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Oh Night Unholy [IC] [TWI]

PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2020 9:48 am
by Roendavar
"Hark, come yonder the white snow
A winter wind with fury it shall blow
For hither shall beasts that only old know
And strike a sick poison from below"




Oh, come all ye faithful. Winter has come to the Western Isles, and with its cold and darkness, arrives a new horror. A carol of madness, one conceived by an ordered chaos, crawling through the white pristine snow that has settled upon much of the land. A beast, biding its time, crawling its way up the frigid rocks.

Can you hear it? The timber sound of the jingling of bells. The crackling of fire. The whipping of the fierce bitter winds. The chorus of a thousand voices exalting a new season. It is coming. Do you not hear the scraping of rocks? The cries of animals? The rumbling above the rooftops? The smell of soot and ash? They are coming. And with their bidding, they shall bring forth a force that shall be reckoned with. A poison that shall seep through the foundations brick by brick, stone by stone, person by person, till nothing is left but the chiming of the clocks upon a silent night. A land of happiness, a happiness that they want. After all, isn’t that what we all wish for? A very... merry... existence.

You better not shout. You better not cry. You better not open your eyes. Something is coming to the Western Isles, and you wouldn’t want to end up on the naughty list.


Current plotlines


PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2020 9:56 pm
by Roendavar
"Oh, come the winter winds. Of cold truth. Of fiery lies.
Descend upon us and make us whole
Bring forth change, bring forth salvation
Make us alive."

Soft snow drifted slowly from the sky and settled like fine powder on the emerald greenery. The Andavarian town of Althoros, located at the banks of the River Perlos, was quiet, interrupted only by the sounds of the winter winds and the crackling of fire. Althoros wasn’t always quiet as it was the home of the Althoros Univeristy, perhaps the most elite university in the Western Isles. Students and tourists alike flood through its cobblestone streets and pine homes, a primary source of livelihood for the people of the small town surrounded on all sides by the imposing magnificence of the University. The quaint wood and stone village, surrounded on all edges by forests, parks, farms, and university utilities, have been a hallmark of the country. Yet, winter has come, and the sounds of education and curiosity have died down for the most part.

Theremiel cursed as his hand grazed the sides of a hot tray. The smell of cinnamon and vanilla wafted through the house, the venicuele neren, wildberry pie, in the oven the origin of such a heavenly smell. He shifted his hand a bit and continued carrying the tray to the wide pine table in their dining room, adding it to the plethora of food displayed. There were mushroom pasta, spinach and cream soup, different pastries paired with a variety of fruits, and the centerpiece of the table, the famed Roendavarian caviar, served with salmon and spices. The Festival of the Wind God Eleias was close after all. A celebration of one of Roendavar’s 13 Arveim or important deities. To those foreign to Roendavarian culture, the Eleiastheron is the nation’s equivalent to the more common Christmas or Thanksgiving. The Wind God himself is split into four personifications, and his most significant and well-known personification is the Season of Winter, Elentheos. A small statue of Eleias in his winter form stands in the middle of their table, a slim almost naked god covered only by a flowing cloth whilst holding a mistletoe.

“The table is all set!” Theremiel announced, his long wavy brown hair settling on his shoulders as he put down the wildberry pie.
“Yes! Yes. We’re coming down!
“Faster! I might finish everything here already.”

The soft patter of footsteps descended upon the stairs as his family emerged. His mother, Altheira, was wearing a floral dress, her brown wavy hair tied in a ponytail and slung over one shoulder. His father, Vicarion, wore silk garments, his short hair combed backwards. Both of his parents looked young, despite being in their late 40s and occupying stressful jobs at the Althoros University. Behind them, his younger sister, Eialen, strode by, wearing an almost identical dress to their mother’s. Compared to them, Theremiel was the tallest, his lithe and slim body a direct contrast to his family’s. He had long black hair and pale skin. Upon his neck, an ornate sapphire pendant hung, a reminder of a duty back in Dociara. They all sat down, with Theremiel following suit after checking that everything is in order.

“Theremiel, me and your mother are glad that you can join us for Eleiastheron, Theremiel. I know studying in the Pilonas is hard work.” Vicarion said, looking at his son affectionately.
“It has and probably will always be.” Theremiel agreed. “Not to mention that the Pilonas tends to be more hectic during the winter months and my schedule was quite full.”
“Which is probably why we’ve always told you to study here at Althoros, Theremiel.” His mother spoke. “We could very much well afford it.”
“And for three years my answer has always been the same. Althoros is stuck-up, pompous, and full of out of touch rich people.” Theremiel argued, prodding a mushroom on his plate. “Despite the stress, Dociara is more engaging. More lively. Full of character.”
“Yes. Naked characters I would imagine-”
“-Eialen is here, love. Best stop that sentence.” Altheira interrupted his husband, shooting him a glare. “Then I suppose, the only people who like Dociara are foolish people.”
‘Why is that, mother?” Eialen asked, her curious innocence inquisitive as always.
“It’s better if you don’t know, Eialen. Or, perhaps, when you’re older.” Theremiel patted his sister’s head.

Theremiel laughed as he settled down on their family dinner. It has been a year since he was back to Althoros, part of it by the insistence of his parents. They kept pressing him to continue with his studies. To only come back to Althoros when the feast of Eleias comes. Theremiel didn’t have reason to question it. After all, both his parents were professors at Althoros and he was in his third year at the university, a few months before he would eventually take his final exams and graduate.

“And you, Theremiel. How have you been so far?” Vicarion said, wiping his mouth with a napkin. “When we told you to focus on your studies, we didn’t mean don’t talk to us.”
“I know and I’m sorry.” Theremiel apologized. He leaned back on his chair to face his family members. “Truth be told, it’s been horrible the past few days. The Pilonas has been going through an academic crisis and duties at the Temple of Eleias has been hectic for the past weeks.”
“So we’ve heard.”
“That, and as for Dociara, rumors have plagued certain circles. Rumors of danger brewing outside Dociara.” Theremiel worried.
“Oh dear. Where have you heard this from? What do they say?”
“Somewhere unimportant. However, that is the weird thing. They only say there is. Yet, they never really show evidence or know much.” Theremiel grimaced, remembering the hushed interactions back at the capital. “It’s like someone just dropped a hint and no one knows what it is.”
“I’ll have the local council notified of it, Theremiel.” Altheira reassured, putting down her utensils. “There should be some merit to it.”
“Will we be okay?” Eialen questioned.
“Maybe, Eialen. Althoros is a pretty safe town, isn’t it?” Theremiel remarked, smiling at his parents. However, he was met with silence. Both Altheira and Vicarion unmoving, unwilling to answer the question.

Their casual conversations continued on to the night, a hallmark of the usual Roendavarian family during the holidays. However, something felt off. Theremiel observed that his mother sometimes sunk into silence, her hands shaking at times. While Theremiel would ask her if she was okay, she would always answer with a smile and a quick agreement. Meanwhile, his father seemed trying to force positivity, asking more mundane personal questions even though some aren’t coherent to the conversation. Theremiel ignored all of those. Perhaps they were only tired. As the clock struck 8 in the evening in the middle of their dinner, a faint noise could be heard outside. Suddenly, the sapphire pendant on his neck seemed to turn colder, a trick of the brain, perhaps. Theremiel wasn’t alone in this observation as his mother suddenly stood up, her eyes wild.

“We can’t do this!”

His mother’s sudden outburst hung in the air, silencing the conversations at the table. Theremiel’s attention snapped back to reality, shaken by the abrupt silence. Altheria’s eyes were wide open and tearing up. His father seemed to be in shock as well… or is it regret? Vicarion’s face hardened, the worry lines of an aging man now present upon their youthful faces. Even his younger sister was in shock. Her grasp on her favorite rabbit toy clasped tighter, afraid of the current situation. What’s happening? Theremiel could not make a sound or, rather, he wasn’t sure what to say. Something was wrong.

As if to break the silence, the noises outside seemed to grow louder. No… not noise. Singing. Music. The timber sound of bells and the mellow tones of stringed instruments. Voices that seemed like they were singing a glorious tune. It was enchanting. Ignoring the tension in the air, Theremiel rose from his seat and rushed to the front windows of their house in order to take a better look.

Men dressed in white were walking to their gate, their clothing seemed to blend with the winter landscape that unfolded before him. Some of them held bells, their delicate ringing have now transformed into an imposing thrum. Some held stringed instruments, iorcastheris, a Roendavarian musical instrument that resembled a violin. Wooden torches rose above the small crowd and their orange glow the only source of light beyond the inky black night. Upon closer inspection, they seemed to be priests, wearing golden jewelry and chains that glisten from afar. All of them seemed to be singing a song, though what the song is seemed to be unusual. It was sung in old Roendavarian, perhaps religious in nature. At the lead, two peculiar figures came into view. The one at the very front was a tall man, his aura imposing even from a distance. He had medium length black hair and wore tall leather boots, a fur coat draped on his shoulders. The other, by his side, was ethereal. They had very long white hair that flowed in straight lines and wore a loose fitting fur coat, their gender and identity ambiguous. Theremiel felt both his parents step beside him, looking out the window as well. Their expressions hardened at the sight of the two figures in front of the approaching group.

“They’re here.” Altheira faltered. “We need to turn them away!”
“To hell with this! Theremiel. Take your sister to the attic and hide in the closet! Now!” Vicarion ordered as he marched to one of the wooden drawers in the living room. From the topmost drawer, he drew a black object. A gun.
“Just go!”

Theremiel was unsure of what was happening, however, upon the sight of the weapon, he knew that the situation was about to become serious. He grabbed his sister’s arm before she could see the gun and rushed upstairs, living behind his parents, both silent yet resolute. Upon reaching the second floor, he pulled a handle on the ceiling and revealed a ladder leading to the attic. He glanced at his sister as he closed the attic door, who seemed to be in shock of the whole event, yet followed silently, perhaps sensing the gravity of the situation altogether.

“Mother and Father will be fine, okay? Just hold on.” Theremiel whispered, assuring his younger sister.
“I know. But what’s out there, Theremiel? I can hear them.” Eialen inquired. The singing and the bells were now louder, reverberating throughout their wooden house. It was bewitching, like sweet poison.
“I’m not sure.” Theremiel said, trying to rack his brains for any information about who they were. Bells. Bells. Which of the Cricenexinos would use bells? Maybe...
“What do we do now?” Eialen’s voice pierced through his concentration. They couldn’t stay here for long. If something were to happen to his parents, it would be hard for the both of them.
“Stay here, Eialen.” He asserted. “I’ll go back down and try to listen to them. Stay here, please. Whatever you hear, don’t come down.”

He didn’t need to hear Eialen’s response. Hearing it would only break his sudden courage. He made his way to the attic door and quietly lowered the ladder, careful to not let his parents hear him. He creeped through the hallways, stopping halfway down. He could see his parents as he peeked through a corner. His father was standing a few meters away from the door, his gun hidden in his back. His mother was rushing through the dining room, trying to clear plates, any sign that would betray their secret that their children were hiding in the house. Judging from the bells, they were now at their front porch, the singing and ringing much louder. It boomed in their ears, a cacophony of exaltation. Through the chaos, Theremiel could understand one sentence from the song outside.

Oh, come the winter winds. Of cold truth. Of fiery lies.

Silence. Then comes a knock on the door.

PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2020 7:23 pm
by Wellsia
King's University set on a hill overlooking the Snowbourne River upstream and on the outskirts of the sprawling city of Ealdwic. The ancient college was the oldest and most prestigious school in the kingdom. It is here that the elite of Wellsia sends their sons to get the best of education.
Every Saturday night for the last three years a group of four friends met to talk, drink and play whist. Roxon Challenger shuffled the deck, before passing it to his right to Mycroft Watson who dealt the cards around the table ending with the the last card turned up in front of him. Showing face up on the table was the three of hearts, which meant hearts would trump for the hand.
Roxon looked across the table at his partner, Hamish Dewar III, "Hamish, heard anything from you dad about the Mokovi problem?"
Hamish looked at his friends, "Wish I knew more, Mom, says Dad hasn't been home since the tsar was shot. The Havalish are screaming bloody murder and Aziconia seems to be supporting the new regime. The Foreign Office is going nuts.
Ian Olgive, the fourth member, laughed and spoke, "The Havalish are the biggest drama queens in the Isles, they are worst then us at blustering and saving face."
Just then a blood curling scream pierced the wintery night, jumping from their card table, the four friends rushed to the window overlooking the Quad. Across the frosted covered ground a young girl sprinted, the bright moonlight reveling to all that she ran nude through the night, slipping on the ice she fell, turning and looking over her shoulder, she screamed again and jumped back to her feet, the sidewalk sliced into her leg leaving a blood gushing gash. Even from a distance, the blood running down her leg was visible. She limbed a little, then looking again over her shoulder, the gash was forgotten and she speed out the east walkway, tears of pain and fear running down her face.
Then came the sounds of bells, accompanied by a ominous chant "Oh come the winter winds. Of cold truth. Of fiery lies'.
In a solid block they marched into the Quad, dressed from head to toe in solid white, even white masks covered their faces. the lead group carried bells while the remainder chanted along with the ringing. The group marched in a steady stride, eating up the ground as they turned and followed the blood stained trail of the fleeing girl.

PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2020 10:24 pm
by Ainslie

Sunday 6 December, 4:19pm
Outside of Badara, heading west to Yenara Ranch

The golden sky stretched over a ute racing down the gravel road with a trail of dust being raised behind the speeding vehicle. Two men were in the vehicle - Gabriel who was sitting in the vehicle at its helm, feeling every bump in the badly maintained road and Dalten, a friend of his

Gabriel took his hand off the wheel for a minute, placing his arm on the side of the rolled down window and with the other fishing for the photos that he had in the glovebox. His eyes remained just above the dashboard as he did this.

Dalten’s eyes suddenly became more steely and he moved his arm towards the steering wheel.

“Nope, my ute! Paws off.”, Gabriel sharply stated… “Police are never out here so I can do whatever we want…”

A couple minutes passed between this and the ute abruptly stopping at the front of the ranch. Gabriel opened his door and exited the vehicle whilst Dalten slowly got out of it. Dalten placed the backpack in the back tray of the ute where he could easily get it before speeding up to be within an earshot of Gabriel.

It was not long until the two were at the house, which seven men were sitting inside of. Five of them had long beards and tattoos of a flame, water, a tree, a skull and a volcano on each of their fingers on their right hand.

The usual ‘Hi’s’ and ‘Who are you?’ were done, but after the small talk, the most senior of the men, who was wearing a large wide-brimmed hat continued beyond the pleasantries.

“Want some?”, one of the men bashfully stated, holding a packet with a white granular substance.

“Yeah sure”, Dalten remarked.

“Grab some for me too”, Gabriel replied.

Dalten emptied the bag’s contents onto a paper towel before gesturing towards Gabriel.

“Bet you could sniff all that up?”, Dalten dared

“Nah Dalto”, Gabriel replied. “Be my guest if you wanna have a shot.”

“What a buzzkill!”, Dalten retorted before promptly doing the dare he had originally given Gabriel.

3 hours later…

“We have to get Dalten somewhere he can get help…”, Gabriel said nervously as his friend laid almost lifeless in the chair in the house.

The older man with the wide brimmed hat was the first to reply to Gabriel.
“That is not wise. If you must, go yourself. We are getting out of here.”,

“Good idea”, one of the other men stated.

The men helped Gabriel put Dalten in the passenger seat before helping the other men to pack up and get ready to leave.

All of the men bar Gabriel and Dalten packed up their belongings and drove west towards Menindai with haste. Meanwhile, Gabriel raced with his friend in the passenger seat towards Badara in the hope he could quietly drop his friend off at the medical centre.

PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2020 11:19 pm
by Roendavar

A tension hangs in the cold air. The crackling of fire was all that could be heard, interrupted only by the whipping of the winter winds outside. Theremiel breathed heavily as he heard the door handles being pulled downwards, along with the creak of the wooden pine door. Vicarion stood in the middle of the living room defiantly, his hand tight on the small pistol at his back. Altheira was on the doorway to the kitchen, blocking its view with a hardened expression on her fact. The door opens, and coldness floods the room, snuffing out the warmth that once filled these rooms just moments ago.

“Good evening, Althereil.”

A tall, imposing man entered the room, his hard leather boots grinding against the pine floor. Now that he was closer, Theremiel could observe his features better. He was like an Arveim, a god among men. His black wavy hair was messy and his jaw was chiseled. His body was sculpted, accentuated by the tight white clothes that he was wearing. Furthermore, his height, boosted by his boots, was towering. He was almost perfect, a sense of order in his mannerisms and his appearance. Theremiel was surprised when his father and mother bowed their heads, lowered one knee, placed one hand with fingers in the shape of deer horns unfurled upon their heart, and one hand on their back. But that salute is only reserved…

“Hail, Arveimeion Theosarion of Foaster.” Vicarion and Altheira exalted, their voices in unison.

...for reincarnations of the Arveim. Theremiel gritted his teeth at the sudden revelation. The Cricenexinos, the Protacist cults, selected people they deemed to be the reincarnation of their deities. Their representative and mortal vessel on Earth. From their title, Theosarion was the chosen reincarnation, the Arveimeion, of the god Foaster, the God of Truth and Order, the Absolute, and the Incarnate of Justice. One of the primary deities of Protacism and a part of the 13 Arveim. He does look like the god Foaster. Theremiel recalled the murals he saw at the Temple of Foaster, the Foasterthreion, at the city of Lantaroci. If he is an Arveimeion, then that would mean…

“Hail, Arveimeion Galaeren of Selis.” Both his parents continued, drawing Theremiel’s attention to the figure behind Theosarion.

Two of them?! In one place? Galaeren stood behind Theosarion, leaning on the doorframe. Long white hair covered much of their face, with only a singular black pupil peering through. Their clothes, loose fitting fur, obscured much of their features. They were mysterious and indirect, the antithesis of Theosarion. Selis, the deity of Lies, Manipulation, Deception, and Trickery, was the least known of the 13 Arveim, their worship kept in hushed congregations across Roendavar. Their temple, the Selisacria, is said to be hidden in one of the Roendavarian cities, found only by those who are willing to betray a part of their lives.

Bells and stringed instruments. Truth and Lies. Foaster and Selis. Theosariel and Galaeren. The incarnates of the Arveim.

“We have come here for your part of the deal, Vicarion.” Theosarion stated, his voice deep and rugged. “Hand her over.” Her? That would mean they’re referring to Eialen. Why would they want her? Theremiel wondered, still peaking from a corner.
“But… why? You can’t-”
“We can and we will. I thought we had already discussed the terms of our agreement, Vicarion. I’m sure your wife knows exactly what it was, word per word.”
“I do, Arveimeion.” Altheira seethed, her voice direct.
“Then there is no need to discuss this further. Where is she?”
“We’ve sent her away.” Vicarion lied, his one hand gripping the gun tightly. “We cannot honor the terms, Arveimeion. Take us instead.”
“Hm.” Theosarion grunted, his mood unshaken. “But you seem to not understand, Vicarion. We want her because we have a need for her. You two, on the other hand, are useless.”

Theosarion moved closer to Vicarion. In a split second, Vicarion revealed his gun and fired at the Arveimeion. A sharp sound cut through the air as the gun discharged its load, hitting its intended target. However, to the shock of all, Vicarion has messed his aim, instead hitting the towering man in his shoulder, away from any vital parts. Theosarion stood unmoving in his spot, blood seeping through his pristine white clothes. Suddenly, his rugged voice bursted into eerie laughter, distorting the violent mood in the air. In seconds, he rushed forward and grabbed Vicarion’s arm. A sickening crack ran through, both Vicarion and Altheira screaming in horror.

“Aim better next time, old man.” Theosarion mocked, his arm putting more pressure to the now broken and limp arm of Vicarion, the gun dropped on the floor. “To tell you the truth, that hurt. Now, let me ask again. Where is she?”
“He- he already told you! We sent them away!” Altheira pleaded, breaking her kneeling form and standing up once more. “Please… don’t do this.”
“Ah… you both lie.” A silky and smooth voice declared. Galaeren moved away from the doorway and entered the living room, his movements almost ethereal. “Tell the truth now and you can live.”
“Don’t trust them, Altheira! They’re monsters!” Vicarion roared. “Foaster is blind and Selis is nothing more than a joke. Out of all, they’re the most dangerous!”

Theosarion snickered as he grabbed Vicarion’s hair, dragging his body to the fireplace. Galaeren, on the other hand, was giggling, amused at the commotion. Theremiel was frozen in shock and disbelief, unsure of what he needed to do. His heartbeat pounded heavily on his chest, threatening to break free at any moment. He glanced at his mother who was at the same condition as he, her eyes madly wide and her hands shaking.

“Kneel.” Theosarion ordered, kicking Vicarion’s calves to make a point. Vicarion obliged, however his defiant attitude was still on display. “Tell the truth or I, Justice, shall give you my sentence.”
“Never!” Vicarion growled. “I’d rather have my death.”
“Very well. As the reincarnation of Foaster, I have supreme judgement above all. You have committed your crimes, and you refuse to give up the consequence. The only punishment is death.” Theosarion raised Vicarion’s head high in the air with his grip firm on his hair. Vicarion squirmed in pain, tears starting to run from his eyes.
“Wait! Please have mercy!” Altheira begged, collapsing to her knees in front of the two Arveimeion. “Please… if it is true that you are reincarnations of the gods… please have their same mercy.”
“If it were the other Arveim, they shall be merciful.” Vicarion laughed, glancing at Vicarion’s resolute face. “But as your husband has said, we are no other Arveim. We are monsters!”

Altheira screamed as Theosarion smashed Vicarion’s face upon the burning wood. With one heavy boot in the air, he thrust down upon Vicarion’s prone skull, crushing it between the metal and wood. A loud sickening crunch reverberated through the house. The sounds of crackling fire snuffed out with blood, bone, and brain. Theremiel felt bile and acid rise to his esophagus, threatening to escape with a vomit. He felt as if all air escaped his lungs and all meaning had died in his brain. The revolting sound and scene was all that replayed in his silent trance, a refusal to accept that his father was dead. His despair was cut only by his mother’s wails of sorrow, her clenched fist pounding the wooden foot table at the room.

“Enough crying, Altheira. We both know this will happen. Vicarion is a fool.” Theosarion sighed as he wiped his boot across the carpet, smearing it with a dark crimson. “Now, tell us where she is or I’m afraid you’ll suffer the same fate.”
“How… how dare you?!” Altheira snapped back up, her eyes red. “Don’t you dare speak of his name!”
“Then I presume that is a no then? Shame.”
“You people will never understand! You will never understand meaning, emotions, how we have to choose between sacrifice or selfishness!” Altheira fumed, insanity clawing at her every fabric.
“Please do enlighten us, Altheira. Tell us why.”
“Because you are raised to play pretend as gods! People and the beings that you represent do not understand emotion because you never needed it, nor did you ever care for it! To you, life is but a tool. Mortality, a passing thought!”

Theosarion froze, the words hitting him far deeper than the bullet just minutes ago. The ramblings of one that has descended into madness, no doubt, but it is them that often speak the most truth, for they have nothing to lose. Their end is a definite reality. Smart. She has told the truth. The reincarnation of Foaster frowned, his eyes narrowing at the sight of the broken woman.

“Perhaps, you, Galaeren, could do the honors this time.” Vicarion surrendered. “I cannot overstep my boundaries and, after all, she still chose to lie on her child’s whereabouts. That, I believe, is well upon your jurisdiction.”
“With pleasure, Theosarion.” Galaeren responded. From their loose clothes, they pulled out a small curved dagger, a vircanis, used mainly for Protacist rituals. It is said that each vircanis is lined with poison, a substance to prolong the suffering of the sacrifice.
“Do as you wish.” Altheira snarled. “We can pay for our crimes.”

Theremiel was frozen in his spot, unsure of what to do. Should he come out and try to put an end to the situation? Or should he honor their parents’ sacrifice? Galaeren approached Altheira, grabbing her by the neck and pulling her head to face the ceiling. In one smooth stroke, a red line appeared on Altheira’s forehead, a sick green liquid dripping from a slit in one of the dagger’s grooves. For a moment, Altheira seemed silent as blood began to drip down her face, that is, until she erupted into hysterics, one of pain. Galaeren continued on a second cut, slowly sliding the sharp dagger from her forehead, down the bridge of her nose. Every scream shook Theremiel to the core, slowly bringing down the emotional barricade and making his decision clear. Enough. I have to do something. He growled as he gripped his sapphire pendant, emerging from the corner.

“Aleira! i fueras theresma!”

Galaeren looked up, stunned at the declaration of fellowship. Theosarion seemed more amused, a grin forming on his lips. The declaration of fellowship, directly translated, means to seek an audience between beings of the same blood. With this declaration, Theremiel had revealed who he was, an acceptance of his experience back in Dociara. Now, he must accept who he was, and why he returned to his family when rumors circulated of the return of the Cricenexinos in Althoros. A memory briefly flashed across his mind, a reminder of an event two months ago.


The first winter winds blew across the pine forests on the mountains of Dociara. Autumn has come to pass, and winter has come to claim the Roendavarian lands. A group of five people stood at a clearing, one in the middle and the other four standing at cardinal points. In the east, one held a torch, in the west, one held a flower. In the south, one held a dried leaf, in the north, ice and snow. The figure in the middle stood, his hands exalted to the sky. His long black hair was in disarray. Despite the cold, he was naked, save for a singular blue cloth that snaked across his body. A singular intricate sapphire pendant hung on his neck, the stone of Eleias.

“Hail! Arveimeion Theremiel… of Eleias!”

Theremiel closed his eyes, feeling the breeze curve and twist across the landscape. The winds of change are blowing through Roendavar.

PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2020 6:10 pm
by Ostehaar
Somewhere in west Lovsk... #1

The men talk. They were told to keep their mouth shut, but they talk. They share. After all, what haven't we been through together? We've met monsters - human ones - and disarmed them. We've gone through the fiery hell and returned as brothers. Mik here, we pulled him from underneath a burning car. We saved Geri from an explosion down near Rovka port. We've seen things. We'll talk about whatever we want.

Besides, it was just a patrol around the perimeter. Nothing ever happens around the perimeter. Nothing ever happens inside the perimeter. I know, this is the middle of the winter. I hear the wind. I feel the cold on my skin. The jeeps throw away otherwise untouched snow across roads that no one else would travel. The thickest fog I've ever seen has been resting on this base for the past week. But they can handle these things. That can't be the reason. What was it? What did they find?

I looked at Alex with a face of quiet despair.

"I can't tell you, Mitsj." He was serious. "I'm really sorry."

"So that's it? What are you going to tell his family, then?"

He paused for a breath. "Look, I don't know yet. Things might still clear up."

That's when it hit me. "You don't even know."

They don't even know what happened. Dun's team left for a perimeter patrol right after dawn. That is a fact. About half-an-hour into the patrol, they heard voices from an area close to Neuner hill and stopped to check it. Fact. Fog, wind, limited sight. Grass, mud, stone. Dun walked first. A shout, a sudden shot, and a snap. Calls on the radio. Patrol jeep rushing back to base, straight to the clinic. Stabbing wounds.

Stabbing in the deep fog! Inside the north-western military restricted zone! So where is the terrorist? Why wasn't the team attacked? I've met Lovskians with knives, sure, but that didn't make any sense. Who stabbed him? Who did he shoot? What happened there?

Geri entered the room as Alex was leaving. "Sir," he saluted casually. Mik and I nodded and he crashed on one of the seats. "I heard what you said," he turned to me, "they don't know because there was no attacker. Nobody was there."

"How do you know?" Mik asked in a calm, low voice.

"That's what I heard from the operators up there," he pointed with his finger towards the upper levels of the base. "They can tell if people enter the perimeter, even in this weather." He spoke like a person who knew a lot I didn't.

Mik agreed. "Dun's team would have hunted down the guy. They came back shocked."

"Yeah, they were rushed to the basement meeting room for some security briefing the moment they returned," Geri said. "One minute after Dun died Sjehner decided to tranfer the team. They're packing now."

"This is so strange," Mik echoed my thoughts.

"You think this is strange? I haven't even told you the weirdest part yet. A different team, Gihlan's, sent a drone to the spot about two hours later, alright? You know what they saw?"

"Of course not," I spat, "what?"

"Calm down," Geri frowned. "They found a three meter gray monolith in the middle of a small gap between the bushes. It wasn't there before the fog a few days ago, and they can't tell how it got there."

Chill went through my spine. "Someone's messing with you," I decided. I could not think of anything else.

"No, it's true. Sjehner is thinking about sending another team to check the thing."

The thing. A monolith near Neuer hill. The cause of Dun's death? Was he even stabbed at all? Were all the reports true? Did he just slip and fell? Was there a hidden trap? Did he do this to himself? Why did he go there alone? What happened? Is someone trying to cover up the incident? Why the silence?

PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2020 12:22 pm
by Ainslie
A Suspicious Hospitalisation

Sunday 6 December, 8:42pm
Badara Hospital, Badara

“Dale Arkane. Age 19. Referral from Badara Medical Centre, suspected drug overdose”.

The nurses rushed around, pushing the bed that Dalten was resting on down the corridors towards the emergency ward. A doctor followed closely behind, walking at a fast pace whilst reading a clipboard.

“Get me a blood test out of this kid as soon as he is hooked up to the machines”, the doctor sharply ordered.

“Will do”, one of the nurses said as she broke off the from the group and got supplies.

The doctor walked into another room to check up on another patient’s files before returning to Dale.

Five minutes later

“Blood test taken?”, the doctor asked.
“Yes”, a distant voice replied.

“How are his vitals.”, he continued.

“Not good - overdose territory, if he doesn’t respond to treatment he will need to go into intensive care.”

“Understood.”, the doctor replied.

Dr Renden looked at the medications in front of him before looking back at the patient.

Suddenly the patient’s eyes opened and he sat straight up, pulling the machines towards him as he swung a fist at one of the nurses who was nearby.

“Call the police. Get more people in here to restrain him in the meantime.”, Renden quickly stated.

Six people rushed towards the boy before placing their hands on his arms, in effect cuffing him to the handles of the bed. Dalten began kicking instead, but no one was near enough to be hit by that.

Renden looked at the vitals again before asking a nurse who was restraining the boy a question.

“Do we know who brought him into the medical centre? We would have gotten one from them if they had it right?”

“The paramedics who brought him here said the guy who dropped him off at the medical office didn’t identify himself.”, was the reply.

The thoughts began to tick along in Renden’s head.

Badara Medical Centre… in the western outskirts of town… interesting characters out there… no name given… violent behaviour…

Then the lightbulb moment hit him.

“Treat him like a suspected crystal methamphetamine overdose patient, use the standard treatments on him - use the Buzz/Ice treatment plan.”, Renden commanded.

Three days later

“Hello, Dale”, Renden (R) said as he peered around the curtains in the ward Dalten was staying in.

“Who’s Dale? Did you not get my name properly?”, Dalten (DA) replied.

R: “Excuse me?”

DA: “My name is Dalten.”

R: “Oh, really… your friend who brought you in said your name was Dale to the paramedics.”

At this moment Dalten worked out what was going on.

DA: “Ahh… yes… Dale is my real name, but I’m on holiday most of my friends back home call me Dalten so I guess I’m just used to that name.”

R: “Oh, where are you staying?”

DA: “I’m out on a farm outside of Badara. Doing some seasonal work in the fields to make some money and see the sights of Ainslie.”

R: “Ok. Well, hello Dalten. I should’ve introduced myself. I’m Dr Renden, I was the one who treated you when you first came into the hospital. I just had a couple questions for you - there’s no police around and anything you say will stay confidential with me.”

Dalten seized up a bit.

R: “You responded to treatments we use that help people who have overdosed on a very particular type of drug - crystal methamphe-

DA: “You’re the Doc.”

R: “Yes.. well… the way you were acting that night… and the way your friend acted when he came into the medical centre…”

DA: “I’d really rather not talk about it.”

R: “I have to respect that decision, but I must ask - do you know if anyone else is going to be hurt by the same kinds of drugs as you - do you have friends that regularly take these kinds of drugs?”

“No. Nothing to worry about”, Dalten coldly replied.

Dr Renden smiled and then walked out of Dalten’s presence and went back to the computer in the Doctor’s office. He looked both ways down the corridor, opened his door and quickly shut it before sitting down in his chair.

The computer booted up and he began to search for recent Buzz cases in the database of Ahnslen medical records. This was highly unethical, but Renden just needed to know.

Nothing came up - except for two cases. Both were treated in Menindai, the next major centre to the west.

Renden scratched an itch on his arm before diving deeper into the files.

PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2020 9:21 am
by Roendavar

“Aleira! i fueras theresma!”

The declaration of brotherhood hung in the air, seemingly silencing the commotion. Theremiel stood in the middle of the room, his hand raised with the ring finger down. His sapphire pendant hung on his neck, visible to the two stunned Arveimeion. The silence seemed to last for a minute, each side unsure of what to do or how to respond. Finally, Theosarion broke the tension, slowly approaching Theremiel with his arms outstretched in welcome.

“Must we kneel to you as well…?” Theosarion jokingly inquired. “Please do introduce yourself, although, judging from your appearance, I can take a guess to who you belong to.”
“I…” Theremiel hesitated, taking a brief glance at his mother who seemed to be stunned as well. “I am Arveimeion Theremiel of Eleias, the Wind God, the-”
“-the bringer of change, the Seasons, the ever-moving.” Galaeren continued.
“Three of us. In the same place. What a family reunion this is!” Theosarion grinned. “Altheira. You did not tell me that you harbored one of us.”
“My son… I didn’t know…” Altheira mumbled, sharp pain and bulging veins interrupting her. “Another one…”
“Why are you doing this?!” Theremiel lamented, tears building up in his eyes. “This is not our purpose nor our job!”
“I agree. Killing is not our job. It is for our followers. However, as a fellow Arvemeion, I believe you deserve the truth.” Theosarion lamented, gesturing at Altheira. “They have broken the Athcaril Law. I trust you, as one of us, would know that.”

The Athcaril Law. The Law on the Pact of Exchange. The Cricenexinos are powerful groups in Roendavar in all sectors of life, not just religious. Each of the cults have power and significant influence in Roendavarian life from the benevolent to the maleficent. Thus, normal people enter into pacts with the Cricenexinos, a way for them to achieve what they want in life. In Christianity, a pact with the Devil, to sacrifice a part of them for their desires.

“They agreed to the pact given to them. Your parents are to serve as the highest educators in Althoros University, one of the most prestigious universities in the Western Isles. We agreed, and we did what had to be done.” Theosarion explained, gesturing a finger gun in the air. “Mysteriously, the Oralis and their deputy were murdered in their homes one night and when the Roendavarian Cuerelia of Education received a glowing recommendation and… generous donation, you can guess what happened next.”
“They were to obey the instructions given to them.” Galaeren said, pointing to the delirious Altheira. “And yet they didn’t. Several times as well.”
“You don’t understand! They’re planning something infernal. Something that will drag us all into hell!” Altheira defended herself.
“Not us. Them. You know that well Altheira.” Theosarion said. “And we are concerned with the Law. You broke that Altheira. Therefore, the punishment must be served. Whoever and whatever is irrelevant to this.”

Galaeren snickered and approached Altheira once more, pressing the small blade to her neck. Theremiel stepped forward instinctively, hoping to stop the Arveimeion from what was about to happen. A voice called out from behind him, making him stop in his tracks.

“Theremiel.” Theorsarion called, his eyes boring into Theremiel with a commanding aura. “You are one of us. You know how this works.”
“I do!” Theremiel cried. “I know what this means! But that does not mean I agree with this! They are still my family!”
“A family you are no longer part of when you took the oath. A family you casted aside when you took this responsibility. A responsibility to the people, not to them.”

Theremiel froze at those words, remembering the promises he made in the forests of Dociara months ago. The incarnation of the Wind God. The bringer of change. The salvation. He closed his eyes, conflict growing within him. Should I accept my responsibility or shall I cast it aside? An answer. He desperately prayed to the gods for an answer. An answer soon settled in him. A finality.

“Theremiel. You are not the monster that they turned you into.” Altheira pleaded. “You are still my son.”
“I…” Theremiel looked up, a darkened acceptance in his eyes. With a sure voice, he declared. “ no longer your son.”

Altheira could only emit a second of a whimper as the poisoned knife slid across her throat, her writhing body falling to the floor, blood staining the white and green carpet on the floor. Her head twisted back, her glazed eyes staring at Theremiel in horror and disbelief. A pit of emotions churned within Theremiel. Despair. Regret. Fear. Yet, none of them came out. He felt nothing. He was nothing. As he stood watching his mother’s life slowly leave her eyes, he could hear Theosarion rummaging in his back and Galaeren tearing down the curtains. Theremiel stood there. Watching the crimson red colors spread across the carpet like a sickness. Like a plague. Like a being crawling forth. He suddenly felt a hand lightly touch him on the shoulder and he looked back, coming face to face with Theosarion, his face stoic and solemn.

“I’m sorry.” Theosarion said, a flicker of sincerity breaking through his facade. Theremiel had no reason to doubt what was said.
“What now…?” Theremiel asked, still shaken. “We’ve done what you both want.”
“Follow us.” Theosarion offered, his hand still on Theremiel’s shoulder that anchored him to the real world. “Instead of taking you as our prisoner, you can come with us and know of our purpose. This is no random thing I assure you. The gods have a purpose.”
“Yeah! It’ll suck if we put you on cuffs and stuff you in our trunk, you know!” Galaeren shouted from the kitchen. From the sound of it, he was rummaging through their drawers, trying to find something perhaps.
“It does not look like I have a choice, do I?” Theremiel said. Judging from Theosarion’s stern look, there was no getting out of this one.
“That settles it. Another Arveimeion joins our fold.” Theosarion smiled, locking his eyes with Theremiel. Theremiel was taken aback by the expression, seeming genuine. And what did he mean by another Arvemeion? Are there more of them?
“Where are the others?” Theremiel blurted, breaking eye contact with Theosarion. “Are there not more of you when you arrived?”
“Dismissed. Sent back to where they belong when we entered this house. They were all both of our disciples and followers. Mostly Galaeren's.”
“Found food! Hope you don’t mind if we steal some of this. Since no one would eat this anyway.” Galaeren came out of the kitchen, bags of frozen berries on their hands.
“Let’s go.” Theosarion proceeded to walk out the door and onto the front porch. Theremiel took a step forward before remembering something.
“Wait! Eialen is still up there!” Theremiel realized, cursing himself for forgetting.
“We know. However, it would be better if she stayed here.” Galaeren responded, making their way out the door as well.
“No! You can’t just do this!” Theremiel protested. “Our parents are dead! That means the Law is finished! I cannot just leave her alone! Can she not just come with us?”
“And be killed? Be sacrificed?” Theosarion walked back in, pulling Theremiel’s arm. “Believe me when I say this Theremiel. She cannot come with us. Leave her here and she will eventually be found by police tomorrow morning. At least then, she can continue her life.”

Theosarion eventually let go of Theremiel’s arm, making his way out the door and proceeded to walk towards the gate with Galaeren following behind him. Theremiel looked behind him one last time. His father’s corpse lay limp in the fireplace, his gruesome death obscured by bloodstained firewood and ash. His mother’s lifeless body was spread on the carpet, a dark crimson color surrounding her horrified corpse. In the attic, his sister must be alone, hoping that everything was okay. Yet, it never will be. Nor will they receive that answer. He has betrayed her, and his family. For a wider purpose, he assured himself. Even with this assurance, he felt a single wet line tracing their way down his face.

A single tear. Then it was no more. Frozen by the winds that have come to Roendavar once more.

Theremiel brushed the single tear off his face and rushed to catch up to the duo who were now out their gate. As soon as Theremiel caught up, the shrill ringing of a phone could be heard from Theosarion’s direction. Theosarion smiled apologetically at Theremiel and dug a black phone from the inner pocket of his fur coat. The harsh bright light illuminated Theosarion’s face, now contorted in an annoyed frown.

“We’re done. We’re on our way.” Theosarion spoke plainly, swiftly pressing end on the phone call and putting it back in his pocket. “Glad you’ve decided on joining us, Theremiel. I’m sure you have many questions but I cannot answer them now. We are dealing with something greater far beyond us, and it would be better if the explanation would come from them.”

Once they got to the main road, Theremiel noticed a black sleek car was parked on the side of the street. It looked expensive and imported from a foreign country. Someone must be paying them lots of money. Theosarion opened the car door in the front and beckoned Theremiel to sit, with Galaeren taking a seat at the back. Theosarion started the car and sped through Althoros. Theremiel watched as his surroundings became a blur as their car rushed through the road. Judging from where they’re facing, they’re driving east down the Valreith Road, towards the town of Wieras. After passing the town of Wieras an hour later, they still kept going. Vastaros perhaps? Theremiel grasped the sapphire pendant that hung on his neck, it seeming to become warmer as if it was at home. What plans do they have? What did they mean about something greater? Who is Them? A thousand questions began to form in his mind, yet he somehow felt as if he didn’t need an answer. He was oddly sure.

He broke from his thoughts and observed his surroundings once more, his eyes settling on a sign fast approaching them. Thersos. A small quaint town located at the edge of the Thasmon Line, the boundary that separates where humans can cross. Beyond it is a wilderness that remained untamed for hundreds of years where dangerous plants and animals exist in relative peace away from the destructive nature of humans. As they drove through Thersos, Theremiel saw people were still awake, celebrating the festival of Eleias in bliss. A painful pang thrust through his heart, a reminder of the scene just hours ago, and yet seemed so far. He closed his eyes, trying to fight back tears that threaten to burst forth once more.

The car stopped and Theremiel opened his eyes once more. Looking beyond the windshield, he was greeted with a ten feet statue of the God of Nature, Loras. The statue stood tall in front of the vast forest, his hands outstretched as if to defend the wilderness behind him. Realization began to set on Theremiel, the faint lights of Thersos and the rest of civilization behind him. This is the Thasmon Line. Theosarion and Galaeren unbuckled and began to exit the car, their faces completely serious.

“Wait a minute. Are you two serious?” Theremiel exclaimed. “We are dying in there!”
“Oh, calm down. You have me. The animals won’t stand a chance.” Galaeren scoffed, patting the younger man’s shoulder. “And I’m sure Theosarion will protect you as well.”
“I won’t.” Theosarion grunted, proceeding to walk forwards. After a few steps, he eventually made it past the towering statue.
“Don’t believe him. He’s the one who invited you here after all.” Galaeren reassured. Soon, they were also past the statue, inside the Thasmon Line.
“Well, don’t keep us waiting.” Theosarion insisted, his hand outstretched, beckoning for Theremiel to go forward.

Theremiel stared at the two Arveimeion in utter bewilderment. In the span of a night, he met the two of them, lost both his parents and abandoned his younger sister alone, will break one of Roendavar’s most ancient laws, and got dragged into an unknown plot that seemed to threaten the entirety of Roendavar altogether. Silently, Theremiel muttered a curse at his patron god. The Winds of Change have definitely blown through him tonight, and ever shall it blow again. With a deep breath, he raised his foot and brought it down beyond the Thasmon. A heavy feeling weighing down in him as his form moved forward beyond the forbidden world. He accepted Theosarion’s hand as he steadied himself, greeted by the smiling faces of his two companions.

He has crossed into the unknown, and deep within him, he accepted it.

PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2020 1:17 pm
by Ainslie
Don't let it snow

Thursday 24 December, 7:45pm
Ukara Lodge, south of Tentren

Snowflakes steadily danced in the light winds of the Wesland high country, just south of Tentren and near the Verdonian border. A mother and father sat in chairs in a warm log cabin, with their four kids sitting on the couch around the television and within the vicinity of the fireplace. They were watching the yearly Christmas Carols by the River show that happened every Sunday before Christmas.

The television gently relayed the signal from Arnton, filled with good cheer.

The weather outside is frightful… but the fire is so delightful and since we have no place to go…

Let it snow
Let it snow
Let it…

URRRRRRRRRR…. URRR…….. The siren blared, interrupting the broadcast. The feared digitised voice came over the television set as the four children aged 8, 9, 10 and 4 held their blankets up further towards their chins…

“This is a message from the Ahnslen Federal Government. A significant emergency with risk to people and property is occurring or is about to occur. Immediately stop what you are doing and listen to the following important message. If you are not listening using a battery powered radio, please turn it on at the conclusion of this broadcast.

A black screen gave way to a screen which flashed before the family about halfway through that message, which read like this.


The graphic continued to flash on and off for 30s before staying on the screen. A digitised voice was replaced with a far more natural one soon after the siren stopped blaring.

“Arae, I’m Caelen Karrellan, from AM601 AFR Wesland Ranges, your emergency broadcaster. I come with a warning from the Ahnslen Weather Office and Emergency Responders Ainslie, who have authorised the usage of the Federal Emergency Warning Signal - the sounds you would have just heard if you are within the warning area.

The warning is for Venterra, Tentren and areas of the Wesland Ranges higher than 1450 metres above sea level. It is for gale force winds, heavy snowfall and cold temperatures, which will cause extremely dangerous conditions for affected people and expose those remaining in the area to a high risk of avalanche. Snowfall is forecasted to cut off many towns and settlements in the warning area for multiple days, and the cool winds will make the temperature feel at least fifteen degrees below what it actually is. The conditions will also cause blizzards and bring visibility down to zero metres throughout much of tomorrow.

It is important that you know where you currently are and that you listen closely to all of the following information. The advice is different depending on where you are.

If you are in Venterra, Travenen or River Heights, take action now. Pack up valuable and important items such as a first aid kit, water, medications and food. Don’t forget your device chargers such as your phone charger and computer charger. Leave early tonight for lower ground. Travel north along Southern Mountains Way to Kianara and if you cannot make arrangements to stay in that town, continue westward along the Burnett Highway to Herriden. That is the only route that is safe. Do not travel east to Port Blaxland or south towards Rathane.

Act now. Leave tonight. It will be too late to leave tomorrow morning as the town is likely to be cut off from important utilities and supplies, potentially for multiple days. Your safest option is to leave now to Herriden.

If you are currently in Tentren or in any of the ski resorts other than Travenen or River Heights, it is already too late to leave the area. Stay where you are and do not leave. Call 321 if you believe your life or the life of another is in danger.

However, ERA are advising that if you are in the valley between the Norden Range and the Apollo range, within 10 kilometres of Tentren, it is safer to try and leave than to stay. Local authorities say that there is a small window to leave the area and make it to Tentren. Immediately pack up valuable items and drive north along Verdon Road to the Tentren Information Centre. The Centre is located on the corner of Leslen Street and Verdon Road. When you arrive, make yourself known to staff and tell them the address you have come from. From there, staff will be able to help. Before you leave, make sure you have a battery powered radio, lots of food and water and one flashlight per person. Leave in the next hour to ensure your safety and avoid avalanches. You must act now and act quickly to ensure your safety.

Only use roads if the advice that has just been read out says that it is safe to do so. Make sure to turn on your hazard lights and headlights whilst driving and continue to leave them on regardless of the weather conditions. If visibility is close to 0m, use your high beams. Do not use them otherwise.

If it is not safe for you to leave or you have chosen to act against the advice and stay when you have been asked to leave, here is some advice to make the next few days more comfortable.
  1. If you are staying at a property, park your car in an obvious diagonal angle with the headlights pointing towards the street. Put your windscreen wipers up, tie something around the front door of where you are staying. Put your recycling bin at the point where your property meets the street. This will help emergency services know where people are and aren’t during this event and in the immediate days after it.
  2. Close all blinds and windows, shut every door - including the internal doors. Use spare items such as tea towels or surplus clothing to block out droughts under doors.
  3. Make sure you check how much food you have as well as water. Plan how and under what circumstances you will use these supplies.
  4. Do not go outside tomorrow under any circumstances. It is extremely dangerous to go outside in the conditions that have been forecasted and if you do you are risking your life.
  5. Use multiple information sources like this radio station,, ERA’s social media accounts and television stations. This will allow you to have the most current information and allow you to make wise decisions to protect yourself and others.

That is all the information we have for now. Tune into 601AM AFR to get more updates and important emergency information.

To verify this message visit or call the emergency alert phone line at 987 654 321 and press (1).

The next update will be in fifteen minutes. Stay safe but remember, if you believe a person’s life is in danger, call 321.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2020 2:25 pm
by Ainslie
Silencing Night

Thursday 24 December, 7:52pm
Tentren Road south of Tentren

The family of six sat there as the carols resumed as like nothing had gone wrong and the TV resumed its normal programming.

Silent night…. Holy night… all is calm… all is bright…

The mother, Tiana, spoke to her husband in a hushed tone.

“Hey Micah, how far is Tentren away from here?”

The husband got out of his chair, with the mother following closely behind. They fumbled around the kitchen, looking for the booklet which had the brochures and visitor information. A couple minutes later, Micah found the stately looking folder and pulled the brochure out of it. He traced his finger over the various settlements and the distances they were away from the property they were in.

“Tentren…. Tentren…. Tentren”, he muttered before exclaiming “Tentren! 10 minutes, 8 kilometres.”

He looked back at his wife who was pacing around the kitchen. When she noticed he was looking at her she quickly said “Let’s leave”, to which Micah replied “You want to sort out the kids? I’ll get our stuff.”

Tiana walked quickly towards the kids who were still on the couch before attempting to explain what they just watched.

“Hey kids, we’re going into town for a couple days. Pack all of your favourite things.”

By this time Micah was already in the bathroom quickly sorting and organising the various toiletries and medications in the cabinets. Meanwhile Tiana made sure the kids were packing up before she moved to the bedroom she was sharing with her husband.

40 minutes later

The grey sky slowly was transitioning to a whiter shade as the snow began to build around the road. Every ten minutes or so, the siren blared over the car radio as more emergency updates were being announced. The most recent one had changed information.

“For those in the valley between Norden Range and Apollo Range, it is too late to leave towards Tentren.”

Micah flashed his eyes towards his wife, but then the announcer continued.

“Those who are currently on Verdon Road are stressed to continue driving towards Tentren unless the road is blocked. Turning back now would be extremely dangerous”

His shoulders then dropped as he lightly touched his foot on the break as he approached the hairpin turn on the road.

The family then heard screams and a loud bang further around the corner. Tiana turned back towards the kids, saying that “we’ll be okay - the screams could have been that the car in front lost control for a moment.”

As soon as she turned back, she realised that was not the case. “MICAH!!! VEER THE CAR”, she shrieked.

It was too late. The dark pickup truck hit the car front on, causing it to be pushed back onto the barrier that divided the sharp turn in the road from the steep slope below. The barrier then began to screech a bit before giving way. The car rolled backwards down the hill before the boot crashed into the back of a large tree. By this time, the airbags of the car stained with the blood of the passengers. Micah’s eyes were closed and he was not breathing. His wife was slouched over the deflating airbag, whilst three of the kids looked increasingly weary and lifeless.

Smoke surrounded the car as the snow continued to steadily fall. Jordan, the oldest of the four kids, was the only one who was showing signs of life. He glanced with one eye towards the front of the vehicle, looking for a phone to call help before his gaze noticed a phone-sized hole in the windscreen.

“You’re…. Kidding…”, he quietly muttered with the strength left in him.

Jordan sat in the car, theorising slowly in his head how he would get out of this situation and get his family some help.

Jordan’s thoughts slowed. His breathing became harder and his eyes were starting to close. Everything was getting fuzzy - then there was darkness.

PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2020 2:21 pm
by Ainslie
We three police

Tuesday 29 December, 7:12am
Crash site, Tentren Road, south of Tentren

The ground was covered in white snow, the road and neighbouring area void of any life. It had been two days since the evacuation order went out and many small towns across the high country of Wesland remained cut off by road to the outside road. Near a small yet normally well-frequented road, the sound of a helicopter begins to ring out.

A shadow began to cast itself over the white expanse that the valley had become over the past few days. Two pilots, an ARSF officer and two detectives sat in the helicopter which was beginning to bring itself nearer to the ground.…

The co-pilot quickly took in the surroundings, viewing the heavy snow and the slope of the valley before turning around and asking his three passengers a question.

“You three have equipment for conditions like this - pickaxes, snow shoes, poles the like?”

“Yes”, ARSF Corporal Dergen replied. “My home base stocked us up well.”

“Good. We are not confident that we can safely land - the wind is quite slow and conditions are fine to land, but it would be much easier and safer to land you very close to the ground instead of properly landing - especially on this slope.”

“Noted. Get us as close as possible.”, Dergen replied before checking all of the equipment he had brought and then promptly reviewing what the two detectives had with them.

As the helicopter was almost on the ground, the snow increasingly was becoming raised by the winds generated by the rotors…

Dergen pulled the flashlight out of his bag and then tucked it into a strap on his arm and signalled the two detectives with him - Jordan Amett and Olivia Macsen to do the same. The three of them all checked that their cold weather gear was sealed up and fit for purpose.

Shortly after finishing this, the co-pilot turned around for the last time.

“This is your stop. Dergen, let us know when you want us back.”, he said.

“Thank you. We appreciate it and we will do. Stay safe”, Corporal Dergen replied.

The door opened and the three jumped out onto the snow. Amett slipped slightly as he made contact with the ground whilst Macsen and Dergen began to look around.

It was a desolate yet beautiful picture in the valley. The three slowly hiked up towards the cut in the hill that the road sat on. Before long, they saw what they had come for.

Multiple cars. Multiple bodies - one thing in common. They all were half caked in snow.

Dergen and the two detectives looked at each other to see what should be done next. Amett was the first to speak.

“We have multiple cars down here - 10 metres or so from the road I’d imagine. You two should check for signs of life in anyone. I’ll go up to the road proper and see what I can find - my understanding is that a plough went through the area mid-morning from one of the resort towns.”

The two nodded in reply and Amett made path for the road.

The plough had certainly come through. Recently too. Whilst the snow that was falling was somewhat heavy still, he could see much of what he needed to on the road - at least for the next ten minutes or so.

He noticed many sets of skidmarks - almost all of them seemed to be on the left side of the road. There were multiple gaps and dents in the barriers which separated the road from the slope which it was built on.

Dergen’s face grew more confused as he continued to walk around the road, checking once to make sure he still had his radio with him. He walked towards the switchback where the road made a hairpin turn before becoming much steeper around the corner. These turns were a common place for accidents, especially in the conditions that must’ve been around during the time the cars veered off the road. The snow was beginning to pile back up on the road by this point, but Amett noticed a black piece of metal with a shattered piece of glass on it. He got his camera out, took a photo of its original location and then placed it in his backpack.

Dergen and Macsen, in the meantime, walked from car to car - almost every car the airbags had been deflated and the bodies in the cars were remarkably preserved by the cold icicles which were forming on most of the deceaseds. Head injuries… broken bones - it was an absolute scene of carnage. The corporal and Macsen, a younger detective than Amett, had finished their search by the time Amett was making his way back to them. The two stood amongst the wrecked cars and shattered windscreens.

“What are you waiting here for! Anything of note from looking through the cars and at the people?”, Amett half-yelled from a distance.

“No. Of course, medical examiners need to be dispatched to here or we need to somehow get the bodies to them but nothing that immediately strikes me.”, Macsen replied as her senior was coming closer to her.

Amett looked around before continuing.

“Any black cars amongst these?”, Amett inquired.

“No. Blue, red, light grey… even orange - nothing lack.”, Dergen replied.

“Interesting - I think this is a mirror that must’ve come off from a car on the road. Did any of the air crews mention a black car?”, Amett continued.

Macsen replied with a categorical no.
“Then we need to get this back to Arnton… work out what vehicle it is and then alert the local repair stores and police departments. Dergen, do you mind asking for the ARSF helicopter to come back now?”

“Certainly.”, he replied.

Macsen picked up her phone and dialed in the number of the police station they are attached to before telling them the information.

“Verdon Road, south of Tentren. Mass vehicular accident. Twenty dead. Seven cars wrecked - three SUVs, two stationwagons, a ute and a hatchback. Requesting regular aerial surveillance of the area and also advice on when medical examiners can arrive to the crash site.”

The sergeant promptly replied.

“Noted, thank you Detective Macsen. Aerial surveillance will be sought out. We will need to liaise with ERA [Emergency Responders Ainslie] and the ARSF to see if we can remove the bodies from the crash site and bring them back to Arnton. Did you get any leads?”

“Yes”, Macsen replied, “Amett found a black car mirror which must’ve snapped off from a car. Only thing is none of our information suggests that a black vehicle crashed in the vicinity of the road which means there must be someone out there who knows something about the accident.”

“Interesting. Bring it back to headquarters, run it through some DNA and be ready for a full debrief with Wesland Police on your return.”, was what the sergeant said after that.

“Yes sir”, she replied.

Within an hour and a half they were back in Arnton, walking through the corridors of the Wesland Police’s headquarters in the city. Amett and Macsen dropped off the mirror to the lab before going to the office where their supervisor was. Dergen returned to the ARSF base in Arnton.

The next day the sergeant and his two detectives were sitting in a board room in the police headquarters, waiting for the people who would attend the second meeting about this case to arrive.

“This is all very suspicious”, the sergeant said as he skimmed through the early report. “After you went, we had some of the local police ask around and they said that they saw a large black vehicle leaving Tentren south towards your crash site that night. The fact that all of the cars that veered off the road and onto the slope were heading in all the same direction yet had largely similar damage… and the mirror too… that seems to suggest that the person who actually caused at least one of the accidents may still be out there.”

“That’s quite a development.”, Macsen replied.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2020 3:16 am
by Roendavar
Chapter 4: ANGUISH

Fire. Ashes. Death.

The screams never seemed to stop throughout the night.

Silver streaks of moonlight peered through the thick canopy, casting a dim glow across the dense forest. The trees were thick and twisted, burrowed deeply in the ground with massive snaking roots, bending and turning throughout to occupy what little space was left in the forest. Verdant, yet morose. Lush, yet oppressive. Beautiful, yet ominous. The Great Lorason Forest stretched far beyond the Thasmon Line, untouched by humanity for centuries, its purity kept on guard by both people and nature itself. From north to south, east to west, it stretches for kilometers, hiding secrets beneath its vast reach.

Theremiel looked around in wonder and awe. So few people have crossed the Thasmon Line, and none of them belonged to the normal populace as he was. In an age of modernity, one could not imagine being in the sacred forest, a fantasy to some but is an exaltation to Roendavarians. After what seemed like hours of walking, they finally stood in the middle of a forest clearing, the moon shining above illuminating the vast forest that spanned before them. They have now crossed deep into the Thasmon Line, into forests and wilderness unknown. The trees were thick, warped from millennia of unhindered growth and fat soil that accumulated throughout the years. Their barks twisted and curved, their roots snaking across the forest floor like tentacles, and their massive canopies blocking the forest in a permanent darkness.

The clearing was in a perfect symmetrical circle, manmade. In the middle of the clearing stood a most peculiar object that did not belong to its surroundings. There stood a black glass monolith, around 5 meters tall. Despite its imposing stature, upon it was engraved the most beautiful script, the Ierthelina, Roendavar’s old writing system. Under the silver moonlight, the monolith seemed shining and endless, like a darkness was contained within it that seemed to drink the moonlight. At its foot, stood a lone figure, their hands touching the smooth monolith. Long, disheveled black hair obscured any identifiable features from afar.

“Welcome back. I trust you both of you are done with your silly little play in Althoros.”

The figure said in a smooth voice, craning their head backwards to the three Arveimeion. Their haggard hair parted slightly as their head contorted back, revealing one mad eye that peered through and a wild grin that seemed permanent. They had deathly pale skin that made them look like a moving corpse. As they approached closer, Theremiel had the opportunity to observe them further. They had a fairly muscular build and wore tattered leather, their clothes torn and cut in random places.

“And you’ve brought back another.” The figure cooed, his peering one eye focusing on Theremiel. “No need to tell me your name nor your Arveim. I can already smell it. Elias, no doubt. Afaria lantheri eliastheron!

“Then I’ll introduce you then.” Galaeren said, gesturing at Theremiel to come closer. “This is Arveimeion Valeris of one of the coolest and-”

“Valcrios. The God of Chaos and the Undoer! The most neglected and troublesome deity in the Arveim!” Valeris declared, standing up in pride. Theremiel shuddered at the name. Valcrios, the 13th Arveim, is regarded as the most uncontrollable and wild of the Protacist deities. Those who follow him, the Valcrioseth, are known as the most vile people in Roendavar, from murderers to more. Yet, Valeris felt different.

“I know. He doesn’t look like Valcrios or doesn’t act like Valcrios.” Galaeren laughed.

“I am more Valcrios than any of the Valcrioseth. When you all think of the agents of Chaos, you think bloodthirsty savages. That is not what we represent.” Valeris scoffed as he moved closer to the three Arveimeion. “Pure Chaos is Chaos itself. Chaos, in its purposeful form, is Valcrios.” Theremiel didn’t understand what was the difference between the two, yet he nodded along, hoping to end the conversation.

“Yes. We understand. Anyway… what’s the status according to Them?” Galaeren shifted the topic of the conversation.

“It has begun in other countries. I’ve heard. Ainslie, Thromsa, Ostehaar, Wellsia, and a bunch of other countries to follow. Our marks have been erected throughout the Western Isles. We are fulfilling our end of the bargain, they must fulfill theirs.” Valeris recounted.

“And what is next for us?”

“We are to wait. That is all. I was told that we are to remain here and wait for Them to arrive.”

“Wait- who is Them?” Theremiel intervened, unaware of the contents of their conversation. However, before anyone could answer, a figure emerged from the trees into the clearing. Judging from their features, they were a Valcrioseth, a follower of Valeris. They were fatigued from running, breathing heavily with a panicked expression etched on their face.

“They are planning to slaughter Thersos!” The figure warned.

“What?! We were told to wait here for the meeting!” Valeris was surprised.

“They did not want you to intervene in their plans as it would be clear that the Cricenexinos would not do their bidding if you were to see what is going to happen to Thersos.”

“And our followers? They went along with this?”

“We were told otherwise, that the three of you had our blessing and that this was necessary for our operations to commence.”

“Senseless slaughter?! This is madness! This is a betrayal! We must stop them!” Valeris rushed forward, following the other Valcrioseth back to the woods. A quick glance between Theremiel, Theosarion, and Galaeren formed a silent agreement and they rushed forward as well, trying to keep up with the fast moving Valeris. Judging from the direction they were going, they were running west back to the town of Thersos.


As soon as they emerged from the forest and upon the Thasmon Line, a jarring orange glow unfolded before them. The smell of smoke and ash entered Theremiel’s as it dawned on the Arveimeion what predicament had ensued upon Thersos. From afar, the little town was up in flames. Its once peaceful and calm demeanor just an hour ago has descended into one of inferno. They ran towards the town, the horror and chaos slowly unfolding as they reached its borders. The streets of Thersos were in chaos. Shattered glass and bricks were strewn across the streets. The town hall was on fire, swallowed by a fiery blaze through a gaping hole on its entrance. All around them, screams echoed through the night. They noticed a dead person nearby, an unusually large gun on his side.

“He isn’t a cult member. He’s a mercenary.” Theosarion grimaced, crouching at a dead mercenary slumped on a lamp post. “What the hell are they doing?!”

“They’ve gone against us, clearly.” Valeris snickered. “Mixing our people with these crude sellswords. They’ve gone mad!”

“This was not part of the bargain they did with us.” Galaeren lamented, their eyes wandering to the chaos all around them.

Out of nowhere, a window shattered behind them and a woman stumbled forward. She was bloody, her hair messy, and she was holding a baby, bundled up in stained white cloth clutched tightly in her arms. Theosarion rushed forth to help, only to be pulled back by Galaeren, their eyes locking in a silent debate. A gunshot rang out inside the building and the woman broke out in tears, trying to limp closer to them, only for an arm to grasp her right leg and pull her to the ground, her and her baby crashing to the ground violently. Theremiel watched in horror as one of the foreign mercenaries emerged from the building, their maniacal laughter chilling Theremiel to the core.

“Help me! Help me please!”

The woman pleaded, yet the four of them stood motionless. Valeris opened his mouth to say something, perhaps to order the mercenary to stand down, but he didn’t. A streak of rage crossed his face as he bit his lip, a silent condition forcing him back from this senseless chaos. The four could only watch as the woman was dragged across the street once more back into the building, her baby still in her arms. Theremiel could not stand it anymore, nor was he satisfied with his companion’s inaction. Before he could hear the fate of the woman, he turned the opposite direction and ran. He could hear his three companions running after him but he didn’t care. This is madness. He thought. How cruel can this get? He kept running through the streets of Thersos. The chaos increased all around him. Screams. The raging of fire. The chill of the Winter Winds. He kept running, desperate for a reprieve from the chaos that ensured all around him. A man lay dead in the middle of the road. A woman slumped over the bushes, a crimson red staining the greenery. Rounding a corner, Theremiel came across another Valcrioseth, a little girl wailing and crying in his grasp. Theremiel could not stand it no longer.

“Theremiel! Stop!” Theremiel could hear Theosarion call from behind but he couldn’t listen. He didn’t act earlier. He will act now. He rushed towards the cult member, hoping that he could at least distract him. However, the Valcrioseth saw him, and time seemed to freeze as he pulled out a gun and pointed it towards Theremiel. With a panicked gasp, he moved right just as a gunshot ripped through the air, a numbing pain erupting through his left ear.

“Caeratha!” Valeris shouted at the Valcrioseth, ordering him to stand down. The three other Arveimeion rushed to Theremiel’s side as the Valcrioseth fled, dragging along a crying child.

“Are you alright?” Theosarion worried, rushing to Theremiel’s side and inspecting his wound. It was shallow but it bled profusely.

“I- I’m fine…” Theremiel mumbled, still in shock over what happened. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see a cult member approaching. A Foasterin judging from the emblem on their silver and white cloak.

“Thank Foaster I found you, Arveimeion. They’re all headed back to the Monolith.” The Foasterin reported. “They are carrying prisoners with them. Sacrifices. Around 30 or 40.”

“And how many do you think have been killed tonight?”

“100 at the least. Perhaps even more. Countless damages and the majority of the populace have fled. The Roendavarian Royal Guard would be here at the soonest possible time.”

“Valractha! We need to leave and catch up to them. We need answers.” Valeris growled.

The four of them followed the Foasterin back to the Thasmon Line where tracks of the convoy can be seen leading back to the Great Lorason Forest. The walk back to the Thasmon Line was silent. Theremiel refused to look at the other Arveimeion. How can they just leave people to die like that? Why did they allow this? The pain has subsided from the wound on his ear, however, the image of the deaths that he has witnessed tonight still reared their marks on his brain. As soon as they entered the Great Lorason Forest, he could hear Galaeren’s pace quickening, catching up to Theremiel.

“I think we owe you an explanation, Theremiel. Considering what you’ve witnessed and experienced tonight. However, I don’t think we can give you the full story yet.” Galaeren said, keeping pace with Theremiel.

“What’s there left to be said? We all did nothing in Thersos. We might as well be responsible for their deaths as well.” Theremiel rasped, refusing to look at his fellow Arveimeion.

“Believe me. If we could help, we would have.” Galaeren responded. “But we can’t. Not without facing the consequences.”

“Consequences from what?”

“There is something you must know, and that is a reason why Theosarion and Galaeren brought you with them.” Valeris began to explain. “Most of the Cricenexinos have entered a pact with an Organization. That includes the Valcrioseth, the Foasteralis, the Seliserien, and the Frecunalion. We were promised that we can reshape and influence Roendavar if we help them take power, and we agreed. We always have believed that we, the Arveimeion, were destined to rule, and that this is our way.”

“Since time immemorial, we have ruled over the shadows of Roendavar for millennia. That is why our support was sought after by Them. However, the Organization has warped us into something else.” Theosarion sighed. “Something more sinister. Judging from what we’ve seen here.”

“They even had the audacity to loop us with dirty foreigners. This cannot continue.” Valeris said.

“And what does that have to do with slaughtering the people of Thersos? What does that have to do with me?”

“The horror that we have witnessed, that has nothing to do with us. We, the Arveimeion, that is.” Theosarion admitted. “As for you, we need the support of the Eleianthas. They answer to you.”

Theremiel didn’t respond, only nodding at their revelations. If it was indeed true that the cults are connected with this Organization, then this runs deeper, judging from how this has also started in other countries. An Organization with a plan that runs deeper in the Western Isles. Before he could ask more questions, the delirious beat of drums reverberated throughout the forest. The faint ringing of the bells returned and the cold winds blew through the trees once more. Their shocked expressions and realizations knew only one thing. It was starting. The four hurried, running through the trees, the faint glow of fires in the distance. Finally, reaching it, greeted with the same clearing as once before, but now has changed.

A hundred or more people stood in a circle around the monolith. They were all different, some cult members, some mercenaries judging from their guns, and some… normal people, tears on their eyes and their mouths gagged. A series of ropes met on a singular point, the Monolith, which seemed to glow more sinister at the moonlight, while several strands spread outwards and disappeared into the forest. A single cloaked figure stood in the center, their features disguised by a white mask that resembled that of a mannequin’s. Theremiel’s eyes followed the fibre ropes as they tutted straight across the forest. They climbed upwards. Towards the canopies. Towards thick branches. Towards… necks. Shadows rising above the trees in a slow reverie. Limp figures swaying in the cold winter winds, immovable, their life suffocated from their pale forms. Theremiel felt his knees buckle beneath him as Galaeren let out a small whimper. Valeris growled beside him, a primal anger bursting forth. Theremiel could feel the shock swallow him like a darkness. As the forests grow silent, thoughts ravage through Theremiel’s mind as he could feel his consciousness fading from the shock and fatigue. Hanging from the trees, 30 figures have been sacrificed, their ghastly and contorted faces gripped in perpetual anguish. A manic struggle for life. A desperation, forever etched and dirtied upon the canopies of the forest.

This was no ritual. This was no sacrifice.

This is anguish.

PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2021 12:42 pm
by Ainslie

Oh Night Unholy | The Fatal Mistake
5:12pm - 10 January 2020
Mennar National Park, Dallama, Ainslie

“Hayds - this is the bottom of the track right?”

“Yeah Ams.”, the teenager replied.

The four boys lifted their bikes over the gate before one by one getting on them and slowly starting to ride off.

At breakneck speed they began to ride along the wide fire trail which offered safe passage through the dense scrub which surrounded them. Soon enough, they were on the coastal track which although open to hikers and bushwalkers was largely unfrequented due to how remote the part of the park. It was also winter, the low season for bushwalking in the area.

Hayden was at the front, followed by Connor, Amare and Patrick. The four sped past a man, with Patrick quickly turning his head backwards to see the person.

“Pat, he’s about to total me!”, Amare exclaimed.

At this moment Patrick turned back around, slowed down and looked again.

The man was in a black cloak and hardly identifiable. He motioned slowly along the trail whilst walking like some medieval vampire.

Bit weird…, Patrick noted to himself.

Soon enough, Hayden pointed out a bright shiny object standing on top of a hill overlooking the water. It had an otherworldly quality, glistening over the bare rock of the cliff.

“We should go look at that”, Hayden inquired as he began to slow up his pedalling.

Connor and Amare also slowed, whilst Patrick continued to ride in order to catch up to them.

The four got off their bikes, locked them to nearby trees and began to walk up the hill.

A couple more men in much more normal clothing that Patrick saw were walking downhill as they went up the trail.

A few minutes later they stood in front of the structure… a steel triangular prism three foot high, bolted into the stone that formed the base of the cliff.

Amare pulled his phone out and took pictures before Connor’s eyes lit up.

He had an idea.

“Hey, I’m busting - I’ll wash the monolith down a bit.”

“You’re kidding Connor…”, Hayden replied

Connor unzipped his pants.

“Camera off Ams, please - some privacy.”

Amare promptly turned off his phone and placed it in his pocket, whilst Hayden and Patrick joined him in turning around whilst Connor did his business.

They took a few more photos and then made their way back down the hill towards their bikes.

The bikes were still there, despite the busy foot traffic around the hill. The four grabbed their bikes and pedalled back towards the fire trail.

Once they were on the fire trail they really started picking up speed, enjoying the lack of bends and turns in the last stretch of the track out of the park.

Ten minutes later Connor heard a loud revving sound and looked behind him.

About two hundred metres behind there was a man in the cloak he had seen earlier, sitting on a quadbike with its headlights on. The cloaked man revved his engine again before flooring the accelerator and gaining speed quickly, directly driving towards him.

“There’s a quadbike behind - looks like he’s coming straight for us… not sure what his deal is!”, Connor yelled at the others.

Hayden, who had been at the front veered out of the line they had formed to take a closer look. At that moment Connor was launched off his bike and into the bushes on the side of the fire trail. The quadbike soon reversed before picking up speed again directly towards the boys.

Hayden yelled at the others to get out of line and cycle as fast as they could.

It was too late though. Two other quadbikes emerged soon after Connor had been rammed into.

Hayden looked back one last time at Connor as a different man slowly walked towards him holding a needle. Soon after this, Connor’s body convulsed and he went limb and became noticeably colder looking.

Hayden sped up in an attempt to avoid the same fate. The quadbike lurched over closer and then there was a loud crash.

A minute later he gained consciousness and opened his eyes. The man with the needle was standing above him now.

It was all over.

PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:06 pm
by Balnik
Two men sit outside a café in Badara, Ainslie. One is looking at the sky, relaxed, smoking a cigarette and enjoying the weather, The other is sitting there upright but still relaxed, his heavy wool jacket on his lap as he undoes the buttons on his shirt, he looks at the man on the bench and begins to sign with his hands, catching the attention of the other.

"I'm beginning to think that we might have overdressed" The smoking man chuckles, wiping the sweat off his brow and signs back.

"Its no Aftavan winter, its a very beautiful place, I wonder how the food is. Do you have iron? The smoking man looks to the other, where he taps his thick jacket with both hands before smiling. The two men seem to be sharply dressed, but still out of place, their skin and faces weathered and having experienced much of life. They look to be in their late 30's to early 40's, with the smoking man having parted brown hair, and an average build, he would be slimmer and shorter than his deaf companion who would be a large hulking mass, with a shiny bald head and piercing icy eyes. The smoking man pulls out a picture of a man labelled "Lawrence Jackson" and inspects it, then shows the larger man who begins to sign.

"Our guy?"He chuckles, before looking towards the secure case they were instructed to bring with them.

"Yup, speaking of which we should probably head inside." The large man looks towards the smoking man and nods, standing up and lifting the case and leads the way inside the café.

"Nice joint." The smoking man says, looking around before spotting Lawrence Jackson and nudging the larger man who nods and walks towards the man. The two smile and take a seat across from the man.

"Hello Mr. Jackson, my name is Mr. Valka, my associates name is Mr. Lucic, though don't bother talking to him, he is deaf." The smoking man says, with a smile extending his hand to Mr. Jackson. Mr. Lucic rudimentarily signs that he cannot hear incase it wasn't stated before, after introductions he immediately looks towards the menu while Mr. Valka looks back towards Mr. Jackson.

"Now, would you like to talk business?"

PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:51 pm
by Ainslie
“Yes - I believe you have an offer for me... you were wanting me to talk to some of my friends?”, Lawrence replied. He then took the serviette on the table and folded it before placing it in his pocket.

“One moment please”, he said before walking to where the waiter was standing in front of a cash register.

“Just a flat white thanks”, he asked the waiter. “Table 10...” before he placed a $5 bill on the cash register and walked back to his table.

“So...?”, Lawrence said as he pulled his chair back out and sat on it.

PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2021 5:23 pm
by Balnik
Valka eyes the case that Lucic grips tightly. He looks back towards Lawrence and whispers.

"Gold bullion, all the serials are in your name, you should have no issues redeeming of whatever you desire."

Lucic looks towards Valka and begins signing. Valka nods and looks towards Lawrence with a serious look.

"Right. I'm sure I don't have to warn you about the consequences of simply taking the money and neglecting your end of the agreement. But if everything goes well, you will forget about us, you will be rich, and our common adversaries will be having a bad day. "

Lucic reluctantly slides the case towards Lawrence, staring him down in the process.

"Oh also," Valka speaks up.

"You should start practicing your Balniki, Rustov is great this time of year, that is if you carry out your duty." Valka chuckles and stands up, signing to Lucic that its time to leave, soon the two leave Lawrence sitting there with a case full of gold and a decision to make.

PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2021 5:31 pm
by Ainslie
“And political asylum if things get too hot here, too?”, Lawrence said after peeking into the briefcase. “and yes, I understand”

PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2021 6:20 pm
by Balnik
"Yes, yes, you'll get your asylum. You'll have a place in Rustov with us." Valka signs something to Lucic before taking off, looking at Lawrence one last time.

PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2021 6:39 pm
by Ainslie
“I’ll see you in Rustov”, he replied.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 8:31 pm
by Ainslie

Oh Night Unholy | Trail of Terror
8:15am - 10 January 2020
Mennar National Park, Dallama, Ainslie

Nathan Garratt
Carlen Linren


Nathan Garratt pressed his car key once again, just to double check he had locked his car. Over in the distance was his colleague, Carlen Linren. Garratt gave a quick wave before walking across the street and entering the police station. They ducked their heads into the Detective Sergeant’s office before making their way to their desks.

Nathan arranged his pens so they were parallel and then began to tap away at the keys of his laptop to log into his account and then all the necessary applications for the day.

Before he could finish all of that usual daily hassle, the Sergeant asked Garratt and Linren to come into his office.

All three of them knew what this meeting would be about - it would be about what they saw last night.

“Mennar National Park - what did you find there?”, the Sergeant (S) asked.

“Four bodies - pretty beaten up and bruised. Looks like a typical vehicle accident scene.”, Linren (L) replied.

S: “Yes, that’s what the file said. Did you notice anything else though?”

L: “No…”
“Nothing overly out of the ordinary”, Garratt (G) added.

S: “Well - as you know we’ve quietly closed the park and put a patrol outside of it to prevent people from going in. However, by the time medical examiners were escorted into the location - three bodies disappeared.”

Garratt and Linren, seated on chairs in the Sergeant’s office by now, showed a puzzled expression after learning about the development.

L: “How could they have done that? Were aerial assets not used?”

S: “They were. We must’ve scared away whoever or whatever took the bodies because the body we brought back was the one spotted by the helicopter.”

L: “Anything the lab techs found out about that body?”

S: “I was hoping you would go down there now - just wanted to see if you knew anything more that could be acted on quickly…”

G: “No, we didn’t - should we go down to the techs now?”

S: “Yes. Come back and let me know more later.”

Garratt and Linren then calmly walked out of the Sergeant’s office and down the corridor towards their car. It was a five minute drive downtown to where the techs were.

The two detectives walked into the unassuming brick building, identified themselves to reception and walked down the secure corridors. They were soon greeted by Dr Palmer, who had examined the body.

When the three of them entered the cold autopsy room, the discussion began.

“So, did you find anything Dr Palmer?”, Garratt (G) inquired.

“Yes… actually I did Nathan”, Palmer (P) replied before continuing on, motioning to a nearby monitor.

“This looks like a classic vehicular accident case until… until you look at the bloods I ran…”

“He has high levels of a group of neurotoxins…”

G: “What, like one from a venomous snake or spider?”

P: “Yes - an eastern brown snake, in fact.”
L: “So what - he got bitten by a snake?”

P: “No, actually - that would not make a lot of sense. The toxins are quite concentrated, even for an eastern brown snake… and the species hasn’t been reported in or around Mennar National Park for years - a couple of decades actually.”

L: “Could just be one snake in an entire national park… could have moved after a fire or something like that…”

P: “That’s where things get more complicated. There’s actually no bite site.”

G: “Now you’ve got our attention - what do you think it could be then?”

P: “Could have been ingested, or more likely… injected…”

G: “Ok. Excellent. Thank you Doc.”

As the two detectives left the building, Garratt’s mobile rang. It was the Sergeant.

S: “Found Anything?”

G: “Yes. Palmer thinks the deceased could have been injected with a toxin that eastern brown snakes seem to carry. Have we already searched the national park?”

S: “No. I will organise for that to happen now. Keep me in the loop.”

G: “Likewise, Sarge”

PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 1:00 am
by Roendavar

A single road and a cobblestone path cut through the forests beyond the Thasmon Line and made its way to a magnificent landform. The mountain of Athalymos towered above the forests of Roendavar and the forests of the Great Lorason were alight with an orange glow as eighty thousand people gathered at the slopes of the mountain. It was the Night of Erosithegon, the night when the people of Roendavar gather on the slopes of Mount Athalymos and rejoice their greatest blessing, Life. Music and laughter reverberated through the night, the sound of thousands celebrating the Festival of Iralia, kilometers away from civilization, surrounded only by the great life of this Earth.

“I hope you can still keep up with the rest of the festival. It’s going to become midnight soon.” Caeren called on Athreil, holding two cups of fruit wine he got from a stall. “Got us grape and rosemary wine with orange peel.”

Athreil scoffed at his partner’s jest, playfully hitting his shoulder in the process. “Shut up, Caeren. We’ve been doing this festival since I was a child. This isn’t going to be different.”

“Eh? You spent the past two years cooped up at your job at the Veleus. Maybe you lost some of that energy explaining musty paintings to uninterested foreign college students.”

“They’re art students. They’re interested.” Athreil took the cup of fruit wine. “But regarding the current situation in Roendavar, I thought, hey, might as well attend this year.”

“Oh come on. This is the only time of the year where we get inside the Thasmon and, with a bunch of people, we can party atop a mountain in the middle of nowhere. Big plus that they predict the aurora will fall on this date. That would explain why there are so many of us here. Call me a patriot because I love this country!” Caeren exclaimed, throwing his hands up in the air in a mocking tone.

“First of all, this isn’t just a ‘bunch’ of people. Literally 80,000 estimated.” Athreil corrected, gesturing at the caravan trudging slowly in front of them. “And second… may I remind you that the town of Thersos was massacred just last week and yet we’re still here going through with this event.”

“It’s going to be fine. They deployed the Roendavarian Royal Guard. They can protect us.” Caeren grinned, earning a scoff from Athreil.

“Right. They failed to eject the Balniki from Faronna and prevent Thersos from getting invaded by Iralia knows what. I feel very safe.” Athreil rolled his eyes, eliciting a laughter from Caeren.

Caeren took a side beside Athreil as they watched the crowd move through the festival. They watched solemnly, taking in the common festival celebrated by Roendavarians every year. They watched as dancers swayed through the open spaces, their golden jewelry clinking across their pure white fabrics of cloth and fur. Many sang songs, telling of the stories of both ancient and new. Athreil tuned his ears to a specific song, an exaltation, one all Roendavarians are familiar with. The description of Erosithegon, the event that would alter the course of Roendavarian history forever.

Ei i eraliath ialAthalymos therisalra cin oarena ratarith elea Davaril
Ei canath vilisin i Feliath oth xain aalacthii, oth xain xelioni, oth xain thiirasi leferil
And the skies above Athalymos burst open with all the colors of the universe
And they bathed the people in its wonder, in its glory, in its ethereal beauty

“I heard that the aurora would be making an appearance exactly tonight.” Caeren said. “I mean how rare is that?”

“Not quite rare as people think. Though, I do see the meaning in it.”

“Why are you so negative? Can’t you just say ‘yes definitely rare would love to see it with you Caeren’”

“It looks like they’re playing more music at the main stage. You think we can go there?” Athreil stood up, only for Caeren’s hand to stop him in his tracks.

“I’d rather stay here. Please. I’m tired.” Caeren smiled. “Plus we’ve got a nice enough view here. We’re far enough to see the whole festival but near enough to hear it.”

“Okay, okay. You didn’t have to explain it so technically.” Athreil turned back to watch the festival from their vantage point. The crowd then began to cheer and grow excited.

“It’s starting. Look up, Ath.” Caeren pointed up at the sky.

An aurora shone through the sky. The crowd exploded into cheers, the drums getting louder and louder. The orchestra on the main stage began playing the familiar song of the Erosithegon once more. A reverie of bells, strings, and percussion. Athreil looked up at the sky as colors and light streaked above the festivals. His mouth agape at the wonder, both at the scenes above and around him. He turned to Caeren, eager to share this moment with him, yet a single emotion was etched on Caeren’s face. Despair. A single tear sliding down from his eye towards his cheek. Athreil could feel his smile slowly melting into that of confusion. A thrumming miasma seemed to hang in the air, its danger and poison drowned out by the music and the cheering. Athreil felt it. An evil creeping. Time seemed to slow around both of them and it was only time when it was broken.

Ei caleria! I thescai elea Arveim thericani ain i stharath
Eth oerla i Feliath oth xain xelioni, neruicani Eleiai ilanath
And behold! The city of the Arveim burst forth from the rift
To bask the people in its glory, come forth change once more!

A blinding light. An ear splitting explosion. A great force tore through the crowd and threw them violently to the ground. The music grinds to a sudden halt and the once joyous cheers were silenced, replaced by a shrill ringing and a faint rumbling. The smell of smoke, earth, and ash descended upon them. Athreil groaned as he tried to stand up, the entire chaos unfolding before him. Far beyond the panicked crowd, the makeshift stage was gone, blown into pieces and its wake were scars on the earth, the black ash from what Athreil knows were bombs bathing the ground in a pitch black. From afar, he could see bodies strewn everywhere, torn apart and flung far by the explosion, though he could not ascertain how many there were. All he knew was that they were many. He was roused from his shock by someone’s hand grasping his. Tensing, he quickly turned around, only to find the worried face of Caeren staring at him.

“Athreil! Are you okay?” Caeren asked, calmly. Athreil could not reply, let alone mutter a single word. All that ran through his mind was a great tragedy unfolding before him. He tried forcing out an answer, and when a small whisper escaped his lips, a shrill tone erupted from the forests surrounding Mount Athalymos. Bells? It was music. A haunting one. Caeren’s face darkened, his grip tightening on Athreil’s hand.

“We have to go, Athreil!” Caeren pulled Athreil into a frantic sprint, weaving through the panicked and terrified crowd. Athreil allowed himself to get pulled along, his senses slowly returning to him.

“What the fuck is happening, Caeren?! What the hell was that?!” Athreil growled.

“I’ll explain later. We need to leave now before they arrive. They’re going to come out of the forest.” Caeren refused to look back. “We need to get away from the fleeing crowd.”

“No. We need to leave!” Athreil stopped, pulling Caeren back to a halt. “This is insane, Caeren!”

“Just… please trust me on this. We need to stay away from the crowd and from the main areas.”

“Look, Caeren. I am trusting you right now even though it’s clear you know something about this. ” Athreil asserted, staring Caeren down.

Caeren turned around and sprinted towards the forest, pulling Athreil along with him. There was no ounce of resistance from Athreil as they separated from the fleeing crowd. The sounds of bells were now louder and the crowd from afar was becoming more panicked and concerned. Athreil heard Caeren calling his name and they stopped behind an empty tent. Caeren gestured to the thicket of trees a few paces to the right of them. Athreil could not see anything at first, not until a peculiar figure emerged from the forest. They were dressed in pristine white cloaks, a black half mask covered the left side of their face. On the other half, jewels decorated their right eye, shaped in a tear. On their right hand was a small golden bell that they continuously rang, producing a timber melody that betrayed their garish look. On their left, a grooved knife. A vircanis, each groove producing a poison when pressured. Caeren gestured for Athreil to stay silent and he followed. They snuck their way behind the tests and once the cultist had reached the opposite side, they raced towards the edge of the f0rest.

Screams and gunshots could be heard from a distance. Athreil looked to his left down the slope and saw two Roendavarian Royal Guards and three police engaged with three cult members and what seemed to be a mercenary, their clothes common yet they wielded weapons that simply cannot be bought in Roendavar. Despite having the advantage of numbers, Athreil watched as one of the cult members produced a semi-automatic rifle and began showering the police with bullets, hitting one in the head as their corpse slumped to one of the tents. Everywhere Athreil looked was the same scenery. Cult members were going after the crowd and shooting randomly at fleeing people, some getting dragged to tents or back to the forest. Another explosion ripped through the mountain, a gust of force throwing them both off balance. From afar, a pillar of smoke rose beyond the fleeing crowd.

“They bombed the exit path.” Athreil realized. Caeren’s decision was right. Fleeing with the crowd was dangerous.

“Waited for the crowd to flee down the mountain and towards the single cobblestone path. Once a lot of them were there, they detonated the bomb.” Caeren explained, guiding Athreil through the edge of the forest. “There’s a third and final bomb mid-way where most of the people would have gathered after this. Also helps that we're far away. They may have placed something in them.”

“So you knew about this?! Then why didn’t you say something?! Tell them that they’re literally walking to their deaths? Notified the Roendavarian Royal Guard?!” Athreil shot, his voice growing heated.

“Because I can’t, Athreil! Because if I did I would be dead like them!” Caeren snapped. “I’m already risking everything by fleeing with you!”

Before Athreil could respond, another flash of fire and the third and final explosion boomed through the air. Athreil watched as the crowd were now racing down the mountain in a dash for survival. The same white cloaked figures ran wildly in and out the crowds, targeting the weak and those that were falling behind. Athreil tore his eyes from the scene of chaos and death, of fire and gunshots. The screams and gunshots grew fainter and fainter as they moved deeper into the forest. Caeren refused to look back, his attention solely focused on what was ahead of them. This was far beyond anyone in Roendavar could have ever imagined.

“Well, what do we have here?” A voice called out from the trees. Athreil and Caeren froze as one of the cult members stepped out of the trees, knife in hand and their glistening eye peering through the darkness. “Two lovers traipsing through the woods.”

“Get back, Valcriai. You will not have us.” Caeren challenged. Athreil watched as Caeren reached from his shoe and pulled out the same grooved knife as the figure, albeit thinner and a single sapphire in their hilt.

“You’re one of the Eleianthas. Yet, you are not partaking in the orders. Are you defying your Arveimeion?” The figure slowly approached, their knife pointed forwards.

“What is he saying, Caeren? What orders?” Athreil demanded.

“Oh, did he not tell you? Was he too busy having fun with you at the festival?” The cult member mocked, pointing his knife at Caeren. “We all had jobs to do, yet here you are, disobedient. I wonder what your Arveimeion will say?”

“I care about the Arveimeion. I don’t care about the other’s orders.” Caeren growled, surging forward with their knife outwards as well.

Athreil could only stand and watch as the two blades collided, the screech of metal upon metal cutting through the woods. Athreil observed that the figure was wild in their movement, random and without pattern, while Caeren was quick and smooth, like he was flowing with the wind. Each of them parried, never hitting each other. Their movements suggest that they have been doing this for a long time, from the way they strike to the way they dodge. It was all practiced, movements made by memory. With a sleuth to the left followed by a slice to the hand, Caeren gained the upper hand, forcing the cult member to drop his knife and howl in pain.

“Stand down!”

A voice ordered. Athreil turned his attention to where the voice came from and saw another person standing, watching the fight. He was a lithe male, with medium length curly hair and he was wrapped in a blue coat. Around his neck was a sapphire pendant that shone even in the dark night. Upon recognizing the figure, the two men immediately halted their fight as they scrambled to kneel, placing their curled fingers on their heart and bowed down. Athreil froze in his spot, unsure if he would follow their example.

“Arveimeion Theremiel! Was not the order to do as we please and to wreck as much havoc?” The cult member asked, his voice direct and challenging.

“And you follow them more than the authority of your religion? There are plenty of others out there. My followers are my own.”

“As you wish.” The cult member conceded through gritted teeth. They bowed once more before dashing back to the mountain.

“Caleira! Thank you.” Caeren proclaimed.

“I’m glad you heed my request, Caeren. To not participate in this bloodshed.” A smile spread across Theremiel’s face. “Most of ours did. The others did not. Mostly the Valcriath. Though I assure you that my companions tried as best they can to dissuade this.” Athreil felt something different. A hint of sadness in the Arveimeion’s eyes.

“I am sure Arveimeion Valeris tried his best. And the others as well.” Calaeren assured, breaking his salute and standing up.

“But you of all people know that we cannot be controlled.” Theremiel said, gesturing at Athreil. “You knew what you wanted, and you went against what was needed. We are all the same.”

“Arveimeion…” Athreil called out, the figure turning his attention to him. “Why are you all doing this?”

“Ah… That is a question that I wish I had an answer to. But I cannot. For long we have power on this land, yet now we play servants to powers who use us. Killing the same land we swore to protect and rule over.” Theremiel looked up at the stars, his face melting into one of solemnity.

“Then you should have stopped it! Any of you could have just walked away or refused to participate in this altogether!”

“Perhaps.” Silence broke out between the three of them. The Arveimeion continued looking at the sky, his eyes closed and his breathing heavy. After a minute, Theremiel looked back at Athreil and offered him a weak smile. “You must go. The cults shall be leaving soon, along with the mercenaries. Continue through the edge of the forest and make your way to the road. It should be cleared by the Royal Guard now. Do not look back.” Theremiel turned around and slowly walked towards the mountain, leaving Caeren and Athreil alone once more.

Athreil was the first to walk, with Caeren following him shortly after. They remained silent throughout, listening to the sounds of gunshots and frantic screams. It continued on for minutes, endless, deep into the midnight the chaos that engulfed Mount Athalymos continued to rear its ugly head. After an hour of walking through the edge of the forest, they finally arrived at the foot of the mountain with the familiar cobblestone path. Athreil watched in horror as he observed those who fled and survived the attack.

Most of them were unscathed, yet their scars were not physical. Some stood dazed, shocked, afraid, shivering in the cold night. There were those who directly hit. Some were bloody from gunshot wounds, some bearing stab wounds from small knives, creating small yet deep holes. One had his entire arm missing. All of them bore the same emotions. Despair. Athreil looked up at the mountain, Caeren beside him in melancholic regret.

The aurora shone bright in a multitude of colors, dancing high above the night sky. Athalymos stands in flames, ruined, and scarred. It was said that when the Davari gathered atop this mountain that the heavens opened and all the colors of the universe poured out. Yet, only one color marred this night. The color of blood. The color of pain. The color of death.

Crimson red paints the Erosithegon into a new age. A new age has been ushered, and unlike the one that united the people, this might be the start of their end.

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 9:39 am
by Aruia
On night unholy | The Academic

Friday 25 December 8am, Attlyn

Attlyn has never witnessed this much police activity in its rural area, “The fields of memory” national park has been closed down early in the morning. The sound of hoopoes harmonized with the sound of helicopters and communication lines that fill the police cars that parked out of the scene.

“He was not Aruian.” said the police officer after handing his notes to detective Jo’el Mirano who lifted his head.

“What makes you say that?” the detective remarked with a surprised tone “your department never rushes to make definite observation. In fact..”

“There are pages in foreign language scattered by the memorial site.”

Mirano was cut by the cop short, the detective composed himself “we should start collecting the evidence then, where is your superior?” he said the cynical tone in his voice becoming more clear and impatient.

The cop pulled out his phone that was alerting from an incoming notification “seems like he will be running late, better check ourselves.” he then gestures to Mirano to walk first to the sight.

The sight was a small orchard on a cliff with grass, right above a view of a memorial for victims of wars in the area through history of Aruia in Attlyns area.

“That never was here was it?” Mirano gestured to the jagged rock coming into view, it was rather large it seems. The closer Mirano got to the sight the crueler the sight of the scene was, the victim was lodged onto the jagged parts of what was a 2 meters rock, torn and ripped with markings. The head limped down and forward, what seems to be made sure of by markings on the neck of rope. Miranos took a deep breath as his thought was cut short by a sound of papers blowing in the wind. Some pages with written on them were scattered around.

Mirano picked the papers up “its Reathwood English.” Mirano stated to the cop who was looking around “Don’t know how you couldn’t figure it out” he says turning his head to the cop who was looking at something on the other side of rock.

“It’s his bag.” the cop lifted the bag that was hanged behind facing the cliffside. With a quick examination showing the victims passport along with an aruian student pass and phone. “Lyrel Thorel” will need to do a background check” the cop said after reading through his passport.

Mirano didn’t spend much time pulling out his student pass and phone. The phone had no password to Miranos relief. “He’s a history student from the Univesity of Wathbourne. He took pictures of this rock, for some reason late at night and he sent to someone on his phone at that hour.” He turned his head to the body “Who would be this cruel?”.

The cop only nodded to his question as the victims phone buzzed “Did you call someone?”

“Just who ever he was messaging wanted to learn who he was messaging with.” Mirano answered the called “Who is it?”

the voice on the other line said in a stern tone : “This is Lyrels uncle who am i speaking to?”