• Closed • Breadcrumbs

From Tried's Mouth to the mysterious Tower, the waters around Scalvoris and the island itself hold a vast array of secrets, just ripe for discovery. Here are landmarks and small villages of note.

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Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:37 pm

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13th Cylus 718
ImageSnow continue to fall throughout these trials. The temperature remains at sub-zero and this causes major and continued issues with ice and a lot of 'black ice' covering existing snow and making walking outside even more treacherous. Most shops and businesses are closed during this time and a call goes out to the Council to be better prepared to help the vulnerable and those who live in harder-to-reach places.
The weather was beyond dreadful and the people of Scalvoris were far, far from happy with how the Council were dealing with it. If things didn't change soon there was going to be some kind of civil unrest, there was no doubt about it. And if there was one thing that Shania Calanorn was good at spotting, it was a time when people were needed. So, notices had been sent out to Scalvoris Town and Almund, asking people to gather at either the Glass Temple or the Glass Tree in order to be picked up by Scalvwings, provided by the citizens of Gunvorton, in order to lend aid to the people of Scalvoris Island. The leaflets asked for strong, healthy folks. Due to the nature of the jobs, they asked that people who were fit and able only applied, not anyone elderly or injured, weak or vulnerable. There were houses to be dug out of snowdrifts, small hamlets which were completely cut off and people in need of rescue or the delivery of goods.

For whatever reason, be it good inclinations, a sudden burst of charity or the 200gn per person which Shania (Council Representative of Gunvorton and Owner of the Hearth & Home) personally paid to each volunteer out of her own monies, the two of them had found themselves in the very establishment which Shania ran. Scalvwing steeds had picked them up from the designated place at the agreed time. They had been told to expect it to take no more than three trials and that accommodation and food would be provided.

So, it was that Arlo and Tio, with a number of other volunteers numbering just under twenty, found themselves in the "Home and Hearth Inn" in Gunvorton. It was a pleasant place, warm and welcoming and the woman who stood in front of them seemed entirely pleasant too. "As some of you might know," she said with a slightly wry smile, "I am Shania. It is my pleasure to welcome you to the Home and Hearth, and to Gunvorton. Thank you so much for volunteering to help us. Us. All of us, here. Not Gunvorton or Darbyton, not ScalvTown or Almund. We are here as mortals who live on Scalvoris helping other mortals who live on Scalvoris. Here, in Gunvorton, that is our way." They saw that she seemed to be partly maybe Eidisi, due to the strange blue-grey colour of her skin, but other than that she seemed human, with dark eyes and black hair. She was beautiful, in a very odd way, and there was something fundamentally alluring about her and how she was put together. Not that she seemed to notice.

"You'll be working in pairs. We'll provide any cold weather gear you need. This place, my humble business, is open to you. You have free food, free lodgings during rest breaks."

It transpired that Arlo and Tio were a pair and Shania handed them their first assignment. She did so with a smile and a good natured chat. "Well, you two seem like strong young men. Left your wives at home?" She gave a slight, almost girlish giggle and waved her hand. "Don't mind me, I'm a dreadful romantic. Now, there's a form here, for you. Just some basic information." She was very quick to add, "When you get back, you get this back and when you leave, you can destroy it. It's just for helping us with the emergency situation, and don't fill in anything you're not comfortable with, it would just really help if you could fill it all in."

That information was the following:

Code: Select all

   [style3=width:650px; background:#95a3ba; margin: auto; padding: 15px; box-shadow: 0px 0px 10px 1px #939393; font-size:14px; color:#2e3a90]
Full Name:
Next of Kin / Who Should We Contact In An Emergency?
Where are they? (as much detail as possible is helpful if we ever need it. We won't use it otherwise)
Any Illness / Allergies?
Are you a magic user? If so what kind? (might be helpful if there are specific circumstances like rockfalls or mudslides etc)
What about Immortal Marks? (as above and any details would be helpful...)
What would you say your primary skills are? 
[/style3]
When they had handed that back, then Shania put them in an envelope. "We won't look at them unless there's a dire emergency. People like privacy, I know. Now, there's a farm that needs digging out and the cart taking you there is leaving in just a little while. Thank you so much, both of you."

And so followed six breaks of backbreaking work. Digging, rescuing animals, all the things associated with fundamentally freeing a farm full of animals from a situation which had started out badly and just got worse and worse. After that time, they'd get to go back to the Inn and have a hot meal and a few breaks sleep before starting again.
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Ok welcome welcome! Lets get this started. Please make sure to include the code above in your response - filled in of course! Feel free to make up what you want about digging out the farm. Your next task / job / assignment will be the start of the adventure..... Enjoy. Have fun and if you've got any questions, drop me a PM
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Arlo Creede
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Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:36 pm

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In just a baker's dozen of recent trials, Scalvoris had managed a top spot on Arlo's list of places not to visit in the dead of Winter. What had he and Vega been thinking when they could have set out anytime they pleased, looking for warmer waters, even tropical shores. Being able to live aboard the Wanderlust instead of out in the open helped a lot. But Arlo was still convinced that Scalvoris' version of Cylus made Desnind's seem like child's play. AS a result, in addition to dressing himself in layers upon layers, he'd swallowed his pride completely and had made a habit lately of wearing the chicken peg leg strung round his neck, hidden beneath his clothing.

No matter how miserable though, there were others on the island that had it much worse. People whose lives or livelihoods, maybe both, were at stake during the harshest of weather. And so having become restless inside their cabin back on the Wanderlust, Arlo had volunteered to lend a hand to others who needed it. Besides, how often did you get to catch a ride on a Scalvwing? As it turned out, Tio turned up and had volunteered too. The two of them got on well, Arlo figured, Vega knew where he was and what he was doing, and he had the handful of trials to spare.

Shania, the woman running the operation? She was nice, and easy to look at. It was hard not to notice, but also impossible not to compare to a woman who was much more in line with Arlo's preference. Still, he wasn't blind. He'd brought gear of his own, though more would be welcome and before outfitting himself Arlo took the sheet of paper that Shania wanted them to fill out. It didn't take long.
Full Name: Arlo Creede
Next of Kin / Who Should We Contact In An Emergency? Vega Lei'nox
Where are they? (as much detail as possible is helpful if we ever need it. We won't use it otherwise) On the Schooner Wanderlust at the docks of Scalvoris
Any Illness / Allergies? No
Are you a magic user? If so what kind? (might be helpful if there are specific circumstances like rockfalls or mudslides etc) No
What about Immortal Marks? (as above and any details would be helpful...) Jesine, U'frek, Cassion
What would you say your primary skills are? Acrobatics, Shortbow, Fieldcraft, Navigation, Storytelling
Soon enough he'd been assigned his first job, and though Shania might not realize it, it was a familiar one for Arlo. Growing up on his stepfather's farm, Arlo was no stranger to that kind of work. Even though he'd complained about now and again, rain or shine. Especially during the rain or in wintertime. The thing about that kind of living, was that the animal's and other jobs didn't take care of themselves. He still couldn't say he was looking forward to it, but at least he knew the work. Seemed he'd been paired with Tio and as the two of them climbed in the back of the wagon, he asked the other man how long he was planning to stay in Scalvoris. He and Vega, he added, would be heading out, probably as soon as the weather let up.

The job was just as Arlo thought it would be. Knee deep in snow that needed digging out. Paths cleared, stalls mucked out...and on and on. According to the farmer's wife, a goat and her two new kids had gotten out and got lost, and she hoped that Arlo might find them and bring them back. Just his luck, the mother was solid white and he couldn't have been looking right at her and not seen. But spotting her was only half the problem. The babies were new and small, and had gotten bogged down a snowdrift that as good as buried them three times over. And their mother didn't make it easy, charging him and bawling threateningly each time he tried to wade in and get them.

By the time he was headed back along the path to the barn, Arlo was wet, cold and had a squirming kid under each arm, while their mother harassed him from behind, butting and threatening all the way. At least the farmer's wife was grateful, at the end of it. And even then the work wasn't done, with ice needing to be broken and buckets filled with fresh water. All exhausting work, and Arlo was feeling it when they finally returned to the inn, hungry and looking for a few good drinks.
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Tio Silver
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Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:08 pm

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It could not be said that Tio was the altruistic type. He was just too naturally self inclined, and often simply forgot to empathize with other people or consider how they might feel on certain matters. Yet it had to be said that during the few times his attention had actually been caught by someone in need he wasn't the kind of person to just walk away and pretend he hadn't seen anything, even if the help he offered did have a tendency to be rather... unconventional. The blizzards that'd been plaguing Scalvoris recently had forced Tio to spend a lot of time in various taverns, where it'd been nigh impossible not to notice the adverts that'd gone out seeking help for the people of Gunvorton, and as he had very little work to do during the season after a successful pirate raid Tio had decided to volunteer.

Which was why he found himself in the Hearth and Home on this particular trial, listening to Shania as she welcomed the volunteers and thanked them for coming to help. A fairly sizeable crowd had turned out, and among them Tio was glad to find at least one familiar face: the hat-totting traveler Arlo Creed. The group was split up into pairs, and as fortune would have it he and Arlo were paired together. Then Shania came around with an emergency contact form for them to fill out, and after taking an offered quill that came with it Tio quickly scrawled down his answers.

Full Name: Tio Barabus Silver.
Next of Kin / Who Should We Contact In An Emergency?: Mary Silver.
Where are they?: No Clue.
Any Illness / Allergies?: I really don't like dogs.
Are you a magic user? If so what kind?: Nope.
What about Immortal Marks?: Nope.
What would you say your primary skills are?: I have a talented tongue, but mostly I'm more of a Jack-of-all-Trades kind of guy.


It wasn't long before the pair of them were assigned their first task; to help clear out a farm that'd been snowed in. The wagon ride there was pretty peaceful, and along the way Tio chatted with Arlo about how long they'd each be staying on Scalvoris. Tio revealed that he had no plans to leave anytime soon as the island had really grown on him and he was thinking of settling here one day, but intended to travel about sometime vaguely in the future. When they arrived at the farm however Tio quickly found out that farm work was in fact utterly boring, and his work slowly changed from shovelling snow to piling the snow into ever larger and more intricate shapes. By the end of the task he was essentially playing golf with the snowballs; smacking them with his shovel so that they flew threw the open window of a nearby barn.

"Whew. I tell you what, all this hard work has got me knackered." He wheezed to the other workers as they piled on to the back of the cart headed back to the inn, ignoring the fact that he'd done the least work out of all of them. A hot meal and a drink sounded really good right about now.
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Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:12 am

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13th Cylus 718
They arrived back and Shania was there to greet them with fresh clothes, warm blankets and hot, hearty stew with bread rolls still warm. Drinks were on the house, although as she said, there was lots of work to be done after rest and so best not have a hangover. During the time that they ate, she came and sat down with them. That might seem suspicious or strange, but they'd quickly notice that she did the same with each group. "Now then, you must tell me about yourselves. I get to Scalvoris Town quite often, being on the Council. Business, business, busy busy." She smiled, quite happy to chat. If they gave details, she did the same. She was Shania Calanorn, her husband had died some arcs before and the two of them had always dreamed of owning an Inn where everyone was welcome, everyone able to feel a little bit better after they'd eaten the food and stayed the night. When he died, she'd resolved that she would do just that and with the lifting of the mist and the disappearance of the Pirate Lords, well, it was an opportunity, she said. With a smile tinged with sadness, she explained, "it was a chance, I thought, to make the world a better place. A place my Henry would have wanted it to be." Of them, she asked questions and in the asking it became obvious that she hadn't read their papers, carefully stored and then returned to them. How much of their stories they chose to share, or not, was up to them.

She moved around, sitting with each small group; desserts were brought out and put down in front of them. Rich syrup pudding, steaming hot and with jugs of boiling custard and bowls of cream if they wanted them. It had to be said, the food was not complicated, but it was rich and thick and hearty and just what they needed. After people had eaten there were some songs, played on lute and after quite a lot of persuasion, Shania stood and sang. She had a beautiful, haunting voice which could move people to tears, although she seemed entirely unconcerned with it and flapped a hand in dismissal when she'd finally been persuaded. That done, though, she took herself off to bed and so too did the others.

They were in a shared, double room with wide, separate sides of the room, beds which had been warmed and made up ready. Sleep was easy and the both of them were able to fall into sleep's embrace easily. It was a few breaks after they'd fallen asleep that they both woke, suddenly. It was like someone had screamed or such, that sudden jolting awake.

Yet, the place was silent.

If they explored at all, or just listened, they'd notice that it wasn't actually silent, it was silent. No sounds of breathing, snoring, moving around downstairs. Nothing. Should either of them think to check outside, it was black. But not black dark night black. No. No this was pitch, total, complete darkness. Like... looking at nothing.

And in the silent Inn, two mortals stood.
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Arlo Creede
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Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:41 pm

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Once they got back from the job at the end of trial, Arlo was too exhausted to point out to Tio that in large part, he'd been more of a hindrance than a help, back on the farm. Not everyone one was cut out for that kind of work after all. Arlo had done a lot of it growing up, and didn't particularly like it either. Besides, Tio was right. It was boring. But the farmer and his wife had been grateful and he'd been happy to help.

When Shania joined them all, Arlo ate and drank while she talked, offering his condolences when she told them about her husband. He figured there wasn't really much to tell them about himself. He'd left home at sixteen, was a traveler, and now him and his girl had a boat and planned to set sail in springtime. She had a nice voice and sang well though, and Arlo was sure to tell her that before he retired for the night. And with all his belongings on the chair beside the bed, he was soundly asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow. Lucky for Tio, Arlo didn't snore.

Breaks later, he woke with a start, sitting up in the bed in a flash and unsure at first whether what had woken him had been real or imagined, dreamed of. Frowning into the dark, Arlo realized that at least it was quiet now. For just a trill, he was on the verge of deciding he'd imagined it, but then something seemed...off. It was too quite, and too dark in spite of there being no shutters on the windows. There ought to have at least been the stars outside, and the moon.

"You hear that Tio?" Both the something, and the nothing, he meant as he pulled his clothing and boots on and dug through his sack. He fished out a small jar with a glowing blue stone inside, to help light the way, and made sure he was well armed before pushing the door open in order to have a look out in the hallway, as far as his makeshift lamp would let him.
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Tio Silver
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Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:27 pm

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The food served to them back at the Hearth and Home was exactly what Tio had been hoping it would be: hot and hearty. There was none of that delicate fiddly stuff that seemed to be coming into fashion in restaurants these days, instead the food had real substance to it. Rich, greasy stew with large chunks of venison floating in it, plump white bread still fresh and warm out the oven, and enough custard to pour on his syrup pudding to drown a horse in. Too bad really that he couldn't enjoy any of it, for the gold eaters curse made it all taste like dust in his mouth. Damn, he kept forgetting about that at the most inconvenient times. He'd just have to make sure to down a handful of tasty gold nel before bed while Arlo was down here. It was times like this that he considered how much fun it must be for followers or Ilaren and Cassion, after all they could enjoy moments like this regularly all in the name of worship.

And the longer the night went on, the fonder Tio found himself becoming of Shania. She was friendly to a fault, compassionate, and had a truly wonderful singing voice. Almund tended to attract the more morally ambiguous types so Tio had gotten used to keeping an eye open for some kind of lie or other trickery in every interaction he had with another citizen, and while he normally quite liked the challenge it was refreshing to have a little honesty every once in a while. When she came over for a chat and asked them to talk about themselves Tio obliged, telling her how he'd spent his childhood with his mother hopping around from the houses of one of her rich lovers to another, wreaking havoc on their reputations and stubbornly ignoring all the lessons on etiquette they tried to teach him. He left out all the parts about Syroa, learning magic, or being a Yludih however. Some things were best kept a secret after all.

After regaling everybody with a heavily embellished version of the story of how he'd lifted the curse on the Dead Dread Pirate Roberts last Vhalar (which according to him had involved him doing most of the work, and had ended with him benevolently making the decision to lift the curse), Tio too retired for the night to get some sleep. He did not enter Uleuda that night, merely sank into a dreamless oblivion. For how long he slept he could not say, but at some point Tio suddenly jolted awake, the fading ring of what his instincts told him was a scream dying in his ears. What in the beneath was that?! Was someone in trouble?! It was too quiet for there to be a fight.

But whatever it was couldn't have been his imagination, because it had woken Arlo up as well. "I think it was a scream, and not the good kind." He replied, swinging his legs out of the bed and grabbing his cutlass resting against the bedside table. "Something doesn't feel right here. Do you have a weapon with you?"

He didn't need to ask if they should investigate, he knew what the answer would be. Throwing his red jacket on over his pajamas Tio stepped out into the corridor, keeping a hand on the hilt of his sword and ready to draw it at a moment's notice.
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Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:24 pm

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14th Cylus 718

As Arlo opened the door and the two of them stepped into the corridor, they both recognised the scent which wafted up to them. Bread, baking in the oven. It smelled absolutely delicious and it permeated the entire Inn. But still, there was no sound and the darkness was thick, like it might be shadows made from spider webs. It wasn't, of course, but it was all around them and Arlo's makeshift torch showed them very limited amounts, flickering shadows and strange shapes. It wasn't helped, of course, by the fact that this wasn't a place either of them knew so there was nothing familiar about it.

However, what it was, familiar or not quickly became apparent. It was odd.

They were in a corridor, as they had been on their way into bed. However, as they made their way down it, they saw that all the doors were locked. Also, not an unreasonable thing to be seeing, but all of the doors were locked, all of them in complete darkness. Should either of them see fit to make any noise or do or say anything to try and rouse their fellow volunteers, there was no reply.

Darkness, it seemed, had come to the Home & Hearth.

Yet, there was the smell of bread and it came from downstairs. Down there, before they'd come to bed, there'd been a fire in the hearth and they should be able to see the flickering of the flames from here, but they could not. Down there, where the aromas were wafting from, was dark and silent just like everywhere else. No candlelight flickered, no sounds came from any of the rooms. Perhaps no one in their group snored. Maybe they were all fast asleep - but whatever the reason was, silence filled the air.

Until there was the sudden, loud, banging of a door.

As though blowing on a wind, the sound of a door slamming shut and then swinging back open crashed, louder than it would have been in anything save this eerie silence. If that was what had happened before, it would most conceivably have woken them up and, within trill there was a sudden gust of wind and blast of cold air whipping around them.

Should they have paid attention, the door was downstairs. Probably, judging by the sound of it, out the back.

Then came another sound. This time it was the sound of padding footsteps or, more precisely, paws. They couldn't see it but from the darkness came a low growl. It was deep and sounded like it might well be from a larger dog. The growl continued, should either of them notice such things, it was much closer to them, like maybe the creature making the sound was in the large open bar in which the fire should be crackling and where the stairs were. Another growl and then a single, brief yip.

Then silence once more.

But the wind still howled and as it did, they felt its icy blast wrap around them once more, raising skin into gooseflesh.
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Arlo Creede
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Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:11 pm

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"Lots," Arlo said to Tio when he asked about weapons, and as the both of them stepped out into the hallway. His sword and dagger, shortbow and his loaded pistol crossbow in one hand, he was about as well armed as he could be under the circumstances. But it was definitely a scream that they'd heard. Even through the fog of sleep there were some things that couldn't be mistaken for anything else.

It didn't surprise him when he caught the scent of fresh baked bread in the hallway. To be honest he wasn't sure what time it was. Maybe early morning already. But if he had a busy inn to run, there'd probably be somebody up in the night making bread. What did feel out of sorts though was the level of darkness around him and Tio. It was almost as if it had substance, as if it clung to their clothes and faces, and it was claustrophobic. "Hello?" he called out, and he even paused a couple times to try door handles, and then knock before moving on.

When they reached the second floor landing, Arlo looked down the stairs into what ought to be the great room, saw nothing but inky blackness and frowned. "You'd at least expect there to be smoldering embers left in the hearth wouldn't you?" he asked Tio. Assuming that there'd been no one tending the fire overnight, he meant. "I'm going down there." He went quietly, but could only hope that something wasn't watching him in the dark. Something that could see much better than him in the absence of light. Something that wasn't waiting right out in the open while he approached, ready to pounce as soon as he got close enough.

At any rate he had his sack that he'd brought along, pulled a lantern out of it and lit it, and then handed it to Tio before he started down the stairs. It would at least prevent the other man from being plunge into complete darkness if they became separated. The silence was as thick as the darkness so when a door seemed to crash open and then slam shut again, Arlo visibly jumped. Or would have had anyone been able to actually see him. And the sudden blast of cold made it seem all the more likely, maybe, that someone had just come into the place. Or gone out. At any rate, the sound wasn't the same as he'd heard before. That had been a scream.

The growling that came from the dark was surprising. But then again it wouldn't shock Arlo to learn that the inn had a resident dog. Even a watch dog. So deciding not to assume that the unseen creature would lunge at his throat any trill now, while also keeping his bow in hand just in case, Arlo whistled quietly to the unseen creature, "Take it easy there..." Then the yip, the silence again? That was troublesome to say the least. And the cold breeze was creepy besides.

Still, something had made that dog go quiet. And something had passed through the door in the back. Carefully and quietly, Arlo headed in the direction he believed he'd heard the swinging door. And in the meantime, he tapped his finger on a wall as he went. Wondering if there were ghosts or spirits about, probably wasn't an outlandish idea under the circumstances. Therefore, there was no harm in checking in the only way he knew how.
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Tio Silver
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Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:27 pm

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The moment Tio stepped out into the corridor a smell hit him right in the nose, a smell that filled him with such dread that all the blood drained straight from his face, leaving him as white as a sheet. Bread! The harbinger of his doom! It may have sounded weird for a grown man to honestly believe that a staple agricultural food would be his downfall, but Tio had a good reason to believe so. The fortune teller Joelle had prophesied that his future would involve a moment marked by the smell of fresh bread, water, and a silver key, and that in that moment blood would be spilled. Since then the scent of bread had set alarm bells off in his head whenever he'd come across it.

Tio sniffed the air like a wolf on the hunt, a frown forming on his pale face. "Oh no... Sourbread? No, whole wheat! By the spirits Vri's coming for me!"

And as if that wasn't horrifying enough that feeling on dread multiplied threefold when an equally terrifying sound rang out from downstairs. Growling, a dog growling! This might just end up being the worst night of his life at this rate.

"Arlo... this probably isn't the best time to bring this up, but I am really not good with dogs." He whispered as quietly as he could, deciding that whatever the hell was down their was something he definitely did not want to find him.

Yet Arlo didn't share his fears, and handed him a lantern to keep the darkness at bay before leading the way downstairs. As reluctant as he was to face the creature down there, which his imagination had unhelpfully pictured as a gigantic hellhound with a loaf of stale baguette sticking out of its forehead like a unicorn, the sad truth was that he was still pretty sure that the noise he'd heard before was a scream. If someone was down there being attacked by the beast below then they were going to need all the help they could get. With a heavy heart Tio followed on behind Arlo, keeping his footsteps as soft as possible to avoid attracting attention to them.
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Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:21 pm

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14th Cylus 718
As Arlo handed the lantern to Tio, there behind him was a painting, hanging on the wall. What drew Arlo's eye to it was how much the man in the painting, who was standing with a fox, looked like Tio. It was almost as though someone had painted a portrait of Tio and his fox, so alike were they. It just happened to be where they were standing when Arlo handed it to him, but it was undoubtedly odd.

Probably just a coincidence, though.

Still, they both continued to explore, evn after Tio had admitted that him and dogs didn't exactly get on, and the pair of them made their way down the stairs. There, more thick darkness enveloped them and there maintained that smell of baking bread. After a few moments, just as they were on the stairs, there was more growling but it was a slightly different tone, a different sound. Also, probably, from a big dog, but nonethtless a different one. They could make out shapes, the tables with the chairs around them, low sofas and armchairs. But as they stepped down there, there was something else, something much more obvious.

It was cold.

Now, of course it was cold. It being Cylus, middle of the night, blast of cold air. Of course it was cold. But that didn't explain how cold it was down here. As they stepped forward, the ice underneath their feet crackled and crunched, their breath misted in front of them and the pair of them in bed clothes, albeit with other clothing pulled on over, really felt it.

There, on the left of them, where there should be (and, therefore, probably was... surely?) the door to the kitchen and the bar, was deep darkness but it was that direction that this new growling came from. They couldn't see as far back as the bar or such, but it was pitch, tar black. From that darkness into the light cast by the two of them came into view possibly the largest dog (black, of course) either of them had ever seen. It was a full grown, large version of a specific Scalvoris breed and the slight glow which it gave off just made it look more eerie.

It was the one growling, but not when it looked at them. Looking at the two of them, it might have even wagged its tail, slightly, though it's teeth were bared and it's hackles raised. It stood in front of ... something. There was definitely something there. A large, black shape, impossible to make out without getting closer to the large, snarling dog.

But the dog seemed insistent that they didn't come any further.

Then, there was another loud bang as the door (or whatever it was) blew again and another blast of icy air hit them both.
Off Topic
Sorry, both - I realise I haven't given you lots to go on here - but I need to know if you're going forward (despite the dog or with his help or... whatever) or exploring down here. Either of those (or a different option!) is fine, just need to know.
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