• 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


Woe reached out with his empathy spark, though was unable to sense a tangle coming from Truth. Spirits it seemed were somehow unaffected by magic. Was it just Empathy that didn't work on them, or magic in general? Perhaps that was something worth looking into in the future. Balthazar's attunement spark took little coaxing to synchronise itself to the frequency of Truth, and when it did the mage discovered another difference between humans and spirits. A spirit was concept given shape, and as such Truth's frequency only rang out a single note again and again: truth. As his name implied Truth really was pure truth; utterly incapable of lies, deceit or trickery. Whatever Balthazar had seen and suffered it was, from a neutral standpoint at least, true.

Truth gave Yeva a slight smile at her parting words. "Don't worry about it; I get this reaction from humans time and time again. I'm used to it. Goodbye Yeva, and good luck." And with that his physical form dissolved into discorporate mist once again and vanished, leaving the group alone to venture forward.



The party journeyed through the tunnel, and before long a strange sound began to grow in the distance. It was a deep, breathy and raspy sound that grew and faded in a rhythm which seemed familiar to them all, even if they couldn't quite place it. The tunnel came to an end, and the group found themselves in another cavern: this one perfectly round in shape. The floor was once again coated in mist, however this was not the same harsh white mist of Truth. This mist was thick and pink, like candyfloss, and almost seemed to be bubbling with energy. In the middle of the cavern was an altar, upon which slept what appeared to be a woman. She was objectively beautiful in an almost regal, doll-like way: snow white hair long enough to reach down her back, clear alabaster skin, and a pure white kimono that looked to be made of fine silk. The only spots of colour other than white were on her face in the form of make up: cherry red lips, sharp black eyeliner, and a rosy blush to her pale cheeks. She should have looked gorgeous.

She should have, but did not. Probably because she slept like an absolute slob. One leg dangled over the side of the altar, whilst both arms were thrown about loosely above her head. Hair that should look straight and neat was sprawled about all across the place; particularly over her face, where a clump half stuck in her open mouth rose and fell in time with her snoring. And the snoring! Zanik himself must have been playing the bagpipes in her lungs, for that was the sound they had heard during their approach. She snored with the thundering might of a stampede of elephants! There could not have been a greater contrast between the refinement of her appearance and the boorishness of her unconscious behaviour.

Victor, who had at some point found himself walking at the front of the group, stepped into the pink mist first, and the moment his foot touched it a ripple ran through the mist. With a nasally snort the woman jolted awake.

"Huh, wha- wazzat?" She mumbled blearily, hair-covered face turned to look at them with crossed eyes. For a second she was silent as she tried to process what she was looking at, then with a start realisation dawned on her face. "Humans! You're here!"

It a flash she was right in front of them, way too close into their personal space and fixing them all with an overly excited grin. "Yay! Backup's here! Tio sent you right? Gosh, it's so great to meet you! You guys are so adorable." Another flash, and she was stood behind Balthazar holding a strand of his hair between her fingers. "I love your hair! What dye do you use?" A flash again, and she was directly in front of Victor with a hand stroking his chin. "And your beard. Very rugged. I love the style!"

A fourth flash saw her standing in front of them all again, though this time thankfully with a bit more space between them. "Oh, but my manners! I'm Falsehood! Lovely to meet you!" She gave a quick, enthusiastic bow. "Anyway we don't have time to waste! You know what's going on right?!" She waved a hand, and one section of the wall shimmered and vanished, as if it had never really been there in the first place. Daylight and fresh air streamed through the hole, and with it the sound of music being played somewhere not too far away. "The party is in full swing, and all the Anak are glutting themselves on ephemera and getting each other worked up into a frenzy. Their Majesty," She span the name out sarcastically, a harsh scowl crossing her face momentarily, "Is in the middle of the party: right at the peak of the mountain with the cursed one. If you want to take them down we'll need to sneak you through a whole host of power-drunk spirits. Luckily that's where I come in!" Her grin grew wider, beyond the limits of what a human's mouth could manage. "It's makeover time!"

The pink mist around their feet suddenly exploded upwards, washing over them in a wave. Each of them felt a tingling sensation all across their skin, but it lasted for only briefly before the mist fell back down again. Each of them would immediately notice that they each looked very different from how they had a second ago. Falsehood was nowhere to be seen, but her voice whispered from out of nowhere clearly in each of their ears "Only Anak are permitted at the party, so in order you sneak you in I've made myself into disguises for you! Pretty cool right?"

Balthazar was on fire. No, not on fire, he was fire! Though his shape was the same as his human form, his body was made of the same blue flames he was capable of conjuring. Victor was a suit of shining knight's armour, complete with a sword sheathed at his hips, a regal blue cape covering one shoulder and a plume of equally blue feathers on the top of his helmet. Inside of his amour however he looked completely hollow. Woe had become a creature of tangible darkness, stretched tall and thin like a shadow cast in the light of a sunset. He was humanoid, though it was hard to tell beneath the flowing black robes he wore that fluttered as it caught in some chill breeze. A hood was pulled across his head, and upon it rested a black crown of wrought iron laced with spikes and barbs. Yeva looked a bit like a tunawa scaled to human size: with skin of smooth wood, hair made of autumn leaves, and a green gown sown from blades of long grass. In terms of shape she was not much different from her real self, though she had a strong smell of pinewood about her.

"Relax, these are just illusions." Falsehood's voice whispered chirpily. "You're still yourselves deep down. Most other spirits wont be able to sense that you're anything different from one of us, though I'd recommend not letting an Induk get the chance to examine you closely if you can help it. As far as anyone is concerned you are spirits of fire, chivalry, sorrow and healing arrived last minute to join the party. That said I can disguise the way you look and feel, but don't forget that you aren't real spirits; you don't have the abilities we do. Don't talk to anyone longer than you have to, don't try and walk through walls or anything, and for the verses' sake whatever you do do not drink the ephemera! Got it?!" Even though she couldn't be seen, each of them suddenly got the impression that she was giving them a Cheshire smile. "Okay humans, let's go crash this party!"

General Info

Look at you guys. All dressed up and ready for a party. Hope you like your fancy dress costumes.
There's an opportunity for an OOC vote here. If you feel like you want to start wrapping up this thread now we can jump straight to the final boss in the next post. Alternatively if you want to spend a couple of posts exploring the spirit party and having a bit of weird fun I can add another small hurdle to your path. Nothing dangerous this time, just an interesting experience. Message me either here or on Discord to let me know what you'd like to do.

Edit: Had to change Woe's use of Empathy on Truth, as I've been told by mods that spirits work too differently. Sorry for any confusion.

I would ask you to please respond by the 21st of June, 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
  • Head out of the cavern.
Can Do
  • Describe your own costume in greater detail.
  • Ask Falsehood for more information. Remember, she may not be entirely truthful.
Last edited by Tio Silver on Mon Jun 15, 2020 6:16 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 1721
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
Well neither Woe nor Victor demanded the spirit's head and so the last vain hope in Balthazar that they might take vengeance was extinguished. Yeva said goodbye to the spirit and Balthazar just stared at it for a trill more before walking with the others into an uncomfortable silence. Yeva tried to break it with questions but Balthazar didn't have any answers. The elements here weren't telling him anything remarkable but then again who knew what was real anymore? They could all have still been in some mass hallucination but Balthazar doubted it. Then Yeva mentioned more of what the spirit told her. Truth. A few sparks danced between Balthazar's fingers when Yeva said its name. He did not know much about spirits but Woe's words and what he'd seen in Truth's frequency gave him some insight. Spirits were bound to their concept and if the spirit who had trapped them was bound to truth... well... then Balthazar had to give what he said a little consideration.

The Induk had a condemned of Ashan- not that Balthazar understood most of that, and the condemned was being used to draw in and strengthen spirits that meant to harm the island. Yeva said that they needed to rescue him but that wasn't the solution that crossed Balthazar's mind. Could he still power the spirits if he was dead? Death would be quicker and a more lasting solution. What were they going to do? Convince Ashan to de-condemn the marked one? If they could be used as a weapon here, they could used as a weapon anywhere in Scalvoris.

"I'm not sure, Yeva. Ask the the next spirit." Balthazar said without looking towards her. His tone wasn't venomous but there was certainly a monotone which hadn't been there before. He was still thinking about the fight to come- if it had to be a fight at all. He'd never fought a spirit really and since he typically fought with his hands he was a little out of his element... of and he used those too but he had a feeling turning the mountain against itself would be taxing.

They moved through a tunnel and a raspy almost growling noise could be heard a little further in. Finally! A fight! But when the party ventured forward Balthazar found he'd have no such luck. Not growling... snoring. They entered a large round cavern with floors blanketed in pink mist and found a spirit sleeping in quite a... relaxed position. Balthazar found it a little funny how prepared he'd been for a battle when he walked in only to find this. He looked to the others to see what they thought of the white spirit.

Victor was the first one into the cavern and when he touched the mist the spirit woke. Interesting. Balthazar followed behind Victor but didn't make it more than a step before the spirit was far too close. She had some of his hair in her hand and asked a question that he had no time to answer before she moved to Victor's beard. What dye did he use? Defiance. Best part was that it never washed out. Balthazar brushed his hair back out of his face and the spirit began to address the lot of them. She confirmed a lot of what Truth had said and that confused Balthazar. If she was bound to falsehood wouldn't she be misleading them? Or at least lying in some form? Should they not trust her? She'd said she knew Tio but... that could have been a lie. Then again how would she have known about him? Balthazar couldn't decide how to respond and fortunately he didn't get the chance to.

The spirit's pink mist rose around them all and Balthazar shuttered at the tingling sensation before the mist fell revealing his new form. Fire. He could get behind this makeover. Balthazar looked at his hands and then his feet. Blue like the flames he manifested. Nice. He wasn't all that shaken by the sudden change because he'd done something like this on a much, much smaller scale to heal himself before. Balthazar's on fire, must be a trial that ends in "L." Balthazar turned to look at the others and found the most amusement in Yeva's appearance. Life-sized tunawa- or giant-sized tunawa technically. Woe was... dark and Victor was a knight. For just a trill Balthazar looked to see if Breen had been disguised before he realized Breen wouldn't need one.

Falsehood gave them one final urge to go crash the part with a cautionary word to avoid as many spirits as possible and Balthazar stepped forward to exit the cavern without hesitation. He imagined that is Falsehood was their disguise, they could talk on the go. Don't drink the ephemera... why not? He didn't ask that. Instead he asked some version of what Yeva had asked earlier. "What's the plan here? How are we going to stop a mountain and all it's spirit friends?"
word count: 868

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

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Unlike Balthazar, Victor didn’t care that the spirit’s name was Truth. The name didn’t mean anything to him and he would never give the thing’s words any consideration. As far as he was concerned, everything that he had seen and heard when he had been trapped in the mist had been a lie, and nobody would be able to convince him otherwise. He did listen to Yeva while they journeyed through the tunnel though as the young woman had been quite friendly and reasonable so far; and besides, he wanted to know what kind of messy and unpleasant situation exactly he had ended up in this time.

When Yeva mused if the mountain Induk was upset with humans because they had been mining, he furrowed his brow slightly for a moment. “Do spirits only get upset when you do something that opposes whatever concept they embody though?” he wanted to know. He knew that he might make his ignorance in regard to spirits obvious with such a question, but in this case, he considered it to be more important to further his understanding than to be educated in regard to such matters. There was so much about the different spirits that he did not know yet.

People that had been cursed by an Immortal on the other hand were something that he had some personal experience with, experience that he wished he didn’t have to be honest. When he had been in Niflheim, they had experimented on him and used his blessing to remove someone’s curse mark. His gaze darkened as he thought of it, and he tried to suppress a cough (an unpleasant side effect of Niflheim) before he asked, “Would rescuing the condemned of Ashan really solve the problem in its entirety though? He would still be cursed. Taking him with us might help in regard to the mountain, but we’d likely just take the rest of the problem – and a lot of spirits with us, if he really does attract spirits.”

After his experience with “Truth”, hauling a spirit magnet around Scalvoris was not something that Victor was particularly keen on, and he would have said something about it if they hadn’t entered another cavern in that exact moment. He had ended up walking at the front of the group at one point, so he was the first to see that woman. She was beautiful, he supposed, although such things meant little to him, or she would have been if she didn’t have her stuck in her mouth and snore so loudly that he had to resist the urge to cover his ears with his hands.

The moment that he thoughtlessly set a foot into the pink mist, she awoke. A moment later, she was suddenly right in front them, and Victor resisted the urge to make a step back. Instead, he remained standing where he was and crossed his arms over his chest. Adorable? He? His eyebrows rose for a moment as he heard that, and he couldn’t help but wonder as he had never been called adorable before and wasn’t sure if he wanted to be considered such. A few trills later, she suddenly had a hand on his face and proceeded to … stroke his chin?

The mage was so surprised and irritated that he just stared at her before he replied in a somewhat questioning tone of voice, “Thank you?” A moment later, the strange woman had thankfully moved away again, and he resisted the urge to rub his chin where she had touched him as the gesture was not something that he had appreciated. Still, despite the strange chin-stroking he thought that he liked her marginally better than Truth. She had at least not asked him to execute Jonathan which was why he listened to her explanation as to what was going on with some measure of attentiveness.

He was not bothered by the fact that her name was Falsehood either. Truth had been a liar and a manipulator, so maybe she would be the opposite. For that reason, he actually inclined his head slightly in a greeting when she introduced herself, despite the chin-stroking, and he might have said something as well if the wall hadn’t disappeared, and the music hadn’t started. For a moment, the mage just stared, in amazement and confusion.

When she mentioned a makeover, he wanted to make a step back again as he wasn’t sure about having strange spirit women mess with his appearance, but alas, it was too late again. There was a tingling sensation for a moment, and then he was suddenly …wearing armor? The sword was something that he appreciated, and the armor seemed to be of good quality (it made him feel rather noble, as if he were the lord of Lysoria rather than his brother), but … where were his hands? Come to think of it, what had happened to the rest of his body?

He decided not to try and touch his face as he wasn’t sure what he would find, but studied his companions instead, trying to ignore his heart that was beating faster now (although – did he still have a heart?). Balthazar had become a being made of fire which was something that he probably didn’t mind, considering the magic that he practiced while Woe had been turned into darkness itself and Yeva had become … some sort of giant Tunawa?

And had Falsehood just said that she had made herself into disguises for them? He wasn’t sure if he wanted to have a spirit wrapped around him (or whatever she had done to them), but when she told them that they were just illusions, he relaxed visibly, nevertheless. He had to admit, he had momentarily been worried about having to spend the rest of his life without hands or a face (or all those other body parts that he was rather fond of) as ridiculous as that might seem. And a spirit of chivalry? That was an idea that actually appealed to him as he’d rather be a spirit of chivalry than a traitor and a wayward fool.

He wasn’t sure what would happen if he drank the ephemera, but he decided that it would be best to not give it a try. So, instead he turned to answer Balthazar’s question as he stepped forward, dropping his voice to a mere whisper, “I agree with Yeva that our best bet would be to remove the condemned. We’d need to make sure that the spirits don’t simply follow him though”, he added, furrowing his brow that was currently more or less non-existent again.

Maybe sticking a blade into the man would be the solution, but then again, he wasn’t sure what spilling the blood of a condemned of Ashan in a place full of spirits would do. Maybe it would just make everything worse. He had to admit, he wasn’t sure what they should do. There was one thing that the mage who was normally a relatively polite man was sure about though: Fek Tio!
word count: 1201

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
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Yeva
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Re: The Mountain King

35 Ashan 720


It seemed only Victor was interested in engaging after the differences in opinion regarding Truth. Yeva tried not to be disheartened but shrugged, less sure than before, "Well, I don't know if the concept is being opposed. Destroyed, maybe?" she quieted, looking over her shoulder, "People don't like when others go against their values. Why would spirits?"

She knew little of the spirit world, maybe less so than the others here. After all, Breen had been one all along and she had never guessed, "It would throw off the balance. Or maybe they lose their vitality? Nevertheless, I don't think we're here to un-curse any man. The problem is that the Induk on this mountain wants to hurt people. Even if we took a sliver of that power away... Maybe less will suffer," she exhaled, not wanting to displease the Induk either. She just wanted to do the right thing - and in a perfect world, that meant no violence or death and keeping the spirit world happy and healthy. This was like diagnosing a terminal disease she had never even heard of, ever complicated and life-threatening, "I don't want anyone to die."

For the rest of their short walk, Yeva wrung her hands in contemplative thought, slowing with a look of nerves at the sound of something gargling and thunderous. One of the last to enter the room, she stepped lightly and blinked at the woman who flitted to each of her teammates. The men seemed to take a better shine to the uncouth figure, pleased with their disguises, but Yeva took a nervous step back at the spirit's too-wide smile. There was something unnatural about the expression that made her nervous and she seemed quick to give them aid.

But why?

At once, their appearances were changed and warped, Yeva stiffening as the skin of her hands resembled smooth wood. She moved easily enough and remained the shape of a woman, although sprigs of green emerged from her hips and shoulders, dotted with buds of spring. Her hair, which was naturally a red curl, rustled when she moved. Turned to autumn leaves of vibrant red, burnt orange and gentle gold, Yeva touched her dress of greenery, covering her bust and the slope of her hips. It was less modest than her natural garb, revealing a flash of legs and back, but around her waist hung trailing vines of ivy and honeysuckle. Draped around her oaken throat was a necklace of pine, wafting a scent of rich forest memories when she held up her hands, each adorned in bracelets of medicinal flowers. Barefoot and in awe, Yeva took in the appearance of her companions, wondering if their disguises were chosen for particular reason.

She herself was a medic - could Falsehood tell?

What else did she know?

"We may be able to understand what is happening once we see it for ourselves, but we should be cautious," How did they know this whole party wasn't an illusion as well? It struck her as odd, how quick everyone seemed to relax around one spirit when another had wronged them just a room back, "Why can't we drink the ephemera? Won't we be discovered if we are not fitting in?"

It should go without saying, Yeva was never a very good liar.

Pharan, an avriel from Athart, had once advised her to think of her lies in advance, but how could she do that given the prospective audience? "If things start going south, we can reconvene and come up with a new plan. Oh, how about a sign for help" Yeva tried to think of one, opting to tap her cheek, "We could signal when we're in trouble? Like this? Hmm. Maybe I shouldn't stand so close to all of you..."

Balthazar in particular stood out, fire being a destructive force for someone who was supposed to embody a healing nature. Even with the understanding that none of this was real, it was hard not to worry he might catch her aflame. He was a defiance mage, after all.

Now... If the spirits were enjoying themselves at the party, would Truth be there? What about the old woman who had been on the mountain, whose intention remained unknown. Maybe there would be others she could observe, but this would be such a learning experience! How many mortals had been to a party such as this one? She would even see what ephemera was, and what it did. The scholar begged for answers, ever curious, "This might be fun," she muttered, suddenly sparked with interest, but felt the need to remind herself that this was not a field trip. It was serious.

"I can go first." It wasn't that she felt inclined to play leader, but she couldn't help but feel guilty from having had a pleasant former encounter compared to her team. Then, asking last minute, "What kind of spirit was the Majesty before he became an Induk?" Was he always a mountain spirit? Or was he a simpler anak that grew old and strong like Truth had implied?
word count: 865
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Woe
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Re: The Mountain King


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Whereas Truth was a straight speaking spirit, full of earnest tidbits of knowledge and wisdom, Falsehood was a shallow flatterer. It was an interesting juxtaposition between the two. But did it speak poor of Woe, that he preferred the company of Falsehood, with all her false assurances and pleasantries? Woe had cause to wonder, but he didn't have much time before they'd be underway.

Woe felt the shift come over his form . He was already wearing a dark outfit, and so felt comfortable in the shroud of clawing shadows and assorted finery. So he was to play the part of a spirit of Sorrow? "Any advice for me, Breen? You ought to know, being a diri of sorrow yourself."

Breen whined, "I'm sorry, Master, I don't understand? How is this possible?"

"Illusions, Breen. Strong enough, presumably, to fool a Mountain Induk. Not my kind of magic though, or it wouldn't work I suspect. My own magics failed against Truth." Woe said, his voice wavering like the ghostly shadow form he inhabited at that moment.

Woe had only one question for falsehood, before he'd follow the rest out of the cavern. "Have you spoken with my mother lately?" The answer would doubtless either enlighten Woe, or fail to surprise him. One way or another, he'd learn something from it.

Once Falsehood answered, Woe would leave with the others, to join the party. "Be careful, Breen. Try to resist feasting on Ephemera, while in there." So saying, he floated along, drifting like a disembodied shadow across the ground.
word count: 263
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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


Falsehood's tittering laughter echoed faintly in their ears as Balthazar asked what the plan was. "The plan? I'm so glad you asked! You see my plan's greatness, like all great plans, lies in its simplicity. Using these disguises we are going to enter the party, walk right up to Their Majesty, and punch them!" She spoke with the naive surety of a child announcing that they would grow up to become a pirate without having a clue as to what that entailed, and laughed at their reactions. "I know I know, it sounds ill-prepared, but more thought has gone into this than you think. You see the key to this whole mission has been in the timing. Tell me, have you ever heard the term 'Vergence' before."

A mirage danced before each of their eyes, overlaying the sight of the cavern. Before them they could now see two forests: one green and natural, the other filled with strange colours and plants they had never seen before. Directly between the two forests, cutting through them like a knife, was a tall wall of stone. "The mortal world and the spirit world are two sides of the same coin, part of the same entity yet forever divided." Falsehood explained. "Between them is a barrier. It is this barrier that keeps you mortals from perceiving the spirit world."

"But wait Falsey, I hear you ask, if this barrier exists then how am I able to see a such a beautiful and voluptuous spirit like yourself? Well I'm glad you asked." A crack appeared in the stone wall, creating a hole just wide enough to be seen through. "Barriers can be broken you see, and when they are this creates holes, through which one can see what lies on the other side and interact with it. These holes are called Vergences. We spirits use partial vergences all the time in order to influence the mortal world, but these are like windows really; only providing limited interaction with what lies beyond in exchange for safety. We can see each other, but never physically interact. The result of this is that spiritual things and physical things appear to simply phase through each other to anyone who can perceive both at once."

"However not all vergences are so weak." A huge chunk of the stone wall suddenly exploded outwards, creating a sizeable hole. "With enough power you can blow a hole in the barrier wide enough to travel through. If a spirit completely crosses over into the physical world they are able to physically interact with it, and can unleash the full extent of their powers. Take your friend Breen here for example. At some point he and dark-hair formed a connection, and through that bond were, for a brief moment, able to create a vergence strong enough for Breen to cross over into the physical world. Because he is truly within this world you can touch him, pet him, even harm him if you wish."

The mirage faded, bringing them back to the cave once again. Falsehood spoke again, though for once without her usual peppy cheer. Instead she sounded... worried? Afraid? Concerned? It was hard to tell without any expressions or body language accompanying it, but it certainly wasn't anything good. "Their Majesty cannot lead an invasion of the physical world through a window. He could cause mass-inconvenience sure, but his forces would be too limited to cause anything more. The reason why you are able to see and touch me, and every other spirit on this mountain, is because you are in the middle of a large vergence right now. All of Mount Ornthrus is one gigantic vergence. Near the base of the mountain the effect was pretty thin, but the peak of the mountain, the epicentre, the barrier is almost entirely gone. The mortal and spiritual worlds are near completely overlapped. It is the gateway through which an army of spirits will pour into your world, unleashing their fullest powers upon Scalvoris." For a brief moment another mirage crossed their vision: a scene of the land, sky and sea whipped up into a frenzy, sinking Scalvoris Town into the sea. "However in bringing their full strength to your world, Their Majesty has brought their weakness as well. Here on Mount Ornthrus physical and spiritual are as one. Here we spirits can be touched. Here we can be harmed. Here we can be defeated. Their Majesty will be a powerful opponent, but it is physically possible for you to defeat them through combat prowess. And since Their Majesty is the one using the condemn's power to hold open the vergence, then if you defeat him it will snap shut again." She hummed. "Of course I suppose you could slay the condemned too: cut the power off at the source so to speak. Tio won't be happy, but it's not like he can stop you at this point."

Yeva posed her question about Their Majesty's nature, and for a moment there was no answer. When Falsehood piped up again however there was clear surprise in her tone. "You know how we spirits work? I'm impressed. Actually there's a bit of a story there. You see Their Majesty was just an Anak of Stone only a few trials ago, and not a particularly strong one at that. It was through pure luck and trickery that they were able to meet and capture the condemned, and by feeding on their ephemera grow into an Induk." She hummed slightly. "Which, come to think of it, means that without the comdemned Their Majesty will regress back to their weakened self. The other spirits only follow Their Majesty now because of the ephemera and the strength it grants them, not because they particularly care about humanity one way or the other. Without that I imagine they'd disband pretty quickly.

At Woe's question Falsehood hummed thoughtfully. "The maiden of the web? No, I don't recall ever meeting her before. I've met a couple of her slaves from time to time though, and they've always proven to be very entertaining."



The moment the party stepped out of the cave and back onto the surface of the mountain it became clear that something strange was afoot. They had spent all morning hiking up the mountain this far and so it should have been mid-afternoon, and yet the sky was the rich dark blue of a beautiful nighttime. The suns were muted, hidden behind strange lights and swirling patterns that filled the sky in a hundred different colours. It was as if two paintings of the same landscape: one perfectly naturalistic, the other abstract, had been painted together across the same canvass. Like two worlds overlapping. The temperature too was strange: bitterly cold, uncomfortably humid and pleasantly warm all at the same time.

Then there was the music.

From somewhere very close by the sounds of an army of lutes, flutes and drums all playing together filled the air. It was a light and catchy tune they were playing, almost festive in nature, and underlay with the distant hum of thousands of voices all talking, singing and laughing loudly together. A short walk around the corner brought them before a small village spread out across the peak of the mountain comprised of strange, oriental style tents and stalls. They were of all shapes and sizes: some huge and decorative, some small and raggedy, but all ordered in a complex design that allowed for curving paths to wind between them.

Bustling about between the sea of tents was a huge crowd of people. Or at least they looked like people from afar, but as the group got closer it became apparent that these figures weren't human at all: they were spirits, one and all. Some of them looked like Truth and Falsehood: mostly human, but with peculiar animal features and colouring that marked them as something else entirely. Some looked entirely like animals, or even mixes between multiple different species. Many more however took forms that were just completely bizarre: statues, orbs of water, and even one guy who seemed to be a pile of floating spaghetti. There were no guards outside the perimeter to stop them entering, and not one of the spirits looked at them as if they were anything unusual as they merged into the crowd. Everywhere they looked the spirits were smiling, chatting animatedly to one another, and generally just looking like they were enjoying the party.

A woman with the head and neck of a giraffe dressed in a stunning red ball gown lay a wreath of colourful flowers around Woe's neck as he passed by. "For you." She said, giving him a wink before turning and skipping back off into the crowd. The flowers had a enticing smell; intoxicating even, as if beckoning him to take a deeper sniff of them.

"Portraits! Get your portraits here!" A giant levitating paintbrush called from a stand as they passed. "You there: flaming fellow! Care for a portrait? Free of charge! Won't take a second!"

A life sized jester puppet sat above a dunk tank, to the side of which stood a target and a sign saying "Take a throw!" As they passed by a octopus in a suit and tie burbled something in fish-speak and held out a ball to Victor.

A table was set up on the side of the road, upon which lay a basket full of eggs and a golden chicken. As Yeva passed by the chicken let out an attention grabbing squawk, and gestured towards the basket with its wing.

All being said the atmosphere about the village was not that of a place preparing for war. Everyone seemed pretty giddy and excited, but not in a violent way.

"Look closer. Pay attention to the drink." Falsehood whispered in their ears.

It was only when she pointed it out that the group began to notice that the vast majority of the spirits were holding drinks. They came in all shapes and sizes, from little champagne flutes to viking drinking horns, yet all held the same liquid. It was thick, viscous and glowed bright green, like some stereotypical portrayal of toxic waste, and really didn't look the least bit appetising, yet each and every spirit greedily gulped it down at the first opportunity. All across the village were huge stone bowls set into altars that were filled with the liquid, and from which the spirits refilled constantly. It was hard not to notice how with each sip they took each spirit smiled just a little bit wider, their voices became a little louder, and their eyes grew a little wilder. There were even some patches of spirits who had abandoned all pretence of politeness altogether and crowded around the bowls, lapping at the liquid like animals. Something about the way their muscles bulged and the air around them crackled set the group's nerves on edge, and as they walked past once such bowl a huge white wolf fixed them with an intense glare.

Its eyes were wide and filled with energy, yet completely devoid of reason. They eyes of a wild beast.

"There is nothing quite as intoxicating as power." Falsehood hissed. "Ephemera is good for spirits, but only in moderation. Too much of a good thing creates its own share of problems. Very few spirits have ever had the chance to drink it in such excessive amounts before, and the more they consume the more they desire. And as they drink more and more, become stronger and stronger, so to are they driven into a mindless frenzy. Their Majesty's words about unleashing all this strength building up inside them becomes too tempting to ignore." The sound of her spitting filled their ears, though being as they were unable to see her they could only guess at where said spit has gone. "This is how Their Majesty operates. Driving their own kind into a drunken rampage for their own petty ambitions. Disgraceful. What kind of a ruler leads their own people to such debauchery?"

A new sound began to build beneath the music. It was quiet at first, but the higher they climbed the louder it became, until eventually it drowned out the music entirely. It was the sound of chanting in some unfamiliar language. Before them a huge wall of jagged black stone came into view, broken only by an open set of stone gates. The sound of chanting was coming from behind it.

"Here we are." Falsehood muttered grimly. "The peak of the mountain. Their Majesty waits beyond. If you need to prepare for a fight I suggest you do it now, because once we step through those doors there wont be another chance."

General Info

Ain't no party like a spirit world party.

I would ask you to please respond by the 2nd of July, 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
  • Prepare to face Their Majesty.
Can Do
  • Balthazar: Have your portrait done.
  • Victor: Dunk the puppet.
  • Yeva: Take an egg.
  • Woe: Smell the flowers.
word count: 2375
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
Punch the spirit in the face. It seemed that Falsehood expected them to treat the fight no different than any other and if that was the case, Balthazar felt like the team was in good shape. He knew that at the very least he was confident in his ability to beat someone to death... then again would they be beating the spirit to death or into an incorporeal state? Could the spirit be killed? Balthazar listened to Falsehood's further rambling to see if she said anything else that was helpful. She explained, quickly, about the nature of spirits and vergences that allowed them to take physical forms. He wouldn't have considered her voluptuous but he wasn't going to ruin her train of thought by pointing it out. Her explanation of vergences made enough sense for Balthazar to follow along but he couldn't deny that his main takeaway was that they could physically harm the spirits who chose to have a physical presence by passing through to their world.

The mirage was a helpful depiction but Balthazar had already seen his fill of false imagery. Falsehood lost a little favor by making him see what she said as they moved. He didn't need to see it to understand but could he, a mage who often showed off his magic, blame the spirit for showing off her powers? He wanted to, but at least she was not trying to delay them like the other- unless she was leading them into a trap... which might make sense given her concept and seemingly simple plan... Balthazar shook the idea off and focused on the spirit's response to Yeva's question. An Anak of Stone? Now that made Balthazar curious. "Will he be able to use the earth as I can?" Balthazar spoke quietly as he thought on how it might feel to fight for control of the element with a spirit rather than another defier.

The elements did not enjoy being turned on their friends... Balthazar couldn't imagine it would be different for spirits. Then again his disguise was flame. It burned blue like the fire he conjured and so the hottest of the elements would likely be his first choice of weapon regardless... but he liked to have options. Then Woe asked an odd question and Falsehood's response filled in the gaps. The maiden of the web? Which Immortal had the spider legs? Balthazar couldn't immediately call her name to mind but he'd get there eventually. For the moment, they had a party to attend.

"I have to admit this looks nice." Balthazar said, seemingly out of nowhere, when the group stepped out of the cave into the strange dark blue sky. Something was surely wrong but Balthazar had to admire the beauty of it for a moment. The odds were it would not last. "Don't get me wrong, the humidity isn't great, but I wouldn't mind a sky like that more often." Fortunately the sound of music stopped Balthazar from making any more comments on the journey.

The festival looked like it would have been fun to explore any other trial but totrial they had a job to do. An urgent job that had already been delayed. When the large paintbrush asked if he wanted a portrait painted, Balthazar kept moving along with his group. He gestured as if to blame them moving forward for him not being able to stop and have his portrait taken. "Another time, we're running late." Balthazar said. He couldn't deny he was curious and was just vain enough to want a portrait of himself wreathed in blue fire. It would give him something to show off to that priest of Delroth. 'Oh yeah, just me wearing a spirit another spirit painted a picture of it.' It would be funny... but they didn't have the time so he moved on.

Falsehood told them to pay attention to the drinks and what Balthazar found was a sludge he certainly didn't want to try... it looked disgusting... but he was curious what a little bit of it might do. He wanted some- not to drink but to store and study... but he couldn't get it now. They neared a bowl and Balthazar looked for a cup to fill. He figured he could probably hold the cup in one hand and throw fireballs at the Induk with his other... or bolts of lightning... whatever hurt their Majesty more. Yet before he could find a cup he found a white wolf looming over the bowl and staring at them. Fine. I'll find another bowl. Balthazar looked at the sludge curiously. He did not feel the bond he felt to water but he wondered if he could manipulate the liquid. Bloodwater hadn't been exactly water but he'd manipulated it... Balthazar did not test his theory though because right before he could, the chanting began.

Falsehood announced that they'd arrived at the peak of the mountain and needed to prepare for battle. Balthazar was as prepared as he felt like he was going to be but he did stop to take a few deep breaths. He needed to clear his mind of the negativity and anger towards Truth. So long as he held onto that, it would make his casting more difficult. So with ten breaths in and ten breaths out, he cleared his mind to prepare for the battle. Then Balthazar turned to Yeva, who wasn't the best fighter if he remembered correctly. He didn't want to assert that but he also didn't want her to get hurt. "We can draw the spirit's focus, just look for a good chance to hurt it and attack if you think you can. Otherwise, just try not to get hurt." Then he turned to the others. He couldn't deny he was excited to see what Victor and Woe could do in a fight. "Is everyone ready?"
word count: 1011

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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Woe
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Profession: Éminence grise
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Re: The Mountain King


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Falsehood's answer wasn't as enlightening as Woe had hoped. In his head, he twisted what she said around to mean the opposite, but given the things she was telling them, some of them true, he wondered if deciphering her intent was quite so simple. So perhaps her statements were inscrutable. If that was the case, then he'd have to satisfy himself with his own conclusions.

One thing did turn over in his mind, about what she'd said. "Sintra doesn't abide slaves among her marked. Her marked are the ones who pull strings, move nations, and keep slaves. You're probably thinking of Famula." At any rate, the spirit kept talking, answering the questions given by the rest of the party.

At one point, Breen whined upon hearing her say that he could be harmed physically.

"Master?! I can be harmed?" Breen whined, even louder than normal. He scratched the floor and bobbed his head in abject nervousness. "Can I die?"

Woe's mouth twisted as he regarded his spirit bonded. "Since when have you ever stuck around for a fight? The last one we were in together, you turned tail and ran."

"But you told me to run, Master!" He whined, almost squealed.

"You have your uses, Breen, but independent thought is not one of them." Woe laughed a hollow laugh, and then sighed, "Just stick to safety, and only act if we have need of you. I will let you know if such is the case."

That said, he considered the spirits plan, to punch the mountain Induk in the face. He thought the idea of ending the condemned's life was more economical in terms of effort put forth. But if this would anger a mad Immortal and an Induk into the bargain, perhaps it was worth considering the first option, of deposing his majesty.

All through the explanation, Woe wondered at what it might mean for the Induk to be 'defeated'. Would it remain when they closed the barrier? Would it be angry? Could it not just pierce another barrier through the Veil? Woe was becoming concerned about this fool's errand. But then he had a way out, even if the others didn't. Or so he presumed he did.

In any event, he had his own role in front of him. He summoned Breen to his side and walked out into the party.

The flowers that were given to him by the long-necked lady in red, he gave a cursory sniff of. He was not normally one for flowers, but these smelled fairly nice. They were colored blue and white,, though, and he disliked wearing white. So he took the wreath, and wrapped it around Breen's neck. "There, Breen. Stay close now, and don't get too distracted by those flowers..." But Breen was wide-eyed and amazed at the mix of spirits that their majesty had gathered. Woe almost wondered if he felt the odd one out, or more at home.

"This is how Their Majesty operates. Driving their own kind into a drunken rampage for their own petty ambitions. Disgraceful. What kind of a ruler leads their own people to such debauchery?" Falsehood spoke at the last, and Woe gave it serious thought.

He knew she meant it in a rhetorical sense, but he answered anyway. "Perhaps he means to distract them from a threat or some existential angst so that they wouldn't overthrow him." Perhaps speaking with the spirits, and turning them against their majesty would end him. Perhaps that's why fighting him would work. If the spirits saw the adventurers rise up against him, they may be emboldened to act upon their defiance.

Woe nodded to Balthazar, when he asked if they were ready. "I can probably get its attention, but our magics seem useless against these spirits, if my Empathy attempts were any kind of signal. So we may be forced to use more - conventional - methods to overthrow his majesty." He uncoiled his whip all the same, which flowed with the same shadows that crawled out of his disguise.
word count: 688
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Victor Amielle
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Re: The Mountain King

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Had Victor still possessed visible eyebrows, they would have risen when Falsehood revealed her grand plan that involved walking up to Their Majesty and punching them. He might also have rolled his eyes. Since he was currently covered with an illusion, the only noticeable reaction was a barely audible sigh though. He couldn’t help but wonder why he was still taking part in that mission. Right, because they supposedly had to prevent a catastrophe and because there was no easy way to leave the mountain that he could see.

He had to admit that some of the things that the spirit that was decidedly lacking when it came to reason said were interesting though, such as her revelation that there was a barrier that divided the spirit world and the mortal world. In fact, the scholar in him was absolutely fascinated. He doubted that there were a lot of people in this world that knew about such things – or had gotten the opportunity to take part in such a kind of party.

For a moment, he hung onto her every word, in fact.

When Woe asked about his mother and Falsehood mentioned the maiden of the web which led to Woe speaking of Sintra … well, his eyes would have widened, if he had possessed visible ones at the moment. Had the man … had he just more or less admitted to being a Mortalborn? For a moment, Victor wondered if he should bow to him.

“How powerful a punch will be necessary, do you think?” he eventually whispered to Balthazar who he knew to be a warrior of considerable skill. After Falsehood’s explanation, he didn’t consider the idea of punching a spirit to be quite as strange (if she had said the truth), but still …

He glanced … well, he glanced at where his hands would normally be and thoughtfully clenched his fists. He was quite the skilled swordsman and mage, but he wasn’t sure how he would fare when it came to confronting spirits in unarmed combat, to be honest.

What he saw next nearly took his breath away for a moment. He looked up, at the sky, for a moment, shielding his somewhat sensitive eyes with a hand as he observed the play of colors above him. It was absolutely mesmerizing. The temperatures on the other hand were much less appreciated. It was cold and warm at the same time, so he wasn’t sure if he should shiver or not.

The humidity didn’t exactly make things better either (it wasn't helpful when it came to his souvenir from prison).

A moment later, he heard the music though and forgot everything else for a moment, including the strange weather. For a moment, he just stared at the party and all the spirits, absolutely transfixed. A part of him was tempted to just let their mission be for a while and go explore because he might never get another opportunity like that again. He decided against doing so, for the time being, but when the octopus in the suit (An octopus in a suit?!) held out the ball to him, he took it and threw it nevertheless, trying to hit the target and smiling widely.

For a moment, he actually enjoyed himself and forgot all about the Devout and his unpleasant experience in the mist.

He only began to notice that most of the spirits were holding drinks when Falsehood pointed it out. It didn’t look particularly appetizing which made him wonder why the spirits drank it so greedily. At the same time, he couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if a mortal ingested it. Falsehood had warned them against it, but he was quite tempted to study it, nevertheless. He doubted that he’d ever get another chance to do so.

But alas, he couldn’t find anything to put the ephemera into, so with a somewhat regretful sigh, he followed Falsehood and his companions to the stone gate where he stopped for a moment and inclined his head sharply. He was not particularly keen on engaging a spirit in combat, but there didn’t seem to be any other way to leave the mountain that he could see, so he remarked, “I’m ready.” He had little experience when it came to punching people (or spirits), but maybe his sword would be able to do the job as well?
word count: 739

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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Yeva
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Re: The Mountain King

Pretty in Pink

Yeva was far from 'ready', but what could she do?

The men were set upon following Falsehood's direction - punching a spirit in the face, even! - and she shook her head in silent fretting, "I don't know," she muttered, "What if it doesn't work?" Then what would happen? They would be before a being of great power and a collection of spirits apparently feasting on an energy source. Yeva chewed her lip, wrung her hands, "Is violence really the answer here? I... I still think we should find the condemn and just leave." But how?

Yeva should have taken the knowledge as it was - after all, her own understanding was only as deep as what she had been told since arriving, but not everything Falsehood said added up. She said the reason they were able to touch the spirits and vise versa was due to the vergences, but what if they didn't want to be touched? Hadn't Truth fazed through her arms when she began to cry? Yeva's understanding had understood Falsehood to have been under some sort of captivity, but she hardly seemed bound by anything. She moved and chatted and laughed just as easily as anyone else.

If Truth could control when he was physically interacted with and he was just an Anak, what would stop a greater Induk?

With dragging feet, Yeva took a deep breath and moved with the others to be revealed a sight of which she had never seen. Creatures of all shapes and sizes, ranging in color and wonder, moved and interacted and for a moment, she stumbled, staring at the vast array of colors and oddities. Music played and the sky....

Yeva's head leaned back and for a moment she was lost.

It wasn't until the others began to merge into the crowd that Yeva's attention snapped back to the party around them and she ran forward. Among the crowd, she looked for both Truth or the Old Crone, but once again her attention was soon stolen by something loud and demanding. A golden chicken with a basket of eggs looked at her, motioning towards the brood, to which Yeva hesitated in interacting with.

How many birds wanted to give away their eggs! But then again...

This wasn't a real chicken. It was a spirit. But what kind?

She didn't understand.

Did it want her to heal them, thinking she was what she was not?

"This is a mess," she muttered beneath her breath, forcing a tense smile. Knowing the longer she hesitated, the more attention she risked drawing to herself, Yeva very tentatively reached out, hand hovered over the egg, and then pulled back, "Sorry, I can't take what is yours. I..."

Honey brown eyes lifted, searching the festivities for her teammates before she began to backpedal away, still empty-handed while the leaves of her mane rustled, "I need to get a drink! Yes, a drink..."

That was what everyone was so obsessed with, was it not?

Yeva ran off, bounding through the masses, nervous as she wove between some rather intimidating and otherworldly individuals. At last, she recognized the gloom of Woe's spirit form, "Wait for me!"


word count: 543
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