• Closed • The Mountain King

Balthazar, Yeva, Victor and Woe.

35th of Ashan 720

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

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Tio Silver
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Re: The Mountain King

The Mountain King
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35th Ashan, 720
Scalvoris Mountains


And so the party began their journey, following the stairs before them onto the base of the mountain. Very soon the stairs faded into a narrow dirt path strewn with sharp pebbles; so narrow in fact that they were forced to walk single file. As they climbed higher and higher the wind, already cold from the thick mist lingering in the air, grew stronger and stronger, snatching the heat from any bit of exposed skin. Fortunately Yeva, Woe and Victor had appropriately warm cloaks and coats, and Balthazar's unnaturally warm skin resisted the brunt of the chill, but even so it made the walk uncomfortable and put a damper on the mood. More than that though something about the mist put their nerves on edge, caused a little niggling instinct in the back of the heads to scream that something was wrong.

Perhaps one of them would realise what unnerved them so. Under normal circumstances the strong winds should have blown the mist away, and yet the more observant among them would note that no matter how hard the wind howled the mist itself didn't stir in the slightest. It did not curl in the wake of their movements, nor move in and out with their breath. It lingered stagnantly, completely inert, as if perhaps it wasn't a part of the physical world at all.

Then came the whispers.

Tiny snatches of conversation, just quiet enough to have possibly be imagined, caught Yeva's ear. She could not make out any sort of tone or accent suggesting who the speakers might be, nor accurately place where they came from, but they were words nonetheless. Only three words could be made out with enough clarity to be recognisable.

"... mages..."

"... unwelcome..."

"... majesty..."


None of the others were able to hear anything, but at the word "majesty" Woe might notice that Breen's ears pricked and he quickly turned his head, as if he thought he had heard something ever so faintly. If questioned though Breen would only uncertainly answer that he thought he'd heard something, but must have imagined it.

After half an hour of walking the party caught sight of a shadow amidst the fog in the distance, and as they came closer found themselves at a crossroads. The path to the left led to the mouth of a cave, suggesting that there was some sort of route within the mountain itself. The path to the right continued along the mountain's face. Sitting on a rock in the middle of the crossroads was a decrepit old lady, likely over a hundred years old if the sheer amount of wrinkles on her face was any indication, dressed in grey rags with a tattered hood thrown over the top half of her face, and clutching a long, knobbled wooden stick as if it were a staff. It would not take a genius to realise that all was not as it seemed here: after all how would such an apparently old lady be able to make it this far up a mountain in this weather?

"You shouldn't be here." The old lady crooned, grinning to reveal only a single tooth within her withered mouth. Despite her words she didn't seem displeased to see them, only mildly entertained. "Their Majesty doesn't care for meddlers. I'd ask you to turn back, but you wont will you? Too brash, too stubborn, too eager to leap blindly into business that you don't understand." She leaned forwards and pointed her stick at them. "You are all too flawed to seek an audience with Their Majesty."

She pointed to the cave with her stick. "In there is a rebel who, should you mind your manners, would help you overcome your flaws. Heed my words, follow the path into the heart of the mountain and seek out The Rebel, but beware his brother." Then she pointed her stick towards the path to the right. "Or don't. Ignore my advice; it is your right to do so after all. But you will regret it later.

General Info

Welcome to the thread! I'll be your guest moderator for today.

I would ask you to please respond by the 25th of April, or to PM me if this is not possible.

Rules

Other than violence and the odd swear words I would ask that there not be any explicit adult themes.

Mod Style

I am shamelessly copying this style of moderation (and the template structure) from Pegasus, who I gather was taught it by someone called Crimson, because it looks like it works really well and I'd like to give it a try. Imitation is the highest form of flattery after all. My thanks to both of them.

The NPCs do not reflect my own personal thoughts of feeling on any subject. They are just characters.

As I'm only a guest mod I'm not going to kill your character, severely wound them or anything like that, but I would like to give fair rewards/consequences for any actions taken in this thread. If you feel that these are at all unfair please let me know.

Otherwise let's have some fun!

Obectives

Must Do
  1. Make a decision: will you take the path to the left and seek out The Rebel, or ignore the old lady and continue on to the right.
    (Note: You do not all have to choose the same direction. If some choose to go left and others right, then the party will split into two. If you are really fussed about staying together then you can state that you will go in the same direction as another member of the party.
Can Do
  1. None this round.
word count: 968
Fast Facts
Noticeable quirks your character can see when threading with Tio.

Floats

Tio floats in the air, usually just a foot off the ground.

Explodeibur

Tio wears a scary looking gauntlet on his right hand that is clearly magical. It creates explosions.

Mercury

Tio has a masked alter ego who leads The Court of Miracles.

Enchanting Voice

Tio's voice has hypnotic properties.
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Balthazar Black
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Re: The Mountain King


35 Ashan 720
As the stairs wound into a narrow road, Balthazar felt the chill of the wind hit him, but there was something more. He didn't like this place. It felt wrong and he wasn't looking at it's frequency... but he couldn't go back now. Then the cold hit again and Balthazar inhaled deeply through his nose. He focused on the feeling of the cold air filling his lungs and fed a little ether into his spark. Balthazar brought his hands up towards his mouth to warm them and when he exhaled a small blue flame manifested with his breath. He was at the head of the group so he kept the flame forward facing- trying not to frighten someone off the ledge in surprise. It brought a comforting but fleeting warmth that carried Balthazar through. He was blessed with ignorance- free from the plague of whispers and the unmoving wind because he was just staying warm and moving forward.

They arrived at an old woman who Balthazar almost immediately began the process of attuning too. The gentle magic was subtle and so he was hoping she wouldn't notice. He wasn't typically this invasive- he'd left the party alone thus far, but an old woman with a staff on a mountain with ominous mist, chilling cold, spooky howling wind, and a typically horrible path to get to where they were set off way to many alarms for the the detective. Fortunately the woman began to lecture them. Flawed? He was flawed? Sure. He was. He knew that. That didn't mean he wouldn't march up the mountain and kick their Majesty's ass. But Balthazar listened, both to her words and to her frequency as he tried to connect with it.

"Who is his brother?" Balthazar asked, seeking mostly to draw out the conversation so he could connect with her frequency. Did they really have the time to spare? They'd been chosen by a being they hardly knew to perform a task they knew even less about. What if this other stranger was right? And what would be so bad about improving upon a flaw? Well it could have been a trap... that got them all killed... but hey it could also work out.

Then Balthazar would turn to the group. "Thoughts?" Regardless of what was said or done, Balthazar would stick with Yeva. She, out of all the group, was the one person he wanted to ensure made it out of this because of what she'd done for him.
Last edited by Balthazar Black on Thu Apr 23, 2020 6:21 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 431

Visible Mutations/ Marks

Mutations
Defiance: Skin always glows faintly and he is warm to the touch. His is also the center of a field of static electricity so people get shocked touching him on occasion.
Rupturing: Orange etheric cracks spider-web up his arms to his elbows. His eyes and the glowing cracks going down his cheeks glow dark blue.
Transmutation: He has a series of emerald, glowing cracks on his right pectoral.
Marks
Bellinos: His fingernails are always black. The color fades into his fingers.
Celarion: A dim glowing ring surrounds his left forearm.
Palenon: A silver lightning shaped mark about the size of a hand stretching up towards his torso.

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 on 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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Victor Amielle
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Re: The Mountain King

Woe was a strange name, Victor decided, as he looked at the dog’s owner. The man’s style of dress reminded him of a noble, like himself – or at least someone that came from a wealthy background. Was that the reason why he had introduced himself like that? Did he not want to be recognized? Or was Woe some sort of nickname? He decided to not ponder the matter further. As with many other things that he was curious about in regard to his supposed mission, it was not of immediate concern. What mattered the most right now was the mission itself.

“I am a researcher of some skill, especially in regard to unusual phenomena”, he replied, nodding curtly as Woe remarked that it would be useful to know what each of them was capable of, a sign that he considered that to be a good idea, even though there were some things that he would keep a secret until he knew them better or it became necessary to reveal them. “I am also quite competent with a blade”, he continued, lowering his head as he considered it to be prudent to watch where he was going.

Soon, the stairs turned into a narrow dirt path, and the wind grew stronger. Victor pulled his hood deep into his face so that it was protected as much as possible and walked on. There was something about this place that felt wrong. But then a lot of things in his life felt wrong recently. A path that led up a mountain was nothing compared to the things that he had experienced so far; besides, after a while he realized what exactly bothered him. The mist remained, no matter how strong the wind grew. It was unchanging.

After almost a break of walking, he could finally see a shadow in the distance, among the fog, and he paused for a moment, narrowing his eyes as he tried to discern any details. When the shadow turned out to be an ancient woman, he looked at his companions for a moment, furrowing his brow, as he wondered if they could see her as well.

He had expected to find monster on the mountain, or similar foes, but not an old woman. He didn’t even know how she had found her way up there – unless magic or something divine was involved? That would fit with the story that the Devout had told them, he decided.

“Everybody in this world is flawed”, he spoke in a calm, cool and polite tone as she uttered her warning. “There is not a single being that is perfect. As for us not understanding, maybe you could explain what is happening to us so that we do understand”, he continued before he turned to face Balthazar who he knew to be a fellow mage, wondering if he had noticed anything unusual about the mountain or the woman.

Truth to be told, a part of him did wish to overcome his flaws – he knew that they were there, and he disliked them – but this was a strange time and place to do so, especially considering the mission that they had been given which was why he took a few moments to answer.

“Whatever we do, we should stay together in case something goes wrong or someone attacks us. I think that we should at least take a look in case there is some truth to her words though. The cave where the rebel resides is close by, so we won’t lose too much time on our way to the king”, he spoke as he looked to the left. “The place where his brother can supposedly be found seems to be a bit further away on the other hand, and she warned us about him”, he reminded them.


word count: 638

Appearance

Due to one of his Awakenings, Victor's eyes glow with a soft silver light.

Items

Victor owns a Ring of Reversal. He's always wearing it, unless stated otherwise.

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N/A
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Yeva
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Re: The Mountain King

Hearing Voices


Nerves kept her moving, but the young medic glanced uneasily over her shoulder every dozen steps, a thick mist pooling around the group and lingering. The path before them was hazy, and the obscure path made her stumble but she recovered quickly with anxious rush, "I don't like this," she whispered, tugging her cloak tighter, "I don't this... I don't like this..." Yeva exhaled and forced her feet to keep moving. Nearby, Woe took it upon himself to suggest they trio introduce themselves a bit further - offering his own skill set as an example.

Waiting for the others to speak, she forced a smile, but it was mostly lost in the murk, "I'm a healer... a medic with the Order," she added softly, not sure what else to say. Talking about herself in terms of resourcefulness felt unnatural and comparatively, she was neither skilled with a weapon, nor particularly good at knowing the intentions of others. In fact, Azrael would say more often than not, she trusted blindly and was too nice for her own good. Doubt crept in... Why was she even here?

A cacophony of voices kissed her ear and Yeva halted to a stop, seeking the faces of her companions in an effort to discover who was talking. Fear slithered down her spine and a rush of gooseflesh rose beneath the warmth of her cloak, "Whaa..." What was that? She rushed to close the space between her and the men, shoulders raised as she spun to see who was speaking. They sounded close and yet so far? She could neither recognize the speaker, nor their message. She caught the faintest of words, confused as she looked around. One thing was for certain: no one here had spoken, "Do you hear that?"

Something about mages. A warning? She reached out for Balthazar's arm but a woman's voice cut through the mist and Yeva went jumping with a repressed shriek. Her heart thundered and she instinctively held a hand against it, keeping it from tearing through her chest. Peering at them was an aged figure, her mouth a dark cavern missing teeth, "You shouldn't be here."

That's not reassuring.

How was no one else remotely spooked by any of this? Balthazar and Victor seemed unfazed, as if this was a normal occurrence for them and her cheeks burned from shame. Craven girl. Nevertheless, the woman offered advice - seek a rebel to repair their flaws, beware the brother, or don't. She chewed her lip raw, shocked at how boldly Victor spoke. He sounded dismissive and Yeva glanced at the older woman, shuffling forward, "Thank you," Out of all the books she had read as a child, the stories of adventure and mysticism, they had mysterious characters, some even on the sides of mountains. It did occur to her that it could have been a lure to stop their progress, but to deny help from a sage and to show arrogance... it felt poor form. Despite her fear, Yeva glanced at the others while they discussed the best course of action. She would be brave, "I'm not particularly eager, but I will certainly heed your advice," she decided sudenly, knowing the others might disagree. All she had to do was go to the heart of the mountain and fix her flaws... But what did that mean? Yeva looked down at herself and considered what might be fixed. Physically, her hair color wasn't suited for everyone's taste and she wasn't a very strong or tall woman. Or perhaps she referred to something unseen? Her personality? Her soul?

Best not to worry too much. She tried to smile at the crone, pointing, "This way, right?" Yeva didn't want to particularly stop moving, not when Tio had suggested time wasted could mean the demise of hundreds. Then to the others, she steeled herself, "I'm going to see the rebel if anyone else wants to come."

Victor's earlier suggestion played in her mind. They should stay together should they be attacked, but she wouldn't wait for them all day to discuss things; it would only shake her resolve and moving kept her focused. Still, should they split up, she wanted them all to stay safe, "If any of you are mages," she looked at each of them, trying not to single out Balthazar, although he was rather self proclaimed. The voices had made her uneasy, more so that she couldn't quite understand their message and now the woman so out of place on this ominous cliff side. Maybe it was best that she hadn't heard them? "Just be careful, alright?"

Yeva headed towards the left, looking back only once to see if she still had company.

word count: 802
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Woe
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Re: The Mountain King


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Woe glanced at Breen as his ears pricked, around the instant that Yeva seemed to be getting increasingly nervous. The spirit dog turned his head, as if listening for something else. Breen, what are you sensing? Is there sorrow on this mountain or...?

I don't know master, I thought I heard something! Perhaps the wind? So saying, the dog limped ahead of him, moving over toward Balthazar and Yeva.

Woe kept to himself for the most part, brooding as he went along and watching his feet so he didn't step in a slippery slope. It wasn't until they came upon the mists, and the old crone amongst them that he was given pause, and stopped along with the others.

The path diverged into two, one going right and presumably up the mountain, and the other toward a cave, and one would think to the heart of the mountain. The Crone warned them, that they shouldn't be here, and that they ought to turn back. Woe was much in agreement with her, but wanted to see this through. A strange sense of curiosity prompted him not to use the portal shoe buckles that he wore. Even if danger reared its head, he wasn't likely to abandon his fellow travellers, unless all seemed lost. Even then, Woe wasn't committed to any particular outcome.

He simply drifted, as was his wont to do.

The crone spoke of a rebel, that would help them overcome their flaws. At the mention of flaws Woe quirked a brow, wondering what on Idalos she meant. Were flaws not the marker of character, which set one person apart from another? He was loathe to depart from any aspect of his personality or self, much as he was prone to self-loathing, he preferred being... himself.

Nevertheless, most of his companions had committed to going left, and so with a sigh, Woe followed them. But before he left the Crone's sight, he attempted for a few moments to attune to her frequency. He wrapped his mind in a calming sensation, and then listened for those notes, those flavors and sensations that arose from her multitude of notes.

Should he be successful at attaining her frequency, he would remain attuned to it as he followed the rest into the caves.

When Yeva warned the mages among them (if there were any others than Woe and the obviously mutated Balthazar), he had to frown at her, "Why should a mage want to be careful? Surely we'd all best be on our guard..."

word count: 429
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Tio Silver
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Re: The Mountain King

The Mountain King
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35th Ashan, 720
Scalvoris Mountains


The party unanimously chose to take the left path, and the crone's withered lips cracked in a pleased smile but did not comment on the matter. That smile grew just a fraction wider as Balthazar asked his question. "He is the one who people desire in public, but fear in private." She replied, but offered no further elaboration. When Victor commented that no being was perfect she smirked, as if she knew something he didn't, but didn't say a word.

It took Balthazar only a bit to attune to the frequency of the crone, however the frequencies he detected were strange and unfamiliar to him. He had not attuned to anything like it before, and thus was only able to discern what the old lady was not: human. Her frequency was not that of any of the races he had attuned to so far, and though he could not detect a spark of magic within her he was able to tell that she possessed some sort of abilities. Oddly enough it was as they began to venture down the left path and Woe, the less experienced attuner, decided to scan her frequency that the answer was revealed. After all her frequency held many notes that he was familiar with, having heard them many times before in Breen's company.

She was a spirit.

If he looked back to the crone as he ducked into the cave mouth he would find that she was gone, vanished into the mist. The frequency he had attuned to was soaring up to the peak of the mountain.

The party ventured deeper into the cave, and visibility soon became an issue. This was not because of the lack of light, as Balthazar's fainly glowing skin allowed him to act as a beacon to the rest, but because rather than fading the mist around them was growing ever thicker. Even Balthazar's luminous body faded into a dark silhouette.

Until the were completely alone.

They would all realise that, over the span of a blink of an eye, they could not see each other at all. Nor could they hear each other's footsteps, and even if they shouted and screamed for each other nobody replied. They could stretch their arms out and run backwards or further forwards in the hope of simply crashing into each other, but would find nothing there. They had become completely separated.

The mist had caught them.


Balthazar

As Balthazar stumbled blindly forwards the mist around him descended. It did not fade, merely dropped down lower to the ground until it blanketed the floor like a carpet of cloud, concealing his feet from view. Yet to his surprise he was no longer within the cave. He was somewhere he knew very well.

A field of corn spread out before him, easily illuminated beneath the bright shine of the moon and stars in the clear sky above. The night was cool and crisp, rather pleasant really, and carried with it the faint tang of plants that were ripe and ready to harvest. Not too far away stood a farm house, sturdy and clean but by no means luxurious; the simple house of a common farmer. Warm orange candlelight poured out of the window, and the faint chatter of voices talking betrayed that the farmer and his family were settled down for dinner within.

But the farm was not empty.

A boy, no old than five or six, grunted with effort as he swung a scythe built for a fully grown man through the field, reaping another few husks of corn to add to his growing basket. Unruly hair, not yet bleached white by the effects of a witchmark, hung limply across his face as he toiled in silence. Balthazar recognised the boy immediately: how could he not after all, for his face was as familiar as the farm. It was his face. This was the farm he had grew up in, and this moment one he very faintly remembered from his childhood. The boy before him was his younger self.

The farmer had been kind to take Balthazar in as a baby, but that was as far as his kindness extended. Balthazar had been a worker to him, not a son, and thus had no place at his table with his family. He was not a cruel man, but when he sat down to eat, basking in the warm comfort of his wife and children's company, he did not spare a thought for the boy outside who had no one to share a meal with.

The young Balthazar looked up from his work to the window, and for just a moment he paused, catching a glimpse of the family within laughing together at a joke one of them had made. He said not a word, moved not a muscle, but for just a second a flash of an emotion no child should have to wear crossed his face. A look of loneliness. And then, like the diligent little worker he was, the expression was quashed beneath a blank look, and he returned to work.

"Jeez, no wonder you turned out so pathetic."

The voice rang out far too close for comfort behind him, and a man stepped into Balthazar's field of view from behind his shoulder. It was again a face he would recognise as his own, but this time on the body of an adult man exactly the same height and build as him. It was a mirror image of Balthazar, yet with the original hair and eye colour he'd had as a child: what he would look like had he no magic mutations to change his appearance. He was also someone who Balthazar knew had not been present in this memory. The child Balthazar continued working, as if he hadn't heard anything, while the mirror Balthazar looked back at the real one with a sneer.

"Poor little Balthazar. So unwanted. So unloved." The mirror image mocked. "No wonder you turned out so needy for attention; so willing to play lapdog for anyone who showed you the slightest bit of attention. Give a stray mutt a bone and it'll roll over at your every command." He scoffed. "I bet that's why you joined The Elements. You're desperate for people to want you around, to praise you, even if it is just for being their faithful guard dog."


Victor

As Victor stumbled forwards the mist would also drop down to ground level, yet the scene that awaited him was a forest with tall trees of a familiar species jutting out of the ground around him. It was a bit of a miserable day, the sky dyed grey with a thin layer of cloud, but bright enough to suggest it was somewhere around the middle of the day. Above him a bird cried out, and when Victor caught sight of it circling above the trees he immediately recognised it as a falcon.

And not just any falcon, but one he knew well. Its name was Icarus: the favourite pet of his older brother Stefan. Stefan had received it, newly hatched, as a present for his fifth birthtrial, and had raised it with great love and care. He had trained it to be a strong and loyal, the perfect hunting companion.

It had also died the day Stefan turned eighteen.

Icarus was descending to a patch of ground nearby, and the sound of voices in the distance betrayed that there was a group nearby. That Icarus was outside however was telling, for there was only one person who took Icarus out on hunts with them. Pushing his way through the undergrowth, Victor came into a clearing in which an unbelievable sight awaited him.

There was his brother, Stefan, sat proud and dignified upon a beautiful black horse. He was clothed in finery, and flanked on all sides by a procession of soldiers wearing the uniform and symbol of house Amielle. One arm, covered in a leather vambrace, was raised for Icarus to perch on as the falcon came to land. And yet this Stefan was far younger than he'd been when last they'd met. He was a man just exiting the last of his teenage years, the awkward gangliness of his limbs all but entirely filled out with muscle, and his face fresh and clear of the lines that'd started to form from the burden of leadership. Yet even so there was still that regal aura, that air of authority, that hung about his shoulders like a mantle. It was clear from the way the soldiers around him stood at perfect attention that this was someone who commanded respect: not the child of a lord to be catered to and humoured, but a young lord in their own right. It was a man who knew he would be the head of his mighty house one day, and was more than ready to take up the position.

Before his brother's horse grovelled a peasant, his muddy brown tunic in clear contrast to the pristine armour of Stefan's procession. Discarded on the ground a few steps away was a brace of hares, both dead. The two soldiers at the front of their procession had their spears pointed down at the groveling peasant, though were clearly waiting on their lord's command to strike.

"... I'm beggin' ye lord, 'ave mercy!" The peasant whined, hands together in front of his bowed head in a gesture of prayer. No, not hands; hand. The man's right hand was gone, concealed behind a clean bandage that revealed the lost body part was not a recent occurrence.

"This is the second time we've caught you poaching, cur. We warned you that if you tried it again more than your hand would be forfeit, but your very life. We warned you, yet still you did it. You cannot deny you have this coming." One of the soldiers growled back.

"I was hungry sir! My poor children are starving!" The peasant cried, yet the words sounded awkward even to Victor's ears. For someone who was supposedly starving the peasant was remarkably thicker around the waist than most other peasants he'd seen.

Another soldier sighed heavily with disappointment. "Damn it Robert, we know you don't have a family. At least have the dignity to face your punishment honestly!" He looked over to Stefan. "My lord, his fate is yours to decide."

Silence reigned for a moment as Stefan stared down at the poacher. Then, without looking away from them, Stefan spoke. "Victor."

As one all the soldiers turned to look at Victor, yet if they were surprised by his presence not one of them showed it. It was almost as if they believed he had been a part of their group the whole time.

"How would you rule in this case, little brother?" Stefan continued, his voice quiet yet confident. It was clear he was using this as a test of some sort. "This man is a thief and a liar, and was clearly warned that if he repeated his crime the sentence would be death." He broke eye contact with the thief and looked over to Victor, his expression betraying no hint as to what course of action he would advise. "What sentence would pass? What would you do if you were the lord?"


Woe

In one sudden motion the mist dropped down to the floor, and Woe found himself standing in the cell of a dungeon. The walls were made with thick, heavy bricks and lacked any sort of window or opening, which combined with the damp atmosphere suggested it was somewhere underground. The only light came from flickering torches outside of his cell that cast long shadows from the bars that denied him freedom.

It soon became clear that Woe was alone. Completely alone. Even Breen, his ever faithful companion, seemed to be somehow blocked from coming to his side, and though the telepathic bond they shared allowed them both to know that the other was unharmed something seemed to be muting it, making actual communication impossible.

The sound of heavy metal boots clanking down on stone caught his ear, and before long a troop of guards in the armour of Rynmerian soldiers came into sight. They stopped outside his cell, and the one at the front stepped forward. It was only then that Woe noticed a figure concealed by a black cloak and hood in the middle of the group, for they too stepped forward, and together the soldier and the cloaked man peered in at Woe.

"What do you think? He's not very strong nor agile, but he might make a decent comedy act before the main event. Dress him up in some stupid outfit maybe? The audience will get a kick out of seeing him run around whimpering before the real fight, and the cats will get a proper warm-up and a light snack." The guard mused, turning to look at the cloaked figure. "How about seven silver nels?"

"That's a bit cheap. Is there something wrong with him? Sick perhaps?" The cloaked figure replied, and Woe caught a glimpse of a pale chin from beneath the shadows of the hood. The voice was familiar, unnervingly so, yet he couldn't quite place where he'd heard it before.

The guard snorted disdainfully. "Nah, he's just taking up food and space here. Costing us money. Faster we can get rid of him, the better."

"Oh? Maybe you should be paying me for taking him off your hands?" The cloaked man joked.

"Ha! Nah, we'd could just slit his throat and dump him in a river. Might as well make a bit of pocket change instead though, eh?" The guard laughed back. "So, seven silvers?"

"Five."

"Six."

"Deal."

"Excellent." The lead guard took a key out of him pocket and inserted it into the cell door, while two others stepped forwards, each holding heavy looking shackles. Once the door swung open they stepped towards Woe.

"Hands out prisoner! Don't try to resist!" One of them barked. "We don't want to hear a word out of you, understand? So much as a whisper and you'll regret it."

It was not an empty threat. If Woe so much as opened his mouth one of the two guards would immediately make to backhand him across the face with their metal gauntlets, and neither of them were weak men. Woe still had all his equipment with him and so could conceivably try to fight back if he wished, yet for some reason none of the guards seemed to acknowledge how strange it was for someone in a cell to be as dressed and equipped as he was in the first place.


Yeva

While the others seemed to find themselves emerging into some unfamiliar place, Yeva did not. The mist in the air also dropped to the ground to about the height of a carpet, yet she alone found herself still in the caves they'd entered. As she followed the tunnel forwards she emerged into a damp cavern that sloped to the left, with a small pond at the bottom that presumably had gradually formed from the odd drops of water trickling down from the stalactites on the ceiling.

And lying down at the edge of the pond, his hands behind his head in a posture reminiscent of sunbathing, and with a huge smug grin on his face, was a... man? No, not a man, but more like a satyr. His torso was a man's, but his legs and feet were those of a goat, and sticking out from his unruly brown hair was a pair of small goat horns. While he had handsome features and the sight of him probably should have been breathtaking, it was very much reduced by how damn scruffy the guy looked. His chin was peppered with thick stubble, his eyes underlined by the bags of someone who didn't get enough sleep, and he had the complexion of someone who'd been chain smoking for a number of years. The white toga he wore, though clean, was covered in crease marks, and while his hair was also clean and short it looked like it was dying for someone to run a comb through it. Had he not been part goat the guy would have been the stereotypical image of one of those bachelors who could probably find a girlfriend if they would just bother to tidy themselves up.

He was laughing to himself, completely lost in his own little world, and hadn't noticed Yeva yet, which would allow her to get closer to him if she wanted. If she was particularly observant she might also notice that the mist running across the ground seemed to be reacting strangely to him. Whereas it had remained still and inert before it seemed to be flowing around him. No, not around but out of him. It leaked from the corners of his eyes, rose from the messy folds of his hair, and with each laughing breath he took a cloud of it puffed out of his mouth and nose as if he was smoking.

As he hadn't noticed her yet the initiative fell to Yeva. She could probably sneak past him and continue along the path it she was quiet, engage him in conversation, or maybe even bash him round the head with something heavy if she was so inclined.

General Info

Sorry that you section is a little smaller than everyone else's Yeva. I promise it's not because it's any less significant, but because it's a lot more open for you to decide the direction of. You'll find out why soon.

I would ask you to please respond by the 3rd of May, or to PM me if this is not possible.

Rules

Other than violence and the odd swear words I would ask that there not be any explicit adult themes.

Mod Style

I am shamelessly copying this style of moderation (and the template structure) from Pegasus, who I gather was taught it by someone called Crimson, because it looks like it works really well and I'd like to give it a try. Imitation is the highest form of flattery after all. My thanks to both of them.

The NPCs do not reflect my own personal thoughts of feeling on any subject. They are just characters.

As I'm only a guest mod I'm not going to kill your character, severely wound them or anything like that, but I would like to give fair rewards/consequences for any actions taken in this thread. If you feel that these are at all unfair please let me know.

Otherwise let's have some fun!

Obectives

Must Do
Everyone has a different decision this time.
  1. Balthazar: How are you going to reply to your evil twin brother mirror image?
  2. Victor: Decide on the fate of the poacher, or choose to ignore the decision entirely.
  3. Woe: Struggle against the soldiers or go with them compliantly. Remember, if you try to speak to the soldiers at the end they're going to hit you.
  4. Yeva: How are you going to interact with the satyr. Ignore him? Talk to him? Lick him? Hit him?
word count: 3257
Fast Facts
Noticeable quirks your character can see when threading with Tio.

Floats

Tio floats in the air, usually just a foot off the ground.

Explodeibur

Tio wears a scary looking gauntlet on his right hand that is clearly magical. It creates explosions.

Mercury

Tio has a masked alter ego who leads The Court of Miracles.

Enchanting Voice

Tio's voice has hypnotic properties.
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Balthazar Black
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Re: The Mountain King


35 Ashan 720
When all that Balthazar sensed was that the woman was not human, he narrowed his eyes slightly at her. She looked human and so in his mind that eliminated many of the other races one might be- Ithecal specifically. But what was she? There was an unfamiliar power within her that Balthazar just couldn't identify but before very long it was too late to do so anyways. The group was moving and Balthazar fell in quickly behind Yeva to avoid losing her for all the good it did in the end. Just as they all moved down the left pathway, Balthazar looked back to find the old woman had vanished. She was ascending the mountain... why? He didn't like it but it was not enough cause to turn back. Yet. Balthazar gave Yeva only a nod in response to her warning, not thinking to ask what had really prompted it while they moved ahead.

The party of four advanced down the left pathway into a dark cave that only seemed to grow darker. That very darkness seemed to engulf those around Balthazar slowly. He didn't think very much of it at first. Surely they could still see him and navigate accordingly... only after a few trills Balthazar realized the only footsteps he heard now were his own. A moment of panic emerged as the mage looked around frantically for the others. Who had he attuned to? Who could he still find in the darkness?

No one.

Balthazar stopped advancing and looked around in the darkness. He shouted out, "Yeva!" but no one responded. "Yeva! Victor!" Still nothing but silence and darkness. "Woe!" Nothing again and this time Balthazar lost the heart to keep calling out. He steeled himself against his isolation. Had they walked into the old woman's trap? It didn't matter now. He'd get himself out and work to help the other's from there. This time when Balthazar stepped forward, the mist around him dropped to unveil and all to familiar scene.

Balthazar noticed first that the mist did not dissipate but it instead lowered to carpet the floor. He swung his leg through it but as expected the mist did not move. He lifted his feet from it to see that they were indeed still there and then put them back onto the ground one at a time. Then he looked at the cornfield around him with dread. He didn't want to be here. Not now, not again, not ever. This was a place he'd thought long behind him. A place he thought he could bury in his heart and mind so that he'd never have to face it again. He did not loath the place for the work he'd been forced to do or for the childhood he'd been deprived of. He loathed it because of what he had done to that family he could hear inside their farmhouse.

They'd saved his life and in return he had brought about the effectual end of theirs. After a trill of thought, Balthazar heard the scythe cutting through the corn behind him and turned to find his younger visage hard at work. No, stop. Balthazar thought words he couldn't speak. Take me from this place... please.

The boy wore a shaggy head of dark brown hair that Balthazar recognized and his eyes held a hopeless brown shade that would one day turn golden forever... but he was just a boy. He was not initiated. He was not powerful. He was an ox meant to work the field till the farmer told him otherwise... and he never told him otherwise. Balthazar wanted to reach out and take the scythe from the boy. He wanted to tell him to go to the city and find Xanax. Balthazar wanted to do anything to move the boy from the farm work into the first part of his life that would genuinely make him feel like his life mattered... because everything before he became a mage felt like slavery.

Balthazar recognized the loneliness in his younger eyes. He remembered the feeling as if it was his own all over again and Balthazar almost seemed to growl. He didn't want to feel that again. He wouldn't feel like someone else's tool. Then the voice spoke out from behind, berating Balthazar who turned slowly to meet the specter of himself. The man before him wore the same dark hair and dark eyes as the boy who worked the field behind him only he spoke hateful words that filled Balthazar with that exact emotion; hate. Balthazar's hand clenched into a tight fist and he thought only to strike the duplicate... but he didn't.

The mirror image before him was distorted in ways that oddly put Balthazar at ease. The darkened hair, the darkened and non-puzzle comprised eyes, the lack of a gentle glow on his skin... all of it told Balthazar what mattered most to him. The false depiction standing before the true mage had no magic of his own. He was mundane. He was the weakness he thought he saw in Balthazar now. Magic had made Balthazar more than that little orphan on the farm. Magic had made him more than the slave of those farmers who killed his true parents. This Balthazar standing before him was the weaker of the two. Balthazar took a deep breath to put both his mind and nerves at ease, then spoke in response to the one who had mocked him.

"You choose to announce yourself by saying 'jeez' and I am the pathetic one?" Balthazar replied sharply knowing that it would have bothered him if someone decided to pick apart his dramatic entrance. He had to make the copy feel inferior as it meant to make him feel... and if he couldn't he would have to settle for beating the life out of it... but that was just the Yari in Balthazar. "You should have opened with better mockery than that. You're mundane, normal, average." Balthazar gestured to the clones lack of mutations. "Every time I was initiated into a magic, I became more powerful. I took control of my own life. What did you do? Did you farm for them forever?" Balthazar paused. Where was the point in arguing with his imagination? He'd been defensive and distracted by the false copy's insults. He had a job to do even if it made him seem more like a lap dog."What do you want and where is the king on the mountain's brother?"

Balthazar had convinced himself long ago that he had joined the Elements to protect others from the circumstances that made him. To maintain law and order... but most importantly to maintain what he believed was justice. A badge gave him access he would not have had independently... but then it occurred to Balthazar that those might have just been excuses he was crafting to justify his new masters... no... he was doing good work. This man couldn't be real. None of this could. But then Balthazar realized how he was going to confirm it. This man pretended to be him so Balthazar would see how deep the imitation went. As he had done with the old woman, Balthazar opened his frequency to the mirror of himself and attempted to attune with him. What would he find in the frequency of what was probably a hallucination? His assumption was nothing but he'd been wrong before.
word count: 1268

Visible Mutations/ Marks

Mutations
Defiance: Skin always glows faintly and he is warm to the touch. His is also the center of a field of static electricity so people get shocked touching him on occasion.
Rupturing: Orange etheric cracks spider-web up his arms to his elbows. His eyes and the glowing cracks going down his cheeks glow dark blue.
Transmutation: He has a series of emerald, glowing cracks on his right pectoral.
Marks
Bellinos: His fingernails are always black. The color fades into his fingers.
Celarion: A dim glowing ring surrounds his left forearm.
Palenon: A silver lightning shaped mark about the size of a hand stretching up towards his torso.

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 on 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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Victor Amielle
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Re: The Mountain King

They ventured deeper into the cave. Victor’s mutations had given him a form of low-light vision; it wasn’t the darkness that was the problem though. The mist was so thick that it was hard for the Transmuter to see what was in front of his face. He tried to stay close to the others; they soon disappeared into the mist nevertheless though, and after a few moments, he was completely alone. He realized that he couldn’t hear the voices or the sounds of his companions’ footsteps anymore. For a moment, the noble was … not scared, but slightly concerned, and he called out their names, but nobody answered, and after a while, he realized that it might be better to be quiet in case something lurked in the mist.

He considered staying where he was so that Yeva, Balthazar and Woe would be able to find him more easily, but staying put meant that whatever was in the cave, besides the rebel, would be able to find him more easily as well, so he moved on, one hand on the wall of the cave, using it to guide him, much as a blind man would. A moment later, the mist disappeared again without a warning, so suddenly in fact, that the noble nearly stumbled.

When he raised his head again, the scene in front of him had changed. He was not in the cave anymore, he was not even on the mountain anymore. Instead, a familiar forest extended in front of him. Above him, a bird cried out. As he looked at it, his heart skipped a beat. It was Icarus, his brother’s falcon – his brother’s falcon that had died over a decade earlier. It was alive again now. How could that be? Was someone messing with his mind – or had he moved back in time? They had messed with his mind back in Niflheim …

He took a moment to check his body, to see if he had been turned into his younger self – into the soft, magic-less boy he had been once upon a time, the hopeful, happy boy – before he moved on, through the undergrowth. That Icarus was outside could only mean one thing. Stefan had to be nearby. They had grown apart as the arcs had passed by, and their last meeting had ended in a disaster, but a part of him wished to see him again nevertheless – or perhaps, the boy that Stefan had been once, the brother that had been kind and loving …

Stefan looked much like he remembered him from his childhood. His face was still devoid of the lines that had formed on his face as the arcs had passed by, but he was already a lord, proud and regal. Before him groveled a man, a peasant, judging by the looks of it. Victor stayed where he was for a few moments, furrowing his brow as he surveyed the scene that he had stumbled upon and listen to the peasant’s pleas. He was, quite obviously, lying. He claimed that he was hungry, and yet he was fat. He claimed that he had children, but the soldier had stated that he didn’t even have a family.

When Stefan spoke his name, Victor stepped forward, despite the fact that this might very well be a dream or an illusion, and in spite of what had happened during their last meeting – because this was not the brother that had ordered Jonathan’s punishment and because he wanted to find out what was going on and why he was suddenly back in Lysoria.

When Stefan had ordered Jonathan’s punishment, he had begged for mercy, for him and for his lover; he had told his brother that he would leave and take Jonathan with him and make sure that they never came back, if only the other man were allowed to live. It never occurred to him to ask the same now, to ask his brother to spare the peasant’s life even though there might have been some similarities. He was a stranger, he didn’t know him, and he didn’t care about him. He was fat, a liar, unappealing and greedy – but in a way that even Delroth would likely have disapproved of.

“He was warned”, he remarked somewhat coolly and indifferently and looked at his brother before he turned to face the peasant again, entirely unsympathetic – there was nothing about the peasant that might have caused him to feel sympathy. “But he chose to poach again, nevertheless. He didn’t do so because he was starving, judging by the looks of it, and he doesn't have any children that might need the food. By committing the same crime a second time, he forfeited his life. He should be executed.”

word count: 805

Appearance

Due to one of his Awakenings, Victor's eyes glow with a soft silver light.

Items

Victor owns a Ring of Reversal. He's always wearing it, unless stated otherwise.

Potions

N/A
[/list]
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Woe
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Re: The Mountain King


Image



Woe listened to those familiar notes, emanating from the old crone-like figure perched between the party and the path. He knew from several of the notes that she was a spirit of the concept. Like Breen. But what concept might she be? He couldn't tell without already having experienced the note. So he tucked that information aside, and maintained the frequency of the Crone, lest she crosses their path again.

Woe followed along the rest of the group into the cavern, trailed closely by Breen. Yet soon enough, the environs darkened, to where they couldn't see each other. No torches were lit, no glamours cast to find their way. Woe tried to make out the way by reaching out through omnivision, but could see nothing. Until the mist fell away before him, and he found himself in an entirely new scene.

He knew where he was. Or thought so. It was the dungeon of Andaris, the lower dungeons of the Oubliette if he had a guess. There were three men before him. Two guards, perhaps of the iron hand. And one man who was bargaining for Woe's flesh.

Woe felt for his whip but said nothing. From what the guards were saying, his words would not be taken with any degree of respect or acknowledgment, save for the backhand of a gauntleted hand.

The Empathic ex-slave furrowed his brow when he heard the familiar line, a sophomoric attempt at subverting the guard's expected pay for the flesh of a prisoner. It was the sort of trick that Woe used to relieve them of their excess prisoners for the sale into slavery, back when he was in the business of enslaving condemned men for his old master. Yet often enough, on cretins and low-life guards such as these, and desperate men, those words often worked to put them on the backfoot, so that the price could be lowered ever so much.

And if the price wasn't right? There was no harm in walking away.

Woe thought to attune himself to the frequency of the man in front of him, the one between the vision of those two guards, but caution held his hand. He did not reach out to his frequency.

Instead, he held out his arms for the irons. He would see where this vision led him, without complaint or prejudice. The shackles were heavy, a reminder of a less gentle time in Woe's life if gentleness was a thing that entered into his vocabulary.

For now, he would follow where his new master led him. If he led him astray, chains served as well as a whip as any other flail. He was confident in his chances, at any rate.

His face was still and stoic as the irons wrapped around his wrists, and he was brought out.
word count: 478
Image*Image*Image
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Yeva
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Profession: Medic | Crytographer
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Re: The Mountain King

Satyr Danger

Having marched ahead, Yeva tried not to slow in hesitation as they entered the mouth of the cave and their surroundings began to darken. She stumbled once, a rock skittering only for a moment, as Balthazar's light faded and the narrow mouth began to open, offering the sound of dripping water and light in its promise. Pressing her hand against one of the cold walls, she continued onward until the mist began to clear. A great sigh of relief, Yeva pausing to look back and offer encouragement, but the words caught in her throat. Horrified revelation.

Everyone was gone.

'Don't panic!' she mentally reprimanded, definitely feeling a sense of stricken fear. Had there been a turn she had missed? Why hadn't she heard them leaving? Yeva's red hair swished left and then right as she searched for them, while the sound of low laughter made her nearly sink to the ground. What was that!

Yeva pressed against the archway, peeking around to see a figure laid out comfortably before a small pool, smoking. No, not smoking... Misting?

She looked at the floor, at the wispy grey effect splashed upon stone. Was he the rebel? Was this some sort of test? Yeva repressed a whimper and wanted desperately to turn around. Pinching her eyes closed, she took one step closer, her boots laying heel to toe in her best, an almost comical attempt at silence. She was no sneak thief! 'What do I do? What do I do? Oh, no no no no.'

The medic tried to think reasonably, still as a rabbit. If she drew his attention, would he harm her? Careful in her observation, she noticed just how strange he was. Part man, part goat, she leaned to the right to get a better look. She had seen something like this before, but what was it called! It had been in a book, so many years ago... Sa... Satire? 'That's not right. He's... he's a.... Satire. Satire.' The literary word refused to stop popping to the forefront of her mind, although the medic knew that couldn't have possibly been the right term.

She couldn't remember if they were generally malevolent characters or not.

Yeva crept forward, edging very slowly around the small pond, eyeing his horns. She knew three things - 1) He clearly lived here to some extent, he wouldn't have been so comfortable otherwise. 2) He could be an invaluable resource to understanding the mountain, perhaps even the figure they were seeking and 3) He might know where her teammates where. She needed to find them. Soon.

Clenching her hands into a fist, she crept forward till she standing a few feet away, plastering a very bright smile on her face, "Excuse me!" Her heart was going to burst from her chest. She was going to die. This was it.

At once, she erupted into a wave of nervous laughter which she tried to stifle, "Forgive me for interrupting. Uhh..." Dumb girl. Stupid girl. She was going to die, drawing attention to herself. But what else was she supposed to do? Venture deeper into the lair and trespass while doing so? Who knew how vast and strange these tunnels ran! She swallowed, cleared her throat, taking a step back as she did so, "You haven't happened to have seen three men and a dog pass through, have you? I... um, I think we were separated..."

word count: 580
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