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Praeceps
Chargé d'Affaires
 
Posts: 404
Founded: Feb 08, 2016
Democratic Socialists

Postby Praeceps » Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:50 pm

Bentus wrote:Yvonne


Before she had a chance to reply to the man’s response - if there was any - Yvonne was distracted by the sound of the tavern’s door being flung open forcefully as an energetic, youthful voice echoed through the hall.

“Hello everyone! I’m Tride!” The girl’s words lingered in the air for a few seconds. A couple pairs of eyes glanced irritably in her direction as conversations were disturbed by her boisterous entrance, but a few dismissive shrugs led to the newcomer quickly being ignored. Feeling a stab of sympathy for the young girl standing alone in the doorway, and being close to the entrance herself, Yvonne offered the solitary figure a wave.

“Good morning, Tride. I am Yvonne - you wouldn’t happen to be looking for a contract, would you?”

Tride glanced around the tavern looking at the patrons inside; there was a variety of individuals of diverse races, sizes, and ethnicities spread over several tables having conversations. To her friendly entrance however, there were disappointingly few reactions, albeit ones which were friendly. She frowned slightly: she had hoped her new co-workers would be friendly but perhaps that was too much expect for members of the Paean Legion. Maybe they were just tired in the morning? The smile found its' way back to her face quite quickly. Tride was sure that with time, her co-workers would warm up.

Hearing a voice call out to her, Tride turned to a nearby table where a tall, brunette female sat, dressed in armour. Tride grinned, "Hi Yvonne! Nice to meet you!", she responded as she strode over. "I would be happening to be looking for a contract, if you have any suggestions?" she asked. She hoped she did, she was anxious to get started and hoped this woman would offer one after the chilly reception she got from the other legionnaires.
Last edited by Praeceps on Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Finland SSR
Post Marshal
 
Posts: 15001
Founded: May 17, 2014
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Finland SSR » Wed Apr 10, 2019 12:48 am

Dido Ricine, the Elven swordsmaster!




The final members of the crystal investigation squad who signed up for the job were Valan, a short spoken pyromancer who quickly introduced himself as a recruit for the mission, and Walter, an armored human swordsman who, despite bearing a lush beard, didn't seem any older than Dido. The Dark Elf responded to both of their stoic and laconic attitudes with few words of her own, merely speaking:

"Good to hear. I'm Dido. Don't be dead weight during the mission and we'll be fine."

With the team for the crystal investigation mission successfully assembled, the following hour went through without little incident. With a wave of her hand and a few yells, Dido allowed the team to disperse, ordering to arrive in Velathiri's river port an hour later, and spent much of her free time going through the HQ's bureaucracy in search for the Legion compensating them for the cost of renting a river barge. Nope, no dice, she did not receive a single ducat, which meant that they needed to dedicate a portion of their upfront payment just to get to the place where their mission was supposed to be. At least the boat she eventually managed to find was not a complete wreck or anything.

Sure, it was not a seagoing ship or anything, but for the slow, calm flow of the Aria River and passing underneath all the bridges, wooden or stone ones, it was perfect. The ship had a sheet overhead to keep water from splashing on its passengers, and carried both a mast and a set of oars for maximum versatility in any type of weather. Most of the space on the deck was taken up by the rowing oarsmen, and a few of the benches awaited the Legionnaires who rented the boat to join the rowing.

In the last few minutes she had before their boat sailed away, Dido returned to her home in the suburbs and changed to her combat gear - leather armor with a slightly ripped up hood, and several weapons attached to her belt. Stopping on the way to get herself a doughnut, the Dark Elf arrived to the docks last, munching on her treat and immediately pushing past her crew towards the captain of their barge, standing just outside of the ship.

"Alright, folks, this is our ride." Dido spoke back towards her team as soon as she handed over the counted sack of coins to the bearded human sailor, and leapt straight into the barge. The ship did not expect such a sudden lunge and wobbled a little bit, which immediately reminded the Dark Elf that she was standing right above dozens of meters of water. Her heart raced faster at the thought of submerging into the bottom of the river and she instinctively moved closer to the captain's cabin at the back of the barge.

"Oookay..." Dido muttered underneath her breath as the barge finally set sail. "So... have any of you sailed before?"
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Tomia
Post Marshal
 
Posts: 15164
Founded: Apr 13, 2013
New York Times Democracy

Postby Tomia » Wed Apr 10, 2019 1:05 pm

Zarkenis Ultima wrote:Mule guarding time

Annabelle was mostly standing in the back of the crowd as everyone hungrily tried to claim spots for contracts. She honestly didn't have much interest in taking contracts because that would only increase the potential that she placed more attention onto herself. However as the crowd got closer and closer to the message board and she didn't move, someone she recognized from her impromptu mission approached her. "You should sign up for a mission you know." Valan said casually as he stood next to her.

"I don't know what your deal is, we all have our own thing right? But you were damn useful against those goblins, and you could be the difference between a legionnaire dying or not, so you should go." With that he walked away to sign up himself before Annabelle could respond, leaving her deep in thought. A few moments later she heard Frey shouting into the crowd about a mission. It sounded simplistic enough, and not something that would draw too much attention. She decided maybe Valan was right, after all, how could she repent if she did nothing but sulk all day?

After a few moments of thought she approached Frey. "I will join you."

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The Republic of Atria
Postmaster of the Fleet
 
Posts: 24143
Founded: Nov 12, 2013
Capitalist Paradise

Postby The Republic of Atria » Wed Apr 10, 2019 1:06 pm

Valan

At least the Elf was a little amicable. Not super talkative, which worked for him. He wasn't particularly talkative either. Aayla did most of it whenever they needed to on their travels. Though on the other hand, he supposed he should try to be a bit more sociable. It wasn't like it could hurt much, and another friend or two could always help. Progressing through the ranks probably required you to have a decent relationship with fellow Legionaries, or at least not be a nuisance while being productive. It was like that back home, where the elite pyromancers could deny the title simply because they don't like your attitude, even if you happened to be phenomenally skilled. It made a little sense, better to have friendly teachers willing to be patient and guide the newcomers than arrogant and condescending ones feeling like you were wasting their time.

He always wanted to join the inner circle of that since he was a boy. But it required quite a few recommendations or personal feats. Proof was required. The Legion probably didn't have too many pyromancers, so climbing the ranks would be for the best if he wanted to join. Another thing he could do was invent a new pyromancy, which was a monumental task. What type of pyromancy hadn't been discovered yet? Needless to say that didn't happen as often anymore.

His inner thoughts were interrupted as Dido acquired their method of transport: A boat to take them down the river. It would be his first time on a ship this size. Many people had incredibly incorrect notions that putting a pyromancer on the boat would cause it catch fire. Such people were often stupid. Thankfully there was no open opposition to him getting on it, which was nice. The ship sailed for awhile, and Dido tried to strike up conversation. Asking if any of them had ever sailed before. Suddenly he wished Aayla was here to make it not so awkward. But she wasn't so he had to make due without her.

"Yes. How often I sailed in the desert. I would spend days on ships, sailing the vast miles of sand."

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Zarkenis Ultima
P2TM RP Mentor
 
Posts: 42521
Founded: Feb 22, 2011
Democratic Socialists

Postby Zarkenis Ultima » Sat Apr 13, 2019 9:56 pm

Radea wrote:---
Auropa wrote:---
Praeceps wrote:---
Bentus wrote:---
Praeceps wrote:---
Tomia wrote:---


The call was made, and soon enough, fellow legionnaires approached to answer it, the first being a muscular young warrior by the name of Arden, who eagerly put up his hand and volunteered to drive the car, stumbling into a rather unfortunate collection of words that did little to flatter him. Letting out a chuckle, he reached out and patted the man on the shoulder. "Good, I could certainly use a mule whisperer on this journey. I'm more of a bird person, myself." He said. As if to contradict its caretaker's assertion, Gust screeched and then flew off into the sky. "...Cheeky bastard."

With the bird now away, Frey looked back at Arden and his companion, a rather striking brunette, albeit one clad in full plate armor, with a tabard that reminded him of the symbols worn by many inhabitants of the westernmost territories of the Archipelago. Brushing aside memories of his many encounters with Sharian colonists, most of which ended poorly, he returned the woman's smile with one of his own. Here's hoping this one doesn't want to convert me. Or arrest me. Or both. He thought - granted, most of those were partly his fault, mostly his fault in fact, but he didn't think he'd been completely in the wrong. How was he supposed to know that was a high priestess?

"The name's Frey. Nice to meet you both." He said, briefly glancing back at Arden. The next member of the party soon revealed himself, the same rascal from the previous day, the one who'd interrupted his first attempt at smooth-talking an orc woman. "Oh, you're coming along too? Talk about a handicap." The rogue joked, though he was in fact pleased about seeing the gladiator tag along on the journey. After all, he was yet to see Corven in action - either he'd pull his weight, which was always convenient, or he'd be incompetent enough to give Frey a few good laughs. He'd find out later, but in the meantime Corven excused himself.

Next up was a rather young-looking girl, almost too young to be a part of the Legion, he felt. She eagerly introduced herself as Tride, and Yvonne promptly replied to her greeting, the two of them quickly getting to the topic of contracts. Pausing for a moment to take another bite out of his apple, Frey walked up to the two girls. "Good to meet you Tride, name's Frey. I was just putting together a party for this contract, if you'd be interested in it? Should be a simple enough job, and there's always spot for one more." He spoke in a friendly manner, offering the girl the contract he'd taken from the bulletin board so she could read it over if she so wished.

While waiting for Tride's response, yet another volunteer, the last one, approached, a young woman by the name of Tira, who had a reputation for being a red-cloak despite the time she'd spent in the Legion and rarely taking contracts. The rogue found himself surprised when she approached, but he wasn't one to turn down another teammate. "Great, looks like we've got a six man party then. Or, well, three man, three woman party. You get the idea." He nodded at each of his questmates, taking back the contract. "Be right back now, just need to get us signed up now."

Having assembled his party, Frey walked up to the front desk of the Paean Legion's headquarters, where he was greeted by the now familiar sight of a young redhead hard at work filling out and organizing paperwork for the Legion. "Louise!" The rogue greeted as he approached, much the same way he had done the past week while taking various minor contracts or collecting the pay for them. "How's things today?" He asked as he casually grabbed a quill and began writing down the names of the party members on the contract's parchment, below the information provided.

"Good day, Monsieur Farwind," greeted Louise putting aside her paperwork for a brief time. A cup of coffee was placed off to side acting as a impromptu paperweight and was now long cold. Several ledgers were arranged in makeshift piles around her with the odd page sticking out . "Same as always. One or two other clerks leave for breaks while I'm here to pick up the slack. A new contract, oui?"

"A new contract, yes. Thankfully this time it's more than just finding Mrs. Oakley's chickens for the twelfth time." Frey replied to the redhead's question with a smile. He finished writing down the party's roster and then placed back the quill before handing Louise the parchment. "Perhaps I can use the reward to treat you to some hot coffee later?" He winked at her, noticing the lukewarm cup by her side.

"I see, I see," nodded along Louise as she grabbed the parchment. With a sated expression her eyes darted side to side and a mischievous smirk laced her face, "Oh my, what a gentlemen. A good coffee would do me wonders. Hmm... I've heard this town has amazing crab meat you can buy." She got to work swiftly on the ledger and parchment making it official in the eyes of the Legion with her pen moving as gracefully as any sword, until she noticed something odd. "Hold on, one or these names I don't recognize and they don't match any in our records. Is this Yvonne new or something?"

Frey's smile widened as the girl responded to the offer favorably. Finally we're getting somewhere. He thought, but her next words caught him off-guard. "You don't? Huh." He mumbled as he glanced back towards the paladin, noticing a distinct lack of a cloak of any color on her shoulders, something rather unexpected. "I, uh, I suppose she is, didn't think to ask." He spoke after a moment, looking back towards the clerk. "Is that going to be an issue?"

"Well yes," said Louise as she held the contract in her hands, "Persons not of the Legion are not entitled to pay from us. She can go along with you but none of the rewards will be hers... But I suppose you could try registering her but it's not the quickest process. This sort of contract is also quite time sensitive so you'd have to think carefully, Monsieur."

The former pirate straightened up, finished off his apple and tossed the heart to a nearby bin as he mulled over the situation - leaving Yvonne out of the contract was not an ideal choice, but then, neither was taking her along without paying her. On the other hand, it was unlikely for the registration process to end before evening, and then they would have lost a day's worth of travel, perhaps more; the same was likely to happen if the party waited for the paladin to get her cloak.

Suddenly, however, the rogue had an idea as he remembered the exact wording of the contract. "She's not entitled to a reward even if she tags along with us... but the reward listed is total, no? That means it's the same no matter the number of party members. And once the pay is ours, well, there's nothing stopping us from splitting it evenly, is there?" He asked with a smile on his face, pleased with his solution.

"Nothing at all," said Louise as she laughed a bit at finding out the loophole, "To be specific once the contract is completed the money is free for you to do as you wish."

"Great!" Frey grinned as his suspicions were confirmed. "I take it you just need to cross out her name on the contract and we'll be done here, yes?"

"Indeed," smoothly said Louise and just as smoothly swiped her pen across Yvonne's name, "And with that the deed is done. Do come back now."

"Oh, certainly. I'm harder to get rid of than you think." He stated as he waved farewell and walked back to the party.

"Alright, everyone, we're officially signed up for our contract. We'll be meeting up at the Legion's warehouse in an hour, so pick up everything you think you'll need for the journey and don't be late, alright?" The rogue cheerfully told his questmates before turning towards the paladin, tapping her on the shoulder and motioning to the side with his head, before walking a few paces away from the rest of the party. "So here's the thing, Yvonne: you're not registered as a legionnaire yet, but we've got our hands on a time-sensitive contract here, so waiting for you to finish that isn't ideal. Luckily, the pay's total rather than per legionnaire, so you can tag along and get your share of the reward anyway - you'll just have to talk to your recruiter first and won't have the contract on your record after you're signed up." He explained. "Or, you stay here and get that sorted out, and maybe we can work together in the future. I'll leave it up to you, but if you want to come along, meet the rest of us in the warehouse." The rogue gave her a friendly pat on the shoulder before taking off to ready himself for the journey ahead.



Frey found himself by the Legion's warehouse shortly before the agreed-upon hour had elapsed, looking largely the same as he had before - leather armor, six scabbards on his person - as he didn't need much more gear to get by. He had, however, picked up a few supplies and was currently munching on a dried strip of meat, since he didn't want to walk or fight on an empty stomach.

Soon enough, the rest of the party arrived, and together with them he made his way into the warehouse, where he quickly found the Legion's Quartermaster, an older man with black hair, glasses to assist his eyes worn by age, and a large trench coat that gave him an air of authority. Naturally this meant that Frey didn't really care to pay respect to this person, but he wasn't about to endanger his pay.

"Greetings, we're here to pick up the Thapsian package." The blond man spoke, with the Quartermaster looking up and then nodding.

"Ah, yes, yes, I was told you'd be coming." He said, turning around and calling out to an aide and making a few gestures. The younger man quickly finished loading the package onto the back of a mule before bringing it over to the legionnaires. "Be very careful with the contents of the package, you hear! They're very valuable, and if they were to be lost for some reason, the Legion will-"

"Yeah, yeah, I read the contract. Thanks for everything, see you around!" Frey waved the man off as he turned around and began leading the mule out of the building.

Before long, the party was out of the gates of Velathri, headed towards the city of Antheia. As smaller houses and farmland replaced cottages and stone walls, Frey looked around at the party, which was composed of Corven the gladiator, Rooke the fighter, Yvonne the paladin, Tira the swordmaster, Tride the magician and himself, Frey the rogue. Not too shabby. He thought.

"So why did you all pick this contract, hmm?" The former pirate asked his companions, curious about their reasons and also eager to make some small talk - walking alongside a mule wasn't the most fascinating of activities, and he figured they were too close to Velathri to expect any danger to come their way yet. "It's not exactly the highest paying one of this latest batch."
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Absolon-7
Diplomat
 
Posts: 720
Founded: May 11, 2014
Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Absolon-7 » Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:52 pm



Roxana Ma'gonid
"Did you or your men at least manage to wound... whatever you were dealing with? And if this beast is as dangerous as I assume it is... will we have back-up?"

"Yes I did in fact. Managed to get an arrow somewhere on it cause it left a pool and splatters of blood in its wake after having its fill of my leg," said the Huntsmaster giving a heart laugh, "On account of my memory not being all there I'm not sure how bad it was but it was enough to leave traceable pools of blood. On back up, well me, a squadron of light cavalry, and several hunting dogs were supposed to be your backup but somehow the beast came upon us while we were traveling to the city and well here I am. Can't say so much for everyone else who're either in its stomach or in a hospice."

"Wait our backup?" gasped Roxana stamping her foot, "So we're on our own?"

"Well pretty much," sighed Mikhail, "Well you'll at least be guided by one of my rangers to the meadow we were ambushed. Fellow only got away with his pinkie finger being bitten off and a scratch across his cheek. Should be by the city gate on top of a maroon horse."

"Was there evidence at all of its existence beyond blood? Stuff like excrement, fur, skin patches, lost teeth, scales even?" said a frustrated Roxana.

"Like I said its teeth marks on my legs show it to be a clear carnivore,

"Any other questions?" The Hunstmaster stood there eyeing the group one by one but it appeared there were no more questions from any of them. "Quiet bunch, huh? Well, I guess I'll take my leave. Got an appointment later with a healing mage."

The Hunstmaster waved them off and lumbered off in his crutches towards the Legion base's gate with Roxana left staring at the ground in contemplation. This situation was less then ideal and looked like they had no lifeline. Hunting the beast would just be them in the wilderness. The party of Legionnaires soon left the courtyard and exited towards the city itself. It did not have the same splendor as Velathri as the buildings were quite mundane and dull in coloration, size, and style but they did look homey in a way and for some reason the glass in all of them was absurdly beautiful. The natives eyed them with suspicious glares and hushed voices but it did nothing to bother the party as they reached the city gates. As expected a young man of a respectable musculature and brown hair with a light stubble waited for them upon a maroon horse and with him were six other horses.

"Greeting, you may call me Remigijus or Remi for short," he said with a thick accent, "I'll be taking all of you to the meadow where my compatriots were...ambushed. From there we can track the blood of the beast. Shouldn't be too far."

Roxana took a look at the horses and they're appeared to be a pinto horse, a dapple grey, three bay horses, and two roan colored horses. Roxana chose the pinto horse and mounted it. Once the others picked their horses the party followed behind Remigijus for a while as they followed the dirt road to the eventual wilderness and then taking a detour through a trail in the woods. Enough time had passed where the sun was in the middle of the sky with the treetops offering sporadic shelter. Finally they reached a meadow that was swathed with blood both human and horse but an oddity that could be seen was a specific pool of dried blood that had made all the grass around it wither and die to dry husks. Remi confirmed it to be the beast's blood and from here the hunt would start. Roxana got off her horse and walked to the perimeter of the meadow.

"At this point we should spread out and investigate the meadow. The blood trail has to lead somewhere," said Roxana with her hands on her hips. Roxana herself chose to look at what appeared to be enormous paw prints that were nearly as wide as a dinnerdish. She squatted down and peered into them observing their intricacies but something about them didn't add up.

Crystal Village Investigation
The river barge travel upstream was quite uneventful to say the least as the only noticeable sights were other ships going downstream, the children from riverside villages hollering at the boat, and the occasional wildlife scared off as it was drinking by the river. Buzzing insects were picked off in the air by birds and sometimes a roar from whatever unidentifiable animal could be heard far off inland. A few riverside towns were passed by and stopped at as well to stop for supplies and recreation for a night but the Captain made sure to remind everyone who left that if they weren't back by dawn they were on they're own. As some time passed by they finally reached their first stop: a minuscule fishing village called Soast that used to serve as the lifeline to VanLoon. The sky was completely sheathed in a dark foreboding field of clouds from horizon to horizon and a smoke like fog permeated the air. The port was ramshackle with weed and river barnacles overgrown in the gaps between planks. The odd fishermen in heavy rain coats were well fishing next to buckets fish.

As the river barge docked the Legionnaires were waved goodbye by the Captain who swore the next time he saw her he'd win back the money he lost to some of them in gambling. As the boat left the Legionnaires could see an enormous snapping turtle as big as king sized bed come up for air and then submerge to the depths below. If the Legionnaires were to walk off the port to the village itself the would be able to see a sleepy settlement were doors were locked and windows were shut. The faint shine of eyes from curtains could be seen before they were quickly shut much like the barnacles on the pier. The most noticeable buildings were a three story building that read "Council Office" in worn down letters with a stylized fish going through the O in office. The other buildings were a tavern painted in a dead blue and a church at the end of the street. The rest of the buildings appeared to be ramshackle dwellings of villagers themselves.
Last edited by Absolon-7 on Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Just passing by. Please no militarization of borders.
Giovenith wrote:...The past was not happier. It was not more peaceful, people were not nicer, things were not better. You only think of it that way because you are afraid of the chaos of the present and the past seems inherently orderly because you already know what to expect from it...

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Turmenista
Negotiator
 
Posts: 5765
Founded: Apr 09, 2014
Ex-Nation

Postby Turmenista » Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:40 am

Image


    Luca Greyfoot
    Velathri, Paean Legion HQ
    Crystal Investigation Mission

    __________________________________

The other members of the team had arrived, one of whom Luca knew minorly, while the other was still a complete mystery. They were Valan and Walter, a pyromancer and bearded warrior—both humans, who he could tolerate. At least they weren’t more elves. Luca could only snort in disgust at the thought of more elves joining them on their mission. Dido was already enough work to put up with, so adding on another elf to his mission would give him even more problems. But, as one famous human warrior-poet once said, “I’ve got ninety-nine problems, but an elf ain’t one.”

Dido melodramatically introduced herself to the duo, and, with that, they were off. The following hour had been spent well by the other members of the team, with Luca conservatively spending his time (and some of the ducats he had managed to scrounge up from his stipend) to retrieve his stuff. First, he got his medium armor, helmet, and small pack back; a few small healing potions from the alchemist some Lycan mead for their travels making his way into the pack as well. His main canteen had been filled with water for obvious reasons, while the remaining space in his pack was used for his maps, medical supplies, a rope, a bedroll, and an ice pick. Why his father Nico insisted he bring along the ice pick to a region that had neither glaciers nor icy mountains was beyond his comprehension, but Luca figured that some good damage could be done to any crystals that needed to get removed.

Next, his leather armguards had also been worked on, the leather much cleaner than before and the steel studs on the knuckles shinier as ever. Of course, the steel studs weren’t there only for looks—in a fight, combined with the natural physical power of a strong, youthful Lycan like Luca, anyone punched with those things on weren’t going to walk away with only a bruise. The armor was meant to provide Luca with a blend between mobility and protection, maximizing the mobility for the user without sacrificing too much weight.

Finally, he went to the blacksmith to get his prized greatsword back. Illumina had been upgraded since the last time he had wielded the giant rune-covered slab of steel. The magical dagger he had received from the Heirloom Quest had been sued in implementing the upgrades, and the sword was now capable of producing a thick black smoke that could blind opponents or mask his movements, but Luca wasn’t a rogue or assassin. In the heat of combat, it could make or break a tough opponent’s blocks.

When he returned to the port an hour later, he saw the ship. His expectations were low already given that the dark elf was going to pay for it, but it was better than nothing. Deep water was something Luca couldn’t handle well, but rivers were alright. The good news was that he had arrived before Dido, but the bad news was that her entrance was flasht, causing the ship to wobble to the side when he jumped onboard. The barge began moving once everyone was onboard, and Dido tried to change the subject, perhaps to end the awkward silence that had a touch of passive aggression, or to distract the team from the fact that a pyromancer was with them… on a wooden boat. She asked them if they’d ever sailed before, to which Valan sarcastically joked that he had done so in the vast deserts of the south.

Luca rolled his eyes. “Haven’t sailed, nor do I plan on sailing. I’ve seen some fishermen around Lycanmire, if that’s anything worth mentioning.” He folded his arms, watching the land pass by their ship as they went along their way.

__________________________________


The journey upstream was as uneventful as any journey upstream would get. Noisy children, birds, insects, and wildlife alike accompanied them along the way as they made a brief rest stop at some riverside towns. Nothing really was done here save for sleeping, but Luca had made sure to return to the boat by dawn, lest be he left behind. Some time later, they had finally managed to arrive at Soast, a small village on the river that formerly served as a lifeline to VanLoon...before the incident happened, that is. The sky was dark with clouds, but no rain came, a thick fog masking their vision as they entered the town. Truly, it was a depressing place, but if VanLoon wasn’t that far away, it had to have been much worse there than here.

Luca walked through the town with the other Legionnaires, noting the closed off windows and curtains and overall sense of “I don’t want these people here, I want to leave.” As they came in the village, Luca noted the strange lack of life and hostile atmosphere, beginning to instinctively reach for his sword on his back.

“I don’t know about you all, but I’ve got a bad feeling about this.” He muttered, eyes attentively scanning the area.




    Durge Firehearted
    The Package Escort Interception Job
    __________________________________

“So, Nokzi.” The human male folded his arms, yawning as he judgingly eyed the kobold up and down. “You say you want Stardust, yes? This horse is one of the fastest in Velathri, yes?” He nodded, to which the Kobold looked around, confused. “Uh, yeah. That’s what I want.”

“300 ducats.”

300?!” The Kobold repeated the words in a mixture of shock just as a Lycan entered the stables. “300 ducats. Can you believe it? That’s a fortune that some people these days simply can’t pay, you know. 300 ducats could buy you a lot of things, but it’s not gonna sell you that horse, my friend.”

“Well, if it makes you feel any better, I’ve got a bounty that’s even bigger.” Durge chuckled, closing the door behind him and locking it. The kobold moved to grab something around his belt but was grabbed by the neck, thrown over the table with a single arm by Durge. The salesman, too, wasn’t safe from the attack, crumpling down right on the door as Durge lunged him with his axe. The kobold, meanwhile, was taken out quickly with a swipe to the back of his neck, Durge kicking him away haphazardly into the hay bales behind the desk.

“Alright. Now that that’s over with..” Durge moved over to the salesman, planting his foot on his read and yanking his axe out, causing him to cry out in pain as he dragged him to the back. The stables had about 8 horses penned up in their stables currently, save for a few mules that were missing, but it was far enough from Velathri that no one would really notice what he was doing. Durge set him down beside one of the horses, lifting his head up by his scalp as if to point at a horse he wanted—a jet black horse with a name painted by his post: “Midnight.”

“I want that one.” Durge said to him. “How much?”

“Crazy..you..crazy..” The salesman panted. “Who are you?”

The unhinged Lycan frowned, furrowing his brow. “My friend..it doesn’t matter who I am. What matters is what I want to do with this horse. My plan, if you will.”

“You aren’t taking that horse, you mangy bastard. If I pull that eye out of yours, will you die?”

“Well, it would be extremely painful.” Durge growled, sliding the fingers of the gauntlet together to produce a slicing sound. “For you, that is. Now, how much for the horse?”

Unhappy with a lack of response from the man, Durge gave a mental nod, his violet eye flashing for a moment as a large creature landed outside. He took out the Salesman and moved towards the stables, breaking their locks and releasing the horses to the beast outside—where the whining and whining of horses were suddenly replaced by the screech of some horrible monster. Finally, he moved to Midnight, clambering onto the saddle of the black horse that had been calm as ever, taking the horse outside to the Blight Beast currently converting the other horses into Blight monsters.

“So, a black horse.” Durge nodded. “Does it suit me?”

The real question is—will it be fast enough to get you to the mountains?

“You’re talkin’ to a creature that’s been bred for this.” Durge said, chuckling at his own double entendre. “Of course it will. You can fly, so I take it you’ll be beating me there, Erysivius.” He then turned to what used to be the horses, now turned into Blight beasts that resembled some demonic amalgamation of horse and Blight creature. “As for them..?”

Probing the Legionnaires’ strength, Erysivius explained. We’ll wear them down as they approach your ambush site. Then, when the time is right, we shall take the package and return it to Seyfert.

Durge sheathed his axe to his side, tapping Midnight to get the horse on its way. “Sounds like a plan. I’ll see you on the flip side.”
Last edited by Turmenista on Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Solisian Union
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Solisian Union » Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:01 am

The Republic of Atria wrote:SNIP





The Triad - The Samurai, the Sorcerer, and the Sealer of Wounds - Sieglind, Arialista and Susan


They thanked her anyway, but still refused her offer, because the Easterner said to her: "We will accept it once we see you again after the incoming missions. We would be happy to see you work on any of our wounds should we ever sustain them in the coming day and night."

They now informed her that they must go, for they did not wish to be late, and they did not wish to be rude to her by just leaving her alone to drink alone, and hoped she let them go in peace.

The three girls, after the Easterner and the desert girl gave their goodbyes to their drunk friend, found themselves leaving the room to the noisy and happy and certainly lively comrades of their legion, because they all agreed to be together for one thing: Shopping.

Shopping in the sense of searching and purchasing the equipment, the supplies, the weapons, and the rest of the necessities that they must not neglect, not ever, not tomorrow, not even in the hours of this day, because it would save their lives or the lives of others or just save their honor from embarrassment before their comrades.

So off they went, as they told the watchers of the headquarters of their intentions, out of the territory and into the city.

In the city, the three moved as one, as a group, as friends. They found new clothes; they discovered better weapons; they gathered new potions; they bought new armor; they took new bags and containers; they obtained food and water; and they received small gifts from men or women or even little children who must have, even in passing, heard of their victories.

The Easterner received a young man's fighting gloves; the sorceress from the Desert received an old woman's scarf; and the village healer received a rising merchant's mask.

They returned to the headquarters with all their new items and placed them in their room, which all agreed to share, and went out again to explore the city for themselves and also to bond together, as new friends.

They walked over the bridges and watched the flowing water of the river; they explored the hills and ran up and down them; they strolled over the paved surfaces that allowed traffic to pass through, into, out of and along the city; and then they returned for good to the headquarters, having talked with one another, laughed with one another, and listened to one another, with one another, to satisfy their curiosities, their fears, their expectations, and the rest of what they desired to learn, to remember about one another.




One day would always lead to another, and when the next day, after their most eventful day with one another, came, they all left the room they shared, ate breakfast, took their baths shamelessly with one another, and reported to their superiors, eager to take on a mission as one group.

While, yes, it seemed so interesting to say that they bonded together quickly, it must have been out of a shared desire not to be alone, not to be with others they may not be compatible with, and not to be left without a duty.

It was contract day indeed. They all witnessed the ones take the mission for the village investigation; the others grab the mission for the beast slaying; and so on. But they all saw that many have taken the missions, and they all realized, yes, that they were probably the late ones. The Easterner sighed at both the sorceress and the village healer, who simply giggled, because they spent their time eating their breakfast while the Easterner had already flung her bathing towel over her shoulder and ran for the waters.

So now, here they were, awaiting orders.
Last edited by Solisian Union on Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
^_^

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Zarkenis Ultima
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Zarkenis Ultima » Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:46 am

Absolon-7 wrote:---


Sylanna didn't terribly mind the lack of information, or the lack of backup for that matter. The guild contract had mentioned none of that, and while she deeply respected the Legion for everything that its adventurers had achieved to make the world a safer place, their intelligence was often dependent on the knowledge of the locals, which wasn't always stellar - either way, it was often as good as they were getting, so if it didn't mention any backup or further details about the creature, she wasn't banking on getting any of that. It didn't worry her too much, either, their party was strong. They had not one but two purple cloaks as well as a blue cloak, and in terms of diversity they had two highly skilled fighters, overwhelming ranged support, and... whatever Aayla brought to the table. She didn't know, potions if she heard correctly? Whatever the case, she trusted Roxana's judgment there, for all her flaws she didn't usually mess up party setup.

She followed her fellow co-leader towards their next stop at the gates of the city, clad in her usual ornate snow elven armor, which was well suited to colder climates already, meaning she felt no need to grab any winter clothing. She'd been born in the rolling tundras of the Dominion after all, this was nothing to her.

Soon they arrived before their guide, another man, this one younger and less maimed than the royal huntsmaster, who already had a few horses gathered for the group. With a polite greeting and a wave, the Snow Elf immediately mounted one of them, and shortly afterwards, the journey began. Not long after, it ended, and they found themselves in a clearing, with the signs of struggle evident within, and a pool of foul blood at the center that seemed to have killed any life nearby. Sylanna frowned, she had seen simillar things during her campaign into Fellhollow.

"With all due respect, Roxana, splitting up sounds like a terrible idea. We don't know that the beast isn't nearby anymore, or even if we can see it; we don't want anyone to be caught alone and be an easy target." The Snow Elf stated as she approached Roxana from behind, briefly glancing down at the paw prints on the ground. She observed them intently and rubbed her chin for a few moments. "Those don't look like a reptile's." She concluded.
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Finland SSR
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Founded: May 17, 2014
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Finland SSR » Tue Apr 16, 2019 2:38 pm

Absolon-7 wrote:Crystal Village Investigation


Turmenista wrote:
    Luca Greyfoot
    Velathri, Paean Legion HQ
    Crystal Investigation Mission

    __________________________________


Dido Ricine, the Elven swordsmaster!




Upon stepping out from the barge, Dido faced the village of Soast not by shuddering at the ominous atmosphere or reflexively reaching for her weapon at the sight of the mysteriously empty streets, but instead grinning, while a small bag of gold Velathiri Ducats bobbed up and down in her right hand. The atmosphere felt nothing unusual to the Dark Elf - Solfatara could get even more ominous and she grew up over there - but tricking the poor ship captain with clever card play and a few aces hidden under her sleeve to rack up a fat stack of cash and thus make up for all the money she spent to rent the boat put a smile on her face.

Cap might be a veteran of ship battles all across the Western Ocean, but that ain't gonna automatically translate to smarts...

Dido only started to pay attention to her surroundings once she and her team finally departed from the harbor and stepped into the depths of the village, and the Lycan behind her mentioned that something about all his gave a bad feeling to him. He even went as far as to draw out his weapon. Dido responded with a snicker, turned her head over her shoulder to glance at Luca and spoke:

"Come on now, don't get paranoid. This village couldn't find enough men to fight off a headless amputee, much less ambush a team of armored travellers. Unless you're scared that you ain't up to snuff?"

Dido's head cocked back, turning towards the village before her eyes. Run-down shack, run-down shack... Ooh, finally some buildings which actually seemed to hold some merit! The Council Office, a church at the end of the street, a somewhat more maintained blue shack which she could only presume was a tavern... It was unlikely that they could expect anything more.

"Alright, someone should check the council office and the church - since we're searching on information about VanLoon, though, I'll try investigating the tavern. Those always hold some info on recent events."

Unfortunately, as the Dark Elf straddled along the road to finally open the door of the tavern with a wide smash, it turned out that she had overestimated the alcoholism rates in this town. There were only a few people sitting by the stalls, one of whom didn't even look like he was from around here, instead dressed like a ship captain. And that, coupled with all of the emptied drinks surrounding him, made her come to the conclusion that he wasn't going to be much use when it comes to information. Come on, someone here has got to know something about VanLoon...

Unfortunately, the very first conversation she had with a peasant three times her age did not grant her hope.

"Hey, uh, may I ask something?"

"You want to buy turnips?"

"-No, that wasn't what I was gonna ask."

"Then what do you want?"

"I want to ask whether you know anything about VanLoon-"

"Fuck off, you Solfataran wench. Unless you change your mind on the turnips."

Dido's eye twitched for a second. This... this bastard... did he just call her...

"Hey, asshole, I changed my mind."

The peasant glanced a little towards the woman upon the statement, only to instead suddenly receive a powerful spin-kick straight into his face. The force of the blow was enough to knock the old man off the chair he was sitting on and send him sliding across the floor, instantly prompting the rest of the men in the bar to stand up. In response, Dido pulled out her right hand falchion, imbuing it with magical energy and granting it the characteristic crimson spellblade glow.

"One of you better tell me something about VanLoon right now... or else..." the Dark Elf spoke, slowly, waiting for the words to sink in and spark the fright response she needed, The old ship captain her mind had dismissed earlier, seeing where the situation was heading, raised his hands and replied:

"Calm down, miss... I know something about what happened, just don't kill these people."

Dido's eyes shot towards the captain in a frustrated glare, and the Legionnaire pointed her magical weapon towards him. "Speak."

"I was in VanLoon, visiting family right after the meteor struck. Back then, nobody knew anything about what was going to happen, only harvests were amazing. What started the whole cascade is when blue crystals started being found in rip fruit, then they started emerging from the ground, the hooves, claws of barn animals started to crystallize... I tried convincing my family to leave, but they all wanted to stay to watch the column of light. No matter what I told them or how crazy all of it looked. unfortunately, I was right - as I was leaving, I saw a sudden wall of crystals surround the village and heard a completely alien sound blare though the air. I hoped that something's changed since this point, but..."

Crystals growing everywhere, you say... If I had to make a guess, that meteor must have something to do with this, and if that beam of light the description mentioned has some mind control powers like I can assume... I'd be surprised if this wasn't the work of a foul sorcerer. Dido watched the man explain his story with a frown, but after he finished, the woman gave a brief nod, sheathed her falchion and spoke:

"Anything else I might need to know?"

"...Are you going to leave us alone?"

The Dark Elf laughed a little, and finally replied:

"Unfortunately, i can't go around murdering villagers on Legion time."

And with that final sentence, Dido departed, pushing through the same door she had entered in and leaving the tavern baffled.






Zarkenis Ultima wrote:Sylanna


Simion Valerin, the marksman from Nur!




Simion trailed behind the team, dead last in the group, pondering over all of the information which they had received from the Crown Huntsman. One thing was obvious from the beginning - this was no joke. If it managed to take on a squadron of light cavalry at once and all on its own - and Lietuvan hunters are nothing to ridicule, let's not forget that - and leave every single one of them either dead or maimed, then they were in for a real treat. The marksman clenched his chin as he walked forward, his sight trailing across the ground.

Okay, so, let me try to get a clear view of what we know about this creature:
  • It is carnivorous, and it uses teeth to bite, rather than a beak or any other sort of alternative.
  • It is powerful enough to take on a squad of humans at once, and yet, at the same time, its hide, or skin, or scales, or whatever, is not impervious to arrows.
  • It was fought on land, so it's not a flier or anything. And yet, it was able to make its way from Margeride to Lietuva in a day's time if the contract is to be believed.
  • It has a some sort of... memory erasure ability, which makes the people which it has sighted to forget about its shape and form, but nothing else.
  • And that black cross on their forehead which the contract mentioned...


No matter how hard Simion would try to shovel through all the creatures he knew off the top of his bat, he couldn't pinpoit anything anywhere near to what they were about to deal with. Not that he even had enough time to think about it, anyway, as their group stopped before Remigijus, a man who spoke in an accent so harsh, even for a Lietuvan, that the Nurian marksman winced a little while trying to understand it. Hopping on a bay horse and trailing after the team, Simion continued to immerse himself in thought in the travel which followed.

It has been described as a wolf, a troll or a hyena... none of which are true, I believe. However, all of them indicate that the creature has a some form of fur or hide over its body... This also means that it's likely a some sort of mammal, not a reptile. Although you could have guessed that from the beginning, since a large reptile wouldn't thrive for long in the Soissons-Lietuva type climate anyhow...

Simion leapt off his horse as soon as the team reached the meadow, and while Roxana and Sylanna started inspecting the footprints, the marksman only offered a brief glance towards them, instead looking over the whole path, quickly spotting that the footsteps vanish after reaching the road and then coming back. That...

That changes some things.

"It either burrows or it flies, running on land is not its native territory, I'd say. That's the only way you can explain the footsteps vanishing." Simion guessed, folding his arms and starting to trail across the meadow, despite Sylanna's warnings. The visibility in the meadow was not so poor that his teammates wouldn't be able to see him if anything did happen to him. The wandering led the marksman to the edge of the forest, glancing over the array of trees, opting to not delve any deeper and thus wander off too far. Aside from giant claw marks, presumably left by the beast, there wasn't much of note to see.

Until... Huh?

Did he... just witness a black rip in the forest? As if the whole fabric of reality had just broken there and he didn't notice. Simion stopped and turned towards the source of the rip, only to witness that he was seeing some shit. There was nothing there... The marksman might have shrugged it off and walked away, had his mind not suddenly remembered what the Crown Huntsman told all of them upon first meeting them. That he saw nothing but a pitch black cut-out where the beast would be, presumably the same as he had witnessed in his memory just now.

"Guys, something weird's going on here..." Simion called out, walking forward - soon, his eye caught a tuft of dark brown fur, attached to one of the trees. Dark brown... Dark brown fur, then... With little else to do, and hoping to gain a bit more information through senses other than sight, the marksman opted to reach out and touch the tuft.
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Auropa
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Founded: Jan 07, 2014
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Auropa » Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:13 pm

Zarkenis Ultima wrote:...


Corven Roche
Delivery contract


After his talk with the librarian to be, Corven returned to his accommodation and started to gather his things for the journey ahead. His room was one of the legion's available units and while relatively small, had quickly proved to be cosy for him. While far from tidy and with a half of it littered with different keepsakes, including one recently acquired broken mercenary gauntlet blade, his own sword and armor were kept separate and in clear view. The short sword was practically ancient in design and covered with signs of use. Its handle and blade both clearly repaired and replaced so many times over its lifetime that the original materials were all but gone only to be replaced with a patchwork of steel. The armour though was a different matter entirely. While coated in a number of small scratches and blemishes, it came across as seasoned and hardened rather than old and frail. Its metal plates still appeared sturdy and intimidating, while its decals inflamed its appearance as it mimicked the legendary fire of the south. Though to any seasoned fighter, the combined set was littered with openings and weak points while the metal itself was ultimately thin and weak. The armor, as it were, was designed for deception over defence. Strongest at the gauntlets and chest, it was made with the intention of parrying and dodging rather than taking hits directly and focused on allowing as much mobility as its leather counterparts could provide at the inevitable cost of strength. For many, the collection of light, angled metal sheets and leather was nigh-on useless but to Corven, it was as good as armor could get.

After donning his gear and packing his supplies with his mount, he finally made his way to the warehouse and was happy to see the contract preparation all but finished by the time he arrived. From there, it was only a short wait until he and the group were on their way and leaving the Legion's headquarters behind them. Looking forward to seeing the city of Antheia in person Corven was happily enjoying the feeling of being on the road again and passing through the countryside. As nice as the legion’s facilities were and as homely as it was starting to feel, nothing quite beat the freedom of travelling to him. As the group journeyed on, Frey eventually broke the silence with a question Corven had been curious of himself.

“Well hoarse here would eat me out of house and home if I didn’t take at least one of the contracts.” He said as he patted his mount’s neck and earned a slight whine in response “As for why this one, well quite frankly that snow elf scares the crap out of me and I don’t think there’s enough ducats in the world for me to go investigate some rock the gods spat out at us. Plus I’m a sucker for the mystery and intrigue of it all." he added with his usual flare "There aren’t many groups as self-absorbed as the Thaspian military, so the fact they’d pay over half a thousand for a straightforward delivery job means it has to be something important, embarrassing or if we're lucky, both. Personally, I’m just waiting for some inquisitor order to leap out at us and reveal that we’re carrying the great and powerful Demon Lord Deathicus’ soul or something.”

“But in all honesty.” He eventually added in a calmer tone as he rested back into his saddle “this job just seemed the best for me. Never been much of a hunter of beats to begin with and the crystal job reeked of trouble. Besides, as things are now I’ve wasted more than enough of my life chasing coin and fortune, for now I’m happy to just earn my keep and let fate take me where it may. Don’t get me wrong though, I won’t complain about getting a bonus by the jobs end, I would happily waste extra ducats on poor life choices.”

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Sudbrazil
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Founded: Jan 14, 2018
Corporate Bordello

Postby Sudbrazil » Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:54 pm

Walter von Eisenach
Village investigation ~ morning



The cold fog draped the countryside farther away in grey mist, and his lungs filled up with humidity every time he breathed. For a moment he was brought back to his own fiefdom, to the good beer and sausages and ever-green fields. But this was not his village. As a matter of fact, it was rather worn down and no man was seen outside, giving off an atmosphere as cold as the river in a wintry month. Had they not fields to tend to or business to attend? Where was the town market, soon it would be time for supper.
As the party wandered to the town center, a few buildings set themselves apart from the peasants’ houses. A church, probably empty giveb the day of the week, as well as a tavern, painted in blue, which the dark elf immediately set out for. Typical, really, he didn't expect her to head anywhere else than the den of alcoholism. But then there was a large house, with a sign worthy of note.

“A council office?” He thought to himself. How curious. Generally the lord's manor or a keep would occupy this role, but they were in the region of a republic after all, and it would only make sense that the peculiarities of democracy extended themselves to every small burg and village.
“I shall try my chance with the council building,” he proclaimed to the group, “If any of you wishes to follow me...”

Without really waiting for anyone, Walter walked towards the door leading into the reception hall, past the dried and mossy fountain under the worn out facade.

Obviously, this council wasn't doing a very good job.

A lone clerk sat at a desk, her eyes baggy with sleep. Her eyes lit up as he entered the room and she produced a faint smile, perhaps because she finally had someone to talk to.
“I am afraid I haven't met you. Are you new to the village?”
“As a matter of fact,” replied the northern noble, “we were passing by to Van Loon. Do you have any information on what goes there.”

She slumped back down to her chair. A bad sign.

“I am afraid that something quite terrible happened there. Wouldn't you rather stay here? We have a few houses for sale.”
“I am aware of the fact.” von Eisenach reaffirmed firmly. He wouldn't allow himself to be doged by some second hand clerk, “That's precisely why we are going there. Do you know anything about the meteor that fell down upon it?”
“Well, not really. I have only heard very bad things about that. Wouldn't you be interested in renting or buying a cottage?”
“The state of the local housing market does not interest me. I want information.”
“I don't really know anything about that, you should check there.”

The woman pointed towards papers aligned neatly in a display stand. A regional newspaper! These hedge-born folk were really self-important, especially considering the state of their communities. Walter thanked the wench for her advice and sorted through the tabloids before finding what he wanted:

“ CRYSTALLINE METEOR HITS VANLOON ”

Perhaps their passage here wouldn't be fruitless.

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The Rebel Alliances
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Rebel Alliances » Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:54 pm

Scitha-Half Orc-Red Cloak-Crystal Village Mission

It seemed that wisdom was nt a universal trait for Elves. After all, this Dark Elf named Dido or something or other was not only freely antagonizing me, but she seemed to have little concern of offending a Lycan as well. I left the obvious irony of a Dark Elf cautioning a Orc on the reputation of their race unsaid, for now. As I had grown used to biting my tongue. A trait that was certainly not like an Orc. "I am aware of what I look like Dark Elf." I did not use her name, in her taunts I was not even sure if she had given it and at the moment I did not care to have it. "I'll see what I can do to blend in." I assured her.

With about an hour to pass before the boat would leave I left the main group and simply wondered for a while. Getting adjusted to the city as it would not take me a full hour to pick up what I required. Already carrying most of it with me. On my way back to the boat however I stopped by a clothing shop and purchased some robes and a hood which would suffice to hide my features from most onlookers from a distance at least.

Returning to the barge I loaded myself on board and waited for the rest of the team. Dido asked no one in particular if anyone had any experience on the waters where one man jokingly admitted he had much experience sailing the sands. I hesitated a moment before saying a simple word for myself.

"Aye." And with that I returned to a silence. Because the size of the boat did not really allow for me to isolate myself in any way I decided to stick closer to Oberon and the Lycan known as Luca.

Arriving at the Village
It was a full day of sailing to our ultimate destination but we were finally unloading. Not counting the one stop we made last night, where I had simply stayed aboard the boat anyways. When it came time to depart from the boat my eyes were drawn to the sky and the ominous tone it seemed to carry. I remained silent save for a grunt as I knew that such omens had rarely bode well. Back home in the islands one may not believe Orcs to be superstitious, but it was not uncommon for pirate voyages to never leave harbor due to bad clouds on the horizon. And Luca wasted no time in pointing out the obvious signs of trouble.

"Aye. Agreed Luca. I feel as if I should investigate to see if any of the infected are here, or further up. There could be ill in any of these shut houses."

I knew it could possibly be a bad idea, these people seem on edge enough as it is. And I doubt that seeing an Orc would calm them down. But the chances seemed high that people could be sick and any chance we had to learn about what we are up against should be considered.
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Radea
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Founded: May 15, 2017
Democratic Socialists

Postby Radea » Fri Apr 19, 2019 12:39 pm

Arden Rooke
Paean Legion Headquarters – Velathri

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
For a brief, uncomfortable moment, Arden was worried the fellow red cloak Frey would dismiss him out of hand. Fortunately, a hand assuringly patted his shoulder in welcome. It was a comfort that despite his lack of a silver tongue, Arden’s commoner skills were deemed useful.

As the bird of prey took wing, rising in circles on the powerful flutter of its own wings, the blue-haired warrior laughed jovially, “That hawk seems to be of good sense. Perhaps it is best I handle the pack mule.” Whoever this Frey Farwind really was, it seemed that Arden could work with him.

The others came forward to sign on for the contract, which came with varying quips from the self-assigned contract leader. Arden knew at least two of them and felt good about it. Yvonne politely walked in tandem with a young girl, similar brunette hair as they discussed the contract to Frey. “Sisters…?” Rooke thought to himself. No, not quite sisters. When you come from a small region, one naturally assumes everyone is connected.

When introductions and agreements had been made, the blue-haired warrior approached Yvonne and the new girl as Frey departed to court the receptionist into a bargain. He folded his arms, “Making new friends and recruits are we, Yvonne?” His eyebrow was cocked with amusement. Extending a sturdy hand to the younger woman, Rooke offered a warm commoner’s smile, “Tride, was it? I recall someone gleefully shouting that. Apologies for the wintery response from the others. It’s contract day and a terse one at that.” He shot a weary eye to the others in the large gaggle that seemed to have finally agreed on who gets to kill what.

"Alright, everyone, we're officially signed up for our contract. We'll be meeting up at the Legion's warehouse in an hour, so pick up everything you think you'll need for the journey and don't be late, alright?"

Frey’s orders could be heard over the din of the tavern hall. Rooke waved off the Paladin and the new legionary with promises to see them at the warehouse.

--------------------------------------------------------------

After an hour had passed, Arden came marching up to the Legion warehouse. His stout frame was bolstered by a steel pauldron on his left shoulder, fastened by a worn leather strap across his torso. His backpack was full, equipped with a bedroll, rations, and water satchel. A short sword was tucked into a scabbard across the small of his back and the handle of a forester’s axe swayed with each of his heavy footfalls. Rooke looked every bit the adventurer, if not quite a storybook one.

While Frey was finalizing the details with the elder quartermaster, Arden took to his trade. He ran his hands along the wagon, examining the spokes with sight as well as touch. He even got down the one knee and examined the connecting spars. The focus of his blue eyes conveyed experience beyond his years. Patting the rear of the mule, the Heartland commoner slid his hand along the side of the beast of burden. Finally, he affectionately rubbed the thick neck of the animal, “This is a sturdy mule. She’s strong and healthy. We won’t get there fast but we’ll get there.”

Soon they were on the road. The clop of hooves against cobblestone gave way to the soft thuds of well-worn dirt paths, worn into the countryside by centuries of travel. Arden was sitting in the driver’s seat of the cart, his pack behind him. Leather reins comfortably in his hand, one foot braced against the footboard iron with only the occasional glance back to their cargo to make certain it hadn’t shifted. He looked as relaxed as he had ever been since joining the Legion to the few in the group that knew him since then.

The soothing ride was punctured by a question. "So why did you all pick this contract, hmm?"
Corven was the first to respond, talking about how easy money without risking life and limb was the best kind of money. To Arden that made some sense, though wasn’t Corven a good fighter? His skills were above and beyond most others in that alley brawl a few weeks back.

Rooke shrugged, “I guess I agree with Corven. I’m not a particularly good with a steel blade yet and so… getting my neck bitten off by a monster or frozen into rocks by magic didn’t sit well with me. Between you lot, I’m not much better than a newly minted squire.”
Formerly known as Taber

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Absolon-7
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Founded: May 11, 2014
Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Absolon-7 » Fri Apr 19, 2019 2:04 pm

Paean Legion Velathri Headquarters

Siegfried Godwinson was as chipper as a canary as he marched from the open gate to the Headquarters. He hummed along the tune of some songbirds singing their wee little hearts away in some nearby decorative bushes which faded out once he reached the building and climbed onto the stairs. With a striking goldcloak strapped across his armor's shoulders most passerby's made sure to give way to him. Hard work through years of effort and quality service had brought him the prestigious rank in the Legion. What a great adventure it had been as they were certainly much more fun then running the family estate. All that pettiness over land was such a dreary triviality. The coffee like aroma of the lobby greeted his nose once he walked inside the building where he could see the clerks busy chit chatting with each other.

"Good morning chaps," boomed out Siegfried at the clerks, "Lovely day we're having?"

A red haired clerk by the name of Louise was the first to speak up, "Morning, Monsieur Godwinson."

With a spring in his step he took a turn down a hallway to the Legion's private tavern and glanced at the various paintings on one side of the hall. They were mostly landscapes but for some reason there was a still life of some eastern fruit with a tooth filled maw. The archipelago was a silly place. For a tavern it was quiet which made sense in the morning. Most folk would be more keen to get breakfast then drunken shenanigans. The bulletin board was right across the corner and it harbored a fair number of contracts. Most were too mundane for his liking but there appeared to be one that would be just right to his tastes.

In the decrepit Gabriel Manor located a few hours from the city of Velathri there exists a large mansion that used to belong to the Magus of the city's council several decades prior who represented the magic users of the city. He was a fanatic collector of rare trinkets and magical artifacts but one fateful day in some unknown mishap there was an explosion that killed all living things around its perimeter but left all inanimate objects unharmed. Decades later nature reclaimed the area around the manor but the building itself remained a place of fear as it was said ghosts of its residents still remained. The manor is a popular spot for tests of courage among youth but lately one such youth has not returned in three days. Reports from good samaritans who tried going inside said that they experienced piercing headaches and violent hallucinations which made any attempts futile. The Legion was contracted out to investigate the cause for these events and to save the youth from whatever may have befallen them.
Pay: 400 Ducats in total


By the gods what a travesty! Young people should be out making fool of themselves and enjoying their spring of their life not have some insidious actions befall them! It was his duty as a Godwinson to rectify this situation and bring peace but there were complications. This manor was not far from home which meant there was a chance he could run into family. Second there appeared to be undead involved which was not a a good sign. Thankfully he knew of a shrine to a local mountain god that could bless his weapons but he needed a party first as this job looked like more then it meets the eye. He grabbed the contract from the bulletin board and took a look around for any familiar faces but there didn't appear to be any. Siegfried began to walk off to order food but a light thud at is side made him look over to see Roxana tugging a masked woman by the arm.

"Oh Roxana, apologies for not seeing you," apologized Siegfried.

"What, oh hi Sieg. Sorry I can't chat for now I'm supposed to be leaving for a contract bye-bye!," waved of the elf woman.

"Farewell to you, ma'am," said Siegfried.

Her wisp would've been helpful with dealing with ghosts but shame she had a contract already. With a another look Seigfried finally spotted someone that could be of use: that old rabbitfolk by the name of Thatcher. Those rabbitfolk were such silly folk always having such long names. Jolly in his walking be bounded to the rabbitman and gave a hearty pat to the back to him.

"Good morning Thatcher! Care to join me in this contract?," said Siegfried as he handed the paper to the rabbitfolk, "Rescuing a damsel, smiting undead, a mysterious mansion? What else could you ask for?"
Just passing by. Please no militarization of borders.
Giovenith wrote:...The past was not happier. It was not more peaceful, people were not nicer, things were not better. You only think of it that way because you are afraid of the chaos of the present and the past seems inherently orderly because you already know what to expect from it...

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Tomia
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New York Times Democracy

Postby Tomia » Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:03 pm

Annabelle
Annabelle followed along with Frey and the others. She wasn't paying much attention as Frey dealt with the bureaucracy of pay and adding more members. Those weren't things that particularly concerned her. She was paying attention however as they retrieved the item they were tasked with delivering. The Quartermaster warned them the item was very valuable and that they were to be careful with it, but was very vague about it beyond that. This made Annabelle a little wary. She wasn't very interested in protecting something that could harm others, or that was illicit in nature. The legion may have preached moral neutrality, but Annabelle had already hurt too many people by ignoring the means in favor of the ends, she no longer had a desire to do so. Still she pushed that thought from her mind as they prepared to leave. Frey suggested small talk but as expected she wasn't terribly interested. Corven spoke however and Annabelle listened. His interest was as excepted from a legionnaire. Most people she found very simply thought of this profession as a means to an end, or occasionally an opportunity for glory. Annabelle imagined very few if any people would be able to relate if she told them her actual reason for joining the legion.

"It was better than doing nothing." She told Frey simply, in regards to why she joined, not offering any more information than that.

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Turmenista
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Postby Turmenista » Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:13 pm

Image


    Thatcher Damned-I-Be-If-I-Hath-Been-Despoiled-By-Thou Thunderchief XI
    Velathri, Paean Legion HQ
    __________________________________

As usual, Thatcher was up well before the general crowd. The borderline geriatric beastfolk had made his rounds around the Paean Legion headquarters and Velathri, picking up a few odd things here and there for whatever reason he required them for. Of course, his purpose for picking up these goods was simple: he needed them for Alchemy. Whether it was some strange plant that only grew in the criminal-ridden lower district, some Lycan mead, or some frog that was terrorizing some of the bureaucrats, he was sure to get his hands on it and bring it back to his lab for his alchemy.

All those odd jobs in the wee hours of the morning had caused Thatcher to grow a little hungry and forget what he was originally supposed to do...was it go out and get some dragon scales or little crustaceans for his haze trees, small plants that gave a room a sour, citric smell but could be used to make potent acids? Nope...alreeeadygotsome of those. Thatcher's thoughts were as fast as the grumpy old rabbit man spoke. What was it, actually? Why was he here, again? Was it something related to a contract? Someone in need of some Alchemy equipment?

...

...

...

"AHA!" Thatcher raised a finger, as if an imaginary magical lightbulb had just went off in his head. Striding into the tavern, he noticed one contract was up for grabs, and for 400 ducats—not a bad price. Apparently, a large mansion near Velathri was abandoned and used by the youngsters as a sort of "I'll dare you to do this" spot, which was honestly stupid of those youngsters! Where Thatcher grew up, to prove yourself you had to go out and slay a beast, take home a woman, and make a great deal all in the same night! This was nothing. Apparently one poor soul was stuck in there, and all attempts by the locals to get in were met with piercing headaches and hallucinations. Thats'whatmedicine'sfor. Nothing a thata good medical concoction can't fix. Thatcher nodded to himself, impressed by his own brilliance. GodsIlovemyskills. Now, how to do this..

"Good morning, Thatcher!"

Hrm..? Whatwuzzat? A fly? Ho hum! That means the chilled rats tails were decomposing as planned! Thatcher's large ears twitched. Normally able to hear the sound of a light-footed ranger from far away, Thatcher's hearing had deteriorated to the point where hearing basic things was a challenge, all thanks to being next to explosions for all his life. Now, he made sure to get earplugs... but that sound was still so peculiar. What was it?

"Care to join me in this contract?"

"Aha! YES!" Thatcher hopped around, his prosthetic leg clicking against the floor as he waved to greet his jolly friend, Siegfried Godwinson the gold cloak. He was one of the very few in the Legion and used to be a good friend of Barnabus's as well, the very name of his old best friend filling him with vengeance to find and take down the man responsible for slaying the Bard. It was at this point that Thatcher realized he was perfect for this job. If anything, blowing the house down or smashing some ghosts with some divine water bombs was a good way to take down restless spirits.

Thatcher took the paper from his friend, fidgeting with a small chain on his cuirass that held a "striker"-like tool for igniting bombs and the like. Another more frequently used attachment was on the chain: spectacles. He put the Dwarven contraption over his eyes with care and flicked a small switch on it, activating a painstakingly slow chain reaction that magnified the image for his eyes. He took the paper, its image bouncing up and down in his vision from his shaky grip, but, nonetheless, he could read it in more detail now. "Ah, yes, THANKYOUMYFRIEND!"

He zoned out for a moment, putting the paper onto the side as Siegfried explained the mission to him, involving rescuing some youth, smiting undead, and roaming about a creaky old mansion. He was right, what more could one ask for?

"Ho hum!" Thatcher gave a hearty chuckle, his voice much higher as if he couldn't hear his own words. "AHYESIFITISINT MY GOOD FRIENDO SIEGFRIED! HOW THE HELLHAVEYOU BEEN KEEPIN'? Andyes, my good friend, I will TAKE this mission. After all, if Ghosts need busting, why not use explosives? That makes things go KABOOM, right? Har har har!"
Last edited by Turmenista on Sun Apr 21, 2019 1:11 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Union Princes
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Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Union Princes » Fri Apr 19, 2019 9:22 pm

The Inquisitors

Romilda Schaus snapped out of her trance when Strauch offered her a that mug of beer that he purchased. She was stunned and was at a loss for words of his generosity. Her comrades back in the Inquisition rarely offer free drinks to her. Romilda quick shut her gaping mouth when she noticed that the old man was waiting for her to take it. She knew she should’ve said ‘thank you’ first and maybe offer to pay back the cost. Romilda wasn’t in the mood for alcohol but she didn’t want to be rude to the elder. She was thirsty though, probably because of her paranoia.

The Inquisition doesn’t know I’m here. They won’t poison anything. Romilda repeated inside her head while she gingerly reached out and grabbed the mug. Even when wearing armor for her hands, she gripped onto the handle as if she was holding a rose that had extra thorns on its stem.

She looked inside and thought the color of the liquid was correct for alcohol not spiked with poison. Romilda could relax but her anxiety grew when the old man continued staring at her with a look as if he already guess her previous occupation. Letting it slide, she drank a big gulp of beer and forced it down her throat.

It hurts. Romilda regrets drinking more than she could swallow. Tears were forming around her eyes as a result of her pain and embarrassment. She wished she had her helmet on to hide her rosy red cheeks.

The old man took a deep breath as if he was getting really annoyed by her antics. After a few miniscule nods with his head, he finally spoke.

“My lady, my name is Strauch. Wilhard Strauch.” the old man extended his hand for a handshake to which Romilda thought her fingers were being crushed by his iron grip.

“Uhhh. Romilda Schaus, at your service.” Romilda replied before hastily breaking away from the handshake as if she touched a hot iron.

Strauch retracted his hand and rested his body on the back of his chair while he took another sip out of his mug.

Elsewhere, a new legionnaire proudly introduced herself to everybody present in the mess hall. Not everybody paid attention to her but Romilda turned her head around to see who was speaking.

“That young girl over there. The child.” Strauch tilted his head in her direction to guide Romilda’s eyes.

“Oh…” She muttered as she caught a glance of the new comer before she turned around to meet Strauch’s gaze again. “You seem intrigued by her.”

“No.” Strauch shot down that assumption with that sharp tone in his voice. “No….the lass will someday learn that not every adventure is finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.”

“If that’s the case,” Romilda ponders with a grin, “Then what’s with that ‘look’-”

“You’re scared, aren’t you Romilda?” Strauch interrupts with a new expression taking over his face. “You look as if you’re being hunted.”

Her heart sank into her boots and her smile died on her lips. “How-how can you tell?”

“I’m not just a Legionnaire, Romilda, I’m a Witch Hunter.” he answers, “I know what fear looks like. You clearly haven’t let go of a sin of your past before coming here.

The female knight in armor wished herself a world away right now, but she can’t. There’s nowhere to go or run too.

This is it. Romilda prayed through her thoughts. I’m gonna die.

She would’ve opened her mouth in a sad attempt to defend herself if it weren’t from a bellowing shout coming from a blue cloak Legionnaire. It was a first time for her to see rabbitfolk and she couldn’t contained the surprised curious look on her face.

Strauch on the other hand only grimaced and clutched his mug in anger. Not only at the apparent deafening levels of the rabbitfolk’s voice but also his complete chill attitude of using explosives against ghosts. Has he have no consideration of environmental damages from the blast radius that could be result in handicapping the battlefield in favor of the party’s enemies?

“Romilda,” Strauch called out, “it’s time to earn your coin here. As much as it pains my sanity to work with the rabbitfolk, I have been in missions like that quest that involves rescuing, purging, and investigating. Pray that our ears are still fine after this whole affair.”
There is no such thing as peace, only truce between wars

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Finland SSR
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Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Finland SSR » Sat Apr 20, 2019 6:23 am

Absolon-7 wrote:
Paean Legion Velathri Headquarters


Turmenista wrote:
    Thatcher Damned-I-Be-If-I-Hath-Been-Despoiled-By-Thou Thunderchief XI
    Velathri, Paean Legion HQ
    __________________________________


Bettine Lambert, master of the Griffon!




It was time to take on her first real mission for the Legion! Despite not even being old enough to drink, Betty stormed into the Velathiri HQ Tavern and walked straight towards the contract board on the other side of the room. Matthias should be able to wait for a few minutes while she picks up a contract without getting into trouble, right? She ordered her griffon as best as she could to do so, and while Bettine wasn't sure how much her words were drilling into the creature's head, at the very least, he opted to sit down on the rooftop of a nearby church.

Contracts, contracts, contracts... flew by the griffon rider's head as she stopped in front of the contract board and started scanning it for anything interesting. During the last few weeks she had been a member of the Legion, she had already taken on a few contracts in Velathiri, but none of them were very exciting nor could they allow her employ the one thing she excelled in. Turns out a griffon isn't as much help at distributing letters as she initially imagined, not unless you like dogs barking and the people you're supposed to bring letters to running away from you. And always worry about not finding landing space for your ride, too. Come on, give her something more interesting to do!

Which meant that, when Betty realized that there really wasn't interesting going on in the board, a small pout formed on her face. Weren't there supposed to be a bunch of important quests pinned earlier this morning? That's what she had overheard, at least... Did all of them get taken while she was busy tending to Matthias? Guess she will have to be content with an another mail delivery contract, then... This is where Betty overheard two men talking not too far from the contract board, clearly discussing one between the two and teaming up to take on the contract. And both of them looked like they were a big deal, even if Betty hadn't yet memorized the Legion rank system and couldn't tell that the onion-looking knight was actually some of the greatest Legionnaires you could find in Velathiri. The fact that the other person looked like a giant bipedal rabbit was a lot more concerning.

"Hey, heya, misters!" Betty exclaimed as she walked up to the two fellow Legionnaires. "Are you two searching for a crew for the contract, perhaps? My name's Betty and I'm kinda new here, but I figured I could help out!"
I have a severe case of addiction to writing. At least 3k words every day is my fix.

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Turmenista
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Ex-Nation

Postby Turmenista » Sat Apr 20, 2019 5:51 pm

Finland SSR wrote:
Absolon-7 wrote:
Paean Legion Velathri Headquarters


Turmenista wrote:
    Thatcher Damned-I-Be-If-I-Hath-Been-Despoiled-By-Thou Thunderchief XI
    Velathri, Paean Legion HQ
    __________________________________


Bettine Lambert, master of the Griffon!


    Thatcher Damned-I-Be-If-I-Hath-Been-Despoiled-By-Thou Thunderchief XI
    Velathri, Paean Legion HQ
    __________________________________

Oh? Who's this?

Thatcher could barely believe what his 50-plus-year-old rabbit ears were picking up. Was that.. Buttered Lambfur..? Yes, it was, in fact! The pre-pubescent red cloak Griffon rider—and one of the newest Legionnaires, at that—had come to help them on their mission? How excellent! He could hardly hold in his excitement at the thought of having such a massive beast backing them up on their quest. Some would call this kind of thought stupid. Others, like Thatcher, would call it simply excellent. Along with being powerful beasts of burden, Griffons were excellent in scaring away many kinds of enemies, along with dispatching those who were brave enough to remain after being scared away. He’d never had the chance to inspect one up close, so this was potentially his "ticket in" to their inner-workings and mannerisms, if you will.

“Hohohohum! By myfather’smuttonchops, I woulda’ne’er thought a griffonrider ofallpeople would be joining us!” Thatcher spoke as quickly as he moved, bounding over to the young woman at a pace one wouldn’t expect out of a borderline geriatric like himself. His age quickly became evident to Betty in his gruff but quick voice, as well as the obvious peg leg, which was another story for another time. Still, he inspected the young griffon rider like one would do while perusing a product, albeit with care as to not make himself seem creepy.

“Only, there is one question, child: where are your swords? Your shields? Your beast iself? Your... by the divines.. your POTIONS?!” He spoke with alarming alacrity, a royal ‘we’ accompanying each and every word. “Bah! Youlookasif you are prepared for a RACE, not for battle, my dear! That reminds me of the time when I, and my good friendo Barnabus the Bard the Purple Cloak—damned be his killer, I’ll find him someday—were out and about adventuring one day, when we came across some young soul trying to fight a monster! Alone! Can you believe it? WelltheboySAIDhewasgoingtofightamonster, okay, BUT, we decided to watchtheboy as he went out to slay the beast..! Alone! ...but the beast was merely a wolf. A small, docile wolf, at that, that ran off at the sight of two experienced and quite frankly HANDSOME Legionnaires. Needlesstosay, he went in TOTALLY UNPREPARED for ANYTHING, you see. A WOODEN TRAINING SWORD and LEATHER ARMOR is NOT!!! a good method for slaying monsters in any world! Okay? What IS agreatmethod in destroying monsters, however, ARE BOMBS! ACIDS! CROSSBOWS! POISONS! Nothing that poor youngster had with him, sadly.”

It appeared he had trailed off onto quite the non-sequitur, so Thatcher gave a cough to re-collect himself. “So! While I am positivelyabsolutely NOT opposed to your assistance on this task, I would like to ENSURE you are well-armed for the mission....especially a newbielikeyourself. I can help provide. But, FIRST!” He raised a finger, as if to emphasize his point, and stepped backwards to introduce himself. “My name is Earl of the Warren Thatcher Damned-I-Be-If-I-Hath-Been-Despoiled-By-Thou Thunderchief XI, eleventh son of Silas Until-The-Gods-Hadst-Blessed-Me-Thou-Hadst-Been-Bloodied-On-The-Mill Thunderchief, blue cloak of the Paean Legion. You are Buttered Lambfur, yes? Or, is it, Button Lambherd? Bettine Lambert-ah, yes! Bettine! That’s it. I do hope I’ve got the right person here. Mymemory’s as scrambled as my eyesight some days! Ha! Ha ha ha!” He chuckled heartily.




Collab between Absolon-7, Segral and Turmenista


    Luca Greyfoot feat. Oberon Klask
    Soast
    Crystal Investigation Mission

    __________________________________

The unsettling and foggy atmosphere of the village of Soast only made the task of checking out a creepy, creaky old church at the end of the street all the more spooky. It looked like some dark building one would find out of a horror book you could only get in the darkest corners of the Legion library—imposing black bell tower and stained glass on the interior, but it seemed to be lit up enough that you could find your way around. Luca could relate the church to some of the older buildings in Lycanmire and Velathri which all carried a dark, sinister aesthetic to them despite being relatively innocent. This one, however, carried all the red flags of some crazy cult or religion. He wasn’t going to take any chances here, not at all.

“Oberon?” He looked over his shoulder to the monk, perhaps out of fear for going in alone, or just needing someone to back him up. “We can look over this church, see what we can find.”

“Aye.” the monk replied, taking a few long strides to match Luca. “Perhaps some villagers have clustered in the church, it’s large enough to hold the entire village and then some. They may be willing to give us some information.” he said, not exaggerating in the slightest. The church was massive, eclipsing everything even remotely near the religious building in a thick, deep shadow. Especially the bell tower, which was a curious feature in the otherwise flat landscape. Being a river village, the land was quite low, and few buildings rose higher than two stories. It only served to emphasize the huge size of the church, the looming force that religion still played in Anthem.

Admittedly, his skin crawled at the thought of being back within a holy building. He still hadn’t forgotten The Blaze, the terrible fire that he had started, one that had burnt down a massive religious landmark. Part of him wanted to turn back. But he had to face his fear and prove his bravery, especially under the eye of such a scrutinous Captain. She would only accept the very best from him, so he needed to put in his very best.

“That’s a good place to start.” Luca noted with a nod. The doors of the church were larger-than-life, even taller than a full-grown orc, that is. Miraculously, it didn’t take much effort to open the doors, as only a light push was all to open them up, allowing ambient outside light to fill the entrance.

Inside, the sheer size of the building became clear by the impossibly large ceiling alone. The stained glass windows cast an ominous red glow onto the pews, one row of which which was occupied by two sleepy villagers, all while a man in dark regalia tended to the pulpit at the other side of the building, burning some sweet-smelling incense at the shrine. Luca identified it to be rose almost immediately. The walk from the entrance, past all those (mostly) empty pews, to the priest at the end felt like a mile, taking the duo nearly a minute to do so after awkwardly shuffling past the quiet, praying villagers and other religious icons of fish encased in glass.

Luca’s ears picked up each and every sound in the massive building, including the scuffling of mice and the whispering of the villagers as they walked in, and the incoherent mumbling and chanting of the priest they approached. “Doesn’t really seem as if we’re welcome here,” he noted softly, an icy tinge of xenophobia on the villagers’ words. It then became clear to him that fish imagery was everywhere in the town and especially the church. The stained glass depicted disturbing “fish lore”, including one giant “mother fish,” and a whole world made of fish, including some massive moon...made out of fish. The priest’s robes, too, were covered in fishy scales, giving it an ethereal glimmer from the ambient light of the torches and stained glass.

“A man of faith and a man of the sword..!” The priest said, pausing his ritual as he gave a crisp about face to address the man from his heightened position. “Leave your weapons down there if you wish to speak, my children.”

Motioning for Oberon to do the same with his staff, Luca awkwardly removed his oversized sword and set it down against one of the pews, walking up a small set of stairs to the “stage.” Oberon appeared less pleased about dropping his weapon, fingering the staff longingly for a few seconds before deciding to relinquish it, albeit quite grudgingly based on the sour scowl on his face. It was clear he didn’t like being inside the building, especially with the slightly overwhelming amount of aquatic imagery. Something about it felt...strange to him. How there were so few people inside, the strange mumblings they made, their apparent hostility towards their very presence. He could understand why they would be apprehensive at the sight of a Lycan, but Oberon was a regular man, it was odd that they were so aggressive. It was best to act as peaceful as possible and drop the weapon, but he would be quick to grab it again it misfortune happened to arise.

Once the two were on the stage, the priest waved both of them blessings that carried a distinctly fishy smell to them—in fact, the priest smelled like fish, too. It was a smell one could get used to rather easily, but it was nonetheless unpleasant. Perhaps that was why the rose incense was burning? They simply needed something to get that fishy smell out of there.

“Two Legionnaires from the Paean Legion.” The priest began. “One, a monk, the other, a Lycan. Services are held at night on weekdays. What brings you to Soast, my friends? Have you come to confess for your errs in the past? To learn more about the town and its history? About the glory of Piscanism? To become a member of the church?”

“..Piscanism?” Luca curiously tilted his head, as if he were trying to understand what the man was saying. The word seemed alien to him, except for the first part that he vaguely remembered meant “fish.” He looked around briefly, oblivious for a moment. “Is that why there’s so much fish imagery?”

“Yes, yes, of course,” joyfully said the priest as he clasped his hands together, “Since time immemorial this quaint slice of civilization has followed the great god Pisces of the River Aria. Some might say we follow too well but naysayers have no power here. Hmm, I see you two are Paean Legionnaires?”

“Yup. I mean, yes.” Luca nodded. “I’m Luca, this is Oberon. We were wondering if we could ask you a few questions about the village.” Of course, he also wanted to ask his own questions about the village, namely the ever-present and thick fog around them.

“Ah, go ahead then.” said the priest, “Oh you may call me Father Manuel.”

“Well, Father Manuel.. what’s with the fog?” Luca asked. “I haven’t seen anything like this before. Is it unique to this town?” He then turned to his comrade. “Oberon, you wanted to add anything else?”

“Erm, yes.” he said awkwardly, surprised by the sudden redirection. “We also wished to know about the nearby village, VanLoon. Have you seen any strange occurrences within the village as of late? Strange behavior of the people, the weather, the climate? Perhaps something of a magical nature?” Best to keep the questions vague. It would make getting a straight answer much easier.

“Fret not my child,” said the Priest to the Lycan, “The fog is a common occurrence. We’re right next to one of the largest rivers in the Heartlands. A bit of humidity isn’t too strange. Personally, I believe it be a blessing from Pisces. Helps keep the skin moist.” Once the bald Legionnaire spoke up about VanLoon the priest rubbed his won bald head, “Yes, that cursed place. Well its all the rage in the county. Talk of crystal columns encircling the town and perhaps even expanding. No one’s been there in a while since hostile wildlife covered in crystals attack anyone who nears so we’ve had to look elsewhere to sell fish. Some hunters from outside where hired by the Count of the area to look into it but never returned. One died on my very doorstep claiming something about crystal people. So very tragic.”

“Interesting.” Luca noted. He’d heard about the crystal-infested wildlife from the contract, but crystal-infested people was something he hadn’t heard about. He didn’t like to think like a pessimist, but if this was the case, Vanloon was truly a closed case—there wasn’t anything that they could do to help those poor villagers aside from smashing them. “And, what about that strange thing at night?” Luca asked. “We heard there was some strange beam of light that went into the sky at night. What’s that supposed to be?”

“I’m no sheriff or detective but I believe the light comes from the meteor itself! Its origin matches where the meteor fell. The light it creates...it matches no color known to man, elf, or any other being. It’s so mesmerizing so beautiful…” the priest shook his head suddenly before looking at the two men again, “But yes. The meteor is behind it all. There’s no other explanation.”

So the meteor’s the cause of it. Luca thought to himself, his intuitive skills putting the whole picture together rather quickly. “I see. If we were to somehow destroy that meteor, there’s a chance we could end all this.”

“D...destroy the meteor? But then the beautiful light will disappear!” shouted the priest with spit flying out his mouth. It appeared that his skin had turned sweaty and pale in shock. He brought up his hands to his bald head and rubbed it incessantly. “Apologizes, no. Sorry but I must ask you two to leave unless you’re staying to pray. If you excuse me I must go. The confession stands to Pisces need me.”

Luca backed away from the priest a few paces as the man’s demeanor totally switched up on them. What kind of priest was this, first depicting the crystals as something terrible..but now, this? “I take it this is our cue to leave, Oberon..” Luca took a glance to their weapons by the pews. Of course, he always was quick to aggression—even a priest could be dangerous given their strange, esoteric ways. A quick lunge to grab Illumina would work, but he didn’t know what that priest had in terms of damage. But, was it too foolish to jump to aggression like this?

Oberon did not agree, shaking his head and instead stepping forward and continuing to question the priest about the pillar of light. He too was curious about it, particularly at the priest’s odd demeanour when speaking of the pillar of light. He seemed to switch in and out of some dream state, as if he was hypnotized by the light.

“Father Manuel, what is it about the light that’s so attractive? Is the light the reason for crystallizing the livestock and people? You must tell us, more lives could be at stake if we do not know! There are very few other reliable sources in this town besides a man of religion, we are placing our trust with you!” The people in the pews now appeared agitated, shaking their heads and muttering in even louder tones. The glares were becoming icier, colder every second, a few even shaking their fists. The very room itself seemed to grow an odd chill, the fish carved in the stained-glass windows staring down with wary eyes of judgement. This was a dangerous place. But they needed answers to their questions, not rush into things uninformed like that bloody Lord Byron contract.

“I’m just a priest! I only know what I hear from others,” he said in desperation backing away from the bald monk, “The light...the light..it’s like a lure with juicy bait. Once you see it you..I..can’t look away. That’s all I know.”

Oberon simply sighed, letting the priest go off. The holy man scurried away, running to the back of the church and locking himself in the confession stands with a resounding thud. There was nothing more to learn, he clearly wasn’t in the mood to give answers to their questions. Hopefully, the information he did give would be enough. The duo moved back to where they had left their weapons, retrieved their gear, and headed out the massive doors of the church, still pondering over what had transpired.

Figuring asking the hostile villagers wasn’t going to yield anything useful, Luca shrugged. They left the stage, picking up their weapons on the way out. “I guess that’s all we can ask them Oberon.” Pretty much everyone else in the church saw the two as if they were hostile intruders, so staying here for long wasn’t going to be the best of moves. “It was kind of strange, though. Why did he respond like that when we asked him about the light? He seemed to be normal before we brought that one up..” Then, pausing as if for dramatic effect, he continued. “Is everyone in this town like that because of the light?”

“...It’s possible.” Oberon said after a pause, stroking his chin. “In any case, the light is certainly something to take into consideration when we do continue our investigation, it’s useful information. We should be wary never to look directly at the light, lest we end up like that fool. Hopefully, the others found something a tad more useful.” he grunted with a smirk, twirling the staff in his hands.

Hopefully… Luca thought to himself, nodding along to his partner’s suggestions. As they left the old church, Luca paused for the door to close behind them, taking a look at the gloomy town before them. “If anything, whenever the chance that we get to smash that light arises, let’s be sure to take it. Something tells me that light has got a lot to do with this, crystals aside. And, if it comes to it, I might have to transform.”
Last edited by Turmenista on Sat Apr 20, 2019 6:11 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Absolon-7
Diplomat
 
Posts: 720
Founded: May 11, 2014
Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Absolon-7 » Sat Apr 20, 2019 11:23 pm

Turmenista wrote:Thatcher Damned-I-Be-If-I-Hath-Been-Despoiled-By-Thou Thunderchief XI
Turmenista wrote:Thatcher Damned-I-Be-If-I-Hath-Been-Despoiled-By-Thou Thunderchief XI

Paean Legion Velathri Headquarters


"Explosion's my old boy? What a splendid idea! Those ghouls and phanstasm won't know what hit them!," shouted Siegfried Godwinson into Thatcher's ears, "But let's be selective when and where we use them. The mansion's old and wouldn't be fun being trapped under heaps of debris!"

By the gods he didn't understand why Thatcher didn't go to a healer for his hearing problems. It couldn't cost that much could it? Granted it might be a repeated venture since he knew the rabbitman was fond of explosives thus it'd be a futile and repetitive procedure but certainly he could spare some thought for poor old Siegfried's voice being sore after every conversation. It was here where a young lass approached Siegfried and Thatcher about joining the contract with them. Siegfried couldn't see why not. Helping out the lower ranks was always a pleasure. What better way to learn then seeing two pros show what their made of? Siegried would've spoken out to let the girl join but Thatcher thought going on one of his rants was a good idea. Siegfried tried to follow along but he got lost halfway through handsome Legionnaires and gave up. Once the spiel was over Siegfried gave a hearty smack to Thatcher's back.

"HO HO HO," laughed out Siegfried in his boisterous voice, "Come now Thatcher let's not scare of the wee lass. Save your breath and use your speech the ghoulies we'll be facing in the manor. Now, Betty is it? I'll be happy to take you along. As Thatcher my man already introduced himself you may call me Siegfried Godwinson. Oh here's the contract. Make sure to read it in the fullest."
Just passing by. Please no militarization of borders.
Giovenith wrote:...The past was not happier. It was not more peaceful, people were not nicer, things were not better. You only think of it that way because you are afraid of the chaos of the present and the past seems inherently orderly because you already know what to expect from it...

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Finland SSR
Post Marshal
 
Posts: 15001
Founded: May 17, 2014
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Finland SSR » Sun Apr 21, 2019 11:20 am

Turmenista wrote:
    Thatcher Damned-I-Be-If-I-Hath-Been-Despoiled-By-Thou Thunderchief XI
    Velathri, Paean Legion HQ
    __________________________________

Absolon-7 wrote:
Paean Legion Velathri Headquarters


Bettine Lambert, master of the Griffon!




Okay, so, status report. The good thing is that both of the veterans who picked up the contract were amiable to having Betty tag along with them. And she was going to be tagging along with two people - Siegfried Godwinson and Thatcher Extremelylongnamewhichshehasalreadyforgottenandcouldn'trepeatifheldatswordpoint, both of which had quirks of their own, were significantly higher rank than her and seemingly immediately recognized what her "thing" was.

The bad thing is that Thatcher, to put it as mildly as physically possible, is a bit of a wordy rabbitfolk. Immediately, he jumped straight at Betty, forcing out a "Wah!" from her while he snooped all around her and finished entire sentences by the time it took her to comprehend the first few words. While she was still trying to come to terms with him saying that she was severely lacking in weaponry and she looked like she had outfitted herself for a race instead of a battle, Thatcher had already gone through an entire sob story and explained that he can arm her with all the equipment which she will need for this mission.

"I-I don't need any weapons, thank you!" Betty exclaimed, flailing her arms and hoping that her words reach the beastfolk's ears before he overexcitedly stuffs her bag with bombs and thus turns her into a flying missile. "I-I'm not a fighter and Matthias doesn't like it when I poke stuff with spears while on his back anyway!" Thankfully, Thatcher's friend was a lot easier to comprehend, apologizing for his friend and handing Betty the page of the contract to read it over.

"Hmmm..."

Rescue a poor trapped young boy inside a haunted manor? Boo... Shivers went down Betty's spine upon imagining what kind of stuff must have been possessing the place, which that kid was now forced to experience. And for three days, too?! Sheesh, they have to hurry up, then, before they die from hunger!

"Matthias doesn't really like closed spaces all that much..." Betty muttered under her breath as she handed the paper back to Siegfried. "I-is eating undead meat safe, by the way? Matthias will definitely try to take a bite if he slays one, and if that can get him sick, then I should probably order him to leave their bodies be..."
I have a severe case of addiction to writing. At least 3k words every day is my fix.

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Union Princes
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1679
Founded: Nov 02, 2017
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Union Princes » Sun Apr 21, 2019 2:16 pm

The Inquisitors

"Well, go on." Strauch nudged Romilda forward with a stern push in the back as they approached with heavy steps the new party forming around the contract.

Romilda, again, was loss for words on what to say to the rabbitfolk and the Onion knight. She was blushing like a child and bit on her lip.

"We-we would like to join the mission too." She sputtered, "I'm Romilda and the old man nest to me is Strauch."

Strauch saluted grimly Thatcher and Siegfried. His missing one eye painfully obvious underneath his tall hat.

The Witch Hunter then turned to Bettine who has protested of not needing a weapon and asking about the safeness of corpse-eating, both of which he found absurd.

"Listen here, lass." Strauch look down upon Bettine, "You'll need a weapon. Any weapon is better than no weapon, understand? There is no guarantee that any member of this questing party can protect your back. Not even your mount.

"As for eating corpses," he continues, "Don't. It is never sanitary to eat an undead corpse. Always burn the bodies, it'll help kill the disease. And if 'Matthias" did bite one, rinse his mouth immediately."
There is no such thing as peace, only truce between wars

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New Finnish Republic
Minister
 
Posts: 2588
Founded: Mar 30, 2015
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby New Finnish Republic » Sun Apr 21, 2019 11:49 pm

Image

Edward Brunwulf
Lietuvan Woodlands


Stepping off of his horse, Edward glanced at the tall trees that surrounded them. Given the harsh climate and sparse population of the Northern Reaches, these woodlands had hardly been touched by the intelligent species of Requiem spare the occasional dirt paths that could hardly be counted as roads. Compared to the massive cities and landmarks that spanned across elsewhere, its untamed beauty was truly a sight to behold. But such beauty held many dark secrets within it, of which their group was about to experience first hand.

Walking around the scene of the last spotting of the creature, Edward began to scan around for anything that could gleam insight on just what had happened here. Looking up, his eyebrows furrowed as he spotted long gashes scarring the bark of many of the trees around them. Their marks indicated they were the work of a beast, and based on the length and depth of the marks the animal was massive in size. It uses the trees to get above its victims, hiding in the branches and then taking any unsuspecting victim below by complete surprise, Edward thought as his eyes followed what must have been its path through the tree line. And it appears to have been most successful with this strategy, grimacing as he saw the scene of carnage left behind. Rotting appendages and bits of flesh, both from men and from horse, were strewn about, no doubt the leftovers from the most recent attack. The smell was almost enough to make Edward gag, but he held back the urge and instead studied what he could from the remains. Whatever it was that attacked them seemed to not only possess some type of either claw or sharp teeth that could cut through flesh and bone with ease, but also possessed a tremendous amount of strength required to quite literally pull apart the bodies of even the stout Northern horses.

"Not good," he muttered under his breath, shaking his head slightly as he moved on from the scene of carnage. He was nearly about to walk over to where the others had gathered, when his eyes spotted something out of the norm from the stains of blood on the forest floor. A relatively small but still noticeable amount of blood, much darker than that which surrounded the remains from before, had been splattered across what appeared to be a dead grove of juvenile trees and plants. Approaching this, Edward began to reach his hand out to get a closer look at one of the dead leaves that had been stained with the unknown blood when something dawned on him. Everything else around this is completely healthy, even the grass underneath. It's only those plants and trees which came into contact with the blood are decaying. That means...

"Guys, something weird's going on here..."

Edward's head snapped to attention at the sound of Simion's voice, seeing the white haired man beginning to reach out to what must have been a small remnant from the creature from before. Edward bolted over to where he was, reaching out to stop his hand from touching the tuft of hair just a hair's distance from the fur.

"Don't touch it." Edward warned him, removing his hand from Simion's wrist only when it was clear his warning had been headed. Before Simion could question him, he pointed towards the brown and decaying area which stood in stark contrast to the green area around it. "Anything that touches its blood ends up like that."

Looking over to the others, Edward repeated the warning to the others, instructing them not to touch anything that could have possibly carried some of the creature's blood with it. He didn't know if this blood could do the same to elves and humans nor if it was an instant or progressive effect, but he didn't want to take any chances. All he did know was that this property of their prey would make it that much more difficult for them to kill.

As the others continued in their search for clues, Edward stood there for a few movements, deep in thought as an unnerving memory slowly began to bubble within him. A creature capable of tearing the limbs off a man, flying through the trees, and blood that poisoned everything it touched. I've heard of such a tale as a child, but... Shaking his head, Edward dashed away the faded memory. He had grown up hearing so many tales as a child that it was hard to pick apart which attributes came from which stories. Ever since he began to hunt himself, he had focused his efforts into remembering actual creatures that roamed around, not imaginary tales from distant villages that were used to scare children from going too far into the forest.

Turning over to Simion, he was about to ask his fellow party member if he had seen any more remnants of the creature, when suddenly a low, ominionus grutural roar shook the air all around them. Edward reached for his sword instinctively, prepared for whatever beast had made such a noise. However, as the roar faded into a quiet echo, he realized that the source of the roar had not come from nearby, but instead somewhere else further away within earshot of the group.

"It knows we're here," Edward said in a low voice, slowly placing his sword back into his scabbard as he looked towards what he assumed to have been the source of the noise. He stared into the forest for a few moments, his eyes darting back and forth as he waited to see any sign of motion between the surrounding trees. Seeing none, he finally allowed himself to turn slightly towards Roxana, whom seemed to be likewise on edge.

"Can you tell exactly where it came from?" Edward asked the elven archer, well-aware that her ears were much more accurate in picking up sounds than his human ones.
Known mostly as Finn, but also known as a few other things I can't put in a signature by those who know me.

American who got left too long in the sauna.

Proud to spread Spurdo Nationalism from sea to shining sea.

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Praeceps
Chargé d'Affaires
 
Posts: 404
Founded: Feb 08, 2016
Democratic Socialists

Postby Praeceps » Mon Apr 22, 2019 3:39 pm

Tride's conversation was joined by a male who appeared to be of slightly older age than herself, "Good to meet you Tride, name's Frey. I was just putting together a party for this contract, if you'd be interested in it? Should be a simple enough job, and there's always spot for one more.". Tride beamed, "I would love to!", she replied. It would be far better (and more fun) to join a contract with friendly people than to join another contract. And it definitely helped that he said the contract was pretty simple. It wouldn't do to do something too difficult on her first contract. She eagerly accepted the contract from his outstretched hands to read it over.

Hm... Well, it might be slightly awkward if she was to run into someone from the Thapsian bureaucracy who knew her. But this contract was with the Thapsian military so she should be fine. And besides, it was a completely different city. And she was a legionnaire now! So it shouldn't be an issue at all. This contract would do just fine, she thought, placing it on the table in case it was of interest to anyone else.

When Frey came back, noting they only had an hour until departure, Tride froze and hastily excused herself from the conversation, apologizing all the meantime. She had hoped to see what was in the Legion's HQ Library and headed off—after getting directions from the clerk—to see whether they had any good books on magic specifically, Phyoul Magic.



The picking up of the package from the warehouse went smoothly. The Quartermaster was a rather intimidating man and seemed to be rather concerned about the party potentially losing or damaging the content of the packages. This only made Tride wonder what was inside that could be so valuable. The temptation to see if she could peek inside was almost overwhelming yet she managed to restrain herself; she should act as a professional since she was one now.

As the group headed out, Frey initiated a conversation. Tride patiently waited as some of her teammates gave their answer and then offered hers: "I was asked if I wanted to join, so I thought, 'Why not?', besides, it sounds like this would be fun contract for my first one!"
Apparently simultaneously a Ravenclaw puppet, a NPO plant, and a Warden spy. I had no idea I was that good. Depending on who you ask, my aliases include Krulltopia.

Guildmaster of The North Pacific Cards Guild

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