The Golden Towers [Invite Only/ATTN: Mystria]

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]
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Rohane Alista
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Founded: Nov 24, 2012
Left-Leaning College State

The Golden Towers [Invite Only/ATTN: Mystria]

Postby Rohane Alista » Thu May 05, 2022 5:49 pm

Contributions from Dyste, Silverdale, Glaristant, Malgrave, and Dornalia! Thanks!

It was hot, sand whipping about, a river of it, of water, of sand again, a sea of sand, of grass, the sun boiling the air itself, the sky was blue, and black, and lightning and thunder tore it into golden shards, hundreds, thousands, millions, and each one fell, down, down, black, deep, dark, down, crash. The trees, huge things, toppled, and so did the mountains, like children’s toys in the middle of a tantrum, and these too contained shards of gold in their innumerable masses, falling and flowing. Golden shards, each and every last one feeling like the prick of a knife, glass and steel, flowing bronze, more sand, blood. Blood in the sea, the sea of sand and of grass, covering the shards of gold, more of them now, faster. Stabbing, fiercer.

Clearer images, of dripping red swallowed by black, of golden doors and lines, unknowably ancient and so malicious, of mockeries of humanity and eyes filled with fire, broken glass, rivers of sand, of water, of gold. Rivers of blood. Golden shards, hundreds, thousands, millions, falling, falling, down, cutting, slashing, covered in red.

Rivers of gold and red, the heat, the sun shining off golden strands, grass on fire, sand flowing down, tall buildings, collapsing buildings, towers of steel and glass. Gold flowing up, doors, up, towers.

A golden cage, within which pulsed a being of pure magic, the sky itself pulling in. One, in the heart, two, in the mind, three, in the stomach, four, in the hands, five, six, a body replaced by golden cages, some empty, many filled and pulsing. Flickering faces in the empty cages; black skinned, silver haired, golden eyed blurring into pale skinned, yellow haired, golden eyes blurring into yet paler skin, green hair, purple eyes. Empty cages pulling on the sky, slowly covered in red.

Terror and endings.


At Daisy’s Ranch in Dyste, Ramat Ganedo was doing his usual seeings in Gugalanna’s name when he jumped from his feet, the bovinian’s hat going askew on his head, “Wh-what the…”

“Ramat?” The farmhand in front of him, a local named Della, looked up, “I thought y’were just checkin’ out the local weather t’see if we were gettin’ rain. Don’t tell Bonny I was doin’ this, she still thinks this sorta thing is a buncha hogwash…”

“O-oh…” Ramat said in a cold sweat, “I-it’s nothing, Della. Look, I’m feelin’ mighty sick, so maybe I’ll look inta it later. Jus’ be careful not t’water things too heavily.” As his fellow bovinian left, he was still uncertain of what he saw; he went to the local shrine of their goddess, run by the de facto leader of the ranch, the daughter of their founder.

Richalle was in the middle of dusting off the various items and the painted and golden statue of the cow goddess Gugalanna herself when Ramat approached the entrance way. Richalle, confused, turned around to see the man. “Ramat? Is there any trouble? One of the bulls went on a stampede?””

“N-no,” Ramat shook his head, his hat nearly falling off, “I was doin’ a little weather report an’ I suddenly got a vision I ain’t seen before; I saw a desert an’ plains, somewhere hot, and it was gonna be attacked by… I dunno what they were, like golden shards or somethin’? It was destroyin’ everythin’ in sight…”

“A vision of where the desert and plains meet, and golden shards wreak destruction? This is quite a dark omen Ramat.” Richalle then paused and thought for a moment. “Had our great mother of the fields shown you anything else?”

“Um… a golden cage?” Ramat thought. “I saw three faces. One was a blonde with golden eyes, another with green hair and purple eyes, then a darker-skinned one with gold eyes and silvery hair. I dunno what it all means, Richalle…”

“The meaning is quite strange… Yet it is quite symbolic. A golden cage that held three prisoners. I imagine from the mere description, it could be two people I can recall. The blonde and golden eyes might be my fellow high priestess Mythra, and the darker-skinned one with gold eyes could be Marron… Yet the third… That is quite mysterious.” Richalle answered.

“R-really…” Ramat looked worried. “Um, should we warn anyone ‘bout this? Ain’t you and your sisters friends with th’queen?”

Richalle gave a firm nod. “It will be the best course of action. An enigmatic danger approaches and we must prepare for it. I doubt the queen will dismiss it.”

“Right…” Ramat sighed. “I guess we gotta bring it up with ‘em. I just hope it ain’t too late…”


Within the icy palace in the distant reality of cold, Princess Snow secluded herself to mediate and focus on the vision at hand. Her hooves trampled as she woke up from the sight of terror. She stood motionless, as given in her ice body form she couldn’t breathe wildly. Yet there was an ominous site that even she didn’t know what it was.

“Snow?” Talva’s voice could be heard, as she entered, the large goatwoman rubbing her eyes as she seemed to be napping prior. “Is something the matter, dear?”

“Another terrible vision, Talva. One far more severe than the last one I witnessed.” Snow answered.

Talva kneeled down, taking her wife’s hooves in her hand, “Oh no… what is it? Did Lady Avala give you an omen?”

“Yes. One that was apocalyptic as a typhoon of golden shards rained down upon the land of grass and desert. The entire land crumbled apart and I believe… both beast and men’s blood flooded the rivers. As if one ancient entity unleash its revenge upon the world itself for its destruction.” Snow said.

“Oh…” Talva gulped. “That sounds… terrible… but where could that be? Certainly not Silverdale based on the description, and it doesn’t sound like Dyste, either… Corneria, maybe?”

“It might be the region where even my body aches from the heat. Rohane Alista.” Snow assumed. “That said.. I saw another part of the vision that is less destructive but… troublesome.”

“Oh, what is that?” Talva shuddered a bit.

“A golden cage. Magical in nature and appears to hold the souls of many beings. I could see their eyes, and three were familiar. One appeared to be like Brasa or Marron. Another like Mythra. The last Nieve.” Snow said. “All cages, empty or not, will become red.”

“Oh dear…” Talva gasped, “Wh-what can we do?”

“I am not certain. This threat… I haven’t seen anything like this with such malice. I can try to alert our friends, but it might be rather… useless.” Snow said.

“Just… let’s work on this together, Snow,” Talva gave her a soft smile, “I will be with you every step of the way, as always.”

“Why of course. I hope our time isn’t short.” Snow said.


Within the towering spires of Arnhem's government district, Kiara had completed her many duties as foreign minister for the day. She slithered to the balcony abutting her office, observing the frenetic activities of the city's inhabitants below. Normally, she would seek a more serene place for her daily meditation but today such noise would serve as a focusing point for her. She lit a few sticks of incense as she sat down, quickly slipping into a trance as the seas of time unraveled before her. Almost immediately, she was bombarded by the horrors of the vision of what was to come. Her mind raced as she desperately tried to keep up with the ever shifting visions, only to fail to. A great sense of foreboding engulfed her, her voice echoing through the office as she called out, "Mirik! Come quickly!"

A purple-haired woman rushed to the lamia’s side, “Kiara? What’s the matter?”

"I had a vision, Mirik… One foretelling of great destruction and suffering that is soon to arrive. I cannot be sure of all the details, but I do know it is set to occur in a land of desert and cities. I saw endless seas and rivers of blood drenching the land, all the while the perpetrators held three unique individuals captive. One with silver hair and gold eyes, another with blonde hair and auric eyes…while the last…" Kiara exclaimed, losing her normal calm as the vision lingered in her mind, "It appeared to be young Niviea."

“Niviea?” Mirik gasped, “Our former queen’s granddaughter? … we must inform someone of all of this. Perhaps His Majesty might be able to figure something out?”

"Yes, she …and Lady Marron and Mythra are in grave danger, likely held captive by the perpetrators of this catastrophe. I don't know what their goal is, but something must be done to stop them." Kiara said, nodding in agreement with the havoc dragon, "I will inform Rolven on the matter in short order, but that being said….Do you know the current status of Marron or Mythra?"

“I believe they are both in Rohane Alista with the former Emperor, Jacobi Turak,” Mirik said. “They have mostly been at his side since his return.”

"And Niviea is there too isn't she? Damn it, this isn't good if that visions events are set to occur as soon as we fear…." Kiara cursed as she summoned a tome to her hands, making a few notes, "I do not get it though, why would these interlopers seek to capture Niviea, Marron, Mythra? Let alone hold them in golden cages that turn crimson after a time .."

“I cannot say for certain,” Mirik frowned, “But if all three are in Rohane Alista, I would presume that is the location of the attack. We must warn them if we are able to.”

"Indeed. I will send word to a few associates of mine in Rohane about the vision. Perhaps between them and his Majesty, something may be able to be done." Kiara remarked as she looked towards the dragon, "If possible, I would like for you to find Eyvel and see about retrieving Niviea before it's too late."

“Consider it done,” Mirik bowed, “I will leave informing His Majesty to you then. Brasa’s blessing be upon you,” she said as she left.


Adrian Jankowski sighed in frustration as he ended his meditation session, the art of divination or ancestral guidance as it was known in Malgrave was relatively new to the country having become mainstream within the past two decades but even then Adrian knew that some sessions provided more useful information compared to others.

"Rough session?" Mirella Parri asked, the half-elf already starting the process to start her meditation session, a few tricks from the ASG in Omsk coming in handy as she started burning a few different incense candles

"Just a little bit of information on some kids that have a little too much nostalgia for the SRM," Adrian replied frustrated with the information that he had received, "I don't know why these people have nostalgia for a regime they weren't even alive for but I'll pass on the information up the chain to see if we can prevent them hurting themselves doing something incredibly stupid,"

Mirella chuckled at Adrian's admission, "I imagine it will get passed on to the police or even the local social solidarity council then,"

"I'll be recommending that the social solidarity council deal with the issue," Adrian replied with a shrug, "In these situations, a little mediation and social pressure will work better than what the police can bring to the table,"

Mirella simply nodded in agreement, the half-elf busy setting up her equipment, "If it is anything like the social solidarity council I grew up with? I think we'll see a resolution to your little situation within a few hours, especially, if they drag the ASG into the matter,"

Adrian laughed at Mirela's comments, the Pakosc-born agent remembering his memories of conflict resolutions negotiated by the ASG, "I'll be off to write up my report anyway," he said nodding towards his colleague, "Just try and have a more interesting shift, okay?"

Mirella shook her head as Adrian left, the half-elf getting into her stride as she began to relax, a few moments unfolding in peace and quiet before chaos erupted in her mind, the agent nearly tripping over her own feet as she rushed into the next room not caring if her erratic entrance caused some analysts in the room to look up in shock

"I take it that you saw something other than youths with a little too much love for the past?" Park Min-Seo said, the intelligence analyst subtly guiding Mirella to a chair for a proper debrief of her vision, a small glass of water waiting for the agent

"You could say that," Mirella said, thankful for the assistance and the drink, "It was more akin to a nightmare then a vision and quite a dramatic one at that,"

"In that case feel free to take a moment before relaying the details of the mission," Min-Seo said in a soothing tone

Mirella nodded, the analyst waiting for a few moments to calm herself before she could feel comfortable speaking, "I first knew something was different when I started to feel heat, a hot sensation quite unlike anything I have experienced in Malgrave before, a positive cacophony of sand and grass? Like a point where a desert meets the plains and all of it was ruined with chaos and violence,"

"It is possible that this vision doesn't pertain to an event within Malgrave then? Corneria and Rohane Alista are the only nations that spring to mind with such a description, although, I didn’t do particularly well in geography so I could be missing quite a few nations," Min-Seo said noting down the information provided for review in the future, "Can you describe this violence for me further?"

"It was explosive, an energy so powerful it boiled the air itself seemingly transforming the sky blue and black? Lightning struck and millions of golden shards reigned from the sky destroying everything from trees to the mountains themselves cutting through them like a hot knife through butter," Mirella said quite distressed by the image,

"Just breathe for a moment, Mirella," Min-Seo said sensing her colleagues distress, "It sounds like a horror story that someone would recite about some of the terror weapons created by the Ancestors," the Malgravean added remembering some of the tales about the weapons theorised by the ASG over the years alongside the drone platform

"It was unsettling as the shards felt like the prick of a knife and all of a sudden the land was covered in blood," Mirella said, the analyst pausing as she took a drink of water, "An image of golden doors and a feeling of an ancient power, unfortunately, unlike the warm feeling of the ancients this felt malicious and mocking, a river of blood and hundreds of millions of shards covered in red,"

"An ancient threat? Gold? I'll have to cross check this with reports garnered from interviews with citizens that went on archeological missions and adventuring expeditions," Min-Seo said inwardly preparing to make the request

"I felt a sensation of pure ancestral energy as well, the sky pulling itself in and a golden cage replacing parts of the body? Some empty but many filled and pulsing and with flickering faces in them," Mirella said describing the people that she had seen in her vision,

"If the pulses of pure ancestral energy are within the cage perhaps they can be coming from the people trapped within? By your description, a being with powerful ancestral energy with golden hair and golden could be Mythra?" Min-Seo said an eyebrow instinctively rising as she typed a few things into her computer, " is strange though since current records state that she is likely within Rohane Alista which would certainly negate the ancestral energy aspect,"

"Whatever I sensed was extremely powerful which is quite logical as it would take something to capture individuals as powerful as Mythra," Mirella said feeling herself becoming much calmer, "All I know is that these individuals are in danger and we need to act to help them or something terrible will happen,"

Min-Seo sighed despite her agreement with Mirella's assessment of the situation, "I'll pass on the information, although, I suspect you'll be called in to speak to the Director-General to confirm these reports,"

Mirella nodded, "Hopefully they'll act on the information quickly enough,"

"Speaking from experience?" Min-Seo said, "I'll predict that they'll send a diplomatic cable to Rohane Alista and even Silverdale and warning and sharing our intelligence about potential threats and then they'll move the armed forces into a higher state of readiness and ponder what the Ancestors would do before once again relying us to save the day,"

Mirella chuckled at Min-Seo's remarks despite the rather dark vision she had seen, "You forgot about the academic conference which starts when the crisis emerges,"

At that Min-Seo chuckled drly to herself, "I guess we'll have to pray to the ancestors that our warning will help matters and prevent the nerds getting involved."


As quickly as the nightmare came, it ended with its dreamer leaping from his sleep with a start and a flop sweat. The dreamer looked around at the room he was in, if only to get his bearings. Sure enough, the man was inside of his relatively comfortable, yet modest quarters in the base the Dornalians had come to call “Fort Apache”. His diplomas and plaques were on one wall, as well as his picture with the Pope. His modest walk-in closet with spare uniforms was there. And, the small nook where he kept what he called his “Jesus Kit”--a small wooden box with all the accouterments needed to administer Mass to the faithful--was still there, as was the Multicam priestly stole and his lightsaber--all of which indicated that he belonged to three worlds. One with the Church, one with the Order, and one with the Colonial Republic’s armed forces--the Navy in particular.

“Well, then!” The man sat up and rubbed his temples, and looked at the clock. It was early morning---0500 Zulu Time if he had to estimate--and stood up and went, “Well, I guess I’m not sleeping now.” And with that, the dreamer went through his motions, trying to shake off the vision. Shower. Shave. Eat a light breakfast consisting of spicy instant ramen--a meal of choice, not out of any vow of poverty. And then, get into his BDUs for a light morning jog, bedecked with rank badges, Orderman’s badges, and the appropriate insignia to show that the man running was the Chief Chaplain of the Colonial Republic’s Mystria Command--complete with a nametag and ID badge which disclosed the man’s name as “Hijuelos”.

And so the man went. Jogging, he ran outside in the relatively brisk air--the location of Fort Apache offered one many delightful, brisk mornings--and soon was greeted with the usual panoply.

“Mornin’, Padre!” said one GI walking to his duty station.

Buenos dias, Padre!” said a MP patrolling the grounds.

And, to top it all off, another jogger that soon joined him, as she always did. A Marine, relatively short, with cat’s ears and a tail, dressed in her BDUs. Whereas Hijuelos had a lightsaber on his belt, the Marine had the usual M3A1 Blaster shouldered. By the sounds of her panting, she was out of breath. By the look on her face, she was annoyed, as usual.

In an Oklahoman accent, the neko went, “Jesus, Padre! Didn’t I tell you to call me when you did this stuff?”

“I know, I know, don’t forget your battle buddy. I’ve been through boot camp myself, Corporal, I know the routine,” Hijuelos said with a nod and a gentle, if reproachful smile. “This time, I’ve a good reason for not meeting with you first.”


“Well, it involved a dream. A really messed up one, if I may say so.”

“Do tell, Padre.”

“Well, it was like a Dali painting. Like, there was sand and grass and a desert…and then a storm which turned it all into shards, and blood, and bloody shards. Various shades dying and being cut to pieces by the whole mess. And then, a body in a gilded cage, which like a crazed matroshka doll, became littler cages. There was also lots of gold.” He then went, “It’s hard to describe really.”

“No kidding, Padre,” said the Marine as she jogged. “You sure you didn’t have any acid? Or expired food the night before?”

A laugh, and then Hijuelos added, “No, you know me.” He then went, puzzled, “Still, I wonder what it was all about.”

“Well, whaddya mean?” asked the Marine.

“Well, Corporal, in many cultures, dreams signify things. Subconscious desires. Prophecies good and bad. So on. And frankly, something about this dream seemed a bit more than just my subconscious sorting itself out during REM sleep.” Hijuelos frowned in a pensive expression, going, “I mean, you know me, I always did have the ability to receive visions…and I did excel at precognitive and prognosticatory exercises when I was training back at the Grand National Temple on Mars. Now, why the good Lord gave me the ability to see visions, I don’t know, but all I know is that it’s saved me a lot of grief in the past.” He then added, “And it’s because of that gift that I got a feeling this is something more.”

“Well, okay, Padre. Here’s the question now. Where do you go from here?” the Marine asked.

“I don’t know. I have no clue, but whatever it is, I have to dig deeper.” The Padre said, “I’ll be at Office Hours, but send out an e-mail blast, tell them I’ll be in the MWR Library if anyone needs me after this, trying to decipher these symbols.” He then paused and added, “And also, Corporal, see if you can’t get the local clergy on the horn.”

“Why them, Padre?”

“Well, in between surprisingly productive interfaith relations, as well as their breadth of knowledge, my dealings with them have always tended to be insightful. And if I can’t find anything on my end, they may have a clue I missed.”


Mythra rose up from her slumber and let out a loud scream! Her limbs thrash out as she thought the whole world was about to crumble apart. “Oh goddess!” She tried to conjure up a spell, but only an ache from her arms came out of it. “A-ah… Ah shit.” She sighed. It was only the royal bedchamber she found herself in. Alongside Jacobi and Marron who rested.

“Mythra?” Jacobi asked, groggily rubbing his eyes. “What happened? Nightmare? It’s alright, I’m here,” he yawned, reaching out for her.

Marron yawned and tried to cuddle up, but rubbed her eyes open when she realized the other two were up, “Hey, what’s up. I had the most messed up dream…”

“Did both of you have bad dreams?” Jacobi asked, looking out the window to see the full moon still high in the sky. “It’s still pretty late… are you both alright? I might go back to sleep.”

“A nightmare on my end. I…” Mythra breathed heavy. “Golden shards. Rivers turned red. Golden Ages. I swear I…. What kind of disgusting bastard would lock me, you and… was that one of Glacia’s daughters? The green haired one or that is Green Heart?”

“I dunno,” Marron shrugged, “Looked a bit like Niviea to me. Though I guess we saw Rohane Alista being attacked or something like that? Weird that we had the same dream…”

Jacobi shifted to sitting up. “Same dream? I didn’t have it,” he told them. “You were all in it? I’m going to assume I wasn’t?”

“Thankfully you’re excluded from the nightmare.” Mythra then raised an eyebrow at Marron. “You saw it too? Everything right?” Mythra shook her head.

“Um, I think? I mean, it was all so fast so I dunno if I caught everything in there,” Marron shook her head, “But it seems about the same.”

“Ok, alright,” Jacobi nodded. “Step by step, what do you two remember?”

“First of… The scenery of the savanna and desert that a river flows through. The sky was both blue and dark until something altered reality to create golden shards. A whole storm of them that rained down the land, and toppled down everything it touched. They’re like needles that brought death and filled the river with blood.” Mythra explained. “You saw that Marron?”

“Yup,” Marron considered it, “There was this golden door, and a really bad feeling from it, eyes of fire, broken glass, rivers of sand, water and gold… and blood.”

“Sounds like a jumbled mess,” Jacobi sighed, pulling the two close. “Anything else? Were the rivers going anywhere? Was the blood coming from people, or just… there? Did the door open?”

“Well there were whole cities crumbing apart and then… gold flowing up alongside towers I think?” Mythra said.

“The blood… I didn’t see a source,” Marron shook her head, “It was just… in the river, I think.”

“This is starting to sound like some kind of apocalypse,” Jacobi frowned. “If we weren’t in Rohane Alista, I would say it would be worth contacting a proper diviner.”

“Well it is an apocalypse. From what I can tell, it is far more magical than the mundane. I can see a whole being of pure magic in the sky and it attracted entire golden cages. Empty ones, filled ones. Us… And then it turned red.” Mythra explained.

“I mean, we could still contact some diviners outside of Rohane Alista,” Marron pointed out. “But… yeah, that part at the end… yeah, I can’t deny it, our own faces were there in those cages.”

Jacobi pulled both of them in to his chest. “I am not letting some… thing… lock either of you away. No matter what else happens, I swear that.”

Mythra smiled at first, but then looked at Jacobi’s body. “Thanks… I noticed you’ve improved your arm strength to draw bows as of late. Made any progress?”

“Some,” he confirmed. “I’m not where I was, but I can manage my old trick with three arrows at once again. Getting them to go exactly where I want, though, that’s still a bit beyond me,” he sighed.

“Well, you better make sure to practice,” Marron said, “You don’t want Tynah to show you up at your own specialty, do you?” She chuckled.

“No, I do not,” Jacobi rolled his eyes, but then yawned. “Alright… in the morning, I’ll talk to Genevieve about setting up a trip to Silverdale soon. You said sand, right? In the dream?”

“Yes. Sand and grassland.” Mythra said. “I imagine this might happen more in our nation than anywhere else.”

“Yeah, I was at first thinking that maybe the magic that seems to be at play might’ve disqualified it,” Marron said, “But that’s actually kind of a fallacy when you think about it, assuming just because it might be magical that it cannot be here, right?”

“True enough.” Mythra thought for a second. “Magic was once stronger during our time as queens. It faded away and became dead in the present. Some believed it to be a curse by the gods. But what if the cycle marks another change. Garyx is no longer the lady of hate, and if this being is quite godly, perhaps it could undo the magical zone. If doing so, it could prove quite destructive.”

Jacobi looked back out at the moon as a cloud drifted across it. “I don’t think I’m going back to sleep, now. Tomorrow, we’ll move the family to Silverdale. Plenty of diviners there… and then we can look into some things. Remember the tunnel people? They had legends from long before any Rohirrim landed here, maybe we have something from them.”

“The Morasti? They might have encountered something strange in the tunnels and recorded it within their library.” Mythra then frowned. “But haven’t they all disappeared?

“Hmm,” Marron folded her arms, “Actually… I had a thought on this. My sister was keeping tabs on an investigation of the tunnels that happened about… oh, two years ago? Maybe we can also look into that?”

“There’s investigations of the tunnels every day, what made that one special?” Jacobi asked, but shrugged. “Still, it’s better than what we have now. My family might be my priority, but I still want my people to be safe too.”

“I refuse to let the people of Rohane down,” Marron replied. “They accepted me, a foreigner, as their queen, and even long after I have ruled, I am still treated as a legendary figure by them. I… I know I haven’t been the best about it, but I’ll make it when it counts!”

“If the people of Alista want me back, which I highly doubt it, I’ll do my best to save them.” Mythra sighed. “I’ll be the heroine that they need.”

"I'm sure they do, Mythra, and I don't think they have any distaste at you either, Marron. I've seen photos of your statues in Berabil and Alistara, you know. They leave gifts there during holidays," Jacobi smiled. "I know my people can be a bit prickly, but they've admired you two for this long; they'll look to you to save them, if our fears are correct. I know you can. And I'll be there to help."

“You better!” Marron smirked, patting Jacobi on the back. “We didn’t bring you back just to make our bed warmer!”

“A-Are you sure?” Mythra shook her head in disbelief. “It’s been centuries and whole entire generations passed from the subjects I once ruled. Only legends passed down and the media press just fed them the information. Hell, there is a conspiracy theory that we did some cloning or a flesh doll to make you out there.”

"Flesh… doll?" Jacobi looked disgusted, but still gave Mythra a kiss on the forehead. "Ugh. They cracked open my empty coffin, Mythra, and they did some kind of test on my blood. Trust me, everyone believes you. Just let them support you, alright?"

“Honestly, nobody believes those stupid tabloids anyways, right?” Marron shrugged. “Did you know they said I was like some mutated draconid with birth defects that made me look more elven, or that I’m like actually the great-great-whatever granddaughter of Marron posing as her. It’s the dumbest things I’ve ever heard, and I’m from a family of space elves who live on a frozen planet whose mom is the reincarnation of a goddess, who also had two kids with a brass dragon and raised them in a ninja village. Seriously, my own life sounds more like an interesting tabloid story than anything those hacks write up.”

“I had a similar article that I was some imposterous descendant of Mythra.” Mythra sighed. “But you made your point. I’ll take your word on it, and see if the public does support me.”

"Suddenly I have a headache to go with my worry about the future," Jacobi grumbled, laying back down. "I am going back to sleep. Feel free to join me."

“Sure…” Mythra sighed as she crashed down the bed. “Come here Jacobi..” She cuddled up to him and offered a hug to Marron.

“Yeah, yeah, more sleep is nice.” Marron yawned, accepting the hug and resting alongside them. Whatever these nightmares meant, that could wait until morning at least…


A Week Later, Calihain

The summer sun beat down from its midday height on the glass and tarmac of Calihain International Airport, the ground crew vigorously wiping away sweat with rags as they worked. It was an average day, by most standards, maybe a little hotter, maybe a little drier, maybe a little shakier, thought air traffic controller James Bertrand as he watched the glass wiggle slightly… then he blinked. He knew this was tempered, bulletproof glass, nothing short of an earthquake might even have a chance, and earthquakes didn’t happen in Calihain, but then the glass shook again, and again, harder, and shattered.

James fell back, arms over his face as glass fell around him, scrambling to get out of the shards as he stood and look out at the airfield, where the runway had started to resemble a wave made of asphalt, then suddenly began to collapse directly in the center.

“What in the fuck?” He said, leaning over to get a better look, as a thin golden spire shot out of the newly forming hole. Words soon left him as it was followed by more and more building, and the air traffic control tower suddenly buckled, James falling forward and out the busted window, the ground falling away beneath him as a solid, golden truss rose to meet his head.


It was easier to see from the air; the ground suddenly seemed to liquify, shortly followed by a tall but thin spire emerging, then a sudden eruption from the ground of a pure, golden tower, pushing through the earth like a sword through paper, the entire airport, possibly the largest single one in all of Mystria crumbling, buckling, falling and breaking. From up high, the masses below were thankfully not visible, but it was easy to imagine the loss as the damage spread, huge fissures appearing in the ground, creeping through the Calihain river, up and south and west into the plains and the suburbs, each and every one followed by more and more towers and spires, and then a groan, so loud you could hear it even a mile above the planet, sounded.

The shining glass and metal towers of Tech Town, Calihain’s famous technology and entertainment district rose almost as high into the sky as the golden tower now replacing the airport, and then they didn’t. The dust cloud covered the entire sky as a district that held over five million people on its own collapsed and disappeared in its entirety, a golden wall rising in its place, cutting the once great city of Calihain in half, as the tower seemed to stretch higher.

The lifeblood of the capital, the Calihain river itself, tumbled downwards into the newly made abyss, one hundred five thousand meters per second cubed of water falling to nowhere, wasted on the vast emptiness left behind by this Golden Tower, even as it still rose higher, until finally it seemed to pull the very earth up with it, causing the tumultuous waterfall to become a flood around the base of the tower.

Finally, after half an hour of the chaos, it seemed that the immediate quakes, fissures, and collapses were over; nearly half of the capital city of Rohane Alista had practically disappeared, half collapsed buildings, rubble, and a dust cloud the main evidence places like Calihain International Airport had ever existed in the first place. As silence and horrified calm seemed to settle on the land, the skies began to darken, an odd, pulsing light seemed to strobe in slow beats from near the top of the tower.

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Founded: Mar 06, 2018
Conservative Democracy

Postby Glaristant » Sun May 08, 2022 5:48 am

Cowritten with Rohane Alista

It was a giant, golden wall. That was the only description Callum could think of for it. Yeah, sure, he could see the menacing designs on it, feel the foreboding in his stomach from simply looking at it, and it was definitely glowing a tiny bit even though the sky had become overcast, but none of that really made it into his mind. A giant golden wall, as tall as a skyscraper, had lifted out of the ground where there had been the entirety Tech Town, not even thirty minutes ago. Information was still jumbled; some news sites reported that the entirety of southern Calihain was gone, some that it was just the Tech Town area, some that the Undercity District had flooded, some that its built in flood protections had performed above and beyond expectations. Yet, as Callum pulled out his phone, looking at it and not really seeing it, news started to solidify; Tech Town was gone. Calihain International Airport was gone, some golden tower replacing it. The Undercity had survived, the closest thing to a miracle any Rohanian had witnessed in a very long time. The Riverwalk District was cut in half, Dustrest was gone, Horshaven, Central Plain, Silvers were all gone, a list of smaller suburbs extending all the way past what was still considered Calihain and to Marriotvale were gone, though Marriotvale and its three and a half million people seemed unharmed.

Callum frantically checked the list again and again as it grew longer, more complete, until he saw it. He felt his grip go loose as he dropped his phone, looking up at the wall again. Rivers Curve was gone.

Niviea, who had been close to Callum's side, was at first utterly baffled by the sudden emergence of the wall. To her, it seemed as if it were pulled straight from the opening of a Silverdalean hero movie, but as she looked to her phone a growing sense of dread filled her. All across Calihain reports of similar structures emerging dominated the news and message servers. Entire districts being destroyed, with their inhabitants being swallowed up were repeated countless times as she scrolled through her feed, all the while terror washed over her. She couldn't quite place it, but as she looked up at the tower she could feel fear and revulsion welling within her. She gritted her teeth, latching onto Callum's arm as she whispered, "Call…We need to get out of here ASAP. Something…no, everything is wrong with that tower. If we stay here, something horrific is going to end up happening. I can feel it ..almost to the point of making me sick…"

Callum didn’t reply, staring at the wall, though his eyes seemed unfocused. He half collapsed, half kneeled on the curb of the street; traffic had, perhaps obviously, completely halted as people slowly trickled in massive numbers towards the wall, individually or in small groups, but Callum didn’t seem to notice them, either. He found his phone on the ground, the screen now cracked, and checked it again, the strength seeming to go out of him as he did.

Niviea watched silently as the crowds moved towards the wall, all the while could feel her heart beginning to race. Between Callum collapsing and the general chaos of the city around her, the goddess found herself paralyzed with fear and unable to think. Yet as Callum slowly began to move, Niviea moved in turn and headed for him as if guided by instinct. Slowly but surely, she was able to block out the surrounding chaos as her mind focused on the phone beneath her. She leaned down, gasping as a familiar name flashed on screen, "No…no..not there…"she whispered.

The young man didn’t move any more, or even look at her, but he was crying quietly. Slowly, pockets of quiet appeared in the chaotic mass of people, other looking at their phones in shock or horror, as the scrolling list of districts, cities, and suburbs was replaced by the shaken voice of a news anchor and an aerial view of the area beyond the wall. Callum’s eyes were finally torn from the wall as he looked at the screen, showing the flooded land, dirty and dark water covering much of what had once been gentle plains, some destroyed buildings still visible, some even on fire, more often rubble of stone and steel. Where Tech Town had once been, a single skyscraper still stood, and there was movement in the windows, causing Callum to gasp and stand. The camera continued to pan, showing some areas of complete destruction and some where maybe, with luck, there could be survivors. “Nivi, that… that’s Rivers Curve!” Callum said, pointing to one of these luckier areas. “They, there’s a chance, we have to find a way, Nivi,” he said, half-coherent, looking at her with begging eyes.

"I…I…Come on, we're not going to get there just gawking at our phones. Let's see if we can't find a way over that wall, Callum." Niviea said, as she thoughts, "Mom…please, let them still be alive."

“R-right,” Callum replied, standing slowly. “I, uh… maybe the wall doesn’t go… all the way around?” He sounded doubtful of his own idea, staring up at the mildly threatening slab of gold.

"it's possible….Or if worst comes to worst, we may have to find a way over or under it." Niviea sighed, hitting a nearby walk, "Damn it…If we were back in Silverdale or Dal Riata, I could just fly us over….ugh.."

“Fly us… you know, dad had been teaching me how to fly his helicopter,” Callum said, grabbing Niviea’s hand and dragging her away from the wall. “I, I’m not an expert or anything, but I can at least take us off, fly us there! The hangar wasn’t even that far away, and it’s this part of the city, maybe…” he mumbled, pushing against the flow of people headed to the wall.

"not a terrible idea, Callum. I mean….I think what your dad taught you should at least be enough to get us part of the way there." Niviea remarked following after Callum, all the while trying in vain to block out the sights and sounds of the chaos around them.

“Nivi, do you know where the car is?... actually, no, too many people, it’ll be faster to walk,” Callum said, gritting his teeth, making sure not to let go of the girl’s hand.

Whether or not it was actually faster to walk was debatable; the masses of people definitely still pushed against them, and it was a solid forty-five minutes to even get significantly out of the crowds, in the heat of a Rohanian summer afternoon, and another half hour to reach the chain fence around a small helicopter rental location with a sign reading ‘Tominay’s Helicopter Tours.’ “Here it is,” Callum said, wiping sweat off his brow. “Dad knows the owner, so he lets us park the helicopter here. I can get the keys…”

Niviea handed Callum a bottle of water from her pack, downing some herself as she looked towards the multiple helicopter hangers. She sighed, seemingly unsure of it, "Not like we have any other option…..So let's get those keys.."

Callum opened the bottle, draining it in a single long drink. “Uh, I know where the keys to the garage are, it’s 24C, I’ll meet you there,” he said, walking off towards a boxy looking concrete building, leaving Niviea to tour the hangers, which thankfully all had big, easy to read lettering indicating which one they were.

In a few moments, Callum joined her again, in front of a green hangar emblazoned with ‘24C’. “Ok, here we are,” he said, unlocking it. “Mr. Tominay was out, so no one tried to stop me taking these,” he said, showing off a set of helicopter keys as he lifted the door on the hangar. “Help me push this thing outside? It should be fully fueled and ready.”

Niviea nodded as she entered the hangar. whistling as she saw the parked helicopter. Though she had been around them before, she was still eager to try flying in one for the first time. Moving to the helicopter's rear she leaned against and called out, "Oi! Come on, let's get this thing out there, Callum."

“Trust me, Nivi, I know,” he said, joining her at the rear and pushing, his voice seeming calmer now that he was actually doing something. “Just hold on, mom, dad, we’ll be there soon…”

Niviea gave a slight smile, seemingly relieved to hear that Callum was a bit less panicked. Her own dread faded as they pushed the helicopter out of the garage, the two teens just barely managing to get it out with some exertion. Niviea panted as she took another drink from her bottle, "Hopefully….No I am certain of it. They have got to be alive."

“Don’t even think of any other possibility,” Callum replied, closing the hangar once the helicopter was all the way out, and opening the door to get into the pilots seat. It was a small, nimble deal, meant more for pleasure flying with the family of a small group of friends, but it would certainly be able to get over the wall. “Hey, Nivi, can you climb in on your own?”

"Yeah, I can…" Niviea said, opening the door before clambering into the passenger seat.p

Callum gave her a small smile as he climbed in as well, pulling the door firmly shut as he inserted the key into the ignition. “Uh, strap yourself in. This is my first time flying solo, but it’s fine, I’ve practiced take offs and landings,” he said, turning the key and gripping the throttle.

She smiled, leaning in to give a small kiss before strapping herself in, "Just try to be careful, Call. Mom knows this isn't going to be difficult enough without all the chaos in the city .."

“I know, ok, but… mom and dad,” he muttered, slowly increasing throttle as they lifted off the ground, soon well above the lot and rising; even before they had started to clear the height of buildings, the wall was clearly visible, as were several other helicopters dancing around. “Ok. We don’t want to stay near the wall, so I’ll try and get us past it quick. You handling this ok?”

Niviea's stomach churned as they took flight, their increasing proximity to the wall. She looked pale as Callum lifted off, all the while she closed her eyes, "I…I…should be fine in a bit. Honestly, just…don't know how you handle flying like this…"

Your mother was the one who decided to give me a not so subtle introduction,” Callum reminded Niviea. “At least here I’m in control. And I can’t slide off and fall to my death,” he continued, keeping the conversation flowing to distract them both. “I fucking hate that thing.”

"That thing is completely fucking awful…." Niviea complained, Callum's distraction working. She looked down towards the wall once more, "Honestly, kind of makes me wish that we were back at the Springs or Glacius. At least there, we wouldn't have to see that…."

“If we weren’t here, who would save my parents?” Callum pointed out, putting on a headset. “Well, complete chaos on the airwaves,” he muttered, pushing the helicopter forward, heading for the wall and beyond, the tower itself seeming to grow bigger the closer they got to the wall. The crowds of people below seemed to be going nowhere, but they were like ants as the young man flew the two over the wall, giving them their first view of the other side for themselves; the video had simply not done it justice.

To say the place looked like some kind of kaijuu made of steel and glass had perished in a battle after suffering greatly would start to give an impression of how twisted the former Tech Town looked, and even then it ignored the multitude of fires and the water inundating everything in sight. The iconic arena of the Tech Town Titans hoverball team was cracked in half, a fissure running right through it, one half slightly raised compared to the other, and the colored glass dome that had made it so distinct was universally shattered. “I guess there won’t be a hoverball season anymore,” Callum said softly to himself as they continued to fly towards Rivers Curve.

Niviea said nothing as she looked down over the remnants of Tech Town, her lips forming into a frown. It was one thing to see destruction in photos or on television, but it was quite another to behold it with ones own eyes. Between the devastation and the terror she knew the citizens below to be in, Niviea could not help but feel a growing sense of sorry begin to consume her. Her voice faltered as she muttered, "N-no…probably won't be for a long while….."

“I know it’s crass,” Callum was also speaking in a low tone. “But what am I supposed to think? If I think about… about all of that… I don’t think I’ll even make it to my parents…”

"No, I agree with you… It's better to think about that, then dwell on… what could have happened." Niviea said, shaking her head. She patted Callum on the thigh, her expression shifting to a pained smile. Her tone seemed to be filled with a bit doubt as she spoke, "The fact that at least we've pulled through this far? And that Rivers Curve still should be largely intact and that we should… be successful here..."

Callum’s reply was a nod as he took them further over the devastation; they were past what was formerly Tech Town, now, but it was impossible tell which district they were supposed to be over now, as it was completely underwater. Callum frowned as they flew by, watching a large piece of wood float aimlessly below. “That… that’s not River’s Curve. It’s a lot closer to the tower…”

"Figures….it's never that easy….." Niviea said, somewhat dismayed by the sight of the district below. At the mention of needing to go near the tower her heart dropped, "I….Let's hurry then….sooner we get away from that thing the better."

“Agreed,” Callum said, increasing the throttle as they flew over a suburb that seemed to have avoided the flooding, but had definitely not avoided the rest of the upheaval, as made obvious by the huge fissure in the middle of it. “We’re… getting closer. I’m going to need to transfer universities… IU Calihain was the best, but I doubt it’ll be the best anymore.”

"Yeah…. Honestly, I know you probably won't like it…but this could be a good chance for you to study abroad. Maybe attend Aurora University back in Silverdale…" Niviea remarked, a growing sense of fear welling within her, "Provided we can rescue your parents…"

“We will rescue them,” Callum insisted. Silence fell in the cabin for awhile as they flew still further, a fire spreading across the surface of the water below, completely unabated by the flood. “We have to,” he whispered, more to himself than her. “I… It’s not IU Calihain, but Aurora University is a good place, if I can get a scholarship, maybe I will go there. I’m sure you would prefer that. It’s too damn cold, though.”

"It's not, but at the same time you will be in a safe place, as well as able to finish your studies in peace. Plus I'll be with you as well…" Niviea remarked, giving Callum a sincere smile as she did her best to ignore the fires below.

“Well, I’ll need a new coat,” he replied with an obviously fake smile, taking them closer to the tower and veering towards the old flow of the river. “We’re getting closer. I don’t know if I’ll be able to land, so once I locate the house, I might need to have you pull them up, ok Nivi?”

"Of course, Callum. Might take a bit, but I will get em up here." Niviea said, her body starting to feel weak as they flew closer to the tower. She felt growing alarm within her with each passing second they spent near it, as if something was eyeing her from within it like a hungry predator predator

Callum flew them on, no longer watching the districts themselves, but looking at the location of the old river banks. “Almost there…” he said, now looking down to the houses. Somehow, a suburb right on the rivers banks seemed not to be completely destroyed, fissures and damage evident, as well as flooding, but some houses and businesses still standing. “River’s Curve. It’s not even on fire… just gotta find the house. You ready, Nivi?”

Niviea steadied herself as she nodded. "Ready when you are, Cal..."

Callum began to do slow loops over the neighborhood, looking at the roofs. “No one is on their roofs at all… and I don’t see my house. Maybe this is the wrong part of River’s Curve, it’s so damned hard to tell… Nivi, when we’re done, you should call your mom too. There’s no way she won’t be worried.”

Niviea took a moment to reply, a peculiar feeling washing over as it seemed like something or someone was eyeing her soul. It seemed as if they were craving her, all the while she could feel her soul being tugged increasingly towards the tower. Weakness spread through her body, her muscles twitching as slumped against the seat, "I…I don't see…em either. Just…where the hell is that house of yours, it should be right near or below us…"

“Nivi?” Callum asked, glancing over at her. “You alright? I know it’s… I know it’s fucked up, ok, but I can’t let mom and dad die here, knowing I could help them. Just… we can talk about it later, ok?”

"Ugh….you're going to think this sounds crazy Callum, but it almost feels like someone is trying to pull my soul away….put it in a cage…" Niviea muttered, seemingly not hearing Callum as she struggled to get her body to respond. Her eyes closed for a few moments, the goddess falling silent as they flew over the neighborhood. After a few moments, her body seemed to shudder to life as the goddess groaned, "Gah….Come on, we need to find them soon"

“Fuck, Nivi?” Callum asked, switching his view between her and the ground, still scanning for a familiar roof as he heard a loud crack. “Oh shit, Nivi? Are you ok?” He looked over, but seeing her mostly unchanged, looked below, just in time to catch a hillside break, collapsing down in a wave of debris that washed away all the remained of the entire neighborhood in front of his eyes, as he breathed in sharply. “No, no, it’s ok Callum, it’s fine, that wasn’t our neighborhood…”

"Callum…don't worry…about me, just focus on flying…" Niviea muttered, her eyes wide ing in horror as she saw the hillside give way. Her stomach dropped, a growing pit of despair within her forming as she realized what just happened. She weakly reached for Callum, her arm trembling as she placed her hand on his shoulder, "Callum…maybe….maybe ..we should just go…Get out of here while we still can…"

“Nivi? Come on, we- I can’t give up, Niviea, these are my parents, mom loves you,” Callum half-begged her, increasing their altitude. “Nivi? Shit, what’s going on with you? Just… just hold on a few more minutes, please, I promise we’ll leave as soon as I find-” Callum’s pleading was interrupted by another loud crack below as a section of the destroyed suburb collapsed into the tunnel network below, throwing up dust and water. “I… Nivi… they’re my parents, Nivi, I can’t just…” Callum choked out.

"Callum….I love you and truly I understand, but you have to be realistic here. Given al…That landslide and the flooding, your parents. .likely didn't make it. If we don't get out of here, we could very well end up joining them." Niviea choked out, her body tremoring as she gave him a pleading look, "I…I…know it hurts, but they wouldn't want you to throw your life on a l…ost cause…"

“... FUCK!” Callum turned the helicopter, heading away from what was once River’s Curve, silent the entire way back over the wall and to the helicopter lot they had left from in the first place. It was a bumpy landing, but he managed it without injuring either of them, and then he sat in the pilots set, slowly bending over on himself as he began to sob.

As the distance between the pair and the tower grew, Niviea rapidly regained her strength. She quickly moved to embrace Callum, holding his head against her chest and he sobbed. She whispered gently into his ear, "Callum, this will pass in time….but I want you to remember one thing for now. I am here….and I will never leave you."

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Posts: 2343
Founded: Mar 15, 2012
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Dyste » Sun May 08, 2022 4:31 pm

On Valcafe, a new video appeared on the Warrior Trinity’s streaming channel, the popular deity group from Silverdale. However, instead of a more fun video, like a gaming one or one of the Hot Springs Takes, their leader, Glacia, was sitting at a table, her hair messy and eyes sunken, looking like she had been crying for a while.

“People of the Dragon Sea Alliance and beyond,” she said in a far more somber tone than normal. “I wish this was a normal day for a video, but I cannot overlook the tragedy that happened in Rohane Alista. Earlier today, a golden tower emerged in Rohane Alista and claimed the lives of countless people in the capital city of Calihan. I know that the people of Rohane Alista do not have high opinions of the divine, but please, have them in your minds and hearts, and let’s all help out the people of the land however we can…”

Glacia seemed to be losing a bit of composure, before speaking in a more desperate tone, “Niviea… please, if you’re out there… please, please get in contact with me,” she was on the verge of tears, “Ky and I… we have been worried sick. I almost went directly there to see, but… I…” she sniffed. “I… can’t enter Rohane Alista. The zone… I…” she knew that it might even be fatal to her. “... please, if you’re out there… I need to make sure you’re okay…”

She turned off the video camera then, as she couldn’t bear to record any more. What good of a mother was she if she couldn’t even protect her daughter like this? She felt Nivia grew up too quickly (quite literally), but she had tried her best to try and teach her with the help of Solis and Kyara. And then she was in Rohane Alista to get to know mortals better. It seemed like a good idea at the time, and she seemed to be legitimately enjoying her time there after her original complaints (and a pretty disastrous first impression on her boyfriend on her own part), but now this happened… and she couldn’t even go to the land to get her as a result of her own status… for the first time in ages, she felt well and truly defeated, as she walked away from the camera. She could only hope now her daughter was alright…
Dyste: A nation of large, long-lived, magic-using dragon-people (Draconids) ruled by a legendary adventurer. Realism? What's that?
Embassy Program
Rulers: King Tyroth, Queen Sarisa, Prime Minister Zihark Jemson
Capital: Valitora
Government Type: Semi-Constitutional Monarchy
Population: 14,457,200, Draconid Majority (60%), Kobold/Dino/Elven/Pony/Human minorities
Founded: Early 15th century
Tech: Lower-tech fantasy (can RP with PT/MT)
Canadian, fan of Video Games (Nintendo in particular) and Tabletop RPGs.
I love RP'ing, but note my schedule can be iffy at times. If you want to RP with me, TG me and we can talk.

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Posts: 3402
Founded: Jan 21, 2011
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Legokiller » Mon May 09, 2022 8:38 pm

Cowrriten with Dyste and Rohane Alista

Jasmine half-watched from her place on a bench as her little sister once again began leaping across the increasingly spaced apart poles in the Silverdalean ninja village as Grandma Marron gave pointers while she went, and caught her each time she fell. She rolled her eyes and brought back up her phone, scrolling through Seddit with a barely disguised huff as she watched a video of a Silverdalean penguin child attempting to ride a seal. “Grandma,” she asked the blonde woman next to her without looking up. “Why are we even here?”

“Life in the imperial palace became unbearable to say the least.” Mythra replied. “So, we’re going on a small vacation to Ninja! A village devoted to a ninja theme, and its rides. We shall have an estate to rest up as well.”

"Grandma," Jasmine rolled her eyes. "We were back from Dyste for all of three weeks! If this is a trip for Ana, you can say so, but why did I have to come too?"

“Well, there are interesting shrines nearby as well. Ones that are quite mystical and not all pop ninja.” Mythra winked. “Now don’t worry Jasmine, it won’t be that long of a stay.”

Jasmine groaned softly. “Yes, grandma… I know mom converted to Camille, but I never really got why you want me to. I didn’t get a silly little magic mask.”

Mythra chuckled. “A little mask present isn’t the point. Out of all the deities, Camille is the loving one who’d accept people, even if they’re monsters, into her light and help care for us in need. Plus I found that our family and myself benefit quite a lot.”

Jasmine flicked some more through her phone. “Yeah, well, mom agrees with you I guess,” she shrugged. “I do listen during your religion lessons, I just don’t see the point. I mean, it’s not like Rohane will ever have gods of its own, y’know? Much less miracles!” She laughed. “But I guess I’m glad it helps mom. She seems a lot less stressed now.”

“Well, at least Camille will stand in for one needed.” Mythra winked. “There is a comfort to the faith and bonds built for spiritual growth. All beings do long for purpose and a spiritual fulfillment.”

“Purpose, sure,” Jasmine acquiesced. “I’m not so sure about spiritual fulfillment…” She added, falling silent for a moment until she grumbled. “Agh, hate it when this stupid app auto-refreshes itself… huh, is this a movie trailer?” She tapped a video, tilting her phone to fullscreen it, as a video showed a giant golden wall cutting through what was obviously Calihain. “Wow, that’s the best CGI I’ve ever seen.”

“Huh, what’s goin’ on?” Marron had walked over as Ana had finished her practice, clearly having a blast training her granddaughter.

“Some kinda new movie trailer, I guess?” Jasmine showed her the phone. “Or maybe a video game, it’s not giving a name. The golden tower looks really spooky, though, doesn’t it, grandma?”

“Golden tower…” Mythra's eyes widened as she looked at the screen. “No, this can’t be the work of CGI.” She looked at Marron. “This… This might be it.”

“... we need to tell Jacobi,” Marron said. “This is exactly like I saw…”

“Uh, hello?” Jasmine said to the two. “Reigning empress here, if you have something to say, you can say it to me. What’s wrong with you two? It’s not like it’s real?”

“It’s real alright… Just like in our dreams.” Mythra then shook her head. “Once Summer from Foxy News reports it then it’s clear that Rohane Alista is in trouble.”

"... OK, come on," Jasmine shook her head and sighed. "Fine, let's check this Foxy News, and you'll see it's not real," the teenager quickly navigated to the news website, which prominently displayed the same video under the headline 'GIANT TOWER APPEARS IN CALIHAIN' and a smaller article with a list of lost districts. "... what the fuck?"

“I…” Marron held herself and shuddered, “I wish it wasn’t true… but, but it is… why did this…” she found herself unable to express herself. She just couldn’t believe it was actually happening… “It… can’t be gone…”

Mythra cursed herself and became silent. Only anger filled her mind as she looked back at the device. “Marron… We can’t stay here… We need to go back home.”

“...” Marron seemed to be unable to respond, a look of horror in her eyes. “W-why… what is that…”

"Grandma?... did you know about this?" Jasmine asked, frowning. "You two knew about this, didn't you? Is that why we're here?!?"

“... Yes.” Mythra answered. “Look Jasmine. You and your sister have to stay here in Ninja. I know Marron’s maids and friends will take care of you.”

"... no," was the simple response.

Mythra shook her head. “No? Look, there isn’t any time to argue. You’d be safe here. Away from danger.”

"No. I am Her Eminence, Jasmine Sasha Turak, and I will be returning to my country!"

“... Mythra.” Marron seemed to snap out of it, at least briefly. “You know you won’t win this, right? She takes after both you and Jacobi too much to make her stop now.”

“It-t’s just absurd. Marron, we have to save a whole country and… I’m not sure if we can do our best to protect her from danger. It’s safe here but… Seriously?” Mythra shook her head in disbelief.

"They are my people, and I should have been there! And you knew and took me away? You didn't at least tell me what was coming?" Jasmine accused them both. "I need to go back, they need help! They need hope!"

“You heard the Empress, Mythra,” Marron shook her head. “Geez… here I was feeling despondent and the kid’s got more courage than both of us put together. Let’s grab Grandpa; he’ll know how to deal with this.”

“Right at the epicenter when you could’ve died right there?” Mythra snapped back. “It’s… FINE! We’ll return back to the country.”

"And instead, thousands, millions, of my people suffer while I… while I browse the internet!" Jasmine replied. "That's it, right? There's a single tower, and then we rebuild? My people need me for that!"

“A single tower? Oh this is only the start.” Mythra spoke with dread. “It’s going to get far worse Jasmine.”

“... oh no…” Marron’s eyes went wide in shock. “There were more of them in the vision… a lot more.”

"... What do you mean? What's happening to my nation?" Jasmine asked, fear starting to creep in as the adrenaline wore off. "A lot more?... are you saying Calihain isn't the end of this?"

“The literal doomsday is happening to Rohane Alista.” Mythra stated. “We aren’t sure what the entity is, but it is rather magical in nature.”

“Wait…” Marron was reminded of something, “... One in the heart, two in the mind, three in the stomach, four in the hands… that’s what the vision showed, right?”

“It was a part of the vision, correct. It’s possible those towers will appear in such cities related to the body of Rohane Alista as a whole.” Mythra said.

"Ten towers?..." Jasmine’s face went pale. "The mind, that's Calihain, obviously, the heart… is probably Berabil or Sanirego," she sank onto the bench. "The stomach, that's gotta be Altisan, Turlia, Trastinia, the food producing areas… the, the hands, Morhale, Alistara, Jacobius, that's almost every single major city in the nation… that's, that's three hundred million people."

“Then we have to make our moves now.” Mythra said.

"We have to go back!" Jasmine insisted. "Everyone will panic, we… we need to evacuate everyone!"

“Argh…” Marron understood Jasmine’s spirit, but a mass evacuation wasn’t practical. “... let’s talk with Grandpa, Jas. He’ll know what we can do.”

"I… ok," Jasmine replied. "He isn't legendary for nothing, right?"

“That’s right,” Marron nodded. “Along with King Tyroth Blackfang, Queen Aurora, and Empress Kaimara, he was one of the legendary rulers of that era, y’know?”

“Eh…” Mythra gave a skeptical look at Marron. “In that era. That’s a key word you have to remember. That being said: are you sure about this Marron?”

“I…” Marron seemed to deflate a bit from that, “I don’t know, but do ya really have to say that in front of Jas, c’mon?”

Mythra sighed. “Look, let’s just be reasonable here and not expect a miracle worker with all the answers alright?”

“Fine, fine,” Marron sighed, “Let’s just go already. He needs to know either way, right?”

"Where is he, anyways?" Jasmine asked softly. "... did he know too?"

“The archery range.” Mythra answered. “So close by.”

“Right, he would either be there, at a horse riding spot or reading one of his novels,” Marron sighed, “But yeah, testing his aim again. C’mon, let’s go.”

Jasmine stood, walking with the three to the archery range, where they did indeed spot Jacobi. His cane was leaning unused against a wall as he raised a shortbow, three arrows in his fingers, which he let go with such rapid pulls that they nearly blurred, ending up in the necks of three different humanoid dummies. He audibly clicked his tongue and frowned.

Marron sighed, “He’s still at it, huh? He’ll never be satisfied until he can do it all perfectly.” She herself took a trio of shuriken stars and tossed them at the dummies, hitting them all square where the heart would be. “C’mon, you’re recovering faster than anyone reasonably thought you could, Jacobi. You’re getting there.”

The man turned, setting down his bow. "I can always get faster, faster," he replied. "But I appreciate the support. Did something happen?"

Jasmine just stared at nothing in particular, words not coming to her.

Mythra sighed as she held up a tablet and allowed the idiot anchorwoman fox to explain the hot news. “It’s no dream Jacobi. It came.” Mythra said.

"Well," Jacobi said, watching the video. "This is… much worse than I feared."

“Wh-what do we do, Jacobi?” Marron said. “This… isn’t gonna be the end of it.”

"We have to evacuate as many people as possible!" Jasmine said, waving her arms in a circle. "There's… there's ten or more, that's what grandma said!"

"We can't evacuate everyone," Jacobi said, picking up his cane but not using it. "It would cause mass panic, riots, and even more destruction. We need to mobilize the army, and start shifting resources to rebuilding. If we can figure out where these towers will come from, we can focus on stockpiling the things those areas might need."

“Right,” Marron said, feeling a little more confident. “We can get help and get what they need, and work on how to stop this.”

“We can contact Silverdalean officials to contribute aid, shelter, and military as well.” Mythra suggested.

"Good idea, Mythra," Jacobi praised. "Especially food and water."

"We… are you saying we can't save them?" Jasmine interjected. "Those are our people! We've got to go back and help them!"

"How, specifically, do you intend to help them, Jasmine?" Jacobi asked, letting the silence stretch.

“I can get help from the ninja clan here on information,” Marron said, “The more we figure out the better…” she let out a sigh. “Jacobi, I hate feeling so useless here…”

"I do as well," he replied, clenching his fist. "But all we can do is prepare. We should put out calls to old friends, too, and let them know to get ready for more than just aid work."

"More than? Why more than just aid?" Jasmine asked, shaking lightly. "What else would we need?"

“Jacobi…” Marron considered this. “... ah, I get it. I know at least one queen who’ll be more than willing, at least.”

“Friends Jasmine. I know the scion of the legendary Queen Aurora, whom she and her wife as ladies will be of great help.” Mythra said.

"Jasmine," Jacobi said with a frown, kneeling down in front of the girl. "This will be a test of you as a leader greater than anything any ruler of Rohane Alista has ever faced. You need to be strong, but you also need to trust us. All three of us love the country and its people, and we'll all do everything we can to save as many as possible."

“The people of Rohane accepted me as their queen back then,” Marron said, “And they never forgot about me, even when I had left the nation for ages. I won’t abandon them in their time of need, Jasmine. I would never forgive myself if I did.”

“I’ve given you a rough time Jasmine, but I do care for Rohane Alista. Even the people of Alista who not only embrace me, they built and embrace the faith I represented that still goes on to this day. There is a debt I do need to repay, or… well, save them even what I left a long time ago.”

“I,” Jasmine stuttered. “I-I believe you. I do trust you… please, save my country…”
Silverdale's Factbook! Poi Poi Poi Resurrected! Silverdale News Thread
<Maven>Legokiller's an original "G" with mirrors and changelings before it was cool <AnimeQuote> Taiga Aisaka is Gandhi.

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New Dornalia
Posts: 1807
Founded: Apr 27, 2005
New York Times Democracy

Postby New Dornalia » Fri May 13, 2022 7:31 pm

Fort Apache
A Week After the Vision

The Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Library at Fort Apache had become a second home for Father Hijuelos. Since the vision a week before,the librarians at Fort Apache's main library had been treated to the sight of the Chief Chaplain entering their hallowed modernist halls everyday at 16:00 Zulu after the end of his Office Hours until 00:00 Zulu when the librarians would politely usher him and the Corporal out. The good Chief Chaplain came ready to do intellectual battle with a travel mug full of black coffee, a small low-mess snack, a computer, a mess of books, and a library card. The Corporal likewise had been busy helping him, acting as runner, gofer, and intermediary for when the librarians raised the inevitable concerns about the Chief Chaplain's well-being--or when his behavior and love of black coffee or the exercises he would do to stay awake began to distract the other patrons.

For his part, the Chief Chaplain was busy. He had been pouring over all the books he could to make sense of the vision he had. Everything from National Astrographic to various academic volumes from the various nations of Mystria to Nostradamus's Quatrains were checked out of the MWR's library stacks. If the library didn't have it, then he searched for it online. If the internet didn't have it, then he had The Corporal drive him off base to any number of local Silverdalean institutions. He even had the Order's Grand National Library of Mars County bring him volumes via interlibrary loan in rapid order.

And yet, he had barely begun to scratch the surface. The most he got was that there was a tantalizing glimpse of possibly what he had seen in an issue of National Astrographic, the Wonders of Mystria special. They had some ornate doors and such that seemed to match his visions. But those were a dead end. No one knew who made them or what they meant. And attempts to suss out the usual symbolism of dreams didn't help either.

And so, another nightly vigil ended, with the Corporal driving the good Chief Chaplain home to his apartment on base in his little hatchback. It was faster than walking--much faster given the size of Fort Apache. The Corporal and the Chief Chaplain remained silent for a few moments, the sound of Fort Apache's own radio station, 91.1 Mountain Aerie Radio sponsored by the Armed Forces Media Service, playing the latest Top 40 hits.

Then, the Corporal asked, with a mixture of worry and annoyance, "Is this worth it?"

"What do you mean, Corporal?"

"I mean, y'all are just studying here for hours on hours, days upon days--fuck, I've spent a lot of time down at the coffee shop getting you that really nice coffee you like. That's not cheap you know." She then added, "I mean, I'm amazed you're even able to do your regular job."

The Chief Chaplain went, stoically and rubbing his temples, "Well, I do what I can. Intellectual mysteries wait for no one."

"Neither do weddings, souls, and funerals and all the other earthly, real shit y'all have to do!" The Corporal said, somewhat exasperated. "I mean--look, while you were reading that shit in the library, I had to answer questions from the newly minted Mrs. McClane about how to coordinate Officer's Club access for the wedding day, including for that priest of Brasa."

"That's a job for Morty or Ismail, isn't it? I mean, I'm not the only Chaplain on base." The Chief Chaplain raised an eyebrow.

"Well, yeah, but it's the principle of the thing. Y'all have a flock to watch out for, and you've been slipping." The Corporal said. "Sorry, Padre. But I had to say it."

The Chief Chaplain nodded at that, and said simply, after a few moments, "I suppose you've got a point."

Then, the news came on.

"This is Armed Forces Media Service News. I'm Kris Killinger. Today, tragedy struck in Calihain, Rohane Alista, as a large Golden Tower appeared--"

At that, the Chief Chaplain perked up, his eyes turning to the size of dinner plates. He urged the Corporal to pull over, and the Corporal sighed and complied, as the Chief Chaplain turned up the radio and listened intently.

"--at the Calihain International Airport, jutting itself out from under the tarmac without warning along with a massive gilded wall which surrounded a significant portion of the city. The cause is currently unknown, and millions of casualties are feared dead or grievously wounded. The sudden emergence of the tower has stunned all of Mystria, with a video from the Warrior Trinity's Glacia and her horrified reaction to the disaster going viral and perhaps symbolizing the region's reaction to what some have called an apocalyptic event.

The entity or force behind the rise of the Tower is unknown as of this time, and State Department officials would only indicate that relief efforts would be forthcoming to the people of Rohane Alista. In other news..."

The Corporal and the Chief Chaplain looked at each other, and with worried expressions. They didn't say anything, and they didn't need to. The Chief Chaplain knew in his heart that he didn't just dream a dream. He had witnessed a vision of the Apocalypse, and it was coming to Rohane Alista.

The Chaplain then went, without a beat, "I need to get to Rohane Alista. Now."

"On it, Padre. I'll make the necessary arrangements."

The Chief Chaplain then went, "Also, if you can...see if you can talk to Captain Lockhart."

The Corporal raised her eyebrow.

"The fuck I wanna talk to her for?"

"See if her people heard anything about any seers or others who had a vision about the events in Rohane Alista. Have them milk their contacts. We need to get a force together. Check with the Order too." He then added, perhaps a bit dramatically, quoting Scripture, "'Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate.'"

"You think the Good Lord couldn't've brought people together in better circumstances?" The Corporal asked, her voice mixed with sarcasm and concern.

The Chief Chaplain merely replied, with a mixture of stoic resignation, confidence, and the kind of determination that came from moral righteousness, "'Shall we receive the good at the hand of God, and not receive the bad?'"

"I guess?" The Corporal shrugged, and went, "Anyway, let's get you home."
"New Dornalia, a living example of anomalous civilizations."-- Phoenix Conclave
"Your nation has always been ridiculous. But it's endearing."--Skaugra
"It's a magical place where chinese cowboys ply the star lanes to extract vast wealth from trade, where NORINCO isn't just an arms company, but an evil bond villain type conglomerate that hides in other nations. Where the apocalypse happened, and everyone went "huh, that's neat" and then got back to having catgirls and starships."-- Olimpiada
"...why am I space China, and I don't have actual magic animals, and you're space USA, and you do? This seems like a mistake." --Roania, during a discussion on wildlife.

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Founded: Mar 06, 2018
Conservative Democracy

Postby Glaristant » Sun May 15, 2022 7:03 pm

Collab with Dyste and RA

Thirty km off the South Pole, Silverdale

The conditions around the South Pole were normally less than ideal for an operation at the best of times, but today they were truly terrible as two figures emerged from the blizzard. They could feel the polar gales buffeting them, shards of ice and snow whirling around them as the wind howled. One of the figures, a white haired human in a flowing white great coat and blue beret threw up four walls of ice as she readied her rifle. She motioned for her companion to crouch down, all the while she peeked over the walls towards the pole. “C’mon….get out here you little scunner...” she muttered, a small smirk spreading across her face as she could just barely make out the silhouette of a four legged creature through the storm. The creature reared back on its hind legs, letting out an ear splitting roar as large draconic wings emerged from its back. Gesturing to it with her rifle, she spoke, “Three days of hunting you and we finally found your lair, you damned lizard. Alright, mein lark….do you want to try your hand this time since I took out the last one?”

“Sure thing,” her companion said, a dark-purple-haired woman wearing a white winter coat and goggles. She reached on her belt for a series of kunai, and with a swift motion, hit several key points on its joints in order to keep its mobility down, “Should be an easy shot with that now, Ey. Get the right point and hit it!”

Eyvel chuckled as she took aim with her rifle, all the while the dragon roared in pain from the kunai impacts. The creature fruitlessly beat its wings, desperately trying to escape as Eyvel pulled the trigger, three flashes followed by deafening cracks as the bullets streaked towards their target. “GRAWWRGH!” the dragon cried as the bullets dug into its skull and legs, all the while the ice coating its hide shattered with a sickening crack. Its forelegs gave out, causing it to collapse as Eyvel discarded her rifle and climbed over the parapet, a mad grin on her face. She summoned a massive silver battle axe to her hand, all the while tossing a grenade at the white dragon as she charged. The grenade exploded in a blinding flash, causing the dragon to thrash around blindly as Eyvel closed the gap between the two. With a single mighty swing of the axe, she decapitated the dragon in a spray of frost and viscera as she let loose a laugh, “Hah! Not so tough now, are you? That will teach you to mess with the people of Vorelex.”

“Excellent as always, Captain!” A tanager in white fatigues and a blue beret called out, keeping his rifle trained on the dragon’s corpse as he stepped forward. The tanager was about to speak, but was cut off by a loud ringing from his back. He reached back, picking up the receiver to the field radio he carried and listened for a moment. His smile shifted to a frown, with him grimacing as he handed the receiver to Eyvel, “It’s for you captain….Sgt. Halrick from Base Camp is saying it’s urgent.”

“Huh? There shouldn’t be anything attacking base camp. We had cleared out everything in this sector prior to setting up….” Eyvel muttered as she took the receiver, all the while lighting up a cigar as she leaned against the dragon’s corpse. She took a long drag as she spoke, “Go ahead, Sergeant….”

“Captain… you need to get back here,” a deep, masculine voice crackled over the line. “Something big has… come back. You need to see this in person.”

“Hm?” The woman with purple hair lifted her goggles, showing pale yellow eyes, and removed a ring masking her true height, as she was actually taller than Eyvel was; Karla Arnheim stood next to her wife. “What is the problem, Sergeant?”

“You need to see it,” the sergeant’s voice repeated. “Trust me. No words can do this justice, just… something has happened in Calihain,” he added, his voice cracking slightly. “Something really, really bad, chief.”

“Calihain, eh? You must be joking….There’s nothing in a thousand miles that could hurt the city, let alone be really bad.” Eyvel retorted in disbelief, but nonetheless sighed, “Alright, Sergeant….we’re on our way back.” Eyvel shook her head as she replaced the receiver, all the while withdrawing a silver scroll from her coat. The tanager muttered a few words as a blue portal formed behind her as she entered, waving Karla and the other tanager through, “Come on, let’s see what this is about….”

The trio soon arrived at the center of a small cluster of larger tents, hemmed in by a small ice wall. Soldiers in similar uniforms to Eyvel milled about, drinking and talking as they walked between tents. Others huddled around a large bonfire in the center of camp, listening to a sylph regaling them with a ghost story as the light of the auroras shined overhead. The soldiers saluted as they saw Eyvel pass, a gesture which the former queen returned. The trio walked through the camp, passing numerous other tents until they at last arrived at the communications building. The small brick hut had a massive communications dish behind it, which brimmed with energy as it received and transmitted signals to the outside world. Stepping into the building, they saw the segreant reviewing several monitors which showed a titanic golden tower rising out of the ground. Eyvel’s jaw dropped, her blood running cold as she moved to his side, “What in Brasa’s name….”

The dark skinned human man half heartedly threw a sloppy salute, rewinding the video on the large screen for the new entrants. “Chief, I’ve watched this thing about twenty times, and excuse my language, but this is some kinda super fucking divine retribution or something, ‘cause… well, fucking hell,” he trailed off, starting the new broadcast again from the beginning for Eyvel and Karla.

The newscast rolled, with a quick shot of a purple skinned sylph anchor struggling to speak as footage of towers rising in Calihain played behind her. After a few moments of stumbling, she at last managed to compose herself long enough to speak, “Moments ago, we received word from our bureau in Calihain of the emergence of an unknown golden tower in southern Calihain. Its origin is unknown, but the rise of the structure has caused massive damage to multiple areas of the city. Casualties are unknown at this time due to the early nature of the event, but are expected to top several million according to MOI officials…..”

“This is something I would have expected in Glaristant or Silverdale, not fucking Rohane. Honestly……it’s like something you’d see in a shitty Mal flick, not reality.” Eyvel said, shaking her head in disbelief as she watched Tech Town be destroyed.

“H-how did this…” Karla gasped in horror, “This can’t be happening…” she didn’t know Rohane Alista as well as Eyvel did, but for certain, this didn’t seem even possible to have happened there. “Do we have any idea about what this even is? Who could’ve caused this?”

Sergeant Halrick just shook his head, still watching the broadcast. “... Notably, Tech Town, the largest single district in Calihain, has collapsed along with the ground…” The newscaster continued, the view on screen switching to the aftermath of the former technology district; a single steel tower still stood, water and fire all around the other collapsed buildings. “... Initial rescue efforts are being hampered by the widespread flooding from the Calihain river…”

"No idea, Karla. As…as far as I am aware, there shouldn't be any beasts or demons that could survive the AMZ. Nor is there anything that should lie underneath the land to cause it " Eyvel said, her eyes firmly fixed to the screen as she watched the ground crumble away. Her eyes went wide as she continued to look over the tower, "No….Niviea….Damn it, she is not far from there!"

“Nivi was…” Karla gasped; Eyvel’s granddaughter had been studying in Rohane Alista at her parents’ request. “Oh no… did she get out of there in time?”

"I….I don't know Karla. I hope so, but I…I just can't be sure. That said, as much as I hate to admit it…we have bigger issues to worry about," Eyvel said shaking her head, before looking to Sgt. Halrick, "Sergeant, I want you to try to get in contact with Rohanian command. See if we can get a clue as to what's going on."

“Chief… they were in the,” he waved at the screen, pausing for a moment. “Collapsed area. I don’t think they’re likely to answer. I was planning to see if we could get in contact with, uh… your brother.”

Eyvel shook her head, her hand balling into a fist as she slammed against the wall. She sighed, looking towards Halrick as she spoke, “Damn it….Just frakking great. Alright, guess we have no choice then….Sgt, get Glaristant on the horn and we will get this sorted."

Karla patted Eyvel’s shoulder, “If she is still alive, she will be found, Ey. Just… maybe talk with Ky when you get the chance.”

“Will do, chief,” Halrick nodded, already utilizing the satellite communications network to try and make a connection. “Never thought it would actually be worthwhile to haul all this crap so far out…”

"I fully plan on talking with her after we're done with my id…my brother. Hope you don't mind tagging along with me…" Eyvel said, giving Karla a pained smile as she took hold of the headset. She sighed as she heard a familiar voice answer, all the while thinking Here goes nothing…

Crescere Palace, Glaristant

The light yellow and orange rays of the Glaristanti sun had just begun to peek over the summit of Mt. Ivrea, as the night dissipated on the grounds of Crescere Palace. In spite of the early hour, the home of the Glaristanti royal family hummed with life as grounds keepers tended to the palace’s expansive gardens. The interior of the palace was no less busy as servants and maids set about preparing the palace for the long day ahead, fixing paintings and tending to the fixtures. Even the royal family was already at work, as within the royal chambers the Glaristanti royals were wide awake. Rolven for his part was reviewing a series of documents and holobooks, all the while occasionally nursing a large cup of coffee, “Ugh….it never does end, Pet. Honestly, one would think we would at least get some reprieve given it’s a weekend….”

Petra, for her part, had a massive mug of coffee, the steam still rising off of it as she stared bleary eyed at the TV in the corner of the room, which was currently displaying children’s cartoons. “Wha?” she looked over to Rolven, somewhat blankly. “Did you know that Ty loves the green one?” She added, pointing to the cartoon, where a green kobold was currently getting caught in every trap on screen. “Sorry, did you need something? I’m… not awake…”

Rolven chuckled as he moved towards Petra's side, placing a hand on his wife's shoulder. Of the two of them, he knew she had had the most difficulty adapting to their new schedule. He suppressed a snort as he watched the kobold fall into yet another trap, "Oh nothing, just mulling over a few work things love. …But yes, I know little Ty loves Quizmos there. Honestly hard not to see why…"

“Maybe we can get him a Quizmos thing for their birthday, that’s coming up soon,” Petra muttered, leaning her head back into her husband as much as she could. “If that kobold steps in one more of his own traps, I swear to Camille, I’m going to Dyste and asking Tynah to get it banned.” As she finished talking, Quizmos did, indeed, step in another of his own traps.

Rolven stroked his wife’s hair, paying little attention to the show as he listened to her, “I can see about getting him once the next time we’re out in Arnhem. Might make for a good birthday present for him GWAHAHAHAHA!” Rolven chuckled, leaning into his wife as he nuzzled her, “Honestly, I can appreciate a bit of physical comedy here and there but….this is getting ridiculous.”

“Agreed,” Petra said, finally drinking some of her ridiculous mug of coffee, grabbing the remote and changing the channel at random. “Oh, gods damnit, I just remembered I have that guest appearance today on, uh… some talk show?”

“Ah right, they hosted you on that show with Morgan Ostwind, The Sunrise Hour, right? The producers seemed quite pleased with the outcome of your appearance there.” Rolven said, resting his head on his wife’s shoulder as the channels switched. They could see Petra in a well appointed set across from a green scaled tanager man and turquoise skinned sylph in a white suit.

“Nope, I refuse to watch it,” Petra said. “They didn’t even let me pick my own damn outfit, never do anymore,” she grumbled, changing the channel again, this time landing on the morning news which seemed to be in the middle of a weather forecast. “Another bright and sunny day, it seems. Maybe I’ll take the boys somewhere.”

Rolven just chuckled, tousling her hair as he watched the news. Between the sunlight creeping into the room and the news, if indeed seemed like it would be a lovely day. "We could always take them out to the riverfront, do a little shopping. Maybe get them some ice cream if they are good." Rolven mused

“You’re gonna come along?” Petra asked, her eyebrow raising as she looked up at him. “You know you’re going to have to fight Mirik to get that time off, right?” She added with a giggle as she focus back on the screen as the weather report was cut off by a breaking news bulletin. “Huh?”

“Oh I know, but it is not like I have not earned some time off. Especially after these past few….What in Bahamut’s name…” Rolven said, his eyes growing wide as he watched the weather report be replaced by live footage from Calihain. He watched in disbelief as a titanic golden tower emerged within the city, causing a cascade of destruction that radiated out in every direction as it soared skyward. Skyscrapers toppled into the buckling streets below, all the while he could make out countless scared souls trying to flee the destruction in vain. He gripped his wife’s shoulder, seemingly preparing for the pain that was to come.

“Rolven, ouch,” Petra muttered, but her eyes were locked on the screen as she watched the destruction. “What kind of… sick prank is this supposed to be?”

"I…I don't know, Petra. Whoever is responsible is one sick fuck though…." Rolven cursed as he saw a street give way before the view cut back to an unbroken shot of the tower. He took his hand off his wife.

“What the fuck,” Petra joined the cursing as the aerial view switched to show the wall appearing out of the ground as well. “Rolven, I… this is definitely fake, right?”

"I… not certain, Pet. If it is a fake, it's a very convincing one. That said, who the fuck gains from this…"Rolven muttered as he heard heavy footfalls coming from the hall outside their chambers, soon coming to a stop outside their door. A heavy hand pounded the door as Mirik's voice could be heard, seemingly filled with panic, “Your majesties, my apologies for rousing you this early….but there is an urgent matter in Calihain that requires your attention.” The door swung open to reveal Mirik clad in a wrinkled dress shirt and pants accompanied by a member of their guard carrying a radio. The havoc dragon looked toward the tv before looking back to the royals, “I see…’ve already witnessed what happened. Good, means we can get to business quicker.””

“Mirik?” Petra said, looking over the surprisingly unkempt looking aide of her husband’s. “Mirik, I don’t understand any of this, what the fuck is this supposed to be? What happened?”

“We’re still not entirely sure, milady….but what we do know is that whatever that tower is….It’s destroyed a good chunk of the Rohanian capital. Killed at least a few million or more as it devastated the city.” Mirik remarked grimly as she gestured the guard member forward. He presented the radio to the pair and pressed a blue button on it, all the while Mirik remarked, “We’re still getting all of the details for it…but in the meantime, some of our allies and associates are waiting for your response, your majesties.”

“Oi! Rolven, Petra…can you hear me?” came the voice of Eyvel echoed from the phone.

“A… few million?” Petra repeated softly, ignoring the call as she seemed to mentally shut down. “Camille save them…”

Rolven did his best to comfort his wife, holding her close as he reached to grab the radio with his free hand. Normally, he wouldn’t have a fielded such a call, but in his drained state he acted on instinct. His tone harshened as he responded, “As always, you picked a terrible time to call, Eyvel. For your sake, I hope this is important…..”

The former queen of Glaristant said nothing for a moment, the call crackling with static as Rolven heard some shouting in the background. After what seemed like an eternity, she at last responded, “Good to hear from you too, brother. Rudeness aside, I’ll assume you and Petra have seen the shit show that is unfolding in Calihain. Well, seems like it’s just gotten worse. My men and I just confirmed that most of the Rohanian High Command as gone nor have we heard anything from the senates. Seems like the entire capital is in frakking chaos because of this.”

Rolven growled, rolling his eyes at Eyvel’s comments, “Yeah, I kind of figured given how much of the city is either in ruins or in disarray. Now if you don’t have anything new to add then….Good…”

“Just hold up. There’s more.” Eyvel remarked, growling in turn as her brother heard the rustling of papers on his sister’s end, “I spoke with Kiara a few moments ago. Seems like there is more to the story than what we are seeing on the broadcast. She apparently had a vision this morning that showed Rohane being drowned in a horrific cataclysm, as well as some unknown foe taking three powerful women hostage. Marron and Mythra were two of them, but the last was your grand niece. Given that she is in Rohane at IU and this….I think it might be wise of us to see about getting her out of there. That’s saying nothing of the fact you and Petra need to determine how you will respond.”

“Rolven…” Petra looked at her husband, tears in her eyes. “Rolven, we have to send help. Everything we can, money, food, people…”

“I…We’ll do more than just that, Petra. That…that you can count on.” Rolven said, holding his wife tighter as he tried to comfort her. He exhaled, speaking back into the phone, “You can be sure that we will be organizing and sending every bit of relief we can to Rohane ASAP. Be it money, troops, medical supplies or otherwise….they’ll get it. You can count on it….What about you though, sister? What are you going to do…”

“Obviously, my men and I are going to Calihain as soon as we finish up our contract here. I don’t know how much help we will be, but I will be damned before I sit on my hands while its in trouble. That’s to say nothing of the fact that I have no intention of letting Nivi end up in trouble”

The king sighed, before letting out a grim laugh, “For all of your many….many fucking flaws, sister….You always did know what was important when the chips were down. I….Just try not to die, sister. Bahamut knows Tynah would be pissed if you let yourself get killed again….”

“Don’t,” Petra said softly. “It’s bad enough without you two fighting again. Just… just don’t…”

“Alright….” Rolven muttered, holding the phone away for a moment as he kissed his wife on her forehead. Speaking once more into the radio, he grumbled, “Ey…..Please…try to take care of yourself and Karla while you’re there….And best of luck to you, sister. Hopefully soon, the two of you and Niviea will be back here safe and sound.”

“I will try, Rolvy….can’t promise anything though. And…I suppose good luck to you two as well.” Eyvel muttered before hanging up.. Rolven handed the radio back to the guard member as he looked to Mirik. His normally soft expression hardened with resolve as he spoke, “Mirik, assemble the state council for a meeting in two hours. Make sure everyone is there, from the ministers, the parliament leaders, and the military and that they are ready for a long one. We’re going to stay until we have a relief package for Rohane hammered out, even if it takes all night.”

Mirik nodded in affirmation as she and the guard hurried out of the room, slamming the door shut behind them. Rolven for his part sat down next to Petra, resting a hand on her thigh, “Pet….I know it’s hard to believe right now….but we will get through this, as will your people. You can rest assured I will do everything I can to make sure that they pull through.”

She didn’t respond with words, collapsing into her husband’s arms, still staring at the TV.

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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Dyste » Mon May 16, 2022 6:25 pm

(OoC: Co-Written with Glaristant)

Auroran Palace, Dal Riata

The vast silver halls of the home of the goddess of the dead were eerily quiet, with the normal flow of petitioners and servants coming to the goddess being nonexistent. Yet in spite of the stillness in the halls, an anxious energy filled the halls as loud footfalls echoed through them. "My apologies for the lack of pomp for your visit today, Glacia but Lady Kyara has been in a rather foul mood ever since she heard about Niviea. It has gotten to the point where she has holed herself up in her chambers, refusing to let even the staff check in on her. Perhaps you will have better luck with her than we have." Said the silver skinned deva as she led Glacia to Kyara's personal chambers. Felice did not bother to knock as she handed her guest a polished platinum key, gesturing for her to enter.

Glacia for her own part had been quite shaken about it, but she knew that Kyara would be just as distraught as she herself was. Taking the key without saying anything, she nodded at Felice as she opened up the room, hoping that at least the goddess would be willing to speak to her.

Glacia had not even taken one step into the room before hearing the rustling of wings behind her. She could feel a familiar hand on her shoulder, as her mother in law's voice filled her ears. "I hope you don't mind me tagging along, but I figured you could use the help with Ky." Looking behind her, Glacia could see her mother in her archon form, clad in a black leotard with a brilliant white halo hovering over her head.

“Oh… Ey…” Glacia sighed; her own hair was still unkempt and her eyes still had marks from the tears. “I… thank you. I don’t know if I could do this myself…” she patted Eyvel’s shoulder. “It’s been rough enough for me, but for her… let’s see her, okay?”

Eyvel nodded, giving the goddess a warm smile as she led her into Kyara's chambers. The rooms seemed to be in utter disarray, with furniture and clothing scattered hapazardly about. The duo could see all manner of liquor bottle shattered and gathered around the room, all the while heating faint sobbing coming from the balcony. Eyvel said nothing as she pulled her daughter in law towards the source of the sobbing, doing her best to not make a sound. They could see Kyara curled up on a couch overlooking the city of Cohlane below,, her head resting her hands as she wept. She whimpered, "Why ..why…didn't I just have her stay here. None of this would have happened had it not been for me…."

Glacia felt a sharp pain in her chest as she saw Kyara acting this way; neither of them could’ve expected that Niviea would’ve ended up in a situation like this, but still… she slowly floated over with Eyvel, as she reached the couch, sitting beside her, “Ky…” she said softly.

Kyara leaned into Glacia, the tanager goddess's unkempt hair falling onto the elven goddess. Glacia could see her wife's eyes bore the marks of many hours of continuous crying, all the while Ky muttered, "Cuddle elf….we screwed up, badly…We should never have let Nivi go to Rohane…."

Glacia sniffed, embracing Kyara, “I… I know… it just seemed like a good idea at the time. But I… we couldn’t have known… nothing like this ever happens there… but it… I don’t…” she started sobbing again.

Kyara was about to reply, but was cut off as she and Glacia felt fine hands upon their shoulders. The tanager goddess looked up to see her mother giving the pair a stern, yet reassuring look. "Sweethearts, I realize that you two are upset, but you need to understand two things. First and foremost, is that there is nothing you could have done to prevent what happened to Nivi. You had no way of knowing, let alone stopping this at the time she left to study there. So there is no need to shoulder the blame for that when it is not yours to bear. Secondly…" the archon said, her expression hardening as her cyan's regarded the pair. Her tone was firm as she spoke, "Crying over her now is not helping either of you, particularly not when there are steps you can take to help both her and Rohane."

Glacia sniffed, “I… know it’s not helpful, but what can we do? Ey, you know I can’t step foot in Rohane Alista, right? The zone would be lethal to me; my divinity is too strong to be there.”

"If memory serves, both of you have orders of mortal followers who are combat capable, do you not?" Eyvel remarked, raising an eyebrow at Glacia's comments. Resting her hand on her hip, she gave the pair a confused debt smile, "It's a bit of a long shot, but they could accompany my men and I to RA on a relief mission. While our primary goal will be rebuilding the country, we should nonetheless be able to spare a good amount of time to look for Niviea."

“Well…” Glacia sniffed, “I think at least some of them would be capable of fighting just as well in Rohane as they would in Silverdale.” While several relied on magic both arcane and divine, others were fighters that didn’t need such abilities. “... I believe I have some people capable of that. … what do you think, Ky? Do you trust your mother in helping us here? Niviea is her granddaughter, after all…”

"It is better than just sitting impotently around here. Though…it is not without it's risks…" Kyara sniffled, resting her head on Glacia's shoulder. Though she wouldn't admit it, the tanager goddess was somewhat stunned by her mother's suggestion, having thought she would be the last person to offer such an idea. Kyara nodded at Glacia's remark, "I…I suppose so. She's had her issues, but mom always did care about her family when push came to shove. So if mama says she will go after Nivi, then I fully trust that she will. That said, I still am concerned that your new status might end up leading to you being hurt…"

“Oh, right…” Glacia seemed concerned, “Ey, you’re an archon now, right? The zone shouldn’t affect you as badly as us, but you might feel some of the effects of it. At the very least, you’ll need to limit your usage of the powers Brasa granted you.”

"That is definitely a concern, yes. Yet with that being said, both you and Ky are forgetting that I am more than capable of making do without the abilities Brasa has granted me. After all, I did manage without them or fancy magic for the better of five centuries…GAHAHAHA!" Eyvel bellowed, giving a raucous laugh as she patted the two deities on the shoulders. Kyara rolled her eyes at her mother's laugh, all the while struggling to stifle a giggle.

Glacia giggled softly, feeling a little better about the situation. “... alright, Ey… I’ll let you worry about that. I’ll try to coordinate a few forces to help you. Just… try and save Nivi, and help out the people there.”

"You have my promise that I will, Glacia." Eyvel remarked. She embraced the two deities, saying to them, "Sweeties, I want you to promise me that you will not fret over Niviea for the time being. Rather, I want you to focus on doing what you can to continue with your duties and helping each other. Heck, it might not be a bad idea for you to take a bit of a break for the next few days .."

“That… might be for the best,” Glacia sighed; she had been stressing herself out too much as of recently. “What do you say, Ky? We both are simply too distraught to really be thinking straight for the next while anyways… maybe we need to do that.”

"I…Well…Who am I kidding? Neither of us are ready in any shape to be doing our jobs for the time being. So perhaps a little break would do us some good." Kyara sighed, as she looked out towards Cohlane, "Hrm….I suppose we could see about us spending a few days in the Paradise or in Solis's realm to clear our heads. Would that work for you, cuddle elf?"

“Yes, that might be for the best,” Glacia nodded, “Sariel can handle some of my faith’s affairs while I am out. … I’m sure Nivia is still alive, Ky. All that we need to do is to trust in them to bring her home.”

"Felice should be able to handle things while I am away. And…I…I hope you are right, Glaci." Kyara said, taking Glacia's hand as she snuggled close to her. Looking back to Eyvel she spoke, "Mom…please be careful out there. Brasa knows I would rather not lose you for a second time…"

"Ky, you need not worry about me. I have no intention of dying on you for a second time." Eyvel said, flapping her wings once as she lifted off. A blue rift appeared above the balcony, with Eyvel giving her daughter's a wave goodbye as she bid them farewell, "Take care you two. Oh and try not to get into too much trouble in your little vacation."

Glacia sighed, wiping some of Kyara’s tears away, “C’mon, Ky… let’s try and take our minds off this for a bit. Your mother won’t let us down.”

"I…I…just worry about her, cuddle elf. I can't pin it, but something still just feels off with her…" Kyara muttered as she rested her head on Glacia's lap, her eyes fixating on the Auroras above the palace.

“Hm? What do you mean, Ky?” Glacia asked.

"Normally, she wouldn't be so eager to throw herself into the line of fire like this, especially not when we don't know all the details. She would take time to weigh the options and then plan her move. Yet, she's not doing that here…nor did she with her mission to Silverdale." Kyara mused as she watched the rift her mother travel through vanish, "It's almost like she just doesn't care about her own safety anymore."

Glacia shook her head, “Perhaps we should consult Brasa on this, she is her archon now after all… gives us something to do on our break, I suppose.”
Dyste: A nation of large, long-lived, magic-using dragon-people (Draconids) ruled by a legendary adventurer. Realism? What's that?
Embassy Program
Rulers: King Tyroth, Queen Sarisa, Prime Minister Zihark Jemson
Capital: Valitora
Government Type: Semi-Constitutional Monarchy
Population: 14,457,200, Draconid Majority (60%), Kobold/Dino/Elven/Pony/Human minorities
Founded: Early 15th century
Tech: Lower-tech fantasy (can RP with PT/MT)
Canadian, fan of Video Games (Nintendo in particular) and Tabletop RPGs.
I love RP'ing, but note my schedule can be iffy at times. If you want to RP with me, TG me and we can talk.

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Founded: Jan 21, 2011
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Legokiller » Tue May 24, 2022 5:22 pm

Foxy News


Summer appeared to be both exciting yet at the same time quite shocking! As both the preparation and what she read from the telegraph showed, she seemed to be in a state of awe. “Reports live that a magical anomaly broke in Rohane Alista.”

She then slammed her hand. “Yes, you heard that right: Rohane Alista! Not sold? then allowed me to show you the footage from the epicenter itself.”

The screen began to display the site of armageddon of Calihain itself. The earth split in half, and the dust storm covered the sky. All with the city broke apart and sent into the fissure itself. Then cut to the golden tower itself.

“This is real! No illusion, no cgi!” Summer spoke up in horror. “We haven’t received the full world of the death toll from the official government of Rohane Alista. However, our experts made a low estimate of about a few million at best. In the worst case: half the whole city’s population of seven million.”

Summer paused just to allow both the crew on set and the audience to soak in on the reaction. She knew that millions of her watchers, mostly leaning to the right end and onlookers, will be shocked by it. Even then the news will be repeated by her rival stations and other media outlets! Yet she’ll try to make sure to get the last part of this story.

“Both Empress and the Queens announced their full support to rush humanitarian aid, rescue teams, and refugee centers for those who lost their lives. As to quote ‘our friends are in their most dire time, and we must aid them in any means.’”Summer said. “There will be a future speech I’ll say. So we’re expecting a whole one later this week.”

A small pause came to the fox as the screen turned to the next subject of the day.

“In other news, a controversy storms the internet after a far-left activist Shadow Duststone mocked and insulted Glacia.” Summer gave an expression of pure disgust. “All caring of her ‘privileged’ with everything given in the world as a goddess and insulted her for not being a real victim of this tragedy. All worse is that he called for a revolution to overthrow the Rohane Government.”

She then shook her head. “Is this how our country falls under? A foolish comment for our people who lost a daughter? Well, fortunately…” The news covered the stream of comments in a flame war, both bashing and agreeing, all before the stream chat was muted. “His account is not only the streaming service was suspected, but many of the major platforms removed his voice and platform. It seems that some will protect our goddess, which is a good thing to do so! We can’t have bad apples out there I’ll say.”

Seasonal Palace, Snowy Light

Queen Snow turned off the gruesome display on the TV to avoid her heart sinking, and a desire to heal many. It’d exhausted her magic, if she was capable at all, to do so! Oh, what she could do now? The events occurred and now it is only to react! However, there was something off about the events. All as the elven woman named Nico stepped in.

“Oh! Lady Nico…” Snow sighed. “Did you find anything of note from the data I sent you?” She selected the dragon elf to do so as this was truly magical that needed to be searched.

“I’ve reviewed the findings from the expedition upon your request,” Nico spoke up. “I understand that from other legends from the tunnels to the tome Mythra once wielded from Mechanus, that there might be a link to the Ex Machina. However upon closer examination: this isn’t the case. This is no experiment set by Nebula from the past and present. This is something else.”

“Far grander than the manipulations of the fallen type-deus unit?” Snow nodded. “Then we’re facing a whole new entity altogether then.”

“I am afraid so. I mean…” Nico began to mutter until she spilled it out. “This called serious consideration and the being might not be a creation or punishment of Enwe. If she witnessed a group of humans deny the gods and deliver this years ago, then it’d be a sound story, but this is false. Evidence pointed out there was magic even at the time of Dragon Sea Alliance’s arrival, and people before. It faded grandly over centuries until it was a dead magical zone, then a sudden divine strip of magic over an island. So if this being is the reason behind it… Then this could be far more sinister.”

Snow nodded her head. “That might be so indeed. The motivation of this creature to contain, punish, and destroy many lives is vile. Marks a sign of intelligence, or incomprehensible madness, of the being we face.”

“An eldritch abomination. That is possible.” Nico grimaced as she looked into her binder. “Look, I’ll send word to a few agents from the ninja to others to try and gather any samples from the field.”

“Good.” Queen Snow nodded. “I do intend to send as much aid as possible. Of course… There is one last matter I might need to attend to.”

“Y-You mean Glacia correct?” Nico asked.

“Yes. I want to let my beautiful love elf know that I, alongside the rest of Silverdale, will do everything we can to rescue her daughter.” Snow stated. “Nivia is our elflet too.”
Silverdale's Factbook! Poi Poi Poi Resurrected! Silverdale News Thread
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Rohane Alista
Chargé d'Affaires
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Founded: Nov 24, 2012
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Rohane Alista » Wed May 25, 2022 3:34 pm

The Day After

Calihain News Network

"The Joint Senates have declared an indefinite Bank Holiday and the closure of the Calihain Stock Market following the disaster in Calihain, backdating the effective time to before the markets opened yesterday morning in order to halt the tumbling of the Rohanian economy," Ariel Reading read from the teleprompter, but not all the television makeup in the world could hide the shaken expression on her face. "They have also passed emergency measure JSEM1356, which has indefinitely suspended all incoming flights to Rohane Alista that are not for essential matters; in addition, civilian sea travel was also suspended.

"Rescue efforts are already underway in the ruined districts and suburbs of southern Calihain, with hope quickly dwindling for those who may still be caught behind the wall. With the area inaccessible to boats and surface vehicles, the airspace over all of Calihain has now been cordoned off by the Air Force in order to ensure efficient movement of rescue planes and helicopters. Highways and other roads around the affected area have also been closed while emergency medical treatment facilities are erected.

"The first speculative damage report has released from the Ministries of the Interior and Trade. Initial economic losses are placed at nearly one trillion Nami in physical damage alone, with currently incalculable knock-on effects. In terms of human losses…" the red headed woman stopped, speaking again in a shaky voice. "It is believed that due to the timing, approximately eleven million people were in the affected areas, which included Tech Town and an uncertain number of travelers at the Calihain International Airport. Authorities still express their belief that many of these people, while injured, will be able to be saved with swift action."

The screen cut to commercial, though this time all the normal ones were replaced by government warnings and charity requests.


Over The Next Two Weeks

Over the next few days, things seemed to calm slightly in Calihain; the initial shock wore off, the horror rolled through and settled into a grim determination to see as many people saved as possible. Military and civilian helicopters made constant trips over and across the wall, carrying in supplies or out people. Pilots, doctors, nurses, firefighters, and various other rescue personnel form across the nation arrived as they were able; planes were soon taking off from the Imperius Capital airstrip, the Air Force’s main base in the greater Calihain region, taking the sick and wounded from behind the wall or hospitals in Calihain to other places in Rohane Alista to free up room for those who couldn’t be moved.

The people of Calihain had, by and large, begun to rally around those who had lost everything; shelters were created, or expanded, public buildings opened for the newly homeless, empty houses or apartments filled with people in need of a home. It would be a lie to say people felt hopeful, but they were feeling unified, across the nation.

And then, in the early morning of the third day after the rise of the tower in Calihain, it happened again. Near Turlia City, on the shores of Lake Amerette, a golden spire burst through the lake itself, ascending to tower over the city, a golden cage glowing near the top as the sky once again darkened, waves crashing against the lakefront districts, but no wall to split the city in half.

The response was swifter this time; there was less destruction, and the seat of government hadn’t been hit, but the deeper effects were obvious. Horror had been replaced by fear. The largest, safest city in Rohane Alista had no warning as nearly half of it collapsed into the earth, and now there was proof it wasn’t only Calihain at risk; if the towers could strike twice, why couldn’t they strike again?

That very evening, another tower rose in the Morhale range of northern Rohane Alista, right on the Malgravean border, proving these worst fears very real. The rising spire collapsed an entire mountain into the valley below, a huge rockslide destroying the only major roadway to the provinces capital, as the sky darkened.

Perhaps it was fortune that the only major damage was the road, but such luck wasn’t to last for the terrified people of Rohane Alista; in the middle of the night, as the people of Finrah slept fitfully, a golden spire began to break through the city hall, soon causing the center of the town of hundreds of thousands to collapse in on itself, a destruction even more total than that of Calihain. There was no need for golden walls to bisect this city, because it no longer existed at all.

The towers came quicker and more destructive than ever as Finrah fell, more and more towers appearing throughout the night and the next few days. Smaller towns fell prey to disruptions in the earth, or the rising of towers, a handful at first, but ever increasing; in the southwest, the ancient city of Altisan was surrounded by two towers, one to the north and one to the south, and in the deserts of Alista spires burst through the sand in their numbers.

Within seven days, there were seventeen towers in Rohane Alista, and in every place they rose, the skies turned dark, and the strange cages atop the spires pulsed with a glowing energy that clearly was out of place in the land of anti-magic. It seemed the other major cities of the nation had avoided the chaos as the days passed and no new towers rose for several of them; still, the people of Rohane Alista were in shock, stricken by fear and confusion as more and more golden towers rose over their nations, and many mourned lost friends and families, or feared what would happen when the food or water ran out; many major road and railways had been destroyed, the rivers and lakes disrupted and changed by the damage to the earth.

As the people of the nation got to work on doing something, anything, about the catastrophic destruction, they were given a new dose of terror as three new towers rose, all at the same time, all with empty cages. One rose under Sanirego, crushing the industrial heartland of Rohane Alista in half an hour; another under Jacobius, causing the cliffs of the city to crumble away, taking it and the Imperial Army Academy into the sea; and finally, the ground under Barhist, the 'City of the Lamia', the greatest success story for an immigrant race to Rohane Alista began to shake and buildings fall, all while strange, hostile white centipedal creatures began appearing through the earth itself in Calihain.
Last edited by Rohane Alista on Wed May 25, 2022 3:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Conservative Democracy

Postby Glaristant » Fri May 27, 2022 2:54 pm

Leo looked up from his laptop, a frown on his face, turning to watch Laoise try and get Rana to actually eat her cereal. "There's been another one overnight. That takes it to seventeen of these things. Laoise, that plaque we saw in the tunnels… it really was some kind of future prediction. The emergency kits are all prepared, right?"

Laoise was busy coaxing Rana into eating a spoonful of cereal, "C'mon sweetie…open up for the mag-lev…Oh by Feroina, you have got to be kidding me." The lamia groaned as she slithered over to her husband, watching the chaos unfold in the screen, "I had been hoping it was just a nightmare, but seems like that isn't the case. But yeah, all of the kids are packed, love."

"Good, if things go down here, I don't intend to be caught in it," Leo said, giving his wife a quick kiss. "The news is also saying that the food and water are running out… not even the government can cover the obligated debts for food shipments, much less get it to people quickly…"

"Leo let's not kid ourselves….We can't stay here for much longer, especially not with the girls and the food shortages. I…I." Laoise's scowl shifted to a frown as she looked out the window, her eyes falling upon the spires of Barhist, "I hate to say it, but we might need to leave soon."

"I know," Leo frowned and nodded. "I hate it, though. This is our home, Laoise, the entire nation. This is where we belong."

"Don't think I don't loathe the idea as well, Leo. Leaving our home, our entire lives here to ruin….It just feels wrong to leave the life we're building here" Laoise admitted.

Leo sighed, watching his daughters, Rana and Leila, play fight. "The kids won't know any better, they're far too young. Small mercies."

"I..suppose, but even then…the move is going to be taxing on all of us. That's not even account for us needing to figure out where we go." Laoise said, shaking her head as she sat down next to Leo. Her tail rested on his thigh as she looked into eyes, seeming on the verge of tears, "Where are we even going to go?"

"Alistara first," Leo said, slowly rubbing Laoise's tail. "From there… I read they're opening up ships out of the country, just not in. We can catch one to, I don't know, Dyste?"

"I…see…Hrm…" Laoise thought, cuddling up to her husband as she watched her daughter's at play. "It would give the girls a good home, particularly if we were in Valitora. Hell, I could see about checking with the local clan mother about getting us housing there…."

“... until the whole country falls into the sea, I’m not leaving forever,” Leofric shook his head. “Just… just for now, until this is done, that’s all. Checking with the locals is probably good… the bank holiday is still on, and I don’t think we’ve got all that much cash left, do we?”

"Never said forever, Leo…Just until whatever this lunacy blows over." Laoise remarked, giving him a pained look, "No, most of it we used getting supplies and getting the emergency kits."

“Worth it if there’s ever a need,” Leo frowned. “Still… We’ll need it to get on the boat, if anyone is even still taking Nami these days. I mean, they can’t just… refuse it, right?”

"It's….more possible than I'd like to admit. Some of the traders I saw at the market are already only taking foreign currency." Laoise shook her head, "If need be, I think I still have some silver pieces from my trip a few years back we could use…"

“They’re not taking Nami in Rohane Alista? Bastards deserve to get-” Leo began to rant, but soon stopped, standing, knocking over his chair in his haste. “Laoise. Get Rana and Leila ready. I’m grabbing the kits, now.”

Laoise nodded, moving with the tmost speed as she retrieved her daughters. Within ten minutes they were dressed and ready, standing by the door with their mother. Laoise looked nervous as she adjusted her pack and holster, "Leo come on, we don't want to wait around too long…."

Leo soon came around the corner, two duffel bags on his back, and he tossed one to Laoise. “Had to get some stuff out of the safe,” he continued, handing Laoise a revolver. “Just in case, love. Come on, you’ve felt the tremors by now I’m sure, I’m pretty sure we’ve got little time left.”

Laoise slung the bag over her shoulder, making sure it was secure before taking the revolver. She holstered it, giving her a husband a nod as a she felt another tremor shook the building, "Of course I did….Seems like they are getting more frequent too. Come on, we best get moving before things get any worse, love."

“Damn right,” Leo muttered, opening the front door and ushering the family outside. It was still early, but the sun had come up enough to be brightly reflecting off the windows in many of the sandstone buildings around their house, right in the middle of the Oasis District, though most knew it simply as ‘the Lamia district’. Leo locked the door behind them as another tremor shook the street, shrugging. “Just in case we’re wrong…”

Laoise said nothing as she took Rana and Leila in her arms, holding them close as she stayed by Leo's side. She looked out over the lamia district, a place she had called home for much of her life. She shook her head, looking back over her shoulder, "I hope we're wrong love….but given what we saw….I just don't think so."

“Neither do I,” Leo replied, soon reaching ground level at the same time as throngs of other people began leaving their homes. A terrible sound tore through the sky, a huge cracking as if a god had just reached down and snapped the earth in half, and in moments, a thin golden rod could be seen in the distance, rising over the city. “... Laoise. The car or foot?...”

"Best to go on foot, love…..unless you want to try traversing streets filled with panicking civilians." Laoise remarked, her eyes fixated on the emerging spire.

“That includes me at the moment, Laoise,” the Rohirrimi man muttered, taking Leila from his wife and picking her up. As the two moved onto the streets, other people began to also flood onto the roadway, most moving by foot in family groups, but still more were looking out their windows as the ground shook again and the golden spire on the horizon got taller and taller.

Laoise clutched Rana tightly, sticking close to Leo as the two worked their way through the growing crowd. She did her best to ignore the spire and the dread it caused within her, focusing instead on her family, "I suppose you'd technically be one, love….Still we best get moving before we get caught up in this…."

“So would you, Laoise,” Leo muttered through gritted teeth. “You’re retired, remember?” He added, finding the conversation a small distraction from the fear quickly overtaking him as the tower continued to grow, the sky growing darker as an empty golden cage appeared over the horizon and the ground around them shook harder.

People went sprawling, some into others or buildings, as the earth lurched, and with another terrible noise, the very ground under their feet started to feel like mud; flowing slowly, grabbing at the feet as it fell backwards, and a small sandstone house a ways back down the road collapsed as the road began to split and crack.

"Don't remind me…." Laoise growled, as she took Leo's hand and pulled him out of the path of a spreading fissure. With him and their children in tow, the lamia worked her way through the crowds to a safer area. "Damn it….why does this have to happen here in our home….." Laoise cursed as she saw the cage glowing in the air.

“Why does this happen anywhere?” Leo asked back, looking behind them just in time to see a whole section of the road collapse into a sinkhole. “Laoise, we’ve got to hurry, it’s getting closer and worse,” he informed his wife, as a house in front of them crumbled into the street as if to emphasize the point.

"I know, Leo…We need to pick up the pace .." Laoise muttered as she pulled her husband forward, slithering as fast as she could in the face of the growing chaos.

Leo nodded, hurrying as fast as he could; it was a simple fact that his wife was swift to traverse the increasingly uneven ground than he was, dealing with a prosthetic as he was. Even still, the family were outpacing many of those around them as the destruction spread, sandstone, glass and metal disrupting the fleeing masses further, crushing the unlucky and impeding the lucky.

“Laoise, this way!” Leo shouted, pointing down a narrower alley without the throngs of people in it. “Come on!”

Laoise nodded, pulling her family down into the alley. They hustled past a few closed businesses and a loading dock, Laoise eventually stopping near a garage as fatigue began to weigh on her.

Leo stopped as well, shushing a crying Leila as looked to Laoise. “Love, I know you’re tired, but the tower doesn’t care,” he said in a worried tone, walking back to her. Almost exactly as he reached her, the small house he had been standing in front of fell into the spot he’d just vacated, and a cry of pain could be heard from the rubble.

"I know….I know…." Laoise panted, suppressing a gasp of shock at the house crumbling before them. She looked at Leo with an expression of constrained terror, "Love ….Tell me you have a plan from here…."

"Don't die?..." Leo offered weakly, picking his way across the now quiet rubble when he was interrupted by the sound of a child crying inside. He paused, looking at Laoise with a torn expression. "Laoise, love…"

"Leo….Take the girls for a moment, would you…." Laoise said, handing off Rana to him as she slithered towards the sound. She began to dig through the rubble as quickly as she could, "Come on…..Please still be alive…"

Leo held both Rana and Leila, anxiously watching Laoise work as the rumbling of the earth grew more consistent, until she moved a large piece of collapsed wall and found the body of a woman, likely only in her early twenties, shielding a crying toddler. The woman was obviously dead, necks weren't meant to bend like hers, but the child seemed mostly unharmed excepting some small bruises and cuts as it pulled on her body.

Laoise knelt down, examining the toddler for a few moments. She donned a sweet smile as she took him into her arms, making her way back to Leo's side as she attempted to comfort the boy. "Easy there kiddo, we're going to get you out of this. I promise you…" she said, holding him as she hugged him.

"Have you got him, Laoise?" Leo asked, carrying his daughters across the rubble as the child continued to cry in her arms. The boy was reaching for the woman on the ground still, but didn't seem to be fighting against the lamia, at least.

"Yep… Now come on, let's get out of here love." Laoise said as moved to her husband's side. She tried to assuage the crying boy, craning his neck up to look to her instead of his dead mother.ther.

"Let's," Leo agreed, moving slower now that he has both their children as they emerged into another main road, but the end of this one ran right out into the desert, the end of the city, and hopefully safety, in sight. All that was in their way were masses of people, collapsing buildings, and the slow appearance of a golden wall through the earth. "Fuck! There's a wall here?"

"Feroina damn it……Where the fuck did that come from?!" Laoise cursed as she stood motionless, observing the slowly rising wall. She looked around frantically, muttering, "C'mon….there's got be a way around this."

"Over," Leo said sharply, breaking into a sprint, as fast as he could while carrying his two crying children. "If this is like Calihain…" he let the sentence hang, knowing Laoise would understand.

Laoise said nothing as she slithered towards the wall, clutching the top with one hand, she hefted herself and the toddler onto the wall. She straddled the top, gesturing Leo grab onto her tail, "Come on, Leo. A few minutes more and we're going to have a hell of a fall…."

"Here," Leo said, handing Leila and then Rana to his wife first. "Take the kids, I can't get up while holding them, even with your help," he said, glancing behind him as he saw an apartment building tilt and then collapse, water bursting out of a pipe that had become exposed. "Hurry."

Laoise pulled the twins up and set them beside her new charge. They watched in confusion as their mother hopped off the wall. Laoise lowered herself just enough so that the tip of her tail was in reach for her husband.Her gold eyes watched him with a growing expression of distress, all the while muttering, "C'mon its now or never, Leo.'

Leo watched with a wince as the ground collapsed into a sinkhole a mere five hundred feet away, running people and a car getting caught in it, and took a few steps back, then ran as hard as he could. He lept, the wall still growing taller under Laoise as he did, and he clambered up to grab ahold of her tail with a grunt, holding on for dear life. "Laoise, I don't think I can do this very long!"

Laoise said nothing, just grunting as she pulled herself and Leo up as the wall rose ever higher. The lamia groaned as she last hefted herself o to a wall, struggling to suppress a shot of pain as she reached a hand down to Leo. "Gotcha!" she cried as she secured him, holding him close as he was pulled up to safety.

Leo climbed up with Laoise's help, catching his breath on the top of the wall as it continued to reach skyward. It wasn't all that thick, just wide enough for two average sized humans to walk shoulder to shoulder, but it felt sturdier than anything made of gold had any right to, and itself felt nearly as foreboding as the tower. Leo checked on all three toddlers with them slowly, frowning as he got to the boy. "I think I recognized that woman, vaguely. Isn't… wasn't she part of one of your social clubs?" He asked Laoise.

"Yes…I occasionally saw her at meetings of the Velvet Society and District Improvement board. I never got to know her well, but she always seemed nice. I…I think her name was something…Ah Fatima Filiya." Laoise said, kissing her husband before looking to the boy.

Leo picked up the crying boy, hushing him and rocking him to no grand effect. "I don't assume she ever mentioned a… son, or a husband, or any other family? Something that can tell us his name and… if there's someone who will look for him?"

"She did mention having a son at one meeting. I think she heard I was pregnant and we got to talking. Mentioned her little boy that was named Aslan…Kyri.." Laoise said as she took the boy from her husband, holding him close as she hummed to him, "Oh yes…now I remember. His name was Askari…"

The boy finally seemed to grow quieter, yawning and falling asleep in Laoise's arms. "Askari… there was a king of Alista named that," Leo muttered. "This is awful, Laoise, but I don't know if we can take him with us."

"Leo….look around you. If we leave here or in Alista, odds are he is going to end up dead. I'm sorry, but we can't just leave him behind." Laoise said, giving her husband a stern look, "Besides….think of it this way. We can finally have that son you've always wanted…"

"I didn't mean to leave him right here!" Leo replied in irritation. "But… can we even afford the cost to get him to Dyste? Or the water to get us all to Alistara? And… and I have always wanted a son, but I need to look after my family too, love…"

"I understand that, love. And trust me, it is something I am weighing quite heavily." Laoise responded in irritation as she continued to cradle the boy. She looked out over the ruined city for a moment as she wondered her options. "I know it's a bit of a long shot, but I do know a supply cache we could…requisition to provide us with enough supplies to get us all to Alistara. Should have enough water for us all….As for Dyste, between the silver piece and that heirloom I bought…it should just be enough."

"We're not selling your heirlooms," Leo insisted, opening his pack as the wall finally stopped moving, pulling out climbing gear and a rope. "But you're right as usual, i can't do it either. If… if we need to sell something, Laoise… we'll sell my dad's knife. It's got those jewels in it…"

Laoise was about to protest, but just shook her head as gathered her climbing gear. She secured the lines on the top of the wall, looking to Leo, "We'll find a way to make it love, even if it means selling off either. That said, we can worry about that later …as for now we still have to get our family out of here."

"Right," Leo sighed, testing the lines and making sure they were secure. "How are we getting the kids down? They're not exactly going to be able to do it alone."

Laoise chuckled as she reached into her pack, withdrawing a pair of child sized harnesses. She tossed them to her husband, while she took a handful of rope and began to knot it, "I bought a few harnesses for the emergency kits, just in case. They should allow you to get the girls down….I'll have to improvise something for Askari though." Laoise remarked

“Right, I’ll take the girls, then,” Leo said, fitting Leila into her harness with great effort as he spoke, looking out over what had once been Barhist, triumph of Rohane Alista’s acceptance, and was now a ruins dedicated to a horrifying golden tower as the sky turned nearly as dark as a moonless, cloudy night. “Laoise… I had to get part of my leg amputated, and this is still the worst day of my life.”

"Think about how I feel Leo…." Laoise said, her voice dripping with sadness as she surveyed the shattered ruins of Barhist. Tears flowed down her cheeks as she saw the lamia district swallowed up by the ground, "My hometown is gone, as are who knows how many friends and family. And worst of all….we don't have a home for the kids anymore…."

“I know, love,” Leo frowned, crying quietly himself even as he fit Rana into her harness as well. “But… at least we have each other, right? Each other and a chance to live. If there are only two things I can have, then I’m glad it’s those two. Now… come on, we don’t know if Alistara will still be there at this rate…”

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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Dyste » Fri May 27, 2022 7:02 pm

In the throne room of Castle Dyste, Tynah Blackfang was on edge; she had only been properly crowned queen for about a month, and now all those blasted towers in Rohane Alista had emerged. By the time they had been processing everything, then twenty more had emerged across the land!

“Your Majesty?” Rylux Crescent looked over at his cousin. “Your focus has been slipping. I was just saying that parliament has approved of more refugees from Rohane Alista. Is something the matter?”

“I just… have been thinking about something, Rylux.” The queen contemplated, “Have I ever told you about my travels in Rohane Alista as a youth?”

“The time you punched an emu,” Rylux growned. “Yes, yes, of course…”

“No… not that. Well, yes that, but I was thinking about a group of elves we came across… the Morasti, I think they were called?”

“Yes, I have heard of them before, from the stories about the Dragon Sea Alliance’s first adventure,” Rylux recalled his mentor’s notes on the era. “But what about them?”

“Well, meeting them was when I got the chance to explore the tunnel network underneath the land. And, well, you showed me that picture of the walls, right? Did it not match up with that report from the Black Army?”

“Oh, that cartographer?” Rylux recalled that report, “The kobold had been obsessed with the drawings on that tunnel network ever since then, I hear. Perhaps if people paid more attention to him… but no, it could not have been prevented like that. That said, do you know it these ‘Morasti’ would be responsible…”

“No, certainly not,” Tynah shook her head, “... but Melux took meticulous notes of everything we did during those times. Perhaps… he might know something…” Tynah sighed, “I do not wish to bother him in his retirement, though…”

“Oh, do not worry, Your Majesty,” Rylux smirked, “All of his recordings are in the Royal Library.”

“Then get to it; parliament will be dealing with the matters of refugees and potential aid for Rohane Alista, but I… I need to discuss matters with an old friend.” Tynah wasn’t sure just where he was currently, but she knew Jacobi was still alive; something like this could not keep that man down, he would be working on a way to solve this. And she would help in any way she could…
Dyste: A nation of large, long-lived, magic-using dragon-people (Draconids) ruled by a legendary adventurer. Realism? What's that?
Embassy Program
Rulers: King Tyroth, Queen Sarisa, Prime Minister Zihark Jemson
Capital: Valitora
Government Type: Semi-Constitutional Monarchy
Population: 14,457,200, Draconid Majority (60%), Kobold/Dino/Elven/Pony/Human minorities
Founded: Early 15th century
Tech: Lower-tech fantasy (can RP with PT/MT)
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The Ctan
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Ctan » Sat May 28, 2022 8:21 pm

Triarch Council War Rooms, Tephet-Sheta, Duat
Day One

Airaheri nos Elenúr passed through the secure door linking inner Triarch chambers to the outer ring of offices and support areas. These areas were usually busy, with any number of political and legislative advisers, as well as military officers. While the Triarch Council were theoretically the heads of state for the Great Civilization, they were more important as the coordinators of disparate elements of the vast society.

Airaheri wore a seal that allowed her access to the innermost controlled areas, as did her companion and lifeward Salamand who followed with her. She had been here earlier than most of the others, she had been a senior adviser for Ranisath and his own co-counsellors, and even the permanent staff had largely changed.

Not all though.

Elash smiled and clasped her wrist to Airaheri’s. She was the head of the Office of the Triarch, the coordinator of their high-level agents, and the top civilian within that chain of command, she too had served since the reconstitution of the office.

The general situation room was a familiar space, with a wide holographic table with surrounding screens, several stations for analysts and telepresence terminals and couches, and a small set of break areas for different biologics around the room.

The monitors around the room showed live feeds from a dozen situations, Airaheri recognized them, ranging from the apocalyptic interstellar war-fronts of the Static and the Unitarian Stellar Empire, to the more delicate across several worlds, some as small as an expedition to a world known as Caer Lliw, while others were more significant. The Alduinic Crisis still affected Mystria, and the Grogarite war was ongoing, as was the suppression of the Primordial Annihilator there.

“What do you make of these?” Elash asked.

Airaheri was a fixture for a good reason, she was an archmage of rare, and more importantly, diverse powers, she had been trained by Sirithil nos Fëanor thousands of years ago, and she had joined the C’tani in the early days, before Ruti-Asar.

“It’s not the Enemy,” Elash said. Several others, notably Axatirno nos Olormaranwe and Sautekh ite Sunwoo Su-Jin, the former was one of the three Triarch councillors, and the latter one of the senators on duty, turned to regard Airaheri. Elash continued, “We’ve had that verified. But we need opinions on what it is and what threat it poses.”

She looked at the group, and then at the towers and images relayed, somewhat pixelated by magic content filters. “They won’t pose an immediate risk to Malgrave, even if something like that were located under them,” she said. She answered the obvious question first. “The tunnel structures that underly the continent are largely absent in that area, and there’s no magical dead-zone to impede our detection there. The defences we installed there form a magical insulate around the nation, I won’t bore you with the details. It seems possible that the Rohanians aren’t naturally the nulls that they think they are, and that these structures have had an influence in the area passively, perhaps to shield them. That’s just a hypothesis, mind. I think you might be looking at a mutagenic or alternative influence in the area. I assume they’re not going to do anything immediately decisive like ask us to evacuate the nation and rip them out?”

Axatirno looked at her, “The people might, the government would still think they’re tied to the land and that we’d simply absorb them.”

“Standard relief options should be employed,” she said.

“Already en route,” Su-Jin confirmed.

“I don’t think there’s any particular danger, we should carry out thaumaturgic exposure studies though,” she said. “I have a contact in the department of Indefinite Studies at Kestrel Universariate who might be able to get me the name of whoever it was doing their High Energy Magic studies. They could probably start ruling things out.”


Rohane Alista

The venerable Loki-class dropship was a longstanding sight in disaster zones, they’d been used by the Menelmacari and their allies for centuries, originally created by TME Industrial Engineering. Recent political restructuring had allowed the Great Civilization to adopt the design directly without intellectual property concerns; a thoroughly disgusting amount had been run up for GC service.

The Order of Peace was one of the main users, and as they came down to rest near Calihan. Every state had put their own spin on these, and the Great Civilization was no exception, but all carried common interfaces for a Mission Adaptable Mass pod. The ship touched down, the massive pod on its underside disconnected and it rose up again, leaving what was functionally a building in place anywhere you wanted one.

Lanac ita Atun was walking up one of the four ramps as they folded down a moment later, he wore white over a set of body armour and an aetheric dosimeter, riding it to a stop. This module was a portable clinic and treatment centre, others were airlift and evacuation, firefighting and even hubs for ground construction equipment to make buildings safe where they had been affected and would prove dangerous even abandoned, or to restore water and power infrastructure.

Lanac wore the blue rhomboids of his rank in the Order of Peace on patches on his uniform along with the entwined red helix of the medical branch. He’d been to disaster zones before, to Altea and Spires and Keizaal and more besides. Enough that he could be considered a lifer in that role. He wasn’t the only person on board, a friendly face helped get people relaxed enough to be treated.

Medevac to Isasrach or other GC facilities, as well as local ones here and in Malgrave was possible but this site was more for immediate triage and to patch up the walking wounded. It would be a while before local emergency services were augmented enough to take advantage of the capacity, and a while before they were embedded, but dropping capacity directly into a problem area had rarely hurt.

“Open for business,” he said, as several other personnel headed down after him.
"If any should be slaves, it should be first those who desire it for themselves, and secondly those who desire it for others. When I hear anyone arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally." ~ Abraham Lincoln
"The Necrons were amongst the first beings to come into existance, and have sworn that they will rule over the living." - Still surprisingly accurate!
"Be you anywhere from Progress Level 5 or 6 and barely space-competent, all the way up to the current record of PL-20 for beings like the C’Tan..." Lord General Superior Rai’a Sirisi, Xenohumanity
"Many races and faiths have considered themselves to be a threat to the Necrons, but their worlds and their cultures are now little more than interesting archaeology."

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New Dornalia
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Founded: Apr 27, 2005
New York Times Democracy

Postby New Dornalia » Mon May 30, 2022 9:44 am

Rohane Alista

Just as the Great Civilization would come to Rohane's aid, so would the Colonial Republic.

It would begin with notice given to the Rohanian Embassy in the Republic, along with Dornalian MYSTCOM providing notice to...well, whatever was left of the Rohanian government at home. The nabobs from State would be of course, working out arrangements for aid and refugee traffic, but as the old Dornalian phrase said, "One step at a time." For now, came the aid.

Then would come the Dornalians themselves. Wearing all sorts of Dornalian livery ranging from that of the CRE's Navy, to the Marine Corps, to the Army, and even to various private entities such as a suspiciously enlarged Dragonflyer, LLC--the Dornalian air armada would fly into Rohanian airspace with permission. They arrived with all sorts of vehicles, ranging from modern turboprop planes to the infamous Pelican dropships and even the CRE's own take on the Loki dropship--a widebodied, bootleg version that would get its sea legs in the Mystrian theater. They came with food, water, medicine, clothing, and all sorts of relief supplies for the Rohanians. And they would come as soon as possible.

And so, the Dornalian Logistics Trail--the same stellar trail fueled by copious amounts of coffee and tea and Dornalian can-do that had helped quell Garyx's war in Silverdale, armed the Kouralians and Malgraveans against a malevolent medieval goat, and also was prepared to aid in the liberation of Catedonia, would yet provide again.

The whole effort would be conducted with a sense of generosity and urgency that, to outsiders, possibly be seen as symptomatic of trying to make up for lost time or what some would annoyingly call "Fear of Missing Out." For their part, the Dornalians wouldn't comment on any such cynical concerns. The only comment would be a prepared statement from Admiral Joseph Harriman Krueger, the overall commander of MYSTCOM. It was a statement of many words, but the most relevant at hand would simply be, "In the midst of another Mystrian crisis, be assured, Rohanian friends. We are coming to help. And we will not disappoint."



Among one of the many ships flying into Rohane would be a Pelican dropship bearing the livery of Dragonflyer, LLC, carrying Father Hijuelos and The Corporal. Father Hijuelos rubbed his temples and felt somewhat jittery, and it wasn't because he had mainlined particularly strong coffee. Dornalians would be able to enter and exit the Rohanian mainland without too much trouble, as they always had. But for the especially magic sensitive like the Chief Chaplain, the inability to use one's powers was both discomforting, and in some instances, even a bit migraine inducing. The Corporal quickly provided Hijuelos with a couple of aspirins, and the Father washed them down with a glass of water.

The goal was simple. Get down onto the ground, and begin helping people dig out as soon as possible. The Father was used to manual labor, so he would do what he could do help out. Meanwhile. he wondered about what happened to his feelers. Captain Lockhart's people hadn't yet contacted him with any others with visions like he had--understandable, given the chaos, but he was concerned. After all, wasn't this a case where uniting would be better?

At any rate, the Pelican touched down on the designated LZ, and its back gate opened to reveal a sight out of a surrealist painting. Bosch and Dali could not have done justice to the ruins of the city, bizarrely torn to shreds with a golden, walled off tower in the distance. A sense of desperation and despair hung in the air, and as the Father and his Corporal got onto a Dornalian jeep to enter into the city proper, Hijuelos realized this was more dangerous than he originally anticipated.

Out of sight of the Rohanians and others, the Father uttered a quick silent prayer, disguised as slipping in and out of consciousness due to jetlag.

"Lord. I know there's a field that's probably keeping You from working miracles in this land, but if You can get through it somehow, watch our backs. There's going to be some trouble ahead, and we need all the help we can get."
"New Dornalia, a living example of anomalous civilizations."-- Phoenix Conclave
"Your nation has always been ridiculous. But it's endearing."--Skaugra
"It's a magical place where chinese cowboys ply the star lanes to extract vast wealth from trade, where NORINCO isn't just an arms company, but an evil bond villain type conglomerate that hides in other nations. Where the apocalypse happened, and everyone went "huh, that's neat" and then got back to having catgirls and starships."-- Olimpiada
"...why am I space China, and I don't have actual magic animals, and you're space USA, and you do? This seems like a mistake." --Roania, during a discussion on wildlife.

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Democratic Socialists

Postby Malgrave » Sat Jun 04, 2022 4:52 pm

Government Crisis Centre, Epping, Malgrave

Silence filled the room once more as footage from Rohane Alista rolled into the room, of course, across the past few years destruction was a common occurrence in Mystria but hardly anyone predicted that such destructive scenes could be occurring across the border as their anti-magical field tended to make them invulnerable to a fair portion of the crisis that hampered Mystria.

Nadzieja broke the silence first, the Prime Minister coughing briefly as she organised the notes that she had arranged for this meeting, although, the first port of call for today was a rather obvious question,

“Can someone explain to me how nobody has been able to detect these towers until now?” Nadzieja asked, “It is hard to see how such massive structures could remain undetected underground for now,”

“It is currently theorised that this threat was hidden within the tunnel system that runs across Rohane Alista, Nadzieja,” Aurelia Wyrzykowski replied, the Minister of State Security unable to hide her disappointment in the lack of information available, “In fact, an engineer of ours named Misaki Kurosawa recently stumbled upon something which lines up quite closely with the towers that have been seen in Rohane Alista which itself matches a description that an operative working for the International Operations Committee was able to divine a few weeks ago,”

Eliot frowned, the Deputy Prime Minister checking a few notes before speaking, “What is known about the composition of these towers then? Just how have they spurted from the ground? It sounds rather fantastical and horrific,”

“Unknown on both counts,” Aurelia said, again the Minister disappointed at the lack of intelligence available, “We are currently working on gathering such details though,”

Nadzieja sighed, “Can I at least have some good news on efforts to provide relief within Rohane Alista and the refugees that have crossed over into Malgrave?”

“I have been working with Catherine and Claudia to coordinate our relief efforts inside Rohane Alista itself,” Eliot said nodding towards the Minister of Health and Minister of Science & Engineering, “We have experience providing disaster relief to Imeriata, Crystal Spires and Altea so we are quite optimistic that our efforts will be successful,”

Claudia simply smiled before switching over footage of the destruction to one that focused on a spaceship travelling over Rohane Alista, its curved features suggesting a combination of inspirations alongside traditional Malgravean thinking were used to design the craft,

“It has been a massive boon to our efforts in the region to be able to use the Pontecorvo-class to coordinate aid efforts in the country,” Claudia said referencing the spaceship in the image, a vessel named in honour of the Minister of Science & Engineering who was instrumental in the discovery of MIDD alongside other accomplishments, “Just the ability to establish stationary platforms has been an incredible step forward compared to previous adventures,”

Catherine nodded in agreement before speaking, “Previously, we would be limited by fuel concerns and local ward capacity, however, the fact that we’ve got a few stationary facilities to report back to means our shuttles can fly almost constantly and thanks to advances in the material science we can even establish temporary treatment centres on the ground,”

“It is pleasing to know that those still inside Rohane can count upon us for continued support during these difficult times,” Nadzieja said pleased with the developments, “What about those that are within the country?”

“Efforts to house the refugees from Rohane Alista are going according to schedule,” Viktor Ivanov said, the ageing Minister of Housing and Urban Development had been a fixture of the Progressive Unity Party since the 1980s and his experience was widely valued by those in government including the Prime Minister, “Thanks to those eggheads in the Research Colony we’ve been to vastly improve our apartment buildings by integrating that nanotechnology into our concrete, although perhaps the chief egghead herself is better positioned to talk about that,”

Claudia chuckled briefly at being referred to as the chief egghead, “By integrating this nanotechnology into our structures it means that they can respond to UV and bad weather by self-waterproofing which will significantly extend the life of the structure and make life easier for the residents,” she said, “We have also been working with MalTec and MalEn to ensure that the latest technology is included with the apartment buildings, so they’ll slide right in with our smart cities concept and provide refugees with the utmost comfort and support during our stays here,”

“Right,” Viktor said, some of the technical details flying straight over his head, “In real terms, several dozen apartments have been constructed already and more are being built as we speak with their prefabricated nature meaning that they can essentially be built in a day,” the Minister said highlighting recent advancements in construction technology, “Support structures such as schools and hospitals should all be nearby these new residential centres and we’ve already had an influx of donated automatic cars from other residential centres so they should also have the freedom to travel around the country if for whatever reason they don’t want to get on a train or a tram,”

“Excellent,” Nadzieja said, again pleased with the progress that had been made by her cabinet colleagues, “What efforts are being made to ensure that the refugees feel welcome in Malgrave? I imagine it can be quite hard for them to adjust,”

“I believe the Gabriel Narutowicz Pioneers and Free Democratic Youth are holding efforts to provide outreach to newly arrived refugees, again, we have quite a fair bit of experience in extending such support to refugee populations in the past so we’ve developed a pretty good programme that shall help people get attuned to their new living arrangements and integrate into Malgravean society,” Eliot said, the Foreign Minister having worked with a few of her colleagues in government to ensure that process went smoothly,

“I remember the support that they offered during the Lost Decade so I imagine that they’ll be perfect for the task,” Nadzieja said, the Prime Minister referencing a period of the ’90s when Malgrave experienced a significant economic decline and hardship, “What about boots on the ground?”

“We have offered the services of the International Operations Committee and the Royal Institute for the Advancement of Universal Technology to the Rohanian government, if anyone can help figure out this crisis it will be them,” Aurelia said nodding slightly to Claudia, “It is an unexpected event but we’ve got a fair bit of experience in tackling those lately, a little outside the chamber thinking to use a Dornalian phrase,”

“In that case, we’ll hope for clear skies and good fortune,” Nadzieja said mixing up a combination of sayings, “ moving on to the situation on the front against Grogar,”

HMNV Pontecorvo, Calihain, Rohane Alista

Just a couple of years ago, Rhee Yeong-Suk had been in charge of the Maestoso, a small corvette that mostly served in an anti-piracy role, however, following service in the Silverdalean theatre and against the Dragon States, she had found herself fast-tracked onto a programme designed to create a new generation of officers suitable for service commanding a vessel capable of travelling across the cosmos.

It was this journey alongside other events far beyond her control that led her to be in command of the Pontecorvo, the flagship of the new space force and a crucial part of ongoing efforts to provide some relief to the Rohanian people during a rather calamitous event, a fresh cup of tea present in her hand as she contemplated the information in front of her,

“Are our sister vessels performing admirably in their duties as well?” Yeong-Suk asked her junior officer, “I heard the Niels Bohr was experiencing some minor teething issues but hopefully they’ve been sorted out,”

“Just a small operational error that has already been fixed, Comrade Captain,” the junior officer replied, her uniform identifying her as Pina Motta, “They’ve resumed duty over Alistara with their sister ships reporting fully-operational in other populous parts of the country,”

Yeong-Suk released a sigh of relief, a great chunk of the Pontecorvo-classes available were currently on duty over various Rohanian cities providing support and she didn’t want to deal with the added problem of technical issues, “How fares our efforts? I see that the shuttles are performing quite well, a testament to the talents of our engineers,”

Pina nodded, “Evacuations are going well, however, it will take time to ensure that we don’t leave people behind in the rubble,” she said, “In that end, we are coordinating our efforts with the C’tan and the Dornalian Republic who have brought their own ships to the crisis,”

“Good, such assistance should greatly empower our efforts,” Yeong-Suk said, quite relieved to hear the news, “What about our facilities on the ground?”

“We have been coordinating these efforts with an organisation called the Order of Peace, they have some excellent modular ships that have been building clinics and other infrastructure outside the city,” Pina said, “It should be obvious that we don’t match such high technological standards, however, we have been offering our nanite technology and ancestral abilities to further these efforts and we think that we can provide some decent assistance,”

Yeong-Suk smiled as she took in the information, a genuine piece of good news amidst all the destruction and loss of life, “Let’s just hope that our comrades across Rohane Alista are blessed with good fortune like us,”
Last edited by Malgrave on Sun Jun 05, 2022 2:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Rohane Alista
Chargé d'Affaires
Posts: 461
Founded: Nov 24, 2012
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Rohane Alista » Sun Jun 05, 2022 8:13 pm

The Dornalian jeep soon found itself flanked on either side by Rohanian hover APCs, one of them indicating to the driver via hand signals to take a left turn at an upcoming intersection. The reason was clear to everyone as soon as they arrived; a small office building had collapsed across the road, cluttering it up. As the vehicles drove, the same APC kept giving instructions, until it pulled out ahead and came to a stop in front a marble building in the Inner Circle district, this one squat and unrefined compared to many of the more monumental buildings around them, a soldier disembarking from each APC and heading to the Dornalian vehicle. One knocked on the driver side window of the jeep, waiting until it rolled down, and speaking. “This is Father Hijuelos, right? We’ve got special orders for you, someone wants to meet you urgently.”

“Something the trouble, sir? I thought my papers were in order. Who’d want to see me?” Hijuelos said with confusion, and presented the usual panoply of IDs to the soldier. The Corporal likewise began producing her own IDs, with an incredulous look on her face.

The soldier quickly checked and handed them back, nodding. “Sorry, Father, but we’re not allowed to say. If you’ll step out of the vehicle, we’ll escort you inside, where you’ll be received by the proper officials. Sorry about the haphazardness of this all, but the situation being what it is…” The soldier nodded in the direction of the tower. “We’re doing our best.”

“Not a problem, son.” The Father got out, and motioned for the Corporal to follow, with a look that urged her to keep silent. They would follow the Rohanian soldier inside. For his part, Hijuelos didn’t like where this was going. Statements like that were a sign that perhaps this involved authorities above this man’s paygrade--authorities like Captain Lockhart, who thrived off of the Dornalian state’s impenetrable maze of security clearances, special access programs, and so on. Hijuelos had to briefly smile on the inside--such a system was to him proof that beyond any theological implications for the Almighty’s existence, it at least proved the fallibility of humans and the doctrine of original sin was a thing.

The Father and his Corporal were soon escorted inside by the two soldiers, where a woman in a dress uniform stood, her cover tucked under her arm as she reached out, her right hand in the air, flat palmed and unmoving in the traditional Rohanian greeting, her brilliant auburn hair in a tight bun on her head. She had several ribbons and more than a few medals, a nameplate reading “MARGO” pinned above her heart, and her shoulders bore the emblems of a major in the Rohanian Imperial Army. She said nothing as she waited for the two to respond.

The Corporal and the Father saluted in the Dornalian manner, with right hands but palms facing down. The two stood up straight, briefly waiting before Father Hijuelos asked, “Captain Hijuelos, Chief Chaplain of the Colonial Republican Mystria Command, ma’am, along with my associate Corporal Esmerelda Almodovar at your service. What is this about?”

“Captain Major Marlan Margo,” the Rohanian replied, lowering her arm. “The Major General would like to speak to you directly, Captain Hijuelos. Please follow me,” the woman said, turning on her heel and crisply walking through a small series of scanners, waiting for the Dornalians on the other side before leading them to a recessed escalator, which she opened with a passcard that had been hidden until now, holding the door for the two.

The two walked onwards, not quite knowing what they were getting into. The Father simply asked, “Well, I hope this is important. I know I was on my way to help save some lives and clean up some rubble.” He then asked, as he and Almodovar went through the open door, “Does this Major General have a name?”

“Major General Armotiv,” Margo replied as the elevator began to rise. “If you’re unfamiliar, he’s in charge of Military Intelligence across all branches.”

Hijuelos nodded. The possibility dawned upon the Chaplain that in having the Corporal seek out Captain Lockhart, word of the search may have ended up with the supreme commander of Rohanian Military Intelligence. Certainly it was a development which had much benefit--but also its own share of risks.

The Corporal nodded and played along, for her part. The whole experience was odd--but so was being summoned to meet with the head of Rohanian MIlitary Intelligence. What could the priest have to offer to the Major General? This was beyond the Corporal’s ken, likely part of the bureaucratized shenanigans militaries got up to….or maybe something else?

The rest of the ride was silent, a few minutes of waiting as the elevator seemed to stop rising, at one point moving laterally before falling again. The door pinged open, revealing a very non standard room, with metal walls and floors, filled with alternating red and blue lights and no windows at all, despite the doors set into the walls. Captain Major Margo stepped out of the elevator smartly, quickly leading the other two through halls that varied very little, only the barest of indicators which direction was which, and most of those not in Rohirric, or Common, or even Alistinian or Arasdali, but some other completely foreign language, one strangely somewhat reminiscent of the writing that images showed on the golden tower and walls in Calihain and other cities, but softer and more comforting.

A few more minutes later, the trio arrived at a dead end, the only thing in the entire hallway a single, steel door, which Margo knocked on and waited. A moment later, the door opened, admitting the three into an office of a completely different design than the previous hallways, plush carpet and furniture of exotic jungle woods in the room, whose walls were covered in bookshelves and screens, some of which showed news, some of which were off, and one of which in particular showed Hijuelos’ report to his superiors. Behind the largest single desk in the room was a high backed chair, but the occupant was faced away from the new entries, and no one else was present.

Hijuelos understood he was now in the belly of the beast, so to speak. The Corporal whispered to him. “What’re they saying?” To which Hijuelos whispered back, “It’s Quenya. The language of elves.” Before The Corporal could say anything else, Hijuelos gestured for her to remain silent. Hijuelos knew of but one major power that spoke Quenya--the Menelmacari. But what would they be doing here, if anything?

At any rate the party came to the chair. The two saluted, and Hijuelos led off by going, “Captain Hijuelos, Colonial Republican Navy, and Corporal Almodovar, Colonial Republican Marine Corps, reporting as requested, Major General Armotiv.” The Priest then asked, “May I ask what this is all about?”

The chair turned, the grizzled, aging man in it on a phone call, but he quickly excused himself, setting it down, and analyzing the newcomers. “Thank you, Major Margo. You are dismissed,” he said, nodding to the soldiers as she saluted and left, closing the door behind her and leaving only the three in the room. “Captain, Corporal. Welcome to the shitshow. You’ve written a very interesting report, which is what I wanted to talk about, but between when you departed… Fort Apache, I assume, and your arrival in my office, hell got a bit more hellish, to use your Christian terms.”

“It would appear that has in fact been the case, Major General--the situation has indeed become more dire.” Hijuelos added with a polite nod and some concern. “I would ask how you got a copy of my report…but then again, I assume that is above my security clearance at this point.” Coughing, Hijuelos added, “At any rate, what is it about my report you wished to inquire about? I am willing to discuss its contents--even if it is mainly a discussion about a vision I had to the appropriate authorities and subsequent research.” Hijuelos hid what he thought was the way Armotiv received the report--namely, an intelligence exchange with Captain Lockhart’s people. But that was neither here nor there.

“It isn’t just above your clearance, but also your pay grade and your want to know,” Armotiv replied bluntly. “There’s a few aspects I want to focus on. First, how many towers, exactly, do you recall seeing in your vision? Two, could you see anything more detailed inside the already filled cages, and three, the three faces you report having seen,” the general pressed a button, causing three pictures to come up on screen; one looked like Mythra Turak, one like Marron Turak, and the last like Niviea Invernos. “Are these three those people?”

Hijuelos shrugged off the blunt reply and continued, “I don’t have an exact count as to the number of towers I saw. I can say it was a lot more than the towers you have in Rohane right now. A lot more. As for the cages….well, I saw a being of pure magic inside the golden cage, and then there were a lot of smaller cages filled up and with something pulsing inside of them.” Hijuelos then gestured to the images shown by Armotiv and said, “And as for the empty cages? Nothing more detailed than the faces you just showed me now, but yeah, those were the faces I saw.”

“Shit,” Armotiv cursed under his breath. “Congratulations, Father Hijuelos, on joining the Tower Control Task Force. No, you don’t get to say no,” the older man added, handing over a small data tablet, clearly Dornalian in origin. “I didn’t want to use this, but you’ll be useful. Those three,” Armotiv indicated the pictures with his head. “Are far too important. For one thing, two of them are living legends in Rohane Alista- quite literally the closest thing our people have to actual, bona fide gods, and while I wouldn’t call it worship, people absolutely have infinite faith in them,” he said, as the third picture of Niviea faded out for a moment. “Marron and Mythra Turak. You may have heard the hullabaloo about the return of Jacobi Turak? That’s these two’s husband, and they apparently found some way to bring him back. As for the third,” now only the picture of Niviea was unfaded. “That’s Niviea Invernos. Daughter of the famed Glacia Invernos, and minor deity in her own right. Silverdale is kicking up a huge fuss about her location, and she’s number three on our VIP list to evacuate the country, after the Prime Minister, who refused to leave, and Abigail Turak, the aunt of Her Eminence. We had been doing a good job of keeping an eye on her, but when the tower rose… we lost her completely.”

The Corporal raised her eyebrows, and muttered a few choice Spanish expletives, which were met by the Priest’s glare. He then turned to Armotiv and went, “Well, seeing as how we’re dealing with very important individuals here…and I did come here to help pitch in and clean up, I don’t object to being part of the TCTF. And considering Corporal Almodovar, under Dornalian policy, is basically my bodyguard/assistant, I assume she’s coming along as well.” He then added, quickly, “My question is where was Niviea last seen or heard from?”

“Inside what is now the walled region, but we’re confident she escaped,” Armotiv replied. “She’s dating a Rohanian kid, a young man by the name of Callum Vanlesol, whose father was a bit of a rising star in the National Bureau of Astronomics, and was staying with them. We’ve investigated their house, and both of the Vanlesol parents are dead, but neither Callum or Niviea was anywhere nearby. In addition, someone piloted the family helicopter over the wall on the day of, we have footage of it and found it parked outside the storage facility. We’re betting Callum and Niviea are in the city, somewhere, and that’s the generally good news.”

"Well, that is a start. Obviously, I take it everyone involved wants proof of life." Hijuelos added, "I'd ask about any all points bulletins put out for her, but then again…I get the feeling there's a lot of all points bulletins for a lot of folks of all sorts.” Hijuelos then said, perking up, “Hold on. They got a helo over that wall. Can other aircraft and airborne vehicles get above that wall? And what is to be done about the Turaks?”

"Flying vehicles, mostly helicopters, are making constant trips to attempt to find survivors and evacuate them," Armotiv mentioned. "The Turaks- presuming you mean Mythra and Marron- are out of the country. They left on a family trip to Silverdale shortly before the first tower rose, and latest updates say they're on their way to Cornucopia, or perhaps already arrived. Our concern is Niviea, and that means getting into the bad news.

"The bad news," Armotiv repeated the phrase. "Is that centipedal creatures have begun appearing in Calihain proper," the screen behind him changed to a slightly blurry photo of a giant, stark white insectoid. "They don't actually seem to kill people… they capture them. And they seem capable of digging straight through asphalt and concrete."

“I think I saw those in my vision, I think!” Hijuelos said with a nod. “Wait. They take captives?” The Corporal shuddered at the implications.

"We theorize they do, at least," Armotiv nodded, the screen changing to a video of the centipede spitting some kind of liquid on a person, which rapidly solidified into a grey mass, then dragging them back down the hole it had come from. "We don't know why, which is very… disturbing."

Hijuelos nodded grimly, going, “Indeed.” He then asked, “So, if I may ask…this is quite the dangerous situation we’re all facing now, Major General. But where do I come in? I have clairvoyance powers for sure, but this is Rohane Alista--a place where any visions would be fuzzy, at best,assuming my vision abilities would even work.”

"You have a lightsaber and contacts in the Order," Armotiv replied. "More specifically, you already had the relevant vision. We need to get more details from it if at all possible. Every little piece of information we can wring out gives another Rohanian a better chance of surviving this."

“This is true. This is all true, yes.” Hijuelos added, “I do have high ranks in the Order, after all, and my lightsaber which would enable me to participate in missions in the field.” He then breathed and said, “Now, what other aspects of my vision did you require? I saw a number of cages and golden doors and lines, and what you’d call…creatures, like mockeries of humanity.”

"We can deal with those specifics later," Armotiv shook his head. "You're tired, and I'm busy trying to locate our VIPs. In fact, I'm going to head out into the field personally, so you should rest. I would appreciate it if you put in a call to your order for their best and brightest, though. I have hope that your lightsabers will be more effective than bullets on these creatures."

“I would wager so,” Hijuelos stated with a smile. “And as for the latter, I will do what I can with my Order. I have no doubt that we have the right kind of people who can help resolve this situation sooner rather than later; it would be simply a matter of locating them and then getting them all together for this mission.” Indeed, even as Hijuelos cogitated mentally, he knew of some potential candidates….

"Good. Please give me their dossiers first, of course, and I'll let you know who we want," Armotiv sighed. "Dismissed. And, off the record, Father? A lot of people are going to suffer, but your help could mean it's less people for less time. We'll find others who had these visions for you, too. Have a good rest."

Hijuelos nodded again, though he was concerned about getting the dossiers. Still, he said nothing about that, going, “Very well. I’ll find some potential candidates, and run them by your office before taking further action. Thank you, Major General. I’ll try. Got any coffee?”

"Margo can help with that," Armotiv replied, looking down at his desk in a clear indication that this conversation was now over.

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Founded: Mar 06, 2018
Conservative Democracy

Postby Glaristant » Sun Jun 05, 2022 8:34 pm

Cowritten wtih Rohane Alista

Callum pulled Niviea along behind him, into the lobby of what had been a small tech store but was now being used as an emergency clinic. "I think we lost those things. What the fuck were they?"

"Fuck knows, Callum…Kind of reminds of one of those insectoids from that Sectoid movie we watched on vacation.." Niviea cursed as she panted, seemingly rather exhausted. Yet as she was pulled close to him, her mood brightened, "Still, at least we both made it through in one piece..."

"Yeah, yeah," Callum replied, catching his breath as he looked over the clinic. Some people looked up at the two, but most were either on makeshift beds or attending those who were. "Nivi, if those things keep coming…"

Niviea said nothing for a moment, her eyes wandering to the patients of the clinic. The thought that was once the capital of the leading nations of the DSA and the populace, being reduced to such depridations sickened her. Even worse in her mind, was the bitter knowledge that there was little she could do to help. She slammed her first into the wall, creating a small crack, "I…I know Cal…but what can we do? We're just students…up against nightmarish monsters and whatever the fuck is creating those towers."

Callum didn't even frown, exhaustion the only expression he could manage for her. "I know… I couldn't even save… I don't know, Nivi, alright? If… if nothing else we've got to stay together, right? I don't know, maybe we can get to Berabil, if we can get a car or… or a helicopter?"

Niviea rested a hand on his shoulder, barely managing a weak smile for him. She sighed, leaning against the wall, "That's all we can each do now….is just stick…by each other's sides. And…maybe we can find something, but odds are it's going to be a long shot given the state of the city…"

"I know, Nivi," Callum snapped, then immediately winced. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I just…" he sat down, back to the wall. "I just… wonder if it's even worth it…"

"Cal[I/]" Niviea said sternly, her expression hardening as she stared at him, "It's better than just staying here, waiting for the end to come. Even if we failed, at least we would have at least done so on our terms….Beats sitting here waiting to die…"

"I just…" Callum sighed, his head dropping. "You're the only thing in my life that's the same as it was three weeks ago. The only thing I still know I have… I'm exhausted, moving from shelter to shelter, running from those creatures… and I just know, this place is fucking doomed. There won't be anything left…"

"I…I know and that's why I want to get you out of here….so I can keep you safe from this madness. And…yeah, I'm tired of running for hour after hour, wondering if we're going to get through this..." Niviea said grimly, resting against him, "But… we can't let up just yet, not unless we want to end up joining in on this place's fate."

"Yeah,” Callum eventually replied. “I guess… did you ever call your mom?”

"Haven't had a chance to…what with the cell service being all but gone." Niviea replied, shaking her head, "If we can get to Berabil I can get in touch with both of them. Hopefully…they're not too worried…"

“I guess I can’t give up, then,” Callum muttered, his head still hanging. “I… you probably need help to get somewhere safe, after all…”

"Partially….but forgive me for disagreeing with ya, Cal. Honestly, I would say it's more important we get you out of this mess." Nivi joked, giving Callum a peck on the cheeks with a warm smile, "After all, mom would kill me if I let her favorite mortal get killed before she gets grand children…."

Callum looked up Niviea, eyes wide and brows furrowed at the same time. “How can you think about that now? How are you so… positive? The world is going to shit, and you’re as optimistic as I can ever recall you being…”

"Because otherwise…..otherwise we might as well be dead. Trust me, I am worried as can be…maybe even moreso than you, but dwelling on the nightmare we are in does nothing but sap our morale…" Niviea said bluntly, her expression dampening at Callum's comment, "Better to try to think of something positive than wallowing in this hell…"

“... sorry,” Callum said, trying and failing to give her a smile. “Have you caught your breath? We can’t stay here, anyways. We’ll just be in the way.”

"It's fine, Cal….Just…think of how much…I don't, maybe how mom will treat you once we're back home." Niviea said, her tone wavering for a second as she looked back towards the city, "Yeah, I am good to go whenever you are…"

“This is…” Callum started, then sighed and stood, opening the door and letting Niviea walk out into the dirty, damaged street first. “Come on, let’s go. Anywhere in the world is better than Calihain right now. Even [i]Thalassium

"It's the abyss now, but just remember….soon enough we'll be safe in Berabil…." Niviea said, seeming unsure as she stepped out into the street.

Callum quietly nodded as he joined her, glancing around. “I have no idea where we are,” he mentioned bluntly. “I mean, Calihain, obviously, but where in it, I don’t know. If we just keep going along the road, we should reach something. Eventually.”

"I don't know either, Cal. With all the wreckage, we could just as easily be in the CBD as we could Tech Town." Niviea said shaking her head as she moved around a fallen pillar of concrete, "Given enough time we could, yeah…"

“If you have a better idea, please, let me know,” Callum replied, turning and heading down the main road, the occasional other person passing by. “Seriously, I don’t have anything else, except we’re definitely not in Tech Town. That’s the other side of the wall.”

"I honestly don't, Callum….Quite truthfully I am at a loss besides just trying to find a working vehicle…." Niviea admitted, sighing all the while.

As Niviea spoke, an ambulance rushed past, sirens wailing, soon leaving the two behind. “Kind of surprised those are still running,” Callum admitted. “That came from behind us… I hope it’s not because those things are causing more damage.”

"Its a bit of a shock, but not entirely unexpected….still it could be our ticket out of here…" Niviea said gesturing for Callum to follow her, as she tried walked after the ambulance, "Could be, but now m use dwelling on it"

Callum nodded, following the sound of the sirens, but it wasn’t long before they had faded away completely, the vehicle clearly rushing wherever it was going. “Well, that’s gone, then. Still, it means something functional is in this direction, which is better than what we had before,” the young man tried to sound upbeat as they walked, but kept glancing behind him. “I think I might be developing a fear of insects…”

"You're not the only one, love. After this, I don't think I want to see another one for a long while…" Niviea remarked, trying not to focus on the sights surrounding her. She muttered for a moment before giving a half hearted smile, "We could always try settling back in Glacius. Wouldn't have to deal with the bug problem there…."

"Only if we can get heated everything," Callum replied, shivering despite the sweltering summer heat, sweat starting to drip quickly off of him. "It's so cold in Silverdale, Nivi, I have no idea how people live there, and I mostly grew up in Morhale!"

"Tell you what….I'll make sure I'll get everything heated….even your park for when you're down there. Or alternatively, you could just stick close to me and that will solve that problem." Niviea said, taking Callum's hand as she stumbled a bit, "You just get used to it with time, sort of like how you acclimate to the the heat here."

"Well you acclimated," Callum replied, squeezing her hand. "You're a star, you should be well used to extreme temperatures, after all. And watch your step," the young man added, stepping over a fallen sign. "The earthquakes damaged more than just… you know."

"In any other case you'd be right, but you forget that here …here I am just a normal elf. One who is susceptible to that heat, at least for a time!" Niviea half heartedly joked, as she saw the sign, "Yeah…you can say that again .."

“Nivi, we’ve got to get inside and stop,” Callum said, looking into her eyes with a frown. “We’re going to get heatstroke, and given how things are around here… well, I don’t think you want to feel heatstroke without magical protections, alright?”

" I would rather not, Cal." She said shaking her head as she looked towards the side of the roadway. She gestured towards what appeared to be relatively intact corner store "Come on, if we're lucky we might be able to find some cold water and food."

“Cold, I doubt, potable, sure,” Callum said, pulling her across the road and into the abandoned store, sighing as the doors slid shut behind them. It wasn’t that much cooler inside, but being out of the direct sunlight was already making him feel some relief as we looked around at almost entirely empty shelves. “Ransacked… until the last couple of days, it was all holding together, too, no looting or anything, but now…”

"And it's all fallen apart….just in the course of a few short days. Honestly, I'd expect to see this in Corneria….but not here…." Niviea said, carefully scanning the shelves, but to her dismay finding nothing. She sighed as she at last to managed to find a couple bottles of water under an overturned shelf, tossing one to Callum.

The Rohanian caught the plastic bottle, sighing as he unscrewed the cap and drank the entire bottle in seconds, opening a door that led into a storeroom which was cooler than the rest of the building. “Come on, let’s rest in here. We can head out in the evening, when it’s cooler.”

The goddess nodded as she took a drink from the bottle, a relieved smile spreading across her face as she stepped into the store room. "Much better…. Honestly, it's nice to get out of that heat." Niviea remarked as she pulled Callum into the store room, shutting the door behind them.

Callum pulled a bag full of shirts down, laying on the ground and using it as a pillow. “I’m so exhausted, Nivi… I’m going to rest, wake me up when it’s cooler and we can leave.”

"Sure thing, Cal…Get some rest.." Niviea muttered as she leaned up against a nearby display.


Niviea awoke a few hours later, hearing several loud cracks and thumps coming from outside the store. She thought could hear several voices speaking in some strange language as she moved to Callum's side, whispering, "Cal….get up….Something is going on outside…"

“Hwha?” Niviea’s boyfriend responded, blearily looking up at her, then rubbing his eyes and sitting up. “What do you mean, something? Not another earthquake, right?”

"No…Not quite. Sounds more like there's people outside….Though I don't think they are Rohanian, based on that odd language they're speaking." Niviea said.

“Shh,” Callum said, holding a finger to his lips and listening, then standing. “No, it’s Arasdali,” he explained, helping Niviea off the floor. “You probably wouldn’t recognize it, to be fair… not as common anymore. Come on, we might as well see if they’ve got anything useful,” Callum said, slowly opening the storeroom door and walking into the now dark corner store. The moon had risen, apparently, at some point while they’d been asleep, or at least that’s what Callum would have guessed, not even faint light getting through the unnatural darkness in the sky any longer.

Outside was a small group of people, one an older man cradling a cigarette, and two others who had their faces covered, but their uniforms gave them away as military. There was a single dead centipedal creature near them, which one of the masked people was kicking idly. As Callum and Niviea emerged out of the storeroom, the man with the cigarette looked over and raised an eyebrow. “Well then, a couple young lovebirds, is it? Why aren’t you in a shelter, kiddos?”

"I suppose you could say that….but yeah, we were just trying to find our way out of the city. We figured there was no point in staying here since everything was falling apart." Niviea responded.

“It’s all going to hell, that’s for sure,” the cigarette man replied, looking down at the dead centipede. “Still, it’s dangerous to move around unescorted. ‘Specially since you don’t seem to be carrying any kind of supplies at all, do you?”

“Everything was…” Callum said, waving vaguely in the direction of the still clearly visible golden tower. “Yeah. So we’re just kinda doing what we can…”

"Admittedly it was a tad….reckless, but there wasn't much else we could do." Niviea muttered, looking up at the tower once more, "Still….if you're willing to escort us out of here ..we won't say no…"

“Not really what we’re here for, kids,” The man said, dropping the cigarette and crushing it beneath his foot. “Looking for a few VIPs… Huh. Hey, girl, what’s your name, anyways?”

"I see…. That's a shame.Guess it can't be helped,” Niviea replied her expression dampening, "It's Niviea….Invernos."

“Well, you, at least, are in luck, greenie,” the man said, picking up a helmet and putting it on. “You’re the third highest listed VIP for the entire place, apparently Silverdale is making a real stink about it. Come on, then, let’s get you out of here.”

"You're kidding….didn't think mom would go that far." Niviea said, shaking her head before grabbing Callum by the wrist, "I am not going to complain if it means we can get out of here. Come on, love... let's go."

"Just the- you know what, it's fine. Who the fuck is going to yell at a general for making decisions," The older man grumbled, making some hand signs to his soldiers, who soon fell in on either side of Niviea and Callum. "So, an Invernos kid? I figured none of you would be able to handle the heat here. Or the being a normal person."

"You get used to both after a while, though it is a rather difficult change to make. That said, there are some benefits that come with it…Could say some make being a mortal preferable." Niviea said as she gave Callum a smile.

Callum gave her a strained smile back, squeezing her hand as they walked with the soldiers. “So do you guys have a vehicle, or something?” He asked the aging man, a tint of hope in his voice.

“No,” was the quick response. “What we do have is knowledge on how to get you to the Imperius Air Field, where… one of you… will be sent to Silverdale.”

"Wait….one of us…" Niviea said, stopping in her tracks as she looked at aging soldier with a hint of concern, "Why only one of us? Why can't both of us make the trip…"

“Because one of you is a VIP, wanted for return urgently by the Silverdalean government,” the man replied, sighing as he pulled to a stop and turned to face her. “And one of you is not either of those things, and I strongly suspect is a Rohanian citizen, who will be needed for the cleanup efforts.”

"He…." Niviea looked to Callum, biting her lip as her mind raced through possible options. She seemed to tremble as she spoke, "He is a family retainer assigned to look after me during my stay here. Between his assistance in maintaining my health and sanity, he has proven to be of the utmost utility. That is to say nothing of the fact he is a favorite of my mother….who would likely kick up quite a fuss if he was left behind." Niviea remarked

"No, he isn't, his father was head of the Venus Project," the soldier shook his head. "Sorry kids, but I know exactly who you both are. You, Niviea Invernos, are going home. Your boy toy will be staying home to help."

Niviea sighed, giving Callum a dejected look as she muttered, "Was worth a try….That said, I suppose I don't have any other choice …"

“It’s fine, Nivi,” Callum said back softly. “It’s… fine. Your mom will be really happy to have you come home, you know? And you get to be a star again…”

“Hey, little less chatter,” the leading soldier said, holding up a finger. “Margo, Badawi, alert status. I hear something, but I can’t tell where from.”

At the command, the soldiers on either side of the young couple tensed, lifting their rifles. The two, plus the leader, began scanning the surroundings more intensely as they moved, slowly walking to be in the middle of the road instead of next to a potentially collapsing building.

"I suppose…but I would rather be here…" Niviea went silent as she watched the soldiers, feeling something was amiss but not quite sure as to what. She stayed close to Callum as the soldiers began their search, all the while she began to feel her stomach churn, "Something's not right here, Cal…"

“You can say that again,” Callum muttered, his head on a swivel and his arm going to pull Nivi as close as possible without tripping them both, when the ground in front of them burst open, a white centipede larger than the one that had been killed outside the corner store appearing with shocking speed. “... fuck.”

The soldiers immediately turned and opened fire, the older man in front getting between the creature and the couple. “We’re rerouting! Come on, you two, follow me!”

"We can't just can't catch a break…." Niviea groaned as she pulled Callum after the general, suppressing a rising terror within her, "Gotcha …let's go!"

The general fired a few shots with his rifle, pushing Niviea and Callum down an alleyway as the other two soldiers slowly made their way over as well, keeping himself between the young couple and the insectoid creature behind them. A scream was easily heard, the general wincing as they emerged into a smaller side street. “Damnit, Margo…” the older man said, but he didn’t pause as the ground started to break apart to their left, pushing both of his wards forward. “Come on, run!”

Niviea broke out into a run, practically dragging Callum forward as she tried not to focus on the gmdanger behind her. She could feel her mind racing, as the same sense of dread she had when she first towers well ever more within her, "Callum we need to pick up the pace…Otherwise….well…" she shook her head, grimacing as she heard Margo's scream.

“Nivi, I can’t run that fast,” Callum warned, stumbling behind her, just catching himself before he dragged them both down, running behind her as fast as he could. It wouldn’t help when another of the creatures burst through the wall of a building in front of them, letting out a hiss that had Callum halting and clamping his hands over his ears. “What the fuck is going on here?”

"Fucking abyss…What do these damned things want!" Niviea yelled as she clapped her hands over her ears., "I don't know…. probably them trying to corner us…either for their next meal or worse…"

"Come on, Nivi, we can run through the buildings," Callum said, grabbing her hand and pulling her after him this time, across the street to a small office block. "Don't worry about them, let's just go!"

They were soon joined by the general, surprisingly fit for his apparent middle age, easily keeping pace. The man drew a knife, throwing it with perfect precision into the maw of one of the creatures, causing it to recoil, which it did even harder when a hail of bullets joined the knife, killing it. "Motherfuckers… come on, kids, let's get out of this place."

"Agreed….let's get out of this nightmare…" Niviea said, panting as she soon matched pace with Callum.

As they entered the building, the remaining monster diverted to another direction, but it burst out the building next to them as they emerged again, a stream of curses in Arasdali leaving the mouth of the general as it hissed at them again. "Fine, you kids try and get past, I'll distract-" he started to instruct, when the creature spat some kind of liquid all over Niviea, catching Callum's arm as well.

"Oh fuck, what is this shit?" Callum retched at the smell, letting go of Niviea briefly as he shook his arm, the liquid already stinging. "Nivi?"

Niviea grunted as she felt a burning sensation across her body, all the while finding it difficult to move. She gagged at the horrific odor the liquid produced, just barely keeping down what little she had in her stomach. "I don't know, Callum…but it fucking hurts…..and what the fuck?!...I can't..move.." Niviea remarked.

"Nivi?" Callum repeated, his arm feeling heavy. "Oh shit, it's some kind of… binding agent. Don't get any in your mouth!" He said, trying to figure out where he could grab her as the liquid rapidly hardened. "What in the fuck is this for?!?"

"No…They're trying to capture us…Either for food or worse…." Niviea said, grimacing as she imagined such a fate. She strained against the liquid, but it was to no avail as she could not manage to break free.

Callum grabbed Niviea, trying to pull her along but finding it incredibly difficult; it seemed the hardening spit also became quite heavy when dried. As he struggled to move her, the creature dove through the earth, disappearing under the ground.

"That… can't be good," the older man said, watching the ground as joined Callum's efforts. "Sorry, kid, but I don't think we can go faster than this. We've got no way to remove this shit here," he groaned and grunted as he helped pull her further towards another building. "We might have to just hide for now."

"He's right…we…need to hide. With me like this, there's no way we can outrun them." Niviea said, as she looked back towards the spot the creature had burrowed into.

"Nivi," Callum grunted, dragging her along. "Don't worry. I am not letting you go," he informed her, the ground starting to swell around them.

"Shit," the general cursed, looking between Niviea and Callum. He pulled something out of a pocket and put it in Niviea's mouth. "Swallow this, just trust me. Now!"

Niviea didn't say a word as she swallowed the object, all the while looking up at Callum with a terrified glance. Tears formed in her eyes as she called out, "Callum…whatever happens…Promise me…Promise that you will stay safe…."

"Nivi, no, I am not leaving you behind!" Callum replied, tears rolling down his cheeks as he pulled her as hard as he could. "You're the only thing I have worth living for, damn it, I'm not letting go!"

"Sorry, kid," the older man said, hitting Callum in the back of the head and catching him. "Listen, I don't think they'll do anything to you right away. Just… don't puke, that thing is a tracker. We will come back for you, alright?"

"I will….Just…take care of him, please? Gods knows that he will be a wreck once he wakes…" Niviea said as she nodded, bracing herself for what was to come.

"I'm really sorry, kid," the older man apologized again, tossing Callum over his shoulder. "Listen, for what it's worth… I'll get the very best on this. Even your mom wouldn't be able to put together a better rescue team," he informed Niviea as he walked off with Callum, one last shout behind him. "Don't give up, no matter what!"

The ground split behind Niviea, locked in place as she was, and the creature reappeared. It grabbed her in its pincers, carrying her back into the hole it had appeared from.
Last edited by Glaristant on Sun Jun 05, 2022 8:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Rohane Alista
Chargé d'Affaires
Posts: 461
Founded: Nov 24, 2012
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Rohane Alista » Thu Jun 09, 2022 12:24 am

Written with Dyste, Glaristant, Silverdale, and Rintyar

The Central Hall Building, DSA Artificial Island “Cornucopia”

Jasmine waited in a small room off the Grand Meeting Hall, quietly letting the stylist do her makeup. Twenty one towers had risen in Rohane Alista at this point, and the country itself was on the brink of total anarchy, but she wasn’t anywhere near it; she was on the artificial island of the DSA, Cornucopia, to make a desperate plea to the countries closest allies and beyond for anything they could spare. The event was to be televised, and she would be staring down not only the Councilors but media, notable emissaries, and various assorted other people from across the Dragon Sea Alliance and several other nations in the first even as Her Eminence she would be taking direct charge of. Yet all she could do to prepare was sit in a slightly too large chair in a slightly too warm room, bunching her ruby and sapphire dress in her hands as makeup was applied and her hair was done, listening to her grandparents give her their advice, they themselves not in full agreement.

“I don’t like that we’re doing this in front of the entire world,” Jacobi frowned, sitting on a couch in the corner. “This should have been handled individually with each nation.”

“On the contrary we need to show the Dragon Sea Alliance is able to stand together at this time of need. Not just for show in fact. All the members, delegates and leaders should be present as well. We need the world to make sure we intend, truly, to act.” Mythra said.

“And our granddaughter?” Jacobi asked, glancing at Jasmine, his voice dropping in volume. “Even I wasn’t handling these things at thirteen. I don’t feel right about forcing her to do so.”

“It’s not like we’re forcing her to,” Marron shrugged, “You know Jas would’ve thrown a fit if we tried to do this without her.”

“I wonder where that stubbornness comes from,” Jacobi grumbled. “I know you’re both right, but I still don’t like it. I find myself not liking a lot of these new things… television seems like a waste of time.”

“But it can be recorded and replayed to the masses.. I mean, remember that not everyone in our lands attend to our public speeches and heard from bards. Oh that was annoying. Made one grand speech about that water usage edict but the farmers never heard it.” Mythra said.

“You made speeches about water usage?” Jacobi leaned back against the couch, a confused frown on his face. “I don’t remember that at all. I’m sure it was lovely, though, too bad the farmers didn’t hear about it.”

“I dunno, I kinda like the show that Ana watches; that Marquess Mareon is pretty cool, you gotta admit,” Marron shrugged. “TV’s got some uses, I’d say.”

“Mareon is just you, grandma,” Jasmine piped up, sounding irritated as a woman with a soft brush applied more makeup. “I can’t believe Ana hasn’t figured it out yet, what an idiot.”

“Yeah. A drought came in one year and the water lowered in the river. That was a difficult time.” Mythra said.

“Be nice, Jas,” Marron frowned. “Ana is a talented girl for her age, but she’s still quite young. I don’t want to make her grow up too fast.”

"She should grow up!" Jasmine snapped back. "She needs to stop being so childish! Neither of us can be like that anymore!"

“Jasmine, she is nine,” Marron crossed her arms, “That’s far too young to be taking on responsibilities like that.”

"Yet you're training her already!" Jasmine replied with a scowl. "She's not a baby, she can grow up!"

"Jasmine," Jacobi replied with a warning in his tone. "Do not speak to your grandmother with that tone. She's right; your sister is a child, and deserves to act like one."

“Jasmine,” Mythra finally spoke up to the girl. “Relax. We’ve a far greater concern here. You can’t lose your composure over what Ana does. There are greater potential morons that need to be shaken up to do action that affects real people.”

Jasmine glowered in silence for a few minutes before responding. "It isn't fair," she complained. "How come she gets to… be a stupid kid? I had to grow up! We both have responsibilities, not just me!"

“... no. You didn’t have to,” Marron retorted. “You chose to. You could’ve easily remained innocent and let your family handle the responsibilities, but you chose otherwise, to be the Empress before your time. If it was up to me, I wouldn’t have let you, but I’m not the Empress here, you are. So are you just gonna complain about it, or are you gonna do something with that role?”

"I…" Jasmine's shoulders dropped. "I couldn't… I need to help my people," she offered weakly. "I… when dad died… I love mom, but she just can't. It's so obvious how over her head she is…"

Jacobi sighed, sympathy in his tone as he spoke. "Why not ask your grandmothers for help, then? They both love you, you know, and Mythra especially so. Right, dear?"

“Right.” Mythra patted Jasmine on the shoulder. “Jasmine, I’m here for you alright? I love you and I want to see you be successful within your abilities. Hell, you pushed to go into this role, and now we’ve to pass what we can here.”

The teenager turned in her chair, barely holding back as she stood and hugged Mythra. "Grandma, please… thank you," she muttered softly. "I… please help me."

Mythra embraced Jasmine and held her closely. “I’ll help you along the way. Alongside the rest of us, and friends of Rohane Alista here.”

Jasmine sniffled, nodding into Mythra's chest and taking a deep breath. "I'm sorry, grandma," she looked up to Marron, shame in her eyes and tone. "I… you were right about Ana, at least, but I did need to step up."

Marron gave Jasmine a hug, “I know you did, Jas; that’s why I didn’t try to stop you from doing this. Just… let us help you, okay?”

With a soft shake of his head, Jacobi stood as well, though he placed his hand on Jasmine’s shoulder instead of joining the hug. “This may surprise you, but we do have much in the way of collective experience. Right now, that experience says to trust your allies. They will help us, as much as they can.”

Jasmine nodded again, pulling back from her grandmothers. “I don’t even know what to say,” she admitted. “Last time I had to give an address like this, someone else wrote my speech, and then mom answered any questions…”

“This might’ve to be improvised as we’ve a small amount of time to practice. That being said, focus on addressing what Rohane Alista needs and the help required. As in one we’re members, and what else to face this grand threat.” Mythra said.

"What we need first is food and water, then medicine for our people," Jacobi added. "And… Marron, Mythra, maybe it's time to explain what we know? If we're going to request full aid, best done now, not when it's too late. Jasmine deserves to know everything you two saw if she's to do this."

“True… I know we might be scoffed at as mad, but we’ve to explain the visions to them in public. Perhaps others might’ve seen it as well, but that’s unlikely.” Mythra said.

“I dunno, it’s possible I guess?” Marron shrugged. “Not really used to getting visions like that.”

"And I didn't get it at all," Jacobi reminded Marron gently. "So you might as well tell people. Didn't Gevli used to get these kinds of things? There's precedent."

“Um, yeah, I think so,” Marron folded her arms. “So um, what do we talk about? All the gold going up around the area, or like the cages that have Mythra and me in ‘em?”

"Have you in them?" Jasmine interjected. "What does that mean, 'have you in them?"

“As they were captured by the force and brought forth into the towers.” Mythra then scoffed. “I imagine fate will be annoying for us and that might happen.”

Jasmine tightly gripped Mythra’s sleeve, some of the color draining from her face. “Then you can’t go back! I don’t know, if you got taken, what would we do? We need you! I need you!”

Mythra cursed herself as she spoke too cynical this time. “Hey! I’m still here for you! Besides, the people need us as well.”

“Yeah, it’s not like we know exactly how it’ll happen, or if it even will,” Marron said. “But I know doing nothing isn’t gonna help anyone.”

“For now, let’s focus on what’s right in front of us,” Jacobi said as the sound of a knock could be heard on the door. “I still don’t like doing it this way, but between the three of you, I’m sure we’ll manage.”

“Yeah, yeah, I figure we can,” Marron replied, “After all, we’ve got you with us.”

“Whatever I can do,” Jacobi snorted as the knocking became more urgent. “Come on, the Empress leads. It’s time.”

Jasmine nodded, sniffing again once and letting go of Mythra as she walked to the door and opened it, heading out into the hall, glancing behind her to make sure her grandparents were following. She looked straight ahead, ignoring the many portraits of significant figures of the DSA lining the short hallway into the Grand Meeting Hall, where she stopped short of entering, taking a shaky breath.

“Jasmine… Please do your best.” Mythra patted the teenager on the shoulder.

"Right," Jasmine replied, taking and then releasing a deep breath as she pushed open the doors, stepping into the hall. The furor was immediate, camera flashes practically blinding the teenager as she walked in, taking a glance to her right, where there was a half circle table, each of the representatives of the DSA member states already in their position. Her eyes sought Daisy, Rohane Alista’s councilor through all of the last several years of chaos, soon finding the Bovinian woman, who gave her a small nod.

Sitting next to Daisy was the new Dystan representative who had replaced Melux Whitewing upon his retirement, a tall Bovinian man by the name of Asdra Stonehorn, looking at the group with a slight smile as they entered.

Sitting to the left of Daisy was the long time Glaristanti representative, a stern faced lamia known as Amalia Diarmadia. She gave a small nod towards the Empress, but otherwise merely watched as she approached the table.

In the position of the Silverdalean representative was a new delegate who replaced Locua Whitewing when she retired, a Brasan woman with golden eyes who gave a little shine right at the group. Specifically at Marron as she gave a nod. She was known as Sonia Bronzedew, or Sonia Snowtear, the new chairman of the Dragon Sea Alliance.

“Welcome Empress Jasmine Turak, and the Royal Dynasty of Rohane Alista! I am happy to see that you’re able to join us at this hour.” Sonia said.

"Thank you for your welcome, Chairwoman Bronzedew," Jasmine replied, giving a shallow curtsy. She stepped up to the microphone that was already waiting for her, trying not to but unable to stop herself glancing at her family as she prepared to speak. "And thank you to the rest of the council attending today."

“Hey, no problem,” Asdra said, “Your Eminence is always welcome to speak with this council.”

"Councilor Asdra speaks truth," Daisy added with a small nod. "We shall always make time for Your Eminence, or indeed any sovereign of our members."

"We are always willing to make time for your majesty, particularly so in light of recent events," Amalia added.

"Thank you, Councilors," Jasmine repeated, swallowing and not quite looking at any of them as she spoke. "It is in light of those recent events We come to you today. The situation in Rohane Alista had continued to degrade, and We… request the full assistance of the Alliances emergency measures. We are also most ashamed to report that We are rapidly becoming unable to continue to offer our previous level of material commitment to the causes of the DSA, including ongoing conflict resolutions."

“The situation is rather dire indeed. A whole Golden Tower spurt out from the ground and an island calamity is at hand. I understand that Silverdale will be able to grant this request as it is your time of need. That being said: I understand one concern would be the demand of resources from all of us, and second is the potential other threats posed by the tower. As in any other threats posed for the scale of military action. Now are there any other concerns our members have?” Sonia asked.

Ethara, a replacement for the now deceased Rintyari predecessor, looked quite troubled by the question. Much younger than her predecessor, though still showing her age as her hair and scales began to turn grey.

She knew it was impossible to refuse now, but that there were also serious problems ahead of them.

"The Catedonian front has already eaten up so much of our fighters and equipment. What's left is already either being transferred or preparing for a potential Thalassian attack they would be hard-pressed to repel. Whatever material we can afford to give will have to be diverted to the Catedonian front if you are forced to divert material and manpower elsewhere. What we can afford to spare is, at this point, anything that can't be used to fight a nord or keep our troops from bleeding out, and even then, the ships that would transport them are already being used to transport material that way instead…"

Her assessment was grim, but that was the reality of war. It had already torn through Rintyar at almost every level.

“Well, um,” Asdra rubbed the back of his head, “I’d love to help with anything Dyste has, but we’re directly in the middle of a military restructuring, so our ability to help might be limited… that said, Parliament has been passing bills for more aid, and Her Majesty has passed on a personal request to meet with Lord Jacobi when they can. That said, Dyste isn’t gonna just give up on one of their closest allies like that.”

“His majesty will likely approve as much aid as Glaristant is capable of sparing, be it financial, medical, or military assistance. Hell, it’s all but a certainty given that our current Queen is a daughter of Alista. Yet with that being said, you must understand that there is only so much we can provide given our ongoing political restructuring and our admittedly limited resources. I wish I could promise you more, but that’s the sad reality of the matter. Mind you that may change with time, but it’s the best we can do for now.” Amalia said, sighing as she gave Jasmine a sympathetic look.

"Ex.....Excuse me, but couldn't we fill in the gaps in the DSA's place if they are unable to? I's not like we're exactly lacking for resources....." said a voice with a Dystan accent coming from the audience. Looking back, the council could see that the interjection had come from a young black scaled draconid standing next to a taller dark draconid and a towering water draconid. The two draconids, known to the council as the Arkhons of Aravea, looked to their son before looking to each other.

“Oh, well…” The Dark Draconid folded his arms, he didn’t actually intend on being here at the same time as the Rohanian delegation, “Erm… we do certainly have the resources, but we are also not members of this organization. Not yet, anyways…”

“Oh thank goodness.” Mythra let out a sigh of relief after she heard all these justification for ‘limited resources.’ All the while Silverdale, who she saw get hit by the Winter War, is willing to repay debts whenever they can.

Sonia rose up her figure as she turned to Arkhons of Aravea. “Then at these times, we should accept the aid of a potential member-state of the Dragon Sea Alliance. A boon that’d totally save many lives.”

"Given the," Jasmine began to speak, then paused, collecting her thoughts before continuing, her tone increasingly dour. "Difficulties in getting support from our long-term allies, We do not find ourselves in a position to refuse Aravean offers, but We still wonder what they would seek from us in return."

“Apart from membership in the Dragon Sea Alliance, the Confederation would be willing to supply Rohane whatever it needs and in whatever quantity, provided three conditions are met.” Alexandra said, looking squarely at the empress as she scruinitized her and the councilors. “An immediate end to the any and all sanctions on Aravea or its allies in its eastern territories, both at a national and alliance wide level. Secondly, we wish for an immediate tabling or dropping of any DSA sponsored initiatives on the political status of Onrac and Melmond regions, both in the near and long term. Naturally, this would include an end to the sponsoring of anti-Aravean or EK government protests by certain nations. Finally, we wish for the full recognition of Aravean sovereignty in the aforementioned regions by all DSA members.”

"Absolutely not," Daisy replied before Jasmine could. "You demand we sell our honor for your aid? We're not that desperate!"

Jasmine cleared her throat. "I could not give you any of your demands regardless; our duly appointed Alliance Councilor has already refused, and I do not believe the Senates would be willing to approve such an offer regardless."

“Councilor, allow me to be blunt….” Alexandra responded in a formal, if somewhat icy tone, “Fifteen million of your countrymen perished within the course of a day, with countless more being added to that tally with each passing hour. Your people are rapidly running short of everything from food, medicine, and other basic supplies….a situation that will only grow more dire as the days pass. That’s without even mentioning that your economy is in free fall, as is your currency and every effort is being taken just to stave off its imminent collapse. The only reason it hasn’t yet is because you have shuddered the banks, but we all know that you can't keep faith in it for too much longer.. And of course, that also doesn’t take into account the severe repercussions such a collapse would have upon the economies of your fellow DSA states. Put simply, councilor, Aravea is one of the few… if not the only nation which possesses the wherewithal to provide the assistance you require in such a short timeframe.”

The Arkhoness shook her head as she approached the table, eyeing each of the councilors before looking towards the empress, “Your majesty….Let us be truthful, there are not enough senators left in Rohane to achieve a quorum, let alone be able to govern the country or conduct diplomacy. I will admit we are asking a fair bit, but surely such a price is worth it if it means that Rohane and her people will get the resources they need to survive through the next several years. Mind you, I have not even mentioned that our offer would also entail the use of the sizable Confederal military against any potential threats from those towers.”

“Well, Dyste has already given its own request in order to agree to all of this,” Asdra said, giving Frenze a piece of paper, “A request from your mother.”

“What the-” Frenze read it, “‘Execute all nobles that challenged your right to be the Arkhons’? … what in the world, Mother!? That is not how things work! It is completely-”

“... ‘unreasonable’, right?” Marron yawned, “Huh, I see what she’s saying; a lil’blunt for my tastes, but proving the point well enough. There’s no way you could agree to that, just as you know we couldn’t agree to what you’re suggesting. ‘Sides, I know the truth from… let’s say the family trade,” she rolled her eyes, “Neither of you even like the occupation, do you?”

“It is not an issue of personal feelings,” Frenze growled, “We wish to settle matters in the region on our own terms, not being forced to acquiesce in order to appease other nations. If we simply withdrew, it would cause more problems than it would solve.”

Jacobi stepped forward, placing his hand on Jasmine's shoulder, fixing Sasha and Frenze with a displeased glare. "You wish not to appease other nations… so you would have them appease you even as their people die and their institutions fall apart, is it?"

“We sympathize with your nation’s plight, truly we do. It was not too long ago that Aravea was faced with a series of catastrophes that saw millions of her citizens killed, her economy on the edge of collapse….and her people starving. I myself lived through that time and remember the rejections we got when we appealed for aid from this council’s predecessors. They demanded we give up our security and of our people as they were being slaughtered and starved by the actions of our foes ..Foes mind you that were sponsored and abetted by our neighbors to the east. Sasha remarked as she returned Jacobi’s glare with her own, her words dripping with a slight hint of sadness as she spoke “While our conditions may seem somewhat unreasonable, you must understand that if we are to aid you….We must ensure that our own house and its surroundings are not undone in the process. By settling this matter ourselves, we can ensure that Aravea and her people are protected….while ensuring that the potential for future conflict and chaos is checked.”

"And all it takes to make up for your war of aggression is the death of Rohane Alista, in fact or in spirit," Daisy replied, standing now. "Your demands are ridiculous! Joining the DSA is one issue, but full sovereignty over half of Greater Corneria? You offer us a poison pill and call it a cure!"

"ENOUGH!" Jasmine shouted, her grip on the podium in front of her turning white as she leaned forward towards the microphone. "I don't care about what you think might happen in Corneria or Catedonia in five years when my people are dying right now! If you offer us nothing, fine, offer us nothing! We came to seek aid, not to solve your looming crisis for you! It seems our hopes of help are lost, though."

“It’s not a war of aggression when our people were attacked first by the Cornerians… nor are my parents’ concerns unfounded, Councilor. When we are seeing attacks on our civilians worsen with each passing day, my mother is not wrong in trying to ensure that pulling resources from that region to aid RA doesn’t make things worse. She is just trying to do her job as you are trying to do your’s. Yet with that being said….” Tylan said, stumbling for a moment as he addressed the Rohanian councilor, his gaze soon shifting to meet that of his parents. He trembled for a moment, letting out a nervous sight before he spoke, “Y-you….You had always said that the mark of true nobility was the willingness to put the needs of others above one’s own, even if it meant it was to our detriment. That was what set us as a nation and people apart from the Cornerians. So…I ask you…if that is true, then shouldn’t you as the leader of our country be doing that now in the Rohanian’s hour of need instead of seeking to exploit the situation to secure our interests, even if it is with understandable intentions….”

“Your majesties, it might behoove you to listen to your son…..The kid’s dead on here.” Amalia replied, breaking her silence as she looked back to Daisy and Jasmine, “I am not exactly thrilled with the idea of legitimizing the occupation nor granting them carte blanche to do as they will in the region. Yet with that being said, it is my belief that we would be foolish to ignore the reality that none of us has the means to address the current crisis without outside help. Though you may not care for it you two, Aravea did offer substantial resources that Rohane Alista isn’t exactly in a position to turn down. So bearing that in mind….perhaps a compromise can be reached here?”

Sonia raised her voice as she heard enough of this debate. “Perhaps a compromise could be found. However, this cost for live saving supplies is rather inappropriate for the name of security. A demand violates even the meaning of generosity itself. I am concerned that if we accept such a deal, then our alliance would be willing to bend over to dangerous intentions.”

Frenze sighed, “I… think I agree, Sasha… a compromise must be met here. If we show Aravean prowess here, they will more readily agree to our potential membership within the Dragon Sea Alliance, and we can negotiate some better terms. Tylan might just be right…”

Sasha sighed at her husband’s words, her own expression remaining neutral as she glanced back towards the councilors, “As you wish, vorel. We are willing to release several dozen ships worth of supplies immediately, as well as provide generous financial assistance to Rohane immediately. Though that being said, their release would be greatly expedited provided sanctions on Aravean trade with Rohane were relaxed or rolled back. Do this and we can have them in your ports within five days, as well as ensure the immediate availability of our funds to your central bank."

"... We can agree to that…" Jasmine replied, sending an anxious glance back to her grandparents.

“Yeah, I guess that’s okay,” Marron sighed, “Better to do that than messing around with all these talks when there’s people to help.”

“Thank Bahamut…..” Tylan muttered, breathing a sigh of relief as he gave Jasmine a weak smile.

Mythra scoffed in disgust from the whole event as she turned to Jasmine. “I suppose.”

Jasmine's expression fell slightly as she looked at Mythra, but she did her best to conceal it, turning to speak to the council again. "It seems most, perhaps even all of you, cannot offer us much. We… dearly hope you find a way to do more, but understand it has been a difficult time…"

Jacobi cleared his throat. "Now might be a good time, my loves."

“Um, right,” Marron didn’t really get the full idea yet, but she could share what they figured out, “We know this isn’t the end of all this… I dunno about any more towers, but there’s gonna be a lot more to deal with… ugh, sorry, I don’t really know how to say it… I had visions of it, I guess?”

“Visions?” Sonia gave a curious look at her mother. “Mo-Marron, what visions did you saw?”

“Well, we had the same vision in fact.” Mythra spoke up. “This isn’t a dream or a false omen, as what we witnessed has occurred thus far.”

"That doesn't answer the question, Lady Mythra," Daisy replied, frowning. "What exactly did you see?"

“What did you see in this vision of yours, you two?” Amalia inquired as well, giving the two a stern gaze.

Myrthra quickly gave the lengthy explanation of the vision she saw. “What we need to be prepared for is the Entity and the storm of shards, and this mass scale of cages abducting many people.” She then turned to Marron to explain what peculiar folks who would be kidnapped.

“Well, um… I think two of the people being abducted are… Mythra here and myself?” Marron said. “I dunno about the other ones, but, well, I definitely saw both of us there.”

"Abducted?" Daisy followed up. "By this… entity? Did you see the entity?"

“There was one of green and purple, which might be that Nivia girl.” Mythra then paused. “Although the entity is bizarre and ancient… I can’t say vividly what it appeared to be.”

“Yourselves?” Sonia's eyes raised up. “H-How exactly mother?”

“I mean,” Marron said, trying to avoid Jacobi’s gaze at that last remark, “It was us in those cages, being captured by… I dunno what it is. Just that I know we’re in danger from whatever it is.”

“So essentially dealing with some unknown threat that has its eyes on capturing deities, right? This…is most troublesome….” Amalia sighed, sharking her head.

"Then you can't go back," Daisy replied, looking to the rest of the council. "We can't afford to lose you."

“I cannot be absolutely certain that the being aims to capture deities.” Mythra clarified. “I doubt it’d be possible on a wide scale. Now look, I doubt the vision of what being locked away is set in stone. It’s possible to break it.”

“True, but you aim to head to Rohane Alista next, right?” Sonia asked.

"Of course," Jacobi interjected here. "Our people need us. They need someone to look to."

“Well, naturally,” Marron folded her arms, “I don’t intend on abandoning my people when they need me the most. Not again.”

“Right! I shall go there as my people need me.” Mythra stated.

"You realize, if you get captured, this will get worse," Daisy pressed. "And not in some magical mumbo jumbo way, in the real, definable, 'all hope is lost' way. You should stay here."

“Geez,” Asdra sighed, “It’s real rough, but I’m sure Her Majesty will be able to help you figure out something.”

“Mother is coming, then?” Frenze said.

“She insisted upon it,” the Bovinian man shrugged, “You know her, when there’s a problem like this, she likes to handle it personally.”

“You know her, vorel. She never could resist dealing with a problem personally if there was an opportunity to do so. Still, one would think she would realize it’s rather more risky given her current position….” Sasha remarked, giving a disapproving sigh

“Lady Mythra and Lady Marron….forgive my disrespect, but insisting on returning to Rohane at this time is rather reckless, not only due to the dangers of you being captured but the damage it would do to your people’s morale. Losing both queens to whatever monstrosity is behind this would deal a significant blow to your cause, if not cause people to lose faith in it entirely.” Amalia remarked.

“Yes,and it is rather too dangerous to go there.” Sonia said. “Surely, you can do good from afar?”

“True, but right now our people need us the most. Same with Jasmine.” Mythra said. “No need to wait around anymore.”

"She's right," Jacobi replied, looking each councilor in the eye individually. "You worry about the morale if they're captured, but what about the morale if we appear as cowards? Hiding from some unknown, unqualified threat while the people suffer, and could use us there to help them? Tynah understands this," he continued, this time giving Sasha a cool look. "The people need to know we will not abandon them, even in the darkest hour."

“Sorry, Sonia,” Marron folded her arms, “But I’ve already promised my family I’d help out here, and I would hope you of all people would understand how much that means to me.”

Sonia rolled her eyes. “I’m a part of your family as well.” She sighed. “Look, we can discuss this later, but I cannot stop you from making this decision.”

“Right…” Marron said with a sigh. “So that’s really I’ve got about that; if you wanna help us, we’ll accept any help, and if you don’t, we’ll do it by ourselves.”

Jasmine frowned, speaking up as well. “Indeed, We will be happy to discuss details of whatever aid you can provide later, but for now, We must see to our people, with or without you,” her voice shook a little as she stepped off the podium, approaching her grandparents.

Mythra nodded. “Well, that’s our case. I hope you’d find wisdom and help our country in need.”

"We'll see ourselves out," Jacobi said, leading his wives and granddaughter out of the hall as the flashes of journalist cameras ignited again.

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Posts: 2343
Founded: Mar 15, 2012
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Dyste » Sun Jun 12, 2022 6:28 pm

(OoC: Co-written with Rohane Alista)

Morgan Uniop subtly adjusted the collar on her dark blue dress uniform, waiting just inside the large, wrought iron gates of the Jacobius Imperial Army Academy as the sun shone off the marble pillars. Technically, guests weren’t usually allowed on the grounds outside of very specific days, but having a Lieutenant General and the Minister of State as your parents had a few advantages, such as permission to give a good friend the tour while school was out. She adjusted again, trying not to be too overt in her excitement at finally getting to see Tes in person again, for the first time in months, who was running late, of course.

Tesgar had been rather busy with his own studies as of late, the Dystan Bovinian still towering over his high school friend as he arrived, his long black done up more neatly than before as he wore his university’s colors, “There you are! I almost didn’t recognize ya with that fancy outfit on, Morgan!”

“Tell me about it,” Morgan grumbled, taking off her cap with her left hand, revealing her scarlet hair in a bun. “It’s an honor to be here, of course, but sometimes I wonder if I’m cut out for this place. It’s so stiff,” she turned, giving Tes a small smile and inclining her head. “But, come on, you wanna see the place, right? We’ve got some really neat stuff. You ever heard of Nightsplitter?”

“Um, no,” Tes seemed embarrassed, “Should I? I’m not an expert on all this old military stuff…”

“I thought Bovinians loved axes,” Morgan snickered as the two walked down a flagstone pathway, Morgan especially careful to make sure neither of them stepped on the grass even once. “Come on, Tes, even you think knights are cool, right? How have you lived in Rohane this long and still don’t recognize names like Nightsplitter?”

“Hey, c’mon,” Tes patted the back of my head, “I mean yeah, Bovinian Warriors are often usin’ those, but I ain’t a warrior, I’m a ranchhand! But knights are pretty cool an’ all… so what’s this ‘bout, then? Some weapon a knight used?”

A knight? One of the greatest of all time! Duchess Elwin Karimi smithed it herself for her personal use,” Morgan replied, excitement leaking into her voice. “Come on, even you’ve gotta know Elwin Karimi, Tes, that’s like, basic history class stuff!”

“Oh, um, right,” Tes considered what he remembered, “Wasn’t she a knight who served under th’First Emperor in the first iteration of the Dragon Sea Alliance?”

“There you go, Tes, you do know stuff! I mean, obviously, you got a scholarship to the Imperial Academy,” Morgan snorted, suddenly going to attention and saluting a passing teacher before resuming their walk. The two had made good distance on the flagstone path already, passing several smaller buildings and coming closer to a squat but wide sandstone building with large wings. “You know, the first emperor is also the one who built this entire city and academy. That’s why it’s all named after him.”

“Right, I got that part alright,” Tes said, “Even in Dyste we learn all about him; did you know one of his wives was from my homeland? Seems they met during those days, when she was a retainer to our queen, then the crown princess.”

“Well, yeah, of course I knew,” Morgan said. “I was born in the Queen Marron Memorial Hospital in Berabil, actually. Lotsa stuff around the country is named after her, but especially in Berabil. Plus, you know, very popular in the trashier books,” the redhead added with a giggle. “I think we’ve got something of hers in here, too, and Queen Mythra’s as well, though I know less about that. Apparently they still belong to the Imperial Family, but they lend them to the academy for display or something.”

“Huh, neat,” Tes said, “Yeah, I saw a few of those things when I took a trip there on a break from this place’s Imperial University,” the Bovinian was still surprised he was even able to attend it given its prestige; it seemed Dyste was quite interested in having its students in Rohane Alista learn from the best. “Not so much the books. But really, I’d be interested in seein’ it all; even if we’re seen each other a few times since then, haven’t really gotten a chance t’see this place.”

“Jacobius is the most boring of all the major cities in the country, I promise you,” Morgan huffed, leading her friend up a small set of stairs and into the grand hall of the sandstone building. “I mean, yeah, there’s a hoverball team and a movie theater and all, but it’s not like there’s any good night clubs or many awesome concerts here. Still, that’s perfect for you, huh Tes? Mr. Gets A Headache At The Biggest Show… you know, I don’t actually remember how that night ended.”

“I think we had t’head home after we got too many drinks,” Tes had rather forgotten a lot about that night, admittedly, “But maybe later we can go somewhere else for that sorta stuff? Heck, even Dyste’s got some nice places in Valitora and Auram for that kinda thing, I hear.”

“Well, we might have to go to Dyste at this rate,” Morgan replied, showing Tes through a door on the left hand side of the hall. The new room was filled with glass cabinets, almost all of which contained weapons of some kind, most with plaques, along with many paintings, photographs, and banners on the walls. “I don’t think there’s going to be any concerts in Rohane Alista for awhile… but hey, let’s not bother with that right now? I got you in to show you this stuff, it’s pretty cool!”

“Yeah!” Tes was trying not to think about it too much as he looked over the weapons and such, “So a lotta this stuff is from that era, ain’t it?”

“Yeah, a lot of it is old stuff, some of it is even older than the DSA though,” Morgan said, pointing to a half rusted trident in a case near the entrance to the room. Luckily, no one else was here at the moment to tell them off for getting too close to the glass or being too loud. “Apparently, this trident is almost two thousand years old! One of the last remaining relics from the exodus. And that,” she pointed to a particularly strong looking case that held a simple black book in it. “Is supposedly some kind of grimoire full of evil spells. I kinda doubt that one is real, obviously.”

“Geez, hard to tell with some of these, ain’t it?” Tes looked over a set of shuriken which appeared to belong to Marron, but clearly not the one she was most well known for, the one blessed with ice magic. “Some could just be replicas; the Calberona Museum has replicas of Aurik, Tarvos and the Metal King’s Flail, though at least there they mention it…”

“They could also just be the less famous weapons of some of those heroes,” Morgan pointed out, looking at the same plaque as Tes. “I mean, this one doesn’t say they’re supposed to be those magic ones Marron had, right? Just that they belonged to her. Kinda like that bow over there,” Morgan pointed to a case where a bow was hanging on the wall. “Was supposedly Queen Mythra’s magic bow, but it’s not like it’s a weapon notable enough to have its own name…”

“Yeah, I guess that makes sense,” Tes said, “I kinda doubt they’d wanna donate their favourites to a museum, after all.”

“You say that, but,” Morgan grabbed Tes’ hand, practically dragging him behind her to the biggest single case in the entire room, which contained both a full set of surprisingly short deep blue plate armor, complete with helm, and a massive axe, the handle of which was the same deep blue, the blade of which was surprisingly shiny. “There it is… Nightsplitter itself. Alongside Elwin’s armor, or at least a set of it.”

“Whoa…” Tes was in awe, “I heard th’knights of that era wore colourful suits of armor like this, but I didn’t expect t’see one close up. An’ that’s Nightsplitter, huh? It’s considered in Dyste a cousin t’the likes of Aurik and Argente.”

“Wait, really?” Morgan raised an eyebrow. “I don’t think it’s enchanted or anything though?”

“I dunno if it is or it ain’t,” Tes shrugged, “But it’s more than just enchantments that make a weapon legendary, y’know; it’s also on who used it an’ for what purpose.”

"Well, yeah, obviously," Morgan replied. "I guess you guys treat them with the same kinda reverence we do, don't you? Those were, in a lot of ways, the first heroes of Rohane Alista as it became, after all."

“I mean, it’s th’first adventure of our new queen,” Tes said with some pride, “How she met lifelong friends and her consort, and helped t’forge th’alliance that’s supported all our nations through all this time. I wouldn’t be here if it ain’t for that.”

"Good for you, hot stuff," Morgan teased. "I mean, they do seem pretty amazing. How does a human woman even lift an axe that big? She was apparently smaller than I am," Morgan glanced at Tes, noting she could probably fit a whole half her torso in between their heights. "And she wore that stuff and fought with that axe. She must have been crazy strong."

“Based on what Her Majesty claims,” Tes recalled a few stories told about the time, “She considered Elwin to be the strongest human she ever met, able to outmuscle most orcs, bovinians and draconids they came across. Th’only people I know said t’be able t’compare from that group were Her Majesty and her consort, Queen Marron and her mother.”

"That's insane," Morgan whistled softly. "I wonder if she was the strongest warrior RA has ever had, even. Hey, Tes… if you had to, could you lift that axe?"

“U-um,” Tes turned a bit red, “... maybe? I ain’t used to holdin’ that sorta thing, but I s’pose I could if I tried.”

"Kinda wish we could get it out of there and check," Morgan joked, frowning as it seemed to shake lightly in the case. "Hey, Tes? You saw that too, right?"

“... yeah, I did,” Tes’s ears flickered. “What was that?”

"I have no idea," Morgan began to respond when she was interrupted by a blaring alarm, all color draining from her face. "Oh, fuck. Tes, we gotta go, now."

“... it’s happenin’ again, ain’t it?” Tes thought this was over, but was there still more to this? “Dammit!”

"I don't know, man," Morgan replied, grabbing Tes and pulling him behind her as she rushed out of the museum. "Come on, we'll hide in the armory. Technically you're not allowed down there, but I don't care, I'm not letting you get… get crushed or something!"

“R-right!” Tes followed her, figuring anything would be better than getting crushed.

The two rushed out of the sandstone building the same way they had entered, the alarms still blaring as Morgan guided the Bovinian man. If there was another tower, it wasn't visible yet, but the shaking of the ground was getting stronger as the young woman dragged Tes across the grass towards a small, white building. She fumbled with the solid metal door for a moment, grunting as she pulled it open and pushed Tes inside in front of her. Inside the building was just as white, with bars across what looked like some kind of check in location, but it was empty.

Morgan wasted no time with any of that, heading down a flight of stairs across from the reception, which has another heavy metal door that Morgan grunted as she tried to open. "Oh come on…"

“Ugh, c’mon,” Tes grabbed the door and tried to pull it, “Guess they really didn’t want people just barging in, huh…”

“It makes sense, but it’s annoying as hell,” Morgan complained through grit teeth, trying to help, but it was pretty clear it was Tes who started moving the door, slowly but surely. “Tes, how the heck did you get so strong? Not that I’m complaining at the moment!”

“Heh, workin’ your whole life on a farm’ll do that to ya,” Tes chuckled, “Lotsa strong warriors grew up on one too; I heard that’s how this popular recent one named Kavra got prepared for adventurin’. Maybe y’should try it sometime.”

“I’m not an adventurer, Tes,” Morgan said, watching the door continue to slowly open, until it was just wide enough for her to slip between it and the frame and help by using her full body to push it further open. “I’m gonna,” she grunted, the door suddenly swinging the rest of the way open at the same time as a shake happened, sending her stumbling towards the stairs. “Eek!”

“MORGAN!” Tes rushed forward with a surprising speed for his lumbering frame as he grabbed her. “Geez… you alright there? That was a close one.”

“Uh, yeah, thanks,” Morgan blushed, grabbing hold of Tes’ arm and then leading him in. “Come on, let’s close that door. Probably safer that way, I think?” She asked, looking around the room. At first it looked like a bad place to be during an earthquake; shelving floor to roof, filled with boxes that could shake free, but closer inspection revealed the shelves were themselves part of the building, and the boxes were all secured even more than the exhibits in the museum had been, likely impossible to physically remove without specialized tools or obscene strength. “I’m sorry you had to be here for… this, Tes.”

Tes looked around, once another tremor happened he could tell this was definitely safer than the museum. “... hey, it ain’t a problem for me; chances are I’d just be in some other place makin’ a fool of myself by panicking when it happened. At least here I’ve got ya t’have a good idea on what t’do.”

“Oh, well let me do the thinking then,” Morgan muttered, having more luck pulling the door closed. “Give yourself some credit, dude, you didn’t get those scholarships for being a dumbass.”

“Heh, fair ‘nough,” Tes chuckled, “But I ain’t in some military school learnin’ ‘bout what ta do in a crisis either. Guess that’s what happens when your pa’s some big deal there…”

“And my mom,” Morgan rolled her eyes, securing the door and sliding several bars across it, then walking deeper into the armory. “It’s not like they trained us on what to do when the whole damn country,” she was interrupted by a strong shake, causing the contents of some of the boxes to rattle, “Fuck… they definitely didn’t train us for this.”

“How could they,” Tes shuddered, “I don’t think anyone could’ve expected this sorta thing to happen…”

“No, they couldn’t,” Morgan nodded, heading down another flight of stairs. The door at the bottom of these was much easier to open, and she soon had the two inside the next room, which was similar to the last one, but much smaller. “I’m technically not even supposed to know this room exists,” Morgan giggled nervously. “Dad told me about it. Apparently this is where they store the really dangerous weapons they get, mostly magical ones. He told me that some of these come from all over the DSA…”

“Geez, really?” Tes looked around, a little nervous, “Right, but a lotta th’magic shouldn’t work anyways since this is Rohane Alista an’ all. Still, we gotta be careful ‘round here…”

“Well,” Morgan spun a dial on the door, causing several hisses to sound as it pneumatically locked. “I brought us here cause… apparently, it’s built to withstand a nuclear bomb, and has its own air recycling system and everything, just for this room. No matter what happens, we can last out the shaking,” the ground helpfully gave the biggest rumble yet, sending her stumbling again, into a shelf, though she caught herself. “We can last it out in here and then go see what happened.”

“Yeah, I guess,” Tes said, still feeling a bit unsure. “Ya don’t think it’s another one of those tower things they’ve been showin’ on the news, is it?”

Morgan didn’t reply for a minute, sitting in a corner and patting the ground next to her. The floor was concrete, not exactly comfortable, but there weren’t many options in the room. “I dunno, Tes, but… probably. How long did those usually take, like, thirty minutes?”

“I… never really took th’time to check,” Tes said, sitting next to her, “I guess that’s about right? Th’only thing we can really do right now is wait.”

“Yeah, wait and hope,” Morgan mumbled as another powerful shake happened. This one didn’t subside quite like the others, though, a smaller background shake continuing as the ground seemed to lurch to the side, the girl sliding into the wall with no warning. “Ouch! What the hell?”

“Wh-what…?” the bovinian tried to help his friend out, “That ain’t good…”

Morgan grabbed ahold of Tes, who seemed slightly more resistant to being tossed around as the ground moved again, rattling coming from the containers as the shaking grew more intense. “No it ain’t,” she said, fear dripping in her voice as she picked up one of Tes’ usual slang words. “Tes, I think I might have made a mistake with-”

The sentence was never finished, a loud cracking sound blocking out everything else, causing Morgan’s free hand to fly to her ear as she pulled closer to Tes. There was an instant sense of emptiness in her stomach as the two actually lifted a bit off the floor, her eyes going wide as the relics in the room strained against their bindings. Still, there was no chance to speak for what might have been seconds and might have been hours, a huge rumbling filling the room, so powerful the young woman felt like it was in every part of her, until a huge crash was heard, and the two fell back to the floor.

Morgan fell on top of Tes, the bovinian wincing a bit, but grateful it didn’t happen the other way around; as he fell, a black staff came loose and hit him on the head, “Oww, dammit… you okay, Morgan?”

“Are you?” Morgan responded, groaning and trying to coordinate herself as she sat up and rolled off of him. “I landed on you! I didn’t get you anywhere, did I?”

“Just a lil’sore from the impact, I’m fine,” Tes said, rubbing his head, “That damn staff hurt more than that, got me square on the noggin it did…”

“Staff?” Morgan asked, looking around and finding the long piece of dark wood, inspecting the odd spiders and skulls carved in it, picking it up. “I wonder what this thing does? Well, not like I can use it,” she said, setting it aside and standing up, leaning against a wall. “The shaking stopped, but the floor isn’t level anymore either…”

“Beats me, probably some magic thing from Dyste or Silverdale or somethin’ like that,” Tes shrugged, “Probably didn’t want anyone usin’ it. I’d rather use somethin’ like that Nightsplitter than some stick like this…” he stood up, trying to keep his balance, “Whaddya think happened out there?”

“If we’re lucky? There was water in the ground, and it made it soft, so we slid a bit. If we’re not lucky?” Morgan frowned, slowly making her way towards the door. “The city was built partially on top of a large cliff, including the Academy…”

“... well, let’s hope for th’best…” Tes looked around. “... should we try t’leave, or wait out longer?”

“Leave,” Morgan said, straining to unlock the hydraulic lock on the door. “I don’t feel safe in here anymore, do you?”

“Nah, I don’t anymore,” Tes offered his hand, “Let’s get outta here already.”

“Yes please,” Morgan agreed, accepting Tes’ help. Between them, the door soon hissed again and opened, giving the first obvious sign that it was more than just a little slippage; the staircase leading up to the main armory was gone, instead there was a view of the open sky, which was slowly growing darker. Morgan pulled herself up and out of the room, giving out a horrified gasp as she saw the outside.

The cliff had well and truly crumbled, buildings and earth falling on the city and beach below. She could see the main building of the Army Academy, not that far off, in a pile of rubble itself, the skeleton of a metal building on top of it. The rest of the armory was also nearby, split in half on the impromptu hill the two now found themselves on. There were other buildings, part of the lower city or the upper, that were completely destroyed, some on fire as well, and the debris stretched out so far it looked like even ships in the harbor had been destroyed by some of it.

“What th-” Tes looked over everything in horror, “It can’t… no…” looking over, he could see the area he lived in being in ruins from debris. “What th’hell… what did this…”

“That,” Morgan pointed, far above, up on what remained of the cliffside, where even at this distance, and from such a low angle, the top of a golden tower could be seen. This one didn’t seem to glow like the others had, but was the same in every other way. “This… this is even worse than what they showed on the news, Tes,” she said shakily. “The entire city is… totally gone…”

Tes shuddered as he held Morgan; he had seen several of the news stories on this, but seeing it upfront like this was a whole different story. “Dammit… why did it hafta be now…” he then realized that it might’ve actually saved both their lives being here, instead of meeting elsewhere like they had considered. But was there anyone else still alive? And how would they escape now?

Morgan clung onto Tes, suppressing quiet sobs with all she had for a few moments, before speaking again, softly. “We’ve got to find a way away from this place,” she said. “But maybe we… we can go and see if there’s anyone alive, first? Please?”

“... of course, Morgan,” Tes nodded slowly. They couldn’t be the only survivors around here, right?

Morgan fell silent again as the two slowly clambered around the rubble, though she took a brief detour into the ruins of the armory, emerging with a rifle and a revolver, the second of which she handed to Tes. “Just in case,” she whispered, slinging the rifle across the back of her now ruined dress uniform, proceeding towards the main building of the academy, which helpfully had lost a side wall, granting easy access. Neither saw another person, living or dead, in the entire time it took them to reach the fallen structure, their slow and arduous trek over the debris making a short trip much longer.

Eventually, they did reach the wall, their only accompaniment the sounds of fire and settling buildings. Morgan looked inside, then waved Tes to join her. “I don’t see anyone, but it’s the museum room… a lot of the exhibits look broken anyways, we might as well try and take something else, just in case… and we can’t just leave Nightsplitter in here, anyways…”

“Right,” Tes was a bit nervous with the revolver, he had never held a gun in his life before, but he knew it could be useful just in case… without anyone around, it put him at more unease than if he actually had seen dead bodies around. “... I guess we’ll learn if I can lift it after all, huh?”

“I sure hope you can,” Morgan muttered, grunting as she pulled herself through the broken wall, turning around and offering Tes her hand. “Be careful… glass and stuff, you know.”

Tes took her hand, “Yeah, I’ll be careful,” he said as he got through himself, “Let’s get what we can at least.”

“Right,” Morgan said, walking slowly through the exhibits, seeing both Mythra’s bow and Marron’s throwing stars from earlier, but taking neither, stopping when she reached a broken case with a surprisingly thin lance in it, the plaque long since gone as she lifted it and tested its weight. “Huh, this thing is perfectly balanced,” she muttered to herself, making a few practice stabs with it and nodding as she picked up the scabbard from the case, technically meant for a horse, but making due for now.

Tes for his own part mostly ignored these smaller items, since he would need all his strength for the main reason they came here; the case that held Elwin’s armor had been shattered from the impact, parts strewn about, but he knew the armor itself wouldn’t be as useful to him. Instead, he saw the famous axe, Nightsplitter. Reaching over, he could tell it was heavier than a normal battleaxe, large enough that he needed to use both hands in spite of it apparently being a one-handed axe, managing to lift it up with some effort, “Whew… that’ll take some gettin’ used ta…” he noticed that there was a chain on it connected to the right gauntlet, as he tried fitting it on his hand. Even if he couldn’t take the full set, perhaps this might be useful.

“Any luck, Tes?” Morgan asked, the lance across her back almost as tall as she was. She watched him fit the gauntlet on, clearly a little too small for him, but large enough to still protect most of his hand. “You’re taking the gauntlet too?”

“Well, it seems like it’s part of how th’axe works,” Tes said, “Most of it ain’t gonna fit me, but this at least I might be able t’use for somethin’ if I end up havin’ ta use it…”

“Oh, weird,” Morgan said, wiping away some dirt under her eyes. “Ok, come on… I looked into the hall, it’s completely crushed by that other building. Not even a point in looking for people that direction.”

Tes wished he could take more of the armor, but it would just slow them down, and the axe was already pushing how much he could carry. That said, he noticed the shield that was part of it, slipping the handle on his wrist, “Alright, then… we should get movin’ back then.”

Morgan raised an eyebrow at the shield, which still clearly had the ruby unicorn of Alista painted on it after all the destruction, and shrugged. “Yeah, back out how we came in,” she said, heading over to the wall and climbing out, an easier task than climbing in had been. “... I’m glad we’re not leaving that behind,” she admitted to Tes as she looked over the ruined city, the fire slowly spreading. “It’s a pretty famous piece of our history, it might… help people find some hope.”

“Yeah, even if I don’t know th’first thing ‘bout usin’ it,” Tes admitted, “But at least we got it outta there.”

“Just hit things with it,” Morgan shrugged. “It’s an axe, it can’t be that hard. Now, come on,” she continued, once again clambering over the debris to climb higher, until she stopped, a horrified expression on her face. She turned and puked, shakily pointing to a place where the debris seemed slightly clearer, which featured a human arm bent in ways that should be impossible and nothing else of a body.

“GAH!” Tes was taken aback; now he really wished he didn’t think about being unnerved about the lack of bodies. “Dammit…” there was definitely no saving this person.

Morgan dry heaved a few more times, closing her eyes and moving on slowly. “Just don’t think about it, Morgan,” she said to herself. “Just don’t think about them.”

As they clambered, the ground to their right began to stir slowly, debris sliding down as the ground began to bulge. “Oh, what the fuck now?” Morgan groaned, her hand going, as if by instinct, to draw the lance off her back.

Tes meanwhile gripped the chain of the axe, getting ready to attempt a throw if needed, holding the shield out in case he needed to protect them.

The ground swelled and burst, one of the giant centipede creatures practically flying into the air from the hole it had just created. It landed with a soft thump, appearing to take a moment to assess the two before it began chittering, lunging forward for Tes.

“WHAT THE-” Tes blocked it with the shield, being pushed back. He tried to swing the axe, but the chain made it fly farther than he expected, missing it, “Ugh, really!?”

“Just keep it in front of us,” Morgan said, lifting her lance and stabbing forward with a large step, her foot slipping on something and causing her to only get a glancing blow off the creature's armor, but it was enough to cause it to fall back for a moment. “This thing is way harder to use than I thought it would be!”

Tes reached for the revolver with the hand with the shield, his other one preoccupied with Nightsplitter as he attempted to fire at it, missing his first shot before getting a glancing blow next, “Ugh, not really a great shot either…”

“I’ve got an idea, Tes,” Morgan said, regaining her footing and watching as the creature slithered around, rearing up again. “I’ll stay behind you, you catch it on the shield, and then I’ll stab it in the mouth. When that happens, shoot it while it’s stuck!” She instructed, the monster lunging for them even as she ducked behind her friend.

Tes gritted his teeth, letting Nightsplitted fall to the ground attached to the chain so he could aim better, bracing the shield up for the attack. “Get ready, Morgan!”

“Ready!” Morgan shouted as the creature once again landed against Tes’ shield, pincers trying to rip it from his grip as Morgan braced, stabbing around him, this time a perfectly placed blow that pierced through the softer inside of the creature's mouth, causing it to let off an unearthly howl. “Shoot the fucker, Tes!”

“Gotcha!” the Bovinian aimed the revolver and shot as many times as he could, aiming for the inside it he could, the recoil pushing him back a little but he stood firm as he fired away!

The revolver fired four times before clicking empty, each shot hitting the fleshy inside of the creature’s maw, and each seeming to do more damage, until on the fourth shot, a bullet made it all the way out the plated natural armor on the back of the centipede-things head, causing it to slump as it bled black, Morgan withdrawing the lance with a grunt and a pant. “What in the fuck was that thing?”

Tes held back up Nightsplitter, trying to get used to its weight, breathing out, “Damn… I have no idea, Morgan, but I would be glad if it’s th’last time I see one of ‘em.”

“Me too,” she shuddered, trying to shake some of the blood off her lance. “How’s the axe? I guess it must be really heavy, right?”

“Yeah, it is,” Tes said, slinging it over his back, “It’ll take a lotta effort t’swing it right, let alone do what I think th’chain is for, but I can tell it’s strong; probably woulda crushed that thing if I was able to get th’right hit on it.”

“What do you think the chain is for?” Morgan asked, putting the lance back on her back and gently taking the gun from Tes. “Oh, watch this,” she said, pulling out a fast loader from her pocket, flicking the chamber of the revolver open with a flick of her wrist, dropping the spent casings on the ground with gravity, and then dumping the new bullets in. She quickly flicked back the chamber and handed the revolver back to the Bovinian. “Six more shots. Only grabbed two of those, though, so… be conservative?”

“Right, right…” Tes said sheepishly, admiring Morgan’s little trick there, “Might’ve overdone it there… oh, right, the chain… well, I think if I was able t’ aim it right, I could throw th’ axe forward and pull it back into my hand with th’ chain. If done right, I could hit an enemy a lil’ distance away from me with th’same force as if I swung it.”

“You’re saying that axe is designed to be thrown,” Morgan replied flatly. “I’ll believe it when I see you manage to actually do it. But… well, maybe that means you’re figuring stuff out, Tes. I don’t think I would have survived this if not for you.”

“Same here, Morgan,” Tes said, “If it wasn’t for your quick thinkin’ during all this, I would’ve been flattened when this all started. I figure if we wanna get through this, we oughtta keep workin’ together.”

“Well I had no intention of letting you wander off on your own anyways,” Morgan snorted. “Come on, Tes, we’ve been friends for how long now? You really think I’d leave you alone?”

“I don’t think you’ve let me do that since y’let me inta your little friend circle back then,” Tes smirked, “Now c’mon, there’s no point in standin’ ‘round and makin’ us easy targets for anythin’ else ‘round here.”

“Right,” Morgan replied, exhaustion creeping into her voice. “Well, uh… I don’t know what to do from here. I guess we can try to get out of the city limits, and maybe we can find help?”

“Yeah,” Tes sighed, “I hate t’say it, but I can’t see many people ‘round here bein’ alive. We got lucky gettin’ in that armory. I know it’s a lot, but we gotta keep movin’.”

“Right,” Morgan repeated, sighing and starting to head away from the ruins of the Imperial Army Academy. “Hey, Tes? Are you going to go back to Dyste or stick around?”

“Um, well…” Tes looked out to the field, “I think at th’very least I need t’help out a bit here, maybe see if this axe is gonna help out… but I dunno how much help I’d even be? I ain’t a soldier or anythin’ like that, I’m a student of farmin’...”

“If that thing we fought is any indication, it won’t matter soon,” Morgan pointed out, sliding down some rubble and waiting for Tes to join her. “But no one would blame you if you went home, I don’t think. I have to fight, of course, I’m already in the military, technically…”

“In that case… nah, I’m stayin’ for now,” Tes said. “Maybe I’ll see if I can get a handle of this axe or somethin’, or learn how t’properly fire an’ all, but this place has been my home for the last few years, I ain’t about t’leave it like this.”

“Thanks, Tes,” Morgan smiled at him as they slowly made their way towards the edges of the ruined city. “It means a lot, really. My home is your home, and vise versa, you know? And, well, maybe I can ask dad to pull a few strings, make sure we end up together. I think that would be good.”

Tes followed her, lagging a bit trying to balance Nightsplitter and Elwin’s old shield, “Yeah, I think so too… dunno what would’ve happened if we didn’t meet up today, chances are I would’ve been down there…”

Don’t,” Morgan shook her head violently. “Don’t. It’s not helpful, it just makes me sad to think like that. What’s important is we did meet up, and we did survive. Alright?”

“... alright,” Tes tried his best to not think about it anymore. “So let’s keep on survivin’. I ain’t plannin’ on gettin’ outta this only t’stop now.”

“That’s better,” Morgan said, slowing down so Tes could keep up with her, and giving him a strained smile. “Now, come on, let’s try and save our breath. I’d like to be out of the rubble before I collapse and you’ve got to carry me the rest of the way.”

“Geez, this shield and axe are enough t’carry,” Tes let out a small laugh, “I think I’m at my limit already. “So let’s try to not overexert ourselves.”

“Are you calling me heavy?” Morgan replied, forgetting her own advice. “Tes, you better not be. I know I taught you more about talking to women than that.”

“Aw, c’mon, y’know that ain’t what I mean,” Tes sighed, “You try liftin’ these things sometime… later, don’t do it now of course.”

“No thank you,” Morgan replied, cresting another mound of debris and pausing for a moment. “If you’re struggling with them, I think I’d fall over. I can see some not destroyed buildings over there. Might be a good place to go until rescue comes?”

“Yeah…” Tes nodded, feeling a bit winded, “Probably better than just tryin’ to’make the whole journey on foot.”

“Right, well, let’s reach it then,” Morgan groaned, sliding down what she had to guess was the fourth entirely new debris hill today. “Come on, Tes, we’re almost there, and then we can sleep.”

“Yeah, sleep sounds good ‘bout now,” Tes yawned, “Been th’longest day I can remember…”
Last edited by Dyste on Sun Jun 12, 2022 6:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Dyste: A nation of large, long-lived, magic-using dragon-people (Draconids) ruled by a legendary adventurer. Realism? What's that?
Embassy Program
Rulers: King Tyroth, Queen Sarisa, Prime Minister Zihark Jemson
Capital: Valitora
Government Type: Semi-Constitutional Monarchy
Population: 14,457,200, Draconid Majority (60%), Kobold/Dino/Elven/Pony/Human minorities
Founded: Early 15th century
Tech: Lower-tech fantasy (can RP with PT/MT)
Canadian, fan of Video Games (Nintendo in particular) and Tabletop RPGs.
I love RP'ing, but note my schedule can be iffy at times. If you want to RP with me, TG me and we can talk.

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Posts: 66
Founded: Mar 06, 2018
Conservative Democracy

Postby Glaristant » Sun Jun 12, 2022 6:51 pm

Minutes turned to hours, hours turning to what felt like days as Niviea sat in the all encompassing blackness of her cell. She reached out into the black, desperately trying to find her way out only to feeling something metallic yank her hand back towards the wall. She tried to reach out again, all the while kicking in the dark with her feet. Yet no matter what she did, she couldn’t move from her position. As she checked along her wrist, Nivi could feel a smooth metallic band that burned with each touch. "What the hell is this…." She muttered, falling silent as she heard the sound of approaching footsteps….

The footsteps approached quickly, yet didn’t seem hurried at all, as a bright light blazed into being in the cell, shortly blinding Niviea, but then revealing the entire room was made of gold, or at least covered in it, with dozens of cruel hieroglyphs or letters of some ancient language carved into the walls, slowly glowing. There was only one other person in the room with her, someone tall, and shrouded in a dark cloak that hid their face, but for a small bit of a black and gold mask that could be seen. The figure didn’t seem interested in speaking, merely staring at the chained girl, at least as best Niviea could tell.

Niviea’s eyes narrowed as she saw the newcomer, silently watching them as they scrutinized her. The mask was unsettling enough by itself, but what truly disturbed was how it almost seemed like he was studying her for the gods only knew what purpose. Though she wouldn't admit, the less rational part of her increasingly worried that they we're sizing her up for either vivisection or some sick experiment. "Gods….keep it together Nivi, we're not in one of mom's horror movies…Still not exactly far off though…" she thought as she looked back at the being.

The figure continued to stare at her, occasionally pacing one direction or the other just slightly, giving Niviea a brief glance at a pointed ear, nearly milky white in color, or a quick lock of what seemed like it had once been blonde hair, before coming to a stop directly in front of her again. They spoke, and it was like several hundreds of voices all at once, some smooth and soothing, others hard and grating, some high, some low, some with a musical quality and some with a seeming absence of quality at all. ”You are quite young for something like yourself” they said, still observing Niviea.

Niviea recoiled slightly as the being came to stop before her, feeling a growing sense of terror welling with her gut. She did her best to remain calm, trying to fixate on the unsettling nature of its voice or its unnatural aura. “Heh…perhaps, but being young doesn’t mean I can’t skewer your sorry hide….whatever you are. Let me guess, you’re either some alchemical reject or some abyssal spawn with delusions of grandeur, right?” Niviea growled

”Oh,” the being replied, their tone betraying no concern about her threats. “It is always this way with the ones who call themselves gods,” it spoke mostly to itself. “Tell me, young star, what is your song based upon? I think it is… an elf, but not one of old, one new, and young, and ascendant, barely even an elf, in truth, but some other creature similar enough.”

Nivi said nothing for a moment as she weighed her options, all the while her mind raced as she tried to pick apart what he had said. From the sounds of things, it seemed like the being already had uncovered or determined a good deal about her leaving deception pointless. That being said, she didn’t exactly wish to let on anything the creep could use against her, “Heh….I…I suppose you could say my song is that of the heavens…..ones which shine brightly beyond the evil of ones such as you and the confines of the mortal realm.”

"Wrong," The figure replied slowly. "The heavens sound entirely different to you," they continued. "You are but a child, an infant, your song is one of magic unearned. You will do well in helping us."

“Oi, I would hardly call a star entirely different from the heavens…..and mind your tongue, I’m no infant…” Niviea snorted, raising an eyebrow at the creature’s comments, “Help you do what, exactly? Light up this subterranean hellhole you dwell in?”

"Collect the energy we need, of course," The figure replied, amusement in their voice. "You shall become more beautiful, more powerful, than you could have ever imagined. And you will bring about the world that mortals do not know will save them."

"Hrm….Not going lie, it's a tempting offer…..but I think I would prefer not to be an energy collector the people who destroyed my home here." Niviea sighed, shaking her head as she looked over the restraints,"What are you babbling on about? We mortals like the world as it is and are hardly in need of saving …at least not from the likes of you …"

"It was not an offer. It was merely a formality," the figure replied, walking forward and lightly gripping her face. "You are simply the first. Now, young wellspring, show me those you care about," they said, and Niviea briefly saw eyes of pure fire, boring into her soul, unstoppable and impossible to resist, her very self laid open before her.

Niviea could see memories begin to play out before as the being's eyes flared into her. The first was a memory of her early youth, one which was among the earliest events she recalled. In a room she recognized as being her mother Kyara's palace, she watched as a small blue ball of light hovered around a blue haired elf. The ball let out occasional giggles as the elf patted it, causing its light to shift towards a vibrant pink. Soon the pair were joined by a tanager woman holding a sleep elflet who greatly resembled the older elf. The tanager smiled as she watched the star spin around her, chuckling out. "Honestly love …what are we going to do with little Niviea…. She's not even a few months old and she's already quite the little ball of energy! Gwahaha!"

The eyes of fire looked deeper, burning away the scene as they focused on the blue haired woman who was playing with the orb. Nothing was said, but Niviea found herself pulled along with their focus.

Niviea groaned as she watched her mother fade from view, soon to be replaced by a vision of her soaring above the icy plains of her homeland. Higher and higher she soared, hearing the flapping of wings as she felt the familiar touch of Callum on her hand. Panic set in as she watched him fall out of her grasp and hurtle towards the ground below, as she watched on in vain. She dove as quickly as she could, knowing that she would not reach him in time. Yet as she tumbled through a layer of clouds, she breathed a sigh of relief as she saw her lover resting safely in the arms of her parents. "Thank the gods you're okay…Cal…." she heard her voice speak as she embraced him.

"A man?" she heard, vaguely, from far off and very close at the same time as the flaming eyes focused on the brown haired boy. "How curious…"

"You keep your vile hands off of him…."she roared, her mind flashing through scenes of her and Callum on dates in Techtown, snowboarding on the slopes of Morhale, and more. Yet they soon gaveway to a vision of the pair cuddling on the couch in her apartment. Niviea's head rested on Callum's shoulder, her arm holding him tightly as she began to drift off "Cal….I…don't tell you this enough, but ..I love you…more than being a goddess, a star…or even life. Honestly…can't yawn imagine life without you….."

The Callum in her memory was surprisingly sharp, clearer and more defined than the one who had fallen out of the sky, as he turned to look at her, soft brown eyes and a smile greeting her. "My star, you shouldn't say that. Your life is really important to a lot of people. But… I can't imagine life without you, either. Maybe, someday, when I "become an astronaut, I'll get the chance to come see you up there. Then I'll be able to say I love you so much that I would cross the void of space itself for you," he laughed softly.

"Hehe, you really are too sweet, love…That said, I look forward to that day as I can show you everything I've taken for granted….Perhaps even show you my full form." Niviea joked, cuddling closer to Callum, murring as she muttered, "It means more than you will ever to hear that love..."

"You're right," Callum replied, his voice scratchier than before, rougher, as he looked her in the eyes again, his pupils turning black in front of her. "I'll never know, ever again. This life, it hurts me, Nivi," he said, and they were no longer on a couch, but in the shade of a half wrecked building, black blood trickling down his forehead. "My parents are dead, my home and dreams destroyed, Niviea. And now you leave and let me suffer too…"

"Callum….. I didn't plan on leaving you….nor to let you suffer, love…." Niviea said, tears welling in her eyes as she recoiled from him.

“But you did,” Callum replied coldly. “Niviea, I’m suffering, so much. Everything I love is gone,” he said, the black in his pupils spreading slowly through the whites in his eyes. “But you just won’t… won’t accept it, will you? That I have nothing left worth living for, no reason to stay in this world…”

"Callum….you know I understand that …and was suffering alongside you. You know I wanted to…." Niviea said, fear coursing through her body, "No…no…no that's not the case at all….Please love don't go down that path…."

“But, Nivi,” Callum’s voice started to grow shaky as he grabbed both her hands. The situation around them had degraded even further, the buildings becoming more destroyed, the dead starting to appear around them; many of them had faces of people Niviea would recognize, perhaps not those she knew well, but those she had seen before during her times in Rohane Alista. “You can make it better, right? You can make a new world! A better world! One where none of this ever had to happen!”

"Wh…wh…what are you talking about, Cal….You know there's nothing I can do make this better….let alone have prevented it …" Niviea retorted, grimacing as she saw increasingly ruined world around her.

“But you can, Nivi,” Callum said, his eyes suddenly seeming to burst into flames, no heat radiating from them, but they were disconcerting nonetheless. “You know how, Nivi… you can remake the world, and then everything can be better! I won’t suffer anymore! We can be together, forever! Neither of us will have to live in fear of the day I die!” He said, bleeding more now. “Please, Niviea… please, do it for me…”

"Callum!....Fine…I…can do it if it means saving you….just please….please don't go love…." Niviea said, the tears flowing forth from her as she rushed to his side trying to take him into her arms.

Callum let her take him into her arms, touching her face with his hand. “Of course, Nivi… I love you, so, so much… I don’t know if I can always be there, but… whenever I can…” He promised, giving her a soft kiss. “And when you make everything better, we’ll be together forever, right?"

"Love….I will do everything I can to make sure we are together forever, even if it means moving the heavens. No matter the cost…." Niviea said, kissing him as she held him close to her.

“Good,” Callum said, resting his head against hers. “My star, I’m tired… I’ve got to go and rest, but next time you sleep, I’ll be there, alright? I know how strong you are, we can do this…”

"Sure thing, love…..I will see you soon…" Niviea remarked as a small smile spread across her a face, her mind feeling at ease as a sense of contentment filled her.

The world began to fade, first the dead, the buildings, replaced by Niviea’s living room as Callum himself faded out, the last thing to leave his burning eyes, then that too faded, into white, black, and then she was back in the real world, or the nightmare; it all seemed mixed now, but Callum’s voice never left her head.

Niviea would find she was no longer bound, and the figure who had been standing in front of her had removed their mask, revealing a pale, beautiful face, a man’s face, but more elegant than almost any woman in the world. There wasn’t a single scar to tarnish his skin, and yet darkness seemed to cling to it anyways, emphasizing and yet blurring his features as he spoke. ”Good morning, young wellspring,” he said, his voice like a thousand softly falling leaves. ”We will move you soon. You do not belong in this place, but we have a place where you shall achieve your great destiny, and receive your due rewards.”

Niviea was taken aback by the man's beauty, it being unlike anything she had seen even a ong her fellow deities. She had been expecting some malformed abomination to dwell behind the mask, yet the man seemed almost angelic in her eyes. Though she did not know why, she could see yet almost immediately lost that which defined his features in her mind. She shook her head as she listened to him, feeling a rather peculiar sense of serenity as he spoke, "I….see…Where exactly are you taking and….what rewards are you speaking of?" She muttered, giving a quizzical look

"There is a tower, just for you," the man said softly, looking directly into Niviea’s eyes, and his eyes looked similar to Callum's from the dream. "I will not pretend it will be painless for you… we will take every effort to see to your comfort, however, as you help us make a better world, a better song. And in that world, you shall be allowed to make yourself whatever you need, with whoever you want; your own perfect paradise. If there was ever anyone you loved and thought lost, you could have them there. Anything you wanted, but could not have, you will have it there… and all because you see now that this world could be so much better."

"I…I…suppose I don't have much choice in the matter at this point. So….I guess for the time being, I…can try to help if it means I can save Callum…and make the world better for him" Niviea said, shuddering as she saw the man's eyes shift into Callum's. Her violet eyes stared back as she scrutinized the man, trying but unable to get a read on what exactly was, "If….I have to know though….What or rather who are you? Why go to all of this trouble to capture a goddess….."

"My tale is far too old for you, young wellspring," the beautiful man replied, standing, offering her his hand. "And I prefer not to say it, regardless. Let us say my great love betrayed me for another, and when it should have killed me, I survived, and saw the brokenness of the world, and decided to make it better."

"I…see…That's a pity" Niviea muttered, raising an eyebrow at the man before taking his hand, "Perhaps after a time, you will come to see the merits of this world….." she muttered under her breath.

“Oh, young wellspring, no,” the man replied, leading her towards the door, which on his touch sparked with magic into a portal, stepping through it and pulling her after him. Soon, she found herself not in a cell-like room, but some kind of luxurious bedroom, the center point of the whole room being a large four poster bed, with hanging draperies. “Surely you have seen and experienced the suffering of this world? A dragon of hate and ice in the south, a creature who destroys all the land is built upon in far realms, a creature who would set the entire world ablaze to eat their souls in the west…”

"I have… yes, I would be lying if I said there weren't many tragedies occurring in the world. Ones that have or are causing endless suffering. Nor….nor is it helped by the actions of many mortals," Niviea said as she sat upon the bed, giving the man a melancholic look. Though she was loathe to admit it, the man did have a semblance of a point, "Yet at the same time, it is also a world filled with common mortals and the divine that strive for a better world. Those that despite their finite nature love and live for the sake of others…."

“And yet,” he replied, guiding her towards the bed. “Even your own love has given up, has he not? No longer does he see the worth in the world… but you, young wellspring, can help us. The world will be better, and new. And all you love, you shall guide there… rest, young one, and your dreams will be pleasant. You may use them to build your new world, and we will make it done…”

"Mhmm….likely not…he wouldn't give up even after all that's happened. You…you can count on that." Niviea said, a small smirk forming on her lips as she felt a growing fatigue well within her body. Her head felt heavy as she lay back on the bed, a vision of Callum beckoning to her as she found it increasingly difficult to stay awake.

“We shall see, young wellspring, we shall see,” the man’s voice said, becoming harder to hear as Niviea fell into a slumber, her dreams returning to that night with Callum already, and without her notice, she rose.

Over Sanirego, the golden tower had stood dark; the sky had not darkened; the cage structure at the top had not pulsed with anything like so many of the other towers. In an instant, that changed, the cage lighting up in brilliant, rainbow hues, the sky over the city almost instantly going black. There was a deep rumble from within the tower, and Rohane Alista grew a little bit darker.

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Posts: 2343
Founded: Mar 15, 2012
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Dyste » Tue Jun 21, 2022 5:18 pm

(Co-written with Rohane Alista)

Hotel Reslana, Rohanian Wing, Cornucopia

The lobby of the hotel was a perfect indication of the type of people who would be staying here; the walls were covered in well detailed murals, many depicting legendary historical or mythical scenes, the roof was supported by tall, marble columns and itself had many chandeliers of the finest crystal hanging from it, in the very center of the room was a water feature of tremendous size, and every employee was decked out in a spotless black uniform, whether behind the out of the way service desk or not.

There was also a sitting area, and that was where Jacobi found himself, staring at one of the murals as he waited for Tynah. He was no stranger to being painted, but it was odd to him to be looking at a wall spanning mural featuring the decisive battle in Alistara that had arguably made him the person he would become.

“Quite the mural, is it not?” A familiar voice said, as Tynah entered the room; it had only been a few weeks since they had last seen each other but it felt far longer with everything that had happened since then. “I recall seeing this for the first time two years ago when this place was new.”

"I'm amazed by the accomplishments of my descendants and their people, as well as those of our allies," Jacobi replied, motioning her to sit. "Tynah, I hope the throne is not too uncomfortable, despite the current problems?"

“Oh, I cannot complain,” Tynah sat down beside him, “It has been busy ever since the coronation, but I promised my people that I would work to revolutionize Dyste and bring it to the modern age, and I intend on sticking to it. Besides, there are others who are struggling more than I right now…”

The former emperor let out something halfway between a snort and a sigh. "You speak the truth," he replied. "We won't give in without a fight, of course. I am glad to say that bit of the Rohanian spirit remains uncrushed even now."

“And I would not have it any other way,” Tynah grinned. “That said…” she placed her hand on her muzzle, “I heard that my son and his wife have caused you some grief as far as offering aid. I do not know what they are thinking; I never taught him to do that…”

"They seek to press their advantage," Jacobi waved it off. "Their decorum needs work, unless things have changed so significantly that yelling publicly at a teenager is considered good form now. I am less concerned about their demands than I am about how they treated my family. I do not want to step into politics again, Tynah."

“Understandable,” Tynah shrugged, “Father has no interest in doing so either… but I will have a talk with Frenze about this…” she sighed, “Jacobi, I still am not sure if I am the most suited to all of this, but I do understand one thing, and that is to support one’s family and friends. And that is why I am here today: you can use all the help you can get right now.”

"You'll do fine, Tynah," Jacobi replied. "You have all you need to be a great queen, and you don't forget your oaths. I can't deny that we need you now, though. Anything and everything you can spare. Have you heard the latest reports out of Calihain?"

“That I have,” Tynah said, “And I have been looking into a few things myself,” she reached into her coat, pulling out some sketches of a door, “In an investigation of the tunnels one of my subjects was involved with some time ago, they came across this. The resemblance to the patterns on the towers is uncanny.”

"May I?" Jacobi asked, reaching for the paper, taking it gently. He examined it for a few minutes. "And just as golden. I… hmm. I feel like I've seen these before, somewhere, or something similar."

“Oh really?” Tynah considered that, “Does it have anything to do with those elves we met back then, you think?”

"Those elves… oh, the Morasti. An interesting thought," Jacobi squinted at the drawing, trying to make out more detail. "I think it might, but there's something else, too. The Morasti did live in the tunnels, though, so it might be worth seeing if we can find them. If they still exist, that is. That does remind me, I looked at the family tree. Do you remember Nilassil?"

“Nilassil… yes, I recall that name…” rather she remembered it going through Melux’s records of the events of that era. “What did you find?”

"She married one of my descendants," Jacobi snorted properly this time. "I suppose my family really did take after me in that way. Regardless, that might mean that if we can find them, assuming she is still alive, she will be inclined to help us. Her own descendants are at risk, after all."

“I am not all that surprised,” Tynah grinned, “... I admit our information on the Morasti is rather lacking, but if they can help, it would be for the best we did so.”

"You know as much as I do by now," Jacobi shook his head. "That's for the future, though. It is good to know I still have friends, Tynah, beyond my loves. There are things I don't want to admit to them…"

“Jacobi, how long have we known each other? Even if we do not count the period in stasis, you were there in the period of my life when I needed someone to help guide me the most,” Tynah said. “What good of a friend would I be if I did not help when you need me?”

"I did feel like a babysitter of you and your sister at times," the Rohanian man laughed, smiling. "I suppose things weren't really any easier then than they are now, were they?"

“In some ways it might be, but in others… indeed,” Tynah folded her arms, “I certainly did not expect this to be my first real trial as Queen of Dyste, but I shall not back down from it. I can be fairly stubborn myself as it were, GHAHAHA!”

"Oh, I'm well aware," Jacobi replied. "I don't know that this could have happened at a worse time. All of our allies are having their own issues, the nation's leader is a child, as hard as Jasmine tries to show otherwise, and I… I have barely an idea how half the world works anymore."

“That is why I came here myself,” Tynah said, frowning, “I do not know how much I can help here, but I will do all I can to do so. And I know Marron and Mythra will do their own part to help you and Jasmine throughout all this. Even Ey I hear is offering her own assistance for this.”

"Eyvel? I haven't heard from her since your coronation," Jacobi mentioned, frowning. "Of course, I do trust Marron and Mythra. I just don't want to look like I have no plans in front of them. I've always been the one with all the answers and plans."

“I understand completely, Jacobi. They rely on you so much that you do not wish to let them down. I… do know one person who might at least be able to handle some of the issues between the DSA members and aid, but… I am not certain if he will be willing to help.”

"Who?" Jacobi asked. "Tynah, anything and everything we can do, we must at least try."

“... I can ask Melux if he is willing to step out of retirement for this, then,” Tynah sighed. “He swore to never be involved in DSA matters after the incident in Rintyar, but… he is the only person I can count on for advice on this.”

"I would offer to go with you, but we intend to return Jasmine to Silverdale, and then to Rohane Alista ourselves. Please tell Melux it would mean everything to me?"

“I shall,” Tynah said, before adding, “And do not think we are done here, Jacobi. After I am done convincing him I intend to aid you however I can, whether I accompany you personally or offer aid from afar. I have no intention of letting you or the people of Rohane Alista down.”

"I know you won't, Tynah. Given the latest reports, or maybe it's just instinct, but I expect violence, but we will hold. Thank you, Tynah," Jacobi said, slowly settling back into a frown. "I swear we will hold until help arrives, no matter what happens."

“Oh, I shall hold you to that, then!” Tynah patted Jacobi’s shoulder, standing up, “Show them just how tenacious Rohanians can be, okay?”

"Like a dog with a bone," Jacobi joked, standing himself. "Thank you again, Tynah. Good luck."

“And may your life be blessed with longevity and good fortune,” Tynah bowed her head, “Until we meet again.”

"May it be sooner and happier than the last," Jacobi bowed his head as well, then stood and walked off. He wished to himself that he had time to waste, but knew well he didn't.
Dyste: A nation of large, long-lived, magic-using dragon-people (Draconids) ruled by a legendary adventurer. Realism? What's that?
Embassy Program
Rulers: King Tyroth, Queen Sarisa, Prime Minister Zihark Jemson
Capital: Valitora
Government Type: Semi-Constitutional Monarchy
Population: 14,457,200, Draconid Majority (60%), Kobold/Dino/Elven/Pony/Human minorities
Founded: Early 15th century
Tech: Lower-tech fantasy (can RP with PT/MT)
Canadian, fan of Video Games (Nintendo in particular) and Tabletop RPGs.
I love RP'ing, but note my schedule can be iffy at times. If you want to RP with me, TG me and we can talk.

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Posts: 3402
Founded: Jan 21, 2011
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Legokiller » Wed Jun 22, 2022 4:18 pm

OOC: Collab with Rohane Alista

The clock showed 10:45AM as Cecilia reached over and tilted it over. She groaned as she stood up, rubbing her eye and shucking off the thin blanket that had been over her, using her fingers to brush her light blonde hair out of her face. The young woman stumbled her way to the bathroom of her small apartment, nearly tripping over another sleeping girl on the floor, or a futon, with a small curse, and stared at her face in the mirror. Her green eyes seemed particularly dead this morning, and the big bags under her eyes didn’t help. The messy state of her hair added to the impression of a person who had just woken up after much too long a night as she frowned and quickly brushed her teeth, organizing her makeup and hair supplies while she did. She groaned again, gripping her head and going looking through the cabinet for some kind of medicine, which she didn’t find. “Damnit… Akira, did you take my last Aladol?”

The messy brunette Silverdalean woman yawned as she rose up from her futon. Akira gave a small glance at Cecilia and let out a ‘what’ before she answered. “No honey. You might’ve misplaced it again.”

“Or used the last one myself,” the blonde complained. “Aw, come on, I’ve got a murder hangover… like damn, I wish I could drink like you, babe, and come out fine! Then we could party every night, and not just on occasion!”

“Well, there is an old saying. People and beings are built differently! I feel quite special to be akin to a dwarf when it comes to booze.” Akira grinned. Of course, this was not quite the case. As her last journey and life alternating event, her whole body transdenced far beyond what a normal human can do. One akin to divinity, as even this mortal shape she assumed was quite enduring. “That being said, there is something special we can do together.” She winked.

"Go back to bed?" Cecilia groaned in reply, pulling a comb through her unruly hair, slowly taming it. "You know I'd love love love to spend all day in bed together, babe, but can't. We've got a brunch on, 'member?"

“Nah, tourist sites!” Akira winked. “Then love elsewhere. I mean, come on Cecilia, there are other places to go. Besides… Wait, do you have something special in mind for brunch?”

"Uh, yeah, duh? My brother and his wife will be there," the young Rohanian woman replied, putting down the brush. "But after we can totally go see something! There's that, like, really big steel tower thing, the Colirann building? Apparently you can see like a hundred miles from the top, which seems kinda cool, and then I heard about this underground club where a bunch of rock bands got their start, we could do that too!" Cecilia turned, smiling at Akira. "Now come on, get up! We've gotta look our best, right?"

Akira grumbled as she slowly rose up from her cozy bed. “Alright alright… we’ll go to the tower. Now just remember that I gotta call someone to see if everything alright in home. Other than that we’re free to do what we want.”

"Ugh, yeah," Cecilia shuddered. "Those awful gold tower things. They're so awful… but I think we'll be fine! Honestly, like, nothing interesting ever happens in Sanirego, I promise. But if you're worried, we can totally go somewhere else? I got a bunch of cash!"

“Let’s stop at the tower first, and then visit somewhere else. Best of both worlds right there.” Akira winked.

“Sweet,” Cecilia grinned, giving Akira a kiss as she left the bathroom. “All yours, babe! Don’t take too long, don’t wanna make big bro wait, he’ll be, like, ultra upset.”

“Don’t sweat it. He won’t be an issue.” Akira replied. She then returned the kiss as she proceeded to clean herself up for the day.

By the time Akira finished in the bathroom, Cecilia was humming to herself, fixing her hair in another mirror again, her makeup down now and all signs of her late night and hangover gone. “Akira, you look amazing,” the Rohanian said, giving the other woman a grin. “But come on, you can tell me how cute I obvs am in the car!” She giggled, grabbing her purse and opening the front door for her partner.

“Ooh sure sweetpuff. Just don’t open the windows this time.” Akira giggled. All as she got her belongings and joined her into the car.

“Awe, that was only once,” the Rohanian woman complained, locking the apartment behind her. In a few moments, both were in her car, a small, red four door sedan, as Cecilia pulled it out of the garage and onto the main road, turning on the radio. She glanced over to Akira with a smile as an ad started playing, then looked back to the road, pulling the two onto a highway that was much closer to empty than it had been two weeks ago.

“I kinda wish I had a fancier car,” Cecilia mentioned off-hand, moving into the fast lane, avoiding the rail system for now. “Like, I know that’s not important right now and stuff, but… I dunno. At least it’s a reliable little car, huh?” She finished speaking as she patted the dashboard affectionately.

“Fancy car? As in a sports car?” Akira winked. “Right now, if we have one, we can zoom through this empty road at ease.”

“Yeah!” Cecilia nodded, speeding up a little and then slowing down again. “This lil’ old one can’t take that for long though. It struggles on hills and stuff, any-” she began to say, but her complaining was cut off by a low rumbling sound and a change in the radio, the song playing cut off halfway by a series of beeps and tones.

“This is an emergency broadcast,” a robotic voice spoke from the radio. “Please be aware of a developing situation in the Greater Sanirego Region. If possible, shelter in place. If not, please find a safe location and shelter there. This message will repeat…”

“Find shelter?” Akira's eyes raised up. “Hey Cecilia, have you heard of any crazy disasters or anything alike as of late? I know it isn’t the hurricane session or anything like that.”

"Uh, babe, the city is nowhere near the ocean," Cecilia laughed nervously. "Uh… only, you know… those towers…"

“Those towers? Those golden ones? You think they’re multiplying or something?” Akira asked.

"Well they keep like, popping up, right?" Cecilia replied as the rumbling in the air got louder, starting to drown out the radio. She pulled the vehicle to a stop on the shoulder, looking between Akira and the road. "Uh, babe… you think I should turn around? Maybe drive away from the city?..."

“Well duh. Come on hon, let’s turn back.” Akira said.

"Alright," Cecilia nodded, the car moving again now as she took the next exit, circling around the surface street to get back on the highway, heading north now and out of Sanirego. As the vehicle began picking up speed heading north, the highway still surprisingly empty, the ground shook, the road swaying slightly underneath them as the Rohanian woman wrestled with the steering wheel. "Oh shit! What was that?"

“I don’t know!” Akira cried out. “Come on let’s get out of here!”

"Right!" Cecilia nodded, the highway shaking again as she stomped on the gas. Behind them, the tip of a golden spire appeared through the buildings, quickly followed by more and more. With its rising came more shaking, then groaning, then a building, at least eight stories tall, collapsed across the road in front of the car.

Cecilia stomped the brakes, spinning the wheel to try and avoid the falling debris as the highway itself collapsed, sending the car into a spin where it impacted, driver side first, into a large piece of concrete. The airbags fired, the Rohanian's head starting to snap before being cushioned, and she groaned as the wrecked vehicle settled.

Akira found herself head first into the airbags and dizzy from the whole event. “Ugh… what the hell…” She slowly raised her head up. “H-hey! Cecilia! A-Are you alright?”

"Urgh," Cecilia replied, slowly undoing her seat belt as the airbag deflated. Her face was bruised and scratches, but certainly better than it would have been if the car's protection hadn't fired. "I'll live, babe. How are you? Nothing too bad I hope?"

“I've been through worse…” Akira huffed. “Damn it, is the car even workable at this rate? I’m not sure if any of my tricks would be any use here.”

“Sorry, Akira,” Cecilia said, pushing at her door. “I, like, can’t even open my door it’s so badly damaged. I… I’m glad you’re ok, though. Maybe if we get out we can walk? I mean, like, there’s gotta be somewhere nearby that’s safer than this.”

“Uh sure?” Akira looked around in the surrounding landscape. “Wait, how far is the next town?”

“Um… dunno,” Cecilia replied, crawling out of the car as best she could and leaning on the wreckage, holding her side. “Ow, that hurts. Uh, maybe we should just, like… I dunno. I wish your magic stuff worked here…”

“It’d be quite exhausting. As it will stress out my abilities as it is.” Akira then signed. “Look, let’s find the nearest stop and get a ride from there. I doubt a sane pick up driver we can contact by Chariot-Go will work.”

"Yeah, alright," the blonde woman nodded, staggering upright with a hiss and walking over to a mostly whole exit ramp. "Um, Akira? I'm sorry…"

“Girl, we didn’t expect a whole tower to spurt out from the ground and cause this mess!” Akira said.

"Yeah, well, you're right," Cecilia replied, looking back to the south where the tower was still growing larger on the horizon as the highway shook again. "Um, maybe we should, like, get off this thing?" The woman added with a nervous chuckle, making her way slowly down the off ramp.

“Right…” Akira kept an eye for any sign of civilization. “Well let’s try to crash in one of the buildings nearby.”

As the two approached the bottom of the ramp, the area seemed completely abandoned. Not a single person could be seen or heard in the commercial zone, even the birds had left as the ground shook again, and a building across the road creaked and collapsed into the highway, bringing another section of it down. "Not going that way, then," Cecilia muttered, taking Akira's hand and walking away from the highway.

In a few minutes, they came to an open boulevard, just as empty as the previous road, but the buildings were shorter and seemed more stable here as Cecilia tried a door. It didn't budge, a small rattling noise audible as she clicked her tongue. "Shiiiiit…"

“Everyone just straight out vanished from here…” Akira commented. “Now… Let’s see if a small kick on the door will do!” She grinned. She tried to use an ounce of her magical power to give just the strength to try to break open the door.

The door flew into the business with a crash, the automatic alarm blaring at the same time, Cecilia recoiling from the debris with a cough. "Akira, you coulda warned a girl," she said, looking inside, seeing what looked like a furniture store, totally dark. "How'd you do that, anyways?"

“A bit of magic…” Akira blushed. “Um… You think the cops will show up?”

"Babe, I think the cops are a little busy," Cecilia watched Akira, especially her leg, helping her into the building and onto a couch. "Um… doesn't your leg hurt? I've heard trying to use magic here is, like, super dangerous…"

“Gah! Just-” Akira felt her whole leg was stung by a bullet ant, and was unable to move. “Aah! So hot!”

Cecilia's eyes widened as she set down the other woman, investigating her leg with her eyes and hands. "I don't see anything wrong! Fuck, Akira, it's ok, I'm here, it's ok babe, just… I dunno, focus on my voice!"

Cecilia's rambling was interrupted by the sound of an engine outside, causing her to look towards the smashed in door. "Oh no… not the cops, not right now… Akira! How do I, like, help you?"

“Ugh… Look um… Hey let’s get caught on purpose!” Akira said. “Um… it’s not a…. AAAAH. Bu-t the ride…. Oh owwww!” Akira was about to collapse on the ground!

"Akira!" Cecilia grabbed the other woman, keeping her from collapsing off the display couch she was on right as the sound of footsteps could be heard.

"I don't know what you think this is," a man's voice rang out into the store, as a tall, elf-eared man with slicked back black hair stepped into view. His sentence dropped when he saw the two women, and the rifle in his hands was suddenly on his back instead as he hurried in. "Alright, you're definitely not thieves, sorry 'bout that. What's going on with the lil' miss? D'ya need help?"

“M-agic… backlash….” Akira weakly said.

"She… we needed, like, a safe place," Cecilia added weakly as the man walked over. He nodded and picked up Akira, inclining his head towards the door as another rumble shook the area.

"Well, if'n it's safety y'want, me and mine can help ya. Come along, then," he said, carrying Akira outside, Cecilia trailing, where a large SUV was idling on the roadside, a woman's head out the window. "Got some stragglers, dear!" the man exclaimed.

The woman's door opened, and she exited, revealing she was pregnant, but it didn't stop her from opening the passenger doors, where Akira soon found herself set down across three empty seats in the back of the vehicle, a teenager and a younger child up front staring at her as Cecilia got in too. "What's wrong with the poor girl?" The woman asked as she got back in the car, looking over the seat shoulder as the man pulled them away, back onto the road.

"Magical thingy," Cecilia answered, resting Akira's head in her lap. "Um, thanks…"

“Ow ow…” Akira cried out. Oh great what will come next? A pesky angel girl who would check her out or a phone at this moment? Then we’re was the buzz but she couldn’t move her body well at all. “Cecelia… What are we going to do next?”

"I dunno, babe," Cecilia muttered, stroking Akira's hair, totally unaware of her thoughts. "I guess for now we're best to stick with these people, right? I mean, it's not like we've got a choice with you like that and my car, you know…"

“Yeah….” Akira frowned.

"I won't let them hurt you," Cecilia looked Akira in the eyes, determination in her own. "We'll be ok. I dunno how, but… we'll be ok. "

“I hope so… and soon.” Akira then meeped. “Ugh!”

As Akira's leg continued to feel like it burned, Cecilia trying to distract her, the car sped away from Sanirego, industrial heart of Rohane Alista, and the sky turned black. A tower of gold had replaced the skyline, the factories and skyscrapers wrecked around its base, and the cage near the top soon began to glow.
Silverdale's Factbook! Poi Poi Poi Resurrected! Silverdale News Thread
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New Dornalia
Posts: 1807
Founded: Apr 27, 2005
New York Times Democracy

Postby New Dornalia » Wed Jun 22, 2022 5:25 pm

Imperius Air Strip, just outside Calihain, was always busy, but never this busy. Planes flew in and out, helicopters landed, were there for fifteen minutes, and then gone again. Even vehicles the air force base was entirely ill equipped to handle, such as the eponymous Dornalian Pelican, had become frequent visitors, bringing relief workers, supplies both medical and otherwise, and on this occasion, a small cadre of experts. This time they wouldn’t be using their own vehicles; a Rohanian HAPC was already waiting just off their landing position to receive them and shuttle them into the city as it rapidly devolved from a disaster zone to what everyone still around could already tell was the frontline of some kind of horrifying war.

The Dragonflyer, LLC Pelican landing on the Imperius Airstrip disgorged its content--a cadre of experts which were called by the good Father Hijuelos. True to his word, the Father called around the Order to quietly seek out experts looking to assist the Rohanians in their crusade to put their country back together.

What he got was an interesting group, to say the least.

The first two stepped out of the Pelican’s rear ramp, once it came down. The first was a woman with blonde, short hair, moderate height, and a sort of weary look to her face. She wore her hunter-green Orderman’s uniform with appropriate rank badges, and on its Sam Browne belt she had a pair of holsters. One was a pistol holster, one was for a lightsaber. Shouldered on her shoulder was a duffel bag. She had a look in her eyes that took in the Rohanian landscape, and reacted with a raised eyebrow that suggested she had experienced her share of warzones and hellscapes. If the woman was older than the others, she did not look the part. The only distinguishing feature was her rank badges, and the nametag on the uniform which said, “Collins”.

The second was a woman wearing her own Orderwoman’s uniform, who for a few seconds was as serious as Collins. She stood, somewhat shorter than Collins, with tanned skin, Asian features, and dirty blonde hair along with the nametag “Tadanobu”, and barely looked a day over her early thirties, at most. She had not a duffel bag, but an old, archaic looking piece of luggage that she lugged around with various travel stickers to locations such as New York City, and Cuthbern Armory. And, within the span of a few seconds, she pulled out a snack in a sealed wrapping entitled “Señor Hidalgo’s Fine Snack Chorizos”, opened it up, and began nibbling on it to Collins’s chagrin.

Collins spoke, her Canadian-SoCalian-Piconese voice laced with a casual sort of exasperation, like that of an old spouse lecturing the other spouse:

“Not now, Terry.”

Terry looked up absentmindedly and asked, in a somewhat high pitched, squeaky Southern Californian voice, “What?”

Collins looked at Terry, and gestured to the chorizo Terry was eating. To that, Terry only said, “Oh! Want one, Henny? I got a spare?”

“N-no.” Henny sighed and lightly facepalmed before going, “Terry, you’re gratuitously eating a snack in front of very hungry people. Do you know how that looks?”

“It’s not gratuitous, I just need to keep my energy up,” Terry replied. “Look, magic takes a lot of calories--”

“Terry, you can’t even use the Force here. Okay? This place has some kind of magic dampening field or some other thing. So I don’t think the calories are quite necessary.”

“You sure about that?”


The next woman to come out of the Pelican was a woman with purple hair, standing somewhat tall in her Dornalian Marine Corps uniform, with a Kalashnikov rifle and her own gear walking past the two, going, “Excuse me.” Her Marine Corps pips bore appropriate veterancy badges of the Winter War, Silverdalean exchange service, and also Order badges and the nametag “Odajima”.

She then added, in an unusual language which bore elements of Japanese, German, and Canadian English to Collins, ”We should probably get moving, Auntie. The Rohanians will be expecting us, as will the Father.” Odajima wasn’t related to the war hero in front of her, but Auntie was always one of those old world expressions of respect one would use--especially to Henrietta Collins.

Collins perked up at the language, and replied back, ”Deculture! Good point, Lieutenant Odajima. Let’s get this show on the road, we can’t banter forever. Though there will be other people here, so we’re not gonna move too fast.”

Terry was confused by all this, before going, “Hajarran Common talk?”


“Got it.” Terry nodded, smiling to herself as she had a feeling she knew what they were discussing--the Force was weak here, but one didn’t need it when the tone and the snark were good enough to tell. She then finished the sausage and then tossed the wrapper into a small bag she kept to dispose of old wrappers.

The party thus debarked. What would they find besides the HAPC?

They would find that their ride left almost as soon as they stepped off, making room for the next to come in. A man leaned against the HAPC, watching them from behind wide aviator style sunglasses, then waved his hand at them, circling around to the other side of the vehicle, which soon hummed to life, its doors opening automatically.

The party moved to the HAPC, with Terry then going, “Howdy! I’m Terry Tadanobu.” She then reached into her pocket and pulled out one of those Fine Snack Chorizos, offering it to the man and going, “Want a sna--”

Henny Collins then interrupted her companion, going with a sigh, “Terry, did he ask you if he wanted a sausage?”

“Well, I--”

“Yes or no, did he want a sausage?” Henny’s tone grew stern, like a mother talking to her wayward child in a candy store.

“No, but I figured I would at least ask.” Terry then added, “Don’t jump the gun here, I mean, what if he actually wants a sausage?!” Terry then, before Henny could respond, added, “Everyone likes sausages. They’re the perfect food. They’re portable. They don’t spoil if made properly. They are delicious, nutritious and come in bright colors and aromas that can be appreciated by young and old alike. I even revived someone with a sausage at one of Nick’s parties! Or something, it’s been ages! Remember that, Henny?”

Henny could only rub her temples and sigh, before getting inside the APC and going, “That’s a question for another time. Just get in the damn APC.”

Terry shrugged, going, “Okay then. But I’ve never been to Rohane Alista before, and by jove, I’m going to figure out if they like sausages!” She then added, “Oh, and also cancel another apocalypse, but you knew that.”

“I think it’s the other way around in terms of priorities, but sure,” was Henny’s only comment, as Stacey got on, bewildered by what just happened. She had heard of the legendary duo’s amazing ability to engage in banter, but she never quite expected this. For her party, Stacey added, “I mean, Master Collins, Master Tadanobu, it’s an honor to meet you both either way. You don’t ride with genuine heroes every day.”

“Well, I don’t ride with a genuine talent every day either--so, that makes us even.” Collins’s retort was delivered with a weary warmth, eager to head off any notions of hero worship. “Besides, I’ve got my security clearance still.” Looking around, she then whispered to Stacey, “Kid, it takes balls to forego godhood and pick just being the most powerful Orderperson around. I like those kinds of cojones.” An affectionate pat on the shoulder later, and Stacey relaxed a bit.

The driver took off his sunglasses, revealing his nearly steely blue eyes, pressing a button that caused the doors of the HAPC to close behind the new occupants and begin to lift off the ground, where upon it quickly began leaving the military base. “For the record, I don’t want your sausage right now. Donate it to a food drive location if you want to help, I guess, or give it to some poor fuck infantryman,” he said, looking in the mirror. The Dornalians were seated in the back, and his brow furrowed. “Only three? Though at least I recognize you all. Safe assumptions none of you know me. Major General Armotiv, welcome to club ‘Everything Is Worse Than When You Got On The Plane.’”

“Well, Major General, there were more coming, but as I understood the situation, their flight was delayed due to megafauna harassing their flight from Crystal Spires,” Stacey added. “They will be here later on as soon as they can locate another flight, but for now I think we can all agree that we can get started given the time crunch we have.” Stacey quickly added, “Lieutenant Stacey-Lynn Odajima, Dornalian Marine Corps, sir. I understand the Chief Chaplain and his man are on site already?”

“And soon to be back out. We’re sending them to Cornucopia to hopefully meet with some other havers of the vision he’s reported,” Armotiv replied, the HAPC lifting over rubble as they entered the city limits. “Well, assuming he agrees. He had better, though, we put it together on his request. Regardless, tell me what your briefing was, I need to know where to update your intel.”

Henny Collins went, “I was told the Chief Chaplain had some sort of vision, and that he needed volunteers to come down and help deal with a situation in Rohane Alista involving some mysterious magic towers that erupted and started spewing havoc and multiple types of hostile monsters, with VIPs gone missing on top of that. In turn, we are here to help recover said VIPs and deal with the monsters.”

“Well, brief but accurate enough,” the Rohanian general nodded. “Ladies, almost all of that is no longer our primary concern. Have any of you ever heard of Niviea Invernos?”

Stacey went, “The name Invernos is familiar to me, at least. I may have had dealings with their family before.” The other two looked at each other, and Terry spoke. “Well, I did a little bit of reading with Henny involving Mystrian VIPs….but no, I don’t think we have.”

“Alright,” Armotive said, taking the HAPC through a thoroughly destroyed neighborhood, a frown growing on his face as he looked at the destroyed apartment buildings, most totally collapsed. “Right. Verbal briefing only. Niviea Invernos, daughter of Glacia Invernos, half sister of Queen Talva of Silverdale. She has recently gone from the third most important VIP in Rohane Alista to the number one. I need you all to agree to keep your traps shut on this next bit,” he said, stopping the vehicle to turn and look them each in the eyes. “I mean it. What you are about to hear is so top secret that there will not be a trial should it leak, for any of us. Understood?”

Stacey nodded, going, “Of course, Major General.” The others quietly nodded their assent as well, stunned into silence.

“We located Niviea Invernos yesterday at approximately 1800 hours, in the Carralwood district of Calihain, headed north with a human boy, who is her lover, a Rohanian. His name isn’t that important, but you will be meeting him soon, so you can call him Callum. During our retrieval operation, we were attacked by the large centipede-like creatures that you have undoubtedly been alerted to,” Armotiv shook his head. “One of them got one of my best soldiers. The other got Niviea.”

“Uh….when you say they ‘got’ her….” Terry asked, raising her hand, “ you mean got as in KIA, or got as in captured?” Her voice had a tone of unease in it, hoping it was not the former option.

“Captured, which is worse,” Armotiv replied quickly. “The creatures spit some kind of quick setting fluid that acts like concrete. Then they grab their victims and haul them back underground. I was able to get Niviea to swallow a tracking device before she was grabbed, and the news is… extremely grim.”

“Define…grim?” Terry asked, her eyes growing wide like dinner plates.

“The tracker worked, as far as we can tell. Niviea is inside the tower, or was,” Armotiv corrected himself. “It stopped working right before the tower in Sanirego lit up, but we can’t tell if that’s a coincidence or not, too little information.”

The three nodded, and looked at each other, before Henny asked, “So we’re going to have to find a way to get into one of those golden towers to rescue her….do I understand that correct?”

“Yes,” Armotive confirmed, turning around and starting the vehicle again as they began moving. “If you have a better idea than jumping into a centipede tunnel and following it, I’m all ears.”

“Nope. That sounds like a plan,” Henny added. Stacey for her part asked, “Is there a map or some knowledge of the tunnels so far?”

“The centipede ones? Basically nothing. The old maps, of the tunnels spanning Rohane Alista, become more and more useless every passing moment,” Armotiv grimaced as the group pulled up in front of the same squat building the Father had come to only a few days ago at most. “We’ve got drones trying, but you can’t predict where those things will strike next. We’ve already lost two crews. Oh, and fair warning? The creatures seem to want to capture Rohanians, but they don’t seem to take nearly as much care with foreigners. We can’t tell if they’re under someone’s command, or sentient themselves, but either way, there’s something specific they’re looking for.”

“Could be something about the Rohanians they’re fixated on,” Stacey thought. Henny added, “Maybe they hate the anti-magic? I mean, people can get quite….passionate about that.” The voice suggested she spoke from experience on that front. “EIther way, thanks for the information so far.”

“You’d think they’d be killing the Rohanians with prejudice if it was that,” Armotiv grumbled partly to himself, pulling the vehicle around the side of the building, setting it back on the ground as a section of the alleyway shifted and took them lower. “At least you get to experience this. Consider it a neat perk of this job, while you’re here. And uh, remember that kid I mentioned, Callum? Listen, try to be gentle with him, alright?”

“I mean, we try to be gentle with high value rescues in general, but sure.” Henny added, confused by the emphasis of being gentle. “We’ll make sure to get him and Niviea out of there in one piece.”

“I mean, we’re what you’d call experts,” Terry added with a grin.

“Plus, well, assuming that team can get here from Spires….” Stacey added, before going, “Anyway. We’ll be gentle.”

"No, he's right here," Armotiv corrected them as the vehicle elevator stopped, leaving the HAPC and its occupants in a small parking bay, the walls completely concrete. The general disembarked, striding towards a metal door set in the wall, opening it with a retinal scan and a passcard, before he turned again. "Ladies… Callum is in the building. I was able to extract him, but he isn't a VIP. You need to understand, though, his entire family has died in the last two weeks, and his lover is a captive of those creatures… and we will likely need him to help ensure her mental stability on recovery. He's not a soldier, he's a kid, and one who has seen his home become hell. So be gentle."

“Oh.” That was the only phrase uttered by the three. Terry and Henny looked at each other, and if Armotiv cared to look, he’d notice that the two’s looks and nods suggested they were quite familiar with the traumas war and disaster wrought upon those who were unlucky enough to have war and disaster come to visit. Without much commentary, Terry added, “Will do.”

"Thank you," the general seemed to relax, ever so slightly, letting them all through into the same labyrinth of identical halls the Father had recently been introduced to. The door slid shut behind them automatically, the sound of pneumatics emphasizing that it was well and truly a part of the wall now. "Well… we can talk to him later. For now, try and catch some shut eye. It does us no good if you're all exhausted. Oh, and ladies? Welcome to your home for the next little while. I like to call it Fort Shithole."

“I mean, it looks functional enough,” Henny added politely. “Certainly beats sleeping in a bombed out bodega in Southern California heat alongside scared mothers and children while fundamentalist necromancy-huffing assholes and their barely zeroed artillery sights are firing howitzer shells at you while your side’s railcannons engage in counterbattery fire from a rickety old pre-Apocalypse battleship they somehow reactivated for the duration.” She then paused for a beat, and then added, blushing from embarrassment, “Let’s move on. Anyway, thanks.”

Stacey could only stare at Henny’s sudden anecdote, and then go, “Thanks, Major General.”

"Of course. I'll grab some time with each of you, if I can manage it, to figure out best roles," Armotiv nodded. "And down here, you can just call me Armotiv, if you want. It's the last name, but no one has used my first name in a long time, so I'm used to it."

“Very well,” Terry added. “Armotiv, thanks for your hospitality, and well, we do appreciate the chance to recover from jet lag. Or space lag, as it were.” She then suddenly produced a small box of snack chorizos and went, “Mind if I start distributing these to your staff?”

Henny just facepalmed again, and asked, measuring her voice, “Ho-how--” Then, Henny shrugged and said, breathing in and out, “Nevermind. It’s been a long day, we can deal with the sausage situation later, Terry. Let’s let Armotiv focus on more important things, like saving lives.”

Terry was horrified at the implications that she was ignoring the big picture, going with a gasp, “I get that’s why we’re here, and I haven’t forgotten that! But I have to kn--”

Henny then put her hand on Terry’s shoulder and went with a sigh, “No, you really don’t. Not at this moment, maybe an hour later from now. I’m sure there’s a breakroom you can leave them at, and I am sure the Rohanians have experienced Dornalian rations.” Turning to Stacey, Henny asked, “These folk have experienced Dornalian rations, right?”

“I mean, I wouldn’t know myself, but I would wager at some point they did. Winter War and all.” Stacey did not know how else to reply.

“There you go.” Henny then went to Armotiv, “Anyway, digression aside, I think we should get to our temporary quarters. Where would they be, if I may ask?”

"Two lefts and then a right, and it will be the third door on your right," Armotiv said. "If you can't find your way, someone will come along to find you. It's built to be confusing on purpose. Security, you know."

“Makes sense,” Henny said. “Well, off to the races, then,” Henny said, motioning to the others as they began to follow. Terry then asked, holding up the sausage box, “Is there a breakroom where-” only to be interrupted like an old vaudeville act as Henny politely executed a come-along hold and moved her along.

Stacey for her part could only go, with a tone of apology and concern as she lagged behind a bit and waited until they were out of earshot, “They mean well, Armotiv. I mean, they may not look like it, but one founded the Order back when it was the People’s Acolytes and is also a business magnate, the other led the Order into the modern era and is a heroine of at least two major Dornalian wars. I think Niviea will be in good hands.”

"I expected this anyways," Armotiv shook his head. "Dornalians have something of a reputation. It's fine, as long as they're competent on the day of. But what about you? What's your story?"

“Well, let’s see.” Trying to be somewhat circumspect, Stacey indicated, “I’m the adopted daughter of a Dornalian-Hajarran couple from the world of Carstairs. Marine Corps officer also with ranks in the Order, and also well, I work with various government organs of the Dornalian Republic. I discovered that I am actually the biological daughter of a high-level Malgravean SIS--er, IOC operator, who had to give me up for adoption. I am apparently the splitting image of her likeness, from what I can recall. I live with my wife down in Silverdale, and we participated as part of operations with Silverdalean forces.”

"The spitting image, huh?" The older Rohanian man seemed to be thinking about something. "I'm surprised you managed to track her down. There's a few former SIS that I've always wanted to find for some reason or another, but they're usually quite difficult."

“I mean, the people I work with, we’ve known SIS and its IOC descendant agency to have very good attention to OPSEC and preventing security breaches.” Raising her eyebrow, Stacey asked, curious and noticing Armotiv’s cogitations when he heard she was the spitting image of her mother, “You’ve wanted to track down some SIS operators? Anyone in particular….” Stacey then politely added, “...or would that be beyond my security clearance?”

"Yes and no," Armotiv replied, waiting to be sure they were out of earshot. "Details of why are far beyond your clearance, but the actual seeking, that's personal. Unfortunately, one of the hardest parts was nailing down her actual name. I believe it's Molnar, so feel free to let me know if you hear about her."

Stacey perked up, and said, simply, “I’ll keep her in mind, Armotiv.” Stacey didn’t quite want to give away that Molnar was her biological mother just yet. After all, she had just met Armotiv, and well, her father could have been anyone in Rohane. Right?

"Sounds good," the man nodded, hurrying them up to catch up to the others. "Alright, ladies, your quarters will be just through here," he said, indicating a steel door on his right. "Please, rest. In a few hours we'll get to mission planning."

“Sounds good, Armotiv,” Stacey added. Henny and Terry meanwhile, were wondering with raised eyebrows where Stacey went, but shrugged and said nothing as they entered their quarters through the steel door. The group began to inspect their supplies, and perform other tasks to prepare once they got inside--including taking a nap as advised. It would be a long day and an even longer night after all….

OOC: Done with Rohane Alista
"New Dornalia, a living example of anomalous civilizations."-- Phoenix Conclave
"Your nation has always been ridiculous. But it's endearing."--Skaugra
"It's a magical place where chinese cowboys ply the star lanes to extract vast wealth from trade, where NORINCO isn't just an arms company, but an evil bond villain type conglomerate that hides in other nations. Where the apocalypse happened, and everyone went "huh, that's neat" and then got back to having catgirls and starships."-- Olimpiada
"...why am I space China, and I don't have actual magic animals, and you're space USA, and you do? This seems like a mistake." --Roania, during a discussion on wildlife.

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Posts: 66
Founded: Mar 06, 2018
Conservative Democracy

Postby Glaristant » Wed Jun 22, 2022 5:53 pm

Rohanian Wing, Cornucopia

The hours after the press conference had been quite taxing for Tylan, as between the fallout of the conference and his parents he couldn't find any peace. Yet as he walked through a mall in the wing, he couldn't help but give a goofy smile as he thought of the reason for his troubles, the empress of Rohane. He didn't know whether it was her beauty or will which caused it, but he had been compelled to speak up as she begged for aid for her country. Doing so had caused him and his parents quite a headache, but it had been worth it in his eyes.

It was fairly late, the sun starting to disappear as the electric lighting in the mall turned on, so Tylan managed to avoid running into anyone while lost in his thoughts. The mall itself was the picture of a place one might find in mainland Rohane Alista, long and multiple stories tall, with all kinds of places and things to do; whatever the son of the Arkhons was looking for, be it food, clothes, or entertainment, it would be available here. Perhaps most startlingly of all, Tylan would notice in the corner of his eye a small mixed bookstore and cafe, out of the way of the main bustle, where there was a young woman, or maybe still a girl, with distinct, almost silvery white hair, draped over her shoulder. A red beret and brown coat blocked most of the view of her, but still left her neck open, revealing her dark skin and a thin golden necklace.

A small smile graced Tylan's muzzle as he caught a glimpse of the woman, with her seeming all the more beautiful to him in less formal clothing. He made his way through the crowd as gently as he could, showing surprising agility despite his bulky frame. "Eh…Jasmine, wh…what are you doing here?"

She looked up from her book, slamming it shut as her golden eyes went wide and she recoiled slightly. She sighed when she realized it wasn't someone looking to find her specifically. "Oh, it's just you, Tylan… actually, what are you doing here? This is the Rohanian Wing… are your guards nearby? I don't want to be seen, sit down."

"Eh….I am just seeing what the hubbub over this place is about. That and…I needed a bit of a break after today's excitement…" Tylan said as he sat down, "They're around the corner….Either scouting ahead of us or just hanging back."

"Urgh," Jasmine's face twisted and she stood, grabbing her book, which the boy could see now was titled 'Economics For Beginners' and Tylan's hand, dragging him to a table inside the bookstore. "Then come on, I don't want to be seen and returned to the hotel."

"O…okay…" Tylan said, suppressing a light giggle as he was pulled inside, "Surely they wouldn't return you to the hotel over something so minor…."

“Are you kidding? My grandparents don’t even know I’m out here,” Jasmine rolled her eyes, sitting so she could watch out the window, setting her book down. “Uh… anyways, thanks for earlier, I guess…”

"Eh…You're welcome. My apologies for my parents, by the way. They're good people normally, but…." Tylan drifted off, his mind flashing back to a few hours earlier, "Er….Anyways, hopefully it will help you at least."

“We’ll see,” Jasmine frowned, opening her book again. “I don’t even think they’re going to help us. Sorry, Tylan, but your mom seems…” she trailed off, sighing and closing her book again. “Well, it’s not like it’s her problem anyways! I’ll manage it just fine! I’ve got… lots of things to read that will help.”

"I know she….Well she is a woman of her word, Jasmine. If she promised you aid, you will get it. That you can count on." Tylan sighed, frowning with a hint of uncertainty in her voice, "Maybe, but….this kinda of seems like something that you will need help managing…."

Jasmine set the book down with a thump and a frown. “You agree with my grandparents, then! They say I shouldn’t be involved, that I should have just stayed innocent, well their father wasn’t murdered or their, their home torn apart like this. I won’t let anything stand in my way, Tylan, nor anyone. I will learn everything I need to know, and I will save my people. Even if I do it alone!”

"I am not saying you shouldn't be involved, Jasmine. Quite the contrary…." Tylan said, giving Jasmine an earnest look, "I….I am saying that this crisis is something th…that you shouldn't be shouldering alone. Maybe….I….could help you?"

Jasmine gave the boy a flat stare. “How do you propose to help me? Unless you’re an… an, I don’t know, economist, or something…”

"A mix of things…..I…I may not be an economist, but I do know of some of our staff who are knowledgeable on such things. I can bring them here to assist you if you'd like, that's saying nothing of being able to help coordinate some of the relief efforts from my homeland." Tylan offered

“I don’t think I ever asked… how old are you, Tylan?” Jasmine enquired, frowning to herself.

"I am twelve, Jasmine. I… not much younger than you I think…" Tylan responded

“I doubt your parents are going to let you do much but sit in your room,” Jasmine huffed, crossing her arms as she leaned back in her seat. “Fat lotta good that’ll do. You’ve done enough, anyways… I hope.”

"Ugh…maybe, but it's at least something. More than can be said of those friends of yours on the DSA council." Tylan grumbled, leaning back in his chair as it creaked beneath him, " Sorry ….that wasn't my place to say that. It's just….."

“They’re a fat lot of useless busybodies who have received the blood and money of Rohanians for generations and can’t give jackshit back?” Jasmine snorted as she snarled a little. “I know, I sound like a member of the Children of Rohan, but, well… honestly, right now, they’re right. We’ve been betrayed.”

"It's less they are right or that you have been betrayed, but rather you are facing the first lesson any leader faces. From what mom has taught me those in power always put their own or their own nation's interest before those of their friends and allies; or at least when there is a high cost involved. I think they do care and sympathize with Rohane, but you do need to remember that most of them barring Dyste aren't in good straits either." Tylan opined, seemingly a bit hesitant as he responded, "Yet at the same time, you are right in that they could have and should have done more."

“Then what is the point?” Jasmine replied harshly. “If they’re not going to help us at all in our moment of need, why are we even allies? And after all we’ve done for them! But there’s no way any of my grandparents would let me withdraw,” she added, looking at the table and sounding bitter. “They were among the founders of the DSA. They’re prouder of that… that useless fucking collection of bureaucrats than they are of me.”

"The point is that some help is better than nothing….even if it is limited. Plus, you are ignoring that there are other avenues you can use to get help apart from just going through the DSA Council….," Tylan responded

Jasmine dropped her head to the table with a thunk, groaning. “Jasmine, you should just let the adults handle that,” she replied in a poor mockery of Marron’s voice. “You don’t understand how hard I had to fight just to get them to tell me anything, Tylan. I’m the empress, Her Eminence, and they just… want me to shut up and watch cartoons like my sister…”

"I understand that…." Tylan remarked as he took Jasmine's hands in his own, offering her a warm smile. "Yet with that being said….Maybe you should bypass or ignore them and seek out advice or help from others? Like…I don't know maybe you could try appealing directly to the leaders of the your allies or their citizenry? Surely there are some amongst them that would be willing to help you even if the DSA council are not…"

“... I don’t know how,” Jasmine admitted, her head still resting on the table as Tylan took her hands. “I mean… I know how to use social media, obviously… but like, making appeals, getting in contact with leaders directly… I haven’t… I’m practically a showpony, I guess…”

"To them maybe…..but I see a brilliant star who has been given the chance to show her true radiance, even if she doesn't see it just yet." Tylan said, giving a goofy smile, "Well for starters you could get the word out via social media and start supply drives or fundraisers, be it on valcafe or elsewhere. As for meeting with other leaders, well for starters….you could always see if you have friends or know someone who could do do on your behalf…" Tylan remarked

“I…” Jasmine looked up slightly, the barest hint of flushing in her dark cheeks. “Are, are you hitting on me, Tylan? Am… I don’t know what to do about that…”

"I….erm…" Tylan stuttered, seemingly at loss for words as he realized what he had said. If draconid could blush, he would have been a bright red, "Erm ….perhaps…My…my apologies….that was out of line .."

Jasmine giggled a little, then laughed properly, a few tears running down from her eyes as she spoke, gasping slightly. “Lord Tylan! How improper of you! Here you are, flirting with an empress! What would your court think?”

"They would likely find it quite scandalous, your eminence. Truly….I would be in quite a bit of trouble for it." Tylan responded, giggling all the while.

“Well then you’d better be extra careful, sir,” Jasmine chuckled softly. “I… wouldn’t want you to get in trouble…”

"Quite honestly, Jasmine…" Tylan said, a slight smirk on his face as he laughed softly, "I don't give a damn anymore if I get in trouble for it."

“Well, you should,” the young empress replied. “I… appreciate what you’ve done for me Tylan, but this isn’t the time… I, I’m sure you’re great, but I can’t.”

"I…I know….but at the very least…." Tylan remarked, resting a hand on Jasmine's own, "Allow me to continue to help you, be it advocating for help at home or just being someone you can vent to."

“Just… just keep your parents from withdrawing their offer, I guess,” Jasmine sighed. “If you intend to help me just because you think I’m hot, Tylan, I’m in no position to say no, but… it’s not going to work out like that. I don’t have time to date, Tylan, and I never ever will.”

"Jasmine….I am helping you because it is the right thing to do…..And because no one else is." Tylan said bluntly, sighing all the while, "And I intend to, as well as do more for you if I can….be it talking with Grandma Tynah if my great aunt. Surely between the two of them, I can get at least get some resources to aid you."

“I doubt you need to worry about Grandma Tynah or your aunt,” Jasmine rolled her eyes. “They like my grandpa, they’ll just go to him, probably. Just… thanks. I should probably go back.”

"Jasmine….Never mind. Just forget I asked." Tylan said as he rose from the table, giving Jasmine a pained smile as he looked at her once more, "If…you need anything, just….don't hesitate to call…."

“Uh, sure,” Jasmine replied, looking at Tylan for a moment. “So are you going to give me a number to call or?...”

"Oh silly me …" Tylan said, shaking his head as he conjured a slip of paper to his hand. He proceeded to pass the paper to Jasmine, "Here you go…."

Jasmine took the paper quietly, entering the number into her phone and then looking at the boy awkwardly. “Uh… have a good day, Tylan. Or, I mean, a good evening.”

"Take care Jasmine. I…I…hope we can talk again soon enough…" Tylan said, giving an awkward smile as he walked away, stopping as he called back, "Um..just…if you ever need anything, I'll be there for you…."

"Thank you, Tylan," the Empress replied, more collected than her counterpart after a few steadying breaths. "I'm… sure we will, somehow. Goodbye, stay safe."

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Posts: 66
Founded: Mar 06, 2018
Conservative Democracy

Postby Glaristant » Fri Jun 24, 2022 6:13 pm


After meeting with Jacobi, Tynah was getting ready to head home in order to speak with Melux, but it appeared that someone from the Aravean delegation had wished to meet her. The queen groaned a little; she didn’t really have much interest in the matter of the Cornerian debate at the moment, but they were family, after all.

As Tynah entered the room where the Aravean delegation was waiting, she could see her daughter in law and son engaged in a friendly spar. Sasha chuckled as she managed to put Frenze in a headlock, her thick muscular arms preventing her husband from breaking free. "Heh, just give up, Vorel. You know you can't beat me…" Sasha grinned, giving her mother in law a nod as she entered.

Frenze flailed a bit before giving in, “Gah… fine, you win this one, vorel. I am still the better weapon user, though… oh, Mother!” He said as Sasha let go, him gasping for air. “I heard you were coming here…”

“And I was about to leave, but I heard you wished to see me before I went,” Tynah said, a little chuckle at seeing the two spar. “How are you both?”

"About as well as can be expected given we are here. Still, I suppose I cannot complain too much given I have my family here with me." Sasha said, rubbing Frenze's muzzle before moving to embrace her mother in law, "How about you?"

Tynah smiled, “Well, I am happy to see that you both are doing well. Now, did you wish to speak with me about anything, or is this simply a family get-together before I have to return?”

"A mix of both, mom. Both Frenze and I wanted to spend some time with you before you returned, as did Tylan. That being said, we also do wish to discuss that letter of your's….along with the Cornerian and Rohane matters." Sasha said, her smile fading at the mention of Corneria.

Tynah’s smile faded as well, “I do not have anything to discuss on that matter. Good day,” she said as she turned to walk out.

“Wait!” Frenze called out. “Mother, can we at least discuss this a little, so we can resolve this without causing any more incidents?”

Tynah sighed, turning back, “... alright, fine, you are my family after all, so I shall give you a few minutes, no more. What exactly do you wish to discuss about it?”

"Bringing an end to the conflict, preferably with your help. Additionally,...I was hoping you might be willing to host the negotiations in Castle Dyste or Vorelex. I know it's a big ask, but if anyone could successfully host these talks it would be you." Sasha said

“... alright, that is fair on both accounts,” Tynah said. “I have never liked the conflict in Corneria, and will be willing to do what I can to end it. I just…” she sat down, pressing her hand on her face, “I have only been queen for about a month now, and I have to deal with both this and Rohane Alista’s issues…”

“Nobody said being a ruler was easy, mother,” Frenze sighed. “But we appreciate the help.”

"Well let me put it this way…If you can help us get the Cornerians to agree to peace, it will allow us to help you with Rohane's issues. Not to mention, it would allow us to fully pour our resources into their crisis…." Sasha responded, giving Tynah a sympathetic smile, "You will grow accustomed to bring one in time, as well as the burdens it brings. That said, it helps to have someone to share the weight of rulership with…."

“Well, Mother has Father to help her out,” Frenze took Sasha’s side, “Not to mention her consort Flora.”

“Indeed, not to mention the aid of the likes of Cousin Rylux, your Aunt Tysteus, Great-Uncle Tobias and many more,” Tynah nodded. “I suppose then I can pass that on to Parliament; that sort of issue is one they have to determine whether they will go ahead with it. I can only do so much as the queen of a constitutional monarchy, after all.”

"Indeed. You have a good group of friends and family to aid you, unlike that sister of yours." Sasha remarked, her slight smile fading at the mention of parliament, "Heh. Such is the burden of being a constitutional monarchy, eh? You have your parliament, while we have the regional rulers and Rikstag to contend with. At any rate….I do have to ask….Was there anything you had to say on our little meeting earlier?"

“Oh, do you mean my letter?” Tynah snorted. “A little jest to prove a point on something. I knew obviously it would have never been done. But regardless, you have made your point, and I have nothing to add onto it there.”

“Actually, I was referring to our little meeting with the Council….” Sasha said, giving an exasperated sigh as she handed Tynah a letter of her own. The water draconid frowned as she looked back towards her husband, “I know we’re not exactly held in high regard among your fellow DSA members, especially not with that little stunt a few hours ago. Yet with that being said, never say we don’t care.”

Tynah looked it over, “You have already dedicated resources towards the efforts in Rohane Alista? Why did you not tell them that, then?”

“Being a ruler is part performance. Had I just simply given them all of this without making a show of it, the conservatives within parliament would have had my and Frenze’s hides. “ Sasha admitted, seemingly slightly ashamed by it. She looked back to Tylan who was sparring with his father, “With the lifting of the sanctions and you agreeing to host peace talks, we can at least make the case we were able to gain something out of this.”

Tynah sighed, “Fair enough, my daughter. I apologize for giving you the cold shoulder recently, Sasha… I understand even after all this time those nobles still give you problems…” she gave Sasha a hug, “I shall take that into consideration, and perhaps once this is all over… we can talk about allowing Aravea into the Dragon Sea Alliance. And catch up as a family once more.”

“I appreciate you understanding, mother. It…honestly means more than I think you will ever realize…” Sasha remarked, returning the embrace. She gave her mother a small smile, gesturing back towards her family, "You know we have some time before our ship will be ready…If you are able to spare some time, we would love to catch up with you for a bit…"

“I have to get going soon myself,” Tynah said, before looking at Tylan, “... but I suppose a little bit of family time would not hurt.”

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Founded: Jan 21, 2011
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Legokiller » Mon Jun 27, 2022 10:13 pm

OOC: Collab with Rohane Alista

Jasmine's room in the hotel was actually nicer in many ways than her room at home was; the finest sheets, the finest furniture, its own fridge and large TV, and even its own wardrobe larger than the one at home, with a master bath and a balcony with a view attached. Despite all that, it was nearing 11pm and the girl wasn't sleeping in the grand bed, nor watching the large TV, but sat at a desk with a reading lamp on, furiously flipping pages back and forth with one from a stack of new books, when a knock came at her door, and she didn't respond. Even a second knock didn't get a response, except maybe an annoyed grunt.

“. . . Jasmine.” Mythra sighed as she tried to sleep, but noticed that Jasmine not only didn’t turn off the lights. That part didn’t bother her as much. But the grunts and noises did. “You know an empress needs her beauty sleep as well.”

"Grandma?" Jasmine looked up from her book, rubbing an eye. "Sorry, did I disturb you? I'll go to bed soon, but I'm busy."

“Busy? You’re going to stay up all night at this rate kid. There’s plenty of time in the morning to study your books.” Mythra said.

"There's not enough time ever," Jasmine frowned, trying to subtly push her books a little further out of view. "Too many things to learn…"

Mythra scoffed. “Kid, you can’t cram all that information in one night. Come on, it’s time to rest.”

"I… I have to, grandma," Jasmine replied. "Earlier, during that meeting… the Arkhon was talking about stuff I totally didn't understand. How can I be a good leader if I don't know anything?"

Mythra shook her head as she slowly rose up from her bed. “Look, I understand you want to prepare for what something like that nutjob of can Arkhon would throw at you, and being knowledgeable of the history is good. However, leadership isn’t cramming all the books each night until you’re exhausted.”

"Then what is it? Looking pretty? Knowing how to fight?... if I tried to fight, you and grandpa and grandma Marron would just tell me I'm a kid and need to stop," Jasmine sounded almost bitter at that.

“Any cute fighter dork can fight. However, it is the one who is capable to understand others and command them to be the most effective group to solve an issue. You’ve to work alongside others, understand them, and trust them.” Mythra replied.

“So that’s what matters, being good at people?” Jasmine’s head hung, her books forgotten. “I can do… I can do learning stuff! It’s hard, but I can read all the books! I don’t think I’ll ever be good at people like you or grandma Marron…”

“But you can Jasmine.” Mythra said. “Look, Marron and I faced many encounters where people can be a pain in the ass. However, you can learn from us and our wisdom to prepare to handle such situations. Hell, you can depend on others who do understand critical information when you need to know it to solve a problem.”

“But… what if you’re gone? Or if they lie to me?” Jasmine asked. “People already ask me to endorse stuff for them, and I know mom tries to keep them away from me, but they slip through anyways. I… how do you know when someone is trying to trick you?”

“I know that there are matters I have to do myself and need to be away… But a few matters is to ask people what they think of saying… a deal or something to benefit from. There are times that it seems far too good to be true to be believable, or that a person wants to scam you with some suspicious item to get away from danger. There’s many reason, but if there is a situation that is far too suspicious and they want to play you to get an unfavorable benefit… then that’s a trick.”

“I know that, grandma, I just… I mean it can be hard to tell, sometimes, I guess. I just want to live up to dad’s legacy, and… I want to make you proud, too. All I ever do is disappoint people, though,” Jasmine sniffled softly, squeezing her eyes shut.

“It’s okay Jasmine. People mess up all the time, and kids have the luxury to make many mistakes. Look, I know you can learn from them and hopefully build to become something much better.” Mythra said. “Believe me kid.”

“Most people’s mistakes don’t cost their nation a chance at help during a crisis!” Jasmine shot back, crying quietly. “What good is learning it later when I need it now?”

“And exhausted yourself from an all-night cram feast would help? Jasmine, you can’t put everything on your shoulder. You’d burn yourself out, and lose sight.” Mythra then sighed. “Look, you aren’t alone here. There’s many people here who’s trying to save the nation as well. It’s a good time to put the books down and get a good night's rest.”

"Just… just a little longer," Jasmine protested. "I just… please? I want to know, I want people to believe in me…"

“But we do! Look, Marron can be harsh, but she and I want to see the best of you shine. You’ve to trust yourself. Look, no one is ready for anything, and at times, everyone has to use what is available to them. But I think… Kid, you do have the drive and motivation to be a good leader. Don’t overwhelm yourself.” Mythra said.

"You are?" The teenager sniffed, looking up at her grandmother with red eyes. "But… grandma Marron is always praising Ana, and… I'm always being told to leave things alone, to not get involved…"

“Because it’s too soon, and you’d hurt yourself. Jasmine, we do appreciate the care to save the country, but you can’t pin yourself to do everything. It’s not possible.” Mythra admitted.

"So you agree with grandma Marron," Jasmine deflated a little. "I'm… I just want to be the best I can…"

Mythra approached Jasmine to embrace her. “Look… We’re here, and we need to do our best. Just give it a break, and enjoy a good night's rest. We can review one of these books in the morning.”

"Alright," Jasmine returned the hug awkwardly from her seat, standing when she could and turning off the desk lamp. "Good night, grandma…"
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