presence- no matter how many times they may have seen her, they still ogled every time. It made her feel small and her captivity all the more pressing a fact.

While she did not particularly meet the gaze of any one of them, she watched them in turn as they watched her. From the distant Folaigh who sat against the trunk of a tree calculating everyone around him despite the fact that it was hard to tell where his gaze rested, to AonSuil who lingered a little ways out pummeling some poor tree or other- she could feel his half-gaze resting on her form for a moment, the wooden thunks of the tree pausing for a moment before resuming- then the chirpy voice of Uallach as she announced a meal had been prepared, suddenly appearing beside Folaigh and offering him a preparation of some meat or other- practically staring at Audona the whole time she wandered over to the cripple- the little Plá and restless Colgach seemingly hovering beside a tree, and finally Púicín who for some reason or other held a book in his hand despite his dead eyes.

Aislinn dug a hoof into the ground, upsetting the dirt there as she diverted her attention away from the group. She heard what each and every one of them were actually called, but just as they did not care or bother to use her name, she did not use theirs. It seemed unreasonable and foolish, in both the fact that she did not want to accept such personal qualities- that these beings were capable of having any past or warrant for their name, that they were anything other than inconsiderate and selfish- and that they did not give her the same consideration; they likened her to nothing more than a mindless creature, only to be used as a beast of burden and nothing more, like she didn’t have a past, that she didn’t have an actual purpose other than to be taken advantage of and used until she was no longer of any importance or advantage.

Her thoughts were interrupted when Colgach seemed to be approaching them with words appearing to be as sweet as honey and actually concerned. "Is everything alright, Princess?" Audona’s pupils narrowed with every step the spirit committed towards them, and she pulled her head back abruptly with a snort of discontent once she decided the other had come too close. The majority of her dislike for the group rested on the two other inhuman creatures. Spirits were tricky and selfish- they took advantage of whatever they could whenever they could, bringing misery and pain for their own twisted delight.

Demons and demonically tainted spirits were worse. They tortured souls to no end, eventually devouring them once they grew bored. They made twisted deals with hosts, never really fulfilling their part of the pact and making the life of their host a living hell. They were blood-ravaged creatures, thirsting for life’s liquid but never really satisfied by it. No, they went for the soul itself, ripping it apart slowly if they could get to it before it disappeared into the afterlife. Should they, the essence of a creature would be lost to all existence, locked in a state of excruciating pain and nothingness, doomed to relive every second of their death and destruction, the only thing they could feel or even have some semblance of existence being that pain.

At least, that was what Audona knew of them. And why should she think these two to be any different? There was no reason for her to suspect abnormality. Each inhuman had its way of dealing with things, and while these two seemed content for the time being, Aislinn did not believe it for a second. The Kelpie couldn’t really be blamed- after all, it was a concoction of both types that made her into what she was, that cursed her to her own existence. Perhaps she should be thankful for her impossible being- that she did not have to suffer nothingness. But that was far from her mind.

The little Plá was quick to follow at Agrona’s heels as soon as he realized she had moved, and he too spoke when he neared the three of them, “Something is off today, did we get a few more observers?” Aislinn really seemed to snap when the other settled about a foot or two away. She reared back ever so slightly, her front legs lifting about two or three inches from the ground, pulling Adrienne back a bit as her neck shifted backwards.

An unnatural snarl left her maw, directed towards the both of them as her hooves hit the dirt and she lurched forward with a feral snort, pulling her shoulders back and lifting her chin in a threatening manner. She might suffer one being close for a while, but the both of them she would rarely accept. When she was close to either turbulent being, it would stir her own malicious nature, and Audona did not like that. She didn’t want to sink down to such levels; she did not want to allow her existence as a Kelpie to rear up, murderous and chaotic and delighting in destruction and pain. She was not that creature. She would not let her humanity slip through her fingers just like that….

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vern Baralli Character Portrait: Aglaeca Nero Character Portrait: Yuna Ran Character Portrait: Agrona Caedwyn Character Portrait: Kachinonai Aku Character Portrait: Audona Aislinn Caoimhe Character Portrait: Lu Fei and Shi Xin Character Portrait: Adrienne M. Adamantis Character Portrait: Lyon Kazuto
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#, as written by Layla

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The sky fell everyday.

The sun sank beneath the horizon like a fickle limb evacuating the body when the miles stretched too far. Not tonight, it would say, and the clouds would mirror promises they would never keep, sweeping across the ceiling and abandoning the earth to brown into a crisp with crevices lining its brittle face like an ageing man. Rain fell, lightning fell and leaves fell from a million different branches to be trampled by the creatures that in turn hacked the trees to the ground. They fell like bodies or perhaps bodies fell like pieces of wood, but mother nature was unbiased. She embraced them all, pulverising them into dust particles that would one day shiver into diamonds. Perhaps there was beauty in death, but certainly, not in this.

The girl - if you could call this lump a girl - dangled from the statue with her limbs askew. Blood pooled on her fingertips to collapse onto the top of her head, her head which was not on top of her shoulders where it should have been. The corpse's vacant gaze was oblivious to the crowd that pressed around it in huddles, its ears deaf to the muttered prayers and trembling whispers. The sight of the gawking crowd with their faces ashen with disgust made Xin ache. Why was nobody lowering her body? Why were they prolonging her torture by leaving her there like a slab of meat at a butcher's window? Her family would arrive soon, and nobody deserved to see their daughter, sister or wife so brutally mutilated. Xin stepped forward.

"Don't." Fei's fingers curled around her wrist and jerked her backwards. She scathed him with a glare. "This isn't in our jurisdiction."

"Yeah, neither is clothes shopping so why don't we just run around naked?" She jerked her wrist. He tightened his grip. "Let go."

"Don't be rash."

"Oh, okay, give me a moment," she said sarcastically. "I'll just go ahead and find somewhere to die."

"Don't be absurd." Frustration escaped his lips in a long sigh.

"What, now you want me to kill myself twice? That is biologically impossible."

"So is reason, it seems," he said.

"Only on Tuesdays."

Movement in the crowd diverted their attention. The body was being lowered from its perch but the guards were struggling to grasp the fragments, what was left of her skin slippery with blood. Fei tugged her arm lightly and said in a gentler tone, "come on." This time she followed.

They'd been in Billarf's Tavern - what sorcery impelled a person to name their child Billarf? - when they heard the scream. Fei had been content to continue reading The Anthropological Treatises of Josëfaen Harchdenbraich but Xin insisted that they check that no one was being slaughtered by "intergalactic elvish priests," albeit somewhat reluctantly. She'd been playing Drunkard's Cards with a number of brutes the night before. The battle had been intense, lasting all through the night. It would've ended with her as the victor of a small fortune - the only reason Fei ever tolerated her "petty games" - had she not been such a selfless, beautiful soul. Alas, a hero of Jeildae could not rest when justice called.

They sighed through the streets now as the city ascended into the new day, dodging the cascading bucketfuls of murky water and the merchants shoving their wares at weary passer-bys. The twins stretched their consciousness in search of stolen and unregistered Variants, tendrils of an invisible sight passing over the vivid array of fruits and vegetables, through the cracks of uneven pavement, rummaging through the pockets of scrawny children. It was a natural instinct now. They'd recovered innumerable Variants in the last decade alone. Just last year they'd uncovered one of the Shadow of Airen's strongholds, returning dozens of rare Irelian artefacts hidden amongst other stolen goods to the Irelian government.

Finding lost Variants was the least unpleasant of their duties. Today their purpose was to "arrest and garner information from a suspected Irelian traitor and associate of the Shadow," but they knew better. There would be no trial nor polite inquiry, just the rattle of bones and steel, especially if the Irelian defence force believed them to be partners to the notorious Shadow, and certainly not if they were traitors. If there was nothing else Irelia condemned, it would be Irelians who betrayed the nation.

"You care too much," Fei stated abruptly.

"And you care too little," Xin replied, preoccupied with the glint of a silver clasp. Vines sprouted from the gleaming lily, swirling into an intricate bracelet that winked from the merchant's store.

"That is not untrue," he said, a whisper of a smile tugging at his lips. As they wandered away from the city centre, Fei's gaze drifted towards the forest that loomed behind the sprinkle of houses that dotted the areas sporadically. The number of people had waned considerably the further they'd traveled, the lovely cobblestone streets fading into patches of cracked cement that crept through the dirt paths. Fei rested a hand on his sister's arm, head tilted towards the trees. He stepped into the forest, gliding through the mess of wild flora like a silent ghost.

"Do you feel that?' Fei whispered, holding himself remarkably still between a thorny bush and poisoned mushrooms.

"Yeah, my breasts are aching too." Xin massaged her chest with the palms of her hands. "I think it's that time of the month again."

"Hilarious," Fei said drily.

"It really isn't. I wish these things lasted an hour instead of a week." She sighed. "I mean, okay, you've made your point. I'm not pregnant. You can go now."

"Shh." Fei stepped back, forcing her behind him.

A snarl jerked through the forest, distorted and unnatural. It nearly distracted Xin from the roaring hiss of the artefact. It was something other, not quite Variant but possessing an immense energy that was reminiscent of Sakuradite in its purest form, humming with the desire to act, alive.

"What the hell is that?" she gasped.

"I think they can hear us."

"They? Who's they? We're the only ones here. Gosh, Fei, you really need to learn to stop speaking in riddles because nobody understands y-"

"You're hungover," Fei admonished, a hint of surprise lacing his words as he looked at her, really looked at her. It was difficult to differentiate between the effects of alcohol and her personality when it came to whatever it was that made her say bizarre things most of the time, but why had he not realised? Of course. Of course she would be hungover.

"Of course I'm not hungover," she said, exasperated. "I'm still drunk."

"Run."

"What?"

"Run."

"I can't, I'm wearing high-"

He threw his weight into her, snatching her arm as he dashed past. Xin stumbled behind him before finding her footing. Fei urged her forward, entirely prepared for her to outrun him as she always did, regardless of her footwear. She had to.

The Variant would have to wait, because whatever else was in the forest with them, it was not human.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vern Baralli Character Portrait: Yuna Ran Character Portrait: Audona Aislinn Caoimhe Character Portrait: Lu Fei and Shi Xin Character Portrait: Adrienne M. Adamantis Character Portrait: Lyon Kazuto
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Vern struck out at the tree with two quick left jabs, followed by a right cross. As his fist came back to its position, moving to just in front of his face, his chin tucked to keep it naturally protected by his raised fists, he was already shifting to the left as he swung is left in a tight hook which landed on the "body" of his imagined target. As the blow landed, he was already stepping back to create the distance he needed for the rest of his punches, throwing a quick jab out at the tree again to cover his retreat. He was still off at the angle of the tree, but he did not throw out another combination as he heard the cheery chirp of Yuna mentioning the food was ready.

Looking over towards the camp, he smiled as he lowered his hands, enjoying the clattering of the stone pieces as he released the magic on them and they fell off of his arms. He walked towards the camp, not paying attention to the stones as they seemed to meld back into the ground, the magic of the relic now having fully released its hold on them. Wiping his forearm across his forehead, using the sleeve of his jacket to wipe away the perspiration there, he then closed his eye as he took a good inhale of the food. Smiling, he then walked forwards to the stump which the elf has rested the food on.

"Goodie goodie, I am hungry and it smells good, Yunnie." He said as he scooped up two pieces. He popped both into his mouth, quickly covering his mouth with a hand to not spit them out reflexively as he hadn't really considered how hot they still were. He rolled them about in his mouth to not burn himself and give it a chance to cool off, before he actually began to chew it. It may not have had much for flavoring or anything fancy on it, but after a life of military rations and food, this was a good meal to him. With his mouth full, he didn't really have the ability to speak, so instead he simply directed a thumbs up in Yuna's direction.

He turned his head to the sound of a rather vicious snarl, followed by the stamping of hoofs as he looked to Kelpie with an eyebrow raised. He watched the horse...thing shift about in an agitated manner. "Ain't goin' near her today..." he muttered to himself as he watched the Princess chat a few moments with Aglaeca and Agrona before she began loading things onto Kelpie. She muttered something to the horse-thing, but it was too low for Vern to hear. Though it more seemed like the Princess talkin' to herself so it wasn't for his ears anyways.

Since it seemed she'd be ready to leave soon, Vern decided to double check his ruck and make sure his stuff was ready to go so the group wasn't left waitin' on him. He moved back over to it, doing another quick glance through it all while taking another quick sip from his canteen. As he put it away, he saw the green-black headband he'd occasionally wear. It was something he usually wore if he knew he'd be seeing some violence that day, as it helped to keep his hair back and out of his face. It wasn't usually a bother for him, but there was always a chance in a fight it could and so he always figured it best to ere on the side of caution. So far it's worked well for the one-eyed-pugilist. Pulling it from the bag, he decided today he'd just wear it for the hell of it; he slid it up along his forehead to push his hair back, making sure to the do the same towards the back as he tied it secure.

As he finished, he looked up towards Adrienne as she mentioned his name. "Everyone prepare to leave in fifteen. Vern and Lyon, come with me." She stated as he watched her grab hold of her weapon, starting to march towards the forest. Vern narrowed his eye as he watched her, but he didn't ask nor hesitate as he stood up and followed after her, not waiting to see if Lyon followed either. He knew to simply follow the order, especially when she used that tone. Somethin' was up, and it was not the time to hesitate questioning why she needed them.

She bolted off ahead, and Vern quickly followed behind her, albeit lagging behind some; he wasn't exactly known for his speed. He caught up to her a second or so later, long enough for her to have already engaged the people in a conversation with a simple statement, "Good morning, quite early for a run through the forest isn't it?" Clearly she hadn't decided yet if they were enemies, so Vern did not make a move to attack either. Rather, he kept his eye on the two individuals as he slowly began to circle around towards the right of the Princess and the two, choosing the side so he could keep them in sight of his good eye. He had no idea who these two were, though it made him worried about what they could do. The high heels gave the impression that the woman might be the lesser of the threats, as it was hardly a sane choice of footwear for a fight; he did not focus on either in particular though.

"Well for some the mornin' is the best time for a good run. Quiet, cool, and ya get to listen to songs of the mornin' birds." He said, smiling a bit as he continued his slow circling of them. Her statement may not have been directed to him, but sometimes he couldn't help but get a quip in here-or-there. He had the magic of the relic on hold, though he didn't draw up any stones yet. The beauty of it was that he could have the stone gauntlets and greaves on himself in a flash, ready to engage whomever was attacking him.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vern Baralli Character Portrait: Aglaeca Nero Character Portrait: Yuna Ran Character Portrait: Audona Aislinn Caoimhe Character Portrait: Lu Fei and Shi Xin Character Portrait: Adrienne M. Adamantis Character Portrait: Lyon Kazuto
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#, as written by MeshET
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At some point, he had already shifted complete attention to the group, nonchalantly holding his book. For some, it may seem as if he was reading the book, but Lyon just couldn't get any content into his brain any longer. His paranoia got to him. When the Princess was confronted by Aglaeca, Lyon finally decided to put his book down, placing his bookmark - a small strap of leather - on the page he stopped at. On the book cover was a picture of multiple female warriors clad in purple steel, charging towards a barren wasteland filled with soldiers. Their armors were battered badly and there was not one of them that wasn't without an injury. He took a look at it, slowly trying to use the picture to image the story he read. Definitely not a bad book... He thought to himself as he looked up again, facing the camp.

Vern appeared to have returned from a warm up, sweat covering his forehead. The fellow red hair's ability to fight unarmed was impressive, more so when he further enhances his style with stacking rocks on his arms to form gauntlets. While he may not be the smartest of person, Lyon could agree that Vern is a formidable fighter. When it comes to it, Lyon wasn't sure who will win in a spar, even if he might have an advantage what with a blade as Lyon's weapon. But there was one thing he could sure of; the two of them will definitely end up using more than they should be using when in a fight.

Lyon watched the red haired fighter approach Yuna as he helped himself to the food that she made for the group. A little after that, the horse that the Princess brought back with her started shifting around, like a horse when met with conditions or humans it didn't like. However, for that horse to move around in such a manner, it was normal. But maybe it was due to the two spiritual beings that approached it that may have caused it's agitated state this time. Nevertheless, Lyon ignored the horse. Something in him was tingling extremely wildly, like his senses was screaming at him about something. Then the next thing that happened confirmed his suspicions.

"Everyone prepare to leave in fifteen. Vern and Lyon, come with me." The Princess demanded from the red hair duo. It was tones such as these that the Princess had found something interesting. She probably called for the two as backup in case whatever she ran into proved to be more of a challenge than she could take on her own, if there was anything that needed so in this situation anyway. When there was something more powerful than the Princess herself, normally most of the group would already have noticed the presence. This time, it should be no different. Right after the Princess ordered for the group to prepare, she and Vern had already blasted off in the same direction, not wasting time with whatever she detected.

Lyon pushed himself off of the tree he leaned against, grabbing with him his lifelong companion, Xernier. Before leaving the area, he gave a last glance at the camp, making sure that everything and everyone was present. After that, he mimicked the two who went ahead and kicked off the ground, his quick agile movement apparent.

It wasn't far from the group as he had already reached where the Princess and Vern had intercepted two people. A male and female, both the exact same from each other. If anything, they were highly possible siblings. Or they could really be just two lovers who happened to look extremely similar. Because he took a slight different path into the forest instead of staying on the dirt road, he broke off from the general direction where the Princess had stopped her 'prey'. Without making as much as a sound, he crept his way to the left, opposite of where Vern was standing and essentially guarding the other side. Were they choose to run, they still had the option to run the opening behind, but either the Princess of Lyon himself can catch up to them without breaking a sweat. However, he didn't want to judge too much. They might be professional warriors despite the female was in a attire unsuited for combat. High heels never made fighting easy and it never will now.

So Lyon decides to hide away behind one of the trees, peeking out ever so slightly and creating as less presence as possible. If a fight breaks out, he will provide a surprise attack. That should be enough to grant him and his allies' the time to lay down the decisive strike in less than 5 minutes, depending on how their opponents will react. He held tightly onto his blade, ready to draw any moment.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vern Baralli Character Portrait: Aglaeca Nero Character Portrait: Yuna Ran Character Portrait: Agrona Caedwyn Character Portrait: Kachinonai Aku Character Portrait: Audona Aislinn Caoimhe Character Portrait: Adrienne M. Adamantis Character Portrait: Lyon Kazuto
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Yuna did not concern herself with things such as watching Aku eat, or whether or not the Kelpie took a liking to her. They were things that carried no weight; small matters that would not keep her up at night. The young elf finished her helping, it was rather easy for her to chew the gamy meat for elves had sharper teeth than a normal human. When Vern complimented her cooking, she looked up and smiled, grateful for the comment. It was very hard to cook without spices and herbs, but she tried to use the familiar plants around her to give breakfast at least a bit of flavor. "Thank you, I'm glad you like it."

A rustling caught her attention, the Kelpie's whine confirming her thoughts. Someone else was out there; Adrienne seemed to sense it as well and took off, calling Vern and Lyon to assist her. The elf frowned, she never got to help on these hunts but alas it was for the best as she vowed to never kill unless it was for survival. Fifteen minutes, that was all the time they had to pack up. Yuna went over to the bush where she had been keeping her belongings and put away her things. The rest of her leaves, the salve for injuries, her quiver and bow. It all fit into the bag she slung over her shoulder.

Now that she was ready to go Yuna wondered what else she could do. The old man didn't seem to appreciate it when she offered him help. Argona and Al seemed to like to keep to themselves as well. Perhaps she could associate with the Kelpie then? Cautiously the elf walked over to the beautiful lake dwelling creature and wondered how something so marvelous could be such a deviant. "Would you like some meat?" Yuna asked, offering a piece that hadn't been eaten. She knew these animals enjoyed the taste of flesh and she hoped it wouldn't attempt to eat the elf instead of the food.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vern Baralli Character Portrait: Aglaeca Nero Character Portrait: Yuna Ran Character Portrait: Agrona Caedwyn Character Portrait: Kachinonai Aku Character Portrait: Audona Aislinn Caoimhe Character Portrait: Lu Fei and Shi Xin Character Portrait: Adrienne M. Adamantis Character Portrait: Lyon Kazuto
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#, as written by Layla

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Silence screamed in the nanosecond following the Princess of Massacre's words before a series of deafening whistles devoured it whole. The twins hissed three notes that teased one another like static harmonies, sounding more like the wail of machines than humans or animals. The sound roared throughout the forest, its intangible fingers dancing through every nook and crevice, seeking its Sakuradite prey. Every Variant weapon within a one mile radius shivered so furiously smoke danced from the friction the vibrations caused, and nearly every, if not all the Variants jerked into flight, slicing through the forest like pack animals answering the call of their Alpha and Omega. They jerked to a stop around the two figures now poised for battle, hovering around them like obedient dogs in a circular formation, before pointing themselves at their masters' enemies. There was hardly a pause before they arched towards the Princess of Massacre and her male companion.

A simple gold pen slipped into Fei's palm, shimmering into a gold staff that was taller than even him. His Variant Khakkharra caught the morning sun and amplified it, jarring in its abrupt luminescence. He wasted no time as he lunged for the woman who'd known their identities, the deadly point of his spear arching over his head to slice into where the woman stood. He moved with a fluid grace reminiscent of sea creatures gliding through water as he held the woman's gaze with eyes that gleamed like sapphire gems, his features utterly devoid of emotion.

The welcoming smile Xin bore had bled into something eerie, a dimple that might've been adorable in any other circumstance decorating her feral grin. The delicate canines that echoed Fei's had lengthened to clang against her bottom teeth, alabaster metal colliding like the bite of swords as she bared her teeth at the man she'd playfully teased moments before. Still, she barely changed form, choosing instead to slip the straw-thin needles that held her hair between her fingertips. She swung her arms outward and released the needles at the two trees she'd carefully calibrated would fall where her enemies were. The needles gleamed, hissing and flattening into thin, razor sheets that sliced through the thick trunks of the old trees. There were a groan as the branches swayed before the trees toppled down like fallen beasts. She leaped backwards with an inhuman speed to avoid them, falling into a crouch that kicked smoke and embers into the air as she skidded to a stop.

Sakuradite pulsed in their bones and hummed in their veins, granting them impossible skill with their Variant weapons. No creature, no matter how skilled or experienced, should have been able to bend the will of a Variant, much less multiple. with such liquid grace and precision. Xin beamed, taunting, like a feline playing with its prey. They needed them alive, this she knew from the glare Fei lodged between her eyes. They needed one of them alive. The boy would have to do.

"Oh, just the Public Library of Airen," she replied to the earlier question. "You have an overdue book. I believe it was called 'Premeditated Murder Made Easy.'"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vern Baralli Character Portrait: Aglaeca Nero Character Portrait: Agrona Caedwyn Character Portrait: Kachinonai Aku Character Portrait: Audona Aislinn Caoimhe Character Portrait: Lu Fei and Shi Xin Character Portrait: Adrienne M. Adamantis Character Portrait: Lyon Kazuto
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"Everyone prepare to leave in fifteen. Vern and Lyon, come with me." Agleacea held himself back from groaning with disappointment. Hardly anything came for him to actually have fun, and now she was going to hunt without him? There were souls, and he could sense it, a more primitive, demonic instinct to consume them, leaving them in darkness. Still, he held back the desire to destroy, and simply nodded, shooting a curious look at the kelpie. It never seemed to like it when the both of them were there, but most people didn’t, anyway. He was somewhat used to being hated and shied away from, so he stepped back, leaving the kelpie alone to her own private space.

“Be back soon!” He called after them as the princess went into the forest, along with Vern and Lyon. “Geez… and it was such a perfect opportunity to get my breakfast too…” he muttered under his breath as he looked at the forest. He could vaguely sense their souls, though they were different, somewhat. It was odd, but they didn’t feel like normal humans, or sinners by the looks of it. There was something off about them, like they were made that way, but again he might be too paranoid about it.

"So the Princess enters the dark woods with two men all on her lonesome, my, oh my, I can only imagine the sheer horror of a little Princess running around."
Aku spoke then, snapping him out of his thoughts, as he fixed his bright purple orbs on the crippled man, a mischievous smile dancing on his lips.“So… do you want to go after her on that horse thing? Because I am going in there, all right.” he asked, shooting a meaningful look at the kelpie. It would be rather funny to see how Audona reacts to that after all, a bit of amusement for him. Still the uneasy feeling nagged at him, and his curiosity to finding a new type of soul was far too much. “Yep, I’m going after them.” He said, again, as if testing and confirming that statement, before running off in all his demonic speed, like a child who was out to play. It would be fun watching them fight, and even joining in if he wanted to, the perfect thing for a morning exercise. If he was lucky, he might even get to eat the souls too. At least, that was what he thought when he tree almost fell on him.

“Whaa?!” He yelped, nimbly dodging aside as he grabbed the trunk and lifted it up, no problem at all. He could already see Adrienne’s silver hair, her back facing him along with Vern. Lyon was probably hidden somewhere, being the cautious person he was, and Aglaeca scanned the surroundings one last time, before focusing his attention on the enemies, one of which was pointing a weapon at the princess. A variant. The skill the boy was able to wield them with was brilliant, his actions almost perfect as he attacked, looking like a dance. Too perfect. It almost made him feel uneasy, but there were more serious things at hand.

“Hey Adrienne, Vern! You guys okay?” He called out, carefully leaving lyon’s name out in case they hadn’t noticed the man just yet. Though he was sure that they could dodge it, he still held the tree, ready to hurl it in case the princess or his companion can’t dodge the blows.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aglaeca Nero Character Portrait: Yuna Ran Character Portrait: Audona Aislinn Caoimhe Character Portrait: Adrienne M. Adamantis
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”Kindness is an illusionary concept crafted to further guise misfortune.”





"If you show your discomfort your enemy has won. They will continue to pester you relentlessly once they have discovered your weakness." Audona’s attention slipped lightly to the Princess’ words, and a short huff of air pressed past her nostrils once more with a simple blink before her pupils were directed elsewhere. The words were empty to Aislinn’s ears- weakness was a relative term. Besides, she was already in such a state of relentless harassment from the group of wanderers. Furthermore, creatures were expressive beings, unlike humans who relied on physical language and speech; a sad excuse for a quip, considering that the Kelpie was technically as human as she had ever been, comparatively speaking.

A heavy pack was then unceremoniously settled onto her back and fastened there- no doubt only the smallest of harbingers when it came to the full pack-up of their camp. Some of the companions preferred to carry their things around with them- a fact that Audona recognized but did not really consider in any form of lessening her burden. It was more insulting than heavy to carry all of the equipment- after all, Kelpie’s supposedly had the strength of ten or more of any equine. However, something felt a bit off about the pack.

Soon after, Fuilteach was departing again, leaving with only the simple expectation that everyone would be ready to depart upon her return. There was no doubt in Audona’s mind that she was going to handle the ungainly presence of whatever was out there in the forest. AonSuil and Púicín, Vern and Lyon, followed dutifully after her at her command.

It was then that the little Uallach, Yuna, turned towards her direction and started wandering over. Caoimhe was a bit surprised that the elf did not fulfill her name-sake along the way. Clumsy; Scatterbrained. Yuna did not trip, stumble, or stutter on her approach, and after the initial inspection, a sense of acute awareness dawned on Audona. She lifted her head backwards, straightening in a subtle, agitated manner.

"Would you like some meat?" The Kelpie regarded the girl for a split second as she extended her hand in an offering of food. After that short fraction in time, Audona managed the most suspicious, untrusting look that she could muster at this unexpected gesture. Her left foot stamped the ground softly as her nostrils flared, inhaling the air and the scent of the meat at the same moment. A few seconds passed of Audona sizing up the little female, trying to discern her ulterior motives- had she poisoned the food, would it make her sick, was she trying to get her close enough to somehow inflict pain on her?

However, her suspicions lost out to her hunger- she had not been allowed anywhere near the small stream that was inevitably somewhere near their camp, and thus had not been able to feed on the little creatures and water-plant life. Audona did not like flesh, or so it was her human side that refused to allow the cursed one to sink into the desires for human meat- which was not particularly hard to do at all, since she naturally had a taking to fish and anything from the water. She did not like taking of any greater creatures, whether it be a bird or a squirrel or larger, besides the fact that there was no need since all her sustenance could be found in the bodies of water.

In this case, however, and in many cases before since her time began with the group about two years ago, she eagerly accepted the miniscule meal of meat, if it could be called even that. Her muzzle leaned down and rested somewhat heavily on the little elf’s hand, her lips and nostrils snuffling against the girl’s palm as she- uncharacteristic of any Kelpie or inhuman- delicately took the strip offered to her. Audona pressed a bit into the other, asserting a bit of a dominate factor that she was larger and probably stronger, and would not hesitate to overpower the other if she tried anything funny.

However, the gentle and somewhat surreal moment was abruptly ended as Plá spoke up, ”…go after her on that horse thing?” Where she previously had been ignoring the little devil and minding her own business, her head lurched backwards a fraction of an inch, her jaws suddenly parting and revealing sharp teeth where before there had been none. They clacked shut mere centimeters from the elf’s fingertips- the punishment for being there as her head was sliding backwards until it was lifted back into its regular position. She glared steadily at Aglaeca, her hackles rising as she bared her teeth once more in silence.

With a snort and a shake of her head, she seemingly sidestepped the entire situation as she simply shifted away from the elf and consequently the demon. Her tail swatted at her haunches, exerting the rest of her irritation into the air in that simple act. Luckily she did not need to suffer the little Plá any longer than that, as he was suddenly disappearing into the forest after the Princess and her associates. It hadn’t been so much the suggestion that the demon had offered to the air, but rather the fact that he spoke in such a derogatory tone was what caused her actions.

She then blew off everyone’s presence, simply turning and staring out into the forest. Her ears twitched at the distant dins of disturbance caused by the Princess of Massacre, and she focused on that instead. However, she did not get to dwell languidly on the sound for very long, as a loud hiss of echoing voices rumbled from the bushes surrounding the camp. And suddenly the scene was tumbling into chaos as a pack of shadowy inhuman hounds suddenly burst forth to attack everyone in sight.

Audona snorted in surprise and took a few hurried steps backwords as she was approached by two of them, their teeth bared and snarls dripping from their parted maws. It was then that Audona acted on the off sensation of the pack on her back- she reared once the creatures were close, the burden suddenly clipping and sliding off of her back to crush one of them just as it was leaping in to bite at her ankles. She then whirled on her heels to face the other, which was currently circling her hungrily. They were not intelligent in the least bit, but it would still be hard to nail them since they were mere shadowy beings.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vern Baralli Character Portrait: Aglaeca Nero Character Portrait: Yuna Ran Character Portrait: Kachinonai Aku Character Portrait: Audona Aislinn Caoimhe Character Portrait: Lu Fei and Shi Xin Character Portrait: Adrienne M. Adamantis Character Portrait: Lyon Kazuto
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Yuna was delighted by the fact that the Kelpie had taken the offering; her smile widened in surprise and amazement. Perhaps the two could be a bit friendlier now? It was while she was waiting with her things that Aglaeca stood and announced he was taking his leave with the wondrous creature that had since turned her back on them all. . Yuna yawned and hugged her knees, she was sitting on the ground now having moved away from the horse since it no longer wanted anything to do with them. Consequently invading Yuna's mind were images of Adrienne being attacked and she winced, a splitting headache developing behind her eyes. She could see the Princess of Massacre in trouble, a pack odd dog like beasts approaching with the speed of a cheetah, snapping at anything that moved. The elf dropped her things, leaving her bag with the relic, her quiver of arrows, and bow before running, leaping over branches and avoiding trees; her elegant white wings tucked in as much as the bones would allow so that she could reach the Princess faster.

"BFNATEXTRA NITM!"(This is actual Elvish) She yelled, using two fingers to aim and shoot the Kagene away from Adrienne. "Are you alright?" Yuna asked, rushing to the Princess's side, her wings untucking flitting about nervously, as she looked over the woman. She noticed the bite marks in Adrienne's side but knew she couldn't use magic because the Adrienne had told her that she was immune to spells. Luckily there was a healing salve in Yuna's backpack, but she had left that back at the camp.

The pink haired female went to check on the others, knowing that her Princess was more capable and competent when it came to fighting then any of them. A loud crash brought her attention to the falling tree and Vern rolling right out from under it before Aglaeca caught it. Knowing that he had it under control, Yuna turned to face the opponents. One had legs that looked like they could cross whole lands in one stride, the other had hard, rugged features; both had faces any human could easily fall in love with. Luckily, Yuna was not human and so she was not affected by their stunning aesthetic and perfect symmetry. "So you're the ones I smelled earlier," she turned to them, knees bent in case she had to flee or dodge.

Yuna pushed her gloves up, wondering for a fraction of a second as to where Lyon had fled to. Yuna noticed Aglaeca hadn't called the man's name, perhaps he had died in the first few seconds of battle? No, Lyon was smarter then that. She wasn't going to make assumptions based on appearances. Just like these two, no doubt they were deadly, taking down a huge tree like that and letting Kagene loose? Where had they gotten that kind of summoning power, or had it merely been coincidence that the demon beasts appeared?

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuna Ran Character Portrait: Kachinonai Aku Character Portrait: Audona Aislinn Caoimhe Character Portrait: Lu Fei and Shi Xin Character Portrait: Adrienne M. Adamantis
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Fei sidestepped the creature’s kick, bringing his arms forward to trap its leg between his forearms. It was as if it had predicted such a manoeuvre as the leg was tucked safely behind it mere moments before his limbs could react. It thrust its weapon towards his abdomen. Fei swung his body away from the jab as he parried the variant’s attack with his own, its strength hissing through his bones. He did not doubt the jab would have fractured a few of his ribs had it met its mark.

“Vern, take over here,” it called from its crouch a distance away before bursting into a sprint towards – Xin. Fei made to attack the creature but its companion slinked towards him, blocking his path with his frivolous words. “You folks seemed like such nice people too, but ‘ey I always like a good fight.” Fei brought his variant forward to impale the one-eyed demon’s throat.

His staff sank into what was indisputably, not flesh. It felt like a rotting corpse. Fei jerked his variant from the inner burrows of the screeching mass, its limbs slinking towards him like inky shadows. The forest was engulfed in the mars black presence of madness and evil. They echoes of old tortures ripped from their shriveled bodies as they devoured the morning sun and the people beneath it.

“Xin!” he called, spinning to peak above the piles of rotting creatures who grappled for a taste of his human flesh. His variant had rippled into a circular shield, twelve spokes extending from its middle. The gold surface hissed with smoke, embers licking the heart of the variant sun before bursting into a revolving flame. The sun disk resting at its center spun with increasing speed and the creatures flinched from the heat or light before stalking forward, screams alive with fury. Fei searched for his sister as he unsheathed the blade at his back.

“Fei!” There was no humour in his sister’s voice now, only a crawling panic that kissed frost along her spine. She could not see her brother, barely grasped the low growl of his voice through the wailing of the tortured souls. She stared into the pulsing glass of the creatures’ eyes that threatened to burst from their sockets as whatever agony they had endured struggled to escape. A branch caught her ankle as she stumbled backwards and then it was not a branch at all, but the crackle of bones as the fingers dug crescent moons into her flesh. Pain leapt from her ankle to her mind as she jerked her leg free.

The stench of decay fingered in her hair of multitudinous horrors as the faceless creatures gasped. Hungry, they hissed. Hungry. The bark of the tree pressed splinters into Xin’s back. She hadn’t realised she’d been retreating. A creature lunged towards her.

“Xin, get up. The creatures grappled against the shield of flames he held before them. Xin pushed herself from the ground, clutching her hands in front of her to stifle the tremors that snaked through her veins.

“Okay,” she told Fei. “Okay,” she told herself.

Xin’s skin rippled.

“Split,” she hissed. Fei nodded, turning away from her to brace himself in front of the two women – the creature he’d fought against minutes before and a strange girl with a frailty that contradicted the fierceness of her gaze as she crouched in front of the Princess of Massacre.

"So you're the ones I smelled earlier," the little one growled. Fei turned his back on the two figures, bringing his sword and shield forward to defend them against the creeping monsters. He swung the blade across the abdomen of a dark one, eliciting a blood-curdling scream.

“We are not the enemy,” he said.

Meanwhile a light had unfurled in Xin’s chest, pushing past the walls of her skin to give her a faint luminescence that grew with each pulse of her heartbeat. A flame flickered in her gaze, but did not rise. She bared her open palms and a gleam of pearl white teeth at the dark creatures. “Catch me if you can,” she purred before throwing herself into motion.

The trees devoured her figure as she dashed through them like a glowing beacon, her high-heeled shoes abandoned on the forest floor. Gripping a low-hanging branch, she swung herself up onto a tree, leaping, swinging, taunting. Soon there was no other tree for her to swing towards as a clearing emerged, filled with the same manic beings. Xin watched as two shadowed beings crept towards a beast of unparalleled beauty. The fur on its back glistened as it reared backwards, muscles bulging in its hind legs. It was a stunning manifestation of pure grace. Xin chewed her lower lip.

You’re insane, a logical part of her growled, a part which slumbered more often than not. I know, she told it, and the branch dug into her feet as she propelled herself from it. In that moment of flight, something snaked beneath her skin and ripped through her arms. Two long, wicked blades sliced through her wrists until the pommel of the swords rested in her palms. The pain was a familiar companion, like the ache of her limbs after an intense run. The gaping slits sealed shut, threads of skin overlapping and returning to its seamless form.

Xin’s twin swords sank into the bodies of two shadow creatures as she landed on one knee. Blood like soiled ink splattered against her skin as she tore her weapons from their bodies and attacked.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vern Baralli Character Portrait: Aglaeca Nero Character Portrait: Yuna Ran Character Portrait: Audona Aislinn Caoimhe Character Portrait: Lu Fei and Shi Xin Character Portrait: Adrienne M. Adamantis Character Portrait: Lyon Kazuto
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Aglaeca was standing, slightly confused and amused by the buzz of activity going around him. After all, the others seemed to hold their ground rather well, none of them seemed to be in great need of assistance in their fighting. It seemed like one of the moments where he could just watch, and Aglaeca never did like violence. However, things changed, in the form of shadow creatures. He let out a almost feral hiss as one of them attacked Adrienne, biting her. Then, all hell broke loose. Many more creatures lunged out from their hiding places, attacking all his friends in that area. “What the-” he spun around, swinging the trunk of the tree as if it weighed nothing at all, before flinging it at the shadowy mass. It should successfully keep them at bay, to give him sometime to get his head around the things occurring around him. Those creatures… they did not possess any souls? The ones that had been crushed were already clawing their way out, as if they hadn’t been hurt at all. Were they demons like him? No, the aura they emitted was quite different from those of normal demons, temporarily stumping the little demon for a while. It was… dark magic, something that made him think that humans were much more dark and twisted than the ones of the demon race. “Poor, tormented souls.” he whispered under his breath, looking at the oncoming creatures with pity. They had been made to devour and kill everything, even though they weren’t even properly given life yet. Even so, they were a huge annoyance, something that hindered the group from their activities. And after all, why not kill two birds with one stone? It was more convenient that way, and they could get going without anymore distractions. Making sure that Adrienne and the others were in no particular danger themselves, he took a deep breath and closed his eyes, reaching out with his mind. He could sense theirs, filled with dark thoughts and instincts, the raw instinct to kill, a hunger for destruction. Without opening them, he spoke “I command you to go after the twin pieces of technology. Do not continue your attacks on my comrades.” It was easier to voice out his commands, although he could use it without actually speaking, and he could feel their minds bending to his will.

His eyes opened, just in time to see a glowing beacon, lighting up some parts of the forest as it moved swiftly through the trees, with the shadow creatures hot on her heels. Was she heading toward camp? Without a second thought, he dashed after, her matching her speed with his as he concentrated on her glowing form, nearly reaching the clearing as soon as she did. However, before he attacked, the girl sank her blades into the shadow creatures in one fluid movement, splattering ink-like blood as she continued her attack. Once again, he was momentarily confused. “Hey, are you helping us? Weren’t you supposed to be the bad guys?” He asked the girl, forgetting to attack her in his curiosity.