Adventure is its own reward

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 18, 2018 9:15 pm

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26th Cylus, 718
The winds had died down and the night had turned into a beautiful one. Standing atop the rise in the undulating landscape, there was a man. He seemed like a long way away to Arlo, but yet at the same time, he was right there. The night sky was lit with a swirling blue mass - the sky had cleared it seemed, just for the spectacle of the meteor showers. They traced through the sky and the young human felt that same tingling sensation in his skin and his bones as he had before.

It was the middle of the night. They were making their way back from the Tower and, when he had set up the Safe Camp for them, Arlo would have been hard pressed to imagine worse weather. Yet, a few breaks later when he woke, it was crisp and clear. Cold, too - oh so very cold and the moment that he stepped outside he felt the biting chill. He'd woken suddenly and he felt the tingling in his blood in the way he had before. His bed partner was fast asleep and she mumbled a half-coherent complaint as he sat up then turned and fell back into a deep slumber, clutching a stuffed bear. Yet he was awake.

And then some.

Every bit of him buzzed, vibrating at the presence of Him and, when Arlo stepped outside, there He was. Stood, atop the rise and silhouetted against the swirling hues of blue. As the young dreamwalker made his way, He turned to Arlo and he grinned. There was a glint of delight in his eyes at the sight of the young man but He didn't move, He waited.

When they stood together in frigid Scalvoris landscape, He turned to Arlo and smiled, then gave him a pat on the back which came close to, to coin a phrase, knocking him into next Ashan. "Arlo! I thought you were around here somewhere!" He'd been here on Scalvoris awhile, watching Arlo and a few others He had his eyes on. Partaking of fights and parties, adventure and life. Gesturing to the heavens, He laughed. "Xiur can be an uptight bastard, but he knows how to put on a show, doesn't he?" And indeed, it was like the stars themselves were dancing for the two of them.

"I heard a story to-trial, of the Ice Caves of Ishallr," He said and his glance to Arlo seemed to take in all of him, His gaze piercing into the young man. "Tell me about it. Tell me the tale I see bubbling in your mind." And with that demand made, Cassion waited to hear what Arlo Creede had learnt of the place which, in this moment, was important to Him.
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Sun Mar 18, 2018 9:15 pm

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He'd fallen asleep to the sound of the winds howling and beating against the outside of their tent, but suddenly woken to comparative silence. Arlo's eyes were wide open as he'd fallen awake to startling clarity. He didn't even have to climb out of his bed or step outside to know what was afoot, or who was out there. It was the nature of his blood, and the blessing. The Immortal's own blood was running through his veins and the way it was suddenly thrumming inside his mind was as close to a clarion call that he'd ever need.

And there was no question that he'd answer. Carefully he'd untangled himself from Vega's arms, gently so as not to wake her and then tucked the warming blankets snugly around her. He'd dressed in silence, armed himself, stuffed what he thought he might need into his sack. And before he headed out into the night, he scribbled out a small note and anchored it under a small stone where Vega would find it if she woke. Cassion's calling, it said. Don't worry. I'll be right back. She knew of course that right back was relative, and was more the Immortal's to decide than his.

Once he ducked out of the tent and looked up at the night sky, there was no question that the sight was worth waking up for, even if not for the Immortal waiting atop the rise. Xiur's domain was alive that night, and he was working a wondrous sort of magic for all to see. But atop the hill, that was where he was meant to be. Where He was, and so Arlo set out to join him with Lyova in his wake, leaving a blue glowing trail in the air behind them. When he got there, the welcoming slap on the back threatened to bowl him over and send him tumbling right back down the hill. But braced against it, forewarned already, Arlo grinned and then dipped his head in greeting, and deep respect.

"It's always an honor, and I deeply am, to see you again," he said, wondering how, in this instance, he could serve. He couldn't help but grin again though as he looked up at the wonders that Xiur had wrought. "I guess it's only one Immortal that can call another an uptight bastard and not get smited, yeah?" Or was it smote? Either way, it was high and inspiring theater up there. Vega would love it, he knew. The ice caves though? it didn't surprise him that Cassion was interested. They'd been a source of mystery, no doubt, but also fascinating beyond measure.

"They're a world all to themselves," Arlo said, remembering the time that he and Vega had gone there together. "A world more frozen than any I've ever experienced, and yet it's sheltered from the elements outdoors, so in a sense not as cold." But that wasn't what made the caves fascinating. That was just the way nature worked. They glowed blue with the stones that litter the floor and are embedded in the walls, he said, and something about the place reminded him more of a sprawling, mysterious underground keep than an actual series of caves. As if some realm had been captured and frozen in time, in an instant.

There were ice crystals there that never melted, no matter the amount of heat they were tested against. There were the strangest creatures there, as if someone had crossed an ordinary deer, impossibly, with a vampire. "And there's...statues there," he added with a curious frown, as if he wasn't happy with calling them that at all. "But not. I've seen lots of man made statues before, even one or two made of ice. And it's not like that. These are frozen in time, as if they were caught at any number of things. Eating, dancing. As if they were once living, and now they're not," he explained, and still felt as if he hadn't given the figures justice.
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Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:03 pm

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Cassion stood with the young man and looked down at Scalvoris below them. It was lit up, fires burning on beaches even in this weather, in homes and below them there was a tapestry of life ongoing. He looked down at it and smiled a sudden wide grin crossed his face and Cassion breathed in the cold, crisp air. Glancing back at the tent Arlo had left, he smiled and nodded, raised an eyebrow and then laughed a deep, loud chuckle, "nothing like a warm bed, eh?" Yes, there were definitely going to be bruises where the friendly pats and companionable thumps happened."Never really understood the appeal of just one, but to each their own," Then, when Arlo asked about name calling and other Immortals, Cassion looked up at the sky and the easy smile was on his face once more. "He's not really a smiting sort. Some, though?"

It was the Ice Caves he was interested in, though, and he listened intently to Arlo's story regarding them. Animals, crystals, those were things which were interesting, but when Arlo talked of the statues, Cassion's eyes lit with intent. "Slippery bastard," he said, respect and amusement in his voice. Quite why wasn't clear but then, what was clear was that he wasn't talking to Arlo, rather just thinking aloud. "I'm going to explore them tonight. I thought you might want to come along. Of course you do, for it is I and we will have an adventure that you will tell to your children and to strangers." Lacking in ego the Immortal certainly was not, but then, why would he be?

"Walk with me, then, and while we walk, I will regale you with a story I heard in an Inn in Rhakros once."

And he did. Although where Cassion had heard the tale, it was impossible to tell but his words were entrancing. The Immortal of Storytelling told Arlo a story of honour and glory, daring and evil, a swordsman and a giant, true love and a child born of prophecy. His words were entrancing and every syllable had a hundred emotions in it, on it and around it. The story took them the time to walk to Ishallr, which didn't seem possible but it was all Arlo could hear, as the Immortal wove a reality with words and gestures. It was an experience like no other.

Just as the story ended, they found themselves outside the Ice Caves. No matter how long he lived, Arlo would remember nothing about that journey except the story being told in Cassion's deep voice. Because it took over his senses, completely. Once there, they stood outside in the pitch dark and Immortal gestured to Arlo, a magnanimous gesture with his hand sweeping outwards."Please, lead the way."
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Please feel free to go in and describe. You've been there before :)
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Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:07 pm

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The world took on a whole new perspective from a top a hill looking down on it all, while all of the heavens were sprawled out overhead. It tended to both put things in perspective and make a body feel very, very small and insignificant, all at once. Not that Arlo thought Cassion might ever feel small or without much note. But that was an Immortal's prerogative, and not a mere mortals. Still, he'd never though as a boy growing up, that he'd ever be sharing his thoughts on women with any Immortal, much less Cassion. He grinned and shrugged, begging to disagree. "Depends on the woman, I guess. Some are worth a dozen or more, all on their own." He definitely couldn't handle more than one of Vega but that went without saying aloud.

There was no denying it though. He was intrigued when Cassion reacted to his description of the statues off in the ice caves as if he knew something about them already. He'd never forgotten the sight, and hadn't stopped wondering yet about where they'd come from, how long they'd been there and how they'd been made. His imagination had needed to suffice, and any explanation for it had come straight out of a knack for storytelling and nothing more. "You know about them?" he asked. Cassion was right however. Of course he wanted to go along. Except, well, he couldn't help a lopsided grin, a bit of a shrug in response. "Or to the strangers' children at least."

It was a long way from where they were to the entrance of the ice caves however, not exactly a point a to point b sort of thing and not easy in any case. Except that by the time they arrived at an opening he was already familiar with, Arlo couldn't exactly recall how they'd gotten there. And had no real sense of how long it had taken. It was as if the tale that the Immortal told had itself transported them there. He couldn't say how exactly or come close to explaining it. He only strongly believed it to be the case. Maybe some trial he'd come close to a similar skill.

It was almost like being startled out of a daze, and there they were. He'd remember that story, suffice to say. "This is where Vega and I went in last time, though there's lots of other ways I'm sure. We only explored a fraction of what there is. I was given a map," he said. And he still had the thing somewhere in his sack if Cassion wanted to see it. But something told him that the Immortal didn't need one, or want one either. And maybe the map itself only detailed a very small part of what was there in those caves.

At any rate, he had plenty to light the way but had learned last time around, it probably wasn't necessary. There'd been the blue stones littering the floor, embedded in the walls, and there'd been plenty to see by. Once they were inside and had come to a split that veered off two ways, Arlo paused. "We found the statues that way," he said, gesturing in one direction, "But I've not been down the other passage before."
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Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:45 pm

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"A dozen or more?" Cassion laughed a deep and hearty laugh that seemed to reverberate around the whole island. "Now, you're talking. Ha!" One glance at the young man next to him had his booming laughter starting again and he once more gave Arlo a bone-breaking friendly back slap. He didn't really respond to Arlo saying he was coming with him, but then he didn't respond to Arlo breathing, either and one was as inevitable as the other. However, the Immortal's grin widened and he gave a sudden exclamation."There's your problem!" When Arlo spoke of the strangers' children. "Children! Dozens of women, dozens of children." And yes, he probably did. But he gave Arlo a friendly glance and motioned for him to start walking. His way was not everyone's - but it sounded much more enjoyable to him. Yet, as they made their way down the rise they had been on, the Immortal spoke again, his voice different. More serious perhaps. "I understand the importance of a true companion. One, above all others. You'll see what I mean, soon enough I suspect." What that meant, he did not say but then, such was his way.

And, a tale like none Arlo had ever heard before later, they stood outside the ice caves of Ishallr. Arlo led the way in and, from there, he offered a map which Cassion snorted at, derisively and when Arlo pointed to the direction the statues were in, and pointed out the other way, a direction he had never been, Cassion raised an eyebrow and, with an intense gaze, let the young man decide.

Which meant, they went the way Arlo had not been before.

The place was lit and freezing cold, as it had been. They walked a short distance and then came across a bridge over a chasm. If Arlo had ever heard the phrase "bottomless pit" before, it would seem to apply here. There were flames burning in plinths either side of the bridge and the structure was made from thin, sheet ice. Roughly half a foot across. It was more like an ice-tightrope across a bottomless pit in an ice cave. If Arlo noticed such things, then he noticed that Cassion seemed to be watching him, perhaps waiting to see what he would do. Judging him.

"Do you have ropes? Batons?" He asked, mirth dancing in his impossibly deep eyes.

However he did it, Arlo crossed first. When they were both over there, they stood in an archway. What was unusual was that beyond the archway was darkness. Solid, impenetrable darkness. No matter how they strained, there was nothing to make out in that velvet blackness, but slowly and progressively there was a sound.

A low, deep growl. Then another, and a third. Standing in the light, Cassion looked down at the line of blackness. Literally where he stood was light and one inch in front of him was total darkness. "Ready?" he asked and would then step through, immediately becoming engulfed and disappearing into the dark.

Assuming Arlo went through also, he too was plunged into immediate and total darkness. It wasn't that he couldn't see his hand in front of his face, it was that he was dipped into black, motionless... something. For a few trill, Arlo couldn't feel his arms, legs or any of him, he was floating, floating in the darkness. It was enveloping him and it felt like he was falling through it. Soft, warm, gentle and perfectly comfortable in his lack of sensation until he heard a roar which he recognised from having fought alongside this Immortal before.

And then, just as he started to regain a sense of who he was and where his arms and legs and bits and bobs were, something came out of the darkness at him. Lots of teeth, eyes of flame and an overwhelming heat blowing on to his skin was what he felt. Of course, if he didn't stop it ripping his throat out, he'd feel more than that, but he had very limited time.

In fairness, as the teeth aimed for him and he felt the hot breath on him, he could feel all his limbs and he was completely not floating anywhere.
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Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:11 pm

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Arlo was going to be battered and bruised from head to toe come morning. And that was just the friendly fire. There'd be more he was sure. There was coming to be a pattern with these kinds of meetings between him and the Immortal of adventure...among other things. They were rarely if ever confined to polite conversations over drinks. But dozens of children? How many mortalborns come of Cassion and particular were wandering the world? Was he involved with each of them or was he the type to drop his seed and move on? Those were questions he didn't ask. Wasn't any of his business and besides, not him. Not dozens and if the stuff Vega was taking in her tea was working, then not even one. Fingers crossed.

But just one above all others. Arlo got that completely. Though maybe not, as Cassion's prediction seemed to suggest. At any rate, that sort of talk seemed to be done, and they were off on a night's adventure to a place he'd been before, but not seen or experienced nearly in its entirety. Of course Cassion scoffed at the map, just as Arlo had figured he would. In the same way that the Immortal knew he'd choose the way he hadn't been before, once they were inside the ice caves. He had ropes and a climbing kit stored in his sack, and at least in the name of good sense, Arlo might want to pull them out, just in case, once he peered over the edge of the chasm. He'd climbed down or fallen into a number of sinkholes by now as it happened. This, he decided was one that he'd rather not.

So was it good sense to use the climbing gear? Probably. But his sense of daring was such that after eyeballing the narrow, arching span, Arlo grinned and off he went without them. His acrobatic skill was nothing to scoff at, after all and while the way across was a little hair raising, it was also invigorating. Nothing like the gravest possibility of death, to make one feel alive. On the other side was darkness. Not just any darkness but the sort that by rights could have earned a name all of its own. Daring was one thing, but if they were going in through that, Arlo liked seeing where he was going. All the more after hearing that chorus of snarls. And so he dipped into his sack, pulled out the blue glowing stone in a stringed jar, and draped it around his neck. Then there was Lyova and her ever present glow. She'd come along for the adventure, without so much as being asked.

As he went in after Cassion, he'd expected to have to feel his way along, maybe try and avoid falling over a cliff or through a crack in the floor. He hadn't expected this floating sensation, as if he was suspended in some sort of thick fluid devoid of any light at all. It was disconcerting and fascinating, both at the same time. And then, just as he started to get a better idea of which end of him was up and which was down, there came that roar from the darkness again. He reached right quick for his bow, loaded it and swung the thing up between him and the source of most immediate concern.

Razor sharp teeth, flashing eyes, hot breath, those were really all he could sort out of what was coming at him. It definitely wasn't Cassion and it was all Arlo needed to know. So pulling back on his bow string, he aimed and let his arrow fly straight between two rows of flashing teeth.
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Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:02 pm

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The extent and power of the Immortals was something which was, largely, unknown to mortals. Did Cassion have dozens of mortalborn, dotted here and there across the land? Possibly, maybe even probably. Yet, he said no more than that and they made their way. It was a strange experience, no doubt, walking alongside an Immortal; and not just any Immortal, either, but the one he had followed and worshiped for a long, long time in his eyes. Cassion, as always, seemed relaxed and pleased to be here. It was like they rode his words to get to the place and when, finally, they stood in front of the bridge, he watched Arlo carefully.

And although his face barely registered a change, as Arlo skipped across the "bridge", there was a glint of approval in Cassion's eyes. Even as the gust of wind whipped around Arlo and pushed against him, the young man kept his balance and the Immortal watched. Leaping across the chasm, not one to be outdone by a mortal show off, no matter that he liked him, Cassion landed next to Arlo and gave a grin. "Not bad," he said, with a nod.

When they stepped into the treacle darkness and it wrapped around him, the glowing stone Arlo had did nothing, nor could he see Lyova. Though, he could still hear her and she was rather impressed with the sensations which it seemed she was sharing with him. Certainly judging by how she described it to him in constant, unending detail.

But as the growling, snarling thing came at him, Arlo really didn't have time to engage in idle chit-chat with his companion. Rather, he was a little focused on not getting bitten, mauled to death or otherwise impeded. The arrow flew and hit, true to its mark. He wasn't anything more than a mortal with Immortal blood flowing in his veins, but Arlo was one of the best with a bow in the world. His arrow struck true, and two things happened simultaneously. It worked, in one way, because the wolf - which he could now see it was, in a manner of speaking - fell backwards. Momentum, it seemed, worked. However, the wolf in question was in flames and the arrow was wooden, so rather than damage it, per se, the arrow simply burst into flame and seemed to feed it. Where the metal arrow head pierced was a hole in the creature. Just a small one, but definitely there. The flames from the burning arrow jumped, literally, in to that hole and it was filled up again in trill.

The fire from the wolves, of which there were four, lit up the room at least partially. Their flames brightened the darkness in a way nothing else seemed to and so Arlo could see that there, not too far from him was Cassion, fighting two of them simultaneously. There had been three, but the third lay dead on the floor and was aflame no more, although what it was would need to be examined ... later The Immortal fought bare handed and was currently punching one fire-wolf right, smack, between the eyes. The wolves were growling and barking and Cassion roared.

He sounded mostly happy.

And the flame-wolf leapt once again for Arlo, after just a few seconds of getting its bearing once again after being knocked off it's feet.
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Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:34 pm

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Arlo had known that Cassion was watching, if not judging then at least measuring, waiting to see what he'd do or how he'd respond. If Arlo had been anyone else, there might have been a sense of pressure to make just the right choices. But his style of worship was so part and parcel to who he was, that right or wrong, his choices tended to come naturally to him. There was no other way across that bridge than with his own two feet and sense of balance. Who needed climbing equipment in this case? And yet still when he reached the other side after an exhilarating crossing, the Immortal did him one better and leaped across, sailing over his head before landing in front of him. Arlo grinned, and wondered if he'd ever come close to doing the same.

"Not so bad yourself," he said, somewhat stating the obvious, and with a wry grin before they'd forged ahead in the dark. And turned out neither Lyova's light or the one dangling round his neck would do him a bit of good. He'd half expected that they wouldn't so wasn't surprised. Of course just because he couldn't see Lyova as they half sank and half floated through the thick as sludge darkness, didn't mean he couldn't hear her chatter ringing through his mind. He wondered if Cassion himself knew he was there, figured he must. But either way, she appeared to be enjoying herself immensely.

Lyova could take care of herself however, and Arlo as good as put her out of his mind when faced with one wolf made out of flames. Not to mention at least four of them. His arrow flew as true as he'd intended it to, but as soon as it struck, it was apparent that the damage done was minimal. But he learned something and very quickly. Wood was useless against the creature and burned up almost as soon as it struck. But metal? A much better choice. Unlike his short bow, the smaller bolts from his pistol crossbow were made of metal. And even while he was quickly taking stock best he could, he was reaching for the smaller weapon.

Now that he could see, Arlo could spy not just Cassion but more of the wolves. But unlike the Immortal, three at a time was probably a bit much for him. And the bare fists? Well, for him there might be a better option and having released the safety on his bow, he fired the bolt dead center of the creature's chest as it leaped at him. And without blinking an eye or waiting to see how it went, Arlo dropped the bow and drew his sword. And in what might amount to a single gesture, he stepped forward, spun on his heel and carried the dangerous end of the blade into the sweeping arc intended to take cut through the wolf's throat on its way, or even remove its head from it's body. To somehow aid him in the endeavor, Arlo let out a roar of his own as he moved.
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Fri Apr 20, 2018 1:26 pm

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On the one hand, Arlo could well be forgiven for feeling like his movements were sluggish, bordering on unskilled and clumsy - because he moved next to an Immortal. However, equally his skill level was incredibly impressive for a mortal and Arlo fought and more than held his own. The shot from the pistol crossbow did exactly what he wanted and the metal bolt embedded in the wolf's chest. It howled, Cassion's roars and the howls and barks from the wolves the Immortal fought also reverberated around the room and, for Arlo at least, there was a sort of constant "Whoop! Whoop! Get them! Whooohooo!" which his own battle cry added to.

It was, more or less, the same movement and as Arlo's sword sliced; the movement was beautiful - almost like a dance move, except for the fact that dance moves rarely ended in a slice, cutting through a wolf's flesh. As Arlo realised that he'd literally sliced the wolf's head off, he also got to learn some interesting facts about the fire wolf. As it died, the flames all intensified around the wound area, like the body's defenses all rushed to the spot. What that meant was twofold. First, the wolf that fell dead at Arlo's feet appeared to now be just a normal wolf, just one with deep flame-red markings on it's fur. But really, that was a consideration for later because the second thing it meant was that a sudden burst of intense heat shot up the blade of his sword and he felt - and smelled - the searing flesh on his palm as his instincts kicked in and he dropped it.

In the meantime, Cassion had killed another of them and as he felled a second, the final wolf charged at the Immortal who turned to look at it and snarled. The creature skidded to a halt and returned his gaze. Cassion tilted his head to the side, the wolf followed suit, and then the Immortal chuckled. "A new scar," he motioned to Arlo's hand which would probably be best put in the snow for a little while. Just to stop it continuing to cook. "is all well?" With the wolves gone, or subdued as the final one seemed to be, the darkness lifted. They were in a large cavern, a crystalline pool at one edge. Three wolf corpses, none of them aflame now, but all of them with the strange flame-like markings.

The pain in Arlo's hand wasn't actually as bad as it could have been, so long as he got it quickly in snow to cool it. Contact had been for less than a trill, but still it was a nasty burn. Cassion walked over and looked at it, then reached into his overcoat and pulled out a salve of some kind. Assuming Arlo let him apply it, the effect was an immediate relief and cooling sensation. Some bandages over it to keep the salve on and he was good to go. As Cassion looked to his hand, he spoke. "A long time ago, those wolves walked Scalvoris. Beautiful, majestic creatures. I have not seen their like in an age. Not since the statues were made." His gaze on Arlo's hand was intense, but he seemed to find what he saw acceptable. "They were sacrificed. The fire to forge the ice." With a deep frown, he added. "There were four. One for each Element. Mayhaps their time has come again?"

Suddenly, the Immortal turned and knelt next to the wolf which Arlo had felled. He stood again in a moment and handed Arlo a tooth from the wolf. He kept another for himself. "A souvenir of the journey. We should go to the statues." With an expansive gesture and a wolf in tow, Cassion motioned for Arlo to lead the way. However, he said, if the boy wanted to wait and do anything else, he could.
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Sun Apr 22, 2018 3:54 pm

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Life in instances like this hung on the razor sharp edge of a precipice. And in this particular case, it wasn't just figurative, nor an analogy either considering that bottomless hole he'd just darted across. There were some men, and as many women or more, that wouldn't enjoy that sort of thing at all and in fact would go to great lengths to avoid getting themselves into situations like this. But not only did Arlo seem to attract bits like this, sometimes he sought them out. Maybe more frequently now that he had some of Cassion's blood running through his veins. The risk to life and limb was invigorating and he gave another whoop as the fire wolf's head separated from its body.

It was interesting the way the flames flared up when the wolf fell dying, then were extinguished again in a flash. Like a match dropped on to a small mound of sulfur. He'd never seen anything like it, and he'd seen a lot by now. The creature's coat then was something to behold. But he didn't have time to think about it as the heat that had flared caught his blade and it might as well have come straight out of the forge. He dropped it like the blazing hot thing it had become. Still not soon enough though. Hissing out a curse between clenched teeth, Arlo plunged his hand into the snow piled up at his feet to stop the flesh cooking like a steak left to rest after being pulled from the heat.

What he saw when he lifted up his gaze though was a wonder in itself. One wolf left and somehow Cassion had charmed it into submission. Somehow Arlo wasn't surprised. "It would seem so, yeah," he said, regarding a new scar to add to a growing host of others. He grinned a little, though it was also a pained expression. Cooled off it might be. Some. But it was still painful. "It'll be alright I'm sure." And as he stood, now that the place had lit up, he took a good look around them. This was no cozy little cave in a much larger labyrinth of them. It was a cavern in its own right. And how did that lake stay fluid, he wondered?

He gave over his hand to be salved and bandaged, and immediately most of the discomfort was gone. Well enough at least, he figured as he thanked the Immortal and wriggled his fingers for good measure. "What are they called?" he asked when Cassion explained the wolves' origins. And for that matter, just how long had the statues been there? "Makes sense though," he figured. If the statues were just that, statues and nothing more, then heat would certainly have made it possible to create them without leaving the slightest flaw or seam behind. Assuming the sculptor was an expert.

"Why were the statues created in the first place, and by who?" Lots of questions, apparently, when Cassion handed him the tooth and he pocketed it. Any other time, if it was just him or him and Vega, Arlo might have taken a delay and collected a hide. But now? He was eager to move on. So the statues it was. He was fairly sure, even from this unfamiliar section of the caverns, that he could find his way to where he'd seen the statues before. Navigation wasn't just for seafaring after all and in fact most of his skill, he'd gotten on land. So picking up his sword, just as Cassion suggested, Arlo led the way.
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