[Seasonal Event] Blackberry Picking!

The home to the Induk Sweetwine and populated by fairies, this enchanted forest has many secrets

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Re: [Seasonal Event] Blackberry Picking!

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The Clearing
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Cage, the Blackberry of Sweetwine spoke and they listened. Then, they were each one of them offered a different berry from their fairy guide. Was it strange that they all ate? Perhaps. But then, what reason could they have for not doing so?

Except, of course, some of them had met fairies before. Some of them had even eaten fairy food.

Oram was one such - and he had his reservations. Yet, he still ate the chokecherry berries. For a moment, nothing happened. Or at least, nothing happened to him - because around him? Around him was chaos.

Meanwhile, eating the berries was something of a dramatic and traumatic experience for Winston . Nevertheless he did. Maybe it was the after effects of the almost-choking near-death-experience he'd just had - but once he'd eaten the huckleberries, he started to hiccup. The first hiccup was a loud one. Really, far too loud for such a small handy-ferret. But then, the second hiccup lifted him off his feet. Within moments, Winston had a case of the hiccups which had to be seen to be believed. They weren't uncomfortable or painful, but they were loud - and the other thing they were? They were the kind of hiccups which literally lifted Winston off his feet. With each one, the small ferret bounced about a foot in the air.

Now, this was difficult. It might cause attention.

Other than the fact that, in the same moment, Areia ate the bear berries. Now, a hiccupping ferret is unusual, it's true. But a were-bear? Well. As Areia grew to about seven foot tall, and grew fur and ... well, looked for all the world like a bear. But not the sort of bear that is seen in the wild. No, this was the sort of bear seen on children's beds, clutched in small hands to provide comfort and familiarity. Areia was a large, perambulating, teddy bear. She felt no different (other than taller) but she looked very different indeed.

Now, if these things hadn't been happening at the same moment, many of them might have not eaten the berries. But it all started happening after everyone had eaten the berries. So, Balthazar ate his berry. He seemed, at first, to stay the same. He might notice the others before he realised that he was looking at his nose. Precisely, down his snout. Eater of the wolfberry, the transformation into wolf didn't hurt him but, within a few moments, Balthazar Black was an on-four-legs wolf. He could still talk (though the physics of that was just weird) - but his hands were now his paws, etc. He was, physically, a wolf.

Kisaik noticed that Balthazar was a wolf, as it happened, and he might have been quite taken by surprise. Of course, what might also surprise him was the fact that he (who had eaten bluberries) was turning blue. But he was more than turning blue (although he was doing that. Tip of his toes to the top of his head. Bright, vibrant, blue). When he spoke, blue blossoms and blue butterflies and blue bubbles came out of his mouth. When he moved his hand, a trail of blue glitter followed him. And, from atop his head where he could grow plants and such? A cascade of blue flowers fell - slowly at first and then more and more.

When Yina at her berries, she was already sorry for having chucked up on Elisabeth. However, soon enough she'd have more to worry about. Bufalloberries were what Yina ingested and she, like Balthazar, transformed. This transformation was also into a four-legged creature - a specific type of water bufalloImage . Of course, the issue was that she (nor Balthazar) actually changed size. That didn't matter to Balth - but it meant that there was a very small bufallo. Again, she could talk just fine, she had the horns etc - but no hands.

Perhaps Elisabeth was watching all this with amazement. Her eyes may have widened at what was happening around her. And, of course, it was surprising that everyone seemed to be so much .. bigger than they were usually. Things too. Then, perhaps, she looked down at how close the floor was and maybe Elisabeth realised what those who could see her would see clearly. She was a child. Maybe two or three arcs old. Just out of toddler stage, but still very little. She was completely herself, mentally - but physically she was in a three-arc-old's body. Youngberries, huh? And - just because someone will ask - she was wearing a pretty white dress with big red poppies on it.

Nir'wei of course, had the opposite problem. He too might not notice immediately, but then the arthritis in his hand flared up and he got a nasty twinge in his hip. Of course, his sight wasn't what it had once been and yet he could see those around him changing. The elderberry had worked its magic and Nir'wei was old. Really, really, old. If he had a lifespan of a hundred, he was aged like he was ninety nine and a half. With all the physical joys that age brings - but mentally, he was who he was.

Finally, there was Zoro. There was no physical transformation for Zoro. No coughing up of cherries or changes to his age. Zoro, in fact, floated along quite happily until, maybe, he realised that he was doing just that. Floating. He floated and, unless he grabbed on to something (there was plenty to grab on to) then he would find that, having eaten the cloudberry, he was in fact floating away. Anyone who happened to help him would find that Zoro Astrian was now weightless.

And then, finally, Oram - first to eat, last to experience it - coughed. Just once. But as he coughed, he brought up a cherry. A whole cherry. It didn't hurt, it wasn't even uncomfortable - to him it felt like he just coughed.

But when he coughed - out popped a cherry.

And now, it seemed, Oram had a persistant, niggly cough. Mid sentence. Mid thought. Cough. Cough. Cough.

And the fairies watched with interest. Then, a chant started up.

"One of us ....." "One of us ....." "One of us ....." "One of us ....."


"Excellent!" Cage declared and the fairies (including their guides) cheered. Those who had fairy diris from the Forging would feel no sense of concern. Indeed, far from it - and from most it was deeply amusing. "You have eaten our food and, briefly, you will walk in your world and ours. So come now, and let me show you!" he said.
Please respond up to this point, no further.
rest of the post
The small dragonfruit fey gestured and all the fairy guides fluttered around him. They sang and danced in the air, laughter tinkled and they seemed inordinately happy. More claps and cheers and whistles. "Now we have eaten together, you must pick the Blackberry. That person will forever be who they are now - their fairy form. They will spend their trials liaising between Ol'Tuck, the fae and the creatures of Sweetwine," Cage beamed. "You will waken to the song of Ol'Tuck, you will dance all night beneath the stars and you wings will never fly outside Sweetwine, for that is the only place where we can exist. "

Suddenly, as though it was rehearsed, every fairy fell silent.

Cage spoke amid the stillness. "Now you must face three trials. The Trials of the Blackberry - the trials of the Flapdoodle, Flopsy and Pinch!! Those who survive these trials will be eligible to become Blackberry. Those who survive, but do not become Blackberry will return to their mortal form," Cage certainly had a flair for theatrics..... "Far across the misty seas and in the dark recesses of Faldrass, there exists a legend of the Smooglenuff. But here, in Sweetwine, we hear the song of all the legends. We know where that story began. It began in fear and fog and terror. It began with a creature held back by Smooglenuff. We call it the ..." Cage leaned forward, as though speaking the name might indeed summon the creature itself. "It is the .... Flapdoodle. A creature of fearful visage. Tall as a bear, with claws like razors, poison in its blood and the bane of fairies everywhere." He looked around them and he gestured. In front of him was suddenly an opening - an opening in the ground which led down into a place which seemed to have a waterfall and was rather... purple. It was all that they could make out.

"On this trial every ten arcs, the Flapdoodle must be defeated. He can only be defeated by someone who is both Fae and Mortal - and such you are and so we ask you to descend and fight the Flapdoodle. Save us all!!!!"


"Save us all!....." "Save us all! ....." "Save us all!!!! ....." "SAVE US!! ....."

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The Flapdoodle


Should any of them go in (there was a lot of expectation that they would - no fairy would join them, even the Forged dirirs) then, indeed, they would find themselves in a purple-hued place. It was like a cavern, but the roof of the cavern was painted to be such a perfect rendition of the sky that they weren't sure whether they were above or below ground.

In the distance, there was a waterfall and what seemed to be a small golden-haired winged woman who was sitting by the waterfall and singing a mournful song.

If they went through (and of course, they could not do) then, when the last of them had entered, they heard a single bell chime and, behind them, the opening was no more.



OOC Things & Stuffies

Rules, Etc

Please make sure to read and respond to my posts - while this is a light-hearted "theme" - there is still danger here.
There are secret objectives hidden throughout - as well as not-secret ones / notes!
I'm happy to wait for folks if there's prior notice, but if you don't communicate with me, I can't read your mind!
I would like you to have a go at the new knowledge system - please identify up to three knowledge per post.

PC Notes

I'm going to leave you a note, each post. This might be an OOC thing or an IC thing. It's just something I'm trying - this will sometimes give you individual objectives, other times it will give you minor inconveniences or little bonuses. Who knows!
Kisaik

Dear Kisaik

Objectives: All met!

Personal Objective! Kisaik finds a small trinket. Please describe what it is and how you find it.

Winston

Dear Winston

Objectives: All met!

Personal Objective! Winston hiccups so hard that he bangs against something and a tiny treasure is loosened / drops / etc. Please describe what it is and how you find it.

Zoro

Dear Zoro

Objectives: All met! (I'll answer your questions / award your knowledge at the end, no worries!)

Personal Objective! Zoro spots something shiny in a high up place. Please describe what it is and how you find it.

Elisabeth

Dear Elisabeth

Objectives: All met!

Personal Objective! Elisabeth finds a small child's toy in her pocket. What is it?

Areia

Dear Areia

Objectives: All met!

Personal Objective! Areia sees something honey-coloured but, it isn't honey. What is it? Does she pick it up?

Nir'wei

Dear Nir'wei

Objectives: You did NOT meet all objectives. PLEASE use the knowledge system to claim 3 knowledges. Negative consequence incoming!

Personal Objective! One of Nir's teeth falls out. Except, it's not a tooth at all.... what drops out of his mouth? (can be anything - as wild and wacky as you like)

Balthazar

Dear Balthazar

Objectives: All met! (it worked great!)

Personal Objective! Balth can smell something ... unusual. It's just over there and when he goes to sniff it out (if he does) he finds something odd and out of place. What's he find?

Yina

Dear Yina

Objectives: You did NOT meet all objectives. PLEASE use the knowledge system to claim 3 knowledges. Negative consequence incoming!

Personal Objective!Yina catches her horn on something hidden in the underbush. What is it?

Oram

Dear Oram,

Objectives: All met (and yay! I'm glad you joined)

Personal Objective! One time, Oram coughs and spits up something else. As small / smaller than a cherry it's a very unusual thing. What is it?

Objectives

Round 1:
 ! Message from: Must Do
1. Well, I think you've got stuff to react to there. Please do.....
2. Be clear where knowledge is coming from in the text.
3. Be clear whether you go through to fight the Flapdoodle or not
 ! Message from: Can Do
1. Talk in rhyme! That would be fine! Or you can do it some of the time!

I'll be posting Friday 8th July (no server move this week!)
Please post by end of day Thursday 7th July in order to ensure that your response is counted.
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Areia
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Re: [Seasonal Event] Blackberry Picking!

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It was interesting to Areia that the bearberries were so distasteful. They were dry, and they were mostly tasteless, and Areia devoured them because she thought ~in the moment~ that it was good to respect the culture of the Ol' Tuck's tribe.

But ~in the number of moments later~ she learned that devouring the bearberries was not good.

In mer tribes, respecting different cultures was of importance. In the waters, disrespecting a different tribe's culture would incite war~ or, if the disrespecting tribe agreed to it, the destruction of offending tribal members.

Areia was in the Ol' Tuck's tribal grounds. More than in other locations, different tribes and their different cultures were to be respected in their tribal grounds.

But the Ol' Tuck's tribe was not to be respected, the mer thought with a gnashing of teeth, when the little faeries disrespected the ones that they had invited to their tribal grounds.


This, she thought~ looking at the others and their ailments. This was disrespect.

The things the little faeries had given them were poisonous, that was obvious to Areia~ though they were poisonous in ways that were mysterious and irksome to her. The poisons worked all at once~ an intelligent move, Areia observed. The faeries tinkled their little laughs and flittered their little wings in mirth.

One of the others choked up something red, and Areia thought that that one would definitely die from his poison, because he was choking up his innards. Others would die as well, she thought~ the little land-animal-like thing was choking loudly as well, and would likely begin choking up its innards, too. Other than those two, one of the little land-plant-like things was blue~ a difference in color like this would likely mean death. One of the others had been transformed to be older~ looking at him, Areia thought that he would die in moments.

Others were not so badly poisoned that they would definitely die, though their ailments were grim. One of them was getting washed off of the ground by the wind, but would likely be able to stop himself washing into the sky. One had been transformed to be younger. The last two had been transformed into land animals~ looking at them, one looked to be predator and one looked to be prey.

Areia had been transformed like those other two, into a land animal. This was irksome, and she gnashed her teeth.

Areia did not know land animals well. Because of this, this land animal was like no land animal that Areia knew. This land animal was big and white. The faeries had transformed her into something big, she thought, because there would be more to devour. Transforming her into something white was an intelligent move, too~ it would be difficult for her to hide in the Ol' Tuck's tribal grounds.

This was not the worst of it, though. Areia noticed with discomfort that this land animal was~

she gnashed her teeth in distaste~

it was soft. It was like this land body did not have bones~ it was like it was made of softness. Not having bones was not bad for some water animals that Areia knew of~ like jellyfish. But, for a land animal who was to be devoured by little faeries, not having bones was a bad thing to be.

They would not need to bite her very much to devour her, Areia thought grimly. Her body was soft ~it was vulnerable~ and ~she shuddered involuntarily~ it was fluffy. Too bad she had told the Merl bug how to bite~ now it would bite her, and its bite would be ironic.


But no, Areia thought. The Merl bug would not bite her. She would bite it.

Areia had been transformed to be big, likely because there would be more for the little faeries to devour. But, in this moment, big was good. Big was good, because the Merl bug knew that ~if given the opportunity~ Areia would devour it.

The Merl bug had gone to do a dance with the gold-colored Blackberry and the other little faeries. They were mirthful, delighted that the poisons were working, and in this they were dumb. It was not over.

Areia knew that the Merl bug was intelligent; it had known, before, when she was going to grab it, based on the little movements of her pointed fingers. But, Areia thought humorlessly, now she did not have her pointed fingers; it would not know. Though the Merl bug was intelligent, it was dumb, too. It was dumb, because it was dancing and because of this it did not know that ~because Areia's body was bigger~ her limbs were longer.

She would devour it before it would devour her.

With a quick but graceless movement, Areia grabbed the Merl bug in the midst of its dance. Grabbing it was difficult without her pointed fingers, but she lunged for the Merl bug and bound it in between her soft white limbs. Eee! the Merl bug shouted, and then its shout was devoured because it was devoured. Areia shoved the Merl bug into her mouth and grinded it in between her big white teeth.

If she got the opportunity, Areia would lunge to grab ~and devour~ the gold-colored Blackberry, too.
Notes~

Objectives~ Must do!
  • Areia has a long inner monologue and decides to devour the little faeries before they devour her. She tries to devour the Merl bug and the Blackberry :sob:
  • Knowledge is marked.
  • Areia does not go. She would rather devour the little faeries :sob:
Objectives~ Can do!
  • Areia doesn't speak in rhyme but then, neither does she speak.
Objectives~ Other!
  • This is a bit of a stretch lol. But
    Pegasus~

    Areia sees something honey-coloured but, it isn't honey. What is it? Does she pick it up?
    The honey-colored thing Areia looks at is the Blackberry [I said gold-colored IC because I don't know if Areia would know what honey is]. Yes she does try to grab him and devour him :sob:
word count: 1030
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Re: [Seasonal Event] Blackberry Picking!

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Notice!


Since Areia has posted first, you may respond to her actions in your posts.

(since this is now a combat situation - please don't respond to each other's actions. Thanks!)

Please don't assume the outcomes of your actions, but let me know what you're aiming to do. (the same is true of Areia, just for clarity. The "grabbed and devoured" is NOT guaranteed, yet.)

Have fun y'all!

No change to dates, as per my post above!!!
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Kisaik Glory
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Re: [Seasonal Event] Blackberry Picking!

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I'm Afraid I Blue Myself...


Kisaik knew things sometimes went awry in the fairy realm. Things did not always make sense, but what he also knew was that colors were very important to fairies. So when he began to change colors, from dark gray and orange wings, to pure and brilliant blues, he was so taken by the wonder of it all that he almost didn't notice anyone else around him. He fluttered and flittered about, enjoying the way his flowers fell in blue petals to the ground, and the way his limbs trailed glittering sparky dust. "Wonderful! Amazing! Fairies are the best people, truly!"

Then, however, everything changed. He took a look around, and it appeared the ones who'd assembled with him in the clearing had disappeared. Well most of them. Some, like the pale-haired fellow was now floating. Another, a cadouri, was hiccuping uncontrollably. Another was coughing up cherries. And then there was the old man, the young child, the wolf, the bear, and the tiny water buffalo.

Kisaik's eyes were peeled for trouble, but soon enough he alerted to the gnashing of the teddy bear's teeth. It didn't look friendly. In fact, it began lunging for fairies, trying to gnash its teeth. To Kisaik, although he wasn't entirely sure, its intent seemed obvious. The berry it'd eaten had made it ravenous for the sweet flesh of fairies! Oh no!

This would not stand. Kisaik would not stand by and hide when someone was threatening a fairy. First, he called upon the power of his dark bark, to bolster his skill at flying to expertise. As he flew a beeline toward the bear, he activated Saoire's charm, the one that reflected attacks back upon its origin. Then, he flew as fast as he could manage with his fairy wings, to push aside Merl, and bring his Celarion sword to bear in defense against the teeth of the teddy bear. He would take it's bite, and send it back to the bear. As many times as necessary, and then he would engage with his sword.

"For Ol'Tuck, and the Fairy Court! To arms, drive back this creature!"



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word count: 384
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Winston
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Re: [Seasonal Event] Blackberry Picking!

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A sing and a song...
As Winston started to bounce into the air, the first one came as a shock, followed by another, and then a little "Yipp-*
HIC
*-yyyyy" As he landed in a small bush.

All around him, wonderous and marvelous things began to happen. People transformed into beasts. *HIC-BOING* Youth, given and taken. *HIC-BOING* Not all of these things pleasant, granted, but the fairies seemed at ease *HIC-BOING* and Winston trusted in their nature to be good... in the end, as all those that protect Sweetwine were.

*HIC-BOING*

Winston looked around the crowd as he bounce over towards Balthazar with the intention of petting him.

"This is amazing! Balthazar is a dog! HA! A DOG!"

The Devil on My Shoulder
Curiosity: WHHHHAAAAAT?!
Winston: Dat big white one es very upset.
Curiosity: Yeah, she looks angry as hell.
Winston: No mun, she nat angry.
Curiosity: Woah! That's bad.
Winston: On no... This is wrong!
Curiosity: Yeah, she's going to loose it. Someone's gotta stop her!
Winston: Nope. She needs savin'. Look at 'er.
Curiosity: She's angry!
Winston: No, mun. She's scared. She does nat know dat she es safe. See 'er teeth, see 'er eyes, da way she is movin'.

Winston looked down at the locket hanging around his neck. It's a gamble...

Holding the visage of Saoire in his mind (for she always resides in his heart), he called out. In his mind, he called out to Saoire to help him give this gift of enlightenment to Areia, to let her know that she is safe, that the fairies here are her friends and let her know of the love displayed in their actions, however misunderstood.

In his words, he shouted as loud as his little ferrety body could muster *HIC-BOING* "KNOW! YOU! ARE! SAFE!" *HIC-BOING*

With his body, in the hope of distracting Areia long enough to save the fairies that brought them here with their revelry, he opened the locket.
word count: 345

Appearance

When standing at his full height, Winston towers a full 1 foot and one blueberry tall. A fact he will happily demonstrate before flicking said blue orb into the air with his nose and then eating it with a snappy grin.

His eyes are dark and sharp, ringed by dark brown fur upon the bright white fur that sets off across the rest of his face.

Equipement

Winston usually carries the following on his person:
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Elisabeth Black
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Re: [Seasonal Event] Blackberry Picking!

Arc 722, 38 Saun


One bit, they were all eating berries, and the very next, things started getting all so very weird.

Very.

It was a delicious berry, mind you. Elisabeth hadn't thought about it being fairy food, so when things around her started going cattywampus (such a fun word!) with people turning blue, floating, burping up cherries and otherwise having strange mutations, her mind went on the defensive a bit.

"Well, this is all very odd, isn't it?" she said to Balthazar, then twisting around to see what he thought of it all and finding him…hairy?

Not the normal Balthazar-hairy, but something completely different. Wolf-Balthazar? Wolfazar? Yes, Wolfazar would do, although she wasn't entirely sure it was him. Had the wolf eaten Balthazar? No, that was just in fairytales. The creature was standing in the same place Balthazar had been in, though. Perhaps looking for markers would tell her if it was him or not?

And oddly enough, he seemed to be growing by the trill!

With Elisabeth's mind in overdrive, it was then and only then that her observations turned more inwardly. No, wait. It wasn't the wolf growing - she was shrinking!! Clothing transformed, and within trills, she was….little?

Her long flowing white dress rustled in the warm breeze of the Sweetvine. Marks were still on her arm and hand. Little hands reached for her face, unable to believe what the berries did to her. Had they transformed everyone? All the Sweetwine fairies seemed amused, and even her diri, Fintan, was delighted.

All Elisabeth could muster was a soft little sigh. "Well, this is new…."

The laughter around her, however, wouldn't last.

Someone began lashing out, and being who she was, little or not, Elisabeth did not take kindly to it. Her mind was still sharp, and while she wasn't sure what this meant for her skills and abilities, having been transformed into her younger self, it still didn't stop her. She had to move swiftly, pulling every ounce of focus in to help her with what she was about to do.

Elisabeth didn't discount the possibility that what was happening to them had disoriented a few people, and what was occurring was the result. It didn't excuse it, but it might explain it.

The Sweetwine was home of an Induk, and she was Forged. That bond, to her, did not only apply to Ishallr but to all the Induks. The fairies were of Sweetwine, and it was her duty and honor to try and protect Sweetwine and all those present.

In Elisabeth's mind, her connection to the four Induks of Scalvoris went further than just being Ice Forged. Standing in as DeathForged – agreed upon by all four Induks – had meant a great deal to her. She had sworn a vow to all four in the Heart of Scalvoris to be there when needed, and Elisabeth took her oath very seriously. She had accepted the responsibility, and it would always be with her.

"Fintan, I need you." Silently, she asked for her Forged Diri to be with her, always feeling a closer connection to the Induks when he was there.

A person, however, wasn't just one thing. Elisabeth would, could never be one thing. As much as she was Forged, she was also Xiur's Adored. A shared creature of both, forged the same trial.

Balance.

Xiur's Domains then became her focus, calling upon him in that moment of chaos to try and neutralize the threat, visualizing stars and surrounding herself with the hope that she could stop things before they got out of hand and keep everyone from harm.

Stepping forward – tiny steps because…well, little Elisabeth – she didn't waste time on words. They would have very little meaning in the heat of the moment and take time no one had. To hopefully prevent further damage and protect all those involved, she had to act quickly.

Quickly, she pointed at Areia, voice firm. Or as firm as the little chirpy voice of a small girl could be. "Sleep! Cloud Nine - The Blessed can put one adversary to sleep. The amount of divine force needed to complete this act depends on the level of Resistance or Discipline the target possesses, whichever is higher. The targets will be marked so their superiors will know that they were targeted by an Immortal power, to spare them serious repercussions." If successful, the subject would fall asleep and could be contained. Elisabeth knew she didn't have to point or whatever when doing things like that, but it always felt more natural to do so, so she did.

It was then that she would try to sing a few verses of the Videnese lullaby sung in the Heart of Scalvoris, and that she and Belle had spoken of and bonded over a bit on the journey from Haven. The reason why was simple - to attempt to calm the fairies with a small bit of music. Perhaps the voice of a child singing had the power to soothe.

Beyond that, she kept her eyes open for other looming threats or matters that needed attention.

OOC
Elisabeth attempted the following:
  • To call her diri, Fintan, to be with her.
  • To use the Nalos Adored ability Cloud Nine Cloud Nine - The Blessed can put one adversary to sleep. The amount of divine force needed to complete this act depends on the level of Resistance or Discipline the target possesses, whichever is higher. The targets will be marked so their superiors will know that they were targeted by an Immortal power, to spare them serious repercussions.on Areia to put her to sleep
  • To sing the Videnese lullaby (I know, I know - the girl just wants to sing, ok? :D )
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Re: [Seasonal Event] Blackberry Picking!

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Nir'wei ate the berries mostly since he didn't really know of a reason not to. Partially because he didn't want to seem rude, and just a little bit because he wanted to see what would happen when he did. To be fair - he wasn't to be disappointed. There was nothing unusual about the taste, not even to his refined wolf-like sense of taste, and his false sense of security led to him eating another, and another, until the whole bowl was gone and he only had a moment to savour the taste before the transformations began. Some were utterly minor, ranging to new abilities and oddities that affected them in confusing and logic-defying ways... and others transformed them completely into animals, including a wolf, to his significant amusement. His own transformation... well, to be honest, he didn't really notice it at first, beyond an odd scratchiness to his throat and a bit of fraying in his hair. Then, pain flared in his hand and a twinge at his hip, and he looked down expecting that he'd transform into some strange and fantastical creature like some of the others... and frowned deeply in displeasure. He'd been given, arguably, one of the largest detriments of them all. His hands were boney, thin, withered and shaking with the frailty of incredible age. He didn't need to look in a mirror to know that his hairline had receded into a liver spotted bald patch, what thin hair still clinging to his head now stark white and brittle.

He was old. Incredibly, mortifyingly old, to the point he could already feel the strain of standing weighing on his aching knees and hip.

Pix giggled at his plight when he was still taking it all in, and he glared up at her with a firm frown. For some reason, she found this even funnier, almost laughing herself into somersaults in the air while both hands clutched her stomach. Indeed, Cage didn't look the least bit worried either, and the other fairies seemed delighted. Apparently this was far from an unexpected turn of events. "Mm'h. I see how it is. Very funny, very funny." He didn't really sound very amused at all, but there was a slight smile on his face as he waved a bony hand and Squeak bounded into the world from the Beneath next to him. "Be a dear and fetch me something to lean against." The young wolf span in a quick circle before finding a darkwood branch, thick and sturdy but hollow and old, and bringing it back to him. At his current height, hunched over and frail as he was, it looked more like a staff than a walking stick, but he'd make do with it for now. Besides, they made a good fit for each-other. Old and wrinkled as they both were, man and stick.

"I take it back." His voice was scratchy and hoarse. "You might be an old codger, but by Ol' Tuck's nuts, you've got the sense of humour of a snot-nosed brat." Noticing that Balthazar had only eaten one of his berries so far, and curious enough to see for himself, if not enough to experiment with mixing their berries quite yet, he bent down a little further to pluck one of his 'wolfberries' and make a very open show of slipping it into his pocket before the Dragonberry with a firm expression. "For compensation." He'd been a wolf before and certainly wouldn't mind being one again, especially if it meant he had a chance of overriding his transformation - as long as it didn't combine somehow.

Not everyone could take it as he saw it though - as a joke, a little play on their expectations very likely intended to mess with them. From the way they all chanted and Cage continued as though nothing out of the ordinary had happened, they probably wanted them to go through the whole Picking of the Blackberry all making utter fools of themselves for their own amusement. Nir'wei wasn't very happy with it. Even if he could have, though, he wasn't about to resort to violence as one of their members nearly did. He couldn't, being reduced to a literal geriatric - a funny twist of fate, that the fairies had unknowingly hamstrung themselves at a time where they might have needed his abilities - but then, his abilities rarely relied on individual strength. Instead, in a moment of inspiration and without an ounce of hesitation, he looked towards Balthazar, now wolfified, and Yina as well, looking like a strange dog-sized fluffy bull.

"Attack!" he commanded them with a gesture to Areia. It wasn't what he said, as much as exactly how he said it, but Nir'wei had a way with animals. Straining his voice, his tone and his body language as much as he could under his current condition to compel beasts to act, jamming his newly-acquired walking staff in the direction of the bear. Of course, he targeted them first, since he wasn't even sure if what Areia had turned into was really an animal at all. Bears, perhaps. Teddy bears? Not so much. If not them, though, he was sure the others had something in planned, or perhaps he could call upon the other creatures of the forest to aid in the battle somehow.
Actions in the thread.

Summon Squeak, who fetches him a walking stick from the ground.
(Tries to) steal a wolfberry from Balthazar.
Command Yina and Balthazar to attack Areia.
word count: 951
Mess with me, I'll fight back. Mess with my pack, and they'll never find your body.
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Oram Mednix
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Re: [Seasonal Event] Blackberry Picking!

Blackberries are yummy

Oram had eaten fairy food before, so after eating the chokecherry berries, he was braced for some sort of mischief to follow. He ate, then he paused and waited, watching the other guests as they ate their offered berries as well. They ate them all, including Zoro, who had also done this before, as the hunter recalled. The poor man still turned odd colors when he got excited.

It did not take long for the changes to happen. First, the little cadouri began to hiccup, a relatively benign and minor change, if irritating. Others were not so lucky. One became a yak, another a bear, Balthazar a wolf. Elizabeth took the form of a child, and Nir’wei that of an old man. The hunter took note of who had changed into what. If his past experience were a guide, they would all retain their personalities, but the physical transformations were quite real. He could not help but wonder what sorts of aches and pains Old Man Nir’wei was feeling.

Oram himself felt nothing, at least not at first. Zoro at first seemed not to have changed, either. Perhaps people who had eaten fairy food before weren’t affected again? But no sooner had the hunter thought that than Zoro began to float from the ground. As he watched this happen, Oram suddenly felt an itch at the back of his throat, and he immediately began to cough. And kept coughing. Something small and wet was in his throat and needed to come out. Expecting phlegm, Oram coughed it up. To his surprise, what came up was not phlegm, but a cherry.

He did not have long to wonder at this, for within trills he was coughing again. Another cherry came up, and another; it wouldn’t stop. He could not help but shoot a resentful glare at the dragonfey. He had come in good faith, willing to help; he ought not have had to choose between insulting his hosts by declining their hospitality and coughing up cherries for the rest of…however long should he accept it. And yet, that was the choice they had presented him, and he (as he reminded himself looking around at the sudden menagerie of critters, geezers, and kids) had gotten off lightly.

The mer seemed particularly upset by its unexpected transformation, even more so than the others. Perhaps, as a creature of the sea, the mer understood less about fairies than most living on the island would. She had turned into what looked like an enormous animated stuffed bear, yet in spite of this adorable aspect, Oram immediately sensed that something was off, and turned his wary attention towards her. The bear gave off an air of grievance and aggression that intensified by the trill, until it abruptly bit at the fairy that had escorted it.

Startled and shocked by the attack, Oram could do little to stop it, nor to aid the poor beset fae; however, the hunter realized from its body language that the mer-turned bear was not done, sensing that that bite was far from just an irritated outburst, but the beginning of a rampage. Guessing at Areia’s next target, Oram shouted out, or rather coughed out: ”Ca-*cough* Cage! Look *cough* out!”

The bear’s onslaught was distressing, but the reactions of others in the group weren’t much better. Nir’wei, in spite of being hobbled by his new form (old form?) swung into predictably drastic and violent action, summoning one of his wolves and calling on his companions to attack Areia. No sooner had Squeak appeared than Oram caught sight of a swirl of light spots, like a low-flying swarm of fireflies, moving quickly at the edge of his vision, realizing to his horror that Choir had just appeared unbidden, and was moving to intercept the bear now lunging at the Blackberry.

Oram knew he should have called Choir to heel earlier; the song wolf loved fairies, and would naturally be both excited to be around them and protective of them should they appear threatened. And now he had to try to control the animal while fighting this damned interminable cough. ”Choi-*cough* Choir, no! Hee-*cough*-heel!” he called out with all the firmness and authority he could manage with cherries spraying out of his mouth with every other word. It might be comical were the situation not so dire. It took every ounce of discipline the Chief Ranger could muster to keep his composure, to hold still and not make any violent moves himself. In spite of all the factors arrayed against it, that composure was essential here, especially for what he was about to attempt next:

Calling on yet another ability granted him by Ziell, Oram called out to his companions, keeping his voice as level and low as he could while still projecting his words, along with their new unwelcome escort of coughs and cherries, with the requisite power to carry throughout the clearing. He hoped the words would reach the bear as well, before it bit any more fairies. ”Ever-*cough* ever*cough*…Stand down, please! Don’t make this *cough* worse! No one has to get hurt. No o-*cough* no one has to fight. Everyone take a *cough* knee! Especial-*cough* you!” he concluded, looking at the bear.

Something small and hard landed on Oram’s foot as he spoke this last, and looking down he caught of a glimpse of something small, shiny and round. It was the same size, color, and rough shape as cherries he had been coughing up, but was in fact a red glass marble with something small and dark, almost black, in its center. The Chief Ranger did not, however, have time to examine it more closely just then. He had another Smooglenuff Manor equipment room crisis to deal with, apparently.
word count: 984
Villains are powerless against story beats.
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Balthazar Black
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Re: [Seasonal Event] Blackberry Picking!


38 Saun 722
More and more faces filled the Sweetwine woods, some familiar but one which stood out among the rest... well two. The first was the face of Nir'wei and it brought a mixture of feelings to the forefront of the mage's mind. He didn't dislike the man explicitly but he had come to believe Nir'wei could not be relied on. He could be trusted to act as he had twice now, in Balthazar's experience, but not much more. The mage took the presence of Nir'wei in the Sweetwine as a bad omen. Twice they had gone on an adventure together and twice Nir'wei's actions destroyed a long standing structure and trapped Balthazar inside. Balthazar didn't see any clear ruins for Nir'wei to try and trap him in this time, but if it happened a third time Balthazar was not going to allow a fourth. Two strikes was more than he gave most people, but Nir'wei was not most people. They'd worked together successfully in the past. Stopped a necromancer... there had to be some value to that... or maybe Balthazar was making excuses for one he should have considered an enemy.

The other face, the face that made Balthazar forget the first one he'd seen, belonged to a beautiful woman. A woman who could not be matched by any other Balthazar had ever met. For whatever faults they had and fights they had, it was her wellbeing that let him sleep at night despite everything else in his life. Elisabeth. She was here. He was here. Neither of them were in Haven. He certainly hoped she hadn't asked the guards to go and tell him she'd be away for a bit. "March, do you want to meet my wife?" Balthazar ask the fairy on his shoulder. She looked around the area but didn't seem to find what she was looking for and after a few trills she whispered,

"Okay." In a somewhat timid, perhaps even jealous voice. The two of them moved together to meet Elisabeth and her fairy half way. Elisabeth called Balthazar 'Mister Black' which prompted an odd look from him. She didn't do that often. Then she immediately confirmed what he had been worried about. She sent Silk to look for him. Oops.

"Silk is going to be mad at you when we get back." Balthazar pointed out with a small smirk. "Elisabeth, this is March. March, Elisabeth." Balthazar said with a gesture between the fairy on his shoulder and his wife. Not a moment later, Elisabeth tripped and Balthazar's smirk grew into a smile as he helped her stay upright. March was shaken by the sudden movement though and lifted off of Balthazar's shoulder a few inches so his movement wouldn't impact her. "March, Elisabeth seems to have a reoccurring balance problem."

"Thats okay, I'm sure I'd trip a lot if I didn't have wings." March offered in her quiet voice. The next moment, someone very small threw up on Elisabeth's shoes. He could smell it before he saw it given the many fairies moving around and obstructing his view. He thought about rinsing her shoes quickly with a manifested steam of water but didn't. Who knew how these fairies would feel about his magic? Elisabeth checked to ensure the Tunawa was alright so Balthazar did not. It would do little good to crowd the small fellow and there was a dragon fairy to listen to now.

While it happened, March whispered something into Balthazar's ear. "She is pretty." March said before asking, "Am I pretty?" Balthazar's brow furrowed and he turned his head to look at the little fairy. There was only one polite answer but there were many better answers.

"If we are judging on pretty, yes, you are." Balthazar whispered back, "But I think beautiful is a word that better describes you both." With that said and March growing a few shades more red, Balthazar focused on what Cage was saying. The events proceeded as normal, the berries were brought to the helpers, and Balthazar ate his berry along with everyone else.

He should have known that the berries would do something. He had a feeling there was more to what was happening than a simple berry-party but he was not expecting the chaos that occurred as soon as everyone ate their berries. He was not the first one to be hit with the impact of his decisions but he was hit hard with them.

Note to self, just because it isn't poison, doesn't mean it won't do weird things to you.

While others began to hiccup berries, float, turn into tiny water buffalos, age extremely, de-age extremely, and hiccup incredibly loudly, Balthazar turned into a wolf. A wolf with a fairy named March sitting on its head. A fluffy, black wolf. He didn't like his snout in his vision. He didn't like being on all fours. He had never been interested in Becoming because he did not want to be an animal in any sense other than the metaphorical one. It certainly could have been worse but the sudden shift was alarming. Could he still talk? He didn't know. His mind was his own but could he lift a sword? Probably if he used his mouth. Could fight? Well... something about being a wolf made him feel he could.

He heard Winston calling out that he had turned into a dog and without realizing it, Balthazar let out a low growl which was immediately silenced by another realization. He had a tail. A tail! How odd? His head snapped around, looking towards Elisabeth who'd reduced to an appearance of a child. It was a little strange seeing his wife as a child but no stranger than the chanting which the fairies began shortly after everyone had been transformed. One of us? Way to sound like the Quacia blood god cult, fairies. Cage declared that the food would allow them to walk briefly in both the world of mortal and fay which Balthazar didn't quite understand. Why did he have to be a wolf to do that? Could he still cast spells? He looked down at his paws. Probably not from them. Maybe he could fling lightning and fireballs from his tail? He could try to utilize his breath to cast but he was unsure of how that would go. Attunement would be different. He didn't need hands for that. He didn't use them for that. Alas, a problem for when it became relevant.

Before it did become relevant though, Nir'wei got a little too close and stole one of Balthazar's uneaten wolf berries. The black wolf felt compelled to bite at the boney hand as it reached for his berries but he didn't. "We should have switched." Balthazar grumbled before surprising himself. He could talk still! He meant for that thought to stay in his head. He wouldn't have been bothered being old and weak. At least he would still have thumbs.

Then the question of how magic would work became relevant.

Balthazar thought that he was a violent person and it hadn't occurred to him to lunge at the Blackberry in an attempt for a two-bite snack. It occurred to the little one who had turned into what seemed to be a stuffed bear though. It occurred quite quickly to her in fact. Quite quickly, but not faster than Balthazar could process the attack. Others might have moved in defense of the fairies. They might have moved to protect the Merl bug or to protect the Blackberry but Balthazar had always believed the best way to protect something was to eliminate the threats it was facing. The only thread the fairies faced for the moment was the giant, probably flammable, teddy bear.

Balthazar was going to attack but when Nir'wei presumed to take command of him and force him to attack, everything changed. Strike three. At the sound of the word a strong urge to lash out filled the wolf-mind. It wanted to obey just as much as Balthazar wanted to defy the order because it had come from Nir'wei. Nir'wei, who Balthazar knew had other means of attacking, had instead presumed to put the blood on Balthazar's hands. Balthazar growled without knowing it and took a tentative step forward with his front right paw before stopping. He lived with four sparks influencing him at all times. He could resist Nir'wei for a few trills but the problem was he didn't want to. He did want to attack he just didn't want to kill and as a wolf he saw few ways to do that.

Nir'wei might not have hesitated in his commands but his commands were exactly why Balthazar hesitated. He wanted to attack will full control of his mind rather than let the animalistic urges take charge. Nir'wei was lucky that the elements hadn't considered him enough of a threat to attack him on their own... but at this rate it was likely a guardian would emerge. It was the audacity that offended them both.

In the end Balthazar did what he was going to do from the start, only now it was unclear if he chose violence because he wanted to or because Nir'wei had compelled him to. Unswayed by the many attempting to restore peace, Balthazar tried to fire a bolt of lightning with a black core and a red outline from the tip of his snout towards the large white bear with a motion somewhat like a sneeze.
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word count: 1690

Mutations

  • Once Paradigm Is Removed: He glows faintly, his skin is warm and sometimes hot to the touch, and when he gets angry sparks literally fly off him. He's a the middle of a field of static electricity so every once in a while when you touch him, you get shocked. Fire leans towards Balthazar and droplets of water seem magnetically attracted to him. He has a series of cracks on his right pectoral that glow of soft emerald. His eyes and the cracks reaching down to his cheeks glow a dark blue. The etheric cracks spiderwebbing up his arms glow orange.

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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Yina Talliel
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Re: [Seasonal Event] Blackberry Picking!


The speckled berries flooded Yina's tongue with a strong tart flavor, only a slightly sweet finish as they went down. They were not the absolute worst thing she had eaten but as her face tightened and a shiver shook her spine, she was sure they were not her favorite. Yina waited for a moment or two, anticipating...well, anything. She had thought maybe she had gotten a bad batch of berries, or maybe she just wasn't meant to be here at all and this was the sign of rejection, but it did not last long. It felt as if someone had taken an egg and cracked it over top her head, a sickly feeling of something traveled from head to toe. Yina tried to reach a hand up to swipe the ick from her skin but found out quickly what the berries were meant to do.
"Wha-Wh-I-," she stuttered, shuffling frantically around to try and get a better view of the transformation. One long horn hooked onto something hidden in leaves and brambles. Tina pulled gently and found a long strand of thick vines curled on the grassy floor. She peered around quickly to see if anyone else had such a time as she did with their berries. Various degrees of chaos were displayed all around her when the bear looking creature had made an attempt at one of the poor fairies. She heard a ways away someone yelling for an attack, and while it was the strongest urge to start charging, she fought the feeling and instead redirected it to subdue instead of attack. Yina hooked the vines she had found on her horn. Maybe if she could just contain them, long enough for the berries effects to end, no violence would be needed. Yina called to her companion and tossed the vines over to him.
"Alder! Alder, my friend, help me secure them!"
Alder watched the chaos ensue and immediately went to action, zipping past the crowd and attempted to hop onto the bear's back.
Meanwhile, Yina made herself useful and joined the others in an attempt to distract them so Alder could get to work.
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word count: 378
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