[Global] End Game.

Known colloquially as the "Realm of Dreams", Emea is a mysterious place accessed primarily beyond the realm of consciousness as the mortal body sleeps in Idalos. The mind travels far at night and Emea's not without its unique risks and dangers, though Jesine's vigilance keeps mortals mostly safe.

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Pegasus
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Sat Feb 10, 2018 6:27 pm

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1st Cylus 718

"I don't know why we play along with him," she said, rolling her eyes. She was inclined to action, to doing, not to the playing of games. Yet, she was pleased that her team had won. It wasn't her usual type of fight, but winning felt good no matter what. The two of them sat, watching and waiting and discussing this whole event. Her companion grinned and shook his head. "You know why. It's him." They shared a glance and understanding passed between the two. It was him. The walker, the storyteller. Cassion knew things, somehow, that they didn't know. That was true of many of the Immortals, of course. Many of them held well guarded secrets but Cassion? He knew a lot ~ and they all understood the importance of this.

"It's just a game," she said, leaning forward as they watched the first of them appear. The laughter from the male next to her was deep and resonant and honest. "It's all a game to him, but that doesn't make winning less sweet, does it?" Then, he added what they were both thinking.

"Besides, we know what they key might open and what the prize for it is. We can't fake disinterest."

And so, they watched as the mortals arrived.

And arrive they did, by strange and unusual means each one. A guide came to them wherever they were ~ someone they recognised from their previous bouts and stages of this strange series of events. Each one of them, the person in question walked up to them and spoke. "It's time. Gather up what you need, and I'll take you." They waited, then, while each of the finalists gathered what they wanted and needed, spoke to anyone they needed to and then, when they were ready, their guide held out their hand. "Come with me."

And then, as their hand touched that of their guide, they were here.

It was just where here was that was slightly unclear. Each of them arrived, in an apparently random order to a place that was frankly freezing, the wind whipping around them and the small balls of hail stinging. Where they were appeared to be a small island - the sort that you could walk all of in a three-break period. They arrived, each one of them, at one of the cardinal points and in front of them was a path. Their guide motioned for them to go, but did not accompany them and the walk was to the very middle of the island itself where stood a statue. A towering statue of a being, hooded and ominous, holding a sort of plate-like thing. The sort of thing passed around temples for donations and offerings to be placed in, in which currently flickered a single candle. Although the statue's features could not be seen beneath the hood, there was very much a sense of it watching.

And what it was watching was a table. Stone, cold and dark, but a table. In the middle of that table was a matching plate, made of stone also, sitting empty. Four chairs gathered around it, each one lined up with the cardinal points from which the finalists had approached.

In the distance, a bell rang once and a single black bird flew, perched on the statue's shoulder and cawed, expectantly.

It had begun.

OOC Info

 ! Message from: Pegasus
Rules / Things to Know:
You get 1 post each, any order is fine.
Although this thread is in the Emea forum, it is not yet in Emea, you are still in the waking world.
It is very very cold. Please take this into account in what you do. This is "it might kill you" weather.
Your guide is any NPC from any of the previous threads in this Global Event. They are acting purely as a guide, no matter what they were in previous threads.

Directions
North - Nauta
South ~ Tio
East - Vivian
West - Arlo

You must choose a direction when you post. These will be important later. Only one person can come from any one direction so if you double post, please would the second person to post change their direction.

I'm going to post again on the 17th February. I might post sooner if everyone has posted. This is a "get you there" post.

It is very important that I am clear. Actions in this thread have consequences. Everything from where you sit to what you say to.. well, you get it. Where an action has to possibility for giving players advantages / disadvantages (as a number do in this post) I will share that with another mod to verify BEFORE you post.

Objectives


I will be utilising the "Secret / Hidden Objectives" format and there will be, in some posts, an OOC "task" or "goal" etc. I will differentiate between must do objectives, and can do objectives.
In your next post:
Must Do:
1. Pick and identify a direction in your post.
2. Identify and describe your interaction with your guide.
3. Describe what you do when you arrive on the island.
4. Describe what you do when you arrive in the middle (if you follow the path)

There are no bonus objectives this round.
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Tio Silver
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Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:39 am

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For a while now Tio had given thought to the idea that the strange meeting he'd had with Delroth, and the even stranger game that'd taken place in some magical mist-filled forest, had all been some kind of trippy fever dream. Unfortunately the curse his vain patron had used to ensure his cooperation, the one that forced him to eat gold, had returned to him, cementing the fact that the orb game had indeed been real; though since he'd won it Tio had heard nothing about the next round he was supposed to compete in. Without any idea of what to do next the pirate had gone back to his daily life, content to push the contest to the back of his mind and wait for the next challenge to reveal itself.

And now, at last, the time had finally come.

Tio was out at sea when the moment arrived, trying and failing rather spectacularly to throw a cat out of the window of his quarters. The little bugger had hopped aboard ship sometime before they'd set off, and had made an utter nuisance of itself by stealing every scrap of food it could get its paws on and tripping his crew members whenever they were too busy to look down by their feet. How it had gotten into his office Tio did not know, but the scratches it had wrought upon practically every square inch of the place had convinced him that it was time for the feline to go; ideally through a window pane. Sadly the creature's natural agility made it a hard foe to catch, and after nearly a break of chasing it around Tio was still no nearer to grabbing it than he was before. He sat in his chair, glaring at the nine-lived hellspawn that'd claimed the top of a bookcase too big for him to reach the top of as its perch, and contemplated the pro's and con's of trying to shoot a fireball at it. Was it worth risking burning his ship to ashes to get revenge upon a single cat? His mind said no, but his heart told him yes.

His dilemma was interrupted however by a brilliant flash of light, and Tio turned around to be met with the sight of a shining orb with majestic bird-like wings floating behind him. Hey, he knew that orb! It was the one he'd been tripping over himself to get his hands on in the game he played for Delroth last season! Did its appearance mean it was time for the contest to continue?

"Thy time hath come Tio." A rich but tinny voice proclaimed from within the orb. "Gather thy courage and thy metal. I shall take thee to thy next test."

Well now, who could possibly refuse a command from something so cool? As quickly as he could Tio gathered the things he needed from around his office; his cutlass and combat knife, throwing knives, first aid kit and his small horde of magical items, and hid them about the various pockets on his person, except for his sword which hung proudly from his belt. Satisfied that he had all he thought he'd need Tio reached out to grab the orb without waiting for another invitation, and in the blink of an eye had vanished from the cabin without a trace.

The first thing that hit him was the cold; a chilly wind and accompanying hail that took the enthusiasm right out of his sails. By the spirits where had he end up this time? Why couldn't the Immortals choose a nice tropical beach to host their shenanigans on for once? Having three layers, a shirt and two jackets, made the cold bearable at least, but only when Tio did the outer one up like a regular coat instead of leaving it flapping off his shoulders like a cape. Even with that done up though the cold still bit away at his exposed hands and face, and so when his orb guide motioned for him to take the path before him forwards Tio needed no further encouragement and set of down it in a light jog to keep himself warm. With luck there'd be some shelter from this damnable hail at the end of it.

Tio was the first to arrive at the statue, coming in from the path to the south. It wasn't hard to guess from its ominous vibe that this statue was what his guide had wanted him to find, and so Tio sat down on the southmost chair and waited for something to happen. As he did he studied the statue, looking for hints as to what this next game would entail. Was he supposed to offer tribute to it? Perhaps sacrifice more to it than the other people he'd be playing against? Maybe he should try testing it to find out?

Slowly, and perhaps overly warily, Tio took a single onyx nel from out of his coin purse and dropped it into the bowl the statue held, taking care not to drop it on top of the candle in the centre. As he returned to his seat he kept his senses alert for any change, anything at all, that might suggest his donation had done something.
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Arlo Creede
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Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:41 pm

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Arlo had known the time was drawing near. A time when somehow, in some way, he'd be called back to what he'd come to refer to as Cassion's Game. But he hadn't known the exact time or place, and not the how of it either. The young man, blessed by Jesine, U'frek and Cassion all three, had never expected Schubert himself to show up at their dinner table, his and Vega's, aboard the Wanderlust, just out of the blue. Of course last time they'd met, Schubert; that colorful, cheerful old fellow; had been Cassion himself. This time, he felt better not to ask, but simply introduced him to Vega before getting up from his supper to gather his things.

Since he'd known the time had been drawing near, this time he'd made sure that Vega was taken care of before he went. Food that was. Larders and icebox stocked, even some meals and such fixed up in advance for her. And before he left, he kissed her and promised to return soon. It hadn't taken him long to dress in layers of warm clothing, his armor, boots and gloves, equip himself with shortbow and pistol crossbow, sword and knives. To gather what equipment and other things he thought he might need, and drop it all into his domain bag. Including the jewel that had apparently been the winning one, last time around. And in order to ward off even the worst of the weather, the cold that was, he draped the strange, small wooden magical chicken leg down behind the front of his shirt on a leather string, and stuffed small little sacks of orange sand in his pockets.

So Arlo had grabbed Schubert's hand, and they were off. And when they got to wherever that was, he thanked the Immortal's that he'd brought that chicken leg and the sand packets with him. He pulled his hat down over his ears as they walked together, and made small talk if Schubert was interested. It took some time, but when they arrived where four paths converged, sort of, Arlo bid his guide farewell and went on alone. Arlo approached the surly looking statue from the west[/i], thinking that the platter the thing held in it's hands looked somewhat like a collection plate. Thing gave him the creeps, at any rate, and the bell and crow didn't help a bit.

But there at the table was a figure that Arlo recognized from the derby he'd competed in not long ago. They'd been competitors then, and it appeared that they might just be again. Of course he didn't hold any grudges about last time, in spite of the ribbing and words they'd exchanged. It had all been in the spirit of competition. Besides, you never knew when a supposed adversary might come in useful as at least a temporary ally. It never hurt to be polite, till there was reason to do otherwise.

Still, it probably wasn't a time to be exchanging pleasantries, and as he approached, Arlo observed Tio placing a large chunk of change in that plate. Was the plate the statue was holding a collection plate? Was this one too, he wondered, and they were connected one to the other? If they were meant to donate, well, was it coin or something else that was wanted? Maybe more of a personal sacrifice than a monetary one? Giving a nod to Tio, Arlo dug into his pocket before taking a seat at the table.

What he put in the plate was a compass. Not the one that Cassion had given him, but a more ordinary one in fact. Nonetheless he had somewhat of a connection to the thing, sentimental value, though it didn't quite work as well as it used to and he'd recently replaced it for practical purposes. But that old faulty compass had guided him along countless roads and forest paths since he'd left home. And that was the one that he put in the plate.
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Vivian Shiryu
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Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:43 pm

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Vivian had been waiting on the next mission from Ilaren for some time now, but it wasn't like she wasn't busy. When the order finally came, it was in the form of the same priestess from the end of the jungle assignment. The moment that particular woman showed up on her doorstep, Vivian nodded. "One moment." she said, inviting the woman in. She had just gotten off patrol so she was still wearing the clothes she wore under her armor, and she was able to have that back on in a hurry. Mindful of the weather, she pulled her heaviest and warmest cloak over it, then grabbed her sword, shield, and Zvezdana's bow. She told her cousin and her friend and family that she had an assignment, then took the priestesses hand, her movements calm and professional.

Once she was on the island, Vivian looked around, drawing her cloak around her. The island was a barren wasteland, she was to the east of the statue at the center of the island. Taking a deep breath, Vivian drew her rapier and cautiously advanced towards the statue, keeping her guard up. There were two men already seated around the statue, neither of whom she recognized. The statue was apparently holding a collection bowl, for items of either monetary or personal value. She hadn't brought any personal items, didn't really have any either that she wasn't using. So, instead she put an onyx Nel into the collection bowl, then sat down with her sword across her knees.
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Nauta F'mos Geey
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Sat Feb 17, 2018 12:18 am

If not for his guide, Nauta would not even realize what was going on. Maybe he was told of the next stage by his patron or maybe she did no such thing; it was hard to tell at the time as it was all a blur, as though events had yet to be set so the time his guide had him spend was only good enough for guesswork of whatever he needed to bring based on the events of the previous stage and, to make sure his own house was in order just in case the trip took longer than expected just like the previous stage as well though... "you can't help me sort it out when you go back can't you?"

Without further ceremony, Nauta took the hand and was whisked away to wherever here was. He already had the look of disbelief on his face as he asked his guide "you can't be serious..." Even with the aukari's heated blood to make the cold tolerable, the wind was a constant misery and the hail a pain. After a survey of his surroundings with his guide utterly useless, the aukari headed down the path. He would have assuredly been among those gathered even if he unaware of it at the time. That was not the reason for his haste however, his rush down the path was because he reasoned it had to lead him somewhere, hopefully somewhere to shelter him from the elements.

Instead he found from his run from the north, a run which invigorated him enough against the cold at least, was a statue he did not recognize. It was a disappointment and unable to discern the identity of the hooded figure itself, the statue was of no interest to Nauta. Instead it was plate it held with the lone candle similar to the plate without. Perhaps the other arrivals had the right idea for an offering of sorts but the aukari he found nothing to indicate the need being of the opinion religion could hang itself. Instead of coin or object of value, he cut himself at the palm to drip out some of his boiling blood unto the plate; the only thing he thought could make their plate similar to the plate of the statue.

There was no explanation as everyone else seated did not seem in the mood for conversation. The aukari took his seat and tried his best to position himself to be protected from the wind and hail as possible. He watched the others; the man with the floppy coat hanging off the shoulders, the other man who probably had a better guide given how sensibly dressed he was and a woman colder than the island they were in. 'Sheesh.' Not the sort of people he would involve himself with for even a chance of an advantage over them except... the first he yelled at excitedly with an "oh, oh! Its you!" to see how he would react.
Last edited by Nauta F'mos Geey on Sat May 26, 2018 5:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
But I don't want to cure cancer. I want to turn people into dinosaurs.
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Pegasus
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Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:20 pm

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1st Cylus 718

Of all of them there, Nauta and Arlo were probably suffering the least from the cold. Nauta because of his heritage, Arlo because of his chicken peg-leg. Vivian and Tio were absolutely freezing and even the two of them who didn't feel the cold in the same way were battered by the wind and hail, which seemed to be increasing and stung when it hit. They got to see it literally bouncing off the table in front of them, small and irregular spheres of painful ice pounded at them. It seemed like nothing happened as they approached, as they put their offerings into the collection plate until, at the last, Nauta dropped his blood into it.

Secret Achievement Unlocked: Lucky Last!: Nauta was last to put his "offering" in the bowl and so activated it. This will have a positive consequence
The hail stopped.

The winds quietened and the bell rang out again.

The black bird on the shoulders of the statue cawed again and took flight, circling above them and then landing. As it did, it wasn't a bird any more but was, in fact, a woman. Dark of hair and with eyes like black pools, she gazed at each of them. To every one of the four of them, she seemed familiar. Like she was someone they had seen in dream, perhaps, once upon a time. Or maybe in all of them.

"Wealth, direction and blood." Her voice intoned as she turned her gaze to each of them, one at a time. Her expression was haughty, her assessment of them found each of them wanting. Then, she moved her hand to over the plate and their offerings, such as they were, vanished. Instead, in her hand was a single green crystal which glowed. "That is what you have offered and it is what we gladly accept. You have identified the stakes, what we are playing for. Wealth. Direction. Blood." The crystal in her hand was no longer there as she put her fingers together in a steeple position, then smiled.

"Those are interesting. Very well. You are here representing four Immortals. They are seeking a prize. A key." Tendrils of green light floated, wisp like around her as she spoke. "If you give over the key, then your Immortal has won. The reward, if any, from your sponsor Immortal, is between you and them. However, this game is Cassion's Gambit and he is watching with interest." The green smoke swirled around her, dancing in an almost amused manner, if green smoke can do such.

"So there is all to play for. Now that you have determined the stakes for which we play, let me tell you the game. Each Immortal has chosen one task. It might be a choice, a puzzle, a simple question or anything of their choosing. But each task is for all of you, though in some tasks you will be alone, in others, not necessarily. Some might require you to work together, in others, you will be competing. Some complex, some simple. It all depends on the task., on the Immortal. On you." She stopped speaking then and paused, allowing questions if they would come.

When either they were answered or, after a sufficient pause if none were asked, she continued.

"At the end, one of you wins. The moment the key is placed into my hand, or Cassion's. Each task has been agreed between all four of the Immortals you represent, and the Master of the Game himself. Each task has consequences for the next. Some good, some less so. That is where those consequences end, at the end of the game. Those consequences have begun." As she said that, she flipped a single silver coin at Arlo. It spun towards him and was easy to catch. It appeared, something he had done had given him a head start.

But no time for wondering what. She gestured to the door which she now stood in front of and she waved her hand towards it. "Begin."

OOC Info

 ! Message from: Pegasus
Rules / Things to Know:
The moment you step through the door, you enter Emea.
If you ask any questions where the bird-woman paused, please pm them to me, I'll pm you the reply and you can use that in your post.
Please DO NOT POST! - Your first test is about to be posted by the first cameo appearance in this thread!! Keep watching.

I'm going to post again on the 24th February. I might post sooner if everyone has posted. DO NOT POST UNTIL AFTER THE NEXT MOD HAS!
If you miss a round of posting, you will incur a disadvantage

It is very important that I am clear. Actions in this thread have consequences. Everything from where you sit to what you say to.. well, you get it. Where an action has to possibility for giving players advantages / disadvantages (as a number do in this post) I will share that with another mod to verify BEFORE you post.

Objectives


I will be utilising the "Secret / Hidden Objectives" format and there will be, in some posts, an OOC "task" or "goal" etc. I will differentiate between must do objectives, and can do objectives.
In your next post:
Must Do:
There are no must - do objectives from me.

There are three hidden objectives in the next round.

Currently

Name Current Advantages/Resources Current Disadvantages/Drains
TioNeutralNeutral
ArloSilver from the WestNeutral
VivianNeutralNeutral
NautaLucky LastNeutral
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Whisper
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Sat Feb 17, 2018 9:54 pm

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As the challengers walked through the door, they would emerge into a dimly lit room, stone walled with lavish furnishings. A large throw rug, skinned from the kill of a dire animal and treated for use in such a fine apartment rested on the floor. Upon a large, cushioned chaise, the redheaded Immortal Ilaren lounged on the side, arm supporting her weight as her slender fingers carded through her hair. In her free hand rested a goblet of wine, from which she kept sipping.

The Immortal of Lightning and Alcohol smiled as the four challengers entered the room and approached, each a dichotomy of caution and eagerness. “Welcome,” she murmured as she rested the goblet in front of her torso. “This Challenge will see all of you enter the room with matched luck and fates, but you will leave the room unequal, depending on how you fair here.” Ilaren inclined her head to the right of her, left of the four mortals.

Upon a long, narrow bench, nine goblets of different sizes and descriptions were lined up. The dark wine inside each of the goblets was exactly the same. If the mortals were to eye the liquid closely, or nose each gland deeply, they would not be able to discern any obvious difference between the liquids. Ilaren’s words, though, were enough for all to know that the liquids, though looking identical, were not. All the champions had to guide their choice was the appearance of the goblet.

The Immortal shifted, pushing herself up from the chaise and standing before the four challengers and gesturing for them to approach the table. “This Challenge cannot be failed; you will all move forward, but the manner in which you succeed… or fail… on the next tasks may be contingent on the choice you make here.” Casting her gaze over each of the four, she sipped from her own goblet once more. “Before you sits nine vessels, each with a sample of Rhane’s finest wine. The chalices themselves, however, are not comparable, and they have affected the quality of the wine.


The first was simple and elegant, though could by no means be described as common or cheap. It was made with a smooth, polished metal surface reflecting the flickering light back into the viewer’s eyes.

The second appeared to be nothing more than a chalice hewn from the wood of a red oak tree, so poorly made, the one who risked drinking from it was likely to be spitting splinters from their mouth.

The third was wrought of bronze: hardly the finest metal in the world, but the intricate chiselled design around the edge was captivating.

The fourth was a plain pewter mug, similar to any other common mug found in the average tavern all over Idalos. No doubt all had sipped from these vessels before.

The fifth shimmered in the low light of the room, golden plated, or possibly even entirely cast from the precious metal and embellished with a kaleidoscope of coloured jewels that glinted with a hint of promise.

The sixth could barely be described as more than a block with a hole in the top, and multiple markings from where someone had obviously been trying to hack away at it. It would even seem out off place in the room of a slave, and barely fit for purpose.

The seventh was blown glass, transparent and colourless, cut with a fine pattern and composed with such precision that it was evident no mortal’s, even a master artisan, skill could have created it.

The eighth looked like it had once been used at the table of kings, yet it had left outside for too many arcs. Weatherworn and rusting with chips out of the body of it, the drinker would risk cutting their lip with their first sip.

The ninth was, on first appearance, a white wood. On closer inspection, it would be realised as bone, as if a great boar had been defeated, and this was a trophy for the magnificent, fearless hunter who defeated the animal.

Taking a step back, Ilaren allowed the mortals to approach the table and make their decisions. “You will each chose a goblet, and you will consume the contents of said goblet. You will then leave this room, hindered no further by my presence… but affected by my interference for the remainder of the Challenges. Take your time, and consider wisely, brave souls, for beauty and worth is in the eye of the beholder.

 ! Message from: Whisper
Hi folks!
So just to make sure we're all on the same page here, the task is this: pick a drinking vessel and drink the wine in it. This is a test of personality and decision-making. As well as the description, I have given each vessel an attribute, and thus have assigned each vessel a consequence, which may be positive or negative. There are enough positive outcomes... if you all chose carefully. I cannot stress enough that the consequences will not change as a result of who picks what... it's all up for grabs. Descriptions have provided clues regarding attributes and consequences, even if it might not be obvious.

You will find out the result of your decision on Saturday at the latest when I post again. Good luck.
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Tio Silver
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Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:39 am

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One by one more people arrived around the statue, each one coming from a different path, and followed his lead by placing something into the offering bowl. The first to come was somebody Tio recognised: Arlo Creed, one of his competitors in the Darbyton Derby and classmate to his alter ego. Now that he thought about it hadn't Arlo mentioned that he was a follower of Cassion once? Was he representing the gamemaster in his own game? That hardly seemed fair.

Second came a woman with dark, shoulder length hair and sharp blue eyes. She had that imposing tough-girl aura about her, the kind that felt like she'd just as soon break your nose than give you the time of day, that Tio had always had a weakness for, but he pushed that thought out of his mind. He still didn't know what this game was all about but for so many Immortals to be invested in it the stakes had to be high. A little fun couldn't hurt, but he couldn't let himself be distracted.

And last of all came another man with red hair pulled back into a ponytail who, oddly enough, seemed to recognise him. Weird, they hadn't met before had they? Or had he forgotten? Unless of course the man had simply heard of his daring exploits and seen him around before in a public setting; he was starting to become a bit of a well known figure around town after all.

"Aha! Don't tell me, you must be a fan of mine, right?!" Tio announced boisterously, his head perhaps getting just a little bit swollen. Why not make some fun out of this situation after all? They could all do with getting some energy flowing what with this abysmal weather putting a damper on things. "That's right it is I, the legendary Captain Silver! The great hero of Almund himself! Protector of the Immortal's Tongue! King of the forrest tribes! Slayer of the great sea serpent!" Alright, admittedly none of those were true, but who was counting? He was on a roll after all.

It was not long after that things started to pick up. The bird that'd been flying around overhead morphed into the form of a dark beauty that Tio had the weirdest feeling he'd met before somewhere, but couldn't quite remember when. She spoke to them then, explaining the rules of the game, and revealing the fact that the things they'd put into the offering bowl represented the stakes they were offering to the game. At a first glance it seemed that he and the dark-haired woman had lost out, after all what was an old compass and a splattering of blood against an onyx nel, but the way the woman spoke gave Tio the feeling that their offerings meant something more than what they appeared to be. Direction she'd said after all, not a compass. Wealth, not a coin. Perhaps he wasn't so unlucky after all?

With that thought still in his head the bird-woman conjured a door in front of them and bade them to step through it to face the first challenge. Beyond the door was a tastefully lavish room, with an absurdly large animal pelt sprawled out across the floor, and a woman with hair as red as wine lounging across a cushioned chaise with a goblet of wine in her hand. There weren't that many Immortals that Tio found interesting enough to concern himself with, but even he could guess as to who this one was. If he was right then she was one of the fun ones; the one who held domain over lighting, alcohol, brawling and other cool things! The mistress of lightning herself!

"No way! Are you Ilaren?!" Tio asked with clear awe, unashamedly jigging on his feet like an overexcited child. He may have thrown his hat into the ring with the darker gods like Syroa and Delroth, but that didn't mean he couldn't appreciate the more badass members of the lighter side of the pantheon when he got the chance. It wasn't like Syroa could fault him for playing away after all. "I'm a huge fan! Especially of the way you throw lightning bolts at people! Can I get your autograph?!"

As Ilaren went on to explain her challenge, Tio looked closely at the nine goblets laid out across the table. Unsurprisingly his eyes immediately drifted over to the fifth one along, the one coated top-to-bottom with gold and precious jewels. Any other day and he would have unashamedly drank from that one, but the fact was that Ilaren's last words concerned him. He wanted to win this game, and that last remark about beauty being in the eye of the beholder implied that this was a test that required one to look past the obvious physical appearances in order to succeed. He couldn't imaging that a challenge in such an important game would have been left to chance after all. So then that left the question, what quality was he supposed to be looking for in a winning goblet?

If this was a challenge created by Ilaren, then perhaps the best choice would be the one that reflected her ideology and domains the closest? Somehow lightning and sound didn't seem like they'd be relevant to this task, so that left alcohol and brawling. Which of these cups implied that its owner was a fighter and a drinker? Which one belonged in the hand of someone Ilaren would approve of?

With that in mind Tio was the first one to step over to the table and take a goblet of his choice; the ninth one, the one made from a boar tusk. It seemed like the trophy of a fearless fighter; the kind of person who'd take a challenge head on with their own strength and then tell everyone else in the tavern about the fight the following night. Bringing it up to his lips, Tio tilted his head back and drank down the full contents of the cup in a few gulps.
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Last edited by Tio Silver on Tue Feb 20, 2018 6:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Arlo Creede
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Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:45 pm

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Arlo wasn't the first to arrive, and he wasn't the last either. He hadn't known how many others would come when he'd started the journey. But having arrived and found a table for four waiting, it wasn't hard to guess there'd be two more. He himself had competed for U'frek the last time around, even though he was a follower of Cassion himself. But it was U'frek that was playing the game through the mortals he'd chosen, and Cassion who concocted the thing. He saw no reason however to correct any assumptions, right or wrong, that might arise along the way.

Turned out, the young man didn't recognize either of the next two arrivals. A woman, who came in with her guard up and her weapon ready. Arlo couldn't really blame her. Last time around, a competitor had gone so far as to try and kill him. He'd been fixed right up, but this time he'd come more prepared himself. Swords, bows, knives and armor. And even more importantly, hindsight and the survival instincts that came with it. She too dropped a large sum of nels into the plate, though he didn't second guess his choice of donation as a result. There were things that had more meaning to Arlo than monetary wealth. Therefore, more of a sacrifice for him.

The next comer was more recognizable as an Aukari. Or at least his contribution added to the others, made it seem much, much more likely. Did he know Tio from sometime before? Tio's response made it seem unlikely. Or, who knew? Tio had always struck Arlo as a little bit...different. Not that there was anything wrong with that of course. Nevertheless the blood seemed to have done the trick. Their contributions were gone, the crow took flight and a woman appeared who struck Arlo as familiar somehow. He couldn't quite say how that could be just yet. Only that it was.

Wealth, direction and blood. The woman identified the stakes based on what each of them had contributed. Arlo wondered if those three might not be more than a goal, but something remember for other reasons along the way. Remember he would then. A key though, that's what they were after and they'd need go through a number of steps and challenges to get there. Another journey for him then and like all the rest, in Cassion's name. And U'frek's too, in this particular circumstance. The coin he was tossed though? Arlo wasn't exactly sure what he'd done to earn it, but with a smile of thanks when she tossed it, he reached out and snatched it out of the air.

The door was there to pass through, and on his way, Arlo asked the woman...Had they met before? And when she told him, he remembered. They had, face to face, a number of times now. And because of who had ushered them there, Arlo figured he knew in a broader sense, exactly where they'd found themselves. Very nice furnishings too. It wasn't difficult to guess who the woman on the chaise was. He was no follower himself, but he'd been raised in Rharne after all, where the Immortal seemed favored above all others. That their first challenge was in effect a drinking game then, made a perfect kind of sense.

Dipping his head in deep respect, Arlo confronted the long table and all the vessels arranged there, all in a line. He'd never cared much about fancy things, things that oozed wealth or particular kinds of power. Those were as often facades anyway, far as he was concerned. For him? The choice was easy. It was the one that was as plain as could be. The one that looked like it might have been passed through hundreds or even thousands of hands before him, in any tavern, in any place on Idalos, and then taken into yet another set of hands and so on. As if it had ears and its memory long,

Arlo imagined that it might have absorbed story, after story after story and stored them all. Stories plain, pedestrian, outlandish or fantastical. Many true, some not, and others someplace in between. As a storyteller, it was the natural choice for him. The fourth one, the plain pewter mug that might have been held by laborers, adventurers, merchants, politicians, knights and even nobles who'd been slumming it at one time or another. That was the one that Arlo picked up, raised to his lips and emptied.
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Vivian Shiryu
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Thu Feb 22, 2018 6:08 pm

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Vivian continued to ignore the banter among her competitors, but she did pay attention when their next guide popped in. Wealth, direction, blood, all in all the guide didn't make much sense and Vivian suspected she was being vague and mysterious on purpose. Apparently, however, they were searching for a key, and whoever turned the key in would be the winner. Given the nature and purpose of keys, Vivian swore to herself that if this all turned out to be happening because Cassion had locked himself out of his house and needed someone else to get his front door key, she would stab him, Immortal or no.

Still, when the spirit person thing made a door for them, Vivian went through as readily as the rest. And then immediately pulled into a bow when she saw Ilaren. "At your service, lady Ilaren." she said, before giving the one who started rambling a look that spoke quite clearly of what she thought of his impropriety. However, she stood at attention while Ilaren laid out their task, then stepped up to the table, considering the options. The enthusiastic one and the one who had gotten the coin both drank before she did, but she was being methodical, looking at each cup. She couldn't afford to fail or disappoint another liege, not again.

She discarded the first outright, but kept the second in mind. The third was also out of her mind and the fourth had been drunken from, the fifth was a trap, but the sixth also stuck in her mind. The seventh was another trap, the eighth was a possibility, and the ninth had been chosen. After a moments consideration, Vivian took up sixth "cup" the roughly hewn block. Whoever made this had no better chalice to drink from, but Ilaren was a generous liege and all were welcome to her Domains. For the poorest peasant who could only afford wine on the most special occasions, this rough hewn block would be as worthy and great a chalice as any that had been held by a more noble hand.

Raising the block-cup to Ilaren first in salute, Vivian downed the contents of the block, trying not to spill, then set it back down.
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