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The Rend

The Rend

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a part of The Rend, by Miss Echo.

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Miss Echo holds sovereignty over The Rend, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

1,962 readers have been here.

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The Rend

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The Rend is a part of The Rend.

31 Characters Here

Adira Hasidare [85] "C'mon Fell, we have work to do."
Khojin Malqir [75] "I don't suppose we get paid for this? No?"
Rasteva [73]
Drake Coleman [69] "Are you kidding me? I have more important things to be doing right now... Like fighting a WAR."
Knight Kora Norrevinter [68] "For King and Country!"
Xinder Ouquid [57] "I am going to have to get used to fearing death."
Madison Lovette [56] "Well, things could be worse."
Ezenvare Queem [54] "I am Ezenvare, but most call me Eze."
Phoebe Stride [49] "You'd think we'd get a heads up or somethin' 'round here..."
John gray [33] "Sorry but it's all part of the job! Nothing personal."

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Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Madison Lovette Character Portrait: Dog Character Portrait: Vladimir "Verge" Moonfall Character Portrait: Azai
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“Oh, aren’t you gorgeous!” Verge held out a hand for the dog to sniff while the other fumbled out two of the treats, which he offered flat on his palm to the large canine. He was already soaked, so he didn’t mind the droplets thrown and he examined the animal, an unknown breed but seeming healthy enough, lots of fur, bright eyes, wet nose (he’d read somewhere that was a good sign) and a healthy appetite.

“Ah, too bad.” he muttered, turning to look at the lady as the dog bounded to her, “But I guess I wouldn’t be in too much of a hurry to explain. Think she knew this Rend being could take away powers? Name’s Verge, by the way.” he introduced, while looking into her eyes. The skills that gave him a Mirror of Deception gave him a feeling that she might be lying, but he didn;t push. He assumed the lady would be kind enough to share, if there truly was a solution in the box he’d seen passed over. “And ah, no, she’s not mine. The bag wasn't labelled, so I was curious, and I guess she smelled the treats?” he offered by way of explanation. And then, with a shout, he stumbled back as a man fell from the sky, right onto the lady he’d been speaking with.

Verge blinked golden eyes and stared at the black haired being now raising himself off the squashed lady (she appeared to be alright, if maybe a bit winded). Pretty purple eyes locked on the dog hungrily, and Verge took another step back. His summon, which had appeared in his panic, did the opposite and stepped forward. A friendly silhouette of a Peter pan style, it waved, gestured back at verge, and then spun a finger near its head in the gesture for “crazy”, before shaking it’s head as if with exasperation. Verge, standing behind it, rolled his own eyes as he glanced over the true form, a tall spindly demon with razor sharp claws. “Um, hello?” he greeted, already regaining composure. “I’m Verge, I’m not going to hurt you, what’s your name? We need to find your bag.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Drake Coleman
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#, as written by Hyro
Choosing to ignore the others, the winged boy focused on Dawn for the time being.

The boy’s eyes lit up at the girl’s recognition. Thank god, someone he could rely on around here. Of all the Wanderers who could have been pulled here, Drake was admittedly glad it was Dawn. She was like a sister to him. The two of them had started the resistance group, after all, and had known each other longer than most of the others.

Well, except Allen, but honestly, who cared about that guy? He could never take anything seriously.

“Dawn, thank god. I was starting to think I was alone here, and with all the Erubescan troups over there-” he trailed off, noticing how distracted the girl seemed. And how… pale. Sickly. More-so, he couldn’t help but notice her aura. It, too, portrayed that she was, in fact, not handling things well.

“Hey… Are you alright? You look like you’ve seen a ghost,” he commented. Drake had no idea the kind of irony that came with that statement. Clueless to the fact that he had been pulled from his timeline only a few days before his life would come to a final end. He had no idea he would be buried by the very family he had spent his life protecting.


The boy decided he should probably explain what he knew so far. “It seems we’ve been pulled from our world and thrown into some alternate dimension with a bunch of other… things. People. I haven’t really figured out what to call most of them yet. But uh, yeah. If it wasn’t for some of the things I’ve seen so far, I’d still be having a hard time believing it myself.”

He was rambling and opted to revert back to his previous topic. “Seriously though, what’s bothering you?” Sometimes he wished he could read minds, too.

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#, as written by Rasteva
The Daemon nodded at Khojin, pleased that SOMEONE was seeing reason. "That is acceptable. If all here feel that splitting into smaller groups would make travel easier, then we can do so. This One simply thinks that staying here would be a poor choice."

The Daemon paused as the small woman stepped forward, canting their head down to look at her as she spoke. "Rasteva is a Daemon. Difficult to kill, so if you are ever uncertain in our travels you are welcome to take shelter behind Rasteva. And Rasteva has existed long enough to watch entire kingdoms rise and then fall into dust. While This One's strength is not as it was, their knowledge remains intact." The Daemon clenched a gauntleted fist, thumping their armored chest loudly. "And Rasteva did not forget how to engage in Warfare. This One is sure they will be able to combat any challenges ahead effectively." The Daemon paused, thinking quietly for a moment. "Rasteva does not require food or sleep. So there is little need to worry over sharing supplies."

Glancing down at their wrists, the Daemon eyed the spellforged chains wrapped around them. "Let us only hope that we do not meet a challenge requiring Siegebreaker.....But those were rare to begin with. This One feels we should do fine."

Rasteva stared down at what they presumed to be their travelling companions for the forseeable future. "And what of the rest of you? What are you capable of?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Adira Hasidare Character Portrait: Knight Kora Norrevinter Character Portrait: Phoebe Stride Character Portrait: Rasteva Character Portrait: Makorai Saika Character Portrait: Madison Lovette Character Portrait: Dog Character Portrait: Helena Character Portrait: Skip III Character Portrait: Azai
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Kora folded her arms and rolled her eyes upon her point getting met rather..well very dismissively.

"Fine. Believe whatever you like. By all means just stroll out and eat whatever you find on the floor if it suits you. No-one is obligated to follow though. If experience has taught me one thing, it's that running into a place with no idea what's waiting for you is the best way to get you, and other people killed. I'd vote for Madison's proposal, but splitting up suits me fine, though Glowstick and Saika are staying with me regardless."

She'd cast a glance toward Makorai upon the mention of 'experience'. She was rather less concerned about individuals getting themselves killed, that was, ultimately, their own choice. She was however more concerned about one person's hubris being paid in the lives of others. She'd seen more of that than she really wanted to think over.

"And it sounds like me, Madison and Masky there are all on the same page about it. I dunno how everybody else feels."

At least partially she was more inclined to stick with these people, even though them being aware of her name was.... a little disconcerting...because they'd been taking her concerns even moderately more seriously. Also one of them hadn't just tried to kill her.

Plus now they had Skip in tow, and environmental extremes were a bit of a problems for someone with his rather....unique talents. Triggering Skip's special skill would end the game for all concerned, she was pretty sure of that.

At the point the new figure fell from the sky.
Kora took a moment to dwell on the fact that that would probably have really surprised her maybe an hour ago, and now was getting to be sort of an everyday occurrence. Like a rain shower or something.


---

The Dog had padded up to Madison upon being called, and, almost immediately flopped onto her back, all four feet in the air, and was enjoying being petted through the talking.

She was perfectly contented with this during the speech.... right up until the moment when something landed on its new friend.

Dog scrambled to her feet, gazing over at the thing with mismatched eyes for a moment before skittering back in alarm and standing, feet planted and hackles raised, some distance away.


----

Over by the edge, the figure in the skins and paint lifted its head from the puddle, coughing feebly and pushing itself onto the edge of the shallow dip with its elbows, making it far enough to avoid the imminent thread of drowning before dropping its head again, resting it on one arm and attempting, rather vaguely, to make some sense of all the non-sensical things that were taking place through half-lidded eyes.

It was all strange, but she was quite used to strange.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Adira Hasidare Character Portrait: Ezenvare Queem Character Portrait: Xinder Ouquid Character Portrait: Knight Kora Norrevinter Character Portrait: Phoebe Stride Character Portrait: Khojin Malqir Character Portrait: Rasteva Character Portrait: Madison Lovette Character Portrait: Skip III
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Adira Hasidare

Adira couldn't have agreed more with Rasteva's argument if she tried, however Kora would have none of it. She was obviously one of those stubborn leadership types who was totally unwilling to compromise. This annoyed Adira because they got killed rather quickly in her world, along with those who choose to follow them (which seemed like a senseless waste of lives in her opinion). Apparently that was different where Kora came from though, as others from her world seemed to side with her. Adira sighed softly. She genuinely didn't want them all to die, especially for the simple reason of hardheadedness, however it was becoming quite clear that logic would not sway these people - only consequence, and that would be up to Rend. She was running out of time to just stand around and talk to them.

"Very well," Adira said, "We'll split up. I'm travelling with Rasteva and Khojin-" Fell ran back up to Adira, having momentarily sated his curiosity on the strange yellow-eyed human and nudged her with his snout, "-and Fell. Anyone else who also wishes to leave the arena is invited to travel with us." Adira turned and now spoke directly to Rasteva and Khojin, "Already a few have left the arena. It may be in our best interest to catch up to them. Even disabled by Rend, the hybrid had wings that allowed him flight and I'm sure we could use an aerial advantage when we undertake whatever task Rend assigns us."

Upon Khojin's question and Rasteva's short summary about what they were capable of, Adira had to pause and think. What was she capable? "I am survivalist by nature and the best hunter in my village," she said, slowly, trying to recall what people had said about her back when she was home. "I can track and take down even the most flighty of prey, and my arrows never miss their targets. My sword can cut through the mountains that may stand in my way, though I can fight with a number of improvised weapons." Adira touched the knife pouch at her side, drawing one from it's sleeve. "I'm no wizard but I do know how to use some magic," she whispered a few words for the ancient language and the knife suddenly burst into flames, going out a few moments later as she replaced it into her pouch. "And though my knowledge of healing cannot revive the dead, it can save the dying." Adira gestured to her side, "Fell-"

Fell gave a roar (which would've made even Adira jump had she not been expecting it), opening his mouth to expose his many rows of knife-like teeth while clicking his wickedly curved talons against the ground. The spines alone his back bristled and his tail flicked back and forth as he growled dangerously. He generally behaved as a puppy might so occasionally it slipped people's minds that he was still the cousin of dragons. Suffice to say, there was no verbal explanation needed to define what an asset Fell could be. Adira couldn't help but smile slightly as she turned back to look at the others. "We have faced many foes, but there has yet to be an enemy that Fell and I could not defeat."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Adira Hasidare Character Portrait: Knight Kora Norrevinter Character Portrait: Makorai Saika Character Portrait: Skip III
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"Yeah but you're a good looking heater. Like the kind of heater you don't have to hide behind furniture because it looks out of place in a living room." He would have continued for a mite longer, as the sudden, and decidedly unfortunate appearance of the living bomb SKIP flashed on his radar. Great. Anyone else could have come. Anyone at all, he'd have been happy with the eternal bitch herself over Skip.

Skip wasn't a bad guy. Makorai had always found him friendly, if a bit too eager if anything, but pleasant. The issue was his excitement brought bouts of radiation at times. Makorai was a man who valued the equipment he had been born with, and he planned to have children some day. War didn't help his chances, and neither did Skip. Right now he was away from one, plucked mid shot by this Rend character. He'd avoid the second for as long as he could.

Which meant moving away from Kora and treating Skip like a girl he was trying to avoid in the canteen. That meant no eye contact, and no attention. It was something that he'd grown good at with practice, but, speaking of girls...what did the local fauna look like? There were a few new species around, endangered by the looks of things, the male to female ratio was simply atrocious.

"Hmm." By now Makorai had detached himself from Kora, and was casting an interested eye around the Arena.

The storm's waters had created a landscape that made his reconnaissance quite rewarding.

He had begun on Madison, who had drawn his attention before this mission he was soloing. She was pretty, but not what he typically looked for. Who else.. 'What about this other girl..' He thought, turning his attention to Adira.

'She seems to have a whole lot to say about the sky and camps....but it's bright out, what the hell is she talking ab-"

He stopped, his eyelids lifted on all sides for a moment as his mind was weighed by the gravity of the treasure chest he was beholding. Gravity was the right word, pulling on her chest, indicating to him the remarkable weight of what was being obscured from his view by two flimsy pieces of material. A masterpiece, easily a D with two sister D's.

"Oh my."

Her lips were moving, she was probably saying words, but words weren't what had captured his attention. How would they move as she walked? He wondered. Surely with a top like hers they would be given the freedom they truly deserved. Free them. Was his motto. His lifestyle. His Dogma. Let them be free. Free at last, thank the almighty free at last.

"Yes."

Makorai's voice was conviction, not a hint of doubt touched his words.

"Yes. I agree."

He had no idea what he was agreeing to, the conversation had flown by him like so many insults in a foreign tongue. Still. Yes.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Knight Kora Norrevinter Character Portrait: Makorai Saika Character Portrait: Dog Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Drake Coleman Character Portrait: Helena Character Portrait: Skip III Character Portrait: Azai
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He didn’t know.

Even without looking within his mind, his obliviousness towards...well, what had happened was obvious enough. Drake was just as animated as before, as alive as before, just as Dawn had remembered. He brought up the presence of the Erubesco troops, but it was the thing that he had added after that truly caught her attention- the idea of an alternate world. Of them having been taken as the voice had said, and thrown into a place where the beings they had seen were completely natural. It didn’t take long for the girl to put the pieces together, to work out the implications of what had been told to her, and what she had seen with her own eyes.

If they really were in an alternate world, then…

Dawn had already seen proof that others had come from her world already. The woman, Kora, and another from the attack, the radioactive man whose name had slipped her mind, and now Drake. Given the fact that they were currently surrounded by walking suits of armor and actual dragons, this...being having the ability to take some from alternate timelines- even alternate dimensions, perhaps- didn’t seem too far-fetched.

Or perhaps the fever dream theory was still plausible.

Either way, there would be no point in making any dry comments of actually seeing ghosts, or even bringing up the subject of what had happened in her own time. Dawn only turned to look at her company once more, put up a smile that was- hopefully- more genuine in appearance than the first, and did her best to steady her emotions for the time being. Brooding over all of...this would only bring more problems than they already had, after all.

“I’m fine,” she lied, a soft, breathy laugh escaping her. “I’m just...a bit surprised at all this, really. Nothing too bad, really- we just need to focus on what ‘Rend’ wants from us, right?” Before Drake had a chance to answer, however, Dawn’s attention was once again drawn away. Not by the brewing tensions, or even the fact that the person who had fallen was now eying a...dog? as if it were a piece of meat.

No; while the eerie nature of how the man was observing the canine was something to be concerned about, Dawn was more focused on the girl currently drowning in a puddle. Eyes widened, she quickly muttered a “hold on” before practically sprinting over to the person. With as much gentleness as she could muster for the situation, she dragged the girl out of the water and onto a relatively dry section of tile, and began to check to see if her airways were blocked. While Dawn didn’t have the same medical experience that others could boast, she at least knew well enough to perform the basics- namely, how to keep someone from choking to death if necessary.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Adira Hasidare Character Portrait: Knight Kora Norrevinter Character Portrait: Rasteva Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Helena Character Portrait: Cain Merrano Character Portrait: Azai
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While all this was going on a, a brown haired man entered the arena, strode to the center, looked up at the sky, cupped his hands around his mouth and yelled. "HEY REND! MIND TELLING ME WHAT THE HELL YOU DID TO MY POWERS?! THEY AREN'T WORKING RIGHT AND I DON'T HAVE TO PATIENCE TO FIGURE THIS SHIT OUT!"

He then lowered his hands and head, brushed his hands off on the t-shirt he was wearing, and spun around 360 degrees, waving. "Hello everyone!" he called out. "Sorry about that. Rend decided my powers made stuff too easy so I don't have them anymore!" he announced, looked around once more, and trotted to the group arguing about location. "Missed the first part of the argument, so explain to me why making camp out in a desert -and yes, I checked- is better than in a place with walls and a roof defense? But loudly okay? You're all really unobservant, because a guy fell from the sky over there, and with the yelling going on, you'd think it would draw heads. Aaaaand there's kinda a girl drowning over there, I'm going to go help out, so yell your explanation." he then moved over to the girl in the mask, where another was already lifting her out of the water and onto a drier piece of land.

"Does she have water in her lungs?" he asked with concern. "Or do you want to lie her down?" He asked Dawn, his powers clearly not working right, or future sight would have already given him the answer, instead of him waiting for the answer like a normal person.

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"She thinks the sun is setting so we should camp somewhere out there for whatever reason and forgo scouting ahead." Kora replied, with a shrug, to Makorai. She hen looked over towards some of the others, deciding to disregard those who were determined to strike out into the wilderness. There were a few other more pressing things anyway.

"You're okay there, right Madison?

Uh, anyway, I dunno about the rest of you but if we were doing this like a military advance we could send a few scouts out to see what's out there and see if there's anything nasty. That way if the place is full of giant spiders and lava at least we got some warning. Then we can work on it based on what we can do. Hot stuff's not a big problem for me but... might be an issue for Skip.

It might also give up some clue of what we're aiming fo-"

Kora paused, turning to Makorai, who's clearly not been paying any attention for some time, and his current....preoccupation. The red-headed Knight emitted a weary sigh and nudged him in the ribs with her elbow.
"Saika. Eyes up, soldier."

She cleared her throat once again, hoping to have snapped the other Knight out of his reverie at least long enough to hear her proposal.

"Some clue of what we're aiming for. Also means we can find the easiest route to it, make up a map. I'd volunteer but I'm not really the sneaky sneaky kind. We'd need folks who aren't likely to get noticed by stuff that's not so friendly. What I'm saying making sense here? "

She paused momentarily, distracted by the entrance of the man, and the small emergency that seemed to be unfolding with some individual a girl had just dragged out of a puddle.

Had Kora put together the identity of the girl in question, it might have been more of a pressing matter. At that point though she was more preoccupied by both the new arrival's exposition and the current predicament. She took a few steps over in an attempt to see what was going on.
"Need some heat over there?" she called to the two endeavouring to help the victim, whilst simultaneously considering what to do with the information the man had offered. They were in a desert. Not much different from the Ash, when it came to it. She might have some expertise with that, then.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Knight Kora Norrevinter Character Portrait: Rasteva Character Portrait: Madison Lovette Character Portrait: Dog Character Portrait: Cain Merrano Character Portrait: Vladimir "Verge" Moonfall Character Portrait: Azai
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An argument- a polite one, as one would expect from the vampire, but an argument nonetheless- was on Madison’s lips in response to Rasteva’s. He had been ready to point out the position of the sun in the sky, note that he only thought that the arena would make a better camp for the night instead of the outside- after all, as he had mentioned earlier, there was far more defense in the construct than going out in the open. Someone, he would have said, could have stood watch, and awoken the others if necessary. It could serve as a base until they had come up with a proper course of action, instead of merely charging out into the wilds completely unprepared.

However, he had no chance to say any of this, for as soon as the first syllable had sounded into the air, Madison had found himself abruptly carrying the weight of another out of nowhere. He stumbled, hands moving to secure his hat to his head before he collided with the ground. Hopefully, he thought, the dog wouldn’t end up injured in his fall- she was quite the sweet thing, after all, and it would be a shame if she getting hurt.

Luckily, from what he could see, she had managed to get away before he had fully hit the tile- while she was obviously startled by the suddenness of what had happened. Smiling at the creature, Madison moved to lift himself from the ground, finding it a much easier task when the weight rolled from his back. Curious as to see what had fallen onto him, he rose, brushing himself off as he looked down at the being.

It was another humanoid, by the looks of it. Not human, that was for sure- his scent gave him away as something...else, although Madison could not tell- but humanoid enough, especially when in comparison to some of their other company. The man had no wings, however, making it a bit of a puzzle as to how he had ended up so far in the air anyway. The researcher looked up, peering at the clouds above for a moment before lowering himself a little and extending a hand to help the fellow up.

“Well, that was quite the entrance you made!” He said chipperly, apparently not fazed at all by having someone fall onto him. “Are you alright, there? It seemed you landed a bit hard, there.” Seeing as he had not had the chance to answer his other companion before the little surprise, Madison briefly turned his head, flashing a smile at Verge yet again.

“At any rate, my name’s Madison. She may have known about what our host had intended, although she had left too soon for me to really tell-”

It was this moment that Madison had laid eyes upon the odd shadow that had begun to dance about Verge, causing another flare of goodnatured curiosity in his features. He didn’t get the chance to ask what it was (a shame this kept happening, really, he needed to sit some of these people down and properly interview them) before the sound of shouting rose into the air. Blinking, he looked over, took sight of the person- a human, most likely-, and regarded them for a few moments before turning back to the one on the ground. Didn’t want to leave him hanging, after all.

Nevertheless, it was still rude to ignore someone, so Madison once again raised his voice in order to properly reply. “Our company has a feeling that we’ll end up in more danger here than outside, because they believe that this world is made up of parts of ours.” An odd logic, really, given that there was no evidence of such an idea, but there was no point trying to figure out a puzzle that didn’t need to be solved so shortly. “They also think we should all split up for the time being- and, oh, I'm fine, Kora, thank you for asking."

A bit of a summary for both him, as well as any who had missed a majority of the argument. It wasn' t the most complete, really, but as long as they were there, they would have to learn how to work together on short notice.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Adira Hasidare Character Portrait: Knight Kora Norrevinter Character Portrait: Khojin Malqir Character Portrait: Rasteva Character Portrait: Cain Merrano
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Khojin extended her arms to her sides and looked very deliberately at Rasteva. Taken together, her stance positively screamed 'what did i fucking say'. She dropped her arms, making some noise of irritation deep in her throat.

"Me an' Adira can scout the area, maybe try 'n' find Metal Man Shark Slayer. It'll be faster with jus' the two of us." She gave Rasteva another look, this one less irritated. "Sorry, big guy. You'd prob'ly be more hindrance than help. Do try to get this," she gestured vaguely at the whole group. "Sorted before we get back, please."

She stepped past the large armor and the girl with the lizard, flicking her lightly on the arm in a 'let's get going' kind of way. She made for the gate quickly, eager to be doing something that did not involve circular arguments. She gave a brief "yo" to the winged boy as she passed him, utterly disinterested in whatever drama he'd gotten himself into in the past ten minutes. She hopped over the remains of the unfortunate shark and was out the gate with nary a passing glance to see if Adira had followed along, only expecting she'd opted for the path of least boring conversation the way Khojin had.

Boy howdy it sure was a desert outside. The strange way the heat inside the arena had felt was instantly replaced with the standard beating heat she expected of this sort of arid environment. She also noticed the arena was not quite as flat as she'd expected; once outside the walls, she saw it sat on a narrow plateau, with the desert floor falling away hundreds of feet below. The plateau was connected to various others by a system of narrow stone platforms and wooden bridges, likely left by Rend to provide them with a route down to terra firma. Barren sand and scrub stretched out for what seemed to be malms around, but given the nature of this world Khojin doubted they would truly have to travel that far to reach the edge.

She supposed the view was nice, she had to give Rend credit for that.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Drake Coleman Character Portrait: Helena Character Portrait: Cain Merrano
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#, as written by Hyro
Drake watched as Dawn’s aura evened out for the most part. There were still subtle hints of whatever had been bothering her before, but it was nothing he felt was necessary to pry about.
Dawn had always been good about staying strong during bad times. The boy always found it admirable and respectable.

“If you say so.”

He then watched as she darted off to go help someone. Someone who appeared to be… drowning, from the looks of it. Eesh. He hoped the girl was alright. That had to be quite an awful way to awaken. He moved to join Dawn in checking up on the latter, keeping a few feet from the two so as not to get in the way. After all, he was still working on drying himself off. The boy was already plenty weakened from that. As he looked over the girl though, he couldn’t help but notice something familiar about her aura. Like he almost recognized it, though not fully.

Drake couldn’t quite place what was so familiar about it, so he tried not to think about the strange feeling for now. Instead, he focused on the girl’s well-being. “Is she breathing?”


The boy moved to rifle through his bag. Perhaps the all wonderful being of power had provided them all with towels.

That would sure be helpful, at the very least.

Another voice had made themselves known at this point, and Drake found himself looking up in surprise. “Cain?” It was the prophet. The boy hadn’t seen Cain since… Well, since one of the earlier assaults on the Wanderers. Since he’d been kidnapped by Erubesco. “But… I thought you were…” A pause as he tried to recall, but that day had been such a blur. The kidnap, the trauma, his return… He hadn’t been the same after that. “I thought you were dead,” the boy finished, looking at Cain now as if he were looking at a miracle.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Knight Kora Norrevinter Character Portrait: Rasteva Character Portrait: Madison Lovette Character Portrait: Dog Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Drake Coleman Character Portrait: Helena Character Portrait: Cain Merrano Character Portrait: Vladimir "Verge" Moonfall Character Portrait: Azai
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Azai's narrowed eyes scanned the rather numerous members of this arena at a bit of a loss. Most had ignored his appearance which suited him just fine in this situation. At this point, being ignored or missed was a good thing. That meant he could find his way out of this situation as quickly as possible without being attacked or something. Then he could sit in a corner and watch what was happening and try and piece together the events. Right now, absolutely nothing was making sense. There was a tin can speaking about powers and talking in the third person maybe? She was odd. There were a wide range of humans and non-human looking things around and some had wings to. He couldn't tell who was friend and who was foe in this situation. He couldn't be back at the manor that was for sure. Kenner would not approve of this and though the man had threatened to put him in the arena if he didn't shape up, this wasn't the arena he spoke of.

The spider began to calm and shift out of his defensive position. Without everyone distracted he could slip away. Unfortunately a couple did spot him and spoke to him. The one he fell on even extended a hand towards him. He instantly crouched and hissed, baring his fangs again in panicked defense. He glanced to the side when he heard a commotion and saw a couple of people saving a stranger from drowning but quickly put that out of mind. That didn't concern him. He turned his gaze back to creature that extended a hand towards him and sniffed the air. Huh. Strange. He smelled male. Why did he wear female attire? It did look good on him but he was sure a male's outfit or perhaps something more revealing would suit him just as well. Azai's own clothing was airy and exposed to show off the elegant markings on his body. Kenner had refused to allow him the gems that normally adorned his body to accent them, but whatever.

He glanced at the two that had spoken to him. One had asked about his name and baggage? Was he talking about that thing that had fallen on him? Why did he want his baggage? He didn't know what was in it, but still. He said he didn't want to harm him but he did call up that... thing. Whatever it was. It was shadowed but it didn't look very friendly. Its motions confused the shit out of him though. What did he want? Verge... that was an interesting name to. He wasn't sure how he wanted to respond.

"Who are you people?" he asked the strangers then. "What is happening? Desert outside?" He glanced around at everyone again and backed away a bit to keep people in his line of sight. He didn't trust any of these people. That voice had said they were from different worlds. That meant he wouldn't know anything about these creatures. But if there was a desert outside, he preferred being in here. there were darker corners that he could tuck himself away in. It was safer than the open. He didn't care if these people died. If they died, more food for him. He didn't exactly want to go back to his world either. This place meant he was free from slavery. He glanced down at the black ribbon on his arm marking him as a black-tier slave. He grinned. He didn't need that anymore. He quickly ripped it off and let it fall to the floor.

Perhaps he wouldn't be attacked. No one here seemed to be attacking each other. He straightened himself slowly. He could easily spring and run away if he needed to. "Madison was it? Interesting...And Verge..." he mused. "You may call me Azai. Why are you wearing female clothing, Madison?" He glanced at Verge again. "And what is that shadow thing? Is that part of you?"

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#, as written by Rasteva
Rasteva made a sound of irritation right back at Khojin, the loud creaking echoing through the area. "Fine....Rasteva would prefer to move as soon as possible, but they can be patient." Nodding as the girl continued, the Daemon agreed with her silently. Rasteva was well aware that they drew too much attention to themselves. And though their usual method of dealing with said attention involved leaving a trail of destruction in their wake, Rasteva knew that this was a bit counterproductive to the task at hand.

The Girl's second request caught Rasteva off guard, and the Daemon actually felt that this one would be harder to take care of
The Daemon turned their head to the rest of the people gathered around, another irritated creak escaping their form. THIS was going to be a bit more difficult. More than half the people here weren't paying attention to what was going on, several newcomers had appeared with varying levels of fanfare, and the Daemon was pretty sure someone was dying off to the side.

Arms folded across their chest, Rasteva mulled over their thoughts considering their options at present. Threatening everyone with a sound beating would be poorly received, and there was no possible way the Daemon could fight them all off should they all turn against them. Appealing to their sense of logic would more than likely work, but Rasteva was sure a few would bristle at being given orders. All the same, nothing would get done if they continued to stand there, so the Daemon decided to try.

At least Khojin could not blame them for not making an effort should things still be in disarray upon her return.

Lifting both gauntlets, Rasteva began to beat both fists against their plated chest, a loud gong like sound echoed through the Arena, drowning out all noise as the Daemon began to shout.

"Gather round Mortals, and take heed to This One's words! With much discussion, and a fair amount of insults we have reached an agreement of sorts. This bodes well for our survival as you all know. This One is aware that many of you do not wish to leave the confines of this Arena, but there are still more that do. More still have begun forming Alliances that best suit their needs. This too is good. But This One is also aware of your hesitance, and Rasteva understands......"

The Daemon really did not understand in the slightest. But nobody here needed to know that.

"Two among our numbers have left to survey the area, and hopefully to return those that have left ahead of us. But here there is still much to be done. It is to my understanding that many of you will need to sort out your affairs, and whatever supplies you have on hand. And as it grows late in the day, you will also need to.....Sleep, as you call it. Rest would soothe your nerves would it not? And you may all continue to plan for the journey ahead. Our newcomers here would be able to get acclimated to our present situation, and we may be able to take stock of the abilities of all present here. If you are concerned about keeping watch for dangers, Rasteva will volunteer as This One does not required sleep."

The Daemon paused for a moment, thinking silently. In truth Rasteva was hesitant to make their next statement, as it was sure to end badly. But on the other hand it was required if they wished to survive at all.

"Rasteva proposes.....A small bit of sparring to get a feel for each others capabilities Non lethal of course. It would ease tensions, and provide a small amount of entertainment. But most pressing, it would allow those primarily weakened by Rend to take stock of their abilities. Better to find out what we are capable of now within a controlled environment, than later on when something is trying to kill us."

The Daemon's blazing eye drifted over the faces gathered around.

"If such a thing is not to your taste however, then you may all listen to a lecture from Rasteva concerning alternate realities and timelines. This One has quite a number of theories on the subject and is eager to share them given our current situation."

The Daemon paused for a moment.

"But before all of that, perhaps something should be done about the person drowning in the puddle over there......"

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Character Portrait: Adira Hasidare Character Portrait: Knight Kora Norrevinter Character Portrait: Phoebe Stride Character Portrait: Khojin Malqir Character Portrait: Rasteva Character Portrait: Madison Lovette Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Helena Character Portrait: Cain Merrano Character Portrait: Azai
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Even with Stride’s face still completely hidden, it didn’t exactly take rocket science to tell she wasn’t pleased at Khojin’s choice in team-building. Another snort had broken free from the hybrid- this one more of indignation than anything- and, uncrossing her arms, took a step forward before voicing her opinion on the matter.

“Look, Kho-gin, you’re kinda fucked up, but you’re still pretty cool. But she,” a jerk of a thumb in the direction of Adira, “actin’ like she’s, uh, havin’ her ‘time ‘a the month’, and Alphonse over there reminds me too much of a patronizing dick I work with. Gotta pass on that, sorry.” As the dragon rider of the two went on to speak of her various list of abilities, Stride couldn’t help but wish in the back of her head that the girl was a guy; if she had been, Stride could have whipped out several “overcompensation” jokes by now.

Nevertheless, she didn’t get to lament the wasted opportunities for long, as another, more interesting event, had suddenly sprouted up- some random asshole suddenly falling from the sky, and crashing right into Madison. At once, her hand planted itself upon the butt of her gun, but upon seeing her coworker get up not much worse for wear- even going so far as to try and help the guy up- she relaxed, only to be taken aback yet again by another person walking into the arena and starting to yell his head off.

“Jesus H. Christ,” she muttered, although the fighter was very much pleased at the man’s affirmation that not much was really out there. Depending on how far the apparent desert went, it would only make sense for them to stick around a while longer to figure things out. His comment on someone drowning, however, brought more surprise from Stride, and she began to look around in search of this someone- only to spot some girl getting dragged out of a puddle by the same guy, as well as another, smaller girl.

Looks like the problem had been taken care of, then.

At Rasteva’s impromptu concert session, Stride bit back yet another curse and turned to look over at the being, squinting as it began to rant about how it wanted them all to pay attention. At first, she was tempted to go back to talking to Kora or someone else (after all, it seemed that all Rasteva wanted was to say that they were now totally cool with changing their mind), but at the mention of “sparring”, she visibly perked up. Of course, while it was hard to say what the others had in store combat-wise, Stride had a personality fit for her occupation, and her blood quickly began to pound at the chance of getting a good brawl.

“Hell yeah, I wanna see some action ‘round here! We goin’ hand-to-hand, or what?” Grinning broadly, the half-breed cracked her knuckles and glanced around to look for any volunteers. True, she was no pro wrestler, but she had some amount of pride after facing off against some of the more brawnier members of the supernatural world.

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Xinder Ouquid


Xin had been out in the desert for a little bit already. Alone. And he was enjoying it. No people that were being too noisy, no fighting, just quiet. Glorious quiet. Next in Xinder's mind to the brutal murder of an active battlefield.

He had used this quiet to his advantage, pulling out his matter printer and having it unpack into the full 4x4x4 cube. Almost as quickly he had it breaking down a pile of rocks. Gotta make sure that I have the parts to fix this crap. Not long after having it set up, Xin had the printer create a small AC unit and the fuel to run it, which he quickly set up near the rocks that he found himself sitting and working on.

Next, fix the shields. Xin took off the top half of his armor, laying it down on the natural stone table, revealing his black body glove. With a little rummaging through the pockets of the armor Xin found his multi-tool and pulled out a metal plate covered in circuitry from his armor.

Now what did Rend fucking do to my shields? Looking over the metal plate, Xin shook his helmet. It should be working. Pulling another small device out of his armor's many pockets, Xin plugged the plate into the device and let it run some form of diagnostics. So it is doing everything, but the shield isn't forming... fuck Rend and his reality altering bullshit. With a calm huff Xin put all of his gear back on, leaving the printer to do as it was doing. Then she came.

"Oh, lookie here. We got a tourist down in the underworld." Said Xin, sarcastically as he could, as he watched Khojin take in the desert around them. "Everyone but the demon looker too panzy to join with those who actually want to leave?"

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Adira Hasidare

Adira choose to ignore the insults thrown behind her back. It was discouraging and even rather infuriating. Was she not trying to get them all home? Was she not trying to reach a peaceful solution? Had she not just offered her skill set up in service? Adira's fists clenched as she walked after Khojin. It was aggravating. Their world was so different from hers that they must've thought themselves better than her. Bah. They knew nothing about her or her world, and they had no place to judge her. If they wanted to sit in a pit and wait to die so perhaps their spirits would return home, then that was their choice. Adira was going to complete Rend's tasks and get back home safely. There was a gruesome war quickly approaching in her world and she was destined to be on the front lines, to die, in order to secure victory for the rebellion against that bastard King Nazar. She'd seen it and, while those others could sit on their asses if they so desired, she would not be caught sitting around in the sand as if she had no purpose other than to exist.

This angry thoughts filled Adira's head and her eyes were narrowed dangerously at her feet as she walked. Seeing that she was angry, Fell crooned softly and nudged her hand. It remained in a fist but when he nudged it a second time it released, accompanied by a soft sigh from Adira as she reached back and patted his head comfortingly. Now wasn't the time to be angry, he seemed to tell her with his soft croons, focus on the task at hand.

As they stepped out of the arena Adira could see the scout hadn't been lying: it truly was a desert outside. They were standing on the ledge of the arena and she could see there were a series of rope bridges connecting each platform with jagged, rocky terrain below (Adira estimated about three hundred feet). The strange way the heat inside the arena had felt was instantly replaced with the standard beating heat she expected of this sort of arid environment. Because they were standing higher than they might've been were they on the ground, this scenery change was not as distance as it may have seemed. On the horizon Adira could see there was flat, barren land dotted by desert plants and just beyond that there appeared to be a wall of what she could only hope were trees. The sun was indeed moving across the sky slowly, beating down upon everything below and she was rather thankful not to have been wearing her winter furs.

Outside the arena was the man in metal armor, who'd taken it off and appeared to be trying to fix it or something. Adira would hazard to guess he was trying to undo whatever damage Rend had done and mentally wished him luck. She could not see any physical features as he was covered in black cloth like a ninja (it occurred to her that it must be hot under that head-to-toe body armor and mentally saluted him for his dedication to the disguise). Before she would examine further, he put his armor back on. "Oh, lookie here. We got a tourist down in the underworld." he said with cutting sarcasm, "Everyone but the demon looker too panzy to join with those who actually want to leave?"

Adira stepped forward into his line of sight, Fell close behind her and sniffing the air warily, though instead of answering she merely took in the landscape. Shielding her eyes from the sun she scanned the horizon. "There's movement," she said quietly, looking past Khojin, "It looks like... hares, are roaming around. They look to be the size of dogs, but I can't be sure from up here. They're ducking around and nibbling on the shrubs."

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"They're workin' up to it," Khojin responded, disregarding Adira's observation for the moment and watching a bird of some sort circle in the distance before making her way over to where the honorable shark slayer had set up shop. She stopped several paces away, placing one hand on her hip and watching him work. "They prospect of seein' you without armor has 'em quakin' in their boots. They gotta psyche themselves up first."

She dropped to a squat, not moving any closer. She couldn't tell what he was doing, but she felt it safe to assume he hadn't escaped Rend's "eat shit" wave. She thought it better not to probe this matter. She did feel it rude not to remove the armor sphere from her coat, however; failure to do such might've been viewed as hostile by her own people, so she figured her apparent teammate deserved the same courtesy.

She ran her fingers over the blue crystalline surface, feeling herself become moderately less... stiff? On edge? Regardless of the word she chose to describe it, the blue magitek sphere retracted its defensive properties as it shrank into a small orb about an inch in diameter. She caught it as it fell, rolling it between three fingers and popping the crick in her neck.

"Y'know, this piece of shit can save you from a fuckin' eidolon at higher levels of quality, but damned if it doesn't leave you stiff." Apparently 'stiff' was the word she chose. "Price we pay for no jiggle, I guess."

She sat back in the dust, one hand supporting her from behind. "Never caught your name by the way," she continued. She held the armor sphere in front of one eye and closed the other, clearly picturing it as his head. "I think they did introductions back in the arena? I missed it. I'm Khojin, though."

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Xinder Ouquid


Well, it appeared that Xin hadn't paid as much attention to the incoming group as he had thought. The scantily clad teenager decided to roll with Khojin. She's ballsy runnin round with so little on. She must think that little dragon'l save her. The little girl was even ballsy enough to stand in front of Xin before commenting on some of the local wildlife.

As Xin maintained his watchfulness over the two, though not quite as harshly as back in the arena, the demon looking girl made a few comments. Least someone here has a fire. He couldn't help but smirk beneath his helmet. Then she pulled off some kind of sphere, and with her following words made it sound like a primitive shield sphere. Not soon after she asked for his name. Damn, looks like I missed the meet'n'greet.

"Well, last person who lived called me Xin." Spoke Xin as he contemplated showing his body's face. I wonder if she'll scream when she sees it. After a moment of pause Xin put his hands on the sides of his helmet, which made a hissing sound as the face-plate lifted and the back expanded. As it came off, Xin made sure his face was as emotionless as possible. All the better to fuck with those brave enough to stay near him.

"Least you don't have to change yer mug when you want to blend in. One of the disadvantages of combat bodies." Spoke Xin with the deep voice of the body, continuing with "Don't touch the white box over there. It'll burn your hand off." His silver eyes watched Khojin waiting for a response, occasionally swapping to Adira before bouncing back to the woman before him.

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Several moments passed in silence as Khojin and Xin stared at each other, silver eyes meeting gold. Finally Khojin blinked, looking to Adira before flicking back to Xin. She seemed to have lost track of what was going on, looking between Adira and the man with the pale face before finally opening her mouth.

"Uhhhh. I'm. Not really, sure what's... going on anymore, did I miss something?"her eyes were narrowed a bit in confusion as they ran between the two others currently present. "Was- Was I supposed to do something, or? Were you- Oh my gods. Were you trying for a reaction?"

Her face split into a wide, toothy grin, and she hung her head for a moment in silent laughter before looking back up. "Oh my gods you were!" She kicked at the barren ground as she nearly fell over, her laughter turning into uproarious cackles that left her gasping for breath. "I- I cannot believe-"

She was on her back, eyes squeezed shut, pounding the ground with her right hand while her left hovered in front of her face, as if that would make the laughter stop. "Y-you tho-hought that wou-hould-"

"I'm missing half my face!" she screeched once she'd managed to regain some measure of her composure, gesturing at the hole in her cheek. "My planet is covered in fog that spawns literal monsters ilms from your face! I spend all my gods damn time in this shit! A-and you think your crusty ass corpse face is gon- gon-" And then she was off again, raucous laughter frightening all manner of small critters from the nearby rocks.

She didn't mean to laugh at him, really she didn't, but after all the stress and tension of the arena Xin's attempts to provoke a reaction with his face was so positively ludicrous to her that she couldn't help it. She worked hard to stop herself, breathing in deep, ragged breaths which broke up into small hiccups. Confident she'd finally stopped, she lifted herself off the ground, wiping the tears from her eyes, only to be stricken by small giggles when she saw him again.

Several deep breaths, a few apologies, and one minor case of hiccups later, she finally managed to calm herself enough to look him back in the eye.

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Adira Hasidare

Adira glanced over at the man who introduced himself as Xin, about to do the same until he did something unexpected: placing his hands on both sides of his helmet he lifted it from his head, revealing the... face, underneath. She was somewhat hesitate to use the term "face" because it was unlike any face she'd ever seen. The flesh was ghostly white like it'd not seen sunlight for countless years. His nose was crumpled, either by the helmet pressing against it or because it had been broken countless times (she could not tell which, but hazarded to guess that it was the latter as opposed to the former). He had neither ears nor hair on his head of his face. Where his ears ought to have been there were only holes which she assumed served the same purpose. Below where his eyebrows should've been were two silver eyes that flicked between herself and Khojin, obviously waiting for one of them to react.

Though his face resembled in her mind a combination between a skull and an orc, it was far from the more grotesque thing she's ever seen and she was not as alarmed as perhaps she should've been (after all, Khojin greeted her by flashing her sharp teeth and sticking her tongue through her cheek). After a brief pause Adira cleared her throat. "Thanks for the tip," she said in reference to his warning about the white box, "I'm Adira, and this is my Fanghur companion, Fell." Fell eyed this man but did not move to sniff him, instead inclining his head as a greeting (Adira took note of this).

Meanwhile, Khojin had a... less than polite reaction. Adira took this opportunity to turn back to Fell. Upon seeing his helmet in his hand, Adira had remembered that she'd strapped it onto the back of Fell and turned to retrieve it, holding it under her arm as she turned back to Xin instead of putting it back on (that would be rude). Although to be fair it couldn't have been worse that Khojin's reaction to Xin's face, but still...

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Xinder Ouquid


Xin just couldn't help but unleash one hell of a shit eating grin as he watched Khojin look around confused. Maybe not as climactic as he had hoped, but...

Suddenly she was rolling around on the ground, dying of laughter. The only way the soldier knew how to respond was to put his helmet on before he started to let off some chuckling of his own. Thankfully the helmet was smart enough to not let that out. Instead, it seemed as if he was silently watching the demon girl roll about wildly half the time. The other half was her repeated failures at attempting to regain some level of composure. Xin found it quite amusing.

"Try as you might, I still got something amusing out of it." Xin said, a little bit of overconfidence seeping into his voice. He couldn't explain why, but something about the demon girl's mix of 'I'm a badass' and 'little girl' was interesting to him. Definitely more fun than either of those two separately.

It was only part way through this that Xin noticed that the over-exposed teenager decided to introduce herself. And her Fang-her. Right, almost forgot bout the lizards. "Is that like some kind of lizard-dog?" Asked Xin through his helmet.

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Adira Hasidare

Xin did not seem to be offended by Khojin's outburst which was a relief, though he did put his helmet back on rather abruptly, effectively hiding his facial expression. As Khojin tried to regain her composure (and failed miserably), Xin turned his attention to Adira. "Is that like some kind of lizard-dog?" came the slightly muffled voice from inside the helmet. This time to her credit Adira did not twitch in irriation. Now she wasn't sure if 'lizard dog' was an improvement, but she had been annoyed by people calling him a dragon before, so at least this provided a nice change of pace.

"Fanghur are the smaller cousins of dragons; no fire breath and no wings until they're full grown." she explained, keeping it fairly brief while still hoping to elevate Fell's assumed status of 'lizard dog', "They don't usually associate with humans, since they're so territorial and live in high mountain ranges, but there are some exceptions." Glancing down at her companion Adira could see that Fell was watching Khojin intently as the nearly brought herself to tears with her bout of laughter (which, in retrospect, was pretty funny in and of itself).

Adira looked over at Khojin, who seemed to be recovering, and with humor heavy in her voice she asked, "Are you alright there, Khojin?" managing to stifle her own faint laughter. It seemed Khojin's laughter was contagious. Even Fell was doing his odd chuffing in a mimicry of laughter.

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"No," Khojin replied casually. "I died and now I'm dead. Greetings from beyond the grave."

She resumed her previous lounging position, rubbing the cheek that didn't have a hole in it. She was pretty sure she bit herself once her twice during her laughing fit. Ah, the dangers of carnivorous teeth. Xin's voice seemed a bit more smug now, but not the bad kind of smug. She had the sneaking suspicion he wasn't quite as severe as he tried to present himself. Khojin decided she liked him, too, even if he did look a tiny bit weird without the chest piece on.

She turned her attention from her present company and directed it toward the horizon, remembering the other task she'd meant to do out here. She saw a variety of desert fauna, no doubt appropriated from other worlds, but from this distance she couldn't recognize any of them. She liked to think that meant none of them were Mistborn. Khojin had difficulty making out any worthy landmarks from her seated position; The arena was certainly one, but that didn't really matter when everybody was squatting around it.

"Don't suppose you've seen anything worth noting out here?" she asked, turning her head to look at Xin. "Almost slipped my mind that we," she indicated herself and Adira. "were supposed to be scouting." She scratched her ear briefly, before adding as an aside: "Finding you was kinda secondary."

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Character Portrait: Rasteva Character Portrait: Madison Lovette Character Portrait: Dog Character Portrait: Vladimir "Verge" Moonfall Character Portrait: Azai
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The man seemed quite obviously wary of Madison, even with the gesture being made towards him in all good intentions. His behavior was reminiscent of a cornered animal, tensing and baring now-visible fangs as if he expected the other to try and strike. Blinking in surprise, Madison drew his hand back again, not wanting to startle the poor soul any further. He had had enough experience in his days to know better than cause more stress in such a situation, so it was with a open smile that he backed away a few steps, providing the stranger with enough room to breathe.

As a flow of questions broke loose from the man, Madison merely waited, patiently listening until there was a large enough lapse for him to answer. “Like Verge said, we’re not here to hurt you or anything of that sort,” he replied. “We’ve all been...taken, you could say, by Rend- the voice you probably heard before you fell. Like you. Apparently, everyone here has to work together to escape.” He paused, going over what questions had been asked within his head, before going on once again. “And, yes, there’s a desert outside- I don’t think we know for sure how far it goes, but some of us are planning to camp for a while here before taking everything on.”

Upon the other’s introduction and following inquiries, the researcher brightened, and moved to rise after his company did so- taking care not to move too fast in the process. “My name is Madison, yes,” he beamed, apparently delighted that his words had been taken into account. “It’s nice to meet you, too Azai- and as for why I’m wearing woman’s clothing…”

Taking a hold of his skirts with both hands, Madison gave a bit of a twirl, the fabrics moving cleanly along with his action. “They’re very comfortable,” he chirped, once he had fully completed his little show. “I’d be glad to let you try one of my outfits if you’re curious. Since I’m currently away from home, I can’t really get out some of my better ones, but I’m sure that they’ll be something that can fit you in there, somewhere.” Even when in the face of danger, and held under the thumb of some omnipotent being, Madison was still focused on wardrobe choice by the sound of it.

Rasteva’s suggestion caused him to turn once again, eyes bright. His second love, just behind fashion; the pursuit of knowledge. What gave meaning to his immortality, drove him to avoid stagnation instead of embracing it like others of his kind. “Personally, I would love to hear any reality theories, if it’s possible. I’ve come up with a few of my own, but I’m very curious as to any other opinions on the matter.” A part of Madison wondered if he should ask to participate in the little spar-session, as well; while he did not count himself among the fighters of SCION, he, admittedly, enjoyed a bit of attention once in awhile. However, the thought was quickly dismissed- after all, showing his hand now would only give away what surprises would liven up the experience later.

So, he chose to abstain. He divided his focus between both current company and Rasteva, eager to gain information from both- because, really, it would be a shame to miss any opportunity to learn in a situation of this sort.