• Closed • Of Exploration and Expirations

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, jungles, mountains, and islands of note.

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Oram Mednix
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Re: Of Exploration and Expirations

Thu Feb 25, 2021 5:31 pm

”D-” “-oom” “Doom” “D-” “-eath” “Death”

Zach seemed to come to himself as he responded to Oram’s query, although he seemed tense. Something was bothering the man, and he wasn’t talking about it. The hunter hoped he worked it out; Oram’s main worry was that their leader’s odd antics might distract him and Balthazar at a crucial moment if other things started happening. They didn’t need that sort of preoccupation.

The eidisi continued to busy themselves with whatever they were doing, and at length one of them announced that they were ready to move on to other rooms. One of those side rooms in particular seemed to draw Oram’s attention somehow, and the eidisi were interested in it, too. The whole party seemed drawn, in fact. Except for Zach, who announced he would stand guard out in the atrium. There was an odd catch or break in his voice as he made that announcement, and Oram shot a glare at the leader. Something seemed to happen to the skin on Zach’s hand, a ripply effect, as if the light playing on it were being reflected off water. The traveler swept a look around the foyer to see if there were actually anything that might be reflecting light that way, maybe indicating a ceiling drip, or more ominously water welling up from underneath. Everything looked dry, however, and by the time he looked back at Zack, the effect was gone.

The eidisi were already filing into the next room, so Oram followed. The chamber turned out to be filled with shelves of books and loose papers. Why would the Sentry contain a library? Oram wondered. Who was supposed to read all this stuff? Perhaps the papers had been recovered from somewhere during the disaster -Smooglenuff Manor, for example, and brought here. But they didn’t look like they had been stowed in haste. Somebody had taken time to build these shelves and arrange the books on them.

His curiosity piqued, the unlettered woodsman did the most obvious thing: he asked his questions out loud. ”Where did all these books come from?” he posed to no one in particular, though he looked about inquiringly at everyone there. ”Who brought them here and why? Why go to the trouble?” He didn’t really expect an answer, though perhaps his more educated companions might suggest some possibilities that hadn’t occurred to him.

The eidisi started leafing through the books, only to announce shortly, with baffled expressions, that the pages were empty. After quickly peering back towards Zack, Oram turned to the nearest shelf and carefully picked out a book, gingerly extracting it with his fingers while watching out for spiders. Opening the tome released a surprisingly thick cloud of dust that made Oram sneeze. Once he had recovered and his teared-up eyes had cleared, he found himself facing a spread of text. The lettering was new to him, and he suspsected that it spelled out words in a language he did not know, either.

”I’ve got one with something in it,” he called out. He turned to place the book onto the nearest reading-table to show the scholars. To his surprise and annoyance, the text seemed to vanish the moment he let go of the book. Puzzled, he snatched it back up. ”I swear guys,” he muttered defensively: ”I saw writing on these pages not two trills ago-there it is again!” he exclaimed, as the lettering reappeared. Keeping his grip on the codex, he held it over to one of the eidisi. ”See it? Do you know what that writing is?”

Embarrassed by the scholars’ baffled looks, Oram went over to Balthazar. Maybe the mage could see something others could not, and shed some light on what was going on.

”Can *you* see, Balthazar?” he said, showing him the book. ”Any idea what that means?”

After listening to whatever the mage had to say, Oram had another idea. He didn’t know what sort of knowledge Zack had, but for some reason, he wanted to engage the leader in this. The man’s decision to wait alone outside had struck Oram as odd -it was the second time in a short period, he realized, that Zack had offered to draw apart from the rest of the group- and the hunter wanted to see what he was up to out there. There was also the chance that Zack really *could* provide some insight into the strange book. So, out he went, into the atrium.

”Hey, Zack!” he called out, trying to sound bright and cheerful rather than concerned as he carried the book out into the atrium. ”You wouldn’t believe what we found in there! Books and books, wall to wall, ceiling to floor. Mostly blank, but some…well, see for yourself.” And he showed Zack the opened volume, watching and listening to the leader's reaction carefully.

word count: 826
Villains are powerless against story beats.
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Balthazar Black
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Re: Of Exploration and Expirations

Thu Feb 25, 2021 6:13 pm


100 Ashan 720
The man was certain he would have recognized if there was some force possessing Zach because he recognized when the Empty in Viden had but Zach... Zach was something strange. Balthazar lamented that he did not have the ability to attune at the moment. Perhaps something had happened when Zach touched the door on a deeper level and the man had missed it. However he was distracted from his thoughts when Rozlam spoke up with a somewhat surprising update on their progress. As they moved into the next room a strange curiosity washed over Balthazar and while he thought it natural at first, he realized once he was inside the room that it was something strange. Fuego seemed to wander curiously as well and that was not normal.

Neither was what happened when Zach announced he would stand guard. Balthazar turned and leveled a suspicious eye at Zach. Stand guard? What was he expecting to come for them? It seemed... strange. "Nonsense, come in with us. You are safer with me than on your own out here." He said. He did not drag Zach with him, but he wanted the man to give him a better excuse. Now it had not escaped his notice that Zach had tried to be left on his own twice which was incredibly odd to the man. Leader of the expedition trying to get alone time? Balthazar understood wanting to see things by himself but still. If Zach remained out of the room, Balthazar would not spend long in it either. Since he was attuned, he had a vague sense of where Zach was but he didn't like the idea of leaving anyone alone.

Beruk suggested they look at the books and Balthazar hated to agree but... well... he was curious too. So Balthazar did grab a book, he grabbed two in fact, and he put one book under his arm while slowly wandering back towards the entrance to keep an eye on Zach. He opened his first book and glanced down at the empty pages in confusion for a trill before going to turn the page and seeing the words ripple into existence at his touch. He was moving towards the door so he could see them clearly, without them dancing around the page, but he did not understand them at all. He considered the words appearing and disappearing at his touch more interesting than the strange skin issue Zach had. After all, who was Balthazar the mutated to judge? Oram asked about the library, why it was there and where the books but Balthazar had no idea so he said nothing.

When Oram asked if Balthazar could see it the mage nodded. "Mine have words too but I have no idea what it says." Balthazar announced to the group after Oram said his books had things them. "I see the writing when I touch it, try touching the pages. I'll get Zach." Balthazar suggested as he went out to look for their leader. He kept his books with him.
► Show Spoiler
word count: 527

Snazzy Wrist Bands

  • Tall, Dark, and... Well He Was Always Brooding: Balthazar is now wearing Paradigm cuffs as a part of his sentence which means he no longer had any of his mutations! He still has dark black fingertips and nails from his Bellinos mark but now his hair is brown, shorter, and his eyes are also... brown.

Scars

  • Oops, Oops, Ouch: Balthazar Black has twenty scars across his back from a lashing as well as scars on his hands and arms from jagged rocks in Faldrass. There are two scars on the sides of his abdomen from being stabbed and a slash across his back which blends in with the whip scars.
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Shl'Drei
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Re: Of Exploration and Expirations

Mon May 03, 2021 1:29 am

Zach didn't seem to hear their protests or pay much attention to them after he spoke. For whatever reason he seemed irritated but otherwise okay. Oram brought up a valid point and the Eidisi looked around carefully- mindful of the possibility of danger. The group looked up, startled, at the exclamation that Oram saw words on the pages. Fully ready to laugh, until Balthazar too said he could see the writings.

"Nonsense, why would the two of you be the only ones to see it?" Waeslys spoke, a certain confidence to his words. Unless magic was involved? No, surely that couldn't be right? "I d-doubt there's magic at work. Aside from the strangeness of its creation there's been nothing odd about the place outside of the obvious?" It sounded more of a question, and the very thought of something more powerful at play had the short eidisi sweating. As if sensing his spiral of thoughts, Beruk put a comforting hand on his shoulder.

"It's still worth considering, magic is a... strong thing," Beruk avoided the use of danger but her gaze spoke volumes. "We don't know exactly how it works or its limits. It's best we keep this in mind as we proceed." With that she set about detailing the room with her partners, only looking away from their work for a moment when Balthazar made to get Zach. They quickly lost interest however, instead focusing on their task. Zach turned back to the group as Balthazar approached.

"What's up with the books? I heard something about disappearing text." The man shrugged it off, uneasy, but not because of the books. Just then wail erupted into the halls, halting the process of the eidisi and startling them at the same time. It was louder than normal, high pitched like a female, but choked with sobs. Like a crying child. Zach covered his ears, but to the others it wasn't so loud that it was painful. It sounded sad and hurt, but it was coming from the upper floor. Weaslys shook, terrified as the other eidisi huddled together. A few bits after the wailing stopped, and its echo dispersed. Zach was the first to speak, confused. "What in Immortals names was that? It sounded like it was from the upper floor!" He rubbed at his temples, his visage pained. He looked around helplessly at first, panicked, but he composed himself quickly. "Steel yourselves, we're going up there. Part of the experience, yeah?"

"That could be dangerous! We don't know what's up there!" Weasyls protested, refusing to move. For some reason, it seems all the Eidisi were hesitant to move forward. Two, Rozlam and Tia, were curious, but the risk outweighed the reward in their minds. "While I am curious... there's no telling what's ahead. If you three wish to proceed, this is as far as we go. We will wait by the boat if you choose not to leave. There's a certain feeling to the atmosphere now, it feels sad and... wrong. This is where we stop. We're not fighters, and I doubt that three adventurers is enough to protect all four of us." With the other eidisi agreeing, there was little to be said. Zach was not deterred though.

Zach headed towards the stairs, leaving only his words behind. "Come along boys, adventure awaits! If you choose to that is, I won't laugh too hard if you decide to leave with the Eidisi."

Objectives

So so sorry this took so long but! Here we are. I know it's jarring, but as I said in the group chat this will need some tweak posts before it settles! This is your chance to back out of the thread if you choose, I made an exit because of the unholy wait I put you through even after I had set my date to post. No hard feelings if you decide to exit, just know that I'll be working hard going forward!
  • Required
    • none
  • Optional
    • Leave with the eidisi
  • Secret Objectives
    • One

NPCs General

Name: Zach
Race: Human
Age: Born 688
Title: Expedition Leader
Skills: Dagger: 63, Fieldcraft 60, Appraisal: 60, Animal Husbandry: 55, Hunting: 50, Art, 45
Other Information: Zach is an eccentric fellow who is entirely engrossed in the task of recording every single creature on Idalos. He is delighted to be here, ignoring the cold and doing his best to jolly everyone along. He is a kind mind, but very focused on the job. Something appears different/off about him.
word count: 766
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Oram Mednix
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Re: Of Exploration and Expirations

Tue May 04, 2021 2:06 am

I think I just heard a g-g-girl crying!

The mystery of the books with the vanishing ink would have to wait, it seemed, with the arrival of the mystery of somebody upstairs screaming bloody murder. Oram knew nothing about ghosts, not really, and although he respected “bad feelings” and intuitions, he did not rely on them overmuch. Even less did he consider what to do on hearing anguished cries nearby to be a contentious topic. If it was a ghost they were hearing, the hunter guessed that staying downstairs wouldn’t necessarily keep them safe. And if it wasn’t a ghost, but an actual person in distress, it made even less sense for them to remain downstairs. He was going up.

Oram had already started to step towards the staircase before he realized that the eidisi scholars were refusing to come with, and were in fact leaving the building. The traveler paused and scowled at them. They weren’t fighters, no, but so what? Were they afraid of encountering captors, perhaps? If it was some sort of spirit, fighting wouldn’t help, anyway, right? You couldn’t stick a ghost.

The eidisi declared they were leaving the Sentry and would wait by the boat for the rest of them. That left himself, Balth, and Zach. Zach was acting strange again, and a different sort of strange. Their fearless leader was all inspiration and pep talk now, suddenly keen to act the part. He was headed for the stairs. Oram, after exchanging a quick look with Balthazar, would follow. The mage, he was sure, would do the same. In fact, he would probably teleport up to the top before he and Zach had scaled the first flight.

The trapper did not run instantly after Zach; he paused a couple trills and surveyed the stairs themselves, and what he could see of the area above. No sense in overlooking anything obvious. Once satisfied there were no clear dangers in sight, he followed Zach, walking urgently but not running, using the “range walk” he had learned during his archery practice with the elements the previous cycle. He kept his spear in both hands, point down, but able to be raised quickly enough if peril presented itself. He would keep his eyes mainly on the stairs themselves, for these ones were not familiar to his feet, and would pause at landings to look up.

When the reached the top, he would look around, first checking on his two companions, assuming they were still with him, then examining the new surroundings on the upper floor. Taking a deep breath, he called out loudly: ”Who is there?”
word count: 444
Villains are powerless against story beats.
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Balthazar Black
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Re: Of Exploration and Expirations

Fri May 07, 2021 5:34 pm


100 Ashan 720
Tib'ron, the Flame Trooper who'd been escorting Balthazar around the Sentry, seemed to grow uneasy when the researchers did. It seemed that the risks were increasing and they were not truly learning anything. Tib'ron did not like that. Balthazar on the other hand, was thrilled by the allure of mystery. He'd seen the words on the pages and would be able to recall and decode them at any point due to his memory but he wanted to see and learn more. The sudden and loud wailing put everyone on edge. Tib'ron drew his sword, Balthazar's hands curled into fists, and it seemed like all of the scholars were just about ready to give up. No, not just about, they were ready to give up. They were afraid and wanted to go back to the boat. Zach on the other hand seemed eager, foolishly so, to run ahead to the next floor and find the source of he noise. It seemed Tib'ron was leaning the way of the scholars. He grabbed Balthazar's arm and pulled him aside. They spoke in low voices so only they would be heard.

"We should leave this place. Report what has happened to the Albarech, and return with a suitable force to explore it." Tib'ron said in a stern tone. Balthazar didn't disagree, but he didn't think they'd be able to convince Zach of that. Balthazar looked towards Zach and Oram, then the scholars, then back to Tib'ron.

"I agree, but I'm concerned we no longer have that option." Balthazar said.

"What do you mean?"

"I believe Zach has been possessed but I can't prove it. Something strange happened to him at the door. I think we should keep everyone together and try to protect them all." Tib'ron didn't seem to understand what Balthazar meant. Wasn't taking everyone back to the boat the same as keeping them all together? "If we go back, we will divide the group no matter what. Someone is staying and if they stay alone they will get hurt. It is our responsibility to protect them because we can." Tib'ron didn't necessarily agree with the last statement but he saw the logic behind not wanting to divide the group at all.

"If he is, expose him quickly. The longer he is at our side, the more he becomes a liability." Tib'ron scowled.

"Agreed." Balthazar turned back to the group to find Oram and Zach had already advanced ahead. Shit. Now they had to go. Tib'ron wouldn't stop him. Balthazar was not leaving Oram with a man he thought might be possessed. Balthazar addressed the scholars, "You are right to be afraid but you are wrong to run." Balthazar said, hoping he might be able to churn some courage inside them, or at least redirect their fears. "If you leave now, you separating yourself from the four people most capable of defending you. Tib'ron is quiet, but he does his duty every time. You are safer beside he and I than you are going through the Sentry to reach the boat again. I can't make the decision for you, but I hope you choose wisely." And then Balthazar went up the stairs with Tib'ron close behind. Tib'ron had his sword drawn but Balthazar's hand rested on the handle of his katana while he caught up with Oram and Zach.
word count: 601

Snazzy Wrist Bands

  • Tall, Dark, and... Well He Was Always Brooding: Balthazar is now wearing Paradigm cuffs as a part of his sentence which means he no longer had any of his mutations! He still has dark black fingertips and nails from his Bellinos mark but now his hair is brown, shorter, and his eyes are also... brown.

Scars

  • Oops, Oops, Ouch: Balthazar Black has twenty scars across his back from a lashing as well as scars on his hands and arms from jagged rocks in Faldrass. There are two scars on the sides of his abdomen from being stabbed and a slash across his back which blends in with the whip scars.
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