• Event • The Devil in the Details

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Aegis
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The Devil in the Details

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Saun 40, 718, Late Morning


He sat there in front of Chamadarst's palace, tucked under an awning put up to protect the entrance from rainfall. To foreigners, he would look like a handicapped beggar, wearing rags, his left arm missing at the shoulder, with a gap filled smile for anyone that came into the temple. But that was the furthest thing from the truth. Old Soren was a staple around the temple, and anyone who visited it knew of Old Soren. The man was a local hero. A few arcs back, a leviathan from the depths attacked the city, while Old Soren sat there facing the sea, just as he was now. While the creature devastated the ships and harbors, and was making way for the wall, Old Soren stood up, walked out to meet it.

Every guard on the gate and wall that day could've sworn that they were about to watch an old, retired mercenary get eaten. Instead, the monster stopped, stared Soren in the eyes, and returned back to the sea, and never once returned. And so, to this trial, Old Soren isn't questioned about where he liked to park his rump. He liked his spot by the temple, and no one dared to challenge him on it. But totrial was a special trial it seemed. As people walked into the temple, or out, or simply got in eyesight of Old Soren, the man was searching them with his old, grey eyes.

And every so often, it seemed that he'd found someone of interest. When he did, he'd point at the person, "Oi, you, lass, c'm'ere. Got's somethin' fer ya," or "Hey mate. Yeah ya. C'mere. Ya look like ya could use some fun," were his common forms of harassment. Regardless of how he caught someone's attention, those who waited to listen to him heard the same story.

"I'm lookin' for a special flower. It only blooms once every thousand arcs or so. I know where it is, and how to get to it. But I can't go myself. If I do, She will return. This flower is for my extra special lady. I'd give the world for it. Will ya help out an old man?" Most people he'd asked refused to help, citing that they had better things to do, or brushing it off as ramblings of an old man. But there was something in his eyes, a yearn for adventure and hunger, a desire to do something amazing.

For those that accepted his request, "Go to the corner of the Walls, where south meets west, bring either a sour pickle or a raspberry pie. Once you've found your guide, jump from the corner with all your might toward the sea. Be ready for the doorman. Follow the sound of purple. Once you do, you will find the flower. But take care. Demons are hunting the flower too, and if they see you, they will surely attack."

If asked, Old Soren had no more details on the matter. He couldn't explain how he knew this, just that he did. Anything further just resulted in a goofy, blank eyed grin. After asking enough people throughout the morning, three came together to find this flower. Because Old Soren was a hero, and deserved his damn flower.
 ! Message from: Aegis
This thread is open to 3 people total. I will post again in 1 week (roughly). It is a first post, first served basis, with 1 exception of a new character I signed up for this ahead of time. There is a 2nd thread in conjunction with this one as well.

1. Alora
2. William
3. Kanji


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William Dovecraft
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Re: The Devil in the Details

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The ache in William’s belly was a terrible thing. Food was so scarce, so very scarce. Only a handful of businesses still sold rations, and what few still possessed it did not sell to the Silver Circles, or hid their stock from such. When he saw a man walking away with a basket of such things, he tried to buy from a shop, but he was turned down. Eventually he bribed someone a silver nel to buy some for him. Food was exponentially expensive during a famine such as now.

Walking with an even lighter purse and a heavier stomach for once, Will trekked through the sodding rains, boots sloshing through the black sludge that had stained them black. He was on his way to a shrine to Ashan, to wait out these rains he was sure would make him sick--he left all his armor at home, but kept his shield and hammer by necessity. The leather got soggy, and heavy, with so much rain.

Soon the dirt turned to stone, the street in front of Chamadarst’ temple paved with stone, still ankle-high with water. Absolutely flooded, but the ground rose, leaving the waters behind. The rains of Yaralon are so destructive... He looked down towards Yaal’tiesh, his familiar of lupine and avian traits walking alongside him. Their eyes met. I’ve been growing bored of Yaralon. I think the world beyond is beginning to call to me.

I can feel that from you. Maybe you should, the familiar replied.

William stared at that silvery-red scar where Cassion had cut him, reminiscing upon his meeting with the Immortal. Perhaps that will bring me closer to the God of Roads and Stories. His stomach growled, and he rubbed his belly. I just ate... I think I have to wait until I can afford some rations, or I learn to hunt. When the rains let up.

That sounds wise. Eating sounds like a hassle I do not envy. Yaal’tiesh looked back. It’s rained so much that the city is beginning to drown.

Some of the buildings are raised. Some not. I was lucky to choose the place I’ve been staying, it’s on a hill.

As they passed the front gates of the temple, a voice caught the pair’s ears, and they both stared. “Me?” William asked, smirking. “This isn’t drugs is it? No, of course not, I remember you!” Will lightened up when he realized who he was talking to. The missing arm. “Soren, is it? It’s so cool that you fought a leviathan and lived to tell the tale. It’s an honor. I should come back and listen to your story when times are a bit easier.” He conversed with the man for a time, listening to his plea. “Aye.” It sounded like a bizarre tale. Even William’s mind tangled with it, but he liked the ingenuity.

He looked to his familiar. Should we at least go find some pie? It might be fun to eat some pie overlooking the sea, however rainy it might be.

If that is what you want to do, I’m sure you could use the food.

“I guess I’m going back to that merchant,” William laughed. “I’ll give it a shop. A guide, eh?” Does he mean a spirit? William’s eyes crossed, remembering the stories. He’d seen them, but only when he’d been looking. Something nagged at the back of his mind, and sure enough, when he looked by the old man’s thigh, he saw what he was pretty sure was a spirit of adventure taking the shape of a soggy note with inky black worm-like tentacles lashing at the air.

“Mind if I take this?” William asked, reaching with his fingers for it. The wind seemed to pick up, and it started drifting away, flitting up into the sky as his hands passed through its wispy form. “Hey, wait!” William called, but whatever it was ignored him. That was strange. There’s something more to this adventure than meets the eye.

It might be dangerous.

Maybe that’s what the man meant by pie, William thought.

You aren’t considering this, are you, William? Yaal’tiesh worried.

I am. I think this is just what I need. I need to face the spirits sooner or later. I need to get closer to the Gods.

...Just be careful.

“I’ll bring you that flower, if I can,” William said, rubbing the back of his head with a wry, toothy grin. “No guarantees, Soren,” he laughed.

Then he turned, and ran around town, looking for a shop that had raspberry pie. He tried a few shops with no luck - a pickle would have done it, but those things were popular in this part. This is difficult. Raspberry pie. So specific. In a famine? He sighed, feeling put down. I can only look for so long...

His eyes turned to the sky, a light smudge in the rolling clouds where the sun shone through only barely. Staring off into the distance, he started searching for some kind of clue, in his mind, in his soul. Something moved before his eyes. At first he thought it was a bird, but then he could tell it was that note from before, looping through the air! “Hey!” he yelled, chasing after it. He ran through the puddles and chased it, watching it disappear behind a stone wall just barely taller than he was. Will ran right up to it and jumped, shield rattling against his back as his fingers dug into the crevices at the top. With a heave, he pulled himself over the edge, pushing with his feet until he rolled over the side into a bush.

Yaal’tiesh appeared over the side of the wall, staring down at him accusingly. Will blinked, and sat up, looking out over the place he’d ended up. Immediately his heart skipped a beat. I’m trespassing! His eyes searched. Wait, there’s a shrine... to Cassion! He ran for it, and the note was there.

Kneeling at the shrine, his knees against the wooden boards, Will stared at the little trinkets and tokens littering the likeness’ of Cassion’s symbol, a crossroads. “I don’t have anything to offer, but...” the note flew away again, and Will didn’t even bother running after it this time, just wiping his face of water with a sigh, pinching the bridge of his nose. I just can’t have it easy, can I?

“Boy?”

Will practically jumped, flipping around and landing on his rear. “H-hey!” he called up. There was a man, muscular and buff, wearing an apron. WHY DO THEY ALWAYS CALL ME ‘BOY’? At least it was better than ‘girl’!

You look young, William, Yaal’tiesh helped out. Will ignored him. He knew why people called him ‘boy’, he just hated it!

“A follower of Cassion’s huh?” the man asked, with a smirk. “You aren’t getting away without trying some of this pie I made.”

“R-raspberry pie?” he asked immediately.

“You bet!” laughed the cook cheerily, offering a hand to Will. The boy took it, hefted to his feet.

“So, funny story. Old Soren wants me to take some as an offering. I followed a spirit here.”

“That’s nice,” the man replied, cutting him a slice and electing to wrap it up in a thin cloth. “Bring this back to me one day, will you? The cloth?”

“I will,” William said. “I’ll tell you all about it when I get back.”

Bowing to the man in thanks, Will stopped to offer a prayer at the shrine to Cassion, murmuring his thanks and starting off towards the ‘corner’ of the walls, where the south met the West. Once he was there, his eyes met with a patrolman, one of The Sober. William gave him a nod of respect, and placed his pie on the ground there just before the corner.

He stared at it, as if something was supposed to happen, but a whole bit passed with no change as the rain beat upon his soppy mop of blonde hair. “Hmnnnh...” he scratched his chin, and looked up, pointing with a curled finger at the same time at his bit of pie there.

“By Cassion, I do not lie, there are raspberries in this pie.” He watched, but kept speaking, untrained in verse, but trying his best to rhyme and sound interesting, even though he wasn’t very good at it.
“Following in the steps of adventure,
I ran through famine and hunger to no avail.
Harrowing was this journey of worries,
and yet the spirits took my hand and guided me far,
To Cassion’s shrine, and the arms of a chef who did make this raspberry pie.
I offer it now to you, my guide.
Bring me to the doorman, for I seek to obtain Soren's flower.”

As he spoke, the sky flashed a bright white, blinding him. Then the sky rumbled with thunder, William trying his best to feel around within his soul, as if there might be something there to make sense of it all.
Last edited by William Dovecraft on Tue Sep 11, 2018 4:37 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 1551
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Alora
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Re: The Devil in the Details

If there was but one thing that Alora despised, and there were many things, but if there was just one she suspected it would be riddles and the strange old men and annoying children that liked to tell them. Alora had no patience for solving them, or entertaining those who crafted them.

Alora didn't give him any confirmation that she'd take his task once she'd heard him out. But only made her way past him, down the dirty streets of Yaralon. She knew the layout of the city well enough, from her twenty some odd arcs spent there. Where the south met the west wall, that would be nearby the sea, as he said.

As for a pickle, she just so happened to keep shual's tongue pickled as a trophy in a jar. The jar hung from her belt. So oddly enough she already fullfilled that condition. How serendipitous.

She ground her teeth as she made her way along, as she came to the realization that she was on his little scavenger hunt. His riddle was almost entirely figurative. Although it was possible the madman wanted her to jump from the high wall down to her death on the surface of the waters below. She couldn't put anything past the eccentric old featherbelt. Alora had heard his story once or twice as she passed this way. That he'd turned away a leviathan from the depths, with nothing but a gaze. It was an impressive feat, however he'd managed it. But then, perhaps he was complicit with the creature.

She wondered to herself if this leviathan had anything to do with his preoccupation with the sea and the 'flower' that could be found once one found the 'doorman' and followed the sound of 'purple'.

Within a break or so, she found her way to the Southwestern corner of the city. There, she regarded her surroundings, taking stock. An annoyance rose in her then, as she clutched the jar containing Shual's pickled tongue.

"Well? No doorman? What a farce. Last time I listen to a crazy, gray-headed featherbelt." So saying, she threw the pickled jar on the ground, letting the tongue lie where the glass and juice broke and spilled out.
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Kanji
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Re: The Devil in the Details

Kanji loved to wonder. Wondering was when he met the most interesting people. You never met interesting people sitting in your bed... well... not never exactly, just, like, WAY less often. Yes. He settled on the qualifier of 'way less often' on this topic as he turned the corner to see the temple and it's regular sitting outside it's doors.

Kanji himself had not been around for 'the incident', however having arrived just shy of two years ago, it was just about the only thing people were talking about all over Yaralon and so he was certainly no stranger the the old man's very mysterious (not to mention interesting) background and nothing caught Kanji's interest more keenly then a mystery... Well, unless it was shiny... Or colourful...

As such it would likely have been as Kanji stepped out from hiding (wondering is all very nice and everything, but when you are only 6 inches tall, doing so where no-one can see you is normally the best way to do it) that he would be address by Old Soren. Kanji was warring his usual brightly colours bird-suite, which was little more then a fairly crudely skinned small bird, cut and strapped to his body.

He beamed a broad smile and waved enthusiastically. “Hello! You good?” His Common was pretty bad, but he made do most of the time. “OOOooooo. Yes. My like fun. What it is?” He said as he crossed his legs, settling in for whatever there was to come next. “Ahhhh... Flower!... WOW... ” *Nod* ... *Shake* ... “Awwwwww.....”

As the story went on, as short as it may have been, the little wooden man's face fluctuated with interest and intrigue in quite an exaggerated fashion. Those that don't know him often mistake it for mockery, however in truth, he simply was easily amused. “My do it! My get flower. You get girl. Happy trials!” He explained with a jolly nod.

Listening intently as the instructions were issued, his interest only grew. The thought that this old chap might just have finally lost his marbles was not lost on Kanji, however if one only explored what was known, obvious and guaranteed, then one would be destined to only ever discover the mundane and Kanji could find mundane everywhere. He saluted unnecessarily. “My get pickle. My get guide. My get flower. You wait. You see. Kanji very good.” He offered reassuringly as he waved and left to find a pickle.

“Pickles would surely be easier to find then raspberry pies, right? He said to himself in Tree Talk as he walked. After all, he was happy to pay for said pickle. He set off to the market, keeping to the edges and shadows for the most part simply to avoid getting kicked en-rout.

If he was able to find and pay for a pickle, then he would then head to the south-east corner of the wall. He hoped this was at least an actual place not a metaphor. If there were other's there when he arrived, he'd not hesitate to introduce himself quite openly, but if not, then he would simple wait around for a bit, out of sight, for his guide to arrive, his pickle on his lap, perhaps drumming a merry tune on it to himself... Kanji did not mind people seeing him, per say, just didn't like people seeing him first. He preferred to introduce himself when he felt it was opportune... this was mostly out of self preservation and a little bit because cats had a habit of prowling up on him when he just stood around places.
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Aegis
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Re: The Devil in the Details

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As the lightning flashed, it was quickly made apparent to several of the individuals had come on this riddle. A man was reciting poetry to a pie while a wall guard stared on confounded, a woman had thrown a jarred pickle and wore a friendly scowl, and a Tunawa man was sitting there, holding his pickle like a prized banjo. The rain continued to fall, the pie's crust began to get soggy, and the pickles glistened.

But nothing happened.

Nothing at all.

Not a damn thing.

Seriously, so much nothing happened.

Until it did. There were several loud screeeees that resounded over the area. The man next to William raised a horn to his lips, and blasted it twice. Incoming fliers. And soon, the Warblers could be seen flying for the wall from the east. The various Yari tasked with protecting this section of wall looked out into the darkness, several bows, javelins and other tools at the ready. They were simply waiting for the creatures to get in range. After all, they would feed a family of four for a handful of trials, easy food was never passed up.

Then the man that blew the horn, blew it two times, twice. A cancellation. The readied men and women looked to their commander, confused. The nearest approached, not asking, but clearly wanting an explanation. "They's wit' t'ese folk. Pieboy know Ol' Soren. Let 'em pass." The woman nodded, and returned to her post. The weapons were lowered.

The Warblers landed violently on the wall, two of them as large as a horse, one the size of a cat, a juvenile. The large female quickly devoured the raspberry pie, the smaller male swallowed the pickled tongue whole, and the juvenile snatched the pickle from Kanji's arms. And with a unified scree, they dove off the cliff and flew off to the west along the southern wall.

And again. Nothing happened. Three folks were out of some food, and the commander on the wall looked disappointed. He'd been expecting something special.

SCREEEEEEEEE

The bird creatures were flying back along the wall, and were letting loose their cries. They hugged close, and didn't seem to have any intention of slowing down. They'd pass just below where the unlikely trio stood, or sat in Kanji's case, with the female first, juvenile second, and the male bringing up the rear. Lightning flashed bright once more, illuminating the area just as the birds flew by.

And the commander was wearing the biggest smile on his face, like a child who'd just figured out a pleasant secret.

"Fly, you fools!"

Whether or not the fools decided to fly didn't matter to the Warblers. They were heading home regardless. To their nests within the Crags. Until the birds began.. droop a little. Then they bounced and bobbed a bit, squawking at random intervals it seemed. And they were all slowing and losing altitude. Lower and lower the birds dropped, until the rain stopped all of a sudden and the darkness was replaced by blinding white light. All three birds came to a clumsy landing on some sort of spongy, moss like... stone? It looked like stone, but felt like moss beneath the feet. Any passengers were bucked off and snapped at, as the birds teetered and tottered about the area. To some, it might seem as though the birds were drunk.

And that's because they were.

The immediate area around the birds appeared to be a dark forest, made up of a wide variety of trees in many different colors and shapes. Some trunks were twisted into knots, others were missing sections, only for the next section to be growing in spite of the gap. Some trees sang, others muttered, and one moved. The one moving was pacing through the trees, and hadn't given any indication that it had noticed the presence of new arrivals. There was a soft, green glowing from within its chest and each time it passed a tree, it stopped, touched it, then moved on.

The moving tree had a fairly large circuit, roughly a hundred meters in length, before it repeated, heading back. This circuit only seemed to encompass the trees on this edge of the forest, the border. The border that stood before the drunk birds, giving way from mosslike stone to forest proper. Off to the either side, was nothing but shining light. Pure nothingness. There was nothing in the distance to see, nothing to touch. The mosslike stone simply stopped, and nothing began. So from where the birds landed, there was the forest forward, and the rainy Yari lands backward.
 ! Message from: Aegis
There's no posting order, and I will try to post in a week, or sooner if all 3 of you post. 1 post each.

You may PM me or DM on discord 3 questions each. These could be questions about the area, about the journey to it, really anything related to this post. I may or may not answer. But if I do answer, I would like for you to use the information given within your post. These questions are entirely optional and are meant to act as supplements.



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William Dovecraft
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Re: The Devil in the Details

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As the lightning crashed, William saw to figures appear - one was very small. Another was similar, but familiar. I know you... from the sparring match! He rose, drawing that handkerchief out from under the pie and tucking it in his bag. Cassion’s handkerchief, I better make it out alive, whatever happens...

The Trills rolled on and on as he peered out into the ocean, that tentacle-paper Familiar fluttering out there. Something’s coming...

Screeeee!

William looked up and all around, turning, then looking back over the wall. “Oh, wow.” Suddenly, that horn blared so close to his ears, and he had to shield them lest he be deafened, wincing. “Hey, you were - “ He held his tongue. There were more important matters to worry about.

Suddenly, the trio was surrounded. “Wasn’t me - oh, yeah, birds.” He leaned against the stone, staring out into the vast empty dark, that spirit still fluttering in circles, as if calling. “Fly, fly, fly!” it seemed to scream at him, in a language that only he could understand. “Fly!” William didn’t understand why, but he thought back to the riddle. The guide... the guide... is the guide bird?

In moments, they flew into range, and William stepped back as they clambered up onto the walls, holding his hand out. “Cassion’s mercy, don’t kill them!” he screamed. “Hold, on Old Soren’s name!” Thankfully, he heard that horn blare again, noting how they used the horns to signal. Then, some words calmed the lot of them, and the weapons disappeared, leaving William to watch that large female snatch his offering off the ground. “Good. Good whatever you are.” By the time he’d managed to strike up the courage he needed to approach the birds - they promptly flew off. Well, just my luck! Maybe they’ll be back?

He drew closer to the wall, leaning over the edge bravely, fingers white from how hard he gripped. “Hmm...” Staring out there, he saw no sign of them, until....

SCREEEEEEEEE

Will looked out, hearing the call of that Anak. “Fly, FLY!” it cried, louder. William saw them about to pass. “Wait...” He clambered up onto the wall, lowly crouched for balance, coiled for tension as he held on to the edge. “This better work!”

”Fly, you fools!”

“Ah!” He kicked off, body hurtling weightlessly into the aether of inky black wind and rain until his body collided roughly with the back of something that smelled foul and alive, moving beneath him. His hands clung tight to the feathered hide as he soared down with the bird, the spirit trailing behind him, going quiet. It seemed there would be no more hints from the little darling.

Down and down they went, until they neared their nests. William managed to look up from the massive bird, pulling on the feathers to seat himself properly and lift his back as the air seemed to become different - the rain stopped, and the bird beneath his legs did not properly fly, but rather do something quite odd. The world around seemed to change, and in awe, William watched, momentarily forgetting all of the seriousness from before. Did the other two make it? He wondered, staring at the other two birds. I sure hope so.

Suddenly, light. It was blinding, like lightning, but constant. William shielded his eyes, which began to adjust slowly until that realm of fantasy came into view. They slowed until they neared some kind of stone covered in a thick moss, trees rising up all around. Things seemed to darken until they were in a forest, one with a floor of stone, and a single tree with legs walking in the distance. He stared at it, but the bird began to snap at him. “Ow, ow, okay!” He slid off, patting it for a moment. “Stop getting - okay, you’re being bad. I’ll give you more pie if I survive, okay?”

Shrugging, he stepped away, looking to the others. “This place looks dangerous and strange.” He could hear how the trees mumbled and sang every time the tree stopped, catching a glance of the green light. Think to the riddle. Okay. Be Ready for The Doorman. The sound of Purple. Raspberries? No. The demons, however...? He had no cause to draw his weapons just yet, but like the tree, he knew he’d better pay respect to the nature around here.

“So if he’s the doorman, and there are demons--” he looked back, at the birds. “What are they doing? That is so strange. Did someone spell these birds to take us here?” He had so many questions, and so little time to answer them. Cautiously, he approached. “I’ll go first. Do as I do if you wish, or don’t. The light, the trees, the singing ... the sound of Purple. But I need to be ‘ready’ for the doorman.

“Well, I’m going to look and sound like a lunatic.” Advancing, he approached one of the mumbling trees first, hand against his chest in the same manner of respect that the moving tree gave. “Hi, I’m William!” he said, but he seemed not to get a response, and the mumbling was no more clear up close. Worse, as he peered into the realm of spirits, he saw no hints, and the spirit of Adventure fluttered uselessly about his head. Ahh...

Next, he decided to try something else, but he saw ‘The Doorman’ had turned, and was heading in his direction. Is it doing something to the trees? He looked to a singing tree, and had somewhat of an idea. Positioning himself in the path of the one moving tree, he began to sing in imitation as he touched the bark, still holding a palm over his chest. Follow the sound of purple. The sound of purple... the singing, or the mumbling? The words were garbled and horrible, in imitation of the way it sung. “Caaan you feeeel the raaaain, in Saun, in Yaaaaraaaloooon?~” As the tree approached, he continued singing, trying his best to stay in pitch, as The Doorman’s feet thundered near to him, William took hold of a groove in the bark more firmly, listening with his mind to see if anything different would happen as he prepared.
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Alora
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Re: The Devil in the Details

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For a moment they all stood still, the pickled tongue glistened as it got rained on. Then, there was a lot of noise. Large birds on the wing, screeing for all they were worth. The shouts and alarm of guardsmen along the walls. Then, a whole lot of strangeness happened.


Alora cast about incredulously as she heard the fliers' cries as they descended on their party. Once there, they ate up the food that they'd left to litter the ground. The Naer didn't know whether these birds were normally hostile, yet she stood back cautiously, marveling at their plumage. Then, almost as swiftly as they made their clumsy landing to have a little meal, they were off again.

She looked at the others who were gathered there, including the guards and shrugged as if to ask 'What in Faldrun's furnace?'. She made eye contact with the guard captain, and mouthed 'What's going on?' He merely smiled, as the birds flew over the wall again, swooping down on the street and making a direct line for the party. He only said the words, 'Fly you fools!' which carried well enough on the wind for her to hear.

This was already a strange start to a day, by any madman's standard. And Alora wasn't one to deny such a golden opportunity, as to fly. She had to admit she was intrigued by the possibilities. Including the possibilities that the flier would simply dump her headfirst into the drink from a mile in the air. Even so, Yaralon wasn't for the timid.

So as the flier swooped by her, she grappled with it's mantle, hopping onto it's back with the force of it's flight.

As they landed on the clearing, a field of mossy stones with little to see but the stones themselves, Yaralon behind them, and the treeline of the forest in front of them. Oh and there was that freaky glowing treeman. Alora was more than a bit flustered, that an old madman had interrupted her day in such a fashion to send her far out of Yaralon on a wild swooper chase. She wanted to burn it all in that moment. Take out a match, feed the flame some ether to coax it to swallow that entire forest. It wouldn't work, of course, given the constant saun rains. But the thought was delightful. Perhaps she'd come back in a drier season to renew that item on her agenda.

For now, she had a puzzle, and one that her tempestuous mind wasn't able to wrap around. She didn't know if any of the others who'd been nearby when the birds swooped down on them were among her now. She couldn't really see them. So she ducked, trying to keep her visibility as low as possible to any birds or tree people or guards, while in all likelihood looking very suspicious.

She merely observed the proceeding events and surroundings, looking for anything that might clue her into the meaning of that old madman's words.
word count: 550
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Kanji
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Re: The Devil in the Details

As it turned out, the venue was far from deserted and Kanji was delighted to discover that others had also joined in to assist the Old chap on a quest for love. Well, either that or there just happened to be some other reason to bring pie to the wall this trial that he was not aware of. Whatever the case, it was a beautiful thing and he was about to give a jolly wave as the thunder rolled and the horns blew.

His pickle still tucked under his arm, like an enormous inflatable beach toy, he looked into the sky. “OOOooohhh. Birds." He chirped excitedly. Having not brought [ooc title=Character sheet had not been approved yet, so just left it 'at home' :-)]his own bird out today[/ooc], as these ones got closer... and bigger, he began to be quite glad about that. “Wow! They are some big birds, Trunky." He fiddled with his hair pin absent mindedly as he spoke.

As the guard readied their aim, Kanji watched on, expecting to be in the presence now of some kind of epic battle of bird and man. Perhaps these were the demons from the riddle? Good job the guards was here to.... Then the horn went off again. "uh-oh" he thought as they continued to get closer, now unhindered as the guard allowed them to approach.

As they landed and looked to be fed, Kanji relinquished his pickle without complaint. Giving the smallest of the birds a friendly smile, but no sooner had they landed and eaten, they took of again. “OOOooohhh..." He began for the second time. “Them are guides?!" He asked openly to his two companions on Love's quest. Before there was much time to reply however, the birds had flown away.

He ran to the edge of the wall, climbing up if nececerry, to see them first fly off... and then back. “Oh! Oh! Us fly! Us fly!" He shouted, smiling at the others. “Will be good." He replied to William. “Us on quest for Love." He concluded, as if this was irrefutable proof that everything would be fine.

Taking a moment to
judge the drop just right
, he turned to the Guard on the wall, gave a sharp salute and then allowed himself to simple fall backwards off the wall. To be fair, this was likely allot less daunting for someone quite confident that the fall would not kill them... probably.

Turning into the wind with a joyful mimicked “SCREEEEEYA-TA-TA-DAAAA!!", he tried to steady his decent by spreading his arms and legs (and feather bird-jacket if it helped at all) wide, he moved himself away from the wall to try to meet his bird. If Kanji looked like he was having the time of his life, then it very likely would be because he was.

If Kanji was able to guide his bird at all, then he would, simply for the enjoyment of it as they went, though wild birds were not usually as compliant as tamed mounts, so he
held on with his knees and arms
to be sure he did not fall off.

As the birds began to lumber through the air, Kanji did his best to track their surroundings, looking out for the 'doorman'. Then they were blinded by light...

Then they made their heavy landings and he picked himself up off the floor, prodding the moss-rock with his hand as he did.
It moved as he pull at it
, it's roots going deeper then just the surface. Pulling a handful up, he unceremoniously took a bight out of it, like a cowboy might bight off a chunk of chewing tobacco.
It tasted like Almonds covered in honey
... He decided it was nice and took another lump 'for the road'. “Yes. Moss is yummy. You might get sick." He replied to William's warning with his own.

Kanji shrugged at WIliam's question about the state of the birds. “My not know. My not seen them birds before." He followed William as he went, quite happy to copy what he did for the most part, in so much as if William expected the 6 inch wooden man to 'step where he stepped' that was at least not going to happen.

*This person is brave.* He thought to himself as William wondered off to confront the large, marching tree-person.

It was unlike anything Kanji had seen before. That it appeared to be made of wood and was humanoid was where the similarities with himself seemed to stop, but he wondered if there was a kinship of any kind.

As William proceeded, Kanji shadowed him with curiosity. Introducing himself to the tree and the 'guardian' in Tree Talk in William's wake. To be honest, the 'gaps' in the tree's branches unnerved him. *What if they do that to me?* He thought to himself as they passed them. He looked at his arm and wondered if it would make waring back-packs more challenging.

As William began to sing, Kanji giggled. This was continuing to evolve from strange to stranger, but hay, when on a quest for love, who doesn't need a little music? How one would hear the sound of purple, he did not know, but meeting the guardian was the next order in the riddle for the old man, so in the hope that things would continue to unfold before them, Kanji joined in, adding a little melody of chirps and tweets to William's words, all the time with a demeanour of "Please don't eat us." upon his person before the large tree-person.

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Aegis
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Re: The Devil in the Details

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As the Doorman approached William, the green glowing eyes were cast upon the man. The being lumbered over to him, seeing where he was touching the tree. The doorman also reached out and touched the same tree. And in a flash of motion, a knot in the tree opened up wide and swallowed Wiliiam whole. Just as quickly the tree returned back to normal.

The Doorman looked down at Kanji, who had been in William's shadow just a moment before. In Treespeak, albeit a very old sounding dialect of it, "Trees do not consumeth trees. You are safe, small tree." He looked over toward Alora, able to sense her in spite of not seeing her, "Do your hidden friend cometh to taketh from trees?" He gestured to the gaps in the trees, "It causeth much pain for them. I keepeth them alive. I feareth it get worse. They cometh more and more now, laughing as they harmeth my trees. I cannot harmeth them. Trees must defendeth selves. I healeth, talketh. Not fighteth."

The Doorman looked sad, "Please not harmeth my friends. Other skinwalkers come before, no harmeth. Giveth no harm, receiveth no harm."

That was when a loud, screechy, out of tune song pervaded the air.

"Please oh please, my little trees!
Upset you are but I am your bees!
Rest easy now for I am here!
Please oh please, have no fear!
Leave it to me, your fairy friend!
Excited to help, to stave off your end!"


As the song rang out, the trees could be seen visibly learning toward it, further into the forest. Even the Doorman was leaning that way, and to Kanji it might even seem as though he was smiling.

"Perpetrators! Fiends! Meanieheads!
Usurpers of the worst dreads!
Rotten! Violent! Horrible!
Perhaps new friends can trouble!
Lass! Sapling! Come to aid!
Demons come, on trees they raid!"


A crimson portal opened over the forest's center, far ahead of Alora and Kanji, and a single being could be seen jumping out, and disappearing into the forest. In the brief distance it took to jump, the dark crimson creature could be seen, with subtle glowing up the center of its body.

And all the trees began to scream.

The Doorman looked to Kanji, to the hidden Alora, "Helpeth trees, I helpeth you. Whatever you needeth."

And the ground shook as the first tree was attacked. Kanji could feel the moss beneath his feet rippling in anger. Wishing to fight, but couldn't, for it is moss, not a grand tree.


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Kanji
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Re: The Devil in the Details

Kanji watched as the tree-being touched the tree and then let out a little “Oh my!" in Tree-talk before he had a chance to think.

He looked up at the very significantly larger tree-being and nodded. The beings statement was probably intended to be reassuring and... it was... for Kanji. But it did not so much help his college, whom until now was assumed by the amiable little twigling to have been 'transported' through to some other place.... not eaten. Kanji decided it was probably not William's best day ever. “Ummm... OK, that's good." He admitted with a smile.

He looked around at their surroundings as the tree-gardian spoke, the story of the gaps in the branches and the inevitable fate of the trees around them should it continue, dawning on him with a grave reality. “Well, yes actually. Kind of." He began, in the only way he knew how, which was with the truth. “We all have come to find a flower, you see. We have been asked to 'followed the sound of purple' and return with the flower. However we have not come to harm the trees, only collect the flower, but if even doing this will cause harm to your friends, then I would be glad to leave in piece and urge my comrades to do the same." He looked at the branch that had... swallowed(?) William only moments before with a cringe.

Kanji was about to go on to address the subject of the horrible 'demons' doing the damage when the song started. He could not help himself but to turn his ear towards the sound and tap his foot along to the rhythm with a little hum. Then from above dropped a good as dammed itself demon. Kanji had actually expected it to be some kind of 'loss in translation' thing, but sure enough, that was a demon by most people's standards.

He looked to the tree-guardian briefly. “If you can free my comrade..." He gestured to the tree that he had previously been the meal for. “then I believe he will assist us in seeing off this foe." It was true in so much as Kanji believed William would help (because who would not but a villain and Kanji did not yet believe this to be William's path), though he could not deny there was a chance he might simply leave, either way, he'd not feel right simply leaving him to be a tree's dinner.

Should William be freed of not. Should Alora decide it was in their interest (or not). “Come! Let us defend the forrest from demons!" He cried in Common, with a slight smile at the absurdity of the statement. Truth is always the most interesting reality.

Kanji would brave forward toward the demon bow in hand, turning his head as he set off to shout to the tree-gaudian “Some distractions would be great!" Before disappearing into the undergrowth, doing his best not to loose his footing on the undulating mossy floor.

Should he make it there to the scene of the demon's attack, his primary tactic would be two-fold, distraction and evasion. Kanji was not under any illusions regarding the likelihood of surviving fights with biguns in direct conflict (let alone demons) and so the element of surprise was his best ally, while (he hoped to anyone listening) his comrades would take the advantage. Appearing from the bushes some way afar from where his comrade might appear themselves, bow ready (ready to leap aside again if need be) he shouted in common “HALT in the name of Ymiden! You foul demon!" The words were more for impact then divine intervention, but Kanji was happy not to rule out any possibilities right now.
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